Monday, December 31, 2012

The year of the Swoon...

It is hard to believe that it is the end of they year already - time really does seem to be going faster as I get older! Although I feel like 2012 was a complete blur, it is nice to look back and see that I did actually accomplish a few things. Here are the quilts and mini quilts I made during this year - many of the mini quilts were for swaps but by far my biggest project was the Swoon quilt which I can't wait to use once it gets cooler here!
And these are all of the "other " projects - bags. pillows, table runners and of course the wonderful Zakka projects!
I have a couple of things planned for next year already :
1. The Pantone color challenge - after particpating in the Tangerine Tango challenge earlier this year, I was very excited to see the color for 2013 is Emerald green which is one of my favourites. More info here:
2. I have never been in a bee block gorup before and now I have quite nervously signed up for two of them! The first is the AusMod Bee  and the other is the Simple Solids bee which should both be fun.
Simply Solids: a modern {bee}
3. The 4th round of the DS doll quilt swap will be open for sign ups in late January 2013 here.
Wishing you all the best for the New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas! It has been a busy end of December for us - the kids had carols the evening their school year finished and the Year 12's did a fabulous version of "Jingle Bell Rock":
We have just spent a few days up at Noosa with my family - we were lucky the weather was sunny and warm.
Had a great swim at the main surf beach on Christmas Eve.
The pool at the Noosa resort was nice and refreshing to swim in.
The boys had fun playing tennis whilst Gemma and I went shopping on Hastings street and bought some delicious coffee ice cream from Gelatissimo:
Our Christmas lunch comprised of ham, tiger prawns, and turkey with an apple and walnut stuffing, along with a variety of salads - the seafood was kept on ice at the local deli to keep it nice and fresh:
With a very yummy Pavlova for dessert.
And I feel like I really don't need to eat anything for another week:)
Linking to Tuesday at the Table with Debbie at A Quilter's Table.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ruby Star Wrapping: Gift card wallets.

I saw these gift cards wallets from the Ruby Star wrapping book and decided to make a couple of them to enclose some gift cards that I had purchased for Christmas presents.
Rather than using laminated  paper like in the book, I choose some masculine fabrics to make these for my brother and father - some Echo and a print from the Denyse Schmidt Aunt Edna range. They will be now able to use them afterwards to keep business or loyalty cards in.
The cards fit in perfectly - tied up with a bit of baker's twine and now they are just right for gift giving. I really need to make a whole bunch of these ready to use as last minute gift card holders next year!
Linking up to the Ruby Star Wrap-Along and with the Ruby Star Wrapping Contest at Sew Mama Sew and also to the Monday Link up with Beth at Plum and June.
Plum and June 

A Very Happy Mail week

It really felt like Christmas this week as I have received a number of parcels containing some very nice fabricy goodness. The first to arrive was the Modern Christmas Table runner from CarolynI love her take on the granny squares which I have been just slightly addicted to lately and the patchwork really shows off the pretty Christmas fabrics - my favourite is the poinsettia one with the black background which runs down the centre of the runner.
She included a stunning brass ornament from her state of Kansas and a beautiful handmade card. 
The next to arrive was a surprise gift from Karen - she made a wonderful apron from a vintage pillowcase. The kitchen themed fabric is so cute and I may even be able to get a photo of me wearing this on Christmas Day in the kitchen:)
And last but not least, were some gorgeous Liberty fabrics which I was lucky to win from Annabella recently. The "Stile"collection is based on Art Nouveau designs and the Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
These are the very first Liberty fabrics that I have seen IRL and they are just as beautiful as I had imagined - will definitely need to find a special project for them Maybe I could use them in some purses if I can work out how to do the purse frames properly - although I found a brilliant tutorial earlier today here that looked very helpful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday & Sew-in Purses

Just making a couple of last minute Christmas gifts - the purse frames are done already. I had a 4 and a 6 inch sew-in frame and basically just traced around the frames and cut fabric in a curved shape to make the bottom part but they seem a little flat. 
I found it easier to put some pins through the holes in the frame to hold the top of the fabric in the right place while I stitched it all together.
I put a layer of batting between the outside and the lining, and the larger purse is big enough to hold an iphone 4 in it but I might try and make them differently next time so that they end wider at the base.
And now I just need to finish off a couple of gift card holders for my dad and brother.
Linking to Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
and to Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory (button in sidebar) and to the Monday link-up at Plum and June:

Plum and June

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday At The Table

We are experiencing a hot and humid summer here in Australia and I heard on the radio earlier today that over 100 storms were expected in the coming months! During summer I try to avoid turning on the oven as it makes the house even hotter, so this Chicken Schnitzel with  salad has become a favourite of ours recently.
We used pre-bought schnitzels from the deli at the local supermarket as they only take a few minutes in the frying pan, and I cook some bacon for the salad in the same pan. The salad has Cos/Romaine lettuce, grated cheese, bacon, avocado, sliced hard boiled eggs, croutons, some home grown cherry tomatoes, and a splash of low fat Caesar salad dressing.

