Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A little house for Jane

The lovely Jane from Where Jane Creates was the Wombat Stew Queen Bee for October. She requested a 'houses' theme. I have been slacker  just a tad busy so I only got around to sewing her block on the weekend.

I had wanted to design a block that was based around our South Australian abode. It's a 1900's Bluestone Villa with a veranda.

Our house - taken on a misty morning. The white is not's crushed granite.
It would seem that great quilty minds think alike - Kristy had run the pic of my house through EQ7, to come up with this fab paper piecing block. I literally squealed like a little girl when she send me through the pattern!

Now Jane lives at No. 34 and one of her only requests was that we somehow manage to incorporate 34 into our design. I put mine on the front door.

No 34.

I had this cute little FQ that I picked up at spotlight that was perfect for a cobblestone pathway.

And to add a touch of whimsy I used Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets for the pencil pine - one of Jane's fav fabric lines!

I am so so pleased with how this turned out. I am going to do another one in time to put in our home when it is a bit more liveable.

The block in now in Jane's possession....mine was the last block to arrive. I can't wait to see how all the blocks look put together!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Stash #12 - winners are grinners

This week I was the lucky winner of a quilt kit from The Patchwork Pilgrim! The competition was to name Nic's new Bernina Ovelocker. Now she already has Tina the Bernina so I suggested that Sheena would be a suitable name for Nic's new overlocker.....Tina and Sheena!

The kit is called Le Jardin de Papillon (which I think translates to the Garden of Butterflies) and includes fabric from the same range by Chris Chun for Clothworks.

Lots of fabric goodness here! Included in the kit are half yards and fat quarters of the following fabrics

I love the purple!

Little dots


These are my favourite fabrics from the bundle....especially the purple!

 I am not sure whether I will make the kit or's a little busy for my liking, even though the fabrics are pretty. I am going to stash it away for a while and see if it grows on me some more.

Do you often buy quilt kits? Or do you prefer to choose your own fabrics for a certain pattern? I'd love to hear what you do.

Linking up with the gorgeous Fiona from Finding Fifth for Sunday Stash.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Garden Fence Bee Quilt

In March of this year, I was Queen Bee for the QCA Bee #1. For my block, I requested  "Garden fence" as designed by Cindy from Hyacinth Quilt designs. Cindy even has a tutorial for this block and you can find it here. I was inspired by Cindy's colour choice, so decided to ask for my blocks to be sewn using blacks, yellows and greys.

My bee group are spread out across the country. Soon I was receiving blocks from Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales! The lovely ladies in my bee were also very generous, often sending me more than one finished block.

I also added some extra blocks of my own to come up with a quilt top that included 36 blocks in total.

And so here it is - finished!

I've got to say that I am LOVING my new quilt photography location - slung over the balcony of the townhouse that we are renting :)

The back is pieced using strips of fabric that were incorporated into the quilt top.

I actually have had the quilt top and back finished for a while but had been putting off the basting and quilting part for months. I then had chance meeting with a lovely lady called Jenny who owns a longarm. She was more than happy to quilt this for me - and my quilt didnt have to be square!! (mine never are). She even did the basting for me! I think I love her! We chose a basic large stipple for this quilt and I think she did a fabulous job.

This quilt is a gift for my dad who has had a bit of a rough year this year. He has separated from his partner of several years and for the first time, has bought his own home. So this is for him. And what makes it extra special is the little bird that Kristy from Quietplay included in her block. My dad and I share a love of birds so it seems quite fitting that I share this quilt with him.

Linking up with Sewing By Moonlight for my first even TGIFF!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I was tagged

 Camilla from Faffling was kind enough to tag me in a little game of blog tag as a way of getting to know me a little better. Now I have never been good at these "tag" thingos, and frankly I don't follow 11 other blogs to tag :( But I am going to be a sport and answer the questions that Camilla asked me and to let you know 11 things about me that you might not know already :)

11 Things about me

1. I am the first born in my family. I have a brother who is 2 years younger than me.

2. I grew up on a farm, and I still have an affinity with rural life.

3. I am a people person. I enjoy talking to people about what they do. This makes my job as a radiographer a lot easier.

4. I enjoy the challenge of learning new things.

5. When I was a child I wanted to be a teacher or a National Park ranger. I have a love of birds that I got from  my dad.

