Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Oh Bugger Blogger you really are trying my patience today.  Here is one of the seven photos that I uploaded this morning to show the wonderful houseboat weekend that we had on the Murray River, West Australia, in early October.  I must be doing something wrong - like holding my mouth in a smile or something.  Pretty wretched stuff.

P.S.  Jeana if you are reading this, the wheelbarrow is FANTASTIC.  I used it last night for the first time to help me plant a fig tree and I was delighted with it's lightness and sturdiness.  As I am older now, the wheelbarrow that Tim bought me for Christmas, the first year that we were here, is heavy although well made, and has has some hard use transporting small boys, canoes, picnics, manure, water, cement and really the list is endless. So thank you so much Jeana.  It even has a hole in the handle were I can keep my divining rod to work out the best place to plant trees.  Nyx

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

It's a amazing what 40 years difference in age will do.  The youngest Sweetie had been off at a birthday party/sleepover/motor bike fest overnight, unfortunately the Hostel Boy came down with a lurgy and was in no fit state to ride hither and yonder so had to stay home and vomit and sleep, meanwhile the youngest is full of stories and covered in dust and so t....i.....r.....e.....d.  I picked him up and got him home where I said 'right - shower, clean pajamas and bed for a nap'.   Which he has done under extreme duress.  Whereupon the Hairiest Sweetie said 'could you say that to me?' 

Monday, 2 November 2009

Niki and the Strippers met on Saturday - although it must hve been cold as there weren't too many of us there.  This is what we did.  It was meant to be Scrappy Trip, although there was some leftovers from the Scrappy Bargello there as well.  Well whatever works.

I'm working on a spiderweb block, using the rule and Kaye England DVD that I bought ages ago.  The first block has been sitting up on my orphan block wall for over a year.  The DVD is such great value and a real laugh as well.  It's another way to use up that stash and make a fun quilt without too much angst.  The blocks are made using 21/2" strips sewn into stratas and then cut using the Kaleidescope rule.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Love is..... is coming along - sometimes all the problems in the world are sorted out when I have done bit of redwork.  I forget the peace that settles.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

I have quite a stack of hexagons made into grandmother's flowers; another stack that have been basted onto the card and a whole stack that have yet to be basted. I consolidated all that I have here decided that I needed to order around 7000 hexagons to finish off, sounds so flippant 7000, my great hexgon quilt. There have been times where I have thought of other things to make with those that I have already made - egg warmer, glasses case, table runner, doll's quilt - however I have to keep going and one day, sometime when I'm much older we will be able to sleep under it. All those little pieces of fabric from people who threw them out as they thought that the pieces were too small and there it will be. I'll hold that thought. Hmmmm ......... just had another thought, I hope that the younger Sweeties don't both want it. There's no way that I will be able to make another.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Today I gave myself a treat and went and traced the first block of Rosalie Quinlan's 'Love is.......' stitchery quilt.  I have had this for quite a while and as I'm without any redwork to stitch, that I should start.  This is my first of Rosalie's design that I have done, unfortunatley it is not the only pattern of hers that I have bought.  There are many others, and I'll leave that topic there.

On another note pertaining to redwork, I have tried to stitch in many colours. You know what I mean, where the petals are pink and the leaves are green and the sky is blue and I have difficulty finishing the blocks.  Yeah it's called embroidery.  The simplicity of one colour stitchery is hypnotic for me and very meditative.  I am almost salivating thinking of just sewing with one colour.  Another threadwork that I love and haven't done since my Mum died, as there is no place in my house for it (YET), is hardanger.  Different weights of thread, all the same colour though.

I hope they fix the spell check in Bugger Blogger soon.  All my mistakes are coming through.  Like the score through - knew that would come in handy. 

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

I am a big reader, although it took me a long time to learn to read.  However once I got the code that enabled me to turn words into pictures, there was no stopping me.  Therefore on a very different note I thought that you might be interested in this "The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.” 

And so here’s the list, complete with the following instructions:

* Look at the list and embolden those you have read.

* Italicise those you intend to read.

* Underline the books you LOVE. (I can't seem to do this in Bugger Blogger so I'll change the colour)

* Reprint this list in your own blog.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

6. The Bible

7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (this one is a work in progress)

15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (I love this book!)

