Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Busy Having Fun

This is what I have done so far on one of the applique borders for the School House Quilt. I was thinking of making four of these. BK and I were talking, yes I still talk to her even though she is such a superb quilt maker she's still my friend, and we came to the conclusion that it was better for me to finish quilts how and when I wanted to because there would be a better outcome - that is, I'd be happier with the outcome. These days there is such an emphasis on quick piecing, time saving devices, and how many quilts were finished and so often these things should be savoured. By all means quick piece etc, however take bits out and enjoy the process and revel in the beauty of the creation of the work. It also helps to be a journey focused and not destination focused. Do whatever gives you joy, I think that is what I'm trying to say.

I think that this is the final setting for the Bonnie's Super Bowl Bargello Quilt. I like the look of the edges. Really what should have happened is the bargello should have oozed out into the outer border, however I only had so many squares left over from the centre, so that's what happened. The youngest sweetie reckons it's the best top I've ever made. I'll pay him later, he's such a cutie.
I bought some Amy Butler and Jane Sassman fabric off eBay and didn't have enough to make two quilts and I liked the fabrics too much to cut most of them up so I did this. The beauty of this was that it took me three hours. Maybe it looks like it too, however I still have the fabrics in sizable pieces to enjoy looking at. The younger sweeties think that it is really great. They're so lovely and I've trained them so well to hold up quilts and tops. Although they mutter a bit these days, however I just pull rank and ask them who's cooking dinner?
This is the Michael Miller fabric I was talking about the other day. Blue with orange dots - looks great nestled in there.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008


I have a dilemma about the borders for the Super Bowl Bargello - in truth I have no idea what Super Bowl is except it is something to do with watching men play some form of sport - I am quite happy with the pieced 4" outer border. However, there is part of me saying that another border would be the right thing. Hmmmm. Any ideas?

This is the wee beastie that has been my partner in crime for almost 25 years. Also known as the 'fornicator', although I must say that we both have settled down over time and no longer give each so much angst. There were times when I thought that she was going to be the most expensive boat anchor, ever. I bought her not long after I purchased my first car, and all things being right in the universe, she was more expensive. I had my priorities right. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that I have used the embroidery stitches, any embroidery that I have done I have done by hand. So if and when I have to replace her, I will invest in a machine that is a straight stitcher, needle up/down, and a reverse button.

This flower is one of my favourites off the Marri tree, Eucalyptus callophylla, they are late this year by about four weeks, when they flower the smell is quite lovely.

Monday, 25 February 2008


I am quite delighted with the Stat Counter that sits quietly on my side bar and counts the visitors that come by. Not by the numbers, I've never been driven by outcomes and numbers, but by the all the different countries that people are visiting from. I log on every day and am surprised. Today I was surprised by a visitor from the Untied Arab Emirates and Hawaii. A while ago I was delighted to have visitors from Panama(this prompted a search on Google maps to find the Panama Canal) and Alaska(which I know isn't a country, however it is big enough to be). Panama is a bit of a catch cry here, from the movie 'Sahara' loosely based on the Clive Cussler book of the same name, 'A Panama' gets you out of a very sticky spot although it costs quite a lot including the cigar.

It is doing wonders for our geography skills.

One of the residents here is this species of frog commonly known as the Slender Tree Frog, or alternatively Litoria adelaidensis. We have quite a colony outside the back door in all the greenery there. They don't live in the water like the Motorbike Frog(Western Green Tree Frog)they tend to live on the verges of water bodies. The biggest I have seen was 40mm, normally they are ~20-25mm in length. I was particularly taken with this one as I could seen the spots on it's body. They normally keep themselves very tidy with their legs close to their bodies. They call is the most piercing shriek - thankfully they don't do that very often.

