Monday, 26 February 2007

Gifts from Di

Really lovely stack of fabric as a gift I won from Di Mill
Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my name drawn - they deserve a fine pattern to compliment their fine colours. Did I mention the card is also stunning! Thanks Di !!
One of the many reasons I love to read crafty blogs; because they are by great people who do interesting stuff and generous to boot.

A shopping we all go...

Mum and I went to the Australian Quilt Convention on Friday - shoulder to shoulder shopping, with just a little bit of 'quilters rage'(by someone else!) Got some goodies to share...

Mum's first quilt fabric - I love it when Mum surprises me by choosing Kaffe Fassett material, in a multitude of colours and patterns. I stopped by a stall that had Heather Bailey's Freshcut - yummo! I couldn't resist the rasberry flavoured piece - I 've had my eye on that for quite a while - Mum also chose the very pretty pink dotted rose one in the corner - it goes beautifully! Saw fantastic quilts and it was a great opportunity for me to get an idea of what my Mum likes in styles, pattern and the like. She spotted a bright number on display which had a Log cabin-sort-of pattern - I could do that (even though I have never tried a log-cabin - what! you say)
Next! Very Cute buttons for my 'Fairies in the Window' quilt ('Rebekah Amy' pattern by Rosalie Quinlan), with an extra border and applique. Friend Keeley suggested a honeybee block in the middle and voila - looks great. I've been looking high and low for bee buttons to finish it off - but so many bees look scary! Too bright, too stingy looking, but these are Very Cute. I also love the cross looking ladybugs "Why are you so cross?" The worms make me wriggle! Problem with bees is there are only four in packet and there are four honeybee corner. Should I use one in the middle or one in each corner, or 3 in the middle?

I love these material combinations - fairies, sweetpeas (need to smell them desperately! Must plant some in spring!!!) marbling, many others. (Cheated on the heart appliques - got them already cut from ebay - too easy and 99% of them blended magnificantly) Had large stippling quilted all over from my quilt lady Laurene.
A little tool to help my daughter with her yo-yos - just push the needle through the holes of the wheels (after following the proper steps first of course) to sew evenly around. I thought yo-yos couldn't get any easier than the normal way - but this will be great for children and others with hand difficulties.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Another William Morris and some saucy lingerie!

Just arrived in the letterbox - from ebay - 1 yard of 'Morris Damask' by Perfect Occassion (England), though came from US. The colours are not so pinkish, as in the photo, and perhaps not a true Morris pattern, but will still go well with my other Morris' for the hatbox UFO or should I say NSO (not started object). Though many would argue that fabric selection is an essential part of the project, and so it doesn't matter how long it takes before the actual sewing begins.

Some inbetween sewing (below) was for amitie MS quilt - what a fabulous idea - donated blocks of red, black and white, to be sew up for a quilt to be auctioned on ebay. I hunted for these colours - not hopeful as I have never sewn with them, but lo and behold, some saucy lingerie and cutie puppies appeared. I felt really pleased with myself that the points actually met!!! Thank goodness I didn't embaress myself with bad sewing (I think - maybe others would have a differing opinion) I ventured down to Bentleigh (Melbourne) to visit the shop - lovely - open, bright, interesting materials and quilts. I looked around for some more toile for my hatboxes, and would you believe it - the kind lady said that she had a quilt of that design and brough it out to show me. It was huge (by my standards) and fantastic to see in the flesh, the attic window design and hatbox applique (even the little red stitches).

Saturday, 17 February 2007

...the ears of my ears... and the eyes of my eyes...

I found this wonderful poem today, on A Bird in the Hand who had taken stunning pictures of the sky, which I forget far too often, and they reminded me of a picture hubbie had taken of a country sky, in north eastern Victoria (Everton, outside of Wangaratta). Mesmerising, as is the following poetry:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginably You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

-e.e. cummings

Friday, 16 February 2007

Toiles and Morris

My collection of toiles to make Kaffe Fassett's Hat Box Quilt (see Passionate Patchwork 2001)- I love the idea of making a 3D effect wall hanging, as if the hats are placed in their own little pidgeon holes in the wall. I particularly like the Victorian ladies at the bottom - the toiles will become the hatboxes and ....then, use my stash of William Morris fabrics as the walls and floors of each compartment. Love Morris love Morris!


Some flower yo-yos I made to decorate a couple of baskets pairs I picked up for next to nothing - they are plastic lined (perhaps for a pot plant, as they were in a nursery, but I think that's a dumb idea) I would rather use them as stationery containers or something like that) Any ideas?
These are the first yo-yos I have ever made - I was pretty proud, so was hubbie! Not entirely sure I like the yellow ones on the pink, but the material was a little scrap of uber cute strawberries, just the colour of the container, though once scrunched up, hard to see.
There is a great tutorial for heart shaped yo-yos see: Penny

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Little things....Quality Time....

