Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All...

These photos were taken at the Christmas Tree Festival at St. Luke's in Toowoomba. There were so many trees which had all been decorated by groups from around the city. There were lots of ideas and so many things to look at.

If you had been saving those little tags off your bread bags you could have made these interesting wreaths. I know that with the number of these tags that I throw out I could have decorate the tree all on my own. Still I had to look twice to see how they were made.
One of the embroider's groups had made these beautiful ornaments...

And so I wish everyone a peaceful and happy time this holiday season.

P.S. There is an Australian Christmas Carol called The Three Drovers. This picture below shows one interpretation of that. I am a bit worried about Action Man though. It doesn't seem like he is looking after the sheep very well.

I've just realised that it is after midnight and Santa is about to come. I'm off to bed... or he mightn't bring me anything.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sewing, well yes...

I've been suffering from a cough which is driving me crazy and as a result I haven't felt like doing anything much. Of course there is a lot I should be doing, but instead I have been doing this...

You might have seen the pattern here

Instead of doing french knots ( which I don't like doing) I used Mill Hill beads.
I am a rather disappointed with the photos I took - but they will have to do for now. The green fabric is not really that dark and I got some strange shadows. I think I need to go and read my camera instruction manual a bit more.

Secret Santa arrived

I am very happy to announce that my Secret Santa arrived the other day.

The box.....

And this was inside, which is now under my Christmas tree.

Have I peeked? Well maybe that's another part of the secret.....

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Look who has come to live at our house...

It's Digby the Dragon.

One day Colly and I were travelling around the internet and we found a photo of a very cute dragon. Of course what 6 year old boy wouldn't want one ? And it was a giveaway... so we added a comment and didn't really think any more about it as I never win anything. SO you can imagine how excited we were to find that Digby (we named him) was going to come and live at our house. He is just wonderful and Jess (also known as Picklesticks) looks like she is going to make some more. I have to say that they are just beautifully made and would be a great addition to a family. I don't have any more details than that but you can always contact Picklesticks.

Digby was very excited to find that there was already a castle and some knights to go and play with ( otherwise known as my daughter's 2008 Castle Lego advent calendar.) It looked like things might get a little rough there for a while but really they all turned out to be good friends.
He did have to take a little bit of time out to go crusading with Colly.

Thank you so much for the giveaway Jess. We just love him. He is certainly very happy and busy here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday Surprise...

We had huge storm here yesterday. It was one of those storms which built up and then just hit with a huge bang. We have a reserve across the road - this tree is one example of what has happened in there ( the reserve is closed today because there are just so many trees like this) This is just across the road....

And our neighbour's fence ended up like this....

And this is three doors down...

We were without electricity for ages. Luckily we have it back now but there are still areas where it hasn't been restored. The school I worked at today had no power which made things interesting. And the school where my neighbour works ( the one whose fence is pictured above) was closed. Further down the street we had a tree fallen right over the road. Today in daylight the full extent of the damage to the city has become more obvious - there is a lot of clean up work to do. I heard that the army has been called in to help as well.
I am sorry the photos aren't all that clear - they were taken in the weird light after the storm.

Seems I wasn't the only one - Toni here has just posted some more photos of her area.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Remembrance Day

Lest we forget.

A field of poppies on a rainy day....

At the school where my children attend there is a teacher who is passionate about keeping Australia's battle history alive. He was my daughter's teacher last year so we have been part of this passion at close hand.
This year he got the whole school involved in making poppies - I think the plan was to have 1000 poppies - we are only a small school so each child had to make several.
Around the flagpole we have a memorial garden and it is here that all the school gathered to pay respects. One of the students played the Last Post on bugle and it was very moving.
Thanks Mr K. for encouraging the children to keep these important historical memories alive.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another parcel in the mail...

I had a surprise parcel in the mail this week, not that I didn't know about it but just that I wasn't expecting it just yet. This is my Another Little Quilt Swap 2 quilt. And what a special one it is. Here's how it looked when I opened the parcel ( for once I remembered to get the camera and take a photo before I unwrapped it.)

The parcel came from Karen in Victoria who sadly doesn't have a blog. When you see the quilt I received you will see why I think she should have one - to show us all the beautiful things she makes.

