Friday, April 18, 2014

Hot Cross Bun Fun and a Bit of Quilting.

I felt like a sleepy koala when I got up early this morning to make Hot Cross Buns.  
Making my own has become a tradition in our household. Making Gbf wait utill I've taken photos for the blog has also become part of the tradition :) He's learnt to be patient. 
I like to add extra fruit and extra, extra cinnamon. They don't look quite as perfect as the ones that you can buy but they sure do taste delicious!
Especially with a nice cup of coffee, and the morning chatter of birds in the background. 

Gbf and I have a garden oriented Easter ahead of us. Our yard has been ambushed by weeds and overgrown pumkin vines. It would be great to get the garden beds prepared for some winter veggie seedlings and the sooner the sweetpeas and pansies get planted the sooner we'll see their cheery flowers. 
We're also hoping to fit in a day trip to visit some gardens full of autumnal blooms and golden Fall tones. It's such a beautiful time of year. 

 When I'm not working in the garden I'll be quilting my Conversation quilt. 
As you can see I'm enjoying emphasizing the geometric shapes of the blocks with my stitches. I'm using a mix of threads - perle8, some tapestry yarn and some embroidery floss.

The catch, quite literally, is that I'm using batting with scrim, it was what I had in my cupboard. It's fine for the perle8 thread which easily glides through but I'm finding the tapestry yarn gets caught in the batting. The result is I'm not going to use the yarn as much as I thought, but I'll still use it in a few place because I like the big chunky stitches.

Last but not least - An enormous THANK YOU!!! to everyone who wished me a happy blogiversary and left such wonderful comments! There are lots of daisies with names on them. The giveaway is still open until midday Monday, Blue Mountains, time so you still have time to be part of the fun. 
I noticed a few of you are No Reply bloggers. If I didn't reply to your comment then it's a good idea to check your settings. Go to Edit Profile on your blog and check the box that says "Show My Email" and then enter your email. Save your settings and then you're done. It's that easy, but let me know if you need help. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

4 Cheers for 4 Years - A Giveaway.

Today is my 4 year blogiversary! 

When I began my little blog 4 years ago I had no idea what a big part of my life it would become. I simply started because I was just discovering blogs and thought it would be fun to be a participant. It has turned out to be so much more. 

I found I enjoy taking photos....
of all sorts of things. 

It keeps me on track with my projects... 

most of the time.

It's a place where I can let my imagination run wild 
with tall tales and fun adventures.

I enjoy sharing inspiration

and showing where I live

but the best thing about starting a blog 4 years ago of all is the wonderful people I've met. All around the world!! Online and in real life. Thank you to you all for making this a fun place to be!!! 

So it's 4 cheers for 4 years!!  
And the perfect time to have a Giveaway! 
The Swoon House mini quilt is finished and ready to send. 

If you would like to be in the draw then tell me in a comment how you follow eg Bloglovin, Feedly, email etc  and I'll put your name on a flower. That's right, no Mr Random for me, I'll be using the Daisy method of picking the winner. I'll write your name on a paper daisy and put it in a vase. An unsuspecting person will pick the winning daisy on Monday 21st April, 12midday, Blue Mountains, Australia, time.
This is a celebration of my blog so it's for wonderful Blue Mountain Daisy followers only, of course new followers are very welcome.  I'm happy to send the parcel to anywhere in the world. 

What a great 4 years - here's to many more!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Raffle Quilt and Happy Mail

Check out this quilt!! 

It's this years Springwood Quilt Show raffle quilt. The Springwood Quilt Show Committee have done a wonderful job of making this quilt based on an English quilt from the 1820's. I wish I had close up photos of the fabrics but I can tell you they are a wonderful mix of  beautiful reproduction fabrics. And don't you just love that wide sashing with hexagons. Brilliant!

If you want to see this quilt live then head to the Springwood High School , Grose St, Faulconbridge on the last weekend of April. Doors open on Friday at 11am until 5pm, Saturday and Sunday are 10am until 4pm. 
There'll be about 150 quilts on display and lots of great stall holders selling tempting wares. 
For more information have a look at the Springwood Quilt Show Blog.

If you'd like to join in behind the scenes they're looking for volunteers to help out on Saturday. It's a great way of helping out and joining in the fun. I always enjoy hanging the quilts and then packing up when it's over. Gbf helps too, it gives him a chance to get his big ladder out of the shed. I'll be on white glove duty sometime over the weekend so if you see me say hello.


The postie has been delivering fun parcels. Diane from O'Quilts has been making a parade of potholders! And she shared some with me!
 Not just one but three! I'm going to hang them and admire them rather than use them as potholders.

It takes a crafter to know how special a gift of thread is. Jessica Wheelerhan (she's the creater of the cool hand printed Text/Type fabrics I showed here a while ago) suprised me with this lovely grey misty thread. I love how she's wound it onto some driftwood from an exotic beach side holiday. 

