Monday, June 30, 2008

This and That!

Sunbonnet Sue is so old she certainly looks like a vintage quilt, if not antique. The dear little thing has been with me since my early days of quilting and I can't believe I was lucky enough to get Thirties fabrics here in Australia then. I drag her out every now and then to lay out crockery and cutlery for visitors. I did my first machine quilting workshop on her with Lee Cleeland (Quilting Makes the Quilt). Lee is a great teacher and I learned quilting with the walking foot very easily, but have never mastered free-motion.
Here is my attempt at vegie growing - poor little beetroot - hardly worth bottling!
Southern Cross Quilters - Squilters are having an 1800 reproduction fat-quarter swap run by dear friend, Prue. We can swap up to 42 fat-eighths with no more than 7 of one fabric. I have prepared 20 so I am looking forward to seeing the 20 I will receive. All good fun!

Believe it or not - I'm off to another sewing day/luncheon tomorrow, so must do a little cooking and a few other chores.

'Bye for now!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Four Block Applique Quilt

I have resurrected this four block quilt this week and showed it to friends who oohed and aahed and thought it was lovely. It is basted, stencil design marked and ready to hand quilt - so guess what I have been doing the last couple of nights - quilting it!

It was probably made early 2000's with inspiration from a medallion design by Colleen Archibold in an Australian magazine. I was madly into 4-block antique quilts at the time and went a bit quirky with with repro fabrics and one of the very first In the Beginning fabrics to appear in Australia. The border is very bold but when I look at it now, it somehow all works. I have even used a small animal skin print in the berries and framing border!

Maybe now I will finish it as we are having wild, stormy wintery weather, just ideal for cuddling in the lounge and quilting.

DD, Danielle and I went shopping to Garden City Shopping Centre yesterday - twins, Byron and Heidi in tow. I enjoy a good read and Nora Roberts is a favourite of mine, so bought a new release of hers. She writes some good thrillers - I enjoy Mary Higgins Clarke's books, too. I also bought a little Chamilia bead for my short gold necklace - quite nice and modern. Needless to say stocktake sales were on. It was a lovely day to shop - with a wild storm outside. We were warm and safe enjoying retail-therapy.

I am having a couple of days at home over the weekend, so I think the slow-cooker will go on and maybe I'll start a new creation - or maybe I'll just quilt, we'll see.

Have a nice weekend everyone - 'bye!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cancer Morning Tea!

Today our group, Rockingham Patchwork Group had our Cancer Morning Tea, participating in Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. This event is The Cancer Council's foremost fundraising event and since it was implemented in 1994 has raised over $40 million dollars.

Through our quilt raffle, door entry fee and rolling raffles, we today raised $1,500. We are proud of this achievement and had a lovely day with lots of fun and food shared by members and visitors.

Our group also contributes to dear wee quilts to cover the humicribs at King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women, which is West Australia's premier tertiary maternity and gynaecological hospital. The quilts measure 16" x 24" and just look at this gorgeous little hand-knitted set for some lucky premmie baby!
Debi, above, is Leader of the Pack, always ably assisted by Karen. Tremayne, Debi's grandson turns five tomorrow and Deb has made him this great dinosaur quilt. Happy Birthday, Tremayne and Happy Birthday to Karen for today, too.

After all this fun and frivolity it was off to the Red Cross Blood Bank to give a donation.

Hope your day has been enjoyable, too - best wishes!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dolly Quilt Swap 4 ... In Progress!

Swap Quilt Mama, Susan , would like a sneak preview of how we are progressing with our dolly quilts!

I am really enjoying doing this little cutie. I am in the throes of hand-quilting - some yo-yos have been made for the border, but I think I will need to do quite a few more. I have been using the Clover yo-yo maker and it is quick and easy.

I have been doing quite a bit of fabric-buying lately, so must try to add another photo to show you. Looks like that worked! Several of these are from the new Merrimack collection and the purple at the back is the border for my hexagon quilt. Naughty ... but good fun!
Off to do some work now, so have a lovely day.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Girlie Pinwheels

Here is a bright "little girl baby quilt" that I designed using my favourite little pinwheel blocks again. I made a "little boy baby quilt" that I gave to my neighbours, when their little boy, Dusan, was born.

I enjoy whimsy, as you know, and it is fun having a change from repro fabrics every now and then. It was a challenge to use black and white fabrics and still keep a baby feel to the quilt - great for modern Mum's! The pinwheels are 3" finished and I make them using the trim-back method - fiddly little things, but I love the movement they put into a quilt.