And here is the photo of the actual quilt. I am sorry it isn't flat... I was trying to be creative outside but I couldn't get it to sit flat. The photos I took on the floor just look uninspiring so I'll stick with this one and give you close ups as well.

The pattern is Butterfly Garden from Leanne's House and it so pretty. It is one of those quilts I look at and love but then think I would never finish. But now I have my very own small version. This is the centre block...

and here are some of the other embroideries...

I have had lots of fun this year with swaps - not only making my own contributions but also seeing photos of other little quilts travelling around the world.
Big thanks to Karen who made this beautiful quilt and also to Kate who organized the swap.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Miniature Booty Swap.

I am a bit late with posting this photo but here it is. This is the beautiful little swap quilt I received from the humming cat. When we send in our names we can put some preferences and I usually put blue and green because they are probably my favourite colours.... although a little bit of everything is wonderful too. Well, this quilt definately fits that colour choice. The photo doesn't really show the vibrance of the colours, and in the close up below you can see the quilting which is in gold thread. Very effective!!!

Thanks you so much Andrea for my beautiful quilt and thank you Toni for running the swap.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

bag pattern

There have been a few requests for the bag pattern I used. The pattern was bought last year at the Craft and Quilt Fair where this shop had a stall. The good news is that they will be there again in a few weeks. The one I made is the Mini Carry All. They also have patterns for the Everyday Carry All and the Quilter's Carry All.
For my last Birthday my step daughter made me the the Everyday Carry All so I have some photos of that here, showing you the interior where she added an extra pocket and also a zip in the middle section. Basically it is the same pattern as the one I made but larger and is great for going to workshops and larger projects. She uses hers as a nappy bag and fits so many things in it.

And if you actually own an old copy of Country Threads ( Volume 4 No 1 - from 2004 I think) there is a similarly constructed bag made from charm squares, which has slightly different pockets but the basic shape is the same.

If anyone is seriously interested in getting a pattern email me privately and maybe we can work something out, as they should be available at the Craft Fair in a few weeks. Otherwise I see that the shop does do overseas mailings.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My bag for the bag swap...

I don't think this bag has arrived yet so it is still a secret who will be receiving it but while I'm here posting I thought I would show some photos. You can't really see them but there are pockets also on the side.
The construction of the bag creates pockets inside as well.
And here is the stitching on the front pockets, which is a Red Brolly design from the book Flowerbed.

swap catch up photos...

The last two weeks I have been getting lots of work so there hasn't been much time for sewing or computer. Who would have thought that there would be so much relief teaching work? Of course you have to factor in the fact that I do live in a city and there are lots of schools around which means lots of teachers to replace for the day. Now it is school holidays and while I have to do things with my family I am getting a little bit more time to myself to catch up.

I apologise to the makers of these beautiful items for not showing them off here sooner. And big thanks to both Kathy and Karol-Ann for their time and beautiful work.

Here's my Doll Quilt swap quilt from Sawyers Nana (Kathy) in Canada. Isn't it sweet? I have been doing a little bit of foundation piecing but nothing like this ! So that's another goal for me - to try something more like this. I also need to try to do some machine quilting of motifs like in the corners here. It always amazes me how much inpiration there is for me when I participate in these swaps.

And while I was out in my garden taking photos I took a photo of this ....

which is the beautiful bag Karol-Ann made for me in the Bag swap. Can you see how she chose a wonderful combination of my favourite colours? There are pockets inside which is great and there were even goodies in the pockets, which I just realized that I didn't take photos of. Included was a pincushion and fabric , a candle and a cute beaded chilli keyring. The keyring has caused no end of trouble in our house - why is it that six year old boys always think that everything should be for them and that parents of course will just jump at the chance of giving it to them? Forget it, the key ring is mine!

