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Wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, great-aunt and friend....and fur-kid mum I love Quilting, stitching, photography, cooking, baking, gardening, blogging and making new friends...stop by and say hi!

Wednesday 18 April 2012

In Loving Memory

It was just another morning and then I got a phone call from a friend of my elder brother which has shattered my whole world.  He has passed away and I am deeply saddened. Chaos reigns in my head and I am busy trying to organise flights to the UK, conversing with my other brother and worrying about my mum over the vast expanse that separates us, trying to remember if I have forgotten anything and what I need to do before I leave.

Needless to say I will be MIA for a couple of weeks while we get through this tragedy.

Rest in Peace my darling brother...you will be forever in my heart.

Saturday 14 April 2012

Daisy in the Grass

Daisies in the grass.....provokes wonderful memories of summers in England and making daisy chains. A few weeks before Easter I came across this really lovely project  at PS Capture the Details that I just had to do!

ok... my "grass" is a little more manicured!

As with so many of these kind of things, finding the essentials is not as easy as you would think. I had an awful time trying to find the foam wreath and  I searched all the usual suspects like Lincraft and Spotlight to no avail. I did find the right colour fibre at Lincraft and the daisy trim at Spotlight. Miss M said I should try "Riot" and eventually I found myself in the vacinity and low and behold.....they had them there.  I did, however, get the last one in stock!
pins, daisy trim, fluffy green knitting fibre, foam wreath

So with all my bits 'n bobs collected time to get started.  Find a comfy spot to wrap all that fibre onto the wreath, it takes awhile and the fibre can get into an awful mess.

Then it is just a case of cutting a daisies from the roll of trim and attaching them by sticking a pin through the centre and into the wreath.
All that's left to do is attach a ribbon and hang it up. A little late for Easter but I am still going to hang it up.

Keep your needles threaded!


Wednesday 11 April 2012

My Needle Nanny

A little while ago, I was at my Tuesday Sewing Group and one of the ladies had the most gorgeous little Wedgewood ornament in her sewing basket.  I asked her what it was and she showed me that her needle sticks to it....a Needle Nanny....while she puts her needle down to cut her thread.  It really was very pretty and I would really like one too.

Wedgewood look-a-likes

So what do you do when you can't find what you are looking for? You make it yourself, of course. I found these delightful ... er ... doodads.... not sure what else to call them,  at the Scrapbooking Show last year and have been on the lookout for some magnets ever since so I can complete the project. It is so difficult to find craft supplies anymore unless it is on the internet and then you have to include postage.  Anyway, I have only just found the magnets locally but....oh no....they are too big for my look-a-like Wedgewood embellishments (yea, that sounds better than doodads).

Nevermind, because I have this lovely big button so why not put it to use.

Ok, here is what I am using to make my Needle Nanny or Needle Minder, if you prefer. A big button, a strong magnet, some string and a strong glue.
 Voila! My very own Needle Nanny (the string was for the buttonholes which i have to put something through or it looks unfinished to me.)

As you can see the needle stays nicely in place

next to a 50c piece to see the size of my button.

I think it is kinda pretty....now to find magnets to fit the "Wedgewood" ones.


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Tuesday 10 April 2012

Tuesday Treasure - Snap

I prepared this post earlier than you will all see it because I have a busy schedule coming up and I don't want to miss out on Melody's Tuesday Treasure. Now it has taken a bit of thought to come up with a treasure this week.....but in the end I had to pick my trusty camera.

I quite often live important events through the lens of a camera, even though it is hit and miss whether the photos turn out how I want them to, but since starting this blog, my camera has, more than ever, never been very far from my side and I snap everything that might possibly end up in my post. 

A few years ago, I entered a couple of my photos in the local ag show competition and, after seeing all the other amazing entries, was blown away when I got 1st prize.  This is the photo that was taken with my old fashioned SLR.

Taken in our back garden after a rain shower.

Currently I am using a Sony NEX3 similar to this one, an amazing little gadget. It is so light but has all the features of a SLR with interchangeable lenses.
I can get pretty arty with it too, if the urge arises.

