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Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter secret sewing revealed...

For a little while now, I've been working on a table runner for a swap at Sunday Stitchers. Late last year, I googled Easter Tablerunners and also 'surfed' through Pinterest looking for ideas. Eventually I actually purchased a pattern from the US...not a PDF download...an actual paper pattern. 
Loved the pattern, and even though I knew any fabrics could be used, I loved the fabrics used by the designer; I didn't have any of the fabric in yardage but I had a jelly roll and part of a pack of charm squares in the 'Amelia'. I had planned to use some 'grass patterned' fabric I had bought a few years ago, but it didn't suit this design. The table runner was a bit wide so I decided to reduce the size and to that end, I reduced the appliqué pieces' patterns on the photocopier. I even traced these on to Applifix and ironed the shapes on to fabric. And then...I completely changed direction!!

I bought an Easter themed charm pack and 1/2 metre of Easter fabric on EBay.



 I cut out hexies...lots of them! I stitched away using Judy Newman's method which doesn't use the traditional papers...just running stitch along the seam line...rather quick! 


Whereas before with the lovely SuznQuilts pattern, I had kept procrastinating, now I was 'on a roll'...that 'mojo' was back! 

I showed glimpses on Instagram and on my blog...

And yesterday we handed over the runners that we made for our swap buddies...in a twist, we all discovered that the person for whom we made a runner, was also the person making one for us! So I made this one for Cheryl...

The colours are brighter than in the photos...and I used that 'grass fabric' after all :-)

And Cheryl made this beautiful runner for me...I love it! 

So I now I have a lovely Easter Tablerunner to add to my collection of Easter 'stuff'. :-)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Easter isn't far away...

Earlier this week I thought that it was about time I put out on display  some of the Easter items that I had  stored away. Last year DH and I were away in the UK at Easter so these items stayed stored away. 
I have some old children's egg cups/ornaments which belonged to a friend, who handed them on to me when my children were little...1950s kitsch...which have become popular in recent years. These items would have originally come with an Easter egg.
In the next photo are 2 Easter gifts I've received; the mug in fairly recent times and the egg cup was given to me by a neighbour when I was in Grade 1...and I still have it! Lol. When I was a child, the boiled eggs were usually bantam eggs (from backyard hen houses or chook yards as we Aussies call them) and these fitted the duck egg cup perfectly. When my children were little in the 1980s, the eggs purchased from the supermarket wouldn't fit in this egg cup. 

Some of my Easter 'decorations' have come from blog swaps...
An Easter Mini quilt last year...

The little bunny the year before, as well as this cute little cushion...
I have also bought Easter 'stuff' from the local 'cheap shop'...
This year at Let's Get Stitched, my room mate Judy, gave me the sweetest little bunny that she had sewed...little Matilda!

Put all these things together and what have you got? 

A hutch ready for Easter, that's what! Lol.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Some generous people...

I sometimes joke that I have some 'out workers'...friends, family and sometimes complete strangers, who hand over items to me which they have made or collected from others. These items are for Knitting for Brisbane's Needy, who then distributes to those in need.
A few weeks ago, DH and I decided that it might be a good idea to take a load of these items up to 'headquarters' rather than wait for the next knit and natter...and besides, the load was too much for Mitzi Micra, my little car. Parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory have been hit by cyclones in recent weeks, so there has been increased demand for the items that K4BN distributes. 
Here's some of the items that DH and I were able to hand in, thanks to the generosity of 'my out workers'....
From Marlene in Tassie...
Marlene describes herself as a 'gatherer' for the group, but she also makes a lot of things too. The teddies are mostly dressed in ponchos crocheted in indigenous colours...beautiful!

From my sister in law...15 baby and children quilts...
All beautifully made using lovely bright fabrics.

In a big surprise, I got a phone call from a lady who crochets a lot of beanies for K4BN, and she said she had some knitted blankets for the group. These blankets had come from the Oncology Unit of the local private hospital. Patients and others are encouraged to knit squares and these are then sewn into blankets for charity...and K4BN was chosen to get this lot...absolutely amazing!
I also draped all these blankets over my old cane lounge to get photos...

And I got back to work and finished joining squares and weaving in all the 'ends' to finally make 15 blankets...all from donated squares. ( a few squares made by me...but only a few) The collage shows 16 but I repeated one photo to fill all the squares! :-)
Thank you also to Helen Mc, Toni Mc and Irene N, for the items you've given me to pass on to K4BN. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Who was that masked man I saw you with last night?

Yep! For just over a week now, I have drifted off to sleep with the whooshing sound of air and various other 'new noises'. DH is using a rented CPAP machine as a trial for the next 2 months. It sits on a little stool beside the bed...

Each day DH has to wash out the reservoir inside the machine that contains filtered water.
The mask must also be cleaned on a regular basis...

I call DH, Darth Vader, but he insists that the mask more resembles that of Hannibal Lector :-/

Now interestingly, my cardiologist has organized for me to spend an evening at the Sleep Centre at Greenslopes Hospital. Yesterday the paperwork arrived from the company who runs this Centre...

