Friday, October 30, 2009

Me and buttonholes...

Buttonholes and I are friends again! I have just learnt how to do them (manually sort of, not automatic as my machine manual promised- I will be speaking to my machine dealer about that). Buttonholes, sigh, I enjoyed doing them. I love buttons so now the buttons in my collection will have buttonholes to go with them. Assuming some action in the sewing room.


Modelling credit to Maisey the well loved doll. This top will be sent off as a present for Mairead, so I hope it fits. Alexander Henry fabric sleeves- love that fabric.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Craft and Spirituality

For me and I suspect, many fellow crafters there is a lot of meaning tied up in their creating. When I sew something for someone it is an excercise of my spirit way beyond the the'concrete-ness' of the fabric and the 'end product'.
I will give my quilts as an example. Often quilts choose me to be made- some random thought leads to a quilt...I generally don't make quilts for people who ask (is that mean?), they need to be 'given' of generous heart, not badgered for or expected (if by chance you are my friend and have asked me for a quilt, you may get one one day, but in my time, not yours!) It's the unexpectedness of the gift which is part of the loveliness. My quilts say what my words can't, and give presence, when I can't . As I spend hours stitching, I am holding the reciever in my heart, in my thoughts.
I made a quilt for my friend D (who may be my only 'real life' friend who reads this!). She had suffered for many years with chronic illness, and spent a fair bit of time in bed. There was nothing I could do to make her better, I didn't have a fairy wand, but I could give her my time and stitch with love, for her. I figured, if she's in bed so much a quilt would be of comfort.
I made a quilt for my friends after their baby was stillborn. It was for Hayley (the baby) in recognition of her short life 'on the inside' because I didn't get to know her 'on the outside'. The fabrics chosen were similar colours to the bridesmaids gowns we wore at their wedding. I said it was made to hug, to cry on, to throw across the room -whatever was needed! She said her children loved it and often sat under it together. She also told me it sat across the bottom of her bed and kept her company in the wee hours of the morning as she cried.
I made a quilt for my God daughter and her two siblings, upon their departure to Chicago to live. They wouldn't pack me in their suitcase, so I made sure that they packed something 'of me'!
There are the celebration quilts too- when you turn 90 in my family, you get a quilt (there have been 3 so far!)- a fair achievement I reckon, worth celebrating. I already told you about Great Aunt Betty's (she calls it her hug rug!), well, Grandpa got one too, he sits under it and watches the footy on tv.

This is the quilt I made for grandpa (who I inherited through marriage!). I wish I had taken a photo of all the quilts I have made, I do that now. I made it using fabric he would like (as close to yellow and brown as I could go for this Hawthorn supporter). It's a few years old now and has been well loved.

 I made one for my grandma, who died a few months later. She had moved into an aged care facility so I chose fabrics with big roses on it and called it (yes, I name my quilts) 'My grandmas garden'. When she died, I was planning to hand it straight on to my mum but some wise soul told me to hang onto it for a while and enjoy the connection between my quilt and my grandma as I got used to her not being around. A few years on and I still love having it in my lounge room.

I could go on, but I won't today, this has been a hard post to write, probably because it is about those things not tangible and it's hard to cover that in words.
If someone gives you something they have made with their hands, chances are you have their love as well as the present you hold.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday sewing

Well. What was I saying just last night about sewing mistakes late at night. Not the time to teach yourself how to do buttonholes, no matter how excited one might be about being sooo close to finishing a project. (Summer tunic top for a 9 month old little friend, my first creation out of an Ottobre magazine).

Aforementioned buttonholes- disaster. Sigh, okay, I get the picture, it's bed time...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Too many mistakes!

How do you tell when it's bedtime? When you're tired? When the clock tick's past a certain hour? Well, I have taken to crafting fairly regularly at night for the past few weeks, my stuff stays out so it's easy to pick up where I left off and get going quickly. Sometimes I get absorbed and focussed and stay up far too late.

Tonight I have been attempting a few things (surprise- I find it difficult to focus on one project at a time- in fact, when I know you a bit better I might do a line up photo of my works in progress!). I recently subscribed to Ottobre magazine, because the girls over at 'Crafty Mama's' were raving about it and I wanted some good, reliable patterns for childrens clothes. I was pretty excited to recieve it in the mail earlier in the week and thought I would get stuck into it at the earliest possible chance- so, after working with this

for the first time ever, which involved being fairly daunted but overcoming that, I have been doing some serious cutting tonight. Sadly though, I have realised that my day is over (there's never enough hours). I have started making silly mistakes and having trouble comprehending instructions. Don't get me wrong, I love sleep, but I think I love sewing more. I will show you what I am working on in a few days.

