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.....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whose idea was it to make a coat hanger?

Yay!  It is finished!  After suggesting we all decorate a coat hanger and then not being able to come up with an idea I am just so pleased to have it finished!  I am not really a fan of hand sewing these days (arthritic hands - groan!) so I will remember that when I challenge the group next year. 

The lace down the centre is apparently handmade Maltese Lace.  it is so fine, the thread it is made from is no thicker than quilting thread.  The crafts person must have had amazing eyesight! 

I am quite pleased with the end result but mostly just pleased to have it finished!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nearly finished and on with the Christmas sewing

Another big day of sewing yesterday - managed to get my Tree of Joy Quilt layered

And quilted
And bound - just the hand sewing to do and a kind friend has offered to do that for me to save my hands.
This is the label I have made - I am going to put it on a peach background to match the border of the quilt. 
With the Tree of joy Quilt all but completed it is time to organise the next lot of sewing and here 'tis.  First there is the coat hanger that I have to make for the Quilt Group Kris Kringle.  There are some potholders to make and then the peach, blue and pink pile includes the things I am making to go with the quilt  - pot holders and place mats.
I have decided to set myself a new challenge for 2011.  I am really happy with machine quilting - in straight lines - but I have a great machine and I think it is time I learned to do more than straight lines so I am putting it out there - by the end of next year at least some of my work will be freehand quilted and please feel free to remind me if I don't appear to be heading towards that goal! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

At last....inspiration!!!

Want to hear a funny story?  This year I challenged my quilting group to a small project-  Decorate a plain wooden coat hanger in time for our Christmas Kris Kringle Lunch.  And they moaned at me....and moaned at me....
And they were still moaning at me at last meeting on the 24th of November which was our last meeting before our Kris Kringle Lunch on the 8th of December. 

The first funny thing is that one of the girls asked me where I bought the plain coat hangers from.  Then she said that she had to thank me as she hadn't thought she would enjoy doing hers, but she had, and now thought they would make a great gift for her work mates.  That really made everyone else moan!  "Don't encourage her!" they cried.
However, the real funny thing is that, with less than two weeks to go til the 8th, I was still searching for inspiration for my own coat hanger cover!

Finally I had an idea.  Nanna's vintage lace!  Years ago, before I was as madly into textiles and sewing as I am now, when I was just "into vintage things" my Nanna Mac gave me a bag full of vintage lace that she had
collected.  Some day after Christmas I will photograph the rest of it to share but for now this is the selection I have chosen to use on the coat hanger.  I wouldn't use the vintage lace for just anyone, but it is easy to share it with people who you know will really appreciate it!  I am going to use the lace to the right, which is the same as the top lace in the photo below to make an edge.  One of the other two pieces of lace, shown in the final two photos, will be used to applique across the top of the coat hanger.

The widest lace in the picture to the left is, according the old notes in my Nanna's hand writing, is Maltese lace.

I am not sure what else I will do to finish off the coat hanger but now I am looking forward to moving ahead with the project!!!

 I would never hear the end of it if I was the only one not to complete the coat hanger!  The shame would be unbearable!

Thankfully that won't be the case now.  And Nanna would be so pleased!  Miss you Nanna!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

more progress....

Worked solidly today for the time that I had and managed to get the quilt top finished and I am really relieved to say that I love it because initially I had a bit of a challenge arranging the blocks so that I liked the balance.  If I had my time over I would have made a different number of certain coloured blocks but I worked with what I had and what I could get so there you go.  i wont take a photo of it tonight as it has been folded up all evening as I took it with me to choose the backing and I am way too tired to iron it tonight.

What I have photographed for you tonight are the place mats that I have been working on.

 I have finished the stitching on the pink ones and am dying to finish the blue ones but everyone knows that if you keep sewing when you are tired you will make mistakes so I am being sensible - ugh!!!.....
But as soon as I get the necessities done tomorrow and am going to get back onto them.  I am hoping to finish the place mats tomorrow, get the potholders done on Saturday and finally on Sunday layer and quilt the quilt!  I swear I am going to start my Christmas sewing sooner next year!!
Will someone please remind me!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More progress made ....

No sewing today.  Had morning tea with other Year 9 mums from my sons' school.  Very interesting exchanges of information too.  Will be a little bit harder for the kids to put one over us as we have swapped some useful info between us.  Hee hee.  Don't tell the kids.

Morning tea was follwed by quilt group.  No work done there but we have worked pretty hard through the year and I guess we can deserve to be on the wind down.  Our next meeting is the 8th of December and our fabulously fun Christmas lunch!  I will tell you about that when it happens!

Tonight however I managed to organise the next stage of sewing for my Tree of Joy Quilt.  All 16 blocks have been trimmed to exactly 13 inches.

 Blue binding, blue inner border and coral outer border have been cut.

