Wednesday 30 June 2010

It’s Cold Here This Morning.

Minus 6.7 degrees C this morning. It is cold when the frost goes right to the tops of the trees.

Here are few photos.

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The sun has come out while I am typing this, so hopefully it will warm up a bit now.

Sunday 27 June 2010

Early Bird Challenge and Other Finishes

This morning started out with a big frost and we are expecting more very cold mornings this week.  The best thing is that the days are usually then nice. So, today we decided to have sausage sangers for lunch.  I love coming here for lunch, and it is so close to home.


This is actually our front yard.  There is a stand of big old yellow box just down from our house, so we included them in our yard and leave it all ‘au natural’.  And, of course, all trees need an old header rotting away.  We were lucky enough to find this one at a clearing sale for next to nothing years ago, and it looks the part.  You will notice that Biggles is never too far away when there is food involved.


It was nice enjoying our billy tea in front of the remains of the fire.


Now for some more finishes.

Judith challenged us as part of the Early Bird Christmas Crafting to create a gift from two fat eighths of fabric and whatever embellishments we like.  Straight away I knew what I would make, a sewing companion, like I have made a couple of times before.  But, do you think I can find the pattern.  Not on your Nellie.  The annoying thing is that I saw it just recently.  Maybe this is telling me something!

Now my mind was a blank as to what to make, so I decided to go off on a slightly different tangent and see how many mini gifts I could make from two fat eighths.  I decided to use two coordinating pretty blues.

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This is what I managed to get out of them.

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I started off with the tissue cover in the middle.  This time, rather than use a press stud, I made a loop of hat elastic (very handy that lots of swing tags on clothes now come on hat elastic – throw nothing away) and use a pretty button.  Now that I look at it, I could have made it much prettier, but I know that for next time. It has the contrast stripe on the inside.

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I think I got carried away on the mini handbag lavender bags doing tiny colonial knots in single strand on the baby ric rac, but it looks super cute.

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Now to add buttons.  I needed a pretty pink button for one of the handbags.  I have accumulated several button jars and tins, but couldn’t find a pretty pink button.  Funnily, I seem to have hardly any pink buttons.  Also, try and find a button in all those jars and tins.  So, I decided to do something about it (and waste half the afternoon yesterday). 

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Now that looks better.

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I just have to find somewhere to put the jars.

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My precious buttons are still in their jars, all mixed up.

Still no pretty pink button, so as we had to duck into town to visit Mum and Dad, we called into Spotlight and bought one.  How sad is that!

Anyway, back on track.  The little note book cover was based on Bloom’s great tutorial and the little luggage tag lavender bag is just something I made up to use the remaining scraps.  I quite like the way it turned out.  I still have this much  left and I reckon I should be able to make some other little something with it. We'll see.

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I have a couple of other mini gifts to share as well.  A friend our ours is due to have her first baby on Christmas Eve, so I made a couple of pairs of cloth baby shoes.  They are so very cute.  Her Mum collects frogs, so they are appropriate and I just love the way the little red pair turned out.  I used a tutorial on the Michael Miller website.

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A few years ago I had a few girlfriends around and showed them the basics of patchwork and we all made a table runner which used quite a few techniques. From the scraps from that day I made these coasters using Tazzie Quilts tutorial for my friend Cath, as she loves the rich colours and they will match her runner she made on the day.

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So, here are all the mini gifts I have made for the month of June. I must say that I’m rather pleased with what I have achieved.  Judith’s challenge was just what I needed.  I don’t know who they all will go to, but they can be little stocking stuffers, or for those unexpected occasions.  Also, all the fabric is from the stash, which is a bonus.


I will note that a lot of these weren’t on my list in my journal and several that I did have listed haven’t been made, but that doesn’t matter.

I’m looking forward to next month’s project now.

Sunday 20 June 2010

Darling Harbour Quilt Show and Early Bird Finish

I had the best day yesterday at the Darling Harbour Quilt Show.  

The weather was glorious.  Imagine looking out over Darling Harbour from up there.

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My friend Cath hadn’t been before and she had a ball.  There were so many stands to look at.  This only shows a portion of them. There were 10 Aisles plus the actual Quilt display.

