Monday, November 30, 2009

You know me too well

You guessed right, I was going to wait until the new year but I had no self control. This is just a small start on the Stars and Sprigs quilt. I had a plain off white fabric already in the cupboard for the applique but not enough for the whole quilt.

The local  quilt shop had this fabric with a pale lavendar spot on a neutral background so I thought that might be nice for the stars.

Now where was I? Oh yes, puppy dogs, stitcheries and a vine to applique, back to it.

I've removed the need for the word verification when leaving a comment, I'll see how it goes. I can always put it back if I get spam.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Taking stock for the week.

I've had some lovely mail this week. This book is one that Kathie recomended and I'm so glad I got it. It's quite big and has some fabulous quilts in it. I've looked at all the photos and will enjoy reading it this Christmas holidays.

The lovely Mrs Schmenkman sent me some of her favourite chocolate wrapped in some of the newest Kaffes. I hope Lindt will keep making it and then they may bring it to Australia. I have to say it's good, really good. I might have to take some salt with my chocolate now. Thank you Amy for the taste sensation, and I love the Kaffes!

I've had one of those weeks where I thought I hadn't got much done and so I thought maybe I had better get on and make a couple of softies I had planned for the grandkids. Here's where I'm at so far. I was sitting in my chair last night with a giant bag of stuffing and my chopsticks and other high tech stuffing tools when I had a revelation. I actually don't like stuffing things, It's not my forte and I often get wrinkles and lumpy bits, I'm so intense when I'm doing it that my hands get sore.

These strange looking things are going to end up looking like a sausage dog and her four puppies. I hope.
The downside of living in a different country from the grandkids is that everything I post has to be a reasonable size and weight. This mother of a dog is a bit large. I took the pressure off myself and decided I'm going to buy their gifts this year and take the softies in my bag on my next trip.

So onto the next thing. I have that quilters ADD remember?  I have been trying to have some quality time with my Susan McCord quilt for ages.

Finally some leaves are prepped. Has anybody had trouble with the freezer paper lifting off the fabric? I think it could be the humidity.

Some of them are so tiny, if I sneezed, I think I might inhale one. I'm just doing the prep for  two branches on the panel, yeah and that's #52 leaf. I counted, there are 250 leaves on this panel to do. One branch at a time is my mantra.

This week I actually did manage some small progress. One redwork stitchery.A few Basket blocks.

One Joseph's Coat.

And a Cockatoo on the back lawn. No partidges in a pear tree here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some show and tell

I've been on the look out for some fabric to make a covered box for a gift from the Blackbird Design tutorial that they posted in October. I've had trouble locating the boxes because there's been a shortage, is everyone making these?
Finally I found some and also bought this nice toile which I thought would be good.
And then I bought this fabric in two colourways that I saw on Lurline's blog. I thought the taupe coloured one could be good too, a bit oldy worldy looking. It's Vintage Newspapers by Lecien.
Glue and I don't have a wonderful time together but I have to say, this was easier than I thought it was going to be, although I did manage to destroy the sponge brush in the process. What can I say, it was the enthusiasm.
Thanks to a lovely friend who provided the cross stitch sampler copies, this looks the part.
I really I think I have to make some more. I'll use matt Mod Podge on the paper inside to make it a bit more durable.
Thanks to a couple of bloggers, I was able to make contact with Kim McLean about the quilt I was interested in making. I know you wanted to see it right? Were you dying of curiosity? Well Kim sent me some photos and gave her very kind permission to show it on my humble blog so here it is...........


photo courtesy of Kim McLean

Is it not gorgeous, wonderful and amazing? It's called Stars and Sprigs. I'm so excited, you have no idea how much I love Kim's work and I've loved this quilt since I saw it a couple of years ago.
Best of all, I have Kim's very gracious permission to make it. Yes just for ME, I'm going to make it, is it not gorgeous wonderful and amazing? Oh did I say that already? Sorry but I'm a bit overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness at being able to make it. The main body of the quilt was inspired by an antique spread from 1810 pictured in an old Quilt Engagement Calendar by Cyril Nelson.
Thank you Kim, you are the best.

