Saturday, February 04, 2023

Sewing room time ...

So this past week I was able to spend a nice amount of time in the sewing room. I got some more hand quilting done - it's slow going so there's never a lot to show for my time, but I'm chipping away at it:

I never grow tired of hand quilting, it's so relaxing.

There was also time to get a couple more of the Morrell blocks put together. The hexie block just needs a little more stitching down, and then trimming:

It's a shame this is the only EPP hexie block in this quilt, it was really fun and a great portable project.

This nine patch was an easy one to complete and I had fun choosing the fabrics:

The fabric with the little fishbowls was gifted to me by our lovely friend Wendy Caton Reed. I just adore it. Wendy sent me a package of darling conversational prints, and I have been holding them for a special project. This quilt is the one where I'll use a few! Thank you so much Wendy, you're such a darling for sharing. 

So that's where I'm up to right now with the Morrell quilt, and my hand quilting. This month I need to put three baby quilts together, so I may have to hold back on the Morrell blocks for a little bit - I'll put my head down and see how much I can get done. Chatter soon!

Friday, February 03, 2023

Babysitting ...

Tonight I'm babysitting, and made the mistake of leaving the completed blocks I want to share in the sewing room. And the portacot with sweet little Mary in slumberland is in the sewing room with them! I don't dare tiptoe in there as she is a light sleeper and will pop up like a jack in the box.

So instead I'll visit with you again tomorrow ... but first I wanted to share a quick snap that I forgot to share last week.

While we were in Noumea, I found the most darling fabric store - Tissus Mercerie Johnston. It was the sweetest little shop, and the man in the store was just so patient while I practiced my French with him. 

I didn't buy a lot, but the pack of fat quarters was sweet, and I'll make a little something for Mary with them. The beads and sequins are the very perfect thing for working on the mmmCrafts ornaments, so I was happy to find them. Believe it or not, it's not easy to find many varieties of sequins here in Adelaide without tracking down dance supplies stores. And the thread snips ... well let me tell you this ... I packed my hand stitching into my hand luggage quickly and without thinking to check the bag. Of course I had some snips in there and had them confiscated at security at Adelaide airport. The lady was very sweet about it of course, and offered to have my old ones held for me until I got home, but they weren't precious so I was fine for them to dispose of them. So when I saw them at the fabric store I had a giggle and brought them home ... in my checked in luggage!

So that's it for me tonight - I'll do some blog reading on my laptop while I wait for Mary to be picked up. I surely don't have any hand stitching with me in the family room ... so I'll chatter with you tomorrow! xox

Friday, January 27, 2023

Helllooo ...

Hi there lovely friends, as predicted, I didn't manage to put a post together last week. And I didn't manage to get much stitching done either:

This is my first block of the Morrell quilt (by our sweet late friend Di Ford Hall). I hand pieced this block entirely, and just loved it! It has been ages since I've done much actual hand piecing. I plan to do more!

And I got a small start on my hexies for my second block of the quilt:

English paper piecing is so much fun!

But I do have a good reason for this inactivity from a quilting perspective ... my extended family went on another Pacific Island Cruise! Yay!

We spent a night in Sydney before we set off:



Our hotel was one street away from the Overseas Passenger Terminal, in the historic Rocks district, absolutely adjacent to some very famous landmarks.

Our chariot was waiting for us when we woke up the next morning.




So many fabulous things on board the Ovation of the Seas. Most of them (as is my usual form) I didn't manage to photograph ...





Noumea never disappoints!




An unexpected stop in Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

And then it was time to head home.

We had the very best time. It was my whole family, 12 of us. My parents, my brothers and their families and my own family. With so many people there is always something to do, and some fun to be had. I am so blessed that we all love to spend time together.

In April, along with my Mum and Dad as well as Amy and Mary, I'm heading off on another cruise. This time from Brisbane to Hawaii. We can't wait. The lads are staying home to keep house, and I'll be sure to have a great time on their behalf. In the meantime we're still floating on a cloud of happy after our wonderful holiday. I'm catching up on all the things here ... and I'll check in with you all as I can. Chatter soon! xox

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Late posting!

Whoops, it has just slipped past midnight, so it's not Friday anymore - but let's just pretend it is and that I've managed to get my post in on time.

I'll just make it a quick one: I've cut out a couple of Morrell quilt blocks for hand piecing - so I've made a start on a new project!



The first block ready for hand piecing, and the second ready for English paper piecing, and then applique to a background. 

I've made my decision that I'll be using a variety of background fabrics, so I may yet add some more to the selection I shared last week. The Morrell quilt will be a slow work in progress while I hand quilt Lily Rosenberry, and it will be fun to have some options when I feel like working on some stitching.

