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

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The 'Grey' Quilt was well received.....

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas with family and friends.  I didn't have the time to post before Christmas as I was busy trying to get this 'grey' quilt finished in time for Christmas Day.

Plus in the couple of weeks before Christmas I had the cataract in my left eye removed and even though my sight has greatly improved, putting the required drops in 4 times a day my eye was constantly blurry.

Well, at long last here it is - the "I only want grey thanks Mum"....  The photos shows it on the floor - I don't have a wall big enough to hang it. It turned out to be nearly a king size quilt, so even two sons over 6" couldn't hold it up properly without it dipping in the middle.
You can see how I quilted the flying geese by looking at the right hand side - that shows the quilting of the geese on the back.  It is reversable using a darker grey on the back, but the geese are the same - black, medium grey and very light grey.

The second photo shows the label on the 'dark' side.  I deliberately put it on the left side of the quilt so that if Warwick wants to use this side on his bed then the label would be on the side away from the door and not noticeable.

Personally I actually prefer the darker side. But unfortunately forgot to photograph that side - maybe later (if I get the chance to take it to Guild next month).

This last one shows the quilting.  I quilted in a 'grid' style resembling a tartan pattern.  He was very pleased to see I hadn't (in his words) "done my thing with the quilting"......

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Grey.....and grey....

Do you remember when........DS3 asked me if I would make him a quilt for his bed - naturally I said yes, what would you like.  He replied just blue and white squares, thanks mum and none of that fancy stuff on the top?

Well that quilt which you can read about here has been used and used and is now relegated to the spare room.

So....he has asked me if I would make him another.  Yes, I said.   When I asked what he would like this time the reply was 'just plain grey' thanks mum.  I suggested he buy two plain grey flat sheets and I would join them and he could put his doona in it!!!  "Oh, I really would love a quilt if that's OK."     Plain grey???  I then asked him to send me some photos or clippings from mags showing what he liked and I would work from that.  (ps he loves Ikea...)

Among some of the stuff he sent me he said he liked the one with a couple of 'arrows' on it. OK, says me - I will have a look and found the one with the 'arrows' - plain pale grey doona cover with - yes - 'flying geese' at the bottom!!!

Decision made - material brought and here is a little snippet -

Just to make this a little bit more interesting with a much nicer photo I have been busy sewing more hexagons into my 'hexagon star' quilt.  I love the way this is looking, still not sure how big I will go - probably not much more than this.  With the extra bits that need to make it square I think will be enough. It will finish at around 5' square.  I am itching to start a '60 deg' diamond next - The seven sisters' pattern.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Learning to Sew (especially when you ask nicely.....)

During the 4th term school holidays my granddaughter Jorja came for a sleepover.  I had a few things planned for us to do but she asked if she could 'learn to sew patchwork please Nanna, and could I sew on one of your machines?'

Naturally I said yes!  But being unprepared for this I wondered what we could do.  I got out my box of 2.5" inch squares and decided that sewing 4-patch units shouldn't be too hard.  Also as there isn't a lot of sewing not too boring either!  I let her choose how many we would make and also what pieces she wanted to sew with.  Surprisingly she came up with some good choices in contrast and colour, with a lot of thought of who she would give them to also.

 She sewed 8 units as you can see above.  The piece of purple is the colour of the felt I ironed on the back with double sided interfacing.  We decided that they were 'drink/mug coasters'. Both of us were very proud with her efforts.
After she saw the houses I have been sewing she asked if she sew one of those.  Again I let her chose the material, I cut it, and then she sewed them on a foundation.  Admitting that this was much 'harder' but she did finish it.  This one is going home to be placed in her 'Barbie' box of tricks.

I think she did extremely well and now it looks like I will have to have a project to work on ready for next time.

When she got home, mummy and daddy had a very long demonstration on how 'you sew patchwork'. She remembered all the little details, like sewing straight; lining up the seams, etc.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


As you all know some time ago I started another hexagon quilt.  This time working the hexagons into stars.  I joined these star shapes into a larger star with a traditional 6-point hexagon in the middle. Now I have began the process of joining them into a quilt.  With the single round of star shapes I sewed 2 rounds of cream hexagons and are using these for the joining pieces.  This has now made a secondary shape in the piece - a 3 pointed star.  As I work through sewing the shapes together it will be more pronounced (hopefully...)

While hand sewing all of the above, I actually finished machining my mat of 1.5" strips.  It now resides by my front door.  Yes, I do allow visitors to step on it!!!!!

