Friday, February 29, 2008

Mystery Quilt coming together!

Here is my Mystery Quilt, so far..... I have sewn the top 3 rows, the rest is just laid out. I'm not happy with my points! Look at them, they are out of wack! How can I get it right in three corners and be off in the 4th!?? Very fustrating. Looks like I'll be doing some one on one time with my unpicker.

I have folded it up to deal with later as we are flying to Sydney early Sunday. Yahhhh! We booked this trip back in August last year, I can't believe its finally here. Should be lots of fun, catching up with friends, both old and new. May just squeeze a bit of fabric shopping in!

And just a final shot of my girls who insisted on testing the new quilt after I took the photo's. Grace asked if it was for her! I don't really know who this quilt is for which seems strange as I always make my quilts with someone in mind. Something to ponder about while I unpick those offending points that don't match!

Have a great week out there in blog land! Chat to you all later this week. Sydney is calling!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rond Robin Centre Finished

Well that wasn't a WIP for long! I really got stuck into finishing this last night while watching Underbelly on TV. When I finished and held up to show Daz he was like "WOW! That looks fantastic!" I laughed, the tone of his voice suggested that it was my first fantastic piece! I'm happy with how this has turned out, the flash on my camera has made it look stark, there is a pattern in the white material. I have bundled it away, ready to post in March to AJ who will work her magic on the next border.

Other quilty news, I have signed up for the Spring round of the Four Season's Quilt Swap. I had admired the round of Fall and Winter in several blogs, I thought you had to sign up for all four seasons at first which I couldn't commit too, but Spring and maybe Summer I can do. Haven't got my swap partner yet but am all excitied and have a few patterns picked out already.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WIP Week 7 - The start of a Round Robin!

A few of my fellow EB Quilters have joined together to do a Round Robin. Very exciting as I have never done one of these before. Basically, you do a centre peice, then post it off to the next person, they add a border, then it gets posted off again and the next person adds a border and so on until everyone in has added a bit. Should be interesting to see everyones's different styles merge togther. I have been flicking through mags for inpiration and was struck by the photo above in a copy of American Patchwork and Quilting. Its a quilt by a lady called Kaye England. The inscription read "this large scale, mid 19th century example is typical of the time period. One features a coneflower and the other a pomegrantae." So I used the pomegrantae one as my inspiration. When I sketched it out though it got the Daz thumbs down though as it reminded him of somthing else, maybe something not that appropriate and looking at it, he was right so I changed it into a tulip motif. Went for a red, white and black colour scheme, which is unlike my usual pallett but all the quilts I am ohhhhing and ahhhhhing at the moment have white in them.

I had decided to machine blanket stitch this one, make it look a bit slicker. I'm half way through so far, should get it finished before flying out on Sunday to sunny Sydney!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Happy 4th Wedding Anniversary.....

It was our fourth wedding anniversary on Friday and I forgot to blog it. Opps! I even forgot to wish Daz Happy Anniversary till about 3pm! To make up for it we spent Saturday night at the Sheraton in the city in total luxary for 30 hours, who was counting? I thought I'd share these two photos of the big day all those years ago, two of my favourites. I love the one of Grace and I as my boobs look really big and I look so happy, the whole anticipation of getting ready at home was the best, getting my hair and makeup done, flowers arriving, photographers and the video man capturing everything. The anticipation of seeing Daz shortly and finally getting married! We did things in the opposite way of how it is "supposed" to be done. We fell pregnant first, had a baby, brought a house and then decided to get married! So far so good....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WIP Week 6 - Stippling of a Cat.

The last few days I have been stippling. And it has been fun! I think I must be in the stipple groove after finishing off the last quilt a few weeks ago cause so far this has been easy and smooth sailing. All my curves are curvey and even, no jagged ones lurching off into their own world, all is smooth. I'm sitting there, pedal to the floor thinking how much I like doing this!

I have quilted around each cat and then stippled the 4 patch blocks inbetween. Then a few rows of straight stitching on the outer border and more stipple around the edge, but this time in a yellow thread for some interest. Don't know how clearly that comes up in the last photo. I have the binding picked out, a deep spotty blue. At this rate, I think I will be sewing the label on the back on the weekend. Love that bit!

Thank you too for those who took the time to comment about Daz and his big week this week. Your comments and thoughts mean a lot to us, thank you. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

AJ's Mystery Quilt all cut ready to go!

Well I have finished sewing all my blocks for AJ's Mystery Quilt, now just have to wait till we are up to the layout instructions. Hmmmm, never noticed how dirty my iron board cover is! So I have 4 x 3.5 inch squares, 22 flying geese blocks, they measure 6.5 x 3.5 inches. Also 10 hourglass blocks and 8 pinwheels, both measuring 6.5 inches square. Look at that! I pick a pinwheel to photograph that doesn't match up! Opps! And also 24 flying geese with a square on each side, they measure 3.5 x 12.5 inches. So it is very interesting seeing how it will all fall in place. I think there are 4 of us sewing along with AJ now? Bee, Car and Ads who had issues.... AJ I am happy to wait till the others have caught up before going onto the next stage.

