Monday, July 28, 2014

Welcome to the Sea Breeze MQAL!

Welcome to my day on the Sea Breeze MQAL bloghop!

I watched Canoe Ridge Creations run the MQAL the first time with some interest and delight in the design. However, my primary thought on seeing the size of the quilts was "oh, way too small for me to bother".

I'm generally a big quilts person. In fact, when I was basting a picnic quilt at the Sydney Modern Quilt Group sew-in a couple of months back, one of the women who knows me well studied my work, looked at me and asked, "Isn't it a bit small, Sel?" (And it was small compared to the size my quilts usually end up!)


So, mini-quilts? Not my thing. And then Angie at GnomeAngel decides to run the Sea Breeze MQAL on instagram and intarwebs and puts out a call. And I, like the overenthusiastic, DO ALL THE PROJECTS, A-personality type that is me, sign up to be even busier than I already am!

Plus, HSTs! HSTs are my nemesis. Or possibly my Jekyll-and-Hyde. On one hand, they're so cute and versatile, capable of making so many patterns and sub-patterns, on the other, they require cutting into squares, drawing lines down the middle, sewing on each side of the line, cutting along the line, pressing the seams open, and trimming! That's five extra steps in block development! Who has time for that, I ask you?


Okay, so clearly I have time for that. Or I like the result. One or the other. Possibly both.

With a name like "Sea Breeze" and given the stash of Kona solids occupying my shelf-space, I kind of felt like I really should go the blue fabric route. Lots of blue, and a nice, stormy grey in Kona Slate. (I don't know the specific Konas I used, I'm afraid, I didn't check.)

My day to instagram the #seabreezemqal with @gnomeangel: the story so far. Warning! Layout on instagram may not necessarily resemble final quilt!

Then there was the question of design. I wasn't as daring as some of the other bloggers in the MQAL (deviate from the pattern? *clutches pearls* Oh, how could you?) but I did want to do something a little different from the norm. The standard layout looks lovely - like a still, deep pool. But this is the SeaBreeze MQAL, after all. So I figured I'd mix it up.


('scuse the toes!)

Now it's more 'choppy seas' than 'rainforest jumping pool'. And adds a bit of intrigue to the design: the eye focuses on the dark grey rather than the blues.


I backed it in the remaining scraps, and quilted it on my domestic machine which doesn't have a BSR.


The quilting is pretty bad up close, so I'm limiting pics of the actual quilting. Amy Butler's Lark turned out to be the perfect colour for the binding and adds a touch of forest to the overall effect. And I machine-bound it rather than hand-bound it because I was in a hurry to get it done and didn't feel like sewing the binding neatly on.


And here it is with my other weekend finishes - two snowflake cushions and two batik cushions.


I'm still looking at the result wondering what on earth I'll do with it. Right now, I'm tending towards gifting it to the infant son of a couple in my bible study group.

Have you gone around and looked at the various SeaBreeze MQAL quilts yet? There's a Facebook page, an Instagram tag (#seabreezemqal), and GnomeAngel's blog to check out!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one with lots of bits and pieces

It's been a crazy week. CRAZY.


Rainbow Snowflakes

The snowflake blocks weren't so bad once I got my piecing system working for the block. It takes about 60 mins to put one together when everything's laid out and you have the divider strips cut. And when there isn't unpicking to be done!

Stash and snowflakes

But the red-orange one is giving me trouble. It was the first one, so there were still bugs in the process, and the result wasn't quite as neat as the later ones.


I'm thinking of going back and redoing it because it's bugging me. It's not like I have a shortage of scraps. I may have a shortage of sanity, though!

And I'm not looking forward to putting it together. Y-seams will probably be involved and I have a mortal terror of them...


Sewed Rosettes 1 and 3 together. Currently working on the surrounding Rosettes to start filling it all in.

