Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nicey Jane

I hate to disappoint but this was all the fabric I managed to buy while in the USA. 20 fat quarters of Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey. I only managed to make it to one quilt store and our taxi driver had no idea where Jo Ann's was. In all our driving and walking around, I didn't even see a Target or an Ikea!! Hopefully next time I'll manage to buy more :) but in the meantime I think these are destined for a Windmill quilt. Or perhaps a Wonky Log quilt. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Land of the Long White Cloud meets the Desert State

As you all know, last Sunday I left the land of the long white cloud to travel to Phoenix, Arizona for a two day course for work... 12 hours after leaving Auckland International Airport we touched down in LAX. That Airport is massive. I think we departed at gate 106. And I am sure the gate numbers go higher than that!!

Western Samoa Islands

The flight was pretty darn bumpy. Turbulence started about 4 hours out of Auckland and lasted until we landed. I managed to get a few hours of broken sleep. After clearing customs we walked down to the US Airways terminal where we waited a few hours before boarding for Phoenix Arizona.

Phoenix is HUGE. All the buildings are painted in colours of the desert. Not much variation. I found it hard to landmark buildings because they all looked the same. Block after block. Mile after mile. And did I mention how flat Phoenix is??

We checked in shortly after landing in Phoenix. Showered. Grabbed 'coffee'. And called a cab for Arizona Mills. A massive outlet mall in Tempe (I think). I spent four hours working around the mall and only managed to explore half the neighbourhoods. WOWSER. I bought a lot of clothing for Ollie. T's for $4 each. PJ's for $10 each. Pretty impressive shopping.

Monday was the first day of our course. After the course we headed straight out to the Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale. If you are ever in Phoenix, go to this mall. It is AMAZING! I managed to spend a small fortune in Gap and the Disney Store, but still only managed to see about 1/5 of the mall.

Tuesday was the second and last day of our course. We finished up an hour earlier than expected and headed straight back out to the Scottsdale mall again. I was determined to at least explore another floor. Managed to spend another small fortune in a few clothing stores for all the family. Lots of variety. Lots of fun.

We managed to spend the Wednesday sightseeing. First a visit to the local zoo, followed by getting lost going to a fabric store before heading downtown to check out Chase Field and a few other sights in the city.

Sleeping bear at the Zoo.

Inside TGI Friday's at Chase Field. Very impressive stadium. (Use the tractor to gauge the size of the stadium in the diamond.)

The local Catholic Basillica. Just as beautiful inside as outside.

and the Children's Mueseum of Phoenix. Unfortunately it was closed :(.

I have got to say that for the parts of the city we saw, it was very clean, safe and tidy. But downtown Phoenix was a ghost town. We were the only people it seemed walking around the city.

We left the States on Wednesday night arriving home midday on Friday. I was very pleased to be home. I missed the boys and the DP A LOT!! But I definitely want to go back to America in the very near future.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February Bee Block

For Tracy :)

Tracy chose the Amish Diamond Block on Modify Tradition this month. I love the result of her colours. This will be in the post tomorrow Tracy with your winnings from my little giveaway!

Windmill Work In Progress

More colours to come soon I promise!

And my blocks I need to redo...

Hope you are all having a great week! I am off to the USA on Sunday (*squeals with excitement*) and I will have a day and a half to shop! I have printed off the details for a few shops and the quilt stores and I can not wait! I will miss my boys (all 3 of them) but this is such a great opportunity - I have never left New Zealand so this is a BIG first for me.

I will definitely have plenty of fabric purchases to show so please standby for my return :)

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Half Square Triangle

I can not decide if I LOVE the HST, or if I hate it. On the one hand, I love cutting squares, ruling the line and sewing either side... so simple. So quick. So effective. On the other hand, I hate the trimming with a passion. I have to do every square individually. Anyone have any suggestions for a more efficient method?

I am also trying to decide if I prefer pressing my seams open or to the side. For the starflower blocks I've been working on, the seams are pressed open. I like the way they sit... I always used to press to the side. Now I am just confused. What do you do?

The sewing machine has been rather quiet this week. Ollie has been toilet training and work is pretty crazy. This week will be even crazier. And before I know it I'll be sitting on a flight to Phoenix, Arizona. I can't wait! I plan to take only the clothes I will need and one pair of shoes... and then shop. Shop. SHOP!! Can anyone tell me what the weather is doing in AZ?

So here's this weeks sewing efforts. Pretty pathetic really.

Windmills made with Darla by Tanya Whelan. This is a baby quilt WIP for my maybe niece. I wish they'd just blooming find out what they are having! I have to make two quilts because we don't know!!

Another Starflower for Aphra. I really like this one.

This is how the Starflower quilt for Aphra is shaping up. I am really loving this quilt. Even though the blocks take me so long. I can really only make one a night. 10 more to go. The fabric is Dance with Me by Jennifer Paganelli.

Aphra came for lunch yesterday. I was so tempted to show her. Luckily she said she likes surprises. I need to learn patience!!!! We had a YUMMY lunch. My DP makes the best chicken roast in the whole world. Followed by apple pie.

What have you been working on this week?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My favourite kind of mail...

Some quilty goodness  - Dick and Jane ABC's, some more various Darla prints for a baby quilt in the making and some Wonderland prints to finish my Wonderland Jelly Filled quilt.

And a yummy Verna Layer Cake for Round 5 of the Old Red Barn Co Quilt Along - we're making windmills!! If I can bring myself to part with this quilt, it will be for a very close friend who gets married next January... otherwise I might need to make two.

I purchased the Dick and Jane and Darla prints from the Fabric Shack. Always fabulous service! I ordered 1 yard of the Dick and Jane and they gave an extra 1/3 yard! BONUS! The Verna Layer Cake and Wonderland prints were purchased from The Sproutz Store on Etsy! Also fantastic service!!

Anything exciting arrive in your mailbox this week? I hope so!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A winner... or three!

On the weekend my DP went to the Sevens hosted here in Wellington... It's become an iconic event here for 2 reasons. 1 - everyone gets dressed up and it becomes one giant party, the atmosphere is pretty impressive and 2 - every year Wellington manages to turn on the heat and we have a cracker of a weekend! This weekend was no exception!! Click here for a link to see the DP and his friends dressed as plastic soldiers.

DP took the camera so I was camera-less last night when Ollie helped me put all the names into the peg basket. I let Oliver pick a name out of the basket, but instead of just one name he pulled out three... so I thought it was only right that all three should win a prize!

The first name he gave me was bellaandmolly, then EmileeHope followed by Georgia!! Tracy you'll win the first prize and EmileeHope and Georgia I will put together prizes for you too!!! Thank you to everyone for leaving me a comment and for those who have become followers too :)

I am very excited to report that I have been given business approval to attend a course in Phoenix Arizona! I can not wait!! I depart on the 21 February and arrive back in Wellington on the 26 February! I'll get 1.5 days to shop and take a look around. I've already googled fabric stores!!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!