Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A new quilt to share

Christmas has been and gone, and the New Year is almost here.  We have had a lovely time getting together as family and celebrating this special time of the year.  Miss 8 and Master 6 were particularly happy to see that Santa arrived and left some gifts under the tree.  I decided rather than doing the standard pavlova that I normally do, to make a Raspberry and Marcapone Trifle as a change.  It was divine.  Not sweet, yet deliciously smooth, creamy and with a lovely bite from the lemon rind, limoncello liquor and rasberry's.  Will definately make this again.



Monday, 19 December 2011

Delivered

So I can finally show off my EB Dolls Quilt which I made for Andrea.


The brief was to make a Dolls Quilt.  Andrea answered some questions about what she did and didn't like, colours and embellishments, then the rest was left up to me.  Being a secret swap, I stalked to get some ideas!!  I had already made a baby quilt with a Little Apples charm pack and really love this fabric.  What a bonus that the colours fitted and with the cute turtles, apples, trees and children playing ring-around-a-rosie, I knew I was on to a winner.  I drew up a couple of sketches then just set to work.  It came together really well and the circular freemotion quilting in the center, in teal ... really sets the whole quilt off. 


I am so glad it has been so well recieved.


Another project

Is it too late to begin gifts to give at Christmas?

If it is, somebody should have told me!



I will work a bit more on it tomorrow, and will hopefully have the tops X 2, done, backed and basted. 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Blocks done

I have worked in the humid evening, listening to the storm, rain and thunder, while piecing the last of my lantern blocks. Not set on an arrangement for the blocks as yet, but working on it.  Then to do the sashing and border.  But for now, it's off to bed. 

Work tomorrow!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Just in time ...

TGIFF (Thank God It's Finished Friday) and totally appropriate to share a pretty little baby quilt I have made for a very close friend.  This baby's arrival has caused quite a bit of excitement and, while I have had this quilt mostly finished for a while now ... it was time to get my skates on. 

It is in Kate Spain's Terrain fabric, using a charm pack and some white sashing.  I am very pleased with the result.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The newest plan!


My idea for a quilt for myself has grown.  It started as a quilt for the lounge room, however I have really fallen in love with the fabrics and my plan will not suit a quilt thrown over the lounge in that direction.  So hence the plan to make this a large queen size, which will hang over the sides of the bed to the bottom of the mattress.

Here is a peek at the first 7 blocks, of a planned 30.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Summer is Here!



So it is December already!!  Summer is here, and in true Melbourne fashion, the heater was on.  It has been a muggy, stormy couple of weeks, and it looks like we are in for more of the same.

I have had a couple of days off and this has allowed me to catch up of lots of things around home.  Orientation for Master 6, at his new school and just a little bit of Christmas shopping for good measure.  

Monday, 7 November 2011

Sneek Peek

I have been busy on my couple of days off, finishing my EB DSQ for the 5th Annual Swap.  There has been lots of new things tried with this quilt, and I am really pleased with the result. 


I can't show the finished product as it is a surprise for my secret swap partner (you don't know who you are!!) but i did want to give a sneak peek.  The finished product is slightly larger than I was hoping/planning, but it is still acceptable at 24"x26.5".

I machine quilted and bound this quilt and was very pleased with the result.  I do believe I achieved what I set out to do.




Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Getting to know Me!



While you can read the little blurb on the side about me, I thought it might be nice to share a little of me, with you!

Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, I have the privilege of calling this beautiful part of the world my home.  I am a woman of many faces, with mother, fiancée (of 2 years this month!) and midwife being the most obvious.   

I have had my own personal battles over the years and my weight loss journey is the one which has been very successful.

Falling pregnant with my first child, I ballooned to a hefty 96 kg, a gain of approximately 40 kg on my preconception weight.  After birthing my daughter, I lost none of this weight, and consequently became my heaviest when my son was born … a massive 120kg!!!  Breastfeeding helped me lose none of my weight and I again settled around the 96 kg mark.

At this weight I could not run around after my children, found walking very tiring and had absolutely no energy or zest for life.  It was following a dear friends birthday party, where I had to buy size 20 clothes from the store Autograph to attend, that I decided this had to change.  I was mortified when I saw the photo.  Here is that photo!



I resolved that day to do something about my weight.  I made an appointment at my local gym (where I had a membership which I had been paying monthly and not attending) to do a physical assessment.  The outcome was not good.  I was OBESE.  I determined to lose 30kg in the next 10 months, with my first goal being 15 kg lost by my birthday, mid year 2007.  My pessimistic partner told me, “To set a realistic goal” when I informed him of my intentions.  This galvanized me and I am happy to report that with the changes of, more exercise and smaller portion sizes, I met my target 3 months early. 
It was this success which led me to believe that I could return to university and complete a three year undergraduate degree in midwifery.  

