Monday, 31 December 2012

Out with the old and in with the new.........

It has been quite an epic year in our household with lots of highs and lows along the way.
It's hard to believe that 12 months has gone by.
This year has also had some notable events on the calendar.
**We've seen 12/12/12 - not supposed to happen for another 800 years or so
**End of the Mayan Calender -
 many thought that some catastrophe was going to wipe out civilisation as we know it
(very pleased this didn't occur - too much sewing to do)
**We have had 2 months with 5 weekends; Saturday and Sunday
- September and December 
** 1 Blue moon; August 30th
 (second full moon in the month, hence the saying - the first on was on Aug 2nd)
** William and Kate were married
** Harry caught on film in the buff
There will be lots of other things that we've experienced, good and bad but it is exactly that; an experience.
We can treasure memories and learn from mistakes!
I would like to wish all in blogland and beyond a happy, safe and productive 2013 

Some stitching

I've managed to do a bit of stitching over the last day or two with
13 down, 7 to go.

These blocks are 2" finished and will be the posts for my
"A Stitch in Time - Romanesque" quilt.
There are only two main fabrics used in this design.
I've decided to use a large open floral cut into smaller pieces this time around; the idea being
that the fabrics represent the texture and movement of marble.
I've scattered a scrap or two of different fabrics throughout the quilt for artist interest. 

Sunday, 30 December 2012


Recently I've had a discussion with friends about my quilt style and preferences and firmly believed that I haven't developed or settled into a style that I can claim as my own.
While pressing 101 business shirts today (this is when I do my best thinking and problem solving) I realised that there just might be a theme emerging.
It's still about how a fabric reacts; colour versus pattern and maybe that's why it hasn't dawned
on me until now.

Cabin Carnivale

Stanford Cabin

Labyrinth Star

Plain and Fancy - this one is at the quilters. I'll blog it when it comes home

Carpenter's Square

I also have a pineapple cabin quilt that has been cut for a couple of years and waiting patiently for it's turn.
 What do you think? 

Saturday, 29 December 2012

A stitch in time - Romanesque

This is the title of a quilt that I'm aiming to finish in the new year.
There are 16 individual hand stitched blocks, put together in a 4 x 4 setting with barred sashings and uneven nine patches for the posts.

I have only finished 8 so far - 20 required
I haven't decided how it will be quilted yet or if I will put another border on. Watch this space!

Stitchinng vacancies for the 4th and 11th

There are a few spots left for the stitching days on the 4th and 11th of January.

If you are interested in coming along or have any questions please drop me a line.

Neccessity is the mother of invention..............

When I was growing up all of our threads for the sewing machine were in a large plastic bag;
 always tangled, like spaghetti and you could never tell if you had the required colour or half a dozen of the same one. It drove me nuts!
When I had my own machine I started off the same way; then one day I found a hammer, nails and the bottom of an old drawer, drew a grid on it and hammered nails into the grid markings.
I snipped the nail heads off and 30 years later I still use it every day. Like they say "if something works...."

I think that a person with a creative mind can solve any problem that presents itself. It may not be
"text book" but more likely a practical solution to a challenge.
One of the Wednesday girls does a lot of hand stitching and likes to be very organised.
Having had no luck with finding a carry-all that suited her needs, she decided to modify the
shoebox that she had been using.

It's amazing what 2 bits of wood can do

Nails hold the wooden dividers in place

It just goes to show that "clever" has any number of interpretations!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

More Christmas Spirit......

Christmas Spirit........

There are lots of great Christmas decorations around. Enjoy!

Christmas Day

Well, we have feasted, rested, snoozed and enjoyed all th trimmings of the day.
Last night we went for a drive to spot christmas lights.
Our tree
There is one home in Canterbury Rd that puts on an amazing display each year and people come from miles around to view. The home owners generously open up their front yard for those who wish to wave to
Mrs Claus in the window, stand next to a ginormous snow man or sit with Santa.
Donations are accepted to various charities - this year's being the "make a wish foundation".

Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Getting with the Christmas Spirit...

At this time of year it's always worth going for a drive around the streets to view the spectacular light shows.
You will see Santas on ladders,stuck in trees, black boots sticking out of chimneys, fairy lights cascading off roof gutters and gigantic snow men.
There's pretty, hilarious and over the top. The best part is that it is done each year  and gives the community a sense of belonging and joy.
The lad next door has always dressed his grandma's house in flashing sparkles and although she is no longer with us he continues the tradition.

There's even room in the Christmas Spirit for humour.
A little way from here is a street lined with trees sporting large 
red bows. The decorator of these trees has taken the size of
bow to tree ratio into consideration and completed their task accordingly.
One of my friends always pops a christmas card in in the letter boxes of the decorated houses, thanking the occupants for their efforts. It's a lovely thing to do; letting people know that they are appreciated is true Christmas spirit.


Out and about....

This last few weeks has been hectic to say the least;but then it's not called the
silly season for th fun of it.
While out at the Fine Design Market in Manningham last week I met Fay and Sasha enjoying the day.
Sasha is 5 years old and looked the part in her Sunday best.


Sasha with Fay and I

Cabin Carnivale

I finally have some sewing pics for those of you who have extremely patient with me.
No excuses for tardiness, partying etc.



For Summer School this year I was aiming for a look that is light and summery.
These three blocks are made from fabrics in the Liberty Lifestyle Range and use a "Quilt as You Go" method. The Batting is a summer weight one called "Quilt Light"
 You can make all sorts of patterns with log cabin blocks; this is just one version, called streak of lightning.
Usually you see the zig zags run vertically on the quilt.

working on the lay out
Cabin Carnivale
 This is the summer school blurb for the class; feel free to contact me if you are interested.

