Friday, January 19, 2018

Un paid Advertising

Sandi's Give Away

Over here - Sandi is having a little giveaway - she has made some beautiful needle cases and pincushions.  If you are an Australian resident - you could win a set.....Pop over for a visit.  Here is a sample of what you could win - almost too nice to stick pins in to.

Faeries In My Garden Sale

Truly I am not posting this for any commercial reason - I was at Faeries today and I could see the huge array of fabrics that will be on sale on Australia Day...$7 a metre or $5 if you take the whole bolt.   A great buy for backings etc.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

An old UFO

Way back March 2013...Debbie started  Travelling Treasures.

In November 2013 I received the Travelling Treasure pack from Bev C  and in the parcel were two machined embroidered blocks. 
Finally, I have made one of them into a small wall hanging.

I finished it off to match my Wild Wacky Woman cross stitch - that I finished in 2012.
Both now hang on the door to Susan's Sewing Space.

It's not my oldest UFO - but now it's a what to do with the other one ? ? ?  

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tilda Pin Cushion

I've been sorting through some things and tidying up bits & pieces...and I found a Tilda Tea Party pincushion that I hadn't made.  It was fairly simple - good for when your right index finger is not up to much, so I "whipped it up".  It has a little pocket for a pair of scissors.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

FNWF - January

The last official day of my Annual Leave - the last day I can sew for about 2 weeks.

I made the most of my last night of "freedom" - I prepared the fabric and selected the threads for a small cross stitch I hope to start (& finish) soon. - A sagittarius sign from Satusuma Street - look them up on Etsy, (aka Craftnik on Instagram) - the same designer as a project I did a while back - Pretty Little Sydney.  I hope to finally get this one "framed" this is going in an embroidery hoop - as will this one.

The model was originally done on black - but I'm taking the less stressful option and doing it on white.

I also had a play on the embroidery unit of the "Monster Machine" - I saw this design in my LQS and of course had to have it - finally stitched it out over the last 2 days in between other projects.
This was another part of the learning curve - but I won't tell you what's wrong - it looks OK from here.   I think I will make it into a wall hanging.

Then I had some mending - DH pants - reeeeally??? doesn't he realise I am a Patchworker - not an alterations person...not worth a photo!

Finally I had some sewing paperwork to sort out.

Huge thanks to Cheryll for continuing to host & coordinate us for another year.  Hopefully I will get to visiting some of you over the weekend....comments might be short though!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Starting on a Positive Note

We always start the year with good intentions - finish off all those UFOs - Don't start anything new until you finish all the ones you have already started - well maybe don't start a new one until you finish one of the old ones...something along those lines.

My Christmas break from work is usually fairly productive - this break though I was away from home visiting DD1 & husband, so that did have an impact on what I could achieve.

I wrote a list - always very motivating - and as at the end of my Annual Leave, this is how it looks:
The first item is a baby quilt for my Goddaughter...the baby is now 4 months old so it got top billing in the "To Do" list.

Another item was to make a block for the Quilts of Hope project - I picked up fabrics at the last Craft Alive show - you can just make one block using the fabrics supplied.  The theme for this year is "Future Stars".

Most of the list is "make progress on" so no photos of the other projects.  But I did put all the blocks that I have made so far for a project together, updated my diary(ies), finished tracing the blocks for the No Fuss Stitch-a-Long as well a  few "domestic" chores that had been waiting.
Only 2 items left - and they were both a bit ambitious considering the other things happening.

As well as this list, I have another list of 12 things that I am aiming to achieve by the end of the year.  De - in my Sunday Stitchers group suggested this idea.   We each have listed 12 "things" - they could be projects to finish - projects to make a start on - blocks for a quilt - anything you like - the aim is encouragement - not harassment..

I kept my list pretty simple - no point in putting in things that need too much work.
This is my list:

The plan is that at our next meeting - January 21st - we will bring along what we did on the project we listed as #2.

#2 is this - a quilt from a class I attended to help me learn how to use the quilt patterns that are built into that new monster machine I bought...I learnt a lot - still need practising in starting in the right place - and there is one block with the pattern going the wrong way - all part of the learning curve!

This is a close up of the design that we used.

From 8th January to the 22nd January, I am on Personal (Sick) Leave.  I have to have a small operation  on my right index although I won't be at work.(yay)....I can't use my hand no sewing...only left hand typing....this could be a bit boring - but I do have a pile of magazines, patterns and paperwork to go through and DVDs and Foxtel and Netflix....Can't wait for those 2 weeks to be over though....

