Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I haven't had a chance to link up with WIP Wednesday for a couple of weeks.
This week I've been hand sewing as my sewing room has been out of action for almost 10 days.  See my previous post.
Before I had to surrender my sewing room, I played some more with the A Stitch In Color charm squares.
The centre was made using Elizabeth's stamp collection tutorial, the rest developed with improv piecing.
I thought it needed a little something to cover up the wonky but not wonky enough points on the triangles, so these will be added, along with some hand quilting.

I was hoping to baste it and start hand quilting but unfortunately all my stash was under drop sheets and surrounded by furniture etc so I couldn't access it to find a suitable backing. Hopefully I'll be able to start on that this week.

I finally finished another Circle Game block!
Circle Game Block
After ignoring them for months because I thought they were difficult, I really enjoyed putting this one together. Straight seams...easy. I've already cut out the pieces for the next one.

A little more progress on the starflowers.  I'm kind of falling out of love with these and  not sure whether I will keep interested long enough to make a full quilt with them. I like making the starflowers but loathe sewing it all together. Here's hoping I will hang in there long enough to make it big enough for a lap size quilt. So far it measures approx 24" x 35" It does look better in real life, I think it looks very busy in this photo.
I'm not sure whether I should/could make this a centre panel and put a wide border around the outside. Any suggestions? The original idea was for no borders.

Worked On This Week
Amitie - Circle Game BOM

Sitting On The Sidelines
Material Obsession BOM
Paper Piecing For The Terrified - no sewing machine
Charm Pack Squares

Ignoring/Possibly Given Up
Mystery Quilt

Finished - 0
Worked On - 2
Waiting Patiently For Me To Show Interest - 5
New - 0

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Hop on over to Lee's and look at all the other WIPs happening this week.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


This week hasn't been the funnest week.  We've had the weather from hell. Well that's assuming that the weather in hell when it isn't hot, is grey and very very humid and has buckets and buckets of water raining down on you incessantly. So much so that everything starts smelling suspect, mouldy and damp. Not pleasant. To top off this lovely weather I've had painters in to paint part of the outside of the house and the bedrooms so that it will be all nice and lovely when I put the house on the market to sell. Because the weather has been so bad, it's taken twice as long as it should have so far.

This is my sewing room and it will be like this until probably Wednesday, hopefully no longer than that.
My sewing table and sewing machine are somewhere under there. It's lucky that I enjoy hand sewing and have a number of projects I can work on while my sewing room is out of action.

This is Bithcypoo's room.  Fortunately she is in Brisbane, she doesn't need to sleep in her bed.
My bedroom was tackled first, it's not finished but I can sleep in my bed and have access to my chest of drawers.

This is was my dining table, now it's a makeshift cutting table. It's also covered in lots of other stuff as well, so I can only work in one corner.
I'd show you photos of the rest of the house but it's too embarrassing, there's piles of stuff everywhere. If I showed photos, The Hoarders would be on to me and want me to star in a new show!
I started working on the next block of the Circle Game BOM and remembered to get everything out of the room that was needed for the week.  Except for this.
See that tiny metal circle with the hole in it. I use that to add a quarter inch seam to the templates curved edges when I'm tracing onto the fabric. When I started to trace the templates I remembered after I used it last time I'd put it back in the drawer of the table my sewing machine sits on. Arrrgggghhhhhh.

Fortunately, I found the table, and the drawer was accessible under all the drop sheets, phew. Crisis averted.

Circle Game Block

So I had a nice time cutting out and sewing together this block, which I finished last night. I'm really enjoying making these now. I've already started cutting out, the next block this morning. I'm swapping out an occasional scrap from the BOM and adding the odd scrap from my stash here and there in these blocks.

