Wednesday, June 29, 2011

W.I.P Wednesday

Its Wednesday again and I'm heading over to visit Lee at Freshly Pieced to join up to W.I.P Wednesday.

So this week I was busy on my machine when the kids were asleep. I wanted to stay ahead with my secret project and my Synchronized Squares Quilt Along. I have managed to get some sewing done on both and the machine is coming out this evening for another workout.

I also managed to add to my Snickerdoodle Paper Bag Swap. I finished off the purse
other than some last minute hand sewing and I decided to use Lee's Hexing Around Block to turn into a cushion. When she posted the tutorial I was instantly addicted wanting to give it a go because after all it is a gigantic hexagon block. So thanks Lee for a great tutorial and easy piecing block. So this is what I sewed together...

And this is the finished block hand quilted ready for the back piece to be sewn and added to the finished block. I love how it came together. I would definitely make it again. Well actually I have an idea for a quilt using the Hexing Around Block and paper piecing but you will just have to wait and see if it eventuates.

I didn't manage to get any of my hexagon diamonds completed this week. 

So next week its about turning some W.I.P.s into finished projects. I could even have some finished quilt tops to show off to you all.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday's achievements.

So yesterday I decided to get out my machine and finish off some of my W.I.P.s to get them away. One project that I have to get finalised was my Snickerdoodle Paper Bag Swap. I finished off my first gift and realised that I had to make something else to use up the fabric I was sent.

So my first gift was a purse or wallet depending who you ask. I found the pattern out in blog land. The lady I'm swapping with didn't want a tote bag so I stayed away from bags in general.
It was so much fun to make that I will make it again. I just have a couple of little tweaks to make and it will be finished.

With the left over fabric I decided to try out the Hexing Around Block Tutorial designed by Lee at Freshly Pieced.  
It came together so well. And as I love hexagons, it was easy to make but I get to send off something else I love hexagons. I'm making the block into a cushion cover. Now just to make the backing.

For the remainder of my evening, I started to sew together Block A in my secret project. I stared with 3 1/2" squares (160). I have sewn the squares together into pairs. Block A will end up as 4 patches.

I was also looking forward to starting the Synchronized Squares Quilt Along with Rachel at P.S. I Quilt. I'm not too sure about what I'm going to do with the quilt along because I'm not too keen on raw edges and fabric waste. So I think I might do some more cutting and sewing. Keep to the pattern and block design without the raw edges. I wanted this to be a new quilt for my little girl's new bed. I have to add to the top so it fits a single bed but I would rather have seams than raw edges.

I also have my instructions to start cutting for the Kaleidoscope Quilt Along with Don't Call Me Betsy. What to do the small quilt or the large quilt? Hmm, which FQs to cut into from the fabric...what background colours to use...the choices are endless...decisions to be made.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Modern Quilts

As I browse my favourite blog sites, I'm amazed at the gorgeous modern quilts that are being produced. So my mind has been boggling about what kind of pattern and fabric I would use and I think that I have found just the answer.

So for the time being I am keeping things a bit hush. I want it to be a surprise and a show and tell along the way. What I can tell you is this.

Finished Quilt Size: 50" x 61"

There are 2 different blocks used in the quilt and there will be a total of 80 blocks made. I have a white homespun for the background and 10 different fabrics.

The original pattern was used with 1930's fabric but I have looked outside the box with the fabrics I chose to make this quilt. I love looking at patterns and seeing more to them by using different fabrics.
I am enjoying seeing how modern and fresh the new contemporary fabrics are and how people use these fabrics in basic designs to give it a fresh look. I am also enjoying how these modern fresh fabrics are being used to give traditional patterns a new lease on life (as an expression of speech). I have noticed this especially with the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along and the Skill Builder Sampler Quilt Along.

So I am spending my evening cutting up this gorgeous fabric to make a start on the quilt. I want to make it with my Synchronized Squares Quilt Along that I have cut ready to sew.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

W.I.P. Wednesday

I'm joining Lee at Freshly Pieced again for another W.I.P. Wednesday.

