Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recently I have been busy finishing those projects that for some reason (usually because I start a 'must do' new project) I don't seem to get around to completing. It always amazes me how little time it takes to finish the project once I get back to it. This could possibly be because of a new skill learnt in the mean time that makes finishing the project that little less daunting. A few of my UFOs (unfinished objects) happen to be quilt tops and now that I am beginning to get the hang of machine quilting I am seeing them in a whole new light. I love the look of hand quilting but just can't get to it as much as I would like to. How amazing to quilt a whole quilt in a day or two. Here is a quilt that has been sitting around unfinished for over two years. It began as a family school project using my unwanted fabric, with everyone in the family (even hubby) embroidering a square. We sewed the squares together, put the borders on and then it sat....... until last week.

This pillow case sat unfinished for a year or more and when I decided to finally pick it up and finish - it was done in just over an hour!

Here is an update on my last post. After browsing online to find out how to stipple quilt I thought I would give my Cake project a go. This is the end result!

Before I go here is a present project in the making that I am really enjoying. The blocks are pieced by hand and the sashing is pieced on the machine.

Friday, January 29, 2010

This year began for us with a holiday to Orbost Victoria to visit some dear friends. Amongst swimming in the Snowy River, canoeing and croquet my friend Carolyn taught me how to make a lead light window for a cupboard door. Lead lighting is something I always wanted to try and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. Here it is sitting on the cupboard it will eventually fit into.

On our return trip we went to visit Foxglove Spires, the garden featured in the book Velvet Pears by Susan Southam. What a delight! And to think this garden is only about twenty-five years old.
We took our time wandering, absorbing its beauty and gathering ideas for the garden we would love one day.

On the creative side of things... here are a few things that I've been up to lately. A few years ago I wanted to make an old fashion wax doll for my daughter's birthday. But of course I didn't know how, so I designed a calico doll and dipped her in melted wax. Now six years on and with the wax not as easy to come by, I thought I'd have another go only this time using varnish. They remind me of wooden spoons so I've called them Wooden Spoon Dolls. I've been selling them in a local country shop.

Free hand machine applique is another fun thing I've been learning lately. Along with three other friends we decided to make the Willow cushion by Don't Look Now. I hadn't used my free hand machine foot before and was a bit unsure about the whole machine applique thing. After a lot of practice on scraps I bit the bullet and started out. When I started to relax and enjoy the process my mind started to run and I thought I'd have a little fun creating my own design. I was inspired by a friends sister who teaches under privileged girls in Cambodia to make and decorate cakes as a form of income. As you can see I have not yet finished. I need to stippled quilt the entire background. (Another skill I am learning on the machine.)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Well here I am back again and feeling very ashamed at how little I have written. Life has just swept me along the last month and a half... So here I am to take a breath. I was spending a bit of time in my garden today and could definitely feel Spring in the air so I thought I'd post some of my favorite pictures of flowers. I grew these in my Tassie garden a few years ago. These pictures always inspire me to get out into the garden and although I don't have a flower garden in this rental home I do have a vegie patch and that will have to be sufficient for now.



This sweet little flower is a buttercup and it grew all over our paddocks. It brings back childhood memories of putting the flower under my chin to see if it would shine its yellow light on your skin. I think it was supposed to tell you something but I can remember what! My daughter took this photo.

Before I go here is a photo of my completed cushion and hot water bottle bag as well as a couple of other items that I have been working on and or finished recently.

This is a project I have just finished writing up the pattern for so it will be on my web site very soon. I love its simplistic charm.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Well Mothers Day was on Sunday and what a beautiful day I had. I have six children - five girls and one boy. The eldest is twenty-two and the youngest, which happens to be Benjamin is fourteen. My second eldest has just recently been married so now we have a much needed extra male in the family.
The day began as it usually does with me milking Daisy a beautiful Jersey cow. She is not really our cow but I love her as my own. Being Sunday the household had not stirred when I returned, so I made myself a cup of tea and sat down out side in the morning sunshine to read. It just so happened to be my birthday as well so it wasn't long before the house began to stir and I was ushered back to my room while everyone prepared my gifts. We have a little tradition of bringing the birthday person out into the lounge room where everyone is waiting to give out their gifts. This year we went from eldest to youngest. My eldest daughter Christina gave me an unusual gift or so she said but it reminded her of being home schooled, and brought back fond memories.