Have a great weekend everyone - 'bye!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Books for Byron and Heidi

My four-year old twin grandchildren visiting regularly and stay over at times, too. These three books are so popular with them and I am sure the back two, classics worldwide, are enjoyed by children all over the world.

Mother Earth and Her Children - A Quilted Fairy Tale is by Sieglinde Schoen Smith who is an award-winning quilter, expert embroiderer, and gifted artist. The quilt is stitched and embroidered by hand and I feel it won Best of Show in Houston one year.

On my trip to the US last year, I was lucky enough to find the book in a bookshop in a museum in Chicago - there was also a wonderful display of antique quilts - so all in all it was a really fun day.

Here are Heidi and Byron clowning around on Australia Day - see their fake tattoos! Boy, they are so full of life this pair, they keep parents, grandparents and all around on their toes.

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sweet Mustard Pickles

Yesterday I did manage to get a little more done on my Dolly Quilt Swap and also some re-designing on my Dancing Dollies Quilt.

Most of the day was spent preparing for carpet cleaning today and making pickles. Number one gransdson, Tyler, loves Nanna's pickles and can't get enough of them ... consequently I have made two batches this week and had the house smelling of vinegar.

It is a cold, windy, wet day here, which is wonderful for the environment, but not so good for carpet cleaning. Oh, well, I must carry on - so all you happy sewers, have a nice day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dolly Quilt Swap #4 In Progress

This is something new for me - both the swap and making Suffolk Puffs using a yo-yo maker. The yo-yo maker is not quite as neat as the old method we use, but very easy and quick.
I am having fun doing the swap and looking forward to the outcome.
Best wishes!

Friday, June 13, 2008

American Beauty

Here is another of my quilts. Humbly, but proudly, I won First Prize in Professional Small Quilts Category in the Sydney Quilt Show in 2004.That was a great thrill as I really enjoyed making this quilt in my favourite reproduction fabrics.
It is foundation pieced and hand quilted and although it doesn't show up too well, the border fabric is a beautiful stripe I ordered from the US.
Off for another day of socializing and I'll work on my Dolly Quilt Swap while chatting with good friends!
Best wishes -

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hexagon Quilt Without Borders

My Hexagon Quilt is to the stage where it is finished without a border - whew! that has taken years. I am waiting on fabric from Reproduction Fabrics in the US to do the border and then the big job of hand quilting will begin. I think it measures about 45" x 60" at this stage, so it will be easy to handle.

I'm off to a Friendship Day at Roleystone today - I always look forward to that once a month. It is probably about 80 kilometres away and I meet up with lovely friends.

Thanks for visiting and best wishes!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This is treasured little Elizabeth - I gave her to Ayesha when she was a wee thing and she is now twelve years old.

Elizabeth has mohair hair and a little blue hand smocked, Bishop-necked dress with hand embroidery on it. I painted her eyes, also - painting eyes is a challenge, but one I really enjoyed. The thing I enjoyed most about doll-making was the painting and I even enjoyed the cleaning of the greenware. I wasn't too fussed on the dressing, as most of my dolls are antique reproductions and need to be dressed in natural fibres and they can be difficult to come by. Also, the little garments are so small they can be difficult to fit under the machine needle.

I have been busy trying to finish off my Hexagon Quilt - will do so today, except for the borders. I'm looking forward to the hand-quilting over winter.

I have also joined a dolly quilt swap and am looking forward to a bit of creativity there. The rest of the week is busy for me - socialising, that is, so I must away and get my house into order.

Best wishes all ,

Monday, June 9, 2008

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

We are in the middle of our wintery, stormy weather so I made Joe's soup yesterday while I was so busy sewing. There are so many lovely vegies about at the moment and I have fresh herbs in the garden.

The soup is just beautiful - I left mine chunky and served it with toasted rye bread. It was made in my 6 litre slow cooker and will now go into the freezer. The girls are coming for a sewing day on the 25th, so guess what they'll be having! Best wishes all.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Blueberry Crush 1 and Blueberry Crush 2

Oh dear, what a weekend - I have been so busy at the machine and this rarely happens in my life as I am usually committed to doing lots of other things. Whatever happened to my Blueberry Crush? As you can see, I have completely digressed from the original and have come up with two lap quilts about 52" square and both with quite a different look, I think.

Nothing seemed to be working for me, so here is the final outcome. Mum really needs a new lap quilt with the cold weather coming on and the other I don't know ... family, friends, charity - we'll see!

It has been a lovely time doing OC, but I will be so pleased to have a break from machine sewing and get back to a couple of hand projects that I am really enthusiastic about. Hand-quilting is really calling me now winter is here. Also, I really feel the need to do some applique again.

