Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I finished up Jenna's wallet last night, so now that's a set complete, ready to wrap and post. I decided to try the sew-in magnetic closure on this one and was really happy with the way it sat. Also tweaked the credit card holder slightly. You may be able to see it peaking out of one of the zippered compartments.
Next on the list ready to mail out is this one, the Bow Bag, which Nancy was kind enough to send me the pattern for.
After making this one I've decided to make one for myself with slightly longer handles, and I'll use Bloom's handle method and make some alterations to the pockets on the inside so everything doesn't bounce around.
Last bag is Miss Hollie's, the bags finished, I just need to work out how I'm going to do a shaggy wallet and still have it nicely finished.
I did want to make a start on the sweet little angel that Kim sent me, but after ferreting around in my fabric drawers I've discovered I don't have any checks or plaids. Darn that will have to wait until the weekend, when I can shop. So now there's the dilemma of what to stitch now. Do I start my bag or perhaps prepare the applique for the fabric postcards, or start one of the next Christmas gifts? Decisions, decisions.
I received an email from Margaret the day before yesterday revealing who my 4 seasons swap partner is, so that's something else to think about. Before I give myself a headache I think I'll find something cool to drink and work out what needs to be done next.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
The pr!ze a little something that you can use for Christmas to decorate your wall, perhaps it has some embroidery in it!!!
A Little Edit, My regular readers are more than welcome to leave a comment and I'll include your name into the draw as well.
Roast chicken with roast potato, sweet potato and butternut squash, home made stuffing, gravy and green vegetables with cranberry sauce. Yumm, no photo's of the desserts, they are just about all gone and I forgot to get the camera out for those.
I do hope you enjoyed your time with your loved ones and counted ALL your blessings.
We weren't planning on shopping on Friday, the idea of joining hundreds of other mad shoppers wasn't high on my list of fun things to do, but we braved the elements and did venture out for a short time. I managed to pick up 16 fat quarters for $16, which I was very happy about. I have plans for them so will show you those on another post.
Saturday's mail brought another parcel, all the way from Spain. Margaret sent a lovely parcel, with a beautiful Spanish fan, just what's needed in church when those horrendous power serge's hit, yummy English/Aussie chocolate and the cutest tissues with frogs printed on them. Thank you so much Margaret for your thoughtful gift.
Today's plans are to get into the sewing room and turn it back into a sewing room, and pull the gifts out that I hid while Hollie was here (can't have her finding her Christmas gift by mistake). Loads of washing and then hopefully I can get back to the wallets. I have three bags finished, so I'll show you those another day, but for now it's time to make a start on that laundry.
Happy Stitching, and thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate it.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Both are beautiful and both are from extremely lovely blog ladies. Today was another day where there was squissie mail in my letterbox. These lovely kit in a cards arrived from Janet at Wildcraft Farm.
I just love the Advance Australia Fair card, and can see that one being done and framed.
This afternoon after a somewhat uneventful day in the sewing room I decided it was time to wrap my gift to ............... for the Secret Santa Swap. That done, I thought I may as well get ds pressie wrapped and ready to send off back to Oz. Hmm where did I put that parcel. Now I remember bringing it inside the house and having it sitting on the table for a few days. I also remember telling dh where I was putting it so he could remind me later. Do you think either of us can remember where I safely put that parcel? I've put it in such a safe place that I can't find the darn thing, I've turned the house upside down for the most part of this evening. I think I need to start and write myself notes, but then I'm sure I'd forget where I put the note...
I did manage to get Jenna's bag finished today, I'm just waiting on the sew-in magnetic clasps to arrive so I can finish the matching wallet.
I think I'd better put all the fabric I purchased for Hollie's bag and wallet away, she'll be home on Thursday and if she sees it she's bound to make a comment. so better to remove all temptation.
Had a lovely chat with Donna the other night. It was so nice to hear the Aussie accent again. I don't tend to notice it when I talk with my kids or my mum. Hmm I wonder if my accent sounds that strong?
Well time to toddle off to bed before my eyeballs start bouncing off the keyboard.
