Friday, January 19, 2018

When it's hot - sit around and applique ...

My goodness, we have been experiencing some hot weather lately - and all this heat makes me so lazy. Today reached 44c (110f) at its peak, and believe me, I've almost worn a groove in the lounge staying cool in the air conditioning.

With all this sitting, I can still keep my hands busy, so I've added some more bits and pieces to the Phebe border:

Some of the pieces aren't stitched down yet, and there are many elements to add, but I'm happy with how it's coming along. It'll be fun to round a corner and fill in the sides - hopefully that won't be too far away. I understand it's going to be hot over the weekend, but not quite so extreme, so I see more applique in my future.

In my last post I mentioned I had a couple of comments that I haven't been able to reply directly to:

Rosemary Jack commented on the Caswell project and asked if the pattern is for sale. You can purchase the pattern at Threadbear - Corliss has the most beautiful fabric and patterns in her store.

Thank you to Susan, Suzanne and Bridget who left kind comments recently - thank you for stopping by.

I need to have an early night tonight, so I'll check back in soon xox

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Phebe - I love applique!

My goodness I love to work on applique projects when everything is going well, and right now things are progressing really nicely with this next Phebe border ...

At the moment I'm only working on the bottom border - I've stitched all the vines down, and I'm just starting to put some of the pretties in place. It's really fun to fussy cut fabric when I have the chance, and I love to hunt through my scraps to find cute pieces to use.

I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the border fill out - there are pretty flowers, birds, acorns and more to come!

I have had a number of comments over the last couple of months from lovely readers that I haven't been able to reply to - I hope to address their questions in my next post - in the meantime, I'm on an applique roll so I'm going to stick with it. Chatter soon :-)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Phebe ... another step forwards ...

Just a quickie post ... I'm thrilled that I've finished the little applique frame ...

I'm managing to keep my commitment to stitch for at least 15 minutes each day so far this year. And because most days haven't been super busy I'm getting a lot more than 15 minutes worth. I've got the next section in place, and tomorrow I'll get a bunch of the applique shapes ready - super fun!

Two of the other commitments I made at the start of the year were to work through the cupboards in the kitchen for 15 mins each day (starting in the pantry) and also to work through my clothing (also for 15 mins). I definitely have too many clothes. So far I've been keeping those commitments, and I'm happy with how things are looking already. I hope I can keep it up until I consider both things are manageable.

Well, that's it from me for now - I'll check back in soon I'm sure!

Monday, January 08, 2018

Summer Holiday Happenings ...

Heavens I always love the Summer holidays. It seems like expanses of time to do whatever we want, and for me that often means I get my fill of stitching time. Of course my project of choice right now is the Phebe quilt, and I've been moving forward - here's where I'm up to:

I got the sawtooth triangles put together for the sides, and also made up the little corner pieces. I did re-engineer the corners a little as I wanted the diamonds to be symmetrical - you know how I'm prone to do things like that.

Next I made up a long 1/4" bias strip and set it in place and I'm currently stitching it down. I've also prepared the little berries to applique and once they're in place I'll work on the leaves. I am just LOVING this project right now!

I haven't been able to spend all my time stitching though, on Friday night we had a BIG dinner party with some friends - it was super fun and a very late night. I genuinely thought I'd be super tired and lethargic on Saturday, but I actually had a whole bunch of energy and got so much done! Aside from the cleanup from the party, it was the day I had to take all the Christmas decorations down.

I'm always surprised by how much can fit on our tree:

Heavens - there are so many there! I always feel like the house looks naked for a little while, but it begins to feel like a clean slate for the new year.

We had another dinner last night with my sweet Amy, her fiance and her future in-laws - I don't know if I shared that she's become engaged recently. It's all so exciting, and there are wonderful celebrations to plan once dates are set. It was a great night, and the newest members of our extended family are just lovely - we are truly blessed.

In other news - this year I've set myself a few goals - they relate to general health and fitness, being organised and keeping on top of things at home, and ensuring that I get at least 15 mins of stitching time each day. One of my favourite blogs (Crazy Tourist) talked about this very thing a few days ago, and introduced her readers to an organisational tool that she's using - Asana. Now, I'm a monkey that loves to check things off a list, so this is going to be great for me, and I've begun adding things slowly that I'd like to achieve and do daily and getting a little buzz each time I achieve my goals. Sometimes the goals are really simple things like spending 15 minutes sorting out clothes, or even just deleting old email messages - and others are bigger and will take time to achieve - like moving storage around in the kitchen. Anyway things are getting done!

Well, that's it from me for the moment, I'm going to get some more stitching done for the day, and then check some thing off my new list :-)

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to my lovely readers - I hope these first few days of 2018 have been good to you, and here's to a great year going forward. We went out for dinner on New Years Eve, afterward visited with friends for drinks, from where a bunch of us went for a short hike up Anstey's Hill so we could watch the fireworks going off around the city - it was a great way to see the new year in.

Though I had things to do on the 1st, yesterday (the 2nd) I was able to get back to stitching on Phebe - there were probably times late last year I could have worked on it, but I was a little stalled after I (mostly) finished the applique centre. A decision needed to be made about a little border stripe to frame the applique, I had a really hard time making my mind up ... these were the contenders:

The border shows only half an inch of fabric, so only the tiniest detail of fabric will show. Top left was my favourite at first, but the area with the cream background was a bit blendy, and the darker section a bit bright. I liked the serpentine area of the fabric top right, but changed my mind when I found the fabric at bottom left. The blue serpentine was the one I coveted, but I only have a fat quarter of this print, and it's been in my stash for quite a while. Why do I always love the fabrics I don't have enough of?? In the end I decided on the bottom right fabric, it's not as exciting as the others, but I'm quite happy with how it looks. It's a slightly different colourway to the stripe I used in a little bit of the vase in the centre block. Once I actually made the decision - then I was able to move forward!

