Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to my world - mostly the fabric world that I escape to whenever I have time. Hope you enjoy it and please feel free to comment.....

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Here comes another one....

Another busy day!  Up early so that my husband and son can get on the road by 6am (UGH).  Fly Boy was going into the city to meet up with other like minded cadets and staff to go on an overnight hike!  I went back to bed after cooking ravioli for junior's breakfast (Yes, yuck!) and farewelling them.  Gorgeous husband was home by eight and I was up and about and ready to get stuck into my sewing (and the laundry...boring!)  I worked hard all morning to get all the purple and green blocks for my aunt and uncle's quilt sewn into a quilt top.  Then I raced over to the local Quilt Shop to buy batting and by around 3pm I had it layered and pinned.  I was just congratulating myself and starting to think about getting some cooking done when the phone rang - Fly Boy "Hi Mum, we are coming home!"  I shouldn't have been surprised as it has been raining all week.   Gorgeous husband and I raced into the city to collect him, only to sit around and wait for 30 minutes for their train and then wait again while he queued at the slowest ever takeaway restaurant for some food.  Apparently dry two minutes noodles for lunch hadn't been terribly filling - there's a shock  - but food hadn't been his priority when packing and after all, what would I know (only 15 years in the military but apparently I am clueless).

It is so lucky he didn't camp out there tonight as at some point they had to cross some water and also had to endure some heavy rain - the entire contents of his back pack - sleeping bag, change of clothes, were soaked.  Someone please remind me next time to line the backpack with a garbage bag and wrap the sleeping bag in plastic!

Once home and dry again Fly Boy requested to watch a  movie after dinner and sadly (NOT) chose to watch "Alien" which let me off the hook - I do not do horror movies, or gory movies or war movies!  Not negotiable.  So Dad had to be the good parent!  He can't complain - he is the one who bought the Alien DVD into the house in the first place.  Anyway, while they watched the movie I managed to cut out and sew this.......

Sorry, only a sneak peak as I figured to show the whole thing, even thought the recipient doesn't read my blog, would be too much of a giveaway to my other recipients of the recent sneak peak items. 
I can't even show you a photo of the quilt - you will see one tomorrow I promise!
I can show you two really cute pics that my boys would HATE me to show you (but they don't read my blog so they will never know!)
This is Guitar Hero
 And Fly Boy!
Hard to believe they are now two weeks away from turning fifteen and are almost 6ft tall!

Tomorrow we are off to the markets first up to see the lady who had quilted the big green monster for me.  It will be coming home tomorrow and will be wanting it's binding.  As I intend to give it to Fly Boy on his birthday I have two weeks to get the binding sewing on - all 360 inches of it.  This week I also intend to sew the binding on the aunt and uncle's quilt so I am planning a few days in front of the TV this week while the kids are at school.  After the markets, there is some grocery shopping to do and then I hope to completely quilt the aunt and uncle's quilt - must give it a name - "aunt and uncle's quilt" is so unimaginative!

I hope all is well with you all, take care and happy stitching!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I hope you are safe and well

To all my wonderful bloggy friends in the States.   I don't know where all of you live exactly so I just have to say that I hope that all of you and yours are safe and well.

My heart goes out to anyone affected by the horrible storms today. To all of you - stay safe and well!

Enough already

Oh man!  I am so over this debate about dumbing down quilting and so on.  I sew what I like.  I choose patterns based on the time I have, the material I have, my mood, and the design.  I choose fabrics, not because I particularly like the designer but because I like the colour, shapes, contrasts and frequently because I like the PRICE!  I machine sew and machine quilt coz I have arthritis in my hands and, quite frankly, I don't want to hand piece and hand quilt - just too many quilts to make to do that - but more power to the girls who do work by hand.  Their work is lovely and I appreciate it.  Make something that is pleasing to my eye and I will love it regardless of how it is made.  I didn't start sewing to keep up with the quilting Joneses - I sew to make gifts for family, for friends, for special reasons, to give back to the community.  I sew coz it gives me pleasure and takes my mind off the less savoury aspects of my life or to satisfy my need to do something creative if I want to stay sane!  If anyone doesn't like my workmanship, my patterns, my choice of fabrics, then I won't burden them with a quilt or bag or whatever.  Feel free to say no thankyou!  I am not going to link to all the other blogs discussing these issues.  I have better things to do.  if you want to follow my blog then I consider that a great honour.  If you pop in every now and then so see what I am up to, that is great too. And if you check me out and what I do and say is not to your taste that is fine too.  My mum always said that if we were all the same the world would be a boring place!  A quilt with no contrast in colour and tone would be boring too.  Different opinions are fine - just be nice, don't push yours and done labour the point.  Another Mum-ism  - if you can't say something nice don't say anything!

