30 November 2011

It's that time of year ...

Like many others, lots of secret sewing is happening in my sewing room.  Some presents to be parceled up and posted in the next couple of weeks and some to be wrapped for under the Christmas Tree.

John and I have been busy cleaning and tomorrow we will start decorating the house for Christmas.  On Saturday John will visit the tree farm to buy/chop down our tree.

We've had a couple of trips to Sydney in the last few days.  Mum and I went to see Schools Spectacular on Saturday afternoon - such a magnificent show, while John went to the Motorbike Show at the Exhibition Centre, next to the Entertainment Centre.  After that we met up with Jenni and Elizabeth and had dinner together - they'd been to the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Power House Museum.  Yesterday the car was booked in for a service at the dealer we bought it from in Sydney, so John and I spent the day Christmas and birthday shopping (it's Mum's 84th birthday on Sunday).  Mum has already given me her Christmas present list:  two bags of premium potting mix and one bag of dynamic lifter.

I love Christmas and am looking forward to re-discovering all our decorations and favourite goodies over the next couple of days.

21 November 2011

The Cake

Yesterday was cake-making day at Elizabeth's place to raise funds for Red Cross.  By the time we arrived the cake was decorated and ready to be assembled.  We ate it for sweets after our bbq lunch - delicious.  Double chocolate fudge layer cake on the bottom level and burned butter, caramel and cardomon layer cake on the top level.

Elizabeth and Matt were so pleased that they cake stayed assembled long enough for the many photos.  We are so proud of Elizabeth's effort - she raised $450.  More photos here.

Another cot quilt is finished.

Today's class with Deborah Louie was great - I learned lots of tips and tricks relating to the Aurora 440QE.  Some Christmas sewing tomorrow before having lunch with some retired work friends and dinner/pictures with a girlfriend.  Love this new life.

We also saw Michael and Peta yesterday.  Wedding plans are progressing - Peta has had a meeting with her dress designers, she's pretty much decided on the bridesmaids' dresses and made a start on the bonbonieres.

19 November 2011

Ruffles 'n' Rows

Yesterday I sewed up the Ruffles 'n' Rows quilt (Natalie Bird design) using the lovely, bright LakeHouse Dry Goods fabrics I bought last week and fabrics from my stash.  I made the suffolk puffs while watching "Young Victoria" and "Elizabeth" last night.  "Elizabeth" is so gruesome in places but Cate Blanchett is sensational.

The quilt is too long to photograph is one go on my design sheet.  I'll get a better photo when the quilt is finished.  The quilt is for my great-niece for Christmas.

The backing is made up of wide strips of some of these fabrics.

One of today's jobs is to sew these pieces together, sew on the suffolk puffs tonight while watching tv and another is to find the requirements for a class I'm going to on Monday with Deborah Louie, to learn about all the features of my Aurora 440.

Also finished a quick tablerunner out of Fig Tree's Whimsy this week.  It will go onto the Christmas present shelf.  The pinwheels are from charm squares leftover from another quilt I have cut out and hope to start soon.

We are going to a bbq at Elizabeth and Matt's place tomorrow - Elizabeth is cooking the cake for her Red Cross fundraiser and there will be crowd there to help eat it.

Beautiful weather today - hope it stays around for a while.

17 November 2011

Simple Arithmetic

Distance between my house and Canberra CBD?

8 Tarts.

I haven't sewn any of these for a few weeks -amazing how little hand-sewing I've done since I finished work.  No more lunch-time stitching.

Pies and Tarts
I have enough pies sewn to their background fabrics to make another 3 rows and plenty of tarts ready to fill in the spaces - except for the last 8 they were all made in lunch-times over the last few months at work.

We went for a drive to Canberra yesterday so that John could visit this exhibition at the Canberra Museum and Gallery

A private collection of vintage motorbikes - all running and ridden often - from early 20th century till 1960's.  I think John would have loved to have a couple of these in his garage.  After lunch and a wander around Civic, we wanted to visit another exhibition at the National Gallery but the bridge over the lake was closed to traffic as Mr Obama had just landed.

Last night I cut out a quilt from all those lovely LakeHouse Dry Goods fabrics - Row by Row designed by Natalie Bird.  I hope to have it finished by Christmas for my great-niece.

Another cot quilt is finished.

Teddy Bear Playtime

14 November 2011


Last week I received a text message from a local quilt shop advising the shop was closing down.  All fabrics were $10/metre and everything else was 50% off.  While feeling sad that another quilt shop is closing its doors, Sharon, Paula and I did our best to contribute to their closing down sales figures.

Fabrics, ruler, patterns, templates, blades, needles, threads

I bought the three fabrics on the left in the sale and they tone in so well with other Lakehouse Dry Goods fabrics, plus a few others, in my stash - plenty of plans for these fabrics.

The big bargain of the shopping trip?

