Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What I've been doing.

We had a very quiet relaxing Christmas with just the two of us for most of the day and a visit with DH's kids and grandkids in the afternoon. Just lovely and quiet. I'll tell you about my wonderful gift later.

Since I was here last, I have another Mary Mannakee block done. I thought I had only made eight but when I trimmed them to put on the wall, I had done nine, what a nice surprise. Sorry the picture is a little fuzzy but you get the idea.

This is the one I finished over Christmas. When you have an applique pattern, you rarely get instructions on how to tackle certain elements. You should just know. Sometimes, it takes a bit of thinking out because there is always more than one way and you end up choosing one that will work best for you.

This was the part I had a think over. I ended up photocopying the bottom circle and spraying the paper with basting spray. Next I lay the bias strips over the pattern and wove them. I then used a small dot of basting glue to the intersections and pinned them until it set. Voila, I could then lift the whole piece off and place it on my background.
I didn't sew it down at this stage, just used abit of basting glue to keep it in position. I then appliqued the inner part of the circle, the woven part, and finally, trimmed the seams of the bias strips and appliqued the outer part of the circle.

Christmas and holidays is my time to have a good read and this is what I've been enjoying,  with chocolates of course. Chocolate goes with everything you know.

Mr Q and I celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday with a lovely meal out at a restaurant overlooking the beach. We enjoyed watching the swimmers and surfers from our table while we dined on a three course meal. You can see some of the yummy food on the left of the photo.
On the right, you can see I've been making bread and enjoying cups of tea with that Christmas cake I made. I've done very little cooking around here, that's one of the things I love about summer and holidays.  DH becomes the main cook.

Mr Q spoilt me by finding these coloured pencils and a big sketch pad to play with. I want to have a go with coloured stitchery and other things using these and a fabric medium. I'll keep you posted.

And my Christmas present? It's not a thing, it's an experience. I get to hop on  a plane and head off to New Zealand again to see my two children and my four grandchildren towards the end of January for three weeks. Priceless!

This is my last post of the year so I'll wish you all the very best for a wonderful and happy year ahead.
See you in 2010

56 comments:

Chookyblue...... said...

wow what a great christmas present..........just about the best you could hope for........

Christine said...

Sounds like you are having a wonderful time and so happy for you to fly and see your family again.
Hope you have a very Happy New Year

Love your applique blocks too
hugs
Christine

Linda said...

Happy New Year and thanks for sharing. Linda

Deb said...

Wahoo, coming home again Janet lol!
It sounds like you and Mr Q had a lovely relaxing Christmas and anniversary. Best belated anniversary wishes.
Your Mary Maneke quilt is looking beautiful.

Penny in Port Macquarie said...

Happy New Year and thank you again for the most wonderful blog.xx

Nedra said...

It sounds like a wonderful Christmas, and your husband gave you the perfect gift of being able to spend time in New Zealand with your daughter and grandchildren. Your applique looks complicated, and you always do such a beautiful job.

Linda said...

Hi there Janet
Love reading your blog - your applique is exquisite!

Can you tell me where you bought your snap happy purse pattern from please? I have been checking out american sites but they seem to want small ransom for postage. I am wondering if you bought your pattern from an Australian source?

Cheers

Linda Bishop
lambethhouse@ihug.co.nz

Deb said...

Beautiful post Janet - the MM blocks are just stunning. I agree the circle is trick but you have devised a clever technique! Can't wait to see what you do with those pencils - and your DH is a gem! I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Dolores said...

Your work is always inspiring. I'm so glad you got a very special gift.

Notjustnat said...

I'm glad you had a nice Christmas. It's the kind of Christmas I like too. I love your Mary Mannakee blocks. How many blocks are they all together? It looks like fun project to do. Have a Happy New Year Janet - Hugs Nat

Rae Ann said...

I loved your last post of 2009. Hope you have an enjoyable last few days of the year. Thanks for sharing!

belinda said...

Your blocks are lovely...I especially liked seeing how you did
that woven circle....neat!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!!!

Jessica said...

Happy anniversary!
I hope you have a great time in NZ too!

Julia said...

