Monday, March 31, 2008

Kaffe and Other

This is the outcome of going into a fabric shop, being overwhelmed, and NOT having a clear idea of what you need.
These are the "Kaffe Fassett" fabrics I purchased, only the one on the right is not a Kaffe Fassett - and the one on the left I already have. Hmmph. They are both good blenders though and will hopefully slow down what I feel could become a very busy quilt. Typically of moi, to be offered 1,000,000 bolts of fabric and come home with one I already have!!!!
Anyways, isn't the blue one out of this world? Mmmmmmmmmm I must start this quilt soon.
This is my favourite friend in the kitchen, the Crock Pot (or you may call it a slow cooker). Before we went on the jaunt to Brisbane on Saturday, I threw in a beef pot roast into this little gem and it was cooked when I got home. Brilliant! Coming up to Winter, I will be doing our favourite - Beef Curry and it also does Ox-tail stew to perfection. You can use the cheaper cuts of meat and they will come out tender e.g. Bolar blade roast, Topside roast, chuck steak, blade steak etc. etc. (Can you tell I am the daughter of a butcher?)
With the pot roast, I put in 1/4 cup of beef stock, a chopped up onion. a couple of cloves of garlic,(and you may add other veges such as carrot), plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of mixed herbs (if you like them). All you have to do at the end of the day is chuck some greens/potato/pumpkin in a steamer or oven bake them and you're done.
Well, I have to go to "real" work today at the Blue Care Regional Office - it is the administrative arm of a group of nursing homes. Only going for a few hours, so will be able to work on my latest quilt, "the brown thing" when I get home. It is coming along well, and I promise as soon as I have the top together I will post it.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Quilt Store - Amazing Array

Yesterday we visited the most amazing quilt store in Auchenflower, Queensland Aust. The range of fabrics was astonishing and it was wall to wall, up and down and around. They also had a huge assortment of threads. Caity got very excited about her favourite sewing thread King Tut and I went wild (again) for some more Kaffe Fassett fabric. Don't know what it is about that Kaffe, he gets me in every time. Sue got some gorgeous gelato coloured co-ordinating fabrics for a bag she intends to make. Caity also got some very dreamy Japanese fabrics to die for.
You could not walk out of that shop without seeing something to spend your money on.
As is usually the case, (must be an age thing- me being the oldest of the trio) I had to use their bathroom. So down I went to the basement of this store, with a few distrations along the way, and lo and behold, another goldmine of fabrics down there. Caity and Sue must have thought I had fallen in, as I had another long goosy gander down there at all the various fabrics, Christmas, reproductions, country, you name it, they had it. Also heaps of notions and trimmings. Oh my, can this be what heaven is like??
After feeling slightly overwhelmed with all on offer, and regretting we didn't allow another few hours for browsing, we headed off to the other side of Brisbane to attend the inaugural meeting of the Queensland Quilters Art Quilters. We saw some amazing show and tell art quilts from as small as ATC's to larger quilts.
They offered members a few challenges for the upcoming months, one of them being creating a journal quilt each month up until November.
I am a little tempted, but don't want to spread myself too thinly with our Toowoomba quilters exhibition coming up. A friend and I are going to offer to co-ordinate the sales table and that is a big job on it's own. Also, I don't know yet if art quilts is where I want to head right now. I am still an old fashioned type of gal and feel very sentimental and romatic about the whole history of the traditional quilt and quiltmaking.
Even so, I feel it is quite within my capablities to produce an art quilt and I am not ruling out having a go. I have been arting and crafting since a small child of about 6years. My earliest memory of creating is my very dear and patient paternal Grandma teaching me to knit. The result - a very crude, very short scarf. To this day, I still love knitting and crochet as a pastime.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Explosion of Bunnies

There was an Easter Bunny explosion on Easter Sunday at our daughters house at Caloundra. Seems we all had the same idea with the Lindt Bunnies - and why not they are the BEST!

Daddy got the dark chocolate one, Mummy got the white one (all gone - in one sitting), Mummy and Daddy got the Big Mama one which was filled with delectable Lindt wrapped chocolates and tiny little bunnies, and kiddies got the milk chocolate medium sized ones - oh heaven.

