Memories from an Autograph Book

When I was nine or ten years old, my parents gave me an Autograph book for Christmas. The idea was that your friends and family would write little sayings on a page in your book. Of course, if you met someone famous, the Autograph book was the place to have them sign.


One such clever adage in my book was:
YYURYYUBICURYY4ME
which translated says Too Wise You Are, Too Wise You Be, I See You Are Too Wise for Me.

I only ever found one famous person to give me his autograph and that was Wally Grout who was the Australian Cricket team wicket-keeper back in the 1950/60s. 


One of the verses written in my Autograph book was from a poem by Dorothy Gurney. It must have made an indelible impression in my mind as I remember it so well many decades later.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.


It wasn't a surprise then, when I received the new Tilda fabric range, called "Sunkiss", that the verse in the Autograph book popped into my mind.


Sunkiss is a gorgeous fabric range which has just been released in stores, and I have enjoyed playing with the beautiful colours. Of course I just had to make a "Kiss of the Sun" wall quilt!


The quilt measures 81cm (32 inches) square, has easy piecing, needle-turn applique and a few sweet embellishments. The pattern is now available in my Craftsy Store
  here.
 

I think the poem has a lot of truth in it, don't you?  A beautiful garden certainly shows God's amazing creative handiwork, and if we can't physically be in one of our own, patchwork and quilting sure gives us plenty of opportunity to create a garden with fabric.

Happy stitching.
Val





Absence makes the heart grow fonder

I have been absent from my sewing machine for a few weeks, other than to do a running repair yesterday! My over-indulgence over Easter, three morning/afternoon teas, and our wedding anniversary dinner with delectable dessert, meant I needed to add a bit to the elastic waist in one of my outfits!


My excuse is that it was always a bit tight, but I will be tightening the belt on food over the next few weeks. I wish the supermarket would stop advertising Half Price specials on drool-worthy ice-creams!



The sewing machine has been idle only because life has just jumped in the way. Our Church had computer and software problems so I spent many hours trying to sort all that out. Then we had two delightful days with family visiting - a rare occurrence as the majority of them live very long distances away. 



Then there are the emails to answer, the medical appointments, minutes to take and type, and all that goes to make up the life of a retiree!  How did I ever have time to go to work???


But absence does make the heart grow fonder. I spent some of my waking hours last night dreaming up a new quilt! Then I have little sticky notes hanging off my computer monitor. One of them is to remind me of all the things that were in the diary for the last month or so and still haven't been done. The other is for the next project I want to make.


A while ago I promised to make available a couple of my quilt patterns for sale in my Craftsy Store. It really was time to do something about that before I start anything new.


You can now find Joyful Juggling Quilt here


and Fruit Salad Quilt here

I have scattered some photos throughout this post to show you what I was working on before life's interruptions. (My apologies to Fb and Instagram followers who may have already seen some of them.) The fabrics are from the Tilda Sunkiss range which will be released in stores on Tuesday. The fabrics are delightful and I am eager to show you the completed projects soon.


Meanwhile, happy stitching!
Val

Amazing Australia

My husband and I are so privileged to live in Australia. It is one amazing country! The little part of the big country in which we live, called Sandstone Point, is like a piece of paradise. On the weekend, one of our lovely friends invited a dozen or so people from our neighbourhood to morning tea. It was such a special time of being together rejoicing in the beautiful place in which we find ourselves and just enjoying each other's company. Having lovely neighbours plays a big part in our love of our area.


Another big part is the wildlife. It is not at all uncommon for us to see kangaroos in the bush, rakali in the pond and 40 or 50 different species of birds on our morning walk. My latest quilt. On the Edge of Town, celebrates life in our village. Close by we have many of the conveniences of a large town  - doctor and dentist, supermarket and bakery, pharmacy and newsagency, but right next door there is the wildlife that we love to see.


The fabric I used for this quilt is Leutenegger Sketch Book range. It has telegraph poles, cute possums on the wire, and birds and gum blossoms scattered throughout. It is quintessentially Australian!


The fabric conjures up pictures of a little country locality, with the bush on the edge of town, kangaroos hopping down the street and a kookaburra in the old gum tree  - in other words it's where we live!


 Koalas are around, but they're not easy to spot so we don't see them very often.


On the Edge of Town was featured in Australian Patchwork & Quilting, Vol 27 No 12.


For those who don't have access to our Australian magazines, the pattern is in my Craftsy Store here.


We had a wonderful Easter celebrating Jesus our Risen Saviour. Our Church services were fabulous and it's always uplifting to have the church full with hardly a spare seat. We missed having family around this year, but unexpectedly ended up with two lots visiting later in the week, so my happy face is back on!

I'm slowly working on a couple of projects (can't seem to confine myself ever to just one!). It's nice not to have too many deadlines at the moment as there have been heaps of interruptions to life lately, so it's one step at a time!

Happy stitching!
Val


Beyond the Garden Gate

Today I wandered around a friend's sweet garden. It was the first time I had seen her little piece of paradise and it was a delight to behold. My favourite part was a big old tree with low limbs. Hanging from it and underneath it were so many beautiful treasures - ferns, orchids and other magnificent flowering plants. It was totally uplifting to spend time amongst such beauty.


Some of that sort of enchantment was what I was trying to capture in my Beyond the Garden Gate quilt.  


The quilt features in the March 2018 issue of Homespun Magazine.


I made the quilt using one of my favourite Quilt-as-you-go methods.


Thee are plenty of my favourite applique elements in it.


The fabric range I used is the delightful Welcome Home Collection One by Jennifer Bosworth.


The beautiful fabrics were totally inspiring. 


Lots of butterflies flit around in my garden.


 ... and here is the garden gate:


with pretty pots nearby.



It has the most beautiful floral fabric in the border.


Seeing that beautiful garden today made me hanker back to the days when I too had a pretty place to enjoy. My garden even won a couple of prizes - a long time ago. But we live in the humid sub-tropics so gardening is hot, hard work, and age has crept up, so I am content to have an easy-care garden and a few ferns. I guess it has been a deliberate choice to put my time and effort into quilting rather than gardening. Maybe I worked out today why there are so many garden elements in heaps of my projects!

Happy stitching!
Val

Fruit Salad in a quilt

If you thought I was over the top with my penchant for black (see my last post), you might think I have really gone overboard with my fruit salad quilt!


I really like the jewel-like colours of Eleanor Burns' fabric range, "Forever Love".  I wanted to use the Arbor Window quilt block (aka Granny Square) so decided that this was definitely a case for having a black background, which shows up both the fabric and the piecing so well. 


I talked here about how the blocks were made without having to align any points - my style of piecing since I'm an imperfect piecer!


As I much prefer doing applique to piecing blocks, I did plenty on this quilt.


The fabric colours were so good for depicting various fruits.


One of my favourites below - cherries - both the applique and eating them!


I made this project using the quilt-as-you-go method.


The appliques are all in the borders, so it took a long time to get round the whole quilt!


The grapes took forever, but I am so pleased with the result on the finished quilt. The different fabrics used for the grapes give a really great effect when the quilt is viewed from a distance.


All the above photos were taken before quilting, so here is the finished product:


It's looking very happy in our family room, covering a small pool table.

I'm finished my "black phase" for the moment and am having fun with another quilt with lots of appliques - and an off-white background! It's using a wonderful new Tilda range of fabrics which will be in stores soon. 


Speaking of Tilda fabrics, I have now added the pattern for my "Cottage in the Garden" quilt to my Craftsy Store. A number of folk who don't have access to Australian magazines told me they would like to buy the pattern, so here's the link if that is you!  

Happy stitching!
Val