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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.....

Monday, February 28, 2011

all sorts of goodies!

I still have the dreaded bug that caught up with me a few days ago but I am fighting it off, unfortunately with sleeps during my sewing time!!!!   At least I feel like I am winning.  Consequently not much sewing has been done here, at least not as much as I would like but I have managed to get a couple of things done.  Firstly on Friday night I sewed this cute little bag for my girlfriend Tarja's birthday.  It wasn't actually the gift but the wrapping!  I love the fabric on the outside but I can't tell you what the range is called.  I can tell you that I chose it because Tarja loves the fabric that I used as the lining.  She was spotted walking around the store hugging a bolt of it!

This pin cushion which I made her earlier shows a better picture of the lining.  I didn't use it on the outside as I thought the green might show thru! 
 You can see a bit of the lining here and also most of the goodies - a movie voucher that three of us contributed to, a mini stack of post its (Tarja is the post it queen!!!) and a potholder -the long sort that has a pocket for your hand at each end.  I forgot to take a photo of that as I made it a while ago especially for Tarja and put it away!  I then filled the whole bag with loose foil wrapped chocolates.
 The four of us - my special friends called the SISTERHOOD - then went out to a Thai Restaurant for dinner (Tarja's favourite!!) and then onto Max Brenner's Chocolate Shop next door (my favourite) for desert - oh it was good!!!!!

The postman made me almost as happy as my wicked chocolate desert today.  First the parcel courier brought me a parcel containing a couple of irresistible pieces - California Dreaming which I already had a fat quarter of but which I decided I needed more of - probably enough for the border and maybe some of a pieced backing for a pinking and orange and white quilt I am going to make for myself sometime this year!!  The way-too-cute birds are Leanika by Dana for Free Spirit called Lovebirds!  And I just LOVE it!  Both came from Quilt Fabric Delight in South Australia. 
 Next the postman left me a lovely treat in my letterbox.  Thru my blog I have met some lovely ladies and one of them, Sandi asked me for copies of my Hoot and Popsicle patterns.  I suggested that we do a swap.  I would send her my two patterns and she could send me some fabric, something little and I suggested she wait till she received the patterns and make sure she was happy with them but today in the mail I received the following-
Aren't I lucky!  Thanks so much Sandi!  I hope you are happy with your patterns.

I have also spent a bit of time working on my red scraps for the rainbow scrap challenge - my last project for the month is a small table runner made from spare squares and other bits.  I am making it a two for one again - well why not.  I figured as it will be in the the same room as the last one I might as be able to turn them both over at Christmas time to enjoy!  No photos yet though.  I spent time quilting it last night, only to discover today that the pattern I had put in the middle, a diamond pattern, was off centre!  Hmmmpphfff!  Not happy Jan!  Oh well, I unpicked today and will quilt it again, though probably not the same way!  As soon as I have it bound I will post it!

That's it for me tonight.....I plan to settle down and watch "This is Your Life" with Debora Lee Furness, (a.k.a Mrs Hugh Jackman - lucky girl!!!!) and then do some more sewing!
Till next time...happy Stitching!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lesson number one

Last night I had my first lesson in free motion quilting.....and I loved it!  I had not expected it to be so much fun.  i don't know how everyone else learns to do it but Amanda, the teacher had me draw something on paper and then repeat it on the machine.  I started with my name which I can't show you as it doesn't show up.  I did so much practice on my first practice piece that it is just a mess!  After that I did these sort of side to side thingys.
 Then these thingys
 Then these swirls snail thingy's - loved these
And finally the most fun - the snail thingy with flower petals around the edge.

I can see that with practice, probably a lot of practice, I will get the hang of these, but the hardest part seems to be what happens when you finish a flower and want to move on to the next area without going over what you have already done - practice practice practice.

Today I spent the morning tidying up my linen cupboards - they are so nice and tidy now and lots of space too after throwing out a heap of junk and old stuff.  After that i started sorting thru my scraps of batting and ugly fabrics and made up a heap of practice quilt sandwiches to practice with.  My goal is to do one a day, before I sew anything else each day.  That way I should gradually grow in accuracy and confidence.  I am so excited coz I am really over doing straight line quilting - that certainly has its place but it can get awfully boring!

