Thursday 31 March 2016

International Quilting Day - Harvest Challenge

It's not often that I can get to do applique these days.  I'm not sure why - I think my schedule isn't allowing for it like it used to.  What I mean to say is, my schedule is changing as the girls get older, and I need to find a new schedule.  In the olden days (pre children) I would stitch long into the night once dinner had been done.

Now it's different.  There are books to read, baths to have, and as they get older, the girls are staying up later.  So it's well past nine thirty by the time I get to sink into a lounge chair, and then I go to bed not long after that. 

It doesn't allow time to stitch like it used to.  And there's something so decadent about stitching in the middle of the day.  I need to shake that feeling.

But - International Quilting Day had a challenge and as a committee member, I needed to do an entry.  Our theme for the day was Harvest, and we had to stitch a twelve inch block.  

I chose pumpkins.

I found a lovely picture online (and this version is everywhere, so I feel confident I'm not depriving one designer of income) and 'dumbed it down' a little, just for applique purposes.  I did that by tracing roughly over the outer lines, adding a few feature lines where I knew I would use different colours.

I lay some plain paper over the top and drew my own template, following the texta lines.

I had great intentions of piecing a background, so I pulled all these lovely creams, but when I got down to the nitty gritty, it wouldn't work.  There just wasn't enough background there to play with.  So I put the creams away, and just used one piece of background fabric.

Part of the pleasure of starting a new project is pulling all the fabrics you need from your collection.  I quickly found that I didn't have enough oranges.  So I had to buy more.  That was a shame.

And so, it begins.  I did the usual thing - traced vliesofix templates, ironed it onto the fabrics, laid it in place.

The brown stems were the most tricky, but I think I coped okay with them.  I'm a little out of practice at this sort of fine work, so it was good to get back into it.

Now it was just a case of stitching it all done in place, which didn't take too long.  

Bound it in the same orange I had used in the design, and it's done!

I didn't win.  But that's okay, it's done and finished and I think it's beautiful.  I'm quite keen to do something else.  Maybe an apple or something.  I love the cropped view of it, the perspective appeals to me.

Anyway.  That's it for today.  It's a glorious day today - beautiful, clean, crisp Autumn day.  Perfect weather for a day of craft. 

Hope yours is a good one too!

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Scrap Basket

Hello lovely readers.

It's been a long time.  No apologies except to say that the wheels fell off my wagon a little this last month.  I hope I've fixed that wagon up now.

A few posts ago I showed you some scrap baskets I'd been making.  Remember this basket block?

I played around with them and made various designs out of them, and finally settled on this:

This quilt went together surprisingly well, but barely made a dent in the scrap pile.  I have so many scraps.

And there you go.  Another flimsy for the flimsy file.  Say that five times quickly.

In other news, things have been plodding along smoothly enough.  I've been rather toxic health wise, and really crabby.  I had a head cold from hell, followed by the International Quilting Day, and then to round off my month I caught some horrid virus that knocked me clean off my feet for a few days.  I rarely get sick (shouldn't even say those words - I'm liable to jinx myself) but I've noticed when I do, I go down hard.  

So a week of slowness, and lovely family letting me sleep, and I'm feeling much better.  It's a cliche, but it's not until you're ill that you truly appreciate good health!

Hope you've been all been stitching up a storm in my absence,

See you soon!

Sunday 20 March 2016

International Quilters's Day 2016

250 ladies.

A year organising.

To say I'm tired is an understatement.

But we had a lovely, lovely, seamless day and I have many photos bu I will save them for tomorrow.

Enjoy your Quilting Day!

Thursday 10 March 2016


Hi everyone,

I've been crabby this week.  Figured it was just best to stay away from online life for a bit.

I have a head cold (nothing awful, just enough to make me irritable), it's been so hot and humid that you'd be forgiven for thinking we live in Darwin, and life isn't rolling along as easy as it could be.  Nothing major, just more troublesome than usual.

And then to top it all off, one of my very favourite singers died this morning.

I'm sure most of my o/s readers haven't heard of Jon English, but I loved him - saw him twice in concert and walked down the aisle to one of his songs.  I'm immensely sad that he's gone.  And I'm really sad that so many of the people I grew up listening to are dying - maybe it's just a sign of my age, I don't know.  But David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Alan Rickman - too many.  Far too many.  Enough now.

Anyway.  Warned you I was crabby.

