Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fantastic Christmas Pressies!

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! Survive? We did, only just though! It was all a bit rushed, rushed, rushed. Next year I might put my foot down and say Christmas is here and all the family can come to our place instead! Anyway...... look at the best two pressies a girl could get!

Photo from Punch With Judy website.

A pink Bobbin Winder! How cool is this?! No more unthreading my machine to wind up a bobbin when half way through doing something. It runs on 2 AA batteries or plugs into the wall. So simple even Grace worked out how to use it! Thanks Ad, what a legend of a sister!

Photo from Amy's Etsy shop.

And this stunning block arrived from Amy Schimler at Red Fish Circle on Christmas Eve, a little pressie to myself. It's 7 x 7 inches, it is just beautiful, I love the texture even though it is smooth to touch. Don't know quite what to do with it yet, it will be the centre of some wall quilt I am sure.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well the fat man in red is nearly here! Wishing all those who read my blog a very Merry Christmas, all 8 of you! Thanks for sharing the sewing and quilting joy of 2008. Looking foward to doing it all again in 2009.

I have stockings to stuff for two little sleeping girls, they are so excitied! They finally aren't scared of Santa and get Christmas. Then I have to go eat half a carrot to prove the reindeers have been in the lounge room.....

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our latest art from Arianne.

Well I haven't been doing any sewing myself lately, but on Friday night I did help the local art community by buying these two peices from my friend Ari! She had an exhibition opening down Freo way, exhibiting 100 46 x 46cm canvas's. 100! So Daz, the girls and I went along. I wanted to buy something for Daz, a lot of art on our walls is my taste, especially the dolls quilts. So he picked the above painting, titled Flight of the Devine Winds. Could be symbollic of the year ahead of us in 2009 if Daz gets accepted into Uni.... I like the blue textured background and in the black is all these tiny detailed dots of white making patterns.

I choose this one for me, to add to my collection of dolls quilts, although its not a dolls quilt, it could be! Ari said to me "what are you getting this one for? You could make it yourself!" And, yes, its free motion stitching on felt with some hand stitching as well, but I loved the looseness of this, it felt free, my work I sometimes feel is too stiff and tight? So some inspiration for me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Grace has Graduated!

We had the big class graduation and concert yesterday afternoon. Seems like only yesterday that I was posting here when she started school! She got a lovely report, is doing very well in all the important areas of literacy and numeracy skills but the comment that made me smile was "she is a cheerful girl with a great sense of fun. It has been a pleasure to teach Grace. She always greets me with a smile and a tale to tell."

Congratulations Gracie, bring on year 1 in February 2009!!

PS - No WIP Wednesday as I haven't done any sewing all week. Wahhhhhhhh!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dolls Quilt and Bag Recived Yesterday!

Two parcels sitting on my doorstep yesterday. Yahhh! In one was this sweet bag from my talented bagmaking blogging buddy, Cass! Love this print, I love how she has got the tree trunk right in the middle of the panal! The fabric is from Lara Cameron, Bird in Fuchsia its called, its stunning. I think if my memory is correct, Cass snapped up this in a sale before I even knew about it and I was spewing. And so she made me a lovely bag, thanks Cass.

And the other parcel contained my dolls quilt from the Flickr Doll Quilt Swap #5 finally arrived! It is from LilFrankie all the way from the other side of Australia. It makes me think of a nautical theme with the red, white and blue and the swirly fabric suggesting waves. Thanks Lilfrankie!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Round Robin Top Complete!

I picked up a registered post parcel this morning from the post office and was very very very excitied to find that my Round Robin quilt top has returned home! And when I opened it I just went ohhhhhhhhhhhh, its stunning! Love it! I couldn't be happier. It turned out quite big, hence the wonky photo above, I couldn't quite get over it to get a straight shot. It sits quite nicely on our queen sized bed, makes me think of adding a bit more to make it a quilt for our bed?

So I did the centre square back in February and then AJ sewed from the stripes to the red dotty fabric. I like the contrast of the deep red with little black watermelon pips fabric in the corners making a cut off triangle. And the dainty little flying geese going round in a circle! It looks great!

Then off to Joy it went. She has done this cool stip weave pattern, I really should become more of a "proper" quilter and learn what these blocks are called! Very effective. In the corners she has used her embrodiary machine to sew some little tulip and cherry motifs, I like how the black and white stripes lead your eye into them.

And then at last it went to Emma's house. Emma's border has really framed the quilt. I love all the white and how she has taken the same buds as the centre square to tie it all in. Its very, very nice.