That's it for this week - I know there is a strong chance I may not be able to post next week as I have a busy one lined up, but I'll do my best! Chatter soon lovely friends xox

Friday, January 06, 2023

Happy New Year!

Hello lovely friends, from my home to yours, I'm wishing you a Happy New Year! I hope this year brings us all good things, and it can be a year to remember in a positive way. I always try to do things I'm keen to continue on the first of the year - this year I slept in (which is not something I want to be doing too often) we had quite a late night celebrating with some of our lovely friends. I managed to get some hand quilting done - so time in the sewing room is a good thing. I made sure to do some tidying - always something I want to keep going with through the year, and I made sure to try and have a healthy day after a slightly less healthy evening. Let's hope I can keep most of these things up during the year!

And now on to quilting matters. I mentioned recently that I'm contemplating making a small start on the Morrell quilt by Di Ford Hall. Sweet Chris from Quilting at the Farm is working on it too, and we're going to be stitching buddies. I had stalled as I couldn't decide on a background fabric - when Chris mentioned that she was using several I thought maybe I should do that too, as I so often work with many different fabrics in my quilts. So, I'll show you where I am at this moment:

The French General background fabric on the left, I have a small amount of that - maybe a yard or two. The Apple Crisp dots in the middle, I am pretty certain I have enough of that for the whole quilt, and the little floral print I have about 8 yards of that. So, I can do a scrappy background with those (and potentially some others) or the whole quilt with two of those options. For some of the broderie perse blocks, I purchased this County Clare panel from Somerset Patchwork (I'm so sorry, it's sold out now) I hope the background colour of the fabric will blend well enough with the other fabrics when I'm needle turning the edges under. We will see!

I'm looking to you for some reassurance sweet friends - should I use a scrappy background as I so often do or should I be more conservative and keep it simple given that there will be a lot of fabrics in the quilt anyway?

I've also pulled a few fabrics for the hexagon block - which will be my first foray into the Morrell quilt - and here they are for now:

It is likely that I'm going to change out the green for something a little softer and maybe a bit more floral. But I need more time to rip the stash apart to find the perfect thing. Hopefully this first block will give me some inspiration to work on some of the other blocks - at the moment I'm finding the pattern a little overwhelming. I know it'll be an amazing quilt to work on once I start though!

Hand quilting has continued slowly - it's super relaxing, and I would love to spend so much more time on it. Patience ... patience ...

And the last picture for the day:

The Christmas tree has been taken down, and the lounge/dining rooms look so much emptier without it. I'm ready for less clutter around the house, so I'll enjoy this feeling of space for now.

That's all for today - thank you so much for stopping by, and I look forward to spending this year with you! Chatter soon xox

Friday, December 30, 2022

Whoops!

OMG, I almost forgot to check in and post today - we're in that period between Christmas and New Year where time seems to be at a standstill. I seldom know what day it is, and if I'm honest, I tend to get a little nocturnal. This is such an easy time, what luxury it would be to live like this always :-)

But I have still been getting a few things done:

I did finish the gingerbread snowglobe cookies I mentioned in last week's post. I always have such lofty ambitions when I'm inspired by creations on Pinterest. While these are nowhere near as professional looking as those I saw, I'm pretty happy with them. And the kids ate them all on the big day - Camo told me he had three all by himself! I'd like to try some different styles when I have the chance, so I've pinned some more inspiration photos.

In stolen moments I've been putting a few stitches here and there in Lily Rosenberry. I am absolutely loving hand quilting again - if only there were a few more hours in each day to devote to it!

Before Christmas I made these ornaments for little Mary, but obviously couldn't share them until after she had received them. They're the Partridge in a Pear Tree ornament set from the mmmCrafts Twelve Days ornaments series. I am addicted! I'll keep working thru the ornaments and others to build up her own ornament collection as she grows.

And as further proof of my addiction - this week I made more ornaments from the same series. I haven't handed them over yet, but soon. I don't think the recipient is a blog reader, but you never know, so I won't be naming any names. Though I'd like to keep working on these ornaments, I have other things that need my attention - a wedding quilt, and two baby quilts for babies that are arriving in the first half of this year - Sew Much Fun!

Today Marty and I took a little road trip to Mannum - we have spent a lot of time there over the years as it's where my Grandparents lived and my Mum grew up, and other family members still live in the vicinity. We wanted to take the opportunity to visit with Puppa in the cemetary, and take a careful look at the river flooding that is happening. So many of our friends that have river homes along the River Murray have been inundated which is so terribly sad, along with so many other people in so many other towns along the river, the destruction is devastating.

This picture is hard to make sense of, but it's of the Mary Ann Reserve on River Lane - it it weren't for the levee, this whole area would be inundated now. All the businesses on the river side of the main street are closed.

