Welcome to my blog about my quilting journey! I started quilting in 2006 with a quilt of my own design which started as a cushion cover and ended up as a single bed sized quilt! Now I'm totally hooked....maybe obsessed is a better word for it.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

What I've been Up To - Not Much!

I really thought that when I had a sewing room I would do so much more sewing but really we've been so busy lately that hasn't been the case.

Nevertheless I managed to find some time a week or so ago to start on a couple of Christmas presents. You know how you find some projects that you like but you don't have time when you see it and you keep a copy of it for later on? Well I had a few of those put aside as potential Christmas present projects and I pulled this one out to start with.

Only problem is I don't know where I got it from! I'm sure it was from a book I borrowed from the library and I assumed it had the book name on the top or bottom but it doesn't so I can't give the credit for the pattern.

Its nice to make something small and simple sometimes. It was fun to pull out a pile of 2.5" strips I had and pick out colours. I haven't really decided for sure who will get these but I think one set will go to my niece who has just come back to Adelaide after living in London for six years.

I started with a combination of pink, yellow and orange and found some offcuts from fabric I used on the back of another quilt which were just the right size to cut the background pieces from. It is white chevrons on white.
Then in no time I had my strips together:
and then they were done!
I had enough background fabric to make at least one more set but possibly two. So I came up with another set of fabrics in blues and greens.

In no time at all I had another set of 4 done!
Sorry I just realised I forgot to take a photo of the finished blue ones! Oh well! Now all I need to do is quilt them - and take a photo of them when they're finished of course.

I thought you might like this photo too. Does anyone else get themselves in such a mess as me? I guess usually I would tidy it up as I used to be cutting in the kitchen at our old house. Here I can make a mess if I want to so I do!
I must get in there and tidy it up, we're having a housewarming this weekend!

Before I go, a couple more photos of my garden's developments. These popped up hidden behind some other plants in the garden. Its a shame they're not at the front!
 A one and only flower on these - I think its a canna lily (not sure if that's right!).
 I never knew these palms had flowers. They almost look like a small wattle flower.
We had these at our other house too but they were more hidden away. This one opened up and then closed up again!
I shared a photo of a native iris previously but this is a lemon version of native iris. Its not a great example unfortunately as a bug had chewed its way through the petals before I found it but you get the idea! This photo doesn't show its true colour which is a lovely pale lemony yellow.
Who knows when I'll get back to the sewing room as I foresee some a major distraction over the coming weeks. More on that next time!

Friday, 30 October 2015

A UFO Update

Well despite moving in July and getting my new sewing space all organised I don't seem to have any time for any actual sewing! My UFO for this month was to make something with my string blocks - no wait a minute I think that was last month's UFO.  Never mind, I did at least manage to finish a quilt top with the blocks I started on my recent sewing weekend but that's about it this month.

Not the best shot but due to a mischievous golden retriever

who manages to plant herself on a quilt the minute I put it down to photograph it, I had to put it on our bed to take a snap of it.

This one will be a donation quilt and now I just need to get around to sandwiching and quilting it but somehow I don't like my chances anytime soon as I don't think we've got much free time between now and Christmas. However time will tell. I'm not getting worked up about it, this year has really been all about the move and it was definitely worth it.

I keep finding new things to love about our house. Here are a couple of recent finds.  Firstly even though I knew what this plant would look like when it flowered it still caught me by surprise at how pretty it looks where it is. I should have taken a close up photo but its a native iris and all the buds opened overnight on the same night.
This is another discovery, sitting on the garden bench looking up through the branches of our tree. Just lovely!
On the family line, my younger son had his graduation from his horticultural course.
The ceremony was held at Adelaide Oval. We had been there for an AFL game (sitting right up near the top of the stand in the background - nice and dry in the winter) but it was great to see it from a different viewpoint.  Here's a proud Mum with her baby boy (he just loves it when I call him that!). Not a great photo but it was the best my hubby could manage!

Well that's another month gone, not sure where they're going but they're sure going fast!

Thanks for reading my blog today,

Friday, 9 October 2015

Sewing Weekend Wrap Up

This time two weeks ago I was on a sewing retreat at my usual lovely seaside sewing location. Since that time I've been too busy with my mother in law staying to post about it but she went home yesterday and so its time to get caught up!

