Tuesday, July 8, 2014

French General's Wife


This year in June, my mother had a significant birthday....you know the ones that end with a zero...
and I decided that it was time to finish the French General's Wife that had been started three years ago....this being the year of the finish and all.


Well, I spent February and March appliquéing the scallop border down......I am such a slow hand sewer...



Then in April, I went to get out what were supposed to be eight completed pieced checkerboards, only to find I had done 5 out the 8 required...the tricks the mind plays....so in April the checkerboards were sewn together....lots of sewing....




...and more sewing, and finally finished piecing the whole quilt top together...I still love that French General range - Rural Jardin...so pretty :) I made this from a Jelly Roll, and other French General pieces I had, as well as black and bones I had in the stash. It has ended up fairly close to the pattern, with the exception of the hearts I appliquéd instead of circles...pretty happy with how they turned out.


By this time it was the beginning of May and I  realised, that with a month left to quilt the top in, working 4 days a week and going away for one of those weekends. I wasn't going to get the quilting done...so I decided to give Mum the quilt top for Mother's Day....and I would quilt it and enter the completed item in Territory Quilts 2014 in October, which is being held in Alice Springs this year. Everyone was happy with this....especially me!!

But guess what I had also done three years ago....I had cut out enough strips to make another one in completely different colours...maybe I could call this the French General's Mistress!!





Saturday, June 14, 2014

Making Time...

The elusive quest....making time....for family...for fun...for work...for quilting...for blogging...a little bit of everything makes the world go around....finding the balance is hard. I have no silver bullet for that one!

So at the moment I have a lot of time for family and work, and a little bit of time for fun and quilting, and not so much for blogging! But here I am, irregular but present :)

This year I set some quilty goals:

Goal1. Cut back back on fabric purchases...I will give myself 6/10 for this...I went to Adelaide and visited Hettie's Patch...don't judge me...but those beautiful french linens, they had about 20 of them so I was VERY restrained only buying four, and a couple of Kaffe's might have jumped into my basket...



Goal 2. Try to finish more quilts...have kicked a couple of goals here...so will give myself 8/10... this quilt....I machined the binding on the front, Mum hand stitched the binding down for me...Thank you Mum :) It just needs a label and then it can go to it's new home...


And the back was pieced from scraps and Amy Butler Gypsy Caravan yardage that I bought the first time it was in shops!!


and I got these two quilts quilted...yet to be bound!



AND I got a top finished too....but I will blog about that separately!

Goal 3. No new projects..score of 0/10...but after finishing the quilts above...I had to break out....did I also mention I had a goal of no more pink quilts for a while...but it is my colour signature....so 0/10 for the pink goal....but aren't those flying geese gorgeous!






4. I also had a goal of one project at a time....that worked for about two weeks...so another 0/10.

But really as I said at the beginning of the post....a little bit of everything makes the world go around...

A sense of progress :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sew what's happening?

Sew what's been happening in my life? Some things quilty….and some things life….Loads of things….I have been to Singapore to see Eric Clapton perform live….hubby is a big fan. It is a four hour flight to Singapore from Darwin. It takes that long to fly to Sydney!



The Mer-lion with a view of Marina Bay Sands…the platform at the top of the hotel (56 floors) is party central, with cool cocktail bars and an infinity edge pool, we went for a sticky beak, but I think we may have been the oldest people there!!



We wandered around Little India and came across this fantastic house, I think it used to belong to a rich business man…but check out those colours.

We had a great time in Singapore…food was fantastic…happy to go back just to enjoy all those fantastic restaurants.

I made myself a promise this year to try and get quilts finished! So I plugged away at getting this quilt quilted….



I used my favourite King Tut variegated thread, No. 914, it goes from fushia pink to orange to a candy pink…very pretty...



It's already left the house…by coincidence I had it finished for the baby's christening…the quilt was already 4 months overdue….so it worked out really well!!



My quilt group had a "Quilt-in-a-nightie" night….a twelve hour sewing marathon, from 12pm to 12 am, it was a hoot, at 6 pm we all got changed into our "nighties", had a glass of champers and dinner.


I  had sewn all but seven of the blocks for this quilt last May, but hadn't progressed it since then, but with a twelve hour uninterrupted sewing stint, I got it done...All Amy Butler fabrics…. It is a big quilt 85"x85", I have already pieced the back and sent it to the quilters….yipee...


