Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hug your loved ones.

Bradley Lawrence Colin Harnett
26.7.80 - 26.5.11

My dear friends, your thoughts, prayers and good wishes would be much appreciated. Today we lost my beloved DH David's second son. He was only 30 years old and took his own life. He is survived by his partner and his dear 2 year old son.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oldies and goodies

I've been looking for something quick, colourful and fun to do, really I'm hankering for a new project. I have a few possibilities in mind but I was going through some photos the other day and was reminded of this oldie from a couple of years ago. For some reason, I stopped just short of one block so I got it done last night. It's not fused, I did needle turn applique and buttonhole stitched around the blooms after.
I've yet to finish putting the blocks together and it's going to a good lap size for some young person. Better still, I got to use only what was in the stash, not that it made any sort of dent in it. I think it'll be good with just a scrappy brown binding.
Here's a tiny sneak peek at the doll quilt I'm doing for Christine's swap. I won't show any more than this so it can be a surprise. I still have more quilting to do yet.
We had the most glorious warm weather for the weekend and spent most of it out and about. There's an orchid place near us and I've been meaning to go and have a look. Mr Q bought me the gold and pink one in the middle and another white moth orchid. I picked up some great tips for caring for them and hopefully will be able to keep them alive.
We also went out to pick up some more paper for my quilt drawings and came home with a new camera. It wasn't planned but we have been intending to buy a new one.That's what I call a bonus! It's a big step up from a compact camera, not hard to learn to use it but it doesn't take good macro, might have to rely on the compact or think about a macro lens. I'll need a suitcase to cart the accessories around soon.
I think I'll go have another look to see what other oldies I have buried in the sewing cave, or maybe I'll play with something new. Can you tell the blinkers are slipping off?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's all about the fabric

If you've followed my blog for awhile, you'd know that I don't have a particular type or style of quilt that I couldn't say is uniquely me. That means that I have a stash that has bits of all sorts of fabrics.
It's time I sorted myself out here, I have bins of black and whites, little stacks of designer fabrics, brights, 30's, repros, batiks, Kaffes etc, etc. I've run out of room, eek, that means I might have to stop buying fabric.

I have to show you some of my latest acquisitions though. I thought these would be great for bags or pouches.
Japanese fabrics which have a very unique look to them.
I gravitate towards red and whites and got a pack of small cuts along with the Japanese Giraffes that I had to have 'cause they're too cute.
Random happy ones.
I was excited and thrilled to bits when I won these beauties in a giveaway from Rachael over at Blue Mountain Daisy. They're all Suzuko Koseki fabrics plus one of her books. I've been hankering after some of these fabrics you know.  I love the things that Rachael has on her blog, she makes her mark on everything she does and is very clever with her ideas and puts a lot of thought into her creations.
Another blogger that I love is Kathie from Inspired By Antique Quilts. Kathie was the one that inspired me to start my own blog when I had just barely found out what a blog was. I think it's her fault that I made a little detour into reproduction style quilts and I learnt a lot from her. She and I have kept up the contact and sent each other things from time to time. This is a big stack of 6" squares I received from her last week and are for my little basket blocks. Thanks again Kathie!
I see her as a master of the scrappy quilt, I love them all and they'd be great stash busters. Her latest one would be great in so many different types of fabrics. Go have a look.
On the sewing front, I don't have anything to show, I've been spending a lot of time hand quilting, starting a secret dolly quilt and I finally finished my drawings for the Baltimore borders. I wanted to have the top two corners turning differently and came up with this.
I think it's time I got something organised so I can do a bit more sewing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bloggers quilt festival

This is the first time I've added a quilt to Amy's quilt blogger festival. I love applique and I love red and green quilts so this is a favourite. I made this one for my eldest grandaughter and finished it in 2006. It's  hand appliqued, machine pieced and hand quilted. Unfortunately, it's hard to get a decent photo inside.
It's the first time I tried echo quilting...
or stipple quilting...
or feathers. It's also the first time I'd tried the dogtooth borders and will probably be the last.
The quilt was made in a year long class with Val Moore and we were all encouraged to set our blocks and design borders with our own plan rather than following a set design. 
Amy's Creative Side
Thanks to Amy for hosting the Festival and also to the sponsers who have offered up prizes. Click on the button above to enjoy the rest of the quilts.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day tripping and the blogger blues

I'm just about to tear my hair out. My time on the computer has been severely curtailed. We have some ongoing issues with our server slowing our broadband right down. We tested it the other night and it was running eight times slower than it should. I think I need a new computer too, this one's getting to be a dinosaur and I don't like using the lap top for blogging.

I've been trying to blog for the last couple of days and I get this spinning icon on my blog posting space. I found out it's a glitch and it will be fixed. In the meantime, I did find out that I can post using the old blogger editor. I just had to remember to load my photos on back to front, sigh.
DH and I had such a great outing to Balmain on the other side of Sydney on Saturday especially to visit Calico and Ivy. Sarah ( I hope I spelt that right) was working there and was so friendly and welcoming that it was a joy to hang out in the shop. They have a blog too.

My eyes couldn't miss this beauty that Sarah purchased in Houston last year and she kindly said I could take photos and share them with you. It's thought to be made around 1940
I couldn't tell what the pattern was until it was held up and photographed and then the stars became visible. The two colour quilts, especially the red and white can have so many patterns that catch your eye depending what you focus on. If you know the name of the pattern, could you let me know? It was hand pieced and hand quilted.
There were other delights in the shop too, I loved the red chair with crochet cushion.

Lots of gorgeous wool, Debbie Bliss, Rowan and Noro, my favourites.

DH gets brownie points for spotting Adriano Zumbo's patisserie but I wasn't going to queue down the street for a sweet. Masterchef on television has made Adriano a household name.

Sarah told us how to get to the kitchen where all the baking gets done and there's less queuing. Unfortunately, we got there in the afternoon when stock was low and I didn't get to buy the ultimate chocolate brownie.
This lot was good compensation. I wasn't keen on trying the satay macaron but we did get the sesame seed, licorice, lime (purple) the vanilla and strawberry as well as a couple of citrus tarts

I'll have to show you my loot next time, I'm all out of blogger patience.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where there's a will, there's a way.

I'm playing catch up, that seems to be the norm when I'm in a block of the month programme. The blocks for The Circle Game are all being hand pieced and I was getting a bit behind. I'm definitely not  skilled at hand piecing so these circular blocks are a challenge for me. I had to phone Amitie to see what size these were supposed to finish.  Mine didn't measure quite right, no surprises there and that discrepancy could prove to be my downfall when I set the blocks into the surrounding pieces. This one was a bit distorted.
I thought it would be a good idea to block them so I took a piece of pre-shrunk fabric and drew a 10 1/2" circle on it. I then pinned all the edges of all my blocks to the outside drawn line. The whole thing is on my hard pressing surface. I've done this block before so this is just to show you  again.
I spritzed the block with water, let it soak in a little and pressed with a hot dry iron. I then leave the block to cool. Now my blocks all measure 10 1/2" unfinished, cause I made them, ha, ha.
 I totally chickened out of hand piecing this Joseph's Coat block, I knew it was beyond me and admitted defeat at the beginning. I ended up appliqueing it.
  This one was a walk in the park compared to some of the others.
I can manage klosjes  though and got another 15  to add to the pile.

Talking about a walk in the park, that's just what I did today. After some very wet weather, it was good to get out. There were a huge number of toadstools around but check this out, I think it had the top knocked off it but it was such a great orange colour.
I came across these too, they all looked like some sort of fungi but I don't know what they are. They look like something out of the little shop of horrors and were a vibrant pink. This must be a fresh one.
And this is what the older ones look like. There's strange oozing stuff that comes from the middle that looks like mud. Does anyone know what they are?
Edit: Thanks to Kirie and Polyquats for providing the answers in the comments, mystery solved.