Wednesday 28 December 2011

Stitching Group Christmas Swap

I’m part of a little group that meets each fortnight for an afternoon of stitching, talking, laughing and eating.  Unfortunately, I don’t get along quite as often as I’d like, but the time I do spend with “the girls” is great fun.

We met for our Christmas get together a few weeks ago and I still haven’t shown our kris kringle swap items.  This is what I made.

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A simple little mug rug to team up with the cute tea for one that I found.  I think they go rather well together.

I was once again spoilt when I received this gift.   A heat wheat pillow and wrist pincushion.

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Bron does the most lovely stitching.

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We had a lovely afternoon together for our Christmas lunch and are all looking forward to our get togethers next year.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

So Very Spoilt

We had a really lovely Christmas this year.  Whereas normally everyone comes to our place, this year we did the driving.

Firstly, we visited Mum and Dad and had morning tea with my side of the family.  Mum had the fine china out, which was made it special.

While we were there I opened my SSCS Parcel from Karol-Ann.  Yes, that is where the being spoilt started.

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Karol-Ann made this gorgeous folded hexagon bag.  Her stitches are so very tiny.  Just beautiful work.  The handles are also gorgeous and quite unusual.  I know it will have lots of use.  There is also  a cute mouse pincushion, little notepad and quilt block key ring.  Thank you so much for spoiling me and thanks to Chookyblue for going to all the trouble of coordinating the SSCS.

The next reason that I am so very spoilt is the result of a squishy parcel all the way from the Isle of Man.  Loulee has been busy sewing too. This is what arrived.

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A scrummy table runner in nice rich colours.  I have just the spot for this little beauty.  If you look closely, you can see something sitting on the runner.  Here it is a bit closer.

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I saw some brooches made out of Manx tartan when we visited the Isle of Man in 2009, but was unable to track down the lady to buy one.  My intentions were to  buy one this year when we were over there, but time just got away on us.  You can imagine what a thrill it was to receive this from Loulee.  She must have had a little inkling that I liked these.  Thank you so very much.

After we left Mum and Dad’s we headed to Mick’s sister’s place for lunch.  We ate outdoors under the big shady trees.  You couldn’t have had a nicer day for it.  It wasn’t too hot, there was no wind, flies or mozzies, the food was delicious and the company enjoyable.

Then we drove to Mick’s brother’s for afternoon tea.  This time I was the giver of something handmade. 

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Yes, the gift I finished at the last minute for my sister-in-law.  I love this pattern for a shoe bag out of Anni Downs’ latest book “Some Kind of Wonderful”. I think I’d better make one for myself as well.

Then it was home for a very quiet evening.

By the way, this is what I sent to Judith in the Netherlands for her SSCS gift.  A bag from one of Anni Downs’ patterns and a Christmas table runner.

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I also had fun  overing a tape measure, which turned out rather well.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas day and that you were also very spoilt.

Saturday 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Wow! Only one more sleep till the big day arrives – well not even that, really.

This year we will be doing the visiting, rather than having family here for Christmas lunch, so today has been a rather relaxed day instead of running around madly.  It was a nice change.

The weather was glorious, not too hot, and no storms.

I even did some gift sewing this afternoon.  Nothing like leaving things to the last minute.

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We are about to head off to the Midnight Church Service now, which is a lovely way to start off the special day.

I’d just like to wish every one a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Have a wonderful day.


Monday 12 December 2011

The Postman Has Delivered

I was getting a little worried that my SSCS parcel had taken the long way round to arrive from wherever it was coming, but today when I came home from work Mick announced that there was a parcel for me and that he had taped some paper over the Customs Declaration so that I would not get any hints as to what the contents are.  Isn’t he a good man.  He knows that I like surprises.

Anyway, this parcel came from the UK and I loved the little robin sticker on the front.  There is just something about robins and Christmas that go so well together.

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My swap partner is Karol-Ann from England and she had made me this cute little heart decoration.

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When you turn it over, she has added a A”Made in Great Britain” tag.  What a great little detail.  I had a little squish of the parcel, but now it will not be touched until Christmas.

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Thanks for the lovely ornament. I can’t wait till Christmas day.

This is the little Owly ornament that I made and sent to Judith in the Netherlands.  I’m happy to say that it has arrived safely.

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Now to check in with Chooky so that she can tick me off her list.

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Comments not Playing

I’ve noticed a little problem with comments being made on my blog posts not coming across as an email into Outlook.  Some come across, but not all.  I’ve checked the settings and all is as normal. Sporadic problems are always the hardest to sort out.

Is anyone else having this problem, or knows of a solution?

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Peas Please

I’m very much a hit and miss vege gardener.  Last year I missed completely. 

When we came home from our big trip I wanted to plant something and peas and spinach were about the only options at that time of the year. 

We have been eating snow peas and spinach for a while, but have now started to pick real peas in the pod.

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Some could have been pick last week, but life got in the way, so we picked them when we got home on Sunday. It’s hard not to eat them all straight from the plant as you go.

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We picked a nice amount.

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It was a lovely evening, so we sat on the back verandah and shelled them.  Just enough to freeze for three meals.

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We’ll be picking them most days now for a while.  Yummo.

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Mick and Biggles had a nice rest after it was all done.