I am happy to say, that was 4 years ago and I am nearly back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  I am also currently working in the most wonderful position as a midwife at my local hospital.  Dreams do come true if we work hard at achieving our goals!

Now to master paper piecing!!




Sunday, 30 October 2011

Getting in touch with my quilty-self


It has been a while since I have had more than a day off here and there, so this weekend has been a blessing.  Night shifts can really leave one disconnected, and I went with the need to be in touch with my quilty-self.

I have been working on two baby quilts … Yes, more babies to welcome.  Neither couple know what they are having.  I have gone with the mothers choice of fabrics for the first.  It uses a lovely charm pack of Terrain, from Kate Spain.  It has rich, vibrant colours, which really have come together in this ‘stack’ type quilt. 



It will be backed in a rich purple labeled as petunia.  Binding is a toss up between a black or an orange spot.  I am leaning towards the orange at this stage.  Will contrast beautifully with the purple backing. 

The second quilt is using a Max & Whiskers charm pack.  Again in a stack pattern, I have sashed in grey.  I found some lovely fabric at Spotlight this weekend which will be perfect for that something that it is missing right now.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Busy as a beaver!

So another week is at an end, however mine is really just starting!  Will not have much time to devote to any quilting this weekend, however will be doing lots of planning!  I thought I would update on some new projects, and on some finished ones.

Yesterday I cut some fabric to piece the top of a baby quilt for a friend due quite soon!  I am using a charm pack of Terrain, with some stash fabrics.  I have separated into piles for the 'stacks' I need, and will piece them together when I get a spare hour or so.  Unsure on the backing fabric as yet, but wanted to wait till I knew exactly how much I will need if buy off the bolt.  Have made costly miscalculations which has led to  me needing to buy more.  Still nothing goes to waste here!


I was a very naughty girl and have added to my stash on a couple of occasions, when I possibly shouldn't have.  However, I have my hands on some lovely purples, for the stash.   



I also added to my collection of Verna fabrics from Kate Spain!  I am planning a queen size quilt for myself with this line, and have been hording fabrics when I can, and when I come across them.  May even have enough for a large throw for the lounge, especially if I mix with some plain colours.  

I am particularly excited about getting my hands on some of the not yet relased fabric from Kate Spain, again, Good Fortune.  




A fat 1/8th pack and a layer cake will have me in quilty heaven ... I am imagining just looking at my unopened packages of lushness!  No plan as yet, but may just have to make it a second throw for the lounge!!  (Is it just me, or is there a theme running here in this post?  I think I am addicted to Kate Spain!)

A little man named James, has certainly made an impression with us.  Born three days apart, Lachlan and fellow Junies helped him celebrate his birthday this year ... in June, in amongst treatment at the Royal Children's Hospital, for liver cancer.  We have been following his journey and wishing him the best in his fight with this nasty, nasty illness.  Lachlan insisted I send his finished owl quilt to James, as James is so sick.
  

It was sent with lots of love and has been recieved with the comment, "Wow, beautiful!".  Very pleased with how the quilt turned out, where it has gone to live, and mostly how kind and generous my little man is.  Sending lots of love to the Clarke Family XX.


I also wanted to share the finished single size quilt I made for Tenille for her 8th Birthday.  It was my second (can I count a dolls quilt as first?) free motion quilt, but my first with one of this size! 



I am over joyed with the result and pleased to announce that so is the birthday girl.  She was heard to brag about it in Target, when shopping with her Nannie!


Finally, my EBDQS is coming along nicely.  I have been working on it over the week and have definately got a great plan.  It is half executed now, and hope to get a bit further on it in the next week.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Birthday Time

Thursday is a special day at our place.  Tenille is turning 8!!  It is hard to believe that she is growing so quickly into such a thoughtful, generous and caring young lady.   We are constantly reminded at how lucky we are to have her.  For her birthday this year, I have set myself the task of finishing her quilt for her birthday.




It is a single size quilt, using a charm pack of Sophie, by Chez Moi for Moda, some crisp white sashing, and then some delectible fabric off the bolt to border and back for the final touch.


I used a new technique I had seen where I basted the quilt using basting spray, and my kitchen wall!.  It took 20 minutes and has done a wonderful job of holding my quilt sandwich together during the quilting process.







I had set myself the task of learning to free motion quilt, to get the wonderful textured effect that stippling creates.  I practiced first on some felt, then set to task ... beginning in the center.




I have currently approximately a 40 cm square to quilt and it will be ready to trim and bind.



 On a side note!