The starflowers have come out of hiding too, and I work on them when I need a break from concentrating hard on which bit to add where.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Organising, bats and geese

Im going to get on my soap box and whinge. I know it's wet season here, and in the last few years, March has been notorious for a lot of rain, but I'm over it. Well and truly over it.  In the last couple of days we've had another 110+ mm of rain, yep that's another 6 inches. That takes it to over 400mm (almost 16 inches) in 13 days. Sunshine? Paradise? my @ɹ$€, no sunshine and it's definitely not paradise when everything is damp and going mouldy.

OK off my soap box now.

I've been de-cluttering, and will be for the foreseeable future, as it's slow going.  More photos to come eventually.
My sewing room.

A partial tidy up. So far, my yarn stuffed in the shelves, fat quarters in Samla boxes and yardage jammed carefully placed in shelves, and Karma, surprised that there is carpet in this room, not just fabric and crap all over the floor.
It's going to look crap again very soon, as this room is going to be painted this week, so I have to move everything to the centre of the room and cover it with drop cloths and then move it all back again, yuck!

During the week I had a visitor. I had one of these last year too, lucky aren't I. I'm glad I'm not the type to freak out at having a bat flying around my house.

Sorry the photos aren't great, I may not have been screaming like a girl when the bat came in, but I wasn't about to get up close and personal with it either.  This time the cats and dog didn't notice it, so I shut them in the bedroom, opened all the outside doors and crossed my fingers that it would find it's own way out. It did, phew! You may remember that last year I woke up in the middle of the night to the gentle noise of a bat flying into the rotating ceiling fan above my bed and being flung across the room into the wall. No harm was caused to the bat. This time it was because I forgot to shut the screen doors before dark.

On the sewing/crafty front, I worked on another block for Foundation Paper Piecing For The Terrified. Katy has posted some fab tutorials and I can genuinely say I'm no longer terrified of paper piecing. I'm still not sure whether I love it enough to make a whole paper pieced quilt but I'll certainly feel confident to give it a go to make smaller things like potholders or pincushions. On the other hand I've wanted to try a pickle dish or New York Beauty quilt for awhile now. Maybe just a mini quilt later this year.
The Circle of Geese is my latest attempt. It was not without problems, like forgetting to check that the piece I am about to sew is sitting in the right place and not folded over so that I sew it all wrong. That happened twice. Also not checking to make sure I haven't picked up the next couple of pieces along with the piece I am sewing, because they were sitting too close to the machine and as I sewed, they came along for the ride.
That would be the two white strips hanging from the bottom of the block, after being sewn in to the seam of the white piece pinned diagonally across the block. This may have happened more than once. 
Yes, I'm a slow learner.
Anywho, despite a couple of setbacks and seams unpicked, I'm very happy with the result.
FPPFTT circle of geese
I used some scraps of Amy Butler Soul Blossoms, the fabric I'm using for the Starflower quilt. Amazingly, some of the geese even worked with fussy cutting. Now that's a minor miracle!

Mouthy Stitches Swap

I've been stalking the post office for a couple of weeks now, but finally my persistence paid off and my Mouthy Stitches pouch from Karen at Listen To The Birds Sing  arrived, after taking a very leisurely trip to Chez Sunshine. 

Sometimes the post to paradise is very very slow.  It was worth every minute of waiting for it though, I absolutely love it.

Check out the paper piecing. Karen's insane, she really went out of her comfort zone with this, I would have been happy with a couple of squares sewn together. The work that has gone into it is amazing, and I'm very grateful to Karen for putting all that effort in to a pressie for me!  I am so very lucky and am now the proud owner of this most gorgeous pouch.  Both sides are fantastic, and the details, wow. 

Like the buttons in the corners.

The ribbon tag.

The interior lining and pocket.

I love it!

Look at the cute card that came with it, isn't it adorable.

And to top it off, Karen sent me these gorgeous scraps.

I'm one very lucky and very very happy swapper.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Good return - A new way of giving

Please take a few mins of your time to read. Have you heard of microfinancing as a way of helping people in poverty?

I first found out about this organisation through Anorina at Samelia's Mum. It's an Australian based organisation, but I am sure there will be similar organisations in the USA and UK.

