Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Post Christmas wishes.

Just where did the days before Christmas go?
Its a commonly asked question.
They disappear in a daze of preparations,
 gift wrapping, cooking and socializing with family and friends.
l would like to thank all you lovely readers who think
 l have something to say worth reading.
Quilting brings such joy into my life and l love sharing my adventures with you all.
l have met and made so many wonderful friends through quilting and my blog.
Wishing you all the joy of the  season. Stay safe these holidays.
After all there is that ever growing list of quilts to make!!
A few special gifts to share.
This one came in the week before Christmas.
Even the card is cute!
Thank you Kathie! Just might hand quilt this one.
A few days before Christmas,
a dear friend gave to me - 12 Christmas Cookies!!

Almost to cute to eat!!

And now l am preparing for my annual sojourn
 to Sorrento for the month of January.
So its cleaning out the fridge, making sure the washing and ironing
are up to scratch,  packing all the left overs to be enjoyed another day, cleaning the house
and packing all my sewing stuff to take with me.
l have several different groups of women coming to join me for sewing
retreats during the weeks ahead, and l want to be sure to have
 plenty to work on. Several more birthday quilts top the list,
and maybe a few PHD's ( Projects half done! ) Thanks to Francoise for that one.
l love using it. Makes me and all my quilting friends sound so smart!! LOL
l hope to be able to post from Sorrento.
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gourmet Cheese and an antique quilt!!

A huge thanks to everyone who played along.
And l learnt that THERE is recipes for Tuna and Chickpea Patties,
 though that was not what l was making.
l have been taking cheese making classes this year and having tons of fun.
 The most recent one was on making feta, gourmet feta and yogurt.
So when a free day presented itself l made a big batch of
 gourmet feta to give as gifts this Christmas.
Here it is all dressed and ready for giving.

Here it is in its natural state before l made balls with it.

Here is a cheese platter l was able to present to guests recently.
All 3 cheeses made by me.
L-R Cheddar, Camembert and Blue.
Maybe my guests were being nice, but they all seemed to enjoy them
and there was none left at the end of the night!
Remember those antique quilts in a box l mentioned recently?
Well, here is a few pics of one of them.
The fabrics are so bold and cheerful.

Here you can see they left me a clue, Grandma's dress.


Grandma's dress again. She had a nice wardrobe.
See how she pieced some background to make them fit.

l love this block. Again clues. Getting to the bottom of the scrap basket here.
l count 3 different shirting backgrounds and 3 fabrics for the basket.
And even some pieces are pieced!!
And so to the winners of my pattern.
Jenn was on the money guessing feta cheese, but she had insider info,
 so sorry Jenn,
 No pattern for you!!
Christine, Haley and Jill all suggested cheese, and while they didn't guess exactly,
 l am feeling in a generous mood, so l am giving all 3  my pattern.
Can you send me our postal address's please
 and l will get your copy in the mail ASAP.
Thanks again for playing along. l love a good mystery.
When l come back next time l have another mystery for you.
 This time its an antique quilt. One from the box!!
Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fabric, quilts, A Barn and a Giveaway!!

My email is back up and running thank goodness.
My, how we have come to rely on the technical world!
After my DD's successful shopping trip,
l took a few girlfriends back the next week,
 and these fabrics below are what came home with me.
An early Christmas present to myself.

Have found just a little time for stitching. These paper pieced,
soon to be half square triangles are for  a swap l am
 doing with my Sorrento Sewing group. No plan, but enjoying
the simple stitching required. An evening in front of the
telly to remove the papers coming soon!

l am using Edyta Sitars Triangle Exchange papers.
 They are quick and easy to use. About 5 minutes to sew a page,
about 5 more minutes to cut them apart and your ready to
 remove papers. The best thing l like about them is they are so accurate.
No more trimming each square to the correct size.
And no waste!!
My Sorrento Sewing Group  had an evening out recently to exchange christmas gifts.
Yep! You guessed it. Mini Red and White Quilts!
Here we are with the quilts we each took home.
Sandra, Margaret, Chris, Me and Jill.

Anne and Bev.
These are done in secret, so no one knows what anyone else is making.
 l love that they are all different.
l have been meaning to show you a gift two special friends gave me recently.
This gorgeous tin barn!! Those girls so get me!!

Its just perfect to take my hand stitching in when we
 head up to Castlemaine for Applique Group.

And as its Christmas, l thought it time for a giveaway!!
The first person to guess correctly what l am doing in the photo below will
receive in the mail a copy of my Infinite Variety Revisited  pattern.
And if no one can guess, l will draw a name at random.
l will check in and see how the guessing is going, and give a hint or two if needed!!
Good luck everyone!!

Off out for dinner with some friends who belonged to the first
ever stitching group l started.
Too many years ago to think!!
Well, thanks for visiting.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fabric and frustration!

