Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Goals Review

Believe it or not its the end of May and time to review my goals that I set back at the beginning of the month. I am disappointed to have not completed them all but I did give them a fair crack so can't be too hard on myself. My Goals are listed in the side bar of my blog and they were

  • trace off hand stitching project - COMPLETE - I wanted a project to take away with me in May, especially to do whilst I was with travelling and also sitting with my mum. I combined this with another goal
  • Anzac Item for Show COMPLETE This was part of my hand project (above) I got the quilt completed in time to enter into our local show just in time... it was finished Thursday and had to be entered Saturday.
  • Finish Fangirls Dr Who quotes wall hanging COMPLETE Fangirl asked me to turn a cross stitch she had done into a wallhanging

The blocks in the POD challenge come thick and fast. I was up to date at the beginning of the month but was away so much and busy that as of yesterday I was 4 behind. I managed to get 3 done over the weekend so now have just block 21 to do 

  • Block 17 POD challenge COMPLETE
  • Finish Judy's Bluebird Quilt COMPLETE
  • Block 18 POD challenge COMPLETE
  • Block 19 POD challenge COMPLETE
  • Block 20 POD challenge COMPLETE

  • Block 21 POD Challenge still to be done - ran out of time this weekend.

  • sew 2 blocks from Amy Gibson's BOM This is the big wah wah (sad trombone sound as Pam from Hip to Be a Square would say) Haven't even looked at it. Might get back into it next month
  • complete May Step in Scrapitude. Sadly Charlotte who organises this had a death in her family and so the clue was late coming up. If it had come out on time I think I would have just squeaked some time to work on the quilt but when the quilt came out later in the month I was so far behind there was no chance to get on with it. 

Sunday Stash Report - yes something to report

Finally have something to report. I don't think I have done a proper stash report for almost a month as I hadn't finished anything. Then I had bought something but wasn't home so not near my computer to be able to calculate the input out put properly even if I had been able to count the bundles - I'd bought a fat quarter bundle but couldn't recall how many in the bundle. 

This week though I have finished 2 quilts and I'm at home so could enter all the data correctly... and photograph the bundles.

So purchases.
For my late mother's day present (late cause I was away for Mother's Day in Melbourne with The Beast) my husband (aka Fixit Guy) gave me a bundle of 6 fat quarters he had picked out for me. There were several pieces featuring dogs and  cats and one with caravans all over it. Sort of defines my life much of the time these days! (we don't have a caravan yet. Currently we camp in our camper trailer but a caravan is in our not too distant future plans) Also some butterfly fabric

The other fat quarter bundle was one I bought on Massdrop. It was Chillingsworth's Bicycle Race collection by Echo Park Paper Company. There were 17 fat quarters in the bundle. I'm cheating and using their photo which is so much better than the ones I took
6 fat quarters on Australian metric measurements 1.54 metres

 Many people would call this a masculine bundle but I have bought it with an eye for making a quilt for a special someone in my life who loves bikes. That is why I purchased it. Once I got it I realised that there are only a few bicycle prints in the bundle but I still think its cute and will go ahead and use it anyway. Will try to find some more bike prints in my travels (good excuse to trawl fabric shops on line as well as LQS)

17 fat quarters using imperial measurements 4.02metres

My 2 finishes I have already blogged about extensively so won't go into detail here. 

I finished Judy's Bluebird Quilt

It measured 181cm sq - using 7.55m fabric

The second finish was "Anzac-We Remember".

 It measured 1.01m square and used a total of 2.37m fabric.

So my stats for this month (end of week 22)

Fabric Used                                9.92

Fabric Added                              5.56

Year to Date

Fabric Used                               63.64m

Fabric Added                             22.45m

Net Fabric used                         41.19m

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Another Finish

I managed a second finish this week, just in time for Fangirl to enter it in the local show.

Each year our local show (Agricultural Show) has a special category in the craft section based on a particular theme. Entries can be in any medium. This year the theme was the Centenary of ANZAC. (Look here if you want to learn more about what Anzac is all about.)

Fangirl had found a really cute cross stitch pattern that she was keen to use. I have started to make some of her cross stitches into little wall hangings (something different to getting them framed which can get rather expensive) So I said I would make it into a wallhanging for her, and then suggested we add the photos of her great great great uncles and maybe the embroidery designed by her aunt and..... it grew a bit. I also suggested we add some other embroideries to it - perhaps the slouch hat or the Rising Sun badge, the badge worn on the hats...and it grew a bit more.

