30 December 2015

The Year that Was

The year started with a bang with me designing 3 quilts and finishing 4 in the first 2 months.  I sent of the first of 2 quilts to Handmade magazine and another just a couple of months later.  The first was published in July of this year and the 2nd is not due to be published for another 3 months.  I don't think I will be pushing to have a quilt published again.

Maestro entered Year 9 and Mo started her final year of primary school.

I taught 2 terms of Beginners classes at Patchwork by Sea and totally enjoyed the interaction with new quilters.

In June I travelled to Brisbane for work to learn how they ran a paperless office and decide how we would implement it in Adelaide.

In July I started my Flowers for Alison free bom and many people have joined in and downloaded my patterns.  I don't know how many have actually started but I can see the finish line and the pieces are looking magnificent on the design wall in my sewing room (fire trap as my husband refers to it).

I did two wonderful classes this year in July and August with Jen Kingwell (one of Jen's Quilt is below) and Wendy Williams at a time when I really had to drag myself out of bed each day.

In September I was diagnosed with depression and have been on some medication that has helped me pick up the pieces.  

The sewing Mojo has been really unsteady over the last 6 months and Flowers for Alison has been a real load stone but we are getting there and I am now in the border planning stage in my head.   though I have 1 and half more blocks to hand appliqué.

We had a wonderful family holiday in Cairns, and I'd love to return maybe just with DH. It was the best family holiday we have ever had, wether it was the meds that made me mellow or just the fact that it was only short and nobody had time to get tired and irritable except Maestro, I don't know but it worked. We saw the reef, the rainforest, birds and crocodiles and relaxed.

Before we left I was contacted by the webmaster of Quilting Focus a New Zealand based web site to see if I would like to be a guest contributor.  This has turned into a weekly gig with an article by yours truly being posted once a week.

Maestro and Mo both received great end of year reports, and Mo is readying for the big change of Highschool next year.

Maestro received the top grade in his class for his year long research project and I was able to see his final presentation to the panel in the last week of school and it was amazing.  I don't know where he gets it from as both his father and I are not public speakers.  His topic was Comedy in Film and he did a fantastic job all year to get the work done, in between playing copious amounts of computer games grrrr.

Mo's Silent Film was award peoples choice at the International Silent Film viewing in Adelaide in October and we attended her primary school graduation in December.  She also had braces put on her teeth the week before Xmas and she has adjusted to them better than Maestro did when he first had them on.    We haven't once had to tell her to go and brush her teeth or put in the mouth guard that she needs to wear at night.  We also found out that she is going to stay tiny,  as one of the things they tell you is your height when you have braces and she is only going to reach 156cm which she is a little disappointed about as she was hoping to be taller than me but that isn't to be.

In December DH and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.  We have never taken the time to do this but we made an effort this year and took some us time and I think it was good for us to have a bit of time for ourselves.

My yearly trip to Melbourne for work Xmas has come and gone, and Xmas day is just a blur now, I've not done much on my first week of holidays and been sleeping in and reading and generally relaxing.

My MIL is slowly slipping with dementia and my BIL is struggling to cope as he needs to be with her most days to ensure that she takes her tablets when she needs to.  We are going to have to make some decisions for them soon and I feel 2016 may be a hard year for them.

I have nothing quilting wise planned for 2016 other than finish Flowers for Alison. No classes scheduled and no project deadlines I think I will just go with the flow and see what happens.

This months blocks are finished and I have enough to put the first 2/3rd of the quilt together however I might not put the tiny appliqué block that I have just completed in the quilt and do another filler block to fill the place that is left, and give you the choice of what to do.

Well that is the year that was.  I'll see you next year with the pattern for the next blocks.

23 December 2015

Last Day of Work for the Year

Headed to Melbourne for the work Xmas Show last week.  I was hoping the escape the heat but Melbourne had similar temps to Adelaide.  This year we had drinks on the rooftop after our lunch at a Peruvian Restaurant.  The temperature dropped as the afternoon wore on and it was quite pleasant 22 floors up with a lovely breeze and the view of the Yarra.

