Friday, December 21, 2007

Secret Santa

This is the gift I made for the Secret Santa Christmas Swap.

I can post it now because I know that Paula has received it , opened it and posted on her blog. She is having a cute Christmas trivia competition as well so check her blog out.

Christmas as left me behind again. I have written no Christmas cards and my tree has lights but no decorations yet. There is still shopping to do - why do I always leave it until the last minute? Maybe next year will be better.....I can only try.

Just in case I don't get to post again before Christmas Day ( I am going to try) I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy holiday season.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Where does time go?

I had such plans for November - but they didn't happen. No plans for December yet - I just have to get through it. Here's the state of my sewing for November - actually I do have it a bit further than this - I have all my HST's made and hoping to get it together ....soon. Thanks Marcie for a great pattern. And I made a mistake and made too many so I guess there will be a second one - but that will be fun because I can do a different version next.
My son thinks I am completely losing it here - ( he could be right , it is sooo hot that no one feels like doing anything) He saw me uploading the following photo and thought it was strange. But I wanted to show that a parcel arrived on Friday ( 6 days to Australia - Santa's sleigh must have turbo boost). It had come all the way from Sherry - Thank you Sherry! And thank you to Donna for organising the Secret Santa Christmas Swap. I can't wait to see all the things which were flying around the world to everyone involved in the swap.

Monday, November 19, 2007

craft show ... a few weeks late

There have been a few mentions of the craft shows here in Australia. I was going to write about it earlier but my 'loot' was rather unexciting (even though I was very happy with what I bought). Another problem is that they don't allow any photographs. Now I know that people do take photos ( I saw them, especially with camera phones) but I wouldn't then risk putting them on the net. So the easiest way for me is to just not take my camera. But that makes it hard to do a show and tell.
Anyway, what I am showing is my effort from the Bernina workshop. I always try to do the Bernina workshops, because I usually pick up something interesting or get reminded of something I had forgotten. Also there is always something neat to take home. Last year it was a Bernina bag which we had worked with the BSR and done freehand embroidery on. This year we did a Scissors Fob. The flower at the top is felted and came in the kit - there just isn't enough time to try out all the techniques. The front is stitched using the BSR and the bow is sewn on using the button stitch. Now I have never sewn on a button using a sewing machine (and am probably not about to start either) so I had never though to use the stitch to sew other things on securely. So that is a new thing I learnt from this activity. And it is always nice to get ideas of how to use the machine. I have had my 440 now for over a year and I have hardly tried anything more than just straight sewing.

And it is always great to view the quilt show which is held in conjunction as well. There is just so much beautiful work out there. You can see the winner's quilts here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Glasshouse mountains

Just north of Brisbane, on the way to the Sunshine Coast are the Glasshouse Mountains. For those Steve Irwin fans you can find Australia Zoo in this area and in sight of these mountains. A week ago we were driving home from the Sunshine Coast and detoured to go to one of the lookouts. What I found there, embedded in the paths were these mosaics. ( There were more than these two but I liked these ones to show here.) The first two photos show the mosaic and the matching view. The large mountain is Tibrogargan ( the father), the one to the left is Ngungun which is the only one I have climbed. You can read the legend here.

Here is a mosaic showing Coonowrin ( or crookneck) and Beerwah ( the mother). I didn't actually get a photo of Beerwah but you can see Coonowrin in the photo with Ngungun to the right.

I really liked these mosaics - just embedded in the paths and some on the lookout walls. They aren't very big - maybe 12 inches (30cms) square. And it set me to thinking - maybe one day I could quilt something like this. I haven't been very adventurous previously but I saw something on an old Simply Quilts episode which prompted me to think about doing something like this. It is just an idea but I might just think about it some more. And as my husband loves going driving it wouldn't take much for me to suggest that we go back and take more photos of the mosaics.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I did finish something...

I am working very busily on my Secret Santa Christmas Gift swap project and I don't want to give any clues as to what I am doing yet. But I will say that I am handquilting at the moment so it is nearly completed.

