Saturday, December 26, 2009

Satin Stitch

I love satin stitch! To make the bears' noses I cut out and vliesofix a nose shape, iron it in place and satin stitch over the entire nose. It gives a lovely look. And ironing usually evens up the stitching!
Satin stitch is also good for small applique pieces that are a feature, such as the cross on the lych gate in my pattern "Green Farm Village".
Another helpful hint (I hope!) - if you are daunted by small applique pieces, simply adjust your stitch size to suit the piece. The smaller the piece, the smaller the stitches. If you look at the photo of the teddy above, you will also see that the stitch size varies around the face, getting smaller over the snout and around the ear.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Seen in Mount Evelyn

Hey kids! Look who I saw!! Every year, Santa finds the time to visit on the back of the local fire truck - giving all the children (and grown-ups who like lollies) a few sweets, and probably checking to see who's been naughty or nice, and possibly checking for manners as well!
Wonder who's looking after Rudolph?
Q. What nationality is Father Christmas?
A. North Polish (of course!)
(Oh alright - I can hear the groans from here!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to make Applique Easier

Easy steps to help with applique when combined with embroidery.
1. With a pencil, trace the pattern pieces onto the paper side of the vliesofix (fusible webbing).
2. Roughly cut out the pieces, about 1/4" outside the drawn line.
3. Place these vliesofix pattern pieces rough side down (glue side), onto the back of your chosen fabrics.
4. Using a hot, dry iron, fuse the vliesofix to the back of the material.
5. Carefully cut out each piece.
6. Place an applique mat, or a piece of bakers paper, over the diagram. You will be able to see the design through the mat. Arrange the pieces on this and when you are happy with the arrangement, iron the pieces directly onto the applique mat. If there are several small, tricky pieces, try touching them with the tip of the iron so that other pieces can be slotted under or around them without the whole design descending into an untidy heap! You will also be able to work out which pieces can be ironed onto the mat first, before adding other parts. For instance, for the teddy below, I would iron his right foot and right arm (left side facing him) down first as these are tucked under his body and overalls.
7. When cool, peel off the mat.
8. At this stage, I like to trace any details onto the design. For instance, the bear's eyes and mouth, and any creases in their clothes, etc. Place the teddy (or whatever) on the pattern diagram, place over a light box and use a fine tipped brown Zig Millennium marker (acid free and permanent, it will not stain or bleed into your fabric).
9. Place the pattern diagram sheet on your ironing board, the applique background fabric over this, and then position the applique on top. If the background fabric is a pale colour, you should be able to see the drawing through it, to assist with placement. Iron in place.
10. To trace the embroidery designs around the applique, place the pattern diagram on a light box, and the applique over this, then trace the designs.11. Iron a piece of embroidery stabilizer on the back, and begin your hand stitching! Preferably in front of the telly with a good movie, or with a group of stitching friends!
Hope this helps!
Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just a few photos

The "Leaning Tower of Post". Saw it this morning - it must be a sign! This is where we intend to build the workroom - the garden is giving us a "hurry up" message!
David fixed it. Well ...... he pulled it out and put it in the woodshed. Can't wait to see what happens next. Will the garden start to fall apart?
Anyway, he'd rather play with the parrots!
Every Christmas I hang baubles from the little bit of lattice over the little bit of garden in the little bit of corner near the little bit of lounge.
Our Christmas tree can just be seen through the window.
A very dear (dear as in close, not expensive ..... although she does have expensive taste in wine and jewellery .....) friend who shall remain nameless (no need to give her too much exposure - it goes to her head) gave me these beautiful lillies.
Thank you D.N.F. (Dear Nameless Friend)!
Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Festive Greetings

Happy Christmas Everyone!!!!!!!! I hope you don't suffer from too much Christmas cheer!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Bit Extra Award

