Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I used 3kgs of fruit (about 6 1/2lbs) and here is my jam haul for the day. The three jars in the back are 600ml, or around one pint. The others I think are around 3ooml.
We've hardly put a dent in the fruit, so I see a lot more jam in my future, and probably some preserves too.
My mind is churning though - we've been looking for a new outdoor setting, and because we're having a few friends over for New Years, we thought it would be nice to have a new one in time. We've found two that we're happy with - one a little more than the other. One is $700.00 (picture is of 7pc, but we're going for 9pc), it's nice enough, and we can pick it up tomorrow. However, we like a different one more, and I think I'll be happier with it long term, but it needs to come from interstate - also, it's price has been reduced by $500.00 in the post Xmas sales. Both Marty and I don't mind paying the extra for the one we like a little more, but we can't have it tomorrow, and we'd really like a new one ASAP. I simply can't decide, and Marty says he doesn't mind ... heavens, I just don't know what to do. I think I need to sleep on it. Ideas??
Monday, December 29, 2008
We just love apricot jam in this house, and I've never in the past been able to make enough to last the whole year. Our tree is still young and bearing more fruit each year, will this year be the one where I make enough to see us through??
Our peach tree is also groaning with fruit, but they're still some time away from ripening - they're old fashioned Elberta peaches, and I simply cannot wait to be eating them fresh from the tree.
Because I'm not going to be 'jamming' tonight I'll start working on the blocks for the new quilt I drew up recently. I'll be raiding my scrap stash, and as soon as I have something interesting, I'll share my results.
Be good, and I'll check back in soon! x o x
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
If you've been pining for a mat, and have been waiting for me to list some - now is the time to head to my Etsy store. And if you've been waiting, thank you for your patience, it's only been a year *cough*.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Merry Christmas to all my special buddies- I hope you have a wonderful day with your family and friends.
Love and hugs
x o x
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Honestly - the strip tubs are like the 'Magic Pudding' - it seems the more I use, the more is in there - they never go away!
And since I had a request on Etsy the other day, I've started constructing a couple of Sewing Machine Mats. They'll be done soon I hope - one of which will be off to a new home, and the other - well, who knows, but since it's just as easy to make two as it is to make one, I just thought I'd continue on the scrap-busting journey.
Thank you to everyone for the lovely comments on the 'Back Home Again' quilt top. I'm really thrilled with it, and I'm so much looking forward to quilting it some time next year.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Last night at around 12.30 I finished with the rows, and this morning as soon as I'd had breakfast, I set about cutting up and stitching on the final borders.
There are a couple of changes I made from the directions of the original quilt. Firstly, the cutting info called for you to cut the corner and setting triangles in such a way that you have bias edges all along where you attach the borders. I changed it so the edges are on the straight grain.
Secondly, though you can't see it well in the picture, I mitred the corners of the inner and outer border - this wasn't done in the original quilt, and for me, I just like the mitred finish better, especially when using a border stripe like the small inner border.
This will be as far as I get with the top for a while - there will be no quilting just yet. I've already delivered the quilt to the store, so it can be there on display as soon as they open after the Christmas/New Year break. It feels just wonderful to have a project crossed off the to-do list.
Friday, December 19, 2008
And these are some meringues that Camo and I made this afternoon. Not something I usually undertake, but of course they had a purpose ...
Marty and his mates went away to the beach house last weekend. When he came home, he had some of the excess groceries with him, amongst which was a vast amount of eggs, and three whole packages of bacon! Well, the family put in a request for Pasta Carbonara, which I dutifully made on Wednesday night - that took care of a lot of the bacon, and according to my Donna Hay recipe book, four egg yolks. I can't bear to waste, so I put the whites in the fridge, and they became the focus of today's baking. The family declared them excellent, and they'll definitely be on the menu again.
Hope you're all ready for Christmas - I can't believe there's less than a week to go. I'll be in the midst of a wrapping flurry tomorrow - I hope my paper supplies last!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
And because the blocks were done, today I started sewing the first of the three strips together. I just love the floral fabric in the setting triangles, and the border stripes that come with the kit are lovely too. Now that all the tiny pieces are done with, this should all come together much more quickly.
