Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Purple People Eater....

is finished.

I didn't have enough of any single fabric to use on the final border, so I made up the border from scraps cut 3.5" by whatever length worked.  So the bricks are anywhere from 5" to 8.5" in length.  It really, really needs a solid or tone on tone purple binding to finish it, which I don't have of course.  Hopefully I will pick something suitable up tomorrow.
It will be going to Cabarita with me tomorrow for its backing, wadding and pinning when I go to Stitching Hearts (woo hoo!  Haven't been in a month of Sundays). 
Last time I posted about this quilt, Marly, who blogs here, left a comment asking why I had picked that name.  The short answer is I have no idea!  I was doing the pressing after the gold border, and the name just surfaced in my mind. 
There was actually a song called "One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater" released in 1958, by Sheb Wooley, and then in 1988 there was a film of the same name.  I think I must have heard the song around the time of the film release, because I would not have been listening to music when the song was released.  Anyway, after Marly's question, I Googled to see if I could find anything about that song, and came up with a video clip on You Tube here.  Catchy tune + fun words + fun quilt = good name. 
How do you come up with names for quilts?
This morning I presented a workshop at the craft group in my church.  I got them all to make 2 cards.
The design was the same - I couldn't cope with 2 different designs LOL!  The other card was in greens, and I did not make it as I was running around helping those who needed it most.
They all seemed to enjoy themselves, and the noise level was deafening.  And I am exhausted!  I must have done something right as I have been asked to do Christmas cards towards the end of the year. 

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Lets Book it Challenge

Earlier this year I decided to join in at the Lets Book it Challenge, and since its the end of the month its time to show my progress.

I started this little lap quilt for Stitching Hearts in February, and the construction dragged on through March.  I am happy to say that at the end of April it is finished!!

You can see my original post here

It is was super easy, and a fun quilt to make, so I think it will appear regularly in the Patching Pixies workroom in various guises and colours.  It only took so long because I was firstly away on holidays, then sick for virtually a month, then I had to get "Summer Evening in a Garden Maze" finished for the quilt show, then Easter fell on me.  It is finished now and I am happy.  It will go with me to Cabarita on Thursday.
My next project is inspired by this pattern by Dianne Tresize which appeared in the magazine Australian Patchwork & Quilting Vol. 16 No. 1 from October 2007.   I think that is old enough to qualify for the challenge, and I haven't made anything from this issue yet.

BUT.  If you have read my blog for a while, you will know by now that I very rarely follow a pattern!  The centre of this quilt uses 4.5" squares, and I have a rather large pile of pre cut 4" in lovely earthy tones in the cupboard, so that is what I will use.
Obviously I will have to jiggle the measurements as 4" blocks don't equal 4.5" blocks!  The pattern also calls for broderie perse in the corners, but I am planning to find a suitable applique which will fit in the area, as I don't have a fabric I can use.  So you see, the result will not look at all like the original.  But that's fine by me.
Watch this space to see more on the progress.
Meantime, I have linked this post up to the link part at Vrooman's Quilts, so do go and take a look at what other people have made this month.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Sunday, 27 April 2014

More Purples

April's colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge was purple.  (Yum)  With the public holidays over Easter, I managed to get a few of my purple blocks done.  Here is the Road to Tennessee block:
And the scrappy 25 patch:
Then I decided to put together the "Purple People Eater" i.e. the yellow appliqued flowers I had been working on and the purple 6" squares Jackie sent me.  This is as far as I got last night:

I found a piece of yellow which was just perfect for the first border.  BUT  It wasn't big enough, so I cut the strips 1.75" instead of the 2" I had intended.  Just scraped through.  Phew!
There isn't enough of any one piece of purple for the next border in my stash, so I have decided to make it scrappy.  I cut a pile of "bricks" last night from scraps - 3.5" wide by whatever length I had, and have ended up with some as small as 5", and all the way up to 8.5".  I will sew them end to end, then cut the required lengths for the borders. 
The quilt will be for Stitching Hearts, and I would really love to have it done by Thursday, to take down to Sydney with me.  I have enjoyed making this quilt so much that I am planning to do another like it in another colour way. 
I had intended to finish that last night, but got distracted into scanning more photos.  This one is of my dad, centre front, aged about 8 or 9 flanked by his twin brothers, Jack and Sid.  Don't ask me which is which.  It was taken in Shanghai, China, roughly 1922.  Don't they look like a mischievous bunch of little monkeys?
A lot of the photos are in fairly bad shape, so I have Photoshopped them.  Some require much more work on them, but for now they are scanned and organised into appropriate places on my disk.
I still have my purple Jacobs Ladder blocks to do, but all is not lost, as there are still a few days of April left.
This morning I was amused to see that the flowers in church were purple too.
To see more purple goodies people have made for the RSC you will need to take a look here

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Friday, 25 April 2014


Today is ANZAC Day, the day we commemorate the men & women who have served in the defence forces and gave their lives for their country.  The date is the anniversary of one of the costliest battles of WWI - the day the allied troops landed at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915.

