Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Of Doggies, Silver Horses and Rainbows


“My goal in life is to be as good as the person

that my dog already thinks I am”

                                                                   Author unknown




Its the time of year to be making dog coats! To keep the little furry bodies warm.

This year Alfie has a Formula 1  racing car coat 

and Georgie Girl has a swinging 60’s number.


I have also made coats for their furry cousins in Queensland.



Here they are below waiting to go in the post. The yellow one has bugs and butterflies and the other has gelato and ice cream.




….and here they are below being modelled by Millie and Maya (thanks Sean for the pics)








Its also Emmy’s birthday this week and the photo below  is the pretty piece of jewellery we have bought her as a gift.

Its a silver horse, and is a copy of the Chalk Horse necklace that Tiffany Aching wears in the wonderful novel A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett.

In this book Granny Aching is reported (by Tiffany) to have said "Taint what a horse looks like, it's what a horse be".





Sir Terry based this horse on a real chalk horse – The Uffington Horse in the U.K.




The Uffington white horse is undoubtedly Britain’s oldest and most famous hill figure,

which has recently been dated at 3000 years old by the Oxford Archaeological Unit.

1000 years older than previously thought.

This the oldest hill figure and inspired the creation of many of the other white horses




AND… the rainbow ends at the racecourse.

I’m sure many deluded souls have really thought that its where they would find their pot of gold!

Photos taken from our front porch, looking towards the east.






Not long now and we will be off on our trip! Counting the days and getting excited……

Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Remember You – Finally FINISHED!



Well, I’ve been dragging my feet finishing off the binding and the label’s on this quilt…

But finally it is complete and here are the clothesline shots to prove it .



I really need to find a new place to take full length shots of finished quilts as the clothes line doesn’t wind up anymore.

(Maybe I need to get Graham to oil the winder upper thing)!





I R U Scanned label

Above: This is the second quilt label, I scanned it once I had sewn it on the back!


I’ve posted it today – off to its new home – so I’ll wait until it arrives safely  before I publish this post.


This quilt is for my parent to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary



Above: all ready to take to the P.O.


Above: This morning at Armidale Post Office


Above: Armidale Mall looking West –

and yes it is grey and horrible –

although I went down the street all rugged up and was so hot and sweaty that I had to strip off my coat etc.! --


Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kim’s Tips and Tricks - Quilt Labels

How to make the most *BRiLLiaNT* quilt labels

to personalise your quilts!

I’m very proud of my quilt labels as I think they finish off my quilts fairly well. Also it allows me to get creative but in a different way from patchwork.
Hands up who thinks that all quilting and patchwork is about sitting behind a sewing machine…….
Well it also involves LOTS of computer skills as well.
First step in making a great quilt label is of course INSPIRATION.
Our house Scanned label(1)
ABOVE: This is one of the labels for Our House. For this label I used the design from my EQ6 program and then stuck a text box on top to put the song lyrics in.
So what inspires me. First what is the design of the quilt, do I want to design a complementary label or do I want to do the opposite and go for something unexpected.
Who is the quilt for? Is it a child's quilt or a grown up design. Is it a fun or silly quilt or is it sophisticated.
What is the quilts name as this may inspire the labels design.
{I find it difficult working on a quilt which is unnamed so most of my projects find their name during the design period. Often, I have the name first and design the quilt to suit the name, e.g Our House and I Remember You both had their names before the quilt was designed. If I can’t settle on a name for a quilt I find it a difficult to get started on it. I have a number of names for quilts in my head just waiting for the project that suits them! I think that the reasons why I name my quilts as I do could fill in a whole post of its own and probably put me into psychotherapy }!
Many of my quilts have song theme names – so I always include some or all of the song lyrics and sometimes trivia about the song. There are lots of websites dedicated to song lyrics, just Google song lyrics.
Scanned label
ABOVE: This is one of the labels for my latest project I Remember You
Next thing to decide is how many labels do I need. Usually, I do two labels. One with the lyrics, poem, trivia on it and another with name, date, my signature.
Round & R Scanned label
ABOVE: This is the label that I made for the Round and Round the Garden Quilt.
For one quilt, Round and round the garden, I did four small labels. One with the nursery rhyme, one with info on the wedding and our congratulations, one with washing instructions and the one with my signature and date.

Getting started and creative. 

I start by opening a word document. I embellish my label with lots of stuff you get off the web. You can download frames or clipart. You could include a photo on your label. Try Microsoft office for frames and clipart.IMG_0386
Don’t forget to include on your label:-
  • The date, year of completion
  • You, the makers name – I have a signature saved on my computer as a pdf document and I paste this onto my labels.
  • Washing instructions, especially if it is to be a gift.
  • Materials the quilt is made of, e.g all cotton scrap fabric with bamboo batting.
Fonts, I am a font addict. Even the simplest label can be made brilliant with the right choice of font. My favourite sites for fonts online are 1001 fonts and if, like me,  you love handwritten fonts try Kevin and Amanda.
When I’m happy with my design, I print it out on paper to proof read, check my terrible spelling and make sure it just looks right.
Next I use Inkjet printable fabric. There are a few brands around but I like the Matildas Own brand, pack of 5 A4 sheets for about $22.00. But shop around on eBay and online craft shops and you may get it cheaper.

