Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Quilting Gallery 5th Birthday Blog Hop Winner

I joined in the blog hop a few days ago.  There were so many sites to check out that I didn't make my
way through the whole list.  There is so much talent out there, wow!  I've had an email from Karen at Quilting, Losing, and Tea    that I am her International winner.    I've been checking out her site and she is a talented quilter.  She loves to check out op shops too. We would get along great if we lived closer to each other.  I will be looking forward to getting some fun mail.  Thank you, Karen!  

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Stitching and Fresh Food :)

Hi everyone,

There has been some stitching, gardening, and baking over the past couple days.  First up, a Christmas present for a nice friend that helps me out now and then. It will be a present for his first
first new car.  So far, it is just a quilted FQ.  Will post another pic when finished.

De and I have a tradition where we make each other bags for birthdays and dollies for Christmas.  Have also been working on that, but can't show that secret sewing!

A friend mowed for me last week, so I made him banana bread muffins to say thank you.

Since the oven was going to be on anyway, I made myself a loaf of bread.  While the
bread was baking, I picked some tomatoes and repotted a few things.

The next day, I had a very tasty lunch.  I picked some sweet basil, then added that to a bowl of bread, tomatoes, feta cheese, olive oil, and pepper.

Mmmmmm.........can't you just picture how yummy it was?

Ok, last bite,  time to get busy again!    debbie



Friday, 14 December 2012

A few goodies to share

Last Sunday, we travelled again to The Wishing Well Cafe for a Blogger meet up.  It was a lovely day all around.  The  weather was gorgeous, the food delicious, the ladies chatty and pleasant.  There were a few new faces this time and a few faces from before that were missed.  Show and Tell was great. There is a lot of talent in this group.  It was just a nice day all around.  I met Peg and Dale too:)

This week I finished a couple of small gifts for a nice lady I visit once a month for a service.  They are simple fabric boxes with a small amount of quilting.  She does not sew at all and she was SUPER impressed by what I made, much more than anyone who sews would be...but anyway, it was sweet to watch her open them.  Here is what I made for her:

On the way home, I stopped at my favourite Vinnies.  I think this was my best day ever there. Here is what I brought home with me:

A large handmade doily,  $1

2 smaller doilies, 50c each,

A heart shaped cushion with Battenburg Lace,

Two white gauze and one yellow flannel baby blankets in pristine condition that will be used for other purposes, 50c each,   and a cake pan and colander,  all like new.  Grand total was $11.

Once I was home from these errands, I watered some flowers.  My mother always had Portulaca aka Moss Rose when I was little, and I have them every year now too. They love full sun and minimal water.

    This weekend I am hoping to stay in and do a bit more sewing.  debbie

Friday, 7 December 2012

Ready for Sunday

Sunday will be a much welcome "Brissie Bloggers" meet up in Cleveland, QLD.  We had a very  lovely time  and some yummy  food at our last meet. It was so nice to make some new friends.  There will be others going this time that  I have not met yet, so I will be  happy to make more new friends on the day.  It is also good therapy for whatever life is bringing us at the moment.

I have not sewn a single stitch this week. I woke up Monday with a sore foot, then Tuesday it was much worse so I made an urgent appt with the Dr.   The medicine I got for that made me violently ill. I've lost 2kg this week already. Today I am feeling a little  better and I might even sew a bit tonight.  I know dear De has had a super  crazy week with work and she is SO  ready for Sunday too.

I've also had contact with two different  Aussie government agencies this week. Both contacts went ok.   One was in person, the other by phone.  I had a Dr appt and a Dentist appt too.  Sunday Fun Day? Yes, please!!

I hope your week has been good! debbie

Friday, 30 November 2012


I finally finished this curtain for my bathroom.  It sure wasn't the most fun project, but I am happy with the final result.  I found this curtain fabric to be a challenge to work with as it is slippery and frays easily.  I can't wait to get back to my lovely quilt cotton fabrics! Here are a few pics.

This window is on a north facing wall and gets blazing sun in the afternoon.   I'm hoping the room won't get quite so hot now.   debbie

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Washing the Pips

This is one of my all time favourite quilts. The charm squares are 5" Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey.
The white squares are bleached muslin that I cut myself from yardage. Today is a pretty day. The sun is out and there is a nice sea breeze, a  perfect day  for washing a quilt. Here are the Pips drying on my deck. This quilt measures a very generous lap size. I made this about a year ago and this is the first washing.

