Thursday, 27 August 2009

Bet you didn't expect this...................

...........did you?
I need something easy, quick and colourful ~ does this fit the bill?

Seriously, I just wanted something easy to make that I could practice my machine quilting on. Nights are taken up with the CWBQ applique and I thought it was time to push a few more boundaries!!

This is definitely out of my comfort zone. I've always admired the Kaffe Fassett range of fabrics and patterns but deep down I'm an 'earthy' type girl. I love muted colours, muddy blues and greens. I do also love pale pinks, greens and creams.

So, this is a new adventure for me. I know He Who Works will not like it! Oh no, not one little bit, but then he has been known to surprise me once or twice in nearly 40 years, we shall see!!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

I've been wicked again..................

Well, only a little wicked.............

Yesterday I drove over to Castlemaine to meet another new blogger friend. I met Ann from here last week when she emailed me to say she wanted to join the CWBQ blog. Turns out she lives in Gisborne and was going in to Threadbear to buy her pattern on Saturday, so I offered to drive over and meet for coffee and a trip into the patchwork shop (that was the hardest part of the day you understand ;0).
We met at Threadbear, Ann bought her pattern and I wanted to buy some more greens for leaves and stems.

These lovely greens and one with a wee bit of red caught my eye.............

.............and this! Oh my, it's just adorable...................

...........Wildflower Serenade II, just the name alone evokes thoughts of wonderful things. And who could resist something designed by 'The Kansas Troubles Quilters'. In fact, I felt morally obliged to buy it if only to ease their troubles, ;0)

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it like glue!!!
I actually thought that I would like to make a quilt from the book I bought from Fiona a while ago
'Quilting the Garden' and when I saw this I thought it would be ideal. The central panel on Mum and Dads quilt came from the same book.

Down the road from the quilt shop is a little shop called 'Basil & Gertrude', a tiny shop selling adorable antique items. But not your grandma's china type stuff!! Very country old French bits and pieces, amongst which was this little treasure above. A gorgeous little old wooden bobbin with 20mt (yes that's right) of adorable palest green velvet ribbon that cost me $29. Now that's a bargain if I ever saw one. I just wish I had bought the other one as well, oh well, maybe it will still be there in a couple of weeks!!!!

I had to rearrange my little bowl of cotton reels. A bigger wooden bowl, some fabric to match, old cotton reels and crochet hooks, my lovely darning mushroom and now beautifully tactile palest, minty green trim. Ooohh, I just love it.

The fabric, you want to know about that gorgeous fabric you say??

Oh, OK, that's the 'Worn & Loved' range. Remember when I went to the Craft and Quilt fair and said that I had other fabric to show you..........................

...............well this was one of I was really, really wicked that day!!!!!

He Who Works (my darling man) said that I had to wash the dishes for a month for being so wicked (we have an excellent dishwasher) so I probably deserved it, LOL

And before I go and forget to was lovely to meet Ann and her gorgeous daughter Hannah and I'm sure we will get together again ~ but perhaps not in a quilt shop next time being as I have absolutely no willpower whatsoever!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

It's finished.............

The Anniversary quilt is finally finished..................
...............sorry about the quality of the pictures, it was late in the afternoon and the best I could do was on one of the fences and on the house gate. Still it's nice to be able to take it outside without rain or gale force wind!
I'm sure they are going to love it.
I'm so thrilled that I finally got the confidence to machine quilt, this has the centre panel hand quilted and the borders machine quilted with straight lines and once again, I'm amazed that I've finished it ahead of time.

So, what's next??

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Thank you Francien........

This was waiting for me at the Post Office this morning! What a lovely surprise from the equally lovely Francien from here.
When I was at the Craft & Quilt fair last month I bought some little needle threaders, Francien was saying that she too found it hard to thread a needle sometimes now. So, as you do, I sent one to her. It wasn't much of a hardship, they were only a dollar to buy! Francien sent me this totally awesome pincushion as a thank you.
It certainly wasn't needed but it is certainly appreciated. Do you see how lovely and big this is? Destined to sit next to my machine and be used every day. See the fabric at the front,with the little 'strawberry' flowers on ~ I have that fabric! Not a lot left now, I've had it for years, but I love it and keep every little scrap. See, we were destined to be friends.
Thank you Francien, it's beautiful and beautifully thoughtful!
Just on another little note, please click on over to HERE and say hello to Ann. She is joining our CWBQ blog and is very new to blogging, and as another coincidence lives reasonably near to me!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

A Productive Week........