So there you are.....my camera......my tuesday treasure! Thanks for visiting and don't forget to head on to Melody's blog to see more tuesday treasures.


Monday 9 April 2012

How do YOU do...?

I love to Applique and it features in a number of my quilts and wallhangings and tabletoppers.  Most of all I love to applique by hand (exclude raw edge applique for this post) as I sit at night and watch tv. For years I have admired Needleturn Applique but when I gave it a go, it turned out absolutely awful because the edges were never smooth. So I stuck to buttonhole applique until I did a class with Crafty Lady on English Paper piecing.  What a revelation that was! Sandy is an amazing teacher and as this was a hands on class, I took home a project that I was proud of and was eager to try out my newly learned skill.

The only thing that bugged me was pinning all those paper shapes to the fabric.....it still just slips and slides everywhere and you keep scratching yourself with a pin .  So while I work on this WIP, let me show how I do it

Freezer Paper to the rescue!!   Trace your shape onto freezer paper
 When I was first taught to do needleturn, I was told to place the shiny side facing up on the fabric and iron the seam allowance down onto the shiny side to make it stick in place while it was sewn onto the background.
Na!!! Wrong!! Iron the shiny side down onto the wrong side of the fabric

Cut out your fabric adding 1/4" seam allowance all around the shape. At this stage I am cutting out a curved shape so you need to clip all around the edges making sure that the clips don't go too close to the paper edge
Now just thread a needle with contrast cotton tack the seam allowance into place, using your finger & thumb (see my left hand below) to ease the fabric into a smooth line along the edge of the paper. Tack (looking at) the back of the fabric but make sure to have the thread knot on the right side (makes it easier when removing the tacking later)
Step one complete!

That was a curved/oval/round shape...but what about 'sharp' corners. Here is what I do.  Trace, Iron and Cut out as before, but instead of clipping, snip off the excess on the corners
See the dab of glue (blue) on the corner....now fold the fabric across the corner over the glue like you do when covering a book.

Now you just ease and push the fabric into place while you tack it down (contrast thread) like I explained before forming a nice sharp corner.

All my pieces are ready to sew onto the background....stay posted and I will post step 2 later.

Keep your needles threaded!
Oh and "how do you do and welcome" to all of my new followers.  I am nearly at 50 now!

Sunday 8 April 2012

Easter Sunday Greetings

I hope these cute little hippy-hoppy bunnies
brought you plenty of these yummy goodies.
and did you know
I think I will just stick to following my desk calendar!


Saturday 7 April 2012

A Walk in the Park

I think I might take a break from quilt blogging today. Remember the other day when I said I would love to take my camera on my dog walk. Well, hubby walked with me yesterday evening so it was managable.  I love walking with my dogs, they make me smile every step of the way.  Callie is quite settled now at (almost) 6 years old. Happy to just plod along.  Lila is getting better everytime I take her out and we have come to a compromise that works best for both of us.  A 5m extendable lead!! I let her roam with it, she comes straight back to me when I call her back. Occasionally we still get wrapped around a tree, but she is learning my commands:  "this way" for change direction and "here" to walk next to me, "leave" when she finds the odd naughty something to eat  and most importantly "stop" when we reach a road to cross.

But I digress...back to the photos
Even though we only live 13km out of the CBD, we are lucky enough to be in a green belt making it feel like we are back to nature. My hubby likes to go by the creek bridge everyday to check on the long necked turtles living there. Look carefully near the lily leaf with his head poking out the water.
Over the last couple of days we have also seen a Sacred Kingfisher diving for tit bits and also a really large Eastern Water Dragon sitting in a nearby tree. Callie loves to see the Water Dragons.  They run really fast and she is fascinated by them. 
At their usual spot, at a bend in the creek, she thought she spotted one.....but alas, not today. I am just happy not to have seen a snake today.

This is my favourite part of the walk through the park.  I love the way the sun filters through the trees. When it rains, the waterway next to the path is running fast with water and the dogs love to run through there. It is getting pretty dry at the moment.

I tried to capture a photo of Lila but she does not stay still for too long. I thought I got her, with her ear flipped over, but she got distracted again. 
Now that was just a little peep into the rest of my world!

