Friday, October 30, 2009

The Boxy Pouch

There's nothing like the satisfaction of finishing a small project like this one. I promised to make my eldest daughter Amelia a pencil case for school a few weeks ago and today I finally got around to it. I found this great tutorial months ago to make a 'Boxy pouch' and decided this would be perfect for a pencil case. I increased the measurements by 2 inches and it came out about the size of a small tissue box. (Speaking of tissue boxes have you seen these ones. Too cute!) I also added ribbon tabs at each end of the zipper to make opening and closing easier.

I have also decided to participate in the "Show'n'tell Fridays" hosted by "Amy" each week. So this is my first Show'n'Tell post. I think it's going to be just the motivation I need to finish at least a small item each week and hopefully a big item every now and then. Head on over here and check out the other posts this week. Just click on the 'Show'n'tell' Button on the right sidebar.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Inspiration for today.....

Look at what came in the mail today! A very inspirational book with beautiful quilts beautifully photographed. I can't wait to have a really good read of it.

I did manage to make it into my sewing attic today. I got 3 items cut out but realised I didn't have enough interfacing for them so they will have to wait till tomorrow. I did some mending on the girls clothes. They had both worn holes in the knees of their leggings. On Caitlin's pair the hole was quite big so I cut out some flowers from some fabric scraps, reinforced it with a little interfacing on the reverse then simply stitched around the flowers. Caitlin was pretty happy with them and will probably wear them tomorrow. Amelia's pair just had a tiny hole and I found a stitch on my machine that I had never realised was there and it is obviously designed specifically for darning. I can't believe I've had my machine for 15 years at least and never discovered this stitch.

When I am mending the girls clothes or taking up hems etc I feel grateful that I learnt to sew and always wonder what women who don't sew do in these situations. A lot of clothing must be wasted out there!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Making me smile.

A blogging friend Deb gave out a small challenge to tell everyone what is making you smile this week. Well for me its my garden which has been making me smile everyday since it was made over way back in April. In New Zealand we have a TV programme called "Mucking In", where a lucky recipient is nominated by someone from their community to have their garden made over. It is usually someone that gives a lot to the community and the community feels the need to repay them in some way. My husband was one of those people to be nominated. He organises an annual event called the "Beach hop" which celebrates the 50's and 60's era . It has grown to be a huge event that brings millions of dollars into not just our town of Whangamata but the whole of the Coromandel Peninsula and all the funds made from it go to charity's to do with water safety since we live on the coast. It is a fun event that people look forward to every year and travel from as far away as the States and Australia to attend.

Because I do all the gardening I was let in on the secret a couple of weeks before my husband was surprised. It was very tricky keeping it a secret from him and also our girls. I was generally quite happy with the way our garden originally looked but I'm no garden designer and there was a lot of people wanting to thank Noddy for his efforts so I agreed to have it made over. The "Mucking In" team then come in to town and surprise the recipient and they are then sent away for the weekend along with their partner while the community and local business band together and majorly make over your garden. I'm talking diggers and truck loads of garden supplies here.

The programme screened here last Sunday the 18th October but can be viewed again on TVNZ's website. Here's the link. The programme is only available for New Zealand citizens to watch but you can still read all about our garden and why Noddy was nominated on the website here plus they have a few more photos. Our garden is now absolutely beautiful and the new "hot tub" is getting a lot of use! Everyone did an amazing job in just 3 days.

So here is a photo of the front of our property. You can just see the shade sail they put up so my husband Noddy can clean his beloved classic cars out of the sun. I don't have a before photo but we used to have a fence across the front with a perennial garden. They saved some of my roses and replanted them elsewhere.

This is a before shot of the back/side of our garden.

And this is what it looks like now.

These are the old back steps.

And these are our new back steps with stepping stones that lead further down to the redwood trees that border our property out the back.

Another view of the back of our property before the make over.

Our new boardwalk leading to our new hot tub. To the right of this photo are the big redwood trees.

Another before shot.

And this is what it looks like now.

And a couple more photos taken from our deck. Hope you enjoyed my little photo tour of our new garden that we are very proud of.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pay it forward!

This sounds like fun!! I'm playing long with Joan from Wishes True and Kind. Won't you come and pay it forward with me.

