Monday, October 19, 2009

Quilty times

After the sentimentality of my last post, I succumbed to my perfectionist tendencies and have passed on Mum's birthday quilt on to my wonderful teacher Lyn, who has kindly offered to echo quilt it. It took me almost an hour to unpick the mistakes I had made before I handed it onto her - I think it was the right decision! I have a lifetime to learn how to quilt, and I want this one to be perfect.

I had an exciting moment on Saturday. The residents of a nearby street had all arranged to have garage sales on the same day. The first house we visited had a pile of patchwork magazines for sale out front. Turns out the woman is a quilter! She has invited me round for a cuppa, to talk all things quilting! We have both been wishing we had someone in the neighbourhood who is also into quilting. Yippee!

I got to properly test out my Birch mini iron yesterday at Sewco, at my Sylvia's Bridal Quilt class. I also bought a cutting/ironing board I have had my eye on for months - perfect.

I have some yummy new additions to the stash:

Thank you to my friend Michelle R who sent me these gorgeous fabrics for my birthday! My mind is ticking over with ideas!

I bought this gorgeous Liberty print a few years ago. It's been with a friend who was going to make it into a baby sling for me but now its back!

I mentioned in a previous post about wanting to make a quilt inspired by Charles Rennie McIntosh's roses. Last month I saw this most gorgeous quilt by Robyn Ginn at the Toowoomba Quilt Show. I was lucky enough to meet her and have her tell me all about the quilt.

She said she was inspired by this roses fabric, given to her by a Scottish friend.

Detail of her tiny log cabin roses:

On a mission to find a similar roses fabric, I posted a request and uploaded a pic of the roses fabric to Sarah Fielke's fantastic website Sewn, which has a fab free service called Find Fabric. Less than 24 hours later I had received an email from Elkabee's Fabric Paradise in the States, saying that they stock this whole range of fabric for only US$8.25 a yard! Two yards of it arrived last week.

I also found the gorgeous fabric on the right to go with it at Spotlight yesterday. My head is full of dreams about this new quilt.

I have a few more to enjoy finishing first though - Mum's, Jo's, one for Paul for Xmas and a mystery project using these freshly washed fabrics....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

More quilting advice from Lily this morn. I have been struggling to decide how to quilt Mum's birthday quilt, ever since I finished the top and basted it on Saturday night. (So very Libran of me!).

My generous teacher Lyn from Sewco offered to echo quilt it for me, in perfect concentric circles. (I tried on Sunday but it looks terrible).

Or, I can quilt it myself in imperfect spirals, waves, etc.

I asked Lily for her advice this morning, and she said that I should do it, because then it will be filled with more love. And she should help because then it will be filled with even more love!

Put that way, it doesn't seem like a choice, really!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jo's Quilt Gathering

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am coordinating a baby quilt for my dear friend Jo.

A group of us got together at my house on Sunday to work on our squares. Thank you so much to the wonderful Michelle Steel who introduced us to the exciting world of vlisofix. (I for one am no longer afraid of applique!!).

Some pics of the afternoon:

Jo & Cas hard at work.

Glowing Anna.

Bec, Saf & Michelle.

Jo & Julie.

Nic's square in progress.

Cas at work.

Julie at work.

Beautiful Jo.

Jo at work.

Kirsten's wearing her square on her heart, with the Home Midwifery Association logo.

Me at work.

Finished squares:



Jo F's:

My square, the Maternity Coalition logo:

Jo S's:

Looking forward to seeing everyone else's finished squares!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Additions to the stash and a new project for Lily

We made an emergency dash (read: any excuse for a visit to a new quit shop!) to Peppermint Stitches at Toowong today - what a gorgeous store! I highly recommend a visit. The woman there gave me a bit of iron-on interfacing to mend the nick in Mum's quilt top (thanks for the advice, Michelle!). So of course I had to say thanks by picking up a few fat quarters! I love the babushka doll print, it will go with the fabric I have left over from Lily's quilt. The pink one is Lily's...

A welcome addition to her stash!

These are Sarah's birthday present to me. She has the same fabrics and she has set me a challenge to make something out of them too. Can't wait!

I picked these up on Sarah's birthday quilt hop on Saturday from the Patchwork Tree at Alderley.

Lily did some sewing on my machine tonight while I started on the final six circles for Mum's quilt. She made me this quilt!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Less typing, more sewing

As I promised myself, after a few days away from the machine (and on the keyboard!), I made some time tonight to continue work on Mum's circles quilt. I got 6 more circles done around the border of the quilt. Only 6 more to go and the top is finished!!

Unfortunately I made a little nick in the quilt top as I was cutting away the excess fabric where I appliqued the circles. Would appreciate any suggestions on how to mend it!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I went to my first Squilters' Brisbane meet up today at the Brisbane Square library.

It was fab to meet more quilters! I'm looking forward to going again, and this time taking a project to work on.

The women told me about some great websites (just what I need, more places to spend money and get inspiration for more quilts lol!!):

Hancocks of Paducah - apparently they have a few times a year where they will ship international for free!



