Thursday, December 31, 2009

The last day of 2009

This is going to be a long post!!! Its been a while!

I have been busy with some sewing over the last few weeks, both hand and machine sewing.
All the pinwheel blocks are together and have been made into a table runner. While doing the machine quilting I have found I am slowly improving. :)

Below is a small quilt that is being made for a gift. While I am building confidence with my machine piecing I am sticking to simple designs. This one still has to be basted and quilted.

I have also made a couple of covered journals. The one below has fabric I have had for quite a while, but I wasn't sure what to use it for. My sister does a lot of mosaic work, so I though this fabric would suit her.

I finished another journal cover which has already been sent. It had stitchery on the front and the design was one by Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry Stitches. Ever since I first saw her cute little birds I wanted to stitch one of her designs. You can see a photo of it here. Just scroll down a bit.

I have 2 more small quilts planned. One will use some fat eighths I have and the other I will probably have to buy one fabric for.

I received some lovely gifts from family and friends for Christmas!!

Below is a pin cushion and thread catcher made by Judi. It now lives by my sewing machine.

The Christmas ornament Judi included in her parcel is too beautiful to put away!!!

Thank you sooo much Judi!!!

Next was another parcel of goodies from overseas. Some of those choccies are already gone! :)

In the same parcel was lots of fabric and a tiny pair of Dovo scissors!!! The scissors are beautiful to use and just the right size for my fingers.

Thank you very much Ranette!!!

The book below is from my daughter. She knows how much I love to sew! :)

Santa was also very generous and left me the camera I used to take these photos with. I can now take much clearer shots and get some good close ups.

I have continued to work on the Waterloo quilt. All the small baskets have been finished now.

Some of the fabric for the border around the baskets is at the bottom of the photo above.

The AQ is coming along slowly. I sewed some more set in triangles last night. After reading Crispy's post about trying different needles for quilting, I decided to try different needles for piecing.

The Jeanna Kimball Sharps are great to use. They are a thin needle with a nice feel through the fabric. The Roxanne applique needles have a slightly larger eye (great for threading when your eyes are not as great as they used to be! lol) and they glide beautifully through the fabric.

The Piecemakers have the smallest eye of those I tried, but they also felt lovely through the fabric. I tried 2 types of Bohin needles. The applique needles were not smooth through the fabric. I used the smallest of the sharps and it was quite good.
The last needle I used was the very first needle I used when I went to my first hand piecing class. It was the clover gold eye applique needle. I still love to use these needles, but I have found I prefer a shorter needle these days.

I sent my SSCS parcel to Tracey B in USA. You can see what I sent her in this post. It is the second last photo. My SSCS parcel is taking the scenic route. Hopefully it will arrive next week. It means my Christmas is lasting a few more days! :)

Lastly I would like to wish all my readers a very happy and safe New Year!! Thank you to everyone who has left a comment, helped and encouraged me and fed my soul with so much inspiration! You all made me feel so welcome in the world of blogging! I have been lucky enough to make some wonderful new friends.

Here's to an even better year in 2010!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas.

Above are just a few of my collection of Christmas angels. Most are gifts from family and friends.

Despite the very hot day we had yesterday (40.5 C.......105F) many of my roses still look fine. I found enough to bring inside and fill a vase.

My Christmas cake is made and decorated. The Santa etc belonged to my mother and were on our Christmas cake every year while we were growing up. The ribbon is from my new blogging friend Simona!

To all my new blogging friends from all over the world thank you for your inspiration, encouragement, and most of all your friendship!

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Woo Hoo!!!!

I spent the afternoon sewing pinwheel blocks.......on my sewing machine.

I usually sew everything by hand, but I want to get some things finished quickly, so I decided to sew these blocks by machine.

Well.....................the first block was a disaster!!! It is so out of shape after being unpicked about 10 times the only place for it is in the bin! I could not get my centre points to line up. Very frustrating!! After trying a combination of hand and machine stitching I finally figured what I was doing wrong. Goodness, hand sewing has such a different result to machining! Just a couple of threads one way or the other and you have perfection......or a mess!!!!

The second block (above) worked the first time! Yay!!!!

Below is the third block.

I have it figured out now!!

