Thursday, 31 December 2009

Completed items 2009 and 2008


Mystery Designer BOM 7 (doesn't qualify)
Miss M's bag
Sudoku quilt
Rocket quilt
Mystery Designer 8, 9, 10 (Don't qualify)
Eye Spy Quilt
Mystery Designer 11, 12 (Don't qualify)
G's Quilt
Luke's Frog Quilt
Four eye spy quilts
Nanna's name plate

Completed Projects for 2008

2009 Reading List

I want to save my 2009 reading list, but not keep it on the side bar. I need the space to start 2010! This is the only way I can think of to do it! There's a few stats about my year of reading at the bottom if you are interested.

A few stats.

56 books started in 2009
55 finished (don't see me finishing my current one tonight!)
31 authors
39 adult books
16 children's/young adult's books
9 non fiction.

Series I have read:
Wire in the Blood (Val McDermid)
Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)
All of Sharon Kay Penman's historical novels including the Welsh Trilogy, the Henry II Trilogy and the Justin De Quincy Mysteries
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket)
No 1 Ladies Detective Agency (Alexander McCall Smith)
Harry Potter (JK Rowling)

    Currently reading...

    My Life Among the Serial Killers by Helen Morrison M.D and Harold Goldberg.

    I've read less of this stuff this year than I normally do -  only three others I can see as I peruse my list. It's not a matter of losing interest, more of finding it harder and harder to find good stuff. I find Helen Morrison a little arrogant and condescending not only of her readers, but her peers. She has a theory, it's the right theory and everyone else is wrong. Most probably not what she means to portray, but the way it comes across. She is very willing to completely discount the effect of childhood experiences on these depraved killers, which is something I don't think is correct. Then again, I'm not the trained forensic psychiatrist who has spent countless hours interviewing and studying serial killers.

    During our trip away I also managed to read a few other books. Apart from finishing off Eclipse before we left, I finished the series, reading


    Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid (the most recent Tony Hill/ Wire in the Blood book)

    I've really enjoyed keeping track of all these books this year and plan to do so again next year. Any one else interested in keeping track of their reading? No target, just a way to share what you are reading. Let me know, I love to see what others are getting into - lots of good ideas!

    And the Winner is... (Finally!!)

    So sorry for the delay! As I should have predicted, things got way to manic towards the end to even think about drawing the prize! We got back yesterday (2 days later than planned, but we were having such a good time!) and I've finally had time to sit down and do the draw.

    I took the highly scientific approach of writing down everyone's name and assigning them numbers before heading to to generate three winners

    Which came up with:

    27 - Becanne (who gets the FQ's)
    22 - Amummy (who takes home the scraps)
    5 - Jazzyjaes (who scores the strips.)

    So thank you for taking part. Hope you had fun!

    Friday, 18 December 2009


    y but I have been a busy blogger today! I've just finished fixing this bag for a friend.

    Can you see what it's made out of??

    Yep! Buttons - the whole bag!! The handle had broken so I sewed it back together and now I am all inspired. I'm thinking boxes....

    Please travel safe these holidays.

    This video celebrates the 20 years of Australian Transport Accident Commission  commercials. Please be warned the video is graphic. I flinched several times while watching it. This is a link to an article about it as well. It is, however, a timely reminder. If you are traveling this holiday period, please do so safely.

    Nanna's nameplate

    When we were in Newcastle the other week, we went to visit my grandmother. She is in a nursing home and I noticed that all the other residents had lovely name plates on their doors. Nanna hasn't been there long and doesn't have one, so I decided to make her one.

    It's my first attempt at applique and I must thank Barbara Brandeburg for this super simple tutorial!

    This is the back.

    I took the opportunity (given the back is not likely to be seen by many!) to quilt it using a contrasting colour. I'll take it down to mums at Christmas as I know she will be seeing her shortly after.

    Tuesday, 15 December 2009

    Time for a Giveaway!

    So in celebration of me finishing my November challenge I thought a giveaway was in order. In fact, I'm having three! Rules are simple:

    1. Post a comment here giving the prizes a preference of 1, 2 and 3 (gets you one entry)
    2. Tell me which of the four I made you like best and why (two entries)
    3.  Link it to your blog (three entries)

    First, a picture of each of the quilts.

    1. The red border

    2. The yellow border

    3. The blue border

    4. The on point quilt

    Highly original names I know! They were actually named after the people who received them, don't worry!

    Second, the prizes!! As I said, I have three different things to give away.

    First off, three fat quarters and one 10x42 inch strip. The fat quarters and the strip are of the backing fabric I used on the quilts.

