Tuesday 22 December 2015

Christmas Wishes

Once again I'm having a break from my blog over the festive season.
Thank you to everyone - both old and new friends who read and comment on my blog, encourage me, give me advice  and tips, book recommendations and recipes.  I love how this blogging community has given me new friends all around the world.

Wishing you all a safe and Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

See you back in 2016.

Monday 21 December 2015

2015 Finsh-along - Q4 completed

Well this has been the first year I have completed all my goals, plus a couple of extra projects in the finish-along.  Here are my Q4 finishes:

Christmas placemat - pattern from here

Birthday Club gift for Gwyneth - based on Noodlehead's wide open pouch

Rainbow Clutch, ( Grey Clutch) for Mum

X Factor Pillow Swap - done

It is so nice knowing I can start the year with some new projects and finish off some fun, just for me projects in 2016.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Scenes from my Week

From the sewing room
  • pretty Liberty scraps from PolkaDotTeaFabrics  ready to be cut up for my scrappy border on the Bloomsbury quilt
From the garden
  • looks like I will have fresh beans for Christmas Day
From the Twelve Days of Christmas Ornament swap with my sister
  • days 1-4  - hanging and spinning in the breeze - next year we make days 5-8
From the lets practice for Christmas Day files
  • the plan is that all the children (teens) will eat at the outside table, weather permitting, however it was too breezy today to set that up for photos.  I have also learned that Pohutukawa flowers in vases bring in ants - lots of them, so I won't be doing that on Christmas Day.
From the "I've joined the colouring book" craze
  • A Liberty fabric  colouring book  from my sister, a bit like random quilting, I still agonise over colour placement.
What are you doing this week?

Wednesday 9 December 2015

A Rainbow Clutch in Shades of Grey

Remember that pile of fabric that I wanted to turn into a Rainbow Clutch  (that isn't a rainbow )for my Mum. Well it has been made and gifted, so now I can show it off.  Mum had picked a variety of grey fabrics from my stash, which I subsequently narrowed down to two.

The front patterned panel is an Ann Kelle fabric and the grey is a shot cotton from Spotlight.  The lining which you can see in the top photo only, is a delicate floral from Dear Stella.

The pattern is from  Anna Graham's book, Handmade Style.  She gives really clear detailed instructions for all steps of the making process.  However after a couple of attempts at installing the back zipper,  I found it easier to baste  the rear zipper before machine sewing it in.  I did find  that some of the  many layers in places made it slightly more difficult to sew.  Overall I am happy with how it turned out, and as a bonus, this is the last item on my 2015 Finish-Along - Q4 goals, to be completed.

 Happy Birthday  Mum, I hope you enjoy using it this summer.

Sunday 6 December 2015


  • star jasmine in full bloom in my garden - love it's scent, especially first thing in the morning or in the warm evening air
  • trying out a new caramel pavlova recipe for a potential Christmas dessert - I can't remember which magazine I found the recipe in, but there are lots of similar ones on the internet
  • playing with potential borders for the Bloomsbury quilt - if I go for this option , the quilt will end up at about 80" square
Hope you have all had a great weekend.

Friday 4 December 2015

X-Factor Pillow Swap - Holiday Edition

I know there haven't been a lot of sewing posts lately, however, there has been a fair bit of secret sewing going on, which I am finally able to start posting about.  When Tiina  (Cottilello on Flickr) posted that the theme for the X Factor Pillow Swap - Round 12 was Holiday, my immediate thought was Christmas.

In New Zealand because we have a summer Christmas we don't usually decorate with holiday themed pillows and quilts, but I decided to participate anyway.  Nothing wrong with starting a new tradition in my home.

I kept thinking of a Christmas tree pillow, and one night while lying in bed, I had the brilliant idea of using a selection of green fabrics to make Sugar Loaf Blocks. While fossicking through my fabrics, I pulled out this bauble print from Ann Kelle's Jingle collection, which when fussy cut fitted perfectly in the centre of my blocks.