I can't believe that a week has gone since I last did a post on here!! It's been a busy week although if I stand and look back not that much has been going on. Pretty normal I suppose, life's a bit like that isn't it, it just whizz's by and before you know it a week, a month or a year has gone.

Anyway, it's been busy!!
Second eldest grandchild (Ryan) was 13 this week. He of course is delighted. Hurtling head first, with nary a backward glance, into his 'teens'. "Guess what Nana" was the cry when I saw him, " I'm 13" was the joyful exclamation, rendering me incapable of any thought but 'how on earth did that happen' which of itself is a stupid, stupid thought. Of course I know exactly how that happened, but there you go ~ I blinked again!! Next year our two eldest granddaughters will take that almost magical, mystic step into the world of 'teenship'. I think I need to keep my eyes wide open for that one!!

I've had lots of things on the go this week, I had a little excursion back into the world of knitting and crochet, only a quick field trip mind you. I've been making some little dishcloths out of this lovely recyled cotton yarn. I started crocheting because I was having trouble with my wrist, a wee bit too much hand quilting I think, so a change of position was called for. That along with a firm wrist support seemed to do the trick. It's really nice to just knit rows, not worrying about fancy stitches, don't have to look, just knit each row in front of the TV. Quite theraputic! Anyway, I'm pleased with the simple little cloths, they are nice to touch, do the job and wash up nicely!
Oh yes, the new bamboo needles I bought are lovely to use too.
I did do a post on our CWBQ blog the other day. I finished my first block and felt mightily pleased with myself, it's turning out to be a lovely quilt to stitch and I'm thrilled at the amount of ladies that have decided to join us.
I also made my SIL a bag for her birthday. I'm quite pleased with this one. I used a packet of 'Gypsy Rose' charm squares from Moda, some beautiful old cotton lace and some lovely green bead trim. I decided to use the solid faux tortoishell handles because I thought that they would suit my SIL better, she's more of a 'handbag' person as opposed to a 'shoulder bag' person.
And last but certainly not least, I finished this for Mum. So not only am I trying to get into my UFOs, but now I'm doing Mums as well. Which I have to say is an absolute pleasure to be able to do for her.

I think I've mentioned before about Mum making cot blankets for all her great grandchildren. All 13 (I think) have a lovingly embroidered cot blanket, all have had bears on, all have had beautiful wool embroidered flowers, garden, butterflies and bees.

A few years ago, when she still could sew, she was pondering what to do with all the little bits of wool left over from the blankets. Mum can't throw anything out, even if it's broken she has trouble throwing it out!! Anyway, after a little persuasion (from moi) she made a couple of little covers in patchwork style, gave them away to anyone that even had a tenacious connection to a baby and I gave it no more thought.

Silly me!!!!

A couple of weeks ago she was giving me her weekly contribution to the clutter in my house (she's been 'giving' me things every week for months now, cotton reels with a smidgen of thread left on, half a packet of needles etc) and out she walks with a bag full of wool blanket off cuts!! In there was this little blanket. All joined together and stitched with adorable little bears. That's as far as it got obviously. She was worried that she couldn't finish it AND even if she could she didn't have anyone to give it to. So, I brought it home, bought some lovely 1950s repro fabric for the back, big stitch quilted around the squares and bound the edges.

Now I love it so much that I shall take it back to her on Wednesday and tell her to keep it for MY first great grandchild and my heart will break with the knowledge that she won't be here to see it.

Oh yes, the contribution to clutter ~ I keep every little thing.

I love you Mum.

Talking of which, I have nearly finished their anniversary quilt. I have a tiny bit of hand quilting to do on the centre panel and the binding to stitch down. I know it sounds odd to say I still have quilting to do when the binding is on, but my wrist was so painful that I did the machine (yep, machine) quilting and stitched the binding on. It's made absolutley no difference to the centre, I made sure it was well pinned down and nothing has shifted. Probably a day hand quilting and then stitch the binding down on the back. I should have it finished for show and tell at my patchwork group on Thursday. Photo's by then I promise.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Sam's quilt finished & a new blog....