So what have I been up to over the past week. Well my kids and I went to stay with my Mum when my Dad went away for a golfing trip. Whilst I was there I sewed together one of my gifts for the Snickerdoodle Paper Bag Swap. I also finished hand quilting the top of the gift and now I just have to finish sewing it together.

I also worked on my hexagons. I finished off another diamond and one of my half blocks for the sides of the quilt. 
Hexagon Diamonds Completed: 19 (out of 99)
Background Hexagons: 52
Half Side Diamonds: 1
Half Length Diamonds: 0 
I also cut my fabric for the Synchronized Squares Quilt Along. I'm ready to start and can't wait.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I think that I'm starting to get to the stage with my kids that I really enjoy my solo time. Having two little dependent children who rely on you 24/7 becomes draining at times especially when you are faced with hourly challenges.

But then again there are those moment of bliss the come along that you are so grateful for. I'm grateful that my 2 year old still needs an afternoon nap. So today he decided to fall asleep in front of the TV  after lunch and his morning playgroup session. I thought that I would share the blissful photo.

I am also grateful for my friends and family. 

I love catching up with my Sunday group of special sewing friends monthly. Its my down time, my time to be silly and have fun and my sanity time, to recharge the batteries for the next month. But when I look at the photo above, its not all that bad, just at times, manic and mad...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday's developments

Well I would have to say that I've had a productive afternoon. Whilst my son was asleep for his afternoon nap, I cut and sewed together my present for the Snickerdoodle Paper Bag Swap.

I was so impressed with how everything came together and though I had to read the instructions and some things were a bit trial and error the overall achievements left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

So I posted a couple of weeks ago that I received my goodies for the swap.

Well here is what I have done with the fabric and goodies so far. 

In case people are wondering what its going to be. I'll give you a hint. Every woman has one.....

Now the evening is ahead of me and I'm planning to do some hand quilting to finish off the front of my project. I will be so excited to show off this swap to people and I do believe that it will be another project that I would make again and again.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Massachusetts Star Block for June Swap with Quilt Block Swap

So this is our June block swap for the quilt block swap group I joined on Facebook - Massachusetts Star Block. The 6th star block is used in a charity quilt for Quilts of Valor. 

I finished off the blocks this evening so that I can meet the mailing deadline. These are going to US for distribution into the charity quilt. I don't want any to be sent back to me this time. 

I love star blocks. They were fun to make (thanks Marybeth). I will definitely make more in the future.

Next swap will happen in August. Can't wait to see what Marybeth comes up with next. I need to finish off the charity quilt for the April swap which was log cabins with a nature theme. Stay posted as I have come up with a great EQ design for one of the quilts and I'm struggling with what to do with the other blocks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

W.I.P. Wednesday

Today its Wednesday again. Another week as past. Where has the time gone????

So I'm heading over to Freshly Pieced to join Lee in another W.I.P Wednesday post. 

 So what has happened this week for me. 

1. It was a long weekend in Australia for the Queen's Birthday weekend.
2. Our town had their annual winter races known as the June Cup. (I didn't go as I was happy to sew at home)
3. I had my Mum's sister and Brother in-law come to stay with her for the weekend.
4. My DH worked his 5 nights on over the long weekend so we only saw him occasionally.
5. My 4 year old decided that she was turning into a banshee and has I Don't love you anymore Mummy moments about every 1 hour. 

But I did happen to get some sewing done. Yeah!!!
1. I completed a crazy patch block for my Friendship Swap with Murray Mallee Quilters. I just need to add some embroidery stitches to finish off the block
2. I happened to complete some more sewing on Archie's quilt. Top is yet to be finished but it is closer. I will post a picture when I get the top done.

3. I worked on my Quilt Block Swap for June - Massachusetts Star Block. I have nearly finished all the quarter square triangles and then I can finish off the blocks. I have decided to give my blocks (6) to the Quilts of Valor charity quilt.

4. I completed 2 hexagon diamonds for my quilt. I actually enjoyed this the most this week and was so happy to be doing this again. I so want to finish off this quilt so that I can have prime position on my bed.

