Wednesday, 22 October 2014

been up North.....


but not North to Alaska, north to Queensland.
Hub and I have been away for several days visiting the gorgeous Gold Coast and Brisbane.
It was a first for me and definitely won't be the last time I go there. The weather was perfect.
 Lots of walking to sightsee and there was lots to see.
I have to say I absolutely loved Brisbane it is such a beautiful city with easy access and beautiful walking tracks along the river. Everything was so amazing to look at, the flora and fauna was gorgeous.

I have lots of pics to share hope you are up for it?
Roll the pictures

beautiful clean beach at Surfers Paradise. I did stick a toe in but that's about it.
The sand squeaked when you walked on it!
The spectacular walkway along southbank in Brisbane. This archway continued for ages. No 1 son said that Hub should have told me a knock knock joke to make me smile. Smarty pants..


Fern growing on a live tree. Amazing!
Botanical gardens at Mt Tambourine
taste testing at a brewery on Mt Tambourine.... Yum, lovely lunch as well.
Carved Pagoda in Brisbane. I had to censor some of my pics as it had lots of fertility symbols and they needed to be PG.

Beautiful old home along the river and a superb Jacaranda tree in full bloom. The city was full of them and they put on a fantastic show.


amazing huge tree near where we were staying.

there were lots of these little fellas along the river.
of course there was some stitching, with a lovely view

Story Book bridge over the river... I tried to walk over it but only made it as far as the girders as my fear of heights overcame me and I skulked back to the main path and could breathe freely again.
The highlight of my trip to Brisbane was a get together with these wonderful, wonderful ladies!
I can't believe I got to meet up with you all and repay the visits you have made down south,  thankyou so much for making my holiday!
We sat and chattted for ages and laughed and ate.
Lucky we didn't have to pay 'butt parking' by the hour at the cafe! We would have been in for a hefty bill.
Fiona, Teresa, Me and Michelle.

Here is my lovely meal... it was the best and I didn't leave a scrap.
Now there was one last photo that was taken but not shared as it looked too dark on my phone but with downloading and enhancing it turned out ok..
As hub was taking the photo Fiona remarked that if we leaned forward we would look thinner...
Of course I wanted to look stick thin if that was the case and I tried to lean forward while holding onto the rail behind me. We all started laughing.. so here it is girls.. the silly photo:
Does it make me look any thinner?
I love laughing with friends
xx
Now that we are home I will catch up with blogs, I have been lurking but only had my phone to visit with.
Next post I will show a little surprise giftie I received.
cheers
marina



Friday, 10 October 2014

baby blocks and baskets

Well it has been back to normal here this last week.  Thankfully the week has flown but holidays seem like they are a distant memory.
I have been working on my stitcheries and I have only Miss Kitty to go. Then I will need to think about how to put them together. I have an idea but it just needs to translate to actions.
I do enjoy these stitcheries though..

 At the end of last week I put these baskets together...
I thought I was so clever that they pieced together so nicely, reasonable job of the points but somewhere along the line I have sewn a smidge too much in the seam allowance and these blocks will probably be smaller than the others when they are completed. I will plod along and see where it ends up.
After some consultation with some of my cheerleaders I am not going to worry about it and hopefully it will work out.
(fingers crossed)

Tomorrow I am off to Kilmore Quilter's Quilt in with Liz and Rosalie.
Which reminds me I need to pack some crafting to do while I am there.....
...After I have cleaned this messy house and done the hunting and gathering!

Hope you all have a crafty weekend
Marina

Friday, 3 October 2014

some ups and downs..

