And the winners are ......


The winners in my giveaway have been chosen by the random generator and they are:

1st Prize - Sharon


Congratulations ... and thank you to everyone who entered the competition.

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A couple more lovely ladies have sent photos of their Gifts of Grace quilts.

This is Lyn's gorgeous version - aren't the colours beautiful?


And look what Helen has done with her beautifully embroidered blocks.  Aren't those snowball blocks clever?


I just love seeing the beautiful interpretations you have put on my design.

The free pattern will be on the website until 31st December, so hurry in to download all the blocks.  Meanwhile I am working on another free BOM which I plan to give you in January.  It's looking very sweet, so I think you will  like it.

..............................

My computer is still at the doctor's - SIGH!  Oh well, at least I have my husband's computer I can grab to do some blogging if he's not using it.  I managed to complete another couple of Christmas presents, which means everything is now ready with just a few more presents to wrap and put under the tree.

This week I feel like a happy mother hen with lots of my chickens under my wings.  Daughter No 1 arrived home from overseas this morning for a few weeks, and Daughter No 2 and her four children will be here very soon.  Last night we babysat Son No 2's two boys.  So with lots of family around, it's time for me to take a little blogging break for a couple of weeks.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that you can pause long enough in this busy season to contemplate the wonder of God's love in sending Jesus.

Blessings
Val

A problem and an intruder


I have a problem with my computer so it's at the doctors!  I'm pretty much stymied in all sorts of ways - it's like having my right arm cut off!  So this is just a little post on another computer to say "Hello".

I can tell you I made another 9 Christmas presents this last week.  The list is getting shorter!!!

I can remind you about the Giveaway - you have until Friday to enter.

I can let you know that I plan to commence another
Block of the Month free pattern
for you in January.  I hope you'll plan to include it in your 2011 "To do" list.


I can show you a photo of my Christmas envelope and gift tag that was just published in the Australian Handmade magazine.  It's ideal for a small gift, or great to put money in, and then after it's opened, the wrapping is totally reusable!

This is the back:


and the front:




Now for my story of the week:

We travelled up country over the weekend for my niece's wedding and stayed in a motel overnight.  Just after 3 am my husband heard an intruder in our room.  It sounded like someone was slowly treading on the floor trying not to make a noise - plop, silence, plop, silence, plop - all ever so close to our bed!

On go the lights - and yes, we did have an intruder!  A little green frog had somehow found its way inside and was making valiant attempts to get out again!  We helped him out, but that was the end of my sleep for the night.  Just as well I could have some little naps on the way home in the car!

I'd better go and finish unpacking!

Regards
Val


Giveaway - Celebrating 100!


It's Giveaway time to celebrate my 100th post. 

I've so much enjoyed my blogging experience and have made so many lovely friends - most of whom I've never met, but feel I've known for years!

I have put together two little parcels as prizes.  The first prize will be a Spring Showers Cushion cover, a Mug Bag and a gorgeous antique Christmas panel (plus a couple of other bits and pieces):


And second prize will be a Vintage Christmas Pudding wall-hanging, Heart Scissor Keep Kit and an Enchanted Garden Pincushion:


To enter the competition, leave a comment telling me what five things you would like to receive (as in the 12 Days of Christmas song) instead of  5 Golden Rings. Or maybe you'd really like the five Golden Rings, so that's OK too!!!


Of course, I'd like other crafters around the world to get to know about my work, so it will be the usual deal 
* If you're a follower (or become a follower), leave another comment to tell me that, for a second entry.
* And if you mention the giveaway on your blog, leave me another comment to let me know that, for a third entry.  Feel free to use the 1st Prize Giveaway photo above in your post if you like. 

Entries close on Friday December 17th at midnight (Australian Eastern Standard Time) and the competition is open to anyone, no matter where in the world you live.
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The "To Do" list actually seemed to reduce this week!  Most weeks lately all I've done is add more jobs to do!  I managed to get seven Christmas presents made.  Can't show you them yet as some of the recipients actually read my blog!

