Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Academic Achiever!

My youngest child is continuing to astound me with her zest for learning. I've had a suspicion that she is smart this year, smarter than an average year one child. But every Mum thinks their child is smart don't they? And this week at the end of year school assembly with the book awards given out..... well now I know she really is a smart cookie. She won the Academic Achievement Award for Room 12, the inscription in her book says awarded for all your hard work, dedication and persistence that you have shown in all academic areas in 2011. Your enthusiasm towards learning is amazing to see. Congratulations Matilda. My photos of her walking up to the stage to receive the award aren't very good as I was crying with pride when she went up. Here she is afterwards with her beloved teacher Miss West. We are so very proud of her. Milly you are amazing!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dolls Quilt from Anna.

I opened my parcel from the EB Quilters Dolls Quilt Swap today. It has been sitting patiently on my bookshelf waiting for the one I made to reach its destination. I thought that was only fair. And it was worth the wait!!! I unwrapped this beauty made by Anna. It is so beautiful! The colours against the white, its no secret that I love the crispness that it creates!

The quilting is my favorite style, swirls! So time consuming, I know the work that goes into them but so worth the effort, it looks just fantastic.

I love the center panel, so whimsical! Its just beautiful Anna, thank you very much. :)

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sunday Stippling.

This quilt is due to be given to it's new owner in less than 2 weeks. Which means I had better stipple it quick smart! So guess what I did today? I haven't stipple quilted for ages, I am plesased with how smooth my curves are. I only have about a 50cm patch to go - taking a blogging break, as you do! - and then straight onto the binding.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Sunday Sandwich.

I have spent my Sunday morning on my hands and knees sandwiching this quilt top. I'll admit that even though I finished this quilt top a few weekends ago, I have been putting off this bit! I don't like the sandwiching bit anymore! The piecing, yes, love that bit. The quilting itself, yep, bring it on. But the ironing, the taping, the smoothing out of wrinkles, the spray glue then all the pinning........ no wonder I have been putting it off! We are heading down to Perth for the Christmas holidays and already I am wondering just how I can convince my Mother to let me take her Happy Jack quilting frame back home in the car with me!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Sewing.

Hi my name is Helen and I used to sew quilts. *sigh* Used to! Not that much sewing happening around here lately and as we approach the end of term and Christmas and all the craziness that goes with this time of year, can't see things improving! Anyway, I did finish this today. A jewelled square table runner or dolls quilt, take your pick.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday Milly!

Happy 7th birthday to our Milly Moo! Being a Tuesday you had to go to school, but you didn't mind as you love school, your teacher and your friends. You handed out 24 pink cupcakes before recess, you came home covered in stickers! You bring so much joy, happiness, laughter and pride into our house as you are our daughter. We love you very much Matilda.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jewelled Squares Finished!

I finished sewing down the binding on the weekend. I love it! I think it's one of my favorite quilts made ever. I'd love to make one for Milly in a yellow, orange, red, pink colour way. Next year maybe....

I think I like the back as much as the front. I didn't have enough blue just to do a plain background, so I broke it up into rows with some random placed squares.

I quilted it just lines across, back and forth, little bit wonky, to add texture. And here is the confession part. Those of you that read my blog regularly know that this quilt was made with the girls from Around the Block 2. After I posted a photo of my quilt top I received an email from Rachel asking where was her block? I didn't answer her as I didn't know what to say.... But now the quilt is all finished (except for the label) I am ready to confess. I wanted my blocks to come back in one of these layouts here, but Rachel's came back different. Not bad different, just different. And I wanted the same colour all the way around each square. Again not bad different, just different. I put it on the front most people wouldn't have noticed it was even different. Except for me, I would have noticed!! And I'm sorry but it would have irked me. So I decided to trim it a bit and resew it and then add it! The middle 3 squares are from one of the different blocks. The rest of her blocks are in there somewhere too, I did use them all. It actually inspired the blocks for the back, I mixed up the fabric for each square. So there you go, I have come clean. It's my ummmm Grace's quilt and I wanted to be 100% happy with it. And I am. :)

And here it is on Grace's bed. She loves it so much she has folded her beloved Rainbow Log Cabin quilt up on the end of her bed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Goodbye Holidays!