As for sewing I've been attaching hanging sleeves and labels onto my show quilts, sewing binding onto some mini quilts and bending needles, even breaking them while hand sewing a denim quilt. Ouch! I know I should have photos to show you but I'm a bit slow with my new camera. I figured it would be another week before I did a post and you'd all be wondering where I was by then. So sewing photos can wait for another day. I'll just have more to show :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Catching up

My Simple Squares quilt is finished. 

Oh lovely squares!! Easy going, friendly squares. One size to cut and I didn't have to think too much as I sewed them together. I simply quilted in the ditch creating a 4 inch checkerboard of stitches on the back. It's bound in some navy fabric I had in my cupboard. Easy peasy, done and dusted.. or is it ? ... there might be more to this quilt than meets the eye... expect it when you least expect it. :)

Last weekend we had Gbf's sister come to stay with us. It's always a pleasure to show off our beautiful Blue Mountains, especially with a trip to one of my favourite places, Pulpit Rock Lookout, near Blackheath. 

To get there you have to drive through a long tunnel of gum trees along a bumpy dirt road. Then there's a pleasant 10 minute walk down stairs made from rock and along a path lined with wild flowers, sculptural trees and pretty orange butterflies. When you come to the clearing you realise you're actually on a ridge sticking out into an amazing canyon. 

And these are the views!

It's hard to capture the size of the valley in the photos. This photo might give an indication, the little specks in the center are Gbf and his sister.

The clouds were particularly beautiful!

That was it for photos because my camera stopped working ( sad face). It's been misbehaving for a while now but I've accepted the inevitable and decided to get a new camera ( happy face) and it will be a definite step up from what I've been using ( very happy face!!!). A Canon EOS D600! Hopefully I'll have it by the end of the week and will do a review once I've had a chance to play around with it. 

Remember my Swoon Houses? 

 Sunna from Sunnyquilts blog in Iceland has made a wonderful version with smiley faces in the windows and a big shining center star. Check out her Dream Villiage version at Sunnyquilts blog, and say hello, she's been busy making wonderful quilts. There's a big star quilt I'm particularly drawn to. 

Hmm I seem to remember saying I'd get my Swoon Houses quilted by April, boy this year sure is flying by, I'd better get onto it, no more dilly dallying!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

On the Design Wall

I don't remember the last time I made a simple quilt of squares. 

I recently tidied and refolded my stash of fabrics and noticed I have mostly blues so that's where I started pulling fabrics for this quilt. I added some oranges and golds to warm up the blue shades and add some sparkle.

There's no theme to the mix of prints. It was a case of using what looked good as I went along. You'll see there's lots of daisy prints, florals and dots. Some fabrics I've had for years, others are fairly new.

I found a fabric butterfly in my scraps. It seemed particularly attracted to the blue daisies. It kept me company as I cut. 

After a morning of listening to music and making fabric fly around the room as I gave my rotary cutter a good workout I now have 17 x 16 rows of 4.5 inch squares. 

 Now I just have to sew them together. One simple square quilt coming right up! Off to the sewing room I go! :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Octopus's Garden

Octopus's Garden!!

I think taking photos of a finished quilt would have to be one of my favourite parts of the quilt making process. When you have as many unfinished projects as I do a completed quilt is always worth celebrating! It's especially fun when it means going to different locations. Knowing we had an upcoming visit to a beach gave me the motivation to get Octopus's Garden quilted and finished. I couldn't have picked a better location for this quilt, I'm sure there were mermaids watching us from the waves. 

It was the day I went to the Kaffe and Brandon class, so we were up early and only had a time window of 45 minutes to get our photos. No time for the weather to clear or the sun to come out. It worked out perfectly though, the moody greys and neutral sandy background really help to set off the colours in the quilt. 

Gbf was such a patient quilt holder. He climbed rocks, moved an inch this way or that, and luckily didn't get blown into the water. I was running around saying "Just another quick photo" and "How about over there?". 

Meanwhile Mr Seagull is thinking "What are those silly people doing?"

I know I should show close up photos of the hand quilting but there's enough photos in this post so I'll leave it for another day. I still have to sew the label on so I'll have to show that too. The quilting is very understated. I used perle8 threads that matched the colours of the parts I was quilting, leaving the fabrics and pattern to be the features of the quilt. 

Octopus's Garden Quilt Stats

Size: 51x 69 inches
Pattern : Emperor's Wheel by Chris Jurd, (I made a few small changes to suit the fabrics I was using)
Fabrics: Tula Pink, bits and pieces from 8 different ranges collected over 5 years!
Quilting: Me. Machine stitched around the blocks, and hand quilting with perle 8 cotton. 
Photo Location: Narrabeen, NSW, Australia
More Photos - June 2013


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