I stayed a couple of doors up from our Building so there wasn't far to head back to my room for the evening which was a good thing because I was pretty merry by the end of the night.  The stayers headed out for Karaoke  really glad I missed that part.

Managed a quick visit to L'uccello before going to lunch  as I decided not to include a day of shopping this year which was a good thing because I was really tired Saturday, and was happy just to have breakfast then head out to the airport and head home.  

Work finished for me today for the year and I am looking forward to 2 weeks of doing as little as possible... well a little bit of sewing might be done, I have started the small appliqué block and have a few pieced blocks to be made by the end of the month for the BOM.

10 December 2015

The School Year is almost over with a sigh

DH and I had a lovely weekend in the city.  We took the opportunity to knock over a large portion of our Christmas shopping as well as going out to dinner to celebrate us.  It was good just to be a couple and do something for us for a change.  DH has suggested that we do it again next year, I think it is a good plan and the hotel was really close to the main shopping strip which was open early on Sunday and we did a bit more shopping after a lovely breakfast at the hotel and before heading home.

My quilt North and South has finally arrived home.  I was getting really anxious about it as the magazine people had held on to it for quite some time and I didn't think it would ever make it home.  They tell me it will be in the Handmade Magazine due to be released this week so have a look (apparently not in this months magazine so when it will be appearing is anybodies guess).  I haven't seen it yet, so if you happen to see it let me know.

Squid wants me to call her Mo from now on which is another one of her many nicknames.  So here is Mo with all her friend ready for Grade 7 Graduation on Monday night.  All the girls looked lovely.  Mo didn't want to wear any makeup apart from a bit of lippy and lipgloss as she was not interested in looking older than she is which is fine by me, she has years to be an adult and this time in their lives is oh so brief.  

02 December 2015

20th Anniversary

It's our 20th Wedding Anniversary today.  I guess its a major milestone in this day and age where many of our kids friends live in one parent households.  We still manage to laugh almost everyday. 
Its not always easy we have our ups and downs but then again nothing worthwhile ever is.   Happy anniversary to us and lets hope the next 20 years don't pass so damn fast.  

30 November 2015

Flowers for Alison Block 5 Ready to Download

Block 5 is ready to download on the BOM page.  If you have missed any of the previous months they are available in my etsy shop for $3 for each pattern.  

There are only 2 more appliqué patterns to go, a small one in January and a larger block in February.    

Borders are optional.  At the moment I am thinking of putting a wide border with appliqué all around but there probably won't be additional patterns as it will be made up from shapes that have already been used.  So you will just get a finish it like me set of instructions and it is up to you if you want to continue to follow along or just leave the centre of the quilt as is or maybe use one of your appliqué fabrics to border the quilt.  

If you have any questions let me know.  I have put the templates separate for this block as some of you have had difficulty printing out the templates.  Hopefully this will stop this.  Just remember to download the 2 sets of templates. 

Watch out for the next instalment in early January.  

22 November 2015

Quilting Focus and Block 5 is on schedule

I have been asked to join Quilting Focus as a regular contributor which is great fun.  If you have any suggestions of what you would like me to Focus on let me know.  I look forward to sharing some knowledge.  I seem to be far better at writing about quilting at the moment than getting down and actually doing it, but the BOM must go on.

I have headed to the sewing room this weekend and created the border for Block 5 of Flowers for Alison.  If you can suggest a name for the block that would be good I haven't a clue about what the flower could be.  For the moment it is called Potted Colour.

I have two more corner stones to make then I will be all ready to work on the pattern and have it up by the 1st of the month.

Next month I will be working on another small block and I will be giving instructions for piecing the first 2/3rds of the quilt.

There is one more block designed after this one and then you will be able to complete the centre of the quilt.  I have ideas for the border but that will be optional if you want to include it in your quilt.

15 November 2015

New Fabric, New Music and a bit more

I went shopping last week for some more fabric for the Flowers for Alison Quilt, there was not a need for it more like a want.  Added to the stash of fabrics for this quilt were a few more Kaffe florals and spots as well as some Tula Pink lovelies.

