Please remember that any photos, images or text on this blog remain my property, but if you wish to use any that you see, feel free to contact me for permission. Thank you for respecting my request and enjoy your visit.......Joy

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yuletide Greetings to everyone

Wishing everyone one of you a very Merry Christmas and the best of health, wealth and love for 2014 and beyond.

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you for reading my blog.  Sometimes, I'm a bit slack in posting but that's because I felt I didn't have anything important to talk about.   A special friend mentioned to me - "Joy, you always have something to say, or have done something interesting - look around"; and I thought, you know, what I think is not important, may be very important or interesting to someone else.  So I'm going to keep a small notebook and write in it some jottings of what I did that day.  Sort of like what an artist would do by drawing what they have seen or done.

As you all know from previous postings I don't make resolutions for the new year, but take a word to inspire, to remind me to keep on track, and to live by (hopefully).  This coming year I'm still thinking about my word.  I will have new beginnings and a big change in my life (moving house), so I need something very special. I will post the word and my thoughts very early in the New Year.

Cheers everyone and take care over the holiday period.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Forgot to mention....

that my Pfaff is back and like new.  Dr John had to replace the whole bottom section (the mechanical and computer bits), but it now sews beautifully. It cost me $340, but it's like it's brand new. (A lot cheaper than replacing the machine itself, but it was tempting after looking at the new machines in the shop!)  Thank you John.

Updates, late (better late than never...)

It has been a couple of weeks since my last posting.  My time being taken up with some family stuff.

But I did manage to get "some" sewing done.  The first lot of photos here are more of my blocks from Barbara Brackman's Grandmother's Choice BOW, that I have called Votes for Women.

 Another project I'm working on is a hand sewing one - to take along when I go to Guild and my local sewing group.  The centre is an appliqued quite large square surrounded by hexagons.  I have chosen to keep with a colour scheme of blues/browns for the hexagons to compliment the centre square.  I have sewn the strip of hexagons down yet - I need to trim the centre and measure the next strip of hexagons to make sure the fit the sides.  But you can see how it will look.

When the surround is finished there is another round of applique finishing with another round of hexagons.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Triangles, triangles, triangles...

What does one do when you find a box of triangles, all cut, some slightly different sizes and all types of colours, and materials.  I found these when cleaning up the other day.  They are left overs from various other projects, mainly from sewing a square onto a corner block then cutting the excess off which produces another triangle.

Well, I got out my trusty little portable Janome and started to sew them into pairs - no pattern or direction, just a coloured piece sewn onto a background piece.  Not sure what I will turn them into, but just couldn't leave them in the box could I?

There is still a lot more than what is shown here, but these are the neatest ones!! Once sewn some will definitely need to be re-trimmed to size.  I'm thinking the most common size of 2.5" square, unfinished.  I also have quite a few 2.5" strips so maybe they will all go together at a later stage.  Will have to get the 'little grey cells' in my head to work.  Maybe some of you out there may have some ideas for me.  If so, please let me know.

Also I was itching to do some machining while waiting for my Pfaff to come home.  I didn't want to start something very important as you all know different machines can give you different 1/4" seams.  Not sure what it is or why that is, but I do know if you examine the stitching different machines can give you different results. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Votes for Women next set of blocks

I have completed another set of 8 blocks from Barbara Brackman's BOW acknowledging the strong women of the Suffragette movements around the world. Please excuse the edges as I'm not trimming until all the blocks are completed, so at the moment they look a little ragged, poor things!

I'm really pleased with my choice of sticking with the original colour scheme that the Women's Movements at that time had chosen for their message. With the addition of gold/cheddar which the Australian movement and some of the American women used it's adding a bit of 'zing' to whole scheme. I'm starting to get a tad excited about this quilt and want to work on it all the time.

At the moment I'm having an enforced rest from machine sewing - my dear Pfaff is at the doctor's - not well at all - the motherboard needs to be replaced. She just ran out of puff while I was sewing the other day and just stopped.  Just as well I had finished what I was doing and went over to the iron to press, came back and found the machine had 'turned off'.  Tried a number of different plugs and, nope she wouldn't work.

For the next couple of weeks it is hand sewing for me - and do I have a lot of that!!! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Civil War, Reproduction and Barbara Brackman's BOW

Last year Barbara Brackman of Civil War fame published another Block of the Week (BOW). Every time she has done this, I tell myself, must do, must do!  But - while I downloaded all the patterns I have never started one - you know, one day etc etc.

