More bits and pieces

Our grand-daughters have gone home now.  We had a great time together and it was delightful to teach them some of the skills that their mother said "have skipped a generation"!  Jasmine took a photo of some knitting which she finished and turned into a bag.  Gorgeous, isn't it?



Stephanie made a skirt for herself:


We took the girls to a theme park during the week and watched while they went on some terrifying-looking rides.  DH and I braved the Ferris Wheel and mini-Golf!!!  It's such a blessing to us to be able to spend some time with our grandchildren.

Seeing there hasn't been much sewing going on, I will show you some more Christmas presents that I made, so that at least there are some photos to look at!

A couple of clutch bags:



A drawer sachet.  These are great for keeping hosiery, lingerie, or handkerchiefs together:


Thanks for all the sweet comments that have kept coming this week regarding the free Consider the Lilies BOM pattern.  I haven't had a chance to reply individually, but be assured I appreciate the way you take time out to encourage me.  Your comments and e-mails certainly lift my spirits.

Penny has already finished Pattern 1.  The colours are gorgeous:


My diary is relatively clear for the next couple of weeks, so I'm hoping to get some stitching done.  There are lots of projects going around in my head at the moment!  I just need to make my mind focus on just one thing at a time.  I really don't cope with having lots of things half finished - I am a finisher!

Are you a starter or a finisher? or both?

Happy stitching!

Val

Odds and Sods


Thank you to the lovely ladies who have taken the time to write a comment or e-mail me to let me know you like the new "Consider the Lilies" free BOM design.  It is always so encouraging to hear from you.

At the moment we have our two grand-daughters from Melbourne with us.  They are almost 15 and just turned 13, so not hard to look after!  ... and they both love craft!  The younger one, Stephanie, has never knitted before, and she has now conquered knit and purl stitches. Jasmine has been knitting a teddy bear with lots of increases, decreases and casting off which she learnt quickly and has done with great aplomb. Steph made a skirt complete with pockets.  Then there's the beginnings of a quilt, applique on jeans and a tile mosaic all happening. So it's been a great excuse not to do any housework and spend lots of time crafting! 

I've even been able to do some of my own stitching in between all the lessons and finally finished a table topper that was begun before we moved house.  I sent off a photo to an Australian magazine and it was accepted for publication later in the year and I also had another design commissioned a couple of weeks ago, so my designing is starting to get back on track again.

Now I didn't ever show you any of the Christmas presents I made, so here is a selection:

A couple of pencil cases:




 Some very simple covered Journals:









And a water-bottle carrier:


This one was an ideal project to try out a new quilting stencil I bought.
 
Have a great week!

Happy Stitching
Val

Free Pattern Launch - Consider the Lilies


Today's the day for the launch of my new free Block of the Month quilt! I hope you like it as much as I do!

But .... first things first.

We have a winner! 

The winner of my giveaway which was a choice of any one of my e-patterns is MariaCongratulations Maria and thank you to all who entered and made my day with your lovely comments.  I was so encouraged by the lovely things you said.


We and are family are safe and sound!

Thank you to all you lovely bloggers who have been concerned about us in the devastating floods that have hit Queensland.  We feel so blessed that all our family were kept safe.  Our son's workshop didn't get flooded though there was water in the street.  Our daughter was kept safe when she and her four children were out shopping in Toowoomba when the tsunami hit.  Their business is very close to the area of devastation and they had lots of water in the workshop but managed to divert it so that the showroom had only minimal damage. 

And as for us in our lovely new home, we were high and dry, though our road in from the highway was cut by flooding for quite a few days, but we had an alternate dry road if we needed to get out.  We had LOADS of rain which our water-logged yard didn't know what to do with, but it quickly got away once the rain stopped. 

There are thousands of people whose lives have been totally devastated, loved ones have been lost, many have lost everything they owned and in some cases their homes have been washed away or been so damaged that they are unliveable. Many will not be covered by insurance.

I would encourage you to give to help these people.  Donations can be made to the Premier's flood relief appeal at the Queensland government donation site.

Then Toni is co-ordinating hundreds of auctions of beautiful hand-crafted items where all the proceeds go direct to the flood relief appeal. Please take the time to do what you can to assist.

---------------------------------

 Now to the free pattern launch.

The new block of the month quilt I am offering for 2011 is called "Consider the Lilies". It is a colourful wall quilt measuring 32 inches square and consists of four large blocks. Each month over eleven months, I will give you the pattern for a section of each block. If you keep up each month, you will have a gorgeous Christmas present ready for someone special!


