Monday, 18 January 2016

Hexie Down Under - Round 3

Wow! Hexie Down Under round 3 filled up VERY fast, we had to close off registrations after just 39 hours!

I am hoping to have all applicants screened & the groups assigned later this week.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Hexie Down Under Round 3

Welcome to Hexie Down Under round 3!

Are you a hexie fan? Would you like to create your own hexie masterpiece but are limited by what's in your fabric stash?  Swapping with other hexie fans is a great way to mix up the fabrics in your hexie collection, so Isabella Golightly and I have decided to set up an affordable swap just within Australia.  One that is EASY to do and INEXPENSIVE to be a part of.
  • Can you accurately thread or glue baste a 1" hexie?  
  • Can you neatly stitch these hexies into a hexie flower?  
  • Do you live in Australia?  
If you answered yes to each of these questions then you are eligible to join #HexieDownUnder3  This swap will be for both thread basters and glue basters.  You can specify your preference and depending upon numbers we will attempt to keep these two methods in separate groups.   
We have had a number of people ask us if we could include an option to request LOOSE HEXIES as either they already had sufficient hexie flowers for their chosen layouts and/or their health conditions restricted the number of flowers that they could stitch. Therefore we have decided to introduce a "LOOSEY GOOSEY" group. This group will be required to send a total of 13 basted hexies to each of their group members.  You will be able to choose one of two options:
  • 12 hexies in the same fabric plus 1 signature hexie, or
  • 12 mixed hexies plus 1 signature hexie

There is a separate sign up link for this group (further down). You may choose to sign up for the "LOOSEY GOOSEY" group or for one of the regular hexie flower groups or sign up for both options.  Postage for the "LOOSEY GOOSEY" option should only be $1.00 per envelope as they should be able to fit in a regular sized envelope.  Please leave hexie papers IN the hexies.

  • This swap is open to Australians with an Australian postal address only. Sorry, no international members.
  • You MUST have a public Instagram account (no exceptions this time).
  • Members of Hexie Down Under (regular groups) are required to create and mail at least two (2) hexie flowers to each person on their list before 31 March 2016; 
  • Loosey Goosey members are required to send 13 hexies to each member on their list before 31 March 2016.
  • All members should be able to accurately thread or glue baste 1" hexies and if in one of the regular groups they are required to sew them neatly together into a hexie flower.  Please ensure that your stitches are tight enough that the petals will not fall apart.
  • Members are to use a good quality quilting cotton. Please do not use any other type/s of fabrics 
  • All signature/centre hexies should be white (unless requested otherwise) and you are required to write your name, your Instagram account name, and where you are from on the signature/centre hexie with a permanent fabric marker.  
  • Please leave the papers/cardboard in so that the recipient can join them together easily. 
  • Post a photograph of your finished hexies on Instagram tagging the recipient together with the hashtag #HexieDownUnder3 or #HexieDownUnder3LooseyGoosey prior to mailing them off.


Yes you read that correctly, you are not required to send anything other than the hexies to the members on your list.  Please note that Australia Post has increased the price of postage stamps from 4 January 2016.   If you use a C5 sized envelope (162 x 229 mm) it will now cost $2 to post within Australia at the Regular rate.  Please refer directly to Australia Post for their new pricing structure. Loosey Goosey members should be able to fit their loose hexies in a normal sized envelope which will cost $1 to post within Australia.  Please note that Aged & Disabled Pensioners are eligible for concession stamps.  Please contact Australia Post direct for further information.

Maximum estimated participation costs: $2 @ 20 group members = $40 postage costs over 3-months (less for eligible pensioners) PLUS the cost of your hexie papers - you will need at least 280 papers.  A packet of 100 papers costs on average $5 - $7 depending on the retailer.  You are welcome to make your own papers.  We encourage you to use the fabric & threads that you already have in your stash. If you do not have a certain colour/print, please ask your group leader, they will be able to assist you and/or arrange to trade fabric with another group member.  

Once the sign up data has been collated, you will be emailed a spreadsheet containing the details of the people in your group.  You can work through this list at your own pace and mail them off as you go, however, we do request that you complete your list before 31 March 2016 - that gives you approximately 3-months to complete your list. There will be a mandatory check in each month and again towards the end of the swap where you will be asked for a status update of your work and a list of who you are yet to receive from.  If at any stage throughout the swap you need assistance to complete your hexies PLEASE ASK!  We understand that life happens and Hexie Angels are there to assist if required.  All members will be checked against the Swapper's Black List and any known "flakers" will not be accepted.  If you deliberately flake on us you WILL be added to the Swapper's Black List!

