Saturday, February 28, 2009

My quilt of perseverance

I am still yet to figure out how such a simple looking quilt could be full of such dramas and problems.
Never have I had so many issues than with this quilt. Of course, I don't need reminding of how badly it puckered when all the borders were sewn on to it, how long it took me to unpick said borders, or how I burnt my finger whilst attaching the iron on interfacing. But I guess this is the 'journey of a quilter,' and a quilt of perseverance and tenacity.
And for that very reason, I love this quilt. We have been on a journey together; we have suffered and thrown tantrums, and we have prevailed and succeeded.
I love how the quilting brings dimension and life to the quilt, and I love the little pieced strip along the back.

I sure hope my Omi appreciates all the work that went into this quilt!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Some very exciting news!

I have some wonderful exciting news to share! Over at 'Life at Rosemary Hill,' Kris had a giveaway to celebrate her 300th post. (Yes, I know...300 posts! I'm getting excited about my 50th!! haha)

So Kris made this absolutely stunning Soiree bag, and guess who won it?!! Yes, ME! :D

When I read that I was the winner I was completey and utterly stunned speechless! I never win anything! And now, to win this gorgeous bag! I feel so very honoured and blessed, and it has really brightened up my stressful past weeks with all these bushfires.

Thank you so much to Kris for running your giveaway, and spreading some much needed love and joy. I promise to cherish and look after your lovely bag, and I can't wait to show it off to my friends!! I hope you don't mind that I 'borrowed' yours photos!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

What quilt is on my bed??

Well, Lynette over at Lynette Anderson Designs, asked the question, "What quilt is on your bed at the moment?" Lynette currently has a gorgeous blue, purple and white quilt on her bed that her mother made.

So, this is the quilt that is on my bed at the moment.

Actually, this quilt is always on my bed! It is about 10 or 12 years old, and was a birthday present from my Aunt Steff. My Aunty introduced me to quilting and taught me alot of the techniques and procedures. I was absolutely thrilled when I saw this quilt for the first time as I used to love pink and blue, (still do!) This dear quilt has survived so well all these years. It is so thin now, and so soft that it just wraps around you with ease. No matter what new quilts I make, I always keep this one on my bed. To sleep under this quilt is to really sleep under a blanket of love.

So, what quilt is on your bed at the moment? I would love to see!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What's this strange wet stuff falling on my head?

Well, I had some good news that my two little monsters from my previous post found a home! Two children found them (a boy and a girl - just like I had hoped,) and took them home. Their parents decided to donate the two toys to the Healesville Relief Centre for the fire victims. So I'm hoping some lucky child will find them and look after them.

Well, the new Homespun magazine came out this week, and inside were the two new blocks for the "Breast of Friends," mystery BOM. The third block in the series is a gorgeous applique by Natalie Bird, and the fourth one is a simple and pretty block by Rosalie Quinlan.
I have just completed the third block, and had a great time stitching it.

I did the wording part on mine slightly different to how the pattern suggested. I wasn't happy with the fabric I had chosen for the border originally, but I quite like it now. When you see it in person it really gives the block a pretty and refreshing look.

Check out Homespun Magazines website, as they have a blog that is updated every monday. This week they interview Rosalie Quinlan.

I have also been working on the quilt for my Omi. Yes, you remember that one that I had so much trouble with, right? Well I am pleased to announce that it is finally quilted!! And I stipple quilted the whole thing! I'm quite stunned with myself as this is the largest quilt I have stipple quilted other than a wallhanging. It's not perfect and there are quite a few mistakes, but I don't really care. And I don't think my Omi will either. Considering where I have come with this quilt and what we have been through, I'm so happy with it!

This morning I am pleased to report that we had a few sprinkles of rain! Praise God! We haven't had rain here for litterally months, and everything is dying. The beautiful hedge that we have around the back fence on our property is dropping it's leaves and looking miserable.
As it was drizzling this morning, I turned around and saw this rainbow, with the end of it sitting directly in the township of Healesville. It gave me a nice safe and secure feeling that Healesville was saved from all the desctruction of the bushfires, and the promise of rain is coming.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Two little monsters...

With all the fires that have been raging around our area, I really wanted to make some toys for The Toy Society, and do a drop in Healesville. Since my first drop, Penny, was so succesful, I decided to drop these two little monsters in the same place, at our local park and playground.
I am hoping they will brighten someones day and cheer them up. Goodness knows we need a bit of cheer around here. The whole town has been on high alert for over a week now, and the stress and worry is evident on peoples faces as you walk through the main street.
No pattern for these two, I just made it up as I went along. I must say, I'm quite chuffed with them though! I reckon I will be making more of these monsters in the future. :)

I'm back!

