November 30, 2011

It's Wednesday again......

This week I have been participating in an International Postcard Challenge.  I can't show you what I have made yet, 'cause that will let the cat out of the bag for my recipients. My cards are now "Streaking" through the Post towards USA, Canada and the UK. It will be interesting to see who receives theirs first (and yes Bunny, I remembered the Airmail sticker this time!!!)

For the rest of the week I have been working towards getting a production line going for the remaining centre blocks of Heart's Desire.   Now I think we all know that Esther has a 'thing' for leaves, but when you set about doing 3 blocks at once.... The true enormity of the project hits home.


I decided to trace off as many leaves as would fit on an A4 sheet of paper then scanned it (flipped the image, because I should have traced them off reversed) then cut off some freezer paper the required size. I lightly taped it to a 'carrier' sheet and shoved the lot through the printer.....x 3 copies!

Ok, so it took a wee bit of time - BUT I will never have to do it again!

Before I cut the sections apart I numbered each piece so that I would be sure of pairing them up properly once they were cut out.

At this point I probably should mention that Block 4 of Heart's Desire has 21 leaves and each leaf is in 2 pieces.

No prizes for guessing what I am doing for the rest of the week!

On the Home front, I am pleased to be out of the confines of the Walker Boot and heading for Physio tomorrow.
My Mum decided I needed to go out & was eager to show off the new Coffee Shop that opened while I have been off my feet.
("Cheshire" 2nd last stop on the 112 Tram line) Very nice 'home made' muffins. I wish them well - we need more local coffee shops!

November 25, 2011

Does your Smoke Detector Work?

MINE DOES......
             ......and just as well too!

The first I knew of this was when the Smoke detector peeped then burst into a noise that would have woken the dead.
[Well, after all that IS the point of them.]

I hobbled as fast as I could into the kitchen to see my brand new oven with a blazing fire inside it!

DS#1 now knows WHY you do not leave the grill unattended.

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

A long time ago, before I knew that quilting was the enjoyable past-time that it is, I was drawn to the beautiful fabrics that make up the pallets we work with.

This print - believe it or not- was the first piece of Quilting Fabric I ever bought.  I didn't know what to do with it.  I just had to have some.
That year we had an exchange teacher at my Children's School.
Her name was Susan and she was from Colorado.

Realising that she was a very long way from home and her traditions, and that she would be away on school camp on Thanksgiving I knew what to make with this beautiful fabric.
I made her an apron - and she took it to camp and wore it on Thanksgiving Day.

When I look at this remaining piece I am thankful that it took me into a Fellowship that spans the Globe.  One that cuts through the barriers of Race and Colour and Language of Age and Experience.  And I am thankful for the friends I have made.

So to all those who are celebrating today - Happy Thanksgiving.

November 23, 2011

WOW - Christmas Stocking Swap

I have been participating in a Christmas Stocking Swap through-out the year and I have just parcelled up the last of my gifts.  
It certainly was a Work in Progress!
The idea was a simple one -
Make a Christmas Stocking or Bag, send that off by the end of March.  Then, send a gift each month to put in it. And NO PEEKING!

I chose to make a "Bucket Bag".  This was a great pattern I found years ago, on the blog of a fellow Quilter in Wales.
My bag worked out a bit bigger than the original pattern, instead of the 2 1/2" squares required, I used the squares from a Christmas Print.  It will certainly make a good sized shopping bag for all of my swap partner's Christmas Loot!

I have wrapped each of my gifts as mysteriously as I could and tagged them with individual tags that spell "CHRISTMAS DAY".
And Just because I could - I also made a "little extra" after coming across these fantastic patterns for non-traditional Christmas Stockings.
It was way too cute to make up full size -so I miniaturised it.  I also made a sleeve to go inside, just in-case my Swap Partner would like to stuff it with Lavender or use it as an Ornament or Pincushion!
The $5 - $10 limit made it a challenge to find interesting things to send and I found myself thinking of the swap whenever I went somewhere different.

Now all that remains is to roll on Christmas Day when Swappers from Aust and NZ are finally allowed to Open their Pressies!

November 20, 2011

Peaceful Pathways

Today I was bundled into the car and taken out for coffee.  I have been house-bound for the last 3 weeks and in danger of not wanting to get into the pre-Christmas rat race.
These Family day adventures are just about seeing what is at the end of the road. This time we ended up at Brimbank Park on the Maribyrnong River at East Keilor.

I was not able to walk the Kilometres of trails that entice folk to this park, but found a pleasant surprise between the car and the Leaping Lizard Café at the Visitors Centre.


I thought it a little ironic that the first trip out since my accident would be to walk down a "Peace Path"
The Gateway contains the story of the Path which was built to commemorate Peace Day - August 6th.

And each brick in this path holds a message of Peace or Love to all who walk down it.

As you can see - it is a VERY long path!

Lunch was pleasant and the Coffee - I was told, was the 'best in the west'!  It was made by staff that  made us feel like we had just sat at their own kitchen table.

My DH asked me if I wanted a photo of the path before we left.  I declined, saying it didn't matter. But the Kids all chorused....... "But Mum!....It's a "Peaceful Pathway*....."



*Peaceful Pathways is Esther Aliu's current BOM - a journey I am not taking at the moment - but may.... some day.

