Friday, March 27, 2009

Well it had to happen sometime...

Sooner or later I was going to use some of my hard earned money on fabric... you all knew it was coming! But I swear, it was not any impulse purchases at all! I was on a mission (and on a time constraint due to a dentist appointment) so I quickly dashed into work this morning and raided the fat quarter table.
First off, I needed to find 2 fat quarters for the Paper Bag swap (sorry, not showing any photos of them just yet!) Then I helped my mum find some fabric as she is joining the craft class I mentioned in my previous post. My mum knows how to sew, but hasn't really done any quilts or wall hangings. So she is quite excited, and she went straight to the pink aisle.

Then it was my turn to choose some fabrics for the Gail Pan wallhanging from my previous post. I had a completely different colour scheme in mind, but somehow I ended up walking out with this lot...

I'm still not entirely sure how that happened. But I LOVE these fabrics together! I think they look so warm and inviting. I can't wait to use them!

The lady who trims my horses hooves, Julie, loves my crafts! And she has asked me to make 2 calico dolls for her young neices. So, I spent some time looking through the fat quarters, and have come up with this...

One doll will be more pink and yellow, and the other will be purple and yellow. They are going to be made similar to my 'Pretty in Pink' doll that came 2nd at the Dandenong Show. But I'm going to make some extra clothes that the girls can dress the dolls with.

So really, everything I bought has a purpose and will be used!

Oh, and my bargain buy for the week? 4 Craft magazines for $1! Gosh... you can't even buy milk and bread for $1 anymore! But, you can buy 4 old Craft magazines (complete with pattern sheets.) I got them from the Patchwork Tea House up at Warburton..... and I don't know why I only got 4.... *scratches head* Why didn't I buy more than that??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And so it begins!

Well the Paper Bag Swap is off and running! We had 15 wonderful ladies sign up (which I think is pretty great for my first blog swap!) and they come from all over the world! The majority of our swap particpants are from Australia, but we also have 3 ladies each from The Netherlands, France and the US! So it's all very exciting!

I did the draw for the swap yesterday and have sent out all the emails. If for some reason you haven't got an email yet, please let me know!

So I hope you are all just as excited as I am?!
Because of the odd number, I am swapping with two ladies (lucky me!) So my two swap partners are Denni and Maree! I'm really looking forward to swapping with both of them, and can't wait to make them something. Now for the job of actually putting my paper bag of goodies together. One would think this would be easy as I work in a patchwork shop. But I think I am too spoiled for choice! I literally have way too many options, and I just can't decide! I'm working again on Thursday afternoon, so hopefully by then I will have made up my mind!

This week I made a very simple needlecase. I have been collecting some selvedges for awhile now, and keep wondering, "What am I going to make with them?" Well, inspiration hit, and I whipped this up in the space of an hour or so. It's a bit rough, but I love it! I really like how colourful it is and I think I am hooked on selvedges now!

Some wonderful ladies from my church and I are going to be starting a craft group. And I am going to be teaching it! I'm really excited and looking forward to it, and can't wait to start. Our first project is going to be this gorgeous wallhanging by Gail Pan. (please excuse the dark photo!)
I LOVE Gail Pan designs, and this one is just lovely. I reckon it will be simple enough for some of the beginners to try. I'll keep you updated on how it goes!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fabric Heaven...

I think I have died and gone to fabric heaven.... Working at a Patchwork Shop is a quilters greatest dream come true. I get to play with the gorgeous fabric all day long! Yes, I know you are envious!

So today was my second day, and it's been great so far. It's interesting seeing the 'behind the scenes' stuff of how a shop operates. I've been busy putting bolts back, (and learning where they go!), cutting panels and fat quarters, folding fat quarters, and doing lots and lots of bolt ons. It's been great! So much to learn, and take in, but so far so good. I think I have already designed my next 10 quilts, and I can see a serious downside to working there.... The desire for more fabric! I am constantly seeing new bolts that I JUST LOVE and HAVE to have! I haven't bought anything yet, but I am seriously being tempted, and learning alot of restraint!

