Sunday, September 17, 2017

Turning Four-T

Doesn't that sound lovely? Turning Four-T?? No, I'm not turning 40 again ... but I have been revisiting this project getting the pattern drawn up with diagrams ready for my Etsy store.

This is one of my all time favourite projects, made for a special occasion, using some of my most special fabrics. I have a deep and abiding love of conversational prints, and I used nearly all that I had in this quilt - and the blue/navy fabrics are some that were gifted to me by my darling friends and others that I found on my travels in the USA.

One thing that always makes me giggle about this project is the name - I love that there are four "T's" turning in each block, and that it was made when I was turning 40. It's the little things in life that keep me amused.

Anyway, if you'd like to purchase a copy of this pattern and make your own - be sure to click on over to my Etsy store, I'd love it if you would! xoxox

Monday, September 11, 2017

Star Collage

Today I was able to spend some uninterrupted time with my sewing machine - so I got busy putting some more of the small stars together for the Phebe project:

I took the pictures of the blocks super fast, so there are some stray threads in there, and the blocks aren't necessarily straight in the photos, but you can see that I was having fun working through some of the cute scraps I've got laying around.

The thing that really made me happy is that all the points are nice and accurate - I only had to make adjustments to a few of them. I'm looking forward to getting some brighter reproductions and cute fussy cuts in there. 80 of these blocks are required, so with these and the one I made the other day, I only have 70 to go!

In other news - recently I received a sweet comment from Diane Smith. I wasn't able to respond to her personally as her email address came up 'no reply', but I can address her questions here. First up - I think Diane might be a little confused about my identity - I'm not Lori, but I'm slowly working on one of Lori Smith's beautiful projects - but if I'm to be mixed up with someone, what an honour! Diane asked me how I select fabrics for my blocks, ie, sticking to collections/reproductions etc.

Well, this is a tough question to answer - in that I don't have any magic formula that I follow. If I'm working on a vintage style project, I tend to use vintage style fabrics, but I'm not really super fussy about collections. My main concerns are the value of the fabric - does it read dark, medium or light. Do I like the fabric, and do I think the colours play nicely together. Sometimes I just mix things all together and then select a unifying fabric like sashing to keep it all together. Honestly, the best way to go is just trust your instinct, and use things you like.

Diane also asked about my applique technique - I mostly needleturn applique, but for the last project I used the freezer paper on top technique which is demonstrated beautifully on Teresa's blog.

I hope this helps Diane, and thank you for commenting.

That's it from me today - tomorrow morning I get to pick up my quilt from the show and any ribbons etc that go with her - I'm looking forward to bringing my creation home!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Good News, and a new beginning ...

I could have shared this news in my last post, but I was in a rush ... however, now I have some time on my hands to share my happiness:

My Caswell quilt has done me proud, and won some ribbons at the Royal Adelaide Show. I feel so incredibly blessed - it placed first in its category, was selected as the best quilt in show, and won the prize for the best art/craft exhibit in the show. Oh my goodness, I was gobsmacked when I heard the news. Supremely happy!

A big thank you to my sweet friend Lizzy for taking the picture above for me (and to the many other sweet ladies who've done the same) I haven't been able to get to the show yet, but tomorrow is the day we've planned to head over there. I cannot wait!

In much less interesting news, I've made a couple more HOQH blocks, and here they are:

Block 26 - Domino Net

This was a super easy one (in the scheme of this project) - don't forget that the blocks are 6 inches finished! The floral fabric in the large squares is a favourite, I used it in the Caswell quilt on one of the tricker applique blocks as part of a flower and I love how it looked.

Block 58 - Gentleman's Fancy

This block looks kind of wonky in the picture, but all the points are meeting up nicely, so hopefully it'll look just fine when it's sewed into the quilt top. Most of the fabrics in this block were from the 'Donna scraps' again (but not the green print) - I love rummaging through them ... you'll continue to see them in this project ... and also the one I'm just getting geared up for! And I have a feeling that the pink fabric in Block 26 might have been from Donna too!

