Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting Ready for Christmas

I had a lovely time at work today as Lucy and I unpacked these gorgeous Christmas crafts.

stocking

There are all sorts of beautifully packaged patterns for cute things to make.

santa bunting

And many of them are available as kits in these lovely patterns and colours.

santa bag

There's lots of other fun Christmas fabrics to choose from too.

christmas quilt

I now have a few projects in mind for Christmas. Have you got anything planned?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lazy but productive!

We had a nice lazy Saturday morning.

I made a chocolate cake with my helper.

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She had the best job...

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mmmm yummy!

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Lucinda was as usual feeling crafty and had been asking to do an applique canvas.

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She drew up a design and gathered her fabrics. I started the first stitch and off she went.

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All finished...

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And hanging on the wall!

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I was fairly productive too. A cushion for Lucinda to give to her friend for her Birthday today.

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The Birthday girl's favourite colour is blue!

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And this afternoon I started to put together this which is a long overdue present for a union jack loving nephew!!

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Tonight I'm quilting it and hopefully will have it all put together in the next couple of days. Love ticking things off the list!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Guess who just worked out how to swing herself!

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Doll Quilt Swap fun!

So another Doll Quilt Swap is done and dusted with only a few people left to receive their quilts.

It was an interesting swap this time with lots of new rules and regulations. One has to be a bit chattier apparently or your partner might think you have disappeared and won't know enough about you to make you a quilt. My partner was missing for most of the swap but for me it was about making her something special from her original preferences email and not worrying about what she was thinking every day.

The swap participant numbers have now reached around the 200 mark so I suppose it's important to make sure everyone is keeping up and communicating. Part of the fun is, after all, getting to know all of the swappers. And of course there is nothing worse than joining in on a swap and not receiving anything in the end because your secret partner has done a runner! Mind you I think most people join swaps with the best of intentions.

One of the ongoing games during the swap was to try and guess who was making you a quilt - or 'sparting'! I really found it hard to pick which one might have been mine this time. There were lots that I really liked and one that particularly jumped out at me but I wouldn't have guessed for a second that it was actually for me.

When I opened the parcel I was really quite overwhelmed. Such gorgeousness!!!

DQS9 received detail

It never ceases to amaze me that someone would go to such trouble to design and make something so lovely for me!

DQS9 received detail

Jill is so clever - she pleated linen for me!! How good is that! This quilt has so many stunning elements that I love completely.

DQS9 Received

The quilting - fabulous, the colours - perfect, the crochet doily - brilliant, the pleating - stupendous, and to top it off, beautiful grey binding! And then there's the back - wow!! It really is completely fabulous!!

DQS9 Received

To add to my joy I also found some extra special goodies included.

DQS9 Goodies Received!

I just have to make a cushion with the crochet table mat - it's just perfect for my bed!

So thank you, thank you Jill for your cleverness, style and generosity - I LOVE it!!

To make it an even better swap for me I got the best partner to make a quilt for. Here's a little of what she wrote in her preferences to give you an idea of how completely fabulous she is.

so many things that i like… linen, wool felt, gingham, children's drawings, hand embroidery, lots of little handstitching, freshly washed+dried all-puckered up quilts, fairy tales, forests, trees, birds, sweet, but not cutesy with a touch of darkness (think neko case's, fox confessor brings the flood) gatherings at the tea party table, gees bend-ish quilts, making do with what one already has (even though i adore all of the new fabrics out there) with a bit of vintage thrown in for good measure, improvisational quilts, hexagons, dresden plates done in a cool modern way, plus (cross) designs in red + white, heather ross, the unexpected, odd little creatures (anything “the black apple”-ish), aqua+paleyellow+gray, pink+green (always and forever) and colorcolorcolor (just not too fond of purples...but you never know...you may have some awesome purplish fabric that you have been dying to use!)

To say I was inspired and raring to go is an understatement. And anyone who knows my work will know that I love a picture quilt so the thought of a fairy tale was too irresistible. Out came the pencil and sketch pad and I spent ages googling images and pulling out my old children's books. Weirdly some of the images I came up with belong to Jill who sent me my quilt!

Finally I decided and it was mostly because of this guy!