Happy stitching!  That is my motto - and that is the point.

By the way my Mum also said that if the whole world was as perfect as she and I it would also be a boring place!  Gotta love my Mum!

Just before I go - to end on a teaser - here is my last sneak peak! 

You will have to wait until all three recipients receive their goodies before I can share with you.  Might be a couple of weeks. 
Till next time........happy stitching!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A quick up date

Hooley dooley it has been a busy day!  Husband left for the airport at 5am, first day on new job.  Almost 11pm and I have heard nothing from him all day but a quick email with his new email address and ph numbers,  Guess he is still cloistered with new boss. 

Kids went back to school today  - Hooray!!!  Love school - me not them! 

Did a bit of sewing this morning till it was time to go to Quilt Group.  Managed to finish sewing 16 nine patches for a disappearing nine patch quilt that was going to be for my elderly aunt and uncle who are visiting in a couple of weeks from Perth.  Funny thing is my house cleaners were here and they are two lovely ladies who always love to see what I have been sewing.  One of them picked up the brown nine patches I had been sewing and hugged them and stroked them and told me show loved them and jokingly said "this is my quilt isn't it?"  What can I say!  I got a picture of her face when she opens her Christmas present this year and finds not two potholders but a quilt, so I guess it is going to be her quilt now! 

Had quilt group meeting.  All looked at the hexagons we have been working on
The table cloth background really doesn't help but we are going to surround the centre piece of little hexagons with a dark green border, then some grey, though hopefully not the grey that is there as I think it is too dark, and then add the one inch hexagons.  Next meeting we will sew the one inch hex border together and get organised to start on the next size!  Don't they look surprisingly good with just plain homespun!
Rushed off at the end of QG to drop in at Quilt Shop to pick up more hexagon papers and also collect a hexagon quilt - someones UFO.  Poor unloved thing.

Big two inch hexagons.  There are quite a few that have not been sewn to the big piece and some of them are the burgundy colour.  to me, it is really lacking something - quite bland.  There must be something we can do to jazz it up!  Ideas please ladies - any ideas!  It is almost single bed size!

Rushed home from quilt group to cook a quick dinner for Fly Boy to eat.  Kids walked in at 4pm from school.  Told Fly Boy to get his dinner from the oven and grabbed Guitar Hero and took him to local Green Grocer for job interview - he goes back for a trial go tomorrow afternoon.  Don't see why he wouldn't get it!  His first job.  He is growing up.  Hope he sticks with it!

Home again to make sure Fly Boy was ready and then off to drop him to Cadets.  Home to feed myself and Guitar Hero and then at last a couple of hour's peace.  Guess what I cut and sewed!!!
New disappearing nine patches!  My aunt and uncle will definitely be getting these ones!

I drew the colours for the squares directly from this fabric. 

 I have enough of this for the borders if they are needed and the backing and enough of the green or purple for bindings.  I had bundled these fabrics away a couple of years ago to make a quilt and they were just what I needed!  Phew

and now to bed........till next time...Happy stitching!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A finish and some more sneak peaks

One more sleep till my boys go back to school and my husband starts his new job.  Let's just say that the gorgeous husband is a little more enthusiastic which is just as well seeing as he has to get up at 4am to be ready to leave for the airport at 5am.  He has to fly to Melbourne for the rest of this week, come home for the weekend and go back for next week. 

It has been a busy day today but I did manage to get some sewing in.  First my finish.  I have no idea when I started this rag quilt but YAY!!! I finished it today!

This has been thru the washing machine and dryer twice.  I have no idea what inspired me to make a rag quilt using 5 inch squares but DON"T DO IT!!!  Far too many seams to snip!!!!  Now that it is done I love it but unless you have a pair of these don't do it as you will risk hurting your hand!
 And now for a couple more sneak peaks.  I can't show you the whole finished piece as these are gifts so you will have to make do with a peak until they have been received.

