Friday, 27 September 2013

Star Flannel Pieced

This morning I got up bright and early and finished my Flannel Star Quilt. Now I can link up to Finish It Up Friday.
This quilt measures about 85 inches square, so there should be no complaints from my sons who are over 6 foot tall that:
 "It's not long enough, my toes stick out."

I left a few of the layer cake pieces whole so I can quilt some eight pointed stars onto them with perle thread.

I am off to spend some time with my parents for a few days. Can't believe I had time to sew, post on my blog AND be packed on time ready to go. I'm usually not that organised.
Enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

On Sunday I took an excited car load of teenagers to Sydney. During this school holidays, they are heading off to South Korea with their Principal and one other teacher for ten days. First stop Seoul for some sightseeing, then a flight to Jeju Island. Next a two hour ferry ride to Chuja Island where they will stay with host families from a school of just 37 students for about four nights. Our local high school has been participating in a student exchange program with students from South Korea for about 6 years now. We have hosted three students in our home so far and it has been such a wonderful experience. Yesterday our youngest son flew out on his adventure.
Here he is with a few of the girls..

 ...and a few guys. Eight in total.

They washed cars to raise money for their team shirts, it was easier to identify each other in a busy airport.
A few of the mums are of a quilting disposition. I suggested that as the children were catching an early flight, we could 'patchwork shop hop' our way home. After all, we would be at least a little sad to wave our children good bye and perhaps some retail therapy would cheer us up.
I just have to digress here and say that getting him packed up to go was much more stressful than actually waving him off to visit another country far, far away from his mother. An example of what I mean? Well, I could sworn I spoke English when I said "Go and pack your bag, you fly out tomorrow." Some how was interpreted as "Go to you room, sit on your bed with you iPad and chat to your  friends on Facebook for AT LEAST an hour." While the girls in the photo have sent their mothers detailed messages and photos of the trip so far. I  discovered he had unfriended my on Facebook AGAIN. The message I finally received when accepting my friend request?...'Hi Mum'. That's it. Mothers of boys out there, I know you feel my pain.
Anyway...back to the shopping.
With TomTom securely attached to my windscreen, we navigated our way through the city on our own adventure.
First stop...Quiltsmith. They have SO much fabric!! My friends Sandra and Mandy (no blogs for these ladies) made some lovely fabric purchases. Just a new thimble for me.
Next stop...and this is where Kevin will be jealous...Material Obsession. (Check out Kevin's blog as he starts his own Soul Searching journey.)
When we pulled up out the front of the shop, we were greated with this wonderful sign !!!

I purchased wadding for my current Star Flannel Quilt project. Backing for my next flannel project. Yes, there will be another one after the Star Quilt...not sure what it will be and not untill next Winter. But I couldn't resist the lovely Woolies flannel MO stock when it is half price. I am becoming a bit addicted to flannel fabric.


I'm not sure why I needed this fabric other than it caught my eye on my last visit and it was now half price.

 ...bags of scraps were just $3. So I got one of those.
On my to do list this holidays...sort my fabric into one central location so I can start making some scrappy projects from this book...
...and another I am anxiously waiting to arrive in my letter box any day now. I am in my collecting phase at the moment.
It was very inspiring to see the quilts hanging downstairs in this shop and those made by the peope who were attending a class while we were there. You can see them on the Material Obsession blog here.
All of this shopping made us a bit hungry so back in the car. 'Sat Nav' programmed and we headed for Killara where there is a lovely cafe next door to the Crewel Gobelin.
This store is under new ownership. The lovely helpful ladies who used to own it have been replaced by equally lovely helpful staff. No patchwork fabric here. Just lots and lots of embroidery thread, linen, aida, embroidery and cross stitch patterns.

A couple of new (little) projects and some linen for projects already on my to do list.

Even though I was weary from my big day, I couldn't resist starting this one last night. Forty count linen, definitley need my glasses for this one.
To finish off (sorry, should have warned you this post was long) an update on my Star Flannel Quilt. Hopefully finished tonight and ready to quilt tomorrow now that I have wadding.

Bye for now.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Cassilis Quilter's Get Together. (Plus the lengths a blogger will go to)

 We had a lovely day at Cassilis yesterday. There was lots of 'Show and Tell'. Above you can see Julie (no blog...still!! ) with gifts she has made for her new born niece. Will definitely address to 'no blog' status she has this school holidays.

This is one of Lea's new projects. Lea had more to show, but I was a slack photographer....sorry.

Susan had LOTS to show.

I worked on my Legacy From Violet Quilt. STILL working on that large hexagon border..this one will take a while.

It was a lovely day out with good food at the Plough Inn and good company. Unfortunately poor Kylie was unable to attend due to illness.

The countryside was just lovely on the journey over. The canola fields were such a vibrant shade of yellow that we just had to stop and take a picture of the little 'fixer-upper' we saw barely standing in the paddock amongst the canola.

