Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wrap up of my April Goals and Setting my May ones

Reviewing my April Goals.

On April 1st I set myself some Goals for April. These were

1. Finish Sombrero Stars (quilt 3 of SOMB quilts... Shirt Off My Back)
2. Finish Not so Sombre Stars
3. Make an Easter Wall Hanging
4. Empty Scrap basket - cut into useful units and put away
5. Look for and hopefully find Tea Shop Applique Quilt pattern 
6. Cover theatre couches in black fabric
7. Make Curtains for Spare Room.

Now that it is the end of April how did I go?

1 Sombrero Stars. All finished = quilted and bound. Not labelled yet as I am still deciding who to give it to but its done.

2, Not So Sombre Stars. The top is done (as I detailed yesterday) Its had a name change as I am giving it to a friend. Not So Sombre Stars for Derek. Backing not made yet... waiting for the signature blocks to roll in

3 Make an Easter Hanging. Didn't happen. Didn't even look like happening. Ho hum.

4 Empty Scrap basket. This got done... twice. It was totally empty this morning. However since I am in the process of completely rearranging my sewing room which means going through all my drawers with fabric in them... the scrap basket is brimming once again with all the fabric scraps I found hidden in various nooks and crannies

5 Look for and hopefully find Tea Shop Applique quilt pattern. No luck finding the pattern I bought but having tracked it down on line I am determined that I will order it and go from there.

6 Cover theatre couches in black fabric. Done. My daughter, Fangirl, and I worked on them a couple of weeks ago and both the couches that she needs to use in the production she is directing (and I am prompting in) have been covered in black fabric. I don't have a photo of the couches but here is the poster for the play

7 Make Curtains for spare room. Didn't happen. I did get the fabric out today so maybe I will get inspired to do it when I tidy the sewing area up. They won't take long to make and when I do its an easy 4.5m usage to be able to count since I added it in when I bought it. Just have to do it.

May Goals
1. Finish Not So Sombre Stars for Derek
2. Tidy my sewing room (photo of the current mess will be posted here soon)
3 Make the Curtains for the Spare Room
4 Empty Scrap basket again
5 Order Tea Room Pattern (my Mothers' Day gift to myself perhaps)
6 Do at least one of my Craftsy Classes.

WIP Wednesday

I haven't done any sewing this week. Nil Nixo Nothing.

I cut some 6.5" squares out of white and cream recycled fabric to use as signature squares for the backing of Not So Sombre Stars for Derek (note new name) These are for family and friends to sign and write messages on for our friend recently diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and currently undergoing chemotherapy in Brisbane. So far I have 4 signature pieces back. Will have to distribute some more and start naggin people to complete them and hand them in. I am wondering what to do with them. Was thinking of just doing signature blocks interspersed with other 6.5" squares of coloured fabric but have also contemplated making the blocks into more stars for the back of the quilt. It is going to depend largely on how many of the signature squares I get back.

I went up to patchwork today but didn't stay long... I came home and have been working on cutting up my scraps into usable sizes. I am planning on going through all my cupboards and having a good tidy up and sort out. I have decided to reorganise my cupboards completely so we will see how that goes. I am going to write out a new list of UFOs and projects that I have collected fabric for and see how that works out. I may even publish the list on my blog to keep it in front of me (and my readers) and see how that helps me

Should go and take some before photos so I can bask in the glory of the after shots even more. Or realise that yet again I just rearranged the deck chairs of a sinking ship. :)

Its been a week since Annie, our 9 year old dog died. Have felt her loss more keenly on a few occassions. Such as when we got home from our weekend away and there were only 2 happy yappy waggy dogs to greet us on our return. And when we walked the dogs last night and after we had dropped our day care dog home we only had one dog to walk back to our place. And this morning when only one dog came rushing out to greet me and get super excited when he realised that there was a walk on offer. 

Here's a token Annie photo since I don't have any pictures of quilts to show you today

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Meaderings

Not sure why I make all my blog posts about the day they are written and then have to have alliteration going. Never mind - perhaps I am just a bit weird like that

Have been away since last Thursday on a very busy weekend. My husband was lay director of the men's walk for Emmaus in our area this year. Its been lots of preparation for him and I've just hovered in the background supporting him up to this weekend. I went on the Dining Room team, looking after the housekeeping support stuff for the weekend. Fangirl and Boyo came along too to help out. What is Emmaus? I took this explanation straight from the web page of the Walk to Emmaus Australia webpage.