The concept of this design comes from some wonderful verses in the Bible: Matthew 6:25-34. Why do we go through so much hassle worrying about everyday life? Consider the flowers and birds, God provides everything they need. And we are so much more valuable to Him than those. He will certainly care
for us when we put our trust in Him ... hence the title - Consider the lilies. 

Here is Pattern 1:



This block of the month is a little different to the last two I have given you in that it has some simple patchwork as an integral part of the design. Now, if you haven't noticed, I only do EASY and SIMPLE patchwork - you won't find complicated piecing anywhere in my designs!  The bonus with doing a little bit of piecing each month - apart from it looking just gorgeous - is that you will be able to use up lots of little scraps from your fabric stash, and when you get to the end, all the sashing and borders are already done and your quilt is ready for quilting!

I am big on applique and embroidery so of course there's going to be lots of that. Here's a sneak peak or two (minus most of the embroidery as I don't want to spoil the surprise each month!) 




I would love it if you would put my “Consider the Lilies” button in the sidebar of your blog with a link back to http://val-laird.blogspot.com. (Just right click and Save Picture As a jpg file onto your computer, then upload it to your blog.) Here is the button, designed by my lovely daughter, Janelle:



Now, over you go to my website where you can download the pattern - scroll down past all those patterns till you come to the bottom of the page.  And keep a watch in the third week of February for the next instalment.

Happy stitching!

Regards
Val



Another Giveaway!


I can't believe I have reached the 200 followers milestone! 

It constantly amazes me that people actually like my designs and want to read what I write!  So as a thank you gift I am having a little giveaway just for followers of my blog - my lovely current ones and any more who join in the next week. 

So if you are a follower, leave a comment on this post and you will be in the draw for winning one of
my e-patterns.  The winner will be able to choose any pattern from my range. 

Entries will close midnight next Saturday 15th January (Australian ESTime).


 And talking of patterns, I have done a bit of rearranging on the website and have also added eight more patterns, most of which I have talked about over the last few months.  One pattern I haven't shown you is this cute little perpetual calendar.


It has removable birdhouses and "clouds" for the numbers and days of the week and a little hanging bag to keep all the bits and pieces in.


I really had fun designing this and was quite delighted with how it turned out.
It was featured in Handmade Volume 28, No 9:



And here it is on the editorial page:


We are back to just the two of us rattling around in our big house after saying goodbye yesterday to our daughter who has gone back to Japan. It is rather quiet after having bodies in just about every room on some occasions in the last couple of weeks.  We tallied up 20 visitors so far, and it won't be quiet for long with more to come in a couple of days.  The sewing machine is up, but only to whiz up a small curtain that we needed. And while it is quiet, I need to write up some instructions for the
new free Block of the Month pattern
which I plan to give you next week.

Sharon very kindly sent some photos of some of the blocks she has done on last year's free BOM "Gifts of Grace".  Hasn't she done such lovely work ... and such great satin stitch for someone who hasn't done much before: 




The "Gifts of Grace" pattern is now available for purchase. I'd love to continue to see photos of your completed work.

Now, I better get a move-on and grab some time to get the free BOM organised for next week!

Happy stitching
Regards
Val

Looking back and looking forward ...

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that the new year has started well for you.  We have had lots of family holidaying with us and friends visiting, so the sewing machine is well and truly packed away, but I have done a wee bit of stitching at night.  It has been so lovely to spend time with a few of our grandchildren which has been a rare event in the past and we're looking forward to also having two of our interstate grand-daughters with us in a couple of weeks.

2010 for me saw a lot of projects completed, 20 of which were published in various Australian magazines. Here are some of my favourites:

Fan & Heart Charm Quilt

 Fairy Floss Quilt

Harmony Rose Biscornu & Scissor case

Hearts & Braid table runner


Sweet Treat Cup Bag


 
The Herb Garden

My Wardrobe 

 Rose Delight Etui

 Shell of Roses Needlebook and Scissor case

Fantasia

I'm not into making New Year resolutions - they just don't work for me as I'm unlikely to stick with them for much more than a few hours, let alone a whole year!  I plan to have a new Block of the Month free pattern for you starting mid January.  Then I have lots of lovely fabric that I hope will come together in some beautiful projects throughout the year.  I'm looking forward to getting back into designing next month after 5 months away from it, what with selling our home, buying a new one, packing, moving, unpacking, making Christmas presents and feeding a large number of house guests! 

I hope you'll drop by and keep in touch throughout the year.

Regards
Val