Tuesday, December 4, 2012

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
Mother Teresa

What have I been making of late? Lots of little things, (I've started making my own clothes again!), but the most important thing that has been made in my life this week is a bunch of new love, with the advent of a new baby.  My son and his wife had a new son, Andrew, born on 3 December.  It's amazing isn't it?  No matter how much love you may have in your life, there is always room for so much more.  And to hold a new little life - one's heart just swells and overflows.

And it's now time for me to head back into the hospital to hold him again.  I feel amazingly blessed and full of gratitude.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Finished..or perfect..

"Finished is better than perfect"...I forget who it was said that... but this week I decided to take it to heart.

I've almost finished an Amish style 9-patch, and have restarted working on a jelly roll star (fig Tree Quilts pattern) that I started in a class a couple of years ago.  I stopped working on it when I discovered that the  star points that I'd pieced in class on one machine turned out to be a different size to the ones I completed at home on another machine... I couldn't make them match up without pulling one whole set of star bits to pieces or starting again completely...I was using an out-of-date fabric, couldn't get more, and with all of those diamonds cut on the bias, I couldn't unpick and start again.  I'd never get them to match up no matter what machine they were sewn on.  So, this week, being back in Dubai, I decided that I could just sit and stitch, by hand if necessary to make them go together.  My centres are a good centimetre out between one half of the star and the other, but the whole block came together.  If the other star centres do the same thing then I'll just applique circles over the centre...who is going to look at a finished quilt and say...I know why she put those circles there! ...are they?  well, I dare them to say it my face anyway!! Lol.
The 9-patch I started eons ago, and put it aside when I didn't have the right fabric to do the corner posts.  Again, I've decided that it's better to have a finished quilt and a compromise.  And I really like the finished result.  Now I just need to go to the fabric souk to get some black fabric to make the borders.  And in Dubai I don't think that the right black fabric will be hard to find..famous last words, but every second female here is in black...  then it will be deciding whether I wait till I go back to Australia to quilt it on my machine there, or quilt it by hand here.  The machine quilting is speaking to me, but on the other hand, that's a while away.  I can't quilt it on my machine here..it's a Singer Featherweight, which has the smallest throat ever I think!  But it does do a lovely straight stitch.
I have also decided to 'go back to school' so to speak.  I made a quilt top earlier this year and I was really unhappy with my piecing and accuracy. I bought Harriet Hargraves 'Quilt University' book 1 of the series and will start from there.  I've read the first few chapters and already learnt some very useful things, some of which I'd already learnt piecing that awful quilt top earlier this year, like trying to keep your fabrics similar weights!
Well, typing this up won't get anything concrete done.  Ciao for now... and remember...if it's a problem getting it done...finished is better than perfect!  But I do like perfect...
                                                          The 9-patch Amish style quilt...with borders yet to be added.
                                                                   The very difficult jelly star - first finished block..

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


"Rationality is holding ourselves accountable to the bounds of logic and evidence, even when it is uncomfortable to do so." from the website www.wisdomcommons.org

For the past month we have been opening boxes that have been stored under our house for the last 8 years!  We no longer remembered what was really in them, and it has been a kind of Christmas month, but also a month of having to rationalise why we are holding on to things that we haven't seen for over eight years.  We moved from a big house to a very small house.  Sofas, sideboards, tables, bookcases, you name it, it was under the house and couldn't fit upstairs.  The sofas went a while ago, after the neighbour's chooks caused a rat plague.. But the rest has been sitting there. 

So, we finally couldn't bear it any longer and decided that enough was enough.  It started with my youngest son, who is at home looking after our house while my dh and I actually live overseas.. I came home for a break, and we have continued his beginnings.  Many many boxes to the tip, many many boxes to charity, and some stuff to a new self storage unit. 

The 'uncomfortable to do so..' bit is my having to get rid of books and fabric that I just know I am never going to use, no matter how much I like it.  The bounds of logic and evidence say so...

I will start up a new blog, and put up a bunch of books and fabric on it over the next few days, so watch this space for the address.  There's bound to be something someone might have a home for.

That's my WOW for Wednesday this week!  No pics...the mess we are in downstairs is unbearable and a picture is more than anyone should have to see! Lol.

Update:  some books were uploaded to EBay... look for griffo1910 and see which books I added there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Happiness is...

"Happiness lies in our own backyard, but it's probably well hidden by crabgrass."    Dell

I had to laugh when I read that today...I was looking out at the back yard, a mess of weeds, after weeks of rain.  And I knew that I should really have been out there, weeding and mowing.  But there is a baby quilt I want to get finished!  And that's really pure happiness.  And it's kind of for my own back yard.

