Friday, July 31, 2009


Remember this fabric from Sunday Stash?

Well look! 

Ta da! I have actually managed to make myself an article of clothing! 

And I've even worn it out and it didn't fall apart! And nobody seemed to be pointing and laughing at the bad "homemade-ness" of it! I'll admit I did secretly wish that someone might stop me and ask where I got it from so that I could modestly exclaim, 

"oh! This? I MADE IT MYSELF!!!!!!" 

and then bask in the glory that would be their utter astonishment that I had made such a beautiful ... sorry. I shall snap out of that right now.

I got the hot tip on this pattern from the Tessuti blog and had to order it in from Canada.


(sorry, bad photo)

I know it says "easy-to-sew" up the top there but it certainly challenged my basic sewing skills. Darts, waistbands and pockets *shudder*. Luckily this version did not require a zip. I'm working my way slowly up to that world of scariness!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

my creative space

Ever since the yuckiness of last month I completely lost my desire to cook. It was weird because my urge to sew was still so strong (i.e the quilt), but I just had no cooking mojo. What.So.Ever. 

Well, perhaps Master Chef or a few new cookbooks was just what the Doctor ordered because about a fortnight ago I was happily back in the kitchen baking up a storm and feeling so much better for it (and just quietly I think the fam were quite happy to see me back in there too!).
So, with that I decided a makeover of my beloved cookbooks and magazines was in order. Instead of being relegated to the top of a very high cupboard they now live on the little shelf above, which I picked up for THIRTY BUCKS at the same antiques shop where I found these. I think they are quite complimentary to someone else's creative space too 

And just one more thing. Since I am on a organising spree of the cookery type I have decided to finally sort all of these

into some of these 

thus hopefully actually reading them and creating a bit more space in this overflowing house'o'mine! 

Check in here for some more creative spaces :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

speaking of vintage ...


According to Wikipedia it was the year that Queen Elizabeth officially opened the Opera House and AC/DC performed their first major gig in Sydney. It was also the year that this fella was born - 36 years ago today.

(The one on the left  by the way).

Just as momentous an event as those other little factoids if you ask me ;) And would you believe I have been celebrating birthdays with this man since he turned 18? You do the math!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

sunday stash #6 OR prepare to wet yourself

First things first. A while back I entered a very generous blog giveaway by Textile Seahorse and in very unlike me style, I won it! And so this lovely (and very big) parcel was waiting for me on my return from my little holiday  

Cool huh? I think I counted over forty completed hand sewn hexagons! I'm not sure I will ever be able to even cut out a hexagon let alone get them all lined up like this so this is true treasure for me. Course I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with them but then I pretty much never do when I buy fabric either! So thanks so much Felicity for having such an awesome giveaway.

Now my second bout of stashery seems to have highlighted a new obsession for me. One I have only just discovered this week. It's vintage knitting and sewing magazines. I found this first little beauty at an antiques store in Morpeth (north of Newcastle), and had to peel myself off the floor ...

Crocheted tennis outfit anyone? It would seem the whole premise behind these patterns is a bit of mother-daughter look alike action. Check here for the knitted Little Black Dress for Mum and daughter. Every girl should have one.

Just when I thought I'd seen it all I happened upon a church fete yesterday and found this little beauty ...

Wouldn't you just love to know what on earth he is showing her in that book? Whatever it was it seems all is forgiven by the back cover ...

All jokes aside I actually think some of the patterns in these last two are pretty good! And at ten cents each how could I resist!

Check here for more if you want to keep Sunday-itis at bay :) 

And join in the Sunday Stash fun here.

Friday, July 24, 2009


of my week away ...

:: cubby building with Poppy

:: shopping and lunch with my bestie

:: latest version of fuzzy felt with my girl (nanny finds these things)

:: a spot of whale watching (it's the spray coming up out of the water)

:: and just plain havin' fun

I hope your week was great too :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

sunday stash #5 - (run) DMC

(It's still Sunday somewhere in the world right?)

A new version of stashery for me today 

Mmmmm don't you just wanna eat all those luscious colours up? I know I do! Which is why I couldn't resist them when I saw them at Tapestry Craft on Saturday. I hadn't planned on going there but wouldn't you know it, Jamie left his car in the city on Friday night - a whole other story there - and so a trek into the city was required to pick it up. So you know, I just thought I'd pop in there ... and Lincraft ... and the Tea Centre ...

Anyway back to the thread - I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with this since my only embroidery so far has been my little Owl friend Percy. I am finding the whole hand quilting thing quite meditative so I thought perhaps I might enjoy a spot of embroidery. Also just last week the lovely Tania at Myrtle & Eunice embroidered one of her sons (amazing) drawings onto a t-shirt and Amanda at Soule Mama has done the same onto cushions which I think is a super idea.

