Thursday, 31 October 2013

A Birdie Story

Kristy is a sweety. She loves pattern designing and sewing. She loves green and she adores birds. Did you see the sweet robin wreath pattern she is giving away this week? Her blog posts are always witty and inspiring. 

Kristy and I met online at first but then only in real life when we did a mystery quilt weekend in Coffs Harbour in 2011. 

Whenever we are passing through the mid-north coast I try to catch up with her. She is very thoughtful and has a very kind heart. I am very blessed to have her as a friend and a fellow Wombat.

I enjoyed making Kristy's ATC pouch and I tried something different with the free-motion quilting for this one. I did have to practice it a bit. I keep samples of great  ideas on my Pinterest FMQ board.

Linking up to I Quilt over at Pretty Bobbins.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Making a List

Life at Highlands has kept me very busy this year. I have seen more of my chickens and gardens than I have seen of my sewing room this year.

So as an incentive to get back to sewing as the heat of late Spring keeps my outdoor time limited, I am posting my  Making Christmas List. And I am posting it to the linky party.

1. 2 Bee Blocks -  November and December are still to come for QCA Bee #1.

2. 2 Wombat Stew projects - There are only two more paper pieced blocks to make in October and November.

3. Binding the Parterre Garden lap quilt - a gift for the Kindergarten teacher who is taking Long Service Leave and having knee surgery in early 2014.

4. Wombat Stew Secret Santa - I already have an idea of the project for my partner. I do have to decide on the fabric and the pattern though.

5. Dr Seuss Quilts - My boys are probably too old for these quilts now but I have a very good friend with two younger boys. I did promise them some quilts when they moved to cooler Armidale earlier this year.

6. Skirts - my daughter has outgrown her skirts from early 2012 and I desperately need to make her some new ones.

I am sure that this list will be challenging enough and even added to before Christmas arrives.


Monday, 28 October 2013

A Sad Tale

This week it is time for me to introduce our seven new pullets and cockerels. But I have some very sad news indeed.

Yesterday, on the first morning out of the secure hen house and into the fenced off run, one of our older cockerels went missing.

His name is Big Red. We have no idea if he was taken by a python, a bird of prey or he scaled the hen house roof and made a break from the run.

All of us are upset. We have only had him for a week. It was only his second time out in the run. He and his six friends were kept in the L-shaped section of the hen house for six days before we let them out into the run with our original seven chickens. He was happy there.

You can see how secure the chicken house is - a double layer of wire.
From the first time we bought him home I knew he was special. He was attentive and kind and less fearful than the other teenagers. 

He was a Rhode Island Red x Barnevelder. He got along well with everybody.

Big Red is on the Right
We looked for him all day yesterday and he never came home. This morning there is still no trace of him.  I feel so guilty and sick with worry. 

And then there is still the mystery. What happened to Big Red?

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sunday Stash #86

Today Sunday Stash is being hosted by Michelle of Squeak Crafts. So head on over there to link up.

Next week Sunday Stash will be hosted by Rachael of The FLoral Suitcase.

Last week's most visited stash link was the Don't Judge Me post by Molli Sparkles.

Slightly Halloween-ish

I do love Halloween decorations and craft. Halloween is not really celebrated here in Australia. As an event, it  is more suited to the colours of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere though. The orange, red, yellow and green of the Fall make it perfect for dressing up the front door or porch - or even the hen house!

I have so enjoyed the photos posted by Kathy - the Chicken Chick on her blog this season. She even has a tutorial to make the Wicked Witch Ruby Slippers above.

So here is a $4 pull of some slightly Halloweenish fat quarters. Some cute cats and rats, spots and wheels of orange. No Halloween chickens I'm afraid though.

The Halloween Quilts I made for the kids are sadly still packed away since we moved last December. I think it is time to pull them out again. I did buy the big pumpkin to carve though.

See you over at Squeak Crafts for the linky party.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

A Bushfire Salve

Welcome to my entry in this month's Blogger's Quilt Festival
This Polaroid 9 Patch quilt was made with the help of  13 other ladies in my Quilt Club Australia Bee.

The back was pieced using the random polaroid patterns designed by paper piecing lovely Kristy of Quiet Play.

This quilt was donated to a family who lost their home in the Tasmanian bushfires in January. I might be making some more donation quilts because unfortunately last Thursday nearly 200 folks, of my home state of New South Wales, lost their homes in an early season spree of bushfires in the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast. 

I am glad that a quilt can be a salve even if only for a time.

My original post featuring this quilt was back at the end of May.

Thank you for stopping by.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Big Block for Lara

It measures 17.5"!

I am not sure if it has a name but it's the block that Lara requested from the Bees in QCA #1.

It involved 8 bright charm squares, 8 low volume charms and 10 x 4" low volume squares. 

I still really scratch around for low volume prints. I really do need to collect more of them.

Linking up to TGIFF.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

An Orange Story

My Wombat Stew friend Lara and I have never met in person but I think we would be good friends if we ever did.

We both love love love the colour orange!

We also love Mid Century Architecture and Design.

We both love tea and teapots.

So it was not hard to select fabrics for Lara's ATC pouch.

And I had a lot of fun Straight Line Quilting the back over this gorgeous fabric. I just used my walking foot to make the straight lines and turned the corners manually with the stitch up/down button. 