So I am just going to show a bag I made a few weeks ago from a Melly and Me pattern called Sherbert. I have had the fabric for a little while and when I saw the pattern I knew that was what I wanted to make. I only had a half metre of each one so it wasn't really enough for a quilt. I think it has come up nicely. I used red perle cotton to quilt it because I wanted to fix the lining in a bit better ... and then I had to do the handles as well... just because.....
My only problem now is that I have found a shop which has the matching spots and stripes fabric and I am sooooo tempted. Still this is finished and I really don't need any more fabric, do I?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A group quilt show...

My friend Dianne goes to another quilt group and they had organized a small show for the other members. Of course I had to tag along. I just took some photos of the general collection because I wanted to show the interior of the church where it was held. I forgot to take a photo of the outside but I have found one here. Across the road is the sea so it is a very popular historical church for weddings. Although I have never attended here - it has been a part of my surroundings for as long as I can remember. So as you can see it is a beautiful place to have a quilt show.....

Sometimes just looking at a smaller collection of quilts prevents overloading and I have to say that my appreciation was great. It was only held for two hours because it was really just for sharing, so I am glad that I could make it.

It certainly is also inspiring because these are local quilters and it proves once again that beautiful quilts are being made everywhere. What a feast for the eyes!
P.S. I just had to add this page that I found of the church in 1890 . The shoreline looks different now. I love the little bathing boxes at the water's edge. It's funny how writing about one thing can lead on a tangent - but in this case a nice one because I learnt something new about my area.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I'm sure that most people have seen this pattern around - it seems to be fairly popular due to the Holly Jolly fabric range and the charm squares you can get. The name of the pattern is Table Attire and is from Pieces from my Heart. Mine is the one on the left and because I like the Holly Jolly range I went with the original idea. My friend Dianne also liked the idea but decided to go with a Cold Winter Noses charm pack she already had. Her's turned out wonderfully and just goes to remind us that while something can be designed for one style it can still be fabulous when done another way.

Mine is still a flimsy because I bought a charm pack and am still waiting for a parcel from overseas to bring me my binding and backing fabric. When I bought the pack the shop owner said that Moda was only sending charm packs and Jelly rolls to Australia - no yardage. I don't know if is this is true but obviously she had been unable to get any. This is a bit annoying, at least to me, as while we can make a project using the packs, we can't get the fabric to make borders and bindings. So I went on line and ordered some just to finish my runner. I know I could have found something else but in this case I wanted the stripe fabric to bind it with.

I love both the runners and the way that they turned out. I have a Cold Winter Noses pack here too so maybe I'll try one using that. I guess it is all about keeping an open mind and not letting the original pattern colours restrict us. ( Having said that though - in this case I really love the colours of the Holly Jolly range.)
Here's hoping the postman turns up soon so I can finish it.

quiet time

Somehow the past month disappeared. Things still happened but didn't seem noteworthy. We had two weeks school holiday so there was always something else to do. And I just needed some quiet time.

I decided I would just start from today and as I go I will put a few photos and happenings from the past few weeks in between, and catch up. I just have to get the photos from the camera to the computer and then I'm in business. Talk to you soon....

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Computers and spring...

Here in Australia the first day of September is considered to be the first day of Spring. I can't argue with that as I am wearing short sleeves and it is a beautiful day. And the first day of anything is as good a day as any to remind everyone to do a bit of spring cleaning ( or similar) whether it is spring or not.

Let me explain a bit more - the night before last my computer got into a temper tantrum because it had a hiccup while shutting down. Now this error meant that I thought that I would have to reinstall Windows and all the grief that goes with that - like losing the photos and email addresses that I hadn't backed up etc. I am fairly good at backing things up ( I put things onto DVD, I don't know if it is the best method but it works for me at the moment.) But of course I wasn't up to date. We do have another computer and I could get onto the internet to search for things so I had a bit of information about the problem. I had been working on it but not really getting anywhere when a unexpected visitor came and helped. Between the two of us we managed to get Windows repaired and I haven't lost any files. *huge sigh of relief*
The first thing I did was back up everything I wanted. So far I can find a few things that are different. For some reason my computer has gone back to IE6 and I can't get into blogger using IE. I need to sort out my virus protection program as well. These are all small things considering what I could have been having to do with a complete reinstall.

