31 December 2009

Best Time of the Year

I love this time of year - a few days holiday, no rushing around, time to read a book, iron everything in the ironing basket (using the new iron bought in the sales - it is trimmed with red so must go faster) while watching a movie, finish off some stitching that was started ages ago

Stitch another "Sweet Pea" block while watching tv

And start a new quilt.  I know I shouldn't because the half-finished pile is growing.  Earlier in the year I started buying/hoarding Patisserie fabrics and have been wanting to make a Whirligig quilt for a very long time, so I cut into a couple of charm packs and cut extra blocks from some of the yardage.  Love the colours in these fabrics!

Months ago I saw something on Bec's blog about a "fabric diet" and, although we didn't officially sign up, Diann and I have not bought any fabric for the last few months.  A couple of interventions have been required but we are managing to keep strong.  No time limit has been set for this diet - I think I have enough in the cupboards to keep me busy for a little while.

28 December 2009

Hand-made Presents

I received this dilly bag (designed by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched) and the four fat quarters from Leanne - we are members of an on-line stitching group and we have a Secret Santa each year.  The bag has already been used and, as well as being beautifully made,  is a great size.

My partner to send to was Helen and for her I made a clock from Natalie Bird's book "With Needle and Thread" (terrible photo - the fabric is actually pale green "Winsome" by Nancy Halvorsen)

and I also made her one of these "Faerie Noelle" dolls (designed by Annie Smith of Country Keepsakes) - ended up making 8 of these dolls (the body parts in a previous post)

I received all this lovely hand-made booty from my dear friend Diann - the apron is very girlie and I love the Cinderberry Stitches needlebook (still trying to work out the settings on the new camera)

Also made a little "Rudy" for Jenni and Peta - they were a big hit.

Happy 4th Day of Christmas - 4 Calling Birds.

Christmas Day 2009

We had a lovely Christmas this year - lots of rain so the weather was very pleasant and cool enough to have baked vegies and roast meat.

Peta made the Gingerbread House for us - so cute - I think the time has come to eat it.

This year's present frenzy was fairly orderly and a lot of fun

Elizabeth was thrilled to bits with her expensive salt mill (which matches her expensive pepper mill)

Jenni bought me a new Christmas t-shirt

Elizabeth bought me a ticket to "Sing-Along Sound of Music" and also tickets for Jenni, Mum, our friend Jared and herself, so we're very much looking forward to that in March; Michael bought me a stack of dvd's plus the 3 children bought me a new camera so I can give John's back - lots of beautiful presents.  We are so fortunate to be able to spend this time with our family and have lots of laughs.

After the main course we played the Secret Santa game, which seems to be very popular these days.  Have to admit I expected more squabbles and fighting over presents - maybe next year will be a bit more ferocious when they bring along their own choice of presents to donate to the game.

Elizabeth's boyfriend's mother (Patti) joined us for Christmas Day and made the most delicious pudding ever.  Don't think the blue flames from the brandy are showing up well in the photo - it looked pretty spectacular.

So, after all the build-up to the big day, we very very happy to have spent the day with Elizabeth and Matt, Michael, Jenni, Mum and Patti (Ian and Peta spent the day with their families and we saw them on Boxing Day and yesterday).

One last photo - this is one of the presents Michael bought for Peta this year

22 December 2009

Christmas Preparations 2

Busy, busy, busy - I think everyone is in the same boat.  Last week Jenni graduated from Uni (again) - this time with her Diploma of Education, so she is now qualified to teach infants/primary school.  A job would be a good Christmas present for her and I'm sure something will turn up before too long.  Here she is on the big day with her very proud Nanna.

Jenni has been sewing again and made this little raggy for a friend's new baby.  It is a free pattern from here - Jenni's not into the traditional raggedy look.

Doll and Rudy body parts ready to be put together

and this year's Christmas cakes.
I gave my girlfriend the Poky Little Puppy quilt yesterday - she was tickled pink.  Plenty more going on but I'll have to wait until after Christmas to show the photos.

