Thursday, 29 July 2010

Final giveaway at last

Here's the final giveaway at long last!

A yard of this green Toile of the Owls from Hushabye by Tula Pink.

The equilvalent of about one and a half yards of this pink and chocolate Bunny Damask frrm the same range (it's not quite the full fabric width, but is around 2y in length)

And a copy of the upcoming issue of Australian Patchwork and Quilting, which has an article I wrote! Its due out any day now.

If the winner is in Australia, I'll throw in the following three one-yard cuts as well - postage overseas is costing me a fortune! If not, I'll do a second drawing for these three.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post - but don't just say 'enter me please'; tell me something about yourself, a story about quilting, give me a link to your favourite quilty blog/website, a funny story... it's up to you. And don't forget to let me know what country you live in! Oh, and make sure I have a way to contact you if you win!

You have plenty of time to enter, as I'm having a bit of a blog break, but I'll be back on the 10th of August to announce the winner.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Week 4 winner

A month to the day after I posted the giveaway, here's the winner of the batiks: Lindy from Canberra! Lindy, please contact me with your postal address and I'll get them on their way.

Next post - the final giveaway. Did someone mention Tula Pink??? And some extra goodies...

Beach Quilt top complete

Tonight I pieced the sun and finished the top of this beach quilt. I didn't work on the quilt at all last night, instead catching-up the pattern to the same stage as the quilt - I'd got a bit carried-away with the piecing the previous few days and hadn't typed up all the instructions and tips I'd thought-out as I was sewing.
I now have 3 quilts almost ready to quilt - this one and a beautiful customer quilt which arrived today are ready to be sandwiched, and my own snuggle quilt is still at the same partially-completed stage it was at several weeks ago when my secret project took over.
I'm hoping to get the customer quilt done this week, but know I'll be pushing it with everything else I have to do. I want to feather it somehow, as that's in keeping with the elegant fabrics and simple piecing (and fun!) but haven't decided exactly how yet. I doodled a few options tonight and will mull it over tomorrow while Eleanor and I are playing and running errands.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Beach quilt coming together

This evening I pieced the sand, joined it with the breaking waves to the water, added the starfish border, then joined the underwater sections to it.
Each time I make a beach quilt I learn more, especially about the use of individual fabrics. This time I realised that the bubbly sand-coloured fabric detracts from the breaking waves print - in future I'll save it for beach quilts such Footsteps, where I don't use that breaking waves fabric, and the sand is placed above the water in the quilt. If I'd noticed it earlier, I'd've replaced it, but it's not worth the effort at this point.
I then drafted the sun in EQ7 (so much easier to draft this sort of block than in the old version!). It's designed to be foundation-pieced like the rest of the quilt, and has no curved seams as a regular Radiant New York Beauty block would. Those arcs are all crossed-out; they were only there for the purposes of creating the block. My foundations are quite a mess; this is partly because the required size of 8.5in square is too big to print on a single letter-size sheet, but also because my printer refuses to feed evenly at the moment, and prints on an awkward angle - often also distorted, which is a real pain!
So I've had to tape several pieces together to get the 2 units I want. I can't sew them until they're traced nicely ready for the pattern, but I'll happily use my cobbled-together pieces once that's done! They will actually end up two not-quite squares, to eliminate having a seam up the middle of the sun's centre ray.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Making waves

Last night I made the waves section of the beach quilt - the water part of the centre panel. My plan was for the water at the sides to be a continuation of the reef across the bottom and hence be 'underwater' and for the centre to be from above, showing waves - and a boat.
I spread out the potential fabrics across the top (nice and neat to start with!) the water to sand fabric across the bottom as a starting point, and the 2 side panels to help keep colour contrast/balance.

