Friday, 29 January 2010

But they followed me home!

Two days at work then five days off, two days at work then three days off......
What a great ease back into the work routine.
Today was my usual day off and after the last minute school stationery grab for no 3 son and some hunting and gathering for the weekly shop the rest of the day was mine.
I wanted to pop over to Jemima's to see if I could get a few more fabrics for my Boy's story quilt. I have traced some of the first blocks to get them ready to start in a few months (if I can wait that long). I took my original four purchases and then Veronica helped to select some more to go with them. I was only going to get three or four fabrics to add to the stash but she brought out some great fabrics that were just perfect and there's no point in waiting and starting all over again in a few weeks time is there? So..... I ended up with 7 fabrics (on top of the originals).

Here is the actual pattern from the book I am going to do.


Earlier this month I received my pattern 5 of the Heart and home bom instead of pattern 4 . I have been busting to get pattern 5 as it has the directions for the first borders. I have prepared all the applique but not done the pieced school house blocks. Will wait till I have done pattern 4 I think.


I have also prepared a few more Life is Beautiful blocks ready to stitch...
Off to craft group tomorrow! Good to catch up with the girls!
Have a great weekend
Cheers
Marina

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Sweet nostalgia block 5


Just a quick pic of my block 5 hot off the embroidery hoop. The snow didn't seem to photo too well but it does show up. Perhaps I should've used a few strands of darker thread with the white. What's done is done now.
Happy Australia Day.

marina

Monday, 25 January 2010

dolly quilts done...


Dolly quilts are done. I can't wait to send them to the girls. They were quick and easy and finished in a day. What more could you want?
I cheated a bit with the quilting and machine quilted with the walking foot only through the top and iron on pellon. I put the back on as if it was a cushion and only machined around the edge, it is only a doll's quilt (that's my excuse and I am sticking to it)
They still look cute.

I did say to myself no more swaps for this year, except for the stitchers angel swap but I am being tempted by 'Dutch sisters' who are having a spring swap. As I was reading Dutch Blue blog and reading about the swap my mind was already working overtime thinking of what I could make. Stop it! I will slap myself if I have to...
It is so tempting. Do I stick to my guns or cave in. I love to do swaps and it is only a small one and the swap finishes in March.......
I will continue this argument throughout the day and let you know the final verdict.
Tomorrow we are off to our nieces for a super Australia Day bbq with some family.
Mum and Dad are coming up tonight for a roast dinner so it is socialising all round!
Have a lovely Australia Day for those in Australia and a lovely week for everyone else.
Cheers
marina

Sunday, 24 January 2010

lovely long weekend

Yesterday afternoon I just needed some me time for a little while so I decided to go to GJ's fabrics to try to buy fabric to start my stash for my Boy's story quilt. On a previous visit they had some gorgeous fabric with robots on it, but on this visit I couldn't find it and most of the prints were just too bright and I want a more subdued colour range for my quilt. I spent a blissful hour wandering round and round and found some fabrics that just seemed perfect so they will be my base colours to work around. (The blue and yellow polka dots are from my stash). As always once I was driving home I wished I had bought more fabrics, but it was only meant to be a start to the stash so there will be more happy hunting to come!

I have not been doing much on the crafting front but I have managed to slowly start my Sweet Nostalgia block for this month.
I so love the little dog that has appeared in most of the blocks as she reminds me of the fox terrier I had. I don't know how many more blocks the little dog will appear in but I may have to call it 'Peggy's sweet nostalgic adventures' lol.


I am quite enjoying the snowman too. He has such a lovley face. The kidlets will have to wait to be embroidered as I think I need some new colours to stitch them. I am using Dorothy's colours as a guide and used as close a colour as I could that I already had in my collection. I just need some different shades to the ones I have used in the previous blocks. Oh no more shopping, how will I cope?
This afternoon I have a commission. My great nieces were over on friday and they were playing with my potholders that I made from leftover 1"strips. One was particularly taken with it and if it had not been so well used I would have let her have it, so the next best thing is to make her a new one but bigger so she can use it for her dolls. Her sister will need one too! So that is my project for today-as I will see them on Tuesday. Now to the scrap box to see what I can fish out.
A few years ago the younger of the girls was diagnosed with cancer, she was only two, and poor little angel went through such a traumatic 18 months with chemo and operations. You wouldn't know it now as she has recovered and seems to be clear. While she was in hospital I made her a little quilt and backed it with polar fleece but still added the wadding so it was especially snuggly. She loved it and it kept her busy looking at the bugs in the fabric patterns. She still sleeps with it all the time. It gives you a lot of satisfaction to make something that is appreciated.
This is the quilt but the colours are much brighter than they are in real life but it is still quite a bright quilt.

