Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday: the one with presents!

This WIP is mostly about presents. Other people's presents, unfortunately! But still presents.


Aunty's Harvest Quilt

Got the binding done on my Aunt's Quilt on Saturday afternoon, an hour before we had our 'family Christmas dinner'.

aunty quilt bein bound

She liked it a lot!

aunty quilt

That quilt's been about 9 months in the making, and has been in the planning stages for over a year - since Father's Day last year (which, in Australia, is in September). Previous post on The Making Of is here. There's Bad Math! Getting Rid Of Fabrics I Didn't Know What To Do With! And The True Meaning Of Patchwork!

But YESSSS! It's done!

Bee Block Quilt 2011 - Grandmother's Puzzle

I joined a bee block challenge in 2011, and asked for the traditional 'grandmother's puzzle' block, with a white/cream background, and medium-dark bow-ties and arrows in different colours.

I think some people's ideas of "white/cream background" differs from mine.

The fabrics are supposed to be all cotton, but seeing the way some of them react to my, yeah, I don't think so!

grandmother's puzzle

At least the damage isn't too noticeable...I think.

Oh, and at least one person's idea of a 12" block is 3" too short of standard... Oops!

But, yeah, it's a small quilt - at ~36" square, really just a wall quilt - I thought about making more blocks and adding to it so it's at least a lap quilt, but I find I'm not so hugely fond of this quilt that I'm going to put any more effort in than absolutely necessary to get it finished.

I have several piles of other blocks from two other bee block exchanges and both of those are much nicer! Although I will need to do some extra blocks for the first, and some sashing-and-posting in the second... Ugh. Sashing and posting! Lots of little fiddly bits!

French Memo Boards

I've had this in planning for a while now - ones for my stepbrother and his wife, ones for my sisters. I really have to make another move on the sisters' ones - maybe I can give them for Christmas?

Christmas present

I think it needs a button or two at the ribbon intersections to hold everything together. Oops. Maybe I can go visit them and surreptitiously sew some buttons on?

Anyway, both of them:

Christmas present

Nice and easy gifts!


Penny Patch

Two months late to this QAL with Rachel of Stitched In Color: my initial Penny Patch colour selection!

penny patch

Maybe cut down a little on the range of colours - skip the blues and the pinks, and take out the complicated multi-colour floral (although it does work beautifully with the palette - something to consider in future). I'll have to think about it. Not too hard, though!

I just need time to do some cutting and sewing. Things are rapidly becoming a mad whirlygig of social life. It's exhausting!

Precuts Projects:

Sunkissed Town Squares

Finished sewing the blocks together, but haven't pressed them.

Sunkissed Town Square

Haven't gone any further on the two layer cake precuts, although that's going to change shortly...just as soon as my Christmas holidays start on Monday!


I have a baby shower on the 4th Jan, so I gotta get something together for that. I was thinking the crib-size version of the Penny Patch, although I'll probably have to drop the pinks. People tend to get iffy about pink for boys, as though the merest hint of the colour might result in homosexuality.

I have the week of Christmas off, and then I'll be working from home the week of New Year, which should mean I can take sewing breaks at lunch! Just a bit of chain-piecing! :)

Since I doubt there'll be a WIP Wednesday next week, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas (or equivalent holiday greeting according to your preferences) and a Wonderful New Year!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WIP Wednesday: the one with marginal progress

Have I done anything this week? Not really. Marginal progress on most projects.


Precuts Projects:

Sunkissed Town Squares

Sewing, sewing, sewing...

Slowly, slowly getting there! Need to think of a name for this...

The blocks are done (picture notwithstanding), now to iron them, trim them, and sew them together! Still trying to decide if it should be square or on point.

I started cutting two other layer cake precuts on Saturday. They're bagged and tagged and ready to rumble just as soon as I have a backing fabric. I'm probably going to need lots more white solids.


Sunday morning endeavors: Bachelor's Jam

I made bachelor's jam! (Summer fruits in sugar syrup and raspberry vodka.) Should be just about ready in time for New Year!

