Monday, 22 December 2014

Grand Illusion Parts Two and Three

Just tell me again, who starts a mystery quilt, a BIG mystery quilt this close to Christmas?  I must be mental.  Don’t let me do this next year.

It’s been bedlam here the last few weeks, and tonight was going to be no better.  We had another Christmas party to attend, but when I went to gather the various children (we have an extra one here at the moment) my youngest was fast asleep on her bed.  Poor little mite has been pretty teary all day, a sure sign she’s burnt too much midnight oil.  Plus running ragged, swimming, riding her bike – we forget how little she really is.  So I’ve stayed home with her while she sleeps and the husband has taken the other two out.  I must admit to being slightly pleased that I have an extra, unplanned few hours up my sleeve, though the party would have been great fun.

So rather than squander my time alone, I’ve (somewhat) organised the Grand Illusion steps.

Step one is done, finished that within the first week.  Yay me.

Step two is – well, see for yourself:




Far from finished, is what it is.  Far from finished

Step three is done:



Step four?  Just a glint on the horizon at present.

Part of my problem (apart from there not being enough hours in my day) is that I haven’t near enough fabric.  I’ve been frugal with my cutting, but I really don’t think I’ve anywhere near enough to finish the next few steps which means I’ll have to buy some.  I know I had the right amount of yardage before I started – maybe there was a mistake in the tallying up, maybe Bonnie underestimated?  Who knows.  But I need more fabric which I’m a little miffed about because I really didn’t want to buy any more.

But such is life.  I’ve come to a grinding halt with this quilt until I purchase more fabric, and I guess I will have to do that online because there are very few fabric places I can go to around here.  So I think I’ll have to shelve this quilt for a couple of weeks at least.

I’m praying that I’ll have enough black fabric to finish it, because that was the one fabric I was a little bit nervous about before beginning.

So, lovely readers, that is my update.  I doubt I’ll be back on before Christmas, so I wish you all a wonderful, happy day.  I’ve really enjoyed blogging this past year, and my only regret is that I didn’t do more of it.  Next year I hope to find my groove with blogging a little more, and already I have a few things in mind that I might be able to share on the blog, to make it more interesting.  But hey – I promised that at the start of 2014, which I know was only about six months ago!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll talk soon!


Saturday, 6 December 2014


Quilting is a distant memory these past few days – so many Christmas functions.  I’m determined to get into the sewing room and try step two of Grand Illusion at least some time this weekend.  So I have no quilting photos to show you.

But there is this, taken by my brother whilst sitting in his car.  It sums up the nature of our local cockatoos.

IMG_20141204_081325 (3)

Hope that made you smile.


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Show and Tell–House and Home

Some of my older works are pretty embarrassing.  Fairly naive in still and designed solely for shop wall hanging kits. It’s like showing your first quilt – slightly cringe-worthy but presented for you to have a look at none the less.







A million years ago these small wall hangings in the country style were all the go.  Not one of them hangs in my house now.  It’s not just my taste that has evolved – the world of quilting doesn’t really seem to be doing these sorts of designs. 

Guess that’s why quilting is so interesting.  Just when you finish something in one style, along comes a whole new style to try!


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery = Part One Done (almost….)

I worked hard over weekend and managed to get quite a lot of my first step done.


I must admit, this isn’t a quilt that is shy in colours.  Not by a long shot.  Normally I try and go with my own choice of colour but I really just couldn’t make a decision this time.  I wasn’t even going to make this quilt – I have too much on the go and it’s so close to Christmas.  But I decided if I had enough of the colours that Bonnie chose, I’d make it.  And as I mentioned yesterday, I did.  So this is what it is like.





It’s interesting to see how the blocks fit together and how much they change the block depending on the direction you place them in.  It would be foolish to think this will be the layout of the quilt – previous experience has proven that her mystery quilts are a whole lot more intricate, which explains their popularity.


Turn the blocks 90 degrees and you get a whole different block.


Turn another way, and it’s all totally different again!