 Four place mat fronts have been cut - two blue and two pink.  Not Sure what I will back and bind them with yet but I know what is going to go on the front and I will give you a hint - it will be something yummy!
 Two potholder fronts and the batting have been cut - waiting to see what leftovers I have before I decide on the backing. 
Now I am set for lots of sewing tomorrow so it is off for a good night's sleep for me  - sweet deams!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Big sewing day today.  I must have sat at the machine from eight thirty this morning till one thirty but I was determined not to budge till I had finished all the blocks for this quilt.  This is my Tree of Joy quilt for a special 17 year old girl.  Since getting this far I have made one more block and so now it will be four by four.  As soon as I finished it I raced out and bought the fabric for the borders and binding.  Now I just need to settle on the backing - no ideas what I am going to do for that - too many choices basically!  I have also pieced two smaller stars to make potholders and am hoping to make some place mats.  This is the first time I have used so much white in a quilt and I keep seeing it in so many quilts online these days that I just had to try it and you know what?  I really like it!

Must be bedtime.  Good Night. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

and yet more potholders

 Still going on the potholders but at least the pile is shrinking.  The above set is for my in-laws.  My mother-in-law asked for pale blue/pale yellow and it is a pity that the pattern doesn't show up better in the photo but this is a really pretty flower block and I have actually quilted it in a flower pattern.  I think she will be pleased with them.

 This set is for another member of my quilt group, but this one is just about to move only she is up in the air as to whether she is moving to Queensland where they have a holiday home, or to Singapore with her husband's job.  Either way she knows she is moving away from here and has started to downsize her fabric collection.  I store all the groups communal fabrics and she dropped off several bags to me including a big bag full of a rainbow of homespuns.  She had bought it years ago to make a specific quilt but never got around to it so I thought it would be nice to at least make her some potholders from some of it.
These are fairly simple but they are for the faith and life teacher at my sons' school.  he is leaving at the end of the year and one of my sons wants to give him a going away gift (the other is too embarrassed to do so).  I did some investigating and learned that he is a keen cook so I have made him a set of potholders and a matching apron.  I think the fabric is masculine enough.

Tonight I am going to work on an orange set for a girlfriend who says she hates orange.  I will give them to her and then tell her she can choose whichever she likes from a collection of non-orange ones!  She will get a laugh out of it!

Hopefully by Wednesday my potholders will be done and I will be ready to return to the appliqued aprons I am making for family.......

Back to work.......

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Got some finished - Yay!

Phew!  Busy weekend but a good weekend and at last a few potholders reaching completion.  I still have more to make but they are getting there.  I have to have some finished for the 7th of December when my boys finish school and some are going to favourite teachers. And another 24 have to be finished for the 8th when my quilt group has our annual Christmas Lunch - now that is a fun day!  these are what I have finished so far!
 These are made from a canteen bandanna - I quite like them and will definitely buy more bandannas to make some more - bandannas for a good cause too!
 This set of three will go together - they are made to make the most of the scraps.  Just love the Eiffel Tower fabric. 

 More scraps but I really love the colours!
 These are for a member of our quilt group who now lives in Chicago - hence the Aussie bird fabric.  We are making up a parcel for her for Christmas.
 I have no idea why these three photos have turned on their side and not the others!  No idea at all! 

 These are made for a favourite teacher - he told me story about having a few minutes to rest in the garden before going to another commitment and being joined by a cheeky sulphur crested cockatoo. I thought these would make a good memento for his experience.
Next year I am going to do more pieced potholders using traditional blocks and scraps.  I will start earlier in the year and set a goal for every month.  That way I can enjoy making them instead of having to hurry.

Okay, back to sewing.....potholders are waiting......

Friday, November 19, 2010

busy days!

Oh boy!!!  Busy days.  Out to lunch on Wednesday for my birthday with my sister.  Out to lunch on Thursday, my actual birthday, with my girlfriend.  Phone calls all morning and afternoon from friends and relatives which was lovely but meant I didn't get to much done - but who cares!  The best birthday present I received was a good quality travel iron - might not sound very exciting to you but for me, with arthritis, it is perfect as it is so much lighter and easier for me to use.  I always give my husband a wish list because he wants to buy me things I really want and that makes it easier for him - and the iron was at the top of my list.

In the mean time I have also been sewing as much as possible in order to complete the ever growing list of Christmas sewing.  I have just counted up - I have 31 potholders, 6 apron and potholder sets, one quilt and three bags to sew before Christmas.  my sewing table is currently buried under a big pile of potholders - they are mostly ready to be quilted with the binding and hanging tabs made and ready for use.  Phew,  a lot of batting needed to be cut - glad most of that is done.

