Saturday, April 30, 2011

Let's keep it fun and friendly.


I read a post on a blog the other day that left me fuming. Someone, under the guise of getting things off her chest had said hurtful things about a few different fabric and quilt designers work. It's one thing to have a little quiet off loading of opinion with friends, but loud and proud in public where the words will get back to the designers in question is really unthoughtful. But then what left me even more flabbergasted was the post attracted hundreds of comments from people and their complaints about quilting and blogging.

I sound like I'm whinging too, I know.



It seems so obvious to me - Quilt because it makes you happy. Use the fabric you love. Sew the patterns that you enjoy making and using. Read blogs that inspire you or make you smile (oops I slipped up on the last one and see what's happened , lol). Call yourself whatever you want- quilter, modern, newbie, liberated, traditonal, artist. And leave others to sew, use, read and call themselves whatever they want.

To top it off, the above mentioned post was a giveaway for a book that I have a copy to give away too. So for a few days I felt disheartened about offering the same book. But then I cheered up... so here it is

Natural Patchwork by Suzulo Koseki - 26 Stylish Projects Inspired by Flowers, Fabric & Home. Her books are favourites of mine and never fail to make me smile.

And to pad out the parcel I'll share some of my precious Suzuko Koseki fabrics...


To be part of the giveaway- Leave me a comment - Something about quilting or blogging that makes you happy.
If you're a super duper, wonderful follower you can leave another message.
If you can think of a special reason you deserve a third comment, eg twitter, facebook, sandwich board, then go ahead.
If you want to leave message but not be part of the giveaway just say so in your comment. Some of you probably already have the book or just don't need another book, I know..

I'll make the cut off for entries on the 7th May at midnight , Blue Mountains, Australia time, and do a random drawing on the 8th May. I'll post it anywhere!


Ps Sarah Fielke wrote a great post in response to the negativity in blogland in a post titled Easter and a Little Rant on the 28th April, I wasn't able to make it link to that post but her blog is - The Last Piece.

Cheerio

This giveaway is now closed- That sounds so official doesn't it. You can still leave comments if you like. Cheers :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's nearly Show time!!

My quilts are labelled , sleeved and ready to go to the Springwood Community Quilt Show.



I've entered 4 quilts this year. Two are from a few years ago when I was fairly new to quilting, there's one I made last year and another I just finished sewing the binding on a couple of days ago. I've chosen them because they're all bright and fun. I'll post proper pictures of them when they're hanging. I've got that nervous feeling about showing my work in public but hopefully there'll be no quilt police attending.


If you're in the neighbourhood don't miss the show. It's held at Springwood High School in Grose Rd, Springwood. Fri 29th and Sat 30th from 9-5pm and Sun 1st May 10-4pm. In addition to lots of lovely quilts there will be traders tables laden with irresistible goodies and delicious lunches and devonshire teas on offer. Check out The Blog for more information.

Cheers,
Rachael

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

This is what the easter bunny brought me...
It reminded me of a fabric I have in my cupboard.
I have plans to use it in an Easter quilt with these leftover blocks, one day.
Today, I'll be busy binding and labeling my quilts for the Springwood Quilt Show next weekend

Happy Easter, I hope the bunny brings some yummy treats for you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nice Buns!

It's Good Friday and what better way to celebrate than to get up before the birds to make good old Hot Cross Buns. Or Hotties as Gbf always calls them.

Guided by a recipe on the Internet I piled flour, sugar, yeast, extra currants, extra peel and extra extra spice! I draw the line at adding chocolate chips, don't get me started about that! Next in went butter and milk, slightly warmed. A couple of beaten eggs and it was ready to mix. I rolled and pushed and pummelled the mixture for the required ten minutes then left it covered. As the sun rose so did the dough.
More kneading and rolling and bumping and crumpling, I then divided it into little buns and put aside to rise again. It never ceases to amaze me how the dough doubles in size.

Baked and glazed with sugar syrup and they're ready to eat!! They don't look like shop bought hotties with their wonky crosses but GBF insists they're a thousand times nicer!

Especially when served on a perfect sunny morning with the beautiful linen that Gbf's mum recently gave us.
Joan knows about my penchant for vintage table linens and keeps an eye out for them in op shops. How lucky am I! The embroidery in this set is all hand stitched. If you look closely you can see the circles drawn in pencil.

Such perfect little stitches. Yellow and white is so Eastery, don't you think?
So, are you having hot cross buns this Easter? Are you a choc chip person or extra fruit person?

