Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giannes jigsaw puzzle eye spy finished

Another UFO can be crossed off my list, (and another Christmas present).  I finally finished this eye spy quilt for my great neice Giaan.  I know I posted on the swap blog a pic of this quilt some months ago, but that was cheating as all I had done was peiced the top.  But last night the last stitch of the binding was sewed so it is truly done. 

Now I need to set to work to make another one for my other great neice (her cousin) Kai.  More posts to follow on that one.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Free giveaway

pop on over to Leonas blog, she is having another fabulous giveaway.

Link: http://oneygirl-myquiltingadventure.blogspot.com/2010/09/bloggy-giveaway-book-and-purse-kit.html

Sunshine award

I have been nominated twice for the Sunshine award, which is quite an honour.  Thank you to Leona and Alex for your nominations.

I feel like a mother having to chose a favourite which is a near on impossible task. 

I have passed this nomination to a couple of ladies who have made a real difference to me.  One has helped me more than once with ideas for setting up the quilting block swap group and my blog and the other one has such an enjoyable blog to read and is motivating to me with her passion for our craft and her kind word for every one that posts a comment on my block swap group blog. Thank you to Crafty Pugs and Cheryll.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New baby for the Belleli family

I am pleased and proud to announce the safe arrival of baby Jack Mason.  Jack was born last Wednesday at 4.30 in the afternoon to my step daughter Nicole and her partner Leigh.  He is our third grandson.  We will soon have a new Crows line up ready to go in 20 or so years with all the boys.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

busy weekend - but no sewing :-(

I had a full weekend but did not get a chance to get a single stitch sewed.

Friday night was dinner with 8 friends that we had not seen for some time, so there was lots of catching up with stories and photos of grand children.  Then all day Saturday was a winery bus tour with a few of the girls from work through the beautiful McLaren Vale wine region. 
And today we took part with over 30,000 other people and (walked) the City to Bay fun run.  12km.  Here are a few snaps of today.
I am the old bird in the pink, Hubby in white, my nephew Andrew is the young guy, and Haden is a friend.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


This concept is like a chain letter - but much much much much better.  The idea is that 3 friends all post a comment to be my pay it forward recipient and within 365 days I make you a lovely hand made gift and send this to you.  The you pop a post on your blog asking 3 friends to do the same and on and on it go's.  Its a lovely way of giving to 3 people (and receiving something lovely from one).
To be my PAY IT FORWARD friend, leave a comment on this post .
Sounds like fun - so come on and join the party xxxxxxxxxxxx and I will make you a gift.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tote bag finished - another crossed off my list

This evening I managed to get the tote bag completed.  I worked on it over the weekend constructing the bag to make it look like a bag, and tonight I sewed on the bias strips over the seams.  I am not completely happy with the job I did, its a bit messy on the corners, they were challenging to say the least.  Hence no close up photos.  But the bag is durable, strong and will be used at the Central markets where we like to visit on Friday evenings to get our lovely fresh fruit and vegies.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How I spend a Sunday morning in Adelaide

Billy cant wait to get on the beach
I thought I would show my friends how I like to spend my Sunday mornings.  Serg and I love our beach and we try to take time out every Sunday morning (even the cold ones) to walk along the beach.  We dont miss many Sunday mornings, only the really wet and wild ones. Its funny how the dogs seem to know its Sunday morning and start barking at us to take them.

Splashing in the sea
Here are a few snap shots of our favourite beach and our  boys (dogs), Billy the Cavalier, and Robbie the Bichon Friese enjoying the beach. These were taken this morning, it was a lovely perfect sunny Spring morning.   Billy really love the water, and chasing the seagulls, Robbie is just happy to be out with us.
Waiting for the coffee in Mosely Square
We then stop at a coffee shop (Cibo), in Mosely square at Glenelg for a latte and breakfast. 

As both of us are in Real estate and have to work most  weekends (I dont work on Sundays), our Sunday morning time is precious to us. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another week gone- and still so much sewing to do...

I have been so busy getting the quilting block swap blog tweaked, I haven't really spent any time on mine or in my sewing room
I have been spending a bit of time curled up on the sofa (under a cosy quilt) snoozing but I have managed to get a few swap blocks done and I only have one to go with new member Anne from Canada.  Tonight I have been busy googling some Christmas designs for her block (and for the Christmas swap) and have a few in my folder to make now.
I simply must enrol in a class to learn paper piecing and foundation piecing - both still mysteries to me, but the best star patterns use one or the other of these methods.

