November 30, 2011

Ten Things I'd Want on My Desert Island

(yeah, yeah, I know: food, water, shelter, internet access. Let's assume those, OK? After all, it's a desert island - not a DESERTED desert island...)
  1. "binding buddy" lucite template (2.5" x 30")
  2. quilting sharps (needles)
  3. plain, no-frills, old-fashioned metal thimble
  4. big (24" x 36") one-sided cutting mat
  5. a good pair of "snips" (clipper scissors)
  6. rotary cutter
  7. my laptop, with "Quilt Wizard" software installed
  8. 300 really big safety pins
  9. all the fabric (and batting) in my UFO closet
  10. my hubby (The kind of man who patiently waits while I'm going nuts in a Maui fabric shop isn't the kind of guy you leave behind. No - he's coming with me.)
Yup - that'd keep me pretty much happy for about, oh, ten years or so...

November 23, 2011

Move Over, "The Julie/Julia Project" (well, maybe not)

(nobody here but us servantless Australian quilters)

It started innocently enough. It was November 12, 2011 - the 5-year anniversary of the day I stepped off the airplane at Melbourne's Tullamarine airport as a newly-arrived immigrant. Hubby Stephen and I planned to have a nice celebration at home and we'd stopped at the Dan Murphy's in Boronia and ... well... I'm rambling a bit, but here's the thing: There's a quilt shop there! "Lilly Patches"!

I saw quilting guru Pauline a couple of days later and mentioned it to her. Of course she already knew about it, and said she likes the shop quite a lot. She also mentioned a half-dozen other quilt shops, some of which sound simply fabulous.

So I get online and do quick search - and came up with a website that claims there are 180 quilt shops in the state - and has an online list (complete with addresses)!

My head is spinning.

So.... I'm sitting here looking at this list and remembering the great blog "The Julie/Julia Project" and thinking... hm... 180 quilt shops, 365 days... and...

NAH! I can't afford to do what I'm thinking. I have NO self-control in a quilt shop. It's against my RELIGION to go into a quilt shop and come out with less than a meter of something.

So I'm not going to do it. No. No. No.

(Incidentally, I see that the original "The Julie/Julia Project" blog is gone. I'm truly sorry, as it's existence was such an inspiration to me. Julie Powell, the author, has a new blog now.)

November 16, 2011

Fabric=Yes/Design=No: "Cocoa and Coffee"

The photo on this group doesn't do it justice. I guess you'll have to trust me on this; the fabrics really do go well together, even though they don't look like it here.

I spotted the second fabric from the left (a fat quarter) first. Grabbed it and the other fat quarter the store had, then worked from there to come up with the other four selections. The colours are rich chocolate-and-coffee (except for the center one, of course, but it coordinates well with the others).

In terms of quantities, numbering the pieces from left to right, here's what I bought:
Fabric 1: 2 yards
Fabric 2: 2 "fat quarters"
Fabric 3: 2 yards
Fabric 4: 2 "fat quarters"
Fabric 5: 4 yards

So fabrics 2 and 4 will have to be used sparingly. Of course, I could get other coordinating prints here in Australia (I've seen Fabric 1 and 3 in one of my favorite shops here) - but I like the idea of trying to work something out from what I bought.

Friend and guru Pauline says I should try applique. Maybe I'll do that with this project - the fat quarters could be cut into leaves, maybe? Then sewn onto blocks with Fabrics 3 and 5 for contrast?


November 9, 2011

"Hubby of the Year"

So - on the way home to Australia (after visiting the U.S. earlier this year), Stephen and I stopped for a few days in Hawaii. We visited the islands of Maui and Oahu, did some sight-seeing and just generally relaxed.

While on Maui, I discovered a fabric store not far from the airport. Well, of course I had to go in!

Beloved hubby Stephen accompanied me. I'm sure it wasn't his idea of the perfect afternoon, but he never once breathed a sigh of irritation or gave me any indication he was bored. I hurried and tried to make my decisions quickly, but even so, I'm sure we were in that store for nearly 90 minutes. As I wandered back and forth admiring bolt after bolt of fabulous colour, he occupied himself amiably, never once complaining or rolling his eyes.

There should be some kind of award for this, there really should be.

November 2, 2011

Fabric=Yes/Design=No - "Ohio Cardinals"

In the same shop where I found the crossword print, I found a really sweet cardinal print (shown below with 2 solids, one green and one peachy/pink that matches the lighter feathers on the cardinals).

My friend Penny was with me and boy, did we ever struggle to find something to compliment the print. I was in a hurry, so opted to grab a couple of solids (the peach and green shown above), but I think I should be able to find a tan or green print to coordinate with the birds. To tell the truth, the green isn't really an ideal match, as you can probably see in this photo. I'll use the green for the backing (or for a Christmas project at a later date).

Now, for a design... boy I'm drawing a "blank" on this one. All I can think of is plain blocks (the cardinal print) framed with solids or coordinating prints. Workable, I guess, but not terribly exciting.