here is a close up of the blocks so you can see all the patterns. I love these fabrics and made quite a few quilts from the original stash. You might say I 'overstashed'.
Well to the sewing machine!
Cheers for now
Marina

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

d day-dreaded day

Yesterday Mum had her half day of respite care for dad and she usually spends it galavanting (mostly shopping) why not I say as it is her only break for the whole week.
She bought me home this beautiful book by Anni Downs- A Boys story. I have been coveting this book since I saw it on Anni's blog. It has the most gorgeous boy oriented designs. There are appliqued blocks and small funny cartoon type stitcheries interspersed in the quilt. I am going to do one of the quilts as a block of the month after I have finished my Heart and Home bom- which will be in a few months time. Got to have time to collect a stash too!
What was that I said about not too many projects? Lucky it wasn't a New Year's resolution.

D Day has arrived-back to work today!
I had an early start thanks to the herd of noisy, trumpeting elephants who like to start conversations while I am trying to hold onto those last minutes of sleep time. Just because they have to go to work shouldn't mean I have to get up!
I thought I would take the dogs for a walk and psych myself up for the day.
It was quite enjoyable the sun was shining but it was still nice and cool for walking and the dogs behaved themselves quite well.
Well I had best go and at least brush my hair.....and finish getting ready, I have wasted enough time evading the inevitable.

Have a great day
Marina

Monday, 18 January 2010

some alterations and some newbies.....

I am half way through my first batch of traced Life is Beautiful stitcheries. I am going to do all the stitcheries first then put them together on the blocks as that also gives me a chance to get some extra fabrics for my stash. They will be 'holiday' projects.
I have added some 'extr'a to the owl as it just seemed to not have a complete body. Now I am happy.



todays agenda will include cutting and ironing on applique pieces for my Heart and Home border. The shop accidentally sent me block 5 instead of block 4. So I have missed a house block. I am not fussed as I have been busting to do the first borders. They have appliqued trees with cute rabbits at the base. So cute!
Have a great day!
Marina
(only two more days of stress free bliss to go.....)

Saturday, 16 January 2010

me again.....


I went to Jemima's this morning for their sale to buy fabric for my tisket a tasket bom top.
This is my last 'to do' for the holidays and I was waiting for the sale to go and splash out on the fabric I needed, I also was hoping the girls would help me pick some fabrics to finish this top. I get a bit overwhelmed with deciding which colourings to go with and they are always so helpful suggesting different colour ranges that may complement my blocks. I came straight home and didn't move from the sewing machine till the top was finished. Just to add the embellishments required and it is ready to quilt. Lucky there wasn't anyone wanting to be fed or tended to. (Iwould've ignored them anyway!)
I think I need that drum roll again.....



I can now return to work having finished all the things on my check list that I had earmarked for these holidays. The only problem is that 2010 will have to be the 'Year of Quilting' as I have too many tops needing quilting.
Have also managed to make a start on my Life is Beautiful stitcheries. I am stitching in a very dark brown, though I may add some lighter threads depending on the applique in that particular block as I am doing them.
I am a bit disappointed with my stitching as it doesn't seem as neat as I would like- I think the fabric piece is a bit small and I can't get a good hold on it, but the time has passed for unpicking so it will have to do. I have altered some little bits and pieces as I like to do.

The new Sweet Nostalgia block is up and I have traced it ready to start. It has a lovely snowman in the design and my favourite little dog is in on the act again.
best sign off for now, two posts in one day is extravagant but I am so happy to have finished the basket top. Woo hoo!
Have a great weekend!
Marina
(I know it is me now)

lost and found

Wow, have been having a 'brink of dementia' week this week. I have lost or 'misplaced' so many things and I have been going crazy trying to find them, retracing and retracing my steps to try to find them.
Well after a week of searching everyday, one by one the things have turned up and in quite logical places, mind you. It has been so frustrating and had me second guessing myself.
As Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter would say, 'It's the nargles..'
But no, rest assured family and friends I have not gone round the twist, just slightly off course!
Have been enjoying this last full week of holidays. Today am off to Jemima's sale to find the sashing and border fabrics for my Tisket Tasket block of the month.
cheers for now
Marina
(at least that's who I think I am!)

Saturday, 9 January 2010

a long time ago........

In august 2008 I had an idea for a quilted throw for my god daughter. It would have horses and embroidery and patchworking.
I sketched an idea and several planets aligned to make a type of pattern. I started off with good intentions but it just didn't come together. six months later I dragged out what I had done and tried to get inspired to do some more. Then it got put away again after much unpicking and recutting. That was about the size of it, but these holidays I was determined to make headway- it was me or the quilt.
The heat makes us hibernate especially during the hottest part of the day and today, Well I have won not only the battle but the war.
I popped out to our local patchwork shop to get some fabric for the outer border and found a gorgeous Moda fabric. It combines all the main colours of the quilt.
Here is a close up of one of the stitched blocks. The pictures were really well drawn and had lovely expressions. Not bad for a $2.50 iron on transfer pack of patterns from Spotlight.
(drumroll please !!) And here is the finished top.......
Streamers and champagne corks NOW...