Stash and snowflakes

As much as I admire the fussy-cutters doing amazing things with the Passacaglia (check out the #epicmillefioriquilt tag on instagram), I rather like the simple drama of the Reese Scannell shot-cottons. Stark geometrics, colour, and tricksing the eye: all my kinds of things!

SeaBreeze mini QAL

It's started! Full QAL post over at, with the list of awesome Australian quilt bloggers, but there's also a FB group here.

Stash and snowflakes

I finally got moving and have my HSTs sewn and trimmed. I was going to do something rainbow scrappy, but ended up just using Kona solids - Kona Slate, and a range of the lighter blues. It's a SeaBreeze mini-quilt after all!

And today (Thursday here in Aus) is my day to Instagram the #seabreezemqal. So here's the story so far!

My day to instagram the #seabreezemqal with @gnomeangel: the story so far. Warning! Layout on instagram may not necessarily resemble final quilt!

Warning! Layout on instagram may not necessarily resemble final quilt!

On Tuesday the blogger was joworimakes of Instagram - and her mini quilt is so spectacular! Yesterday's bloggers are Leanne of Daisy and Jack and Annabel (IG: @belloquacity).

No Movement

There's still The Unfinished Borders Club:
1. Build Me Up Buttercup
2. USA Hurray
3. All Around The World

...and The Needs Backings Club:
1. Pantone Challenge
2. Farmhouse

...and The FMQ Club:
1. Mendocino Mermaids
2. Honey Honey
3. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

...and The Blocks In Bits Club:
1. Red Letter Day blocks
2. batik log cabin blocks
3. "Swell" quilt
4. "Framed" quilt

Stop laughing. I know I have a lot of things to finish! *sulks*



Ugh. I really hate trying to organise this thing. And then take photos. And then get the photos up. And then sort out invoices and everything. But it needs doing.

So that's me this week. What about you? How are your projects coming along?

(Also, sorry to all the people who commented on the last WIP Wednesday who didn't receive a mail back. I was intending to get back to you all and then the last week happened.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIP Wednesday - the one with plenty of snowflakes!

So it's been a week! What a week! I got a little bit more progress done in-between everything else, but not much. Not as much as I would have liked.

The main reason - the big reason - is that on Saturday, my sister and I bought a house!

Our house (to be)! Is a very very very nice house, with two cats in the yard... #yesweboughtit #holycow

Small house on manageable block in good location. Pretty much ready to move into, and seems in good condition - we need to confirm that with some inspections. It was within our budget and even if it turns out to need serious repairs, we can afford that. (At least, I'm pretty sure we can.)

I'm still in a state of "WHAT HAVE WE DONE??" though...


Rainbow Snowflakes

So this is most of the stuff I've done this week - getting my snowflakes up and moving.

There's the scrappy snowflakes which I'm piecing with painstaking care:

WIP Wednesday: snowflakes

And the two original snowflake blocks I made, which I'm turning into cushion covers:

WIP Wednesday: snowflakes

So basically, my design wall is entirely snowflakes:

WIP Wednesday: snowflakes


Sloooowly moving - getting onto the smaller rosettes!

Moving on to the smaller rosettes in the #epicmillefioriquilt...

No Movement

The six quilts and their backings are sitting in a package on my kitchen floor, because I haven't been able to get it to the post office. Saturday. Definitely Saturday...

SeaBreeze mini QAL

I have fabrics! I have plans! I just have no space to enact them!

step 1: finish the snowflakes by Saturday so there's not all these little pieces lying around
step 2: start cutting and sewing the blocks on Saturday
step 3: resist the urge to make it a big mini quilt (I don't usually do small quilts! I do ginormous queen-sized ones!)


1. Finish as many WIPs as possible before moving

1. Build Me Up Buttercup - borders
2. USA Hurray - borders
3. All Around The World - borders

2. Destash! Destash! Destash!

And this will be fabrics, books, perfume oils, drawing stuff - SO MUCH STUFF. My middle sister and I will be moving into a house that is basically one-third the size of our current one. Which we have lived in for the last ten years straight, and before that for thirteen years on-and-off.

