Saturday, December 24, 2011

Season's Greetings

Happy Christmas and very best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Town Square

It seems absolutely ages since I attempted a block of the Nine Patch Nirvana quilt, but after successfully tackling a Sentimental Journey block yesterday, and with time on my hands [!!] out came the fabric for block 4.
It is easy to see how this block was named Town Square:  four substantial red brick buildings in the outer corner of the square ... church, school, library and council chambers?    Or do you have other ideas?  Grassy paths lead to the town square where folks congregate and exchange news and gossip.  The cream pieces?  Shops and other incidentals to daily life.

These blocks are a breeze, a lot less work than the Sentimental Journey and I feel guilty at such a quick finish; almost feel the need to start another!  But!  Commonsense does reign at times. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

As Time Goes By

Block 4 in the Sentimental Journey quilt is completed!  At the beginning of December I wondered if time would allow its start, little alone completion, but this morning I posted off what I think is the end of my Christmas mail, came home, had a coffee, read a little short story, and decided to start on Block 4, As Time Goes By ... time might go by too fast if that start wasn't made.

In spite of a muggy early afternoon I cut and stitched; a cooler strong wind whistled past the sewing machine in the mid afternoon; a decided plus!
Result ... block 4 finished ... and no need to think about block 5 until next month ... next year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A bell and cushions

Yesterday a very exciting game of cricket was played in Tasmania, Australia; the New Zealand Black Caps V Australia.  After a disappointing loss, for the Kiwis, in the 1st test, and what I believed to be a not so flash start to the 2nd Test, suddenly on Day 4, the game became interesting.  Washing, of clothes and floors, completed there were several other pressing tasks for my day, but with the likely chance of NZ cleaning up the Aussies on the cricket pitch I had to find a small project to justify my sitting and listening to the game.

Several weeks ago, at another Garage Sale, I picked up a plain wooden bell shape of wood, thinking that one day I might do something with it.  For the princely sum of 10cents who could leave such a bargain behind?  A container of paints yielded red and green, and an impressive bronze shade.  It wasn't difficult to trace two bunches of holly leaves onto the bell, and sitting in my armchair, I painted and listened to the enthralling, though often scary game.  Would NZ win?  I hoped so.  Significant Other left the room ... he has not the heart for the highs and lows of a game of cricket at the crunch!

All was well ... NZ won the cricket with seven runs in hand, and I completed painting and embellishing the bell, that will be added to our Christmas decorations.

For several days, weeks in fact, as the urge only comes upon me at the 11th hour, I have been sewing.  Last night I completed the last of my hand-crafted gifts, a cushion.  On a count-up the tally of cushions made over the last wee while exceeds half a dozen.  There is something about cushions!  They don't take long to make, and if given as gifts the thought of colour and stitching fulfils the creative mood of the moment.

These two cushions, going to different people, indeed different countries, are part of a family of patterns I saved for 'the future'.  I seem to recall making another last year as well. 

The colours selected are, hopefully, if my intuition is correct, suitable for the recipients.  Anyway, I did enjoy making them!  'Tis a pity this house is not large ... in all honesty there are few corners left for another cushion, but ... gifts?  I am sure my mind will come up with more ideas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gift giving

Near the beginning of this year I determined that many of the gifts I sent would be 'handmade', as somehow Christmas has become so commercial as to be ridiculous.

I did begin early stashing completed items away in a big plastic box.  Yet once again as the 25th draws near and as I found patterns crying out to be made, I have engaged in a rush to make more.  Already that box is empty; many gifts that needed posting are winging their way across the oceans, and I am still stitching.

This little table topper has a simple charm.  Over the years I have purchased fat q's of Christmas fabric, having I will confess, no particular project in mind.  Two or three early in the season, followed by another couple in the sales does tend to appreciate [as interest in a bank?].  Two table toppers down, a third, that is destined to stay at home, almost complete.  And, there is fabric for another two or three next year!  Oh, I will need to purchase fabric for the outer border, but isn't that what sale time is for?
This table topper would look equally delightful in colours to suit a particular kitchen or dining room ... that idea is in the back of my mind for an easy sewing project during the year.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A New Toy

When I purchased my first computer, in New Zealand, a scanner and printer were included in the 'deal'.  Alas, when selling-up a decision had to be made; the computer, and its associated accessories were passed on to youngest son ... there was neither rhyme nor reason to cart their combined bulk across the Tasman.

