Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Remembering Summer

Blackberry Freedom
Birds at the Window
Summer's Day
All three of these blocks were made at the same time during a visit to Queensland one Summer.  As we relaxed inside my brother-in-law's home there was a bird which in the heat lost its bearings and crashed with an all mighty bang into the window.  Don't you love Carol's choice of fabrics for this one:)
Blackberry Freedom was a reminder of the times when as  child we would go blackberry picking and eat so many we returned home with mouths all coloured from the juices. Mum would make a pie with lattice strip pastry across the top, if we had returned with enough berries.. a wonderful Summer's Day.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Three Down - Ten to go

Well another quilt down.  This quilt was given to me by a friend who didn't like how she had orientated the sashing.  So I added the border, Terri quilted it and I added the binding. Viola another quilt down. This one has sat on my spare bed for over a year and if Terri hadn't helped it would still be there. Next project will be Terri's Treats.  I am moving them..slowly but surely.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Well as I have so little to fill in my time I thought I would join this challenge.  Hottie Haven is running her second annual Drop and Give Me 20 quiltathon here.  To participate you need to commit to quilt for at least twenty minutes every day of February... good thing it is the shortest month as that is fits in with my usual attention span...short.                        As I am also trying to finish thirteen quilts in thirteen I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to join two events with one effort..well any effort is a plus some days.
I am hoping that with my twenty minutes a day I can finish quilting Terri's Treats.  I have already totally ditch-stitched it, even had it published in a magazine, but now I will actually use it to improve my free motion quilting skills. So I will use my 20 minutes a day to work my way around the quilt actually filling all of the blocks.

If I finish Terri's Treats then I will hopefully finish off my modified Double Wedding Ring. This quilt was started in 2005, I think and is almost complete.  The photo shows the top section and I have a smaller section that joins onto the bottom.  I love the back, the oranges and yellows, but can't for the life of me understand what made me use those particular colours, green and purple, for the front.  I was probably at a stage where I was determined to get rid of all of my hand dyed fabrics and figured they would look good when combined.  Note to self - if fabrics don't thrill me before joining they won't thrill me after joining. Anyway those are my two targets for the DaGMT challenge.

If you want to join click on the link to the side, read the event outline and give it a go.  The only think it can hurt is your UFO pile.

Two Down - Eleven to go

Well isn't it cute.  My son's girlfriend wanted a tea cosy with pom poms and so after several experiments I finally finished this one. It is adapted from a pattern a friend gave me.

Want to make one.  It's very easy after the first set of baubles.

2 balls 8 ply wool
1 set of needles 4.5mm or whatever you need to get the correct tension
blunt needle for sewing

Tension over the design
3 repeats will give 10cm height and a 10cm width.

Final size (if your tension is correct)
circumference of teapot 46 cm, or flat about 40cm
height 20cm

Cast on 37 stitches

Row 1: K1, *P2, K1; repeat from * to end
Row 2: K3, *P1, K2; repeat from * to last stitch, K1
Row 3 = Row 1
Row 4 = Row 2

Row 1: K1, (P2, M2, K1, M2, P2, K1) repeat 6 times = 61 stitches
Row 2: K10, (P1. K9) repeat 5 times, K1
Row 3: K1, (P2, K5, P2, K1) repeat 6 times
Row 4: K10, (P1. K9) repeat 5 times, K1
Row 5: K1, (P2, K5, P2, K1) repeat 6 times
Row 6: K3, (P5 tog, K2, P1, K2) repeat 5 times; (P5 tog, K3) once... 37 stitches
Row 7: K1, (P2, K1, P2, M2, K1, M2) repeat 4 times, (P2, K10) twice ... 57 stitches
Row 8: K3, (P1. K9) repeat 4 times, P1, K3
Row 9: K1, (P2, K1, P2, K5) repeat 4 times; (P2, K1) twice
Row 10 = Row 8
Row 11 = Row 9
Row 12:  K3, (P1, K2, P5 tog, K2) repeat 4 times; (P1, K3) once... 37 stitches
Repeat rows 1 to 12, 3 times and then rows 1 to 6, one more time .. 42rows pattern

Make two pieces as above

Top Ribbing
Repeat ribbing as per base of the teapot for 16 rows
Cast off.

Pom Poms
Make two pom poms using 2.5cm rings. Leave long tail.

Finishing off
Using a blunt needle join the side seams; sew up from the bottom three cm and down from the top 10cm, adjust if necessary to suit your own tea pot handle and spout.
Thread the pom pom tails onto blunt needle and thread through the 4th row above the top of the last bauble. Pull top in and tie off.