Today I got such a lovely suprise when I got home! Don't you just love getting fun things in the mail? Well, Leah over at Minimonty, sent me a little package. I had been visiting her blog, and had commented on her gorgeous Owls (aren't they so cute?!!) And Leah offered me the pattern if I would like it. "Of course!!" I enthusiastically exclaimed! So Leah kindly drew and wrote out the pattern for me, but not only did she send that, but this too....

Inside was a gorgeous 50th post congratulations card, with this amazing and incredibly cute owl brouch on the front!! He is so cool - I just love him! :D I am so wearing him to work one day!

But wait, there was more! Inside the cherry bag was a rubber stamp that Leah had made, with the word Missymack on it!!! How awesome is that?! How awesome is Leah?!!! Wow, thank you so much Leah! I can't believe it - it's just so generous of you, and such a lovely suprise. Thank you!! I am now going to go try it out!

Don't forget! The closing date to sign up for the Paper Bag Swap is the 22nd of March, only a few days away! So if you want to join in, please do so soon! :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

And the winner is...

It's official. I love having giveaways!! It's just so much fun!

So, last night, all the names were put in a box, each one crying out, "Pick me, pick me!"

And the lucky name that was pulled out is.....

Congratulations Jantine! I'm so happy that you won! I really hope you like your prize!
Because you are from the Netherlands, I can't really send you the chocolate, sorry!! Don't worry though, I'll add another craft magazine in! But, to save myself from eating the chocolate, I thought I would draw another name!

So the lucky winner of the chocolate (and a few other bits and bobs,) is....

Congratulations Kimba4!! I hope you like Lindt Chocolate! I know I do, it's my favourite!

So well done to the winners, and thank you to all who entered my first giveaway. It was alot of fun, and I was so overwhelmed with the great response! So I will definately be having another giveaway again.
Jantine, I have your address from the paper bag swap, but please let me know what toy monster you would like, a boy or a girl. And Kim, I think I have your address, but maybe PM me just incase. :)

So, thank you for all your congratulations about my new job! I'm still quite stunned. Although now the butterflies and nerves are setting as, as always when you start at a new place.
Things have been pretty busy here as I have a few order for my Ribbon Browbands. I just finished this one last night, and it will be going up to Queensland to a girl who competes and shows her horse. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Well, that's it from me. Remember, the Paper Bag Swap sign up is still open, so feel free to join in. It's going to be lots of fun! I'm off to have a hot cup of tea and a Tim Tam biscut!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Some good news!

I got the job at the Patchwork Shop! After I practiced the maths formulas over and over, I went back and saw the lady yesterday. She gave me another test, which I was able to do very easily, and then hired me! I start next Wednesday and Thursday 9am-1pm. I really can't believe it. I'm going to be working at a Patchwork Shop! I get to feel and play with gorgeous fabrics all day long, and I get paid to do it!

For anyone wanting to know, I will be working at Patchwork with Gail B. It is about 30 minutes from me (the only downside to the job,) but they have a fantastic shop with well over 10,000 bolts of fabric!! It's going to take me some time to get to know them all I think! It's a casual position with 2-6 shifts a month. Which will be good for me as I have alot of other things to do outside of work.

So if you are a Melbourne local, make sure you pop in some time to the shop and say hello! Just be warned, you will probably end up buying some fabric before you walk out the door!

Of course, I had to buy some fabric at the shop since they were having a sale on...

And Spotlight is virtually next door, so I had to drop past there on my way through. I absolutely love these 2 varigated threads and can't wait to create something with them.

Now, onto other news! What a fantastic response to my previous post for the giveaway and paper bag swap! Thank you to all who have entered so far, and to those who have signed up for the swap! It's going to be great fun!

It's also been wonderful to visit so many new blogs that I would not normally have found. I've made some new friends now, which is just wonderful!

The closing date for the giveaway is tomorrow (Sunday) at 5pm (AEDST), so if you still want to enter, please see my previous post and leave a comment.

