Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A touch of nostalgia

They say you can never go back and I must admit it has been a very long time since I spent any time at the Sunshine Coast where I lived for a few years as a child. Recently I was there for a few days  attending a niece's wedding at Maroochydore... what can I say; the wedding was wonderful, the weather was fabulous and I got to spend a bit of time marvelling at how much the place had changed.

Until I set foot on Maroochydore beach and looked north. This view looks just as I remember from childhood (I wasn't close enough to see bathing suits. I'm pretty sure they've changed a lot since I was a kid!).

The view to the south is a bit different, with lots of high rise apartments at Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headlands. Even so, it is still a very beautiful part of the world. Makes me wonder why I haven't taken the time to visit sooner.

On the crafting front, I have finished the top of my Dancing Nine Patch. It is off being quilted and then there will be the rush job of binding before it is raffled off on November 23. 

Nothing like a deadline!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Out and about

I have been a bit of a social butterfly lately, so not much crafting (or decorating) has been happening around here. A few weeks ago I went on a day trip to Murwillumbah to visit the Tweed Regional Art Gallery. The main attraction of course was the recreated studio of an amazing artist; Margaret Olley.

These photos are of the yellow room which featured prominently in her work. The painstaking work undertaken to catalogue, clean, pack and restore in the new location is mind boggling. The gallery is located outside the town, with stunning views to Mt Warning and the Border Ranges. Well worth a visit! The gallery cafe does great meals too... sorry... too busy eating to take food pics!

I also recently visited the Quilt & Craft show in Brisbane... looking for inspiration. I love this string pieced beauty. I saw this one in Melbourne, but neglected to take a photo.

And a close-up!

Just lovely... and yes I have been sort of inspired... I'm working to finish my dancing nine patch (started months ago). Progress soon!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

It's strawberry season...

...and while I love fresh strawberries,I'm also partial to a bit of strawberry jam. Yum! Especially on scones!

My jam is actually a strawberry/ apple combo, but the apple flavour isn't noticeable, and it makes the strawberries go  further. Win/win!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Although I haven't done much in the way of crafting lately, I did manage to finish this cute quilt for a friend's grandson.

I backed and bound it in red which I think has finished it nicely, along with some simple machine quilting.

I also bought him a copy of the book to go with the quilt. Can't start the reading habit too soon I say!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's Spring!!!

Here I am... after a much longer blogging hiatus than I intended. The recent winter months left me rather uninspired to do anything at all, much less anything creative. Spring arriving has me feeling positive again... although my thoughts are turning more towards redecorating projects than quilty or crafty ones. Although there is certain to be sewing involved at some point.

I have dusted off my favourite decorating books for a bit of inspiration.

Watch this space!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Last hurrah..

from my roses that is... lots of blooms before their winter shut down and pruning.

I am sometimes amazed that they bloom at all, as I'm not the most consistent gardener. Aren't they lovely!

I've been a bit wrapped up in heritage stuff the last couple of weeks so I thought I would share one of the gorgeous houses open in Ipswich last weekend as part of the Heritage Festival. This is 'Toronto'.

And it is every bit as cute on the inside as it is on the outside! This is what it looked like in the 1970s.

Looks a bit different now!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A bit of a gem

When I was at the Quilt Convention recently, I chanced upon a stand that caught my eye for several reasons. One, that it had interesting bits and pieces on display and two, I had read about it on other blogs.

I know many of you will recognise the name. Seeing that there was a crowd around at the show, and I was staying in Melbourne for a few extra days after, I decided to check  out the actual store.

I didn't buy much, just some vintage buttons and some fabric for my daughter (sorry, I forgot to take photos), but my sister and I had a lovely time browsing and drooling. Definitely worth a visit!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Marvellous Melbourne

It has been a while since my last post, but this time I have a very good reason. Just before Easter I spent a week in Victoria, managing to fit in a few days visiting a friend in Kyneton, a couple of days at The Australasian Quilt Convention and another couple of days playing tourist in Melbourne with my sister and brother-in-law (well, sort of being a bit of a tour guide also, since I lived in Melbourne many moons ago).
The quilt show was awesome, particularly because of the amazing building where it is held.