    Fat quarters

    and the 10x42 inch strip

    Second is ten 5x42 inch strips left over from a jelly roll I used.

    Finally there is a bag of scraps from the quilts

    We leave on holidays on the 21st so I plan to draw the winners on December 20. They won't be posted until we get back on the 28th.

    Good luck!


    Woohoo!!! I've finished the remaining three quilts!!

    I knew two were going to be for Kira's current carers at daycare, but wasn't sure about the last. Then it occurred to me that Kira changed rooms half way through the year. Problem is, there are two carers in that room and only one spare quilt. Then I remembered this quilt

    which I finished back in July! For various reasons, it never made it to who it was suppose to go to, so I have decided to give it to one of Kira's carers.

    So, finished, and pretty close to deadline! I think the sewing mojo is back. I put the machine in for a service when I finished the machine stuff the other day, and got a call last night to say it was ready so I'll go pick it up today. Have a few ideas of what to do. I'm also still planning that giveaway, so keep an eye out in the next day or two for that!

    Lastly, thanks for all the comments and encouragement! It really has helped to keep me on track.

    Currently reading...

    Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

    Thought I would sink my teeth into some light holiday reading. (and yes, you may groan out loud at that really, really bad pun!)

    Friday, 11 December 2009

    So did I make it???

    Close! I got the one for Luke's teacher finished which is good since today is the last day of school. I am pleased to say I made her cry!

    The other ones need to be finished by Tuesday when Kira goes to daycare. So, I'm off to sew!

    (BTW, am planning a giveaway to celebrate all this. Not sure what yet, but stay tuned!)

    Currently reading...

    The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide. Yet another book I picked up at the library because it looked interesting. Delia is dying of cancer. She is a writer who has written a series of household books - The Household Guide to the laundry...the kitchen...the get the idea. So as she comes to terms with her own mortality and tying up the loose ends of her life, she writes her final household guide.

    I am, by the way, morning the end of my Sharon Kay Penman jaunt. Over the past 12 months I have read or reread her entire list in chronological order. Truly the best way to learn history I feel!

    Sunday, 6 December 2009

    Will she make it??

    OK, so I have until Friday to finish these four quilts - can I do it??? I have all four quilted, bindings on one side and all I have left to do is sew the ends in, stitch the binding down and label. Even if I don't get it all done, I reckon I will come close!

    So, some photos. I ended up quilting each of them a different way. First up is the one with the yellow border.

    (apologies for the dodgy photography. For this I chose the beetle fabric for backing. I quilted it in an all over yellow stipple. Quite happy with the result - my stippling gets better every time I do it!

    Next is the on point quilt.

    This was backed with the shell fabric. I stippled the solid triangles in a matching thread. This is my favourite. I think it's the most effective.

    Next the red bordered quilt.

    (again, apologies because you can see the edge of the blue one underneath!) Backed with the crab fabric. This was quilted with a beige/ mushroom thread. I took something from each square and quilted it on the whole nine patch. Great idea, didn't work quite as well as I imagined. The close up shows a bottle, see what I mean by it didn't work as well as I thought it would??

    Finally the blue bordered quilt.

    Backed with the African print. Again, quilted with the beige/ mushroom thread, I quilted a star in each  nine patch.

    The sashing on each except the on point has also be quilted using a matching thread. Either swirls or stippling. All of them were stitched in the ditch first and all have the beige/ mushroom stitching on the back.

    So, what do you think?? Will I finish by Friday?? Off to sew some ends in! (after I fold the washing!)

    Monday, 30 November 2009

    Love a Giveaway!

    Check out this giveaway from Amanda at Polyclarific! She makes some stunning stuff. My fave - The chocolate heart bookmark! Looks good enough to eat!

    Opinions please!

    So I've got one of the eye spys quilted - the one set on point. Did a stipple in each of the solid colours the same colour as the solid. I'll post pics when I get back. I've also put the binding on so can take it away with me in the vain hope I get some time to sew. Would love to do it in the car but the results could be very messy if you get what I mean!

    Now, I've had an idea for the other three. I plan to quilt something from one of the eye spy prints on each nine patch. Originally I was going to do it in the beigy/ mushroom colour that I used to stitch in the ditch. Then I thought, what if I do it in the colour of the binding? So, I've done one square of each. and I'm still not sure! So, with apologies for the horrendous lighting, what do you think???

    This is a red key.

    and this is a brown flag. You should get bigger images if you click on them. So, any opinions???

