Aussie Dreams

In today’s “look back at the past”, I wanted to talk about using Australian fabric!!

For those of you who don’t know our history, Michael and I lived in Australia for 6 years back in the 1980’s and then returned for a visit in 2008. While we were visiting in the Tuross Lake area, Michael found this amazing granite mortar and pestle that he just had to have…..

As we discussed how we would transport it back home (it weighed a TON), we decided that we would purchase a small suitcase and take it back as a carry-on. Michael looked at me and said “We really need to pad it up. Do you have anything that would work for that?”. My answer was simple….”Let’s go back to the quilt shop!!!”

So, I purchased TONS of Aussie fabric and used it to pad and protect the kitchen tool….we were BOTH happy!!

Now, I needed to figure out what to do with the fabrics.

For many years I had owned the book “Vivacious Curvy Quilts”….

….and REALLY wanted to make a quilt of curves!!! I decided that the Aussie fabric was the perfect place to start.

I talked a bit about the process in THIS POST from 2014.

….and I even made a video of the curved piecing process……

The final quilt turned out great…..

…and I used up EVERY LAST BIT of Australian fabric making the back……

This quilt is on our bed and we both enjoy snuggling under it every cold night!!!

I have been creating….I promise!!!

I haven’t posted in two weeks, but I have actually had time to work on various projects, but just no time to write the blog and post about them!!

My plan was to first finish up the Aussie fabric top and back.   In my last POST about this project,  I was struggling to get the outside border right. 

When I started working again, I decided to go ahead and put the red border on the quilt.   If you remember, I had debated about using a fabric that I bought in India but was still concerned that it would bleed, so I opted for another red that I had in m stash.

I started making and randomly positioning blocks around the outside of the quilt…..DSC08930

…..ending up with the 1/4 circle blocks in each corner…….


I am very happy with the final product…..DSC08934

and especially happy with the extended design wall that just fit the Queen size top!!


Next step was to piece the back.   I had a lot of other Australian fabrics that I wanted to use for the back with the hopes that I wouldn’t have many left when it was done.  They were all shapes and sizes, so it was interesting to decide exactly how to use them.

Since I knew that the top size was almost the exact same size as my design wall, I cleaned it off…….


…..and started slapping fabric chunks up…..DSC08941

….sewing and adding……DSC08942

…..making changes here and there……DSC08943

…..until I had the wall completely covered (plus a bit of extra)…..



I will get it sandwiched so that I can quilt on it a bit at a time during the busy times of tax season.

A bump in the quilt planning

I have been continuing to work on the Australian Fabric quilt and “thought” that I had planned my border and was basically ready to finish it up…..NOT!!!

My plan was to put a narrow border around the center section and then add 10 inch blocks around the outside.  These blocks were going to be curve pieced just as the smaller ones had been.

I spent a good deal of time going thru the leftover Aussie  fabrics and looking for ones that would allow me to cut another large block…..12 inches to start with.   Since many of the fabrics that I had were only fat quarters or half-yard cuts, I had to be very careful with the cutting process. 

Since I wanted to use the Aboriginal designed fabrics for the binding, I decided to go ahead and make a long cut from each of the fabrics as well.

Additionally, I wanted to use up as much of the fabrics as I could so was planning to put any leftovers on the back of the quilt.  I started cutting these pieces at the same time.


I started piecing the large border blocks, but they looked horrible…..


I felt that it just made everything look muddled!!

So, the first thing that I tried was to change the inner border to a brighter fabric and that helped some…..


….but not enough.  So, I went downstairs to eat lunch and think about it a little.

As I thought, I started wondering if the problem wasn’t that there was too much movement in the blocks and that they were simply too big.  I went back upstairs and started folding the big blocks down so that there was only one curve in each….


Now I was getting somewhere!!!

Since I didn’t have a lot of fabric left at this point, I knew that I was going to have to cut down these blocks so that I could use them as well.

It was a bit difficult to do, but I tried to get at least 7-1/2 inches out of each block.


On some I even went to the trouble of re-pressing the seam allowance to give me that extra 1/8th of an inch…..DSC01206

In this block, the stripe was too large so I cut it down and re-pieced it to be smaller……


So, as of quitting time, it was looking much better and I am more encouraged about the border…..


I am thinking that I will place the blocks so that the stripe continues around the quilt, but will decide that once I have them all pieced


On an aside, I was really wanting to use the Indian fabric that had been bleeding in my last post, so I decided to see if I could wash it out.   After THREE hot water rinsings, the water looked like this….


…..and after 15 or so rinsings, it looked like this……..


I am still conflicted about whether or not to use it for the inside border, but will get there and see…..

Stopping to catch my breath…..

One of my friends said the other day that she felt like I had dropped off of the grid over the last few weeks, so thought that I should let you know what I have been up to….

The last 3-1/2 years of our life have been absolutely chaotic.  Mind you, I am not complaining, but it has just been busy.  After we returned from Texas back in August, I was determined to get my life caught up and to, as quickly as possible, take care of all of the stuff that I brought back from my Mom’s house.  I have done well with this and look forward to writing some posts about some of the stuff and the history behind it……it has really been interesting.

Also, for many years now I have been wanting to get all of my photos organized. The digital ones are in good shape as I am very good about putting them in folders on my computer and then saving them to numerous devices and places, but there were still a bunch of areas that needed attention……

Fore example,  I did scrapbooks while my kids were in school, but the earlier ones were done on the horrible sticky sheets or on computer paper where the photos were stuck on with tape.  I knew that these really needed to be transferred to an acid free environment.

Also, for many years I have been trying to get all of our negatives and slides digitized so that I can stop the degrading process now. 

Finally, I brought back 5 BIG boxes of photos and history stuff from my Mom’s house and my plan has been to digitize it as well.

SO…..we get to September 28th…..the day that Michael left to spend 12 days in Western Australia and the day that I turned my house into photo heaven (or hell, depending on how you look at it).

During the past 11 days I have worked on scrapbooks, scanned photos, organized negatives and just generally had a good “clean-out” of some of our junk!!!  I am no where near finished, but at least things are organized in such a manner that I could easily pick something up and spend an hour on it and eventually get it all done……ie… is not NEARLY as overwhelming now!!!

Now these days have not been spent entirely on photos….. I have enjoyed several quilting group meetings, coffee with a lovely friend from India, a “spa day” with my daughter, and several days of “nothing but fabric”!!!!

I have finished up two UFO’s which I will post about soon and have also been working on my Australian Fabric quilt that I talked about back in May.  I will do a long post about it, but here is a teaser photo of the center section……


More posts soon…..I promise!!!

Making a start…..

I finally made all of decisions and cut into my beautiful Australian fabrics…..three sets of blocks pieced so far……


I decided to cut the initial pieces 9 x 8 and to make my cuts into the 9 inch side.  That way, the final block comes out to approximately 7-1/2 inches unfinished.

I really enjoy piecing the blocks and think that the hardest part will be putting them together in a pleasing arrangement.

More to come……