Wednesday, 21 September 2016

No go for Bruce

I didn’t get the tickets to the concert.  I did get online (refer yesterday’s post) but let’s just say the way you buy tickets online now is DUMB and the way you pay for them is DUMB and the whole thing is DUMB and we shan’t talk about it again.

I’m not that bothered.  The only tickets I could get were standing ones, or ones behind the stage.  Given that Bruce regularly gives four hour concerts, I’m too darn old to stand for that long.  And who in their right mind would sit BEHIND a stage.  Nope.

And it’s on in Adelaide (three hours away) on the night before the girls go back to school for the new year.  It would have been a bit too hard to organise all around.

So there you go.  But I now have internet on my Ipad when I need it.  So that’s a tick.

Nothing quilty to show you yet.  I’ll try and stitch today.  Would like five minutes to myself really!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

an exercise in futility

Can I tell you a story?

It’s all Bruce Springsteen’s fault.

He’s coming to Adelaide in January next year.  My husband has decided we should go (not like him at all to suggest a concert, so I grabbed it and ran!).  Tickets go on sale online today.  At three p.m.  Which is when I will be sitting outside a school waiting for children to be collected.  Not near my laptop at all.

No worries, I’m a technically savvy girl.  I’ll get the tickets on my i-phone.  Except my i-phone for whatever reason won’t let me log in to the ticket sales website.  I don’t know why.

No worries!  I have an I-pad.  That lets me log in to the website.  But I don’t have any data on that, we just use it through the wireless at home.  Easy fixed – I’ll just buy some mobile data from a shop and bob’s your uncle.  Sorted.  I’ll be online, outside school, I can buy the tickets then.

So off I go to the local Internet Shop.  She’s very helpful, suggests a good plan that runs out in two years, lots of time to use up my data.  All I need to do is pay for it and be done.

But her eftpos machine (the money taking thing) doesn’t want to work.  She says I’ll have to go and get cash to pay for it.  I think a better idea would be for her to work out what’s wrong with her machine rather than put the onus on me, but that’s just me.  Sounds like an easy idea, except the ATM in the shopping plaza is a generic one which’ll charge me a heap for the privilege.  But I had a brainwave, I can buy a $2 sim card, take it home and do it all myself while enjoying a nice cup of coffee.  Easy peasy.  I had $2 so I paid and left.

Then the fun started.

Apparently, my house doesn’t exist.  I needed to enter my house address when I tried to activate my simcard, and it’s just not there.  No alternatives – just ‘nope, sorry. Can’t do it.  Computer says no.’ 

I then rang the Company.  I get a very nice lady who wouldn’t listen to me, who kept telling me over and over again that the simcard I have is only for phone calls, not data.  Despite the packaging telling me it has ‘All you’ll need for your tablet’.  Finally, FINALLY she believes me, and then proceeds to tell me that we can’t do it because my street doesn’t exist.

Anyway.  After much haggling, she’s finally found me on google maps (god love Google Maps) so she’s confident that we are actually here.  She has activated my sim card and I shall receive a text message from them with my special code, and I can then get moving.  I shall receive the text message within ten minutes.

It’s now been half an hour.

Stay tuned.  My little job that I expected to take ten minutes is now rounding up to its third hour.  It’s no wonder I get so little quilting done.  I thought technology was supposed to help us!

As I said, I blame Bruce.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

A real hoot

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I had a terrible itch to do something small and bright and these little guys really hit the spot.
Now I have to stitch them all but they are very sweet, don't you think?


The white homespun was very thin and now I can see the colours underneath, but that’s the way it is sometimes, I think.

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Lucy Boston Number Four

Not my best photo, taken with my Iphone late at night.  But another one bites the dust!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A Finish–Finally!

Years ago, I started a Barbara Brackman block of the month – Grandmother’s Choice.  I never finished it, I never kept up with the blocks.  Does that surprise you?

Well, it should surprise you that I have finished it now!  Yay me!

I had to make a couple of filler blocks, and I didn’t do half the blocks that were on the website, but after playing with it for a few days, I finally have this to show you:






Grandmother's Choice (2)

The red isn’t nearly as red as it seems in this picture, and the cream cornerstones are a much deeper cream. 

But I don’t mind it, and it’s finished.  And that’s a good thing!

Monday, 5 September 2016

A finish

I’ve had a head cold the past week, and whilst it’s not enough to lay me too low (life does go on!) it’s been enough to fill my head with cotton wool so I can’t really concentrate. 

In other words, the perfect time for some mindless sewing!

And mindless sewing I did, and I finished this:


It had all been glued down with a glue stick and Roxanne basting glue.  So I just sat at the machine and stitched, trying to learn the new technique I picked up at last month’s class.



It’s a little bit hard to see, but I have machine stitched around all the flowers and then stippled the black within an inch of its life. 

I ended up making a piped cushion with the panel.  I have enough small wallhangings to last many lifetimes, and I thought a nice, bright cushion in the ‘good lounge’ would be a real treat.  So that’s the plan.

It isn’t anywhere near my best work, but I think for a first go, I did okay!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Giveaway

Not that kind of giveaway, sorry!

I've been trying to clean up this messy blog and I found this lovely quilt I haven't showed you yet!

