Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Birthday gift

Our .....Mirrhi's and mine......favourite small neighbour is having a birthday....he'll be 3.  So I bought him this lovely simple picture book "The Tomten and the Fox" Here's a description of a tomten, if you've not heard of them..... In Swedish tales a tomten  belongs to the family of elves and other little “brownies” and is a good natured being who usually helps farm people . A friendly “tomte” meant a lot to the farmer and his family, he saw to it that the animals were well, he made sure the servants awakened in the early morning hours. These and many other good deeds and fortunes were the work of the “tomten and he was given a bowl of porridge every night”   

In this story, when a very hungry fox wanders into the farm looking for his dinner,  the Tomten finds a way to keep the farm animals safe and feed the fox at the same time.

So Parkes can play as he reads, I made a little felt fox......

Mr Fox has his eye on the hen house

And here's the Tomten who watches  over the farm animals .... he tells the fox 'no eating the chickens'

and generously shares his bowl of porridge with the fox.

Fox is about  (5") long and stands about 9cm (3.5") high, and the Tomten  is 13cm (5") tall, not counting his hat.  Both the fox and Tomten's clothes are made from lovely, buttery soft wool felt. 

They're all packed up in a cloth bag and we're ready for cake and fun later today. (No cake for Mirrhi, she'll just have fun running around and playing ball with Parkes!)

Sunday, March 18, 2018


I mentioned a couple of posts back that my Rainbow Scrap Challenge for this year was going to be churn dashes after I found the 5 blue ones I made back in 2016!  Angela chooses a colour for us to sew each month, and as January's was blue, I was already a little bit ahead of myself.

March's colour is light and bright greens, and I'd looked at my green scraps a few times, but felt very uninspired to do anything with them. I didn't like a lot of them, some were just plain ugly or didn't look right with the other greens, and others are  quite dark, and they'll be saved for another month.  I didn't have enough of the scraps I liked to do much with.  So they all went back in the green bin and I went and did more interesting....and easier ....things.....like clean the pantry!

But I got on with it yesterday and  managed to rustle up 2 green blocks.  They're not bad.  And shh! don't tell Angela, but I used some dark green as well!

These are what I have so far.......the colour for February was purple, and I prepped the pieces for one block, but that was as far as I got....that one's not sewn together.  I have quite a bit of limey-yellow greens, so I'll pull them next and see if they give me more inspiration. There's still a week or more left to make some, so perhaps I'll reach my goal of 6 blocks a month.  And I think the ugly greens will be turned into crumb blocks!

a little late....... with Kate for ScrapHappy Day
and Angela for Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
That's all for today, I'm off out to have lunch in a new cafe that's just opened out of town, I've heard they serve delicious home made cakes featuring dragon fruit and davidson plum, ......yum.
......till next time.

Sunday, February 18, 2018


* Edited to say this is a words only post, no pictures sorry.  I'm blogging on a newly-gifted new fangled tablet, and have no idea how to add photos or links. *

.... and cool. It does feel strange not to be constantly hot and sweaty, but very pleasant.

I'm sitting on the backsteps of a tiny terrace house in Sydney's inner west.  Actually a surpringly large, long backyard for such a narrow footprint.  It's a little overgrown and unloved, and I'm enjoying imagining what I might do with it if it was mine. Someone nearby has chickens. My favourite sound to wake to.

The house's......an airbnb....resident cat has come to join me. When I opened the back door to check out the day and my surroundings, this lovely sleek tabby made himself known, and then was very determined to get in. I didn't know there was a resident cat, so we had a friendly tussle for a bit at the door, me thinking it best not to let him in, and him very determined. That's when I noticed the bowls in the kitchen.....aah, he was right and I was wrong. He's very forgiving though.

I'm here having a weekend with my son and his partner. Their unit is too tiny to add a 3rd person to the mix, and an airbnb a couple of streets away is a good compromise. I'm here so we can talk about Future Plans and Housing Options. I'm not keen to stay living on a flood plain, and so we've been nutting out options.....theirs and mine.  I've been thinking about this for sometime, but it's early days yet to make any definite decisions.

So we've been enjoying the  delicious and varied eating delights of Newtown, drinking lots of tea, and just tossing ideas around. L is off riding this morning.....he's a keen and competitive mountain biker, R is enjoying a sleep-in and a bit later I'm going to catch the bus and meet up with a fellow blogger for morning tea and to give her a textile piece for an art installation she's doing.  More on that when I'm home again on my laptop, where I can add photos and links without hurting my brain.

Then we'll have a leisurely lunch, somewhere near the water I think, and then home again in time for the regular routine....dog walking, feeding everyone, checking on the chooks and setting back into my usual routine.

Till next time.......

