Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Slow and steady

What a glorious morning it is here after days of unseasonally cold and wet weather in Melbourne. Of course if you live in Melbourne, you welcome the rain because it's not something we have very often. The garden is certainly happier for it.

School holidays here so I am dividing my time between working and home and keeping up with what the DD and DS are up to. So not much stitching of any sort really. I did however spend most of a rainy Sunday in my room cleaning....well I couldn't put a foot anywhere without stepping on something, so it had to be done.

Being the end of the month, I spent a couple of nights working on my BP sampler, so I had some progress to report on the SAL blog. Here it is - heading into the home stretch.

Still working on the PA quilt, but I'm sewing the setting triangles, they are repetitive so you don't want to see them again. But here are the next two blocks. The red and green one is my favourite.

I have also put a few more crochet squares together ( but haven't been back to the shop to get the dark teal for the border) and cut out the templates for CWB Block 2. So small progress but not for showing. But beware - there may be an avalanche coming.

Enjoy your week,


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lost in blog space

Now here's a mathematical equation that everyone can understand - provided it's in context. It's called Conservation of Energy. It says that total amount of energy in a closed system remains constant. Here goes

more time spent blogging = less time spent sewing

See - easy! Of course it's not just how much time you spend writing your own blog, you have to catch up with your blog buddies that you have on the sidebar, then when you're visiting them you see some pictures on their sidebar and before you know it, hours have passed, you've visited every country on the planet, and the big fat G & T that you sat down with has long since been emptied (sometimes more than once). How much sewing have you done - haha - only in your mind. And now that's also filled with 75 new projects that you have to start and here's another application of conservation of energy (well almost)

more fabric = less money in the bank

exactly - visited too many fabric vendors and now your house is going to be like Privet drive when the owl post arrives (if you haven't read Harry Potter just ignore that last bit!)

After last weeks long post I decided I should try and post in more bite sized chunks. The mailperson has already been busy

This is my backing for DNQTTT. It is a little pinker than I expected it to be - I was hoping for a red but it's so hard to tell on the internet. It will do - it's on the back and it will be on the wall right!


This is the next in the Blackbird Loose feathers series. I do an autoship with Shakespeare's Peddler. Theresa is great if you're after cross stitch supplies. There are also a couple of the Blackbird stocking charts in there. The colours of these threads are just beautiful.

Last this

The reds are for the MM quilt. They are Jo Morton crimson and clover, the other is Morris workshop - really beautiful, which will be the background for a version of the Roebuck quilt that I will be making.

Now for my little bit of stitching. I finished this piece for the PA quilt.

And here are the next two blocks ready to go.

It's great having some pieces ready to go - it makes the whole putting together task so fast with so little effort.

That's it for now dear friends. Need to chop up the pink/red stuff so I can send it off to be quilted. How exciting - this is my first time sending out to a machine quilter. Can't wait to see what she does. Have fun blogging....and oh yes.....sewing!

Hugs, Deb

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Exciting News!

Well I'm back. I think the new blog will definitely be ready to go shortly. Too much for me to put in my humble little blog.

So the first piece of exciting news is that Di is rereleasing a beautiful pattern called "Homage to Sallie Ann"

It really is the most beautiful quilt. The version above was made by Merri. The patterns are available from Threadbear.

But even more exciting (well for me and hopefully for some of you) is that while I was writing the last post, Di called me to tell me that our group had been invited to be the next exhibitors at "Quilts in the Barn". Well I think we each squealed down the phone when Di rang us - she probably is a little bit deaf tonight.

How am I going to turn my UFO's into exhibit pieces? A few late nights ahead I think.

The exhibition is planned for October 2010 so we have some time. Wow...so excited. I have never shown my work before. Won't that be fun?

Have a great week.

Such a perfect day

Well weekend actually. The weather here in Melbourne is glorious. Warm and bright with not too much of the Spring wind. Time for a little bit of gardening this afternoon......very satisfying to see some green before the summer hits and scorches everything in sight.

