Monday, 13 October 2014

The holiday table topper

Last week Jenny of Elefantz kindly offered a free pattern and a daily tutorial to make the Holiday Hostess table topper.  I had been feeling in a bit of a slump with my quilting but this project was just the inspiration I needed.  The instructions included finding a fabric that lent itself to being fussy cut; I didn't have much to choose from and in the end settled on a vintage Christmas postcard fabric.  Jenny's tutorial was excellent and easy to follow along; my only difficulty being when my cat decided to fall asleep on the topper as I was trying to quilt it!  I really appreciate Jenny's generosity in sharing this pattern, I am sure the tutorial must have taken lot of time to prepare!  Thank you.  Wendy xx

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Happy 18th

"To my sweet daughter,
Your wee little life has changed me.
The day you were born was like a new beginning for me too;
A change that will forever lay soft upon my heart.
Everything in my life is sweeter because of you.
The days and fleeting moments with you are only a breath in time.
They linger briefly and fly away on the wings of tomorrow.
You are precious in every way;
The sunshine in my day, the joy in my soul, and the love of my life."  Patsy Gaut

I had such fun planning a surprise 18th party for Charlie and boy was she surprised when four of her friends turned up at the same shopping mall.  While they had manicures I was racing around at home setting up a lolly buffet and decorating.  It was worth it to see Charlie's face when they came back to our place for dinner, homemade ice-cream cake and girly movies.  Happy 18th Charlie, love you forever, Mum. xx

Monday, 29 September 2014

Around the world blog hop

Today I'm partaking in a bit of a blog hop after being nominated to play by Julie from My Threadbear Life.  Julie's blog is one of my favourite to visit, she creates beautiful projects and has a talent for up-cycling her vintage finds.  I am spoilt having Julie living in my region and I have loved my visits to her gorgeous house and craft cottage.
The premise of the blog hop is nice and simple with just four questions to answer:

How does my writing/creative process work?
I started writing this blog in 2011 to keep track of my stitching progress. I had just rediscovered my love of quilting and part of my inspiration was all the wonderful sewing and quilting blogs so I was excited to connect with that community.  I see my blog as a way of recording not only my projects but also snippets of our life here in New Zealand, including family, pets, home, garden and baking.  I tend to jump around projects a bit; I still love quilting but there is just something so satisfying about a quick finish!!  Since last year I have also fallen in love again with knitting and clothes sewing.

Why do I create what I do?
Like most crafters, I create because I love it.  Making things is part of my normal.  I love to make things for our home, for the children and for myself!  I am also loving the process of planning and making my own wardrobe.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I could never claim that my work is special or unique in any way because there are so many talented and creative people out there making wonderful things.  And as Julie said I don't think I really belong to any genre because of the jumping around of projects that I do!

What am I working on now?
My current quilting project is the Chateau Hexagon quilt, you can see from the crease marks that I have been ignoring it lately.  I must get back to it!
I wanted to challenge myself with my knitting so I am working on my very first shawl.  Thankfully with the long trip to Napier last weekend I had plenty of knitting time so I am getting quite close to finishing.
As for my wardrobe, I am starting to think of spring and summer.  First up is a black skirt which was actually part of my winter planning that I didn't get to.  Then I have a few fabrics I bought in the beginning of the year waiting to be made up into some summer tops.  

Now, rather than passing the blog hop onto three friends, I saw a different idea at Sew Useful Designs:  I am passing it onto YOU if you'd like to participate!  I'd love to learn more about you, just answer the four questions and post about them on next Monday the 6th October.  And please let me know if you decide to participate, I would love to come and read your post. Wendy xx