The red check border fabric is from the 80's. I remember my grandma made an applique apple  quilt for my second son and this red check was left over.  He was born in 1987.  It goes well with the Pips though.

The backing was a lucky vintage sheet find from my local Vinnie's Boutique. It is super soft cotton.
It looks "wrinkly and tucky" here, but there are actually no tucks.  My machine quilts beautifully!

I pieced this quilt on my basic model Janome. I machine quilted it on my other Janome 6600P.  I prefer NOT to prewash my fabric before quilting because I think texture after washing  is one of the best parts of quilting! I believe the more texture, the better!  I used a lightweight batting that is actually  made from recycled water bottles.  I have made 3 quilts and several table runners  so far using this batting and I am very happy with it. I use this quilt almost every day, no matter if it is winter or summer.   Pips just make me happy :)  debbie

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


I bought a ruffler attachment for one of  my sewing machines  a couple of  months ago. It works nicely  for a few inches, then jams the machine. It has given me plenty of grief and no instructions came with it so I have not had any idea of what settings I  needed.  Which one you buy has to do with if you have a high shank or a low shank.  I am lucky to have two machines here, one a high shank and one a low shank. I have been sewing since the early 70s, and have always wanted a ruffler attachment. In the past, I have always made my ruffles the old fashioned way, with gathering stitches.

Today, I had a friend available to help me transport the machine and accessories so we could get things checked out. 
 The very nice lady
Cathy, at Northside Sewing Centre, tried to get it to work too and it was not working for her either.  The final outcome was that she swapped that ruffler out for another one.   In her test trials, the new ruffler made much less noise than the first one I bought and she said it seems to be working better too. I am tired tonight so I won't be trying it out,  but I am hoping to get familiar with the new and hopefully working well ruffler sometime tomorrow.  Have you had a hard time with the ruffler attachment?  Any advice is welcome because I love ruffles!!! debbie

Sunday, 18 November 2012


It's been stormy weekend here, complete with wind, rain, and small hail.  It was perfect stitching weather.

I worked on two WISPs.

This one is a border for a 9 patch quilt. The 9 patch part has been done for an unmentionable amount of time.  :)  I've made other quilts since then though.  I struggle with this because I am so slow at blanket stitching.

I find this type of stitching more fun.  I prefer Shabby Chic rather than Primitive, but this design is really cute.  It is coming along nicely.

I've also chopped a bunch of veggies and made a mix of them in small bags for the freezer, so it will be quick to make a pot of homemade soup.  I made homemade mayonnaise (it's quite easy to make at home) and potato salad too! I had tomatoes, celery, potatoes, and carrots that all needed to be used soon.  I had a busy but nice day and I hope you did too.   debbie

Friday, 16 November 2012

A Busy Day !/ FNSI time too!

Hi Everyone,
It's that time again, FNSI. Won't you join us? You can sign up here.

It's just after noon  and I am nearly ready for a nap.
I was woken at 4ish by the birds.  No chance of a sleep in where I live, for sure.
I've needed to do a shop for some necessities for some time now, so I showered early
and was out the door by 0730 so I would miss some of  the school traffic.
I found some good bargains today, mainly, batteries in multiple sizes : 9v, AAA, AA, all
on clearance nearly half price.  I found some beautiful mangoes too (they are in season now)And then there THEY were right in front of me......... Double Chocolate Raspberry Tim Tams.  Oh. my. goodness. I didn't know there
was such a thing... (not on special but came home with me anyway).
I  was lucky to find  specials on two of my favourite things....Doritos and green tea. YUM.
The docket says I saved $37 on special offers.  This makes me happy as my income is limited
these days and every little bit helps.
I bought a bag of potting mix so I can sort out some plants that need attention.
The tomatoes are doing well and I have even had enough to share with friends so that makes me happy too.
I came away with a fuel voucher for 15 cents off per litre too. I was pretty low on fuel and
it cost me $58 to fill up instead of the usual  $70 when I am that low. Happy!