I may have mentioned previously that a normal Saturday morning often includes a visit to a garage sale.  Sometimes there are bargains, sometimes not; the fun is in looking.  This morning came up trumps!  No 1 house offered girl's clothing ~ not in the market for that; it also had an excellent selection of books, and in spite of the fact that we need yet another bookcase, I chose three.

House No 2 didn't look promising from the road.  A few trestle tables that didn't appear heavily laden clung to the walls of the garage, almost like a wall flower at a dance sitting unobtrusively in the certainty she would be bypassed by the roaming males.  But ... on closer inspection I spied a scanner; same brand as what I previously owned, and this time the CD was included [unlike a scanner for sale several months ago minus the all important CD ... the lady in charge that day looked blank at my enquiry for the relevant CD ... I often wonder if she managed to find a buyer]. 

The scanner is home and installed.  What use is a scanner if one doesn't use it!?  Finding a black and white photo all of 40 years old I tried my luck.  In spite of not having a clue what to do the image appeared, albeit as faded as the original.  Not a problem.  I have another programme to sort that.

I had heard that some folks use their scanner, in place of a camera, for craft work.  OK ... Just having completed a hexagon mug rug suitable for Christmas I placed it in the scanner, pushed a button, and hey presto ...

I see now that in my haste the mug-rug wasn't placed squarely, but it did work.  Little gifts, like this, will end up at someone's house in time for December 25th.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas is Coming

Christmas with all its excitement is looming!  As I was presented with a little grandchild earlier in the year what else could a doting Nana do but make a little gift, one that will last for several years.

Deciding between a stocking or a Santa Sack a search through my library of magazines made the choice easy ... a Santa Sack.  Santa is taking it easy at the moment ... afterall he has a few weeks before his round-the-world trip!
For his first Christmas I will fill the sack; while his parents will have that pleasure in the coming years.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christmas Swag

Since the end of September Sew Happy Sewalong has given instructions for a Christmas swag.  In a fit of determination each week I printed the instructions and stitched the block.  While not complicated the simplicity of each block makes for an effective Christmas swag. 

This afternoon the project was completed, albeit with a few variations; beads for eyes, buttons and holly berries, and buttons to hold the pieces together rather than a long strip.  Should you desire to make a similar swag, with or without your variations, the pattern is available from Sew Happy Sewalong website.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ain't Misbehavin'

Block 3 of the Sentimental Journey quilt is now complete with improved results.  A great tip from Vicki has definitely improved my points.  Her suggestion was to spray starch the pieces before stitching, and although I had read that somewhere before the hint had not sunk in.  This time I spray starched some of the pieces, as a comparision, and what a difference!  Next time I will use it for all the block! 

At the moment the three completed blocks are lying on the top of the couch looking good.  Only another nine to go, plus the borders etc. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Butterfly Dreaming

I have a dear little grandson who will be one year old early in the New Year.  When visiting him not long after his birth I purchased The Enormous Turnip, a book greatly favoured by his Dad when he began school.  Speaking on the phone recently my son related how Grandson loves The Enormous Turnip ... his lovely Mum reads it to him regularly and he sits and listens.  I am thrilled as I am a great believer of obtaining a child's interest in books at an early age.

It was suggested that Grandson would 'love The Very Hungry Caterpillar' book.  I requested they not buy it ... that privilege was mine.  The pop-up version of the book is ordered and will arrive later in the month.  A book needs a bag; a bag that can double as a library bag.  

A quick hunt through my magazine 'library' turned up a pattern ... the bag is complete, but instead of a caterpillar on just one side, I made it double sided.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A chance to win!!

Vicki of is offering a marvellous chance, well 5 chances in all, of winning an EQ7.  What an opportunity.  Hop over there and enter in the fun ... good luck!

A Moment for Bragging

Every so often a girl needs to brag just a little; you know the moment when you realise what you have completed is actually rather nice.