Handmade Magazine featured a couple of my projects this month.  Here is the Vintage Christmas Pudding:


It features a recipe that has been handed down through at least four generations of our family.  It would not be Christmas for us if we didn't have this fabulous Christmas Pudding served after a traditional Roast Turkey!  The pattern is available for purchase on my website here if you don't have access to our lovely Australian magazine.

How are you going with purchasing/making/thinking about Christmas presents?

Christine is well and truly organised and has made these:





Aren't they just gorgeous?  The free pattern is available from this page on my website. They are quite quick to whip up, so you might be able to solve some of your Christmas giving with this design.

We had a great time being proud grandparents again at the Awards functions last week. This week we will be travelling to attend my niece's wedding.  We are really catching up on lots of family events at the moment; we're making up fast for being away for so long!  LOVE it!

Regards
Val

99 Down and One to go!

It's my 99th post today, so of course we will have to celebrate the 100th, won't we!?!  I've been gathering some bits and pieces to put together a little parcel or two for a giveaway, so watch this space for details in the next post.

My Persian Rose cushion is featured in the beautiful Australian Country Craft & Decorating Magazine this month.

It uses the Broderie Perse method of applique, hence the name.


and it made it to the cover:


I actually was able to do a small amount of sewing this week.  Of course it was about 1/10th of what I had hoped to achieve, but it was a start.  Just a sneak peak for now:


I am using the same fabric range as used for the cushion above and the project below - Garden Party by Blackbird designs.  It has a good variety of colours in the range and of course its romantic flavour suits me to the ground! 

You've seen the project below before but I wanted to let you know that I have now put the pattern on the website for my friends who don't have access to our Australian magazines.  It's my Fantasia wall-hanging with a very easy needle-turn applique fan and some simple embroidery.


The pattern costs only A$10 and can be purchased here.

One of my blog friends, Elaine, has sent a photo of another Gifts of Grace block she has finished:

  
Some of the stitches are new to Elaine, so hasn't she done a fabulous job with the
satin stich and bullion stitch bees!
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We had four of our grandchildren, and their parents, stay for a night over the weekend, the first time they have visited us in our new home.  The children spent the morning on the beach, something they rarely have opportunity to do, so you can imagine how much fun they had.  We will be travelling to their home town (2½ hours away) during the week to attend three more school awards functions.  We just love being able to be present at these ceremonies, after years of being unable to attend.  The stitching can wait!

Regards
Val

The best laid plans ...

Well, so much for getting back to stitching this week!  Life just got in the way, so my craft room is still sitting waiting patiently to be used.  However, my husband and I were able to attend three school functions for four of our grandchildren over the last couple of days, so that was just lovely after years of being prohibited by distance.

I do have something to show you, as one of my quilts is in Handmade magazine this month.  I called this one "Fairy Floss" as that's what the fabric colours kept reminding me of.




I am very fond of the edging I have put on this one.

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Sandy has very kindly sent a photo of a completed Gifts of Grace quilt that ladies from her church made as a farewell gift for one of their friends.  Isn't it sweet?


And Teresa has finished her last block.  Well done, Teresa.


Now to show you something of our delightful area. This is one of the cliff-top walks we love to use each morning: 



So we can look out over this view:



Then it's down for a walk on the beach:



and maybe a little rest on the foreshore to take in the serenity:



Don't you think we are totally spoilt and abundantly blessed?

Hope your week is filled with joy and peace.

Regards
Val

A free pattern!

As promised, I have a free pattern for you for November, now that the Gifts of Grace Block of the Month project has finished.  By the way, I will leave the nine BOM blocks on the website for free download until 31st December 2010.  You might like to tell your friends they are available and that they will need to download the patterns SOON!  And don't forget to send me a photo of your completed blocks.

The free pattern I have for you this month is a sweet little pincushion which I showed you some months ago - The Garden Gate.  It is 6 inches square, made of felt, and as you can see has an embroidered fabric centre. I hope it's a project you will enjoy making and maybe it's something you could make for a stitching friend for Christmas.