I've managed to complete almost all my Christmas shopping - not bad for two days effort. I only have two things left to get for family plus a couple of things for the kids. Tomorrow I'll have a looky for myself - and then give suitable directions to Marty :-)
Talk soon! x o x
Monday, December 15, 2008
And speaking of Christmas, it's slowly infiltrating other parts of our home. Here is a little display from the family room, and this is about as decorated as it will get. The tree has been up in the lounge for ages, and that's where Christmas preparations have stood still. I love my little Mikasa Santas, and some day I'll get some more of these pieces. I'd really like to get a nativity scene in the same range. In the background, the two candles in glass lanterns were gifts from my Thursday girls at the store - very unexpected, and so much appreciated - thank you!
I'm off to do some quilting on a Christmas runner, so I'll check back in with you all soon. x o x
Friday, December 12, 2008
Normally it wouldn't take quite that long, but some of these blocks have LOTS of pieces. The one in the back at right has 57 pieces in a 12 inch block, and the one next to it has 57 pieces in the 6 inch centre section, and then a further 8 pieces to make it up to 12 inches. Very fiddly and time consuming!
I have only two blocks left to make. One is the smaller version of the block in front, and the last one will be very easy, the small version of the first block I made which is quite an easy one. Then I can start putting the rows together, and I'm really excited about that!
In wonderful news, I'm finally starting to feel a lot better. Thank you so much for your kind wishes and concern, you have all been just lovely.
**Ohhh, and BTW, I'm finally adding labels to my posts, so I apologise in advance if old posts get busy popping up in bloglines etc.**
Shortly we'll be heading off to Amy's school netball team grand final. They made it again this season against all odds, and they're definitely the underdogs tonite. We're all so proud of them, and thrilled they've made it this far regardless of the end result. Better run, I need to get organised ... talk soon :-)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
It's based on a vintage quilt I saw somewhere, and I'm thinking I'll make it up in scraps. I have no idea what I'll call it ... ideas anyone??
In health news - still resting as much as I can, and I'm on my fourth course of antibiotics - the chest x-ray came back 'inconclusive'. Don't know what to think really, it would be nice to have some answers. In good news though, the kids have finished school for the year, so there is a lot less running around to be done.
It's getting late, so I'll say goodnite ... and I promise to chatter soon :-)
Sunday, December 07, 2008
I'm loving the fabrics in this project, and can't wait to get more done. It's my goal to have the top complete by the end of the year. Surely I can do it ... really, can it be that hard to find the time?
And earlier today, Marty hung my thread stand on the wall. I'm just so entirely thrilled to finally have the stand I wanted, and all my threads right there where I can see them. I will need to paint the study at some point - I just don't like the colour of the walls in here, but that will have to wait for another time. Ohhh, and Rosaline asked for a side view of the thread stand - I just couldn't get a good picture - I'll try again later.
Hope you're all having a great weekend - I have been good and have rested up big. Thank you all for your concern and kind wishes - it means so much. x o x
Friday, December 05, 2008
The runner in particular has special memories for me. I created the project for the Wednesday girls at the store. It was kind of a ruse, because Maureen had a 70th birthday looming, and we were conspiring to make a quilt for her. So, while the girls were working on their 'runner' they were actually making the blocks up for Maureen's quilt right under her nose. It was really fun. And Maureen made up a whole runner with no idea of what was going on!
I have had more doctors appointments this week. As soon as I finished my second course of antibiotics I started to flag again, but in a different way - breathless and heavy in the chest. I've now has blood tests and this afternoon some chest x-rays. The doctor is worried that I'm not resting enough, and he's probably right - I love my job, and have many deadlines at home too. I'm on my third course of stronger antibiotics, and I'll wait to hear what his verdict is. I won't let this get me down - the power of positive thinking (and some rest) will get me thru this :-)
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
First up - here is a little giftie I made up for my friend Jenny. (Hi Jenny - hope you have a wonderful day on Monday!) A candle mat I made, teamed up with a hurricane lamp style jar and scented candle. All wrapped up with cello and a wired ribbon. Lots of fun. I think these will be a great teacher gift too - and the kids will be handing them out at school tomorrow :-)
On Monday, Martin delivered my thread stand to Brian - our friend and a wonderful cabinet maker. In the afternoon, Brian returned, having stained the stand to match our furniture (a lot of which he has made himself). He did a great job, and I can't wait to have it hung on the wall. Being the impatient girl I am, I wanted to see what all my threads looked like loaded onto it. I didn't realise I had so many! I'm thinking I may paint the wall before I hang it, because the study is the only room in the house I haven't yet painted. I'll see ... I may decided it's just too big a job for now ... I'll keep you posted :-)
And last of all, a finish from last night. I quilted and sewed down the binding on my runner on Monday night, and while waiting for Amy at netball last night, I hand stitched the reverse side of the binding. I'm thinking I may need to do a little more quilting to be completely satisfied, but it feels good to have a finish of my own!
