Friday, 31 August 2007

Flashback Friday - Fancy-dress

Just a quick one tonight to post my first ever flash-back friday photo. This is me dressed as Miffy in July 1984; I presume for Bookweek. I collected my early albums from my parents' place today, but unlike their albums, mine aren't properly labelled, so the occasion is a guess. I now keep my photo albums up to date and well labelled. Even with 2 under 2, and in the age of digital photos, I sort, file and name my digital photos, and regularly get the best (still heaps!)printed, and my albums are done up to July this year! I got put off 'scrapbooking' on principle due to the cost of the so-called essential items and the sales-lady's attitude, but I do put the albums together creatively.

We saw Eleanor's professional photos today. I would love to share them, but they're pretty strict with copyright, so I suppose I'd better not put them on the internet! Anyway, we loved them and ordered a similar package to what we got for James; one of her on her own, one with both of us, and one each with Simon and I. We have a mini-album with all the shots in about 4x5 (and each in colour and B&W, so about 90 all up!) and will get the enlargements in 2-3 months. I can't wait!

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Flash your Stash!

I asked everyone else to come clean about the size and storage of their stash, so here's mine. All my quilting stuff is kept in the study/sewing room. How much is there? By weighing the fabric I worked out that 1kg = 7 metres, and I have almost 87kg (holy cow!) which works out at nearly 600m of fabric. I wonder how long until I reach the 1 kilometre mark? From now I'm going to log my purchases to see how I go!

A packed blanket-box (all quilt-fabric)
Two piles like this of clear plastic boxes full of quilt fabric
My snowflake quilt fabric which is stored in a cupboard - this is most of it; all 10kg of it piled precariously on the scales! Maybe it's because I love to ski, but I obviously have a bit of a 'thing' for snowflakes and winter prints; and this is after making several quilts using snowflakes. Did you know there's a quilt shop in the US which is dedicated to these prints? I found it online a few years ago, but now most shops have a good selection of snowflakes anyway. The new season winter prints have been comin out on eQuilter recently (and yes, some are already in my stash, others are on my wishlist!)

And my craft books.
I didn't even bother with the wadding or the cartons of other fabrics and crafts in other rooms. I'm starting to realise why Simon thinks I spend a bit much on quilting. I'm not going to even try to work out what fortune this lot might have cost us - but I expect it rivals his boat!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

A visit

We had a visit today from my cousin's wife and their 3 month old son. I haven't seen them since he was a day old, and now he looks huge next to his second cousin once removed or whatever it is. When she got home she sent these photos; I love the one of Eleanor in my arms. I have nearly finished the binding on the black, red and gold cot quilt and have started quilting Eleanor's play quilt; photos when they're done.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

A busy week

It has been a busy week here. Several times I have started a post, but each time James or Eleanor has required attention before I could get anywhere. We took Eleanor for her professional photos on Thursday, and she behaved like the little princess that she is; requiring a feed mid-shoot and then relaxing for the nudie shots! Next Friday we have the 'viewing' where we get sucked into spending a fortune again. But really, we can't not get photos of Eleanor when we have framed several large ones of James (we had some done with James when he was a month old). That's my argument anyway!

Yesterday my aunt visited and we had morning tea on the back verandah while James played in the sunshine and Eleanor slept in our arms, then Gran dropped by with the smocked dress she'd ordered for Eleanor. She really wanted to get her one, so we went out for me to choose it a few weeks ago. I think it'll be the most expensive dress she owns until she gets married. We had it made to fit her at about 6 months, by which stage she should be sitting up and able to show it off a bit better, and it'll be warmer.
Last night and this morning I finished the quilting on my friend's quilt; it's just awaiting time while I'm watching television and not feeding Eleanor to hand stitch my initials and the back of the binding.

This morning Simon took James out to buy a trailer for his bike. He has been wanting one for over a year, but theyre expensive and he's been doing his research. James loves wearing his new helmet and when they got back from their quick trial ride James demanded "more, piss" (please!) so they did another lap of the block - by which time James was asleep! They're out in it again now. I can forsee a lot more riding for Simon in the future, although he already rides to and from work and we're up in the hills!