I had pretty much decided even before I finished the last quilt that the next BIG THING I would be working on would be the Phebe Quilt by Di Ford Hall. I just love all the things she does, and I simply fell in love with Phebe - possibly because I've been itching for a lot of piecing rather than working on so much applique. Definitely google search on pictures of the quilt - it is just darling. Or, if you go to my Pinterest page and check the Quilts-Di Ford Hall tab, you'll find pictures in there.

Anyway, I've been reluctant to just leap into working on it - I was worried that it'd become an addiction for me and I wouldn't be disciplined enough to work on some of the other things I've needed to get finished. But today I threw caution to the wind, and made the first tiny square ...

This block is a little cutie, at 4.5" square. You'll see a lot of fabrics in common between this project and the HOQH one, and hopefully from my end I'll see a reduction in the amount of scrap fabrics I have kicking around. Who'd like to place bets that I see no discernable difference at all?

Soon I'm going to get busy working on the applique centre block, but for the moment I'd like to enjoy some fairly easy piecing and have fun selecting pretty fabrics that play together nicely.

So that's all my news up to now, I'm going to spend some q-time in my sewing room, and I'll check back in with you all soon! xox

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

HOQH - Block 8

Just a quickie post today, I haven't been able to do much fun sewing of late - just this block I've put together this morning:

Block 8 - Missouri Star

Isn't this block a little cutie? I really like the fabric and colours. They're all from the scraps gifted to me by my sweet friend Donna. She's such a honey. Let's hope I get a couple more blocks made this afternoon - as the next few days are busy ones too.

Hope you're having  a great week!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Holiday Stars Christmas Tree Skirt

This past week I've been busy trying to get this quilted project finished, the pattern written ... and then I had to patiently wait for a little bit of sun to take a picture.

The sun never did come out too much, and I'm not much of a photographer anyway ... but here is my Holiday Stars Christmas Tree Skirt:

I was inspired by the postcard style Yuletide Memories fabric - it's just so very pretty. Via my Etsy store I'd had a couple of requests for a tree skirt that didn't have Y seams, and something with simple piecing and traditional style. I hope this fits the bill.

Of course, it can be used as a table topper if you don't want to cut out the circle opening, and Christmas prints can be replaced with fabric to suit any season at all.

If you'd like to check the listing out, click here. I hope you like it! xox

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New Project ...

This past week I've only managed to get one of the HOQH blocks put together, but I'm not going to be beating myself up over it, I've managed to get PLENTY done ...

Here is a sneaky peek of a new project I've been working on:

Some of the fabric is from deep stash, I can't even imagine where it came from or how long I've had it. And I have a dearth of the Christmas fabric! I hope to begin binding it tonight - but it's already almost 9.30pm so I may not get too far ...

Another thing I've been working on are lounge saving (or should I say kitty saving) devices! Our new family room sofas have arrived, and I've already caught Holly about to scratch at them ... so I made some little quilted doodads to velcro in place and thwart her destructive plans ...

I've made three so far, and I need to make three more - I'll get some more of the fabric I chose when I get to work this week.

Last of all, here's the block I made ... I can check one more off the big list:

Block 14 - Pinwheels & Sawtooth

I really should have pressed this one a little better before I took the picture - after I hit it with some Best Press it came up a treat, I promise!! The cream print in the large pinwheel part of the block - I'm not sure if it's a reproduction print, but I thought it could live in the block anyway - and then red triangles were cut offs from some of the stars in the other project I've been working on. 

It's funny, it doesn't seem to matter how many scraps of fabric I use, I keep generating more scraps, and more scraps! Looks like I'm going to be working on scrap quilts forever!!

Well, that's been my week ... what have you been working on?

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Lucky me!!

On Thursday last week I wasn't able to make it to guild, and I'm so disappointed that I couldn't get there, because I got the most amazing phone call! My quilt won the Viewers Choice Award!!!

