Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Post 2013

Wishing everyone a wonderful 2014 - may you be blessed with more happiness than sadness, more projects finished than started and more income than expenditure!

Thanks for tagging  along with me this year - I have appreciated each & every comment and for all the blog friends I have met in person - I am glad to be able to meet with you from time to time and I hope I get to meet more in March!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

The last FNSI for 2013

Still lots happening in this household - including getting DD#2 to the airport by 5.30am to go to Canada/USA for 2 months - its going to be very quiet here for a bit - poor dog will be totally confused...but I digress.   It had to be something simple...I was a bit tired....so I put together one of the hexagons from This Goes With That by Sue Daley.  This is one of those projects I work on from time to time and has no specific future...not even sure what I am going to do with them,  I had already prepared the papers so it was easy enough to sew together whist watching TV.

I am in total wind down now...still some shopping to do for "The Big Day", but I am now on holidays until 13th January....might be able to get in a bit of sewing????

I would like to say:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Plans for 2014 and a McKenna Ryan Self Help Group

I had great plans for 2013... I linked up with Sew It's Finished and Aunt Marti's challenge to do 13 quilts in 2013.  It went well...until the end of October and then I just dropped the ball - perhaps the impending deadline of Christmas...perhaps just got over it - or was snowballed under it?? - or I discovered Candy Crush (NOTE:  If you haven't started on it - DON'T!!! - what a time waster!)
So, already for 2014 I had a few ideas...and now I also have a backlog from this year

My preliminary list for 2014 goes something like this:

Left overs from 2013

  • Donna's Dreaming (top finished - to be quilted)
  • Stitcher's Garden (top finished - to be quilted)
  • Best Friends (top finished - to be quilted)
  • My Town (from Homespun) - 4 blocks to finish and then put together and quilt
  • I Spy - group blocks to be put together and quilted
  • Christmas Table Runner (pattern given to me last Christmas...maybe 2014 Christmas on the table???)
  • French Connection (1 block to stitch, put together & quilt)
The "to be quilted" may not be such a problem - if I get them done professionally - all I have to do then is bind and I don't mind that)

New things....
  • QQ Challenge
  • Mrs Beasleys Sampler
  • RQ Best Friends Forever BOM
  • Fiona's Framed Hexagons 
  • Green Sashiko blocks done - put together & quilt
  • McKenna Ryan - Sea Breeze - blocks are done - to be put together & quilted
  • Row Quilt for Sunday Stitchers
  • Stitch-A-Long...if it happens
And I decided to do:
  • North Pole

That might be feasible - if I don't sleep - or if I can give up work - both unlikely scenarios for now...so realistically - may not happen...and its unlikely that I wont find other things to add to the list . . . 

One of the reasons I have barred my soul over this....I plan to start a McKenna Ryan "Self-Help. Motivating ...etc" group blog.  A bit like Sew Its Finished, where you can post your plans and progress for a MR project.  i am sure a lot of us have started a MR project and then put it aside or have a hankering to do one, so this might help get you going.
I'll do another post when I have it up and running - maybe between Christmas & New Year and anyone who wants to join in can do so. - put your thinking caps on - start planning....or just comment if you are interested.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Travelling Treasures returns to Australia

The TT parcel is probably already on its way back to Australia from its quick trip to the States.

Marti has selected a winner - Pinnylea Creations - so stay tuned for her giveaway in January.

I wonder what's in the parcel now???

Monday, December 9, 2013

Friday Night with Friends - very late

Ooops - it was such a  busy weekend - I forgot to post my meager efforts.
Friday was our work Christmas lunch - didn't really feel too focused by the time I got home - but I did do a bit with these...

I had to add cards to some of them, ready for Saturday's sewing Christmas get together, count a few more, stitch out a few more and generally just organise myself....
That was all I felt like on Friday night..certainly no need for any special treats apart from a coffee...

Better luck in January - gosh another year almost gone.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Travelling Treasures is ready to fly away again!

Remember I sent Travelling Treasures to the USA to Marti??

Well she has posted and is ready for comments - so if you want to win TT back or just get it for yourself, pop over here and leave a comment.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Brisbane Bloggers - Stitchers Inc - Christmas Party

This afternoon we gathered to mark the end of the year as a group and to swap our Secret Santa presents.

