Sunday 30 December 2007

Last One For 2007

My last post for the year, wow. When I started blogging I set myself the target of blogging once a week and I've come pretty close. I'm continually adding to my list of blogs to view and regularly stare in wonder at the beautiful works pictured.

No sewing here since before Christmas but I have been busy in the sewing room. I've set myself up with a 34cm TV in front of the ironing board and am pleased to say that all my ironing is caught up. I've also been busy ironing fabric scraps and cutting them into various size squares and strips. My containers a filling fast and I still have a way to go. Now I have all these ideas of how to use the squares and strips in small quilts but I'm trying to finish other projects before beginning new ones. Cameron helped me to hang my two narrow jungle wall hangings as well.

I've also measured a wall space for a shelving unit of some sort. My intention is to purchase a number of clear storage boxes and eventually find a home for all sorts, bits and pieces, this and that etc where they can live on the shelf in nice tidy rows. Of course this is probably going to be a long term project but I'm OK with that as long as it keeps progressing.

My picture this week is of dear ol' Santa. He was made a few years ago at craft group and I'm happy to say that he was finished in time to be hung for that Christmas. Santa is done by hand in stem stitch and the piecing and quilting is all machine. Now each year he comes out of storage and hangs about for the festive season.
I'm in need of a small wall hanging to take his place throughout the rest of the year. I'll just add that to my 'to do' list.

Wishing all a healthy and happy 08 filled with family, friends and fabric.

Sunday 23 December 2007

Merry Christmas

My side of the family had an early start to the Christmas Festivities. As our families grow we seem to become wider spread so we decided to all get together and celebrate Christmas last weekend. After breakfast it was time for exchanging gifts. A few months earlier we draw names out of the hat and buy for that person. Secret Santa style. Lunch was steak on the BBQ, boiled spuds, corn on the cob and curried prawns to name a small selection of the menu. We cracked bon bons, told jokes and wore our pper hats, followed by the period of inactivity due to full tummies. Its a lovely day when we can all get together.

I have still had time for some sewing and made this Bolster Cushion for a gift. I've had the pattern picked out since early this year so will need to start looking now for next years gift.
I am also determined to complete the top for a queen size bed quilt that started out for my bed but now I've decided it will look much nicer in my daughters room. That means I can look for a pattern for my bed now.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS with peace, health, time spent with loved ones and a joyful NEW YEAR.

Friday 14 December 2007

Whose New in the Hen House

I while back I mentioned that one of my silky hens was sitting on eggs. I've finally been able to get a reasonable photo of the two chicks. They're loosing that fluffy look now and love to get out and pick. Mum is the same colour but was too busy chasing insects to stop for a photo.

I also have three new additions to the hen house. 'Normal' size hens this time. That makes five hens, two chicks and one rooster. And I collected five eggs this afternoon, not bad. Fingers crossed that the chicks are also hens.
Once again the rain seems to have gone around us this afternoon. I knew I should have left the washing on the line. We did have just over an inch of rain Monday night which greened the grass up a bit and was much appreciated. Keeps the garden watered for me.

Sunday 9 December 2007

Free Motion Quilting Day

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself learning to free motion quilt. Once I got the tension sorted out on my machine I was away. I know I have a long way to go and a lot to learn but I was very pleased with my sample and am itching to do some more practicing, but we all know how life can get in the way.

First we cross-hatched and then we stippled. Then we could try other patterns as we wished. This is Lisa's first attempt at free motion quilting. When she ran out of room on her sample she started going back over.

I realy liked the effect of 'fire', top left sample and also enjoyed the leaves.

One more week of work and then it's holiday time. Or atleast a change of focus. Of course there's Christmas to prepare for and the housework has gotten a little behind lately. And I still have one more patchwork deadline before Christmas.

The weather is so hot at the moment. There's a promise of a storm each day but we're still waiting for it. Hubby and I spent a good part of yesterday getting the pool sorted out. We'd had a problem with worn filter hoses but it's all ship shape and ready for a cool dip.