The other Round Robin quilts are in different stages. Joy's is finished and back at her place too, check it out here. I have AJ's ready to post on Monday and I think Emma's is still at Joy's getting the final touches. A great round robin girls, I'm glad I participated, thanks for organizing it Emma.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WIP Wednesday Week 44 - Squid Eye Quilting Close Ups.

The last few times I have posted a WIP shot of this quilt I have freaked out a few readers of this little blog. They thought the colours I outlined in photoshop on the quilt's photo too show what I had done, was the actual quilting! LOL No girls!!! Funny chickadee's! Above is the real quilting. Getting there, slowly.....

Christmas at the moment means work, work, work. I have a small part time job in a big retail store as some of you know, and this time of year my hours go crazy! We don't usually have Sunday trading in Perth either but for December we do, so my sewing time is limited at the moment, sewing when I can, thats all a girl can do isn't it?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Wiggles 2008.

Milly and I along with a close girlfriend and her 3 year old son went to the Wiggles last Thursday! I realized it has been our 4th show, once a year we have been, every time they come to Perth. We may have moved on the Princess stuff and watch Shrek and Madagascar more on telly that their DVD's but they are still fantastic live.

Left Grace at school, I think she's too old for them, but Milly is the perfect age to get up and dance. She had no qualms at leaving us standing at the side and wandering up to the toddler mosh pit where she'd alternate being clapping and staring! See her above on the very left in the pink top? Look how close she got!

They always do a song where they go out to the crowd. It all happened quickly and Jeff was all of a sudden there in front of us, and I got flustered and didn't get the lense cap off my camera and the right settings set in time so I got this shot as as he walked past. Typical! See Milly in the back following him? The blurred pink top? Classic!

Now here is my favourite Wiggle! Well he's not technically a Wiggle.... Ben, the Wiggly Dancer! Watching him do his crazy wacky energetic dances leaping over the place, made watching Wiggle Bay 1,000,000,000 times bearable in those early days when we discovered them. It was the only DVD we had for awhile! Anyway, I think he's fantastic, I'll admit, I am a fan, he's great! So when he walked our way, I had my camera ready and my girlfriend took this photo. As he approached talking to the kids and collecting roses for Dorothy, I said "Excuse me Ben, would you mind if I got a photo with you?" If he was suprised that it was a Mum that wanted a shot without a child in tow, he didn't let on! He said "Sure!" Photo was taken, I said "Thanks so much, we think your fantastic in our house." and he said "That's great! Thanks so much" and then he touched the middle of my back as he moved away to collect more roses from the kids. And then I couldn't stop giggling for the next 10 minutes.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Wonky Squares

I'm thinking about making a quilt for Milly's bed with wonky square blocks. Spent a few hours today having a play with these. Pinks and purples on white I think. These would trim down to 8.5 inches.

Not starting till after Christmas!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Give Away Day Winner!

312 comments????!!!! OMG! That just blows me away! I feel so humble!! I was thinking 80 or so comments. Last night I had my blog open in one window and was doing other stuff in another window, I'd do back to my blog and hit refresh every 5 minutes to find another 10 comments added! It's going to be hard to beat that for my next blogiversary giveaway!

And so we have a winner! Elizabth from Bits of Sunshine, congratulations, this will add some sunshine to your house. ( I copied and pasted all the comments into and the first user name that come up was the winner.)

Thank you all for your lovely words and encouragment. I'm just amazed that people out there like what I do. I have found some lovely blogs too from linking back to the comments, thank you everyone, wish I had 312 quilts to give away, or rather 311, I saw you Car post twice. Cheeky!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Give Away Day

It is Give Away Day. Yahhh! I have this mini wall hanging quilt up for grabs. It measures just under 17 inches square, has a pocket on the back all ready for a peice of dowel to pop in and be hung on the wall. I haven't labelled it, I'll make a label for the winner. You can enter if you are overseas or in Australia, just leave a comment and I'll do the random draw thingy.

I had 61 comments in my July 2 Year Bloggiversary Giveaway, wonder if I can beat that? Good luck!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

WIP Tuesday - Week 43 - A Pink Cow

Another square cut from this UFO wall hanging to make a mini quilt. I need to add some eyes and it's just going to be a quick little mini for a friend. I miss making mini quilts from the flickr mini quilt group, when the Mystery Quilt is finished and maybe the Squid Eye, two big projects then I'll get back into it, once the hype of Christmas is over.

WIP Tuesday hasn't the same ring to it as WIP Wednesday but tomorrow is Give Away Day......

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Milly visits Santa.

