Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Scrappy Heart

A big hearty hello!!

I know its been a while but I'll hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive my recent silence. 

Some say absence makes the heart grow fonder. 

I'm sure you all know how life can take over and before you know it days, weeks and even months have flown by. I kept meaning to write blog posts and I do have lots of fun things to share but I found the longer I left it the harder it became to sit down and write the words.

But thats all water under the bridge. There's love in the air with Valentines Day around the corner and I couldn't pick a better day than today to share a happy scrappy heart. 

So what's the story behind the big heart dancing around under the trees??

One day in the storeroom of the flower shop where I used to work I came across an old polystyrene heart shape and in my mission to add colour to the world I thought it would be fun to cover it in bright fabrics. For added sentimental meaning I used the fabric pieces from the bunting we had at our wedding

I was too caught up in creating to take progress photos but I simply sewed the fabrics into long strips and then wound the strips tightly around the heart shape. When it was fully covered I folded the fabric ends in and under and pinned them into place. 

I haven't found the right place to hang it yet so instead of a wall photo we took it for a walk in the bush. 

I'm sure I heard fairies giggling as Mr Daisy and I wandered along the paths with our big heart. 

And of course we echoed their giggles with our own. 

And with that I wish you all a colourful Valentines Day full of happy heart giggles.

Friday, December 18, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Only a week to go until Christmas!! Yikes!! I feel like I've been racing against the clock to finish up projects by the end of the year. Every spare moment has been used for painting rooms and furniture, wall papering, framing pictures, decorating doorways with paper cutouts, cultivating a colourful rug addiction, researching bathroom tiles... basically turning our house into a home. A fun and colourful Daisyland! There's been lots of creative activities but no sewing, in fact I sometimes wonder if I've forgotten how to use my sewing machine. I guess I'll find out in the new year when I hope to focus on stitching and fabric once again.

Santa recently dropped off the latest edition of Simply Moderne. It was great to take time out of the festive frenzy, put my feet up and flip through the colourful glossy pages. I love this magazine with it's great articles of quilt shows and variety of quilt projects. The cover quilt is by Australian quilter Wendy Williams. It's bright colours are as merry and twinkling as Christmas lights. 

I was especially excited to find an article about my friend LeeAnn Decker of Nifty Quilts with lots of pictures of her beautiful quilts.

I'll be working pretty much every day till Christmas now so I'll get in early and wish you all a joyous holiday season and a happy and peaceful new year. I'll see you in 2016 for more bloggy good times. 

PS. Just like the Christmas specials on TV that come around every year here's a link to a Christmas Adventure I wrote a few years ago. It's fun, festive and features cute fabrics. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Desert to Sea book Giveaway!

I know I've been a quiet blogger of late but it's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day and I've taken part in every Giveaway Day for the last 5 years so I couldn't let one go by without joining in. 

Today I'm giving away a copy of Desert to Sea: 10 Quilts from Australian Designers. 
(If you already have a copy of the book there's something for you too so keep reading)

This description of the book sums it up perfectly,

"Take a journey to the great Land Down Under … Ten beautiful, eclectic quilts designed by eight inspirational Australian quilters, reflective of the bountiful colour and beauty of the Australian landscape and culture. Quilt patterns to entice and challenge passionate quilters to make unique quilts that will bring a little of the Land Down Under into your home. Betty Kerr, Charlotte Dumesny, Danielle Aeuckens, Jane Davidson, Lorena Uriarte, Cathy Underhill, Rachaeldaisy and Jeannette Bruce, bring to you quilts made with their favourite techniques, injected with a piece of their own personalities and style. Compiled by Jane Davidson."

Here are some photos of the my quilt Ric Rac Razzamatazz that is one of the 10 projects in the book. 

With a very cute koala!!

Now I know a lot of awesome people have already raced out and bought Desert to Sea (thank you!) so to make it fair if the random selector picks someone who already has a copy of the book I'll make them a special custom made mini quilt instead. 

But wait, there's more! 
I think we all agree parcels are more fun padded with fabric. To tie in with the Aussie theme I'll include some Australian town name text fabric. 

This giveaway is now closed - Thank you to all of you who entered!! Congratulations to Bea of une aiguille dans une botte de foin blog for being selected as the winner. 
If you're interested in getting Desert to Sea ( it's a great book full of fabulous colourful Australia quilts) you can purchase it here from Amazon or ask at your local book shop or quilt shop. 

For 2 chances to win:
*You must be a follower of my blog or sign up as a follower, eg GFC, Bloglovin, Feedly, Let me know in a comment how you follow.
*For a second chance, let me know in another comment what you like about Australian quilts or something you like about Australia.