That's it - no more hints!  Now, I have about an hour and a half more sewing time and I want to make the most if it.  Quilt group tomorrow and we will be deciding what we will be doing next on our hexagon quilt.  Stay tuned.  Till next time....happy stitching!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lots done but nothing to show for it

Coz my camera has a flat battery!!!!  Agh!!  But that isn't the only reason I can't post photos yet.

Last night I finished working on a section of the current round robin project and needed to do some simple sewing so I pulled out the rag quilt UFO so old I can't remember when I started it!  I decided that it needed a few more rows and as I had already cut batting and squares I started stitching.  I finished the stitching this morning and put the quilt aside to snip later in the day.  Next I cut out the Pay It Forward gifts I am sewing (see here ) .  I managed to get one sewn and two partially sewn before I had to break for lunch.  I didn't get much done I the afternoon as family things intervened but after dinner we all sat down to watch the second half of a 3 hour DVD so I sat and snipped the rag quilt, and snipped, and snipped.  The movie ended so I spent another two hours sitting in front of the TV still snipping.  At last all the snipping is done!  Take my advice....Don't sew a rag quilt with 5" squares - all that extra snipping.  What was I thinking?  I wouldn't have been able to manage it if I hadn't previously invested in a fabulous pair of spring loaded clipped from Keepsake Quilting!  I will try and include a photo tomorrow.  They cut thru all the layers almost like butter.

So, my round robin is ready for the next stage - can't show you!  My three Pay It Forward gifts are 3/4 complete - can't show them to you yet.  And I can't show you the rag quilt pre binding and washing - coz my battery is flat!  Oh well.   At least you know I haven't forgotten you!  tomorrow I hope to get the rag quilt bound, clip the very edges and then throw the whole thing into the wash and dryer to fluff it up.  Love that part. 

Tomorrow is the last day of the school holidays and the last day before my husband starts his new job.  Lots of last minute things to do and probably a few things I haven't thought of yet!

Better go - very late, very tired.......happy Stitching!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Last glimpses of the Hunter Valley.....

I thought I would share a few more glimpses of our trip to the Hunter Valley with you!  This view could have been taken in all sorts of places around the Hunter Valley - there are row after row of vines, all over the hills and valleys.....
Check out this tiny shack!

And the front view
And the explanation.......just love being able to see history like this!
And this is the really cute letter box for the guest house where we stayed - how cute is that!
Breakfast buffet - of course I have a buffet like this at home every day.......doesn't everyone?  No?  Alright then, neither do I.  Check out the real honeycomb on the stand and that dish in front of the honeycome is peach bread and butter pudding....for breakfast?
Mmmmm.  Who doesn't love a few pastries!  I started with the fruit, might have had a pastry or two
while i was waiting for......french toast.  I had meant to take a photo when it was put down in front of me, complete with the chopped strawberries and ALL the slices of toast but I forgot till I was half thru!  It was so yummy!!!!!
At one point on the road we had to move off to the side of the road to make room for this monstrosity!  Huge!  Just after it pulled past us and we went on ahead we came to a roundabout!  I wish I had seen it going around that! 
That's it!  make the most of these photos as I have no idea when I will next get away anywhere for a holiday!  maybe July next year seeing as David won't be taking leave for 12 months now.  oh well, I will just have to sew!

Till next time....Happy stitching!

A day of sewing - YAY!

I pretty much went on strike today.  I spent just about all my day at my sewing maching ....but I can only show you a sneak peak, and a tiny one at that, as I worked on my current round robyn surprise quilt for one of my quilt group buddies!

 I am still working on my crocheted rug a little each day and tonight I started a little hand sewing for another of the round robin quilts - can't wait to get my hand on the actual block but I have to wait my turn so I am doing some prep work - how do I know that what I am doing will work with what has been done so far?  Let's just say i am taking a calculated risk but I am pretty confident!

No blog is all that exciting without some photos so I decided to get out and take a few photos of the blooms in my garden.  The first three are grevilleas.  These are Australian natives and the honey eating birds and butterflies love them.  I have been putting lots in the garden and already I am seeing more bird life!  Love it!

 The next two pictures are proteas.  They are native to South Africa I think but they are pretty hardy and I love the blooms.  This one is full of rain drops!
 This one is yet to open.  Still a pretty colour.
 Till next time......Happy stitching!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter Everyone!

