Monday, December 5, 2011

Busy Hands, Busy Hearts

On a recent visit to blogland I came across a link to this post. It was written so beautifully about why we sew and create for our children, grandchildren, loved ones. I just had to share it. Here is an extract:
"... stitching our love has always been a way to care for, protect and delight, to tell them we are their mothers, grandmothers, friends. To cover them in our love, like no machine made, money bought thing can. We give them our handsewn hearts to play with, wear and sleep under. We try to construct a future from a patchwork of well worn wishes, passed down. Health and happiness I hope for my children just as every link in the chain before me. Mother’s and parents with busy hands, we pray for our children’s bodies, hearts and souls."

How precious is that!

Also sharing with you a video on colour using colouring pencils.
A project for the kids in the holidays perhaps???.....perhaps not.


Hudson - Against The Grain from Dropbear on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Missing You...

Has it really been THAT long!

The weeks seem to have been so full since my last post and I am missing visiting everyone in blogland, and all the creativity.

Each time I go to sit at my sewing machine there seems to be another need that pops up....I will keep working towards having some 'machine time', and hopefully post about something I've created this week. (I have at least sewn one hexagon and done a bit more stitching on Gardener's Journal).

Here's a little something to share with you from a couple of years ago. They are mini Christmas quilts that I made as a gift. Wish I made some for our home at the same time.

I hope that you are enjoying some creative time and all is going well as we lead into these next few weeks before Christmas. All this warm weather is making me think of holidays at the beach.... :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thankful

I am thankful for the rose bush blooming so lusciously at the front of our place today. It is beside a not so glamorous letterbox and is surrounded by an ad-hoc chickenwire fence - made by me :) to keep the passing sheep and occasional cattle out. However I am still enjoying its gorgeous blooms. It is 'Fiona's Wish' named after Fiona Coote who many years ago had major heart problems as a little girl. I had bought this at a hardware store with only one bud on it a couple of years ago and I had no idea what a treasure it would be.

I had laid these stitcheries out with my machine at the start of the second week of the holidays to put together, and intentions to blog, but then the computer died and I thought I might have a go at fixing it. This caused a slight delay to my stitching plans to say the least. But I am thankful for the inspiration still laying on my dining room table and I know that I will sit and finish this project soon......well, I will have to so we can set the table properly for dinner rather than eating around 'mum's sewing'.

Yesterday we celebrated Master 10's birthday - yay, double figures! (This gorgeous cake was made at our local bakery, with very short notice. It brought a smile to his face.) Funny how when you're a child you want to be older and when you are older you wish for childhood again. Each year for his birthday since kindergarten is very special as we almost lost this little lad. He had a 'near-drowning' accident - which was the official name of it. Miraculously, from being pulled up from the bottom of a backyard pool, resuscitated but still unconscious, a helicopter ride to a Sydney hospital with mum.....he has been fully restored....yes, amazing! I will be forever grateful to God for blessing me again with this little man.

So on this lovely spring day I snapped a couple of photos of some of the blooms outside that I am enjoying today. This garden is just such a mess as I haven't had a chance to continue pulling the weeds and grass out. But there are many lovely horticultural treasures within. Looking forward to getting the garden gloves on soon and enjoying the warm sunshine.

I am thankful to know that what you focus on makes all the difference.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A New Start

School goes back tomorrow....where has the last fortnight gone! I have had lots of good times with the kids at home. We went to indoor swimming lessons for three days to brush up on their skills, a bit of baking etc...and generally just hanging out.

I called this post a new start, as I am posting this from my new hard drive. Monday afternoon the computer was displaying a black screen and not much life there. So after a chat with my dad who is fairly up on these sorts of things I was on a mission to buy a new hard drive and try to figure this thing out. So with my trusty phillips head screwdriver in hand I was off to work.

Then came reinstalling Windows and other software, and do all the internet updates etc... What a job.....but we are almost there, bit by bit.  Thankfully I can now view my files on the old drive. So now the big task ahead is to transfer what I need off that drive to the new one......so lots more sitting in front of this screen for me in the next couple of weeks!! Me thinks I'll need to get out in the garden for a bit of a break....



