Monday, December 19, 2011

Pattern Sale

My pattern sale is finished. Thanks to all who bought my patterns.

On another note, my little boy graduated from Nursery (his little class at church) yesterday. I was grinning too :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas at our house

I've been making Rocky Road again and it's still the best ever! I posted the recipe here if you would like to wow your friends and family (or pretend to make it as gifts and then just slowly devour it by sneaking it piece by piece from the fridge).

I've also been making some cute little biscuit houses. Recipe here. I'm not sure if these biscuits (cookies) are available worldwide, but I'm sure you could easily substitute.

It's a great activity with kids. Sarah made hers all on her own by following her Aunty Kaila!

The women at church even had fun making them (at a christmas craft evening that I helped organise), as well as some easy bunting (and earrings, cards and paper flowers).

Now that our tree is up (I just love the smell of a real tree) and nativity scene carefully placed on top of the piano it really feels like Christmas.

We also have the kids version that they can play with (but ofcourse they're not quite as drawn to that one as the forbidden one on top of the piano).

The best bit is the 'warm fuzzies jar' (bottom right of the photo, explained here). Last night we watched this beautiful animation, and talked about how when we do something nice for someone we are really doing something nice for Jesus. The children loved that idea and this morning we have had lots of helpful acts and kind words.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you're enjoying this wonderful season.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Grand Designs

I'm making this quilt for my Sister, Kelly. I chose the fabric and design with her specifically in mind. She has a lovely modern artistic flair, and her new home is bright with lots of natural materials (wood, granite and stone). I hope this will fit in well there.

I think she was a bit apprehensive when I first showed her my sketch. Isn't it wonderful how an idea can start as a scribble on a piece of paper, and then be brought to life into something you can hold and enjoy. I actually got the idea for this design from an episode of "Grand Designs". I love that show! I tried to find the peice of sandstone artwork which inspired me, but I couldn't lay my hands on a picture (I think its at the top of these stairs just out of the picture).

I briefly toyed with the idea of leaving out the sashing, but I like my fabrics to have a bit of breathing room around them, and these Alexander Henry June Bug fabrics deserved to shine!

I made up my own templates for the curved blocks, and although they don't all line up perfectly, I'm surprised they line up as well as they do!

This hasn't been a quick project, but I'm thrilled with how its coming along. I will be combining machine and hand quilting for this one. It will be nice to have a hand quilting project again.

Now I just have to motivate myself to get started on the back (not my favourite part). I'm planning on doing some sort of curvy pieced back, but we'll see.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On the move!

At 7 months and less than 6kg, Grace is smaller than most, but it certainly hasn't slowed her down. She's been crawling for over a month, and is now pulling to stand and cruising along furniture. This means I'm constantly following her around picking up choking hazards off the floor. This video was taken a couple of weeks ago, the first time she walked along the couch (try to ignore my extremely high-pitched motherese voice - I was a bit excited).

Grace is also sleeping better, and every time I take her into her room to go to sleep she reaches out to her brother's bed so she can hold onto the side and bounce. It's now part of her bedtime ritual (note the grubby knees where she's been crawling around).

Needless to say, I really haven't been doing much quilting, but I've enjoyed watching Dane painstakingly pick out and place every little bead himself to create this fantastic pot holder. He has such patience and persistence

And Sarah is doing amazingly at school - already doing basic reading. She loves it... except when she dresses up for Christmas dress-up-day, and ends up being the only person in the school dressed up (she was two weeks early). If I was a good mum I would have packed her uniform just in case. Ah well... I'm teaching her resilience :) And she looked soooo cute.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A wonderful surprise

I've just been in Sydney spending time with family for the last couple of weeks, and it was a lovely surprise at the end of the journey (it took 21 hours to drive home with the kids!) to see a copy of "A Quilters Diary" in the mail. I've always wanted a quilting calendar or diary.

Well you can imagine my astonishment when I flipped it over and saw my Whirly Garden quilt on the back!! How cool is that?

And then ofcourse I had to go digging to see if any more of my quilts were inside and ... yes in deedy I found another one - Blowing in the Wind (renamed Baby Mobile). I can't decide whether to actually use this diary or keep it for posterity :) I might just have to go and buy another one to use.

It's reminded me that I should get my but into gear and release the 'Whirly Garden' pattern in my shop (for those who didn't get the magazine) as I've already written it up. I just have to take a couple of pretty pictures for the front of the pattern. I love the quote that was paired with this quilt - "I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read (all the quilts I want to make) and all the friends I want to see - so true.

I haven't been on the internet lately, but I just checked over on Saffron Craig's blog and was blown away by her new fabrics. It's a mix of some of her favourites (and mine too) in new colourways. There's some Magical Lands there in a reds (so beautifully unique)...

