...there is a univeral language between women when they craft and come
together in this passion. It unites women in a place that takes them from the
woes of everyday life and provides fortitude and strength to each other through
unspoken word - it is as if each stitch taken together strengthens our bound and
friendship. Please join me on the journey and let us inspire each other........

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A wet weekend.....

Despite the official summer season starting this coming Wednesday, and after having a gorgeous week of hot temperatures & air conditioners running (particularly in the classroom during the day), this weekend has seen a deluge. The heavens opened on friday night and it rained and rained and rained. Our backyard looks like a swimming pool again and we have only briefly seen hubby as he dashes in for a sleep before the next onslaught of calls for help as roofs magically start to leak and trees fall over onto roads.

Other than getting the washing dry (it had to go into the shed this weekend), the wet weather hasn't bothered me as I worked my way through a massive 'To Do' list, and achieve it all I nearly did! I did housework; wrapped the christmas presents needed for this week's celebrations; dealt with booklist, secondhand books, & uniform prerequisites for 2011; completed my reports for school; finished stitching one of the christmas presents; and bound a quilt also destined for a christmas gift. Unfortunately I did not get the next gift started but alas, there is always next weekend??
Do you remember that I showed you a sneak preview of some stitching a little while ago. Well I finished the stitching for this one on friday night and completed the piecing today. It is ready to be framed now, intended as a noticeboard. Of course I am also making one for myself but it had to be put on hold for a while.

Next is the finish of this bright star quilt as a gift for someone special at christmas - I can't tell you who yet as she may read this post. It just needs a label which I will do tonight :)

Lastly I want to introduce you to our latest house guest. This is Cleo, a ge-normous house cat that we often think is half dog sometimes. He belonged to my sister in law but was caught up in an estate case. Recently she was able to gain access to him but could not house in her small flat. So short story is that we adopted him. He has settled in quickly, although our first cat Sally is not so fond yet. We hope that time will bring them together.

Until next time, happy stitching & much inspiration!

Bonnie xox

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finally some finishes......!!

It seems like a long time since I had a finish and finally several things are coming together. If "Joy's Quilts" still had her finishing stitches challenges running this month I would be looking good! Shame?!

These are a set of wall hangings that I prepared about 6 months ago in preparation for my sister's birthday last friday! Well I finished them today!! Better late than never...............I got my inspiration when we were using her spare room and I felt the decor could use a little updating, then came home and in the next issue of homespun, there was this pattern - her walls in that room are blue, so i hope the blue in the canvases pick this up. But pink and green are her favourites, so these fabrics seemed perfect to fit the bill! Don't worry she doesn't do internet so I haven't spoiled the surprise!

If you remember I was making a bright star quilt that I started in the September school holidays - I have now finished the machine quilting (this took a while!), attached the binding and am on the home stretch to finishing it with some hand stitching on the binding to go. I have about a week and half to have this accomplished - dead lines!!

Next I have a preview of what I am currently working on - a christmas present for someone special in the family...............can't give any more away yet but will show you when i have it finished.

Lastly I want to introduce you to my best friend and trusty work horse "Phebe". She is my pride and joy. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to purchase her last year at the AQC and she has not failed me since. A machine dedicated to patchwork & quilting, she is just a dream to drive. Thanks for your help Phebe.

Well nice talking again. Hope I have got you inspired. Back soon with some more accomplishments I hope!! And well......maybe I had better find time to write reports too for work! How inconvenient!!

Bonnie xox

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yet another wonderful giveaway!!

There are some wonderfully generous people in blog land! I am so blown away with the items and wisedom they so generously share with us!!

Canton Village Quilt Works are giving away not one, but two wonderful quilt rulers. One of the rulers helps you to make a gorgeous hunter star block like this one above.

Have a look at this link for more details: http://cvquiltworks.blogspot.com/2010/11/big-giveaway.html. You have until 22ne November (my daughter's 10th birthday) :)


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another gorgeous giveaway!!

Green fairy Quilts are having an absolutely gorgeous and generous giveaway of a origins fat quarter bundle. You need to enter before this friday night! Go here - http://greenfairyquilts.blogspot.com/2010/11/big-birthday-giveaway.html

Good luck xox

Friday, November 12, 2010

A giveaway of Rosalie Quinlan's gorgeous new Sweet Broderie range......


