Friday, July 29, 2011

Progress with Japanese + and X Quilt

I haven't been working quite as much on this quilt this month, though every single time I work on a block from this quilt it makes me think about a book I once read called, "A Journey of a Novel" by John Steinbeck.  Every day as he was writing East of Eden (which he considered his masterpiece) he would first write in his journal to warm up and unwind his thoughts.   Every time  I work on one of these blocks I think of it as my warm up and then continue to move along in the sewing room doing various other things.  But, the reality is that I don't get very long to putter around in the sewing room at any one time so it's not much to warm up for. 

One of these blocks is my interpretation of my best friend.  Let's see if she can figure out which block is hers...  I'm sure it won't be too hard.

So, today was the day we took the plunge and ordered the machine.  Eeek!  I am excited, but a little nervous too.  Oh well, gotta keep moving along in this lifetime.  No time to watch the grass grow--I want to make sure I actually do the things I dream of doing!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Little Apples Garden Fence Quilt Top

Ok, so this is my little contribution to the Garden Fence Quilt Along here.  I don't know how I did it, but I've manage to turn a feminine line of fabrics into a masculine looking quilt.  I have that tendency with everything that I do.  Oh well, that's me I guess and why I am the mother of two boys.  Never have I played with dolls as a child and as an adult I struggle to enjoy buying clothes, shoes, make-up, etc and all the things I know that I'm supposed to get excited about. Give me a tent and the great outdoors any day over a shopping mall. Or at least lock me up in my sewing sweatshop and I'll be perfectly happy:)

I struggled trying to figure out a neutral color to use with these fabrics.  White would not have looked nice against the white.  Grey clashed with the grey.  Anyway, I like the blue, it's a Kona cotton -- Nightfall to be exact.  A very fun quilt top to make in all.  I look forward to quilting it!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ruby Star Rising Table Linens For My Mom

So, I've been slightly under the radar the last few days or so, busy with life and farm stuff mainly.  That includes packing in a year's worth of meat into storage and all that good stuff.  I do feel quite lucky that since moving to the farm I have been able to enjoy good food including all our own beef and lamb.  We also enjoy a garden full of fresh vegetables, plus we have various fruits and berries around the place.  It makes a difference when you know where your food is coming from.  Lots of people these days talk about eating organic foods, but sometimes I think that that is only a small part of the picture.  We should be thinking about sustainability as well.  We should be thinking about how animals are killed before butchering.  Are they treated well?  Have they endured a long transportation in terrible conditions only to feel panic and terror during the last moments of their lives?  Did you know that the meat from an animal that is stressed before killing is much tougher than one that has not been stressed?  And how often do we think about how good the vegetables and fruits that we eat actually are for us?  We cannot get goodness from vegetables and fruits if the soils they are grown in are depleted and devoid of minerals.  I guess I get a little bit annoyed when I hear people say things like, "It's organic, it's good."  When a person uses the word organic it sounds to me like they are declaring that they are a member of a special club of individuals who are making the world a better place by repeating liberally and loudly the word organic.  Ok, I'm being a little bit cheeky with that comment.  I'm not pro or con anything in particular, but I do think it is wise to stop occasionally and think about where your food comes from.  Also, not to put particular blame on any one area.  Our system of getting food has been created because it has been an evolution of what people needed over time.  The process of asking questions is helpful in getting people to think about the direction we want to continue to move towards.  So, all I am saying is when you talk about organic food continue to ask more questions. 

That all said, I really just wanted to post a few pictures of the project I recently completed for my mom.  I ordered some of the Ruby Star Rising Vintage Dishes in Aqua for decorating my kitchen table, but I was sent Grey instead.  I asked my mom if she liked the fabric for decorating in her home and she did!  I made four placemats, a hotpad/trivet and a tea towel.  She requested the border to be "a darker shade of grey", which I supplied with Kona Coal.  I couldn't resist putting my dishes out with the set to see how they would go with the grey.  I love it.  Oh well, I still they the aqua will look better in my kitchen overall.

Monday, July 18, 2011

For the Love of Solids Swap

For the Love of Solids Swap by heidigoneaussie
For the Love of Solids Swap, a photo by heidigoneaussie on Flickr.
So, I had such success with my Spicing Up the Kitchen Swap on Flickr that I decided I would participate in another online Flickr swap.  This one is called For the Love of Solids, which will involve making an item solely out of solids.  I am excited about this one!  It was part of my New Year's resolution this year to work with solids.  Specifically I would like to try an art or freestyle modern quilt in the fashion of Jean Wells (top left and third in from top left).  But, I want to create mine in mainly all white, off-white and tans, with a pop of color (more like the bottom left photo or third in from bottom left). My pop of color I would like to make in blues with just the barest hint of orange/red.   I love the idea of this, this is the sort of thing I would love to make my partner or to receive.  I also love the idea of hand stitching in perle cotton or machine stitching in various colors.  I don't know, but I do want to play with solids a whole lot more in future and I feel this will be a great kickoff for it.  *Note to partner, I would love an art quilt/wall hanging but I'm open to anything.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Moda Rouenneries by French General Octagon Quilt

So, I pulled out another almost completed quilt top out of my magical cupboard of never ending possible quilt tops;) and finished this one today.  I had 16 insets plus the corners left to do, so not too terrible, but I still need to work on improving my y-seams.  Does anyone feel like calling me the "Octagon Quilt Lady" yet?  I think this is the ninth I've made plus I have one more in that magical cupboard that will appear at some later date.

