Friday, 24 June 2016

My weekend starts from now.......

It has been a mammoth week, but I have finally got the book work to where it needs to be. I can see just what has come in, and especially what went out!! Until I see the accountant, I am not sure what that will mean for me tax wise as the sale of The Sanctuary complicates my usual situation a bit.

I should have taken a photo of this desk on Monday morning, when I started to spread all the receipts (collected over 12 months), the statements and books etc on the table. There are 2 witnesses who were here at the time, who were a bit lot stunned at what I put there. It did not look very "business like" and I know this. It has been quite a worry not having kept up with it, and today I feel much better. This afternoon I have even started going through drawers and "stuff" that has been sitting around for too long. I still have a long way to go, and aim to try and sort a bit of the filing cabinet every so often. You can see the second photo and the rubbish from today's purge. There is lots more to come yet.

I have filled the wood box outside the laundry door, so I won't have to venture far this weekend. It can rain, freeze or snow and I shall be sitting by the fire with my feet up! Well, maybe I shall go out to feed the cat!

I have wood stacked by the fire, to last until tomorrow morning. And the book is waiting by the chair for me as soon as I have finished posting this report.

While I am reporting in, I shall update you on last weekend's Embellished quilt class.Sorry, I did not take lots of photos. There were 3 new "students", and it takes time to get them on track and for them to sort out their machines. The first thing they do is pintucking, and some machines are better at this than others, and a fiddle with the tensions is necessary. One girl had a very new machine, so she had some bonding to do. But I know that after 2 days she was much more knowledgeable about her machine than when she came. The main purpose of this class is to try different techniques on your machine and learn how to adjust things to achieve the result you want. Every machine reacts differently to the fabric, needles, threads and stitches that you use.

Lots of concentration happening in this photo. 'Tis not all serious though, as there were lots of laughs throughout the day as they all got to know each other, and lunch is usually "bring a plate to share". 2 ladies came from over the border, and stayed the night.

Lyn has been working on her grey quilt for awhile now, and is still working out a plan. She seems to have 2 things happening, with some more traditional and some leaning to the dreamcatcher and feathers theme.

 This block is a square of different stitches in various thread,s and then cut up into smaller sections and place on the block. The edges will then be finished somehow, either stitching, or couching.

Here are some feathers.

This block has thread painted feathers, and trapunto.

Michelle has just started this class, and is still working out what she will do. Here she is looking at fabrics, and has an idea for something more contemporary. Looking forward to see where this one will go.

Rosie has just started, and was worried about her old machine, but you can see it pintucks beautifully, she can make up for a lack of lots of stitches, by combining various ones.

Another of Lyn's talents is woodwork, and recently she showed me a photo of a pram she had made for her grand daughter. I asked if she would make one for me, and we agreed on a price. It was delivered here last weekend, and now I need to "fit it out" with the appropriate bedding. Miss Bridie has a birthday next month, so I am hoping she might like this. I am informed that she is walking now, so she might give it a lot of use.

Time to put the feet up. Have a good weekend and stay warm, (or cool if you live up there!).

Blessings, From Jude

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Where is time going??

Once again it is over a week since I have posted any newsfromjude. Before my mother phones me to check up if I am ok, I better post some news. Another friend commented recently that there had not been many quilt photos on my blog recently, so maybe I should remedy that. And looking back into the files, I find a few from April, so time for them to come out.

There has been so much "other" happening here at Number 8, you might think that there is no quilting happening, but here they are, and still more to come later.

This pretty floral quilt is made by Jenny, and quilted all over with a rose and leaf pattern.

This was made by Pauline for a friend's birthday and quilted allover with Pearl. I heard that the friend was very happy with her gift.

Joan is having a clear out, and found this panel from "long, long ago". It was not easy to find border fabric in the similar tones. This was quilted allover with flowers and hearts.

A quilt made by Kerryn, and quilted allover with a star pattern.

Kath made this drunkards path quilt, and as the fabric was oriental, it was quilted all over with Gingko.

 Another quilt made by Jenny to use up her good stash of scraps, and quilted with an over pattern.

This pretty quilt was made by Jill, and had some lovely embroidery on the flowers. I should have taken a closeup photo I think. This quilt was very simply custom quilted.

Sue made this quilt for a grandchild, who should be very happy with it.

I have spent the last couple of days sitting at the desk, trying to get my bookwork in order, before the end of the financial year, which is NEXT WEEK!  If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you might remember that I got "a lot" behind a few years ago, and I said I would not do that again. Well, you should never say never! The last year has been so hectic, that once again I let it lapse. So this week it is catch up time! I think I am making progress, but sometimes it is tricky trying to work out just why I transferred that amount and match up amounts. So please remind me to keep up to date next year!!

Last weekend it was Embellished quilts classes, and we had a lovely group of ladies working here in the warm. A few new ones started, so I am looking forward to watching them make their quilts. And there are still a few quietly working away on their quilts over time. I will post photos soon.

And this weekend is the first one for about 5 weeks, that nothing is planned. But I have  a plan, (if I get up to date with the bookwork), to sit by the fire in the lounge with my feet up and read a book and watch a DVD. I am getting closer to that balance I have been striving for. I think I have pushed myself for quite a few months now, since the sale of The Sanctuary, the subsequent move, the renos happening here and keeping up with the quilting, and the retreats. I am starting to get a bit weary.

 Catch you again soon.

From Jude.

