10 June 2018

And May-be I did some sewing

Looking back at the things I did during May (before June gets ahead of me)...
Winding up a few loose ends - or rather FINALLY being able to finish a UFO.

Yoshiko's Garden was a pattern from the (now closed) Kona Bay website.

It was one of those patterns that was designed to showcase a range of fabric, and well.... it didn't quite work.

Fabric ranges are very nice but I think using EVERY single fabric in the one quilt can be a bit overwhelming.


Since deciding to make the pattern - I have been struggling with the design.

For me it was incomplete.
It just didn't look right!


It is a reasonably good pattern for showcasing Two feature prints or a Feature and Companion Print.

The blocks that draw your eye are the large dark framed snowballs.
Yet there are only two complete blocks in the whole quilt, the rest are chopped off at the edges!

They HAD to be complete for it to make sense.
So I happily went about sewing up full blocks...
Not enough Pink fabric to finish, so back into the UFO box it went - again.

Determined to finish it, I took another look into the UFO box and found I had enough Pink scraps to join together the missing pieces.

For this Quilt it doesn't matter if there are a few more joins, that most probably will be hidden in the quilting and not ever noticed.

Oh No!   Now there isn't enough Blue Butterfly Fabric to complete the edges...

A complimentary print found in my stash helped fill the gaps.

So it needs a darker border to frame it off.

Three Cheers for a Sale at Spotlight - That all over Butterfly print I had my eye on is now a reasonable price.

The quality of the fabric is not brilliant, but good enough to finish the Quilt.

I am finally happy with it - And now I can move it into the "To Be Quilted When Needed" box.

And the finished size?   64" x 73"

Perfect for the Guest Emergency Bed, some extra warmth for the Kids or to just Cuddle under.







31 May 2018

May-be I spent some time in the Garden

I started to write to a friend recently and my opening lines were....

"Just come back in from looking at all the weeds growing where I spent all last week pulling them out.... it is like the new ones are saying "Thanks for giving us some room to grow".
Humph - sounds like an opening line for a Blog Post!"

I don't think I have finished writing to my friend yet - more distractions, like the weeds mentioned above!

They ARE relentless and these ones have itty-bitty bulbs attached to their roots making them impossible to remove completely.


I have been happy with my little potted garden - everything is growing well and the White Cabbage Butterfly has been thrilled to find my Tatsoi.....  Ah the joys of a Butterfly friendly garden.



And Mother's Day flowers have joined in the party as well.

The local Bees are enjoying one of the Chrysanthemums and not the other - so Colour is everything!

And then there was our poor Lemon Tree.

Looks good in this photo but has been the subject of much attention from a young friend who is an Entomologist .

It is heavily infested with Citrus Gall Wasp and needs to come out. 

We didn't realise just how big it was and how much ugly it was hiding!

Now I have a bucket full of Lemons and some serious cleaning up to do!





30 May 2018

Whatever happened to May?

I wish I could say I have been SO busy Quilting that I haven't come up for air in a whole month - but actually - I keep getting distracted!


I started the month by Testing out the Scan-n-cut for some possible STENCIL projects.

Here I am using one of Esther Aliu's "Fantasy Flower" stencil patterns that I downloaded a while ago.

The clear line drawing scanned well with just a few tweaks needed to clean up some stray lines and text.

In a matter of minutes I had a precise Freezer Paper stencil cut - in both Negative and Positive.

Seeing it was a test, why not use both?

A word of warning - always adjust your blade depth to suit the thickness of what you are cutting or you may end up cutting a (repairable yet irritating) hole in your mat.





It took longer to find the Fabric Stencil Paint than it did to cut these out!

I think that this was a success and all up (shopping for paint excluded) it took a morning.
***
Once your pattern is saved you can cut out as many copies as needed for your project - enlarge or reduce the size of the Stencil without having to re-scan it!

AND - don't just stop at Stencils... Cut out some Applique too!






28 April 2018

Back in the Garden.

Autumn in Melbourne really is the Best time of year!

Cold Mornings herald Beautiful afternoons and promise Crisp Evenings that are Perfect for sleeping.
Coupled with a dryer than usual April - it makes Very good Gardening Weather.