I have been hearing about loads of other people scoring op shop and garage sale gold this week- well, I bought Pip's 'Meet me at Mike's' book for $6 at my local country Victorian op shop- wasn't I a). very surprised and b). very excited. I had previously borrowed it from the library and am pretty happy to have my own copy because there are a lot of projects I will do in it. so thank you very much to the person who handed that one on. In return, I am having a clear out and sending some fabric and crafty love back to my op shop!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Girls night in

October is the month to raise money for Breast Cancer research with the 'Girls night in' project. I had one at my house last week and while I haven't got photos to show for it, I have got this photo of the preparation.
My workspace is a renovated 'shed' outside my house, affectionately known at the 'sweatshop'- because at times, A LOT of work is done in here in a short space of time, at times it is over crowded and, more literally, it gets really hot in Summer! (Hopefully I don't need to say no offence to, or on behalf of, people working in real 'sweatshop' conditions- whose plight is horrendous- because of course no offence is intended).
Anyway, Cheryl and I often sew together (Carolyn too, but she wasn't here this night), I feel very lucky to have great local crafty buddies (even though they don't love op shopped vintage sheets like I do!).
The decision to have a 'girls night in' was fairly spontaneous, the timeline was short- so what does Ms. Generous Cheryl decide to do? Make not one, but two 'I Spy' quilts to raffle off to help in the fundraising stakes. I might add, not only was she generous with her time, she was generous with mine too- 'we're making a quilt, I've made the top so can you quilt it?!' (Jacque then did the binding so it was a great team effort).
I live in an area with a lot of farming families and many who have been hit hard by the drought, we had 15 'girls' here last Thursday and raised $210, which I reckon is a top effort.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Anniversary gifts

Earlier this year we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.We don't go in for big gifts but usually make or buy something according the weird and wonderful 'anniverary gift list' that seems to have been around for an awfully long time. 12 is, apparently,  linen, silk or pearls.
I bought this 'Winter Nest' panel (on linen) from Kristen Doran in time to have something done with it for June 7th...but (finally) last night attached it to a canvas so it can now hang proudly on our wall. I love it.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

High Praise

Follow up to the post about Great Aunt Betty's quilt. I couldn't decide whether or not to send it or give it to her in person (which would be the better option) but realised since we aren't planning a trip to Melbourne any time soon, the post would be the way to go. I sent it off yesterday, registered mail and have just had the phone call. Remember, Great Aunt Betty is 90- "dear girl' (great start, you gotta love that) "I have never opened a parcel that has brought tears to my eyes, until now". That makes my heart hum. I forgot to mention that Auntie Betty's sight is failing which is why I chose that design- big contrasting stripes. Craft is good.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


A quick one to introduce you to Pippi. I haven't had a dog as an adult and the family ones I had during my childhood were all working farm dogs (so limited playfulness allowed because they were often 'on duty'). No one told me it would be this good. I love having a dog. Her full name is Pippi Longstocking. I dressed up as Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren's fictitious creation) as a child during book week and the name suit this girl who looks like she has long stockings- but you can't see that in this photo.
So- how is that crafy? Well, it's not really, but it's a little bit more of me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quilt for Great Aunt Betty

Not technically my Great Aunt Betty but one that I am very happy to inherit by marriage! She recently turned 90 and isn't up with the blog world so I think it will be okay to show you before I actually give it to her. Finished yesterday, then washed and dried- yes, I like them soft and crinkly too!
(Apparently the lawn mower needs a new blade, I say apparently because I confess, I am not the person who uses it the most!)

How appropriate that the day I find out I win a giveaway from Stacey at I finish my quilt with the polka dot border.

I am really enjoying the Blogtoberfest, not that I am participating, I am still finding my sea legs, so to speak, but I am feeling alot of crafty bloggy love and kindness around and well, I think it's nice.

Having a play with fonts, I am not the technological genius I may appear (ahem...!) so, just bear with me, would you.

Happy weekend, I am excited. Saturday mornings are my most favourite time of the week- what's yours?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My favourite vegie

"Home Economics draws from a range of disciplines to achieve optimal and sustainable living for individuals, families and communities. Historically, Home Economics has been in the context of the home and household, but this has extended in the 21st century to include the wider living environments as we better understand that the capacities, choices and priorities of individuals and families impact at all levels, ranging from the household, to the local and also the global (glocal) community"
I am quoting from Wikipedia so, when I refer to 'home economics' no one thinks I am talking about cooking at school!
This is what 'the goodness' in my blog sub title refers to. And what better example today than a photo of asparagus picked just before it was to be cooked for our dinner. Divine- it just happens to be my fav vegie (probably because it has a resonably short season and is always precious- unlike those very prolific crops, for example cucumbers- how many cucumbers can one family and their extended family, and their neighbours, work colleges etc eat!!