Tuesday, 28 January 2014

the carnival is over....

well the holidays have come to a sreeching halt, back to work unfortunately.
The holidays have been wonderful. Lots of visits with friends and family have been the highlights.
My last holiday fling was a day spent with the country girls from the noisy table.
My partners in crime Elyte, Robyn, Anne and I headed off to Gisborne to be met at the beautiful patchwork shop by Sue .(We were missing Annie one of the usual subjects who was absent due to having to work. )
We spent a lot of time there and we were even met by the lovely Irene Blanck. I didn't have my camera so only got one pic of Irene and myself, we're BFF's you know.
(I work with Irene's sil and we love to tease her with a pic when we meet.)

these were my purchases for the day and they only jumped into my bag at the last minute...
The Patchnquilt shop is amazing and well worth a visit.. I have my eye on some lovely blues that will be coming home with me next time.


The convoy then hit the road and we arrived at Tracee's house which was a treat in itself. All her gorgeous quilts hanging around her home were amazing!
Such a warm welcome and the wonderful hospitality of Tracee, Sue, Tania and Marg was a pleasure. Thankyou so much for having us!
We had an afternoon full of laughing and chatting and eating of course we even discussed and compared our dancing styles.
I don't think I will argue with Shez at all when she accuses us of being the noisy table next Ballan get together!
As I didn't have my camera I will pinch my favourites from Tracee and Sue's blogs....
Tracee's 'dancer' pole
Me, Robyn, Marg, Tracee, Anne, Elyte, Tania and Sue
How special to share such fun times with such beautiful women, thanks girlies..


Now you might ask, did the Australian Flag get done in time?
Well...... sort of...... I worked on quilting it every spare moment on Australia Day, and then continued on the Australia Day holiday........and by the afternoon the binding was on and it was done.
Now for the pics...
of course.
Aloof Maise shot, while I was getting ready to baste. 

all quilted and bound..

rolled up shot.
Hope you all have a wonderful week, I am sure I am in for a tiring week. The predicted hot temps are definitely not going to help.
cheers for now
Marina


Monday, 20 January 2014

little triangles everywhere....

Now in my last post I mentioned some triangle action in my future....
Well they arrived this morning! The said triangles were a bag of off cuts that the lovely Lynda  was wanting to rehouse. The said bag contained the corners from some beautiful fig tree quilts fabrics that she has been using in some gorgeous quilts she has been making.
When Lynda posted about the rehousing I think I had another bout of Heat Stroke and I eagerly put my hand up.  Now Lynda didn't just send me the fig tree fabrics but an even bigger bag of Comma fabric triangles too and some snow fabric to help in putting them all together!
Now I am happy to embrace another obsession at the drop of a hat and this new one has been fun. I didn't want to just put them away in my stash..... so I had to get the machine out straight away and start sewing....
 

some inspiration for how to use them.....

progress so far.....

All the fig tree fabrics are done and some of the comma fabrics. They just need to be trimmed down, this will be a slower process and one to work on gradually. They will be trimmed to 1 1/2 inches.
Lynda had some little bundles of triangles all ready sewed up which were a bonus.

On the weekend I managed to finish my Mr Boo stitchery from the Kathy Schmitz bom minis.
I loved stitching him and he looks so handsome!
Just need to find the right fabrics for the border.


Just had to share a pic of the boys....
I thought they should jump on the bandwagon for the Australia Day preparations..
Poor old Monty, he turned 12 in December and is really showing his age. I think I am lucky he survived the heat wave we had. We brought the dogs inside to get some relief and they loved it.
"gee I wish I wasn't so old so that I would be quicker in getting away from her and her crazy ideas...."
 Coffee just likes to go along for the ride....I was bribing him with his throw toy otherwise he wouldn't sit so still.
"oh the humiliation, why does she insist on putting things on us?  can I please have the toy back now?."
Flag update....
Border has been done thanks to the fabrics arriving today too, just some appliqueing of the stars and I am right to sandwich!
Swan Lake update....
Top has been completed ready to go to the quilter....Woo hoo happy dancing with all those dollies for sure.
Would you like to see a pic...
Not a bad tally of projects for these holidays....
Hope you have made it to the end of the post.
Have a wonderful crafty week!
 I need to keep cramming in as much as I can before going back to work

cheers
Marina

Friday, 17 January 2014

Productivity levels high...

