Sunday, January 25, 2009


This week-end we are celebrating Australia Day and in true Australian fashion we are celebrating in the heat surrounded by bushfires. We will be having our traditional Australia Day BBQ as an inside/outside BBQ - cooked inside and eaten outside - due to a total fire ban on wood/coal using BBQ's. Sydney reached a maximum of just over 40 degrees yesterday and everyone - including us - went to the airconditioned shopping centres.

I am making good progress with the new quilt. I have now a total of 30 blocks all at some point of construction and I spent last weekend playing with them and getting them in the right position. Now that I am back at work sewing time is limited to the weekends. If time permits today I will get more of the black sashing cut and then perhaps I will get a chance to lay the blocks out again for a final fiddling. Once I am happy with the "look" I will then number them in readiness for sewing together.

I stopped work on the quilt last weekend to make a "mini" project but more about that later.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two Wolves
One evening an old Cherokee told his
grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said,
"My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride,
superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity,
humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion
and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his
grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied,
"The one you feed."

A friend of ours sent the above as an email to us and after reading it a couple of times I thought how true it is.

This is not a picture of a wolf but of my parent's very spoilt and much loved dog. He is 10 years old and goes everywhere with them. I think he is dad's shadow at times.

As you can see he has a very happy disposition but he can also be very "stubborn" at times when he wants his own way - which is quite often.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I am thrilled that Clare from Clarescraftroom has nominated me as a recipient of an award.

Thank you so much Clare. Now all I have to do is find 5 other bloggers to nominate. Hmmmmmm I check into quite a few blogs daily - I know - so I will have to put my thinking cap on for nominations.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I am making good progress with the new quilt however it will slow down considerably now that I am back at work with only the weekends to work on it as I do not like sewing of a night and besides there is no time frame to finish it so I will take my time and just "enjoy the journey". The next few photos show some of the fabrics that I am using and the various stages. Some of the ladies from the Craft forum may recognise a few of the fabrics as we have been involved in various fabric swaps over the years.

Stage 1 - cutting the fabrics

Stage 2 - putting the black sashing between the three blocks

Stage 3 - shows the black border around a completed block

Stage 4 - on the "wall". I have just put them onto "my wall" - the bed - in whatever stage they happened to be in and not in any order - as you can see I have only "completed" 1 - but I was anxious to see how they were coming together.

I think once I have put the borders around the blocks I will have enough. The fabric that I am using for the outside border - 6" border - is cream with a small allover gold pattern which will pick up the gold in the blocks. I will then put another 2" black border around that to pull it altogether.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Now my blog would not be complete without a picture of these little baskets. One of the ladies from the Craft forum posted the link for these and most of the members made them. I ended up making three for Christmas - the first two to the pattern and the third one I made bigger all round proportionately. Some of the ladies made quite a few of them. They looked lovely when filled with the bits and pieces I put in them and the recipients loved them.

Well all good things must come to an end - so they say - and so it is back to work for me tomorrow. I have really enjoyed the time off and it has given me some "me time", time to catch up on reading and shopping. We also did a couple of day trips to the Southern Highlands and the Blue Mountains.

I have also made a good start on a new quilt. I was given a couple of quilting magazines for Christmas and found a quilt pattern that I just had to have. I have been wanting to make a quilt using oriental fabrics for sometime and here was the perfect one. I will be taking some progress photos and put them up soon.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

When our chiropractor was having a baby I wanted to give her something different from the usual jumpsuits, singlets and socks so it got me thinking about the nappy bags that I had over 25 years ago which were small, hard to access and no pockets. I put my "thinking cap" on and hopefully came up with a bag that would be pretty and practical. I did this one in yellow and white co-ordinating bug fabric which could be used for either a boy or girl.

I have since made 4 others using this pattern. Another yellow and white one for a work colleague and a friend of mine ordered a pink one for her niece. My mother also ordered a pink one and blue one for a couple of girls that she knows that are having babies.

As you can see from the photos they are a good size, easy to access and they have 2 pockets on the inside, 2 pockets on the outside and a pocket on each of the sides.

I love all of the prints but I think my favourite is the blue animal one but then again the pink is so sweet.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I was going through some photos the other day and found these photos of my azaleas. Now these azaleas are all "wrong" according to the gardening experts - the wrong care - no care at all - and the wrong aspect however they have survived for over 30 years and just keeping on blooming and giving us and our neighbour a lovely show each year.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

With all this gorgeous fabric around me everywhere I go and wanting a break from doing quilts I decided that placemats would just fill that "need" to be doing something yet they can be done quickly and effectively.

I really enjoyed making these placemats which I made for a friend who loves the "shabby chic" colours. She is an older lady and has a couple of friends around for morning tea - I thought the theme would be most fitting for her. These placemats were machine appliqued.

