Saturday, November 28, 2009

Birds of a Feather Quilt Finished

Well, can I start by saying that I waited and waited and waited for my local sewing shop to get the thread for this quilt ordered into their store. Then, I decided to order from an online store here in Australia. They sent me the wrong thread and then said they would reimburse me if I sent it back and they would cover the shipping costs. I did that and they reimbursed me for my shipping it back but not what I paid to have them ship it to me! They spent 4$ to ship it to me, I spent 1$ shipping it back. Can I just tell you that I am not at all satisfied with the way Australian businesses handle customer service??? So, I ordered the thread from Joann's in America and had it sent to my mom who then forwarded to me---all faster than I could get it here in Australia. No wonder most people over here do their fabric and sundry buying from America! I can tell you, it's not for lack of trying to give the locals the opportunity!

So, anyway, I finished quilting my Birds of a Feather quilt and I absolutely love it! It's going to be a wall hanging so the heavy quilting is perfect to add texture and to make it lay flat. Now I just have to figure out a way to hang it on the wall. Make a sleeve to use to hang it? Does anyone know of any good instructions to do this? I'm going to hang it over Alexander's crib. I love this quilt so much I want to make another one... We shall see...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Redecorating with County Fair

I forgot to take pictures yesterday of our Thanksgiving celebration. It was my turn to host this year and I got the chance to cook my first Thanksgiving turkey! Luckily everything turned out beautifully and we had a lovely time with our fellow American friends from this area. There were nine of us all together.

I decided before Thanksgiving that it was time to redecorate my table and pillows. Out with the Amy Butler Nigella and in with Denyse Schmidt's County Fair. I love this. The colors go so nicely with what I have in the house and also the style suits as well. Those bench seats take me a while to do though, very tedious getting the measurement right and trying to make them look as professional as I can. Do you see that window behind the couch? That window is going to be a thing of the past soon and hopefully I will be able to switch the couches around and then think of something to hang on the wall in that spot. I have been thinking a long time what to put there. Any ideas???

All is happening very quickly right now with our house building project. All the walls are up, next week the windows will go in and the following week the brick laying starts! I am so excited. I so look forward to having the extra space.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Building Our Home

This post is especially for my friends in Michigan who are unable to see where I live. In particular, the friend who doesn't use facebook (you know who you are). It's hard to believe that it has been 4 years already since we built this little cottage on the hillside with the intention of finishing it one day... Well, I haven't mentioned it previously on this blog, but one day has finally arrived and we have started building this past month. It's very exciting to see it going up. Our little cottage on stilts has been a great little home, but as our family grows we will be needing the extra space. I will try and update photos as building progresses--it's nice to have these "before" pictures...

Chocolate Lollipop Quilt

Aaahh. This is what I have been working on lately. I thought I would upload a picture quick while Alexander is napping. I still have some border work to do and then I will have another quilt top! I bought the fabric for this a couple of years ago while I was home in Michigan. I started this quilt while I was pregnant and then put it away. Why? I think all the inset seams were irritating me at the time, I can't remember. It has been sitting on my shelf since then waiting for me to do something with it. Sometimes it is so hard getting back into a project that has been laying around, but I'm glad I've got this one nearly done now. It's a bit crazy and I'm not sure if I love it or not, but I do love the pattern. Octogons. I have a template set for this. I will definitely do this pattern over and over again. I think it's my favorite???? (I always say that, though)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Log Cabin Quilt

I've had this quilt finished now for quite some time but I haven't posted the pictures! This quilt was started a couple of years ago and only just quilted this year. I was very pleased with the outcome of this civil war prints quilt. Just simple blues and browns with the usual red center hearth. I love log cabin quilts!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Red and Aqua Stash

Ok, so I have been collecting red and aqua fabrics now for quite some time. This photo show the fat quarters I have collected thus far. I really love this color combination. Though at the moment I am wishing I had a red and tangerine collection as well. Such yummy colors! I'm debating what project I want to do with these fabrics and am hemming and hawing whether or not to do a wonky log cabin quilt with them. We shall see, I still have some other projects on the go at the moment (don't I always?). I can't wait to finish the birds of a feather quilt but the thread color I need is back ordered so I have to wait.

In the meantime, I can enjoy the beautiful farm views! Check out this rainbow and green grass! It has been a beautiful spring. The weather is warming up now and now I can substitute my treadmill workouts for swimming instead! Bliss. Yesterday I managed to swim within two feet of a platypus, which was good unless you consider how many times I've been frightened by platypus swimming by me thinking they were a snake. Well, anyway, keeps the heart rate up!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alexander 9 Months

I haven't posted anything about Alexander in a while and so I thought I would show you how he is growing up! He's already 9 months old! I can't believe how fast the time is going by. He's not quite walking yet, which I guess is a good thing, but he's been able to stand up and cruise since he was 7 months. Here are some photos of him playing with his fire engine that his grandma bought him. It has a little horn to beep, which he likes to use. See the Heather Ross outfit he is wearing? More homemade clothes from his mom. Poor thing.

He loves to be on the go! We took him to the beach last week for the first time and as soon as we set him down in the sand he took off in the direction of the ocean. The funny thing was that he didn't even look back! We had to go and stop him. He saw all that freedom and was gone. He really is full of so much personality and makes me laugh all the time.

I am still on the restricted diet and feeding him (as much as I can anyway) and I actually now see it as a really good thing that I am going through this as well. It has helped me learn how I am going to cook for him through the next couple of years. I am getting really handy at cooking Asian foods--lots of rice dishes with Chinese, Thai or Indian flavors. I also am getting used to many more baked dinners than I normally would eat. Alexander is benefiting in that he has tried so many foods that I think many adults have never even tried. He loves black sapote, hummus, tofu and avocado--all foods I never had until I was an adult.

I recently had a friend comment that I must have a nanny to be able to get so much quilting done. LOL. Now that is a good one. No, but I do make use of his nap times and then when he is awake we clean and cook together. He's very helpful sorting through the laundry basket, throwing the laundry pegs while I hang his diapers, tugging my pants off while I wash dishes, chasing and turning off the vacuum while I vacuum and that sort of thing. I think too, that on the farm there are fewer shortcuts. It's not like I can order out when I don't have the energy to cook a meal. I can't just drive to the mall or something similar to get a break during the day. I'm here all day every day--the nearest metropolis is 2.5hours away. So, can you guess that the nanny comment had me a bit riled? I'm with him every day all day and he has never been with any sort of sitter other than his grandma for a couple of hours. Quilting is there for me to keep me sane. Of course the comment could have been just stating that I manage to get a lot done--but still... A nanny? Please.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Oven Mitts!

So, I have been working on quilting my birds of a feather quilt. I love love love this quilt! I have started free motion quilting it--my very first go at free motion and I am so excited! It is actually so much fun. I never thought I would think that using a domestic machine to quilt could be so fun. Now, the only problem is that I started quilting this very small, which I think was a good thing as it seemed to be easier to practice small movements rather than larger movements. But, it uses a lot of thread and now I've run out. I had to order in more from my local sewing shop so I can finish! Oh, by the way, I had a few people asking what issue in the American Patchwork and Quilting magazine the Birds of a Feather quilt came out of---APRIL 2009.

In the meantime, I decided to make some oven mitts for my mother-in-law's birthday so I could get more practice quilting. These mitts were actually my own design (well, actually traced around my William-Sonoma oven mitts) and I am quite happy with the result. In case you are wondering about the fabrics, they are Michael Miller's Kitchen paired with Joel Dewberry's Chestnut Hill line.

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