Well holidays are over for another term. I have felt like I have been in a race this weekend, trying to get this quilt top finished but I'm not going to get there. I have all the squares now sewn into rows of four....

And I have sewn three of the rows together. Getting there slowly. It's a Christmas present so I have a few months to go to finish it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Dinosaur.

I have been doing some hand sewing in the evenings while watching. The binding has been sewn onto this name hanger for agggggges and all it took was an hour to sew it down! Now just the label and I can post it away before the child in question is a teenager and doesn't want a dinosaur on his door!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pink and Purple Stripes Progress....

Look what half a day of uninterrupted sewing time can produce! 18 squares. I'm thinking single bed size, so hopefully I only need to do do 6 more purple and 8 more pink. Easy! Just need another half day left alone. I love school holidays!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pink Strips.

I have a week of school holidays left stretched out in front of me. Last week was spent here. Now this week is all mine! What does a girl do? Start a new project! I have wanted to do a strip-ish quilt for awhile. But not just strips, sort of a slash and sew back together strip block.

So I sewed lots of pink strips together till I had a square roughly 10 inches, using scrappy fabric from the stash.

Then I sliced it into quarters and rotated some of the quarters.

Then the finished block looks like this ready to be trimmed down. Thinking a row of pink, then a row of purple? Sashed with white, of course!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Ta da!

Yesterday was the greatly anticipated wedding of Miss W and Mr H. Milly in particular has been very excited!! The ceremony was beautiful, she looked absolutely stunning. Afterward we bundled the children back home to go to the reception, we walked in, found our table, put our gift on the present table. All that stuff you do at the beginning before the bridal party come in. I then turned around to see the quilt hanging on one of the walls! At the reception!! I was so surprised! And pleased. I thought to myself this must mean she really, really likes it. Later in the evening when I got to have a chat with the beautiful bride I said, wow, your quilt is here. And she then said that I have no idea how special it is to her and how much she loves it and how she'll treasure it always. Awwww, I'm glad it has gone to a loving home. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Miss W's Quilt Revealed!

Well today was the day! We gave Miss W her quilt today. I had to do it today as Daz is giving a PD tomorrow at school on Homework Blogs and part of his intro talk is how his wife blogs and he has linked back to my blog which has pictures of the quilt on it! So I had to give it to her before anyone else saw it! Not that it really mattered. I thought it would be nice to be in the classroom for a few days before term ended too. So we asked Miss W to leave the room for a few minutes while we worked out what child was going to say what. Then she came back in and sat, very puzzled and curious. Six kids spoke a sentence each. "Miss W, we are very excited about your wedding." "We wanted to make you something special." (She starts crying about here!) "Miss Helen helped us do some drawings at recess and lunch." "It was top secret, we had to pinky promise not to tell you!" (More crying about here!) "We hope you like your present." "We wish you and Mr H lots of love and hope you live happily ever after." Then she got to open it and because the kids hadn't seen the quilt it was zoom, they all rushed in. Then there was squeals of "Look there is my drawing!" "Look that's mine up there Miss W!" "Look Miss W I drew you holding Mr H's hand!" It was fantastic!

Here's Miss W with Alice. I told Alice her block was my favorite, she got all shy.

And here is Miss W and I in that happy post quilt gift giving glow. I am so looking forward to their wedding in a few weeks. She is such a beautiful lady, has a heart of gold, an amazing teacher, it's going to be a joy to share her day with her.

Here are the amazing kids of Room 12! Their art makes this quilt so special!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Miss W's Quilt Finished!

I have finished sewing down the binding for Miss W's wedding quilt. I went for a white homespun, the same as I used for the kid's white squares. I figured black would have looked too heavy and didn't want to introduce another colour.

I am really pleased with it, except...... I don't like the way the kid's white squares "pop" out. I know its because the red area is quilted and the white squares aren't, so of course they aren't going to lie as flat as the red areas. And I know I can't quilt in the white squares as it that would just look odd. And maybe to a non quilter it isn't even noticeable.

