Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sharing some love

I just have to tell you about this fantastic blog, The Toy Society! Their aim is to make handmade toys, and then 'drop' them at various places for people to find, take home and love. It started in Australia, and is now spreading worldwide. As soon as I heard about it, I had to be in on it.

So everyone, meet Penny!

She is currently hanging around a playground in our country town in the Yarra Valley, looking for someone to love her. It's a very hot day out there today, so I hope someone will rescue her soon!

I encourage everyone to check out the The Toy Societys blog page, and try to get involved. It's a wonderful idea to spread some love and cheer to others, and to make the world a better place, one toy at a time.

'tis a great place to live...

Happy Australia Day for yesterday! For any international readers, the 26th of January is Australia Day, and what a ripper of a day it was. The weather was beaut, the snags were bonza, thongs were the order of the day, and the green and gold was worn with pride. If you didn't understand anything in that sentence, or you are slightly confused about thongs, then you are obviously an international reader! I absolutely love my country, and couldn't think of a nicer place to live.

Well, my first block for the Homespun BOM is done! I've been working on it for the last couple of days, and last night I did the final stitches. I'm so happy with it, and it looks so pretty and romantic. The photos don't really show it properly. It was impossible to find a good place to take a photo this morning without it causing shadows etc.

Thank you for all your help with my quilt in the previous post! After two shortbread biscuts and a cuppa, I was able to face the task of unpicking the borders off the quilt. I then tried to pin and tighten some of the seams, and pull it more together.

I'm thinking I will get some iron on interfacing, or some sort of stabilising stuff and put it on the back of the quilt. It is looking alot better now, but I don't want to risk it puckering again when I put the borders back on. I don't think I could handle that, and it would certainly take alot more than nursing a fat quarter, and a cuppa with some biscuts to bring me around! I shall keep you updated with the progress!

**Edited to add a new photo! 2/2/09**

I was finally able to take a relatively good photo of my BOM block. This one probably shows the colours more acurately.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Please...hit me over the head with a Fat Quarter...

Well, a sudden burst of enthusiasm overtook me last night and this morning to work on the quilt for my Omi. I was so proud of myself for getting stuck into it, and not being distracted by my BOM block, that I soon found myself sewing the borders on, and nearly finishing the quilt top.

Till when I laid it out on the floor, and EGADS! IT PUCKERED!

And badly too! The only reason it doesn't look puckered in the top photo is because it is taped down tightly. It's bad....quite bad...very bad infact. Oh you should have seen my hissy fit. I am so annoyed at myself. I had a feeling it might happen, but pushed those thoughts aside and continued sewing (maybe I did get a little distracted by my BOM block. *sigh*)

So now I don't know what to do. *sob* Any advice? Any help at all? Or am I going to have to unpick all the borders and start again, (please don't say that!) *goes off to sit in the corner and nurse some fat quarters.*

Friday, January 23, 2009

...we have some progress peoples!

As soon as I finished my last post yesterday, I got stuck in to starting the first block for the Homespun BOM. I sat there like an eager child with a big dumb grin on my face, as I merrily cut my fabric and sewed away. Mum would often walk past and chuckle to herself.

I'm afraid I had to deviate from the pattern (any purists out there- block your ears, or cover your eyes more to the point,) but I didn't do the needleturn ( I hate doing needleturn with a passion!) and I used my machine to applique the birdies. Oh, the horror! But, I have since been told by my friends that the buttonhole police are on holidays, and I am hoping they will stay that way for another 9 months or so.

So I have finished all the wording on the is a sneaky peek... (ignore the wrinkly fabric, haven't ironed it yet.)

So, there are quite a few of us ladies who are doing this quilt now, and sharing it as we go along. If you want to join in with us, or keep up, check out Homespuns forum.

Onto something different, I think the fabric below is some of the prettiest I have in my stash at the moment. As soon as I saw it I fell in love with it and knew it would be perfect as a quilt for my Omi (grandmother.) I started these blocks last week, then someone got me sidetracked with the Homespun BOM. So I have promised myself that I have to finish all the blocks for my Omi's quilt, before I start the second block in the BOM. Somebody please hold me to that if you see me weakening!

Thanks for all the comments on my previous posts. I LOVE getting comments! I'm sorry if I don't get around to replying, but I do try to visit your blogs and see what you are up to. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Introducing... new project for 2009... Homespun Magazines Mystery Block of the Month quilt!

I only heard about this yesterday when a few of the ladies on the craft forum mentioned this BOM in Homespun, and how great it was. And I thought, "What BOM? What am I missing out on? Gah, I have to buy Homespun, and NOW!"

So, when I eventually got my hands on the latest Homespun (the last copy in my local newsagents mind you...alot of ladies must have had the same idea as me,) I soon found what all the fuss was about. Incase you haven't heard about all the 'fuss,' I'll explain! Some of the top Aussie designers ( Leanne Beasley, Rosalie Quinlan, Lynette Anderson, Anni Downs, Bronwyn Hayes, Natalie Lymes, Amanda Browning and Natalie Bird) were asked by Homespun to help them make a quilt in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The designers were given a stack of fabric, and the theme of 'women and friendship,' and then to go for it! So each month, for nine months, there will be a block (or two/three) in each issue. It's a mystery BOM, so they haven't shown the finished product, only the first two blocks. But, the blocks are gorgeous, so you know it's going to be a great quilt!

