Monday, 13 October 2014

Channelling my inner Judi with help from Kaffe!


Ok, I'm back, yes it's been a while but I have been concentrating on my quilting and our internet at the farm is hit and miss so wish me luck!

Having just returned from the Australian Machine Quilting Festival in Adelaide, I have loads of inspiration and ideas filling my head, so.... While I am waiting for a customer to return a call (her quilt is loaded and ready to go) what better idea than to start a new project.  And those that know me - stop laughing, I'll finish those other ones later! But my head is full of new ideas and techniques and I have no choice so here we go.

But first can you help me with background colour selection?  I am going to make the cover quilt 'In The Meadow' from Judi Madsen's book Quilting Wide Open Spaces, which she kindly autographed for me.

So I'm channelling my inner Judi, and I'm going to do it with my Kaffe Fasset fabrics, but I can't decide on which background to choose, white or dark grey, let me know what you think...


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Still alive..

Yes, I'm still here.  I feel bad about the long period between posts but life, as usual, keeps me on my toes.  Lots of quilts, university open days, calves, twin calves, family etc etc. 

I had a trip recently to the Penrith Mad Quilters Gathering, actually I only had an hour as I was on my way to Wollongong and had passengers that aren't as passionate about quilting as I am, and I didn't want to push my luck.  Had a great look around and bought a few fat quarters and a 'Winding Ways" template and was on my way again, only to miss a turn off on the Hume Highway leading to a 30 kilometre diversion.  Not to worry, it had been a while since I had been through that way so it was good for a look around.

Another trip was to the Dungog Quilters Exhibition, WOW, for a small town, they sure put on a hell of a show.  I entered 'Amanda Hearts Purple' and was thrilled by the comments I received and also to see it hanging.  The quilt has now been 80% labelled and is at school waiting for the final label, then presentation to Amanda in the next couple of weeks. 

I'm going to miss this quilt, I just love it, I know that Amanda will too.
These trips were then followed up with a visit to the Newcastle Quilt and Craft Show, where I was very restrained and only purchased 2 books - Luminous Landscapes by Gloria Loughman and Adventures in Design by Joen Wolfrom.  I can't wait to get stuck into some projects from these books. 
Some other things I've been up to include:

Small projects from workshops at my local quilting group and mini cutting kit from Carol Rachford, Stitch Back in Time, Tamworth.

Detail of a gorgeous customer quilt.

The twins - Salt and Pepper.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Woo Hoo

Yep, it's finished.  Not on the 10th as hoped for but on the 11th, so I'm happy with that.

Everyone who has seen it loves it, and so many people have been sure that it has been made for them... sadly (for them) this quilt is for Amanda, who has been my younger son's advisor for the past 4 years.   She has been inspirational through her personal achievements and is supportive to the boys in all they do, academic, sporting, social and emotional.  At every sporting event I have been to, she has been there with bells on, cheering, mentoring, chaperoning, supporting.  As many of the students are boarders, she is always there for them.  Earlier this year I had to advise my son of a death of a loved one over the phone and make arrangements to amend his exam timetable and collect him from school to attend the funeral.  Amanda was there.  At 8am on a windy below freezing morning, at an away football game, Amanda was there.  I could go on.  Needless to say she gives 110% of herself to not only her advisor group, but to the school as a whole, and this is her gift from her Year 12 boys.  They are each writing a label (I have the final veto to ensure they are suitable) and will present the labelled quilt to her in the last week of their final term at school. 

I'm sure she will celebrate with them at they reach this milestone.

Perhaps she would like one of these...

It's a toblerone cocktail from the Red Grapevine in Armidale, and yes, it was yummy, but I had to get someone else to drive us back to the motel.

I have also this week finished Kerrie's quilt, one of the few custom quilts I have done as I am still getting the hang of it, but here are a couple of photos from earlier stages in the quilt.

Lots of work in this one.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

It's Tuesday already??

Where does the time go??  The weeks have flown by again without me noticing, but I have a couple of things to show for it, these are my quilts...

First up, this is the body of Amanda's quilt,  I have selected the border fabrics but not cut or sewn them up yet - goal to finish - July 10th

Spinning Citrus - finally finished and now for sale, just love how this one turned out.