I did a little fabric shopping late last week and found some fabric I had never seen before. This is Liberty wool!!! It is very fine and drapes beautifully. After Christmas I will be making a skirt from it. I also found plain Liberty cotton, something I have never seen before here. Unfortunately they only had one colour, and only one metre left on the roll. It came home with me! :)

Here is our sewing buddy. Isn't she gorgeous!!


Its hard work watching all the sewing!

The pineapple doily under the vase was made by my Great Grandmother.

I was out in the car early this morning and I was pleased to see a few cars with their headlights on.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Most of my sewing for the last week has just been a continuation of everything I am already working on. Nothing new to see for the moment. All those projects have been put away temporarily so I can concentrate on some sewing for Christmas. I plan to make lots of little Christmas projects over the next couple of weeks.

The next message is a reminder to be careful out on the roads.

It is not a pleasant subject, but road safety is something every driver needs to be reminded about occasionally.

Turn on your headlights on December 10 and shine a light on road trauma.

This is a current campaign run by a government agency here in Victoria, Australia.

Turning on your headlights on December 10 will commemorate those who have died on our roads and show your commitment to keeping the roads safe.

A link to the site is here.

Most of my readers don't live in my state, but I feel it is a timely reminder to everyone to be careful on the roads, particularly at this time of year when there are more people out in their cars.

Be careful out there everyone!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Its December, and Summer.....

I have kept working on the Waterloo quilt and have finished 4 more basket blocks.

I have 3 more prepared and ready to applique. I am finding it is easier to do the English Paper Piecing during the day because my eyesight isn't what it used to be!!

This is the centre block of the Waterloo quilt. Not all of the circles are appliqued down yet, but you get the idea!!

There has been a little progress on the Antique Quilt. The instructions for the next round came out today, so I will be trying to finish off the current round quickly. Lots and lots of flying geese next!

My postman delivered lots of goodies yesterday!!!

Firstly, I won a giveaway that Nancy of Blogging, Near Philadelphia ran recently. Her prize was a covered journal. Nancy kindly offered me a choice of fabrics and I picked William Nancy's choice of colour. Here is what she made me!! Isn't it wonderful!!!!! :)

I just love all William Morris fabrics and I have a small collection of my own. The fabrics Nancy chose are all different to any I have. Thank you for picking me, Nancy and thank you for such a delightful gift. Handmade gifts are always precious!!!

There was another much anticipated parcel in the post yesterday.

Lots and lots of delicious fabric!!!!!

Fat quarters of Kaffe Fassett fabric. Now I can start my Jacobs Coat quilt. I have one small decision to I go with the mainly red fabrics on the left, or the blue/green fabrics on the right?????

Also in the package were some Rouenneries yardage. I chose the solid red and the stripe to make bags for summer. The floral is my absolute favourite fabric in the whole collection!!!

After experiencing the hottest November since records began 154 years ago, I am hoping for a cool summer this year. Our November also brought the heaviest monthly rainfall for almost 5 years. I'm not sure if these weather phenomena are evidence of global warming, or just normal variation.

Christmas preparations have begun today. My Christmas cake is in the oven.

Below are some photos from the garden. Most of my roses have finished their first lots of flowering, however Red Velvet seems to always have at least one bloom.

The fuschias are covered in flowers.

I am not sure what this plant is called, but I love the blue flowers.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Quick Christmas FQ Swap Gift!!!

Wow!!! I have been very spoiled again!!! I received a lovely package in the mail from Simona who lives in Croatia! The ribbon is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the little buttons, especially the sparkly ones! There are Christmas stickers, gift cards and a calender. The months on the calender are written in French and my husband has claimed that gift for himself!! He grew up speaking French so he loves that calender!

Below is a better photo of the fat quarters Simona sent. Don't you just love those cute bears!!! :)

Just look at those beautiful stamps on the envelope too!!!

Simona was my very first visitor from Croatia. It is amazing how blogging can bring together friends from so many different parts of the world. I am very happy I started blogging because it has given me a chance to make friends with lots of wonderfully friendly and inspiring people from places I would never get to visit. Go on over to Simona's blog, she has some beautiful quilting to see. :)

Thank you very much to Vicki for organising the swap.

