...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........

Monday, May 23, 2011

A great weekend of accomplishments :)

I have just come back from a great weekend of sewing. But it wasn't just about the sewing! I helped to organised a quilting retreat for our local group, The Ballarat Quilters. Our location was in beautiful Lancefield at The Grange Conference centre so you could guess that we were very spoilt with food, service and gorgeous accomodation. This was the first year that I took a single room, encouraged by my friends, and I just loved it! The freedom of leaving or organising your stuff as you want it, walking between the bathroom and bedroom without embarassment (we'll leave it at that!), going to sleep and waking when you want and being able to turn on the light if you can't sleep was all pluses!

Some beautiful quilt shops in nearby Gisborne was a fantastic bonus and some lovely local shops provided us with a break and some retail therapy! I brought some gorgeous true reds at The drapery in Gisborne - hmmmm yum and will go nicely with the red/white swap I am participating in.

Sally was the first to have a quilt to show off, on the first day! I think some of it had been pre-done. This was the first year we offered a three day option - 3 days and 3 nights of sewing was just delightful!

This next one was done by "accelerator-Kym" as I dubbed her. She is so fast with machine piecing and her accomplishments, that we can't keep up with her. But she does provide us with inspiration!!

Well after that I lost track of what others were doing as I was so busy focusing on my own project. The quilt was called Scattered Stars which I am making for one of my besties - Trace - whom I have known since high school. This was my MAIN aim for the weekend, however it wasn't my ONLY aim for the weekend - I had brought several other projects besides, but they never made it out of the boot of my car. However I did accomplish a lot in this quilt with all 36 stars complete. Next is the hour glass pieces on each block, put them together, add a small border and a final pieced border. This will be my main aim in the next month to finish.

Today I am home with my youngest - missed her totally along with the rest of my guys. At retreat, I was really cold on the first night and thought it was just cold Lancefield as I snuggled in my flannel pjs, 2 doonas, and a quilt. Still not warm I felt forced to turn the heater back on. When I woke the next morning with a sore throat and headache I assumed it was from the air conditioner. I remained headachey that day, felt a little better on Saturday but Sunday was croakey again, headachey and feeling nausious. Why does this happen when we choose to stop and have some fun? When I returned home I found the rest of the family home sick too. So conclusion, it wasn't the air conditioning at all, we all obvioulsy shared a bug before I had left. How kind?! Today I can only squeek and I must have sweated 5 kg's off over night so it is time for another day at home! Pity I am not feeling well enough to continue sewing? Well off to the doctor soon then perhaps I should do a little tidying up of the weekend before an afternoon cat-nap.

Happy sewing all :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Your opinion needed!

A couple of weekends ago I sewed and sewed to finally make a curtain for the bathroom that I had planned a few years ago. However when I finished and hung it I was really disappointed with the end result. Hubby kept telling me that I was being too harsh and that it looked good. But have you ever had an end vision and it didn't turn out the way you had hoped?

Here was the first version.....

I used what I thought was the last piece of curtaining in this style that I had and I figured I would just have to put up with its width since it was all I had - it was just, but it doesn't look right to me. Then lo and behold, out of the material cupboard I had dragged down to the shed falls a plastic bag and in it, more of the curtaining, lace and the tape! Yaah. So I decided I would be redoing it despite hubby's protests. Last weekend didn't work out for this and I think inwardly I was putting it off. So this weekend I pushed myself to sew it at the last part of this avo (I work well to deadlines - can't you tell?). Here is the second effort which personally I feel outstrips the first!!

Now this is where I need your opinion. I have bunched up the curtain in two different ways - the first with scallops down the bottom and the second with roughing all the way down. Now I need to know what you think looks better as I can't decide!

Oh and ignore the fact that the sides down hang down straight yet. I raided hubby and son's fishing table for a sinker to weight down the bottom of the curtain so it hangs straight and does not crimp inwards, but they didn't have a sinker heavy enough so off to the tackle shop myself I think!

