Thursday, 31 December 2015

Out with the old...

We are ahead of most of you, and tonight is New Year's Eve.  For the first time in I don't know how long, I told my husband that my idea of a perfect NYE is to stay home and be in bed by ten o'clock.  I'm such a party animal now!  Seriously, our Christmas leadup and Christmas break has been so busy - filled with lovely things like family and swimming and eating and socialising, but I'm just so tired.

So that's the plan.  Quiet evening in with the children, maybe a game of scrabble.  Sounds blissful.

Obviously there's been little sewing done.  I'm waiting for another thirties order, as I can't finish making my log cabin quilt until the thirties oranges I've run out of arrive.  I did sort out the big box of scraps that has accumulated over the last twelve months, and after ironing and sorting, I'm thinking I might do a variation of Bonnie's Scrap Saver System.  Only for the scraps - it seems too wasteful to go cutting whacking great bits of fabric up when I'm overflowing with scraps in the first place.

I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.

I'm keeping a watchful eye on all the Allietaire quilts happening, deciding whether or not I will participate this year.  I am thinking I will, some of the variations look just beautiful and I have a feeling I will like the final reveal very much.  But, again - time is the enemy right now and I can't, I just can't start something else this year!

I wish you all the very best NYE celebration, I hope you stay safe and warm and dry in the US and UK, and safe and cool and hydrated down under, where it is a sweltering temperature again.

Someone asked me how my year had been, and I was very happy to say it was a busy, happy one - nothing went wrong personally, we ended the year with the same amount of loved ones as we started, and everyone seems happy and settled.  What more can you ask for?

See you next year!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas to all!

I'm on a facebook group called Quilting (funny that....) and it's currently going mental over a lovely quilted candlemat/wreath design.

I wasn't going to sew one, I wasn't sure how much I liked them but over and over again they appeared, all in different colour ranges and all really lovely when done in the red, green and cream.

So of course I made one.  I must stress I didn't have a pattern, I just sort of nutted it out with some pictures.  And I'm really pleased with it!

I don't have a candle big enough to do the centre justice, but this little one looks rather pretty with the way it throws those radiating lines.

If you would like to make your own, the original designer is Poorhouse Quilt Designs and it is called the Fold'n'Stitch wreath.

On that note, I would like to wish all my lovely readers a very Merry Christmas.  I'm not sure when I can pop back in (sure as heck won't be before Christmas because that's tomorrow here!!!) but hopefully I can slide back into blogging once all the food is cooked and the visitors have gone home!  I'm really keen to start the Quiltville mystery quilt if I can find enough fabric (ha!) and I'd like to do the annual tallyup of all the UFO's I have currently got happening.  Seems to be my tradition at Christmas time.

Have a lovely, safe, happy Christmas!


Friday, 18 December 2015


I won't go on about how hot it is.  Just know that it's Very. Hot.  And I am officially over it.

 The year has whooshed by and while I've often struggled with time to get things done, I am pleased with myself that for the most part, it's been a productive and quilty year for me.

Next year's word is Discipline.  I want to be a better, more accurate quilter, disciplined in slowing down, doing it properly the first time, being proud of everything I put out in the world.  Some of this year's work hasn't been brilliant, to be honest and I am not too proud of some of it.  So let's hope next year is a more Disciplined one.  I can try, at least.

I don't know if I've showed you this one before.  I suspect I showed you the workings of it but now it's a flimsy and while there's been no sewing, I thought you might like to see one from the vaults.

I am quietly pleased with this one. It's my own hand died fabric, and I can't for the life of me get my hand dies to be bright and joyful.  I tried and tried, and end up with lots and lots of very muted and soft colours, which are very pretty but not what I wanted.  So I have cut my losses, made this very nice quilt that number two daughter has already put her name on to use the fabric up, and I'll just BUY the hand died fabrics I need.  So there.

Hope you've had a great day!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Christmas Roast (and catching up)

***please forgive the DUMB centering of my text on this blogpost.  The computer is doing it all by itself.  The Blogger interface SUCKS, to be honest and until I can find a replacement to Live Writer, I am stuck with it and all its annoying drawbacks**

The girls and I are currently in hibernation mode.  It's well over forty celcius today (Thursday), tomorrow is meant to be hotter and Saturday is hotter again!  'They' are forecasting 44 degrees, with a cool change on Sunday - it should only be 37 C then.  Have to break out the wooly jumpers!

