Cats & Quilts - a match made in heaven... (except maybe those stubborn little clouds of fur that latch on to the fabric!)

Kitty Quote of the Day

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul. - Jean Cocteau

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Value of Value Workshop

Last Sunday I did another workshop with the WA Quilters Guild called The Value of Value, with one of our talented members Judy Campbell. Colour theory is definitely something I need to know more about, my colour choices tend to be a bit boring & a bit too matchy-matchy!

Look at all these homespun colours that we had to play with.....

It was a day jam packed with making heaps of beautiful little one inch squares (all the practice cutting didn't go astray either). First we made up a grey scale on a black background. Next we choose a colour palate and lined them up from light to dark, on backgrounds of black, white, grey & beige. The different backgrounds make such a difference. I choose my favourite reds & look at all my little squares.

When it came to lining them up from light to dark, there was quite a few major decisions to be made. I found that looking at them through the camera lense after making my decision & sewing them gave me a few different results too. I had real problems finding a place for that pink placed third below but decided to keep it in to remind me of what I was learning.

We then moved on to grey scale or muddy colours & one of bright colours.

I found the bright colours quite a challenge so for a different approach looked at all the fabrics through a red filter which takes away the colour and shows only the shade. It made it quite easy but gave some unusual results. Under a red filter, yellow is quite a dark colour whereas to the naked eye it seems to be quite light. My final result was what I found with the naked eye but even now the camera shows a few changes I would make.
Next we moved on to some greater challenges, the grey or muddy colours with my choice of two highlights in the bright range. I choose orange & pink. In the next exercise using the muddy colours with two highlights, Judy banned me from using warm tones so I went into the blues & lilacs with highlights of charcoal & turquoise. This would make a gorgeous quilt. Great combinations and lessons for me on getting a bit more contrast and excitement into my fabric choices. 
It was great to look at everyone else's samples and the colour combinations they choose. I love these oranges and blues.
All up it was another fun day & I like all my little samples so much that I would like to find a great way to keep & display my little colour swatches.
We have our Queen's Birthday Public Holiday tomorrow so I have made up a list of projects, presents and swaps I have to finish between now & Christmas and hope to be able to strike a few off my list by bed time tomorrow night. At least I now know what I am making & after a quick visit to Textile Traders will have all the supplies too. I was finding the Grand Final on Saturday a little stressful so used the 2nd & 3rd quarters to get my sewing list organised while I watched so I continued to keep breathing. Most of WA seemed to jump ship & get on the Dockers band wagon seeing they unexpectedly ended up in the Grand Final. As the lone Hawks supporter (my adopted team due to my hearts desire being to live in Tassie) I was one small voice amongst the masses but I managed to hold my own with a number of pranks at work against a sweet friend who is a misguided Dockers supporter. It was a lot of fun taking her dressed up teddy in reception and bringing him to a perilous end through, stabbing, hanging or just the humiliation of using his scarf as a nappy. It was certainly a day of many, many laughs. Of course, by mid afternoon yesterday I was the only one left laughing & doing a very happy dance. We are a happy team at HAWTHORN!
I hope we get to keep Buddy but must admit, Roughie is my favourite player. Big boys with big mouths! I wish I was in Launceston this weekend to join in the celebration & see the team tomorrow. I can not believe no footy for nearly six months......
Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Still Stitching.....

Audit time is over for another year so time to get serious with my gift & swap stitching. Staring at a monitor & endless numbers meant a lot less stitching for a couple of months but I did manage to get a few things done.

There is this little stitchery for my present box. It was in a Vignette Magazine as part of a bag by Janelle Wind. I fell in love with the stitchery & thought a redwork in a white frame would be a cute little gift.

I am also doing some other redwork, a lot larger & a lot further away from being finished.

I have also spent some time cleaning up & reorganising my three thread boxes. It's amazing how many I have used over the years, there is nearly one whole case empty case now. Room for new threads maybe......

