27 July 2011


A little while before the Sydney quilt show, a friend bought me this pattern book - so many lovely designs.  I decided to knit No 10 for Peta for her birthday and stocked up on wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills at the quilt show.  Jenni told me recently that Peta loves pom-poms so I decided to add a couple to the ribbon tie.

Design No 10, Cleckheaton Book 950, Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply, colour Ghost
The quilting on the Sweet quilt is finished and the binding has been sewn on - I'm taking my time stitching it down at night while watching tv - it's a big quilt.

Sweet - based on Cluck Cluck Sew's "Double Hourglass" tutorial
I've also been cutting and gluing more pies and tarts segments - that seems to be never-ending but is a good tv-watching job.

Lovely winter's afternoon - the sun is out.

23 July 2011

Pies and Tarts

More pies appliqued to their backgrounds.

All the pies I've made so far - enough to start sewing a row or two together and add some tarts.  There are a coupe of fabric repeats, so I'll save those pies for further into the quilt.

Time to prepare some more pie segments - hopefully over this weekend.

Friends are coming over for dinner tonight - looing forward to seeing them.  Woke up to a sunny morning - so nice after all the gloomy rain (a bit overcast now but maybe the washing will dry outside on the line).

22 July 2011

Sewing Room 2

Views from near the sewing machine

Looking left from the doorway

Looking from the doorway

From the corner where Bendigo Bear is sitting (we bought the bear in Bendigo in early 1979 when we were on a motor bike ride to Adelaide - Bendigo had to travel home by rail - he also attended our wedding).

That's enough tidying/tweaking for a while - a wet weekend coming up - hoping to have some sewing time.  I wish this rain would fall where it's needed - we've had more than our share.

Two more Civil War Blocks:

"Illinois Roads"

"Barbara Frietchie Star"
Homework for this week is finished:

"Right Hand of Friendship" Sylvia's Bridal Sampler

20 July 2011

More Blocks

On Monday night I had enough space cleared around the sewing machine to be able to sew up two more Civil War blocks:

"Railroad Crossing"

"North Star" - I love the pink/milky white Hunky Dory fabric
Last night was stitching group and I took along some completed pies to applique to their backgrounds - it takes as long to do this as it does to make a pie.  Sewed a couple more at home.

I have another 11 pies ready to applique - that will make 30, so soon I'll get around to sewing a row or two together.  In a good week at work I can stitch 5 or 6 pies - by "good" I mean that my lunchtime is uninterrupted.  I love making the pies and tarts.  I plan to make the quilt larger than the pattern suggests and have added quite a few fabrics from my stash.  Jenni has already claimed this quilt - I wonder if she realises what a long-term project this quilt is.

More sorting/tidying tonight and I may do some homework - our next Sylvia's Bridal Sampler block has been announced.

Terrible weather here at the moment - fierce winds, lots of rain etc.  Winter has definitely been here this July.

19 July 2011

Sewing Room

Seems to me that my sewing room is a continuing Work in Progress.  Weekend before last John and I visited Ikea to buy some new shelving/wall units for the room.  Before the wall units could be built I needed to make a bit of a mess.  Many of my magazines are being donated to a local quilt group (I have scanned the patterns/designs that I want to keep).

Elizabeth visited for the weekend - we had lunch at the Nan Tien Temple, saw the amazing embroidery exhibition at the Temple, visited Mum.  We drove her home yesterday afternoon and I learned a new mathematical formula:  1 return trip to Sydney = 6 Pies sewn (for my Pies and Tarts Quilt). 

We arrived home about 5.00 pm and decided to spend some time unpacking the Ikea boxes.

By 8.30 pm they were both in the sewing room, the drawers had been assembled and the larger unit attached to the wall (we need some wall plugs as there is no joist near the screw plates, hence the drills in one of the cubicles) and we had eaten dinner.  These last few photos were taken on my phone last night - when everything is set up nicely I'll take some daylight photos on the camera.  The photos up the top show more true colours.

Even though it will take a while for me to work out what should go where, I love the look of the wall units and having all my stuff within easy reach.  The only issue I have is that I've lost my quilt-hanging space in the sewing room - I had "Leanne's House" hanging there for a few years and more recently Rosalie Quinlan's "Little Patchwork Village".

18 July 2011

Swap Opening

Friday night was opening night for our on-line group's Christmas in July swap.  This year we decided to make each other Christmas stockings.

Jo made this beautiful, original stocking for me featuring bells, yo-yos and a perfectly stitched tag.

I love the tag Jo wrote and attached to the front of the present:

Wrapped inside the stocking were some other goodies - Toblerone, bath bombs and hankies

Thank you so much Jo.

My other partner was Leanne.  The stocking I made for her was based on a Kookaburra Cottage design and I made a tag featuring a Hugs 'n' Kisses angel.

I also included a punchneedle lollipop - fat-free and sugar-free.  I really like these lollipops and think I'll have to make a few more to decorate with at Christmas-time.

I did a some sewing later on Friday night before starting to dismantle the sewing room (so we could install the new wall units).