20. Middlemarch – George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (tried)

28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

34. Emma – Jane Austen

35. Persuasion – Jane Austen

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne (Have you read this one BK?)

41. Animal Farm – George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50. Atonement – Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52. Dune – Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding

69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72. Dracula – Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses – James Joyce (I really tried)

76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal – Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession – AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94. Watership Down – Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I spend my life looking for the perfect book - sometimes I think what will happen once I find it maybe I'll have to stop looking.  Though how will I know it's the perfect book?  I will have to keep reading so that I have lots of others to compare it to.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

My friend the Librarian loves blue work and made a beautiful top. Some of the stitchery blocks were designed by one of her lovely children, others come from Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly as well as an old favourite from Jean Jensen that she designed many years ago for candlewicking. These were combined so well with a variety of pieced blocks, all surrounded by timeless ticking. So I was lucky enough to be allowed to quilt it - all freehanded with some rule work in the crosshatching and baptist fans in the outer border.

Monday, 26 October 2009

   Looking at the area that these cover, I am probably looking at around 200. If you too wish to follow this path of idiocy stash busting  go to Keryn's site and there is a PDF pattern to buy and it is all downloaded through the internet with the pattern emailed to you. Easy peasy, as long as you have a printer.  Blogless Kathy has of course finished hers, mine is residing in a tin and I have no idea how many I have stitched.  Might be a good project to take to the weekly sewing group that I am hoping to start going to again, that's after I have finished the nine patch thing that I started a while ago and is in another tin.  I just have to find them all in their secreted spots.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Hmm, on another note the top of my blogger composing box has changed and there appears to be no spell chech.  Maybe I have removed it in my latest bout of housekeeping.  It has put the strikethrough in, which I can see getting a good workout.  I Just had a look in the Blogger help and they were so focussed on getting the new editor out on time and speel check wasn't working so they left it out.  Blogger!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

This is one of those Vintage Valentine and I am kicking myself as I only took one picture and not a very good one. None of the detail that I did on the central vase is shown - lots of work and it really came up a treat. Bummer. At the time all the sweeties were otherwise engaged and it was too much to rig the quilt up for pictures, now I wish that I had. Oh well - I might see it again one day and be able to take some more.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Early this year we, at Niki and the Strippers, made Scrappy Bargello quilts. Participants were encouraged to cut extra strips to make a quilt to be raffle and the money to be given to a local organisation to help others and this quilt is the result. Niki and the Strippers evolved because I thought that there was a place for a fun group in our Arts Council to use strips either from the infamous Jelly Rolls/Bali Pops or most importantly their own stashes to extend their quilt making experience and have FUN.

I run the classes on the last Saturday of the month, and give the opportunity for people to come free of charge and just sew. People seem to become consumed with matching colours and really the one of the ideas behind patchwork was to use what you had to make beautiful, useful items to keep your family warm. The participants had to cut two sets of strips, keep one set and put the other one in a lucky dip box and then go in and take out the same number that they put in. If they baulked at their choices I had some VERY striking fabric that they could have instead. Hmmm.......I wonder why no one took my up on my rather riotous fabric? One of the participant s pulled out the day before the class claiming that she wasn't ready. Later she confessed that it was because we weren't going to match our fabrics and regretted not coming as the results were fantastic and she realised that she really had missed out on a great time. One very dear friend had an ongoing war with her sewing machine, and now after sewing 4x32 stratas together, for her Scrappy Bargello, claims that her and her sewing machine are one. All good fun.

The pattern for this quilt (Scrappy Trip Around the World) and the Scrappy Bargello came from Bonnie K Hunter's Quiltville

The quilting pattern is a new one from Lorien Quilting called Continuous Feathers and I think it's smashing. The thread? An Aurilux variegated that fitted the scrappiness of the quilt. The lustre of the thread adds another dimension

Friday, 23 October 2009

The quilt photos wouldn't have been possible without the help of these two wonderful people. The younger one was decidely poorly but still dragged his hurting and sick body out of bed to help.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

This quilt was made from Amy Butler and Jane Sassaman samples that I bought from eBay, quilted it with a pattern from Lorien Quilting and with lime green thread.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

When I first saw the line drawing for this quilt I knew that I had to quilt it.

