Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Very happy New Year to you all!! Some of you (us) will be H*O*T, some of you will be C*O*L*D and some of you will be W*E*T!! But whatever your climate I hope you have an enjoyable New Year's Eve.

And of course, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Our smaller than normal family spent Christmas Day with my BFFL Claire and her extended family at her sister's place. Claire and I met at school when we were 13 - you could call this a long term relationship! I love her dearly and spending the day with her crew took me back to many hours spent at her house when we were teenagers. We had a great day. Here's Claire (right) and her sister Mary.

And here is my NOD pretending to be an elf. She's the one on the left.

Boxing Day was spent with my family. I made a cake which turned out (alarmingly) to be Barbie Pink.

Not good for the waistline, but it was delicious.

Since the Christmas festivities have been over, I have been pootling around trying to restore order to the chaos that a busy year leaves behind. This requires some major work trying to clear my bookshelf of old stuff to make way for the recently acquired new stuff. So I have been flicking through old quilting mags - throwing out any that I don't need anymore - boy have I generated some recycling! It's quite funny to go back 15 years to see what was cool in quilting......in Australia it was naive and country style. Even the sewing machines in the ads look ancient.

Have been chipping away at some sewing projects. The borders for Phebe are taking some time at the machine. No progress worthy of viewing right now. My first Lollypop tree block is nearly done. A couple more circles and the stems to go.

It's a riot of colour and so easy to stitch. Just right for the hot weather over summer.

And finally, finally I have finished the centre of Sallie Ann.


I wasn't happy with a couple of fabric choices, so pulled them out and replaced them. I'm much happier now, it would have bugged me forever. And just because I like new beginnings - here is the next block ready to go.


True it's not a new project, but it still feels like a start.

Well nothing you haven't seen before in part - so just because I love you all sooooooo much, I pulled out a UFO to show you.



Started about 1999 and very quick to do. Everything is hand done - even the backgrounds are handpieced. I moved to Sydney about this point and much of my stuff went into storage for a year or so. Once I came back I'd sort of lost momentum so it has languished. It has a very simple floral border partially completed. Very festive isn't it? So my one and only NY's resolution is to get it finished by Christmas 2011. Now if you don't see it as a WIP in the not too distant future, you have my permission to nag me - because I will get distracted.

On that note, a glass of bubbly is calling my name. I shall drink to the health of friends near and far away, including my lovely boy who I am missing dreadfully, but is having a great time in India.

Here's Cheers,

Deb

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone!

I know it's a bit early - but at the rate I'm posting, I may not be back before Easter.

So many things have been happening since my last post, not many of them are big important things. Just a collection of the day to day highs and lows that keep a working mum busy - too busy.

Let me fill you in on the highlights.

First piece of really good news is that NOS auditioned for music programs and was accepted. I can't tell you how thrilled he was - he was a changed man overnight - I could see how it had been weighing on him all year. It is very difficult to get into a program. They audition around 90-100 guitarists of all ages and levels of experience, and take about 4, so it is a great achievement. Second piece of news, he has now departed on a trip OS with friends, he has been to Malaysia and now should be somewhere in India. Won't be back until early Feb. I can tell you it was so hard to watch him go.........and since he will be gone for the holidays the entire household is a little sad.

My lovely NOD finished up a great year at school and is now social butterflying. She is so gorgeous to have around - especially now that she has adjusted to braces and isn't in quite so much pain. We are planning a week away together, just the girls, hopefully getting up to a bit of mischief on the way.

Remember this time last year when I had terrible car trouble? Well it all started to happen again - but this time my "I've had enough" switch got flicked and I had sold the old car and bought another within a couple of days. Haven't taken a photo yet. It's a swish black VW Jetta avec sunroof. NOD and I will be tres chic cruising up the highway I can tell you (even if we are the only ones who think so!).

Since my last post I have been back up to Sydney twice (unexpected trips) and back to Malaysia, so I have been really busy. So busy I missed the SSS Christmas party - really not happy about that! I vow to not go near an airport for some time. It's been a busy year.

On the sewing front, haven't had much time or headspace. To be honest something just had to take a backseat - I'm hoping to regain some energy and motivation over the next few weeks. I've even taken leave on Christmas Eve (first time in about 10 years I think).