That is it for me.  I am really tired and have a sore throat so it is guitar practice, quilting practice and then bed!  Till next time
Happy stitching!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thinking of Christchurch and New Beginnings

Everyone surely knows by now that Christchurch New Zealand suffered a devastating earthquake 24 hours ago that has all but destroyed the city.  So far the death toll stands at more than 70 and there are people missing in the hundreds.  Our hearts thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected. 

It is good to be able to say that a bunch of New Beginnings Kits  and extra bits are in the mail and on their way to Queensland to be sorted and distributed by the Gum Tree Designers in Brisbane early next month. 
Each kit contains a sewing caddy similar to the one below, needle book and needles, scissors and scissor keep, fabric and thread. 
I packed one box containing approximately ten kits and extra needle books, scissors and the like
and one box crammed with donated fabrics
It is so good to know that you can do something to help.  My local quilt shop, Country Pickins yesterday gave my friend a huge bag of goodies for us to complete and send off to Queensland!  I haven't seen it yet but apparently it contains a finished quilt, quilt tops, blocks and fabric.  Fabulous and very generous!!!  I feel a sewing bee coming on!
Tonight I am off to a free motion quilting course - lesson number one.  Wish me luck!  I will let you know how it goes.
Till next time,  Happy stitching!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Choc chips, three dolls and 5 quilts and not necessarily in that order!

Monday again!  Where is the time going?  As soon as I farewell ed the boys out the front door to their bus I set about making a batch of mini chocolate chip muffins - some for the boys and some for Corrie from retromummy
I dropped five Quilts for Queensland on her doorstep this morning (after getting horrendously lost on the way - my TOMTOM hates me!) and I figured what mother of four littlies can't use a few chocolate chip muffins.  It was my way of say thank you for taking the time to organise Quilts for Queensland with all she has on her plate.
Some of the afternoon was spent sorting out some fabric for the back of a red scrappy project and a couple of other things I have in mind and the I started thinking about a fun project I want to do.  I told you about Sharon's Circle of Friends recently.  Well we have just about completed all the dolls but I think we might need an extra one and I decided that it might be funny to make two - one that is definitely demure and pretty and which fits in with all the others that have been done and one that is about as far away from Sharon's requirements as possible!!!  So, here is the pattern for my pretty one

 and here are my two other "options"!  A buxom punk with bright red (I think) spiky hair
 or a heavily pregnant lady - with a suitably padded belly.
I am leaning towards the punk as I think she is a bit more shocking - or at least she will be once I have finished with her!

That is about all for me tonight - it is late and I need to get to bed.
Till next time.....happy stitching!

I am Australian.

A friend just sent me this and I just had to share it with you.  I love this!  and I have a bit of a soft spot for the food hall where this is held as this is where I meet my girlfriends for coffee and lunch when I go home to Perth to visit!  This was done to raise money for the Queensland Flood Victims!
Sit back, relax and enjoy the .....................
singing "I am Australian"

Till next time, Happy stitching!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Rosie Red Scrappy Saturday

It has been a busy rosie red scrappy Saturday.  So far today I have made a double batch of chocolate chip cookies - haven't cooked them yet but they are all rolled and ready to go.  Fly Boy has invited a bunch of his teenage friends from youth Group over for a movie marathon. This is the first time he has let my husband and I meet them so I am delighted to have them here.   They arrived at midday and are staying till ten pm.....and they are watching Disney Movies - Mulan, Alladin, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, The Lady and the Tramp, Jungle Book and Peter Pan - how cute - they are all around 15 years old.  So far there are nine of them - four boys and five girls - there is one more boy to come a bit later I think.  They are all friends from my son's youth group and .  The chocolate chip cookies are to cook later in the evening  around 830 so they can eat them hot from the oven.  We are giving them sausages and pizza for dinner and pavlova and apple crumble for desert as well.  I have made two apple crumbles, one for tonight and a smaller one for a friend who is having a tough time.

