A Celtic quilt journey

Nearly two years ago L rang me to tell me that her mother Bea had passed away.  Bea had become one of my friends through charity quilting with the NSW guild, during our 2.5 year stint living in Sydney.  So when L asked if I would finish the quilt her mother had started for her I was more then happy to say yes.  I did have a moment of panic after she told me that it was a Celtic design, as I knew that involved lots of hand appliqué... it wasn't the hand work that was the problem, just the knowledge that Bea had high standards and was my work going to be up to scratch! As you can see, the quilt has finally been completed and I heard this week that it safely arrived at its new home in NSW.  I must say I was a bit scared to leave it at Australia Post, but I sent it registered post and made sure it was insured...just in case!
I had to piece the back with every last scrap of the green fabric that I was given and the fabrics supplied for the centres of the appliquéd blocks...and I only just made it! 
This quilt was a journey, during which I had to learn new skills, try different techniques, acquire patience and got a chance to say farewell to my friend. 
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Special events

This week I spent a lot of time cooking in my new kitchen, you can see in this photo I am still waiting on my splash back, which is going to be green.  I made all manner of party food, but the gingerbread men were the biggest hit!  
 Which surprised me as I thought the teddy bear racing cars would get eaten first.  Here they all are lining up to race on DS2's birthday cake.  DS1 helped me make the flags, after I failed to find the checked fabric in my stash, that I thought was left over from Liam's motorbike quilt.  I thought the kids had been so good waiting to sample the cake, but when I went to cut it up I realised that some of the smarties were missing off the side!

And although it wasn't his birthday, J (aged 4) took this quilt home, after I finally finished it.  More sneak peeks of the kitchen, yes the electrician has to come too!  

I was really pleased to finally get a finish listed, its been a few months!  Hmmm and my OPAM has completely fallen by the wayside, oh well at least I am getting through the wish list!
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

June All Day Quilting - a quick overview

 Julie was piecing her McGuffey quilt, made with a charm pack.
 Erolyn was very busy piecing and pressing her McGuffey, because she made double the required number of blocks for a large bed size quilt.
 Brenda was working on her blue log cabin, with her lights and darks all nicely sorted.
Debbie finished quilting this bonus quilt, all the strips were left over jelly roll scraps from another quilter who "doesn't do scrap".  Debbie completed the quilt and kindly donated it to Quilts from the Heart charity quilts.
 Jonnelle was busy trying to finish the quilting on her I Spy quilt, which is due to be delivered to the lucky boy  very soon.
 Stacy did finish the quilting on her pink braid quilt, which looked great.
 Yvonne worked on her Cat in the Hat quilt.
 Shez got a lesson in handing quilting from Erolyn.
Bronwyn showed us her lovely blocks made from a jelly roll. 
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

All Day Quilting - McGuffey

 Erolyn worked on a super sized version of the quilt and was first to finish all her blocks.  The lovely scrap look was achieved with exactly that, scraps from her extensive stash of scraps!  I think she achieved a great balance of colour and light/dark.  I am looking forward to seeing it together with a border, which she is going to piece as well!
 Therese decided on a Christmas theme version and plans to embroider appropriate stitcheries in her centre blocks later.  Therese stuck with the pattern and made the suggested 36 blocks but she  used her stash of fat quarters.
I had failed to cut all the right sized pieces and had to muck around cutting extra pieces on the day, however I still managed to get all 36 blocks made on the day - despite going AWOL for 3 hours to attend a 70th afternoon tea.  Overall I love the pattern, was happy with how quick and easy it was to put together, particularly chain piecing.  I loved working on the same project as others at the same time, Julie sat next to me and she did a charm pieced version but didn't lay hers out before leaving for the day.  I will catch up with her though!  I don't like the colours I used - the cream is too much of a contrast in my opinion, but too many of my purples are the same dark tone.  Looking at the photo now I can see where I need to move a few blocks because of clashes, so that might help. This was a fun project and I hope we get to do a few more together, however next time I am going to buy a layer cake!  Now I just have to lay it all out again, shuffle them around and stitch them together...amongst other jobs!
Happy quilting Sue SA.

All Day Sewing preparation

I am congratulating myself on achieving most of my To Do List today...including making some slices, from left to right, Baked Caramel Slice, Nanaimo Bar and Marshmallow Shortcake.  Of course taste testing was in order, given that I had never made the Nanaimo Bar's which were listed on Sweet P's blog and are apparently a Canadian iconic home baked treat.  Definitely a thumbs up in the taste test and bonus points for being easy, despite having to make three different layers.   I am not sure about the origins of Marshmallow Shortcake, but I found the recipe on the Sewing Attics blog, from NZ.  The kids and DH loved this treat and I will be definitely making it again.  I started out having doubts about this recipe, well actually about my cooking skills as I boiled the sugar/water/gelatin mix over onto my new stove top, creating a sticky mess.  However as per usual I was trying to do too many things at once, so only myself to blame....cooking multiple things at one time is a bad habit skill that I learned from my mother...but it prepared me for being a quilter (multiple UFO's!) and motherhood!  