A dark picture it looks but this is our masterpiece hanging over our mantlepiece - actually its 'Bohemian' by Anna Maria Horner, stapled over inexpensive canvases ($50 instead of $$$$ investment in unknown artist - that may come later - but I like this effect - the colours are unusual for me - not a red lover, but that may be changing in my old age - never say never. The tones go really well with my neutralish couches and walls. There's little whippet again.
'Quality Time' - illustration by (I think) Anita Jeram. It often reminds me as a parent - to have fun with my kids, no matter how silly I look!
Little corner I like - in my dining room - embroidered lampshade (Ikea) and a little piccie I framed - 'Quality Time' - and a 'throw away' lamp table (a bit crooked, but it has charm).
My dining room colour is really interesting to me - it faces west, but with inside and outside blind for heat reduction - but the colour changes constantly depending on time of day and reflection of other things - sometimes it is a strikingly strong blue and other times it softens to a romantic deep lavender - actually sometimes I don't like it at all, but I just have to wait an hour and the colour has changed again! Who could invent everchanging paint colour?? It faces my open kitchen, which of course, I never seem to leave, but at quite a distance, which gives me 'room' to appreciate or look away. I love my 'old gold' curtains also - told the curtain lady 'I don't have a budget', and then proceeded to spend far too much on drapes of fabric, which I am too embarressed to reveal to anyone, but gorgeous self-print, heavy and thick and lux, and a self-stripe textual roman blind ('I'll never have stripes!' I had said). Should last forever!!
Little sweetie whippet - present for hubbie for Christmas last. Very elegant and a lovely patina.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Love these sites!

Doing more blog searching and doodling, just so I don't start my study (Library Technician), which really I should do, but I'm doing this instead! Found this blog Best of Etsy who writes up her own favs. I love the cardstock and the pincushions and the pencil art and the brooch/earings. Wow! So many things I would love to buy. Handmade things are so interesting/unique/madewithcare/personal etc etc - maybe that's why I love looking through my extensive list of crafty blogs, to see who made what next. I know I only have a few listed on my site - but I will list more!

Softies Central
Softies do it for me - they make my heart melt - I love cute ones, ugly ones, and all in between!

Monday Blog Treat - ACE!

Working more on my Cookies quilt - called that 'cause the fabric is from 'Cookies and me' by My Sister and Me. I'm up to machine quilting it - simple in the ditch and diagonal lines, but they were starting to buckle and looked crap - lots of unpicking and redoing - I don't enjoy this part of the process - it will never look as professional as the professionals - (who'd think!) - but this quilt is for my girls' school fair craft stall - enough money has been spent on the material/batting etc, that $100 more for quilting is out of the question. I just want it to look good - not perfect - perfection is not my goal, but Not Crap! (Excuse my french, if that offends!) I've got 'til March 18 to do this quilt and to baste, quilt, bind a 'Funky Monkey' quilt, multiple aprons made from cotton drill, and other little bits and pieces - all by March 18 Arrrrrrrrrhhrrrh! Don't panic - I'll do it!

Friday, 9 February 2007

Do you have fairies in your garden? We do!

We do! We really do! They even write letters to us. One fairy is called Felicity and has a younger sister Joy. At the moment it is too hot for the fairies, and they have gone up to the mountains. When it cools down, they said that they would be back. I don't blame them - we can hardly water the plants, let alone the grass (drought conditions) though our washing machine water gets pumped onto the back lawn Well done Hubbie!!! Anyway, I digress. Fairies - as a tribute to our own fairies, I spied some really lovely material with Cecily Mary Barker drawings (famous English fairy flower artist), on ebay. I was hooked. Sourcing sweetpea material from England sealed the deal and Fairies in the Garden was born - my own design - simple and sweet.

Who has a Purple Passion?

A very purple quilt made for our friends who moved from our neighbourhood to Ballarat (country Victoria - about 1 1/2 hrs drive from Melbourne city) Krissie loves purple and when I found out that they (family of 6) were moving, a quilt to say bye but don't forget us was in order. I found some material with birds and then some tulip material, as well as a lovely pattern for waterlillies/tulips , which I really enjoyed making. Machine quilting by Laurene (my quilting lady!) in a great tulip swirl. My only bugbear is that I made it too small!!! When placed on the bed, it looks like it should be bigger, but I think Krissie and Jon like it all the same. My Hubbie loved it too, and I think hints often that he would have liked to keep it! Who would have thought?

This is the next project I did about 2 years ago - gorgeous material from my favourite online store
Lovely oldfashioned pictures for the alphabet - could only give it to my nephew and niece to share as a play blanket, bed quilt, whatever! Lots and lots of mistakes - I cringe when I think of the bad sewing in it - but I was still only so new to patchwork and machine quilting. Come to think of it - I still feel like a Newbie!!

It's about time!

It is about time I posted something on this blog! I have been pretty slack in posting - apologies to one and all. I think it's because I'm still not sure about loading up the computer with piccies from the camera. Hubbie and I have not had time to go through the process. I love to visit other blogs to see their pictures - sometimes I don't have time or eye strength! to comprehend letters, words and sentences, and so, pictures often fulfill my crafty curiousity. That said, I do love to read people's thoughts and ideas for their own lives - some favs are certainly Posie gets Cozy, and HELLOmynameisheather.

Maybe I could post some piccies of my finished quilts - let's see how this goes.
Oops - the picture is up above - my first go at patchwork and quilting - a handmade runner, from a community centre tutorials on patchwork etc. It takes pride of place on our dining room table. Amazingly, it has stayed clean -despite several tries at spilling tomato sauce and the like (not on purpose!)

What's next? A new post I think!