Athens time

Saturday, 25 September 2010

A giveaway won and a giveaway...well.... given away!!

These are the goodies I won in a lovely giveaway Jessica (Narnia Mum blog) held before the summer. She kindly hung on them whilst I was away over the summer and they have now arrived at my house. How lovely to get surprises like that in the mailbox! Thanks so much Jessica! Both for my prize and for holding onto it for a bit.

These are the stars that are on their way to Lizzie for Sue's Quilt. Thank you so much for all the lovely people who sent blocks or are in the process of making them! It is heartwarming to see how the quilting community comes together at times like this and I think Lizzie is going to be very busy designing the most amazing quilt!

I have just heard that the response has been so overwhelming she now has enough blocks for Sue's quilt.

So thank you to all and therefore it is time for me to tally up my little band of great friends and do a drawing...

The prize is.... (roffle... roffle... roffle.....- drumroll-) a charm pack of Botany! (Allready not easy to find anymore!)

The draw included Sharon, Jo(bearpaw, who sent lovely Ohio Star blocks) Cat and Micki, who are sending direct, Helen, who also sent me Ohio Stars, and Vanessa (who gave kind permission to use her tutorial and is making some herself as well!) and Cathie, who enthousiastically pledged blocks.

Thank you to each and every one of you. I really appreciate the support you have shown me and Lizzie!

and the winner is......(we'll suspend with the drumroll for now :-)

Number 5!

(I am not sure how to get the number generator on here, you can't highlight and copy so you will have to believe me!)

Helen who sent two Ohio Stars.

Congratulations Helen, I will send you your prize soon!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Orphan Blocks and Ohio Stars.... (and... a Giveaway)

Hey friends and quilters! (and you newbies who just googled 'giveaway' lol!! ) A good giveaway always gets a lot of attention!

I am having a giveaway (not decided what it is yet but it will be worth it!)to those readers of my blog who decide to give my friend Lizzie(a house in the country) a helping hand....(and this is in addition to the giveaway on Lizzie's blog)

Earlier today, I read the newest post on her blog... Lizzie has a friend who is in real need of a quilty hug! This friend is terminally ill and would SO appreciate your help!!

Lizzie is looking for blocks you might want to donate... any orphan blocks you might have or blocks you might want to make.

I was thinking that if some people might want to make a block especially, like an Ohio Star

this would unify the quilt a little so I am going to make a few of these for Lizzie to put into her quilt.

SO: If you are able to send Lizzie a block, either Ohio Star or otherwise, leave me a comment and I will do a draw amongst those whose blocks have been received by Lizzie. If you are in the UK and rather send them to me, I will gladly pass them on.

A good tutorial on the Ohio Star can be found HERE on Vanessa's blog, V and Co. (thanks Vanessa!)

But any block is welcome. To make it even clearer I have copied Lizzies post under this one so you can read all about it for yourselves!

Come on guys... let's get this quilt made!! I know you are all lovely people who have at least a block in you! (or hanging around...)

Here is Lizzie's post (I couldn't have put it any better..)

I need a favour................

from A House in the Country by Lizzie

A friend that I've known for more than 30 years is sick..!! Not just I'll be better next week or next month or even next year sick! She's helplessly and terminally sick..
My friend Sue is a quilter, a SCQuilter (Southern Cross Quilters for all you non-Aussies/N.Zealanders), a crafter, a wife and a mother as well as a friend.

I met Sue when I was pregnant with my youngest son, so going on 33 years now, she's his godmother too. We used to make softies for the local craft shop, big softies, lions and elephants, giraffes, cats and dogs. At one stage we couldn't keep up with the demand, I think Sarah still has a lion and a dog somewhere..?? Anyway, we had a ball, a couple of mums at home with young kids in a tiny Mallee town.
We moved on, work called us back to the big smoke, Sue didn't, they stayed in the tiny Mallee town and live there still......but Sue now lives in the local nursing home..!!

I don't know what the official name is for what she has, what I do know is that her brain stem is dying..! Simple, straight forward, no messing around just dying.. The last time I saw her she was shuffling around with the aid of a walker. She's my age! This amazing quilter can no longer dress herself! Her family had to make a heart breaking decision to hospitalise her.

Over the years Sue has made more quilts than I ever will I think, but I don't think anyone has ever made one for her. What I'm asking for are your orphan blocks, you know, those blocks that you make then decide you don't like the pattern/colour/size or whatever..! If you're like me they sit in a box or basket, in a drawer or on a shelf, you can't just throw them out but you know that you really will never do anything with them.

If I can gather at least one block from everyone that reads my blog, put them together and get it quilted, then I can give a sister quilter and friend a unique and heartfelt gift from quilters everywhere...

Is it too much to ask? I don't think so. Some of you, if you're scquilters will know her, most of you won't. I'm not a religious person but the saying 'There but for the grace of God .." is so true. In my last post I was wondering what genetics and hereditary held for me. At least I can still wonder, Sue knows what her future holds and it's not pleasant, realistically it's horrific...........

Can you help? I'd love to do this in the next month or two. Any colour, any size, any pattern, any amount. A quilt of orphans coming together to show how much we as women and quilters care for our sisters all around the world...

Just as an incentive (and I know you don't need one really) I'll put everyone that sends me a block or two into a draw for ......something?? Probably a jelly roll or something similar, I'll work it out I promise...

Email me at: if you can help and I'll send you my postal address.

I'm going to say thanks now because I know how supportive and caring this community of ours is, so...