I just picked up the ribbon from Vicki today and I can't stop looking at it! I almost need to pinch myself to remember that it really happened. I feel so very blessed - thank you so much to everyone who voted for my quilt - I was genuinely so very surprised, at no time did I think my quilt was a contender!! Colour me thrilled :-)

In other much less interesting news, I managed to get two more HOQH blocks put together this week:

Block 39 - Cut Glass Dish

Another bunch of 1" HST's checked off the list - I could make them in my sleep I'm sure! I wish I knew where I got that toile style fabric from - I really like it and don't think I have any more in my stash.

Block 15 - Puss in the Corner

This block looks kind of wonky in the picture which surprised me, I didn't think it looked that bad in real life. Hopefully it looks good when it's all stitched into the final quilt.

Yesterday I quilted the little top I made recently, and I'm in the middle of binding it right now, as soon as I have a chance I'll share a picture, it's looking quite sweet. Chatter soon folks! xox

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Bits and Bobs and Blocks

First up, I've completed two more HOQH blocks in the past few days. I'm thinking it'd be nice to complete two blocks per week until they're all done. Shouldn't be difficult right? I don't have a particular deadline, but it's nice set myself a little goal to stay motivated.

This is the first one I made, and it's a super easy one:

Block 35 - Streak of Lightning

And next up I made one which was significantly less easy. Actually, that's not really true, it wasn't hard, just fiddly. A whole bunch of 1" finished HST's. Overall I'm pretty happy with all the points - I don't think I'll be pulling this block apart any time soon.

Block 47 - Battlegrounds

That's a total of 22 blocks made so far - which is just over one third of the blocks finished. Looking forward to the next ones now :-)

The next pictures will have already been seen by my buddies on the facebooks, but it'd be cheeky not to share right?

Loving the new shoes I got last week - they're cutie pie Scarletto's, and I adore them, they're super nice, and believe it or not, supremely comfortable:

I wore them out and about pretty much all day on Saturday and not only were they much admired, but no sore feet for me. Winning!!

Last of all, because our lemon tree is absolutely groaning right now, I made lemon cupcakes last night so we could have them for morning tea at tennis today:

For the first time ever I made candied lemon for a garnish, and it worked really well. I'm definitely going to make these again!

Well, that's it for me today - I'm feeling a little achy after my three sets today. It's only my second week back on the court after more than two months off - it's amazing how quickly any fitness I had has fallen away and how my muscles are complaining. Hopefully it won't last too long!

Chatter soon xox

Friday, July 28, 2017

HOQH - Two more blocks!

I've managed to get two more of the Honouring our Quilting Heritage blocks made, they're really fun to put together. Remember that they're only 6" finished, some of the pieces end up being quite small!

Block 25 - Railroad

Block 32 - Lost Ships

Once again, the blocks are all made up from scraps. The bottom one is made up entirely of scraps gifted to me by my sweet friend Donna. I always love to remember where fabrics came from, or from what quilt I used them in. I'm surely getting lots of practice making half square triangles, and there are a lot more on my horizon too!

In my last post I mentioned the 'People Quilt' project, and a lovely reader Janet asked me which one that was. There is a whole big story that goes with the People Quilt, it was Amy's favourite cot quilt when she was little, so I just threw that name out there again possibly without explaining, but it's the project I'm working on slowly with the fabric leftover from Amy's People Quilt. I haven't done much, but I like the way it's heading:

I hope to get some more of the applique done this afternoon, and if I'm really good, maybe I'll get another block prepped ... who knows? :-)

Yesterday was our first day back at stitching class after the school holidays, and I had the most lovely surprises from my sweet ladies. Pam was so thoughtful and gave me some chocolate coated almonds as a treat for winning ribbons with my quilt. She's just adorable - I shared them with the ladies in class as it would be way too easy to scoff them all myself.

Manuela knows my love of Nutcrackers and gifted me the adorable decorations you see above. And Norma just got back from a holiday in South Africa and kindly brought home some darling fridge magnets that you see there. I am so blessed to have such sweet and generous ladies that come to class with me - I honestly love them all to bits.

