Wednesday, 17 October 2018

WOW: Getting Ready for BOM 2019

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I try to set each Wednesday aside in order to complete some WIPs. It makes me feel good to know that I have a day devoted to actually completing the things I start. And I start many things. And it would take many lifetimes to complete the catalogue of ideas in my mind. But today my mind and attention is turning to 2019. It's nearly time to announce the BOM for next year and I'm thinking about how I want to spend it in terms of fabric, techniques and direction. 
I've started buying a bunch of flowers to celebrate each new pattern I complete and this is the latest bunch. These flowers in their cheerful yellow, orange and blue remind me of my blog. A good sign I think. I can't wait to share my ideas for the year ahead, it's the most exciting WIP in my mental stash.

What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 16 October 2018

My Stash Busting Stars Top

Remember my Stash Busting Stars quilt? I love that pattern. And as soon as I started cutting up the fabrics I had set aside from my stash, I saw I had too much of it. And I really wanted to use it all up (without bothering to make another quilt) so I added bits in. I added a sashing between the blocks and corners on the blocks and an extra border. Just because. 
For me, patterns are a 'guide', even when I intend to make the design 'as is', I rarely do. I don't think this pattern actually needs any adjustment, but I did decide to modify it as I went along in order to make it bigger and use up the extra fabric.I love this range and I knew I wouldn't be using the fabric for anything else so I couldn't stand to waste it. It's a stash buster for sure.
Some people just don't like stash busters, but I love them. They're the perfect way to test new skills, try new blocks and later, practice your quilting on. I think a quick stash busting quilt at least once a year is just the thing to use up a few fabrics from the mountain and try out some new threads too.

This beauty been on my wall all week and you know what? My DH is confused by it - he sees a mash up of colours and fabrics that don't make sense to his sensibilities... but I must admit that I LOVE IT! My DDs love it too although several guests to my house have agreed with my husband.

Some people just don't understand or see the beauty of quilts in the same way that I do. I mention this to remind any unappreciated quilter's out there that we're a special bunch and not everyone is going to 'get it' and that's fine. For me, everyone ooohs and aahhhs over my applique pieces and walks straight past my patchwork quilts without so much as a second glance.
And talking about all this reminds me of the time when I had a quilt on the machine for domestic machine quilting. A non quilting friend came around and was curious to see my quilting stitches. After admiring the top for a few seconds, she remarked 'oh that's great, I got one just like it from Ezi Buy'. For those of you who don't know, Ezi Buy is a kind of home living catalog and they sell commercially quilted bed coverlets - you know the room decor ones? I just thought that was the funniest thing. Imagine toiling away for hundreds of hours over a mere quilt when I could have simply shopped one for $89.95! Hahaha!

Anyhow, this beauty is complete now and I'll be taking it down and rolling it up ready for basting and quilting some other time as I'll be too busy to get it completed this year and will have to reconsider my quilting options in the new year as I'm developing quite a queue.

Phew! Another WIP just about done. I'm delighted. See you tomorrow for WOW.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

WOW: Yarn Time

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I have hundreds of quilt WIPs but every year I like to complete at least one yarny WIP. My next yarn project will be made up with this merino blend from Peru. How gorgeous are these colours? As soon as I set eyes on it, I knew it would be perfect for a winter scarf. Although I prefer to crochet these days, this yarn demands to be knitted owing to the threads wrapping around the fibres. I'm thinking something super basic - I don't think any stitch variation would work with a yarn this busy so I'm hoping to get it stitched up as quickly and easily as possible. 
What's Your Latest Yarn Project 

How Long Did It Take You To Finish? 




Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Book Of The Week: Making Needle Felted Animals

It's time for me to learn something completely new and just play. 
Do you ever get that feeling? Sure, quilting is my first love but I like being an absolute beginner sometimes and just about now, I would like to learn how to make felted animals. 

True to my love for textiles, I'll still be working with a fabric of a kind and with my hands, but this is a challenge I really hope I can rise to. The idea of being able to craft a whole farmyard of gorgeous little creatures is just too tempting. 

Have you ever needle felted an animal?


Monday, 8 October 2018

Morning Glory: My Quilt Top

Well I'm so happy and excited with my Morning Glory that I just have to show it to you even though the early morning lighting isn't too great. But lighting aside, you can see that the top is sewn together. Isn't it fabulous? I'm in LOVE! I can't wait to show you more..


BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Morning Glory: Sew Time!