Lets hope that this weekend I can get back to some serious work on my own projects.  My wish list for this weekend is the borders on the Friendship churn dash quilt, and quilting the panels for my tote bag.  Those items were on my wish list for last week too but I never got there.

ABC quilt - completed

I haven't done much sewing lately with this nasty head cold.  Its been making me just want to curl up and sleep, but I finally stitched the binding in place on this quilt, and last night gave the Teddy bears eyes.  So now I can tuck this away to give to Scott and Kelly when their little boy arrives in November.

I backed the quilt with flannel as it makes it nice and cosy.  That's another I can cross off my UFO list  

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New baby floor quilt

I just made an easy peasy floor play mat for my new Grand son Jack.. Quilted panels are a great durable idea for these play mats, mums can roll them up to take to play group or baby can lie on them when they are having tummy time,  easily washable.  I simply quilted around the larger pictures and stippled the large blank sections.

I am not feeling well

Some time ago Serg bid at a charity auction to win a weekends training (physical) with Shannon Ponting (biggest loser), and we won.  So off we went to Sydney on the Anzac Day weekend to "work out".  Shannon is a great bloke - but man o man he killed us.  We had the whole weekend with him and his wife Kylie, driving around with him (in his Porsche), visiting his house, breakfast, dinner - the whole bit.  He even took us to a charity surf event where we met, among other celebs, Cathy Freeman, Shannon Noll, Dicko, Elaine Perry, Mathew Newton etc. 
The weekend got us pumped and we started jogging etc when we got home, but as winter hit we slackened off.  Now I had not ran since high school so this alone was a major event.  Now spring is here, Serg and I have joined up with a personal trainer. We have been going 4 times a week in a bit to get fitter and slimmer.
 Sadly today I cant go as I have the flu. Probably due to being caught in the rain last Saturday and getting drenched. But here is a pic of us with Shannon at the surf carnival at Dee Why beach in Sydney last April.  This alone is reason to feel better.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Moda quilted tote bag

Laying out the side panel design
I purchased a "bargain" Jelly roll on ebay a few months back with no plan of what to do with it.  Its " Recipe for friendship" by Mary Engelbert (for Moda) and the design is predominantly featuring cherries.   Its a discontinued line and hard to find any fabric to match to make into a quilt so I needed a project that would use just the jelly roll
Joined into pairs
Scrolling though jelly roll patterns I found one for a tote bag using a jelly roll that I liked

Here is WIP so far.

then into strips

Firstly I chose my side panels and cut them into 2.5 inch squared that were laid out into a design, then joined these into pairs and then into strips which were sewn together to form a front panel for the bag.  I repeated this with similar prints in blue for the back panel for the bag. Each panel was then edged.

I am really pleased with how nicely my squares all lined up, my cutting and sewing must have been accurate for once.

perfect seam joins

Next I made the end side panels by stitching together 3 lengths of jelly roll strips, and repeated this for each end of the bag.  I did the base in the same way.

2 x side panels

The stage I am up to now is the quilting,  each section is quilted individually and then all of the pieces are joined together.  More postings to follow as the bag takes shape.

Friday, September 3, 2010

up to speed and a brief family history.

I hope I have not bored you all too much with my journey, but it was important for me to get that all down and catch up to now so I dont feel in limbo starting this blog 4 years into my quilting life.

Today marks Sergio and my 16th wedding anniversary.  I think we have beaten the odds as its both of our second marriages, meeting when our children were quite young certainly had its challenges.

Jess, Daniel and Mitchell

Sergio has Jessica and Nicole (now 27 and 25). Jess is married to Daniel and together they have Mitchell who was born last December13th. Jess had quite a few challenges along the way being hospitalised for 9 months while she did year 11 with Crones disease and ended up having 20cm of her intestines removed. She then had an ectopic pregnancy and lost a fallopian tube and had a lot to overcome to conceive. She has just discovered that her and Daniel are now expecting twins in March 2011.

Sergio's other daughter Nicole is due to have a baby  any time this month with her partner Leigh. Baby is due on Sept 28th but the doctors think it will come early. (more postings on that as it happens)

Kat, Jarrod and Leo
My 2 babies are Sheree (now 25) and Jarrod (24). Jarrod is married to Katherine and they had Leonardo on May 6th this year. Jarrod is a Combat engineer based in Townsville. I know he is highly likely to be sent off to Afghanistan next year and the thought terrifies me, but he is a strong, brave and loyal soldier who is keen to do his bit for our country and a free world. The only good part I can see from this is that while he is away (8 months) Kat will move her and Leo back home to Adelaide for the duration.

