Thursday, 31 December 2015

Woodland Critters Quilt

Back in January 2014 when I was still very new to quilting, I purchased a fabric range called "Woodland Critters" by SPX Fabrics and attempted to recreate a quilt pattern that I had seen a photo of in a magazine.  I was very new and unskilled, could not sew an accurate 1/4" seam, was not good at half square triangles or for that matter at quilt maths and I did not have a pattern with directions to follow.  I had taken the finished quilt to a professional long arm quilter later that same year and was laughed out the door.  The quilt top sat folded up and discarded in the "drawer of shame" ever since.  

During January 2015 my friend Julie Psarras @HeritageKeepsakes - a long arm quilter - was visiting me in Bendigo.  Before she left that day she insisted on taking with her one of my completed quilt tops to be quilted.  At that time I didn't have many full size quilt tops completed, so despite the poor quality of this one she insisted on taking it with her to perform her magic.  I gave her carte blanche to do whatever she wanted with it.  I was in no rush to receive it back and had told her to give priority to her paid work.  Imagine my surprise when a large box was delivered to me a few weeks ago.  

Here is the final product.  Photos taken at Bendigo Domain Retirement Village (please don't look too closely at my piecing it is far from perfect):


Not only am I totally in awe of Julie's fabulous quilting, I am absolutely amazed at how cleverly she has managed to disguise or camouflage many of my piecing & joining flaws.  I cannot thank her enough for bringing this quilt back to life, it no longer deserves to live in the "drawer of shame".  

Here are some close up photos of Julie's quilting:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Julie Psarras can be contacted via her website:

or via her blog: 

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt weeks 9 - 12

Oops, I am a bit behind with blogging my Farmer's Wife blocks so here are 4-week's worth of blocks.  

Week Nine kicked off on the 23rd of November and we had 3 blocks to make that week:

Week Ten started on the 30th of November and we had 2 more blocks to make:

Personally I think that my block looks like a kangaroo blowing its nose.
What do you think? =0P

Week Eleven started on the 7th of December and we had another 2 blocks to make:

Week Twelve started on the 14th of December with our last two blocks for the year:

Thankfully we now have a 2-week break until the 5th of January for me to catch up a bit... 

Here are my blocks so far - all 28 of them; only 71 more to go.
(This is NOT the final layout!)

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Tea Time Swap

I recently participated in the Tea Time Swap via Instagram.   My good friend Alison White @alisonwhite31 was the Swap Mama for all of the Australian participants.  Our secret swap partners were delegated in late June and we had until November 1st to send off our parcels.

The swap requirement was to send 1 main handmade gift & 1 item of tea in your partners preferred flavour.  Suitable items could be; cushions, table runners, embroidered hoop, mini quilt, wall hanging, mixed media canvas etc. This was not a mug rug swap therefore a mug rug was not considered substantial enough to be considered as the main gift.  The tea item should consist of special flavoured tea that our partner likes.  If we wished to include extras, things like a mug rug, tea making supplies, a nice mug/tea cup & saucer, tea towel, basically anything else with a tea theme that our partner might like, was up to our discretion.

What I Sent:

I was quite excited when I received the email containing my secret partner's details as I was assigned my dear friend Faye Peresipkin @mysewbusylife  Throughout the year, Faye and I have been partnered up in quite a few swaps and have gotten to know each other quite well via our Insta-stalking. Faye's craft work is amazing and she has a track record of spoiling me rotten.  Time to repay the favour (again)!!! 

Some time ago I had purchased a 7" stacker of the fabric range "To Norway With Love" by Sue Daley Designs.  I had put it aside together with a pattern named "Angel of the Tea Party" by Michelle Ridgway which was published in "Inspiring Country Threads Stitchery" magazine.  The two were a perfect match and I thought a perfect gift for Faye.

This is the original version of "Angel of the Tea Party" by Michelle Ridgway as featured in Inspiring Country Threads Stitchery magazine volume 14 no 1.
I added very simple stitch in the ditch quilting to the finished top.
The completed Mini Quilt that I made for Faye.
Some of the extras that I sent to Faye - a magnetic grocery list pad; a wooden tea themed shelf ornament; some ribbons for her daughter; a handmade trivet; and a tea themed card.
Faye stipulated on her application form that she likes black tea, green tea and peppermint tea.  The tea that I sent to Faye was an organic tea called  "Choc Mint After Eight" by QT Tea Co.  It is black tea with mint leaves and chocolate pieces with a chocolate mint flavour.