Outside garden with sunshine and fresh air......but would also love a bit of time in my 'stitching garden'. Not much done on my Gardeners' Journal these holidays.

The bag here is from A Gardeners' Journal book by Anni Downs. Very different colour scheme but I picked purple as my MIL (whom I made the bag for) likes purple. I had made the bag a couple of years ago as a gift.

Hope you have a great week as school starts back again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Memory Lane...

Thought I would take a trip down memory lane this week. In the middle of the flu at the moment, so I should be resting and getting some stitching done, but so far the busyness of life is calling loud and clear and taking my attention.

I completed this wall hanging last year as a gift for my parents in law. The pattern is 'Church on the Hill' by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched in Bathurst, NSW. In my usual style I had picked something with far more work than I realised, but I am happy with how it turned out. This was also my first attempt at needleturn. I followed Anni's suggestion of using freezer paper. I have since stitched a little more using needle turn and quite enjoy it. The end result is lovely too.....but I must confess that I only did the hearts using needleturn and not the rest of the appliqued pieces - they were buttonhole stitched for a quick result, so the gift could be mostly 'on time'.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Order & Chaos

Things are all happening this week. Miss 11 and Master 9 are both on school excursions and a couple of appointments (NOT on the same day....couldn't arrange that) a meeting, and continuing with office 'stuff' is keeping me on my feet and my brain feels like it's bouncing too many balls at once. That's motherhood though isn't it? Just a quick post to share with you a little project I finished last week. I admired this bag a few years ago when I saw it made up. So I was very excited when the opportunity arose to purchase a kit from a quilting friend last year. It is 'For the Love of Flowers' by Weigela Design in Warren NSW.


I have really enjoyed stitching this and putting it together.....sorry about the blurry photo......it is a quick post! And it is lovely to see something finished (a bit of order) amongst my many loose ends and chaos this week. Looking forward to all the excursion news and lots of hugs. I do miss them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

R & R.....Time Out.....or something like that

Things have been fairly hectic here this last week and I am feeling a bit flat. Some creative time is definitely in order......these jelly roll strips are calling me, so cutting hexagons will be happening here today.

Intriguing me at the moment are the amount of birds here. I was once told that these large black and white birds with a long beak are 'water birds'. I have often seen one or two around but not usually such a large group of them. Does anyone know what they are?


I hope you can get some creative time out this week.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In the Garden

The weather has been so lovely and I couldnt resist getting out in the garden late on Sunday afternoon - so nice with no mozzies at this time of day (yet!). I'm really enjoying seeing the plants burst out with life and all the colour and variety they bring. This time I picked some flowers for inside the house and am just loving them on my kitchen window sill.

Also 'in my garden' I've completed another stitchery. Still haven't started on putting the blocks together yet as I've been a little side tracked with general life 'stuff'. Might get a start on them in the next couple of weeks after we have family stay for the weekend and then help Miss 11 and Master 9 pack for their school excursions (back to back!). Hope you can get some time in your garden whether it be in the soil or stitched.

Friday, August 19, 2011

In the Pink....not anymore!!

After some sugar soaping of walls over the last week or so, some premixed rapid spakfilla (great stuff) and finalising paint colours I was ready for work this week. I was determined to be rid of the 'pink' that has been in the hallway and our bedroom for many years. The house extension we started six years ago (the kid's rooms) was the first to be painted, and now it's our turn.

So continuing the colour from the 'new' part of the house, it all looks like it belongs together now it's all finished. Am so glad the 'galah' pink is gone.....well, still in our WIR but that will have to wait until another time. I mentioned to my eldest daughter that I was feeling tired from all this painting. She said, 'that's alright Mum, we can have takeout for the rest of the week, so you can keep painting'.....how's that for family support!


I also had some time to work on another hexie a couple of nights this week....I have stitched five now....the garden is slowly growing, and am loving the fabrics.....will sleep well again tonight after another painting 'workout' today, before we all set off to a couple of early soccer games in the morning. Hope you have a creative weekend.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A very handy tip indeed


Check this out.....looks so easy to use.....no more moving the ruler to align the edge to the fabric each time.

