Blue ribbon for Warm Regards and rich blessings

Last Sunday I came in from gardening checked my phone and there was a message to say that my quilt had won an award at the Victorian Quilters show and presentations were on Thursday at noon.  I was so excited, but nervous!  Nervous because I had no idea which prize I had won and also because the timing was ordinary; my husband was away with work, Thursday was our oldest sons 13th birthday and finally the builder is here renovating our ensuite as our shower had been leaking!  
After lots of juggling and after considerate negotiations with our son I managed to hand over his birthday gifts on Thursday morning then a friend Antoinette drove us down to Melbourne (its a 7 hour return trip) in time for the ceremony where to my surprise, my quilt Warm Regards awarded first prize in the section Mainly Applique, 2 person Amateur.  Vicki was on hand volunteering (for the whole show) so was able to take this photo of me trying to pin the rosette on my quilt.  
This quilt started life two Christmas ago when good friend Lisa gave me the book Simple Friendships by Kim Diehl and Jo Morton then suggested we (together with Vicki) make a quilt together (theme of the book is block swaps) but each make our own version.  Lisa is making the Jo Morton pattern and Vicki and I both enjoy applique and made the Kim Diehl pattern.  In February Vicki told me she had a cancellation in her long arm custom quilting schedule and was booking Warm Regards in for March.  So this push forced me to get cracking and finish the top.  Vicki gave me further assurances that it was of a good standard for the state show and Lisa encouraged me the whole way, as she regularly enters quilts.  Both Lisa and Vicki have won prizes before, but I never thought that I would too! 
We were home in time for take away tea and birthday cake that my new teenager requested and my brother and parents facilitated organising school run etc so that I could go for the day.  I would never been able to  go and help my son celebrate his birthday if Antoinette had driven me, so I feel very blessed to have such good friends and family support.  
My prize was a very generous cheque sponsored by Geelong Quilters, a queen size batting from Nu-Wool and 5 yards of Moda fabric from PK Fabrics. 
Because my husband is away for 10 days (including over the weekend of the show) I never planned on going to the show and hadn't been for a few years because it clashed with our sons birthday. So as much as it was a flying visit it was lovely to see all the quilts and fit in a bit of shopping!    I had already purchased some mats for my Go Cutter and decided that was sufficient, because I am between jobs.  After I found my generous cheque I went back and brought some fat quarters from Somerset Patchwork!  I also got to deliver the six Very Snuggly Quilts (childrens quilts) that I had finished to the guild.  And to top off my exciting week I also got some lovely feedback on a quilt I had made for a friend who is having a really rough time. 
Happy quilting, Sue.

Sea Glass finished

Ta da!  Made from fabrics purchased at Periwinkle Patchwork, pattern is called Sea Glass from a book called Mini Wonderful Curves by Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson for Sew Kind of Wonderful - who make the mini curve ruler.
On display in my backyard while the sun was shining and the wind blowing.  Its winter so I cannot complain, just grateful for the rain!
I FM quilted this myself with three long swirls to cover each clamshell, in matching thread.  This pattern was suggested to me as it looks good if you don't manage to quilt back over the stitching line exactly it still looks good.....which was a great idea as my FMQ is still a WIP!
Bound in a grey Cotton and Steel fabric, I am very pleased with this finish. Its is to be gifted to a friend who needs a quilty hug. 
Super pleased our gazebo now has a roof but still waiting on the electrician to put in lights and plumber to hook up to the storm water.  Hubby is going to attach wood slats to the west end and around each side to semi enclose from the weather.  That process has commenced (varnishing wood) but paid work has to take priority at the minute.
Happy quilting Sue.

Four patches and kids tops galore!

I started making four patches as part of Rainbow Scrap Challenge many years ago.  And I am still making them, it just took me until June to get back on track this year!
The problem is you think you have oodles of blocks and then when you lay them out, at 4" finished they don't go far enough for a quilt!  So after racking my brain and cruising images on the internet, I came up with a plan to make them stretch a little bit further..