This year is Geelong Patchwork & Quilter's Guild's 30th birthday.  All members have been given a piece of cream background with instructions to make a 5" finished, bound, hexagon.  We could 'decorate' the middle anyway we wish and have also been asked to sign it.  These will then be sewn into a large quilt for hanging at our meetings.  Hopefully every financial member will have contributed a hexagon.  This is my contribution - as I love hexagons I appliqued 3 on to mine.

Monday, July 27, 2015

More work in progress

Some of you may already know that one of my other loves (apart from quilting) is Cross Stitch.  I have loved this craft for well over 40 years.

In the early days of my blog I did publish some pictures of my cross stitch work.  Below is one that I started about 2 years, put it away and forgot about it.  Then when rummaging through some boxes that are stored in the garage to find material that I needed to take with me to Winter School (more about this later), I found it! I have started working on it again, in the daytime while watching the midday movie or something that I have taped.

Of course, as you can see, it is a 'patchwork' wall hanging.  Fancy that!!!!!

It is 5 x 8 rows of cross stitch blocks; worked on 14 ct cream aida cloth.  Each block is 30 sts square and the sashing is 3 sts wide. I am half-way through it. I always work in a frame and this piece will be put into my floor frame.  That way I can use both hands and keep the work taught so it doesn't warp.  You can see on the left hand side I pin the block I am working on.  

No, I didn't cut up the pattern!  I photocopied it and cut the copy.....

I plan later today or tomorrow to search through some of my very very older posts and label them with 'cross stitch' so you could do a search and find them (ie if you want to......but please wait for a few days so I can get organised.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Scraps, scraps and more scraps

I have a drawer full of 1.5" scrap strips.  Originally the idea was to make a log cabin quilt using them, but I have enough quilts at present and nowhere to put any more (that is until I decide to give some away....) then......

So, in the meantime, what do I do with these strips?  Aha, the light went on!!!!  While I was sewing some more hexagons in my lounge I noticed the mat at the front door was looking a tad tired.  Recently I bought a box of piping cord because I was going to make some fabric 'piped' bowl/s.  Why not make a mat for the door instead, I said to myself....  A good idea....

To sew them, just take the cord, fold and wrap the material around the cord and sew together with a zig-zag stitch using a neural coloured thread.
You can start with a small circle or as I have a rectangle and just keep sewing until the mat is big enough. When finished you have something lovely at your front door and the bonus that it is washable.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Doesn't time fly by when you are busy...

I've just realised it is the middle of July and I haven't posted in a while.  Life has been busy around here.  To start with I had some problems with my laptop - had that fixed. Had a rush job to finish off the red and white quilt that I have been showing little bits of - the baby was born a tad early, naughty little thing.  But of course she is beautiful.  No photos yet, but I do have one of the quilt.

Then I had to get my stuff together for a full week away at the Fibre Arts Australia Winter School.  Yes, a full week with lots of fun, good food, 100+ other mad artists and not one axe murderer among them!!! Came home with (I think) a beautiful piece of work; tired; then two days to get myself together and off again to Melbourne for some quality baby sitting time while DS1 and DIL took off for a few days together.

AND then the big week just gone - my "0" birthday (pssst quietly 70) last week which was started on Sunday with the grandees and finished yesterday (Saturday) with lunch with the family at a lovely restaurant in Southgate on the Yarra River in Melbourne.

I won't make this a big posting - will try and break everything up in its right category.

So, without further ado here is the finished Red and White quilt - It is made from an alphabet panel in pinks and I added the extra red and white bits to brighten it up

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A tad late for a Mother's Day posting

But I completely forgot to post this beautiful photo of my granddaughter Jorja.  She was soooooo pleased with this book she found at her local library she had to bring it to show me.  She said "it is so like you Nanna, but of course you're not a turtle"!!!!!
We don't 'do' Mother's Day in my household.  It has always been about the family being together - especially now as we don't all live in the same area.  Albeit only a maximum of 1.5 hours drive, but with everyone's commitments re work hours, kid's commitments etc.  BUT I do love a lovely bunch of flowers - these roses are stunning - a beautiful orange with slightly pink on the edge of the outer petals.  Never seen this colour of rose before.  Maybe someone can tell me the name, please.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A little extra clue and why I haven't been blogging

I have been away from Blogland and the computer for most of the past month due to an operation on my left eye.  I wasn't able to drive for a couple of weeks and only minimum use of computer.  No sewing, or very little, not much tv - I was nearly climbing the walls. What does one do - no driving, no tv, no sewing, no reading.  All that is left is walking, eating and sleeping.  Anyway all is OK now.