I went on line to find designs to add to it but couldn't find any patterns for hand embroidery - only machine ones. Instead I found some photos which I copied and then fiddled around with to make the right sized and then traced off more simply onto fabric. Later I realised it would have been better if I had done them onto paper first - then I would have had a copy but at the time I was in too much of a hurry. (I was going away for 10 days and wanted to have some handwork to take with me)
This is me stitching on the plane - the steward asked me to put the needle away for takeoff and landing so I didn't hurt myself or others in case of an incident. 
I found a picture of an Australian flag - not a flag all laid out stiff and unnatural but curling a bit around the flag pole. When I printed it out the right size the stars weren't clear enough for me to trace so Fangirl was able to put it into another program and muck around with it and redrew the stars so they were appropriately placed and shaped for the way the flag was folding.  

So - she did the cross stitches (there are two - the new one she stitched of the child wearing the slouch hat 

and wrapped in the Australian Flag, plus one about the Red Cross 

which she had stitched last year when it was the special category at the show) and I did 4 embroideries plus printed out photos of my 2 great uncles. Finding the special printer fabric was a job and half as well. 


I cut into my stash of Australian Native flower fabric to frame each of the blocks - each one a different fabric, except for the photos which I used the same fabric for.

Wesley James Ethersey Putland and George Arthur Temple Putland were my maternal grandmother's 2 younger brothers who enlisted one day after the other on the 27th and 28th August 1914. They embarked for the Middle East on different ships but both ended up on Gallipoli together and were killed one day apart at the same place. They were 24 and 20 at the time.

Anzac Day is on 25th April and there are services and street marches in every Australian community as well as services at Anzac Cove in Turkey itself. The Dawn service is always well attended and holds special significance as that is the time the troops actually landed. The service at Gallipoli is a joint one with New Zealand and Turkey. This year there was massive interest and the crowd there was huge. There were  speeches by dignitaries but it is the one by the New Zealand Prime Minister John Keys which stuck with me. 

I will not say lest we forget because after 100 years we can say on this day April 25, 2015, we remember. (John Keys, prime minister New Zealand)

I called this quilt "Anzac - We Remember"

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Fabulous finish

I was delighted this week to have not one but two quilt finishes this week. But there is such can be too much of a good thing so I'll hyst  blog about one today.

Judy's Bluebird Quilt
I've been working on this quilt for a couple of months. It started when my sister Joy asked me if I would like a set of 12 embroidery blocks that she had completed 7 years before but had not done anything with. The blocks were from a BOM that my sister-in-law Christine (from Bluebirds and Bumblebees) had designed in 2008. Each block represented a different month and featured bluebirds. I had already made 2 quilts from these blocks that my mother had embroidered in the months following my father's deaths so had some ideas of what I could do with them.

I decided that I would make the quilt for Joy's daughter Judy. I asked Judy what her favourite colour was and she said blue. I raided my stash for a variety of blues which I used to make square in a square blocks both on the embroideries and also other blue based squares, including some lovely fabric with large butterflies. 

I arranged the blocks featuring the embroideries along with the blue square in a square blocks alternatively, 5 to a row in 5 rows. I sashed them with pale lilac.

I constructed piano key borders for the outer border with pinwheel cornerstones and that finished the top off. 

For the backing I used a blanket I had bought for another project but which proved too small. It was long enough but not wide enough so I made a panel out of some of the left over pianokey borders which I had to extend. I inserted the panel down the centre of the blanket but it still wasn't wide enough. I made another strip using various squares and pieces of leftover fabric from the top of the quilt and inserted it into one of the halves but it still wasn't wide enough so I made a 3rd strip and inserted it into the other half and it was finally just wide. 

When I pinned it I found that in places it really was JUST wide enough. I thought that I might have to join a bit of wadding in but I was able to make it work. Because the blanket was very stretchy I had to pin it really well

I stippled the quilt all over apart from the embroideries which I left clear and just echo quilted around the embroidery block.
For the binding I used  two tone blue aboriginal print which has framed the quilt beautifully. I machined the binding to the front and Joy, who has been visiting me for 10 days, has done the hand stitching both with the binding and the label. 

It was finished off today, just in time for Joy to take it home with her tomorrow to give to Judy when she sees her.

Linking up with Amanda Jean at

My Photo

Flabby Friday and Its not all about me

Yes I have  had to be honest and change the name of the blog. Not much fitness going on here... but lots of weight. Last time I weighed I was 94.2 kgs. NOT good. I do want to make a change to that but my motivation is still really limited.

