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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.....

Friday, December 31, 2010

And we are off ...and sewing!

Yay!  Just started and finished my last quilt top for 2010!!!  Cut it out last night and sewn it up today.  Mind you it is only an easy one but I really like it!  Haven't made this pattern before but have been going to for ages.  I wanted a pattern that used up as much of the fabric that I had of this range.  Now there is just enough leftover for a couple of place mats and some mug rugs or pot holders!

Love this fabric! This is the 12 days of Christmas range by Kate Spain for Moda and it was just so fun and whimsical I had to get some of it - really love the ornament pattern and the red and white. 

So, that is Christmas Quilt Number 1 down and at least two more to go before the end of January.........do not stand between me and the sewing machine please!

Happy stitching!

Happy New Year's Eve

Wherever you are and whatever your New Year's Eve plans are I hope you have a great night as a happy prelude to a great year.  I have just made a batch of Mini Raspberry and Blueberry Friands to take to a girlfriend's home tonight for a small NYE party.  Then i went outside and took some photos of my garden to share and after posting this I am hitting the sewing machine!

I am living vicariously thru all my friendly snow bound bloggers' photos.  I love the snow and cold Christmases and am quite envious, even considering all the inconvenience too much snow can bring!  But a number of you have said please share the sunshine so I thought I would share a little of mine. 

A few peaches peeping out from the leaves of my miniature tree.  Here's hoping there is at least one that I can taste that hasn't been attacked by possums or bugs.  Next year I will net the tree now that I know it is worth it.  There are probably upwards of a dozen peaches on it!

 This lavender was sternly told Bloom or GO!!  and luckily it decided it wanted to stay!
 This is stattice - great for drying or putting in a vase as is!  My general garden philosophy is if I can't pick it, eat it or smell it I don't want it!
Blue Salvia all down the side of my driveway.  Unfortunately this side grows really well, the other more shaded side not so well, can't have everything!
 Believe it or not the common name for this pretty flower is PIGFACE! Oh please!
And now I am off to sew.  Every Christmas season i seem to add a little more Christmas fabric to my stash ---and never use much!  And every December i look at it longingly and think i would make this or that if only I wasn't so busy sewing gifts! So, this January i am going to sew Christmas fabric with a vengeance!  First a quilt out of Kate Spain's fabulous 12 Days of Christmas range, or as I prefer to call it her Fa La La La range!  Love it.  Have another quilt cut out and ready to go and am planning a third.  Then place mats, Christmas stockings and more.....but I am not going to get ahead of myself.  I am off to sew some fa la la la fun!  pics tonight or tomorrow I hope.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WOW 20 followers and three bags finished Hooray!!!

Wow!  20 followers!  How exciting.  Welcome to my world Yael!  Hope you enjoy the ride.  As I said a few nights ago, I love my blog as I am "meeting" lots of lovely crafty people and it is great, so inspiring and interesting.  My only problem?  Too many ideas but that's ok!  At least I won't be bored!

Now finally finished those three bags.  I haven't made this pattern before.  I had chosen it and bought the materials especially for them when my girlfriend said she really needed the girls to have bags that would be big enough to each hold a dozen books.  Her daughters love to go to the library and I think Tracey finds it a bit daunting to try and drag home all their books - I happen to know that one time the older one reserved thirty (yes, 30!) books at the library and her mother nearly died when she got to the counter and found what was waiting for her!  I love it!  Tracey and I were at High School together and let's just say Tracey was the last person who I  would have thought would have such a voracious reader for a daughter!