I haven't felt well again this week so there hasn't been any more progress but I am feeling better now so have started pulling fabrics for the corner stone appliqué blocks that will be included in Decembers pattern.  I was actually going to print off the pattern just now but got side tracked doing my article for quilting focus and then writing this blog post.

Squid had a fitting for her high school uniform this week, the smallest jacket they had is still ginormous on her, though everything else is ok, but miles too long I will have to take dress and skirts up by about 4".  

Squid hasn't been sleeping well this week, due to a bit of stress at school and worrying about high school and worrying if she will know anyone in her class as all of her friends said that they were going to transition on a different day.  So we have had lots of talking in her sleep or no sleep but at least she hasn't been sleep walking which is usually what happens when she has things on her mind.  We found out on Friday that the friend she put down to be with is going on the same day so she feels a bit better but is still really worried about transition day.  So we will be in for another fun week as Squid on little sleep is usually very interesting.  Maestro handled it all so differently but he had been visiting high school for high maths throughout grade 7 so it wasn't so scary for him.  Squid is such a different creature.

When I'm under the weather, I retreat into books and and music.  Just after this post, I discovered Boy and Bear who have been added to my listening list.  Boy and Bear are a Sydney based band described as indie folk-rock in a similar vein to Mumford and Sons. Last week I added City Calm Down who are a Melbourne group who I think have a sound similar to New Romantics music of the 80's but apparently it is a blend of electro-pop and post-punk according to Spotify so what do I know.

And I have been binge reading Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling Series which is best described as Sci-Fi Fantasy/Romance and this week Julie Johnson' Cross the Line was released and I read that as well. There are a couple of other writers I have been reading lately that are due to release books shortly most of which I think I have pre ordered so I look forward to them turning up on my Kindle App.

Now I'd better head off and print off that pattern so I can stitch this week.

07 November 2015

Flowers for Alison update and SAPSASA Tennis Week

I've decided to not produce a block for Flowers for Alison this month and prepare 2 blocks for 1 of December.  It was just going to make the whole pattern thing a bit messy.  I'm halfway through the first block and I think I will do the 4 corner blocks for that were left from border of Block 2.  That way you will be able to join half the quilt together.  There are two more appliqué blocks left one is quite large and the other is a smaller one, so I will probably leave the large block for January when I have some time off.  There will also need to be some more filler blocks made.  I have an idea for borders but I want to get the centre finished before I start making firm plans.

Squid was in the Western District Squad for the SAPSASA tennis carnival this week.  So we had a week of tennis.  She had a ball and the team took out the 2 Div competition.  The kids all got on really well and they just had a lot of fun and didn't take it all too seriously.

 Squid with a couple of friends and their medals.  

Here are all the kids that participated from her school.  

Before we went on holiday Squids film for the International Youth Silent Film Competition got in as a finalist and was screened at the Capri Theatre. Squid and her fellow actors/film makers went along for the screening the Group's film took out the viewers choice award.  The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place getters were all High School Students so the kids were amazed that the viewers loved their film the best.

All the film makers from the first screening.  

04 November 2015

Quilting Focus Guest Blogger

I was approached before we headed up North to see if I would like to be a guess blogger on Quilting Focus a website dedicated to Australian and New Zealand Quilters.

My first post is up on the website and I will be doing a few more over the coming weeks if things pan out it may become a regular thing.

01 November 2015

Travelling Up North and an Apology

Sorry I have been absent this month.  Early in the month I let the Chemist convince me that the generic version of the medication the Dr has me on was the same .... so not the case so sided effects returned.  By the time things settled down we were full on into travel prep and heading up North to the heat and sunshine of Cairns.   

So for the apology… due to the factors above I haven't started Novembers block for the BOM which is going to be a little/lot late this month but I will keep the current block up until it is replaced with the next one and I will try and get back on track for December. 

