Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I did something naughty (but nice) a couple of weeks ago when no-one was looking!
I started a new project.........like I need one.
Anyways, it is going to be another leaf quilt for our queen size bed. Now, last time I made "My Leaf Quilt", I vowed and declared I would not do another queen size quilt.
How the memories fade, a bit like having a baby, we go back a second time.
This leaf quilt is going to be my own design and has been in the back of my mind for a couple of years now. In fact, I already have about 300 leaves cut out, tacked, and ready to applique. No two will be the same. On Wednesday I cut about 60 miles of bias (well, maybe not quite that much but it felt like it) for the vine. I am going to put it through a 1/4" bias maker and at the same time attach some paper back adhesive.
It will be a hand project that I can take here there and everywhere in the next few months. Can't wait to get started on the stitching now.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I am off to their house tomorrow to prepare for the home-coming, and to help our daughter and husband settle into their new way of life.
Exciting times! As soon as I get pictures downloaded from our son-in-law's camera, I will show her off to you.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
OMG we don't know what to do with them.... not too many people are fond of these things, you can't give them away! Hubby and I quite like them but are really over them now.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Life has been very busy around here, and quilting/sewing has taken a bit of a back seat. Every day I try to snatch a couple of minutes to put needle to fabric, but it doesn't always happen.
We have only 3 weeks to wait now for our first grandchild and I have been visiting our daughter off and on over the past few weeks as she has been feeling poorly. We are all getting very excited!
To the left of the saxaphone, I created a "McIntyre" tartan. It is a criss-cross of stem stitches and closed herringbone stitch in the tartan colours in a vague pattern of the tartan. Now, the truth..... it became a tartan because the stripey brown fabric underneath just did not work with this block, so I had to devise a way to completely cover it up. My mother's family originated from Argyll district in Scotland, so I came up with the idea of their tartan!
Aquarius, the "water-bearer", embroidered up in the right top corner there is pretty self explanatory. I am not a great follower of astrology, but whenever I do read the traits of Aquarians, I must admit a lot of them seem to sum up my personality.
The monogram "D" is done in a closed herringbone stitch shown to me by Robyn Ginn. For some reason I love doing herringbone stitch, and it shows up often in my crazy blocks.
It would not be a 'me' block without my favourite flowers, roses. The silk ribbon roses on this block are my very first attempt at silk ribbon embroidery, and I loved doing it. I just followed the instructions in a book and I think this one was called a woven rose - very easy. I also included some chain stitch roses in deep dark red in the heart embroidery. You just go round and round in chain stitch til you build up what resembles a rose. Robyn Ginn also showed me this technique, and what I like about Robyn's work and her instruction is that she uses all the basic stitches to build up her designs. The other roses I have done beneath the silk ribbon ones are bullion roses.
Lastly, the pictorial embroidery at the bottom right, represents a memory of going on Sunday picnics as a child with my mother and her best friend and all the kids piled into a small sedan (no seat belts in those days). We would go to a beautiful little creek which was lined with willow trees. The bullion stitch teddy bear is having cake and tea under the willow tree. The cake and tea came from the local cafe "Hamlyn's Cafe" (just pretend). My paternal grandparents had a cafe in the 1930's - 40's in our small country town, and my grandma did all the cooking as well as rearing five children. Home made cakes, pies, sandwiches etc. She was a legend!!!
The willow tree trunk is built up with stem stitch and the branches are lots and lots of fly stitches. I enjoy doing sketches with outline stitch like the saxaphone and the tea and cake and have done more of this in subsequent blocks.
GOAL - to have this crazy quilt finished sometime in 2009.
Monday, November 24, 2008
This quilt top evolved from the strip party we had at quilt group back in March. I just added some all dark and all light blocks to the ones I had already completed.
The configuration of blocks came from Hanne, as soon as I saw it I knew I had to make mine like that. I love doing strip piecing and I love stars, so it was perfect. Check Hanne out some time, she does lovely work. Thank you Hanne.
I also love Hanne's Life Motto, it reads:
"One has all to gain to accept reality as it is!"
Friday, November 21, 2008
This quilt was started waayyyyyy back in about 2001. My sister-in-law picked it out of the Australian Patchwork and Quilting book ,"Colourful Scrap Quilts". She picked it out to go with her new sofa which was in the blue colour, similar to the border on the quilt. It is a quilt by Michelle Marvig and she called it "Amish Monkey Wrench".
In my case, it was more like a "monkey wretch". From go to woe I had big troubles with this quilt, which is why it probably sat in the cupboard unfinished for so long. Piecing is not my forte and things didn't go well there, and then I did a bit of accidental cutting as I was trying to "square" the quilt up and left a few of the seam allowances a bit scant. Oh yeah, if it can be done I can do it. Then, I stretched one of the inner border to fudge a fit, and that came back to bite me in the rear when it came to quilting it. Some things do not "quilt out".
By now, of course, my sister-in-law, Annette, has totally refurbished and redecorated and no longer has the blue sofa. Oh well, she is still getting this quilt and I know she is going to really appreciate it and love it. She possibly won't even remember choosing it, and it is going to be a real surprise when I present it to her on Dec 20th.
