Saturday, December 19, 2009

Trains and Bikes

I have been stitching this week but I can't show you hardly any of it - how frustrating! This is all I can show you of some of it ....

...but after Christmas I can show you the whole picture! It's pretty cute I reckon.

This is a little bag that I can show you - one of Leanne Beasleys new patterns - it's a real wee sweetie. I'm oh so close to finally finishing my Days in Provence quilt - just got the binding to go and that will be hand-stitched in place tonight, as I watch Men in Black! (Jake's choice of movie, not mine!).

So, what's trains and bikes got to do with anything I can hear you ask. Well, I thought I'd show you what else we've been doing this week - we went on a train ride! It's been years and years and years since I rode a train and it was great fun. We took in the sights of the Taieri Gorge which were spectacular.

Viaducts and tunnels by the dozen!

And bikes - well, this mother got to see her son in proper downhill racing action for the first time last Sunday - here's the group of them before they head off up the hill...........

... and here's a really bad shot of Jake coming down the hill........

This picture was taken in haste (and with heart in mouth!) and does not show you, at all, the extent of the drop!!! Had I known in advance........well, lets just say that the next time I find a ''watching position'' I will make sure that it is not at a drop - I would rather not know! I do have a new found respect for my son's skill, but I do seriously have to question his sanity at the same time. Not sure how long it took them to get up the hill, but I do know that it took him 2 minutes and 59 seconds to come down it!!

Yesterday we had our Friday Stitchers Christmas party - lots and lots of chocolate! Yum! Just had to show you a pic of what Debbie made - she had a whole basket of these gorgeous apple pin cushions - all in red and white - and each of us was lucky enough to receive one. Thanks Debbie - they are so cute.

And finally - I have been waiting very patiently for a few weeks now for these gorgeous blooms - they are the palest prettiest pink and just absolutely amazing. The wait was definitely worth it.

Not many sleeps now til the big fellow in the red suit comes visiting! Hope you've got all your last minute pressies sorted - I'm done (nearly) and have a few days to potter around before Christmas - now that's a bit of a novelty for me.
I have a few new projects to start - hmmm - which will be first?
Happy stitching

Monday, December 7, 2009

On a Roll!

On Saturday when you know who was playing cricket and you know who wasn't watching, I ticked some things off "the list". I've now got the first eight blocks of the Gingham Girls all stitched together and have to say I'm really delighted with it.
Also, I finished off block two of Vero's Mystery quilt....

... and I also finished my Summer Sampler cushion which I love! This is one of Crabapple Hill Studio's beautiful patterns - they also do a Spring, Winter and Autumn sampler so guess who will be working their way through all four.

I sorted out fabrics for Christmas presents, cut them, and started stitching one as well. I tell you, I was on a roll!! Then I went and picked the child up - he told me that he had bowled really really well, but didn't want to talk about his batting!! He was still smiling though.

Yesterday I played with my sewing machine again - well, it was a wet old day so what better way to spend it. Made a little bag, the same as the Christmas one that I'm teaching at the Christmas club classes this week - I needed to remind myself how it went, so thought I would do a non-Christmas bag as another sample and couldn't help myself - I had to decorate with one of Barb's gorgeous new birdie buttons.
Now I'm off to start sewing some of those pressies because as usual I have left it way too late. I do this every year! I always have great intentions of being organised and starting early but it never seems to happen. I know that it can be done, though, as there are people who have told me they have Christmas all sorted out by the middle of the year - to which I have one question - HOW!!! But you know what, Christmas Eve just wouldn't feel right unless I wasn't stitching something to finish off a present.

Happy Stitching (and lots of it!)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Side-tracked by Santas.

I've had a couple of days off this week and I had all these plans. Hmmmm! I didn't get to tick many things off ''the list'' though - I got a little side-tracked! By these ..... Santa's, trees and baubles. Decorating the house. I went for silver and glass for the big tree....

... and then there's the tree with the santa's and the elves, the reindeer and fairies, stockings and puddings, hearts and tags....

....more santa's...

....the red and white corner....

...and guess what, more santa's.
I have done a little stitching as well - finished the last part of block 6 of the Gingham Girls, so now I can put it together with 5, 7 and 8 and finish the row.