Happy anniversary Janet!
You received the best present ever..
Love your blocks..
Happy New year!
Julia ♥

PatchworkRose said...

Hi Janet
Certainly sounds like you had just such a wonderful Christmas. What a great Christmas present. Thankyou for the explanation of the tricky part in the MM Quilt. You made it seem so simple. I adore colour penceils too and have quite a collection. The set that is calling to me is the Derwent inktense range.
Enjoy NZ and your family :-)
Cheers
Lynne

broderie said...

when i was still quite young i got a 36 pencil set of derwents for christmas that father christmas brought, i guess in those days he just could not afford to bring me the wonderful folding boxed set of 72 that i had always hoped for. having told this story many times as an adult, some friends spoilt me and gave me a set in the tin, just like yours, i love them so much, i don't like spoiling the 'new look' and have hardly used them. i still love colouring and got a great new book for christmas which i will post about. have a wonderful trip to see your family and your applique is fantastic.

pamina said...

I'm in awe, your blocks look so beautiful ! Happy that you had a wonderful Christmas.....

Maree: said...

Glad you had a Lovely Xmas..Your Applique looks Fab.!
cheers

123 123 said...
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Vicki said...

What beautiful applique! See why I didn't want to show my clunky elephant block? Happy New Year!!!

Stephanie said...

The gift of family...the most precious gift of all. Gorgeous applique. Happy New Year and enjoy your family.

Fiesta said...

Janet have a fabulous trip. Happy New Year

Quilt Hollow said...

Wishing you many stitches for your New Year! I'm so happy for you..sounds lovely!!

ginaquilts said...

Your Mary Mannakee quilt is shaping up beautifully! WOW!

paula, the quilter said...

This quilt is turning out to be gorgeous!

Linda said...

Happy belated anniversary. Sounds like you had a wonderful evening out together, and what a keeper MrQ is, a trip back to NZ. My family left NZ many years ago, but I'd love to take dh there to see one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.

ranette said...

What a wonderful present from your hubby....he's a keeper!

The MM blocks are so beautiful and quite a treat to have one more done I'll bet...lol

Happy New Year Janet!

Crispy said...

Wow great solution for the lattice circle!! I will be "borrowing" this idea at some point LOL. Your blocks are soooo beautiful!! How exciting to have such a great trip to look forward to....absolutely priceless :0)

Oh, and happy anniversary!!

Crispy

Dixie said...

Your MM blocks are gorgeous all together - more than enough for me to come back and stare at several more times until you post again after the new year. What a wonderful present to look forward to in January - so happy you get to see your children. Happy new year, Janet. So happy to discover your blog - I enjoy it so much.

Dixie

Lori said...

Woo-Hoo! 9 blocks and they are fantastic!!!
Congratulations on your anniversary. Happy New Year!

What fun to go to NZ and see the family again!!!

Kaaren said...

I have a difficult time trying to wrap my head around the fact that you're enjoying summer while we woke up to -17C temperatures this morning and a fresh dusting of snow. I guess I could always pretend that it is sand...as long as I stay indoors.

Happy Anniversary to you and Mr. Q. What a wonderful and thoughtful Christmas present.

Now I'm going back to stare at your MM blocks. I'm in awe...as usual!

Happy New Year to you and yours as well, Janet.

alobsiger said...

Your MM blocks are WONDERFUL, Janet!! Every gorgeous detail! It was interesting to hear your approach to the pretty woven bit -- it's fun to figure these things out (most times -- hee hee). Mmmm, you are enjoying some deliciousness by the looks of those photos. I have just threatened to start a new blog called Getting Fat with Pepper (our dog) because we have been enjoying too many holiday treats and not enough exercise. Happy Anniversary and what a wonderful gift your trip will be!!

Darlene said...

A wonderful holiday, indeed. Happy Anniversary to you and Mr Q.

Linda said...

Nothing beats seeing family, and doing so in NZ is even better. Such a beautiful country. North or south island? No matter, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Your applique is gorgeous. Perhaps by continuing to follow your blog I'll become as expert as you!? Ha!