I know its not even December yet.... but we have a Santa photo! Milly has been scared of Santa since, well forever! Her first Christmas she wasn't even two months old so no problems that year, but the last two years, she wailed and wouldn't go near him and last year she actually hid behind the pram while Grace had her shot taken. So this year I have been talking him up, she declared "Now I am 4 Mummy I'm not scared anymore!" and sure enough yesterday out shopping we went over and said hello to the jolly man. So proud, she walked up to him, said "Hello my name is Matilda and I'd like a lava lamp for Christmas thank you Santa."

We'll see what we can do Milly Moo!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

WIP Wednesday - Week 42 - Labels and the Twin DQS#5

Well I have sewn these labels down and have this quilt all packaged up to send tomorrow for this swap. All done till round 6, which will be when? Who knows, after the fuss and excitment of Christmas is over I hope. I made a twin for the one I am sending off, of course! I can't bear to send anything away without having a twin for me. Pink and a Micheal Miller Floral. Another addition to Milly's bedroom wall.

I was really happy with the quilting on this one. I only quilted on the white, if I sewed really close to the wonky squares, not quite in the ditch, just really close, it sort of made the squares puff out. Cool!

And finally here is this weeks progress photo of the Squid Eye. Nice chunky yellow quilting this week! Two more squares completed, onto the 5th. Not that bad for a girl with a puffy sore finger.

Thank you for all your comments and well wishes about my finger. My GP decided not to cut it off and has put me on antibotics and some presciption only pain killers. Much better already. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

AJ's Mystery Quilt Top Finished!

I finished this quilt top over the weekend, it is AJ's Mystery Quilt. Well it is not longer a mystery as it is finished! It's the biggest thing I have sewn for ages! I had to peg it to the clothes line to get it all in the photo.

I used up every single pin I own! I realized after I had taped the backing down that I had run out of spray adhesive, so I have sandwiched it without, pinned every 6 inches which I hope is enough...

Now I just have to wait for this to get better before quilting it. I pulled a cuticle back about 10 days ago and thought it would heal by itself but its getting more painful each day and if I accidentally knock it against something, the pain brings tears to my eyes. I have just googled finger cuticle infection and supposedly if I don't get it seen to my finger will fall off! So off to the GP we go tomorrow. :(

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Stash - Week 7 and Give Away Day!

Stash Sunday! What a day! Is there a better day of the week?? Well actually there was this week, Thursday to be exact when I picked up the above fabric.

Spotlight was having a 3 day deal that if you brought $100 of whatever, you'd get $40 off. Hmmmm, I thought, I do need more wadding! And a Superman outfit for a Christmas pressie for this little man, so I went in! Just had to get half a metre of these Lakehouse spots, the spots are metallic and the yellow was too pretty to leave there as well, its like a golden yellow, don't know what I'll do with it, but it helped get my total to $102 so I walked out happy. Which that in itself from Spotlight is pretty amazing! The last two visits I have left empty handed and cross. Hurry up Aussie Dollar and get high again against the American dollar so I can shop online!

Also while I am here, book December the 3rd into your blog diary as Sew Mama Sew are hosting a Give Away Day! Basically you offer a handmade item made by yourself to be given away and on the day you do a post about the item and pick a winner from the comments left. Fun! I have something here already made but you'll have to pop back on the 3rd to see what it is!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WIP Wednesday - Week 41 - A pinwheel!

I must admit I haven't done much sewing this week but I have whipped up four of the above blocks. I dusted off the instructions for AJ's Mystery Quilt finished back on WIP Wednesday, Week 9. (Embarrassingly enough in that same post is another quilt top finished and still waiting to be sandwiched! Ek!) These blocks are going in the corners of the Mystery Quilt, then just a wide long plain border of this Valori Wells fabric purchased back in April and then all done, ready to sandwich. That's the plan anyway..... I'm really hoping to get this done for a shhhhh shhhhh secret squirrel occassion early in the new year. I'll say no more!

I promise I won't bombard this blog with a photo of the Squid Eye quilt every time I take a stitch, but thought it would be fun if I made myself a little mud map to track my progress, just to keep my interest up. So all the wobbly drawn lines in Photoshop? That is where I have quilted.....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Stash Sunday - Week 6

Just a little Stash Sunday post today. I have these squares sitting on a shelf in my sewing area and they just look so pretty I can't bare to use them. I cut up two little squares for the Blogiversary Mini Quilt of a green and blue print but then folded the fabric back up, ironed it and put it back in this little pile. That's not strange is it?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Let the Hand Quilting Begin.....

