Sunday, 31 May 2009

Stash Sunday

Incoming yardage:

These two came from Corrie along with the beautiful shrug I commissioned her to make for Eleanor. How did she know how tempted I'd been by the hedgehogs and squirrels? I'll blog the shrug as soon as I can photograph Eleanor in it; it fits her beautifully.
And the fabulous Adds sent me this coveted piece of out-of-print fabric from her stash in our ongoing swaps:
Stash = 1.188km

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Rory's Rockets

I finished this quilt a while ago, but only recently sent it to its new owner, and then forgot to blog it after it was received. It's a single-bed quilt made on commission. Not surprisingly, it's for a little boy, and we wanted to feature the Prints Charming rockets fabric.
Because all their fabric has such a gorgeously soft feel, we decided to use only Prints Charming. Luckily they have a white-on-white stripe and good range in the right colours, including the new blue spokes. It took a while to track down all we wanted, including enough of the rockets stripes for the backing. This stuff is popular!
The request was simple, a little retro, and snuggly. So the piecing was nice and easy - apart from these curves, and even they went well - though I plan to get myself one of the curved piecing feet for my new machine (not for me, honestly!) at the Quilt Show in November.
One of my original designs had these circles in blue and white, and looking rather like BMW badges. We ended up altering the design a little, but maybe I'll do something with the blue and white circles for in the car!

To keep it snuggly, I quilted it fairly lightly; simple swirls through the snail-trail blocks to enhance the wave effect,
some stabilising in-the-ditch across a few strips and random loopy rectangles across the coordinate print
And a single line of echo-quilting around the rockets and a few of the larger stars.
Its now awaiting a first birthday. I loved working with this soft fabric, and have plenty more from Prints Charming in a range of colours and designs. I confess I spent rather longer than usual fondling this one!

Friday, 22 May 2009


Today started well. James and Eleanor had their swimming lessons and both earned milestone certificates; Eleanor for climbing out with little assistance (just a knee) and James for a solo swim with floaties (you should have seen him power towards me at the end of his lane as I held the vaseline to put on his ear where he's getting eczema from the pool water, and which we couldn't find before he started his class!).

On the way home we stopped at Riverlea Quilts, my closest and favourite LQS, where they were expecting me, to pick up a copy of Australian Quilters' Companion 37, which included Evening Indulgence, which I made a year ago:
Here's the quilt, click for a closer look (I think they washed-out the colours a little):
And look at this post for some detail shots.

Mummy came home with us and looked after James and Eleanor (an easy task - they both slept!) while I went and had my hair done. Here's a completely unposed photo (!) showing my shorter hair (Susie lopped about 5in off, it'll be so much easier to manage) and new colour (darker than for summer, and not so red as previous winters - I'd been having an almost burgundy tone) and my new machine!

While James and Eleanor watched Playschool, I got us ready to out for afternoon tea (magazine at the ready, having already flaunted it at the hairdresser!). Out to the car, and as I was buckling James in, gastro hit. Oh. Back inside. Cancel afternoon tea. Spend the afternoon cleaning up and soothing a sick 3-year-old and a sooky (teething?) almost 2-year-old. Oh, well. Fortunately James is a very good patient, and is now in bed asleep on an empty and fortunately inactive tummy.
Oh, and on the topic of downhill, we've booked out skiing holiday at Falls Creek for August. We'll be staying at Gebi's, it's the perfect location, and our family has been using their ski hire and/or servicing for about 30 years! James is already practicing on lengths of cardboard, and spreading 'snow' around the house in anticipation.

Thursday, 21 May 2009


Firstly, have a look at the lovely package Adds sent me! There are also 3 great snowflake FQs which I forgot to photograph. A selection of FQs and bigger cuts, her favourite ergonomic quickunpick, and a custom-made Adds Roll. We had a private swap, and I sent her loads of 2.5in strips from my purple and my black and white stashes.
Next, go and check out Jet Designs' book and pattern giveaway.

Then see if you can find the new issue of Australian Quilters' Companion. I haven't got mine yet, but I've heard the issue (37, I think) with my quilt is out. I'll blog it when I get my copy.

New sewing-room resident

Look what I've just set up! I collected my new machine on Tuesday!
After almost exactly 10 years, my lovely Pfaff 6270 has been relegated to second-place, awaiting days when this one (Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0) needs a service, and the day James learns to quilt.
It's going to take me a while to get used to the extra space and new features, but I think it will be an enjoyable process. Now please excuse me while I cut my next project, so I can start using it in earnest! Just something small, so I can start sewing soon! Then I have a quilting job lined-up; it's queen-size, and I've been waiting until I had the extra space to do it, but I need a bit of practice first.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Design dilemma

Months ago I promised the director of James and Eleanor's child care centre that I'd make a quilt for them to raffle by the end of the year. I've finally worked through my quilting to do list enough to at leats start designing. I decided to make two; one to appeal more to girls, and one to appeal more to boys; which should hopefully result in more ticket sales. The winner will get to choose which they want. To target them at the main age group, instead of cot-size, I'm making them a large play size; big enough to be used as a bed topper if wanted, but more suited to snuggles on the sofa.

