Friday, September 28, 2007

Grace's new dolls quilt from AJ!

Look at that grin! Doesn't that face say it all?! We recieved lovely mail on Wdnesday, a package from the very talented and sweet AJ who made Grace and Milly a little dolls quilt because she didn't want one of them to miss out in the EB Dolls Quilt Swap we are all in. Awwww! AJ you are the bestest quilting blogger buddy a girl could have! Thank you for not only this lovely quilt but for your friendship, the chats on MSN, the quilting tips, the gossip about fabric! All the fun stuff in life, looking foward to catching up one day in real life...... Sydney, March, maybe????!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Week 38 - The end of the raggedy edge quilt

Well don't fall off your chairs, but I am about to do a post about quilting! LOL I'm up to the binding on my Dolls Quilt swap, unsure now about it, it looks a bit "safe" may just have to sew another one! And up to sewing the label onto the back of the Quilt Studio's 12 inch challenge, so with two projects nearly scratched off the WIP list, I decided I was on a roll, and dragged out the raggedy edges quilt I started back in June that was a sew along/tutorial for some of the sewing girls on EB, they have all finished their's ages back! Check out Natalie's here and Ad's here and Kylie's here. Great work girls!

But for anyone else who is interested, the getting ready instructions are here, and then when you are ready to sew, here are the steps to part 2. So now, when your up to that bit, here comes to fun bit below!

Once you have all your squares sewn in rows, you need to sew the rows together. Same as sewing the squares, pin it down and sew about 1cm in from the edge. When you get to the bit where the squares are joined, its a bit chunky as you are sewing through 8 layers of material, you can fold one square "flap" up and one down to get it under your machine, or just pull it through. With a walking foot it shouldn't be a drama.

Then once all you have sewn your rows togther so you have two rows joined, you want to keep joining them up till you have the whole quilt top complete. I sew my rows in batches, like if it was a 10 row quilt, I'd sew 2 groups of 3 rows each, one of 4, then sew then together, rather than just adding one at a time, makes it easier to handle when your running it under the machine.

So once all the rows are completed, this is what my quilt looked like! You need to sew around the very edge of the quilt, about 1 cm in again, twice for strength. And now for the fun part!

Get out your little scissors and get ready to be covered in little offcuts of thread as you snip snip snip the edges all the way around! Every side of every square! Be careful not to cut your stitching though. I cut about 2 mm away from the sitching. Then you want to give it a good shake and then pop it in the wash. Don't wash it with anything else cause you'll get little offcuts threads over everything!

After you have washed it, pop it in the tumble drier, this will make the raggedy edges, soft and more raggedy looking, like above. I like to repeat the wash and dry process twice.

Then the next and last step is to snuggle under it, or be a ghost as Grace is here! Hope these instructions make sense, pop in a comment if you make one, love to see a photo!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Thank You Miss Frugality!

A few weeks ago I posted a comment on Miss Frugality's blog and somehow managed to win a little competition she was holding! And look what arrived in the mail last week, all the way from the UK to my mailbox, a lovely parcel of goodies from Julia. The brooch goes perfectly with my new bottle green cardy I got yesterday. And the cards are just lovely, so beautifully made! Thank you Julia, you have spoilt me! Check out her picts in flickr here of her lovely work.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Of all the places to fall asleep....

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I can't get Milly to have a day time nap cause Grace is home and its much more exciting having "quiet time" with your big sister in the lounge room. So come around Thursday and Milly is knackered! Grace has afternoon Kindy Thursday and Friday, so we rush up, drop her off, rush home, put Milly to sleep and then rush back up to pick Grace up a few hours later. Madness! Last Thursday I put Milly down, then went on the computer for awhile, it was quiet so I thought I had success. I went out to the lounge room to do some sewing, to find on the way down the hall, Milly's door was wide open without her in the room, so I checked in her favourite hiding spot and found her! She likes to play in this little nook my Horn cabinet makes when I have it pushed against the couch. So here she was complete with two teddies, her pillow and a globe, sleeping sitting up! Awwwww!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Flashback Friday - Week 7 - Wacky Hair!

