June Friday Night Sew In…be there or be square…

I missed last month’s sew in – not that I wasn’t sewing, just that I wasn’t around to flaunt my work, as I was away on retreat. Planning for this one though… finishing off the Butterfly wallhanging mentioned here – just to sew down binding and hanging sleeve and it’s done… and doing some work on extra something for my cat loving swap partner to apologize for being so tardy… and also working on a teacosy for another swap partner.

Will need to be careful about photo’s as I think the girls look at the blog sometimes!

Butterflies, flutterbies…

I am part of a private Flickr group that is making tea/coffee themed blocks each month … well, I’m mean’t to be, but still trying to work out what I want to do.

But, they also have organised monthly swaps, that you can volunteer to participate in.

I showed photo’s of the pincushion swap here, and last month’s swap was butterfly themed.   I love butterfly quilts, have one on the go, and plans to do others at some stage.   So you can imagine my delight when opening my parcel from the lovely Kate in the UK to discover this bounty…

2 lovely appliqued blocks


A truly gorgeous needlebook

And a lovely mug warmer.

With most of May being a bit of a write-off quilting and stitching wise due to the dreaded lurgy and subsequent headaches/migraines, I, of course, am running behind on my project for Kate.   But here is a sneak peak of a appliqued and stitched butterfly wallhanging that I’m hoping to have on it’s way but week’s end.

The Big Reveal… Parsonage Dresden Plate Exchange

I’ve posted quite a few times about the Parsonage Dresden Plate Exchange… a 9 month block exchange where a group of 9 friends made Dresden Plates to the specified pattern, colour and size all to be revealed at our annual retreat at the Parsonage in Maldon end of May.

I can now reveal all of the sets of blocks made (except mine… which was left behind in Melbourne and I still haven’t received… sigh!)

Pam's Pink and Green Dresdens

Jayne's Pink/Red/Cream Dresdens

As you can see, Jayne made extra’s – and still has more to make – she wants this for her bed!

Blurry photo of Debbie's Dresden Hearts

Jenni's Autumn Dresdens

Megan's Red and White Dresdens

Jule's Peace on Earth Dresdens

Kylie's Pretty Spotty Paisley Dresdens

Catherine's Red, Green, Brown, Pink Dresdens

Fancy Work Revisited… and a winner

Further to my previous post, Fancy Work – I used a Random Number Generator to pick the winner, which was Kay whose comment made me laugh:

I drive myself to work now – so can’t “do” stuff on the trip. I listen to recorded books though – can’t waste time!!!
But my first job at 16 was in Brisbane (55 years ago). I used to travel to work on the tram – and I used to knit. For a while I was knitting booties for my older sisters new baby and I used to get lots of “sad ” smiles and one day when I got up to give my seat to an older lady – she said “no dearie you sit – your need is greater than mine” After that I stopped knitting booties on the tram.

Kay, send me an email with your details and I’ll get your prize in the mail to you.

It was lovely to read all your comments and stories, and it seems that men are more likely to comment on fancy work being done, as since the previous experience, I’ve had two further conversations on the bus.   One with a reasonably youngish guy who was standing next to my seat, who asked what I was doing, and how good it looked.   And another older gentleman, who as he passed my seat to take the seat opposite the aisle, remarked “It’s been awhile since I’ve seen someone doing work like that!”.

As to the ‘secret squirrel’ work I was doing – you can see below the 2 pincushions I made for Sandy as part of a pincushion swap on a Flickr group I belong to.

And below that photo’s of the gorgeous pincushions and goodies she sent me – am very spoiled.   If you check out Sandy’s photostream you can see this is one talented renaissance fancy worker!

Prompted by my posing the various fancy work projects for the photo in the previous post, I can confess, I’ve now finished off the stitching on all but of these projects, and just need to do the finishing off, and will then post photo’s.

Something borrowed… Dresden Plates

Taking some creative licence with the meaning of borrowed… for me, it’s working on someone else’s work as part of a swap, or working on a project started by someone else.

These blocks are more of the Parsonage Great Dresden Plate Exchange.

My block for Jules

Jules provided lovely Blackbird Design fabrics, mostly from the Peace on Earth range.

My block for Kylie

I don’t know which range Kylie provided, whereas initially I thought it a bit too pretty, I actually really liked making this block, expecially the dots.  Disappointed on my centre though…

Christmas Design SAL – January 2010

Well the staycation is over, back to work today…

The last few weeks of my holidays were spent doing some stitching on my Blackbird Design Stockings for Yoyo’s Christmas Design SAL for January, and I finished another two.

