Sunday, October 27, 2013

Birthday and Blues

The title of this post is  not strictly accurate - I did have a great birthday yesterday the 26th.  Our daughter asked if we would all like to go to her place for a meal so it was a full house and we all had a great time, lovely to see our six grandchildren enjoying themselves. One really good bit was when  the lights were closed off and my lovely chocolate birthday cake lit with candles was brought into the dining room and put on the table and everyone launched into Happy Birthday to Mum/Grandma, our second youngest grandson (2 1/2 yrs)was delighted to see and hear all this and his little face was a delight to see - he thought this was all for him and when the singing stopped promptly made a dash to blow out the candles!

 The blues bit of the post covers the fact that I haven't achieved anywhere near the progress I intended with my quilting over the past week due to health issues. Still not feeling great but was able yesterday to finish part of the centre medallion for Midnight At The Oasis QAL.
There is a post on 1st November for the QAL and most everyone will probably be well on the way to completing the first border ready for the post - if I can get a move on I should catch up.

I have put together the four triangles and rough cut the set in triangles and the centre square, I have cut them larger and will reduce them down to the correct size when I put the centre medallion together.
If you click on the  button on the right hand side you can find out all about the QAL.

Threads need cutting and edges trimming but I have got them sewn together now and I am so over these small triangles! Don't get me wrong I enjoyed this bit but what a time consuming process, after a few false starts in-between bouts of illness I turned to my tried and true method of using tear away stabiliser for accuracy and piecing in strips, same procedure as using paper which some  have used for this quilt, I just prefer the stabiliser which tears away like a dream or can be left in, it's really fine. So many of these small triangles were cut to give me plenty of choice for placing, just a few below

I have a huge amount left over but for the moment they are heading for a plastic bag in a drawer!

My Fractured quilt is all sewn of course now and waiting to be quilted, quite a lot of the ladies are making second or third quilts, click the button on the side and you can read all about us and what we have been doing. Vicki has sponsored this QAL and I was lucky enough to win the draw on Monday for a piece of her beautiful dyed fabric which should be arriving in my mail box pretty soon.

So the week passed slowly for me and I have been reading a book with the title Quake Dogs. When the earthquakes hit Christchurch two years ago an awful lot of pets were in dire distress and this book tells their stories - very moving indeed, especially if you are a doggie person like me.

A quick wander in the garden this morning to see where my roses were up to with their flowering and a 
David Austin rose which was  a new one this season has a bloom open, this one is Eglantyne, as with all his roses a delicious scent.

So that's it from me for the moment, I have two days posts to read and there are heaps of them so the next little while will be spent sitting here at the computer.

Have a great week

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Flowers and Feathers

Two posts on the same day once again!

Spent quite some time this week working on the Fractured QAL (see the other post for today), I was determined to have it finished by posting day but didn't quite meet that, just a few more seams to put in.
On the quilting front I am also taking part in Midnight At The Oasis Quilt Along - click the button on side bar to learn more about this beautiful piece and Sharon and Jess who are organising. I was so excited when I saw this was happening I just had to take part.

Feathers - two more glorious colours  from Philip Jacobs - look at these! 

The yellow colourway is actually a little brighter that this photo is showing, both are amazing.

Flowers - a visit to the garden centre with husband last week was intended to just pick up a packet or two of seeds, but it took a huge amount of will-power to leave these three clematis plants behind. 

and the one below was so unusual, I have never seen a clematis like this before

Actually there is something else relating to quilting, last post I spoke about our local bookshop and posted two shots of books bought there last week. We called in again this morning "just to browse"
but I came out with this

So looking forward to reading this one.  I just cannot buy any more books now until the New Year!!!

Hope you're all having a great weekend and don't forget to visit Sharon and Jess by clicking the Midnight at the Oasis button and the one from Vicki for Fractured, until next time


Fractured QAL week 7

At last I feel I am almost there with my Fractured!
Just the five vertical seams to go now - and I will try and get that done later this afternoon.
Regarding the size of the original fabric pieces which were given as five inches by four and a half inches, a few of us found things were not working out as planned and had to fudge a bit, some ended up smaller than intended. In the end I cut all my fabrics  into five inch squares and found this much easier, just meant trimming down a little smidgen to the required four and a half inches.

I do know that where rows three and four meet up some of the angles in the small blocks go any which way!!
Not to worry, the Fractured look is achieved. One other thing I noticed this morning is that I must have changed a couple of blocks around and  have ended up with four blue/green ones which really stand out, main thing is I am happy with it! The very colourful look is what I had in mind so all's well.
Still have to baste and quilt of course and probably simple straight line quilting will be my choice following the fractured lines.
Thanks go to Vicki for sponsoring this Quilt Along, go along to her blog where we link up and see where we are all up to, some are onto the second one ! Quite a lot of the fabrics used are left over and I will certainly make another one but using the blocks in a different configuration.

