30 November 2008

What a Show!

Last night Mum, Tammy (my friend from work), her 10yo son, Nick, and I went to see Schools Spectacular. I am so fortunate to be able to see this phenomenal show live each year. The young performers are extraordinary. Many ex-School Spec performers returned this year as it was the 25th show - Paulini and Roshani from Aus Idol fame; Shannon Brown an immensely talented Wollongong boy who was one of The Ten Tenors, Human Nature (their version of "Danny Boy" was a show-stopper), Travis Collins, Darren Coggins and, the absolute stand-out of the night, Lorenzo Rositano - remember his name because he is set to have a huge international career. When he sang "Nessun Dorma" I was in tears.

So many highlights - the male singers performing "Abide with Me" interspersed with "The Last Post" along with a dramatisation of soliders leaving their family to go to WW1 was heart-wrenching; excellent disco section with Village People songs; Lauren Azar singing "Fields of Gold"; Lorenzo, Shannon, Robert McDougall and Nicholas Gentile singing "Depths of the Temple" accompanied by the most beautiful ballet; Travis Collins singing "Message to My Girl" and "Shout" (the finale).

As you can tell I could go on forever about the show - highlights will be on ABC1 at 7.30 pm, 14 December and the whole show will be on ABC2 (but I can't remember the date).

Our on-line group had a Christmas ornament swap - this is what I received from Helen - her stitching is beautiful. I love Santas (have a little collection) and he is going to be front and centre on our tree this year. Helen and I have such similar very much in common regarding designers etc. Amazing how you can meet such like-minded people via the internet.

I sent my partner (Susan no blog) the gingerbread man and star ornaments. Thought I'd try something different so had a go at punchneedle (these designs are from Anni Downs' book "A Christmas Story"). Can see myself doing some more punchneedle - I bought some supplies when Diann (no blog) and I visited Patchwork Angel earlier this year. I sent the heart ornament to Jane as part of the giveaway prize.

This photo is of a hairclip Peta made for Jenni.

Time to do the ironing before we go out for the afternoon.

29 November 2008

Happy Birthday Peg!

Today is Peg's birthday - pop over and wish her the happiest birthday ever.

26 November 2008

Advent Calendar

Jenni's Advent Calendar, designed by Hot Possum, is now finished. Shame the photo is a little dark because the colours are so lovely and bright (and the quilt does hang straight - I always manage to take wonky photos).

Bought lollies etc last night and posted a bagful each to Elizabeth and Michael - Jenni's bag is ready too.

Think I might make a start on some suffolk puffs for "Ruffles 'n' Rows" at lunchtime today. I can't find a link for that quilt anywhere. It was designed by Natalie Bird of The Birdhouse and Thread and Ginger.

25 November 2008

Playing with the New Toy

For our 30th wedding anniversary earlier this year, Mum and our children bought us an embroidery machine (John loves graphic art and fancies making his own designs). For a variety of reasons the machine has been waiting patiently in the box until we had some time to set it up and plug it in. On Sunday I headed off to the shop to buy some bobbin fill and threads and last night we had a little play.

This new toy is a lot of fun - so much to learn. Can see myself making lots of embroidered tea towels and quilt labels.

The back-ordered fabric for "Ruffles 'n' Rows" arrived yesterday, so it was time for my favourite part of quilt-making: cutting up the fabrics. This will be a fun quilt to put together as it has a large amount of cute factor - suffolk puffs, prairie points, ric-rac, buttons etc.

Will sew the buttons onto Jenni's Advent Calendar tonight and then it will be finished - will need to buy lollies and chocolates when I do the grocery shopping tonight so the children can fill up the little pockets (all 3 will now have a funky Advent Calendar).

24 November 2008

Outing with the Schoolgirls

On Saturday afternoon, the Schoolgirls (Lynell, Denise, Gail and I) plus Mum went on a roadtrip to Sydney to the Art Gallery of NSW to see Monet and the Impressionists. We were lucky to have a personal tour guide along (Gail) - she is extremely knowledgeable and was able to explain how Monet and his contemporaries were able to capture the beautiful light in their paintings.