6. I hate spiders. I am learning to tolerate them more but am still of the opinion that the only good spider is a dead one!

7. My hubby and I met at high school. We dated for a bit, broke up and then didn't speak to each other for 5 years. We got back in touch and the rest is history!

8. Since we have been married, hubby and I have lived in 9 different houses, in 2 different states.

9. I yearn for a simpler way of life - and hopefully I will find this when we move back to the Barossa next year.

10. I like old things - particularly kitchenalia. I love that an object can have a story to it - a measuring jug that is 60 years old was once a housewife's prize possession, a rolling pin may have made a hundred pies before coming home with me.

11. I have dutch heritage - my mum emigrated when she was 15. This year was the 50th anniversary of her arrival.

Camilla's questions for me.

What is one of the best places you've been to?

I really enjoyed Tasmania...lots of unspoilt areas there

Where would you like to travel to, even if not possible at the moment?
Hubby and I would really love to travel to France and spend 6 months living there.

What's the best thing you've made?
Quilts for my kids. They love them and drag them everywhere.

Tom's woodland quilt.

What do your family/friends think about your blogging?
I don't really think they have much of a opinion!

What else do you like to do in your spare time other than make stuff?
I like to read. I tend to read non fiction more than fiction. I also like to bake :).

Yummy apricot slice

What's the last good book you read?
I really enjoyed "Off the Rails" by Tim Cope and Chris Hatherly, two mates who cycled across Russia and into China. You can read more about it here

What's on your "to read" list?
I have a few things on my bedside table waiting to be read, but nothing special.

What's your real job?
I am a radiographer. I am currently working for Breastscreen where I take mammograms

Would you choose it again? Why or why not?
Yes. It is an interesting and varied job and allows me to use my brain whilst having contact with people. It has proven to be a very flexible job and there is nearly always work available.

How many places (different towns) have you lived in since you were born?
Six. Crowther, Sydney, Newcastle, Tumut, Rowland Flat, Coffs Harbour

If you weren't living where you are, where would you live?
I'd be living in the Barossa Valley!

OK....Kate from ManicMumdays has offered to be tagged! So here are my 11 questions for her.

1. Where is your favourite place to visit?
2. How long have you been living where you are now?
3. Do you have a no-fail recipe? What is it?
4. What's the last good book you read?
5. What's your "real job"?
6. Would you choose it again? Why or why not?
7. What would be your dream job?
8. Are you a radio listener? Talkback or music?
9. Are you a sweet tooth or a savoury person?
10. What would be your ideal Sunday?
11. What's the best piece of housekeeping advice that you have received?

Good luck Kate!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wombat Stew

It was such a relief to head to quilt group yesterday! After a month's hiatus due to moving and unpacking I was keen to get back into things. Finally I think that I have my sewjo back too :)

Kristy @ Quietplay is this month's Queen Bee in the Wombat Stew Bee and she had requested a sewing theme. When she posted the pattern for a seam ripper on our FB page last week I immediately popped my hand up and said "pick me, pick me" Kristy blogged about this pattern last week here

So yesterday at Quilt group I had a crack at the pattern. Kristy is a purple fan and likes a bit of Kate Spain so I dug out my leftovers from my big Terrain quilt (I will blog about this eventually!) and put this together.

I have got to say that this block came together like a dream - no unpicking, no pieces sewn in the wrong place...just beautiful! Don't you love when that happens??! And I have got to say, I think that has A LOT to do with the quality of Kristy's patterns. All the patterns of hers that I have used (there would be at least 6) have come together with no fuss. Everything is well thought out and the instructions are easy to follow.

