Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween!! Rachaeldaisy style

I thought I'd do my "Flowery First of the Month" a day early in honour of Halloween, and to stretch it further I'm not using flowers but just some simple leaves... 

and a pumpkin. 

No, I'm not making a carriage for Cinderella.

I'm making ...

scary, creepy, spooky and very kooky


There's no need for carving tools, and there's no pumpkin guts mess to clean up.. 
Just grab some leaves, trim them with scissors and stick them onto the pumpkin with glue, or do as I did and use BluTak. Its so easy to stick on and peel off to make changes.

I love how simple shapes can create features and bring new characters to life.
Here's Mr Big Mouth with his glowing eyes.

Have you ever noticed there are more Jack O's but never any Jills ? I thought I'd try a lovely lady with pretty eyelashes and big kissy lips. 

She got a fright when she met the next scary character

Old Grumpy Green Eyes! Eeek!!

 Jack-o-Kitty looked so serious so I told him a joke..

Q:When is a pumpkin not a pumpkin?
A: When you drop it, then it's a squash

That made him smile.

And then I made more smiley Jacks. 

I think this guy is my favourite. It's the Green Haired Zombie Jack-O-Leafy,  He's growling at you...

"HAve A HaPpyyy HaLLooOOOwEen oR i'LL eAT youR BrAins" 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Oi Emu! - Bloggers Quilt Festival

Here's is one of my very favourite quilts,  an oldie but a goldie. 

Oi Emu! was created when LeeAnn from Nifty Quilts encouraged us to celebrate Corduroy Day, 11/11 in the auspicious year 2011. I got a bag of corduroy pants from the op-shop and pulled out a Emu panel by Sydney screen printers Cloth that I'd gotten not long before. To add some more Aussie talent I threw in some Prints Charming. As for the design I simply played with shapes and had fun with liberated piecing. The quilt just grew from there. When I felt it needed more colour and pattern I added some pieces of old upholstery samples and some coloured linen I'd bought in a scrap bag. 
The result is a really earthy quilt that for me has Australian bush look to it. 
It measures about 80inches across with a drop of 45inches 

Oi Emu! is my second entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I think it was easier before when we didn't have to classify our quilt into different categories, when we would just show off our quilts. I'm a ditherer at times so I wavered over which category to put this in. At first I thought I'd enter it into the scrap quilt category but in the end I decided to put it into the Art category because of it's modern art leanings.  

To get into the groove of the theme here are some arty close-up photos..

 So what do you think, Is this art? Or just a quilt?

 Either way it looks great on my lounge room wall where it lives. 

Thanks to Amy for doing a wonderful job of organising the Blogger's Quilt Festival!! Usually I show new quilts but this time around I've found it a great excuse to share an old favourite, or two - you can see my other entry in the previous post. Let me know in the comments if you have a quilt in the festival so I don't miss popping over to have a look.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy As A Clam - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Woohoo! It's Bloggers Quilt Festival time again !!
Thanks to Amy of Amy's Creative Side for hosting the Festival, it's always such a fun event with lots of quilts to see and new blogs to discover. 

To all those who have seen my Happy as a Clam quilt before I hope you don't mind seeing it again. It's the most adventurous quilt I have made to date so I thought it deserved a showing at the Bloggers Quilt Festival. 

The story of this quilt began when I challenged myself to make a clamshell quilt using recycled denim. At first I thought I would just embellish a couple of the clamshells but once I started I just kept making more...

and more.  

It was a great opportunity to try different applique techniques, raw edge, wool felt, needle turn and I even used some groovy iron-on patches. My aim for this quilt was to have fun, and for it to be fun for its observers!
I ended up making 111 clam shells which is the perfect number for such a whimsical quilt.

It's the sort of quilt that the more you look the more you'll see. Lots of weird and wonderful, fun and frivolous, cute and curious things!

One clamshell even has something you can't see...
some gold stars hidden in a pocket, because as you know it's handy to catch a falling star and put it in your pocket to save for a rainy day. 

Now, I figured this is the sort of quilt that people would be curious about the backing, so for those who do look there's a daisy garden patchwork of fabrics. 

The happy clams are 8 inches across and the final quilt is 56 x 72 inches, a great size for hanging on the wall. 

You can imagine how honoured and pleased I was that this quilt received 3rd place in the Anything Goes- Mixed Media category at the Sydney Quilt Show 2014. 