Have fun.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Collection 3 - Carol Le Maitre

Fox Pawed
 Yet another seven blocks completed. It is great to see all of Carol's bright colours. So different from what I started with. Raconteur was supposed to be my first pastel quilt.  About thirty blocks into it I discovered that I was not a pastel person and so although I tried to primarily work with pastels I ended up using many birght pastels. I love the sense of adventure which Carol shows with her choice of colours.
So where did the names come from for these blocks?
After the Showers
Fox Pawed was named after I accidentally cut some of the fabrics from the wrong fabric and so had to work out a new design with the pieces. Friends of mine at uni had lived in a house they called Fox Paw Manor a play on the french faux pas and I have always remembered this and call errors fox paws with friends.
Burning Bright
After the Showers was completed one afternoon as I relaxed at home watching the birds come to life and foraging for food after a long wet spell.  The bow ties resembled their wings and the central start their prey.
Burning Bright appeared to me like the explosions from the midngiht fireworks of New Year's Eve.
Ketchikan Jewels
On a trip to Alaska one year I purchase a few bags of coloured pebbles as I collect strange things at times. These small pebbles sparkle so and are used in one of our board games and so Ketchikan Jewels  was named.
One to the Left
One to the Left was named because it was another error and the outer blocks were supposed to be placed outside of the kite but as I didn't have the design with me when I was sewing it I put it where I thought it belonged but that was one spot to the left.
 Paprika reminded of the spice of the same name, hot and sweet. And last but not least is Raspberry Swirl, why are so many of my blocks named after food... probably because I love food and sweets in particular:) 
Raspberry Swirl
These are definitely a gorgeous collection and should look great when finally sewn together into a full quilt.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scatterday R - The Festive Season

Well Xmas has come and gone yet again and during the festive time I thought it was high time that the whole fat man in the red suit package should be reassessed for future viability. Is he up with the times or just a relic of a bygone day?

Before you read this post there is a question you need to ponder - what is the difference between a moose and a reindeer?

In our small rural community  Santa has advanced with the times and rather than the old tired sleigh he now regularly avails himself of the red Rural Fire Services vehicle. Here he is seen offering lollies to the local children...hmmm!

His reindeer appears quite content to rest in the rear area, but where are the others?  Two days later we visited a local animal refuge where we discovered the others.  These animals were almost straining at the fence for any morsel of nourishment..perhaps the rural fire services vehicle had been used because of necessity rather than a modernising action....hmm!
Is it possible they all are tired from alternate employment.  I am certain that if I had to pull a completely laden sleigh around the entire world in just a mere 24 hours I would need the other 364 days of the year to recover but it appears as though this may not be the situation. Recently in Norway my son purchased the latest in modern kitsch lighting.  This is not an ordinary reindeer/moose light. This is in reality a remote controlled reindeer light. So now the reindeer are required to model in their free time.  
And what is the state of the situation when poor Santa with his red hat must also do second shift as a resplendent pin cushion. Things must be dire in the north pole.

And for the answer to the question... reindeer can fly.


Scatterday Q

What a quaint letter to baffle even the most hardy of scatterers and the categories are
#  a plant
#  nighttime
#  something healthy
#  and for something quilty how about something quick
Posting day is 2nd February

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Carol Le Maitre

The Rice Pickers
I have finally started to upload some of Carol's blocks. She has finished all of Collection 2 but has decided not to join them together at this stage, after I suggested she wait and then join them in a way that suited both her own fabrics and the designs. Racontuer is perfect for making many quilts and all of them may be different.
These three blocks were originally made while we were travelling.
The Rice Pickers represents those people in Asian countries who spend their days toiling the fields, bending and straightening, what a painful back they must have.
I Love Lucy
I love Lucy was a rerun on a French TV channel when we were visiting, even the continentals have the old black and white reruns.... although my knowledge of French was minimal it was enough to reignite the memories
Creme de Chantilly
Creme de Chantilly was made on the night of my husband's 54th birthday as we celebrated eating the most divine cake our son had ordered from a local patisserie in Paris.  I could live on those cakes but alas I am positive it wouldn't be too healthy.  Why are all delightful things bad for us?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Raconteur Extended

 Well as it is already mid January and I have to have my entry for the Sydney show finished this year I figured I would make some more hexagon blocks. 
This time however I intend to only make enough for the miniature category..who ever heard of a miniature category having a total overall quilt size limit?  Yes I know it's there on all of the entry forms but I hadn't read those before Raconteur was too big.  
And so once bitten as they say... this time around my quilt will be big small enough. 
This is the first block and I have called it A Day at the Zoo, since it reminds me very much of the black and white face of a panda bear. In case you haven't seen Raconteur the blocks have a side length of 2.25in including the border.  This block has 69 pieces.  Well one down and only six more to go!

