Wednesday, December 30, 2009

View from a Window

While things are quiet on the sewing front, here is a pic of my sewing room which is still not in proper order since the Big Move from my son's former bedroom at the back of the house but we'll get there.....some time!  :-)  I have to admit I did not attempt to tidy it before taking the photo - it is au naturel!  This room is actually our rumpus room (or as the builders called it, the solarium) and there are windows almost all around it.  If I'd had my time again I would not have had floor to ceiling windows because I don't really like furniture in front of windows.  Then at least I could have had some low-lying furniture.  Anyway, this is what I have so I am making the best of it.  Must say I do like having the extra space!

Now here are the views from the window you can see in the pic above.  It is the corner of our back garden - very bushy but it is a favourite part of the garden.  Over the fence is an enormous reserve where our dog, Minnie, loves to go for her walks.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Final Christmas Flaunt

This is to show my 12 Days of Christmas, a Work in Progress from a little while back but unfortunately it's destined to remain that for this year.  However, I am quite stoked at the way it's turned out even though my original idea was to do something quite different with the blocks.  I had thought to do a swag with the 12 blocks but I soon realised the embroideries were far too large for that, so a wallhanging it became.  The embroidery designs are from Embroidery Library ( and the text on the sashing is inbuilt on my machine.  I still like the idea of these embroideries being used in a swag so I have since bought a set of smaller designs so maybe next year will see the swag!

Close ups of Block 7 (Seven Swans a-Swimming) and 9 (Nine Ladies Dancing)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Queen Victoria Building

Last week we did a train trip to the city as we do from time to time.  The intention was to look at the Christmas decorations around the city and do a little shopping.  We got off at Town Hall and began to wander through the Queen Victoria Building which is one of my fave things to do when in the city.  Before we knew it, we'd been there an hour or more and that was just looking.  In  the atrium area there was a gigantic Christmas tree (naturally artificial :-)) and here are a few pics of it.

Many more years ago than I care to remember, when I first came to Sydney to live, I worked for the Council of the City of Sydney.  Amongst other things, the QVB housed the City Library and and believe it or not, the Staff Dentist, so I remember it under a very different guise to what it is today.  How fortunate Sydney is to have had this grand old lady restored to a semblance of its former glory.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kris Kringle Flaunt

This is another Kris Kringle flaunt which I made for Jan in one of my quilting groups.  We exchanged gifts yesterday on a lovely Nepean River cruise luncheon which we all attended complete with tiaras but unfortunately there is no pic to show.

The table mat has 16 Dresden plate segments topped with an appliqued circle.  It really was very easy to make as Pellon was the only batting and it was bagged rather than bound.  If anyone is thinking of trying it I would suggest that you applique the circle after the mat has been turned outside in - much easier to get it flat, I think.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A couple of flaunts actually

Some of you may have seen this via SCQuilters (Aussie-based mail group) but I decided to have a go at it before I found the proper instructions.  Actually, I didn't do too badly but the instructions made the triangles much faster to do!  This one became part of a Kris Kringle gift but if I have time I may just make another for myself!

You can find instructions for making the triangle units at and click on Creative Grids Rulers.

I couldn't not show this beautiful little Christmas wreath made by my friend Bev for me!  Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Autumn in Holland

I've been meaning to post these photos which were taken recently on our rather hurried visit to Holland for my MIL's funeral, and as my creative output lately has been nil, here they are.  It was not exactly a pleasure trip because of the reason we went and the encroaching northern winter but I was entranced by the beautiful autumn foliage that signifies colder days are around the corner.

Isn't it beautiful!

I couldn't resist a photo of these colourful ornamental pumpkins, ready to be bought for autumn decorating.  Quite inedible, but they made a very attractive picture.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just a catch up for now

My friend Bev commented today that it's a while since I posted so for those who have followed me, here's what's been happening.

First of all, a happy ending to the Missing Milly story.  Believe it or not, she had taken up residence just down around the corner!  A young girl who did not know about microchipping found her and took her in.  She did advertise in the Canberra Times but DD Belinda did not see the ad.  Finally, Belinda stuck a poster to a box and left it at a set of traffic lights nearby and the girl saw it and realised it was Milly she'd been looking after!  She rang Belinda and Dale and within minutes (probably!) there was a happy reunion.  The girl was rather sad at having to relinquish Milly and asked whether there was a possibility of getting a dog like her (Cav/Shihtzu/Maltese) but no, there wasn't.  Milly herself was an 'accident'.