Now the point of all this - do you have things on your computer that you need to back up? If so , do it now, in whatever method you use. The first day of the month is a good date to set to do this, and hopefully I can heed my own words and keep things up to date.

On a quilty note - I've hit a slump and don't even feel like starting anything new. But I have some borders to put on a few quilts so I am going to just plug on with that and hopefully the satisfaction of finishing a top or two will give me the motivation to get back into things.

The photo is another one of the sunsets I see from my back deck, from a few weeks ago. ( and it is backed up onto disk, I assure you)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Craft groups...

Eighteen years ago I had just had my first baby and had had my first few weeks at home. I had lived in the suburb for a long time but I didn't know anybody. From an advertisement in the local paper I found a newly started craft group at a local church. My son was four weeks old ( and he is now 18, which is how we know how long the group has been going). I forced myself along and even though I have moved further away I am still going. People have come and moved on but there have been warm friendships and special people who have come into my life as a result.
Two weeks ago at our group we were having a discussion about pincushions and I was telling them about this magazine I had. And even though I have heaps of other things to sew I came home that night and made the pincushion from it. So far I have only made one but I have lots of ideas and adaptations hopefully to follow. We have made lots of thing over the years - back then most of us were doing cross stitch but we have spread our wings and usually are willing to try new things. It is a wonderful part of my life and I have to thank them all for the fellowship and and special thanks to Marilyn who was the one who started the group and is still there tirelessly putting up with us.

Here is some eyecandy from Marilyn. She asked me to take some photos and the price of that is that it goes on my blog as well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


There are always everyday things going on, but they just don't seem worth noting. Still there are a few things in the wings so hopefully I will catch up. Here's a finish though. There is a photo of this as a flimsy a little while back. I had intended it for my dining table but I found that it was a perfect fit for my bedroom dresser. It looks great here but unfortunately this is one of my Flylady hotspots and it doesn't quite look like this at the moment. I thought that maybe putting a nice runner on the top might help me to keep it clear. That is still being tested.... It would be so much easier if I didn't get so many notes from school and people didn't keep sending me bills all the time.
Last weekend I had a quick visit to Sydney. I was babysitting baby Iris while her parents went to a party. Best baby sitting job I've had in a long time, especially considering my husband was at home babysitting the other two grandchildren as well as our own trouble makers. We didn't have a lot of time but I did get so buy some fabric at one place and we also visited the Lindor Chocolate Cafe ( in Martin Place) That was toooooooo yummy....I had waffles with white chocolate icecream and a great hot chocolate. We went for a little walk in Hyde Park and I took these photos from the Anzac Memorial.

Of course it was all too short.

Friday, July 27, 2007

optical illusions

I have been suffering a bit with a cold so didn't really want to start anything for fear of making a mistake. So I have been playing about with some old UFO's - which is something I should be doing anyway. I decided that I would sort these blocks out and get them made up. These are for Byron's ( grandson) quilt. He has loved Buzz Lightyear for absolutely ages and so I decided to make this last year. However if I don't hurry up he will be past Buzz and onto something else. I also though that if I had all the blocks trimmed ready to sew and next to the machine it would be much quicker.

Then I remembered why it became a UFO.

The pattern is here and doesn't really show up that well. But I had enough fabric in my stash to make it and so off I went. The picture on the left shows the layout from the pattern. The picture on the right shows the striped blocks turned sideways. I felt that when I had the blocks the long way the quilt just looked too long and not wide enough even though the dimensions are the same. Of course there are no borders yet so that could make a difference. So here I am again trying to work out which one I prefer. I have a few opinions already but I thought maybe I would put it out into the bigger world and see what happens. Which one do you like?
(and of course I wonder why I am worrying about this so much - Byron will probably love it no matter which way it is.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

something quilty

I have actually been sewing but I am not quite ready to show anything yet. So here is a shot of a friend's top. She is making it for her son's 18th birthday at the end of this month and is just beautiful.
What doesn't show up here is that she has five stars done in a lighter colour which are positioned like the Southern Cross ( like on the Australian Flag). What a special touch!

ho hum.. and the little things

Sometimes life just seems mundane and ordinary and nothing seems worth mentioning. Life just goes on - nothing bad but nothing that seems note worthy either. But I have come to realise that I started this blog to keep a record of things and that, of course, means the little things as well. So I thought that I would post one of the everyday things, a little thing in the scheme of things but a big thing in my life.
This smile......