I've been waiting all week to take this outside to photograph, I just knew that the colours would 'sing' outside in the sunlight, well I did take it outside today but couldn't get it to stay still in the wind! So spare bed it is.

I love the words around the white border, it gave me the chance to say things to Sam that perhaps we forget in the humdrum of a busy life. She is 'smart', she is 'beautiful, she is a 'friend', she is a 'sister', 'daughter' and a 'granddaughter'. She is also 'tall', a 'young lady' and she is and always will be my 'blossom'.

I know she will love and treasure her quilt not least because it was made by 'her nana'.
I love my eldest granddaughter as much as I love the other 4 girls and 3 boys, they each have a little piece of my heart that they carry around with them, I don't know if they all know that yet, but one day as they get older, they will.

Now that I have finished one of my September quilts, I gave myself permission to start a little applique!

My fingers were itching to start my CWBQ (Civil War Bride Quilt), so I have cut out all the background blocks and started on block one.
This is where I am at, block one, half done! I'm well pleased with it.
We are becoming quite a little band of CWBQ stitchers, we now have a blog dedicated to making the quilt here. So far Lurline and I are the only ones started, Kathie and Janet (no blog) are waiting for their patterns.

This is how my block sits on the coffee table, just quietly waiting each day for a spare few minutes. By doing it this way I can pick up the container and take it with me if John is driving, a few stitches while I'm waiting for Caitlin to come out of school on my pick up day, visiting with Mum and Dad, appointments etc. I find that just stitching a few stitches here and there I have done a leaf or stem before I know it!

I know that this will be a long term project, but I just don't want it to take me five years to complete the top. I will only ever make one quilt with this much applique I think and I want to see it finished.

Having said that I also have a trillion other things that I want to do, right now I have to finish the Anniversary quilt, I need to make a bag for my SILs birthday (also Sept), I have to make the cake for Mum and Dad's anniversary party. Keep watching for that, I just ordered 60 sugar 'diamonds' for the top of the cake so I'm looking forward to making that. I have a Christmas quilt half finished which of course would be nice if I could actually FINISH that one for Christmas this year!! I still have to finish the Sunbonnet quilt and I have to start Caitlins quilt for her birthday in November!! Oh yes, and that doesn't include the BOM that I forgot about until it arrived at the Post Office!!! :0)

I thought about making a list on my sidebar with things I have to do, but then I decided that I would just get depressed if I didn't do them, this way it doesn't feel like I have to sew all week, just seven days, That's OK then, lol !!!!!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Quilting finished, quilting started and Bugs!

I found this colourful fellow on a piece of firewood this morning. He Who Works, splits firewood each morning, transports it via wheelbarrow to the house and stacks it on the verandah ready for our daily burning.
As I went to pick up a couple of logs for the lounge heater my hand screamed to a halt about 3 inches above him (insert body shudder). When I recovered from the shock of nearly squishing this amazing looking insect with my hand (insert another shudder) I grabbed the camera. Would you look at those horn things on the side of it's head, enough to give any right minded person the shudders!! Does anyone know what it is? I haven't seen one like this before, it's usually great big hairy Huntsman's that I nearly pick up with the wood (insert HUGE shudder) never anything this colourful.
Anyway, on to other more important things!
Please note picture below.................

................this my friends is Sam's quilt, all finished apart from binding. Well actually, it now has orange buttons in the middle of the yo yo's and the same orange buttons in each pink corner square.

I will do the binding this week, but that's it then.....................Finished.

This word of course is to convey something about Samantha (as all the words on her quilt do) but it is quite literally true of her's very colourful! I will post a photo of the quilt when I have stitched the binding on, hopefully the weather will improve and I can get it outside.
Now the question is - do I wash it before I give it to her or not? If it was for me, I would wash it, but it's for her birthday and she's only 12, I think I should leave it as is - help please!

This is Mum & Dad's anniversary quilt, as you can see, it's sandwiched, basted and I started the hand quilting last night. I'm only hand quilting the centre panel then machining the rest. Five weeks until their anniversary and at the moment Mum's Alzheimer's is on a level field, fingers crossed it stays that way for a little while!

I'm off now to cut out the applique pieces for Block one on my CWBQ, I cut all the background squares yesterday. Photo's soon.


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