Monday, 31 January 2011

Heartsong Stitchery (the Christmas Version) Finished!

I have put the finishing stitches in this Heartsong Stitchery (the Christmas Version) by Rosalie Quinlan . . . and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

It's stitched on linen, using DMC Blanc (3 threads). The stitchery is about 12'' x 8 1/2". Rosalie's pattern was stitched on red linen with white thread, which looks really good. But I was having a bit of a "Scandinavian Moment" when I started this.

I decided to go with a chain stitch on the hear border, rather than satin stitch . . . and I'm really happy with the lacy effect.

I was planning to "frame" this by stretching it around a canvas frame, but "he who sits on the lounge offering advice" thinks that a pair of pillow cases would be good. He's yet to pick up a needle and thread and make a start on the second one!

Pattern: Heartsong Stitchery
Designer: Rosalie Quinlan

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Civil War Quilts - Block 4

Block 4 - Texas Tears - is done. It may end up requiring some persuasion to be just the right size, but we'll see when the whole quilt goes together. I'm not sure that I love this block, but I'm suspending my judgment until I've done all the blocks. In a quilt with 56 blocks, not all of them need to be the "star of the show", in my opinion.

If you're interested in seeing what others are doing with their blocks for this Block Of The Week project, check out the Flickr Group - there's certainly plenty of variety and inspiration! And if you're not already full to the brim with projects on the go, have a think about joining in. It's a great way to use your stash and the weekly blocks are pretty achievable. Go on . . . have a go . . . what's stopping you?

Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Block 4 - Texas Tears
Designer: Barbara Brackman

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Australia Day 2011

This is my Australia!

My family.
The beach.
The bush.
The heat.
The rain.

Today, January 26th, we celebrate Australia Day - being Australian, no matter where we are from, in all its richness and diversity. We are a nation of many cultures. Of many traditions. We are a nation that comes together in triumph and tragedy in equal measure. We are tough when we need to be, gentle when it counts. We know when to lend a hand and we can laugh at ourselves. We truly do live in . . . "the lucky country".

To find out a little bit more about Australia Day, click here.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

A Spot of Shopping . . . and Owls

We took a little drive to do a bit of antique shopping . . . we didn't come home with much, but had a lovely day out just the same.

What I did bring home are these gorgeous threads to do a little cross stitch. I love the colours of the Simply Shaker Sampler Threads . . . and I love the names of them - "Fragrant Cloves", "Shutter Green", "Cranberry". How can you go wrong?

And then, at the last stop of the day I picked up this little doiley. It's sandwich tray size. And it looked so cheery to me in the red stitching. I may use it for its intended purpose, or it may make its way into a project down the track. Who knows?

And if you have a thing for owls, and you haven't organised a calendar for this year (or even if you have), this site has the cutest little owl calendar that you can create yourself and print out. The artwork is wonderful. This is the one I made for myself . . .

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Civil War Quilts - Block 3

Block 3 of Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts is "Seven Sisters"

It's been a while since I've done any needleturn, so I found these stars a bit of a challenge. I can needleturn circles till the cows come home, but my stars may have a slight starfishy-ness about them on this block! Still, Block 3 done! There's a flickr group going with lots of these blocks being added all the time. So if you're thinking of making a start on this block of the week, or you just want to see what others are doing with their blocks, it's well worth a look.

If you get a chance, click on over to Fiona's Blog - Peaceful Threads by Fiona. She's celebrating her 2nd Blogging Anniversary today. Fiona always has something on her blog to inspire and motivate, whether it's a glorious piece of stitching or wonderful pictures of her pretty special part of the world. Well done Fiona . . . and thanks for sharing!

Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Seven Sisters
Designer: Barbara Brackman

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Alison's Puzzle

I started this quilt back in 2008 on a quilt retreat with a group of friends. At a retreat 6 months earlier, we were talking about things we'd like to do . . . and my friend Alison talked about how she wanted to try things that were a bit 'outside the square', or outside of her comfort zone. One of those things was learning needle turn applique. While we were there for the weekend, our hostess/tutor, Carol, designed the centre panel and made it up for us to see if we would like to work on it as project on our next retreat.

