Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Stippling smaller and smaller

Today I had some more fabric arrive; Dance with the Fairies by Elinor Peace Bailey (mother of Heather Bailey) for RJR. They're mostly for a quilt for James' friend Ella, but with lot to spare. Some may go into one of the raffle quilts I'll make for their child care centre next year.

I finished quilting this wedding present. The fine stippling in the background left the compass points very puffy, so I had to quilt them heavily, too. To keep the pointy effect, I did about 8 rows of internal echo-quilting on the larger blue points, and managed to get away without quilting the smaller points.
I used blue thread on the blue, so it stands out on the back - lucky it's fairly neat!
And here's the label, my first circular one!
Photos of the front in daylight tomorrow.
I've also been quilting another fun mystery project tonight. It has even tinier stippling, but this time I knew to expect to need to quilt the border. Quilting shrinks a quilt, and the more of it there is, the more it shrinks. So a heavily quilted centre will leave wavy borders if they're left unquilted, even if it lay flat prior to quilting. I hadn't wanted to quilt over the feature fabric border in the quilt above, but decided I'd better. It actually didn't detract from the print, and has resulted in a much flatter quilt.

A few other fabrics also arrived today, including 4y of a beautiful blue snowflake flannel, which doesn't get counted in the stash. Minus what I used for The Right Direction, Stash = 992m

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Last quilt of the year?

Here is my latest completed quilt top:
The full mariner's compass block is 20" square. Amazingly, I won't be buying a single thing for this quit. All fabric, backing, batting and thread have been sourced from my stash! It's to be a wallhanging as a wedding gift for my parents' best friends, who are getting married in my parents' garden on January 4th. I'm hoping to have it completed before we head up to the holiday house on New Year's Eve - although I will of course be taking the machine and several projects with me!
Simon and I will leave James and Eleanor with his mother and come back to Adelaide on the 3rd for our friends' bucks/hens nights, and will stay for the wedding (different couple!) on the 4th. Simon's father is interstate sailing, and will be back on the 5th and will return to the holiday house with us. I'm hoping Eleanor copes 2 full days without me. I've just today received an invitation to a wedding ceremony on the 2nd, but don't want to stretch either Eleanor (James will be fine!) or my mother-in-law to a third day!

Friday, 26 December 2008

Do not iron...

Yesterday I removed this label from a new item of clothing.
Care/washing instructions. So what?
Just go and read those first few lines again...
Yes, this was a label on shoes! Not just any old shoes. A bit of an indulgence: fancy, plum-coloured, patent leather, strappy sandals with gold stilletto heels!
Next time, think twice before you go to iron or tumble-dry your favourite footwear. Apparently it's not the thing to do!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Stocking hooks

As I finished James and Eleanor's Christmas stockings just days before Christmas, I wondered how they would remain 'hung' after being filled. Ours were always placed on the floor - not an option in our house with 2 indoor dogs. I came up with the idea of handbag hooks - but too late to bother trying to find any.
On Christmas Eve, I ran out of ribbon for making Bec and Ra's tutus (a late request from James, and apparently his favourite thing of the day!) and had to dash to Spotlight for a 50c reel of 3mm pale pink robbon. Right next to the ribbons were these handbag hooks, at $5.95 each. Perfect! They hold up to 20kg, and did the job perfectly!
Bec and Ra have just snuck out of bed for a quick photo in their new tutus:
And here they are dancing ballet with James this morning:
More on Christmas later!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care... Presents have appeared under the tree...
And the reindeer have eaten their food.
Here are James and Eleanor receiving their finished stockings on Christmas Eve Eve:
Both put them on their legs, and Eleanor kept saying 'Shoes, shoes"!
Merry Christmas
to all my blogging friends and readers!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas is Coming

Today I hung the wreath... and decorated the tree to surprise James and Eleanor when I collected them from childcare...
(It's very hard to photograph a Christmas tree adequately. I spent a while tonight with the camera on the tripod, trying different 'filters' on the flash, to get a bit of light and still the glow of the fairy lights. My 'filters' were translucent coloured plastic baby bowls! They weren't all that bad!) Given it's probably my last opportunity to control what goes on the tree, I chose a monochromatic theme of blue; purple through aqua. Next year I'm sure James will want everything on!
I'll wrap the presents on Christmas Eve. There's no point putting them under the tree earlier with Shadow, Cocoa, James and Eleanor around! James made 'reindeer food' (main ingredients oats and glitter!) at child care today, and I'll help him scatter it on Christmas Eve - it needs to be spread out so all the reindeer can get some while attached to the strings (the harnesses!). Father Christmas will fill their new stockings while the reindeer eat. I'll have to see if he thinks Father Christmas might get hungry, too!

