Friday, 30 May 2008

Bunny inspired post #2

Another bunny stitchery - this is one of three small cushions I stitched for the baby son of a good friend of mine. The design is by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched.There are other cute designs in Anni's series called 'Simple Stitchings'. You can find the full range of designs here. One of my favourite bunny makers is Little Cotton Rabbits - too cute! And just a little bit of Friday Flickr fun - some more bunnies for you. My favourite is the very last pink one. I love the stunned 'bunny in the headlights' expression!1. august the bunny, 2. the long eared patchwork bunny, 3. little_babu_bunny, 4. byelittlee, 5. Cuori con coniglietti, 6. Usagi, 7. forest of tree ornaments, 8. blue boys, 9. Jojo's Bunny, 10. conigli tilda, 11. Two Best Bunnies from the Chocolate Box series, 12. Smile, 13. Ballet bunnies, 14. bunni, 15. Two bunnies for two little girls (best friends), 16. Pink bunny

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Bunny inspired post #1

I received a comment from Rachael Rabbit the other day. Of course, with a cute blog name like that, I had to investigate. Rachael's profile professes her love of all bunny inspired crafts, so I am digging up anything remotely rabbit-related in her honour!This is a little bag I stitched for one of my daughters. It is a pattern by Sue Brennan of Weigela Design who unfortunately does not have a website. But you can have a look at her lovely shop in country New South Wales here, here and here. For anyone itching for some bunny stitching, check out this free pattern at Lynnette Anderson Designs. It is just one design in her free block of the month Noah's Ark quilt.

Monday, 26 May 2008

So you think I'm crazy?

Attempting to re-create a Dear Jane quilt may seem crazy enough, but just have a look at this! Hanne has just put the finishing stitches on her aptly named 'Nearly Insane' quilt. It is the most amazing quilt I have ever seen, and just stunning in red and white. Congratulations Hanne - you are in a league of your own! My Dear Baby Jane progress:B11 Melissa's Cross - I foundation pieced the centre (using Minka's 3/8" cross hairs) & hand appliquéd the curves as for Anina's method. The curves on this are more circular than square-ish as they should be, but it is symmetrical, so I'm happy! H1 Peek-a-boo - freezer paper foundation pieced. Hmmm, very different to the original I know. The truth is, I am a bit scared of the Dear Jane blocks that have a large proportion of solid colour. Because they are so dominant in the finished quilt, I am worried I will muck up my fabric choice & it will look awful. So I tend to want to 'soften' the look of these blocks by using more than one fabric. What a coward I am! I8 Pete's Paintbox - freezer paper foundation pieced. See 'coward' comment above! BR1 Rosemary's Window - the first of the border triangles. One down, only 51 to go! There is a code amongst Dear-Janers, which for me at the moment looks like this: 24:1:0:336. This means I have completed 24 blocks, 1 triangle, O corner blocks & have used a total of 336 pieces. The numbers should eventually read 169:52:4:5602!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

The latest in birthday party entertainment ...

Stuck for an idea on how to entertain a party of 12 year old girls? Mine went to a party recently to find a table beautifully set out with tiny rolling pins, piping bags, cute cutter shapes, ready-to-roll icing in the sweetest of colours, & bare little cupcakes, ready to be transformed. Here is the result:The girls had the most wonderful time decorating their little cakes, and were even let loose on the big birthday cake, rolling lots of little roses and sticking them on top to create a gloriously girly cake for the birthday chick. I thought this was an ingenious idea, & is evidently popular for 'big girl' parties too, especially hens nights! Play dough for grown-ups really!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Lemon lusciousness

Cooked this yummy recipe from Jo at Vintage Lane Stitches yesterday.I made it as a slice rather than a tart & it comes highly recommended - it is all gone!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Club Quilt retreat

I got to spend just a day with the Club Quilt girls at their annual retreat on the weekend. Always a lot of laughs & a flurry of activity. Here is a quick roundup of the weekend gathering of quilting friends:As we are coming into winter in Australia, there was lots of cuddly flannel happening ...... some amazing piecing ...... some clever stippling ...... beautiful fabrics beneath machines ...... other happy fabric bundles just laying about, waiting for transformation ...... some raw-edge grooviness ...... some stunning redwork embroidery...... a little bit of bagmaking (using this pattern) ......and all sorts of other pretty patching ...And this is just a little of what I saw in my 24 hours at the retreat. You can only imagine what they all got up to on the other two days! There will be lots more reports of this weekend here, here and here soon, I'm, sure.

