Tuesday, October 5, 2010

There's been a change in plans Barbie..........

I've spent the last couple of days making really slow great progress on Lily's quilt. With encouragement and phone tutoring from Lynda, I did away with the original 9 patch blocks on the quilt and replaced it with double Irish Chain.

I had to do a bit of deconstructing and reconstructing which I hate with a passion which I don't mind and have two more rows to sew together and add on.
I had to redo this squirrel (in the top right hand corner in the first photo) because I hadn't centred it properly and when I put the border on, the tail was in the border seam. Tried not to let it bug me and leave it there but.....nah. It bugged me.  I used this design twice. Just reversed it and changed the colours.
The embroideries are a mixture from the Sue Box designs 'Timeless Teddies' and 'Woodland Treasures'. I love her designs. They always stitch out beautifully and have excellent detail. I'm really pleased with the way the quilt is turning out. It's looking really pretty and will be a nice size when it's finished. My SIL has an obsession with washing which is the reason I've only done machine embroidery. Hopefully this quilt will hold up a bit better than the hand embroidered 'Little Chicken Feather' that I made for my other niece and which gets washed at least once a week. Yeeks!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy birthday.....

Yesterday, my baby turned 37! Yeeks! We celebrated with home made pizzas and lots of lounging around. What a great day!
I bought him a sweet little bonsai for his front verandah

and a good time was had by all.
The other good news is that I have finally finished the quilt I made for my gorgeous DIL. I took this photo of it while it was hanging on the line (the quilt hanger had gone to work) so it looks a lot dodgier than it is (I swear!!)
I did the quilting while I was in Kingaroy and am really chuffed with it.
Close up
and closer up.....photos are not great. It's quite overcast today, but you get the general idea. I took a photo of the back so you could be totally amazed and impressed with my quilting, but it didn't turn out.
This was a new sashing design I tried and I was really pleased with it. I did the roses in all the corner stones and leaves in between. Now I need to get going on quilting the tops I've made for Mum and my baby son for Christmas.....oh yes.....and finish the Irish Chain for niece Lily.....oh.....and Teddy Tea Party for niece Charlotte.  Heaps of time. There's lots of sleeps till Christmas......isn't there??

Monday, September 20, 2010

Honey....I'm home

Blimey! Is it really so long since I last posted??  Life and all its complications got in the road of my stitching and I lost my mojo! But Lynda was right all the time. My mojo was sitting on Marion's back verandah all the time!
My gorgeous daughter shouted me three fabulous days at one of my favouritest places in the whole world (or any other big place). The Quilters Rest at Kingaroy, run by the wonderful Marion and Alan. Ang decided I needed a break away. I don't think it was because I was sitting on the floor in the corner of the lounge, drooling and jabbering, but I could be wrong. So I set sail on Friday afternoon, armed with a heap of stuff and a vat of wine and after a lovely drive up, arrived in time to have a cup of coffee and the best banana cake I've ever eaten. There were five other ladies already there and had been partying since the day before.  I finally quilted Little Chicken Feather for my beautiful grandson and finished the binding on Sunday.  Here 'tis.....
I also quilted another quilt for my gorgeous daughter-in-law (still to finish binding, so photo to come) for her birthday next month. Was really chuffed with the quilting. I used the new Pfaff 18" quilting machine and I must say, the big throat area really made the job quick. The quilt above is 65" x 72" and it was done in about three hours (allowing for regular injections of red wine). I just did a loose meander on this one. I do love doing feathers though and learned the fast and easy way (which I am heavily into) from this book.
As I was getting ready to pack up and come home on the Monday, I received the dreadful news that the river was up over the guide rails and I would not be able to leave that day. You can imagine how I felt about having to stay longer but I put on a brave face and proceeded to make two long strips of this...
which will be teamed with this.....
to make this.

