Saturday 31 December 2011

More Christmas Pressies

We stretch our Christmas out over a couple of days, and after I had posted pics of crafty pressies yesterday, I remembered that they were the Christmas Day pressies, but I was lucky enough to get some more on Boxing day:

These lovely summery fabrics were from Secret Santa (Thank you Slavka (Niece #1), I know it was you)

And these goodies were a belated Birthday Pressie from Anna (Niece #2) who confessed she had a lovely time choosing goodies in TheClothStore in Horsham

I think both girls have a hitherto un-discovered interest in fabrics and sewing, so I am working on them to come to the dark (and light and medium values) side!

Friday 30 December 2011

Where did that week go?

Gosh, suddenly it's New Year's Eve eve, and I don't seem to have done much apart from veg in front of the TV, eat, and drink!

Christmas Day was very civilised: both girls slept until about 10am, and then it took longer than I expected to get from this

to this

 I had some lovely craft spoils:

 This scrummy scarf from the lovely Jackie

This craft bag and these goodies from my BQL Secret Santa - I couldn't photograph the bag to show how fab it is, but it has six pockets around the outside, and six sections on the base all for crafty bits and pieces

This goodies were a wall hanging from Jackie (Let it snow) Handmade Nation book from another BQL Secret Santa, and the fab pin cushion from the lovely Plum 

I also received this scarf from First Born Daughter - thank you Lisa, I love it!

Friday 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas to all (but no Christmas dinner)

Just a brief post to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and all the best for 2012.  Thanks especially to all who commented on the previous post - the bags are in their envelopes waiting for me to go to the post office, early next week.

I had an email conversation recently with the Littliest Thistle, Katy, about embroidery (have you seen the blocks she embroidered for her dad's quilt gorgeous) and mentioned that I hadn't done embroidery by hand for ages - sorry Katy I lied, look what I just found . . . my Christmas Cross stitch project

Sister In Law gave me this years and years ago, and I work on it a little bit each Christmas. When finished it will go into a house shaped frame, a bit like a dolls house

The other part of the post title may be explained by this photo of my kitchen
We planned to move the kitchen around sometime, but it would appear that NOW is the time.  Although to be fair, these is never much danger of a Christmas dinner at my house - we graze all day instead!

Merry Christmas ALL!!!!

Tuesday 20 December 2011

jet lag, and Christmas pressies and a give away

I thought I was over the jet lag after my 13 hour sleep, but the next night I slept from 9pm until 3am, and this morning I slept a bit longer - until 5:30am!  Not impressed!

I did spend some of the early morning time blog surfing - and actually looked at my blog! [I appear to have two pages titled Finished Quilts - I need to sort that out :-] Do you know that this is post # 197 - who'd thunk it? Nearly 200 posts - and 50 followers, I am really chuffed - thank you all!

The extra hours gave me a bit more sewing time too, LOL.  So as I was awake at silly o'clock yesterday I decided to sort out my Australian fabrics.  Some I plan on using in a quilt for me, but others were bought as Christmas gifts for patchwork friends and blog friends.

 As I looked at the various fabrics . . .
. . . it occurred to me that they wouldn't necessarily be of any use to anyone as a FQ - so I decided to make a few Fat Quarter bags (click for link to instructions), and then I started some more, and some more - I feel as if I am working on a production line: there are at least a dozen, if not more!

I am so pleased to have this network of bloggy friends - mostly virtual, but some I have met, some have become family (thank you Jackie for the Christmas card from the Irish Cousins!!!), some really are family (hi to my Mum and Daughter :-) but all are supportive, and funny and helped me feel grounded even while I was away and homesick - So to celebrate Christmas, New Year, 200 posts, 50 followers, a new kitchen floor being laid downstairs and anything else you fancy . . .  to everyone who read and comments on this blog, please comment here, then I'll email you for your snail mail address, as I'd love to send you an Australian Fat Quarter bag.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Less of a zombie now!

After a 24 hour flight, and fighting sleep until as long as I could, I finally gave in at 5:30 last night and went to bed. Ah, what bliss to sleep, and in my own bed :-)

I woke at 6:30 which is ridiculously early, but I had had 13 hours sleep, so I feel much more with it!

There was some very exciting post waiting for me.  a pressie from Jackie, and one from the BQL Secret Santa, both of which have been put under the tree (albeit with a bit of squishing on the way!)

Also . . .

[Hold on while we travel back in time.  One of the blogs that I follow is Block Lotto - each month, the list Mom, Sophie, introduces us to a block, usually with a colour scheme.  We can make as many or as few of these as we like, and each one that we submit a photo of counts as a ticket for the month's lotto.  I actually remembered the let Sophie know that I would be in the air when she drew the names, so if I won I wouldn't be able to acknowledge for a few days - just as well I did as I was one of the winners {VBG}]

. . . now back to the present . . . there were four squishies, each with three Scrappy Round The World blocks.

Thank you so much to Cathy Ann, Celine, Debra and Kate - lovely blocks, and I'm really looking forward to playing with the blocks and deciding how to arrange them

Saturday 17 December 2011

Mini Christmas

Before I left Australia, we had a Mini Christmas - so I could give the kids (and Brother, and Sis in Law) their pressies while I was still there.  However, I was too busy playing with the toys to remember to take many photos.  So until I get hold of brother's photos, here are just a few - brother in his t-shirt

And nephew in front of the tree (He L.O.V.E.D the Road Map Mat - I can highly recommend it as a gift for a car mad 3 year old!)

But what I hadn't expected, was that I got a pressie too (Brother doesn't do Christmas, birthday, presents etc!).  Look at these yummy bits from them (actually, thank you Lise, I know you bought them!!!)

And Lise - you have a great eye for fabric - are you tempted?  Go on, I think you are - I bet Logan's or Quiltsmith do lessons!

Thursday 15 December 2011

a postcard TO Australia

Look what arrived in the post today from my lovely Lisa. Thank you sweetie x x x

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Wednesday 14 December 2011

a stitch in time . . .

 . . .  saves me from getting bored!

I've done a fair bit of sewing while I've been in Oz, and have just realised that I haven't shown you any:

Jackie sent me a half-made Christmas tree last year - and  I hadn't got around to finishing it.  Still not actually finished, but  lot closer ...

It may be difficult to see what it is, and what I've done, so: imagine 4 tree shapes cut out of Christmassy fabric - stitch the sides (not the base) together in pairs, RST, red to green, and turn right sides out.  Place the two units one on top of the other, and stitch from top to bottom in the centre.  You now have a tree 'book' of 4 pages.  Add decorative buttons to each page (we have scissors, gingerbread baking, skiing and baubles and snowflake themed, thank you Indi).  When I get home I can stuff each section, and sew up the base.

I have also finished the I-Spy blocks that I bought in the Blue Mountains (thanks Indi and Marley for helping arrange the blocks)

India did some sewing with the left over blocks 

look at these neat little stitches - not bad for a 5 year old eh?

And finally I finished the quilting on Marley's Road Map Mat - I just need to trim the threads - the *&^%$# at Bangkok confiscated my snips.  Yes they were less than 3cm blades, yes I didn't go to Bangkok as such, yes I didn't leave airside, yet I got back onto the *same* BA plane, but yes they searched my bags, and told me "No sharps" as they took them from me - grrrrrrrrrr

Monday 12 December 2011

ooops, I found a bead shop!

The biggest bead shop I have ever seen!

I spent an hour browsing, and hope I haven't disappointed anyone with my haul. Oh, and this little lot cost about £30, not bad eh?

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Friday 9 December 2011

shopping again (2)

Fabrics from Material Obsession

Fabrics from Logan's Patchworks

more from Logan's

And I got a new set of crockery.  I particularly like chunky handles as I have problems holding forks with flat handles, and I fell in love with these.  I got the knives and forks too

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Shopping again

Poor s-i-l and nephew got dragged around fabric shops today!

We went to Material Obsession, and I got two more aboriginal themed fabrics, plus some text fabric, and a street map of Paris(!!!). It was a great shop (thanks for the suggestion, Avril) FULL of lovely fabrics and inspiration.

Next we went to No Chintz, but they were mostly upholstery, and didn't have ones I could see myself using for bags, so we moved onto Logan's Patchworks ...

Set in an industrial estate, it was like a tardis: tiny on the outside, HUGE on the inside, and so many fabrics! I bought some more aboriginal themed fabric, and a few other lovely fabrics. In the end we left the 4th shop for another day - there only so much fabric shopping I can subject a 3 year old to! (and shop 4 is within walking distance of the house, LOL).

Teje asked how many kilos I was allowed to bring back, ooops, I might need to post some clothing back home!

Thursday 8 December 2011

today we hit the shops (2)

Hoodie for the child who wants something obviously Australia, and a zippy for the child who wants a subtle one

T shirts for the God daughter, and the Great Niece

Jacket for the husband who doesn't really want any sort of distraction from 'boring'!

Playing cards and notebooks as assorted 'holiday gifts' possibly to be used as Christmas pressies

And a hoodie for me - given the unseasonable weather, I needed a hoodie to keep warm!

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Today we hit the shops (part 1)

Mum and I did the tourist thing today: bus to QVB, (did a bit of shopping) then walked down Pitt Street (via the mall) to Circular Quay, then got the ferry to Manly, (past the opera house and the bridge) then walked (past a few shops, into one or two) to the ocean beach where we had a paddle, and lunch. Then the ferry back, and a bit of shopping at The Rocks, then staggered back with bags and bags of shopping!

Tomorrow . . . Well sister in law has designed a patchwork crawl around the 4 patchwork shops within about 10 minutes of the house, so I guess tomorrow will be fun!!

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Photos from Oz

Fabric Purchases - and I've started sewing the I spy blocks by hand!

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A letter from Australia

This is just a really short post to let you know I am still here, although 'here' is currently the other side of the world!

I'm having a great time, we've been to the Blue Mountains outside Sydney (where I found one fabric shop) and are off to the city tomorrow, and S-I-L has found 4 (yes , FOUR) patchwork shops within walking distance of the house!!!!!!

Photos to follow when I work out how to get them from the phone to the iPad to the blog, LOL, or when I get home!

It doesn't feel very Christmassy here - but it's not the summer holiday I expected - the coldest and wettest start to summer in 50 years!