Thanks to the ladies who have signed up for the PIF. I'll contact you all when it's time to post your surprise.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Remember those slippers I mentioned, oh dear I can't remember if it was last week or the week before. Well they're now keeping my toes nice and warm. Got them finished about half an hour ago.
Always need one proto - type to work out the bugs of a pattern, and I think this pattern will be used again, with just a few minor changes.
A couple of posts ago I showed you some photo's of some rather odd looking items that I said were going into the next project. Well that projects finished, I put the last stitch into it this afternoon. Trying to find interesting and original gift ideas for my girls is not always easy. I said that I'd picked up a new magazine with a pattern in it. As soon as I saw the pattern I knew it would work for Hollie. She loves taking photo's, and has filled several photo albums already, but this will be slightly different, as it will give her a taste at scrap booking. So without drawing this post out any longer here it is, the finished scrapbook cover.
This pattern was fun and simple to do, rather time consuming, doing all the raw edge applique and beading, but still fun. I think it lends itself to folder covers, other than just scrap booking. More gift giving ideas are brewing as I type.
Tomorrow I'll head back into the sewing room and make a start on Jenna's and Hollie's wallets and bags.
Hope your day has been just as productive.
Happy Stitching, and thanks for stopping by.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I absolutely adore Christmas, I love all the pre-Christmas rush of preparing menus, getting gifts made and sending out cards to loved ones and especially Christmas services, but most of all I love what it is that we celebrate. The birth of our Savior, Jesus.
Things are obviously much different since I moved to the States, but I'll try and give you a little insight to what we do now and what used to be.
My "sweetie's" parents have both passed away and he has a sister and a brother, both who live 1,000's of miles away, so Christmas is here in Oklahoma.
When my kids were younger we used to go to Carol's by Candlelight, a great Aussie tradition, of Carols outdoors, usually in a large park and usually 1 - 2 weeks prior to Christmas day. Everyone takes along a blanket to throw on the ground, snacks, bug spray, and of course a supply of candles. Obviously it's far too cold for that here in the States, so I try and hunt out Christmas services and Christmas plays and performances. This year a church in OKC is doing the Journey to Bethlehem. They describe it as the ultimate Christmas Reality Experience. From the little brochure it sounds wonderful, and something both dh and I are looking forward to.
Our Christmas lunch or dinner in Aussie was very similar to Donna's, usually cold meats, seafood and salads, always topped off with a giant pavlova.
I put out my Christmas decorations usually a few days after Thanksgiving, although I'm not sure how that's going to work this year, with the new puppy.
We shopped last weekend and managed to find a lovely New Zealand leg of lamb. So Christmas lunch will be roast leg of lamb with homemade mint sauce and gravy , roasted potatoes, sweet potato and butternut squash, along with fresh green beans and broccoli. Hollie loves her fresh vegetables and gets her fill when she's home. Dessert will more than likely be a pavlova and a marshmallow snow. I thought as Hollie will be home a few days before Christmas we'll get into the kitchen and do some baking. I don't normally bake much during the year, so dh will be very happy to see the two of us in the kitchen. We'll have the usual quick trip to the stores so Hollie can do her Christmas shopping, but the plan is to just relax and enjoy the time at home with her and dh.
Christmas day involves phone calls back to Australia to my mum, daughter Jenna and son Luke, which always involves tears, a mixture of happy, sad tears. For the most part my feelings of homesickness have passed, but at times like Christmas and birthdays I find I get a little teary eyed, understandable I suppose. It's only natural that I'd want to be with my kids and my mum, but that will happen in the future.
Hollie's a late sleeper when she's home, so it will probably be a late start on Christmas morning, opening gifts, and then organising lunch, quiet and relaxing.
Luke 1: 30-33
Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Thanks to Rose Marie for her hanging suggestions, much better than holes in all the walls, but I have to say that I'm disappointed with the colour. Perhaps I should have used a cream or snow Kona instead of the lemon. Or perhaps I should have used a different fabric for the sashing and border, but it's extremely hard to see once it's on the wall. It just seems to blend in to nothingness. Oh well lesson learnt there. Time to move on.
So seeing as this is a new day, time for a new project, a bit more Christmas sewing. I found a wonderful pattern in a new magazine the other day that I thought I'd have a fiddle with, it needs these items to make it up and as you can guess from the photo's it's not a quilt.
