Friday, November 20, 2015

Two Caswell blocks ...

It has been a busy week, with a few days worked at the shop, being back into the school run/tennis routine, so I haven't managed to prepare a newsy post for you. I did want to share two applique blocks for you though, so here goes:

Caswell Quilt - Block C3

I just put the final stitches in this block last night, and I'm quite happy with it. I was a little naughty though - in the original pattern, the large leaves have much bumpier edges, and because I felt it didn't really add anything to the finished look of the block (the focus is really the berries and the petals) I smoothed out the edge of the leaves to make them easier to appliqué. I'm thrilled with the fabric I chose for the big leaves - it's a real oldie from the stash :-)

Caswell Quilt - Block A5

This is the block I mentioned in my last post that I finished on the ship. It's quite cute, I've used some real oldies from the stash once again - isn't it fun to find fabrics we haven't seen around in a while. It seems I will need to be a little gentler with my embroidery stitches - I think I'm pulling them a little tight. I'm a much better quilter than embroiderer, that is certain!

I was chatting to my lovely friend Linda today, and when we mentioned this project - she said she likes block E2 which has a sweet bird on it, so I'll make that one up next. It will use my alternate background fabric, which is basically the same tone French General fabric, but with a little print on it, how fun :-)

In other fun news, I was asked if my Montmellick Mastered quilt can travel to Melbourne in April next year to the AQC show. I'm thrilled for my quilt to be one of those representing our state, so of course I said yes! And while I was at the show, I got some more pictures of my quilt, so when I get organised, I'll share those with you also. Chatter soon!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Another Caswell block, and our Singapore Cruise

First up, I just wanted to quickly share my latest Caswell Quilt block - I finished it on Wednesday afternoon at quilt group - it just needed a couple of embroidery details:

Caswell Quilt - Block A1

Why on earth didn't I give it a quick press before I took the picture?? Laziness, that's why ... I'm sure of it! I think this is my favourite one so far. I have made three blocks now - I've also finished the one I showed recently, but I need to wash away the blue lines before I take a picture. 90% of Block A1 was completed on the ship - often while we were doing fun things like hanging in the Schooner Bar doing the trivia quizzes ... or maybe in the High Notes Bar while watching the world go by, or while hanging with the little people down in the pool.

And thinking of our vacation - my family and I returned last week from a two week cruise on the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas. We flew to Singapore and cruised back down to Sydney. My parents, Amy and her boyfriend Mark, Camo and I were the happy travellers (sadly Martin had work commitments), and here are a couple of our happy snaps:

This is a quick picture of the view from our room in Singapore - we were only there overnight, and managed to get a little shopping in, but not much. It was really hard to get nice pictures as Singapore is super hazy right now from the fires in Indonesia. I don't really want to get started on it, but it really hurts my heart thinking about the forest and habitat destruction from the fires. Just devastating.

Anyway ... the next day we were shuttled to the cruise terminal, as we got close, we got our first glimpse of the two Royal Caribbean ships in port:

That's our home for the next two weeks! The Mariner of the Seas was in port too, and the passenger terminal was buzzing with people!

When we got on, it was straight to the staterooms to dump our bags and explore, and this is the room Camo and I shared:

We had a lovely balcony on the other side of the curtain, and I managed to while away a few hours there!

On the first night we were too tired to head to the Sapphire Room for dining, but on the second night, and every night thereafter we loved to dine there. We grew very attached to our waiters, they were just lovely people.

Here you see my Dad, Shrijit our waiter, Amy and Mark. I have to admit I don't have too many pictures with me on the other side of the camera, but there are a couple of fun ones I'll share later.

Our stateroom attendant Norman was super fun too, I can't even tell you how much I would have loved to bring him home - he was so cheerful and nothing was too much trouble. Camo loved the towel animals he'd surprise us with:

How do you even come up with these? Super fun!

And the last picture for the day, I nicked this from my Dad's Facebook, a snap of the ship as we were tendering to Airlie Beach:

Such a great picture. I have so many more pictures to go through, some of the Halloween party onboard, a few of different places we visited, and other bits and pieces from around the ship.

We had such an amazing time, and I think it's fair to say we're all addicted to cruising now. Our next trip is already being discussed, and I can't wait. What an amazing year I've had so far, and there is still more to come!

Lastly, thank you so much for all your comments on my lucky win in the quilt show. I'm just getting ready to respond to all my emails, so I'll check in with you all soon. Chatter soon! xox

Friday, November 06, 2015

Major Excitement!

My family and I just got back from vacation yesterday, we flew to Singapore and spent 14 nights on the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas cruising back to Sydney. I'll share more on that later - I want to share something quilty first ...

I barely had time to have some toast and apply fresh deodorant, but last night I was determined to get to our guild's presentation night, and there I learned that my Montmellick Mastered quilt had won three awards!