I bought all the fabric as listed for the pictured quilt and am marginally disappointed that the fabric is quite a bit brighter than shown in the magazine. However, I still like it and will be making it while my embroidery machine chugs along on some Sue Box embroideries. I am making a quilt for my newest niece, Lily and have done these so far...
The pink and cream 9 patches are not as dark as they appear in this photo so I am going to redo them, probably whack a pale green border around this lot and then maybe slip into a 2 1/2" square frenzy to make it bigger......or not. I also prepped three applique blocks of Teddlywinks Tea Party for my other niece, Charlotte, and have started on those as well. So it is all systems 'go' in this neck of the woods and today is cold, wet and dark........perfect for stitching!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy holidays....

School holidays with the grandbabies.....
Very unflattering photo!
Lots of chores over the school holidays. The veggie garden has been dug over, seeds planted and straw piled on top. The grandbabies are learning how to grow their own food and even have their own chook house. They have five chickens and they are going to sell the eggs at school (to help pay for their chickens!). So far, three eggs and the grandbabies are just delighted! They had a sleepover at Grandma's house on Sunday night and then we all went to the movies to see "Toy Story 3" on Monday. Maccas for lunch (Grandma eats healthy) and then to the playground. What a great day!
Managed to get my SBS blocks done. This is 'Contrary Wife' and it went together quite quickly. Not like.......
'Laurel Wreath' which was a nightmare!! I had to use lots of steam pressing to get this one looking half-way reasonable, and like 'New Mexico', this block is as done as it's going to be! I was going to paper piece it but that all went pear shaped so I unpicked it all and started again with the sewing machine. How come the photos of the good blocks look dodgy and the photos of the dodgy blocks look OK?? I got all organized and sorted out my Syvlia's Bridal Sampler fabrics into one bag, along with the templates and the book and sorted all the Farmer's Wife Sampler fabrics and fixings into another bag. Now they are starting to look like two separate projects. The blocks were all starting to look like each other and in fact, I think I'll shift a couple of SBS blocks into the FWS bag. 

Colds and man flu seem to have left us (thank the Lord!) and we have sunshine again. Yay for sunshine! I spent a few days last week sulking about the cold, dark days. There's something not right about having to have the house lights on in the middle of the day. Not good for my little psyche.  And speaking of things not being right, hubby bought a packet of home brand biscuits from Woolies the other day. Guess where they were made? India!!! What is THAT about?  I binned them. Is it really cheaper for Woolies to have biscuits made in India? Are there no biscuit makers in Australia? And what about all the foreign pork coming into Australia? Who knew? It will go nicely with the garlic from China. Remember? The people who brought you melamine in milk? Grrrr....... Off to do more sulking!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My life.....

has been looking like this for the past two weeks. What a nightmare! I only had a cold but hubby had Man Flu and we all know what that means!
So there hasn't been a lot of anything much happening around our way. Just lots of moaningand snorting and stuff.  But I did manage to finish my next wonky block for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler.
This block is called "Providence". One thing about so many pieces in a small block, you can certainly see how accurate (or otherwise!) your measuring is!  I made it with templates and I reckon that's for the birds. On having a closer look at some of the blocks in this quilt, it's certainly not the quick and simple project I thought it was!
I am still learning to knit and bought this gorgeous book at Spotlight at their sale, along with the wool to make this jumper. It's in shades of cream, pale blue and olivey-brown and sounds diabolical but is looking quite nice now that it's knitted up. So far, so good with the pattern (I think). I've nearly finished the back. The book has quite a few patterns that are marked as being 'easy' so I thought it was a good place to start. Time will tell! Will keep on with the beanies too. I bought a heap of multicoloured wool to do them, including some stuff from Lincraft in Toowoomba called Tasman Sport and it is in sports colours. Haven't tried that yet. I'm trying to be disciplined and finish one thing at a time. Ha! I don't have a good track record in that department!
And I've made a start on the zig zag quilt. Took me a while to get my head around putting this one together, let me tell you! And there'll be lots of pinning going on too. I seem to spend a lot of my life zigging when I should be zagging so I'll need to keep my (befuddled) wits about me with this one! And last, but certainly not least..........
ta dah!!!! I've finished the giant beanie! It's not as wonky as it looks here and I'm really quite pleased with the way it turned out. The reason I started knitting beanies was that I wanted to learn how to knit. My mother is a fabulous knitter and she is teaching me. My dear friend Lynda has also been encouraging me and giving me handy hints and even bought me.........
this gorgeous sock kit at the Sydney Quilt Show. How lucky am I and how gorgeous is that wool?? I love it. There is a lot more vibrant purple in the skein than is showing up here. I am so enjoying the knitting and would like to make at least one thing for each of my beautiful grandbabies.

