Saturday, 28 February 2015

Lets Book It February Finish

Feeling very, very guilty!!

Last week I picked up a top I had started in May 2014 for the Lets Book It Challenge run by Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts.  I first told you about it here and here.

Just to refresh your memory, this was the pattern in the old magazine which inspired me.  I did say right up front that my version wouldn't really resemble the original pattern.

This is where it was at when I picked it up.  I had combined two different patterns to create a new applique design.

All I had to do to finish this was add one little border.  That's why I've been feeling guilty.
I found a nice green plaid which went well, and cut my strips.  Half an hour later it was done.

Doesn't look much like the original photo does it?  LOL
I also should have ironed it before I took these photos....

Its ready now to take down to Cabarita, as I have made it for Stitching Hearts.

Linking up with the Lets Book It linky party. 

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Friday, 27 February 2015


Well the congress is over and we played less than well.  Oh well, another year another congress.

Every year we come, there are more and more players.  This year was huge!   The congress is held in the Convention Centre at Broadbeach.  This is what it looked like from our table on day one.

There were 208 teams in the Open, 36 teams in the Seniors, 86 teams in the Intermediate, 72 in Restricted and 34 in the Restricted.  With 4 players at the table for each match, that is 1744 players at 436 tables.  Many teams were made up of 5 or 6 players.  That's a lot of players.
They came from all over Australia, and there were many international teams as well.  China, Taiwan, other Asian countries, and a huge representation from New Zealand.
After worrying about the weather (cyclone here the Friday before we arrived) the weather was lovely.  Warm, not too hot, no rain, but quite humid.  Altogether quite comfortable.  I think it is the first year in at least 10 that I haven't had to use my umbrella.
Today was a lay day for us before we head out home in the morning.  We spent it at the hotel pool...


Walking on the beach....

Looking north toward Surfers Paradise (tallest building)

Broadbeach & south.

I also had a stroll through the shopping centre here, and scored a new pair of sandals, on sale what's more.

There's a cute Tea Shop on the first floor.  Which had a showcase full of zany tea pots. Apologies for the reflections.  Photos taken through glass, so there were reflections on all four sides, plus top and bottom. 

These two were pure Alice in Wonderland - a fox on the left, and the queen bee on the right.  Really made me smile.

And these two were an owl and a chook.  Such fun! I'd have loved them all to add to my little collection.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching

amongst the panic and the chaos.  We leave early tomorrow for Queensland, but I am determined to have some quiet downtime in front of the TV tonight after dinner.

This last week or so I have done some dressmaking for my mother-in-law.  She is in her nineties and doesn't get out much any more.  Besides, she has always hated buying clothes because she reckons she is an "odd shape".  Aren't we all??  Any way that's what I do for her.  Its hard work though as she is in the UK and I am in Australia!  The plan is to take a few things with me in April when we go to visit.

So I started off making some light weight cotton trousers for her.  Not quite finished as I still have to complete the waistband and hem them.

I'm not happy with them.  What I was aiming for is a cute pair of harem pants like these ones of mine....

You know what I mean, elastic at the waist and ankle and a bit baggy.  Well she doesn't like dark clothes which is why I chose the grey, but the herringbone pattern on the fabric makes them look like convicts' pants.  Not much I can do about it now.  They are way too big for me, so will finish them and take them with me in April when we go to the UK.  I don't care if she never wears them.  At least I tried.
Perhaps I'll just go up to Rivers and buy her a pair like mine - they are dirt cheap at Rivers.
I am much happier with the skirt. 

It is the prettiest turquoise blue.  I know she will love that colour.  And that is what I will be doing tonight - hemming it.  Usually I do that using a blind hem stitch on my machine, but this skirt is cut on the bias, and that makes it difficult to machine hem because the fabric tends to gather and buckle a bit.  Much easier to manage by hand.

Linking up with Kathy at Kathy's Quilts today.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Another Pink Post

February is the month for playing with pink scraps if you are participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

During the week, I went through my box of pink scraps and pulled a bunch of 3" squares.  Now if you have followed me for a while, you will know that periodically I cut my scraps into squares & strips so that I always have piles of precut scraps.  I was determined to only use the precuts for this project.  I got together every pink 3" square I could find where I had two of the same colour.