This block is already in Kristy's possession...she was my table buddy at quilt group yesterday :). I was lucky to get it all finished in one sitting (it took about an hour) and managed to sneak a few pics before Kristy took it home.

Interested in Wombat Stew? You can follow us on Flickr

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday stash #11

It's a grey and wet day in Coffs today. After weeks and weeks of warm, dry weather it is lovely to see some rain. It's the kind of day for mooching around with a good cup of tea, and hopefully some sewing

We have had a busy week with moving house and packing up the other house. But the end is in sight - the cleaner and carpet cleaner are booked and everything is looking good for settlement next Tuesday. I haven't touched my sewing machine for more than a week and I can't wait to get into things today in between some baking.

I have a few additions to the stash this week. All come from Big W. The tradeoff for taking T to look at the LEGO is that I get to browse the fat quarters! All the fabric I bought this week was with a project in mind.

The black flowers are going to be used to make Shirley's November QCA Bee block. You can find the pattern here. Shirley has requested black and whites for her block.

The pink sewing fabric might come in useful for Kristy's Wombat Stew block. Kristy is Queen Bee this month and has requested blocks with a sewing theme.

The next two fabrics are both from Riley Blake collections. After seeing all the great projects on the Sew Seasonal blog hop I have been inspired to get sewing. Rather than buy lots of Christmas themed fabric, I am going to try and use reds,greens and white for some of Alyce's ornaments.

And lastly...some orange and some hot pink! This is for Lara from Luellabella. She is QCA Bee Queen Bee for December and has requested this fantastic feather block in colours inspired by Gemma from Pretty Bobbins. Gemma made a gorgeous triangle quilt in oranges,pinks and grey with a touch of yellow thrown in. You can see it here

I don't have a lot of orange in my stash, but should be able to scrap together some pinks. I am hoping that I still have some bright orange Terrain scraps floating around somewhere!

Today is Remembrance Day...I will be making sure that I stop for a minute and remember the sacrifices made for others. Kate from Kate's Quilt has shared a poem today that sums it up. Read her post here.

So, on the list of things that I need to tackle in the coming week:

* my Wombat Stew house block for Jane (it was due last month!)
* my QCA block for Shirley
* toss around some design ideas for Kristy's sewing block
* make the binding for the 3 quilts that came back from the quilter last week.

Linking up as always with Fiona from Finding Fifth :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sew Seasonal - A Christmas blog hop. Day 2

Welcome to day 2 of the Sew Seasonal blog hop! 

So last week I gave you a little sneak peek of what I would be sharing as part of the blog hop.

Any guesses??

Alyce of BlossomHeartQuilts and Kristy of Quietplay have designed 25 patterns as part of this blog hop and I was lucky enough to score the pattern for Mary and Joseph designed by Kristy.

This is a fabulous pattern and I had a lot of fun doing it. The fabrics that I used for Mary's outfit, and Joseph's beard and headware are all from Figgy Pudding by Moda - a Festive themed collection that was released in 2009.

Now, I am in no way a paper piecing expert, but here are a few tips for paper piecing that I find useful.

1. Keep your stitch length short - it makes removing the paper at the end so much easier.

2. If you have trouble visualising what you need to sew, you can always trace your pattern onto tracing paper or baking paper and use that to sew through. I did that for a while when I first started paper piecing. I know have enough confidence to sew using regular paper.

3. If in doubt, use a bigger piece of fabric. I hate unpicking, and most of my unpicking results from using a piece of fabric that is too small for the job. Use bigger pieces until you gain confidence.

4. Spray starch is your friend. 

5. When joining each piece of the pattern together, I find i get a better result if I keep the paper on the back. It keeps everything rigid and together and allows you to see where your seams should line up.

Now I made my little block into a Christmas card to that we will give to my son's teacher as part of her end of year Christmas thank you.

If you would like to try this pattern or any of the others featured in the Sew Seasonal blog hop, you can download them for FREE here and here

Don't forget to head over and visit Jane at WhereJaneCreates for today's other project!