It is a public holiday here, and dawned wet and wild.  I felt sorry for those who had made the effort to go to the dawn service and the march through Sydney.  But the wet weather made it a perfect day to hit my sewing machine.

I began straight after breakfast by laying out the purple blocks donated by Jackie and interspersed with the appliqued yellow flowers I have been working on.  You can see my earlier post about this project here.  So this is how it looked a couple of hours ago.

Those evil yellows I used are not terribly noticeable (thank goodness!).

Tibby decided that this post box that came a while back, and I have been too slack to put away, was worth investigating...

Oh Joy!  There is a pile of nice soft fabric in there...

Ah!  Nice...

No sooner did I have the blocks laid out and arranged to my satisfaction, than I got distracted.  The Dearly Beloved came downstairs and fixed the scanner.  I bought a new printer/scanner a week or so ago, and wanted to start on a large scanning project, but there were issues with the way I had installed the scanner.  So once that was sorted, I started on that job.  I want to scan all of the old family photos onto disk, partly to preserve them, but also so that I can distribute to other family members.  I spent most of the morning doing that.
I've also made a big pot of Broscht soup for our dinner tonight.  Long, long time since I made that.  My cousin Andrei in the US mentioned on Facebook that he had some borscht a couple of weeks back, and I have been dying to have some ever since.  I used a recipe given to me many years ago by Julie who lives in Oregon.  She & I were great mates until I was about 5, then our families went separate ways.  But I am still in contact with her and we have met up several times both in the US and here in Australia.
I can finally reveal one of the secret sewing things I have been making.  The ladies at church made these at the craft group on the Wednesday before Easter.  Aren't they cute?
One for my daughter on the left, and one for us on the right.  Can't show you the other things until they have been received.
Yesterday afternoon we went over to my daughter's to spend some time with the kids.  Miss 13 is off on a camp, but the other two were at home.  My daughter had to go to work at 2.30 so we wandered over and stayed a couple of hours.  We played Monopoly Empire.  And got thrashed by the kids!  Its a new game, a variant of the old Monopoly.  Instead of properties and houses, you buy brand names.  So there's McDonalds, X-Box, Ducati etc. etc.  Just plain advertising if you ask me - getting the kids to recognise the brand names, as if kids don't recognise them already.
Whatever the game, it was a nice way of spending an afternoon.
Now back to the purple blocks.
Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Catherine Hill Bay & Gwandalan

On Saturday we made a snap decision to go for a drive to Catherine Hill Bay, which is about an hour's drive north from here.

Initially the village was named Cowper, and served as a base for coal mining by the New Wallsend Company.  The mines have all closed now.  The name Catherine Hill was adopted to commemorate the schooner "Catherine Hill" which ran aground in 1867.  The village comprises the oldest group of buildings in Lake Macquarie area.  The bay is beautiful, and the village itself has lots of original miner's cottages, beautifully kept.

Although the day was a nice one, it was a little windy and the swell was still very big so the beach was closed.

But that didn't stop a couple of hardy surfers on their boards.
This is the historic coal wharf at the southern end of the bay.  At low tide, you can walk right up to it on the beach, and around the point.  Far too dangerous on Saturday as the tide was almost at its peak.

Look at the size of this chain!  It is embedded in rock, and buried in the sand, but it would have originally been used to secure ships.

The wind had risen by this stage and made the beach a bit wild and woolly, so we decided to take our picnic to Gwandalan, which is on Lake Macquarie itself.  Good idea, as we found a pretty park, and it was quite sheltered.
Our view from the picnic table.

We were accompanied by a posse of ducks, until those pesky seagulls drove them away.

Setting up lunch.

These kids were having a ball messing about in their little putt putt.  The pelicans didn't seem to mind them at all.

The boys went, and the pelicans decided to have a preen in the shallows.

After lunch we walked along the foreshore for a way, all the way up to the point, and found a lone pied cormorant at the very tip of the point standing sentinel (on one leg!). How do birds manage to sleep upright, on one leg, half way up a tree, without falling over, even when there is a high wind?

On the way home, we stopped for an ice cream at Budgewoi.  This is the channel which connects Lake Munmorah to Budgewoi Lake. Seagulls of course, and a handful of fishermen, mostly dads with their kids.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Last from the Quilt Show

Here are the last of the photos I took at the Central Coast Quilt Show last week.  From your comments, I think you have enjoyed what I have posted.  Hope you like these too.

Hand appliqued, hand quilted.  Beautiful work.

A kaleidoscope quilt, machine quilted.

Here is a close up of one of the circular blocks.  Isn't it interesting?  All of the blocks were different, and were constructed of 16 pie shapes, which gave the illusion of a circle.

This was a pretty quilt.  The two blocks gave the quilt a lot of movement. Machine quilted.  Nice pin wheel border too.

Fussy cut hexies appliqued to a fussy cut background.

Another hand appliqued, hand quilted quilt.  Have you guessed that I like that style of quilt??