Last but not least, I watched a baby being born, my sister had a baby girl, and I had the privilege of being present at the birth….welcome to Stevie….



Phew….what a busy couple of months it has been…and now it is almost May….yikes :)













Friday, February 7, 2014

OMG, is that a Quilt?


In January, my family went on holidays to Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne….great time was had by all. We found Paella in the South Melbourne Markets…



Loads of Cockatoos feeding on the deck of the house we rented….



My 13 year old daughter announcing she is officially taller than me, and I am 5' 7" (172cm)…



We also went swimming with seals at Sorrento, but sorry you can't see a picture of me in a full body wet suit!

I did some hand piecing on my Mrs Billings….yes still plugging away…



But what I know you will be really interested in, is this quilt I found on the floor of a "Antique" shop in Dromana…I was wandering around the store, touching things, as you do in these places…first, a grey bundle of cloth on the floor caught my eye, moving closer it was easy to see the bundle was quilted, once unfolded this wonderful design and colour emerged.



But gosh the quilt is in bad shape, it has a burn mark, the dye has run, it was faded unevenly in parts, the fabric has started to deteriorate, but all I could think about was the lady that sat night after night quilting this quilt.



So for a grand sum of $10 I got to provide this poor old thing with a home, with some muttering from my husband….something about "it was like going to the RSPCA and coming home with the oldest dog" :)

More Details:  Of course there is no label….80" x 75", the back is a grey blue chambray…the outside border is a cotton sateen, and the rest of the fabrics are regular cotton, with the exception of the black squares which are a drill, and the wadding appears to be wool.


I have so many questions about the quilt. How old is it? Where did it come from? Is it made in Australia? If not how did it get here? What is the name of the pattern? On the last question, I found a photo of another antique quilt made from the very same pattern at littlewelshquilts , and it is identified as Amish, so is this an Amish pattern?



I guess it is unlikely answers will be found for these questions….but for $10 I have an antique quilt that will inspire me for ages!












Monday, February 3, 2014

The latest project...

So back in November, when I thought there would be loads of time to sew on a new project, I decided to start Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice,  I knew I would have no chance of keeping up, but thought I would improve my chances of doing the smaller sized quilt which is 75"x75"...the larger one is 110" square....not for the faint hearted!!

So these are the colours I have chosen...



Fairly close to what Bonnie used with two changes one being exchanging the dark blue for the brown…fancy me having so many browns!



And switching up the orange to include tomato red….



Needless to say, I didn't get as much sewing done in January as thought…sigh... but I will plug away at this project for the next couple of months.

One of the thing Bonnie suggested before starting the project was to go and get some paint slips to help pull your fabrics…what a great idea...



Loving that tri-rec ruler….not loving so much making 100 chevron blocks...



I think it will come together nicely, but it sure will improve my piecing skills, 'cause there is no room for sloppy piecing in this project :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

So this is 2014….

It still feels a bit like 2013!

As per blog etiquette, I thought I would post a 2013 retrospective on my quilting….I use the word quilting very loosely, because when going through my projects over the last twelve months, I realised that I have only in fact quilted two things!

Scrappy Trip

So here's the thing…. I love piecing….that's the bit about sewing that is therapeutic for me! So I have any number of quilt tops done….but the quilting only gets done when it is "for" something….so the quilting I did in 2013 was for the guilds exhibition…note: I did get a highly commended for my Peppermint Sparkle quilt (sorry had to brag...again)….and it is going for a visit to Quilt Conference in Melbourne in April I think.


So this morning I got out all my 2013 quilt tops and hung them out in a line for a photographic session....they looked pretty good I thought!


Which ever way you look at them….


Introducing in order from left to right, is my Bonnie Hunter scrap baskets


My Anna Marie Horner feathers….


The Orange Sunburst fun runner…this is actually an interloper because I realised after I had taken the quilts down that it is a 2012 finish…and still un-quilted…fancy that! But while we are talking the Sunburst quilt….checkout this one that Victoria Finlay just finished…quilted and everything!



The next is the Retro-astic quilt…note it has additional borders now? This was a late finish on New Year's Eve (day).


And lastly the Made in Cherry which I posted about early this week.



So yay me….would have loved to have done more sewing in 2013 but you can only do what you can do :)

So of course...quilting resolutions for 2014 are....to sew more fabric....buy less fabric....and to quilt more quilts! Do you have any quilting related resolutions for this year?

Happy New Year !