We have winners!

Saturday, November 26, 2011
It's time to pick our winners of my little giveaway ...  and this is what the trusty Random Number Generator has decided:

No 37. Congratulations,  Rita E in AZ  is the first prize winner. Rita said: "I was just reading about a gift Megan made for her husband and shared on her blog here:  http://megsmonkeybeans.blogspot.com/2011/11/fractal-quilt.html. The men in my family love to camp and hunt so I make crocheted hats with camouflage yarn which are very easy to lose and in constant need of replacement.  Your prizes are great!"

And No 24. Congratulations to Michell who has won the second prize. Michell said...
"I follow you and I am sorry I have no idea what to make for a male"

 Please e-mail me your snail-mail addresses so that the parcels can be on their way to you soon! 

Thank you to everyone who joined in the fun.  A special BIG THANK-YOU to you clever ladies who made suggestions for gifts for men!!!  You were all amazing and came up with such GREAT ideas!  In fact, the ideas were all so brilliant and there were so many different ones, that I have sorted them into rough sections and put them together in a file.  You can download the pdf file from my website here.  It is a wonderful resource that I certainly will be using in the future.

After my lack of motivation and unproductivity earlier in the month, I'm pleased to say that it's been all systems GO for the last couple of weeks.  I've made a sewing set, table runner, small wall hangings and some Christmas gifts, all of which I can't show you at the moment for various reasons!

I can show off my lovely new appliance covers though. I wanted to have something with red which is the accessory colour in my kitchen which was resurfaced recently. It was "Old Mother Hubbard" when I went looking in my stash for the right colour red fabric, but I did have a very large scarf which was EXACTLY the colour I wanted. So, yards of fusible webbing later, lots of buttonhole stitching, and Ta Da - my new toaster oven cover.

I also made one the same to fit my breadmaker.

My Oriental Touch clutch and cuff is in the latest Handmade magazine.

I used some lovely kimono fabric in this project which our daughter bought on a visit to her sister in Japan and which she gave to me for one of my birthdays. I especially like the cuff which looks so sweet on the arm. Hmm, they would make a great Christmas gift ....

Here's a close-up of the embroidery on the buttons - three little rosebuds.  Can't help myself with my roses!

Now, how is this for one "up to the minute" lady!  Lovely Lyn Morrison has already finished her "Consider the Lilies" quilt and sent in a photo - just ONE week after I uploaded the last pattern.  Isn't this just gorgeous? You have blown me away, Lyn!

I hope to soon start working on another free block of the month pattern for you for 2012. All the ideas are on paper - I just need to get it out onto fabric!

Have a great week - and happy stitching!

Giveaway time!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It must be time for a Giveaway, what with Christmas on the horizon, and my new Facebook page ... and I haven't done a giveaway for a couple of months, so why not?

There will be a couple of winners. Each will receive a few bits and pieces - crochet bag, cupcake pincushion, heart keyring and trivet - something like this:
Then there'll be this bundle included in the first prize:

Do you remember the design below, using the beautiful Martinique range by 3 Sisters?

and this, using Rural Jardin by French General:

 I found I had quite a few Jelly Roll strips left over from these two fabric ranges, so they are bundled together and are ready to be included with the first prize.

And I'm sure you'll remember all the things I made from the delightful Garden Party range by Blackbird Designs.  Last count, I had made 14 different projects. 

Now would you believe there are still some scraps left???  There's enough fabric to cut lots of border squares like on my Fantasia wall-hanging above and plenty of bits and pieces for applique and mug rugs.

So that bundle will be included in the second prize.

Now for some rules.  If you are a "follower" of my blog, you are eligible to enter (from anywhere in the world), so leave a comment below.  If you want to be super nice, you can give me in your comment some ideas of gifts to make for MEN!  I always find it SO hard to think of male gifts, so would love some help if you have a bright idea.  You can have a second entry in the competition if you "Like" my Facebook site.  Leave a second comment to let me know you have hit the "Like" button at the top of the Facebook page. 

The competition will close on Saturday 26th November at midnight (my time).

I haven't designed many Christmas projects in the past, probably because we didn't have Christmas in our own home for much of our 45 years of marriage, mostly travelling to see other members of the family.  However, I did design two small projects this year and one of them was in Handmade earlier in the year and another in Vol 29, No 8 last month:

(It was lovely to share a page spread with my friend, Jenny, with her Daisy runner.)  I called my design "Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh:

I've had quite a productive week, but more of that another time.