I particularly liked the photographs showing Monet on the bridge in the garden above the waterlilies - lovely to see the real-life inspiration for his most famous work. We had dinner in a Greek restaurant at Brighton-le-Sands on the way home - lovely day out.

I've really enjoyed reading everyone's messages about the get-together in Tasmania and also the Cyber Stitching day. Lots of fun.

18 November 2008

Stitching + Shopping = Good Times

Finished the secret sewing last night

and also added some of "tinsel" to the "Funky Advent" wallhanging - bit more to go tonight then the angel and presents can be appliqued.

Received a box in the mail yesterday

containing beautifully wrapped packages and my first jelly roll

Bought the charm packs and "snow" fabric to put away for when I feel like starting "Dear Jane"
and couldn't for the life of me remember what I'd had in mind for the Christmas fabric, then it came to me this morning - thought I'd make a Christmas version of "Happy Days" and applique stars or Christmas trees instead of the flowers. Thanks Maree for letting us know about the fabric sale.

Waiting for one piece of back-ordered fabric to arrive for "Ruffles 'n' Rows" then I can start that quilt - can't wait 'cause it's so cute.

Looking forward to next weekend - on Saturday Mum, the Schoolgirls and I are going to the Monet exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW. I'm making plans to visit the National Art Gallery in Canberra in January to see the Degas exhibition - when I was much younger my bedroom curtains featured the Degas ballerinas (no, I wasn't a ballet dancer - just liked the paintings).
Lots of activity over the weekend - nothing ever goes to plan but that's what makes life so good.

Friday night we went to watch Gary (a dear friend of ours) perform in a charity fund-raising review - his Dr Frank-N-Furter was sensational and I forgot to take the camera. Saturday was busy with visiting a friend in hospital (all's well and she's now home), shopping, Elizabeth and Matt turning up (instead of Sunday), going out for dinner to Amigo's Mexican restaurant (where Jenni works) - dinner was excellent. Elizabeth drove home from the restaurant (she's learning to drive again) while John and I stayed for sweets.

Sunday morning was the Camp Quality Convoy which is organised by 2 announcers from a local radio station - 380 motorbikes and 600 trucks were entered and the day raised over $260,000 - phenomenal effort. John and I walked down to the corner of the main road to watch most of the convoy pass by (very noisy). Arrived home to have brunch with Jenni and Ian, then spent most of the afternoon cooking and a bit of secret sewing.

Had a fridge full of food that I didn't cook when Elizabeth and Matt were here, so invited Sharon & Gary to join Jenni, Ian and us for early dinner - Roast Vegie & Prawn (or Chicken) Salad, followed by Tiramisu - yum. Excellent way to end a weekend.

12 November 2008

Some Christmas Shopping

These gorgeous Lakehouse Dry Goods fabrics arrived last week - the cupcakes and bright stripes are for a couple of aprons and oven mitts; the gorgeous pastels are for the "Ruffles 'n' Rows" quilt - this is such a pretty, little girl's quilt. Elizabeth and Matt have a 5 year old niece so it may end up on her bed. Luckily I placed an order before the dollar dived. Another fabric is on backorder so I'm hoping it will arrive soon.

The "Advent Calendar" pockets have been appliqued, sequinned and beaded, ready to be added to the pile of sewing for the weekend.

Elizabeth and Matt will be popping down on Sunday (she is learning to drive so the trip will add lots of k's to her log) - might have to buy some prawns for lunch, especially if the weather if lovely. Perhaps not so much sewing will be done.

10 November 2008

Christmas Swap

For those of us who missed out on joining in a Christmas swap this year, or those who cannot help themselves and love to be in more than one, Janet is hosting a swap - send her an email before the end of the week to sign up.

09 November 2008

A Winner

The winner chosen by random number generator is No 4: Sew Create It - Jane. Please send me your address Jane and I'll organise for some McGrath Foundation goodies to be posted your way.

Friday night I spent some time cutting out this little pile of fabrics and appliques which will become one of these Christmas wallhangings for Jenni.
This afternoon I spent a couple of hours quilting a bit more of "Sharon's Roses" - this quilt is almost 5 years behind schedule - I'm hoping like mad that I have it finished by early February next year. It isn't really a quilt to put on the frame and I believe it should be hand-quilted but that's just too daunting.