Recently I was in another swap, this time the swap was a mystery ... to the recipient, though for some time what I would make remained a mystery to me as well.  Finally I decided on a table topper, an article that might  be of some use.  Knowing, from another swap, my swapee's choice of colours made the selection of cottons easy.  A pattern from one of my many [I could admit to having a few plastic boxes of magazines containing patterns, but will refrain from saying what size of box] hoarded magazines provided inspiration with every stitch. 

Duly completed and posted off, received and opened, allows me to show a photo of the table topper.
I will admit that the temptation to make another one for myself, and maybe as a gift next Christmas to a family member, is great. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sentimental Journey Quilt ~ Block 2

October, a new month, and another block in the Sentimental Journey block.

I delayed starting this second block as I had other works in progress that needed finishing, especially a Mystery Swap, which needless to say, shall remain a mystery until the end of the month.  Suffice to say ... it is completed!
When November comes around I must remember to cut block three one day, and sew it the next.  I made the mistake this time of beginning cutting after lunch, with the idea the whole exercise would be complete by my bedtime.  Wrong!  For some reason I didn't cut all the pieces, and after sitting sewing realised my mistake.  By then tiredness crept over me, but at least I could see progress.

In the beginning I was tempted to 'race ahead' and do them all, but that madness has dissipated!  One a month is enough, though I am pleased with the final effect.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Is there anybody else having my problem.  There are so many lovely blogs and I wish to comment; unfortunately I can't ... the reason 

We are sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.

The following errors were found:

Input error: Cookie value is null for FormRestoration

It appears on blogs whose comments are embedded, and  is so frustrating.  Like a merry-go-round, round and round and round, but going nowhere.

Does anyone know how to rectify this problem?  I would appreciate your input. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Whats in a Name

Dawn is asking how our blog name came about.  There are so many different names out there in Blogland, each as varied as their owner.

I thought long for a name ... my name is Shirley but upon my arrival in Australia I found that name quickly became Shirl ... it does appear to be an Australian thing to alter a name!  When I began my blog I simply combined my Aussie name with the place where I live and added sessions as my crafting does tend to come in waves, or sessions.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Down on the Farm Swap and another Mug Rug

Recently, in our Craft Forum, I participated in a Down on the Farm swap, which in essence allowed us to send something of a 'farming' nature to our partner.

Jeanette and I were paired up, and I made her a cushion, and included in the parcel a little 'sit on the shelf' cow.

Jeanette's parcel for me arrived yesterday.  Inside was the most gorgeous 'cow' doll, named Milkshake.  Her pockets were decorated with two 'cow' buttons, and around her neck she wore a cow bell.  Milkshake had a name tag on the back of her head, instantly giving this bovine a name.

As well as Milkshake Jeanette included some scrummy 'Bilby' chocolates, which didn't last long!  Chocolate is made for eating!  And that wasn't all ... a notebook with a cow on the front added to the surprise.

Our Craft Forum gives us the opportunity to participate in swaps of many types.  Another swap recently completed was a Mug Rug; this was sent to the UK

and I received a lovely mug rug from Celine in return.  Do you see the cute Teddy Bear tree trunk?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Four Score

Block 3 of the Nine Patch Nirvana quilt is named Four Score ... in this photo it looks puckered, but let me assure you that it isn't so.  After taking the photo I checked and couldn't see what the photo shows ... must be a Gremlin!
For anyone wishing to tackle a patchwork block quilt I recommend this Nirvana quilt as it it relatively easy to put together, and takes little time for each block.

The colours showing in this photo are more true than the previous two ... perhaps the impending rain has altered the atmosphere?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ask and Answer

Block 1 for the Nine Patch Nirvana Quilt BOM has the intriguing name of Ask and Answer, which is pretty logical!  Greatly enthusiastic I cut the pieces for this block last night, and this morning, after racing through the chores, of which washing was the major, I sat at the machine and sewed.

This block came together relatively easy and enthusiasm has not yet departed!

The completed blocks will have the lime green fabric [previous post] sashing, followed by a border of the deep raspberry, then a wide floral border, another deep raspberry, and bound with the lime green ... which should make for a quilt that won't get lost.

Five hours later ...