So now where to start ... lots of the embroidery patterns in the shops seemed a bit - dare I say - daggy? Perhaps old fashioned is more like it but not in a cool, vintage-y way if you catch my drift? 

What have you tried?

Oh and before  I go here is a new method of storing embroidery thread. I'm always one for an organising 'system' .. not that you'd know it looking at the state of my house ...

All tucked up and cosy in their little beds! 

Well I'm off for a  few days up to my Mum and Dad's place with the kids. I'll be checking in but not posting for a bit. 

Enjoy your week!

(p.s Yay Julie! Go the Mum!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

friday favourites - room for one (or two) more

Was it just me or did everyone else burst in to tears when Julie from Master Chef described her vision for her cook book should she win? 

If you missed it, don't watch it, or live on the other side of the world her idea is to write a cookbook that features a different family and their favourite recipes in each chapter and then ... wait for it ... the final chapter would be blank so that the family who owned the book could fill it with their own recipes! Cue the swelling music and bring on the tissues! This is one cook book I can certainly make room for on my shelves! 

Some of my favourite books that I refer to often! 

And while we on the topic of cook books I just received this one last night. Karen Martini's Cooking at home. A belated birthday present from a dear friend who knows my passion for good food!

I am also reviewing this one to see if I want to buy a copy for myself

Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair on loan from my friend Antonia. This book has been mentioned on a few blogs I read, most notably I guess here on Soulemama. I am looking forward to it revolutionising the way I think about the food I provide for my family - i.e. whole milk anybody? Does anyone else own and recommend this book? 

What's your favourite cookbook?

Join in the Friday Favourite fun here

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Sorry. That was a shameless way of getting your attention because I am after as many ideas as I can get.

While I am hand quilting the green tiles quilt I want to make a start on my next quilt (as you do). This next project will be a baby quilt for a little girl who was born a few weeks ago so I need to get cracking.

Right so here is my problem - I really wanted my next quilt to be a log cabin-ish affair because the shape of these quilts just really appeal to me. BUT, I have a tonne of green squares left over that I would love to use (I got really carried away with the cutting stage - whoops!).

So here's what I'm working with 

Initially I just got 25 cm of the pink fabrics at the top to go with the greens (I checked with the mum of said newborn first about colours and she did give pink the ok). Then I thought it just seemed a bit bland and remembered I had the Alexander Henry Spotted Owls which seem a perfect fit to me.

Then I wondered about bringing in a bit of orange seen as how there are touches of it in the owls fabric? Jamie has given me his opinion of this but I am keen to hear yours too. Oh and this photo was deliberately taken with the flash and is probably a more accurate reflection of the colours.  

Now my dilemma is this: how do I do a log cabin-ish quilt and still use those green squares or do I need to ditch the idea of using those squares and find some uncut green fabric or ditch the log cabin idea and do something square-ish again? I am open to all suggestions!

And finally thank you for all the lovely comments about my day yesterday. I realised later that there were a lot of good bits too but I seemed to forget those. Today was slightly better apart from cleaning up the bottle of oyster sauce that Sienna managed to smash at the supermarket. That bit wasn't so fun ;) And I still smell like it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

just one of those days

Today was one of those days that started off with the best of intentions, at times seemed to be cruising along quite nicely, and then suddenly went careening off the road to it's eventual tearful ending.

So instead of sharing all of that with you (which I did, but then deleted!) I will instead share this

ahhhh a night of hand quilting ahead of me. Not really relaxing yet but perhaps at some point it will become so. I'm guessing more relaxing than toddler melt downs on the street, the cat walking through a puddle of red paint and then over cream coloured carpet, butter being painted over one of my sewing books ... whoops sorry I forgot I wasn't going to share!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

sunday stash #4

Edited to add: Many MANY thanks for all the encouraging comments about where I am up to with quilt. It is very appreciated!

Hmmm seems my fabric addiction has not improved during the week, no thanks to my first trip to Material Obsession on Wednesday. 

I have been itching to get over there since meeting and spilling my heart out to Kathy and a few of the other MO women in the final minutes of the Sydney Quilt show a month ago. Kathy has since been so kind with follow up emails and offers of help with my quilt whenever I needed it. So using the excuse of looking for some binding I hot-footed it over there. Seriously though, does anybody ever walk in to a fabric store to "look" and come out empty handed? If so, I need your coaching.

Can I just gush for a moment about how absolutely kind and lovely, not to mention knowledgeable the women there were? I mainly spoke with Kathy and she was just A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Patient, thoughtful and very good at a spot of mental arithmitic when required! 

Anyway I did manage to get some binding but that is not the feature of my Sunday Stash. These delicious numbers however, are



Very thoughtfully placed right near the counter just like a good impulse purchase should be. How could I walk away? A bit of Kokka goodness and some Australian loveliness by Saffron Craig. I hear owls are on the way out but seriously, this fabric was screaming "buy me!". And I figure it's ok because I have no red or orange in my stash ... that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Join in the sunday stash-o-rama here. 