The weather was spectacular as you can see!
The retreat this time was with my husband's family and we had a bit of a hiccup as my sister in law ended up bringing one of her grandchildren at the last minute. Not quite the same thing being away with a 6 year old in the group and I don't think it will be happening again as Gaye didn't get much done with her along!

The nice thing about this getaway was that Michelle, my hubby's niece, did all the catering for us as she loves to cook and doesn't often get free rein to make whatever she likes.  She had also finished her teaching degree two days before we left so it was a lovely way to relax after all her hard work! She and her ThermoMix looked after us all weekend with lots of lovely goodies including a delicious butter chicken for tea on Saturday night.
Shortly after our arrival there was a quick trip to the nearest electrical store as Kerrie had left the cord for her machine home!  Even in that short time Michelle had a batch of muffins in the oven before they left, leaving me in charge of making sure they came out in time. Mmmmmm, yum!
I got stuck into some string blocks and would have finished my quilt top but for a lack of pink strings!

Here is where I got up to:
There's nothing like being on a retreat and sewing in your pj's! Here are my two sisters in law and our little visitor who you can see was getting a bit weary by this time after having been at a sports day at her school all day!
The next day was another spectacular day and we all took the opportunity at different times to have a walk along the gorgeous beach, and spent some time watching all the dogs having a ball on the beach, the fishing boats heading out to catch a big one and this ship heading back out to sea.
I was working on some more tea cup blocks (from a Missouri Star tutorial here) which I started making last month on my previous sewing retreat.  They are for quilts for a hospice and I let our helper see if she could find a layout she liked with the ones I had already finished (which let her grandmother get on with what she was doing for a little while at least).
By the time I had finished I had enough for two quilts (although I forgot to take a photo of the second one after I had it all together!).
The curtains served as an impromptu display board! I do have a photo of the second quilt before I joined the blocks together.
I also made some blocks for another cause but after coming home I think I've misread the guidelines about the fabrics. Never mind I'll still send them and hopefully they can make use of them in some way, perhaps on the quilt back! 
Well I think that's a wrap! I love going away sewing but I'm glad to be home for a while now. I've unpacked everything again and got my sewing room back to normal after my mum in law's visit. It was lovely having her to stay and I think she enjoyed the visit too. Apparently our new sofa bed is very comfy so that's good news too! 

Our dog Livvie is a bit sad today as she loved having her country cousin dog visiting, although I think Kip was probably glad for a rest from a super enthusiastic golden retriever who insisted on making him play whether he wanted to or not. They did get along well although they couldn't quite decide who had the rights to this dog bed!
Thanks for reading my blog today!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Sewing Room Lighting Upgrade

Not much sewing got done this week as we had the electrician in and also have my mother-in-law staying with us.  Its her first stay with us since we moved and now we have a nice new sofa bed for her in the sewing room.  Apparently its quite comfy and she's enjoying her stay with us.  We're having a family sewing weekend away next weekend so Mum has her machine with her and I was able to set her up to sew on my cutting table so that will give her something to do on the days when we're at work.

I was happy to see the electrician as his most important job (as far as I was concerned) was to put in some lovely bright LED downlights in the sewing room, so now I'm all set to sew!

Here is the lighting before - just a central light with not so bright globes. They were some sort of energy saving fluoro globe.  I had to turn them on 15 minutes before I went into the room as they took ages to get to full brightness (which wasn't that bright!).
Here is the new and improved lighting (along with newly installed hard wired smoke alarm) and ceiling fan for when I get too hot when I'm quilting.
The photo above is taken with a flash and the one below without one. These are super bright LED downlights. I've also had a dimmer installed for the days when I don't want the lights quite so bright!
My only sewing done this week was to make some more yo-yo's for my hand stitched quilt.  I'm getting there - 57 out of 132 done.  Now I just need to get back to doing some more on putting the quilt together!

To finish I thought I'd share some photos of some of the lovely garden in our new house. We came back after being away for a week in our caravan to find lots of flowers had come out. They are tucked away in the garden everywhere and add a splash of colour amongst the green.

Most of them are this colour:
but there is one which is a much brighter shade of orange.
Its an even nicer colour in real life!