With this last one that she called 'Grandmother's Choice' and after reading the preamble for this BOW, I knew this was one I would HAVE to do!  She chose to represent women and their fight for equal rights, in particular the right to vote.  Every block is a representation of a particular woman in different countries around the world.  Even though I'm not a 'feminist' I do believe in equal rights.  As I wanted to make it in colours that represent the various Suffragette movements and also to keep to fabrics that weren't 'too modern' I began collecting (as if I don't have enough anyway!!)

The main movement used the colours - Purple (for Dignity); White (for Purity); and Green (for Hope). The Australian women used these colours but also included Gold/yellow, but very little white.  The gold that was used was very similar to what call today 'cheddar'.  I based my choice of fabrics around these colours.
A fortnight ago I went to a quilt camp and looking for a project to do, I gathered up all my sorted fabrics, printed off the patterns and took the project along.  Not a lot of sewing was done, but heaps of chatter, laughter, eating etc.  But I did manage to cut and sew 4 blocks.

This weekend I made another 4.  These are in no particular order - just as I printed off the pattern/templates and chose the material I wished to use.

None of the blocks have been trimmed - leaving that until the last one is made, then will do the lot at once.

My plan is (??) to complete two blocks per week. That's the plan I hope!!

If you wish to read more and see all of the blocks, go over to Barbara's blog 'Grandmother's Choice' here, or check out the link on my side bar.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chapter 3 - All aboard!!

On my way...

Have I said in previous postings how I loved, loved the Cruise.  The Celebrity Solstice is a magnificent ship. Quite large - taking over 2,500 passengers plus crew.  But not once did you feel there was that many people.  It's not a 'party' ship.  Most of the passengers were older with a sprinkling of families with children.

We had a great stateroom - two very comfy beds, plenty of room, even a small lounge area with flat screen tv and double doors to the balcony.

The main foyer - 4 decks high

Of course, the pool area - with 4 spas.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

At last my Hexagon is finished!!

You may remember some time ago I started sewing a 'candied hexagon' project.  All hand sewing which I love, but it does take some time to do.  You can see the earlier photos by clicking on 'Candied Hexagons' in 'Labels' located in the right hand column.

Last night I finished the sewing down the binding.....Yeah!!  Isn't it great when you finish something you have been working on for while.

I changed the name from Candied Hexagons which was the original pattern name to 'Hexagon Carnivale'.  I felt that my hexagons were more in the genre of carnivale than candied. I hope you like my photo.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Seattle - before Alaska

The next chapter in my trip was 3 days in Seattle.  A really beautiful city, nestled around the bays and with mountains in the background.

One of the many attractions you must see is the Pike Street Farmers Market.  A very busy, fun place with lots and lots of stalls, shops, things to see.

We did the 'Tastes of Seattle Tour' which took around 2 hours - with so many things to taste we didn't need to have lunch.  Our guide was Santino and he carried a pink umbrella so we wouldn't get lost.  They also give you headphones so one can hear what Santino is saying.

Another fabulous attraction is the Chihuly Glass Garden which is located at the base of the Seattle Needle.  What a garden - best seen at night.  The magnificent glass sculptures are located in various parts of the garden, on the roof, and inside as part of the exhibition.  You can see by the one above how tall some of them are.  That's Bernice, my roomie, taking a photo.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

As promised

Before I went to the US - I showed some photos of the work done in Caroline Sharkey's class at Ballarat.
As promised I can now show you more photos of fabulous work completed in her class.
by Helen

2nd one by Helen

by Lyn
Aren't they fabulous.  Even though we were all in the same class everyone worked on a project that was different from the others.  This is because of the great tutoring by Caroline.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm back - Wow what a fantastic holiday......

I knew it was going to be good, but didn't realise how great!

We started with 3 days in Long Beach, California, most of which was spent at the International Quilt Festival. Our hotel was right next door to the Convention Centre and also on the beach front.  A fantastic view from my hotel window looking across the marina towards The Queen Mary.
One day was spent walking around the beach front, the wharf, and a tour of The Queen Mary.  Included in the tour was the Princess Diana Exhibition which was on board.  This exhibition traces her life from a child right through to include Katherine and William's wedding.  Unfortunately no photos were allowed, but it was a magnificent display of original gowns, letters, photos, memorabilia. If it ever comes to a place near you - it is a must do.  More information on the Exhibition can be found here at this address.

