Wednesday 29 September 2010

Just A Quick One!

Really ... I promise! Cross my heart! :0) I know Chookyblue will be shocked but appreciative of a short post, so here we go! :0)

When I popped into see quilter-extraordinaire Rosalie on Monday, what should I spy draped over one of her quilt rails, but a version of my "Fairy Bears And Butterflies" quilt that she had quilted for her friend Ferne. How EXCITING!!! I LOOOOOOOOOVE to see other people's versions of my patterns and know that they've enjoyed making their very own. So, after checking with Rosalie that Ferne wouldn't mind, I snapped a photo of it. Yes ... the tanty-throwing camera is working again ... change of battery type and we're on speaking terms again! YAY! OK ... here's Ferne's Fairy Bears and Butterflies ...

Hasn't she done a lovely job!!! And obviously, Ferne loved the Aviary fabrics as much as I did, cos she's used them for the centre patchwork panel and the outer border. It's so similar to the original quilt, but with just a few little differences in fabrics and placement etc that make it uniquely Ferne's - that's what I love to see! :0) Oh ... and we had a little 'helper' while we were trying to get a snap of the Fairy Bears ...

Rosalie's pretty pampered pooch, Whiskey, needed to remind us that SHE is the centre of attention, thank you very much, not some silly quilt! Tee! Hee! Hee! She is a cutie!

And speaking of cuties ... I received a package in the mail today from the Clever Clogs Cutiepie Clare of Clare's Craftroom. For those of you who haven't discovered Clare's blog yet, pop on over. She designs fun, simple-to-create craft patterns and she has ever so kindly donated a couple to Peg and I as OPAM prizes ...

We have the very handsome Frances Frog and the super-cute bag Catchit that has been designed by Clare to help store your bits and bobs. Thank you so much for your generous donation, Clare! I'm sure the ladies who win these patterns will have a ball creating them! :0) Oh ... and do you see that YUMMY card that she sent me? The recipe for this fabulous looking choccie cake is on the back - think I'll have to test it out for my chocoholic Beloved Geek Boy. :0)

There you go ... short and sweet (literally with the chocolate cake inclusion! Tee! Hee! Hee!) as promised. I'll be back on Thursday with a rather special announcement ... anyone addicted to Christmas is sure to put on their dancin' shoes to happy dance around their lounge room when they find out, so stay tuned!! Right now, though, I'm off to contemplate what to cook for dinner, so til next time ...


Sunday 26 September 2010

Friends, Fabric & Flowers!!

That sums up my week AND my weekend! Am I happy about that?? Bet your BIPPY I am!! :0) Over the last week, Toowoomba has been celebrating it's annual Carnival of flowers and although last weekend's icky weather saw us skip a most of the festivities, I've enjoyed visiting a few of the gardens entered in this year's competition over the last week. My boss's lovely wife is a keen gardener ... you  know, one of THOSE people who actually know the NAMES of the plants. Me? I'm more the sort who, when asked what something in my garden is, answer, "A pink flower", "Some sort of blue flower", "A plant my mother-in-law gave me". Tee! Hee! Hee! I will NOT be called upon anytime soon to host an informative gardening show on TV! :0)

Today, we rounded off the garden visits with a half hour drive in the country to the historic "Harrow" homestead and gardens. My Beloved Geek Boy and I packed a picnic lunch of cheeses, crackers, olives and orange juice (driving, remember!!) put my boss's wife into the back seat (my boss had other committments, so couldn't come with us ... at least, that was HIS story!!) and off we went and it was SOOOOO worthwhile!! The dirt road was a bit soggy from some recent rain, but it also meant everything was lush and green. We decided to have a carpark lunch first (inspired by the Lovely Lilly Linda's carpark picnics!), so we didn't have to carry the eats, then in we went to discover this ...

OK ... I confess that this is actually a sketch of the homestead, borrowed from the brochure, as my camera is currently playing up and it takes a routine of taking the batteries out, putting the batteries back in, turning the camera on, hurrying to take a piccie, then take the batteries back out, put them back in and turn the camera off and on quickly so the lense zaps back where it's supposed to. Don't ask!! Not happy Jan!! Grrr! However .. I digress ... this homestead was built in the 1860's and is GORGEOUS inside and out ... yes ... we were allowed to take a peek inside too ... as long as we took our shoes off at the door and stayed behind the ropes. Fabulous high ceilings, cedar panelling, grand hallway wide enough to run horse races ... have I mentioned that I LOOOOOOOOOOVE old houses?! :0) And the gardens were lovely too ... rolling green lawn (thanks to the rain!!) a spectacular rose arch ...