While still in the mood, I cut, sewed, and photographed Block 2, with the title of Something Borrowed.   Sorry I haven't used blue! 
I am enjoying making these blocks, which are simple, but accuracy is most important ... accuracy in cutting, and accuracy in keeping ¼" seam.  I would be untruthful to state I didn't have to use the quick unpick ~ but one seam needed a second attempt. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A new Quilt

It must be the time of year ... whatever that means!  The creative bug needs feeding.

I mentioned earlier that I am making a BOM quilt in Our Craft Forum.  I have no wish to race ahead and complete this project in a shorter period than designated ... there is a great temptation to do just this!! 

Yesterday, whilst shopping for fabric, it just happened that a selection of fabric, suitable for another BOM quilt, Nirvana, dropped into my shopping trolley, and not wishing to be nasty and toss it away, I of course, purchased same ... along with matching cottons.  As I am not tackling this quilt with others I am completely free to do it in the time span that suits my wishes; be it three months, or six.

The colours of fabrics available this season are vibrant and colourful ... the finished quilt should look great!  Another plus is the fact that I will have more practice in matching points.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Mug Rug

Rug Mugs are fascinating little projects to make, and the variation is as endless as your imagination ... and talent!

My swapee in the Craft Forum suggested that the mug rug I made for her could find a home in her bedroom decorated in lime green, cream, purple and chocolate brown.  I hope she is happy with the result that is at this moment winging its way across to the  UK.

I sometimes wonder just how inattentive I can be!  The number of times I have forgotten to take a photo of the hexi swap flower is becoming embarrassing.  This time the envelope had slipped into the post box when the realisation dawned.  Maybe next month I will be less remiss?!
To compensate I have taken a photo of the lovely hexi flowers I have received.  I requested either blue or green flowers with a cream centre; the add-ons are ones I have made in a moment of boredom!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Another Month

September and Spring arrive hand in hand, though the weather seems to lean back towards winter at the moment.  All the better to sit indoors and stitch!

Our Craft Forum has several swaps on the go, which gives me plenty to think about, and skills to put into practice.  The Row x Row Round Robin is almost at an end so I have spread my wings a little and put my hand up for other projects.

The mug rug swap proved interesting allowing scope for a small scale project to show a little imagination.  Mug rugs are on my list of possible Christmas gifts; this latest effort may be the first of many.
As well three of the ladies from the Craft Forum decided to do a BOM, Sentimental Journey, and invited those willing to join in.  For more details check out Vicki's blog.  With a little trepidation I have completed the first block, Stars Fell on Alabama, and am more or less happy with the result, especially considering that this is the first time I have tackled such a large block.  Since joining the Craft Forum I have extended myself well beyond my wildest dreams ... three years ago patchwork and quilting were crafts I wondered if I could do.  Sometimes it does pay to jump in and try!
I have ideas aplenty and fear that I will need to live to be well over 120 before I have a hope of tackling all of them, and no doubt by then the list will have grown even further. 

It does seem that as I flick through magazines it is cushions that capture my attention the most ... sadly a home can only have so many cushions!    A cushion I recently completed ...
As Christmas approaches it appears imperative I make a list!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mug Rug

Our Craft Forum's forthcoming swap is a small one; something we can make in a day or two ... a mug rug.  I have previously made a few mug rugs, but decided that in view of the forthcoming swap I would  refresh myself on the basics.
This particular mug rug will fly to Otago ... blue and gold being Otago colours.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


While it has been some time since I posted that time has not been idly spent.  The sewing machine, and I, have been busy.

When I first purchased the Janome, my first real electric machine, I thought the stubborn foot-control was simply my lack of experience.  Although the machine is only three and a half years old from the beginning I had to 'put my foot down' more than once to get the machine to work.  Recently it became more stubborn; sometimes racing ahead stitching even with my foot off the pedal.  I knew then the fault lay more in the foot-control than my foot/brain co-ordination, and after a chat with the shop where it was purchased I discovered these foot-controls sometimes need repairing, or replacing.  Mine was replaced last weekend.  Now I have a machine that works perfectly and is a pleasure to use.

Since my last posting I did make a reversable apron for a swap, but forgot to take a picture, much to my regret as it was rather cute.  And of course I have stitched a few hexagons for swaps and didn't bother to photograph them either.

