Monday, March 28, 2011

New Beginnings


In January Jenny of Elefantz and her fellow Gum Tree Designers put out the call for sewing kits to give to sewers who had lost belongings in the disastrous South East Queensland floods.

I wasn’t in a position to help at the time, but more recently when she asked for more drawstring bags to contain the kits it was something Di B, Gail and I felt we could do.

These were mine.


Gail made these prettily embellished bags.


And Di B went to town creating all these origami bags.


We mailed them off to Jenny before her March 15 cut-off date, and were happy to play a very small part in helping our fellow stitchers rebuild their lives.


I hope they’re soon creating beautiful things in fabric once again and finding joy in small achievements.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A regular army of hippopotami…*


Young Jack, it seemed, was far too comfortable to make his entry into the world on his due date, sparing no thought for his poor Goddie who was simply bursting with the anticipation of both meeting this little bub and revealing his quilt – not to mention you, my dear blog reader, patiently waiting ….

So here’s the thing.


My son loved his red, white and blue cotton hippopotamus curtains (designed by Pamela Walker in 1975) as a child, and I only recently discovered he’d kept them all these years. They are about to hang in Jack’s room (as soon as I’ve let the hems down).

When he found a table lamp in the same fabric a few months ago he was very excited, and so was I! It meant those hippos were still out there somewhere, and if I could track them down I’d have the beginnings of a baby quilt.


After some discreet big game hunting googling I tracked the fabric down here at Sprout Design, an Australian textile design collective where it’s now being screen printed on 50% bamboo/50% cotton.

And here’s the result, a complete surprise to the new parents Smile 

(Warning: Crazy-woman-with-camera alert!)







* From Flanders and Swann’s Hippopotamus Song

Mud, mud, glorious mud…

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Flaunt

My new grandbaby has arrived – and he’s a BOY!


Jack Elvis Jobbins

4.12 kg (9lb)

Isn’t he beautiful!

My son and gorgeous daughter in law are so excited and I’m one proud Goddie Smile

(Quilt photos to follow)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quilt love

Long term readers of my blog might recall the quilt I made for my wonderful mother-in-law in 2008. It was a gift to celebrate her 80th birthday in 2007, but took a little longer than planned Embarrassed smile


My MIL is a very youthful octogenarian, extroverted and great fun, and she loves to wear bright colours, so I used lots of Kaffe (and Kaffe-like) fabrics in her quilt.

I love the fabric on the back far too much to ever cut it up, so this was the perfect way to use it.


She mentioned a few weeks ago that it needed a wash and I offered to do it for her. She drove by and dropped it in this morning on her way to work. Yes, she still works!

When I handed over the newly-completed quilt 3 years ago it was crisp, bright and the quilting lines were clear and sharp.

But today my quilt feels so different – it feels loved!



Holding it in my arms before I popped it into the washing machine for a gentle wash, I realised how much softer and smoother it felt after being used constantly. I could feel the love in that quilt.

I hope she feels it too.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mug mats, and gratitude (1)


Mug mats are the talk of the quilting blogosphere, and with two of the most special quilting ladies I know having birthdays this month I decided to ‘get with the program’ and make them each a mug mat.


The first was for Margaret. She’s a soft pastel pink, floral, traditional kind of lady, but with a wicked sense of humour.


I’ve had that roses and ribbons fabric for quite a few years not daring to cut into it. We all have pieces like that don’t we?  This pretty fabric was just so Margaret that I took a deep breath … and sliced off just enough for her mug mat.


Can you guess who the other was for?


My whacky and gorgeous friend, Moo, of course! If you look back through my blog you’ll see I’m making rather slow work of using up this fabric I bought a few years ago just for making gifts for Moo!

Remember what I made for her birthday last year?


Moo’s mug mat is a little wonky, not perfectly straight up and down, because Moo herself likes to bend the rules and surprise us Smile


Mug mats, and gratitude (2)

Two completed mug mats. But something was missing……


Co-ordinating mugs!



Happy birthday, Margaret and Moo!

You are both such an inspiration, as you live generous lives faithful to God, and I’m grateful to him for blessing me with your friendship.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meanwhile, back in the hall…

Our February St Mark’s Quilters workshop was dedicated to making blocks which would eventually become Quilts for Queensland (you’ll have them soon, Corrie!).

However no-one could have foreseen the terrible destruction that would happen from the earthquake in Christchurch just a few days later and it seemed an excellent idea to spend our March workshop creating more of these simple blocks so that we might be able to help our Kiwi neighbours too.

After a quick refresher on the quilt-as-you-go method, illustrated with a slide show on the wide screen TV, we were quickly in the swing.


Fabrics were sorted and rotary cutters were wielded to slice the strips. Sewing machines whirred away busily, and our piles of blocks grew at a satisfying rate.



It’s not our intention to make quilts from these blocks since we’ll be sending them on to others prepared to do this, but quite a few girls have asked how they would go about joining quilt-as-you-go blocks, so I made a sample quilt from these blocks after our February get-together.



There are many methods, but if you’re interested in seeing how I did it, have a look at Linda’s tutorial here.

This is the back, fully reversible.



PS.  We had an extra little helper this month - the Princess! She’s quite expert at using my iPad, and I have a growing collection of apps I’ve downloaded just for her.


OK, so maybe my inner child can’t resist Talking Tom Embarrassed smile. Xan and Matilda at quilting 12.03.11 002

The Princess went on to quietly amuse herself with a spare fat quarter while we sewed, and Di B’s beautiful golden retriever Matilda patiently endured a game of dress-ups without a word of complaint.

Xan and Matilda at quilting 12.03.11 004

Is it just me, or do you think the expression on Matilda’s face speaks volumes ?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Did you hear the bells?

Anyone in the vicinity of the St Mark’s Quilters monthly workshop last Saturday would have heard more than the usual peals of laughter coming from the church on the hill.

On this occasion there were peals of bells – eight in fact – as our bellringers rang a quarter peal in our honour!

Di B and I couldn’t wipe the grins off our faces when we were invited to join them in the belltower at the end. We had to negotiate a steep, narrow, Harry Potter-like sandstone spiral staircase to reach the chamber where the action took place.

Ringing down the bells at the end.

Bell ringing 015

Apologies to the neighbours for the random ‘ding-dongs’ afterward when Di and I were allowed to try our hand at tolling the bells Winking smile

Bell ringing 017

That’s Amanda on the right. She’s a real bellringer, and a St Mark’s Quilter!

Bell ringing 019

I think we’ll stick to quilting – just negotiating those stairs was challenge enough!