This round we plan to provide a few articles to assist with organizing yourself and the best methods of stitching your hexies.

We will be capping the groups to a maximum of 20 members per group to keep numbers manageable so the MAXIMUM number of hexie flowers that you will be making will be 40 (2 per person if we have 20 members per group - in round 1 we had 18 members per group / in round 2 we had 15 members per group).   Sign ups will remain open for one week or until we have reached 60 members (whichever comes first), so be quick, latecomers will not be accepted once group lists have been compiled!  Existing members are welcome to re register (anyone who mailed their hexies late in round 1 or 2 will have their application assessed on a case by case basis by Isabella & I and will be accepted at our discretion). New members are welcome so please tell your friends. 

Please click on one of the registration logos below to access the sign up forms:

  Click To Register

If you are interested in being a Group Leader, please contact me direct to discuss.

Depending upon popularity, we aim to have #HexieDownUnder4 commence in April for a June 2016 finish.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

My Kitten Mini Quilt Swap parcel of awesomeness

Further to Tuesday's post about the Kitten Mini Quilt Swap - here is the parcel of awesomeness that I received from my swap partner who funnily enough was Jeanette! @jeannettelgraham  Yes, unknown to both of us at the time, Marni had matched us both up together.  

When the parcel arrived, I went outside to open it with Gemma:

Lots and lots of pretty brown paper packages tied up with string
There was a special parcel with Gemma's name on it.
"Thank You Auntie Jeanette"
Inside were some yummies just for her!!!
The complete parcel of awsomeness
Biscuits & coffee for me and Whiskas for Gemma
This beautiful softie is actually a scissor holder & pin cushion
Tea Towel
A lovely mini quilt
A beautiful embroidered wall hanging which is now hanging in my kitchen/lounge room

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Kitten Mini Quilt Swap

Last year I participated in the Kitten Mini Quilt Swap which was hosted by Marni Franks @FrankiesFabrics.  At the time of completing the swap I was without access to my laptop and by the time I was able to sit down and blog about it, my darling Gemma had just passed away.  Hence I kept putting it off. Since Marni has just opened up registrations for this year's round, I thought I'd better type this up.

We were assigned our partners back in December 2014 and we had until 31 March 2015 (3 months) to create a mini quilt to send to our secret partner. The theme was Cats and Kittens.  Much to my delight, my assigned swap partner was a good friend of mine - fellow crazy cat lady Jeanette in Queensland @jeanettelgraham.  As Jeanette is a friend of mine, I included quite a bit more than normal in this swap parcel.

At the time of this swap Jeanette had 5 cats living with her.  Her favourite colours were purple, red and blue.  This is what I made and sent to her:  

The parcel we sent
Some extras - a note pad and some stickers
The card we sent was handmade by Willow Fox Design in Bendigo
Some more extras - a Cat Purse (design by LYPatterns), a key fob and some washi tape
Some more extras - a set of three Cat Lady Embroidery Hoops - pattern by Becky Helms
"Fish 'n' Chips" cat softie - pattern by Ric Rac
The mini quilt that I made - designed by me - made from "Here Kitty Kitty" fabric by Alyssa Thomas for Clothworks.
Gemma helped me to wrap all of the items
There were extra yummies specially packed for Evie, Bella, Lucy, Garfield & Mr Hyde  - Jeanette's pussy cats

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Norma's Kaffetastic Kaffetivating Circle Game Quilt

What do you give a friend who is the best kind of friend?  A friend who is always there to prop you up whenever you are feeling down; one who will always bring a smile to your face and have you doubled over from laughing; one who is always there to share a cuppa (even if only via Instagram); one who is not only spiritually encouraging but is always up for a bit of secret squirrel mischief; a fellow lover of Kaffe Fassett fabrics and one who has been drooling over your latest quilt creation... hmmmm a smaller version of the quilt that you are making made in Kaffe Fassett fabrics of course!

My dear friend Norma may live on the other side of the world in Savannah, Georgia (USA); but despite the distance, it feels like she is always here with me thanks to social media.

