Friday, July 21, 2017

From this.......

To this.

My rainbow quilt top has now grown into the correct size.   When doing the challenge only 10 colours were used however I added in the red with white and black with white blocks but the quilt was still not quite the right size so the pale pink and pale green blocks  along with the sashings and borders - that I managed to get on today -  have made all the difference.

It was a very cold and windy day - good for doing some pre-washing of the backing fabric and  I am using a lightweight flannel as wadding so that was pre-washed as well.  

I was lucky to be able to make an early start on my FNSI and am pleased with my achievement.   Next step is to sandwich and pin it ready for quilting.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Quilt Retreat

Each year for the past 10 years I have been invited to attend a quilting retreat and this year the dates chosen did not work for me so it was time to take matters into my own hands and do my own quilt retreat over the last 2 days.    There are some advantages such as no 5 hour round drive, no packing and unpacking of the car at either end, not having to pre-plan projects ahead, my whole sewing room to myself, not having to queue up to use the iron and of course there are very big disadvantages such as having to prepare all meals and clean up,  the opportunity to cruise around the room to be inspired and motivated by what others are working on and of course that laughter and chatter of like minded people.    I took this opportunity to re-visit the projects mentioned in my last post and pick up where these had been left off.   Firstly the item that I started at the retreat last year which was a variation of a rail fence. This was a very easy design and went together well but a decision had to be made - make it larger or end it where it is and a have a tablerunner.   I went with the latter and only had to make 3 more blocks, add a border etc.  You can see below that it is now sandwiched and pinned ready to quilt.

Next I unfolded the rainbow quilt - which now has a good home to go to when finished - and measured it  to find that it needs another row of blocks plus some sashing and borders to make it the required width.    It does have green in it already but the green was "shades of the rainforest" so this time I pulled all plain greens or green with white and made 6 more 9 patch blocks.

The next colour is pale pink - again there is already pink in the quilt but it was hot pink - so all the pale pinks with white or other soft colours were used.   So far these are only cut and laid out ready to be sewn.  

I needed a break from all this cutting and headed back to the rail fence tablerunner after breakfast this morning and worked solidly on quilting it, then after lunch on went the binding and yeah I have a finished item to show from my quilting retreat.    I am doubly happy as I had nominated one of these items to be finished by the end of the month for July's OMG.

I may even have sometime tomorrow to sneak back into my sewing room and get those pale pink 9 patch blocks finished.

It feels good to be able to tick one off the list and have another  on the way to completion.   I must do another "at home quilting retreat" in the not too distant future to see what else can be achieved.

Linking with Oh Scrap and Elm Street Quilts - OMG for July.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Friday, July 7, 2017

Dancing dress

Grandma do you have a dancing dress was the question that Miss M asked last week and the answer from me was "no but perhaps I could make one".   This obviously was the right answer  as Miss M then went on the explain to me what a dancing dress looks like......"it has a big twirly skirt and looks like my Cinderella doll's dress" which can be seen below.

OK leave it with me and hopefully there will be a dancing dress ready for your visit next week was my reply.   Fortunately for me many friends and relatives over the years have given me bit and pieces of their leftover  sewing projects which have been stored in a cupboard in my sewing room for an unknown one day project so into the cupboard I delve and come up with some blue fabric, pink lace and offcuts of curtain fabric - perfect for a dancing dress.       After 2 hours this is the result.

Hopefully this is what Miss M had in mind with her description of a dancing dress.   I did make the dress a bit on the big side so that she can pull it off and on easily and can be worn over bulky winter clothes at this time of the year.

Thanks Cheryll for hosting another FNwF.   I did cheat a little and start sewing this morning as I was on a mission to get this finished before the weekend as I did not want to disappoint Miss M by not having it ready.      I also made a lacy scrunchie to go with the dress but forgot to photograph it.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


I have it on good via bloggers....that scrunchies are back in fashion.   I remember making these about 30 years ago...I guess the wheel is constantly revolving.     I decided to make one the other day for Miss M to firstly see how she liked it and secondly if it would stay in her hair.   It was a big hit with her and it did stay in place.

I have been requested by Miss M to "make lots more please grandma".    Not only do they look pretty in her hair but they are so much kinder to the hair than elastic.  

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Saturday, July 1, 2017

This, That or.........

The other?     It is time to decide on my OMG for July and there is an embarrassing admission to make.   There are three projects that have gone from WIPs to UFOs  due to them having sat around for!!!!!!

The one below was from the Rainbow challenge that I took part in last year and has been sitting around my sewing room in this state since November last year.    Not too bad in the big picture I suppose.