Milly is all ready to give it to her on Tuesday! I just have the label to print and sew on the back and then we are ready for the grand presentation on Tuesday. Less than 2 weeks to the wedding!

Monday, September 19, 2011

AJ's Twisted Cathedral.

I'll admit it's been awhile between blocks in the Around the Block 2 swap. I started out so well too! This lucky last one is for AJ. She wanted a cathedral Window with a twist inside a log cabin! I could do the log cabin bit okay but I did find the cathedral window bit a bit tricky. I hope it's okay AJ!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Miss W's Wedding Quilt Part 3

I have finished sewing all the red borders around Miss W's wedding quilt. I was waiting and waiting for one little girl to come back to school so she could write her name next to her drawing. But she has been a no show and so I got one of the other girls to write "by Eleanor" on her behalf. It's looking great! I just want to sew another 2 inches of red around it and then I'll start quilting it. Better hurry up as school finishes on the 3oth, I'd like the class to give it to her sometime that last week!

This is one of my favorite blocks. Alice is an indigenous girl, a mop of black curls on her head and the shyest smile. She was the wisest eyes of a 6 year old that I know. I think she has seen more than a 6 year old should see.

On a closing note, thank you all for the lovely thoughts and comments about Charlie. It was very touching to read them. And I do apologize not to replying to comments on that post. I usually try too, but..... you know. Thank you though. x

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Blogging is about the good times and the bad times, right? Monday was a bad time. Daz and I had to make the choice to put down our dog Charlie. Saturday morning we woke up to him just lying on his bed, awake but unable to get up. Picking him up Daz felt a large lump one side of his belly. We dashed to the vet, they took some needle biopsies. The results were inconclusive, they ruled out an infection or a bite from a snake or cane toad but left a question mark over what the lump was exactly..... He stayed there till Sunday afternoon, we were allowed to bring him home for the night and told to return Monday morning so they could do more tests. He was a little better that night, could walk but wasn't his usual self. On waking up Monday morning, it wasn't good, he couldn't move again, just lying on his bed. We dropped him at the vet and it became pretty obvious that all the tests in the world weren't going to fix him. He was 15 years old and we didn't want him to go through that. Daz and I decided he should go to sleep, hardest phone call I have had to ever make. We were there at the end, well Daz was, I was standing outside watching through the glass doors with tears streaming down my face. His body trembled and then just relaxed and was still. No more pain for him. We told the girls after school amongst more tears. We were allowed to take his body home and buried him in a quiet spot out of town. The back yard seems very quiet without him in it.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Milly's Merit Certificate.

Matilda received a merit certificate at school yesterday. Every Mum thinks their child is smart, but this child of mine, she is switched on! She is reading at a higher level than Grace.... she'll stand behind Grace when she is doing Mathletics on the computer and while Grace is still thinking about the answer, Milly will call out the answer..... its a bit spooky! She's the model student, her work is so neat, her handwriting is lovely. And all this in Grade One! Well done Matilda, we are very proud of you!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Miss W's Wedding Quilt Part 2

Yes, I know technically it is a Thursday so it's not really a WIP Wednesday post. Things are just so busy up here at the moment I snatched 15 minutes of sewing yesterday and thought that was good! I am still working on the kids in Milly's class for Miss W's wedding quilt. There is 21 in the class, 2 little girls don't attend regularly so I was sort of hoping that I could do one block for the both of them, but then they both came to school that day! The above block is what one of them made, love the hair! So I have 21 blocks, not the best number to make a hanging from, so I have added 4 more blocks, one for each corner, to say stuff like "Congratulations Miss W" and "Love from Room 12" so that will frame it nicely into 25 blocks, 5 across and 5 down.

I have started to sew the red Kona around the blocks, 2 inches it will come down too. My camera is making it look pinker than it is. I haven't got enough of these two reds, so I am going to introduce another red and lay it out in sort of a Trip Around The World pattern. Sort of.... it will come together!

Very happy to see my dolls quilt to Sheridan has arrived safely too. Look how she has hung it here! On the same wall as a mini Dresden plate I made her! Perfect. :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DQS#11 - Recieved from Rita!

