Thursday, March 29, 2012

For some reason the quilts I stew over the most, turn out the best...

The quilt I've been agonising over is coming together rather nicely after all. Actually, I'm really happy with how it's looking now, and just hope it also works in the room for which it is intended. I'm looking forward to quilting this one too, but that's going to have to wait a couple of weeks.
So many things to do, and so little energy. I'm not asking for sympathy, though, because I know I am a sucker for punishment. See this....
...and this?...
That's my other work-in-progress - instilling some degree of law and order into Phil's workshop/garage. It's his birthday present from me this year. I love the chance to sort out and organise a good mess (and throw half of it away). The worst part has been completed - killing all the redback spiders and painting all the walls. When all the millions of aching muscles have settled down, the next step is to buy and set up some shelving. I know you don't come here for garage makeovers, but I'll show you the end result all the same when I get there.

Oh, and a big thankyou to everyone who has been checking out the quilts for my upcoming exhibition over at Facebook and leaving such lovely feedback. It means a lot to me!

Friday, March 23, 2012

to be a child: quilt reveal on Facebook next week

Only a month till be my exhibition opens! (See this post for the details). Starting next Tuesday, I will be revealing the quilts on my Facebook page, one a day. 'Like' my page to catch the quilts in your Facebook news feed.

The same day that I wrote my past post, about being tired, I finished my latest quilt top. And I love how it looks. Nothing like a sewing success to inspire one to get going on more projects. I've been procrastinating about this next quilt for some time now. 

Its a quilt for friends who recently moved into a spiffy new home, and I didn't realise how nervous I would feel about making a quilt for a specific family and a specific room. It's hard to describe, but it's certainly different than making whatever quilt takes my fancy (even though I have free reign to make what I think is best for this quilt). Phil keeps telling me to trust my artistic judgement. I hope he's right. Meanwhile, here are some of the pieces set out on my design wall.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Yesterday I put it to Phil that perhaps I shouldn't make any more quilts this year. (Phil looked at me in horror because he firmly believes that I am much nicer to live with when I have a quilt in progress. I try not to read too much into that :)). I didn't say that to invoke fear in my husband though. More as a general expression of how exhausted I have been. 

Normally I have no trouble getting going in the morning and tackle my daily list of things to do without really thinking about it. But for the last month or two, it takes all my willpower to get going in the morning, and the only reason anything more than the basic chores get done is because I am a bit OCD about crossing off lists.

There are so many quilts, or at least quilt concepts, that I'd hoped to get around to making this year, including a couple of large quilts to enter into a major international art quilt exhibition, and I'm starting to brace myself for the fact that I won't get around to many of them for a while.

Thankfully, it's all for a good reason, and I'm still living in the hope that some second-trimester-energy will kick in soon. Meanwhile, Caleb has been busy. Here is his list of suggested baby names:
He can't tell me what they are, though.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Drawing the boys

Normally 6am - 10am is my most productive time of day, when I get all the various household jobs and errands out of the way. Lately, however, it has been so hard to get going in the morning, which leaves me frustrated for the rest of the day. Of course, the ongoing hot weather hasn't helped! 

It's time to make some changes to my day, though, to allow myself to start out a bit slower in the morning and save some energy to tackle some of the household tasks later in the afternoon. So yesterday, once the bigger children had gone to school I sat myself in the playroom with the boys and my sketchbook for 15 minutes or so.
Caleb and Daniel loved  me being there and I managed some little sketches of little boys playing (amazing how many different postures that involves).
 It was a most relaxing quarter of an hour, and helped to set the tone for the rest of the day (sounds rather psychological, but it worked for us!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Thankyou for all your lovely comments and well wishes here and on Facebook! We're all rather excited; Caleb most of all ("Why is the baby STILL not coming out?").

Meanwhile, I'm thoroughly enjoying putting my new quilt together. More than halfway there now.
 And while I have been stitching, Caleb has been teaching Daniel how to play 'Scaredy Cat'. This is a great game for this age, although I did notice that Caleb took two turns for every turn that Daniel had... (They were playing so nicely that I didn't interfere).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A change of plans

You may have noticed that sometimes, when talking about future plans, I include the phrase 'the Lord willing'. That's because we realise that despite our best-laid plans, sometimes God has other, better plans in store for us. At the beginning of the year I wrote out my plans and goals for 2012, however, these are all set to change drastically. Instead of the workshop teaching (amongst other things) I was hoping to start this year, there is going to be a big(ger than normal) belly, a whole lot of yawning (due to a whole lack of sleep)...
... a whole lot of snuggles and cuddles...
...a whole lot of being quiet...
...and a whole lot of loving...
OK, so some of that was on the cards anyway, but it now looks as though we will have an extra family member to love and cuddle this year. Which is all a rather long-winded way of saying that, yes, we are eagerly expecting a baby, due end of September, the Lord willing.

The current baby of the family was most unwilling to cooperate for the photoshoot. Oh, boy, Danny, are you in for a shock come September! As dearly as we love you, you are about as exhausting as they come, and my prayer is that that will change between now and then!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A wooden box for me

Phil regularly comes home from work with a little gift of some sort - chocolate, flowers, earrings...
But yesterday's gift would have to be my favourite: 
 An old wooden 'suitcase' and some old tools...
 I have so many nice spots for this box to go, but for now we'll enjoy it in the lounge...
Oh, and my newest quilt is coming along famously. I wish I could show it to you, but this one will have to wait till after it has been exhibited.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The books on my coffee table

First of all, thankyou to Apartment Therapy for featuring our map cushions, and welcome, Apartment Therapy readers. Please do make yourself comfortable here. No sewing to share today, but I do have a stack of inspiring books on my coffee table at the moment which I've been meaning to share with you.
The bottom one has been on my wishlist for a long time - Nancy Crow. Nancy Crow has been a key figure in art quilt circles since the 1970s. To share the quote by Jean Robertson on the inside flap:
"As an activist, teacher and curator, Nancy Crow was a catalyst and prime mover of the art quilt movement... Today, she stands at the forefront of innovative quiltmaking and she is one of the premier colourists in contemporary American art, not matter what medium one surveys. This new book, a chronicle of Crow's work after 1988 shows her transformation."
The second book is one I hadn't heard of before, but stumbled upon in one of my favourite bookshops. It is called Botany for the Artist, by Sarah Simblet, and as the subtitle claims, it truly is an inspirational guide to drawing plants. I love Sarah's drawings, the accompanying photos and the references to early botanical art. This book is text-book scale, and I can't collect some plant specimens for drawing very soon.
Quilt National '11 catalogues the artworks in the Quilt National '11 exhibition (naturally). Quilt National is a bienniel juried exhibition which was been called the "premier international showcase for contemporary quilts". Each page in the book features a large image of one of the quilts and it's accompanying description and artist's statement, and provides a fascinating (and affordable) glimpse into the art quilt world.
At the top of the pile I have Charlie Harper: An Illustrated Life. I have yet to spend much time with this book, but not for lack of interest. The few glimpses I've had show lovely portrayals of the natural world, and I expect that myself and my kids are going to refer back to this book often.

Now I'm curious to know what books are inspiring you at the moment?