Every year hubs and I host a VIP party on New Year's Eve for ......just him and me and this year was no exception. On the menu was leftover nuts, chips, cheeses, crackers and fruit from Christmas Day with the addition of a bottle of bubbles.
Another year has nearly ended and it is nice to be able to look back and see what was achieved in the way of sewing during the year. At the beginning it was decided that 3 items that had been hanging around my sewing room were to be completed no matter what and I am pleased to say that that goal was reached.
At last I can present to you my hexagon bed topper which was started back in 2010 when I was bitten by the bug. I took this project along to my quilting group each month as it was a good portable hand project to work on and I also worked on it during some lunch breaks when at work. It got to a certain stage by 2011 and then just sat around until this year which I had named the year of finishing off three projects that have been sitting around for too long - this one being the longest.
I picked it up again only to discover that the last piece was missing so I have been working solidly on it since October.
Today was FNSI and I was determined to get the topper finished by Christmas so an early start was made today to ensure that my goal was reached.
I have to give a special mention to hubs who patiently sat and cut out all those hexie shaped papers at the beginning of my hexie journey. So here it is
If you would like to see what everyone got up to during FNSI head on over to Wendy's blog and you are sure to be inspired. Thank you Wendy for hosting FNSI during the year and I hope that it continues in 2018.
I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and enjoy whatever way you celebrate the Season with family and friends.
I was up early this morning to do some watering before the heat of the day set in and while out in the garden this little ringtail possum was out and about.
It is most unusual to see possums in the day as they nocturnal. It walked up and down the fence a couple of times and kept looking over the edge so I think that it was off course a bit. I hope it found its way back home before any domestic animals were on the prowl.
During the week I managed to get the last row of hexies sewn on and was very tempted to just bind it and get it finished as I have been working on this for what seems forever but a little voice in my head said "for the extra few hours that it will take you need to put the border on" and now having gone down that path and with two sides of the border on I was glad that I listened to that little voice.
It is just too hot today to be in my sewing room so it was a good day to wrap up our Christmas presents and put them out under the tree.
While "surfing" the net sometime ago as one does from time to time......all too often..... I saw this cute origami petal bag and "filed" it away for a one day project. Well that day was today as I needed to make a small gift for my quilting group's Christmas lunch tomorrow....nothing like leaving it to the last minute. Fortunately for me today it is FNwF so I took the opportunity to use the time to make the little bag.
How cute it that! I also put in a few little goodies that hopefully a quilter will like and use.
Thanks Cheryll for hosting FNwF each month throughout the year to keep us motivated and a place to show off our projects - no matter what stage they are at - completed or otherwise.
I have just finished measuring and inserting the elastic for the neck and sleeves in the dresses for Miss M. Her mummy requested the dresses with sleeves and a length of just above the knee and Miss M's request was for very twirly. A pocket is also a very welcome addition for all those little secret possessions. Here they are
Needless to say the pink one is the favourite and is being worn home today.
The Christmas tree has been decorated with Miss M's help.
The Christmas carols are playing in the background and it is raining very heavily outside so time to get out the address book and write out our Christmas cards.
I know a lot of people do not post Christmas cards but it is nice to go to the letterbox and have something other to open rather than just the usual bills and junk mail that seem to clutter up the letterbox each day.
Over the past few weeks I have noticed holes appearing in the soft earth areas of the garden. My first thought was "that bandicoot is at it again" but on closer inspection these holes are smaller and not in the grassy areas of the yard. A couple of days ago when working in my kitchen I just happened to look up and see earth being sprayed around. Out I go to have a closer look and found the culprit at last. An eastern water dragon. Head down and front claws busy.
Here it is with its head up looking at me looking at it.
On the other side of the garden we have a resident blue tongue lizard. They are good for keeping down the snails and by the look of the size this one many snails have been consumed over the past few months. Or there could be another reason......soon to be a mummy. Perish the thought of many baby blue tongues running around the backyard.
On the sewing front I discovered that I had run out of 1/4" elastic and so the twirly dresses have come to a standstill until I buy some more. All that needs to be done is slot it through the neck and sleeve casings and the job is done.
I did have a play around with the red scraps.
More on that experiment later. Sadly the last remaining hexie block is still waiting to be completed. Tomorrow for that one.
Hubs and I have just returned home from a few days at Nelson Bay. An area that neither of us have ever stayed at so we were not quite sure what to expect. Friends had told us about the area in the past but for some reason we just kept driving past the turn off and headed further north. No more will we be doing that. What a lovely surprise we both had. Such a pretty area with lots of shops to browse in and easy walks around the streets. This path leads down to the Marina.
Our hotel overlooking the Bay
I did make a list of three items that I wanted to do whilst away. No 1 was to buy some fresh prawns and oysters and enjoy them with a glass of my favourite white wine on the balcony of our room overlooking the Bay. Ticked.
No 2 on the list was to do a dolphin cruise around the Bay and see some of the 140 bottlenose dolphins that call this place home. This was the boat that took me cruising around the Bay for over an hour and a half.
Unfortunately the dolphins were proving to be very elusive yesterday and after chasing around the Bay for an hour only one was spotted. If you look very carefully you can see it just in front of the pole. Ticked....... I suppose.