I'm thinking though...... I reckon the flying geese blocks will make a star with the 6.5 inch feature fabric??! Thats my little guess. I still haven't cut my feature fabric, maybe I should go back to that blue butterfly print? Oh the indecision!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Saturday Nights Dinner....

I came in here yesterday to post these photos of our yummy dinner on Saturday night that Daz cooked but I got distracted by that Jane Austen quiz! So I'm a few days out of whack.

Here is the lovely dinner that Daz cooked on Saturday night. Pan fried chutney chicken breast with kashmiri pilaf, garnished with corriander and served with a glass of bubbly. Mmmmmmmm! Followed by home made chocolate mousse, freshly whipped cram and grated dark chocolate on top! Is the man a legend or what? We didn't do anything for Valentines Day as we have plans for this weekend instead, so he thought he'd make a nice dinner and we'd toast this week.

It is a big week in our house this week, feels like a cross road of our lives. Those who know me in other walks of cyber and real life may remember the grant money we got to develop Gracie Lou back mid last year? Well this is the week that it all comes together. It has taken all those months to get together a team of 4 writers, including some dude from Sydney who has flown over especially, an Executive Producer, an Early Childhood Developmental Specialist and Daz to spend this week brainstorming, researching and writing proposal/pilot episodes for series 2 of Gracie Lou. Basically this week they write some episodes, then we go and play the submit to ABC game again and then if they like it, series 2 then goes ahead. Thats the plan. But I was thinking the other night, depending on this week, if it goes ahead, it will change our lives, we'd be in the TV guide, Daz would work from home or we'd hire an office, he'd be living his dream job. And then on the otherhand after this week if we submit it to the ABC and they say, naaa, don't like it, then I think it would all be over, we'd admit to oursleves that we have taken it as far as we can and then Daz would go off to do a years study and take a total career change and become a primary school teacher. So we are at a cross roads. I sent him out the door this morning with his coffee in a travel mug and told him to go live his dream, live it! He has come a lot further than other people have in this industry, and at times girls I'll admit it has been a battle and many times we have nearly thrown it all in, but he has continued, bounced back and I am so proud of him. My job this week is to make the house run smooth and listen.

And just to get myself in the mood for it, I went fabric shopping this morning! I hit 3 fabric stores, Lincraft were having 50% off all fabric, ends on Wednesday, didn't go that crazy there. When I got home too I found some FQ's in the mail I had brought off Ebay. Not my usual colour pallette here, finding myself drifting towards blue fabric and crisp white. What is happening?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I am Elinor Dashwood.....

I am Elinor Dashwood!
Take the Quiz here!

You Are...Elinor Dashwood!
You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

Hmmmm, I thought I would have been Elizabeth Bennet, she is my favourite Jane Austen character. These silly quizes, what do they know anyway!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

WIP Week 5 - AJ's mystery quilt started!

Well I receieved a pleasant suprise yesterday in blogland. My Dissappearing 9 Patch quilt I made in December is featured on the Sew Mama Sew blog in their 9 Patch Highlights! How cool is that? I felt quite chuffed when I found out. So it was with great enthausism that I jumped into AJ's Mystery Quilt today.

Here I am, all ready to go. Everything labelled and piled in zip lock bags. Whoever invented zip lock bags was a genius, where would a quilting girl be without her assortment of zip lock bags! I have had a change of heart with my feature fabric though. The butterfly print as much as I loved it, wasn't going to work. The blocks had to be 6.5 inches wide and the butterflies were bigger than that size, they would have looked odd with their wings cut off. So I'm using this print below, a Valori Wells print.

I don't know which one yet, maybe 6 blocks of each as 12 are needed. I'll see when it comes time to sew those bits, I'll cut them then.

So here I have my hourglass blocks, 9 blocks of those from these instructions here.

And here is my GHF blocks! Instructions from here. 32 of those! I'm certainly getting to practise my points lining up so far. I stuffed up on my left and right on these though. The blue triangle is supposed to be on the left, not the right. But that won't make any real difference to it will it AJ??

Okay, onto my flying geese now. This will be fun as I have never done flying geese. Bring it on!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ad's Birthday Quilt

Well, most of the readers of my blog would know that Ads is my sister, my younger and only sister! A girl couldn't ask for a better sister, she has such a relaxed and easy going nature with the world, gets passionate about the things that matter, her children and sewing. She got very passionate at the end of Christmas last year and decided the 2008 was the Year Of Handmade Gifts for herself, Mum and I. So we agreed to give hand made gifts this year. And guess who's birthday was first? Yep, hers! So I had only a month and a half to pull something out of my sewing hat!

This is what Mum made. Ads does love her cats so it was quite fitting. I had seen Mum working on it, so it wasn't suprised to see it finished. My comment of "The hanger is quite nice" were quite innocent! It is a nice hanger!