I think these bags will fit the bill! They are huge.  Before they are gathered up they are the width of the fabric by about 50" long!  They are called Fat Quarter Bags (as they are supposed to be made with six fatquarters on the outside) from M'Liss Rae Hawley's book "Fat Quarter Quilts".
It doesn't show up really well but the green bag and the third one have bali fabrics in the centre panel and I really like the colours.  I must do more with bali fabrics- I just add that to my list of things to do......
It is too late and too dark outside to go and find anywhere more interesting to take my photos so I decided to hang the third bag on this old set of drawers.  It sits behind my chair on my office and was made by my Dad back in the 60's I guess.  He didn't have much money but that didn't stop him.  He broke up old packing crates and tea chests - remember when everything was packed in tea chests instead of cardboard boxes? And he made these drawers.  These are the set that used to be in his office at work, he was a Primary School Principal.  He also made a set for my Mum that fit just inside her linen cupboard and that was where she stored all her sewing bits and pieces, threads, buttons etc.  He also made another for his shed and at least one other for one of my sisters.  This is the original one and I love it.  Each drawer is divided up into different little sections just the right size for all sorts of things.

Well, now that I have celebrated having twenty followers, shown you the new bags and my Dad's drawers it is well and truly time for me to hit the sack.  Only the quilt to complete now.  Phew.  I think that will be Friday and Saturday's task.  Tomorrow I had better do some other things, like shop for food!

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Getting there

I am working on three bags and a quilt, as I said in my last post, for my girlfriend and her daughters.  These are the straps that will become the handles of the bags and I have to say I love the colours.

The quilt top, shown here folded in half over my door is ready to layer but first I have to piece the backing. 
 I have a lovely fabric that just needs a panel down the middle to make it big enough.  The panel is sewn, just simple chinese coins, so hopefully the backing will get done today and the bags will progress further.  I just have to fit sewing in around helping my husband with some filing and taking all of us and some friends to the movies later this afternoon.

 Wish me luck.  I really want to get these done so I can make another Popsicle to give away and then do some fun sewing for January before I get back to finishing off UFO's, the task I have set myself for the rest of the year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Anyone for a Popsicle?

Hi everyone,
I would like to introduce you to Popsicle, the newest softie member of our family.  Having a three year old niece has inspired me to make her some soft toys.  First I made her Hoot, who I posted about in an earlier post - I thought thought her name was Olivetta but what would I know.  As soon as she was discovered by my niece she was permanently named HOOT!!!  I wonder if Popsicle will be renamed.  It is fine if he is.  My niece won't be receiving this one - this is my prototype and I love his sad face so he is staying with me - I also stuffed up badly cutting him out - if you look closely you can see that the black material I used has cats on it (I like the irony) and unfortunately they are going sideways on the front and upside down on the back!!!  Still can't believe I did that but a plea in mitigation - I cut the pieces out from the back of the fabric and the pattern doesn't show up on the back!   Still a stupid mistake but maybe that is why Popsicle looks so sad!  Thank goodness I wasn't cutting out a bigger project!
I love the fact that the white fabric has snow flakes on it and I have enough of that for a few more penguins.  You can't see but he also had tiny orange feet - do you think I should make them bigger on the next one?
Now I am trying to decide which fabric to use for the next one - snow flakes (a bit predictable?) or the cat and mouse fabric?
Can't get on to Popsicle number two today though - I have to make three bags and layer and quilt a quilt for my girlfriend in Western Australia.  She was kind enough to invite Guitar Hero to stay with her family for a week or so in January for a holiday so I need a thank you gift - that is the quilt and the bags are Christmas presents for herself and her two daughters.  I was asked to make bags for the girls that are big enough to hold a dozen books as that is how many the girls borrow each time they go to the library!  Haven't made the pattern before but it looks big enough - will let you know once it is done - today's goal- cut out bags and start sewing!
So, bye for now!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Love my blog!

No photos to post tonight.  Just want to say - I LOVE MY BLOG!  Why?  because it has brought me into contact with some lovely, creative people.  It is so nice to be able to share what I have been working on as soon as I finish it and put it out there for someone to see.  My husband is always encouraging, my kids as most fourteen year olds, dont really notice it or take it for granted, (doesn't everyone's Mum bake and sew?) and although my friends are encouraging and always happy to receive anything I have made, there are many days it is just me, late at night, sharing on my blog. 

