Friday, 30 January 2009

Can't help myself!

When these fabrics arrived today. I couldn't help but add them to the stash count. So onwards to the mile (1.6km for those of you wondering about the conversion) I go...
Mostly lots of bare essentials - good basics in white, neutral and B&W at great prices. The top neutral is stars, and the other neutral and the white are snowflakes.
A much cuter model with the stash!
The heatwave continues and I'm struggling for motivation to do anything, including quilting.
I've cut 2.5in squares from each of the new fabrics (for my eventual one-of-everything quilt, which will be a monster at this rate!) and sorted them into their correct tubs, and that's about it.

Stash 1.044km

Another giveaway

Katy over at I'm A Ginger Monkey is hosting a great event:

And I've decided one giveaway isn't enough; I'll be in on this as well!

I will close my 1 kilometre stash giveaway on Sunday, 1st February, and then I'd like you all to come back on the 4th for the new giveaway. I'll have a stack of fabrics to giveaway then, too.

In the meantime, check out all the other Great International Stash-Busting Giveaway participants via the button, and don't forget to put yourself in the running for a set of charm squares of your choice from my stash here!

Thursday, 29 January 2009


How appropriate that this bushfire-inspired mini quilt should arrive at its new home on a day of total fire ban across the state. Yesterday was a sweltering 45.7C, and today wasn't much better. There's no end in sight, either.
I made this quilt for Esther, my 10,000th blog visitor. I noticed a comment from her saying she liked Outback Silhouette, and since I'd enjoyed making it, I decided to make her a variation in what would appear to be her favourite colour.

It was again inspired by my experiences of the January 2003 Canberra Firestorm - though luckily from a relatively safe suburb. A friend and I used to volunteer walking dogs each week at the RSPCA which was badly damaged (though thanks to some amazing passing volunteers, few animals died), and the day after the firestorm, we went to the shelter where we spent time soothing the dogs and helping where we could. It was unbelieveable. We brought one of the dogs badly affected by the smoke home for the night, as the air was a lot clearer where we lived in comparison. he improved well and was returned the following morning. I hope Jack found a great home afterwards.

The leaves are done in the same way, this time floating, blackened from the fire, back into the heat.
The bottom one has been burned a little, too.
And I snuck in another in the quilting:

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

1 Kilometre!!!

This is what a kilometre of quilting fabric looks like:
I was going to stack it in a single tower, but logistics (and a fear of the whole stack falling over!)prevented that.

I actually have a pretty good idea of what's where, and can find fabrics fairly easily.
Gaps in the boxes are where I've pulled fabrics out for projects etc., usually they're all pretty full!

Here's what helpde get me over the line today:

A big stack for me:

Here they all are:
This selection is for a commission, and doesn't go towards the stash. It is not ironed, because today's forecast is a truly hideous 44 (that's 111F) and I'm doing all I can to keep the house cool. Apart from having the air conditioner on all day and into the wee hours, I have all the curtains and blinds drawn, and have pinned blankets and so on over the larger windows without heavy sun-out curtains to further help. I refuse to turn the iron on!

And now the bit you've been waiting for - the GIVEAWAY!
I'm giving away 3 sets of 40 6.5in charm squares. That's about a metre of fabric each. Why 6.5in? Because I have a ruler that size, so it'll be easy to cut!
What colour would you like? Or maybe a theme? It has to come from my stash, but I'll try to accomodate your preferences. Would you like blues, reds, stripes, florals, marine, leaves, wintry....? Something else??
How to win? Just post, and give your preference(s). I haven't really decided how I'll choose the winners, but make it interesting or funny, and you might help your chances! Overseas entries welcome.
so... STASH = 1.016 kilometres!

(Oh, how I did enjoy writing that!)
PS - For those asking or wondering, I was a bit sneaky and did the photos in advance in the relative cool of the weekend. I did NOT do it in today's heat.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Preparing to fly past the 'finsh' line

I've 'had' to do some more fabric shopping the last few nights, and I can fairly safely say that I wont just be stumbling past the 1km finish line! We'll call it a finish because I'm going to stop counting my stash (I think!). But realistically, there's no real end to the stash in sight.
I don't have much to show; I've been designing quilts, waiting for fabric, and attaching labels and hanging sleeves. So here's another peek of the quilt I've just put the finishing touches on, and which will be in the mail tomorrow.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

4SQS5 - A start

This monochromatic challenge is harder than I'd thought. Next step is adding the applique, which will reluctantly be white, but some of the quilting will be in another colour, and should help bring the quilt to life.
I do love the colours though. In reality they're more vivid and fresh - which might give a hint to the season.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Coming soon

I got my latest issue of Australian Quilters' Companion today. Despite all the usual lovely projects, my favourite bit was on the very last page:
Excited? Maybe a little! Watch for it in March - I certainly will be!

Eleanor's Fairies

This is another quilt I finished while we were at Port Hughes; it's just taken me a while to photograph and blog it. Even yet, I need to take more of the whole thing to get the edges sharper somehow.

James told me his friend Ella from child care would like a quilt, and as her birthday is in January, I obliged. She asked for her face to be painted as a fairy at James' birthday party, so I knew I had to have this fabric.
It has been quite a task keepign James quiet about it, but I don't think he has spilled the secret - yet!
The leaves were Simon's suggestion, and although at times while I was doing them, I hated some of the messy leaves, I really do like the overall effect, and am glad I did it. Good practice, too!
He suggested the watery quilting lines I used, too, and I spent a while doodling ideas for the pink sections. My final idea was much better in theory!
I love the fabric, and am really happy with the quilt, especialyl fro having tried something different and harder with the quiting. My machine still has bouts of the bobbin thread catching, but if I'm not going too quickly, I can feel it happening before it's too late, and gently remove, untangle and replace the bobbin wihtout the thread breaking.
Here are some of the leaves I liked most.
And the whole back showing the different quilting - in different colours to match the fabric on the front.
Leaves from the back.
And a detail of the three centre quiting patterns.