I'll be making the most of my last few hours of sewing time and joining in with FNWF.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas Present Swap

For a number of years Maureen and I have made a cushion for each other for Christmas, but this year we had a change of plan and each made mini quilts.  We each have the same quilt stand so that made it easy to work out the size.
When I saw this Anni Down's design I knew that was the stitchery to use and I teamed it with this gorgeous Tilda print in blues greens and pinky purples.  It wasn't too hard to find some threads, some variegated, some plain.

Maureen made this lovely one for me - bright & cheery!

We will continue on with the mini quilts for a while now I think.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas Gifts - Sewing Groups

Just like Birthday gifts - we seem to get a bucket load of gifts at Christmas time 
from our sewing groups.
(Warning  - a long post and lots of pictures.)

First group to enjoy a Christmas end of year meeting was Loose Threads.
Early in the year we had decided on pincushions for the gift.  We do a random draw on the day to see which present we receive.  This is my cute owl  - it's quite heavy - so perfect for using near my machine - and the cat can't knock it off the table!!

This is the one I made.   Anni Downs fabrics and full of walnut shells.

We also each received a little Christmas hanging bag - (with lollies...but they disappeared before I took the photo!)

I made an angel for everyone (as I do every year and now its a tradition so I can't stop!!!)  This year I made angels in two different sizes.

The second Group - KQ Girls - met the day after.  Again we did a random draw on the day.  This year we each made a drawstring bag and added a fat quarter, buttons and a sewing surprise.

This is my lovely bag and goodies inside:

This is the one I made:  I added a fat quarter, matching buttons, a scrap bucket, a pincushion and a bookmark in the shape of a sewing machine.  I must have forgotten to photograph the extras - but here is the bag.

We also received a covered ball, a book mark with some pictures of our group and a mug rug in the shape of a leaf.

I gave everyone an angel and a coaster. - like these:

Third group - Sunday Stitchers.
For this group we draw names during the year and make for that person.  This year we could each suggest what we would like from a list of "possibles".

I received this absolutely fabulous block holder - I have wanted a flat block holder for ages and have just never got around to making one - plenty of plans - but this one is just what I need - it has plenty of space to put blocks in - and it has a hanger - perfect for hanging in the wardrobe along with the other project bags etc.
Noela made it for me and I am so happy with it.

I made a water bottle cover, scrap bucket and coaster for my recipient.

I had planned on making the bottle holder with a circle at the base - but at a recent craft event I saw a thermos holder made in strips with the joins underneath - so I copied that idea.  I feel its much easier.

This group is also quite prolific in giving small gifts - some hand made.  As we had the party to beat all parties at Sandi's house we also collected some little gifts from her throughout the day.  Here is the collection:

I gave everyone an angel and a coaster.

I also meet (usually) monthly with a small informal group - we call ourselves SIMS (from the initials of our names).  There is nothing structured here - we brought cold meat & salads for lunch to share - but we made small gifts for each other.
I received:

An accordion bag - (free pattern & video - DIY Accordion Pouch | with Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics), a cute needle case in the shape of a cupcake and a beautiful hanging's very pretty and perfect colours for me but I'm not sure what to call it. 

I made these tuffet pin cushions.

I also joined in the No Fuss Christmas Swap - this is the present I received very early from Anthea - I was very good and took it away with me to Townsville, so I could open it on Christmas day.

This is what was inside - a lovely needle case, a Christmassy Tea towel, 50cm pretty lace, a gorgeous bird button and a treat - the Santa Spreader - he is wearing sunglasses - very cute!

My parcel was hand delivered to Sandi.

I also received two Christmas gifts in the mail - a gorgeous decoration and card from Fiona 

and this cute tree from Maria
And finally - while in Townsville, I was able to catch up with Wendy Bertello - and she gave me a surprise present - a tea towel, a treat which had to be eaten to beat the heat up there, a pencil with the words - "Full bobbins are a girl's best friend",  a tiny quilt hanger, a decorative thimble and some very pretty notebooks.   

It was so good to see Wendy - we chatted non stop eating lunch and visiting a couple of patchwork shops.  Thanks Wendy - I had a ball - hope to see you again in March!  Sorry I forgot about FNSI!!

All in all I feel very spoilt.

I still have one more Christmas present to share, but it will wait for another post.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Birthday Gifts - Sewing Groups

Birthdays do seem to be extended events when you are in various groups etc.