Monday, January 14, 2013

One Down - Twelve to go

This has been a top weekend/week. I finished quilting Whirling Stars, designed, drew and cut  the foundation papers for my Sydney quilt show entry for this year and also cut the strips for my next 1600 quilt. 
At this rate I may even finish thirteen projects in 2013.  
Last time I entered this challenge was 2010. Not surprisingly I didn't finish ten quilts that year.  This year I am being more practical and am hoping to finish thirteen projects, so quilting, crotchet and knitting are all possibilities.... although I am hoping to clear out some UFOs.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Cafe Creme
 Well I have been having fun with Photoshop and while searching around found Carol's lost files.  I would tell you where they had been hidden but I have no idea.  I really am not a PC person, give me a Mac any day.
My Hero
Cafe Creme was named because my husband and I had been to a delightful French cafe that day and had this totally nonfattening slice which I am positive was nothing but cream.
While this one looked just like Mickey Mouse who was everyone's hero in our youth as we tuned in every week to the Mousketeers.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

More colour

Behind the Walls
 Carol's latest block, Behind the Walls, is just radiating and it has nothing to do with the lime green background.
Carol was very busy when she recently visited her friend and managed to finish seven blocks in just a few weeks.  At this rate she will definitely finish her quilt a lot quicker than I finished mine.
With Care
Doesn't the red background really focus your attention on the excellent matching of the design in With Care. I always like to see the fabrics that people pick in a block that allows reflection.  Excellent choice isn't it?
I still have another two blocks to upload but have lost these somewhere on my computer :(

Carol has been busy

Green with Envy
 Well Carol has been very busy.  Here we have another three of her blocks from Collection 4.
Doesn't she use such a wonderful array of fabrics. 
I was 'talking', well emailing with one of her friends a few days ago and mentioned about her colour selection.
Rainbow Semaphore
 I am sure Carol won't object to my publishing her friend's comments "Carol’s colour scheme?  Is there ever such a thing in her vocabulary?  She uses whatever she has and everything is as Joseph’s Coat."
Isn't it great when one's friends see our strengths and still love us with them!
Your Decision
Green With Envy was named after looking at my husband's garden and all of the wonderful produce he reaps from his efforts.  I love the flowers, vegetables and fruit but unfortunately am too lazy to contribute more than the worm wee (?) and bokashi compost. 
Rainbow Sempahore was named because it resembles what I thought would be semaphore 
flags.  I don't know if it is accurate though as I have never seen the flags.
Carol's skills with applique, in Your Decision, are definitely better than mine, which is why I pieced this block rather than attempt the applique as she did. This block evolved from an old maths graph, the sine/cosine curve. These graphs are identical but placed differently on the number plane, hence the title.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Scatterday R

Ok you can now check out to see what others have done with W and after you have done that the fun begins for week 2 with the letter being R and the categories being
and finally something red from your quilting room

Remember you have two weeks to gather your pictures of things that start with the letter R and upload them.  Publication date is Saturday 19th January. You don't have to write a blurb but many people do enjoy reading why you chose something.

Scatterdays - how often

I have had a query about the possibility of changing how often Scatterday posts are posted. I have written a survey so I can gauge the general feeling as to how often is preferred, weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

If you write, or intend to write, a blog post for Scatterdays please respond to this survey Click here to take survey

If you simply enjoy reading the Scatterday posts please respond to this survey Click here to take survey

Scatterday W - 2012 In Review

Wow I can't believe how quick today has come around. Funny I was thinking of many wonderful W words which would fit into this...such as watches, the Bridge Walk and wedding for expensive, wooble board or "Walking in Sunshine" for music, and for WIP hey I have more than 20 of those.  Wedding seemed to dominate my thinking once it turned up and as a niece and nephew had been married this year I actually have photos of the events so it was an easy one.... just needed to find the photos.

What could be more exciting than a wedding.
Rebekah and Nick planned to marry in the Rose Gardens in Canberra on what was forecast to be a beautiful warm Autumn day for "Walking in Sunshine", but alas the temperature drop and wind chill factor change this to "Blowing in the Wind". 