Saturday 1 December 2007

Shopping Day

Friday 23rd November, 5 ladies from our Quilters group jumped in the car and headed off for a day of shopping in Patchwork Shops of course. As well as 5 shops, 2 shops having and second location, making a total of 7 shops visited, we also managed a coffee shop, lunch and a chemist. The sun had set a while by the time we got home but we got value for distance travelled.

I had a project in mind and managed to purchase almost enough fabrics plus a thread box. This leaves me with a new shopping list for the next time I can get away to the fabric shops again.
I didn't think to take the pattern with me, just the requirements of 4 cream/yellow fabrics and 12 other prints. When I got home and lined the fabrics up, I took out 2 from the top row, moved the 2 cream fabrics to the top row and now need two more fabrics to make up the 12.

The house fabric I just liked and the thread box I have filled already. One of the yellow fabrics from above has already been used as a backing.
Yesterday we adventured into the world of Free Motion Quilting. I had a ball and am eager to do some more practice. I have a quilt sandwiched and awaiting my new, um, skills? We'll see.

Saturday 17 November 2007

Calico Hearts

A little while ago I was asked if I would like to contribute to a quilt which will be raffled next year to raise funds for cancer research. Gladly. We were handed calico squares with the instructions of - add a heart or hearts, any colour, any technique. My mother and grandmother also joined in and here they are ready to be returned.

The three on the right are mine ~ a lazy daisy pair, blue crazy patch and blanket stitched trio. Top left is grandma's ~ chain stitching on lace. Middle and bottom left are mum's ~ chain stitching and french knots around the two, and blanket stitching for the flower pot.
I really enjoyed the handwork and plan to follow up with some hand embroidery on a christmas gift. Excellent for working on while relaxing in front of the tv at night.
Our small group of quilters have planned a shopping trip for next Friday. Can't wait!!!

Saturday 10 November 2007

Bag No. 1

I was fortunate enough that my good friend was able to take a couple of photos of my first bag as it hadn't yet been handed over to its new owner, so here they are.

As per the second bag, the first bag is also reversable.

Sunday 4 November 2007

Bag No. 2

I have just finished the second bag to be donated to raise funds for Breast Cancer Research and this time a took a photo immediately.

This first photo is right side out but I was very particular with the placement of the backing squares so that the bag is completely reversible as shown in the second photo.

I'm very pleased with the end results and think they're quite cute. They measure approx. 10" high by 11". Another bag could soon be in the making as a lovely gift for my little niece.

The sky is promising a storm this afternoon. Here's hoping it brings plenty of rain but none of the destructive winds that were about last week.

Sunday 28 October 2007


I've done it again. I was in such a rush to hand over the bag I forgot to take a photo of it. But I was asked if I would make another one by Christmas so I will make sure I get a photo of it if I have to tie the camera around my neck. I like to keep a photographic record of the items I make.

Here's the denim quilt I made for my daughter's single bed that I couldn't upload last week. I used a country striped fabric for the side and bottom borders with demin blocks in each corner. The top has no border. Sorry but I'm not the best photographer.

Next on my agenda is a small piece of about 2 feet square that I can sandwich and start practicing some machine quilting on. I feel the need to move on from ditch stitching and straight lines so i'll just start small at first and see if my machine can cope with it as well as myself.

Sunday 21 October 2007

Slow Week

I'm afraid this week has been very unproductive. I seem to have contracted some bug that keeps me in a constant state of feeling off colour and have little energy for anything but the basics.

Then there is the weather. The sky has been overcast and the wind has been blowing for days now but no rain to speak of. I much prefer the lovely sunshine.

I have made time to keep track of my favourite bloggers and oooh and aaah over their beautiful creations. My photo is of a single bed quilt I made for my daughter out of old denim jeans. Some pockets are within the patch of fabric and others have been stitched on later. I didn't put batting in this one as it was already quite heavy and warm. (Sorry, no photo. Blogger says unable to upload. In keeping with my week I guess. Hopefully next time.)

The bag I mentioned in my last blog is still waiting for handles which I purchased this week. Perhaps later today.

Saturday 13 October 2007

Lost Time

Wow, I didn't realize how long it was since my last blog. Time really did fly over the school holidays and I hardly touched the computer, or my sewing. Then this last week we have had storms almost every night so as soon as I'd get home from work it was get the outside jobs done and battern down. We lost power Wednesday night for a while and again on Thursday night but didn't have power back till the next morning. So again I haven't even turned the computer on for fear of blowing it up.

