Saturday, March 29, 2008

Disappearing 9-Patch all finished

Well it's finished! I got quite a bit done in Bendigo, so that I only had to bind the Disappearing 9-Patch quilt when we got home. I accomplished that on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, putting the last stitch in place at midnight!

I took it work yesterday for 'show and tell' with a couple of quilting colleagues and will mail it off tomorrow to baby Patrick. I am very happy with how quickly this quilt came together. It will certainly be my 'in case of emergencies' pattern from now on!
Here's my little quilting buddy Romily helping me out with the photos! Note the foot on the corner of the quilt too - she was 'helping'! Again I used a soft flannel for the backing - I think it works really well for baby quilts. So soft and snuggly :)The finished quilt measures 41" x 33", which is around the size I like for a cot quilt, so I'm pretty happy that it all came together so well.

Next on the cards is my Spring quilt for the Four Seasons Quilt Swap - I've done the design - I'm attempting perspective for the first time, so wish me luck! I'll also do some free motion quilting, so wish me luck for that one too!

I am also making a couple of blocks for Clare to use in the quilts she makes for children with leukaemia. I'll blog them when they're done - I'm doing them alongside the other projects for a bit of a brain break! I love using red and white, so it satisfies that part of my creativity too.


We had a great day today. I spent the morning sorting our Romily's room - taking down the blackout/thermal lined curtains, as she's sleeping without any problems these days and it's so nice to have some natural light back in her room, as well as rearranging the furniture away from the window, sorting out her books, which always seem to end up spread throughout the house and dusting and vacuuming.

After I'd tidied up downstairs we all headed off to the zoo for the afternoon. Some baby monkeys were on display, which of course, was very cute, and it's a really safe environment for Rom to just dag around in :) It was a gorgeous autumn day in Canberra and it was nice to be outside. Wandering about is really all I can handle these days - I suspect I'm starting to waddle just a little!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hoppy Easter

Well the Easter Bunny has been and gone for another year, thoroughly spoiling Romily along the way. She had her first Easter egg hunt at Granddad's place and had the best time. She was so excited she couldn't actually speak upon finding eggs, but just madly gesticulate and shout 'eee'!

She got lots of little eggs (which haven't all yet been eaten), a medium sized egg and two 'giant, 'normous eggs' from the big bunny. She devoured one largish egg and we've saved the others for later. You should have seen the sugar rush! She went ballistic. I made her drink a glass of milk along with eating the medium egg. She was like a little drunkard towards the end! She's now mad-keen for more chocolate, so we are rationing it sensibly...she doesn't get much 'junk', so we don't want to change that...a little treat along the way works for all of us!Dressed as a turtle (her own creation) at Granddad's house...what a dag!

We had a lovely time in Bendigo, the city (in central Victoria) is a gorgeous old mining town and has a huge family-f0cused Bendigo Easter Festival every year, which is capped off by a parade through the city streets, complete with a Chinese dragon, a huge nod to Bendigo's important Chinese heritage.There were lots of activities in parks located around town and Romily had a wonderful time playing in the huge and very well set-up adventure playgrounds, as well as walking among the trees and having her face painted for the very first (and subsequently second) time - all for free!Here she is as a bunny - she just LOVED it!

The next day, she was 'Lucky' the dog. She cried when I washed the face paint off in her bath that night - 'I don't want to turn back into Romily' over and over again. I kid you not. Her fantasy world is in full flight these days!

We did put her on a couple of paid rides - the first one was an insistent, ambitious attempt at her first inflatable obstacle course, but she came a cropper when a couple of bigger boys landed on her head while she was still trying to get into the ride. It all ended in tears, so the nice lady pulled Romily out and gave her her ticket back. She then chose a much more age-appropriate ride on some cars that drive around a carousel! She didn't want to get off that one, so there were more tears! She cheered up eventually at the playground, where she mastered a small slide and got all her self-confidence back :)Of course what's a family holiday without a little drama? My father-in-law's partner, the one for whom I made my short and stout teapot and who is waiting for an operation to remove very painful gall stones, managed to slip on some tiles at her son's house, land heavily, and fracture her upper left arm! The poor woman - she can't take a trick right now. Fortunately the break should mend within eight weeks and it has only pushed her surgery back by two weeks.

My parents joined us in Bendigo for the Easter Monday parade and had a lovely time catching up with my FIL. Do the two granddads look besotted?All too soon it was time to drive the nine hours home to Canberra - a day spent driving through much-needed soaking rain - it didn't stop until we go to Canberra. I saw water running in creek beds for the first time - I've lived here for six years. Cows in the paddocks looking confused and cockatoos and galahs hanging upside down from power lines having a wash in the rain! No one in this parched country would complain about having such welcome rain - it was a nice way to end the weekend.


On the job front, not such good news. I was successful in being selected as the preferred candidate for the temporary promotion I had so wanted to get. Unfortunately, the head of my organisation personally put a stop to it as I'm 'needed' in my current job until he retires in seven weeks time. He wants me to help him compile all the material he's accumulated over the past 44 years in our organisation and 'trusts' me to do it right. I cannot tell you how angry I am at being held back in my career at such a critical juncture. If I had been allowed to do the job for three months I would have had a very good shot at landing it permanently before I went on maternity leave - no I have no chance at all, and by the time I go back to work in September 2009 all my hard work will be forgotten, he will have moved on, as will many other key people and I will have to re-establish myself all over again. His selfish move has put my career back by two years and I am personally very disappointed at his lack of leadership and support for someone who has worked so hard and loyally over the past 12 months.