I've also started stitching a new block of the month quilt which I will be offering next year - another gorgeous mystery quilt from France, this one designed by Marie-Claude of Les Secrets de Marie. As you know I love Barb Smiths designs and Barb has done the stitcheries for this quilt - this is part of the first block. Gorgeous cat, dont you think - I love the cat's expression! I'm not going to piece the blocks yet, though, as I have a range of Moda fabrics arriving early next year that will, I hope, be perfect for this quilt.
After a coffee on the front porch this morning, this is where I spent the rest of the day.... amongst the roses and delphiniums.

A pretty perfect day!
Hope yours was too.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sweet Roses

I picked these yesterday to adorn the breakfast table - the sweetest prettiest pink roses I've seen.

I wish I could post the sounds of the birds that I sat and listened to this morning - not sure why but the last two mornings they have been magic - maybe because both mornings have been really warm and too hot for the birds to fly, so instead they sat in the trees and sang for me! The smell of the roses in this warm weather is gorgeous and I am amazed at how many blooms open out after just one day of hot weather.

My guests and garden are keeping me on my toes - but still a little time to stitch. Last weekend I put together some more of my Gingham Girls blocks - I now have blocks one through to eight done, except for six which I'm not sure how but I missed, so I'm doing that one now. So, here's seven.....
.... and here's eight....

I'm hoping to start the first stitchery tonight for a new block of the month quilt designed by Marie Claude of Les Secrets de Marie. Barb Smith has done the stitcheries for the quilt and they are so beautiful. I'll show you next week (hopefully!!). And the second block of Vero's mystery quilt needs attention too! So this afternoon, while the child is playing cricket ( I know, a good mother should be there watching, but honestly, I did try (once) a few years back and I was really really bored!!) I will happily rummage for fabrics for Vero's block and trace out stitchery number one for Marie's quilt.

Happy stitching

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Divine Treat!

A couple of weeks back I decided to treat myself to a very very delicious quilt kit - I lusted after this fabric when I was still at The Stitchery but decided against ordering it as I wasn't quite sure of future plans when the ordering needed to be done! I regretted it! So, on a whim I surfed the internet and found that a certain shop was offering it as a kit. Without a second thought I ordered it. (Actually there were quite a few second thoughts - I felt I needed to justify the purchase until I decided that no justification was needed at all - the purchase was a necessity!) This is how it arrived - the bag is a heavy textured cotton fabric and absolutely gorgeous.....
...but what was inside was even better! Just look at this...

"Rouenneries" by French General. The fabrics look so divine that I wont pull the bundles apart for a while - they can sit and look pretty on my table for a while. Even the ribbon that ties them is fabulous. What a treat to arrive in the post. A very special project to look forward to, sometime in the New Year.

I don't have any stitching to show you this week - I have been stitching though, but just not quite enough! Maybe after the weekend. We had our last class of the Vintage Decorations last night and we made the little angel. One of the girls had us nearly in tears from laughter (kind laughter though). She showed us her pin cushion ... and I thought that I absolutely had to share it with you (with her permission of course)......

I love it! Cute ay!

Time to go and sort some fabrics for the next project, and pat the French General ones of the way past.

Happy Stitching

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bluebells and Wisteria

Every time I walk up the steps and path to my front door I am struck by the beauty of this garden. It is so incredibly lush, the rose bushes are loaded with buds and old-fashioned ''grannies bonnets'' are bursting into flower. Bluebells just seem to go on forever.
There are masses of pretty little pink flowers about to open - not sure what they are but they are gorgeous! And the sweet sweet perfume of the wisteria at the front door floats through the house on a warm day. It's heavenly.
I've done a little gardening since I last wrote, and now have tomato plants growing in the glasshouse - there is absolutely nothing like the taste of a homegrown tomato! And we have little lettuce plants settled into their garden bed, alongside the herbs. The strawberry patch is also looking very very good - I can almost taste the strawberries now!
Been busy with guests, too. Australians, Americans, English and Kiwis!