Unfortunately it wanted to be in white. So out went the carpet runner that I have in front of my machine and out come the microfibre broom and I swept before every row.

I find this colour to be the worst for attracting EVERY speck of dust, thread, and lowflying nano bug.

That plastic bag you see on the ground before the quilt is what it lives in. I fear to put it on the bed as I know that the Hairiest One will come home, he always does, and sit on the bed while he takes various items of clothes off. It will not stay white.

The back is my favourite. It's a piece that I have been saving for a few years and thought that this was the quilt for it. All these photos when clicked on should take you to a bigger picture.

So the middle pattern was too big for my machine's throat so I quilted all the rows up to it and then left 20" and continued quilting through the rest of the rows and then I came back and did the centre row. I did it this way as I needed time to think of what I was going to do with the centre. When I do the quilt again I will quilt it as I go through. So when I went back to do the centre row I lined it all put and hit the start button and of it went and I only quilted the bits that I wanted it to using my abort and restart buttons and jogging to the start of areas that I wanted quilted. Then I used a combination of freehand and Compuquilter to create the frame where the medallion centres were to go. The area where the crosshatching was meant, I McTeed a lot. With regard to the orientation of the quilt, I prefer it to be landscaped is for me I find it more pleasing. In the future, I will try and quilt the entire computerised part in a day and I will have more even side tension. The quilt layers were basted together before I started doing any of the quilting, which was quite an undertaking, however this was all done with the machine sewing straight line very slowly.

It is all quilted with an Aurilux thread of basically the same colour and added a bit more to the quilting instead of the flatness of cotton there was a bit of lustre.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

This is part of a wholecloth pattern, from Joanne Knott, that I wanted to try out to see if it would work and it was gorgeous. If you click on the link to Joanne it will take you straight to the page for the pattern which is for STATLER quilting system. I DO NOT have a statler I have a Compuquilter, however Compuquilter will now take the qli files that Statler uses. Great.The throat area that I can quilt with when in computer mode is restricted, and therefore this pattern wouldn't work at the 20" depth that it is designed. I used shot silk again, this time I used Aurilux in a maroon. The Aurilux thread has a lovely lustre, and the problems that I had with the thread slipping on the spool were eliminated by using a thread sock when using it to quilt on the machine and also when I wind the bobbins.

Joanne has done a superb job with this pattern and it was very easy to quilt out. I have quilted her whole cloth strippy with a variation in the centre strip to enable me to quilt the wholecloth at the size that Joanne intended. This is quilt will feature tomorrow.

Monday, 19 October 2009

This is a piece of shot silk that I quilted up with my favourite green Aurifil with an all over pattern from Keryn Emmerson. The fabric was amazingly easy to use and presented no problems.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The idea behind this quilt was to use a plain piece of fabric and insert a strip of colour to add some interest.
One day I was at sewing and a friend was throwing out the end piece off her strata strip. The colours and fabrics were gorgeous and included come of her own hand dyes - it really was too good to pass by. I combined it with a piece of cream homespun that I had laying around and then searched for the ideal binding. So this is Trudy's scraps and Trudy was surprised.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

This is a small sample that I did to see if it could work and delightfully it did. The big one that I ended up making, for the Field of Quilts 2007 raffle, was beautiful and was won by a woman who was visiting from Tasmania.

I used vintage white cotton sateen, Aurifil thread for the motifs in a darker colour to increase the depth, One Song Needle Arts pattern called Janice with Attitude, which unfortunately I don't think is available anymore at One Song, however it is now available in a set from Digi-Tech or a single block from Digi-Tech, two layers of wadding - one cotton and the other polyester and McTavishing to flatten the areas around the blocks.

It too is unbound at this time.