That isn't the end to the doggie saga.  A week or two later, Rex decided to proclaim his territory to the Rottweiler next door.  This was too much for the Rotty who could not take this little whippersnapper's big brave/foolhardy act and jumped through a broken pailing in the fence and went for Rex's jugular and only just missed it.  If it had not been for a neighbour's quick thinking, Rex would now be no more.  At first it was thought he was dead, but no, that little heart was still beating, and he was taken to the vet to be stitched up.  Rex has almost recovered now, but, shall I say, his behaviour sometimes does not show his brain power to best advantage and he still makes a beeline for the side fence when let out.  A new fence is to be erected as soon as possible, so hopefully that and blocking up under all fences will put paid to this particular doggie saga!  I'm not sure how to add a caption so that it will go in the right place so for now, the above photo was taken a couple of years ago, not long after Milly joined the menagerie.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Blast from the Past

No sewing of note here this week......instead I have been busy moving my huge stash of sewing/fabric/books/patterns/miscellaneous items to a new room.  It long ago outgrew its previous home in my son's old bedroom and as there are only the two of us here now we don't really need all the living areas we have, so the rumpus room is to be my new bolthole.  It's a lovely room but the only problem is that it has four floor-to-ceiling windows/doors so the two available wall spaces will be crammed with cupboards, shelves etc.  Anyway, more on that later as it takes shape.

Instead, this week I am showing you the very first quilt I ever made.  It has a secondary tessellating pattern formed by the Bright Hopes block.  So easy and yet so effective.  It's a very good quilt for beginners with no triangles to contend with and so I taught this quilt as a first one for newbies at an evening college class a few years ago.  I have to confess that the way I went about it originally wasn't so clever though because I did it without instructions, sewing it completely from squares!  Also, one of the fabrics (dark green) I am sure is not cotton!!!  I still love it though.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Missing Milly

This is my daughter's missing 2 year old Cavalier-X.  She and her partner-in-crime, Rex (pictured) dug a hole under the fence and took off into the wilds of Canberran suburbia in the southern Tuggeranong area.  This is not the first time they have escaped their lovely roomy backyard and we are wondering why.  My daughter and her husband moved to the house less than two months ago, but the dogs have never appeared to try to go back to their former home so that doesn't appear to be the reason. 

Happily, Rex was found just three doors away, having followed a child home from school.  Normally both dogs have stayed together during their wanderings.  However, most search avenues (any many have been tried) are turning up little or nothing in the way of sightings.  As it's now five days since Milly was last seen, we are very worried for her safety.  She's a friendly dog so it's just possible she's just followed someone home.  Oh, and she is microchipped.  If you have seen her please phone 0409 379 659.

Thank you,

Friday, October 16, 2009


Didn't get too far with this;  hence a semi-flaunt :).  I had planned to make a swag of The 12 Days of Christmas, using embroidery designs from Embroidery Library ( but after I had sewn two narrow borders around the designs I realised I would have one very long swag as each block is more than 9" (around 23cm) square.  Second idea:  make a Christmas wallhanging but I won't say more at this stage and then I can save it for a Fully-Fledged Flaunt.  I do have one idea floating around.  I am also thinking I might buy a set of smaller designs to do a swag.  I mostly seem to go all out and buy the biggest designs my machine will take but just sometimes, the smaller designs would be preferable.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Little Flaunt

Not a big flaunt this week but I really like the idea of flaunting because without it, I would still be thinking about it, LOL.  This little bag came from one of the designs on DIY Bag Lover
DIY Bag Lover
Ooh, I am getting clever - I managed to put a link in - I think....

Anyway, the bag is of a heavy Indian cotton and lined with a tangerine-coloured fabric.  I embroidered a design on it before cutting it out.  It's OK as a small handbag but to be really useful, I think I need to enlarge the pattern a bit more - had a few difficulties with that and my printer.  Guess I could simply draw it, couldn't I?

Below is a close up of the embroidery:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Floriading in Canberra

Yesterday we spent the day at Canberra's famous annual Floriade display, although a good part of the time was spent looking for an elusive parking spot. We took our step-GD Jenna with us and I have to say she put a different perspective on the day out to what we've become used to but it was a lovely day seeing it through her eyes. We enjoyed a ride together on the ferris wheel but we baulked at the giant slide for some reason (!) although Jenna of course enjoyed it. She also enjoyed feeding a mother swan and her two downy cygnets on the lake while two step-grandparents thoughtshe was going to end up in the lake with them. Remember we are just Learners!