Now for the Holiday and a few pictures of what we got up to.   DH has been at me for about 12 months to organize a holiday and I’ve been avoiding it as I usually come back more stressed than when we went.  This time it was not the case, I loved it and came back very relaxed.  We kept busy as the kids wanted to do stuff but a couple of the days we only did morning things then had the afternoon for the kids to play in the pool at the resort and me to sit on the balcony and read while looking out at the said pool and ocean view. 

Day 1 Travel and settling in to the resort. 

Resort Pool and across the road the beach.

Day 2 Drive to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, this was a fantastic stop which I really wasn’t that interested in but the resort recommended it.  There were things to do throughout the morning and talks to listen too about birdlife as well as the crocodiles and the kids tried crocodile we then headed up to Port Douglas for a swim.

Day 3 Day trip to Reef Magic, Pontoon on the Outer Great Barrier Reef to swim with the fishes, which was just magical.  We snorkeled had a couple of trips out to the reef in glass bottom boat’s this for me was the highlight of the trip.  Maestro took his gopro and we got some underwater footage but he hasn’t downloaded it yet (too busy reacquainting himself with his steam account). 

Day 4 we drove to Karunda and went to Birdworld which wasn’t big place but we got there early so the birds were quite hungry and took food from out hands as well as a couple were happy to sit on the kids hands.  We then headed into Cairns for lunch.

Day 5 was Skyrail and we traveled by this up and back to Karunda again, and back above the tree tops.  DH didn’t enjoy the trip up,  but surprisingly it didn’t bother me. 

Day 6 was travel again.  Our plane was delayed in Cairns due to technical difficulties and we ended up missing our connecting flight in Brisbane which meant a 3 hour layover but we survived.  I took a couple of shots of Cairns and the reef from the window in the plane. 

05 October 2015

Footprints in the Sand on Etsy

I've loaded Footprints in the Sand into my Etsy shop.  So if you missed Handmade and you liked the pattern you can still get it.

03 October 2015

Getting Lost In - Music and Books

When I got my new phone at Christmas I also got Spotify for free.  I actually forgot about it after the first month but the last couple of months I have been making up for it and listening to a lot of music and discovering new bands as well as a few older favourites.  Its been really good because the last few months I have really just wanted to shut the world out and that is really easy to do when you put the ear plugs in.

I can tolerate the world a bit more the last couple of weeks but its good to be able to sneak back into my world again when I need to.

So who am I listening to.

Mumford and Sons - have loved them for a number of years and have a couple of their CD's loving the fact that all their live stuff is on Spotify as well as their new album.  English Band with a country feel, lots of banjo and great great lyrics.  Little Lion Man has been my husbands ring tone for ever, mainly because they Say it is "all my fault" which he never admits too it makes me laugh.

Laura Marling - Loved her for a while too - English again with country feel and a great great voice

First Aid Kit - 2 Swedish ladies with a definitely country feel  - I think there is a pattern happening here.

Of Monsters and Men - Icelandic Band - great sound

The ChVrches - just started listening to these guys.

Florence and the Machine - have loved them for a while too, love the new album, not listing to her older work at the moment - she talks about depression a bit too much which is a bit to close to home, i will come back to them though.  You've Got the Love is my Ring tone for everyone else

The Rubens - Love the new Album Hoops.

The other thing that has kept me occupied is reading, I haven't read a lot in recent years as I tend to binge read but recently I have been reading a lot of chit lit and romance novels and I am really not in the mood for anything too heavy.  I've always been a bit of a scifi/fantasy kind of girl, I then moved on to classics, and murder mysteries but I have been really enjoying some Modern Adult Romance novels recently which have been a bit of escape and are easy to read in an all night sitting if I want to.

So the authors I have discovered, who are they.    Favourite at the moment is:

Penny Reid.  Her Knitting in the City Series is really fun as well as the Winston Brother's Series with the first book just out, then there is Her Hypothesis Series as well and there is another series she has written with LH Cosway Rugby Series.

Then I went on to LH Cosway's novels and went through all her books.