Keep your needle threaded!


Friday 6 April 2012

I'm Tagged

I have been tagged by Jeanna over at Because I say sew in a game going around in blogland! I'm supposed to answer these questions, and then pass it on, so watch out!

1. Musicals or plays? And what are your favorites?

My parents always loved musicals and took me to at least one a year so I guess I love them too.  This year I took my mum and daughter to see Mary Poppins and I am going to see Jersey Boys in August with a group of friends.  My favourite musical is Chicago.

2. Do you have any "hidden" talents that have not made it into your blog?

No, just a jill of all trades....master of none!

3. Are you a reader? If so, what are you reading right now?
I am a reader of historical fiction and currently reading a fictional story of King Henry VII written by Jean Plaidy.  Don't read as often as I would like as I don't seem to be able to find the time.

4. What is your favorite time of day?
I love crisp, fresh mornings to take my dogs for a walk and I enjoy the "light" of the day up until early afternoon.  For some reason sunset makes me feel lonely and sad.

5. Do you save the selvages from fabric? Have you ever made anything with them?
No, I have seen a lot of lovely things been made out of selvages but with all that gorgeous fabric out there, and so little time, it is not for me.

6. What is your favorite quilt you've ever made?
They are all my favourites.  I can hardly bear to give anything away.  I do have a couple of unfavourite quilts.....maybe I will show them sometime!!!

7. What color comes up most often in your quilts? 
Blues, pinks and green.....mostly the colours of my home.

8. Do you play music while you sew? What songs get you motivated?
I only play music when I am home alone and love songs that I can sing to.  Not sure they motivate me, but they take me to a happy place.

9. What's the worst injury you've ever suffered? 
I broke my arm when I was 7 years old.  It took 4 nurses, my mum and my older brother to hold me down while they gave me a painkiller injection. I have hated hospitals ever since

10. Do you come from a large family or a small family?
Small, I only have 2 brothers. I also only had 1 Aunty, 1 Uncle (both passed on) and 4 cousins

11. Have you always lived in your current hometown? If not, how far away do you live from the town where you were born?
As the Aussie song goes "I've been everywhere, man"I only lived in the town where I was born for 15 months of my life and mostly lived abroad after that.  My birth town is in the UK so I am many many miles/km's away.  

This was so much fun and I hope I don't appear too looney! This is who I have tagged, I hope they play along!

Debbie @  Our Old Homestead
Sue B @  Quilted Hugs
Susan @ Susans Sewing Space
Leanne @ Lizzie the Quilter

A photo of me taken by my brother around the time I broke my arm


Happy Easter

Wishing everyone a very safe and Happy Easter...and here's hoping the Easter Bunny visits with lots of yummy chocolate!


Thursday 5 April 2012

Wednesday's WIP & TIP

I have had a lovely Sunday Wednesday. No alarm to wake me up and when I went to say hello to my girls, the air was so fresh, we just had to go for a walk.  I wish I could take my camera on my walks but it is hard enough managing the two dogs, let alone trying to snap some photos.

After I came home and caught up with the emails, facebook and blogs while I had my toast with marmalade and coffee, it was off to the creation station to work on "Merry, Merry Snowmen"
I had quite an epiphany while making the 2 square-in-a-square blocks.  How often have I made these blocks and pinned the folded small squares to the corner of the large square? How often have I been annoyed at the fabric moving and stretching (even with pins) and end up with wonky edges and mishapen squares.

*imagine light bulb switching on here* Now where is my glue stick?

I ran the glue stick along the folded edge and then lined it up square with the bigger square and finger pressed it down to stick...sorry about the unfocused photo below.....where are my darn glasses!!!
now to the sewing machine to sew along the line that in now glued firmly in place.
And so to cut the excess off....
here are two sides of my square in a square blocks

no wonky edges.....I am a genius!!!

Remember those triangles I cut off, well I have read all over blogland to sew them together and make little half square triangles for another project so I did that too.

Well block one is constructed and ready for the applique to go on.  I have actually started that too but no photos just yet.

Linking in with Karen's FAFF at Sew Many Ways

Keep your needles threaded!

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