The Royal Exhibition Building is World Heritage listed and has been beautifully restored and maintained. It seemed to add an extra dimension to the show, quite different from the craft shows held at the modern convention centres. The quilts on show were selected from ten years worth of displays, some were familiar and some I hadn't seen before. A favourite is this one, based on an antique quilt the maker found pictured in a book by Annette Gero.

The challenge quilts had to fit the theme of "10" and there were some very clever and interesting interpretations. This one really appealed, although it wasn't a winner.

I didn't buy much, I was keen to experience the event, but of course I succumbed just a little bit. I bought a few Japanese themed fabrics as I have been planning a quilt for my son, and these were just too well priced to pass up. I also picked just a couple of fat quarters in colours I liked and a table stand for minis. I think I need to start making some small things so I don't get overwhelmed.

I had a lovely week, and apart from the first couple of days, the weather was really kind. I do love Melbourne, but I don't miss living there!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Playing around

After my retreat, I was concerned that I may have left the sewjo behind, so I am cautiously attempting to do a 'little' bit at a time and not push the issue. I have continued to play around with my scraps, cutting strips and squares and using up the fabric. I have always been a thrifty minx and I'm following the suggestions of Bonnie Hunter, who must be one of the craftiest quilters when it comes to using up a stash. Not that my stash comes anywhere near rivalling hers!!

I have started sorting into containers, but I have a long way to go.

I have also begun stitching squares into nine-patch blocks. Ultimately they will become a quilt to raffle for Wolston House. I think I like the Dancing Nine-Patch, which is a free pattern on Bonnie's blog.

Baby steps!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pretty things

Some friends have recently sold their beautiful home to relocate closer to their family. I just adore this house, restored from being two flats into a gorgeous home.

Their downsizing has meant allowing all the lovely vintage things from the house to go to new homes (sounds better than getting rid of doesn't it). I'm happy to say that one of the homes is mine! I scored these very pretty jugs, a lovely china trio (with a square plate... I love square plates!) and some gorgeous crocheted edging.

On the crafting front, I have made some progress on my sewing machine cover (no pictures yet) and spent some time cutting scraps into squares.

I have plans for another scrap quilt to raffle for Wolston House and decided to start sooner rather than later! Besides it's rainy and overcast today so I'm happy to be inside.

Monday, March 17, 2014

On retreat

In my last post I was looking for my sewjo.. and I am pleased to report it was waiting for me at Stacey's at the Gap. I got heaps done and the only thing I'm not sure about is whether the sewjo came back home with me or has stayed on to inspire someone else. Only time will tell.
So... I finished this..

... made good progress on this...

... pieced this top (a bit of a cheat really as I used a panel) ..

Don't you just love Eric Carle's illustrations!

... and made this little table mat.

I also started making a sewing machine cover for myself, so when I post finished pictures, that will probably be a good indication of whether or not the sewjo is still on vacation! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Be on the lookout

Things have been very quiet on the crafting front here at the cottage. My sewjo has been missing in action for quite some time now.. packed its bags and taken off for parts unknown. I'm thinking extended world cruise would explain things nicely; I just wish it were me.
I'm hoping it returns very soon as I am heading to Cunningham's Gap this weekend for a retreat and could really use the help getting stuff organised to take.

So far I have this quilt to bind (I finished the top at last year's retreat)

These blocks to turn into.. something?

This quilt to work on (yes, it's a carryover from last year too!)

And some fabric for a quilt for a friend's new grandson.
Enough for three days? Not sure about that.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sneak peek..

.. at some of the beautiful antique and vintage lace that will be on display at Wolston House for a few weeks, starting this Sunday.

 If you're in South-east Queensland for the next few Sundays, pop in for a visit!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I've got it covered...

In the lead up to the deadline of Christmas, I got my act together sufficiently to make a couple of gifts. I had been wanting to make my daughter a cover for her sewing machine and even bought a charm square pack at a craft show with the intention of making it for her birthday (in May). Ah well... better late etc.

The fabric range is Paris Flea Market and I got the pattern from here.

My grand-daughter is into dresses with Peter Pan collars so I made her this.

I think she liked it, but it's sometimes hard to know with a polite sixteen-year-old.

Now... about those New Year's resolutions....