This fabric goes in your printer like a normal A4 piece of paper. Make sure you set your printer on its best print setting and off you go!

Let your work of art dry at least 24 hours. Then I do any necessary trimming and turn the edges over and press them.
I’ve learnt from experience that this fabric can be really tough to hand sew through. So now I perforate it, using my sewing machine, with no thread. This means you have nice neat little hand stitches when finished.
Attach to the back of your quilt with a thread colour of your choice. I either use normal running stitch, but I have used blanket stitch to make a statement.
Yeah! A quilt is not finished until the fat lady sings!
Whoops, sorry, a quilt is not finished until it is labelled! Take its photo and add it to your collection.
Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Friday, July 8, 2011

Planning the Grand Tour…

This year is our BIG travel year. We leave on the 10th August for 13 weeks in England, Ireland and Europe.
Graham and Kim, in Paris 2006.
 This will be my third big trip. (Graham has lost count of his trips).

My best photo of the trip - the Louvre Pyramid in Paris at dusk
The Last big trip was 2006. On that occasion we travelled to England, beautiful Paris, wonderful Brussels, then visited Andrew in a very busy Germany. (He was there as an au pair for a year. Germany was busy as our trip clashed with the Football World Cup and it was full of lots of yahooing fans, drinking lots of beer and wearing silly hats).

Me and Andrew in Germany.

We then continued on to hot and steamy Vienna, got caught up in a French train strike on our way to Barcelona, but made it eventually. Which was good as Barcelona was FANTASTIC! Then we travelled to Madrid to get on a  Easy Jet back to England.

At Castle Stuart, near Inverness, Scotland.
We hired a car and drove via the Lake District up to Scotland. We visited the birthplace of my grandparents. Spent a night in a haunted castle and  fell in love with Edinburgh. We then had the cultural experience of driving the M1 from Edinburgh to London in a day!!

IN 2011..

the plan so far is as follows,
  1. Spend the first month in England. We will hire a car and tour around. I would like to go north to York. Graham wants to go to the Lotus factory in Norfolk. We then may go south and try to get to the Isle of Wight. We have our National Trust membership so we will visit lots of nice houses.
  2. We will meet up with my parents in London at the end of August and have booked a two bedroom serviced apartment in Kensington for a week. We intend to do London really well. I want to go to the Natural History Museum, the V&A and the National Gallery. We also will try to tour Buckingham Palace.
  3. We are all then catching a train/ferry to Dublin. Spending a few nights in Dublin, hiring a car and we have booked a unit for a week in County Clare that we will make home base while we explore.
  4. We will return to London by train and leave Mum and Dad to make their way home. Graham and I will then start our train journey through Europe.
  5. We have bought Eurail passes. Will we probably catch the Eurostar over to Brussels, then a fast train to Cologne in Germany. We will then spend a few nights in Berlin. From there we will travel down to Prague for a couple of nights and then maybe to Budapest. From there we will make our way on the train to Rome.
  6. In Rome we join a 10 day Trafalgar Tour, of Rome Florence and Venice. 
  7. We have a couple of days to fill in after the tour, not sure what we’ll do yet!
  8. We then get on a cruise ship!!!!! Departing from Venice on the MSC Opera, we sail through the Mediterranean for 11 nights, visiting Athens, Istanbul and Dubrovnik amongst other ports.

    Our cabin is one of the balcony suites, on the top deck at the front.
  9. At the end of the cruise we have a few days to get back to London for our flight home on the 4th November….Phew!
  10. We will arrive home broke! ha ha, We need 2 new Bathrooms – well they can wait for next year – got to do this travel stuff while your youngish!

Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Back to the Blog….

Sorry, haven’t been posting a lot over the past couple of months. BUT, that is all about to change.
We haven’t really done a lot lately … as we are trying to conserve our finances for our 13 week Grand Tour of Europe  which is due to start in just over a MONTH!!!

I will post a blog about our plans and preparations soon.
I am also hoping to do a LOT of posting during the trip.

I thought this would be a great way to record the journey for us and of course anyone's that interested can follow along.

Hopefully this will also save me putting together an album when I get home as I can do it on the go!….
Okay – I might be being optimistic! I bet that no blogging gets done on the days I'm tired, or have hit my ‘travellers wall’ or I'm in a place of pain because we’ve walked 10km!

Anyway, today we had an outing with the Car Club.


The club had a short run around the outskirts of Armidale, in the freezing cold, and then returned to the driver training centre for a BBQ and a time trial.


The drivers had to estimate the time it would take them to do the following….
  1. Do a lap of the track
  2. Stop and get out of the car to check their tail lights and the number plate light.
  3. Get back in the car and do another lap of the track but in the opposite direction.
  4. Stop and check the tyre pressure.
  5. Another lap of the track
  6. and finally reverse the vehicle into a ‘garage’ (lines of witches hats)
And it was in teams – American vs. British cars. The British lost, despite Graham only being 3 seconds out of his estimated time!
(time was 5:33 minutes)


But we did come second in the quiz – with only 17 correct answers out of 30, evidently nearly everyone else was much worse!

Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim