Monday, 27 January 2014

When life gives you lemons...

Try some patchwork therapy :) 

This is one of those quilts that I have always wanted to try, but just haven't until now.  From the pack of 50 charms, plus an equal amount of white that I cut myself,  I think I  have ended up with around 200 1/2 sq triangles.  I've already made pinwheels, but this is my first try for zig zag.  I only need two more sets of two rows to make around the right size requested for Blankets of Love. Nearly there!

My second fave form of self help is baking.  Thankfully, the weather has finally cooled off enough that I could turn the oven on today. (It's been a long time since it has been on).  I had some milk that needed to be used soon, so I looked for "milk bread" recipes.  This dough came out beautiful and soft and easy to roll out, with very little flour needed on the bench. I used the breadmaker on the dough cycle first.  I used an egg ring as the cutter and I pushed on that with the rolling pin too because the egg ring is a bit sharp.

Oh my goodness, these rolls are delicious! Slightly sweet, super soft texture.  I would like to make them again, but roll them out thinner and then roll them up  as though I were making cinnamon rolls, just because I like to pick the layers apart :)  I didn't brush them with butter before baking.  You can find the recipe here.    I had a healthy smoothie for brunch (it even had fresh greens from my garden), so I plan to just nibble this bread until I can't eat another bite.   xx debbie

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Australia Day Swap

Hi everyone,

I recently joined in this swap hosted by Jewells. This swap was a challenge to send any 9 items, each starting with a letter in Australia.  Thank you Jewells for offering  this swap.
My partner to make for is a lovely lady called Sharmayne and you can find her here.   She was new to me, so I had a look at her blog to see what she might like, and the first thing I saw was a chicken!! :))
I think she has since redecorated her blog a bit, but anyway...
I had fun choosing things to make (with some ideas from friends to help).
A:  Apple fabric
U: Umbrella (I made a tea towel appliqued with a roo holding an umbrella and a chicken)
S: I traced the "S" letter from Michelle Ridgway for Sharmayne to stitch however she likes
T: Trinket box or thread catcher made up in Aussie fabric
R: a spool of ribbon
A: Animal- I made a sachet filled with cinnamon and cloves from chicken fabric
L: some cream colour lace
I: I made a charm strand of beads that spells out "Inspiration"
A: I made a cross stitch with two angels holding a house with a ribbon for hanging.
Sharmayne sent me the sweetest message to say how much she likes the things I made. Thank you, Sharmayne, it is nice to have you as a new friend.
The lady who made for me is new to me as well. Her name is Carol and you can find her  here.
Here are photos of what Carol sent to me:
Pink sheer fabric, red ribbon, pastel lace, mint green lace, a paper scented sachet.

An apron and 3 pieces of fabric.
A coaster, a plastic bag with a zip that says "Ohh la la Paris", and a hexie mug rug.
There was also a packet of Tim Tams and gummy lollies.  Thank you, Carol.
I am off to have a lovely day sewing and definitely enjoy this much cooler weather!  xx debbie

Saturday, 25 January 2014

FNSI Results

Hi everyone,
I hope you had a fun and productive night. 

I finished the cross stitch that is part of what I am making for the Initial Heart Swap.
I hope you can see that those are little spools of cute!!
In my previous post, I described how I learned from watching a video how to make half square triangles without all the fabric marking as in the old fashioned way.  I used one charm pack of blue and white squares and I cut an equal amount of white squares. Last night I made all the cuts, and this is how many half square triangle pairs I ended up with.
There is more welcome rain on the way today, which is why the pictures are a bit dull.  I will be spending plenty of time with the iron to press open all these pairs. They have not told me what they want to be yet...maybe flying geese, or stars, or pinwheels...but I do know that  at least part of them will be new Blankets of Love.  I'm off to see how everyone else did. xx debbie

Friday, 24 January 2014


Hi everyone,
I am joining in FNSI, hosted by the lovely Wendy.  I find these sewing nights to be very inspirational and I hope you do too.

I've been going well on my pressie for the Initial Heart Swap. 

I am nearly finished with the cross stitch part.  This will be attached to something else and I have those pieces cut out and ready to sew too. It will all come together quickly after I finish this little bit.  The lady this is going to has turned out to be a lovely new virtual friend over the past few months, and I am so enjoying making this especially for her. 

Some months back, I asked dear Cheryll if she was going to "Let's Get Stitched" in Melbourne.  Aside from hoping to meet, I wanted to know if I could bring some Blankets of Love with me so I could save paying the postage.  Cheryll  said she would be seeing some of the ladies that are going soon after, and she is sure they would be happy to deliver to her for me. :)

Last year I learned how to do 1/2 square triangles a different way by watching a video by Missouri Star Quilt company.  I started with a charm pack of blue and white fabrics and cut plain white squares the same size.  I sewed 1/4 inch seam around all four sides, right sides together.