I am quite happy with the finished throw. All the pieces finally came together.
I just need to do the applique (then quilt and bind it) but the worst is over.
I hope it won't take another 16 months to finish it off.

I am a very happy puppy!

cheers
Marina

Friday, 8 January 2010

chillin' with my boys

This morning I had a doggy 'play date' with a work friend who has a golden retriever.
We went to the local reservoir and coffee and monty showed miss Sophia how to swim. Sophia just couldn't commit to swimming no matter how much she wanted to go in on the inside. She did fall in once and had a good swim but she just wouldn't go back in. Coffee and Monty fetched their bumpers for about an hour. They had a ball. Today the temp is due to get up to 35 degrees so they have had a big chill out to survive the day.

I received two goodies in the mail this week. One is some fabric I bought on e-bay to start my Life is Beautiful stitching. I have cut out some squares, traced 7 and done the applique. I just have to decide on the stitching colour.
Helen recommends a fusible wash away stabiliser. The one I have found on the internet is quite expensive and I am not sure whether to use it or not. Has anyone used this Floriani stitch and wash?
My brown and cream stash is ready to use for this project too. I just want a few more colours to contrast....

The background fabric for the stitcheries is from the Aviary range. I just love it.


I am looking forward to starting but the more I read the pattern the more daunting it seems. Nothing like a challenge!


My second mail treat was a lovely card from Kymberly which had a pattern in it.
It looks great and could make a dent in my fabric stash or I could just get a heap of new fabrics to make it!

Isn't it great.
Have a lovely weekend
Cheers
Marina

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

free to good home.....

While I was cleaning out my spacious sewing compartments I came across this unloved pattern (amongst other things) and after reading Lorraine's blog after her cleanout she decided that she may get rid of some excess, never to complete projects to good homes. I thought this was a great idea! So I have this Dragon pattern free to a good home! It has been in the cupboard for years and it would be nice if it could be used. So if you would like this pattern or know of someone who would let me know and I will happily post it to you! I think I may even have some fabric that I brought at the time to start my stash for this project- they can come too if I can find them.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Happy New Year....

Well it has arrived, 2010. I don't think it will be easy getting used to writing that.
It will soon be time to pull down the tree and I will do so reluctantly. Mrs Grinch, that I am, I have enjoyed having the tree up and all the Chrismassy things out on display. But it is time to move on.....
It has been great being home and relaxing doing what I want and when I want (within reason).
I am going to cherish each day till I go back to work.
Hubby and I were both bitten by the 'organise' bug today. He has spent most of the day in his shed tidying and rearranging and I spent most of the day 'rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic' by sorting out my craft cupboard. When I visit blogs and people show off their studios, and sewing rooms I turn green with envy. One day I say, One day that will be me too. For now I have a cupboard in the laundry to store my 'stuff' , a small trolley in the kitchen, a suitcase for my fabric stash and use of the Kitchen table as long as it is clear by meal times. So pity me not and I will proudly show my 'sewing rooms' and only dream of what may be........
(the magnificent trolley by the dresser....)
(believe it or not this is the after shot, you should have seen it before I started tidying!)


I have also been catching up on my bom's. Here is my sweet nostalgia block 4 'Naughty or nice' done in plenty of time before the next one is due out. I just love the Santa and I made up his beard with french knots. There is that little dog again, if it was my Peggy she would have to say 'Naughty'.
Here are my second and third Heart and Home blocks. Just needing a bit of appliqueing and they will be ready for when block 4 arrives this week!

I have also managed to drag out the smocking ufo's and I have sewn up a baby romper to hand sewing stage. I have vowed to reduce the number of things in my ufo box. I used to smock so much but without littlies to sew for there isn't much incentive. I stopped making them as gifts too when I was finding them such a chore and I thought I should hold onto some things for when I have grandkiddies in case I never smock again!
Thus the ufo box. Every six months or so I go through the box and sort and reshuffle. Now I should be able to cross one off the list soon.
woohoo!

Have started reading Moby Dick this week. It's the sort of book that transports you back to another time! Am enjoying it a lot.
My goal is to read it before I go back to work.
I also want to rewatch the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have watched the last two Harry Potter Movies and today saw a trailer on the internet of the new movie-they looked fantastic. The first part of the Deathly Hallows won't be out till November this year and part two will be out in July 2011. I hope that is when the Australian release will be or I will burst, I can't wait for the movies to come out.

cheers for now
Marina