Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A Top Runner

Before our wild and woolly long weekend I did manage to get my Tall Boy Runner top complete. I have not been able to sew since due to the clean up, all of my kid's starting the school year and some scheduled electrical upgrades here in our new house.

I am going to make it double sided with different fabrics on the back. I have a couple of mini - charms of Astor Manor and some scraps leftover from my queen bed quilt. I am still looking for the right pattern but am leaning towards a smaller version of Charming Stars which I used for a double-sided RWB Runner last year.

In hindsight I wish that I had made my dresser runner double sided but I just backed it with calico. I hope to start my 2nd top this weekend when I join a group of ladies at Rainbow Patchwork this Sunday for a 'Sew In'. It will be my first 'real' quilting group held each first Sunday of the month. And I am hoping Kirsten from Gemini Stitches will be there too!

This Week's  Sewing  Stats

Completed projects  -  'And Sew On' Jan block
                           'Just My Type' 'Faith' block for Kristy

Currently in progress -  Tall Boy Runner (top complete)
Yet to start  - Sherbert Dreams Quilt
On Hold projects   - Sherbert Dreams Quilt
                                     - 4 Liberty Pillowcases 
                                     - Victorian Garden Quilt - to baste

Linking up with...WiP Wednesday
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 28 January 2013

Wild and Woolly

Since yesterday morning weather conditions have deteriorated at our place and up and down the east coast of Australia. The wind and rain were shrieking outside last night and I found it very hard to sleep. That and the frightenned children who snuggled in and forced me out from about 4:30am.
A wet and bedraggled rooster yesterday
I have been worrying about our chickens and hoping no large trees or branches fall on their coop. Fortunately the roost is brick and there is access to a run and a couple of nesting boxes, however it is wet. Unfortunately we have re-scheduled our plans for a BBQ and backyard cricket lunch with friends until next weekend. Conditions on the road would be hazardous with fallen trees and large volumes of water. We've had 70mm of raing in our gauge in 24 hours.
Fran was drying the hens but it was a fruitless task given the
weather conditions and that the chickens would wander out into it.

But it has forced me to finish a few sewing projects I have been avoiding. I did some alterations and repairs to clothes and then labelled all of the kid's school uniforms, swimmers and towels. There was no fun in that but a tiny amount of satisfaction.

I did manage to complete some paper piecing blocks including my own version of the 'Measure Twice' block. If you plan to join us for the Quiet Play 'And Sew On' paper pieced Block of the Month - you have only three days to get FREE January pattern. And the same amount of time to enter your block in the fabric give-away.

Sad to hear that the folks of the Lockyer Valley have been evacuated last night and that Ipswich and Brisbane are expecting moderate floods again. It seems that the floods of 2011 are NOT a distant memory. The weather is just crazy! We still have bushfires in Western Australia and some folks in Bundaberg got hit by five tornados. I hear that the northern hemisphere is experiencing freezing conditions right now. So keep safe people.

Update: 10am - We have whole trees and lots of branches down around our 5 acres. The gusts are increasing in velocity - some clocking 100km per hour.

That's our house and in the foreground is our driveway.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunday Stash #48

Something Sweet This Way Comes

This week I ventured to my local quilt store, Rainbow Patchwork (see this post) but I did not escape without spending a bit of cash on some lovely fabrics. Remember this cushion on display there?

These were ALL in the $11 per metre section. I bought half a metre of each. It's 'Sugar Pop' by Liz Scott for Moda.

Australia Day Long Weekend

This weekend is traditionally one of getting friends together and outdoor activities, however the remnants of tropical cyclone Oswald have turned into very large rain depression all the way from Queensland and into half of New South Wales. 

So from bushfires to cyclones tofloods all within the month - This is Australia! So that means our Monday BBQ and backyard cricket plans are now in doubt. It may leave plenty of time for sewing and board games instead.

My family playing beach cricket earlier this month

But to brighten up my weekend was yesterday's release of a Union Jack block tutorial over at Molli Sparkles. I am keen to try one of these blocks. Molli will also be hosting Sunday Stash on February 17th.

And thank you to Rachel of Sew Happily Ever After and Allison of Dreaming in Patchwork for signing up to host Sunday Stash in May and June respectively. So nice to have folks want to help out. 

And Sew On

Don't forget that the link up over at Quiet Play, for January's block, will close on the 31st of January. Great prizes available plus the 'Measure Twice' pattern will only be FREE until then too! I have not done my block but I am kind of excluded from the prizes for Month 1 due to a slight conflict of interest (I am one of prize sponsors).

Anything added to your stash lately. Feel free to link up below.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Fix my Wings

This month my QCA Bee was asked to make some Winged Square blocks for Queen Bee Jane. We followed a FREE tutorial by Amy of During Quiet Time.