In conclusion, we have all educated ourselves a bit more over the whole copyright issue and I thank you all for your input and just want to urge you to check things out first, you may have a happy outcome like I did. If you don't, be gracious and accept it. The information is out there.

Back to gift making, oh the pressure of it, not good.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gosh, darn, geez, sigh.

Gratuitous shot of a UFO block just because I need a smile. The bugs are blind, they need eyeballs.  Really it should say that other word that starts with the same first three letters and ends with GER!

Ok so I had some great response from my question and I really appreciated it very much. Thank you to all who took the time to leave a comment. You can always go back on the last post and read some interesting thoughts, particularly from designers and quilt artists, Laurie from Minnick and Simpson and respected Australian quilter, Jenny Bowker.

I have done some digging around for information and the result is that we need to educate ourselves about copyright issues since ignorance is not a defense. You may or may not agree but it is a legal issue and if we want these talented people to keep supplying us with patterns, books and classes, we need to respect them and do our very best to adhere to the rules.

Soooo.... we cannot copy a quilt without permission, no ifs and buts. Copying and making a quilt and acknowledging the source is not sufficient, you must get permission. This does not include quilts or patterns that are in the public domain such as antiques.

I can't show you the quilt sorry and I know that many of you were curious as to the pattern and designer.
All I can tell you is that the designer is Kim McLean so if you read this Kim, could you email me please. Otherwise, I will let it go now, sob, snif.

I do love to draft my own patterns and I love to draw the applique ones out. I get a lot of satisfaction from having a go. I'm no artist I should add and I only have to please myself so I like to have a go.
The drawing above is a portion of the ones I did for my Double Wedding Ring quilt.

The above two are blocks I've drawn from antique quilts.

Lastly, I have done another panel drawing for the Susan McCord quilt.

I've even basted on the stems and branches. The blue dots are my placement guides for the leaves when They are ready to go on. I just need to get myself organised and get on with it now. I hope it's going to be a more productive week since the heatwave sucks the life force out of me and I don't get much done.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I've been escaping down stairs into the sewing room to escape the heat, It's a lot cooler down there. Good excuse to get some sewing done I say.
So here's my progress so far on the 16 patch quilt which is only sewn together in eight patches so far.
I think I'll have to call this one Autumn Illusion. I will probably go an extra half row on the side which will make it about 74" x 80" I'm liking it a lot.

Our dollar is doing very well at the moment so it was a good excuse to keep the stock up on the Westminster fabrics. I'm quite sad that some of my older ones have run out. These are going to be useful for the Joseph's Coat quilt along. More on that next time.

The only other thing I've done in the last week is this little Heather Bailey pincushion. Very cute but it's an  impractical shape for me so this may end up as a gift for a little girl . In fact I may even have to do two, I'll see because I have a few things to get going on in the gift department.

We are going to have very high temperatures this week so I'm going to try to avoid going outside if I can, bushfire season has started. A good excuse to stay in and sew.

I nearly forgot, Lena is having a giveaway so If you haven't entered already click here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another new project

I finished one block in the Joseph's Coat quilt along, hooray! You can read all about the quilt along at Don't look now. There is also a flickr group set up where you can view the progress and colour schemes of the participants.

My DD at Sew Stitched Up is also taking part and She's just posted about her colour scheme.
I confess, I did a practice block first that got ditched. Yes, totally failed on the precise test first time round. I'm never one to give up so back to square one to fix the gremlins and now I think I have it sorted, no room for errors in this block. It has to fit together like a jigsaw.

I'm now happily sewing block two. This is how they'll fit together but they are separate blocks for now. I just took this photo so you can see how they'll end up looking.

After all the complex, time consuming projects I've been working on this year, I felt like doing something that would be a quick quilt. Here's a sneak peek. Oh wait, do I hear you say that's teasing? Ok then, no teasing, I'll tell you what I've been up to today.
Kathie ( Inspired by Antique Quilts) and I had a chat about going back to the simple patterns and using our stashes since that is why we have them.We both admire antique quilts and both love the scrappy repeated blocks. This inspired the following, thanks Kathie!