Well, I'm going to get busy on my applique, so hopefully I'll have something to share with you soon! xoxox

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Honouring our Quilting Heritage - 2 blocks

Late Friday afternoon I spent some time putting a couple of blocks together. I haven't worked on these in many months, so it took me a while to get back in the zone. Two blocks are added to the finished tally, and hopefully I'll get some more made soon:

Block 9 - Mystery Flower Garden

Not super pleased with the points on the bottom pink triangle in the block above. It's tempting to take it apart and see if I can't do a better job there - you all know I'm super fussy about points.

Block 11 - Chained Star

Much happier with this block - I don't think I need to change a thing. Yay!

I'm still working through my scraps with this project. After working on so many scrap projects over the last few years you'd think they'd be lessening ... but no, my scrap baskets appear to be getting fuller by the day. Baffling!!

Today I'll try and put a couple more blocks together, and then I'd like to get busy again working on the People Quilt project. So Much Fun!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Small Projects

Thank you so much to everyone for your kind comments on my last post - it was lovely to hear from everyone, as well as so many people that don't regularly comment. I've responded to all that I can, if I haven't responded to your message, I wanted to, but your email address didn't come to me. But thank you for commenting all the same!

I'm so looking forward to collecting my quilt tomorrow, and pinning my newest ribbons to the pinboard is going to be fun.

Today I'm having one of those days where it's hard to get motivated. I've finally moseyed into the sewing palace, and hopefully I can get some fabric moving around. Yesterday though, I managed to get something done:

One of my lovely friends is going through some tough times at the moment, so I've made her a little worry quilt:

I know it won't change anything for her, but I hope whenever she holds it, she'll know she's loved.

And earlier in the week I finished up a cot quilt I was asked to put together:

I was given the panel and I cut it apart to add fabric and make it larger. It was indeed serendipity that I have coordinating fabrics in my stash. But back to the panel for a moment ... it's baffling to me how out of square they can become - the individual blocks of this panel were 11" square, and some of them were almost a full inch askew - crazy!!

And for fun a strippy back to make it more interesting, the red and blue prints having been given to me also:

All these projects were put together and quilted with Bernie the elder, she's such a workhorse. Bernie the younger is still at the health spa, and hopefully returning soon.

Not sure what I'll be working on this afternoon, but I'm thinking it's been a while since I worked on the Honouring our Quilting Heritage blocks, so they may be contenders. I've also been doing a little designing, it's been fun to have the time to be creative again.

Chatter soon!! xox

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quilters Guild of South Australia - Show Day

Today was the big day out for my quilt. It was a wonderful day, I'll let the pictures do the talking ...

I'm beyond thrilled, so proud that it was hanging nice and flat and looking wonderful. Happy Days!! :-)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cute Top!

I finished that little quilt top I was working on ... if you're my buddy on the Facebooks you've already seen it ... but here it is again:

And it's really quite cute isn't it? But for the green inner border, it's all made from scraps. Even the sashing strips were leftover from back when I made my Nearly Insane quilt. It almost feels like I made it for free :-) :-)

Friday, July 07, 2017

And it's Friday already!

My goodness, this week has really flown, but don't they always?

Today is such a dreary rainy day that it's hard to get motivated to do anything. After I dropped Camo off at school I settled down on the lounge with the Ipad and did a little reading of a new to me blog. A sweet TV show has started airing here - Home Town, and I'm loving it - as I tend to do with home reno shows. I discovered that Erin has a blog that she updates with fabulous regularity, so I've been reading along.

It's easy to get caught up in other people's writings about their lives, and before I knew it, an hour had flown by! My realisation was that I really needed to get up and make busy living my own life rather than just reading about those of others, so I got up and moved around a bit ... and on that note, I'm so glad you're here reading about my life *lol* :-)

Anyway ... sewing time has been scarce, but is soon to be easier to come by - school holidays start at the end of today! But here's my small amount of progress on the criss cross top:

I'd like to have the top finished today as I have another project I need to get busy on. A commission for a baby quilt. I have some ideas floating around in my head, and I'd like to get it drawn up before the ideas flit away ... it happens so easily!

Another thing on today's agenda - replacing the net curtain in the lounge room ... the evil kitties caused me to make an unwanted expenditure ...