This is a buttonhole applique w/o the buttonhole yet. It is one of Liz Arnold's of the Lizard of Oz

called 'Garden Party'. I've changed it a bit but putting it on point and using black.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

School House Block Swap

This 'blog entry is to answer May Britt questions and fulfil Swooze's desire to see the whole quilt. A few years ago I fell in love.........well this was after that and I came across Piece o' Cake Designs by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins. These designs were quirky and bright and appealed to my need to walk on different tack. Long after that I organised a school house block swap, of which I'm the only one who hasn't finished, but that's okay 'cos it was and still is fun, as I decided to put my set of swapped blocks in a skewed setting and combine it with applique. As you all know all 1/4" aren't created equal, so I added triangles and skewed them to disguise this fact. One of the block was 11" before being sewn into the quilt. The quilt still has another border to put on and it includes some more applique - I can't have too much of a good thing - so it's taking longer.

Mine is the one with the yellow windows, meaning there is always on light on at my place because I tend to chew the candle at both ends. Next to my good friend Diane, who has a 'thing' for Fossil Fern.

So where do all these designs come from?

This one is from the pattern called 'Briar Rose' featured in Po'C's book Flowering Favourites. In the book it is set straight, however I thought that a medallion effect would add some interest and movement. Most of the flowers are scraps given to me by the other swappers. The lovely blue daisies, I can't pass a good daisy by, came from the 'Daisy' pattern from 'Stars in the Garden'. Some of the fabrics in the daisies have a lot of history for me. The fabric here came from a good friend, and I combined it with some yellow from one of my first quilts.

These following for designs come from the book 'Contemporary Classics in Plaids and Stripes' and the pattern is called 'Pretty in Plaid'. Again some of the fabrics have history for my family and I.

Hope that this answers all the questions and the pictures are okay.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Blogless Kathy's Bargello

My friend BK is a wonderful person for many reasons, one of the reasons is that
she is soooo good at is finishing things and the little Blogger has done it again. BK has even bred herself a tall family so that they don't need to stand on things to hold the quilts up. That's organised!
I wish I had her finishing genes. So BK has very kindly agreed for me to post the pictures of her finished quilt. This gives me a bit of a breathing space while I work out exactly the right border treatment for mine. The damn thing is even bound!!!!!!!!
This blurry photo is part of a joke. BK and I were shopping for fabric. Nooooooo BK was buying it all - got to remember the stashbuster thingy - and some divine Michael Miller sang to me. You know how that happens, very siren like, in Spotlight or at your favourite LQS. A glazed look comes over and it ends up in the trolley. How? It's magic. When the salesperson asks 'how much', you pick your favourite number and multiply it by.........a lot. Well there we were and BK was GAGGING at my fabric choice, however it's payback because I sent her a strip in the swap and it had to be used in her scrappy bargello. Sucked in. It's the blue one with the orange spots, in between the pale green and the mid blue print. Looks quite tame there, it's an eyeful in real life.
I got the 'ckeck spelling' to work! Can't you tell ;-))))))?

Friday, 22 February 2008

Needleturn Applique

These images are from a quilt that I started so long ago, that I am embarassed to tell you exactly when. However, something might be happening with it soon. Or might not. The designs are from Piece o' Cake, although not with their applique technique as it is too convuluted for my mind.
The red and white polka dots, see above, are scraps from the matching dresses that my Mum and I had when Mum was 30 and I was eight. Mum's dress was a sleeveless princess line, to show off her lovely figure and mine was an A-line to allow for plenty of movement. I was always delighted when we wore our matching dresses together.
Maybe all these fabrics are painful on the eyes, however they are all scraps and I had such a ball. There are several applique blocks in this quilt, all garish and in your face just the way I like them.
Reverse applique is a wonderful technique.
PS Is anyone else having problems with 'Check Spelling' in Bugger, oops, I mean Blogger?

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Treadle Singer Sewing Machines

A few 'blogs ago I mentioned that I had a treadle sewing machine that I was using to sew 'crumbs' together.
Anyhoo, I was researching for a friend with regard to her treadle sewing machine and thought 'I should find out about mine.
My friend's machine and mine were made in the Kilbowie Factory of the Clydebank Scotland Sewing Machines.
Hers is a 27K made in 1901 and mine is a 99K made in August 1936. Older than my Dad, if that's possible. This is one of the links that I found to date your Singer Sewing Machine here

There are manuals available free through a pdf download.