Better head back to the sewing room - the machine is calling me :-)
Monday, December 01, 2008
What a motley collection of fabrics! There is an obvious reproduction fabric or two in there, which of course I love, and the toile - another fabric I'm partial to ... but the rest of them? I can't even imagine why I'd have purchased some of them.
The blue fabric which is on the left there is a fabric from my first ever quilt ... which I made back in 1992! I'm always thinking I've used the last of it, and then some more pops up again! Good grief!!
In a moment I'll pin the runner ready for quilting, and then after dinner tonite, I'm going to make some more 'candle mats' for Christmas gifts. You know, teacher gifts and the like. This year is my most disorganised ever - I haven't even purchased or made one gift yet, and that is just not like me! I need to get busy!
Friday, November 28, 2008
I have received the most lovely treats. My Mum and Dad gave me a new set of saucepans that I have been coveting for a long time. My Brother and SIL gifted me with the cute bamboo plant - they're lucky you know :-)
Marty asked what I would like a little while back, and I gave him the choice of three items - an open toe darning foot for the Bernina, a new Dustbuster, or a thread-stand. I did the research for the thread-stand and the darning foot, and the location where he could find them - but I never expected that he'd get all three items! How lucky for me :-)
The thread stand thrills me - I'd been looking for one for a long time. This one is raw timber, and Marty's taking it to our cabinet maker who will stain it to match our furniture. I can't wait to hang it on the wall.
Thank you all for your birthday and get well messages - I have had the very best day.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Ahh well, I've been resting in bed - this bug really got a hold of me. I'm on my second course of antibiotics, so I hope I'll be feeling better for my birthday ... which is tomorrow!!
So, in lieu of quilty pictures - here a selection of recent snaps:
I love my fridge magnets, and collect them from all over the place. My current fave is the lady on the phone - she was a must have from PIQF, I wonder if the kids have noticed it yet ... they haven't said anything ...
This is a DJ picture I sent to Karen recently - it's of my first DJ - I love that I used all different background fabrics, and the blue block is one of my absolute favourites in the whole quilt. Hard to believe that I finished it more than seven years ago now. I was quite an inexperienced quilter when I began, maybe if I'd known more I'd have been too scared to start it.
And here is Holly - how scary are her eyes?? Camo tipped his duplo container over, and if there's a bag or box laying around, there will always end up being a cat in there - it's guaranteed. Funny, none of our other cats have ever been that way inclined.
Well, I'm off to get some more rest, I hope to post tomorrow and share my b-day goodies :-)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Isn't this quilt just lovely? It belongs to my friend Jenny S - I just started quilting on it this morning, and it's a pleasure to work on. The quilt itself is so simple, but so effective, and the darling bright fabrics really just make it sing.
Over the weekend, I spent some quiet time hand quilting on my Holiday Wholecloth table topper. It's a Christmas project, there is no way it's going to be ready for this Christmas, and at the rate I'm going, probably not the next one either. But that's not the point, I'm enjoying the process, and that's what matters :-)
Thank you all for your kind wishes and get well messages. I've had three days worth of antibiotics now, and while I'm still quite croaky, I'm definitely on the mend.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
This is the Christmas tree skirt we use - it's from an old American Patchwork and Quilting magazine (around a 1997 issue I think). I did a pretty smart job if I do say so myself :-) Regular quilting thread in the blocks, and perle cotton for the star - very fun!
I think I'll be doing some hand quilting today. I want to be doing other things, but I've been working so hard lately that I have gotten really run down. Had I listened to the warning signs my body was sending me, I probably wouldn't have gotten this nasty throat infection - but I did, and with a visit to my doctor, some antibiotics and a restful weekend, I'm sure to be on the mend.
I'll chatter soon, I promise :-)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I ended up challenging myself to learn a little about Photoshop CS3. I've never really used it too much before, and it is HARD! I'll give it some time and do some more tutorials over the holidays - maybe then I can make up something more interesting.
It's bedtime soon - and I haven't quilted at all today - what a strange day :-)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
On the weekend I got busy and put a 'new' one there - Bears in the Garden. This would have to be one of my favourite scrappy quilts.
