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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, September 30, 2011

sneak peaks and socks!

I have been doing some more sneak peak sewing today - sneak peak for you that is - of course I know what it is.  First I finished the sneak peak sewing that I was working on last night.  Can't show you any more so no point taking another photo that looks the same.  Today I have been sewing and sewing - this is how much I ended up with,

Luckily I only need 7 meters!  But it was too hard to work out when cutting the pieces how many I needed so I just cut till I couldn't cut any more and then sewed till I ran out.  Have no fear - the extras won't go to waste! 
Sadly the pastel fabrics don't show up too well on our pinky peach carpet (was here when we moved in and it is not being changed till the boys leave home!) but the strips goes all the way down our hall!

 Couldn't decide which lamp pic I preferred so I included both - contemplating a new style of lamp shade (not!)
This turtle lives on the shelf next to the lamp normally so I thought I would show it to you.  My husband bought it back from Tahiti - he went there for work......or so he says!
 When searching for the pattern for the bag I made the other day I found this quilt.  It has been put away out of harms (read boys') way.  This is an extra special quilt as my mum made all the Dresden plates in her last years.  She wanted something to sew while we were on holidays together and saw me doing some Dresden petals so she started doing some too using my scraps.  When she went home (she lived 4 hours flight away in Perth) she continued doing them till I had enough for the quilt. 
I am extremely frustrated as I can't get a nice sharp focus for the photo and I don't know what i am doing wrong - other than I have a whole bunch of settings on my camera that i have know clue what they do!!!  Agghhh.  Anyway, you can get an idea of what the quilt looks like. 
 I love this quilt because of my Mum's involvement, particularly because she is no longer with us but also because she was not a quilter.  She was a fabulous home sewer, making clothes and soft furnishings and she could have quilted if she wanted to but she never did.  What i see when I look at this quilt is the colour combinations she chose.  Every inch a dress maker Mum really found it hard to put pattern with pattern - a pattern should go with a plain - and she really struggled to do otherwise.  She used to ask me to choose the combinations and she wouldn't always like what I put together for this reason.  Some she changed and some she sewed the way I sent them to her.  It just makes to me laugh to remember her complaining about being taken out of her comfort zone!

Another reason I love this quilt is this block. 

 Doesn't that pup look just like Snickers!
 Now it is back to work for me.  This is what awaits me - sock folding - oh joy!
Till next time..............happy stitching!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Boo!!! and other things!

After yesterday's complaints by Fly Boy and Guitar Hero that there was "nothing" to eat in the house I decided to make things a bit easier for myself and spent most of the morning baking.  First up good old Bacon and Egg Pie!  I know I have given you the recipe for this before, but I haven't worked out yet how to find that post again without going through all of them, so for the time being, I will just give you the recipe again.
 Next I moved on the a Bacon and Vegetable Frittata.  The recipe is called Individual Frittatas but I decided to be lazy and make it as a slice.  Kids liked it so it worked!

3 (600g) Desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 lean rashers of bacon chopped
4 green shallots or handful of chives chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup grated cheese
8 eggs
Preheat oven to 180°C.  Grease 12 ½ cup capacity Texas muffin pans and line with baking paper if desired.  Cook potato in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender.  Drain.  Set aside for five minutes to cool. Transfer to a bowl.  Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook stirring for 4 minutes or until slightly browned.  Add the shallots or chives and for stirring for 1 minutes.  Add bacon mixture, peas and cheddar to potatoes and toss to combine.  Spoon into prepared muffin pans.  Whisk eggs with fork and pour over potato.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes until just set.  Set aside in pan for 5 minutes to cool slightly before turning onto a wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


2 sheets reduced fat frozen puff pastry
1 medium onion diced
100 Philadelphia Light cream for cooking
8 eggs
150g middle rasher bacon
Skim milk for brushing

Preheat oven to 220C.  Lightly spray the pie tin with oil and use to cut pastry lid.  Line with second sheet of pastry.  Spray frying pan with oil and place over medium heat.   Gently sauté onion for 3-4 minutes til softened.  Meanwhile mix 4 eggs and cooking cream together till combined.  Add onion to egg mixture and pour into pie plate.  Layer bacon over egg mix and crack remaining eggs over bacon.  Gently layer pastry lid on top and seal edges with a fork.  Lightly brush pastry with milk.  Pierce top with a fork.  Bake for 40-50 minutes until pastry is golden and puffed.

