Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sewing for Swaps

All of my sewing this weekend has been working on my swap projects. These area sneak peek of bits and pieces from both of my swaps, the russian doll swap with I'm a Ginger Monkey and the cupcake swap with Rachael Rabbit. The table is covered with these projects, but I am more organised than I look. Getting there. :)

Thanks for all the nice comments about Ayden's adventure. He is really excited and we have been spending like mad. I thought I had read all the info, but I mustn't have taken it all in. Matt read out that he needed his bike helmet, $40 for the end of experience crayfish and $20 for the cheese allowance... I guess the last two are presents to take home. I hope they are presents to take home. Matt bought him a heap from at outdoor store today, and we hit Myer and Target yesterday. The kids travel to the Island in a light plane and have a 20kg luggage limit not including the weight of their laptops. Honestly, I don't know how it will all fit in.

Well, to distract myself I have signed up for another cupcake swap over at Red Geranium Cottage. Check out Rachael Rabbits cute cupcake tutorial too if you are feeling crafty. I've put these on the to-do list with the boys while they are on holiday

Thanks too for all the comments on the giveaway. I've got heaps of great new blogs to visit! I hope you all had a great weekend x Rachel

Friday, June 27, 2008

More stars to see..

Over the weekend I cleared up the dining table and packed all the sewing away, after catching up on the star quilt along. The sewing machine has been pretty neglected lately, and luckily the new star was available on Tuesday so I whipped it up. It had been a pretty mad day so it was great take the time to sew a nice easy star.

And the mini blocks all sewn and ready to be cut out for the "Sunshine in your Pocket" quilt.

Last night Ayden and I went off to the pre-King Island Experience meeting. King Island is a small island between Victoria and Tasmania in the Bass Strait. On the 15 July 14 year old Ayden and 28 year 9's from his school are off to King Island for 10 weeks. No mobiles, MP3's, TVs etc, not even HAIR PRODUCT. Lots of hiking, marine science, diving, surfing, cooking, cleaning and budgeting for themselves. My big strong case of denial is turning into a bit of frantic-ness, and I am really going to have to start sorting things out. Big big breath.

Have a great weekend all xx School holidays start today too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blog Giveway ~ Gift, Rosalie Quinlan's new book

Sorry, no show and tell today, because look what has arrived at my house! I had plans to post this giveaway at my 50th post, but it has been worth the wait.

I spent last night with my copy flicking, then flicking again, and emailing Rosalie to say how great it was. It has patterns for quilts, dolls, a bunny, cushions, gift bags, the cutest fabric pinwheels and get this .... Russian Matryoshka Doll stitcheries and Matryoshka Doll angels.

So I will send a copy of Gift, by Rosalie Quinlan to 1 blogger who leaves a comment on this post, or any other of my post until 12 noon on Tuesday 1 July. If you comment more than once, you have an extra chance. If someone comments that you sent them, there will be an extra chance for you too. There will be a little extra something from me too for the winner too.

Thanks to all the bloggers that make blogging fun!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday's catch up..

Up to date with the star quilt along. I hadn't used the sewing machine for over a week, so as soon as Matt left to go to his mates house on Saturday night, I finished off the last of the setting blocks and whipped up the last star. Big, very pleased with myself sigh!


On Saturday I met Bernadette from the Quilting B, who what just as lovely as I expected her to be. And look what Bernadette had for me! A pincushion and a bag tidier. I had never seen one before but I am so pleased with it. I've popped a few buttons and bits to show the little compartments, but I will be just perfect for me as I am always swapping bags and popping things into my laptop pockets. There was also some Faded Memories fabric that I begged from Bernadette to help on one of my projects. Thank you so much Bernadette!

I've also left 2 of my quilts with Bernadette to be machine quilted. Can't wait to see how they turn out :) .. but then I have to bind them don't I...

Callum had his grade 2 class mascot, Taz the Tassie Devil home for the weekend. He has been carted to swimming lessons, been photographed in every room of the house and had a few adventures outside. I let the kids go with the camera, so here is Taz meeting Buddy our rabbit and a cute pic with Maya. Don't kids take great pics!


I've finally finished drawing up my design for the I'm a Ginger Monkey Russian Doll swap. I was struggling with it a bit because of the fabric I had chosen. It's great fabric but I just couldn't get it right in my head. I ended up taking some dmc threads across to Ballarat Patchwork and showing Emma what I had, and she then took me over to fabric that matched my thread, and was more in my style. Now I am happy! So happy that I have even joined Rachael Rabbits Cupcake and Tea swap. Who would have thought that July is the busiest time for me at work for me?

I hope it was a great weekend for everyone!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Can you see the Kangaroos?

Happy Friday! I thought I would share a couple of pics from my trip to the Melbourne Wildlife Sanctuary. Victorian's who read the RACV magazine Royal Auto can see good pics and a story in the next issue.

