Thursday, December 28, 2023

Plans for 2024

A little while back, the Needle Girls started talking about To Do lists for 2024...and the Sunday Stitchers Group is having a UFO Progress Challenge, so I have been writing things down in preparation . . . 
I already had a spreadsheet that I had created and used years ago - so have updated that - there are a number of new projects to add to anything that was left over from 2023...or 2022...or etc.
I have a few projects where there is one block a month, so when I itemise all those - the list gets very long.  (No number will be mentioned....)

THEN along comes a Chooky Zoom meeting & Deana suggests a 10 item UFO list...and even though I wasn't in the Zoom meeting at the time, I was roped in . . .
Easy I thought - I have things on the To Do List that aren't required by a specific date, I'll add them....but the "hint" was given that #3 could be EPP (none of that), #4 - a panel (I have one but it wasn't on my 2024 list), #5 a Kiwiblock or quilt (well, that is new, but one block is easy enough), #6 - Anni Downs bag from Scrub Stitchin' 2023 (mmm - I hadn't included that before...) and #8 - the free Anni Downs stitchery for 2023 Christmas (that is an extra one too).
Oh well, I'm in - I have updated my SideBar to make myself accountable.
They may not all happen, but I will give it a good shot.

It's a great idea Deana - hope I can stick with it!!

I have also started my PlannedProjects for 2024 and posted the SS UFO Progress Challenge list. #9 is the project for January.

On a side note - my eldest daughter is visiting from Townsville....she saw my collection of zippy pouches, so I showed her what was in each one.   She left the room - shook her head at her father and said "So many projects!!!".    She saw a mere fraction.....LOL.

Wish me luck!!!
(Who needs sleep????)

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Christmas Get-togethers

Loose Threads

For our Loose Threads gathering, we each brought food to share - ham, chicken, salads, and pavlova.

We did a Secret Santa Swap - 3 Christmas-related items, and a Christmas-themed fat quarter.

I gave - a pair of silly sunglasses, a packet of gift tags and a packet of Christmas serviettes.

and received - a drink bell to ring (for someone to bring me a drink??), a rudolph glass and a peppermint lip balm.

Sunday Stitchers

This is a much larger group and again we all brought food to share..cold meat, salads and pudding & custard for dessert.

We have two Christmas swaps.
One was to make a Christmas-themed postcard and to wrap it in a fat eighth of Christmas fabric.

I made this one 

and matched it to this fabric

and I received this one from Anita.

It is beautifully made.

We each had an envelope, kindly decorated and provided by Anita and we had a special post box to put our envelopes in. 

Our traditional swap is to decorate and fill a bonbon.  This year we included a fat quarter, a treat, a reel of thread, a decoration, and a small zipper charm.
Mine went to Sandi

My bonbon was from De.

There were many small gifts given.

Notebook with name from Anita
Decoration from Norreen
Small tree from Sue
Bag of pens & bobbin huggers from Juanita
Red Gingerbread man from Michelle
Tiny - beautifully stitched magnetic decoration from Marilyn
Soap from Alison
Ceramic gingerbread man 
Scratchie from Cheryl.
Bag of buttons etc from Lynda
Santa decoration from De
Little house & chocolate Santa from Maria
After Dinner Mints from Sandi

Everyone is so kind with the gifts.

Needle Girls

Our present this year was to decorate and fill a Pringles tin for each person.
Here are the 5 that I received.  We all agreed De should win the prize for the best decorated -she did the nutcracker one - very clever.

This year we decided to eat out at a new tavern in Jimboomba.  The food was great - plentiful - a few took doggy bags home - and we returned to Sandi's for some sewing time and dessert.
An Aussie style Lamington Wreath.

A fun day!


This is a group of just 4.   We went out for lunch and there were no specific swap rules.

Inca's gift was a lovely pack of rose & lychee soap and hand cream
Maureen made a sweet little lavender sachet - I'm keeping mine in a sewing cupboard.
Sue gave us a wooden magnetic needle holder

I made a scissor holder from an old wooden cotton reel and added a heat erasable pen, some static stickers, a candy cane flavoured Chupps Chup and a bag of Haigh & Koko Black chocolates from Melbourne.

