Friday, February 28, 2014

Nom noms ...

I've made a little progress on the appliqué block since I checked in with you last - it has been hard to find stolen moments to just sit and stitch ... perhaps tomorrow will be the day? Here's where I'm at ...

The print I've used for the diamonds was a lucky find in a box of repro scraps that I have ... not even entirely sure where it came from, but it's cute! The next steps will be to add the circles at the swag intersections, and then the stems followed by the basket. After that, it'll be working on the broderie perse ... eeek!

This morning I spent some time baking. Wednesday was my brother's birthday, and tonight we're having the family over for coffee and cake. Normally I would buy a cake for a special occasion like a birthday, but I've been on a bit of a baking bender lately and decided to challenge myself. I made him the Lemon Chiffon Cake that I pinned on Pinterest.

I'm really thrilled with how it turned out - my cake isn't quite as tall as theirs because my tins were a little larger in size than the recipe used, but apart from that, I think it has gone well. I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

And because my brother will be so surprised that I actually made this cake, I took an 'in progress' picture in case he teases me that I bought it ...

See, here it is in all it's imperfect glory. Thank heavens for icing, it covers a multitude of sins.

Well, that's it for today, I'll check back in soon - hopefully with some more appliqué content. xox

Monday, February 24, 2014

I've started Mountmellick, and I'm excited!!

I'm so excited, I've finally started working on the Di Ford BOM - doesn't it have the best name? Mountmellick ... sounds rather posh really :-)

It doesn't look like much yet, but I've made up all the templates I'll need for the moment and marked out the placement for the applique shapes. Now that I'm happy with the placement of these swags, I'll glue them in place and get ready for a little needle turn applique. I can't wait to get busy stitching.

Other than the border print, chintz and background fabric, it's my plan to pull all the fabrics for this project from my stash. Surely I should be able to get everything I need in there ... it's hard to believe I could possibly need anything else?!? Famous last words :-)

As promised, I'm checking back in with the results of the muffin baking over the weekend. I made up the Double Chocolate Banana muffins I found on Pinterest for the first time, and we really like them.

They're very like the Chocolate Banana Muffins I have made many times from Nigella's website, but the addition of cinnamon to the new recipe really made them sing. I only managed to get 12 muffins from the recipe, but maybe I used larger muffin liners than they did? I'll definitely be making them again :-)

Alrighty, I'm off to get busy on some applique ... hopefully I'll have some exciting progress to share with you soon :-)

PS: A big hello to Celia in England who's working on the BOM also. Thank you for your email - I couldn't reply to you personally as your profile email is set to no reply. How fun that you're working on Love Entwined too, that project is on my 'must make' list! xox

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Chronicle Block Complete

Go me! I have finished embroidering my first Chronicle quilt block. It's the second block in the pattern series, but being me, I'm stitching out of order ... ohhhh, I'm such a rebel! *lol*

I strongly recommend that you don't look too closely, my embroidery skills are sadly lacking, and the little farmer there looks like he's been made from wooden blocks. Maybe I'll get him a little more human looking with some pigma pen action later on. I'm thinking some hair and perhaps a face would be a great start?!?

But the great news with this small finish is that I can now start work on the Di Ford BOM block one that I shared a little while back. I'm really dying to get busy on it, and I very much hope I can do it justice given that I've never tried broderie perse before. How many of you are also working on it? I've heard from a few people, and would love to hear from more of you out there!

In other news, the muffins I baked the other day are gone already, and I have a few 'past their best' bananas in the fruit bowl. On Pinterest, I pinned this Double Chocolate Banana muffin recipe recently, so I'm going to give them a whirl tonight. I'll let you know how they go. Chatter soon! xox

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Successes ...

So, I was at Hettie's Patch today, and I remembered to hunt for the perfect background fabric for the Di Ford BOM. I had a huge win and found exactly the fabric I needed ... what do you think? It's a darling French General fabric, and I do so love everything they produce:

Tell me though, does the fabric look familiar at all? Oops, I have managed to bring home a fabric that is pretty much identical to the background I used for Mrs Billings. Of which I still have around 3 metres!! Oh well, I know I'll use the Mrs Billings background for something in the future, maybe a back for this quilt? I have no idea why I checked pretty much my entire stash for the perfect fabric, but not that one.

In the photo, the background fabric looks much darker than the chintz, but in the light of day at the store, they were a much better match. I'm still super thrilled with my purchase, I nearly got something else entirely different with little flowers on it, and I don't think that would have been half as good. And just so you know, I've decided to make myself wait until I've finished embroidering the tractor block before I'll allow myself to start working on the BOM - if I don't push myself that way, I'll never get the Chronicle blocks done, they're just not really my favourite thing.

And in other news, I finally got myself this month's copy of Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine (it's Volume 23 No 6).

The magazine has a review of our Festival of Quilts, and my Mrs Billings quilt is in there along with a whole bunch of the other prize winners. I do so love seeing my babies in print :-)

And last up for today, I've done a little baking this evening. If you're a long time reader, you'll know that each December our apricot tree supplies us with wonderful produce for me to make Apricot Jam. Last year I had quite a bit left over when it was time to make it again, so I was left wondering what to do with the excess. Pinterest to the rescue!!

