Sunday, 19 February 2017

'Initial Heart Swap' for 2017

I really look forward to this swap every year...
Such a great opportunity to make something lovely & mail it off - accompanied with some additional love - to someone else in blogland.

This year, I made Initial Swap items for Linda, who blogs at Sew Nicely.
Using a very pretty thread & design, I made a pincushion & needlebook, adding Linda's initials.
Some lovely little extras were added too - the (hopefully) useful sort, & the yummy sort😉
As Linda lives in Ireland, I mailed off nice & early, so she would have it for Valentine's Day.
 Got to love these pins... with their heart-shaped heads💟
Although I've not heard from Linda yet, I'm sure my parcel has arrived to her & I can safely share these pics.

No Initial Swap parcel for me yet... not to worry, mail that doesn't have a window is welcome any time!
Thank you Cheryll for another great swap xx

My family have been celebrating for other reasons last week, too, in addition to V's Day.
We attended separate Graduation ceremonies for my DDs... one on Monday night, the other on Friday night.
While they are very grand & somewhat long events, they are also the formal recognition of the hard work of each student & their achievements. Both my girls have further studies to do before they can begin to establish their careers, but they're well on their way. I'm so happy for them in their achievements... they work so hard & are so focussed.

I still haven't made the binding for my Sow's Ear Quilt... really must do that this week, so it's ready for when the quilt comes back from the quilter.

Have a Great Week Ahead

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Valentine Edition of 'Piece Yourself Together'

Golly, so much goes on in blogland when internet goes wrong!
NBN, internet, wi-fi, data... sometimes annoying to live with, but hate being without it😉...
But back to PYT... so pleased to be sharing this pic today... I really feel like my project is progressing along well... slowly but well. It's nice to just plod along with it, in between the other things I sew & stitch, & I really don't care how long it takes me to get it to a finish.

Here it is today:
There's a block ready to be added:
And this is the last time I shared it here:
It's still fun & interesting to look at the fabrics & recall sewing with them in another project!
This year, I have again joined in the Initial Heart Swap hosted by Cheryll... really hoping Postie will have something for me today... this is such a great swap💗

Thanks for stopping by & have a great day.

(ps: if you didn't see my post here, I hope you'll pop back & see some special quilts I made😉)

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Two Very Special Quilts... How Did I Miss Blogging Them??!

So this morning, I've been emailing with my buddy Maria... & amongst our conversation, she mentioned that she'd not seen pics of the quilts I made for my daughters when they turned 21, in late 2015.

 Well, snooker me, I really thought I had shared them here & also emailed some to Maria... but clearly haven't done either of those things!
Turns out, I'd written up a post, but somehow just not hit 'Publish' & it got lost in the list of all my blog posts. How I managed not to notice, I have no idea😕😕😕

Anyway, I've done a quick edit & will make sure I press that 'Publish' button.
My daughters turned 21 in the October of 2015... early in that year, I asked them if they would like me to make them a quilt for their gift, & they both said a happy "YES".

My idea was that they could choose their fabrics & design, but not see anything else of it until their Birthdays. Within a couple of weeks they both had decided what they wanted, & an epic order had been placed with Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Some of you may recall that 2015 was a really difficult one for my family, & for most of the year I had nowhere to sew... bad timing to commit to making two birthday quilts! But somehow or other, I muddled through... snatched time here & there for sewing sessions... and eventually ended up with these:

 That's me hugging the quilts!
I just love a shot of a rolled up quilt, don't you?!

Here's some details:
For DD-C, her quilt is made with Bonnie & Camille 'Miss Kate' range... I wasn't convinced that her idea for the navy sashing would work out, but it turned out rather well I think. This is a great pattern & I can definitely see myself using it again.
The quilt for DD-Y is made with Kate Spain 'Horizon'... she quite liked the look of a quilt I'd made for myself & wanted the same layout... again, a great pattern & can be made to any size option & theme.

Despite life's efforts to thwart me, I got the quilts finished - fully finished - a whole 2 weeks before the birthdays. And happily, the girls were thrilled. Plus, happily-ier for me, there's a bit of leftovers from both, so I have goodies to play with.

 They both chose fabrics from designers I just love (no I didn't influence them!)... I can tell you, it made the sewing so much easier during those difficult months. Both quilts have plenty of overhang for a single bed. Even now, over a year later, it still makes me smile when I walk past their rooms & see the quilts variously folded, scrunched, laid out, rolled, draped, loved & used.

Thank you for dropping by & tolerating my reminiscing ... I'm loving these quilts all over again now!

Monday, 6 February 2017

The "Sow's Ear" Quilt Top Is Finished!

Finally, the last stitches have been put to the 'Sow's Ear Quilt' top... woo-hoo!
Can't tell you how pleased I am.
AND I think I might even have created a Silk Purse in the process... double woo-hoo!

