Paper piecing stars

image of august-september fabrics

I briefly returned from blogging retirement, as Linda called it, and then didn’t find time to do much of anything sewing or blogging wise.  After my weekend away at Sorrento, I didn’t sew a stitch, I didn’t even get to thread a needle for about two weeks.  My own fault really, as while down at Sorrento I said ‘hey Linda what about quilt pins?’  If you’ve been following Linda’s blog you’ll see what we’ve come up with and I’m looking forward to seeing them in the flesh so to speak.

I’ve been very restrained in buying fabric recently as I’m supposed to be saving to go to Houston in about 4 weeks.  On my way to Sorrento I stopped in at Somerset Patchwork and picked up a few necessary fabrics for my new project based, very loosely, on an old Pennsylvania quilt.  It has a paper pieced star in the centre, which was quite the challenge as I don’t normally do paper-piecing, even though it seems to be all the rage at the moment.  I’m not terribly fond of paper-piecing but Irene convinced me to do that rather than tradition piecing and I am very happy with the result.  I’ll show a proper picture when I’ve got a little more done, and I am having fun with this one as I let the quilt evolve.  I do know I’m going to have a star in each corner of the centre medallion.

image of august-september fabrics
My August September fabric buys.

The fabrics on the right are mostly for this project although I couldn’t resist those lovely greens from the Pomegranate range for my stash. I’m building up my poison greens as I’ve another red & green applique quilt already drawn up.  Those fabrics on the left are just impulse buys but really I was very restrained.

What’s left of September and October is fairly action packed so I best get a move on and get back to work as I’ve lots to do and time is running out.


On the hunt for a new sewing machine

image of sunflower willow quilt

and I’m looking at the Husqvarna 835, which has the longer arm which would be nice. Does anyone have one?  The other machine I’m considering is the Bernina 330, which also has exactly the stitch I want, an adjustable, single, vertical stitch, blanket-stitch, and both machines are around the same price.  I’d love to hear your opinions on these machines.

It’s going to be very quiet around these parts with Margaret flying out to the US this morning.  I’ve sent our very good friend Irene Blanck, a local applique superstar in these parts, with her to keep her out trouble! 🙂

The girls are off to Paducah and then the east coast so if you get the chance to catch up with them grab it, they’re lots of fun!  Both Margaret & Irene are intending to blog, and Margaret is going to use her new Facebook page to keep us updated on their shenanigans as well.

I’m fast finishing a new quilt I’ve been doing, Sunflowers & Willows, most of the applique is done, and it’s almost time to attach the borders and then the last border appliqued on.  The last applique will be on the outside edge, scalloped, similar to the frills around the flowers just a bit bigger, not so fine.

I started this as a bit of an excuse to get rid of the fabrics I’ve used in the background and went from there.  It’s got at least two, no make that three, fabrics from Margaret’s stash.

image of sunflower willow quilt
I've called it Sunflowers & Willows.

I need to get it finished as I just busting to start another new quilt I’ve designed and have chosen nearly all the fabrics.  Remember my search for some gold fabric awhile ago? well I ended up with about 3 metres and here’s me doing a little planning.

image of lincoln gold fabric
Photocopying the fabric

Yes, sometimes I photocopy the fabric if I’m not sure of a combination or want to do a quick mockup without cutting into my precious fabric.

And I took another quilt out to try and get a half decent photo of it but little joy as my camera really doesn’t want to play nice.

image of rose dance quilt
Rose Dance on the grass

Well it’s time to go, Margaret has left me some homework, ie blocks from our Red & White version of her Maltaville, I’m not complaining, it was my idea after all!



A busy start . . .

to 2012.  The unseasonably cool weather we’ve been having in Victoria has enabled me to spend some time in my studio, and so far in the first 2 weeks I’ve sent 4 quilts off to Margaret to be quilted.

Now, they’re not exciting quilts, they’re what I call Utility quilts.  Quilts to use everyday, that can be thrown into the washing machine and thrown over a clothes horse, let the cats sit on, etc…

I’ll post some photos of them when I get them back.   I’ve also organised the binding for a quilt I finished back in July and just folded up and put in the cupboard.

image of mexican rose quilt
a rather crumpled quilt from being folded up for 6 months

It’s a lovely little quilt and when I took it off to Margaret to get quilted we noticed I’d left a petal off it so rather that take it home I said ‘just quilt it’ and so Margaret quilted in the lost petal.

image of mexican rose quilt
I just love that quilted petal

The quilted-in petal is in the top left.  I need to sew on 4 little red circles as well as think of a name for this quilt.

Next is my red & white star quilt, the one in the header.  I’ve finished the centre and attached the setting squares and triangles a little while ago.

image of red & white lonestar quilt
just a border to go

Yesterday I took it out again and decided I want to add a little border made up of the left over red diamonds cut into triangles.  I’ve already got the backing so I hope to get it finished by the end of the week and drop it off to Margaret.

