Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I love....

....Autumn. I think it is my favourite season. I really enjoy seeing the leaves on the trees change colours, and the cold nip that comes into the air. The grass starts to turn greener, and everything just looks fresh and clean. No wonder many crafters find inspiration from this season. The colours outside are just beautiful!

We finally had some rain yesterday, and some decent stuff too! I can't help but take photos of water droplets in the sunshine!

Thank you so much for all your birthday wishes from my previous post! Yes, I know I was naughty for not mentioning my birthday before the actual day! But thank you for your kind wishes!

So, what else do I love at the moment? EQ6! You see, this is the pack of Fat Eights I got for my birthday. There are 21 in total, and I just love this colour pallete. Purples, some greens and creams...

So of course, I had to start thinking of what I would actually do with this delicious wad of fabrics. And EQ6 is such a great help for that! Quickly and easily I can put designs together, select colours, and see what the actual quilt will look like. It's so much fun!

So my goal for my Fat Eights quilt is something very simple, with minimal piecing. Something that shows the fabrics, not the complexity in design.

So I started off with just rectangles of 3x4". Of course, the fabrics colours aren't exact, but you get a good general idea.

It made a nice picture, and is quite pleasant, but it's also a bit boring. So then I thought about 4x5" rectangles, and maybe having a space for some simple applique, or stitching in the bottom corner.

Hmm... maybe. I can picture it in my mind, and it looks quite good.

I had seen a quilt just recently at work where all they did was cut big trinagles and piece them together into squares. I really liked the simplicity of the design. So maybe that would work with my Fat Eights? I measured that I could get 4 triangles in total from each piece of fabric, and 2 triangles sewn together would give me a 9" square (or thereabouts...)

And whilst I do like it... I don't love it. Well, at least I don't think I love it. It's very striking....but is it too striking?

But then of course, one can always turn the triangles to create a whole different look and aspect.

And now I am right back where I started. Having no clue which one to go for, if any! Maybe EQ6, as much as I do love it, has also made me more confused with options??!

So, wonderful crafting ladies of blogland, what do you think?? Should I just start again?!

Before I go, check out this great Rusty block by Maree! If you're following my Stringybark Farm BOM, please let me know, especially when you finish Rusty! I've been working on the next blocks, and Block 2 should hopefully be released around the 15th of May.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bits and pieces...

It was my birthday yesterday! I had a lovely quiet day at home with my mum and dad. We went out for lunch to a local restaurant here in Healesville - Wattleseed. It's a great place to go, and the food is delicious, and very large servings. I had a lamb and rosemary pie, and oh - it was so good!

I got some lovely presents yesterday, and they all seemed to have a craft theme to them! I think people know me too well. I got a bundle of fat 1/8's in the purples/creams and greens colour range, and the board game, Stitchopoly from DMC. My friend Cath came over later and suprised me with a craft storage trolley! It will be brilliant to take to the craft class.

Speaking of which, we had our first craft day on Tuesday. We started with some cutting out, and learning how to use a rotary cutter. Most of the ladies hadn't used one before, and unfortunately my old ones are a bit blunt, which made it harder! But they all did really well, and I think everyone now has their bits cut out. We were going to make it a monthly thing, but I reckon we may make it fortnightly.

It's been great to see such a response to my BOM! I'm really quite excited to see some Rusty blocks, and I have also been working on the next blocks.

Anyway, enough from me. I worked at the shop this morning, and now I'm off to go for a walk and enjoy this lovely afternoon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I think I'm a wee bit clucky...

What a wonderful response to my previous post for the free Block of the Month!! I must admit, I did have thoughts that no one would be interested in it when I was typing it up! So I am so thrilled to see that people are interested! And it was such a joy to see that Beatrice has already stitched her own Rusty block (she called him Patch instead!) Go and have a look at her blog!

I have also just made a little Stringybark Farm BOM button for you blog sidebars. Please feel free to save it to your computer and use it on your blogs.

On Friday I went down to visit my friend Emma, and the new baby Zachary. And I know everyone says this about babies, but he is so gorgeous! He is a solid little lump, and slept the whole time I was holding him. Which is very rare for me and babies. They usually start screaming the minute I have them!
Once I found out the name, I made this little picture. I wrote his name out, and then coloured it in with pencils and back stitched around it in black. Then I sewed some bright and cute fabrics, and of course, I had to include a pony in the top right!

During the week I got Maree's Paper Bag swap items in the mail!! She has sent some gorgeous fabric, and bits and pieces. I already have a few ideas in mind, but I'm going to sit and wait for a bit till I actually start.

I have some wonderful news to share with you all, but I can't say much just yet. But what I can tell you is that I am so excited, and so shocked! I can't wait to share my good news with you all.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Two introductions for this post!

Firstly, a huge congratulations to my dear friend Emma, and her partner Grant, on the birth of their first child, Zachary Mark, this morning! Was a dramatic birth, with the cord wrapped around the bubs shoulders and neck, but I am so pleased to report that mum and bub are both doing well now! A long labour, and 2 weeks overdue, he finally arrived and weighed in at 8 pounds 6.5 ounces. He sure wanted to make a grand arrival! And so now I am a Godmother, which is incredibly exciting!