My final effort was a Mars Bar Mud Cake - this was for Fly Boy to take with him to Bible Study.  I was glad to see most of it leave the house - way too tempting!
400g butter
400g good-quality cooking chocolate, chopped
½ cup cocoa
2 cups caster sugar
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups SR flour
3x 60g Mars Bars chilled chopped

Preheat oven to 160°C.  Grease a 4cm  deep, 22.5cm x 28cm (base) slab pan.  Line with baking paper, allowing 2cm overhang at both long ends.
Combine butter and dark chocolate in a large heatproof microwave safe bowl. Microwave uncovered on a medium high for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring every minute or until almost melted. 
Add cocoa and whisk until smooth.  Add sugar and mix well.  Add one third of the egg and stir to combine.  Repeat with egg in two batches.  Sift flour over chocolate mixture.  Stir gently until just combined.  Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with Mars Bars and press in slightly.   Bake for 60 – 65 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre has moist crumbs clinging.  Cool completely in pan.  Cut into squares.

The last dish I made really doesn't count but it is the one my boys (yes, my 15 year old boys) fight over the most - Jelly!!!   I have decided that tomorrow I am going to buy some more and make about ten cups of it to save the fights!
 And this is who was eating it and this is what happens when I try to get a photo of him - hmmmm.

Needed a quick little something to add to my sister-in-law's birthday parcel and decided to make a travelling tissue holder.  Why didn't I think of making these before?  Such great little gifts!
I found a tutorial Here and this is the result.
I will send her two - one for her handbag and one for the car.  The other two will be put away for future gifts.

Next I moved on to this - Sneak peak only!!!

And finally I dug out these.  Hence the BOO!! in my heading.  Considering we don't have Halloween over here who knew I had so many Halloween fabrics!  Just as well!
I finally managed to get the time zones right and was able to connect with Bruce's wife Barbara by phone and we had a long chat.  I asked her what I could make for her seeing as I had made something for Bruce and their daughter.  She reminded me of a Christmas Tree wall hanging I had given her years ago while we still lived in Connecticut and said how much she loved it so I could always make her something else like that.  I suggested a Thanks Giving version and she was happy with that but I am also planning a Halloween one and will work up to an Easter one and a patriotic one as well but first things first.  I will try and get the Halloween one done before my gorgeous husband flys

I have worked out something for the Halloween wall hanging and am now planning what I will do for the Thank Giving one...watch this space - well maybe what this blog!

Till next time........happy stitching!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Karate anyone?

I found it!  The perfect pattern for the bag I wanted to make from Bruce's daughter.  I knew I had it somewhere - I just had to find it.
It is an Amy Butler pattern called Work-A-Day Accessories.  This is supposed to be a laundry bag but I think it would be great for going to the beach or in this case, going to Karate Class.
 It is basically just a tube with a round bottom and a strap to sling over your shoulder.  I have used a white cord to gather it up here temporarily for the photo but I need a thicker one.  I will pop out tomorrow or Friday and get some.
I used the same fabric for the casing for the cord and the strap as for the lining.  Pity you can't see it here but it is a lovely shade of blue with tiny metallic silver spots all over it.  Just right for a ten year old girl, don't you think?  Now I need to find something to make for her Mum.  I am just not sure what she would like and what she can use. I am very conscious of the fact that the workload for the house and child and husband falls squarely on her shoulders right now.
 Quilt group was quite productive today.  The backing for the Christmas star quilt was pieced and the quilt is now layered and waiting for me to quilt it and out the binding on ready for someone to do the hand sewing.  Luckily for me, one of the lovely quilters, Del offered to take Bruce's quilt home to hand sew the binding, and I didn';t even need to ask her!  See, I told you I belong to the best group of quilters.