I'll admit it, I started this quilt in February 2007, here. And it wasn't really a good start, cut the squares the wrong size, ran out of fabric, hand to unpick it all... In late March I was more in control, only had a few more squares to go here. And on April the 1st, I finished the top here! I was out of wadding so I folded it up and put it away and there it sat for the rest of the year.

So I pulled it out a few weeks ago, sandwiched it then spent the last week quilting the life out of it, flowers, stippling, some writitng along the edges and some decorative vine stitching from the auto button on my machine. I was pressed for time though and ended up sewing the label on the back on the drive down to her house today! And then my camera batteries died right after I took this shot of her lovingly admiring and stroking her new quilt, absolutely in awe of my fantastic work! Written with my tounge firmly planted in my cheek as there are a few chringe worthy sections of the last green border!

So I don't yet have any close up photos of the quilting, in hindsight I think just the large flowers would have looked hot, and left out the stippling. But for a "quick" quilt, I think she liked it.

Happy Birthday for Tuesday Ad!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

WIP Wednesday Week 4 - Practise! Practise! Practise! Practise! Practise!

This is what I am doing today. Lots of stippling and the occassional flower thrown in. This is just a practise peice as I haven't done any free form quilting for ages! So I sat down this afternoon, Milly was at her FDC, Grace was kicking back on the couch watching Barbie's version of Swan Lake, after a hard morning at school. Don't even get me started on Barbie and her take on Swan Lake! The rigid animation! The corny voices! But the music, *sigh* it is beautiful and every time Barbie started to dance Grace got off the couch and started pirouetted across the room. But back to the quilting.... It is wonky in places, but I am hoping that the quilt it goes on, it will be less noticeable than on the white here. la la la la, practise makes perfect hey? Here's hoping!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

AJ's Mystery Quilt

AJ is running a Mystery Quilt. I have been rummaging through my stash and come up with the above options. Supposed to be 1 feature print, 1 light, 1 medium and 1 dark. Happy with the dark (the green) and feature. I thought the light (the yellow) and medium (the blue) looked good layed out on the bed, but now looking at the photo..... AJ! Help! Would it work? Too close??

Monday, February 04, 2008

Grace's First Day at School

Was it only a year ago since we had Grace's first day at kindy? *sigh* Surely not? Today was the first day of school, but big girls school this time, she'll be going for the whole day! Well, not until week 4, they ease them in with half days for the first few weeks at our school. We have been talking it up in our house for the last few weeks, making a big deal of buying new shoes and socks. Going to pick up her book list, driving past the school to check it out. And today was the big day. She ate her 2 rounds of vegemite toast and yoghurt and then declared she was ready to get dressed. Popped on her shoes and socks and picked up her backpack, not before I saw her shove her teddy in there. I asked "Is teddy going to pre primary too?" to which the reply was,"Yes, he is so excitied!"

I dropped Milly at her FDC before school to make the first day just me and Grace. Thankfully Milly has adapted going back there so smoothly. Dropped her off with a kiss, she didn't even watch as we left the room, too busy playing with the toys. So off to school Grace and I went. She was walking slower as we approached the building, or maybe I was walking faster? It was chaos in the room, loud teacher assistants trying to make the kids feel welcome, parents and kids not knowing where to put fruit, bags, water bottles. Early day chaos! We found her bag hook and hung that up, and noticed from the other bag labels that none of her little girl friends from kindy where in her class. A few boys we knew, but no girls, I felt sad for her then. Silly as I'm sure in a few weeks she will have new girly friends in her class, but she looked a bit lost sitting on the mat at the back when it was time for me to go. I had to really concentrate on not letting her see me cry. I know she's going to love school and she is so ready for school, its just, well... I want her to be okay. She'll be fine I am sure, she is independent, confident and an extrovert. Why am I worried then?

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Yellow Square deliema....

Well after I posted the photo of this quilt just stuck on the design wall, the comments about the positioning of the yellow squares flooded in. And I didn't even see it till it was pointed out to me! I showed it to Daz and after 5 minutes of staring at it, he's like "Its FINE!" Think he just wanted to get back to staring at the cricket on telly. Hmmmmm, then I took in to Mothers Group today to show the girls and again, they looked at it and didn't notice anything odd about the placement of the yellow squares. Must be quilters eyes that only see these things.

So the above photo is how it is looking, I am going to add a 2 inch border of yellow which will hopefully balance it out. I didn't have any more of the yellow squares to add to it. I did ponder over unpicking it all and repositioning it to something like below which may of worked as I had one extra cat panal to replace the yellow one once it was moved. But, all that unpicking. Not that I'm scared of bonding with my unpicker, I just wanted this to be a quick and simple whip up cot quilt. I don't think the person it is for would notice the placement of the yellow. Thats what I am hoping. So I think I will chalk this one up to better layout planning next time Helen, don't be so eager to start sewing as soon as you have cut the squares, you can pause you know. I am going to have some fun doing some meandering stippling with some stars or hearts, hopefully it won't look that bad.