I've had to activate "moderate comments" because I've receive quite a few unsavoury messages in the last week or two.

11 December 2009

Poky Little Puppy

The "Poky Little Puppy" quilt is finished and ready to be delivered to my friend so she can give it to her baby great-niece for Christmas.

There was plenty of fabric leftover so I made a couple of pillow cases.  When I bought the fabrics I purchased an extra cloth-book panel so I could make the book for baby Bonnie.

The pattern was a free download from Quilting Treasures.  I put a Peg's peeper between the border and the binding.

10 December 2009

What's in the parcel?

Present all wrapped for the wedding on Saturday.

The Scrappy Spiderweb Quilt.  I haven't been able to get a good photo - it's been very overcast here the last few days and so the colour in the photos is not correct.  The quilt and backing are very bright and fresh looking.

The photo in this post is a better indication of the colours.  I found the Scrappy Spiderwebs pattern on crazy mom quilts' blog.  I believe the pattern originally came from Quiltville.

All the fabrics for the quilt top are from my stash/scrap box, the ballon/streamer fabrics used for the backing were purchased for a quillow a few years ago and the only fabric I needed to buy was some more black/white stripe to finish off the last little bit of binding (that involved an emergency phonecall to a friend in Queensland to go shopping for me).  The quilt measures 74" x 84".

07 December 2009

Christmas Preparations

The tree is up (but not decorated), some lights are in place and most decorations are hung.  A couple of presents are finished - Christine Book aprons with Bronwyn Hayes stitcheries on the pockets.

Machine embroidered bathsheets and face washers

"Feathered Friends" designed by Melly & Me and made using "Ava Rose" fabrics

Christmas cake fruit soaking

Lots more to do.

The Scrappy Spiderweb quilt is finished - waiting for a sunny but not windy day so I can take some photos outside (hopefully before the wedding on Saturday) and the Poky Little Puppy quilt is finished - a busy couple of weeks but enjoyable kind of busy.

25 November 2009

I Won

Big surprise when I looked at Melly's blog the other day and saw my name listed as a winner of one of her new patterns - thrilled to bits today when the pattern for the hobby horse arrived.

Thank you  Melly.

"Oh come with us and gallop, and gallop, and gallop ..."  Takes me back to when Elizabeth was a little girl and John made her a hobby horse to ride when she watched "Romper Room".

24 November 2009

Getting There

On Sunday I quilted the Bright Scrappy Spiderweb quilt - this is a view of a little part of the backing.  The thread is actually variegated blue.  Just waiting for some more of the binding fabric to arrive and I can finish the quilt - will post a photo of the whole quilt then (hopefully an in focus photo - I've been using John's digital slr camera and haven't worked it out properly yet).

Another "Sweet Pea's Quilt" block is finished.
And this is what I started last night -  "Poky Little Puppy" - just so cute.  The pattern is a freebie available here.  I came across this pattern and the fabrics a couple of months ago and showed my dear friend, Barbara, who became a great-auntie in August.  Turns out this story was the all-time favourite of the baby's dad and Barbara asked me to buy some fabrics and make the quilt for the new baby.  As the baby is a little girl we decided to change some of the colours/fabrics to make it a little prettier.

John had a wonderful time on his weekend away - 30 motorbikes riding through the Snowy Mountains into Victoria, ever-changing weather conditions, over 2,000 kms.  On Friday night Mum and I went to see "The Time Traveller's Wife" - I've had this book beside my bed for over a year now and just haven't been able to concentrate enough to read it (in fact I've read very little this year).  We both enjoyed the movie and I'm hoping that I'll read the book over the holidays.

16 November 2009

Scrappy Spiderwebs

Quick (dark) photo of the finished scrappy spiderweb blocks ready to be sewn together - 56 all up.

