Thursday, June 30, 2011

Schoolwork looks better on fabric

If you've been visiting here for a while you may remember that last year I obtained permission to take photos of Aaron's class at school, for a new quilt. The quilt is (finally) designed and drawn up. And this week an eagerly awaited fabric shipment arrived.Yes, that is school work printed onto fabric (digitally, thanks to Spoonflower).I love how it looks. I think I could make a hobby of getting stuff printed onto fabric... (if it weren't for that little obstacle called 'budget', that is).Now to cut out that quilt... (it's a big one!)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's been quite a day

I think this picture sums it up.It started before breakfast when Daniel poured a cup of (lukewarm) coffee over my favourite jeans AND the quilt design I had almost finished tracing onto interfacing. It continued through much whining and hanging off mum, as well as several changes of little boy clothes (involving mud, paint and more).

It wasn't all bad, though. We got another coat of varnish onto the studio desktops. It's almost ready to be inhabited! However, because I have plans for more quilt cutting this week (and I don't want to wait for the three coats of varnish to dry) and Phil is out of town, I decided to set up my studio in the kitchen for the rest of the week. I rather like the set up too (that's the fridge in the background up there) - we had a spare door floating around which got propped up on the bar stools for a fabric table, and the ironing board on the kitchen benchtop (hiding in the picture below) is a small tabletop version from IKEA.
And that's Caleb, hard at work on a self-portrait.(We found some yarn offcuts as we sorted through the mountains of stuff in the studio - perfect for hair!)

And then, in the last light of day, right about the time that the spatula broke just as it was being applied to the behind of a rather naughty little boy, God gave us some low-lying clouds to make us pause, admire and refocus.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Entertaining six kids at once

We got together with friends for dinner on the weekend. After dinner we pulled out a pot of crayons and a roll of paper and suggested that the kids design a road for their cars.
This was a great activity for two three-year-olds, two six-year-olds and two eight-year-olds to work on altogether. Oh, and one important step was to put the two one-year-olds to bed first!An hour after the older kids had moved on to other activities, one little trooper was still furiously colouring his road.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quilt cut

Cutting out a new quilt is not my favourite part of quiltmaking. It requires concentration to make the right colour choices. It also involves mess and chaos (it's impossible to stay tidy when you are cutting thousands of pieces out of hundreds of different coloured fabrics). However, a bit more cutting out last night and then early this morning, and the job is done!

So we treated ourselves to a trip into the city this morning. We saw 'Yr 12 Perspectives' at the Art Gallery of WA - always worth a visit!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tackling the list

I have a rather extensive quiltmaking to-do list at the moment. It includes pieced quilt tops which need to be layered and quilted, piles of quilt pieces which need to be pieced into quilt tops, completed quilt designs which need to be cut out of fabric, unfinished quilt designs which need to be refined and finalised, and quilt ideas which need to be developed and drawn up. I try to assign a task (or couple of tasks) to a week, keeping my goals realistic so that we still get dinner at night.This weeks task is to cut out one of the new quilt designs (working title: 'Boundaries'). With a full day at home today, I made a good start on this task.
I don't think I will ever get sick of seeing piles of hand-dyed fabric.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

When a pram looks like this...

When a pram looks like this, it's time to get a new pram.
We've been together a long time, the pram and I, through a steady succession of children (well, only four) and over many kms. It's been bolted, welded, patched, and stitched back together before, and I think it might be time to call it a day.

It would've been nice to get back to the top of the hill before loosing the wheel though. Caleb was a true champion, tramping-running up the big hill all the way back home, while Daniel perched in the pram and I balanced it on its back wheels. A marathon home trek, with just enough time to get to school for the afternoon school trip. Phew!And I've even got a loan-pram sorted already, toddler seat and all. Thanks, Leanne! (No excuses not to go walking. Or shopping.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Perfect weather for stomping and sewing

We only went out for five minutes, just to wave goodbye to our visitors. It only took them a fraction of that time to find the rivulet of water running through the clay.After five minutes, they were both in need of a bath, so I grabbed the camera and let them play for another ten minutes. And then spent half an hour cleaning them up. They appreciated it though - both the mud and the bath!
And just in case you didn't visit here to see grubby little boys, here's my current sewing project...Rather unseasonal.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I suspect that most of the people who know us in real life believe Caleb to be a quiet boy of few words. If only they could hear him when there's only us around. Especially now that he's well and truly into the 'why' stage.

This morning we had a half-hour car trip during which he kept up a continual barrage of questions. Here's a snippet:

C: “Mummy, is the sun hot?” (we saw a model of the sun at the museum earlier this week)

Me: "Yes"

C: "Mummy, why is the sun hot?"

Me: “umm, because we need it to live and grow”

C: “Does the sun grow us in the house?”

Me: “Ummm, no”

C: “What grows us then in the house?”

Me: “Well, I suppose that when we’re in the house we grow from the food inside us”

C: “hee, hee, that’s tricky from the food”

C: “Mummy, I seed a aeroplane. Does the aeroplane grow from the hot sun?”

Me: “No, only living things grow. Rocks and aeroplanes and buildings can’t grow. Only plants and animals and people.”

C: “Buildings are already big for the people.”

Me: “That’s right.”

C: “Trees don’t need eyes.”

Me: “No, they don’t”

C: “Why don’t they need eyes?”

Me: “umm…”

C: “We do need eyes.”

Me: “Yes”

C: “Why do we need eyes?”

Me: “Umm, to see things”

C: “To see the hot sun?

Me: “Yes”

C: “Why do we need to see the hot sun?”

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ruth de Vos at bigcartel

Something I've been working on for a bit but haven't announced here on the blog is my new online shop! This makes it a whole lot easier to purchase my artworks. You can access it via my website, my blog, or by visiting

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When You're the Best of Friends

When You're The Best of Friends
(c) Ruth de Vos 2011
29cm by 29cm

I sent this quilt away today for the SAQA Benefit Auction. If it arrives on time, you can buy it there (online) as part of SAQA's major annual fundraiser.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Make Froggie

This post is especially for Maddy and her mum. I didn't forget you, Maddy - I have finally added the pattern for Froggie to the sidebar of my blog.
In honour of the occasion Froggie kindly asked if I would take fresh photos, as he really wasn't happy with the last photo shoot.
He says that he is very happy living here. He is especially glad to have all the books unpacked. He loves them all, but like all of us, has his favourites.His only wish is for some uninterrupted reading time once in a while.And in case you are wondering, no, I am not going to venture further into the world of designing softies. There are others way more capable. This was just a frog fix that needed to be cured late last year.

Please let me know if you have any hassles with the pattern/instructions.