It's going to be quiet in the lead-up to Christmas: I have all kind of things due before Christmas, the week of Christmas off, and then I'm working the week of New Year. However, I'm hoping to get at least two, maybe three quilt tops done before the end of the year.

Basically, I have stash: I need to use it up. This means quilt tops.


What have you been up to this week? Have you linked up to Freshly Pieced's linky party?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WIP: the one with finished mermaids!


The Seaweed Is Always Greener In Somebody Else's Lake (Mendocino Mermaids)

So I gave it a name. Which is ridiculously long. And always makes me want to break into song. And is possibly ironic since there is no actual green in this quilt, so, yes, of course the seaweed is going to be greener in anyone else's lake!

The Seaweed Is Always Greener (Mendocino Mermaids)'s DONE!


The Seaweed Is Always Greener (Mendocino Mermaids)

I did a lot of careful calculations of brown kelp yardage and decided I had enough to make a thin border around the blocks, so they 'float' properly. I think it makes it look just a wee smidge better with more border. Some similar calculations allowed me to safely say that I had enough of the dark brown seahorses to bind it.


With a double stripe of gold-seahorses in the binding to give it a nice accent!

It's pretty large - about 85" x 85" at present. I don't think I want any more borders, although it's an option since I have some yardage of various prints left over.

The Seaweed Is Always Greener (Mendocino Mermaids)

Now to do the backing and quilt it and bind it. Easy peasy!


Precuts Project: Sunkissed

Still going on this! I'm a bit busy with other projects right now, and I'm not feeling the fabric, so it's not moving very fast. I'll see if I can't get it done this week.


The beautiful quilt 'The Rainbow Connection' got raffled off on Saturday 23rd Nov at Kim Bradley Creations, and was won by a work colleague of the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild secretary - so it'll be staying in Sydney!

For those of you with quilt envy, but who despair of ever making the entire quilt...let's just say that you should stay tuned to the SMQG news around here in the coming months!

The grand opening of Kim Bradley Creations' new shop out in Castle Hill was an amazing day! So many people! Such lovely fabric!

I womanfully resisted the mirrorball dots!

mirrorball dots!

But gave in to the siren song of Tula Pink's Acacia.


Ah well...


What have you been up to this week? Have you linked up to Freshly Pieced's linky party?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday: the one with beautiful blocks!

I finished Tiger by the Tail...but forgot to get a photo of it bound and presented! *facepalms* I got one taken at the SMQG meeting on Saturday, but haven't had a chance to get the photo off the president yet.


Mendocino Mermaids (Under The Sea)

When I first started putting this together, I knew it would look pretty awesome, but I didn't imagine it would look this amazing!

Holy cow!

Mendocino mermaids

It's also going to be be a reasonable sized quilt - I set it up so it would be a 5x5 config, which makes it 75" x 75" without borders.

Not sure about borders at this point. Have to work out if I have enough fabric for it. Also have to start considering binding. Ideally, I'd like a yard of brown seahorses to bind it with, but I don't think I have any brown seahorses left. Lots of orange/copper/yellow ones, though!

Mendocino mermaids

Precuts Project: Sunkissed

I bought this layer cake about three years ago, in 2011, during my first trip to the Sydney quilt show with Penny Poppleton. And it probably wasn't too much after that I realised that the colour scheme was Not Me.

So it has sat around until I decided on the Precuts Project last week. Then I pulled it out and started slicing it up.

pastel boxes

Sewed a couple of blocks together, put it up on Instagram, and promptly had pinkying tell me that she loves this range! Dangit - if I'd realised, I'd have gifted her the layer cake!

I like the pattern, but I don't think it suits this range - too subtle, or not subtle enough.

Pastel boxes

Unfortunately, there's not really an option but to keep going. I'll try the pattern again with a more vividly-coloured layer cake collection. And slightly more precise cutting!

Japanese Trivets

Quilted and trimmed, ready for binding:


I'm notoriously bad at getting binding done. :(

Last Reminder: Quilt Raffle!

Don't you love this quilt?


