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.

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,

Monday, 24 August 2015

I'm Back - from a quilt retreat!

Hold on, I better blow the dust off my poor blog, its been so long!

I will do a bit of a review of my new sewing room and house but its only halfway there while we wait for our wardrobes to be installed and I can get my fabric storage cupboards back. They're currently being used for storing some of our clothes.

In the meantime I went away on the weekend for our six monthly sewing getaway by the beach at Wallaroo.  Unfortunately two days before my friend Kerry slipped in the bathroom, did the splits and pulled her hammy. Poor love, she had to pull out of the getaway so I had to go on my own. We missed her terribly but I have to say I did take over her space without feeling too guilty!  I entertained myself on the drive over by putting on my favourite CDs and singing at the top of my voice (which was a bit on the husky side by that evening!)

I loaded all my stuff for the weekend into the car (it even all fit in the boot - clearly Kerry brings too much stuff as we normally fill her car to the brim!..... Okay, my car is bigger than hers!)

We were blessed with beautiful weather even though the day started with rain in Adelaide.

We got settled in and I got cracking quilting my quilt that I put together the last time we were over there in March. I haven't done any sewing since then as we've moved house so I felt a bit rusty!  This is a quilt I made with blocks I got as part of a swap in Quilt Block Swaps Australia. I decided to donate it to Mary Potter Hospice who have started a program to give each new patient their own lap quilt.
While I was quilting Gaye, who suffers from a back injury, took some time out on the couch to recover from the car trip over. Terrible location isn't it?!
I forgot to take photos of what everyone was up to this time, I was too busy getting on with things! Pauline was doing some embroidered towels, Kerrie (not the one who injured herself) was making bags, Sue (another one) was making quilt blocks, Gaye was making dolls clothes and Doreen was making quilt blocks and also doing some lacemaking.

I finished my quilt, binding and all (minus pulling the threads through).
I quilted it with a loose zig zag as they've asked that the quilts stay soft. On the back I decided to use up some of the charm squares I had cut from my scraps over the last couple of years.

Oops, nearly forgot this one!  I also made this which I'm going to turn into a cushion.  This was made from leftovers from my Rainbow Lattice quilt (see tutorial here).  I might even have enough to make a second one!

My next job, which was long overdue, was to make a thread catcher using laminated fabric. I love it and the laminated fabric means the threads slide out easily when you empty it.  I've got leftover fabric so I'm going to make one for the car as well. I just need to work out what I can hang it off.
I rewarded myself with a walk on the beach. A beautiful end to a beautiful Saturday.
I've been working on these blocks for a while and put together another three on Saturday evening. I've still got another 8 blocks cut out to put together but I might need to make it a bit bigger as I'd like to use it in the caravan and I don't think it will be quite big enough. I really wish I had chosen a larger size as these are 12.5" square and they take quite a while to put together.
Here are all the blocks laid out together, don't they look great?!
On Sunday morning I used a layer cake I won a while back to make these teacup blocks. Now don't ask me why they are called teacups but that's what they are called by Missouri Star Quilt Company. This is a link to their tutorial. They are easy to make and work well with large designs. 
I really wasn't all that keen on this layer cake when I got it but its growing on me now. There are still some more greys to add into the mix yet as well. I might make these into a couple of donation quilts as well as I have two of these layer cakes to use up.

Well that was my sewing weekend at Wallaroo. The best bit? I get to do it all over again in a month as we're doing a family sewing weekend at the same place in September. Even better, instead of each of us contributing a meal my niece volunteered to do all the catering as she loves to cook. I'm happy as I'm not a big fan of cooking and that means more time to sew - yay!

One final photo. I just love the look on my dog's face in this one. I'm not sure if she can't believe how much I'm taking or she's sad because she's worked out I'm leaving her for a few days!

Well that's a wrap! Hopefully by next week I can share some photos of our new home and sewing room. See you then!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Finally, Some News on the Moving Front

Hi, remember me? I've been missing in action for what seems to me like a lifetime but in reality is more like months! In that time we decided to sell our house which was doing a great job of cracking up.  After weeks and weeks of going through every room and thinning out 29 years of accumulated possessions we were just about to sign with an agent when our neighbour over the road approached us about buying our house. He has previously demolished, subdivided, built two homes and sold one on the block across the road and was keen to buy ours to do the same again in the future, although this time he and his brother are going to do it together.  We came to a very favourable agreement and like magic our house was sold - and no open inspections or agent fees! Like winning the lottery.

Then comes the fun bit, finding the right house. After missing out on one wonderful house with a separate 'she cave', we found the perfect house for us.  After holding our breath all weekend after putting in our offer we found out this week that it was ours. (Insert happy dance here!)

Here it is:

The best bit? Finally I will be sewing in the hallway no more! As this house has a lounge room and a huge family room, the lounge room is mine, all mine!  So this room will be my sewing room (picture it with a sewing machine and fabric instead of all that unnecessary furniture!):
Then of course I might want to take a break now and again and relax outside on the deck:

(My apologies to Harcourts for stealing their photos but I couldn't wait to share my news).

If it wasn't for all the packing coming up I'd be even more excited! My poor machine hasn't been used in so long it will have seized up but soon its time will come and it will be looking for a rest once my sewing space is set up.  I'll be sure to share photos down the track when it is.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Changes Afoot at My House

Well March just disappeared on me and I didn't manage to finish my UFO for that month.

I did however get quite a bit done and will try and finish it if I can but a couple of things have been taking up my time.  One of these things is that after lots of soul searching and some sleepless nights for me, we have decided we need to sell our house and buy another one.

The reason?

Our house of 29 years is cracking up (which it has done before but not to this extent) and after an engineer's report which gave us three options to consider we decided we don't have the energy or the finances to throw any more money at this house.  So we've decided to put the place on the market and let someone else bulldoze it and sub-divide the block and rebuild, while we look for something in our budget with what we need from a house in a location that will work for us for hopefully many years to come.

Given that we have two adult children still at home for a few more years yet while they save their house deposits we need to accommodate four adults, one golden retriever, four cars and a camper trailer along with a large number of finches in three aviaries. The other most important proviso is that there must be some sort of room for my sewing and I'm pretty flexible about what form that might take but there must be one.  I'm currently sewing in the hallway and I think its time I had my own space.  The house needs to be near good public transport into the city and in a location where the other three can head in three different directions for work. Piece of cake, right?!

So given we have 29 years of crap, I mean possessions that need to be gone through and hopefully drastically reduced I've been a touch busy. Our Easter weekend has involved going through each room and every cupboard and reviewing what we really need and donating or dumping the rest.

Then we'll be starting to pack up stuff we don't need for a while to declutter the house and clean it up so it looks better in the photos.  Our area at the moment is going crazy with redeveloping and subdividing blocks, including the block directly across the road. One of the new homes is up for sale at a remarkable amount so I hope it sells before we hit the market so buyers can see what they can make from ours and give us a reasonable price.

I love the location of this house (although the house itself and I have a love/hate relationship) and if I could I'd bulldoze it and build again in the same location but without a X-Lotto win that's not going to happen so move we must.

What that all means is probably very little sewing for me until we re-settle which I'm not looking forward to - the lack of sewing, not the re-settling! I'm already having withdrawal symptoms and I haven't even packed a thing from my sewing. So bear with me and I'll hopefully be able to sneak a bit of sewing in now and again until things really get happening and if you know someone looking for a great investment block in Adelaide send them my way!