The Walk to Emmaus is a spiritual renewal program intended to strengthen the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. The program's approach seriously considers the model of Christ's servanthood and encourages Christ's disciples to act in ways appropriate to being "a servant of all."
The Walk to Emmaus experience begins with a 72-hour short course in Christianity, comprised of fifteen talks by lay and clergy on the themes of God's grace, disciplines of Christian discipleship, and what it means to be the church. The course is wrapped in prayer and meditation, special times of worship and daily celebration of Holy Communion. The "Emmaus community," made up of those who have attended an Emmaus weekend, support the 72-hour experience with a prayer vigil, by preparing and serving meals, and other acts of love and self-giving. The Emmaus Walk typically begins Thursday evening and concludes Sunday evening. Men and women attend separate weekends.
It was a big weekend with late nights and long days but it was also lots of fun and fellowship for those of us on the dining room team. Its not all hard work.
I haven't done any quilting since last Wednesday night. I didn't even organise myself any hand work to do whilst away. I finished up the embroidery I was doing. I played on my computer instead and wrote several blog posts and read other blogs that I had to catch up on as well.

Since I got home I finally started to work on organising a school reunion for my 40 years since Fourth Form/Year 10. I had been thinking about doing it since last year but till this weekend was over I couldn't think about it. Now I have probably left it too late for this year but we can start the ball rolling for either next year or the year after that when it will be 40 years since our final year of schooling. Lots of students didn't complete year 12 but I doubt that we will be elitist and will include anyone who was in our year through out our high school time (and maybe even primary school too if we find anyone!) I tend to be a bit... if you want to come and celebrate with us, come along.

I haven't even got any photos to include. Am going to have to get Fangirl along to help me pretty up my page so that it still looks visually appealing even without photos. I just worked out how to change the text colour. That might have to do for today

Sunday, April 27, 2014

sunday stash report - nothing to report

I haven't had a finish this week. The quilt top for Not So Sombre Stars is done but the back isn't. Its going to be a scrappy one incorporating signature squares so it will be a while. I wasn't going to let people take their fabric squares home... was going to make them do them there on the spot with me but I'm a softie. Handed people squares and they were all... oh I don't know what to write. I'll have to think about it... um ahh ...ohhh so I weakened and let them keep their squares and I will have to chase them up and get them back. So it is going to take me a while to get that done. 

Haven't been into a fabric shop this week so I haven't had any additions either so that is good. 

My stats therefore remain the same as last week

Year to Date Used       60.47
Year to Date added      38.31
Net Used                     22.16m

Linking up with Stash report on Patchwork Times

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday Thoughts - My quilty word

For 2014 the word I chose for the year was Renew. Not sure why I chose that. - wasn't writing my blog at the time so don't have a post on the subject  - so no longwinded self indulgent naval gazing post to go back to in order to check it out. Yeah I know it was only a little under 4 months ago... but still I got old lady brain going here.(You've seen the grey hair I got going now)

So far for me it has largely centred around using fabric that I have in my stash that has a previous use - fabric that wasn't designed to be part of a quilt. This has been the theme behind 3 of the quilts 2 have finished this year and 2 more that I have as works in progress.

In January I completed making a crazy patch tie quilt that I was making for my cousin Syd who turned 70 last month. I gave him the quilt at a family reunion in January (to see the blog post about it visit here) I got a real kick out of making the quilt. I have a pile of ties left - ones that didn't fit into the blue and red spectrum I chose for Syd's quilt. I'll make another one day

I have also been working on my SOMB quilts. Shirt Off My Back quilts that I am making using 2nd hand men's shirts for a challenge that I am involved with. To find out more about this challenge just search my blog for SOMB. Added to the challenge of using the fabric from the shirts we had swapped i added the challenge of only using recycled fabric in the whole of the quilt and with the 3rd quilt in the series completed  I have one more quilt in the series to complete. The top has been made completely using recycled fabric and I am still working on the backing. Its going to be a gift for a friend currently undergoing chemo. I have cut 6.5" squares out of light coloured fabrics- mostly old sheets but some calico whose origins I am not sure of. Friends and family have been signing these squares with messages of love and support. Still thinking about how I will incorporate these into the backing... depends how many I get back. I may just alternate them with coloured squares or then again... might make them into blocks. Will see.