Log Cabin – Quilt As You Go      © Linda Bear 2012
Log cabins and “Quilt as you Go” technique have been around for a very long time
Choose between half cabin “Cabin Carnivale” or traditional “Stanford Cabin” and learn how this method has come of age.
N.B. Fat quarters and precut strips of fabric are not suitable for either quilt

Cabin Carnivale
Main Contrast (white)              3.0m            Floral No.1 (red/top and base) 1.5m
Floral No.2                               1.2m            Floral No.3                               1.2m
Batting (Quilt Light)                3.5m            Backing Fabric                         5.2m
Machine in good working order           Walking Foot
Spare machine needles/Scissors            general sewing supplies
Matching thread                                     Fabric Glue stick
Soft leaded pencil for marking              Templastic
Rotary cutter, mat and ruler (the longer the better)

***If you wish to cut before class:
36 x backing and batting squares 13” x 13” are required
Backing Fabric: Take a 4m piece from the backing fabric length and trim selvedge from one side
 Cut 3 strips of fabric 13” wide along the length and then cross cut into 13”squares
Batting (Quilt Light)
Across the width of the batting (selvedge to selvedge) cut 4 strips, 4 ½” wide. Join into pairs with a 45˚ angle seam and set aside for borders.
Cut 9 strips, 13” wide across the width and then cross cut into 13” squares

Monday, 17 December 2012

What's happened Here

Me again.. You'll remember that  I said I'd be tweaking a bit the blog here and there.
I've just noticed that the font size for my previous post had supersized itself and I have no idea how or why.
Sometimes things happen just because..... 

the Seasonal Stitch

This year  I've decided to organise a sewing day or two
over the summer silly season.
 So often we find that a "time out" is required from the festive season and many of the Patchworking shops close for a well deserved break.  
Karen of Mrs Martin's Quilt Shop has very kindly
offered a stitching friendly venue for me to hold two sewing days in January.  
(with emergency stitching supplies if we need them)

Seasonal Stitch Brochure

If you are interested in attending please don't hesitate to give me a call or email for more details.

Friday, 14 December 2012

A tweak, tweak here and a tweak, tweak there.....

I am learning very slowly how this blogging caper works.
If you notice any changes or things that you think have not worked too well please let me know.
At the moments I am working the way through some of the photos and "signing" them.
I found a photoshopping thing on the inernet and am playing with that. It is amazing what technology can do!!!

Monday, 10 December 2012

I bought something........

Actually, I've made a few purchases over the last few days.
Some things were on a whim, others for Christmas presents and finally birthday presents for some special Capricorn people (no; not me)
The Whim..
I know you wouldn't be able to guess so let's get to the chase.
I saw these at the counter as I was paying for other stuff and decided that they were just the thing I needed.

Silk Worms
These chaps are soothing to watch, easy to feed and are very quiet,compared to dogs and chooks.
They shed their skins 5 times before they are fully grown and are voracious, noisy eaters. 
We have a Mulberry tree in our back yard so their dietary requirements aren't a problem.
It can take up to 1600 yards (about 1520 metres) of silk filament to spin a cocoon.

The beginnings of a cocoon
The Silk worm gets a bit creative with its spinning at the start and forms a kind of hammock or frame work that it then cuddles into. The job is then finished off from the inside. In a few weeks it will emerge in a totally different form; ready for action!! 

Monday, 3 December 2012

The silly season...

I haven't been slack; I promise you..... just doing the end of year things that we all wish were spread out a little bit more. In fact I'm off to another meeting today (with celebration of course)
This is a post that will happen in bits; a minute here a minute there, so to speak.
Cabin Carnivale is the title of my summer school quilt. It is a "quilt as you go", bold and bright, half log cabin.
artist's impression
                 I have chosen 3 fabrics from the Liberty Lifestyle range and a summer weight batting to work with this year.

They'll make quite a summery quilt, don't you think? 


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

I love an old quilt

Old quilts have so much character. If you listen for a while they will tell you all sorts about the lives they've had, the people who have owned, slept under and wrapped themselves in on a cold night.
In history books we see quilts that are worn and stained, have rough repairs, bits cut out and holes burnt in.
An encyclopedia of fabrics
At the Adelaide quilt show there was a fabulous display of old quilts; some from the turn of the century and earlier.

Green and Red baskets, Welsh whole cloth and Log Cabin

A log cabin quilt that I have had the pleasure of studying closely is one that was made by a grandmother for her 2 granddaughters and celebrates the centenary of the American Declaration of Independence in 1876.

Made by Grandma Stanford, 1876, aged 72 years
for Carrie Head and Alice Head
 The poor old thing could certainly tell a story or two. It is very warn but much loved; I'm sure of that.
It is signed, which gives it a whole new meaning and fabrics that were included in the "logs" were ones which  were specifically printed for the American centenary celebrations.
                                                    Baum Textiles brought out a line of documentary prints a few years ago
Pillar print
(called Walnut, root and berry, I think)
"all men are created equal"
and to our surprise and delight some of the original prints that had been reproduced  were used in the original quilt.
The pattern configuration in the original quilt is called Straight Furrows; this is achieved by placing light sides of the blocks together and the same with the dark ones. It is also interesting to note that Grandma Stanford used a "Quilt as You Go" technique. This idea is not so modern after all.  

fabric disintegration due to mordants  in the dyes used. You can also see 2 prints that were reproduced.

My rendition of the original quilt has the same setting, but a bit smaller; a 6 x 7 setting rather than 8 x 8
and my colour pallet is slightly less patriotic, opting for more subtle pink tones instead of reds. The overall effect is the same with the blocks creating rows of light and dark value fabrics
Stanford Cabin

Stanford Cabin is available as a pattern and can be purchased through my web site
 or from Mrs. Martin's Quilt Shop