I am lucky to have these groups to go to and be able to share my sewing projects, plans, hopes and fun times.  
I won't mention the encouragement to add more projects to my never-ending "To Do" Lists...You know who you are!!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Granddaughters Quilts.

Guilty of lagging behind, dragging the chain . . . . . again . . .still . . . .

I should have had a quilt ready for GD1 (Peyton) when she turned 2 (August)...My Bad! as they say . . . and I should have had a quilt ready when her younger sister (Montana) was born (a week before GD1's birthday in August) . . again!!! My Bad!!!

Finally, both done & handed over...

GD1's Quilt 

I Spy on one side and a "map" on the other side.  I think Peyton prefers the map - but it was turned over several times when I was there...LOL

I quilted the outside of the roads, and the buildings, 
did lines for the trees and benches etc...
If only I could FMQ well.

GD2's Quilt

When GD1 was on the way - my daughter (DD2) asked for a Toy Story Quilt.  This time it was her partner's turn to choose a theme and he chose Jurassic Park Dinosaurs . . .challenging for a girl . . .
but after some online shopping DD2 found some fabrics . . I added more . . .and one thing led to another and we have double sided quilt. .  .I don't like to make things easy.

One side is mainly fabrics from Spoonflower - a couple of Spotlight ones and 2 machine embroidered blocks to show the Jurassic park logo.

The other side features an alphabet panel of dinosaurs - yes the common ones like Tyrannosaurus Rex, but a few odd ones . . .including a "Fukuisaurous".  In fact, a Fukuisaurus (meaning "Fukui (Fortunate) lizard") is a genus of herbivorous ornithopod dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous in what is now Japan.

I quilted dinosaur shapes, dinosaur feet in two sizes, 
a couple of suns and cloud shapes, 
using the embroidery machine.

I did hand these over in October and am pleased to have them both done & dusted.

Friday, December 1, 2023

FNWF - December

The last FNWF for the year !!!

I had a busy day sorting some gifts for Christmas, and writing tags.  Then dropped my husband to a Christmas party.   I stopped on the way home to get some dinner - and the heavens opened...I waited a while - but still got drenched getting back to the car.  It has helped reduce the temperature - today has been a real stinker - hot & humid.

Tonight I did a bit of crochet while watching TV 

and then sorted some fabrics for a Mystery Quilt I will be doing next year.

Wishing all FNWFers a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2024.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Needle Girls Retreat @ Glenrose - Part 2

Now for the more serious part of the retreat...after the silliness of the challenge.

For three years now we have had a stocking swap at retreat.  We started with a Nancy Halvorsen pattern and for the last 2 years, we used a design from her set of patterns.  There are 12 in total so there is a fair bit of choice.

Last year I suggested we could stay with the same shape - but maybe do a different design - everyone was happy with that idea.

This year I made this stocking - using a machine embroidery design - it went to Lynda.

I received this one - from Nor.  I love the dimensional look.

This is the collection of stockings

My first priority was to make the last two blocks for My Kinda Town.

Here are all the blocks together - there are some "filler" bits needed.
I have to say I do not know why the blocks weren't designed with the "filler" bits added.  Not all blocks need extra bits...It's a bit annoying...but I will sort it due course.

Overall, I'm very happy with it.  

My second project was for DD1.  She had asked me - a while back - to make a cover for her Cricut...She lives in Townsville and I don't have one, so found a pattern - got some measurements, and made this one.   Bit boring in white!!   The pockets I added are too short to hold the things she wants to put in them, so we will call this one the prototype!!

Then I moved onto working on the RSC I Spy blocks for 2023.   I didn't get very far, but did get the borders onto 3 sets.  There are a gazillion 3.5" squares to go around these blocks....

What the others did:

This is a top made by De - the Daisy Queen
and a bag made by Sandi
De also put this top together.  Very effective with just squares.
Nor worked on these blocks for a quilt - featuring sewing notions.  I missed a few of the blocks - one is a sewing machine and another one is an iron.