Good Return is a non-profit organisation and is asking Australians to support poor women in the Asia Pacific region, who need small loans to start or build a business. This will help lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
These loans can be as small as $25 but can make a huge difference.

Good Return offers a simple but effective way to get involved in ending poverty in our region. It enables you to lend or donate a sum of money of your choice to one or more specific people in countries around the Asia Pacific region.

Here's how it works:

You can make a loan of as little as $25 and choose who you lend it to. Your funds will only go to them and you will receive reports on their progress. When the loan is repaid, you as a lender can choose to get your money back or can re-lend again and again, helping even more women out of poverty.

You can join with friends or colleagues to make a loan, each contribute $10 or $20 and choose a woman to loan to at

If you have your own business, try looking for a woman who needs a loan for a similar purpose.

Why not inspire your daughter, or your niece to appreciate the opportunities they have by giving them a Good Return gift certificate so they can choose a woman to loan to. When it's repaid they can keep the money, or loan it again, helping even more people.

As it is a loan it is not tax deductible. You can choose to donate instead, and this is tax deductible for Australian Residents.

Good Return enables sustainable economic and business development in disadvantaged regions, in Nepal, East Timor, Tonga and the Philippines by providing microfinace, financial and functional literacy and livelihood programs.

I love the idea of this as I can lend money and be anonymous if I wish. It can be a one off loan of as little as $25 and it will make a difference to someone's life. I like that it is not an on going monthly donation that I sign up to for years.  I can choose to add a new donation to someone else if I want, but I don't have to.  The loans are short term loans usually up to a term of 12 months, however there are shorter and longer terms.

I have put my money where my mouth is and so far, partially funded two women, one in Tonga and the other in Nepal.
I chose the woman in Tonga as she wanted to start a craft business making tapa cloth. She needed a loan to be able to buy more raw materials so she could expand and therefore earn more income.
The second woman, who lives in Nepal, wanted a loan so that she could raise goats to fatten and sell. The income she will earn from the sale will enable her to purchase new stock.
Both women are now fully funded and are hopefully on their way to making a difference to their and their families lives.

If you are interested, please take your time to read all the information you can, to decide whether this is an idea and an organisation that you are comfortable with. Do your research, and then go ahead and help make a difference.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


There has been a flurry of posts and discussion about Pinterest lately. I'm sure you have seen a lot of the discussion popping up too.
Thanks to Anna at Thimbleanna, I found this article Pinterest at on why you should keep on pinning and allow your pictures to be pinned.

This quote was particularly interesting and I think he has hit the nail on the head, so to speak.

Photographer Trey Ratcliff of the Stuck in Customs blog embraces the open approach to the web.He writes:
When it comes to sharing your photographs online, you can go in two directions. You can put small images online, watermark them and then spend some or all of the week chasing down people that have used them inappropriately.

Or, you can be like me.

Offer up all your creations in maximum and beautiful resolution to the will of the web. The web, and the universe, has a certain flow to it. You can become one with that flow and enjoy the ride. You can let the opportunity of what-can-be motivate you rather than the more poisonous fear-of-loss.

This I think is also an interesting and valid point, taken from the same article. 

But if you’re truly dedicated to being a barrier to sharing, you’re going to have to stop using the Internet. Anything you put online is going to be seen—and that means it’s going to be inspiration for someone else to create. Further, you can’t help but be inspired and create your own work through the lens of your experience. So if you’re not willing to share, what it really means is that you’re online, taking inspiration from others, but you’re not willing to give back to the community.

I think that there will always be people who blatantly copy and take the credit, you don't have to see things on the internet or on Pinterest to be able to copy something. I hope common sense prevails and we are able to use Pinterest how it was intended.

Isn't sharing what the internet is all about?