Before I go any further with tonight's post - Happy Easter everyone.  I hope, wherever you are that your Easter is safe and happy and blessed.  

Can you believe that I forgot to open my mail last night!  Luckily I remembered this morning and look what I got!  Firstly my April Swap blocks from Celia.  She and I are doing a private little swap along withe the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and this is what she sent me this month!  She is later than normal as she has just been to South Africa to visit family which is why i am also lucky enough to have a cute little keyring pincushion made by some South African ladies included in my parcel.  Isn't it cute!  I love the stitchery too!

This is what I sent Celia.  I don't think I have shown you before.
 I wasn't happy with the contrast in the red star so I made an extra one - I thought this cat fabric was cute!

I also received this cute little parcel from Bloomerie - a layer cake of Just Wing It and 1yd of 
Not much stitching today!  I have been on duty - sentry duty more or less.  I spent the day here from around 9am till 330pm with a one hour break for lunch.
You will never guess what I was doing........supervising my husband tidying his study.  Doesn't sound like too hard a job?  You must be kidding.  Hoarding is in my husband's genes!!!  You have no idea.  Clutter busting does not come easy to my lovely husband and his office is like the Mt Everest of clutter busting tasks!!!  If I wasn't there he would be getting side tracked with business calls - he had two by 930 and this is a religious public holiday here is OZ! Granted the two fellows who called him are mates as well but business was discussed!  As well as phone calls, he would be checking his email and watching TV.  Not much tidying would get done, just a lot of pile shifting! 

I have to say, in his defence, that I am really impressed that my handsome husband is actually man enough or mature enough or both to recognise his weakness and accept (if not welcome) my assistance in keeping him on track and I think it is a testament to our marriage that we have been able to tidy the ENTIRE house, including our nightmare garage, and still say we love each other at the end of it!

Having said that I had to be tough - and here is why. Apart from the papers and magazines and memorabilia that had to be sorted out we found this-
a brand new printer and set of speakers that came free with his laptop - they are are still in the box and going to a new home tomorrow!  We also found this- 
No, they aren't business cards - they are hotel key cards.  My husband, and lots of business travellers never hand them back in as they have been imprinted with credit card details that are not always erased.  he wants to save them to do something with!  We also dispensed with this!  This little "arrangement" has been here for years (two maybe).  It was set up to dub videos to DVD but the job was never completed (sidetracked by TV, phone and Internet no doubt!)  
I counted at least five old video players.  We unearthed two video cameras - one digital and loads more!  At least now handsome hubby has agreed to send the videos off to be professionally done!  Phew!

we also unearthed at least half a dozen retired mobile phones, a bunch of old non-digital cameras, loads of promotional lanyards from conferences etc, plastic covered name badges and the like and lots and lots of business cards!  At one point my husband was heard to say "I have too many books!" This from a man who has pretty much only requested books or CDs or DVDs for birthday and Christmas for the last ten years!  Ya think!

Countless trips were made to the recycling bin and rubbish bin and there is still more sorting to do but it is much more manageable - I think!  I have a bit more police work to do over the weekend but I think we broke the back of it today!  Hooray! 

It would have been pretty boring sitting there on a kitchen chair for hours but luckily I had something to do - more work on my crochet rug.  Last night I had got this far.
That is five squares by four - about 40inches by 32.  It needs to be bigger and I think I need t make at least another 8 blocks  - got two and a half done today whilst supervising!  Yay!this rug might actually see some snuggling action this winter!  Not bad seeing as I started it when my nearly 15 year old twins were babies!

Now, for the rest of the night I hope to be doing some stuff in my sewing room at last.  Till next time...happy stitching and happy Easter!
Chrysalis Release in Cream Orange by Sanae for Moda.  They also threw in a couple of 5" squares which is always a nice bonus.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holiday Shopping!!!!! Beware, signs of possible overdose!!!!

Oh dear!  Did I have fun!!!  The Quilt shops were lovely.  We went to three on the way up to the Hunter Valley and three different ones on the way home.  I can't show you photos of each shop individually because for some reason there was a glitch when I downloaded my photos and I think I lost some photos and some were downloaded out of order....I think.  Anyway it can't be helped.  I was so careful to photograph the front of each shop before I entered it so I would know what stuff came from where but that doesn't work now so I will just show you my shopping!!!