Our little girl turned 26 on Easter Saturday, so we took her out for a family dinner. Her in-laws live at Buderim so they were able to join us. Very nice.

Here are some shots of Dickie Beach Caloundra - has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, surely.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Strip Party Update and a Bath Mat

Caity has very kindly put up a slide show of our fun stripping day on the Toowoomba Quilters blog. She is very knowledgable on all things "bloggy" and does a fantastic job for our quilting group.

Already people are asking when we are going to do it again, but it may have to wait til next year as we have something planned for nearly every remaining month of this year!

I would like to have a log cabin day and do the quick and easy log cabin with scrappy strips. Will run it past everyone and see what they think about it.

(Close up)

Today at quilt group (more like play group) I finished off my chenille bath mat.

Get a load of the colour. BROWN - what is it with this brown thing? Forgot that I had bought this brown fabric out at the Highfields shop for half price some time last year. I was looking at the time for burgundy floral fabric to go with our bathroom colours. Well....the flowers are sort of burgundy! I am quite happy with the finished result and the fabric has fluffed up quite well.

Next on the agenda - finishing off some sales table stuff. Have some great ideas, but looking for more hours in each day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Random Rules

Go visit Sue's blog to see the beginnings of her strip quilt she started at the strip party. See - Random really does Rule!!

Everyone stripped - and had fun

The stripping day at Toowoomba Quilters went very well, but I'se so tired now. Hubby could not understand how one could be tired after a day of fun! It was a big day though, organizing tables, refreshments, sewing, talking etc etc.

All the girls (and 1 x fellow) made some glorious blocks and I can't wait to see some of the quilts finished. "Random" was the buzz word for the day, and I couldn't believe just how random some of the quilters were, some going out of their comfort zone, as they grabbed at whatever strip fitted across their block, taking no heed of the colour, pattern etc. Funnily, even though they were selecting at random, their blocks took on a particular look e.g. bright funky colours, country style muted colours etc, obviously reflecting their fabric inclinations. One lady surprised me and was soooooo random, even using some wonky looking strips (obviously cut by someone who had partaken of a few glasses of wine), when I know she does the most beautiful precise work and makes wonderful quilts.

It was great to see our one and only male member of TQ (Alton) participate and give his sewing machine a good old workout - he has been unable to sew much lately due to harvesting on his farm.

He was joined by his wife and they sat and sewed together and chatted and he gave us girls a bit of cheek every now and then. Maybe the family that quilts together stays together. Can't see my macho hubby having a go though. Then again, I wouldn't climb ladders and climb through roofs playing with electrical wires either.

Some of this strips - they got much messier as the day went on.On a mission! Love those brights.And even brighter!! What's this? Pinning?? Surely not!
Cheeky Caity even has strips in her hair.
We are very lucky at Toowoomba Quilters to have the most wonderful venue. It is light, airy and pleny of space to move. Altogether we had 17 sewers, and really it was still quite comfortable.
Unfortunately I ran out of puff at the end of the day and didn't get any more photos of blocks as they auditioned them, but please go to and Caity may have posted more shots there.
There wasn't much sewing done at my machine, but I spent very happy hours socializing!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chirstmas fabric made up

Here is what I made with the Christmas "fabric" I posted a week or so back. Friend Joan gave me lots of snippets and also these cards which she wasn't going to use - so VOILA!
As you know, we don't waste nothin' around here and the little bells at the bottom are made out of the cut out cardboard background from the cards. I have punched a hole in the top and they become gorgeous little matching Christmas Tags. The photo does not do them justice!
Reminder to self - seek out some photography tuition!
P.S. The sequin on card 2nd from left is not near that shiny!

Why you ask are there five bells and only 4 cards? I knew someone would ask that. Weeeeeell - you can't have a bell hanging upside down! That is all I am going to say on that matter! Grrrrrrrrrrr.
More P.S. Since this dreadful photo, I cut said upside down bell from ruined card and made it into a 6th Christmas tag - see - we don't waste nothin'!