I know I have been a naughty girl not doing the big OC, but really I do have enough bed quilts and I think the family are well set up, also.

Best wishes to all and for those of you who haven't finished your OC tops, keep enjoying the journey!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Work in Progress Since 2004

My memory has been jogged and I have pulled this out of a cupboard. It is another example of our great Australian Dancing Dollies quilt. I will get more information on it as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, I think I can feel my creative juices flowing. Unfortunately while in the middle of making this quilt, I had a bad fall while walking my puppies in Brisbane, Queensland, one cold, winter morning. This fall resulted in a prosthesis in my left shoulder and arm. I am all better now, but it did take me a long time to recuperate. Then we made the big move to Western Australia, so this has become a forgotten little piece. I did drag it out one day to show Julia but of course it was put back in the cupboard and there it remained until today.

Oh, well, let's see what happens to it - maybe back into the cupboard again! Best wishes all.

Sarah Johnson and Dancing Dollies Quilt

My daughter, Angela, is the proud owner of this quilt I made perhaps 10 years ago. The middle of the quilt is my reproduction of the Sarah Johnson Quilt, that Sarah completed in 1826 when she was just 14 years old. The border comes from a great Australian quilt held in a museum in Adelaide, Australia, I think.

I really must invest in a book on our great Australian quilts - in the past I've had friends who had the book and I used to borrow for reference and inspiration.

Isn't it amazing that a 14 year old made the original - and I guess it would have been all made by hand.

I'm off to experiment with my Blueberry Crush - let's see if the fabrics I am thinking about do the trick!

Best wishes all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Flowering Almond Quilts

I have happened to come across information on the original Flowering Almond Quilt on The Quilt Index site. After the death of her friend, Betty (Elizabeth Harned Harriman), Mary (Mary Vida Schafer) took on the task of completing many of Betty's unfinished tops. This applique design, a popular motif from the mid-19th century, was one of Betty's favorites. The top was finished in 1972 and measures 96" x 83" and now forms part of the collection at Great Lakes Quilt Center/Michigan State University Museum.

The quilt below that I have posted previously is my interpretation of Betty's and Mary's quilt. A friend visited the Museum in 2001 and returned with a photo of the original quilt. I loved it so much and had always wanted to make a red and green quilt from that era, so I designed my own quilt. After finding the original on the Quilt Index site, I feel happy I have done the original justice. My little quilt is only 42" square and took me about six months to complete, so goodness knows the hours that went into the original.

I hope you enjoy a little history, the above mentioned site is a lovely one to visit - best wishes!

Alice and Georgina!

My two little Maltese puppies went to the beauty parlor yesterday and will be off to the vet later this week for vaccinations.

Their quilt is probably my favourite quilt - just a little lap quilt that is quite old, but is dearly loved by you-know-who. The cushion is my failure at The Thimblelady's quilting workshop - her quilting technique is world famous and I'm sure I am one of her very few failures. I gave the practice piece to a friend and she gave it back to me as a present, quilted beautifully and made into a cushion.
Thank you for visiting and best wishes!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Little Cutie!

At last I am pleased with this little dolly quilt. I now have to sandwich it for hand quilting which I am looking forward to - it will be a nice little portable project when I am at sewing groups. I will either try the bamboo/cotton wadding or a new, very fine, wool wadding.

I have used reproduction fabrics and the borders are a beautiful Civil War Classics by Judie Rothermal.

Still no progress with Step 5 of OC - if there is enough of the blue, I will use it in my Blueberry Crush. In the piece it is a little drab, but it seems to really come up nicely with other colours around it.

Best wishes everyone!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

New Dolly Quilt ... I Don't Think So!

Oh, dear, yesterday wasn't a great day! I am feeling quite frustrated at not being able to continue with my Blueberry Crush, so decided to make a new dolly quilt as I want to try out a new batting for hand quilting before I use it in a larger quilt.

I made this little quilt while baby-sitting my two little helpers, Byron and Heidi. Heidi happily continued to prop herself under my elbow and watch the stitching, while Byron became bored and found the switch that turns the light on and off on the machine. The little ones will spend the night with me while their Mum and Dad have gone to the Ministry of Sound Concert in Perth.

The fabrics in the quilt are lovely French and American reproductions ... but now I have decided I don't really like it, so I will have another attempt and see if I can come up with something more to my liking, before continuing on with hand quilting.

I also tried to install the Civil War Diary disc with no joy, so will have to wait until Julia and I find a mutually suitable time to get our heads together on it. Also, I have also temporarily lost my stat counter.

What a dreadful life we Bloggers lead! Must away and feed the granchildren breakfast now - lucky I can still keep my priorities right.

Best wishes all!