Friday 28 November 2008

Another deadline met ...

... with only minutes to spare!
Teacher gift completed & delivered.
More pictures on this post from last year as I made them exactly the same - and I had no spare time to take photos!


Sewing to a deadline ... again!! Last day of school for us today, so busily stitching up a teacher present, hopefully to be finished by the end of school! I am making the same gift as I did last year, as they were so well received & something different to the usual coffee cups or chocolates.

Monday 24 November 2008

Pulling up stumps

Mum & I have been called back to the farm tomorrow for what remains of the wheat harvest after some very wet & damaging weather. So no more stitching for a bit. This is how far the 'Seeds of Love' quilt has come today (after the unpicking of the last post!): There is a little 1/4 inch blue peeper around the centre block, a la Peg at Happy in QuiltingThere are more borders to be added yet, and lots of machine blanket stitching around those tiny applique pieces. But it is a whole lot further ahead than this morning! 


Hmmm, and she hasn't even had a glass of wine tonight yet!

'Seeds of Love' progress

Mum pulled rank and insisted we go for lunch, which turned into some clothes shopping, culminating in my being booked in the underground carpark for not parking wholly between the lines - grrrrr! Would have been so much less expensive to stay home & sew. This is the state of the quilt so far: I am trying to get Mum back on task now that we're home again, but she is off playing pairs with her grandaughter just at the moment! I will keep nagging her.

Mum is stitching away ...

Thank you for the lovely comments on my last post. Mum is very encouraged as the emails come in & is hard at work. She is working on a small quilt called 'Seeds of Love' which we bought from Weigela Design, who knows how long ago! (Weigela Design does not have a website, but I have posted photos previously, here, here, here and here). The quilt has a gorgeous heart-shaped centre panel, which Mum has finished embroidering. We are just adding the appliqued pieces this morning:
It is a very sweet design. Hope to be back soon with more progress, although her concentration is wavering a bit, & she is talking about going out for lunch! Focus Mum, focus!!

Sunday 23 November 2008

Go Mum!

My Mum is visiting for just two days and has brought a UFO with her. Here is the progress so far ...... lots of fabrics, cut & ready for action. I am cracking the whip & getting her moving with this project. Will keep you up with her progress. At least if I don't have time to sew right now, I can make sure she is!

Friday 21 November 2008

Has Christmas come early?

Well no, but it's not every day you receive something in the mail from the 'inner sanctum' at Moda Fabrics! Let me explain: 
The lovely Angela at Moda Home Mom works for Moda as a Web Developer and started her own blog just three months ago. Having access to the Moda 'inner sanctum', she is able to share with us all the latest & greatest Moda news. 
And she can give away GREAT gifts! As part of her very first giveaway, she offered the chance to win a collectible Moda hanky and tissue holder combo in return for leaving a suggestion about the Moda website. I love to 'wander about' the Moda site, drooling over beautiful new fabrics. I suggested a 'fabric archive' so that we can revisit older collections. And I was fortunate enough to win!
My handbag contents have never looked so pretty! But it gets better! Angela really liked my suggestion & has implemented the idea already! How special. Please visit the Moda Fabrics site, and check out the wonderful new fabric archive. Go lose yourself for a while! And while you are there, try the very cool Fabricmatcher and have a look at the free pattern page.
So Angela decided to send me something special because she used my suggestion.  I told you she was lovely! She sent a gorgeous red & white striped fabric-covered journal, a very trendy matching key fob & luggage tag set, all tied up beautifully with ribbon.
All Moda Home of course! And very special, as we see Moda Home products so rarely in Australia. Thank you Angela - it really did feel like Christmas had come early for me! All you Australian girls who I know love Moda fabrics as much as I do, please pop over to Angela and say hi! 

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Discovery of (yet another!) talented Australian quilter and designer

I was in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales the weekend before last, and popped into a favourite little shop, Ribbons & Rainbows (no website unfortunately). The owner was lovely and, despite me being there right on closing time, generously sent me off out the back to look at the quilts hanging up in the workroom. What a treat!
On the wall was this magnificent medallion quilt by a Blue Mountains local, Anne Sommerlad. It was special to see this quilt 'up close & personal' as it is published in the current issue of Australian Country Craft magazine (Vol 20 No 1).
It is made using the warm, rich fabrics of Moda's 'Chocolat' range by 3 Sisters. The applique & piecing of this quilt was impeccably done. And what should be on the wall next to this quilt?
The most exquisite of Dear Jane blocks, again stitched by Anne. She teaches classes on these blocks.
Anne has pinned or tacked her blocks onto a large sheet, which I thought was a great idea. Why have them packed away in a box for the months (years?) it takes to make a Dear Jane, when you can have them out to look at?
There was also the tiniest of sampler quilts made by Anne, with each intricately pieced block being a mere two inches finished!! I stopped short of photographing it for fear of breaking copyright. I emailed Anne to ask her permission to post these photos. She replied most warmly, allowing me to show you her work. She is based in the Blue Mountains, and designs patterns & is obviously an accomplished quilter. She is also well qualified as a tutor, having been a school teacher previously. She can be contacted by email ( or I can provide you with her phone number if you are interested in asking her to teach a class in your area.