The last few months since I lost my precious purr-baby Gemma, I have immersed myself into making my Circle Game Quilt (pattern by Jen Kingwell). I initially started to post photos of some of the blocks on the blog earlier in the year however the quilt started to head in a different direction style wise and my earlier blocks no longer fitted with the new scheme.  I had four "spare" blocks and despite telling Norma that I had thrown them out (as if!), I put them aside with her name pinned to them.  Initially I sewed the four blocks together but they didn't feel right, so after discussing options with a mutual friend I decided to make some extra blocks and enlarge it into a lap size quilt for Norma to snuggle under.  

Norma's favourite colour is aqua so I used an aqua wideback fabric for the backing and I hand quilted it using black and grey Perle 8 threads. Before I posted the quilt to Norma, I took it with me on a recent Probus day trip to the Melbourne Docklands - here are some of the photos: 

Our first stop on the tour was at the "Organ Pipes National Park" a national park located in the Central region of Victoria.  Sadly we didn't have time to explore but I did manage a few quick photos near the car park. 

Later that day as we stopped for lunch at "Pier 35 Bar & Grill" in Port Melbourne, as the group sat and chatted I grabbed the quilt and my camera and took a few more photos along the waterfront:


Here are some close ups of the front and the back of the quilt which I took when I got back to Bendigo (the lap quilt measured approximately 41"sq):

Front of Quilt
Back of quilt showing the hand quilting.

The quilt was posted in November with some other goodies and after an extended delay by the USPS in New York, it EVENTUALLY arrived at Norma's house a month later.

Just to clarify it was actually a Lap Quilt & not a mini.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Probus Mystery Tour

Back on the 18th of November 2015, my parents invited me to join them and their Probus group on a "Mystery Tour".  We departed Bendigo early morning and headed off on our adventure.  After a brief comfort stop at the Organ Pipes National Park the coach continued down the Calder Highway towards Melbourne.  

Our first major stop was a visit to the Melbourne Star a giant Ferris wheel in the Waterfront City precinct in the Docklands area of Melbourne.  Melbourne Star is one of only four giant observation wheels in the world and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere. Each of the Melbourne Star's 21 spacious, air-conditioned cabins gives you an unparallelled, 360-degree view of the city.  Once on board you can walk around and take in the views from all angles, while audio commentary gives you a brief introduction to the history and significance of the sights below.

Welcome to Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
Our "flight" commences
My Mum looks like she's praying! =0)
My Dad is behind the camera lens
West Gate Bridge in the background and the shipping container yards of Port Melbourne.
Bolte Bridge
A view of Melbourne's CBD
A view of the Yarra River
A view of one of the other cabins going over the top.
Another river view
Bolte Bridge
Coming in to land
A close up view of the mechanics
Another view of the observation wheel
I don't have many family photos so it was nice to have this photo of my parents & I which was taken by one of Melbourne Star's photographers.

After our 30-minute "flight" we were driven to Port Melbourne where we enjoyed a relaxing lunch at Pier 35 Bar & Grill.  

Pier 35 Bar & Grill is located on the waterfront in Port Melbourne, and features modern Australian cuisine with a variety of fresh seafood and steaks as well as an extensive wine list. The restaurant has cosy and warm surrounds in one of Melbourne's best water front locations. The floor to ceiling windows show off their waterfront location so that every table has a view of Port Melbourne's unique waterways. 

My lunch - a calamari salad - YUM!!!
Mum had a Chicken Parmigiana for lunch.
A rare photo of me outside the restaurant.

On the way back to Bendigo we stopped off at Donnybrook Cheese at Monteleone Restaurant in Donnybrook where we enjoyed a coffee and watched a cheese making demonstration.  

Donnybrook Cheese and Monteleone Restaurant are owned and operated by the Monteleone family who for 5 generations have been making Artisan gourmet cheese. Located at Donnybrook, the restaurant was founded from a simple philosophy that cheese enhances every delicious meal.  The restaurant contains delectable Italian cuisine, specialising in wood fired pizza and fresh rustic dishes found in Southern Italy. The restaurant is attached to the well known Donnybrook Farmhouse Cheese shop. While dining, patrons are free to pop in to the shop and sample their freshly made dairy produce made traditionally with milk from their own heard of cows.  Outside of the restaurant’s trading hours, the cheese shop is open to the public from 9am - 5pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Inside the restaurant
View of the wood fired oven
My coffee made with milk that was fresh from the cow.
Looking inside the cheese fridge in the shop
40+ Probus members fighting to get to the front of the queue to buy cheese
My cheese haul.
We arrived back into Bendigo early evening after a fun filled day with our bellies full of yummy food & a bag full of cheese.