Have a good weekend, catching up on reading blogs is for me now and linking up with Vicki and the others and also writing a second general post.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cabbages and Roses and Kaffe Fassett Collective

Second post - just had to do this one!

One of the blogs which I follow and look forward to seeing on my dashboard is from
Mias Landliv in Norway and on 3rd October her post showed beautiful fabric from a shop in London -Cabbages and Roses. I had a quick look at their site and decided I just had to go back for a longer look when I had the time and that possibly there might be something there for me in the fabric line which would ship to NZ no problem!

Yesterday husband and I went off to the village for a coffee in our favourite cafe and as usual called in Readaway Books - an amazing book shop, the number of books we have bought from them defies belief!! Anyway my real reason for going in there was to buy a book by David Austin on the English Roses

as you can see I was successful, but the gardening books are alongside the interior design books and I was having a look along the shelf when what should I see but

by Cabbages and Roses - it was my lucky day.

Haven't had time to do more than look at a few pages but it is food for the soul I think and look forward to sitting down with this book in a quiet corner without any interruptions!

On the subject of Cabbages and Roses I received on Thursday an order of fabric and included were the two new colourways of Brassica design by Philip Jacobs (which is my all time favourite design) from the Kaffe Fassett Collective, they are divine, absolutely gorgeous. I loved his first five colours but these two I think are his best yet

You have to see these "in the flesh" to really appreciate the colour, I can't bear to put them away in their basket just yet - I need them out on my cutting table to admire them! Can I actually bear to cut into them? Watch this space!! In fact I'm going to head back down to my studio to stroke them again  and will leave you with a photo of one of the English roses from my garden

What a pity you can't bury your nose in this photograph and smell the delicious old rose perfume!

Until next week

Fractured Quilt Along Week 6

I am so late today posting about the Fractured quilt and I see that some of the folk taking part have already linked up with Vicki, but I have to wait until Saturday for Vicki to get the link up on Friday US time. If you go along for a visit you can be able to see what we are all working on, there are so many different interpretations of this design.

My quilt is changing in size!
I have a number of things going on in my life at the moment, one of which is upcoming surgery on my knee, I was finding it difficult to get as much sewing on my quilt as I would have liked plus I really didn't know where I would use it. A light bulb moment occurred when I read a post by Wanda at Exuberant Color in which she said she really didn't need a queen sized quilt but more of a throw size - so thanks Wanda, mine has now lost one row on all  four sides also.

It's a really dull rainy day here in NZ and there is not enough daylight coming onto my design wall,  I have had to throw more light onto the work in progress with my tall work light but it is slightly yellowed the colours, lesson learned to take the photograph on the day the sun is shining and not assume the we will still be having good weather the day following. I see I am not straight with my blocks on the left hand side - that's what comes of rushing!

I intend to have all my blocks finished by next Friday but not necessarily sewn together.

This is one of my favourite blocks in the quilt

I love Brassica by Philip Jacobs and have just received more of this design in the two new colourways - see my second post of the day!

Time to go along and see what progress everyone else has made


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fractured Quilt Along Week 5

Where oh where has the week gone?
Well mine has been spent nursing a gastric bug - so this is a last minute rush to post for week 5 of FQAL, and because of the bug I only had time to make three more blocks.

Most of you will already know that Vicki is sponsoring this quilt along and she has a link on her blog, please visit and see what we are all busy working on - a feast for the eyes!!

As I said earlier I have been ill for the best part of the week and spent a few minutes here and there matching up the different print fabrics with dyed fabrics

This is a fun part of the quilt, only problem is I end up with fabric pieces all over the place!
 I was able to get to the sewing machine this morning and I have changed the placement of some of the blocks, I also threw in what could be called a "wild card" this morning, the jury is still out on whether it will stay or not - you will see a rich geometric with mustard dyed fabric -  I like something a bit different. I changed position for this block a couple of times but still have quite a number more to make so it could be all change again by the posting next week.

The photo above was where the block was first placed, the second row down third in from the left, and below I placed it on the sixth row left hand side (there are eight rows down in all), this is only the left hand side of the quilt with the central row. My design wall is not big enough to take the whole quilt so something will have to be rigged up outside to take a full shot. Only when I have all my blocks placed as I like will I sew them together, had thought of doing one side at a time but because of the "coat of many colours" style that wasn't a road I wanted to risk going down.

Because the spring weather is with us now in New Zealand, and because I was so late pruning some of my roses I have an Iceberg bush in the front garden which was absolutely full of hips

Above the result of a few quick snips with the trusty secateurs.

No more sewing or playing with fabric today I'm off to sit on the couch with a cuppa, chocolate biscuits and a DVD of "Cranford", catch up during the week and thanks so much for stopping by, have a great week.