... love the squiggly flowers in red...

and a brand spanking new one - Dandelion Kisses. Absolutely gorgeous!

Check out Saffron's blog to see her other amazing fabrics and enter the giveaway while you're there - entries close Friday.  I certainly can't wait to get my hands on some. A little sundress for Gracie perhaps?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


This quilt is dedicated to Sylvie Hope, a precious baby girl who couldn't stay. My thoughts and prayers go out to her mother, my wonderful friend, Lauren (who miraculously survived the birth) and her beautiful family. I couldn't imagine the pain.

May the light and love of the Saviour continue to shine in their lives, especially in their darkest hours, reaching out and giving comfort and hope that only He can give. They are an eternal family and Sylvie will forever be theirs.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Other Side

Thanks to everyone who wished me well with Grace and offered suggestions. I really appreciated it, and I'm sorry I haven't been able to reply to emails lately. Torren's House was fantastic! The nurses were so lovely and supportive. I thought they might do controlled crying, but their methods were really very gentle. Grace was a superstar and slept beautifully for most of the time there. But when we got home she reverted to her old ways. I've persisted with the routine and techniques that we established (making sure she's full by giving a couple of options at meal times, wrapping tight but not making her too hot, and trying to stick to the routine) and I can certainly see improvement now, but we still have a way to go. I'm feeling really confident now that there's nothing seriously wrong with her and that she's just petite and not a huge eater.

It was nice having a little holiday away while Grace did all that sleeping, and I did a little bit of quilting. You can imagine my delight when my sister, Amelia, gave me Anna Maria Horner's new quilting/embroidery threads as an early birthday present (while we were away on a quilting weekend a few weeks ago).

I fell in love with Anna's cushion, so I'm copying it!

It was my birthday yesterday and Todd got me an i-phone, and I love it! I was planning on treating myself to one when I lost 10kg, but I haven't been making too much progress on that front (sitting on the couch nursing a baby each evening, eating junk food in front of the TV doesn't help). I'm loving taking some photos with my new camera (this one is with the instagram app).

It's so handy having a camera with you at all times to catch those fabulous moments when your son and nephew get covered in mud from head to toe!

Any good apps you can suggest? (And if you don't know what I mean, don't worry, I didn't either).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Baby Boot Camp

Grace is the most adorable little girl... with some sleeping issues. I know this is not unusual for a 5 month old. We've been doing the best we can with the baby-led approach. I'm a baby wearing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding mama. And I'd be happy to continue waking every 2 hours to feed at night if she just woke up, fed and went back to sleep. But for some reason, Grace also has feeding issues - even though I have enough milk for triplets, she's not so impressed with what I have to offer, and isn't putting on much weight. So with some trepidation (and determination) we're off to "baby boot camp" to get a bit of routine into our lives (and hopefully help Grace put on some pudge). I'll be out of action for this coming week, but hopefully by the end of the week I'll be a new woman...

...and Grace will be a happy little camper! (These photos were taken within a minute of each other - its amazing how quickly it can all change).

I decided that a security blanket might just help Grace sleep in her own bed (am I clutching at straws?), so I whipped up this little one using Anna Maria Horner's Folksy Flannels. It's just two fat quarters sewn together pillow-slip style.

I added some soft little tags (Little Folks voile). I'm going to tuck it inside my jumper during the day so it has my smell on it.

I also made a few bibs so she's nice and stylish for our stay at Torrens House.

This one's my favourite - just have to add a press stud.

Wish us luck people - I'll see you on the other side!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lampshade Line-up

Ages ago Saffron sent me a stack of her beautiful Imaginary Flowers range and I've finally got around to finishing this and writing up the pattern.Can you see the lampshades stacked on top of each other? This quilt looks the same whether it is up-side-down or right way up, which is a bonus. You can read about my process in creating "Lampshade Line-up" here.

I wanted the quilting to emphasise the design of the lampshades, so I free motion quilted the background, and it really makes the lamps pop forward. If I had more time I would have liked to hand quilt the lamps, but ah well... a time and season hey ... and I can always add more quilting later.

If you're wondering how I find the time to quilt at all, I thought I'd let you know that I've negotiated with my husband one night a week when he takes Grace for the evening and lets me quilt. Its amazing what you can do with 2-3 hours of dedicated quilting time. I've also been known to sew on bindings, while bouncing Grace to sleep in her hammock, with my foot (the things we do!).

This quilt is lovely and soft. Firstly, Saffron's fabrics feel gorgeous, and then I used Anna Maria Horner's voile in Sky on the back, which is so silky. It was nice and wide so I only needed one length, and I didn't have any difficulty quilting it. I would definitely use it again for a light weight quilt.