Till next time...............happy stitching!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


SO PLEASED!!!!!  to say that I have FINALLY finished sewing in the threads on Bruce's quilt.  My hand ins aching (the joys of arthritis!!!) but who cares!  It is done!  Yay! 

Tomorrow I am off to quilt group.  I have the quilt top of the Chrsitmas stars, the backing to be pieced, the binding is made and I have to cut the batting before I go.  I will also take Bruce's quilt and maybe someone will take pity on me and help sew the binding - yep, I have a great quilt group and someone is bound to help me! 

As it is not worth showing you yet another photo of Bruce's nearly completed quilt, how about another bit of my Dad's work?  This is another of my Dad's cane baskets.  He made acouple of these I believe.  This one was my mum's at one time but she gave it to me several years before she passed away.

 It used to have a plain blue fabric piece which was embellished with rick rack. It was a bit boring and dull so I replace the blue with a bit of Mary Engelbreit's range. 

 And added a few beads to the end of the ribbons - much more interesting than just a couple of knots!
Now I am off to find a pattern to make something out of this
 for Bruce's daughter Erin who love karate!  I am hoping to send it over with David as well as the quilt.  Just have to find the right pattern.

Till next time...........happy stitching!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A bit of this and a bit of that ...

First official day of school holidays and I feel like I achieved quite a bit but there doesn't seem to be much to show for it.  First I did some cutting and sewing for a round robin quilt but I can't show you coz it is for a Round Robin Quilt! 

Next I did a bit more cutting out - 5 inch squares this time but you will have to wait a few days for me to show you what these are for. 
 I set myself up with a heap of cutting to do tonight as it was movie night - "Blood Diamond".  My husband selected a bunch of movies for the boys and I to watch and I seriously hope he didn't think I would enjoy this one.  Too much killing, nothing light hearted about it.  All I cam say is that he is lucky it had a happy ending........sort of.

Anyway, first up I cut out a stack of feeders
 Then I cut two stacks of tumblers for two different projects that I can't reveal right away,
 And finally after the movie was over I managed to sew the binding on Bruce's quilt.  Now I just need ot bury threads and hand sew the binding.  Yay!
 I have decided that I have had it with the DVD store!  I don't know what my sons have and haven't seen and my husband's selections left something to be desired so I am going to the store tomorrow and i am going to buy a couple of TV series to watch  - assuming Fly Boy will come with me.  I can't choose on my own as I need to know what he has and hasn't seen!  A couple of good TV series will keep us going for the holidays and is a small investment considering how much it would cost us to go to the movies a couple of times.

I would love nothing more than to stay home and sew tomorrow but I am toying with the idea of beginning my search for our new Christmas Trees, yes, I said trees!  We used to have a lovely full 7ft tree that was almost two yards in diameter but I gave it to my cousin last year after Christmas as it was just too big for me to handle on my own.  I have been thinking about it all year and have decided that I am going to buy a few tall but skinny trees which I will dot around the house - one in the family room, one in the lounge room and maybe one or two in the conservatory.  If they are smaller I can decorate them one at a time by myself if I have to, including putting the lights on etc.  My sisterhood friends usually come over and we make a night of it as I have a huge collection of decorations to hang. Every year though it gets harder to organise as everyone gets busy.  I will feel better if I know I can manage it alone.  So, I think tomorrow I will go and check out the local department stores which ALREADY have their Christmas displays up and see what is on offer. 

Till next time....happy stitching!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Opps and Yippee!!!!

Had a bit of an oops this morning while heating up some food.  I absentmindedly lifted up a bowl that was too hot and burned my thumb!  Poop!  Sat with an icepack for a little while but still managed to get a blister which makes it a bit hard to do any hand sewing and i was going to spend lots of time today sewing in the ends of the quilting on Bruce's quilt.  Well that didn't happen so instead I did something that I had been wanting to do for ages - I tidied my sewing room.