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The quilts on trader stands were stunning in their own rights.  This is Logan Patchwork.

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And of course The Quilters Barn has the most beautiful fabrics.

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When we went to have a look at the quilts we finally met up with Cardygirl.  It is great fun meeting blogging friends for real. We even remembered to take a photo for a change.

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Now to the quilts.  They were simply stunning.  I don’t know which was my favourite. The workmanship seems to get more intricate all the time. It was actually a bit overwhelming.  Anyway, here is a selection. I haven’t taken note of the makers of any of them I’m afraid.

This one had a very simple centre, but I loved the overall effect.

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Just gorgeous.

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Not something I’d ever make, but you just have to appreciate the amount of work that has gone into this one.

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The photo doesn’t do this quilt justice.  It is actually really rich with blacks and golds.  All 60 degree kaleidoscopes.  It was made by a man and when it was all pieced, he noticed that one triangle was put in around the wrong way…and it was in the middle, so he had to fix it.

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I just love this one.  The colours work so well, but are not at all what you would expect to put together.

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This was stunning. It was quite three dimensional with yo-yos for the wattle and the banksia was all padded.  The colours are more vibrant in real life.  It was a deserved winner.

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Another bright and cheerful quilt.  Beautiful.

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And of course, I had to find one that Mick would like. I love the rich, traditional feel of this one.

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And that’s about it.  There were so many other stunning quilts. I really enjoy seeing quilts up close that I have seen in the magazines.  There were quite a few this time.  I’m sure the magazines will also have a good article showing many more of the entries and winners.

I suppose I’d better share my purchases with you.  I was quite restrained.

I carry a leather backpack as a handbag and mine is getting somewhat ratty, although it is still structurally OK, and I’m having trouble finding a new one that I like. However, this pattern is nearly the same design as my leather one, so I bought the kit to make it in black with Japanese fabric as the feature and a red lining.  I’m itching to make it up. Funnily enough, one of my friends also bought the same pattern.  What are the chances of that in all the hundreds of stands there.

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And this is the rest. The fabric is from the Quilters Barn.  The cherubs will make a lovely centre of a quilt with the border fabric.  It might even go with the Roenneries fabric I have.

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I found quarter inch iron on bias in several colours at a reasonable price at a cute Japanese stand, so I bought black and olive green.  I think the olive will be nice an easy to make appliqué stems, rather than all the fiddling normally required.  And lastly, a couple of reels of Perl 8 in pretty variegated colours.

I was actually surprised that I bought so little.  I mustn’t have been trying.

Oh, and I had to duck outside and have a look at where all the Soccer Football partying happens to show Mick.

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Today has been a nice quiet day at home and I now have another mini Christmas gift completed. As soon as I saw this pattern in the latest Homespun (No 85. Vol 11.6) I knew I’d have to make it.   It is by Nicole Mallalieu and is just too cute for words. Yes, more quilt scraps.

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It is a little lavender bag.  I’ll be making more of these.  Mick just shook his head (again).

Saturday 19 June 2010

Mini Gift

Here is another of the mini gifts I’ve made.  Yes, more of the scraps.  Waste not, want not (or… I just love the fabrics and they happen to be out on the table ready to go).

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It is a little tissue cover to carry in your handbag.  This time I have used string piecing from the bits where I straightened up the fabric and lined it with the red spots.

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These are just so quick and easy, but a bit slower when mucking around finding the suitable size scraps.  More will be made.

Friday 18 June 2010

Baseco Bag and Early Bird Mini Gift

I wanted to make a new bag to take to the Quilt Show at Darling Harbour tomorrow.  I seem to give away any bags I make and end up carrying a green grocery bag with bits and bobs in it, so thought this would be the perfect opportunity to remedy that situation.

Some months back I purchased the pattern for the 'Baseco Mahal Kita' tote from Dawn Hay.  It has taken me a while, but I have finally made my version. 

I’m really happy with the result.  It is nice and roomy and the straps are a good length to carry over your shoulder. The tabs on the top corners give it a good shape.

