Thursday, January 31, 2013

One girl's trash is another's ...

For months now a friend and I have been talking about having a couple of trash and treasure stalls to sell all our crap unwanted household sewing room items.  We've sorted and cleaned and sorted and then we'd finally had enough and wanted it all out of our houses.

So our stalls will be this Sunday. Gulp.

If you're in Canberra, please help me get my laundry and back door back. Both my husband and the cleaning lady would appreciate it.


I wouldn't mind having my spare bed back.  


And stop me tripping over these every time I raise the blinds.


There'll be LOTS of fabric and lots of craft books and magazines and lots of packets of buttons and little bits and pieces and some household items like IKEA Lack shelves and perfectly perfect roman blinds. Some vintage doilies. Also craft stuff like Jo Sonia paints and things I just don't have any use for anymore.  Maybe also some yarn - I haven't sorted through that yet. But I'd love to be able to go home with a mostly empty car and walk into my decluttered house and finally breathe again. 

Where: Jamison Trash and Treasure, Jamison Shopping Centre car park, Macquarie ACT
When: Sunday 3 February from 6.30 am till about 1 pm I think? Or unless I sell out and can hightail it out of there sooner and OMG I'm so going to Edgar's for a beer after that.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A second trip around the world

Eight days ago I finished this quilt top.

Scrappy Trip Around the World - number 1 top finished 

(which is on my NEW DESIGN WALL oh yes!) 

 But I've decided I'm not done with this trip around the world thing yet. I have a motherload of Japanese and oriental prints in my stash which I started collecting in 2003 when I was visiting California. In California at that time there was a huge thing for American quilt fabric with oriental designs. It's all pretty garish - mostly gold infused floral prints - but I loved it. Still love it. I visited San Francisco Quilt Guild meeting that trip and they were all about the Japanese fabrics. I loved those women! And then I found a Kitty Pippen book at Powell's Books in Portland, and then another and I was off and racing on my fabric obsession. Over the years I bought more Japanese fabrics (imported from Japan, rather than America), spent a lot of money at my friend Shuji's market stalls, and had some scraps of fabric from dressmaking. 

So I have this rather large Japanese/oriental stash, and I wondered if it was possible to make a bright and happy, almost "modern" quilt with the fabrics.

Ready to sew

I have 16 blocks so far - I'm hoping to get 42 or 48 blocks. The stash has been almost halved, but I still have so much more fabric. This is my favourite block so far.

Favourite block EVER

And I have all these sentimental fabrics in the quilt, like the fabric I bought when I first started this crazy collection, bought in Pacific Grove, California.

This fabric started my oriental fabric collection - bought in California in 2003

And the fabric my niece used to wrap her wedding invitations.

Fabric from my niece's wedding invitation

And the fabric I used to make two favourite skirts.

Leftover skirt fabric

Leftover skirt fabric

While I sew more blocks over the next few weeks, behind me on the design wall (!) I have the blocks already made. And I need to decide on a layout. Ah Trip Around the World - you have so many possible layouts!

I can go with this one - but it's like my first one though which is why I'm not keen.

Layout 4

Or this one, with the chevrons.

Layout 3

Or this one which radiates out from the top corner. I can do the same from the middle of the quilt too, making one massive trip around the world.

Layout 2

I think this is my favourite though. I will have to play with how it works for 6 blocks across, and not 4.

Layout 1

I don't think I got a true "modern" quilt (really - what does that mean anyway? It's all a load of dog doodah if you ask me). But I did get a very rich, lush quilt and goodness it makes me happy!

Now that I have less room to stand back and look at my design wall (it's a narrow room, and there is a massive sewing table on the other side of the room), I've been using this old thing more often. It's a door peep hole, and it allows me to see colour and value at the same time. I've had it since I started quilting. I love this tool!

Through the peep hole

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Inactivity OVER

This morning I woke up, changed into my togs, swam 30 laps, had coffee with a friend, had coffee
another friend and then went home to do some more sorting of my sewing room.

Yes, the sorting has been going on forever. And this morning I kind of lost my temper at it. Or got overly enthused. I cleaned the last of the stuff out of the low cabinet, and moved it out of the sewing room.  The Mister removed the hooks and nails from the wall and then it was ready to start moving things.






(Stuff was all over the house. It's true. It made me twitchy.)

We slowly moved the Expedit shelf to the other side of the room. Heavy blighter.


I like it so much better. I'm still sorting it all out, and I still have piles of stuff to sell all over the house, and i still have to install the design wall to the wall where the shelf used to be (directly behind where I sit at the sewing machine) but I think this is going to be such an improvement and I'll be so much merge productive and happy as a result.


Photos when it's all done! And this time I promise.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Except for 20-30 laps I do here each morning ...


...things have been pretty slow going around these parts.  We are both still on holidays.  It has been wonderful.

I'd like to blame the heat for our inactivity but for the first time in my life the heat hasn't affected me for some reason. And the heat has been horrendous for more than a week - we still have at least another 5 days of it. I suspect all that early morning swimming has a bit to do with it.

Enjoys the heat

We are doing a little gardening each morning. We saw a couple of movies last week. I did do a little tidying of my sewing room the other night. A whole new shelf is sorted. Unfortunately the rest of the house is fairly frightful.

But I haven't done any sewing for a week and it feels a little odd.  But good, a "I'm on holidays and I'll do what I like" kind of good.

Hopefully will be back in a few days with some sewing and quilting results.

But no promises!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Drinking the scrappy, trippy KoolAid

I woke up on Sunday morning and logged onto Instagram, and it seemed that overnight all my quilting Instagram buddies were making these amazing Trip Around the World quilts. Out of scraps.

"Insane people", I thought. This quilt would require 2.5 inch squares, and accurate piecing.  Not being one for small fiddly squares of fabric, and an acknowledged abuser of the 1/4 inch foot, I wasn't at all tempted.

Until I took a closer look at the blocks they were making. And a peek at the instructions. And that's when I totally drank the KoolAid.

Fabric selection

I chose a jelly roll (Just Wing It by Momo) from my stash, as well as some gorgeous hexagons fabric by Curlypops. Later on I would hit the scrap shelf - hard - to add extra fabrics to the mix.

First two blocks

I finished the first two blocks quickly and realised THIS IS WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT! I was addicted.

After day 1

By the end of the first day I had 4 5/6 blocks. 5/6 because someone didn't cut correctly and came up short. Lucky I found some scraps to fix it with.

I worked on it a little more on New Year's Eve. I was just slowly plugging away in between gardening and my daily swim, and yet these blocks kept materialising. So much fun. We're not ones for celebrating New Years around here, but at midnight last night, there I was at the sewing machine, Gregory Porter on the stereo, Baileys on ice at hand, sewing happily.

How I spent New Year's Eve - photo taken at midnight

Tonight I finished all the blocks and set to arranging. You like? I like.

Scrappy Trip Around the World

On sewing them together I started thinking I had done something awfully wrong. But I couldn't put my finger on it. And then, after sewing two rows and pinning them both to sew together it hit me.


I hadn't squared the blocks and bugger me if they all weren't different variations of 12 1/2 inches square.

I shall plug on. Still having fun. Always.