The ship is still in it's original state and extremely well maintained.  You can imagine just how life was back in those wonderful days of sailing.

 The exhibition itself was very good.  A lot bigger than ours back here, but not nearly as big as Houston.  All we had to do was walk out of the entrance to the hotel and across the Plaza and we were there!
 I will have more photos of the quilts and updates (in sections) of the most fabulous holiday in the days ahead.  Way too much for one or two postings!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I'm off and away....

to the USA.  One day to go and I'm flying to the International Quilt Show at Long Beach, in California.  With a few days spent there and on to Seattle for another 3-4 days THEN the best part of this trip - a cruise to Alaska.  How good is that!!

So dear friends I won't be posting here for around 3 weeks, but will have heaps of photos and stories to tell on my return.  Leaving my home in the good hands of DS1 (he doesn't blog and you really wouldn't want to know what he is doing!!!!).  I will update everything on my return.

Be good and take care,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fibre Arts Winter School

Last week I was lucky to attend the Fibre Arts Winter School at Ballarat in Vic. The concept of Winter School is you get to work with the tutor of your choice for one WHOLE week while living in at Ballarat Grammar School in the boarders lodgings.

The class I took was 'Painting the Landscape with Materials' with Caroline Sharkey.  One of the best things of all was I actually finished my project!!!!  How often do you attend a workshop or class and never finish the article - it then gets put away and often forgotten until one does a spring clean of one's workroom/studio.

The class, tutor, other students, organisation was all fantastic.  No pressure - work at our own pace, all meals provided (and they were delicious); lots of fun with the students in other classes, mixing with some famous tutors - Helen Godden, Linda Steele, Jenny Bowker, Karen Goetzinger (from Canada) and of course Caroline Sharkey.  ps I even had Helen Godden in my car one day.......

This is my finished piece of work - a 3D piece - something I've never done before.  But Caroline was so, so helpful and excellent in showing us how to interpret our pieces and how to work and improvise as well as showing us various techniques.  It was one of the best classes I have ever attended. It is my interpretation of the new growth in the forests around Anglesea after the devastating bushfires of Ash Wednesday.

During the week each class gets to sit at the 'Top Table' for the day - and provide some decorations for the table which are then auctioned at the end of the week with the proceeds going to Breast Cancer Research - these bottles were our contribution. ps - they are empty!!!

This is the table with ours and some of the other decorations of the previous classes.

Next posting I will show you some photos of the progress of how I worked on my piece.

Also I hope to have some photos of some of the work from the other classes - am just waiting to hear if it is OK if I post here.  Have heard back from one person, but not the others as yet.

I have already booked into the next School in April 2014 week in Ballarat.  The class I'm doing then is with Kim Thitchaki from England. She works with lots of mixed fibres and heat guns, soldering irons etc etc.

Friday, June 28, 2013

An update

Thought I would write a little update of what has been happening around here this last month.

Firstly as some of you would know Google Reader is going to be dismantled as from 1 July 2013.  It will only affect those who follow by Google Reader.  As I understand it, those lovely people who are featured in the widget will still be able to follow this blog.  But for any of you who follow by Google Reader I have now placed a new gadget so, if you wish you can follow by email.  This means when I post something you will receive an email from me.  The choice is yours.

The main reason I haven't written this month is my dear Mum, Pearl passed and is now with my Dad, Frank in his heavenly home, where she can fuss over him and he will sit back and enjoy it, just like in the 'old' days.

I think I have just about caught up with all the things one does in a time like this - the paperwork, packing and sorting Mum's stuff - she didn't have a lot as the last 2 years was spent living in an Aged Care facility here in Anglesea, and making sure family members have some memories to keep.  Very sad, but it still has to be done. I'm half-way through the 'thank you's' then I can relax and get back to blogging and sewing; or sewing and blogging.

Take care,  Joy

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Look at me now!!!

Hello everyone - I've grown since you last saw me.  I'm now 12 weeks old and don't I look handsome in my training coat!  I've already been well socialised with my carer - she is a pre-school teacher and I get to go to kindergarten every day and play with the children.  But I have to learn not to bark and also to rest when they're resting.  My carer took me to the movies the other day and we saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I was very good.
Jackson at 12 weeks

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fun but fiddly

Some of you may have read my rant over on Facebook re my problems with my internet dropping off and the hassles with my provider.  While I had nothing to do (???) - no computer, only my smart phone, which isn't very smart at times, I had a little play with some stuff that I've been wanting to do for some time.

