15 September 2013

the royal melbourne show 2013

last year i entered these twin dolls :: finn + lexie :: in the royal melbourne show. i'd never entered a proper judging competition for anything before and i was so excited when i received a third place ribbon

the requirement for these dolls was that they were to be suitable for under 3's. not even safety eyes were allowed, embroidered faces only. all entries were then donated to the royal children's hospital here in melbourne

well, it's royal melbourne show time again, and this year i decided i would put in 3 entries - the competition bug has well and truly bitten me

i had a few months to get my entries together, which i thought was going to be easy, but as per usual life never goes as planned.

this is my entry for the handmade doll section

i've made a couple of these dolls before and she is one of my favourites

this is my entry for the great tea cosy swap, a fund raiser for breast cancer and the mcgrath foundation, hence the use of more of my favourite colour :: pink ::

this is my first attempt at paper piecing and i really enjoyed it so i will definitely attempt it again.
this pattern is by ayumi takahashi :: patchwork please! ::

and my final entry is for the royal children's hospital, cuddly toy special class. i had decided to make something for a boy this year, but i wasn't able to finish him in time. instead i found this little rattle monster in my stash of finished items.  she's a cutie. i'm sure she will be loved by a little one

my fingers are crossed. the results are released next saturday, the opening day of the show

14 August 2013

eraser collection

my girl loves her eraser collection
and I must admit, so do i, it's pretty cute

i found these new ones for her today

this is the rest of her collection

do you have a collection?

09 August 2013

plus quilt

i finished this quilt at the end of june and have been meaning to blog about it
if you follow me on IG you may have seen it there

i made this one for my mum for her birthday

it's the first quilt i've ever made for her

i was really happy with how it turned out. i think it's really pretty, and mum likes pretty

i made it from a sakura park charm square pack and some white homespun, and arranged it in a scattered plus pattern

i got my inspiration from this quilt by jolene at blue elephant stitches. i love her quilting style 

i backed it with a vintage hot pink sheet given to me by a good friend. it was the perfect size

i was a bit worried about it puckering when i quilted it because it was a bit thin, but my basting must have been okay and it turned out great

the binding is riley blake pink and white chevron

at the last minute, i decided to hand embroider a label on one of the cherry charm squares, and it was mum's favourite bit of the whole quilt

it's alway the little things ...

26 May 2013

more hexies

here's what 100 hexies looks like

it doesn't look like many when they're all tidy and sorted

i've been doing a some hexie making this weekend and decided 
these will be part of my hand pieced, hand quilted one inch hexie quilt

here's the start of it

exciting stuff
it's going to look great

better keep going, there's a long way to go

22 May 2013

not such a happy pretty story today

it's been a pretty emotional time for me lately. i suppose sometimes it just works out that way, where things seem to pile up without you noticing.

my dad is at the end of his life. i haven't had the closest of relationships with my dad over the years - to be truthful, my dad and i are very alike and as such used to butt heads a lot. he has been unwell for a long time and seeing the affect that slow decline has on my family, especially my mum, is difficult to watch. these emotions sit quietly in behind everyday life, always there simmering and building.

then this week a friend confided in me how her whole life has completely imploded due to the spoken word of one person and the devastating situation that has evolved. she is in such state of disbelief, shock and sadness. she was one of those bubbly, friendly people, and now that part of her is gone. i feel completely and utterly gutted for her. 

i'm not sure if you know (i don't really talk about it) but i'm a regular volunteer in community services and while i was at the local men's homeless shelter yesterday (i volunteer in the kitchen preparing and serving meals) a fella who would have been in his late 30's, came up to thank us for the meal he had just received. he said he had really enjoyed the meal and wanted to apologise for not being able to finish it. i could see he was ashamed that he was throwing the remainder in the bin. he was so sincere and softly spoken, he just about broke my heart.

really it was a just a small thing, but that kind, softly spoken man, who must have suffered in his life in ways i could not imagine made me think about my life, about me.

