Monday, 31 December 2012

End of 2012 Challenge to Myself

Way back on January 3rd of this year I posted my listed my 2012 Challenge to Myself Goals. Let's see how I did with my 12 Goals.


1. Join a Bee - I joined a great online QCA Bee and will continue with it in 2013. My February scrappy log cabin blocks were made into a bright and cheerful quilt for a very sick local mum.

I also joined a Paper Piecing Bee called Wombat Stew with 6 other girls and am having so much fun.

2. Join a BoM - I was doing well with the Craftsy BoM until the June hexagon blocks were posted. Then I hit a wall and never got back up. I am not in love with the blocks or the fabric choices so I totally scrapped the second half of the year.

3. Use Real Patterns - I did plan on making a few quilts with some real patterns but neither the Civil War or Castle Peeps quilts happened. However I got plenty of practice reading patterns when I joined the fantastic Zakka Style Sew Along in April. Using the book, and a supportive blogging community, I made plenty of great items with these patterns. You can find them all here.

I also learned how to do foundation paper piecing using some great patterns created by Kristy of Quiet Play.


4. Zippers and Pouches - I finally got past my fear of zippers and then went on to make plenty of pouches and even more challenging pouches during the Zakka Style Sew Along.

5. Amy Butler Skirt - I totally forgot to make this. 

6. Pillow Cases and Cushions - I made 6 Halloween pillows but sadly no cushions.


7. Family Budget - Still to do but I kept a track of our spending.

8. Household Notebook - I have four great notebooks now.
  a. Everyday list of jobs
  b. Finance
  c. Online ordering
  d. Blogging

9. Moving Boxes - Moving house 2 weeks ago forced me to address the unopened moving boxes in our garage. I am pleased to say that I have purged what was in them and then thrown away the moving boxes for the first time since 2007. Happy days. I think I have about 8 moving boxes to unpack still though. Mostly formal dinnerware and my tea sets.


10. Creative Memories - I did not even touch this program in 2012.

11. Blogging Tips - I have learned how to host a linky party and write (though not too successfully) in HTML to create a button. It helped that I joined a Facebook Group called The Blogging Library, search for tips on Pinterest and have the Wombat Stew girls close by (esp. Alyce)

12. Photography - I have enjoyed improving my skills with my digital SLR this year. I would still like to do a course so I can learn more about the features of my camera.


I managed to read more than my hoped-for book a month and finished 2012 with 17 books read. I love using Good Reads to keep track of my progress.

Some of my favourite books this year were - 

Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Patricia Cornwell
11.23.63 - Stephen King
The Hungry Ocean - Linda Greenlaw
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

For my non-Zakka Finishes for 2012 check here.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sunday Stash #44

We finally got connected to the phone and internet on Thursday but I have to say that both connections are rather dodgy. Hopefully an electrician can sort some of the issues out for us.

Thank You

Firstly, I just want to say thank you especially to Audrey from Hot Pink Quilts and Camilla from Faffling for being brave enough to link up last Sunday when the inlinkz tool was not accessible on Sunday Stash. 

Secondly, I want to thank all of you who have linked up to Sunday Stash in 2012. 

The Future of Sunday Stash

Thirdly, maybe Sunday Stash will continue to have its 'droughts and flooding rains' personality in 2013. I am not sure if the secret to growing blog linkys is consistency or just a whole lot of self promotion. I am more of the former and very little of the latter. Sunday Stash, as a weekly linky party, may falter, but I will commit to posting for the first 6 months in 2013 and reassess its future then.

Finally, Sunday Stash is being fostered out once a month in 2013. So far I have 3 4 lovely folks to host and need just 3 2 more to get me to June. So please let me know if you are keen to host for any of these free dates.

13th JanuaryAudrey of Hot Pink Quilts
17th FebruaryJosh of Molli Sparkles
17th March - Gemma of Pretty Bobbins
21st April - Kate of  Kate Quilts
19th May -
16th June - 

Flower Fairies

The illustrations of Cicely Mary Barker are well known. I have a delightful reprint of her wee books.

Have you seen some of these flower fairy prints in the Michael Miller design brand?

These are some of the fairies from the Autumn range. I love the colour palette for these fairies. 

I bought a few of these panels when Keepsake Quilting was having a sale in 2011. 

You Can WIN Some Fairies of Your Own

I am partway sponsoring the January give-away for the 'And Sew On' paper piecing BoM over at Quiet Play. You could win an Autumn Fairy panel (like the one above) and this Pear blossom fairy bag. Come back and visit me on January 1st for some tips for paper piecing the 'Measure Twice' block.

Check out the details of what's required to qualify by clicking on the button below.

What's new in your stash?

Link up  below. I know some of you got some lovely new books for Christmas! Did anyone get a new machine?

Saturday, 29 December 2012

100 Day Hustle Crumble

When the 100 Day Hustle commenced at Kelsey Sews I missed the sign up but I kind of played along anyway. And considering that in these past 100 days we have purged, packed, moved and almost unpacked a whole house, I don't consider my effort too shabby!

Must Dos

Passport Cover
Rather than make one, I ended up using the Zakka Style Zip Pouch Organiser for this instead. It was perfect for the job (despite my Passport last minute panic) when we cruised in late October.

Say Cheese! Polaroid Block Swap
Done. Swapped and now I need to make a few kiddy cushions with my blocks.

QCA Bee#1

I managed to get October and November blocks done but not December as yet.

Wombat Stew Blocks

I did Jane's house block in October and Kristy's sewing block in November.

