Friday, February 5, 2016

Miss C's Quilt

My heart is full. Pretty Checkerboard quilt is complete and today reached the person it was lovingly made for. There is something very special about choosing fabrics and design with a brand new person in mind. This gorgeous little girl already has the use of a small baby quilt - the very first quilt I ever made - which was sewn for one of her cousins. For this reason I made a larger quilt with a view to it lasting her many years. The last photo, taken today (sent to me via text), looks like the beginning of a beautiful quilt story.

Quit details: Keeping to a soft pink and green colour scheme, I selected many favourites from my treasured fabrics, with a sprinkling of organic fabrics. The backing fabric is called Patio Lights from Tamara Kate's Flight Patterns collection. The batting is Hobb's Organic Cotton batting from Texas. Quilting in the ditch along each seam line. I used Rita Hodge's checkerboard quilt tutorial, cutting fabrics into strips of 3"x13". Following Rita's directions this yields finished squares of 2 1/2" with each 4x4 block being 10" square. With six rows of four blocks each, the finished quilts measures approximately 40" x 60". 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Present in the Present

If you must look back, do so forgivingly. 
If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. 
However, the wisest thing you can do 
is be present in the present....Gratefully.

                                          Maya Angelou 

Images captured while being quietly present in the present in the garden. Kookaburra (Kingfisher family), tall-stemmed fungi amongst morning dew, lemons drenched by steamy summer storms, Crocosmia (native to Africa) and a neighbourly hibiscus flower).

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pretty Checkerboard

There is beauty in simplicity and a satisfying joy in making. Inspired by Rita Hodge's (Red Pepper Quilts) gorgeous checkerboard quilts and the clarity of her free tutorial, I dug deep into my stash to pleasantly discover enough variety to proceed. A classic, uncluttered design like this allows the fabrics to be the star of the quilt, making it a little easier to cut into so many of my favourites. I will share more details in due coarse.  :)

Sharing at WIP Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sewing - For Me

It was time. With each subsequent wash my current dressing gown was literally disintegrating. I guess these things happen after 18 years. I had bought it just before our twins were born, taking it to hospital for each of the last six children. In fact I wore it home from hospital the night I had baby #6 - I was less than two hours total in hospital with that birth, but that's another story.

This fabric print is one of my all time favourites. It's part of the Moody Blues collection designed by Genuine for Cloud 9 Fabrics. An intricate design in classic blue and white, printed on fine organic cotton. This fabric was the motivation behind my Set Free quilt and my choice for backing the quilt. I was so delighted to discover our Australian Spotlight stores recently stocked the Moody Blues collection. While it was on special I bought enough to make a new dressing gown so I could wrap myself in this favourite fabric every day.

Just over 12 months ago I made myself a skirt from some Cloud 9 fabric to discover that it really doesn't drape well, even after much wear and numerous washes. However it is now softer to touch and very safe against the skin. These poor drape make me consider carefully before sewing clothes for myself but is not a problem to me for a dressing gown. 

Using my old dressing gown as a template, I cut and sewed, making my new one slightly longer in the sleeves and total length as I wear it in all seasons, with a thicker robe on top in the colder months. As it's currently summer here I have gently rolled the sleeves, forming a cuff for now (which I will roll higher on hotter nights). The selvedge is working very well as a waist tie and I like it's appearance. I may sew a matching fabric tie one day and I may add pockets, but right now I love it just the way it is. Today I added the belt tabs and hand stitched the hem, yet I have worn it the last two nights, incomplete, because I couldn't wait!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gibraltar Range and Washpool National Park

Steep mountain ranges, cool forest creeks, interesting walking tracks and unusual native flowers - sounds like a perfect family day out! Yesterday we drove about 100km up the Gibraltar Range, and away from the river flats of our hometown. It had been three and a half years since we had traveled this way, that visit was in mid winter, cool and slightly damp. Now it's mid summer, hot and drier.

We explored Boundary Falls picnic area in the Gibraltar Range National Park then headed to Washpool National Park. Between these two stops I noticed three small flat, dry, grassy swampy areas beside the road (just west of the Ranger's building/house). What really caught my eye were the Christmas Bells flowers! Christmas Bells are native to only a narrow strip along eastern Australia, an area I have lived in all my life, yet I had never seen these plants before. Despite the midday heat I was determined to stop and have a good look at these treasures (being the driver helps with these snap decisions)! There are only four species of Christmas Bells, these particular plants are the Northern Christmas Bells, Blanfordia grandiflora, which is the species with the largest flowers. They are tufted perennial herbs. Their grass-like leaves, similar in appearance to small Kangaroo-Paw leaves, aren't visible in these photos, they are hidden beneath the other taller grasses. Their beautiful, brightly coloured bell-shaped flowers bloom in summer (December -February), making their name very fitting. 

At Washpool National Park I found some dainty white flowers amongst the reedy grasses of the boulders (as well as stunning views). I haven't been able to identify these, they appear similar to the Western Australian Blue Lace Flower, Trachymene cerulean. So many wonderful things to see and more walking tracks yet to be explored on future visits - when the weather is cooler.

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