19 September 2012

July's Finished UFO

I gave this quilt away before I got a photo of it finished... Now I have a picture to share - here it is with its new owner - my grandson - MYLES

Happy Birthday DAD

My dad turns 70 today, happy happy birthday dad .... that's 5-y-o me on his lap

14 September 2012

My oldest UFO

I made eight of these OWL blocks, from a pattern I found in an Australian women's magazine. Simply can't recall which one.

I started it 26 years ago. How old is YOUR oldest UFO?

11 September 2012

September - start a quilt - finish a quilt

I didn't get to complete a UFO for August, as per my new years resolution starting July 2012... but, I did start and finish two quilts in August so I am letting myself off the hook. You can see them on my Finished Quilts page.

Now, it's time to make a commitment to a UFO for September. I have chosen to complete the Double Wedding Ring quilt that I started in the mid 80s. (EEEkkk 20 years ago!). It is by machine, using the Mary Ellen Hopkins method, and I started it in a workshop organised by Patchwork Plus (then of Hurstville) and taught by Noreen Dunn (since passed away).

I have had a hankering for a Dresden Plate quilt lately. So maybe that will be the new quilt for September. I have a delightful little collection of Liberty Craft Fabrics that are appealing to me.

what are you starting/finishing?
x dls

21 August 2012

What I'm loving ...

Aldi's coffee pod machine makes great coffee!
The new Sally Hansen Manicure nail polish! It has a flat, broad brush and it is so easy to use!

17 August 2012

Gift Quilt #2 for August

This is the second quilt I have finished for birthday gifts in August. 
See the Finished Quilts page to see it unwrapped.

15 August 2012

Tutorial - sewing blocks together in onesys, twosys, foursys

Have you heard of onesys, twosys, foursys? This is the term where you sew blocks to together in groups, making ever larger blocks and avoiding numerous long seams.
This method helps you keep control over matching seams, and avoiding the blocks from becoming untrue.

It means that you sew multiples of shorter seams together, avoiding the longer ones until the very end. In this method I have worked at completing rows of seven in shorter seams then sewing them together across all seven.

When working on your own quilts, after laying out the blocks, assess where you should start with onesys, twosys and foursys first, then you may even sew eightsys ... it depends on the amount of blocks.Just keep working in building larger squares as long as possible.

After completing 63 x 8in blocks, I laid them out on the bed (my makeshift design wall.) Seven blocks across and nine down.
Then I sewed them together in onesys = one block to one block, working across the rows. The last block wont have a partner, yet.

Then they are sewn together in twosys = a set of two is sewn to a set of two. Match the seams at the intersection, and pin carefully. The last two end ones, of eight of the rows can now be sewn together.

As you complete each row lay them back down on the bed, or design wall, in the correct orientation.

Sewing the foursys ... 

Align the four sides as accurately as possible, and place a pin in the centre seam intersection on each side - this will assist keeping the block squared and true.

Then, along the edge to be sewn, add more pins, and sew the seam.

If, as you sew a bubble appears before the needle/foot .. like this ...

Gently pull the fabric towards you, and it will flatten and feed under the needle/foot correctly.

As I near the end of the seam i peak under to check the edges are correctly aligned still. I can see that the two previous seams, under my fingers, are still aligned, indicating the edges are also still correctly aligned. I could rely on the previously placed pins, but I like to make this extra check.

This is the sewn seam, see the perfect seam intersection at the centre of the blocks. 

Sew the end twosys onto the end of three of the foursys. This will give you three rows of two blocks completed.

To the last foursys, sew a twosy. Then stitch the 2 x foursys+ones together, then add the twosys to the end.
AT this point the longest seams you have had to sew are the three rows.

Lay all seven rows on the bed/design wall.

Pick up two rows, and carefully pin at each seam intersection across the row. You are effectively sewing seven blocks together across the row - this is the longest seam.

Sew all four 'rows' to each other across the seven blocks.

14 August 2012

What I know ...