There were a few extras - choccies, bon-bons and stars.
Sandi made a bob-bon for each of us - complete with joke, hat, 2 wine glass charms (they make useful additions to earrings!!!), a piece of fabric (I got a purple piece - very lucky!!!) and of course a "snap".  They were beautiful:

 De made these very clever folded stars

There was a bountiful supply of food....

And here are some of the presents....

 Here is mine all wrapped:

Mine came from Maree and was a cute mat to use for Santa's snacks, a box of Maltesers decorated to look like Santa and a box (handmade) containing a set of cards for all sorts of celebrations - they are just gorgeous - thanks again and again Maree.
(we have two Marees - Organising Maree and this Maree who is very big into papercraft...maybe we should call her Paper Maree???)

This is what I made - for Teresa.
Bronwyn Hayes Mug Bag.

I 'think' she likes it!!

Maree, (Organising Maree) who does all our organising, also gave out two "lucky door" prizes.  A big thanks to her!!!

We started the day at high noon - and managed to squeeze in a few minutes of stitching towards the end  ...

A fun afternoon...

Thanks again to everyone.

For more pictures - you can visit Noela  and go here to see Lynda's gorgeous cross stitched ornament/pincushion.  Not to forget Teresa who always does a very informative post. And Marilyn has a great shot of the Celtic table runner she made as well as a lot of other goodies.  More from Cheryll and De

Saturday, November 16, 2013

FNSI - November

Well, some would query whether this is "real" sewing - but it suits my purpose for now.
I spent some of FNSI 'doing' these:

(Not very neat around the edges but it's wash-a-way stabilizer)

I am not saying too much about these for now - and whilst this was happening I was catching up on blogs and emails and other "stuff".

Thanks to Wendy for hosting our party and the yummy sounding recipe.

December next time - that is downright scary.....

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Travelling Treasures - going to the US!!!

Aunt Marti who lives way over in the USA - was the first to correctly guess that I was working on a hand embroidered tea towel - so I will be posting off those goodies - less a few - plus a few to her very soon.

Marti's blog name is 52 Quilts in 52 weeks - so you can guess she gets through a fair amount of stuff!!  Actually I don't thinks she sleeps very much - I am sure there are not that many hours in a day....

So, be sure to go & visit Marti later on - to try to "win back" the Travelling Treasures!

PS - Dont forget about Friday NIght Sew In - tomorrow night.   (Well really Friday night anywhere in the world.)
Hop over here if you want to join in the fun....

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Travelling Treasures

Back in March, Debbie started Travelling Treasures.

I was lucky enough to win in October and this gorgeous collection of bits arrived from Bev C.

Bev included two machine embroidery blocks - one especially for me - It will be great hanging in my Sewing Space....(I used Bev's picture)... a project for 2014.

What will I take and what will I add??? Its a Mystery.....

So, to be in the draw to win, leave a comment on this post and tell me......(before Midnight Tuesday 12th November Brisbane time), what you think I am working on in this post.  If no one guesses - I'll let Mr Random Generator pick a number.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

FNWF November

Like a lot of other sewers I joined up with Friday Night With Friends - and did some secret sewing.

Here is a hint.....could be a lot of things

The first Friday certainly snuck up on us.

Saturday was a Sewing with Friends day too - but more of the secret stuff...
Time is certainly getting away from me lately...so this is a quick post...but I'll be back soon for Travelling Treasures

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair 2013 (2)

Today (Sunday), I went to the Craft Show again - I scheduled the extra visit to take a Janome workshop - showcasing their brand new 15000 machine - sewing & embroidery - its a dream machine - and a dream to own at this stage!!

I made a few extra purchases today so here is my loot!

Some Washaway stabiliser, Silver & Gold embroidery threads (in different tonings), 3 tiny charms to add to my Quilt Diva wall hanging (a bargain at 3 for $1) a pattern for some Fat Fairies (as well as a stamp for their faces and stamp pad) and a Mug Rug (using those new dissolving hexagons), some iron on transfers, 3 fat quarters and "that book" from Natalie Bird.
(There might be a few other little things that I am not admitting to for now....)