 The job is not complete yet but it feels a lot better and looks a lot less cluttered!

You might be able to just glimpse these flowers in the top right corner of my cabinets.  These are my babies.  They did these in Pre School - as 15 year old boys they would no way colour in flowers but in pre-school of course they didn't care and I love these. 

 This was back when I used to sew most of their clothes - usually bought the same fabric in different colour ways, or if I couldn't do that, I bought the one fabric and put different coloured sleeves on them so people could tell the boys apart. 
While tidying up I put away lots of bits and pieces but I found that my 2 1/2 inch squares drawer is nearly full - time to make a quilt I think.  It will have to wait till after Christmas.
One good reason to NOT tidy my sewing room is finding all my UFO's.  Agghhh!  Then there are all the bundle that I have put aside for future quilts.  You know that stack of 5 inch black and white squares, the fabric panels that would make a cute child's quilt for charity.....and so on.....and on.....and on!!!

I am thinking that next year I might start making some quilts for my nieces and nephews for Christmas next year.  We don't normally give gifts that big but I don't care - I have so much fabric and so many scrap quilts just waiting to be made and who better to give them to than my family!

After dinner I put a bandaid on my finger and decided that if I couldn't sew in the threads I would finish the quilting - and guess what!!!!!  I got it done!  Hooray!  I thought I would never get it finished.
 I finally got all the quilting in the ditch done around the stars, rectangles and churn dash blocks!  Yay! And I made the binding.  My first job tomorrow will be to sew the binding on!  hand sewing will have to wait till later in the week but that is ok!

I showed you the photo of Fly Boy all geared up and ready for his cadet camp.  Poor kid came home early today.  Would you believe they got rained out!  They got rained on all evening yesterday and then the rain picked up again around 6am this morning.  He got up at 3am this morning and sat by the camp fire to warm up a bit as he was so wet in his wet sleeping bag.   When I collected him he was so wet - he told me that when he got back from the camp site he went into the toilets at the base and decided that he was so cold, and so wet, he didn't that he could get any colder or wetter, so he went and stood in the hot shower in the change rooms for a little while.  Oh poor baby!  Not sure that was a good idea but he was so glad to get home, take his wet gear off and get into a hot shower again!  Gorgeous hubby and I unpacked his big pack and everything in it from his jumper to his sleeping bag was absolutely drenched!  So glad he is home.  But would you believe it - it rained solidly most of the evening and all day and but the time I got Fly Boy home the rain had stopped!  It is all about timing!

A friend of mine, Lyn, gave me this fabric when she knew that I was making a quilt for Bruce in case I thought it would be suitable for the backing.  I decided to go with the blue and cream stars and Lyn is happy for me to offer this around to anyone who might be able to use it.  I thought maybe it would make a good backing for a quilts of Valor Quilt or a patriotic quilt of some sort.  If anyone can use it or knows someone who can - please let me know - a comment or an email would be great. 
It is a 4 yard piece and I would be happy to post it anywhere.  I don't want any money for the fabric or postage but if the recipient were happy with it I wouldn't say no to some blocks of any kind that I can put into a charity quilt for an Australian who need it. 

Well, tomorrow is the first official day of school holidays!  I plan to sew - I know you are shocked!   Guitar hero is going to the movies with friends and Fly Boy will probably be glued to facebook organising a movie night at our home for his friends.

Till next time..happy stitching!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Last day of Rainbow Scrap Challenge - BLACK

This is the last Scrappy Saturday for the month of September and the last of sewing with black for the challenge.  Today I finished the second and third black place mats.  I used my GO! cutter and the tumbler die and I love it!  I used scrap binding too which I also love.  There is something just great about making something nice and useful from scraps!
Soon I will make a whole quilt from tumblers but in the mean time these place mats will do.  I will probably make some more next month depending what the next colour is!
The rest of my night has been spent ending off threads from quilting Bruce's quilt  .........
and sadly.......
there is still lots to do! 

