Thursday, 22 January 2015

Jumping from project to project!

Can't seem to decide at the moment what project to work on... I think it's me itching to start something new but not letting myself until I have something old finished! Also, I can't decide what new project to start... Oh the indecision.

As a result, I've been picking up quite a few projects, working on them for a few days then moving onto another. Some evenings have been quite cool so I've been hand-quilting Alex's quilt...

I have another quilt (that I'm yet to share with you!) that's waiting patiently to be machine quilted... It's been pinned but that's about as far as I've got with that one. 

I've also done a bit of cross-stitching. I started this project back in 2013 and am finally in the third of four houses!! It's Dimensions "Seaside Cottages"...

I then felt like doing some stitchery against so pulled out yet another unfinished project... "A Gardner's Journal" by Anni Downs, started in 2012 but put aside for kiddie projects... I've managed to finish another of the stitch writes in this one:

I also got the scrapbooking bug and spent a day or so doing a couple of pages in the kiddie albums... As I so rarely do up a page I'm incredibly far behind!

I'm heading off on a final trip away before resuming full-time work and then induction with work is being interstate, so I'm hoping to get time later today to prep some hand stitching for the plane :) 

Until next time xx

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A quick birthday gift...

Last night we headed off to the birthday party of an adorable 7 year old... a second-cousin of the kids who has recently relocated back to Tassie with her beautiful mum. I was trying to think of what we could gift to her, and I probably should have decided somewhat earlier than I did... but me being me sent off a text at 2.30 yesterday afternoon asking her mum what her favourite colour was. "Pink!" was the response, so I quickly got supplies out and starting stitching and sewing. I figured a simple little bag would be ideal for a little girl (what girl doesn't like bags?!), but again, me being me had to add a quick stitchery to the front as a pocket. 

The bag itself ended up being around 7" square. As I wasn't following a pattern I was just cutting fabric to the size that looked good! If I were to make something like this again I'd either do shorter handles, or just one longer handle. I didn't think I had time to fiddle around with a zipper but I'd consider adding one if I made something like this again, provided I give myself more time!

The stitchery on the front a little angel I traced from Anni Down's "My Angel Garden" table topper, a pattern I've had for a few years now but haven't had the chance to make. As with all of Anni's designs, I just love this little angel - I thought it was so cute and perfect for a little girl! I made this little stitchery in record time and then converted it into a little pocket for the front of the bag. 

She seemed a very happy little girl with all her presents, and the kids had a great time playing until well past their bed times!!

Until next time xx

Sunday, 4 January 2015

That time of year...

I love this time of year, full of contemplation, reflection and also looking forward to the promise of what will be in the year to come... and mostly beautiful sunny and warm weather (if you're in the southern hemisphere!).

2014 ended a whole lot better than it started... the challenges I had faced (and shed many a tear over) either became easier to deal with, or became resolved. The kids are growing up, I've secured work, my house is slowly becoming much more organised... I'm moving forward, and feeling happier than I could ever have imagined.

The goals I had for 2014 I managed to accomplish - including the stitching ones, on the most part! On the stitching front I managed a total of 12 finishes (my goal was 10) which I've summarised on my new tab 'Finished projects 2014'. Many of them were gifts for special occasions, so I didn't end up working on as many of my older projects as I had aimed for. I'm really happy however that Alex's "A Boy's Story" quilt top is complete, it's been pretty much 3 years in the making! Now to quilt it... hopefully that doesn't take another three years.

So what will 2015 bring? I start full-time work in 4 weeks, so I think the stitching will be somewhat limited this year. I want this year to be a good one, filled with happy times, positivity, embracing opportunities and change. I've got a new job to look forward to, and I want to make sure that my home life is as organised as possible so that I can get plenty of quality time in with the kids, get some exercise in, a few trips away maybe... and of course time to sew, craft, and quilt :)

If I get between 10 and 12 items completed this year I'd be pretty happy, and I'd like to see at least 2 UFO's finished. I think going into this year, if I make too many more rules then I'll quickly run into failure! I want to be a bit more relaxed in 2015 :)

What are your goals or plans for 2015?

Happy new year and until next time xx

Monday, 29 December 2014

Finishes and the end of another year

I mentioned in my last post a couple more gifts I finished off ready for Christmas... now that they have been gifted I can share with you!