This really is such a lovely range. My local quilt shop just got the range in - it is very sweet and lovely clear colorful prints. I could think of so much to do with it! Well good news....Corrie at Retro Mummy is having a giveaway of not one, but two fat quarter packs with 14 prints in each - what gets better than that? Pop over there to have a look!

Bonnie :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another opportunity to win a GO-cutter!!

Hi all,

I just wanted to let you know that, Linda @ Lavender Ridge
is having a GO! Cutter giveaway!!

Run.....and leave a comment, to win!!

It ends on Thursday!

Good Luck

I have a lovely three day weekend coming up at the end of this week so more time to sew and then I can tell you about it!

Love Bonnie xox

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wanna win your own GO??

Then pop on over to Micki’s delightful blog and enter her Accuquilt Go! Giveaway before 2pm November 5th (Irish time). You could be as happy as I!! Although if I win it, then Karen and I can have one each and not share!!! Yaaah!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Not much to report

Sorry for the absence of blogs but there hasn't been much I can report about I am afraid. I have been pretty run down and tired and so not much energy seems to be left for sewing, worst luck.

However I did manage to attend a day class on Machine Quilting with Sherry Jewson that my quilting group organised. This was day 2. Sherry is a very lovely, approachable and most important, patient tutor who travelled to Ballarat for us from Werribee. She is so talented. She came and did a day class with us last month and helped us to jump off the edge! Alas, I did not find any time for practice during the month between classes, despite being well intentioned! But none the less, I found myself much more confident this month with the second class, despite finding excuses why I couldn't be there prior to attending. So I did come away with a great buzz!! I still need a lot more practice but I feel I am well on the way!

The class was part of a two day sewing weekend, so on the Sunday I got our my 'secret xmas quilt' which I had basted after school one day in one of the classrooms. I made a start on the machine quilting, anchoring all the blocks by stitching in the sashing. I now need to go back and stitch in each block.......time?! I am not entirely happy with the quilting so far but hopefully the whole quilting the better it will look. I am a bit frustrated that despite using a 1/4" foot to stay an even distance from the seam, this was not what happened, and stitch length changed depending on how much stress was on the machine re the quilt being rolled up in the arm of the machine - I did not change the stitch length at all on the control panel!

No stitching was achieved during the week but I did pick up a BOM last night and continue the backstitching on the 'down in the garden' block 5, designed by Leanne House using Rosie Quinlan's fabrics.

Today I managed to finish block 5 of the mystery xmas block, thus being able to claim one ticket in "Joy's finishing stitches" challenge.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So gorgeous.....giveaway

judi@greenfairyquilts.com (Judi) is giving away this pack of fabric - "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Fat Eighth Bundle. There are 38 fat eighths in this bundle. Pop over to have a look.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

GOOOOO excited! Thank you Karen! :) :) :)

Guess what arrived today?? 5 days from order to arrival, 'go' to woe!! Can't complain about that!! I had one of those days today so it was just what I needed when hubby sms-ed to say "its here". YES!! YIPEE!!

I was so excited that I ripped open the box and unpiled all the pieces before I remembered to take a pic! But here is the empty box and all the packaging that was with it. It was one large heavy box and the postage was so reasonable for this weight!
Here are some of the dies. I thought half were missing and was double checking the letter box and waiting for another delivery van with package 2 as not all the dies were there as I checked them off the receipt. I only had a half hour between kids drop offs so I left the actual 'go' in the box til I got back.
When I unpacked the 'go', I felt a little silly as Alan had used the rest of the dies to fill up the box and steady the machine inside the box! Clever man!!

Look at all we got! Wow!! There was an extra two dies in the box - bonus? So loving it if it is. There was one die missing so I emailed. Perhaps he made a mistake with one of them - wait to see. Just gotta love this load though!

So here is where I thank my sponsors like a famous celebrity - I would like to thank my Dad ..........only kidding..........seriously this was one of my DH best moments. I also want to say a very big thank you to my friend Karen for going halves with me so this could all be possible!! :) Friends are the best things in the world! Now what will I do first?

That go-cutter does have some sexiness about it! Rather handsome really!!?! Feel like I should cut a new sampler quilt so i can use some of the different 12" starter set dies. Accuquilt has a BOW which are 12" blocks. I have downloaded the first 5 so far, now off to find some fabric.......surely I must have something here somewhere?? i don't know who or what I will use the quilt for but who cares - this is fun. I don't think I will have any trouble finding an owner :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"GO"-ing to be so excited!!....but then I already am!

