Saturday, 22 July 2017

where did it begin?

Recently I have been reminiscing about past quilts and where my love of quilts started.....
My first quilt was truly a scrap quilt. I was making a lot of smocked dresses and I loved using good quality fabrics, a lot of them american cottons, but mostly pure cotton fabrics as they were easier to pleat, so there were lots of scraps. A friend of my mum's offered me a bag of scraps to start me off, to have a go and see if I enjoyed patchwork without having to go to expense. Dress remnants and lots of different fabrics, including some poly cotton but I didn't care it summed up the whole idea of patchworking for me-Utilising left over bits of fabrics to make something new.
Well the result may not be the prettiest of quilts but it is one of my absolute favourites. I had no patchworking ruler or rotary cutter, just pencil, ruler and scissors. very basic.
I hand quilted around the hearts and used a large stash of buttons for the centre of the 4 patch blocks and that's all that's holding it together, but hold it has.
I backed it in a piece of purple tartan someone had given me. Pretty ugly when you look at it but I remember being so excited that it would fit the top and I thought it was lovely.
 I love to drape it over my bed head.
I stitched my name and the year of completion around one of the hearts and it was made in 2004.

Thanks to the enjoyment I had making this quilt many more have been made since and a passion was ignited.
I think I have learnt a lot over the years and my skills have improved also but I'll always have a soft spot for this quilt and don't think I could ever part with it.


When did your patchwork passion begin and what was your first quilt like?Not sure how to do the linky gizmo but if you'd like to share just mention in your comments that you'd like to post your first quilt and I'll pop over to see.



On another pleasant note.....
The working week just flew and it was a great week.
A squishy parcel arrived in the mail from Fiona of Bubz rugz.
this gorgeousness was my belated birthday gift.
Such perfect stitching and beautiful fabrics. Thankyou so much Fiona! Love , love, love them xx


Have a lovely weekend and hope to see your first quilts in blogland.

Happy days
Marina






Saturday, 15 July 2017

all good things

Two weeks of bliss has flown by and Monday will be the start of a new term.
Have not been out and about much but have had a great time at home sewing and keeping up with mum.
Sometimes you need the world to slow down to a more manageable pace especially after last term which was quite full on due to my new job. Hoping that the new term will be an easier one as long as I remember everything  lol
Lots of progress on my Gossip in the garden blocks and I'm quite enjoying them.
Binding got done on Sweet William and Caswell top is finished after the suggestion to add a small border made of all the background fabrics just to frame it simply. No pic but it should be back from the quilters soon as luckily I had two in the queue to be done and I swapped one with Caswell so it will be done first.
Can't wait to get this lovely back all quilted.
Now for some Gossip in the garden blocks...


block 1
block 2

block 3- some changes to this block- orange peel blocks, heart applique and the little bluebells are not on the original design. Just need to add the stems for the bluebells and sew down the dresden plate.
I've added little things that will remind me of my old workplace. The orange and lemon peel blocks represent all the lemons and oranges I used to take in to work for the girls. The big blue willow teapot is for the Teapot gifted to me when I left. there will be more little reminders in blocks to come too.
Just goes towards making it a special quilt!

Hope the sun is shining where you are... it's fresh here but the sun is out so Billy may get another big run and swim to mark the end of the holidays. 

Happy days

Marina

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

holidays...

Well it's that time again and I've been a rather pathetic blogger and blog follower, even though I have been a bit of a stalker...
Time just seems to be at a premium at the moment and I've found myself spread a bit too thin...
Am finding my feet at my new job which I am happy about after a rocky start but it has been 16years since I started a new job so there were going to be some stresses.
I thought I'd pop in and update on a few projects as I like to chronicle my crafting through my blog.
the holidays have started off with a bang as I have been busily concentrating on just one project for the past few weeks and that is Sweet William. I set a goal to have the quilting completed by these school holidays.Well the holidays have started and it's a finish!!! woo hoo you can imagine me doing cartwheels around the place if you're game...

Roll the film please...
Ta DA.........


 some stats if you're interested..
Started Jan 2015 after some one on one consultation from the very clever Elyte
Top completed September 2015
Started hand Quilting April 2016
Hand quilting completed 4 July 2017
Have loved making this quilt and have learnt so much along the way, also igniting my obsession/passion for needleturn applique.


Another finish I have been remiss of celebrating is the completion of my Caswell Quilt top.
I am still undecided as to how to finish, the borders ie. I am not fond of the ones on the pattern but can't decide how to complete it.
This has been an absolute joy to work on, have loved the process and surprised myself that I have accomplished it.
Will be a little while before it is a complete finish but that's ok too....
Good things come to those who wait.
Some more stats..
Started in March 2016
Only completed 25 of the 30 blocks.
Top together May/June 2017
A new project I started once Caswell was done is my farewell quilt....
Gossip in the garden by Anni Downs.
Now that sweet william is done I can work on the second block and get back to some other wisps.
Happy Days....

Marina

Saturday, 13 May 2017

a day of fun, frivolity and spending!