The coffee theme ones are a "housewarming" gift for a friend. I relied on the fabric to be the focus for these ones.

I could not resist the fried egg fabric when I saw it and just had to have it. I teamed it with the chicken fabric and made these placemats for my DIL. I think of them as fun placemats - which came first the chicken or the egg?

My SIL likes all things tropical and "fishy" and these placemats were a big hit with her. Because her and BIL like to eat most of their meals on their patio I used thermal lining for the back of these. They were machine appliqued.

The next set I made for my next door neighbour as a Christmas gift. She loves to spend many hours in her kitchen baking and we often having the delicious fragrances from her kitchen wafting over the fence. Again I relied on the fabric to be the focus.

The next lot of placemats were for my mother. I machine appliqued the chickens and used the chicken fabric for the borders.

This lot is waiting for an owner.

Instead of having bon bons on the Christmas table I decided to make everyone - you guessed it - a placemat. I rolled them up like a bon bon, tied them with ribbon and put a nametag on each of them. I used the cat fabric for cat lovers and the cup of kindness fabric for the others.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I think it is time for me to return to work. I have been on holidays since Christmas Eve and it has been a bit of an eat-a-thon ever since. Whilst we did not go away the last 2 weeks have just flown by. It has been nice not having to be anywhere at anytime although we have been out most days either sightseeing, shopping or meeting friends for lunch and the weather has been fairly good. Each morning we have been going to the beach very early. The photo below was taken at sunrise at our local beach and the second photo is the rock pool where we swim although most days I just go for a brisk walk along the beach for about 35-40 mins.

The weather just has to be "right" for me to get into the water!

I love the bag pattern that I drew up at the quilting weekend and I use the bag all the time when I go shopping. It is a good size and holds my wallet, keys, bottle of water, sunnies, reading glasses, mobile phone and all the other bits and pieces. Best of all it is lightweight - before all the above has been added - and it is easy to find everything as it has 2 inside pockets and a smaller one on the outside.

I decided to make a couple for family and friends for Christmas gifts. The funky cat 1 was for my DIL.

The green fruit and floral was for a friend

The aqua and brown one for my SIL

And the red one was for my mother. I tried to pick fabrics that reflected their tastes and interests and they all told me they loved their personalised bags.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Last June I was privileged to attend a quilting weekend as a guest of one of the ladies from the Craft forum. We arrived on the Friday afternoon and departed midday Sunday. It was an excellent venue and we had a great weekend of sewing, friendship, shopping and lots of eating - which we did not have to prepare.

The lodge is in the Blue Mountains and as you can see there was a very heavy fog that day which did not lift around that area.

Most of the ladies were working on beautiful quilts however I decided to go for something small and portable and drafted up and cut out a bag - the first of many using that pattern.

This is the spoilt cat that shares my life and knee whenever I sit down outside - he is also a great "helper" when I am pottering in the garden as he likes to dig alongside me. He is sitting in the clothes dryer - of all places - I had finished drying off a load and just about to put the next lot in and this is what I found. He is now 14 years old and has a very timid nature. He is a handsome cat and he knows "it".

Monday, January 5, 2009

I made this quilt for my mother for Mothers Day a couple of years ago and it is based on the cottage garden theme. Mum and dad have a lovely garden where they spend most of their waking hours either working in it or enjoying it with their dog. Again I appliqued this quilt as with the little hawaiian shirts. I love doing machine applique - I have not tackled hand applique as yet - something else to add to the "to do" list - maybe one day.

When I was making this quilt our very grand old cat of nearly 21 years died so I decided that he should be immortalised in the quilt - and of course you cannot have a cottage garden without a cat - so you can see him in the second block from the bottom on the lefthand side sitting ontop of the wheelbarrow.

I have added an actual photo of him and as you can see he sits very regally.

This quilt came about by accident. I was making a shirt for hubby which went horribly wrong and as I hate wasting fabric I thought instead of having 1 hawaiian shirt he could have 42 little hawaiian shirts and so the quilt was "born". It is a good in between season quilt - not as heavy as our winter one and not as light as our summer one.

The first photo shows the back of the quilt which has a tropical flowers and birds on it which I think fits in very well with the hawaiian shirt theme.
Good morning.

Firstly I should tell you a bit about myself. I am a "baby boomer" coming up for my 36th wedding anniversary later this month. I have lived in the Sydney region all my life - with no intention of ever moving. I have 2 adult children, 1 daughter in law and 1 very spoilt cat.

My interests are reading, pottering in my garden, knitting, retail therapy, eating out, movies, spending time with family and friends and of course sewing - which is my main hobby. I sew just about anything and everything - from quilts to my cat's beds and everything in between.

My next challenge is to put up photos of some of the things I have "created"

Aloha Karen

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Well I have finally joined the rest of the world and created a "blog".

All I have to do now is to keep it up to date and interesting.