Monday, May 30, 2011

Progress on Japanese + and X Quilt

This photo made it on Explore yesterday...  Working on some more blocks and then I will take a break to go back to old projects.  Think I kind of got addicted to this one, but I will need a little reflecting time...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Erin Michael Za Za Quilt Finished!

Long ago I started this quilt.  You can read about the last time I posted about it here.  I finally got around to sewing down the last of the binding today.  Whew!  It takes me a long time to get through bindings sometimes, but I think it is worth the effort to hand sew them rather than on the machine as it gives it such a professional finish.  The fabrics in this quilt are by Erin Michael for Moda from a line called Za Za.  It didn't get very much hype, but I truly love the fabrics in this line.  The colors are so vibrant and fresh that I am surprised that it didn't gain more popularity.  I love this quilt!  I'm happy it's finished too, the only thing is that I was thinking I would keep it for the guest bed, but it's a tad bit too small.  It would really be better on a full size bed rather than on a queen.  Oh well.  It will find a home somewhere...  Are you an Erin Michael fan?  I wish she would design some more fabric lines.  I especially love her paint by numbers.  Are you listening out there Moda?  :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

More Japanese + and X Blocks

Ok, I'm having way way too much fun making these Japanese + and x blocks!  I stayed up past my usual bed time making more blocks.  I think making these blocks are the most fun I've ever had making a quilt!  I love using the scraps I've got on hand.  Yes, and a special thanks to Amy, for the Munki Munki scraps you sent me:)  I didn't originally intend to use them in this way, but I'm just loving using them.  My next goal is to see if I can get a hold of some wordy, text sort of Japanese fabrics to use for the x part.  Check out what Tamiko did with her amazing blocks here

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Japanese + and X Quilt Along

It seems I caught the bug from Flickr!  I had to make some of these blocks that are now becoming popular.  The block was originally designed/published in the 1930's by Loretta Leitner Rising under the pen name Nancy Cabot.  More recently it became popular when a quilt made by Setsuko Inagawa was shown at this year's Tokyo Quilt Festival.  Apparently, it has been the talk of Flickr since January and a wonderful tutorial was created by Amy of Badskirt which you can find here.  If you are interested in joining the quilt along, you can find it here.

The best thing about this quilt is that it is scrap friendly.  I've decided that I will make this quilt mainly out of my bucket of scraps, which really will be a first for me.  I am not going to worry about color themes or anything like that.  My only goal will be to use the coolest fabrics that I own.  I will try to do my best at piecing accurately, but I am not going to worry if they are not perfect.  And, I'm not in a hurry...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In a Gridlock

Ok, let me show you what I have been working on the last couple of days.  As I have stated previously, I am really trying to work on my New Year's resolution to finish old projects this year.  This one has been a LONG time in the making.  You can read my first blog post about it here.  Can you believe how long it has been?  I must say that I am absolutely STRUGGLING with getting this top finished.  I had finished all the checker blocks back when I started this quilt and then decided to put the project away for awhile.  There were 60 blocks that I made and maybe I was just overwhelmed.  I can't remember.  Now, I have pulled them out again and am trying to make the other half of the blocks.  The non-checkerboard ones.  Wow, is it ever getting to me though.  First of all, I am not happy with the quality of my piecing back from 2006--I didn't even have a quarter inch foot on my machine back then!  Second, while I love the look of shot cottons, these do feel quite flimsy.  I'm not sure now if I would ever recommend someone to use Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  The quality, even of the printed fabrics, does not seem up to the standard of other quilting cottons.  Third, I'm just struggling with liking what I am doing with these fabrics.  Maybe once they are all together I will like the quilt more.  In the meantime I will make a couple, take a break, make some more, take a break...  I will finish it though!!!

Oh, I did want to explain about the apples since a couple of people asked me what I meant about by wrapping up them up for winter.  Sometimes I forget that even though I've only been on the farm for five years now that many of the things we do were not always so familiar to me before I arrived and so it probably is not familiar with some of you as well!  We store the apples by wrapping them in newspaper individually.  Then we can put them into the cold storage and have apples for a long time--at least through the winter.  When they are wrapped they keep from touching each other and therefore one bad apple will not spoil the whole lot.  We get a lot of apples from just one tree and we have a couple that produced this year.  I will be making a lot of apple pie:)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

For Those of You Who Like.... Apples!

Ok , so this post isn't exactly quilting related...  But, (excuse the pun) I couldn't help but post this as it is farm related- sort of.  My husband found this apple from our tree this morning as we were wrapping them up for winter storage.  He said he was sorry that we couldn't get all our apples to look like this one.  Hmmm... What does this say about him? 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stars Slightly Askew.

