Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Drum Roll Please.....

It's a glorious morning here - although I know it will be stinking hot later, Louie & I have been out for our morning walk, it's very green and lush after all the rain we've had here over the past few days.  But I'm just making conversation, more importantly have a look at this beautiful package that arrived in the mail -

All the way from Satu my SSCSwap partner in Finland!  How Exciting!  I'm only supposed to open one gift at this time and leave the others under the Christmas Tree for Christmas.  So without waiting any longer, here is my first gift -

The card says "I'm Satu, Santa's little helper from Finland.  This is my second time participating in SSCS.  And it was an exciting and fun experience once again.  Especially because I was honoured to sew something special for YOU! 

In this "pocket" for cards, I used the stitchery pattern (with small changes) of Kerry Swain (Book - Dreaming of a White Christmas).

I hope your Christmas will be full of happiness and sweet memories...  with hugs, Satu".

Isn't that just beautiful?  I am feeling very special and totally love the gifts you have sent me Satu.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.....I'm not a very patient person, I'm not sure I will be able to wait until Christmas to open the other packages.

Regards, Bev 

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Summer is here

It's just been announced on the radio that Summer has officially started today!  Did you notice - I must say I don't really need the reminder, the heat is certainly on here. 

Here's a couple of favourite things from home that remind me summer is here-

I don't know the 'official' name, it was here when we brought our current home, but is certainly is lovely and comes out in flower at the start of each summer.  Here's a closer picture of the flower -

Also in my backyard - planted by me about 4 years ago is this wonderful Mango tree.  Do I need to say anymore?  The fruit is inspected on a daily basis with much anticipation (this is a later fruiting variety and the fruit won't actually ripen for another month or so).

Not much time for sewing lately but this will be rectified today.  I'm off to Peggy's for a sewing day.

Catch you later, Bev

Friday, 4 November 2011

A week at Home...

Is just lovely!

I've had time to work on a couple of projects - unfortunately, I can't show you pictures of one of them.  It's my gift for Chookyblue's Secret Santa Swap.  I hope my partner likes it - I won't find out until after Christmas.

I've also had time to work on some Farmer's Wife blocks.  This is one of those projects I've been meaning to get to for some time, and now I've finally started I have to say these little blocks are addictive, I find myself sneaking into the sewing room at odd times, thinking I'll just cut out another one and low and behold I guiltily look at the watch and I've done it again - It's actually been a few hours.  (Almost as bad as the time I spend reading blogs).  I've now got quite a collection cut out, so now it's time to sew.

Here's the ones completed so far -

OK that's all for now - I have an appointment with my machine.  Have a lovely weekend,


Monday, 24 October 2011

Been Away Again ....and Again

Home again now - this time for a while (that's my plan anyway).  It's always lovely to go away but it's just wonderful to be home again.

This past week brought a quick trip to Rockhampton with benefits - I managed a visit to Margaret's aptly named Patchwork Paradise.  Lovely shop with a wonderful selection of fabrics.

Thursday came and went with my friend Peggy & I off to Brisbane to attend the Queensland Quilt show and Stitches & Craft.  Sadly, I left my camera behind so you'll have to check Peggy's blog  or Queensland Quilters for photos, but as always the quilts were inspiring.  Whenever I attend a show such as this, I'm challenged to do better myself.  To take more care when cutting, stitching and quilting, to try new patterns, colours and designs, but mostly I come away inspired and itching to start!  Here's what I brought home - not quite sure what I'll start first, but I'm pretty keen to try the skirt patterns from Sew Outside the Lines.

(I'd better add that I've just spent the past three hours tidying my sewing room so it's unlikely I'll start a new project today!  In fact I'd best not start anything new for the next few years - I have a lot of works in progress (HA - as if that would stop me.)

To complete my wonderful weekend, I visited Eagle Farm Markets on my way to the airport on Sunday morning.  I do recommend this market, it is just delightful and this is what I brought home for my Dad.
those lamingtons measure 10cms across and down, and are just delicious - as are the slices, chutney, salami, pizza and yoghurt and everything else I sampled while there.  YUM.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Just a quick post to let you know I'm still here.  I've been travelling for the past couple of weeks, staying in our caravan (I now know that Louie and I fit very happily in the van, it's just a shame that sometimes Kevin (DH) thinks he should be able to join us.)   Thank you to my lovely sister who let us stay in her back yard.  I had a wonderful time, got quite a bit of sewing done on one of the applique panels for Growing Up, even got the second started - sort of.  Still haven't managed to get a photo. 