That's a LOT of stuff.

At least we don't have to get out of our current house for another four months at the extreme range, although the parentals (who technically own the place) would like us out at the three month mark so they have a month to sort, garage sale, and bin everything we leave behind!

other things

The house we've bought has floorboards under the carpet. My only hard line before we move in is to remove the carpet and polish the floorboards. Which means we will have big expanses of floor needing rugs. I've decided to make quilt-rugs to cover the floor in each of the rooms. I can design them however I like, they'll be easily washable, and pretty! (That's my reasoning, anyway.)

So I need to start sourcing slightly more hardy fabrics for the backing.

How about you? What have you been doing this week?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mad Monday: the one with a house sister and I bought a house on the weekend.

I'm still in the whole up-and-down "WHAT HAVE WE DONE" state of mind, compounded by the little things that are anxious-making, like mortgages, and inspections, and suchlike.


Our house (to be)! Is a very very very nice house, with two cats in the yard... #yesweboughtit #holycow

Our own house! Pretty much ready to move into!

(Did I mention the anxious-making?)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one with a QAL!

Done: Quilt Backings!

I got four of them together and they're being posted this morning!

WIP: Snowflake Quilt

I think I'm going to have to draft a paper-piecing pattern for these blocks. They can be done in pieces, but it's finicky. The first block was pretty bad. The second block was a little better.


Of course, the block that has all the really wonky seams is the one with the really visible colours!


WIP: Passacaglia

Another Rosette done!


Just have to finish sewing the last one together, And then we'll start on the smaller part-Rosettes for the lower half of the quilt! Slowly, slowly, slowly!

SeaBreeze Mini QAL

A group of Aussies organised by GnomeAngel has gotten together for a Blog-hop/Insta-hop based off the Sea Breeze Mini quilt by Canoe Ridge Creations.

Monday 21 July – Angie @
Tuesday 22 July – Kelly & Gillian @ Secret Sewing Society
Wednesday 23 July – Leanne @ Daisy and Jack
Thursday 24 July – Rachel @ Little White Dove & Penny @ Happy Spider Knits Podcasts
Friday 25 July – Melissa @ on Ms Midge
Saturday 26 July – Amanda @ mucho xoxo & Kate @ Stitched with Love
Sunday 27 July – Linden @ Vine Lines Quilting Adventures
Monday 28 July – Sel @ Mad Quilters Disease
Tuesday 29 July – Raylee @ Sunflower Quilting
Wednesday 30 July – Cassie @ Cassie Madge
Thursday 31 July – Deb @ Deb’s Doodlings & Cindy @ Live a Colourful Life
Friday 1 August – Bec @ Skyberries Handmade & Jo @ Jo Loves to Quilt
Saturday 2 August – Angie @

And yes, that's me on the schedule, on the 28th July!

I'm also instahopping one of the days - I think I'm the 24th July for the instahop. I'll need something to show by then, won't I? EEP!


And today is the start of the Sydney Quilt Show 2014 - ooh, and Kim Bradley's Creations has Cotton+Steel in and it's being cut at her warehouse today! Looking forward to getting my hands on that.

I went with a couple of friends, among them Jenn of Penny Poppleton, who won second prize for her quilt South-West Sunset!

As for purchasing things, I was pretty restrained, and only bought one 'jelly roll' of Reece Scanell, visible on the bottom right of the photo.


So what have you been doing? I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Winter Organising Series: Day One

Day 1: Take a photo of your workspace, and list your WIPs

Summer Organising Day 1

Summer Organising Day 1

Summer Organising Day 1

Summer Organising Day 1

To do:
1. work out a sorting system for fabric - collections, stash, projects, WIPs, and scraps.
2. work out a filing system for paper things - clothing patterns, quilt patterns, books
3. work out an organising system for notions - templates, thread, bobbins, rulers, etc.
4. sell the box of stash that is yet To Go.

