Tuesday, 21 December 2010

last minute handmade Christmas

 The Christmas songs are playing, the tree is up with presents starting to pile up under it. The kids are increasingly excited. Yes, Christmas is definitely on the way. My sewing machine is running warm at night with the last minute presents like this bag

Little Possum is getting a smaller version of this bag in some very special girly fabric...... can't pull it out to take a photo of it now though....

Saturday, 4 December 2010

planning a getaway

We thought we might go away for a camping trip to Jervis Bay between Christmas and New Year
(the joy of living in the southern hemisphere!)
I'd really like to stay here:

Perfect for some al fresco quilting under the gum trees!


 we're more likely to end up here:

I'll let you know!  :)

Monday, 15 November 2010

Seeing stars

Little Possum and I were both seeing stars before the weekend..... 
albeit of different kinds.

Little Possum had a general anaesthetic on Friday

 while she slept, I sewed my stars

I hadn't touched my Texas stars for a while, but it is the perfect portable project.

It's not going to be a finish for this year, but I'm enjoying my star journey even if it's one with many long pauses :)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Midweek Meditation

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."

Alexander Graham Bell

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Handmade Christmas - part 1

 2010 is the year of the pillowcase, seriously!
The turtle pillowcase is for Turtle who just happens to love green. This pillowcase will compliment the jigsawpuzzle quilt I'm making for his bed in which the turtle fabric will feature prominently  :)
The orange/red pillowcase is for a very colourful niece
The dr Seuss pillowcases I made just for fun, and I don't know where they'll be going yet.

These tube pillowcases are shockingly easy to make. I learned how from watching this tutorial.
Gotta love YouTube!
 Here's a set of a small quilted reversible tablerunner/mat and coasters. Nothing fancy and very quick to make!
 There's a scripture tote for a special little Possum with extra special sparkly embellishments which I have still to sew on when said little girl is in bed asleep.
Some wall art to go with a quilt that is still in production, but that will look something like this:
The pattern is called "Dandelion Windows" and was designed by the very clever Kate Conklin.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Handmade Christmas

A couple of years ago I committed myself to a handmade Christmas and had such fun with it. Obviously I hope that all the recipients of my efforts were as excited about it as I was :)

Don't know what happened last year..... I think I just left it too late in the year to do anything about it. This year I feel that urge again, and the production has already started. Here's the dilemma.... how do I share it all here without spoiling the surprise.... ?

I might show some sneak peeks

but not today :)

Monday, 25 October 2010

Flutter by Butterfly

It's been a long journey but this UFO is now a ... FO (?)
Leanne Beasley's "Butterfly Garden" had several of my favourite needlework elements in one,
embroidery, patchwork and applique:
Needs a second border (in pink) and a good press, but all in all
IT'S DONE!!!!!

sort of...

still needs quilting and binding  :)

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Sparkling Gemstones - part 3

My baby is back!!!!  I haven't bound it yet, but had to put it on the bed to try it out. For the binding I have in mind Kaffe Fassett's Paisley Jungle in green which happens to be sitting in my stash waiting patiently :)

Something odd happens to the perspective when I use my phone to take photos.... the bed looks like a single bed almost!

Here's a shot of the back where I used some yardage from my stash. Kaffe Fassett's Asha in the blue and the other fabric is a Philip Jacob print - Garden Party in jade.
I suppose I can't claim complete stashbusting success since I ended up buying as many fabrics as I used..... but I'll award myself a 10/10 for good intention and a 8/10 for effort  :)

Friday, 15 October 2010

Thoughtful Friday

"If you become a bird and fly away from me", said mother, "I will be a tree that you come home to".

"The Runaway Bunny"
- Margaret Wise Brown

Thursday, 14 October 2010

a special kind of feeling

that feeling that comes from finding the absolute perfect fabric? That special fabric that will finish off the quilt and make it just perfect? That happened to me today as I went to the mothership to find some backing and binding for my puzzle quilt. I really like a stripey binding, and I chanced upon a stripe that had all the shades of blue and green that were in my quilt.. Love it.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

a bit of a sew and tell...

 Playing around with a design I saw in a tutorial at the Make it a wonderful life blog. It's a very simple idea, 5" square background and a circle cut using a CD as a template. Just need to quilt it now, and so it joins this queue:
 4 quilts to quilt.
The bottom three are being handquilted. Slowly. I am having too much fun starting new projects
- like this one:
 Kate Conklin's "Dandelion Windows" using Saffron Craig's "Fields" range of fabrics.

And then on top of the shelves are my PIG's - projects all bundled and ready to go. Handmade Christmas coming up!
So much fabric, so little time!

Friday, 8 October 2010

a daytrip

A little daytrip to Barrenjoey lighthouse...

Thursday, 7 October 2010

puzzle solved - a new bedspread

yikes, has it been 2 weeks already? I have been busy at work with this quilt top (the angle of the photo makes it look elongated). A few years ago I stumbled across a pattern online called Jig Swatches Puzzle and I finally had the opportunity to make it. It was good fun to make and I got to perfect a technique for applique that I haven't used much before - freezerpaper and starch.

Looking at my finished quilts I can see an evolution of applique techniques. I started with Vliesofix and blanket stitch before I learned a method of tacking fabric onto a cardboard template and pressing into shape. Freezer paper entered my life and I learned needleturn using the freezer paper ironed onto the right side of the fabric. And now the freezerpaper has moved onto the reverse side of the fabric. It's so much fun always learning something new!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

fluttering madly

........ and this is no 7.........
I have been stitching madly trying to complete the Butterfly Garden quilt. Partly I am so excited to be almost finished with it, and I can't wait to see what it will look like completed.