My Mum was a hairdresser. She left school in what is now the equivelent of year 10, and did a 3 year hairdressing apprentice. The above photo was takem in August 1963. It has on the back in Nan's handwriting "Julie, Hairdressing Examination, Town Hall, First Year Apprentice, August 1963." So she was 16 here as she is the big 60 in a few weeks! Wonder what grade she got for this exam, and its a good thing she wasn't getting graded on the following picts! Fast foward to 1977 and this is my official year 1 shot! Classic bowl cut! Please note the wonky smile!

Things didn't get much better for the Year 2 shot the next year, bring on the mullet! What a geeky looking kid I was. I look at my two girls and am blown away with what beauties they are, I don't know if I am biased or because they really are stunning.

I suppose with Mum as a hairdresser I'm lucky that these are the wackiest photos of my childhood hair that I could find, quite tame really for Flashback Friday. I do have a memory of Mum cutting my hair when I was about 10 and the kids at school teased me terribly and vowing, never, ever to let Mum cut my hair again!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Week 37 - Caitlin's Quilt Top Finished

Two work in progress items today! I have just finished the boarders of Caitlins quilt! I had Mothers Group at my house this morning, little did Caitlin's Mum know what was sitting in the next room from where we were drinking coffee and chatting! Thanks for all those who commented regarding my square or rectangle deliema. I liked the idea of the rectangle, but the thought of making more blocks didn't grab me, and I didn't want it to get too big. So I took out all the blocks that were just 4 x 3.5 inches, cause I thought I could use them in my Dissappearing 9 Patch Quilt for Milly. So I culled it from 48 blocks down to 35 blocks and slimmed it down to the size above, 91 x 120 cms. I'm liking the pink strippey boarder, thinking a dark pink or purple binding.

Below is a sneek peak of my Dolls Quilt for the EB swap. I used the macro setting on my camera for this shot, I'm impressed, you can make out the grain of the fabric! This has been sitting up on the felt wall for a week, working out colour A or colour B background..... Now I have Caitlins Quilt top all done, I'll get stuck back into this.

I have just listed some half a metre of fabrics in the store too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Bag Swap for Leah

Well now the lovely Leah has recieved the bag I can post a picture! Cass you inspired me to get outdoors and take a photo of it in a tree!

This bag was based on a pattern by Rosalie Quinlan, called Leanne's Shopping Bag. Well sort of.... that was my intention, but when I looked at the pattern the finished bag size was 36 x 41 cms and I thought whooooah too big! Leah wanted a medium sized bag, so I adapted the size and layout of the patchwork blocks to make the bag panal. Then I saw the flower heart motif was actually a pocket! I doubted my pocket making skills, so ditched the idea of a pocket and just used the flower and heart template for an applique. I got to use a fancy stitch around the insert for fun. I did a simple straight quilting around the outside and added a ruffle at the top for fun.

I'd love to be able to put a link to Leah's lovely blog but alas she had to delete it last week due to a "friend" following her in cyber land which I'd find scarey. Only one real life friend knows I have a blog and she hasn't a mean bone in her body so no worries there for me! (hello Ms VDK!) It is a fine line in cyber land, just a shame you had to delete it Leah, I enjoyed reading your news and seeing your latest sewing adventures. Glad your bag arrived safely and you like it. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Flashback Friday on a Sunday! - Week 6 - Say Cheese!

Flashback Sunday doesn't have the same ring does it? I found this photo at my folks house this morning. Daz and I had a night out to celebrate his birthday so the girls had a sleep over. I got Dad to scan it in and email it to me to give him practise as he's just discovered the WWW. Anyway, he has scanned it very small, so my apologies for that, its a bit hard to see my cheesy grin!

This picture was late 1970's, maybe 1979? I was year 6 or 7. I remember thinking I was so hip for this shot as Mum had tonged my hair into all those curls, and the little brooch I was wearing was for special occassions only, it was a peacock and the tail was made of tiny seperate bits all chained together. I loved that brooch, no idea where it is now, knowing how my girls treat their jewllery, I most likely broke it. When I saw this shot my illusion of having a straight even smile was shattered, I have a lop sided smile. Even now its wonky, I practised for my wedding to tilt my head a certain way to even it out, but nope, even that didn't work, I have a wonky cheesy grin!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Husband!

