Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Spring seems to have sprung....

Finally, spring seems to have made it's way to this house in the country, about time too....!! I was taking a photograph this morning of this months Bee Balm block, when I looked out the window and thought..'self, the sun is shining, you should go outside..' so I did!







So here's Elaine's blocks for the bee balm, aren't they gorgeous? It's going to be a fabulous quilt Elaine, can't wait to see the rest....





....another, just because they look lovely on the little table AND I haven't been able to take photo's of quilty things outside for ages..





So, gratuitous spring photo's, the sun is in and out of the clouds but it's definitely warmer today (can you see me grinning from where you are?), this is taken from the glass doors on the verandah. This is the view from our lounge room, not bad hey..? Look at the Crab Apple, it's right at it's peak now...





Miss Martha, surveying her kingdom, she's off for a haircut and a beauty treatment on Thursday, not that she stays clean and neat for long mind..!





do you see the bud on this Herbaceous Paeony..? Well there are several more but what is amazing is that this is the first time any of them have flowered in seven years...!!! I can't wait to see them open, I think I forgot what colours I have now...





and finally, the Rhododendron, isn't she lovely, fabulous showy thing she is..
I didn't actually think that I would be posting and blogging today, I should have been down in Geelong at Mum and Dads. I go down every Tuesday, visit with Mum and Dad, take them a couple of cooked meals then pick up a couple of kids at the school bus stop, stop off somewhere and buy them food (they are starving you know) usually a hot dog and slurpee! I know, how healthy!! Then wait for their mum, my eldest daughter, to get home from her school, quick chat and then I drive the 45/50 minutes home. Simple, do it every week. About 10.30 this morning, I was just getting ready to go out when the phone rang. 

Mum............ "what day are you coming down this week???? Only we're going into town to do some shopping???"
Me.............. "well, today Mum, it's Tuesday today. What time will you be home from shopping?" 
Mum........... "later"
Me..............."OK then, will I come see you after you've been shopping?"
Mum............"If you like, that will be a nice change..."
Me.............."Alright then, I'll be over after I've picked the kids up from the school bus."
Mum..........."Do they catch the bus to school now?"
Me.............."Yes Mum, for two years now."
Mum..........."Well, alright then, I wish people would tell me these things..!"
Me.............."Sorry Mum, I must have forgotten, I'll see you later then............."

Quite possibly I'll get there and she will want to know why I'm so late  :o)


Life is nothing short of an adventure when Alzheimer's takes control.........

xxx

p.s. the quilt is at the quilters as we speak, so exciting...!!!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Here's the backing....

..but first this block came yesterday from Joanne..



..thanks Joanne, just in time to go in the backing.


I put the backing together today, it actually went together really quickly..........





..the hard part today was finding somewhere to hang it out of the wind so that I could take a photograph..!! I love this one though..





...billowing in the sunshine looking through the back.
I hope you can find your block in the quilt or backing, if not it will be on it's way to New Zealand next week. I'm making a couple of cushions with some large blocks and Baukje, I haven't put your beautiful little block in the quilt because I'm worried about washing. The quilt will be in a nursing home/hospital environment and I am guessing will have to stand up to washing. I thought that I would use it to make a book to hold all the cards and notes that came with blocks..!


Now...........quilting...!!!
xxx

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Ultimate Sampler Quilt....








One of the girls at patchwork took the photo for me today.



..and a closer look.


I love the way this quilt has turned out and if you ever get the chance to put lots of different blocks, colours and sizes together in one quilt, do it! It's amazing how well everything goes together with some juggling and squaring off...


It's a perfect size for a hospital bed or to use as a wrap in a chair, as I said I didn't want to make it too big to go on the bed!


I just have to make the back now, I should be able to get that done this weekend then get it quilted...


These arrived earlier in the week from Meg and Nancy, thanks so much. Did you notice that I have added a page just for the list of fabulous people that have sent blocks..?? The list was getting so long on the side bar I thought it deserved a page of it's own....





Gotta go sew, see you later...
xxx

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Sewing, flowers, stress and the remedy.......

I've been absent for a while so here's a little...


