Our Christmas tree on Dec 24, long before Santa arrived
The older children also hadn't put their presents under the tree and by the morning there wasn't much floor space left!
Our Christmas goes over 2 days - Christmas Day this year was with my family and Boxing Day was with the MATH's family. Lots of good food and wine, wonderful company, loud, noisy chatter and playing by, and with, the children. The ginger beer, made by the Comical Gingerbeer ( MATH is a Chemical Engineer) was a big hit - apparently Chem Eng is the best degree to have if you you want to be able to make great alcoholic ginger beer (who'd a thunk!)
I had a great Birthday with some lovely presents.
These are a few of the quilting and sewing related ones I will have fun playing with and reading...
My family and friends kind of know me well don't they?
I was given this wonderful photo book, filled with pictures of quilts and other things I've made over the years. It would have to be the best present EVER! It's a photo book made by Marisew - my partner in all things quilting! Thank you dear friend - I love it...
This comes a close second to the photo book...really...
Currently I've made lots of squares and half-square triangles - all in the name of testing. I am pretty impressed - it's so quick and accurate. I'll have to stop cutting and start sewing pretty soon or I'll have a new 'stash' to confront! Though those lovely books all can help use them up!!!
...I have just given in to the weather and put on a jumper.
It is so cold today - after 2 days of very hot sunny and "sweaty" temperatures, it does feel a bit like winter has returned. I think it is just so we get to experience a bit of the 'wintery' Christmas atmosphere to our hot Australian Christmas.
Something exciting for me is in the pipeline for January...I'll keep you posted (lol - a little blogging joke there!)
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and plenty of quilting, crafting and sewing in 2011
I happen to know that a certain jolly, red-suited person of the gift giving kind, is going to leave quite a few books under the Christmas tree chez quilary in a few days' time - the joys of having avid readers in the house.
I discovered the need for a good book protecting bag when I caught a train to go to Miranda to do some Christmas shopping - my latest novel was getting quite battered jostling about between the sharp edged boxes and heavy parcels that had decided to follow me home.
In a spare hour or so last night (I relegated cleaning up after dinner as 'someone else's problem'), I whipped up these 3 little beauties - a Katy Jump Rope blue for Minky, Rainbow Geo dots for Miss Bee and a lovely pastel Vintage dots for Princess. The thing I like about these is that the drawstring comes out on the outside, it sits flat and has a very neat edge.
You can use this technique for elastic waist pants and skirts, (but you will have to remember to make the opening on the inside of the casing not the outside).
You'd like to know how I made them? Glad you asked...
You will need:
a 13" by 17" piece of fabric (approx 33cm x 43 cm),
around 20" ( a 1/2 metre) of co-ordinating cord,
Getting out my overlocker and rethreading it from black to white was the longest step in this process.
I overlocked all around the piece of material. You could use your sewing machine zig-zag if you don't have an overlocker or can't be bothered getting it out, but since this will be carrying books you want to finish off your raw edges properly - and I really like finished edges anyway.
Fold in half, long end to long end, and mark with pins at 2 1/2 inches and 3 1/2 inches, down from the top edge. This is where you will leave a gap in your seam.
Sew from the top down to your first pin and do a few reverse stitches.
The seam allowance I used is the width of my presser foot from needle to edge...(just to be accurate I measured it and it's a tad under 3/8" - in this case near enough is good enough).
Sometimes it really is OK not to have to be completely accurate, but if I was putting quilt blocks together, you know I wouldn't be so lackadaisical.
(no my sewing machine doesn't sew sideways, I just pivoted so I could take a clearer picture!)
Lift your needle and move to the place where the second pin is and start sewing (again do a few reverse stitches) down to the end of your long side, and along the bottom (short side) and finish at the fold.
You will now have a sewn rectangle, open at the top and with a "hole" in the side seam.
Here are two I prepared earlier (note to self: stop watching cooking shows!)
Now you will need to fold down the top edge 2", and sew along the bottom edge of your folded bit. In the first one I made (the rainbow dots) I didn't open the seam flat before I pinned and sewed the casing. You SHOULD lie the seam FLAT.
Again I just used my presser foot width (or 3/8" if you want a measurement).
With the top edge though, I top-stitched 1/4" away from the top - this will give a neat finish and you won't accidentally close the hole you made, which you need for your drawsting!
The last step is to turn you bag right side out and thread your cord through the casing.
It's done. Look at that neat and tidy edge!