Again, borrowed from the brochure and taken a little later in the year than September - there were just a few early roses peeking out today, but the gardens are open again on October 31 when these and other roses in the garden should be putting on a grand show.

Oh ... we DID have to take a little detour in our meanderings when we came across the owner of the property standing vigil in a corner of the garden and he greeted us with a, "G'day folks. You might want to walk a bit that way to avoid meeting Freddy." Hmmm ... who was this mysterious "Freddy" and why wouldn't we want to meet him??? We then followed his pointing finger and discovered that Freddy was a one and a half metre long red-bellied black snake.  EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!! Did I mention I have a phobic fear of snakes?!?!?! Thankfully, Freddy was heading away from us, but you can bet I kept a pretty close watch on where I was walking just in case Freddy had friends!!!

Further into the garden (and AWAY from Freddy!!) there was also a cool, peaceful lagoon ...

Across the water you can see the little dock where we stood to enjoy the scene ... the lagoon is absolutely covered in water lilies at the moment that are just starting to flower. The little gazebo/cabana near the dock, that you can just see the roof of there, was originally the shelter shed for a tennis court. Sitting back enjoying water views sure gets my vote over running around belting a ball with a racket and getting sweaty! Tee! Hee! Hee! We enjoyed a Devonshire tea with the YUMMIEST scones, jam and cream on the verandah ... and made friends with the resident pooch by sharing our scone crumbs ... he promised not to tell on us! :0) All in all, a very pleasant and relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

I have, however, skipped over yesterday's activities so that I could tell you my garden-hopping adventures all at once. As I told you, yesterday I HAD to head off to my home-away-from-home to meet up with my blogging buddy Toni from The Red Boot Quilt Co. And what a lovely time we had!! Isn't it fun to 'chat' with people via blogs and emails, then find that when you meet them in person, they're just as nice and fun to chat to! :0) We enjoyed a coffee and view on the Village Green and Toni's Darling Daughter number one took a photo of us with Darling Daughter number two ... and her little bear friend, Miss Dorothy ... Dotty to her friends! :0)

It was a bit of a reunion visit for Miss Dotty and I because, you see, Toni's DD2 adopted her from me as her Christmas gift last year! :0) I am told that Miss Dotty is now a career bear and is hard at work on her first novel ... a mystery. We'll let you know when it's published! :0) Now ... do you see that bright pink bag that Toni is clutching?? You know what that means, right??  Yep ... we called in to my home-away-from-home so Toni could see first-hand just how SPOILT I am for fabric choices. She says she completely understands why I spend so much time there and thinks perhaps she'd like to move in too! :0) Marion said that's why she got rid of the old bed she used to display quilts on on the verandah of her shop ... too many stitchers threatening to just move in and sleep there! Tee! Hee! Hee! In fact, Toni found that the fabric was so keen to come home with her it was JUMPING off the shelf at her! There's a story there, but I'm not allowed to tell it!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Toni and I had a LOVELY time playing amongst the fabric, though we did decide that we tend to head for opposite ends of the colour spectrum ... Toni is drawn to BRIGHTS and I'm drawn to the softer SHABBY CHICS. And despite me telling Toni NOT to let me buy anything ... some fabric followed me home! Oops! :0)

Some of the latest range of deliciousness from Moda's "Pure" line that Marion has recently recieved and that I HAD to have! At first, I was only going to buy one ... OK  two .... all right three ... well maybe four ... aaaw what the heck! Who needs to eat this week anyway! Tee! Hee! Hee! I have a couple of ideas in mind for these yummy fabrics, so stay tuned. See how pretty they all looked together ... and Marion even tied them all up in a pretty matching bow for me! The perfect play date for two mad stitchers! Thanks for coming up for a play date, Toni ... I'll look forward to a repeat performance sometime soon! :0)

PHEW! Well, I think that's it for my weekend of friends, fabric and flowers ... I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight! :0) Hope you've had a great weekend, too, no matter what you got up to. And now, I think I'm off to hunt and gather some dinner, put my feet up and watch a bit of "X Factor" before turning over to watch "Midsomer Murders". It's the last episode so I HAVE to see what happens!! Have a fabulous week, everyone and til next time ...


