Saturday, April 30, 2011

Princess in the house....

A work colleague is having his second baby and he tells me it's another little girl. That got me thinking about a little quilt which is a lovely distraction to the bigger projects that I always seem to have backed up at the 'factory'! Yesterday I pulled out some scraps that I have of Heather Ross's Far Far Away in the peach and natural colours. There was a strip of the princess and the pea and some good sized scraps of the frog prince, snails and meadow. Inspired by the world's newest princess, I spent today sewing and finished up with a fun little flimsy that features a princess panel surrounded by Far Far Away maverick stars in various sizes (4", 3" and 2 1/2" squares). The background fabric is quilter's muslin which I haven't used before but thought its lightness would work well with the FFA's double gauze weight. It's not bad and the creamy colour is perfect. I'm hoping the quilt will really soften up for a little baby.It was quite rainy weather today so I didn't attempt any washing so the top is also basted and ready to be quilted. I'll panic about preparing 'back to school' uniforms tomorrow!This little quilt measures around 36" x 44".

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Holiday finishes....(for lack of a better title!)

The extra long Easter and Anzac Day combined public holiday gave me a wonderful opportunity to finish up a couple of projects. We were heading down south to the shack and that gave me the drive I needed to finish a few things to hand finishing stage. The first was my Munki-Munki Network quilt. I actually had this one quilted the week before last. The quilting is horizontal lines set about 1" or 2cm apart. I met my then self imposed Sunday night quilting deadline and thought I'd give machine binding a go. However, I was really disappointed with the result, it wasn't straight and didn't stay even on both sides so I spent all day at work on Monday worrying about it, so I unpicked it that night. It left little bits of cotton everywhere....on the quilt, on the floor, on the binding....argh! Once off, I re-stitched it back onto the front side on Monday night, ready for the hand stitched finishing. I have to say, I love the look of hand stitched binding and I really love the process of sitting down and stitching it. It gives me that feeling of getting to the end and finally wrapping up the production. The binding is Sandi Henderson's from her Ginger Blossom range. And the back is pieced from a piece of pink spotty fabric picked up from Spotlight ages ago and some solids to match.During the week whilst blog hopping I spied this quilt and fell completely in love. I couldn't stop staring at it and I decided to recreate one of my own using the little triangles cut from binding and set into 2 1/2" squares of fabric in a bow tie design. Like Jolene from Blue Elephant Stitches, I've used left overs and this resulted in different coloured blocks of pink, ash, snow, white, celery, kahki and stone. The blocks are only 4" and the quilt is 28" square and quilted in straight lines either side of the seams. The binding is also scrappy and uses all the bits that get left over from bigger projects that end up being stored in zip lock plastic bags. The back is totally pieced from the scrap bag. Again, a little 'use what you have in the scrap bin' project that has resulted in something really quite delightful. I should call this one the zip lock stash bow tie quilt...but that's a bit too long for such a little quilt. I just love looking at this quilt as it reminds me of all the projects I've worked on so it may end up as a quilt for the wall to admire for a long time to come!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Our modified Grand Day Out....

We had been planning our Grand Day Out to Melbourne's Australasian Quilt Convention for 8 months only to have two of our party of four unable to attend due to illness. So with just half the contingent, Clare and I headed east for what was still a fabulous day of fabric, gadgets and quilts on display.
It was a very early start, heading out of Adelaide on the 6.50am flight arriving in Melbourne at 8.30am. We lost some time due to an earlier fog that caused a backlog of planes trying to park and then a traffic jam that our shuttle bus skillfully avoided by going through the back streets behind the airport which only ended up adding about 5 extra minutes to the bus transfer. Thank goodness we weren't cabbing it....that would have been the fabric money gone right there! Pretty soon we were on the number 96 tram to the Royal Exhibition Hall with Clare and I playing, "I spy the other ladies going to AQC". We were pretty sure the ladies sitting opposite us were heading in our direction, so Clare boldly walked up to them and asked them if they were. "How did you know?", they replied. We laughed and said their sensible shoes matched ours and that could only mean careful consideration of the long hours on your feet traipsing around the stalls and exhibition. They laughed. Then Clare asked if they wanted to buy a cheap entry seeing as we had two extra pre-paid tickets that we would no longer be using. They jumped at it....more fabric money for them and some compensation for our poor sick friends in Adelaide. I did feel a bit like the bloke selling watches from the inside of his coat....but happy in the solace that these deserving quilters got a good deal! Our delays meant that we walked straight inside and avoided a queue and a bottle neck at the front of the hall but that's not to say it wasn't crowded and my trusty backpack caused just as many problems getting in and out as it did last year. I wasn't planning on going crazy with fabric purchases this year but it's great fun looking and I was on a bit of a mission for something special for Kay...which took all day before I decided! But there were a few bits that I couldn't resist and one that I can't believe landed in my hand. It was a 30cm strip of unprocurable Kerchief Girl by was the only one and even a search of Etsy and Ebay this morning aren't returning any results. Lucky me! I'll have to send off for some of the co-ordinting honeycomb dots that I couldn't make my mind up on to add to that little prize. I also purchased some cute little Japanese fabric which at the time of purchase I was convinced it had a pair of y-front nickers on it (what does that say about me I wonder!), only to re-look at the end of the day to see it was a sneaker.... well I was up at 5am! And I also picked up a couple of fat quarter pieces of Moda's La Petite Ecole. I can't show what I purchased Kay as that's her surprise. But let me say this Kay.... I stuck to the brief!! And there was also a little something for Michelle.