I found this fabulous recipe for Marmalade Muffins, and decided the science would be just the same if I used Apricot Jam instead. For fun, I also tossed in some white chocolate chips, yum!. I first baked these on Tuesday afternoon, I didn't even get to eat one, and they were gone entirely by this morning (Thursday morning). I call that a success. Feel free to scoot over to Pinterest and see what I'm pinning, I think I may be hooked!

Well, that's it from me this evening, I'm heading into the family room ... I'm going to park my butt on the lounge and get busy stitching ... chatter soon! xox

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A beginning ...

I've made a start on something this week. It's not the BOM that I'm excited to start ... I have decided I don't have the perfect background fabric for that project just yet, and I'll find that while I'm teaching at Hettie's on Thursday.

What I've actually gotten busy with is some embroidery blocks for a Chronicle quilt that is on my list of things to make. The Chronicle was a newspaper here many many years ago, and it published a series of embroidery designs for quilters. The patterns were being sold at the Royal Adelaide Show last year (as this year is a significant anniversary for the patterns), and I made a promise that I'd make up a quilt using some of the designs during the course of the year.

Well, I realised that these things aren't going to just happen unless I get my fingers moving, so I tossed the procrastinating aside, and just made a start:

I've never been excited by embroidery, and that lack of enthusiasm is part of the reason I was having a hard time getting my fingers stitching. The other reason is that I'm really not all that good at it - maybe I could get better if I practiced, but maybe not. Anyhow, I'm under-way, and it will be interesting to see if I get any more than a block or two made.

I'll check back in and share my progress with you ... chatter soon! xox

Sunday, February 16, 2014


This past week, a LOT of fabric has come into my life, all of it wonderful - some for imminent use, some being special treats from afar ... and some is 'justin' fabric ... you know, 'just in' case I need it :-)

Yesterday, Claire, Shay, Lorraine and I went on a little quilty road trip to Tricia's Fabrics. It's on the other side of town from us, so not somewhere we go often, but always worthwhile. I picked up these two pretties - the spot is to go with two other fabrics I've collected. I'm going to make a Christmas Tree Skirt for a friend of mine. Maybe I'll start it this week? Can't make any rash promises :-) The green floral is the 'justin' fabric I talked about ... it simply appealed to me ...

And in the mail I received a bevy of treats from my sweet friend Linda in the USA:

This is my Christmas exchange block that our darling mutual friend Kate made for me, isn't it so cute? And she even sent me an adorable pair of kitty snips. Thank you so much Kate!

Also in the parcel a huge selection of Judie Rothermel's anniversary fabrics. Some 10" squares, and some larger pieces too. Lucky me, there was a piece of the elusive border fabric that is required for the Di Ford block of the month! Is Linda clever or what?? She must be psychic!!

There was a big selection of my favourite magazines, I will have a great time reading these, eye candy galore, I am always inspired.

And how about this range of shoe fabric!! Where did you ever find it Donna? I've never seen this range before. This shoe lovin' gal is blissed out!!

Our sweet mutual friend Donna knows my love of conversational prints, so she included this darling in the parcel, thank you Donna!!

Am I not the luckiest girl in the world to have such generous friends? Thank you so much Linda for ALL the treats, and thank you also to Kate and Donna for your treats too. Love you all to bits! xox

And last of all for today, I was lucky enough to find the exact Dutch chintz fabric that is required for the Di Ford BOM project, so I had some sent to me. It's from the Etsy store detailed on the card. I had never heard of them before, but by some fluke, I managed to find a store that had some of the Judie Rothermel border stripe in stock, and while conversing with the owner, she asked me if I was working on the BOM, as she was too. She put me on the trail of the chintz fabric that she had purchased herself, and I was so pleased to be able to get it here in Australia.

So, that has been my week - a busy stash enhancement week. Now that I have some of the most important components for the BOM project, I can think about making a start on it. I'm excited!! Chatter soon :-)

Friday, February 07, 2014


Hello February, you arrived quickly didn't you?? And warm ... oh my goodness, it has been HOT here, with so many days over 40c (104f). Not really weather for sitting and hand quilting ... but I can't say I've been piecing either.

I keep thinking I've found my next great project, and I do keep finding nice things to work on, but so far nothing has inspired me to actually begin pulling out fabric. But ... maybe this is the one?

This is block one of Di Ford's new mystery quilt which is in Quilt Mania magazine (Issue 99). I really like it, and I think I can handle working on a mystery quilt?!? After a pretty extensive search, I think I have managed to secure some of the border print they've used in this project. I may not end up using the same one, but I'll give it a whirl. Next I need to find the perfect broderie perse fabrics. Much easier said than done I'm thinking.

I've never purchased the Quilt Mania magazine before, and I have to say I'm really loving it. There are a few projects that I can see myself making should my sewing mojo ever return to me. I picked up my copy at Hettie's Patch - this is not a magazine I've seen around very much, so I've put my name on the list to reserve my copy each time it comes out.

Something I have been doing though, is decluttering at home. And when this kind of inspiration strikes, it's wise to go with it, as it doesn't happen often. I've sent four garbage bags of clothes on to charity, and I've even sent some handbags/purses and shoes out into the world. Yes, you read that correctly, even shoes!

You see, I have lost a few kgs from my frame recently, and it was time to just let some things go. I had a realisation that I wear the same few articles of clothing a lot, and I have a lot of things that haven't seen the light of day in a really long time. I decided it would be nice to go forward with fewer, but nicer things. Let's see how that goes?

And finishing up, if you should see my sewing mojo while you're out and about ... please send her home. I miss her!! xox


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