White Tail Black Cockatoos

Today started off very interesting as I was able to 'rescue' a juvenile of one of the species of White Tail Balck Cockatoo that we have here in West Australia. It was in a bad way as I could simply bend done and cover it in my jumper and pick it up. It was feisty and peed off, however I was able to stow it in my car and get help for it. At this point in time it should be at the Perth Zoo being assessed and hopefully on the road to recovery. I met a Black Cockie carer half up to Perth and he took it the rest of the way. This man looked incredibly normal, didn't have a super hero suit on or anything, although he was very tall, however he and his wife feed and rehab these wonderful birds so that they can be released back into the wild. This is the third bird that I have 'rescued' - the first one died, however the care that it received was amateurish, so when the next one came along I saw that it was taken to the zoo. The second bird was a female and incredibly vocal and inquisitve. Her outcome was great, as two months after being 'rescued', she was brought back to the area and her 'mob' was found and she was released back with them. How did we find her mob? We 'phoned around to all the like minded people, in the area, to see if a white tail mob was near them (they can be heard for miles when they are in the vicinity) and drove there and took the cage out of the car and watched the bird. With the first two mobs, she remained inactive however with the third mob, when she heard them basically all hell broke loose in the cage. Fantastic outcome. Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Something's Gotta Give

I think that the time has come, for this walrus, to tidy up. I have been trawling other 'blogs and there are some obsenely neat and tidy work rooms out there. I didn't even attempt to capture my cutting table, all those sensitve bloggers out there would have collapsed with the assault to their senses. The picture above was the outcome from looking for fabric for the scrappy bargello. The little scraps below are from the disappearing nine patch, which has disappeared again as I have been focussing on the bargello.

This is the centre of the bargello. Does it need borders? I could be anti-border and just quilt it like it is. Currently it measures 64 x 72" (160 x 180cm) and my favourite size is about 80" (200cm) so I might have to put something around it. What do you think?

This mini quilt is the result of finding the three trees at the Op Shop on one of my shopping sprees for interesting shirts, etc.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Higher Duties

Lately I have been seeing the world through the windscreen of my car - just as well I like driving and I am blessed with a divine car.

This is what is 'in' with regard to the latest seasons echidna fashions. It was disappearing at an incredible rate as it dug itself away from us. The only creature that I know of with blonde roots - a reference to all the bottle blondes that I know.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Strip 2

Whilst listening to this,
a family favourite,
I sewed this second strip.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Bargello Project and Appearing Nine Patches

I have to get in quick because BK will be roaring along soon enough, zipping through and along strips with the ease of a veteran patchworker. It's not that BK is old or anything, she's just been doing it (patchwork) for a long time. So in the picture above, is my first strip of six that will comprise the centre of my scrappy bargello. I sneaked down to the donga for a while, in between hanging out three loads of washing. So far so good.

The disappearing Nine Patch is appearing as something useful, besides insulation in the cupboard and I pretty pleased with it as well. It's going to be a bit of a mother, however we all will be able to sleep under it. It is too big for our normal sized double bed, who knows, who cares, they are being used.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Bargello Project

Blogless Kathy and I met at one of the golden arches places to exchange strips for Bonnie's Bargello. This was BK's box. I threw in some light reading.
This is my box. Lovely box too. I get to keep it - it will be great to store the project in.We sat at M............. and fondled our fabric whilst drinking coffee. I remarked to Kathy that I really felt like starting sewing right there and then. A glazed look came over her face.

Things are growing in the garden - this is the same view towards the carport that I have taken all along, except you can't see it now(the carport).
I love this geranium/pelagonium althoiugh it is darker in real life.

This is the disappearing nine patch

Trimmed to 9" and cut into quarters.

Then placed with other quarters for this effect.