Friday, January 27, 2012

Did Someone Say Swoon???

Ummm, yes, I am so a joiner lately.  Today I decided I would Swoon Along just because everyone else is!!!  Haha.  I decided that I am going to make a swoon quilt using my beloved daisy fabrics by Suzuko Koseki while they are still my favorite fabrics--no sitting on the shelf just looking pretty for these fabrics!  I decided I would go with plain fabrics (Kona White and Coal) and leave the daisies as the feature in this quilt.  If you would like to check out the other Swooners look here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Flying Geese Quilt---5 Years Later...




This is the quilt that I mentioned in my last post that I managed to quilt this past week.  This is one that I posted about way back in 2007!!!  Look here to read.  That's a long time waiting to get finished!  The funny thing is that I really was not even motivated to quilt it at all because of the piecing of this quilt.  It was one of my first quilts and I think only the second top I completed here?  I was always disturbed by the border and nearly took the whole thing off at one stage.  Then last week I figured I would just quilt it and then cut some of the border away to stop it from overtaking the quilt.  In the end, because I had been looking at what one of my customers did to finish her quilt by scalloping it, I thought this would be a good opportunity to try this technique out.  It was a bit more fiddly--especially in the fact that I had to make the binding biased, plus I had no idea how long I needed to make it to be enough for the curves.  I just decided to make it really long and hope that would be enough.  So, after all that, I love this quilt!  I love the Japanese indigos, the colors and especially the quilting!!!  Those butterflies were very very fun, even though they took a long time to stitch out!!  By the way, if you are still interested in my special long arm quilting price (until the end of the month) you should contact me soon because the 2$ price will move to a permanent $2.50 per square foot.  thequiltingplatypus(at)gmail(dot)com  I have a catalog of patterns that I can direct you to online. 

Anyway, I am quite please with how this turned out and just goes to show that you never know until the last stitch is stitched whether or not you will really love or not love a quilt...  My husband loves it even with the girly colors:)

Free Form Blocks




Sorry about the whinge in the last post, I feel better now.  Thank you for all who left nice encouraging comments.  Sometimes I need to let myself feel down and express these feelings so that I can get up the energy up to do something about it!!  Haha, so I got on the phone and rang some friends up.  I crashed a party of my old book club friends, who welcomed me heartily and oh how good it felt to have some lengthy conversations about philosophy, books, art, life, etc.  These are the things that fuel us and make life sparkle again.  I also spent some time with my local quilting ladies, who are always encouraging.

As far as farm life goes we shear lambs next week, but after that things will slow down.  I don't mean to leave the impression that life of the farm is not good, it is and I wouldn't chose to be anywhere else.  It's that it is different than the life I grew up with and it does take adjusting to get used to.  Attitudes are different here and it takes a while to figure it all out--why things are the way they are and how to get along with it all.  Quilting has been a wonderful thing for me to do here.  It gives me the opportunity to focus on something other than the daily life. I find that because of my interest in quilting I seem to get along with the rural life much better than some other farmer's wives who are imported from urban environments (there are a lot of us as many country Australian females flee to the cities instead of marrying the local farmers;0 ).

Anyway, my tooth had dry socket, which I can tell you is less painful than trigeminal neuralgia or childbirth but still painful nonetheless.  I drove back to the dentist on Friday to get it dressed and now am about 20% better.  Thank goodness for Ibuprofin and clove oil as well. 

I haven't gotten too much sewing done this week other than long arm quilting for customers.  I did finish quilting one of my own though and am working on sewing the binding on that one today!  I also did my two blocks for the Orange and Aqua Bee.  I love that we were able to do free form piecing on these.  Once I get started doing free form I realize how much I enjoy it.  One day soon I will make a quilt for myself all free form.  I've got an idea in my mind to use my Japanese fabrics for this idea, but I'm not exactly sure how I will execute it.  Need to think on that one...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reminder--What Makes Me Happy!

Oliver Helping Mom on the Computer

Alexander getting ready to go to Grandma's on Boxing Day with his new wagon.  
Oh, I've had one of those weeks where I'm just feeling like nothing is going right!!  One thing after another--even though they are all pretty much small things, it's wearing me down slowly.  Hmmm...  Come on 2012!!  I think I've been feeling a bit isolated here at the moment and all my friends seem to be away or MIA at the moment.  I also just got my wisdom tooth pulled out on Monday, which involved a lot more than I was expecting.  Plus, I would Really love for things to slow down with the farm work load.  My husband has been working every day since August and with the summer hours he does not come home until dark.  It's dragging on and on with one thing after another.  Usually he has some time in January and he'll spend the hot afternoons watching a little of the Australian Open on t.v. and relax.  He's so tired, I'm so tired that we just want to curl up and sleep for the next month.  In saying that though, he did say yesterday that he intends to make February home month, which means he intends to work on all the jobs around the house like the painting and cleaning up from the building that has not happened for the last year and a half!  We just have not been able to organize such events with the boys and the farm and everything that needs to be done on a constant basis.  At least if he is home we will get to see more of him!

I often read posts from friends on Facebook that are busy enjoying "date night" with their husbands.  No such luxury here.  Living so rurally, there is no one here that we can get to watch the boys at night--maybe soon when they are just a little bit older and not so much is involved.  But then, where would we go?  There is no where to actually go out on a date.  Hmmm.  Another one of those adjusting to life in the country when you are from an urban environment.  So, it has been over three years since we have eaten out in a restaurant.  Forget taking our kids out that would be a nightmare I don't want to imagine.  Instead we have had every meal at home, which means every meal must be cooked, all dishes must be washed, no breaks, no Sundays off, every day, day in and day out. 