My second eldest Lisel made me a cushion using a free picture she had down loaded from the internet. I thought it was great! She also added a hat box containing a scarf,beanie and earrings.

The writing on the bottom reads 'Lessons learned at mother's knee last all through life'
Coming to Jessica- She had noticed how much I had admired a jar in a local country shop called Gotta be Country so she went back later along with her sister Bria. They both purchased things they thought I would like.

Mikayla just knows how much I love my local fabric shop and seeing as I'm always borrowing her bag that I made her she thought she'd get me a new pattern to make as well as a gift voucher to buy the fabric that I like.

I've already shown you one half of Bria's (the old electric kettle above) but this really touched my heart. It is a poem that she wrote and then mounted on an artist canvas.
I'm not sure if it can be read from the photo so I'll write it again.

For Mum

Always there to give me a hug when I feel small...
The outfits I have that were picked by you always look best...
She knows the cooking tips. I just have to go to her with the question...
When I need help with sewing or I make a mistake, she always knows a way out...
But best of all she helps me with my walk with God...
The advice she gives always helps...
What also helps is that I know my mum has been through it all... shes there to help.
God made mums for all times...
The happy times when we laugh together.
The sad times when she hugs and comforts me quietly and gently...
The exciting times when she is in on the secret and we giggle together...
The growing times, when I'm not sure; She knows best...
I love you Mum

Benjamin my right hand man, found me this lovely jewelery box as he noticed I had nowhere to keep my bit and pieces.

This all proceeded a lovely roast lamb lunch with home made bread and trifle (made by Benjamin) for dessert. The kitchen was full of chatter and activity as everyone cooked together and enjoyed each others company. All the stuff that warms a mothers heart.
We all had a bit of a laugh about how the gifts have developed over the years from lovingly made paper creations and maybe a painted rock or two when they were quite young, to creations made from scraps of fabric that they collected from my work area or fabric box and secretly made into beautiful gifts for mothers day. So as I survey all my gifts I realize that it is not the gift that is so special but the thought behind it that truly touches my heart.

PS. My beautiful husband gave me a lovely present. Something that I had wanted for years but always passed up on account of the price...

Wow! I love it and are already looking for gorgeous recipes (ones that need a lot of mixing) to put it to use on.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Well finally I am able to get back to my blog. Thank you for all your lovely comments - how encouraging! This month I have had one of my patterns published in Homespun Magazine which has been very exciting. Leisa wrote about a lovely afternoon we all had to celebrate the magazine coming out on her beautiful blog - Eleanor and Ruby. Thank you Leisa :-)

I've been working on another hot water bottle cover or bag. It is not finished yet but I'll give you a sneak peek. I'm working it out as I go along.

I've also been fiddling with this beautiful fabric by Urban Chicks called Swell. I just love the colours. I bought a little pack of 32 squares not sure what to do with them..well I don't think you can have too many cushions so here is another one in the making..

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Welcome to my new blog

These are a few of my favorite things and seeing as this is my first blog posting I thought it would give a picture of what I like to do. I love embroidery, applique and fabric. It is usually the fabric that inspires me although embroidering a doodle of mine is also very rewarding.
The inspiration for this cushion was totally in the fabric. It was one of those moments when you see the fabric and love it instantly even though you are not sure why. I only bought about half a metre at the time (although I went back for more later).

I love making little bags, filling them with lovely scented soap or potpourri and hanging them from a cupboard handle in the bedroom or kitchen. These are a few of my embroideries from my website that I have shrunk down on the photo copier and made int0 a bags.

I read a quote by Leonardo Da Vinci once that said 'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication' I was inspired to design something even more simplistic than what I already do. So hence I turned one of my doodles into an applique. It was so much fun that I'm itching to do more.

Most of my creations come from a need either to be surrounded by pretty things or in this case a new handbag - So I gathered together my favourite scraps at the time and this is what I ended up with.

I made this little Miss and then couldn't decide how to dress her. I wanted a sort of 'French look' and in the end decided to paint her cloths on instead.

Seeing as winter is on the way hot water bottles are the order of the day. I usually stick mine in an old pillow case but decided to become a little more sophisticated and make a hot water bottle bag. I used my hot water bottle as a template but didn't add enough seam allowance so it ended up being a bit small. I thought I'd fill it with a wheat bag instead :-)