Somehow l locked myself out of my email address.
l have contacted mail2world  many times in the past 72 hours since l did this.
 l have only had automated responses,
and even that took 48 hours from the start of the problem.
All my email contacts are held at that email address.
 l have no way of contacting anyone whom l normally stay in touch with through email.
Its far from life threatening, but l feel l have lost
contact with the world and all my friends.
So if you are reading this and know we sometimes stay in touch,
 l do have another email address you can contact me on
till the problem is resolved. That is, if a real person ever gets back to me!!
l would love to hear from you, especially if you have tried to
contact me in the last 3 days and been told me email is invalid.
l sent my daughter fabric shopping for me yesterday. This is a first for her.
 The shop l wanted to visit is 45 mins from my home,
but only 10 mins from my daughters. So l sent her on a mission to buy
 backing fabric for a quilt. Armed with a picture of the quilt and instructions
 of how much to buy, a flurry of messages and photos
 prevailed during her visit to said shop.
This is what came home.

See those top 4 fabrics? They were on the bargain table.
Now you know we pay a lot more for our fabrics here in Australia.
On average $20 metre.
Well, those 4 fabrics were being sold out for just $2 metre.
No, that's not a typing error.
 $2 metre.
l think l can see some pink and brown quilts in my future and
l think l will be sending my daughter fabric shopping more often!! LOL
P.S. The bottom stripe is the fabric she went for!!
Off to prepare that backing!!
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A few finishes.

Not much sewing happening here the past week or so.
l and some of the girls did manage a few finishes while sewing
 at Sorrento recently,  so thought l would share them.
This is one of my finishes.
Called Caramel Fudge, its a kit l purchased from Den Haan and Wagenmakers
in Amsterdam earlier this year. You can find the kit for this quilt here.
Its a combination of reproduction fabrics and dutch chintz fabrics.
This one is for my Niece Tegan. An 18th birthday quilt, she turns 19 soon!!
"Better late than never" is a motto l am using at the moment.
l used pink and purple reproductions, teamed with a plain white.
This design came from a girlfriend, and she is not sure where she first saw it,
 so no pattern available that l am aware of.
EDIT! While doing some research online ( quilting of course)
 l came across a blog that had a tutorial for this design so adding the link here.
This was a quick quilt stitched for a great Nephew, who turns 1 this week.
Fun and quick, a split nine patch.

This is a quilt Sandra completed.
Also a kit, the name slips my memory at the moment.

Jill was working on a group project.
This is her contribution to a block in the box.

Margaret was working on a long term hand piecing project.
These blocks are very cute! And remind me of starfish.

My sister joined us for sewing for the weekend,
 and managed to complete her first ever quilt.
Made for her daughter, this is a design l had published several years ago.
 Its a super easy for beginners quilt, that she had no trouble with.
The fact it took 2 years to complete is completely beside the point!!

Here she is with her second quilt, well on its way to completion.
Lets hope this one does not take 2 years!! LOL

Well, that's all for now. Just had a box delivered, and inside are
 some new antique quilts, so l am off to play!!
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thank you!

A girlfriend sent me the following story one day last week, and it put a smile on  my face.
A much needed smile!
Because what the story has to share is so very, very true!!
My girlfriends have rallied around me and made
me feel like l can get through the tough times ahead.
 l know they will be there with a shoulder and a tissue when l need to cry.
They will be there to make me laugh!
l am blessed with very dear girlfriends, and l treasure them!!
And l would like to thank all my blogging friends who have taken the time to check in on me.
My heart is warmed by the friendship and hugs  you offer me in an email.
What can l say, but that quilters are the best!!
Thank you.
My dear Dad has been diagnosed with lung  cancer.
He started chemo on Monday.
It won't cure him, but maybe buy him some more time.
At 80 years old, some might say he has had a good innings.
Those who know him know he had many more great years in him.
l already miss him.
See, he was the keeper of my garden. For the last 15 years or so,
 he would turn up every Monday and Friday mornings, and spend the day pottering.
We would make plans for the vegetable garden or new garden beds.
We would chat over a cuppa. And share a joke.
He would tell me about when he grew up.
l loved hearing stories about the olden days.
Its been a few weeks since he came. l still expect to hear his car
 and the welcoming bark of the dog to let me know he is here.
Life will change and there will be good days ahead.
And many wonderful memories to cherish.
And for those l will be forever grateful.
The last paragraph says it all!!!!
In an evening class at Stanford University the last lecture was on the mind-body connection - the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of
psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality "girlfriend time" helps is to create more serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health.

He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym. There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged? Not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!
So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky.
So, let's toast to our friendship with our girlfriends.
Thanks to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy, feeling understood,
  appreciated, and loved.
And just to leave you with a quilt, here is the latest group quilt
 my Sorrento sewing girls made.
 Its from Edyta Sitars book, Friendship, Strips and Scraps.
Slightly revised, but essentially the same.
We reproduction lovers even managed to use batik fabric!!

