Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Enjoying the Quiet


Maria pretty much sums up how we all felt after a wonderful Xmas!! Santa was good to us all and we enjoyed yummy food and good company but since then we have just been relaxing and enjoying some family time at home!! Theres been a lot of reading and playing games (oh and I very quietly turned 41!!!) and nothing much planned until after the New Year!!

Dont forget to pop back on New Years Day for the Whirl In Winter Giveaway:

Debi has organised another fantastic bloggers giveaway between Jan 1 and Jan 15 with almost 60 bloggers participating, which is just great!!! Well done Debi and thanks for organising another bloggers giveaway!! It should be lots of fun!!

Hope everyone has a safe New Year and all the best for 2009!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

6 More Sleeps!!


(Sam the Elf, made by Cohen)

Its been a busy few weeks and today is the first day of the school holidays. The children have had a fantastic year at school and I want to congratulate them both on their awards and their school reports.....Mum and Dad are just so proud of you both!!!

There is still so much to do before the "big guy" arrives but we are looking forward to our holiday and some sewing time, especially since this arrived this morning:

"Swanky", Chez Moi newest line!! Maddi just adores their fabrics and we will be busy making plans for these Jelly Rolls. She has some ideas already......I just love to see her passionate about playing with fabrics (even if its just to order what she wants sewn!!)

Im going to take a blogging break till after Xmas, hopefully then I'll have something to share, but for now I'll leave you with a sneak peek of some new designs for 2009:

There are a few at different stages of completion which I will work on when I get the time:

I wish everyone a safe and peaceful Xmas and all the best for the New Year!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Of Xmas Past

There are so many beautiful Xmas trees and decorations in blogland. Our tree is a collection of Xmas's past. Lots of decorations the children have made at school over the years:


















Its a wonderful reminder of the special Xmas's we have shared as a family. There are always stories told while setting up the tree and lots of "oh i remember making this in....." And then there are our little Xmas quilts:


















I made one of these for each of us a few years ago and everyone gets to hang theirs on the tree.

















Im not sure who's design these are but I remember there were in a magazine and I think they were stitchery patterns I converted to applique. Of course we do buy one store brought decoration each year for our tree and also for my MIL's tree (in rememberance of Poppy!).

This year Cohen decided our newest family member shouldnt miss out, so he took the little tree and put it in the sunroom with Maria:

Even though she much prefers all the dangly things on the big tree!!! lol

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stippling

Ive had quite a few emails asking for some advice on stippling. Im no expert but I love to use stippling in my quilts, so I thought Id share what works for me and the things Ive learnt along the way, and hopefully answer your queries.

When I first started, I scoured the internet for information, watched a couple of quilting DVD's to find some tips but they all made it look so easy!!. Its been trial and error!! One of the most useful tips I found was to "draw your stippling":

We can always find time to doodle....while we are waiting for a "human" telephone operator (my phone book is covered in doodles lol), waiting in the car at school run, while trying to complete a crossword etc......just draw up a block and doodle in the stippling to fill it up!!!

Good tools are important to help make stippling relaxed and effective:

My machine came standard with the darning foot on the left but I much prefer the "open toe" darning foot on the right, which I purchased seperatley. It allows a better view of the area Im working on (but currently mine is broken......overuse!!!! and Im waiting on a new one from the shop!!). I prefer to stipple with my feed dogs UP, I feel I have much better control. One of the features of the Pfaff is that it has 2 presser foot settings, so I use the first niche and it works fine for me. If your machine doesnt have this feature, Id suggest you put your feed dogs down!

Always remember to take a few "bunny hops" to secure your stippling and if your machine has the "needle down" feature, use it because it anchors your needle when you need to stop.

Most important tip.......stippling is quick and fun and very "forgiving". The only rule is to not cross over your stitching but in the big picture, if you do...... keep going, no one will notice!!! There will be days when your stippling is nice and even and then days where its not (on those days, turn up the music and keep going!!!!)....its all about having fun and bringing that quilt top to completion.......Hope that helped guys, happy stippling!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ben 10 Has Left The Studio...


......and I bid him the fondest of farewells!!! This has been a challenge but I have enjoyed working on it. The bindings were finished late last night and I must say Im glad this quilt is complete but not as much as Cohen! He woke this morning to find it on his bed.

He has been extremley patient and I have enjoyed his visits to the studio, checking on my progress, telling me more than Ill ever need to know about Ben 10 and his efforts in helping me finish it for him!! Wonder if he will still visit as often, now he has the quilt? lol

This morning it has been dragged all over the house, which I love to see and Im sure if he could have fitted it in his schoolbag, it would have went with him!

