Sunday, 17 May 2015

Spring 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival - Rainbow Diamonds

Amy from Amy's Creative Side is once again hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I am entering my Rainbow Diamonds baby quilt in the ROYGBIV Quilt Category.

I made this quilt in October 2014, for my brother-in-law and his partner in the Netherlands who were expecting their second child, but did not want to reveal if it was a boy or girl. I wanted to finish the quilt before we went to the Netherlands for Christmas, so suggested I make a rainbow quilt - good for a boy as well as for a girl! They liked that idea. In the end the baby, a boy, was born a few days before we left Australia. His parents and big sister loved the quilt :-)

It is made up of half-square triangles and measures 30" by 42" (76 x 107cm). You can read more about the making of the quilt here.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Upcycled cushion

Yesterday was an extremely wet day here in Brisbane. I was lucky to be able to stay at home for most of the day and play with fabric. In a corner of my sewing room I found this upholstery fabric sample book that I bought at Reverse Garbage one? two? years ago and with it I made a patchwork cushion. The fabric is a faux suede, so the cushion is very soft.

For the back I used the remaining scraps plus some other samples. The newspaper fabric is from an op shop skirt - I also used it for the Cadet Cap.

I stuffed the cushion with scraps of batting - I always save the strips of batting that are cut off after sandwiching a quilt, and the leftover pieces from a roll:

I spend quite a bit of time cutting them up in small pieces:

I had planned to take the cushion to Reverse Garbage and put it up for sale in their gift shop, but it looks so good on our new couch that I decided to keep it. The boys really like it too :-)

I have a few more sample books, so may make some more cushions!

Friday, 1 May 2015


Yesterday I finished this little quilt - it's my contribution to the 2015 SAQA Benefit Auction.
You know I love Kombi vans - I just had to make an art quilt featuring one!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

1000 Quilt Inspirations

This week my copy of 1000 Quilt Inspirations - Colourful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern and Art Quilts by Sandra Sider arrived. How exciting!

I knew Speed, my little bycicle quilt, would be in it, but was surprised to see Black & White #3 and #2 in it as well:

And Balance 2, one of my personal favourites!

As the title says, the book is full of inspiration. There are no patterns or techniques and there is very little text (just a 2-page introduction) - it's just lots and lots of images of gorgeous quilts. I spend a wonderful evening going through it slowly.

I showed the book to a few non-quilting friends and they really enjoyed looking through it. A perfect coffee table book!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

New Zealand

Last week I had the most fabulous mini holiday in New Zealand. It was wonderful to see my best friend and her family again after almost three years. And wat a stunningly beautiful country!

With my friend and her three girls (the same age as my boys) I did a 3-hour beach and cliff top walk - and a pod of dolphins swam along with us for most of the way!

We found this piece of beach art :-)

Near Matakana I saw this beautiful horse sculpture:

Of course there were lots of ferns:

For my friend's birthday I had made her a Dutch post bag. She loved it :-)

On the last day of my stay, Mathea and Charlotte came down from Kerikeri to visit. I have 'known' both of them for years through their blogs, Facebook and email, but it was lovely to finally meet them IRL.

More photos of New Zealand can be found on my photo blog.

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?