Well, I’ve been very quiet for nearly a month now.  I didn’t say Merry Christmas or Happy New Year to anyone, so my apologies to all.

I’ve been doing a lot of blog reading though.  I did enjoy all the lovely Christmas decorations everyone posted.  I found I just couldn’t find the excitement this last year.  We’re nearly into our second week of 2011 and already I’m starting to get school books for my youngest son who starts Year 11 this year.  It’s almost time to start getting him back to keeping normal hours.

At the moment he rises from his bed around 1.00 – 2.00pm and finally goes to bed around 4.00am, this after deciding he needs to eat around 3.00 and we’re not talking a bit of toast here, nope he needs to make a saucepan of chilli & cumin rice, stir-fry some steak with herbs, ginger, garlic, soy, zucchini, red capsicum & mint and mix the two together.  At which point he comes into my bedroom to wake me up! and ask if I’d like some.  Unfortunately, it smells so good I end up getting up and eating.  This plays havoc with my internal clock and I just don’t have the ability to rejuvenate like I once did.  Well that’s getting older for you. Still I’m happy to not to be as young as I was.

I just found my very silly cat playing with a HUGE Redback spider, now I’ve got to watch him all day, silly animal.  For non-Aussies, Redbacks are one of our most poisonous spiders related to the Black Widow spider.

Charlie resting after playing with a redback

Well to quilting now.  I’ve spent a lot of time tidying up my sewing room and it still has a long, long way to go.  It contains in music instruments alone, 1 Violin, 1 Mandolin and 2 Violas as well as the music stand!

Please note this is a BEFORE shot

It's not possible to get anything done in this room

I’ve drafted up several different appliqué patterns based on some some lovely antique quilts I’ve seen around, one of which was a block in one of the quilts we got to view at the last Quilt History Farm Day, our local quilt history group that meets 4-5 times a year.  I’m thinking of using some of my stash of Red and Green Smithsonian fabrics for this one.

Farm Day block

Margaret and I have had a couple of shopping play days.  We ventured off to Somerset Patchwork in Melbourne before Christmas where I purchased a few fabrics for my new French Star Hexagon quilt.  So far I’ve designed about 12 different 4″ hexagons to go around the centre.

Fabrics for my French Star Hexagon quilt

The night before we went to Melbourne I decided I needed a new bag, so here’s Zac modelling said bag.  The black and white fabric is some heavier weight cotton I picked up at Ikea last year for a footstool covering project and the inside fabric is an old, maybe 12years old, patchwork fabric called Kalahari, its very bright.  I love this bag and use it all the time.

My bag & model

And yesterday we went to Ballarat which has several patchwork shops. I purchased a few Japanese fabrics at the first shop, for a cot quilt I need to finish up.

Cot quilt fabric

and this beautiful fabric which I intend to put in a skirt at the third shop.

Beautiful Japanese cotton for a skirt

And in between we headed to Ballarat Patchwork which specialise in all those lovely bright modern fabrics & quilts, what I call Quilting 2.0.  I finally got to pick up an Amy Butler Barcelona skirt pattern.  I also picked up some beautiful fabric to make a lovely skirt.  The girls at Ballarat Patchwork are always very friendly and helpful.

Barcelona skirt pattern & fabric

As you probably have figured out I love reproduction fabrics, however I really want to do a class at Ballarat Patchwork to make a modern fabric quilt.  It will be a real challenge for me to work with modern fabrics.

It hasn’t been all shopping though, I’ve actually been getting a bit of hand-sewing done as well.  I finally finished the first block of my Texas flower basket quilt (working title)  I only had a few, maybe a dozen leaves to appliqué and I lost momentum for a little while.  Now that I’ve got this block done I’m ready to cut out the next lot of stems & leaves.

Texas Rose Basket

and I’ve finally cut out and started sewing the arcs and background for my Abbeville quilt.

Abbeville background & arcs

There are 36 of these to get done and I expect I’ll get a fair bit of hand-sewing done in the next month or two under the air-conditioner.  So I’m off to sew a few more of these arcs until it gets a little cooler tonight.