I am hoping that now that the movies have started I will get a bit of peace - I may be optimistic but who knows.  They have drinks and munchies and the girls seem pretty sensible......wish me luck

In the mean time I am madly sewing red things

 red flowers
and red pin wheels

And this is where I am at so far with the red and blue blocks that I have sewn

The disappearing 9 patch aren't all laid out properly.  I did them in a hurry and some of the blocks need to be rotated but I didn't realise till I took the photo. 
 These look good together but I am thinking that I will make more red and white and keep them separate from the others as they remind me of Christmas peppermints (which we don't get in Australia but which I love anyway!)  The joys of a design wall - I can see them all laid out and make a decision.
Well,  movie night is almost over and the kids have had a ball and so have I.  Lovely kids.  But I am really ready for some peace!  They are so LOUD!!!

My gorgeous hubby and I are off the see "Yogi Bear" the movie tomorrow (what can I say - I am a kid at heart!) and then home - hopefully some more sewing then.
 I have to go and start getting kids to gather their things and greet collecting parents!
Till next time, Happy stitching 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Surfer Chick... and Summer Babe...

Well, I got started today - at least I started outlining the Surfer Chick block.  It is my test piece before I start doing the Four Seasons Blocks.  I think I am happy with the results.  I wish I was talented enough to be able to add more details, particularly with the water's edge.

I have also sewn my "spare" Summer  panel.  By spare I mean that  I had to re-do the summer panel because I had used the wrong green fabric in the background.  I didn't mind re-doing it too much coz I will probably combine the summer block and the surfer chick block in a quilt for someone. 

 I think I will mull it over again till next week.  I am not going to have much time to sew again till Sunday at least anyway because of family commitments.

My husband just came in and brought me the mail- - look what I got!!!!!

These goodies came from Kerrie (check out her blog) and see the gorgeous table topper she made for Valentines day!  I am absolutely delighted with what she sent me - a mug rug using Day and Night Squares by Eleanor Burns, another one using half square triangles from Moda "Bliss", a gorgeous notepad and magnet and, last but not least, my favourite kind of healthy chocolate - a chocolate bar of Moda "Bliss" for me to play with.  I am a lucky girl!!!

I had better scoot - time to go and collect Fly Boy from the bus and drive him to Bible Study!  Better not be late as it looks like there is rain coming. 

Till next time...happy stitching!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Here we go round and round

My quilt group met today and I nearly forget that we were starting our round robin quilts today.  Everyone had to bring a 12 1/2 inch block of their choice in a shopping bag of some sort and, it they wanted to, material to go with it.  I had the block packed in but I hadn't put it in a bag and I hadn't picked out fabric.  Luckily I remembered in time to rectify that situation.  As always with anything this group does our choices were extremely diverse.  Here are the blocks we started with.....starting with my block - the centre of which was completed by my mum before she passed away in 2005..

Next we have Glenys'
 Cynthia's - she has asked for a quilt made of plain colours with geometrical patterns loosely based on the work of an indigenous group from Christmas Island - I might not be 100% correct with that but I am going off my memory now.....
 Then Andrea's - love the pink and the curving flying geese!
 the is Audrey's - this block is so Audrey!
 And Del's gorgeous needlework!
 Irene's Amish inspired
 Lyn's Kaffe if I am not mistaken
 Cynthia C's - once again - very Cynthia!
 Next is Sharon's - she LOVEEEEE's bows.
 And finally Debbie's - Kaffe Fasset cabbage bowls and this is the one I am starting with......
I am thinking a thin patterned border, maybe an inch or less and then something pieced.  I am not sure.  Any suggestions?  I think I will be mulling it over for a day or two ......
Til next time ....happy stitching!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The next UFO

I am not ready to show you my whole next project but I have some sneak peaks for you!  I am making a wall hanging of the Four Seasons!  Four girls, each doing something appropriate to one of the seasons.