Fixit Guy lost his fitbit in Malaysia. It got snagged as he was entering a train and fell down between the train and the track. To make matters worse it was as he was entering the train so by the time he realised the door was shut and we were pulling out of the station. To make matters worse the station has doors on it between the platform and the train... so between trains you can't access the track even if you wanted to. (and no piece of electronic equipment is worth risking your life for by jumping down onto the train tracks even if you could access it... right?)

Since he lost his my motivation to track and get my steps up has gone almost completely. I was always in competition with him - he was usually way out ahead of me but it was fun to chase him and compare our steps each day.

Added to that my fitbit started to play up a bit and wasn't registering all my steps. Days that I knew I had made my 10 000 steps were coming up as 0 whilst we didn't have internet connection and so that in itself was very frustrating.

Now its getting cooler here the motivation to get up early and go for a walk first thing has vanished. Fixit Guy has retired so we sleep in more often and then by the time we are up we don't have time to walk when we have other commitments that morning and so morning walks have become almost non existent. Then the afternoons are closing in and its getting dark earlier... if we are busy and it gets a bit late the time available to walk has diminished or gone. Jack never thinks that is the case and he is always keen so Fixit Guy has often taken him for a quick lap on his own. As I say my motivation has disappeared.

So my fitbit stats aren't worth recording. My plan is to become remotivated... soon... sometime

This week has been a difficult one for our family and so my weight and lack of exercise haven't really registered with me

On Monday the husband of someone who has been a very dear friend since we moved to this town 26 years ago died suddenly. Woody was 50. He was our friend too. Our families shared many times together.  He had a heart attack and was gone. Healthwise that should motivate me but at the moment I am too sad to be bothered.

 Our children are similar ages, the ones whose ages match more exactly are the same sexes and so were involved in many of the same activities at the same time. My youngest son shares his name... different spelling but same name. Boyo wasn't named after my friend's husband but when we are choosing names for our babies  we associate the names with other people we know who share that name so obviously Woody was pretty special. 

Av and I even learned to quilt at the same time... she was responsible for dragging me along to the same class (protesting that I really didn't need to learn to cut up perfectly good fabric into little squares and then sew them together again) I told her it wasn't going to take over my life (she often quotes me on this)

The funeral isn't till next Thursday so we have a long delay ahead of us. I am staying close by my friend available but trying not to intrude. I want to be helpful but not a burden. When I have been at her place there have been so many other people there, in and out. I've seen her face, pale and drawn so sad and exhausted. I don't want to be someone else that she has to cope with but want to be there if she needs me. She knows I am here for the long haul. She is in my prayers and in my heart. 

Part of me wants to be by her side, asking questions, giving advice, giving love, being part of the moment and the decision making but that is all about me.

And its not about me so I have stepped back confident that my friend knows I am here and will be here when she needs me. Part of me wants to be needed right now but God is helping me to overcome that desire and just be here where she knows she can find me when she needs me.

Fangirl is one of her daughter A's best friends. A lives in Brisbane but flew home immediately she heard. Fangirl is with her after work each day doing what she can, often just sitting and listening and distracting if necessary. So I am being here for my sweet loving daughter who is helping her friend cope with this devastating loss.

I know our sons are also feeling it - and feeling vulnerable cause their dad is older than Woody. And he is a long way away from them right now as they live in Brisbane and Melbourne 1000s of kms away. Boyo sent me a text telling me to keep him safe. I am doing my best.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WIP Wednesday

This week I have been delighted to have my sister Joy visiting with me. We went to Carnarvon Gorge for 2 days at the end of last week and out to Longreach for one night this week. Its been rather disruptive as far as blogging goes BUT I have been able to get a bit of quilting done. My sister goes to bed early (8 pm) so that has left me plenty of time to work on things plus she is a crafter herself so happy to give me time to work on a couple of "must do" projects.

I was able to complete my part of Judy's Bluebird Quilt. I got it pieced, quilt and the machine part of the binding done. Joy is doing the hand stitching on the binding and will take it back home with her when she leaves on Saturday to give to her daughter for whom I have made it. I still haven't made the label for it... whoops. Must get that done in the next couple of days.

My other project has been assembling the Anzac quilt that I am making in conjunction with my daughter Fangirl to enter into our local agricultural show. There is a special section this year for a craft project reflecting the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli. Fangirl has contributed two lovely cross stitches and I made 4 embroideries and we printed off 2 photos of my 2 great uncles who died there one day apart. They were 19 and 24 at the time. Such a tragedy.