Then tonight I finished James and Eleanor's promised stockings. I was really happy with them. They went exactly as planned, without unpicking a single stitch! Joy generously embroidered their names on fleece for the cuffs, and the rest of the outer is quilting fabric. They are lined with red satin.
It's hard to tell in the images above, but the background is a rich burgundy. This is the 6.5" block in accurate colour:
And this block is just 2.5":

Monday, 22 December 2008

Sunday Stash #12 - winnings!

This week's Stash selection is one of the beautiful FQs I won from Paula Prass: 'Par Avion' from her Flights of Fancy range. This particular fabric wil be fussy-cut to feature in the quilt I designed to win it.

It's after midnight, because blogger and my internet connection in general keep crashing. I think it's a not-so-subtle reminder from my computer that it is ready for a quiet retirement, but I have other things to spend my money on - like my stash!

Daydreams revealed

I've posted peeks of this quilt before in various photoshopped colours, but here's the whole thing in true colour now is has been received. Daydreams:
As I mentioned in my previous post, I went to visit Joy and Madelyn today. Of course, I didn't just deliver the group quilt; I also designed one for her myself. I used one of my favourite techniques of taking just a few blocks, and arranging and 'colouring' then symmetrically to give a medallion effect, where the original blocks are hard to distinguish among the overall pattern.
I ordered way more turquoise fabrics than I would need, but had to have choice when I was finalising the design - it was hard narrowing-down the selection!
I rather like the way the corner section shown above resembes a dragonfly, mirroring the feature fabric.
The obligatory bridge photo, with an overgrown background!
Best wishes for a wonderful life and pleasant Daydreams, Madelyn!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Joy of Friendship

On Friday, one of my best friends gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. In secret, the EB Quilters have been making blocks, and I made them into a quilt.
The name was suggested by Leah, and other blocks were made by AJ, Lily, Helen, Kylie, Xena, Natalie, Mands and me.
Today I delivered the quilt in person - with the added bonus of cuddles with the new owner!
Here are all the individual blocks - can you guess who made which?!

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Only last week I put in a big order at Their fabrics are searchable via, and they have a huge range at good prices. And their service is so good, I have to share! After placing my order, I found another fabric I wanted to add. No problem. Then I wanted to change something else. No problem either! And then they found another fabric I'd been searching for, and offered to squeeze that in my already bulging envelopes. Did I mention their postage is really cheap? They charge actual rates and will squeeze 9y into a flat-rate envelope. Any more and they'd burst!)

Within 10 days of my initial order, the bulk of it had travelled half-way around the world to my doorstep (I'm used to shipments being separated in the post). And when I opened the two envelopes there were little bonuses in each. Have a look at this fantastic tool; it contains mini flat- and phillips-head screwdrivers in 2 sizes!
My order included a selection of beachy prints which will probably go into a baby quilt for my second niece, due in April, some basic snowflakes in white and neutral, restocking Farmers' Market Petal Party, a couple of extras, and a stripe which is already half-attached to a quilt. Mmm, stripy binding.....

Stash = 989m

Thank You Paula!

Thank you Paula! My parcel of goodies from Paula Prass' giveaway arrived today. As if winning wasn't enough, she naughtily snuck in an extra three FQs! How lucky am I?!

It was well-timed, as yesterday a fabric order arrived, including a few coordinates from her Flights of Fancy range. Now I just need to find some spare time (at least I'm now on holidays for 3.5 weeks) so I can make the quilt!
Many thanks to Paula, for such a generous giveaway!