Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

The xmas tree is down, the decorations almost put away. Time for a new year with a  new start.
Santa did bring some gifts, and I must say that the EQ7 program walks all over EQ5! So much better, easier to use- even for this computer  idiot!

My lovely son ordered some yummy fabric which arrived this morning, and an added gift voucher- lucky me.

I have been madly machine quilting a project piece, just up to the binding- hooray! now to get some other projects finished, one for a belated birthday gift and the wedding quilt, maybe not in time for the wedding itself, but soon!
Life as usual is busy, I lost the address book and along with it my birthday remembering this year, so lets hope next year is much better.
Just loving sitting inside in the cool and checking out all the amazing blogs with inspiring machine quilting.

Celebrating new years eve early tonight as I am too old to stay awake- unless I am being paid to work, remembering fondly the night I worked 1999 new years eve- interesting- no the world didn't end, and we all survived the night. A great way to spend new years eve cloistered in a ward with people who you will never see again- mostly!
Bring on 2014-!
A little tidying found me these in my sewing room, OK now to keep them safe until I need them

Sneak peek at blue and white quilt almost finished

Quilt ready to have border sewn on and pinned and quilted, 3 weeks and it needs to be done!

A little table runner, some funky fun quilting, just trying out some ideas

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

for Christmas I would really love- in no particular order

* more hours in the day
* less days at my proper paid job ( which I love but really don't need to love it so much!), and more at home to quilt
* a box of basting pins- I just used them all up
* something that sounds like Gammill
* limitless designs in my head, sometimes I get stuck!
* another overseas holiday.

In the meantime I am trying to cram as much into every day as I can- but getting a little tired after work to sew, but trying really hard to achieve lots. I do not have any holidays over the Christmas period, mine start on Jan 27th- then its off to have a great rest and catch up with old friends. yay

 I bought this book at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, such inspiration, it is a colouring "book that says "Anti Stress on the cover! just excellent. There were 4 books but my luggage would only cater for 1 sadly, maybe next time. Maybe I might mail order some?
 A block from my QQ night group challenge, slowly evolving
 A quilters helper, a bit fluffy with lots of shedding going on.
What I am working on at the moment, actually trying to quilt 2 quilts simultaneously.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What to quilt?

I have several projects underway, all in different stages of construction.
Now I have finished the full time day work and am back to normal shift work, I am hoping to get a lot of work done!
Although Christmas is fast approaching- without warning I might add. I expect that I have to get some food organised and maybe a few gifts. Not much cooking for me this year as I am working in the morning 7 till 3:30 pm, so it will be a late lunch, as long as it is prepared the day before, lovely Peter will cook it all. Not that I can light he BBQ anyway.....
The first quilt pictured is  a "modern quilt" needing to be quilted, a little different to my normal quilting but then some is the same. A lot of negative space and a lot of ideas, but what to do? One suggestion would be to leave the pins in and bind it!
 This is my  "Counting by the Ocean' quilt that is a project in the new Down Under Quilts magazine. I made one for a friends baby a few years ago, this is a copy, and I am proud to see it published.

 When I was in Hobart a few weeks ago, mum and I went to the Botanic gardens, always a treat, I have many fond memories of walking and picnicking there when we lived in Hobart. The gift shop had these gardening gloves, however they are perfect for machine quilting- so I got 2 pairs! Just the right colours.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The return of my mojo

My thread stand broke some time ago, in the interest of saving the old parts, my lovely husband today resurrected it, and even made it bigger and better. It has many more spool holders, I did find though that the short reels needed another reel underneath to stop the thread from tangling on the top of the nail he used. It is wonderful and will suit my bigger spools of thread nicely.

 My mojo is returning- albeit slowly. 2 more weeks of this job- 9 days really, then back to my normal shift work.
I have been doing catch up on the Queensland Quilters night ladies 'doin the block' project. OK, so I have done the blocks for this month and have not really started the last 4 months worth, but now I have a theme and a colour palette I am on track.
I really don't need another new project, but this is small and easy and doesn't need a large amount of time or space to do, or much brain power to make it work!
It will be next years xmas tablecloth.
Theme- paper pieced
Theme- spiral- easy machine appliqued- I couldn't find the fusible web, so used some other stuff that worked well
These 2 are close ups of my Hawaiian delight that was at the last QQ exhibition, a little too small for the applique category, but I am so pleased I finished it as it was a long term project. I was really pleased with the machine quilting, it came up really well.
So now back with renewed energy and vigour to my sewing room.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Retarding my creativity

OK, this full time work is Ok, no night duty or late nights at work, however it is time consuming, AND every day, and it is retarding my creativity.

