the fun of sewing

I had a lovely sewing day recently with a group of quilting friends. There’s something about sitting with a group of people who all love to quilt as much as you do; I find it gives me more motivation to do more even after I get home. I guess a lot of you are the same? You get to sit around a table..
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and work on your different projects…
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admiring each other’s work and fabric choices…
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and…
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and tea cups and coffee mugs are always close by…
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and this lovely little pincushion made with a delectable combination of Liberty fabrics and linen…
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and this one made by one sewer’s mother quite some years ago… I bet it’s a one-off !
shoe-pincushion
and if one wants to stretch one’s legs, you can go for a walk around and admire the host’s studio….
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Now, I better get back to do some more sewing!

block along

I recently found a block of the month-type thingo, where you are given a block design by a guest designer each month. It’s on the Aurifil site. Once you make the block, load a photo of it up on the Flickr site, along with all others that have made it, and once a month you have a chance of winning some Aurifil thread.
I thought I could achieve a couple of things by joining in here. This quilt, which is my working-along-as-I-get to it project:
medallion2
was started mid-2013 in a workshop with Gwen Marston. I’ve shown it here on the blog before, here
It is a medallion quilt with no set design or pattern. I am just improvising as I go along, making up lots of small blocks that I will use to slowly build the quilt-top. I thought if I join in the Aurifil bom, not only do I have a good chance to win something, I also will get a good variety of blocks made for that quilt, using my own fabric choices.
This first month was a ‘bow-tie’ block, which is very easy to do.
bowtie2
I made 4 little blocks
bowtie1
and joined them together..
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Not sure where they will fit in on the quilt-top just yet, but that’s the beauty of such a quilt- playing around with it and making your own design.

choices

Choices. I am a people-watcher. I love to sit and observe people; think about why they chose to wear what they have; look at their family dynamics; the people they surround themselves with; the things they do; the books they might be reading on the beach….
It all comes back to choices. The same with our quilting, but sometimes we struggle with the choices and it can be harder than it should be! I’ve been working on this little piece ….
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which I hope will be the cover page of my fabric journal, which my Art Quilt group has been working on as our personal challenge for the past year. I’ve shown these pages here on the blog in the past:
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using only one shape

using only one shape


time

time


and talked about the journal here
We have now finished the pages, so the current task is to create a cover page. I don’t have a theme for the cover so I have been working on a cityscape, which is one of my favourite themes. Although this is more like a ‘small town’ than a city..
coverpage3
just sewing little scraps on here and there, all by hand, while experimenting with different stitches…
It is not finished by a long way, so these are just progress photos. After each bit of stitching I have another choice to make- which scrap of fabric, which stitch, which thread…
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Sometimes it can seem as though I take longer and longer to decide on what to do next. I’m currently working on the stitched ‘road’ that runs through the middle…
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How about you- how is your decision-making coming along on your current project?

the month that was

I’m still playing with a “photo a day” challenge. I may not always take the photo for a particular theme on the right day, and I sometimes miss a day but I’m still taking them. Here’s a few I took in December :

the theme was: {red}
my new little nutcracker for Christmas

{in the cupboard} you can’t get rid of any of these- they always come in handy when you have a bunch of kids:

{silver} ’nuff said…

{weather today} I think I must have been a little sick of the hot spell we were having- my comments were “hot, humid, tease of rain; repeat” ….

{big} this big bear is a sentimental favourite of someone who doesn’t live at home anymore …..

{drink} …….

{green} a little pear I made last year from felt and hand-embroidered ….

{r is for…} what i put in my Christmas cake …

{joy} of my daughter when she graduated from university with a Bachelor of Engineering….

That was December, the Christmas month. It’s all good….

more lollipops

Keeping inside out of the heat has meant lots of time to do some stitching, which I am quite happy about! It’s so crazy that while we have over 40* heat here in Queensland, over in New York they are having below zero weather and snow storms. Thank goodness for air con (and solar panels!), no matter what extreme.
I’ve been able to catch up on some more little blocks for the Lollipop Trees quilt that has been my project for the last 2 years, utlising mainly Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Here is another of the large blocks that have been completed:
lollipop15
and here are the little blocks that form the border around those large blocks:
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Some of these little blocks are only 4″ square,
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some will be 4*6″,
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and some will be 6*8″
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The pattern gave instructions to cut these smaller squares with quite a bit of spare fabric that will end up being trimmed off; a fact I have to keep in mind when appliqueing the pieces on. I’ve already had to reverse-sew a few leaves to bring them back within the ‘invisible’ outline of the block. At least though, being small, these blocks are quick to do so I’m hoping I’ll get throght them fairly quickly!
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our Christmas to beat all…

I just have to give you a sneak peek at the fantastic Christmas holiday that my family just returned home from. For something completely different for us, we decided to experience a Christmas away from home this year. We went on a cruise to the Pacific islands of New Caledonia and Vanuatu, visiting 4 islands on a 9-day trip. It is the first cruise we have ever been on, and loved every minute of it.
Just a few holiday snaps- hope you don’t mind!
Leaving Brisbane on the Pacific Dawn:
leavingBrisport
The ship’s crew were so very good in looking after everyone one on board, and there was so much effort to enhance the Christmas theme.
Christree
We went to the Isle of Pines first, then Mystery Island for Christmas Day itself. Certainly a different way to spend the day!
xmasonmysteryisland
Santa even found his way to the ship:
santa-on-the-pacific-dawn
With my son- getting ready for Christmas dinner (without cooking and cleaning up afterwards-yay!)
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At Port Vila in Vanuatu we went kayaking and snorkelling- I had a little turn at that-
karen-snorkellingat-Vila
We visited the markets on the islands- look: that’s a familiar pattern!
patterns
There were so many activities on the ship for the days when we were at sea- even an ice-carving demonstration, although he had to work quickly in the heat!
ice-carving
I can’t recommend it more highly – it was a beautiful Christmas for us. Hope you had a great day too!
Ship xmas dec