 This last one is an extra.  It was originally going to be the summer picture but I then decided that it would be nice if all the backgrounds lead into the next one so I changed the plan.  I really like this one though and will use it in another quilt somewhere.
I started these about 18 months ago and then put them aside at Christmas time because I had to concentrate on Christmas.  Now I have brought them out and am all ready to start the sewing and I have to pluck up the courage to get started!  First I need to decide how I am going to applique them, satin stitch or straight stitch, matching threads or something like a grey or a brown.  I need to mull it over for a while and also when I do start sewing I will start with the beach scene and make sure I am happy with the result before I start on the quartet!  The next problem will be how to put all four pictures together - what sort of borders etc but i want to get the stitching done first then I will have a better idea how to go forward. 
I have my quilt group meeting tomorrow and on either side of that, a whole heap of things to do so I am not even going to think about starting more work on these til Thursday or Friday.  that should give the ideas time to percolate but all suggestions would be happily considered. 
Till next time, happy stitching!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Yay - another one bites the dust hey hey!!!!

Well another UFO that is!  I have finished my second Christmas Quilt for the year.  Well it is a quilt top that is.  I set a goal last year to finally make some christmas projects out of all my christmas material.  I started cutting out projects as soon as I finished my chrsitmas present sewing and managed to get about four quilts cut out.  I got one sewn during a quiet New Eear's Eve and posted about it here and then rapidly got caught up sewing quilts for Queensland and New Beginnings Kits and, in between those, bits and pieces for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  But at last I have managed to finish the second Christmas Quilt. 
 It is only a simple pattern but I just love the blue Santa fabrics and one of the red and one of the green sashings are those really sparkly fabrics.  Just a shame it doesn't show up in the photo.
This is the same quilt with Guitar hero giving it the thumbs up!  He wouldn't let me take a photo of his face so I will just post an old one - he will never know coz he never reads my blog!

Guitar Hero is such a pain about photos being taken - he even refused to sit at the table for our Christmas photo because he hadn't had a shower and done his hair!  Thus is the most recent photo I have of him - taken the middle of last year!!!! 

Oh well, teenagers - thanks goodness they grow up eventually!

And now I am off to sort out what I am going to sew next - which UFO that is!

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rainbow Scrap Challenge and more

It has been a busy day today.  My husband and I were out in the garage at 730 this morning enjoying the fresh cool weather and doing what is, hopefully the last of the sorting out and tidying up.  We are pretty much down to his boxes of  junk stuff and had to make some final decisions on keep or throw and re pack boxes.  95% done I would say! or as good as it is going to get til he is prepared to throw more stuff away!

After that it was time for breakfast, showers and then off out for a couple of errands and home for lunch.  As soon as lunch was over I got stuck into the hand sewing on the binding of my scrappy red table runner.  Yay!  No more nagging kids to get a coaster!

 My husband is holding it up for the photo and hiding behind it coz he is on his "house clothes".  really not necessary as my husband doesn't know how to do "slob" so he was really quite presentable!  I decided to give myself a bonus on the back of the table runner.  I fully intend to make myself a lovely appliqued Christmas table runner before next Christmas but just in case I don't get there I backed this one with Christmas fabrics - two runners for one seems a good deal to me!
 This shows the quilting - nothing fancy.  I really have to expand my quilting horizon!
 Once the runner was made, next came a double batch of choc chip cookies.  Some are for my girlfriend's daughters.  The older girl has just had her gall bladder out and the younger just had to farewell her boyfriend who is moving countries - at any age that is a small tragedy and this is the first love.....so sad.  A few chocolate chip cookies can be very therapeutic!
 I also finished machining the binding onto this quilt - completed under my instruction by a friend's daughter, Jessica.  I have done the machining and she will do the hand sewing.  I think it is really cute and a great effort for a first time.  I just wish my camera showed up the colours better.  If something on my blog looks bright in the photos you can bet it is ten times brighter in real life.  I don't know if that is the camera, the computer or the blog!
Anyway we have a couple of days of cooler weather forecast so I figured it was a good time to get the quilt to Jessica so she can get stuck into the binding before it heats up again!

Tonight my lovely husband is taking me out for dinner for Valentine's Day - - - -his idea - - -  yep he is a keeper.  so there won't be much more sewing happening here till tomorrow.  Hopefully tomorrow I will finally get my Christmas quilt put together and off my desk!

Till next time......Happy Stitching!