Thursday, September 18, 2014

Raffle quilt for the Steiner school fair.

The Steiner school fair is coming up soon
and they asked me if I would make a quilt to raffle.
Of course I said yes! I used some low volume fabrics
and a handful of lovely scraps that Cat gave me.

The theme of the fair is woodlands,
and so Shenleigh quilted it with this pattern of swirls and leaves.
I used some of my favourite fabrics in here.
It makes for a very restful quilt that hopefully will 
appeal to a wide range of people. 

We are really enjoying Steiner school.
We've tried lots of different education options
over the last 16 years, and we learned early one that not all schools
are created equal!

But the structure and routine of the Steiner way
really suits our younger children,
and we hope that it will continue to be a place for then to grow
until they finish high school. 

To take these photos we popped down to see the last of the graffiti house 
before it all comes down. The whole house was covered in graffiti,
inside and out. It was amazing.

I just have to bind this one and it can go off to school.

Great to tick another job off the list.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Yesterday while I was sitting at Uni,
Clare messaged me at said: 
"Would you please give me your three best tips for a
beginner who wants to start a scrap quilt! x"

I thought for a while and wrote back:
1. Anything cut small enough goes together so don't stress about matching
2 Just do it
3. Just do it!!

We messaged back and forth for a bit and I suggested Katy's famous Scrap Vomit

I said, I have a bunch of scraps (of course)
and I haven't made a scrap vomit this year
so I'll do one as well and we can encourage each other!

And then I thought, what the heck!
maybe some other folks want to join in.
We can all encourage each other!!

A scrap quilt is my favourite quilt to make. 
I made all of the quilts in this post last year just in snippets of time
before breakfast in the mornings.
I made other quilts too, that wasn't all I did
plus I'm studying and have a family to love.

What I'm saying is, you don't have to have lots of time to do this.

It really helps if you leave your sewing machine set up somewhere,
even on top of your bedroom drawers 
or a corner of the kitchen bench. Just so you can sew a few seams
when you have a spare minute!!

So I think we will start next week.
This week's task is to drag out all your scraps and odds and ends of fabric
and press it and if you have time start cutting 2 1/2" squares.

So what do you think?? keen??
want to join in?? Clare and I are going to do it anyhow.
I think we will use the tag #scrappyquilt on Instagram
If anyone wants to make us a fancy button, we would like that
but otherwise lets just do it.

We can easily get this done before Christmas,
would make an awesome present for someone!!

Also, by the way, Congratulations to Jennifer and Prudence
who won a copy of Imagine quilts and a fabric bundle respectively.
These lovely ladies have been contacted and I'll get their parcels off to them shortly.

Edit: Oh what about this for a button??
Save for your blog or repost on Instagram

A [true] story about surprises and joy...

Six years ago we unexpectedly fell pregnant.
It felt like the worst thing in the world to happen to us.
We were in a terrible place financially 
(think GFC, it effects small business too)
and our relationship was rocky to say the least.

Whatever way we looked at it, 
we could not see how this was a good thing.

We were headed into the rocky teenage years
with our eldest two (and man they were rocky)
and at the time we were waiting to hear if Reuben 
had epilepsy or a brain tumour (it was epilepsy).

To say that we were upset, was an understatement.
And nine months didn't help at all.
It was a horrid roller coaster.

In fact, as I was being wheeled into theatre 
to have this baby, this baby that we were so scared to have;
I said: "this is a bad idea". 

But then they pulled out the baby and wrapped her up
and popped a hat on her wee head
and laid her on my chest, and I looked at this wee thing,
and I fell instantly, head-over-heels in love.

And then everything else worked out ok.

I had to go back to work when she was eight weeks old,
and lay off staff and discuss with our accountant whether we should wind up the business or not.
Like I said, it was grim. But each night we came home to our family
and our sweet sweet baby, and it was all ok.

Five years on and we just can't imagine life without her.
In every way she has enriched our lives and 
we could not be more grateful. It is amazing.
I know it sounds soppy, but it's true. We love all our children dearly,
Annie-Rose is easy to love.

Occasionally I hear of someone who falls pregnant
and thinks it is the end of the world,
and I know that feeling.

I know what it is like to stress and worry and wonder how it will all work out.
David and I have been there, done that.
I won't lie, it's a hard hard thing to go through.

It might not be a new baby, it might be something completely different,
life doles out unexpected things in unexpected fashion to all of us at times,
it can seem like the worst thing in the world.

But I promise, that if you open your heart to possibility,
hold on to hope and hang in there, what seems like the worst thing in the world,
can actually be the most amazing gift.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review: Imagine Quilts [plus a giveaway]

My sweet friend Dana has written this beautiful book called Imagine Quilts.
I first met Dana when she gave away a quilt waaaay back in 2008.
At that point I was amazed and inspired by her generosity,
(I remember crying when I watched the video of some lucky person getting in).
I think that Dana's act of outrageous giving ignited something in my own heart
and showed me the possibility of sharing love in this way.