Last night I caught up on some scrap challenge projects too, finishing off a couple. Anorina from Samelia's Mum is doing a weekly scrap challenge that you can read about on her blog or on the Facebook page for the 52 Week Scrap Challenge. As my scrap bin is nearly full I decided to join in but as usual I am way behind.

At least now I have done week 1, Crazy Heart;

Week 2's needle case. Anorina's sample was a fabric butterfly case but mine followed three of my greatest loves and turned into a felt stitchery cat needlecase - who would have guessed??? My needle stitchery needs a bit of refining though.

Week three is a covered container. I use an empty large fruit tin next to my sewing machine for off cuts, scissors, binding etc so decided to cover that is the off cuts of French General fabrics from Shez's bag in the last post. It was quite fun to watch Jason Momoa is the remake of Conan while covered in white glue & bits of beautiful fabric (Arnie consider yourself out Conaned!);

The next project I am doing, a plastic bag holder has just been taken off the sewing machine mid project so I can pack up the machine & other tools to take to WAQA The Value of Value Workshop tomorrow. Hopefully my days of picking boring fabrics for bigger projects will be behind me after a few VALUEable lessons tomorrow.

This morning after aqua class, HB & I took advantage of a rare bit of sunshine to sit in the backyard & eat a late brunch of fetta scrambled eggs & latte (me, not HB). HB had a nice snooze in the sun.

Now Perth has a dangerous weather warning and it is raining again. I think the gods are crying over the Dockers win (my apologies, sort of, Dockers fans!). HB Honeycat & I will be glued to the TV next Saturday for the Hawks vs Dockers Grand Final. Go the Tassie HAWKS!!!

As a final note, retirement is almost secured thanks to find a cheque received a month or two ago from my friend & yours - Telstra. How could I have mislaid so much.....

Happy Stitching
Tracee xx

Monday, September 9, 2013

Birthday Girls!

Recently there has been two very important birthdays that you will have seen mentioned by bloggy friends Leanne from Lizzie the Quilter & Shez from Enjoying Life. So here is a look at what I sent to each of these sweet friends. I have been knee deep in audit time for the last few months so you will see that I had a bit of a production line happening for the main gift in both cases.
As soon as I saw the pattern Lou Lou by Natalie Ross I was smitten & thought that in just the right fabrics, the girls would feel the same.

As is my norm, I changed it. I decided I was way overdue to break into two favourite jelly rolls so instead of using 6 x 3.5 inch strips, I used 8 x 2.5 inch strips. I think the result was pretty spiffy & it was liberating to at last cut into the beautiful fabrics.

The first birthday was for Leanne and for her I choose beautiful Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille for Moda with a grey & white swirl pattern lining. I thought with the extra rows and mixes of fabrics that I wouldn't add the covered buttons. Here is one side;

And here is the other;

Along with the bag I sent a Tapestry by Fig Tree charm pack, a Lynette Anderson note pad & I love to quilt car decal.

For something different, it was all packed up in birthday fabric too.

The second birthday a few days later was for Shez. Shez has a passion for French General so I used Fa La La La La with a lining of Chateau Rouge. Here is one side;
And here is the other side;
The Border of the Chateau Rouge made for a very pretty pocket effect too;
Along with the bag I sent a Tapestry by Fig Tree charm pack, a Lynette Anderson note pad & Quilter car decal. (it's like there is an echo in here......)
And here is the parcel in its fabric wrapping.
So that is more of my latest secret sewing. The strong bag wadding that I used was a new product to me and it made a great result giving the bag standing shape but was a bit of a trial to work with. Of course, both of these beautiful ladies were very kind about the results.
Now if only I could make a decision of which lot of left over fabric to use to make me the same bag.....
Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mrs Martin's Spring Swap

Last week was time again for the next Mrs Martin's swap between my partner Glenys & myself. This time we celebrated spring. Spring seems to have been a long time coming for many parts of Aussie this year. I have never seen so many rainy days in WA but still they say our dams are nearly empty. Where is all that water going (besides through my ceiling before it got fixed again!)?