 With all my blocks and parts prepped, today I'm finally sewing down my quilt top
 Here's my border fabric waiting..
And I cannot wait to see the top put together!


BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Morning Glory: Notes on Part 8

This is my Part 8 corner triangle block. 
I just love this block, it's a stunning way to make your favourite fabrics shine. 
I mentioned it in the pattern but it's worth repeating that when it's time to work with this block, be sure to STARCH your background fabric before you cut it. This helps keep your cutting line neat.
This is my background before I cut it in two to create the corner triangles. I cut mine out after I had added the second applique motif. Here, the progress of just one fan is shown. There is a tendency for these corner triangle blocks to pull themselves out of shape, so be sure to double measure them against the pattern for accuracy, have the fabric starched and take double time when sewing them into position to make sure you aren't pulling them along the bias. 
 I just love starched blocks ready and waiting to be sewn into position. It's an exciting stage of the quilt top blocks development and I can't wait to show you more..


BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

Friday, 5 October 2018

Cups Galore

Well, I'd rather be quilting! I decided to make a 'spring clean' of my whole Last Quarter Cleaning task and took out my cabinet of cups to wash them (they were a bit dusty) and reorganize the saucers and cake plates. I have lots of extra cups in storage so I'm thinking of rotating them and bringing a new stack in and packing these away. And I suppose now is as good a time as any to get that done.
I'm happy to report that I have discovered some forgotten gems and am loving picking and choosing. Now I just have to get them back into the cabinet - all organised and easy to access.

I think I'm starting to get into this whole 'organisation' thing as it doesn't feel as bad today as it did yesterday. I mean, cleaning is just so boring. But I'm trying to remain motivated. After all, I'm tidying up so that I can return to quilting. And I'll be able to enjoy new cups of coffee as a reward for my hours of toil.  New pretty cups to excite my morning ritual is definitely something to look forward to right now..

Thursday, 4 October 2018

What I'm Making This Month: October

I don't turn on my TV very much nowadays, but when I do - it's usually to Chromcast a sewing tutorial! My DDs have been asking for several travel organizers each, made from their favorite Fassett and Tula Pink fabrics. They're completely uninspired by shop bought offerings and want to enjoy their love for fabric in a practical way. 

In the past, I spent HOURS drafting and redrafting bags just like this one, so I know how much work is involved in getting it done, making it nice and sewing it right. Those creations of 15 years ago are now thoroughly worn out and in the intervening years, my DDs simply purchased replacement bags when needed because it suited their lifestyle. But they've grown up a bit now and have a desire to make these kind of one off items. I guess they've come full circle: homemade' is no longer the unfashionable option it once was! But for me personally, I'd rather be quilting and don't have much patience for drafting 'practical' patterns anymore. Luckily for all of us, I don't have to.  

Today I'll simply be following an online class tutorial which includes the pattern to make it. And my DDs will be joining me for some weekend sewing. It'll be our own private workshop at home, in our own time with as much pausing and rewinding as we please. It's going to be fabulous. 

Whenever I think about how much technology annoys me, I remind myself how lucky I am to be alive during this revolution. Just 10 years ago, this wouldn't have even been possible. Today, we're sewing what we really want in fabrics we really love at a time and place that suits us. Perfect.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

WOW: Finding My Stuff Again

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
This week I'm getting my house back in order. It looks like a creative workshop setting instead of a home and it's time to sort it all out. I really don't enjoy tidying up and cleaning but I must admit that one of the advantages of tidying up is finding my stuff again. This glue pen has been missing for months and it's been a real shame as it's one of my favourites to use when I'm working on turning applique in my living room as part of my 'footstool creative station'. I even went online to but a new one before this one re-appeared again.
It's a small victory in my uphill battle of taming the creative mess that has taken over the house. Have you purchased multiples of  a quilting or craft item.. simply because you couldn't find the first one at home? I probably shouldn't admit that this has happened to me a few times before! Anyway, back to work, I have lots more to get on with doing.

What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Charming the Cups

Well, by now you already know that I am elbow deep in 'last quarter cleaning'!