I still have lots of the blocks to sew.  I’m just having a little break.


I have linked up with Quiltville’s Mystery Monday Link up here:

Hope your weekend went well, I’ll be back another day with more quilty goodness to show you.


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery

So obviously I’ve started Quiltville’s latest mystery quilt.  Of course I have.

I’m determined to keep on track with this one.

Here are my colour choices:


I haven’t included the white yet, but the black is underneath all the brights.


I was pleasantly surprised (or quietly horrified, I can’t tell) that I had enough fabric to do this without buying any.  I may be stretching the black a little, I have two metres which I think will work out the same in yards as we need.  We shall see!


I’ve cut them all out, and last night I pieced all the half square triangles, but I have no photo to show you. 

Hopefully, I can make the broken dishes tomorrow without too many hiccups!

How about you?  Are you doing the mystery?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Blue Mystery Quilt

I think I may have shown you this quilt before, but in my quest to label/document/photograph all my quilts, I’ve got a better photo.


This was a mystery quilt our guild did last year, I think (gee whiz time goes fast)…


You can’t lose with a blue and white quilt.  I’ve not seen one I didn’t like.  They always work.  This was a really simple quilt, it’s all the same block and it’s just the way the colours are placed that makes it work.


I can’t give you the pattern as it wasn’t mine, but trust me – it’s just the one block and it’s repeated over and over.  If you do a google image search on ‘Signature Quilt Block’ you’ll find it over and over again in all manner of quilt designs, it’s just the placement of your fabric that make it this quilt.  It’s a very clever little block.




Two posts in one day!  My gosh, I’m on a roll. 

Are you freaking out about Christmas yet?  I am.  Have I started planning?  Nope.  Have I brought anything yet?  Nope.  Not through any laziness on my behalf, just a stunning lack of organisation that seems to surround me at the moment.  Our kids get of school soon and they have all of summer off, so chances to shop child free are quickly running out.  One child has asked for a toy that I’ve never heard of, never seen before and can’t find online, so goodness only knows what she really means!  The other child wants an Iphone.  All she wants is an Iphone.  She is nine.  She ain’t getting an Iphone.

I don’t have an Iphone.  She has no chance.

Hope your Thanksgiving was lovely, if you celebrated it. 

Happy Quilting


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Sunbonnet Sue–An update

This was one of my ‘will be finished this year’ quilts that was supposed to be finished a few years ago.  Obviously I haven’t finished it, but you will be pleased to know that I am really getting along with it now that it’s out of the UFO box.  It’s been packed away neatly in this tin for a little while but now I’m working in a sewing room that looks like something has exploded.


I’ve tried to be as methodical as possible with this – when I took this project out of the UFO box and started prepping the bonnets I managed to trace them all the wrong way.  So I have the original six little sunbonnets facing one way, and forty two facing another.  Hence the need to have a bit more of a system than I was previously using.

Now I have six little sunbonnets to use up as well.  Is it any wonder that I have so many UFO’s?



Loads of preparation goes into making these.  I’m probably not doing it ‘the right way’, but I’m doing it the way that works for me.  I’ve never mastered the art of freezer paper needleturn, but I found this iron on stuff called Floriana (heard of it?) that you keep in the project and it washes out, so under every piece of the little shapes is a piece of floriana that I’ve used as a stabiliser/pattern template. I’ve folded my seam allowance under and basted it down, then I baste that piece to the background fabric, and it’s prepped ready to be hand appliqued when I have five minutes to sit and do some handwork.  I’ve tried gluing the pieces, like one would do with hexagons but it doesn’t really like to stick to the fabric.  Maybe it’s my glue stick. 

So I baste.  And baste and baste and baste.  I don’t mind basting.  I find I get better at turning as the evening wears on and I can do quite a few in a relatively short amount of time.


I have had the pieced blocks done for months and months.  Probably a couple of years.  Some of my UFO’s are so old, you guys.  But I plod along, and hopefully by the time I’m 90 all my UFO’s will be done.  Ha.


