Christmas wishes

Merry Christmas to everyone who might be reading this- I’m not sure how many there are, but thankyou all for visiting my site through the year! I wish you and all your family the very best for Christmas and the New Year.
I have a mini quilt here to show you that I made this Christmas. It is a design I made myself, using ‘wonky’ trees as the base blocks with splashes of colour strips thrown in here and there.
Each tree block is made first by cutting triangle shapes and adding on side pieces at any odd angles. For the trunks, I cut and pieced 3 strips of fabric together then cross-cut into segments.
I loved the bright blue Kaffe Fassett fabric so used that for the borders plus a contrasting fabric for strips down the middle. Even though I didn’t use traditional Christmas colours, the theme still comes through by using that tree shape. And anyway, I like its bright modern look with bright blues, pinks and oranges together :)
My other love is text-style fabrics, so I used those for the background.
I didn’t want the quilting to take away from the effect of the fabrics, so it was mainly in-the-ditch around the edges of each large section. I put little tabs in the top to be able to hang it up, and finished it off by sewing the back on ‘pillow-case style’ as I decided I didn’t want it to have a binding.
Do you like it? I hope the recipient does!
See you in the New Year!

it’s beginning to look like Christmas

I love seeing lots of handmade things at Christmas -time. I think it adds to the feeling of warmth and family, togetherness and keeping things basic and real. Most years I try to make a little something, or a couple of somethings, either for my own family or to give aways as gifts.
I made this little pear last year..
and this little hanging..
and this little bird…
This year’s bounty includes this little postcard I sent to my daughter, this blog’s namesake!, while she studied for her final exams…
I showed these little birds here last week, made for a friend…
This stitchery was made quite a few years ago but is pulled out with the tree and its decorations each Christmas..
and this ‘Christmas postcards’ hanging that my daughter and I made together many years ago..
A shame we can only have them out for such a short time each year!

an early gift

Isn’t it crazy how this time of year is so busy,with so many things happening and things to do. I haven’t had much time for sewing, but instead this is what we’ve been up to:
my daughter’s graduation with a Bachelor of Engineering- we are so proud of her
her oldest brother flew home for the weekend to join in the celebration- don’t the three of them make a beautiful picture:
and because he was home we had an early Christmas lunch. We hastily assembled the tree, which was a little late because everything was hectic…
and we even had a Christmas icecream pudding…
and Christmas isn’t even here yet!
Such a great weekend.

odds and ends

One thing I love about Christmas- among many things- is th eopportunity to handcraft little goodies to give as gifts. Little hand-made things don’t take a long time and they have a little something special about them.
These little fellows are to hang in a tree, or just a hook or nail to briighten up the place for Christmas.
There’s no pattern for them; I hand stitched a variety of stitches in bright-coloured wool thread on the bright green felt.
Then just cut the shape out- I like birds!-, add in a loop of ribbon and some stuffing, then close with black free-motion stitching to add to the naive look.
And on another thing I’m working on, I figured out something that was interesting. This is not really rocket science, but it has added to my background knowledge on how my machine works with different threads.
If you were stitching a line that you wanted to stop and turn a right-angle- don’t you stop with the needle in, lift the presser foot, turn the work, put foot back down and continue stitching to get the perfect right-angle? Well I did that. but kept getting this:
when I wanted this:
This was straight stitching- feed-dogs were up and with a walking-foot. I tried it a few times over and over on some scrap, but still the same
Now I know to look at it, you think it is a tension problem, but the straight stitching looked to have perfect tension; the top thread and the bottom thread were meeting togther in the formation of the stitch. But as soon as I tried to turn a corner, the top thread was pulling up the bobbin thread.
So after fiddling around trying this and that, I figured I would have to loosen the top tension after all. I loosened it to about 2 (Auto is 4 on my Bernina), and there it was: worked fine! Happy now.
It must have been because the thread I was using was an embroidery-weight thread with a sheen to it, not a standard cotton, and while my machine seemed to be sewing beautifully on the straight line, once we got to the corner was a different matter!
And just one last thing to show- this work is by Meryl, from Gatton Quilters. A lovely piece that she designed herself to utilise some beautiful Liberty fabrics- I love how she has used the small print for the background.
Hope you have had a good weekend!

photos for November

A little look at my photos for November:

{P is for} a pineapple prime for picking
#fmsphotoaday {something beginning with P} a pineapple prime for picking!

{I collect…} my Mum’s teddybears
#fmsphotoaday {I collect} well actually, my mum collected ...

{book} my current book for Reading Group- lucky coincidence that the movie was showing on TV that weekend too
#fmsphotoaday {book} my current reading group book

{clouds} when it seemed that was all we would get
#fmsphotoaday {clouds} another storm brewing...

{play} playing around with some Christmas ideas..
#fmsphotoaday {play} playing around with some Christmas ideas #quilts #quilting

{where I ate breakfast}.. at my daughter’s place for a weekend in the city
#fmsphotoaday  {where I ate breakfast} cooked by my lovely daughter

{simplicity} a simple stitchery to pass the time at cricket..
#fmsphotoaday {simplicity} simple stitching #quilts #stitch

where does the time go

Surprisingly, I have got some little bits of progress here and there. It has been such a busy time that my quilting pursuits have slowed down a little, but they are still moving along!
Here are 3 more of the little border blocks for the Lollipop Trees quilt:

Over the past month I have also caught up with my son in Sydney and his lovely girlfriend. We had a little look at the Christmas displays in the Sydney city stores:
This weekend was a surprise anniversary party for my sister and her husband, which was hosted by her three (grown-up) children. The eldest, Erin,
produced some beautiful food for us all, most of it in the raw food and vegan style, in which she hopes to build her business. Check out her work here:

It was all so yummy and good for you at the same time!
A great day had by all!