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, 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!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Quilt Block a Day - Guest Tutor - Me!

I just had to share some exciting news - well, exciting to me!

You may not be aware of a Facebook group now being run by Marti (from 52quilts.com) called A Quilt Block A Day.  The idea is to make just one block a day so that you have all the blocks you need for a quilt in next to no time.

Each season Marti picks a new block and this time she chose my tutorial for my recent finish "Rainbow Lattice". How exciting to think that people all over the world might be making their own versions of my little quilt!

If you're interested in taking part, here is a link to Marti's post and also to the Facebook group.

Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

What a week that was!

Phew, what a busy week! First it was a long weekend so no work on Monday - tough right? Back to work on Tuesday for me and as I was taking Friday off to head off to a sewing weekend, Tuesday was my whole working week (I have it so hard working three days a week!).  Downside of that is that I had to squeeze 3 days of work into one day but I got there.

Wednesday saw me zooming about tidying up, washing clothes etc and cleaning so the house would hopefully still look respectable when I came back from my weekend away (despite being inhabited by my hubby and two grown sons). Then I managed to fit in some sewing time trying to ditch stitch the sashings on my QBSA star quilt when things came to a screaming halt. One minute we're stitching along like best friends and the next my machine threw a hissy fit and started loopy sewing underneath - what happened? I tried everything to fix it - rethreaded, different thread, bobbin clean (even though it was clearly a top thread issue), change from walking foot to standard foot, check the feed dogs were still up and no improvement. Rats!  Clearly this machine did not care to go away for a weekend with 6 lovely ladies and a sea view - hard to please.
First thing the next  morning off I went to Homecraft on North East Road, Windsor Gardens and explained my issue. Turns out it definitely wasn't my blunder but a tension issue, as in there was none at all.  I left it with the lovely Frank who told me he might be able to get it fixed the same day so I could still take it away the next day. I could have kissed him!

Off to do the grocery shopping - get there and discover the list and my husband's prescriptions are back home, so back home I go.  Take two - back to the shops and groceries sorted, home to put away and eat lunch (at 2.30!). More washing and then off to the library and home again. Pack my clothes for the weekend and dither about wondering if I will have a machine so what will I take? Then, yay the phone call telling me my machine is all fixed and ready to go. Back in the car to pick her up and promise eternal devotion to Frank! Back home again to sort out what I will take now that I definitely have my machine again - wait a minute we haven't had tea yet or walked the dog - off to get takeaways and sorry Livvie, now its dark!

Friday dawns and its a gorgeous, perfect day to head to the seaside for a weekend of sewing, laughs, chit chat, food and fun and it was all those things! Here we have the lovely Doreen, Pauline and Kerrie (my sister-in-law) hard at work:

and Gaye (my other sister in law) making dolls clothes using a pattern (which she hates doing apparently):
We hadn't been in the place more than 5 minutes and this guy showed up. He turns up every time we come here and of course its the same seagull every time, we can tell!
My bestie and I made bags to hold our travelling irons which also open out to be pressing mats using this tutorial.  Mine is the blue one and Kerry's has the butterflies.

Then I put these blocks together. These came from my various swap partners in the Quilt Block Swaps Australia group and were made using this tutorial.  When its finished I plan to donate the quilt to Mary Potter Hospice here in Adelaide. 

This was a quilt Kerry was working on for her niece. Just needs to pop the border on and its ready to quilt:
Doreen was working on a quilt of all purple appliqued blocks using shapes she cut using her Accuquilt Go! cutter.
Doreen was also the chef for our Saturday lunch which was really brekkie but who's interested in labels? After a discussion about them last time we went away she made us some oatcakes along with a lovely warm tomato sauce and some crispy bacon and eggs, yum!
Sunset on Saturday:
Kerry and I had a crack at making fabric baskets but while they turned out well the instructions left a bit to be desired so we're going to make more but try a different method. Any suggestions for a user friendly tutorial/pattern? Here is mine:
and here is Kerry's:
Here's all my weekend's achievements. Some string blocks on the left (9 in all), one of my scrappy blocks, iron bag/pressing mat, fabric bag, fabric bowl, and quilt top. I did also make one crumb quilt block out of my tiny scrappy pieces but I can't find it for the life of me. I have no idea where it went but I'm sure I made one!
Kerry and I both felt we had a really productive weekend - can't wait to do it again, this time in late August.

And the icing on the cake was when I got home and a parcel of lovely Aurifil threads was waiting for me so now I'm ready to finish quilting my March project................after I recover from the week that was!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my blog!