Saturday, 17 May 2008


Stayed up late sewing last night, as you do! Keen to get my new bag finished. I have long admired the beautiful bags of Pink Lemonade Boutique & the inspiration for using linen for this bag came from her. Linen + anything = success, I reckon. I employed my favourite bag-holding model for this shot (aka skinny daughter):In the middle of the night, and with only a final button to put on, I couldn't find a button big enough in my bits & bobs, until ... ... I found these little treasures. They are probably 30 or 40 years old & I inherited them from an elderly relative. I was very encouraged by the claim that any unskilled dimwit could use them! Wondered if that extended to someone sewing late at night with too much red wine under her belt, but I really wanted to get this bag finished. And, as so often happens when forced to improvise, the result was surprisingly satisfactory, even quite cute! Enormous thanks to Janelle, the pattern's designer, who just happened to be on hand to help me choose fabrics. I love it Janelle! If you are tempted to make one of these bags yourself, it is called "Frilly Dilly Bag" by Janelle Wind Collection & there is a list of stockists on Janelle's blog. I am off to spend 24 hours with these girls on a quilting retreat. Too much fun! We are expecting snow at home (an unusual occurrence), so there is much excitement in the house as the kids have never seen snow - a big weekend all round!

Friday, 16 May 2008

Friday frills!

Frills just make me happy, don't know why! Working on this bag.And just one more Dear Baby Jane block; this is B10 Jud's Trophy. I am totally converted to the freezer paper method for foundation piecing. If you haven't given it a go, do yourself a favour! Tutorials for this method can be found here and here.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Chasing Dear Baby Jane

Trying to catch up with the Dear Baby Jane group again.B8 Water Lily - This block just about had me beaten. Had lots of trouble with the set-in seams. My first go was a disaster. I ended up stitching the seams by hand, something I have never done. And of course, I made the whole thing much harder for myself by choosing stripes! I think I would have given up the whole Dear Jane thing if I wasn't part of an encouraging group - thank you to all who have left comments for me, both here & on Flickr! B9 Tinker Toy - This came together much easier than B8 for some reason. It stretched a little in the centre along the bias seams, but it has pressed up OK. Just 2 more blocks to catch up on before Anina hits us with the first triangle - scary!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Stitching 'withdrawal'

Not much to report on the stitching front in the last few days - everyday life stuff has taken over for a bit. I am keen to catch up with my Dear Jane blocks ASAP. This is the only one I have done recently, B7 World Series:I am hoping the next few days will be less 'full' & will allow a little more stitching time. I find I get a bit 'edgy' (read 'psycho'!) when I don't get to stitch for a few days - it is definitely an addiction! I will leave you with some late-autumn 'Monsieur Tillier' roses from my farm garden.This rose has a long history, being first introduced in France in 1891. It is an old-fashioned tea rose, & has a unique salmon pink colour, unlike any modern rose I've seen. Another of my favourites!

Friday, 9 May 2008

I want one toooo Muuum!

What to do, when your mother creates a drop-dead-gorgeous quilt & you don't have a garden to photograph it in? Pop down to the local park, drape it over anything you can find & hope no-one is watching!Mum has been working on this single Irish chain quilt for a couple of years now & has just finished stitching the bind. It is for her own bed. This is the first quilt we have had professionally quilted, and the quilting is really beautiful - stippled all over, with a feather border. Photos of quilting detail here. Would make sleeping on a park bench quite classy, don't you think? Congratulations Mum - a beautiful quilt - don't forget to label it!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Unexpected famous person!