It is the exciting time of the DQS#11, the receiving! Mine should arrive at it's new home any day now, but look what arrived at my house yesterday! An absolute beauty from the amazingly talented Rita from Red Pepper Quilts! "Ohhh, that's very you" the husband commented when I showed him excitedly. Yes, bright colours on a crisp white background with a strippy binding, very me! Thank you Rita!

I had to pinch myself. Look at the back!

And wait there is more! She knitted me this sweet little shawl. Even though Grace is modeling it in this photo, she will not be wearing it! We have a fancy school social event on Saturday night, guess what I am wearing over my little black dress?

And I took down a quilt I had made for the last round of the swap and replaced it with Rita's masterpiece for all to see that come in the house. Thanks again Rita. I feel very lucky to have a Red Pepper Quilt in my house.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Miss W's Wedding Quilt

Matilda's beloved teacher is getting married in the upcoming October school holidays. At first I thought I would make her a "normal" quilt for the occasion. But then after seeing the amazing quilt Andi had made with the 5 and 6 year old children in her daughter's class, I changed my mind and thought let's make a quilt for Miss W!

It's top secret from her, I have made each child pinky promise not to tell her and so far, so good! Because I work at the same school as my children go too, I have been able to sneak out at recess and lunch time and sit with 2 or 3 kids and assist them draw their square. I've told them that it's for Miss W and Mr H and they are getting married, what can we draw?

Lots of love hearts, flowers and smiling faces. They are on white homespun but my camera is making it look more cream. I have 6 more kids to get to do their square, then I can start sewing them together. Maybe this will help get my sewing mojo back cause at the moment it has disappeared!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A busy week....

No sewing this week. As usual it has been a flurry of activity this week. Last Thursday we had the school sports carnival. It is a twilight affair running for 7 hours after our normal school day. It is exhausting but we do get the next day off school. Milly enjoyed one of the perks of having a Daddy who works at the same school she attends, getting to have a cuddle while waiting in our faction bay for events to commence!

We were pleasantly amazed to discover that week that Milly could run. I mean run fast. A few days before the carnival they had a morning of running trials. Every grade had to run around the oval, out of about 50 grade 1 girls, Matilda came third! Third?? So on the night of the carnival she came third again in the grade 1 girls first division! And then the grade 1 mixed relay team she was in, came first! We have a runner in the family!!! Very proud.

And this week we have had Book Week. Celebrated a week early for some reason...... We had the Kimberley Writers Festival a few weeks ago and Grace attended a workshop by an illustrator and cartoonist called James Foley who has just illustrated his first book, The Last Viking. She was inspired so we spent Monday after school with some cardboard, paint, brown wrapping paper, lots of staples and sticky tape to transform a beer carton and stack hat into making this costume. And we, oh I mean she won a prize, a book!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Quilting Jewelled Squares.

I finished the backing for my Jewelled Squares quilt on the weekend. I immediately sandwiched it and popped the walking foot on the machine.

Down and then back up. And then down and back up and then down again and back up. You get the idea. To make it more exciting for me I am using two spools of thread, a few lines of green, then some of blue. I haven't marked the lines, I'm just doing it by eye. As you can see some gaps between the lines are bigger than some other gaps. I like that. I am more than happy with that effect!

I love the back as much as I love the front! I hope to finish it on the weekend..... And am already thinking of doing another one. There is something about squares......

Monday, August 08, 2011

DQS#11 Finished!

While watching the finale of a certain reality TV cooking show last night, I finally got around to sewing on the label for mt dolls quilt for DQS#11.

It's all finished! It measures 17 inches square exactly. Lucky, as the rules were 18 inches and under. I used a polka dot binding from some material my sister sent up last month. I know my partner likes polka dots!

The quilting was quite simple in the end. With the smaller tulips just a square around them and then a square around the outer.

And the same with the larger flowers as well as around the largest petal. Thought I would do it in white rather than a red or yellow so it added some contrast. My partner indicated that they do not require a hanger as discussed here. So that solves that problem for me!