And finally, Jessie's quilt.  A disappearing 9 patch for my teenage niece's birthday later this week.  I loved making this with my sister in law Cheryl and the colours are just so bright and vibrant.  And we purchased nothing - just raided my stash, especially some 'Oops a Daisy' and Kona solids.  Apart from binding, this quilt took 24 hours, Cheryl cutting and pressing, me sewing then quilting, I stopped quilting at 10pm and finished it first thing in the morning.  Just need to do her brothers quilts now.

I've also been having a bit of a play with my new procion mx dyes, the border of Jessie's quilt is the first of my hand dyes used in a quilt.  Watch this space for more hand dye news once I have caught up on my customer quilts.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Life on the farm

My husband is a farmer (or grazier 'cause we farm cattle) and my daughter has a Shorthorn cattle stud.  I'm not a farmer and yesterday cemented that fact once and for all.

Steph and her boyfriend are fattening some cattle to take to a show in August so they are in our stock yards being fed rations twice a day.  Now Steph is away at the moment and hubby works 12.5 hour shifts an hour away from home, leaving at 5 in the morning and not returning till nearly 8 at night.  It's cold, dark and raining so he asked now that the bull is out of the paddock surrounding the stock yards could I please feed the cattle in the morning. Being the good wife I agreed, the only cattle in this paddock are 3 weaners and a heavily pregnant stud cow and I can get over the that.  Basically I am a big wuss when it comes to the cattle (and horses) and I stick to doing the bookwork as my contribution.  Not yesterday....

I got up early, showered, dressed and pulled on my gumboots (wellies, waterproof boots, whatever you call them), they are quite pretty gumboots I got in Canada last year.  I wandered out the back, let the 2 dogs off, the chooks out - so far these are normal everyday things so no problems.  I got up to the hay shed and went to the feed area where hubby had left the feed mixed up - 1 for a young bull, and 1 for the steers, but there were 3 buckets.  Back to the house to phone hubby at work who said he had mixed up extra for the afternoon feed and told me which was which.  Back to the shed taking the phone with me in case I had any more questions.  The handle was broken on the big bucket so I sort of fixed it and off I went to the yards.  One of the weaner bulls became my new best friend and was 2 foot off me at every step, and Stephs dog was chasing all the cattle all the time so there was a lot of yelling at dog and bull.  Made my way into the yards and the mud, like I said we have had some rain, about 100mm, (4") of slow steady heavy drizzle over 5 days, lots of mud, straight up over the top of the gumboots. Lucky my pants were tucked in so my feet were dry.  I slodged my way over to the feed trough on my left and poured in the bulls feed, oops, I should have put it into the covered feeder on the right.  Bugger, oh well, he'll work it out. Slodge, slodge, slodge (imagine the sound effects of walking through ankle deep mud) through into the next yard to feed the steers.  More mud, deeper, stickier just like porridge and just as I go to lift the bucket to put in the covered feeder, I trip, the handle comes off and half the feed ends up in the mud, luckily I didn't.  S*&%! Enough is enough, I grab both buckets, throw them over the yards into the big paddock (not the shed paddock) and climb out of the yards.  My phone rings, thank goodness, it's still in my bra and not in the mud, its Steph, who I let know what I think of feeding her cattle.  I've lost the handle on the big bucket and walk up beyond the yards to the gate back into the paddock with the young cattle.  Little red bull won't let me in, the dogs still chasing the other cows.  More yelling, push bull out of the way with the bucket and stomp back up to the shed.  Get some grain for the weaners (maybe I should have done this first), look up and guess what?  It's raining again....  Feed weaners, take hay down to very pregnant heifer. Yell at dog, bull has left me alone, go back to house, nursing BIG blister on the back of my heel, oh yeah, I wasn't wearing socks.  I sent my husband a message - NEVER AGAIN.

Till today, and look what I found

but guess what, he had rolled under the fence and was in the next paddock.  Mum was nose down in the hay so I opened up the gate and wandered down to check him out.  I think its a he, but mum wasn't happy and started to wander down so I had to walk away, nearly to the neighbours boundary till I could climb through the fence as my only other option was the paddock with the big bull in it.  So I trundled back to the house, let the chooks out, collected the eggs, left the dogs tied up so they don't chase the newborn, then had a shower.