Unfortunately the some of the tulips were a little past their best but what an overall spectacular sight - whites, yellows, scarlets, pinks, blacks (really maroon), oranges and variegated. Some of the pictures below will show the splendor of the display. Another very pretty display was the coloured and lit lanterns which criss-crossed one of the walkways.

Jenna had a great time on the giant slide.

Aren't they beautiful!

Multi-coloured lanterns hung above a pathway.


These were the swan and cygnets Jenna fed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Death by Chocolate (and Cholesterol)

I am helping DD Belinda out by making a couple of chocolate mud cakes for a wedding cake she is decorating - for this coming weekend in Canberra! The 30cm (or 12") cake took 1.68 kg of chocolate and 1 kg of butter. Oh yes, also a cup of Kahlua coffee liqueur, apart from what seems excessive amounts of ingredients. Just as well it's a wedding cake and only small amounts will be eaten by the guests. It's enough to clog your arteries just looking at it :-).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flaunting Again

This Friday flaunting thing is very good for me. I am actually working towards having something to show and what is even better today is that all of the fabric came from my stash. The flower heads have been machine embroidered on a nice quality osnaburg and are quite detailed. They are Thimbleberries designs from Embroidery Library. I think they're gorgeous! When I first started making the top I had a yellow in the middle of the nine-patches to pick up the stamen colours but soon realised they were a bit overpowering and I replaced them.

Here are a couple of close-ups of the flowers to show the detail in them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Red Dawn

This is the world we woke up to this morning. Very weird and other worldly, it was due to red dust being blown across from a very dry western NSW. As I write this at around midday, thankfully our world is almost back to normal. Interesting while it lasted though! These photos were taken around our place but there are plenty more to see on the Sydney news sites.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tulip Time at Bowral

Yesterday, we had a family GTG for lunch in Bowral, it being as close as possible a halfway point between Sydney and Canberra where DD Belinda and her family live. It was a belated Fathers' Day celebration, the first attempt two weeks ago having to be cancelled, due to Belinda's two dogs going walkabout (that is another story but suffice it to say that happily they were found together, alive and well). By yesterday it had become an extra celebration, that of DS David's birthday.

After an enjoyable lunch at Palate Pleasures, we adjourned to the local park where Bowral's

famous tulips were on display, with the Tulip Festival beginning on the 24th September. The tulips were a multitude of colours, along with violas, bluebells and daisies. Jenna (almost 8 year old step-GD) was quite fascinated with the ladybirds and other bugs on some of the flowers. She told us the flowers she'd seen were much prettier. "Why?" we asked. "Because they had bugs on them," was the reply. Children do see things differently, don't they?

The day was finished by filing into the local patisserie for coffee and yummy cheesecake or icecream. Naughty but nice!
I wanted to show a couple more photos but having enough trouble getting these photos into line. I am obviously missing something :-(. Oh the fun of being a novice blogger......

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another Friday Flaunt

Hope I can keep this up every week! Today's Flaunt is a wallhanging I have made for the baby girl twins of a friend of my daughter. As you can see by the birthdate, it's been a while coming but at last it's finished, save for a few little details. The giraffes were embroidered using a design downloaded from the internet (that's another story - I think I'm addicted to buying designs online, LOL). One was done as is and for the other one, I mirror-imaged it. Still a few little things to attend to - maybe a tiny Suffolk puff between the babies' names and the date, a label (machine embroidered) and a rod pocket. Hope Peta (Mum) likes it and still has a space to hang it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

First Friday Flaunt!

Here it is: my first Friday Flaunt. It's a bullseye quilt (top) which I've pieced for one of the groups I belong to which makes quilts for children with cystic fibrosis so that when they have to go to hospital for treatment they have their own quilt to take. It is going to be longarm quilted which will be great :-).

It is an easy quilt to piece and a good way of using up novelty scraps. The blocks are 10" finished (11" cut) and I cut the circles 8", 6" and 4". The 4" came from the centre of the 8" circle because I felt it would add more interest to the quilt to have three circles. At first I wasn't sure about the sashing colour but those who saw it loved it. It's growing on me. It certainly gives a bit of zing to the quilt.