Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 from Melbourne

Did you have a nice Xmas? We spent the day at home playing with and building new toys. Max declared the Little Tikes 7' Trampoline to be "the best thing you and Dad did". At quarter to midnight on Xmas Eve I managed to finish 2 out of 3 Santa Sacks (separate post coming).

Boxing Day was spent with my extended family (I am one of eight so there is about 50 of us - just my siblings and their kids and now the next generation of their grandchildren!!).

A day to recover and then a really early flight (like get up at 4.30am) to Melbourne to have Xmas with my husband's family. We have had a lovely few days here catching up on sleep, swimming and movies. The kids love hanging out with their cousins. We'll be having a chilled at home in Melb with my inlaws NYE.

Merry Xmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year. Thanks for being interested in my little blog and see you in 2012.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa Sacks WIP

I've really got to stop leaving things to the last minute! Max was unexpectedly hospitalized for a couple of days this week. A nasty chesty virus that affected his breathing. He seems to be almost 100% but we need to find out if it means he is asthmatic.

Of course everything stood still for those 2.5 days and I wish I had another week before Xmas. I've made considerable progress on the Santa Sacks - two out of three patchwork fronts completed. The green one is in it's second incarnation because the first one blogged earlier was just not doing it for me. I think this new version works much better. I only have tomorrow to finish them all! Aargh!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lime Brûlée

This is how far I got tonight. My pillow is beckoning at bit earlier than usual since I was woken at 5.30am by a little person. The lurgy has hit our house so I hope it passes by Xmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Late Afternoon Drying

Look what arrived!

Time to get to work now!  If you're not sure what I'm talking about read here.

(It wasn't even the original package, that is still in limbo somewhere.)

(Sew Mama Sew) Giveaway Day Winner


Sangeetha said...
machine quilting by far

Thanks to everyone for entering, check back in the new year as I will be hosting another giveaway.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stalking the post

Exactly a month ago, mid November I thought I'd buy some holiday fabric to make Santa Sacks for my kids this Xmas.  I'd seen some fun, funky holiday fabric at Stitched in Colour (I'm just a bit over the traditional red and green combo).  I loved that I could buy a FQ of each fabric (plus a few stash builders) from JAQS Fabrics.

Rubbing salt in the wounds!

Fabrics from L-R:
Ho Ho Hoot, Michael Miller; Deck the Halls Blue Snowflakes, Michael Miller; Tree Trimmers, Michael Miller;
Over the River Green, Henry Glass; Deck the Halls, Michael Miller; Over the River Blue Trees, Henry Glass

So my bundle is lost in the mail.  USPS and Australia Post are both blaming each other saying it is in the system and will get to me.... when??  Normally it takes 10 days, more than a month is ridiculous!  You don't know if you want to scream or cry.  I'm so frustrated because I just want to do my holiday sewing and I can't.  Q from JAQS has been really helpful, she even sent me a second package last week.  So I'm waiting with bated breath for a knock on the door from the postman.

Wish me luck, send me some good karma.  Maybe, maybe one of them will arrive this week.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

(Sew,Mama,Sew) Giveaway Day

Welcome if this is your first time here!  Thanks to Sew Mama Sew for hosting this fun event.  

In the spirit of giving I have three lovely, unused patterns to give away. 

Jaynes Love, a patchwork quilt with beautiful handstitched quilting detail on the borders.

Diamond Bouquet is a quilt featuring a diamond patchwork border.

Honey Bunny hand puppet pattern designed for Sew It Together bloggers conference.


Leave a comment below letting me know whether you prefer hand quilting, machine quilting or sending your quilts out to be long-arm quilted.  Remember to leave an email address or make sure you have one on your Google profile so that I can contact you if you are the winner.

Bonus entry:
Become a Follower of this blog through Google Connect.  Leave a second comment letting me know you have done this.

This competition is open to everyone internationally and will be open until Saturday, December 17 at 12noon EDT (December 16 at 5pm PST) at which time a winner will be drawn randomly.  The winner will be notified via email and announced on this post.

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Edited to add:  That the prize of all three patterns will go to one lucky commenter.


This competition is now closed.

 Thanks to everyone for entering, check back in the new year as I will be hosting another giveaway.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Star Wars Party

This little guy with his huge dummy turned five over the weekend.  Hard to believe that five years ago we were still in hospital getting used to being parents, loving this little bundle that was so cuddly and beautiful, being so proud of finally being a Mummy and that he was all mine.  He's grown into a little boy who is very social, loves things with so much passion that he is almost obsessive, is wonderfully artistic and is going off to big school in the new year.