Ok, so I'm kind of laughing here as I post these photos.  I finished sewing this quilt together this afternoon and as I had it on the floor I showed it to my husband to see what he thought of it.  Of course I knew he wasn't crazy about the avocado green (I'm not really either), but he said to me, "That's a big quilt." I said that it wasn't so big and that it was for a twin bed.  This is proof as to how out of control my quilt sizes have become lately.  Later, I threw it over the queen size guest bed and well, of course you can see in the third picture how huge it really is.  Ooops.  Not to worry though, as I now plan on taking one row out, which will give me three stars that I plan to make quilted pillow cushions to go with the quilt.

As I was working on this quilt I kept wondering what I would do with this quilt.  I mean, I don't really care for the avocado green anymore, so what to do?  Then, as I was looking at it, I was thinking how beautiful it would look in a room full of pine wood.  Hmmm...  The cottage of course!  I spent summers at our family cottage on Lake Huron built of pine.  It will look great there.  Are you reading this mom?  Hope you like it, because it will be coming your way some day in the not too distant future, once I quilt it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Garden Fence Quilt Top Finished

Whew, I finished sewing this quilt top together yesterday.  It took me a while to sew all the rows together, it's 100 inches square, so I'm guessing that is at least a king size!  I do love this color combination too.  Anyway, I will put this top away now until I have my longarm to finish it in about 3+ months.  Anyone have any ideas on how to quilt this one?  I will probably do an all over pattern, but I'm wondering what sort of style would suit this one.  All suggestions are appreciated:)

Remember, if you are interested in the pattern you can find it here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Metro Blue Quilt Finished

I finally finished sewing down the binding on my Metro Blue quilt that has also been a quilt a long time in the making.  It's so nice to have finished quilts!  Once I get my long arm machine in September, there will be many many more finishes as well.  I have decided not to quilt anymore of my quilt tops on the domestic sewing machine and to save the tops I have as well as finish up projects I've started so that I can have as many as possible to practice with on my new machine.  I *ahem* have a few...  I really can't wait to do the quilting. Over the years I have gotten to love every part of the process of making a quilt except for one...  I still struggle with enjoying putting on borders.  It's all the pinning that really tires me out.  I'm sure once I get through a long run of just doing borders (I have about 5 quilt tops or more that just need borders on to be a finished quilt top) then I will probably be used to it well enough to enjoy it.

So, the link for when I originally finished this quilt top is here.  Notice the year?  These fabrics were from a line by Michele D'amore when she was still designing for Marcus fabrics.  It is called Metro Blue. 

I just have to tell you that when I quilted this on my machine, it was so so so difficult to do.  Why?  Well, I always thought that it was a good thing to get a patterned backing as you are sometimes advised to do when you are starting out.  That way the quilting mistakes you make do not show.  Hmmmm....  Problem is, my thread was so well matched with the front that I could not see my quilting as I quilted it!  If I had had a plain backing, I would have quilted it from the back.  Instead, it made it so difficult that I had to quilt with a large stipple and hope that I didn't cross over (which I did do on occasion!)  Lesson learned--make sure you can see your quilting!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Garden Fence Quilt in Lavender and Orange

Excuse me for the poor photo.  It is difficult to get a picture of my "design wall" that isn't too dark as winter approaches.  This is what I am in the process of putting together at the moment.  The pattern is by Hyacinth Quilt Designs called Garden Fence.  If you would like to make one of your own you can find the pattern here  I still need to add the white sashing and sew the rows together.    I'm loving some of the prints as I work with them.  Some of my favorite prints are of the ducks by Lizzy House.  I hope to have enough energy to get this one together soon as it's getting too cold to go downstairs to quilt at night these last weeks!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Are You Interested in a Reprint of Mono Pez?

Received in Swap! by heidigoneaussie
If you are interested in a reprint of the infamous mono pez of Moda's American Jane by Sandy Klop please click on the link and sign up to show Moda your interest in seeing this fabric again! We are looking to get at least 100 signatures! Thank you!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Favorite New Fabrics and Little Man Ollie

Oh, I just had to share of photo of my baby Oliver growing up so quickly.  He is such a wonderful baby, but growing too fast.  He's not even 9 months old and we are trying to keep him crawling, but all he wants to do is try and walk these days.  I wish he would stay little just a little longer, he wants to keep up with his big brother though, so what's a mama to do?

I thought I would post today a few fabric previews that are online already of some of thee new fabric lines that will be coming out in the next few months. I have to say, this seems to be one of the most exciting spring markets this year with so many fabulous new collections soon to be out.  Here are some of my favorites...

