Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our Three Christmases

We were lucky enough to celebrate Christmas 3 times in our family this year.      Firstly we celebrated with our extended family - a group of cousins of mine try to get together a couple of times each year at the Grand Hotel at Wentworth Falls and this year was no exception.    We have been meeting at the "Grand" for well over twenty years now.     It is a good meeting place as we come from all over the State - Sydney, Bathurst, Central Coast and south coast.    


Our second celebration was our family Christmas which was held early due to our son and daughter-in-law travelling  to Tamworth over the Christmas period.   As you can see Santa was very generous again  this year.   

We were lucky enough to score one of those boxes holding the most delectable truffles made by our DDIL.

And our third Christmas was on the real Christmas day celebrated at mum and dad's house.    I was lucky enough to be seated next to the prawns - what a pity that it is only mum and I that eat prawns. 

I was given some lovely gifts and amongst them were these quilting books and magazines.  Lots and lots of gorgeous quilts to add to my growing list.    

Next celebration is New Year's Eve.    We have the champers in the fridge chilling along with some yummy cheeses and nibbles to help bring in the new year.   

Happy sewing and see you all next year.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas in Sydney 2012

Hubby and I took ourselves into the city to see it all "dolled up" for  Christmas and we were not disappointed.    After getting off the bus  at Wynard and walking into the main part of the city we came across the tree in Martin  Place

Further on in the Pitt Street mall we saw lots of trees and bright lights as can be seen below

A walk through the Strand Arcade is always delightful  - to look at  the lovely shops and smell the aromas from all the coffee and chocolate shops.


A must to visit when in Sydney is the Queen Victoria Building.  Santa sitting in his Crystal Cave

If you look  very closely at this photo below you can see "snow" falling around the magnificent tree.  

Wishing you and your families a happy and safe Christmas.   Happy sewing until next time.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bits and pieces

It seems a long time since I have blogged and looking at the date of the last post it certainly is. What have I been doing in the interim? Firstly a tabletopper for Halloween. While Halloween is not celebrated much in Australia I did see this fabric with bats on it and thought that it would make a cute tabletopper.

Secondly a tablerunner for DS and DDIL for their new dining table. I like the fact that no matter which side of the table you sit on you see Christmas trees.  I found the tutorial to make the runner at the Missouri quilt company.   

Next were the tabletoppers below for 3 very good friends. I chose bright cute fabric as they all have grandchildren.

And last but not least is the set below which I made for my BIL and SIL. They both like the “beachy” look so I thought that the shell fabric would be appropriate for them.     I made a tabletopper along with hexagon shaped placemats for dinner plates, entrĂ©e plates and coasters.

I do have another tablerunner and matching placemats as a WIP but more on that later on.
Now that I am on holidays for the next couple of weeks I hope to get some more time to blog and sew.

Until next time happy sewing and I look forward to blog hopping and seeing what everyone has been up to.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My recent holiday

I have recently returned to work after having 2 weeks off.  I try to take sometime off during September as I always  think that it is one of the nicest months of the year - coming out of winter, longer warmer days and blossoms abound.  Hubby and I did a variety of outings during that time.  The  first day we headed off into the city to see the DJ's annual flower show and as always it is a real treat as you can see from the photos below.   This year the theme was "Fleuresence"


A walk across the road and we found ourselves in Hyde Park heading towards St Mary's Cathedral.

The next day we stayed "local" and headed up the peninsula to Newport Arms which is situated on the Pittwater side of Newport.    What better place than to drink in the view and eat our lunch.

It was time for a short break so we headed up to our favourite destination - Leura  for a few days.   Our "digs" can be seen below

Next morning we were up bright and early and headed off to Echo Point.  The photo below is of me with my "three sisters" behind me (the name of the mountains to the left of the photo.)

One of the many lovely mountain walks

And cool mountain streams

And of course the gorgeous cherry blossoms

 We decided on our way home to do the "round trip" and came back via Mt Tomah - one of our State's botanical gardens.    Here we saw fields of daffodils

Chocolate coloured plants  and proteas

On a clear day you can see over 150 kms but on that day there had been hazard reduction burn offs so the air was not clear.

