Thursday, January 29, 2009

Feeling HOT HOT HOT!

I'm not sure if people outside of Australia are aware, but we seem to be having something of an unpleasant heat wave at the moment. Today in Melbourne we got up to 45 degrees, yesterday was 46 and the day before was just below 40. Tomorrow is meant to be 43. And our overnight minimum hovers around 30. So not only is it too hot to do anything crafty (couldn't think of anything worse than sitting under a quilt right now), but its too hot to do anything at all, even sleep.

Being at work during the day is lovely, but the trains are a bit iffy, and it's my day off tomorrow...I think I'll have to find somewhere cool to hang out.... I'm even considering going to the movies on my own.

The best part of today has been arriving home to find a gorgeous parcel waiting for me; the goodies I won from Clare's Craftroom giveaway recently! It was wrapped in cute pink fairy girl paper, and the card has butterflies on it (I'm obsessed with them).

Inside was a blundle of pink stuff; fabric, ribbons, ric rac, button, note paper and envelopes (more butterflies!), and a roll of Musk Lifesavers, which were my favourite when I was younger. Thanks Clare!

Now I just need one of my pregnant friends (I have three now!) to have a girl, and I'll be set!

Bring on the cooler weather!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Blocks

I've been playing around with my Winter jelly roll, after I decided to use it for the Boxed In pattern in the jelly roll book I bought over christmas. I did all the cutting on Friday after finishing 4OT (and only managed to cut myself once!).

The blocks are pretty easy to put together; I'm happy with the first two, but I'm a bit uncertain about the third. The fabric is pre-printed with a log cabin pattern, which makes it look a bit fussy (in my opinion), though my mum likes it...

Because the jelly roll has 40 stips, and the pattern requires all 40, I couldn't avoid using this fabric. I'm hoping once its all assembled that it will blend in a bit more.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We Have a Winner!

I wrote all the names on bits of paper, put them in a very glamorous tissue box...

and tried to convince Bella to pull one out for me...

but to but no avail, so I got my mum to pick on instead....

Congrats Carol! Please send me your address, and I'll have your goodies in the post shortly.

In the meantime, hope all the Aussies are enjoying their Australia Day long weekend!

Friday, January 23, 2009

First Finish of the Year?

OK, so maybe not quite, but the top is finished. I had the house to myself last night, and again today for my day off, and I've been sewing like crazy. And finally, I present 4OT:

It is so big that it almost touched the ground when I hung it on the line. And yes, it's very sunny out, hence the glowy appearance.

I found the quilt fairly easy to put together; my only problem was that the small star blocks were a tad smaller than the alternate blocks, which meant a bit of a rejig of the "1/4" inch seams. All the points and intersections have worked out perfectly though. My only worry is the star points along the border; some might disappear once I bind the quilt...
What I need now is an opinion; what colour backing should I go for? I'd like to quilt it with a neutral coloured thread, but I'm not sure if that should influence the backing. Basically it needs to be one of the fabrics from the front, but which one?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Block of the Month

I've been watching everyone put together their blocks for the Fat Quarter Shop BOM every month, and drooling copiously. Not only did they choose a gorgeous range of fabric (Peace on Earth), but the blocks themselves look amazing.

When I got an email from the FQS today advertising a new 2009 mystery BOM I decided I had to take part; I've never done one before! Not only is the fabric gorgeous, but it's all stars again, and who can resist those! Plus it won't interfere with this years "to-do" list, because it won't be ready to quilt till next year. Perfect!

To everyone who has entered my giveaway so far, thank you, and good luck. And if you haven't entered yet, head to Monday's post. I've been making the cushion cover today, and it's looking good (if I may say so my self)!

Monday, January 19, 2009

50th Post Giveaway

So this is the big 5-0, which deserves a little giveaway to say thank you to everyone who has visited and commented over the past few months.

Included in the giveaway will be
  • a new copy of Australian Homespun magazine (the gardening issue from last year; lots of cute projects)
  • a cushion cover similar to this one
  • some goodies of the edible kind
  • anything else I might come up with in the next few days
To enter, just leave a comment. For a bonus entry, mention the giveaway on your blog (and let me know). Please have comments posted by 6pm Sunday (Melbourne, Australia time).
Just as an aside, I got some good news today; I'm now Dr Kate!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Toy

Yesterday I bought myself a new laptop, after about a year of coveting. My old laptop dates back to 2003, and has been through my Honours year (science degree), and my PhD (almost 4 years). It got to the point where it took a good 20min to start up each day.

After price-watching for about a month, I visited a few shops yesterday, found the computer I was looking for, and managed to get such a low price I almost feel bad for the salespeople. It's a lovely, shiny new Toshiba with all the bells and even came with a cloth to clean fingerprints off (which I'm going to need!). But I love it. Now I just need to work out how to install some programs I need for work, which may not like Vista unfortunately....

And the best part? Bella thinks the empty box is a fabulous new toy; she spent ages trying to squeeze in, then sat on top and tried to poke her paws through the opening.

