Monday, 31 May 2010

which way to go??

I have been playing around with my hexagons to try to work out how to put them together...
Here are the two options I have narrowed down to..
I just can't choose.....
I think perhaps the second choice emphasizes the flowers more. What do you guys think?
I would love some input.

marina.....

Sunday, 30 May 2010

goodbye weekend

The weekend is over, and what a week it was.
The birthday of the century went really well. Plenty of good food and good company. I think No 2 son had a ball as each time I saw him he was busy socialising and laughing. We worked hard since Thursday to get everything ready and once the marquee arrived we knew we were in business. At the end of the night I was aching all over and have had a super slack day recovering today.
These are the lovely flowers that no 2 son presented to me at the party as a thankyou, with some help from my friend next door. She is so thoughtful and asked him if he wanted her to get me some flowers. He asked if his older brother had done it at his 18th, so as he had he thought he better do the same. Poor hubby missed out on the official thanks. He wouldn't have wanted flowers anyway!


I did get some time today while watching the video I recorded of Eurovision to  prepare some hexagons as now I need to start planning how to put my flowers together. Good old google helped me find some great pics of grandmothers garden quilts to check out and help me decide how to put mine together.
I did find a great website that you can actually design a sheet of graph paper in the shapes you require. I made up a sheet of hexagons as my plastic template is getting a little inaccurate with wear.
Now it is back to the square box to watch the finals of Eurovision!
cheers for now
Marina

Thursday, 27 May 2010

flowers blooming

I haven't technically signed up for the hexagon flowers group but I am happy stitching on the sidelines. Here are some more flowers that have popped up. 
Seeing as I have not been doing anything other than these, they are multiplying quite quickly.

Some exciting news from this household.....No 2 baby  turned 18 yesterday and he went for his driving licence and passed with flying colours, in fact the tester didn't mark a thing on his examination sheet so technically he made no mistakes. Wooo Hooo!!
That is another car parked out the front of the house. Luckily we had some new concrete laid instead of a new lawn so there will be plenty of off street parking once we can drive on it.
It was great seeing my cousin and the guys working with him laying the concrete. It reminded me of my dad when he was still working. They did everything old school so I could imagine him supervising and joking with the boys. It was a lovely feeling yet tinged with some sadness.
We are hoping the rain will hold off for a few days so that the ground can dry a little for the party on the weekend. Should all be good. I am sure I will be so busy with cooking and cleaning for the weekend that my new garden may not be planted with any new flowers for a few days.
Roll on weekend
marina

Monday, 24 May 2010

A is for Addiction


I have always admired hexagon flowers and the fact that they are hand stitched. I imagined them beyond the reach of my abilities. One day I would try them but I don't know when. Well.... all these gardens of flowers in blogland encouraged me to take the plunge and I wish I had tried them earlier. I am loving them!!
I think I do love them more than yo yos - hush my mouth.
I have been madly stitching on the weekend to make some of these flowers and there is a special tin delegated to storing my hexagon bits and pieces. Now I haven't gone completely hexagon mad as to  think I will ever make a queen size quilt with them, but it will be a respectable sized throw that I will treasure.
In my tin are heaps of hexagons sorted in groups waiting to be stitched, In for a penny, in for a pound, I say. I hope I haven't gone overboard!
So thankyou to those flower making bloggers for unknowingly encouraging me to try something new and beautiful.
Here is the start of my own flower garden....

Have a great week.
Looks like we are in for a wet week in Melbourne this week, what great weather for an outdoor 18th birthday party. Well you can't book the weather, not in Melbourne anyway.

cheers
Marina

Friday, 21 May 2010

moderation my dears.....

Well this is the second 'm' word for the week- moderation.
Not doing any stitching for the last week, my arm had been starting to feel quite good again. So unfair to have tennis elbow when you don't even play tennis, though I do have to watch no 3 son play tennis?
Anyhoo, last night I succumbed to the desire to make hexagons! Thanks for that Narelle! I have been seeing lots of bloggers making flowers every Wednesday and that's it I want to have a go too. Well of course if you are cutting out seven you may as well cut out more........ Can you see commitment happening around           'now'.

 Next dilemma was what fabrics to use. I bought a sampler box from Moda thinking they were 5in charm squares but they were actually only 2 1/2 inch squares. I used some for applique on my Life is Beautiful stitcheries but they are just the perfect size for the hexagons.

I have probably cheated a little bit because instead of using papers I have been using a fusible 'stuff' (that's technical talk readers) that I used to do the circles for my Life is Beautiful quilt. As you handle the fused fabric it does soften and apparently once you wash it the threads break up. I am sorry if I have cheated but those little papers are just too intimidating. I sat and stitched all the hexagons I had cut out and by the time I went to bed my arm was already starting to hurt again. That is where the moderation will have to come in. NO stitching away to my heart's content, I will have to have limits- that is no fun at all. Well there is no harm in just getting the next squares ready is there?
I think I love hexagons almost, almost as much as yo yos.



Next step will be to sew the hexagons together and learn to stop at just one!

 In my travels today I happened to pass a lovely patchwork shop. I needed to buy some more background fabric for my Sweet nostalgia stitcheries. Well they didn't have any but they are getting some more in and hopefully it will match the other one I have used but they also had a 20% off sale and they had these beautiful fat quarters that caught my eye....... Maybe if I collect a few along these styles they will go well for my Sweet nostalgia borders. A new stash to buy for! What bliss!


Have a great weekend
Marina

Thursday, 20 May 2010

miseries......

