Friday, June 26, 2009

Long Weekend

I'm a little bit sad today, Mum and Dad left this morning. We had a wonderful time together, I guess the blessing of living so far away from family is that when they visit you get to spend quality time with them. I have almost finished the socks I was knitting with Mum, just the toe on the second sock to finish off.

During the week the backing for my half hexies quilt turned up, I have spent some time this afternoon cutting out the half hexies for the feature strip I wanted to put into the backing.

The fabric I have used is from the Bubblegum basics. I have had such a lot of fun experimenting with these half hexie blocks, I think I am going to spend some time in the future playing with these...I'm sure there are many more variations that could be used.

Thank you to everyone who stops by my blog and to all who leave wonderful comments and encouragements and hints...I am so appreciative of you and your friendship. Our family is off to Anglesea for the next 4 days, so I won't be able to reply to any comments for a little while. We are going with some friends and are all very excited about getting away and spending some time in another beautiful part of Victoria. There will be lots of surfing by the boys (they are truly mad!!), and lots of walking, drinking coffee, chatting, chocolate and cheese nibbling, and stitching by the girls!!! Ahh, holidays!! See you next week xo

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A glimpse of lovely weather

My parents are visiting us at the moment all the way from Brisbane (about 1,700kms away for anyone who doesn't live in Australia!). Yesterday we had an absolutely gorgeous Melbourne day...rather unusual at this time of the year. We decided to go for a walk at the new Martha Cove estate nearby. It's an estate that is built around a canal with very large and expensive houses. They have put a lovely timber walkway into the estate so you can park your car at one end, and walk for a long way beside the canal. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

As you can see, the weather was perfect, the water crystal clear and the reflections from the houses and boats remind me of jigsaw puzzles! It was a lovely morning and so nice to catch up with my folks who I haven't seen since September last year.

Mum and I have been busy knitting....she is making a scarf, and I'm finishing off some socks, so I will try and remember to take some photo's. Still not much quilting going on around here!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Not much action...

...been going on around here as far as quilting and half hexies and applique goes. Been pretty quiet on the achievement front. Nothing much to show, no quilts quilted, no binding bound, no applique stitched, no fabric arriving in the mailbox (I'm waiting for the backing for my half hexi quilt to turn up so I can get moving on that one, but no, not this week!).

So I will pull an oldie out to show you. This quilt was my first serious needleturn applique quilt. Prior to that I had only done blanket stitched applique.

I finished this quilt in July 2003....see, aren't labels handy?!!! (I'm usually very bad about putting labels on my finished quilts, but really, a label is like an artist signature and so time should be taken to attach this important little sign with info about the quilt, it's maker and at least the year it was made...I will try harder I promise!!). It was such a lovely quilt to make and came t0gether quite quickly. I loved the simple colour scheme and find it looks quite striking up on my wall (in this pic it's on the roof of the dog kennel!!).

It was also my first attempt at handquilting. I don't tend to do much handquilting these days as I'm usually in too much of a rush to get a quilt finished, however I really do love the look and feel of a handquilted quilt.

I tried to do my quilting in a quilt frame, but in the end found that quilting without the frame was much easier and more natural.

I've since moved on to bigger applique quilts and will show where I'm up to with the Kim McLean one I'm working on in a future post.

Oh, and I have met a lovely quilty friend through flickr and she has just started up a blog, so head on over to Joan's blog Wishes True and Kind and make her feel welcome to blogland. She has a lovely Kaffe quilt that she is working on which will be spectacular when it's finished.

Have a wonderful weekend. (I know I will, my parents from Brisbane are coming down for a visit, I'm very excited!!!) xo

Monday, June 15, 2009

All Sewn Up

After a rather busy week I was able to get in and finish sewing together my half hexagon quilt top this morning, yay!!

I am so happy with this quilt and with this method of making a hexagon quilt, I will definately be making more half hexagon quilts in the future.

I was suprised at how easy it was to sew the hexagons together. Initially I was rather worried that I would not be able to keep the pattern that I had put together on my design wall. However I found that following Comfortstitchings fabulous instructions and being a little methodical about it all, it was actually rather easy and very enjoyable!

Now I need to ponder how I'm going to quilt it. Possibly just an all over design like a stipple or loops or something easy. Hmmm, I will throw it over a lounge chair and contemplate it for a few days! Ruthdesigns has put up some good ideas for quilting a hexi quilt here, where you can also see some other lovely hexagon quilts starting to take shape.
Til next time xo

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Afternoon for Auction

My lovely friend Deb contacted me recently and asked if I could help her make some coathangers that could then be auctioned off to raise money to help a blind girl who lives in a slum in Thailand. Another friend of ours is holding a silent auction this Sunday to raise the money, and many people will bring handmade items to include in the auction. These silent auctions are a fun afternoon, firstly to make something handmade to bring to the auction, then to inspect what other people have made or bought along, and to have a chance to bid on any items you might like to buy.