When the days are warm (obviously not today) they like to snooze on the sill of the lounge room bay window. One of the naughty creatures has tugged at the net curtains too enthusiastically and caused a huge tear! I had to call for a new curtain to be made as it is a very specific size and I picked it up yesterday - this time with an opening at the centre of the window to hopefully prevent it happening again. Gracie and Holly, start saving your pennies as you'll be receiving my bill and I don't take credit cards!

The third picture in the collage is just one that amused me ... I realised once I dragged the new (old) kitchen chairs home is that they are almost identical in style to the ones in the dining room. Maybe that is why I was drawn to them on the auction listing?!?

Something else I've been meaning to share with you for the longest time is a blog post I found. Do you remember that about this time last year my Montmellick quilt was happily selected to travel to France? Well, I never did end up getting pictures of it, time went on and I didn't want to hassle the people that visited, after all, it's the same quilt in a picture, but just a different location ... blah blah blah, reasons reasons ... but I was cruising Pinterest and saw a picture of my quilt I didn't recognise and followed the link. It led me to this post about Pour L'amour Du Fil and the Montmellick display - there are many different versions of the quilt pictured, and mine is one of them. Do check it out, it made me so happy to see it and some of the others on display.

Last of all, a big thank you to everyone who responded regarding my Etsy sidebar. I can see it on my Ipad, but not on my laptop, and it appears that some people can see it, and some people cannot. I'm not sure what I should be doing as Etsy don't seem to be supporting Etsy Mini anymore. I guess at some point I'm going to have to make some buttons myself ... just another thing for those spare minutes we all have *lol*

Well, that's it for me today, I hope you all have a great day doing something you enjoy! xox

Monday, July 03, 2017


First up, I need to apologise to my local readers. I washed my car this morning, so I am entirely responsible for the horrible rainy weather that has set in this afternoon. Oooops! Aside from that lapse in judgement, it has been a great day and I felt like I could take on the world!

I'm still loving piecing on this small project, and stitched away until I needed to cut some more sashing strips:

I may or may not cut some more this evening ... I also may or may not simply lay on the lounge and watch tv ... who knows??

But honestly, I didn't spend all day sewing, I had the most productive day - laundry, cleaning, shopping and cooking, crazy!! Camo will be super happy, I've made his favourite banana cupcakes:

I won't bother to do any fancy icing tricks on these, they just won't last long enough - I predict there will be none left by the day after tomorrow. And then I'll make more ... I've another overripe banana I don't want to waste ...

And on my travels around the house today, I discovered the kitties making themselves right at home ...

The new (old) kitchen chairs are hanging out in the dining room for the moment, and some certain house members have declared them comfortable. I can't keep chasing them away all the time, so I'm just going to go with it - after all, this isn't the forever upholstery for the chairs ... It does amuse me that the critters treat anything new like a play gym. Ha!

Alrighty, that's been my Monday ... hope yours has been good too!

Note: I have a favour to ask ... would you mind letting me know if you see my Etsy link with the little pictures in my sidebar? I see them sometimes and sometimes not, so I just need to know if there is a problem that needs fixing, or if it's just something going on with cache. I'd appreciate it so much, thank you! xoxox

Saturday, July 01, 2017

New blocks plus bits and bobs ...

I've really enjoyed being able to stitch at a much more leisurely pace now that I've met my deadline with the BIG QUILT. In fact, I've enjoyed it so much I've been making more and more of these darling little cross blocks. These 31 are finished and trimmed to size:

I've also made a further 18 that are yet to be pressed and trimmed:

The blocks finish at 4 3/4" and will make a darling little wall hanging or table topper. I'd like to get a start on putting them all together this weekend.

And when I'm done, I'll start working some more on these sweet things:

It's fun revisiting this fabric I've had in my stash for such a long time. I purchased it from Lincraft I believe, and because it was from Amy's baby quilt it would have been in the early 90's. I don't have much fabric from that era in my stash anymore!

There have been some other things floating around in my head that I wanted to catch up on here, and whenever I sit down and start typing, it's like my brain empties and I can't remember what they are. I'll do my best to remember them.