Today I got to spend a most wonderful day with the blogger group. I can't remember the last time I went to a gathering but I so enjoyed todays outing.
I went with the city girls contingent and we met the others at Gisborne Patch and Quilt.
I just so happened to have a gift voucher that my work friends had given me as a farewell gift......I am going to put it towards making my own farewell quilt as all of them are non crafters.
The design I plan to make is Anni Downs-Gossip in the garden. Some beautiful fabrics that I will use as backgrounds came home with me, some bargain vintage looking fabric to back my clamshells with, and some other miscellaneous lovelies also jumped into the bag.


Now you might think there was lots of laughing and chatting going on and you'd be right but there was also some sewing and I managed to complete my penultimate Caswell block and then start on the final Caswell block!! I can't believe I have reached this wonderful milestone in just over a year.

some crochet progress, slow and steady on this one.....perfect take to work project to add to at lunchtime.

 When the city girls dropped me off after our day out a surprise was waiting for them as Hub had been busy baking a Dundee Cake.... well it was delicious and the girls scored a slice and a cup of home made coffee. I think it was worth the stop...
Well the photographic evidence of the days proceedings will be up shortly as Shez and Sue took lots of happy snaps.
Thankyou to all the lovely ladies for such an uplifting day in your company!
Happy mother's day to everyone tomorrow, well the mother's that is.
Cheers
Marina

Saturday, 6 May 2017

making changes...

Well it's been an up and down week emotionally as I have made a big step and am moving jobs.
I have been at the same school for the past 16 years but things have changed beyond my control so I have taken control back and decided to be my own change. It was exciting to have to apply and then get an interview for a new job and then to get it too after so many years. I surprised myself how well I coped lol
Hopefully this will work out but you never ever know if you never have a go.
I am moving to a Primary school about 15 minutes from home so some adjustments will be made but I'm feeling positive and happy about the move. So roll on monday!
Lots of goodbyes yesterday but I know I will keep in touch with the girls I work with as we see each other out of work anyway. I was very spoilt and touched by all the kind words from the extended school community, students and teachers. Definitely felt the love!
the house looks like a florist at the moment so pretty.



Since the last post I have managed to prepare the last two blocks of Caswell.
Feels like such an achievement to have got this far. The last two have so many pieces! I can see why I have left them to last. Some tweaking on one of the blocks as it just didn't seem balanced to my eye and some minor changes on the other..

 At AQC a stall had the most amazing scarves made from DMC Pearl cotton. I was very tempted but knew I had a stash of different colours at home that I could use as a trial attempt and to get my tension right.
It will be multicoloured but we can all do with colour in our lives can't we?
 These pretties arrived this week and will be the next scarf made.
Surprise!! it will be in blues and taupes...


This was a lovely gift from a parent at work. I feel very blessed to have had such a wonderful send off.


Have a wonderful weekend!

Marina

Sunday, 30 April 2017

sunday pleasures...

what a luxury Sunday is. A lovely start to the day with a big walk and socialise for Billy at the dog park, then washing two rather smelly dogs and some idle time at the computer.... heavenly. All I need is to do some crafting and it will be perfect.
I haven't been slacking off during the week though..... I completed the latest Caswell block and I have traced the last two! Wow I can't believe it! One of them I tweaked a little as it didn't seem logical to my eye the way it was. Now to decide which to start first... it will be fun selecting the fabrics for these last two knowing I am on the home stretch. Then I will just have to decide what type of borders to put on it.....
Here is the finished one at least.
 this is a block previously completed but as I am loving these fussy cut bees I just had to add another one on at least one other block. This one had a space that needed filling that fits a bee perfectly!


Made my first tulip block... very happy indeed.
nowto finish as there hasn't been a furry pic for awhile... here is an up to date pic of the new squeaky clean Coffee and Billy. Billy is 10 months old now and is as strong as an ox with a will to match, but also a sweetheart. Would be nice if he was the size of a jack russell?
hope you are all having a great weekend
Here's to the week ahead!

cheers
Marina

Monday, 24 April 2017

A fun filled day at AQC

Yesterday I got to spend a wonderful day with the City girls +1.
We all met up at Pope Joans a very trendy little eatery, for breakfast. We all had delicious meals before heading off to the Exhibition Buildings.
Lots of wandering up and down looking at inspiring fabrics and quilts made for some tired little girls lol
No one thought to take photos unfortunately.
Now what goes on tour stays on tour but I am happy to share my spendings....
While visiting the Somerset Patchwork stand with Annie I was struck by the inspiration bolt when I spied the most beautiful quilt hanging in the corner. I have always admired Karen's beautiful quilts but felt that they are a bit beyond my skills but this one seemed within them when I broke down all the rounds. With a little encouragement from Annie I finally straightened the arm she was twisting and got my purse out and bought this gorgeous pattern....
It may be a bit ambitious but I feel up for the challenge! Maybe......fingers crossed


Of course a new project needs a little stash starter?
Managed this all on my own without any help from Annie... but the lovely cream on the right was one of the last two pieces at a stall. Let's just say Annie got one too...... we both fell in love with it and thought it would be perfect for the centre medallion background. I am not going to start till Caswell is finished but it's never too early to prepare and I love building up a stash. I have lots of fabrics that suit in my stash so won't need too much extra spendings.

