27 January 2010

It Looks Like a Lolly

Well, that's what John said when I showed him the first of these bags I made yesterday

which was great because the pattern is called "BonBon" by Monica Poole - and they do look just like the BonBon lollies.  I've made them as knitting bags:  one for my friend Sharon as a present for her birthday next week and the other is for Mum for Mothers' Day.  Late last year I bought some Matilda's Own Bag Batting to use when making Melly & Me's Sleepover Bag (still not finished) and used it in these bags instead of the recommended pellon - it's fantastic and holds the shape beautifully.  Monica Poole designs are so well written and easy to follow.  Thanks for the idea Vicki.

PS - I found the missing buttons.

25 January 2010

Being Responsible

This morning I visited the local Bernina shop because I needed to buy a screw for my walking foot.  While chatting to the saleslady,  I enquired about the current price of the Aurora 440 QE.  Turns out the shop is selling off its bench models (with full factory warranty, lessons etc) and, after picking myself up off the floor after I found out the price, I left the shop to go grocery shopping and made a couple of phone calls - to John, who said I would be silly not to buy the machine and to Diann who advised me that buying the machine was "the responsible thing to do" because I've been eyeing off this model for so very long and sentimentality was the reason I hadn't updated my machine earlier.

Until three years ago I had owned one sewing machine - a Bernina 830 that John bought for me for our first Christmas after our wedding (1978, we were living in Holland at the time and he spent our return airfare money to buy the machine).  Three years ago I bought a second-hand Bernina 830 to use on my quilting frame but this machine has since gone to live with Jenni.

I high-tailed it back to the Bernina shop and this came home with me:

Had to sew with it straight away so I put the bolster cushion together

and I made a block keeper based on Leanne Beasley's block keeper from Homespun No 28 using my birthday stitchery

I am one very happy camper.

Road Trip

Diann and Bill arrived last Tuesday evening and we decided to go on a little road trip down the South Coast of New South Wales.  We set off reasonably early (for us) - morning tea in Milton and the stop for lunch just happened to be in Moruya so Diann and I could visit the wonderful Steph's Patchwork Shop (our fabric diet was suspended for the holiday but we didn't buy much).  From there we drove to Bermagui - a lovely, relaxed coastal town, where we spent the night.

John and Bill decided they wanted to go fishing at Tathra so that was our destination on Thursday - the boys fished while Diann and I found a seat in the cafe and stitched while we had a coffee or two.  We later drove down to Eden but decided to come back to Merimbula where we spent two nights before driving home on Saturday.  Merimbula is a beautiful seaside town - fishing, stitching, laughing, eating - no fish caught though.

Lots of road-trip stitching:

Label for Sweet Pea

Stitchery for Nikki Tervo bolster cushion (from the Button Club a few years ago - can't find the buttons - they are put away somewhere safe)

and I finished off my birthday stitchery from my on-line stitching group friends - I've been stitching this in my lunchbreaks at work.  A lot more stitching in this one than I realised.

Fantastic little holiday.  Diann and Bill left early Sunday morning to drive home and I spent the whole day in the sewing room cutting out:

"Rosettes" by Fig Tree Quits using "Nostalgia" layer cake and stash backgrounds (to take to the retreat in March)
Fabric to complete the bolster cushion.  I bought this pretty floral at Steph's in Moruya and also cut out two of Monica Poole's "Bon Bon" bags out of this fabric for presents and cut out the fabrics to finish off the redwork stitchery.  Busy day but good - and I had the tennis to keep me company.

15 January 2010

Girls Day Out

This block was started 4 months ago - took it out on the weekend and finished it last night - only needed to stitch the wisteria.

One large and 8 small blocks to go.  Would be wonderful if they were finished by the time I go to a retreat in March.  Very much looking forward to the retreat with Diann, Jenny, Helen, Teresa and maybe one or two others, then the following weekend I will be travelling to Nundle for the Girls Day in the Country.  Fun times coming up.

13 January 2010

We do the Mash ...

... the Monster Mash

There's a good chance Diann will be coming to visit next week, so I'll hold off giving the quilt to Evan until after Diann's seen it.  The batting in this quilt is very puffy - not the Matilda's Own I prefer.  The quilt feels lovely and soft.

