Friday, 31 July 2009

PIF for me......................

On Wednesday morning I received these beautiful gifts from Micki. I had commented on a post on her blog and became one of her Pay It Forward recipients, lucky, lucky me.

Micki made me this adorable pincushion with an embroidered kangaroo and my name on it, don't you just love the pink belly and the patches? She must have been in a debate with a bit of fencing wire! She also sent me this gorgeous wallet, I just love the colours Micki.

Thank you so much Micki, I love them all.

So here's the deal, the first three people who comment AND tell me they will participate in PIF, I will send them a handmade gift within six months. They should then offer to Pay It Forward to three other people AFTER they receive my gift. Does that sound like a fair deal? I know it's usually 12 months but I figure six is better for me, you choose your own time limit.

Please make sure I can email you for your snail address and that you are not set for no reply!

So now on to other things. Like.....................I have nearly finished Sam's quilt!!!!!!!!!!!! Yea!

I should have it finished by Sunday I think, I only have to finish the words on one side, some quilting on the last border and binding. How's that, one whole month before her birthday..........WOW. I am so pleased with it, it's looking really good. Oh yes, nearly forgot, I have to sew the Yo Yo's onto the daisies, I've made the yellow yo yo's so it's 10 mins work to sew them on when it's all finished.

I also only have the last border to put on the anniversary quilt for Mum and Dad then I can sandwich it together. I am going to do both hand and machine quilting on that so that shouldn't be a problem to finish, I have 5 weeks before their 60th Anniversary. That should be plenty of time.

SOOOOOOO, considering the amount of comments and emails about the Civil War Bride Quilt, I'm thinking I might cut out the background squares and the applique pieces for the first block!!!

Not that I have itchy fingers or anything like that you understand, it's just that I would hate to upset anyone by being sooooo disciplined that I could leave it in it's beautiful brown bag for another month!! LOL. If you believe that I'm amazed!

I know Lurline has bought the pattern too, if anyone else is doing it let me know, it would be nice to keep up with others progress. I think I will put a picture on my sidebar (I expect it to stay there until I'm old and grey or given up on the hair dye!) so you know who's doing it.

I'm off now to catch up on a few blogs and then perchance to cut!!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Background fabric..........

When I was telling you about my Civil War Bride Quilt pattern and fabric that I bought at the Quilt Fair on Thursday, I forgot to post a picture of the backing fabric.
Kathie from Inspired by Antique Quilts asked what I was going to use, so here it is. I bought the fabric that was in the quilt on display, it just works and I loved the look of it. The girls from Threadbear have it all packaged up beautifully.
It's lovely isn't it and it looks right with the colours and for the vintage.

Another little peek at the fabrics for the applique. I'm so excited, I just want to get into it but I must finish the quilts for September before I even untie the ribbons. It's all away in it's bag again now. If I look at it I just want to start, so, out of sight - out of mind!!

Chocolate Age.............

Just for a little fun on a cold, wet winters day.....................

This is pretty neat..
DON'T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST!It takes less than a minute Work this out as you read .Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)

2.. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759 ..If you haven't, add 1758.

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number The first digit of this was your original number(i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are
YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)

Sunday, 26 July 2009

All the Fun of the Fair.......

How amazing is this city of Melbourne in the winter?
I don't come down to the city very much, maybe three or four times a year (that's in a good year) but the last couple of times I have been amazed at the changes in this city by the bay!
Jeff's Shed, AKA The Melbourne Exhibition Centre, what a fabulous setting with the Yarra flowing past. When Jen and I were there on Thursday, her lovely man came down during his lunch hour so we could sit outside and have a coffee together. As he was walking over the bridge you can see in this photo below, to go back to work, there were three dolphins swimming beneath, heading up the Yarra. Sad to say, we had cameras he didn't. He saw them, we didn't!
I love the Melbourne skyline, with a clear winter blue sky behind I couldn't resist this garden in the sky!!

Anyway, on with the show............or to be precise The Craft & Quilt Fair.
Jen and I went on Thursday and had a wonderful day. It was lovely to meet some other bloggers there, Cathy from Cabbage Quilts, Bronwyn of Whippet Good and Lurline from Lurline's Place.
It was also Jen's first visit to a craft fair of any kind and she was quite blown away with the quilt show. She did make a couple of purchases to start her off, so some very pleasant teaching coming up. We had a great day (apart from a few transport woes) and went home tired but happy.
I on the other hand went back again on Saturday as there were a couple of things that I wished I had bought on Thursday but of course didn't. So, this is my all together stash of things that I bought over the two days.
Above, some Sandcastle fabric and Antique linen for stitching, a little kit for a Japanese purse (I actually bought two of these), a couple of pieces of wool for experimenting. Then I found the lovely Hatched and Patched kits for little woollen pin cushions so I just had to have a couple of those too ;0)
Some John James embroidery needles, marking pencil and fabric glue sticks and the little 'needle threader dogs'. Did anybody else buy these? I bought a couple for mum as well.
I also bought this fabulous thread, it's by Rae's Rags, I just loved the colours. I don't know what I will use it on yet but I'm sure something will come up!