What I Received:

These are the mosaics that I created for my partner to give her an idea of my preferences:

@jennyofelefantz has some beautiful embroidery patterns that I like.  My kitchen colours are red & white so any red work will look fantastic.  As I often use my kitchen bench as a cutting table, a tea cup pin cushion in red & white would look lovely in my kitchen. 
I don't drink regular tea but I do drink Peppermint Tea, Spearmint Tea, and Ginger Tea.  I also don't mind Chamomile Tea or any Sleepytime Herbal blends.

My secret partner ended up being Rommy Laurie @Rommy2704 and this is what she sent me:

This is the entire parcel of goodies which I received.  It included a tea bag holder made out of Lori Holt's "Bake Sale" fabric with a selection of T2 Teas and other tea bags; a picnic set also made from "Bake Sale" which included a set of 4 coasters and a fold up placemat/table cloth; a pretty mug and a very very gorgeous mini quilt. 
Here is a close up of the beautiful mini quilt which Rommy made.  The feature fabrics are Lori Holt's "Bake Sale" and feature a kettle with a stack of tea cups beautifully hand embroidered on the right.  It is so beautifully made and will look lovely hanging on my kitchen wall underneath the Lori Holt "Farm Girl Vintage" bunting that I have made.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Weeks 6 - 8

You may have noticed that I went a little bit quiet for a few weeks back in November as my health deteriorated.  As I have fallen behind in my Farmer's Wife Blocks, I have combined weeks 6-8 in the one post:

Week Six kicked off on the 2nd of November and these are the the blocks that I made:

Week Seven started on the 9th of November and there were two blocks:

Week Eight started on the 16th of November an there were two more blocks:

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Kaffe Mini Quilt Swap

One of my favourite swaps this year has been the Kaffe Mini Quilt Swap which was hosted by Leslie Piper via Facebook.   I have recently developed a love of Kaffe Fassett's fabrics as I have been working with them to make Jen Kingwell's Circle Game Quilt. Kaffe's fabrics are loud, bright and happy.

This was a secret swap. I was making a mini quilt for someone, and someone else was making one for me.  I did not discover who this was until my parcel arrived.  Partners were assigned in mid July and we had until October to send our gifts.

Our mini quilts could feature only fabrics from the Kaffe Fassett Collective (KFC) -- Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably, and Philip Jacobs. We could use solids or near-solid fabrics (including shot cottons!) in conjunction with KFC fabrics, but the aim was to let those beautiful prints really shine!

Our mini quilt had to be no larger than 24" on each side, and no smaller than 12" on a side.  If we wished to include extra goodies with our mini quilt (scraps, notions, candy, etc.), that was entirely up to us, we were not obligated to include anything other than our mini quilt.

What I Sent:

My assigned partner was Denise {@hotpossum } in Western Australia.

I actually didn’t know Denise so I set about Instagram stalking her straight away.  I was very happy when she sent me a friend request so I could then legitimately add her as a friend without it looking obvious that I was her secret partner.  

Denise had given me pretty much free reign to make whatever I wanted in the swap as she hadn’t specified any particular favourite prints, designs or colours; but now that we were Instagram buddies I set my secret squirrel investigators to work.  They quickly discovered that she was a fan of Jen Kingwell.  Although she did not have the Circle Game quilt pattern, it was on her wish list to make one day.  Immediately I knew what I would make for her – a block from the Circle Game Quilt.  I decided that Block 16 offered a lot of scope to play with and set about making it in rainbow colours.  The top was entirely hand pieced.

The Mini Quilt that I made for my partner was based on Block 16 of The Circle Game by Jen Kingwell.

The parcel that I sent to Denise

Included with the mini quilt was a block of Lindt Chocolate; a key fob; a coin purse made out of miniature hexies; some charm squares of Kaffe Fassett fabrics; and a pin cushion.  Everything was wrapped up inside a fat quarter of Kaffe Fassett fabric and then tied with coordinating ric rac.

What I received:

I didn't post a mosaic for this swap, however I did create a Pinterest  board to give my partner an idea of my tastes.  

