Monthly Archives: January 2013

The ups and downs of learning something new


First things first. I have two lovely ladies to thank for nominating my blog for the One Lovely Blog and the Very Inspiring Blog Awards as you can see here:


The first thank you goes to Lori at The Inbox Jaunt Who has been inspiring me greatly recently with her fabulous free-motion quilting. I was consoling myself with the fact that she probably used a specialist sewing machine of some sort but when she told me she only used an ordinary sewing machine, my admiration went up by several notches and I decided to give it a try myself.

The results are at the bottom of this post and needless to say – I have a very long way to go to approach anything like Lori’s level! Oh well practice makes perfect, as they say. Do have a look at Lori’s work though – it is truly inspirational.

My second thank you goes to Julie or Garden Girl at Crazy Wonderful Life. I find Julie has a very honest way of writing and I first got to visit her blog when she wrote about a disasterous sewing class – where everything went wrong – cheered me up no end!! Go take a little look and see some of the lovely things she has been making.

Now for the other bit (I have covered 1. and 2. I think)

The Rules

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Add The One Lovely Blog Award / The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post.
3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Pass the award on to 10 nominees.
5. Include this set of rules.
6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

Seven things about me:

1. I make a mean Moussaka
2. My star sign is Sagitarius
3. I was born in the Chinese year of the Ox
4. I did a foundation course in art therapy
5. I lost contact with my best childhood friend when I was 10 and found her 37 years later!
6. I have always wanted to visit South America
7. I love chocolate in any form!

Here are my nominees for the award:

A Conversation with Moo
Deep in the Heart of Textiles
Green and Clean My Life
Dizzy Izzy Blog
Knit Nell
Projects by Mtetar
Living Simply Free
Nice Piece of Work
Pillows a la Mode
Neros Post and Patch

As mentioned at the beginning of the post here is my show and tell – please don’t judge me harshly!! As I said earlier I was so inspired by Lori at the Inbox Jaunt I just had to have a try at free motion quilting so these were my first attempts:



I know the only way is up from here so I’ll keep you posted on how I get on!

Garden theme friendship quilt


These blocks I’m showing you are actually from our 2010 friendship group quilt. We chose the theme of “Garden” at the beginning of the year so that it would be nice and easy for people to come up with ideas and then we each had to come up with a design for a block which we would present when it was our turn for the monthly get together. The design could be either applique or stitchery as long as it had some connection to the garden theme.

Try to ignore the loose threads hanging (some of the blocks have been hanging about for a while)!

Some of the group had a lot going on in their lives so ended up not making all the blocks; they will probably use whatever they’ve got to make cushions out of. As you can see, this is not a high pressure group (thank goodness)!

There were 10 of us in the group at the time and here are my 10 finished blocks:
2013-01-10 17.16.54

2013-01-10 17.14.56

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2013-01-10 17.16.44

2013-01-10 17.15.29

The next one was probably my favourite block as I liked the combination of stitches and buttons:

2013-01-10 17.15.12

2013-01-10 17.16.30

2013-01-10 17.15.44

2013-01-10 17.15.54

The last block was my contribution although not my own design as I had it in an old magazine and thought it would fit perfectly with the theme:

2013-01-10 17.16.05

I hope you like them and I am now planning how I am going to put them all together in one quilt top. I have been playing around with a large centre block and will hopefully be able to show you that soon.

I love to hear how other friendship groups work and if you decide on a yearly theme or just work on individual projects. Let me know as we are always looking for ideas and I will show you some of the other things we have made in future posts.

Writing challenge: New Years Resolutions (Doompocalypse Redux)

Oh not the end of the world....Again!

Oh not the end of the world….Again!

I guess if that comet’s on its way I’d better get serious about what I’m going to do in my last 3 months!

Here are my three resolutions and its a bit of a twist on the usual 3R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle (I figured if the planet’s going kaboom in 3 months it won’t make a whole lot of difference!)*

1) Reduce
2) Rekindle
3) Remember

1) I resolve to reduce the amount of time spent paying bills, dusting, shopping, weeding and worrying about life in general, after all, what’s the point? I also resolve to reduce my stash of craft supplies by using as much of it up as humanly possible (hopefully the comet will take a bit longer than 3 months).

2) I resolve to rekindle all those friendships I’ve let slip by the wayside over the years and let every one of them know just how much they mean to me. I would also rekindle a bit of one on one time with himself – going out to nice restaurants (no point in saving money), going out to the movies, laughing as much as possible and learning to salsa (ha some hopes even if the end is nigh!)

3) I resolve to remember every wonderful moment experienced in my life – sunrise in Scotland, sunset in Western Australia, clear star-studded skies in the Grampians, swimming in lakes and skiing down mountains. I will remember every time I have laughed until I cried with friends and family and every loving embrace. Most of all I would remember the overwhelming love and joy when I held my babies for the first time and the continuing joy of watching them grow into young men.

I am reminded when I look at this that every moment we have is precious and not to be wasted. Every tree, moonlit sky and baby’s smile more valuable than gold and diamonds.

* oh and just in the hope and expectation that we do have longer than 3 months I would like to reaffirm my belief in taking care of our beautiful planet by reducing, reusing and recycling!

Wishing you all a creative and joyful 2013.