Saturday 25 September 2010

Le Happy Dancing & A Blogging Buddy Play Date!

Yep ... me and Snoopy, both doing 'le happy dance' ... though HIS probably has less resemblance to a clog-dancing elephant and is therefore not as alarming for the neighbours! Tee! Hee! Hee! And the source of the happiness causing dancing?? I've finished the top of my French quilt - YAY!!! I stayed up rather late one night ... or should I say ... VERY early morning!! ... this week and it's all stitched together and will be dropped off at quilter-extraordinaire, Rosalie's place on Monday. More happy dancing ... but being a FRENCH quilt, of course, it has to be 'le happy dance'! :0) Apologies to all native French speakers who are offended by my version of a French 'accent'! Tee! Hee! Hee! Oh ... I suppose you want me to SHOW you my French quilt. Well ... OK. Ready?? Drumroll please and a rendition of "La Marseillaise" ...

Ta Da!! It is called "Holiday In Paris" and I've designed the stitcheries to look like holiday snapshots. I know it's a little hard to see the individual stitcheries, but they are all something a little bit French ... with an Aussie accent! Tee! Hee! Hee! There's French coffee ... local produce of cheese, olives and a bread stick ... chic French fashion accessories ... the Arc de Triumph ... a fleur de lis ... the Eiffel Tower ... French wine ... a snooty French poodle (OK, so, not sure if poodles really ARE originally from France, but you know what I mean!!) ... and last but not least, a sidewalk cafe. I have fallen in love with the gorgeous Rural Jardin fabrics that I've used for this quilt and can't wait to play with the layer cake I shouted myself ... but that will have to wait til I finish writing the instructions for this new pattern ... GROAN!!! Mind you ... I'm toying with a different way to write up these instructions that will make it a bit more interesting for all concerned, so stay tuned! Oh ... you can see that the dark red jumbo rick-rack was definitely the RIGHT red and really pops against the pretty blue floral borders. Can't wait to have this one all quilted and bound ... it's one of my favourite quilts, I think. Of course ... I say that about EVERY new quilt design that I come up with, don't I ! What a fickle woman I am! Tee! Hee! Hee! Will let you know when the pattern for this French beauty is ready.

And now, I must trundle off and get myself all gussied, cos I'm meeting up with a blogging buddy for a play date at my home-away-from-home this morning. Toni from the Red Boot Quilt Co. and her family is coming for a drive up our hill and she said she's been DYING to check out Quilter's Angel, so I very selflessly offered to meet up with her and show her around! :0) It's a tough job! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope you're all having a great start to your weekend and that you manage to squeeze in some fun stuff, too. Til next time ... A revoir!! :0)



Tuesday 21 September 2010

Random Ramblings!

I have a few things to share with you and none of them are really connected to each other and there's no way to come up with a witty segue-way ... so I thought I'd just share my random ramblings with you ... something you'll all be fairly used to! Tee! Hee! Hee!

After teasing us with an early taste of spring weather, Toowoomba weather reverted to it's usual inclement self and the weekend was HORRIBLE!! Overcast, raining (OK, that part was good for our low water supplies), gale force winds and worst of all ... FREEZING! SIGH! So rather than scooting about and enjoying some of the Carnival of Flowers activities, we went into hibernation in front of the heater! :0)

Now, I have to confess to being a slug on Saturday and curling up with a book, no stitching happened at all, but Sunday saw me disappear into the sewing room to make some progress on two quilts that I have on the go. The first was my sort-of-sister Tiffy's 21st quilt ... squares were joined for the centre panel to look like this ...

These fabrics sure are BRIGHT, aren't they!! You can see I'd already started playing with outer borders, which will be the background to some appliqué butterflies in the same bright colours as the centre panel. Which led to a little problem ... I have even less ORANGE in my stash than I do PINK!! Thanks to Marion, I've begun to incorporate pink into my designs more, but I have to say, this is the first time I can remember working with orange ... EVER!!! So I had to pop in to my home-away-from-home to stock up on orange ...

Wow! Bright, huh?!! Will have to show you how I incorporate these citrusy tones. And speaking of colour ... I was playing in the spare room ... where I usually spread my quilts-in-progress out flat when I'm working on them ... and when I stood back to judge how the colours would work, this is what I saw ...