Sheree and Alex

Sheree is my princess and lives with her partner Alex in a home unit about 5 streets away from where we live. Sheree is a hairdresser and Alex is a carpenter and together they have been renovating their little home, where they have lived now for just on one year. Here's hoping for an engagement soon followed by wedding bells.

2010 - busy busy busy and the start of Quilting block swaps.

Well I have nearly caught up to now......
At the beginning of 2010 I enrolled in a course to make a quilt called Pathways to the Well by Elizabeth Camping.  It is an oriental styled quilt as most of Elizabeths work is Oriental.  She has won numerous awards at National quilting shows and is a fellow South Aussie. 
The course was at Patchwork by Sea at Brighton, about 2km from where I live and was for a full 2 days.  My sister in law Margaret loves all things Oriental and she turns 60 later this year so the idea was to make this quilt as a gift for her.   

I also had read about quilting swap groups in magazines and was quite interested in this concept.  I googled this and spent days scrolling through lots of postings unable to find anything local.  Also many postings were several years old and the swaps long finished.   Eventually I stumbled accross a post called Quilt block swaps ran by Sandi Jahn in Florida and emailed her. Low and behold I got a response and was invited to join up which I did.  Sandi and I have become firm friends often sending each other lenghty emails of our daily trials and tribulations. Sandi did my first swap - a block that is featured in the Friendship quilt that I am making.  
After doing a few swaps with the group of US and Canadian based women I decided I would try to get my own group underway.  So I started a blog (in April) and posted an ad on the Australian Quilting magazine website.  Teena and Cathy both found me and we did our first swaps in May  We were off!!

My fabric obsession was getting a bit out of hand so after seeing my daughter sell off lots of old clothes easily on ebay I gave this a try to sell of some quilting patterns I had used and odd bits of fabric from my stash that I was never likely to use and leftover pieces from completed projects.  I use the money I make selling fabric to fund more fabric purchases.  In with each sale,  I included a note inviting them to join me in the block swap group and this is where Maree (since withdrawn), Leena, Cheryll, Rosemary and Paola came to join  I am not sure exactly how or where all of the other members have come from but I am assuming they have seen my posts on the members blogs and word has got around which is fabulous. (If you are reading this maybe you can share this with us on the Quilting swap blog).

I started out by swapping with all new members as an introduction and welcome to the group, but with volume of new members that did their first swaps in August and September I have had to share this around.

May 6th  this year saw the birth of my second grandson Leonardo.  Jarrod and his wife Katherine live in Townsville as Jarrod is an engineer in the Army.  My husband Serg and I spent 2 glorious weeks with them in May just after Leo was born, and ended the holiday with 4 days in Palm Cove (just north of Cairns) and spent a day snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef which was amazing.  Leo is pictured here showing off his personalised quilt.  He also received Noah and Friends wall hanging from a BOM.  - I forgot to photograph it so will have to get Kat to do this and email me a pic.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

2009 - and the journey continues

In February 2009 I enrolled in a class ran by Lorraine Crocker to teach us how to do free motion quilting.  The idea was that I was spending far too much on paying to have my quilts professionally quilted and if I learnt how to do this then the whole quilt is made by me.  One of the ladies at the class had a Bernina with a BSR function on it - so guess what was on my wish list for my birthday this year. 

As the Government happily gave us $900 to spend I put this towards my new Bernina in May 2009 - Now there is no holding me back.  I could do free motion quilting with regular stitch lengths, had 100's of interesting stitches to play with as well as 3 alphabets for labelling quilts - no more laundry markers.

I purchased a wall hanging pattern from Stitch in time (sadly now closed) as they had this on display, and it was not too big a challenge for me to do an all over design heavily quilted .  "Butterfly garden".  I now quilt all of my own quilts and have not had the desire or need to pay for a professional.  I still tend to fill the borders with stipple, but I like stipple.  I have not yet challenged myself to create feathers or rolls or anything too fancy but I will - one day.  I made the rolling star cushion using left over fabric to match the wall hanging.

I also discovered Jelly Rolls in 2009 and made 2 quilts featuring these, Butterfly fling and Chelsea steps. I love the way you get a whole range of co ordinated fabric that is pretty much enough to make a quilt (all but the borders).