My first collection of birthday gifts was from Sunday Stitchers.
In this group we can give an indication of what we would like at the beginning of the year - so I asked for rasant threads in neutral colours, some blue/grey fat quarters or some scraps that I could cut into 2.5" squares - any fabric, any colour...

I received a great collection of threads, fabrics and heaps of scraps that will keep me in leaders and enders for a while!
What a lovely bunch of friends.

My second collection was from another group - called KQ Girls.  This year we gifted to our swap partner presents that started with the letters in the name of the group.  We had decided they didn't all need to be sewing related.
I received:

Kaffe Fassett fat quarters
Quilting pins
Ric rac
Sauvignon Blanc

and a very useful storage box for some crafty stuff.

This was all totally overwhelming - we don't really have a budget to stick to but I do feel very lucky to have been on the receiving end of such generous gifts..

I was also giving a birthday present - I tried for the Quirky line - to make it a little challenging.  I gave:
Key ring
Quiz Questions - a Pub Trivia game
Granny Square (for a coaster)
Indicators - Post It Notes as my recipient had been seen using shopping dockets to mark pages in magazines
Rhubarb conserve
Squissors - (little snippers)

And finally - my third group birthday present.  This is from my Loose Threads group and we had to give presents starting with the letters in Birthday.
I received:
Ice cream fabric - very clever that one!!!
Ric rac
Adhesive pads for my finger

and a gorgeous tin to put more crafty stuff in.

That's my birthday comes Christmas swaps and gifts....coming soon!!!

Monday, November 27, 2017

FNSI - November

I'm very late posting this - it seems all of a sudden Christmas is almost here. 
(I know that certain people have been warning me constantly on Facebook.)
Whatever sewing I did on Friday night was "Secret" so I can't show fact it is so secret I am not even sure now what I did do - maybe I just slept!!!

I hope the rest of you were more productive than me - I have a long list of things to sort out - I had to create a list - add the "Due Date" then sort it into the order of when I need far - for next weekend I have 1 out of 2 things done...not so good - but I am always meeting deadlines at work so why any different at home???

Thanks Wendy for offering us the chance to be motivated!!!

I did have a busy sewing oriented weekend so there is a hope I will catch up.

Monday, November 20, 2017

National Agriculture Day

My friend Chooky posted about National Agriculture Day (November 21st) here.

She is a country girl - a farmer and also does "town" work - where she gets a regular pay cheque and paid holidays...(unlike her farm work).

I'm a city girl - born in Sydney eastern suburbs, now living in the 'burbs in Brisbane.  All the mod cons, minor concern over water usage (due to the water rates bill) and power usage, can shop whenever and for whatever I like (within budgetary constraints).
I go to the supermarket where milk comes in containers, meat on black plastic trays with Use By dates.  Fruit & vegetables are all "perfect" and uniform shapes and sizes.

Such is the good life in the 21st Century (even in the 20th Century, things were easy although not so pre packaged).

I have never been totally ignorant about where the food comes from and how it gets to me - I have had some small exposure to real life on a farm...but not a lot..however, it wasn't a big factor in my day to day life.

Since I have been following Chooky's blog and become a friend of hers, I am a lot more conscious of the struggle that our farmers deal with constantly.  The unpredictability of the weather is of course a huge issue - especially in Australia which is such a dry continent anyway. 
Then I started hearing "them" say how farmers should put away for the bad times - and I know that this is just hog wash for most farmers - of course they stack up hay and other produce when there is a surplus - but that is only going to last for n years - not forever.

And now we are hearing about the other extreme - huge volumes of crops being ploughed back into the ground because the bananas are too big, too small, too straight, too bent and don't fit the "perfect shape" that sits so prettily on the shelves in the supermarket.

And the milk with all the cheap house brands - which has no taste and is being procured from farmers at a ridiculously low price - making it hard or impossible for farmers to survive.  The same thing has happened to honey and no doubt many other food lines.
I do not buy house brands for that reason alone and avoid imported fruit & vegetables when ever I can.

To balance all that struggle Chooky does see some amazing landscapes, cloud formations and sees a lot more stars at night.  And of course there are often baby animals to be "oooh'd and aaah'd" over.

I have no wish to become a country girl at all...but I do tip my hat to all the Australian primary producers who work hard to produce the food we eat.  

A big thank you to them all.
(off my soap box now)