A new sewing machine for the frame - at 50% off, how could I leave the machine in the shop? I've been looking for a larger-throated machine for a while now.  Haven't unpacked the machine yet as the quilting I've been doing over the weekend has been ditch-stitching small quilts.

Twirling Teddy Bears

Criss Cross - love the Peter Rabbit flannel backing

 And, lastly, the rosebud I showed last week, has bloomed.  This is a big deal for us - 2 roses now on the archway.

Pierre De Rosnard

11 November 2011

Butterfly Garden

In October 2008 I bought a f/q pack of Ava Rose fabrics to make Butterfly Garden, designed by Leanne Beasley.  In April 2009 I started making the blocks.  Last night the final stitch was sewn.

"Butterfly Garden" -  62" x 62"

I am so happy that this quilt is finished - it's taken a very long time to make.  Leanne had a hand in choosing the colour of the fabric for the butterflies and hearts when I had a chat to her in Adelaide at the time I was just starting to make the blocks.  I'm still not 100% convinced that needleturn and I are friends.

Might get back to "Gingham Girls - My Favourite Things" one day soon and when that's finished I'll think about starting "Down in the Garden".  Too many beautiful quilt choices from our talented Australian designers.
 Elizabeth has entered The Impossible Cake Challenge, which is a fund-raiser for the Australian Red Cross, taking place tomorrow.

All you have to do is click on the link – http://www.redcrossfundraising.org.au/elizabeth_hezemans  - from the web page you can make a donation and also leave a comment as to what cake you think she should bake.
The top 3 suggestions so far are below, pick one of these or suggest one of your own -

09 November 2011

Almost Done

Big progress has been made this week quilting Butterfly Garden and I finished the quilting late yesterday afternoon.  The binding is sewn on ready to be stitched down.

We've had some big storms the last couple of days - very tropical weather here lately.

Another cot quilt top is finished and I have 2 others cut out ready to sew up but first I'll pin and quilt some of the finished tops. 

A couple of weeks ago a girlfriend showed me a book she'd bought which explains how you take a striped fabric, eg

Cut it into squares, then quarter-square triangles and re-arrange the triangles to make different patterns, eg

I think it's brilliant.  Might make some cushion covers out of these when they're sewn together.

05 November 2011

Lady of Leisure?

I don't know about that - I've had one day at home this week and the diary for next week is looking just as busy.

In amongst the socialising, I've done some sewing - finished off the cot quilt tops I started a couple of weeks ago.

Teddy Bears

 Cut out some more quilt tops and finished two of those (no quilting yet).

Double Hourglass with sashings
Ric-rac and Spots
Made up sample blocks of a couple of the cut-out quilt tops

Love this block - the blue spot is flannel and is so soft and cuddly
Next week, in amongst more socialising and appointments, will be quilting week.  First up with be more quilting on Butterfly Garden - I'd love to have that quilt finished off this year.

And the big news at our place this week?

Both of the climbing roses on our front trellis have rosebuds.  We are so excited.  Neither of us are gardeners.  I hope that when the buds open no-one steals the flowers.  A large branch was broken off our frangipanni tree last summer when the flowers bloomed - the poor tree is now very lopsided.

02 November 2011


Last year I knitted loads of baby/toddler garments but didn't sew up many of them.  I need a baby present for this week, so sewed up this jumper and pants set - it's so cute.

Knitted in Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8 ply Wool, Panda Pattern, size 6 months
Our dear friends, Phil and Louise, should be grandparents by the end of tomorrow - here's hoping all goes well for Lorretta and Sean tomorrow and their baby boy arrives safely and quickly.

The last few days, I've been so very fortunate to receive some beautiful presents as well as the gorgeous bicycle.

White gold/diamond pendant from Mum and my brother; pink pearl earrings from the children; sapphire and diamond earrings from Tammy; gold bangle from John; crystal perfume bottle from a dear retired friend; diary and Bronwyn Hayes felt flower from Kerryn, a sweetie who works at the Steelworks and recently joined our stitching group.
I received phonecalls and messages from people I haven't worked with for years, flowers, cards.  As I said, so very fortunate.

01 November 2011


Friday was a wonderful day at work - I only cried in the morning after Tammy started crying when I arrived in the office.  Phil, my boss, had organised a huge bbq for everyone in Engineering as there were about 30 people leaving that day.

Friday night we had a farewell function at the local Golf Club for the 8 people leaving our area.  It was a lovely way to end the day.  Many of our retired people came along and it was wonderful to be able to share the night with the friends I'd made during the 22+ years and my family.   I even managed to read through my speech without tears- so many funny interjections helped greatly.

Phil saying a few kind words about me.  I wore The Shoes.
Elizabeth and Matt
Jenni and Michael
Mum and Me
With Phil and Paula
On Saturday afternoon John took me shopping to buy a retirement present - she is so cute.
My sister-in-law named her "Pinky Tuscadero"
 After much encouraging/hassling from family friends

has opened on Etsy.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...