I was excited to be the recipient of a very special customer service award, presented on Wednesday evening by the young people from The Youth Enterprise Shed. The Mount Evelyn traders were all invited to Morrison Cafe for drinks and "nibblies", and awards were given out to local businesses who "gave a bit more" from the perspective of the youth in the area. It was a beautiful evening and we all enjoyed sitting and nattering on the deck, with a wine or three, overlooking the township and Dandenong ranges beyond. Below is the cafe, on the right.
My congratulations and thanks go to Tim and his fantastic team - for the organisation and atmosphere created to make a lovely evening. It has spurred me on to attend the Traders' Association meetings!
I would like to show you photos of the old railway station - it has been converted into the library and Morrison Cafe. The Warburton Trail, which follows the old railway line, is an extremely popular path for walkers, bikes and horses, and extends from Lilydale to Warburton.
This is the original station.
Above is the cafe and library - converted from the old station buildings.
I think it's a pity that the old steam trains are not running any more - what a fantastic trail it would be if the trains could run side-by-side with the pathway!
I remember back in the sixties watching the last train go through. We sat on the bank of one of the cuttings and waving like mad to all the passengers. Of course, I was VERY young then!!!!
The above photo is looking along the trail, where the trains ran. You can see the Mount Evelyn Community Link building (an information centre). The cafe and library are on the right behind the trees. This is the way I walk to the bank, post office, etc when I have "Teddly" things to do.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quilt Aid 2010

As promised! Over the holiday break I am being creative with a gorgeous bundle of Robyn Pandolph "Beach House" fabrics. They are for my block for the new Quilt Aid on-line Block of the Month, to be released next year.
If you loved this year's Bluebird of Hope quilt, just wait and see what's in store - "Faith, Hope and Love - The Greatest Gift".
Here is the selection of DMC threads supplied - beautiful!
I have a few ideas already, and I'm breaking with the Teddlywinks tradition - not a teddy in sight!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Early Morning Wake Up Call

Six o'clock this morning - woke up to the roar of gas burners - yes - hot air balloons over the house! We get quite a few when the weather conditions are right - there are spectacular views over the Yarra Valley, and they usually go to one of the wineries for breakfast after the flight.
Took this photo, went inside to jump back into bed for a while (after years of getting up really, really early, my body clock feels that seven o'clock is a respectable "get-up" time!, and David announced "There's more!" So - out of bed, grab camera, go outside, more photos!
I was telling you about the cockatoos in my last blog - here is the mess the cockies have left - when the plums start to rot and ferment it smells like a brewery under the tree!
Here are some of them having a fine feast!The little fellow with the branch in his beak thought he was so lucky, until some of the others wanted a bit and began to chase him!
Next time I will tell you all about the new Quilt Aid charity quilt - I have some gorgeous fabrics to show!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ming and a very wet galah

Let me introduce you to my Mum's old panda, Ming. Ming was born in 1923 or 4, so he's a wise, well-travelled and experienced little fellow! His overalls were knitted in the 1950's, and there's no way he'll be seen without them because he has been much loved, and there is very little fur left to keep him warm!
Speaking of keeping warm, I managed to sneak a snap of a very wet galah during the lovely, lovely rain we had last week! He had his mate with him, but something spooked them before I could take any more photos. A flurry of wet wings and they were gone!
Bye for now!
P.S. The cockies are wreaking havoc in the back yard - stripping the plum trees of all the fruit! They eat the stones and drop the rest, leaving bits of plum all over the grass! They are comical to watch, hanging upside down from branches that barely hold their weight, occasionally losing their grip and then there is a mad flutter of feathers. The two plum trees have been my jam-making source - but for the last three years the cockies have won and we haven't been able to save any fruit!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Green Farm Village

