I had the opportunity to join a #lovewinsquilt bee, organized by Kristin of Sew, Mama, Sew. Those who regularly follow Badskirt know that I'm not one to work with rainbows, hearts or purple; but I make exceptions when there is good reason. We were asked to make a 12" finished block using rainbow colors and a white background. We could optionally include one print. I set to work and designed a block to mark the occasion.

For the #lovewins theme, I decided to use a heart motif. Two hearts coming together felt right to me. I striped the rainbow across the design and paper-pieced the block to help with precision. I could have split the piecing in a number of ways, but decided that I liked this layout because of the subtle v-shape formed by the background seam lines.

Roadside fruit stalls are many in the Murray Valley, and it was a shared love of mandarins that prompted Craig and I to drive 30km north to Mathoura, home of the Mathoura Mandarins stand. A garden oasis along the Cobb Highway, the mandarin stand is a quaint log cabin surrounded by winter blooms. Jenny, the proprietor, told us all about her winter plantings and the orchards that she and her husband have been looking after for decades.

We waited as a mob of kangaroos hopped past – two dozen or more bounding across the road. Just as they moved along, a few more followed suit – leaping over puddles, then ducking under the fence. As we put the car into gear, a couple of stragglers launched out trying to catch their mates. To say Murray Valley National Park is teeming with life would be an understatement.

Mobs of kangaroos, a pair of emu and several fairy wrens darted  across the road, others kept pace at our side.

We'd heard many good stories about Echuca, three hours north of Melbourne on the Murray River. It seemed the perfect first stop on our caravan adventures and a great place to break in The Whale. In low season we had our choice of caravan parks, but in the summer the parks and free camps apparently burst at the seams. We checked with WikiCamps, our go-to camping resource for Australia, and decided to make camp at Moama Waters – a few minutes northeast of town.

It was sleeping on diesel and the mice on our tent during our Nullarbor road trip that convinced Craig and I that we were ready to buy a caravan. We'd been looking for years, but hadn't found the right one. Just as our trip was ending, we heard rumors that Winnebago Industries were bringing their American-made campers to Australia. Under cloak and dagger, Albury-Wodonga RV World welcomed us into their workshop where we saw one of the first Minnies imported into Australia.

It started when a friend looked at my closet and saw wire baskets with bits of fabric poking out. "Is that your stash?" she asked.  My head dropped. My shoulders slouched uncomfortably. I found myself in a posture of shame. "No. No. That's not my stash" I replied. 

My friend had stumbled into my UFO closet. That's right an entire closet of unfinished objects. I have a closet of neglected goodies that eclipses my stash by threefold.

I'm a wee bit embarrassed about how many projects I have on the go right now. I'm in the midst of writing a few patterns though and each time I make a test block, I decide I need to stop and make it a bigger project.  This block is no exception. I was meant to make one yesterday. I made nine.

The Transmission block above is part of a new approach I'm taking to pattern writing and will tell you about soon.

We had tea and store-bought chocolate brownies.

I'm not sure if that's the proper way to celebrate when your quilt wins a prize. It's a new experience for me, but that's precisely what we did. We feasted on chai tea and chocolate brownies. We also ran circles around the house playing space guns with the Dymo and a tin raygun. I'm fairly certain the latter isn't the normal reaction at quilt shows.

It's been quite some time since I've done a Quilt Design A Day blog post, in part because I'm no longer making a designs daily. I love the creative exercise, but have been using my fifteen minutes in other creative ways this year like spending time in the library and analyzing quilts. Every so often though, I break open my software and make a design. I wanted to show you a few of my recent favorites and share their backstory.

One of my favorite recent pieces involves typography.

I enjoy sewing children's clothing, but have little reason to do so. We don't have little ones, and there are no nieces or nephews in our immediate families. Years ago, I found any excuse I could to sew little clothes. To justify my obsession, I added Oliver+S patterns to my online store and co-hosted the Ice Cream Social and the Jump Rope Dress sewalongs. My closet full of children's clothing made me unreasonably clucky though, and I had to step away from little frocks.