This heat has certainly been a booster for productivity levels here.
I just seem to be ticking things off my to do list, and not just the new interesting things either.
Yesterday I sewed the backing for Swan Lake. Nine metres of fabric are now one large piece ready to take to the quilters along with wadding and top, I still need to do the corners and central flowers still.
Talk about dragging out the last bit!
Border fabrics for my Australia flag quilt are ordered and hopefully on their way thanks to the lovely staff at Gail B's. Very excited about that....As I only used half the roll of blue fabrics for the flag I thought I would sew the remaning strips together to make up as much of the back as I could, that's done too.
I thought I would include two little flags to show our heritage. Even though Hub and I were born here our parents were not and we still value our heritage and respective cultures.
They will be sewn on the back of the quilt.


Now as I seemed to have gotten a litte behind with my Sweet Stitches, it seemed only fitting that I get up to date with those projects too these holidays..
Yesterday I hibernated again with my sewing machine as my companion and I started to cut out and sew the borders. I was a little daunted by the borders at first, all those little triangles again but with a little care I got through them again. Just as well I ended up enjoying piecing them as there is going to be some major triangle action happening here soon. More on that later....
Now they are all basted ready to be quilted!




I am so happy with the two minis. They are going to be a lovely addition to my collection.
Of course this one is on display this month...

It has been so enjoyable to get some creativity happening again, end of Next week it is back to the grind. Not looking forward to it but that's life I have to fund my extravagant lifestyle somehow.
 I better make the most of my last days of crafting time!
Somehow I feel I have already lol.

Hope you are having a crafty day 

Marina


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

we're having a heat wave....

another scorching day today.
Thankfully we have air con so we can find refuge from the heat.
Yesterday I'm not sure but maybe I had heat stroke or something because some strange things happened last night.
After dinner I asked mum if she would help me cut out the bits for the union Jack, you all know how hopeless I am with instructions and we had to precision cut as I didn't have the quantity of fabrics as quoted so there was some fancy measuring and adjusting to get the most out of the fat quarters. That's mum's speciality. After she went home I figured I could try some of the foundation piecing. Never done that before but in for a penny, in for a pound they say....
Just slow down and read the instructions, over and over again.....
 Oh my this isn't as hard as I thought it would be, but we'll see if all the pieces come together perfectly, or there will be some major sobbing happening!
 then I thought, I may as well sew the panel that goes next to the Union Jack.....
By this time it was close to midnight but the side piece was done, the four quarters of the Union Jack were done......
then..
this morning I woke up and went straight to the machine and got sewing like a woman possessed....
Yes it all came together !!! Woo hoo... I am so excited and it looks even better than I had imagined it would.

This part is done. I need to get some more fabrics from Gail B's for the border and binding. I wasn't going to make a border but I think a nice border in the cream fabric and a little bit of improvised applique may be in order. Let's hope Gail's comes through and has the extra I need. My hands are itching to get the ideas from my head out onto the fabric. I will have to be patient and wait for them to reply. I hope they realise I have a deadline?
I can't believe how happy I am with how this has come together.
In the meantime I think I will pack up the machine and the bits and bobs and get some houses cut and ready.
Take my mind off the waiting.
Think I might go look for some lightning!

cheers for now
Marina



Tuesday, 14 January 2014

catching the inspiration lightning bolt

A wonderful boiling hot day in Melbourne today. (please note my sarcasm) The mercury hit 44 degrees, I am so close to packing up and running away to Tasmania! It is a killer and more forecast for the rest of the week.
Liz, Rosalie and I had planned a get together day for some weeks and we didn't want the weather to dampen our enthusiasm. Our destination: Gail B's patchwork shop.
Now on my more recent girly trip I had a project in the back of my mind but wasn't inspired to buy any fabrics from Threadbare even though there was so much gorgeous temptation in that shop. I think I walked around it at least four times just staring at the fabrics, so much gorgeousness but none came home with me.
Well today I had that inspiration bolt moment!
Gail's is an amazing shop and you could get lost in it for ages.
This is the project that has been lingering in the back of my mind for over a year..