Annette is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and is feeling very low and a little worse for wear.
The label reads
Made for Annette J......
'A quilt to warm your body and comfort your soul'
I am blessed to have five of the bestest sister-in-laws - love 'em all.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Our son-in-law is very capable and caring, and they were in constant contact with us. By Thursday morning, I had decided I must go and be with them. The good news is - all is well - and she was home Friday morning, so I stayed on for a few days and "spoilt" them.
During this time, life dealt other annoying little problems, but they all paled into insignificance.
Needless to say, it all ended with a big headache yesterday.
Whilst sitting around, (can't do much else) and feeling a little sorry for myself, I clicked onto Martha Stewart on cable and she was talking to Dr. Maya Angelou. Dr Angelou said something which resonated in me and switched on a light bulb. "If life deals you bad things, take an attitude of gratitude". So I got to thinking......
We are so grateful for the hospital care our daughter received at Nambour Hospital. The doctors, the nursing staff, the midwives, were all outstanding, and even the food was good.
We are so grateful for modern medicine.
We are so grateful for valued friends and family who gave their support.
We have much to be grateful for.
I am very grateful to be living in Australia, land of beauty and bounty, where we have peace, freedom of speech and freedom of choice.
When I got home on Tuesday I had an urge to go into the garden and work. Physical work (not too much), seems to get rid of some pent up emotions in me!!!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I know people around you cannot understand how you may be completely lucid and full of life one hour and down in a screaming heap a few hours or less later.
I know the frustration of not being able to do what you want to do when you want to do it.
I know the pain.
I know the disappointment when you are unable to attend a function or something which you have been looking forward to.
I know how taking too many non-prescription cures can cause havoc with your body.
There are three headache phases in my life right now.
1. Headache - Free Days (last about 3-7 days)
2. Headache - mild to severe - All day (last about 3-7 days)
3. Migraine - Knockem down and out (last about 1-2 days)
This is what I have decided. On "headache free days" I do as much as I can of the things I can't do when I have the "headache all day".
On "headache all day" days I do mundane chores which require no concentration whatsoever.
Today, I am making a list of all those things I may be able to do on "headache all day" days.
Of course, Murphy's Law states, you are unable to do those things you enjoy most on "headache all day" days, such as sewing (hand or machine).
Needless to say, "Knockem down and out" days are simply wasted.
Let me know how you deal with headaches if you are in my camp!!!
PS - Cause unknown..........................
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
This gorgeous rosella was having a feast in our back garden this afternoon. The photos were taken through a tinted glass window and the camera was on full zoom, so not very good I'm afraid. We do have some lovely birds visit us. We also have some pesky birds. We call them pee wees, but I believe they are also known as mudlarks. They dive bomb our windows (especially the tinted ones) and with each dive bomb they do a poop. They have been doing this for some years now and we do not know how to stop them. We are constantly 'washing up' after them ! Grrrr.
This is a pale-headed rosella, often referred to as a custard head rosella. The colours are brilliant and it is such a pretty bird.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
It was the 11th anniversary of my Mum's passing, and eventhough I think of her each and every day, she was a lot in my thoughts on Sunday. She was diagnosed at age 54 with early onset dementia (Alzheimers)......very sad and tragic. I am now age 54 and I look back at her life and only wonder what could have been. She passed away at age 67.
RIP Lilian Jane
Since both our daughters live out of town, they were unable to make the journey to see their Dad, so my hubby and I went and had morning tea with my Dad who lives about 20 k's away.
Just before we were ready to leave I asked my father about his own Dad. Well, he said, "You know, don't you, that he didn't know his father?" No, I did not know. I knew there was something different in his background (you know "family whispers") but didn't know what.
It seems a twig has been broken off the family tree! My great grandfather is unknown. This was a surprise. According to my Dad, one of the daughters of my great great grandparents fell pregnant and was not married. Shame and scandal at that time, so to cover it up they pretended that the baby (my grandfather) was their own and brought him up to think his mother was his sister.
Dad then loaned me a book about our ancestors who came from Argyll, Scotland. Of course, there is no mention of this "illegitimate" child, and I am yet to determine which daughter it was who gave birth to my grandfather (choice of 2). In the years we knew our grandfather (he passed away in 1970), we never met any of his family apart from our "Aunty Ida" who I have mentioned in the previous post "Crazy block no 1", who lived in the same town. For a long time ,and growing up, we thought "Aunty Ida' was just a church friend of our Nana. My Nana, God bless her soul, did mention other relatives of "Pop", but we grandchildren never knew them. I am now beginning to understand why he seemed to be aloof, detached and somewhat estranged from his family.
Another amazing bit of information I found out was that my paternal ancestors hail from Argyll and so do my maternal ancestors! Scottish through and through?
Anyhow, fathers day continued at my sister's house for a barbeque lunch where we contemplated, laughed and reflected on the past.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
These are my version from a friend's recipe. Unfortunately I don't have many of my Nana's recipes.
