Where has the "Get up and go" gone?


I've been having one of those months where I don't seem to be accomplishing much at all in the sewing realm. Winter is never the best time of the year for me, and my "Get up and go" usually does exactly that - It gets up and goes right out the door!  However, I am ever so thankful to now be living in a place with a wonderful climate that is so much kinder to my body in the cold months. Our overnight temperatures drop down considerably but most of our days are very pleasant and the sun is warm enough to take off the jacket. LOVE it! And we've now passed the 21st June and
OUR DAYS ARE GETTING LONGER! 

Come Spring, hopefully I'll get my "Get up and go" back where it should be.

Just as well some of the projects that I designed in the summer months are now coming out in print, otherwise I wouldn't have much to show you!

I love to use shades of purple/lavender/mauve in my designs, so had fun with the Garden Bows Cushion:


It's in the current issue of Handmade magazine
... and here it is on the front cover:


Don't you love Kris's Lavender Lil bear with her sweet little hand on my cushion!

Then there was this little gift bag.
It appeared in Handmade's Christmas in July issue:


It's never too early to think about Christmas!

On the positive side, I have three or four projects that I have started over the last few weeks.  Only trouble is they have stayed "half started" - stitcheries done and just sitting there, a Christmas present ready to be put together, fabric purchased; I even dug out some wool to do some crochet.  I'd like to get some of them closer to the "half finished" stage soon - or even better, actually completed!  Having said all that, we have had a visitor to entertain for five days, a mountain of paperwork to process, a few outings to enjoy the warm sun, and the garden has had some attention so that it is all looking neat and tidy again.

I guess the "Get up and go" has been a bit diverted lately!

Happy stitching!
Val

Free Pattern - Consider the Lilies Pattern 6

It seems ages since the last instalment in the Consider the Lilies free Block of the Month pattern.  Maybe it's because an awful lot of things have happened in our lives in the last four weeks! A car accident and an Order of Australia Medal weren't on the To Do list, but we feel abundantly blessed through both of these significant events.

Pattern 6 is now ready for download on my website.

There's a little toadstool:

which is attached to a block of thin rectangles:


which is then attached to the little bird from last month to complete the lower half of the block.



Then there are a couple of sweet butterflies:


which will join on to April's block to complete the top half of the block:


Then you can join it all together:


to complete block 2 ...

and now you have the patterns for HALF the quilt.


You can join Blocks one and two if it makes you feel good!

I hope you are enjoying making this quilt as much as I am in sharing it with you.

We had a friend from interstate stay with us this week for five days, so there was very little sewing done. We were out in the beautiful Queensland winter sunshine for much of the time, enjoying spotting birds, revelling in the beautiful scenery and being constantly thankful for being able to live in my dream location.

I loved watching this little baby Australasian Grebe:

... was delighted to see a spectacular Regent Bowerbird:


... marvelled at how elegant the Black-winged Stilts are:


and found plenty of water in the waterfalls:


Hope your week is full of blessings too.

Happy stitching,
Val

Our exciting news


There's a lot of excitement in our household today.  My DH's tireless work in theological education and Christian ministry over the last 50 years or so has been recognised by the government and he has been awarded the
Medal of the Order of Australia
in the Queen's Birthday Honours List today.

He was totally surprised by it all and can't understand why he would get such an honour but those close to him know he is a worthy recipient!


The announcement is here: and some more detail here. (look for Laird)

 

Can you imagine how proud I am of him?
And a special touch is that the announcement has taken place on what was my mother's birthday.



Meanwhile in the sewing department ...
I needed a new potholder and prefer the oven mitt style.  Rather than go buy from the shop, I decided to make myself one.  I found this very old fabric in the stash, some equally old bias binding and whipped this up fairly quickly.  I used two layers of batting so it would be thick enough not to burn my fingers.


Now you know that machine quilting is definitely not one of my strong points, but these loopy swirls didn't turn out too badly.


I decided to change the fabric I was working on with my little dragonfly, so it has now become this:


I've had this pretty aqua fabric in the cupboard waiting for just the right project and there in the basket of knitting and crochet cottons was the perfect colour thread to make a matching twisted cord.  I always love it when I can use what I have available - and be assured there's an awful lot stashed away to be used!

This will be off to a magazine shortly and of course I've already started the next project - in pinks this time. 

My thread saver project is cut and ruled and sitting on my sewing machine cabinet ready to be used each time I sew.


There is so much that can be done with half square triangles and doing them as thread savers means they'll all be sewn before I know it.

I better get my head out of the clouds and my feet on the ground!

Happy Stitching!
Regards
Val

Thinking straight at last!

I want to say a sincere thank you to all my lovely blog friends who contacted me after our campervan accident.  It was just so beautiful to see your love and concern.  I know you will understand that I wasn't able to reply personally this week, but be assured that I REALLY appreciated your comments.

I feel as if I am thinking straight at last!  We were walking around in a daze for a few days, especially during the four days it took for us to get ourselves and our goods home.  We are thankful for family members who did the thinking for us when we were incapable of it!

The week has been spent:
  • thinking things through.  We have come to the decision that our camping days are over.  We're not getting any younger and there are ways of fulfilling our passion for bushwalking and bird spotting without all that is involved in driving, maintaining, insuring and registering a motorhome. It looks as though the van will be written off, but in the unlikely event that it is repaired, we will sell it.


  • finding a place to put another houseful of gear (... well, a mini house).  I guess having two toasters in the cupboard will be useful when we have family with us at Christmas and two electric jugs will be good when we have lots of people for supper.  The crockery and cutlery have gone into the picnic port* and I'm very happy to throw out the old plastic gear that has been in there for years.
  • filling in forms (and all that is involved in gathering all the necessary information).
  • answering the phone.  You realise what wonderful friends you have in times like this.
  • sending this little project off to a magazine.
  • cleaning up the garden, revelling in being in short sleeves in the warm sun in the first week of winter.  It's exactly how I remembered it (and hoped it would still be) from 34 years ago when we last had a winter in Queensland.
By the end of the week, the house was clean and I even polished a lot of the furniture!  Accidents have a strange effect on people evidently!  I was almost ready to get the sewing machine out to work on a design that has all the embroidery done and now needs to be sewn together when one of the magazine editors contacted me asking for small projects with embroidery. Of course that is what I just love to do, so it was out with the pencil and paper and the last couple of nights have been spent happily using some gorgeous Cosmo variegated threads.


I also made time to get out some fabric for my next "Thread Saver" project. (See here for the original post).  I hope to cut out lots of squares and draw the diagonal lines so these are sitting on the machine ready to make more Half Square Triangles. This thread saving idea is becoming addictive and I'm so glad I'm actually planning projects to sew this way.


Now for a little bit of Oz education for you!

I thought you might be interested in my "Queenslandism".  We have always called suitcases "ports" in Queensland and it is interesting the reactions you get when you use that word in the other two States of Australia in which we have lived - usually a look of "whatever is she talking about?" and "ports are what large ships go to".  I haven't found anyone other than a Queenslander who calls them "ports".  It's not as silly as it sounds either, as it comes from the French word "portmanteau" and in typical Oz fashion, we abbreviate just about anything that has more than one syllable!  There are a number of instances when each Australian State has its own word for an item. You can tell where people come from when they start talking about the apparel you wear when you are swimming: it could be swimmers, bathers, cozzies, or togs, depending where you live! I'm very happy to be living back in Queensland where they can understand my lingo!!!!
 
Have a great week.
 
Blessings
Val