I have managed to complete an apron and a few potholders so far.  No photos till Sunday I think.  too tired tonight - it is already after 11pm.  Tomorrow I have to wake Fly Boy and Guitar Hero in time to get them to the dentist at ten.  Then go fabric shopping with a girlfriend who wants to make a wedding quilt for her daughter and then come back home collect husband (The Frequent Flyer) and Guitar Hero and go to look at a guitar that is on someone's Christmas list!  Then collect my birthday cake from the bakery and finally, dinner with four other families of friends.  Big day but lots of fun.  No time for pics though.

Talk to you Sunday.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Birthday bag version 2

Last night I posted the picture of a bag that I had made for a girlfriend's birthday. Tonight I am posting a photo of the second bag.  Tomorrow at lunch I am going to give her the choice and I have no idea which one she will pick!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What do you think?

 This Thursday I am sharing a birthday lunch my girlfriend Karen.  I did some spying courtesy of her 15 year old son and he assures me that she likes pink and blue, with a preference for blue, so I have made this bag.  I am planning to make her a second one in a different range of fabrics and will give her the choice.   What do you think?  Does this fabric say more "teenage girl" than "young at heart 50 year old"? 
 It doesn't matter which bag Karen chooses as the other one is going to a good home too.  Every year I choose at least a couple of cards off the Tree of Joy at my local shopping centre.  The local Roatary International Club arranges to collect donated gifts and deliver them to those who need them.

This year my recipient is a 17 year old girl.  Firstly I am making her a quilt using fabric from the Olive Rose range by Valori Wells for Free Spirit Fabrics of Westminster Fibers.  I have the fabric in pink, peach, orange, brown and blue.  I am teaming it with a white star on white from Robert Kaufman's "pimatex Basics".  Most of the blocks will be like those below but four or so will have more white.  I don't think I will use the blue in the quilt.  I am planning on making her some pot holders and coasters and a few other bits and pieces.  I will just see how much I can get done before the closing date.

Now,I started this little cross stitch YEARS ago to have something simple to do when watching the boys (at gymnastics, basketball, swimming whatever) and just managed to finish the last little bit. I can't remember what I intended it for. I think I was planning to do more in other colours but that won't happen as my arthritus won't let me! So I thought I would post it and see what creative suggestions I get for using it or incorporating it into another project.  Any ideas?

Finally this pile represents a bunch of potholders for Christmas presents - everyone from the favourite teacher and the lovely office lady to my cleaning ladies.  Better get to work on them or they will still be a pile of fabric come December!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Patchwork Miracles

Important sewing today - six blocks for Patchwork Miracles  (see http://www.patchworkmiracles.org/)  I stumbled across this program and couldn't help but want to do some blocks.  Mine are aimed at teenage boys seeing as I have teenage boys of my own.  I have another Busy Bee at home tomorrow with some of my quilt group to finish off another couple of quilts for Quilts for Keeps but before that I will be at the post office at 9am to get my blocks into the mail so that they make it to their destination in the States by the 30th.  I think there is plenty of time but better early than late.
I just wish I had time to make more.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tarts and Treats Photos

I promised photos and here they are -
 The colour is not very accurate and I don't know how to improve it but these pink cakes are actually a stronger peach colour and the yellow below is a stronger custard yellow.  Both cupcakes are sprinkled with edible glitter.  I would like to take credit for the sugar decorations but i actually ordered them online from www.theraspberrybutterfly.com.au  and was really pleased with how they were packaged and how quikly they arrived so I would definitely do that again!
 These are custard tarts.  I cheated and bought the tart cases but who cares.  They still taste divine!
 And these are chocolate mousse tarts.
I made two dozen tiny scones with jam and cream too but I didn't photograph them as one scones looks much like any other so there didn't seem much point.  It is really hot and sticky here today so I am really hoping that the cakes arrive at their destination without the icing melting off!!
Wish me luck!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tarts and Treats

No time to cook tonight.  One of my BFFs has a gorgeous daughter who is celebrating her 15th birthday by having a Lady GaGa goes to Alice in Wonderland birthday party.  I volunteered to make some goodies for the party - chocolate mousse tarts, fruit and custard tarts, scones with jam and cream and cupcakes.  Tonight it was everything but the scones and decorating the cupcakes.  Tomorrow morning I will make the scones and ice the cakes.  Photos tomorrow.