I made mixed media beads.  Not your usual glass or fancy beads, but ones made from paper; felt; and thread.  A lot of fun, a tad messy with zapping the felt and thread ones with a heat gun and also using glue on the paper ones. As the title says fiddly.

I was only able to make a couple with the felt - loved, loved the way these turned out - they completely went into a different shape than what I started with. It is winter here and I wasn't able to go outside with the heat gun, and the fumes from heating the felt and nylon thread set off my fire alarms - of course I was working on my kitchen table within arms reach of the sensor.  Duh!   And I sort of left the heat gun on a bit too long and they kind of got burnt!  I threw those ones out. I also love the way the nylon thread melted into the felt and also formed tiny beads.

Anyway here is the finished result - I will be making more of these little bitty things:
The felted ones are the odd-shaped blobs, supposed to be elongated but they shrivelled up. As I said earlier I love them.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My repurposed pantry cupboard

The other day I was reading a friend's blog here and she was talking about moving back into her new sewing room and the number of plastic tubs/drawers she has for organising her fabric.  I sent her a message telling about my purchase some years ago of a free-standing pantry cupboard with louvre doors. The doors are great because they keep out the dust and the light but still allow air to circulate. She asked if I could post a photo.  I did post a number of years ago about my room organisation, but will show this part again, so if you have already seen it, please close your eyes now.

Here is the cupboard closed - note the louvres are also good for hanging things on. Some more tubs at the side with more 'organised' scraps, i.e. 2" stips, 4" and 5" plus some strings.
 Now with the doors open.

I keep all my Fat 1/4s in here sort of organised by colour on the top two shelves, then on the next is 1/2 yd pieces; 1 yard pieces and others up to 2 yard pieces.  On the lower shelf are a couple of my tubs with some of my scrap stash.  Anything larger than the 2 yard pieces (mainly for backings etc) are in another repurposed cupboard - actually an antique gentleman's wardrobe.  I also have tubs under my cutting table and sewing table with specific materials; such as reproduction; batiks; hand dyed etc.

This beauty is the gentleman's wardrobe, not big because it is only supposed to hold shirts and jackets.

You can see the 'hanging rod' for the coats and shirts.
I love using old pieces of furniture for something other than their original purpose. I never sand and paint - just repolish and sometimes restain.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Isn't this beautiful???

I thought I would share this beautiful photo with you.  It's been a couple of years since our handsome Jack Russell cross left us - he had been with us for 19.5 years, but sadly old age took him.  Some people can get another dog/animal straight away but I just felt it was something I wasn't as yet prepared for.

Last month I decided to sponsor a Guide Dog Puppy through their first 12 months of training. I have just received my pack with all the information and this absolutely delightful photo. It is mum Trudy and her litter of puppies, not sure which one is mine, but have been told his name is 'Jackson'.  There are 5 boys and 1 girl in the litter.  At regular intervals the Guide Dog Association send out information and photos on how your particular puppy is progressing.  I will share these with you.
Don't you think she looks a loving mum.  So calm and serene with those puppies around her.  Ooh I just want to pick one up and have a cuddle.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fibre Arts Australia

On Tuesday a friend, Jenni, and myself travelled up to Ballarat (in Victoria) to have a look at the Fibre Arts School for 2013.  This is held in the Ballarat Grammar School over 6 days.  When you enrol you choose a class and work with that teacher/tutor for the whole week.  You stay on site and all meals are provided.  A great way to spend a week, don't you think.

Sorry, I don't have photos, but if you wish to see some of the examples and read about the different tutors go to this link. While there have a look at the other art schools on offer around the country.

I can't wait for July when Jenni, another friend Jeann and myself go to the Winter School in Ballarat.  So looking forward to this - I will be working with Caroline Sharkey, an amazing artist and quilter.  You can see some of her work here on her website.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What all quilters need!!!!

I subscribe to Alex Anderson's and Ricky Tims' 'The Quilt Show' and love watching their videos.

Well do I have a beauty for you - this is something all us quilters need. I'm posting with 'tongue in cheek' so please don't blame me, but I think it is fabulous!!  If you go to this link you can watch it on Youtube.

I will say no more, it speaks for itself.....

