Thursday, December 29, 2011

Handmade Gorgeousness!

Do you find that because you are a quilter, people don't tend to give you handmade gifts anymore? Perhaps they are worried we will see any faults or think that is it something we could make ourselves. But I still love receiving a handmade gift, particularly because I know the thought, love and care that has gone into the gift. I guess this is part of the fun of joining a quilt swap like Chookyblue's SSCS that she runs each Christmas. Not only do I get to make a gift for someone on the other side of the world, I also have the pleasure of receiving something beautiful that someone has made just for me. And check out what Judith from the Netherlands has made for me....

I love it. Judith this little quilt is perfect and I have just the spot for it, thank you so much!

Next post I will show some pics of the little quilt I made for my SSCS partner, also in the Netherlands. A huge thank you to the wonderful Christmas Elf Chookyblue for once again organising a very successful swap. You can see all the wonderful handmade gifts listed over on Chooky's blog too.

But that wasn't the only handmade gift I received this year. For my birthday my wonderful friend and colleague made me a quilt covered book for all my quilty sketches and designs...

This will be well used for sure

as well as a gorgeous timber thread holder with cute pincushion, lucky me. (Kathy's Dad made the timber parts, very clever!).

Talking about handmade gifts, my friend Deb finished her two monster cushions she gave to her nephews for Christmas, how darling are these?

Even the backs are beautiful. The pattern for these came from Don't Look Now's pattern Little Monsters.

On another topic, have you seen this months block for our bloggers bom yet? You might want to rush over (here) to check it out, Pat Sloans block is fabulous, but not only that, she also has a giveaway for this beautiful fabric...

You can check out all the variations of this block in the bloggers bom flickr group, I love seeing everybody's interpretations of the same blocks! I hope to make up this block with my Keiko Goke fabrics soon, but in the meantime, I'm having fun playing with some delightful fabric I found recently, isn't this just gorgeous?...

If I don't get back before Saturday, I hope you all have a wonderful New Years Eve, and not too much feeling like this the next day....!!! xo

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SSCS, A Birthday & Honeycomb

Recently my SSCS pressie arrived in the post all the way from the Netherlands! Now according to the wonderful Christmas elf Chookyblue, I have to wait patiently until Christmas morning to open my present, but I can open my handmade ornament...which I did...straight away!! Oh wow, look what Judith made me....

There are six sides on this amazing ornament, each one of them Judith has stitched carefully and lovingly. It is such a beautiful thing to be able to hang something on my tree made just for me from someone on the other side of the world. Thank you Judith and thank you Chookyblue for organising this years swap! After Christmas I will be able to show the big present that Judith made for me, as well as the one I made for my secret swap partner.

The other thing that happened this week was that I turned 44 last Saturday. It's funny, I really didn't enjoy turning 44, perhaps the number is too even for my liking, which means 45 should be much better next year, heehee! I had a lovely day and was spoilt by my family and friends, even though I also picked up a virus and ended up in bed for a day and a half!!  Feeling much better now.

I also share my birthday with gorgeous Michelle (Quilted Tortoise) who had a big one this year... happy 40th for last Saturday Michelle.

And I just have to show some of my dotty honeycomb kei that also came in the mail recently. Purchased from the lovely and always helpful Yuki over at La Chakra, I just adore these kei dots from Japan.

Oh, and don't forget to look out for our fourth bloggers bom block, a little birdie told me it will be out just after Christmas! xo

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Treehouse Textiles

There is a buzz going on down here on the Mornington Peninsula and I'm so excited to be a small part of it.  A very talented Mother and Daughter team (Sarah and Emma) are launching a new craft destination called Treehouse Textiles very early in the new year.

The Mornington Peninsula is renowned for its beautiful coastline and bay areas, stunning wineries, galleries and cafe's and now we will have our very own workspace, set on a magnificent 50 acre property overlooking a secluded lake. I have visited the site and I can tell you it is simply breathtaking.

Creativity will abound here as crafters take workshops in modern quilt making, dress making and crochet, with amazing lunches provided by a local chef.

Emma and Sarah will be inviting wonderful guest teachers to provide varied workshops throughout the year, I know that the gorgeous Nicole Mallalieu will be teaching here next year (I recently attended a bag class of Nicole's and learnt so much about bag making, see my bag here).

Emma herself is an incredible lady who has been running a successful children's clothing label Yknot Designs, selling her range at craft fairs and to shops in Australia and New Zealand. Her enthusiasm is infectious and I've been thrilled to get to know Emma and be inspired by her over the past few months.