Just when you think things are working out well, look over your shoulder because trouble is sneaking up behind you....
Sweet william and I had a falling out yesterday and yes there were nearly some tears, some bad words and some things thrown. So who does a girl turn to? Her mother of course!
 I thought I had worked out the process for my blocks and that they were coming together ok but when I went to make the baskets for the appliques I hit a snag. They didn't come together properly. 
I take part blame as I do struggle with instructions, I need concise instructions and some diagrams would be lovely if you don't mind. So that pattern was looking like defeating me. Mum helped me work out my errors and now I have written all the finer points that I will need to provide guidance with my future blocks. (providing there are any!)
 these two are only a little bit out where the applique meets the basket, but at least I did get the right size block in the end. Machine piecing the basket got me a much more accurate size basket.
 I had to redo the red basket and it is 1/4" too small so if I can't fudge it I will have to redo the applique, eventually. I did another basket  just to make sure my measurements were correct and that I did understand how to put it together and it worked out well.
I am determined to master this quilt!! Maybe we need some counselling with our relationship?

to make me not feel totally inadequate I felll back to some comfort stitching. I know I can do that without issues.... I just struggle explaining it to someone else.  Elyte will attest to that.
 these are the fabrics I purchased from Jemima's the other day to go with the stitcheries. These will be a baby quilt for a friend I used to work with who is expecting a new grandbaby.



I just need to decide how they will go together. There are two and a half stitcheries to go so I have a little time... then it will be another whirlwind quilt.
It's been a wonderfully creative few weeks and I have enjoyed doing a bit of everything that I have on the go and especially starting some new things, even if they are testing me.

Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says 'I'm Possible'

Have a great weekend!
Marina



Wednesday, 1 October 2014

what a day

Yesterday I got to entertain the wonderful city girls at my home. We had a great time spent chatting, eating and laughing with a bit of retail therapy thrown in for good measure. What more could you ask for?
I got some tips for my needleturn applique and after confusing Elyte, I tried to help her with some stitching.
Funny how when you do something without thinking it can be so hard to show someone else how to do it.
I took the girls to Jemima's patchwork shop, a shop run from home in Craigieburn. Can you believe that none of them had ever been before.....Some silly person didn't check their Tuesday opening hours and when we arrived the shop wasn't officially open but Shirley and Veronica were very accomodating and the girls and I got to do some spending. It's a great shop and has a wide variety of fabrics, something for everyone really.
I did notice that there was a big assortment of batiks that had multiplied since my last visit. I have found a fondness for them since making my aussie flag quilt. 
I'm afraid I didn't take pics of our get together I was too busy making cups of tea, stitching and chatting. Elyte was official photographer of the day so hopefully she will post pics soon.
the girls all commented that our get together was a therapy session, how appropriate that they come to the asylum...
thanks girls for a wonderful day!

It hasn't been all laughing and cups of tea all the time here...
The signature quilt is complete!! I finished stitching the binding and sleeve down this morning.
Hooray!
not a bad effort - started on the 12/9/14 completed on the 1/10/14. I think this is almost a personal best. I think it will come close to my aussie flag quilt.
hand quilted with crochet cotton( to speed up the process a little bit.)

 the left overs pieced into the back,
 I was very happy with how neat the quilting turned out, not many zig zaggy stitches on the back either. Wish I could channel that  permanently.

My third sweet William applique got done too.
I am using scraps from my flowers where I can. These are favourite scraps from a quilt I made some time ago. I have held onto them for ages, nice for them to resurface. I have cut out the two baskets for block 2 and 3. Hopefully they will get done soon.

...But a new project has taken priority... I forgot that I had promised to make a baby quilt for a friend who is about to become a grandmother for the third time. 
I picked up some fabrics from Jemima's yesterday to go with the stitcheries I have selected.
Was going great guns with the first stitchery when I ran out of thread. Typical!
Off to get some this afternoon so it doesn't hold up proceedings.
Will show you my fabrics and hopefully a finished stitchery next post.
Happy days!
Marina


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sweet William..

Well I thought this was going to be the end of a long term infatuation but it may be becoming true love..
After a bit of a rocky start to the relationship I think we have set the guidelines to a good start.....
Sometimes I think I need Dr Phill telling me


But it's ok Dr Phil stand down.....
I think I have got it covered...
I don't think too bad a start for my first real needleturn project.

omg those berries were so tiny!
 
my first block...

second block applique done...

