Monday 30 March 2009

Bad people & beautifully good people

I am sick in the stomach & angry this morning. It is just a small thing in the tapestry of life, but my littlest daughter, age 7, had her bag stolen at a school fete on Saturday. She naively put the bag down at one point to do something with a friend, & returned a short time later to find it gone. A tough lesson for her. There were tears, & not just on her part! This is the bag that was taken:
I made this little backpack for her fourth birthday from a Rosie Quinlan pattern called 'My Dolly Kinder Bag'. Yes, I still have the pattern. Yes, I will be making a replacement for her birthday in July, and I know it is just an insignificant material possession in the larger scheme of things ... ooooh, but THIEVES MAKE ME ANGRY!
On the other side of the ledger are beautifully good people like Janelle of Threads of Friendship. She not only did me an enormous favour recently, but then followed the favour up by sending me a gift of gorgeous fabrics! Let me share the gorgeousness:
My very first piece of Kaffe! It is called 'Paisley Jungle' and is stunningly vibrant & cheerful. The start of a new obsession? ... Oww, probably!
Some wonderful 'Park Slope' by Erin McMorris. This coordinates perfectly with the one piece of Park Slope that I have in my stash.
This one I didn't recognise immediately and there were no selvedge clues, but I had a vague thought that it reminded me of Anna Maria Horner. And sure enough, a quick search confirmed it to be from her latest line, Good Folks. Janelle sure has an eye for the good stuff!
I have saved my favourite piece until last! This is a Michael Miller fabric called 'Birds of Norway' & it is amazing! I have a thing for bird designs, & this one has me smitten.
This fabric has 'new winter bag' written all over it. Although, I will be fighting off my girls for it - they think it would make the perfect skirt for them!
Thank you Janelle, you have blessed me more than you know. You are generous, kind and BEAUTIFULLY GOOD!

Thursday 26 March 2009

From the Bloom archive

Not much time to post today. We are expecting the entire Mathematics staff (at the school where my husband works) for dinner tomorrow night. They are not the geeky crowd you might expect - they are all lovely, & good fun! And many of them are girls. Nothing sexier than a girl who's into mathematics (I say, with all authority, having done three years of Pure Maths at Uni)!!
... I digress. I've dug something out of the archives. I made this quilt a couple of years ago for my lovely mother's 60th birthday.
Her favourite colour is mauve. This quilt is made from Robyn Pandolph's 'Butterfly Kisses' range. I got brave on this one and tried some free motion quilting on the cables - don't look too closely!
I love a wavy edge on a border. It made a really pretty finish to this quilt.
Have a great weekend everyone. I'm off to clean the house!

Monday 23 March 2009

When whimsy strikes

Someone asked me what I would use my 'Whimsy Journal' for. Well, it is totally for whimsy! I jot down ideas as I think of them, so that I don't forget. I keep it nearby so that when inspiration strikes (and it can be any time of night or day!) I can quickly put the idea to paper.
I print off photos of quilts & artworks that inspire me & stick them in my journal.
And generally just doodle about! It is fun & just for me. 
Weirdly, I am at my most 'whimsical' & come up with my best ideas when I am feeling a bit sad & introspective! So the journal is always close at hand at those times.
And the little girly on the front never fails to make me smile!

Sunday 22 March 2009

Journal covers being stitched up here, there & everywhere

It is very exciting to see some journal covers being made up from my tutorial. It still blows my mind that from my humble little sewing machine in Australia, I can stitch something, blog it & almost immediately see a version made by a stitcher on the other side of the world. BLOWS MY MIND, I say! Here are some of the lovely versions that I have come across:
Poor Jean at Linen & Raspberry was one of the first to 'survive' my tutorial instructions! We exchanged an email or two ironing out some confusion in my instructions, but she has come up with a lovely cover nevertheless! 
Jean has added some gorgeous hand stitching to her cover, and a very cute bloom on the back.
Jannimary has made this stylish duo. Using a striped fabric horizontally instead of vertically looks great.
Fiona at Scraps in Progress really got busy and whipped up several journal covers as gifts. She has used some of her wonderful novelty prints, making the most of the large print designs. 
Jane at Sew Create It has added some gorgeous button detail to her journals. 
And Pia at Pia's Place has added some embroidery & a sweet butterfly.
Well done girls - they all look fantastic. It is so much fun for me to see your interpretations. 