I'm also incredibly excited to tell you that Emma and Sarah have asked me to come and teach a couple of classes for them next year, yay!!! I will be teaching the wonderful x and + and o blocks from this quilt...

and this one...

I adore these blocks and find them very addictive and fun to make.

For further information about this fabulous new venture and to subscribe to the monthly newsletter so you can keep an eye on all the happenings at Treehouse Textiles, pop over to their webpage here.

I look forward to seeing you there. xo

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Evening at the Beach

Last night was a beautiful evening here on the Peninsula, so I decided to take my star quilt to the beach (as you do!!!).

These photo's were taken around 8:30pm, the light was just perfect.

If you want to know where this pattern came from see here.

I have never tired of these beautiful fabrics (Amy Butler Soul Blossoms and Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons).

DH and Millie came too, DH thinks this shot should go into a magazine advertising the Peninsula!!!

The brown row is my last full round for this quilt.

The next row is my 'squaring up' round. What this means is that I will be placing triangles along the four finished sides (top, bottom and both sides), and then squares along the four corners. I've laid the readied triangles out so you can get an idea of what it will look like along the sides...

...and in the corners (now I just need to find time to stitch them all on!). Once this squaring up row is done I will need to work on the four corners until the quilt is a full square.

Initially I was only going to use the Amy Butler Soul Blossoms and Kaffes shot cottons for this entire quilt, however when I purchased some of the Amy Butler Organic Soul Night Tree in Cilantro, I changed my mind, I think this gorgeous print will look lovely for the squaring off round.

I started paper piecing this quilt back in February, so it may yet take me over a year to finish. It has come along way since then and it has been wonderful to have some hand work to pick up whenever I felt like some quiet stitching time!

Ok, back to reality now for me, I'm on the late shift at the library so I will see you tomorrow. xo

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bloggers Bom Block Three

The lovely Stephanie (Loft Creations) designed our third bloggers bom block and I just love her split star block. Her great instructions are here. Once again I have made two blocks using the gorgeous crayonlike fabrics from Keiko Goke. A darker one...

and a lighter one...

You can see many other bloggers bom blocks over on our flickr page, they are all looking so beautiful. Our fourth block will be bought to us by the gorgeous Pat Sloan around Christmas (can you believe it is nearly Christmas time again?!!).

Talking about Christmas my SSCS pressie has been made, posted and received. It is such an exciting time of year when you are waiting for a handmade present to arrive from an unknown international destination! Tomorrow I will show how to make a very quick and easy Christmas Decoration for your tree. xo

Saturday, December 3, 2011

This Time Last Week... friend Deb and I were stitching away at The Grange at Lancefield, near the beautiful Macedon Ranges. We had joined up with a group of women on their stitching retreat, hosted by the gorgeous Jenny K from Amitie. When Jenny blogged that there were a couple of tickets left we jumped at the chance to go. It was a fantastic set up at The Grange, lovely rooms to stay in, beautiful grounds, an amazing chef who helped us put on a few kilo's each, and a great room to sit as a group and work away at whatever we had chosen to sew all weekend.

We were very inspired by the stitching going on in that room, unfortunately I didn't get photo's of everything, but here are a few, this first is a beautiful hand pieced star by Catherine using a beautiful Liberty rose in the centre...

Next up a gorgeous Amy Butler cushion by Gillian and gorgeous braid quilt by Aileen...

Jane was making a very eye-catching quilt in pinks and greys (my bad photography skills don't show off the amazing colour in this quilt)...

A lovely Jane Brocket quilt (Purple Rain) being made by Rebecca (my photo again not the best!)...

Teena was making a stunning Mr Men quilt, how gorgeous is that?...

My friend Deb was making delightful monster pillows (pattern Little Monsters) for her nephews, I adore the colours in these...

I missed getting a photo of Chris' amazing red and white quilt, Amanda's beautiful navy and taupe hand pieced blocks, Pams incredible applique bird blocks, Moya was stitching up some beautiful applique's (I wish I had a pic of her ginger jar) and Jenny was working on a gorgeous quilt for a magazine coming out next year. Poppy arrived on Sunday and was also working on a beautiful hand pieced quilt.

I just worked on getting my next round of paper pieces done for my star quilt...

and getting some of my Flower Garden blocks ready to stitch...

Thank you ladies for such a wonderful weekend full of stitching goodness and so much laughter!
Now I need to plan to drive up to Amitie again soon, they are having a great sale. xo