I love how our American counterparts decorate their home with patriotic quilting loveliness and thought it was about time I should make something for Australia Day too. I love this country and feel so happy to live in a wonderful land of opportunity.
The idea just lingered and lingered, I seem to have left my run a bit late but simplified this could get done by Australia day!
I could picture how I wanted to make this quilt in my head and just needed to see the right fabrics for it to start to become a reality.
These are the fabrics that 'jumped out' at me today....
Yes they are Batiks.... anyone who knows my tastes in fabrics knows that they are not high on my preference list but today they just seemed like the most perfect fabrics for this project.
The roll will be for the flag and the separate red, white and blue will be for the Union Jack.
What do you think?
I also brought home these two gorgeous fat 1/4's


this past week I have been concentrating on my stitcheries.
There has been some progress..


Now these will have to take a back seat for a bit as there is a flag to sew or it won't be ready for Australia Day!
Happy days!

Marina

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Dont Mind me I'm just stitching..

Christmas is well and truly a memory with all the Christmas decorations away.
I am starting to enjoy my holidays now that I have been able to get a bit of crafting done.
There has also been some socialising. I had a wonderful day out with Elyte, Robin, Jo, Anne and Annie on Tuesday with a trip to Threadbare in Castlemaine. What an amazing shop! There were so many beautiful fabrics and all I could manage to come home with were 3 threads that I hadn't been able to find locally. Pathetic isn't it, and I call myself a patchworker?
A few trips to the movies have eventuated. No 2 son took me to see the Hobbit movie, Mum and I went to see the Railway Man and I saw the Hobbit movie again today with the girls from work. I have enjoyed both movies and I have some more on my wish list to see before it's back to work.
Now to that stitching I mentioned.....
There has been some quilting on this....2 rows done, so many still to do.

Some stitching  here.. The March winds Stitchery from Kathy Schmitz...

Now just had to share some flower pics...
I have been waiting over 10 years for this orchid to flower. It seems it just needed the right position with enough light that it was needing to flower.
It is a crucifix orchid. I must say a very unattractive plant on the whole but if I have tolerated it for ten years in anticipation of a flower, I figure I can definitely tolerate it now that it has made spikes of flowers.
The flowers are just a little bunch of tiny blooms at the end of a very long spike. quite amazing really.
Hopefully it will flower again for me next year.

my hand to show the size of these babies.
No 1 son is doing a tour of Europe. While in London he visited the Harry Potter Exhibition. When it was in Sydney a few years ago we both really wanted to go but unfortunately we didn't make it. 
He sent me some postcards from the exhibition in the mail this week.





What a comedian!
I told him I want him to bring me home a house elf.

Cheers for now.... back to the stitching
Marina

Thursday, 2 January 2014

a new year has begun...

Welcome to a new year!
I thought it would be a good idea to end and start the year in the same manner.... by indulging in some stitching. I have missed not doing stitching lately and thought I should trace out my three Sweet Stitches patterns that had arrived early November. They sat traced waiting patiently.
They don't have to wait anymore.
The February block is stitched and hopefully over the next week or so I can get it framed.
I have started on my March Winds block too. Stitching is so relaxing and comforting.
I added a little red stitching just to break it up a litte. I love this stitchery, it reminds me of an old fashioned tattoo. Maybe it should say Mother in the ribbon, might have to mention it to tattooed no 2 son?


Building little houses has also kept a threaded needle in my hand too.
I love seeing these multiply

the latest houses completed

my little village 

Construction will slow down a little while I enjoy my stitching and also get back to my hand quilting project, my Park Avenue hexies quilt. It is going to be a long hard slog quilting it but I have made a start, sometimes that is the hardest part.
Hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.
Thankyou to everyone for visiting my blog throughout the year and for your comments and friendship.

Now Back to some stitching
Cheers
Marina