Sweet Pea's Quilts

One little

Two little

Three little Sweet Pea's

Four Little Sweet Pea's Quilts finished

A bit windy this morning and it was difficult to get a photo of the quilt hanging flat - the wrinkles aren't actually there.  I don't want to make another one of these for a very long time - won't say "never" because it's such a cute design, but four in eighteen months is enough for the moment.

09 January 2010

Today ...

Mum and I spent this afternoon packing up many of the Christmas decorations, ornaments, lights etc.  Hopefully I'll finish that job tomorrow.  After dinner we went to see "It's Complicated" - hilarious, fantastic, best picture I've seen for ages.  Was wonderful to laugh so much.  Meryl Streep is fabulous.  The future son-in-law is great.

Last two Sweet Pea blocks are finished.

With a bit of luck I'll find some time tomorrow to finish quilting Monster Mash and maybe sew the Sweet Pea blocks together.  Almost time to start "Tail Feathers".

Very hot here today and supposed to continue tomorrow.

06 January 2010

More Sweet Pea's Blocks

Two more "Sweet Pea's Quilt" blocks are finished - 2 more to go

then I can start putting the quilt together.  I'm thinking of using this spotty fabric for the sashings and borders with some of the red chenille (same as the flowers) as posts and outside corner blocks.

Last year I bought a stack of Moda fabrics from Cathy and I'm using one of the f/q packs for our on-line group's 12-1/2" BOM.  I love the colours in this fabric range - Anticipation by Sandy Gervais with Fig Tree Cream Moda Bella Solid for the background.

03 January 2010

Plans have changed, Barbie

That line comes from the first computer game we ever bought - a Barbie game for Elizabeth to play on the Commodore 64 - can't remember exactly how long ago that was - and the line has ended up in our family language.  Today I had planned to finish off a bag I started as a Christmas present but ran out of time to finish.  While looking for the pieces in one of the drawers I came across the monster blocks and this is what I did this afternoon - all I had to do was a simple central block, some borders and sashings.

When I visited Diann last June, I tidied up one of her fabric cupboards and these 8 machine emroidered blocks (3 with borders finished) were in the back of the cupboard.  Diann had decided she no longer wanted them and asked if I knew anyone who would.  I immediately thought of my work friend's little boy Evan, who is 4.  I forgot to bring the blocks home with me and in early December a package arrived with the blocks,  blue fabric, rainbow stripe fabric and another bright basketweave fabric that I'll use for the binding.

The quilt measures ~47" x 47" and I have a some of the fabric squares leftover from the Scrappy Spiderweb backing that I can use as the basis for the backing.  I'm tickled pink with how it turned out.

Lots of rain has been falling here starting on Christmas Day.  Sunny weather will return on Tuesday when I go back to work - doesn't bother me because I've been happy to stay inside, although it would have been nice to sit outside on our verandah over the last week or so and read a book.

Whirligig Quilt

The quilt top is now together (and needs ironing).  I had planned to use the red stripe for the outer border but, once all the blocks were together, the red in the stripe looked too strong so instead I used the pale gold stripe with red flowers.  The first border is plain cream 1-1/2" finished.  I'm thinking of using the green/rose sprig fabric for the backing and red crackle for binding.  The quilt measures ~65" x 72".  This will be quilted on the frame when the mood strikes.   No plans for it yet but something will turn up.

I've been watching movies while sewing/stitching this week - "Gone with the Wind", "The Holiday", "Rachel Getting Married" and "The Duchess".   Anne Hathaway is wonderful in "Rachel Getting Married" - such a different part for her to play.  To me the film had the appearance of a home movie, which really suited the story.  I found "The Duchess" to be a very sad story.  The Duchess of Devonshire is a direct ancestor of Diana Spencer and the similarity of their lives is uncanny.

02 January 2010

On the Design Sheet

Whirligig blocks (7-1'2" sq finished) ready to be sewn together

First three "Tail Feathers" blocks pieced and ready to be stitched/appliqued when I've finished the red "Sweet Pea's Quilt".

I cut out the strips for these blocks when I bought a f/q set of 12 Butterscotch Patisserie fabrics and have since added to the stack of fabrics. I LOVE IT! Love the colours, designs, feel - everything.

Having a lovely time pottering about, doing nothing much except a bit of sewing/stitching, watching some movies, reading etc.  John and I went to see "Sherlock Holmes" on New Year's Eve - we enjoyed it - very dark looking film, lots of action and funny repartee between Holmes and Watson.


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