John is planning to go on a 3-day motorbike ride to the Snowy Mtns this weekend, so I'm looking forward to at least one day at home alone quilting this quilt.  Would be fantastic if it's together and quilted by Sunday night. Think I'm going Christmas shopping with a girlfriend on Saturday.

Next up Poky Little Puppy quilt (for girlfriend's niece) and some Christmas-present sewing.

12 November 2009

Stitching Again

Not much to show for the last couple of weeks - still sewing scrappy spiderwebs - 39.5 blocks down, 16.5 to go and then the quilt can be put together. I work better with a deadline looming (12 December) and I'm hoping to have a weekend at home alone soon, which will give me a chance to really get on with this quilt.

Finally felt like doing some hand-stitching and have completed one "Sweet Pea's Quilt" block. It looks nice in all red/white/cream (the mother-to-be's favourite colour is red). I'm using DMC 115 variegated garnet for the stitcheries and 304 for the appliques - the flower is chenille and I'm thinking about using chenille for one of the outer borders.

Still lots of machine embroidery happening - love the elf and have a few more in this set of designs - tea towels, placemats, serviettes.

Our baby girl has 7 days of prac teaching to go after which she will be finished uni for good and able to be registered with the Dept of Education to apply for a real job. Graduation for her Dip Ed is in December - will have to come up with a pretty good present I think.

04 November 2009

Catch Up

Nothing new to show this week - lots of machine embroidery happening for Christmas presents but no photos taken yet, zooming away on scrappy spiderweb blocks and lots of cutting out. Not in the mood for hand-stitching lately - can't remember the last time I stitched at lunchtime; so I'm hoping that will remedy itself soon. I wrote up a "Christmas Sewing" list the other day - now that's a bit scary.

To add a bit of colour to this post, a of photo from pre-blogging days: "Gentle Arts" embroidered pail designed by Lesley McConnell of "Faeries in my Garden"

26 October 2009

Where would we be without Electricity?

All at the same time yesterday morning:
  • Clothes washing in the washing machine;
  • More clothes drying in the dryer;
  • Music blaring from the computer;
  • Lights on in the house so I could see;
  • Placemats being embroidered on the embroidery machine;

  • I was sewing bright scrappy spiderweb blocks on the sewing machine;
  • The iron was on to press the blocks; and
  • The jug was boiling to make a cup of tea.
Wet, miserable day yesterday and the same today - great weather for a mental health day (if I'd taken one).
All of our children were at home for lunch on Saturday - the best time of the weekend.
No Christmas finish for this month - life in sunny down-town Primbee has interrupted the sewing/stitching schedule.

22 October 2009

Wonderful Present

A bit of furniture re-arranging has been going on in our house, which means that the new chest of drawers can be put in place in the sewing room. The top drawer is being filled with quilts cut, traced, vliesofixed ready to start when the mood strikes.

We might put the quilting frame back in place over the weekend then the room will be pretty much finished (until the next bright idea).

I received this absolutely beautiful dinner set from my mother-in-law - it's called "Lotte" and was imported into Australia from Norway in the 1970's-1980's. I am so tickled pink.

15 October 2009

Old & New Photos

We've been sorting through lots of old photos lately. This photo shows John's Mum and Dad (on the left) at the wedding of their cousin in the early 1960's. The others in the photo are John's father's brothers and their wives - love the hats.

John on his First Communion Day (about 1957) - such a cutie.

Very rarely there's a photo of me that I don't hate. This was taken last April (not bad for a phone photo).

I've started piecing the red/cream/white "Sweet Pea's Quilt" and it's looking pretty good - will take a photo when all the blocks are made. My camera no longer works and I haven't been able to find anyone willing to repair it. The girls have told me not to buy a new one, so I'll have to use John's camera.

Lunchtime stitching (hasn't been much over the last month or so) is still Girls Day Out - the flower shop but it will be put aside soon so I can stitch Sweet Pea. Have a look at Teresa's blog - her Girls Day Out blocks are beautiful.


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