Sandi worked on several Lori Holt blocks

Chooky worked on a few projects simultaneously - the ones on the left for Chapel Street and the ones on the right for Starburst.

I am also planning on making Chapel Street and we have been sharing fabrics where possible.   I had a stash of Kaffe Fassets and Tula Pinks which I took, so she cut pieces from those fabrics - kindly cutting mine at the same time.

There was a lot of laughing, chatting, solving problems (???), eating, some shopping.

It is always a fun time with these girls.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Needle Girls Retreat @ Glenrose - Challenge Projects

My last retreat for the year!!!

2023 has been full of retreats - in many ways, it's good that I no longer work, as I would have run out of leave days!

We arrive late afternoon on Sunday - so we plan take away for dinner.  Charcy's never fails us!
The menu is extensive - burgers, fish & lots of extras!

I settled for a bacon and egg roll with sweet potato scallops.  Doesn't look exciting but it tasted good!

At the last retreat we had a challenge project - to make a zippy pouch and Sandi kindly stitched out a logo for us to incorporate. She gave us some spares too.  The original pouch is here.

At that retreat, Mdm Organiser (aka Sandi) - challenged us to make something to go with our zippy pouch for 2023.
That's easy I said to myself as I had plenty of fabric and I AM a matchy-matchy sort of person....(I may have acquired a bit more of the fabric - in case - during the year too.)

When I went on a retreat in March - as no one in that group also attends this retreat, I made 7 things.  Things that I use at a retreat - Sewing Tidy, Foot pedal mat, Scrap bucket, Bag for a thread stand, Snappy pouch for the rotary cutter/s, 2 coasters (one wine, one coffee??), Bag for charging cables and plugs, 

I thought that was plenty of things . . . .no number had been mentioned....

BUT . . . in our chat group, someone indicated that "someone else (aka Mdm Organiser)" had made 12 things . . .so the challenge was on!!!

In September I was on yet another retreat - and we had a mystery project (it ended up being a square bag) - so I did it in matching fabrics...well...why not??   And I found a pattern in the shop for a small container that I wanted to try and made that in matching fabrics.....There were two small rectangles cut out of the shape so I turned that into a pincushion. . . .

One of the ladies had a cute little needle case, so I made one of them too.

And I added a tag to the square bag.

So, that was another 5 things, but I still had ideas for more.

Total = 12

October I added more things:

I made a Design Board and Sewing Machine mat
I decorated a green Yazzi bag for threads.
I painted 2 boxes and added trims - one for my walking foot and one for my machine feet.
Since the paintbrush was wet and there was a pencil just lying around - it got painted and decorated too!
Then I spied the little pincushion thing that can sit on top of my machine - which I don't use at home - it was got sucked into the plan and now it's green!
and I already had a little bag made in the green spot - so it may as well get counted!  (or is that cheating????  LOL)


So, that is another 8 = 20

I did not ever plan on overdoing it...but when the challenge red flag is waved . . well...I just have to bite!!!

Fortunately, Mdm Organiser is still talking to me!!!

Here are some of the things the other girls made:


De - I loved her spool to use as a scissor stand!
Sandi - she was determined to use up all the fabric that she had.

It was fun - next year's challenge will be simpler!

Saturday, November 18, 2023

FNSI - November

I've been on Retreat this week - post/s coming!
So, tonight I settled on some cross-stitching for a change.

My starting point:

and where I got to . . . .

Although I'd like to get this building done before 8th December, when the next one is released . . .it may not happen!

Thanks, Wendy & cyber friends for the company.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

SIMS Birthdays 2023

I am the lucky last to have a birthday in our SIMS group.

We met at my place for some nibbles and sewing, then off to one of the local clubs for lunch.

At home - with coffee and cake - I received my nature-themed postcards:

Sue included a ladybird, a cat, flowers, a bird, clouds and the sun.

Maureen included fuchsias (that have stitched stamens with beads added).  They are one of my favourite flowers and some lovely decorative stitching.
and tucked in there is special selvedge - it says:

"If nothing changed, there'd be no butterflies."

Since then I have received one from Inca - this one is very special.