Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Its a quilting calendar with a difference

If you like your quilts to come with shirtless men and spicy burritos then this is the calendar for you!

Its the Quilters Shirtless Man and Spicy Burrito Calendar!!

Yep you read that right and its full of real men, real quilts and mostly real burritos.

All I can say is that Mr February is particularly close to my heart.....

For more information have a look here,  all quilters hubbys too.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Puffing Billy

Sunday was Fathers Day and this of course meant bacon and eggs on toast for breakfast.  I actually managed to wake up early to do this and give Dave a sleep in!
We decided to have a big day out and spend the day at Puffing Billy in Belgrave.   We took the train from Belgrave to Lakeside, then had a picnic lunch and had a turn on the paddle boats.  Hard work that.
Its a bit of a tradition to sit with your legs hanging out of the train, our boys loved it.  Then I turned around and saw this!!

Nate was very concerned about Dave doing this, he was worried that it might tip the train over!! ROFL!!!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Farmers Wife Pony Club

I have loved doing the Farmers Wife Sampler over the past year.   A friend got me onto it as a block of the month and its been a challenge but well worth it.  While doing this I have joined two online groups, one on yahoo and the other on flickr, both groups have inspired me along the way.

The author of the Farmers Wife Sampler was Laurie Arron Hird and she has just released her new book.

Its called the Farmers Wife Pony Club Sampler and its gorgeous.
Here's a little bit about the book:

"The Farmer's Wife Pony Club Sampler Quilt--Letters From the Lucky Pony Winners of 1915 and 90 Blocks That Tell Their Stories, by Laurie Aaron Hird; release date: July 2011

In 1907 the Webb Publishing Company of St. Paul, Minnesota, created The Farmer's Wife Pony Club. Children were invited to join and compete for prizes by selling subscriptions to The Farmer's Wife magazine. The grand prize was a Shetland pony with a saddle, bridle, and often a carriage. To satisfy skeptics who doubted a child would, indeed, receive a pony, they asked the winners to send photographs of themselves with their ponies. Thankfully, many children also sent thank you letters along with their photographs. These endearing, poignant, and sometimes hilarious letters provide a unique window into the lives of children in rural America in the early 1900s.

As a tribute to these Lucky Pony Winners, Laurie Aaron Hird has taken 90 traditional 8" blocks and designed a queen-size quilt in their memory. "

Her quilt has lots of novelty fabrics.   My FWS is being done in 1930's and I still have to decide just what sort of fabrics I am going to use for the Pony quilt.

The plan is to make one for each of my young blokes, one with a blue base and the other with a red base.  I already have quite a few novelty fabrics but I am not sure I am going to go that way.  Possible I might end up doing just blue/white and red/white..not sure.

Once again there are groups on both flickr and yahoo. Both are offering quilt alongs which is a great way to inspire me to keep getting blocks done!

There are shops that are doing BOM's of this quilt.  Here are a couple that I know of,  starting in October so be quick.

Hidden  BOM using novelty fabrics inspired by the original quilt

Homestead  BOM in two colour ways, either 1900's repros or Batiks which would be stunning I think!

The book is available through the farmers wife quilt site as well as through most major bookstores.   I have ordered mine from Laurie, she also signs them for you which is a bit of a thrill...LOL

Laurie also has a blog about both quilts.

Disclaimer: no brown paper bags of money or fabric have changed hands for me to do this write up.  I merely want to let you know about the new book!

Farmers Wife QAL Week 14

Well its week 14 of the Farmers Wife quilt along and I have slowed down a bit this week.   We have been over at our block a lot as the slab for our basement was laid out this week.  This is the start of our house build and gets us closer to having my special sewing room upstairs.

I have managed to finish two blocks, block 79 Silver Lane and 80 Single Wedding Star.  I get my fabrics through a block of the month at Homestead Hearth.   I am usually pretty happy with their selections but occasionally I make a change.   My single wedding star had a scotty dog fabric that had a white background with blue dogs instead of the floral but I just didn't like the way it looked.  I think the floral looks way better, what do you think?

Silver Lane

Single Wedding star

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Death by Cookie

Went to a friends house today and her teenage daughter offered my young blokes a cookie.  This was not any ordinary was a cookie in a cookie that she cooked!!  Naturally my sons loved it.  It was a choc chip cookie topped with an oreo cookie and the covered with another choc chip cookie then baked so it all sort of melted together!!!!!  I didn't try one because I was afraid I would keel over from the sugar overload...and I love chocolate....LOL

Saturday, 27 August 2011

My little artists and FWQAL Week 13

I forgot to upload the photos of my gorgeous little artists from yesterday.  It was a great day for them, and it was amazing to see some of the costumes others had come up with. I saw a preppie dressed up as a paintbrush and another as Mr Squiggle!  Very clever.  Of course there were quite a few kids with injured ears doing their best Van Gogh impression.

