Sunday, November 28, 2010

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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

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

Sunday, November 14, 2010

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 

Monday, November 8, 2010

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