The one below was something that I started as a project this time last year at a quilting retreat
and has not been looked at since.

And now for the big admission the hexies below dare I say have been sitting dormant in their box waiting patiently for me to do something with them since 2011.

One of these will be a completed item by the end of the month.  

Linking with OMG over at Elm Street Quilts.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June finishes

Seeing that I am only working on little items at the moment I had nominated two projects as my OMG for June and both have been finished and there is still three days left to go before the end of the month.   Firstly there were three plastic bag holders

I  have "gifted" these now and the recipients were thrilled with them and loved the fabric and the second item was to make a Sunbonnet Sam wall hanging which has just been taken out from under the sewing machine and photographed.

Even though the baby is not due until August I wanted this one ready in plenty of time as we all know babies come when they are ready.   All that there is left to do is pack it up and wait for the phone call.

Come on over to Elm Street Quilts to see what others have been up to during the month.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bits and bobs

As always the quilt and craft fair is very inspiring and motivating and since visiting on Thursday I have "made" 27 quilts in my mind when in actual fact I have had very little time to sew this past week and only achieved getting Sunbonnet Sam stitched to the background fabric and sandwiched ready to quilt.  The baby is not due until August so I do have a little while to go yet before the wall hanger becomes an emergency.

I was very restrained with my buying at the craft fair even though there was sign saying "Your husband phoned ahead and said  buy whatever you want".

Rotary cutter blades are always a must as are bobbins - I never have enough bobbins - especially when doing applique and trying to match the top and bottom threads, bobbin holders.      I think these will be a good investment as I am sick of chasing bobbins across the sewing table and having them unravel as they roll away from me.    Some "O" rings to use when making bag handles, some pretty pink and white daisy lace and a fat quarter of Tinkerbell fabric - Miss M loves Tinkerbell and some charms and other bits and bobs as you can see.

Miss M has been staying with us for the weekend and we visited the Zoo yesterday.     Today we are going to make a chocolate cake, play snakes and ladders and shop keepers as well as riding her bike and feeding the ducks.  

Linking with Oh Scrap

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bible Garden

Is somewhere that I have known about for years and had put it on the "must do one day list" and that day was today.       It is the first lovely clear, sunny but cool day that we have had for just on two weeks so hubs and I jumped into the car and headed  to Palm Beach - about 20 mins drive north us of - to see what the garden was all about.      It is not widely advertised and a bit of a "hidden gem" not being signposted and upon approaching the street  where it is located we realised that we have driven passed  on many occasions without knowing it.   This  plaque relays the origins of the garden

There are spectacular views over Palm Beach to be seen from this rather small but very peaceful and tranquil garden.   For those who are "Home and Away" fans you will know the area as Summer Bay.

More information about the garden can be seen here.

During the week we caught up with some friends for lunch and it was served with a very naughty Bomb Alaska  sharing plate dessert.    It consisted  of salted caramel ice cream, peanut butter, Dutch chocolate, caramel brittle and sponge all wrapped in meringue and blow torched.      When the plates arrived at the table we all thought that 1 between the 4 of us would have been plenty.

I hate to admit it but there was not a crumb left on either plate at the end of the meal.

I am heading off to the Craft and Quilt Fair at the new convention centre at Darling Harbour tomorrow wearing comfy walking shoes and a list of some "essential" items that one thinks is needed....that is my story anyway.      There is also a list of  demonstrations to see as well as other bits and pieces.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Friday, June 16, 2017

Who has been eating.........

My beautiful little pumpkin and eaten it all up???????  I sounded just like baby bear from Goldilocks and the three bears when I was doing some gardening and saw this

There were great plans for this pumpkin and they did not include being some creatures dinner.   Looking at the rest of the holes around the garden I am going to say it was  bandicoots that enjoyed the pumpkin.     In order to console myself it was into the sewing room to make an early start on FNSI and use my pretty olive fabric to make three plastic bag holders to put into my "giftie box".

 I used the overlocker to sew these up and they were done in no time at all.

Thanks again Wendy for organising another fun FNSI.

Hubs finished reading the book and was "hooked" just as I was and did not see the ending coming either.     We both felt sympathy for the main character, then disappointment and finally shock and anger at her actions.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Two firsts

It has been a rather damp and chilly week so what better way to spend the days than sewing and cooking.    Firstly with my excess of lemons and limes it was decided to use these  to make lemon and lime butter - a first for me as I still have vivid memories of making jam when at school.  Lets just say some things are best forgotten and my jam making was one of them.   Having looked at the "net" for recipes making lemon butter seemed rather easy compared to making jam with only 4 ingredients and just having to stir rather than using loads of sugar and thermometers.  And here is the result

Hubs and I enjoyed some spread on our toast this morning for breakfast and as there are still quite a few limes and lemons left I can see a second batch coming up over the weekend.