Tomorrow is the next All Day Sewing session for my group, the After Dark Quilters.  I have been meaning to get organised for two weeks now, but last weekends flurry of visitors and a cold stopped me from setting foot in the sewing room.  So this afternoon I sliced and diced my way through the home-made layer cakes I created out of my stash, back here.

Some of our group will be joining me to make a quilt out of this book by Carrie Nelson Schnibbles times two, the pattern we chose is a  Log Cabin variation....which is on my list! Oh bliss a new project, here's hoping my purple, green and cream colour combo works out OK?!  Yes I was being stingy and using my stash rather then rushing down to the shops, but DH was interstate for work today and DS2 refuses to go to the quilt shop...so stash it was!  So cannot wait until term 3....when DS2 starts kinder!!!
I made it to the newsagent today to pick up my new copy of American Patchwork and Quilting, so I have pencil in some free time with a cuppa and some slice for Sunday.  I might need a rest from piecing!
Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Favourite Things Friday

Linking up with Shay's Favourite Things Friday I wanted to show you my favourite quilt, the one I made DH, before we got hitched!  I haven't made him one since, but I am thinking its time WE had a new quilt, perhaps something fresh and light for summer.    I love the blue/cream combo of this block and the way the pattern just flows. I find it very relaxing on the eye and its full of wool wadding so its nice and warm!  Note to self, don't buy another bed with a "end" they are such a hassle when making quilts and making beds!
 I spent my Friday hosting my older brother M, (who is over here for the long weekend bush walking) and entertaining Mickey Monkey (a view of his rear end here) who is my DS1's class's physical activity mascot.  Which mean when Mickey Monkey comes to stay at your house you have to PLAY and be ACTIVE with him.  DS1's school had a pupil free day, so we walked to the tram stop, walked around the city, walked around the museum, walked to catch the train home, walked around the corner to our local park and played!  Here is DS1 mastering the climbing wall, after he had helped Mickey Monkey reach the top!

I am not going bush walking because I have a cold AND because my younger brother G is arriving for a visit this afternoon!  Plus a girl has to fit in some stitching somewhere....hmm, not sure when, but I am definitely finishing two quilts this weekend...just need details for a label... please Leigh if your reading this!
Happy quilting Sue SA.

Kwik Scrappy Star class

Yesterday I attended a class with Heather Ford at Tricia's Discount Fabrics.  Heather was teaching the Kwik Krazy Patterns by Two Kwik Quilters.  I choose the Kwik Scrappy Star pattern and started with this lovely palette of pinks and purples. 
 We learned to Stack, Cut, Shuffle, attach Stickers (very important!) and then of course we Sewed!  
Kwik Scrappy Star pattern by Two Kwik Quilters
And this is the end result, twelve scrappy stars, six with purple stars and six with pink.  I was very pleased to have finished 12 blocks in the days class, but to make the full size quilt I need to make another 24, so plenty of sewing, not to mention stacking, cutting and shuffling ahead of me!  It was a fun class and I had a great day out.  
Happy quilting Sue! 

Working on a Finish and starting a new project

Last weekends post didn't get finished until Wednesday and even then I ran out of steam as the Internet was being so slow.  SEW the progress of attaching binding to the Celtic quilt (hip hip hooray!) actually happened last weekend.  And most nights this week I have been happily hand stitching in front of the TV. 
Last night was an exception as I was whipping up some lovely slices to take and share in class today! 
Can you tell I am enjoying my new kitchen....such a blast to be able to use the Mix master in my appliance cupboard, no more bending, lifting and lugging appliances for me!

I purchased this bundle of pretties yesterday for today's class...these are for your quilt Sienna!  I hope I got the right mix of pastel pink and purple ... no little girls in this house to ask, so I had to channel my inner child from the 1970's! I rarely work with pink and my preferred purples are generally darker, but I am in love with this new palette!  The light and bright combo is making me feel happy ;-)
It was difficult to pick prints the right shade that were not too adult or too childish.  Yes I know that is a paisley print on the bottom, but it was the right shade!  So hopefully this combination will look stunning in the Stack n Wack Star Quilt class I am taking today.  I haven't been to a formal class for ages so really looking forward to picking up some new skills and seeing everyone else colour combo's and hopefully some show and tell!
Happy quilting Sue.
PS please note this NEW project is on my Wish List!! Yippee!!

Kim Diehl star in a churn dash blocks

I was just popping in to read some of my favorite bloggers, after a six month absence!  Then I saw that there was this draft post, so figure...