... forget-me-not to remind you that I'm still around..!! Last Saturday was the last day of my photography course and we were dipping a toe in the waters of macro, which as you may have noticed is my all out favourite photography mode. I love that close up look into things we take for granted. Technically, these flowers aren't macro, more like just a very close up look into the heart of their beauty. I love their blueness (?), the tiny hairs on the stems and the perfection of the yellow centres in their typical 'daisy' shape and how some are pink and some are blue. Natures selection at it's finest...


I told you in my last post that I'd been under the weather, thanks for all your thoughts and admonitions to put my feet up, it certainly helped :o)
I wasn't sick in the physical sense, just tired and worried really. I've been stressed over getting things right for this quilt for Sue. You've all been so wonderful, generous and caring in sending so many fabulous blocks to be included in this quilt that I was getting really stressed over how I was going to include all the blocks that had been sent! How I was going to achieve this without upsetting anyone, without anyone feeling that they had been left out because they couldn't see their block...!! If I was to make a quilt out of every block that I've received then I would have a quilt that was about 20ft square I think..!!!!


I've listened to some friends who told me to chill, to stop worrying and just make the quilt because that's what it's about! It's not about worrying about other people, not perfection, not how many blocks I can get in what size! It's about making a quilt for a sick friend, it's about the love and generosity of quilters (and non quilting friends) around the world, it's about the thought not the deed..!!
So, that's what I've done. I've left the politics of it behind. I'm making a quilt for a sick friend from blocks sent from around the world and I'm stitching the thoughts and love and support of you all in to it.....
If you don't see your block in the finished quilt it will probably be winging it's way to New Zealand to make a quilt for a child affected by the ongoing earthquakes and tremors in Christchurch, New Zealand. Since September 4th this year, Christchurch has had more than 1500 serious earth tremors...!!! Go see this post of Cat's if you think you can help, there are people everywhere that need a quilters hug, we can do that, you and I.........


Every single person that has sent a block or helped in any way whatsoever in the creation of Sue's quilt will have their name on the back. An honour roll of generosity and love......


So, on to blocks that came last week...



Thanks to Marg for sending blocks from quilters in the UK, I love all the stars. Check the sidebar for new names....
I started working out blocks and arrangements yesterday, I decided that in order to create order, I should build units from blocks then I could (in theory) join the units to make a whole..??? Sense..??
This is as far as I got yesterday...





..this arrangement could, and probably will, change before the final layout gets stitched together.
Laurie told me to look at it in black and white, good advice I found....





..it makes the overall values easier to see don't you think..?
At this stage it's about 60" wide and 70" long, I'm thinking that I won't make it much wider than that and I'll be adding about another 15"/20" to the length. I don't want it to be too big to be used on a hospital bed..!
Then I have to make another for the backing....!!!


While I was in the doldrums last week I started to think about Christmas presents and the making thereof..!! Not much to think about, I haven't started - any!! So I thought I'd better get myself in gear as I wanted to have hand made for all the adults this Christmas, the grandkids are a little harder to make for, especially now that so many are in their teens. Sign of the times (and peer pressure) dictates that they will all have store bought electronics I guess...
I am making a small quilt for all four of the adult children, I know, I should have started months ago...sigh, will I never learn..??


A few months ago I bought a 'curvemaster' foot at one of the quilt shows and hadn't tried it yet, thought it might be a good time to give it a go....



(..it's sideways so you'll have to tilt your head to the left like this......)


...and now I'm hooked!! I love it, I had one practice block and away I went, I'm sure if you look too close that there are a few seams not quite meeting but I'm thrilled with it. This is for ********! Just in case one of my children reads this, I don't think they will, but better safe than found out I say :o)


I finished another top and started the third, I only took a photo of the block before I took them down off the wall to put Sue's blocks up there so I can only show you one of the blocks......





..a disappearing four patch! Elaine from the Bee Balm has chosen this block as her block in the second year of our online bee, so I thought I would practice. It's such an easy block to do, I'll show you the finished quilt top when I can get it back on the wall....
This is a huge post but I probably won't be back for a week as I've promised to spend more time actually sewing and less time travelling to blogs around the world..!! I'm off to prepare a roast dinner now, youngest son and gorgeous lady moved back down from Far North Queensland to Victoria on Friday and they'll be here later for dinner. The request was for roast lamb and vegies, so that's what we're having..




