Vintage Love

I am very attracted to all things vintage. My piano is a vintage Broadwood - it used to have candle holders on it, but unfortunately they were removed  in an attempt to modernise it before I bought it. Much of my furniture is walnut and in the Victorian style - velvet and deep buttoning etc.

So you can understand how pleased I was when I was asked to contribute to Patchwork & Stitching Magazine's Vintage issue!  I love making beautiful stitching accessories so I chose to make the Vintage Dreams Sewing Folder:

 It has pretty embroidery, a lace motif, sweet charm, beading, and plenty of pockets and places for sewing bits and pieces:

You can find it in Australian Patchwork & Stitching Vol 15 No 4:

I could happily make vintage sewing accessories as a full-time job!

However I have a long 'to do' list and last week I needed to start thinking about deadlines. A sweet stitchery has been posted off to a magazine editor (forgot to take a photo!). I rejected my first attempt at a patchwork bag I had to make. I've never made a bag which includes a quilting block before and I soon realised that the block I had chosen for it was far too big and was never going to look great, no matter what I did with it! A change of fabric, a change of size and sudden inspiration ... and I now have a bag which I really like and will be happy to have my name on!

I seem to be stepping out of my comfort zone a bit this year! I've committed myself to making a Christmas candle mat and I want to try out a new technique. I've never made a candle mat before and I'm not sure how my ideas are going to turn out, so I am having a trial run with this design. So far I think I like it but the jury is still out!

Back in my comfort zone, I boxed up some more charity projects for our Church market stall:

Some key rings:

A sign:

A cot quilt:

We are having absolutely perfect weather for Easter and hubby and I took advantage of it yesterday to go for a long walk in our beautiful Australian bush which sits on the edge of the Bay.  The cassias were making a beautiful sunny show:

the birds were delighting us with their songs, the water was crystal clear and the company was great!

I hope you are enjoying this wonderful season, celebrating the fact that Jesus is ALIVE!


Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt Pattern 4

Today I have for you another free mini quilt pattern in our 
"Shining Like the Dawn" 
block of the month quilt:

Patience seems to be in short supply in our 'instant' world of today! It is said that “delays find us out” and that certainly is true in my experience.  I love how up-to-date the Bible is. These words were written centuries ago, and yet they are as relevant today as they were then.

Be patient and wait for the LORD to act.
Psalm 37:7

I hope you enjoy stitching another uplifting quote.  You can download the free pattern here.

Our daughter and her four children were with us for the whole week, so there were lots of cuddles and very little stitching done! Our daughter-in-law and her two boys also came one day. It is so delightful to see their different personalities and their amazing talent. All sorts of creative things were going on - stitching, drawing, loom band jewellery, recycled crafting, story writing, inventing party games ... It does a grandmother proud to see all that creativity!

I sent daughter-in-law home with a box of goodies for the school Mother's Day stall - potholders, needlecase, bag, drawer sachet:

Heart sachets:

Key rings:

plus lovely crochet bookmarks.  There's now a couple of weeks to get organised for our Church market stall just before our Australian Mothers' Day.

I was given a beautiful bunch of flowers early in the week. I hadn't really looked beyond the roses and chrysanthemums, so I had a lovely surprise when this beautiful lily opened a couple of days later. Now as the roses fade, there are two of these giving me delight:

After I rearranged the house back to suit just the two of us, I thought I had better also get my paperwork in order. Commissions seem to have been appearing in all sorts of corners lately and I was beginning to feel I didn't have a handle on it at all. So now I have a neat list with ten commissions in date order so I know what I have to tackle next. Four are due in the next 5 or 6 weeks, so it will be head down and tail up now the family has gone home.

I hope you enjoy the blessings of the Easter Season.


Fun with felt

I love working with felt!  It can be so colourful, so tolerant, so easy to manipulate, it doesn't fray, you don't even have to do anything on its raw edge. I thought today I would show you some of the ways I like to use this wonderful material.

Felt can be used as a background for embroidery then appliqued on a bag or made into a pocket. This one has blanketstitch around the edge with a running stitch frame:

A contrast thread highlights the blanket-stitch on the one below. Instead of lots of embroidery on this bag, I've used more felt for the appliques:

Felt is just fantastic for making pincushions - so easy to shape into a birdhouse:

or made into cupcakes:

or a beehive ... and so easy to embroider:

The Pixie Garden pincushion which I showed you recently uses felt in a way that is opposite to the bags above. In this design, the felt is the background rather than the fabric, and the fabric is then appliqued onto the felt. The edge of the fabric is included as part of the embroidery. This pincushion had no need to do anything on the raw edges of the felt:

The Garden Gate Pincushion has inset applique. The embroidered fabric centre is underneath the felt:

You can find the Garden Gate free pattern either here or here at Craftsy.

One of my favourite things to do with felt is to applique it as scallops onto fabric. The Daisy Jane workbox and needlecase have their felt scallops fused in place with fusible webbing and then prettied up with roses and guipure daisies. The reverse happens with the pincushion in that the fabric is fused to the felt and blanket-stitched in place. This pincushion needed to be blanket-stitched on the edge to hide the back of the embroidered roses:

Felt makes lovely French tags. Add a bit of lace, beads and ribbon ...:

Felt makes great keyrings or scissor keeps. I've been making lots for my charity box: 

On this wall-hanging, felt was used for the four heart pockets - so easy to use, again with nothing required around the edge. Fabric, lace and a heart charm give the finishing touch:

 I accomplished a lot more than I expected last week. My husband had cataract surgery and we are ever so thankful that it was successful as there was no guarantee that it was going to work with his problems. He can now read the bottom line on the chart without glasses! It was such a good result that the surgeon now wants to go ahead with his other 'good' eye. In between hospital and post-operative trips, I managed to make a bag for a friend (forgot to take a photo!), cut out and start piecing a quilt, and prepare for our daughter and children's school holiday visit.

I promised to take the grandchildren to the beach and the legendary grass slides in a few minutes, so I had better get off the computer and put on the sunscreen!

Happy stitching!