My second first was to make a zippered pouch.   Zips are something to be avoided in my opinion  but I guess  when making a zippered pouch a zipper is essential.   This is my pro-type and I am very pleased how it turned out.    It was quick, easy and uses up small leftovers - a great way to get rid of decent scraps.  I have 5 more zips left and found 5 fabrics to go with them.

Hubs is making good progress with the book and has fallen into the same trap as I did when reading it.    I have asked him where he is up to and I can see from the conversation that we have had about the book so far that he has no idea how the book is going to end.  

I have told him not to read my blog until I tell him.....that will be when he finishes the book so that there is "no spoiler" for him.  

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Peg Bag

I knew that the leftover waterproof fabric that was used to make the change pad for Miss M before she was born would come in for a use one day and today was the day.      There was a very old and tired looking peg basket hanging on the clothesline which was well past its use by date.    Not having done any sewing this week it was off to the sewing room after lunch to whip something up quickly.   I had thought about  making some little zippered pouches which are popping up everywhere on blogs but when I spotted the waterproof fabric  it had to be the peg bag first.      This was a very quick and easy project and I just really followed my nose when making it.   Fortunately the binding was cut and just needed a press so the whole process took just under 30 mins.    The hanger is a child's size one which was lurking in the back of the cupboard so this is really a scrap project from start to finish.

If anyone enjoys reading a good book which hooks you, then reels you in and gives a surprise ending that you do not see coming then I can thoroughly recommend Whispers and Lies by Joy Fielding.

I borrowed this book from our local library and could not put it down until the end.    Hubs is now reading it and he is totally hooked and reeled in  but I have not let on about the ending.  I am sure that he will be just as surprised as me.  

Tomorrow is a public holiday here which means that Miss M will be enjoying the day with her mummy and daddy instead of coming to grandma and grandpa's house and as I have an abundance of limes and lemons given to me by a friend I am going to give making lemon and lime butter a go as well as making a start on some zippered pouches.

Linking with Oh Scrap

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all


Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Magic Pudding

Hubs and I have just returned from a few days at the Mountains and on our way up we stopped off  at the Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge.

This was the home of the author of the Magic Pudding.  I have to confess that I have never read the book but  will endeavour to do so in the near future.   The pudding always seems to have a very angry expression on his face and I think that this is the turn-off for me.

Our next stop was for some bush walking - as one does in the Mountains.   Not much further to go to get to the top.

Most of the leaves have now dropped off the trees

However a few colourful ones still remain

Time to check into our accommodation for the next few nights

Our very comfy bed

And spacious lounge area

The temperature can drop very quickly in the Mountains and our maximum yesterday was 5.5 as can be seen on the temperature gauge in the car.

And the fog can settle very quickly also.   This was the view from our room mid-afternoon.

Somewhere out there  beyond the trees is a valley.   Not to be seen during our stay however we were nice and warm inside and rugged up when venturing out.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all


Saturday, June 3, 2017

A queue jumper

I had a mental "in order list" of little things that I wanted to sew but as always plans do get changed and in this case some  good friends have sold their Sydney home very quickly and are heading just over 2 hours north to enjoy a more relaxed and quieter  lifestyle at Tea Gardens.   This move was to happen around September so a small "good luck in your home" gift had to be brought to the top of that list.    Fortunately for me it was FNwF last night  and Chookyblue is hosting a Chookshed party all weekend which gave me permission to sew until I finished what I started......well that is my excuse for not doing anything else last night and again today.

I decided to go with a tabletopper and the recipient  like shades of brown - not my favourite colour but it is not for me - in order  to give it a  lift green was  used.

We are meeting them for lunch next week and after that they will be spending the rest of the time packing as the move takes place early July so you can see why the tabletopper was brought forward.    After giving it a press then having lunch it was back into the sewing room to make a start on the next item on my list which is a wallhanging for a cousin's daughter who is having a baby in August.

As I was going between my sewing room and the house there was an onlooker who was also on the lookout for his lunch.

Linking with Oh Scrap.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Small things

After finishing off two quilts back to back it is time to now concentrate on smaller items that are just as enjoyable to sew  with a quick result.    For June's OMG I have decided on two smaller items using the following fabrics

The olive fabric was one of those that jumped right into my hand when walking past in the shop even though I had no idea what was to become of it at the time and the next two piles fabrics are for a wall hanging.   Both should be doable within the next few weeks.