And it is so nice to check my computer in the mornings and find a comment or message from some other creative soul!  What a wonderful community.  I try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment so that you know that it matters to me.  Sometimes there is just no time and then the day to day stuff gets in the way.  But some of you (Joyce) have a noreply email so I am taking the time tonight to tahnk you all and say how much I appreciate your kind and encouraging words.  So Merry Christmas my bloggie friends.  Long May We Blog and Create!

Merry Christmas

To all my BLOG Land Buddies  - Merry Christmas!  I hope you have a lovely day and are spoilt rotten with lots of  lovely pressies and food and great company!
This is Fly Boy with the pink HOOT I made him after he jokingly asked for one, a pink one!  He wasn't expecting that!!!

 And for all my blogging buddies in colder climates I thought I would send you a bit of sunshine - this is where we will be spending most of our Christmas Day!  Having said that, I am terribly jealous of anyone celebrating with a white Christmas!
Maisy thinks Christmas is a good day for a nap after patrolling under the lunch table for scraps and extras!
And Snickers thinks any day is a good one to flake out on her favourite ottoman on my quilt - actually that is MY ottoman and my favourite chair but don't tell the DOG!!!
 And these are some of my goodies - a Quilting Calendar and mini Women's Wit calendar from my girlfriend in Connecticut, a pretty hand painted door stopper by my Mother-in-law, some butterfly cookie cutters from my sister-in-law, some silicone cup cake mould and a selection of cup cake papers that my lovely husband brought home from America, a Drunkards Path Template set and last but definitely not least SOME CHOCOLATE in the shape of a giant chocolate frog - MMMM  quilty things and chocolate does my husband know me or what!!!

 And of course desert - or one of them, Fly Boy wanted a Vienetta (for your overseas lady that is a vanilla ice cream and Chocolate confection from the supermarket), my husband and I chose a traditional sago plum pudding that I made - easy and yum!  and Guitar Hero chose a Vanilla Layer cake that we will all be eating for the next few days - but it is Christmas after all!!!
Enjoy everyone!  From my house to yours may Christmas Day be a happy day full of love and laughter, good food, great company and a few pressies too!

Till next time - Merry Christmas - I am off to have an after Christmas lunch rest and then maybe a little sewing........

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A special Christmas Present

My son has made friends with a boy from school this year and in the process I have gained a new friend in his mother, Karen.  She breeds the cutest miniature fox terriers, keeps a huge numbers of chickens for eggs, currently does glass work and in the past has done all sorts of crafts.
Today I received my Christmas present from her.

Isn't this beautiful!  Unfortunately the photo doesn't do it justice!  It is made out of terracotta and Karen made it a few years ago and she said she has been waiting to find someone to give it to who would appreciate it - aren't I lucky!!!  I love Christmas and I love this!  Thanks Karen!!

I also have to show you this gorgeous fabric I found.  I don't know anything about it other than it was for sale in my local quilt shop for $1 a piece - so of course I had to snap up a few pieces.  there was one other print of tiny little push bikes and I didn't realise till I got home that I didn't have it in my pile so I am going back as soon as I can to grab some of that too!

Cute huh!

Well, that is enough for me now - I am about to settle down and make another soft owl.  I christened my first one Ollivetta but as soon as it's new owner, three year old Meghan, received her she exclaimed "I have got a hoot!"  so now he has been renamed to HOOT!  When Fly Boy saw the photos of Meghan with Hoot he jokingly said "I want a Hoot, I want a pink one!" So ever ready for a challenge and because I wanted to make another one any way, I am going to make a pink one and add it to his Christmas pile!  So now to sew!

Cookies and Creations

Oh boy!  A few busy days.  A double batch of chocolate chip cookies with red and green M&Ms, all packaged up and ready to give away.  Shortbread in cellophane bags likewise.  More ornaments - colour coded to give to my BFFs at our Kris Kringle Lunch on Monday last.  I used them as place cards,  everyone will knew by the background colour who sat where.