I AM SOOOO EXCITED!!! My wonderful husband and my very good friend have made it possible to own one of these fabric cutters. I love to quilt but I hate the cutting process. I find it tedious (like doing the ironing) and just want to get to the sewing and playing with the designs part. I have drooled over the US Go-cutter machine for at least 6 months, entering every competition I could to win one. The postage from the US was the killer and made it undoable to own one,........or so it seemed!! I happened to be at my local patchwork store, who happened to have over 100 craft magazines donated and were offering them for free to customers. I just happened to pick up one issue that wasn't too old and it just happened to advertise an Australian stockist of the machine. Imagine my joy - they were here in the great aussie!! I of course checked it out and their prices were very reasonable and so were the dies, and the lovely gentleman who coowns the store was bringing down the prices even more!! Yes! This is the website here.....http://www.quiltingpatchwork.com.au/.

Pondering this for several days and the fact it is still quite an outlay I came upon an idea! An idea which has turned out to be a wonderful arrangement. I asked a good friend Karen if she would go halves with me. This minimises the cost of the machine which try as I might, I cannot use for 24 hours alone so still room to share!! There is also another great benefit - we can afford twice the dies between us that I could get on my own! Another win for both of us!! Oh I am so excited, so excited, so excited!!

I rang the gentleman in Qld this morning and ordered the machine. Even better news - it could be here as soon as this Wednesday!! Yaaaah again!

Here are the dies we ordered........perhaps we could hire out its use to some quilting buddies and get even more dies??
GO! Circle - 2'', 3'' 5''.GO! Strip Cutter - 2 1/2''.GO! Square - 3 1/2''.GO! Parallelogram - 3 3/4''W x 3 1/2''H.GO! Square - 6 1/2''.GO! Triangle - 6 1/2''.GO! Triangle - 4 7/8''.GO! Rectangle - 3 1/2''W x 6 1/2''H.GO! Winding WaysNEW! GO! Value DieGO! Half Square - 3'' Finished Triangle.GO! Cutting Mat - 6'' x 24''

and a few other cutting mats to go over the dies when they go through the machine. The strip cutter is going to be wonderful for making jelly rolls and jelly roll quilts, binding, etc. It is going to get a lot of use! Imagine cutting circles fast, let alone accurate - penny royal quilt here I come! Suffolks puffs, applique, etc. so many uses!! I have been collecting scraps of fabrics for quite a while now to do a winding ways quilt. I saw a pattern last year in the homespun magazine that was scrap blues and white/creams. I was surprised to see whites and creams mixed as this was a 'quilting' no-no or so I thought but it looked wonderful. I got to thinking as blue wasn't really me and decided why couldn't I do it in pinks and white/cream. So every project I have finished I have put the scraps in a bag for this project and I have had a few donations from members in my quilting group too. It will be so easy to cut out with the go which even puts notches on the curves to make matching for sewing easy. No more having to mark every piece with a pencil - that saves me tonnes of time as there are 100s of pieces in a winding ways quilt!!
This is an example of a winding ways quilt - if you stare at it, it starts to form circles that overlap. Mine will look a lot different from this one - for a start a smaller block size and more of them! But the GO is going to help me with that!!

All the other geometric shapes are all the shapes that would be used in a 12" block and we are actually purchasing as a block set which makes it cheaper. So basically any block we want to do as a 12" we will have the pieces for and we can participate in the BOW that accuquilt are publishing - fun!!

So once again, soooo excited, soooo excited. Thank Karen for helping me to make this possible!! And to my hubby as this is my 40th birthday present for earlier this year! Gotta love getting something you just adore! :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

........a quilt top!

On friday I stitched with one of my best friends, Karen. We were introduced to each other many years ago when we were both Tupperware demonstrators. We learnt that we were just around the corner from each other and our friendship blossomed from here. Since then we have been through a lot together and still share the hard times, supporting each other. Our youngest children have birthdays that are 3 weeks apart to the day! So at least once each holidays we like to overcome how busy life has become and spend a GOOD QUALITY day with each other doing our passions in craft. Karen usually scrapbooks or makes cards, occassionally dabbling in a little quilting to appease me. Whilst sometimes I scrapbook or work on Christmas cards, usually I can be found on the other side of the table, sewing on the machine, trying to complete a quilt. Well you can guess which quilt I chose for this day! That's right, I finished the last 3 blocks for my secret Christmas gift Quilt.
I then couldn't help myself but lay them out with some sashing so that we were able to see what the quilt was coming up like.