Really there is nothing better than seeing them appreciate the hours that go into making them their own special quilt.......but next time Ill think very carefully before I say "Sure hun, you can have whatever design you want!!" lol

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stitching At Ross


Yesterday Jules, Kerrie and myself heading to Ross for the Bloggers and Friends Gathering. It was organised by Jo and she did an amazing job....the day was so much fun. Thanks Jo!!

There were 19 of us and we spent our day in a lovely room at the Stables Bakery.

It was great to catch up with some bloggers we knew and to meet others and to see their gorgeous work in show and tell. Everyone kept busy, stitching and chatting!!

After a yummy lunch, some of the girls explored the shops of Ross (I think the dreadful weather stopped most of us!) and then there was a "Secret Santa" Fat Quarter swap and some wonderful lucky door prizes, kindly donated by The Quilted Crow and Helen from Hugs and Kisses:

A wonderful, relaxing and inspirational day..... I do hope it becomes an annual tradition!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ben and His Aliens!!

The applique for Cohens quilt is finally complete. Ben and 10 of his Alien persona's:

Im happy this part of the quilt is over. There has been a lot of fiddling, a bit of ad-libbing and a touch of tweaking to make them look as close to the originals as I can, using fabric!

Cohen has been extremley helpful with colours and details that need to be there and he is being extremley patient!! He doesnt even mind that Ben looks like he has chickenpox lol (should have gone and brought some plain skintone fabric!!!).

So now all there is left is to set them. I have a plan which I think will work (loosely translated....Im winging each step of this quilt and hoping it will work!!)

Its difficult to find "boy" fabric to match but I opened a Jelly Rolly of Miss Jumps Scrapbag and the majority of the fabrics work. All i have to do is match some sashings and borders. Better get back to it, the " 6 yr old boss" is watching!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Dimples Made Me Do It!!

Whats gunna happen when your 6 year old son sees his sister and her new quilt??? Of course he is going to ask for a new one for himself!!! So when Cohen came to me with his own ideas, how could I refuse, his dimples are to die for?? But I didnt fully realise what Id agreed to......he wants a Ben 10 quilt, complete with 10 of the Aliens Ben transforms into using his Omnitrix (an apparently, very powerful watch!!) to fight the evils of the world:

This is "Greymatter" and his claim to fame is thats hes small and smart!!!! OK. I could have stitched these, but Cohen is more impatient than his sister and I think the applique gives a much better result. I machine appliqued in black to emphasise each Alien hero:

This is "Heatblast" and he is able to expel flames from his hands, all for the good of the world and all that!!! (I had to use tweezers with some of these to get them into position!!!

And lastly there is "Wildmutt" apparently this creature can bite and claw his evil opponent....Im feeling safer, how bout u??? lol 3 down 7 more to go and then the centre block "BEN 10"!!

After a lot of indecision about this quilt, I embraced the challenge and who says it all has to be feminine and pretty......lets embrace the superheros and lets do it for those adorable dimples!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

With love from Mum!!

After a marathon quilting effort, Maddis Charisma quilt is complete, the bindings went on last night and she woke this morning with it wrapped around her:

There were squeals of excitement to find her quilt complete. She is going away on school camp tomorrow, which would have meant I had more time to finish it but I really wanted her to sleep under it for a least one night before she went:

She is so thrilled with it!! The colours are gorgeous and I tried a bamboo wadding this time. There was a little more movement than I would have liked but it quilted up lovely!!

All it needs is a label...I was going to do it today, but havent got to it yet, and now she is home Ill be lucky to get a hold of the quilt to sew it down. The majority of it is stippled (if I close my eyes I can see stippling lol):

It now takes pride of place at the foot of her bed, replacing her well loved Horsey quilt (which isnt that far away....folded neatly in the cupboard).

She wants some new cushions from the left over scraps but I think Ill take a few days break from the machine, at least until my neck and shoulders stop aching!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flowers Galore!

The Nine Patches for Maddis Charisma quilt are all complete and now its ready for the applique. In her chosen layout, they will be 40 flower blocks (thanks Mad lol):

20 of each colour. They could have been a bit larger but she wants the cream blocks stippled (yes she has thought that far ahead!!). It is such a busy week for me this week with Doctors appointments for my MIL, trying to sort out some health problems but I have a stash near the machine and Ill just work on them when I can:

Not fast enough for my daughters liking.....her first question to me after school is "Hows my quilt??", somehow I think I forgot to teach her patience!!!

So there are flowers all over my studio and on the other side of the window, our garden is just blossoming, such wonderful inspiration:

Our Banskia Rose is covered in perfect posies just like this. Spring is defintely my favorite season!! Best get back to the quilt!!

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