My loving artists...
and the back

Nate's bff was asked his favourite artist and he said it was "vicks and mango"  but he also liked "Pavlova Picasso"!!  ROFL   how cute is that!!

Now for my Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt Along.  It is Week 13 and I have been trying to make up for the 6 or so weeks I didn't do any blocks at all.   The only block I have missed so far is block 57 Morning.  I haven't been happy with the paper piecing templates that I have seen so far, I think I may have to redraft it myself to make it a bit easier.  I only have about 6 blocks to go now and I am up to date with my BOM.  I will get some more soon so will have another 5 to do then.  To make the 145 I need for a king size quilt I have to make an extra 34 blocks.  I have about 5 or so of those finished so when I get caught up with the BOM it will be a great chance to get some of those blocks ticked off the list.
Block 41 Friendship Star
I did this earlier by had missed photographing it somehow.

Block 69 Practical Orchard
this was an easy block to piece and I love how it looks

Block 70 Prairie Queen
not as happy with the colour combination in this block.

Block 71 Puss in the Corner
so pretty 

Block 72 Railroad
more of a challenge to piece but I love the end result

Block 73 Rainbow Flowers
easy to make and very cute

Block 74 Ribbons
I am going to do a second version of this block, I really enjoyed making it.

Block 75 Rosebud
This block uses one of my favourite fabrics, I just love how it looks.

Block 76 Sawtooth
The red fabric is so pretty and I love how it looks in this block 
Block 77 Seasons
Easy block and very cute I think

Block 78 Shooting Star
Lot of odd shapes in this one, and it was not easy getting every seam to match!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Favourite Artists

It's Book Week in our state this week so all the schools are doing special days to celebrate.  Our school is having a dress up day tomorrow.  This is all well and good but they have decided that the theme for the big dress up should be "your favourite painter or painting"  WTF!!!  Um excuse me but what kids do you know that have a favourite painter or artist?  My boys love star wars...harry potter...etc.  Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh are a little beyond their scope of interest at the moment.   
They still have to come dressed up of course so I did the only thing this non fine art knowlegable mother could think of, i gave them a white t-shirt each and got them to paint them back and front.
So they are going as their own favourite painting.  Too cute.  Will post a photo tomorrow when they are all dressed up.  

Friday, 19 August 2011

FWS QAL week 10?

I have lost track of what week we are up to in the FWS QAL as I have been very slack and haven't really done much at all.  I am really happy with the look of the blocks and can't believe how much I am enjoying paper piecing them.   I always thought it would be too fussy but its just quick and fun.

These are the blocks I have done since my last post.  Enjoy!

block 4 Basket weave
I had already done this but wanted to do a pp version

Block 10 Bowtie
another block redone by pp

Block 63 Ozark Maple Leaf

Block 64 Peace and Plenty

Block 65 Peaceful Hours

Block 66 Periwinkle

Block 67 Pine Tree
really like how this one turned out.

Block 68 Postage Stamp

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

today I cleaned my house!

Not a truly exciting topic to be sure but its been a while coming.  Our little rental has been a huge mess since the big star wars party.  Stuff everywhere!
Then we have all been sick, in one way or another so the whole house has just sort of gotten out of control.

So today after dropping off the kids at school I got to work.  I washed and folded and even put away clothes!  I cleaned my bathroom and loo...not my favourite job I have to say, especially in a house full of males.   I vacuumed and swept and now my house looks fantastic.

Funny enough having the house back in order has also brought back my sewing mojo. It has been seriously missing the last few weeks.   I got back into my Farmers Wife Sampler and did another 3 blocks.  WIll post photos tomorrow if I get the chance.

Now its after midnight and I am really really tired and need to go to bed.  This SAHM feels like she earned her keep today.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Its been a while...

Have been flat out for the last few weeks and haven't stopped to blog.

Our youngest N had his 6th birthday party and we decided to go all out with a Star Wars theme.

Hubby spent a lot of time finding masks and coloring pages to download.