Don't you want it?

Tickets are $3 each, or 2 for $5, and we take PayPal.

The draw is this Saturday, 23rd November at Kim Bradley Creations in Castle Hill. If you win it, I will send it to you and cover you for half the postage!


So what's your dealie this week? Have you linky-partied up?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday: the one with the raffle!

Not a very productive couple of weeks. November is National Novel Writing Month, which means most of my energy is going towards writing (or the attempt to write - I'm not doing very well right now). I should probably quilt more; having 'down time' for my brain means I write better when I'm actually in front of the computer.

Finished! (ish)

Tiger By The Tail

Tiger By The Tail got quilted on Saturday morning!

Tiger by the Tail

It's being given away on Sunday which means I need to bind it in the next couple of days. Photos will be forthcoming once it's bound and given away. I'll get someone to take a photo at the 'presentation ceremony'. :)


Mendocino Mermaids (Under The Sea)

Still sewing the blocks! I'm ridiculously slow at this...

Mendocino mermaids

But don't they look pretty? *admires*

Mendocino mermaids

I think I have enough brown kelp so I can make all the blocks face the right way. Just enough. Not sure if I'll have any left to bind, though! It's going to be a bit of a guessing game, I think!

USA Hurray

Top complete!

USA hurray

Well, the centre top. I think I might put a border on it, but I'm still deciding. The border gives it a good look, but - lazybones that I am - I'm kind of tired of piecing hourglasses and strips...

I still need to do the back, too! ARGH.

To Do

1. Around The World - with Kona strips left over from my Eternity Quilt.

2. Precuts Project - I have way too many precuts still hanging around, and I should really look at using them. Lots of batiks in particular. I'm going to make quilts out of them during my 2 weeks of Christmas/New Year enforced leave.

i) Batik Postage Stamp: need to buy a couple of yards of a white/cream batiks (for contrast) and make another Postage Stamp quilt, or another 'boxes' quilt.
ii) Layer Cake quilts: need to find a good pattern for these - something that's simple but effective.

3. Contact my church about whether they'd like to hang the Eternity Quilt in their offices somewhere.

4. Messenger Bag gifts.

Eesh. When am I going to have the time for all this? Really?

Double Wedding Ring

I'm way too late for the NY Quilt Guild challenge (well, I could maybe do a pillow? but I like the idea of a quilt!) but I've been kind of interested in doing one of these for a while.

So I bought the Marti Mitchell kit.

double wedding ring

We'll see if it gets used more than once! Something scrappy, perhaps - I have plenty of scraps!

Sydney Modern Quilt Guild - Group Quilt Raffle!

A small promotion!

The Sydney Modern Quilt Guild is holding a raffle for our group quilt of 2012-2013: The Rainbow Connection, based off a quilt in Tacha Brueher's Hexa-Go-Go book!


The block centres were provided by members of the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild, the quilt top and back were put together by various members of the Syd MQG, and quilted by me!

Tickets are $3AUD for one, or $5AUD for two, and the proceeds are going to the YWCA for women in need.

If you'd like the chance to win this quilt, contact me in the comments and we'll sort something out, or

Saturday, November 9, 2013

SMQG Rainbow Connection Raffle!

Those of you who've been watching my blog for the last year will have seen the Rainbow Connection quilt come together - the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild's group quilt.


We were always going to sell it and give the proceeds to charity (in this case, the YWCA) towards women in need, but thanks to the opening of Kim Bradley Creations in Castle Hill, Sydney, we're raffling it off!

Tickets are $3 each, or 2 for $5. (All prices are in AUD!) We're happy to accept PayPal, and email you the detail of your tickets!

More details available at the SMQG blog.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pacific Rim Messenger Bag!

And so, a finish!

The Pacific Rim messenger bag with the logo for the Jaeger 'Gipsy Danger' (piloted by our heroes), made for a craft exchange.

I made it in 'stealth mode' so the recipient could hide the logo if she wanted:

messenger bag finished!

And added an inside pocket since the front outer pockets were co-opted by the logo.

messenger bag finished!