Friday, 16 October 2009

People often think that for me to quilt for them they have to have a pieced top. With being the feature quilter at the Field of Quilts I wanted to show that a plain piece of fabric could be quilted and be striking and beautiful.
I also wanted to take it a step further and show them that other fabrics besides cotton could be used with fantastic effect. This is a piece of green synthetic silk(?) that I bought out of a remnant bin. The thread was my favourite Aurifil yukky green. The pattern used, there's only one, is a Kathy Olson from Just Quilting Designs, with a bit! of McTavishing in between motifs. This one is unbound at the moment, I ran out of time.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

This is a piece that I quilted to make a lizard. As you can see it's a pretty flat lizard and is really no lizard at all. I use it to show people as a sample - it is very tactile. I quilted the 'pebbles' using an Aurifil metallic thread that I bought from Always Quilting. The fabric is a piece that I dyed and I used 100% cotton wadding.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

I think that there is a photo of this quilt somewhere in the past however I thought that I would show it again and tell you the story behind this particular quilt.
Last year, about this time I asked the soon to be Hostel Boy whether he would like a quilt to take with him to the Hostel. 'No, I don't need one' was his gallant reply. Probably due to the fact that I was running around frantically, as usual. Come the DAY before leaving for the Hostel - 'So Mum, where's my quilt?' He didn't have his quilt that day or the next, however he received his Hostel quilt for his 13th birthday a month later. I pieced and quilted the top in one day with what I had on hand and it came up a treat. The quilting pattern is by Hermoine Agee from Lorien Quilitng called 'Ebb and Flow'. Hermoine has two pattern web sites one for paper patterns and the other for digital patterns. Lovely woman, lovely patterns and Australian as well.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

This next one was a pattern that I have wanted to do for a while, and not necessarily on red however this is the path that the quilt took.
There were some problems with getting things to line up and the next one will be done slightly differently and with more side tension. However for a first effort, I was VERY pleased. The top is made with RED cotton sateen. If you wish to buy some of this, I have another 25m to use and even for me it is an excessive amount.
For a bit of relief and jest, I put a big check gingham on the back and it came up a treat. The patterns that I used are Dawn Cheetham's Wedding Ring Sets.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Well the Field of Quilts has been and gone for over two weeks now and it all seems extremely surreal - such a time to get there and then poof it's all over and I feel that I can resume a 'normal' life. Over the next couple of weeks I will be showing some of the quilts that I quilted and the stories behind them. That is one of the things that was missing on the day was the stories behind the quilts and they in themselves are very interesting.

This first quilt was a top that I bought off eBay as I did feel sorry for it and I felt that it had potential. I used a Keryn Emmerson block pattern and a Signature variegated brown/tan to quilt the main blocks.

Sorry about the creases - they all have been sitting in a pile of bags since the FOQ.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

I have been quilting - you will be amazed how much I have done, however I am one boy down to help with photographing the quilts and the Hairiest Sweetie is NOT the best helper as he talks back. The younger Sweeties are very well trained as they have been helping me for years and know EXACTLY how I need the quilts presented. The Hairiest one is most argumentative. Just can't get good help these days. Consequently I took these photos with no help and they are okay, at least there is something to help me remember what did.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Due to many things this winter, we have not gone walking as we normally do. However this Sunday past the usual suspects went of to Boyagin Rock, a fantastic granite rock ~40kms north east of here off the York Williams Rd. Took our lunch and a cake to share and what a wonderful day we had, clambering all over this marvellous huge rock. Lovely weather not too hot and a little cold. There were tadpoles in the pools at the top of the rock, my word that's a long way to hop.And no hat all day.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Add VideoA voice from the ether - I'm still here, although I have not had any time to sit at the computer to even surf the blogs that I like to read, let alone keep updating mine. I have been madly quilting and working and driving and cooking and cleaning - you know all the stuff we have to do - and thoroughly enjoying it all, just a bit strapped for time to sit at the computer and look gorgeous, I just have to run around and do that. Ha!

The July school holidays have been and hooned by. The younger gorgeous ones and I spent several days up the coast a bit ~700kms away and had a great time. Even managed to hook up with Blogless Kathy and her family, TWICE, as at that time we were only ~60kms apart instead of the usual 200kms.
The Pinnacle Boy in his natural element.

Emu Farm Wind Farm, just out from Cervantes heading towards the Great Northern Highway

This is of Port Gregory one of the places that we stayed on our holiday. Lovely spot.
Felt a bit like Superman in Port Gregory as one of the two places where the mobile 'phone would work was in the 'phone box. People sure gave me some weird looks as they drove past and saw me talking on my mobile in the 'phone box.