I miss getting together with friends and having people to share experiences with and to have conversations/ discussions.  I started this blog years ago to help me deal with living rurally.  I wanted to be able to connect with people and friends back home, but I never really break out of my shell.  I'm still very much reserved in what I express even here.  I am like that in real life too.  I let others talk, I listen, I ask questions, but I fail to share much about myself.  I have a lot I could share with people, but I often feel that I don't want to interfere in other people's lives.  Don't know why, just always felt a bit like a lone wolf character without a 'pack'.  I really do want to get to know people, it's just hard for me to keep up sometimes. 

Anyway, there goes the phone, my husband calling to tell me that he won't be back until after nine tonight as he needs to get a bull organized to get picked up in the morning.  Ongoing, please tell me when it ends???

On the other hand, the main thing I want to focus on is what makes me happy.  Not that I really need a reminder, my boys are my angels that give me joy all through the day every day.  Yesterday, when I was feeling a bit down (major wisdom tooth pain mainly) Alexander grabbed my cheeks and said, "mama, I love you--I love you all the time."  This is from a not quite 3 year old!  He really knows how to make his mama happy.  My husband said to me, "I love you with all my heart."  The thing is he is not a man that believes in lip service so he really does mean it.  I have everything, although I do miss my mom, I wish she would come and visit us again;0 Reading this mom?? 

Dang teeth, make me all reflective and soppy.  I think "wisdom" teeth means we don't gain the wisdom until we get them all out.  I've got one left.  I wasn't wise enough to listen to my dentist and get them all taken out at once when I was 19!  LOL.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Daisies-Suzuko Koseki

Not much to say other than you're looking at my favorite fabrics on the planet.... Mmmm....YUM!

A Few Finishes


Yesterday I managed to take a couple of pictures of some finished quilts after I sewed down the bindings and washed them finally!!  The top photo is of a bento box quilt I started way back in 2006 or 2007??  I bought them online and had them to Michigan while I was visiting home.  I felt like I had discovered a gold mine when Joel Dewberry came out with his first fabric line.  I remember telling one of my fabric stores back in Michigan that she should stock his fabrics (she had a more modern style shop) and that they would be a big hit!  She had never heard of him.  Ok, it's crazy, but I haven't been back home since that trip so I wonder what her shop looks like today.  I'm sure she's heard of him by now.  I just remember the pure thrill of first seeing that fabric in person.  Oh my!!  And now it's a quilt--finally.  I am sending this one to my dad.  I really love the bamboo leaves quilting pattern that I used--it suits the quilt well.

The second quilt is also one started long long time ago.  It's from a Moda line called Climbing Jacob's Ladder.  So, of course I felt inspired to use the fabrics to make a Climbing Jacob's Ladder design.  The quilt looks civil war, but I really do like it.  I love the pop of blue!  My husband likes this quilt a lot so I believe since it has no specific home that it will stay with us for a while.  I quilted this one with an all over feather design--this was only the second quilt I did on the long arm, but I didn't have any issues luckily.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mosaic Swap Blocks


One of the things I did in the New Year is sign up for another quilting bee.  This one is all about making mosaic blocks each month.  I love this bee because about 5 months ago I was particularly looking and wishing for a bee like this one.  Thank you Yolanda for creating this one!!  The best part of it is that we use our own scraps to make up the blocks in the colors the person wishes--only one way postage!  This month was quite free as we could chose any rainbow color we liked but were instructed to use only monochromatic prints.  My cup of tea!!  My choices were purple and red...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What's on the Long Arm Today

This week has been slow with new quilts--only had two to do on Tuesday so I've been working on some of my own again this week.  This is a 30's style quilt that I did ages and ages ago.  It's 106 inches square, so I am really glad now that I waited until I had the long arm to tackle this job!  It's amazing how our tastes change, isn't it?  Still, I think I did a good job with the piecing on this one--it took me quite a long time to do!! I'm still debating on what I will do for the binding--should I use the green fabric or find some other 30's fabric to use or something else all together?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Tumbler Party

Ok, I think I must really try and stay away from Flickr a bit more.  I ended up finding out about The Tumbler Party this afternoon and just couldn't resist joining in.  The gist of it is that we send in 12 fat quarters in turquoise, yellow and grey and Yolanda cuts them up for us into tumblers and sends them back to us.  I've wanted to make a tumbler quilt for a while now and I am completely in love with this color combination. To me it a like a modern twist on the good old blue and yellow combination.  These were my choices to send in...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Turn for Bee Blocks

January is my month for the Sew Australia Bee.  February is my turn for the the Aqua and Orange Bee, so I decided that I will combine the two bees into one quilt.  I have always loved the look of  Spiderweb quilts but previously was intimidated to make one as it seemed more involved than it really is.  My goal with this quilt will be to really try and bust my scrap bins--at least in the orange and aqua department.  So far so good.  I've got January's blocks all set to mail out and now need to get February's ready to go as well.  It will be so fun to have blocks coming to me for a change!

If anyone is curious how to make one for yourself, I used this tutorial here

Happy New Year Everyone!!

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