And secondly, welcome to...

I am so excited to be finally starting my first free Block of the Month Sew Along. “Stringybark Farm" is a wallhanging measuring 24 x 28” roughly. It has 11 stitched panels depicting all those who call the farm their home. I am still finishing designing it now, so there isn't a finished photo of the wallhanging just yet – it will be a mystery! But I can tell you this – it’s cute! It’s a great project to use up your scraps, and it’s very quick, simple and easy. Each month a new block will be released, so there is plenty of time to stitch the block. I did the first block in under a day.

So if you would like to join me on this journey – please do!

For those wondering, a Stringybark tree is a type of Gum Tree, that are native to Australia. They have a loose stringy bark, hence their name! We have alot of these trees around where I live (and no, they aren't the trees pictured in the photo above!) I just love the name, and it inspired me to create my BOM, and come up with the story of the farm, and all who live there.

So, welcome to Stringybark Farm. This lovely old farm is owned by Farmer Jack and his dear wife Betty. They have a delightful old farmhouse where they raised their 4 children. And although their children have all moved on, they are not alone, for alot of animals call the large farm home. You will get to know more about Farmer Jack and Betty, and all the animals, as we go along this journey. They all have personalities and characters that are just waiting to be shared!

So, without further ado, I would like you all to meet Rusty.

He is very excited to be the first block to be released! Rusty is a young pup, and still has a lot to learn about farm life. He adores Farmer Jack and tries his hardest for him, but he often finds himself more interested in chasing the chickens than doing the farm work. He gets distracted quite easily, and even a butterfly will send him bounding off through the paddocks in chase.
He has a heart of gold though, and loves nothing more than sleeping infront of the wood fire in the farm house. Well, that is when Farmer Jack sneaks him in when Betty isn’t looking of course! Rusty is full of energy, as most young pups are, and is always wagging his tail, and loves making new friends. But don’t get too close, or he’ll lick your nose!

If you would like to create “Rustys Place,” please click here for the link to the tutorial. I hope you like him!
I will also be making a sidebar button for you to take and use if you would like.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I've been busy!

Well, the observent among you have no doubt noticed our new look! I worked on this yesterday, and I am so happy with the end result! I may tweak a few things still, but I reckon it's good for now. And some of it is thanks to Leni and Rose, a fantastic blog I discovered, where she has good tips and tricks for blogging. So if you want any help to do something similar with your blog, she is the one to go to! I'm also happy to help anyone as well. Now that I know what I am doing! I have done some HTML coding before, but never ventured to do it with my blog. I also love making graphics and headers too, so please feel free to ask if you want something done.

Well, I must say, I am in a bit of a hurry this morning. I have my church ladies morning to go to in....well, *checks watch* ten minutes! Woops... time has slipped away.

But just two quick things I want to mention first!

Patricia from Germany made some fantastically cute cushions using the applique pattern from my '4 Cheeky ponies' tutorial. She did them awhile ago, but I only just found them now! Don't they look great? All of Patricias blog is in German, but luckily for me - my mum speaks German!

Also, as per my previous post, I have been working on my "Sew along," a free Block of the month I'm going to release. And I am so excited about it! As well as 'prettying' up my blog, I worked on the BOM yesterday too. The first block will be released very shortly (hopefully this afternoon,) but here is a sneak peek so far.

Any guesses as to what it is?! I hope you will like it just as much as I do!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Note to self - no more Easter Eggs!

Chocolate and me is really quite a lethal combination. I have no will power when it comes to chocolate, so it never stops at 1 easter egg.... Before I know it, I have eaten 12. And Easter isn't even officially over yet! *sigh* Back to the walking and exercise bike this week!

I had some good news this week that Jantine recieved her giveaway present in the mail!

I'm so glad to hear it has arrived safe and sound in the Netherlands, and Jantine took some great photos of her 3 'helpers' unwrapping it all. Make sure you pop on over to her blog and have a look.
Oh, and here is the little monster softie I made for Jantine too. She was just so cute that I really had trouble parting with her!! Let alone my mum, who is determined to keep anything and everything I make. Luckily I was able to wrap her up (the monster that is, not mum!) before she noticed.