Which resulted in lots of sewing of sashing onto blue four patches. Which turned into this rainbow!  Blue is Junes colour but I do have way more blue scraps then any other colour.  As I am loving this look and love the simplicity of  using my 2.5" scraps and sewing four patches, I am just going to continue sewing.  No reason to try and make this into a top anytime soon, just enjoying the process!
While I was on a sashing roll I got together these purple and pink novelty four patches.  These blocks (and fabric) were mainly given to me last year from my friends at our Robe retreats.  There has been quite a few kids charity quilts made and donated by me since then but not necessarily from the fabrics they gave me.  Which is silly because it was all pre cut! 
Sew I have been working my way through the bag, sorting blocks into sizes and colours.  Sewing up small squares into blocks and then laying out on my lounge room floor (aka design wall).  The second top missed out on sashing because I thought all that lovely colour needed to shine undiluted!
I am happy with these two purple n pink tops, just need to consider borders and find some suitable backing fabric.  I have already pinned two kids quilts this week, so I am back to having a "to be quilted" pile, only one month after clearing the decks!  
Happy quilting Sue.

Warrnambool 4 patch flimsy finishes

I finally got a border on this kids charity quilt.  Lots of colours would work, but I just felt Orange rarely gets centre stage and needed a chance to shine! ; )
The blue I brought to border this very blue quilt came from a quilt shop.  It felt stiff but I figured a good wash would fix that, so I washed it and it still felt like cardboard. :(  
I pieced all the Vivid Grid blocks into a top but decided this was a good size as is (using guidelines from Very Snuggly quilts) and the upper limit of size I like to quilt myself (approx 50 "square).  I am happy with this top, but dont love the cream background.  Wish I had thought to make a blue background with red and yellow time! This is fast becoming a favorite pattern.
I have been making the backings for all three quilt tops (that I made on retreat), using a great fish print I brought from Spotlight when we were at Warrnambool - it was such a bargain I brought the rest of the bolt.  Because all three quilts just needed 10" extra added to the width of the fish fabric, I used the crunchy blue as the side strip on the back.  That got rid of it and I made a promise to myself to never buy fabric that feels remotely hard again!  
Happy quilting Sue.

Warrnambool Retreat

This is me packed up and ready to go at home...after I had a bit of a cull, to make sure Lisa and I both fitted in the car.  As it turns out, my stuff fitted in exactly half of the backseat and boot.  
We left for Warrnambool on Thursday morning and got there after lunch, after a lovely relaxing drive with a stop for coffee and cake, as you do when your on holidays!
 I was trying to blog on my phone so l could join in Chookys virtual sew along the same weekend :)  but it did NOT work!  Might be something to do with me needing new glasses, as my 0 birthday creeps up!  Or my lack of IT skills ; )
WARNING 3 New projects commenced!!
This top was one of two I kitted up before we went.  I found sufficient pre made four patches in my novelty stash, as well as cornerstones, I just had to cut the sashing.  Sashing was a new purchase from Spotlight while they had 40% off patchwork fabric.  I had taken some fabric for possible borders, but decided to wait and see if I liked something better at home.
I had also pre cut all the parts for these Vivid Grid blocks, from my pre cut 2.5" strip collection.  I had oodles of blue and red but not so much yellow.
Luckily when we went to visit Ann at Periwinkle Patchwork I found this bundle of joy...bargain scrap bag!  All pre cut 2.5" squares, perfect for adding to my blocks.
I got all the 10" blocks made, but not sewn together.  So when put together this should be 50 x 50" which is a decent size quilt for a kids charity quilt.

I made another Eye Spy top, from a different sized collection of four patches - all blue, with blue sashing from my stash.  This is also going to be a  kids charity quilt. once it has some borders.
There was some bag construction, some further retail therapy, lots of chat, coffee and time spent relaxing reading books and magazines brought to share. 
Happy Quilting Sue.

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...