It was interesting to see the lengths a blogger will got to if they want to get the perfect shot with their camera. First a drive down the track.

Here is Lea, wading through long grass, risking snake bite, possible broken ankle falling down a rabbit warren and torn clothing to get to the highest fence post to get the ideal shot of the house.

Once strategically balanced...she could take the photo she was longing for.

  And what was is that she was trying to capture?

This was the shot taken in the morning. Once we were back on the road, we realised that the best shot could be taken from the main road. Can you believe it??  So....of course we had to stop on the way back in the afternoon to see how it would look in a different light.

Hope you're enjoying the weekend. I stayed up till something (?) past midnight on a new project. Here's a sneak peak.

I just love how you can do that during the holidays. Hope to finish it tonight and quilt it while the evenings are still cool enough to require a quilt on your lap.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Farewell Charlie

It's been a sad week at our house. Our dear old dog  'Charlie' passed away on Wednesday. He was a gift to our middle son on his fifth birthday. That was over thirteen years ago now. As our youngest said, "I just don't remember a time without him." This photo taken the day we got him.
While he was old, especially for a Cavalier, he still had the energy to run along our front fence just the afternoon before, barking at people as they walked past on their late afternoon walk. Who would have thought he would leave us the very next day?
Despite our son's best efforts, Charlie never mastered fetch. However, he did master a very important skill of walking around any fabric I had laid out on the floor. I don't really remember teaching him this. He just knew...don't walk on the quilt!!



He came along on many family adventures and spent many Saturday nights sleeping with our son in front of the fire or camping in the backyard with our son and his friends. Of course we are all very sad to loose him, but paricularly heartbreaking for his master. Our son is now a young man and they were good mates over the years as they grew up together.

There's a special bond between a boy and his dog.


Saturday, 7 September 2013

Flannel Hexagon Quilt Finished

Today I am linking up with Friday Night With Friends and Finish It Up Friday.

I am really please to show you my Flannel English Paper Pieced Hexagon Quilt. It was made with the scraps I had left over from previous flannel quilts. My friend Julie let me borrow some of hers (plus I bought a few new ones because it just kept getting bigger and bigger).

It measures 84 inches by 93 inches.
I quilted it by hand using Perle 5 and Perle 8 threads.

My first totally hand made quilt.

Oh, except I did attach the binding by machine, then turned it over by hand. Life's a bit short to sew binding on by hand and there is not enough strength in these fingers to push a needle through that many layers of flannel plus wadding.

Hope you had some time to sew last night too.


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

One weekend ago...

So to update you on progress with my A Legacy From Violet quilt...I have now completed the two short sides of border four.
One weekend ago (which is really two weekends ago now) I packed up this portable project and took it to Sydney with me. No. 3 son had been selected to take part in the Festival of Instrumental Music. A series of four concerts organised by the Department of Education each year.  Ensembles and solo musicians from various public schools across New South Wales perform at the Sydney Opera House. He had been practicing his part all term and finally met the other 60 high school students from across the state to rehearse together for the first time on Saturday and Sunday. Then rehearse in the afternoon and perform on Monday and Tuesday evening in the Great Concert Hall. The concert also included primary school students who make up an 800 strong recorder ensemble, add to this a 200 strong string ensemble (made up of infants school children) for the finale. An amazing performance to watch. 
(Sorry, not a good photo, bad light)
That obviously meant that I would have a lot of time to fill in while he know...time to shop...time to sew...I was excited! Unfortunately the plan all fell apart when the cold I had been nursing for three weeks and seemed almost better became worse. Instead of hitting the patchwork shops Saturday morning once he was safely escorted to rehearsal, I took myself to the nearest medical centre. I had self diagnosed an ear infection with the right side of my head feeling twice the size of the left and pain radiating into my eye socket and down my neck. Next stop, the pharmacy and then back to the motel room. My plans dashed and nothing to do but rest. Eventually I did a little bit of sewing now and then once the drugs stared to work.
You can imagine my disappointment!!

 I started on this, a birthday gift from Kylie , but I didn't get far. I stuck to covering the half diamonds I had cut out at the retreat I attended the weekend before. On the third day, feeling a little better, I laid out the pieces for one of the long borders and meticulously labelled the back of each piece (over 200 of them) assigning it a number and letter so I could store it in a bag and know exactly where it piece would go as I stitch it together.
Then I could be assured a good mix of colours throughout the border. Sounds a little too organised doesn't it? Some would even say... a little obsessive. Why not just put your hand into a bag of hexagons or diamonds and make it a lucky dip?
Nah...whenever I try that method, I end up with the last of the hexagons or diamonds all the same colour. Then I have to undo it and spread those remaining hexagons throughout the quilt. Far safer to be over organised than reverse sew I say.
 The system works well if you stay focused and label them correctly. You have probably noticed the hexagons on the RH side are both labelled '2c'. Whoops. I did a better job labelling the triangles.