Thursday, 26 February 2015

Applique Guild Warrandyte meeting

Earlier this month I went along to the Applique Guild's Warrandyte chapter meeting. As always there was some inspirational show and tell.

Clever celtic knots from two newbies - Marian & Cath
Veronique's tiny tiny dresden

Helen's version of Trailing Vines
Adrienne's re-working of an 'old' block with her own wren design
Sonia's bright center of Di Ford's Mount Mellick

Sue's clever piecing and fussy cutting

Sue's hexagon quilt showcasing many gorgeous fabrics
Sue #2's Christmas quilt (she missed the December meeting)

Some of my DJ blocks
 I managed to finish this block when I got home.

E-1 Aunt Exie's Phlox
I was in for a real treat when Helen brought along 
this book to share.

Helen knew I was making Di Ford's Antique Wedding Sampler and thought I might be interested to see the original.

Wow! It was fantastic to see these pictures and learn something of the history.

"This fabulously intricate quilt was probably made as a wedding present for Samuel Padget Hancock by Charlotte Gillingham his fiancee. The couple, both from prominent Quaker families, were joined in marriage on February 22, 1844. The fifty-seven blocks are all different and display a highly unusual combination of techniques, including broderie perse applique, pieced work and fancy needle-point embroidery." (Quilts a Living Tradition, R. Shaw)

Thanks Helen!

I have completed two more blocks for 
my totally addictive Value Proposition Quilt.
Block #4

Block #5
Nothing much to report on the kitchen front, hopefully next time. I hope you get some sewing time this weekend.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Wash Day

I was experiencing some paper jams trying to print my Inklingo hexies for my Value Propostion Quilt so I thought I would go back and look at the instructions on Linda's blog. There was no escaping it, I was doing everything except washing the fabrics so I thought I'd better get to it.

Linda recommends folding the fabrics as soon as they come out of the dryer but it was a perfect blue sky day so I couldn't possibly use the dryer. We are lucky to still have a very old Hills Hoist clothes line - these are an Aussie backyard icon. Please note the paint roller also hanging on the line :)

I couldn't believe how many fabrics I had pulled for this quilt. I ended up doing two loads!

Luckily I put a couple of colour catchers in to take up the red dyes in particular.

Despite carefully cutting all the sides with a wavy blade and washing on a delicate cycle I still ended up with masses of tangled threads. I hope some birds might use them to line their nests - a bit hopeful this time of year.

I hadn't washed quilt fabrics for years but it was quite a nice thing to do. I got to really see some of the patterns and their effects on fabrics that were fully opened out, so often I'm just looking at them as a fat eighth or quarter. The fabrics also feel a lot softer and nice and warm after being in the sun. Do you wash your fabrics?

It was also another chance to sort them out into their values, lights medium and darks.

Here's Block #3 finished...

Value Proposition Quilt Block #3

Yes - I know, I know, I should be working on AWS. I have pieced up these little babies for the next block but got stuck when I didn't have one of the templates and I no longer have the book (well that's my excuse for now).

Oh yes, I did all this washing sorting and folding whilst the tradies were installing our stone bench tops - looking very smart.

Now off to the Warrandyte chapter applique group - I'm taking Dear Jane.

Happy sewing (or washing) Sunday.

Monday, 2 February 2015


Our kitchen renos are progressing slowly but surely.
The last couple of weekends have found us painting, first the undercoat.
 I felt like I was in a sugar cube. Then we added two top coats to the ceiling and walls (didn't need to paint where the cabinetry was going) ...
 Then we had 3 layers of vinyl and tiles pulled up - yay the boards are in great condition and should polish up beautifully. There are various opinions as to what they are, I'm going with Baltic pine. That was the good news, the bad news was that there were 100s of metal staples that needed removing...

 ...a job that had to be finished that night so it was all hands on deck. It took five of us working til 11pm. We have no electricity in the kitchen so the boys used the torch apps on their phones. Most of the cupboards were installed the next morning and it's now starting to look like a real kitchen. Next we have to wait a couple of weeks while the stone bench tops are cut.
 Antique Wedding Sampler is also coming along beautifully. I finished block #16 yesterday, by machine appliqueing the broderie perse.

Antique Wedding Sampler quilt Di Ford Block #16

Antique Wedding Sampler quilt Di Ford Block #16
 I can see the end in sight as I "only" have four more blocks to make. I've even booked it in for quilting so I will really have to get a shuffle on.
I have also finished hand piecing the first two blocks of my Value Proposition quilt - I'm loving making this!
Value Proposition Quilt Block #1

Value Proposition Quilt Block #2

I should just be concentrating on AWS but I find it very difficult to just work on one project - do you have the same problem?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

This could be me!

Have you seen the movie Something's Gotta Give with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson? Well, I have just loved this kitchen ever since I saw Jack and Di preparing for a late night snack of pancakes and now I'm very lucky to be getting my own version (not quite as flash but using similar elements). 

Here's the before...

Very 70's with all that pine paneling! 
This is why I haven't had much time for blogging as it has been a a marathon effort for us to completely clear out the kitchen before it was demolished. Everything was stripped back literally to the rafters in the ceiling.

New insulation has been added...

and new plaster walls...

A second large window has been added to mirror the original, it's amazing the difference this has already made, giving extra natural night and garden views.

The ceiling cornices have been done and the holes cut out for power points and new down-lights. We are now in for a fun weekend of painting (not!) so I don't think I'll be doing too much sewing.

Speaking of sewing this is what I've been working on since my last post - the G'nT Sisters had a great retreat down by the sea...

Victoria's famous Great Ocean Road
Judy has posted about it here. I managed to finish Block #24 whilst we were away.

AWS Block #24
I also finished the piecing and appliqué for block #16 and back home I've been auditioning some different flower options for the broderie perse.

AWS Block #16

I have also finished these two blocks.

AWS re-worked Block #2
AWS Block #18

I'm really enjoying playing with fabrics and sorting into dark, mediums and lights for my new Value Proposition Quilt.

Value Proposition Quilt rounds 1 & 2 Block #1
I have decided to use Inklingo to print out the cutting and sewing lines for hand piecing.

I'm also using a doughnut template for individual fussy cutting. This all makes for easy and accurate sewing whilst sitting on the couch after a long day of cleaning, packing etc.

I feel like I've already learnt a lot about tones which helped me select some Japanese fabrics for the first block of Rosie Quinlan's Simply Blessed.

I have even managed to squeeze in a DJ block!

I used the back basting technique for this triangle block and worked it in 3 stages, as some of the pieces were so close together. Can you see the birds in the fabric? I even managed to get one in the small heart at the top of the triangle.

Hmmm, I have managed to fit in quite a bit this month. I hope you have had a great sewing start to 2015.
Dianne K. Carole