Monday 17 November 2008

Take a walk with me ...

We found an hour or two in the midst of a busy weekend to stop and smell the roses, albeit someone elses! A local garden opened as part of Australia's Open Garden Scheme.
Here are some images from an amazing 3 acre garden belonging to a cheerful Italian couple, probably in their sixties, or perhaps even seventies. It is an astonishing achievement for them - they are obviously hard workers, having created the garden in the last 15 years or so. Enjoy! 
Lots of amazing topiary ...
... perfectly clipped.
The roses were in full glory. Red & white roses, grafted to a single standard stem, lined this walk.
The always beautiful climbing rose, Pierre de Ronsard ...
... and of course, it didn't take me too long to find the David Austins!
This was a very lovely climbing rose I spotted. Please tell me if you know what this rose is called. It was the softest of peachy pink, loose form. 
I was particularly smitten with this lady - isn't she gorgeous?!
A wonderful garden to explore, with paths leading every which way.
My children have come to expect that their mother will, from time to time, drag them about Open Gardens. I think I am winning in coercing them into garden interest. My 10-year-old son declared upon leaving this garden, "Hey Mum, you know, I reckon that was even better than an hour on the computer"! High praise indeed!

Saturday 15 November 2008

If at first you don't succeed ...

I imagine everyone by now is enjoying Sew Mama Sew's Handmade Holidays tutorials, but just in case you have missed them, be sure to check them out. 
For each day of November, they have gathered together a wonderful theme-related set of tutorials, sure to spur you on to a handmade Christmas.
The theme for November 4th was 'Gifts for Music Lovers' & amongst the projects was this quick and nifty iPod cover. Considering the complete & utter failure of this knitted attempt for my daughter, I decided to return to more familiar & comfortable territory of fabric related craft. And with a much more satisfactory result:
Of course, it had to be red and white considering her latest accessorising trend!

Tuesday 11 November 2008

How one thing leads to another ... and another ...

Sew-Amy left me a message recently, requesting that I show more of the embroidery in this post. I had intended to post the finished article, but since it is not likely to be finished for some time (!), here is the progress thus far:

Inspired by Janelle's gorgeous journal covers, here, here, here and here, I was keen to make one up myself. Then I happened across the Sweet Tidings blog, and this post. Which in turn led to the lovely Elsa Mora blog and a free embroidery design.

This little design had whimsy written all over it for me!

And what better title for a journal for me than 'Whimsy'?! Stitched on linen with the lovely variegated DMC colours that Natalie used for this project.

So the embroidery is done, and all that remains is to make up the cover. Who knows when that will happen!

Saturday 8 November 2008

For everything there is a season

For those of you not enjoying the beauty of spring right now, here is a stunning shot of the impending beauty of your winter, sent to me by Danetta a few months ago.
Can you see the tiny, perfect snowflake? Thank you Danetta for this wonderful image and the reminder that each season is created precious & beautiful. 

Thursday 6 November 2008


Some more Spring bloom photos from our garden at the farm:
Betchel's Crabapple
Malus ioensis 'Plena'
Silver Bush Convolvulus cneorum
A cheerful, bright pink daisy Argyranthemum frutescens 'Supalight Bright Carmine'
A sweet little gladioli which I don't know the name of. Also given to me by a friend. Multiplies readily & is very pretty.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

A quick little project

No time to sew? This little treasure can be whipped up in no time at all.
Pink Penguin has a great tutorial for making this cute little fabric basket here. Made from scraps from this project and this one.

Monday 3 November 2008

Quilted with love

I posted a little while ago about the quilt my Mum was making for my Grandma who has recently moved (reluctantly) into an Aged Care home. Here is the quilt all finished.
The pattern is called 'Crazy Eights' by Bits 'n' Pieces. A very versatile, simple pattern which details how to make a lap quilt from 8 fat quarters.
My Grandma loved the quilt, but tried to convince my Mum to keep it because 'it was too good for her to use'. Mum, of course, made Grandma keep it & promise to use it, but last we heard, it was folded up neatly in a drawer! Oooh, she's naughty!
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