Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A beautiful gift, reading, sewing and sneak peeks...

Schools back again, which means the house is quieter during the day.  
Even though we're half-way through Autumn the days are still rather hot, so I am making the most of early mornings in the sewing room with my machine, and afternoons in the lovely air-conditioned living room with my hand stitching. Of course some of those plans will change from tomorrow when I resume my teacher's aide hours in Home Ec. This term I'm helping with the Grade 11 and 12 girls sewing class. A few of them are doing quilts, and as the sewing teacher has never quilted before I'll be teaching as well. I have raided my stash of flannel and chenille for two of the girls, and may need to raid the cotton fabrics as well if the others couldn't get what they needed over the holiday break. 
Most of the girls live on outback stations (ranches) and do not get to see a fabric store very often so the teacher drove 130 klms to the nearest Spotlight store for supplies, working hard to purchase fabrics that match the girl's descriptions of the type of designs they would like for their projects.
Mail arrived on Monday from a very lovely quilter in Norway, Synnoeve. When I was asking about Tilda fabrics a while back she offered to send me some fat quarters. I suggested we swap fabrics and I would send her some fabric by an Australian designer in exchange for some Tilda. 
Synnoeve is the kindest and most generous lady!! Look what she sent me...
...the prettiest stash of Tilda fabrics, a pack of Tilda threads (I had no idea Tilda had her own threads - they are gorgeous!), and all stored inside this beautiful bag she had made for me!!
Synnoeve, you are a BLESSING!! Thank you!
My crafting life at the moment is a mix of browsing some new craft books, finishing more UFOs, and playing with new designs.
I recently bought the 3 craft books shown below - all of them are WONDERFUL - and I'm enjoying a slow wander through a book I bought last year, "The Wonderful Weekend Book". It is filled with reminiscing about years past and simple but fun things do each weekend.
This is my FAVOURITE magazine from the US. I have some ancient copies smiling at me from a very shabby white wicker basket near my bed, but today I found the latest issue beckoning me from the news stand. It will be perused very slowly because I love to linger over the beautiful photos and articles in this very special magazine...
Have you read Bliss Victoria before? THIS is the website (to whet your appetite in case your answer is no!)
These are what have kept my fingers busy this week.
I don't work with black very often, (actually, I've only worked with black once before) but I had 1/2 a charm square pack still to use from THIS project, and they were all red/black/white. Do you struggle to use colours you don't like? 
I discovered with this project that I struggle with black because I began this project months ago with the centre block sketch, but kept putting it down to play with pinks and blues in other projects. Every week I'd do a few stitches then pop it back in it's zip lock bag and ignore for a while longer. I told Joy that I was having a hard time finishing a 'black' project when she shared her excitement about her sashiko design, also in black. She encouraged me to hang in and keep going with it, so this week I finally finished it! And the funny thing? I love it! LOL!!
PSST! (Go and visit Joy's blog HERE because she has a giveaway for that gorgeous Sashiko pattern she was so excited about - it's GAWJUS!!)

I'm also working on a bag design...
...because I needed to get back to my pinks and roses. :-)
It's a big month of published projects for my fellow Gum Tree Designers and myself!
You'll find Vikki and Dawn together for the 1st time (yay!!!) in the pages of Homespun, Judith amongst the covers of Handmade, and myself inside both Country Threads and Patchwork & Stitching. 

I'm so proud to be a part of Gum Tree Designers! My fellow designers are the sweetest and most generous women!! In fact, next week on our Among The Gum Trees blog we're having a MOTHERS DAY MANIA week of free designs, recipes and crafts to help make your Mothers Day gift giving easier!!
I have a cute freebie to share, but I'll just tease you with a little peek...
Be sure to visit us Among The Gum Trees from Monday to collect your free designs, recipes and crafts!

Now, I am off to read a chapter from this very old but interesting book I found at the library book sale on Monday...
I loved the title!! I'm sure that even after more than 18 years of marriage I will learn something, then I can pop it away until it's Blossom's wedding day and her turn to read it.  :-)


Jeannie said...