Today was Daz's birthday! Happy Birthday Husband! :) I love saying that word, husband, husband, husband! There was a time when I thought I would never find one and then to be so lucky as to find this guy and have him! I'm a very lucky girl, he puts up with all my grumpy moods and my excessive fabric buying. He's loving, caring, a great cook and an excellent father to the girls, they adore him, he always has time for them. They were so excitied about making this cake, they stuck all the smarties down and Milly seems to be getting some practice in for her birthday in November, she's practically in the container with the cake!

So Daz, looking foward to the upcoming year with you and lots more years to follow that. Happy birthday sweetie, we love you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Week 36 - Layout of Caitlin's quilt - Square or Rectangle?

These blocks have been pinned up on my felt wall for a few weeks now. I have just taken them down and laid them out and now I am torn! Square or rectangle layout? I just need one more block to make it square, that wouldn't take much to whip up. If I did square then I'd move the C down so it was next to the A and the N up so it was next to the I, balance it out more. Square quilts are more for bub to roll and play on. Rectangle layouts are more practical I suppose, this would fit nicely on a single bed. Caitlin is still in her bassinett though at the moment her Mum told me! Maybe I should foward the pictures to Caitlin's Mum, see what she says? Or would that spoil the suprise? I am thinking of boarders as well, about another 4 inches all the way around.

Looking at the photos too, I'd move some of the blocks around. Its too dark around the I and N and that medium sized square under the first I, looks like there should be a letter on that.

Help! So square or rectangle??

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The West Australian today...

There as a little article about us and Gracie Lou in the paper today, the West Australian. Not impressed that our surburb is in the article, don't see what that has to do about anything! Otherwise, pretty cool hey! That picture of us is sooooo old though! Over 12 months ago that shot was taken, at the zoo, on one of those booths where they superimpose an animal. In our shot we are looking at a big orangatang. Milly has no hair in this photo but the pants she is wearing still fit her!

They have played on the fact that our surname is the same as that cartoon. I rolled my eyes when I saw that. You can't read the article from the scan but the last paragraph says " Darren said the show was named after daughter Grace but Matilda was also a character. "I'm only hoping that when they get older, there's no animosity," he joked. "I think I might start saving now for psychiatry bills in case they get too tormented by it." DAZ! What a thing to say! Don't worry Milly, you can have a spin off series, Milly goes to Paris or something like that. :)

To celebrate too, we are running a colouring in competition. So if you'd like your munchkin to win a copy of a Gracie Lou DVD/CD pack, details can be found here. Get those crayons out!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Doll Quilt Swap..... the beginning.

I think the best part of a new project is rummaging through one's stash and picking out bits of fabric, placing them against other bits, stepping back, squinting at the combination and then either rummaging for something else to replace your choice or add to it! Thats what I have been doing tonight, getting ready for the next project! I am starting my dolls quilt swap tomorrow, here are my colour choices already to go, and I have the pattern in my head, we are ready for action! Of course my colour selection will most likely change as I go along, doesn't it always? So how is everybody else going??

Friday, September 07, 2007

Flashback Friday - Week 5 - Our Sunday Best

I was so flustered earlier about announcing the shop to be open that I forgot about Flashback Friday! This weeks theme is Sunday Best or Special Occassions. And so here we have my family in 1977. I'm using Scottie's lovely matching shirt and short set with his age on it as the guide! You can't tell from the scanned quality of this over exposed picture, but my dress is actually shirred! The fashion of a girl in a shirred dress has come around again! Mum has very blue eyeshadow on and has a great all over shoulder, even tan! She'd be 30 in this shot, must say looking rather hot for a Mum with 3 kids, 7, 5 and 2! I have a faint memory that it was for a family wedding, one of Mum's cousins or something and after the ceremony and photos, we were taken somewhere else for the night, Mum and Dad stayed on for the reception fun.

The Humming Mini Fabric Shop is Open!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hello fellow lovers of beautiful fabric at fantastic prices! Ad and I have decided to set up a little blog to sell some material. Click on the above logo and it will take you through to the site. Happy shopping. :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Week 35 - Springtime!