And here is happy birthday girl, Anne,
who seems mighty pleased with her quilt!

 Go find a friend and hug her.
Its for your own good health!!
Thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lifes challenges.

Life has thrown me a few curve balls
 these past few weeks,
 and l have taken some time to come to grips
 with them and the future implications.
Life will change and evolve,
 but never be the same again.
There will be good time and bad times.
 There will be laughter and tears.
l pray for strength, courage and wisdom,
 when those around me don't.
Life is a challenge, and l think l am prepared now.
l took some time out this weekend to sew at Sorrento with my dear sewing pals.
They give me so much strength. Sewing is a balm for my heart.
l gave that machine a fair working out.
 Catching up on promised birthday quilts that have been
 patiently waiting till after our recent exhibition.
l completed 2, then gave myself permission to make a quilt for myself.
There are still 4 more birthday quilts waiting.
l hope to get back to my machine again soon!
A bright spark on the weekend was seeing this on a blog.
My first ever quilt to be published  in  Quiltmania
And  l made the front cover!!
Life has funny ways of giving us highs and lows!
Thanks to those dear friends who checked up on me.
Thanks for visiting.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Special Announcement!!

Today is a special day. It's my 200th post.
Just to show how it all started, here is my very first post!!
Today is a new day. l have been considering starting a blog for some time,
 as l read others and get great enjoyment from all that you share.
It's time to give back. Who knows where this will lead, and how
  many adventures will come from knowing you all. It may end up
 in the bin at the end of the day. Please bear with me as l feel my
 way round, learn the ropes and decide on a game plan. l will share
 my quilting adventures, of which there are many, both past, present
 and future, and hope you enjoy the ride with me. When l figure out
 how to add photos, there will be plenty.
 Thanks in advance to those who read and follow.

Who knew way back in April 2010 that l would still be here,
blogging and having a great time. All of the above is still true.
l still get great enjoyment reading other blogs. l have a game plan.
l have had many, many adventures. And some of those adventures have been shared
with bloggers and quilters l have met along the way. Lots l now call friend.
Many of you have shared the ride. The joys, the highs and the lows.
 And l kept my promise of plenty of photo's.
And to celebrate this special day, l have my first self published pattern to release.
It all started when the decision was made to visit NYC in March 2011
for the Infinite Variety Exhibition. Most of you have read all about it on
 blogs over the past 18 months.
My daughter came to NYC with me, and as her special O birthday was that year,
l decided to make her a quilt. A Red and White Quilt.
So together we looked at all the photo's l took at the exhibit,
 and she chose 6 quilts that appealed to her.
 l chose from those 6 which one l would make.
This quilt instantly appealed to me. And as DD loves lots of open space
 for quilting, this one just seemed to fit the bill.
And Infinite Variety Revisited was born.
Over  the many months that followed l made slow progress on the quilt.
So many red and white quilts were in my head from that exhibition,
 and we decided at QITB that we would hold our own R&W exhibition.
To be honest, l have not counted how many R&W quilts l have made over
 the last 18 months, but l know Infinite Variety Revisited took the longest,
 as others jumped the que. Finally it was finished, and
 l sent it to be quilted by Helen Hayes,
 who's quilting my Daughter had always admired.
l knew she would turn it into a very special quilt. And she did.
 Thank You Helen for the superb quilting.
The binding was finally completed 2 nights before we hung the exhibition.
As DD wandered the exhibition over the next few days, l asked her several
 times which quilt was her favorite. She always answered MINE!!
Its taken longer than l hoped to make this quilt.
But its been a wonderful journey of discovery.
l have found there are still R&W quilts l want to make.
And so at long last here is Infinite Variety Revisited.
The front Cover!
The Quilt!

The Inspiration Photo!

Huge thanks to everyone who voted. There are certainly many lovers
of Red and White quilts out there in Blog Land.
And the 4 lucky winners of my pattern are Cheryl, Kathie, Merilyn and Lesley.
 l will be sending you an email.
As the voting stands, here are the quilts in order that scored the most votes.
And l am pleasantly surprised to see that our viewers choice
 from the exhibition is also our most voted for quilt here too!!
Fiona, who stitches with me once a month, made this quilt,
especially for our exhibit. Its been a crowd pleaser!!



Tonight the house is quiet and empty.
All my international guests have gone home.
 Its been a fun filled 4 weeks.
Over the next few posts l will share some of our adventures during that time.
 Many of them included quilts or quilting.
l look forward to sharing them with you.
Thanks for visiting.
 Have opened an Etsy shop to sell the pattern.
This is the link. QuiltsInTheBarn.
As a special incentive to buy my pattern,
l am going to donate 50% of the pattern price for the rest
 of this month and all of  November to Breast Cancer Research.
l will be adding more patterns in the near future.
If you are a shop owner, please contact me for wholesale inquiries.