I got my inspiration from this version on Pinterest.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A Peep at our New Peeps

Finally the time was right to get ourselves some baby chickens (and some pullets - but more on those later). Springtime is a good time to buy day old chicks as the weather is warming up.

So I put together a nursery made from an old crate. It is furnished with:

  • A ceramic heater with a clamp (will not blow a fuse or keep them awake with light),
  • A small water container (one that they cannot drown in),
  • A second hand container for the chicken crumble.

But already some of the older chickens, with wing feathers, are able to hop up and out of the crate - YIKES! - so I have made a makeshift lid.

Meet the Peeps

Currently they have only last names - all Presidential - but the kids have little nicknames for them already - Goldie, Lucy, Loveheart etc.

Aren't they all so individual? I have never had baby chicks before in my life. I have been missing out. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sunday Stash #85

Sunday Stash is staying here this week as Foster Reviews It is no longer blogging frequently.

Last week's most visited linky was Tessa the Sewing Chick.

Next week Sunday Stash will be hosted by Michelle of Squeak Crafts.

Stale Stash Swap Update

You may remember back in Sunday Stash #77  in August that I posted a few fabrics that I was willing to swap or post to anyone who wanted them.

I had a few inquiries but only one lady actually followed through.  Erin from Thready Bear Quilts. I swapped her my blue and pink vintage sheet prints. Actually I threw in a few extras too.

Erin sent me a box of Joyful Harvest fabrics. Very Christmassy nes pas?

Thank you Erin.

Have you had success with Stale Stash Swaps?

Linky party below.

Friday, 18 October 2013

A Barossa Story

Marieka and I have been friends since we met at Breastfeeding Group in late 2007. We had both just moved our families to the town of Tumut. We both had infants and preschoolers. Both of our husbands were engineers on a bridge project in Gundagai

Then both of our husbands took jobs elsewhere at the start of 2009. Marieka's family moved to the gorgeous Barossa Valley in South Australia. My toddler daughter and I went for a week long visit in early 2010. 

Then Marieka's family moved to Coffs Harbour in 2011. But the love of the Barossa stayed with them. They have just moved back to the Barossa permanently. They are restoring an old bluestone cottage on acreage and planning on raising fruit trees, grape vines and chickens. 

I cannot wait to visit them again.

Marieka loves the colour purple and Kate Spain. So her pouch was easy for me to put together.

So the Free Motion Quilting on the back of this pouch was my most ambitious yet. But I had such fun. You can see the grapes of the Barossa, the waves of Coffs Harbour and the sweep of the Tumut River between the Snowy Mountains. 

And who can resist purple polkadots?

Linking up to TGIFF and I Quilt.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sunday Stash #84

Sorry for posting this a bit late today but I have had two sick children this week and the third has now come down with the vomiting virus.

Thank you to Emily from Sew ET for hosting Sunday Stash last week. 

Next week Sunday Stash will be hosted by Foster of Foster Reviews It.

Castle Peeps

I had to retroactively collect this whimsical line by Lizzie House. I had only one print missing from the 2009 collection. It is called Castle Tips in blue. I never thought that I would find it.

Then someone on the Sew You're Destashing Facebook page sent me a link to an Australian seller, Bec Clarke Creations, who had the missing print and for a reasonable price too!

I also added more of a couple of prints that I had only fat quarters of - Castles in green and Castles Multi in red. You can see my previous print acquisitions in Sunday Stash #37.

So now my Castle Peeps collection is complete. Now I just need find some time to make it into a fabulous quilt.
Have you ever had luck finding a missing print?

Linky party starts below.

Friday, 11 October 2013

A Creative Story

Wombat Stew gal Jane is a practical girl. She lives in the coastal town of Coffs Harbour and somehow manages to to have kids around her at work and at home.

So creating with paper and fabric is her outlet. 

Coffs Harbour has beautiful sandy beaches and I wanted to reflect that with the yellow colour palette of this pouch. Their harbour beaches also have a lot of pebbles and so my Free Motion Quilting reflected these with the loops. And all of the Wombats know that Jane has a thang for selvedges.

I am linking up with IQuilt at Pretty Bobbins and TGIFF.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sunday Stash #83

Thank you to Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts for hosting Sunday Stash last week whilst I was still on a family road trip.

The most visited linky last week was Michelle at Squeek Crafts.

Today Sunday Stash is being hosted by Emily of Sew ET

Organic Fabric

Often these cost too much for my budget but Spotlight had these included in their $1 flat fat sale.

These are all from the Organic Forest Range. These are slightly whimsical and will make great fabrics for Zakka projects.

I hope to see you over Sew ET for the Sunday Stash linky party.

Friday, 4 October 2013

A South Pacfic Story

My gorgeous sewing friend Gemma lives in the French colony of New Caledonia. Nearly a year ago I had the opportunity to meet up with her and her family when our family took a cruise that stopped in Noumea.

Now Gemma is Australian, but she speaks about four languages on account of being posted overseas with her husband a few times. She can find the best French patisserie on the island and is very clever with free motion quilting.

She has just started up a weekly linky party where you can feel brave enough to share your own FMQ ing. It's called I Quilt.

So here is my effort for today. This is the little ATC pouch I made for Gemma recently. On the back I FMQed the French phrase, 'A friend like you is worth having."

And that's Gemma sitting there doing some hand quilting, hehehe!

Linking up to  I Quilt  and TGIFF!