Friday, April 30, 2010

More eye candy of the hexagon kind

When you’re just a little preoccupied with celebrating Someone Special’s birthday by going out to lunch, it’s such a blessing to have a good friend post on her blog exactly what you would love to have written on yours – Thanks Linda!

All of us in The English Quilt group who meet monthly at Gail’s were delighted to have a return visit from Linda (all the way from Iowa in the States), and yesterday was full of show-and-tell, laughter, chatter and advice. 

It never ceases to amaze me how wide-ranging we can be in our conversation topics when we get together.  For instance yesterday’s included English PM Gordon Brown, difficult people on planes, Kaffe Fassett, food portion sizes, osteoporosis, bottle brush plants, husbands who cook, Facebook, “golden oldie” music hits, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the excellence of the Northern Territory health service, and grandchildren – and that’s just the topics I can remember!

But I digress….

On Linda’s blog you’ll see Gail’s completed hexagon quilt, along with Jill’s.IMG_3918 But you won’t see this gorgeous version of Kerry Dear’s Candied Hexagons, which Linda herself is working on.  IMG_3919 Don’t those colours just glow?  Linda was inspired by the dark cerise shades of the bougainvilleas, and the purple jacarandas out in bloom when she visited Sydney last November – and I think she caught the hexagon ‘bug’ from us!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Linda's back!

On the kind of autumn day that makes you feel proud to be a Sydneysider a bunch of 'graduates' from last year's St Mark's Stitchin' Mission beginner quiltmaking course gathered for afternoon tea at Di C's apartment overlooking the harbour.
With our quilting teacher, Linda Hungerford, back in town for a brief visit we were excited to meet up with her again. Here she is with Marvellous Margaret.
The indomitable Moo and our talented Averil were there too.  Averil had brought along photos of her latest creations - exquisite heirloom embroidered pillow cases and nighties.
There was lots of interest in Di C's almost-finished New Life quilt, with blocks made with tiny scraps from our Stitchin' Mission quilts.  We're making these up in a child size to add to our growing stash of bright and beautiful quilts for the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning & Care Centre.  Di has a real gift for putting the right colours together and we loved that gold tone-on-tone sashing and all agreed (along with Jill, Louise and Christine in the photo) that her striped binding is just going to be perfect. 

 It wsn't an entirely girly gathering though, and this handsome young man was the centre of attention.  When we last met Tay, Linda's grandson, he was a tiny newborn, so we were excited to see him again, along with his yummy mummy, Jill, Linda's daughter.  My, how you've grown, little man!
For more about our happy reunion with Linda (and better photos), please pop across and read her Stitchin' Mission blog.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

For all Chester's fans

Our precious boy is now 10 months old and full of joie de vivre.  Chester's bounced right back from his injury and subsequent total hip replacement (in early January) and loves nothing better than a brisk walk around the neighbourhood.  With the crispness of autumn in the air today, and therefore feeling a little more energetic, we took him down to the off-leash park where he ran himself silly with Trevor, another lab we met there.

 No photos of the labs at play (who wants to look at a black and gold blur!), but here's Chester after his rumble, ready for the walk back up the hill.


Showing off

Back home in our garden Chester was in a "whatever" kind of mood after his long walk, and happily posed for these photos for the family album. 

Isn't Chester beautiful?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Whirligigs again

We’re making progress on our Sue Ross Whirligig quilts at Paddington Patchworkers – and loving the process!

Desley’s are spectacular – A Day in the Country meets Kaffe Fassett.  Wow!IMG_3830

IMG_3829 Here are her first two finished blocks, set against dark pink backgrounds.  See how piecing the outside ‘cogs’ in the outer wheel in white makes the whirligig appear spiky.IMG_3814  Janet’s outer cogs, pieced in that pretty Japanese-style sprig I showed you last month, look quite different.IMG_3832Here are a couple of Aviva’s blocks where she was auditioning different cog wheels before deciding which ones to use with her whirligigs. IMG_3827 It pays to play around with different combinations before stitching the rings together - often the results will surprise you.IMG_3828

More Whirligigs, with a little Lemon Cheesecake

At Paddington Patchworkers Rae’s been busy, finishing all her blocks, appliqueing them to their backgrounds, and tweaking Sue’s basic pattern by adding a bias striped sashing for a little extra pizzazz.

IMG_3809 Finally, here are mine, nowhere near as complete as Rae’s fabulous work, some of them only pinned together, and none yet attached to their backgrounds of plain white squares alternating with a black-on-white spot. 

The final step for all of us will be to sew an appliquee border onto this central 9-patch, to bring it all together.

IMG_3808 One of the other quilts Sue’s been teaching in our class is Strawberry Shortcake.  Di B has called her version Lemon Cheesecake, created in vibrant blues, yellows and greens.IMG_3819

When those sashings of 4-patches set on point are all in place this quilt will be so crisp and fresh and lemony – yummm!IMG_3826

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Margaret’s a marvel!

The opening of the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning & Care Centre is fast approaching, and our quiltmakers at St Mark’s are busily putting the finishing touches on these special quilts for the little ones who will be attending the kindy.
Just look at Margaret’s latest creations.
What a beauty!  There are so many things I love about this quilt – the jaunty jalopy full of animals, the cheeky little lions on the backing fabric, those great blue spotty “loaves”, and especially the rainbow bias print Margaret used for the binding.  It’s printed that way, so she didn’t need to cut it on the bias to achieve the fun and funky look.  Clever!
IMG_3790IMG_3792 Margaret’s been busy using up her scraps to make New Life quilts – and discovering that a quilter’s fabric scrap pile never really  diminishes.
IMG_3793 This little fellow, along with his friends, makes a lovely backing and is sure to endear himself to the little boy or girl who chooses this quilt as their own.IMG_3794 But wait, there’s more…IMG_3795Margaret’s chosen to back this New Life quilt with “Hey Diddle Diddle” fabric.  Great choice, Margaret!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Channelling Martha Stewart – A Princess Cake!

Last week The Princess turned 3 (Apparently you grow blue fairy wings when you turn 3) and the task of making the birthday cake was entrusted to me.
After a frantic and fruitless last-minute rummage among the recipe books for that “bible” of party cakes, the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book, I found myself working without a safety net!
Since anything princess-related makes her little face break out in the widest smile I decided to make a Princess Cake. IMG_3750
Who’d have thought a grandma could have such fun with a pressure-pack can of pink icing and a jar of assorted pink sprinkles?!IMG_3760
IMG_3763  IMG_3767 I think they liked it!  And you have to admit it’s an improvement on last year’s caterpillar cake!

Note: The Princess does not have overly rosy cheeks! - her talented and artistic Mummy face-painted her and all the party guests.

Monday, April 5, 2010

At my house – Easter is joyful

Two sights in the last couple of days have made me gasp with joy and dive for my camera.

On Good Friday, as I walked home from church, I happened to look up at the brilliant blue sky and see a skywriter creating this -IMG_3657 The Bible Society had been denied a place at the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year to promote “Jesus, All About Life” - but undaunted they took their message to the sky.

Then last night our little granddaughter and her talented Mummy brought us in some decorated hard-boiled Easter eggs bearing an uncanny resemblance to a couple of old folks we know :-))IMG_3733  They make me smile every time I pass the table!

What's going on at your house today? this week? Pop over to Buttonsbyloulou and add your name on the link list on her blog so we can stop by and check out your place. Ordinary things, special things, give us a glimpse...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Moo's roaring along

Here's her latest Stitchin Mission quilt.

Always one to try something new, Moo's been experimenting with appliqueing little lions onto the front of this quilt to liven up the plain colours.

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