My favourite shop is actually the closest shop called Blueberries.  They had a lovely store - beautifully laid out - eye candy everywhere!  The next shop we went to was called Belmont Patchwork Heart.  This was also a lovely shop but it wasn't as well organised as the first and that made it a bit hard to see all they had clearly.  Lovely people though!

The third shop was a bit harder to find as it had recently moved premises.  I am sure it will be worth a visit in the future but it was a bit disorganised at the time due to the move - they had just had new carpet installed - imagine the upheaval that had caused!  It is a big store so I look forward to one day seeing it in a more organised state.

One the way home we stopped first at Black Possum Fabricss.  It took us an hour and a half to get there and I thought it was all for nothing when I got there to find the door locked!  Aggh.  But as so often is the case in small towns I wandered next door to the dress shop and asked there if anyone knew what time they opened.  Of course they did and though they couldn't explain the reason for the shop to be shut at that time they told me to ask the hairdresser across the road as that was the daughter.  She came running and opened the shop for me!  It was only a small shop but well stocked and worth seeing - maybe not worth a three hour round trip but don't tell my husband!  Then we moved on to Onpoint Patchwork and Needlecraft and Quilt-Essentials.  these were both lovely little country stores which have an obvious loyal following of lovely quilters.  Both had classes or sewing groups going at the time and were apparently a lot of fun!

And now to the good part - my loot!!!  Firstly a little reading.....

 then a gorgeous layer cake of Rose Parade and a pack of 8 gorgeous bright fat quarters.
 The purple and red are batiks by ? then some golden Urban Chicks, Punctuation (more American Jane) and finally Japanese spots in red.
 These are Gyspy Bandanna by Michael Miller (green and red) and a Breath of Avignon by American Jane Patterns for Moda.
 I know the bird print is Michael Miller but that is all and the butterflies are Wonderland by MoMo for Moda - yummy again!
 Some Kaffe Fasset oil cloth Blossoms and shot cotton for lining  maybe for the bag pattern that I bought at Material Obsession last week!  I just LOVE those birds!
 Yummy "Snippets" by American Jane Patterns for Moda - loving that citrus orange and the red was half price (which is still $9.50 here in OZ!!) and it is a 1930's Storybook pattern by Wyndham Fabrics
 are these cute or what!
 A meter of Just Wing It by MoMo for Moda - I already have a charm pack and layer cake of this range and love it!  This is a twill so I am not sure what it will become or if it will still go into a quilt.....
Well, I did try to warn you that I may have overdosed a bit but that is it.  I am now declaring an embargo on buying fabric!  Unless I need fabric to compete a binding or border or for a specific purpose and there is nothing in my stash that will work I am not buying! Not until I get my UFO's sewn and am free to sew some of my new stuff (which will no-longer be new by the time I get those UFO's done!)  I already have plans for several of the pieces that I bought while away - they were purchased with specific projects in mind - can't say what just yet as I don't want to spoil the surprise for the recipients!  Hopefully you will see some finished bits in the near future!

Til next time - I had better go and start sewing  - so for me and for you...hopefully, Happy stitching!

Part three of a special story....

A few weeks ago I told you about a lovely lady called Diana and who I was called upon play a part in helping her to complete a quilt started by her sister ten years earlier before she passed away.  You can read about it here and here.   The quilt was for Diana's niece for her 18th birthday and not long after the birthday Diana forwarded some photos of her niece receiving the quilt. 

As a little background, Diana's sister Robyn had stitched 20 blocks by hand and Betty her mother embroidered a heart on each one so they would start out on the finished quilt.  Then Diana, who had never sewn before managed to sew the remaining 36 blocks with a little help from Betty and some friends.  Our mutual friend, and my quilt group friend, Cynthia, helped Diana put the quilt top together and then they came to me for help, moral support really, with the quilting which Diana did completely by herself on the machine - remember she had hardly sewn before!

When the day came, the niece K had no idea and neither did her dad. Tears freely flowed from family and friends alike.  As Diana said "It is a wonderful thing that K can wrap herself in her mum."
Diana also said "It would have been so easy to make excuses. Life is all about the small special
moments -  this is one of them!"  What beautiful words and what a lovely family!

Now enjoy the photos that Diana has given me permission to share.

Betty, (Grandma), K and Diana

Kind of makes you feel all warm and fuzzy doesn't it! Gotta love quilting.

Till next time, Happy stitching!