The Garden Gate and some more stash-busters.

I seem to have been running around in circles all week, but when I came to think about what I could show you, I was surprised to find I did actually accomplish a couple of things! I've been fiddling around with felt - more in my head and on paper, than actually sewing it, so that's where the frustration set in! Eventually I curled up under a quilt and stitched this little Garden-gate pincushion, all by hand: 

I'm thinking it has possibilities.

Early in the week I completed the project below, sent a photo to a magazine editor and it was commissioned the same day.  It will be published in February.  It was one of those designs that came together just right first time and I hardly changed anything from my original idea - well, there were a couple of stitched borders added, and some Prairie Points put on, but seeing I mostly design as I go, that wasn't too bad for me!



My commitment to make gift bags for the Creative Craft Retreat is, I think, complete.  I've made 60 bags all up and now have to wait and see if numbers attending match what I have made! 

and some more from the blue stash:

and it won't surprise you to learn that you cannot see the slightest difference in the height of my fabric piles!
I've told myself I cannot buy any more fabric for a long time .... unless it's one of those beautiful new Jelly Rolls that I saw advertised .....

I'm officially in "Hibernation Mode" now - only go out into the cold when I absolutely HAVE to - so stitching Winter away is my way of coping!  And I envy my friends on the other side of the world coping with the heat!

So whatever your weather, I hope you have a great week and that you can get some stitching done!

Regards
Val


Gorgeous Giveaway


The lovely Jenny of Elefantz is having a gorgeous giveaway to celebrate Blossom's 16th Birthday.


Hop over to here to enter.  Tell Jenny that Val Laird sent you over to her blog!

Have fun!

Val

More stash-busters

I had an e-mail from Janelle this week regarding the Queensland Creative Craft Retreat. It's still a fair way off - not until November - but it reminded me of my promise to make lots of little bags for the goodies that are so generously provided to all the participants. Here are some that I have made from the pink cupboard.


It took me half a day to cut out another 30 bags - this time mostly in blues and greens. I've started piecing them together and have turned out 30 handle tubes, so maybe I'll have some photos of completed bags ready for next posting. Meanwhile I am turning over in my mind what project I will teach at the Retreat - so many ideas crowding for attention.  Which one will I choose?????

This week I completed all the templates and instructions for another two projects and they have been posted off to a magazine.  Then another magazine has asked whether they can profile me in an upcoming issue, which is always an honour.

It's bitterly cold weather here now, so it's time for me to hibernate, curl up in front of the airconditioning and stitch! The airconditioning doesn't quite reach to my sewing room, so this week I wheeled the sewing machine cabinet out to the lovely warm family room and prepared my next wall-hanging ready for hand-stitching. Maybe there'll be some sneak peaks soon.

I was browsing through some photos and thought you might like to see a couple of things I made a couple of years ago - so long ago that I had forgotten about them, seeing I don't have the items any more.

This was the first sewing folder I designed:

 

and the inside:



And this was my first ever quilt design:



I was actually quite surprised that it didn't look as bad as I thought it would, looking back now!  In fact, I might do some refining of it (I can see plenty of areas for that!) and revisit it with some fresh fabric.  Mmm...... it could look good in my new Jelly Roll fabric ....

Happy stitching to you too!

Regards
Val


Free Pattern - Gifts of Grace Block 4

It's time to give you the next block in the Gifts of Grace free Block of the Month pattern.  This month we are focussing on patience - a willingness to stick with things ... and people!  I hope you enjoy stitching this block.  You can download it from my website here.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the "Download Block 4" line.


Don't you think this little bird is waiting patiently on her nest?

I've been revisiting one of my older patterns with new fabric and I am really pleased with how it has turned out.  Here are some sneak peaks:

Some Suffolk puffs and Prairie Points:


Plenty of embroidery (even if you can't see much of it!)


And of course, lots of applique:


Now, there's just the label and samples to do, and lots of reworking of the instructions and templates.  I already have my next design scribbled out on paper, so I'm itching to start.  BUT I need to have some patience, and be disciplined enough to finish this project COMPLETELY before I start something new!  It's so easy to be a starter and not a finisher, isn't it!

Happy stitching!

Regards
Val

Origami Bags and some nature talk

I recently found a pattern for these sweet little origami bags that are super quick to make. 


They have seven - yes 7 - pockets in them and are made from a  ladies large handkerchief as used in Japan.


I couldn't stop at just one of course.


By the time I made the last one, it took me a whole 20 minutes from start to finish!  Now I have put aside some unused scarfs to make a bigger model.  They would be great for a fete or as a gift.  The pattern can be found here.

We managed to get to a local conservation park this week with our Birdwatchers Club for some bushwalking and bird spotting.  Grey skies weren't great for the birds, but we were happy to find a pair of Scarlet Robin in amongst the list of species we found.  This is what the female looks like:


And the male is much prettier and brighter:

These two photos were taken on a much sunnier day some time ago.

We also came across this little fellow:

a Spiny Anteater curled up in a ball with his head tucked in!

Hope you have a great week.

Happy stitching!

Regards
Val