Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Gymnastics and quilts

This past weekend was filled with two of my favourite things: gymnastics and quilts. My eldest son competed both days in the Senior State Championships and when we weren't at the competition venue I was busy piecing this quilt top:

Yesterday I quilted it and today I hand-sewed the binding on. Very happy with this very green quilt! It was the first time I gave equilateral triangles a go, but it won't be the last time, I think.

Hugo did very well at States:

He came second on pommel horse, third on parallel bars, fifth on rings, sixth on high bar and fifth overall, earning a place on the team that will represent Queensland at the Australian Gymnastics Championships in May. Yay, we are going to Melbourne again!

But first I am going to New Zealand - tomorrow! I am going to visit my BFF who is living there for a year with her family. Coming back on Monday night. So looking forward to this trip!

Here are a few videos of Hugo at the State Championships. All these routines are compulsory and have a maximum score of 11 (except vault, where the maximum score is 10). This is his parallel bars routine on day 2 - score 10.7!

High bar on day 1, score 9.75:

Rings day 2, score 10.1:

And buck, score 10.2 (boys in Level 7 Under 12 do pommel on day 1 and buck on day 2. His score on day 1 was 9.8).

The boys also compete on floor and vault. Hugo's scores on these apparatus are always a bit lower because he has very rigid shoulders and upper spine, so he isn't a very good tumbler. This is his vault on day 1 - score 8.95

His floor routines weren't very good at States, so I'll share his routine from the Regional Championships, two weeks earlier. That one was quite exceptional for him; score 9.25.

So proud of my beautiful gymnast :-)

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Bow ties are cool

Last year we discovered Dr Who, and now we are working our way through the previous series on dvd. My youngest son is a big fan of the 11th Doctor and a while ago he asked me if I could make a bow tie for him. Of course!

I found this cool Tardis fabric on Spoonflower and ordered a fat quarter. It arrived yesterday and after school I whipped up the bow tie (using this tutorial).

My son loved it and told me I was the best mum in the world ;-).
Now I have to make two more for his brothers...

It looks good on Bear too!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Rainbow Diamonds baby quilt

(Photo by Paul Lewin)

This is the quilt I made last year for our new nephew in Holland. His parents knew they were having a boy this time, but weren't telling us, so I decided to go with rainbow colours (and they liked that idea). First I cut some squares:

Then I made a lot of half square triangle blocks:

Then I played with possible lay-outs:

In the end I decided to go with diamonds:

A black and white binding:


The parents and the big sister loved the quilt, I hope the little nephew will as well! (he was sleeping when we handed it over).

The quilt is a project in the kids' issue (169) of Down Under Quilts, on sale from tomorrow at newsagents and online here. Lots of great projects for kids inside!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Another zippered pencil case

Yesterday I made another zippered pencil case. I liked the previous one, made with the tutorial from Little Red Window, but I didn't like that the inside edges were unfinished. I spent some time thinking about how I could get them to be finished, thought I'd figured it out, gave it a go and yes! it worked!

So now I have a Dutch Houses case with finished edges on the inside. It will be added to my Etsy shop this weekend.

Another plan for this weekend is to do a thorough cleaning and tidy-up of my sewing room studio. And when that is done I will start on a new art quilt. To be continued!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Pencil case with a zip!

Life is very busy at the moment, with work, kids and tennis (I have started playing competition! So much fun, wish I'd started tennis 30 years ago - but better late than never!), so not much time for sewing or quilting. I was really missing my sewing machine, so on the weekend I whipped up this zippered pencil case, using my Spoonflower Colourful Pencils fabric. Isn't it cute?

I used the tutorial I found here. I tend to avoid zippers, but this was really easy. Might make a few more!

Monday, 16 February 2015


Looking for inspiration in Brisbane CBD and the City Botanic Gardens for A World of Texture, this year's exhibition organised by Elizabeth of Berry Patchwork.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Dutch bicycles

One of the things I miss most about the Netherlands is the way cycling is part of everyday life. In Holland everyone rides everywhere; to work, school, the shops, the gym (without wearing a helmet, too), and therefore you see bikes everywhere. During our holiday I took lots of photos of bicycles - here are my favourite pics. Bicycles are so photogenic, don't you think?

Monday, 26 January 2015

Australia issue of Down Under Quilts

Down Under Quilts 168, our special Australia issue, is now on sale. I am really happy with this issue - we feature Lucy Carroll, whose work I admire a lot, we have some great projects (love that Uluru quilt by Keith Wood) and share quilts from International Quilt Week Yokohama, the Canberra Quilt Show 2014 and A World of Colour.

My project for this issue are these Australia postcards - quick and easy to make, and great for sending to friends overseas!

(photo by photographer and textile artist Jolanta Szymczyk)

The magazine comes with a free fat quarter of this lovely fabric:

I had fun thinking of small projects to make with this fabric. Of course you could also use it in a quilt!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Holiday impressions

We are back from the Netherlands! It was a holiday with ups and downs - one of the ups was this castle we stayed in for Christmas, and another one was the snow (on the 27th of December), which the boys loved! Here is my youngest stepping on a frozen puddle - first time he encountered one of those!

The biggest 'down' was my middle son breaking his arm on Christmas Eve. Here he is looking quite happy with his orange cast (he got this one the day before we left Holland), but of course it wasn't fun when it happened, and with the original cast he couldn't swim, which was a shame as we stayed in a holiday park with a subtropical pool later on during the holiday... And it's still no fun, as the fracture isn't healing correctly so he will have an operation tomorrow to insert a wire :-(

A big 'up' was meeting some new members of our family  - the two nieces I made quilts for in the last 2 years, and this little fellow who was born just before we arrived in Holland. He got a quilt too but I can't show it here yet... (it's a project in the March issue of Down Under Quilts)

Another highlight of the trip was my eldest son Hugo (the gymnast) meeting his hero Epke Zonderland, World Champion and Olympic gold medallist on high bar, and watching him at his training:

Apart from being with family and friends I really enjoyed strolling through the old cities and photographing the houses, bicycles etc.

On my photo blog you can find a few series of photos taken in Maastricht, Aachen (Germany) and Zutphen (where the photo above was shot), and also a series of black and white photos made during our visit to the Efteling, a famous Dutch attraction park inspired by fairy tales and fantasy.

We had a two-day stop over in Jakarta, Indonesia, where we visited the old Dutch part of the city (the former Batavia). It was fascinating - some of the buildings and structures the Dutch built are crumbling and rotting away, while others have been restorated and used for new purposes:

More photos of Batavia are here.

In the Netherlands we had a few lovely, quiet days in a holiday house on the Veluwe, in the centre of the country. In our garden squirrels and birds came to enjoy the peanuts. I love robins!

On my husband's birthday we visited the Kroller-Muller Museum which was nearby. It has a large Vincent Van Gogh collection - I really liked this painting called Tree Trunks in the Grass:

Look at that detail!

I also liked this painting by Armando, called Der Zaun:

So much inspiration in this holiday! I may post some more photos in the coming weeks. For now I'll leave you with this one, as I catch up with work, get ready for the new school year that starts next week, prepare for my son's operation tomorrow and let all these impressions settle in my mind :-)