Thursday, December 31, 2009

Finished runner & bag

Well, I guess it did turn out to be a runner after all. I've been having fun hand quilting it so I now have bruised, scabby fingers - I just can't seem to get the hang of thimbles. For a while there I developed quilting callouses which helped protect them but I haven't done much hand sewing for a while so they have gone. In desperate times, I wrap Elastoplast around them as a makeshift thimble!

It needs a bit of a wash as the quilting marks are still on it, but here it is anyway.

I've used some of the remaining strips from the same honey bun to make this sweet little bag.

It has pleats at the front, a pocket inside and a magnetic snap closure. I'm really pleased with it. These fabrics are just so lovely and although they are Christmass-y they are not so Christmass-y I couldn't use these all year round.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Rainy day sewing

It's a wet day here, so a perfect day for staying indoors and sewing.

Do you ever just start playing with fabrics with no idea what you're trying to achieve? That's what I've been doing today. I started sewing the Glace 1 1/2" strips I got for Christmas into sets of four, then cross cut and started sewing together ..... with still no idea what I was making.

A small quilt? A cushion? A bag? A runner?

Well, it ended up this shape so I guess it is a runner or a wallhanging or could even be an extra big, long cushion ..... I still have no idea what I am doing!

The fabrics are so lovely though it has been a pleasure putting them all together.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thanks again Sue!

I've opened by CB Secret Santa gift from Sue in New Zealand and was thrilled to get this gorgeous bag. I just love it! The buttons and sweet tassel finish it off beautifully. Thanks again Sue! Unfortunately in the post-Christmas mess that is my house I have misplaced your card and letter so can't link to your blog right now.

I've spent a few lazy hours in front of DVDs lately, doing some cross stitch. This trivet was a kit I bought from Herrscheners. It came with this plastic trivet you put your cross stitch into, and then some corkboard for the base which makes it sit nicely as well as covering the messy bits.

I also bought a set of 4 coasters with the same idea, but fruit and berries themed. I am sure I'll find a few hours these hols to start them. I love crafts which not only give a beautiful product at the end, but are useful too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my bloggy friends! Hope you all have a great day.

I've "had" Christmas with my family and friends already so we'll be having a quiet day on Christmas Day which will be great - it will be nice to have a sleep in and a relaxing day!

I couldnt't resist giving the pups some of their presents early. They got new indoor mats:

And new squeaky toys:

They still have some more toys and treats to open from Grandma on Christmas Day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Secret Santa Visits Again

A Secret Santa has visited my place again today, this time from Patch n Chat. I have been truly spoiled again by some beautiful gifts.

I received some wonderfully fragrant soap "Coming Up Roses"-scented; a gorgeous little tissue holder made by eClare's Patch; a Glace sweet roll; a lovely pattern and this beautiful cushion. Oh, I got some yummy looking chocolates too but it is sweltering here today so I popped them in the fridge. I ate too much today already to even be tempted right now.

I am so impressed with the gorgeous cushion. I love the way my Secret Santa has used the fabric designs to inspire and embellish. The tiny suffolk puffs mirror the circular designs on the main fabric, and the border fabric is cleverly used as a lattice quilting design. Very clever and effective!

I also received my Christmas gift from my Mum and Dad today - an exercise bike I wanted. So I spent the last hour putting the thing together which involved a lot of cursing and swearing, but I finally got there although I'm not sure I put the tension thing on properly. I am quite pleased with it but of course, after putting it together I was hot, sweaty, sore and cranky ..... so I only rode it for a minute to test it. It said I did 0.25 of a kilometre. It's a good start I guess!

We had our team Christmas lunch at work and I ate too much and got a sore belly, plus it was really hot, so I was feeling unwell and came home an hour early. I was going to stop in at the post office on the way home to collect another parcel but a sudden storm hit as I was driving and I could barely see in front of me so I came straight home. Of course, the storm disappeared when I got home and is back to being hot and sticky. Then instead of resting my sore belly I wanted to put my bike together so I'd know if all the bits were there and it worked, so I am a bit exhausted now.

But all in all, not such a bad day, especially because of my generous and talented Secret Santa and despite being zero on the GP scale this morning (which I will explain another day).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Market finds

I went to North Rocks markets with my good friend Lyle this morning and bought a pile of second hand books, some yummy sour dough bread and other things including this fly trap plant:

There are two Venus flytraps and another one I don't know the name of - in the top right hand corner of the picture. It has fine red hairs on it with a globule of a gluey substance at the end of each strand which I guess catches unwary insects. I have to stop teasing the Venus flytraps, or they'll starve - it is so hard to resist giving them a little tickle to watch them close.

I also got these gorgeous little knitted Christmas ornaments. This talented woman also had whole knitted nativity sets including camels, and some lovely reindeer as well:

Lyle also gave me my Christmas presents early, and as usual he spoiled me rotten. One of the gifts was this chameleon I have been admiring at Blacktown markets for ages. I'm trying to decide which wall to hang him on.

And lastly, just thought I'd share that the "no puppies on the new sofas" rule is going really well, as you can see .....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gee I'm Spoiled

This gorgeous fellow turned up in the post today, a surprise Christmas gift from my talented friend Toni. He is so soft, made of the most cuddly and beautiful flannels. The stitching is just exquisite, and he is just so adorable I will treasure him! Thanks so much!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A bit of sewing

I did a bit of sewing yesterday for what seems like the first time in ages. I put together this little quilt top from a Mill House charm pack and jelly roll. I'd thought I'd bought some yardage of this fabric as well, so planned a couple of big borders, but it seems I didn't. I don't want to buy any more fabrics for a while, so I am going to have to search through my stash to find something else that sort of goes. I want a plain 2" border and then a scrappy 2" border - I have enough of the jelly strips left to make a border of 2" squares.

Sorry for the bad photo - it was a bit breezy and it was so bright I couldn't see the viewer on my camera, so just had to aim and shoot a bit blindly! It's lucky the quilt got in the photo at all!

Just a few weeks ago, I was complaining that with all the rain and hot and cold spells my back lawn was incredibly lush that I was constantly having to mow. I'd mow one weekend and by midweek the thick green grass was up to my ankles again. Recently, we had a couple of 40 degree (105 f?) days and it didn't take long for the grass to suffer. At least I won't need to mow as often, I guess.

Poor Sugar has been diagnosed with a thyroid condition so has started taking medication for that. She seems a bit brighter and more energetic already but she has been a little sick since starting it. I am not sure if it is a coincidence or not as she has always had a sensitive tummy but she's thrown up three times in the last week - and that's the ones I know about (because they were in the house). She doesn't seem to feel off colour though. We're due back at the vet in a week or two to check the thyroid levels again.