Some more finishes!

Saturday, September 24, 2011
Remember these two designs?  I have put them on my website, so patterns are now available for purchase. I love working with felt and was quite delighted with this project:

Flitting Free Pincushion and Scissor Keep available here.

And here's a bright apron to lift the spirits in the kitchen:

 Feeling Fruity is available here.

Our two grandsons have now gone home.  There was plenty for them to do  - riding at the park, swimming and grassslides at the beach, seeing the Smurf movie, making things from the recycle box, playing Bobs and making huge layouts with a train set. In between caring for them, I managed to get this completed:

Ruby and Ivory silk and red roses - sigh!

Since then, two more projects have been completed - just instructions to write up.  It is so good to FINISH things - four commissions this month!  However, in the process, I went looking in a crate that I try not to lift the lid on too often - and wish I hadn't because there's an awful lot of PASSES in there - (Projects at a Stand Still)!  Oh well ....

Now, have a look at this gorgeous adaptation of my Gifts of Grace free pattern from last year:

Susie used eight of the blocks as the corners of her quilt:

Those blues are just lovely, aren't they!

Thanks, Susie, for sharing your lovely work.

Here's some great news - the fabulous Australian Magazine, Homespun, have gone digital! An annual digital subscription can be purchased here

This is fabulous news for my overseas friends, as it has been so difficult to purchase the magazine outside Australia.  But not now ....!!!

There's more excitement in our household this week - my husband will be presented with his Order of Australia Medal by the Governor of Queensland at Government House on Friday. Our three children in Australia are able to attend. Yeah! 

Happy Stitching!

Free pattern - Consider the Lilies Pattern 9

Saturday, September 17, 2011
Another month has been and gone and it's time for the next Pattern in the free
"Consider the Lilies"
 Block of the Month Quilt.  We're on to the first section of the last block, with only two more to go after this!  You have a choice this time as to which verse you want to put on the block.

The thought we're focusing on this month is just amazing:
Your Father in heaven knows!

When our world is upside down, shaken up, totally topsy turvy and not making sense, we can take comfort in the fact that our Heavenly Father knows ... and that He IS in control.

There's just a little bit of piecing to add to it to pretty it up:

You can download the pattern from my website.

I just have to show you this gorgeous interpretation of last year's free pattern, "Gifts of Grace". Denise has done a fabulous job and the log cabin blocks and lovely border really enhance the project.

Do you want another free BOM pattern next year??????? 

Another project has been sent off to a magazine his week for publishing at the beginning of next year.  I love it when an idea comes together without a hitch - not that it ever ends up anything like my original thoughts!  I find I design better "on the run" - start sewing and see where it takes me!

A little sneak peak of the very Australian design:

I've had the designing pencil out quite a bit this week or I should probably say the eraser has been out as I seem to use it more than the pencil.  I am very poor at drawing and need to study an item lots before my attempt has the faintest resemblance to what it should really look like.  Just ask anyone who has ever played Pictionary with me!  At least all that "looking" over the years has developed my eye for detail.

It's school holidays so we have two of our grandsons coming to stay for a few days.  The weather at the moment is absolutely glorious so I expect there'll be plenty of playing on the beach and the grass slide. I can actually get quite a bit of craft done while I sit on the grassy foreshore and keep an eye on them. I've cut out some cupcake pincushions in readiness.  They're small enough to take with me and don't require much concentration, but then I'll probably spend a lot of time dreaming and just enjoying the moment!  

Hope you enjoy many special moments this week.

Bags of all shapes and sizes

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You might remember I did a lot of crocheting during our Australian winter. It's time now to show you some of the bags I made.  I had in mind, of course, that I had been asked to teach beginner's Crochet at the Creative Craft Retreat at the end of October. 

It's always tricky catering for different ladies - some will want to do craft for every waking moment; others will enjoy having time to relax with no children, no cooking, no cleaning and just work during the lessons. I decided I would teach Granny Squares as they are a great way to learn basic crochet techniques.  Then I set myself the challenge of making a bag with as few as possible, so that even if ladies only make three squares  in the weekend, they can still take home a finished bag.  Here is a three square bag - I worked a couple of extra rows on each square so that the bag was a reasonable size:

Then I tried a five square design:

This one is eight squares:

I rather like this ten square one:

The twelve-square bag came out an interesting shape:

Then I made a few 13 square bags.  They are a really practical tote size and the colours were fun to put together:

If you live in South East Queensland and want a fabulous weekend away, I highly recommend the Craft Retreat.  It is very reasonably priced, has great teachers (I have to say that seeing I am one!!!! - but the others are really experienced and wonderful teachers) and some fantastic crafts to learn ... or just come along and do your own thing.

I managed to get some projects finished this week.  Hurrah!!!  It seems ages since I actually finished any of my designs. There's nothing like a deadline to get some action!  Here's a little sneak peak:

And I even got round to putting a couple more patterns on my website.  The Garden Bows Cushion

can be found here for only $5.

With Sugar and Cream Table Topper is available here. 

Hope you have a great week.


The Birthday present problem

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In recent years, Birthday presents have been a problem in our large family.  We lived so far from our children and grandchildren, and saw them rarely.  It was fairly easy when they were preschoolers to find something suitable, but as they developed their own personalities, we didn't really know what they liked or what they already had. We solved the problem by giving them all money to go buy their own presents! The grandchildren especially seemed to enjoy being able to go to a shop to get something they really wanted.

This weekend we had a special reason to go and visit our daughter and her family - this little grand-daughter's sixth birthday party!

She didn't have a problem with being given money to spend!

DD2, however, surprised me a couple of months ago by putting in her birthday order:  "What I really want for my birthday is for you to make me some covers for all my kitchen appliances."

Janelle and I have quite different tastes in colours so I suggested she choose the fabric so that I knew she would be happy with the finished product. Guess what she came back with!!!! - a dozen placemats and a table runner, plus some odds and sods of different materials to add so that there would be enough fabric to make all the covers!

How was I supposed to tackle this assignment???  No patterns either ....  Armed with newspaper, scissors, tape measure and sticky tape, I did lots of measuring over all the protuding bits and tried to draw up patterns that would fit.  Newspaper mockups, stuck together with sticky tape, were quite good at seeing whether the prospective cover would go off and on easily, and if the gussets would fit the curved shapes. Daughter lives nearly 3 hours away, so the covers were going to have to be made blind, with no opportunity to check and measure as I sewed, which is my usual method!

Last week I plucked up the courage to attack the project. First of all I had to allocate the placemats so that each cover would have some fabric in common and to make sure that I didn't run out. Then there was a lot of unpicking of the placemat hems, as I really needed that extra inch of fabric.  It was amazing how I was able to fit quite a number of the patterns after that, without having to add any extra fabric, particularly for the fronts.

They came together fairly quickly, apart from sewing lots of binding down by hand which took for ever, and I managed to get five of them finished in two days.

I was quite pleased at the results, and daughter thought they were fabulous when I handed them over to her yesterday ... and they all fitted!

Toaster, Food Processor, Popcorn Maker, Grinder, Electric Jug

There's still the Mixer and the Bread Maker to go.
Now I'm all enthused to design a sewing machine cover for myself! 

This week I hope to get stuck into some of the commissions that are piling up on my "to do" list. The Spring-cleaning has gone to the bottom of the list again! One thing for sure, it won't disappear - it will still be there waiting for me to do next week, or the week after, or .....?????

Happy stitching!