Or, rather, what I should've remembered ...
I have long recognised that I, and all quilters, should support our local quilt shops. If we don't they will fail. We, in turn, will be left bereft of a local, knowledgeable, supply of all the lovelies we wish to buy.
Although, like many, I am attracted by the prospect of cheaper fabric for quilt backs.
Recently I purchased 3m for a backing from lincraft.
Today, after cutting and sewing, while ironing the prepared backing I noticed a hole! Omg, worse, it appears repeatedly! Huurrumph!
Back downstairs to stash - fortunately I had meterage of another suitable print, and the backing was completed.
Lesson - resist cheap fabric!!!!!
After all that work you don't want the back to let you down, support your local stores - they will have sales... You can buy good neutral backing fabrics on sale.
Save your quilts - save your local stores!

12 August 2012

Happy birthday Sami!

This is what her dad and I gave 25-yo for her birthday last Monday.
She is VERY excited.

10 August 2012

Made from my stash

This is the first time I have worked from my stash, rather than purpose buy fabrics. I am really happy with the result.
Oh, I did purpose buy the white AND that was the first time I have ever bought, or used white in a quilt!

08 August 2012

a busy quilter, magazine editor and mum

Phew, what a big few weeks, and it will be for at least two more! It's not all bad, just exhausting.

A few weeks ago I realised that I needed to make a quilt for besties 50th - which was last Saturday. So, from whoa to go it took me a couple of weeks. I made it a simple strippy style combining Moda Chez Moi fabrics and some gorgeous linen. Quick to cut and quick to piece. Then I machine quilted it (my third only machine quilted quilt!) on my new machine, Gonzales my PFAFF GrandQuilter.

I didn't see bestie on her actual birthday, I will see her tomorrow and give her her new quilt. I made a cot quilt for her youngest when he was a baby - he turns 14 today! - and a bed quilt for her then 5 year-old - soon to be 18yo son. It was about time I made one for her too!

I have also started piecing and almost finished a quilt top for a 40th birthday this coming Monday - hmmm, that may not make the deadline, but I am still trying.

I have a new (financial) year resolution to finish one UFO quilt a month, so far I have finished July's, a lap-size quilt top that I made six years ago - that has gone to grand-bubba Myles as his floor-quilt. August is looking pretty busy, but I have a small top that would be excellent to practice some 'feed dog down' quilting on Gonzales. There is no shortage of UFOs at my house ...

I have also been managing the design of the September issue of Down Under Quilts for the past week or so. Some issues go together very smoothly, this one, however, has been a pain. It just keeps going, and going, and every time I think we are almost done, another problem pops up. Arghhh, I am over this issue.
Tomorrow we will gain final approvals on ads, and I should have all the editorial finished too - then off to the printer.

Lastly, in my mum role I have been running kids around to basketball training, basketball games, swimming squad and sewing lessons. This week we had to get Mason to school early Monday for a school camp, and Eloise early today for a two-day excursion to the Blue Mountains - it was 3 degrees at the school at 7.40am this morning, brrrrrr. I suppose it will be even colder in Katoomba - stay rugged up kids!

Among all those fun, tiresome activities I have loads of birthdays to celebrate in August, including my own, here is the roll call ... happy birthday to one and all of my dear peoples ...

3 - Georgie
4 - Bestie Bec
6 - Sami (daughter)
7 - Maya
8 - Ally, Matilda and Jack Riley
10 - Zoe
13 - Nadja (and Me too)
15 - Matt

31 July 2012

The Elite Sport of Quilting

I have bested my personal best ... well considering this is only my second machine-quilted quilt it was bound to happen!

With my new Pfaff GrandQuilter, (affectionate known as Gonzales on the basis that its stitches sooo fast!), I can now machine-quilt my own tops.

This quilt top was made about six years ago in a workshop with Dijanne Cevaal. I will bind it and give it to grandson Myles for a play quilt.

17 June 2012

Crochet, play with ricrac, start a new quilt?

What a choice! I am home alone, the chores have been done, the sun is shining, a gentle breeze is stirring the washing - all's good. Now it's time to decide what to do for the next few, uninterrupted hours. I have a pretty crochet scarf that I could work on ... Or i could make ricrac roses ... Sew doilies to T-shirts and attach pretty buttons ... finish a quilt top ... Baste a quilt top ... Start a new quilt for my bestie's 50th (which is only 6 weeks away, eeek) Hmmm, I just can't decide! What are you doing that's creative this weekend? X dls

05 June 2012

Quilting on the Central Coast (NSW)

is alive and well! 