Monday, 22 September 2014

A weekend away

Oh, it's been more like winter than spring here lately. In the weekend we traveled 4 hours each way to Napier to attend a family wedding.  Thankfully I bought my latest knitting which helped the time pass.  It was a pretty wedding but unfortunately outside so we were rather frozen by the end.  Sunday dawned brighter so we had a look around the city before traveling home, Napier is such a pretty spot.
We made the most of time with family and got some up to date family photos, Josh wanted one that showed that he is now the tallest!
The wedding was just the push I needed to finish my Bellatrix blazer.  I had previously made a muslin and had started the real version, taking my time trying to get the best finish I could.  Normally I make the medium size but realised as I started sewing I had cut the small.  Thankfully it fits perfectly with just the sleeves being a tiny bit short.  I made the blazer exactly as per the pattern and it was a surprisingly easy make, even the welt pockets went together easily which I think is credit to the great instructions.  The outer fabric is a cotton polyester mix with an embossed pattern and the lining is silk. The cost was about $97.00 which I think is pretty good for a tailored blazer.
I also got a bit carried away and sewed my dress using Simplicity 1803.  The fabric was a summer buy from Spotlight and is a cotton silk blend I got for $21.00.  I made size 14 with some alterations: removed darts from back bodice, added 6" to length and removed fullness from the skirt at the side seams.  I did french seams throughout and used interfacing on the facings, the zip edges and the hems.  This really helped the fabric behave.  I'm not sure about this dress though, I think perhaps it looks a bit young although I do like it with the blazer.
And finally, I have also finished my Myrna cardigan which goes with the dress.  This is a pretty pattern and a quick easy make.  Now I just need some warmer weather.  Wendy xx

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Spring

Charlie in the middle with her two friends, Amberley and Karen
Spring has truly arrived and the garden is starting to look it's prettiest.  In typical spring fashion we are having a mixture of sunshine and rain. We make the most of the sunshine and have managed some gardening; weeding and planting for me, pruning and mulching for Paul.
Oranges are delicious and plentiful at the moment and a recipe I keep making is Never Fail Orange Cake which I found here.  It is easy to make and has been very popular in our house.
I'm playing catch up with blogging again and am finally posting a photo of Charlie at her banquet.  All the girls looked beautiful and they had a wonderful time.
Josh's quilt is finished and finally in use on his bigger bed; at 6'2" he really needed it.  I haven't managed to get very good photos but you get the idea J  It was quilted by my quilting class leader in an all over pattern of leaves and has a nice masculine look I think which is what I was hoping for.
And finally, I was very fortunate to win Susan's giveaway recently and love the cross stitch pincushion she made and the lovely bundle of fabric. My photo does not really do justice to the pincushion, it is really beautiful, thanks Susan!  Wendy xx

Sunday, 24 August 2014

August


August has almost come and gone and this is my first post for the month!  Life with two teenagers seems to fly by at a rapid pace.  It has been in my mind often to blog a post but have never quite got the photos (and myself) organised.  So here is a catch-up of some August things: one of the major tasks we completed was doing up the piano stool and the woodbox that we had been gifted.  Paul did all the painting and we did the upholstery together, using a laminated cotton for durability.  I am really happy with how they look especially when I compare them now with the 'before' photos.  I must thank Julie for her helpful advice and paint recommendation J.  
Josh had requested some gloves so I finally finished them for him.  They are not my best knit, I think they look quite rough but he didn't notice and is getting lots of wear out of them.  Once they were finished I started a cardy for myself in a gorgeous blue.  I do find knitting easier to fit in if I am feeling tired or busy and when we are travelling about it is great to have in the car.  My clothes sewing has slowed down despite my plans.  I would like to make myself a jacket but have only got as far as making the muslin which you can see on my dress form.
In between times Charlie had her school banquet and looked beautiful all dressed up.  Well, that's enough of a catch up, next time I will show you Charlie in her dress and Josh's finished quilt!  Wendy xx

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Gift making

A special nieces 20th birthday called for a special gift.  I wanted it to be handmade as she has just made her first dress.  I decided this zippered pouch would be handy to store her sewing/crafting supplies.  The pattern is from Sewing Room Secrets and was an excellent pattern to follow, even the zip was easy to install following the instructions.  The pattern suggests covering a notebook to match so I did and embroidered an 'M' in the corner.  I gave them to Maddi today and she seemed very happy with them.
Our trip to Taupo last week was a two hour drive so I had a knitting project with me to pass the time.  I made the Skeppe hat again, this time for my boss as she loved the one I had made for myself here.  I do love this pattern and it looked really good on Cath, here Charlie has been my reluctant model!! Wendy xx