Welcome

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, 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!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

This Month's UFO and Other Bits and Bobs!

This month my UFO is to finish and quilt my quilt made from my Quilt Block Swap Australia star blocks. Some time ago (and without checking I'm not sure if it was last year or the one before!) I added some coloured sashing to each block and put them together on point with black sashing. I finished up with a quilt with the corners missing and I couldn't decide if I wanted to leave it that way or not and it got pushed to the side. Its number did come up last year but I was in the middle of finishing my brother's birthday quilt and so it got pushed to the side again.

No more excuses, a decision needed to be made!  Not exactly helped by my dog who insisted on parking herself on the quilt when I tried to spread it out for a look.  No quilt is complete without her input!
Okay so lets try that again but without the dog model! So as you can see no corners but I kind of like it that way. In the end I decided it was an awkward shape for a bed and this quilt is really a double bed size or a generous king single. 
I liked the way it worked at the foot of the bed (sorry I don't have a photo on the bed) but it didn't look right at the top so I decided to add black corners to the top only, a relatively easy fix. I plan to quilt some star shapes into the black to add interest as I had thought I might add half stars to the corners but I think adding interest in the quilting will be the way to go.
I managed to get it sandwiched and ready to quilt (having just exactly the right amount of wadding left from my last purchase), only to find I don't have any black quilting thread....sigh! I'm happy to get some colour happening on the stars but I do want to stabilise it by ditch stitching the black sashing so looks like I'll need to order some.
As luck would have it I received a lovely Aurifil colour chart in the mail last week which I ordered from Ms Midge

 I might have to try some of these lovely variegated threads!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Monday, 2 March 2015

My very first tutorial - Rainbow Lattice

Exciting news - well for me anyway!

I've written my first tutorial! And after much fiddling about I've finally figured out how to link it to my blog.

You might have noticed before that I have a separate page tab at the top for Tutorials however it has been empty since I put it there - but no longer!  My Rainbow Lattice quilt now has its very own tutorial.

I must thank the lovely Catherine who kindly tested my tutorial for me and made this great quilt top:


Didn't it turn out well?!

If you use my tutorial I'd love to see a photo of what you make and I welcome any feedback you may have.

Thanks for visiting and thanks again Catherine!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Rainbow Lattice - February UFO, tick!

Well here we are on the 17th February and I've finished this month's UFO already! Feeling pretty pleased with myself, although to be fair its not a massive quilt (60" square) and I had already stitched in the ditch between the blocks. Nevertheless a finish is a finish!

As a recap on how this quilt came about, I took part in a rainbow charm swap a couple of years ago and wanted a project to show off the rainbow.  I had a block in mind and knew I wanted to use black and grey so off I went to Spotlight and as luck would have it found this fabulous grey/black print. I could not have found a better fabric for what I had in mind.

After fiddling about for far too long picking just the right colours from the charms I had and then auditioning various layouts:

I settled on my final layout as I felt it let the rainbow squares be the stars of the show!
The finished top:
When it came to the quilting I stitched in the ditch between the blocks with grey and then decided to use these lovely threads which I won early last year in a Quilt Block Swap Australia giveaway. 
I matched the colour of the thread with the colour in the centre of the blocks and only quilted the grey side of each block.  The quilting was quite difficult to photograph as the fabric its on is quite busy! Hopefully you can see it well enough.


As for binding I toyed with the idea of having two sides black and two sides in the grey but didn't fancy having to deal with getting the corners right and so decided black was the way to go. The binding is all machine stitched and finished with a diamond shaped stitch in Aurifil Dove grey.


Here is the finished quilt, my Rainbow Lattice:
I do love this quilt and plan to write a tutorial for it. It will be my first tutorial so a landmark for me I guess!  Ooops, nearly forgot to show you the back, here it is:
The main fabric is a Sock Monkey fabric which looks knitted
 and the other is a sort of wavy rainbow.
One more photo for good measure!
Oh do you like the box I used to hold all my threads while I was quilting? Any idea what sort of a box it is?

Its a Ferrero Rocher box! The choccies were nice but I think it looks so pretty with all the coloured threads inside instead and it was a great way to keep all the threads I was using for this project together in one place. I just wish I could figure out how to get the label off without damaging the plastic so it looks better.
Are you like me and see any new container as potential quilting storage too?

Now my hubby and I are off to take my mother in law away for the last week in February for a holiday at the beach at Port Broughton.  Looking forward to a relaxing week away so I can come back all rested and ready to get cracking on March's UFO project.

Thanks for visiting my blog today,