Heads-up! Any day now...

I had planned to blog a lot of photos tonight, but the computer was painfully slow and kept crashing, so instead I lightened its load of photos by relocating literally thousands to the external hard drive. It has made a huge difference.

I am expecting a few large fabric deliveries any day now, and have a lovely fabric giveaway planned, because they will tip me wll into the 1km stash range.

So start thinking about your favourite colour or style of fabrics, and don't go too far...

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


There hasn't been much progress to show, because the last few nights have been spent working the design for a new commissioned quilt. But we've got the design nailed (at least, until I make the inevitable changes as I sew!) and the fabrics are on their way from 4 different shops.I ordered them at about 1am before going to bed, and Saturday night, and but 10am Sunday morning, I had emails from USPS letting me know that the 3 US-based orders were already in the postal system!
It's been hot today (37), and will be hot again tomorrow (35) so the colours of this quiltlet seem appropriate. It's just waiting for binding and a label now.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Lots to Celebrate

This was my last quilt of 2008, but I'm only blogging it now that it has been received.

I intentionally made 4 extra bento box blocks when I was making Sue's Quilt, so I could use them in a mini. I added an extra round to each to get a better size and spread of colour, then got out my black and white prints for a play.
I've obviously still got the background stippling bug...
But managed to use some of my favourite King Tut variegated in the starry border.
I was actually finishing this on New Years' Eve when I came up with the name. Initially it wa inspired by the stars, but also the date, and the fact that the recipient of this (part of my Pay It Forward commitments) has been celebrating some long-awaited news, and will be celebrating a new arrival later in the year.
Tip your head to the right because Blogger decided this should be a portrait image...

Inching closer

This will be my last stash addition before I reach the 1 kilometre mark.

I was looking for some peach options, but you know how it is! I finally succumbed to 2 Very Hungry Caterpillar panels, too, as my LQS had them right at the counter!

I'm still trying to work out how I'm going to do the 1km celebration giveaway, so stay tuned. I have a couple of big orders on the way, so it won't be long.

Stash = 994m

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Bonus quilt!

While we were at Pt Hughes, I thought I'd make something with the remaining spare pink and green Farmers' Market stars. I'd designed it a while ago, and needing few fabrics (already chosen - it seemed ideal to take. I made all the 8in alternate diamond-in-a square blocks, and laid them out to realise that for some obscure reason, I'd made the stars as 8.5in blocks, and the two just weren't going to go together! And of course I didn't have enough of either the green or pink to redo them (though more are now on their way!).

I need to photograph it properly, but refuse to go out unnecessarily in this hideous 41-degree heat, so these were taken quickly in airconditioned comfort! Even up in the relative cool of the hills, my shaded front porch is 37 degrees!

So I dug through the small stash I'd taken with me (a 30L tub packed as full as I could get it!) which was fortunately in coordinating types of colours, and made new star blocks, and made a whole new quilt!

It has no name (and therefore no label) and no destination! But with the number of babies arriving this year that I'm making quilts for, surely a few will be girls? And when one arrives, the quilt will gain a name, label and destination.

The only quilting is a small pink stipple on all the white in the blocks, and a slightly larger stipple in the borders.

I did visit 3 small quilt shops while we were away in the hopes of finding what I wanted, but other than 2 plain backings, found nothing. The main shop is extremely country in style, and the colours are too dull for my liking, The others are smaller but with nicer ranges; one lovely and fresh, and the other had great blenders - and some Prints Charming fabrics I'm about to ring them about. The end results of all my sewing are that I'm going to end up making 2 very similar quilts, and, wait for it..... my stash has gone down - although only temporarily!

Stash = 988m

Monday, 12 January 2009

Star of Spring

I promise this is my last post of the night!

This is my first quilt of the year, a mini quilt made as one of my Pay it Forward commitments:

I really like the expanded block design (I made it up using EQ5), and am considering doing a larger quilt with the full block sometime - if I have the patience! One wasn't too bad, but it was slow getting the points to (mostly) meet.

And the back - though it doesn't look quite as effective once the hanging sleeve and label have obscured some of the quiting!

I tried some matching fmq over the centre flower - I'm still not sure about it. I dithered for ages whether to unpick it all, but my mother in law helped convince me it looks ok - and it would have taken ages to unpick!
Those little hearts were a right pain. I marked them, and fmqed the first - a dismal failure! So I did them with the walking foot very slowly, and only had to redo another few.
And I'm completely in love with the binding stripe!

The Right Direction

Here at last is the completed The Right Direction.
My parents' best friend remarried on 4th January, and this is what we gave the happy couple. The name reflects both the design and the fact that after nearly 2 decades, he (and they!) are now moving in the right direction together.
When my father reminded me of his interest in compasses, the block was an easy choice!
I had a look at some photos of their home, and tried to pick colours which would match.
Rotated at Blogger's discretion:

I took the opportunity of a beach holiday to photograph it in an appropriate location.
Unfortunately the wind was NOT appropriate, and I had to rescue it from the water!
No photos of that as I was more interested in not losing it!