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

No skiing for me

I am very jealous this week. My parents are skiing at Falls Creek – without me! Boo Hoo! It’s ages since I got some decent skiing in. I missed the 2005 season pregnant with James, we decided it was a bit too soon after Eleanor was due to go this year, and though we did go last year, it
was an awful season; I don’t remember a winter with less snow. Our accomodation would normally have been ski-in/ski-out, but instead involved a lengthy walk – especially if we were carrying James. Now I think I would be fine to have gone this week (although my ski pants might be a bit tight!) I even checked the snow report - all lifts operating, lots of soft dry snow, and fine weather this week; at least they'll have a good time. So to make me feel better, here is a photo from 2004 (Simon and I in the terrain park at Perisher Blue) and a few from James' first trip to the snow in 2006, showing the lack of snow and James on the sled Simon made him out of some kids’ skis and an old sailboard).

Monday, 20 August 2007


Today Eleanor has been sleeping better and not wanting to feed every 2-3 hours, and with James at child care, I have been making some progress on my latest project. One of my closest friends had her second baby last week, and this will be for him.
The last lot of squares in my EB D9P swap arrived today too; now I just have to find the time to put the quilt together.
And of course I want to show off my little girl at 6 weeks old, and her big brother...

Saturday, 18 August 2007

My family

Just thought I'd share the first photo of our whole family and introduce Shadow and Cocoa today. Shadow (above) is nearly 8 and Cocoa (right) is 5; they're toy poodles. Even Eleanor is already bigger than them at just 6 weeks old!

And a peek at my current project

Friday, 17 August 2007

A quilt for Eleanor

I finally finished Eleanor’s first quilt last night; she’s nearly 6 weeks old.
(photo temporarily removed until quilt is published in AP&Q!)
This is the one that will hang in the nursery (I moved the frog quilt with James into his new room). I had been designing this one with nothing in particular in mind, then thought it would work well to replace the frog one. I wanted to try something using different colourings of the same block, and am really happy with it. It was designed using EQ5 software, and the main border fabric was one in the software package. Nothing in my extensive stash worked as well or had such a glow, so I hunted on the internet and ordered some from the US. The white squares are not pieced, but quilted along the same lines as the pieced blocks; I love the effect.

Next to finish her play quilt…

In the beginning

And now a bit more about me and my quilting. I started quilting in about 1993, which would have been about grade 10. Gran taught me how to do English paper-piecing, and in return I taught her cross-stitch. She is now an amazing and prolific cross-stitcher
(this is one of hers, the pattern chosen by Grandad, and given to me for Christmas a few years ago) while I barely do any these days.

On the other hand, Gran hasn’t done any more quilting after her hexagons, while it has become my biggest time and money waster! I started with some 4x4 checker-board blocks with 5cm (metric!) squares, using all sorts of fabrics, but never actually turned them into a quilt. My first quilts were 2 single bed size Around the World patterns; first one for my sisters bed (in blues with some green) and then one for mine:
These were made by drawing on the fabric with pen around hand-cut cardboard 10cm sq templates, cutting the fabric with scissors, and sewing the squares along the pen lines! I didn’t know about layering and binding, and I used thick polyester wadding. Admittedly that makes them very snuggly, great for on the sofa at night or when sick. I did try a bit of quilting on mine months after it was made, but again didn’t know about pinning or basting, and distorted the quilt badly, and because of the thick wadding, the stitches are very tiny, and impossible to unpick – I’ve tried on and off for years in order to fix it!

This is part of my one and only hand-pieced quilt. It uses the same paper-piecing templates as my first efforts, but I created my own 4x4 block layout, already wanting to design my own work! It’s big enough to hang down the sides of our king-size bed, and the piecing was completed between Easter 1997 and Easter 1998. I made it as a doona-cover, and made my own inner using that same polyester batting, and it was on our bed for years. It got quite faded, and our dogs Shadow and Cocoa managed to chew a few holes, because it wasn’t quilted. So a few years ago I tok it apart and replaced some of the worst blocks, and am now in the process of quilting it properly, with decent wadding, and will then bind it and put it back on our bed – eventually!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

My blog Birth Day

It's going to take me a while to get this going properly with all my links and photos, but at last I've made a start! It'll be mostly about my quilting, with some family stuff and photos of my two gorgeous children James Edward (25/10/05) and Eleanor Margaret (8/7/07). Welcome!

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the name, Sampaguita is the national flower of the Philippines, where I lived for several years as a child (and our house was on Sampaguita Street, no less!). The flower is a bit like jasmine, and smells divine.