Close up of the stunning work on that border.  The triangles are prairie points.

And a version of the Quilt of Crosses.

And last but very definitely not the least, the miniature whole cloth quilt exhibited by my friend Di. 

It was the only whole cloth quilt at the show, and one of only 3 or 4 miniatures.  For me, it was hung too high - they all were.  I thought it needed to be at eye level so you could easily see the quilting on it.  I thought the miniatures would have benefitted if they had been hung together, and a bit lower.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Friday, 18 April 2014

A Lovely Sunny Day for a Walk

After a cold snap and about a week of grey skies, we've had the most beautiful autumn day. 

We decided to go for a walk on North Avoca beach.  There were quite a few people on the beach, walking, reading and just enjoying the sunshine, but the surf was vicious so not many people foolhardy enough to venture out.

Looking towards Avoca

 You can see the waves breaking over the rocks in the distance

We decided that the waves were getting up around 4 meters.  Besides that, there was a sand bar a little way out, the waves were dumping on that, and there were strong currents going every which way in front of the sand bar. 

Before going out, I made my Road to Oklahoma blocks for the Rainbow Challenge.  You guessed it - the colour for this month is purple.

I am way behind with the RSC blocks as these are the first I have made this month, so hopefully I'll get a few more done over the week end.
I am linking up at the RSC Challenge page and you will find it here - why not go over and check out all the great things the others have made.
And here are a few more photos from the quilt show last week end.  There were a few quilts with spectacular applique work.  Like this one:

And the detail on the pansies (since the colour of the month is purple!)

Lovely hand quilting on that quilt too.

These next two photos were from a quilt which I forgot to photograph in full.  Blame that on a Senior's Moment. LOL.  The quilter had used a folded fabric technique to make 3-D flowers which I thought was stunning.

We came home yesterday afternoon to find heaps of blood in Tibby's stool.  So a frantic dash to the Vet before he closed, since today is Good Friday, and I have been shovelling medication into her today.  Poor little soul.  She does not take kindly to that, and I have several gashes to prove that she is displeased.  The vet wasn't concerned - said that it was just an inflamed bowel and that it would heal eventually.  Thank goodness.
Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A hectic weekend.....

or maybe, a whole week!  Today is an "at home" day, and I honestly can't remember the last time I had a whole day to my self at home (not counting when I was sick in bed) without having to go out for shopping, or the dentist or some other thing.  So what have I done with my day?

Cleaned the kitchen.  Yikes you say.  What a thing to do on your day off!!  Well it had to be done.  And I even got to the two display shelves which are too high for me to see the dust on, heh heh heh.  You know what that means?  I can't see them, so they don't get done, so they were putrid.

I paid some bills.  More yuk.  At least I won't get the red ones LOL

Then I finished off some secret sewing, so I can't show you a pic.

Then I made two lots of binding.  The first is for this...

This quilt was the February/March project for the Lets Book It challenge.  The photo doesn't do the fabrics justice.   It is lap size, and I will be taking it down to Stitching Hearts next time I go.  The green fabric was donated by Julia - a perfect match, thank you Julia.
The second lot of binding was for Julia's Blocks which I completed last Friday at Friday Quilters. 

I didn't have enough of the green and was lucky enough to get the last half meter at Lincraft last week.  Bonus is that it was on sale.  This lap quilt is also going to Stitching Hearts. 
Its difficult to see the pattern on the sashing fabric so here is a photo of the sashing and the green.  I think it is a perfect match for the lovely fabrics Julia used in the blocks.

Just as a matter of interest, this quilt was at the Central Coast Quilt Show.  Recognise the blocks??  Amazing how the choice of colour changes the appearance of a quilt.  The quilter obviously attended the same class Julia did.
On Saturday I went to snoop at the Wedding of the Year.  Raelene's daughter married Fiona's son.  Both ladies are from Friday Quilters, so I wasn't going to miss out on that one.  The groom and his groomsmen wore kilts, and looked very dashing.  The bride was absolutely radiant in a lovely bewelled dress. 

Then on Sunday Di, Joanne & I went to the quilt show. 

We met up with Cheryll, a bloggy friend of mine who blogs here.  It was the first time I had met a blog friend and it was lovely.  The four of us spent the afternoon together.  Cheryll ran the Santa Sack Swap which I did last year, and she is so much fun.  I forgot to take a photo of the two of us!!
Here is Miss 8's quilt - she calls it "Pretty Patches".

And drum roll please!!  Miss 8's quilt won one of the Viewer's Choice awards.  Best part is that I got to choose the prize as she and Mum had gone home by then!  I selected a parcel containing a quilter's ruler, a 6.5" square ruler, a Rule Steady handle and some non-slip stuff to back the rulers.  She should be all set now with a supply of rulers.

There were some really lovely quilts on display.  Here are a couple for you to enjoy.

Stunning quilting.....

This is the whole quilt......
And a cute cot quilt, one of two very similar ones.....

I will post some more photos in my next post.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.