Just finishing the hand quilted hearts in the plain blocks, then will have to get the binding on, a quick wash and it's done.  Hopefully by the end of tomorrow morning.  I found the fabric at the Quilters Store last week, I think they're such cheerful fabrics. The big blobby one is a Robert Kaufman 'Celebrate Seuss', the smaller one in the nine patches is called Luna by Gail Fo...rest is cut off!, and the multi is an Andover fabric that I can't see the rest of the name of.  There is a rather nice freehand check in the border - a Lucy Cousins for Andover fabric, covered up though by the Solufleece that's still on it, where I drew the 'egg & dart' quilting pattern.  I saw these happy fabrics and had to have them for just this purpose.... a very quick quilt to say how happy I am about the new baby that's coming. Full of machine quilting mistakes as it's months and months since I've done any, (and I wasn't that great to start with!), to give to my son and his partner for their baby due in December.  Not the quilt that will be the 'special' quilt, I have a lot of applique to get done for that one, but a quick quilt for the floor, the car, for throwing up on, etc!  A little happy quilt to be used.  I've also been making hand bound white flannelette bunny rugs, and white muslin wrappers too.  Much better to do than weeding the crabgrass out of the lawn in the backyard.  :-)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


"What if happiness were found in the serenity of simple pleasures?"
                                                                                                                - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

And how much more simple a pleasure can hand applique be?  Or a cup of coffee with a friend?  Or the time to sit and read a book?

This week sees the completion of the 85th small basket block - nearly halfway to the 198 I need to get finished.  And sitting hand sewing is such a lovely way to 'do nothing'.   This is the photo from the end of May, but my phone battery is dead and still charging.  21 June 2012

Update: 5 July 
I've now finished just over 100...slowly getting there!


Wait for your result..

It is for us to make the effort.
The result is always in God's hands.                               - Mahatma Gandhi

I love this quote that I found today.  It is a sort of confirmation of what I have experienced this past six-plus months.  I have finally finished a quilt top that I was asked to make.  It has been a real  hardship to make, and I am still trying to work out why it was such a hard quilt top to make. I certainly had to  make an effort.  Nothing in this quilt top went together easily.  But after all the effort, it's finished, and I hope Jenny didn't mind the very long wait.  I don't have a picture of it finished, but of it spread out waiting for the final sewing up. So, it's not a Work in Progress, which is what WOW is supposed to be for, but I really felt it was an appropriate one for the day, as it has been a WIP for such a long time!  It was started on a Bernina 440QE, but half the small 4 1/2 square in a square blocks were finished on a Singer Featherweight, and they were far more easily pieced accurately on this lovely little machine.  I ended up piecing them all together for the centre square of the quilt by tacking them all by hand.  Otherwise I just couldn't get the seams to match up.  Then piecing the larger blocks to this I had to tack them by  hand again.  And I pulled out so many of the blocks that ended up not square or inaccurate.  I am so happy to have finally finished this quilt!! The final result will rest with the person Jenny is getting to do the quilting of course...and hopefully God will help make it perfect!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Don't Regret...

"Don’t regret any of your past because at the time it felt right and made you smile." - Anna Dickson

I have been looking at fabrics online, needing some fabrics for the quilt I'm working on now, and this range (Lily Ashby's Tradewinds range), seen on Hancock's page made me smile.  It was instant transportation back to the 60s.  I doodled these kinds of images, I wore these patterns and colours.  I loved being in the midst of that wonderful hippie era.  I wore headbands.  I painted flowers on my face.  I went barefoot.  I loved Indian caftan style dresses in wonderful oriental patterns. It was so good to be alive.

Seeing this fabric came hot on the heels of watching a cable movie yesterday about Woodstock.  All that amazing music. Jefferson Airplane's album "Surrealistic Pillow" was the first album I ever bought for myself..loved 'Somebody to Love' and 'White Rabbit'.  Iconic of that era.

So much that was good...the space age, and after the walk on the moon we all believed we'd soon be tripping space like we now fly from continent to continent. Flowers painted on my face.  Discarding shoes I went barefoot everywhere, I wore headbands, Indian kaftans, silver jewellery, went to crazy parties, danced under blue-light.

Not that then was the be all and end all, Now is great too.  I love so much about now.  The internet, e-books, smartphones, digital cameras, cheap air travel, my lovely modern sewing machine, the availability of so much fabric, the sheer wonder of the availability of the whole world in one way or another.  And so saying, despite now being in Dubai, it's actually only 15 flying hours away from home, half a world away.

But looking back to the 60s, it made me smile.  It felt so very right at the time.  And it makes me smile now...and White Rabbit is playing in the background.