Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 in review

It's fun to review the year in pictures. Looking back at those completed quilts and quilts-in-progress, that's rather a lot of fabric, thread and stitches!

In between and through all that sewing, of course, was the daily business of our privileged life. We shared in the pain of our local community when bushfire swept through the area and we had to evacuate for a number of days.
We rejoiced when the rains finally came.
We moved into our brand new, owner-built home...
...and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful countryside around us.
Despite the daily struggles of our human existence, we rejoiced in our marriage and our family...
... and our church and our faith, and above all, in God who made all these things possible!

Wishing you and your loved ones all the best for 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Piecing my "Regeneration 2012" quilt

Piecing of my "Regeneration - Contemporary Quilted Textiles 2012" quilt is progressing well. It's a little bit challenging to get into the studio at the moment, what with holidays and swimming lessons competing for my time and energy, but I'm making daily progress all the same. I hope you are enjoying this time of the year too, whether in the summer heat, or in the middle of winter!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Best wishes from us

Wishing you a safe and happy Christmas in memory of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and a blessed New Year too.
Thank you so much for dropping by here throughout the year.
I value your time and your feedback very much.
I look forward to more next year, the Lord willing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Piecing my "Regeneration" quilt

I keep thinking that because this quilt needs to be finished some time next year, I still have plenty of time. Reality hit yesterday when I realised that it needs to be completed in a months time, including burying all the threads, so that it can be photographed, and posted to arrive in NSW on time. Considering the time of year we are in, this is going to be a challenge! So it was heads down in the studio today!
(I alway enjoy watching the pile of offcuts grow).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Artwork in the mail

I got some pretty awesome mail this week. Sometime ago I asked my 3 year old nephew to draw me some people. He must have gotten inspired last week!
I love to see childrens' early drawings of people. It's fascinating to note which important features they pick up on. Like the fact that the drawing below is clearly Hannah because she has much longer hair than the boys do.
And here is my favourite... Can you guess who this is?
The caption says "Ruth's boys being all silly pretending they are octopuses". (I didn't guess either).
Thank you very much for all the lovely pictures, Sam! We look forward to seeing you soon.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Art quilt storage cupboard

It's about time I share my quilt storage cupboard with you. Sometime ago I asked for suggestions from the SAQA membership on how to store my quilts. (Ideally, quilts are best stored flat or rolled, rather than folded, as the fibres of the fabric tend to deteriorate more quickly along folds). I got some very helpful responses, including this helpful article by Ellen Lindner and here's the quilt storage cupboard we came up with as a result. 

On one side of my studio, under the sloping ceilings I store all my quiltmaking and other sewing/craft supplies. We incorporated the quilt storage cupboard into the end of this storage unit. You can see it below on the left. Opening the (handle-less) doors, you see this (the right picture):
Well, actually, in front of those quilts I keep my roll of quilt batting. This is very handy as I can roll of as much as I need without removing the whole roll from the cupboard, just like in quilt shops!
The quilts are rolled onto cardboard rolls (two or three quilts per cylinder). Thick dowels are inserted into the cardboard cylinders and these rest in the notched MDF attached to the two sides if the cupboard. The large number of notches in the MDF gives me a lot of flexibility as to where I place the  quilt rolls and allows me to store many quilts here if necessary!
(For those who are wondering, the inside of this cupboard is a bit over 90cm deep, and 158cm wide),
(I attached the notched MDF, and in my naivete, never considered where the door hinges would go, so Phil had to hack a piece of MDF out).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pizza anyone?

I hope that the rest of our school holiday activities will be a little healthier than this one! (Pizza cookie recipe from this book.)

Beginning to piece my "Regeneration 2012" quilt

I started the piecing phase of my quilt for "Regeneration - Contemporary Quilted Textiles 2012" - this afternoon. Some weeks ago I cut up my working pattern and ironed all the pieces onto the correct fabric.
Today I trimmed the first section...
...and with the help of my quilt drawing...
...laid the pieces out like a jigsaw puzzle, all ready to be stitched together.

I didn't spend much time in the studio, but it felt good just to have made a start (that's often the biggest hurdle!). I'm looking forward to seeing this one come together!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Boredom Management System

School holidays officially started at 12 noon today for us. At about 1:42pm I heard the first 'Mum, I don't know what to do'... So I put my other activities aside and set up our Boredom Management System. It involves a selection of craft/drawing/sewing/lego books made easily accessible on the computer table...
...and three little 'booklets' attached to the nearby pillar... with jobs to be completed... with activities to do together with me (like ride around the lake, visiting a playground, baking, or a sewing project)...
...and an 'entertain yourself' booklet which basically lists all the things I always suggest when they are bored (although, often "I'm bored" actually means "I don't feel like doing anything")...

My aim is to tackle a holiday job and a 'together' activity most days (jobs before morning coffee, and fun stuff after morning coffee and before lunch). Then I can have 'time out' in my studio after lunch while Daniel sleeps and the other kids entertain themselves. That's the plan, anyway. We'll see how it works in practice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another play quilt

Our baby is nearly two. He holds his own rather well with the other three children, and I know he'll be please to have his own play quilt just like theirs. I love making these, especially playing with which fabrics to put together. I now cut up any fabric scraps I have into 5 inch squares. That way I always have a stack with which to get started on the next quilt.Last week I had all the laid out in position on my design wall and then got caught up with something else. When I next checked in, Daniel was carefully removing them all and stacking matching pieces on top of each other (deconstructing my carefully thought out fabric layout). Still makes me smile to think of it!