Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shaggy Doormat!

I have had a bit of fun at the sewing machine this morning! I am in need of a new doormat

and have been inspired by one I saw at Dear Friend Pat's, last week.
I know most of you have done some 'shaggies' over the years - however, I think it's nice to resurrect old styles and techniques from time to time. It is well over 4 years since I made our littlest twins their baby blankies using this style, so thought I would do a re-try and maybe make it a little quicker and easier this time.
I used the same backing for all squares ($3/metre at Spotlight), cotton wadding and the top some lovely old Reproductions once again.
I cut the wadding finished square sizes, i.e. 7 inches for the large squares and 3 1/2 inches for the small squares.
The backing and top squares I cut 8 1/2 inches and 5 inches respectively, this leaving me 3/4 inch seam allowance all around. This meant I didn't have to stress my hand cutting through the wadding layer as well as the top and backing when I snipped to create the fringing effect.
I used smallish dabs of the water-soluble gluestick to fix the 3 layers together.

Then I quilted with just a normal machine stitch from corner to corner on each square.

Next I joined the squares in 3 rows, right side up, with a 3/4 inch seam allowance. I found it easier to work with if I pressed all seams open.
Check the layout above. I used a triple strength stitch to go around the perimeter, 3/4 inch in from the edge, to form the outer fringe. Then I snipped all seam allowances at roughly 1/2 inch intervals. Of course, then it was into the washing machine and dryer!
Voila! Now I have a nice, bright, new doormat! It measure 35 inches by 21 1/2 inches and this is the perfect size for me. I will probably cut a piece of non-slip to size to lay under the mat.
Off to shop for dinner, now - 'bye!
PS - is anyone else having problems with line-spacing or is it only me!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blogs I'm Following!

At times lately I have thought about different Blogland girls and thought 'that's funny ... so-and-so hasn't posted lately' - you see I have been relying on Blogs I'm Following on my Dashboard (which I think is the greatest thing since sliced bread!) and have now realized in my rushing about, I haven't transposed all from the front of my blog. So sorry to those who I have missed - I'll be double checking everyone I have listed - little Nosey Parker here doesn't like to miss out on the latest news!

Also - silly me! - I am ahead of time re the Houston Quilt Show - I think it will be next Wednesday evening Houston time when the winners are announced!

Happ Day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Productive Weekend!

Oh, my goodness ... this is too much for me! At last getting something done ... I made these Cathedral Window Coasters some time ago and all I had to do was run around the curves with the machine to quilt and finish them off. That was quick and easy ... I love them and don't feel like using them, but desperately need them, so they will be used ... practical, effective and easy to make, just a bit time consuming.

This one is a Christmas present - I don't know if you can see the hand-quilting ... tried out the big stitches done with DMC Perle 8! Wow, this is great ... I love to hand-quilt, but it also is time consuming and this is so fast ... I think I will need quite a bit of practice to get even stitches ... uneven sized stitches show up so much more with the big stitches ... still, I'm going to stay with it.
There will probably be a lot of criticism from the Purists, but , who cares! If anyone has any tips, I'd be pleased to receive them.
By the way ... the fabrics I have used are 1800 Reproductions ... who said Reproductions are dull and boring?

I am anxious to see ALL the winners from the Houston Quilt Show 2008 - all I can get so far can be found on http://www.quilts.org/awb-finalist.html I have such fond memories of our visit there last year and the Aussie dollar was so strong, so that made it extra special.
Dear friend, Shari, has joined Blogland ... please pay her a visit and welcome her ... she is just gorgeous ... works far too hard and is so generous with her time ... she's at Mumsyblossom's World ... take note of our beautiful native bottle brush in full bloom in her Header!
Well, must get back to a little tidying-up and then more sewing I hope ... our Daylight Saving has just started today and I think I will enjoy it!
Happy weekend - 'bye!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Quilts & Chit-Chat!

See us below (minus Diane, the Photographer)! We had a great day at Pat's place on Tuesday ... divine location high on a hill overlooking Coogee Beach in Western Australia. There were seven of us and sometimes that is a lovely number to be able to chat and interact with everyone there!

I have talked about Pat before, but haven't shown you this wonderful little quilt of hers (above) ... so creative, whimsical and unusual with the knitted edging. Several of her quilts are on display at Calico and Ivy, one of our local quilt shops. Also, Kaffe Fassett has bought one of her quilts, so what a claim to fame!

