Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Xmas Cooking!!

So whats the best part of Xmas cooking??? The wonderful smells?? the chocolate truffles?? the shortbread biscuits?? the plum pudding???...........nah, its definitely the clean-up:

Thats the "lick the bowl" kinda clean-up lol

Merry Xmas from our family to yours. May it be safe, full of joy and a wonderful time spent with family and friends!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Let the Holidays Begin!!

Its the kids last day of school today and then the holidays begin!! Both kids have had a fantastic year and you really have to commend the teachers on their hard work, their patience and guidance. They have done a wonderful job!!!
Its been a time of assemblies, BBQ's, concerts, SRC campaign/voting (congrats Mad on becoming SRC for 2010, wohoo!!!) and the production of Romeo and Juliet:
As a Shakespeare fan, I was eager to see the modernisation of the play and it was fantastic!! The teachers and kids should be very proud of the work they put into such an wonderful performance. It was great to see so many parents and relatives supporting the night and gaining a new understanding of a classic!
What little time Ive had left has been spent in the studio:
(playing around with the mystery quilt blocks)

(and stitching at night on a new design for 2010)

I know both kids will be eager for 3pm this afternoon and so will I (last school run of the year!!!!).

Let the holidays begin!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Huge Finish!

Last week I finally finished my Philadelphia Pavement quilt:
Its a huge quilt, measuring around 96" square. I did add 2 borders (due to popular demand lol) and I think it finishes and frames it nicely. I was worried about getting it under my machine but it all went smoothly and painlessly!
I love how all the crosshatching puffs up the squares and its all quilted with a lovely soft gold cotton called "Honey Butter". By the time Id finished all the squares I wasnt up for trying anything too complicated in the borders so its just quilted 1/4" from each seam!

Im so happy with this finish, I kept my promise to Anne Ida to finish what I started in 2009 and I havent added any UFO's to my list (except for a few blocks I was playing around with, which never became a quilt top)
Although this quilt doesnt have an "offical" home in our house yet, its just lying on the quilt rack, Im sure over the winter months it will grace our is far too heavy for the summer!!
A huge finish which I know will be loved in the coming years!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Carolina Christmas & Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered the Teen Dreams giveaway!! Maddi cant wait for the samples to come back and she has already "ordered" a wallhanging to match, so look out for another option using this pattern and fabrics! Ok the winners are Paulette and Kelly!! Thanks ladies, could you please email me your address and Ill post them out to you!
Ive been really busy getting ready for Xmas (all my lists, menus and recipes are in order) and been spending some time in the studio "me" sewing. Bonnies new mystery quilt couldnt have come at a better time.
Heres my Part One units. Although this is meant to be a Xmas quilt, I chose to keep it really scrappy and use up some of my old stash of country fabrics. My cream stash was depleted with my Double Delight quilt so for the background I chose beige/gold tones!! Part Two units:
I have no idea whether or not these fabrics will work together but that is half of the fun!! Its been nice to work on something where all the math has been worked out for you and not knowing how it goes together is driving me insane lol but I can wait!! Bonnie does such an amazing job with these mysteries and she is so generous in sharing them with us!
My Part Three units are almost all finished and I think Part Four might be already posted but I try not to peek ahead!! Its been good to finally find homes (and say goodbye) for some of my old fabrics.......last time I played it safe with my choices but this time Im just throwing it all together and hoping for the best!!!!
I also finished up one of my own quilts that I started earlier in the year. Ill share it with you next post as soon as I can get some good pictures!!! Its huge!!
Hope your enjoying your weekend!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Teen Dreams

What do you get when you combine a funky Jelly Roll, some gorgeous raspberry fat quarters, the old dependable white homespun and some input from Maddi (the most inspirational teenage I know!!!!!) new design, Teen Dreams:

This is a quilt and cushion combination and there is only a minimal leftover from the Jelly Roll, which makes me very happy!! Not only is this fun to make but Maddi is happy and its a great size for her to snuggle under to read, study and write that next great novel!!

Lots of simple piecing and applique make this a quick quilt to create and yehhh I have stippled it all over, I just love the effect!! The bindings are made from the left over Jelly Roll strips and they finish it off well.

Included in the pattern are two cushion options, because Maddi just loves cushions!!! I think you could probably make 3 cushions if you really wanted too!
This is my last design for 2009, Im taking the next few weeks to get ready for Xmas and to finish off a few quilt tops from my own personal stay tuned, some of your favorites may become quilts very soon and Im also looking forward to starting Bonnies new mystery quilt! Anne Ida is doing this one with me and I know she has already pulled her gorgeous fabrics, Ill just wing it as I go!!! Should be heaps of fun!
So I have 2 copies of the new Teen Dreams pattern up for grabs!! Leave a comment on this post to enter. Good luck and stay tuned for the winners draw next week!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Catching Up-Word Heavy Post!!!!