Luckily the storms didn't do damage like they have in other places. Just lots of wind blowing branches down and some nice rain. Today is lovely and sunny but blowing a gale. A good day for staying indoors and catching up on my favourite blogs. Then I'm off to the sewing machine to work on another bag. This one is using a specific fabric for Breast Cancer Research and will be a donation to raise funds along with other various bags made by our Patchwork group.

While I'm in bag mode, I've included a couple of photographs of my coffee cup bag. It has a draw-string top to keep my cup safe and six pockets around the outside to keep everything from coffee sachets and tea bags to biscuits for a snack. It lives in my craft basket and is always at the ready. I also made one of these for my good friend, again I forgot to take a photograph. Since blogging, my memory for taking photos is getting better.

I also have some news on my chickens. In a previous blog I had a photo of Anthony and Snow and mentioned that Ella was sitting on eggs. Well, Ella is now the proud mum of two sooty coloured little chickens. I will endeavour to take photographs but at the moment they move like lightening.

Thursday 27 September 2007

One Day Wonders

Another completed item, this time a shoulder bag that I was making as a gift for a good friend who has just had a darling baby girl.

This was the fourth bag I've made and I love them. They can be made in one day if you really put your mind to it and ignore everything else. I usually get the body made the first day and finish off the handles another day. This second pink tone bag was the one made at a workshop.

The brown tone bag I made for my daughter and I made another for my sister-in-law but forgot to take a photo before it was handed over.

Saturday 22 September 2007

Smell the Roses

I had arrived home after dark three days in a row this week. On the fourth morning, my stay at home day, I had a lovely surprise when I went out to let the chickens out. Most of my roses had blooms to share. And the fragances are amazing. Just thought I'd share my delight with you.
I'm supposed to be completing a bag for a gift so this will be a short but fragrant blog.
'Peter Frankenfeld' is proving to be nice purchase.
'King's Ransom' is also shaping up to be good bloomer.
This is 'Just Joey's' first bloom, approximately 15cm or 6" diameter and lovely apricot colour.
And this is the 'Peace' rose with tints of lemon and pale pink.

And then a quick check of my favourite blogs to keep in touch with the wonderful ladies whom I'm so glad to have found. I love catching up with their lives and being inspired by their beautiful quilts and ideas. I am totaly amazed that I can be sitting here in my home sweet home in Australia while regulary visiting places in America, UK, Canada and NZ to name a few.

Now back to the sewing.

Saturday 15 September 2007

Enjoying Spring

I decided last Sunday to take my camera and go for a walk around the garden. It was such a beautiful Spring day. Clear blue sky, everything is green and fresh, a gentle breeze, perfect. Flowers are blooming here and there and yes, the roses have many buds ready to burst. Hopefully I can include some photos of roses in my next blog.
While I was out the chickens were out having a pick. This is Anthony the rooster and Snow (short for Snow white). My other hen Ella (short for Cinderella) is busy sitting on eggs at the moment.
I had not long ago weeded this particular garden bed and need to mulch it as soon as possible. I have yellow, orange and pink daisies and another colour yet to flower. It will be a surprise. I have my lovely Mother to thank for many of the cuttings in my garden.
The hibiscus was pruned heavily early in the year and is looking magnificent covered in blooms now.
This poor geranium was determined to let me know that it was there amongst the grass and weeds. This is a section of the garden I still need to get to. The recent rains have made everything grow.
Bougainvilleas always put on a bright show.
We had our opening on Wednesday which went very well. But then I had a thought of what am I going to work on now. As well as completing a half made shabby bag for a gift, I've decided that I am going to finish my king size bed quilt which has been on the go for 2+ years. All these other projects keep popping up demanding my attention. But I am determined that the bed quilt will be the next completed item. Then do I finish something else or start a new project? We'll see.

Thursday 6 September 2007

Kaleidoscopes Completed

My deadline has been met and I can add three new quilts to my completion list. At present they are part of an exhibition by our local, small but talented patchwork group in Mt Perry. I've never actually named my quilts before so even that was a challenge. Photos of the exhibition will be posted on over the coming weeks.