After completing another row for the Round Robin in a Tam's Patch block, I decided the block was rather lovely, and simple ... an added bonus.  As my stash has grown considerably [one buys fabric knowing that one day they will be useful!], and having colours that went well I decided to update 'my chair'.
This chair, while not exactly the most modern, is comfortable and allows me to sit with my feet curled under me [a favourite position] while I embroider, or sew bindings on quilts, or read, or do cryptic crosswords etc.  The chair was purchased for the mighty sum of $5 from a garage sale, or was it the Op Shop ... I forget now, but that is by the by.  It was covered in Autumn toned fabric, which was rather dating.  A small project, not only to add to the chairs charms, but also to allow me to wallow in the freedom of my new foot-control pedal, I have made a quilt cover for the chair.  In choosing to quilt this cover I am attempting to improve my quilting skills in readiness for when [WHEN] I have completed The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt, which I know will be a long task.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quilt and matching cushions

The sewing machine has been busy these past few days with the last stitch in place only moments ago.  Not to mention tying in all those ends!

Though the block pattern is easy the fabric gives the substance.  I had the brilliant green in my stash box for some time, originally purchased it for a project I forget what.  That project never left the ground!  When thinking about a birthday gift for my son undergarments, T-shirts, and other wearables hardly made the list.  I suppose it might be true to say I have taken to this quilting lark and look for any excuse to make another.
As I expect this quilt to find a place on the couch ... a warm cover for cold wintery nights ... a couple of matching cushions may be handy.  The quilt is backed with a warm flannel and I machined stitched 'wavy lines' for the quilting.  In the Ditch would not have given the same effect, whereas the wavy lines were just as simple, and in this case, I think, more effective.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Ladybugs ... or what I call them Ladybirds, though when one gives the matter some thought, of course they are bugs.  But ... bugs?  Mmm, conjures up images of creepie crawlies doesn't it?  And I am not a particular fan of creepie crawlies.

"Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home, your house in on fire and your children alone" is a ditty we chanted as children.  I wonder if children of today's oh so modern age know such ditties.

Over the last few days I have sewn the top of a post and rail, or is it just post, quilt top, completed a huge cushion to match, and feeling rather pleased with my calm temperment [meaning everything went well] decided to have a slight change of tempo.  The sandwiching of the quilt, actually quilting it for it is larger than I have ever attempted before, and sewing on the binding is best left for another day. 

The washing was on the line [must get it in shortly before the damp night air descends], and I felt like making another dishcloth; this time from a pattern that incorporates a ladybug.  Not having red cotton ~ I use a cotton/bamboo thread ~ I opted for pink ... a paler shade of red!
A little over two hours later I had it finished.  Another item for the gift box!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Table mats and dish cloth

Table mats and a dish cloth are both homely items, and for the past few days I have been [intermittently] working on both.

We had only two sets of table mats, both a pair.  Lovely for just us, but when visitors arrive I end up using a table cloth, which takes up a lot of clothes-line space!  As I ran into problems with my Cats and Mice Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt block, I needed a diversion.  Something useful was called for ... a girl can't always make excuses for not finishing something.  I can tell you that the Cats and Mice problem was corrected, and this morning I made the final stitch on the table mats binding.
A little piece of useless information ... I purchased this 'olive' fabric while in NZ, not knowing how or when I would utilise it.  As I searched through my box [large box] for ideas for a suitable project the olive fabric cried out to be used.  I am pleased with the result, and now when we have folks to a meal the table will not be a pot pouri of mats, as it was last night!

Dish cloths are simple little projects that take up little or no time, and can be tackled in an evening ... I truly do not like sitting just twiddling my thumbs ... a needle of some variety gives the impression of being 'usefully employed'; a habit that has enveloped me for decades. 
The dish cloth will go into the box of gifts ... the table mats are for our use.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Earlier in the week my attention was captured by a posting in Our Craft Forum pertaining to Fabric Postcards and Artist Trading Cards.  My imagination ran into overdrive, and after countless hours lost due to the flush of creative ideas, yesterday I attempted my first Artist Trading Card ... I realise they should be part of a set ... I have ideas for five companions, but at the moment not the time.