Maybe I'm learning..


Friday, 1 June 2012

An end, a middle and a beginning

I have finally, finally completed Orca Bay, yay, yippee, woohoo, 'fist pump'.

Here it is laying over the lounge as I haven't even got it to Max's room yet, it's still in the show off stage. 

But never one to be sitting still I've been moving on a couple of baby quilts, I love this pinwheel pattern and this quilt will be a gift for either Kimberly or Nicole's new babies due in August and October.

It went from this to....


With the help of a handy little template ruler from Aussie Patches .  It's a pattern that I have wanted to try for many many years after I saw a quilt in a Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine well over 10 years ago.  I love love love it.  I have a selection of vintage modern and kona solids to complete another.

But in the meantime, I have started this! I'm sorry that the photo is upside down but you are only supposed to be looking at the fabric anyway.

This quilt is for Amanda, I'll tell more of her story as I go along.  Needless to say she has been a wonderful support and selfless person to someone special in our lives, and she is the colour purple.  This quilt was started on Wednesday when my gorgeous sister in law came over and we had a play date!  The photo shows 3 rows together, but it is currently now 7 rows wide. The pattern is Twisted Bargello by Chris Timmins of Grafton in NE NSW.  Chris also has a pattern in the current issue of Quilters Companion mag.

So, along with customer quilts and family, I'll be staying busy until next time,


Sunday, 6 May 2012

Life in the Country

Life in the country means....... bad internet, beautiful views, planning ahead, and a different set of noises in the middle of the night.

I took this photo as the sun was setting behind me of the dam beside our house.  When we moved here we told our very young, very adventurous children there were crocodiles in this dam in the hope that we would deter them from getting too close, but we built a big fence to keep them in the house yard just in case.

April has kept me busy, quilts quilts and more quilts, school holidays, visits to mum, the Sydney Royal Show, backwards and forward to school (4 1/2 hours away), and eldest son moving home for a couple of weeks before flying out to work in Canada for the next 6 months.    Needless to say he has kept me busy booking flights, washing, getting insurance, doing budgets, washing, running us out of internet credit and washing.  He now flies out on Thursday and I'm not sure if I am ready for him to go yet.  He is 21 but your children are always your children no matter how old they get.  There goes the phone bill, but this will be balanced by the decrease in the food bill and the number of times we have to drive to town to stock up. 

Here are some of the quilts I have been lucky enough to work on...

And, I'm still plodding away on my Orca Bay, hopefully will have the top finished this week.

Till next time,

Thursday, 12 April 2012

What's on my bed!

Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville has asked "what's on your bed?"  I currently have Gidget on my bed, this is a pattern by Monica Poole of Moonshine Designs that I worked on in Tamworth.  Just love this quilt.

I'm also plodding away on Orca Bay, by Bonnie, but after putting together a few rows I realised one of the blue blocks was going the wrong way.

So I unpicked it and turned it around.  Then realised it was the only blue block going the right way!  So now after some reverse sewing my quilt is now looking like this...

And I had hoped to finish this quilt by the end of next week.  Maybe not....

Saturday, 17 March 2012


Had a quilty day today with the Singleton Quilters, sewing our Aussie Hero Quilts.  Most of the girls were very camera shy but I managed to get a couple of shots.  With some quilts already taken home to be finished/worked on by various members, we estimate about 25 tops now in various stages, pinned, quilted, bound or finished! Nearly halfway.

The pinners - Betty, Joy, Ros and Cheryl

Some diehard sewers late in the day

Shy Sharon's quilt

Quilts ready for labels and/or sewing the binding down.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Goodbye summer

I love to quilt when it rains!  but some sunny days would be nice too.... 
Being in the Hunter Valley we have not had the rain that has hit the southern areas of the State but by the sound of things that could change.  The rain woke us up during the night and I have just tipped 38mm out of the rain gauge ('bout 1.5").  Let's cross our fingers that we don't get too much in the northwest where many are still cut off by floodwaters from January and hope that those in the southern areas are safe and back to normal soon. 

Me, well I've been working on some Aussie Hero Quilts, cutting for my Orca Bay and doing lots of customer quilts.....