The last couple of days I have been back at the sewing machine and have been working on my red/white quilt.  The one I showed you a teaser of in my last post.  Here is a little bit more for you to ponder -

You should be able to have a reasonably good guess at it now.  Presently I'm in the middle of pinning it prior to quilting.  Hopefully will have a finished photo in the new few days.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A little teaser for you.........?????

Over this long weekend in Victoria (Labour Day - which is the celebration of the 40 hour week - see here for a link to how it started Australia) I have been doing a bit of cutting and one does...

Thought you might like to see what I have been doing - you will have to wait until it is finished as I don't want the recipient to see it beforehand.  Surprise!!!  I love the colours....

Till next time,  bye for now.... Joy V.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Destroying the flowers - but......

turning them into something interesting.

On Tuesday of this week I went along to a new (for me) meeting of a group of ladies who like to do fibre arts and art quilts.  It is an affiliate group of Geelong Quilters Guild which I am a member.  They used to meet on Guild days for an hour before the actual meeting started, but always found this to be quite restrictive if they wanted to work on something or have a workshop.  It was decided to meet on another day so we could have an 'all day session'.

After lots of Show and Tell and ooing and aahing, then lots of chatter about what everyone wanted to do, we did a little bit of experimenting with 'pounding flowers and leaves' onto cloth to get the dye from the plants.

It was very fascinating - seeing how the different plants reacted - some were great others not so.

When I got home I had a little experiment with some of my own flowers.  I actually used a piece of batting, rather than material for my playing.....

This is what I ended up with -

I picked two different types of geranium flowers and a varigated leaf.  Placing the flowers between two pieces of batting I 'pounded' them for a few seconds until the colours came out.

The first one shows the flower colours and shapes when placed face down on the batting.  The second photo shows the batting that was on top of the flowers, in other words showing the back of them.  Notice how the leaf colour comes out much more stronger when the batting is placed on the back and the flower colours come out much better when placed facing down.

I think I'm going to do a lot of more this - and try some other plants that are in my garden (....shush....maybe some interesting ones I find when I go walking around the neighborhood.....)

Note to self - must take secateurs when next I go walking......

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Finally I have a quilt top.

At long last, after much thought and umming and aahing, I have finally put together my blocks for Grand Illusion. For those of you who were wondering what I was going to do with the larger green/neutral 4-patch blocks - well I did use them.

As you can see from here I put them in the centre of the main block and then cut down a number of them and used these as the cornerstone blocks in the sashing.

These are the blocks up on my design wall (without any sashing).
It looks quite different from the original that Bonnie Hunter designed, but I am happy with it.  Although I do have a lot of blocks left over - but these will not be wasted - they will be sewn together, somewhat a little different again and given to my local Monday night group - Regent St Stitchers - for their charity quilts that go the local hospital.  I think the bright clear colours of the quilt will be loved by one of the older children.

And here we have the top with the sashing - as you can see the green/neutral as the corner stones.  I chose the same blue as in the blocks - had plenty of that particular piece of material.  Then I put a dark mottled grey as the framing border.  Not sure if I want to go further - I think it needs more borders, perhaps a wider one.  What do you all think?  I don't have quite enough of the green/neutral blocks,but could still make more., or I could add some of the other blocks that have been left out as I haven't made it as big.  That is the corner blocks with the yellow/dark blue - there could be enough to go around.  If not I will make some more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Grand Illusion Step 4 now completed

This was quite an interesting one to do - although there is a lot of sewing and trimming to be completed.  In Bonnie's instructions she suggested to do an extra step not included in the actual mystery step.  That is, when sewing squares onto an oblong or larger square to make a half-triangle in the corner, to always sew another seam just a little over 1/4" away from the original seam and then cut between these two seams - you then get an extra "1/2 square triangle square" - I have always done this - it is surprising how many extra squares one gets.  I finished up with 96 pairs of pink/neutral and 96 pairs of blue/neutral spare half square triangles.  I plan to do a 'half square triangle quilt one day......hmm, planning that is....

These were sewn individually then sewn together in pairs.
I chose not to complete Step 3 at this time as it involves the green/neutral squares.  If  I decide to use them I will complete Step 3 then.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Steps 1 and 2 completed...for Grand Illusion

I have been cutting, cutting and cutting;  plus sewing, sewing, sewing all those 2 1/2" blocks that Bonnie loves.  I have to say here, that I also love cutting and sewing lots of small blocks.  I would rather make a quilt with a zillion small pieces than one with just a couple of dozen large blocks.  I love the process and often wish it would go on a lot longer.