So that's enough of that. I have a couple of photos. First Sallie Ann. I should have been finished this centre a month ago - but hey - can only do so many things before the brain starts to fry.


It's a little bit pink at the moment, but there is more red and less pink around the outside so I think it will balance out. Can't wait to move on to the next bit.

Only other sewing I have done is to start on this Kim McLean design.

I bought the brown background ages ago (when the pattern was first available) and a starter pack of fabric. I cut and basted a large amount of the blocks and then promptly forgot about it and started something else. But the Glorious Applique blog inspired me to pull it out, and I'm enjoying the contrast of colours and shapes.

Well that's me done. Hope to be back soon with these two blocks finished. Until then I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season surrounded by your loved ones.

With much affection,

Deb

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Something different

You know how it is when you are trying to find just the right piece of fabric, and you know that you have it and you just can't find it anywhere. So you look three times in every plastic tub you own, rummaging through bits and pieces, stacking and unstacking crates - and you still can't find it, and it has to be somewhere, so you do it again, sleep on it , give up, decide you'll have to buy something else but you can't find what you want because that bit you thought you had was just so perfect, so you have one last search, and it isn't there and in frustration you give up, turn around , open a cupboard - and wham - there it is! Is it magic, punishment, or something else that I just don't have a word for?

Well while I was going through the above, I also found this.


Forgot I had it pretty much, but while it was out I thought I'd take a photo for you Kathie, because it's on a plain background - sure it is quite a strong yellow, but plain nevertheless. It is the centre of the Trundle Quilt (a pattern by Karen Cunningham) which I started the year I was in Sydney (2000). It has been brewing and at just the right time it will be ready to come out again to be finished.

In the meantime, I have just been continuing on with Sallie Ann, I'm a little bit further on now from when the photo was taken.

I'm enjoying it very much - except now I'm coming to a few fabric decisions that I know will cause me to faff around for some time.

Thanks for all your comments about starting and finishing. It seems like everybody prefers to start things rather than finish, but also appreciate the satisfaction of finishing a major piece of work. Me too, I'm glad we all think so much alike!

Thanks so much to all of you who have made comments about my quilt DNQTTT (either my version or the others). It means a lot to me since this is my first attempt at designing. It is not currently available as a pattern, since as you know I am a full time+ worker and mum, and it takes time to produce a pattern, and I don't have much of that. But if I do decide to do it (and it is possible) I will certainly let you know here first.


Here is my slightly crooked picture of it in situ. It was actually made for that spot and it really looks good there. It doesn't photograph well though. The stripeyness of the background is much more pronounced in photos, it's more subtle in real life (see I'm not telling the truth again - there isn't anything subtle about this quilt at all). And oh yes - I'm thinking about doing another more traditional version (telling the truth or not?). But perhaps not this year.

Oh and if you haven't seen the photos of Quilts in the Barn, do have a look here where Linda has got a fabulous virtual quilt show in progress. And if you decide to make a contribution to breast cancer research do let her know, so she can add it to the tally. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

I hope the sun is shining where you are.

Piece,

Deb

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sallie Ann under way.

Not much to tell you - just popping in to say hi and show you the beginnings of Sallie Ann.

It's coming together very quickly - doesn't happen very often does it? Actually I have done quite a bit more than this now - show you next time.

Last day of semester tomorrow, have written my revision lecture, and I'm ready to de-stress. Yahoo!

In the meantime - apologies for not replying to your emails of late. I have spent so much time at the computer I have an aversion to even opening the mail, but I do appreciate all of your very kind comments and hope to get back to you soon.

I hope you are all enjoying your sewing as much as I am enjoying mine.

Hugs

Deb

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sallie Ann and Phebe

Isn't it exciting starting a new project? I just love it. I have started on the centre panel for Sallie Ann - but before I show it to you, I will show you my progress on Phebe.

I decided to put the pieces that I have finished together to see how it was going and also to tidy up a bit. I have *almost* finished putting together the bottom border and have most of the stars done for the top. I am pleased with how it's coming together.

Now Sallie Ann. First I need a background. This one is a pale yellow and tan. I already have the backing which came from the same range (it has been in my stash for many years).

Then add some greens. Mine are yellow greens which I love - some of them are old some not.

Then add some pinks/reds/cheddars.

OK - I need a pattern - I use a plastic overlay rather than mark the fabric (except for the stems which I do mark).