It suddenly occurred to me that while artists might splash paint around on their palette ... I was 'splashing' fabric colour around! Tee! Hee! Hee! Yep ... already I'm starting to see some butterflies here. :0) I'll keep you up to date with my progress on Tiffy's quilt.

The second quilt that I made some progress on was my French quilt. I'm SOOOOOOO excited!! It's ALMOST finished!! Do you remember this sneaky peek a while ago ...

Well ... let's expand that peek a little to this ...

A finished block!! I've tried to create the impression of a holiday snapshot that you might see in someone's holiday album, complete with caption underneath. I've stitched in brown to give that sepia photo effect and am pleased with how it's come together. Can you guess what name I've chosen for my new quilt design????

Well ... I finished the stitching on the final block and joined them all together with some sashing, was ready to add the final border when ... I decided it REALLY needed some red rick-rack to make it pop! Of course, I didn't have ENOUGH red rick-rack, so the wonderful Marion ordered some in for me. All was well until ... she gave me TWO CHOICES!! Uh oh!! Decisions, decisions!! Darker or lighter?? Cherry or raspberry?? EEK!! I couldn't decide!! So Marion suggested (very wisely!!) that I lay them both on the quilt to judge ...

It was a bit of a toss-up, but after getting a second opinion from my Beloved Geek Boy ... I chose the darker red to the right. So ... tomorrow will be border stitching day! Oooohh!! Can't WAIT to see it all finished and of course, I will share a look with you when the top is all together ... stay tuned! :0)

OK ... last random rambling for today ... while the lousy weather on the weekend might have been a negative, there was a balancing positive ... GB and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary ... AAAAAAWWWWWWW!! :0)

Here's a photo of us celebrating our engagement, with some of the flowers he game me on Sunday ... after a gentle reminder that it was our anniversary!! Our engagement was very low-key, just dinner with both lots of parents. And what you CAN'T see is that under the table GB's right hand is ... IN PLASTER! Wait a minute ... what did you THINK I was going to say!!!!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Scott was studying part time and working on a cotton farm near Bourke in north western NSW and the broken thumb (sustained during a game of football when he ... the SMALLEST bloke on the field ... tackled the BIGGEST bloke on the field ... and came off second best! BOYS!!! ) meant he couldn't work, so he came back to spend some time with his family ... and me ... in Toowoomba (where I was in my final year of a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism at USQ). While he was home, he sold his microwave to buy a ring and asked me to marry him. After a brief moment of thought ... I said yes ... of course! :0) We were friends first, then girlfriend and boyfriend, fiancé and fiancée, then husband and wife and the best part ... he's still my best friend! We've had quite a few adventures in the last 18 years - good and not so good! - and I wouldn't change a thing!! Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!!! (yes, he DOES read my blog ... HE says so he knows what he's been up to ... supposedly! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

So ... that's the end of my random ramblings for today. No finishes to report that I can add to my OPAM list, but I still have a few days left in September, so who knows. OH!! Before I forget ... if you LOOOOOOOOVE Christmas and all that the festive season entails, hop across to visit my blogging buddy Kerryanne, cos she's got something that is SURE to gladden your deck-the-hall hearts!!! :0) Right now ... I'm off to pop on the kettle and brew up a pot of lavender tea. Hope your week is off to a fabulous start! Til next time ...


Thursday 16 September 2010

Blooming Butterflies At Craft Retreat!

Do you remember last month when I said I had finished the sample for a project I'm teaching at a craft retreat in November? Well ... even if you CAN'T remember, I DID tell you ... so there! Hmmm ... this is like a conversation with my Beloved Geek Boy! Tee! Hee! Hee! But back on track ... This will be the fourth year I've headed 45 minutes north of Toowoomba to Lake Perseverance to take part in the Creative Craft Retreat and the third time I will be teaching a class ... if anyone books into it! :0)

Janelle is chief organiser of the retreat and she has just posted the information brochure and sign up form on the Creative Craft Retreat blog, so now I can show you what I will be teaching ... if anyone books into my class! :0) Ready ...

TA! DA! Introducing "Blooming Butterflies". Yep - more of my yummy "Aviary" stash was used to make this pretty bag. :0) This is a fairly large tote bag with a quilted base, 'quilt-as-you-go' strip piecing, a drawstring closure, nice wide strap and an inside pocket for your mobile phone, keys etc. It's 'gussied up' with some blanket-stitch appliqué featuring some cheerful yellow daisies in bloom and some brightly coloured butterflies fluttering around. This is the project I will TEACH at the retreat, but the pattern will also include instructions for ...