found another pic of some background fabrics I found while visiting some patchwork shops Hub and I encountered on our road trip to Eden a few weeks ago.... found a gorgeous shop in Rosedale, Lakes Entrance and Bairnsdale where we contributed to the economy. We did drive past a few others without stopping as I didn't feel I needed to stop at them all.
Not really needing additions to my fabric stash I figured it is always good to have a stash of backgrounds so I thought if I found some nice ones they could come home with me. Needless to say I found some nice ones...
here they are you be the judge...
well two posts in a short time....
let's see if I can keep it up.
Public holiday tomorrow for Anzac day. I could get used to these shortened working weeks.
Have a great week


Marina


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Hello, It's me

Well just channeling my inner Adele there for a minute.
Can't believe it's been so long.... I'm still alive and crafting. All the good intentions haven't made for much blogging. So today I thought it was time to catch up and record my crafting for the past two months.
There have been some starts and some finishes and lots of stuff in between. Some catch ups with crafty friends have helped reignite some sparks, and it's lovely to have such wonderful friends.
Now beware there are a lot of pics.....
No falling asleep now?

two new Caswell blocks...... a third is nearly done which will leave two to do, getting exciting

 made a start on my large clamshells, finding it hard to get enthused but there's no hurry to finish.

I have four completed wreaths for my floral hopscotch quilt and just seem to have lost some of the passion for it, I think it's the fabrics..... so I have decided to rethink the remaining applique blocks and have been looking for something a little simpler to make it an achievable finish. I thought the checkerboard blocks were going to delay this but they were done quick smart at the start, luckily.

I am going to replace the other applique blocks with this North Carolina Tulips block that I found on the net ages ago. Rediscovered it when sorting my room out.
 So need a new camera so that the colours will show properly!
These two have just had the pieces popped on the backgrounds as a trial, I am going with it. I love that it will be simple and still keep that fresh feel and more importantly be a stress free project.



 On the school holidays I managed to finish the last few blue baskets and start and finish all the 9 patch blocks so that I could put this together. I am so happy with it as it uses up some of my Lucy Kemper blues stash. there doesn't seem to be much of a dent made though.... will think about that after I have worked out a backing for it maybe from the same stash. Dare I say it I am getting a little over blues lol

My woollen scraps that were made up into squares for quite awhile got made up into a small crocheted blanket. Lovely and bright!

I suppose a big reason for all this crafting is that I got my sewing room back. A little bittersweet as it meant my Favourite No. 1 son moved out again. It was lovely having him home with us for about 6 months but it is also lovely to have my sewing room back.
A little reshuffling and some new and altered furniture did the trick and I love it. All my treasures where I can see them and more importantly access them. Still a small space but better managed.


I have at last managed to hang a full size quilt on the wall much to hubbie's dismay. But as it's in my room I can get away with it....though it does set a precedent....
I get to show off my baltimore to great effect. It was made to go on that wall.

Well if you're still with me, thanks for hanging around and catching up with my goings on.
I will try to be a better blogger and not just stalk you all and actually comment too.
cheers for now
Marina



Sunday, 12 February 2017

enjoying the cool....

Hate to mention the 'cool' word especially when so many folks from NSW and Queensland are absolutely sweltering. Hope you all get a cool change soon.
The binding was sewn onto the  baby quilt, it was gifted and will be treasured! My clamshells have their binding too and I love it. A little too scared to put it on the table at the moment for fear of the barbarians spilling something on it. I'm hyperventilating just thinking about it...must keep it safe. lol
Here they are all finished with their pretty bindings..

 Even got a new Caswell block finished today....
Unfortunately my camera is not showing the true colours in the fabrics for all three projects but this is as true to colour as I could get. The bright circles aren't that bright in real life.
Now to the next block......happy days!!
Hope you all have a great week
Marina

Sunday, 5 February 2017

lazy sunday afternoon...

Back into the work routine and it is making me really treasure the weekend and be a little selfish with my time too. If I have to stress about fitting something in then I don't want to push myself . What will be will be.
I need to realise I can't do everything.
Included in that selfishness is making my crafting time available.....after looking after the essentials.
Today I got to play in the afternoon and get some binding sewn onto the two little quilts that Fiona quilted for me. They look amazing and I want to gift the baby quilt tomorrow so tonight's job will be sewing down the binding. I wanted the quilting to look a bit modern and not too complicated. Fiona filled that criteria beautifully.
 With this small clamshell quilt I told her to do whatever took her fancy and it is gorgeous!!
Not sure what i will use this for perhaps a table topper? Have put a sleeve on it just in case I want to hang it.
This year there is going to be a reduction in flimsies!


My return to my Caswell project has continued.... One block finished and another ready to go.

I'm going to mix it up with this one and make the flowers in purples. We'll see how it goes. I'm not very adventurous usually but I have added a few purples in other blocks so it should tie in ok.
stay tuned.
Hope you have had some crafty time this weekend too.
cheers
marina