The two smaller ones will have pride of place in my sewing room, either side of a tall window.

The other will possibly hang in the hallway, not sure yet.

The weather has been very cold and miserable the last two days. Yesterday rained all day and turned our dirt road into slush. Today has been overcast and showery and the wind has been howling non stop. An excellent day for staying indoors and sewing but sadly the housework and paperwork have had to come first after my sewing frenzy last week.

Next project is a patchwork nappy bag as a gift for a friend and then back to those unfinished projects. I seem to always have a couple on the go, then I can work on whichever I feel like at the time. And browsing through magazines, I always manage to add to my to do list. Oh well.

Saturday 1 September 2007

The Home Straight

Finally I can see the finish line for the kaleidoscope quilts. One 36" x 42" is 99.9% completed. One 18" x 46" completed and one 18" x 46" half basted. The small one won't take long to quilt and the binding is a breeze. My next blog I will be able to post photos of them hanging in our local gallery as part of a combined quilters exhibition.
Our small group of quilters held a workshop in June and the time has now come to exhibit our hard work.
The last week has been very eventful. With all the lovely rain we received, the grass has greened up beautifully and the daisies are open in time for the arrival of spring. Hubby is grounded at the present time with the Standstill on horses so he has been getting those jobs done around the house that often get put off.
I had a lovely day Thursday when my two best friends and fellow quilters arrived for the day.
After a quick cuppa, it was needles and threads at the go till lunch. Then back to the sewing. Of course plenty of chatting as we worked. We had tried to plan this day a couple of times previously but something always came up at the last minute to postpone it.
The quilt pictured is my first flannel quilt. I purchased the fabric at a closing down sale with the intention of making it up 'one day'. However, I liked the feel of it so much that all other projects were put on hold while I designed it and made it up. The border fabric was pre-cut into strips so my design started from the outside in to use the full strips. I've now benn able to snuggled under this quilt for two winters.
I've also included another one of my mothers' quilts. The patchwork and quilting is 100% hand sewn. Each butterfly flower block was quilt as you go and joined to the next with the floral sashing. She also made the valance around the bottom.

Saturday 25 August 2007

Sorting Scraps

I finally got to make a start on sorting out those fabric scraps. Thanks to Wanda's suggestion I gave myself a half hour which turned into almost an hour and made a good start. So far I have strips 1.5" and squares 2.5", 3.5", 4.5" and 6.5" Yesterday I purchased some small containers to fit each size and hey presto; containers of neatly cut uniform squares ready for a project.

The actual pressing and cutting was quite therapudic and the end result is very satisfying. Can't wait to get some more done. At the moment I'm busy trying to finish my kaleidoscope quilts for September 4. Thanks to the wet weather I've been kept indoors and had plenty of opportunity to work on them.
Also thanks to the wet weather, I'll have plenty of weeding in the gardens to do.
My girls have taken advantage of the cooler weather to curl up. My son left his quilt on the lounge and it didn't take them long to make a cosy spot for themselves. Fleur is on the left and Jayne on the right. Luckily they're on the back of the quilt. I read a little quote one day that said "Dogs have owners and cats have slaves". These two have got that right but I love their company.

Saturday 18 August 2007

Blessing In Disguise

Sometimes things happen for a reason and I look at my sewing maching breaking down as one of those times. I had hoped to get the binding on my kaleidoscope quilt but the maching had other ideas. Actually it was the feed dogs that wouldn't co-operate. They were staying down and no amount of pleading on my part was going to change their mind. So after the initial frustration of it all, I spread out the first of the two narrow quilts for sandwiching and I am 7/8's finished. I also done some hand embroidery on another project, which reminded me of why I enjoy hand sewing. It's relaxing and nothing can break down.

While home on holidays from Uni, my daughter decided she'd like to make her own lap quilt. I'm proud to say that it's all her work, from design to completion. I forgot to take a picture so she sent me a photo when she got back.