Being that this Challenge was set to me by my Patchwork group, I'm going to get it to full completion & show them first, then show full pics here late in March, after Retreat.
But I do feel the need to at least show you this:

For anyone who's not familiar with the term of Sow's Ear, here's the thing...
there is a saying "you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear"... it means that it's hard to make something lovely or attractive from something ugly or inferior.
The original batiks strips (ugly sows ears!) that were the starting point of this Challenge were certainly ugly, but I'm hoping that I've made something reasonably nice from them (silk purse).
I like to give my quilts a name, & arrived at Sow's Ear fairly quickly.... maybe when it's fully finished I shall have to re-name it The Silk Purse 😄 Time will tell.

Now to call my quilter & get her to work her magic... in the between time, I'll make the binding... I feel I'm going to need a few kilometres of it, it's a big quilt😎

I can finally get back to sharing actual pics & information about what I'm making... as much as I love doing Secret Sewing, it's sometimes a pain because I can't share it here.
I'll leave you with an 'action shot'...
Aircon, tick... Lark Rise To Candleford, tick... lots of thread, tick... not a bad day at the office!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

'Australia Day Swap' for 2017

Thank you so much to the 8 ladies who joined in with my idea for an 'Australia Day Swap'!
This being the first swap I've ever co-ordinated, it was a good number of people to work with & I hope you all have enjoyed being part of it.
 The criteria of the swap was to send 5 items, each beginning with one letter from the word
AUSTRALIA... one item had to feature the Australian flag, the other items were entirely up to the senders imagination.

I sent my parcel off to Lyn, who doesn't blog but was an eager swapper... thanks for joining us Lyn!
Australian flag bunting... Tape measure... Ice cube trays... Australian wildflower print fabric... Stitchery booklet

My goodies arrived from Susan over at Susan's Sewing Space:
 Australian fabric... Soap... Tattoos... Reindeer fabric... Unhealthy treat.
That goat soap has filled my bathroom with a beautiful scent... & I wrote to Susan that I'm a terribly meany, in that I don't share any treats I'm gifted, so hopefully these ones will last longer than a few minutes after the bag gets opened😄 Thanks again Susan!
 Thanks again to all the ladies who joined in & I look forward to doing it all again for 2018!

Whatever you do on this national holiday - Australia Day - have a great time!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Getting Back Into It... Or Trying To, Anyway!

What a struggle it's been to get back into some kind of 'normal' after the Christmas & New Year period... for heavens sake, it's been nearly a month & I still can't get my act together!

There's been bad & good during my non-posting absence... a personal situation that's been a 'thing' to deal with... organising mr16 for his Yr12 Ball in a couple of weeks (exciting!) & taking up my position in the passenger seat while teaching him to drive... On the good side, my DDC has returned from her Europe holiday a little tired, but having had a wonderful time. So pleased to have her back!

I'm ready to post off my 'Initial Heart Swap' goodies... so I can now get back into some of my own projects for a while, & golly I need to!

First up, the Super Scrappy Hexy Quilt is back on the stitching tray... I really don't want to lose my slow & steady with this one, or I fear it will never get finished.
The next block is laid out at the bottom right, near the main piece already stitched together.
(terrible pic, I apologise)
These are great for just plodding along with of an evening, in front of the tv.
If anyone else is EPP'ing, I'd love to see it... you know how it works... the linky is in my sidebar & is open until midnight Thurs, W-Aust time.

The Sow's Ear Quilt has fallen off the sewing schedule a little, but at least I have all the blocks pressed now & ready to lay out. In a previous post I stated there is 276 blocks... actually there is 280... I clearly didn't count them accurately!
 I really need to get my skates on with this one now... there's still a lot of work needed to get it to being a finished quilt before my deadline of mid-March... eeeeekkk!

I look forward to spending some evenings doing some blog-hopping... there's always so much going on in blogland!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Friday Night With Friends... A really Late Check-In!

Thank you Cheryll for once again hosting us... Friday Night With Friends is a great opportunity to get some sewing or stitching done, then go on a good old blog-hop to see what other participants got up to.

Friday evening & over the weekend saw me sewing like a woman possessed... resulting in the creation of 276 'Sows Ear Quilt' blocks ready to be pressed open... yep, 276! I think I have more than enough for my quilt, don't you?!
With 'Oklahoma' DVD on the tv (what a great old movie!) & then 'South Pacific' ... I quite forgot myself & just kept pairing & sewing, pairing & sewing, until all strip sets were done.
It's going to be an epic effort when I turn on the iron!

Poor PegChook, it was a never-ending acupuncture session for her, but she's been so helpful! Her payback to me was her terribly out-of-tune squawking along with the singing in the movies😜

So this is end of Sunday... the 276 blocks ready to press open:

I think 'Giant' or 'Gone With The Wind' will be needed for the next stage... very long movies for a task that will take ages.