The trick was to find a decent focus 4" square of fabric that would provide two contrasting colours. Most of the blocks I had seen were floral so I wanted to find something different. I chose an unselvedged fat quarter laying around in my 2012 BoM box (remember I dropped out of the Craftsy BoM about May last year?).

No problem finding a light teal to match but the darker colour was neither green nor brown. Just a khaki in between. Very hard to find fabrics that shade. In hindsight I would have just chosen a light green.

Lots of HSTs and pressing open of seams (a tip from Gemma).

Rather than sew rows I sewed blocks until I got a nine patch happening.

But then I sewed my teal hsts orientated the wrong way (thanks Jane). So I had to unpick and fix that up.

I did make enough hsts for another block but my finger joint is still swollen. So I am off for a follow up to the Doctor today - and I seem to have also developed a rash on my forearms and chest from more of that dratted palm tree contact. So I am sending Jane the pieces so that she can sew it all up.

I think it is going to be a lovely project from the other blocks popping up on our Bee page.

Jane's Winged Square block
By Blossom Heart Quilts on Flickr
And a photo of the much hard fought for newly trimmed back spikey palm tree by the back pond. I just want the thing gone now to be honest. Update: It turns out the rash was from the sap of the mango tree I harvested on Sunday afternoon. It has given me a bad reaction with small blisters. So I have a cream and and oral antihistamine to take.

Linking up with TGIFF and BoMs Away.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Local Quilt Store Day

Support Your Local Quilt Store

It's Local Quilt Store Day today. I am fortunate enough to live near a really great store. Rainbow Patchwork is a delightful quilting shop in South Lismore in northern NSW. It sells fabrics and notions but also offers a long arm quilting service. And out the back is a large room for classes and quilt groups.

Co-owner Karen Traise was in store today and had no idea that it was Local Quilt Store Day in blogland. But she is very savvy on her business computing skills. 

At the front of the store was a Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt on the large quilting frame.

The shop is a visual delight from the moment that you walk in. It's lovely to see and handle bolts of quilting cotton.

Most of the bolts are $20 per metre but the ones in the day bed frame are $11 per metre. I managed to find some real sweeties in amongst them (they will feature in the Sunday's Sunday Stash - so stay tuned).

If you like Kaffe...there's a conflagration of that.

The lovely French General had a rack of their own.

Then there are the many quilts on display. This one is my particular favourite.

It was made by Karen with fab bright fabrics.

And a striking light thread on an black back.

And you never know who you'll run into at your LQS! Fellow local blogger and quilter Kirsten from Gemini Stitches.

So did you get along to your Local Quilt Store today? If you are interested you can look Rainbow Patchwork up on Facebook. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Candy for Tall Boys

First WiP in 2013

This is my husband's dresser. It is called a tall boy. It has been naked on top since we moved in and ditched the old 12" tv that used to be on top of a piece of fabric. I have been meaning to sew a proper runner for it since last year when I made one for my dresser.

The motivation was re-ignited with the two Moda Candy Mini Charm Packs that Lara sent me with my Wombat Santa gift a week or so back.

I pulled out my scrap bag of leftovers from the dresser runner and combined them with the 'Butterfly Garden' 2.5" squares. I love Moda precuts because they are pinked. All I had to trim were a few of my French General textured and 'Hope' scraps. 

This Week's  Sewing  Stats

Completed projects  -  Polaroid 9 Patch block
                                              QCA Bee#1 Dec - Feather block
                                              QCA Bee#1 Jan - Winged Squares block
                                              Wombat Stew 'Teapot' paper pieced block

Currently in progress -  Tall Boy Runner
Yet to start  - Sherbert Dreams Quilt
                           'And Sew On' Jan block
                           'Just My Type' 'Faith' block for Kristy
On Hold projects   - Sherbert Dreams Quilt
                                     - 4 Liberty Pillowcases 
                                     - Victorian Garden Quilt - to baste

Wear Gloves Next Time

Minimal rotary cutting is all I can manage for now as I am sporting a gardening injury to my dominant index finger.

On Sunday afternoon I was pruning a particularly nasty palm tree that overhangs our backyard pond when one of the spikes lodged in my knuckle. I pulled it out. But four hours later my finger began to throb and swell up. I knew it was the spike. A quick Google search lead me to information that these palm tree spikes can be full of bacteria that can get into your joints and cause all sorts of painful damage.
All those dead branches are cut off now

I could not bend nor straighten it by the morning! It seriously felt like I had broken it. A quick trip to the Dr and some antibiotics on Monday meant that now the swelling is decreasing and the range of movement is increasing. And I gave that palm tree some serious 'what for' pruning yesterday afternoon. But this time I made sure I wore gloves. Even so he still managed to get through a few times but no where near as deep.

Linking up to WiP at Freshly Pieced for the first time this year.