Easy and quick - two of my favourite pattern attributes.
Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. You never know, it might just be that last minute Christmas present you've been looking to make!
Here is the first 'mug rug' I've made -(not sure I can cope with the name - it sounds a bit twee to me, but I do really like the final product).
I paper pieced the tree using this pattern that I have mentioned in a previous post...
Here it is all packed up and ready to go to it's new owner...
I have ...ahem...hundreds of unread blog posts in reader...from the few I've managed to skim over, many of us are in the same boat - it all comes down tothis time of year... There is a lot going on here, chez quilary, but not much posting, so while I am watching the youngest at her swimming lesson, this is the catch up post...
A fortnight ago, my dear eldest daughter's travel plans came completely unravelled when British Immigration in their sheer unadulterated stupidity denied her access to the country.
She was to travel for 4 months then return home for her graduation from University . For some sheer bloody-minded reason (which we still don't know - the official paperwork is so vague with statements like "we don't believe...") and their own ineptitude and stupidity - sent her back home after holding her for some 8 hours in detention.
Her Dad is British (born in Scotland) and under their own rules she is eligible for a British passport!!!
Their Queen is our Queen - I am speechless with anger at their treatment of her...they even denied her access to her prescription medication!!! They wouldn't allow her to use the internet so that she could give them the phone number of our cousin in Scotland - she had the address in Renfrew, but not a contact number (it's a 14 digit number when we ring from here!)...they wouldn't let her use the internet to show her bank account to prove that she could support herself in the country...WAKE UP BORDER SECURITY, young people use the INTERNET, not PIECES OF PAPER to store their information...anyway I could go on, but I have to hold my anger to help her get through this awful time. She is shattered. Our cousin is livid and is trying to follow it up with their home office, and in the meantime I am using quilting as therapy.
Looks like we have a bit of interest going so I have gone ahead & worked out prices etc. We are looking at $18.00 per metre and free postage on orders over $50.00. I will also offer better pricing to those who have Etsy, Ebay shops etc where they are making & selling items and are purchasing 16metres or more. You will need to contact me directly for this. I am thinking along the lines of January for this co-op as its getting close to Chrissy & I know everyone is busy etc.
So head on over to this page to check out how you can be part of this co-op purchase.
I have taken part in many of Catherine's co-op's over the last few years and they have all been FANTASTIC.
Some of the coop's-have included Amy Butler, Kona, Saffron Craig and Heather Bailey fabrics, bamboo batting, inkjet printer fabric and many pattern brands at seriously excellent PRICES.
We are getting ready now for the girls' dance concert, and there is a flurry of makeup doing, costume gathering and checking, not to mention the hairspray cloud in the house!
...as in busted!!! I use pseudonyms for my children on this blog. Partly for their sake, but mostly as a challenge for myself to come up with something 'clever' that describes a part of them. Well I was well and truly busted this week...
Miss Pi, so named because of her interest in Maths and Physics, has left this sunny land of ours for an indefinite adventure in Britain and Europe. She is following in her mothers footsteps...ie she now has her own BLOG (as an aside she has also taken my vintage 'Lowe' backpack that I bought in Dublin in 1984 when I did the travelling thing way back then). To her siblings blogging is now cool (well hers anyway!) but one of them had a look at the blogs Pi follows...yep you guessed it...Ms Diva found out her moniker. I tried to explain that I meant she excels in the arts (some families joke about enough sons for a football team - I have my own Corps de Ballet) - she took it to mean the colloquial "temperamental"...as I said busted...
...in Body Parts (I couldn't leave that in the post header...can you even begin to imagine the spam that would generate...yuck!) bodies,
After all the excitement of the birthdays (2 down, 1 to go), I am still trying to find time to get these little fellows sewn together. One more day of work this week, some housework to catch up with, and I should be able to get some reward time at my machine.
I had a quick look through the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap Flickr page...there's a whole range of beautiful, creative, whimsical and delicious creations to sigh over. I am waiting for my swap partner to receive their parcel in the post, so that I can blog about it. I given a few sneak peeks, here and here.
Now I wait and hope that what I've made compares well to some of the gorgeousness I've looked at today.
And I've just glanced at the scary number of beautiful blog posts sitting in reader - I don't think I'll be able to catch up with every one, but I really want to read ALL of them!
Sometimes I really dislike the way normal life (aka responsibilites) get in the way of my lovely hobby *sigh*