The weekend has been perfect because every family member has been off happily doing their own thing. Yesterday my thing was Secret Sewing.....my favourite day of the month. For some reason I was more than usually excited to see the girls yesterday - maybe because I wanted to tell them about my blog. And it seems that they were all the same. It was a great day - plenty of conversation (sometimes many at once) lots of laughter, delicious food, and of course many projects to show, comment on, offer advice and plan. I think one of us actually sewed something - but of course this is not strictly necessary. Here's a photo of (most of) the gang

Back row left to right: Meghan, Ann, Merri, Julie, Kerry
Front row left to right: Chris, Di, Sue
Missing: Deb (on camera duty), Clare and Barb (both off galivanting elsewhere)

They are such a creative group of women - just the perfect way to spend a day. I have suggested the idea of starting a group blog, so they could all show you their own projects. I think they quite like the idea, so I'll let you know if it happens.

Chris was the hostess for the day - thank you Chris, it was lovely. My turn next month - what will I cook? what will I wear? ...so many decisions AARGH!

I snapped a couple of photos of things in progress

Here is Ann (right) with Merri. Ann is just starting the DNQTTT quilt which you can see. She wins the achievement award for yesterday because by the time we had ended for the day Ann had cut all the pieces for the centre and there are quite a few. This version is going to have a real civil war feel about it I think.

Here is Merri's current project

it's another stunner. The group decided they would try and make a version of a Kim McLean quilt called Turkish Tiles based on a photo from QNM. Well by the time Meghan redesigned and drew the centre panel and Di redesigned the outside blocks - I'm not sure how much of the original is left. So maybe it needs a new name - perhaps Homage to Turkish Tiles! I'm not making this one - I wanted to finish some others, but boy am I sorry now! Oh well add it to the to do list.

Enough of the girls - they need their own blog don't they?

My sewing is not very focused right now. I am waiting for my CWB background to come - but while waiting I thought I would start to design the blocks. Here is number 1

placement is a little on the wonky side, but hey - it's only pinned. I am using a combination of a starter pack that I bought at Threadbear and pieces from my stash. If you are thinking of making this quilt I highly recommend the starter pack.

I have also finished the last two blocks of GTASB for the month.

Very enjoyable project if you like simple hand piecing.

What else - oh yes - PA progress. I have started piecing together the next round of applique blocks

I wanted to put this all together but the brown fabric in the background is the one I'm short of so I'll wait until my new lot comes in. So much waiting and I'm Sooooooo impatient. Maybe someone's trying to tell me something. The colours are much more rich in real life.

Next two blocks on the way are this one

and this one

as you can see I haven't finished it yet. But it's well on the way. Did I tell you before that I'm really enjoying this one? Yes, No? Well I am.

I think that's it for the week. Except to say that I've made so many great contacts through this blog - it has been really fabulous to be able to connect with so many people who enjoy the creative process of "craft" in its various forms. But one special person has been really encouraging and enthusing me - Kathie - you know who you are! Look what she sent me

I'm so excited and thankful. And yes - ordered the background and I'm WAITING for it. Patience is a virtue and no one has ever called me virtuous!

Two things to finish with. One - stay tuned for some very exciting news (actually it's exciting for me and hopefully it will be for you also). I thought it deserved it's own post and besides I have to cook dinner now.

Two - I thought I would indulge myself and show you the two most beautiful things I've made

aren't they beautiful - really - it's not just me is it? The big one is in VCE (last year of high school) and was off to his formal. The little one is in year 8 and was off to a play with her friends - no adults required thanks! They haven't really got red eyes - I just need a little photo practice.

Well that was my perfect weekend - hope yours was also perfect. And stay tuned for the exciting news!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Serendipity and Zippety Do-dah

In my haste to get my post up last Sunday I overlooked a few things. Firstly, a big Thank You to Janet (Quiltsalot) and Kathie (Inspired by antique quilts) for helping me set up my blog and mentioning me on their blogs. If you haven't seen their work - have a look over on the side bar for the links. Both blogs are well worth a visit.

Second, if you click on Flickr in the sidebar it will take you to see the previous Green Tea blocks that I have completed. There is a group for this BOM, but I'm not sure you will be able to get in and see other people's photos unless you are a member.

Thirdly, Merri was very pleased with your lovely comments on her quilt. She says her head is not swollen (even a little bit)! You should see what she's working on now! I'll ask her for some photos in due course.

