Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas Block of the Month at last

Close up of Bottom Section / Close up of Top Section

Here are the photos of the block of the month quilt I have been working on for 4 years (minus one border of pine trees). It was meant to take 12 months and the last block had a little note with it - Merry Christmas. Wonder which Christmas they meant? Each block was very challenging. There were some blocks which are foundation pieced but back to front!!!??!! Now, it is hard enough to do it the right way around, as anyone will tell you who has done FP. In this b of the m they call it FEFP. This stands for "frayed edge foundation piecing" and the seam is on the right side of the work. Grrrr. One just gets one's mind around foundation piecing and they throw this curly one at you. Anyway, by the end of block 12 it was just being mastered. This seemed to be the way with each block. As soon as you got it right it was time to move on and master the next challenge. But, with all this aside, it was a lot of fun to work on. The missing border is a vertical row of the pine tree, but in a darker shade of green. Will post when it is completed. I am taking this to my quilt group's Christmas break-up tomorrow for show and tell.

Would have loved to have had the last border on, but life's vagaries once again interrupted the creative output. My dear Dad decided to have a black out and be rushed into emergency yesterday morning. He is okay, but looks like heart surgery is on the agenda again this year. He just had heart surgery (a stent) in June this year, but this time it seems more to do with heart beat irregularity. He and his wife are consulting with the heart specialist this afternoon, so we will know more by this evening what he is up for.

Our second beautiful daughter has just finished her second year at university studying Musculoskeletal Therapy and has come home to us from Brisbane today to see us and her grandfather.
This blog will probably be in recess for a couple of days now, as the weekend is full on. A trip to the glorious Sunshine Coast (Caloundra) to see our first beautiful daughter and husband, and to celebrate a friend's 50th birthday. Then I will be preparing our quilt club's newsletter to be posted out on Monday. Busy busy busy................

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Musical Nuns and other Rot

What do five singing nuns and a Jew from Fiddler on the Roof have in common? Pretty much nothing I would say after going to a singing Nun show last night. It was all pretty amateur, but it was the local Repretory Theatre and they do their best. Just after half time the lighting man got all mixed up with lights and didn't seem to know what was what. Perhaps he had had liquid refreshments at interval. It brought a bit of light relief, and eventually with a little help from the rest of the cast he got them functioning again. (The lights that is). It made for a very late night and lack of sleep is playing havoc with the head this morning and alas this is my day to work in my 'real job'. Once a week I go out and get paid by someone else. It is a job I tried to resign from back in June, but they keep finding a reason to keep me working there. This job was only temporary for 3 months and I have been there almost 5 months already and they don't look like asking me to leave real soon. Guess I will just keep turning up until they say "enough".
A little, little, bit was done on the long suffering Christmas quilt yesterday. The last border seems to be dragging on and on. There are too many other distractions with Christmas looming ever faster. A friend and I went to "Bush Christmas" yesterday afternoon. This is where art/craft people from the country regions bring their wares to town and try to flog them off to us. There were many beautiful things up for sale, but yours truly went for the food (as usual). Said I was buying it for the dear hubby, We did get some good ideas for our craft stall we have at our annual quilt exhibition though. More about that in a later post. It is something we start working on now, but exhibition time is September.
Will post some photos tomorrow of the Christmas quilt, with or without last border!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Moles in the garden

Our garden at the moment looks like home for several moles. Dear hubby has located many broken pipes which are meant to be feeding our newly installed tank! He digs, repairs, digs, repairs, digs repairs, and really he should get a medal for perseverance. As rain is forcast in the next couple of days, we do hope all pipes are mended and ready to convey that much needed water to the tank.
Not much was achieved on the quilting front today. A few of the ladies at my group (Toowoomba Quilters) attempted to tutor me on needle-turn applique. By the end of one tulip head, I felt a little more comfortable with it. Fortunately in was only a test run, just hope the real ones go okay as they are going on the club's 2008 raffle quilt. Each year the group makes a quilt and proceeds go to a local charity. This year, the quilt is in the style of a "row by row", depicting the four seasons. I volunteered to do the spring section which is a row of tulips. Now why would I do that when I haven't done the needleturn applique?? God only knows. Perhaps it may be the start of a new chapter in applique and I will do that Baltimore quilt I have always wanted to do. This won't be in the near future as 2008 is going to be the year of finishing off things. Heard it all before?? I really mean it this time.

Monday, November 26, 2007

How it all started

How my dearly departed mother would be amazed to see her once wayward, wild daughter dabbling in all sorts of arts and crafts. Mum was just able to sew on a button and had a gorgeous little wooden box where she stored a meagre supply of sewing notions. This box is now in my possession and the contents remain exactly as I received them. Various reels of cotton (to match various buttons, I guess, a packet of assorted needles, a tape measure, a "dorcas" tin containing just a few pins, a sewing kit from Conrads International Hotel, 4 sewing kits from the Hotel Carlton in Brisbane (which is now obsolete, but which was a favourite place for her and her friend to stay in inner Brisbane city) small card of elastic, a small plastic bag of assorted buttons, and a roll of navy cotton tape which she used to replace the ties on my Dad's butcher's aprons. Of course, she did not do this herself, but would supply the tape to a sewing friend to fix the aprons.

So, my love of all things quilty and sewing did not come from my Mum! Ever since I was a very small child, I have loved to create something. My paternal Nana (a very patient soul) taught my sister and I how to knit from about age 5 0r 6. My sister soon got bored, after dropping many stitches, but I always persevered and made a scarf for the bride doll. Next door to us, lived an elderly childless woman (another extremely patient soul) who showed us the fine art of embroidery and crochet. By the time I got to Year 7 to do our embroidery sampler, I could already execute the basic stitches. My love of embroidery still exists to this day.

Like many quilters, I have many projects on the go and a lot of UFO's (unfinished objects). One of these is a crazy patchwork quilt. This quilt has already been worked on for about 2 years and I am looking at it as a very long-term project. Initially I envisaged it to be a rather large extravaganza, but sanity prevailed and now it has worked it's way down to a wall hanging. Basically, it is going to be a pictorial, memory type crazy patch quilt and, as this is my first blog entry, I will attempt to add a photo of one of the blocks. This is "the Rose Block", depicting my absolute love of this God's gift to nature. My favourite rose is "Blue Moon" and is depicted at the top of the block. I just love it for it's seductive lilac colour and it's splendid perfume. Can't see the sense in growing a rose without perfume.

Almost finished is a block of the month quilt, a Christmas design, which began about 4 years ago. Progress has been veeeeeery slow, as I was trying to do a full time admin position, marry off a daughter and all the other vagaries of life whilst working on this one. There are many many more UFO's in the cupboard which may be revealed later on this blog.