Thursday, October 30, 2008

Keeping busy in an unsettled season

I find that when life throws a few too many curve balls at once I cope best when I do things that are natural and soothing - praying my Rosary, going to Mass, and sewing.

Over the last few days I've:

Sewn and pressed the three rows of my Helen Stubbings Christmas stocking (I'll get it finished tomorrow now that I have the pellon, bells, and lining);


Planned a rocket themed birthday quilt for my grandson, Calab, who turns 8 on New Years Day;

Made a new cover for my Bible with leftover Prints Charming fabric that I used on my daughter Anita's quilt;

Worked on a cross-stitch of Our Lady of Guadalupe that I'll have professionally framed (hopefully) for Christmas;


...and been blessed with the gift of these gorgeous lilies from a dear friend who is in the midst of her own heartaches but reached out to encourage me.

I also made a couple of things for my friend, Anne, but I can't show you because she does not have them yet and anyway I totally forgot to take pictures! ;-)

Apart from sewing I have decided it is time to shake myself of a bad habit and FINALLY teach my 14yodd some homemaking skills. I'm a 'do it myself' gal, a carbon copy of my nana who raised me, but I don't want Blossom to be like me and get married but not be able to keep house. So we've started with a list of rooms we'll be deep cleaning over the next two weeks - today it was the kitchen, 3.5 hours of hard toil but WOW! it sparkles tonight. She was fantastic, not a single complaint! I'm going to make her a pretty apron as a thank you for her sweet and helpful heart.
I'll show you next time.

God bless!
Jenny

Sue Daley giveaway!

Sue Daley is having a give-away! It's her Field of Flowers pattern, and it's really pretty. Run on over and enter while you have time!

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's in the bag!

One of my favourite fabric designers is Anna Maria Horner, and after I finished my Bohemian quilt top I still had quite a bit of her Bohemian range of fabrics to play with.
After looking through a gazillion bag patterns on my shelves I decided to have a go at designing one myself............
VOILA!



I'd never attempted the frill before but today was my day to jump in with both feet and try - I should add that it took me two years to build up the nerve to make a prairie point (!) but that's another story. Today the frill did not defeat me and I'm really happy with my new bag.

Slowly I am working through my drawers (and drawers and drawers) of fabrics. The plan is to not buy any fabric for a long time, and just see what I come up with using what I already have. I even sewed together scrap pieces of wadding to make this bag and you can't even tell!

Happy sewing!
God bless,
Jenny

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Giveaway at Hugs'n Kisses!

Helen Stubbings is definitely one of my favourite designers! I have made a number of her patterns over my three years of sewing, the first and favourite being this one - The Lesson of Love.



Many others have followed since then but I am always ready for something new from this talented designer! Right now she has a giveaway at her blog and the patterns below, from her Dilly Dallies Bathroom Set, definitely caught my attention!

Have a wonderful weekend of sewing, wherever you are!
Jenny

Cleaning inspiration!


It's Friday night, and to celebrate the end of the week I made an apron. My kitchen drawer has a number of boring old striped numbers, way past their use-by date, so I had the urge to make something new and bright!
As I didn't have a pattern I played around with the shape of one of my old aprons - it has always fit like a glove so it was a good place to start.

This hot pink fabric has been in my stash for a while, but the gorgeous paisley print was leftover from my recently made Bohemian quilt top.
I made a little heart flower for the bodice, added lime ric-rac for a stem, and gave it nice big double pockets. This was my first time with machine applique (I always hand-applique) - just right for projects that will be washed over and over.

I asked Blossom to model the apron but she persuaded me to model it for you instead. There's something about a bright, new apron that makes you want to cook and clean. I wonder if I make one for Blossom she'll feel that way too???

I'm thinking of making some more for Christmas gifts - help spread the cleaning bug. ;-) Some matching pot holders, coffee pot cover, or a tea cosy would be cute. Actually, these sort of gifts are so simple really, and they don't cost a lot. But most importantly they are made from the heart!

Here are a couple of my favourite apron blogs :
Apron Thrift Girl
Apron A Day

God bless, and happy sewing!
Jenny

Friday, October 17, 2008

"CHAMPION EXHIBIT"

Though I've been stitching/quilting for 3 years now this week was the first time I entered something I had made in a competition. It's the Esperance Agricultural Show 17/18th October and I entered a few things I'd made in the last year - a doll, a bag, a wallhanging, and this cushion below.

I was thrilled to see it had won first place in it's category, but had no idea what the rosette meant until a passing steward explained I had also won the Champion Exhibit for the Hand Embroidery Classes 7-12!
...and to think I had almost talked myself out of entering it.

My bag also won 1st in it's category, and my doll received a "Highly Commended".

My 14yo daughter won 1st place in the 14-16 yrs Jewellery section with the most beautiful Rosary, as well as 1st place for her appliqued and quilted Cot Quilt, AND 2nd place for her beaded amulet pouch - but wait, there's more! She also won the Champion Exhibit in the 14-16 yrs for her quilt! I'm so very proud of her.
If you are after a beautiful handmade rosary please check her website - they are *very* reasonably priced and she sells all over the world.

The thing I love most about the Show is seeing all the amazing work, in so many different genres, that our local crafters have made. How can one not be inspired?!

Happy sewing!!
Jenny

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quilt Giveaway!!