It has been one of "those" weeks for me. School council meeting, parent teacher interviews and movie group (saw the Soloist - excellent movie) in the evenings as well as having a nasty virus means production has been low. So

Granny squares - ZERO

Cross stitch - ZILCH

Quilting - ZIP

.....................as I said - one of "those" weeks. Luckily this is a new blog and I have plenty of stuff in the cupboard that I can drag out for a rainy day.

I did manage to get thise done for the GTASB BOM

Very simple drunkard's path blocks. Two more blocks still to do for this month on that one.

I also started to cut out for the CWB quilt. I don't have the background yet so I am pinning the shapes to felt, ready to stitch.

Not much done, but a start is better than nothing.

I have also put a bit more work in on the PA quilt

I really like how the centre square has turned out. The next two blocks to be added are these

There is some simple applique to do on the setting squares which I will try and do this week. As I was looking at this and trying to remember how it all went together, I realised that the other reason I put this quilt down, was that I was short on one of the background fabrics. Of course I couldn't get any more at the time and so it all became a bit too hard. BUT - guess what? I got a Hancock's catalogue in the mail on Friday. Marcus brothers is reprinting some old Judie Rothermel Civil War fabrics - and yes - one of them is the background. How's that for coincidence - this has been sitting in my cupboard for about 10 years!

Must be fate! I hope you have some good luck this week.



Sunday, September 6, 2009

Green Tea

If you have a Dad in your life, I hope you are having a lovely day. I have secreted myself away from Father's Day so that I can upload some pictures...but I can't be long!

First picture today is of my next Green tea and sweet beans block. I am really enjoying this BOM. It is not the sort of fabric I normally buy in large amounts, so the BOM is a good way to make a lovely quilt without the leftovers. There are another four blocks for this month. The others are pieced rather than appliqued.

I have also made a little more progress on the Pennsylvania quilt. Keep in mind that most of these blocks have been made some time ago and I am just sewing together or doing minor things. For these pieces I am appliqeing the leaves on the border. I have nearly finished all four borders and then I can make up the centre square.

I am really enjoying working on this again. And I now recall the reason I stopped. There was a piece of material that started to disintegrate. Not sure if the fabric was faulty or not - actually I think I may have scorched it in my quest for pressing perfection (which I have now grown out of). But parts of it started to fall to pieces and I couldn't go on! Part of my task now is to go over the finished pieces very carefully and remove damaged parts then replace them. Not fun since I hate redoing things.

I have also been crocheting squres - 66 in all - although some don't have their blue borders as I have run out of that colour. I need 90 to make the quilt so not far to go!

And last but not least for today. As I said in my profile, I have a neglected garden. But about 18 months ago I started to put in some work because I would really love to have a pretty space out back. So I couldn't resist showing you the first Dutch Iris I have ever grown. Quite proud I am!

Isn't she beautiful? Until next time folks.....Oh and thanks Janet for mentioning my blog and Get well soon Kathie. I hope your foot gets better soon.



Thursday, September 3, 2009

I've got mail!

Don't you just love it when the postie comes bearing large envelopes? It's like getting fantastic presents - exactly what you wanted - and if the mail is slow you may have even forgotten that you actually paid for them! Heaven. Well I got 2 this week

what's in them?

Number 1 is the Civil War Bride pattern - beautifully produced and arrived within a day of ordering - thanks Corliss, I love it. The background fabric is on backorder, so I'm going to start designing my blocks and I should have a few ready to go when the fabric arrives.

Number 2 is the Green tea and Sweet Beans BOM (month 4) from Amitie. I am loving this one. I saw the quilt at the Stitches and Craft show early this year and it just shouted SPRING. As you will see, my taste in quilts is quite eclectic. I adore the old traditionals, but the bright cheerful colours of quilts like this one just make me happy. And of course I have loved Kaffe since he started knitting and needlepoint all those years ago.

I have added links about both of these quilts on the side bar.

I have had a couple of requests to show photos of Merri's DNQTTT quilt so here are a couple. If you click on Flickr on the side bar you will see some more shots, and also my progress on Green tea and sweet beans.

Isn't it just beautiful? I asked Merri to include a photo of herself but she chickened out. Maybe next time.

I hope your postie brings you something fabulous today.