Wild about flowers

Spring is in the air where I live. Along with the prospect of wonderful warm weather, nature showers us with beauty in abundance at this time of the year.

My husband and I went for a very pleasant bush walk yesterday.

The sun was shining brightly and we soon forgot the cool overnight temperatures. 

Everywhere we turned, the wild flowers were poking their heads out of the bush.

Delicate fungi were peeping from logs.

We were actually hoping to see lots of birds, but the bush was unusually quiet.

I was happy that I had taken my camera as well as my binoculars, and was able to record some of the beauty we had seen instead on the ground.

My husband reckons I should make a wall-hanging with some of these flowers on it!

Inspired by the prospect of Spring, I looked in the stash and found some gorgeous fabric with an abundance of flowers:

and turned it into a bag:

It's easy to be wild about flowers!

Happy Stitching!

Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Pattern 8

Today I have for you the next Block in our 
free Block of the Month Quilt
You Are Blessed.

Here is this month's verse:
You are blessed when you’re hungry and thirsty
for goodness, for then you will be fully satisfied!
Matthew 5:6

Not satisfied with your life? 
Finding possessions, job, friendships don't fill that empty void? 

Our verse this month has the answer. 
Having an appetite for God with our greatest desire to do what He requires, is where true full satisfaction is found.

I hope you will be blessed as you stitch this new block. The Pattern is here in my Craftsy Store. Next month I will have the finishing instructions for you, so keep an eye out for them.

This last week I have had a friend staying with us for a little holiday. Don't you love it when you meet up with someone whom you haven't seen for years, and you just pick up where you left off all that time ago?  We enjoyed a day at the Ekka, the affectionate name everyone calls the Royal Queensland Show. (Australians are renowned for shortening the names of things, Ekka being short for Exhibition!)

To avoid the later crowds at the Show, we made a beeline for the Fine Arts building as soon as we arrived. We roamed up and down the displays of decorated cakes, cross-stitch, quilts, crochet, woodwork and all sorts of wonderful crafts and culinary delights, expressing our opinions on the entries and the judges' decision to award 'that' one first prize, when obviously the 'other' one was better!!!

The best bit for me was when I saw this entry which had received a prize and realised it was one of my published patterns that had been used. I had special permission from an official to take a photo of it.

and here's my original version of Annie's Favourite:

The rest of our week together was spent enjoying some meals out, walks on the beach, showing my friend the sights and a trip to our local art centre. This locally-made pottery spoon holder came home with me:

When we visited one of our beaches, we were amazed to find that three tandem skydives were about to happen just a few metres in front of us. It was quite an experience to see the base co-ordinator radioing wind strength and directional details to the pilot, then looking for the plane (which was so high we couldn't see it!), then to see three tiny parachutes emerge. One was overhead, one was way over the bush and the other was out over the ocean, but they all landed on cue in the right spot on the beach!

As you can see, we have had just perfect weather. As they say about Queensland, beautiful one day, perfect the next. Hubby and I spent a couple of hours bushwalking yesterday morning which gave me plenty of motivation to cut out and start stitching a new bag design in the afternoon. Stitching is definitely better than spring cleaning!!!


On making needle-cases

I love designing stitching accessories and have made dozens of pincushions, needle-cases and scissor-keeps - so many that in the last year I decided to have a bit of a moratorium on them! But, when I wasn't looking, somehow two needle-cases recently popped into existence! 

Hollyhock Cottage Needle-case was originally designed for a workshop that I taught. It's mostly hand-stitching with just a teeny bit of machine stitching to put it together. Lots of lovely stitches:

It has now been published in Country Threads magazine Vol 17 Issue 9.

If you're in the south-east Queensland area, I will be teaching this project at the Creative Craft Retreat in October. The cottage can be made into a needle-case, tissue holder or card wallet.

I showed you the other needle-case a few months back - "Curled up and Content":

I use so many different sizes and types of needles in my stitching that I like to keep them in their packets so they are easy to find. You can read here what I wrote about that a couple of years ago which is still relevant. Curled up and Content has six slots for needle packets and some felt for holding some needles and threads while work is in progress:

Australian animals are so amazing. This is our echidna:

The pattern is now available for purchase in my Craftsy Store.

With the slightest hint of warmer weather, my body said it was time to start spring-cleaning! I was appalled recently when I had a good look in my kitchen drawers and saw all the accumulated dust and dirt. Thirteen drawers later, and I had cleaned, thrown out, tidied, repurposed a box to contain all those loose coasters, and generally had everything organised beautifully. 

Then I opened the door of our walk-in pantry - you guessed it, out with everything and a big cleanup. I found this beautiful wooden bowl with inset mother-of-pearl which I bought on a visit to the Solomon Islands many years ago. It was stashed on the top shelf right at the back and I had to get the step ladder to reach it. 

They're only imitation flowers in it, but that bowl definitely needed to be out on show and to have its moment of glory again.

Having done all that cleaning, I couldn't leave the rest of the kitchen cupboards so they all had a spruce up too! Then I began to see dirt everywhere - don't know how I couldn't see it before!!! When you're on a roll, you go with the flow, so I am very happy to say that the whole of our large house got a good going over - all except my husband's study. After 50 years of marriage, you know that you just don't move anything in there!