Friday, April 29, 2011

If I had more than one set of arms...

... to cuddle baby Gracie all day and night as well as sew, this is what I would make...

I would cut into my lovely little stash of Cloud9's organic "Nature Walk" fabric and whip up this quilt that I designed ages ago. I took the idea of "nature walk" and created garden beds connected by curved paths. I've drawn a bunch of other sketches, but I keep coming back to this one.

I would make a bean bag for Dane out of this very boyish "Little Monsters" fabric by Stepping Stones. Does anyone know of a great bean bag tutorial or pattern that I could use?

And from these amazing new fabrics from Umbrella Prints ...

I might try making a little Tomte doll from Kajsa Wikman's book "Scandinavian Stitches" - for Grace.

I just need that other set of hands! I do have a hug-a-bub, which she loves and it leave both arms free, but I figure I should spend a little time doing things like brushing my teeth before midday, playing with Sarah and Dane, making them lunch instead of sending them down the hall to Nanna's for icecream, unpacking the dishwasher ... you get the picture. I've been so fortunate to have the wonderful support of my family - especially my mother in law, Cyndy, who stayed for a couple of weeks and took care of everything! The many meals that have been dropped off have been amazing, and Todd arranged a wonderful holiday away for Easter. But he's gone back to work now, which means I need to start doing a little more around the place as well as enjoying constant cuddles. Fortunately I'm starting to feel a little human again as Grace is sleeping better at night :)

Grace has been tucked up in the Hug-a-bub while I've been taking photos and writing this post, and just now she looked up at me and smiled her first real smile - a priceless moment. I think sewing might just have to wait a little longer :) But don't worry, I still have a couple of things that I haven't shown you yet.

Also, thank you to everyone who has left lovely comments. I'm sorry I've been hopeless at responding, but I know you understand.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Whirly Garden

Are you looking for a quick Easter weekend quilt project? Well, my Whirly Garden quilt pattern is out in a special Quilters Companion magazine - "Quilts from Precut Fabrics"

It uses two charm packs (I cut up my own 5in squares from Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley range) and a whole lot of white (I used Kona Cotton Snow).

I like the way the border turned out. I'd like to see how it looked with another thin border of white on the outside, as I think it would show off the border nicely.

I love the effect of the random straight line quilting.

Here's the back that I showed you on this post

There's a whole lot of other great modern quilts in the magazine as well, all from precuts, and its available now.

Have a safe and happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Grace is a Single Girl

Grace is the proud owner of her own "Single Girl" quilt. My sister Amelia made this absolutely gorgeous quilt for her out of Prints Charming fabrics and I am officially in LOVE!

It is super soft, with a cotton voile dotty print on the back.

I think it will fit Grace for a while!

I was absolutely blown away by all the effort that would have gone into this quilt. I love this pattern, but don't think I'd have the patience for it. The quilting was even a perfect 1 1/2 inch apart.

And, not only did Amelia make me a quilt, she also made me a baby change mat to match my bag...

as well as a couple of cute little bibs - the one on the left is for everyday, and the one on the right is for Sundays - how adorable!!

Grace is one lucky little girl to have such an amazingly talented and generous Aunty! Thanks Meelie (you can see some more pics and info on her blog HERE)!

Better run, Grace has just woken up...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby bag and a baby birth

Thanks for all the lovely comments of congratulations on the birth of Grace. I wanted to share some of the details of Grace's birth, but for those of you who are mainly interested in the crafty stuff, I have something for you too!

I made this bag just before Grace was born, to use as her baby bag. It is the "Cosmo Bag" from Amy Butler's book "Style Stitches". Its the first bag I've ever made, and I just love it!

It's nice and roomy with lots of pockets to hold everything babyish (and I fill it up no problem).

I absolutely love the fabric by Joel Dewberry, which is a problem, because I don't want to put it down on the ground for fear of it getting dirty!

The pattern was excellent, and I was happy it all came together so well on my first attempt. I used "Shapewell" as interfacing (on the advise of Toni from "Make it Perfect") and it gives it great structure without the bulk. I also added matching trim to the tops of the pockets and the bottom of the bag.

So now for some birth details... I woke up on Wednesday the 6th having some mild contractions. It was my son's birthday, and so I was hoping that the baby would hold off for the next day so they could have their own birthdays. I did some food shopping, dropped off some quilt patterns to Hettie's Patch (they told me to go home and rest :)) baked a birthday cake for my animal loving boy,  had my sister Kelly and her boys around to play for the afternoon - all while having contractions every 10-15 minutes or so. After birthday celebrations Todd and I snuck out for a final dinner (that blue swimmer crab pasta was absolutely delicious), and my contractions started to ramp up!

I tried to get some sleep for a couple of hours, but was woken by really strong contractions at 1am on Thursday morning (yay, we'd made it to the next day). I had to move and walk through the contractions, and woke Todd at 2am. We left for the hospital at 3am (with me kneeling on the back seat - there was no way I was sitting down!)

At this stage I was starting to get nervous about how I was going to cope, and a message from my mum to "Be strong" helped me just take one contraction at a time. The birthing centre was dark and quiet, and my midwife was reassuring. Todd and I hopped into the bath when it was finally filled and I had a couple of minutes to rest in his arms before she was born into the water and lifted into my arms. An absolute miracle.

Grace was born only an hour after arriving at hospital, and it was such a relief to be on the other side of it and to have her home with us.

We all love her to bits, and are living in this little cocoon of joy right now.

We are starting to venture out now and Grace loves snuggling in the "Hug a bub".

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Introducing Grace

Grace Christina has finally arrived...

at 4:25am on Thursday morning, weighing 7 pound 4 ounces. The birth went really well and we're enjoying every moment with our little Gracie. I'll share more soon.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Off the Rails in print

You may have read on Saffron's blog that my "Off the Rails" quilt pattern in the latest Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine!

If you haven't tried "stack and slash" before, this pattern is really easy, and very forgiving for beginner sewers.

I had some initial reservations about the quilting (you can read more about it on this post), but I'm really happy with how it turned out. You can find my hand quilting tutorial here.

I'm a little late in posting this (sorry), so you might have to act fast if you want to snag yourself a copy.

By the way, I'm going a little 'off the rails' waiting for this baby to arrive (but there's no way I'm trying castor oil!)