When I first moved here two years ago I was frustrated at the lack of places I could go to buy fabrics and quilting stuff. So, I dug a little deeper, and I found plenty of opportunities to get my fabric fixes. In the current issue of Down Under Quilts there is a special feature listing the local places you can shop. 

Check out the FREE online subscription now to see the Central Coast listing - www.creativelivingmedia.com.au 

Also on the subject of quilty things on the coast ... last Saturday night I attended the the annual 2GO Give Me 5 for Kids Charity Gala Ball. The hosts of the local morning radio show,  Sarah and Dwayne were the special guests. I had heard Sarah comment about sewing on air about a year ago, so I had vowed that when I went to the Gala Ball I would introduce myself. I really like to meet local people who sew, and those in the media especially, because I love to see the word spread - that sewing, quilting, craft, knitting and crochet are COOL, and not just what Nanna-used-to-do. I was surprised and delighted that when I introduced myself she told me not only does she sew, making curtains and stuff, she actually LOVES QUILTING! I look forward to having a Quilting Bee with her some time soon!

04 May 2012

Abundance Quilt Challenge winners ...?

Sorry, can't tell you yet.

We have received lots of beautiful quilts, one even hand-delivered on the final day!

The judging has been done and there are a first, second and third prize and runner up. Prizes are sponsored by SINGER.

The winning quilts and a selection of the entries will be on display at the Mad Quilters Gathering, RNA Showgrounds, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane from May 11-13.

Winners will be announced at 10am on Friday 11th. The winners will also be posted to the Down Under Facebook page later that day.

Come and see me, and the quilts - they're fantastic!

Wyong Quilt Show

I will be at the annual event that aims to raise money for charity, while entertaining and wowing the visitors with lots of quilts to see, workshops and demos, and some great goodies to tempt you.
I will have back issues of DUQ, DUT and CE with me, plus some quilts from past and future issues to tempt you.

It is on this weekend - Saturday and Sunday from 9.30-4pm at Wyong Racecourse on the Central Coast of NSW.

Last time I was there was two years ago and I was hand quilting Sadie's first cot quilt (my granddaughter), this time I will machine-appliqueing her first big-girls-bed quilt. Stop by and have a look at my progress.

I have already pieced the top,

and made a number of sweet free-form hearts ....

Above is the front and the back of the sewn, turned-through hearts. 

The hearts were created by placing the fabric right sides together with lightweight iron-on interfacing. Then you can draw the heart onto the interfacing and machine-sew along the line, or, just free-form stitch them - as I did.

When you are done, snip and hole through the interfacing. Clip and trim any curves, and turn the heart right out side through the clipped interfacing.

Viola, you have a neat edge that doesn't require any 'needletruning', that is easy to stitch down by hand or machine.

23 April 2012

Abundance Challenge Entry Deadline

Win great prizes from SINGER ... entries close 30th April, 2012 ... Check out how to enter here ...

Check out this season's Liberty Nikes

Some of you may recall the sad tale of my Liberty Nike shoes from the 2011 collection? (read all about it here, if you are curious)

With great excitement I logged on to the Liberty Site to check out this season's (I know my correct shoe size now!) ... see them  here. 

  I don't like this style of shoe , so I will wait and see what next season reveals...


29 March 2012

Win a SINGER 160

Would you like to own one of these? The Singer 160 limited edition machine is first prize in our current competition -
The Abundance Quilt Challenge.
For your chance to win check out the details here, start sewing and send your entries - you have four more weeks!

17 March 2012

International Quilt Day

Hello quilting friends and fabric lovers around the world. I hope you have had a lovely quilts day. I had planned a day of sewing, but had to go to a business meeting instead, sigh! However, tomorrow I WILL be sewing. I hope to complete the quilt top for my 2 1/2 year old granddaughters first big girl bed. Then, it's onto planning 5-week old grandsons quilt!