It placed second in its category - Open Traditional Large, won the prize for Best Hand Quilting, and it received the Retaining the Tradition Award. I am beyond thrilled and can't wait to visit with it and all the other prize winners on Sunday.

Happy Days!! xoxox

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Caswell Quilt - Block A5 in progress

Here's an in progress shot of my next block - A5. I've done a little of the appliqué, but mostly I've just cut out all the pieces. I'll take it with me for handwork - and I've got another two blocks ready to go as well.

The red and the yellow fabrics stand out a lot don't they? Hopefully in the big scheme of the quilt they'll fit right in. I'm still amazed by the number of green fabric scraps I've got kicking around in the stash - I know I'm not going to run out ... ever!

In my mind I'm already dreaming of alternate ways I'm going to put this quilt together - I really need to settle on down. With 30 appliqué blocks to make, I'm not going to be at that stage any time soon!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Caswell Quilt - Block A3

Yay, I'm just so thrilled, I've finished my first Caswell quilt block (probably should have given it a better going over with the iron ...):

I'm really super happy with how it looks now - selecting fabrics was part of the fun, and it's amazing how many different ones I have in my stash that will look good in this project. Some of them are super old - the blue/burgundy one in the petals must be 20 years old!

It was fun to spend some serious time needle turn appliquéing, though the Monmellick project had a little, it was all quite simple - this one required serious attention to placement and which order to do things in.

Now I can't decide if I should prep another block to take on vacation with me soon, or if I should stick to the hand-work I already have going ... decisions, decisions!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Block 13 and another beginning ...

Amy and I had a busy day out and about shopping yesterday, and when I got home I took the opportunity to finish putting my next block together:

Block 13 - Indian Plume

So many 1" HST's, I'm so happy they've all lined up nicely. I thought it would be fun to throw that little bird in the centre - I will be using up scraps from my Mrs Billings project forever it seems!

And because I've been dying to start it, last night I prepped and began to appliqué one of the blocks from the Caswell quilt.

This is block A3 - I don't know why I didn't start with A1, but this block appealed to me. As you see I have a long way to go, but I'm enjoying it - the fabric selection is really fun. The top fabric in the big leaf on the left I'm not sure about, but I'll keep going and see if it grows on me.

Well, that's it for now - I'm itching to put some more stitches in the appliqué block ...

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Block 40 & 57

Last night I managed to get two more blocks put together, and made good progress on another one which I will finish today. I think this will be a fun project, chipping away at the scraps makes me happy. The blocks don't make a big dent in the stash though, I didn't mention yesterday - these blocks finish at 6 inches - they're by no means large!

For the block I shared already, and the first of these blocks, I was using thangles for the 1" HST's. I don't often use thangles, and I'm not really sure why but some of the HST's were coming out just a smidge undersized - not a lot, but in such a small HST, it was noticeable. So, for block #57 I reverted to my favourite method - to cut a 2" square, stitch either side of a diagonal line and trim - and I'm much happier with the accuracy.

Here are my blocks:

Block 40 - Four Crowns

Can you see in the bottom row there that the HST is a little small? It will disappear into the seam allowance, but having pieces that are a little small makes putting the block together more challenging than it needs to be, and there are a few points on the block that are not quite perfect. Yes, I know, fussy fussy ... I can't help it!!

Block 57 - Quartette

For this block I reverted to my fave technique for HST's, and I'm much happier with the seam intersections - all the pieces came out the right size!

There are a LOT of 1" HST's in this quilt, so I'll get plenty of practice perfecting the technique. The block I'm working on right now has 28 of them! It'll look so cute though :-)

Chatter soon though, I'm dying to get back to my sewing machine!!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Honouring our Quilting Heritage - Lori Smith

I'm excited to report that I'm entirely finished my Montmellick quilt, it's washed, blocked, bound, labelled and a hanging sleeve has been applied. It's in the bag ready to be handed in, yay! I decided not to share a picture just now, I'm going to wait for a little bit, but not too long, I promise!

My next primary projects (yes, I've decided to work on two at once - most unlike me!) are an appliqué quilt, which I'm thinking will be The Caswell Quilt by Corliss Searcy, and a pieced project, Honouring our Quilting Heritage by Lori Smith

As well as those two, I'll continue to plug away at my 30's hexies and my French General tumblers when I'm out and about, and as the mood strikes me I'll put together a few scrappy stars here and there.

Today I made up the first block in the Lori Smith pattern ... they're not in numerical order, but in the order they appear in the quilt...

Block 18 - Tic Tac Toe

The original quilt has a lot of brown fabric and a very vintage look. While I'll still be using my repro fabric scraps, I'm probably going to use less brown - I think I'd like a somewhat brighter end result. Let's see how that goes.

I have time on my hands for a couple of days, so I'd really like to get some more blocks made. It's fun to spend time with Bernie again!

Chatter soon xox


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