In the pic with the wheelbarrow, the land in the background used to be a tennis court and cricket pitch and it has been allowed to return to bushland, and it is habitat to animals like these grey kangaroos that are playing "where's Wally" in the next pic.

The kangaroos are not in cages and they are not tamed but they are used to people, so this was as close as I was going to get!

I've finished another stitchery from the Sunshine in your Pocket book. 2 more large stitcheries and 6 little ones to go.

Tomorrow I'm off to meet Bernadette from the Quilting B to hand over two of my quilts to be machine quilted and too see what she is making at a class at Ballarat Patchwork. Well, after I iron them, measure them, buy the backing and batting and snip off a few ends .. is that what Jodie is talking about with "blog finishing"?

Only one more week of school before the holidays... and I have very tired little monkeys at the moment..

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Show and Tell Tuesday ~ Stars for the boys

For Show and Tell Tuesday I have picked the star quilt that I made for the boys over 4 years ago now. Its all pieced, even the border and the pattern was designed by Stargazey Quilts. This quilt is used nearly every day for cubby houses, keeping warm, playing lego on or wrapping up bears and dolls. Everything I could ever ask a quilt to be! (a bit of a quick pic .. not the best... very tired)


I've been out most of the day at a corporate day here. 20 staff from the Head Office of a national bank have been out planting trees and being photographed by a real photographer for an upcoming volunteering publication.


Around 1,000 trees were planted on the site today. Tomorrow I'm off to Melbourne for another project at the Melbourne Wildlife Santuary. Another couple of peaceful hours on the train to do a bit of stitching....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Grubs in the Garden..

It's been freezing here in Ballarat over the weekend. Not surprising really .. Ballarat is reknown for it! The boys have been kept pretty busy, swimming lessons at 9 am, then back home and a trip with Matt to the garden centre, with Maya too. Some of the winter vege seedings have been bought and planted in our tiered vegetable garden. The kids found heaps of huge worms under the composting straw and they are holding them in the pic. (nice action shot of Matt too...) The garden centre gave them all these blue beanies as part of some promotion and for being good little monkeys.

Maya was a bit worried about her grubby paws..


I bought the kids this french knitting bee with a pom pom maker and a bag of craft wool at Big W today. All the kids have had a go and they are so pleased with themselves, well, Maya's go was a bit of a disaster but easily fixed. Kane said that I hadn't had a pic of him on the computer for ages, so a nice posing shot of him.

I've done some chain piecing for the setting blocks for the star quilt along while the kids were busy. No, I'm not finished.... getting as far as I can with stolen moments.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Meet the Kangaroos


Meet the Kangaroos! Another nice little stitchery from Lynette Andersons Noah's Ark free block of the month. This one was really quick and the kids loved that I was stitching some kangaroos.

Lynette is also having a new pattern giveaway on her blog - be quick, it ends on Monday!

On Wednesday I hope to be meeting a few real kangaroos at the Melbourne Wildlife Sanctuary for work, tagging along with a journalist and photographer for one of the corporate programs I work on. Hopefully some nice pics to show you.

Have a great weekend all! Perfects weather for Saturday sewing, eating soup and listening to the footy here.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stars and stitching..


This week I have caught up with the stars for the star quilt along. I am feeling so pleased with myself, but have't started on the sashing blocks yet, maybe on the weekend. I am planning on doing them scrappy rather than the one colour, so that I can incorporate a few more fabrics and colours in the quilt. Using white frightens me a bit!

And here is a pic from the latest stitchery from the Sunshine in your Pocket book by Bronwyn Hayes. It's so nice stitching away at these now it's getting so cold and dark. x Rachel

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Show and Tell Tuesday ~ Mini Quilt and Maya's

For Show and Tell this week, I thought I would go for a nice little quilt. This is Maya's pram quilt and if there was every a disaster, this is one of our possessions I would grab and save. For lots of sentimental reasons I love it. Medical advice was no more than 2 children for me..

So here is it, made from lots of little 2 and a half inch squares, in the Seaside Rose range by three sisters. I bought the fabric all online so no one would guess I was having a little girl. Hand quilted in baby pink dmc thread.

And here is Val's mini quilt from Lucy's swap. I am so glad it arrived safely! I embroidered it, using some of the patterns by Bronwyn Hayes from her new pattern Quilt for a Daughter. Isn't it a good thing that Val likes pink!

Also very exciting, I joined the Russian Doll Swap at I'm a Ginger Monkey and my swap partner is Sarah at the Pesky Bombolino. Have a look at Sarah's blog! I'm so pleased that I have been introduced to Sarah and after having a look at her flickr account I am in desperate need for some new flower pin patterns!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Seeing Stars..

I managed a bit of unexpected sewing time on Saturday and didn't I take advantage of it! Three of the stars were made up from the Crazy Mom Quilts star quiltalong and a fourth today. It was good to test my accuracy and I have to admit that one piece was unpicked twice before I realised that a triagle had been stretched and needed a very careful bit of a trim to reshape it. Now I have made four blocks I can give some advice if you are doing it too - pin your blocks and mark the half points by folding and pinning where you can! It makes life a lot easier... shame the kids have magnetised my pins and its a struggle to seperate them!


