30 September 2007

The letter E

I glad to admit I don't have an obsession for buttons. I have enough obsessions already. However, I do have a small collection of buttons with the letter E on them. I haven't seen that many letter buttons around, so my collection only numbers about six, but I have just added to that with these little beauties.

I purchased them in Mittagong a couple of weeks ago - don't you find things in the most unlikely places? They are made from wood and are wonderfully light.

Thanks for the comments on my previous post. Now I don't feel unloved!

10,000 is creeping closer....

Added: 8.02pm 30 September:
I've had several enquiries about the source of these buttons.
I bought them from Applicuts, who had a stall at the Quilt Indulgence Festival in Mittagong. I'm not sure if the buttons are on the website yet - they were very new at the time - but you could probably email them and ask!

29 September 2007

All those zeros

Interesting how we all celebrate numbers with zeros. Milestone birthdays end in zeros, significant anniversaries end in zeros. I have two lots of numbers ending in zeros coming up very soon - my 10,000th blog visitor and my 200th blog post. The first should be reached withing the next few days and the second depends on how many posts I make this week!

So please leave a comment. I want to send some of my artist trading cards on journeys - tell me why you'd like one of my ATCs and you might end up with one. Be the 10,000th visitor and you can have one too! Please prove to me that someone actually reads this blog instead of just stumbling over it accidentally.

28 September 2007

Transformation

Cruising blogs, as you do, I read Sarah London's latest entry tonight. Look at this and admire what she's done to her computer table. Fabric plus spray paint - what a combination. Love it!

24 September 2007

Now I understand

why I start collecting fabrics in a particular colourway. It is always due to a subconscious thought I have for a new quilt.

The two fabrics in the background are the linen/cotton blends I bought on Saturday. They cried out to be purchased because I already had the fabrics shown on top in my stash (purchased last year). I still need a rose-coloured print - I'm thinking maybe spots. No definite design yet, but I feel a need for half-square triangle borders...

23 September 2007

Colour in the garden

It's a glorious spring day here and I've enjoyed cleaning up a couple of garden beds and spreading around cow manure and mulch - yes, really! The colours of nasturtium flowers and leaves in this blue ceramic pot were a pleasure to see. My nasturtiums are scattered around the garden, but I like to have this pot near the back door where I can see it without having to go outside. For a long time, the plants have flourished, but there haven't been flowers until recently. I just love the colours and the shapes of the flowers. The leaves are interesting - after rain, tiny balls of water sit on top of them, like drops of dew. Gorgeous.

I washed my linen/cotton fabrics today and now they are beautifully soft after the sizing has gone. Definitely they need applique. Something naive, I think...

22 September 2007

Aimless

Having been at work for the past 12 consecutive days, I am particularly aimless today. Plenty of things I could do and plenty of things I want to do, but no desire to actually start any of them. Having slept for 10 hours last night, I still feel as if I need a nap now.

This morning I bought some beautiful linen/cotton blend fabric. I didn't plan to - I went to the shop to buy a spool of thread. The fabrics are two plain colours - a creamy colour and a blue. Gorgeous. I feel that they need applique so I want to work out a motif that isn't too difficult so that I can consider using needle turn. I also feel the fabric needs stitching in perle thread, so that has to be factored in as well - when my brain starts functioning again. Has anyone else used linen in their quilts?

18 September 2007

The pursuit of excellence

Now I've seen everything. If you think quilters can be obsessed, you should see the series currently being shown on ABC TV here in Australia. Tonight was the turn of pumpkin growers in the USA - the lords of the gourd. Many of them treat their pumpkins as pets.

I was riveted as I watched the compulsion of these people, whose aim is to grow the largest pumpkin in the world. There are some absolute whoppers here! I was particularly taken by the pumpkin that grew supported on a small trampoline so that it could grow a rounded bottom instead of a flat one. Who'd have thought?

Check out this link to The Sydney Morning Herald review. Next week it's ferrets. Not sure about watching that one.

12 September 2007

Mittagong, NSW

Mittagong is a lovely town in the Southern Highlands of NSW. There are two patchwork shops, with another one in nearby Berrima, plus an embroidery shop. Of course, there are interesting gardens to see and antique shops to visit. And did I mention the yummy food?

That's where I'm headed tomorrow for work. We sponsor the Quilt Indulgence Festival, which starts on Friday, and I'll be surrounded by quilts, quilts and more quilts. Haven't heard of the Festival? See this website for details.

