Sunday, 30 April 2017

OPAM...again! Where did the month go?

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” 
Frederick Buechner

I must rush through this post because I want to go to a handmade market and hubby wants to go for a drive and we need to go shopping as well ...and maybe out for lunch, but if we don't get started it might be back to working around the house

This month has been a bit frantic, sanding the exterior of a house has been the main menu and it feels I've had no time for sewing. Then when I looked at the list for this month's tally it seems I get more done with no time than with all the time in the world!

So in list form:

OPAM finishes

Bronwyn Hayes wallhanging. This was the last of a set of 4 stitcheries I did years ago. The others are here and here:

Another 'Fit to Flatter' frock - Spotlight fabric - if you bought 3m it was reduced to $2m!!! How could I not!

2 more sausages because my poor friends were sausageless (no photo sorry)

A quilt from some of my precious Sylvias Bridal Sampler blocks for my mother for her 75th birthday - she was thrilled beyond my expectations and I am so touched.

Happy Birthday Mum

For non finishes:
the Dutch Treat blocks came out briefly

more little houses for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge; multicoloured fabrics, although a grey spot slipped in when I noticed the scraps in a friends bin...

and a couple more of the hexagons I've been making for years were sewn together

We've had houseguests stay, old friend Angela then my younger son and his love. 
And fun days:

A day trip to the war quilt show at Ipswich with Lyn and Fiona - definitely get there if you can

Another to Warwick with hubby (might have slipped a patchwork shop visit in too).


the most exciting day brought a phonecall  from my son living in Canada. 

He and his beloved slipped over to America 



I'm so happy for him and Roxy. 

Congratulations my darlings



Thursday, 30 March 2017

Fit to Flatter and OPAM tallies

'Never were such ruffles, or such embroidered cuffs and lappets!'
The Tailor of Gloucester - Beatrix Potter

What a week of sewing and none of it in my revamped sewing room! Jerome Janome and I headed off for a weekend together (days only) to a beautiful set of cottages in the peaceful bush where we did Lindsey Marsh's 'Fit to Flatter' workshop and sewed made to fit clothing! 
Such fun! 

Lindsay takes you through adjusting patterns to fit your body type and using a french curve to practising a pattern with a 'muslin' for fit and the final 'ta da'. A few of the women sewing together were the 'same size' by commercial sizing but such different shapes and all so uniquely and wonderfully feminine.

Instagram photo from the Quilters Angel who organised this wonderful weekend and made up our kits.
Thank you Lindsey and Steph at the Quilters Angel. Not a detail in this fantastic weekend was missed; kits, amazing food (I wasn't sure the dress would fit at the end of the weekend from the measurements taken at the beginning!), location, camaraderie and an overload of patience. 

My completed outfits were a Sweet Summertime dress and a Bondi Top (in washing) and because I bought extra fabric, not trusting Lindsey's generous allowances I have over 2 meters left- what on earth will I do with beautiful patchwork fabric!! 

Last month I sewed like crazy on a UFO cushion (from about 9 years ago) to post for OPAM ...then picked up a snuffle and forgot so another finish for the count. 

Tuesday sewing was back on track and my Red Rainbow Scrap Challenge houses are done - in by the skin of my teeth. The UFO basket is still being worked through and I'm enjoying some hand quilting as we stay inside avoiding the current weather.

Stay safe all Queenslanders being affected by Cyclone Debbie.



Friday, 24 March 2017

A little organisation goes a long way

See a pin and pick it up
and all the day you'll have good luck.
See a pin and let it lay 
and all your luck will pass away.

I must have let a lot of pins lay last week so this week have been very diligent about picking them up - so many that finishing the pincushion became an urgency! Happily it went without a hitch - is it the way the wind is blowing or the position your mouth is in that causes the gremlins to creep in?

I love it and am thinking I may need more pincushions...

If you need one too, the lovely design is by Anna Maria Horner and is on the US Better Homes and Gardens site as wild flower pincushion and the printable pattern pieces
here. Ignore 'not found' and click download.

I added a ladybird full of emery to keep my sparkling new and very beautiful glass headed pins sharp. 

In this floral mode, as well as celebrating with sweet pea seeds on St Patricks day, I whipped up the latest bonus Splendid Sampler block by Jane Davidson - 'Little Clover' for my Splendidly Smaller WIP. (the less said about my 'should be finished' Splendidly Scarlet the better at this point) 

While at the sewing machine lots of mending was done too - don't worry I won't share my patched shirts and pants with you!
The rest of the week has been taken up with gardening and reorganising inside. Bonnie, my Bluebird treadle now reposes in the sunroom where she has been fitted with a new belt (lots of *%#@) and may even be used for her original purpose.


So with space in the sewing room I was able move a filing cabinet (a bit more*%#@ because it was 5mm taller than the desk it is now squeezed under) to set up an efficient cutting/pressing station, with lots of space beneath for those inconvenient bits. With exercise in mind its located at the opposite end of the room to the sewing machine ... 4 steps away. 1250 return trips per day from the sewing machine to the cutting station should satisfy my fitbit!

The next day, while dropping excess bits off at Lifeline, I found treasure in this delightful little iron! Perfect!

Once again I'm set to face the sewing world!