Max "Luke Skywalker", Lewis "Clone Trooper" & Scarlett

Weeks and weeks ago Max declared that he wanted a Star Wars party and wanted to dress as his favourite character, Luke Skywalker.  I bought him this good quality cotton karate suit off eBay and made the belt.  For almost the same price this will last a lot longer and he may be able to use the suit if he starts a martial arts class later on.

Hard to get a good photo when you're practicing your lightsaber moves!

I didn't have time to go shopping to the local party shops but I found this online store that had a good selection of Star Wars theme party products.  I bought the tablecloth, napkins, plates, lolly bags, stickers and Clone Trooper and Darth Vader masks.  The masks were a huge hit, surprisingly, only two boys came dressed in theme (a Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi).  We had the party at our local playground which doesn't get too busy, we had the park to ourselves and the weather was pleasantly cool (not hot as it would normally be in December).

The much dreaded birthday cake turned out really, really well.  My idea for a lightsaber cake came together with store bought sponge rolls (minis & a large one trimmed to size), loads of buttercream frosting, some licorice and a couple of M&M's.  Rolled fondant was used to make the words.

I'm off the hook now until the next birthday.  I was completely exhausted for the rest of the weekend!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Use the force Luke...

...or as we say in this house "Use the fork Lewis".

We have a birthday in the house later this week.  Max is completely OCD over Star Wars right now so it's no surprise the theme of his party.  He is living and breathing Luke Skywalker so I hunted around online for a good costume (I would love to make a costume but I'm trying to be realistic here).  Anyway, there are two commercially made: cheap and deluxe cheap, that's quality not price (even if you buy it from the US and have it shipped, it's nearly double if you buy it from an Australian costume shop).  So I've hatched a plan, whilst I'm not making the entire costume I am making a couple of components and have bought the others.  As long as it all works out, all will be revealed in good time.

I was five years old when the first Star Wars hit the big screen, and I got to see it twice!  How old were you when you first saw Star Wars?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Summer Bonnets - Check

Here are two new bonnets I've made for Scarlett that will do us for the upcoming summer weather.   I chose to do two versions:  the pink al-rounder because every little girl looks good in pink;

And the lilac/coral version to go with the purples and corals in the wardrobe.  I could be convinced to do a third version in blues/yellows from my huge stash of Picnics & Fairgrounds... we'll see about that later as there are lots of other things to get through, like my Xmas sewing!

Don't forget you can get your own bonnet or PDF pattern at Little Betty.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WIP Weds

A semi-productive week, I've felt compelled to get some domestic duties out of the way but also really just wanting to get stuck into my sewing to do list (I either find the chaos a distraction or I put my blinkers on).  

One finish this week...

A reasonably simple applique cushion/pillow cover.  It was blinkers on to get the pillow completed by the deadline, throwing the kids a bone every now and then... you know how it is! :-)

New/In Progress:

L-R Innocent Crush, Kei Honeycomb; DS Quilts
New Bonnets for Scarlett
I cut into these fabrics today and have already started assembling these summer bonnets.  I hope to have them finished tomorrow.

Habitat Bow Tie Quilt - No progress although I think I have found a backing fabric.

Scarlett's Ripple Blanket - No Progress

To Do/Wish List:

You'll notice the list has grown this week.  After writing last week's WIP Weds I kept thinking of projects that should be on the list, you know the ones you notice you need as you go along your daily lives.  

Belt for Luke Skywalker Costume
Hometown Table Runner for MIL
Christmas Table Runner or Pillow
Santa Sacks
Xmas Presents
Leila & Ben Dress/Charlie Tunic
Desk Table Runner
Scarlett's Dresser Table Runner

Pelmet for Scarlett's Room?
Choir Library Bag
Lounge Room Pillows
Kenwood Mixmaster Cover

Hunky Dory
It's a Hoot
Hometown for MIL
Wedding Present for Kate & Callum

Linking to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monogrammed Cushion

Click on the pictures for a bigger view

Here's a cushion I whipped up on the weekend (actually, I wish whipped up were true!).  I didn't have a pattern, just made it up as you go type of thing.  It was a present for my great-nephew Eli's christening.  I really don't know why I'm so ambitious with three little people under foot!  I didn't make it as a mini-quilt although the thought did cross my mind (see over ambitious plans below).  The "E" has fusible wadding to give it a bit more dimension.  I use a glue stick to position my applique for sewing - it is so much faster.

I used Rachel from Stitched In Colour's zig zag binding tutorial, no matter how you do it binding takes so much time!  The finish came out pretty well, only a couple of small places that needed hand stitching on the back but that was due to me not keeping things even.  I also found that I had to put in a couple of stitches on the mitred corners but I need to check with Rachel whether I did something wrong.  The spot fabric is one I picked up at Spotlight last week, it almost looked like the colour was bleeding slightly after I washed it but after a second wash post completion (cold water & white vinegar) it looked alright again.