    Sunday, 29 November 2009

    Craft this Weekend

    Truth be told, there wasn't as much crafty stuff this weekend as I would have liked! Various things have interrupted my weekend, including the sad news that my grandmother died on Saturday morning. She was 98 and not in the best of health, but it's never nice to hear of the passing of a loved one.

    On a more positive note, a friend of mine is due to have a baby soon (overdue actually!) and on Saturday afternoon a group of us got together for a blessingway for her. It gave my weekend a nice symmetry.

    At Kira's birthday last week she was given several crafty presents which she has been at me to help her with. Problem is she usually asks at about 6.30pm! Not productive crafty time. So yesterday, we finally got to sit down and make some jewellery!

    First the serious business of choosing a bead

    Concentrating on threading it.

    Pulling it down the string

    And finally wearing the finished product!
    As you can see, I also finally managed to find a use for all those little tupperware containers that seemed like such a good idea when I bought them - but never use!

    I did manage to get some quilting done today. I have done the stitch in the ditch on all four of the eye spy quilts and have started the FMQ on one of them. Not a hundred percent sure what I am going to do with the other three, but have some ideas floating around. I hope to get the FMQ on one finished tomorrow and the binding on, so I can take it with me to finish as we travel interstate to say goodbye to Mumma.

    Friday, 27 November 2009


    My deadline is looming, but I have to get through this paperwork (bookclub, work, personal and P&C)

    before I can tackle this

    sitting patiently for me.

    Hoping to deal with the paperwork today and hit the quilting tomorrow and Sunday. Wish me luck!

    Tuesday, 24 November 2009

    Gotta love a Giveaway!

    Head on over to Corrie's blog, retromummy for the chance to score some gorgeous grandmother's flower garden fabric. On second thoughts, don't bother, I don't need to competition!

    Tuesday, 17 November 2009

    It's late, I'm tired...

    ...but I just had to blog my 4 sandwiched quilts

    It's likely to be Friday before I even get a chance to touch them again, but I am well on the way. Now, I need to pack the dishwasher and hit the hay! Night all.

    Tops 3 and 4

    Tonight we sandwich!

    Monday, 16 November 2009


    So the plan was to finish all the tops by Sunday night. Great plan and on track...until on Saturday night my machine started to eat the material! It was fine as long as I didn't try to sew anything. Bobbin was threaded fine and the thread was catching with the top - couldn't work it out. Loaded it into the truck to take off island on Sunday, knowing there wasn't anywhere open on a Sunday, but it saved me lugging it off on a trolley. (the joys of island living!) Transfered it into the mainland car on Sunday so I could take it in today. The lovely Margaret at Bayside Stitch Craft took one look and realised the thread had slipped out and the machine was no longer threaded properly so I got to bring it home - although she made me promise that once I had reached my deadline, I would return it for a much needed service!
    While I was there I had to have a look to see if I could find anything suitable for a backing for my tops. I found these treasures.

    So now it's full steam ahead! Leigh is away for the week so once the kids are in bed, guess what I'm doing???

    Saturday, 14 November 2009

    How Aussie are You?