I'm still adjusting to my wonderful new room... the space... the comforts of aircon & tv... AND not having to set up then pack up every time... it still feels just so darn good! Lucky me.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Well Hello 2017...

There's something about the beginning of a new year... it seems so many people get a raging desire to de-clutter, lose weight, make resolutions... start the year with some kind of BANG.
(Those poor deluded people who declare "no new projects or fabrics" really need a reality check!) 
 As it turns out, I'm not really a BANG sort of person... but I do find the summer holidays a great opportunity to re-focus on a few things... and set myself up for a another year of stitching & sewing fun.
If it were possible, the only Resolution I would indeed make would be to declare that I won't spend 9 weeks of winter on several courses of antibiotics! (as happened 2015 & 2016)
I've got some great projects to look forward to for this year, & some other things around my home that I'll be continuing. I look forward to sharing those things with you as the year progresses.

If anything, I want 2017 to be a year about being rather than doing...
Being grateful & respectful, Being mentally present, Being others-aware, Being true to myself.
And a bit more 'smell the roses'.

I hope you all have a great year ahead - good health & safety - blessings of family & friends - little joys every day.

Friday, 30 December 2016

An 'Australia Day Swap'... Anyone Interested??

Who'd like to join in a bit of summer fun - with an Australia Day Swap??!
Let's show our love of our great country & have a good fun Aussie themed swap!

Here's the deal:
FIVE items are chosen & sent to your partner. They each must start with one letter from the word AUSTRALIA & at least one item must bear the Australian flag.
 Here's some ideas - have fun being as creative as you like:
*A - Australian flag item such as serviettes, paper bunting, little cocktail glass flags/umbrellas
*U - utensil, utterly gorgeous lace
*S - seeds for flowers/herbs, stripey fabric, small sunscreen, sewing thread
*T - craft trims, tea towel (patriotic?), tape measure, tealight candle
*R - rubber bands, ribbon, red buttons
*A - aqua fabric, apple-print fabric, Australian Tea
*L - lovely hand cream, lollies, liquorice
*I - infuser for tea leaves, ice cube tray, re-usable ice cubes, gel ice pack
*A - Australian fabric, apron, aloe gel
(for example, you might send items starting with A, I, L, R & T)

Label each item with the letter they represent & your own description of that - wrapping of individual items is senders choice.
All items may be purchased - no requirement to make anything.
Please only send FIVE items - strictly no extras - this hopefully gives you enough scope to make this a fun swap, but keep postal costs reasonable.
Sign up will close on the 6th of January
Partner info will be sent out by the 9th
Posting MUST be made on or before 16th January
You can open your parcel when you receive it, no need to wait until Australia Day.
(open to Australian participants only)
Whaddy-Ya-Reckon, Mate?
If you want to join in, leave a Comment ON THIS POST ONLY, or email me directly.
Please make sure I can reply to you.
You're welcome to copy the swap button/image from the top of this post... use it on your own blog & link it back to this post... spread the word!

Join In!

Thursday, 29 December 2016

'Secret Santa Christmas Swap' & A FQ Swap

This year I again joined Chookyblue, for the annual 'Secret Santa Christmas Swap'.
My parcel arrived all the way from Michigan USA, lovely Denise at Denise's Day.

Thank you Denise... beautiful appliqued Partridge In A Pear Tree, plus the little Kansas Troubles charms & a fab calendar... wonderful items here to enjoy for the whole year to come... & lucky me, I have a new bloggy friend to boot.

The gifts I sent away made it all the way to snowy-chilly Norway, to Laila at Jacobs Quilt... another new-to-me blog, yay!
I decided to make Laila a large zipper pouch... I also sent a 50cm full-width piece of the main fabric I used & some (hopefully helpful) extras of little scissors & a fun red measure tape.
 I loved sewing this pouch & it was great to learn something new in the process. It was really hard to part with this one♥
 Happy New Year to both of my lovely new blogland friends & thanks again goes to Chookyblue for organising this genuinely world-famous Christmas Swap.

A few weeks ago, Cathy at Cathy's Sewing Room wondered if anyone would be interested in doing a little swap with her... either some fat quarters or a quilt block. We arranged to swap 2 fq's & I'm really chuffed with what Cathy sent me... fab black & whites. I sent Cathy the purple & the green fabrics.
I don't do a lot of swapping these days, but I do still love it.

Lastly, here's a pic of my beloved 'Old Traffic Bridge' in town, which is soon to be replaced... this really is a much-loved & widely recognised landmark in our little city... sentimentality needs to be put aside so a new one can replace it. It was built many years ago to take horses & carts across the estuary... it's been repaired & fortified a zillion times... but is now clearly in need of total change.
This is the last year that she'll be our 'Old Bridge' at Christmas, so I thought I'd better get some pics while she had her Tinsel & Stars on... sadly it was cloudy when I was there, but hopefully I'll get some better pics before the deco's come down one final time.
(Can you tell I love where I live??!!)
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