Ahhh, spring is here! I don't really consider myself to be a gardener, its something I think I will always one day like to do. But here is my first irses of the season! This is the third year I have had them, I love bulbs, pop them in the ground and they just keep flowering each spring! But should I dig them up to move them? Don't some people say that is the done thing every few years with bulbs?

Todays WIP action is a bit cryptic. I have finally finished my bag for the EB Sewing Girls Bag Swap. This is part of it. :) I hope the person likes it. I'll post it tomorrow. So now I can get started on the doll quilt for the EB Quilters Swap. I have pictured in my head how it will look, just need to research colour choices and then rummage in the stash and get sewing! Then finish Caitlin's quilt before Christmas. Phew! Think its time for a list again soon!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Weirdest Quilting Gadget Ever?

Look at this! Have you seen a weirder quilting gadget? It is a ruler holder! Mum gave it to me on the weekend, she brought it for $5.00! It still smells of the varnish! Its an odd looking think but seems to do the trick of holding the 4 rulers I have. Good thing it only has 4 grooves to hold!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Quilt labels.....

Call me old fashioned if you will, but I think labelling your quilt is so important! I mean all that hard work has to be remembered! When I recently gave Elliott's Mum his pinwheel quilt, she was so touched by the label! And the backing fabric! LOL :) I have taken pictures of all the quilt labels in our house just for some examples of how much or how little a label can be. One thing though which reminded me why its nice to label your quilt is that we have a total of 6 quilts from my Mum and she hasn't labelled one of them! Two of them are little crib sized ones that she made for the girls when they were born and they came home from hospital wrapped in them. I can just hear her excuse though, "To busy to do the label Helen!"

This one above is on a quilt for Grace from Daz's Nanna. She has embrodied the flowers on and blanket stitched it on. The words are written in a water proof marker.

This one above is the only one Mum has labelled! There was a date written underneath, but mustn't have been in a waterproof marker Jules! I have seen these labels in Spotlight.

This is one on a quilt from Daz's Aunty Joan who gave it to us to celebrate our wedding. She is actually the Mum of Nic Bridges who is an amazing quilter and has an inspiring blog here. That makes Daz, Nic's cousin. So the image is a printed panal and again blanket stitched on and the words in a waterproof marker.

This is one I have done. Bit wrinkled! But at least it won't fade. Thats why I personally don't like doing it with a waterproof marker, it does fade eventually. Hopefully Milly's grandaughters will be lugging their teddies around in this quilt, I want the label to last that long!

And here is how I do my labels. I work out the size and what to say in a programme called Quark XPress. Brush off my old graphic design skills from the advertising days, I used to use that programme for like 8 hours a day and now I just do quilt labels! So I print it out onto a sheet of T Shirt transfer paper. I buy a pack of 5 from Kmart, under $20.00, a brand called Celcast. They come in A4 size, I usually cut it into thirds and print a few at a time. It prints in reverse as the top pict shows, then when you place it onto the material and iron it on, when you peel it off the print is the correct way. Cut it to size and then blanket stitch on. The only thing I don't like is how the iron on transfer leaves a shinny surface to it, I mean its okay, not soft. I have some freezer paper now, so my next label I think I'll print onto that.

Hope all that helps someone. Love to hear how you do your labels!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

We are home from sewing with the fish!

Well after 5 days on an island with no internet access and no fabric shops, we have returned to civilization! It was a nice break away, although cold and wet, and the famous island bakery was closed for the whole time due to refurbishment... which was most likely a good thing for our waist lines! :) We spent a lot of time at the park and Grace and Daz also went fishing a few afternoons and Grace caught her very first fish, two actually! Two whitings, we ate them for tea that night, well we did, she refused to eat one of her "friends" :) She has a hot pink fishing line, very girly, but really, what other colour is a little girl to have? Milly chucked a tanty when she realized Grace has a fishing rod and she didn't. Looks like her Poppy will be buying her one for her birthday in November.

I did take Mum's old Elna sewing machine over and managed to sew together a dozen 9 patch blocks. But space was limited in the back room, I had to share the table with fish in a bucket! Ewwww! So I managed some sewing. I must say I am looking foward to Monday when everyone goes off to work/kindy/daycare leaving me alone!