A covered journal/sketch pad to match, which also has a blooming daisy and a flutterby. These are quick, simple projects that are pretty, practical and make great gift ideas.

The Creative Craft Retreat is on the weekend of November 5-7 (arriving Friday night and heading off after lunch Sunday) so if you'd like to come along and join in the fun (and there is ALWAYS plenty of fun, chatting and laughter happening!!) then pop across to the Creative Craft Retreat blog and download the registration form. You've got until October 8 to register ... If you want to come play too! :0)

And for you gals who live too far away to come and play (though I'm not sure that living in Norway or Sweden is a good enough excuse for missing out! Tee! Hee! Hee!) but have fallen in love with my newest design, NEVER FEAR! I'll be releasing "Blooming Butterflies" as a pattern packet after the retreat is over, so stay tuned. :0)

Right now, though ... I'm off to play in the sewing room to do a bit more on Tiffy's quilt. The clock is ticking and starting to alarm me somewhat - EEK! :0) November isn't that far away!! Hope you're having a fabulous week! Til next time ...


Monday 13 September 2010

Huge Weekend!!

PHEW!!! Who knew you could pack SO MUCH into one weekend! :0) I think my poor eyes are just about hanging out of their sockets on stalks today, but it really was a fabulous weekend. I'll see if I can condense my adventures so poor Chookyblue doesn't need TWO cuppas to get to the end of it! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK ... so ... Mum and Dad arrived Friday morning so my Beloved Geek Boy and I could travel down the hill with them to my cousin's wedding so we only had to worry about parking and toll payments for one vehicle. We managed to get to the winery where the wedding was held without taking the 'scenic route' (our code for 'where the heck are we?!?!' Tee! Hee! Hee!) and as well as witnessing the beautiful wedding of my Cousin Samantha, we got to catch up with some of my mad rellies who had converged from all over Australia and another cousin had even flown in from New Zealand where she is currently studying. Talk about INSANITY!!! :0) I'm the shy quiet one of my family ... so that will give you all a little bit of an idea just how crazy the rest of the clan are! Tee! Hee! Hee! We piled ourselves back into the car to drive home after the reception, tumbling into bed well after midnight.

Saturday saw a frenetic round of shopping with Mum and Dad, who usually catch up on grocery shopping and errand running when they hit the 'big smoke' of Toowoomba. Then it was time to wave good-bye to them, re-make the guest bed, have a cup of tea and welcome my bestest-buddy-since-we-were-nine Lynette. We had dinner (Moroccan lamb  done in the slow cooker - YUMMO!) and enjoyed a short chat ... only about three hours without drawing breath! Tee! Hee! Hee! Then we hit the sack to get our beauty sleep before heading out to the Village Green at Highfields on Sunday morning to once again enjoy ...

YAY!! This annual event is hosted by the lovely Marion and her troop of hard-working elves at Quilters Angel and it is always FABULOUS!! This was the third year Lynette and I had booked ourselves in for a day of stitching, chatting and spoiling and we were NOT disappointed! In fact, we had a BLAST! :0)

This year's SDDO theme was "Christmas Wishes" and the guest designers were Lynette Anderson of 'Lynette Anderson Designs', Anni Downs of 'Hatched and Patched' and Natalie Bird of 'The Birdhouse'. Each of these lovely and clever ladies had designed two projects especially for SDDO participants and we started the day off with a welcome and a 'show and tell' from the designers ...

There's Anni, Natalie, Lynette telling us about her fabulous new fabric range and the lovely Maid Marion herself. And the projects we were treated to??? You're going to be jealous! :0)

This is the "Happy Christmas Cushion" designed by Natalie ...

"Dear Santa ... Table Runner" designed by Lynette ...

"Here Comes Santa Christmas Stocking" designed by Natalie and made up in some of Lynette's yummy Christmas fabric range ...

"Little Stockings" designed by Lynette ... also made from her yummy Christmas fabrics ...

"Christmas Stamp Pockets" designed by Anni ... aren't these just too cute?!?! This is the project both Lynette and I found in our goodies bag to work on for the day and the little stitcheries are not only fun to stitch, but quick to finish. Of course ... that doesn't mean I actually FINISHED one of mine, cos there was lots of chatting, looking, admiring and munching to do, too! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And last but not least was Anni's second design,  "Tree Of Christmas Cheer". See?? I TOLD you you'd be jealous! :0)

Once show and tell was over, Marion FINALLY let us delve into our goodies bags. Here's Lynette discovering her treats ...

