Friday, September 24, 2010


 When I got home from work on Monday, there was a parcel waiting for me. I looooove parcels . . . especially ones I don't know what is inside. And it's especially nice to get a present when I get home from a morning shift, 'cause my 'evil twin' does morning shifts and she's not in a good mood by the time she gets home.

It was my prize from Pathwork Promises.
Wooo hooo!!!!!
Go here to check them out:

Patchwork Promises is one of the quilt shops I 'follow' on Face Book. And they wanted us to put up photos of finished articles to go in a draw. So I put up a photo of the 4 needle cases I made from a an Annie Downs design . . . . and I won the draw??

Well, this is what I won!

There's a really great book "Material Obsession" by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke, which I fell asleep reading that night, not because it's dull, oh no, but because I have been working morning shifts and I crash every night I'm on them. Not even a really good quilt book will keep me awake much past 7pm when I'm doing morning shifts. (so I had to try again the next night and the next.) And I've earmarkes two quilts in it that I want to do, which means I now have to live to 143 years old. Plus a 25pc 'Slice' of really yummy blues and greens from the Flutterby series, a hera marker which is something I've always wanted, and a you-beaut 'Karisma' propelling pencil/marker, including a refil of white leads.

Now, is THAT a good prize or what!???

All for just putting up a photo, . . . . easy peasy.

So next time you see a give-away prize for visiting a site or blog,
Maybe you will be happy dancing (in your jammies) too!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Machine Quilting It My Way

I just cannot get my head around this machine quilting gig. And it's not as if I haven't tried, and tried and tried . . . . and tried. I've had lessons and lots of advice from some of the best in the business, so yes, I can say, I really have given it a really good go.

Stippling is beyond me, and I no longer attempt 'decorative' loop-de-loops, squiggles, swirls, petals and leaves etc, not after a disasterous attempt at 'flowers and leaves' inside nine patches across a child's quilt that still languished in the back of the cupboard somewhere.
And so, . . . I meander . . . .  but my meandering is more like the route of a herd of thirsty elephants with a wallow in the mud when they get there. I call it elephantwalking or elephantandering.
And there's something about 'in the ditch' that just doesn't happen after about 2-3 inches of creeping down a seam-line. With my 'let-them-lay-where-they-may' philosophy when it comes to some quilts whose seams go every which way, SITD is usually not a possibility.
And I sew want to be good at this! I have far too many quilts to be quilted to ever be able to afford to have all of them tended to by a professional.

So I do it anyway.
Sometimes I'm happy, sometimes I'm not.

I always make very careful choices of the backing fabric when I know I am going to be quilting it. It has to be 'busy' and not too pale. Busy backings hide a multitude of sins. And I'm also very careful about the thread I use on top. I don't want it to stand out, so I usually choose a varigated thread in colours to blend in with all the fabrics used in the top. I audition a few choices of thread by laying the quilt down on the floor and drizzling a few yards of each possible thread choice over a part of the quilt. (usually three or four reels of possibilities and 'drizzle' it over a good quarter of the quilt).  Then I leave it alone for a while to decide for itself. I check back occaisonally to see it the quilt has 'accepted' or 'discarded' the candidates. Remember, I'm looking for something that totally blends in, NOT stand out. The thread in the bobbin always blends in with the backing, and is usually of one colour, not varigated. When the thread is chosen, I usually procrastinate a few days, . . weeks, . . . . years, again until I feel the 'urge' or the stress of not having it finished gets to me.

And then with or without a glass of wine, with or without tango music, I go for it!

First I elephantwalk a strip about a foot wide right down the middle of the quilt spreading my meander (erradically) about 3 to 6 inches to the left and the right of the centre line until I run it off the border at the bottom. I have a kind of F/F/F/  

pattern rhythm that just sort of happens now and then and then goes away when it wants too, but it's usually just random wandering of about 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch distance from each other (whatever happens, wherever it goes), taking care not to 'cross the line' in too many really obvious places. 

Then I go back to the the top of the quilt to the right of the centre scrawl and do it again, until I back myself into a corner or reach the bottom. If I do BMIC, I swear the appropriate F word (to go with the pattern) and just end off there and begin again somewhere else. (I find this happening less and less the more quilts I elephantander). Then when that right side is finished, I turn the quilt over, and starting near the center strip of previous elephantandering, I wander down the other right side of the quilt.
Once it's all finished, binding on and all, I hang the quilt up and stand back and have a look.

It really will!
Trust me . . . . I'm a quilter!

I don't usually tell the person I'm giving it too that I did the quilting. And I certainly DO NOT say, "don't look too closely at the quilting, it's not very good 'cause i did it myself", cause that will be the first thing they do. My theory is, If I've made the quilt for them then they probably are not a quilter, so they are not really going to know how good or bad the machine quilting is, are they?

So there you have it . . . . I've fessed up and feel better about my machine quilting. Do you?

Oh!, the best tip I can give you is "GARDEN GLOVES" the cotton kind with little rubbery bumps on the palms. (to fit your hand snugly, not too big in size) And hey, the Sunday Telegraph is giving away the perfect kind with every copy today.

Friday, September 10, 2010


View IVY

It's my standard I Spy quilt. 

The big squares are cut 6.5" and the small are cut 3.5". The small patches are made into a Four Patch and each 4P is paired up with something completely different from the big square pile.
There is an Australian and New Zealander theme to this one. Ivy's daddy's family are Australian and her mummy's family are New Zealanders. So not only has it got koalas and kangaroos and crocodiles and such, but it also has kiwis, pukekos, fern carvings and things. Her grand-daddy Ron was very fond of horses too so there are a few of them included. He was an Australian buck-jump champion in his youth.

September - garden

Sunday, September 5, 2010

NAPCAN : What can I do?

I am a victim of childhood abuse - I don't know how, but I am still here. Damaged but alive.
The brutal physical and insidious psycological damage inflicted on me by a parent has affected me all my life. Only in the past 15 years have I come to terms with it all and learnt to let go. I now understand why that parent was the way they were. But I will never forgive. I don't have to. There is no excuse to treat children in such a manner.
I am 58.
I am a survivor.

Saturday, September 4, 2010