They also told me that House & Garden in the US do a magazine called Quilt Sampler, which reviews quilt shops in the US. Their website looks great.

I borrowed some more quilting books from the library. I also went to Borders and finally bought a copy of the luscious book Material Obsession plus a back issue of Down Under Quilts.

What a fun quilty weekend I have had!

Project list

Thought I'd share my list of current/upcoming projects and when I need them finished by (eek!):

Laurel's Roses - I'm part of a quilt club that meets monthly at Sewco to each make a quilt based on the pattern for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts. I'm making it in pinks and greens, in honour of my Mum's mum Laurel Bloomfield (what a beautiful name). She was a prolific cross stitcher, despite having macular degeneration. I hope to incorporate some of her beautiful rose stitcheries into the quilt. The pattern is a massive project, with 140 different traditional blocks. With so many other projects on the go I am only working on this at our club gatherings. I will put aside other projects for a few months next year and really get into it. But for now, am enjoying dipping my toes in.

Circles quilt for Mum's 60th birthday - I've almost finished the top for this one, just 12 more circles to go! (There are 42 altogether). Yesterday I bought the backing, batting and luscious King Tut varigated thread for quilting. This one is a surprise for my Mum! Early Nov.

Baby quilt for Jo - I'm organising 25+ friends to make a quilt to honour the birth of our friend Jo's third baby, as well as her volunteer work to expand women's birthing choices with Maternity Coalition. I've sent out cream squares to everyone to decorate, and have organised a workshop for next Saturday with Michelle Steel to work on our squares. I'm thinking of alternating the decorated squares with nine patches, same as this quilt. Nov.

Table runner for my sister in law's birthday, in orange, blue & yellow. Early Dec.

Christmas fairies tree skirt. Mid Dec.

Quilt for DH for Xmas - a geometric design in his football team's colours. The design is one by Linda Roberts in Down Under Quilts. Late Dec.

Apple blossom flower fairies quilt for DD2's 2nd birthday. Late Jan.

Quilt for Anna & Nigel's baby. Feb.

Quilt for Sarah's baby! Secret design!! Apr.

I have lots of other quilts/projects I want to make:

A quilt inspired by Charles Rennie Macintosh roses

Colour Wheel Quilt from the Purl Bee

An Amy Butler skirt

An Amy Butler bag

And many many more!

Less typing and more stitching, methinks!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Table runner obsession!

Recently I wanted to make some birthday gifts for friends.

I began by making my first table runner using this free table top runner pattern from Quiltbug. It was really, really easy. I used some cute witchety grub fabric from my friend, midwife and quilter Michelle Steel. Having paired it with a green and red fabric, I realised when it was finished that I had made the perfect "Xmas in Oz" table runner for my Dad and his wife in the US, but it wasn't really suitable for my friend's birthday!

So I whipped up these two, using some left over squares from my Funky Stripes quilt. Voila!

I think I made all three in about three days, and that's as a SAHM to two children! Yes, I was obsessed.

Babushka Irish Chain

My next quilt was based on this quilt made by Sarah. We purchased the babushka fabric from Duck Cloth and I bought the plains from Funky Fabrix. I chose cuddly flannel for the backing from Sewco.

Sarah working on her original version of this quilt:

Mine, pinned and ready to quilt:

One night while I was quilting my daughter's quilt, she was eager to help out. She proved to be fantastic and really accurate. Most importantly, I loved seeing her find joy in learning something fun.

I finished binding it late one night and put it over my daughter. She woke up in the morning and was thrilled.

My first quilt - Funky Stripes

I walked into Sewco in May this year, in an attempt to avoid having to go to Spotlight next door (long queues & so few sales assistants). Little did I know how much my life was about to change!

I was awestruck by the beautiful quilts on the wall, the stunning array of fabric and the multitude of yummy looking notions (not that I even knew of the term "notion"!).

I signed up for an introductory class. this quilt. Well that introductory class resulted in me not only purchasing the kit to make this quilt, but a new Janome DC4030 sewing machine! Plus of course everything else you need to make quilts - rotary cutter, mat, rulers - the list went on. My poor credit card.

Nevertheless, I was hooked!

The fabrics included some veeeeeery bright prints including Kaffe Fassett's designs. I found some of them quite garish to begin with, but they grew on me!

Laying out the quilt:

Hard at work on my new machine!

So proud of my first finished top!



Quilting for Happiness

My almost 5yo daughter came up with the name of this blog, when I said I wanted to start a blog about my quilts inspired by my friend Sarah's blog.

I asked why she thought I should call mine "Quilting for Happiness", and she said because she knows how much I love quilting and it makes me happy.

It's true! I'm feeling so filled up by it! I love dreaming of quilting, shopping for fabrics, reading books about quilting (including Elm Creek Quilts novels!) and reading magazines including Down Under Quilts online (via a free 6 month subscription through Sarah Fielke's site I even enjoy handwashing and ironing the fabric to get it ready!!

I did my first patchwork class at Sewco Sewing Centre at Mt Gravatt in May this year. What follows are some of my first creations!