Blackbird Designs, By The Chimney with Care - Auld Lang Syne, Stitches and Spice Celtic 32ct Belfast Linen, The Gentle Arts Thread - Onyx and Cherry Bark

Blackbird Designs, Love is in the Air - Sweetheart Sampler, Stitches and Spice Celtic 32ct Belfast Linen, The Gentle Arts Thread - Cherry Bark

While I’m really loving this little stockings, I realise the stockings aren’t actually Christmas themed… so am also hoping to progress some Christmas designed cross-stitch UFO’s starting with my Patchwork Santa which is currently at this stage, and has been since 2008.

Patchwork Santa

The other main priority for January was my blocks for Aunty Pitty Pat’s Holly Jolly Christmas Swap.   As I joined up in three of the swaps, I made 72 twelve inch blocks – 36 appliqued blocks and 36 nine patches, all posted off last week.

Holly Jolly Christmas Ornaments

Holly Jolly Santa's Hats

Holly Jolly Plum Puddings

Having got these out of the way, I spent the last few days watching Series 3 and 4 of Numb3rs while working on a very, very old UFO or PAASS (Projects at a Stand Still)… will post some photo’s later.

Staycation Day 1 – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Yesterday was Day 1 of my 6 week ‘staycation’ and I’m hoping to do a blog post each day monitoring my progress towards my goal of using needle and thread every day!

I spent the majority of the day doing shopping, as another goal of this break is to get into a better ‘eating’ regime.   Spent the afternoon at Mum’s basting a quilt top to take to our hand quilting class at Needle and Pins last night.

This was the 2nd and last class with Kaye – last month we worked on a practice piece learning Kaye’s technique involving using your thumb and a very loose quilt.   I wanted to have a go at working on something bigger, so have started handquilting a quilt made for me by Anjii from QDU several years ago… can’t show photo as I left the quilt at Mum’s last night to do some work on tomorrow.

Zen De Jour for Staycation 1

Have made a start on my Blackbird Designs Stockings Series which I am doing as part of a year long Cross Stitch Chrismas Stitch along organised by Yoyo at Dragon My Needle.   Each of the monthly patterns include 3 stockings, and I am hoping to get at least 1 stitched each month.   This one is  Winter Carnation.   Using Stitches and Spice Wintered Marble 32ct Belfast Linen and Gentle Arts threads.

Also still progressing on the South Seas Lace SAL, though Claire and Sandra have finished their’s awhile ago!   It’s coming along, a little bit at a time.

Viewing De Jour

While doing this work, I’ve been watching Season One of the X Files – I loved this show back in the day, one of those programs where I’d seriously debate going out if it was X files night!   So, have been enjoying watching these again, and realising that some of these still are really creepy!   Have watched about 7 episodes over the last week.

Reading de Jour

Finished Book 8 of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Series – Dead to Worse – having read 1-8 over the last 2 weeks.   These are ok, not as great as other Harris books, but fun and easy to read.

Am hoping to do a fair bit of reading or re-reading over this break.   Though this year has already been a major reading year for me.

Only other thing to show is these Christmas decorations I made for a group of friends last week.   The 6 of us worked together between 1990-1995 and have regularly caught up since, usually for brunch several times a year and an annual Christmas get together.  I’ve missed a lot of the catch ups this year, so it was lovely to see them all last weekend – and as has become tradition – I made them all a hand stitched ornament.   These designs came from a vintage book of iron on’s – I had wondered if they’d still work – well they worked so well not only did they iron on to the fabric, but I also each image imprinted on my ironing board cover!   There are about 50 designs in the book, and I’ve decided to do each of them onto blocks next year to see about incorporating them into a quilt – as they were fun to do!

Now!  Regarding that blog title.  I usually go all out decorating for Christmas, but since moving into the place I’m in I haven’t been motivated at all – hence Christmas decorations – of the santa and angel variety – have been kept in the garage for the last 2 years.   Mum, on the other hand – transforms her house each year – there is usually some new stitchery project or quilt, plus the old ones – to the point that she’s running out of room.   So below – a tour of Flossie’s Christmas living room!

The mantle – filled with homemade stockings.

Redwork Santa – a design from a McCalls Quilts for Christmas Magazine

Technicolour Christmas – a Row by Row swap we participated in – sorry for the blurry photo, and the colours are a lot more vibrant then they appear – all Moda Marbles fabrics,

Another blurry photo – Various redwork Christmas designs – made by Mum about 6 years ago – still one of my favourites!

A variety of stitcheries.

Below are Mum’s projects from this year – one a little stitchery, the other a English paper pieced Christmas tree – she was still working on this when I took the photo’s last weekend, but it’s now finished and up on the wall.

And each year Mum makes a Christmas themed T-shirt for my sister and herself (much as I love the craft – I ain’t going to wear patchwork or applique!!!).   These are this years efforts.

And finally – one my favourite of the Mum’s Christmas decoration – she’s made lots of these over the years!