One random Wild And Goosey block sitting there on the design board.  Obviously that’s not going in the Sunbonnet quilt.




So there you are – little sunbonnets all set to be stitched.  I do love my thirties fabrics.  I have yet to get bored with them, I don’t think I ever will.

I hope your day is quilty.  I hope you Americans aren’t getting too stressed over Thanksgiving.  I don’t know how you do it – two big celebrations in a month!  I’m stressed enough about Christmas dinner, without throwing a whole ‘nother one in!

(we don’t do Thanksgiving here in Australia – I’m struggling to think of our equivalent meal apart from Christmas that we do here that would compare – perhaps our Australia day?  But that’s normally a very informal barbie in the backyard with a swim afterwards more than anything).

Have a lovely one, and I’ll be back soon!


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Busy Busy Little Bee

Hi lovely readers.

Again, I’ve disappeared from blog view. 

You know how you have a list of jobs to do and every day you think ‘Right.  Today is the day I’m going to … (insert random action here)’ and when you’re laying in bed at night you think ‘Oh darn it, I didn’t to … (random action) again today’?

I wish I could say it’s just the blog that I’m doing that with, but it’s life in general.  Is it the time of year?  Or is it just my momentous lack of organisational skills?  I suspect it’s both.

I know you are all in the same boat.  I don’t even work away from home.  My hat is off to those of you with full time, away from home jobs.  My sister in law is one of them.  Has a twelve hour a day job, two kids, both of whom are busy little beavers that need ferrying around, and she still finds time to exercise each morning. 

But me?  Not so much of the organising.

Enough of the whining.  I have photos to show you





Don’t you just love love love jacarandas? 

They grow everywhere here.  Each street is lined with them and the blossom is like nature’s confetti.  We have two in our garden, both of which we planted when they were little.  They are not native to Australia but they sure as heck should be because they look so darn beautiful.


We have one of the oldest suspension bridges in Australia and twice a day it lifts up to allow boat traffic underneath.  We went on a night time boat ride a few weeks ago and went under it.  It was lit up so pretty.  I do not confess to being any sort of photographer but this picture kind of worked out, so in it goes.


I love our river.  Love it.





We don’t have your classical ‘flowery’ garden.  My husband doesn’t do flowers very much. He’s a keep it need kind of guy in the garden, and flowers don’t behave as they should.  But I went out for a walk in the garden the other day and found so many great photo opportunities, and I realised that once you have a really good look, there is such prettiness everywhere.

And so there you go, a little update from me.   I’ve got some quilting posts that I’m working on, so hopefully we shall go back to our regularly scheduled programme.  But with Christmas coming up, I’m not promising anything.

Have a great day!


Monday, 27 October 2014

more monsters…

So I’ve been trying to finish all the UFO’s in the cupboard (there is no hope – there are just too many) and finishing my monsters is high on the list.

You may remember the original monster quilt (see it here if you want to refresh).  When I stitched it, I just blindly appliqued lots of very cute monsters just because I liked them.  I gave no thought to actual maths, or how they would work in a quilt.  Consequently, I had lots of blocks left over that wouldn’t fit in the original – the maths just wouldn’t go.

So, to use the all up, I made another monster quilt.


IMG_5588Half of these were already stitched, I also needed to make a few more.  Happily, there are millions of little monsters all over the internet, or in colouring in books.  The tricky part was not actually finding the designs, it was deciding when to stop.  But stop I did, and I made this quilt over the last few months.

















I do think that last one is my favourite.






So all in all, I think my two monster quilts have worked rather well.  I’m not sure anyone needs two monster quilts in their stash, so I’ll most likely give one away.  But for a little while, I will keep them here at home.

The only downside is that I STILL have all these blocks leftover that didn’t fit.




I’ve decided that I will not make another monster quilt (I’m almost totally sick of the monsters….).  I think I will use some of these guys on the back of the quilt, and I’m going to make some library bags or something as gifts.  And then me and the monsters – we will be done!