Oh Joy!  and I am not even finished quilting yet!

Till next time..............happy stitching!
Well, here he is - all ready for his weekend.  Backpack on his back, a water pack on his front and around his waist webbing pouches full of essentials - food, torch, camp stove and fuel etc.  Good for him - just glad it is not me!!  I have to say that he was really looking forward to it  though!
I managed to get the last bag made for Ireland last night.  Now I am going to concentrate on making some Christmas themed things.

 First up some pot holders.  I was thinking of making these into a table runner but I figure 8 potholders will raise more money.  So far I managed to get some of the pinwheels made.

I am still working on Bruce's quilt but it is heavy going.  I have quilt all around the blocks and the border.  Now I am working on quilting in the ditch on the blocks.  I reckon I have done about a third.  I will try and get another third done today and the final third done tomorrow.  I have the binding ready to go and about a mile of threads to sew in.  The binding and the threads will be a good watching movies job! 

Now I better go and get some Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing done!

Till next time........happy stitching!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Dance 80 Followers

I don't set out each time to write a post aiming to get more followers. I just write what I feel and hope others will find it worth reading.   I don't hold giveaways looking for more followers.  But I do celebrate each time I get a new follower as it feels like validation that I have something worthwhile to say and something worth sharing and showing.  So thank you my lovely followers.  I really appreciate you sharing the ride along with me.  I hope I give you lots more reason to keep on coming back!

I forgot to show you the fabric that I bought last night - it is by Timeless Treasures and I knew I needed some as soon as I saw it!  I bought one and a half meters and I have put it up on the door to my sewing room where I can see it as I sew.  I will leave it there for a few days and gradually I will decide what I am going to do with it.   At the moment I am thinking that i might leave the fabric in one piece and use it as a backing and piece something for the other side that coordinates in plains......still thinking though...any ideas out there?

I have spent most of my sewing time today quilting Bruce's quilt.  I did a lot of quilting in the border, quilting in the ditch at each seam - oh la la do I now have a heap of ends to sew in.  I spent at least an hour doing that so far and still have half the border to go.  I think it was worth it though.

Tonight I had to help Fly Boy pack for a cadet bivouac.  He will be departing tomorrow - carrying a huge pack and water bag. 

 The pack contains only the bare minimum but it is still really heavy!  Sometimes they have to hike, with their packs for quite a while after they get off the bus until they get to their camp site,  Often with these bivouacs they set their camps up and then part way thru the night they get told that the enemy has found them and they have to relocate!  They don't sleep in tents but hutchies! What? you say!  A hutchie is basically a bit of canvas or tarp which lies across a rope strung between two trees,  kind of a make shift tent, then they put down a ground sheet and a sleeping bag!  Lucky them!!!!  they carry their own food - mostly two minutes noodles, muesli bars, a bit of cereal and lollies.  they do their own cooking on a little stove heated by flammable tablets - that is assuming that they will get time to cook.  Some times they just eat their noodles dry and amazingly they don't complain!

Once the packing was done I managed to squeeze in enough sewing time to make one more bag for Ireland,  I have one left to do!  this is one of my favourite Aussie fabrics. It has sulphur crested cockatoos on it and I just think it is soft and pretty.
One more school day before the holidays and I have to leave home early afternoon to collect Fly Boy early from school so that I can get him home, showered and changed in time to get to the departure point for Bivouac.  The shower is essential as he won't get another one till Sunday night.  There are no showers and no toilets - such fun!  Believe it or not there are actually girl cadets - lucky them!!!

I may be ex-Air Force and ex-Navy but bivouacs were never my favourite part of service life and luckily I hardly ever had to do them!  Phew.

So, a short day tomorrow but no running around tomorrow night so a good sewing night!

Till next time.......happy stitching!