We had some lovely ladies at our table to chat to, some stitching to do, so off we went. Here's everyone hard-a-stitchin' ...
As always, Marion and her merry band of hard-working elves had done a beautiful job of setting the scene for us. Each table had a stylised patchwork Christmas tree with our table number and there were festive decorations galore around the marquee, as well as displays of gorgeous project samples from our three clever-clogs guest designers. With an atmosphere like that, we couldn't help but be creative! :0)

Of course, throughout the day as well as enjoying a yummy morning tea, lunch and plum pudding and custard afternoon tea, Marion had organised HEAPS of lucky door prizes and competitions. It was during one of these ... sing a Christmas carol ... that we discovered I have Christmas-Carol-Lyric-itus ... put on the spot, I could not for the life of me remember ALL of the words to ONE single carol - just snippets from a whole lot of them!!! In the end, Anni nominated I sing "O Christmas Tree" ... let's just say I'm pretty sure the author of said song did NOT include "La, la, la, la, la, la, la" in the original version of the song! Tee! Hee! Hee! However, giggling fits and terminal embarrassment aside, it won me something rather special ...

A jelly roll of gorgeous "Flag Day" fabrics ... the same faded blue and red tones I'll be playing with when I make my "Rural Jardin" quilt! How spoilt was I?!?! :0) Thanks Marion!!

It was lovely to chat to Lynette, Anni and Natalie throughout the day as they wandered around the tables chatting and giving mini demonstrations and it was especially great to catch up with Lynette again, having enjoyed a dinner date with her and her beloved, Vince, during our beach holiday. Oh wait ... I now have a COLLECTION of Lynettes - which they both assured me was the NICEST sort of collection to have! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Lynette, Lynette and yours truly. Hmmm ... Lynette and I make Lynette look like an Amazon! OK ... THAT was a little confusing! Tee! Hee! Hee!

All in all, it was a FANTASTIC day as always. Thanks Marion, Steph and your team of exceptionally hard-working elves!! We had a HOOT! About the only complaint we had for the day was that it went by WAY too quickly! :0) Lynette and I have already decided we'll be back again next year for more stitching - maybe some of you would like to join us! The details are all on Marion's web site, so pop across and check it out. Next year's theme is "Down The Garden Path" ... should be GREAT!

There you have it - my HUGE weekend. I think it will take me a little while to catch up on some sleep, but having kicked my cold (thank you all for your well-wishes!!) and the onset of some warmer spring weather, I'm actually feeling pretty energetic, so who knows what I might manage to tackle this week. Hope your weekend was as enjoyable as mine ... even if it wasn't QUITE as action-packed! :0) Til next time ...



PS. The seven gals who won prizes at the start of September ... your prizes will be going in tomorrow's mail, so you can start stalking your posties! Tee! Hee! Hee! BH! KRIS

PPS. Hi Debbie! Couldn't email you cos you're a no-reply blogger, but thanks for sharing the table and lots of laughs with us! BH! KRIS

Friday 10 September 2010

What Has Taken Up My Week?!

Wow! It's a week since I last posted - once again someone seems to be pinching a few hours out of every day, so by the end of the week I've lost a few days, by the end of the month I've lost a couple of weeks and by the end of the year ... I'm REALLY going to be in trouble! :0) Not a lot going on this week ... hence no posting ... but I thought I'd catch you up on what HAS been going on in the Meares' Madhouse this week.

Yep ... another head cold ambushed me after a really busy few weeks, followed by a heavy rehearsal schedule last week for "After Five", the vocal ensemble I'm part of. We had some performances with a couple of long dress rehearsals, plus a change of weather and all combined to freshen up the cold I thought I'd shaken. RATS! So, I didn't operate on all 6 cylinders most of the week ... everything seemed to take so much more energy than usual. However, I DID manage to do a bit.

Remember last month I told you I'd finished the top of another stacked coin quilt ... the photo of which I accidentally deleted? Well, I picked it up from my quilting magician, the lovely Rosalie, this week and attached and stitched down the binding so it was ready to give as a wedding gift to one of my cousins ... TODAY! Yep, a Friday wedding that has thrown us into a bit of organisational chaos, but, HEY ... we're fairly used to chaos in this house! Tee! Hee! Hee! Here's the finished quilt ...

