Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas!

It's been Christmas here now for at least half an hour and finally everything seems to be ready for tomorrow. While the nice weather person tried to reassure me earlier that it will be 10 degrees cooler today than the forecast 37c, it's still 30c outside now so I won't hold my breath that it will happen. For everyone who reads my blog and has started this journey with me, I wish you a happy Christmas. I hope your day, be it hot weather wise or relative wise( you know what I mean ;), is all you could wish for. ~I'm dreaming of a cool Christmas...~

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Birthday! Surprise - Secret Squirrel is Finished!

Dresden Plate Quilt- Quilting

Ok it's time I confessed and let the cat out of the bag, or rather, the squirrel! Confused? Well, do you remember the Secret Squirrel Quilt?  I actually finished it way back in October, had it quilted in November, popped the binding on a couple of weeks ago and posted it last week! 

It has made its way to a very nice lady. She is very important to our family, she is caring, giving, generous, always there for us and we love her very much. Happy Birthday Faye

Now I did take a few photos before I posted it but the only place I had high enough was under the old verandah and the sun was playing peekaboo with the clouds. So between that, the wind and my photography skills....  and yes it is straight and square, its just the wonky old curtain rod I hung it on that has issues.

Dresden Plate Finished Quilt Front

You'll have to excuse the circles, those centres have names of people in our family embroidered on them. Even though those hourglass blocks drove me crazy I'm really glad I kept them in and the pieced binding worked really well, its just enough colour to bring the centre out.

Dresden Plate Finished Quilt Back

I quite like the back, very minimalist with just a pop of colour. and yes, another of those annoying circles :)

Dresden Plate with Embroidered Centre

The other centres(the annoying circle ones) are embroidered circularish(is that even a word?!) like this one above.

Quilting Close Up -  Quilted By Desley Maisano

In this photo you can see some of the lovely quilting feather work done by Desley Maisano at Addicted to Quilts. You can see more of her work here.

Dresden Quilt Label

When I sewed the label on, I tried to fit it nicely inside the quilted outline from the front so as not to spoil the back.

Quilt Stats:   Finished size 75" x 87"
                     Quilt Number 5
                     Pattern - Based on the Moda Bake Shop - Plates for Your Table
                     Fabric - Colours - Plates and Binding - Simple Abundance by Bonnie and Camille
                                   for Moda
                                   Cream Spot - Mill House Inn by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda
                                   Backing - a wideback that didn't have details on the selvedge - sorry
                     Pieced - By Me!
                     Quilted by Desley Maisano at Addicted to Quilts

I am so happy to finally be able to share this finish, I've been feeling guilty misleading you by posting work I did ages ago.  I'm also happy to be able to give this to Faye. A fabulous quilter herself who whilst she makes many quilts for others and quilts a lot of tops through her business, has never( I don't think?) had one given to her. So even though I couldn't give it to her personally on her Birthday I'm very relieved that Australia Post didn't lose it and it got there on time!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas crafts and Teacher gifts

The end of term and the end of this year has come around so fast. I hope 2012 goes a little slower. This week BB and LB have helped me make some gifts for their teachers/carers.  We've made some little bags with hand drawn pictures to tuck some chocolates and a kid made Christmas decoration in.

I got BB to draw a picture for each bag. I did ask for a flower and got a landscape, but apparently you can't just have a flower, it needs ground to grow on and then sky above :) So the flowers were a fair bit smaller than I was envisaging but they are very much BB's style and that's the important part. Earlier in the term I had asked him to find out each teachers favourite colour and he helped pick fabric he thought they would like for the lining, I just tried to get him to stick to a small scale print as the bags are only about 6.5" finished.

Linen Bag and Lining Pieces

Kids Craft - Linen Teacher Bags

For LB since he is a bit more of an, ah, shall we say, abstract drawer, I made a stencil out of Freezer paper, which I ironed on and then got him to colour in. (Don't tell BB but I think its my favourite...shh.)