 Frocks had been chosen, I am sure the men chose their outfits with the usual care of "it's ironed, it fits, it's perfect".  Rebekah had found her wedding dress in the UK and flew it in for the occasion .... isn't it exquisite?
Several months later James and Sarah also married. It has been an expensive year in that family as Rebekah and James are siblings, but hey these are once in a lifetime events. 


James and his groomsmen presented a wonderful wedding song to his beautiful bride. Although it wasn't Walking in Sunshine nor Blowing in the the Wind, it is well worth watching here.

WIP now here was to be the beginning of the baby quilt which I am making for the real WIP...Rebekah and Nick are expecting their first baby about May.  YIKES.. all I have done is choosen the box from which I will choose the fabric. Time is running out. There is always a cable baby blanket. It is actually in progress, well the pink one is, as opposed to the quilt which is more in hope of progress.

Thanks go to Ron and Wendy without whom none of the above could have been possible.
It has been a great year catching up with family living far and wide... weddings are a great day for everyone.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

NYE Project - Amish Puzzle Ball

To celebrate the new year I thought that I would clear out one of my UFOs.  It was going to be my photograph for the WIP for next Saturday's Scatterday but it didn't really qualify as a WIP as there has been almost no progress on it for a few year. I have included here step by step photos for anyone wanting to make their own.   It is a lovely take anywhere hand project.

The first picture shows you how to make your own templates.
1. Draw two circles the desired size. For a pincushion I would suggest 4in circles , 2in radius, as a starting point and for a child's playball 6in or 8in if you wish to put a bell inside.
2. Draw two lines cutting each circle into four equal sections. 
3. Overlap the two circles so that the quarter marking points meet and draw in the arcs along the edge of the circle.
4. These are your templates - the circle is your base, while the little arc is the leaves.

You will need six circles and twelve leaves.
Trace around the templates and then add seam
allowance before cutting out the fabric.

You will need to make six of the following sets.

1. Fold the circles into quarters and mark the quarter points on the circle edge.
2. Match the end points of the leaves to the points as shown and stitch in place, reinforcing at all of the corners.
Take care - do not start at the end points as this will make it a weak point.  Start a short way from the corner, stitch out to the corner, turn around stitch to next corner, reverse for short distance and then finish with a double stitch.

Now this part looks easy and it is easy by the time you get to your third or fourth set so hang in there when you first start.
If you look back at the photo above you will see that each leaf has one 'free' side and also that half of the circle is unattached...so guess what.  For this step all you need to do is sew those sides together.  When you work out how to lie it flat like I have done here you will find it's not too bad.  So go for it. After you have finished sewing it together clip a small hole along the middle edge. This hole is used to first turn the whole thing inside out and secondly to stuff the section. After stuffing sew the hole closed.

I forgot to take a photo of the next stage but the missing photo simply shows you what one section looks like.
Once you have turned it inside out , stuffed it and closed the hole you then need to stitch alone the centre seam to define the two quarter sections.

In the photos beside there are two sections which I have sewn together along the adjoining seam.  If you look at the lower photo you  see the front on view of this part of the ball.  Make one of these by sewing together two leaf/circle sections, this seam is the horizontal one which is slightly more defined.

You will need to make two of these sections.
Take two of the circle/leaf sections and sew them together along that central seam which you stitched earlier to separate the original piece into two parts. You need a longer needle for this as the puffy leaf sections keep getting in the way.

In this photo you can see all three parts which need to be made. The top circle is what you made in the step above. The two bottom sections show the top and bottom view of the same thing.
Note you need strong seams to hold all of the pieces together, quilting or furniture thread would be perfect for this. If you don't mind the colour dental floss is also a good alternative.
Now comes the real fun, you will definitely need a strong needle, thread and thimble for the following sections. Using the top ring section and one of the four leaf clover sections line them up as shown opposite. You now need to sew together the two parts at the four matching end points.  Make sure this is done securely as these stitches will be the only thing holding the two parts together. Although the average quilter/sewer isn't going to be rough with her new toy if you have made a child's ball then it will probably take quite a pounding.

You have the choice here.  When I first started to make these balls I would sew two sections together firstly and then add the third section.  Later though I started to sew all three sections together at the one time.  The choice is your own.

Viola here is your finished pin cushion. Don't forget to send me a picture as I love to see various colour choices. Also if you work out how to add a bell let me know how.  Is it easy to secure the centre hole so that it doesn't escape into the hands of littlies.                    Happy New Year.