So here's where I'm at now:

I've got the papers drawn up ready to foundation piece the sawtooth sections for the sides, and once that is stabilised I'll get busy on the little strip of applique. Things should progress pretty quickly until I get to the large applique frame.

Hopefully I'll check back in with you soon with some progress! xoxox

Saturday, December 30, 2017

This year is almost done!

It has become very clear to me that when my life gets super busy, I get very laxe about taking photos and recording what's happening in my world. I've been better at it in the past, and maybe that's something I can work on in the new year.

So, what I'll do is take the last few photos from my iPhone and see if I can catch you up with my last month ... no rhyme or reason here ... just the order they come from the phone:

Mid November meant it was time to put up the Christmas tree. It's our tradition to get busy with this activity on pageant day which was 18th November - a week later than usual due to Remembrance day, and I ended up being even later! Usually it's an all day thing for me, and this year didn't disappoint - doesn't everyone suffer from POPD (Perfect Ornament Placement Disorder)??

I just love how our tree looks, so I like to keep it around absolutely as long as possible. For baffling reasons I forgot to put the wreaths on the front door until two days before Christmas ... but eventually I found my festive spirit!

And of course this shoe loving gal found a new pair of Scarlettos that absolutely had to be mine. I had big plans to wear them on Christmas day, but opted for comfort over style ... not that they're uncomfortable ... just nothing beats flip flops when you're busy on your feet!

This year's gingerbread creation was tackled with gusto. I had great plans to do more elaborate icing designs on the side, but when I ran out of royal icing, I decreed that it was finished. If you're looking for a wonderful recipe for gingerbread house construction, this is the one that I use. It's fabulous because when you cut the shape of the template - that's the size that comes out of the oven after baking. Super important when you're trying to put it all together.

Who knows what kind of gingerbread construction I'm going to work on next year ... I have had imaginings of a gazebo kind of lamp thingy. Make sense? No ... probably not :-) 

I like to decorate the table a few days before Christmas ... no-one likes a big rush at the last minute, and it's nice to take time over the details ... we had 12 for Christmas lunch, and all that needed to be done next was to put all the chairs in place. I have 10 chairs in the dining room and always have to steal a few from the family room table.

Blissfully, our apricot tree has been ripening more slowly and after the Christmas rush. This year we've purchased a dehydrator and we're getting ready to make dried apricots. Our first batch is drying as I'm typing this, and I hope they're going to be great. We still have so much jam from years past, and it'll be nice to have something different for a change. I'll keep you posted how they go.

On the stitching front ... before Christmas I made up a whole bunch of the spider-web placemats that I love. Ones for my students, the ladies who work in the shop, and for my Saturday tennis team. Bafflingly I didn't take pictures, so you'll just have to trust me on that. The mats are wonderful for using up small pieces of batting, and when I use leftover backing pieces too, they almost feel like free projects.

And in the picture above you can see a close up of a secret squirrel applique project I'm working on. I'll be able to share more of the project with you soon enough.

Today Marty, Camo and I went to a local tennis tournament - a couple of young lads from our own club were playing. Good results could maybe mean a wild card entry into the Aussie Open, so we went along to show our support. There was great news, and not so great news - Nathan who has coached Camo a few times lost in straight sets - but Brad who is the son of our head coach, he won today and will go further in the tournament. So exciting! I got a little sunburned ... to say the very least - usually I'm so careful about being sun-smart. Now, I'm not saying I've got new superpowers or anything ... but I'm pretty sure my forehead is radioactive right now!!

I know I won't have a chance to post again in the next couple of days, so all that is left for me in these last couple of days of 2017 is for me to wish you all a very Happy New Year! I hope you're able to ring in the new year with those you love, and do remember that what you do on the first day of the new year, will be what you spend the rest of the year doing ... so make sure you do good things, and do them well! xoxox

Monday, November 27, 2017

Centre block almost complete ...

I got brave this past week and decided to try working on the people featured in the Phebe centre block. I don't mind admitting I was a little nervous about it, I've never appliqued a person before! They're definitely not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with the results, and it gave me the boost I needed to tackle the remaining applique elements:

Not everything is stitched down yet, but I'm getting close. I feel like it may be a while before I'm brave enough to give the people their faces. I know I'll get there though - maybe I'll practice with a wash out marker before working with anything more permanent. The last thing I need is to find something to put in the ladies hand next to the vase. I'm thinking maybe a broderie perse bouquet or some such thing.

And because there has been so much applique on the agenda lately, yesterday I was itching to sit at the sewing machine for a little. A few weeks ago I had made a tiny top from some left over HST's, and decided it was time to quilt it.

Quilting and binding really only took a very short time to finish, and it definitely satisfied my need for some more instant results. I think I'll wrap this up with some other little doodads and give it to my Nanna for Christmas.

Today I'm going to finish putting up the Christmas tree - I'm running a little late this year. I usually put the tree up on Pageant day, and this year that was the 18th Nov - so I need to get busy.

Well, that's it from me - chatter soon! xox

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Phebe Center Block

Hi there, just a quickie post for today - I'm off to tennis shortly. I wanted to share that I haven't been entirely idle, and there have been applique stitches worked in stolen moments. Here is where I'm currently at with the center block on the Phebe project:

This has been a LOT of fun so far, and there's not a huge amount left to do now. Finish those teeny trees in the foreground - add the sheep, the flowers on the grass and the people. I've never appliqued a person before, and they make me a bit nervous - but with the perfect fabric, what could possibly go wrong?? Haha, famous last words! Chatter soon!!


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