29 April 2009

Two Days Off

To recover from my epic Big Day Out I booked two days leave - was wonderful being able to sleep in. I had plans for the two days: finish the other two dolls on Monday and prepare the centre medallion for "Simplicity" on Tuesday. Completed the dolls - "Joe Jingles" (Country Keepsakes)

and "Tully" (Rosalie Quinlan Designs - Honeysuckle Cottage Christmas Club). Tully is an excellent design for a novice dollmaker - easy-to-follow instructions, no painted face and the clothes all have frayed edges.

I really have a problem with choosing fabrics for applique - takes me ages. Would be much easier to buy kits but I am determined to keep using fabrics from my stash. Spent yesterday morning cutting out all the strips

and the afternoon and evening choosing/ironing/cutting fabrics for the centre medallion - I had traced all the shapes onto vliesofix on Monday night.
For a change of pace during the afternoon I cleaned the fridge (how desperate was I for a distraction?) and cooked dinner. The last piece was ironed on at 11.45 pm! At least it's now ready to be blanket-stitched.

Not ready yet to try needleturn on a block like this one.

26 April 2009

My Day of Inspired Stitches

Bags were packed Friday night ready for an early night and quick getaway in the morning. Didn't sleep a lot - kept wondering if all the alarms I had set would not work, so was up at 3.30 am. Left home at

to drive to the airport for my flight to Adelaide. This photo was taken while we were flying over the Blue Mountains.

Drove from Adelaide airport to the workshop venue and joined the crowd of ladies lined up to register (love the brooch we received).

Having never been to one of these workshops/gatherings, I was pretty overwhelmed when I first walked into the room - so many people, didn't know where to sit etc. Luckily I found a spare seat at a table with a couple of ladies who were also at their first workshop and the other ladies at our table were extra friendly so I started to relax and enjoy the day.
Sarah introduced the designers (The Girls), who then showed us their designs and it was time for us to choose what we would start to make.

Melanie also brought along an extra pattern for us:

There was also a Rosie punchneedle bag but I forgot to take a photo.

Half of the ladies at our table decided to make Janelle Wind's glasses case because we all wanted to try needleturn applique. Janelle came to our table to give us lessons for each part of the flower and we were off. Received a few more pointers from Leanne and am now feeling much more confident to tackle the applique on Butterfly Garden. I took one of my blocks along and was able to have a chat to Leanne about fabric choices for the butterflies.
The Girls also demonstrated shrink fabric, punchneedle, attaching ric-rac to doileys and were very generous and absolutely delightful.
This photo shows what was in our goodie bag - patterns, starter kits, buttons, chocolate (which I gave to John), thread etc

and this is what I bought (see Peg, I tried to take your advice):

Pink fabrics on left to make a Mrs Perkins or two, transfers of today's stitchery designs, pink spotty fabric because I liked it (may use it for the butterflies - not sure but would have been sorry if I didn't buy it), finishing kits for Janelle's and Rosie's designs, lovely Tilda decorations and Haigh's chocolates (from the airport) for John, Jenni and Ian.
About halfway through the morning I met Lorraine - Lorraine and I have been emailing for a couple of months and my day was made being able to chat to her in person. I also met Gail Pan and her friend Sue.
"Show and Tell" was held after lunch - the ladies brought such beautiful goodies. I loved Rosalie's comment that in 100 years when "Antiques Roadshow" comes to Australia there will be whole episodes devoted to "Leanne's House BOM" - definitely a popular quilt.
I arrived home about 10.00 pm after a very long but enjoyable/memorable day. Sarah and her girls were run off their feet all day - they were amazing.
I'm sure everyone attending today will have a fabulous time and there will be lots of photos showing up in blogs taken at the dinner last night and in the workshops.

23 April 2009

Faerie Noelle

"Faerie Noelle" designed by Annie Smith (Country Keepsakes):

She is so cute - might have to make a couple more for Christmas presents. She'll be completely finished after I buy some little red buttons to stitch onto her bodice.

21 April 2009

Lots of stuffing going on around here:

These bits and pieces are parts of 3 Chistmas dolls.

Last Friday was John's birthday. We had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant (where Jenni works) with Mum and some friends. I bought John 2 tickets to see Cheech and Chong in Wollongong tonight - Michael is going with him.