i wouldn't describe myself as an "emotional" person - whenever there is a crisis i'm the one that people rely on. i think logically, i keep my emotions separate and work out a solution, but today i'm really appreciating just how lucky i have been throughout my life so far. i'm being emotional for a change.

like just about everyone, i've not had an easy ride, life is definitely a tricky road. i've worked hard, had many hurdles to get over and some raging rivers to cross, but until today i've taken for granted my ability to deal with situations that i encounter in the way i do, and i shouldn't. this skill (or whatever it is, i really don't know) is not something everyone has or maybe they did have it but it was taken or chipped away by what they have witnessed or encountered during their life, or a maybe it's just luck?

i don't know, but what i do know is that today i feel grateful, just for being where i am and for being strong enough to get here.

25 April 2013

april @nattygai

its been a crazy month at my place and i can't believe just how much sewing and crafting ive managed to get done, especially since there's been so much other stuff going on - school holidays, family visiting and i can't seem to shake a tummy bug which is annoying

it all started about a month ago when i decided it was time for a new sewing machine
i was so undecided about what to get. i talked to a lot of people 
 the general consensus seemed to be if you can't afford a pfaff, bernina 
or a hussie then you get a janome 
then my quilting teacher started me thinking about a second hand 
machine - something made in switzerland or germany
but in the end i figured that i might then have trouble finding replacement parts

i started sewing with a brother and after a long convo with my local sewing centre decided 
that i would stick with what I knew and get another brother 
i ended up buying a NV610 and i absolutely love it. it has so many stitches and lettering too 
it's super smooth and easy to use - so much better than the old cheapy i've been using

so, the cheapy has gone to annalise and i've been teaching her how to use it

she loves it, especially the part where i spend lots of time as her teacher 
she has grand plans about what she's going to make - the first thing will be a patchwork placemat for grandma's birthday 
(similar to this one that I made her for easter)

and me, I'm on fire - i've just about finished the top of my sampler quilt
not really my normal colour choices but change is nice

i've finished and hung my vintage patchwork curtain

i've attempted and succeeded in piecing some leotards/costumes for annalise's calisthenics club
(a first for me using lycra)
i'll show you some pics of these once they are finished with all their bling

i've also managed to make my first 50 hexies from some gorgeous tilda fabric, which I plan to make into pillowcases to match a quilt i'm about to start with this fabric

this is my first ever hexie ...

and the pile i've finished so far ...

i still need to make some more hexies, but i'm totally loving them
i can't believe i waited so long to learn how to make them

i've also have these stacks of loveliness that i can't wait to get to

this one is christmas fabric ~ i'm seeing a gorgeous festive quilt

i've also been doing some new drawings and am in the middle of putting together a tute to share hopefully it doesn't take too much longer 
if you look closely at my first hexie photo, you might see a little hint

i'm not normally able to sustain this much productivity so i'm hoping my energy and enthusiasm continues until the end of winter ...

03 April 2013

easter :: autumn :: patchwork

easter has come and gone
and lots of goodies have been gifted and eaten

the trees are starting to change to yellow, orange and red
the weather is definitely starting to cool down
autumn in melbourne is my favourite time of the year
and the time i really start to get back into my sewing,
it's just too hot in summer
and to be honest, being in the pool is much more fun

today i'm trying to finish my vintage curtain

and i've also got quilting homework to finish -
last week we learned curves
they are not easy and i'm really not enjoying putting this block together

does anyone have any tips for machine piecing curves?
i think they would be easier to do by hand

21 March 2013

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17 March 2013

quilting, a new beginning

a friend of mine convinced me to start a quilting class with her this year
i love quilts (,who doesn't) but i've always thought they were complicated and time consuming
. . . i wasn't wrong

i've been to 3 lessons so far
what have i learned is most important?


everything has to be absolutely spot on
there is no room for error in your measuring, your cutting 
or your quarter inch seams ~ not even by a millimetre

i've gained a knowledge of things that were a complete mystery to me before -
dresden plate, jacob's ladder, churn dash, flying geese

my pieces are not perfect, but its going okay so far
and i'm learning so much

i'm not sure if quilting is my thing
but i really love handmade quilts, so i'll keep going