Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

This is the first post I've done using my iPad for photo taking and writing post.  If it works out it'll sure make it a lot easier to post more often.
So Christmas is over but I thought I'd share a few pics of my Xmas decorating.  I was very pleased with my decorating this year, the house looks very Christmassy even though my children are the only ones to see it!
We spent Christmas Day at my parents house, we had a lovely lunch, thanks Mum.x

I'm on holidays at the moment which is nice since the lead up to Christmas was fairly stressful at work.  This year is going to be a big year of change for me, I'll be trying hard to be positive.

After sharing the family home with my estranged husband for 3 years he is moving out in a couple of weeks.  Bit scary but at least I'll have Jack around for a while longer, don't think he's going to leave home for a couple of years.

The positive is I'll have more space for my creative endeavours.  The negative is I need to find another job which means less time to be creative!  I guess it will all work out eventually.

I have 2 weeks to sort myself out, find some space in my sewing room and get moving!  Here's to a happy productive new year for everybody.

Happy Stitching


Thursday, 24 October 2013

My Creative Slump

 I've been in a creative slump for the last few weeks.  I've spent many hours looking for inspiration (time wasting).  I did finish sewing the blocks together for my Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt top.  I can add it to the pile of tops waiting to be quilted.

After spending a few weeks struggling with the blocks for the Orca Bay quilt I'd started, I finally decided that it needed to be put away again.  I've seen many photos of finished Orca Bays on Bonnie Hunter's Facebook feed.  They look really fabulous but I found mine just wasn't going well.  I was getting very frustrated and realised I wasn't enjoying the piecing at all.  An eighth of an inch can seem huge when your triangles aren't matching up like they're supposed to.  I eventually decided that if it was making me unhappy it just wasn't worth working on at the moment.   It made me doubt my abilities and question why I was bothering to sew anything at all.

Once my anxiety took over I found it really hard to focus on any quilt related activity.  I guess thats the down side of not belonging to a quilt group any more, I did enjoy the inspiration I got from stitching with friends.

I have decided to start a new quilt and this churn dash is my first trial block.  I have a gorgeous quilt pinned on my pinterest board thats a churn dash in pinks/reds/oranges I love the colour combo so I'll see how it goes.  I didn't want anything with too many triangles, I'm all triangled out at the moment!
 The last couple of weeks we've had a few visits from these lovely ducks.  I don't know how long ducks live but we've had a couple that have visited us over about the last ten years.  Living next to the wetlands its not such a strange occurrence to have ducks around, they are lovely birds and they do enjoy a swim in the pool.
This was too funny, Ruby sat next to the pool for about 20 minutes absolutely fascinated with the ducks.  I was sure I was going to have to fish her out at some stage, she did get a bit too close to the edge but the ducks weren't worried.  We have been having some very extreme weather lately, terrible winds for days at a time, a day over 30 when its not summer yet and then this week it has been very wintery, cold and raining a lot.  At least we haven't had the dreadful weather they've been having in N.S.W.  It's hard to believe they've had such terrible bush fires this early in the season.

Hopefully next post I'll have some progress to share, progress on anything would be nice.

Happy Stitching,


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Spontaneous outing and making room in the quilt cupboard.

 This quilt was one of my first quilts I learnt to make in a class.  It was way back in the mid 90s at a Quilt shop called Quilters Quarters.  This was when country decorating was very popular and this quilt lived on my wall for quite a few years.  It had been hiding out in my quilt cupboard until last week when prompted by our craft themed window at work I decided it was time for it to go.  I found another small quilt that also was an early class piece and took it into the op shop as well.  I donated quite a few ufo's which to start with I wasn't sure if I wanted to part with but after a second look I realised their time had come.  I was very pleased that everything I put in the window found a new home, it's nice to think someone else will find a use for them.
 Recently I've been working on these Ohio star blocks, here's how many I've made so far.  I like the contrast of the black, white and red.  I'm not going to make the quilt as big as the pattern, i'm over little hourglass blocks for the moment.
On Sunday I had a message from a friend in the morning suggesting a spontaneous trip to the country to visit a patchwork shop we'd been wanting to visit for ages.  I like the idea of spontaneity  but I'm not really good at it.  However it didn't take too long for me to ditch my plans for the day and set off.

It was a lovely spring day and we had a very pleasant drive to Ballan to visit Mill Rose Cottage.  We headed straight to the adjoining cafe for a very nice  lunch then  on to what could only be described as quilters heaven.  I'm very glad my fabric addiction is mostly under control, the fabric range was huge but it wasn't just a great range of fabrics there were lots of books and wool and interesting notions as well.  As you can see I came home with a variety of goodies, there's no point driving all the way there and not showing them some support is there?

I first saw the lovely crochet scarf at the shops' stand at the Quilt Convention in Melbourne 2 years ago.   I couldn't resist any longer and as you can see I started crocheting it Sunday night.  I am finding the instructions a tiny bit challenging, I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually.  Some lovely wool fabrics, a couple of threads, needles only one piece of cotton fabric and a patchwork book completed my haul.

On the home front it was Jacks birthday last week and this week it's my Mums turn.  Aleisha has gone to Thailand for 12 days with some friends to celebrate her 21st birthday that was in August.  It's Aleisha's first overseas holiday I'm sure she's having a great time.  Jack is housesitting for his sister so I'm in for another couple of quiet weeks at home.  No excuses for not getting stuck into some projects!

Till next time Happy Stitching


Sunday, 8 September 2013

String piece finish.