And Lucy emailed that her mini quilt is there. So here is a pic! I can't wait to see it on Lucy's wall.

Linz and Katie can't make it until tomorrow, lots of cupcakes have been made and sausage rolls on the to-do list. I hope your weekend has been fantastic! x Rachel

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ruth's Quilt ~ ticked off the list..

I'm so pleased. My quilt top is finished! Very bad pics with the lighting this time of night, but after it is quilted and bound I will take a nice one. The sewing machine is going away for a couple of days so we can get our dining table back. Our friend Lindsey and her daugher Katelyn are coming to stay, travelling up from Adelaide, about 8 hours away. I can't wait to see them!



I can't believe it has taken me so long to make "Ruths Quilt". I loved the Living the Dream book, designed by Leanne Beasley. as soon as I got my hands on it. This pattern is great too, as you can personalise your blocks. Kids names and the a little sampler of the date Matt and I managed to get married make this quilt even more special for me. EDIT - just fixed my link.. thanks SandyQuilts!

It's a long weekend - hooray. So ready for a bit of a break. And also nice for my sister Christine - Happy Birthday Chris!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pretty things..

Happy World Environment Day! Phew, its been a big lead up, but hopefully I have a few happy corporate supporters out there for work. I went to a local event to help host today, a big barbecue and lost of smiling for people, local paper, handshakes and all of that.

Look what else made me smile! Jo's package arrived from my win on her blog, these "bling for your pins". I just love spots and dots, 1950's polkadot Dianaware is my very favorite collectable, so how could I resist picking a spotted cup, and a sweet cupcake. Thanks again Jo!


Maree emailed me to see how I was going on our challenge to make Crazy Mom Quilts star quiltalong. I've got the white fabric out, I found and dragged out some very crumpled "faded memories" fabric I had stashed way and bought the white thread. I'm not going to start sewing it until I have finished Ruth's Quilt (with the cream thread). 4 rows to go!

I also remembered another quilt I have on the go in Hannah Bella fabric that I forgot to mention... that needs white thread too so I'll work on that at the same time. Maya was nearly called Bella, we changed our mind on the way to hospital to be induced, so I had stockpiled a heap of this pretty fabric to make her a quilt. Since she is 3 in September I had better get onto it... x Rachel

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Show and Tell Tuesday ~ Wuthering Heights

This weeks Show and Tell is a quilt pattern designed by Miss Rosies Quilt Co, called Elizabeth. I just love this Wuthering Heights fabric and I am very sentimental about 3 sisters, being the eldest of three sisters myself. I thought this pattern would be a good challenge for me, but really it was very achievable and not as tricky as I thought. It was so windy outside when I took this pic that I had to tie the clothesline to the passionfruit support wires!


I must be feeling like I am getting on top of the sewing because I have signed up for Katy's Russian Doll Swap and tried to encourage Maree to do the Star Quilt quiltalong after seeing it on Carey's blog. I have a few metres of freshly washed white cotton on the washing line - shame I forgot that I have no white thread though!

There are only 5 rows to go on my Ruth's Quilt from Leanne Beasleys "Living the Dream" to go. Has anyone had this quilt machine quilted? I'm not sure whether to go edge to edge over the embroidery or not.

Check out the giveaway at the Quilting B - Bernadette is giving away $100 of machine quilting for first prize, and a fabric stash for second. WOW!

And the finished stitchery from last week!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Flowers and finshing ...

Sundays are such busy days at our place. They seem all about getting ready for the week. I do lots of cooking so we can have a homemade soup for lunch and so Matt can have the leftovers for work, and all the baking for the kids lunchboxes. Housework and laundry, organising readers and library books and school and sports uniforms. Hardly ever time for sewing.

The kids went outside with Matt today and you wouldn't believe it was the first day of winter. It was sunny and nice, and the winter vegetables have been planted in the garden - a start anyway! The kids even managed to catch some tiny baby lizards in the garden out in the sun. I took one look at Ayden's school shoes and it was off to the shops we went. Teenage boys! They were totally wrecked. The problem is that he has less than 4 weeks left at school before he goes to King Island, off Tasmania for 10 weeks for school. All the year 9's go for a term. I'll write more about this when the reality really sets in....

I did make the flower for my bag on Saturday night, and I have been stealing moments to work on my lime and soda quilt, and look, the quilt top is done! Ahh, chain piecing ..... I thought to myself yesterday that there was no point sweeping the floor until I had finished sewing, and only 8 seams later the top was finished.

Matt went off to the enviornment awards presentatation, but he was not the overall winner for his category. A big national company won it for their improved water useage at the Ballarat manufactoring plant. Since his is a small business, an indigenous plant nursery and contracting business, not bad at all to be a finalist!

Well, back to the Sunday organising... have a great week!

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