I also want to renew my sewing area. I want to get it all sorted out and freshened up, go through my projects and fabric and decide what I am going to do. I have already started on this by going through my fabric and sorting out the little bits and cutting and sorting these according to size. Larger pieces of fabric have already been sorted by colour. It will be good to have it all tidied up and renewed. Apart from anything else it will bring to mind what things I have - what gadgets, fabric, patterns etc which in turn will help generate creativity and help me to work out what projects I want to work on next.

How are you going with your quilty word for 2014?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fitness Friday

I think this week it should be not so much fitness Friday. Its all been messed up with Annie dying, Fixit Guy home on holidays, Boyo home on holidays, Easter, extra church services, play rehearsal etc etc. I haven't run at all this week. I have managed a walk most days and by sheer determination ie running on the spot at 11.30PM I have made my 10 000 steps each day but that has been just about it. Oh well no... on Easter Sunday I made myself do 16 000 steps to make up for all the extra chocolate I ate and I have tried to do a few extra each day as well cause I have been finishing off the Easter treats. The Mother's Day Classic is only 3 weeks away now so I am going to have to make some time to run a bit more to be sure I can make the 7 kms still.

I am away from home this weekend, involved in a Christian retreat called Walk to Emmaus. I am not sure I will get much time to actually walk ... might be doing some running on the spot in my bedroom at night. I am going to be sharing with Fangirl so hope she is up to the challenge of me being crazy in the room at night.

Weightwise... not a lot of joy. I managed to keep the damage from Easter down a bit for a start but certainly haven't lost anything... might have put a bit on but still under 90kgs so feel ok about that. Half way to my goal... need to lose that extra 9kgs that is loving me too much.

I was looking through some old photos of me this week. Looking at the photos on my phone. I sure did pack the weight on there for a bit and think that I am looking a whole lot better. Will try to find some comparison shots for you when I am able to access my photos more easily

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday

 In January 2012 I did a massive clean up of my crafting area. I went through all my cupboards and fabric, sorted things out, found all my projects, sorted them out. I even wrote a list of them. I resolved that 2012 was going to be my year of the UFO. I was determined to bust through as many of them as I could. I also resolved to not buy any fabric unless it was specifically to finish one of these projects. I did allow myself a bit of wiggle room. If it was for a specific purpose I could start a new project so long as I finished it ASAP. No more UFOs.

I found my list that I compiled It was dated 5th February 2012. I have decided to go through my list and see how well I did on my UFO busting attempt.

Finished Tops
Black and White Straight Circles
Boyo's T'shirt Quilt
Hands That Flung Stars into Space
Hands That Flung Stars into Space scrap blocks
Blue and Pink Nine Patches
Purple Strings

Blocks Completed
Teddy Applique quilt
Pip's T'shirt quilt
Fangirl's T'shirt quilt
Kombi Boy's T'shirt quilt
Massage Man's T'shirt quilt
Bluebird quilt
Christmas Stars
Quilts on the Double Quilt 1
Quilts on the Double QUilt 2
Heart Blocks
Year Quilt signature blocks
Squares and Half Triangles
Orphan blocks

Projects Cut and ready to go
Yellow and Blue picket fence
Christmas Tree Log Cabin
Advent Calendar
Green and White Blocks
Christmas Carol Squares

So - how did I go with all these projects?

Black and White Straight Circles Completed 12/2/12 currently hanging at an exhibition (its 2nd) and used in church a couple of occassions

Boyo's T'shirt Quilt Completed 16/6/12 given to Boyo and now on his bed in Brisbane
Hands That Flung Stars into Space completed 17/6/12 currently hanging at an exhibition (its 2nd too) and also used a few times in church

Hands That Flung Stars into Space scrap blocks completed 15/6/12 given to my girlfriend Maree for her 50th birthday
Blue and Pink Nine Patches not completed
Purple Strings not completed
Teddy Applique quilt completed 28/3/12 and given to my great niece Sofia at her birth

Pip's T'shirt quilt completed 20/6/12 currently on bed in spare room

Fangirl's T'shirt quilt - incomplete - I need more shirts from her but she won't give any of hers up. She threw a good few out before she realised that I would make her a quilt from them.
Kombi Boy's T'shirt quilt completed 15/6/12 and with him in Brisbane
Massage Man's T'shirt quilt- incomplete. Need more shirts for his as well
Bluebird quilt -completed and on our bed. I had it professionally quilted and really pleased with it