By that stage I had been blogging for three years,
and my life had taken a few unexpected turns (ah, Hello Annie-Rose)
but the world was opening up with lots of crafty folks starting blogs.
I've pretty much read every word Dana has written since then
and I count her as a friend. She continues to inspire me.

Dana is one of the cool kids and I was amazed and honoured when she asked me to 
review her shiny brand-new book.
I've always liked the quilts that Dana makes so I was excited to read her book.

As soon as I saw this quilt, I HAD to make it.
I loved the simplicity of it. The instructions were clear
and I easily made four of these pinwheels (one is now a cushion for Reuben).

One of the things that I noticed about the quilts is that they have quite a lot of
background space, and while it is beautifully quilted in the book,
I wondered how they would look if you didn't have access to
a long arm quilting machine.

So I decided that before I reviewed the book,
I would quilt as much of the quilt as possible by hand
just to see how it looked and so that I could review the book
with a clear conscience.

Good timing, I had to watch the first season of the Newsroom
for my Media Audiences paper,
and so I spent a couple of happy afternoons hand quilting
and watching the Newsroom!

I'm happy to report that it is looking lovely,
I still have a long way to go with the quilting,
but that's fine, I know it is going to turn out beautiful.

The book is filled with quilts that are beautiful in their simplicity,
and their originality. I really love the whale. I think I have to make that sometime.
It would look amazing in vintage sheets, just saying. 

It's a great book and I recommend it. Thanks Dana for entrusting me with a copy.
Now luckily for you, I have a digital copy of the book to giveaway
plus this delicious bundle of fabric also to giveaway.

I can't believe i have to give it away,
it's cruel to send me fabric and not let me keep it!!!
It's called Playdate by David Walker and I wish I didn't have to part with it.

There are a few ways that you can enter below...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Catnap in Triton Cove....

So remember a couple of weeks ago when I started this quilt?
Yes well now it is completely finished and I love it!

It began a month or two ago when I was buying a text book on Amazon
and this fell into my shopping cart.
Actually at the time I didn't realise it was quite a new release,
I just remembered seeing it on John's blog.

I've been trying pretty hard not to buy fabric this year,
but just to use what I have (that's failed a bit lately)
and I remembered my very precious stash of Catnip fabric.

I think it might be the first time that I've only used one range
in a quilt, usually I'm more of a fan of mixing things up.
I didn't use the complete range, but just the brighter ones (of course).

Anyway I made this quilt for no reason whatsoever,
just for fun. 

It felt good. I forgot that was ok.
And I'm going to keep it. That is ok too.

It's enormous. I'm standing on tiptoes stretching my arms as far as possible
to hold this thing up.  I love how this wall makes it look so small!

So there it is. A fun quilt, just for fun.
I love it. I'm pretty sure I'll use this pattern again
because it's so simple, even an idiot I can work it out.

Tell me what you have been doing for fun lately,
here at the bottom of the globe it is spring,
and you can feel the possibility in the air!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Love you man...

The Edge radio station has been running a competition called  'Love You Man'
The plan was for best mates to compete for the opportunity to marry each other 
and go to the Rugby World Cup in the UK.
I usually have the Edge on in the car
and so I've kinda been listening and thinking about marrying your best friend.
I realise that a lot of people are scandalised about the fact that
its a competition to get married and maybe cheapens marriage, 
and this post is not about the rights and wrongs of that.

In a country where one third of marriages end in divorce,
clearly we still have a lot to learn about love.
I've learned a lot about love myself since that day in 1993
when as a 23 year old I went to a meeting
and was told that David Robertson was coming to the meeting
 and that we were going to get engaged.

I won't lie, it hasn't been smooth sailing for the last 22 years,
sometimes it's even been down right terrible.
Relationships are just jolly hard work
and relationships between two flawed human beings?? 
Just asking for trouble!!

In fact I stitched this quilt at a time when I didn't actually know
if we were going to make it. I'm sure anyone whose been in a relationship
will have been there if they are honest.

Times when you wonder why you are together,
and what the hell is love anyhow!

This morning I listened to Matt and Travis
as they proposed to each other.  You can listen here from 58 minute mark.
I thought you could do a lot worse than promise what those two promised,
in fact it would probably better for more of us if we just
promised to be there for "whatever life throws at us".

The thing is, no matter how you define love,
you gotta like the person you going to live with for the rest of your life.
Ok, maybe you won't like Every Single Thing about them,
we are all flawed human beings right?
So there's probably going to be half a dozen things that annoy the s*** out of you,
but on the whole you have to like your other half. 

You have to like some of the same things,
you got to like being together, just hanging out,
you have to like them in your personal space.
You have to be able to trip over their stuff and laugh at their jokes.

But the most important thing is that you have to be ok
with the messy bits. I liked the way that Matt and Travis acknowledged
that they would be there for each other for the crappy stuff.
That's the stuff most of us sweep under the carpet
and pretend isn't gonna happen. 

I like the reminder just to love you man.
You could do a lot worse I'd say,
than commit to love someone just as they are.

What a novel idea!!!!