One thing I wanted to share is a darling knitting pattern I picked up on Etsy a few weeks ago. I stumbled across Mary Jane's Tearoom somehow on Facebook, and clicked my way through to her store and fell in love with her knitted bears, and also the sweet little cardigans that can be made with leftover sock yarn. Socks are pretty much the only thing I ever knit, so I had to make the pattern mine - I always have little bits of sock yarn left over. And because they're so sweet the bear pattern became mine too. Do go and have a look, but don't blame me if you fall in love with those sweet faces!! :-)

Also, I have some email comments to catch up on. I often get comments from people who haven't enabled their email address on their comment. It's truly much easier for me to respond to questions if there is an email address for me - but I don't mind posting answers here ... it's just that sometimes I forget to go back and see what needs answering. But anyway, here goes:

Paula and Lynn S left sweet comments on my last post, thank you so much for your lovely words xox

And a big Hi and thank you to Celiaquilter and Jocelyn Thurston, its so nice to hear from you xox 

I also had a message from Val Simms with a nice note about my blocks and asking where she could buy my patterns. My own patterns are available at my website or etsy store, both links are in the sidebar. But if you're thinking of the Caswell blocks, you can purchase that pattern at Threadbear. Corliss is just lovely, and her patterns are stunning!

My lovely friend Sue from New Zealand also asked if I would share more information with everyone about my process for marking my quilts, batting choices and washing. Of course I'm always happy to share!

I don't have a particular preference for batting in my hand quilted quilts. I've used a few different ones in my last three projects. For the Caswell quilt, I used a 100% wool batt, for the Montmellick quilt I used a cotton/poly blend, and for Mrs Billings I used a wool/poly blend. I can't say that one was better than the other for quilting, I quite liked them all, and I don't think there was any discernable difference in my stitches.

For marking, I always use the same products as I've never had a bad result. For light fabrics I use the Sewline blue washout marker. I believe I shared a picture of the packaging recently. On the darker fabrics I use the Sewline white ceramic mechanical pencil. The white pencil marks pretty much brush away, so you can't mark too far in advance - and that's fine for me as I mark my area while it's in the hoop. For the blue washout marker, even though it's claimed that you can spritz the marks away, I prefer to wait until the quilt is completed, and run it through a cycle in the washing machine. Because the ink is a chemical, I want to immerse the quilt fully and ensure there are no chemicals remaining that could damage the fabrics.

Sue also asked about my washing machine - I have an LG front loader. I can't answer anything about agitation, but I can tell you that I don't use any detergent, I use the gentle cycle and always include colour catchers in the wash. Colour catchers are little sheets you put in with the wash, and they attract loose dyes so they won't settle in your quilt. They're not a guarantee, but everything helps, right? You'll find them in the laundry detergent aisle at the grocery store. In my local store they're on the top shelf - not super easy to find. And you needn't put two whole boxes in like I did with my Caswell quilt, that was definitely overkill, but I was not taking any chances!

I hope this helps everyone. Do remember, I'm no expert, but happy to share what I find works for me.

Tonight will be an early night for me I think - I'm really feeling quite tired after an early start and a 5km walk this morning. Though that doesn't seem like much, I haven't been able to do much exercise at all after my calf muscle tear 7 weeks ago. I am amazed by how much it wore me out, and also by how quickly any fitness I had has dropped away!

So on that note, I'll end here with a promise to check back in soon! Have a great weekend everyone! xox

Thursday, June 29, 2017

And June's nearly over!

Can you believe it's almost the end of June already? Is it just me, or is time going faster and faster? Seriously, things need to just slow down a little ...

This has been a big month for me. First of all, I finally finished quilting on my Caswell quilt!

If I've done a lot of marking on a quilt, I always like to immerse it completely by washing it in the washing machine after it's done - this way all the blue washout marker is removed, and with hopefully no chance of it returning. Putting it in the washer this time was a bit of a heart stopper, as there was a fabric (I had realised half way through quilting) that was definitely going to run. I put two full boxes of colour catchers in the machine with the quilt, and I'm entirely thrilled that there is no sign of dye in any place it shouldn't be. Whew!

