Monday, 2 February 2015

Crikey! It's February already!!!

Well hello there... yes I'm afraid I've done it again *sigh*... time has slipped away yet again, without barely a word from me *hangs head*.... I just realised its been three months since I last posted!  Sorry about that....

But anyway, welcome to the new year!  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year and spent your time with family and friends.  We had a lovely Christmas, catching up with friends and relatives.

I really love Christmas and I have to say, despite all the hectic-ness (yes I think I just made that word up!) it's still a really magical time of year.  These days, its not so much about the presents for me, but spending time with those we love, decorating the tree, seeing all the festive displays in stores... its the whole atmosphere!  In recent years I've been more organised to avoid over stressing myself - I buy presents during the year and put them away, have a collection of wrapping paper and ribbons in the cupboard ready to be used, and plan meals for family gatherings in advance. This way I don't feel overwhelmed by it all and can just enjoy it.

It's been so nice having a break from studying my course.  I managed to get my assignments in on time and was very pleased with my results.  The course has now reopened for this year, and once I get my magazine submissions out of the way, hopefully by the end of the week, I will reenrol in the next units.

Prior to Christmas, we had a few special guests at our quilters guild... Rose Lewis, a local award winning quilt maker, was a guest speaker and brought along her two amazing quilts for us to look at.

This quilt is called "A Caterpillar's Dream"...

The back of the quilt

 Another enormous quilt called "Through the garden gate"...

Each of these beauties has taken a couple of years to create and Rose has documented the journey of each one.  She is such a vibrant person and it is truly amazing the energy she has - we were just mesmerised by her.  Just look at these inspiring works of art, the appliqué is exquisite and the quilting... oh my.... just incredible and using a domestic machine!

Please visit Rose's website for more information on her stunning work.

We also had a day workshop with Pauline Rodgers of Pauline's Quilters World called 'Quilting with L-plates".  The workshop was focused on learning to free motion quilt.  Whilst I can already FMQ, I am self taught and was very keen to improve and learn how to do it better.  Pauline taught us so much about our sewing machines (things we never knew!) and how to FMQ with ease.  By the end of the day we were feeling a lot more confident.  I highly recommend Pauline's workshops, she is such a lovely lady, and I'm hoping to do her next workshop 'Quilting with P-plates' in the near future.  She also sells some pretty nifty gadgets (which you can try out in the workshops) which make sewing much easier.  Sorry, I didn't take any pics of our day but hopefully you will see my quilting improving in future posts!

Speaking of quilting, over the holidays I really focused on spending quality time with my family so not a lot got done.  I must admit I got pretty lazy in the sewing department but have recently got back in my sewing chair and am now creating with gusto!  Before the end of the year I started on my 'Vintage Happy' quilt using a fabric collection of the same name.  I'm really happy with how its turning out and just have to sew the rows together and figure out a border.  I love the colours and can't wait to see it finished.

Also, I decided that I really, really needed to do some scrap busting and I really, really needed to make a charity quilt, so I gathered all my boy I-spy scraps and came up with this...

I really love it and have already started on a girl version.  I'm going to try a loopy quilting design and see how it turns out.  Charity quilts are great for experimentation!

Finally, my Chunky Churndash quilt returned from the long arm quilter and I have just now got around to sewing on the binding... I love it so much.  But of course it wasn't entirely complete until I slept under it :)

Quilted with a feather and fan pattern

Anyway, I'm hoping this year to make more of an effort to blog, not just about quilting but about life in general.

Until next time,

Yours in stitches

Leanne x

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