I would like to include a photo of one of the quilts my mother has made. She prefers to hand sew, so Dorothy Clark's 'Cottage Gardens Wall-Hanging' was just the one. Here it awaits being sandwiched and bound. It now has pride of place on one of her beds.

It also goes to show that a love of sewing, patchworking and quilting runs in our family as in many families, passed down from mother to daughter. I might add that my grandmother is an avid hand embroiderer, knitter and crocheter and her hands are never idle at the age of 90.

The weather man forcasts rain for today and tomorrow. It's getting bleaker by the minute so I hope he's right. A lovely day for staying indoors and ... quilting.

Thursday 9 August 2007

Kaleidoscope Quilt

Here's a sneak preview of the quilt I've been working on since attending a kaleidoscope workshop. This is before I sandwiched and I am currently in the process of quilting. I've gone with a jungle leaf repeated 8 times over the quilt in free motion. I'll fill any large spaces with perhaps a hibiscus outline.

This is only half of the hexagons that were made from the fabric. These are all the ones that had any blue in them. The other half I sorted again into orange/green and red/white/green and am making two longer narrow wall hangings.
Here is the original fabric.

Thursday 2 August 2007

No Red Yet

I'm still waiting for the red rose to open up but here are the next two.

A friend of mine who grows beautiful roses suggested I buy a 'Peter Frankenfeld'. I'm very happy that I did. I didn't have a pink rose.

I also decided to try a different yellow this time and found 'King's Ransom'. Another satisfied sigh.
This is the view from our verandah last Thursday morning at 6.30am. Yesterday visibility while driving to work was almost nil and again this morning there was a heavy fog.
I'm hoping to get the borders sewn around three wall hangings today so that I can be sandwiching them tomorrow when our small quilters group get together. Fingers crossed.

Thursday 26 July 2007

Roses are Red

Well one of my roses is red but for now these are the first to bloom. I just had to plant roses at our new place and couldn't wait till they were in. I've given hubby credit for preparing the bed because they've been no time at all and here are the first three. This top one is 'Blue Moon'.

I tried a different white this time. This one is 'Mount Shasta'. A large rose with quite a lovely scent. It was actually planted 3 weeks after the others and the first to open up.

And I couldn't go past 'Double Delight' again. My mum's favourite. You know the saying that you should take the time to stop and smell the roses. Maybe this will be my new motto.

Sunday 22 July 2007

Empty Nest

Well, daughter went back this morning ready for Uni tomorrow and son goes back to the city in the morning for the week. Then we are back to our empty nest again. Peace and quiet, but we do miss them.

This cold weather has been getting me down, I just don't seem to be able to warm up. The weather man says the temps are rising so I hope he's right.

I've set my sewing machine up and put the word out to hubby that I'm on a schedule to finish my newest quilt by a deadline. And that deadline is coming up sooner than I like. So when I can't be found, I'll be in the sewing room, sewing madly.

I'm including a picture of a third quilt I started while on Long Service Leave late last year. Now that it's finished I'm donating it to a hospital which distributes quilts to some of the very ill patients.

My fourth and final Long Service Leave quilt is sandwiched and awaiting quilting. But it will have to wait until the deadline quilt is finished. And then there's a Patchwork Bag I'm making for a friend's soon to be newborn. Of course I have a couple other quilts on the go somewhere. Their turn for completion will come.

Tuesday 10 July 2007

After living in a small country town for 25years, six months ago we moved further into the country and couldn't be happier. Though I do find myself missing the social aspect from time to time. Having someone close to chat with or tell my latest news. So, after visiting several blogs for the last fortnight, I've decided to give it a go for myself.

Hubby and I have two children, a daughter who went to Uni this year and a son who started work this year but stays in the city during the week. We're still coming to terms with the 'empty nest' syndrome but it's nice in a different sort of way.

When I'm not at work or doing the housework, I enjoy creating patchwork quilts and wallhangings so I will include photos from time to time. I'm one of those who has to have several projects on the go at one time.
Just at the moment I've actually managed to complete two small quilts that I began last October. The top 'Shabby' one was for my niece and the bottom 'Puppy' quilt was for my nephew. I was using up 5" squares in my fabric stash.
I feel more relaxed already sharing my thoughts. Lets see how it all goes.