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Monday 28 November 2011

Yes, There Were Quilts

There were some lovely quilts at the main exhibition in Braidwood.  This one featuring Kiwi fabrics was so simple, but so very effective.  It would be a great way to utilise a layer cake.

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There was a challenge set by the local patchwork shop to make a small quilt using the fabric featuring English cathedrals.  This one was  my pick.  Funnily enough, I bought half a metre of the same fabric in Canterbury while we were over there.

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Here is the completed quilts.  I always love the different interpretations that the quilters come up  with.

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There was another challenge on display as well.  This one had the theme of Yellow and Purple and I think it was organised by the Quilters Guild, but not specifically for this event.  Anyway, there were heaps of entries, and once again the array of different ideas was rather amazing.

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I think this was my favourite quilt in the show. The colour selection was so very effective. A traditional design using modern fabrics.

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It wasn’t needle turn appliqué.  I was quite fascinated by the technique.  It appears to have had the red background fabric completely quilted as a whole quilt with a quarter inch diamond in red cotton, finishing up with quite a thin dense quilt.  Then, the design was appliquéd on using monofilament and a tiny zig zag.  What a terrible lot of work.

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I think this quilt must have been made by the same quilter, as the technique was very similar.

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I just loved the scallops on the border.  They were black on a fine black and white polka dot.  The effect was quite striking.  Just coming up with different ideas is half the battle.

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Now this one is rather stunning.  Beautiful work.

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Earlier in the morning I purchased a “Little Twister” ruler, as I’ve seen some small quilts using them and love the look.  After seeing this quilt I went back to the stall and bought the matching larger ruler as well.  The colour placement on this quilt really makes it.

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The colours are also spot on with this cheerful quilt.

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That’s all the photos I took at Braidwood.  The following quilts were in the exhibition at Bungendore, which was on a slightly smaller scale.

This is such a simple effective design with beautiful colour selection.  You just want to snuggle under it, as it looks so warm.

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This was a smaller wall hanging.

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The machine quilting really set it off.

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When you look closely at this one….

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You see that it is all machine pieced.  What a lot of points to match.  Very effective.

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On the stage of the hall this quilt was on display.  It had won a prize at the Sydney Quilt Show. 

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No wonder, once you see all the detail in the appliqué and quilting.

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There were quite a few quilts that had been made with jelly rolls and Bali Pops.

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This design shows off the larger scale prints well.

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There were only three different fabrics in the next quilt.  A very clever design.

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And finally, this one really stood out, being so nice and bright.  A very effective design.

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It is so generous of all the talented quilters to share their work.  It certainly made for a very enjoyable weekend for us all.

I don’t know if it was clear in my previous post that it wasn’t ten women that went down to Braidwood, but five women accompanied by our husbands.   We are all more usually at motorcycle events, but this time it was a weekend for the girls.  Mick is getting used to being dragged around quilt shows without too many complaints, but for a couple of the men it was their first exposure to this sort of event.  I think they were suitably impressed with what can be created and the work and time that goes into them. It was also just a good excuse for us all to get away for the weekend and have a lovely meal together.  We are hoping to do it again some time, and hopefully we will actually get see the quilts on display in the street.

Braidwood Weekend

After planning for several months, the weekend finally arrived for a group of ten of our friends to visit the Braidwood Quilt Event.  I shared our previous visit in 2009 here.  I had also visited before that with one of my friends.

As you can imagine, we were rather disappointed when looking at the weather forecast last week.  However, we all decided to go anyway, it was a good excuse for a weekend away.

It was rather a slow trip down with driving conditions like this all the way to Goulburn.

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After Goulburn we started to see just a little bit of a milky looking blue patch of sky in the distance.  It had actually stopped raining by the time we reached Braidwood and we didn’t need the brolly at all.  What a relief for the organisers.  However, it was too late to hang quilts from the balconies, which is usually a main feature of the day.  The market stalls moved out of the park and down the main street.  Numbers of visitors, unfortunately, were way down on our previous visits.

Was it worth the visit?  You bet!! There was still lots to see.  I think my favourite exhibition was “For the Love of Wool” by a lady named Caroline Ogilvie. Just lovely work.

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There were just a few quilts hanging outside.  Notice the colour of the sky now.

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The museum hosted an exhibition of art quilt Waggas inspired by the make do nature of the originals.  They were all made by a man.

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There was a display of Asian Textiles in the beautiful Courthouse.

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Just look at that sky!

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A few more quilts made it outside.

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The Anglican Church is a lovely backdrop for more quilts.

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Isn’t this quilt gorgeous.

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Next door in the Masonic Lodge there were more quilts.

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There was even an exhibition of wedding dresses owned by a local lady at the Services Club.

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After so many things to take in we all gathered at the pub for a well earned relax in the beer garden. There were a couple of these little fellows buzzing around. Does anyone know what it is?  It was like an oversized, iridescent  mozzie. 

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We finished off the day with a beautiful meal at one of the restaurants.  I can’t believe that I forgot to take a photo of us all together.

While we were in Braidwood we heard that there was also a Quilt Show on in Bungendore on the weekend, so made a detour over there on the way home.  We haven’t been to Bungendore in years and years, so it was a great excuse to have a look around.

The weather was so much more pleasant on the way home than yesterday morning.

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Yes, I did take some photos of the main quilt exhibition in Braidwood and the one in Bungendore, but I’ll share them in a separate post.