I will no doubt get over it when I hold my BABY BOY in my arms in mid-August! Yes, you read right, we are having a boy, according to the sonographer who did our morphology scan yesterday. A bit of a shock, really, as I thought we were having another girl. I had really wanted a little sister for Romily, but it's not to be. She's destined to be the only granddaughter on both sides. Ah well, she'll be spoilt by the grandparents and have lots of protective cousins and a brother. The scan showed a healthy little bubba in there, so that's very good news. It's quite amazing to think our family will be complete in another 20 or so weeks :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

D9P tutorial links

I was very remiss in suggesting any of you interested in trying out the Disappearing 9 Patch quilt go visit Doodlebug Gail's blog - she has a great tutorial!

Part One
Part Two

I didn't use the same size squares as Gail - mine were 3 1/2 inch squares, as I was going for a particular size quilt. (And doing the maths for the yardage nearly did my poor non-maths-brain head in!)

The fabrics are from the Lakehouse Dry Goods Fall 2007 range.

Happy Easter (again!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Those 9-patches just disappeared!

I love how simple nine-patch blocks can be transformed into this amazing pattern. I think I could make this same quilt 20 times and not be sick of it!

Here it is with borders on. The colour is really more lavender than the photos show - I blame the flash not the photographer! Working all day kind of takes daylight/natural light out of the equation, I'm afraid.

I'll bind it in the white with lavender spots fabric, but I miscalculated and will have to go and buy a bit more fabric tomorrow!

I'm really happy with my piecing - it's not perfect, but it's the best I've done so far. I also did a pretty good job getting my seams 'talking' to each other, and not getting too many sewn under on the back. This is a big improvement for me! But I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself - this is only my fourth practical sized quilt - all cot might be time for me to upscale! Nah, I just need to make some progress on the single bed quilt I'm making for Romily :)

I'm going to get it sandwiched tomorrow night, and then we'll be heading south to Bendigo for Easter. Romily's very excited about the Easter Bunny visiting at granddad's place! We'll do an Easter egg hunt for her - so cute!

I'm taking my machine to Bendigo, so, with luck, I'll get the D9P quilted and bound :)

I've also done the design for my Spring 4 Seasons Quilt Swap. I'll get started on that when we get back from Bendigo.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Woohoo! She sews!

I finally made a start on piecing the top for the Disappearing 9-Patch quilt I'm making for my brand new baby second cousin.

I've made 12 9-patch blocks, which are in the process of being sliced, diced and shuffled. Next, to sew them all back together again!

A great weekend here - went to a big fireworks show down by the lake last night and it was spectacular. It's been very hot during the day, but a balmy night was just the ticket for a picnic dinner followed by a wonderful pyrotechnics show. Romily was a little bit scared, but she came good in the end!

Find out about the job tomorrow, so fingers crossed!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A tiny little bit of quilty goodness

It's been well over a week since I posted - a combination of too much work, not enough sleep, pregnancy and, to top it all off, a bout of gastro.

Poor Romily was sick on Monday night and then Carl and I came down with her bug in the early hours of Friday morning. I haven't been that sick for a long time and it really hit me hard. I'm all recovered now, but not a stitch has been sewn in this house since last weekend. I just haven't had the energy for it.

Last weekend I did manage to finish my 'housewarming' block for Bonnie, as per Tonya's invitation to the world of Blog. I'll get it and my piece of 'ugly' fabric (a challenge for Bonnie also from Tonya!) in the post this week. I hope it's not too late by the time it finally reaches its North Carolina destination.

It's probably a bit loud in comparison to some of the blocks Bonnie's been receiving - maybe she can use this one as a lesson in not enough contrast for her students! I obviously wasn't thinking straight when I made the door red - the colour blends in to the background, even though it's a patterned fabric. Ah well, lesson learned!

The 'ugly' fabric was one I picked up when I was making the Wonky Geese quilt for Campbell. It's okay used small, I guess, but I just can't see myself using it!

I also went along this week to my first Canberra Quilters' meeting. Fortunately I have a quilting buddy from work who signed up too, as I didn't know anyone else in the room, although my quilting teachers from February are members, as is Sue Chisholm, who taught the beginner patchwork class I took way back in 2005.

We had a long weekend this weekend, which was great, as I spent most of Saturday recuperating from Friday's illness. My parents arrived late on Friday (to discover both Carl and I looking ghostly) and spent the weekend with us, which was lovely, albeit a little quiet! We did manage an outing to the Australian National Botanic Gardens and to the National Archives. We had beautiful weather, so it was good to outside for a bit of fresh air.Romily just adores 'Grandma and Huppa' and they love her to bits. She had a great time and it was wonderful for me to have them to entertain each other while Carl and I recovered completely!
I wish we lived closer (they're in Melbourne), but we don't, so we really appreciate them driving all the way up here to see us. Fortunately we'll be able to see them again at Easter, as we're heading down to Bendigo for a few days with Carl's dad. Bendigo is two hours from Melbourne, so we should be able to squeeze in a family visit.
Looking forward to three short weeks in a row - I'm finding that I'm struggling a bit with fulltime work and being four months pregnant - imagine what it'll be like in three months time! I am also in the running for a three-month acting director position at work, which I'd love to do - it's in an area I'm keen to move in to, so it would be a real feather in my cap to get the temporary position - although a lot more work. It's a double-edged sword, but it's something I'd really love to do. Fingers crossed!

Fingers crossed too that I get a bit more sleep and energy this week, so I can finally start piecing the top for the disappearing 9-patch I'm making. It's all cut - now I just need to sew!

Have a good week!

Lazy Gal Quilting: Housewarming Party for Bonnie