Monday, April 1, 2013

A finish and a WIP

Working through my collection of Japanese fabrics I discovered quite a few 3" squares, and wanting something to do which didn't stretch my brain too much, sewed them into squares and then sashed and bordered them with a navy blue.  I tried black but it was a tad harsh.
 Still had a lot of squares left, so decided to cut them in half and make a 'Japanese Coin' quilt. Had enough of the blue to sash in between the rows, but not enough for a border, thankfully, as I didn't want to same look.  Now I have to decide what to do for borders - will probably keep it on my design wall for the time being and audition different types as I decide what is the best.  Apologies for the shadow on the photo but I use the wall just outside the room where I sew and have to take a photo looking from side.
Still have heaps of fabric left, plenty of Fat 1/4s and half yards.  As it's not my style or choice now thinking EBay may be a good option.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Scatterdays No.6 - 'D'

Well Scatterdays No.6 is now upon us - this time we have the letter 'D' - and the categories are:
Humorous;  Feet;  Furniture;  and the quilty one Display.

I think this one is the hardest we've had to date.  I thought a couple of the earlier ones were hard, but oh boy! this one, I really had to Dig Down the bottom of the barrel.

Here goes -
Humorous: My favourite funny person(?) of all time - Donald Duck. I have loved this character all my life, even more than Mickey Mouse or Goofy, and where would you find these characters - in Disneyland!!  

This is a photo of the bus that picked us up from our hotel to take you there - Donald and his nephews are on the side. Taken in 2010 when I was lucky to go there with the family.

Feet - what does one do and where does one find a photo of feet starting with the letter 'D'.  I'm a lover of crosswords and one of the most prolific clues is 'Digit';  and the answer is nearly always toes or fingers - my toes are digits.  

Sorry for the ugly photo, but feet are not the most glamorous of things are they?

Furniture - not a lot to choose from here either - we have  divans; desks, but I chose to take a photo of my Display Cabinet. 

In my mother's day this piece of furniture was called a Crystal Cabinet to Display one's crystal pieces.

Quilty Display - starting with 'D'.  This one had me stumped for quite a long time until I started to fiddle with some of my photos and then 'the light globe' turned on - a Digital Display of a collage of some of my quilts.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A couple of small things

Now that we have just finished having a record stretch of hot days for March - 10 days in a row over 30 degC with nights not going below 20 degC - it has at long last cooled down, well to 27degC today.

Not a lot of sewing got done in these days - I don't have aircon where I sew.  But I did have time to do a couple of small things - the first was putting together this material book for my little GS who will be a year old in May.

I also finished off this cushion cover - an applique pattern that I bought while over in the US in 2009.  Originally I was going to put this as the centre of a quilt, but decided my lounge needed some updating - the cushions that are there now look a bit worse for wear.  I worked out they are over 15 years old - been washed numerous times and a tad faded.  Will make another one but will reverse the colours - green where the red is and red where the green is.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Scatterdays No.5 - 'I'

 Here we are again - the next installment of our Scatterdays challenge.  This week is the letter 'I'.  Our subjects for this letter are: Money;  Tools;  Metal;  and from the sewing room Inchies.  Another tough one.  But I think I have conquered it!!

Money - International Bank Notes.  One needs to have plenty of these when you travel, otherwise you have to use your card and I, for one, am very reluctant to use mine following my first trip to the USA in 2009 when my CC was compromised.

Tools - my father's cast Iron Shoe last - this will probably bring back memories for some of you.  I salvaged this from my father's 'man cave' after he passed away and we were cleaning it out.  I always remember him mending my brother's and my school shoes. I actually now use it for a pot plant stand, but this is a photo without the plant.

Metal - my son's muscle-building Iron weights - I thought about using these for 'Tools' and was going to swap the Shoe Last for these.  There was a time when he had them in his bedroom, until I stubbed my toe while vacuuming - then they were relegated to the shed.  This was before he came back home to live while looking for a new place - BUT they have never come back inside the house!

Inchies from the Sewing Room - my unfinished Postage Stamp Quilt - made with 1.5" squares, sewn to finish at 1".  The black is also cut and sewn to finish at 1".  A big project and is near the top of my UFO list to be finished this year.  Only needs a border and then quilting and binding.  I have no idea how to quilt this one - so any ideas would be most acceptable (as long as they are easy.....I will be doing this on my domestic Pfaff).

There we have it for another fortnight.  Please remember to visit Cinzia's blog - link on right hand side to see everyone else's postings.

Till next time,
Thank you for visiting and take care,