Anna Maria Horner's  Loulouthi
Tula Pink's Prince Charming
Lizzy House's 1001 Peeps
Cosmo Cricket's Circa 1934
Aneela Hoey's Little Apples
Erin McMorris' Summersault
Make Life Sweet's Hometown
Sarah Jane's Children at Play
American Jane's Fairy Tale Friends
Kate Spain's Terrain
And those are just a few!  What I wouldn't give to be able to visit Market!  I hope those of you who do really enjoy it:)
What are your favorites???

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Yesterday, I finally finished sewing down the binding on this quilt that I started back before I had Alexander and Oliver.  You can read about it here.  As I was reading this post, I was thinking how funny it was that at the time little did I know as we headed on our trip (to Adalaide) we were already pregnant with Alexander!  And three years later here I am!

The inspiration for this quilt came from a quilt in the Down Under Quilts magazine called Strawberry Fields.    You can view it here.  I was absolutely obsessed by this quilt by Sarah Fielke!  Since that time, she co-published a book called Material Obsession and that quilt is in the book.  I had recently purchased a fat quarter bundle of Moda's Mary Engelbreit fabrics called Friends and Flowers which was popular at the time.  What ever happened to Mary and Moda?  She was so popular but quickly disappeared from designing fabric for Moda...  Anyway, this quilt is my own design measurements because I wanted to be able to use the fat quarter bundle, which I wouldn't have been able to with the original design.  I had to do a lot of tweaking and measuring and fussy around to get it right so that I could use those fat quarters and not have to buy any extra, except for the red spots and border fabric.  Then, of course, true to my personality, I had to make it bigger.  The finished quilt is now over 100 inches square.  I didn't even bother to measure, let's just say it's King size.  I'm also proud to say I quilted it on my domestic machine as well!  I stuck with an all over stippling because of the gigantic size and I am happy I did--anything else would have driven me crazy.

So, anyway, this is my entry to the Blogger's Quilt Festival which you can read about here.  If you are not able to visit Quilt Market in Salt Lake City then sit back, have a cup of tea and enjoy the festival here.

Amy's Creative Side

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Teacups, No Saucers...

So yesterday I was cutting up my Meadowsweet fabrics by Sandi Henderson for my Etsy shop and I couldn't resist making something with one of the charm packs I made.  I've had teacups on the brain for a while for some odd reason.  Well, it could be because I sort of went crazy when I saw this painting on Etsy here.  I just love that print as well as the one of the teapots.  So, I thought I'd try a little bit of applique for a change and use her print as inspiration.  The cups are just what I managed to draw up.  Please don't look too closely because I cannot draw for the life of me.  I'm just hoping that once they are properly stitched and then quilted it won't matter that they aren't exactly symmetrical, etc... 

I started up my machine to satin stitch these guys down and voila my machine got jammed up and now won't stitch anything but a straight stitch.  Wahhh!  And I spent about two hours last night before bed trying to see if I could fix it.  Good thing my good friend called me up and asked me yesterday if I'm planning to come to Canberra soon.  Yes, I told her, I really want to visit her and now I can go get my machine serviced as well.  And I am hoping to combine it with a trip to Spotlight to see if the new Denyse Schmidt fabrics are in yet.  Sounds like it could be any day now... 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Charm Pack Winners!

I'm a little late posting the winners of my birthday giveaway.  I really enjoyed reading about all your experiences and ideas about long arm quilting.  I have to say that it seemed all across the board with interest in sending out quilts as well as wanting to have your quilts be all your own work.  I'm still very excited about starting my new business.  We won't be purchasing the machine until early July and then it takes two months to arrive here from the States and to set up, so I probably won't be starting on quilts until at least September.  

So here are the winners...  Winner of the grey charm pack is:

Johanna said...
Happy birthday!
I just got my first quilt back from the LAQ and it is beautifully quilted but way too expensive. It was a very special quilt so I had to do it but I will think very hard about sending a quilt out in the future...
But - if I had more money (still studying..) I would definitely send more of my quilts out. My laq offered a great service and even called me to talk about the pattern!
May 1, 2011 8:04:00 AM GMT+10:00

The second and third prize winners of the Denyse Schmidt Picnic and Fairgrounds charm pack goes to:

Jen B. said...
Happy Birthday!
I have yet to finish my first quilt, but my mom and aunt are big quilters. My mom has done a combination: hand quilted, quilted on her machine, sent it to my aunt to long arm quilt or sent it to a different long arm quilter. For her it depends on the size of the quilt and how complex she'd like the quilting to be. Sometimes it depends on what my aunt's up to since she travels quite a bit!
April 30, 2011 4:22:00 PM GMT+10:00