If I could ask a favour - could someone out there test the button for me? It's a new kind of button, and for some reason I can't check it out. Don't take it all the way to checkout (unless you want to of course) but just see that it takes you to the correct place. I'd really appreciate it.
Happy stitching everyone!
Monday, November 17, 2008
I had planned to make my Buck a Blocks, but while toying with my USA purchases, I found the above pattern. It's by Atkinson Designs, and I remember the very moment I purchased it - I thought it'd be perfect for a fabric I've been so reluctant to cut into. A while back someone had a challenge to use a fabric you just couldn't cut up - and I'd enthusiastically thought of my Lady Liberty fabric. When push came to shove, I just couldn't make that rotary cutter move.
Yesterday was the day, and here is the result of my efforts. I had enough of the fabric to make three runners, so I'll be making up a couple of gifts also. I'm not sure yet how I'll quilt it up, but I'm sure it'll speak to me when I'm ready. I plan to use Mereth's idea of piecing together strips for the back. It's a win-win, using that special fabric, and scrap busting too!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
In fairness though, I have quilted three quilt tops this week, and worked four days at the shop - though I may think I've gotten little done, when I rationalise it, I've done plenty :-)
Today I'd like to work on the other blocks I have already cut out, and also get a start on some of the Thangles 'Buck a Block' projects I picked up while in the US. I wonder how much I'll get done?
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I'm taking it to the store tomorrow, firstly so that Nancy can pick it up when she pops in next week, but secondly because we're running an additional Christmas workshop tomorrow, and it will be nice for the participants to see an additional colourway for this particular quilt.
A couple more things for me to do - I'll just get all my class notes together for tomorrow, then stitch a binding on another quilt - make the lunches for tomorrow, and then I'll call it a night.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Yesterday my Mum and I went to the Craft and Quilt fair at the Adelaide Showgrounds. We had a really nice afternoon, but found that we just weren't tempted too much to spend our money. Perhaps I just spent too much while in the US? Mum did purchase for us both the Better Homes and Gardens bag which we get every year - the bags are wonderfully useful, and the contents a bonus :-) And she also purchsed the Hungry Catterpillar panel for herself, a project for the school holidays which will be upon us soon enough. And that's the sum total of our spending!
I have an evening at home tonight - a rare treat - so I'll be finishing up on Shirley's quilt, and then I'll get busy with some more of the Back Home Again blocks. I'll share my progress with you in my next post. Talk with you soon :-)
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Also traditional for many families - putting up the Christmas tree on pageant day. We haven't always followed this tradition, but this year we decided we'd play along. What is tradition for us however, is to purchase some new Christmas decorations each year, and this year was no exception.
While in Disneyland, I may or may not have stumbled upon a tiny Christmas shop in the New Orleans area :-) Of course I had to bring a few treats home with me - and this is one of them. I just love it, and it's a delightful reminder of our trip.
I also love delicate glass ornaments, and this week past purchased three sets of baubles. My special favourites are the hand painted ones - this one is around 4" high and so sweet. Most of the others are about 3" and accented with gold. Last year, I purchased a collection that look like pretty Faberge eggs - it's very tempting to get some more.
Next week we're going to hunt for some lights for the outside of the house. Should be fun :-)
Thursday, November 06, 2008
A little screed about two small projects I made that will be appearing in the next issue. The project is called 'Among the Evergreens' and the magazine goes on sale on 5th December. Do check it out - I'd love it if you would :-)
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
It is very familiar - my Spring Fling quilt from Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine. She was just as surprised to learn that it was my design. How fun to see my quilts 'in the wild' like that :-)
I now have five blocks of the Back Home Again quilt put together - even with some hair raising moments in the mix. My darling precious featherweight sewed along happily on one block, and then began the next, and without warning made a fizzing sound and released a cloud of smoke! How alarming!! I installed myself on the shop machine and made a call to my husband, who asked me to describe the sound and the smell. He has all his electrical tickets and confidently declared that a capacitor had blown and it's a $5.00 part to fix. Whew! And who said quilting is a safe pursuit??
Monday, November 03, 2008
So, here is my progress to date on the Back Home Again quilt. I've cut six blocks ready for stitching, and they're in the baggies on the left there. I'll take them to the Melbourne Cup stitching day tomorrow. My precious baby featherweight can come out for the day with me. And the block is one I cut out and stitched this afternoon. It's called Coronation Star. I am in love with these fabrics, and can't wait to cut into more of the fat quarters.