So my quilt is bound, labelled, has a hanging sleeve and is all bagged up ready for its next adventure. I'll keep you posted.

While I was working on the binding, my Bernina was playing up in the very worst way, so she's gone for a visit at the Bernina Health Spa, so for fun my other favourite playmate has come out for a visit:

I realised after piecing for a little while that my (still unnamed) Featherweight also could probably use a service *gah* so I've moved on to Bernie the elder ... and thankfully she's running like a trooper and I'm piecing happily on some little blocks.

These are blocks that my sweet friend Betty was working on from a Jo Morton/Kim Diehl book, and I just loved them. I've made some size adjustments to make the block a little larger and so far I've put about 30 together. It's so much fun to be machine piecing again!!

There are a bazillion projects I want to work on, but I'm managing to fill my days at the moment - all the things I've put off until 'after the quilt is finished' have been rushing at me at once.

For example, I've wanted to do some redecorating in the family room for a little while, but haven't had the time to go around and look at bits and pieces ... now I have the time, and I've been busy ordering! Today my Dad and I went and picked up some kitchen chairs that I bid on at an estate auction. Our kitchen chairs were showing their age and getting a little wobbly from kids rocking back and forth on them. I think Marty was sick of the sight of them from repairing them so often, so they're now replaced: Here are the chairs I purchased:

The table was part of the auction, and I don't need it, so I've passed it on to my sweet friend Lizzy, and she is happy to have the old chairs too, they'll tide her over until she finds her forever chairs. I'm super happy with my win, and when I've decided on the perfect fabric I'll have them reupholstered.

I've also been trailing around indecisively looking for a new lounge suite for the family room. This has been the most difficult thing for me, as my home is really quite traditional in style, but I've been loving some of the retro looking lounges that are kicking around and the moment. I definitely knew I didn't want leather, as we have chesterfields in the front room, and just thought a more casual look would be better ... I even had a quote to get our current lounges reupholstered ... and the quote was DOUBLE the price of new lounges. Baffling!!

Anyway, I've finally decided on the new suite - it's much more traditional than I thought I'd go for, but it's supremely comfortable, and that's never a bad thing! Here is a not great picture:

This picture shows up a little darker than the fabrics are in real life. Originally our plan was to get a blue fabric, but the options were all really blah, and I decided to have something more neutral. Soooo I've selected the linen look fabric over the right back cushion. I just need to go in and place my order tomorrow.

Once the lounge is not too far from delivery, I'll be ordering a new rug, and perhaps a different coffee table, and then I really better stop spending for a little while!!

This month was also a milestone for my little guy. Camo turned 15!!

I can't even believe that he's 15 already - those years went by sooooo very fast. I love him so very much, he's growing up to be such a nice young man, one that I can be so proud of. He's already just over 5'10" (8 inches taller than me) ... it's very likely he'll grow to be taller than his dad! Hard to believe that this time next year he can get his learners permit and he'll be on the roads! Tomorrow he'll be getting braces, another rite of passage for teenagers. Lucky for him he won't need them for as long as his sister.

Last of all, I wanted to share some pictures from our most recent cruise with you - even though it was a couple of months ago now. I don't seem to have taken very many pictures which is irritating - I guess we were having too much fun. My Mum wanted to have a girls long weekend and take Nanna, so on Friday morning, Nanna, Mum, Amy and myself boarded the P&O Pacific Eden for a short four day cruise around the gulf.

Here's the ship as we approached the passenger terminal. It's a much smaller ship than we're accustomed to, almost hidden by the building:

We had a lovely big room, a suite - and though I didn't manage to get any pictures of the actual room for some reason, I did get one of the balcony, which was massive:

It'll be hard to go back to regular sized balcony cabins from now on!

And here's a snap looking back to land as we set off:

And for baffling reasons, the only other picture I managed to snap was one of the theatre while we were waiting for a show to begin:

We were obviously there good and early, as this place was usually packed!!

I will definitely have to do better taking pictures to share with you going forward, sometimes I'm soo busy having a good time that I forget to break out the camera. Next year Mum is planning another family cruise - we'll be flying to Hawaii, spending 3 days there, and cruising back to Sydney via New Zealand. I am genuinely looking forward to that one - it is safe to say we are all completely addicted to cruising!