A year or so ago this child would not have anything to do with photographs. He would cry when he saw them. Once I had to carry him from a shop sobbing when he saw himself on closed circuit television. Through a long process we have moved to this stage where he has become a camera hog as well as wanting to take photos everytime he can get hold of the camera. I know which I prefer.
On 07/07/07 it was my mother's birthday and we took her to a local beach for fish and chips. There is a playground there where the main attraction is these trees. Guess who had lots of fun?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's here...

My new Sewezi table actually arrived very promptly -I'm the slow one. We've been dealing with family birthdays - a big 18 year old and a cute 5 year old. You can see the cute one further down helping me put the table together. In fact apart from tightening the last screws I did very little. So here is the table all packed up neatly in its carry case.

Here's Colly about to add the tray for the machine...

and putting in the final touches.

Now to use it....
Thanks to everyone for their comments about my dilemma - I am really hoping that this will solve my problem. I'll be letting you know how it goes because I have some bindings to sew on this weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


May Britt posted a tutorial for her pincushion which sparked some interest amongst my friends.
I can't seem to link to the exact post but if you go here and scroll down you can find it in case you don't already know about it. The pincushion at the front here is mine and the yellow topped one is my friend Dianne's. There may be more yet... I think they may have a habit of multiplying. This is the first time I have actually done piecing with papers and I did enjoy it so maybe I will have to think about what other projects I can do.
Just one thing I wonder - why is it that when I need to find my buttons I can't. I have a whole tin ....somewhere.... but when I was finishing this pincusion I could only find three. Luckily one of those was a cute pink flower one which goes very well with the project.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thinking ahead...

I wonder if maybe I have been using the wrong thinking about a sewing area. I have been using the dining room table which usually ends up with my back hurting because it ends up being too high and I don't adjust by getting a better chair. Also it does cause friction having the machine set up on the table. With a family of 6 we need our table space. But I think maybe I was being negative and not really trying to solve the problem.
Then Susan put a comment on my blog saying -I'll wish for you to have a dedicated sewing corner as soon as possible. =) . This was really sweet and I thought if Susan wished this for me then it couldn't be too hard for me to wish for it too. Now storage space isn't a problem - so I don't need a big table/cupboard to keep everything in. I just need a place to have my sewing machine set up. I do have a small space I can use close to power points - it is a bit dark but I have an Ottlight which I can use as well. I thought about sewing cabinets but I don't really have the room to expand them out. So I have decided that maybe I could get a SewEzi table. It would have the advantage that if I did need to put everything away in the event of someone staying over or visitors that I could still do that.
So before I actually order it I was just wondering if there is anyone out there with opinions about these tables.
Thanks in advance....

Saturday, June 09, 2007

still here

Here's Uncle Colly and baby Iris - I am not sure how impressed she is with the whole thing.

The past week has been just busy with little things. There's been mending (teenage boys are rough on their clothes) and some pleasurable work by hand. The table runner is quilted and waiting for binding. I have three projects almost at the finished stage.

We've had welcome rain and back to blue skies again but now it is cold - after all it is winter here.

My nearly 18 year old son ( birthday on the 13th June) went to Australia Zoo (of Steve Irwin fame) yesterday and borrowed my camera. So I thought it was fair game to borrow his photographs. Obviously there are crocodiles there and Australian animals. But two other features are tigers and elephants. The elephants are retired circus elephants, and I think I heard that their handler is also their circus handler who retired with them. So just some random photos ...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sometimes you just have to sew...