Cheerio

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quilting From Little Things

It's Sarah Fielke's fault I couldn't sleep on Friday night...
because I'd purchased her new book that day and couldn't stop thinking about all the quilts I want to make from it!!
From the first flip through Quilting From The Little Things I knew it's going to be a favourite! Sarah's patterns are so clever and well explained. Her use of colour is so confident. I learn and am inspired so much just looking at the glorious combinations of fabrics. All these things are captured in stunning photographs by Sue Stubbs.

The book has 10 chapters each showcasing a different technique. From simple Row by Row Construction...

...to Deconstructed Piecing, Inset Piecing, Step Down Piecing and the one I'm most excited about is Feathered Blocks!
This book just makes me want to sew!! to try new things, to get into my stash and pull out surprising mixes of fabrics. Wahooo!! What more can I ask from a quilting book.!?!

For more info check out Sarah's web page and blog The Last Piece.
At the moment Fat Quarterly has a giveaway for the book
and Kate at One Flew Over has a giveaway for some of Sarah's fabrics
The book has been released in Australia and should be in your local bookshop. I ordered mine online at doubleday.com.au.
The release date in the US is in August, I think..
Talking of little things, here's a sneak peek of my doll quilt for the Down Under Doll Quilt Swap.
The little elephants make me smile.
Hope you're smiling too!

Cheerio.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Dahlias of Our Lives

Hee hee - That's got to be the tackiest post title I've ever come up with, but I'm working on the hope of it being so bad that it's funny.. maybe?

Here's my lovely Dahlia center that I made in Chris Jurd's class.

Her quilt has beautiful circle blocks surrounding the dahlia and then some borders of stunning fabric. ( Chris always finds the most amazing fabrics for her borders!)
Well... For my borders I went a little bit crazy . That was way back in November but just recently found time to sew them on. Where does the time go?
Crazy...
or should I say loud, zany and crazy borders?!
Here it is on the floor about to be basted.
Now, wouldn't you think I'd have the sense to take a proper photo while it was up on my design wall... but No I had to wait till it was on the floor and my shots are all at weird angles. I guess it adds to the crazy, zany feel of it all.This is a pretty strong statement but I think this is my Very favourite quilt that I've ever made. The colours are so me!!! I just love each and every fabric and how they work together. I like the bit of traditional piecing and then the free form borders. I find myself getting lost looking in the labyrinth of shapes in the border.
The borders were just sewn willy nilly together, no foundations and not necessarily in blocks. I started them on a day when I needed a break from accurate measuring. Considering the amount of bias going in every direction, there's just a couple of mini puckers and against all odds it lays surprisingly flat. Phew, Sigh of relief!
I even enjoyed basting this quilt, usually my least favourite part of quilt making. I think I really am caught under the spell of this quilt, knowing every pin gets it closer to being finished. The quilting plan is to stabilise it first with some stitching in the ditch then lots of lovely cosy winters day, bright coloured perle cotton stitching.
Nothing like snuggling under a quilt you're quilting. I once saw a girl knitting a colourful stripey scarf ... while she was walking down the street... and wearing it in long loops down to her knees. It was a real life Dr Suess moment.

Cheerio.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sun Day Fun Day

Did you notice my new header? Some say a change is as good as a holiday. On a whim the other day I decided I should have a new header. I started playing with different ideas but didn't really like any. I went to re install my old header but had deleted it. So I had to persevere with ideas until I came up with this one. It's a bit like getting a new haircut, it'll take a few days to get used to it. What do you think? Do you like it?

It was such an amazing Autumn day here that after lunch I suggested to Gbf that we go for a walk. So off we went to explore some of the streets around our neighbourhood. We've been vaguely planning what we want to do in our garden so getting out and looking at what grows well in the area is very inspiring.
My favourite flowers at the moment are these Banksias. I'm really drawn to their rich caramel gold colours, their part fluffy/part spiky texture and their crooked, angular branches.
Mother Nature used her pinking shears when she made these leaves on the Banksia serrata tree.
When the flowers turn to seeds they remind me of the evil Banksia Men of the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie books.

Talking of seeds...


This was what I gave to Gbf for Valentines Day. It's the seed pod of a lotus flower but really looks as though it's from Mars! On V'day I think it was it's lack of thorns that most appealed to me. Lol!
From new a new header to blue skies and weird but wonderful flowers it's been a fun Sunday!! I hope you had a fun Sunday too.

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