Monday, 29 March 2010

Inspiration abounds

The end of school term has been so busy for my kids (& therefore for me), that there has been no time for sewing. Thankfully, I've at least been able enjoy the creativity of others. There is inspiration everywhere:
The lovely, and very accomplished Janet over at Quiltsalott has put together a wonderful purse tutorial. I am itching to stitch some of these.
For a quick and very cute Easter project, consider The Long Thread's Bunny Bowling pattern, a free download available here.
Aimee Ray, author of Doodle Stitching, has a sweet birdcage stitchery pattern, and a really helpful tutorial about stitching embroidery designs on felt at her blog Little Dear Tracks.
I have been on the lookout for baby quilt tutorials and have found these two funky modern possibilities:
Warmest congratulations to fellow Aussie, Julie at Narioka who recently had a gorgeous quilt published on Moda Bakeshop. Go girl! Her Cobblestone Road & Pebbles Doll quilts are really lovely and her tutorial can be found here.
If you've made it this far down my post, please pop over to Thimbelina and say 'Hi' - she is a real-life (!) friend of mine and stitches beautifully.
Now, if all this inspiration has left you feeling exhausted & over-stimulated, then sit back and enjoy this post. Heather Mulder Peterson, quilt designer extraordinaire, has blogged about her mother's sewing room - oh my, read it and weep! A sewing room to die for!
And finally, if you're not able to travel this Easter, then take yourself on the most amazing pictorial trip with 52 suburbs and learn a whole lot about Australia's diverse city of Sydney. Louise has challenged herself to visit & photograph one new suburb of Sydney each week for a year, an amazing feat. The photography on this site is astonishingly beautiful.
There we go ... that should keep you busy for the evening! I'm off to get the kids through their last lot of homework for the term. Best wishes, Bloom x

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A need for speed

Just occasionally it would seem most quilters are struck with a desire to create (& finish!) something (anything!) in a hurry. This urge left my Mum in its wake recently. This is the result:
She used one layer cake of a new Moda range, 'Make Life' by Sweetwater. She cut an equivalent number of 10" squares from a red backing fabric. These were layered wrong sides together with a 8.5" square of cotton wadding in between. She free-motion quilted the squares together with a stipple stitch. Then she joined all the squares with a 0.75" seam allowance.
The seams were clipped every 0.5" or so on the right side and the quilt bound in red. The quilt was unceremoniously flung in the washing machine and then the clothes dryer to fluff it up.
The result? A very cuddly, textural lap quilt ... in a hurry, just in time to warm Mum's knees for the approaching winter.

Friday, 19 March 2010


One of the things that I love about blogging is that it causes me stop in the midst of a busy life and look for peace, beauty & interest in the everyday things around me. So that I can share them with you!
The light in the garden in the late afternoon at the moment is quite special.
I took just a few moments out to snap these shots.
Common little garden blooms rendered gorgeous by a setting sun.
And tonight, in my little bit of Australia, we spent the twilight watching a Teachers vs Year 12 cricket game.
An email was distributed before the game to the staff (of which my Sweetness is a member) to this effect: "Barracking is encouraged but we do ask that it be both age sensitive and relevant. For example, 'Have a go you baldy old git' would be quite appropriate"!
Year 12 won, but I have to say the old boys did not disgrace themselves! A really relaxing end to a busy week. Have a great weekend. Bloom x

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Resistance is futile

I said I was tempted ... I didn't say I'd have any self-control!
Tanya Whelan's 'Dolce' fabrics arrived in the mail this week from Z&S Fabrics.
Followed closely by the first blocks of my Paintbox quilt-a-long. Yes, I am a hopeless case! Don't tell Peg I've started something new - I am supposed to be finishing UFOs.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Day book entry #2

Outside my window ... the day is crisp and sunny, a beautiful Autumn day. The roses are blooming happily, their colours always more intense at this time of year. The garden is in desperate need of weeding!
'Chartreuse de Parme', a French Delbard rose outside my window

From the kitchen ... I am planning a big day of preparing picnic fare for a special day out for the family tomorrow. My intended menu: ham & grape tomato tart, honey lime glazed chicken, vegetable picnic rolls and hazelnut & raspberry cakes. A derisory comment from my 14 year old daughter this morning as she walked out the door for school, "Yeah sure Mum, good luck with that"!