Mostly it is because I am excited about my next applique project which I will not allow myself to start until I have Butterfly Garden. Self-discipline, see? (it's not a dominant trait in me as far as quilting is concerned, but I can always pretend)

Redwork quilt by Tita Leach

I have fabrics (red/ecru prints and ecru osnaberg) as well as embellishments ready to go.
My friend Adri and I will be stitching together on this one. Always good for motivation!
Imagine our surprise when in the pattern pack was discovered an extra border not in the photo (or on the original quilt displayed at the Craft Depot!).

By popular demand Tita added another border consisting of houses and trees made up of suffolk puffs - 320 in total. No, that is not a typo.....  320!

Good thing I'm such a dab hand with them after finishing Tita's Christmas Quilt.

Monday, 13 September 2010

check out this giveaway!!

Becky Johnson of Chasing Cottons has done it again and the "Rolling Meadows" pattern is now ready for purchase through her website. To celebrate, Becky is doing a giveaway - check out this bundle!!!!! A free copy of the pattern,a whole yard of the tree fabric (Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow) and assorted strips of other fabric.

All you have to do is visit her blog and leave a comment. For an added chance, follow her blog (which you'd want to do anyway, so that you can find out what this talented new quilter is up to!). For a third go at the prize, put Becky's blog in your sidebar or blog about it.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

room to let

Looking for a new home?
A great opportunity has come up in this brand new single dwelling development.

We are offering a spacious 34 ltr modern home tastefully decorated with white, fine grain gravel flooring throughout. Decorations include a replica shipwreck.
Environmental issues have been addressed and we can guarantee a comfortable, stable room temperature and excellent ventilation.

Landscaping artists will be starting work on the planting of greenery later this week.

Services include food delivered regularly straight to your door.

Premises are suitable for a couple or a family. House share welcome. Premises are also suitable for a school.

Applications to Little Possum.

and the winners are.....

The quilt goes to Caroline of The Simple Things for $70.  Thank you!!

The highest bid for the pencil roll was by Fiona who bid a very generous $100, but didn't leave contact details. Thank you for your bid!!

Can both winners  please email me with your details -  mari.viertel@gmail.com

Thank you to those who bid, it was very generous of you, and I am happy to be able to use this money to contribute to a very worthy cause.

I will be starting another silent auction again in the next week, so watch this space!

Friday, 3 September 2010

presenting...... Gemstones!

The quilt top is now complete in all its glory. The original pattern is from "Jelly roll quilts" by Nicky Lintott.
The picture in the book also featured Kaffe Fassett prints and the fabrics were pieced in a random/scrappy way. This looked fun and cheerful, but as I started piecing my rectangles, I decided that I would make my gemstones by organising the prints by colour, and here is the result:
For the backing I had originally intended on using white homespun with a strip of leftover rectangles pieced into it. However, when I went to buy the homespun, I must've had a brainblip, and I miscalculated the amount I needed and I was short by 20 cm.

I considered my options - going back for more homespun, or going on to plan B,
a pieced backing.

Plan B feels very satisfying in a stashbusting way since I used KF yardages from my shelves.

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to Adri I go :)

Thursday, 2 September 2010

the table is set

Finished all the placemats. I made 8 in total.

Quite pleased with the result, especially when I added the candlestick made by my grandfather. He also made the mirror on the wall.

Just need some food to serve up now :)

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

84 down, 0 to go!

84 leaves, 84 yo-yo berries later and  I can say a big


Yes...... the quilt top for "Twelve Days of Christmas" (designed by Tita Leach) is finally finished!
It's only 5 years ago that I started it.........

It's off to Adri tomorrow to be basted and then I will quilt and embellish. Joy!

Monday, 30 August 2010

quiet day

It's Monday. Dash-around-quickly-do-housework-then-quilt-day. Normally I would be alone today, but I have Doodlebug company today. He has been unwell since Friday, rallied himself to help out his teammates for the Soccer Gala Day on Saturday (which wiped him completely since they made it through 3 games to go to the final) before collapsing in a little heap yesterday. This morning I was trying to get him moving with not much luck. I found him sleeping in a little beanbag nest by the window, curled up in the morning sun like a cat.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Silent Auction for Medecins sans Frontieres/Doctors without Borders

I know that you are all aware of the humanitarian disaster in Pakistan at the moment.
The sheer scale of it is hard to comprehend. The number of people made homeless is now estimated to be 4 million
 - the equivalent to the entire population of Norway or of New Zealand.

I want to make a contribution to MSF towards their efforts in Pakistan. These courageous aidworkers are helping to provide safe drinking water and healthcare to the flood victims.

This will be a drop in the bucket, but I hope to raise a little cash by auctioning of the following items:

A baby quilt, inexpertly pieced, lovingly appliqued and quilted by me.
Cotton fabrics, polycotton batting

Bids starting at $60 AUD

Pencil roll made from The Hungry Caterpillar prints. Pencils included.

Bids starting at $10 AUD

How to bid:
Submit your bid in a comment with your first and last name (or a nickname -- something you will know!). If you are the first bid, your bid must be higher than the minimum bid, and if you are not first, your bid must be higher than the previous commenter.

If you have a blog, please link to this post in order to spread the word!

Auction ends Friday 3rd September at 8pm AEST

Payment to be organised through PayPal

Also consider making a donation through other agencies such as
The Red Cross
World Vision

as well as a generous fast offering!