I couldn't upload the photo of the third ornament with a purple background as every time I tried I got a sign saying Security warning - huh?  the same thing happened with other pictures too - very confusing and frustrating!
Anyway, more ornaments as gifts - these ones my son saw and said he wanted some.  When I told him that I was making a set to put away from him for years to come when he has his own Christmas Tree he said "Cool I want my own Pimped Up Ornaments!"  I think that means he likes them.

Ok that is all the photos I can show you this time as I keep getting the security warning - very annoying.
maybe I will have more luck next time and if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them!
Cheers for now

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas To all my Quilting Friends

Just a little something to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me.  Enjoy and feel free to sing out loud!

A Quilters Twelve Days of Christmas
By Jan-Maree Ball  18 Dec 2010

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me

A lovely big cutting mat,

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Two pairs of scissors

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Three different rulers

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Four charm packs

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Five hexagon templates

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Six rotary blades

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Seven quilting threads

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Eight fine needles

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Nine batting packs

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Ten quilting books

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Eleven fat quarters

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Twelve layer cakes

Friday, December 17, 2010

more christmas ornaments

 I have a little bundle of ornaments to complete - all at the stuff them and sew on a hanger stage.  I think they are so cute.  These are tonight's two.  They have to go to Melbourne tomorrow with my husband for my sister-in-law for Christmas. (no, she doesn't read my blog so she won't know).
Tomorrow night I will be sitting by the Christmas tree listening to Christmas Carols being sung in the Domain-  for non- Sydney folks that is an annual outdoor Christmas Carol concert that we have every year.  Sydney's is always on the Saturday before Christmas and Melbourne's, which is also telecast, is always on Christmas Eve.  My husband will be in Melbourne with Guitar hero and Fly Boy will be home but i suspect he won't want to watch them so it will be me and the girls!  The girls?  Maisy and Snickers - the World's cutest dogs.  And a few more ornaments to sew.  I have to have three more finished for Monday, three more finished for Tuesday and the rest done by Wednesday.
But for now, it is bedtime.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Olivetta the Owl

I just had to take a photo and post this picture of my niece's Christmas present.  I saw a picture of a similar owl on a website somewhere ages ago and loved it but there was no information on where the pattern came from so I had to make my own.  I have just finished stitching her and she is off to Melbourne with my husband on Saturday.   I hope my niece likes her. I think I will have to make another one!  She is simple but she makes me smile!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No sewing but lots achieved all the same....

Well as I said in my last post I was settling down to an afternoon of bliss!  and it was too!  I didn't get any actual sewing done but I wasn't really expecting to.   What I have done is lost of preparation.  First I worked on these ornaments.  They will end up stuffed with a hanger from the top and a few will be embellished with buttons.  Most of the designs came from a book called "Peppermint and Holly Berries" by Art to Heart.  Once again, I love their books.

The candy canes, Christmas puddings and Christmas tree are my designs- we will see what they look like when they are completed!
This is going to be a Christmas gift for my three.four year old niece.  I have cut out the fabric but you have to wait till I have finished it before I show you any more.  I hope it works coz so far I quite like it!  I say a photo of a similar toy on another blog but they didn't way where the patter came from etc so I have made up my own with a few variations.
 The rest of these are gifts for friends - tea towels and one hand towel.  I wasn't sure how the hand towel would work but now I know I am happy with the results I will probably do more!

Tomorrow's job is some sewing.  I want to try and get the ornaments to the stage where I can sit and stuff them and do the last bits of hand stitching and embellishment at night in front of the TV and the Christmas Tree with my husband.  

I have to start doing some cooking too.  One batch of cookies every day - choc chip with red and green M&Ms today - shortbread tomorrow and the next day.  I have to make pavlovas next week - at least two for Monday and Wednesday.  I should make three but I don't think I can cope with three in three days - a bit much. 