Sunday, September 07, 2008


All I seemed to achieve for the month was my two little swap quilts, and some work on my bag swap. However I did manage to get them sent more or less on time, perhaps a little late. I had two swaps to do - the Doll quilt swap 4 and the miniature booty swap 2. As far as I know they haven't been received yet so I can't say who will be getting them but I can post post photos. The Storm at Sea one is for the Miniature Booty swap and the japanese one is for the Doll quilt swap. They are both about 20 inches square. I am not very happy with my photos - I think I rushed them just before I went to the post office. Also it was when I was sick and not feeling very creative. I certainly need to work on that particular area.
And I have received my quilt from the doll quilt swap - I'll post about that one tomorrow. Many thanks for that little beauty. ( but I'll do a proper post about that)

August went ......somewhere....

This is how I feel about August... head down and tail up... this cute little duck was performing for me at our Botanic Gardens a few weeks ago.

There were two major happenings in August for our family. Firstly, after a long long time being at home, I decided to enter back into the workforce. Way back in another life time I was a teacher, and so it seemed that a good possibility would be to do some relief work. The family has all had to adjust - just in the sense of timetabling and also the fact that Mum isn't always there to do what they need.
The second thing was a result ( I think) of the first. Of course - going around and working in classrooms where the teacher is probably away due to illness and the children are sick too - it is inevitable that I should get sick and then pass it on to my family. Over two weeks later we are all finally recovering.
hmmm... time for me to get organized...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Secret Santa Swap

Chookyblue's Christmas swap is on again ( yay!) but I think anyone who wants to be in it will have to be quick as it is filling up fast. This swap was the first swap I participated and was so much fun that I am jumping in again. I do have some ideas but nothing will be done until I find out who my partner is and I can decide what will be the most personal.

The picture above is showing you the table runner I received last Christmas from Sherry. While it is in Christmas colours, it isn't particularly a Christmas design and so I can use it all year round. I know that I posted about it before when I received it, however this picture shows where it is right now, because I just took this photo before starting the post. At the moment it is on my dining room table and to prove it isn't posed you can see the cord to my laptop at the back. So this has been an all year present which I just love. Thanks again, Sherry!

Thank you as well to Chookyblue for running this swap. I'm sure her email acount is running hot at the moment.

Another thing, and it gives thanks to Chookyblue again. I managed to put the pictures of the swaps on my sidebar. How ? Well, by following the instructions here. So hopefully I have done all my bloggy housekeeping for the moment.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pincushion swap

Thanks to Linda at All Stitched Up there was a cute pincushion swap. Here's the one I received from Betsy which is a beautiful Cathedral Windows one using fabulous fabrics. Don't you think that cathedral windows lends itself perfectly for this project?

And here's the one I have sent to my partner. I haven't heard yet whether she has received it so I can't reveal who it is for yet. I wasn't originally going to use this fabric - I had another one picked out but when I found the buttons they seemed to go with this one so much better. It is actually the same fabric I used in my Blogger siggie square last year.( Talk about that has started a little bit again due to this post here.) And the fabric also went beautifully with the DMC varigated thread I wanted to use as well.
The pattern for this isn't actually a pincushion - I made a variation of one of the 5 Golden rings from here. Thanks again Linda - it was a lot of fun.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Another Little Quilt Swap

Here's the lovely little quilt I received from Amy in the Little Quilt Swap. This one really says doll quilt to me - I don't know why some designs suggest that more to me than others. Amy said on her blog that she was happy with her points. She certainly should be because they worked out really well. I've always avoided too many points, maybe this will give me inspiration to give them a go. So thank you Amy!

And this is the quilt I made for the same swap. I don't think it has arrived yet so I won't say too much at this stage.
I am going away for two or so days, when I get back I need to do some updating and tweaking to my blog to make it work better for me. I'll have my pincushion swap photos to post then as well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Miniature Booty Quilt Swap Received

Firstly my apologies for not posting this earlier than I have. It certainly wasn't because I didn't like it - that is so far from the truth as I LOVE it! And I certainly have been doing lots of showing off in real life. So here's the big unveiling of what I received from Serena - at the moment it is hanging over a picture frame at the entrance of my bedroom doorway where everyone can see it,which is why it doesn't look quite flat here. I wish I could take a photo to do it justice - maybe some time later.
Serena called it Ocean Waves. One reason is that I had said my favourite colours were blue and green - ocean colours. The pattern she used made her think of waves rolling - and she is right. But I also see ice creams and beach balls and bubbles - all beachy things. The orange is for sunrises and sunsets - it seems she noticed on my blog that I often have sunset pictures. I would have sunrise ones too if I was up early enough. It is hand pieced so everything is beautifully curved and quilted along the top of the 'waves'. Isn't she clever? And I am so lucky!