I have several options for FNSI.  I have the cloth doll bed about 50% done. I also have a summer dress that is nearly done but needs a casing/ drawstring around the neck and a ruffle hem.
I have several stitcheries in various forms.
I've nearly finished the new curtain for my bathroom. It is hanging now but I won't be happy until
it has one more ruffle.
I need to make a start on De's Christmas dolly.  We have a tradition between us. Birthdays we make a bag, Christmas we make a dolly.  It's a lovely way to celebrate our friendship!
That's all for now and I hope you are having a good day too.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Anyone else having a Sew-In tonight?

I've just had a lovely day with dear De.   She helped me with a couple of things around the house, and then we went out for a very tasty lunch.  We went to the local Thai restaurant here in Brighton.  They are super nice there and the food was delicious!

We've both had a tough week, so we decided to have our own sew-in tonight.  It's the best therapy ever.  I am thinking of trying  a new to me old pattern for a dolly bed made of fabric  and De mentioned making more ruffles for a mini quilt. 

We would love to hear if you are joining us! Please let us know what you are making too.

debbie and De :)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

I didn't sleep so well...

Last month,  I posted this picture and story about how I was lying on the couch half asleep one night  when I looked up and spotted this up near the ceiling  by the light of the tv. 

I turned on all the lights, chased it with bug spray, and finally it gave up.
Yesterday morning,  I spotted this in the shower.  Well, this is what is left of it now.

I grabbed the closest aerosol....air freshener.... which didn't faze it, even trying the drowning method.  So, I grabbed the hairspray and saturated it.  By this time, I  was so distressed, I went to the kitchen to try to calm down and wait for the hairspray to dry.  Some minutes later, I went back to remove it and it was GONE!!  There was a sundress draped on the side of the tub, so I flicked it, and this creature came flying out of the tub across the floor straight for me.  I sprayed and sprayed more hairspray until there was a dinner plate sized area surrounding it, which finally stopped it.  I then started thinking, "hmm, I wonder if these are those famous "huntsman" spiders I have heard so much about".  
So, I "googled".  BIG mistake.   I found this  video on YOUTUBE, credit to LEOKIMVIDEO.
This guy has lots of spiders at his house and has posted lots of other spider videos, if you care to explore his world further :)
When I looked up "huntsman", it said they are common in my region, they come out when the weather starts to warm up, and they are super fast.  I've also heard they can be as big as dinner plates here in Australia. shivers!!! This 3 inches was more than big enough for me!!  I am presuming that's what these are...does anyone know for sure?  debbie

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Although I have lived in Australia since 2005, I am a native of  Texas, USA.  My parents were childhood sweethearts raised in New Jersey.  When I was a kid, we made car trips from wherever in the USA that my dad was stationed at the time via the US Air Force back  to New Jersey to visit relatives. I vividly remember my little brother getting a spanking for misbehaving on the steps of St Patricks Cathedral in New York City.  I remember when I was young and we visited the Empire State Building and there was lots of drama that day.  Someone was trying to jump! We all thought it was a movie being filmed, but it wasn't.  I remember being gobsmacked that the Statue of Liberty was GREEN in real life!!  Most of all, I remember the Boardwalk, a famous place to wander and eat and go on the rides.  I still have family in Edison, New Jersey, and extended family in the area too.  The photos on the news are painful to watch and I just hope everyone comes through ok.  hugs to all.   debbie

Monday, 29 October 2012

Lace Jars

Hi everyone,

Every now and then, dear De and I like to have a stitchy day.  We chat, eat, make stuff, and help each other get through life's challenges.  These days are always good for the soul.
A couple months back,  I spotted this photo on Connie's blog .  I showed it to De, and we decided to try making these instead of stitching that day.  (By the way, if you love pink, ruffles, roses, and all other things girly, plan to spend HOURS at Connie's blog :))

We both love to collect doilies from op shops, so that part was easy.  De had the glue, and I had some jars in the cupboards... We set things up on the deck at my house.
It was a fairly simple process..dilute the glue, drape the doily on the jar, paint on the glue, wait for it to dry.  Here they are drying, waiting for final decorating. I love recycling  :))

Friday, 19 October 2012

tiny, tiny, HUGE :| !!!