My secret partner ended up being Brenda Moore { @eroomkb } from Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. 
The mini quilt that Brenda made was based on the pattern "Kool Kats Kwilt" by Patti Carey and I absolutely LOVE IT!!!!!
The quilt label on the back of the mini quilt

The "extras"

The awesome "Extras" that Brenda included in my parcel included some Peppermint chocolate tea bags (they are delicious too); a Dilly Bag made from one of my favourite Kaffe prints - "Swirly Baskets"; a mini lint roller; a gorgeous lion mug; a toy for Amity - they are cat toy tea bags filled with catnip; some mini Nutella satchets; Junior Mints AND a block of Dove peppermint swirl chocolate; some hand cream; and a lovely bundle of Kaffe Fassett fabrics in various sizes. 

This is a mosaic of the photos that I posted on Instagram as I opened the parcel.  I was completely and utterly blown away by Brenda's generosity and how carefully she had chosen each item to reflect my likes and personal preferences.  What was even more exciting is that I had signed up for this swap with my friend Norma in America, and by chance, her parcel arrived at the same time as mine and we opened them together and shared the experience on Instagram.

Other photos from this swap can be viewed on Instagram using the hashtag #KaffeMiniSwap 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - Week 5

Week Five kicked off on the 26th of October and we had only the two blocks to sew:

Block 41 - Granny
"Another Grandmother" spoke of the importance of prayer.  Sometimes we find ourselves feeling "useless" and it is often during these times of distress that we turn to Jehovah God in prayer.  Jehovah listens to us and He gives us the strength to endure.  
  • 2 Corinthians 12:10  For when I am weak, then I am powerful.  
  • Philippians 4:13 For all things I have the strength through the one who gives me power. 
  • Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the tired one And full might to those lacking strength.

Block 45 - Jenny
"I Learned to Play" - according to Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4: “For everything there is an appointed time, . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to wail and a time to skip about.” 

A healthy dose of recreation is essential to reduce stress and to manage a well balanced life. If we don't, there can be physical and/or emotional health consequences.  You should aim to set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as walking, craft or listening to music. Or, allow yourself to unwind after a hectic day by reading, sewing/crafting or taking a nice hot bath.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Ballarat Bilby Reunion

On Saturday 24 October I was invited to an "IG Meet Up" aka a Bilby Reunion at Cotton Factory - my home away from home in Ballarat.  My hexie partner in crime @IsabellaGolightly26 had flown down from Sydney and was one of the "hostesses with the mostesses" together with @AnneBoundy.

My dear friend & sister @Micheles_kitchen drove up from Melbourne on the Friday and stayed for a few days with me in Bendigo - we drove down to Ballarat together on Saturday with our bilbies - Mr Greeny and Miss Penelope. 

The meet up was also to be the long awaited launch of Isabella's prized Bilby Pattern. Limited patterns were available for purchase on the day however they can also be purchased on Etsy (details below).

The lovely lady in lavender is Alison's mum
Simone, Sharon & Isabella
Just call me "Duck face" quack quack - Isabella & I caught in the act discussing the flakers from "Hexie Down Under" round 1 - trying to organise angel hexies.
It was a good opportunity for Isabella & I to catch up and discuss what to do with the flakers from "Hexie Down Under" round 1
We don't like flakers!! Grrrrr
This is a more realistic photo of the two of us!! 
Alison & Isabella drawing the door prizes.  Yes some lucky bilby won a door ;0P
And the winner is.... "where are my glasses?"
Fiona, Mr Greeny, Michele & Miss Penelope
What does your badge say Isabella? "Full of Scrap"
And even the bilbies had fun!

Miss Snow Minty; Red Spot Special; Gidget; Forest; Moonshine (the little bilby); Miss Penelope; Mr Greeny & Dandy Boy - Mr Dandy Pants
Red Spot Special; Gidget, Miss Snow Minty, Forest, Miss Penelope, Mr Greeny, Mr Dandy Pants.  Moonshine in front (the little bilby).
"Awwww behold the sacred hole"
What is it about the hole in the table that the bilbies love??

Bilby Pattern Release:

The Bilby Pattern can be purchased as a PDF download.  You can also purchase kits and bilby eyes.

Much merriment was had by all and we also raised $35 in gold coin donations for the "Save the Bilby Fund"