Friday, July 10, 2009

words and pictures - green tiles progress report

After lots of this ...

and lots of this ...

I've ended up with this ...

Whew! Actually since taking this photo I have added some white sashing as a border (to cover up the edges of my wonky squares), and am now working on a simple piecing for the back. 

I'm amazed by how quickly it all comes together once the sashing is added! Suddenly a pile of nine square blocks becomes a fairly recognisable quilt top! (If you need the back story behind the green tiles quilt it's here).

Check out the other green stuff over at Meet Me at Mikes ...

More about the adventures of the green tile quilt tomorrow! Hope you are all having a wonderful Saturday :)

"friday faves" - cool collage

Melanie at M* has given me the perfect excuse with her Friday Favourites to blog about this very cool collage of Sienna's ...

It started yesterday and like a Sara Lee Cheesecake layer upon layer was added. I suggested on a number of occasions that perhaps the collage was finished but my minimalist desires were met with a firm, "No Mummy" as she continued finding bits and pieces to add.

This morning I offered a fresh piece of paper for another collage. She suggested more layers were needed on the original one. *Sigh*

Finally, a piece of scrap basket fabric she bought with her own money at the quilt shop was added over the top. I was freaking out at her desire to completely cover up all her work until she calmed me down explaining that one version was night ...

... and one was day 

Clearly, I have a lot to learn (about patience ... about collage ...)

You can play along with your own Friday Favourites here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

coffee break?

Yesterday morning in between organising easel painting, tasting sand pies, making pikelets and wiping runny noses (everyone's!) I thought I would actually sit down with my twice microwaved coffee and flick through a mag I bought a week ago and haven't touched.

And this is what happened 

I'm sure the time will come when I will be sad that my lap doesn't immediately scream "chair" for certain small people so I soaked it up while I still can! The magazine can wait.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

sunday stash #3

I need an intervention.

Yesterday I felt so proud of myself when I walked into my local quilting store and walked out without any fabric! It's true I swear. I did buy some new needles for my machine (after reading Amy's suggestion in Bend the Rules Sewing), but again I repeat NO FABRIC.

And then I went to Tessuti for the first time. Just for a look.

Needless to say I did not get out alive. Luckily I was with my sister who was hungry and is  seemingly not afflicted with my addiction so I needed to be relatively quick. Still I managed to come away with these little beauties ... to name a few ...

In the background is some black linen. I don't know what I'm going to do with it but just felt I needed it? In the foreground some Japanese cotton (can't remember the name. I am so bad with that). The Japanese fabric had "skirt" written all over it and lo and behold, what did the lady behind the counter have on? A skirt made with this exact fabric. I almost wet my pants. 

So now I am after a skirt pattern for myself. Slightly A-line and preferably with internal pockets (is that what they are called?). Any suggestions? 

Oh and join the Sunday Stash fun here. Unless of course you are trying to kick the habit ;)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

sewing on the side

One could be forgiven for thinking that the only sewing I do is quilt related. And I guess at the moment my quilt is my main focus but I did want to share a bit sewing on the side I have been enjoying over the last month or so.

First up, two little presents for a special little person in my life who turned one recently ...

This little fella (I call him Percy - my homage to the book "Owl Babies"), from More Softies which I was able to borrow from the library. My local library seems to be about ten years behind the times with it's collection so it was a miracle I got my hands on a copy of this book! his head went a bit wonky in the bit where I had to hand sew it shut but hey, he was more first softie so it was a steep learning curve!

Then there was little number above: "The Kidlet" Wall Pocket from JCasa *handmade. A very handy little pouch with a patchwork pocket at the front that is designed to hang off a door knob and be a sort of catch-all for all those bits and pieces. You might recognise the Japanese animal print from the now infamous pants I made for my little fella (which, incidently he is forced to wear at least twice a week due to all the blood, sweat and tears that went into them!). 

Ok. Still there? Cool. 

Now we have a skirt I made from the same pattern as this one however this time I added a panel of this gorgeous fabric (I can't remember the name of it but it's cut from a fat quarter that I just had to have a few months ago. Does anyone know it's name?). 

The rest of the skirt is made from a quite heavy denim from Spotlight. I thought long and hard about how to attach the patterned fabric to the base of the skirt. Considering I was attaching it to some pretty heavy duty denim I decided to back the fabric with some interfacing first which seemed to stiffen it up quite nicely. 

Now if you're like me and have a, "I will only wear skirts" child, then check out the awesome collection of free skirt tutorials that Gret over at a little red ribbon has sourced. This list will keep me going for a few more months of sewing on the side. Thanks Gret!


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