This is still mostly a sewing blog... but...couldn't resist sharing some pictures.
The tomato plant in the hangy bag thingy from my very first post is nearly done. There are still a few tomatoes left though, but they are ever so tiny!!  
Another  day I was looking for a ruler and heard this crunchy I had a closer look and there were these tiny little eggs!!  Now  I know they are gecko eggs, but I didn't at the time.  It's like I'm stuck in a weird time warp....tiny tomatoes, tiny eggs....Those are one inch markings on the ruler.

Then, a couple nights ago, I was lying on the couch, no lights on, other than the light of the tv.  For some reason, I looked up and saw something on the ceiling.  It wasn't the usual tiny little gecko friend either, it was HUGE!   So I got up, turned all the lights on, went to the other end of the house for the broom, blah blah blah......but first I took a picture!!  This creature is no longer with us.


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

No Sewing

Thanks for your  comments re: followers. I still can't see them more times than I can.
No sewing here for some days now. Life is really getting in the way.  I wish it was all
sunshine and rainbows so I can write a happy post, but right now, it isn't.  I will try to get myself sorted very soon! debbie

Saturday, 29 September 2012

I've lost my followers!

I am a new blogger, so I am still learning how this all works.  I added "followers" and it showed a picture of each follower. (grand total, 11!)  When I recently logged back on, I see it says "followers", but it no longer shows a little picture of each one.  I don't recall making any changes to this section. This am, I restarted my PC and also uninstalled the "followers" and then reinstalled.  It still is not showing the pictures as before. I want my blog to be like it was, showing a little picture of each follower.  Does anyone know how to fix this?  thanks in advance,    debbie

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Ironing Board Cover

Hi everyone,

Have you ever tried making your own ironing board cover?  It is really pretty easy to do, when you just use your old one as a pattern.  Here is my first attempt.  I used one fq (strawberry fabric) and the dots are yardage.  I also added some nice batting to replace the horrible foam it came with.    Here are a few pics:   

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Quilt From The Past

Hi Everyone,

No finishes today,  so I am posting a picture of a quilt I made a few years back.   This is a Dresden Plate quilt.  This block is traditionally done by needleturn, but I used Eleanor Burns' method.  She is the lady famous for the "Quilt in A Day" series.  Her directions are to make the plate, then sew it right sides together to iron on interfacing (I used plain muslin), then trim and turn the plate through the hole, then applique it to the block.  I covered each hole with a yoyo.  The center of each yoyo and nine patch has a button attached with floss. The main colours are navy, tan, olive green, and mustard.  There is a heart hand quilted in each corner of the plate blocks.  This quilt was made as a thank you for dear De.   You can click on the photo for a better look, if you like.      debbie

Saturday, 22 September 2012

A Very Fun Friday

Friday morning started with a message from dear De letting me know the sign up for FNSI was open.  This is my first time joining in the fun, although I have been following along  for awhile.  After I signed up,  I went over to De's and we went  here for morning tea and a lesson in how to make fabric flowers.

They are made by cutting out circles of fabrics that look like they might melt well, such as fine tulle, curtain lace, satin, etc.  You then hold the fabric over a candle flame and the heat either makes the edges curl beautifully, or catches it on fire.  Don't ask me how I know that :) Which fabrics work is really trial and error.  These will have a bit more ribbon or lace added  now that I am home and have access to more supplies. You can see more examples here .

Next, we went to the Endeavour store, which is an op shop. There I found two pretties!  First,

this lacy  white skirt.  It is a tiny little size 10 (I think that waist is smaller than that tho, seriously!), but each tier has a different kind of lace, and the bottom row is that gorgeous eyelet.  I think it was well worth the $9.95,  for all that gorgeous lace that will be used in future projects.

I have a few newborn size dolls at my house, so I am always on the lookout for cute little dresses at the op shops too.  This is my newest one.  It is the perfect shade of pink and has the cutest embroidery on the collar. Sweet!