Saturday afternoon we went to the Surry Hills Fair with Elizabeth, Matt and Michael. John went for a bike ride Sunday morning then we spent most of the rainy afternoon watching "New Tricks" and a movie we'd taped.

4 sleeps until "Day of Inspired Stitches" and another extra-long weekend (thank goodness for saved up roster days).

Back to the stuffing.

16 April 2009

Easter Holidays No 2

Today the only time I touched fabric was when tidying up the family room table - no stitching or sewing. Spent a fair amount of time this morning reading blogs, talking on the phone etc. This afternoon I took Mum to see "The Boat that Rocked" - enjoyed it again and so did Mum.

Finished the row-by-row last week - was a bit windy this morning when I took the photo but it wasn't raining for a change.

15 April 2009

Easter Holidays

I'm having an extra-long Easter break; back to work next Monday. Thinking I could get used to being a stay-at-home.

Yesterday Sharon and I had a day in Sydney, visiting a couple of patchwork shops on the way. Called in at Jules Craft Shoppe (Loftus), Peg's Pieces (Kirrawee) and Remnant Warehouse (Alexandria) - love this shop. Also called in to Gordon Smith (selling Rodney Clarke, Gordon Smith plus other clothing) - Sharon found lots of bargains.

Tammy, my friend from work, is making her first quilt - "Flowerbed" by Bronwyn Hayes. Most of the stitcheries are finished and she has been having a great time purchasing fabrics. Today Tammy came over to learn about rotary cutting and to put some of the blocks together.

Not content to be making only one quilt, while net surfing Tammy bought a kit for "Springfield Stars" - today she also put together her first star and was thrilled to bits.

Butterfly Garden, Block 2:

Butterfly Garden, Block 3:

Yesterday I bought some hot pink to use for the applique hearts; still undecided about colours/fabrics to use for the butterflies and threads for some of the stitching - I'll think about that tomorrow.

I have a bit of a whinge - I bought 1 metre of the pink/white medallion print to use as the outer border on this quilt, thinking I could cut it to look like this:

Problem is the design is printed so crookedly on the material that if I cut the fabric so that the design is straight, the material will not be on the straight grain and I will need to buy more material because there isn't enough fabric if cutting it following the design, but, if I cut the material to be on the straight grain the design will be wonky. Anyway, I decided I'll buy some extra fabric, follow the design and be extra careful when the time comes to sew on the outer border.

13 April 2009

Butterfly Garden

Last October I bought a bundle of "Ava Rose" fat quarters and some yardage to put aside for "Butterfly Garden". My friend Peg and I decided that we would use the Easter break to start this quilt. Peg's first block is beautiful and all set for stitching and applique. I've just finished putting my first block together; the stitcheries are traced but I'm undecided about the applique (fabrics and stitching) - would love to have another go at needleturn - I'm hoping to pick up some tips when I go to Day of Inspired Stitches in 2 weeks.

We have had a huge amount of rain today. I hope it's also been falling into the dams.

Saturday we took Elizabeth back to Sydney then visited John's mother. Yesterday I finished off the row-by-row quilt - will take a photo when the rain clears up - and we had dinner with Mum. Today we had brunch with friends. This weekend seems to have been all about food. Not going back to work until next Monday; I'm hoping to spend some of that time in the sewing room.

11 April 2009

Happy Birthday Diann

Yesterday, Good Friday, was a dear friend's birthday (Miss Diann who shall remain blogless). This photo from a little while ago is a section of her birthday present up-close.

This is her present finished:

The bridesmaid's dress is almost finished - a bit of handsewing to do. Elizabeth is very happy with it, so I'm pleased. The style she chose suits her so well and she looks extremely elegant. Most of our family was over for dinner last night - Elizabeth cooked while I sewed (works for me).
Lorraine has a new toy - and she's loving it.

08 April 2009

The Boat That Rocked

A friend from work gave me 2 tickets to tonight's local premiere of "The Boat That Rocked" - fantastic movie and excellent soundtrack (always loved The Turtles). Great way to spend a couple of hours.

Almost finished the secret sewing and Elizabeth is coming down tomorrow night for a couple of days so that we (I) can make the bridesmaid's dress.

Four extra days off after Easter - have plans for a couple of the days but definitely looking forward to some time at home.


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