Welcome to the world, baby Lily. My newest niece was born in Townsville yesterday at 2.05pm. Everyone is well, thank goodness. Can't wait to see her!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A fabulous weekend......

Who doesn't love a good road trip, especially with good friends?? Maurice was delighted to have his buddy Merc travel north to go on a road trip with him. There was some dispute as to who should drive.......
but it was quickly decided who was NOT driving! However, Merc and Maurice seemed happy enough with the decision.
Lynda and I did a little bit of shopping on Saturday and I bought this selection to make the Kaffe Fasset quilt. Sewco had a 25% off sale so it was a bargain, particularly since I also had some gift vouchers. This is going to be a lovely bright quilt and will be quick to make. The patches are quite large. I haven't decided on border fabrics yet and the pansey fabric isn't a definite either. It turned a bit blue when put with the other fabrics. It's actually quite purple looking when it's on its own. Still thinking on that one.
We all left on Sunday and headed north west. Called into Highlands, where we bought some hand made chocolates and other goodies. I picked up this little bundle to go with my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, but am now thinking I will keep it for The Farmer's Wife Sampler.
The colours are way nicer than they are showing here. The browns are cocoa brown and the green is a lovely dusky green. We stayed in Toowoomba on Sunday night, had an extremely yummy breakfast there on Monday morning and then did a spot more retail therapy. Called into Lincraft - what a fabulous range they had there. Then on to Smiggle where I couldn't let this gorgeous little selection go by!
A purple electronic sharpener, two purple suede pencils, two purple ink pens, a purple pig eraser and a gorgeous slim line purple pen. Love it! John also bought an electronic sharpener and we had a fat time together when we got home, sharpening pencils!

We set sail for home and called into Rudd's Pub for lunch.  Got home Sunday evening and had toasted sandwiches for dinner - very casual!  Lynda, John and Merc packed up and headed south this morning, so the party is over for me......but what a fabulous weekend! And what about.........
my excellent pink beanie!! Complete with (sparse) pom pom. There were a few snide remarks about my pom pom so I'll need to sharpen up my pom pom skills! Do they hold pom pom classes anywhere?? I made it on a pom pom maker but am thinking I need to try again with the cardboard. I did make one of the cardboard but went skew whiff somewhere and when I cut it apart, I ended up with a handful of chopped up wool! Gads! Which is why I bought the pom pom maker.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Christmas finish......

Ooops! Not a great photo! This is the little pin cushion I made for the mini-gift in my Early Bird Christmas Crafting. I am so happy with it. I got the pattern from here and as a very beginner, it took me a while to get the hang of it but then it was very easy. The photo shows more of my flowers than the pin cushion, but you get the general idea. It didn't take me very long to make it and I'm going to make one for myself as well. I love it! So that is two gifts ready for Christmas. Cannot believe it! I am becoming hooked on knitting and crocheting but Lynda says I have to back off a bit or I will be in strife with another stash - i.e. wool! I am also knitting a pair of slipper socks and another beanie.
And speaking of flowers, this gorgeous rose was waiting for me this morning. It is just beautiful and gets bigger and bigger as it opens up. The perfume is so strong that it will waft into the lounge room occasionally. How special is that?
Hmmmm......Now what in the world could this little stash be for???? It is going to be my next project for my Christmas Crafting! The embroidery was done on my 300E and turned out perfectly. I was so happy with it. Can't wait to sew this one up. I love the colours and it turns out that the pink fabric is a perfect match for the embroidery, even though it doesn't really look like it here.