All this sorting out and arranging is really tiring. I need a nap to recover from all this disorganization and I've only just woken up. Today I'm tackling my cabinet of cups which are so sweet and charming but so hopelessly stacked and neglected that they keep swaying side to side, threatening to topple over. And again, my family have staged a cup intervention and now I have to sort all my mess out. I don't know how I ended up with so many cups. I suppose I just like pretty things. I kept meaning to sort them out later and never got around to it. Yes, they do look like a neglected mess. It's a bother to dig them out and find the right saucers - which defeats the purpose of having them, so today I'm making this cabinet user friendly again. 
I don't collect things for the sake of it (except maybe fabric??), I use all these cups. As I don't drink tea, I drink coffee from them. Usually you get served a latte in a glass, but I serve lattes in teacups just because they're so pretty. I adjusted my coffee machine to make the perfect teacup sized coffee and it's bliss. And a coffee somehow tastes better from a fine bone teacup. I have no idea why this is, but when I am out and about and taking a coffee in a cafe, well, it's just not the same. Speaking of coffee, I think I need one right now before I get started.

Ok, here I go..

Monday, 1 October 2018

Last Quarter Cleaning

It's October today and that marks a steep turning point in my household. From here on, the year seems to simply snap shut. We have a whirlwind: it's our birthday season which overlaps with the holiday season and year ahead planning season. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but year after year it has a way of all coming together in a big swoop. Well this year, I have an extra thing to do and get done before this all starts - and that is to get my 'areas' under control. My family have put their foot down, I have to reign in all my creative hot spots to make the house presentable again. I must admit that looking at these images is rather confronting. I really have let things get out of control and look shabby. 

This here is my winter and night time nook. That crochet throw is not for posing (not that you could ever accuse it of being beautifully staged), I like to keep my shoulders warm and this colourful ripple never leaves my chair. That ugly lamp is a very useful daylight lamp. I really wish it wasn't so awful to look at, but it's so useful that I can't bear to part with it. Next to my chair I have two trolleys of essential 'stuff' I need when creating my masterpieces. If you think that front trolley looks bad (and I admit, it does) then you'll understand why I simply cannot show you the one behind. It's too embarrassing - even by my relaxed standards.

Crammed in tightly between the trolley and my chair on the floor is my knitting bundle. I have about 3 projects on the go and I like to have them handy in case the mood takes me. 
This here is not a footstool, it's a work station. To be precise, it's where I keep my night time applique activity. As you can see, I like to make good use of my time. I don't watch TV more than once every few weeks or so, but when we all sit together we do it in this room and whilst I'm sitting in my chair talking, I might as well be turning some applique edges, which I do. All the time
This is a new addition to my domestic take over. It's a square 8 seat dining table. I mean, seriously how fabulous is it?! It's where I've parked my Brother Scan N Cut machine and laptop computer. I prefer to work out in this open area around family rather than shut myself away in the room we've designated as our 'office' (which I do when I'm writing up a pattern.) But I think I'm going to have to move it to the garage and then restart my 'multiple workstations' practice in the New Year. This is because most people don't understand that I need 3 dining tables to work on. They think dining tables are for eating from. Amateurs. You either get it.. or you're not a quilter. 
This is here is my latest conquest from Gumtree which is a kind of Craig's List classifieds. It was truly a bargain. And who doesn't need an extra buffet and hutch combination to take up that spare wall in the living room? Fortunately this wall feature will be staying put - packing it away in the garage would make no sense as its too much work for my DH to keep bringing it in and out. It weighs an absolute ton. It's so handy for storing my random quilting odds and ends on. Although you can see from the mess on it right now that I need to sort out my supplies properly and make it look somehow organized. The only regretful thing about it is those handles. They are so ugly. I actually purchased replacement handles to match our existing wood furniture pieces.. but they got lost in the mail. Then I re-ordered them, and they arrived, but I have misplaced them in amongst my 'stuff'. I'm hoping they will show up as I tackle all my creative nest areas this week. 
Here's an update to my opinion on magazines. I love them again. I was completely bored and done with them last year but somehow I have found lots of new titles that are keeping me entertained during my daily coffee breaks and now I wouldn't be without them. But I have run out of space, so I will be donating my previous stacks and limiting myself to the current year only. This is another task to get done today. I need to sort them out and move on, otherwise I will end up with thousands of them. And I'm the kind of person who doesn't go back and re-read old titles, so it won't be too hard for me to let them go.

Sorting our living spaces is fine, but what I really need is to win the lottery and purchase another house to store all my creative pursuits in. Apparently it's been done before, by a quilter in the US, so I live in expectant hope. In the meantime, I'll be tidying, reorganizing and getting ready for the holidays ahead.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

No Fool Like An Old Fool?

Have you been suckered into buying any of the products advertised on Instagram? I have! And the evidence is all contained in this bright silver postage satchel. No fool like an old fool? I think so.