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I’m currently having fun using the black and cream scraps from the quilt top I’m making.  To tell the truth, I’m probably having more fun with the scraps.

I have lined the bag with a red fabric with a cream spot which sets it off nicely.  I was looking for a suitable red button in all of my jars, but had no luck. I found the perfect button, but it was too small.  Then I found this beauty which was ideal.  There was just the one.  It appears to be quite old and made of  mother of pearl laminated onto the black back.  It has a tiny brass loop at the back. The buttons came from the estate of a very old friend of the family.

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If you see me at the Quilt Display carrying this bag, say “Hi”.

I’ve made a small start with some mini Christmas gifts, once again using the black, cream and red scraps.

This bookmark has been on my “To Do” list for yonks.  There is a pattern in an old Patchwork and Stitching magazine, but it is pieced.  I used foundation piecing onto an interfacing for my version which I found to be the easiest way to make the points accurate.

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I have made a couple of other things, but haven’t had a chance to take a photo as yet.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Back On Line

Yay!  I’m back! I now have an upgraded internet service and a brand spanking new improved computer.  The worst bit was getting everything set up again.  Still a bit to go but nearly there.

As usual, I didn’t get as much sewing done as I’d hoped, but I have a bit to show once I get photos taken.

We had a quick trip up to the Central Coast on the weekend.  Up on Sunday, so that Mick could help a mate that has just moved there with some fencing, and then back again on Monday.

It was freezing cold when we left home – minus 5 degrees C, so it was good to go somewhere a bit warmer.

The sandstone cliffs were stunning as we crossed the blue mountains.

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I even saw my first wattle for the winter, although it was little and hard to get to.


It was beautiful looking down on the Sydney basin from Kurrajong Heights.

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While the boys worked, I set up a spot in the sun and out of the breeze in the shed and did some stitching. A comfy chair and side stool was all I needed and I was still close enough to fetch and carry if asked.

Brian's shed - my sewing spot

Although we have been to Gosford several times, neither of us had been down the peninsular to Woy Woy, Umina or Petonga.  It is a really pretty area and we think we might have to bring the camper trailer up for a weekend.  In the meantime, we had to settle for fish and chips by the water at Ettalong.  It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.

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I’m off to the Quilt Show at Darling Harbour on Saturday.  There is a bus load going from Bathurst.  I can’t wait, as it is several years since I’ve been.  I even made a new accessory to take with me.

Sunday 6 June 2010

Slowly does it

I’ve received one of those nasty emails from our internet provider advising us that we have nearly reached our download limit for the month. I don’t think I could handle a really slow internet speed, so instead of spending time reading  blogs, for the next week I will be sewing.  I will actually have something to write about when we click over to the next month. I’m going to upgrade to prevent a repeat performance.

Tonight I finally finished my Early Bird Christmas Journal cover.  Hopefully I will be able to use this for the next few years.


The only gift I have made so far is this little key ring from Judith’s pattern.  It has been finished for few days now, I’m just slow at sharing it.


Today I spent the day with a friend helping her to make a “Bow Bag”,  designed by Monica Poole, for her mother.  My friend is not a sewer (although she does beautiful cross stitch and knitting), and really enjoyed her day.  The end product should delight her Mum for her birthday in July.

2010_0606June20100009 Just as a little extra, I used some scraps to make a tissue pack cover.  I just fiddled to make a pattern.  Very simple.  I still need to add a closure.  This is the same range of fabric I am using to make my quilt.  I promise to finish the top very soon.  I think I’ll be making some tissue covers as well from my scraps.

So now I’ll be absent from blogland for a week or so.  I’ll have lots of catching up to do then.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Early Bird Christmas Crafting

I’ve joined in on the Judith Tetley’s Early Bird Christmas Crafting which started today and will be running until the end of September.

The first task was to make a Journal to record our progress. Mine is still a work in  progress.  I need to embellish the front cover.  The fabric was in my stash.


The beauty of this book is that it is divided into three sections, so I should be able to use it for the next couple of years as well. I have just used some Christmas paper for the title page.


I’m also doing a little header for each month.


Now for the most important part – to actually make something.  There are too many choices.  I’ll start tomorrow.