- millefiori madness

- USA Hurray quilt top to complete
- Build Me Up Buttercup quilt top to complete
- around the world quilt (blue-to-gold)

- supernova friendship block quilt
- Red Letter Day blocks
- batik log cabin blocks
- 2 Camille Roskelley block quilts

- Sweetwater Town Hall
- Momo
- Farmhouse
- Pantone Quilt Challenge
- California Girl

- Mendocino Mermaids
- Honey HOney
- Rainbow Charms

- snowflake quilt (entry for SEWvivor?)
- Aviatrix Medallion quilt
- Heather Ross: Imagine Greater (Imaginary Creatures)
- Magic Stars by Aneela Hoey
- Juliet Dress in Washi Tape Fabrics
- baby quilt for Teddy W
- scrap patch block

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one with Cotton and Steel!

I'm all quilted out this week!

I offloaded a heap of stash to a friend's mother whose quilting group will use it instead of just storing it.

Show quilts are done and handed in. And next week is the 2014 Sydney Quilt Show! I'm looking forward to seeing all the lovely quilts, and catching up with Sydney quilters all over the region.


Show Quilts

I couldn't change the quilt name in time for the show, so "Do You Know Where You're Going To" is still "Walkabout"'s label of the quilt in the show. Ah well. That one will be one to hang on a wall somewhere in the house.


"Mondrian Dreaming", on the other hand, will be gifted out to one of my friends. Exactly whom, I'm not entirely sure. We'll see who wants it, I guess!


Not much movement - I was so focused on finishing the show quilts that I put everything else on hold.

Friendship Supernova Swap

First supernova friendship block done!

The yellow checks keep the focus on the centre, I think. This is for my swap partner; the one behind (less well made) is for me. #supernovafriendship #blockswap

Now to start on the next one! I'll use a few of the fabrics from this one in the next one, and add some more based on the fabrics in the block that I receive from my swap buddy. I figure that will even out the colour choices of the quilt overall and make it more even-handed.

No Movement

- Rainbow Snowflakes: still up on the board

- Passacaglia: still in the handsewing bag with no progress

- six quilt backings and their tops to my quilter: nope.


Find and buy a house!

Our house is being sold, contracts exchanged on Friday, six weeks to settlement. We then have three months to vacate the place before the bulldozers turn up (since it's being developed) which means finding somewhere that my sister B1 and myself can afford to live.

Let's just say that Sydney isn't very affordable right now. *sigh*

However it turns out, it means I'm going to have to start sorting out my sewing supplies, because we'll definitely be moving to a much smaller place, and while I will get a room for my crafts, it will be much smaller and will need to be considerably better organised! I'm going to have to work out a system that's better than "toss it in this drawer and I'll find it later". Which is my current system and it doesn't always work very well!

other things

Ooh! I got to have a look-feel at Cotton+Steel in the flesh on Saturday. Sydney quilt shop Kim Bradley's Creations had the RJR C+s reps come in, and I went to check out the samples!

Walkabout, Mondrian Dreaming, Cotton+Steel

It is a lovely collection, but the colour combination is not quite me. I did pre-order the Basics collection, though - those will be useful - and a few of the fabrics that I think will look better as pieces of clothing than in my quilts.

If you're in Australia and looking for this collection, Kim Bradley's Creations is ordering in the ENTIRE COLLECTION in bolts, and selling them in FQ bundles. With a payment plan if you can't afford all 140-something prints at once! They're supposed to be arriving this week and will be on sale at the Sydney Quilt Show next week. And after this lot is gone (and it will go) there isn't anything more scheduled to come in until after August!