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Hot February Night

........and Scraphappy Day

I've been quiet here, but accomplishing much in the sewing department, mostly hand stitching binding on tiny quilts and stuffing soft toys and embroidering faces in the cool of the air-conditioned lounge room.   I'll post about them another day. It's been very hot, it felt like my brain had turned to mush and no words could be written.  It's still very hot now, nearly 11 pm and still close to 30 deg C (86 F) with 90% humidity, which is the killer. We all lay around like this all day, heat-lagged. For some reason, the cats like to lay on Mirrhi, no matter the temperature, and she gets quite cross with them, lifting them off her  forcibly with her nose., or with a well placed gentle kick nudge.

So to scraps...... while digging out crumb blocks for the premmie quilts I was making here,  I also found a few blue churn dash blocks I'd made for last years Rainbow Scrap Challenge, the start of a rainbow churn dash quilt.  Well that didn't get far, there was the flood and 6 months of cleaning up, and a definite lack of enthusiasm for very much, so the churn dashes were forgotten. Until now.

I've decided to make them my 2018 Rainbow Scrap Challenge project this year, and so out came the purple scrap bin and work was begun tonight. My day was pretty busy with a rally and march a couple of us had organised to stop our rail line being ripped up, and replaced with a rail trail.  This decision was made without any community consultation, and so a couple of hundred of us braved the afternoon heat and marched to the Council Offices to present our case to Council.  

 Nothing to do with scraps of course, except now, having prepared one churn dash block, I'm too tired to sew tonight, so here it is, ready for some cool, early morning sewing.  Not sure how many of each colour I'll make, 6 probably, but they'll be a mix of light and dark backgrounds, and a variety of sizes.

* Scraphappy Day

......till next time.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Baby Blue Scraps

.... more scrappy premmie quilts

Sashing still to be stitched on 

Ready for quilting

 Tiny blue quilts for the little boys.  The last two are made from blocks I made for RSC 2016, and I've just added sashing and borders to bring them up to the required 40cms (16 inches).  The last picture shows the back, a soft doggie flannelette.  I don't use any batting in these, as that would make them too heavy, they're not for warmth so much as comfort and to make it easier for parents to hold their babies, with something soft to wrap them in.  With the quilt tops like the string one, I use a piece of very fine soft cotton between the layers, just so all those seams can't be felt.  The top one I'll just give a flannelette backing.

Linking with Tall Tales from Chiconia where Kate hosts January ScrapHappy Day and SoScrappy where Angela hosts ScrapHappy Saturday Tuesday.....I'm just a couple of days late....where the colour for January is blue......light blue actually, which mine definitely aren't.  I realised though as I went through my blue boxes looking for suitable scraps to make the crumb blocks a bit bigger, that I have very little light blue......plenty of aqua, teal and dark blue though, so that's what I've used.  Lots of inspiration on both blogs if you think your scraps are getting out of control.

.........till next time.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Baby crumbs and strings

...........tiny quilts for premmies

These little 40x40 cm (16") quilts are for Ronald McDonald House, one of this month's charities for the Aussie group, Knit4Charities.  They'll be given to the parents of sick or pre-term babies who stay in the house so they can be close to their babies, who have to stay in hospital.

I had made these blocks as part of the  Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2016, so with a bit of sashing and some borders, they've been turned into nice little quilts for a good cause.

I'll be making some for the little boys as well, so better get back to the quilting before the day gets really hot.

till next time..........

Sunday, January 7, 2018

One Monthly Goal - A First Time

....... hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.

Take me to the OMG Link-up

**Select ONE of your creative goals for the month that uses fabric, thread and / or yarn.  This could be to make a few blocks, cutting fabric for a project, sewing on a binding, or finish a quilt top.  Any goal that involves a step in the process of making with thread, fabric or yarn is a valid goal.**

I saw this link up while I was catching up on some blog reading back in October, and thought it would be a good way for me to stay motivated and accountable, while enjoying the sense of community and support to work consistently on my "making", whether that be quilting, sewing or knitting, without all the rush and panic of last minute finishes, or UFOs being consigned to bottom drawers or blanket boxes and forgotten about.

I decided I'd join in November, as I had some wonky stars I made in 2015 as my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for that year, that I was keen to turn into a quilt.  Well, the blocks weren't where they were supposed to be, and having looked through every storage bin and cupboard with no sign of them, and with Christmas sewing to do, I decided to leave it until the new year.  Funny how things just turn up......while packing away blankets not needed for my Christmas visitors, and tidying the blanket box, there were the wonky stars, tucked away at the bottom!

So here they are -  9 wonky rainbow stars and a wonky house! I think I decided before the end of 2015 I'd put them together for a housewarming gift for my friend A.......hence the house.  Obviously that didn't happen, so now they'll become a quilt for her 50th birthday.  I thought about taking the house out and making another rainbow block, but honestly can't be bothered making another star block, and I like the house....and A will too.

A's cat and dog pieced into the windows.

I'm going to put this quilt together with the QAYG method, so my goal for this month is to get all the blocks quilted. I could probably get a lot more done on it, but as A's birthday's not till the end of March, and I have other goals for the month, taking it slowly will work fine.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts January OMG

till next time............