Saturday, 6 February 2016

Progress on the stitching front

Of late, I've been really enjoying pulling out my stitching once the kids are in bed. As such, Sofia's quilt (Market Folk, from Cinderberry Stitches' book "Cotton Floss") has been making some serious progress... to the point that I've now finished all the stitchery!

I first mentioned this project in February last year, but other than a few stitches here and there it didn't get a lot of attention while I was trying to motivate myself to finish Alex's quilt. But since I finished that project, I've had so much fun stitching these cute blocks.

I've got a few fabrics selected but may need to visit my local sewing store soon to pick out some more... any excuse hey?! Next step for this project is piecing, then quilting it, and finishing if off. Can it be done before February next year? Here's hoping ;)

Until next time x

Friday, 5 February 2016

My boy starts school

This week my little man started "big" school. He's been so excited for this next stage, and has settled into the new routines really well.

As you begin your formal education my Alex, I wish for you so much: I hope you embrace this new adventure and enjoy learning new things every day, making new friendships along the way. I know that you will start to discover the subjects that you love, and I will try and help you with the subjects that challenge you. Find what you're passionate about; explore the things that excite you; ask questions about the things you don't understand; challenge what doesn't make sense.
Enjoy this journey my little man, I know you will do well!

Until next time x

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Another one to cross off the UFO list

I had hoped to finish this one last year also but didn't quite manage it. But finally I can cross this one off my unfinished list:

I started this "Hope, Love and Friendship" stitchery by Rosalie Quinlan years ago... I've been trying to remember whether it was before or after Alex was born - yes, it's been on the go for that long!!

As it only used one colour thread, it was the project I'd take along to stitching groups or on a plane, or just pick up and do a few stitches while waiting for an appointment. I would usually only manage a few stitches and then it would get put away again, sometimes for months at a time.

I love the amount of detail that this pattern has... from the chain stitch required for the bow to the design treasures hidden within such like the little bird almost lost in the middle.

The question now is, what to do with the finished product!? I had a few ideas along the way but now that it's finally done I'm not really sure. Suggestions welcome!

Until next time x

Sunday, 17 January 2016

It only took nearly 4 years...

It's done! Can you believe it?! I finally finished the quilt I started for Alex back when he was one. I started cutting fabrics for this project back in April 2012 after having searched high and low for the best pattern for my baby boy, and put the final stitches in during December 2015 (and yes, only just getting around to blogging about it).

Australian designer Anni Downs' pattern "A Boy's Story" was perfect, and I decided to stay fairly true to the colours she had used. By the time I was ready to put a backing on the quilt, Anni Downs had released a fabric range based on this pattern - so of course that was the natural choice for both the backing and binding. (On the label, 'Mami' is mummy is spanish for those curious!)

The applique, piecing and stitcheries took awhile. Lots happened in my life while making this quilt (a move overseas, a move back to Australia, another baby, going back to work, a further move interstate...) but let's face it, I also just got bored of it at times! The amount of times I said I'd finish it by a certain date and then I'd have to move the goalpost again and again.

I took Anni's recommendation in the pattern and hand-quilted this project, and I love the effect. I'm really happy with how this quilt has ended up. Alex also loves it which is the main thing!

So happy to finally have this one finished and actually on Alex's bed :)

Until next time x

Saturday, 2 January 2016

And another year begins...

I've been meaning to update my blog for quite a few weeks now, but time has continued to escape me. And now 2015 has ended and a new year officially commenced... How did that happen?!

The last couple of months of 2015 were busy, just as they are for most people with shopping and Christmas preparations! I had a few stitching finishes that I am yet to share, a trip to Sydney with the kids for a Christmas concert, a great Christmas, and then a much needed getaway with my wonderful partner.

I've been doing more and more mountain biking, which has been giving me an incredible sense of achievement (even when I fall!) however this has also chewed into stitching time... or, combined with work and also the kids forever keeping me busy and on my toes, made me simply too tired in the evenings to pick up a project to work on. Our latest getaway included a couple of nights mountain biking at Mt Buller... such an incredible way to see amazing parts of Australia. I will aim to write another post about that however!

Back to my stitching finishes that I haven't yet shared...

In August, I gifted a finished quilt for my Dad (it was supposed to be for his previous birthday 12 months earlier but I had only completed the quilt top at that stage!). Going for a simple 'post and rail' patchwork design for this quilt, I predominantly used Lynette Anderson's Hollyhock Cottage range of fabrics. I found it really hard to find fabrics that were right for this project, but found the colours in this range perfect for my dad!

For Christmas I whipped up some quick gifts for the kids... a 'pouch' style bag for Sofia for her to carry around favourite little toys. I debated putting a flap on this bag, however decided not including one would make it easier for her to get things in and out :)

Alex has been increasingly enjoying dressing up and his latest craze has been around the Ninja Turtles. So I decided to make the four different coloured masks, plus a bag to store them in. The eyes were a definite challenge and I'm still not happy with them. I think if I make too many more masks I'll have to perfect a button-hole type stitch to get a smoother finish.

I made a mistake though... apparently I should have used dark blue as light blue is the girl Ninja - so that is now for Sofia to use (so Alex tells me). I had no idea there was a girl Ninja who wore light blue, but there you have it. Apparently I'm now making a fifth mask for him to have the complete set!

And can you believe it... (drum roll please)... I've finished my 'A Boys Story' quilt for Alex!! I'm yet to take pictures but as soon as I do, I will share. I'm also on the verge of finishing a Rosalie Quinlan stitchery that I've had going for many years.

On reflection, my 2015 year of stitching had a few finishes, but mainly of smaller projects (although finishing A Boy's Story is a big win I think!). 2015 also saw a few unexpected and big changes - namely my move back to Canberra and changing of jobs. My partner and I have been working hard bringing together our new 'blended' family, particularly given his children are a fair bit older than my two. For 2016, I'm hoping for a relatively easy transition into some new routines (Alex starts school this year!) and creating some stability after so much moving around. I'm looking forward to more fun times with my wonderful family, mountain biking adventures, and also some quiet moments to be able to stitch.

What are your hopes and plans for 2016?

Happy new year x

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

From jeans to shorts

Alex has gone through so many pairs of jeans this winter... either they've suddenly become far too short as he grows taller and taller, or he's worn through the knees. 

I've been keeping the jeans, some to put away for Sofia but as they all still fit Alex around the waist, I figured I could 'upcycle' some of the jeans into shorts. With another public holiday here in Canberra I managed to find some time to give the project a go... 

A few cuts, ironing of the seam and run under the sewing machine, and wa-la... four pairs of shorts!

Three of the pairs are just a plain finish, however one pair were a bit too torn around the knee so I folded the seem outwards instead. I quite like the finished look!

Alex seemed pretty happy with his new shorts, and as it doesn't mean an outlay for yet more clothing (yet), so am I!! Hopefully they last him the summer :)

Until next time x

Thursday, 1 October 2015

A trip to the coast

We’ve gone from driving 2 ½ minutes to get to the beach to driving 2 ½ hours! But over the Canberra long weekend, it made perfect sense to make of the most of beautiful warm weather and do a day trip to the coast.

The kids had such a great time. There were a bit tentative to begin with, but after awhile were splashing around, exploring, and running up and down the beach!

In a clearing just up from the beach there were a group of young kangaroos. I was amazed to watch Alex not only go and explore, but to also see him confident enough to approach them and even pet them.

It was great to share the day with my partner and his teenage sons. Between swimming, sunbaking, meeting some of my partner’s friends, and generally relaxing, it was such an enjoyable and fun day.

Hopefully we'll manage to get to the coast again a few times this summer!

Until next time xx