More importantly, our swap gifts - mine to Glenys;

I made this spring stitchery to fit the frame that I received in an earlier swap that Glenys's father made. I'm sure Glenys must have a few of these so thought a mini quilt to fit would be a great idea.

I love this stitchery & the paisley fabric is one of my favourites too. This is the first time I have cut into the two fat quarters I have of this fabric. I also sent chocolates with toffee but as usual forgot to take a pic of the parcel ready to wrap.

Glenys sent me this happy spring parcel - guess what is in the colourful bag besides my new flower pen??? I feel like I should go out & buy an orange VW beetle!

It's beautiful batik fabrics & delicious Cottage Garden Threads - love, love, love!

Aren't the colours just so pretty!!! Thanks again Glenys, love my spring parcel, we are on a winner with this years swapping! xx

We are having a fine spring day in Perth, sunny (all day!) and 24 degrees, enough to put a spring in my step!

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I'm Here & Stitching!

Hi all, I disappeared for awhile but now I am back. At this time of year I think I get computer overload getting ready for audit time at work so my blogging tends to suffer. I have certainly been missing my bloggy friends and reading what you have all been up to & creating. I have been stitching but most were for swaps or birthdays so it was sneaky sewing. 

Here's a look at some of the crafting I have done recently....

I have made a short scarf with some NZ merino wool my cousin sent me for my birthday in July. The pattern is a nice easy lace. Next I want to do a matching slouch hat. The wool is so soft, pity there isn't enough to make myself a big fluffy onesie! Now there is an image to leave you with....

We have had so much rain in Perth it's surprising I haven't floated away. Instead I have lost one fence with about 10 sheets of super six fencing blow down and my kitchen ceiling started leaking again. It ended up the ceiling fixer who replaced the ceiling in 2010 used indoor filler around the skylight instead of waterproof sealer so it started breaking down again pretty much straight away. Now the ceiling has been replaced again, skylight sealed properly & all the ceiling painted again. My biggest worry was how much of my sewing corner I needed to pack up so they could get into the corners. It's not the most accessible place in the house, I have very important supplies in boxes & piles & boxes & piles..... you know what I mean. The job is done now so all good & no more worries that the sky is falling in on us.

I did the third & fourth blocks in the Girls Own Stitching Club quilt BOM freeby by Red Brolly. These are so cute and number five is now available to start. The background fabrics are the same, but I took the first pic at night, not the best.

Anthea of Hibiscus Stitches and I had a lovely day out together at the beginning of August at one of the local craft fairs. It was all sorts of crafts & a Wood Show as well so we had plenty to look at and a few bargains to pick up. My beautiful teddy bear bag that Sheryl gave me for my birthday a few weeks earlier had a great outing and the ladies from the local teddy & quilt shop The Teddy Tree tried to confiscate it and take it away from me as they thought it was just the best. Here it is again with a few of my purchases.... I love the hand made wooden spoons & used one this morning to mix up some red velvet cupcakes to take for a Fathers Day get together.

I have to admit my favourite thing at the show (beside the wooden surfboards which I would have no use for but they were so pretty) was a very expensive & very powerful fire wood splitter. I didn't know these existed but wow, I want one now, maybe the baby model compared to this big daddy. I was mesmerised by all that power & it was nothing to do with the big boys operating it!

 I was also lucky enough to win a layer cake of Kate Spain's Serenade from QuiltJane's Want It, Need It, Quilt blog. How lucky, it's gorgeous!

Next I will be able to show you my latest swap present for Glenys in the Mrs Martin's Swap, my birthday present for Leanne from Lizzie the Quilter (which is today) and then my present for Shez from Enjoying Life who is celebrating her birthday on Thursday.

HB helped with some of the present sewing too, supervising my late night machine sewing escapades and checking the results were up to standard. He is very paws on & likes a close up view of each and every stitch.

Till next time, Happy Stitching!
Tracee xxx HB (purr purr purr)