And we did.

And it was named "Alison's Puzzle".

The centre panel hung for a long time on the design wall (well, actually it was pinned on the top of another quilt that I could see every time I sat down to sew) until I made up my mind what I wanted to do with it.

Would it be an enormous cushion?

Or a small wall hanging?

A bed quilt?

I decided not to make a full size quilt, but rather I added pin wheels and a plain border to make a wall quilt, which is 50 inches square. I've used a striped binding, the same fabric as the inner border.

I'm glad to see this one finished and hanging on the wall. And I'm also glad to say that Alison finished hers into a single bed size quilt. It's in wonderful blues and browns. And it looks fantastic.

So thanks Alison for being willing to challenge yourself, and taking us along on the journey with you!

Pattern: Alison's Puzzle
Designer: Carol Pasfield
Quilted by: Quilts With Attitude

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Snowbound . . . Finished!

I've put the finishing touches on my "Snowbound" mini quilt. I decided to do stitcheries rather than applique as it was in the original pattern for this 2010 BOM. My blocks are only 4 1/2 inches square, making this a cute little quilt to add to our Christmas decorating bits and pieces.

I pieced the 9 patches on my treadle sewing machine earlier in the year and put all the blocks together on Francene this week. I then did simple quilting using the same vintage silk thread that I used for the stitcheries.
I did put the last stitch in the stitchery on New Year's Eve, so 2010 is the date on the block (even though, technically, I didn't finish the quilt until 2011 - but I feel a bit of creative license is OK!!).
I am happy to have this little quilt all bound and labelled, ready to be hung up at Christmas.

Thanks so much to Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs for creating this lovely project . . . and check out her blog to see this year's new BOM.

Pattern: Snowbound - 2010 BOM
Designer: Anne Sutton (Bunny Hill Designs)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Civil War Quilts - Block 2

This week's block is the North Star. It's known as many names including Aunt Eliza’s Star, Variable Star, and Sawtooth Star.

This is one of my favourite star blocks. It goes together really quickly and I think it always looks great. This week's block was inspired by this crib quilt in the collection of Historic New England. This could work in a monotone scheme or a great way to dip into your stash for a lovely scrappy look. Aah, the possibilities!

Pattern: Civil War Quilts - North Star
Designer: Barbara Brackman

Friday, 7 January 2011

Little Pretties Quilt . . . Finished!

At last I finished the "Little Pretties Quilt" . . . in time for Christmas as a gift to our daughter.

This quilt was quilted by Terina Walton from Quilts With Attitude, who I always trust to do a fantastic job.
And I've even added a label to this quilt (something I'm determined to do with all my quilts now).
And now that this quilt is complete, one of these project boxes . . .

is, at last, now this - an empty project box. A sign of progress and achievement . . . and a sign of new possibilities.

Pattern: Little Pretties
Designer: Dianne Neumann (Truly Lois)
Publication: Patchwork & Quilting Magazine (Australia)

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Civil War Quilts

Well, I've made a start on 2011 . . . with the first block from Barbara Brackman's new blog "Civil War Quilts". In commemorating the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War, Barbara is going to present "a true story each week about the people who lived at the time of the Civil War. Read their words from their diaries, letters and memoirs as you make a quilt block".

The first block is called "Catch Me If You Can" (or "Winding Blades", "Devil's Puzzle" or "Flyfoot"). I hand pieced this block, but I suspect that Francene may be pressed into service in the future. I enjoyed the hand stitching, but I think if I'm going to keep up with these blocks (and life in general), that the machine is going to be the way to go for me.

I had decided that this year I would finish off some of the projects I've had partially completed for a while before I started anything new. Then I spent some time on the computer . . . and now I have a new project! So much for my resolve . . .

Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Catch Me If You Can Block
Designer: Barbara Brackman
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