Welcome to all those who have signed up for the Paper Bag swap so far! It's great to have you all! And remember, it's not too late to sign up if you still want to join in. The closing date to sign up is the 22nd of March. So please sign up as we would love to have you join us!
If you look at my sidebar on the right, there is a swap button. Please feel free to save it, and put it as a link on your blog.
Well, I hope you are thinking about what sort of goodies to put in your paper bags! I know I am. I can't decide what colour to go with though just yet!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Time to celebrate!

Yes, that's right, it's my 50th post! In one way that seems such a milestone to me, and then I look at people who are up to 100, 200 or 300 posts and I feel so awfully new!

Be that as it may, it's still a celebration, and that means a giveaway! And not only a giveaway in this post, but the launch of a swap too! Yup, the Paper Bag Swap is going ahead. So this post will be quite a busy one, so bear with me.

But, first things first, lookie what came in the mail!!

It's the wonderful Soiree bag I won over at "Life at Rosemary Hill's" giveaway! And I absolutely adore it. Many huge thanks to Kris for running her giveaway, and making such a gorgeous bag. I still can't believe I won, and I can't wait to show it off.

Aren't these fabrics just so yummy??

And secondly, for those who are wondering how my job interview went yesterday... (by the way - thank you so much for your comments and well wishes for that!! I really appreciate them so much!) Well, the interview went quite well, but I was a bit unprepared for a 'maths test' to calculate fabric requirements. So, suddenly overwhelmed and unprepared, I failed miserably. But she really liked me, and told me to go home and practice, and to then give her another call. So all is not lost!

Anyway, enough about that, and on to the point of this post!

50th post Giveaway!

To celebrate my 50th post, and to thank all you wonderful commenters and readers of my blog, I am giving away a little box of goodies and treasures!

Inside there is fabric, beads, a Handmade Magazine (Christmas issue,) Chocolate (Lindt Chocolate!! Do you know how much will-power it is taking me to give this away, and not eat it!?!), and patterns from Gail Pan and Hatched and Patched. I will be adding more goodies to the box over the next couple of days with more fabric, buttons, bits and bobs etc etc.

And I will also be making the winner her very own little monster. Some of you may remember I made these two for a Toy Society drop a few weeks ago. Well, I will make the winner their own custom made little monster. The winner can choose the boy or girl monster, it's up to you. :)
So how to enter? Simply leave a comment to this post before Sunday 15th of March 5pm (AEDST).

If you have been a previous commenter of this blog (and yes, I know who you are!) you will get an extra bonus entry into the giveaway. If you mention the giveaway on your blog, you will also get an extra bonus entry. Anyone is welcome to enter!

The draw (names from a hat - I am rather old fashioned!) will take place after the deadline (either Sunday night, or Monday morning,) and the winner will be announced and notified soon after. International visitors are more than welcome to enter (however, I may not send the chocolate overseas...I have always had issues trying to send chocolate overseas! But don't worry, I will substitue it for something else!)

Please make sure that when you leave a comment, your settings are not set at 'no reply.' I need to be able to contact you if you win!

Have fun and good luck!

Paper Bag Swap
Woohoo, I love swaps!! Who else loves swaps? Theres something fun about making an item for someone else. So, I am launching the Paper Bag swap after suficient interest was recieved from previous posts. I only just participated in a Paper Bag swap over at the Handmade Craft Forum, run by the lovely and wonderful Vicki. This is my first time running a swap on 'blogland,' but I have run and organised a large number of swaps and activities on various forums over the years.
So I am really excited about my first blog swap, and I hope you are too!

So what is the Paper Bag swap I hear you asking? Well, many of you would have read about it in my previous posts, but for those who haven't, I will quickly explain.

Once you have signed up, you will recieve a swap partner, and then you are to collect a number of items and put them into a paper bag (it doesn't have to be a paper bag if you don't want to...could be any sort of small bag!)