I've used some charm packs I bought from Sarah last year ... "Oddysea" ... and the binding is the yummy chocolate spotty dotty fabric I bought during my holiday patchwork shop-hopping. See ... I TOLD you I'd find a use for it all ... eventually! Tee! Hee! Hee! Here's a bit closer look at Rosalie's lovely quilting ...

Hope you can see it OK ... lots of lovely swirly curls and soft curves. I was really pleased with how it came up and I hope my cousin and her new hubby love it, too.

The only other sewing for the week (in between trips to the tissue box to blow my poor dripping nose!!!) was making a start on a quilt for my sort-of-sister, Tiffy. She turns 21 in November and asked ... VERY nicely!! ... if I could please make her a quilt ... sort of like my "Fairy Bears And Butterflies" design ... but without the bears! WHAT THE?!?!?! No bears!!! I nearly disowned her, but decided not to after all! :0) Oh ... a few of you have asked why Tiffy is my "sort-of-sister". Well ... she began boarding with Mum and Dad about 5 years ago while she finished senior, wanting to finish her senior certificate with her friends though her parents had moved away from Mundubbera. And ... well ... she's still there! Tee! Hee! Hee! So, we've sort of  'absorbed' Tiffy into our family, making her my 'sort-of-sister'. See? All makes sense ... sort of! Tee! Hee! Hee! However ... I digress ... Here's the start of her quilt ...

Some more charm squares I bought from Sarah ... I think these are from the "Frenzy" range. I was originally going to be putting some appliqué features on this central patchwork section, too, as I did in my "Fairy Bears" quilt, but the fabrics are so bright that I think the appliqué would be lost, so I've actually decided to put a lighter border on the outside of this section and appliqué the butterflies that Tiffy liked onto that lighter background ... a bit like in "Butterfly Hunt" ... to give you a vague mental picture ... which is about all I have when I start projects! Tee! Hee! Hee! Will show you my progress on this quilt as I make some. By the way ... My Beloved Geek Boy keeps going mad at me for not remembering to tell you all that a number of my patterns are now available as e-patterns, or downloadable patterns on my web site ... just in case you can't wait for the postie or just want to save a bit on the postage costs ... so you can buy more patterns! Tee! Hee! Hee! Pop over HERE if you'd like to take a peek at my downloadable patterns. Eventually, ALL of my patterns will be available in the downloadable format, it will just take a little bit of time to do some scanning etc. Will let you know! :0)

Anyways ... I'd better go get myself all kitted out for this wedding ... driving down the hill to attend ... in the rain ... that was supposed to show up yesterday ... typical!! Big weekend here, but no time to tell you about it now - I promise to report back ... with photos! :0) Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and manage to set aside a little time to be creative. Til next time ...



Friday 3 September 2010

OOPS!!! I Forgot!!!

Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear!!

What a slack blogger I am!!! I announce a pattern launch giveaway and then forget to announce the winners!!! All I can say is ... "OOPS!" it's been a busy week! :0)

So here I am, back to remedy the situation. Firstly, can I say a big "Thank You!" to you all for sharing your teddy tales. I so loved reading about everyone's favourite teddy! Some stories made me giggle, some brought tears to my eyes and some were just cute. And they made me realise that I don't really HAVE a favourite bear story! Shocking, I know!! For one thing ... in a house with as many bears as ours, I can't really play favourites, or the others would sulk. :0) But secondly, like Julia, I didn't actually have a bear as my childhood companion ... I had Sam the brown corduroy sausage dog ...

Here's Sam in his retirement splendour. He's been home-made and was bought from a street stall for me when I was only a few weeks old, so he's been with me for around 40 years. As a child, I did EVERYTHING with Sam. If I had a needle, so did Sam and he has a couple of bald spots now where his corduroy fur was pulled away by the bandaids. :0) Poor Sam is looking a little worse-for-wear these days, cos as my favourite Indiana Jones quote says,

"It's not the YEARS, Honey, it's the MILEAGE!!"

And BOY, did Sam cover some miles with me obviously!! Tee! Hee! Hee! His neck is a bit wobbly and he lost his tail in a car-door incident during a family trip to Alice Springs (he doesn't like to talk about is!!!), but he's still enjoying life and lording it over the bears and dolls in the spare room! :0)

So ... to the winners of the pattern giveaway. I put the random generator to work and we have some winners ... drum roll please ...