First of all, thank you so much for all your thoughts, and prayers, and best wishes! It has been greatly appreciated! I got my internet back a couple of days ago, but we were still on high alert here in Healesville with the bush fires, so I just haven't had a chance to update here. It's been a pretty horrible week here, with the fires coming about 1km away from the east and the north. The whole town has been on high alert for ember attacks, and alot of people have just up and left, not wanting to face the fire. We decided to stay and fight, as did most of our neighbours. Thankfully we live in a rather open and clear area, and we only have 1 tree on our property. It got awfully scary quite a few times last week, and most nights my dad and I stayed up, protecting the house, and watching out for embers.
Thankfully the wind was always in our favour! The CFA have been doing an amazing job, and I believe they are still trying to contain the fires around us. We are covered in smoke, and ash and debris, but I am just so thankful that we are safe and our house is standing. So many people have died, and so many homes have been lost from these fires. It is so close to home for me, and a nubmer of my friends have been affected. It's all just too devastating for words.

A bit of beauty in amongst the devastation....a beautiful sunset through the smoke.
If you would like to see any more photos, I have uploaded them to my Facebook account.

On to some good news! I have managed to get a start back on my sewing, and I have been working on my Omi's lap quilt. Remember my desperate post a little while back about the quilt that puckered? See, "Someone please hit me over the head with a fat quarter."

Well, I unpicked all the borders off, and gently ironed on some Iron on interfacing to the back of it. And it worked!! Hurrah!! I was so pleased that at least something went right this week! I have now sewn on all the borders again, and it's no longer puckered. It's looking great and ready to be all put together. My Omi (my mums mum) has always been an avid supporter of my sewing and crafts, and has often given me money as a treat to shop at Spotlight. So this quilt is well over due!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

..words can't express

Hi all,
A very quick update. I'm currently on my brothers laptop due to our internet not working, which is due to the bushfires that have ravaged our corner of the world. Thankfully our home and property is fine, though we had embers, and were very ill prepared. If the wind hadn't changed direction when it did, our town would no longer exist, and neither would our house and animals probably.

My heart goes out to all those who have lost their homes, their lives, friends, family and pets. It is just too tragic for words, and just so devastating. My friend lost 13 horses, and another friend lost her home. I still am yet to hear from people I know who live in Marysville and Kinglake... I just can't believe that these towns no longer exist.

So yes, just to let you all know that I probably won't be online for a while yet. I am so lost without my internet. Doing alot of stitching though!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bits and pieces

Well we are gearing up for a very hot day here in Victoria. The temperature is forecast for 44°C in the city, though it will probably reach 45-46°C out here in the Yarra Valley, plus we have very strong winds predicted too. I have a very good friend who is currently in the direct line of the bushfire burning in the Bunyip State Forest, so I'm very worried and concerned about her. I've been praying that she, her family, and her 40 or so horses will be safe.

I have been doing alot of sewing the past few days, but most of it I can't show you!
On the Handmade Magazine craft forum, I signed up for a "Paper Bag Swap." So I had to fill a paper bag with goodies, like a fat quarter, some ribbon, lace, thread, buttons etc. Then I swapped my bag with a partner. I have to then make an item using the bits and pieces in my partners paper bag, and then send it back to her, whilst she does the same for me using my items.

So this was the items that I recieved from Donna...two very yummy fat quarters, some big blue ric rac, red checked ribbon, pretty lace, 3 wooden buttons, and 2 DMC threads to match.

And the result? Well, it's not finished 100% just yet! And I can't show you anyway, not even a sneak peek! Nup, nothing. Not until the 1st of March which is opening day. I better get a hurry on and actually finish the item in time! I can't wait to see what Donna has made me!
On Thursday I made a 'delicates bag.' You know, the bags you wash your 'smalls' in... But I decided to be a bit creative....