Monday, 13 June 2016

"Pick-a-case" Mystery Retreat

What an amazing long weekend it has been. This was the 5th of these mystery retreats that I have held, and it was great to see the quilts come together and the banter between the ladies.
Some renewed friendships, and some met for the first time. There is always much laughter, but I think this might top them all. I always worry about them all being happy with what they "choose", but it seemed to work out again. 
The "allocation" process was a bit different this time, thanks to a recent visitor who gave us a different idea. Each lady picked a number out of the bowl, and then got to choose a case one at a time. Number one was first to pick, and then open the case to see what was in it, and show everyone what she had. Number 2 could then choose what number 1 had, or choose from the unopened cases. And so on and so on. They all went for another case, and no one challenged the first ones for their case. They were much too polite, and maybe did not know each other well enough at this stage to take one. Until the last lady, and was brave (?) enough to do so. I did hear another word used to describe her action, but won't repeat that here.

         First photo, and they are lining up and looking at the names of the quilts, which were on tags on the cases.

Number one (Alison), was very happy when she opened her case.

Gayle was carefully eyeing the selection.

And when she chose "Shades of Grey". she was very happy, and placed her hands over the case in the hope that she might keep it!

Here she is being challeged for her case, and ready to hand it over.

All in all, I think they were all happy with their final decisions, and this is the action when they first started.

The weather was very cold for the weekend, but we were closeted inside, and only heard about the weather on the media. It was 2 deg outside this morning with a slight frost. Inside it was lovely and warm with the combustion heater burning.

As I had been a tad occupied all week, and did the Barossa trip on Friday, I had not had time to prepare the food, so Rosie came to my rescue and fed us for 2 days. This is the oven that I had purchased, full of food on both trays for the first time.

Rosie cooked us scones one morning, so I don't think anyone went home hungry. I might get back to "bread and water" this week.

I shall post each quilt in turn, showing the progress shots of each. First up is Val, who is always fairly quick. When she got her quilt, she was happy and very loudly said to anyone who looked, that it was a very hard quilt to make!! (It was a 9 patch and a snowball block with borders!!)

Val had some extra pieces from her strip sets that she made for the 9 patch blocks, and used these as an extra border around the outside, which just made the quilt a bit bigger. It finished up at 70" square and is called "Oriental Crossings",

Lyn made "Kansas Kites", a quilt made of 9 patch and pinwheel blocks in browns and golds.

A little haircut makes all the blocks fit together just that much better.

Rosie  had a lot of interruptions over the few days, but made good progress considering this. And I need to confess that I made a booboo in the cutting of the pieces for this quilt. Thankfully, it was the only one this time, and only the second in 5 retreats. I do tell the girls that they are guinea pigs, until the pattern and cutting has been tested!!  Hopefully it has been corrected ok. She had put one row together by the end of the weekend.

One row of "Plum Crazy" put together.

Alison was the first to choose her case, and no one challenged her for it. But I know that everyone has admired it over the weekend. There was applique to do in the centre of the blocks.


 And here is Alison's finished quilt, called "Strolling the Seine", because the fabric range was called A Stroll along the Seine.

Sherrel made good progress also, until she stitched one of her borders on upside down, which slowed down her progress a bit.

 And here is her finished quilt, which was called "Mountain Haze".

Erica was in the corner, and was the quiet one for the weekend. It was a bit hard to photograph her progress, so there are not many pics.

She did oblige me with a smile from the corner.

Not quite finished, but the centre is done, ready for 4 borders to be added. I called the quilt "High Tea in the Garden". I find that naming the quilts is harder than the design and cutting part, so often ask visitors their opinions.

Gayle was the lady whose case was taken from her. She ended up with "Rajasthan" which is the name of the border fabric I used in the quilt, which is a strippy quilt.

 Gayle made it to this stage, which was almost finished and then had machine problems. She was the last "man" standing, as the others had either gone home, or finished.

But after a bit of maintenance of her machine it was all go again, ready to finish her quilt. Even though she had her original choice taken away, I think she is pretty happy with this quilt.

Dinner tonight was leftovers and the 4 of us who were still here ate in the sewing room while Gayle was finishing her quilt. The "other side of Melbourne" girls are staying until tomorrow morning before they travel home. It will take them about 7 hours, and I appreciate the fact that they come all this way to spend time here. This weekend the South Australian girls were outnumbered 2 to 7!

And last, but not least is Pat, who was brave (or brazen?) enough to take a quilt from someone. She made "Shades of Grey" which is a bit different to my normal designs. This was made up entirely of Half square triangle blocks, so told Gayle she would have been totally bored doing the same block all weekend! Pat made good progress considering she was absent Sunday evening to attend a family function.

3/4 quarters of the quilt laid out on the bed. Maybe Pat will be finished it sometime this week. I am looking at ideas for the quilting of this. The bottom photo is the EQ layout of of how this quilt will look. I started out thinking about making it a chevron quilt, and this sort of came about by accident. But I think a good one. The fabrics are what was left over from the wedding quilt I have made for DD3 and DSIL, (but have not quilted yet)!

During the conversations, lots of stories came out from years back, so we tried something a bit different and asked each lady to give a bit of a history of their life. It was very interesting to hear their stories, and helped to get to know them just that bit better. Another fantastic long weekend.

Hope you have enjoyed the report of our weekend, as much as we enjoyed doing it all.
Be back in a few days, as I need to get back to some serious work tomorrow. I have a quilt loaded all ready for the morning.
I am in the planning stage for the next Mystery weekend which is in August, so would love to hear from anyone interested in coming to join us.

Blessings, From Jude