I made both N and his brother M Padawan outfits.  Sounds really hard but was just 1.5m of fabric, tore a strip about 20cm wide of the length of it, cut a small slit in the top for a neck space .  The 20cm strip became a belt to hold it all together.

The boys were thrilled.

The birthday boy
big brother

 The party was a blast....35 little kids with light sabers, the noise level was incredible...Haha.  The party and its aftermath has kept me from doing much sewing at all.

We did get a new bed though.  Have been sleeping on a king size bed we inherited a year ago but the bases were not in the best shape and we were both suffering from bad backs.   So we made the most of the end of financial year sales and bought a brand new king size mattress and base.  It is fantastic.  Funniest thing is that our old bed wasn't flat on the floor, no legs so it was really low.  This bed is really really high, I have to almost climb into it...very princess and the pea.

 The quilt on the bed was made by my mum, sister, sister-in-law and a great friend as a wedding present to us 8 years ago.  I did sew the binding only contribution.  The centre blocks are baltimore style applique, done by a friend who also teaches quilting.
This is another project I have been working on.

It's not for me.   A dear friend of my late mums has also become a friend to me.  She is unfortunately suffering from a form of Motor Neurone Disease that has changed her from an independant woman in her early 60's to being reliant on others from almost everything.

She had started making this as part of a quilt for herself but changed it to three wall hangings for her three children.  B has some gorgeous japanese buttons to decorate the wall hangings with. The blocks were mostly finished, just needed putting together and quilting.

I have already made her two of them, for her sons but hadn't been able to get her daughter's one done.  The two boys hangings were more blues and aqua and were brighter and stronger than this one.

It was lovely to be able to help her out, she is a lovely lady.

I have done more of my FWS blocks but haven't photographed them yet.   Will get around to it though.

Friday, 24 June 2011

My sewing room now...

I may have called this blog "sewn upstairs" but the reality is that at the moment I am not upstairs and won't be for another 12 months.

For the last year we have been renting a house near to our build.  Its a great little house really,  close to the kids school and to the train so hubby can get to work.

It only has three bedrooms for all of us so the two little guys share while our teen gets his own room.

My little sewing area was going to be in the back rumpus room with the kids.......until we started sizing up the spaces and realised our lovely square 8 seater table wouldn't fit.  There is a little dining room between the front lounge room and the kitchen but it's too small for the table.  Hmmm what to do, what to do!

Well the table ended up in the back room with the kids and the dining space became the perfect sewing area for me.

It meant I could bring along the sewing cabinet I had in our old house.  I love it, its painted green and all scratched up but I love all the different sized doors.  The middle top door is tin lined so its 50's era at least.

There was a handy nail already on the wall just waiting for my quilting hoop.

Printer comes in handing for paper piecing but would work better if I put the toner cartridge in

The monitor is a ring in from hubby.......
and that covered item underneath the hoop, the one with the brown thing on it..........well thats hubby's scroll saw.  Not very useful for sewing but we literally have no where else to put it safely.... :)

Cutting mats and rulers here too,
the black and white thing is three hat boxes full of projects I should be doing.

And the bean bag...well that needs the seam may be made tough but my boys are tougher!

Then there is the actual sewing area.

2 benches, one from Ikea that was a computer desk but now has my mini ironing board (also from ikea) and iron.  Great for putting lots of stash stuff under too.

The picnic basket holds all my farmers wife completed blocks.

The desk on the left was made by my late father in law Bob.  I inherited it so to speak and I will never get rid of it.  Its a perfect height for sewing.

The wall calendar and the electrical plan are for my new house...

There is a serious lack of storage in this house so every corner gets used.

This is some more of my stash, and some other gear that should be in our storage unit but won't fit!
As you can see my lounge room is on the left (thats my laptop on the ottoman) and the kitchen is on the right.  Not a big space but I get a heap done there.

My sewing desk is messy but I know where everything is.

Here it is ready for me to do some farmers wife blocks.  The pink tupperware containers are great, they were a gift from a friend who is a dealer.
I have all my baggies ready to go for the next lot of blocks and a scraps container too.

So thats my space.

Its about 3 metres by 2.8 metres but thats ok.  I think I am going to have more trouble working out how to set up the new space, its 7 metres by 6.1 metres, but its going to be fun to fill up!!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Farmers Wife Quilt Along Week 3 and more round robin

Haven't been as quick to sew my blocks this week, mainly because I have been working on the last round of the international round robin.  I am going to post a picture of where I am at so don't look Suzanne.....