These items must include the following: a fat quarter, some ribbon, some ric rac/lace, buttons and some embroidery thread. You can add extra bits to your bag if you would like (charms, more fabric, bells, beads etc, it's up to you.)
The paper bag and items are then sent to your swap partner, and it is their task to make a handmade object using all of those items. At the same time you will recieve a paper bag of items from the same person, and you have to also make a handmade item. You are allowed to add extra fabric or bits from your own stash, but you must use the items that were sent to you in some way. Once your handmade item is finished, it is then to be sent back to your swap partner.
Things to note:
- This is a direct swap. You will be sending to and recieving from the same person.
- International swappers are more than welcome! If you would prefer to swap with someone from your own country (to save on postage,) please let me know. If you don't mention that, I will assume that you are happy to swap with someone from overseas.
- You must be a genuine swapper, and have an active blog. This means that you make regular posts.
- You are more than welcome to include other items when you send your finished handmade object home.
- A thank you is a definate must. Once you have recieved your handmade item, please make sure that you thank you partner personally.
- Please keep in contact with me regarding your progress. If for some reason you cannot complete or fufil your swap agreeement, please let me know asap.
- If you would like to volounteer to be a 'swap angel, (someone who is called on to make an extra item in the event that a swap partner pulls out) please let me know.

Important Dates:

- Sign up is open till the 22nd Of March (Australian Time.)
- The draw will take place soon after, and details of your swapper will be emailed out to you within 3 days.
- Mailing date for your Paper Bag and unfinished items to your partner is the 5th of April.
- Mailing date for your finished Handmade item back to your partner is the 31st of May (gives you nearly 2 months to make the item.)

How to sign up?

If you want to sign up, please email me at smackenzie85 @ (take out the two spaces around the @ sign.)with the following information before the 22nd of March:

Email Address:
Blog Address:
Colour preferences/styles/likes and dislikes:

In the subject line of the email, put "Paper Bag Swap." Please feel free to mention the swap on your blog if you would like to. The more the merrier!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me. I'm more than happy to help!

And the most important bit of information?? To have fun and be creative!! And if you read all that, and understood it all, well done!

Monday, March 9, 2009


I did it!
After shutting myself in there for 4 days, I have emerged from my sewing room victorious. You see I have a job interview tomorrow at a Patchwork shop, and they asked me to bring 3 items with me. They didn't have to be original items, but had to show my ability to use colour and co-ordinate fabrics. But I thought I would create some original items anyway. Might give me some extra brownie points!
The main reason I needed to create some new items was because I don't have many here at home. Most of the quilts I have made have been for other people, so I no longer have them. But I will be using my Omi's quilt (see some of my previous posts,) and the quilt I made for my brother on the occaision of his wedding.

And for the life of me I couldn't remember if they said it had to be all quilts, or there could be a bag or something like that. So I made both.

First up, is my little red quilt.

Excuse the shocking shadows on this one. It's really alot brighter and fresh in real life. I started off with the little redwork stitcheries, and just built on it from there. I love pinwheels, so I had to include them, and most of the red fabric I only just bought. It's just gorgeous stuff.

This little snail is probably my favourite of the stitcheries. He is so cute! I had such fun drawing and stitching him. The other 4 stitcheries are of flowers, leaves, a ladybug, butterflies, toadstools, bees etc.

And I'm really happy with this simple white backing, with the pieced central strip. If I had of had the time I would have stipple quilted the whole thing, but alas, the ditch stitching will have to do.

So of course, I can't just carry these quilts in any old bag to this interview. It has to be a patchwork bag!
So today I made this.
And I just LOVE it! I love the colours, I love the style, I love the size. I just made it up as I went along from offcut scraps of fabric, and I am so happy with it. I pleated the striped fabric that goes around the bag, and the ribbon can be pulled to gather the bag.

Did I mention how much I love this bag???
Keep an eye out for my next post, it will be my 50th, and will have a giveaway - which I am extremely excited about!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I wish there were two of me

This week has suddenly changed from quiet and normal, to flat out and busy. I have had two orders come in for my ribbon browbands (see here if you are wondering what the heck a ribbon browband is,) I have the dentist coming for my horse in about 40 minutes, a friend coming over who needs help with her wall hanging, and now I discover I have to have 3 original items ready for next Tuesday. That's only 5 days away!