 It's so nice to finish something, here's Harry modelling my latest finish!  Day or night he's on call for any photographic work whether he's asked or not.  I free motion quilted this on my machine, not very well but at least its finished.  The backing was given to me by a friend and is a great match for the front I think.  I found the binding in my stash and really like the contrast of the black with all the brights.  Very satisfying to use some of my stash too.

Here's a better photo of the quilt.  I really love making string quilts and want to start another one soon.  I've got heaps more strings waiting to be used too.

Today was very exciting, I bought myself a new laptop cause I was so fed up with my old one not working properly.  Now I'll be able to get back to more regular posts I hope.

I've had another major reorganisation of my sewing room, this time I took some of my fabric storage out and bought myself a new desk to make more working space, its really great now.  My biggest challenge now is which project to work on first.  I'm still hand quilting my Pink Lemonade quilt, I don't think I'll ever get it finished but I'll keep working on it anyway.

Happy stitching,


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

What I've been up to....

Hi there, here's a snapshot of some of the things that I've been doing since my last post.  I think I've mentioned before that I've started an online art journalling course.  21 Secrets has 21 teachers each teaching a class that can be done in your own time and any order you wish.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to share my work cause I'm no artist more of a wannabe but I'm really enjoying what I've done so far.  This is the front page of my journal and it is one of the activities in a watercolour class with Tammy Garcia.  I really enjoyed the class, I love painting with watercolours though they are harder to use than I first thought.  I did improve as I did each exercise, I nearly gave up after the first one cause I found it very challenging.  I had forgotten what it's like to be a beginner learning new skills.

I'm still having problems with my laptop for the life of me I have no idea what I'm doing wrong.  It's the reason I haven't been posting more regulary it's very frustrating.

As you can see Harry's not letting the stress get to him, relaxing is his specialty.  If only he was so relaxed about getting his hair cut!

I survived the four weeks that Jack was away, it was very quiet but I made the most of my time.  It's great to have him home again even if it now means we are sharing my car.  While Jack was away I had to take the photos of my quilts as best as I could.  I'm really loving the cake stand quilt though I haven't made any more progress on that one at the moment.  I've got the centre of the Flowering Vines quilt sewn together just need to put the borders on next.

I've been doing some more decluttering with mixed results.  My priorities have changed and I would rather make space for my art supplies and find a space where I can work.  I've found it quite difficult to part with some of my collections and books and things but in a way it's a relief as well.  I'll never be living in a minimalist house but it was time to let go of my country style decor.  Another reason for getting rid of my excess stuff is that Aleisha will be moving back home for a couple of weeks.  Finding room for her and all her things is going to be quite a challenge, the next couple of weeks should be lively if nothing else.  I'm going to her place tomorrow to help her with her packing wish me luck!

Happy Stitching till next time,


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Medallion Quilt update.

More technical issues with my laptop tonight, I have the photos loaded but the words have a mind of their own.  I have no control over where they're going but I think the photos are fairly self explanatory anyway. 

The next round on my medallion that I've done since the workshop with Gwen Marston is the pink and red half square triangles.  Remembering that this is being made without a lot of the rules and regualtions of what you can and can not do, I was pretty happy with it.  I think this is going to make much more interesting quilts - that's my story anyway.

For the next round I considered a few different colour options.  I think the only downside with making a quilt border by border is that the options are endless and each decision is going to make the outcome completely different.  I really liked all the options but in the end decided I just better choose one fabric and get on with it.  I am concerned about getting wobbly edges so I think the whole fabric borders will help control the wobbles.  I haven't made up my mind what to do for the next border, Different triangles, a row of strings or 2" squares....

I have stitched together the cake stand blocks and will add a border of half square triangles to finish it off.  I'll post a photo when I've pressed the seams.  I've also been doing a bit of hand quilting on my pink lemonade quilt.  There's nothing like having plenty of projects to keep you going.

Till next time, Happy Stitching


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Gwen Marston Workshop.

 I had a really lovely day today at a workshop with Gwen Marston hosted by Amitie Textiles.  I have been looking forward to this day for months and it was just as good as I hoped it would be.  This quilt is on the cover of Gwen's book Liberated Medallion Quilts, it was fabulous to see it in person.  Gwen gave us a detailed description of her designing process which was a lot of fun.  Her ideas on quiltmaking ensure that her quilts are full of interest with plenty of colour and inspiration.  Quilt police watch out!!  Some lessons I need to remember when my inner critic starts nagging.  A great reminder that quilting is supposed to be an enjoyable process not adding to your stress levels.
I was very fortunate to be seated on a table with some other enthusiastic ladies. Marie, Myself, Barb and Heather with the beginnings of our medallion quilts.  It was such a great group of quilters and such a large variety of quilts being made incorporating Gwens liberated style.  At the end of the day we had show and tell with the progress everyone had made, 20 quilts all completely individual it was really inspiring to see them all.  I did take photos but I'm having some challenges downloading the photos so for the moment this will have to do.
Here is Gwen with my centre block, I'm looking forward to adding some more borders and seeing where this adventure takes me.

Jack has been in Los Angelos for 10 days now, only another 22 days to go.  Yes I'm counting down the days till he comes home.  Thanks to the internet we have been messaging each other but I am missing our daily chats.  Home is very quiet without him.  Lucky I have plenty to keep me busy while he's gone.  I have been gathering supplies for an art journalling course I'm doing online.  I've been doing a bit of playing around with paints etc. so far I've done a couple of classes.  Its quite challenging to go back to being a beginner and learning new skills, it is fun too.  I've discovered art supplies are just as appealing as fabric and there seems to be an endless list of supplies to try out.

Thats it for now, Happy Stitching.