1. I will make a little something for the first three people who comment on this post. It will be a surprise and it will arrive on your doorstep when you least expect it!
2. I will have 365 days to do it in.
What's the catch? To get a handmade prezzie from me, you have to play too.
1. You must have a blog.
2. BEFORE you comment here, you must post about your Pay It Forward on your blog to keep the fun going, and display the Pay It Forward button.

More mail for ME

It was my birthday last Friday and I got something to play with in the mail. I've wanted Amy Butler's software as soon as it arrived on the market. My husband tried to buy it for me while he was in the States last time but couldn't find it anywhere so I ordered it online from Kiwiquilts. I can thoroughly recommend this company. Their service was great. I placed my order on Wednesday afternoon and it was shipped that day arriving on the Friday plus the shipping costs were only $2.00. They stock themed fabrics from New Zealand, Australia and Britain, Quilt, bag and wall hanging kits and other Electric Quilt design software plus they ship worldwide.

I have installed the Amy Butler software which was an extremely easy process ( if I can do it anyone can!) and had a wee look around. There's a great range of projects to choose from and endless ways of changing the designs to make them your own. I can't wait to have a good play around. Watch this space!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I've got mail!

A few weeks ago I won a giveaway on Sandy's blog. It was my first giveaway win so I was pretty damned happy about it plus I know Sandy does some beautiful work. Today it finally arrived!

Inside was a beautiful little Christmas quilt complete with little triangle pockets on the back ready for hanging.

Plus some pretty red buttons! ( I love the round ones with the little flowers)

And last but not least a cute little matryoshka doll beautifully cross stitched and ready to hang on my tree.

Thank you Sandy!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Wonky Quilt Top

So for the past few weeks I have been working on wonky log cabin blocks with the Old Red Barn quilt along quilt flickr group. About 3 weeks ago I got a flu bug which wasn't too bad as far as flu's go but for a couple of nights I had trouble sleeping and lay awake thinking about my wonky log cabin quilt. I had been inspired by this quilt like a few others had and got it in my head to add some wonky house and tree blocks to my wonky log cabins. They are quite addictive to make and I ended up making 16, 4 trees and 12 houses. If anyone wants to make some there is a great tutorial here or here.

I then made 32 smaller (six inches) quarter log cabins for the border around the larger blocks

Then yesterday I managed to find time to put all the blocks together. I wasn't quite sure how the wonky houses and trees would look with the other blocks but I'm now really pleased with this quilt and in a way pleased I got the flu and had the wonky house idea. I really like the white with these blocks. It gives the whole quilt a crisp clean look.

I was going to use up all the leftover strips and sew another border around the white but I think it looks just fine as it is. I will probably make a pieced backing using up those strips. NOW how am I going to quilt it? Dilemma! Your suggestions are most welcome!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quilt Festival

I have decided to participate in the Quilt Festival that Amy from Park City Girl has organised for those of us that are unable to go to the Houston Quilt Market. I must say it was hard to choose a favourite quilt. I have made a few and they are all special to me in their own way. The quilt I have decided to showcase is my "Log Cabin Sampler " It was made the year I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter and I can remember trying to hand quilt it while our eldest daughter who was just over 2 years kept trying to sit on it. Hand quilting was a good way to get myself to sit down and rest especially in the last couple of months of pregnancy.
So here it is:

It's one of the biggest quilts I have made (85"x85") so it took a while to finish. Because its a sampler quilt I learnt a lot of different techniques and enjoyed every minute of making it plus its a scrappy quilt so I got to use and play with lots of different fabrics. The original pattern is from a 'Piecemakers calender' quilt pattern but I mixed the blocks around from a couple of their other calenders.

This block below is one of my favourite blocks. The square in squares are made up of strips sewn together then cut into triangles and then made into squares.

This cat block was also fun to make and one of my favourites just because it's cute!

For the quilting I used a quilting stencil for the border triangles and quilted all the blocks differently. This quilt is now 10 years old and includes lots of 'country' style fabrics that were popular back then. Soon after it was completed I displayed it at our local quilting groups bi-annual quilt show and then was asked to have it included at a much larger quilt show called "Calico Christmas" in Auckland.

Well I hope you enjoyed this quilts first blog outing! There are lots of other beautiful quilts for you to look at over at Amy's Quilt festival. Enjoy!

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