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A Wedding Tree

On 20 August, Karen's son Matthew and his lovely fiancee Dawn were married at the Lothian Chambers in Edinburgh.

I got to know them when I was up in Edinburgh visiting Karen and pondered on what to give them as a wedding present. I had seen through the years, and in various publications, this idea of a tree with leaves. A great idea for a wedding, but can also be used for a christening, reunion, anniversaries, parties etc. The guests write their name or a wish on the leaves so (in this case) the couple will have a permanent reminder of their special day.

I could not find a pattern(where are they when you need them!!) so set about to make my own and constructed the main tree and leaves in Edinburgh. I made 101, just to make sure there were enough... I can tell you, that's quite a pile of leaves!!

Dawn then sent me the signed leaves after the wedding and I attached each of them and sandwiched with vilene, backed with the same silk as the background on the front and quilted.

The silk was very tricky to work with, looking nice and shiny but shifting all the time. It took a long time but I have pulled it off without puckering and the back is completely straight. I just finished off handsewing the binding on and it is now ready to be packed up and be sent back.

Wishing you both a long and happy marriage Matthew and Dawn !!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Catching up on September Bee Blocks

For Crystal of the Fresh n' Funky bee

Lynette said she did both blocks in an hour. That shows what an excellent seamstress she is as it took me four! (just for you who are slow like me... you are not alone!)

These are for Jo in Edinburgh. Ohio stars for her spare room quilt.

Still more to catch up on before I can do my own.. Next holiday I must keep to shedule and not get so behind :-)

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Eurovison Bee

One of the bees I am taking part in is the Eurovision Bee, with girls all over Europe! Very interesting to have such a diverse group and some very interesting blocks we have all made in the past!

My month fell originally around the time I had my appendix operation and so I am thankful to them for enabling me to postpone my quilt and tack me right at the end of round one! It has been absolutely great but sadly, due to increased pressures in 'real life' (don't you just hate when that happens?) I have to step back for round two for a bit. Maybe round 3? We will see. I am looking forward to seeing what you guys are going to make!

So now for my own quilt. Firstly, I have never done this before and had the greatest trouble cutting fabrics and imagining how much of what to send to each member... In the end, I just cut a lot of random strips of colours that seemed (sort of) to go together and am hoping for the best... If you do not have enough of a particular fabric, please let me know and I will send you some more!

The fabrics I am using, I have been collecting for a long time. Have you all done that? Having a stack of "precious" fabrics on the shelf you just don't cut into? Well... My Amy Butler Daisy Chain collection, is just one of those! (although there is a bit of Jennifer Paganelli, Paul Prass etc in it too). Also have some batiks and Essex cotton/linen blend in there. I finally have seen the light and decided that this quilt I have in my head needs to be made!

For the pattern I got my inspiration seeing two lovely parterns on the net. My vision is something of a cross between two patterns. The first one is a gorgeous quilt pattern that I really like in its own right! (and will make 'as is' too!). It is the "There is a square in there" pattern by Kate Conklin (click HERE for her blog). Kate has very kindly granted me permission to reproduce the pattern on my blog (Thanks Kate!) and here is a picture of it;

(btw you can buy the pattern HERE)

The other pattern is the Daisy Chain Hedgerow Pattern by Elizabeth Hartman of "Oh Fransson". Elizabeth does not grant permission for people to republish her photos for bees, but she is happy for me to link to her photos or add them to a gallery in flickr. Now I have no idea how to do a gallery in flickr (something I will have to learn soon! expect a question in the threads) so I am sorry that you will have to go to Elizabeth's blog. You can click the link HERE, however and get straight through to the image.

I like the Daisy Chain Fabrics Elizabeth used and the block idea with complete rings going around. I tried a similar block;

I also like the way Kate has offset the centres of the squares and made them uneven, so I tried to have a go at that here;

I then also tried to elongate the centre and did not quite manage to get the last circle to go round, but I think mirroring the fabrics top and bottom does work too if that happens...

These are the fabrics I have cut up and sent to you all...

The sashing is going to be Essex cotton/linen blend in 'Sand'. As sold by the lovely Jackie from Canton Village Quilt Works. (See the Essex range HERE) The three solid FQ's on the left are the 3 Essex colours in there.

Apologies for the out of focus photo, but by the time I realized.. I had cut up all the 'sand' and couldn't retake..


What I would like to ask you to do is....

* make 12 1/2" unfinished blocks ( to end up 12" finished)
* To offset centres and make as many or as little rings as you like (if you do not have enough fabric, please let me know and I will mail more out)
* On average I have sent out 5 different prints but some of the strips are quite wide and you may be able to re-divide and get two rings out of one fabric. On average you will manage 5 rings but any more (like the 7 in the middle photo) would be grand!
* As far as possible keep the rings in the same fabrics
* I am happy for you to add some of your own as long as it fits in with the colourrange
* Please send back any leftover fabrics (I think I sent quite a lot to be on the safe side...) so I can use those for border and backing.

Any questions please let me know. My email is on the blog, flickrmail on flickr.

Thank you ladies for a most enjoyable 15 month round of our Eurovision Bee. I have really enjoyed it!

The fabrics are going in the mail Monday 6th September 2010.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Catherine's new Etsy Shop

Hey guys, Catherine from Catherine's Attic has a new Etsy shop. Look at this e.g. which is in there! (but of course loads more... go see !)

To celebrate she is also having a giveaway. Quick go and see!!