I still need to unpack.


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Now that's a haircut

Have had the last couple of days away from the machine at my son's swimming carnival.  It's not a carnival - it's a festival!  From war cry competitions to swimming and fund raising and catching up with friends.  It is one of the great annual events at school.  This year, Year 12 are rallying to one of their own who is undergoing treatment for his second cancer diagnosis.  Now this is a private school and there are strict hair regulations - prefects even stricter - but for a very good cause!  The boys raised over $2200.00 by shaving heads and even WAXING MY SON'S CHEST!  I had to do 2 chemist runs for numbing cream, pain relief and rash cream.

Max assures me the redness has now gone and he is fine!  Buddy, I'm so proud of you!  (eat more, we can count your ribs)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Catching up

I could have titled this post many things:- Country Music Week, moving house, tears, Orca Bay, finished quilts, but really, trying to catch up is what strikes me most about right now.

Yep, I've finally moved out of the Tamworth House, lots of packing, squishing into boxes, bags and cars, needless to say, I haven't done much unpacking yet.  I thought about showing a photo of the accumulated detritus of 3 houses (daughter moved home as well) but it's just embarrasing.  Before leaving we managed a quick visit down the street to check out Country Music Week, some of the buskers are fantastic, some others are well.... it could be a while before a record contract comes there way.  We spent the evening of Australia Day wandering along the main street checking it all out and our favourites were definitely the Perch Creek Family Jug Band and Surkuy from South America, and followed up on Friday morning with Max, Cheryl and I doing the walk of life!

Nothing like needing a hair cut! Lucky they gave us caps.

I got this photo under sufferance!

Gotta love the camels in hats!

On Monday I had to take my boy back to school for his final year.  It's hard to believe that he is now in Year 12.  He got his haircut at the last minute before dropping him off.  As I drove away I couldn't help have a few tears, I was remembering so many of his firsts.  Being my third child, it is hard to admit he is growing up when his first day at school was only just the other day.  Taking him to boarding school for the first time 6 years ago was horrendous but he, like the others, has flourished and has made lifelong friends, seen the world and done brilliantly academically.  I am so proud of him.

But of course, it's now back to the real world where I've done 3 customer quilts and have toiled away on Orca Bay. I'll unpack a box or 2 tomorrow.

Parts 1, 2 and 5(?) 6 completed.

And it's raining again, which is great sewing weather!  The dam is letting out more water as flood mitigation, more like flood instigation, so we are going to be trapped for the next 3 days!   Which means bonus days, nothing we can do about it, we have plenty of food, wine, good neighbours and lots of sewing!!!

See ya!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

First finish for 2012

George's quilt! using Fox Trails by Doohickey designs.

 I made a snail trail quilt in coffee and cream for George's big sister Lara when she was born, this time I was able to wait until George was here to decide on what to make.  Congratulations mum and dad, and the doting grandparents as well!

Lara's quilt

Qwilt has been keeping me occupied on top of Christmas, New Year and birthdays for my husband and big son.  It's hard to believe that he is now 21.  He has graduated from uni, got himself a good job and still happily hugs his mum!  Gotta be proud.  My daughter has also got herself a new job in the Hunter and has moved back home.  Me, i've got a week of my day job left and the task of packing up our second home and trying to fit it all into one house.  I think we will be dodging boxes and excess furniture for a while yet.  I'm planning on putting some of the furniture from Tamworth on Gumtrees (Aussie trading post) so will see how that goes.  If anyone is chasing a 1930's Jarvie lounge suite, let me know!

Christmas was lovely with all the kids home in time for dinner with in-laws, in-laws of in-laws and others.  A relaxing day, not too hot, lots of food, pressies and good company.  Instead of celebrating New Years at night, as all the kids had gone in different directions, we spent the afternoon at the wineries, picking up a lovely sparkling Semillon from Bimbadgen wines to bring in 2012, as well as some still wines and stickies for later, yum..

Lots of customer quilts coming through as well

Australian Wildflowers are popular at the moment, beautiful quilts I quilted with Flannel Flowers and Waratahs.

Roses on roses (not a good photo)

Wildflowers on a sampler

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012!