DQS9 sent detail

When I posted a progress photo on the swap group it seemed most people thought he was cute! I was a little worried as I thought maybe he was not scary enough but apparently he looked hungry too so I kept going.

This bit was next.

DQS9 sent detail

Then this bit.

DQS9 sent detail

And this bit.

DQS9 sent detail

It got bigger and bigger and I stitched and stitched. And then my wrist decided to give out! So I had to put it down for a few days. But in the end I got there and this is what I sent.

Fairytale finish

It is now living with the lovely Cathy and her sweet family. Apparently I am 'made of awesome'. I can't tell you how brilliant that makes me feel!

And even better - her littlest sweetie is playing with it and talks to the wolf!! Aaaagh so adorable!!!

You can see all her lovely photos here.

So thanks to the organisers of the Doll Quilt Swap. I know it's a huge undertaking and I really appreciate how hard all the swap parents work. I think to know that you have helped create all sorts of wonderful quilty magic amongst us all must be a reward in itself.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Good things come to those who wait!!

About a million years ago - well more like nearly three - I started a quilt for my Mum as a gift for her 70th Birthday.

Remember this?

Mum's quilt

I finally gave it back to Mum in January after taking an incredibly long time to quilt it and it has been happily living on her bed since.

Mum and Me

But... I didn't take any photos and finally I found the time last week.

Mum's Quilt

It took me quite a while to quilt because I kept changing my mind. So after much unpicking I finally settled on the leaf pattern for the sashing and really like it now.

Mum's Quilt

This lovely quilt design is a slight variation of the Vintage Comfort pattern designed by my lovely colleague Judy Newman. Judy has finally started up a blog called a very fine house. She makes all sorts of wonderful quilts and things so go and visit and say hi!

Mum's Quilt

I really like having a close look at this quilt as it's one of the first quilts I ever made and finished (finally). I can really see how much my machine piecing has improved and how much my quilt making in general has improved and evolved.

Now, on to the next one!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meet 'Peggy'

Looooooook!

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My first ever doll pattern and I think I quite like her. Hope you do too!

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I can't tell you how excited I am to be on the front cover!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

This year is flying by and I have found it hard to keep up with documenting what I have been making. So I have decided to make a big effort to remember to take photos during daylight hours instead of thinking about it at 9pm when I finally get to sit down and sew.

Ahh where to begin.....

My lovely boss Jennifer Kingwell weaves magic when it comes to putting fabric and quilt designs together and this Block of the Month quilt Green Tea and Sweet Beans is no exception.

A slow and lovely work in progress

Of course the last month has gone out to participants now and I am still mucking about in month four and five but I always knew it would be a slow and lovely project that will one day get finished.

Green Tea and Sweet Beans BOM

As I am quite new to quilting my experience with older style blocks is fairly limited.

Propellers!

This quilt seemed a perfect opportunity to try and master curves and other more difficult piecing and of course I absolutely love doing needle turn applique of which there is plenty.

Month 2

And bonus, the fabrics are chosen for me by the clever lady herself so I only need to concentrate on putting it together.

Hexie love!

Slowly.....

I am also working on a little quilt for the Down Under doll quilt swap

A little sneak peak!

And I also have another pattern underway for a very pretty girly quilt.

New Ideas brewing!

But I'm sure it will be a while before that comes to life.

There is more but that's enough for today.

Oh and for those who really love the Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt don't despair, it will be available as a pattern very soon. And Jenny is about to start her new BOM called 'The Circle Game'. If you were ever going to learn how to hand piece a circle then this is your project!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I heart Liberty!

And linen and Anna Maria Horner voile. And all mixed together it's beautiful!

Parterre made for my friend Michelle's Birthday in May.

Paterre in Liberty

Parterre in Liberty

And a cushion from Amy Butler's Zinnia pattern made by Michelle to match.

Another gorgeous cushion!

And best thing is I get to visit them!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finished!

Another swap is over and done with and this one took forever! The school holidays weren't quite the ones we planned as two of the girls were sick so much of my time was spent mopping brows and cuddling a miserable four year old! In other words, not much sewing was done!