Ohhhhh, this is going to be harder than I thought. This metallic thread is a PITA to work with! Each strand frays into 6 seperate strands again... Its fiddly, took me like 2 hours just to do these 4 outlines, can you even see them in this photo? Am I imagining they are there??

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WIP Wednesday - Week 40 - The start of hand quilting the Squid Eye!

Just a small ekkk as I typed Week 40 as the title of the post! Ekkk! Look at this view into my sewing room! This is what I see as I stand at the door. My flickr dolls quilt ready to wash and label. Lisa's lovely mini of triangles. A stuffed doll Grace has been asking me to sew the arm back on for months! That blue and green quilt top I made in August for no real reason, waiting to be sandwiched and quilted. I thought I might use it to practise stippling on? Or just diagonal lines? Anyway, something for another day.

With the end of the year approaching I want to finish two projects before starting 2009. Being a bit ambious maybe, but you have to start somewhere. I had a mantra in high school, the sooner you start something, the sooner you finished it. And I want to finish this quilt and the Squid Eye Quilt!

All I had to do was sew an inch strip around the top and it was finished and then spent the day sandwiching it and hand basting it. I want to hand quilt this one. I have never attempted hand quilting before, I'm after a long term hand work project to take along to the girls swimming and gym classes, something to work on when we go to Rottnest and I can't take my machine, something to do at night in front of the telly when I don't want to do any machine sewing. So I have decided to tackle this one as it will most likely be a wall hanging, its big, 50 inches square. Wonder how long it will take me? I picked some pretty metallic DMC threads to contrast.

I have hand basted it with just a strand of DMC thread, that took 2 nights! I figured I couldn't use pins as I'll need the pins before I am finished I am sure. Daz was watching with interest as I was doing it at the dining room table, although he had his "she's crazy but I'll support her in her little hobby" face on and when I said I'm hand quilting this, he raised his eyebrows and I made him promise to remind me what a good idea I thought this was in a few months/years when I am cursing myself for even attempting this!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Last Nights Sewing and a Small Stash Sunday.

Last night I turned off the computer and actually sewed! Too many night's I just sit on the net looking at blogs and flickr and admiring other peoples amazing work and dreaming and then next thing I know its midnight and I have done no sewing! So last night I turned it off and sewed. The TV was on in the background and Rockwiz was on, Daz loves that show. One of last nights guests was Tony Hadley. *sigh* I loved this guy in the 80's in early high school, had the Spandau Ballet poster, t shirt, the album, *sigh* Hearing him sing True again had me stopped in my sewing tracks. What a classic, just had to find it on You Tube and paste it here so I can simply play it over and over again while I post it.

And so when he had finished singing I returned my attention back to this little dolls quilt and finished it! I ended up going for strippey binding cause there is something so yummy about stripes on binding! I especially like the back, I did it white thread on purpose, add a bit of contrast. I sewed down the binding today.

I have sewed down the binding on 2 sides to my second version of this design in pink and oranges. Once again undecided which one to send. Typical Helen....

And for Sunday Stash seeing as thought it is Sunday, I got this fat quarter from Ads today from Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy range. Very nice indeed.

"Why do I find it hard to write the next line? When I want the truth to be saidddddd. I know this much , I know this much is trueeeeee!

Friday, November 07, 2008

EB Dolls Quilt Sent!

Well as Mands has recieved her quilt I made for her, I can post a photo. Her preferences were familiar, something bright and modern to hang above her sewing area. It was a journey as I did start out with a colour pallette which ended in this quilt. But then when I finished I thought too bright so I picked out these colours. Being the Mum of two girls as well, one can never have enough pink and purple in the house!

This one was also in the running but as I was quilting it two of the light brown seams popped out. The result of making my fabric peices too small and edges being too close to the foundation paper lines! Arg! I fixed it but it wasn't swap worthy so Milly will get this one on her wall in her little collection.

It was a great swap. Shall we do it again next year?

EB Dolls Quilt Swap Recieved!

Today is the day! The grand opening of the second annual EB Quilters Dolls Quilt Swap! I recieved this cute little quilt from Ingrid K. Its a chalk board quilt! Sew many projects, sew little time, never a wiser word spoken! And its sew true Ingrid!

The blanket stitching is lovely and I love the spotty binding! Its such a unique idea, chalk board material, its kinda hard to write on and washes the chalk off perfectly, its amazing, I didn't even know such stuff exisited. Thank you Ingrid, its just lovely!

Usually I don't let the girls near my fabric with a texta or pen but in this case, I gave Milly a pencil of tailors chalk and away she could go! We'll make a quilter out of her yet. Thanks again Ingrid.