And why, you may be wondering, do I need to have 3 original items ready for next Tuesday? Well, I can't tell you just yet! Isn't that just horrible of me? But all will be revealed in time, but meanwhile I am tearing my hair out wondering if it's all possible.

So I think one of my items will be the quilt I just made for my Omi. Speaking of which, I gave it to her on Monday and she absolutely LOVED IT! It now sits proudly on her dining room table and she shows it off to whoever she can. I did tell her that it is a quilt to keep her warm, but she wants to have it on display as a tablecloth first!

So, if you don't hear from me for the next couple of days, it's because I will be living in my sewing room, madly creating, cutting and making. I will only emerge for chocolate and biscuts, and perhaps a cup of tea.

Well, I had quite a few bloggers interested in the paper bag swap from my last post. If there is enough interest I'm happy to run a swap on 'blogland.' I participated in the previous swap, but I have run and organised swaps and activities in the past on various forums, and I'm happy to organise a swap for here. So, if you like the sound of the 'paper bag' swap, and would be interested in hearing more, or joining in, please comment to say so. If we get a few people that are keen, I'll see about getting the swap up and running, after Tuesday of course!!

Wonder of wonders - it's been raining the past two days here!! There is a definate lift to the whole township now as the threat of the bushfires have greatly eased. We haven't had any serious rain here since, well, before Christmas I think. So it is so strange to hear these heavy drops on our tin roof. Thank you God for the rain!

And so finally, before I dash off to get my horse ready for the dentist, here are some goodies I bought just recently. I was in dire need of a new cutting mat, so mum bought it as an early birthday present. Of course, I couldn't leave the shop without some fabric too, and that little Singer tin was just too cute to leave behind. I'm such a tragic.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The best thing about doing a swap??

Opening day!

On the Handmade Craft forum, I participated in a "Paper Bag Swap." The object of the game was to gather some goodies together, (a fat quarter, some ric rac, ribbons, buttons etc,) and pack it all up in a paper bag and then swap that with a partner. Then we all had to make something using the items and send it back to our partners.

And today was the grand opening day! I recieved my parcel from Donna a few days ago, and hid it away in the sewing room so it wouldn't tempt me to open it early. So as soon as I got out of bed this morning I raced over and opened it up like a kid on christmas morning!
Donna had wraped the item in lovely blue fabric (that she thought would go well for my Breast of Friends BOM - and it will, thanks Donna!) And sitting on top was the gorgeous little heart, embroided with flowers and beads. It was almost all too pretty to open (almost!!)

And inside.......

An absolutely stunning little wall hanging!! I absolutely LOVE it, and was exactly what I was hoping for. The little embroidered angel is so cute, and so well stitched too. Donna has done an amazing job with the rather interesting array of pieces that I sent her, (the blue floral fabric, the buttons and beads, pink embroidery thread, lace and black ric rac.)

Thank you so much Donna! As you can tell, I just love it! I can't wait to hang it proudly in the lounge room. We love blue and pink here, so it will look great.

And I suppose I better show you what I made then? Well a few weeks ago, I showed the photo below of all the items that Donna sent me... Two very yummy fat quarters, some big blue ric rac, ribbon, lace, two DMC threads, and some lovely wooden buttons.

And the result? Well, something I hope Donna will like!

I orginally was going to make a bag, and I even started designing and making the bag. And then somehow 'bag' turned into 'doll.' I'm still not quite sure how. But I kept playing with her and I think she is lovely. She has bloomers on underneath using the lace as a trim, and she also has a petticoat trimmed with lace too.

And once she was finished, well, there was fabric and bits left over! So I started playing again, and came up with this little wall hanging.

I really love the simplicity, yet detail, of this. I just randomally pieced it all together, and I think it worked out really well. I stipple quilted it all (my first time - so quite a few mistakes!!) and then added the three little wooden buttons.

I really loved doing this swap, and now I want to do another one!! Who's with me??!