The other reason I haven't got much sewing done is that I've been helping my hubby and his friend Craig to rebuild his aviary. We had a really large aviary and this smaller one at our old place and my husband had to compromise and downsize to just this one. In the end we kept the covered section and rebuilt the front part using all new steel to fit the shape of the garden bed.
Its mostly finished but needs a bit of fine tuning including painting the wire black so you can actually see the birds but I think it fits the space very well. We've designed it so that we can build a second smaller one next to it in the future if necessary, using the small garden shed to the left of this photo for a covered section.
Once its been painted and we get it planted out with some grasses and a shrub or two I think it will look really nice (nicer than the old one at the other house in any case!).  Brian's just itching to get his birds back from his friend Tony who's been babysitting them for the last 2 1/2 months. I'll be glad too because then he'll be busy with them and I can get more quilting done!  A big thanks to Craig for all his work building it and Tony for looking after the birds for us for so long - you're both lovely guys.

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

September UFO Project - Scrappy String Blocks

I started making string blocks out of my scraps a while ago and that is my UFO project for September. Up until now I've been making my blocks all in the one colour but I decided to make a small lap quilt to donate to a local hospice and wanted to experiment with specific colour placement.

These are the blocks I started with and I do love the colourful random look but I wanted to try something different.

This is the centre round I started with:

Now I've added another round, can you see where I'm going with it?

I didn't think about losing the points on my black diamonds though. Never mind, I'm sure I'll work something out!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

The Unveiling of My New Sewing Room!

With the delivery of a new sofa bed this week my sewing room is finally complete - other than an upgrade to the lighting which happens in two weeks.

My sewing room is in what was the lounge in our new house but as we have a really large family room we don't need a formal lounge as well. My room will also have to serve as a spare room when my mother in law comes to visit, hence the sofa bed!  That's fine with me though as we get along really well!

So as a reminder, this was my old sewing space:

Anyway here are some happy snaps of my new favourite room!
This is the sewing side of the room, with a pressing board on top of the drawers and my rulers stored neatly hanging on the end of the shelf units.  The drawers were in my son's room until we got our built ins put in this week. They are a great height for when you're standing up so sometimes I use them as a pressing station and at others to use my laptop standing up to give my backside a break! I have a small design board up on the wall but really need a larger one down the track.
This is the cutting station on the other side of my sewing machine. I've had this old desk for years and even though it was really too large for our old place I kept it as I have always thought it would make a perfect place for cutting fabric. It has a handy cupboard on the side too.
Looking the other way you can see the lovely old chest of drawers which came from my hubby's grandmother's house and the double doors which close the room off from the hallway for when my mum in law comes to stay. You can also see the quilt inspector with the glowing eyes keeping an eye on me!
A close up of the chest of drawers. I've covered the top as it has a large, deep scorch/burn mark on top but it serves the purpose of hiding all my UFO's!
Our new sofa bed, with matching cushions (which I didn't know we were getting as part of the deal). We picked this one in particular as its made in Australia and has a great quality mattress - only down side was the name of it: 'Collingwood'! Aussies will know what I mean but Collingwood is the name of a much despised football team here in our AFL competition! Anyway hopefully Mum will be comfy when she comes to visit.

There are a couple of special items in my room too.
This is a cushion made from a tapestry made by my hubby's Aunty Joan (now aged in her 90's). She's a lovely person and we spent many happy fishing trips with her at Goolwa where she is now in a nursing home and not in the best of health.

This old tin might not look much but I think of my Mum everytime I see it! My Mum passed away nearly 24 years ago and this tin contains some old projects of hers which she never finished including some tatting and crochet motifs for a doily.  I don't crochet or do tatting so I have left them as they are for now.  I might have to applique them into a project down the track. There's also an envelope addressed to her twin brother during the war (and never sent obviously). It has her writing on it and contains old patterns of embroideries I assume she must have made at some stage.

I also have a tapestry she made which isn't quite finished but I need to match cottons to that before I can finish it.  Anyway this way my Mum is here with me when I'm sewing!

To finish here are some of my favourite places in our new house.

I do love our lovely leadlight front door!  Even looks pretty on a grey, rainy day!
Well there you have it! I can't tell you how happy my new room makes me, I just love being able to pop in and out and just pick up where I left off whenever I feel like it instead of having to pack everything up each day. Mind you the whole house makes me pretty happy too. Best decision we ever made!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog today,