Last 'Working Bee' had us digging out trees that were not quite working.
Neither Bird nor Bee were interested in the meagre blooms it struggled to make.

That done - it was time to tidy things up!

This area has become a place to put the stuff that doesn't have anywhere else to live - INCLUDING the old Gazebo!

Today's task is about making this unloved back corner into something that ties the whole Garden together.


DH moved things out to - - I have no idea where!

We re-levelled the Old Gazebo frame and moved its supporting fence across a section, which opened up the view considerably.

Did a Lot more Weeding
And went for Coffee at Bunnings...

(Do you think he may suspect I had an ulterior motive?)

Some beautiful new Nectar rich Aussie Natives to fill in the gaps.

And all those Things that had nowhere to live?
They just needed to feel useful again!

All that was required was a few seedlings, some markdowns, and even things that just needed repotting.

There is a lot we can't do until our rear fence is replaced (hopefully soon) but until then - It is a Start! .....







26 April 2018

One of THOSE Days . . .

It really is not supposed to be this difficult - Is it?
You have a great pattern, Your Feature Fabric has been in your stash for not that long.

So WHY is it so hard to choose Fabric?

For me- it is the worry that I will make a very expensive mistake and end up with something that just doesn't work.

So it stays in the too hard basket.

I have been agonising over such a Quilt for months or is it years?

Time to get it off the shelf and into the TBQ* box.

[*To Be Quilted. I have a box for tops I have finished and they are waiting to be quilted when they are needed.]




With some help from my (always coordinated) DH, we laid out the fabric choices on the floor and played around with 'What goes Where' until we were both happy.

Cutting out the blocks should not be difficult or time consuming,  That is until I discovered that there was a printing error on one of my rulers....

The ¼ and ½ lines are ⅛ of an inch out, sitting on the ⅛ and ⅜ positions!

Cutting the Sashing strips took more time and a LOT more frustration.
The Pattern said I needed 32 x 1½ inches WOF cuts - I had enough fabric for 30, I was 3 inches short!
No time to fret. I didn't want to start cutting only to find I couldn't get any more fabric so - Off to the Shop I went (an hours drive away...) hoping that the small bolt would still be there.

SUCCESS! And I got some fabric for the Border - Now I can relax.
Now I can start cutting my Strips.

Put my Audio Book on and - No?
DS#2 is working from home today and it will distract him.
Put the Ear buds in - That's better.
Well - I don't need to tell you what happened next. As they say a picture is worth 1000 words.
What was I saying earlier about expensive mistakes?
Fortunately I managed to stop the rotary cutter before severing the cable completely and one ear still works.


The Quilt sewed together quickly - an advantage of working with big blocks and large prints. And the sashing looks really good between the oriental fabrics.
I had decided to cut the strips as I needed them and when I finished.....
I had 12 inches of my Original fabric left over!

Oh - and the Fabric I picked up for the  border - would have looked good as a small piece IN the quilt but not for a 7 inch border AROUND it.

SO - I will have to go back to the Shop and find a Suitable Border Fabric

Yep - It was just NOT my day!







25 April 2018

ANZAC Day

We WILL Remember Them...


We WILL Thank Them . . .


Lest We Forget


7 April 2018

Australian Quilt Convention 2018

Never say Never!



Not so long ago I said I would never
 'Be good enough' to enter a Show. 

But I got brave enough, 
took a big deep breath 
and did!



And of course I said I would Never win a ribbon.
But..... 
Someone liked my Quilt and - I did!






And not so long ago I replied to a friend's question saying I would NEVER have a Quilt on display at the AQC.


(The Australian Quilt Convention - Held in Melbourne Australia, is the largest Quilt Show/convention in the Southern Hemisphere.)




And the Moral of this Post is . . .

Never say NEVER.



I will admit that I was 'blown away' when I received a letter from the Victorian Quilters requesting My Istanbul for display in the
 "Best of the Best" 
at this year's Australian Quilt Convention. 

(There was a bit of scrambling to be done - Retrieving it from my DS & DIL.  Having it Valued etc which was all a bit nerve wracking.)

And here it is, hanging in some awesome company.

And standing back, just another quilter in the crowd - watching and hearing snippets of conversations and wonderful compliments.... Made me feel Happy that other people liked it too!


Thank you!!!