Christmas Stars - completed 11/13

Quilts on the Double Quilt 1 completed 2/7/13

Quilts on the Double Quilt 2 completed 20/7/13

Heart Blocks nothing done
Year Quilt signature blocks nothing done
Squares and Half Triangles nothing done
Orphan blocks nothing done
Yellow and Blue picket fence completed 26/6/12
This is it without the outer border and binding.... oops. Don't seem to have a completed one but it is done. Currently on the bed I am sleeping on this weekend

I did find another photo of it with 2 of its 3 borders... still not a completed photo. I will get one

Christmas Tree Log Cabin completed 3/1/13

With Dr Who figures Fangirl stitched and gave to her Dad for Christmas. 

Advent Calendar completed 29/12/12

Green and White Blocks nothing done
Christmas Carol Squares completed 11/13

Out of 24 projects that I listed I have completed 15 which is pretty good. Of the 9 that I have not completed 2 have stalled because I need more shirts to finish them off. Can't really do anything about them.

I haven't used the Pink and Blue 9 Patches or the purple string quilts which are really backs because they haven't really been the right shape or colour for projects that I could have put them with. Plus I tend to forget about them. I really should finish them up and use them as charity quilts if I can't find a use for them myself. They would be good backs for baby quilts.

The signature squares and the heart blocks need to be worked into backings for quilts for myself as they are personal things - made for me by friends. The heart blocks were given to me by friends from a retreat after my dad died so they are special. Again, I just tend to forget about them when making quilts for myself. Need to work on that.

The squares and half square triangles were from a project that I started but have mislaid the pattern to. I will have to find another suitable pattern for them.

The green and white blocks are good for a baby quilt. I have embroideries from my mum that I need to put into baby quilts so might work on them shortly.

How did my resolution to not start anything new go? In 2012 I only broke it 3 times. I made 2 little cake quilts. I am not sure why I started them. I was only going to make one but made too many cake blocks so made 2. I used stash only. One of those I still have and one I gave to my cousin.  The other time was to make a baby quilt for a great nephew. None of my UFOs appealed as being baby quilts and I found a lovely panel and co-ordinating fabric at a great sale. There were 12 panels, which in the end was enough for 3 baby quilts which were completed over the next year or so and given to another great nephew and a friends baby girl.

So overall I was pretty pleased with my efforts in 2012

In 2013 I relaxed my "No New Projects" ban although I did stick to my "No more UFOs" determination and everything I started I completed. I also tried hard to stick to my fabric diet - at least only buying fabric for specific projects, no stash building. That has been a good resolution to stick with.

Its time I went through my cupboards again and had a good tidy up. This time I want to list the fabric that I have bought for specific projects, or which I have bought to go together but for which I don't currently have a specific project. I need to list them up and get myself organised so I know where I am heading. I have a number of embroideries from my mum and some of my stitcheries that I want to make into quilts or wall hangings. It will be good to get organised.

Quiltin Jenny

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WIP Wednesday

This week I have made great progress with the 4th and final quilt in my SOMB series. (Shirt off my Back quilts that used fabric from recycled men's shirts from a challenge at an annual retreat I go to)

My last one I have called Not So Sombre Stars and featured the ninepatch in the centre using the shirt fabrics. All 4 of the quilts had these 9 patches in them.

I didn't get to start to put the blocks together till Friday or Saturday. I completed all the blocks by Sunday and completed the top on Monday. It went together pretty quickly as it was all chain piecing. 

The work wasn't without incident. I had a number of errors along the way and several times when I got to spend lots of one on one time with my unpicker

I sewed the flying geese uints to the wrong side

I sewed the flying geese to the flying geese

I sewed the square flying geese square units the wrong way around

I did this more than once 
I used the wrong colour corner squares... I made all the mistakes I could I reckon

I did get one finished correctly

 I even got 6 done

And then I had the whole quilt's worth done

The top has 25 star blocks in 5 rows of 5 with no sashing. I was hoping to get away with no borders but, foolishly posted a photo on twitter and asked for opinions and my twilter friends obliged and the universal consensus was for borders.