Two quick slices diagonally at each corner magically gives four 1/2 square triangles pairs, already sewn.  I have arranged these into a pinwheel, but there are plenty of other ideas to try hmmm....Anyway, I will do some slicing tonight and make a good start on a Blanket of Love or two. 
Girl 11 has been gone now for nine days and I miss her terribly.  I've had an update though:  her person is SO happy to have her back home and  they have been having lots of cuddles.  He is also happy to put his white cane away now that she is there to guide him again.  This makes me happy too.

xx debbie

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

TT, Girl 11, and more

Hi everyone,

I've been a bit quiet and unwell, but am on the mend now. Starting today I get to take 6 more pills a day, bringing the total to 17 a day.  When I meet you in Melbourne, don't be alarmed if I rattle with every step HAHA.  I'm not letting this get me down either.  Starting today, I am feeling well enough to sew again, so it's all good now :)

Travelling Treasures is currently visiting Melanie  over at Pinnylea Creations.  My apologies to Mel for not helping her to promote the  giveaway.  Her giveaway ends at 9pm tonight, so if you are a resident of Australia, please pop over and answer her question for a chance to win some nice sewing goodies.

My dear Girl 11 left me last Wednesday to fly back to her home with her blind person.

She was gone all day Monday at the Vet and I felt so lost without her. She had a minor surgery on her right front foot, which is why it is shaved there.  Poor girl wasn't feeling well in any of these last few pictures I have of her.

I think this last picture is my fave one of her. There is no pain here, just a peaceful happy memory of a quiet night we spent together, me sewing and her watching me.  I hope she is pain free now and happy to be back home where she belongs :)

I recently joined the Fat Quarter Swap. This is my first month to play along and my partner Cathy
sent these FQs, DMC, and if you look closely, 3 very cute dotty butterfly buttons.  Thank you Cathy, I love what you sent.

My friend Chris in NZ was having a giveaway on her blog to guess how much weight she would lose by Christmas.  I guessed the closest amount, and yesterday I received a parcel, my first ever from NZ!  She sent these two quilted mats and 3 cards made by her.  I just love the applique, too cute and I can't help but smile when I see them.  The cards are so nice too. I write letters to my grandma in Texas, so she will be excited to get a card that came from NZ too.  Thank you, dear Chris!

I also need to post about Australia Day swap items, but that will have to wait.  xx debbie

Saturday, 11 January 2014


Hi everyone,

How did you go with your FNWF? I will pop around to have a look.

Girl 11 just chilled while I was sewing.  I am starting to feel like our time together is really getting shorter now.  She may fly back home anytime after her Vet appointment on Monday.  Just looking at her makes me feel so calm and peaceful.  She is the most mellow soul I have ever met.

I finished two more trinket boxes.  They turned out very nice.  I also prepped some applique for a swap and I will show that some other time.  Have a nice weekend. xx debbie

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Stitching Stuff, Girl 11 update

Hi everyone,

There has been plenty of stitching happening here at the cottage.

First up, two trinket boxes. One is for a swap and one for the present box.

Two more, one just because, for a dear friend who always brings me little presents when she stops by.  She loves these bright colours.  The second is for the present box too. This fabric is so bright, it seems to have even blinded my camera a bit haha.

A little sneak peek of some cross stitch on pretty sparkly fabric.  This is also for a swap.

This is the sweet dolly that dear De made for me for Christmas.

A friend recently found an old wooden ladder for me that I will use to display some of my many dolls.  I just need to clean it up a bit first and then this pretty girl will look great on display there.

This is the doll I made for De.  He is a boy bunny from an old pattern I have had for a long time.

I was really happy that his face turned out well.  He seems like a sweet guy!

We have had some very hot days lately.  Girl 11 planted herself in front of the tower fan.

She likes a nice cold carrot for a special treat on a hot day.

She makes a bit of a mess, but it doesn't worry me at all.
She eventually cleans up every last scrap.  She goes to the Vet on Monday, so I am pretty sure
she will be flying back home to her "Dad" very soon after.  He has been struggling using his white
cane for the past month while she has been away and I know he is very anxious for them to be reunited.   I will be happy for them, but I will be sad to see her go.  She is such a gentle soul.

The very hot weather has eased for now, but it is still quite smoky here.  The fire at Stradbroke Island has been burning since it was started by lightning nearly two weeks ago (as of Sunday).  The local paper said it might burn for another two weeks.   On the hottest day, my digital kitchen thermometer recorded a new record for me:  36.4 C.  That translates to 97.5 F.  Tonight there is a nice cool breeze, but the smoke is thick and my eyes are stinging...ahhh well, it could always be worse.  That's all for now. xx debbie