Finding the fabric sheets to go in the printer was an undertaking in itself. I was sure I could get some in Melbourne but the couple of shops I went to there didn't have what I was after. They had the sheets that you could iron onto t'shirts but I didn't want those. Eventually I found them at a shop whilst I was in Sydney but they only had a packet of 5 A3 sheets, which I ended up buying but its cost me $40 and I needed half a sheet!! They will come in handy for other projects I know - I hope!

Then they wouldn't go through my printer, they kept getting stuck. Fortunately the sheet went through Fangirl's printer so I was able to get the photos done... whew.

I had great delight using my Australian wildflower fabrics in the quilt to sash the various blocks. My only disappointment with the quilt is that I didn't print the labels for the photos but hand wrote them instead. My writing went crooked. I was in too much of a hurry to wait for Fangirl to print them out. I was working on a tight timeline, getting the quilt top made during the space between when we got back from Carnarvon on Saturday afternoon and when we left for Longreach on Monday morning. (As well as piecing the top we had unpacking, washing, church, a lunch out with friends to celebrate a birthday and dinner out at Fangirl's, which is also when I finally got the photos printed) 

I got the top finished Sunday night late. I went to bed at midnight and we left for Longreach the next morning at 6AM!

I was able to get the quilt top pinned today when Joy and I went to Patchwork group. Joy worked on the binding of Judy's Bluebird Quilt whilst I pieced the batting then pinned the quilt. We only stayed till midday as there was more things we wanted to see and I preferred to quilt at home. I got the quilting done this afternoon and tonight have machined on the binding, made the label and the hanging sleeve. All I have to do now is finish hand stitching the binding and the label and tidy the threads off the quilt. 

I have been working on my knitting looms whilst we have been driving in the car. Fangirl requested and received a beanie in Ravenclaw colours. I made another one in those colours (blue and white) and will send it home with Joy as her husband's football team, his beloved Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldog's colours are also blue and white. 

I finally sent off the beanie I had made to Gamer Girl - I'd made her a long green one like Link's,a character in her favourite game. After she had let me know it had arrived I sent her a text asking for a photo of her in it which she immediately obliged with... and she was at uni at the time so I was tickled to know that she was wearing it that day.
My gorgeous Gamer Girl

I also made one for my son in Melbourne's girl friend (Haven't got a nick name for her yet... maybe Beauty, as she is a beautician. My Melbourne son was known as Massage Man but since he has ceased to pursue his study in that direction I need a new name for him. He suggested Toothless since he had 4 wisdom teeth out... but really? No. Maybe I will call him The Beast that way its Beauty and the Beast. He is particularly hairy atm... he has a beard and is growing his hair which is very thick and curly!

Anyway Beauty liked her beanie too... well at least she says she did... she sent me a picture of her in it and she did look cute in it.

Funny thing is that my boys are protesting that their girlfriend's or brother's girlfriends are getting beanies and not them. I shall have to get busy :) The Beast posted the above photo to facebook with the tag

That awkward moment when your own mother makes a beanie for your girlfriend and not for you...
 — feeling rejected 

Boyo stole Gamer Girl's hat and sent me this photo saying "It's mine now"
WIPs on Wednesday WIP Wednesday

Saturday, May 23, 2015

WIP Wednesday coming to you on Saturday

I had every intention of getting more regular with my blog posts again this month - or at least back to my regular schedule but things have been a bit crazy busy with stuff going on and me going places. And not really doing much as far as quilting and patchwork goes.

Finally this week I got down to some quilting. Yay. I got the borders put onto Judy's Bluebird Quilt. I had made piano key border before I went to Melbourne but hadn't had time to put them on. I had thought about paper piecing the corners to make the keys go around the corner but ultimately decided to make some pinwheels.

Pippin cat was very helpful whilst I was sewing... sitting on my ironing board
For the backing I used a furry blanket that I'd bought for another project but not used. It wasn't quite big enough though. I had some of the piano keyboard border left over which I extended and inserted into the centre of the fabric. It still wasn't wide enough. I had some fabric left over from the front of the quilt that I made into two more strips and together they made the quilt just wide enough for the backing. And looked pretty cool too I reckon.

With the borders on and the backing made I was able to get the quilt pinned out on Wednesday 

and then started quilting it.

 By working very hard I was able to get the quilting completed Thursday morning and the binding made and attached to the front side. My sister Joy arrived Wednesday afternoon and she is going to the hand stitching on the binding. The quilt is for her daughter Judy.

I do have to make a label for it too. Oops forgot about that bit.