I was looking at the Moda Bakeshop blog the other day, and saw these cute pincushions (Sugar Cube Pincushions) on there. So of course, I had to make one for myself. I have to admit though... My one doesn't look anywhere near as perfect and polished as theirs. My little pincushion has a slight tilt to one side, so if I'm not careful he will topple over. And let's not dwell on my stitching that is plain to see from the outside, because of course it was all done by hand. And hand sewing is not one of my strongest points!
But.... I still love him. And he will serve his purpose well, and that is the main point!
I finally took a slightly better photo of my red and white quilt, "In my garden." Except that now this one looks too dark. Ah well. I can't win.
I have been working on my "Give thanks" quilt, and it's looking great so far. Ok, I tell a lie. Well, not a really big lie. But I did something on it that I'm not entirely sure if I'm happy with. And so now I need to sit and think, and look at it for awhile till I'm sure. And if I then decide that I don't like it, I'm going to need to unpick a block and sew a new one in. So the quilt is hanging on the back of my couch, waiting for me to decide what to do with it.
Does anyone feel like doing a 'sew along' with me? It's like a free mystery block of the month sort of thing. AmandaJean over at CrazyMomQuilts has done a Quilt-a-long in the past. It looks like great fun! I have a great design in mind for a quilt, and I would love to do it as a sew along and share it with you. That way anyone that wants to join in can. I'm still mulling it over.... but the idea has really taken hold in my mind.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter!

Wishing you all a happy, blessed and safe Easter weekend with your family, friends and loved ones! I hope you don't eat too many chocolates *cough cough* and ruin any diets!
Being a Christian and from a Christian family, Easter is a special time for us to remember that Jesus died for each one of us. And that He then rose again. I pray that each one of you will be safe on the roads over this weekend - please be careful!

So, from myself, and my very own easter bunny, Jindi, (he was literally born on Easter last year,) HAPPY EASTER!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What are you thankful for?

As I have been working on my new quilt, "For these I give thanks," I have been thinking of all the things that I am really thankful for. And one of the main ones is....

Like all of you I'm sure, my family are so very important to me. I still live at home with my mum and dad, and my newly married brother and sister-in-law only live 30 minutes away. I love spending time with them, and I usually prefer to be with them, than with my friends. My brother and I are only 3 years apart in age, and so we grew up virtually being best mates. I have so many wonderful and great memories of my childhood, and teenage years, and they all center around my family.
So everyday I thank God for the wonderful family he has blessed me with. I couldn't have chosen a better one!!
So the 'family' block has been the next addition to my quilt. And I can't wait to do the rest. I am LOVING this quilt! So, what is one thing you thankful for? I would love to hear it!Yesterday I bought some cheap fabric from Spotlight, and this morning I made some pot holders for a gift. Was my first time making pot holders, but they are so easy and quick to make, that I reckon I will be making more of them.
But, what I really love about these two?? That I used the selvedge of the fabric for the hangers.
I reckon it looks great!
And finally, just because they were so yummy, here are some cupcakes I made last satuday.
And yes, they were all eaten within a day or two.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Progress Picture

Well, in amongst other things, I have been working on my new project. And I am loving it so far! I'm so thrilled and happy with how it is turning out.

I have been wanting to try out my colouring pencils on fabric for so long now, and I'm ecstatic with how it looks. I love this soft, feminine effect, and how simple effective it looks. I reckon I can see myself doing lots more things using this technique in the future. I'm envisioning all sorts of things.... cards, pictures, wall hangings, art works... etc etc.
Oh, the name of my new project is called, "For these I give thanks." That may have a few of you thinking various ideas!

Maree at Farmyard Crafts recieved my items for the Paper Bag swap, so I can show you a photo of what I sent... Have fun Maree!

I had two shifts at work this week, (Thursday and Friday,) and it's going well. I have started serving people now, which is a whole new experience! Instead of usually being on the other side of the counter, I am now the one cutting the fabric, and tallying up the costs. I tell you, it's a bit challenging when the cash register doesn't give you a total amount for the change that is needed. It is really testing my brain and maths skills! Luckily, there is always a calculator handy! Such a marvelous invention those things.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I think I am a glutton for punishment....

I've started a new project. I know, I know. Like I really need a new project right about now. But in reality it's been a project that has been dwelling in the far corners of my mind for so many years now. I even tried to make a start on it about 2 years ago, but I wasn't happy with my progress. So this idea has just been sitting there, lurking there. So after alot of procrastination, and with a fresh burst of inspiration, I have started. Here is a teasing sneak peek of some of the fabric I'm using.

Oh I know... I hate it when people do sneak peeks too. At the moment I'm just making it up as I go along, but it's going to have some stitcheries, words, and probably some applique. I'm really quite excited about it as I'm finally acting on this idea of mine. I can't wait to show you the finished result.... hopefully it won't take years to achieve!!

Yesterday I mailed off my giveaway prizes! It was quite hard to part with the Monster softie I had made for Jantine (she is so cute! The monster that is....though I am sure Jantine is cute too!) I would love to show you a photo of her, but I want it to be a suprise for Jantine. I also mailed off the chocolate and some other goodies to Kim. 'Twas a rather productive day yesterday!

And I have been playing with the awesome stamp that Leah made for me.

I just LOVE it! How clever is she??

So, how is everyone going with the Paper Bag Swap?? We have had a new swapper join us! The lovely Shiree saw that due to the odd number of swappers, I was going to swap with two people. And she asked if she could be involved and have one of my swappers. So now Denni and Shiree will be swapping with each other.
So I finally got my act together, gathered all the bits into the paper bag and sent it off to Maree. Yet again, another photo I would dearly love to show you, but I want it to be a suprise for Maree.