Sorry - couldn't get far enough away to get a shot of the entire piece.

And now to sew on the stems

AAAAAhhhhhhhhh..............I love starting and luckily I am becoming quite attached to finishing.

Which do you prefer - starting or finishing?

I hope you're having a great day starting, finishing or being somewhere in between.

Deb

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'm Baaa....aaack

and it's great to be home! I do like to travel - but I also like to be here! Of course it has been a bit hectic with the upcoming show - but all the quilts that have been "on the go" are now "gone" and I have spent a couple of hours tidying up the mess that has been left. Seems a bit emptier now - but in a good way.

Most of the quilts were delivered to Linda this afternoon, with Merri, Clare and Kerry delivering theirs over the next few days. There was quite a pile when I left. Linda's property is truly gorgeous, we had a look around the "barn" and thought about how many quilts we would be able to hang. It's very exciting - I can't wait. Thank you so much Linda for inviting us this year.

If you would like the details of the show they are here and here. We would all (the SSS and Linda and what sounds like an amazing team of friends) love to see you there - did I say how much I'm looking forward to it and how excited I am? I did? Oh.

For our international friends, I'm afraid we can't find a way to sell you raffle tickets - bummer - but I'm winning the raffle quilt anyway - what can I tell you. I will try to remember to take my camera and get some photos of the quilts.

For my part - I'm contributing only three quilts - DNQTTT, Blue and Pennsylvania. I had grand plans, but time got the better of me. But there are soooooo many other beautiful quilts I'm not too sad. I picked up Pennsylvania last weekend - this one was beautifully quilted by Katrina of Katrina's Quilting. I'm really happy with the way this quilt has come together. A few pics for you.


Couldn't get high enough for a flat shot. But I did take a few close ups so you can see the quilting.

The central panel. Love the wreath in the centre.


A couple of blocks - free form feathers and swirly bits.


And a blurry shot of the corner.

It's been a good year for finishes. But my fingers are itching to start some new things and I've spent the week fantasizing about what I should do next. Had a few things kicking around in my head. The new website "Glorious Applique" has been getting my attention, but I was also wanting to do something traditional. So I have decided to do both! When Kim McLean's Lollipop trees pattern first came out a few years ago - I just loved it. Bought the pattern and kit from Glorious Color, and decided to use a chocolate background (yes chocolate covered lollipops!). I prepared most of the big blocks and then got distracted - so it has been waiting for me for a couple of years. And then the temptress Di, said she was going to do a new version of an old favourite - "why don't you join me?" Well how could I say no? I couldn't, so Homage to Sallie Ann will be my repro fix. Di helped me choose some beautiful fabrics today - so I'm off and running on these two little (ahem) projects. Oh and Phebe I'm planning to finish by end of 2010. No pressure though.

So sat tuned for some photos of these new projects over the next weeks and months, probably with a little bit of old stuff thrown in for good measure.

Oh yes - travel stories. Well it was hard work (10-12 hour work days) but also enjoyable. Rather than fill up the blog with photos, I have put them on flickr for those who would like to see. I'll also try to put some comments in. But just to prove I went somewhere, a couple of shots of beautiful Gaudi from Barcelona. Paris shots on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A short progress report

Battling off a nasty virus for the last week or so - everyone on Melbourne seems to have had it - means that my energy levels haven't been great. I'm *almost* ready to start complaining about the cold weather and rain, but hey, you gotta love the fact that the drought seems to have broken.

And besides - I'm leaving on a jet plane next Friday to the sunny side of the world. Barcelona here I come, oh and La Manga ......oh and yes a weekend in Paris on the way. Now don't feel sorry for me - I know it's tough - but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.

If you have any addresses for your favourite patchwork or needlework shop in any of these places - do tell! I will have time to visit. And I should say - this is all WORK not holiday (at least that's my story).

So - what have you been up to? Fabulous projects I have seen while dropping in silently to your blogs. Fantastic creativity and inspiring work - I'm itching to start something new. But I'm still showing discipline!

We have another machine quilter (other than Helen) who we send work from our group to - Katrina. Merri had a quilt booked in but then realised that she didn't have a backing! So being an opportunist - I jumped straight in - Merri was kind enough to offer her spot to me and we delivered Pennsylvania to Katrina last week. Of course I hadn't quite finished it when the offer came up so a few candles were burned getting it ready. Of course that means I ran out of the house without taking a photo! Sorry........ hopeless I know. Here are the last photos of it I have.