Liz at Pigtails and Snails is GIVING AWAY a gorgeous quilt! It's raw edge applique, something I adore, and in soothing earth colours of yellows and browns...lovERLY!

You must enter before Friday night, though, so run over, don't walk!

Happy creating!
Jenny

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I won!!

You could have knocked me down with a feather! Bec over at Oh Sew Busy emailed to tell me I was a winner of one of four GORGEOUS patterns from Kim of Honeysuckle Cottage!
Thanks so much, Kim - you made my day. It's been a pretty emotional roller coaster in this house the last month or so and a gift like this really blessed my socks off.

I love ALL the patterns but have no idea which one I've won - Kim is surprising each of the winners, so stay tuned when I share the news once it arrives in the mail.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What's a girl to do on a Saturday night?


The boys are playing a medieval Xbox game, Blossom is busy making earrings to match every outfit we own (I'm not complaining!), the dogs are sleeping, and we've been to Mass...so what am I doing in the late hours?
Finally putting the pieces together on Helen Stubbing's "Santa's Treasure Sack"!

I've had the pattern put aside since last year, and I actually did the embroidery panels back in May, but it was only tonight that I finally cut the fabric and began sewing it all together. I *love* prairie points, which is one of the things that appealed to me when I first saw this pattern in Homespun.
After I took this photo I added the rest of the points to the other two rows before deciding to call it a night, besides it's Bathurst tomorrow and I need to organise some hand sewing while hubby and I are glued to the tv. Did I mention we are avid V8 Supercars fans??

Friday, October 10, 2008

Red and white

My middle child is beautiful 23yo Anita, and this is her quilt...or it will be as soon as I parcel it up and post it across the country to her next week!
She loves red, and I love white, so I thoroughly enjoyed thinking up this pattern and putting it together as a surprise gift for her.

The embroidered block designs I took from two quilts by the Material Obsession girls - I love the running stitch! It was incredibly quick to do them and soooo easy with red Perle 8 thread.

For a change in texture I added two strips, top and bottom, of pure white chenille. I've been buying up vintage chenille bedspreads from the op shop this year and I've been unsure how I wanted to use them, until Anita's quilt.

I also LOVED the red and white Prints Charming fabric I used on the border and binding. I eye it off at the local patchwork shop every time I go in and this week I finally bought some! It was the perfect design to bring this to life.


Of course, my 14yo, Blossom, was hoping this quilt was for her...HA. She has so many but never tires of my making her another! Still, she makes a good model.

Next weekend is our local Esperance Show and Blossom and I have entered some items we've made. This is our first ever 'being judged' experience so we're not taking it too seriously, we're just going to have fun and pat ourselves on the back because we entered into the Show spirit with our small coastal community. I've seen the quality of the work done by our local hand-crafters and I can't wait to wander the exhibition hall - crafty woman are a well spring of inspiration! I hope I can offer some inspiration too.

My next project will not be a large one. With two large quilts finished in the last 8 days I am SO ready to chill out and make some little projects; things for Christmas presents, new decorations, some skirts for the beach, and other things just for the fun of it - like a cute little butterfly embroidery I'm doing in French Knots.....

Have a blessed day!
Jenny

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baby quilt competition

Make Baby Stuff.com have a baby quilt competition happening until the end of October. This is the quilt I made for my little grandson, Deegan, earlier this year.
The criteria for the competition? We are looking for baby quilts with a modern, hip feel. Baby quilts for the new generation. Fun or funky fabrics and designs!

I've not entered a competition like this before so I thought I'd give it a go. If you'd like to leave a comment on this quilt please do so on the Make Baby Stuff website.

Friday, October 3, 2008

My Bohemian Heart

Last month our sewing group, the Port Patchers (in Esperance, WA), had a workshop with Jane, one of our members. We'd been eyeing off some of her recent quilts - she had made a couple of very different ones using exactly the same block and she encouraged us all to try this very easy idea.

I'm not sure what the block is called (perhaps someone can tell me?), but you make a 9-patch block, then cut it into quarters. You can make as many 9-patch blocks as you like, cutting each one into quarters, then you re-arrange them into the quilt top. It looks best if you choose a balance of light and dark with the centre of the 9-patch as a highlight (you can see my orange bow-ties were the centre block, then cut in four to give the smallest square in the re-assembled pattern).

Everyone did something different - some chose baby prints and cut 3" squares to make up the 9-patches, others chose 4" squares and batik prints or florals. My 14yodd chose Egyptian prints and it's turning out gorgeous with reds and blues (I'll blog the photo when she's finished) but I chose funky colours mostly from Anna Maria Horner's Bohemian range and others from Free Spirit. I chose a chocolate Crystal fabric for the borders, and decided to add a few square-in-a-square blocks for impact in the third border.


To finish I'll be adding one more border, and quilting with No.12 Perle threads. I'm hoping to have this finished by the end of October, but first I have a redwork quilt to make for my middle daughter...and of course all those Christmas presents! You will never hear me say "I'm bored"....

God bless!
Jenny

Friendship quilt

It's my oldest friend Vicki's birthday in November, and she will be 50. I can't believe that much time has passed since we first met, but I thank God we did. Through our 33 years of friendship we have shared many joys, too many griefs, and a lot of love. Happy birthday, mate!!

The stitcheries are from a pattern by Carolyn Fuller and Suzanne Jeffries that I found in Patchwork & Quilting magazine, issue 16/3.




The sentiments say it all.

God bless!
Jenny