December 30, 2012

A new quilt

If you've been following my blog for a while, you will know that I don't make many large quilts.  I enjoy making smaller projects - wall hangings, bags, cushions, sewing accessories.  But I'm usually good for two or three simple quilts in a year.  I had plenty of fabric left over from the 2011 free Block of the Month quilt, "Consider the Lilies".  Remember this:?

So I made the Floriana quilt which has just been published in Country Threads Magazine, Vol 13 No 8.

And here it is gracing the front cover: 

This quilt started out as a simple "Square in a Square" quilt, and you can see I kept those blocks in the four corners. However, when all the blocks were made, I thought it looked rather "ordinary" and wasn't very exciting at all!  That's when I started experimenting and pulled the rotary cutter out of the drawer!

And so the "Disappearing Square" block was born. The lovely Dawn quilted it beautifully for me and it now makes an attractive cover for our small-sized Pool table.

Christmas for us was rather quiet this year after very large celebrations last year, but we enjoyed having some of our family around.  This is my Christmas present - a wonderful new oven - well two ovens actually:

 When we moved to Queensland two years ago, we purchased a beautiful home, but one or two things were not as good as in the previous home which we had had built to our own design. The oven in our new home left quite a bit to be desired; it regularly burnt things on the bottom shelf and didn't cook things on the top shelf!  I really missed my beautiful fan-forced oven. I had been thinking about buying a new one for quite a while (and saving up for it!) and in the end I decided it would be silly not to have a good oven for all the Christmas baking, so went ahead and bought it!  

The interesting thing is that in the process of installing it, this was discovered:

The previous oven had not been installed properly with a vent 15 years ago. The heat had burnt through the fire-retardant sheeting and had started burning the surrounding wood!  The installer was surprised that it hadn't actually caught fire! I was ever so thankful that I had made the decision to buy NOW!  And for the first time in two years, I made a fruitcake that wasn't burnt on the bottom!  I don't know whether it is my imagination or not, but all the food baked in my new oven just tastes so much better now!

In between all the Christmas celebrations, I have done plenty of stitching. This design was a commission which was quite different to the norm and I am excited about the way it has turned out.  It's a technique I will definitely try again:

I've been hand-quilting the new 2013 Block of the Month free quilt I have for you, but sub-tropical Queensland summer is not the best time to have a quilt draped over one's lap, so it's just short, sharp bursts on that one.  When it gets too hot for comfort, I move over to doing some stitching on another new design.  I'm just loving the way this one is coming together:

Then the pencil has been out and I have drawn a new stitchery for a bag.  It's been a fun week!

I'll take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful New Year, filled with blessings and plenty of stitching!



BillieBee (billiemick) said...

You have really been busy. I'm loving your new quilt. You are so lucky you decided to go ahead and get a new burnt wood is so scary. Stay safe and have a Happy New Year.

Christine M said...

How lucky are you that you got your new oven when you did. It isn't worth thinking about what could have happened. I'm looking forward to seeing your new BOM. Happy New Year Val.

Catskill Quilter said...

The "Consider the Lilies" quilt is gorgeous! I am so thankful that you decided on a new oven now -- and kept yourselves safe from a potentially awful fire! It is funny how our intuition saves us, isn't it? Happy New Year!

Susan said...

Val, a Happy New Year to you too - love all those sneak peeks. Certainly you made the right decision at the right time - that is probably why your old oven cooked so badly too.
Happy Cooking!

Mommarock said...

Wow that is scary!! I'm so glad you decided on the new oven now too!! Fate has spoken.

KaHolly said...

Happy New Year to you, too!! You certainly have been keeping busy. Love your new quilt. Sure am glad you got a new stove!!

Angie in SoCal said...

My goodness! Your guardian Angel was working overtime. Glad you got your new oven early. Love the sneek peaks. Have a Happy New Year's day and blessed 2013.

Ondrea said...

You have been a very busy gal indeed. Happy New Year to you and your family. May the new year bring an abundance of all good things.

Anonymous said...

Hi Val
I was looking for an embroidery BOM when I came across you blog and you story about you oven. I had to laugh because when we bought our present home, over 30 years ago we replaced the convection oven/stove because it wasn't working and we also discovered a few problems: the gas shutoff valve was improperly installed and the fan was not properly vented to the outside. We replaced the stove when we added another room on the back of the house and our contractor was surprised we hadn"t had a grease fire! Now we are anticipating a complete kitchen remodel but this time my daughter will be overseeing it as she is a kitchen designer and has selected a reputable contractor, both of which adhere to our strict codes here in CA, USA. God must have been watching us or we both would have had kitchen fires. Thanks for sharing.

Susan In Texas said...

I'm so happy your house didn't burn down. What a great New Year's gift! I just love my double oven. Since cleaning out my FIL's hoard at his house I have used his oven many times. Yuck! Huge wafts of steam fog up my glasses every time I open the door and the bottom shelf is WAY hotter than the other two shelves. If we ever do move there, the first thing that goes is that oven! Enjoy your new one and Happy New Year!

Ondrea said...

A very happy New Year to you too Val. Congrats on being on the front cover of the mag. The quilt looks as lovely as ever. So pleased you decided to buy a new oven when you did. I think your angels are with you.