The tablecloth is made from Pat's husband's business shirts ... Bonnie Hunter would be impressed!

And, here's the girl herself ... a great quilter, great cook and has the hugest stash in the world! Julia of Julia's Place (by the way she is sitting next to me and won't often show her face!) and I nearly had a knipschen when we went from room to room viewing it all ... I went out yesterday and bought a few metres of fabric and felt no guilt whatsoever, and I intend to do a little shop-hop next week of two new shops in Perth ... my paltry, little stash needs a boost!
Do pop over to dear friend, Christine's blog - Once Upon a Quilt ... she has a link to Queensland Quilt Show and has won Retaining the Tradition with her gorgeous 1930's quilt , you will see the photo ... she has my congratulations, love and best wishes!
Have a great weekend everyone ... hopefully I will get some stitching done!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hostess Day at WAQA & My Angel's Gift!

Wow ... I have lots to talk about today! Firstly, we had a wonderful, successful day at our guild's sewing day ... our group Creative Threads were hostesses for the day and it being Breast Cancer Research Month we went all out PINK! Gwen decorated all the tables with our beautiful native wildflowers, Geralton Wax. Barb popped a packet of bikkies on each table, so all in all it made it a bit of a special day for all members who did wear pink, too!

I have written previously about a great quilt our group has made ... at first the intention was for it to be donated to an individual as a Charity Quilt ... too many people thought we should raffle it ... left to right we have Louise, Carol and Gwen and ta da! ... the quilt. It is a big thrill to us all to raise $562, which will be donated to Breast Cancer Research. We also asked members to make 12" quilt blocks ... one of which Louise is holding ... and we received 86 ... lots of quilts to be made from these blocks!
A lovely surprise when I arrived home ... a parcel from my Stitchers' Angel ... DH and DD wanted met to rip it open there and then ... I guessed that it may be from my Angel and wanted to open it in my own quiet time! So much of my life is shared, there are some moments I like to keep special ... I guess we all have our funny little ways.
Here are my beautiful gifts from Helen ... thank you so much Helen, I just love them and so much thought and creativity have gone into each and every one. The pin cushion is based on a rose from the Scottish artist, Charles Renne Macintosh ... the needlecase is made from Welsh flannel (Helen's home country) ... the bag by Cinderberry Stitches! I'm thrilled!

It is great to know Kathie from Inspired By Antique Quilts is back in Blogland again ... such a wonderfully talented lady ... always nice to visit her blog ... do pop by!

Off to a sewing day again today ... it has been quiet for so long that it is a real buzz to do the girlie thing again ... enjoy your day everyone!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Secret Santa & Dolly Quilt 5 Swaps!

I am a quilter again and so looking forward to spending time today at the sewing machine!

Sometimes it pays to have a good clean-out - look at the box of beautiful little yo-yos I found - there must be hundreds of them - many years ago, I had thoughts of making a yo-yo quilt (silly me!). This was long before the yo-yo maker had been invented and I really do think the good old-fashioned way was so much neater. I could sit for ages just looking at the different 1930's fabrics that must have passed through my hands over time. I will use some of them in my dqs5 swap.

On the right we have preparation for the runner I am making for my Secret Santa Swap - seems like ages ago I started, so will be nice to get a bit further today. It would be nice to get it finished to post to the US.

We have an absolutely beautiful day here - but, I really don't mind staying inside and sewing! Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Will Become A Quilter Again!

My goodness ... I am definitely over this spring cleaning and about to become a serious quilter again! Everything is spicky-span - up into the back garden at 6:45 this morning and now waiting for DS #2 to arrive - here he is, so will be back again early tomorrow!

Well, I'm back (next morning) - both my boys work in Boddington, a small mining town about two and a half hours drive from Perth. I had a nice pork and spinach curry ready for David, so he was happy after a long drive in the dark, having to really concentrate on driving to avoid hitting any kangaroos.

Helen, of Hugs'n'Kisses, will be happy to know my Stitchers' Angel gift is now winging it's way to Holland - it really has been a lot of fun! I'm looking forward to receiving mine from Germany.

As I was going through old photos, I came across this beautiful one of hollyhocks that I grew in Queensland quite a few years ago. How perfect! I just loved them - it is the one and only time I've grown hollyhocks. It brought back a lot of happy memories browsing through old photos - that's the plus side of spring cleaning!