Snore Australia! What sort of a name is that? 
I don't think much of the name! Some of us are rather touchy about our snoring you know! DH goes to a centre called Genesis...a much nicer name I think! Lol.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Compare and Contrast...

I've written a few posts lately about the Let's Get Stitched 2015 weekend. I took a lot of photos that weekend but one or two in particular might seem a bit strange. I took photos of the bathroom in the hotel room I shared with Wendy and Judy. You see it was such a contrast compared to the bathroom in my hotel room at last year's Let's Get Stitched.
In Rydges Bell City in Preston (Melbourne) I had chosen the 'Sleep and Go' budget accomodation option as I wasn't sharing. The room was very compact and quite comfortable but when I saw the bathroom, I just started laughing! 
The hotel room was so compact/tiny, it was hard to get into a position to take a photo of this bathroom...but I did get a few photos...
Yes that alcove in the corner is the bathroom...and yes, that is the toilet you can see in the shower recess...
another view of the compact bathroom...
You can see the lever for the shower, the dual flush buttons for the loo...and of course the toilet roll. The towel is on a very high towel rail too. And a shower curtain pulled right around which kept the toilet paper dry while you showered...see why I got the giggles?? Lol. 
So now let's contrast that bathroom with this year's bathroom...
A spa bath no less....

Very swish and plenty of room to move! 
My lovely room mates saved the little hotel soaps and shampoo for me to hand on to K4BN for the toiletry/hygiene packs that the group hands out to needy people. 
The 'Melbourne bathroom' may have made me laugh, but I think I prefer this year's somehow. :-)

Friday, March 20, 2015

FNSI...

It was the third Friday night of the month here last night, and that means Friday Night Sew In.
I worked on a secret Easter project...
I used some of these lovely charm squares...

Some of this yardage...

I used some of this 'grass' fabric...

There was some hand stitching involved...

I may have used this template a week ago...
All will be revealed just before Easter.
A lot of the scraps from this project are triangular shaped, so I'm saving all those for Miss Lucy as I'm sure she will have ideas of what to make with the shapes.
Also last night,I did some simple crocheting.
My knitting group often gets bags of crocheted squares donation...many of these are quite small...

So I crochet more rows to make them 10" or 25cm size, so that 30 or 36 squares make a decent size blanket. So it was enlarging some of these squares that I worked on for a while last night.

Thank you to Wendy over at Sugarlane Quilts for organising FNSI once again...why not follow the link to Wendy's sign up page and check out some of the other FNSI ers' blogs?

March 20 a year ago...an Encore post.

Regular readers will be surprised to learn that today is exactly one year since we arrived in the UK for our driving holiday there...time has certainly flown.
Remembering...


THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2014

Arrival in London...

We arrived in London at around 4.35 am London time after a flight of just over 12 hours. We had had a stopover at Hong Kong Airport for 6 hours and when we had arrived in HK there were no details on the board about what gate we would board through for our next flight. So we hung around Gate 60 as it was near where we had gone through Security after our flight from Brisbane.
I must share with you the photo I took of the label of some bottled water that I bought in Hong Kong Airport...
What a load of codswallop ! Lo

Eventually we found out that we would be boarding throughGate 2! It was then we really realised how BIG Hong Kong Airport is! Lol


When we finally boarded we were very tired? I actually dozed and missed the take-off... After we were served supper on board, I went to sleep again. When I awoke I was sure that I had slept for hours and hours...can you imagine my disappointment when I discovered that there was still 8 hours of the flight  to go! 

Nevertheless the time passed and we were at last in London...the photo below shows the images on the screens we could see from the outside camera on the plane. I had been able to see images of nighttime London via this camera, as we came in over the Thames Estuary. The man sitting behind us was obviously a local and had pointed out landmarks such as old docks and Canary Docks etc. 
Then it was all the official stuff such as Customs and Immigration.
DH and I then caught the train to Earls Court and then another train to West Brompton which was actually closer to our Earls Court hotel. . We were so lucky when we arrived at our hotel, as we were allowed an early check in! I was sooooo grateful. 

So we had a rest and a shower and then it was back to the station...
We went to the Westfields in Shepherd's Bush as DH was going to collect his Westfield discount card and also to organise a mobile phone...
A lovely little coffee shop called Butlers where we stopped for a coffee...
Some of the shops in the huge Westfield...
Also just beside the complex we saw this! 
This icecream truck is outside Jamie Oliver's restaurant. 

Just inside Westfields we saw this shop...I first found branches of this clothing chain throughout the US when we were there in 2011...same window display. I'm pointing to a Singer model just like my mum's. 
After that we walked around the streets of Shepherd's Bush outside the big complex. There were lots of fabric shops that reminded me of the fabric shops in the Indian quarter of Singapore...lots of fancy fabrics.
Then we caught a bus to the city...
And look what shop I saw in a street running off Oxford St?? 
I was busy looking at 'stuff' and DH was busy taking photos!


I bought some precuts Liberty fabric...I just ignored the price tags...
As well as the fabric strip WOF pieces, I also bought some precut hexies and card template for the papers. The Plan is to perhaps work on this EPP project while we travel. 
Day 1 of our trip also included dinner at a small pub up the street from our hotel...all very quaint. 

So that was 12 months ago...