Whilst finishing this quilt, we became aware that a family friend's daughter was very, very ill with Scarlet Fever.  She was the same age as my eldest daughter and it was terrifying, waiting to hear if she would be okay (and she very nearly wasn't!)  

You know when your mind is all over the place, sometimes it's best to just sew?  That's what happened with this quilt.   And giving it to this little girl was the obvious choice.

She's fine now.  A few scary weeks in hospital and she was back home.  But it reminded me once again how quickly it can all turn upside down.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, 26 August 2016

An old UFO on a cold day

I finally had a window of time to sew today, and it was lovely.  I had spent my morning at the school for their Book Week parade.  My youngest daughter was determined for a full twelve months to go as 'Joy' from the movie Inside Out, and against all my better judgement I decided to buy her costume this year (it was nearly impossible to make a blue wig - for those who don't know who Joy is, this is a picture of her):

Anyway, long story short - at the last minute, despite me spending big dollars on a costume, she changed her mind and went as a Hockeyroo (the Australian National Hockey Team).  $3 teeshirt from BigW and a hockey stick and she was done.

Neither of my girls won a prize - some kids had done a wonderful job and obviously have much more inventive parents than me.

So after that, and because I'd done all my housework earlier in the week, I was able to sew guilt free.

When I learned the fantastic new technique last weekend of turned edge applique, I knew there were lots of UFO's I'd started that would really benefit from it.  So I dug one out and here it is:

Ages ago I was infatuated with the Tentmakers Of Cairo and their amazing designs, and I had drawn up and started a small square in that vein.  In true typical Suzie style, it got too hard and I put it away.  I couldn't turn the shapes as neatly as I wanted to.  Knowing this new technique, I dug out the project and had a jolly good go at it today and I'm pleased to say it's now basted (glued) in place ready to be stitched.


I'm not nearly the world's best machine appliquer, but I'm going to have a go on this project the way we were taught at the class, and hopefully practice will make perfect.

And so with fingers crossed and breath held, I may have a little time this weekend to have a stitch.  We shall see!

Hope you all have a quilty weekend!  Stay tuned to see if I get this finished!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

How I Spent My Weekend

We are lucky to have a pretty vibrant quilting group, and one of our ‘charters’ for want of a better word is to try and get top level tutors to come and teach us.  Our guild is really proactive in supplying grants to cover these tutors and it turns what would be an expensive exercise into something very achievable.

The biggest killer is paying someone’s travel costs.  We live in country SA, and Australia is a pretty big space.  So having someone travel from Sydney or Melbourne or the like can be cost prohibitive.

But sometimes we are lucky enough to have a very good tutor living in our own back yard, and that is the case with Rachel Denneny.  She’s an award winning quilter, and if you haven’t heard her name before, I’m sure you’ve seen her Houston winning quilt Royal Amethyst

Royal Amehyst

and it was Rachel who came to visit us this weekend.

We were making a design called Water Lilies, which is based on her Reflections class.  In a nutshell, we were taught the technique to make a quilt that had a main design reflected in the lower part.  This is Rachel’s quilt sample:


which is turned edge appliqued onto the top and bottom which some extra twists in the bottom part to make it look all reflecty.  And I won’t share that technique with you because that would be wrong.  But it was clever.

And here are mine:






And that’s as far as I got.  I didn’t end up using my background fabrics because I really didn’t like them in the end, so I have to have a shopping expedition to find more.  What a shame.

The big angels singing, beam of light shining on me moment that I spoke about last entry was the way Rachel does her turned edge applique.  She uses a wooden tool, and Stitch A Fuse, and again I won’t share it with you because it’s her technique, not mine – but I think it has changed my quilting world.  So many of my projects look terrible with the way I do my needleturn applique, because I can’t do it nicely.  My petals this workshop looked so amazing, I nearly cried.  I tell you, it’s a life changing quilting moment for me that occurred this weekend.

Rachel’s technique is one that seems to be out there in a similar vein everywhere on the net and it involves using a glue stick, stitch and fuse and a small turning tool – do a search and I’m sure you’ll find something similar.  It’s so amazing, I was thrilled to bits.

So that’s my incredibly long update.  I’ll leave you with some of Rachel’s amazing quilts – all the quilting is done on her domestic machine.  Fantastic.

















Monday, 15 August 2016

A Quilting Intermission

I do love quilting, but as I get a little older, the kids need me more sometimes and life gets busier (blah, blah, blah ... you all know the drill) I find I have really fallen into the crocheting thing big time.

I'm not sure why I love it so much.  It's a real pain that I am loving it now, eight years after we closed our wool shop.  That's not really sensible, is it?

I think it's because I am able to pick it up and put it down easily - I don't have to have my bits spread out all over like quilting, and I don't really need to concentrate when I'm doing it.  All good when my brain might be fried at the end of the day.

I still am very much quilting, but not so much after dinner like I used to in the olden days.  This is my sit in front of the television project.

And this one is a row by row of every colour I have in my wool basket.  It's a monster and I'm really enjoying doing it, and it's so soft and warm to snuggle under.  I don't know how to do the arty farty crochet photos yet, so apologies for that!

On quilty news, I have just been on a two day class with a tutor who taught me how to applique in a way that I have never been shown before, and I think my quilting world has been changed forever!  But more on that tomorrow.