Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mum's oldest friend

I would like to introduce you all to mum's oldest friend. They have known each other since mid 1951 and have spent many hours together "singing" along and enjoying each other's company.

This was the sewing machine that I learnt to sew on when I was about 8 years old and used up to when I got married in 1973. Mum made all my clothes - including my wedding dress, some of my brothers clothes and still makes all her own clothes today using her "faithful" friend. She would not trade her for all the tea in China.

The only maintenance needed is the occasional drop of oil and dad replaces the belt from time to time and she is ready to go again. I would love to know just how far these two have treadled over the last 59 years. I always think that sewing machines should be able to register just how far is sewn on them like a car is driven. I am sure there would be some interesting figures out there in sewing land.

They certainly do not make machines as sturdy as this one as I am onto my third machine which this one still "hums" away and even though it has no fancy stitches it does a nice even stitch and never "skips".

Happy sewing "girls".

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How does your garden grow?

During the last week whilst on holiday I found time to do quite a bit of sewing. I am enjoying all stages of making hexie flowers from cutting the fabric, to making the petals and then forming the flowers. I have not done much hand sewing in the past always preferring the machine for speed and neatness however I am really hooked on these hexies and am happy with the look and speed with which they are going together.

I am happy to present to you my "hexie garden" which you can see in its various stages from papers, squares of cut fabric, individual petals and full flowers

With all this gorgeous spring weather and lovely flowers surrounding me I thought I would celebrate the season and create a bag to match the lovely soft colours. I have made this pattern many times and this time around I have used a variation on a theme and I am pleased with the end result. I will add this bag to my giftie box and hope to add a couple more before Christmas for gifts.

And lastly I have made good progress with my "planned" scrap quilt. All the blocks are now sewn together and the next step is the borders. Back into the stash I delve in order to find suitable fabric. I am going with a narrow white border then a wider blue border to keep in with the theme. Now that I look at it from a distance I could have balanced some of the yellow a bit more evenly but I have to remember that it is a scrappy quilt and I will have to learn to live with it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The week that was....

My holiday - I have taken the last week off work to have some "me time" and enjoy the lovely Spring weather that Sydney is experiencing at the moment.

Just a couple hours drive north of us is the historic township of Morpeth. A step back in time and a lovely way to spend a Sunday meandering around the quaint shops. Of course the first thing on arrival is to check out the coffee shops and order a devonshire tea complete with freshly baked scones, jam and cream.

A wander down the street uncovers all sorts of wonders starting with this lovely old clydesdale.

And of course Morpeth is famous for its unique collection of teapots of all shapes and sizes. Tea anyone!!

The next day saw us on the bus into the City. This was the business end of the holiday - an appointment with our accountant. We thought why not make a day of it and make our way down to the area of Sydney known as "The Rocks". One of my favourite parts of the city. I love the juxtaposition of the old buildings in the front of the photo and the modern looming up behind them.

And of course an outing to Sydney would not be complete without a photo of the Opera House.

I have lived in Sydney all my life and until a couple of weeks ago I had not heard of Fagan Park at Galston. What a hidden treasure and only 1 hours drive from our doorstep. This park was donated by the Fagan family to the community for all the enjoy and enjoy we did. Lovely wide open spaces and beautifully maintained as you can see by the photos below.

Of course all this fresh air and driving around certainly works up an appetite. We stumbled across this lovely restaurant in a quaint garden setting which seemed to fit the bill admirably.

Today is the last offical day of my week off - where has that gone - and being the lovely day that it was we headed off to Balmoral Beach about 30 mins drive from us. This photo was taken as we drove down one of the very steep streets around the Mosman area

On arriving at the bottom of the hill - and paying the inevitable parking fee - we took ourselves off for a walk along the beachfront enjoying the view across the harbour

Of course it was getting close to lunchtime and what did we spot but the local fish and chip shop aptly called "Bottom of the Harbour"

So the decision was made - fish and chips it would be for lunch - and they were delicious.

All goods things must come to an end and after my week of holidaying and eating it is back to work on Monday with my packed lunch. I know when I open my lunch on Monday I will be thinking of my fish and chips by the beach.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I have been bitten by the bug.....

Well it was inevitable I suppose that this was going to happen. I have been bitten by the "hexie" bug. For sometime now on the Craft Forum the ladies have been doing a framed hexie swap and a flower hexie swap and I have been drooling over these gorgeous creations for weeks. I was awake in the early hours of the morning...which I believe is the time when we are at our weakest point... and it hit me hard. When I woke the next morning it was still with me and I knew that I could not ignore this and had to act straight away.

I had signs all around me pointing me in this direction. Yesterday Google featured a picture of the buckyball - hexagon shapes - and one of the patchwork books given to me as a birthday present had hexies on the front.

Off I went to my sewing room knowing that I had to follow a few rules (my rules)

1. I was going only to use what I have in my stash
2. All the centres are to be white
3. Only using small/medium floral prints
4. Backgrounds with not too much white as I wanted the centres to stand out and be a contrast.
5. Equal number of light, medium and dark hexies flowers

Bearing all of the above in mind after couple of hours I had cut out quite a few flowers and centres and sorted out the dark prints which need to be washed before cutting here is my progress to date.

At this point I have to give an honourable mention to my dear hubby - a very patient man - who I have seconded into cutting up hexie shapes for me. As you can see he has made a good start with only a few thousand left - but I won't tell him that at this point! I will just keep adding a couple of sheets to his pile each day. I don't think he will notice - do you?