 Then I started to sew it together. I got the rows together and had started on the first border by tea time. Then I had to interrupt procedures (not usual when Karen and I get together) to attend my quilting group committee meeting - drats! But upon my return we got right back to where we left off and continued, finishing the quilt top at 2am this morning!! :) :) :)

Mission accomplished for the holidays! To get this quilt top together. I, of course, had a lot more planned but oh well, I never do quite finish all that I plan!! The benefit of working at a school is that there are plenty of classrooms full of tables, perfect for basting a quilt top together! Now to find the time after work one day in the next fortnight. I have a 2 day sit and sew weekend with my Quilt group coming up and although the first day is a free motion class, I plan to spend the second day machine quilting this quilt if I can hob a table to myself!! Hope you have been productive too. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tutorial on fast flying geese units

You may have noticed in my "secret" Christmas Quilt (on previous blogs) that none of my points on the stars have been 'cut off'. I just love this!! they look perfect and it is all thanks to a relatively new technique of making flying geese units where all four flying geese units are made at once, which is perfect for a star block since you require four matching flying geese units per star block. So I will take you through what I did. This is not my own method and one that I learnt. First of all you need a square of your 'background' fabric and four smaller squares of your 'points' fabric. What size will depend on the finished size you are after. Here are some examples: * For a finished unit of 4 1/2" x 8 1/2", you will need a 9 1/4" large 'background' square and four small 'points' fabric squares of 4 7/8". * For a finished unit of 2" x 3 1/2", you will need a 4 1/4" large 'background' square and four small 'points' fabric squares of 2 3/8". I wanted flying geese units that ended up 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" unfinished. So by my reckoning, you need a large square cut at 3/4" larger than the length of the unit (i.e. for 6 1/2" length, you need a large square that is 7 1/4"). To calculate the size of the smaller square I guessed that you need to add 3/8" to the width of what you want your flying geese unit to be (i/e for a 3 1/2" wide flying geese unit, the smaller squares needed to be 3 7/8"). This size unit was needed for a 12" ohio star block. I trialled this size on my first block and found that it was only just but this is usually how books give you the sizing. My preference is to make flying geese units a big bigger and then trim them back to the correct size so that they are perfect! i find no matter how careful I sew and iron, they tend to come out looking a little warped........so I added a 1/4" to the size of each of the squares and this worked out perfectly for the unit I was doing. So you can see that I have cut a 7 1/2" 'background' square, and four 4 1/8" 'point' squares. On the back of the smaller or 'point' fabric squares, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner in pencil. It is best to put each block onto a piece of sand paper to keep it firm and prevent distorting whilst doing this. Also using a 2B pencil makes the job easier. A permanent marker could also be used if you wish. Now place two of the smaller squares on opposite corners of the larger square, with right sides together, as shown. The outer corners and sides of the small and large squares should match, with some overlap of the smaller squares in the middle. The drawn line should line up so that it extends down the diagonal of the larger square, from corner to corner. Stitch a seam 1/4" from the pencil line, on both sides. Cut, using a rotary cutter and ruler, on the pencil line. Press the 'points' fabric out so it looks like those in the photo. Now lay another of the small squares on the corner of the large 'background' piece so that the right sides are together and the pencil line extends from the corner of the 'background' fabric to the point between the two small triangles, as shown. Again stitch 1/4" from the drawn line, on both sides of the line. Repeat this with the other unit and the last remaining small square. Cut on the drawn line using a ruler and rotary cutter. Repeat for both units and you will finish up with 4 flying geese units as shown. These will still have their dog ears and still require trimming. Trimming: This is a little tricky to explain so hang in there. I used a 6 1/2" square ruler as this was the width of the unit I needed to trim to and made things a little easier. Your aim is to trim your unit back to 3 1/2" x 6 1/2". When you are doing this you need to make sure that there is a 1/4" above the top of the point and that the 3 1/2" outside marks on the ruler (where the bottom corners of the unit will be)are on the fold of the two different fabrics. I hope you understand. Holding the ruler firm, I cut the side, top and side of the unit. Then I swivelled the ruler and unit around (or change your body position if working on a corner of your table, lined up the 3 1/2" mark on the ruler with the now freshly trimmed top of the unit and trimmed off the excess at the bottom of the unit. Repeat this to all four units. They now look their best - nice and neat. Finally this is how the flying geese units look as part of a block. Good luck with your flying geese units. Let me know how you go and don't hesitate to ask questions. I will try to help :). Bonnie