A close up of the centre.


The backing fabric is called Washington's Legacy. Looks good together I think.


Apart from that I'm just pottering around. Trying to attach the binding to DNQTTT - it's big and heavy so this is a big job. And I've gone back to GTASB to piece together the blocks. Here are the final blocks for the project.

I think this is called Lily - but I could be wrong!


Some pinwheels,


and the beginnings of putting it all together.


Some filler blocks need to be attached to make the whole thing go together. It's quite fun - I'm hand piecing the whole thing.

By the time I return it will be almost time for the show! If you are interested there is an article about our group in the current issue of Patchwork and Stitching magazine. It gives the dates of Quilts in the Barn, but I will also post them before I leave next Friday.

Until then, stay well!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back to Pennsylvania

Remember back here that I posted about the beautiful Pennsylvania Applique quilt? Well of course I put the quilt down to work on Phebe exclusively and progress ceased for awhile. But last week I came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to be able to finish Phebe for the exhibition, but I might just be able to finish Pennsylvania, so I have been working on it and it's nearly finished.

Here is a photo from my design floor.


All the cutting is done, this is the triangle border ready to assemble. Apart from that - a small amount of applique to complete and that's it. Stay tuned next weekend when I'm hoping to show the quilt top.

Phebe is not too far away from being finished. A couple of the star borders are done - here's one.


I'll get back to it shortly, but I wasn't enjoying the pressure of trying to finish it quickly.

Now I know it's been a long time since I posted, but I have posted over at SSS. If you haven't been over there, nip over and see what the gang has been up to. Since I had my Morrell quilt out, I thought I would take a few more photos for you.






Above are a few more of my Broderie Perse blocks.



These two are hand pieced and then appliqued to the background. The pieces in the star are tiny!!

Weather in Melbourne has been cold and wet so not really good for gardening. But mine seems to be doing it's own thing.


A pretty bunch of daffs and irises.

The irises have been in my garden for years, but weren't flowering, so in an effort to save them, I dug them all up and replanted them. They have multiplied vigorously and some of them have been flowering - a beautiful deep purple. I'm hoping they will all flower here.

Last but not least - I'm sure many of you will have seen a photo of Corliss's (from Threadbear) new quilt - her stunning version of the English Basket Quilt - but for those of you who haven't, here it is.


It's definitely on my list to start this year. Isn't it fabulous?

That's it for today. I have to go into Open Day at work for a bit. But I'm hopint to get around later this afternoon to see what you've all been up to. Can't wait!

Deb

Monday, July 12, 2010

Over the border!


Well nearly but I couldn't wait any longer to show you how it was coming on. The four applique borders are now attached and I am working at the corners - there are applique pieces that go over the mitre. Since I took the photo, I have completed the top two corners and now just have the bottom to do, so hopefully by the weekend it should be done. I have also finished 3/4 of the next pink dogtooth borders, so things should move along quickly - fingers crossed.

It's not often that I'm this focussed. Having a deadline, and the blog has helped me stay on track.But now my mind has started to wander on to the next applique project, since there will be no more hand sewing to do for Phebe. Do you do this too? Think about the next 10 projects before you have finished the current one? I can't help myself - need to keep looking forward. So many things out there to tempt me - and then some ideas of my own. Who knows...................

Anyway - just a quick post for today to show you Phebe. We are up to the lovely Sue's this weekend for SSS. I do love going to Sue's - she really spoils us - she is such a great cook and generous person. I have a special Morrell quilt edition planned for the SSS blog - and we will be taking some photos this Saturday, so stay tuned over there next week.

Until then - I hope you are enjoying your now as well as planning for your then.

Hugs,

Deb

PS> Do you like my new do? I wanted to change my header photo so I needed a new background. Looks quite dramatic I think.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thank you Helen Hayes

you are truly amazing and every time I look at my quilt I am in awe.

What am I talking about you say? Well yesterday I picked up my DNQTTT quilt from Helen Hayes of Noah's quilting. The quilt is large and I'm sure that Helen spent many many long hours on her feet working on this quilt. I think she said she used nearly 5,000 metres (maybe yards?) of thread. Helen's work is absolutely stunning and I couldn't be happier. This quilt is special to me, since it is my first "original" design - which means I reproduced an old quilt all by myself!