Christmas Tree Bag Stencil - In Progress

Christmas Tree Bag Stencil - Finished

Apart from the fact I forgot to top-stitch the handles on every single bag(a moment which included a fair amount of swearing), I think they turned out totally cute, but of course I am completely biased :)

Teacher Gifts - Personalised Linen Bags

We've also been keeping small boys amused by making some Christmas trees out of paper.  Very simple. We traced different size circles, cut them out, then cut each in half and curled and stapled them.  A little mix and match and a bead on top and they are will be finished.  Ready to be beaded and threaded on a garland later this week.

Kids Christmas Craft - Paper Trees

I've also been working on the Secret Squirrel quilt. It seems to be taking forever(no one remembers when I wanted to finish this by do they? Phew!) which hopefully means I'm about halfway through.  Even allowing for quilting I am hoping to have it ready to give to her in January.  For anyone having an awards ceremony in January this may or may not be for you ;)

Dresen Quilt Piecing in Progress

When I drove past the fabric shop last week these fabrics just happened to jump into the car ready to make some bunting for my goddaughter for Christmas.

Fabric for Girls Bunting

So much to do yet and I'm running out of days. I hope your Christmas plans are on schedule!

Make your own Christmas Wreath!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Receiving kindness and Paying it forward!

This week I've felt loved(and totally shocked) by Lucy from Charm about you. She has kindly given me a versatile Blogger award!

Now Lucy has such a lovely blog, she makes lovely things(and must never sleep she does so much!), she is beautiful and genuine and friendly so go check her out.  This award means she likes to read my blog, which totally made me blush and also means I, um, really need to post a bit more, so that she has something to read! Its on the to-do list for 2012, a list I might add, that is getting longer all the time....

So as per the rules(for the award) I need to share seven things about me:

1.  I'm not a good sharer. (I always think of great things to say once its too late)

2.  I get quite grumpy if I don't have enough sleep.

3.  I used to ride/own a motorbike. (but babies apparently can't hold on around the corners, so I sold it)

4.  Quilting makes me happy.

5.  If Bones is on TV don't interrupt, or at least wait for an advert!

6.  I hate doing the dishes.

7.  I seem to buy more fabric than I use, but shhhhh, don't tell TH. 

Now the fun part I get to share seven blogs that I've recently discovered

1.  A quilt is nice

2.  ruby star rising

3.  squares and triangles

4.  sad patterns

5.  blue is bleu

6.  B.Yazoo

7.  The Shine Project

(I will be emailing all later to pass on the award!) 

So that was the kindness now to, da da dah...

I love presents, surprise parcels and handmade things, and I love to make things for others(so I don't feel so guilty!).

A blog I follow called Threading My Way recently posted about the Pay It Forward Handmade movement. It sounded like a fun thing to do, so I decided to participate. The concept is easy. If you find a Pay It Forward post AND you blog too AND you are one of the first three commenter's on the blog post that tells you about Pay It Forward, the blog owner will make something especially for you. I am very excited about this idea and wondering what Pam is going to make for me! 

**(Pam just in case you are reading this I like white(Kona snow), pink, orange, yellow, green and blue!)

Are you interested in joining Pay It Forward Handmade?

Here are the details:

1. Important! You have to have a blog.

2. I will make a little something for the first 3 blog owners who comment on this post. It will be a surprise and I will make it and send it to you some time during the next 365 days after you have commented.  (just don't expect it for Christmas!)

3. Make sure you let me know your email address, or that you arent a no-reply blogger so that I can get your contact details.

4. To get a handmade present from me, you have to play too! This means YOU pledge to send a little handmade something to 3 readers of your blog. It doesn't matter what you give, as long as it is handmade by you!

5. Once you comment here, you need to post about your Pay It Forward on your blog(within 48hrs) to keep the fun going! *you can just copy the rules from me and please include the Pay It Forward badge in your post. Also, feel free to join the Flickr group to see what else is being sent!

6. Follow my blog - I'd like that but you don"t have to :)

My plan is to get to know you through your blogs and comments and flickr to figure out what would suit your fancy. So make sure to mention your likes, dislikes, favorites, crafty wishes and upcoming life events on your blog.  Ideally, this will help all of us to get to know some fellow bloggers and to spread some handmade joy and cheer around. I am looking forward to reading my first 3 commenters' blogs and deciding what to make you!

See what I mean about the list getting longer!