And the third item on my list was to have a swim in one of those white sandy secluded bays. We drove around the point from where we were staying to Fingal Bay and this is where I had my first swim of the season. You can see my head just sticking out of the water. Ticked.
And as an added bonus I decided to try out the pool at our hotel.
Sometimes it is so easy to overlook what is under our noses. With just over 2 and a half hours drive north of us we have put Nelson Bay on "the return to one day list" and hopefully in the not too distant future.
Fortunately for me I am home in time to take part in FNSI to finish off my week nicely. I have had a request for a couple of twirly dresses for Miss M so while the washing machine is grinding away it is the ideal time to cut out the fabric ready to put through the overlocker during the next couple of days.
I saw an idea on the "net" as one does for cosy bowl holders. What a great idea was the thought that crossed my mind as it can be a bit of a juggle taking hot bowls from the microwave and transporting them to the table. It does state quite clearly in the instructions to use 100% cotton for the project but I do not intend putting them in the microwave so polyester thread and whatever wadding was on hand was used. Mine were cut 2" bigger than the pattern as I wanted my pasta bowls to fit in snuggly and the wadding was trimmed down by 1/2" to reduce the bulk in the seams and here is the end result.
The photo below shows the pasta bowls nicely nestled down in their holders. So much easier to carry a hot bowl out of the microwave rather than trying to hold a bowl between a double oven glove and walk across the room. A great scrap buster project as well. A double bonus.
So that was my FNwF project. What was your project if you joined in with Cheryll and the others?
That was my little diversion from the hexie production line. To date all the hexies have now been sewn onto the background fabric and with my trusty Frixon pen I have marked all four corners of each block with two lines ready to do some quilting along those lines. This is what each block looks like now.
A close up of the quilting.
My OMG for November is to do the straight line quilting in each of the four corners of the 12 blocks and make a start on joining the blocks.
My OMG for October was to work solidly on my hexies and with the exception of stopping off to make a couple of small items this was achieved. So far this month 11 rosettes have been sewn onto the background fabric and can be seen below on the bed in no particular order.
And as you can see there is a hole in the bottom row
Which will be filled by this one but it is still in the construction stage.
There are still a couple of days left in October so this one may also catch up to the others before the end of the month.
I cannot complain as it has been 76 days since any significant rain has fallen in our area and the garden and lawn are certainly enjoying their long overdue drink. Having said that I had made plans today to visit the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition which stretches from Bondi Beach to Tamarama so I had to console myself by heading to the sewing room and make any early start on FNSI by doing some more work on my hexies.
As I said in my previous post progress is good but very slow.....it is taking around 1 and 1/2 hours to get each rosette sewn on. Firstly I start by sewing around the inside of the middle flower then move out to the outer edge. Once the threads have been pulled through and tied off it is time to then move onto the centre of each of the outer flowers. Once all those threads have been pulled and tied off I am then giving it a good press and then doing a zig zag stitch around the entire outside edge of the rosette.
The ones below have now been completed which leaves 7 to go. I can see why I kept putting this UFO to the back of the pile as it is very time consuming and quite tiring on the eyes. I can feel another small deviation project being finished before this is.....just to keep my sanity.
Thanks Wendy for organising FNSI again this month.
That you can make such cute little Christmas trees from circles of fabric? Not me until the other day when someone from my quilting group showed us how.
Start with an 8" circle, fold in half, stitch, leave an opening to turn right side out, stitch all around the outside and by folding this way and that, give it a good press and sew some ribbon on to the top you end up with this. Very cute.
After that lesson we were shown how to take 5 5" squares of fabric, fold 4 of them in half, leave the 5th one unfolded as it is the base upon which to layer up the other ones on and turn them into coasters. This would the perfect project if you had some pretty charm squares lying around.
After my little deviation it is back to hexies. Good but slow progress is being made with over half left to stitch onto the background fabric then I can begin joining the blocks using QAYG method.
Now I have said a couple of times no more new projects to be started until my hexie bedtopper is finished but good intentions do have a habit of getting off course however in my defence these small projects will be worked on at my quilt group tomorrow. Seeing that one of our group members is going to show us some "magic" which fabric that would be rude to not participate...don't you agree?
In my next post I hope to have some photos of what these end up being.
Yesterday Miss M celebrated her 4 birthday. Delving into a birthday bag of goodies
Each year her godmother makes a requested birthday cake. This year Miss M asked for a ladybug cake and she was lucky enough to get 3.
A great day was had by all especially the birthday girl who scored some lovely gifts from family and friends.
During the week hubs and I had an enjoyable day out when we visited the Ku-ring-gai wildflower garden. It was a perfect day weatherwise and as we were there early not many people were around so we virtually had the place to ourselves as we wandered around the shaded boardwalks.
Is always the first Friday night of the month and of course you guessed right I spend part of the day and last night working on my hexies. Slow progress is being made but it is progress. All the papers have now been removed, the backing fabrics ironed, all of the rosettes have now been pinned onto the white background fabric and sandwiched ready for quilting. All piled up ready for the next step.
I will start quilting in the middle and work my way out around each rosette and end up by appliquing around the outside edge. It will all be done by machine and I have made a promise to myself to pull through and tie off each of the threads as I go otherwise it will be a huge task at the end.
24 others joined in last night and due to the time difference between the southern and northern hemisphere some are most probably beavering away now. Thanks Cheryll for organising another fun night.