And this is my latest sunset picture - we had a big storm a few weeks back and this was what appeared after the rain had gone. (although there are still some low clouds).So no wonder Serena thought of orange - it almost looks the same colour!

And there might be some spaces left still in the second round of the Booty Swap if you are interested - I can recommend being in the fun.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Vacuum Cleaner Bags.....

I went shopping yesterday for new vacuum cleaner bags and came out of the shop with a new laptop. Now it is confirmed why I shouldn't go near the shops.

They did give me the vacuum cleaners bags for nothing - definately a good point to make to my husband.

Hopefully I can keep the use of this mostly to myself - what are my chances? Anyway a nice new portable computer certainly means that I don't have to sit next to noisy teenagers playing music.
Once I get some software and photos loaded I will be able to show you the wonderful quilt I received from the Miniature Booty Swap. It has been travelling with me in my craft bag and is pulled out and shown to all my friends. It's ready to settle down soon on the wall near my sewing machine. Photos coming soon...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Miniature Booty Quilt Swap

My Miniature Booty Swap Quilt has been received by its new owner, Bronwyn, who has posted some lovely photos of it on her blog. I had a lot of fun with this quilt although it really challenged me to work outside of my usual colour scheme. This quilt had a mind of its own and certainly told me which direction it wanted to take. Originally I thought it would just be the braids but I felt it needed something to break up the blended feeling a bit more. I auditioned a number of fabrics and ended up with this stripe. Interestingly if you saw the whole piece of the stripe the other part has orange flowers which just wouldn't have worked. I also considered the same stripe in a blue but it was too strong. I am very happy with the way it finished, and I felt from what I had seen on Bronwyn's blog it would suit her. ( fingers crossed)
The picture below shows the quilt hanging. It is not quilt flat because it is actually hooked over a picture frame. I don't think this one shows the colours very well.

And here's a shot without the flash to show how I quilted it. I didn't feel it needed a lot. All the fabrics are Kaffe Fassett which I have never really used before, which is why it was out of my comfort zone. The quilting was done with pale pink perle #12 cotton.

Pop on over to see Bronwyn's flattering photos and while you are there check out the wonderful little quilt she made for the swap. As it turned out three of us had a little Australian swap within this swap and Bronwyn made hers for Serena, Serena made one for me, and mine was for Bronwyn. A lovely way to make new blog friends.
My next post will show you the beautiful quilt that Serena made for me.
Thanks girls ..... and also to Toni for hosting the swap.

Friday, May 02, 2008


It seems to have been quiet at our house but there are things going on in the background. But one problem for me in the blogging world is that my computer has died. It just means that my bank of photos are inaccessible at the moment. And the the two quilting projects I am working on are for swaps so they have to stay secret for a little while longer anyway. 

My husband has a new computer so I can get onto the internet to read blogs, which is good so I don't feel overwhelmed. The photo I've added is one from his computer where the children were playing with the photo program. What I want to know is why do children always think that sticking their tongues out makes for a funny photo. Just trying to find one without a totally silly face was hard but I found one of my little sunshine. When he smiles it just brightens up my day.

P.S. This is in reply to a comment from Quiltycat, which was left on my last post, one where I couldn't reply. The shop with the fabric wasn't the one at Geebung but at Bracken Ridge. I have nearly finished a top from one lot of fabric and I have also made a baby quilt top so at least my purchases haven't just been added to the stash.

Friday, March 28, 2008

stashbuster quilt

Last month a local quilt shop was closing down (everything at 50% - too good to resist) and my friend Dianne found some lovely batiks. She decided to use them to make this lovely quilt for a 21st birthday present. The pattern is here, and I think she made it bigger but I can't quite remember how many extra fat quarters she used. It really has turned out brilliantly and the girl who received it just loves it - and I can certainly understand why.