Challenge 28 photos

30 09 2010

Here are the magnificent quilts my friends made for Challenge 28 (click on an image to see it full size):

Aren’t they clever?

Etsy Treasury #35

30 09 2010

One of my burgundy fabric luggage tags was featured in this gorgeous burgundy travel Treasury today:

Challenge 28

28 09 2010

After our first quilt retreat in September 2009, coming up with the challenge theme for our retreat in September 2010¬† fell to Glenys. In January we received a beautifully hand-made card in the mail, telling us about ‘Challenge 28’. Why 28? Well, it’s the addition of 9 (months to complete the challenge) + 9 (using 9 fabrics only) + 9 (using a 9-patch design) +1 (to create one item).

I’m not a big fan of the typical 9-patch design as it can look very repetitive. But I found a variation on the internet — a crazy 9-patch (details of the technique are here: Back in January, that idea went into my head as a possibility. Where it sat… and waited… and waited…

Until Easter. I had some time over Easter, the weather had cooled down a bit as we headed into autumn, so it was time to investigate the crazy 9-patch to see if I still liked the idea. I did. So it was off to my stash of fabrics! What to do? What to choose? After auditioning several fabric combinations (and eliminating some because I didn’t have enough to cut a 12.5 inch square from it), I chose four fabrics I didn’t like at all (and had wondered what to do with them!), two I wasn’t sure about, and three I quite liked. I made sure I had lights, mediums and darks, then set about cutting out my squares, then cutting through the squares and restitching them together, before cutting them again and restitching them into the crazy blocks (my Mum always wonders why I take perfectly good fabric, cut it into bits, then sew it together again!).

I ended up with nine crazy 9-patch blocks, then sewed sashing strips to them, then sewed them all together to make the quilt top. I added a border, then created a quilt sandwich with the top, batting, and a backing fabric.

Next came the quilting! following the ‘nine’ theme, I used 9 different free motion stitches — one different stitch for each fabric, plus extras for the sashing strips and the outer border.

By the end of the second day it was almost finished! All that was left to do was square up the quilt, add binding and add a label.

Here are photos of the quilt before those final steps — click an image to see it full size:

We’ve now had our quilting retreat and I’ll post photos of the other challenge quilts in the next few days, as well as pictures of some of the amazing quilts the girls made in the past year, which they showed off at ‘show and tell’ on the Friday night.

Stitching weekend coming up!

24 09 2010

This weekend is a long weekend in Western Australia — and the weekend of the girls’ quilting/sewing/’do nothing’ retreat at our friend Bobbie’s house.

My car is all packed, my challenge quilt is all done (I finished it back in May, thank goodness, as I’ve been dealing with lots of computer issues the past couple of weeks and have hardly touched the sewing machine!).

And I’m all packed for the Craft Fair on Sunday, where I’ve put my name down for a stall (not sure if that was a good idea or not). If the weather stays as gorgeous as it has been the past few days, I might be wearing shorts! Definitely a hat and sunscreen.

So, in an hour or so I’m off! Just over an hour’s drive south, then hanging out with four awesome fun ladies for three days. I can’t wait!

Etsy Treasury #34

24 09 2010

Another one! This Etsy Treasury features one of my sale items — a navy blue fabric bookmark with pink dots and edging.

Etsy Treasury #33

24 09 2010

This Etsy Treasury featured my blue and gold peacock fabric bookmarks:

Etsy Treasury #32

24 09 2010

My gold and black Celtic fabric bookmarks were featured in an Etsy Treasury a few days ago:

Etsy Treasury #31

14 09 2010

One of my Australiana journal covers was featured in an orange and khaki Etsy Treasury today:

Continually amazed by shrinking quality of spinach

11 09 2010

I picked two BIG grocery bags of spinach (rainbow spinach and Swiss chard) from my vege garden today, plus some potatoes. I really stuffed that spinach in those bags — they were overflowing with spinach.

Then I chopped it all up and microwaved it in batches for three minutes at a time until it was all wilted. Next, I put it spinach into sandwich-size zip loc bags ready for freezing — and ended up with five not-even-full zip loc bags of cooked spinach. I can’t get over how much spinach collapses and shrinks in the cooking process.

Want to know why I’m freezing spinach? The vege garden at the house we moved into in February started producing spinach a couple of months ago. It’s not rampant but it’s growing really well and there’s WAY too much for us to eat even if we were eating a lot of it every day. I’m OK with spinach but I’m not a huge fan, so small doses in moderation are sufficient for me. At the moment, it’s prolific and it’s only going to die off and rot if I don’t do something with it.

I searched on the internet and found I could freeze it after cooking it lightly. So that’s what I’m doing. Even if it can’t be served as a vegetable after it’s been frozen, I can always add it to stir fries, casseroles, bolognaise, pasta etc.

Local kangaroos

8 09 2010

On my drive into town, I pass a couple of paddocks that usually have HEAPS of kangaroos in them. When we went for a bike ride the other day, we rode as far as the ‘kangaroo paddocks’, and I took a few photos. There weren’t as many around as there often are, but I got a couple of photos anyway. Some of the females have large joeys in their pouches (like the one in the first picture looking at me), so it will be interesting to see them after they emerge.