I also had time to see the quilts.
For those not in Brisbane - unfortunately one of the quilts was stolen on Day 1 - such a dreadful thing to happen and I am sure there will be changes for next year.....but it's sad to think that someone could take something so precious.

There were - of course - a number of outstanding quilts - this one in particular was photo worthy..  A friendly White Glove lady pointed it out to me (Thanks Cheryl!!!)

The hexagons are 1/4".  Go figure

Sunday is a very relaxed day to go to the show - a lot less people and a few retailers were offering discounts.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


I don't have much to show. . . .
Now that I work in the City - surrounded by shops - very dangerous - I thought I'd take a quick look in Myer before I came home...- that turned into quite a long look and then, since I am now a bus traveller (after 35 years of driving to work  [insert disgruntled face here]) and I didn't make the 7.20pm, I had to shop more and wait for the 8.20 bus.
Needless to say it was late when I started....but I did get some of the blanket stitching done on this block.

I hope everyone else was far more productive and had a lovely treat to help them.
Thanks Wendy for hosting us all again.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair 2013

I went along to the Craft Show today - and it was great to have a quick meetup with some Brisbane Bloggers.  Had to borrow (pinch??) a picture from Teresa.
Its worth popping over to Teresa's blog - more lovely pics - of people, goodies & food....

Val, Teresa, Tatyana, Sandi, Marilyn and Noela and (at the back) Lynda, me, Michelle and Fiona.   It was especially nice to see Fiona who had risen early and travelled a great distance just to see us (oh - well maybe she was coming for the craft show....)

Just two pictures of something I bought:   (There is a HINT here for someone, somewhere)

In fact a few people in the group shot bought the same book...(a clue)

PS - Its Friday Night Sew In this week - so pop over here and Link Up.
I might do something with a new (tiny) pattern I bought.... 

Monday, October 7, 2013

September SAL - now done!!

After all the ups and downs of the thread issue - the silk one I ordered was totally different to the cotton one one but still nothing like the original - I have finished the heart and appliqued it on.
I used some plain threads and swapped colours a lot.  I was lucky in that the variegated thread had long lengths of each colour - so it was easy enough to blend in.

Thanks everyone for your well wishes on me "Missing in Action " last Friday - after nearly 3 days of almost total R&R I am much better.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Friday Night with Friends

I had to take a "Pass".  I have been sick for 2 days and just couldn't muster enough energy to do any sewing...just TV and reading.

Sad...sorry to have missed out - I'll be back next time.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

An almost finish

Most of my blog readers also know of the Stitch-a-Long blog.
Every month since January we have had a project to do - September is the last project for this year.
I didn't do the August one - by choice - and now I can't finish the September one - I ran out of thread - and the current version of what I used is a pale colour...hopefully the additional silk thread I have ordered will match enough.

But this is where I got to - its finished enough to be able to use - but should have the heart appliqued onto the purple dots........so sad not to finish this one on time and finish off the year..


The Stitch-A-Long has been a lot of fun - last year and this and the current participants are hopeful that the wonderful Chookyblue will be able to gather her strength and come up with some plans for 2014. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

September Finish

I've finished my project from FNSI last week.

As usual I don't really remember when I started this though I am sure it was more than 7 years ago.  Its about 60" square, a nice size to have over you - if it cools down a bit (32 in Brisbane today).
This is my finish for Sew Its Finished, OPAM and Aunt Marti.

Now I need to get moving on the Anni Downs Needle case for the SAL.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


I'm not sure where time goes - my last post was FNWF and now its FNSI!!

I did manage to make black binding for this quilt and sew most of it on.

Not really a good idea to work with black at night time - but no choice if you want to get it done..

I was able to hand sew 2 sides of the binding on during the day in the car travelling to the Sunshine Cost for my aunts 90th celebrations!

This will be finished before the 30th.

And I'm hoping my FNWF project will be too - I ran out of thread and had to order some more - I tried locally - still waiting to hear...so I ordered some from Sydney.  Should be here Wednesday..should be . . .In the meantime I can start constructing it.  At least its all cut out.