It seems so hard here sometimes to get going on a project - whether it is new or old. Because I have no sewing area, each time I have to plan and sit and and try to get a good amount done. So to fill the creative urge I have decided to try some small projects. So a few nights ago ( quite late) I worked on this. It is from Little Charmers II and I used a charm pack of He Loves Me II fabric. The charm pack only had 25 squares so that limited things a bit but with the addition of a few fat quarters from the first line of He Loves Me fabric I was able to do the stars and added a border to make it a little bit bigger. Because it was late at night some of the points are a bit wonky but at least I actually did some sewing. The machine is packed away again but there is no excuse not to sandwich this - maybe this afternoon.
I love the little charmers patterns and I have just discovered that there are two more new ones ( III and IV) shown at the Fatquartershop. I have a few charm packs here so expect to see a few more. I am looking forward to making some more of these, especially to practise my machine quilting.
I love this range of fabric - it reminds of the wallpaper I had in my room when I was still at home with my parents, which had daisies going all the way up to the ceiling on one wall.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What is it?

At my Friday Craft Group this item was shown. It had been bought at a charity shop for 20c - which is a bargain just for the wool alone. (I am joking) The middle section is stitched on plastic canvas and the top and bottom frills - well, I don't know how they were done. I am sure that someone, somewhere thought/thinks that this is the perfect decor item.... if only we could work out what it was for. A number of things were thought of - it was too big for my head to be a hat. Maybe, it is some sort of clothing item or some version of a sea creature.
We did find that it was possible to fit two toilet rolls inside but in the end we decided that is was a tissue box cover. (Perhaps the fact that it did fit a tissue box inside gave that away) None the less we are still open to suggestions for this classic item.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Welcome Iris...

Meet Iris - who was born last Sunday morning ( 6th of May) at 9 lb 1 oz. Here she is at about 12 hours old with her Lynny ( that's me, I'm her step grandmother)
I'm still trying to finish her welcome card (cross stitch)- it's nearly done. It's been fun doing cross stitch again.

Friday, May 04, 2007

personal stuff...

I have some things to blog about but somehow I don't feel very chatty. I have been to a craft show and will write about that another time. My problem is that we have been helping my mother to move. I have come to realise that my mother has a very serious problem and I doubt that we will see it solved. Her problem - well, she keeps everything. I have had arguments with her about keeping old magazines, paper, plastic bags,curtain clips and things that should have been rubbish twenty years ago. You name it - she has kept it, and expected us to move it. Her new place which is is a nice new duplex in an retirement village is full and over flowing. She cannot park her car in the garage. And nothing we can say seems to get though that she will have a health hazard - both through dust and tripping problems. I could go on and on....
One thing which has come out out of all this is the realisation that I carry a lot of her thought patterns around in my head as well, and I need to do something so that I don't have this problem when I am older. I know that over the past 30 years since I left home I have grown and come to understand the issues that seem to be my legacy. However I do find myself saying things to myself that I know are things that she says - the biggest one being that I might need it one day.
With the state of the things that I have seen recently I realize the need to use things up and not get into the mindset that everything could have something made out out of it, or have a use to someone. I want my mother to enjoy her life,to take pleasure in creating, not being ruled by possibilites. An example - I found an old water damaged wooden bread board which she gave me permission to throw. But the thoughts must have been working because then she wanted to find it in the pile of stuff going to the dump because she could make a coffee table out of it. After I had gone she did get it out and yes, it is now in her new place, along all the other junk. I know that she will never do anything with it. (sighs) She had a chance to let something go but could not take the step.
This is still all very muddled in my head and I will work through it. I accept that she will remain this way, much as I wish she wouldn't, and when she passes on we will have to go through all this stuff again, although it will be easier next time. All I can do is try very hard to not repeat this for my own children.
So I will be working on going through my 'treasures' and enjoying using them. My stash will still get added to but I will be tougher on myself. I also need to organise things better so I can find everything. It could take a while though....
Just a photo of something peaceful - one of my favourite birds - a Pelican.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Easter at Byron Bay

Byron Bay is one of my favourite places. Easter is always way too busy, due to the Blues and Roots Festival as well as just the normal tourists. But if you stay away from the shops ( and that isn't too hard as there isn't a quilt store) there are lots of wonderful places. This shot shows the lighthouse from the main beach.

