Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oh My, How Time is a Thief

It is a month since I last updated my blog, just where has all that time gone. Some of it was spent here, Mr L &R & I love spending some of our down time at this beach in the lovely Port Stephens area. We have had some extremely hot sunny weather and the best way to keep cool is a dip in the ocean. I took these photos last Saturday , when temperatures here reached 43 degrees. I have to say little relief was achieved even at the beach, the sand was so hot it was impossible to walk on without Jandals on. Thankfully most people were sensible and kept themselves under some sort of cover.
As the clouds started to build in the afternoon (ahead of the cool to 35 degree change) I thought this was such a beautiful vista especially for anyone that is a lover of blue and white, as I am.

Little sewing has been achieved. I have been working on a little project that is very portable , it is difficult to know what to bring away when we are on holiday and I can be guaranteed I always want something that I left behind.
This project is a lap size clam shell quilt.

Very apt for sewing whilst on holiday at the beach.

It is such a fun project, you get to play with all your favourite bits of fabric. It is going to be very scrappy.

Row by row, every other row will be a shirting fabric of some description.
The clams are just randomly picked out of the basket and how it ends up is how it will be.

as I said previously you just get to play with all your favourite bits and no scrap is left out.

possibly the only problem being that you tend to end up with a few quilts that are similar in colour but is that really a problem?

The construction and inspiration for this quilt came from my attending classes with Brigitte Giblin at Material Obsession.
If you can't get to attend a class with Brigitte, Material Obsession are offering some Brigitte BOM , which is a great alternative.

I have also been trying to improve my needleturn applique skills. Included with the latest Quilters Companion magazine is a DVD which gives some great hints on needleturning.
There have been some very generous bloggers in the past that have given tutorials, such as Janet and Cathy and watching this DVD just reinforced what that have blogged about.
One thing I should say about these DVD's whilst they are helpful , I just wish the camera person would get overhead during these demonstrations, I find myself standing up thinking I will be able to see what is going on behind those hands.(Just a little constructive criticism)

These circles are my practise, I am very happy with the outcome. I remember Janet say just take small steps, this is reinforced in this DVD , just think about 2 stitches at a time.

You may have noticed over at my friend Liz's place , Liz blogged about this pattern from Michelle Yeo.
We are thinking we will do a quilt along , anyone out there want to play ?

I made a test block , the templates that we ordered to go with the pattern are fantastic. The block is 14 inches and takes no time to construct. I haven't chosen a background fabric as I like to construct all my blocks then audition them for the background.
I am not sure what fabric way I will go, I think Kaffe fabrics could be fun but Reproductions could also be good.
I think the centres should be a stripe just to make it a little challenging, or any fabric that could be fussy cut to give it some movement.
What do you think ?
Anyway if any of you are interested we could set up a flickr and load our photos, we could even have a block swap of one or two blocks , let me know what you think and perhaps we could set something up to begin in the autumn, that is March here downunder.

Today is Australia Day here downunder. We get to have a day off. It is a beautiful day , so it is off to the beach and them home for a Lamb B-B-Q in the evening.
I hope whatever you decide to do is also a fun day.
Until next time
be happy in whatever you do, and by the way a very happy and creative twenty ten.


wishes, true and kind said...

I'm loving that King David's Crown block. If it's not too complicated, I might be interested in a quiltalong.


Daniëlle said...

Oh Jean, sigh sigh, I so admire your needleturn applique work!! Such tiny stitches, I looked at them with my nose stuck to the screen hihi. Perhaps one of these days mine will look your yours hihi! Must practice more I think. Starting tomorrow!! Here in Holland temp is minus 6, with a bit of wind feels like -15!! Want to swap some degrees?! Have a relaxing day, take care, hugs, Daniëlle

antique quilter said...

oh my I love that clam shell quilt, what are you using for the foundation with the lines on it? thats perfect to keep them lined up!
oh your applique looks wonderful.
that michelle yeo pattern looks wonderful, yes I think you would need the templates to cut that out correctly!!!!!
Glad you had some relaxing time this month...where Jan went, I have no idea either.

Miriam said...

Lovely beach photographs. I'm glad you had a good holiday.

I love your clamshells.

Sue-Anne said...

I love your clamshells. Are they done over paper and then handsewn together like hexagons? It's looks like you have found the perfect spot to holiday in the summer.

ranette said...

Good to hear from you again Jean....you are always missed.

I love the clam shell quilt so much I might be tempted to try it someday.

The projects that you pick out are always divine!

Great beach photos....we're expecting a huge ice and snow storm in a couple of days....

Julie said...

I love the clamshells.

Janet said...

The clam shells really intrigue me. Looks like another challenge has come to me from down under. By the way we booked a trip to Australia for January, 2010. I will finally see your wonderful country.

Bloom said...

Welcome back Jean! Lovely to catch up with your January. I have been away from my computer too & am enjoying seeing what everyone is up to. LOVE your clam shells & am intrigued by your method. I am also SERIOUSLY TEMPTED to join you in making King David's Crown - it is stunning. I love visiting you - your work is so inspiring! Health & happiness to you for 2010. Best wishes, Ros.

gail said...

Love the clam shell quilt and can understand why you're enjoying it.

Blessings Gail

Maria said...

Hi! Your blog is great! And these are a lovely photos. If you don´t mind I'll put it in my list of blog and then I could visit you often.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Love the clamshells you are working on...your applique is beautiful!

broderie said...

so while i have been away having a beach week, you have done a very interesting post. i have done alot of very interesting sewing and so will post some pictures. love the clams also, my little scraps are growing by the minute and my king david's crown is progressing nicely also. so different to yours. my 'word verification' was a spooky coincidence, i will tell you about. liz

Ravenhill said...

Whaaa! I want to be sewing on the beach too! :D Wow, those are such pretty clam shells you are making for the quilt. It is going to be gorgeous!

Aunt Spicy said...

I cant remember now how I found your blog, but I adore it! Your home decorating, sewing, crafts are all fabulous!

Anonymous said...

OMG, I'm sooo sorry I didn't know your blog, until today ... it is so interesting and creative and you are so talented! I'm gonna put you on my bloglist immediately ;>) THANKS for the inspiration, dear !
First of all : CLAMSHELL is a pattern I've always wanted to use (among so many others), but I never found any detailed instructions. I know you have to start at the top of the background fabric, and then applique the clamshells... but now I see that your background fabric is a little special with that grid printed on it. Sooo clever, indeed !
I'm sure I won't find this in my little country corner of the world (Belgium), but could you eventually tell me the name of that background fabric, and maybe also where I could order those lovely yellow plastic templates on the Web ? I'd be so grateful...
One last question (I promise!): do you baste your fabrics on paper (English Paper Piecing) before appliqueing the clamshells?
Oooh, I have a feeling now that my next night dreams will be filled with clamshells everywhere ! LOL

NOTE : you may be the Queen of starts, as mentionned in one of your posts ... but I can promise you're not alone! ;>)