Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Spoilt by Father Christmas

My Christmas day was a fun and busy one. We had a family get together at our house, everyone brings a plate or two, bathers and a towel, esky with drinks and a few present goodies. It is so much fun trading, eating and chatting. This year saw the temperature at about 32 degrees celsius with a 2pm sea breeze. I did not have the heart to put the air conditioner on especially with the pool not far away. We all found our cool and comfy spot and there we relaxed.
However before the visitors arrived we had our own present unwrapping and for a week I have been staring at a rather large box from my husband under the tree. My very naughty girlfriend did lift it and told me it was heavy, I was not game to touch it in case I got caught. At last the day came. Now as I have two Part Time working boys - who have had a ball shopping with their own money buying gifts for us all and my youngest using my gift budget, this large box had to wait until last. My kids put a lot of thought into their gifts and they were practical and well suited to each of us. It was so nice to see their faces when they handed over the bundles and how much we loved the contents.
Hubby already had and knew what his gift was, I have no idea about diving gear and as that was what he wanted I left the choosing up to him. It has been sitting however, under the tree the past three weeks - now he can use it....
The large box to my great surprise was this :-
and this :-
and this :-

OMG right. I thought I had a long list of projects lined up, now it has just gone to infinity and beyond. I did think about canceling the family coming over so I could get started but I was and still am so overwhelmed that it was safer to wait a few days before I get started. I had no idea - a complete surprise. My darling husband  ordered it of the internet and intercepted the courier at the depot, so I didn't see the box. I am almost ready to brave my craft room where it is set up and have a little fiddle, I am an instructions reader and as there isn't a very big instruction book I have been scouring the internet every spare moment to learn any tips and tricks. Deep breath. Here goes........

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

How's it Hanging?

Don't you just love Christmas? It is my favourite time of year. On the 1st of November all of my year round pictures and hangings come down and all of my Christmas things go up. On the 1st of December the tree and the rest of the decorations go up. I love the change the house undergoes in this period. I have had a couple of Christmas finishes this year so we had to find new places to hang them. So here is a run down of what is hanging in my house.

 My husband made me this quilt rail and shelf. I love it and have put in a request for number 2....

A Teddlywinks design

 These 2 are Nancy Halvorsen panels. I really enjoy hand quilting these very simply and just adding borders. I do other more complex projects so these are nice and easy. Non sewers seem to like to start on these. Then they get hooked.

The Reindeer Pause and You Better Not Pout are also Nancy Halvorsen designs from her books. I also used her fabric range. These were my first attempts at blanket stitch in about 20 years. So this was a big step at the time. Sad to say it took me along time to finish however my excuse at the time was that I was juggling work, kids, husband and sewing

 I found this one in a magazine years ago, and back then I didn't keep a record of where when how and why, it is a cutey though

 Yet another Nancy Halvorsen. I love her stuff. I have 2 more panels ready to be hand quilted, they could be awhile off. And of course Tis the Season by Anni Downs has been placed on the to be completed for 2012 list.
The table runner you have seen in a previous post.
Of course I am sure that more projects will present themselves for future Xmas's. I believe as Christmas comes every year, I can't go wrong with " The more the merrier " attitude.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Teachers Pressie

My 10 year old daughter has had a good year at school, her teacher has been lovely and although I hate to say it, sometimes this is not the case. Teachers have a hard job....... Need I say more. Anyway I am ashamed to say that I had completely forgotten her gift. My theme this year for our family gifts is mug rugs, as you may have read. I like the idea of mug rugs, we all have our tea / coffee as a breather - some of us have to have it on the go. It is nice to think that when you have this mind saving beverage that a little rug, a nice cup and a couple of biscuits adds to the moment.
So pedal to the metal............ I am so pleased with how it turned out. I did not have time to think and rethink as I usually do. I pulled the fabrics, found a pattern and set too. The pattern had never been tried before. I usually like to test a pattern before I make it as a gift. Sigh of relief. It is a Chandlers Cottage - Chinese Treasure Purse www.chandlerscottage.com . I bought it as a kit about 8 years ago and have never made it up - and now I will. It is on my things to do list. We buy, we have intentions, we buy...........

This is the mug rug.

The bag and bag base, I like the pin wheel effect. I also placed a plastic bag base on the inside of the bag. It is removable.

And finally the whole package.

I had to take the pictures by the pool, the only good light for photo's. Perth has been seeing some really unusual weather and yesterday saw fantastic cloud formations and colour as well as the most spectacular lightning show and 40mm of rain in 30 minutes. This makes it our wettest December in 65 years.
Only 2 mug rugs left that need binding with a few days to spare.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

What's In My Basket.

My sewing room also doubles as a guest room, so when we have visitors stay I shut down my sewing and move my table to allow bed and bits in. The down side is I am unable to access my machine and fabrics, the upside is I set up my basket and put in all the little hand sewing projects that need to be finished. Usually these are not in one place so they get forgotten. So in the lead up to the arrival of guests, I sought through my room putting bits away and give it a clean. When the guests leave I have a lovely clean slate to fill with my "creativity". In my house a messy sewing room is labelled "Creative". So back to my basket. Now just because I put things in my basket doesn't mean I get it all finished, wishful thinking.....

Yes it is pretty full, and the sad thing is I could have added a heap more.

Bindings for Mug Rugs - Xmas pressies....... Before my visitors arrived I was madly sewing on the last of my bindings at the machine.
Ready to hand stitch
Ready to machine stitch

Tis the Season stitcheries. I had hoped to have these finished for Christmas, but I am not too bothered if I don't. I did finish two other hangings so this could be a nice new one for next year.

These are some blocks from Teddy Tea Party by Teddlywinks. This project has been going on for about 3 years, I think this is a good one for me to finish in 2012. 

Heaps of hexagons as always. Progress has been good on this project. I thought this would be a long term, however I seem to be cruising quite nicely at the moment.
I had enough fabrics leftover from the mug rugs to make a table runner for my dining table. Our table is a 12 seater, so table runners seem like small quilts when putting them together. This runner and the 30 mug rugs were made out of two Jelly Rolls. I then purchased plain colored and white homespun for borders and binding. I couldn't decide which color binding to use on the runner so as you can see I used them all.  

I have just realised that I have not made a gift for my daughters teacher so I will have to jump to that, 5 days until school breakup - nothing like a deadline. We have had a good year with this particular teacher and I would like to make something extra special. I also make my Nanna's dresses and they have been bumped up the priority list. So the few bits I have put on the back burner will be nice to finish off in the new year. Boy that sounds weird. Christmas - not far away.......