Goodnight for now.
At ten o'clock on Wednesday night my son, Fly Boy (Twin 1) sat talking to me at the kitchen table after getting home from Airforce Cadets.  He asked if I knew that the Japanese teacher from school was leaving for good and I asked him if he wanted to give her something and of course he said yes.  I knew she wasn't staying till the end of the year so I phoned the school the next morning (Thursday) to find out how long I had to make her something and guess what!!!  The next day would be her last day!   Gasp!!!  Thursday was not a quiet day.  I had to drive both sons, Fly Boy and Guitar Hero (Twin 2) an airforce cadet uniform, complete with hat that can't be packed, and an electric guitar to school.  Then I had to get my favourite pair of glasses repaired, grab some groceries and then head off to Mazda to have a car door handle repaired (it had come off in my hand!!!).  Then go home for a couple of hours before going back to school (about a 45 minute drive) to collect the same passengers as before and then spend my evening driving one to and from Keyboard lessons (an hour and a half out of my evening).  As I said GASP!  I decided that the Japanese teacher warranted Japanese fabric and seeing as I had been fiddling with a Christmas Star Mug Rug (by Tacha Bruecher and featured in the Fat Quarterly Holiday Issue) I decided that was the perfect achievable gift.

A quick visit to the fabric shop and found the perfect fabric, off to get the car fixed and then straight home.  Never mind the other jobs I was supposed to be doing, I started fussy cutting and piecing before heading back to the school.  On the way home from school I shaved thirty minutes off my travelling time as Fly Boy  decided that he wasn't feeling too well so instead of taking him to Bible Study we came straight home.  Half an hour's extra sewing time.  Changed the dinner menu to something much quicker to put together, more sewing time and YAY!!!  finished the Mug Rug just in time to cook dinner, eat it and head off for the Keyboard lessons with Fly Boy.

Now I just have to hope that Fly Boy remembered that the gift was in his backpack and that he remembered to hand it in at the front office this morning so that the teacher will actually get it!  I will let you know next post!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


They say bad things come in threes - well just as I was heading out the door to quilt group today the arm fell off my favourite pair of multi focal glasses - poop - then a someone did something to really irritate me but I had better not mention it in open forum (not that they even know I have a blog but you never know....) and then I broke a tooth!!!    Not my day.  Ho hum.  But at least I had Quilt Group today and that was fun - as always.  We spent a lot of time goo-ing and gaa-ing over a members baby grandson.  Nothing turns my quilt to jelly like a baby!    And then we spent a lot of time catching up with a long time member who now lives in Chicago and arrived home on the 8am flight this morning for a three week visit.  She joined us within hours of her arrival!  What better way to ward off jet lag than a good quilt group get together!

As far as sewing is concerned today I decided that it was time for something totally unnecessary and so I started a Christmas Star Mug Rug as featured in the Fat Quarterly ezine's Holiday issue.
I have decided that I do not like the blue triangle tips with the centre piece so I think tomorrow I will unpick the outer triangles and swap them out with something else  - not exactly sure what but this morning I realised just how much Christmas fabric I have - way too much - so I am sure I will find something that I think goes with the centre better and I know I can find something that goes better with the blue tips.  Two mug mats instead of one is not a bad thing and I loved these star mats the minute I saw them.

Must be my bed time,

Sweet dreams


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanks for the comments

It is so much more fun to spend the day, or however long, working on something and then post a photo on your blog and, joy of joys, get comments.  When, like me, you tend to work in isolation a lot of the time, sewing bees being the obvious exception, having a blog is a lovely way to share what you are doing.  I am still a blog novice though so if anyone out there reads this and can give me a hint I would appreciate it.  When someone comments - is there any way you can reply to their comments?  I thought about leaving a comment on their page but then it would be out of context wouldn't it?  Anyway, any hints gratefully received!

Not much sewing done today.  Made the binding for two of yesterday's quilts - binding was already cut and just needed to be sewn.  I managed to take one of those bindings and sew it onto one of the quilts so I can give it to my quilt group buddy,Del, tomorrow to do the hand sewing.  I avoid hand sewing bindings if I can as I have arthritis in my hands (most annoying).  Luckily for me there are a couple of ladies in the group who quite like hand sewing and are happy to do some for me!  That reminds me - I must make some thank you cookies for them. 

Don't you love this quilt? It is the stripey one from yesterday but the details didn't show up in the other photo.  My girlfriend, S, made it for her grandson but the daughter-in-law said no thanks we don't want quilts so the grandson never got it. S is donating it to Quilts for Keeps instead and although that is a great cause I think it is such a shame that she can't give it to her grandson.  Some little boy is just going to love it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Quilting Bee

None of my projects today but plenty of sewing just the same.  Today five of my quilting group buddies came over and we got stuck into completing some Quilts for Keeps.  We had several quilt tops that had been put together from leftovers from other projects and just needed to be sandwiched and quilted.  Today we managed to get six quilted on the machine and one quilt sandwiched and put aside for hand quilting.  We will meet again next Monday to try and finish them off before Christmas.  

All of them are quilted and awaiting binding.  Sorry about the standard of the photos - they look much better up close.  I am just happy that we managed to get as much done as we did.  We have planned another busy bee again next Monday and that should see all the quilts finished and ready to go to Quilts for Keeps.