Have fun with stitchery coloring. Derwent pencils are forgiving, which I've found very helpful. Let us see what you do with them!

Happy 2010, friend!

shellysquilts said...

These blocks are fantastic! Well done!
Enjoy your visit. What a great christmas present!
Happy quilting!

Kim D. said...

Your blocks are amazing and beautiful. Thanks for the tip on the lattice work and how you kept it together. Happy Anniversary!! And a Happy New Year!!

Sharon said...

Thanks for sharing the "woven" technique. One day I'd like to do this one, just not this year. What a great present, plane tickets are the best.

Pookie said...

I saw a picture of your gorgeous applique block over at the Minick & Simpson blog and I just had to come over her to say it's stunning! I'm relatively new to quilting and haven't done any applique yet, so it was really inspiring to see your problem-solving process all laid out here for that cool woven part.

Happy New Year!

Quilts And Pieces said...

Hope you had a wonderful xmas! And Happy Anniversary! Your blocks are just beautiful!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Awesome gift - I bet you are anxious to be on your way!
Happy new Year Janet!

Heidi said...

Okay, I finally caved in. I've been admiring your Mary Mannakee blocks but resisted getting the pattern. I have so many other projects that I could be working on. BUT after seeing all 9 blocks, I couldn't resist any longer. I just ordered the pattern from the DAR museum. Hopefully, I'll have it next week.

Happy New Year!

Una said...

Wow - that is a quilt in itself. Just beautiful - so inspirational! It has been such a treat to follow the process. Happy anniversary! Enjoy summer. Warm greetings, Una (in a cold, cold Norway)

Kathie said...

ok your officially ahead of me now with the blocks!
I will have to catch up in the next week or two!
Love the way this block came out and thanks for the tutorial on how to do the woven piece.
Happy Anny! they look like fun pencils to play with
so happy that your getting to go home again and visit with the grandkids and your children.
Kathie

Miriam said...

Goodness, your MM blocks are magnificent!!!
Thank you for the hints on the applique lattice circle.
Congratulations on your wedding anniversary!
What a wonderful Christmas present!!! Have a ball with your family in New Zealand!!
Happy New Year Janet! I hope 2010 brings you lots of joy!

julieQ said...

Just gorgeous blocks...each block is prettier than the next and could stand alone. Together your blocks are marvelous!

Marit said...

Your Mary Mannakee blocks / quilt is gorgeous.
Wish you a very Happy New Year!

; )

Bia, from Brazil said...

Are you real? Is your work real? I just loved everything.
Have a great time with your kids. That´s The way to start a New Year!
Happy 2010!

Beth Karese said...

What an exciting gift! Enjoy! Your latest applique block is gorgeous. The fussy cut base of the right flower is so neat. Thanks for sharing your tips on the woven circle. Sometimes it feels like I'm doing a puzzle when trying to figure the best way to tackle applique blocks.

Lurline said...

All so gorgeous - Mr Q sounds wonderful - and wow! another trip to NZ - Happy Twenty-Ten!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Maggey and Jim said...

How wonderful. Hope your trip is wondeful.. I have been a follower of yours for awhile now and really enjoy your blog. That celtic circle really looks intense. Have a prosperous 2010. I have my own blog now so drop in sometime.
Maggey

Thimbleanna said...

Your applique is so beautiful! I think we share the same anniversary (and I'll bet we've discussed this already LOL!) There are several of us who got married in this week after Christmas -- what were we thinking??? Can't wait to see what you make in 2010 -- Happy New Year!!!

Carrie P. said...

What a fabulous Christmas gift! I know you are counting the days.
Your blocks are just fabulous. Thanks for the tip.
Happy New Year!

Janet said...

Your MM blocks look so wonderful together!! They are incredibly beautiful. Thanks for showing how you put the lattice circle together. I learn so much from your blog! What a great Christmas present.

Rita said...

Your Baltimore Album Quilt is absolutely stunning! Great job!

Barb said...

The MMN blocks looks beautiful!
What a wonderful anniversary gift -
barb

Robin said...

Wow!!! Just look at all those blocks. This is going to be a stunning quilt. What a wonderful array of holiday treats too. :)