Friday 20 March 2009

What was I thinking, Dear Jane?

I made this block a lot harder for myself than it needed to be ... but I think I like it.
This is G5 Poof - yes, that's it's official name! Personally, I wasn't keen on the big white 'poof' that was supposed to dominate this block, so I tinkered with it a little.

Monday 16 March 2009

The last of the frilly dillies ... for now

I am feeling a bit 'frilled' out after making three of Janelle's Frilly Dilly bags in such a short period of time. But this one was a priority to finish for my Little Miss Thirteen!
You can't really tell in the photos, but I scaled the pattern down to 80% and, if it's possible, Janelle's design is even cuter when it's smaller! The fabrics are all from one of my favourite ranges, 'Summer in the City' by Urban Chiks for Moda, on linen - just for a change!
And I managed to find another vintage buckle, perfect in '1970's, in-your-face' orange.

Friday 13 March 2009

Journal cover variation

I stitched this whimsical girly some time ago and she has been sitting patiently waiting for me to make her up into a journal cover. 'At last', she declares!
I have used my previous journal cover tutorial again for basic dimensions. 
The stitched panel was too big to include a scrap-pieced strip on the front cover, so I sneaked one in on the back instead:
And another on the inside:
And I used some ric-rac to trim the top & bottom edges:
The stitchery design comes from the lovely Elsa Mora blog, as a free pattern here
Of course, you can use any stitchery design you desire to come up with a similar result.
I have had some great comments from several girls who have made up journal covers from my tutorial. I will be back soon to showcase some of their fantastic interpretations.

Monday 9 March 2009

My Brunsvigia josephinae is flowering!

Yes, I probably need to get out more! But I was very excited to find, on a quick trip back to our farm garden on the weekend, that my Josephine's Lily (Brunsvigia josephinae) had shot up two wondrous flower spikes for the first time.

It is difficult to capture this amazing plant in a photograph. It has similar growth pattern to a Naked Lady (Amaryllis belladonna) in that the flower spikes appear from large, bare bulbs with the foliage appearing well after the flower is gone.

It is a rare bulb, and was given to me by a gardening friend with the instructions to 'guard it with my life'!

It supposedly takes many years before it will reward the grower with blooms, and yet mine has flowered within two years. How special!

The lily was reportedly named after Empress Josephine, Napoleon's first wife, who was a patron of horticulture & established famous gardens at Malmaison in France.

Saturday 7 March 2009

Silly Gilly lists Frilly Dilly

I know, the title is a shocker, but I will only ever get one chance to use it! Gillian of Silly Gilly has listed my Spring Frilly Dilly bag on eBay.
The listing ends on 13th March, so there is plenty of time to get your bid in if you are interested. 100% of the proceeds (apart from postage being charged at cost) from this auction will be sent to the Red Cross 2009 Victorian Bushfire Appeal. The eBay listing for my bag can be found here, and there are many more items being auctioned on behalf of other crafters here. An enormous thank you to Gillian for organising the auction for such an important cause.

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Fun at the fair

There were lots of treasures to be found at our annual school fete on the weekend, the highlight being this gorgeous old pink dish for $2.50 on the White Elephant stall. I have no idea what era it is from, but it reminds of my Grandma's depression glass.
I spoiled myself with a new necklace made by Picadilly Designs.
And I found wonderful fresh quinces & rhubarb. The quinces are destined for quince paste, and the rhubarb is screaming to be teamed with new season apples in a crumble.
So there is no shortage of things for me to do today. There is one more frilly dilly to be finished, this one for my daughter ...
And I need to get back to finish this ...
and this ...
Although I'm really tempted to pop over here & make one of these sweet pincushions!
Have a great day. I'd better get to it!

Monday 2 March 2009

Sweet & swanky giveaway at V & Co

A quick post tonight as it is late & I need some sleep after a day of financial reconciliations - oh joy! Just letting you know about a very sweet giveaway over at V and Co. The lovely Vanessa is giving away two very cute honey buns, so be sure to pop over to visit her before Thursday.
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