Totally excited about my visitors who will turn up some time tomorrow! Yaahh!! It is still cold here so we'll have jail food for dinner. I am thinking stew and sticky date pud (not in the same bowl though!). Saturday we'll visit some patchwork shops and maybe go to the movies. Sunday and Monday will see us road tripping! What an excellent way to spend a long weekend. Better go buy some food to feed the hungry travellers and then put the fire hose though the house!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Christmas Finish.....

Yeeha! Magoo might not qualify for a mini-gift but he certainly qualifies for Early Bird Christmas Crafting because he is a Christmas present for The Sweet One. It is a Melly and Me pattern that I bought ages ago a little while back and was going to make him for last Christmas. It was a total pain in the butt a tad cumbersome to blanket stitch his eyes on, after the head was attached and stuffed. If I made him again, I would put the eyes on first. Here is Magoo, relaxing in the garden. One of his friends drives around in a little black Merc but Magoo figures he might as well become used to an uncomfortable life. I am really chuffed to get this done and feel quite motivated for keep going on my Christmas craft.
What a busy weekend! I also got the Diamond Friendship block for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler done. It is block N-10 in the quilt and after the nightmare of New Mexico, it was very encouraging to be able to do this block. Clearly my pressing skills are a tad minimal but we can do that later. Just wondering whether I should make another 'announcement' to Lynda, since she has also done her block. Hmm...methinks I will leave it for a bit. I know she is madly packing for the road trip.
Tadaaah! Here is the beginnings of my second funny hat excellent beanie! I decided not to put the pom pom on the navy beanie but will definitely putting one on this. I am really enjoying the knitting, something I never thought I'd say. So that was how I spent my weekend and most of today.

I guess I better get out of my jammies now and do a quick whip around before Bill the Builder descends on me! Time flies when you've having fun!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Was trying to put Dawn Hay Designs on my blog and couldn't get it to appear. Guess why? Because Dawn's blog is now called "As Sweet as Cinnamon", that's why! What a lovely blog. Go check it out!

Friday, June 4, 2010

To pom or not to pom...

Still Life with Beanie

.....that is the question.  Mum says to definitely pom, Paul said no, Lynda said yes and Angela just laughed. The pattern doesn't have a pom pom on it but Mum and Lynda say it ain't a beanie if it ain't pommed.  I think I'll have to go with the experts.  This beanie is going to be donated to a wonderful group called Knitting for Brisbane's Needy. The group is run by a lovely lady, Karen, and everyone knits, crochets or sews items to be donated. The items are given away to people in need and in this cooler weather, there is a great demand for the items. I can think of little worse than being homeless and cold. How can this happen in a country like Australia?

While The Sweet One and I were wandering around Lincraft in a daze yesterday, I spotted this book on sale. Is that a sign or what?? Naturally, I bought it and have been munching Mint Slice biscuits and leafing through it.  From the little I know, it seems to be really good. It has a pattern for what they say is a simple baby jacket, so I am going to have a crack at that, after I finish my next beanie (already started!) The Sweet One asked me if I was going to make another funny hat, but I'm not going to dwell on that. He's 2 1/2. What would he know?

I girded my loins and attacked my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler block, New Mexico. What a freaking nightmare that was! I unpicked it three times and it still looks a bit dodgy but that is the finished article, let me tell you. The cream and brown bits are foundation pieced so explain to me how they could possibly turn out wonky????? Wonky they are but let me tell you, wonky they are staying! I ain't unpicking it again!

I was thinking of mowing the lawn next, but then I thought I should attack the massive amount of ironing but now I'm overwhelmed by all that so I think I'll just sew. It's a beautiful day!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sewing room revisited...