Hope everyone had a lovely night sewing - thanks for your company.

And a huge thanks to Wendy for hosting.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


As predicted I didn't get too much done last night - but I had a sewing day today (Saturday With Friends) so I continued to work on the same project.
This is where I'm up to now...

Hopefully, some more tonight...

Friday, September 6, 2013


I was very late joining up this month...  I am going to put a reminder in my diary....

Here is my starting point:, I don't think I'll get too much done tonight - but I have a patchwork group day tomorrow so I can sew then as well.

 and of course a drink and a nibble....

And by the way - for those in Brisbane, the Redlands Quilt Extravaganza is on this weekend.



Quilt Show hours are:

I'll be there Sunday afternoon - might see you there??

Friday, August 30, 2013

August Finish

For Sew It's Finished, OPAM and Aunt Marti - This is my August finished project.
It is not a long standing UFO - for a change.

I had been wanting to do one of Leanne Beasley's quilt patterns for a while but I was able to get my hands on the pattern for this one - Journey of a Quilter.
In August 2011 I was able to do a big shop hop in Sydney when I went down for a visit and found a lovely collection of 30cm pieces of William Morris fabrics.  Then in another shop I saw some Threadworx threads in the perfect colours   and in yet another shop I picked up quite a few creams and beiges.

As soon as I got back I started tracing and stitching.

Now its done.  I had it quilted.  I love it. It will go on the only wall left in my Sewing room  (when I can get "someone" to put the necessary bits up on the wall).

and how true is this ....

Saturday, August 17, 2013

FNSI - A bit of that & a bit of this

It was 

I sewed some of the binding on this quilt as I watched...slept through... Better Homes & Gardens on TV.

 Then I added one border to Best Friends.

Then I did a bit of work on this block:

It's from the Homespun BOM - "My Town".  I have 2 blocks partially done and want to finish 2 more to make into a small wall hanging.  I have a thing for houses/buildings

And of course no FNSI is complete without a special drink (Mochaccino this time) and a little bite to eat - thanks Wendy B for hosting and thanks for the recipe - you can find it here.  It was truly scrumptious - I substituted a Dark Bubbly Chocolate for the Aero Mint.  Yummo.

You can pop over to Wendy's blog to see all the other participants (56 in all)
and see what they got up to.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Retreat 2013 Round up

We had a ball.... I sewed from Friday afternoon til Tuesday afternoon...late into the night....The food was wonderful - both at the pub and at the retreat.  The weather was great - though getting warm.
Sad to say - we didn't get flooded in - or trapped in any other way - though most of us probably had enough projects to keep us going for another week.

Here's a bit of what we did.

This is the first video I have made or loaded - so sorry about the superfluous "Olympus" text!

This is the cot quilt that I quilted and bound on retreat.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Retreat 2013 - Day 5

Tuesday - beautiful weather again.

Just 5 industrious sewers left, making the most of our last hours.

I contemplated doing the borders for "Best Friends" and decided not to, so I put this teacup block together.  This is to send to Sara Fielke who is collecting blocks to make a quilt.  I have no idea how I stumbled on a request from her for people to make blocks, so if you know - please let me know - it was from someone's blog......

Miss High Achiever finished off 10 of her 23 projects - pretty good going considering she had an off day on Sunday.

The board looked pretty good at the end:
I have collected all the tickets from the left hand side (and the left-overs from previous years) and hold onto them until next year.  We will do a roll call on Friday afternoon 2014 to see who finished what left-overs.

Our collection of finished projects  looked like this:  (The larger quilts that were up to "pinned" stage and some that were quilted are not here)

All booked in for "same time, same place" next year...hoping for some more "wintery" weather next year...but maybe it's a bit early to start the countdown.  Luckily, I still have 5 days left until I go back to work, so there will be more sewing happening here.
I have this collection of threads...two people I know collect "Orts" so I raided a few bins whilst we were sewing.  Don't worry Debbie - there is a lot of colour under all that white.

 All in all, a fabulous time away - Great accommodation  great food, great company, a few "memorable" moments which will distinguish this year from others.
Thanks to everyone for making it a great weekend - and especially to Erica for photographing everything and sharing her photos.