So with this in mind, Deb and I spent last Saturday, firstly going through my rather embarassingly large fabric stash, trying to choose which colours to make our coathangers. The rest of the day was spent cutting out fabric and pellon, pinning, making frills and sewing. (This is a photo of Deb, hard at work)!

These coathangers take a bit of time to make and we were able to make 5 of them for the auction.

The pattern we used was called 'Dress it Up' which is a Mum's Moment pattern. Mum's Moment was a wonderful patchwork shop in Brisbane that I worked in for a while (sadly, it's closed now)!! You can still purchase this pattern from Mum's Moment, just let me know if you want their details.

These coathangers also make wonderful gifts and I have made quite a few of these over the years to give away as birthday presents. Deb and I had a wonderful day together, it's so much fun having a sewing day with a friend. Hopefully we will be able to raise some money and send it to the young girl in Thailand.

Monday, June 8, 2009

On my Design Wall

I'm really enjoying the half hexagon quiltalong. I have now cut out all my half hexagons and laid them out on my temporary design wall (more of this in a minute!!). After much arranging and rearranging, I have decided I am very happy with the pattern I will use. (Sorry, my photo's are not great quality).

I love the circular design that hexagons lend themselves to. A bit like concentric circles moving outwards, plenty for the eye to see.

I'm putting little 1/4 hexies (half hexie chopped in half!) on the edges of the quilt to square it up.Then I numbered each row and placed them in neat little piles all ready to sew.

Back to my temporary design wall. I knew when I was planning this quilt that I would definately need to lay each of the half hexies out somewhere to come up with this pattern. Trouble was, I don't have a design wall. In the end I had to make do with pinning some flannel fabric onto a quilt I have hanging in my living room.

You can see the quilt poking out at the edge. Not a very effective design wall, the half hexies were falling off a lot! Later, while I was doing a bit of blog surfing and reading some of my regular blogs, I came across Karen's idea for a fabulous portable design wall that looks very easy to make. Karen gives wonderful step by step instructions for making this small design wall.

In a future post Karen will give us the instructions for a much larger one.

What a wonderful idea...I'm off to the hardware shop!! If you haven't visited Karen's blog before, check her out at Sew Many Ways, I especially love her idea's on Tooltime Tuesday!

Now if you want to see a beautiful half hexie layout, checkout Aneela's hexi's...and she has very good instructions there too if you are interested in making your own half hexie quilt.

Have a lovely week xo

SEWN winner

The winner of my SEWN giveaway is: Kelly! Congratulations Kelly, I hope you enjoy your 3 fabrics and thanks everyone else for stopping by my blog and leaving wonderful comments. Don't forget to check out the new Sewn website, going live tomorrow (Tuesday 10th).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Half Hexagon Quilt Along

The lovely Aneela over at Comfortstitching has started a Half Hexagon quilt along and I've decided to join in the fun. The idea is to make a hexagon quilt that is sewed on the sewing machine, rather than English paper pieced, thereby being a lot quicker to put together! It has taken me a while to decide on which fabrics I will use for this quilt. I have finally decided on a 2 colour quilt....raspberry and aqua.

Aren't these colours delicious? I know the blue and white jug did not need to be in the photo, but he decided to sneak in and I didn't have the heart to tell him to go stand somewhere else!

So I have chosen the colour of the quilt, cut some of the fabric into 2 1/2 inch strips, now I'm off to make the half hexagon template and cut them all out. Hopefully I will have something to show you in a few days or so...at least some half hexagons on my design wall!!

I will leave you with a pic of my favourite tree in our garden...our humble lemon tree. I love our little lemon tree, its glossy green leaves, white flowers and bright yellow fruit brings joy to my heart. Sometimes the simple things are the best.

Have a lovely weekend xo

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wallpapered Goodness finished

Here it is...all finished, yay!

This quilt was so quick and easy to make. For the quilting I decided to do a swirly freemotion movement on the larger strips, and a straight line freemotion quilting on the thin strips. The photo might describe it better than my words?!

I used Brandon Mably's Brown Dapple to bind it, which I think frames it beautifully.

Don't you love the back of it, just looking like a big patch of cabbages with roses thrown in!!! (you can probably tell from my blog name that I love cabbages....especially Kaffe's glorious, luxurious artworks...and as for his roses, Yum!!!). I didn't get the orange and brown stripe entirely straight on the back, oh well, I won't tell if you don't!

I'm really going to enjoy looking at this one thrown over the back of my lounge. It has been fun to use up some of the large florals from Kaffe, Philip Jacobs and Brandon that have been in my stash....didn't put much of a dent in it though!