I have to say that I really like this quilt and it has found its home.  These pictures are in guest bedroom and I have been wondering what quilt will live in this room permanently.  I had this one in the back of my mind as a strong possibility -- especially when my husband requested that we paint this room red.  Ummm, no. No red interior walls, thank you very much.  We have a red house, my husband chose the color--it looks great, but I refuse to have red on interior walls.  I told him I could compromise and decorate with red and chose the oyster wall color with this in mind.  Anyone with great decorating skills have any ideas how I could add to this room with this quilt in mind?  I still have to pick out the curtains too--(that is a long story as to why I don't have curtains in this room yet...)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Little Apples + Garden Fence = Happiness

Ok, so a few weeks ago I couldn't get Little Apples by Aneela Hoey out of my thoughts so I bought a pre-release bundle of it on Etsy.  It arrived it the mail two days ago and I didn't even get a picture of it I cut into it so quickly with this quilt block in mind.  Oh the joy and the fun of it!  I love it so so much and am itching to get back to my sewing machine to continue.  The boys are wild today though, so it probably won't happen until tonight.  It's cold and rainy and when they can't get outside even for just one day they turn wild.  I'm convinced boys have a need to be outside like I have a need to quilt;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spicing Up the Kitchen Swap

I received my Spicing Up the Kitchen Swap package from Leila this week (photos 2 & 3).  I'm a lucky swapper!  The top photo is what I sent out to my own partner after much hemming and hawing about what to make.  I love love love my package!  The colors go perfectly in my kitchen and the mitts are already in daily use.  I love the teapot she sent as well.  She told me that she was having trouble deciding what it should be.  I think it is so lovely that it might just have to be a wall hanging to look at and enjoy everyday.  This was a fun first time swap experience.  Thank you Leila!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sweet and Swell Pinwheel Quilt Top

Ok, so this is on a queen sized bed, so it will be a king sized quilt!  Yes, I do get carried away a bit with my sizes.  But, in saying that, I think of people that I want to give the quilts to and almost everyone I know wants a king size.  Queen sized beds are not what they used to be either.  What I mean by that is that the mattresses have gotten thicker and therefore smaller sizes just don't do anymore! I know this as when we changed our mattress a couple of years ago on our Queen sized bed that the quilt I was using just barely fit.

This quilt I had in my storage for some years.  I only had the border left to sew onto it.  Can I just tell you that this top would have been finished ages ago if I hadn't tried to rush finishing it?  I started sewing the borders on without pinning and it turned out horrible and wavy.  I had to unpick. Then I put it away.  Then I lost the borders, but yesterday as I was organizing I found them and decided to finish this up!  Yay!!!  I am very happy to have this one ready for quilting.  I did run out of the border fabric and used some extra pinwheels on the corners.  If you are wondering what this fabric is, it is from two of Urban Chiks lines, one called Swell and the other called Sweet. I thought they went very well together.

Friday, July 8, 2011

British Patchwork & Quilting Giveaway and Some Cherries Jubilee Sewing

 Oh, so I've been holding out on you!  I'm excited to share with you that a couple weeks ago I received an email informing me that I am to be published in the August issue of British Patchwork and Quilting, on sale July 15th!  In celebration of this event I'm hosting a giveaway for a copy of this beautiful magazine full of wonderful projects, stories and pictures.  If you have never had your hands on a copy of British Patchwork and Quilting, here is your chance!  I have two to giveaway, one which I will send domestically (Australia) and one I will send internationally.  Please leave a comment whether you are in Australia or abroad and I will do the drawing on July 15th. 

Lately I have been busy celebrating our 5th anniversary (on the 4th), enjoying some sunny winter days with the boys and sewing up old projects.  I'm working on 3 or 4 at once doing most of the processing sewing (chain-piecing, etc.) so there is not much to show you at the moment, but here is one that I can show you.  It's been in storage three years now, but I've decided to get it done!  I love love love this line called Cherries Jubilee by American Jane.  My only problem is that I am not sure that I picked a block (design) that will do this line justice.  We'll see how it unfolds.  I've got a lot of trimming to do before I can work on sewing the pieces of the block together...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Denyse Schmidt Picknic and Fairgrounds Wonky Quilt Top

It's finished! I wish I had better light for this photo.  The colors look nicer in real life.  Another quilt to add to the stack that is growing!  It will be so much fun to do all the quilting on the long arm.  Waiting patiently until I can order the machine.  In the meantime I will try and finish up as many projects as I can to clear out the storage closet!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stayed Tuned for DS Wonky Quilt!

Do you remember when I posted these blocks here?  I finished 40 of these blocks quite a while ago using the Denyse Schmidt Picnic and Fairgrounds fabrics from Jo-Ann's in the States. 
I really was happy using all these fabrics together in a quilt UNTIL... Until I found out that there were going to be more released here in Australia.  Exclusive to Australia.

Hmmm...  So, I decided that I wouldn't sew these blocks together until I had some of the Australian prints to add in as well.  Well, I've finally started making the "Australian" wonky blocks to add into the quilt and should have them finished tomorrow if all goes to plan.  I've had a bit of a week and am still recovering from our trip up to Canberra on Wednesday.  Whew!  We took the boys with us and it made for a very full day.  Let's just say that we have two very active boys and I'll leave it at that.

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