Thanks Impera Magna and Happy Cottage Quilter

Monday, August 1, 2011

In Loving Memory...

Memories of my mum, who passed away over 12 years ago at the age of 48, surface stronger at some times more than others. She was such a lovely gentle lady and I miss her very much.


My mum was never a sewer but if she were still here I would have liked to have made this quilt for her. It is called Days In Provence from House on the Hill in New Zealand. It is very 'French'. Some of the fabric in the kit also had Italian words on it which was just right for mum - from French and Italian stock - so I just had to make it, and I love the colours too. I finished it in 2008 and it is now hanging on my bedroom wall.

I changed the pattern a little so that none of the wording or the lavender was upside down, left out a few buttons and embellished it with some wooden scrapbooking flowers.

The pattern also tells you what the French words mean, like Le champ de lavande ' The Lavender field and 'Campagne de francais' French countryside.....would be lovely to visit one day.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gardening in Stitches

I have been very inspired by all the hexagon stitching at the moment, and thought I just might need something else to do (not!). I used to be a one-job-at-a-time sort of person but am enjoying, much to my surprise, having a few projects on the go.

I don't have all that many scraps in my stash so I decided to stitch some hexagon flowers from a couple of jelly rolls....and this little box that my Nanna handmade for me for my birthday a few months ago, is just right to hold a few bits and pieces on hand for some hexie stitching.



So I set to work last night and here is my first flower for my garden. I am not counting down how many to go at this stage, but enjoying the stitching. They are fun to do.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Take Two.....

Yes my jewellery bags are making another appearance. I wasn't happy with how the ribbon worked out - it was too tight pulling it through so I went for some cord that seemed to slide through better.....I am learning a few more threading skills via trial and error!


Instead of just knotting the ends I have added a shanked button for something different.


(sorry about the blurry photo) I also unpicked the bottom row of stitching for the casing and restitched so the casing was slightly wider....works much better.

The brown bag is already in the post and the blue bag is waiting until I see my niece....A little perseverance pays off.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scrappy Birthday Bag

I have taken a while to post about this one......I made this bag a week ago....well, it is school holidays.

My little Miss 5 is now 6 and I have been wanting to make her a little bag for a while. Thought I would look through some scraps (most have been donated over time by lovely quilting friends). I started playing around with 2.5" squares and a 9 patch seemed to be the right size with the borders......together with some ric rac I had in my box to complete it.

I have made the handles this way a few times.....so easy when you follow Bloom's tutorial here (thank you!)

I put the bag together on the day of her birthday (nothing like last minute!) and it was excitedly received with a big smile....so precious.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Stitch In Time

Amazing what you can achieve in a waiting room.... My first stitchery finished for A Gardener's Journal. I was waiting for the pathology lady....and quite hungry too as it was a test that required fasting.....so stitched away whilst the tummy was rumbling and was very happy to finish the first part of this block.

I'm only stitching away at my own pace.....looking forward to putting this block together.

My little miss 5 (almost miss 6 now) was very pleased to have this on her bed. I finished sewing the binding a couple of weeks ago and just hadn't snapped it yet.....so, here 'tis.

Happy school holidays everyone!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Something for your Bling...

I have finally gotten to this stage with a couple of jewellery bags I've been putting together. It's taken a while to get here from cutting the templates out. This one is for my niece.

And this one is for a cousin....thought she might enjoy a pick me up. The pattern is from Tommy's blog here.

I added some template plastic for some stiffness. This also worked well as a guide when stitching around it with the zipper foot.


And ta da....all finished. Threading the ribbon through with a safety pin tested my patience a little...and I have the holes in my finger to prove it!

Very useful bags for your bling.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Confessions.....

On my way to see my little cherub perform at the local eisteddfod today with the kindergarten percussion group, I popped into a fabric shop to buy some homespun......and that was my intention.....yes, really it was.....and I was very taken with this book by Rosalie Quinlan - A Stitch In Time. You've probably seen it before as it's not a 'new' book.