This is my new Block of the Month which was inspired by the Welsh countryside just outside Cardiff where my Mum grew up. She lived, as a child, in a house called “The Lodge”, which was situated next to a cemetery where my Grandpa was employed. The road leading to the house was Green Farm Lane, which David and I have visited recently. Development has taken place, with modern homes built in Green Farm Lane, although the original home is still there.
Mum and Dad were married in the parish church of St. Georges, a beautiful little old building consecrated around 1236. The church and surrounding graveyard are still in a “country-ish” area. We were excited to find that photos we took did not differ much to wedding photos taken in 1946!
Fabrics in the photograph are from the Lecien "Antique Rose" range. The quilt is available as a Block of the Month program from participating patchwork & quilting shops. The Patchwork Tea House is currently taking orders (PO box 530, Warburton, Victoria 3799.
Ph: 03 59662400)
Quilt size: 1.52m X 1.78m (not 1.52m X 178m as I put in a newsletter!!! Whoops!!!)
I have become quite fond of a product called Glad Press N' Seal. It is perfect for tracing designs for quilting on your domestic machine. Draw or trace the design on the "non-sticky" side, then press with your hands (not the iron) onto the fabric. Then you can either machine or hand-quilt to your heart's content. It won't shift! When completed, simply tear away the Press N' Seal, making sure it is completely removed before ironing.
It is also great for hand embroidery. It is available in some Coles and IGA supermarkets, and also Costco if there is one near you.
Bye for now!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Magic Lights

I found a couple of old photos that I thought you might like! This is the cottage My grandparents lived in when they moved here from Wales just after the second World War. It took a lot of TLC to get it half decent! That's my Grandma you can just see on the verandah. And check out the clothesline on the right! Below is an hilarious photo of Grandpa and my Dad!
Back to the AQM at Jeff's Shed. I don't know who was in charge of lighting, but the spotlights provided for each booth were woeful. Very difficult to adjust, and did nothing to enhance the displays!
However, it was a very different story in the "Ladies". The lights in there were so flattering! Every woman who went in there emerged feeling really good about themselves! I'd like one of those magic lights floating over my head all the time!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

McKenna Ryan

A display of McKenna's beautiful work at Warburton Golf Club.
Tuesday at the Golf Club - here is McKenna talking to a room full of extremely interested ladies! She had everyone enthralled with her talk, accompanied by a slide show and a display of her quilts.
Annemarie and I were perched on stepladders as the quilts were passed to us one by one - neither of us is very tall - so the ladders were necessary!!! Of course, there was a slight problem. Annemarie and I couldn't see the front of the quilts! So what did we do? Turn them around, naturally! So we could examine the front, and the audience were treated to a view of the back, one of which had little penguins all over it!

Here are some more of her stunning quilts.
Some of the ladies were treated to a demonstration of her applique techniques. All in all, a wonderful day!
Thank you so much, McKenna!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Designs

New designs! Three of them! Now you'll be busy deciding which one to do first! Above is my new 10 month BOM, Green Farm Village. It was inspired by the Welsh countryside where my Mum grew up. The house was called "The Lodge", the road was Green Farm Lane, and the little old parish church (circa 1236), St. Georges, was where Mum and Dad were married just after the second World War. It's made with Lecien's Antique Rose fabrics. The quilt, not the church!
This one (above) is Teddy Bears A-Plenty, with a little poem composed by Himself. He's very good at making up little rhyming thingies! There are ten teddy designs, each one made twice in different colours.
Next is Woolly Bears, a cute cuddly rug for snuggling. Made with Maywood Studio "Woollies" flannels.
All details are on my website. Pleeeese order lots because I desperately need a workroom!!!!!!!!! My creative genius is being stifled because of lack of space!!!! (My friend Bron is going to give me "the look" for that comment. Matter of fact, so is Sue! And Julie. And the other Julie. And Helen. And Jill. And Lynn. And the other, other Julie.)

I've had a busy but wonderful day, today! Went to Warburton Golf Club (again!) to listen to McKenna Ryan talk about her life, her quilts, and her business "Pine Needles". What an inspiring lady! And a lovely person as well! I'll post some photos next time.
Coffee and chocolate calling because I'm worth it!!!! (More "looks" coming!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Quilt-In and the AQM

Here's Nikki "talking under wet concrete" as she said, and does so well! In the nicest possible way! She had the girls in stitches!
Marilyn wandered around chatting to everyone.
Some photos of Nikki's display, and of the crowd who attended!

Lovely views (although not too clear in the photos) into the gardens and the greens.
Nikki and I being very silly with the camera!
On the weekend we attended the AQM - a trade only show for patchwork and quilting - this was our stand. An extremely busy couple of days! News of the new designs coming soon!
We're soooooo tired!!!!!!
Nighty night!