This week is nearly over and not a scrap of crafting so far this week. I have had a terrible cold and it has made me feel so tired and un inspired. Watching no 3 son play tennis at 8 o'clock in the morning  on Saturday is what caused it all. but I am not blaming anyone in particular.......
That should be it and I will be fine for the coming winter, or so I hope.
I think it is time to make a nice cup of tea, apparently there is some left over pudina hidden in the fridge, so I will cut a piece and contemplate some craftiness.
Everyone seems to be making hexagons at the moment and I am feeling so close to taking the plunge, to at least try one..........stay tuned.
Have a great friday.....I will be taxiing no 2 son to his hazards test- one step closer to his driver's licence.
God help us all.
cheers for now
Marina

Sunday, 16 May 2010

some comfort food......

My mother in law used to make a magnificent bread pudding called Pudina, a traditional maltese sweet. One of my sisters in law  makes it as well as her mother and years ago she came over to make it with me and so that I could record the recipe that they had always just made from memory.
Feeling a bit nostalgic Friday night I resolved that I would make it and it turned out perfectly. It doesn't look like much but It has the most amazing texture. Mother in law would have been proud. One glitch...hubby and I and no 1 son are the only ones that like to eat it in our household, and like I need to be sitting around eating Pudina all day. So... Share the love! I took a large piece to our next door neighbour where it was greatly appreciated. I have earmarked some for work tomorrow and took a lovely slab to craft group to share with the girls yesterday. It was well received everywhere and it gave me warm feelings of my mother in law who like most european mammas, valued the making and sharing of food with friends and family.


The craftiness that has been going on has mainly involved the boys story blocks. I already had these just ready to applique. I had cut the pieces and ironed them on a little while ago.
These are the blocks I have done this week.....
I added the little bird on the tree , I think he looks so cute.

This morning I went to check some blogs and realised that Dorothy had posted the new Sweet Nostalgia block for May. It has the most adorable little boys gardening. One is sitting on a fence and straight away it reminded me of Tom Sawyer. He has a mop of orange hair and freckles. Cute as!
So am off now to trace the pattern ready to start stitching.

Maybe a cup of tea and a slice of pudina too?
Hope your weekend has been a pleasant one.
Cheers
Marina

Monday, 10 May 2010

Mother's day well spent

Saturday night the football put an end to my tv viewing so it was retreat to the Sewing Machine!
No 2 son was out at a party so I got the job of picking him up-more late night sewing time without criticism for staying up late sewing!
The borders for the Heart and Home block have been quite a challenge. All the piecing (and unpicking)! Sunday afternoon after lunch, after a big walk with my four leggers.........it was me time. So out with the machine again and sew, sew, sew, unpick, sew, sew, press seams..... I just wanted my angles to match up so perfectly.
And voila.....
Borders done, well almost done. They have to be sewn onto the quilt top and then there is another small row of background fabric...so Technically......
I love this fabric just so much that I couldn't bear to throw the corners away from the different angled sections of the blocks so as I was sewing the squares I ran another seam so that the corners would be stitched together when I cut the corners off. I ended up with a lot of these....
I just love them, don't know what I will do with them but I love them anyway. The green and cream ones are 2". And no it doesn't make me want to make  minute squares to go on a minute quilt.

Now that the borders are technically, almost finished....
I can start this without any guilty feelings at all.
And here is my first block of my Boys story quilt.


What a great weekend it was...
Hope you all had as much crafty time as I did.
cheers
Marina.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Another week....

Another week has just flown by and I still don't know where. It has been a tiring week. No2 son has been working on the other side of town and has had to catch the 4.20 am train one day and 5.15 the next day. Guess who drew the short straw! I managed to make it through the week and I am going to rest this weekend. Tomorrow is Mother's day so Mum will be around for lunch. I have been busting to see Clash of the Titans so I may treat myself in the afternoon.
I may pull the 'mother's day card' to get one of the boys to come see it with me. Out of 3 boys you would think one of them would.
April's Sweet Nostalgia block is complete and so is the centre piece for my baby quilt. Maybe I could use the Mother's day card today and get some me time to sew? It should be all about Me, Me, Me...

Now that I don't have any hand working to do- perhaps I can start my boys story appliques.............mmmmmm
Life is full of so many Decisions!

During the week a friend sent me an email with quotes from Maya Angelou. They were really sweet so I thought I would post them here too-feeling a bit soppy. I am going to print a few off and put them around my desk for inspiration.

Maya Angelou said this:
'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.'


'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.'

'I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'

'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.'

'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.'

'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back...'

'I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'

'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'

'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.'

'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn...'

'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'




On that note that is all for me today,
Hope you have a lovely weekend!
Marina

Saturday, 1 May 2010

A slow week......

It seems like this week has just dragged on forever......
Last Sunday I had hoped to finish my last border for the Heart and Home, little did I know how tedious and time consuming it would be. I only managed to finish the small heart pieces in the border!
They turned out quite nicely though.
My next sewing day will be earmarked for the next step in the border.

This week I received a lovely package in the mail from Lorraine at the Balancing Kiwi. Lorraine makes beautiful crocheted flower brooches so we swapped some crocheted flowers. I forgot to photograph mine, but they were just plain roses in a few different cottons and wools. Lorraine sent me a beautiful garden of flowers. They are so lovely. Our next swap is going to be Pot holders but she is way ahead on me with this one. I have to get a move on!
Here are the lovely flowers.....

Isn't this the cutest bunch of violets.
All the baby quilt stitcheries are done except one. I have run out of cotton on the last one! Murphy's law. I will just have to hunt up the Madeira cotton from Jemimas this week.
I have been plodding along with my April block of the Sweet Nostalgia bom.
I made a start on some of my favourite parts of the picture.

The grey bunny is a little light in colour. Not sure if I should've made him darker? What do you guys think?. I will go back to Dorothy's original and have another look at her colour selection.
Unfortunately I won't be making it to the quilt convention or the big sale I was so looking forward to. Oh well there is always next time!
Have a lovely weekend.
Marina