Blogger Sherri at "A Quilting Life" put together a Summer Organisation Series for cleaning up quilting spaces. Looking through it, I found it pretty useful. And I suspect I'm going to need it. See above re: "current system of organisation". I've been thinking that I might start putting my scraps ( < F8 size) into the boxes that fit in my IKEA EXPEDIT bookshelf (4x4). It would mean I couldn't see them easily, but I'd only pull out the scraps when I'm actually making a scrap quilt. And I don't need to be reminded that they're there - scraps are an inevitable by-product of the quilting process and somewhat unavoidable. I do need to work out exactly how small they are before I should just throw them out or start using them as cushion padding (or something, IDEK).

Finally, I still have a bunch of stash fabrics to sell - more 'traditional' prints, fewer modern ones. And quite a bit of coloured homespun. Maybe I can piece it together for curtains in the new house?

Anyway, that's me. Hope you've been busy, and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WIP Wednesdays: the one damning the torpedoes

Racing towards the Quilt show!

Why is it that everything is always due ALL AT ONCE? I'm going to be binding quilts at Bible Study tonight, at a tea party on Saturday afternoon, and probably while watching my hockey club's D-grade team on Sunday (I'll be on the field for the A-grade game and padded up as goalie for the C-grade game).

Let's not even talk about labels and hanging sleeves. Oy.


Show Quilts

Both are in variable states of binding, but they're looking pretty good!

Ready to go! #quilting #latergram

That's Mondrian Dreaming on the frame on Saturday.

Waiting to register for quiltcon...

And that's last night when I stayed up to register for QuiltCon. Alas, I suspect I borked something up in the rego with the MQG, because I didn't receive the email with the registration link. *sadface*

I think I'll just stick to the online classes and the tutorials, and do any local classes with designers that turn up in Australia. The Camille Roskelley class was great fun, and she was so sweet and lovely. And it's nice to meet up with other women who also love quilting!

On the plus side, not going to the US in January means I might be able to get to Europe next summer when a couple of friends will be over there working/travelling! And go to the US in September for Dragon*Con. With extra bonus cosplay?

Friendship Supernova Swap

Cutting and piecing is taking place! And laying out. I think I want more contrast, although not quite so vivid with the yellow, perhaps?

Deciding on the colour layout for the #supernovafriendship #blockswap. It's harder than it seems!

This block will be in the mail by the end of June, but probably not actually received until mid-July. I better write to my swap partner about that. And ask about her food allergies... *grin*

Rainbow Snowflakes

Yes, I've started another project. With teeny-tiny pieces (1" finished diamonds).

Remember the pattern I made for Madame Parfait's "Rainbow Blossom" block back in 2012? I called it the "Snowflake block" because I'm lazy like that (or possibly just Australian), and made a couple and stuffed them in a box somewhere.

I'm pulling the pattern out again. This time going scrappy.


It's going to be a bit more difficult with individual scrappy pieces than it was strip-piecing, but I'm confident I can manage it. I'll be working with Michael Miller Cotton Coutere instead of Kona this time - the CC collection is a little thinner and finer than Kona, and will probably better for working with small pieces. (And I ordered major yardage from the Fat Quarter Shop.)

I think that's going to sit on the design wall for a week or two while I get everything else finished. Heck, I had that up pretty much the night I quilted Mondrian.


No Movement

- Passacaglia: lots of little pieces sewn, nothing worth taking photos. It doesn't help that I left my hand-piecing bag at bible study last Wednesday, and didn't get it back until church on Sunday night.

- make labels and hanging sleeve for show quilts.
- mail the NSW Quilt Guild and tell them of the changes in name and quilt size for the show: still haven't done this
- six quilt backings and their tops to my quilter: still not done!

other things

My sister and I 'liberated' a slow-cooker from the parentals, who are cooking enthusiasts, and have the kitchen and appliances to prove it. (They're also retired and have the time to bake and cook and entertain to their hearts' content, which makes a difference.) My uncle also has a yen for cooking, and he bought a sous vide/slow cooker combination that he liked so much, he bought my parents one.

They already have a slow cooker. And a pressure cooker. And probably a sous vide tucked away in a cupboard somewhere. I wouldn't be surprised. So my sister asked if we could take the slow cooker/sous vide the uncle bought and the parentals said yes.