We sat down around lunch time to eat our train station purchased sandwiches (which were a bit cheaper than the captive audience expensive catering at the exhibition) and listen to Judy from Punch with Judy....purveyors of all things gadgetry for quilting. I particularly wanted to listen to her talk about Kaleidoscopes....a ruler I had purchased last year and so far had little success in using beyond a nice little ruler for small cuts! Success....I get it now and learnt a few tips for the centre seams and joining. That was worth the entry fee just to sort that out! We had also visited the Scissorman for their bargain tungsten blades which are great quality and the dilemma of carrying them in our carry on....worry about that later. A quick whiz around the quilt exhibition and the day was over. I can't believe we'd done it again....a non-stop all day affair at AQC. We had just enough time to head back into town with Clare shopping for shoes and me to find a post office. I love a big City where retail shops stay open till 6pm to serve the community. It's such a blast when you come from a small City like Adelaide with post offices that close at noon on a Saturday and shops that shut bang on 5pm! Then with those tungsten blades safely out of my hand luggage and posted home we headed to Saint and Rogue in Little Collins St for a well earned glass of bubbles and dinner before returning home. Clockwork!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Getting excited now.....

It's about 12 hours from now before we land in Melbourne and head towards the Exhibition Building in Carlton for the Australasian Quilt Convention. So to ease the excitement, I'm passing my Munki Munki Network quilt through the machine for a row or two of straightline quilting. Each line is around 1" apart. I measured the centre line with my hera marker but it's been eyeballed from there. Luckily, there are lots of seams that I can aim for to keep it on the straight and narrow! I'm about half way through and hoping like crazy I'll get it done by the end of the weekend....but......not holding my breath either!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


R turned 14 at the beginning of the week. I can't believe it. And even though she promised me last year that her 13th birthday party would be her last, she managed to wangle another one out of me! Of course, she twisted it around and said that it was because I love to organise a party! This year she chose the theme of red and white. We made lovely little invites out of cardboard swing tags and red and white fabric scraps stitched onto them and tied with red and white bakers twine. (I wish I'd got a shot!) Everyone was asked to wear red and white and they dutifully complied. Even little bro and Dad!All the food had a red and white theme....although some of my cupcake icing and sugar sprinkles turned pink. R made red velvet cup cakes and a strawberry cheesecake....delicious! We turned the green and white gazebo red with swathes of red organza and red chinese lanterns.And whilst the weather was a bit cool, the rain held off, so we fired up the chiminea to warm the cockles....and I can't say that there wasn't a bit of red wine consumed by the grown ups!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Getting on with the job....

Last Thursday's 'Sew and Sews' was busy busy with Clare whipping up a quilted bag for our trip to Melbourne in two weeks for AQC. (Note the mandatory glass of red wine. That helps you get the look of extreme concentration that Clare is currently sporting!) I can't believe it's just two weeks to go when you consider we booked our airfares eight months ago!Clare is using some Amy Butler Love fabric that she scored at a bargain price at last year's event. Here's hoping there are even more fabulous finds this year! So whilst Clare was table bound, I was getting down and dirty on the floor with Clare's cat who's tail gave me a bit of grief whilst I basted my Munki Munki Network quilt. I think I'm laughing but maybe I'm telling the cat to take his tail elsewhere! (And please don't think I'm casting aspertions on the condition of Clare's floor - it was far from dirty!)I'm really pleased I managed to get this quilt to the basted stage. Not sure where I'll find the time to quilt it these next few days as Clare has inspired me to do a spot of knitting ....I guess that's what 'Sew and Sews' is for......inspiration!