Was very excited to get the first block of Vero's Mystery Quilt in the mail last week - I can show you my block now as the patterns have been posted out so I won't be spoiling the surprise for any of the girls doing it. This is such a different project for me as I have not made anything with country colours for ages and I had forgotten how lovely they are to work with. I have dug deep into the stash for bits for this quilt, and have even found fabric from way back in the beginning days of Needle 'n Thread. I am going to enjoy every step of the way with this quilt - and part of that is because you have absolutely no idea what is going to turn up each month.
I have also finished the stitchery for a beautiful Carb-apple Hill design - this is called Summer Sampler and will be made into a long cushion. Maybe I will have the cushion made by the time I do my next blog!
It is nice to get back to my stitching - just doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that - catching up on the Gingham Girls, finishing the quilting on my Days in Provence quilt, and even a little cross-stitch. I've been tempted by some new things but am trying very very hard to finish some projects. So far it's working!
Oh, that is, except for a certain quilt kit I have ordered - well, it was impossible to resist!
Happy stitching!

Monday, October 19, 2009

That was so much fun!

I've just had the best weekend! Hope you have too. Stitchery Retreat 2009 was held at the City Sanctuary and it was lovely!
I know that most of the girls had a really hard time choosing which project to start stitching as they were all so gorgeous. These are the samples that I have been working on over the past couple of months. This is Barb's birdie design which I made into a pattern folder, and little matching needlecase with Barb's birdie button on the cover (
Here's Brenda's beautiful ''Lucy'' which is one of her ''Bonnets and Bows'' designs ( . I made this one up into a good sized drawstring bag - ready to hold the current stitchery project.
Bronwyn designed a fabulous table mat - also with matching place mats though I did not quite get to do the place mats.

These are a couple of closer pics of the flowers at each end of the table mat.

Marg ( gave us a sweet stitchery sampler, scented sachet and chatelaine. I will definitely be making some of the scented sachets as lovely little Christmas gifts.

And last, but certainly not least, Natalie did an exquisite bag and needlecase, called The Paris Collection. I can't show you a pic of this though, but keep an eye out on Natalie's blog ( and I am sure you will see it very soon.
Honestly it was almost impossible to work out where to start - the designs were all so amazing and I'm pretty sure that everyone who came will stitch each and every one of them.

There were lots of smiley happy faces...

....lots of chatting and laughing...

...plenty of stitching...

...and quite a few cuppa's!

Will I do it again? Sure will, and more. I hope that all of you who came enjoyed it as much as I did.

Happy stitching girls!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our new home!

I've been away for a while again, I know. So much has happened in the last couple of months - incredible, amazing changes - and a wonderful feeling inside me that this is very good! We're all moved in to our new home, the shop has closed, and all the shop ''stuff'' is here now too. Must admit to slightly underestimating the time it would take to ''move'' the shop! But it's all done - all unpacked ,in a fashion (minus the boxes that were just far too hard to think about - they went straight into some wonderful big storage cupboards - for those there will another day!) and we have even had our first guests to stay. Yes, I was nervous at first, but needn't have been - they were the most delightful couple, and apart from forgetting to put glasses out for the juice, everything went perfectly fine!

I have been busy stitching, too, just in case you were wondering. But I can't show you a single thing because it's all the ''secret'' things for the Retreat this coming weekend. I will show them afterwards though - the designs that have come from Natalie, Brenda, Barb, Bronwyn and Marg are absolutely stunning. For those of you coming this weekend, you are in for a treat.

So, this is our house - the front of it, anyway. It totally charmed me when I first saw it. I thought I would show you a couple of pics of the garden (seeing as I can't show you any stitchery) - this is my patch of paradise - so incredibly sheltered and private and when the flowers are in bloom it will look so so pretty - I can't wait.

There are gorgeous clumps of bluebells everywhere - primoses, tulips, a beautiful magnolia tree. The wisteria at the front door is glorious!

... and the fish pond which has seven residents! Don't know alot about fish, but I will learn. Have caught Charlie sitting on the edge a couple of times, working on a strategy I think!

What do you think? And the view from upstairs is something else - it's pretty hard not to love living here! I'll be back after the weekend to show you some of the things I've been working on lately. Coffee, maybe, on the balcony! See you later.