Unfortunately though, it's very hard to photograph because we chose the thread to match the background so closely. Nevertheless, I have a few photos, and when it is on the wall I will try to get some more. It's so big (90 x 108 inches approx.) that I can't get a good whole quilt photo.

Anyway, here it is - what do you think?

This is part of the centre.

A close up of the quilting.


Part of the side section.


I have only uploaded a few photos to the blog so it didn't take too much time to load. But if you click on the Flickr link on the sidebar you can see more.

So I have two quilts now that will be ready for the show in October. Phew!!

I have had a very "take it easy" kind of weekend. To be honest - traveling knocks me around, and after this busy couple of weeks I was aching. Ended up not taking any sewing - which was fine, since I had zero minutes to do it anyway.

So on to the last applique border for Phebe. Not sure if I will finish in time - we'll see.

I'm looking forward to spending a few quiet weeks catching up with blogging, sewing and family (not necessarily in that order).

Ciao for now,

Deb

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Remember me?

Well hello everyone, I hope you haven't forgotten me. I am missing you heaps - so I thought I'd drop by just to tell you what's been happening. I won't say "I've been so busy" because by now you know I always am - and so many of you are the same. Trying to juggle so many things; work, family and various different interests. If only we had more time - I wish I could survive on less sleep!

It certainly has been a very busy semester one way or another. But my exam is now done and a team of markers is busy doing what a marking team does! I've also had a rather hectic out of hours life - social functions, school responsibilities, performances (my darling NOD in Alice in Wonderland - she had various roles including tweedledum. The tweedley pair were show stoppers, so funny), photo shoots for Quilts in the barn, presentations.........so all enjoyable but not much time for sewing left over. And the next couple of weeks is also busy. I will be giving some talks (I recently won a teaching award so I get to be a guest speaker as a reward - I'd prefer cash - what's going on there?) I fly to Malaysia next week for a ridiculously short amount of time, then I fly to Sydney for a couple of days at the National curriculum forum. Better pack some sewing. And I will miss my SSS meeting - DISASTER!!! Darling sisters if you're around my area or Parkville - do come for coffee - I miss you, large sob.

OK - enough of that - I suppose you want to see some pictures, do you? I'm just going to tootle around in my room and see what I can find - must be something in here to photo for you. Well I have some things - but not much of my work. I'm about half way through Phebe's third border - looks the same as the other two which you have seen. But I have also been pootling around with the twinkly little stars, which will be the next frames. I have completed 24/80 and have half completed 8 more. Lots of cutting done, so that should speed things up. Whilst cutting the 75 zillion fabrics I'm using, I noticed how many of them are Judie Rothermel fabrics. Isn't she great? How much do we owe her for her great fabric designs? Here's a photo


I have done a bit of knitting and have nearly finished my Noro jumper - a bit more of a sleeve to go is all. The yarn is quite coarse and I'm a sensitive flower so I hope I can wear it! Love the colours though.


The last delivery of GTASB arrived about a month ago - and I haven't touched it.


In fact I haven't touched the months before either. So I was in it right to the last hurdle! But I'm so intent on getting Phebe done for the show, I have dropped everything else. But soon as the applique is done I will be back in there!

And just because you've waited sooooo patiently - here are the last of my AQC photos - the Kim MacLean ones. I'm sure you've seen most of these already though. That's OK - you might like to see them again.

This is a beautiful quilt. I think Kim made another version all in Kaffe's fabrics - but I prefer this one.

A lovely floral basket quilt.

Another of my favourites and I was so gald to be able to see it in the flesh. I have a version in process (lots cut, nothing sewn) on a chocolate brown background.

This one was a surprise - I love the layout and the fabrics were gorgeous. Love the freshness of the blue and white.

I had a great time at the AQC - meeting up with Lizzie and Nat and.........I have met Lizzie on a couple of occasions now and she seems like an old friend. So enthusiastic and generous with her time. It occurred to me at the time (and again now) what a great group of women quilters are. I have e-met so many wonderful women through this blog and really met some others through quilting, it is truly amazing.

I hope to have some more progress to show you soon. I'm certainly enjoying peeking at yours. Happy days,
Deb