Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sneak Peak - 3 new patterns

We've been having a great time at my sister's house for new years eve. She has a beautiful acreage where the kids can run wild and we can all laze in the pool. I've had a great time taking lots of photos of my new quilt patterns, which will be released in January. Here's a sneak peak. I'll tell you more about them soon.

Quilt piles on wood piles

Quilts in trees

Quilts on donkeys! Thanks Fizzy for not nibbling the quilt ... too much.

Quilts on fences

Quilts on busts ... what the?

Happy new year everyone. 2010 is going to be a great one.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Zoe's Quilt

In October my good friend Natalie had a beautiful little girl. I haven't had a chance to meet her yet as they live in Tasmania, but she sent me this photo of little Zoe on the quilt I made - doesn't she show off the quilt nicely. She's just so snuggable.

I loved making this quilt for Zoe. Nat knew she was having a girl and her colours were earthy tones and green, so although this isn't a really girly quilt, I think it fits the bill. I cut up an ABC panel and surrounded each square with green, added cream sashing and two borders.

I machine quilted in the ditch around the sashing and borders and hand quilted the outer border in a looping bee type meandering line.

I ummed and ahhed about adding the hand quilting, but I'm so glad I did. It really added to the quilt and went well with the lady bug/flower theme on the border.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Giving Back

I absolutely love quilting. I described it to a friend as almost like falling in love. I love the colours and feel of the fabric, the creative process, calculating the measurements, stitching straight lines, seeing something emerge that has never been before. For a long time now I have felt I would like to give back in a small way. Sure, I give my quilts to family and friends, but there's something nice about giving anonymously to someone that can't say thank you directly (we've been on the receiving end of that lately).

A few days ago I phoned our local Children's Hospital - John Hunter - and spoke to a nurse from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I told her I would like to make some quilts for their babies and asked what they needed. She told me that when a baby dies they like to give the parents a quilt to take home as a keepsake. The quilts only need to be tiny.

So here is my first quilt for this very worthy cause. This quilt is 20 inches square and is made from soft cotton flannel front and back. It has no batting, but is quilted around the blocks and outer edge. It only took me about 2 hours to make and it felt like such a privilege.

If you would like to join me in making these tiny blankets email me or make a comment.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pine for You

What a wonderful Christmas we had yesterday, sharing food, presents and laughter with family. It was fun seeing my children get excited over presents, but they got even more excited about the warm fuzzies jar they wrapped for Jesus. During the month of December every time they did something nice for someone (like making a bed, giving a hug, sharing a toy or giving a massage) they put a cotton ball "warm fuzzy" in the jar and when it was full on Christmas Eve we wrapped it and put it under the tree for the Saviour. Then we made a birthday cake for Him, which we ate Christmas morning (just to start the day with sugar!) It was a wonderful way to help us all remember what Christmas is all about.

We also recieved our last Secret Santa present late last night. A HUGE hamper filled with yummy food and drink for us to enjoy. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the kindness and generosity that is out there.

I know this is a bit late, now that Christmas is over, but this quilt was the first I made into a pattern. Its called "Pine for You" - named by my husband Todd (thanks honey for showing an interest in my passion). I adored the "Figgy Pudding" fabric and bought a layer cake of it at the Sydney Craft and Stitches show in the middle of the year.

I used a really easy stack and slash method of cutting the squares it was fun making the trees all a bit different. I hand quilted around and trees and on the borders and bound the quilt using left over scraps of figgy pudding fabric (I like using every last scrap).

I loved the way it turned out so much I made it into a pattern. My sister Amelia tried it out and made up the quilt top in a weekend. It went into a number of quilting stores around Australia, which was so exciting. Special thanks to Blueberries for encouaging me to create my first pattern and being the first to stock it in their gorgeous store.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Secret Santa

Thankyou thankyou thankyou from the bottom of my heart. We don't know who you are but you obviously know us ... very well. The gifts you have delivered every day for the last 12 days have been so fitting for each member of our family. Your generosity and thoughtfulness have astounded us and it has brought the true meaning of Christmas into our home. I can't wait to get started on the beautiful Christmas Panel quilt kit you sent (complete with backing and batting!). I'll post it when I've finished.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and are blessed for your goodness. We will endevour to pass it on.

Just Another Quilting Blog

Since being bitten by the quilting bug about 18 months ago I have been completely blown away by the creativity and inspiration found on so many quilting blogs. I would love to be part of that amazing online community and maybe give a little back.

Here's a couple of Christmas presents I made last night.

I made these pot holders using the demo blocks from my Christmas Tree Quilt pattern "Pine For You". They were so easy to make. My tree blocks were about 8 1/2 inches square and I cut out a peice of insul-brite batting and backing fabric just slightly larger (9 inches square). I put the backing fabric face down, then the batting, and then the top fabric right side up. Then I pinned through all layers (2-3 inches apart) and hand quilted around the trees with Pearle Cotton No. 8. Trim the batting and backing to the same size as the top fabric.

For the binding I cut a strip of fabric 1 3/4 inch x 44 inches. I ironed it in half lengthways, wrong sides together, and then folded both sides into the centre crease and ironed again. I started sewing the binding on the top left side of the pot holder making sure the crease was on the edge (with a fold to the back and a fold to the front). When I had sewn around all 4 sides and got back to the beginning I continued sewing for a few inches to make a little tab. Cut it to the desired length, fold the end over 1/4 inch and then fold the tab in half and sew it to the back of the pot holder. I tried a few different ways of attaching the tab. Anyway, that was a pretty shonky explanation, but its Christmas eve and I don't have time to take 'how to' pictures. Maybe I'll come back and do a proper tutorial on this later.

I also made this oven mitt with left over fabric, using Denyse Schmidt's pattern from her book. It was so fun and easy to make. I'll definitely be making some more of these.