Carefully stitched in a simplistic tree shape with a star in the top block,  a wood grain trunk and various low volume backgrounds I had my pillow top.  Simple quilting and a bright cheery red Christmas print binding (again from the Jingle collection) completed my pillow.

This has now been sent off to it's new owner and I am waiting for my Christmas  pillow to turn up in the post - hopefully in time for Christmas this year.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Weekending - The Bloomsbury Quilt edition

My Liberty Bloomsbury quilt has been pulled out of the WIP pile this weekend, and well and truly worked on.  Over the last few evenings I have been hand appliqueing the Dresden circles and their centres on to the solid backgrounds.  I decided to go with the grape solid rather than a contrasting colour, but then while rummaging though my stash, I found this floral fabric (I think it is a Kaffe Fassett print) which picked up all the colours perfectly.  It looked too busy as the actual centre circle, however by making smaller circles I was able to use it as a feature, and I think this has also toned down the grape.  Piecing the blocks together certainly didn't take long, but pressing those seams has been hot work today.

I love how it looks so far, however I have plans to make it bigger than it's current dimensions of 60" square and have some more beautiful liberty strips that I purchased from Polka Dot Tea Fabrics to use.  

Quilt Facts:

Solids - from Spotlight
Liberty  - from Westwood Acres Liberty Club
Pattern - from Bijoux Lovely

Friday 27 November 2015

Scenes from my Week

From my morning walk 
  • beautifully vibrant pelargonium and a rose which I think is called Sally Holmes
From the sewing room
  •  my final Christmas placemat is finished - so another goal completed from my Q4 list for the 2015 finish-along.  
From the WIP pile
  • another finish - my French Hen decoration for my sister 
From the bedside table
  • new books to read and freshly picked, sweetly scented, sweet william.
From the vege garden
  • the humid spring weather means my tamarillo tree and beans are having a rapid growth spurt.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.

Sunday 22 November 2015


Rachael and Mr Chew Chew - pom pom making

Crochet lessons

Got to love my library!!

My beautiful Meadow pillow - photo courtesy of Deb

My beautiful AMH pillow/pouf from Rachel

Button detail

Beaded stitch markers
Today I made the trip from Auckland to Matangi again, for our last sewing day get together for 2015.
I had accumulated over the past couple of weeks a lovely pile of new quilting and cook books, so they were well browsed through.  Hand sewing, cross-stitch, pom-pom making and crochet lessons were all taking place today.  Lots of yummy food again too.

Gwen and I were the lucky birthday club recipients this time. I was very spoiled with the handmade gifts I was given.  From Deb, I received a beautiful Meadow pillow cover, featuring  so many gorgeous fabrics and from Rachael I received a beautiful Anna Maria Horner pillow, featuring her handmade pottery buttons.  I think my family will be banned from using these.

I made Gwen a pouch for her knitting (my first finish in my Q4 finish-along goals) and some beaded stitch markers.

Such a shame we probably won't have another get-together until next year now.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Wednesday WIP

A Christmas ornament for my sister,  from"The Twelve Days of Christmas" collection from mmmcrafts. I have the odd days, she has the even days.  This will be a French Hen!!  The embroidery is done, now I just need to wash away the stabiliser and sew it  all together.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday 15 November 2015


Well it's been a while since I did a weekending post, but here's what I got up to this weekend.
  • relaxing on Friday night, after a somewhat manic week at work - a new magazine and a glass of chardonnay, the perfect way to start the weekend
  • in the garden - lots of weeding, cutting back and planting new plants  Pleased to see my passionfruit vine has started flowering, lots more buds on it too, here's hoping I get a bumper crop after last years rather drastic pruning gave me a total of about 12 fruit.
  • in the sewing room - finally I have made a start on the final Christmas placemat , so nice to be sewing again.  
  • in the kitchen - this recipe for school (and work) lunchbox treats
Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead,