Wednesday, February 27, 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday #10 - Did I Hear You Say Dresden??

Say what??  Up until maybe six months ago I had no idea what the heck a dresden was.  And up until yesterday morning I had no intention of ever making one.  They just looked too. damn. hard.  But looky here......

Next question.... Is this grown up enough for an engagement present? Or should I do another one in different prints?
I decided I "needed" to make a cushion cover for a gift.  So I got out the Sarah Fielke fat quarter bundles I bought the other week, and cut in to them.  I had seen this design over at Pretty Bobbins, so used the same TUTORIAL.  I am hoping Gemma sees my attempts at using some of the same tutorials as she has as a major form of flattery!

Only problem?  Once I'd made it up, I decided that although I loved it, it wasn't quite the look I was going for!

So last night I pulled out a whole lot of "scraps" and came up with this.......
Work in progress!
And had SOOOO much fun!  I played around with the FMQ and was very impressed with myself after doing some love hearts.

Love hearts!
See!!!!!!!  This won't be seen because it will be a cushion cover - but I love how you can actually see the love hearts!

I need to get it finished by a deadline, so will have to keep plugging away - I've never made a cushion cover - should be interesting!

And the first dresden??  Well - I've decided that needs to be a part of a quilt!  I'm sure you will hear more about that W.I.P. over the next little bit!

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Stash #7 - The Mother Load!

Sometime last year, I mentioned to my Tokyo BFF that there is a town near her called "Nipori Fabric Town".  Now just digest that for a second.  Fabric. Town.  I happened to mention also that if she ever happened to find herself in said town, to please check it out for me, and maybe even buy me some fabric.  And then never mentioned it again.

A few weeks ago, before mentioned BFF pinged me on FB to say that she was heading in to Fabric Town the next day, and was there anything in particular she should look for?  Ummmmmmm.  I did a quick Google search and gave her a few links to Japanese fabric designers, and also told her that I had just spent a considerable amount on a fabric order from the States, so was rather broke, "so just grab me a couple of small samples"......

Later that evening, she messaged me to ask whether I would have room for extra luggage on my upcoming trip to the Gold Coast (where we were meeting up)?  Ummmm, no, I'd only booked cabin luggage?  Fast forward a couple more hours to our Skype call - and cue me nearly passing out!  This darling friend of mine had gone to town - literally!  Print after print was shown to me in a virtual show and tell.  The ooh's and ahh's were hilarious!  Ms Suz - I LOVE YOU!!!!

So this my friends, is the Mother Load of stash additions!  Enjoy!

Nippori Fabric Town - Japan
Nippori Fabric Town
Fab little shop!
Fabric shopping Japanese style
Beautiful fabric display!

Always a good sign when you come home with more fabric than clothing in your luggage!
Lucky for me, Virgin had changed their fares, and mine did in fact include 23kg of luggage!
The mother load has now been unpacked and groped!
All unpacked and looking yummy!

And beautiful Japanese prints
Some gorgeous Japanese prints, they are a different kind of texture, I'm not sure what!
And this.... Simply divine!
Jolli Pomme - Love this!
Amazing Joli Pomme prints!
More Jolli Pomme - how amazing are these cats and bunnies?
THE cutest piggies, bunnies and elephants!
Gorgeous little animal prints.
Divine pinwale cord!
Some of the most beautiful pinwale cord I've ever seen.
LRRH Kokka style!
Little Red Riding Hood - Kokka style.
Kayo Horaguchi.... Amazing designer! This is probably my favourite of all the prints
Kayo Horaguchi prints.  These are to die for - I think they are a linen/cotton mix - described as "double gauze".  Divine.
Flanelette! I have no idea what to do with them?!?
Very cute flanelette prints!
I'm putting this one aside for future use!
And she even thought of my London Bff who's just moved back to Melbourne!

Kayo Horaguchi
More Kayo Horaguchi
Kokka trains
Kokka trains
Anpanman!  Favourite character for kids in Japan.
Famous character in Japan - these are to make my god-baby some goodies!
Gorgeous Enchino
Kayo Horaguchi
Even more Horaguchi!  Google the name!
Cute prints!
And finally some cute little prints!

Would you believe there was just over 9kg total?  And just over 40 metres of fabric!  Yay!

So - the moral of this blog post?  If you're ever in Tokyo - go to Nipori Fabric Town!!!  Now - what to do with all of this yumminess?

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash @ Finding Fifth!  Happy Anniversary Fiona!

Friday, February 22, 2013

T.G.I.F.F. #7 - My Scrappy Block

So it's Friday.  That means I should have some finishes to show you?  Well, although I have been a very busy beaver this week, making 7 dresses and one playsuit - I have only one quilting finish for you!  And this my friends is it....

My block for my month in QCA Bee #5!

Back HERE in January, I told you how I had joined a Quilting Bee.  Well, March is my month to be the Queen Bee (don't tell my husband, he is under the correct belief that I am a Princess), so a few weeks ago I decided on this beautiful block tutorial for everyone to make!  And I made the first of mine up early this week.  LOVE it!  Those teen little squares are made from 1.5 inch scrappy squares!  I am having a lot of fun digging out all the bags of scraps I'd forgotten I had! 

 I've already received two in the mail from my fellow bees, and can't wait to put a whole quilt together from them all!

That's all folks!

I'm linking up with T.G.I.F.F. being hosted by Gingersnaps Quilts!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hard Questions and Even Harder Answers...

We all harbour questions that we would dearly like to ask someone, or many someone's, but never think we will be able to spill the words.  It's like you're too scared to ask because you don't really want to know the answer?  Or you know what the answer will be, and can't bare to think of what you will do with said answer?  Or is it just me?

I've just spent the weekend up in Queensland.  Had three days of pretending that I didn't have a care in the world - no kids to worry about, no work to get to and no alarms to set, because there was nowhere I had to be!  I stayed in an apartment with two lifelong friends, and we sat and chatted, ate cheese and drank wine.  Had a massage in our lounge room overlooking the surf.  Read a book.  READ A BOOK!!!!!  We also went out two nights in a row, and drank copius amounts of alcohol.  Something I really very rarely do!

I also saw my Dad.  I haven't seen him since he had his heart problems late last year, so it was lovely to see him in the flesh and note that he had put on some weight.  And for the first time in my 37 years, he did not smell of tobacco and nicotine.  A HUGE and noticeable change.  He picked me up from the airport on arrival and drove me up to my friend's parents house.  Back to the same neighbourhood we had lived for many years.  His memory is vague, and I had to remind him of where the house we used to live in was.  We sat and had lunch, and chatted about a range of topics and then said our goodbyes.  When my weekend was coming to an end, I called him again and arranged to meet up to spend the afternoon before I departed.  I was a little anxious and couldn't figure out why?  But only minutes after pulling in to the caravan park he calls home, I worked it out.  I hadn't been to my Dad's place of residence in almost 25 years!  14 of those I didn't even know where he resided, or whether he was in fact, even alive.....

He showed me around his humble little caravan, and pointed out that he'd had a massive clean up since kicking the cigarettes months ago.  It was freshly painted and he'd acquired a few pieces of newish furniture.  It was certainly very "homely".  But to be completely honest - I was sad.  I was sad that the man who had spent the first 12 years of my life being my Dad, providing for me and making a great life for his family, had ended up in a caravan park.  Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against people who live in caravan parks!  I spent a couple of years myself living in one, after my Dad had lost all that we owned through his gambling habit, and my Mum and Step Dad were left to pick up the pieces.  SO I know all about people who live in caravan parks.  BUT - this one little caravan and its contents were all that my Dad has to show for his almost 70 years of life.  And it saddens me.

Anyway, I soon got over that sadness and got a royal tour!  Met all the locals, including his friend "Dot" whom I spoke to on the phone during Dad's stint in hospital.  She was the one who explained that he was very sick and required triple bypass surgery, and all that goes along with what that meant.  Lovely lady, even more lovely that I know she's looking out for my Dad.

I took a Nana Nap on his couch until it was time to leave for the airport again.  We grabbed some dinner in the departure lounge and chatted some more.  I can't remember what we were talking about, but I finally got the courage up to ask one of a million questions I'd been wanting to ask over the years - "Do you ever look back?".........  He did not hesitate in his answering, and I felt a wave of relief wash over me, that I was finally going to be able to hear my Dad apologise for all that happened.  "Oh, of course I look back, I look back and think how bloody stupid I was."  O.M.G.  Perhaps I would finally be having a conversation about the huge white elephant that has been sitting in the room the past ten years??  And then he continued........  "That's why I've never been in another relationship".  My ears pricked,  I could feel a Hallelujah moment coming.  "Because I could never have someone telling me what I can and can't do again"................


I just nodded my head and carried on eating my greasy chicken and chips.  I couldn't make sense of what he said, and really didn't want to.  We bid farewell at the departure gate and I headed back to Melbourne....

So I get home and relay this entire conversation to my husband.  At 11.45pm at night.  And he makes sense of it for me.  My Dad still doesn't acknowledge that his gambling was what ruined our family.  What ruined his marriage.  And why I had nothing to do with him for such a long time.  He is still living in denial.

I say "my family is fucked".  Andrew says "Our family is great".


I find more out about this family of mine the older I am getting.  Sometimes it puts things in place, other times it just gets more muddled.

Do you have any hard questions you haven't been able to ask?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Stash #6

Monday just gone was very exciting!  I returned home from work to find a lovely fat envelope from Pink Castle Fabrics!  I placed my first order with them a couple of weeks ago, and was starting to get impatient.......there's still another envelope somewhere on its journey.....

With 25% off all bundles and the prospect of shipping costs going up, I sort of went a little silly.  But since catching this awful fabulous quilting bug, I have embraced the urge to buy smaller quantities cuts of fabrics, thus building my stash.  It's a different kind of fabric addiction for me - you see, I used to buy whole collections of fabrics to make little collections of clothes.  Now?  I'm just buying fabric when I like them - regardless of what they will be used for!  In fact today when I posted these photos on Instagram, a friend asked me if I had bought one bundle for a quilt?  Ummmm......I don't know!  I was following her lead in giving my stash more depth!

SO here they are, my first delivery from PKF:

Gypsy trinkets fq bundle
Gypsy Trinkets FQ Bundle - Magnificent colours that I would never have chosen to bundle together.  All Art Gallery fabrics, which are to die for!
Pretty in pink fq bundle
Pretty in Pink FQ Bundle - Once again, all Art Gallery fabrics, and amazing prints!
Cleo fq and half yard bundles
Cleo FQ and Half Yard Bundles - This collection is by Dear Stella.  I fell in love with it a while ago, but had no idea what to buy it for?  Then I came up with a project - a wedding quilt for a very special couple.  I thankfully have about a year to get it made!!

Jelly roll... Unrolled
Little Apples Jelly Roll - Unrolled for postage!  This was a great price, so grabbed it just because!

Willow by Riley Blake
Willow by Riley Blake.  This was on special, so I ordered half a yard of each print - just because they're so damn pretty!

So that my friends, is this week's Sunday stash!  I'm linking up with Finding Fifth!

P.S. I've scheduled this post earlier this week, because right now I will be getting on a plane and returning from the Gold Coast - with a superb piece of extra luggage.  Will share with you next Sunday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

T.G.I.F.F #6 - Chloe's Good Fortune Quilt

I set myself a goal of finishing Chloe's Good Fortune quilt Thursday - and by 11am it was done and dusted!  Admittedly, it only had the binding left to do, but I was so happy to have it finished.  Not half as happy as the little girl waiting outside my sewing room door!

Here it is - the biggest quilt I have made to date!

Good Fortune finished!
It had only just poured with rain, so I had to be careful at which angles I took the photos!  This is obviously in full sun, but I love that you can see the FMQ detail.  For those interested, I followed Samelia's Mum's tutorial HERE.  It was VERY easy to follow!  I used a layer cake of Kate Spain's Good Fortune, and white Homespun for the top, and a lighter shade of grey Homespun for the back.
In the shadows shot!
And in the shadows.  I'm SOOOOO happy with how straight it all looks!  Well, from this far away anyway!
Love purple binding!
The bright purple binding works beautifully.  So thank you to everyone who gave me their opinion a while back!
Love <3
I can't get enough of all the different colours in this range.
Very happy girl!
And my very happy little four year old, who promptly wrapped herself up in her quilt and told me it was the most beautiful quilt ever!  A little bit after taking this photo, I brought out some fabrics to photograph that I'd just received in the mail.  Chloe quipped "they won't be as beautiful as mine Mummy".  Bless.

I'm linking up with T.G.I.F.F. over at
Sewing by Moonlight today!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday - Amongst Other Enthralling Happenings!

This past week or so has thrown up the following......

My youngest starting Kindergarten.  No words required really, it's a huge step in the life of Chloe, but also in mine.  For the first time in over 14 years, I now have TWO WHOLE days without any children home.  I'm flying solo.  Whilst I am VERY excited by this change of routine - I'm also just getting in to the swing of things.....

Off to Chloe's first kinda session! Albeit only for an hour!
Big Kinda Girl

My eldest broke up with is girlfriend.  At 14 years of age, the past few months have been a learning curve - for him and me.  I never thought I would have the conversations I have had, and certainly did not think I'd have to be having them so early!  My ranty pants returned, my reality check arrived and my role as a Mother changed a little.  I would like to say that I didn't have a smile on my face when he told us he'd broken up with her.....but i would be lying.....

I've talked periods with my nine-soon-to-be-ten year old daughter.  In front of my husband.  Another conversation I didn't necessarily envision happening the way it did!  BUT - a true sign of just how much things have changed since I was her age.

I found a teeny little dead possum in our front yard......being played with by our kitten.  I posted a photo of it on Instagram, basically because I was a little perplexed.  Its bucky teeth made me second guess whether it was in fact a rat?  The photo was then posted on FB, somehow delayed by hours.  It was then that I had it confirmed, yet again, that some people feel the need to make you feel like a bad human being, a bad pet owner and a hater of wildlife.  It was then that I also remembered the "block from posts" setting...... 

I had a dodgy ear.  Blocked for a whole 24 hours.  Not appealling - at all.  This lead to having my ear syringed.  Let it be said that this procedure is even less appealling than having a blocked ear!  BUT - the relief was amazing!

I saw "Silver Linings Playbook" at the cinema.  Had no idea what it was about until AFTER I'd bought the tickets.  Young girl behind counter says "It's about a guy with bi-polar"....... I knew then that I was in for an interesting couple of hours.  Brilliant movie, but a little too close to home for me.  I cried throughout the film, and then cried the whole way home.  That evening I had an errand to run nearby my sister's workplace. I popped in just to give her a hug.  Told her about the film and that although I will never fully understand mental illness, I was trying.  And I would always have her back - even though there would always be times when I'd have to retreat to protect myself.  Tears.

I had to figure out how to help my son help a friend of his at school, who it seems is having to deal with cyber bullying and general cruelty from others.  Makes me all the more grateful for the lack of technology when I was growing up.

I welcomed back my gorgeous boss and friend to work.  After the hardest time in her life and seven months on leave, it was so lovely to have her back.

I met another neighbour.  After they decided it would be a good idea to get a trap from the council and trap our little Bella kitten in their backyard.  Apparently they do not appreciate her shitting in their sandpit.  And apparently their common sense does not prevail.  I took my partially dehydrated pussy cat back home and googled "how to stop cats shitting in sandpits".  I'm still yet to find a solution to their problem - seeing as though they do not see putting a cover on their pit an option......  For now - Bella is inside!  Suggestions welcome!

And I also cut out this:

Binding cut and ready to go!
Chloe's Good Fortune Quilt

Tomorrow is my "rostered day off" from parenting.  That is, Chloe is at kinda.  So I'm binding her quilt finally!  I ordered the Good Fortune fabric for the binding from The Oz Material Girls.  Fabulous Australian online fabric store, which meant I had it within a couple of days.

And I just wanted to share with you an amazing tool I was directed to by Molli Sparkles!  I was trying my hardest to figure out how much binding I required - something I fail at spectacularly each and every time.  I asked my lovely friends in my quilting group how to work it out, when Molli piped up with a fabulous iPhone App called Quilt Calc.  It was like Angels sung and a full orchestra came in to play when it was loaded on to my phone!  Hallelujah!  For those of you who are mathematically challenged like myself - this app is a Godsend!

Robert Kaufman Quilt Calc
In the words of another famous Molly - Do yourself a favour!

I'm linking up with 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Stash #5 - An Auction "Win"!

This week's Sunday Stash is brought to you by "I had to have it" and "A win you have to pay for is still a win"!

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a charity auction page on FB called From The Heart Auctions.  It's a U.S. based page, and the auction they were running at the time was for the families of Newtown.  There were some absolutely amazing goods up for auction, including beautiful handmade quilts by Lee at Freshly Pieced!  And it was also where I first noticed the Joel Dewberry fabrics that I later bought somewhere else!!

Anyway, I found this lovely set of two charm square packs and a pack of Kona charms too.  And I won them!  I have no idea what I am going to make (apart from a quilt!) or who it will be for, but got them anyway!

Some JP arrived this week
JP in the house!

And miraculously - that is the only fabric that has entered this house in the past week!  The same can not be said for the next couple of weeks, with what can only be explained as "the mother load" of stashes coming my way........Stay tuned!

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth!

And for those who have not popped in to my blog this week - I will share this one last time!  The Sew Fab e-Pattern bundle is only available for another 24 hours!  You can read about it and BUY IT HERE!  Thank you to everyone who has already grabbed themselves a bundle!

Friday, February 8, 2013

T.G.I.F.F. #5 - Kissing Fish

In what can only be called a miracle - I finished kissing fish......and not the "in the water kind".  I definitely wanted to challenge myself with the whole quilting business this year, but think I bit off more than I could chew with this baby!

So without further ado - Here is my version of "Kissing Fish".....

Finished kissing fish!
Kissing Fish on Flickr

Kissing Fish

Kissing Fish

Ribbon back
Lots of straight, stitchin in the ditch!

Ribbon Back
Gorgeous ribbon fabric I bought on a whim!

Kissing Fish
Love, love how this light has shown off the colours!

Kissing Fish

So the five million points are not perfect, the lines are not all amazingly straight and heck - I may have broken a needle!  But I LOVE it!  I used THIS PATTERN from Freshly Pieced.  Although it is classed as "easy", I would say it's easy but fiddly and at times frustrating.  Only because of the 100's of HST's!

I chose the ribbon fabric for the backing, basically because I was going to use it on the quilt top and then forgot!  And after much deliberation, I went with all the different prints for the binding - kind of rainbow-y?  And now I have to wait a whole two weeks to gift this to a very dear friend of mine, for her very much loved baby girl, who is yet to enter the world!

And yes - that is ALL I finished this week - but what a finish it is!

I'm linking up with T.G.I.F.F. being hosted by Kit Lang - Art this week!

Have you finished anything this week??

AND just in case you've missed it so far this week - The Sew Fab e-Pattern deal is still available, but only for a couple more days!

You can see all the patterns and purchase the bundle HERE!  
**  Please note - this offer is available until 8am EST (US) Monday the 11th of February!  There was a typo with the date on the original post which was provided to us!!

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