"Pinwheel" for on-line group's 6-1/2" BOM
"Lincoln's Platform" Not Quite Civil War Quilt
"Calico Puzzle" Not Quite Civil War Quilt
And just to break up all that pink sewing I finished off the Pirate Quilt Top.  I love making children's quilts - the fabrics are so happy and colourful.

14 July 2011

On the Design Sheet

I have the attention span of a gnat lately.  Hid away in the sewing room again last night and the photos show what is hanging on the design sheet (can't call it a design wall because it hangs in front of the wardrobe doors - consequently most things appear wavy):  two new quilts started.

The first quilt is for Michael and Peta to give to their little Godson for Christmas - the lower black/white strips, blocks with blue surrounds and ships/ocean strip are not attached yet.  I love the bright, happy colours in the ships/ocean strip and have more of this to use as an outer border.  I need to cut black/white strips to the correct size - these were leftover pieces from another quilt that I put up so I could see how they would look.

I also made two of the Civil War blocks for my "Not Quite Civil War" quilt

"Catch Me If You Can"
"Underground Railroad" - see what I mean about wavy?
This quilt will be made using pink/hot pink/crimson fabrics along with Moda Bella Solid Baby Pink from my stash.  I enjoyed making these blocks - nice sized pieces to work with.  Some of the pieces in Sylvia's Bridal Samper are tiny - I have so much admiration for those making Dear Jane.

12 July 2011


I spent most of Monday night in the sewing room - finished sewing up backings for Whirlygigs and Floral Bouquet so they are now ready to be quilted.

Also made this month's on-line group's BOM:

Calico Spools
This year's  BOM blocks - we're halfway
and the next block Diann has chosen for "Sylvia's Bridal Sampler":

Ribbon Star
All of the "Sylvia's Bridal Sampler Blocks" made so far
I'm making a big mess in the room while sorting through magazines and books - what to keep, what to donate to a local patchwork group.  I think I'll scan the designs/patterns I really want to keep.

11 July 2011

Where did we go?

A couple of secret sewing projects were finished on Saturday afternoon.

One needs to be posted straight away and the other in a few weeks.  Then I started sorting through my Fig Tree fabric stash to organise backings for two of the quilt tops in my pile waiting to be quilted.  It will be pieced backings for Floral Bouquet as I don't have one piece of fabric large enough and I've made another pieced backing for Whirlygigs.

Yesterday John and I went for a drive to Ikea.  After 4-1/2 hours of shopping we were ready to come home along with some goodies I bought for the sewing room.  I need to do some sorting/chucking out/tidying before we assemble these purchases but I think the room will be much neater and my stuff will be more accessible in its new home.

We also had a look at all the great things they have to organise wardrobes and kitchen cupboards.  I thought John did really well lasting so long - I did let him have lunch at the cafeteria, and his patience at the check-out was miraculous.

06 July 2011

This Week's Sewing

"Sweet" is on the frame and about 1/3 quilted.  I love the spotty backing fabric.  This is the first time I've used the Aurora on the frame and it's different to using the old 830.  I'm using the BSR and have found it easier to use it with the foot pedal rather than with the stop/start button.  Actually seeing the area to be quilted is a bit of an issue with this machine as the motor over the needle/foot is much larger than I'm used to.  Aside from that the quilting is going really well and I'm happy with the stitch size, tension etc.

Lunchtime stitching is "Pies and Tarts" - I already had 7 pies appliqued to their backgrounds and all these tarts made.  Last night at stitching group I sewed the other 4 pies to their backgrounds and put them on the design sheet when I arrived home (the tarts are pinned in place and the white backgrounds are not trimmed).

When I have a few more pies finished I'll think about sewing some of the blocks together and adding some tarts - I want to make sure I don't have two backgrounds the same next to each other.  The fabrics sent in the BOM from Quilt Fabric Delights are so vivid and fresh and I've found quite a few more in my stash to add to the mix - it's going to be a lovely quilt.  There's a good chance I'll make it a bit larger than in the pattern.

04 July 2011

Vintage Valentine

"Vintage Valentine" designed by Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool was started in 2006 (I think) and finished on 1 July 2011.  I lost enthusiasm for this quilt so many times but am really happy that it's finished at long last.

"Vintage Valentine" 72" x 72"
"Vintage Valentine" centre block
The Backing
The quilt was started as a sew-along with Helen, Jenny and Diann - 2 of the quilts have been finished for years.

Another busy weekend has gone - trip to Sydney to see Michael for his birthday on Saturday, dinner at a lovely Lebanese restaurant in Surrey Hills (complete with belly dancer) and visiting friends yesterday afternoon.

I've put the Gingham Girls stitcheries away for the time being to concentrate on some knitting for Peta's upcoming birthday as well as cardigans for Jenni and me.  I'm hoping to put the "Sweet" quilt onto the frame this week - quilting on the frame with the new sewing machine is certainly different to the old 830.  Had a little practice on Saturday and found that the view of the stitching area is somewhat blocked by larger motor area over the needle and foot.


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