Hexagon Diamonds Completed: 18 (out of 99)
Background Hexagons: 0
Half Side Diamonds: 0
Half Length Diamonds: 0

So for next week. I'll just wait and see. Hexagons are definitely on the cards. Have chosen the next lot of fabric for the next diamond. I have to pull out my machine some more and get going on some projects that have been lingering just so I can happily show some finished items off.  

Happy W.I.P Wednesday.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Something I'm not so crazy about

I decided to work on my next Friendship Block Swap for my local quilting group Murray Mallee Quilters today whilst I visited my Mum. We are both quilters so I was able to use my Mum's sewing machine.

This month my friendship swap is for Ann. Ann is a beautiful quilter and her workmanship is amazing. So Ann requested a 12 1/2" crazy patch blocks in purples and creams from her swap partners. Now not ever having done crazy patch before, I have to openly admit that its just not my thing. I sewed the patch up and now I have to do the decorative stitches. 

I am happy to try out new techniques or patterns but I don't think crazy patch is for me.

Hitting the summer highs with our US bloggers

If you're an avid blogger like me, you are probably aware that the US is in a summer frenzy. So in their own way to celebrate the summer season, there are a number of Quilt Along projects out and about for people to join up with. 
So to get away from the winter blues, cold days and frosty mornings, I have decided to focus on a couple of summer activities. So I joined with the Kaledioscope Quilt Along with Don't Call Me Betsy  

and the Synchronized Squares Quilt Along with P.S. I Quilt

So in case anyone was wondering what my fabric choices are I plan to use Sandy Gervais' Lollipop range for the Kaledioscope QAL 

and Kate Spain's Terrain for the Synchronized Squares QAL.

If you're curious about how I was able to get a layer cake of this fabric range when its not released until October at the Fat Quarter Shop I happened to stumble across it when I was looking for a layer cake at a great online shop called The Fabric Patch here in Australia. They sell Moda precuts and other items of interest. I have shopped there before and have received great service and great prices for fabric in Australia. Fabric here is not the same prices as the US but occasionally you can get a bargain or even something desirable that you just want to drool over like the above fabric.

But in case neither of these QAL tickle your fancy. You just might be interested in this one from In Color Order. Jeni has an amazing view on colors and gradients of colors. Its definitely interesting but I'm not sure that I could handle another QAL.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

W.I.P. Wednesday

Welcome back Lee. I hope that your toilet training adventures were not too grueling. I'm getting ready for the whole toilet training run with my 2 year old son in the next few weeks.

So this week it was about reaching my 5 goals on my list. I was busily working to achieve at least some of these but as always it is a W.I.P. for sure.

1. Make pillow cases for the hexagon stars. - This did not happen as I have to buy some fabric for the pillow cases.
2. Cut out fabric for my Friendship Challenge. All fabrics are picked and ready for ironing and cutting. - Still a W.I.P
3. Finish putting together Archie's quilt. I did happen to iron the pieces that I had sewn together. Doesn't it look gorgeous. Can't wait to see how it all looks sewn together. Must get a wriggle on..LOL
4. Cut fabric for my next Quilt Block Swap and hopefully start putting them together. Here is the cut fabric but not sewn together
5. Finish off my Friendship Swap blocks so I'm up to date with this month. I made significant progress on a stitchery but have yet to finish it. Hopefully by next Wednesday there will be more of a show and tell.
When I started blogging, I made of list of the things that I wanted to achieve the most in 2011. My biggest UFO or W.I.P. if you like was my diamond hexagon quilt. I fell in love with an antique quilt I saw in a book a couple of years ago and decided that I needed to make one of my own. I chose the gorgeous muted fabric range At Water's Edge and purchase a large quantity of the fabric to ensure that I had enough to play around with. 
Diamond to be completed
So far I have pieced 16 hexagon diamonds and put them together with background fabric. My special friend Michelle at Daisy Hill Quilts is also making one is 1800's reproduction fabrics and was kind enough to work out the finer details or maths work if you like.
The quilt looks something like this. I need 99 completed diamonds and half diamonds to complete that quilt top for a queen size bed using 1" hexagons. Here is my completed quilt top so far...