On arriving in Nundle last Friday we promptly headed out to Kerry's shop, Cottage on the Hill, for some desperately needed supplies - not! We walked through the door, and who should greet us but the lovely Janelle Wind! A few of us were commenting before the weekend on how fantastic it would be if Janelle were to come, being a good friend of Kerry's etc, but we decided that would just be too good to be true. Janelle is another well-established designer of Australian stitcheries & quilts. She previously designed under her label 'Simply Homespun' but has recently released a new range of patterns under 'The Janelle Wind Collection'. Her patterns are meticulously presented & she has a very fresh, uncluttered & modern style. Here she is, with Leanne Beasley & Rosalie Quinlan on either side.I have long been searching for a copy of Janelle's Frilly Dilly bag pattern. The search ended at Kerry's, closely followed by the purchase of suitable fabrics to make said bag!But the most exciting thing is that Janelle was on hand to help me choose the fabrics! We had a lovely time auditioning stripes & florals & spots & checks. She is a very warm & generous person, keen to help in any way. It was a delight to meet her. The fabrics are from an Australian range called 'A Day in the Country'. Janelle has used this range to make her new 'block-of-the-month' quilt which we were lucky enough to see 'in the flesh' at Kerry's shop. It is the most gorgeous thing - stitcheries & birdies & flowers, just beautiful. It will be released in shops soon.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Girls' Day in the Country

Apologies for being late in posting news of Nundle - lots of things to catch up on when I got home! Hope you're ready to make yourself a coffee as this post could be long!The little town of Nundle had no idea what it was in for when over 100 women descended upon it for Kerry of Cottage on the Hill's 'Girls' Day in the Country'. The early morning tranquility was short-lived as women from all over New South Wales & Queensland gathered excitedly for a day of stitching with Rosalie Quinlan & Leanne Beasley, doyens of Australian stitchery.Kerry & her band of helpers had decorated the local hall for us & spoilt us with hand-stamped name tags, coffee cups & wonderful bags of treats. Leanne & Rosie had prepared special projects for us to stitch. Leanne's was a very cute red work chook stitchery ...... and Rosie challenged us with some needle turn applique with her beautiful cushion:Rosie & Leanne were wonderfully warm & generous tutors, willingly sharing stories & their enormous expertise with us all day...... oohing & aahing over our versions of their patterns & happy to sign anything we asked them to! As if we didn't think they were wonderful before, doubly so now that we have met them in person! And then of course, we had a special privilege of seeing the originals of so many of Leanne & Rosie's designs. Wow, just beautiful workmanship & very inspiring. Detail of Leanne's amazing 'Flowers & Flutterbuys' ...... Rosie's beautiful punch needle designs ... ... intricate gorgeousness of Leanne's 'Butterfly Garden' ... ... and teeny weeny dollies, no more than four inches high of Rosie's. It was the most brilliant of weekends. I just want to stitch for the rest of my life! Thank you to Kerry for her faultless organisation of the event. And a big hello to the many friends, new & old, who made the weekend so much fun. To Leanne & Rosie, an enormous thank you for giving up a weekend with your families to be with a mob of stitching mad women. We have had the best time! I caught up with lots of blogger girls. It was great to meet Anita, Jodie & Jodie for the first time. Be sure to check out their blogs for their version of events, as well as Happy in Quilting, Day-Day, Dragonfly Crafts & Chookyblue. There were lots of funny times with these girls. Fiona has taken the 'what happened in Nundle stays in Nundle' stance - perhaps the safest! My wonderful mother selflessly stayed with my children for the weekend, when I am sure she would love to have been with me! Thanks Mum! In addition to keeping the bairns alive, she also put the final stitches in the bind of her beautiful single Irish chain quilt. More photos of this to follow. Best wishes, Bloom.
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