I made the most of my first day off, and got quite a bit of 4OT done; all the little stars are finished, as are all the square-in-a-square blocks. Now I'm bordering them up to form the larger squares, and it should be about ready to assemble.

Last off; this is my 49th post. Which means my next is the big 5-0! I'm going to do a small giveaway, so keep an eye out. Hopefully early-mid week. That should give me time to work out what I'm going to give away!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


After a cool start to summer, we've finally hit some hot weather here in Melbourne. Unfortunately that puts a stop to quilting, as least for me, as I have a really bad tolerance for heat. We had a cool change earlier today, but my house is a 1950's weatherboard with no air-conditioning, so its still hot inside, even with all the doors and windows open.

However, a blog with no new posts is a very dull blog, so I have some progress to show. I've been working on the aplique for the sheep quilt for C's bub, and its coming along quite well. All I need to do is finish the blanket stitch around the sheeps legs and heads (the purple one is done), and it will be ready for borders and quilting.

A pic of the finished quilt (one I made last year) can be seen here. The only difference to this one is the background fabric.

Also, for fans of Camille/Cotton Blossoms, she is featured in the latest issue of Australian Homespun magazine, just out this week. There is a lovely Cotton Blossoms quilt, which looks quick and easy to whip up. If I hadn't just finished Wallflower, and have Sassafras ready to go, I'd probably jump straight onto this one. Its made using a layer cake.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day One

Just a quick post to say that I survived my first day of proper employment. Mostly just organisational stuff today, as well as ordering new equipment for the lab, and making a few phone calls regarding stuff.... Hopefully can delve into the actual lab work tomorrow...fingers crossed it all works!

Friday, January 9, 2009


...I've been a bit quiet on here, I know...but I have been doing stuff, I promise! I finished the flying geese earlier in the week, and on Wednesday I finished all the large 9-patches.

I'm about to start the smaller 9-patches. And I made labels for two finished quilts; Crabapple and Wallflower. Yes, I did finish Crabapple all the way back in November, but I'm a bit slack when it comes to labels. And I haven't actually put them on yet, but I'll get there!

I've also been down the beach a couple of days, visiting my Grandma. That always keeps me on my toes. Fortunately the dogs got to come with us, so we got to take them walking on the beach. It's funny though; Jack loves swimming, and Millie can't get out of the water fast enough.

Bella is finding new and unusual places to sleep, like on the tv with her nose on the cable (Foxtel) box.... we think she likes the heat from the lamp.

And my big news? I start my new, first-ever proper job on Monday! Ok, so it's in the same lab that I did my PhD, but it's a proper, paying job, and on a completely differerent project. And the good part is I'm working 4 days a week, which leaves an extra day for quilting!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oh My!

When I decided to make the 4OT quilt, I didn't realise just how many pieces I was going to have to cut out! So many that it's taken me several hours over two days, and resulted in a very sore shoulder from holding the ruler down.

Ive got big squares, bigger squares, little squares and even smaller squares, anda few rectangles just for good measure!

But most of the cutting is done now, and I've started piecing the flying geese. It's a different method from what I've used before, but so much easier!

Today I got a special package in the mail; a giveaway that I won on Bec's blog just before Christmas! I've never done a stitchery before, so this will be a good chance to learn.

Thanks Bec!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Catching Up

I got back from my holiday yesterday, and have finally packed everything away and settled back into a normal routine. Which means time to share!

I spent a week in Beechworth, which is a country town in northern Victoria. The region is noted for its wineries (many of which I visited), and for its produce (much of which I ate). One of the wineries I went to had a beautiful view across the vineyards towards Mt Buffalo in the background. We managed to sample quite a few of the local wines, and purchased quite a bit of fruit direct from the growers. It tastes so much better than the stuff you buy in your local shops! I don't think I've ever eaten quite so many cherries in one sitting.

We did a fair bit of driving around, visiting other towns. We came across a Vienna Patisserie out in the middle of nowhere!

We also had some cute visitors where we were staying (sorry the photo is a bit dark; the bird on the left is a bub).

To make up for a bit of over-indulging over christmas, we hopped on our bikes to ride some of the rail trail (an old train line converted to a bike path). On the way we rode past the Hops Gardens, and stopped at one of the old train stations. I'd forgotten how sore the bike seat makes the tush!

I also visited a few quilt shops: the Beechworth Quilters Cottage which I always drop in to when I'm up that way, and then I stumbled upon a shop in Bright by the name of Homespun Memories (I think). They had a lovely range of more traditional fabrics, jelly rolls, quilt kits, and heaps of patterns. I snagged a jelly roll book while I was there, to make headway on that pile of jelly rolls I seem to be accumulating...

While I was away, I finished the binding on both B's baby quilt, and my Wallflower quilt.

And of course, Miss Bella was very happy that we collected her on the way home yesterday; she hasn't let us out of her sight!