Friday, January 31, 2014

Noah and Matilda blocks

Today I finished the 4th block of Noah and Matilda. Just made it before the end of the month!

Now I'm looking forward to the next 4 blocks. :)

Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Learning to rock, and lots more.

Well, its been a couple of weeks since my last post, so there has been some stitching happening here! :)

Each summer Somerset holds a Summer School with various classes held over about 2 weeks. This year I attended the hand quilting class. I have, unsuccessfully, tried to hand quilt by rocking before. This time, just one little change to my technique and it works!!! I know I need to keep practicing, but I am happy with how my stitches are progressing.

I tried both the Thimblelady thimble and the Roxanne thimble. At the moment I am most comfortable using the Thimblelady thimble.

Here in Melbourne the week before last we had a 4 day heatwave that saw temperatures well over 40 C.  I hid inside and distracted myself with some sewing.

The week before I had been in the city and visited my favourite shop and purchased this pattern.

L'ucello collaborated with French General to produce this sewing accessory pattern using a French General line of fabric that will be released later this year.

I made 2 needlebooks for friends having birthdays.

I used French General fabrics I had on hand. The flowers on the covers are appliqued with hand broderie perse.

The inside is finished with mother of pearl buttons. I did a machine buttonhole stitch around each leaf of the book.

Last week was the annual Fabric Frolic here in Melbourne. I was lucky enough to win a voucher from Ringwood Sewing Centre! :)
This is what I came home with.

The Clover pen was one recommended during the hand quilting class. The Swatch Buddies will mean I won't have a purse full of little scraps of fabric! Lol. Now I will be able to use those clips instead of pins when I am stitching down bindings.  The Japanese fabrics just had to come home also...can't resist half price!

A little bit of hand applique has also been happening.

Block 2 of Noah and Matilda is complete.

Block 4 is underway.

I'm still not sure whether to continue with the print fabric for the 8 outer flowers. I am wondering if a plain red might look better. What do you think??

I have started to prepare block 3. All the templates have been cut, fabrics chosen and cut and an overlay made. Its a doozey!!!!

We are experiencing another heatwave here in Melbourne! Luckily we get a reprieve tomorrow, then its a few more hot days with an even hotter weekend!

I rescued these roses from my garden this morning.

Monday, January 13, 2014

New projects for 2014 and a WIP

The new year always begins with a flurry of new projects appearing in blogland. Lots of them are tempting, however there are never enough hours in the day to do them all!! Lol

I have chosen 2 new quilts, both in BOM format.

The first is the Noah and Matilda Album Quilt from Dawn. Dawn owns the original quilt and, together with her DD, they have drawn up patterns for the quilt. Each month a set of four patterns is available for purchase.
Here is my first block completed.

I chose to piece the flower pot, then applique it down. The blocks finish at 8 inches.

These are the fabrics I have chosen for this quilt.

The solid green, far right, is actually the back of a print, which I may use both ways around. I hope to not have to buy any fabrics to finish this quilt (except for the backing).

The 2nd project appears as a mystery BOM in Quiltmania magazine.  The edition with the first set of instructions arrived here on Friday.

Di Ford's mystery quilt, Mountmellick, began with the centre medallion instructions. There is also a great video of Di making the first block on Quiltmania's Facebook page.

(I am having trouble getting on to Quiltmania's web page at the moment. I will add links later. There is a photo of the first block on Threadbear's below)

Even though I will be getting my BOM fabrics from Threadbear, I had a play with my fabrics here yesterday (all French General) :)

I may not make the block with these fabrics, but it was fun to play.

Another very tempting project is the Benjamin Biggs Quilt. There is a blog for this quilt here. This is another (mostly) red and green album quilt, free to download, but the blocks finish at 16 inches! It will be a huge quilt! My first idea was to maybe shrink the patterns down to make smaller blocks. At the moment I have chosen to print out the patterns while they are available, and keep them for another day.

I'm not ignoring all those WIPs I have here!!! This is my progress so far on my latest Roseville Album block.

Lots of stitching to keep me busy while watching the Australian Open tennis on TV.

With expected temperatures forecast to be around 40  degrees C (104F) for the next 4 days, I will be spending lots of time inside in front of the TV!

If you are in Australia, keep cool, if you are in the Northern Hemishere, keep warm. Stay safe everyone!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

CCCQ Block 17

Last night I finished stitching block 17.

I am very glad a chose a fabric with a tight weave with all those those tiny seam allowances and tight curves.

I tried to get a photo of all my blocks together. They take up quite a bit of space, so I took them outside.

I'm looking forward to another year of these blocks!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Its amazing where you can meet another quilter.

Regular readers of my blog will remember my DH and I visited Laos towards the end of last year. We also spent a few days in Bangkok.

Now, this isn't going to be another ho hum travel post......

While we were browsing in one of the larger department stores in Bangkok, I spied in the distance some sewing machines. I thought, lets head over and see what else I can find....maybe even some quilting fabric!

There was lots of wool and haberdashery, then DH spotted a quilt! We wandered over to admire the quilt and one of the shop assistants approached us. DH can speak some Thai, so they struck up a conversation. He told the lady I made quilts and was interested in all kinds of stitching.
Well, two hours later we were still talking quilts!!! My new friend showed me her samples in the shop (she teaches classes there) and via her tablet, lots of photos of her work at home. I gave her the address of my blog and showed her some of my work.
I speak not a word of Thai and Gulratida speaks not a word of English, but with the help of my DH translating we formed a friendship through a love of sewing!

Gulratida asked if we could come back to see her the next day.

Well, the next day we spent more than an hour chatting about quilts again, and sharing photos of our sewing, with another of the shop assistants also.

We exchanged gifts.

Gulratida gave me this cute little draw string pouch that she made. She also shared some sewing and quilting patterns with me.  Gulratida gave us directions of where we might find some other shops with fabrics and haberdashery.

Off we went in search! Two train rides and lots of walking later we found a market that sold, amongst many other things, some fabric. I bought the elephant fabric, above. (We didn't actually find what we were looking for, but we had fun exploring another part of Bangkok)

Yesterday I got out the patterns and made some blocks.

This block is called Starry Path.

I plan to make a small quilt that will be dedicated to the friendship that quilting can bring. A chance meeting in other country, online conversations via a quilting blog or meeting in a regular stitching group can lead to wonderful friendships growing and the sharing of quilting inspiration.

Thank you Gulratida!!

Thank you all for your inspiration and friendship!!

For me, 2014 will be a year for continuing some of my long term projects and the start of a few new projects. News of some of these in my next few posts.

Happy New Year everyone!! :)

Thinking of everyone contending with weather extremes: whether its 47 plus degrees celcius in New South Wales and Queensland, flooding rains in UK, or well below freezing temperatures in USA.

Lastly, on a very sad note, please spare a thought and prayer for Lisa and her family.