Over on Instagram the ad for the INVINCEABLE power cleaner totally won me over. I mean, who wouldn't love a spray solution so effective and so powerful that it practically does all the work for you? Not me, that's for sure! Just the possibility of spraying some dirty surface and then miraculously wiping away a cloth full of grime with zero effort on my end was to good to pass up. As it turns out, it was also too good to be true. But as my cleaning style is already that of a spray and go kind of woman, so I was putty in their hands before the video even ended. The only question I was left pondering was how many miracle powdered tablets was I going to need?
It's true to say I don't exactly have a grip on housework. It's a daily necessity that gets in the way of what I'd rather be doing (which is anything else at all). But that doesn't stop me having mid scrolling daydreams about being a marvelous cleaning wizz with all the new gadgets. I somehow convince myself that I could really be on top of these chores if I just had the right tools. And those tools must pass my first level of inspection - the AS SEEN ON TV badge. If it has that, it's pretty much on my wish list. Fortunately (although I will admit I have begrudged them at times) my family has, up until now, swooped in just seconds before I hit the 'buy now' button countless times, and followed up with why such and such product is a fake, a bad idea or just plain impossible. 

But this purchase slipped the net. I just went ahead and spent over $35 on an empty plastic bottle and 5 baggies of powdered washing detergent. 
My heart sank when I peered into the bag. I had a gut feeling that this invincible spray and wipe cleaner wasn't going to be so invincible after all. Trying to salvage some self respect, I made up the formula and gave it a go on a small bench top area. It fizzled slightly and then just sat there in pool of what looked a lot like $35 dollars worth of detergent. I gave it 4 hours to work it's magic like the bottle suggested. But 6 hours later it was the same puddle of detergent and it really hadn't cleaned a jot. 
 At this point I would have said that I'd paid $35 for an ANY ANGLE SPRAY BOTTLE as declared on the front label. But that isn't entirely true. You see, the bottle won't spray on any angle other than directly upright and the screw top nozzle is already cracked.

So if you see this advert on Instagram, scroll on..

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Morning Glory: My Bird Eyes

Here's how I stitch embellished my bird eyes. 
I stitched around the eye with a brown thread, and then created a larger inside eye circle with that same brown and finished it with a white dot. 
I just think that white dot adds a spark of life
And I did the same thing for the second bird
They're such characters, I love them


BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

Friday, 28 September 2018

Morning Glory: Still Stitchin'

Right now I feel as though I've been stitching for a hundred years. I completely underestimated how much time it would take for me to tackle all this hand embellishing. It feels like every time I look up, there's an extra inch I hadn't noticed before.
Today I'm working on the berry stems because I think the red detailing just adds something extra. And this quilt can really take all this extra embellishing and special touches so beautifully.
I'm just weaving a few specks through, but they are gorgeous..
I love how this looks....


BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

WOW: You Know What Flowers Mean!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I've been designing again! And another bouquet means another quilt pattern is on it's way. These blooms are just jumping with fragrance, they are so sweet and meadow fresh. I really think I should take up gardening as I am so obsessed with flowers and plants of all kinds. But then I think about how much sewing time it would eat up.. and I decide to stick with the fabrics instead.

I'll leave beautiful blooms to the experts and keep rewarding myself each time I tick another item from my Quilty To Do List. I'm feeling so productive this week, it's wonderful.

What's Your WOW?


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Morning Glory: Hand Stitched Details

After stitching the centre down, it's time to add some little embellishments. Although it's such a minor thing, a touch of hand stitching can really add dimension to the block. On my vase, I felt that the gold ornamental petals should be outlined with red thread to bring it all together.
I'm using this Aurifil thread. It's become my go to brand my stitching these kinds of details and embellishments on my blocks.
It was lovely before but the red just adds a little something..

If only hand stitching wasn't so time consuming! As I sew I listen to audio books and it really does help the time go along. I often find I'm so engrossed in the story that I forget all about the time and don't even realize that an hour or two has passed. It's definitely a good hand sewing trick and I recommend it to everyone now. I don't really know how I entertained myself during these hours of hand detailing before audio books (I don't generally listen to the radio). However did I keep myself entertained? I can't even imagine being without it now.

Anyhow, back to another shift of stitching..


BOM 2018, My Biggest Year Ever! 

Morning Glory is my current paid BOM. It's an applique and pieced quilt. 

You can start this BOM today! 

Simply click the quilt image to learn more.

To see some of the breathtaking examples that are taking shape, simply visit my Free BOM Group on Facebook where progress images are being shown all the time. It's a massive inspiration and I warn you, it's addictive!

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