Meanwhile, I thought you may be interested to learn about a wonderful opportunity to see some of The Quilt Show episodes online for free - click here and enjoy

X dls

23 February 2012

Not a stitch

Since the day that I brought home my latest (third) sewing machine I have been ill. Normally, and thankfully, I am not prone to illness, mostly it is three years between, luckily! However, a bug got me down and out last week, and I am still struggling.
Being ill has meant I have not had the will to plug in and sew on my Singer 160, which is so frustrating. But, I do have faith that when I do sit in front of my black beauty it will be wonderful.
That reminds me of something, who recalls watching Elizabeth Taylor in the movie Black Beauty? I fell in love with her , and the whole movie, when I was around 5 (mid 1960s) and to anyone that asked what my name was, the earnest, heart-wished, answer was Deborah Lorraine Velvet Kerrigan. Was it those beautiful violet-coloured eyes, the gorgeous shiny black hair, the wonderful horse? I can't recall, but I do recall the fever of my passion.
And now, having witnessed various 'loves' of my children, and recently grandchild, I see the beauty in such connections, and the joy it brings in their 'now' and their future memories.
Comparing Velevt to Dora ... ? Each generation to their own!?
X dls

14 February 2012

My valentines present - a limted edition 160 Singer

This is my present to myself ... isn't it gorgeous and sleek?

It was designed to celebrate the 160 anniversary of Singer sewing machine production.

The SINGER 160™ Limited Edition sewing machine is a technologically advanced machine, it boasts innovative features, yet the design and appearance hearkens back to the iconic SINGER® machines of years past. The antique-inspired machine is Singer Sewing Company's tribute to the brand's rich history and an opportunity to introduce the modern innovations of sewing to the next generation of sewers everywhere.

While it mirrors SINGER® machine designs of the past, this machine offers new, modern easy-to-use features that you can read about here

The normal price is $659 - but at the moment there is a special introductory offer price of 160 off - it is currently retailing for only $499!!!!!

Contact your local dealer to find out more and arrange a demonstration.

OR -

enter the ABUNDANCE challenge - details here - and you could WIN your very own 160 limited Edition sewing machine just like my beauty!!!!

My Singer sewing machine story includes a Featherweight that i received 20 years ago, as I posted about last week. Many women around the globe have Singer stories too ...
to read about them click here

Happy St Valentine's Day to ME!!

13 February 2012

Liberty Nikes SOLD to Sydney Quilter


To a Liberty-loving quilter in Sydney -
I hope you enjoy them as much as I had planned to!

See the post here to find out more about my deeply coveted shoes. When I got them they were 1/2 size too small. Recently I offered them for sale to a quilter with a passion for Liberty. Alas, I cannot buy a new pair, they are now sold out, but two of the 2011 styles are still available - see here.
Maybe I can buy a pair in the next exclusive release. Keep an on the online Liberty Store for your chance to buy some too.

01 February 2012

what I am loving

The fabrics I am using to make Sadie's (grandkid#1) 'big girl' Strippy quilt. The hearts will be appliqued on. The method is really easy - I will share full instructions after I have finished it.

The Story Book Bunting I made last weekend. The pages are cut from an old Golden Book - The Saggy Baggy Elephant. I have a stack more Golden Books that I am looking forward to making into bunting too!

I never thought I'd say this - but I am loving my tissue box! My sister bought it for me from the Reject Shop - how cool!

I am loving my gorgeous, little, pretty Singer Featherweight sewing machine! My husband owned five sewing machine shops when I first met him (21 years ago) and he had a few vintage sewing machines that had been accepted as trade ins for new machines. I deemed that two of them (this and another old singer) were the 'dowry' he brought to the marriage, fair?

I am also loving Zumba, which I did for the first time last night at the local school hall, what a blast! I cant wait for next week's session.

I am loving the fabulous projects I have lined up for DUQ over the next five issues. Gorgeous quilts from favourite designers - Chris Jurd, Ally Nichol, Vicki Hines, Gaye Watson and Susan Carr, and some fabulous quilts from other talented quilters well-known around the country - but new to DUQ - Chris Timmins, Val Crump and others.

I am loving that school went back, that my kids are being good, that my sister is staying with us (love her company), that grandkid#2 is due ANY day (and I will be at the birth), that grandkid#1 is sooo fricken cute - and many other things.

Most of all, I am loving my husband, 'cause most of the above wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for him in my life!!!