1/4 cup low-fat natural yoghurt
11/2 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce 
1/2 tsp mustard
5 anchovy fillets, drained (optional)

Whisk yoghurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, anchovies, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and mustard together until smooth.

Linking to Tuesday at the Table with Debbie at A Quilters Table.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A "Swoon" of my own !

I am ending the year with a fairly big finish as my Swoon is done at last! This has been a year-long project which I began back in January so I am very pleased to have it all quilted and bound. 
As this quilt is so huge, I sent it to my LQS to be long arm quilted in a spirally design which I think is quite effective with these large blocks.
I used fabrics from the Denyse Schmidt Daisy Mae range with an ivory solid as the background.
And I chose a grey backing so when we use this quilt next winter, I can turn it over at night so when the cat sleeps on the bed his grey fur wont show up at all. I stitched the binding down by hand which is something I have only started doing recently but I find I really enjoy doing it now.
The only place high enough for a photo was to hang this quilt on the clothesline in the backyard:) 
Linking to the Monday link-up at Plum and June and to Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory (button in sidebar)
Plum and June

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday

My Swoon quilt has been quilted at the LQS and I really love it! (the next photo probably shows the quilting better as it is taken from a different angle so is a bit darker.)
With the help of the lady at the quilt store, I chose a swirly pattern with large and smaller spirals. There was a quilt hanging on the wall in the LQS with this design and it looked fabulous!
So I now have a long roll of binding from one of the other prints in the Daisy Mae range to bind this huge 80x80 inch quilt. I have used this same fabric a few times recently to see how it looks - it is a lovely dark navy which should frame the creamy background of the quilt well.
Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 

Monday, December 10, 2012

"Rolling Through" pillow.

I have just finished stitching the binding onto the pillow I made for my brother so at least one present is ticked off my list of things to make before Christmas! And I have also just found out that "Rolling Through" is an actual term used in cycling. 
There is a mix of shot cottons, linen and quilting cotton in the fabrics I used - I love all of the textures the different fabrics create.
As I assembled this pillow cover in a QAYG method by sewing each strip down individually before flipping it back over so the next one could be sewn, I didn't quilt in the strips like Krista did for her mini quilt. 
Joining in with the Monday link-up at Plum and June and with Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory (button in left sidebar)..

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Winner of the SMS giveaway!

The winner of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway is:
Congratulations to Michèle-Renée from Quilt Matters! I have just sent you an email for your postal address so I can mail these off to you on Monday.

Boys and men are hard! Lego mat, placemats, backpacks, car caddy, pjs? Thanks for the giveaway!

A huge thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and for your fabulous comments/ It was wonderful to read all of your ideas for "manly" gifts - I will never run out of ideas now!


Friday, December 7, 2012

December Daily

I was just reading a post about making a December Daily album by a lovely scrapbooker here in Australia - Kim Archer. The December Daily albums are great idea which was started by Ali Edwards a few years ago - you can read more about them here.
I actually did one of these albums back in 2009 and have just dug it out to have a look through it again. We went to Sea World, the boys are still playing softball, futsal and cricket as they were back then,  and Flynn became vice captain at school..
And the annual dance concert - Gemma has danced for quite a few years and we have the dress rehearsal again tonight. Back in 2009, Conor and some other boys around his age did a hip-hop performance, including their good friend who very sadly died only a couple of months ago. 
And we spent a few days at my parents place over Christmas - swimming, fishing and kayaking, before going to my brother-in-laws place at the beach for New Years. It was a fairly busy month so it is nice to be able to look back and relive the memories of that December in 2009.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day


Firstly, sorry this is a little late ! I wanted to have something made for the Sew Mama Sew giveaway but it just isn't going to happen in time so I thought I'd offer a FQ bundle of seasonal fabrics instead.
There are 5 prints including Matroyska dolls, chickens and snowflakes in red and green on a natural background which would be perfect for Christmas crafts. And also a cute little notebook to jot down your ideas.
To enter, please leave a comment below telling me some ideas for gifts for the boys or men in your life as they are the ones I find it difficult to buy or make for. If you think you may be a "no-reply" blogger then please leave your email address.
Giveaway Day
I am quite happy to post overseas also, so international entries are welcome. The giveaway is open until December 7th 2012 at 5 pm PST - which I think converts to Saturday 8th December at 12 noon AEDST.
Note: I may not get back to everyone but thank you so much for visiting and good luck!

WIP Wednesday

I am hoping to have a "Handmade" Christmas this year - not sure how I am going to go with that though as I seem to have left everything a bit late ! My family has always been very appreciative of the things I make for them so I decided to make a pillow for my brother.

I am using a pattern by Krista @ Spotted Stones from the 101 Patchwork Projects and Quilts book published last year. I am basically following her measurements but am doing a quilt as you go (QAYG) method for the strips so they are attached to the batting for the pillow front.
My brother is a triathlete and does a lot of cycling so I thought this would be a great design for him! 
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 
Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.