Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas Stocking Project

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Christmas stocking after first session

Christmas stocking after first session


I know this probably feels all wrong to most of you but here in wintry Melbourne (I actually had to scrape ice of the windscreen the other morning)! It feels like just the right time of year for me to be making a Christmas project and this one is so much fun. It is a Christmas stocking called My Favorite Things and it is by Kerry Gillespie. You can order it here if you would like one too.

I got together with my Mad Cow buddies on Saturday in one of the girls’ houses and she had set it up so beautifully with two tables for us to work on and a tea and coffee-making table (I told her it looked just like a conference centre)!

Initially when we got the pattern, we were all a little daunted (well I was anyway) as it required cutting out the fabric, tracing the design on and then painting before any stitching could take place. With all of us together though, it no longer seemed as daunting and with a great flurry of activity it wasn’t long before we were painting on our fabric stockings – it was amazing how quiet we all were (obviously all too busy concentrating to talk).

Lunchtime came and we were treated to the amazing cooking abilities of our host’s hubbie with homemade gyoza (Japanese dumplings) Chinese style duck pancakes and mini chicken and leek pies – of course we all ate too much as it was far too hard to resist and it would have been rude not to!

By 4pm when it was time to pack away our paints we were all amazed at how much we had managed to accomplish and were keen to make a date for a follow-up session. So I will keep you updated on how our stockings progress and hopefully it will be done before Santa comes hurtling down our chimneys!

Close-up

Close-up


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I include this last photo because it was the bit that went most wrong! I am hoping to somehow rescue it as we go along. This is what comes of being impatient and trying to add paint to sections that haven’t dried properly! What do they say about learning from mistakes?!
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Peace, Joy, Lego houses and quilting in the holiday season!

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I hope you are all well and have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.

Our Melbourne Christmas was a fairly relaxed and quiet affair but enjoyable all the same.

We have a street BBQ every Christmas morning and this year it was our turn to host it so there we were at 8.30am cooking up sausages outside our house waiting for neighbours to arrive. Its always a great way to catch up with neighbours you generally only wave at throughout the year and a nice way to welcome and get to know new residents.

We even have a trophy lego house that gets awarded each year to the house with the most noticeable improvements! You then get the honour of keeping the ‘trophy’ (its supposed to take pride of place on the mantle piece) all year and awarding it to whoever you feel most deserving the next Christmas!! Just a bit of fun really but it always creates a lot of laughter.

The rest of the day was spent with friends – eating (way too much), laughing and generally relaxing.

When we got home in the evening (ready to drop) it was time to phone family on the other side of the world and it always feels strange that just as we are coming to the end of our Christmas celebrations, they are just starting theirs. When I first came to Australia this was particularly difficult for me but I have to say that as we have gradually developed our own ‘traditions’ over the years and our children are now teens, it no longer upsets me – so thats a good thing!

What else have I been doing over the last week …. well I managed to finish the small lap quilt I showed off last time – the one I made with the tumbler blocks, cut from the Go Baby, fabric cutter.

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I had a go at quilting this one myself as it was quite small and decided just to do wavy lines vertically and horizontally with a variagated pink thread.

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I carried on the wavy line quilting in the borders and for the first time had a go at completely machine binding a quilt – sewing onto the reverse of the quilt and then folding it over to the front and machine blanket stitching on the front. One major thing I learned was, always cut your binding strips at least 2″ wide and not 1 3/4″ like I did (it was a struggle to say the least)!

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As I mentioned in my last post I didn’t really have a purpose for this quilt when I started it but then of course the tragic events in Connecticut and the comment left on my Mad Cows Day Out post on December 12th by sowninpeace meant this quilt did have a purpose after all. I hope it gets to its destination safely and helps in some small way.

Wishing you all love and happiness for the holiday season.

Baby flannel quilt

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Still waiting for news of baby’s arrival (from friends in Bonnie Scotland) but in the meantime I set to putting some flannel squares together to make a nice snuggly quilt for bub. I appliqued some stars on to the squares and then gave to Natalie at the Quilting Bug who echoed the star design in her quilting. Hopefully mum, dad and baby will enjoy!

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Baby flannel quilt with stars

Baby flannel quilt with stars

Thought you might like to see a couple of other that came back at the same time. The first one is my friend Carol’s who made a large version of this (not shown) and a small baby one which she is about to send off as a present overseas. I think you will agree it is very pretty (and bonus knowing that it is made up from the left-overs of a bigger quilt – including the batting)!

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Carrie’s been at it again too! Again this one is going overseas with get well wishes for her mother in law. I think this quilt would cheer up anyone’s Christmas.

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Here are some proteas I often pass in a friend’s front garden – I just couldn’t resist their beautiful colours and I hope it brings a touch of sunshine to those going into the depths of winter!!

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Origami flowers

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This has to be one of the most successful first attempts I’ve ever had with learning a new craft! and I suppose what I mean by that is, the finished object actually resembled what I was aiming for – that doesn’t happen very often for me.


I was so impressed with the result that I just had to share it and have a go at my very first tutorial…. so here goes and I hope you like it.

You will need a sheet of decorative paper such as scrapbooking paper which is easy to fold and holds its shape well.

Cut 5 x 4″ squares

Take one 4″ square

Fold it diagonally


Then fold each outer point up to the middle point to get this shape

Fold one side out

and then the other side


Pick one side up to a point

Squash the crease down to open it up


and then the same to the other side

Fold down the two triangles so you are left with this shape


Fold the outer triangle in to the centre

and the same to the other side


Glue the two outer triangles

and curl it round sticking both sides together…..Now make 4 more like this.

Gently squash each petal down


Glue down each length


Glue them together, one at a time

and you should end up with this


You will then need: one piece of floristry wire, one header pin and a suitable bead


Run the floristry wire through the centre and the header pin through the bead and into the top of the flower. (if it is too loose, a drop of hot glue under the bead should hold it in).

Finally – done and hopefully looks something like this!


Then its time to get carried away and make a whole bunch!

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and I would love to see your versions – I’m thinking they will make nice Christmas decorations. Good luck!