That's where my resolve fell over though, because I had a hard time finding 2 x 2" squares of the same fabrics to make up my bow tie blocks.  I matched as best I could, and here is what I came up with:

I took my little baggie of prepped squares to Friday Quilters yesterday and got going on this.
I had a love affair with my unpicker....

(only showing you one of the bloopers.  LOL)
And by the end of the morning I had them almost done.  I finished them off this morning.

16 little bow ties.   I have only repeated one fabric - the two in the top left.  I am happy. 
During the week I began cutting pink scraps for a quilt for my friend's brand new baby, Elena, who was born on Thursday.  I am planning a quilt using Road to Tennessee blocks.  Not much done of that to show you.
Linking up at soscrappy.  Why not go take a look at what the others have done this week for the RSC.
This morning I walked down the street to the house at the end.  The old boy died in December, and his wife has been moved into a nursing home.  The house is sold and there was a garage sale going on there.  Even though I barely knew them I felt so sad.  The stuff was not wonderful, most of it was old without being fabulous, but it belonged to them and it was their treasured possessions.  I picked up a pretty little fine china mug, and a small antique occasional table - both for $5.  That made me even sadder.  Am I a romantic?
We leave on Monday for a week on the Gold Coast (Queensland).  We are playing in a Bridge Congress there, so no holiday, and no sewing, although I have packed a hand sewing project.  We shall see how much I get done of that.  The weather forecast is grim for the next few days at least - a category 5 cyclone hit the coast of Queensland yesterday not far from the Gold Coast and there has been torrential rain.  Planning to pack my plastic mac as well as the umbrella!

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Birthday Lunch

Yesterday was the Dearly Beloved's birthday, so I thought I would treat him to a mystery lunch.

It was an absolutely glorious summer day.  In these parts it is hard to keep anything a mystery for long, and since I had not blindfolded him, the DB soon guessed the destination, and then the restaurant we were going to even though we had never been there before.

We ate in the courtyard of the Fat Goose at Hardy's Bay, at a table hidden by that hedge you can see.

After a yummy lunch we strolled out onto the little wharf.  The ferry comes by twice a day.  This cormorant was not nervous enough to fly away, but watched us carefully.

The wharf is quite a long one, as the bay is tidal and there is a long stretch of mud flats at low tide.  This is a little tribe of baby Blue Swimmer Crabs.

They are delicious to eat once they get to a decent size.  Boy did these little jobs move fast!  There were loads of other critters in those mud flats as well.
There is a small marina to the right of the wharf, and loads of boats anchored out from it.

And this is the view off to the left of the wharf.

We then decided to drive around to the next suburb, Wagstaffe.  It is a pretty drive around the bay, and Wagstaffe itself is a sweet little hamlet.  The General Store is typical of those you find in the Australian countryside.

We bought a couple of ice creams there and demolished them quickly - we had to, because the sun was melting them almost quicker than you could get them to your mouth.
There is a tiny wharf here too, that the ferry visits after it has been to Hardy's Bay.

Next to the wharf is a tiny beach, and yes, those are private jetties you can see there.

I think I could force myself to live here.  What about you?
Opposite the General Store is the Community Hall, which has a lovely serene little park (above).  We stopped for the obligatory selfie much to the DB's disgust.

So that was our little birthday jaunt.
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Playing with Pink

If you are here for the Grow Your Blog Party, my post for that is here.

The colour of the month for February is Pink in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year.  So yesterday I dug out my pink scraps for a play. 

Now you would be forgiven for thinking that my pink scrap bins are overflowing.  I do have 3 grand daughters after all.  But actually, there's not very much at all. 

I did however, find enough pretty pinks to make up a Crossroads block. 

Those squares look pale blue, but they are in fact white.  The block is so easy to make up and will come together quickly because its a 12.5" one.
Next up was the big Twinkler Star block.  I found a bunch of dusky pink scraps for that. 