A little extra sewing will be required, however, since I managed to get the side pocket ALL WRONG.

First, I sewed it upside-down. So the finished edge I'd sewed? That's in the seam. The raw edge is what's showing. *facepalm*

messenger bag pocket

And then the little 'tag' that I made to help pull out a phone that had stuck too deep in there wouldn't work with my sister's Nokia. (It is an old phone, mind you - not a smartphone, so not very wide...)

messenger bag pocket

But it is done. And hopefully the recipient likes it and can use it!

messenger bag finished!

I have another yard or so of this Japanese chrysanthemum fabric in a navy blue and several yards of Echino linens that are perfect for this kind of bag. Although I really should switch it up - try a few other bag styles, perhaps?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday: the one with the short short version!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Quick one this week - lots of things in progress:

Messenger Bag
Pacific Rim messenger bag

That's planned to go on the front of the bag, under the flap (not on the flap).

Mendocino Windows

Blocks centres done, now to frame and add borders!

Mendocino Windows

More about this quilt in this post.

USA Hurray

Columns sewn together (after some mix-ups with order and direction of the blocks - ARGH) and it's looking pretty good!

USA hurray


Old project - been sitting around for forever, I'm doing this between 'big' sewing projects. ie. the columns of 'USA Hurray'.

Japanese print trivets
Cleaning up of the sewing room is in progress, due to carpet cleaning people coming on Friday (mostly for the lounge room and upstairs hall.


Also: I finally gave the baby quilts to their intended recipients!


She looks nonplussed, but when she was looking at the quilt, her eyes were huge!


What have you been doing this week?

Meetups and Mermaids!

Much sewing was done at the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild meet-up on Saturday!

SMQG and Penny Poppleton's son

That's the President's son in his carrier. Such a cutie!

And the result was that I finished putting the block centres together! Many Mermaids!

Mendocino Windows at Sydney Modern Quilt Guild

Mendocino Windows

The grey thing in the middle of the second pic is a few more strips of the fabric framing the Mendocino range (Cotton Coutere for Michael Miller: colour "Fog"), and I need to cut them up, iron them flat, and put them in a bag for safekeeping.

And now, to see them laid out (without the window framing or the block framing):

Mendocino Windows

My design board just isn't big enough for the quilts I make! This is going to be a HUGE quilt - the original design (Kitchen Windows by Elizabeth Hartman, from her book The Practical Guide To Patchwork) was only a 3x4 layout. I calculated for at least 25 blocks in a 5x5 configuration, but ended up with enough pieces for 29 blocks.

I might do one more and make it 5x6 - at 16" square, plus a 2" border, I think we're looking at ~ 90"x100" sized quilt. Queen-sized, which I like because it will cover my bed quite nicely.

This one is being kept! No giving away! :D

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday - the one with mostly mermaids



Blocks cut and ordered, and the sewing has begun. I was hoping to spend 1hr a day on this, but it hasn't happened yet.

mermaids block bits

mermaids block pieces

mermaids seeing

mermaids and other cut things

mermaids block half done

Also, side note: don't you hate it when you make a wrong cut on the rarest fabric that you have in an already-rare collection?


This is all I have of this print. The entirety of it. I don't even remember where I laid hands on it, or if I swapped my firstborn in exchange for it.

And I cut it short. *facepalm*

I ended up sewing it together and just re-cutting it. But still! Of all the pieces to get wrong!

The Sydney Modern Quilt Guild meets on Saturday, so that'll be a good time to get all the blocks sewn together. :)

USA Hurray

Sewing the columns together:

USA hurray

Should not be that difficult.

Pacific Rim messenger bag

well, messenger bags generally. Try to get ahead of the Christmas rush!

messenger bags

But at least one (maybe two) will have the Gipsy Danger logo on it:

Pacific Rim messenger bag logo

Smaller than the cushions I did.

To Do




How are you going? What are you doing this week? Have you linked up at Freshly Pieced? I'm going to go in and comment on at least five blogs this week!