My SSCS gift was put in the post on Friday. I hope the recipient enjoys using it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate Thanksgiving! :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

A little progress

Not much sewing has been happening here over the last couple of weeks. Above are 2 more basket blocks for the Waterloo quilt. The baskets are sewn together using English Paper Piecing, then appliqued down. I am using Superior Bottom Line thread for the EPP and applique. The embroidery on each handle is done with floss from Weeks Dye Works. The threads are hand dyed and there is quite a bit of variation in colour in each skein.

These pieces are for the next round of the AQ. They are much faster to sew together than the Le Moyne stars!

I have found a lovely blog by a lady who lives in Holland. She has recently started posting in English as well as Dutch. Danielle has beautiful work!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I am very lucky and spoiled!!

I wasn't expecting anything in the mail, so I was very surprised when I found this waiting for me when I got home.

Inside was a beautiful Kath Kidston card.....with red roses on it. :)

I love everything Kath Kidston!!!!!......................and also inside was..........

All this delicious fabric!!!!

Yes, its the bird toiles from the Rouenneries line by the French General for Moda.

The fabric is a cotton / linen blend and its lovely and soft and the prints are gorgeous. I have been fondling and drooling all day!!!

Thank you Ranette!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

First Basket

Today I did a class with Sue Daley (of Patchwork with Busy Fingers) for her Waterloo quilt.

We had a great day and I learned a lot.

I am using the same Rouenneries fabrics that Sue used, except I am using the linen as my background fabric.

The first basket block is finished! :)

More Graham Thomas roses. The red rose is Red Velvet.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A New Pattern

I saw this quilt hanging in the shop where I learnt quilting in late 2005. I admired the quilt every time I saw it and thought, one day, when my skills are good enough I want to make that quilt. Not too long after that the shop closed. I thought I had lost my chance to make that wonderful quilt.

Imagine my delight when, just recently, I found out the pattern had been re-released! It arrived in the mail yesterday. Hommage to Sallie Ann is another design by Di Ford and the pattern is available from Threadbear in Castlemaine, Vic.

I can't wait to make a start on it, but I have quite a few other projects I am working on at the moment and I really need to finish something before starting another new quilt!

I have made a start on the next round of the Antique Quilt and my SSCS goodies are almost finished.

This is my favourite yellow rose. Its a David Austin rose called Graham Thomas. The bush has lots of buds at the moment, so I will have roses for a while.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Goodbye Maggie. :(

We are all very upset and sad here. Our beautiful family cat of over 16 1/2 years passed away last night. Maggie was a wonderful cat as our children grew up. We also had Maggie's mum and this is the end of the line.
My daughter chose Maggie from the kittens we had, but Maggie chose my eldest son as her "carer".
I hope Maggie and my son have found each other in Heaven.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Slow and Steady progress.....

The first 3 rows of the Morrell Quilt are together.....

I have finished 3 or 4 more blocks as well as the centre medallion, so the next section won't take as long to finish.

The last section is another 24 blocks.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Its finished!!

Here is the laptop bag all finished.

I took the bag outside to photograph the inside. It is a wonderful, sunny day here and there are lots of flowers out. It took longer than I anticipated to finish the bag because of the binding on all the inside seams. One side is machined, but I handstitched the second side down.

The pattern I used is Simplicity 3889. There are 2 style of bag and a slip cover pattern included.
My husband would like me to make him one now.....just not in bright pink!!!

With a deal of trepidation, I recently made my first ever purchase on the Internet. Of course it was fabric!! Look what arrived in the mail...............

It only took 10 days to travel from America to Australia and I was much relieved when it arrived safely!
Theses Rouenneries fabrics are going to be used in a class I am taking with Sue Daley next month. We will be making Sue's Waterloo quilt. I can't wait!!

I am still very much supporting our local quilt shops with my fabric purchases. I loved the pink polished cotton so much I went back to get some more. I discovered a couple more colourways and another spotted design as well.

I have found a new project where some of these fabrics will be used. This morning I signed up for this! Kellie's Quilt Along looks like lots of fun. I always love learning new techniques too!

On Friday I met my sister in the city. She came from the countryside for a day of chatting, window shopping and looking at architecture. We tried the new Lindt chocolate cafe......yum!!!, did lots of walking...........and talking, taking photographs and a little shopping.

Below is one corner of St Paul's Cathedral.

The last 2 photographs were taken in Royal Arcade. (Another chocolate cafe there on the left!!! time maybe!!) The clock on the right strikes every hour and is guarded by Gog and Magog, 2 mythical giants.