I've come up with something I'm fairly happy with for the girl's quilt, but wanted to open it up for comments and suggestions before I start. The finished size is 56" square. The fabrics are representational only, as is the applique ribbon border with the odd-looking corners! The blocks are 8", but in the first option I've experimented with extending the corner palm blocks into the first (white) border. I designed the two heart blocks myself.

Click on any image for a closer look.

Option 1:
This is exactly the same quilt, but showing lines around all the patches.

Option 2 (the differences are the palm blocks are the same size as the others, the pale purple heart centres have been changed to pink and the green centre star has been changed to white):

I've edited to add this option, suggested by the insightful Margaret. I think ths is what I'll do, it's given it whaterver it was that it was missing.
Option 3:

What do you think? I prefer the 3, though I'm not sure about the larger palm blocks. Feel free to make suggestions. Do the mini stars work? Or maybe I should start again?


When I went to download photos of the table runner this evening, I found an odd selection of photos, and recalled finding James with the camera yesterday morning. He'd been busy (I'll save you the full series!)

He'd found that he couldn't hold the camera steady...
...and placed it on the floor (note the the giveaway hand and the lego!),
taken 5 identical photos of my quilting library...
been investigated by Shadow!
And shown me what my sewing desk looks like from the floor. Just in case I needed to know!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Beachside Blossom

We promised Simon's mother a table runner. For her birthday. Last year. In July!
Luckily she's very understanding! The delay was caused mostly by competing priorities, but I also had trouble coming up with a design I was happy with. I knew what colours I needed, and wanted to use one of my favourite fabrics, this hyakryoran ombre (the bottom of the two blogged here).
And here it is:
I'm really pleased with it. It uses the unmodified palm block, and the hardest part was cutting the ombre to get a good colour gradation.
At least she'll get it before her next birthday!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

End of the drought

I never impose fabric buying bans on myself (in case you hadn't noticed!). I can't see the point. I'm bound to break it! But I have been trying to be good recently, and managed to go almost 2 months without ordering anything, though I did pick up a few bargain essentials locally. This way, I'm happy to have managed so long without buying, and am not disappointed I didn't last the time out.

A few weeks ago, I let myself loose. I'm good at waiting too late to decide I really want a range, and this time I've got in in time. First, some Neptune, including my first pre-cut pack, a layer cake:
Some snowflakes etc. I couldn't resist:
Then a little Full Moon Forest before it entirely disappears:

A top-up of Farmers' Market, and some Ginger Blossom, both by Sandi Henderson:

And some Andalucia by Patty Young:

A whole load of this:

And finally, some more snowflakes (don't act surprised!):

Taking into account some recent use: Stash = 1.174m

Monday, 11 May 2009


This was my weekend project. The initial concept was more opaline in appearance, hence the name. (Andamooka is in outback South Australia, and is one of the main opal-mining towns.)
It's finished size is 18"x24".
Above is a single block. It's another I designed for foundation piecing, inspired by the pineapple block.
It's only quilted on the black background, in a fine loopy stipple. I found that the quilting was much smoother when I actually grasped the edges of the quilt to move it, rather than laying my hands on top. It has reinforced my desire for a fab-u-motion.
I did a small flower in the centre of each black diamond. This was taken in the last afternoon sunlight through the study window:
I haven't yet decided where this quiltlet is going, but it won't be staying here too long.

Breaking Surf

This quilt is for a friend's new baby boy, but it has a long journey ahead. We met 20 years ago, while we both lived in the Philippines. Since then we've kept in contact first through letters, one phonecall, and now email and over the internet.
I really like this quilt. I chose a block and played with the colouring until I had something a bit different. I think this is the first time I've used just 2 fabrics in the piecing - plus darker blue for the binding. I'll definitely be using this block again in other quilts.
I've been doodling feather s a lot recently, and got up the confidence to try some on a quilt. I wanted blue 'feature' qulting in 5 of the diamonds for design effect, do I practised 2 feathers in diamonds on a scrap sandwich and went for it. I probably shouldn't have rushed in quite so fast! They're not the neatest! But they do give the effect I wanted.
On the other hand, I'm thrilled with the white-on-white featherd quilting in the background - and of course any mistakes are far less visible. They were also easier - though they meant a LOT of ends to tie in.
You can probably estimate my delight with the quilting from the number of photos of it!
Yes, more...
It took a while to decide how to quilt the border. It needed a similar density quilting to the feathers, but I thought a stipple would be out of place, and wasn't game to try feathering it. Then I came up with this easy option!
Here it is laid on the (overgrown and in need of mowing) lawn in the sun. Ahhh.

White feathers from the back:
And one of the blue feathers from the back - where mistakes are less evident!
Another quilt I'd like to keep!
Right now there are 10 quilts in my study apart from this one: three swaps ( 1 2 3 ) hanging on the wall, one ready to hang in our bedroom, a bed quilt folded, a large play quilt on the back of my chair, this awaiting 'payment', an unseen commission boxed and ready to send (I will reveal soon), one ready to deliver to a friend's baby and my weekend project which you'll see shortly.