Of course, I could hardly wait for one to cool before taste-testing. Next time, I will add a little more ginger powder. I am crazy for all things ginger, and at the moment this is the flavour of the minute - I can't get enough of these little morsels, can't stop at one!
I am only sorry I didn't think of adding some of these, finely chopped, to my ginger biscuits. Oh well, next time.
Monday, September 1, 2008
The top left embroidery reads " I love flowers" Can you make it out? It is not such a good photo, I'm sorry. The heart is done in Robyn Ginn's stitch, row of roses. Basically a coral stitch surrounded by a lazy daisy stitch. The text is done in every variety of stitch I could think of that would fit in with the relevant letter. Then there are some little rosebuds underneath done simply with a fly stitch and a lazy daisy stitch.
Gosh, I am sorry about these blurry images! The blue butterfly is a bit of a cheat. It is broderie perse to which I have added some extra embroidery. The hollyhocks under this are once again the "row of roses" technique. I just love this stitch. There is a simple feather stitch heart in the centre of this block to which I have added a very elaborate swag of lazy daisy flowers filled in with colonial knots.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
This block is "The Oakey Block". Oakey is the little town I grew up in. It is in a rural area, and my Dad was a wheat farmer, butcher and raised cattle, sheep and pigs. He led a busy life and he instilled in us a solid work ethic. It was a great town to be brought up in and these images bring back memories of experiences as a child.
I am still looking for some egg-like buttons to place under my little chook. The rooster is a design I made up myself and I think he looks pretty grand.
I will put some of the other blocks up over the coming weeks, so hope you enjoy looking at them and of course, if you have some feedback for me, that would be nice too.
Lisa from "Ivory Blush Roses" has inspired me to put them up on the blog. If you are interested in crazy quilting, pop over to her blog and enjoy her wonderful creative work, gorgeous photos and inspirational words.
Sorry, my photos aren't up to Lisa's, but I have a very basic digital camera and I am still learning.
I found Ivory Blush Roses through Allies in Stitches, another blog I love, so go have a look at Allies work too. Fantastic!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Go have a look and enjoy all the other winning quilts. I am also going to win the raffle quilt by Helen Godden, just waiting for the call.
Thankfully, most of our time at quilt retreat will be inside around the "big fire" (which is now a large gas contraption due to "workplace health and safety" issues with the beautiful log fire we used to enjoy). Alas, the cabins are of a wooden variety with lots of draughty spaces and no insulation. Maybe I will sneak the electric blanket in like I did last year. Shhhhh.
I will post pictures after the weekend of where we stay, the fun we have etc. etc. Stay posted.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
It started off at dawn with this rainbow and the promise of some much needed rain. Well it rained all right. In fits and starts all day - sometimes sunshine - sometimes squall. At lunch time we had what I can only describe as "ice rain". It was similar to hail, but much finer and a lot of it. A little dog from the neighbourhood was running around the front of our yard and he had all these little icy particles over him. Very comical. Our dog was much wiser and stayed on her sugar bag mat on our porch out of the wind and rain and ice. As I write, the sun is out again but who knows for how long???
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Organizing and making items for our springtime Quilt exhibition sales table.
For several years now I have been co-ordinating and producing items for sale at our annual exhibition. This year, in a moment of temporary insanity, I put my hand up to "help" organize the whole exhibition! Well........now, after the other lady decided she couldn't help out at all, I am doing the whole darned thing. Acutally, I am quite enjoying it so far, but don't even come near me around the week before 20 September. We hold the exhibition at the same time as Toowoomba is showcased around the country by holding their annual Carnival of Flowers. It is the most beautiful time of year in this part of our splendid country. Bring on Spring!!!!!!
The last couple of years, a friend and I have been doing a joint effort. This happened as a result of some kindly ladies giving us fabric they could not use at the local nursing home. Thus, we started making "things" with these donated fabrics and our collaborative was formed. It has been such fun - and my friend is very imaginative and does beautiful work.
Speaking of our splendid country, last weekend we went into the mountains, away from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast, and enjoyed some fresh country air. We headed up to Springbrook and the Purlingbrook falls for a picnic. Bliss.
That is the Pacific Ocean you can see on the horizon. We were mighty high up at the "Best of All" lookout.
This valley leading down to the Gold Coast is called the Numinbah Valley.
The tree on the far top left is said to be 2000 years old. I just wanted to hug it. I love Australia!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
We think he enjoyed his day - he is not very demonstrative.
Here he is receiving his quilt. He seemed to like it very much, and was concerned he might dirty it, like spilling his dinner on it or something. I reassured him it was meant to be used and was fully washable. This is my sister on the left who just loved the quilt, and we gave it to him as a gift from all the family. There is just my sister and I and she has 3 children and I have 2.
Here he is with four of his five grandchildren - Nicholas, the only boy amongst them - was on tour with his rock band "Phalanx".
I ended up tying the quilt with six strands of brown embroidery thread (I was in a hurry). It turned out to be just the thing to finish this type of quilt off.
Next Project?? Maybe I'll start on the Kaffe Fassett I have in mind.