Both the dog and cat are inside with us, and I've been watering the chooks often during this weather (by watering I mean squirting with the hose trying to cool them down) and crossing my fingers we don't lose any.  I seem to lose a chook a year with the hot weather, but maybe that's just old age and the heat helps them along.  

I don't know how the Northern Hemispheres 'do' the heat, but in Australia we learn to close all the curtains early on a day like today, and I have done that for a week or so now.  The house is quite dark now, but very cool due to a gold plated airconditioner, stone walls and large bull-nose veranda.  One daughter is tinkling away at the piano, teaching herself Christmas carols (we recently acquired a free piano, but not one of us is musical at all!).  The other daughter is sharing the lounge room with me, cartwheeling over and over.  She's just learnt how to do that and she thinks she is just fantastic.  She's more fantastic than me, I never learned to do any sort of clever gymnastics.

I've been baking today (seems entirely sensible given the heat!!) and have made about 2029475 pizza scrolls.  Yesterday was chocolate chip cookies for Christmas and tomorrow is the big Christmas Honey Biscuit Bake.  I make these biscuits once a year, work my little buttocks off doing it and swear I'll not do it again, it's just too much hard work.  But year after year I do it, and give the biscuits away to my husband's work colleagues.  Every year he asks when he can take the biscuits in, so of course I'll keep going as long as he likes.

Sewing is sadly not happening much this time of year.  I've been watching the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt happenings over the internet, and for the first time I haven't begun it with the others.  It's a combination of too much happening and also being so turned off (sorry Bonnie) by last year's design.  I've decided to wait until I see the finished result before committing myself to making it.  I have a very strong feeling that this finished quilt will be something I'll love (I keep imagining Roman tiles) so no doubt in January when life is quieter, I'll make it at my own speed.  It would be Murphy's Law that the one year I decide not to make it is the one year I adore the design.

What else is new?  Nothing really.  I haven't got any of my own quilting photos to show you so I shall leave you with another tutorial I enjoyed finding.

Sew Mama Sew has a million (well, maybe not that many but A LOT) of beautiful tutorials that you must check out.  I found this really lovely penguin designed by DelilahIris Designs.  I might make more than one!

Hope your Christmas planning is going well!  If you're in Australia keep cool please!

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Log cabin-ing

This is what I have been doing:

This is what I should be doing:
So much other stuff to do, and all I want to do is sew!

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Lucy Boston - Block One

Despite it being school holidays, and ten days or so away from Christmas, I have been able to sew in small pockets here and there.  And slowly but surely, I achieved one block!

I still need to buy some fabric for the background and cornerstones, but I don't want to get that online.  I think it's too iffy and I need enough to do a whole quilt.  Best to see it in person.

It's really not a bad effort for my first go, and I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Today's tutorial is not the easiest - no real instructions are given but I have always liked a challenge.  It has all the measurements there, and lots of photos, but I'm assuming more than a little sewing knowledge would be required.

It's a very lovely handbag for needlework and clicking on the link I've just given you should take you there.  If you do have a go at making it, please let me know how clever you are!

It's a hot one today and we have already done our outside chores for the day, so while the little ones are watching a movie, I'm sneaking into the sewing room for half an hour.  Can't wait!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Totally Tutorials - Christmas Folded Ornament Tutorial

Don't you love it when you have a programme that works excellently, and they take it away and you can no longer use it?

I'm having that trouble with Livewriter.  Apparently, Windows have discontinued their Live Writer programme and someone else has taken it up.  It's now called Open Source Live Writer and it's apparently going to be bigger and better and blah blah blah.

Which is all very wonderful, except now I can't log in to it using my existing details.  It's not a problem specific to me, apparently if you have a blogger account, you can't use it with the new Live Writer.  Yet.  

So for now, I'm posting this on the (very inadequate if you ask me) blogger webpage.  Not loving it one bit, so please excuse any obvious editing problems - it's not me, I promise!

I spent far too long yesterday trying to work out why my log in wouldn't work, and didn't do any sewing.  So here's another freebie for you.

You see these pleated Christmas decorations everywhere, but sometimes it's hard to follow pictures. If you're like me, a good video is the best at showing how to do the more complicated crafts out there. The very lovely website has a link to a video where you can follow along and make a few of these excellent decorations.  Clicking on the link above should take you where you need to go.  