(couldn't find a blog address)

Congratulations gals! I hope you enjoy playing with your new patterns when they arrive and I'd love to see photos of your finished quilts. If you can all send me your snail mail addresses, I'll pop your prizes in the mail next week ... when I'll also post the OPAM end of month winners. Gee ... my little mate Raymond at the post office is going to fascinated by all the different places I'm posting things off to this week! I'm sure I'm his entertainment for the week whenever I go in, cos I post things off to so many places in the world ... I think he's always a little disappointed if I'm ONLY posting within Australia! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And now I'm off to pop some washing in while the spring sunshine is shining. Wishing you all a sunshiny weekend full of fun and relaxing! Til next time ...


Wednesday 1 September 2010

Fabric Frenzy & Some Winners!

After leaving almost a week between posts, I'm now back for the second day in a row ... bet you're surprised! :0) Peg and I have finished our blog-hopping in record time to collect OPAM end of month finishes, so I thought I'd put you all out of your suspenders quickly ... after I tell you about my fabric-frenzy kind of day! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Today was the Quilters Angel's 6th birthday celebrations and Marion and Steph celebrated in style with a HUGE store-wide sale. Sorry I didn't let you know about it, but I was keeping all the fabricy goodness for myself completely unaware that the day had rolled round so quickly! :0) I was actually pretty well behaved, but a few pieces of yummy fabric DID follow me home ... you just KNEW they would, right?! :0) Here's what joined my stash ...

Yes ... some more of the DELICIOUS "Aviary" range followed me home AGAIN ... I'm finding this smallish floral print is fabulous to mix and match in lots of different projects, so re-stocked my stash of it. I don't know what I'm going to make out of the third piece, but it was just so darn CUTE that I grabbed half a metre and am sure I'll find a way to use it sooner or later ... what with the 9 nephews and 3 nieces always seeming to have birthdays looming! :0) I also bought a couple of other pieces, but they were a 'just because' surprise for a friend and I forgot to photograph them before I dropped them into her ... just couldn't wait to hand them over! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks for a VERY generous sale, Marion and Steph and may the next six years bring even bigger and brighter adventures your way!! :0)

Now, the other fabric that added to my frenzy today was delivered (in the usual GENTLE - NOT! way) by the postie. After many hours of drooling over a layer cake of "Rural Jardin" yumminess, moaning over how my second favourite range was fast disappearing from shops and wishing I could justify stretching the budget to add some to my stash for a 'just for me' quilt,  my Beloved Geek Boy said, "Go ahead and buy it." Aaaaawww isn't he a SWEETIE! :0) So I hopped on the Fat Quarter Shop web site and today, this arrived ...

MMMMMMMM!!!! Rural Jardin!!!! :0) I know just what I'm going to do with this fabricy yumminess (after I've admired, stroked and played with it for a while of course!!) I'm going to make a simple 5"square quilt that simply shows off the delicious colours and patterns in this range. I love that the soft reds and blues look like they were once-upon-a-time vibrant and bright and have since become faded and slightly worn with age, love and lots of use. Not sure when I'll actually get to do this, but ... I will have my "Rural Jardin" all ready to play with when I manage it. :0)

OK ... I think I've kept you all in suspense long enough ... now to the August end-of-month winners for OPAM. This month, there were 535 projects finished by all you clever gals! How GREAT is THAT!!! :0) Obviously, lots of you were far more productive than me this month! :0) WELL DONE! And another WELL DONE to the gals who, like me, have been stitching away on bigger projects and have made some good progress, even if you can't record any finishes just yet. Remember ... OPAM is meant to be a low-stress challenge and the main thing is to ENJOY your creating. Alrighty then ... drumroll please ... the randomly chosen winners this month are ...

CONGRATULATIONS! If you three lovely ladies would like to email me with your snail mail addresses, I shall post your prizes to you early next week. A big thanks again to all of you who emailed the number of your finishes to Peg or I ... it is so much appreciated and keeps us from going completely cross-eyed! Tee! Hee! Hee!

And now that I've shared my Fabric Frenzy and the August OPAM winners with you ... I'm off to do something about dinner. I hope you're all having a great week so far. Spring has sprung here in Australia and even our fickle 'top of the hill' weather turned on a warm sunny day today to celebrate - AAAAHHHH!! I can feel myself thawing out and the batteries recharging already! :0) Til next time ...

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