So - here is Step 1 - 2.5" finished pink/blue triangles, with the navy and yellow 2.5" squares.
 Here they are sewn into their blocks - they don't look very scrappy - that is because I didn't have many actual small scraps to use, I only had larger (fat 1/8th or bigger) pieces in my chosen colours.  Also the different materials are very much in tune with each other colour/hue wise.
 Step 2 was supposed to be 2" green and neutral 4 patch squares, but I made them 2.5" squares. My reason for this - I wont be making many of these as I'm not sure if I will actually use them and if I do I can cut them down;  if I don't they can be used in other projects more effectively if they are 2.5".

Back to the sewing room for me for Steps 3 and 4.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

To Do or Not To Do......Bonnie Hunter's mystery......

How many of you are doing (or have done) Bonnie Hunter's mystery this year?  It's called Grand Illusion, named after a hotel in the US where she taught some classes earlier in the year (2014).

I thought, and thought about it.  I have loved her mysteries in the past, but didn't think I would sew it this year.

A couple of weeks ago I went to my monthly GTG of the CBD group of Scquilters in Melbourne and two of the girls (Vireya and Jeanette) had their nearly completed mystery quilts for Show and Tell.  I quite liked what I saw, although I still think it is a very busy quilt with nowhere to rest your eyes.

This one is Vireya's.  She decided to make it smaller - which I like.

This is Jeanette's - Jeannette has made it full size.  She hasn't got the borders on as yet.

Comparing the two - it does look different with the borders on.  Hope to see Jeannette's with hers at our next meeting.

Apologies here - for the table and (I think) Vireya's hat.

I went through my stash (before it started) and found most of what I would need.  Changed the colours slightly - I'm substituting Royal Blue for the Black, as it's not a colour I like very much in quilts and I don't have very much of it - used a lot in the Orca Bay quilt. Not sure if I want to use the yellow Bonnie is using -  I am taming it down a bit - have quite a stash of yellow, no problems there, also have a huge amount of green, as well as the pink - mine is more of a darker dusty pink; but the lighter blue or aqua is a problem - not much of it in my stash. Plenty of neutrals, but I'm sticking with creams/cream-on-cream.

Now that I have seen the finished quilt, I know I can make it smaller and therefore will have enough of the aqua material to finish it.  I am thinking of double bed size not the large queen that she has made. Bonnie's is 5 x 5 large blocks with sashing.  Vireya's (above) is 3 x 3 - I'm thinking 4 x 5.

As I sew happily along I will post what I have achieved at each stage.  Having collected all the steps I will be able to work through them - and of course, typically, there is a lot of cutting, sewing, cutting, sewing.

Following Bonnie's instructions is very easy - full of explanations and photos.

Back to the sewing room - have completed all the cutting, cutting, cutting. Will post the first step very soon.

Take care,

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I am truly blessed...

I have just spent the last few days in Melbourne with my grandchildren.  DIL went to Gippsland to visit her mother who is in hospital having a rather big operation.

My beautiful granddaughter who is 8, put this basket with its contents on the table next to the bed where I sleep. She has been told over time that when Nanna (me) or Grams (other nanna) comes to stay she must make sure the room is tidy (she often plays in here with her girlfriends to get away from the little brother...) and not to leave anything that we might trip over.  Usually she places a glass with some flowers in it from the garden.  But this time I got the basket with a couple of mags, some shampoo and soap etc; plus some 'treats' - a couple of packets of sultanas and a container of fruit with spoon.  "Just in case Nanna', she said, "I'm sorry but we don't have any flowers".

Isn't that just the best - made my day.  I felt very special.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Word for the year


That is my word for this year.  As most of you who read my bog know I don't make resolutions - they are too hard to keep and too restrictive.

 I choose a word for the year which I use to help me FOCUS on what I need to be doing.

Last year with moving house, a family wedding and other stuff that happened, I kind of lost my focus on what I was doing (or maybe I should say - what I planned to do...)  Of course, as usual when this happens, one tends to go off in a tangent and no matter how hard you work, nothing gets done and you are back to square one!

This year to help me FOCUS I have put together a ring binder with dividers for things like - My Garden, Quilting, Sewing General, Computer, etc. Into this binder I (hope) will write down the different tasks, perhaps what I wish to purchase, etc for each of the divisions.  I'm not putting in a timetable (only if there is a time frame, ie if say, a quilt needs to be made as a gift), and I will jot down my progress as I work through the folder.  Sometimes I will add things, hopefully I will be crossing most out. 

 After all, that is the reason for having this folder!!

What is your word for this year 2015?  Do you have one or do you make resolutions.  I would love to know.