I had asked my wonderful mother to knit a special project, as an aid to child birth education, and breastfeeding education, which is part of my role as a registered midwife.  She was most eager to try her hand at a new project and I just had to share her handiwork.

Two breasts, for assisting with breastfeeding education and utilising a hands off approach to initiating breastfeeding in those first few days in the hospital.  Plus as an added bonus, a knitted uterus, to help explain the action of contractions of the uterus during childbirth. 


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

EB DQS 5

I have joined the EB DQS 5 this year, and I am super excited.  Although I am fairly new to quilting, I am sure that I can make something that my partner will love!  I have had a busy couple of weeks at work and have not been able to spend as much time as I would like on this, although I have managed to put together a mosiac of the things that I like to help my secret swap partner.




Monday, 5 September 2011

Pins & Lines

This weekend I have achieved heaps!! 


Firstly I basted Master 6's Quilt, by sticking the backing to the floor and then laying the batting and top over, smoothing and pinning as I went.  Miss 7, had fun working out with her maths how many pins I used ... 9 x 9?!!  Lots of pins, what ever you worked out.




Then Sunday was spent quilting lines, up and down, and up and down, and up and down, again!!  The veragated thread looks lovely, with a grey in the bobbin, to match the smokey black backing.





Now to square it up and bind with some left over fabric from the sudoko squares.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

SHHHHHHHHHHH ..... Stash Building!


This week has seen me back into the swing of full time shifts now that Master 6 is feeling miles better. As a result, the quilting has taken a back seat.  Still that is no reason not to pick up gorgeous fabric when you see it ... Right?

I managed to find some bits and pieces at my local fabric store which was too hard to resist.  Off the bolt and for an absolute bargin.  So I got 30cm pieces of each. 





I also got some pieces of felt, as I had read a tip of practicing FMQ with two pieces of felt, instead of wasting fabric and batting to make quilt sandwiches.  At 89cents a piece, good value I think.  Now to just sit and give it a good go.




This morning has been spent, preparing for Father's Day on Sunday.  I managed to find what I needed quickly and popped into an A&R store which is clearing out.  I found a fabulous quilting book, which I also snapped up. 



Imagine my exciement when I arrived home to an express post package!   I managed to find Terrain Charm Packs online for a steal ... so got three.





















I have a half plan in mind, so will work on that over the weekend.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Looking to the past...

Born in Melbourne, I have lived my entire life here.  Having a father who was a teacher, we had the opportunity to travel during school holidays, and we explored all over Australia, first, then the world.  Influenced by the interest my father had in the arts, I got to appreciate many of the worlds masterpieces from the Louvre in Paris, The Tate and National Galleries in London and many others across europe.  Exploring the British Museum with my brother and sister are some of my fondest memories of that trip (although my family may have got a different impression - come on I was 16!!).  This is my brother and I, during August of 1990, in Los Angeles, and then me in in front of Buckhingham Palace in London during early December of 1990.  How young do I look?!!



 Arts and crafts are in my blood.  My maternal grandmother has sewn all her life, and still at 90 years of age, is making beautiful, stylish and wonderfully stitched outfits for herself.  Her mother, was crocheting still, at 97 years of age.  My own mother is accomplished in hand work, focussing on tatting, knitting, crocheting and embroidery, stump work to be more specific.  Here is a sample of the beautiful work that mum does.  A stunning handkerchief, for my birthday this year,


and her very first stump work piece, gumnut flowers. 


Her latest piece is a blanket for my sister, patchwork style, but crochet, in beautiful browns, with every patch being a different pattern.  It is gorgeous and I must grab a piccy to share when I see it next!

My partners mother, Wendy is also from strong seamstress roots.  My childrens paternal great grandmother was an industrial seamstress who sewed until her passing just recently.  It is her machine, I pieced my first patchwork on.  Wendy loves to make my children the most beautiful clothes, which they both love to wear. 

More recently my creativity has been nurtured by photography.  I have always been behind a camera, and during my Bachelor of Midwifery degree I was able to undertake an elective unit through RMIT University here in Melbourne, in photography.  This unit was, while quite basic, and all online, challenged me to look at the world around me, with a more structured brief than I am used to when using my camera.  It explored shape, colour, light, perspective and many other issues faced when taking a 'good' photograph.  I used what was around me, and my portfolio explored The Heide Museum of Modern Art, in history, architecture, sculpture and landscape.  I recieved a High Distinction for my efforts (88/100) for the subject, which I am very proud of, even if my transcript says 'cross-institutional credit'!!  Here are some of my favourite pictures from that unit.






So that is a bit about me.  Now when my back is feeling a little better I will get onto doing some more quilting, and I will have more to share!