Anyway we survived and they are back at school and life has resumed it's normal busy pace. I was very lucky to squeeze in a lovely 'quilting retreat' with 15 other mad quilters on the last weekend of the holidays and it was absolute bliss. I did nothing but eat and sew and giggle for two whole days. And I didn't have to lift a finger to make my bed or cook a thing! I did achieve a fair bit but will show you that another day.

So here is the gorgeous cushion/pillow I received in the Pillow Swap.

The Pillow Talk Swap received!

It was made by Rebecca and I love it - thanks!!

And here is mine.

The Pillow Talk {swap} finished

It hasn't arrived at its destination yet so I can't tell you who it is for. I hope she likes it!

The Pillow Talk {swap} finished

I was a little ambitious time wise with this and decided to hand piece. In the end I'm glad I did as I like the way it looks but goodness it took some time.

And here is a little sneaky look at my latest pattern, the "Katy Carry All".

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And yes, it decided to be very grey and raining the day I had to get the photos done, but I kind of like it as it makes the bag stand out.

The pattern will be available this week at the Amitie stand at the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair. And I'll make sure there is a giveaway over here as well.

I have much more to show so stay tuned and I will be back soon!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Clearing Out!

It's a long weekend here and while it would have been lovely to spend some time away somewhere relaxing I have instead been hard at work cleaning out my house. It's long overdue and I can't believe what we have been living amongst. Some days I feel like I'm suffocating!

The catalyst for this hive of activity is a piano! Yes, I have been fortunate enough to be offered (cheap) a lovely old piano for the kids and it gave me all the motivation I needed to create some space. And it's tough I tell you - I'm allergic to dust and digging about in storage boxes and old stuff turns me into a eye streaming, sneezing mess. But it's all worth it - I have one whole room back AND we have cleaned out every cupboard to make more room.

I have also neatly boxed my excessive fabric stash into colours which kind of freaked me out - didn't know I had that much! At least I know where everything is now. I must say I'm very jealous of those with 'studios' or 'sewing rooms'. All that space to spread out..... sigh!

Of course there has also been time for a bit of sewing! I'm hand piecing my cushion/pillow front for the Pillow Talk swap.

Pillow Talk Swap WIP

My partner's inspiration mosaic indicated that she was quite fond of scrappy, pieced work and colourful blocks. I'm enjoying looking at some old style blocks and giving them a bit of a modern twist.

Pillow Talk Swap WIP

So far I quite like it and it's such a nice way to finish the day!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Swaps and stuff!

I think it's really time to get back to this old blog of mine. I miss blogging and I have so much to share which is what it was meant to be about after all! Life has been very different (and stressful) in the last 12 months but I feel like it's coming back to some kind of normal.

Lucky I have had my sewing! It's a great distraction and I have been consistently busy with swaps and some work for magazines and another book project (yay). A couple of patterns have also found the light of day with quite a few more coming - if only there were a few more hours in the day!

I love the swaps. I get to connect with such a great bunch of clever and funny people and I just love the challenge of making something for someone I don't know and coming up with something new. I'm a massive fan of the doll quilt swap which is just about to start again- 200 swappers this round so it's pretty popular. But recently I have done a few new ones.

The { Urban } HOME Goods - a modern swap was organised to make things we'd like for our homes. My partner Scootin' Annie had a few requests but one was irresistible to me.

Urban Swap Machine Cover

She also revealed that she wanted a pouch for her DS. Done!

DS Cover

And you should see what I got from my partner Mari.

Urban Home Swap

Isn't it all just fabulous!! That coffee cosy is just perfect!

A few posts ago I had a little giveaway to celebrate 100 posts and the very lovely and patient Jenny from ohjoh won. I finally finished her prize and was able to hand it over last week.

100th post prize cushion

The design is very inspired by the amazing and beautiful work of Sue Spargo who came to Amitie last year. She is visiting again soon for any of those interested in doing one of her classes.

Jenny is a local so popped into Amitie while I was working. She has a pretty bad fabric addiction like me so it seemed ideal to meet there.

Jenny and her Cushion

So I may be quiet here but I'm still making things. I promise to post more often and maybe I'll go back and do a retrospective to show you some of the things I have made over the past year. In the meantime I have a cushion to get onto for another swap!