Thursday, October 29, 2009

Friday Flaunt - Stitchery Down Under

In between cuddles, feedings, bubbling, baths, and nappy changes, I've managed to make some progress on the Noah's Ark stitchery blocks.
Eight done, two more and the large focal stitchery yet to go.

I think they're looking okay, but maybe a bit plain. Following Carrie P.'s blog, I see she colors her stitcheries with crayons. I like the way that looks. Carrie recommends coloring your stitchery first, then doing the embroidery. She explains that's because when you press the piece to melt and set the crayon, if you've stitched first, the embroidery will be flattened. Still, I'd like to try coloring one of the blocks I've already stitched.

Since I'm leading Stitchin' Mission quiltmakng lessons at St. Mark's in Darling Point, I'm also sewing to make two baby quilts. And I'm finding that sewing with this view is much nicer than mine at home!
These sliding glass doors open to the balcony. The weather is mild, and the landscape is lush with all sorts of blooming spring things. The bird calls are unlike any I hear at home. As pretty as a yellow-crested cockatoo may be, its screech is an ear-piercing, harsh squawk. Still, this is a beautiful place.

Each Friday, bloggers who belong to Quilting Down Under chat group post a flaunt of their productivity. Visit Cinzia's blog to find links to all 19 Friday Flaunt-ers.

Baby Giggles

video

Our little lima bean.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Some of Our Things are not Like the Others

Take a look at the flora I enjoyed during a walk between the apartment and Celina's school.

Jacaranda


A jade plant we cherish as an indoor houseplant grows abundantly outdoors here.
And bird-of-paradise are everywhere! I thought this one looked like it was crying.
Americans and Australians may both speak English, but it's entertaining to note the differences in our lingo. While at the Burwood Mall in Westfield, (New South Wales, Australia), I scoped out a few similarities and differences.

Spoken in every language...
A trash bin,
a diaper disposal container in the parent's room,
and this message that's our take on "Don't drink and drive." Downtown Sydney viewed from the mall parking lot.

Monday, October 26, 2009

More Nana Flaunting

Tay is our first birth grandchild. While I'm definitely enjoying being around a baby again - he's just four weeks old - and I'm trying to be helpful, jetlag makes me practically worthless in the evening. But starting at about 4:00 a.m. watch this Nana at work!It's a pretty tough assignment.Sometimes it's not all peaches and cream. Even I have days like this!
Celina left this on my pillow. She reminds me that I'm loved, and I'm "the best." (See that, Bapa?)
It's been been rainy and a little cool-ish here, so we haven't ventured out much. But when we do, I'll share a little of Sydney with you. It's a city full of interesting sites and beauty. Oh, it's a "pinch me" moment. I can't believe I'm here!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Oz!

I made it! After a late-departing flight from Des Moines; snow in Denver that left me only 15 minutes to run from gate 75 to gate 22 (arriving in time, but panting desparately due to the high altitude); and a God-ordainted, enjoyable 14 hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney - my seat was next to two quilters from Ballarat, Australia, who were returning home from their 16 day holiday in Houston at the International Quiltfest! (Oh yes, we found a couple things to chat about.) - I arrived with both checked bags (incredible) and in a record-breaking short trip of 24 hours!

The best part was waiting at the gate for me. There I swapped my carry-on bag for a three-week old bundle of joy, our new grandson, Tay.

Big sister, Celina, is already teaching him the pleasures of Dr. Seuss: "Green Eggs and Ham."
Tay in his pram with one of the quilts I made for him.And here he's sleeping beside the koala whatch-call-it I made similar to "Bambino" by Melly & Me. Precious.
Stitchin' Mission #19 began today today too! This is the good life. No, it's the best life!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Skywriting for Jesus

It isn't often - if ever! - you see skywriting, except in movies. But on Sunday, near Abbotsford (Sydney, Australia), DD saw this from her apartment balcony. It's a little difficult to read - perhaps it was a windy day - but it says, "JESUS HOPE."
How nice to know that people looked heavenward and read that.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

On the Radio!


Thanks to Michael Morain's wonderful article in the October 6 Des Moines Register, and the interest it generated in my Stitchin' Mission quiltmaking ministry, I'm going to be interviewed on a local radio station! If you live in the Des Moines, Iowa, area, listen in:

Tuesday, October 20
8:00-8:30 a.m.
Maxine Sielman's radio program, "Update Today"
on station KPSZ, Praise 940 AM
She wants to talk about the AQS (American Quilters Society, Paducah, Kentucky) national quilt show that's here in Des Moines at the Iowa Events Center from October 28-31, and Stitchin' Mission.