Byron Bay is the most easterly point of mainland Australia. I seem to remember that it was very busy at sunrise on the first day of the new Millenium. People just wanted to be the first to see the sun I guess. Still any sunrise there is beautiful. Here's Panda with the photo taken looking east and then a shot taken the other way towards the lighthouse. As I have often seen before, there was a group of dolphins playing in the waves below. That's a sight I love to see but although I took shots the zoom on my camera just isn't good enough.

We stayed in cabins on the outskirts and this is what I saw one evening.

It was a nice week - the festival was good although there was quite a bit of rain. It is a shame that it didn't travel just two to three hours north to my garden and Queensland which desperately needs it.
Oh, and I forgot, I did get to go to a craft show at the Gold Coast on the way back. I won't show my purchases - I just got some FQs, a small ruler and a Clover marking pen but it kept me happy. There will be another craft show in Brisbane at the beginning of May so more opportunity to be tempted.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

One goal achieved...

This is a quilt I started some time ago and while the quilt isn't finished, my goal was to complete the blanket stitch applique. I actually did finish it! Now all I have to do is find the rest of the fabric to do the borders. (It is somewhere around here,I don't have to buy anything more)
This was a kit I bought from ebay about 18 months ago. It is a kpkids pattern (possibly a freebie handout) and I have to say it is a confusing pattern. The instructions have some mistakes ( in my opinion) and I think this may be why it was being sold off on ebay. The appliques are blanket stitched, which I do enjoy doing. I am looking forward to working on it because most of the hard work is done now. The pattern is for a square quilt, I am going to make a rectangle quilt - probably cot quilt size.
It is a nice feeling to complete a goal.
I thought that this was very cute - it's the card that Colly made for us at school. Now I am passing on good wishes to everyone. I haven't been sewing much, although in the last 24 hours I have cut out two quilts. I find it hard because I don't have my sewing machine set up so if I am going to get it out I need to be well prepared. By having two ready to go I can hopefully make some advances.
I am also messing about looking for a suitable hand project to do as I am going away for a few days. I have lots of things started but I want to do something that doesn't require a lot of thought, maybe some hand quilting or some redwork where I don't have to change the colours. Hopefully I will have something to show when I get back. I'm off to Byron Bay - which is the most easterly point in Australia and where the Blues and Roots Festival is being held. It has already been on for three days but there are still two days left. My husband and one son are already there. On Monday I'll get to see an old favourite of mine, Bonnie Raitt as well as lots of other acts. Then we are going to stay on for a few days.

And this is a totally silly photo showing an event which clocked up (literally) recently. We reached 100,000 kilometres in our Tarago.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Another quilty birthday present.

Here's my birthday quilt - made by my friend Dianne. ( She finishes quilts!) It's a patience corner block using a range of fabric called Cheryl's Sewing Room which shows lots of sewing items. The border has cotton reels. The joke here is that Cheryl is another member of our little sewing group and made me the cushion in the other post. The quilt is called The 50th Block in honour of my 50th birthday. There are 49 blocks (7x7) on the front and the fiftieth block makes up the label on the back.

I love the backing too. You can see part of the label in the bottom left corner. If you look in the right bottom corner you will see a yellow circle. That's a little secret label which you can see close up in the following picture.

This is really special because even though I can make my own quilts ( one day!), to receive a quilt made by a friend is extra, extra special.

How well do they know me....?

This is a picture of one of my birthday presents. A beautiful cushion with a special picture of me ( is that really me - I never wear dresses.) The words are

I plan ! I buy! I sew! I fini.......!

Hmm, it is a good thing this is from a friend or I might be offended. (never) On the other hand she must know me well because it is true. Although the real truth is that at the moment I am not even sewing, and buying very little. However I have lots of plans - old ladies like me need to keep their minds active.

Thanks so much, Cheryl.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has written comments on my posts. I really intended to write some replies but life got in the way. I'll try to do better - I really apprecieate that time is taken to comment.

This was the sunset I saw from my back deck on February 21. Although I hate the heat of the sun sometimes, the views we get are very special.