Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Single Girl

Well, I've joined the Single Girl Support Group (for family/friends that have not heard of this support group, it's to help out with a quilt called the "Single Girl" ... yes hubby and I are still very much together and still in love :)

I'm loving blues and greens at the moment, so these are the colours I think I'm going to go for with my single girl quilt. Not all of these fabrics might make the final cut (I may have a couple darker blue fabrics still on their way through to me in the post :) and I may not go with this order of fabrics .... but what do you think of the prints or colours? Are there any that are glaring at you, just asking to please be removed?

I am thinking of going with a light grey for the background. Pictured is Moda Bella solid in Gray. The other option I'm thinking of is one of Kaffe Fassett's Shot Cottons ..... any ideas on which one might go well? Unfortunately I don't live near any quilting shops and I will probably have to buy it online so any help would be much appreciated :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Amazing Effort!

Well by now I'm sure you've heard of the mammoth effort all of those people that contributed to the Queensland Flood Appeal Auctions. The final figure was $99,089!!

My sister Kate and I were so amazed at the time and effort that Toni and Carli put into the appeal and wanted to say thank you for doing all of the organisation and coordination, so we thought we'd make up a couple of cushion covers in Saffron Craig's yet to be released line of "Magical Lands" (you can read more about the fabric here).

Kate and I always love any opportunity to get together to quilt and we had a fun couple of days together!!! Now that they've received the cushions, we can now finally share.

So here they are hanging out together ...

This is the one we made  based on Kate's "There's a Square in There" pattern, but we adjusted the blocks so they are smaller to fit the cushion cover. This one is 20"....

Here is a close up of Kate's amazing hand quilting ......

 and the back ....

And with this cushion we thought we'd use the "Magical Lands" print as the focal print of this cushion ... isn't it gorgeous! This cushion kind of reminds me a little of Kate's "Sierra's Forest" pattern. This cushion is 18" (approx 18.5" with the binding) .......

and here is some of my hand quilting  ..... don't look too closely :)

 The back is a green "Gingko Blossom" ......

 And one last shot of them hangin' out in a tree (as cushions do haha :)

Ok one more .... this is one of the roos that lives in my local park where I took these photos ......

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLE BELLE!!! I hope you are having a wonderful day :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Perfectionism ... Good or Bad?

(Warning: in this post you may find out a little more about my personality than you wish to know, I promise there will be some quilting content though :)

Bad I think ......

I am a perfectionist in many ways. Apparently  "perfectionism is an extreme of conscientiousness (that doesn't sound too bad) and can provoke increasing neuroticism (umm not so good) as the perfectionist's expectations are not met".

According to Wikipedia there is a " ... distinction between perfectionism and striving for excellence.The difference is in the meaning given to mistakes. Those who strive, however intently, for excellence can simply take mistakes (imperfections) as inducements to further learning and work. Perfectionists take mistakes as signs of personal defects that make them less acceptable. Anxiety over potential failure is the reason perfectionism is felt as a burden."

......Yep, definately bad.........

For me this means that I want to do something perfectly (or pretty close to perfect) or I don't want to do it at all. Here are some examples:
  • My house is hardly ever spotless, but in order for me to feel comfortable with visitors entering it I want it to be perfect
  • I love solo sports (e.g. walking, swimming). The reason that I don't like playing team sports is that I'm conscious that I don't want to let the team down by not being very good at it.
  • I have a number of quilt tops sitting around waiting to be quilted and the reason I haven't yet quilted them is that I want to free motion quilt (FMQ) them and as I have no experience they will not be perfect. Usually I love the quilt tops so much that I don't want to ruin them with my quilting. However we all know that a quilt top on it's own is pretty useless functionally, so what is the point of having them just hanging around??
  • Generally the expectations that I set for myself are much higher then I set for others, meaning that I don't expect others to be perfect, but I do expect it of myself. E.g. it is perfectly acceptable for someone else to have uneven stitch lengths when they quilt because it still looks great and they are doing the best they can, or for someone else to make a mistake whilst playing basketball because we are playing just for fun after all, or for someone else's house to be untidy when I come to visit .... but for me it's not quite good enough.
See where I'm going ... whilst it may be seen as good in some ways (always trying to be my best etc), it definately has it's down sides and I know it's holding me back.

To become perfect (if that can actually be attained in anything) you need to start somewhere right? You need to start as a novice and practice, practice, practice.

So I've finally taken the plunge and commenced my free motion quilting journey to perfection (haha). I knew I wouldn't be happy to just sit down and jump into a big project so I practiced a little on a mini quilt sandwich and then I grabbed my "Bumble Bubs" quilt top and drew "bee-like" swirls all over it (in rows to make it easier), made sure the thread tension was correct, donned my quilting gloves and just went for it. It felt liberating!

The first row was quite imperfect, but I thought I'd leave it until the end and if it still bugged me then that I would unpick it and I continued quilting, each row was a little neater than the last and even though I still need a lot of practice to feel confident at it, I feel really happy that I've stared my FMQ journey.

You may be wondering whether I unpicked that first row in the end ...... I did  (doh!), old habits die hard! I think I'll have to leave group sports and a spotless house to work on another day .....................

Here's to the pursuit of "striving for excellence" not "perfectionism"!

(I love that stripey binding)

P.S. I made this quilt for a friend of my husband and his wife's new baby Amelia (no she is not named after me, but I like it none the less) who came into the world early yesterday morning. I gave the quilt and softie to her parents this evening and they love it and I suppose that's all that matters!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


This is the view from the front of my home this evening ....

I LOVE beautiful sunsets, they always help me to look forward to tomorrow :)

I hope you all have a wonderful week!