I wish I could tell you that you can listen-in, but unfortunately, this is a radio station that does not have Internet live-stream. Still, I'd appreciate your prayers that I will present myself and the information well.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Game Day

Today is homecoming at UNI - University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. We have season tickets with seats next to dear friends. Each year I try to make something for them that's UNI Panther-related.

About two years ago, DH found UNI Panther fabric at the University Bookstore and purchased five yards. Since making a pillowcase, picnic table cover, napkins, a magnifying glass case, a hot iron bag, a floor covering for the car, and a car armrest cover, it's nearly gone.

We recently returned to the bookstore to buy more fabric and learned it's no longer available. Please let me know if you know where I can find it.
Happily, I had enough to make this travel tray which I think is a perfect gift for my friend. I've now made seven of these in a variety of prints.
About six years ago I made this 17" X 30" wall hanging, wanting to express our thorough and skin-deep support for UNI whose colors are purple and gold. I named it "UNI All Under." Yes, it's a little bit naughty, but it's meant in good clean fun.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Flaunt - Another Bub Quilt

Isn't there always time for "just one more" for quiltmakers? This week I hopped to it and made this 42" X 48" baby quilt. The focus fabric - a print of block letters spelling baby - along with a print of green kangaroos and other animals on white, were just too perfect to leave laying around for long. This three-rail fence layout worked up quickly. I tried, for the first time, using flannel as batting, and I like it. The quilt's very lightweight and drapes nicely, as I hoped it would. A heads up for you newer quilters: if you use flannel as batting, be sure to wash it first; it shrinks!
This quilt, and four others, will be flying off to Oz with me soon. I can't wait!

(Each Friday, bloggers who belong to Quilting Down Under chat group post a flaunt of their productivity. Visit Cinzia's blog to find links to all 19 Friday Flaunt-ers.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quilt Labels

Using my Macbook's software program, I made labels for two quilts. My favorite method for making labels is using my inkjet printer to print onto Printed Treasures, a paper-backed fabric. You just need to anticipate making enough labels to fill the 8-1/2" X 11" sheet. In my opinion, Printed Treasures is pricey at $18 for only five sheets, but it does the best quality job. You just don't want to waste any of it.

This is the label for the baby's quilt. It's the quilt that looks like this.
(Some information has been intentionally blurred and removed.)
Yes, I write corny poems. I call them my little ditties. No, they aren't very clever, but it makes me happy to write them.

Since bub's getting a quilt, big sister must have one too. I blogged about this one before, showing how I free-motion quilted it, and how to sew on scalloped binding.
And here's the second label with another little ditty.
These quilts are now ready to put into a box that will be checked luggage when I head to Australia. I expect that opening the box on the other end will be just like Christmas morning.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Travel Tray

Once again I find I'm pleased to have been clued-in about a blog freebie. Thanks to something shared on this blog, I linked to this blog for instructions to make a Travel Tray.

A travel tray is basically a mini quilt that you take along in your suitcase. When you want something for your jewelry, keys, eyeglasses and the like, you fold and snap together the corners to make the quilt into a tray.

This is how I intend to use mine.
Snaps or Velcro at each corner help form the sides. I opted to use snaps, concerned that Velcro might snag other items in my suitcase.
No big surprise, my tray is the one made with palm tree fabric.
All of these have a solid yellow fabric interior. The designer recommends using a light solid so you can see everything - even the smallest earrings - you've dropped in the tray.
Lovin' this freebie. You too?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Snow - October 10!

Drat! It's only October 10 and look what we woke to this morning. Snow, already! This is our back deck (those are brown chairs), and some unhappy potted herbs at the lower left.
Guess the only thing to do is slunk off to my sewing room for a whole entire day of staying put and being productive. Now that doesn't sound like such a bad idea...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Flaunt - More Snowflake Medallion

I'm making relatively steady progress on the Snowflake Medallion quilt. Most recently I've added four more rounds to this square quilt. It's now 56-1/2" X 56-1/2".

Using the no waste method (see tutorial at left), I made 56 flying geese, and appliqued eight purple flower blocks. Also, there are a total of 64 1 cm appliqued circles!
Three narrow fabric borders came next, with the last two being mitered. I took extra time - with much practicing of sewing and unsewing - to make the mitered stripes match-up.
I'm lovin' the looks of this.
Four more rounds, yet to be added - two of them pieced, one with additional applique. Stay tuned until 2010!
(Each Friday, bloggers who belong to Quilting Down Under chat group post a flaunt of their productivity. Visit Cinzia's blog to find links to all 19 Friday Flaunt-ers.)

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