One of the ways of differentiating the two (apart from the inclusion of boats, turtles etc. and the border which I'll add shortly) is the use of different shades of blue. This was made difficult by the fact that the wonderful print shown here of the waves running up the sand is quite greenish, and I wanted this section more blue than aqua. It took a while to get a decent gradation of colour, and I started by building it up from the sand - the actual sand I'll do tomorrow.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Jet-powered crafting or Creating a Beach Scene quilt

Some cardboard packaging, two empty toilet-rolls, masking tape, some red fabric scraps (from the back of my recent secret project) and a little help were all that James needed to make his own jet-pack and zoom around the house!

Meanwhile, I got started on my next quilt. I sketched the design a while ago.
I pulled out all my beach quilt fabrics and sorted them into 4 rough piles: sand, water/waves, reef/sealife and sky. Some of the fabrics merge between two - mainly water and reef/sealife (which is very handy) or incorporate several of these faetures.

Since I was starting with the reef, I spread out all the reef and sealife fabrics to get an idea of what I was working with, and put the others out of the way to give myself plenty of room.

Then I started building the reef onto the foundations. This gets easier every time, partly due to experience, but mostly thanks to an increasing selection of fabrics!
The tripod is there because I'm developing the pattern as I go, and am takign as many progress and steps photos as I can. You can see how much of a mess the fabrics end up in as I unfold and autition them to find just the right bit!

Below is the reef with the fabrics all cut and pinned in place on the foundations...
...and this next photo shows the completed bottom section of the quilt, with all the fabrics sewn on, and the five foundation sections joined. Note the otter at the top right - I just had to include it!
That was as far as I got last night.

Tonight I pulled out the water fabrics and a few of the lighter sea creatures and started selecting the fabrics for the two side sections of the quilt. Here I've piled fabrics in order on the foundations, but I later made a few changes as I played with different options. I love these colours!

Here are the two sides with the fabrics pinned ot the foudations and laid out in rough position with the reef. can you spot the otter?

Here he is! I moved him! His background was simply too pale for where he was in the quilt - not only did the piece look out of place, but I wouldn't have been able to build up the next section of water nicely based on the pale fabric. I only had to unpick one and a bit seams to swap the piece, or I mightn't have bothered. He's back up at the (new) top right; a much better position in terms of both layout and colour. Once the pieces are sewn, neither his side nor his paw will be covered.

And although blogger has decided this seahorse is better on its back, I just loved the way the positioning of these two fabrics makes it look as though it's blowing bubbles. Yes, it was intentional!
Tomorrow I'll piece the side water sections.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Beautiful Butterflies

While I was starting work on my next quilt, and a pattern to go with, it yesterday, Simon took James and Eleanor to the Adelaide Boat Show. His mother is the chief organiser, and knows what children like...

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Little sister

Finally the other night I managed to give the gorgeous Miss One her belated first birthday present. The good thing about one-year-olds is they don't mind if their presents are a bit late!

Her older sister recieved her doll's quilt for her third birthday at the beginning of the year (to match her bed quilt, which was for her second birthday) but I figured she'd probably like to have one sooner and be like her big sister!
I have blogged some inside photos before, but here are some decent ones at last.
I made a small mistake when piecing the centre block - I forgot it wasn't going on-point, and got the bird orientation wrong. Here's the whole quilt on point showing how it should ahve been - but I didn't realise until I was already quilting - too late to make such a change.
This quilt, like the matching bed quilt I'll have to make in about 6 months' time, features Patty Young's Flora and Fauna fabrics, in the stone and raspberry colourways.
It was a lucky choice, because she happens to love birds.
I really enjoyed quilting this one.
Most of the feathers are freehand - all except these:
When I first designed this quilt (and the matching bed quilt) I really wanted to make them for Eleanor, but then I realised they'd clash horribly with her wallhanging, so decided to make them for my niece as originally planned. I'm glad I did.
Eleanor might get hers - one day!


With Simon's sister visiting from interstate last week, we had to try and get a photo of all five grand children togetehr. But trying to get a 4-year-old, two 3-year-olds, a 1-year-old and an 8-week-old looking nice for the camera resulted in chaos!
The newest addition to the group of cousins blissfully slept through the excitement and noise.