November 16, 2011

WOW:- Truly a Work in Progress... Block One re-visited



Nine short months ago I got an email.  It was a posting on the SCQuilters Yahoo Group.  It was titled "Esther Aliu's new BOM"  The body of the email referred to "Appliqué" and "Mystery" and I was intrigued...... The rest they say is History!
Block 1 Be Still My Heart
The very first block looked easy enough - yep, ok, why not? Be brave - Give it a go! I posted the photo of my very first block and got some astonishing news ......people liked it......
How encouraging!
It was decided it needed a bit of 'zing', just to bring those hearts out of the shadows.
So some blue thread was added around the hearts. That looks better.
Oh and add the "photo corners" that bit was in the pattern.
I thought, well better use some of the same fabric from the centre petals for that ...
....  Hmmm - lookin' good.
BUT.
To me, it still looks a little 'empty' - but, it is a mystery after all, and I wonder if it is really done .......

Fast forward to the last page.
The other blocks have been revealed as well as a border with little trees of 3 leaves each - AND... "go back to your first block and add some leaves between the hearts" ......
Block 1 - NOW finished!
NOPE!   I have stuck steadfast to the pattern without changing a thing - (well not counting a tiny little tweak) - changing the colour of the whole quilt doesn't count, really? - - does it?
This time I've added my own flourish - An explosion of needle-turned, fussy-cut butterflies bursting out of the centre.



Oh how much I have learned - how far I have come. (Thank you Esther - and everyone.)

When the central 9 blocks are finally together - I'll have a another look and maybe, there will be a butterfly or two alighting on a leaf or vine.....somewhere.



[PS:  To those who are new to my Blog or Esther's Group, I would like to add.  I had never attempted either appliqué or a mystery quilt before this one.  There is nothing more exhilarating than being thrown off the deep end and finding that you can actually swim!]

November 14, 2011

First Border - One down Three to go....

In Last week's WOW posting I asked for an opinion - the result was unanimous!  The Blue on Blue Posy won the day and here it is.  The back row of petals look a little flat in the photo but actually stand out well against the white background. And just to add some interest I added a little embroidery and some 3D points.
The rest of the border consists of a line of stylised tree sentinels all resplendent with their dots of flowers. These little dots have proved a topic for discussion as to how best to make them.  From using buttons or gathering fabric around washers to....leaving them off entirely! 

I found the best way for me was to simply cut a small circle of 'Floriani' - iron it to a scrap of fabric and.... needle-turn it in place!


So the first piece of the first border is done.  Notice I didn't say completed.  There is still a Basket of flowers to be placed on each mitred corner. But until then.  This is what is looks like.

November 11, 2011

LEST WE FORGET


In Flanders' field the Poppies blow
between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders' Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders' Fields.
                               Maj. John McCrae

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We WILL Remember Them.


Studio portrait of Private (Pte) Arthur Mackay Boxshall, 22nd Battalion, of Sorrento, Vic. A labourer prior to enlistment, Pte Boxshall embarked with the 6th Reinforcements from Melbourne on HMAT Ulysses on 27th October 1915. Later transferring to the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, he died on 14th November 1916 of wounds received in action in France and is buried in the Warlencourt British Cemetery.

November 9, 2011

WOW - What have I been up to.....

...Well, not a lot actually!  Today has been one of those days that Melbourne is 'famous' for - A 4 seasons in one day kind of day.
So as the weather became more unsettled - so did I.  Having to keep off your feet isn't as glamorous as it sounds.  I feel like a Pack-rat pulling things into my nest, as bits and pieces pile up, within reach around me.

Which brings me to my Work in Progress. I have got back into working on my Heart's Desire.


Today I have been auditioning fabrics for the petals of the 'posy' in the centre of the first border.
I don't have a lot of shades to play with so, first I made a straight blue on blue...


Then I found a nice piece that reminded me of the Northern Lights
And just for fun I thought I'd mix and match them. (This one isn't a serious contender).

What do you think?

November 7, 2011

Progress Report

It has been just over a week since I fractured my ankle and it certainly has had it's ups and downs.  Up the step to the kitchen and down to the rest of the house!  I never thought that one step would prove to be such a problem.  I just have to decide where I want to spend my day.  Down has a good view, but up is where my stuff is!

The downside to being 'down' is that I  have to ask others to bring me things. Which is why my DH now owes me a new pair of Scissaroos!  He hasn't explained how he managed to drop them point down onto the tiles -
All I got was a sheepish "Sorry" and a box of chocolates!
The last stitch!

On the work front..I have put the last stitch in the Tapestry - Only took me 25 years! Now I have to decide if I want to frame it.

I pulled out an embroidery that was started before I was married....

What concerns me is... Just how long have those needles been sitting there?  ........ It looks a bit sad but it is going to have to stay that way.  That is at least until I can give it a good press and an airing! (It smells like something that has been shoved in a box for 30 years!)

My next post will probably be for WOW - Wednesday let's see what mischief I can get up to before then.

November 2, 2011

More like an Ouch

WOW this week sees me with my feet up enjoying the life of one who is being waited upon hand and foot. Only problem is...... I had a little mishap which sees me with an Avulsion Fracture of the right ankle and IT is NOT enjoyable at all!

However!
Being one who does not know the meaning of REST
 I have already


          Completed my Sashiko Sampler.....
Almost finished a Tapestry that I started 25 years ago...




and started to teach myself (with some help from Utube) to hand quilt.

This cot panel quilt has been refusing to be quilted for over a year. I have lost count of how many times I have tried only to pull out the horrid stitching.
So ... this is it's last chance - - - IT WILL BE QUILTED one way or another.  Then it will either be a triumph to perseverance or off to the Lost Dogs Home!