It was a beautiful weekend, especially so because my beautiful niece had her baby shower – a.k.a. belly blessing. We all went to the park with lovely offerings of yummy treats and full of well wishes for the expectant mum.
We played some games, added our wishes to the wishing tree…
wishing tree
and decorated candles for use at the impending birth. The mum-to-be had asked her guests, instead of gifts, to bring along a positive little story about a birthing or childhood memory. It was a lovely experience, shared amongst all of us- young ladies just starting out with motherhood and some of us perhaps a little more seasoned in those fantastic times of being a mother, which none of us would give up for anything.

some stitching and sketching

I’ve been doing a little more work on a hand-stitched piece. This is in response to classes I have taken online with Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth.
I love her work and have followed many classes over the years. This week I made this little woven patch:

wovenpatch1I’ll add it to a larger piece which is going to have a few assorted pieces and lots of stitching. You might remember this little piece I showed last week which is for the same project:
This week’s woven patch is added to resemble a city building. I created it first as a small piece by weaving strips into a a larger piece of printed fabric.
I then inserted the woven piece into the larger project and did some extra stitching on top:
As I work through it I’ll show some more on here, but as I am basically making it up as I go along there’s not a lot to show just yet!
I’ve also been doing some more drawing and sketching, so I drew this little page so illustrate the steps I took to create the woven patch:
Hope you are having a good week!

inspiration from “Quilting Arts”

I’ve been dividing myself between a few different projects lately, not getting far in any of them but just keeping them rolling along. Since finishing the Lollipop trees quilt in July, I don’t feel I have done much hand-work at all- not deliberately avoiding it but perhaps subconsciously needing a break from it.
I am working on a little piece that has a mix of hand-work and machining. These little flowers:
are done as an abstract collage using torn strips of fabric, haphazardly arranged and sewn down with random free-motion stitching on top. I got the idea from this article by Constance Grayson in the August-September issue of “Quilting Arts” magazine, one of my favourites.
I’ve also done the Aurifil block-of-the month for September:
I didn’t make it exactly like the original as that would have made a 12″ block, so I did just the corner of the block twice over into two smaller blocks.
The two smaller blocks will fit in better with my scrappy medallion quilt that is also still crawling along!
And I am also working on some customer quilts on my long-arm machine. The latest is this little baby quilt:
I quilted it in an all-over swirly pattern as well as around the appliqued shapes.
How are all your projects coming along?


I took a little break from taking a photo a day but have recently joined back in. While I don’t always take one every day, or stick to each day’s prescribed theme, I take them when I can. I use it as a way of keeping family members up to date with what might be happening at home!
Here’s a sample of photos I’ve taken over the last month or so:

this theme was [mix}: a mix of fabrics on my sewing bench:

[give] I was waiting for Child #3 to ‘give’ me a call when he was away on a sporting trip (he was stingy with his phone calls…. just saying)

[nearby] I was wishing this pair was nearby….they did actually come up to visit this past weekend, yay!!!

[style] or not as the case may be…but so warm for the feet!

[DIY] home-printed paper from our recent eco-dyeing class

What about you- do you take photos of the day’s little moments? Have a good week!

long arm machine quilting

This little fellow likes to think he runs the place, and he probably does, but with such a cute face how could you resist it?!
He likes to keep an eye on me while I am working on the long-arm machone: quilting lovely quilts like this beauty I recently finished for Lyn:
This is such a stunning quilt that Lyn has made, showcasing her sashiko stitching.
Using the thread colours of golds, orange and reds has also made it a very different colour palette from what you normally might see with sashiko. For quilting it, I used a charcoal thread so it wouldn’t be too obtrusive on the coloured blocks and kept the quilting to a minimum on the sashiko blocks.
The quilting on the main body of the quilt was free-hand in a design to match some of the fabric with a few dragon flies here and there, while I did a fan design on the borders.
I can’t wait to see it when Lyn has trimmed and added the binding!

eco dyeing

We had a great workshop on eco-dyeing here in Gatton on the weekend, with Nat Billing. Nat is an eco-dyer, using leaves and fruit and vegetables and, well anything really, to make beautifull naturally-dyed and printed fabric. You can find out a little bit about her here and she is also on Facebook.
We were able to dye a number of pieces using a variety of methods, all utilising naturally-found ‘dyes’. We used leaves – each tree leaf with its own properties and resultant effects, onion skins, grapes, purple carrots and seeds.
The fabrics we used were a wool knit, raw silk, silk satin and paper. The leaves were placed on the fabric and then rolled around pieces of pipe, sticks, rusted metal, seed pods etc
and placed in a brew – this first one used iron as the mordant, set at a high simmer.
My first two pieces: wool with leaves wrapped around a rusted pipe which gave the dimpled look through the middle but you can also clearly notice the outlines of the leaves:
rusted pipe iron water
wool on rusted pipe
This is raw silk with a softer look, but still showing the leaves with muted greens:
raw silk iron
This silk satin had leaves, and red onions for the pink and grapes to give the purple colour:
Meryl showing one of her pieces:
I also tried using some watercolour paper- folded and layered with leaves and onion skins and carrot then clamped between tiles like this:
When I first opened it, with the leaves still on it – such beautiful rich colours:
The paper once it had dried:
Opening up each piece to see what had happened was just like Christmas morning- a surprise when you saw what was there!
We had a great time, and I think there are a few converts amongst us who will be trying it again in future. Thanks Nat for a fantastic day. :)