The giveaway is open until Sunday13th, 6pm Blue Mountains Australia time, when a winner will be picked randomly. I'm happy to ship anywhere in the world.

Normally I like to reply to comments but I'll thank everyone now for visiting my blog and wish you all good luck. And a big thank you thank you to SewMamaSew for hosting such a fun event. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

The story continues...

I know you've all been wondering whether Asterisk Tricks survived it's washing adventure so I'll jump right in and show you... 

The Before photo...

and this is how it came out of the washing machine.

I flattened out the confetti strips with my fingers so they laid flat again.

There was a bit of fraying but not too much.

In fact I really like how the fraying has softened the edges and added texture to the strips. 

It's really hard to tell from the photos but washing has really set the quilting. Maybe because the linen shrunk it's puffed up the stitches. The overall quilt shrunk by a whopping half a inch. When it's only a 16inch quilt to start with half an inch seems a lot.

I didn't block the quilt to bring it back to a true square, I like that it wears the signs of its journey through the watery depths. I think it goes to show that quilts are tougher than we think. 

But wait there's more!!!

I have two more quilts in this series that I made earlier in the year but haven't gotten around to showing on my blog yet.  The year has just been flying by faster than I can blog!

First we have Concave Wave. 

The linen curve edges looked way too plain so I started adding stitches with perle 8 thread...

and kept stitching until the linen was densely patterned. I really liked the effect,  the way both the colourful part and the "neutral" part have something engage and look at. A lot of punch for a little quilt. 

The next quilt I named Curve Verve. The pattern is a reverse of Concave Wave. 

More fun times with colourful stitches

Those who look closely will notice each point has different patterns.

I do have more of these little bright quilts on the go at various stages of completion. They've been packed away while we're painting the house but they're sure to come out again to play at some point in the future. 

Until then I hope these little quilts have done their job of adding some colour to your day. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How often do you wash your quilts?

After my last post I received an email in which the person mentioned that it seemed none of the 3 quilts I'd shared were made to be washed.  The person was right in that they are mini quilts and designed to be hung as art so they don't really need to be washed but of course it got me thinking about washing quilts.

I very, very rarely wash my quilts. I guess I'm lucky where we live that we have such lovely sunny days and I often take advantage of the sun's warm rays to hang quilts out to air. I find that freshens and fluffs them up. I don't have a clothes dryer so I can't compare it to tumble dried crumply goodness people talk of.
I don't have any pets hopping on the beds so that lessens the need to wash. Though I would jump at the chance to have a pet quokka, sloth or guinea pig( or all three!) 

So whether a quilt can be washed or not isn't foremost in my mind as I'm coming up with my designs. Plus in recent times the quilts I've been making are wall quilts and they just need a shake every now and then to stop them from getting dusty. I rotate the quilts on the walls every month or so and they don't get a chance to get dusty. They get their share of sun freshening too. 

But as I looked at my little mini quilts I thought why not have a go at washing one and see what happens. With a small quilt like this it would be just as easy and gentler to hand wash it but as part of the experiment I've decided to bravely chuck it in the washing machine to see what happens.  The quilt I picked was Asterisk Tricks, the one with the least stitches holding down the confetti strips.

It's done and I'm now writing this post as it's sploshing and tumbling in the washing machine like a disco dancing mermaid.

and I'm wondering...
Will the tie threads will hold? 
Will all the raw edges from the confetti strips unravel and disappear forever along with soap suds into the dark pipes? 
Will my quilting seed stitches pull, catch and tangle? 
Will the colourful colours run and cause tie dye rainbows on the linen? 
Will the linen distort and leave me with a strangely shaped soft sculpture?
Have I sent an innocent mini quilt on a fast track to the rag bin? 
oh my golly gumboots - 
It may never look like this again!! 

In the meantime here are some snapshots of my past week. 
Our house is being painted. Which means a lot of our furniture is being stored in my sewing room and piled up around where I sit at my computer. It makes things a little bit awkward but it's worth it for fresh white walls. 

Outside it's been raining. Glorious garden soaking spring rain!!

I never know quite how to photograph rain, especially when I'm trying not to get too wet myself, but I love how raindrops gather on leaves...

and make other leaves look glossy. 

The flamingos are in charge of looking after the lettuces. 

And Buddha adds a peaceful feeling to the garden. 

 On the sewing front I finished quilting this quilt and am halfway through the binding.

There goes the bell sound the washing machine makes when it's finished it's cycle... I'm off to see if my little quilt survived! I'll let you know how it turns out in the next post. It's too late in the day for photos now.

So tell me, I'm curious - how often do you wash your quilts? It'll be interesting for everyone to hear each other thoughts.


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