Thanks for the fabulous video link!

Two days in a row!  Yay me!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

And now for something new

I’ve tried before to blog daily, it just doesn’t end up happening.  I also spend far too much time on Pinterest, saving those pins of crafts and tutorials that One Day I will get to.  Doesn’t happen that I get to them, and more often than not, I lose them in Pinterest, and can never find them.

So for now, I’m going to try and mix my tutorial fetish with my need to try and blog daily, and see if it works. I figured if I can have them all here, on my blog, I might be able to find them.  You’d hope so, right?

I made myself a little header, which looks very blah but it’s a start, right?

And today’s Totally Tutorial is from a new to me blog called mammamiahandmade, the owner of which I believe is Brazilian.  She posted this beautiful little Christmas tutorial a few years ago, and I’m amazed that I only found it yesterday.

Aren’t they the cutest little things?  The tutorial is not in English, but there is a translate function on the blog, and whilst it’s not the best translation in the world the instructions do work out mostly.

Go visit her blog at Mamma Mia Handmade, her name is Andreia.  Thanks so much for your lovely tutorial, Andreia!

Friday, 11 December 2015


Hand piecing a Lucy Boston block while out doing chores. Blogging via the iPhone.  Technology is a wonderful thing

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Two Stitcheries–pushing through the photos….



I’m trying to get my photo taking/documentation up to date before the end of the year.  I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Hope you don’t mind lots of photos of not so current projects?  I didn’t think you would mind.

Somehow I ended up with these two framed stitcheries.  I think they were from the shop.  I know I didn’t stitch them, the work is too lovely for it to be mine!

I remember the days when stitchery was huge.  Is it still as big as it was?  I must admit, now I’m not in the shop I find it hard to keep up with trends.  I do see ladies at quilting doing some stitching but they don’t seem to be doing anything new, most of their things are from older patterns.

I wonder what the current trends are?  Do you know?  Are there current trends these days?  Am I just getting to be an old fogey, stuck in my ways?  Who knows?

Monday, 23 November 2015

Earth Laughs In Flowers






My great grandmother was an accomplished needlewoman (like really accomplished, one strand thread embroidery, back as good as the front, etc etc). 

She was also a world class hoarder.

Somehow, I was given (probably by my Nanna, her daughter, NOT a world class hoarder) a piece of Irish linen that came from Great Grandmother.  Goodness only knows how old it was.

I found a really lovely stitched saying somewhere, in one of the many magazines I have here.  I decided I would use the lovely piece of linen and embroider this on it.

But I can’t do ‘fancy’ embroidery to save my life.

So my mother finished it for me.  It has at least three generations touching it, probably four.  I’ve framed it which is why it looks cloudy.  I did have it hanging on the wall for a long time but it’s been packed away in a box someplace, which is okay.  One day I’ll find it again and put it up somewhere.

But it’s safe and sound for now.

Hope your day went well, mine was filled with Children Activities and Volunteering For School.  It’s the pointy end of the year when all the Christmas activities and swimming activities are crammed in before the end of term, which means I’m out a lot.  But small blessings – ballet will finish soon for the school year and I’ll have my weeknights free at least!

Talk soon!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

My Blue Heaven (or at least half of it)

I tried making the Quiltville My Blue Heaven quilt.  I’ve talked about it before, it turned out blech, like one big blue blob.

I ended up making two separate quilts (why not, it’s not as though I don’t have enough tops already!), and this is the first one.  I like this one, the stars are clearly defined, it all looks a treat.






The other one looks very dull.  It’s okay, better as a back than a front I think, which is what I will end up using it for.  I don’t know if I posted it before, looking online is too much like hard work so I’ll just repost that tomorrow if I have.

So we all okay this weekend?  I had a quiet weekend, went out for tea with my in-laws last night, went to the Russian Ballet the night before (I am v. v. cultured – didn’t you know?).  Staying in tonight, back to the school rush tomorrow.  The ballet was beautiful, and the audience was filled with little girls, as they were performing Sleeping Beauty.  Ever hear a group of little girls tittering in laughter when the boy ballet dancers come on?  Oh, it was gorgeous.  I mean, there are NO surprises when it comes to the male dancers costume, and the little girls thought that was hilarious.  I must admit to wondering myself how … well, how they put their tights on, if you get what I mean.  Fabric seems to perform engineering miracles in certain places, it really does.