Best of all, however was catching up with Maryan & Geoff on Bribie Island.  Many of you met Maryan in the shop last year when they came to stay in Emerald for a couple of months.  Maryan had passed through Emerald a year or so earlier while travelling around Australia, loved our shop and convinced Geoff that he should get some work in Emerald (all so she could come and learn to do patchwork with Peggy & myself in the shop).  She sounds quite devious, doesn't she?  Anyway they're home in Bribie now and it was just wonderful to go and stay with her for a couple of days.  I even helped cut out a quilt while there and knowing Maryan, she's probably got it all together by now.

I couldn't take any photos to share (Kevin had the camera with him), but this photo is from a real estate site, and this is what it looks like from Maryan's back patio.

Lovely weather, beautiful friends - certainly life is wonderful!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Making Up...

While in Toowoomba last week I was fortunate to meet Majella from Kookaburra Cottage Quilts .  http://kookaburracottagequilts.com.au/ Majella writes and publishes wonderful patterns,  and over the past few years I've made up quite a few of her designs.  One pattern that I particularly liked is called StarStruck. I told Majella that I'd send her a picture of my quilt (not yet quilted - I'm hoping to get more practice before I tackle it as I really like the quilt), so I thought I'd also share it here.

It's actually too big to lay it on the floor and take a good photo, but you can see the design anyway.  It was fun to make using just strips of fabric!

(I'm having problems getting the photos to go where I want, so I'm giving up).


Also in Toowoomba last week I was really lucky to get out of class early enough one afternoon to have a look at the 1st Prize Winning Garden in their Garden Competition.  My apologies to the owner, I can't acknowledge your name (I don't know it), your garden is just stunning, the plants and plant selection is wonderful, the perfume from the flowers is almost overwhelming and there is so much to see that my eyes jumped from one section to another as if I was in a lolly shop but I especially loved two things - all the mosaics you've incorprated into structures in the garden, be it pots, paths or steps and the beautiful cloth made from yo yo's on the garden table.  Thank You for your generosity in opening your garden to so many of us, it really is inspiring.  Here's a couple of photos -

Have a lovely day, Bev.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Missing .....In Action


I know I've been missing from here for a while, it's not that I didn't have anything to share, it's just that I've been a bit busy.

First up, a much embarrased (from me) apology.  I was extremely fortunate to win a lovely little quilt from Christine - http://onceuponaquilt.blogspot.com/ about a month ago, right in the middle of a couple of family dramas and although I have sent an email to Christine to thank her I haven't yet shared my good fortune with everyone.  The quilt is lovely, it is an original design from Christine and has been hand quilted and is the most soft, huggable quilt I've ever owned.  Here it is here

and another so you can see the quilting and the beautiful scolloped border and a closer look at the wonderful selection of lights/darks used -

I love it and so does my husband who had the temerity to suggest that rightfully it is his quilt as I purchased a ticket in the draw in his name....he's got buckleys.  So again Christine, many thanks, this lovely little quilt has found a very welcome home.

Part of the time I have been away from the blog, I was fortunate to attend two patchwork classes at Precious Time in Toowoomba - http://precioustime.typepad.com/my_weblog/.  What a wonderful time I had, and I've come home desperate to find a bit of time to keep going with my projects and as always life interferes!  Not to be outdone,  I do have a plan in place for a bit of quality time, just me, my sewing machine and a ton of fabric in a few days time. 

The first class I attended was with the very talented and lovely Wendy Williams.  I worked on her "Growing Up" design.  The first day was spent putting together one of the applique panels ready for sewing, the next - because I couldn't help myself, fussy cutting lots of squares and the triangles for the connecting strips.  I forgot to take a picture of my work, so I will share it in a later post but here is part of Wendy's lovely quilt.

As you can see, it certainly is inspiring.  Wendy not only teaches but sells her original patterns, some with kits through her website (I hope this link works, if it doesn't do yourself a favour and google Flying Fish Kits) https://ssl39.chi.us.securedata.net/justimagine.com.au/flyingfish/kits.asp.  Wendy was also teaching her Pebbly Beach design at the time and one of these days I will get around to this fun design.  I also purchased 4 other patterns of her designs, they'll all wonderful.

Next class was with Sue Ross.  I met Sue last year when I attended her Circles of Fun class.  I'm not the best of students, however I did rush around the week before I went trying to get it done.  Here's my version, I decided I'd only make three circles, insert them and go for a contempory look with a small black border and then one other.
As you can see I haven't quite finished.  I still have to put another narrow border and of course I didn't get enough of the original fabric at the time, so I need to look around.  I've also got to find the right fabric for the centre of the circles, but it's nearly there.  I really enjoyed Sue's class, so this year when I read that she was returning, of course I had to be there.