This week winter arrived very fast and fortunately having had my sewing room tidy the overlocker has been working overtime to produce some warm pants for Miss M which were handed over to her mummy just in time for the cold days that we are now having.

Don't forget that it is Friday Night with Friends tomorrow night over at Gone Stitchin'.

Linking with OMG over at Elm Street Quilts.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What is happening.......

Not a great deal on the sewing front but I can say that  three hours was spent tidying up my sewing room. The floor can be seen again now that all the threads have been vacuumed and the off cuts picked up.   Pins, cutters and rulers have been put  in their place and the leftover fabric from the fairy quilt put back into storage containers - what a difference all that makes.      Now to keep it that way as things have a habit of just creeping back and taking up sewing space.

Some of  you will remember that there was a link up to show off our finished 365 daily circle quilts at the beginning of the month with a prize or two  being offered and I am delighted to say that my blog was chosen by Mr Random generator and this is what was won.  

Thanks goes to Audrey at Quilty Folk for organising a fun project and posting my prize half way around the world.

It was such a beautiful autumn day and a delight to spend sometime in the garden.      There is a pumpkin vine which has become rather unsightly over the last few weeks so it was time for it to come out  - just as I was about to give it a good yank  I spotted the cutest little pumpkin which had formed in one of the flowers.

Needless to say that my hand quickly drew back and I will be watching "my baby" develop over the coming weeks.     Hopefully homegrown pumpkin soup will be on the menu in the not too distant future.

There are a few ideas running around my head for the next project and now that my sewing room is tidy and ready to go there will be stash sorting happening over the next few days.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Friday, May 19, 2017

Have a nice time ......

And do not hurry back was what I said to hubs as he headed out the door for boys' day out.   My reason for this was today was the day that the fairy quilt was going to be finished off no matter what. I  do not know how you feel but I always seem to achieve more when sewing alone as there are less coffee/meal breaks and no chatter to distract me from the task at hand.  It has proved to be quite difficult to get a photo of this quilt so I have taken a photo from the front and then from the back so it can be seen in full.

From the front

There was only  a metre of fairy fabric so when designing the quilt the fairy fabric ended up in the middle section alternating with 4 patch blocks that is why it is framed  to make a feature of it - the sides, top and bottom only have 4 patches. I then put the same colour border around the whole quilt to pull it together.

Then from the back

 As you can see it was quilted in sections and then joined using quilt as you go method.     I wish I had discovered this method years ago - so much easier than trying to push and pull the whole quilt through the machine throat.

The light is not good as I had to run outside in between showers and grab some photos.

Thanks Wendy for organising FNSI again.   The timing was perfect for me with an empty house, the whole day to sew and I will take the opportunity tonight to cut out some fabric for Miss M to sew when she visits over the weekend.

There are a couple of small projects that have been waiting patiently in my sewing room so they will be tackled next but before that happens the room needs to be thoroughly cleaned especially the floor as threads and offcuts are spread far and wide.    Fabric, pins, cutting boards, rulers, pens and rotary cutters all need to be returned to their rightful place in order to gain back my sewing space.

My May goal was to finish this quilt and I did.  Linking with OMG over at Elm Street Quilts.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A guiding hand

Is what I gave to Miss M on Sunday.    Miss M is fascinated with the sewing machine so we decided that it was time to have a go at making a skirt for her dolly.      Up to the sewing room to find some suitable fabric and after cutting it out it was time to sit at the machine ready to sew.

And this is the end result.

Miss M has plans to make another outfit for dolly next week.

All the quilting is  now finished on the fairy quilt.

After this post I am heading off to cut out the border fabric, hopefully get it sewn on today and maybe even have time to cut out the binding fabric.

Back soon with photos of a finished quilt....yeah and in the meantime

Happy sewing all

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Follow the quilts

Is what I did yesterday when getting off the bus and  going to the quilt exhibition held by Eastwood Patchwork Quilters.

Inside is a feast of quilts.

After spending a couple of hours being inspired I came home and finished off the last of those 4 patch blocks which I am now happy to say have been placed in the "jigsaw" puzzle and all sewn together into sections.  The gap that can be seen between the middle section and the top and bottom will have a sashing of the darker pink between them.

Before setting up the machine with the walking foot to make a start on  quilting  the middle section I finished off the bands on two warm tops for Miss M.

I have put a pocket on the front of each of them so she can slip her hands inside on a cold day.

Thirty others have signed up for FNwF over at Gone Stichin' so head on over to see what the others got up to last night.

Back soon and in the meantime

Happy sewing all