Home for a few days did see some sewing done.  I have a growing collection of fq's and leftovers (bigger pieces than scraps from other projects) so I played around with them and came up with the following.     I like the secondary pattern of the diamonds in this quilt.

Well it is back to work for me.  I had a lovely break and some equally lovely memories.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A light bulb moment

My quilting group has been running a block swap where each month one member nominates a block and the other members make that block for the nominator.   For my block I chose the pattern weave the rails which is  in keeping with my theme of  "the year of the using up scraps".  When I received all my blocks and started putting them together that pesky 1/4" seam which seems to differ between each machine caused me quite some problem.   I thought that I would have to re-sew many of the blocks and then I had my light bulb moment - I started to play around with the blocks and decided that I would go with the pattern Chinese coins which is a far more accommodating  design for my problem.    This is what I ended up with.

Last month we were issued a challenge by our quilt group president to make an item with a Christmas theme and I decided to make a tablerunner.  This is the first time that I have used a patchwork binding and I was pleased with the result.   Again I used only from my stash.

The last item is tabletopper that I made for mum.    She loves fairies and when I saw this fabric I thought it would be perfect for her.  

I have been pleased with the sewing that I have achieved during my holiday.

Friday, September 7, 2012

One of those "O" birthdays

Since my last post I have had one of those special "O" birthdays.   I have been very spoilt by my family - being taken out for a lovely family lunch on the weekend, dinner out on my actual birthday to my favourite restaurant and given some beautiful gifts by everyone.   It took my mind off getting older.  There is one gift that I wanted to share with you and it was given to me by a very special friend - we have known each other for about 37 years.   It arrived in the post and when I was unwrapping it I did wonder what it could be from the shape

As you can see it is a set of the most adorable mini quilts complete with their own rack.

She has included 4 seasonal quilts and 4 traditional quilt patterns.

My quilt rack has pride of place in our family room and will be treasured for a very long time.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Megalong Valley

Hubby and I often like to take a drive into the country and this time we headed off to the Megalong Valley just west of Katoomba.   Heading down into the valley provides some spectacular views as you wind your way down.

After admiring the view we headed back to the car to continue down further into the valley where we passed rustic sheds and lush vegetation along the way.

All this driving works up an appetite so we stopped off at the quaint tearoom in the Valley to enjoy a lunch of hot soup and tasty homemade pies.  

 I would certainly recommend a visit to the Valley to anyone who is in the area.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Christmas In July

A visit to my parent's house for lunch last week was a lovely surprise.  Mum and dad had decided to do Christmas in July complete with all the trimmings.    Needless to say that the kitchen was closed for dinner that night.   

I had just finished off the table topper below for mum and had taken it with me so I was able give it to her.  It made the day more festive being able to give a small gift in return for a lovely lunch.

I decided that after Christmas lunch I would have to start my shopping early and with some of the shops having a 50% off sale what could I do but  grab a bargain or two.   I have a few ideas running around in my head using oriental fabric and I am sure that this lot below will be put to good use.

I always seem to find something else that I "may" need in my stash. 

The sale goes for another week so I think that I may just have to drop in again to see what I left behind.

Sometimes it is good to step out of one's comfort zone from time to time and that is what I did with the table runner below.    I am not a fan of orange especially with pink but  it somehow seems to works with this.  I wanted a bright and fun runner for summer.

I have a couple of other items near completion which I hope to be able to blog about soon.

In the meantime happy sewing.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cooking up a storm

It is one of those wintery days today - no sun, lots and lots of rain, storms rolling around,  grey and cold so what better thing to do than cook up a storm in my kitchen.  Winter is definitely "comfort food" time so what to make - soup, casseroles, muffins and scones.  Open up the fridge and pantry and pull out all the relevant ingredients, switch on the oven and  three hours later end up with   

A vegetable frittata, pumpkin, potato, lentil and curry soup for work lunches,  chicken, rice and vegetable casserole for tomorrow night's dinner, ham, cheese and onion muffins and a batch of plain scones.     

I think that one of those scones will go down very well with a cup of perculated coffee right about now.

What is your favourite winter "comfort food"?