bit by bit

I’ve been making a little progress on this improvised quilt. I’ve written about it here and here before, and it may seem to onlookers that I’m not making much headway! Making up this quilt as I go along is harder than it seems, really hard. I think it is probably the most difficult quilt top I’ve made!
I have it up on my design wall with all the extra blocks I’ve made so far arranged around it.

The last week or two have been spent looking, re-arranging, looking, sewing bits together, changing my mind and so on. I’ve started worrying that it’s all too busy and will just look chaotic, instead of looking like its meant to be: colourful and scrappy but still just right.
I know that once I have worked out a rough arrangement of the little blocks that are going around the medallion centre, I then will be adding filler strips to make them fit together. Those filler strips will be in the light green that I used in those wide strips top and bottom of the centre, as well as red and some of the stripe. So I’m hoping they will help to pull it together and also give some places for the eye to rest.
Herre are a couple of sections I’ve put together:
It’s been fun making all the extra blocks. Some unexpected pairings of fabrics have revealed some new favourites, like this block:
These are some of my ‘extras’ – little parts to fill in spots where needed.
and lastly, I can’t complain because I have had some help from Dublin the supervisor

little birdies

You might think I have a thing for birdies…. and you may be right. I like them ’cause they are cute! I recently made this little birdie as a gift:


He was quick to make- I got the Joel Dewberry pattern from here and used some fabrics in a favourite combination of blues and browns.
He can be used as a pincushion or could even be filled with pot pourri if you wish.
He has a cute little face!

A new little birdie to our home is this little ceramic birdie given to me by a friend:
I think he might fulfil a greeting role at our front door:
He looks quite nice with the azalea, don’t you think?!
And just to show a few other birdies around the house which have been kindly given to me:
and of course, this blog’s mascot, which I also made:
Have a good week!

Show and tell….

My local quilt group, Gatton Quilters, had our monthly get-together this past weekend, and there was lots of show-and-tell on offer!
Even though attendance was down, a lot of members were able to show their completed works- some finished at a recent weekend retreat.
Lyn showed how to put to good use her half-square triangle blocks we did as a group swap last year:
She also showed a lovely table runner made from a kit purchased on a trip to Canada- both sides look good!
Quite an unusual range of fabrics and some new techniques involved.

Val had this quilt top to show:
and Marilyn also had a few items, these first two with great hand-stitching:
Marilyn also completed this magnificent piece in a workshop with Jan Knight and recently had it framed: it was hard to get a good photo without a lot of reflection, so I have cropped some of the border off to try and minimise that:
One good thing from these meetings is that you go home with lots of motivation for getting stuck into some sewing. No excuses….

Lollypop Trees Quilt- finished

Finishing a quilt after working on it for some time, even years, brings with it some happiness at the completion but also a little sense of loss when it goes off to its new home. I finally finished the Lollypop Trees quilt for my daughter that I have been working on for nearly four years. I was glad that I had a timeframe to work towards- in this case it was for her 21st birthday- but even though I overshot that by a year (!) if I didn’t have a specific reason for getting it finished, it may still be in the UFO pile.
I started this quilt because I wanted to do some applique- my favourite types of quilts tend to be pieced quilts, but also because I saw this quilt online somewhere and fell in love with it. I loved all the colours and mix of patterns and textures, and it used Kaffe Fasset fabrics which I also love to use.
So, here it is finished. I quilted it on my longarm in a simple pattern because I wanted the applique blocks to be the focus.
I used a gold-coloured thread on most of the background and some monofilament thread on the applique trees. This was a difficult quilt for which to work out what would look best. I ideally would have liked to avoid quilting on the applique altogether but because that would have meant a large proportion of the quilt surface without any quilting on it, that wasn’t possible. So I used the monofilament thread to quilt an outline shape inside the larger leaves and circles, and just quilted around other pieces so the applique would pop.
The backing fabric was also a Kaffe fabric.
This quilt measures 94″ by 94″. It was so big that even hanging it on the clothesline, wound up to the highest it would go, didn’t lift it off the ground!
My daughter took it home with her on the weekend. It was a long haul to get it finished, and I’m a little sad to see it go, but also very happy that I got to the end!