I cut lots of 2 1/2" strips out of some leftover light cream and cut 2 1/2" strips of stash fabrics. I have to say, I auditioned three different styles and colours first before deciding on these.
I feel like using warm fall colours for a change.
I feel like I want to go back to those basics I was talkng about on my last post.
I feel like something that says simple patchwork and what's better than a 4 patch or a nine patch for that matter.
I feel like something humble but graphic at the same time.
Version #1 has a few different colours. This isn't appealing to me today.

Version #2 has the dark green and the blue removed. I like it better, sometimes less is more. I think I like the blendy look.
Now I'm thinking of taking out the green and doing it in the golden colours and reds. Must have red! I've always wanted a golden or yellow quilt, This could be close enough. Feel free to offer an opinion here. I'll let you know how this one progresses. They aren't pieced yet so I can change things.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A colour scheme

I've mentioned the quilt along that Kellie at Don't Look Now is hosting and have been mulling over which colours to use for the past week.  
I love her colour scheme of reds, pinks, and some oranges a lot, but I wanted to do something a little different to what I've done before and maybe stretch myself a bit. How about these fabrics?

I have what I thought would be a good background to use, this white with pink spots. I lay some pieces on it and recoiled at my bland doesn't do anything for me choice. It just isn't working, the background is too busy and the aquas are too boring for me somehow.
Out came the reds to try on some white background. Wait a minute, I wanted to not go down that road but I have a lot of fabrics in that colour scheme and it does look pretty fabulous. What to do moment here. Shall I go my safe option?

Back to the drawing board, the background definitely had to go so out came some white.  Sorry it looks a little pink in the photo but it is white. Oh that's so much better but mmm, still not sure. It's got something missing.
Hey, I like that bright teal in the upper left corner.

Eureka, light bulb moment here guys! Why don't I follow some well known guidelines? You know the one that suggests using different values? Of course it was that! I had fabrics out that were all of a similar value. I needed to go lighter, darker, brighter and control the amounts to get the look I am after.

Oh that's more like it!  I think I'll go with this, it's looking much better. It pays to remember those early patchwork lessons. Another learning experience, so time well spent.

Ok well that's sorted, just waiting to see what everyone else does now.  I hope you all have some time to stitch or play with fabric too this weekend, have a good one.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Back to the drawing board.

Remember this old thing I was working on? Well it's been calling my name, so out it came from the lucky dip box. I've been distracted with my many other projects but it's time to do another panel I thought to myself. It is of course, my humble version of the famous Susan McCord vine quilt. The original quilt can be pictured here.

I'm drawing each vine out individually because I'm just not clever enough to randomly place stems and leaves to achieve what I want. That Susan sure was the quilting genius she has come to be known as.

Apart from a bit of drawing and hand quilting, I have managed to complete the nine patches in the swap Christine organised and posted those off.

Also, last week I recieved a win on a giveaway, lucky me! Check out the cherry pie pincushion, it's made so beautifully and it's just adorable with it's special pins. Cori from Creativety Amongst Chaos makes all sorts of delicious pie pincushions and now sells the pattern on her website Chitter Chatter Designs for a very reasonable price.

Since my last few posts have been all about things curvey, I dragged out this unfinished quilt to show you what has become one of my (not so secret now)  ufo's. The thing is that I now don't like the fabrics in it, its been so long in the finishing that my tastes have completely changed. I bought every yellow and purple fabric that was on sale that I could, and put what I thought was the right border on it. Now I think the leafy dark border is one of my yucky, ugly, eeeww, what was I thinking fabric choices.

I quite like the middle part and I like the big stitch quilting on it so maybe, and I say just maybe, I will remove the borders which aren't quilted down yet and turn it into a finished smaller quilt. This one is a monster. Maybe it can go back into the cupboard too.