It always feels good to have the pattern all done and posted on my downloadable patterns page, and kits are available from Saffron Craig.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My life as a blog

Do you ever find yourself writing your life as a blogpost in your head while its happening? I do. Sometimes this drives me crazy, as I already have enough filling my head managing a young household. At other times though, especially when things go a little awry, its good to know that I can share the good and the bad with you.

Most of the blogposts that I write in my head never actually make it to the blog, like a few months ago when I took my three littlies to the park and a woman asked if they were all mine:

Woman: "Pretty close together aren't they?"
Me: "Yes, 5, 3 and.. well she's just new :)"
Woman: "Some people just don't have a brain."

I smiled and kept walking and then I realised what she had said! Whenever I got over the shock of our little exchange I started getting excited about what brilliant fodder for a blog post that would be. The idea of sharing this experience with you turned a negative into a positive. Maybe she was just being funny... ?? Not sure. Such an odd thing to say. I spent the rest of our time at the park trying to keep my children under control so it looked like I had half a brain :) We didn't stay long.

And then there was the Ikea (we call it the giant fun store) incident last week when I had been hurrying the children through the store to the exit so we could beat the traffic home. Dane started coughing with all the exertion, which led to a lot of vomitting just before we got out the doors. As I was standing there, baby Grace in one arm, the other hand trying to catch what I could, yelling out for some assistance (I'm so so sorry cleaning lady) I thought, hey, I could blog about this. (I'm just glad the woman from the park wasn't there!)

I could go on about toilet training disasters and sleepless nights, but I could also tell you about the brief moment recently when the washing was completely done (and put away) and the house was pretty clean! That's blog worthy isn't it?. There's never enough time to share all that I'd like to, so I pretty much stick to quilting stuff, but its nice to know you're there if I need to share.

What blog post have you written in your head lately?

I can't leave you without a photo (and fortunately I don't have one of the Ikea incident), so here's what I've been working on - slowly but surely. It's going to be a quilt for my sister, Kelly. I haven't made one for her yet. She's kind of arty, so I'm trying to make her an arty kind of quilt. This is another one using templates.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Storyboek Views

Thanks for all of the great suggestions of fabrics for my Baby Mobile pattern. I loved finding some great new fabrics. Sorry about the delay in picking a winner. Between the Royal Adelaide Show and Father's Day there wasn't a spare moment to be found :) The winner of the fabrics and pattern is number 10 - Mad Craft Mama! Congratulations! I'll be in touch.

Talking about gorgeous fabric - I really love the new Storyboek fabric by Jay-Cyn Designs (for Birch Fabrics). I have been pronouncing it "Story Bo-ek" but my sister, Amelia, is married to a dutchman, and he says that you say it "Story Book". Anyyyway... I was absolutely thrilled to learn that Fabricworm has paired up my Sea Views pattern with their fabrics to produce their first ever quilt kit. Melissa Lunden did a fantastic job of sewing this quilt up, and I'm glad to hear that she found it really easy and enjoyable to put together. The fabric and pattern go together fabulously - I'm really tempted to make one up myself!

You can find the kit and paper pattern at Fabricworm and more pictures of the quilt on their blog.

If you're looking for further inspiration of what others have done with my patterns, check out my flickr group. There's some amazing quilts there - like this one from Amy Dunn at lots of pink here - love it with the grey sashing! Feel free to add yours to the flickr pool too or email me a photo - I love seeing how you transform my patterns.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baby Mobile - A modern baby quilt and a giveaway

I made this quilt last year and then excitedly sent it off to Australian Homespun magazine where it appeared in their February edition, along with a feature profile of me. Now that a few months have passed I'm pleased to release the pattern to you. The magazine changed the name of  the quilt to "Blowing in the Wind", but I've decided to revert to it's original name of "Baby Mobile" - just because it describes it so well.

The amazing fabrics from Australian designers Saffron Craig and Sprout Design really make this quilt. It was my husband's idea to put all the red owls at the bottom of the drops, and I think it looks great that way.

I hand quilted it while camping, and it came together surprisingly quickly.

The magazine asked for a girly version (which was less fussy cut), and it was great to have a good excuse to squeeze in some more quilt making! I free motion quilted the background and added a little hand quilting to the borders. This isn't the best photo but you get the idea. Pink and grey go so well don't you think.

I have some left over scraps to give away, enough to kick-start your own Baby Mobile quilt - some of them are very hard to find! Just leave a comment telling what fabric you think would look good in a Baby Mobile quilt. The winner will be chosen on the weekend (when I have a moment) and they can decide on the boy or girl scrap pack as well as recieving the pattern ofcourse.

You can get your own Baby Mobile pattern from my downloadable patterns page - 20% off while the giveaway's running. I've also shipped the paper patterns off to a couple of shops, so if you own a shop and are interested in carrying my patterns, I'd love to hear from you.