I was Happy as a Clam in fact!!

I've entered Happy As A Clam in The Original Design Quilts Category. I'll post another quilt in a couple of days so watch out for that one too. 

Happy Bloggers Quilt Festival to everyone. Let me know in the comments if you have a quilt in the show so I can make sure I pop over to see it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Few Days Away.

Last Wednesday Mr Daisy and I packed the car with too many things and headed out west. 

As we reached the upper Blue Mountains everything was covered in a white carpet of snow.... Snow?!?! It's well and truly spring here in Australia and snow at this time of year is very unusual. In fact it was this time last year that bush fires were raging throughout the Blue Mountains. 

The snow was a sight to see! A sparking, white, winter wonderland. I half expected to see Santa Claus go whizzing by on his sled pulled by reindeer.

Snowmen had popped up everywhere!! I thought this one was particularly handsome with his straw hair and black buttons.

We weren't dressed for snow so we soon hopped back in the car and headed on our way. After a while the snowy, cold weather faded away and it became a warm blue-sky afternoon. 

When we planned our holiday I'd hoped the timing would be right to see some canola fields in flower. My wish came true!! As someone who loves strong colour seeing that bright yellow extend right up to the horizon is food for the soul. 

By late afternoon we reached the lovely town of Canowindra. For some reason I didn't take any photos of the street scape which is a shame because it is such a beautiful town with a main street full of buildings from the late 1800's. 
I did snap a shot of this crazy patchwork paving...

...and some corrugated iron patchwork .

The next day we went to The Age Of Fishes Museum that has fish fossils that are 200 million years old. It's mind boggling to think of the world so many millions of years ago.
As we were leaving the museum a vintage car club drove into town. 
So we ordered some lunch at a cafe that had a good view of the street and we settled in to enjoy the coming and goings of the cars. 

 After two relaxing days we said goodbye to Canowindra and headed off down the road. There was a point where we came across a herd of cows. Just like snow, herds of cows are rare where we live so we drove slowly and enjoyed watching them amble on their way.

Our next stop on the map was Temora, the home of the Temora Aviation Museum. The museum has occasional flying days were they showcase some of their vintage airplanes.  The four planes on the program that day were a Boomerang, a Wirraway, a Meteor, and a Spitfire. It was such a great chance to see these beautiful old planes fly.
The museum was excellent, not only did it have all the facts and figures about everything to do with Australia's aviation history but it also had a great emphasis on the human stories behind the planes.

Time flies when you're having fun and as soon as the air show was over we jumped in our car and took off for a nearby town called Ariah Park. It just so happened that the weekend we had planned to be in Temora was the same weekend Di Ford was a featured quilter at the Ariah Park Annual Quilt Show.  

I was lucky that I got to meet Di and her husband Brian. They are the loveliest people! So down to earth and friendly. 

Di's quilts have been sent to Houston where they'll be on display at the Quiltmania Booth at the Houston Market and Show, so the quilts on show were ones made by her friends and members of the Secret Sewing Sisterhood, using Di's patterns. It was a great chance to see the patterns I know well from Di's book Primarily Quilts made in different colour ways. ( I got Di's permission to share photos of the quilts)

Deb King's version of Phoebe was beautiful. I fell in love with this pattern when I first started quilting. 

It's hard to capture the whole quilts in photographs because the patterns are so detailed so here are some random close ups. Note all the fabulous fussy cutting, gorgeous fabrics and perfect piecing.

On Sunday the main street of Ariah Park was going to be full of market stalls and buskers as part of a festival. It would have been wonderful to be there for that, but we were off again early on Sunday morning...

... to Bowral, not for planes or quilts this time but for a restaurant. Biota exceeded our expectations with interesting dishes served in creative ways accompanied by exceptional wines. The location and elegant, modern decor added to the experience.

This is where we enjoyed a pre-dinner glass of bubbles. On the other side of the lake is a kitchen garden full of herbs and leafy vegetables that are used in the restaurant.

As I mentioned there were lots of surprises during our meal. the first was when our bread arrived toasty and warm inside a furry pouch, with smoked butter on a rock.

I was having too much fun to photograph every dish but had to capture this dessert with real blossoms, once again served on a rock

and another dessert, there were so many delicious flavours to discover in this dish.

All in all it was one of those meals I equate with going to a great concert.

We were only away for a few days but by the time we got home it felt like we'd been away for a month!


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