Just about every quilt is at the machine piecing stage except for the borders of my Sunflowers & Willows quilt.  Here’s a look at one of the borders which still needs the frill around the circle to be done as well as the appliqued edge.  I’m sort of saving the applique for sewing under the air-conditioner when we finally get really hot weather, which we will!  February & March are always hot.

image of sunflowers & willows border
I'm missing my frilly bits!

Once I’ve got all these done I can start my new basket quilt in the Kaffe Fassett fabrics I bought back in December.  I’ve already cut out 16 baskets, prepped and ready to.

Well it’s time to stock up on some essential shopping and I leave you with a piccy of my very naughty cat, Charlie.

image of charlie the cat on the bench
I couldn't find a quilt to sleep on

What a year!

It’s hard to believe in just a few minutes it will be 2012.  This year has seen lots of changes for me and has just flown past.  I finally started working for myself a little more seriously in web development as well as in the quilt related area.  My youngest son left school, went to Chefs school, got a chefs apprenticeship and left home to live in the city.

Oh what bliss! I gloated to friends who still had children at home, and less than seven days later his big brother turned up at the door, “Mum, you know how you said, if I really needed to, I could come home?…”  and since then its been busier and louder than ever.  My eldest comes and goes, his friends and girlfriend are often here, there’s music blaring, the phone rings,  there’s dishes in the sink and smelly boy socks everywhere.  I sometimes think the boys might be playing tag as the eldest goes to his girlfriends in Melbourne and I come out to the computer room only to find the youngest has appeared on the couch sometime during the early hours of the morning.

I know none of you were in the house when I went to bed!

I popped down to the supermarket this afternoon, only to see said boy outside instead of miles away in Melbourne, ” Hi Ma, just up for a party, might pop in later!”  Everyone told me I’d miss my boys when they left, but its not me that misses them.

We missed you!

Since last I posted back in November I’ve had a birthday and Margaret & Katherine took me out for a lovely day of quilting and eating at Mill Rose in Ballan, I was spoilt, got lots of quilt related pressies and fabric.  Less than two weeks later it was back to Mill Rose, this time with Irene joining us, for a lovely Christmas morning tea hosted by Sue.

Back in about October I decided to do a quick scrap quilt using only fabrics in my stash.  I wanted to try and use fabrics I didn’t like but of course more and more fabrics that I do like went in to it.  I joined fabric pieces if I needed to and am really pleased with how it turned out.  And I only bought fabric for the backing.

Raiding the stash

here’s the fabric that I picked up on Thursday at Darn Cheap Fabric, only $4 a metre, which here in Austraia is super cheap, a Lecien fabric and they had bolts of it and I’m starting to wish I’d bought a bolt.

Quilt backing

while I was there I also picked up a little bit more fabric, my stash really does need those lighter coloured fabrics, but I was very restrained, as I had already been to 2 or 3 other shops before this.

A little more Lecien fabric & some pretty reds

On Thursday I was a woman on mission, I’ve designed another quilt and have decided that I want to do a version of it in bright, bold Kaffe Fassett fabrics so with nowhere around here to buy such fabrics it was off to Melbourne in search of fabrics to seriously challenge me.  When I was purchasing these fabrics at GJS Discount Fabrics I kept asking the ladies, who were very friendly and helpful, “Do these fabrics go together?  Are you sure?”  They just looked at me, and I said, “I’m a Repro Girl, I don’t know about these fabrics.”

For my new quilt design

This project will have to be a machine applique project if I want to get it done as I’ve now got so many things either on the go or ‘on the drawingboard’ that it just wont see the light of day.  And I’m being very good and not starting it till I’ve got all the prep done for my new Sunflowers & Willows quilt.  Here’s a quick peek at it.  It’s already past this stage, as I’ve got about 70% of the borders prepared and reading to hand sew.  This has gone together very quickly and I’ve used a new technique to get the frills on those flowers.

Sunflowers & Willows

This was another, ‘I just want to use up some of those taupes I’m not so fond of.’  The result, I had to buy more and now I really like them.  I naturally prefer plain backgrounds so this was once again me trying to challenge myself to broaden my design ideas.

Yesterday I cut out lots of assorted red dogtooths for my Texas Flower Basket quilt and laid them on the work table to get an idea if they worked, and I fairly happy with them, although there’s one I might remove.  However I left the door to my studio open and Charlie my cat, who seems to have a thing for any fabric with green leaves on it, was found laying on the quilt top with an expression I can only say is belligerent.

It's got green leaves so it's my quilt!

So have a happy and safe new year and see you on the other side.

My new quilting blog

Well I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and now its fact. I’ve been quilting for over 15 years and have never had a quilt blog so this is where I will put up photos and descriptions of past and present projects like a current project I call Acanthus, made from the latest release of William Morris fabrics.