Yes, this card is far from perfect, but perfection is a state reached only after a lot of trial and error, mistakes that can be learned from, and practice, practice, practice.  Once completed I immediately noticed several mistakes ... ones that can certainly be improved upon.

Perhaps this little project would have been best not allowed to see the light of the camera ... I suppose it could be truthfully said I am not shy in coming forward!

I present my first ever Artist Trading Card ... 'the ballet', the first in a series [I hope] entitled, "Let's Dance".
These little cards measure 2½" x 3½"; quite tiny in fact.  In case you wonder what the bottom 'things' represent ... footlights!  OK, I am no artist, but the time spent building this little card was extremely rewarding.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Garage Sale Bargain

While not everyone is addicted to Garage Sales as My Other Half, and while not everyone is bitten by the bug when exposed to Garage Sales by their Significant Other, I have to confess ... He [who isn't always obeyed! ... but due thought is given] has  led me down the path of destruction!

Saturdays invariably mean at least one garage sale to attend.  We did attend one on Saturday and I found a most useful 'swinging chair' [for my computer station] for only $5.  Oh, and a little brown lidded bowl for 50cents.  Once upon a time brown never figured on my list of colours to perhaps contemplate, or buy.  Somehow it has inveigled itself into my psyche ... I blame that on the fact that the surrounding countryside in this area is brown for half the year.  There is no other explanation.

The weekend just past had another Garage Sale on the Sunday.  I prefer Sunday's to be quiet, and heading into town for an 8.00 am Garage Sale is not my preferred option.  However, I obeyed!!  Poor Significant Other ... there was nothing to interest him, though he had purchased 'man things' [tools of some variety ... you know the type that a woman could successfully use a knife or another kitchen appliance with almost the same result; except the knife might be bluntened, or the fork bent]. 

The Sunday sale was not a Garage Sale in the true sense of the word.   It correctly could be termed an 'under the verandah sale'.  There were two bikes ~ free!  Nope, not interested in bikes!  There were jigsaw puzzles for $1 each, but I have two jigsaw puzzles as yet unopened ... saving them for a rainy day!

Stacked alongside the house-wall were several cardboard boxes; all had books in them.  I am partial to bargain priced books!  I squat on my hauches [not so easy getting up from that position with an arm full of books], and found five novels that I might read one day, but at 50 cents each!  That was a bargain. 
 I shuffled, still squatting, along to the next box.  It was full of craft books!  Not magazines, but books, and oh, so cheap.  I sorted through them.  Our bookcase [the third purchased over the last three or four years is almost full, so caution was essential].  I finally chose four; brought them home, and over a cup of coffee, drooled to my heart's content.  They all had wonderful ideas, some of which I may attempt in the future ... they definitely fired the imagination, and for a paltry $6;  there are no limits to the heights the imagination soared.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sue and Sam

The last few days have been cold and damp, and busy.  I am in a row by row swap, which is proving both fun and challenging.  The participants made their own first row, subsequent rows are to blend well with the first, which often sends the sewer down roads never travelled in colours and blocks.  This all adds up to expand our horizons.

This month the row I constructed features Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam, in colours as chosen by the row owner.
I had fun with this, and was very thankful a swatch of fabric was offered to help with colour selection.  I chose to use some, and hope this helps tying in the overall effect of the completed quilt.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wonderful Opportunity to win!!

Samelia's Mum has a wonderful Giveaway ... AccuQuilt GO! Baby - Giveaway. 
Head over here:~
and be in with a chance to win this magnificent AccuQuilt GO! Baby.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Crowd of Hexagons

Over the past several months I have been involved in a Hexagon Flower Swap in our Craft Forum.  While being rather lax in taking photos of those I have made, and sent to swapees, yesterday I lined up those received, along with a few I have made for myself.
At the moment I am not sure what they will be made into, but their numbers are growing ... inspiration is sure to strike shortly ... Perhaps a table centre?  Or a cushion? 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Foundation Day weekend

This weekend in Western Australia is Foundation Day weekend; Foundation Day being celebrated as when the first British settlers landed at the Swan River [Fremantle/Perth today]. 