Then I bought this from here......................................

It's just beautiful, if you go visit their website the home page has this quilt and the story of it right there.
The Civil War Bride Quilt is Corliss Searcey's interpretation of 'The Bird of Paradise Quilt Top' c.1858-1863, and is in the American Folk Art Museum in New York City. Go here to read the story, it's fascinating.
Soooooo, I guess I'll be appliqueing for the next few years!!!!!!!!!!
I bought the starter pack of fabric along with the fabric for the background. I loved it so much that I wanted to make it the same.
When I've finished Sam's quilt and Mum and Dad's anniversary quilt I will cut the background squares and begin to do one square at a time, that will be my night time sewing in front of the fire!! Wish me luck.
I did buy some other fabric yesterday and I will show you those VERY extravagant purchases later. Shhhhhhhhssssssss, I was very wicked again, just a little hint - whole lines!!!!!!!!!!!
Right, now I'm off to make a sandwich for lunch then do some stitching on Sam's quilt, I have to finish that first. I figure if I make a concerted effort I should be able to finish it by the end of the month!!!!!!!! Eeeekkkk, gotta go stitch.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

It's Nearly Finished.........

.............but I bet you didn't expect this?
This quilt top would have to have been made in the late '90s and has been hiding in a box along with some other quilt tops (we might talk about those another day). I decided that the only way to learn to machine quilt was to dive in feet first and quilt a quilt!
Don't get me wrong, like I said, hand quilting is still the way to go for me - when I don't have a deadline.
I found a piece of fabric for the back, something that was so old, probably 80s, that I wouldn't use it for anything really. It looks plain in the pic but it's actually a very tiny light blue check and I had some largish pieces of Mountain Mist Cotton batting. So rough job stitched/lashed the batting together to make a large enough size, stitched up the backing, pinned it all together and off I went!!
(sorry about the photo's, I've since cleaned the lens - duh, I think it was cookie dough!)
The idea with using left over batting and fabric that doesn't really match for the back was in case I totally stuffed it up. I thought that I wouldn't mind so much if it hadn't cost me a fortune to do!

I huffed and puffed the thing around the machine AND it wasn't too bad.

I outline quilted the vine, leaves, flowers and dollies and stitched the rest in the ditch, or as close as I could get to a ditch, remember, I made this top 10 years ago at least.

It took me two days and it's not a bad effort if I do say so myself. The brown fabric with stars in the foreground is what I am using for the binding which is on and being hand stitched in front of the TV tonight.

As you can see, it's not intensely quilted but I am incredibly proud of the fact that I literally threw it all together and just started sewing and the back didn't pucker at all!!! Alright, alright, all accolades and applause to Pfaff and their amazing dual feed, but it was my fair hands doing the guiding!!
I am well pleased with myself not least for the fact that by the end of tonight I will have finished a long time UFO, whoo hoo!!!!!!!!!
Tomorrow I'm off to Geelong to see trouble and trouble (and mum and dad too) and on Thursday, Jen and I are off to the Quilt and Craft Fair nice and early (sorry Jen) so I shall return on Friday no doubt laden down with goodies to show you, looking forward to that.
Bye for now................

Friday, 17 July 2009

My World Frozen in Time...............

WARNING: Image Overload
This morning was one of those perfect winter mornings, freezing cold, -5*C here, clear, crisp and breathtaking in it's beauty.
I ventured out, (mind picture alert) in PJs and Crocs, dressing gown pulled tight, camera in hand! Good job we live in a spot with no neighbors, just the blackbirds were watching me thank goodness. I had to go back inside for fingerless gloves otherwise I couldn't hold the camera.
A tiny catkin, left over from last year, on the Silver Birch given a little cap of frost.

I don't know whether or not you will be able to see the glint from the rising sun, perhaps if you click to enlarge?

My tree of diamonds.

Broken Home!

Icy Lace
(if you click to enlarge you can see all the magical beads of ice and moisture)

The sun is just rising over the fence and coming through the little Birches onto the verandah, what is it I read once - 'The fingers of God'!

Our little ornamental windmill looks ghostly in the freezing early morning mist.

Ice wonder.