I am inspired by ... Elizabeth's stunning modern quilts at Oh Fransson!

I am tempted to ... join Elizabeth's Paintbox Quilt-a-long.
I am reading ... 'Tis by Frank McCourt, the sequel to 'Angela's Ashes', which I enjoyed so much. A favourite quote:

"My mother made tea in a teapot and couldn't help sniffing at the idea of tea bags. I told her tea bags were just a convenience for people with busy lives and she said no one is so busy they can't take time to make a decent cup of tea and if you are that busy you don't deserve a decent cup of tea for what is it all about anyway? Are we put into this world to be busy or to chat over a nice cup of tea?"

I am also reading ... 'Alice in Wonderland'! David Stratton claimed on At The Movies that the new film version deviates too far from the original. Nothing for it but to read the original again! A favourite quote:

Alice generally gave herself very good advice (though she seldom followed it) ...

I am remembering ... this image from a favourite artist Carambatack, which just says 'Alice' to me.

You can see more of Carambatack's whimiscal art at her Flickr page or her Etsy shop.

From my picture journal ...
A hastily taken photo of my Mum's latest quilt, in our garden at the farm last weekend. Awful photo as the day was dull and rainy. I will take some better photos of her quilt to show you soon. Made from a layer cake of a new Moda range, 'Make Life' by Sweetwater.
Have a great weekend. I'm off to make a pot of tea! Bloom x

Thursday, 4 March 2010

There's rain a-comin'

We are expecting rain and temperatures are slowly dropping, so I thought I should get some bloom photos in before they pack themselves away for winter. These are some of my treasured & unusual plants at our farm garden.

Stunning Josephine's Lily (Brunsvigia josephinae), a rare beauty given to me by a gardening friend. I wrote about the wonder of this bulb when it flowered for the first time last year (see this post).

Delicate red spider lilies, bulbs pinched from my Mum's garden when she wasn't looking!

A rose with a long history, 'Monsieur Tillier', being first introduced in France in 1891. It is in its glory in autumn.

My Ox Tongue Lily (Haemanthus coccineus) is blooming for the very first time, and was given to me by the same gardening friend as the Josephine Lily. It is the funniest little plant. I thought it was dead, then suddenly it sends up this amazing bloom from nowhere. After flowering, two broad leathery leaves appear, growing opposite each other and flat on the ground, which look like long ox tongues - cool! I love garden oddities!

I hope for those of you emerging from the Northern Hemisphere winter, that there are glimpses of colour appearing in your world as spring approaches. And for us Downunder, we will enjoy our beautiful cool autumn weather and time in the garden.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

A bit of skirt?

Spurred on by Ric-Rac & Flowergarden's forays into skirt-making (and a well-timed visit from my mother!) I now have something new in my wardrobe.
NB: In the above photo, I have employed Jodie's excellent 'how to pretend to your blog friends that you're slim' technique of folding 'six or eight inches of fatty boombalatta' excess to the back.
Mum whipped this skirt up for me in no time. She trained in dressmaking many years ago, and knows stuff about making garments fit well.
The floral fabric is 'Shanghai Edition' by Art Gallery Quilts. We added a 1" frill around the bottom edge, in a fabric from an old Amy Butler range called 'Charm'.
The pattern we used is Butterick 3597, now out of print. It is a simple A-line pattern, no waistband, zipper in the centre back. We lined the skirt, which makes it super-smooooth to wear.
Skirt making doesn't get much simpler than this - I love it!

So here I am, basking in the glory of a brand new skirt and some Autumn sunshine! Thanks Mum.

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