I have allocated meal cooking nights to the children, and gone out on  a few other nights.
I have been madly piecing a Modern quilt- that is I have started a new project even thought I have many waiting to be finished, however my passion is for this particular quilt - so it must be done.
No pictures yet, but maybe soon.
There are some other things that have been happening, a weekend at the beach, and tomorrow a quick trip to Hobart for a work reunion! 48 hours, carry on baggage of 7 kg- why is the bag so heavy. I am reading  a meditation book and also 'The War of Art' by Steve Pressfield- a good read so far, 2 x 3 hour flights and I am hoping to be well on the way with both books- unless I fall asleep along the way!

Happy quilting or even just living- have just seen About Time at the cinema- just wonderful, great soundtrack- lots of laughter and some tears, a great watch.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

painting a bird

Yesterday I met my friend Kim from Hobart, fortuitously she was here quilt show weekend. Off we went after some inventive last minute driving round an improvised tourist route!
We did some heavy duty shopping in the end. Quilting patterns for her, fabric for a dual challenge, and a new light for me and some books.
Lots of lovely quilts to look at, some great fabric, but in the end we were very restrained!
We did do a short fabric painting class with Judy Coates-Perez. Mm I have not really had a huge success and do have a small stash of paints. In the end I was quite impressed with my little bird, I learnt that there is a product called paint extender, not to be confused with seafood extender..... It made the shading so much easier and the paint more manageable! So watch this space, when I have cleaned my room I might have another go at it- even if its to use up my paints. He does have a funny blob on his head, but that will be quilted over.
Off again today to do some demo work at the art quilt table, then its the big pack up. And home to work on next years quilts.
Cute bird, pattern by Judy Coates-Perez

Fabric for new challenge, I have lots of quilt challenges for the next few months to keep me out of trouble and off the streets!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Quilt show demo

I have been at the annual Queensland Quilters quilt show, as part  of the art quilt off
shoot I have been doing some demonstrations. we are called 2QAQ as Queensland quilters is affectionately called 2Q, so its QQ art quilters. or 2qaq (2quack) if you say it fast enough!
This is great fun, I have so many people amazed that I am doing freeform work, inspired  by Rayna Gillman and Gwen Marston.
This is very much using solid fabrics with some hand dyed thrown in for some fun. Its cut and sew then cut and sew, if you need more colour or bigger add some, then cut and sew to your hearts content. Some things don't work, but that's half the fun to do something different , they are going to be placemats as our dining table is soft Huon Pine and needs some protection.
I have 3 quilts in the show. Am happy that with my silly year of illness that I actually achieved that.
No prizes this year, but am happy that my challenge piece with its blue ribbon is there (from March this year).
oops a sideways row by row quilt, more on this another day

 An old log cabin block about to be reworked. There are a little family of these in my cupboard needing to be reworked!

Part way through the reworking, some cutting and adding being done. I was cutting randomly with no ruler mostly
A little further along in the process below, needs some more work, but I had to pack up and go home. I will work on this some more tomorrow when it is my turn to demonstrate tomorrow, pleased to be going today to view the quilts, hope I can have a proper look.

Another block in the making, this one started as some strata units and was built using narrow strips, just a little fun, its interesting to see how the colours change the look as each new strip is added.

One of my entries, I will take some close up shots today of the machine quilting which if I say so myself is pretty good! Just  a little too small for the applique category, and couldn't find any more fabric to my liking to make it bigger. oh well if only I was a bit more organised and had got started earlier!
Of course, this working full time is curtailing my creativity, so tired when I get home in the evenings, and then getting up at 5:20 am doesn't help as I need to go to bed early...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Home and back to work

Following our exciting trip to Spain and France, we arrived home safely, always try to sit next to a small person on the long flight home, of course your husband on one side - but a small person- a Malaysian chef this time, very comfortable indeed, except for the leg space, and of course the hot chicken dish split down my husband- but that's his story.   http://rundlesrant.blogspot.com.au/
My camera died- sadly, so few pictures, but funnily enough I didn't see the need to take hundreds of photos- unlike my travelling partner. I do have some of my own though.
Celery to feed all of Villandry!
ornamental kale at Villandry

Back into the swing of things I went to a quilters retreat this weekend, 2 nights and 3 days of sewing, chat,- no cooking or housework or hungry family. It was at Staceys at the Gap, luckily I also had a driver, my negotiation of the roads around Brisbane is rudimentary, however I can get to where I need to go- in the end.
The whole weekend was great fun, some of the quilters I already had met. They were all working on different projects and I also had several of my own to manage. I finished the star top - too late for the quilt show, and as it is a gift for next year, will not be exhibited except at show and tell. I am working on a top I started in a Jane Sassaman class a few years ago- I did some work on that, but my machine applique skills are basic and I have found it frustrating, should have raw edged it!
My other project is a liberated medallion quilt that I worked on at a recent Gwen Marston workshop- so may pieces to finish! and such little time. The medallion is growing fast, I am hoping to make it for our own bed, its a bit scrappy- I am really fussy and find it hard to do scrappy and freeform, but am trying hard not to make it too ordered...
One of the fun things about retreat is watching others sew, cogitate, and sew a bit more...then unpick!

