Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 31 - Bloggers Quilt Festival.

It's that time of the year again, Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival! The quilt I am submitting is on the other side of the world now. This is my favorite close up of it.

Those of you that read my blog already know I have been a swap mama for a few rounds of the flickr Doll Quilt Swap. It's always a fantastic swap. There is a lot of chat behind the scenes amongst the mama's. One fellow mama is an amazing lady called Lynne. We got to emailing each other chatting back and forth and agreed to have a little private quilt swap of our own.

We gave each other an open brief as we both thought each others work was fantastic. I knew I wanted to do some wonky houses for her. And then I added a tree.

Looked good but still needed another house. Getting there....

Enter the rocket house!

Okay, the top is now finished! Let the quilting begin!

I pebble quilted the sky in a variegated blue cotton.

Echo stitched around the windows and if you look very closely pebble quilted the house in white as well.

And framed it in some Kaffe. Lynne loved it. You can see in this blog post of her's where she hung it. And I in return received this quilt from her.

Check out everyone's quilts here in the festival! Great work as always Amy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 29 - Quilting....

Thank you for all the lovely comments about Milly's quilt. She is a little poppet and when I stop to pause she will be six, six, six? on Monday I am puzzled about how that exactly happened. The time has zoomed by. I am still patting the quilt when I go into her room. Still have the label to put on it and the "official" photos to take, but it is finished and on her bed.

I seem to have failed in Blogtoberfest this year. Through no fault of my own! LOL No, of course not Helen. Our laptop died a few weeks ago, so I organized that to be fixed on Tuesday. Then when I went to pick it up Wednesday I thought I'd drop off the PC's hard drive to get cleaned out as it has been making a weird buzzing noise. Tag team on the computers but when I got the lap top home I discover it hasn't been fixed and so it goes back Thursday. I got the PC hard drive back in return, go home and get Daz to hook it all up to discover that wasn't even working now! As Daz exclaimed, "Where did you find this guy Helen?" So first thing Friday on the phone and he actually came to our house to fix the problem. So if you are still reading after this paragraph, thank you! I guess on the plus side, no computer to distract me, meant I could turn my attention to my quilt for the EBDQS#4. All quilted..... blue swirls and some echo quilting. Just have the binding and the label to go.

I did have two lovely mail parcels arrive this week. 14 lovely half yard cuts of Kona Cotton from a lady on Etsy called SimplySolidFabric. Her range is amazing! Super fast shipping too. And she puts a little sticker on each cut so you know if that is pear or leaf or olive that you are cutting.

Swirls and dots from Twiddletails.To pop in the stash. As you do......

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 25 - Milly's Surprise.

I originally planned to give Milly this quilt at the end of the month as it is her 6th birthday on the 1st. But...... I finished sewing down the binding last night and thought it would be a nicer idea to just place it over her as she slept so in the morning she gets the surprise of being under her new quilt! I had been sewing on the binding for the last week in secrecy every evening while the girls were asleep, so she had no idea it was getting close to being finished. So that's what I did. This morning I was woken by her standing by the side of my bed whispering "Mummy, the houses quilt was on my bed, its finished!" I asked "Do you like it?" She replied, "It's beautiful." I took this shot for the label.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 24 - Grace and a Python.

This morning I took the girls to the vet's which was having an open day with the local wildlife rescue group. Grace was so excited, from 6am this morning, all I got from her was "Is is time to go now Mum?" She got to hold a Stimson Python which is non venomous. It was called Mary! A giant stick insect one week, a python the next..... she loves it up here! Note the other daughter in the background who took a lot of coaxing by her older sister just to touch it for a nano second!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 23 - Gillian's Blocks!

It was quite coincidentally that Gillian's block for me arrived on Friday as I had her block already cut a few days before and all ready to sew!

She requested a Raw Edge Circle block as per the tutorial here. Sew the circles down then some slicing and dicing and wolah! That's what I like about these swaps, I get to sew a block I wouldn't normally sew in a colorway that I wouldn't normally sew with and I love it! Hope you are happy with these Gillian!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 22 - Gillian's Block.

A great mail day today. My block from Gillian for the Around the Block Swap arrived. This will look great with the others received so far as shown here. Thanks Gillian, love it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 21 - Mangoes...

You know how students used to take their teachers an apple to school? Well guess what one of Daz's students brings instead? A mango! We live in a town where the shady tree's outside the post office are mango tree's. A town where we have a mango tree in our back yard which is the biggest tree on the block! Doesn't help that all the ripe mangoes are like 15 meters up and we have to borrow some special mango pickers to get them down! Mangoes are the new apples for us this summer and all I have to say about that is mmmmmmmmmm!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 19 - Lovely Bones.