Back to the grindstone tomorrow – keep well, everyone!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

More light and pretties….

I’ve showed you this before, but as I am rephotographing and labelling everything, I have a better photo for you.

This is prototype Two of the very first quilt I ever made. 

I know, nothing like jumping in the deep end.

Prototype One was a disaster.  I knew nothing.  The pattern was in centimetres.  Nothing worked,  nothing matched, it was a dog’s breakfast.  Most of it was made in polyester.  Did I mention it was a disaster?

I so loved the design though.  So after I had given up in defeat with Prototype One, I put the pattern away for the day when I perhaps knew a little bit more about quilting/pattern drafting and I could maybe do the quilt again properly.

And I did.  There are still swathes of imperfect things in this quilt – I doubt any of my nine patches are exact (so, so far from that), and I’m sure the points of the flying geese don’t work but I don’t care.  I love it to pieces.












It’s not massive though and it remains a flimsy partly because I am thinking I might add a few more borders to it, to make it a bit bigger.  It’s currently too small for a single bed but it’s so bright and cheery, I think it would look great on one of the girls’ beds.  I can’t decide.  I’m dithering, I know.  My brain is all over the place right now.

I have very little in the way of pastels anymore (because I’ve used them all up!  Have to buy some more fabric!  What a shame!) and I think that’s what is stopping me.  I’m planning a day trip to the next town to do some Christmas shopping soon so that might be the push I need to pop in to the local quilt shop and get some pretties. 

What do you reckon?  What should go next?  My brain is stuck in a log cabin rut so I’m finding it hard to think of any other patterns.

Hmm. Shall continue to give it thought.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Hot As … you get the idea

We’re in the grip of a heatwave this week.  Today is scheduled for 44 degrees C (111 F), it’s officially described as a ‘catastrophic’ day.  Yep.  School busses have been cancelled, as they do in a ‘catastrophic’ day so I had to run the children in.  That doesn’t bother me but going out to pick the up at three p.m., when it’s going to be at its hottest- THAT bothers me.  I very nearly kept them home, purely for that reason.  And the pool is a lovely shade of green, as the filter isn’t working.  First world problems, I know. 

My house is made of stone and for the most part doesn’t really need air-conditioning, if I’m clever and close the house up before the heat sets in.  So it’s now lovely and dark and cool inside, and I must admit that I may well just have a lazy old day on the couch. 

I’ve not much to show you in the quilting side of things.  I’ve been madly sewing log cabins in an attempt to get them finished.  And I’ve run out of creams so I’ve had to do an emergency order from someplace, so I’m waiting that out.  I did manage to finish another top, that will be ironed today and photographed so I can show you that tomorrow.

I did have a couple of videos to show you, but the internet is not behaving for me today and so I can’t work out how to load them. I shall tinker offline and see what I can do.

So there you have it, an update with absolutely nothing to update!

Keep cool and safe!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

2015 Mystery Quilt Part Eight

Let’s get this all put together, shall we?

To make this quilt, you should have the following:








Unit H – 42 Units







Unit G – 36 units






Unit F – 14 units remaining










Unit A – 49 units








Unit D – 6 remaining






Unit C – 98 remaining

You will need 49 Unit A blocks and 98 Unit C blocks.

Stitch a Unit C (flying geese) block to either side of Unit A.
















Repeat this to make a total of 49 blocks. This will be known as Unit I.

Row A

You will need 42 Unit H blocks and 42 of the newly made Unit I blocks.

Stitch a Unit H block to a Unit I block:


Repeat to make seven rows of six blocks as shown below:


Stitch the final Unit I block to the end of these rows.


Stitch the last remaining Unit F to either side of the rows, following pattern placement.


Repeat this step to make a total of seven rows.

Row B

Stitch the Unit G blocks into six rows (six Unit G blocks in each row)


Stitch the remaining Unit D blocks to the end of each row following pattern as shown:


You should now have Seven of Row A:


and six of Row B:


Now all you need to do is sew the rows together, and we do this by sewing a row A to a row B, to another row A and so forth until all our rows are used up.

And here is your finished quilt:


I’m hoping so much that you like it! Feel free to add a border if you wish, but I kinda like it just the way it is. I’d love to see any photos you have if you’d like to send them my way. My address is

Thanks so much, once again!