If you think that was ambitious, this is my original design I put together on Thursday night using five different fabrics.  Really, there was no way I was going to do that block and make it into a cushion cover in two days!!  I would like to try this sometime though when I don't have the pressure of a deadline.  

Linking to:

Fresh Poppy Design

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday

This is my first WIP Wednesday post.  After about six months I finally feel like I have something to contribute (also I think putting your WIPs down on a list helps to focus on what needs to be done).

One finish this week...

I love quick projects that you can start and finish in an afternoon.

New/In Progress:

Unbelievably I managed to cut all my blocks and piece 50% of them this week!

Scarlett's Ripple Blanket
I'm ashamed to say that I started this over a year ago!  It's only about a third of the way there, maybe I can aim to have it finished for next winter?

To Do/Wish List:

Elijah's Pillow
Luke Skywalker Costume
Summer Bonnet for Scarlett
Hometown Table Runner for MIL
Christmas Table Runner or Pillow
Santa Sacks
Xmas Presents
Leila & Ben Dress
Hunky Dory Quilt
It's a Hoot Quilt
Max's Quilt
Lewis' Quilt
Hometown Quilt
Wedding Quilt for Kate & Callum
Swoon Quilt

Linking to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Baby Boy Bonnet

A good friend had her second little boy on the weekend so after contemplating what gift I could make with supplies on hand it was obvious that a little bonnet would be perfect for the upcoming summer.

After auditioning a number of fabrics from my boy stash I originally chose the "Beep Bots" fabric paired with a green and blue dot instead of the denim, but I only had a fat quarter and it's supposed to be for Lewis' superhero doll on my to do list.  Since I have a fair bit of denim and beep bots and they were a great match I thought it was great to be able to reduce my stash a bit.  Luckily I also had the ribbon, and the matching threads (blue on one side & green on the other)!

The pattern is available here but if you don't sew you can also buy a boy (or girls) bonnet here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Family Day at Luna Park with Jack's work.  Playing with Instagram for the first time and wishing Blogger was more user-friendly with uploading photos.  Giving up and making my collage in Powerpoint instead (much easier!).  Being thankful for the southerly and rain and for hanging out with my peeps.  Hope you've had a nice weekend too!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Habitat Quilt - Cutting Completed

I've just finished cutting fabric for my Habitat bowtie quilt.  It was a bit of a marathon since I haven't made a large quilt before.  Through inexperience (or stupidity) I set about cutting the Habitat fabric one fat quarter at a time... d'oh!  No wonder it was taking ages, I had a lightbulb moment and realised that I could cut multiple layers of fat quarters at once, this saved a lot of time.  It was certainly much easier to cut the Crossweave in yardage, folded and folded and cut into strips first.   That's when the rotary cutter really makes sense!  

Terrible lighting conditions - late arvo on a rainy day

The stats:  96 Habitat small blocks; 96 Habitat large blocks; 96 Moda Crossweave blocks.  This is what I'll be working towards using tutorials here and here.  

Soundtrack Gorillaz, Plastic Beach loving this track especially at 2:20:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Two years ago today...

Images of my wedding from Uber Photography

Jack and I got married.  We celebrated last night by going on a movie date!  It was really such a treat to go and see a grown up movie together, something we have not done in a few years (and we used to go all the time B.C.).    We saw Moneyball - not at all a romantic movie but I was just keen to see something really good and it did not disappoint.

Today I took my Mum to visit my Dad's grave, it's their wedding anniversary tomorrow (it would've been 59 years!!!!!).  Tonight Jack and I will be hanging out with the kids and then maybe watch Breaking Bad after they go to bed (are you a fan?).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Renovation Drool - Brooklyn Limestone Kitchen

One day I would love to design my own kitchen - choose the cabinets, handles, appliances, layout.  How much fun!!!!  If I had the opportunity to do all that then this is the inspiration for my dream kitchen:

Image via Brooklyn Limestone

I am a purist so this style would fit in perfectly with our Post-WW1 house (c1924).  I love the floor to ceiling cabinets, the white detailed cabinets, the black limestone benchtops, that tap (faucet), the french door fridge, the pendant lights.... I could go on and on.  If you're intersted you can see the rest of this kitchen and the amazing renovations over at Brooklyn Limestone.  You can also see some other kitchen drool here.

What does your dream kitchen look like?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Big School

My eldest is starting Kindergarten next year which is the first year of primary school in NSW.  We have been doing a Transition to School programme which is great because he's getting to know a couple of the teachers and make friends.  After our first session last week he came home and sat at the table drawing (which he does a lot).  This is what he made, all my three kids going to "big school" together.  He got so many details in there, the school uniforms, the lunchboxes, the coat rack with a jacket and hat... and you can't go to school without your swords!!