 Another challenge I have set myself is that all the fabric used in these quilts have to be recycled fabrics, fabrics that have been used for another purpose or vintage fabric, bought for another purpose many years ago and repurposed. So had to find the border fabric from within my stash. I had some red and white striped fabric that my mother-in-law had used as covers for beds that weren't made up, to protect them from dust. The stripes are very wide - 2.75". I cut the fabric so that the red stripe was full width but the white stripe was 1.5". It would have been good to have been able to cut the white stripe in half and then could have saved myself more cutting but the measurement was too tricky... too many decimal places. I am going to use the red for binding as well I think. Will see how it looks when I've quilted the top. I should probably have done some cutting and sewing and tricky stuff to get the white to go right around... or done corner stones or something but I haven't and so the white border doesn't go right around but... you get that.

Still working out what to do for the backing. I have decided to make it a gift for a friend who is currently in hospital waiting diagnosis for what may well turn out to be cancer. I have cut a heap of white and cream repurposed fabric into 6.5" squares which I will get friends and family to sign and then make it up decoratively in some way. He likes fishing and I have a length of fabric that has underwater scenes from the Great Barrier Reef. Will work that into it some how. Not sure where I inherited that fabric from. It counts as repurposed for my challenge in that it was probably bought originally to be curtaining. 

I didn't work on my Disappearing Into the Blue quilt at all this week as I didn't go up to Patchwork to sew today. I went up for morning tea and took some scones up with me to share but only stayed for an hour or so.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly pieced

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Musings. Saying Goodbye to Annie

Yesterday we decided that we would l take Annie to the vet this morning  and have her put down. She had been struggling for breath all weekend and it has been heart breaking to watch her although I don't think she was in any pain. She'd look at me with her gorgeous brown eyes full of confusion as if asking me "Why is it so hard to breathe? What's wrong with me?" It had been difficult to watch. If she had been in pain I probably would have called the vet and paid the exorbitant  out of hours fee that would be charged for public holiday service but I truly don't think she was. It had been painful for us to watch her struggle for air. Other times on the weekend she was walking about the yard, finding nice spots to lie and soak up the sun. (Trust an old dog to find the coolest spots in hot summer  and the warm spots when the weather cools down) She'd wag her tail when she saw us and enjoyed having her ears tickled and her belly scratched.

She had continued to eat a bit and to drink which has provided me a measure of reassurance that she was moderately ok... well not too bad... at least not completely and utterly miserable. I was tempted to ask the vet to remove fluid from her lungs again and let us have her for a bit longer but that is really woud have just been prolonging the inevitable and her quality of life had been greatly reduced and my husband has wisely and kindly counselled against it.

Our dogs are basically out door animals. They are allowed inside when its stormy and on other special occasions but mostly they live outside. They access the laundry room all day and are locked in there at night. However these last few weeks we have been bringing Annie inside to cuddle her at night or during the afternoon when I have been watching tv or playing on the computer. Yesterday I sat and cuddled her for an hour or so before dinner and after dinner Fixit Guy went and got her and he too spent a hour or so cuddling her whilst we watched our son play Assassin's Creed (and I sewed) Its our goodbye time.

Our youngest son, Boyo got home on Friday morning. He is her owner, having received her as a Christmas gift when he was 10. It was lovely to see her respond to him , enjoying sitting on his lap whilst we watched some Dr Who that first afternoon he was here. Yesterday I took the other dogs for a walk  Annie so wanted to come too but even walks in the pram whilst we walked was getting too much for her. I called Boyo down to sit with her on the lawn. An hour later when I got back from my 7 000 step walk with the 3 dogs, he was still with her on the lawn. He was playing on his ipad whilst he patted her. Over the weekend we talked about how she was failing and our decision to have her put down. I had said that I was glad she had lasted so he could say goodbye. He said he was glad he got to do so but that he thought it was good that his brothers hadn't got to see her when she was sick and failing, because their memories of her would be of her healthy and active.

I then sat out there with her, taking photos of the other dogs as they romped about and Annie as she lay there quietly, struggling to breathe but seeming to enjoy the company. After a while I went over to my wannabe vegie patch to weed it a bit and get ready for planting. I noticed that she had changed positions and was watching me as I worked. I was glad I could spend some time with her.