Then I moved on to Gretchen Galway reading all her Oakland Hill Books, I read one of her earlier works and didn't like it.

The last few days I have been reading novels by Julie Johnson, which I have been enjoying as well.

In between I've found a few cheap romances on amazon kindle and some free books as well to just try out an author.

Well that was a big download hope you enjoyed the run down of a few of my favourite things at the moment.

01 October 2015

Block 4 is ready to download

Block 3 will remain up for another 3 days.  But Block 4 is ready to download from the BOM page.

25 September 2015

Block 4 is coming

I'm feeling much better and block 4 came together this week.  Here is a sneak peak, I have to work on the border blocks over the weekend, my design on EQ had a checkerboard around this block but it just doesn't seem to go with the overall design so I will try something different this weekend and see how it goes.

I have also purchased for the border of the quilt a black background script which might look terrible but in my head at the moment it gives the quilt striking definition, there will probably be appliqué on this imaginary border.

In a couple of weeks we are heading away to the sunshine for a few days, though Adelaide is showing signs of spring and there have been more good days than bad.  Which means block 5 probably needs to be started now so if you follow me on instagram you will see some progress shots.

15 September 2015

This and That

Hi everyone, I think this months block may be a little late again.  I am feeling heaps better and in fact am totally the opposite to what I was a couple of weeks ago.  The meds I am on have got me really bursting with energy and my mind is now really racing from one thought to the other, which is making it really difficult to sit still for long enough to do any hand sewing,  hopefully this little side effect will gradually wear off and I will be back to normal speed soon.

Yesterday at work I found it really difficult to concentrate, but today I was on fire and got through what I would probably do in 4 hours in 2, mind you there was no phone interruptions or emails coming through asking me to do something else so that probably helped.  I did tell the boss to make sure he checked everything I did as I felt on fire but wether the work was up to scratch I wasn't too sure.

I went for a walk this evening something I haven't even been able to contemplate for weeks and it was really good to get out into the fresh air and move.

The sewing mojo has returned and I've started cutting a new quilt but can only do it in short bursts.  I still need to cut some more before I start stitching, I really like to have a whole quilt cut before I start stitching.  I haven't really worked out how big the quilt is going to be so I will probably just keep cutting for a bit longer yet.  Would really like to do something big but as I have the attention span of a nat at the moment that probably isn't going to happen.

This is me at the moment fingers crossed everything slows down a bit soon.

03 September 2015

Flowers for Alison Block 3 Tulip Bowl

Once again sorry for the delay, I've been a little bit out of it this week.  Make sure if you feel some of the instructions are not quite right let me know and make some adjustments.

This month we have the Tulip Bowl which is so cute I love it and 4 Contrary Wife Blocks (which is probably apt because I am sure my hubby thinks I am a Contrary Wife at the moment :)).  As you can see they go together to form a secondary pattern.  

31 August 2015

Pattern is going to be a little late

I'll try and finish pattern tomorrow but just can't get my head around it tonight. 
Sorry everyone, Dr has put me on some medication that has got a few side effects, fingers crossed they settle down later in the week.  I promise to leave this months block up the extra days next month.  Once again sorry.

Here are all the blocks how they should appear in the finished quilt.  There are 4 corner blocks to go and a few more filler blocks to make but I think it is taking shape.

27 August 2015

Workshop with the Amazing Wendy Williams

You all know that I am a bit of an embroidery freak so I have been looking forward to the workshop with Wendy Williams since I booked a place, though I was feeling a bit off Saturday morning, luckily I made my self go and got over it within an hour as I got emersed in Wendy's Quilts.

First we received a talk by Kathy Doughty about colour and inspiration then on to 2 full days of Wool Felt instruction with Wendy and I think I have finally mastered colonial knots.  Luckily I photographed them step by step so I can go back to the pictures later.  There was lots of other Wendy specific embroidery stitches and lots and lots of eye candy on show.

I was very tired by the end of the weekend but had an amazing time.

I have included a few detailed shots of Around the Garden above later in the post the detail is spectacular.