I've been scrap sewing the last few days and have managed to make quite a few baskets.  I'm not real sure how I shall finish these off, I can't be bothered sashing them or putting them on point.  I'll play around with a few settings and see how it looks.

Apart from the odd square to finish up numbers, I have't had to cut anything for this quilt.  Mostly it was bonus triangles.  I'm not one to keep them, but I think I might from now on.

How are you going?  Is life treating you okay?  

Hope you're cheerier than me right now!  

I'll be better tomorrow.

Friday 4 March 2016

Hot stuff

How is it going in your part of the world? I'm doing my motherly thing again, waiting for children to finish whatever activity their busy social lives have led them to.  

Currently it's netball training which is insane because it's a 40 degree day and if you know anything about netball, you would know it's a winter sport.  It's at least being held in a gym today- I wouldn't be letting my kids be running around outside on this hot, hot day.

Because it's forty degrees I have been knitting.  That is what one does on very hot day.  I've managed to finish it apart from the stitching up..

Can you guess what it is?  Obviously it's a hat.

I know, not obvious at all.  Hopefully it will end and I will look every bit as chic as the model wearing it.  Shall have to wait and see.

I shall be off now, children are ready.  Hopefully some quilting shots will be on the blog tomorrow.  I have been busy cutting out baskets.  Should look delicious!

See you later!

Thursday 3 March 2016

An update

So - not much has been happening in the quilting side of my life, sadly.  I wish I had more time. More time for everything.  That seems to be my mantra at the moment.

Perhaps I should wish for a better time management system.  That might work better!  Or at least stay off line.  That sucks up too much of my day, I find.

I did sort through my very (oh so very) many UFO's and found a whole pile of flying geese that I had stitched together in grand plans of making some sort of row by row.  They were left over from another quilt, which is finished, and I had too many flying geese to throw out.  I seem to have all these leftovers, that grow to become other leftovers, and so on, and so on.  

Anyway, the row by row plans didn't work.  I couldn't make it fit the way I wanted to without doing a heck of a lot more quilting, and also I hadn't trimmed the excess triangles off the back of the flying geese, and they were so bulky.  It's been put away for years waiting for me to think of something clever to do with it.  So I bit the bullet, unpicked them, trimmed off the backs and this is where it's currently sitting.  I think I am going to sash each one with cream (though perhaps not as big as I have used here) and maybe sash them again with individual pastel colours.  That's the plan for now, we shall wait and see.

Truly craptastic photo.  I am no good at phone photos.

Whilst I was sorting through the never ending pile of UFO's, I found another box filled with leftover half square triangles.  Interestingly, at the same time I saw Bonnie Hunter's latest post, and she had made the most lovely little basket block.  So I flagrantly copied her (I sure hope she doesn't mind) and made one of my own.

Loving this one silly.  Points all match and everything!  I think it'll finish at eight inches, I haven't measured it.

I counted up my half squares and I have enough for at least fifty blocks.  I thought it might be a good 'leader and ender' project for me, and I'll rid myself of another box from the pile.

The pile is kinda, sorta manageable at the moment.  I have far too much wool to ever use in my lifetime but I do love to knit at night.  If I could only stop buying the wool in the first place, that would be such a good start.

(I shan't tell you what I have ordered via Ebay the other day - wool from Mongolia - literally, Outer Mongolia.  It's only three balls and it will be a scarfey/wrap thing for cold days watching netball games.  And it's glorious!  But buying wool from Ebay is a Very Bad Idea for me, goodness only knows where it would end).

In other news, we are neck deep in organising a very big day for our local quilting group - a regional day for local quilters, and it's our turn to host it.  We are having 250 quilting ladies (and perhaps some men!) visit, stay for lunch and entertainment through out the day.  We've been organising it for a year and we are now two weeks away.  I've been the secretary for our organising committee and I feel like all I've done this past few months is IQD (international quilting day) stuff.  I'll be so glad when it's over.  I'll be sure to post lots of pictures for you to look at.

I'm hoping my life might settle a little bit after that but I'm not optimistic.  My time will fill up with other stuff, that's the way it always happens.  I'm not really complaining - I'm lucky to have many interests that fill my life but sometimes, I just wish it would slow down!

Anyway, that's my update, lovely readers.  I hope to be a bit more forthcoming when I can stitch a little bit more and give you pretty things to look at.

Have a good one!