I may be on the way to addiction. Throw the ingredients together in the morning! Turn on the slow-cooker! Come home to a house that smells delicious and a dinner that tastes as good - if not more so!


So far, I've made Pineapple Pork and Black Bean Beef. No, the alliteration wasn't intentional, it just happened that way. Recipes and finished pictures will follow, but they won't be, like, food blogger standard, because I can barely take decent photos of my quilting work, and photographing food levels up the difficulty by a thousand or something.

Anyway, how's your week been? Have you been productive? I'm linking up to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday and anywhere else that I remember!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one with the World Cup!

It's been a busy week.


Mondrian Dreaming

Top is done!

Mod D9P

Not quite the effect I wanted, but good enough for the 'Modern' section of the Quilt Show. It won't win any prizes, but that's not my point in entering the show. I want to bring clear examples of modern quilting to a show that, previously, has been largely traditional styles, or art quilts.


Millefiori Madness

Still in many many pieces. More to show next week, with pictures. Now that I've finished piecing the two show quilts, I can get back to getting more Rosettes completed.

Still in desperate need of a plan.

Red Letter Day: Class with Camille Roskelley

Full post to come, but here is a snapshot of the class and the blocks we'd done by midafternoon.

Mod D9P

The blurry woman in the pic is Camille herself. She was a sweetheart and very nice - and gave us a really helpful tip on assembling quilt blocks neatly and in order!

More pics can be found on Instagram under the hashtag #redletteraustralia - including my full nine blocks as well as many others' finished quilts.

No Movement

- Friendship Supernova Swap (must start working on: needs to be in the mail by the end of June!)


- bind 'Walkabout'
- mail the NSW Quilt Guild and tell them of the changes in name and quilt size for the show
- six quilt backings for my quilter
- quilt 'Mondrian' - need to book Kim Bradley Creations' machine again!

World Cup Decorations

(This is related to sewing. Just a little. I promise!)

The really big event in my office right now is the World Cup. In an office full of guys (I work in IT) with several Europeans (including various Brits), it was never going to pass us by. So management decided to make a celebration of it - including assigning countries to particular areas, charging them to decorate in the assigned nationality, and having a party on Friday.

The decorations started off relatively small - with just a few enthusiasts:

Red Letter Day #redletteraustralia

Then it got a little bigger when people started getting competitive.

Red Letter Day #redletteraustralia

And by Friday it had seriously escalated:

Red Letter Day #redletteraustralia

This is my section - Spain - we were assigned countries, which is why all the different flags/nationalities:

Red Letter Day #redletteraustralia

On the whole, it was a lot of fun. And yes, those red and yellow pennants above the 'ESPANA' sign were sewn by me!

So, how's your week been?

Friday, June 13, 2014

FIFA World Cup (a post that is only marginally about sewing)

So, I have finally made bunting!

It was pretty easy. And I rather like the effect, although it took a bit of working out on how to use the 60degree line on my 24" ruler!

The full story is that my office is decorating for the FIFA World Cup, and we all got assigned a country for our area. We were to decorate our area to represent that country, and bring something for an Opening Ceremony Lunch at 1pm on Friday.

My section is Spain:

I'm quite pleased with the end result: simple and bright and not too cluttered. And the bunting does look nice!

Incidentally, I'm not actually supporting Spain; I'm supporting Australia. Sort of. When I remember that a game is on, and can be bothered waking up early or staying up late. I'm not that invested in the FIFA World Cup - the Hockey World Cup is much more interesting to me - like the women's game between Australia and the USA earlier today. For the record, I think the Hockeyroos deserved to win (they had possession more often than not, and more shots on goal) but damn the Americans gave them a run for their money, especially in the second half!

And those one-on-ones at the end? As both a goalie and a field player, let me tell you that it was stressful watching, but I'd prefer a one-on-one to a penalty shoot-out any day!