Oh my gosh you are a busy lady but I know the girls will love you teaching them!
Your black and red is awesome but I'm like you, I love your roses and pinks :)
All you Gum Tree ladies are so talented and fun but most of all generous with your talent!
Thank you!

Roberta said...

I tuoi lavori mi piacciono tantissimo...complimenti

Maggey and Jim said...

Oh, I hope the quilting class goes well and you get some newbies from it..We must pass it on you know? I love the red,black & white, I love those small prints and your needlework together. Anything you do it just the best.How is the puppy?? I like hearing about her too.

allsewnup said...

The "black" project is charming. I like it.


Bluebell said...

Hi Jenny,
I have just subscribed to Bliss Victoria I will look forward to my first copy. There is a small parcel on the way to you I posted it last week.
Love Jillxx

alice said...

When do you get time to breathe. I am not one for black either, but I love your design--it certainly doesn't scream black. Have fun teaching. I am sure you will addict a couple more. Have fun! L,A-

edyB said...

Have fun with all the young quilters! I'm eager to see what pretties will be on the Gum Tree for Mother's Day!
Happy Day ...

Deb said...

The black and white looks great Jen but it is always harder worker outside your comfort zone isn't it.
hugs Deb

Anna Rosa Designs said...

Hi Jenny,
How sweet of you to give your fabrics to the students that don't have access to the shops.

I'm glad you finally finished the "black" piece, it looks great.

Hm, that marriage book looks really old, be careful it may tell you to lay down and take what you're given! lol
I found one of grannies old books and it's very different to todays living.
I can't wait to see what the Gum Tree ladies are up tooooo
Happy creating,

Bec said...

Hi Jenny!
That's fantastic that some yr 11 and 12 girls are making quilts; and more so because you are able to help them! We had a crappy home ec teacher at school so I never took any home ec classes; which is a shame looking back now.
Swapping for Tilda fabric was a great idea, you got a lovely bundle sent to you! Just gorgeous!
The books you bought at the craft show look beautiful, no doubt they have some stunning eye candy.
Your bag stitchery is very beautiful - what stitch is that???
Gum Tree Designers are going well - I see a number of them being published regularly now, keep up the great work!
Your library book sale book looks very intriguing; I am sure you will post about any interesting bits from it.
Have a lovely day, Bec xxx

KaHolly said...

Jenny, I just can't keep up with you!! I'm still working on the Shabby Roses quilt blocks, just today had the opportunity to print off the directions to Lavender Fields Forever and Oopsie Daisies. And now you're tempting us with MORE!! (I love it) ~karen

Margaret said...

Opening your blog is bright and cheerfull and the new you on the left is stunning, What an interesting life you lead and it is very refreshing to read , we had fog this morning down here in the south and the days have been similiar to what you are experiencing yesterday it reached 29c.

Allie said...

Oh boy, you're addicting a new generation of quilters, yay! I think a field trip to a quilt shop is in order. *G*

What a lovely package your recieved - so thoughtful! Your craft books look wonderful. I used to subscribe to Victoria magazine until they stopped publication, I wonder if this is the same one? I just loved it.

I love your red black and white project, apparently you can work quite well out of your comfort zone! Love the sneak peeks too. It's good to see the Gum Tree Girls going so strong!

Julia said...

It's always harder working outside your comfort zone..and I do find it hard to work on something I don't like.
Red, black and white look great together.
Good lcuk with you class...the girls will love you!
Julia ♥

Country Nanny said...

Oh my gosh...but your days are of 24 hours such as mine, aren't they?
You're fantastic! Wonder-Jenny!
I'd like to be one of the girls of your sewing class.

Dorothy said...

Jenny, I love your red/black & white stitchery! It is so striking. I hope the quilting class goes well, it is exciting to be able to introduce young people to the joy of quilting.

FlourishingPalms said...

Jenny, you are an inspiration! I'm envious that you get to teach quilting to young women. That would be so much fun! Your black stitchery is so pretty. What a happy surprise there, huh? And your fabric exchange seemed to turn out perfectly for both of you. All fun stuff, definitely! Continue to enjoy.