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Friday, December 31, 2010

1 min to Midnight

1 minute before the end of this year.
Time to show you one last piece of goodness that arrived in the mail.
Look what Leona sent me for my Birthday/Christmas...




Go and wish her Happy New Year for her thoughtfulness. She's a true bloggy friend...

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

New Years Eve 2010

It's New Year's Eve here. Very soon I will have to stop saying "Where did the year go?" - but still "where did that year go?"


I don't need to remind myself of what I've made this year - somebody put it nearly all of it  into a book for me!

Last year there were a few things I documented that I would try to do in 2010.

Not surprisingly, I only got through half of them, but I added so many things on the way, that I can look back and say I accomplished a lot.

This year - I won't make any exact promises just some
'to live by' rules.
I'm going to look for reasons to be happy.
I'm going to work on ways to be healthy.
I'm going to use good quality thread.
I'm going to change my sewing machine needle every project.

Yep, I think I can manage all that.
2011 is shaping up to be a good year indeed!

Happy New Year to all.
May 2011 give you reasons to be happy and healthy. 
May your thread not break,
and your needles always be sharp (except if you need them to be ball-point)

thanks for taking a peek over the fence in 2010...
...hope to see you popping by in 2011


Blog Tour...Projects and Giveaways

Piece N Quilt has organised a blog tour for Valentines Day.
There will be a new project every day and prizes too.
Head on over to Piece 'n Quilt for all the info.
It all starts January 9.

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Retromummy giveaway

P1013738
Do these bundles of fabric make you swoon?
If so, head on over to retromummy's giveaway .
Winners drawn New Years Eve.
Someone is going to have a great start to 2011...

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Happy Christmas 2010

I hope you all had a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS
The reason for the season.
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

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Drawstring Book Bag...Tutorial

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,
sewing machine,
overlocker,
thread,
tape measure.

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!

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A First

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...



thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Catch-up Post...

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 to this 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...

ANGER
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.

HAPPINESS
It's been a happy mail week.
First was the arrival of the postcard from the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap. Even though the links are there to the previous post, here it is again in all it's beauty.

Then there was this gorgeous bundle - an impulse purchase because of the Aussie dollar and Thanksgiving sales in the US - an enormous present to self...
I have to say that if anything could put a smile on my face, it would be these fabrics and to make the smile almost permanent,  look what was on top!!!!
I'll have a head start on Christmas next year, with all that gorgeous fabric.
The irresistible blue and tan kitchen prints are destined for some kitchen-y goodness!

JOY
Here are the 3 little friends who travelled all the way to Melbourne together to go to Mirabel Foundation as part of Softies for Mirabel.
Both Mrs Perkins and Toby are great patterns to make and I'm sure they will bring some joy to a few deserving youngsters this Christmas.

LOVE
This is a present for someone, so I am keeping most of it secret, but I love the pattern, which came together so easily and I am even loving my attempt at free motion quilting.

Well I think I've done most of the catching up I had to do. I'd better head off and finish the binding, so the present can go in the mail on Monday.

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Adorable, Beautiful, Clever, Delightful, Expertly crafted...

 Fantastic, Gorgeous, Happy...I could do the whole alphabet and you would still not believe how Wonderful this postcard is:
My Magical Postcard from the Wizard of Uberstitch

Thank you to my super, talented, tremendous swap partner, Pam.
When I (half) close my eyes the ruby red slippers just sparkle!

I still can't stop smiling...

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Good News Post...Laminated Fabrics Co-op special

Hello.
I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, though it has felt like it in the last week.

First off here is some good news:

Catherine from Catherine's Place shop and The Big Blue Shed blog is organising a co-op buy of laminated fabrics. Here's some of the information in Catherine's own words:

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!
I'll be back later...

thanks for taking a peek over the fence... 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Process Story...

Now that Dana has received the postcard I sent as part of the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap,
I can show it to you.
First of all, here is the finished product:
I would love to say that it ended up exactly as I started it, but that wouldn't be the whole story.

I started with the idea of doing a blackwork terrace house - 

...however, I miscounted (and boy is linen hard to count on), and the last window was too thin.
Next try was aida, yep I can SEE that - that's a good start, 
so it evolved into 'greenwork' - green aida cloth and dark green DMC thread.
However instead of counting 2 threads per stitch I did just one -
 
But no - it's far too squat, (I was beginning to feel a bit "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears by now!), so back to counting over 2 squares.
Looking much better.
I decided to frame it with some fabric from this beautiful charm pack of 'arcadia'
yes JUST perfect.
It was never going to be quite that easy though, was it? 
I sewed the sides on and trimmed it to the right postcard size, but (because I turned it to the back ) I trimmed the wrong ends (see the big space at the top and the NOT ENOUGH space at the bottom?).
Much unpicking of seams ensued.
Re-sewing with another charm square.
Some stay stitching to stop the aida unravelling.
Added the decorative ric rac.
It was then quilted following the vines on the fabric and down the ric-rac.
Then backing and self-binding and it all came together.

Dana loved it and so do I.

Many thanks to Beth from Do What You Love for organising the swap.
Have a look here for some of the wonderful handmade beauties that have been flying around the world in the last few weeks.
I'll let you know when the next one is on.
In the mean time I'll work on my designing skills and try to work from a complete PLAN, not just an IDEA!

thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Creative Space

Christmas paper piecing.
I can't decide whether to make it into a card or use as a decoration.
Actually, it was such fun, I think I'll  more of these, so I guess there will be a bit of both!
I found the pattern here.
For more Christmas creativity, grab a cuppa and head over to Kootoyoo


thanks for taking a peek over the fence...

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