For my aunt I decided to make a handbag... I've had this Melly & Me 'Black Forest' pattern for a couple of years now, and finally decided to give it a go. I must admit, while the instructions were easy to follow, the bag proved more difficult than I anticipated due to the stiffness of the interfacing. I persevered and was really happy with the result.

I joked to Mum while I made it that it might possibly be the first and only handbag I make... but I might have to make one more for myself!!

I also made a smaller bag, a 'mug bag' for my Mum. She goes to a stitching group each week and I thought it would be perfect for her to take her mug in. This is a small pattern by Anni Downs and comes with the pre-printed linen...

Mug Bag, designed by Anni Downs, stitched by Natasha Walter

It was a really simple pattern to follow and I managed to finish it fairly quickly :)

Alex is already hanging out for next Christmas, although I'm happy to take it a bit slower for a while! The kids had a great day, they were spoiled with so many gifts and there was much yummy food to be eaten...

With only a couple of days left of 2014 I think the finishes above will be the last for this year... I'll be too busy enjoying the festivities to stitch! Tasmania is a great place to be at this time of the year, we have a big food festival (Taste of Tasmania) and all the yachts that have completed the Sydney-to-Hobart race lining the docks.

If I don't blog again until 2015, have a happy and safe new year xx

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Gifts for the kids...

It's been a busy few days, with me taking every opportunity to get behind my sewing machine as possible!

I've managed to finish off two projects for the kids as well as a couple of projects for others in the family... But will have to share those once they've been gifted just in case!!

For Alex I decided to go for a superhero cape, plus a matching one for his favourite soft toy, Bunny. I didn't use a pattern for this one, just made it up as I went. The 'super Alex' letter A on the back was also designed by myself, with some input from my dad. I appliqu├ęd the design using blanket stitch and matching threads.

I love the brightness of the lining fabric I chose :) hoping he likes it too. 

For Sofia I've spruced up a hand-me-down... I'm giving her a wooden doll's bassinet that was mine as a girl, but I've done up new bedding. Mattress, pillow and mini quilt... All in pink with fairy fabric!

The bassinet wasn't the easiest thing in the world to wrap I must say!! 

Looking forward to seeing the kids' face expressions tomorrow morning. 

Merry Christmas and until next time x

Monday, 15 December 2014

New books

While I was in Canberra I managed to visit a couple of my favourite quilting stores (and more than once!). Fabric was bought, as were a couple of small patterns, and I was even tempted by a couple of books...

Last year I made each of the kids a Melly&Me stuffed toy and her latest book 'Fun of the Fair' has been tempting me for some time. Picking it up, it quickly became apparent it was just too cute to put down!

The second book is by a Allison Harris from cluck cluck sew - an American patchwork designer whose blog I've been following for about a year now and whose modern and easy designs I've been increasingly falling in love with. In fact, the disappearing 9-patch quilt I made Alex earlier in the year was based on a tutorial from her site. I'm looking forward to giving a few of these patterns a go :)

Now that I'm back home and back with my beloved sewing machine I have a few Christmas projects I want to get stuck into... Plus I still need to get the tree up!!

Until next time x

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Journeying home

It's been a great three weeks holiday in Canberra, although somewhat tiring running after the kids... Particularly as it seems Sofia is working on perfecting her squeal and Alex is constantly keen on annoying her (which of course makes her squeal louder)... Any tips on how to nip this issue in the bud would be greatly appreciated!!

I'm currently on the ferry crossing the Bass Strait heading back towards Tasmania, with a glass of sparkling to relax after a long day driving. It's nice to stop and reflect on my time away :) while I didn't get all that much stitching done, it's been great catching up with some wonderful friends from when I used to live in Canberra, and also making some new ones! I got a chance to go mountain biking on a couple of occasions, and also managed a day trip out to the fabulous "Christmas Barn" in a small town called Bredbo about an hour out of Canberra. 

I think I was told about this amazing Christmas store just before Alex was born and is where both my tree and many of my decorations have been bought from. They have so many beautiful decorations it makes it tough to pick just a few!

Can't wait to get home and start decoratingn my home and get into the Christmas spirit!!

Tomorrow is another half day or so driving to get home, stopping in on family and a scrumptious raspberry farm/cafe on the way!

Until next time xx