Not much sewing happening today. I have started reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Its one of those stories that grabs you and you can't concentrate till you have finished the last page. Can't wait to see the movie next.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 18 - 99 things about me...

Running thin on items to talk about for day 17. How many posts can I do about binding?! Above is what is happening under the machine at the moment. So I borrowed this meme from Ad's blog. It has bit of an American angle to it. I have crossed out some of the things and made them a bit more Australian for me. Things you've already done in bold. Things you want to do in italics. Things you haven't done and don't want to, leave in plain font. Let me know in the comments if you have played along!

1. started your own blog (several!)
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band
4. visited Hawaii visited Purnululu National Park (next year definitely!)
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. been to Disneyland/World
8. climbed a mountain
9. held a praying mantis
10. sang a solo (does karoke count?)
11. bungee jumped (no bloody way!)
12. visited Paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. grown your own vegetables
19. seen the Mona Lisa in France (she was so tiny!)
20. slept on an overnight train
21. had a pillow fight 22. hitch hiked (naughty!)
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden a gondola in Venice (thanks Contiki!)
29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise or sunset
31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise
33. seen Niagara Falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. seen an Amish community
36. taught yourself a new language (I can say hello my name is Helen in Italian, where is the train station, does that count?)
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing
40. seen Michelangelo's David in person (his thingy is BIG!)
41. sung karaoke (every day!)
42. seen Old Faithful Geyser erupt watched a sun set at Uluru
43. bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. visited Africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance (sirens weren't flashing though)
47. had your portrait painted
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the Sistene Chapel in person

50. been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (lovely!)
51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Ningaloo Reef)
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theatre
55. been in a movie (my name in the credits of The Adventures of Gracie Lou, does that count?)
56. visited the Great Wall of China
57. started a business (Feral Ceramics!)
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited Russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold Girl Guide cookies
62. gone whale watching
63. gotten flowers for no reason
64. donated blood
65. gone sky diving
66. visited a Nazi concentration camp (Dachau)
67. bounced a cheque
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the Lincoln Memorial climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt (LOL too funny this one! Yes, yes, yes!)
73. stood in Times Square
74. toured the Everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the Changing of the Guard in London
77. broken a bone
78. been on a speeding motorcycle
79. seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the Vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in Jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. read the entire bible
86. visited the White House
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury (yes! Just this month too)
91. met someone famous (Ben the Wiggly dancer, remember here?)
92. joined a book club
93. lost a loved one
94. had a baby
95. seen the Alamo in person seen a platypus in the wild
96. swum in the Great Salt Lake (closest to that one is a dip in the Dead Sea)
97. been involved in a law suit (thankfully no!)
98. owned a cell phone (who hasn't?)
99. been stung by a bee
Your turn.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 17 - Aunt Millie Block Finished.

I love clicking the label "Finished Quilts" for a post. Feels so satisfying! Thanks to watching a bit of Jurassic Park I managed to finish the binding on this mini quilt. It is the third block I have done from the Aunt Millie's Garden pattern.

So now to turn my attention to Milly's quilt and the binding for that!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 16 - Binding.

Binding and more binding today. 300 inches of red all rolled up ready for action on Milly's Wonky House Quilt.

And orange for this hanging. Christmas present #1 nearly struck off the list.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 15 - A Quilted House.

Milly's Wonky House Quilt arrived back from Kathy today. I am so pleased! It looks fantastic. Really stunning. Can't wait to show her! I'm keeping it a surprise till the end of the month for her 6th birthday.

I choose a simple swirl and stars all over pattern. In yellow thread.

The back looks as good as the front! I am sooooo glad I sent this away to be quilted.

And this one is still one of my favourite blocks. Look at the star and swirls on that light blue in the bottom left! Lovely!!! I have 6 strips from my Kona Jelly Roll in different shades or red which I am going to use for the binding. Just have to do it all at night while Miss Milly is asleep!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 14 - My Round Robin Label.

Blogtoberfest has inspired me to finish some little sewing jobs. The ones that only take 20 minutes to do but one never seems to have the time for. One such job is sewing the label down on my Round Robin Quilt. Finished back in May. Label sewn on in October......

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 13 - Self Portrait Theme.

Day 13th of Blogtoberfest, nearly at the half way mark. Today is a Self Portrait Challenge. Here is where I sit. I am wearing a school shirt which is kinda funny as I feel like a student then rather than a teachers aide. I held the camera out and snapped.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 12 - Weighing Video Camera's.

Today is international Weigh Your Video Camera Day, did you know that? Any guesses here of how much these two weigh?