I was dreading having to take her to the vet this morning to have her put down. But the decision was taken away from me. When Fixit Guy went to let the dogs out of the laundry this morning he found that Annie had died quietly in the night, stretched out in her own bed, in the comfort of her own home. The decision had been made for me. I sent a text to our 3 adult children who no longer live at home and Fixit Guy broke the news to Boyo. A sad time for our family

We are so sad to say goodbye to our faithful sweetheart of a dog. However we have a friend - 31, currently in Brisbane awaiting results of biopsies and scans but with the current thinking that he has Hodgkins Lymphoma. Now that is really serious. We loved Annie. But... she was
a dog. In dog years she was getting old. Our friend is still young with his whole life ahead of him. Perspective. We are praying for our friend that he makes a good recovery.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Stash Report - On Time this week

I haven't had any finishes this week. I have been working hard on Not So Sombre Stars but its a long way from done. I did a bit more work on my Disappearing into the Blue quilt but its not done either. I did contribute to the making of the Sunflower Wall hanging from our group and it is done but since nothing in it came from my stash...  it doesn't count. I do have some nice pictures of it. Dawn did a marvelous job on the quilting. I might have already shown you the pictures but whatever... nothing much else to show here so you get them again

 I was thinking that I had no additions this week either till I remembered a quick trip to Big W to buy a CD/radio player for our club rooms. I checked out their sewing stuff and found some black and white fat quarters... what was a girl to do... I got 4. Sigh. So that is .92m for the week. (They were only 46cm long.... as they had been cut 18". My stash report is in metres not inches as Australia is metric) I love the pineapple prints. One of the prints has a bit of red in it which is fine as I am going to have a few rows that include the touch of red. Thinking one of the borders or the binding (or both) might be red

Used this week 0
Added this week .92m

Year to Date Used       60.47
Year to Date added      38.31
Net Used                     22.16m

Linking up with Stash report on Patchwork Times

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fitness Friday

Not been a great week for me especially on the weight loss front. Basically... I haven't. sigh. Not tracking at all and enjoying a few good things too many. I have kept my weight to under 90 all week but bit disappointed with my self.

I have been managing too keep my steps up which is good. Had a few nights trotting about the house and one night I went trotting up and down the cul de sac in order to make my numbers. Sad but true.

Have only had one run this week and it was only 3.5kms I tried out the course that I will be running in the Mothers' Day Classic in a couple of weeks time. The course is actually a double circuit of the track and I only went once around so am going to try to get back there a few more times and run it in preparation.

We went shopping in Rockhampton last Friday and got myself a new pair of running shoes. That's always good. The flash has done funny things to the colour. The yellow is actually orange.

I have continued to walk the dogs most days although they are only get one walk a day this week as we have had special Easter Holy Week services at our church at 7 which we have made it to twice. The two nights I missed was because of the play we are rehearsing. I'm the prompt. Fangirl is directing it so I am helping out where I can. She's getting a bit stressed cause its not long till opening night and the cast is no where near ready.

Annie was doing pretty well up to the start of this week but has gone down hill rapidly since then. She is still eating a bit which is good. She is wheezing more and her belly has become very swollen again. Our youngest boy, her owner arrived home from university for the Easter break this morning. He will be able to have a few days with her and then I think we will have to decide to put her down before next weekend. We are all going to be away and I think that the timing will be better. Fixit Guy is on holiday next week so will be able to take care of burying her more easily.

I was feeling sad about her and talking to a friend before one of the services this week. The next day at the service a friend told us that her 31 year old son, whom we have known ever since we first came to town 25 years ago, was in hospital and the most likely diagnosis was going to be Hodgkins Lymphoma. That was a real shock. He is in Brisbane now having scans and biopsies etc. Kinda puts it all into perspective. Our dog is a very much loved member of our family BUT she is just a dog. We are all praying and hoping for the best for our mate.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday Baby quilts

I have been making quilts for my great nieces and nephews since the first one was born. Actually I lie. The first one I made was for my first great niece Olivia born in 2005. I had a great nephew Caleb born 2002 for whom I hadn't made a quilt for at that point but I rectified that soon after. My latest great nephew, born just a few weeks ago was my mother's 19th great grand child. (with 8 children and 24 grandchildren that number is only going to grow!) They each have a quilt from their great Aunty Pip. Side note.

Fixit Guy is a woodturner and when my nieces and nephews get married he makes them a turned wood lamp. I think I got the raw end of the deal. He's told them they only get one lamp... if the marriage fails, take it with them. But whilst so far there has only been one marriage for each niece or nephew... they have each (apart from one) had more than one child so I am busier. I told them... no marriage no lamp, and we have to be invited (I'm a tough auntie) One nephew had a very small wedding and we didn't get to go but Fixit Guy is a softie and he made them a lamp anyway. Just realised that we don't have a photo of his lamps... he's not the photographer. I am. The recipients of the lamps have always been very appreciative of them and treasure them, and guard them jealously... one of my sisters (I have 5) offered to look after her son's lamp as he was moving house but he insisted he take it with him.