05 November 2008

Girls' Day Out for Melbourne Cup

Yesterday John and I attended a Melbourne Cup function at our local racetrack with our friends, Sharon and Gary, and their daughter Kristy and son-in-law Heath.

After a good choice for my first bet of the day, I ran out of luck ... not to worry, it was a fun day and the only time of the year that I have a flutter. Last year Sharon, Gary, John and I spent Melbourne Cup day in Strahan, Tasmania.

Gary and I studying the form:

Block 5 (the cafe) of Girls' Day Out is finished - seemed to take me so long but it was lovely to stitch all that wisteria. Following are photos of blocks 4 (the lolly shop) and 5 (without buttons/beads). The fashion shop is next.

Don't forget the giveaway closing on Sunday.

03 November 2008

"Truly Scrumptious"

" Truly Scrumptious
Though we may seem presumptuous
Never, never, ever go away
Our hearts beat so unruly
Because we love you truly
Honest Truly, we do"
Richard & Robert Sherman
"Truly Scrumptious" designed by Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry Stitches.
This quilt and the backing have been made mainly from stash fabrics and leftovers from other quilts. Remnant pieces were bought for the borders and binding.
I wanted to use the "extra" block as my quilt centre because her name is Elizabeth, so Miss Izzy became my label.
As I'd pieced the blocks prior to tracing the stitcheries, I should have taken more care about choosing the stitcheries for each block because each Miss Scrumptious is either blue or green and it took me a while to finalise the layout of the quilt.

02 November 2008

Which quilt did she choose? And a giveaway.

John and I had such a good day yesterday - picked up a few Christmas presents at various places, fruit for the Christmas cakes, Christmas lights etc. I visited "The Remnant Warehouse" on Botany Road, Alexandria (what an excellent shop - all the latest patchwork fabric ranges and a fabulous selection of ric-rac in all colours and sizes - last time I visited I bought the extra-wide green ric-rac from there for "Citrus Crush"). Didn't buy much for me - some cotton to use for stitcheries - but bought plenty for my girlfriend who makes smocked babies and children's clothes (silk, pique, voile) at terrific prices. And John managed to visit a few motorbike shops.

Went to Elizabeth and Matt's place for a cuppa and a chat before heading out for dinner. Elizabeth chose "Happy Days" - no particular reason. Drove to Michael and Peta's to collect them and spent a bit of time there looking at the fantastic brooches and head pieces Peta has been making. These are the brooches I brought home with me.

I don't have a photo of a headpiece - Elizabeth will be wearing one to her work's Melbourne Cup function so I'm hoping she'll send me a photo. Peta is looking into having a spot at Glebe Markets and perhaps an Etsy shop. By the way, dinner was lovely and so was spending time with the family.

This morning I noticed that this is my 100th post - I thought about having a giveaway, but as I'm a bit busy and don't have a lot of time to make something for a hand-made present I'm going to buy some goodies from the Jane McGrath Foundation and send them out as the present. If you'd like to be in the draw, please leave a comment and I'll ask Jenni to choose the winner (by random number generator) next Sunday night (9.11.2008 EST).

01 November 2008

"Citrus Crush"

"Citrus Crush" designed by Janelle Wind is now finished and all my Amy Butler fabrics have been used up (except for a couple of tiny scraps).

We are going to Sydney today to do a bit of shopping and have dinner with Elizabeth, Michael and their partners (Jenni has to work), so I thought I'd take both Amy Butler quilts along and let Elizabeth choose which quilt she would like ("Citrus Crush" or "Happy Days"). Hmmm ... which one? I honestly have no idea.

"Truly Scrumptious" is almost finished - she's quilted and bound, label is stitched and written on ready to be attached. Might have time to do that tomorrow night. The quilting on TS is very simple - in the ditch on all the blocks, sashings and posts then 1/4" inside the stitchery blocks and across the diagonals on the corners of those blocks.

Miserable weather today - great for shopping and spending time with the family.


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