You can download the pattern from my website at the bottom of this page.

We are continuing to explore our new district and I plan to show you some photos next post.  Meanwhile, the cactus garden is a continual source of amazement.  I'm not really fond of cacti, but there are so many interesting plants in our garden and there are new flowers appearing almost every day, that I'm finding it quite delightful.  Mostly yellow ones this week:







And now back to some stitching ... Penny has very kindly shared some photos of her completed Gifts of Grace block.  Aren't they just so lovely:




One of my lovely blogging friends was having trouble embroidering grub roses, so I did up a diagram for her and I have now included this in my Bullion Stitch Rose tutorial.  I hope this will make the steps clearer.

And how about this for a give-away? Corrie has this lovely Rosalie Quinlan range of fat quarters to give away. 



Hope I win, but just in case I don't, I've ordered some different fabric which I plan to use on my next free block of the month project.  If everything goes to plan, I hope to have the first block ready for you in January. At least I've done some sketching, so that's a start.  I can hear the sewing machine calling out, "Come and use me - it's been a long time." I think we've done all the paperwork to change our address, visited all the necessary government departments with only our final trip (of four) to the Motor Vehicle Registration to do this week, rearranged the garage and garden shed, itemised where I've put everything in my craft room, replied to all the lovely people who sent us farewell greetings, and once again the creative juices are flowing so hopefully I will be back stitching this week.  Woohoo!

Have a great week.

Regards
Val 

A wonderful weekend away!


I'm back from spending a great weekend away at the Creative Craft Retreat at Lake Perseverance, Crows Nest. We all had a fabulous relaxing time in beautiful surroundings, with wonderful food we didn't have to prepare ourselves, lots of fun and laughter, and plenty of time to work on CRAFT!  Remember the serious attack I made on my stash, making these (and lots of other) bags?


Well, here they are filled with goodies for the ladies:




I taught my Enchanted Garden Pincushion to some lovely ladies who did a great job with lots of embroidery stitches they had never tried before.   Here's the felt all lined up waiting to be chosen:


This is Rosemarie's version.  Aren't her grub roses great for a first-timer?:


And don't you love Vicki's vibrant colours?:


And here's Marian's beautifully embroidered top ready for construction. 
Look at her fabulous tailor's buttonhole flowers.  She admits she is now hooked on this stitch:


I'm already thinking about what I'd like to teach next year - if I'm asked!!! ..........


My favourite quilt that I've designed this year is a very simple one (as all of mine are when it comes to quilts!) but there is something about it that I really like.  It's my fan, hearts and charm quilt which appears in the fabulous Australian Country Threads magazine this month:


Here it is on the cover:


It's always a buzz to see your designs in print!

How are you going with your Gifts of Grace BOM?  I'll have some photos of completed blocks to show you next post.  Until then, happy stitching!

Regards
Val


Not letting the grass grow under our feet!


We're all unpacked and are loving our new home!  The first and most necessary room:

 Our new lounge room:


All the pictures etc are on the walls:


The treasures arrived safe and sound:


The garden seat is in place:


I reckon we have not let the grass grow under our feet!

My husband, however, says he can actually SEE the grass growing under our feet - at about a rate of 1 inch a day!  We had forgotten how quickly everything grows in the sub tropics!  The view from our family room soon reminds us it is time to get the mower out:


I'm still waiting for shelves to be built in my craft room and I've been trying to find everything I need for the class I am teaching at the Craft Retreat next weekend.

Meanwhile, the mail has caught up with our new address:


Australian Country Craft has published my Christmas decorations - can you find them on the front cover?


Here they are on the inside:


And how brilliant is this?  Hazel has already completely finished her Gifts of Grace quilt!  Well done, Hazel, and thanks for sharing your photo.


... and stay tuned - I see that I'm up to 95 posts.  I will have to do something special to celebrate the 100th, won't I?  ... Now, if only my shelves were built, I might be able to find something for a giveaway ....

Happy stitching!

Val