Keep an eye out for a free Christmas pattern that I will be making available soon.

Happy stitching!


Free pattern - Consider the Lilies Pattern 11

Saturday, November 12, 2011

We've reached the end of our free Block of the Month programme, 'Consider the Lilies'! 

Today I am giving you the rest of Block 4 and instructions for putting it together and finishing it off as a wall quilt. My quilt was hung on one of our walls yesterday, just on a bit of dowel at the moment, but I have ordered a lovely black 'scrolly' hanger which I think will really show off the quilt. Not many websites stock these hangers as large as 80 cm, so it took a bit of looking around to find what I wanted.  Now I'm eager to hear the postman's knock!

And ta da! - the finished product:

I hope you like it as much as I do.

You can download the instructions for this pattern 11

And here is a photo of the completed Block 4:

I hand-quilted the whole quilt.  It took a while, but I am always much happier with my hand-quilting than my machine efforts!  All the patterns will remain for free download until 31st December, so make sure you tell your friends.

Well, this last week was a much more productive one - much better than the previous three or four!  I was beginning to wonder whether I'd ever get back into my usual frenetic pace!  The assembly line went into full production and I managed to actually get some projects completed!  Woo hoo!  I made a gift, completed a sewing set and have started on some appliance covers.

My Butterscotch and Roses fabric has arrived, so I hope to get started on a new project next week.  I love buying fabric ranges, but it brings its own problems!  It's a bit like a child in a well-stocked lolly shop, not knowing which one to choose!  There are so many lovely fabrics that it takes me ages to work out which ones I will use for applique, which ones I will keep for borders, how many I will include in the sashings, what binding I will use.  Oh the joys of designing!!!!

As you know, I don't make many large quilts as I'm not big on piecing. However, when I bought an irresistible range of oriental fabrics, they were crying out to be made into a quilt.  It is a very simple one to show off the gorgeous beauty of those fabrics.  You can find it in the current issue of Australian Country Craft and Decorating, Vol 23 No 2.

I called it "Oriental Twist":

The Prairie Points:

Some months ago, I wrote up a tutorial for using the 1/4 inch bias tape maker and included instructions on how to make this Celtic knot:

If you missed it, you can find the tutorial here. 

Don't forget to send me photos of any of my projects you happen to make. I love seeing your interpretation of my designs.

Until next time,
Happy stitching!


Did I do anything at all last week?

Sunday, November 6, 2011
It was one of those weeks!  I look back and think "Whatever did I accomplish in all those daylight hours I had?"  I had a 'To Do' list as long as my arm (and I have long arms!) and how many things did I cross off as done?

I paid a few bills, did the shopping, washing, ironing and gave the house 'a lick and a promise'. I did make a batch of sweet orange marmalade (yum!) and replaced the zip in a pair of my husband's trousers. The rest of the jobs were transferred to next week's list!  I have to admit that some of them like, "Apply Killrust to the Laundry Trolley and repaint it" have been transferred for a few months.  I have an idea that in the back of my mind I'm thinking I'm just going to go out and buy a new one!!!

I could blame spending time looking at this Tawny Frogmouth that we have been watching on a nest for a while.

That little fluff-ball on the left is a baby.  We could only see one on Friday when I took the photo, but there were definitely two little fluff-balls earlier in the week.

Or maybe I was too distracted watching the spectacular aerial pursuits of the Dollar Birds which have arrived in our district for Summer.

Or maybe it was the time I spent online looking at fabric!!!  I saw a delightful new range called 'Butterscotch and Roses' and couldn't resist!  To justify my purchase, I decided I better have something designed ready to make when the fabric arrives and that would give me something to show for my week's work.   So, it was out with the pencil and I am very happy to say I have a new design sitting waiting for the postman's knock. 

Seeing I don't have much else to show, I'll share my Lily Pond Needlecase, which appeared in Patchwork & Stitching Vol 12 Issue 7 last month.  If you haven't worked it out already, I love making stitching accessories.  (Check the link out on the web.)  This is the front:

The inside:

and the back with the heart which is a little scissor's pocket:

It's one of my favourite designs from this year.

With Christmas coming ever so closer so quickly, I hope to be more productive this coming week! Hope you have a good one too! 

Happy stitching!