This week I learned that a lovely friend I just adore and don't see too often, regularly checks in on my blog - I didn't realise this, and it makes me so happy to know they're interested. Big hugs to them, it was lovely to chatter and catch up with you. So now that I have a little more free time on my hands, I'll be sure to post updates more often. Famous last words eh?? 

Well, that's it from me for now, and I promise to check back in soon xoxox

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Checking in ...

Hello friends! This past week has been one of reminders - I was at guild on Thursday night and I had two sweet ladies remind me that I hadn't posted anything on here for a while. And then I visited the Magill Quilters Biggest Morning Tea on Saturday morning with my sweet friend Wendy, and I received a couple more reminders.

It's so lovely that people are interested in what's going on here, and I genuinely do have good intentions of posting more often. The truth is (and it's not terribly exciting) I have been spending every spare moment I have working on my quilt - and I am getting so very close to finishing the hand quilting. In fact, I reached a recent milestone:

I emptied a complete cone of quilting thread. That's 1000 yards of hand quilting under my belt, and I'm not done yet. Can't be sure how I'll measure exactly how much quilting will be in the final quilt, but I'm sure I can work something out! I'll share some more pictures once I'm finished quilting - I'm really hoping it won't be long now.

Note: I had a comment from a sweet reader named Patti asking if I ever have trouble getting the blue markings out of my quilts. Thank you for asking Patti - I would have emailed you back directly but your message came up as no-reply. In answer to your question - after I'm finished my quilts I always fully immerse and wash them in the washing machine. I use a gentle cycle including spin, and then dry the quilt flat on towels on the floor. This washing method should ensure there is no residue from the blue pen in the fabric. I've never had a problem to date, and hopefully this will continue.

In other news, because I can't work on my big quilt on the days I go to quilt group (it's just too big to be portable) I started work on another little project. It's a fun little diversion:

While I was poking around in the sewing room a little while back, I found some fabric that was in one of Amy's cot quilts - named the people quilt, and also the tiny travel version of the people quilt. Amy loved the little dolls and teddies that were on the fabric, and she called them people, hence the name. This fabric has been kicking around in my stash for 23 years now, so I definitely can't say I'm rushing into anything.

In the picture above I've framed the block a little, I've also started another block with a different picture, and I'll keep going and just see where the wind takes me. I love it when projects just evolve. If I really like it I may make another with some more recent fabric and put a pattern out.

Next up, I can't remember if I told you that I ordered a set of Russian piping tips for icing cupcakes. They are the most fun things ever. I love to take cupcakes for morning tea when we play home games at tennis, and I've been practicing since I've had them:

I made some pretty ones yesterday too and silly me I forgot to take pictures of them ... oops!

There are a few things that are helpful with these tips: firstly, the consistency of the icing is so very important - if the icing is too soft, all the definition of the flower is lost. The butter really needs to be whipped well, if there are little lumps of butter in the icing it gets stuck in the little holes and is a nightmare to work around. Lastly, it's important to wipe the base of the tip occasionally or little bits of the design can get left behind. You can see that a couple of the flowers are missing stamens in the pale pink flowers for this reason.

If you get some, there are so many tutorials online to help you out. I'm just starting to find my feet with the icing tips and look forward to becoming more adventurous when I have more time.

Last of all, here's the portion of the post where you get to feel a little sorry for me ... just kidding. Four weeks ago on this day I tore my left calf on the tennis court. It was such a bummer, as my team were having a great day. Even so, there were still a couple of blessings. At least it was my left calf, so because my car is an auto I can still get around and get Camo to and from school. And because I'm not getting to coaching and cardio etc, I have been able to spend more time quilting. At this stage the physio says I won't be back on the court for another four weeks or so ... so there will be a lot more quilting in my future.

I still have more things to share with you from the past couple of months, like the most recent cruise etc, but I'll save them for a future post. Thank you for all being patient, and also for the gentle reminders, you're all so very sweet! xoxox


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