Busy in 2008

The quilting journey was really beginning to take hold and be addictive.  I saw Rachel Dennery's Nostalgia in Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine and just had to make it, so armed with magazine in tow paid a visit to Hettie's Patch (Port Road - Hindmarsh) as they have a fabulous range of shabby chic style of fabrics.  The lovely Lorraine helped me co -ordinate the fabric for the quilt and I happily left the shop.  I found out that the name of the shop came from her dog "Hettie" and the shop has a resident cat.
Investing quite a bit of money in the fabric I was determined to get it "perfect" and I have to say the Seminole border was a challenge and a half.  I unpicked it more times than I care to remember.  But I am very pleased with the finished result and it has adorned my bed ever since. 

Whilst this was all going on I went with a friend to a hanging of the quilts display in the Adelaide Hills and saw some fabulous locally made quilts.  One of which that caught my eye was "Forever Friends".  I spoke to the lady that was holding the display to find out where I could get the pattern.  It was by "little blokes" in Bendigo, so I googled them, found their website and promptly ordered the pattern.

This was a work in progress for about 6 months, and I bought the bits of fabric from here and there as I went along.  All of the gollies and details are hand appliqued.  When it was done I had it professionally custom quilted as a reward for the time and effort I had put into the quilt. I have never put a hanging sleeve on it, and sadly I keep it locked away in my linen press to display one day.  I do take it out to admire it  a few times a year.  One of my promises to myself is to get this on a wall somewhere sometime (soon).

The quillting journey

After my chicken quilt was completed I was very ambitious and signed up for the Leanne's House BOM after seeing it on display at my LQS.  I was not prepared for the amount of hand stitching involved, but have to say I enjoyed the journey so much and all the pretty flowers that I made a second one.  As so much time and effort was spent on these quilts I paid to have them professionally quilted.  I gave this second quilt as a gift to my step daughter Jessica when she married Daniel in May 2008.  In the centre panel I replaced the verse with their names and wedding date and a scripture from a reading at their wedding:  Love is kind.  I must sneak a photo of that quilt next time I visit them and pop that on this post.  This one hangs on my bedroom wall.

I also purchased a quilting theme calendar to hang in my sewing room and was taken by the design of a quilt featured in that calendar.  With no pattern I guessed measurements and made The Blues.  I still love the look of the quilt, as blue and white are one of my fav colour combinations, but I cringe when I look at the standard of quilting on the quilt.  Having said that it does take turns on my bed when I am having a blue mood.  If you look close enough you can see a few odd bits or red or green left overs from my Rooster quilt as I still had quite a limited fabric stash at this point in time.

Oscars quilt (Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes) was all hand appliqued for a girlfriend Gill on the birth of her first son.  His brother Oliver was born a few years later and I also hand appliqued the quilt Bears in Heaven  kit.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My first quilt-

I had always wanted to be a quilter, didn't know how or when this would happen but it did.
The day my son and his partner moved into their new townhouse (only 2 km away from us) I suddenly had a spare room which was to become my sewing room.
As it turns out that very day I passed by a second hand furniture shop and as luck would have it there was a Horn sewing cabinet for sale so it was surely meant to be. I purchased this immediately. I had no quilting equipment, I didn't even know I needed any. Just an old Bernina sewing machine that I had received for my 18th birthday - that had not been out of the cupboard in years.

The following week was the Adelaide quilting show so I went for a look and was amazed at the array of fabrics for sale, and fabulous quilts on display - I was STAR STRUCK.  I purchased a pack of co-ordinated country fat quarters and a pattern to make a quilt with roosters on it.  I have always had a love of all things country even though I live near a beach - close to a city.

I sewed the cut out roosters on with a small zig zag stitch all in black (without the use of viosifix ) - I hadnt heard of that yet.  I cut the sashes with scissors and wondered how the quilters did it so beautifully.  I then hand quilted (with big ugly stitches) in the ditch around each Rooster.  I never knew about binding a quilt, I just cut the back piece larger that the front, folded it over and stitched it in place.

The quilt is dated in pen as being completed in January 2007.   I had read somewhere to label your quilts so I wrote on the back of the quilt in laundry marker. Luckily somewhere during this time I signed up for a subscription to Australian patchwork and quilting magazine and read each magazine cover to cover.

I am still quite fond of this quilt, it lives on my recliner in the lounge room and is a beautiful reminder of how far I have come in a very short time.

Opening comments

I have been a blogger now for a few months - co-ordinating and running quilting block swaps Australia which has grown quickly and introduced me to a group of caring and sharing women that I am sure will become lifelong friends.
I have decided to leave that blog as a group blog and start this one up for my personal journey and to share with those of you that choose to follow the blog events in my life with my extended family.
So thank you for joining me on this journey.
Quilted hugs. Sue xx