And this picture probably also doesn't make much sense without something to compare it to, but in the foreground is the main road to Purnong, it's under water now, and on the other side of the river, the road from the ferry is is inundated too. I don't know if it's going to get worse or better going forward, but my thoughts are with all the folks in the river communities as they work through this and then rebuild.

Tomorrow evening is New Years Eve, we're looking forward to spending a lovely evening with friends, I'll spend the day getting ready, and then relax for a lovely evening. I hope you're all able to spend some time ringing in the new year with people you love, and if a quiet night is more your style, I hope you have a lovely time doing that too. Remember it's said that whatever you do on New Years Day you'll spend the rest of the year doing. So choose wisely my friends, and let's make 2023 a wonderful year! xoxox

Friday, December 23, 2022

Almost the big day!

Our big day is drawing closer, only two days to go, so I wanted to take this time to wish all my lovely friends a very merry Christmas!

And if Christmas is not your thing, I'm sending you all my best wishes and hope you have a wonderful holiday season too xox

As is tradition, I've made up a gingerbread house to grace our table - it was inspired by many on Pinterest and was super fun. I enjoyed working on this house so much I kind of didn't want it to be finished:



With the leftover gingerbread dough, I cut out some snowglobe cookies, I'm in the middle of icing those at the moment, so hopefully I'll have something cute to share with you next time.

I don't remember if I mentioned that earlier I sent a small quilt to one of Marty's work colleagues that lives in the USA. Each year they send us the loveliest handmade cards. Well, this week we received a box in the mail from them, and it had this amazing papercraft creation inside:


Isn't it just glorious? We are so very blessed to have such lovely friends spread across the globe. 

Tonight I'm going to put my feet up, it has been a busy day - I think we're all organised for our celebrating, and I can't wait! Chatter soon! xox

Friday, December 16, 2022

Time is largely mine now ...

Hello lovely friends, we're at the end of the year when my time starts to become my own for a little bit. Tennis has finished for the season, my darling quilting ladies won't be gracing my front rooms until February, almost all of our Christmas shopping is done, and family birthdays are all behind us for now. 

Mum and I will shortly be planning menus for Christmas day, but until we start food shopping, my time is largely my own. The only self imposed deadline I have is to make up some sort of lovely gingerbread creation before the big day and I can't wait to get that started!

Because the quilting Christmas party was yesterday, I can reveal that I told you a little white lie earlier this month:

These are all the little mmmCrafts heart ornaments I made, and they weren't for little Mary at all, they were to be included in the gift boxes for my sweet quilting friends. I am making some ornaments for little Mary, but these were not hers! Some of my beautiful ladies read along here, so I didn't want to give the game away, but also didn't have much to share with you all while I was working on my secret squirrel project ;-)

I had fun putting their little boxes together with a few things I'd collected over the year:

The sweet little Quilter pins came from Jodie at RicRacSews, I think she is discontinuing her pins, so if you like them, best dash over there and grab some as they're on sale.

I also made macarons for the party, I hadn't made any in ages, so I had forgotten a few of the refinements I'd made to the recipe over time. They aren't too bad, but a bit dryer than I normally like:

I really should make them more often, they're so very delicious. Marty and Camo gobbled up the leftovers which was great, as they weren't laying around for me to nibble on.

The tree skirt I shared a little while back is finished and in my Etsy store finally, it was a relief to have that finished even though I should have it done way before now:

This is the easiest one I've ever made, so hopefully it will fill a gap for people that are nervous about the inset seams or scalloped binding featured in my other tree skirts. As always, check my Etsy store if you'd like the pattern. There is actually still time to make one for Christmas if you would like to!

Also in my Etsy store are the pre-painted wooden heads for the newest pattern by mmmCrafts - the Ghost of Christmas Present:

I have been absolutely gobsmacked and overwhelmed by the response to these little heads I've been painting. I'm absolutely happy to keep it up while people are interested, so thank you for your support!

For the last picture, in stolen moments I've been putting a few more hand quilting stitches in Lily Rosenberry. But not enough to move the hoop yet:

This is definitely going to be a long term project, and one that I'll just love. Can you see the faint red shadows around some of the berries? They're much more pronounced in person - hopefully they will disappear when I do my final wash, but I'm telling myself I'm not too concerned. Let's see if I still say that if they're still there after laundering!

Today I finally cracked open the pattern for the Morell Quilt by Di Ford Hall. I have planned that I'm going to cut a few blocks out for stitching while I'm on vacation. Lovely Chris from Quilting at the Farm has been working on the same project and we've decided to work on the quilt together. I hope I can keep up, as this will be another long term project for me, but I'm excited to give it a try!

Well that's it for me for this week, I still haven't managed to get much blog catching up and messaging done, but I keep promising myself that in coming days I will do it. Apologies for those of you that I've been neglecting. Chatter soon friends!

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