I have finally found some time to draw my Gingerbread giveaway. Thanks to all who entered and I have really enjoyed reading your Family Traditions. Its precious that no matter how old our kids get they still enjoy those special things and hopefully will one day pass them onto their own children. I read a quote the other day which I think sums it up beautifully:
"When we recall Xmas past, we usually find that the simple things- not the great occasions- give off the greatest glow of happiness" Bob Hope.
Ill announce the winners at the end of this post, after I show some peeks of what Ive been working on:
Firstly another magazine commission. This is for a Mothers Day edition and I loved working on this. Usually a design has a name before I put pen to paper but this one was a little tougher. After a few emails to Anne Ida for ideas, her mother suggested the name "Elida" which was Anne Idas grandmothers name. Its perfect and a lovely way to honour a woman who inspired others with her love of craft! The stitchery is redwork and beads (I love using beads) and the fabrics are "Cottage Charm" from Helen Mulder Peterson......the red is just stunning!!
Ive also got a new quilt and cushion set almost ready for release. I wanted to design something that left little waste from a Jelly Roll, a few fat quarters and some homespun. Maddi will eventually have these samples in her room but they are off on a little trip for something exciting that is happening next year. These are the Chez Moi fabrics, Swanky.
Im also working on a Mix and Match theme for a tablerunner design. I love piecing and I often find myself looking at block books for hours!! This one may just be a prototype for now until I can achieve the look Im aiming for!
Of course it hasnt all been about playing with fabrics, this time of year is always busy getting ready for Xmas and school events:
Yesterday was Cohens Athletics Carnival and the weather was glorious. I love watching the kids enjoying themselves but this year I really noticed how competitive the parents are.....of course that happens but these kids are so precious and its meant to be about having fun, right??
Maddi is getting ready for a school production of Romeo and Juilet and although they are modernising it, I cant wait to see it. It actually got her interested in reading Shakespeare (which is good) so she has been devoring my old copy of his Complete Works. She is also nominated for SRC (Student Representitive Council) for 2010 and again for Career Leader so its been all about application letters, speeches etc......whatever happens hun, we wish you all the success!!
Now for the winners of the giveaway.......congratulations to Adelphesmum and Sweet Pea. Could you both please email me your snail mail address and I will pop them in the post for you. Thanks for entering and I hope you enjoy the patterns and your Family Xmas

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gingerbread Giveaway!!

Its hard to believe that Xmas is fast approaching......where has this year gone?? My new Xmas designs may be a little late but they are quick and easy projects to stitch whilst listening to the Carols as we wait for Santa!!!
I love this little cushion "Xmas At My House". Every year I always plan on making the kids a Gingerbread House and I have the kit with templates and icing nozzles, but I never seem to find the time! This way Ill have a house which I can bring out at Xmas for the family to enjoy!!

The other pattern, "A Family Xmas" is a sweet little wallhanging. I knew I would use those Gingerbread cookie cutters I brought, eventually.....they made great templates to draw around (can you tell Im full of good intentions?? lol).

I find it challenging to work with Xmas fabrics but I think the red/white/blue colour combinations on both designs give them that festive feel!

So I have 2 sets of patterns (1 of each pattern, per set) up for grabs!! If you would like to squeeze in some stitching before Santa arrives, leave a comment on this post and to make it fun......share with me one of your Xmas family traditions. Ill draw the 2 winners next week!

And whats our family tradition?? Every Xmas Eve, we sprinkle reindeer food on the front lawn (oatmeal and glitter) and then we drive around the city looking at the Xmas lights, eating ice cream! Just before bed, we read the kids "A Rugrats Night Before Xmas"(which is just a fun rendition of the original) and then its lights out!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All He Wants For Xmas!!

Can you guess what Cohen wants for Xmas???
4 front teeth gone to make way for the 2 new "BIG ones"!!
Doesnt that lisp make you melt?? The spittle, not so much lol
Tooth Fairy has been here quite frequently lately, even after the one he swallowed!!!
Dont you love being 7??

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reasons To Smile

This morning I was smiling when I received my copy of Creating Country Threads. Its a Stitchery Special with so many wonderful projects and in it you will find my little wallhanging "Find The Joy".
I had actually designed and worked the stitchery quite some time ago with a completley different project in mind, but I cut them too small (due to the fact my math is so bad lol) and they had been sitting in the cupboard till the editor was looking for something that could be sent to them within a week!
So I dug out those Civil War fabrics and turned it into a wallhanging, all within the deadline which was great!!! (Sometimes it does pay to have a UFO or two!). I love how they have presented it, they always do such an amazing job with everyones projects and it is always such a thrill to see your work in print. Ive got a few more projects coming up soon so I cant wait to see what they have done with them!
Another reason to smile today, Maddi is coming home after a fantastic 6 days in Queensland on a school trip. Here a pic of her at the airport Saturday morning:

We cant wait to see her, its feels as if the whole dynamics of the family have been thrown off cause she wasnt here. I thought I would fret much more than I have but she is such a great kid and she works so hard, so she deserved this wonderful did her friends (who are all great kids too btw!!) I know she has missed us, her phone bill will be massive this month lol

Still, Im counting down the hours till we go to the airport to pick her up and for the next few days Im sure she will be resting and filling us in on "every single detail" of the whole trip. Cant wait!!.
One more reason to smile, go check out Paulines version of Family Values. She has done a wonderful job and I just love it!! The colours are gorgeous!!!
Next post Ill have some quick and easy redwork Xmas designs to share!