This brick weighs 891 grams. This video camera is older than our children. Both their births were recorded on this camera. Endless summer holidays have been filmed on this camera. Family and friends weddings have been recorded on this camera. But it is a brick! Heavy to carry around and the last two times at school assemblies I have brought it out to record the girls, it has refused to work. Making a cross Helen who misses the moment on film.

Enter my new friend, who weighs a mere 230 grams. How is it even possible for a video camera to be that light?? I am not one who is up with the latest technological gadgets, gee, I think I am the only person I know who has a phone that doesn't take photos! But I am impressed. Putting the brick into retirement and starting to film snippets of our life with this baby!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 11- AJ's Blocks.

Great mail today! My "missing"package from AJ! I didn't know it was missing till last week when she asked if I had received it yet. Then today there was a "parcel to collect" slip in the PO box and when I handed it over the lady asked me if that was the second slip I had received? The first slip never made it to my PO Box for some reason so these have been sitting unclaimed for over a week! AJ in her usual typical style of being a legend, sewed a little bit extra for my swap blocks for Around the Block - Round 2! Look at all these!

Only one of these needed a bit of yellow added to the outer, I quickly did that and then sewed these four together. I have three tones of Kona yellow coming in the mail for this quilt.

And this one also needed a bit of yellow on the outer. Look familiar Amy??!

And here is what they look like with my other blocks. Very happy with them, thanks AJ!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 10 - Swirly Quilting.

Yesterday was my once a month meeting of fellow quilter's. About 5 hours later and 5 bobbins of white thread later, I had finished the quilting on this.

The centers of the flowers are really popping up now. More than I would have liked. So I am now going to go just a little quilting in yellow around the outside of them. They look a bit funny.

I have been exchanging emails with Jan for awhile and the other day she asked what I meant but sewing in the threads on the back. It was too hard to explain by email, so I told her I would take some photos so hopefully it made more sense. So, when you have finished quilting, take your needle and sew the top thread through to the back.

So when you flip it over you have both the top thread and the bobbin thread there. Trim threads to 2 - 3 inches if you like. Now you want to get your needle and run it horizontally inbetween the wadding and the backing fabric, taking care not to run it through the top layer of the quilt, just flip it over to the front to have a look before you poke the needle all the way through. I've run my needle about an inch in the above photo. Then pull the needle through with both the threads in it. Then when they have come through the other end, snip them off. This way they are tucked in the quilt nicely and the stitching won't come unraveled. Time consuming if you have a lot of threads but it does leave a nice finish.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 9 - Wonky Windows.

Windows for a wonky house doll's quilt. But I can't reveal any more as the person this is for reads this blog! Yes, you know who you are!!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 8 - Bulls Eye!

I have finished all the hand stitching on this. Instead of the pie wedges that are usually in the middle of an Aunt Millie's Garden block, I did sort of a bulls eye. I thought with all that blanket stitching it might get a bit bulky in the middle. I have my real life quilting group meet tomorrow so I am going to take along this and start (and hopefully finish!) the FMQ.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 7 - Jury Duty!

Last month I got a letter summoning me to Jury Duty on the 5th of October. I'll admit I was quite excited, hadn't done Jury Duty before. Everyone kept telling me ways to get out of it though, but I wanted to go. So I rocked up at 9am on Tuesday. You get given a number, you then go into a ballot and it's chance if you are called. They were actually selecting two jury's that day. First 13 people got picked and I was still sitting there. They started to then call people for the next jury. Fourth last number to be called, was mine! I felt so nervous walking up to take my seat in that box of 12 chairs. You have to sit in the same chair in the dock every time! There was an unlimited supply of Kool Mints in the jury room.

But I quickly found out its not like an episode of Boston Legal! We got discharged today, 3 days after we had sat down, after we had handed down our findings. I really want to say more about the case but I don't think it would be a good idea to do that online. It was an experience, I can say I have played a small part in the justice system. Tomorrow I am going to take the girls to their swimming lessons and then sew all afternoon to make up for lost time.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 6 - And the Winner is Yellow!

I choose a mustard sort of yellow. Being a lighter colour over the top of the darker colour of the petals, I actually steam-a-seamed two pieces of yellow together and then cut it and ironed it into place, so it's a bit higher than the other fabrics. Slightly. If you look through a macro lenses. I said only slightly...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Blogtoberfest Day 5 - Aunt Millie's Progress.

Remember this one? I laid it out and ironed it into place back here a few weeks ago. It didn't take as long as I thought it would. I have taken it over to dinner at friends houses twice and sewn as we sat there drinking our wine. And today being school holidays, we did have a Madagascar marathon so got a bit done then!

It doesn't look like much from a distance, but close up it looks real pretty! Blanket stitch with two strands of matching DMC thread.

But look at the back! What a mess! I'll trim them all before I sandwich it. Now to decide on the center colours, I am thinking orange or yellow.