One for a wish.. said...Sorry can't help you with types of LAQ's but I think you've pinpointed already the main areas of concern for those sending quilts- turnaround and expense. (and quality of course).I've had two quilts quilted where the quilter didn't listen to what I asked for..really disappointing. It's also good to get the customer to choose the thread - some people like the the quilting to stand out, some to blend in.
April 30, 2011 9:05:00 AM GMT+10:00

I will be contacting you.  Thank you for playing along:)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

How We See Color

I think the thing the draws me to quilting more than anything is the aspect of playing with color.  Of course, if I could paint, I probably would be doing that, but since I can barely draw stick figures I love playing around with fabric.  I have my favorites (I'm attracted to the cool spectrum) but I love and appreciate all colors at various times.  Sometimes I get involved with a color and it becomes my life for a while and then I suddenly drop it as if it completed its job and I am suddenly cured.  Once I've been healed by a color I move on but always with a greater appreciation for that color than I previously had.  I do think that there are healing powers in color.  And I know that I hunger for color.  I think those of you that have the same sort of hunger do understand.  It's like the way some people feel about music, for example.  It sends me on an absolute high at times.  Anyway, this morning I came across this test here.  It's a hue test and is quite interesting.  Try it and tell me how you did.  Also, I will be doing the draw for my birthday giveaway tomorrow, so please comment here for a chance to win!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Autumn and Alexander

I do like to share some of farm life and thought I would show you some pictures of Alexander (and some sheep) that his daddy took this morning.  It is now part of his daily routine to spend a couple hours every morning either in the garden with Grandma working with his wheelbarrow or working with his dad somewhere on the farm.  He really enjoys riding the bike with his dad, herding sheep with the dogs and doing general farm chores.  How many kids at just two enjoy such times?  Of course this allows me some time with his brother Oliver, which is very nice for everyone.  I do love this farm life!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What's in a Name?

Ok, so I think I have confused people quite often about my name and I was thinking today that I will try and explain things a bit.  My name on my email and most of the sites that I write on, like Flickr, imply that my name is Heidi.  Let me just clear this up now.  My name is actually Jeannette.  My nickname is Heidi, it's what my husband calls me and most of the people that I have met in the last 14 or so years.  But, alas my name is Jeannette and to confuse things even more, my parents and family have always called me Jenny.  So, why do I have the nick name Heidi?  Well, maybe these pictures of me from about the time I acquired the nickname give you some idea...

I actually met my husband in 1996 while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.  The Appalachian Trail, if you are not familiar with it, is a marked wooded hiking trail that is over 2,000 miles long that starts in Georgia and runs clear to the middle of Maine.  Every year there are a few crazy people (like my husband and me) who decide that it's a good idea to carry a backpack and walk the entire distance in one go.  That's what we did and how we met--in the woods walking northbound.  Now, because there are a lot of other crazy people out there who also decide to hike the trail in one go, there can sometimes be a lot of confusion when you meet and talk about other hikers.  If you talk about a John, people say, which John?  John, crazy John?  Or John from Florida? Or John with the big hiking stick?  You get the idea...  Anyway, it is sort of a rite of passage to have a trail name.  My husband was "Platypus" (we have Platypus in our river here)...  Me, I had just landed on the trail after 3 years of living in the Alps and this is how I looked at the time.  Everyone I would meet would say, "here comes Heidi" and the name just stuck.  It was longer originally, actually Gone Burglar which had to do with a black hat I kept for the cold nights.  Just a joke between my best friend and me who was hiking with me at the time.  I had such an innocent look back then, but underneath, heh heh heh...  So, now I'm really Heidi Gone Aussie--hence the "Gone Aussie Quilting".  I hope that sort of makes sense. 

Oh, and not to confuse you too much, but this picture is from 1997, the following year.  In these pictures I'm solo hiking the Colorado Trail...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kona Avocado and Stars!

So, this is a project I've been working on in between projects!  Ha what a joke, in between projects!  I'm always "in between" some project or another.  Anyway, this is from a pattern by Michelle Marvig which she did for Quilter's Companion. If you don't read Quilter's Companion, you should, it comes with a dvd in each issue that offers lessons on various aspects of quilting.  I am quilt nerdy enough that I actually watch the dvd's and learn a lot from them!  I don't often make quilts from a magazine pattern, but this one intrigued me because it is made by sewing strips together and then cut using a Kaleidoscope ruler (which I already had).  Now, the only thing is, what ever possessed me to use Kona avocado with my Carolyn Gavin fabrics?  I chose it because I thought the color went nicely with the fabrics and also because sometimes I just do strange things.  But seriously, avocado green, what was I thinking?  I will finish this quilt, but I'm not sure what I am going to do with it when I am done...

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