I changed the flowers a little bit as when I started to prepare them for applique they looked absolutely hideous! The shape just wouldn't work for me. A little more rounded and softer was the way to go.... a little like me ...
Some imperfections but I am quite happy with the results and more importantly quite enthused to continue with the blocks. I feel I am learning something with each piece I applique.
There you go I have jumped in the deep end with my floaties on and I am floating nicely.
I think Josie should be proud of me..
The signature quilt is still coming along nicely, wasn't done by thursday but that's not a problem it won't take much longer.
a sunny, wild and windy day here in my neck of the woods. Perhaps some time today for another basket?
have a great Sunday

cheers
Marina


Friday, 26 September 2014

friday stitching

Yesterday I got an email from Sue one of the lovely Country girls asking if I would like to go to Gisborne Patchwork shop for a stitching afternoon. Well don't ask me more than once, I was off like a shot.
I was keen to go as there was going to be a special gift given to Tania who has been a little unwell lately.
Sneaky Sue had arranged for some other sneaky people to make a block to make into a quilt for Tania.
It was all finished this week ready to be gifted.
Sue and Tracee and Marg all chipped in and got it together and finished. You are all so wonderful!
Tania was quite surprised and moved by her gift

but she cheered up quick smart....
Now I had to point out that the second last row had a few of us grouped together, one might say it is the noisy row......Shez, Moi, Chez and Robin..... now what is the meaning of this?
The blocks were to reflect the maker and each one is wonderful. Such a gorgeous gift I was so happy to have been able to contribute.
a beautiful label...

In the mail this week the lovely Bev  sent me this gorgeous embroidered piece as it reminded her of Maisie.
I joked to Bev that Maisie had the glasses on for when she cat scanned my quilts in progress.
I was thinking of how I could finish the embroidery and then it came to me!
This afternoon I stitched the wording.
I think it looks so cute, thanks heaps Bev!
(please excuse the lack of ironing...)
Sweet William and I have finally made some time together. After some stressful moments and reassuring words from mum as she checked my piecing and working out I havecompleted the first basket!! (after throwing one version in the bin!)
Instructions are never my strong point but I am finding the directions difficult and there was almost a pattern looking for a new home. Thank goodness for mum.
I took my progress on the first block to show the girls today and they gave it the thumbs up.
I hope to work on the applique part of it tonight and will show the block when it's done.
Hope you have found some stitching time too
cheers
marina


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

remember....

.....those gorgeous little triangles that I received from Lynda?
You might think I am avoiding my getting together with Sweet William but I have to fulfill a few obligations to some older projects first (while I work out how to tackle Sweet william).
I did play with the triangles a while ago after a marathon session of sewing the off cuts together and trimming them to 1 1/2 inches.
These were the results...
I just didn't know which I preferred as they all ended up hard to match the points and bulky around the seam joins. So they got put away until inspirations struck again.
I kept thinking make it simpler...
Well inspiration struck a few weeks ago while I was looking for a pattern to use for my shirt challenge.
I found a pattern that was described as 'old maid's puzzle' on Barbara Brackman's Jane Austen family album blog. I thought it was perfect to use for my fig tree triangles especially now that I had some extra fig tree fabric for the solid squares left over from my friends birthday quilt.
I think they look so pretty and scrappy. They finished at 3 1/2 inches. So a nice mini in the making?


Quilting is progressing nicely on the Kaffe Fassett quilt but no way will it be ready by tomorrow.
I want to quilt along the borders and that will be a big job so taking it easy....
Happy stitching!
Marina

Monday, 22 September 2014

some photos to share.


 Woke up and thought omg, is it really holidays?
 Get that sugar level up.... and get ready to go.....YES it is holidays
Are you going to sew all day? Pleeaaase...
 woo hoo I love holidays.....
the sun is shining a nice walk is in order...
A swim for someone... come on throw the ball!


Back to some sewing.....

My little houses have been calling me....
I was a little enthusiastic putting the borders on I need to make another lot of little houses for the bottom row that doesn't require sashings with corner stones at the bottom. Prefer to make new houses than un sew. This will make a total of 64 houses. A lovely little hanging.

A start has been made on this quilting too... It is progressing quite quickly which I am very happy about.
I am meeting up with the recipient again on thursday. Wonder if I can out do myself and get it done by then?
No pressure....
Sun is shining here in Melbourne and we are expecting a top of 24. Lovely weather!
Have I mentioned I love Holidays?
Happy sewing..
Marina