In the meantime.............





...forget-me-not as I'll be back..........
xxx

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I'm still here....somewhere..!!

I haven't been around much for the last couple of days, I'm still here though. The mail has drastically slowed down, only two parcels this week and I haven't taken photo's yet..! I've listed them on the sidebar, thanks Pat and Irene. Been a bit under the weather for the last week so I'm having a little break, I'll be back in a few days, well I will as long as we don't get flooded out/snowed in this weekend..!! 



Spring in Victoria ....  coat on, coat off, coat on, coat off, the next 4/5 days are supposed to be back to winter temps, Antarctic air again...sigh. I'll see you when it's over............

Thursday, 7 October 2010

You'll need a cuppa........

... while you look at all these blocks!


First off here's yesterday's mail...





...and today's...



Do you see the lovely blue embroidered block, I know it's from Spain but I can't read who it's from!! If it's yours will you email me and let me know your name please? Thanks :o)
 thank you Maria xx


I went to my patchwork group today and took all the blocks with me, the room at the Community House that we meet in is quite a large room with lots of uncluttered floor space plus a small staircase (about 10 steps I think) that leads up to a small storage room..! I'm telling you this because I need you to imagine how high I had to go to take the following photographs..!!





I decided that I needed to show you all the blocks I have received so far, I know there are still some on the way so the list isn't finished yet!! I had no hope of spreading them out at home to photograph so I thought that I could spread them out on the floor, climb the staircase and 'click', job done..!!





I put blocks down, spread them out, climbed the stairs, took two or three shots. Came back down the stairs, picked up the blocks, put them back in the box...





..got the next pile, put them down on the floor one by one, climbed the stairs, took the shots went back down and picked them up...





..put them away, got the next pile....and on and on...





..by the time I had finished with all the blocks bigger that about 6", I had taken off my jumper and boots and if I haven't lost 2" off my not inconsiderable waist line with all the bending and picking up, I'll want to know why not !!





So then I got crafty and spread the smaller blocks out on the tables...





..and more..





..and more..





See what I mean??


You are all amazing, I'm totally blown away.....

I hope you can see your blocks there, I haven't counted and I'm not going to, all I know is that I love each and everyone of you for what you have done for me.. 


You can see that there are far more blocks than anyone needs for one large quilt so I'm working on a couple of other ideas too. I want to try and take one block from everyone and put them all in one quilt for Sue, some for the front and some for the back! There is absolutely no reason why I can't make a totally reversible quilt is there..??

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

More fabulous blocks....

Monday's mail brought these lovely blocks....





Vikki, thanks for the lovely stitched block, healing is definitely what's needed and Beebee, thanks for the American block, I love it..! Mary, the little coaster is just what I need, thanks..


Today's contribution from the post office...





Would you look at Melody's owl, isn't it gorgeous and Jennifer, thanks for your swap blocks :o)


I'm going to wait until the end of the month to draw the giveaway, quite a few of you have asked not to be included and I won't put your names in, thanks for that..! By the end of October I should think that all blocks that are coming will be here, I know there is a parcel yet from Marg over in England, Marg held her own giveaway for anyone commenting and sending blocks to her..! Thanks Marg. Thanks everyone!
I'm taking the blocks to my patchwork group on Thursday I think I need different sets of eyes to get these blocks together. The range and diversity of colour, type and size of your blocks is amazing, I can't wait to see how they go together...

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Old Hippie's Never Die............

...but they should fade away gracefully...!!!
These are the only photo's that you will ever, ever see of me looking like this! But we did have such a great night and my cheeks ached by the end of the night from laughing, you asked for it so here we are..





..the very long blonde wig was hot, itchy and drove me insane, but the railway man loved his Afro. This is what the 'Ban the Bomb' sign is hiding...