I think it looks great! :D And it's all securely sewn down, but it will be interesting to see how it wears. Of course, the possiblitites are endless for colours and styles and shapes! I'm thinking black lace, sports, bikinis etc etc... maybe I should sell them! haha

I have decided to join in a "UFO challenge" that Dawn posted over at Dawn Hay Designs. So the deal is that I have to finish one UFO inbetween one new project. I, like Dawn, often get distracted by new projects, and I forget all about my old projects that just sit languishing in a box somewhere. I think I have about 20-30 UFO's (or Words in Progress as I like to call them!) sitting around....which is so shameful!!! There may even be more, but I'm too scared to count them. I hope I can keep up with this challenge!! So, 2009 will be the year of the UFO! Dawn is even having a giveaway on her blog if you join the in the challenge.
So, my first UFO finished is, um...well, I'll get back to you on that one!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Who wants a cookie??

I'm going to share with you all one of my most favourite and much loved recipe! It's a recipe for "Sammy Biscuts," and whenever I make these for friends and family they always recieve many compliments. They are super easy to make, and taste fantastic. Have fun!

"Sammy Biscuts"

250g Butter or Margarine, 1/2 C Sugar, 1 395g tin of Sweetened Condensced Milk, 2.5 C Self Raising Flour, and some bits to add, like choc dots, sprinkles, nuts, m&m bits, sultanas etc.

And basically mix it all in together! If I have time, I then take a teaspoon-full of the mixture and roll into a ball, and then lightly flatten it on a tray with the back of a spoon. If I'm in a hurry, then I use two spoons to quickly grab a dollop of the mixture (about a teaspoon, or a bit larger) and then plop it onto the tray, then flatten with the back of a fork. Either way is fine.

So put your cookies evenly spaced apart on a tray with baking paper, and then bake in a 180°C oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown colour. They don't take long to cook, so don't walk away and forget about them! Then leave them to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then move them onto a wire rack. Usually makes around 30 biscuts roughly. I usually freeze half of them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Finders Keepers!

I have some wonderful news regarding my dear Penny. She has been rescued and has found a new home! If you check out the Toy Society's blog, and scroll down a bit, it will say that Drop #85 (that's Penny!) was found! A lady named Julie has emailed in and said that her 8yo Daughter found Penny, and then gave her to her 6yo sister! Isn't that just sweet? Wish I could make another Penny for the 8yo now!

So yes, I am very happy right now! And also because I have finished my 2nd Homepsun BOM block! *pats self on back*

Aren't they cute? I can just imagine sitting down with these three girls and having a good giggle and a chat. I'm so looking forward to the next issue of Homespun!! I wonder which designers will feature in the next issue?
Well, now that those two blocks are done, I can get back to my 3 secret projects (that I can't tell you anything about just yet for 3 different reasons! But I will soon, I promise!)
It's only 13 more posts till my 50th post! Keep an eye out because I will be having a giveaway!

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's been too hot to sew!

Well, dear little Penny was no longer there when I went back to the park later that evening. So I'm hoping someone found her and took her home. I am yet to hear if someone has claimed her on the Toy Society blog. I have been looking around my local town, and have come across some other perfect places to drop some toys, so I might have to make a few more 'Penny's.' :)

Thank you so muh for all your lovely comments about my Homepsun BOM block! I'm so chuffed with it! I managed to take a bit of a better photo yesterday, so have edited my original post with the new photo.

I have also made a start on the second block, and I am really enjoying this one so far. It is by Bronwyn Hayes, and is three girls sitting and having a great chat. I can just picture myself and two of my girlfriends doing the same.

I have so far completed all the stitchery part, and am now about to start on the applique. I actually quite suprised myself. Usually I am not a big fan of stitching because I tend to rush it and take shortcuts. Even though I am in general a very patient person, I guess I am from that 'instant generation,' where we want results, and fast. So hence why I get a bit frustrated with stitching and usually steer clear of it (though I absolutely love stitcheries.) But for some reason I have really been enjoying doing these two blocks, and I have been taking it slowly, and really making an effort to do neat stitches. I tell you, I'm stunned!

Here are two of the girls so far...I just love that blonde hair style!

It's been awfully hot down here in Victoria this past week, with a shocking heat wave affecting the southern states. It was over 42°C for 4 days running here, with it reaching 46.7°C on Friday. I felt so sorry for my poor horse, Charlie, being stuck outside in that heat. We unfortunately don't have many trees at our place, but there is a shelter for some shade. I ended up freezing blocks of water, and putting them in his water trough, though he much more enjoyed licking them straight, especially when I put a dash of cordial in one!

And because it was so hot I had to give my little dog Daisy a hair cut! She gets quite a long thick double coat, so of course she just suffers in the heat. So here she is, looking much more happier with her new look. :) I can't believe she is going to be 12 this year!