Monday, March 31, 2014

A Trip and Bits and Pieces

There will be something more substantial on this blog soon I promise, but in the meantime, here a few instagram photo's I took while away in Sydney a week or so ago. I flew up there with a couple of gorgeous girls (Emma Treehouse Textiles and Deb 72 Derwents), our main goal being to visit a few fabric shops (of course!). We stayed near the Hyde Park Memorial and reflection pool which is so beautiful at night...

...and walked all over the place, which was just as well for all the amazing food we ate (including a brekky at Bill Grainger's yum!). First visit though was to Material Obsession, I do love that place. An hour or two spent there along with a little cash...!

Kathy Doughty's new book Adding Layers is a treat, full of inspiration and colour and energy, just like the woman herself!!! Alas she was away the day we were there, but all the staff at MO are so friendly and helpful we felt right at home. Then we were driven by a lovely friend I met in MO (Hi Jenna) over to visit Quiltsmith. Another hour or so and cash spent then onto lunch at 3pm!

The next day we were up and walking to a fabulous fabric find called Cloth Fabric. Wonderful screen printed designs on natural fabrics, rugs, bedlinen, art, etc kept us amused and delighted for a long while! I came home with this wonderful linen large flower print. This is a close up of one of the flowers, I will show more when I get to quilting it.

A must do trip to Manly on the ferry topped off the evening with a fabulous pizza dinner at Hugo's. I did get the usual tourist photo of the opera house on the way back, the moon overhead was a nice touch!

The next day was brekky at Bill's then back home again, these trips are always over too fast! 

Since then I've been doing some secret sewing which I can't show just yet, as well as working away on getting this beast quilted. I'm doing this totally on the machine. Because it has been hand paper pieced, I wanted to quilt it in a manner that it will not ever come apart, so the machine it is. Photo's soon hopefully.

As well as that I've now finished hand quilting all five long flower panels on this quilt....except I haven't had time to take a photograph, so this is an older pic!...

Now just the borders to be done! 

So that is me for now. Oh, except to say I am teaching one of my free motion classes at Treehouse Textiles in a few weeks (sat 26th April). There are two spots left if you have always wanted to learn how to quilt using the free motion technique. You can also expect a delicious morning tea and lunch, good company as well as a stunning view of the lake. See you there. xo

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shops and Shopping

As you know I love a certain shop in Melbourne (Gardenvale) going by the sweet name of Amitie! I have plenty to show from them at the moment. Firstly, some finished blocks from the Bring Me Flowers BOM...

These sweet blocks are going to make a beautiful quilted garden one day.

The good news about this BOM is that if you missed out on joining up, the pattern will be released in May, yay!

Next I had two fabric stash clubs arrive (do excuse me for photographing the fabrics amongst my coloured candle holders, I couldn't resist!!)....

The great thing about the stash clubs is receiving fabrics you may not normally choose. And I really like being able to see the fabrics in my hand rather than through a computer screen before I go and buy my favourites from Amitie!!!

And the Liberty Stash club...oh my there are many favourites amongst this lot.

Then my latest block for the above BOM arrived. Oh these are gorgeous....

So that's it from Amitie. The other shop I will be visiting this week is Material Sydney!! I'm off early tomorrow and can't wait to pop into Sydney for a couple of days. I will be back soon, hopefully with a little stash to show. xo

Friday, March 7, 2014

Cleaning out the Cobwebs...

...that have been slowly taking over this blog! You know how when you haven't done something for a while, it gets harder and harder to get back to it? So I'm taking a deep breath, and here goes!!! What has been going on for the past month? I will list it out under headings....

It was been soooo wonderful to have my hubby back! For three months over the Christmas break he was away on the high seas on a Navy ship (he is a navy Chaplain). I won't pretend that it was easy, three months is a long time, especially when he missed some significant days like Christmas, New Years, and a few birthdays including his own. Apart from that though, it was a worthwhile trip for him and he had some great experiences.

I love this photo of him in his navy uniform!!!

Lifestyle Change
As many of you know last year I began a program to learn how to change my very poor eating habits to eating a mainly plant based diet and I lost 17 kilos along the way. While hubby was away I'm afraid I slipped back into my old 'comfort eating' habits. I put a few of the kilo's back on, but more interestingly, the aches in my joints, the skin conditions that had cleared, and my poor sleeping all came back!! I am now renewed as far as changing to my better eating, which includes cutting out sugar, processed foods, meat, dairy and gluten (hubby enjoying this too). Our plan for this year is to cut these out of our diet at least 90 percent (except for processed sugar, cutting that out totally). So I am starting to feel better again thank goodness and am inspired to keep going and learn to make this a change for the rest of my life.

 Yummy vegie burger on spinach topped with avocado and organic eggs

While hubby was away I worked on a little courtyard garden, planting lots of herbs, vegies and flowers in pots, containers and baskets. We are so enjoying sitting in our little garden, watching the plants grow, and then picking from these to go into our lovely meals. There is something wonderful about cooking food you have grown yourself. It is incredibly satisfying.

Lately I have been playing with some gorgeous fabrics. I'm having fun with these wonderful Kaffe Fassett stripes...

And pulling out some lovely 1930's type prints....

Both of these are being used in projects I can't show just yet, but they are keeping my creativity alive. We are just so spoilt for fabric choices these days and I'm so grateful that I can have time playing with all this colour.

Some sewing I can show and I'm still working on slowly in the background are my beautiful Amitie bom Bring Me Flowers blocks. These blocks are so joyful to make and I have some finished blocks which I will show on my blog soon. In the meantime, I love this pic which shows the sweet old tray I found a couple of months ago which has been fabulous for keeping my current stitching organised....

I'm also trying to keep working on my Green Tea and Sweet Beans blocks...

These applique pieces are finger pressed and glued on, ready for stitching

This funny dog just keeps enriching our lives (she is a Groodle - poodle x golden retriever). She was fabulous company for me while hubby was away, though she really missed him and our oldest son who traveled to Japan for 5 weeks over Jan (he had a fabulous time there).

Well, I think the cobwebs are cleaned out for now. I will leave you with a photo of these pretty pink Dahlias, growing in one of the pots in our little courtyard...

I hope all is well with you? xo