Apart from the quilt I have been working on I have also been making some more beanies on my knitting nancies. (assisted by my grandcat Skimbles)

I had started this post on Wednesday but didn't get it finished (with all the pressure I put on myself to get the quilting finished and the binding made and on) and so didn't get it posted... then we went away for 2 nights to the beautiful Carnarvon Gorge. Its a lovely place... but no internet access so I didn't get it posted. We got home from there tonight and so at last I have managed to get it finished and posted. Just in time for me to write my Sunday Stash Report tomorrow 

Hopefully by tomorrow I will have downloaded my other photos and can show you some of the beautiful scenery of this fabulous part of my country and state

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May Goals check in

Its almost half way through May... time to check in on how I am going with my goals.

  • Blog regularly - WIP Wednesday, Fitness Friday and Sunday Stash Report for a start with Monday Musing/Tuesday Museday thrown in. Throwback Thursday... maybe but going to have to go to topics other than quilts.

This hasn't happened. Maybe I was a bit burnt out from blogging everyday in April. Going away for 10 days at the beginning of the month hasn't helped much either. I didn't have my lap top with me, just my iPad and I don't find that easy to blog with. My son, with whom I stayed did have a laptop but he was on it a fair bit. I did use it to put up my WIP Wednesday post but that was it. There has been nothing to report stash wise so no movement (nothing in nothing out basically) and my Fitness has been SOOO woeful who wants to talk about that.

  •  POD blocks. I got block 17 done before I went away but obviously couldn't do the one that came out the day after I left...

  • Judy's Bluebird Quilt.- have the top together and the borders made but not attached.

  • Scrapitude The last clue was due to be released this week but sadly Charlotte, the woman behind it had a tragedy in her family so it has been postponed

  • Sew 2 blocks from the 2012 Amy Gibson BOM Craftsty class. - nothing done - no time with machine

  • Make Fangirl's Doctor Who Quote cross stitch into a wall hanging for her swap. Got this done before I left. Yay.

  • ANZAC related entry for the show. Fangirl is working on her cross stitch block and I have completed my 4 embroidery blocks. Still have to print out photos and put the thing together. I have worked out the design

  • Hand Stitching project - trace off patterns and stitch them. I incorporated this withthe above goal. My hand stitching project had an Anzac theme.

  • Watch at least one Craftsy class right through. I had all the classes downloaded to my iPad but something went wrong with the ap and I had to delete it and reload. This happened whilst I was away. I had managed to get the Joen Wolfrom class Colour Play for Quilters watched right through on my trip down. I had started to watch a bag class too. I was disappointed as I was planning on doing the painting exercise from Joen's class and had even bought the paints and other supplies whilst I was away but wanted to refresh exactly what I had to do and couldn't. I have it downloaded again now I am home and hope to get this done soon

WIP Wednesday

Having been away from home for 10 days, and whats more away from my sewing machine, I haven't done any patchwork this week. No surprise there

I have been busy with some handwork though.

I took 4 embroidery squares away with me to work on and I am very pleased to say that I got them all done. Yay me. Now I have to sash each block and then work them into the wall hanging that they are going to be part of. Fangirl and I are working on a joint project for the local show.

 As well as these 4 embroideries I have to print out a couple of photos to include in the quilt. These will be pictures of my great uncles who were both killed in action at Gallipoli. Tracking down the special fabric that you can feed through the ink jet printer proved harder than I thought it would be. I got some in Sydney on the second stage of my trip away but had to get A3 sheets (and a pack of 10 at that) which I can cut in half to go through my printer. I can now do lots of photos for quilting projects!!

Whilst in Melbourne I bought myself some knitting looms and got rather hooked on making beanies. I got 3 finished whilst I was away and there is another on the loom. I made 2 from regular knitting yarn and one from recycled t'shirt yarn (t shirts cut into continuous strips, then the strips are stretched which makes them curl over on the edges to make a thick yarn type stuff) The one I am working on is also from the tshirt yarn. 

I modelled 2 of the beanies on social media. I don't think they are a particularly good look on me. The red and white one (made from the recycled yarn) is really rather ugly. Not sure what I am going to do with it. It was fun to make but... butt ugly best describes it. I am teasing my sister with whom I stayed in Sydney that I am going to give it to her but if I do that I might not ever be allowed to come back and visit her.

Embedded image permalink Embedded image permalink

I got home tonight and was too tired to get stuck into sewing straight away but hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get busy working on the Bluebird Quilt. My hope is to get it finished in time for my sister (who did the embroideries and who is coming to visit me next week for a week) to take home with her.

Linking up with

WIPs on Wednesday  WIP Wednesday