There are some lovely patterns including her version of a Flower Garden Quilt, dolls, jam jar covers, many stitcheries etc....and this gorgeous quilted bag.

A very handy basket....


Very cute and very pink little birdie hanger....

Rosalie's blog as per the back of the book is http://www.rosaliequinlandesigns.typepad.com/

So this book just had my name on it today. Very inspiring.....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hexagons and Other Wonders....


On my way back in from the school bus stop this morning this gorgeous spider web caught my eye. Now I'm not in the habit of loving spider webs but I was amazed at the miniature size of this one and its loveliness was highlighted by the morning sun and melting frost. In a funny way it inspires me to start sewing those gorgeous hexagons that so many bloggers have been busy doing. Hope you can have some time to 'smell the roses' this weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Almost a Finish!


What a lovely weekend we had at our retreat. Always so inspiring.
I attempted some quilting on my daughter's quilt....with some very helpful
tips. I could not have done this at home without help. Am so thankful.

I am very happy with how it has come up....and to be at the stage of
handsewing the bind. Looking forward to seeing how that looks....I had
previously sewn together the remaining scraps for a 'scrappy' bind.


I have also made some progress on starting my Gardener's Journal quilt.
After some inspiration, I ended up tracing off all the stitcheries....handstitching,
here we come! I still love the fabrics every time I look at them.....can't believe
I bought the kit in 2006! Good things take time I suppose.


I had many a good intention of achieving much in bookwork today, but
was distracted by my ironing board cover....the perils of having the computer
in the same room as the sewing machine!


When inspiration strikes seize the moment (well, that was my excuse).
So I set to work in tracing off the shape of the old cover and replacing
the degenerating foam with some polyester batting.

The ironing board was given to me many years ago by my lovely MIL and
I think it had belonged to her mother. The board is wooden, so a little heavy
but very nice to iron on.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Quilting Therapy

Some much needed quilting therapy was done for a little while today. Doing
a little more on the quilt for my Miss 5.....one of my WIrSPs.

I am off to a quilting weekend with some fantastic ladies and would like to
have a go at quilting it. Found some great matching fabric for the outer border
from the 'local' quilt shop....unplanned but needed to make it a bit bigger. Often
those 'unplanned' bits turn out really well, and you can say 'yes, I meant to do that'......

So, after a busy week with trips to the doctors, the dentist, speech therapy etc...
 and my Miss 5 being sick over the floor a couple of times (thankfully not the
carpet) ....I think I'm just about ready to breathe out and enjoy some quilting therapy.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Memories of Easter

It's the end of the first "week" back at school.....no such thing as "easing" into it!
Reflecting on just 'hanging out' with the kids at home. So nice just to be together.

Then - camping on the coast, visiting family, rain on the tent roof (so loud at
night), hiding Easter eggs in the wet grass around the tent, joyfully watching
the smiles on the kids faces as they hunt together......gratitude in the simple things..... Thank you Jesus....


Wishing you a great weekend....hope you get some time to just 'hang out'.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sewing Lessons

School holidays rolling on and its all go. We've been attempting some
sewing lessons here for our girls. Miss 11 is working on a Sally Giblin
design....she would like to make it into a couch companion or needlecase.
She was so keen the stitching was all finished within the day.

 And little Miss 5 is having a go at an Anni Downs stitchery. She has picked it up so quickly.

A close up of the design - sorry about the grainy photo.

Monday, April 11, 2011

School Holidays...


Thought I'd try an old recipe. I always remember it being so yummy
when my Mum would make it. She passed away about 12 years ago now
.....so this reminds me a little of home. I made it in a ring tin this time, different
to the recipe. I remember Mum once made it in a bundt tin which turned out
very well.


The recipe is a copy from a 1979 Women's Weekly. This is just how Mum had
it in her collection in a plastic sleeve. She never did get the chance to organise
her recipes.

No apricot jam in the house....so I tried something a little different and brushed
the top over with some maple syrup. Yummy just like this......or, we tried it for
dessert with some custard. You know its good when the kids finish every last bit!
Thanks Mum.