If you visit the Festival, please come and say hello. Did I mention I'll be the one surrounded by quilts?

11 September 2007

More AMS

Helen commented the other week that she had met Alexander McCall Smith (AMS). Green with envy, that's what I was. That very same day I discovered he was here in Australia! Sadly in Melbourne (well, not so sad for Melbournians, I suppose) but since that's not where I am, he may as well be on the other side of the world.

So here I am, instead, reading the latest in the 44 Scotland Street series. It's astonishing how quickly you can pick up the threads of the characters' lives, even if the previous book was a year ago. Poor Bertie. What an eye-opener to see the world from the perspective of a six year old. This book is quite wicked as it lulls you along and then suddenly you find yourself chuckling.

AMS has single-handedly made me long to visit Edinburgh.

09 September 2007

Disappointment and optimism

The footy season came to abrupt end for us Swans supporters last night when the team was totally outplayed and will therefore proceed no further this season. They don't call it an elimination final for nothing. Extremely disappointing but they just didn't play as well as we know they can. I will now have my ritual end-of-year washing of the footy scarf; the formal end to each season.

The rain eased off today so I was able to venture into the garden and continue to cut up pieces of bougainvillea and cram them into the recycling bin. As I looked around, I saw a miracle:


yes - it's lavender in bloom! You may remember that I have killed seven lavender plants in six years, so this is cause for celebration. I rushed to take photos because the plant may drop dead tomorrow, given my record so far. Beautiful flower buds - I am too scared to even touch them.

When flowers like this emerge, I feel optimistic that other things will work out too.

07 September 2007

Shopping

A quilter's thoughts turn to the sewing room when a spare day presents itself. Since it was raining, today seemed to be a day for nesting at home, but something kept irritating me about my work space - the mess.

Well, maybe that's not the correct term. Perhaps untidiness would be more accurate. The thing that has bugged me the most for ages is that my cutting mat suffers from fabric-creep - where piles of fabrics seem to accumulate on the sewing table and slowly encroach on my cutting mat so that every time I want to cut, I have to sweep piles away. (Yes, I know I could put things away after I use them, but where's the fun in that?)

So, after perusing my favourite reading matter - the IKEA catalogue - I took myself off to the store. I measured and thought it through carefully - I would buy the Antonius system of baskets, with a solid top. Cutting surface and storage in one! How ingenious.

This is what I returned with instead:
I present the Forhoja - my new cutting table with two handy drawers for rotary cutters, small rulers, templates and the like. My cutting mat fits beautifully on top. I envisage the two shelves with baskets of fabric and I plan to attach cuphooks at one end to hang large rulers. And it moves! This is one of the attractions - I can roll it into a convenient position for cutting and push it back against the wall when I'm not using it. I so love IKEA.

And yes, Helen, I love snooping at other quilters' sewing areas, too!

06 September 2007

Fine line

Tomorrow is a public holiday in Sydney because our government doesn't want us in our own city. APEC is in town and we have all been told to go away and come back on Monday. In addition to extraordinary levels of bowing and scraping to the leaders of other countries, there have been special laws passed, an exclusion zone defined and an enormous fence built through the city to keep the VIPs separate.

There's a fine line between security and paranoia but the distinction appears to have been lost here.

In the meantime, most of us plan to ignore it all and enjoy the sleep-in - that's what I'll be doing!

04 September 2007

Simple pleasure

Here's another sign that I am easily pleased. There I was, innocently having fun stacking my perle threads in different colour configurations. I enjoy stitching on my ATCs with these glorious colours so much that I wonder why I even own a sewing machine.

02 September 2007

Here they are

Totally individual ATCs, swapped yesterday at our Sydney Scquilters get together. Lucky me!

I am pooped after a day of jumping, screaming and applauding at the footy. The Swans thrashed the opposition and a good time was had by all. Now for the finals...

Note added 4 September:
Lissa wants to know who made the ATCs. Doh! I should have included this in the first place. Top row from left: Lisa, Liz, Lissa and Sue. Bottom row from left: Dianne, Pennie (well spotted Lissa!) and Maggie.

01 September 2007

Oh no,

not more ATCs!

Yes, it's true. A woman can never have too many ATCs. Today we swapped and tomorrow I will take photos. We were supposed to make two - one to swap and one to keep - but I was wildly giving them out like, well, like trading cards. They were supposed to be samples for a demonstration I am presenting but they were eager to be liberated. Must make more...