Monday, September 23, 2013


Well we have come via Spain, where it was steamy hot to Paris where is is cold and wet, 16 degrees today, a lot different from 35 in Spain!
Had to buy winter coats and a long sleeved top, and socks as my ankles were cold.
The town of Tours was lovely, so different from where we have been. We had a great day riding a bike along the river to the next town, did some wine tasting! Local wines of course.
The day tour to the chateau was lovely, a small bus with a small group, so much easier than a large group.
Now to see as much of Paris in one week! Had a walk along bd
 Haussmann to the Arc de Triomph, shame that one nasty little black thief gave us the creeps when he bumped into Peter, luckily no damage.
Well my camera is broken, and it has taken me several days to get motivated to post, even though I wrote the first part of this blog  a few days ago.
We have been everywhere of note in Paris, to Versailles, on the metro, out to dinner and to the Moulin Rouge.
My photos are a bit random as I have been using peters camera. Hmmm, he wouldn't let me bring my trusty old one and the shutter has jammed on the new one I just had to have.....we have 2  more days of holiday, then home. Giverny tomorrow.

Bed decoration

Chair at Versailles

Ceiling, so many wonderful ceilings to see

Garden at chateau

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bordeaux to Tours

We had a lovely few days in Bordeaux, lots of lovely food and many wine shops for peter to peruse. We had some great dinners in local restaurants, and did a fun 1 hour tour of the city.
An afternoon tour of 2 vineyards and wineries that bought back lovely memories and smells from our little winery and also friend's wineries in Hobart.
Train travel is the way to go, clean and comfortable. We passed lots of fields of grapes and sunflowers and old towns.
We arrived in Tours in torrential rain, caught a taxi to a cute little hotel, note it has no lift and we are on the third floor.....
Then when we came to our senses- discovered the tourist information was opposite the train station so walked there in the rain!
Booked a tour in the end to chateaux and wineries for monday, sort of would like a car to do it on our own, but not in the rain!
Woke up today- Sunday to discover clouds, with some blue sky and no rain, a good day to explore on foot and maybe hire a bike, there are lots (600km) of bike tracks here, maybe just a small portion of that could be covered today.


 Bordeaux sculpture with and without lights.
Peter at home in the vineyard

The rest of our breakfast

Friday, September 13, 2013


Last dinner in Spain, Bilbao, it is always wise to wear your glasses when ordering food, not quite what I thought it was, but tasted great! Outside of restaurant below.
Well here we are in France, Bordeaux to be exact. The train is such a lovely peaceful easy to travel, great views, quiet, comfortable seats.
We like Bordeaux, its easy to walk around, the only troublesome thing it has been raining a little. We walked up 231 steps to the bell tower of the st Andrews cathedral, the best view of the city, a long way up then back down again.
We have dined at the most wonderful restaurant- le Petit Mignon, such great food, service and wine. Our French is abysmal, but we managed admirably! I recall that Paris has many more English menus, oh well we do know what steak tartare is and even could eat it,But ordered some lovely dishes, I had great prawns and scallops, followed by panna cotta.
Pictures of dinner on Peter's blog- rundlesrant.blogspot.com


Look what was opposite our Bilbao hotel!

Our last dinner in spain- such fun

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


On the train we encountered a woman from New Zealand who was about to start a pilgrims walk, we were a bit interested as we didn't know anything about this. Now we know lots! There are about 500 people every day leaving the start, they carry packs! And a lot have walking poles, some in groups of old and new friends, some solo.The walk is usually from St John de Pied de Port ( on the france side in the Pyrenees) to Santiago de Compostela, across Spain. Some only do part of the walk, some all, in varying time frames. The trail is called the Camina, and many people stopped us and asked if this was the Camina? The first few times I had no idea what they were asking!!
I am not sure if they find themselves or not! But I am sure that pilgrims do not usually fly first class ( as I heard them saying) or dine at top class eateries, or even sleep in nice hotels, my image of a pilgrim is sleeping on the floor, sharing food etc. Hmm maybe I should rethink!!
An early night in Pamplona for me, Peter found some Irish pilgrims to drink with! And they drink like fish- or at least these ones do.
Pilgrims resting on the bridge after we rode across it

Another bridge we rode across

We ride 5 km from Pamplona, then back and around the town. We passed many walking pilgrims on our bike ride, by far the easier way to get around.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


We caught the train again and came to Pamplona, arriving in the middle of a medieval festival, many people in the street, craft stalls and a parade. What fun! So much to see.. Walked around the citadel and marvelled at its size.
Wine and tapas of course then dinner and more wine.
Today we hired some bikes and cycled along the river, lovely and cool, although we did get a bit sunburnt. A short siesta for me while Peter did the laundry, he met a few new friends there.
Then more walking around and food and wine. We need the cycle to wear off the food.
View from the walled city onto the river

Felting Spanish style

View from the plaza near our hotel
Off to Bilbao tomorrow.