When I first joined Pinterest I pinned what others had pinned, with no thought to who it belonged to originally. Most of those I have removed if I haven't been able to find who it was originally attributed to. These days I personally make sure I'm pinning something that can be credited directly back to the original. If I can't find who initiated that picture etc I don't pin it. I don't pin purely photographic photos. I pin pics from interior design blogs, crafting blogs, food blogs, tutorials or online stores all with links to the original site. I love it when someone pins my photos. It makes me feel good. It shows me that someone actually likes what I make.
The jury is still out on whether it is still legally ok to pin, in the meantime, I'm not going to delete my boards but I will take care as to what I pin.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lily Quilt

Lily quilt
The Lily Quilt.
Sorry the picture is not very good as I didn't have my quilt holder upperer at home when I wanted to take pics, so I had to improvise.

Quilted by Fiona the long arm quilter. I chuckle everytime I say or type that, I imagine Fiona with really really long arms. I'm pretty sure we've already established that I'm not very mature.

I love the pattern she chose.

Scrappy binding.
Scrappy binding

The back of Lily quilt
The back is pieced, using up scraps and some yardage.
Detail on back

Pattern Floral Bouquet from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.
Size 53" x 84" long and slim!
Fabrics used, mainly Dena Designs, I used a couple of different ranges, including Leanika and Tea Garden, and quite a few of my scraps.
Quilted by Fiona
Binding, scrappy from left over jelly roll strips.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

My favourite this week, my baby, aka Bitchypoo, is home for the weekend. It's nice to have her home for a couple of days.
The following photos are Bitchypoo chosen and approved.

Linking to Shay for FTF -  notwithstanding  In the great words of Sergeant Shultz in Hogan's Heroes.  "I know nothing." That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WIP Wednesday

First off, a finish. This quilt has been sitting in on my WIP posts since I first joined in the WIP Wednesday linky party.
Lily quilt
Sorry it's not a great pic, bad lighting and I had to improvise and find something tall enough to hang it on, it's still dragging on the ground.  This quilt started life as the Floral Bouquet quilt from one of the Jelly Roll books.  I renamed it Lily Quilt as I think the flowers look like waterlilies. At least to me they do. I used left over jelly roll strips to make a scrappy binding. All the details and stats in my next post.

After my trip to Melbourne last week and visiting Amitie, I was inspired to try another Circle Game block.
Amitie Circle Game BOM
This is the second one. I'm enjoying the hand sewing part, the cutting out templates, tracing and cutting pieces.....not so much!

When I was cleaning out a cupboard I found this box that I had kept "just in case" and it is the perfect size to store the Circle Game blocks.
Perfect for storing the Circle Game blocks.

I also made the second block in Foundation Paper Piecing For The Terrified (FPPFTT).
I'm really enjoying these and now I'm not quite so terrified of FPP, hmm I may yet have to eat my words when the blocks become more complicated. I'll have  a few orphan blocks when I've finished that I might be able to use for projects down the track.
FPPFTT Block 2

For the second block I used scraps from this quilt, that I made back in 2010.
Wonky Owls finished

As usual I had a million things in my head thatI've been wanting to make, but rather than start on one of those, I had to start something else. Do you ever have those moments?  Today the tutorial from Elizabeth at Oh Frannson was calling my name. I pulled out two charm packs, a Kona solids and "A Stitch In Color" .

I only made this block 8 x 8 squares as I want to try making a mini quilt with this as the centre. It's not wonky, it's just my bad photography skills.

Oh and for those that remember I was working on a mini quilt for a swap but I couldn't reveal the finished piece, I believe my partner has received it.
So here it is.
Name Game swap mini quilt

Worked On This Week
Paper Piecing For The Terrified
Lily Quilt
Amitie - Circle Game BOM
Charm pack squares

Sitting On The Sidelines
Material Obsession BOM

Mystery Quilt - to be fair, I did get it out of the bag and contemplate trying a block after my paper piecing successes, but put it back in the bag after about 30 15 seconds.

Finished - 1
Worked On - 4
Waiting Patiently For Me To Show Interest - 2
New - 1

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Pop on over to Freshly Pieced and see lots of other WIP's and inspiration this week.