    I don't know how Joyce found me, but I'm glad she did! I took this off her blog. So, how Aussie are you??
    1. Been dive bombed by a magpie Frequently! Although if you feed your local ones it does help
    2. Have seen a crocodile Yep. Even held a baby one
    3. Have seen a snake in the wild Yep. Had Leigh bring one into the house to show me one night!
    4. Been bitten by a snake or other aussie wildlife Never bitten by a snake, but have had bites from lizards, crabs and a variety of birds
    5. Patted a koala Only at Currumbin
    6. Seen a kangaroo in the wild - Had to deal with them while on playground duty! Swerved to avoid them on the road.
    7. Climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge -Not yet
    8. Climbed the Story Bridge in Brisbane Not yet
    9. Visited the Sydney Opera House - Yes, but never been inside.
    10. Swum at the beach All the time.
    11. Had fish and chips on the beach Oh yeah - Even better if the fish has been caught minutes before.
    12. Been stung by a jellyfish Yep. Ouch. Vinegar works well
    13. Had sunburn that peeled Yep. Really not recommended.
    14. Camped under the stars Love it
    15. Visited Uluru - Would love to.
    16. Driven the Great Ocean Road in Victoria Again, not yet, want to do it on a motorbike!
    17. Seen the penguins on Phillip Island Victoria Again not yet
    18. Had an outdoor BBQ with Friends At least once a fortnight, if not more often
    19. Played backyard/beach Cricket And hit a 6!
    20. Watched a real cricket match live PM's XI match at least 3 years in a row. The things you do for love!
    21. Betted on the Melbourne Cup Absolutely, even won one every now and then
    22. Attended the Melbourne Cup Live from Flemington No, and it doesn't really interest me.
    23. Attended a live Aussie Rules or rugby football game Oh yeah! I wanna be a Wallaby!
    24. Ridden a Melbourne Tram Once. Had a ball!
    25. Snow Skied in the “high country” of NSW/Vic Again, once. Hated it. Definitely a warm climate girl!
    26. Visited the Great Barrier Reef Was proposed to there, honeymooned there and have been back one other time. Love it
    27. Been to Kakadu - Stunning spot! Would love to go back at a time when we can access more of it. (HINT: don't go just after the wet!)
    28. Crossed the Nullabour by road -Nope. One day
    29. Gone down the Murray River on a paddle steamer Nope, but it sound great.
    30. Survived a cyclone Nope, and quite happy to keep it that way thank you!
    31. Survived a bushfire Canberra 2003. Hopefully never again
    32. Experienced a big flood Nothing big.
    33. Know who the Wiggles are. Would you like me to sing for you? They are great in concert
    34. Know who Humphrey the Bear is. Yeah, but why does he wear a hat and waistcoat, but no pants??
    35. Watched Play School as a kid or mum of a kid Both.
    36. Watched Skippy the Bush Kangaroo What's that Skip, there is someone out there who hasn't seen your show? Not me Skip, love it!
    37. Own an Australia Flag - No
    38. Know the words to Advance Australia Fair Both verses
    39. Eat Vegemite -especially on toast!
    40. Drink Milo yep. And sprinkle it on ice cream
    41. Know what lamingtons are made them even. Not a big fan though
    42. Know what Pavlova is Mmmmmmm, pavlova
    43. Know what Tim Tams are oh yeah. Hide them from the kids!
    44.Eaten a meat pie Yep
    45. Gave or received a “dead arm” Yes
    46. Have owned an Akubra hat No, but I would like to
    47. Own/owned an Australia Cattle dog - No, but my sister has. Gorgeous dogs.
    48. Been to a B& S ball - or know what one is - A night I would really rather forget.
    49. Drive a ute No, but would love to own one.
    50. Say G’day Yep
    51. Can cook damper -Not for a long time, but yes
    52. Can make billy tea -best there is.
    53. Supported a sausage sizzle - Support, run, work at...
    54. Own John Williamson CD/Music -No
    55. Owned chooks or know what they are- Don't own but would love to if I ever have the room.
    56. Call the toilet “the dunny” - Yes, but hate the term
    57 . Wear thongs (on your feet…) - All the time
    58. Support Aussie music - Is there any better??
    59. Enjoy a beer - nothing better on a hot day.
    60.Swallowed a fly - not a pleasant experience

    Currently reading...

    Devil's Brood by Sharon Kay Penman This is the lastest Penman book so the last I will be reading in until a new one comes out. I really enjoy her writing. This is the last in her trilogy about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Highly recommend these books to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

    Friday, 13 November 2009

    Friday Fun!

    I love Fridays. For a start, I don't leave the island - a day at home to relax, unwind from the week and prepare for the weekend. We usually start our day with playgroup down at the front beach. In nice weather, we swim, otherwise we just play at the park. Someone nearly always buys hot chips for the kids - no fruit for us! Without fail, Kira and one of her little friends will ask if Kira can go to G's house. G's mum is a lovely lady who is more than happy to have Kira over, giving her a bath after the beach and lunch. This, as you can imagine, frees me up to do some uninterrupted sewing. I have been working through the week to finish the rest of the nine patches, which I have done. Today I finished off the second top.

    I've done a few things differently. I added the squares into the sashing (sure there is a technical name for this, but I can't remember it!) and bordered it in a solid colour. I liked the effect of the solid border so much, I decided it was definitely what the first top needed. I took Lily's advice and went for an aqua tone, although in the photo it looks more blue.

    It helps a lot I feel. So two tops down, two to go. Hope to knock them off tomorrow, giving me a whole month to quilt and bind. That's doable, isn't it??

    After I finished the red bordered top, I went to collect Kira where the girls informed myself and R, (G's mother) that G was going to come to our house now. So I came home with two girls. I took a break from sewing while we made biscuits. Now, I'm not the worlds best baker and the last time we made these biscuits they weren't the best, this however, was a much better attempt.

    They could be a little darker in colour on top, but at least this time they're not burnt around the edges!

    When I went outside to photograph the quilts, I discovered this!

    A strawberry! With more on the way. Yum! All in all, a pretty good Friday! How was yours??