This year we worked on the Pickle Dish block and I will admit that I enjoy foundation piecing, so this quilt will be just delightful to work away at (even if I'm honest here and admit it will take me quite a while to get it done.  Sue's patience, advice - particularly with fabric choices is invaluable.  I discussed the class with my friend Peggy - http://peggycreates.blogspot.com/ on the 8 1/2 hour trip home and decided Sue's classes could best be described as a class for the thinking woman.  Not to get too deep, Sue challenges you to do well and to work outside your comfort zone and I certainly need this every now and again.  Here is what I've done so far, not the best of pictures but you can get the idea.

I'll do a few more blocks and then place them on the wall, I like the fabric I've chosen for the main one (the solid bit between the pickle dishes), because it reminds me of an old eiderdown from childhood, but....

OK, that's enough for now I'm back to the vacuuming.  Cheers, Bev


Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Quilting on the Downs

I've been holding off posting - hoping to share my "Circles of Fun", started in a class with Sue Ross at Quilting on the Downs in 2010 but I'm not quite ready and...
I've just had an email from Lisa Zimmerman of Precious Time in Toowoomba confirming that I'm booked into 2 classes for this year.  Lisa says sadly that she is struggling to get sufficient numbers for a few of the class to go ahead.  How sad - she has an exciting list of classes available with absolutely wonderful instructors, which I can attest to, so I thought I'd write a quick post to spread the word.  Here's a link to the website where you can download the classes by clicking on the Classes tab - http://www.welcometoprecioustime.com.au/.  The phone number is 07 46334748 if you'd like any more information about the classes!

I'm excited - I've booked into the Wendy Williams class "Growing Up" and in Sue Ross' "Pickle Dish" class (I've wanted to make one of these quilts since seeing the one on the cover of  Kaffe Fassetts book -  Quilt Romance.  It's lovely).  Photos of the quilts for both classes are on Lisa's blog  - http://precioustime.typepad.com/my_weblog/  so have a look, I can highly recommend both Lisa's shop and the classes she arranges and visiting Toowoomba during the Carnival of Flowers just tops it all off beautifully!

I'll share my Circles tomorrow - I promise.


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

What Makes Me Smile

Clivias - flowering just beautifully at this time.  This pot sits at my front door, being terribly neglected and ignored for 11 months of the year, and then reminds me in this spectacular fashion that I must give it more attention. 

This is Louie, who thinks he's the boss of me.  You ought to see him run when I pick up a set a keys and he thinks he's going somewhere, then you ought to see the sad look on his face when I tell him he can't come this time!

Having time to play!

Hope you have a lovely day!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Short and Long of it...

It's been a lovely week.  On Tuesday I drove to the little town of Sapphire, most people go there to look for sapphires, but I went there to learn a little about Sashiko - here's my first attempt -

Still have to do the remaining two sections, but I will get there.  Repeating to myself short, long, short, long did help, but I've quite a way to go to get my stitches even.  I think it looks great, and I'm sure I'll do some more in the future but I've too many other things I'm working on for now.

I did manage to get a photo of the runner I showed a little of in an earlier post.  You'll see I use lots of old doilies that have stains, tears and all sorts of wear marks on them.  They are still beautiful and I can't throw them out, so by quilting them madly in this way they can still be used and admired and then thrown into the washing machine when it's time for a wash - not to mention it's a great way to practise free motion quilting!

It's a beautiful day here today, so I'm off for a long walk before it gets too hot.  Hope you day is just as lovely,

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Sew Many Things...

I have a lot of works in progress and don't get a lot of time for sewing.  I've been slowly working at these blocks  (I want to make 16 of them), that I started in a workshop with the wonderfully talented and patient Margaret McDonald (www.margaretmcdonald.com.au) at AQC in Melbourne earlier this year.  The pattern is Margaret's own and is called Whirling Twirling.  I now have most of the blocks cut out and four more inner circles sewn, waiting for me to add the borders.

I needed a distraction, so I've taken a couple of days away from it and quilted a table runner that I'm making for a friend's 50th (as always I'm late, I will have it ready for Edwina's 51st!).  Here's some of the quilting, it's now in the washing machine washing off the Solvy so I'll show the actual runner next time I post.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

We all start somewhere


Like many others, I have sew many projects and ideas on the go that my intention here is to help me stay focused, inspired and enthused.

This is what I have on my design wall at the moment - not a particularly good photo, but it will do.  I'm planning how I will quilt it.