How is your Christmas sewing and cooking going? 

Happy stitching,


and now to sew

Hurray!!!!  been to the pool, done a bit of shopping, wrapped a few more pressies, folded a bit of washing and put more in the machine and had my lunch - fed the Guitar Hero too - and now to sew!!!    check in tonight to see what gets done - an afternoon of Bliss ahead!!!!  Yay!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tonights little bits of whimsy - thankyou "Art to Heart"

 Aprons and pot holders done so now I have moved on.  Tonight I did these ornaments.  I can't take credit for the designs as they are from two of the gorgeous Art to Heart Books.  http://shop.arttoheart.com/ I don't know how to insert all the fancy links but this should get you there.  

Quite a lot of work in them but I love the results so I think I will be making more.  These are gifts for some girlfriends that I am lunching with next week and I also need some to send down to my sister-in-law for Christmas.
I also got some tea towels ready to applique and I will probably get on with those tomorrow and then i will concentrate on ornaments until I get enough done.  Once i get all the gifts done I am definitely making some for me.  I want to design some ornaments that incorporate buttons as I have a huge (obscene) collection of buttons, some new, some vintage and some just plain old. 

And now to bed so I can live to create another day - and yes, if you read my last post I did feed the family, and if I am lucky there will be enough to feed them again another night - so that will save me some more sewing time!!!  There is more than one way to skin a cat ...hee hee

I need a maid!

I have decided that there just isn't enough time in the day!  I obviously need a maid - I just want to sit here and sew but my inconsiderate family wants to eat - honestly!  Where are their priorities!

Monday, December 13, 2010

All done...

Now you might be sick of hearing about these pot holders and aprons and if that is the case then I am sorry but I just have to celebrate the fact that they are all finally completed!  They seem to have take a really long time to complete them but I guess I have done a lot of other bits and pieces in between times.  I am particularly ready to move onto something else though.  Not because I didn't enjoy doing them but because I am just ready - I want to finish my Christmas sewing coz I want to get onto to some gifts I have to make for January and then some fun stuff!

The first set is for my sister, the red set is for my nephew's girlfriend - her favourite colour is red.  I think it is my favourite too.

.This set is for, no prizes there, Joel.  He is my nephew and a real sweetheart.  If my sons turn out half as nice as him I will be delighted.
While I think of it if anyone can tell my why my photos sometime change orientation during the uploading process I would appreciate it.  All these photos were taken facing the same way and now I have some sideways and some right way up and I can't work out how to fix it.  Most annoying.  I hope you are not getting a stiff neck!
I had to find a pot holder design that wasn't too girly and as Joel helps out on his step dad's sheep farm regularly I figured the sheep was good and I loved the cow  so thought they made a great pair.

This set is for my niece - she just likes colours.  I can relate to that too.

This set is for, you guessed it, JACK.  He is my niece's boyfriend.
Everyone's potholders are plain on the back, except for Jack, as I have been reliably informed that he is learning to cook - so I figured "L" plates would be appropriate.  The two siblings live together with their respective partners so I suspect poor old Jack is about to receive a good bit of ribbing from the others.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

At last one set down and five to go ......

At last, I have finished one of the apron and potholder sets that I seem to have been working on for ages.  This set is for my niece Joanna who is living in London.  The rest of the sets are for her family who all live in and near Perth.  I will be running to the post office tomorrow with Joanna's in the hope that she receives them in time for Christmas.  I have no idea how long parcels are taking to get to England from Sydney these days - any ideas anyone?
 I haven't yet worked out why some of these photos turn themselves on their sides but I am too tired to night to continue that battle but at least you can see the shape of the apron which doesn't show up in the first photo.
Tomorrow will be a trip to the post office, a quick one to the shops and a few other chores plus, hopefully, a few more pot holders finished!

Good Night!