We had a busy few days earlier in the week with a visitor, which encouraged me to have a massive tidy up of my sewing gear!  Not that it is as tidy today!  Friday afternoon saw me feeling a cushion coming on.  The inactivity of earlier in the day made me feel slightly guilty; only slightly!  I have intentions of making another quilt, this time utilising the Post and Rail block as it is quick to do, but still effective, especially if the selection of fabric is well chosen.  The cushion was completed within a short time ... I will definitely make the quilt in this block.
Whilst in New Zealand and visiting a friend whom I have known all my life from teenage years onwards I made a promise to sew her an apron.  She is interested in fairies and angels ... and while I used fabric already in my stash the angel on the bib was an additional idea.  Hope you like it Megs!  It will be in the post early this week, but not tomorrow as the Post Office is closed.

Now my plate is clear, until the next row by row journal arrives, and I can once again concentrate on my The Farmer's Wife quilt blocks.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Problem Solved

After indulging in a little detective work I discovered the reason why it wasn't possible to make a comment on my blog.  Problem solved, and Fixed!!!


After many months of starting and stopping with the Gum Leaf quilt it is finally completed.  Choosing the border fabric was not as difficult as I originally thought ... two fabrics put their hand up for selection as I wandered along the bolts of fabric.
 Last night, when patience was beginning to wear thin [after all I had raked and wheelbarrowed ten barrows of litter ... coincidently gum leaves] as I was steaming along in fine style on quilting the outer border I hit a safety pin.  Yes, I know ... I should have removed it sooner, but [and there is always a but, or an excuse, or reason] I must have been exceeding the speed limit and reached it sooner than anticipated.  Well ... I broke the needle, which in itself is not a catastrophe.  However when I attempted to put in a new needle I just couldn't find the right place.  I tried, and tried,  Patience wore thinner by the second!  Determination was stronger. I had to give in whilst I dished up dinner, though eating was automatic as my mind was grappling with the needle situation.

After reading the Instruction Book [if all else fails read the instruction book!], I began to wonder if the sudden halt because of the broken needle had actually damaged a part.  One little piece I decided might be better if pulled down.  Nothing to be lost I thought, as if that didn't work it would mean a trip to the Sewing Machine Doctor, and I have more things to do this week than that.

Gingerly I eased down the little piece and lo ... and behold ... the needle fitted in.  And ... the machine worked.
Today I hand-stitched the binding ... Now the quilt adorns the couch, where, even if I say so myself, it looks grand.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cat Quilt

The 'cat quilt' was begun last year long before the expected arrival of my latest grandson, but for a myriad of reasons, most of them inconsequential, it wasn't completed. However, these last few days I have been on a roll 'craft wise', and earlier this day I put the last stitch into the 'cat quilt'. It will be in the post next time we go into town and winging its way to New Zealand.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Home amongst the gum trees

After a few days of intensive needleturn applique, and machining blocks together, I have now completed the Gum Leaf quilt top. This photo was taken outdoors in the bright sunlight, so the colours are rather dull [we haven't had any rain worth calling rain in WA for absolutely months].

I am not sure what border to put on ... will sleep on that for a night, as I find that the answer usually is very evident in the morning.

This quilt top has taken quite some time, mainly because I became side-tracked by other projects, but suddenly enthusiasm returned, and I bowled ahead quickly. The second photo, showing a portion of the quilt top, was taken indoors ... it has better colour.

One cot quilt left to complete; then I can make a beginning of The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt ... I have the book and CD ... I am very enthusiastic!! But, and I blame this on my Mother who always insisted one job be completed before another begun, I needed to have a clear conscience that I had completed other tasks!

Happy Mothers Day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A productive weekend

Two weeks ago we received important mail ... a notice advising that the electricity would be off, for maintenance, on Sunday 1st May, from 9.00am until 3.00pm. What better reason not to even think of washing, ironing, or any housework involving electrical goods ... not that I bother chores on a Sunday anyway. I needed a Project, a project that wouldn't take weeks to complete.

Last week I downloaded a cute pattern from here:

and decided to fill in some of the weekend stitching. It didn't take all that long, and still feeling like stitching I looked through my files for suitable companions. I had already decided to make these stitcheries into a mug rug set ... a gift for whom I have not as yet decided.

I am pleased with the results; the mug rugs are stashed away in my 'gift box' until I gain inspiration as to whom shall be the recipient.