But I did get my bum into gear on Sunday and finished my two blocks for the week.  I went back to the blocks I missed in week one, so here is block 59 Night and Day, and block 60 Noon and Light.

Block 59 Night and Day
I'm not completely happy with the contrast in this block.  I think it might have been more effective to have a plainer background, it would have shown off the block design more.

Night and Day

Block 60 Noon and Light

I do like the colours in this block, love the contrast of the blue and pink with just hints of the red.
Noon and Light

And then there is the matter of the round robin.

I have never made flying geese before, not sure why, just never have.
So I did what any self respecting quilter does and googled the instructions.
Found a heap of different sites that gave instructions, but not in the size I wanted (yes I am that retentive that I needed the sizes).  Then I remembered that I had a flying geese ruler given to me by a friend (Hi Sue) and so I rummaged around and found it.   I didn't actually use the ruler but it had all the measurements on it for what size to cut so off I went.
I basically cut a 6 1/2" by 3 1/2" rectangle and two 31/2" squares.  Laid a square over each corner and sewed across.  Yes I know I give crappy instructions...ok... not here to teach only to show off my brilliance!!

This is where the quilt is at now.... 
I put a little strip of the red on either end of the sand borders.

Now I am going to applique a little vine in the top right corner, with just a couple of red rosebuds on it and some leaves.

I have to say I am pretty happy with how its turned out, will post a photo when I am done.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

International Round Robin

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was doing an international round robin with The Patchwork Studio.

Then I got distracted by my other round robins and forgot to show you what I am working on.

We are at the last round now, I will be sending mine back to its Suzanne in NZ very soon.  You can read about her journey here.

The last round states we are to do 2 pieced and two appliqued borders, representing our favourite season.

This block is really vibrant and felt summery to me but thats not my favourite season so I have been in a quandry.

photo courtesy of Cathy in Florida who added the green setting triangles.
I have really struggled with how to represent my season but have gone for spring, when beautiful flowers are coming up and the ducks and geese are starting to reappear at the duck pond near our house.

Then it was off to chose fabric.  I do a lot of online shopping for fabric (its usually way cheaper) and there is no local shop here so the only logical choice was a visit to GJ's in Carlton.   I haven't been there in about 2 years and boy has their patchwork range many modern fabrics that I had never seen.  I took my lovely mother-in-law Shirley with me, she is not a quilter but we really enjoy going out shopping and spending time together.    Shirley (the non-quilter) fell for the French General Fa la la range of  fabric and has told me I am allowed to make her a quilt from it.    I see a Christmas pressie coming up don't you (although it may be Christmas next year so if you are reading this Shirley don' get too excited just yet.

With some help from the girls there and an nice big window for good light we chose these fabrics for the borders.

lovely fossil ferns for borders

The photo doesn't really show it but the sandy background has green splashes through it that match the setting squares in the block.
I have used the blue and the background to make flying geese blocks around two sides.  The other sides have only the background fabric at the moment.  I am planning on using the green for a vine or stem and small patches of red for flowers.  That part is not decided yet.
Will post an update with the photo of the flying geese tomorrow.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Farmers Wife Quilt Along Week 2

This weeks blocks are Block 61 Northern Lights and Block 62 Old Windmill.

I have done alot of the blocks already and was up to block 59 so I just skipped a couple and did these.

Northern Lights and original book
 and the first block on its own

my northern lights
And on the other page....
Old Windmill and book original 
and mine on its own...
Old Windmill

I am pretty happy with how these turned out.

Spent a bit of time uploading all the blocks I have done to my flikr account.   I did think of putting all of them on the Farmers Wife QAL but its kind of overloading it I think.  If you would like to have a look at the blocks I have already completed please click here.

The best part of being in one of these groups is seeing the blocks everyone else is doing.  There are some amazingly gorgeous blocks in modern colours that I would never have thought to use and they look fantastic.

accuquilt GO! baby giveaway

My clever sister in law M let me know about a great giveaway of an accuquilt GO! baby cutter.

I had never seen one of these before but it looks fantastic, a great time saver as well.

I really like these sets

Hexagons 2" 3" 5"

I like the hexagons mainly because I have always wanted to do a hexie quilt but the idea of cutting out all those hexagons has put me off.  How quick would it be with this great cutter!

Stems and leaves

Stems and leaves

The stems and leaves are another great time saver, and I think the birds are just too cute.



So if you'd like a chance to win one too have a look at Samelia's Mum.  Then again maybe I shouldn't be telling you where to look....more chances for me to win that way!!