Friday, October 23, 2009

In Pops Garden- The Finale

Yeh, I can finally show the full quilt of the new BOM In Pops Garden........thanks for following the installments and for being so patient.
I love these colours, these are my colours and they also remind me of the colours Pop used throughout his house. I did keep the borders quite simple with just a small row of triangles to add some interest and frame the blocks but of course if you didnt want to include these, you could always put in a plain sashing!

I didnt want to over quilt this one and some may like a little more quilting but I was looking for that "puffy/snuggly look" (professional term there lol). To me its like a big hug from Pop and he gave the greatest hugs!

I am actually really proud of me, I did stitch a label (normally I find a spot in a corner and scribble it on with a Zig pen!!). Notice the hat, it also appears in the pattern cover photo on the chair! I have also included a couple of label ideas for you to stitch in the final pattern of the set.

So on to a winner!! I promised a full set of patterns to one person as a thank you for letting me share my Pop and the winner is................Vickie!! An email is on its way to you shortly!

For those of you interested in this quilt, please contact either here or here and they will so kindly help you out.

I feel so lucky to be able to use a skill taught to me by my Nan (stitching) to make a tribute to my Pop. He indeed touched my life and those who knew him, deeply. Miss you Pop!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

In Pops Garden- Part 5

It was a little premature saying that life had gone back to normal after Mums op, but today is the start of a new lets try again!!!

Block 8 is Pops chicken shed. Chickens are one of my favorites and we would spend all day running back and forth to see if the hens had layed. There was a long concrete path from the chicken shed to the back door, so sometimes not all the eggs made it safely inside in our eagerness to share what eggs we had found!!

Of course nothing tastes better than free range eggs straight from the nest. Pop could cook them up anyway you wanted and I think my personal favorite were the poached eggs.....I just cant cook them as good as he used too. Nans cakes would be lovely and yellow and her meringues, well they were special!!!!

There were 6 meals a day at Pops house.......the three main meals, then morning and afternoon tea and finally supper. It was usually biscuits for morning tea but Pop always enjoyed a cuppa and a piece of fruit cake in the afternoons. He seemed to have an endless supply of fruit cake and although he ate and drank from mix matched crockery, he always layed out his finest for his guests.
Pop was a collector of Royal Albert and Royal Doulton dinner sets. His favorite was the Old Country Rose and the Silver Birch and he used them regularly, even for takeaway Fish and Chips!!!

His hat appears in Block 9 again, discarded after a long afternoon in the garden. It also appears in 2 more places Ive yet to share with this design..........all will be revealed next post!!
Thanks so much for allowing me to share my Pop with you. The comments have been so touching to read. Be sure to stay tuned for the final installment of this quilt and if you have left a comment on this or any of the other parts of In Pops Garden you will be entered in a giveaway for a full set of patterns as a thank you from me!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In Pops Garden - Part 4

We all know that two of the worst "pests" in any garden are cats and birds and Pop wasnt a cat lover till one day a stray, skinny cat wandered into Pops yard and took up residence in his wood shed, killing mice for food. A bond formed between these two, like no other, and Toby became part of the family!
Toby followed Pop all day every day and slept within a foot of where he was working. Of course he didnt catch mice or birds, cause Pop fed him so well. We used to call him "Toby the Wonder Cat" cause it was a wonder he moved at all, he was so fat!! It was a relationship that lasted for many years until Toby died of old age, and it broke my Pops heart!
Ive mentioned before that Pop used what he had so his scarecrow was nothing old hat and coat nailed to a pole. Sometimes there would be bits of aluminium foil tied on as well but Im sure the birds used to steal it and use it in their nests (probably made good roofing lol). All in all he had a pretty ineffective method of protecting his crops!!
Its hard to explain (or draw) the beauty of his flower garden. All year round there would be boxes or buckets of flowers that had been picked, waiting to go to the florists. Pop grew a lot of Gladiola's, Dahlias and the most beautiful Roses. At Xmas time there was always Holly on the table and in the Spring the house would smell divine with all the gorgeous blooms!

When my mum was a child, she used to steal roses from Pops garden on her way home from school and take them to her mother....... unaware that one day she would marry the young boy that lived in that house!! Neighbours used to call in and pick flowers for special occasions and strangers on the street would stop and ask for a cutting or a little bouquet to take home for themselves. His vegetables filled our stomachs but his flowers filled our hearts!!
Life for me is slowly returning to normal after Mums op. 2 more blocks to go and then Ill reveal the full quilt!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thank You

For all those lovely emails, texts and phone calls after my mums knee replacement surgery.....we thank you. She is doing really well and getting more mobile everyday. The true test of whether her home rehabilition is being successful will be tomorrow when she sees the therapist.

If you have emailed me and are awaiting a reply or are waiting for me to send something through to you, I am slowly working my way through my ever growing "to do list", thanks for your patience!!!

Back soon with some more of the new BOM blocks!!

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