I must ask the family to take photos of their lamps and send them to us. We don't buy shades for them usually. We give them money to buy their own. A few reasons for this. 1. we don't know their taste or decor 2. There is not much choice of shades where we live and they will have much greater choice in Sydney where most of them live or visit regularly 3. They are hard to transport safely. We live 2 000 km from most of them so much easier to hand over the money and let them do the work. (Fixit Guy doesn't really agree. he would much rather hand over the finished product complete but for the reasons above I always fight him on this and usually win)

I digress. Baby quilts. So... I have made at least 19 baby quilts for my lovely great nieces and nephews. I have made some for other babies too... special ones who qualify. I have a cousin I am very close to (I made him the Tie Quilt for his 70th birthday see Family Reunion ) I am also very fond of his 3 daughters who were like my little sisters. When his 6 grandchildren were born I made each of them a quilt. I have also made quilts for 2 of my girlfriends grand children, my daughter's friend's baby and for two babies born to our church family this last year. That makes 30. Wow. Hadn't realised it was so many!

I don't have photos of them all I realise - bit of a slip up there but will include photos of some of them

My first baby quilt for the gorgeous Olivia who is 9 already. I was on an internet group and taking part in lots of 9 patch swaps. I was making and receiving lots of nine patches but not using them very much. Making baby quilts changed that

Above is Caleb's quilt top and below is the quilt back. Both featured Snowball blocks interspersed with nine patch blocks from the monthly ninepatch swap I was in (different colour or theme for each month)

I had made some hand dyes and gamely used them in a quilt for my cousin's first grandchild born in 2004. It was another very simple design

Laura's quilt featuring nine patches made from hand dyes and plain squares, also hand dyed fabric

Having made a number of very simple baby quilts I got a bit gamer and for Sienna's quilt in 2006 I used a pattern from a magazine called Tic Tac Toe.

Sienna's Tic Tac Toe Quilt
I got even gamer for the next baby, Ella who was born at the end of 2006, my brother's first granddaughter. I even bought a pattern for her quilt! I can't remember what it was called though. I liked that it featured the teddy bear as when all my nieces and nephews were born I gave them a jointed bear in brown or gold

Ella's quilt

Charlie, the daughter of my niece was born in 2008, not long before my father died. I can't remember if I made her quilt shortly after she was born or if it was a year late. I went back to full time work a month after dad died and I had very little time for quilting for the rest of that year Carlie's quilt was another slightly more complex design using eye spy fabrics again

Charlie's quilt

At one point I got very busy quilt making with quite a few great nieces and nephews coming in quick succession. I know at one point I had 7 quilts to make in a 12 month period and I resorted to very simple designs. 6" finished eyespy squares in a 5 x 5 grid with borders. I did get a bit creative after a few of them and made them alphabetical quilts. Some of my choices for what things started with got creative. 

Riley's quilt .. alphabetical

Sarah's quilt - not alphabetical

The one exception to this rather boring 5X5 6" squares was the quilt I made for Cooper, the grandson of my Australian friend born in the USA to his Aussie mum and American Dad. Cooper couldn't have a boring eyespy quilt. He had to get his Aussie on

Cooper's quilt featuring Australian animals

A special little baby girl was born into our church family in January and I was delighted to have a special quilt I could give her. It wasn't a baby quilt as such being one that I had made in an online mystery quilt (I can't identify it as it is an ongoing one. I don't want to spoil it for people. I did almost put a link to it and then realised... hmmm not a good idea!!)

My last quilt made for my great nephew Liam, born in March was a departure again from what I have been doing. It wasn't a baby quilt at all. He is the 3rd child for my nephew and his wife. They love the quilts I have made their older children and use them on their beds. They are a bid small for this use, being cot sized so I offered to make this one bigger. I used the Disappearing Pinwheel pattern from the Missouri quilt company  I only got around to posting it to them this week and they received it today and sent me a delighted text. I am glad they like it as I have to say it is one of my favourite quilts that I've made.

I have made quite a bit of progress over the years that I have been making quilts. Hope you have enjoyed this retrospective.

Linking up with Throwback Thursday on Quiltin Jenny's site

Quiltin Jenny