These will go on the sales table at Toowoomba Quilters exhibition (20-26 September 2008)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Strip Party - rules of engagement

1. No strip shall be "thrown back" purely on the basis of colour. This is discrimination!
(unless the colour is against your religion, or it is going to upset your whole day to use it)
2. You may throw back only if the strip is of the wrong length.
3. There will be no picking and choosing, the strip you pick up is the strip you go with.
4. No fighting or squabbling over strips.
5. You must take regular breaks to enjoy party food.
6. It is quite permissable to chat to any other person whilst stripping.
7. Rules are made to be broken.
8. Enjoy your day.

Stripping for fun at quilt group

This Saturday is going to be heaps of fun at my quilt group "Toowoomba Quilters" where I am co-ordinating a stripping day. (Gee, lucky the weather is warm)> NO, we are all sewing together.

Since I began quilting in about 1992 I have always cut left-overs from quilting projects into various size strips or squares. Over the years, I have made various strip quilts, mainly log cabins, but when I saw my friend Marleens quilt-as- you- go strippy quilt, I knew I had to make one right away. I gave that one away to my brother and sister-in-law, and they love it.

Last year we had a very successful strip party and there were some stunning results from that. We had such a great day that everybody was asking when we were going to do it again.

This one is the product of last year's strip party.

This is my contribution of strips.

Last year's stripping day even made it into the local media!! Yes, that is a veeeeery bad photo of me. (that is Marleens quilt on the wall behind me).

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Stash buster

For too long I have been precious about cutting into fabrics. Yesterday and today - whoosh - they're gone. It felt quite liberating. I have embarked on a real "stash buster" quilt. In fact the poor old stash is looking a bit sick, but as it is "no spend" March, I will wait til 1st April til I give the plastic a work out. There were so many country fabrics in my collection, as this is what appealed to me a few years back, and Soooo many browns. This is very puzzling, as I don't really go for brown, but I guess it went with the country theme at the time.

At the moment it is all squares, but that will change. I will give progress blogs as we go along with this one.

Look at all those browns!!!!!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Something from Nothing

Here is a crochet rag rug made literally from the rag bag. The trickiest part was keeping the increasing even, as you tend to lose your way with the uneveness of the different fabrics. It is made using strips of 1" fabrics. I gave it a good old long steam press and quickly took the photo before it's "bubbly" bits popped back up. It is sitting reasonable well though, and of course I have learnt lessons.
Lesson 1: When you think you have cut enough strips, cut some more - it sure uses up some strips.
Lesson 2: Keep your strips as long as possible to save all the joining up. I have worked out a really cool way to cut strips from old garments, rags etc. to get the longest strips - will share in a later post. How to join up was shown in the pattern I used and it is also a really cool method. Pattern by "Fig Tree Quilts" designed by Lisa Quan.
Lesson 3: Lossen up! Keep the tension out of those shoulders and hands and loosen right up with the crochet stitch or it makes for bloody hard work.
Lesson 4: Train up the muscles in your arms, neck and shoulders before tackling this project. Muscles will hurt where you didn't know you had muscles!
Lesson 5: Never knock back a bag of "patchwork' fabrics that good meaning friends/family may give you. Some of this fabric came from a bag which was earmarked for the wheelie bin. Of course there are some totally unsuitable fabrics such as coarse thick fabrics and silky type fabrics, but I have included some rayons and polyesters in this and they are easier in fact to crochet than all cotton fabrics.
This rag rug took very little time to make once all the strips were cut, and these were cut at various times during the past year. But to actually crochet it all took about 3 nights in front of the idiot box.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Christmas Collage

Here is some fabric I "made" - yes you guessed it from snippets. I will post a project shortly made from this fabric. I will probably add some bling to it by way of sequins, beads etc. once I audition it to the project. A quilting buddy saves her snippets for me. OMG she must do some stitching because I am just about drowning in snippets of all persuasions. Now I want her to save her cut off selvedges for me - may have opened a hornets nest there!
Soon I will show something else made literally from the rag bag. Keep posted.

And Judges Choice winner is ..............

MOI!! Couldn't believe it! My very first challenge quilt and the judges liked it!

The competition was fierce, and if I knew how to do it, I would do a slide show, but Caity will be posting them on the Toowoomba Quilters site soon, so have a squiz there.