Diamonds Completed: 16
Half Side Diamonds: 0
Half Length Diamonds: 0

So as part of W.I.P. Wednesday I have decided that I desperately want to get this W.I.P completed because I will probably want to hand quilt it as well. So as of this week, I will attempt to complete one diamond and some background to add around. Its still going to take a while but you can watch my diamonds develop over the coming weeks.

So for my W.I.P list this week.  I don't think that I want to have a list. I just want to see how things come about as the week pans out. I thought that I had made some achievements this week (even with a head cold) so I hope to have a great show and tell for you all next Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Snickerdoodle Paper Bag Swap

My special package for the Snickerdoodle Paper Bag Swap arrived today. I was so excited about opening up the package from Ruth to see what treasures she had provided for me to make her a special gift. 
On looking at my bundle, I found that I had some great fabric of my own to compliment hers. So that I have this to play with.
I have already had some contact with her and I know that she doesn't like tote bags. So I found a great pattern for something just a little different. Stay tuned for further updates.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Quilted Fabric Basket Swap

So I had a red and white card in my mailbox to collect on Friday but had to wait until Monday because I was too late for the Post Office last week.

It arrived from Wyoming USA. My new quilted fabric basket from Kate. Thanks Kate. So happy that I received such a lovely gift. Just so you know, my little girl has claimed it as her own already.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Because I can't help myself

I just can't help myself. I have joined another Quilt Along with Elisabeth at Don't Call Me Betsy. Its all about the Kaledioscope block. 

Its begins 23rd June but fabric requirements are up. I've decided to use Sandy Gervais's Lollipop range. I just love the fabric. Can't wait to see how it all turns out.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Something special that is not craft related....

On 2nd August 2007, my DH and I were blessed to become foster parents to a gorgeous 6 1/2 month old baby girl. We have watched her grow and develop into an amazing little girl who are times has challenged us as parents (but whose children haven't). 

Well today has been a special day for our family. Over the past 10 months my DH and I have been working towards making our little girl a permanent member of our family (even though she is already a permanent member). But after further training, a lengthy assessment and a panel of people making the final decision, we have been approved as permanent carers for our daughter. We are so happy that this step has finalised another part of the process to make her our child. So over the next 12 months, another step will be completed that will ensure that my DH and I will be her legal guardian until she turns 18 years old.

Life without her would be very different for us and our family would not feel as complete as it does now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

W.I.P. Wednesday

Its that time of the week again. Some like to think of it as 'hump day' but for others its all about our sewing and craft. Time to reflect, review and achieve for the next upcoming week.
Sadly, Lee at Freshly Pieced is on family duties (she is toilet training her 2 year old) and has handed over the W.I.P Wednesday to Don't Call Me Betsy. So while we are on the subject and change of scenery, Betsy is having a quilt along starting at the end of June. Go and check it out. I haven't decided if I will join yet but it sounds interesting. I have some fabric just sitting around waiting for the right thing to come along.

So what have I achieved this week. Well being hexagon mad, I've finished off the second black and white star/snowflake however you like to see them and I've decided to put them on a couple of pillow cases. They are going to be a birthday present. So the next W.I.P. is to make the pillow cases.

Secondly I have fallen behind on my Friendship swap with my local quilting group Murray Mallee Quilters. So I have been playing catch up. Haven't had a chance to take any pics but stay tuned they will eventually arrive sometime soon.

Instead of my usual list of W.I.P.s. This week I've decided to break down some achievable goals for my upcoming week.
1. Make pillow cases for the hexagon stars.
2. Cut out fabric for my Friendship Challenge. All fabrics are picked and ready for ironing and cutting.
3. Finish putting together Archie's quilt.
4. Cut fabric for my next Quilt Block Swap and hopefully start putting them together.
5. Finish off my Friendship Swap blocks so I'm up to date with this month.