Hopefully I'll be able to show some progress in a couple of days and if all goes well I can see that it could be used for several gift giving ideas.
We're still enjoying wonderful weather here in OK, today's high is mid to upper 70's, with gentle winds, our backyard is covered with fallen leaves and the squirrels are busy finding the last of the nuts on the ground getting ready for their long winter. Hopefully dh and I can get into the yard this weekend and finish up the clearing of overgrown vines and shrubs.
On the Wish List post I received quite a few comment about the sidewinder, and having thought about it more, I've decided to cross that off the list.
1. Because my machine takes plastic bobbins.
2. I can wind the bobbins from the machine. ( Just being lazy)
3. I could think of other things I'd much rather have.
Rose mentioned in a previous post about not knowing there were scissors just for rag quilts. I managed to grab a pair on the weekend and gave them a quick try out. Wonderful invention, they cut through fabric like a hot knife through butter.
I'll give them a test run when I make Hollie's rag wallet later this week, and for her rag quilt that she's requested for her graduation, but I'm thinking if they save the hands from all that squeezing of regular scissors then they are worth the $20 spent.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Firstly while I was browsing my feeds yesterday I came upon this lovely blog http://bunnyhill.blogspot.com/ and wouldn't you know it, she talks about her recent return from Houston Quilt Market and one of her purchase for her store. Thank you very much I think I'd like one of these.
Anne describes these as: From a Japanese company, they are simply the best around. You can use them to mark your quilting lines, applique lines, or trace your embroidery. The marks remove by fabric eraser or a little water. She has them listed on her website, just follow the link from her blog. I can't tell you how pleased I am that there is another option for transferring embroidery designs.
The next item that I think would be a real time saver is this little beauty.
The White's Sidewinder, now I know I read on someone's blog that they had just purchased one (sorry I can't remember who it was). If you have one of these or perhaps have seen it demonstrated, I'd love to hear what you think about it. There's nothing more frustrating that being half way through a seam, or a quilting line and running out of bobbin thread, and having to un-thread your machine just to wind a bobbin.
Next on my list would be a quilters calender with the patterns to make the quilts that are featured. Or perhaps a new book, I've seen that several of you have been purchasing this book.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book, whether it's a good purchase, and if you have suggestions for which calendar to buy.
My "sweetie" works hard for his wage so I don't want it wasted on items that wouldn't be well used.
Now to complete the Christmas flow here, I know I've already mentioned to you that http://www.sewmamasew.com/blog2/ is having a month of Christmas gift making idea, but did you also know that http://www.cottonspice.com/CSblog/ is running a similar thing, only not quite so long. Both well worth a visit, you may just find an item that you want to make for someone.
Happy Stitching, and thanks so much for taking the time to give me your opinion and thoughts.
Has anyone used those magnetic bag/purse closures? They don't come with instructions. I need to know if I'm supposed to make 2 buttonholes for the prongs to go through, or do you just hammer then through the fabric?
A new blogger http://parisbebefabrics.blogspot.com/ lovely fabric designer.
Friday, November 09, 2007
What's going on to your Thanksgiving table?
With Thanksgiving only 2 weeks away, there's been chatter in our home about Thanksgiving dinner/lunch. This is not a tradition that is celebrated in Australia, so it's taking some time to get acquainted with the tradition and the huge amount of food that is prepared. My first Thanksgiving here in the US, I cooked the usual lunch that seems to be served here and found there wasn't a lot that suited my taste buds.
This will be the first year that there will be more than just my "sweetie" and I. We'll have three...lol.. Hollie will be coming home for Thanksgiving, and might I say that she was thrilled with the idea of not having Thanksgiving lunch in the dinning hall at school.
My "sweetie" is the only one who enjoys turkey, so we've opted for a couple of chickens instead, with traditional Aussie roasted vegetables, and for dessert a sticky date pudding, which is also an Aussie recipe.
I'd like some hints and suggestions please for this lunch/dinner. In particular I'd like to make something for dessert that my "sweetie" and Hollie will enjoy, other than the Sticky Date pudding, but please no pumpkin pies, we Aussie's only eat pumpkin with our meats....lol....
Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to help this Aussie make a memorable Thanksgiving lunch.
Oops I mentioned that the Sticky Date Pudding was made with Golden Syrup, umm wrong recipe...lol... must have been a menopause moment. Sounds good doesn't it?
Anyway here's the recipe.
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups chopped dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place dates in a saucepan with 1 - 1 1/2 cups water. Boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Add bicarb soda and set aside.
Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Mix in flour, salt and vanilla. Add baking powder and 1/4 cup of the date liquid. Drain off the remaining date liquid and set aside. Stir in dates. If mixture is too stiff add a little more of the date liquid until you get a nice smooth consistency. Bake in a well greased and floured dish (I use a Pyrex baking bowl) for 30 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in bowl and then turn onto a serving platter.
7 oz brown sugar
2 oz butter
1 cup (250ml) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Method Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 1-2 minutes
Slice and pour the sauce over the pudding and as an extra add
fresh whipping cream, custard or vanilla ice cream. This is what it should look like.
The men really love this one.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Yesterday and Tuesday I spent most of the day in the sewing room playing with the wallet pattern. Being that I can't just follow a pattern, (there's always a better way of doing it) I fiddled around with it and came up with what I thought was a better finish, (after I had followed the directions). I'm real fussy when it comes to finished edges and seams, and they just seemed far too bulky and not neat looking at all. So after everything was in place and stitched down, time to stand back and have a look, hmm not at all happy with the finished look, so out comes the trusty seam ripper and to work we both go. The pattern called for layers of quilted fabric to be turned under and stitched. Yeah right, three layers of quilted fabric looks just wonderful turned under, wrong. So I decided to bind the edges and ditch stitch the panels in place, a much neater finish.
Once I got my head around the very disjointed instructions it was a piece of cake to put together. The other change I made was with the closure, the pattern calls for folding into thirds, tried that and it looked like a mini bag, far too big, so I moved the position of the closure and folded it into quarters, which gave it a much neater, compact look. Now you can't just have a new wallet, you just have to have a new bag to go with it. So out came the new Sara Louise bag pattern and I had to have a play with that.
Now that I've figured out the wallet pattern I can see a couple of these being made for Christmas and birthday gifts. There's pockets for coins, notes, credit cards and an extra just for good measure.
Once I got these finished I decided to tackle the slipper pattern. That Jiffy Grip is not the easiest product to stitch through, I think a layer of tissue paper next to the jiffy grip next time will solve a lot of problems. Managed to get them all put together and then realised that I didn't have any bias binding or the right shade of fabric to make my own, so those will have to wait until the weekend. But if your interested in making these yourself, they only take about an hour to stitch up, very quick and easy, very beginner friendly and another easy idea for Christmas gift giving.
Well it's time to head into the sewing room and pin out "In My Father's Garden" and make a start on the quilting. Wish me luck as I feel either a horrible cold or the flu coming on and not able to take anything for it, allergic to everything.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leaving a comment, I love to read what you have to say, and make sure you come back tomorrow to see who's birthday will be celebrated.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
A few of you asked about the wallet pattern, it's called "My Favorite Accessory Fabric Wallet/Purse" and you can purchase the pattern from http://www.ghees.com/ and the price is $9.00
I'm about to head into the sewing room and make a start on the "Sara Louise" bag pattern that arrived from Indygo Junction, after I put dinner in the slow cooker. I've had a quick read through the instructions and think it'll be a quick and easy pattern.
A couple of you mentioned in my last post that long legs would be a blessing, well with long legs comes big feet, think paddles or flippers and that's what's attached to my ankles....lol... so of course trying to find shoes or slippers is a real challenge, and trying to find slippers that consist of more than just a scuff is almost impossible. I've decided that American ladies obviously don't get cold feet.... So I'll have a go at making these and wear a pair of socks with them.
Look what arrived in my letter box yesterday.
Next week one of our quilting blogger friends will be celebrating a birthday, so stay tuned for that.........
Have you seen that the Sew,Mama,Sew! Blog is holding a Handmade Holidays: 30 Days of Gifts to Sew!… with a great selection of items to make for those last minute gift ideas.
Happy Stitching everyone and thanks for stopping by.