Eleanor was especially mischievous!

And next...I'm starting on a beach quilt for baby Georgia. I actually have two (slightly different, as always) to make at once, and will be documenting the process with lots of photos in readiness for the pattern.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Where was I?

Tonight I finished all the instructions and so on for this quilt. Phew!
So, where was I before the chaos started? What was I working on? I'll look tomorrow.

Thursday, 15 July 2010


I ended up going for the non-striped binding. The stripes were just too much for this quilt.
I was in such a mad rush to get the quilt finished and sent, I didn't have time to photograph it properly before I sent it. I didn't even do a final check for loose threads etc.! I got an express post satchel from the post office earlier in the day, and at about 5.35 went for a drive to what I thought was the closest express post box. Unfortunately my post office was ill-informed, and there were only regular postboxes there, so I jumped back in the car and raced (fortunately against the peak-hour traffic) to the next mail centre. I pulled in at 6.01 (boxes are emptied from 6pm) to find the mailman finishing emptying the box! Luckily I was able to hand it straight to him, and I had confirmation this morning that the quilt arrived safely yesterday afternoon, less than 24 hours after leaving my hands!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Feathers finished

I've just finished feathering the background to this quilt; it took a while! There are just the two narrow borders to go, then hopefully it will all ie nice and flat, and I can bind, label and post it. Excuse the poor lighting; the background is actually white!
I'm ditering whether to use the blak and white snowflake print to bind, as originally planned, or a great black and white diagonal stripe. Once the quilting is all done, I'll trim the quilt and lay it out with both and see which works best - I'm leaning towards the stripe.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Still busy, busy, busy

As well as hosting my sister's baby shower and battling suspected tonsilitis this weekend, I've been quilting my secret project. But I think today's post is highly improbable (it's currently 2am!). There's another 3-4 hours of quilting to go, plus the binding and label. Oh, and a day of 'real' work, too!

So I leave you with a few peeks, a yawn, and a promise that I haven't forgotten the giveaways...

Friday, 9 July 2010


Today was Eleanor's 3rd birthday, so I took the day off work, and we (Mummy and I) took James and Eleanor to Adelaide Zoo - mostly to see the pandas.
I've loved pandas all my life, and have been lucky enough to see a few. Mummy and Daddy took me (and my sister) to see Fei Fei and Xiao Xiao on Melbourne Zoo when they visited Australia for 6 months for the bicentenary in 1988, then in 1990 we went to China and saw several at both Beijing and Guilin zoos, and then when we were in London in 1991, the London Zoo just happened to have a panda as well. James and Eleanor have no idea just how lucky they are to have pandas in 'our' zoo for the next 10 years!
I didn't get any great photos today; next time I'll take the long lens. These are all of Wang Wang, who was out for his morning walk; Funi was having a sleep-in (smart girl!).
When he walks past this glass, he's only about 10cm (4in) away!

When you enter the zoo, you get allocated a 'viewing time' for the pandas. Ours was 9.45, and you get about an hour (I didn't actually look at the time). It was very busy to start with (it is school holidays) but about half-way through the time, most people had drifted off, and we had complete freedom to follow Wang Wang along his enclosure and take plenty of photos and video.

Eleanor had a lovely time walking back and forth along this path, tip-tioeing in each little square.
A very happy 3-year-old!

James' favourite animals were the penguins; we spent easily 15 minutes watching them jump in and out of the water. The only two creatures I actually photographed today were black and white!

Now also seems like a good time to answer another of the questions from the week 3 giveaway; Duff asked: "If there were nothing prohibiting you from doing anything in the world, what would you do first?"

Well, what I would really like to do is touch a Giant Panda. I know they're not as soft as they look, and I don't care. I would love to be able to cuddle one. One day I'll return to China and fork out to spend a week 'helping' at somewhere like the Wolong Panda facility.

Back to quilty stuff tomorrow, I promise!