This is a 'just because' picture. I found it while scrolling thru the camera files. It's Amy and Camo in Legoland. A girl just doesn't see scenes like this in Australia.
Last of all - a quick link. Are there any Southern Cross Quilters out there reading this? Ones that are attending the retreat in Adelaide? My table runner is one of the projects listed on the workshops page - so be sure to check it out :-)
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Have you seen it? It's 'Back Home Again' by Kaye England. I just love the fabrics, they're divine, and isn't the little suitcase for the fat quarters just darling? It's my aim to have lots of the blocks cut out and ready to sew on Tuesday. It's the Melbourne Cup stitching day, and we're sure to have lots of drinks and nibbles, and most of all, great company.
Today we spent the afternoon at my brother's house with family and had a lovely time. It's his birthday today - so, Happy Birthday little brother, I hope you had a great day! x o x
Thursday, October 30, 2008
It would be nice to know the variety, but I'm no green thumb and they were in the garden when we purchased the house. It has the feeling of an old fashioned rose, but I could be just guessing. We have five standard roses down the side of our drive, and that's it, so I'm definitely no expert.
And for the fabric portion of today's viewing - this is a kit I'm just dying to get my fingers into.
Cameron spotted this quilt in a Fons and Porter magazine while I was browsing thru one day, and because he loves the book, begged me to make the quilt up for him.
How could a Mum say no? I had loved the book as a child also, and the fabric is just like the pictures in the book. The kit was ordered quick smart, and it travelled home from the US with us.
How fun! :-)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Here's a little more eye candy. This is another quilt made by Golden State Sewing Center from one of my patterns. It's called Flower Basket Medallion and the second of the quilts that they made into kits. I love the fabrics they've selected, and it was also in their booth at the Pacific International Quilt Festival.
And in other PIQF news, the most exciting thing happened - I bumped into our dear friend Ms Jan near the Bonnie Blue booth. You can read about it (and see it) here on her blog. It was so much fun to meet her, and I would love to be able to spend more time with her - she's just darling.
I have a pile of patterns to prepare tonite before bed, so I better get moving - the girls just had a big win at netball, so it's been a great nite! TTYL :-)
Update ... I like the template ... but need to play with the banner - I'll fix it after netball tonite .... thanx for your patience!!
Monday, October 27, 2008
I guess it's the individuals item after it leaves my hands, and therefore they can do what they like with it. However the thing that bothers me most is that it's really not in the spirit of the whole pay it forward concept - maybe if they didn't like it, they could have paid it forward to someone else.
Disappointing, and actually - it kind of hurts.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
1. You can't tell the women from the men
2. People are violently ill in the front yard
3. The police are called
Good friends, good times, great margaritas :-)
BTW, wax much??
Saturday, October 25, 2008
First up - a happy snap from the Pacific International Quilters Festival. Linda's favourite fabric store Golden State Sewing Center had purchased a huge number of my patterns before I went on holiday, the Sisters Choice Medallion being one of them. They cleverly created this very cute quilt from the pattern and kitted it up. How I wish I'd come up with such an adorable colour combination. The kit sold out very quickly - how fun!
And here is my fabric stash after I spent the morning folding up and putting away all my fabric purchases and acquisitions. I had to find new homes for my bins of strips as I needed the shelf space, and I did a little sorting to get the fabrics somewhat into colour groups. It's looking so much healthier than it did last time I shared a picture, but still not nearly as impressive as the stashes of some of my USA friends!
This adorable collection of green fabric was sent to me by our wonderful friend Karen. Thank you so much, it is greatly appreciated. I'm always looking for the perfect green, and I love all of them. Isn't it fun to have mail arrive from the other side of the world?
Last of all is a kit I ordered shortly before we headed off on holiday. I saw it in the Hancocks of Paducah catalogue, and I was mesmerised by it, I called Linda to discuss it with her, only to find that she had been coveting it also. I cannot wait to have the opportunity to make it up.
I should be able to share more holiday pictures as I have the chance. Marty bought me a new laptop on Wednesday, and it seems to be so much happier to communicate on my terms (somewhat technically challenged terms). It's so shiny and new and fast and slick - I'm still finding it a little scary, but hopefully I'll be comfortable with it soon. Talk soon :-)