Wishing everyone a lovely week.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Ham and Sausage

"I do so like green eggs and ham, thank you, thank you, Sam I am. "
Dr Seuss

A month anniversary since my last post! Somehow it seems much longer.  I nearly wrote yesterday and how lucky you are that I didn't - such doldrums. A couple of weeks ago a bug laid me really flat leaving me grumpy and querulous and lots of other unattractive things (the beloved doesn't seem to have noticed though - is that what I am always like?!?) and it came to a peak yesterday morning when nothing I tried to do came to anything. 
The outing I wanted to join was fully booked, the iron wouldn't clean after leaving filthy marks on my white fabric, the very easy pincushion pattern I wasn't following properly wasn't working how I wanted... you get the idea. By afternoon I was ready to throw phones and sewing machines and irons (and husbands) out the window. 

A few deep breaths and a cup of tea and I remembered my spare iron from a Spotlight sale and worked out a way of salvaging the pincushion. 

A few burnt fingers and I realised I needed a device to iron against when adding pellon to the pincushion interior in the salvage process.

A few google searches and I discovered I needed a ham - and could make it myself with materials to hand!

So with many thanks to Tilly and Kristiann, and Vinnies for a tucked away gorgeous shop sample of some Sanderson linen/cotton fabric, I got sewing. 

While making a ham why not make a sausage too!

Ta da!!! 
Wonderful how a small achievement can lift the mood and sweep the grumbles away

and the pincushion is back on track.

Have a lovely week.


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Flimsy February Two

There are moments when art attains almost to the dignity of manual labor.  
Oscar Wilde

My second flimsy for Flimsy February,  using 36 blocks from the Sylvia's Bridal Sampler set and some gorgeous Tilda fabric bought on holidays in Glenbrook last year. 

Ta Da!!! 

Kipling is very approving of this flimsy frenzy creating padded places for napping cats.

With the release of the last block a few days ago, (on the hottest day locally on record) the weekly excitement of the Splendid Sampler came to end and is now calling to be made into... two lap size quilts.  Work is currently in progress - what was I thinking when I thought this sashing would be easy, with no seams to match up!!! And I have to do it again for the second! No time to mourn the end of such a fantastic sewing year.

A break from flimsy life was had at Craft Alive where my friends and I dyed  -  fabric. 
Plus did a little bit of shopping, and had massages - I could share a lovely photo of the two of them in ecstasy but what happens at the craft show stays at the craft show...

Back to the sewing machine.
Have a lovely week


Thursday, 9 February 2017

Flimsy February

"My husband said if I were to buy any more fabric, he would leave me. I'm going to miss him!!" quilt saying

Hubby has been away for a week and my affair with my machine started as the door closed behind him. 
Result: I have a flimsy!

and another in the making!

and more finished Splendid sampler blocks! (a couple of these might have been from last week but I have a cat on my lap and can't get up to 
take another photo) 

and more houses for the 2017 Scrappy challenge

I love this colour - not blue nor green but in between

AND a new stack of fat flats from the 10 for $10 spotlight sale! I saved so much money I think I should go and save some more.

Especially while the quilting tool sale is still on because with all this flimsy cutting, the blade in my cutter wore a groove in the metal shaft and got stuck! 


Where was a man to fix these things when you need one!

Actually I did have a male visitor after retiring to bed one evening!!! 
A boy in blue came rapping at my door (several hours after the end of a loud and spicy argument next door) because they had a report of a domestic at MY address! 

With a soft spot for our law enforcers in uniform (memories of those 000 balls in my youth) I might have been thrilled but are they recruiting from primary school now! How did the police get so young
...or maybe I've gotten old.


Friday, 3 February 2017

OPAM and I have a finish!

“Starting something can be easy, it is finishing it that is the highest hurdle.” 
 Isabella Poretsis

Oh Happy Day! 

Kris at TagalongTeddies has opened up OPAM 2017 for sign ups and I have a finish for January! In fact, as I can include my sunroom curtains, I have 2 finishes! ...Or 6 if I can count each curtain individually! Hmmmm

And neither project was on my list - is it too late to add them so I can cross them off?

Finish One was a Boro coaster workshop started at the Brisbane quilt show in October...2015. I didn't need coasters but I did need a small bag so stitched madly away in one piece to make the front... then archived it. It returned to memory when Fiona mentioned her (still at that point to be finished) set so out it came from the bottom of Mt UFO. 
Add some extra fabric, clips, vintage button and a charm and

Ta Da!


Don't you love those gorgeous textured Japanese fabrics!

Finish Two began life as Ikea bedspreads. 
With lining and tape and rings, the result is a second

Ta Da!

Twenty two or three feet of verandah windows now screened from the blazing morning sun. Just in time for this melting weather.

From the WISP pile, my Splendid Sampler 'Splendidly Scarlet'  plods along getting scarily close to the end.

so it was safe to start using up fabric to border each block ready for sashing. Oh why didn't I take advantage of those multitude of Spotlight sales in the last few months! Maybe next week I'll be lucky.
(does anyone else hate paying full price for homespun at Spotlight?)

With all this sewing going on, our furry baby cosily slept on the ironing towel on the desk alongside, just below the design wall - where, in an unexpected breeze, a Splendid Sampler block floated down to protect him from any draughts... 

He's such a darling