Both girls (daughters) and I are off to Ikea this morning - wow, it will be great to have a little retail therapy!

Happy weekend again!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday - Dear Mum!

What a lovely day we had on Sunday! We had a family celecbration for Mum's 90th Birthday - it was so great to have everyone together (less one, unfortunately). All fourteen of us went to a local restaurant for a lovely lunch and it was great to be out on a beautiful, sunny, spring day.

Wow - ninety years old - only nine candles - imagine if there had been ninety - we would have had to call the fire brigade! The kids loved the mud cake - a bit yukky to cut and messy fingers and faces - all good fun!
Julia and Reno called in yesterday with these gorgeous orchids and card. I was quite amazed to see a 90th card - it was so nice to catch up and also very timely as some of the birthday flowers were dying off and I'd tossed them earlier in the day.

I think the cold weather has passed and I've been bitten by the spring-cleaning bug, so not much sewing getting done. Never mind - it will feel good when it is done and then I can sew for the rest of the year to make up for it.

'Bye for now!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Books, Fabics & a Birthday!

That was quick! I had a lovely surprise yesterday morning - Bonnie's book arrived. I was about to go shopping, so made myself wait until I got home to browse through it.

I am really thrilled with it - haven't read it thoroughly enough to absorb all the "green" issues, but there are several projects I can see myself doing - Nifty Thrifty and Bargain Basement and though very simple Lucy's Shopping Bag.

Must admit though, I am not at all into re-cycling shirts, but really admire Bonnie for her contribution to the cause. I don't have a huge stash, but must admit there is more there than I will get through in a lifetime! I must challenge myself to use what I have for the scrappy quilts Bonnie does so well.

I have been madly searching the internet for fabrics to make the Third Prize Raffle Quilt for QuiltWest next year. I will do my own design Girlie Pinwheels as posted earlier. It is so difficult to guess just looking at a monitor, so I made a trip to Calico and Ivy yesterday.

With the help of shop-owner, Debbie, this is what I chose. "Mmmm ...!" I can hear some saying - "what is she up to here"? It will be quite funky, but modern, fresh and bright. Most of the fabrics are from the Lotus range by Amy Butler for Rowan fabrics. I have it all pictured in my mind's eye , so let's hope it comes up to expectations!

Mum turned 90 last Tuesday, so tomorrow we are having a family celebration at a local restaurant - she is so thrilled about it, so I am madly hoping most will be able to make it. She has settled into being at home very nicely and is behaving (no more falls), so God willing she won't have to go back to a nursing home permanently!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Quilt and Think Pink Month!

Yes, I have done it ... naughty, naughty! I've started a new quilt - one from the girls at Material Obsession (see my previous Post). I love the 1930's reproduction fabrics, especially the brighter ones like the feedsacks! This quilt is a reproduction of an antique 1930's quilt and I have often thought about making it - this has inspired me as this one probably has larger petals than the original, it is fun and relaxing to do. I am going to try to hand quilt it using Perle thread and larger stitches - this will be a challenge for me as I automatically do tiny stitches - I am determined though! As you can see, I am using the freezer paper applique method - I press towards the shiny side - not for everyone, I know, but it works for me.

I know Nanette from Freda's Hive, is keen to see some contents of the book, so above is another quilt, Nanette - The 'Burbs, which was inspired by Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston. It is on my to-do list and allows for a lot of creativity as it is a recipe, not a pattern. Nanette and Daughters have a great blog and you will enjoy a little visit!
Above, just a little snippet from our current Woman's Day magazine ... as it is October, Breast Cancer Month, the magazine has done a great article "Pink Quilt Campaign"! Kathy and Sarah co-ordinated the beautiful quilt - well done for the great effort, Girls. I felt quite proud to be an Australian quilter when I read the article earlier this week - so do pop over and visit the girls and see more of the quilt!
Wow ... what a beautiful day! Take a peek at my lovely Satchmo rose - blooms galore! I should be out in the garden doing a little weeding in the beautiful sunshine - however, think I will settle for walking the puppies. Shhhh ... don't tell them, they get really excited.

Happy day everyone - hugs!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Down Under QUILTS!

Hello again this weekend ... just after I had done my weekend post on Friday, I picked up the latest issue of Down Under QUILTS ... and there it was ... my Girlie Pinwheels Quilt, beautifully displayed on Page 11 and also an insert on the front cover. I am feeling really thrilled about this and would like to thank Lorraine (Moran - Editor) for chasing me up! I really had fun making this quilt - just loved playing with the black and white combined with pastels - somehow it all works! And of course - perhaps my Signature Block, pinwheels!