See that square in the bottom row middle?  It had been pinked on every edge.  I loathe sewing with pinked edges, as they are so hard to sew!!  What do you line up to when you are sewing the seam?  The peaks or the valleys?  Normally I cut anything with a pinked edge down to a straight edge, but I hadn't done that with this square, or the other half dozen of his mates.  I don't think this one has ended up square.
Linking this post up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge at soscrappy.

Tl next time.....Keep on stitching

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Several Finishes

If you are visiting from the Grow Your Blog Party, my post for that is here.

I have been a busy little bee in the last couple of weeks.  Too many blog visits (for the Grow Your Blog Party) and not enough blogging!  LOL.  So now I need to show you what I have been doing.

First off the rank I think is the quilt I finished for Aussie Heroes.

I first told you about that quilt here.  For this I put together some blocks made for a BOM by the AHQ Community.  I did have to make a bunch myself though.  It is a flimsy and I won't be quilting it, so it will go to Jan-Maree next time I go to Sydney that way.  I need to make up a second one which is still at the "pile of blocks" stage, but they are not at the top of the priority list at the moment.
A couple of weeks back, I finished off the commission quilt I am making.

Thankfully the girl loves it and will be taking it to a long arm quilter at her leisure.  I will get it back once that is done to put the binding on. 
Next up is this little lap quilt which I have made for Stitching Hearts.  I first told you about it here.

If you have read that post, you will know that I found the medallion in my cupboard during a clean up.  I also found the pile of dire HSTs.  I duly unpicked every single one of them (yes, I know I am an idiot!), and then selected those I wanted to use in this quilt, and paired them up with some cream tone on tone, which actually looks rather nice.  That is what is in that second last border. 
Now you are going to want to go refresh your memory of the dire triangles, aren't you?  I'll wait while you go do that...... 

..... see what I meant?  Anyway, I took it to Cabarita last week, and the ladies seemed to think it was all right.  Now to work out what to do with the bazillion HSTs I still have in that little plastic baggie.  Thankfully they are all minus their dire partners. 

Last of all, the saga of The Dress is over.  It. Is. Done.  And I have worn it, what's more.

I told you of the disaster here.  The upshot of the deal is that Spotlight were great, and found me a half metre of the fabric in their Campbelltown store (thank you Mr. Spotlight).  It arrived at great expense - that half metre cost more than I paid for the original 2.25 metres.  I'd bought the first lot on sale, and this lot had postage on top of the full price of the fabric.  Oh well, at least the dress is now made and wearable.

The Man got cross with me and kept telling me to stand still and not show off.  But hey!  This was my moment of glory on the cat walk and I had no intention of standing "up straight"

Now that's done, I'm heading downstairs to do some sewing.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

On My Design Wall (Floor)

** If you are here visiting for the Grow Your Blog Party, you'll find my post for that here. **

Last time I went to a sewing day at Aussie Hero Quilts, I picked up two packs of BOM blocks made by the AHQ community.  I decided now was the time to get on with it and make something from them. 

So on Sunday I picked up the first pack, which was basically navy and red.  The first job was to trim down all the blocks to the same size, which turned out to be 8" square.  The blocks were made by at least two different people, and I found a bit of variation in the construction.  Sadly, I lost a few points in the trimming process.

Note the artistic addition of the reflection of my hands.  LOL.  Has anyone worked out a way to photograph a ruler without the reflections?
Here is the stack of trimmed and pressed blocks.

AHQ quilts are made to fit Defence Force cots which are long and skinny, so we make them 42" x 72".  This means that I needed 45 x 8" blocks, and as I only had 22 given to me, I had to make 23 more.  
Monday was an at home day, which meant I could really get stuck into this.  First thing, I made up these blocks (in multiples, so I would have enough).
I was really pleased to find some stars which were very like the ones in the blocks I had already.
I also dug out this panel.  I had about 6 of these given to me a long time back, and I was pleased to find a use for it.  To make it up to size and to make it blend in, I put a navy border on it.  It replaces 6 blocks.  Bonus!

All done and ready to sew up.....  I was chuffed to see that I had enough of the various blocks to make up a bit of a pattern.

As it stands, I have sewn the rows from the bottom up and have pieced together up to and including the panel. 
Linking up with Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.  Lots of eye candy there if you'd like to take a look.
Til next time.....Keep on Stitching.