Tiny melting drop.

Reflection of my World.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

A Finish and a Parcel

Hurray, today I finished my 'I love quilting' bag. It feels like ages (it is) since I finished anything and today at my patchwork group, I put the last stitches into my lovely bag!
I love the stitching on the pockets, that's what appealed to me when I first saw the pattern.
I found this needle and thread fabric that I've had for years, just perfect for the inside lining. It came together really well and I'm so happy that I did the bit of quilting on the machine, it feels like an extra special achievement.
Yesterday my parcel came from my F.R.I.E.N.D.S. partner,

Just have a look at these, I am once again very lucky to have made such a good friend and had such a lovely person for my swap partner. Vikki has gone to so much effort to make this swap perfect. We seem to have got to know one another very well, which of course is the idea of the swap and I am pleased to say that Vikki and I are now firm friends in blogging and beyond.

Was it Buzz who said that?

To space and beyond??

F is for Festivity!

R is for Rendition
Vikki's rendition
of my 'House in the Country'

I is for Inspiration -
Fabric & Quilt labels

E is for Everyday activities -
an Ipod holder.

N is for Nourishment
chocolate and no calorie cake

D is for Duo -
2 country friends
S is for Sandalwood -
my favorite scent
Thanks Vikki and Thank you Khris for doing all the hard work hosting this swap

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A day on the hill..........

..........Sovereign Hill, Ballarat that is.
Yesterday Jen and I took ourselves off to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. Neither of us had been for years and the last time we both had kids with us. We had mentioned that we might go there on one of our monthly adventures, a friend of Jens gave her a two for one ticket that had to be used by the end of this month. So despite freezing conditions and heavy rain for most of the day, off we went.

As you enter into the complex there is an audio/visual display of conditions on the sailing ships, arrivals, early shops etc.

Perfect home on the goldfields, this person was lucky, they had canvas and mudbrick! Cosy.

There was a huge chinese influence on the gold fields....

..... this was the local Chinese grocery store of 1854.............

.....................................troopers quarters, lap of luxury.

Jen trying her hand at gold panning........

..............and the one we didn't find! Actually a replica of the 'Stranger' nugget, found on the Ballarat goldfields and the second largest nugget found in Australia during the gold rush. The largest was the 'Welcome Stranger', not found in Ballarat but still in the gold triangle of Victoria, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Maldon, Ballarat, Gordon, Clunes, Talbot and a few more small towns.
The lolly (sweets, candy) making factory, the young guy below is working the hot, sweet toffee and the girl in the other photo is pouring hot mixture into moulds.

The Lolly Shop looking through to the factory.

This attractive model below was in the lingerie room of the Haberdashery Store, showing a wonderful, tiny corset that one would need under one of the dresses displayed.

Believe it or not I can actually remember goods displayed on shelves behind a counter, not quite as vintage as these! One of my first jobs (before I left school many moons ago) was working in a 'Sweet Shop' in the holiday's. Weighing the sweets into little white bags and lining them up in the counter!! Now I'm showing my age, lol.

The Frozen in Time exhibition was still on for a few more days, fabulous ice sculptors in a sort of giant 'fridge, -10 degrees in that little box, fabulous ice carving, but freezing.

We were (almost) glad to get back outside to the rain!!

The Apothercary.
More gorgeous shelves and bottles.

Some very wet tourists, looking down the main street.
We did do a couple of mine tours too but my photos were not very good (just blackness actually), I didn't have my own camera, I had taken the new one I'd just bought for He Who Works, eldest daughter has borrowed my Olympus point and shoot digital and I hadn't wanted to take my digital SLR. I didn't want to keep hiding it in the rain, thank goodness I didn't, it was so wet I couldn't have used it without a cover anyway!

This is coming out of the last mine tour, it was absolutley pouring down as we stepped out. Looking up towards the old houses and the overnight accomodation buildings.

And this photo.. well, if you look up and over the buildings to the hills beyond, just over the top of the my house. There now you know where I live, beautiful isn't it?
We stopped in at The Bakery on Main St, Sovereign Hill on the way out and bought a couple of cakes (yummy they were) and had hot chocolate with marshmallows and cake when we got home before Jen had to drive back towards Melbourne. The poor girl got stuck on the freeway behind an overturned car and had to sit there for what must have seemed like hours. Now I know there was no chance of her starving because I happen to know that there was a little bag of goodies destined for her love, from the bakery.
Murray, did you get that pie??
I also have to report that it's still raining............yea, this is the 5th straight day that we've had rain, some days on and off but most days it's rained steadily. I can't remember the last time that happened - maybe 4 - 5 years ago??


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