Maybe Lorraine is peeking at my blog ... if so congratulations, Lorraine! Lorraine was inducted ito the Hall of Fame receiving the Quilt & Craft Award of Excellence 2008.

Also in this issue, we get to Meet a Quilter , Helen Stubbings. Helen has a delightful blog, Hugs'n'Kisses - do pop by - a lovely blog to visit and Helen has put a lot of hard work into our Stitcher's Angel Swap - thanks, Helen!


Girlfriend Kris is not feeling well! This photo was taken in Macy's, San Francisco last October. She was certainly well then - after the long flight fron Perth/Australia to San Francisco we headed straight for Macy's Estee Lauder counter. Why? ... because we could and also Estee Lauder products are almost double the price in Australia!

What fun that whole trip was ... get well soon, Girlfriend!

A little gift to cheer Kris up - notebook and jasmine soap from Thailand, pincushion by This little Black Duck and of course the current copy of DUQ.

Not much sewing is getting done here - hope you are all having a lovely weekend - hugs!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Once Again ... Have a Lovely Weekend!

Another weekend ... my family are Rugby League followers, so a very exciting one for them! Maybe I will get some time to stitch! Mum came home yesterday and is very thrilled to be here - she had the first decent night's sleep in seven weeks in her own bed, so she tells me.

Above are my gifts as a Stitcher's Angel - I hope my mortal is happy - the parcel has to go to the Netherlands. I bought the hand painted handkerchief in Phuket, the birdie keyring from a Jim Thompson boutique in Bangkok (they carry beautiful articles, scarves etc. of fine Thai silk) in Siam City Shopping Centre (Paragon - VERY upmarket! - I just love it, but the bank balance doesn't - my big splurge was the scarf I am wearing in my photo top/left).

I really enjoy making these hexagon bags and the pincushions, too. My mortal said she liked "country colours" and also Kaffe Fassett was mentioned, so I went the Kaffe Fassett way - everything is quite colourful - hope I am not taking too big a risk!

This wonderful book arrived yesterday - the authors are Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke - two Australian girls who run a business of the same name, Material Obsession. The quilts are fun, lively and contemporary. I think I would choose another word for "contemporary" as a lot of the 23 projects are based on traditional design, using the gorgeous modern fabrics that are about today - cute, whimsical and colourful, but not overpowering. The Foreword is by Kaffe Fassett and full off beautiful compliments to these two girls - they must feel so special!

I also received a phone call yesterday from Jean Adams on behalf of the QuiltWest Committee who put on our Guild's annual quilt show. Jean asked me if I would like to make a lap-sized quilt for third-prize for our Art Union Quilt Raffle next year, May 2009. I feel very honoured to have been chosen and as proceeds generally go to The Royal Flying Doctor Service and Breast Cancer Research, I am happy to put my time in to supporting these two charities.

Perhaps with the book arrival and the phone call occurring around the same time of day, somebody up there is trying to tell me something! Maybe I should use a pattern from the book - we'll see! There are so many things on my "to do" list!

Once again ... have a lovely weekend ... hugs!

Oopsy ... must have deleted my signature ... Lurline!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Springtime!

Here are photos of our beautiful Australian native plant, the Bottlebrush. I am so lucky to have this beauty around me when I go walking. This is near a lake close by. It is wildflower time over here now and as I drive down the freeway from Perth late afternoon the sun glints off the Wattle and it is really a spectacular sight. I often feel like stopping the car to photograph, but I don't think other motorists would appreciate it!

This seems to be a week for doctors' visits - drat! - I should be out with my girlfriends this morning - never mind! I hope to come home this afternoon and get some stitching done - still dying to try out my version of Scrap Happy.

Progress so far for my Stitcher's Angel - the Hexagon Bag is done and now I am chasing little gold rings to thread through the drawstring cord. Let's hope I can track some down today. I made the little pincushion last night and have another on the go - I just love making them. I challenge myself to get a perfectly round shape and equal eights - silly me - simple mind!

I am feeling in a very whimsical, quirky, pretty, spotty mood lately - does anyone else get these get these changes of heart from time to time? Maybe it is because of Spring. I still intend working on my Civil War Love Letters starting 28 October.

Happy day everyone!