....I spent most (well it seemed like it) of the 70's pregnant and giving birth to our five children, all born between '70 & '78!! So it caused great hilarity amongst young and old that I was a pregnant hippie. I was just following the instructions on the sign....
My 'bump' was Ryan's soccer ball and kept falling out and bouncing around the floor.


I waited for my midwife to arrive.....





..best friend for ever Jen (yes she is a midwife) who promptly comforted the father of the bouncing baby ball, as was the practice in the 70's......





...I felt soooo much better after the delivery and the kids pinched the wig..!!




The moral of this story (and photo's) is that we only have a short time in this life and tomorrow is a mystery so enjoy the today and don't worry about the small things. As long as you can laugh and enjoy yourself that's all that matters....
xxx

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Living in the 70's..............

Last night our eldest daughter surprised her husband with a 70's themed party for his 40th birthday. Everyone got in the spirit (no not that spirit, a party spirit) and dressed for the occasion...


Left to right, Caitlin, Rebecca, the birthday boy son-in-law Tony and Ryan...



...here's Con,Denise, Tony, my sister-in-law Sue and my brother Bob, who I have to say looked quite handsome in his 70's suit and shirt, he did say though that he had a terrible job getting in those trousers...!!

One for the girls, Bec, her friend Naomi and Denise...



and lastly Samantha and Caitlin looking fabulous in their seventies gear....



If anybody took a half decent photo of the railway man and I, I'll show you, but then again, maybe not..!! I don't think it actually was a pretty site, aging hippies very rarely are :o)


Did you notice I've updated the list on the side again?? 91 people listed there, I can't believe that so many wonderful people have sent blocks, fabric, chocolate and little gifties- very big smile!!
These are the blocks that arrived on Tuesday, sorry for the delay putting the photo's up, it's been a busy week on our rural plot...



These below are Wednesday's blocks...

...thank you Sarah for the darling little pin cushion and the chocolate lady bird, that did a pretty quick disappearing act I can tell you :o). Eileen, thanks for letting me put your pretty little block in Sue's quilt.


On Thursday these arrived...

Thank you Gerda for the lovely, tinkly heart, it's hanging above my computer now and when the window is open the breeze will make it sing and I will think of you. Laurie thanks for the tip about taking a photo and converting to black and white, that's going to make a huge difference, I always wondered how you got Terry's quilt so harmonious, thanks.


Lastly for this week, these all came in Friday's mail..

Thanks to everyone, especially to Heather, for taking blocks from your current project and then calling your new design 'Sue's Stars'...




I just have to show you this little block by Baukje....



This is what she said in her email to me..


"Hi Lizzie,
I just read your post. I am not a real quilter But i still have a wool appliqued block, embroidered with silk thread. in the Sue Spargo style. I made it for a bag but did not use it yet. I want to send it to you for the quilt that you want to make for your friend Sue. Do you think it could be useful for the quilt? If so send me your address and I'll mail it this week."


Well Baukje, I have to say even though you may not consider yourself a 'real' quilter, I'm sure everyone will agree with me when I say you are an amazing woman! Thank you for your beautiful block, I am honoured to include it...


Thank you everyone of you-again...!!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Need one more bee...

 EDIT
That was super quick but we're now full, so on with the show........


...for this....





The Bee Balm, which I've been part of for a year is going round for  another time and we just need one more person to give us 12 worker bees..!


You can visit here to have a look at the Bee's blog but in a nutshell this is how it works- each month for 11 months you will make one (or two at the most) blocks for the other members, when it's your month you send out what you want everyone else to do for you and they send it back.....??? That never seems to make any sense when I say it like that, but if you think you can handle making one or two quilt blocks a month, following the requests and using the fabric of another quilter, you could be the lucky recipient of 12/24 beautifully made quilt blocks....
Along the way you get to make some awesome new friends, send me a message if you think you'd like to join us, but you will have to be quick there's only one spot left..!

I'll be back tomorrow to update on the last few day's blocks in the mail. In the meantime, I'm doing a bit of time traveling tonight? Going back to the 70's for our SIL's surprise 40th, hmmm, I'm quite looking forward to spending the night in my twenties again (I'll probably need to have a good nap tomorrow though!) and no, I don't think there will be any blog photo's to show  :o)

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