So of course, I had to jump on the bandwagon. And as much as I like their fabric choices of pink and brown, I don't love them. So, I went through my stash and decided that blues are definately more me. So, this is the result of raiding my stash, and visiting Spotlight this morning... Blues with cream and tan.

I can't wait to get started! :D

Thursday, January 15, 2009 30th post!

I got a Kreative Blogger award! Thank you so much Princess Pudge for giving me this award! *feels special*
And, I recieved an award from Tozz's Corner too! Must be the season for award giving! Thanks ladies!
So, today was spent making two baby cot quilts for my friend. I would love to take a photo of the finished product and put them up on here, but alas, we have to wait till April as the gender is a secret, and the colour of the fabric would be a dead giveaway! Sorry Kylie! :D

I have been doing so much sewing of late, as it's been too hot to do much outside. So I have been hiding away in the sewing room with the air conditioner on, madly sewing. I've been trying to work on the free motion quilting for my 'chook' quilt. I don't know about any of you, but I find it so hard to grip onto the fabric at times, and I often find my hands slipping.

My way to solve this? My 'pimple grip' horse riding gloves (washed and cleaned of course!) They have little rubber dots on the underside, so as I sew, I can easily grip onto the quilt. So there I am... scorching summer heat outside, air conditioner blaring, as I sit and quilt with horse riding gloves on. Call me crazy, but they work brilliantly!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

...beyond the garden gate

It's finished!! It's finished!!
My "Be Creative Challenge" piece is finally complete! Some of you may remember a few posts awhile back about the "Be Creative Challenge," and the lovely picture of a gate that had to be used to inspire a project.

Well, this is my answer to the challenge....

When I first saw the photo of the gate, I kept wondering, "where does the gate lead to? Who lives beyond that gate? How many hands have opened that gate?" etc.
At the same time, I was researching some of my family history, and came across a record of my great great great grandparents, Thomas Gentle and Emily Ingrey. They were both born in 1827 and 1829 respectively, in England.
Emily was from a wealthy blue blood family, and Thomas was a stable hand/groom at a squires stable. They ended up falling in love, but Emilys parents would not allow them to marry because he wasn't good enough.
So they ended up eloping and having a small wedding, and then they immagrated to Australia to start a new life. They moved out to victorias north east, and had lots of children. Unfortunately alot of the children died (about 5 or 6 from memory, and mostly from childbirth, or complications and illness as kids.)
And I couldn't help but feel so touched by this story. That if they had not eloped and followed their hearts, I would not be here today! So, I decided to make my piece to represent this wonderful story of my great, great, great grandparents.
So I made a picture of what I imagined their home would have been like. And of course, the lovely gate at the front, to welcome people to their home. The random colour that I got drawn that had to be used in my piece was gold, and so I put some little gold beads on the bush in the left hand corner.

I must say, I'm so pleased with how it turned out, and it looks fabulous hanging on the wall at home.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas catch up!

Oh dear.... my last post was almost one month ago! Oh, the shame! I could quite easily make excuses for my slackness...being that it was the most busiest season of the year.....etc etc.... And that would be true, for I have been awfully busy of late, as I am sure most of you have been too!

It all started when I decided to make my christmas gifts this year, instead of buying most of them. So I spent most of the weeks leading up to Christmas making fabric baskets, and baking yummy goodies, such as shortbread, choc chip cookies, meringues...etc etc...
I ended up baking so much food, that the fabric baskets I had so carefully made, would be no longer big enough to hold it all! So a day before Christmas, I madly rushed down to our local $2 shop and was relieved to see that they were still open. I was not so relieved to see how busy the shop was though!
Anyway, I managed to find some pretty gift boxes, and this was the final result....

Two days before Christmas, I was suddenly lumped with the task of making the christmas table cloth. Ok, so I may have volountered, but the partciulars aren't really that important anyway. What is important is to mention that the table is a large oval shaped table...a very large oval shaped table. So here I am, two days out from Christmas, sitting on the floor and muttering away to myself with pins in my mouth as I juggle 4.5 meters of heavy Damask fabric.

After two days of sewing (am so proud of my sewing earned itself a holiday!), and not only sewing the table cloth, but placemats, table runner, and making the center pieces, this was the result....

And yes, all the blood, sweat and tears were well worth it in the end. The table looked fabulous, my gifts were well recieved and loved, and on the whole, the day was fantastic. :) I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well!

And just to finish off, I was very fortunate to have recieved some wonderful fabric for Christmas, some from my mum, and some from my brother and sister in law. I think they know me too well!
The fabric below was from my Brother and Sister in Law....

And the next three photos are of the fabric my mother bought. And you know, I can just tell that these are from my mum. They are such 'mum' fabrics....onces I know she would always go for and choose. :)

And to top it all off, my wonderful mother (as a thank you for the table cloth!) took me to spotlight and bought me $60 worth of fabric! A friend of mine is having a baby in April this year, so I took the chance to buy some lovely baby fabrics for a cot quilt and play mat. I would post some photos of the fabric here, but that would give away the gender of the baby (which is supposed to be a secret!) and I don't want to be responsible for letting the secret out!