Ok I will wait for your opinions :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I need your help....

Firstly I will share with you some of my accomplishments.......

I finished the eleventh block of the Christmas Mystery Designer BOM with the fat quarter shop (www.fatquartershop.com). Only one more to go - I am waiting for it to arrive in the mail - very exciting to be so close to the end. And I have just LOVED this BOM - not only has each block been very different with very good instructions (all set out the same despite a defferent designer each month), it has also been very economical $13 Australian and such amples of fabric! I have been cutting the scraps left from other blocks first before using the new fabric sent and I have quite a pile of untouched pieces. So I will be making some matching cushions too I think.

I have started on a beautiful quilt called "Country Blooms", another gorgeous design by the Black bird girls. I just love their work! For many years I have searched for just the 'right' quilt for my sister to whom I am very close. When I first started quilting I made Burgoynes path for her in greens and cream with a maroon border and a scalloped edge. At the time she had a Maroon colored couch and the back of it was scalloped so I thought it would be perfect on the back of the couch. At the last minute I decided to add a hanging pocket just in case she preferred to hang it behind as the scallops of the couch made it a little impractical to put a quilt over them. However she decided to hang it in her dining room rather than the lounge. Years later she tells me she is fussy with quilts and I keep thinking of how plain the Burgoynes quilt was and think she really must hate it (but doesn't want to insult me!). So when I was on holidays last summer at Port Fairy, I just had to visit one of my favourite shops, The Fragrant Cottage in Warnambool (which has unfortunately closed now). I picked up a new blackbird design book I had not seen before and walked around the shop for the next half hour with it clutched to my chest, trying to look at other things in the shop, but preoccupied with thinking about the quilt I had seen and how much it was my sisters style. So another hour later, with hubby and kids sent off to the bakery and then to sit in the car and wait, I had selected the fabric and was ready to make what I endear "a very special quilt". The blocks are 20" each and there are only 9 in the quilt. The applique pieces are very large. I love it! I started and have already completed the first 2 blocks in my first month. Here they are...............


I have also finished a project from the latest homespun magazine that inspired me! The centre is embroidered and colored with derwent pencils. This is sealed for laundering with a jo sonya textile medium. It was the first time I have worked with this and isn't exactly the effect I was after but I am sure it will improve with practice and I can live with it :)

I made the insert from some quilters sheeting I purchased for $6 per metre and stuffed it with batting scraps I had been keeping after trimming each finished quilt. It was a good feeling to recycle and be so economic.

 The cushion is going to live on the window seat in our bathroom next to this other one I made some years ago. This weekend I intend to make a flat cushion to go over the seat area and my second attempt at a lace curtain to hang over the window behind.

Now here is where I need your help! Several weeks ago I cleaned up the sunroom area where I keep all my quilting and other craft stuff. And I decided to finish it off I need to get another set of these drawers as I purchased a number of years ago. They are the perfect size for what I need and will match side by side. After trooping around town to all the shops I could think of, a lovely lady was very helpful and it turned out her husband used to work at a shop called 'plastics unlimited'. Yaaaah finally I filled in the missing puzzle piece of where I had brought them! However the shop no longer exists here in Ballarat. There was one in Werribee too and that no longer exists either. The short of it is that they are still available but since this shop I was at was small and didn't deal in this type of drawers they were unable to purchase just one for me. It is the brand Zag as you will see on the top left corner, which is a line of goods made by Stanley products. The drawers are a little unique in that they clip in and don't fall open when moved - see the red tabs at the top of each drawer. I would love to find another. If you see a set like this, could you please let me know. I would also like to replace the broken drawer but can continue to live with that if I could just have another matching set of drawers :).


Well that is me for now :). I am off to do some more applique on the 3rd Country Bloom block :) :) :).
Hope to talk again soon. As next weekend is my quilting groups annual retreat - this one being our first 3 day retreat! - I think I could have much more to show you when I return!!

Luv Bonnie xxx