This is looking from the carport door, into the room. The beautiful cabinet on the left was made by my son for my birthday and it is to hold all my cones of embroidery thread. It is to go on a wall, if ever when I work out where to put it. The TV in front of the bookcase is to be dumped, as is the old sideboard and stereo system beside the laundry door (LHS). I really like the sideboard, but it needs a lot of restoring and I don't have anywhere to put it anyway....so she's gorn!

The cupboards under this window hold most of my papercraft stuff (excluding scrapbook stuff) and the big cupboard to the right of that has (carefully labelled!) storage boxes, stabilizers, fabric and stuff like that.

 This is the doover and behind that are my embroidery machine, my computer that holds my embroidery designs and the fabric cupboard (also made by my son). The cupboards that they sit on hold cones of embroidery thread (till I can move them to the other cupboard) a box of tops to be quilted, hundreds a couple of UFOs and some scrapbooking stuff. The trollys just to the right of the fabric cupboard are my sewing trolly and my scrapbooking trolly.

And this is my sewing area with two tables behind it. I use the tables for cutting. I don't know why, but the whole setup is marginally inconvenient so I haven't hung up any of my dollies or my clock or anything. Bill the Builder will have a total meltdown something to say if  I start whacking nails into the wall and then need to yank them out again.  The cone cupboard is a hell of a lot somewhat larger than I expected so I have a quandry with placing that as well.
These whopping great goofy boots have found their way into my room. I suspect the Imelda of the building world Bill the Builder was staking a small claim. Said boots have since been removed! The floor isn't as diabolical as it looks, although it is just polished concrete. It is easy to vacuum and I just do it as part of my normal vacuuming. I still have a whopping great cupboard in the laundry full of stuff and haven't quite worked out where I'm going to relocate that too, although most of it should probably go to Vinnies or the dump. In the unlikely event When the sideboard goes, I'll put a low level bookcase there to hold my pattern books, embroidery disks and stuff like that. At the moment, it is also in the laundry cupboard.  Suggestions welcome!

But what about................
my excellent beanie!! It's finished now except I don't know how to get it off the needle so am speeding over to Mum's soon for beanie removing lessons. I am so chuffed with it. Mum was quite vicious somewhat puzzled about my design feature down the bottom but I thought it looked OK.  Besides, I wasn't about to pull it out.

Still wet here. Hope the weather improves before Lynda and John get here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Christmas is coming....

and it's not that far away!! Here is a dodgy photo of the front of my Early Bird Christmas Crafting journal.  It is made up of some test stitching I did on my Janome 300E and some Christmas blocks that a forum friend and I swapped some years back.
And here is an even dodgier one of the back. I've written up my lists and am ready to go. This is going to be the Christmas where I am organized and ready! No more sewing labels on Boxing Day, no more yank-backs! I will be ready.

Cold, dark and overcast here today so it'll be jail food for dinner tonight. It's perfect stitching weather too. I am going to do some work on my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, mainly resew a squiffy block I made. This one turned out OK although the colours are better than they show in this photo.
This is Yankee Puzzle and is block I-9 in the quilt. The one I have to resew is New Mexico. I've unpicked it three times now. It's a pretty block but has nightmare measurements like 15/16ths! Who dreams up blocks with those measurements?? I didn't have a 15/16ths measurer so did it by eye, which clearly was not an accurate measurement! It was really wonky but showed up as even wonkier in the photo so couldn't possibly post that. Might have to extend the deadline on this one!
Flowers for me from Paulie. What a nice boy he is! They were to thank me for looking after The Sweet One while he and Ang went to the movies. Aren't they just beautiful? Pity they smell like cat pee (the flowers, not Ang and Paulie!). Oh well. I'll just burn more incense.

And the high spot is that the knitting is coming along nicely! Still struggling with the needle in the sleeve issue but we'll get there.