Next, we went to this fabric store in Lawnton.  We were on a mission to find more fabrics that look like they would melt, haha.  There are two young ladies working there that are super friendly. Great customer service.  There was also this really nice little old lady that had brought in some machine embroidered blocks for a quilt, and she was asking for help with choosing background and border fabric.  De and I couldn't help ourselves and we were soon holding up bolts  to audition fabrics and help her pick!  The little old lady even gave me a hug for helping her.  So nice.  While there, I bought some pink tulle, because I've never had pink tulle, ever, along with a sparkly fabric that looked like it would melt (or burn) , and a piece of lace fabric to try as well.

For FNSI,  I planned to try again with the ruffler attachment  I recently bought. Arrgh!! I've given up for now and decided to make ruffles the old fashioned way until I can sort it out.  The ruffles are for a new curtain for my bathroom window.  Here it is before FNSI, about halfway  done.  I have done another 4 or 5 rows and will see how it looks tomorrow. 

It really was a most excellent day.  Thank you De, for inviting me.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Pincushion Story

This is the pincushion story.  A very average looking pincushion, it is
part of my life history and means so much to me.
Back in 1973,  I was 12 years old.  My Dad was serving in the military, and we
moved from Okinawa, Japan, to Minot, North Dakota.  We lived at  the military
base there in North Dakota, and not long after, a new family moved in two doors down.  There was
a daughter around my age that I became friends with.  That is another story, but for
now, the story is about my friendship with her mother named Barbara.  Barbara
made this pincushion for me all those years ago, and I still have it, use it and think
of her every single time I see it.  It is full of beautiful memories for me.

Barbara had seven children, so she had nine mouths to feed (really 10, because I
was at their house for a lot of meals).  Anyway, she sewed a lot, because she had  to
save wherever she could.  Money was tight with all those children.  She also cooked in
bulk and recycled everything, long before it was fashionable to do so.  I  still  blame her
for some of my hoarding--ummm  (recycling) tendancies.....

Barbara loved to make quilts, but she could sew other things too.    She  patiently taught  me how to trace a square on an old cereal box  to make a pattern for a patchwork block.  There was no such thing as a mat or
a rotary cutter.  We sat for hours and traced each block around our cardboard square, then cut
them all out.  Then we sewed each square together to make our quilts.  She also showed
me how to do gathers, buttonholes, and make clothes. It was early on that  she gave
me the gift of this pincushion.   It has been with me ever since, from North Dakota, to Oklahoma, to California,  Texas, and now here with me in Queensland, Australia.

We  met in 1973, and our friendship went strong till around 2000.   Somehow, life kept us together for most of that time, and we
lived near each other in 3 states:  North Dakota,  Oklahoma, California.

There was a place in the garment district of Los Angeles, California that we visited together often, and I don't think it was called the  "pound store", but that was our name for it.  We would spend hours there,
picking out LOTS of fabric,  much of it straight from the manufacturers.   We would carefully balance our pile of treasures to be weighed, because that is how we paid for the fabric.  To this day, I still have fabric from there in my stash.
At the time, we didn't know how to machine quilt.  We were both very prolific quilters though.    We made lots of quilts between us, and we helped each other when it came time to put them together.  We used to crawl around on our knees for hours doing the basting, then we tied the corner of each square with dmc floss or yarn.
Sadly, I lost contact with her some years ago, I think around 2000.   I hope to find her someday again.  Teaching me how to make quilts turned out to be her  lifelong gift to me.  Whenever I see that
little pincushion,  I remember her too.  

Monday, 17 September 2012

Thank you

I would like to thank Peg  for sending me all the new visitors. I promise I will post some more interesting pictures very soon.  I worked over the weekend, so I have not been back online for a couple days.  It was lovely to see all the new messages.  I noticed there are some from faraway places too.  Thank you for all of  your kind words.  It was like a big hug from the whole world :)   I will be checking out each blog in the messages  so I can get to know you too.  I find blogs very inspiring and I love to see what everyone else is making.  No pictures tonight, but in the next couple days I will post a picture and story about my favourite pincushion and why it is so special to me.   I will also post pictures of my current projects, in hopes that you might  be inspired too.

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Hi, I'm Debbie.  Welcome to my new blog.  Please bear with me as I am still (very) slowly  trying to figure this all out.  I am hopeful that you will also be able to see a "test" photo of  some of my tomatoes, just for your amusement. :)