Mystery Quilt Back

I managed to finish the back of this quilt BEFORE we moved but decided to give the Preschool director a previously finished table runner instead. In fact all of the Preschool staff got a home made quilted project from my stash. It was great to pass things on instead of storing them away unused.

Like to Do

I actually got some of these finished!

4 Liberty Pillow Cases

Sadly not done for 2 reasons. I find I am short on material to finish four using the burrito style tutorial. Also the elderly recipient, Jean, broke her leg about 3 months ago and has been in hospital for the majority of that time. It has been very tough for her and her husband. I hope to get them done early in 2013.

6 Halloween Pillow Cases

Katie Jump Kites

A wonderful finish. This is a quilt that brightens my every day.

Little Stitches Embroidery

I managed to turn the snow globe design into a Christmas tree decoration.

Hope to Do

Sherbert Dreams Quilt

I have still HAVE NOT started this quilt. Finger's crossed for the last 2 days of 2012! I may use Aneela Hooey's NEW Posy line for this one now. Or even a combination of her designs.

Tall Boy Runner and Nesting Box

Now that we have moved house I would love to get stuck into this project. The top of the tall boy is very empty for now. 

Did Not Plan to Do

Aw these were all fun to do even though they were not on my planned list of things to make in the 100 days.

Two Purses for Two Wombats

Teaching my Son Embroidery

So how did you fare on the 100 Day Hustle?  Next year there are 365 days to get it all done!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Wombat Stew Secret Santa

I am in a paper piecing group with 6 other ladies. It is called Wombat Stew. Rather than make them all 6 separate gifts (as much as I would like to have time to) I organised a little secret santa between the 7 of us. It's been a lovely treat.

Now I can finally reveal the Secret Santa gift I made for Kristy of Quiet Play as she just received it. It's another of the easy-to-make Pleated Coin Purses from the Zakka Style book. Here it is...

That's Kristy paper piecing away on another project for the 'And Sew On' Block of the Month 2013.

And here is the B side - a bit of Good Fortune by Kate Spain (from the scrap bag I bought off Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts).

This is the inside - remember that little snippet I showed a few weeks back when it was a WiP? - some teacups from Echino that I won in a scrap bag from Kelby Sews earlier in the year.

Then there were some extra goodies. A little fairy bag (I am sure her little Miss L will claim this soon enough), a panel of Autumn Fairies and some scraps of food (definitely less fattening than the real thing) from the Very Hungry Caterpillar range.

Win Your Own Fairies

Now if you want to win your own Fairy Bag and Autumn Flower Fairy panel I am partly sponsoring the January block in the 'And Sew On' BoM with Quiet Play. Check the link button below for how it all works and come back and visit me on January 1st for some tips and suggestions.

I am linking up with...(finally)

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Edition Sunday Stash

I am hoping that my mobile phone will allow me to publish as we will not have our phone connected and internet until after the 27th.

This week's Sunday Stash is actually a retrospective Michael Miller Christmas collection.

I bought these prints two years ago, at Spotlight, so that my mum could make us a Christmas tree skirt. I find them nice and modern and since then I have used them for making cushion covers, runners and tree decorations.

A big thank you to Lara from Luellabella for hosting Sunday Stash last week while I was moving house.

As I can't link through this phone app. please link your Sunday Stash through the comments section below. Sorry folks.

Link your Sunday Stash below now. Thanks to those who linked earlier through the comments. I am back online now thankfully.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A Moving WIP

We are moving house in three days! So there is a whole lot of purging, packing and moving going on...and no sewing at all.

Sneak Peak

However I can reveal a tiny snippet of a secret project I have in progress for one of the Wombat Stew girls. You can't tell much from the photo but I did use a scrap of Echino tea cup fabric (courtesy of Kelly of Kelby Sews). 

This Week's  Sewing  Stats

Completed projects  -  0

Currently in progress -  Wombat Stew Santa gift
Yet to start  - Sherbert Dreams Quilt
                            QCA Bee#1 Dec paper pieced block
On Hold projects   Craftsy BOMs from June, August, September, October and November
                                     - 4 Liberty Pillowcases 


All my painting ambitions had a reality check this past weekend when it took me 4 hours to undercoat just one of five sections of shelving on my new pantry. 

The new carpet is nearly all laid thanks to a company who could turn around the job within a week. I am sooooo grateful to them. 

This Week's DIY  Stats

Completed projects  - 1/5 pantry shelves primed

Currently in progress - pantry shelves primed

Yet to start  - kitchen rack

Moving House

I am more than over packing. I guess if I had a packing pedometer I may have moved upwards of 10 000 items in the past week (some of them three times when I have been indecisive!). I wonder if I will ever truly see the end of it!

Right now we have most rooms in total disarray. I have been tackling a kid's bedroom a day, since Monday, but they are not completed. Tomorrow I have to tackle our main bedroom and closet as well as the paperwork/files. Yuck!

The good news is that the kitchen is nearly all done apart from the pantry, fridge and medicine cupboard.

This Week's Moving  Stats

Completed projects  -  everyday crockery
                                          - display items
                                           - kid's books
                                           - kid's personal files for awards, school, 
                                           - kid's toys
                                          - kitchen appliances

Currently in progress - sewing room
                                             - stored sheets and towels
                                              -  plastic ware
                                             - pantry
                                            -  good crockery
                                            - wall photographs and art
                                            - shoes
                                           - swing set

Yet to start  - Kid's clothes
                         - medicine cupboard
                         - bathroom cupboards
                        - laundry
                        - files/paperwork
                         - everything else!
On Hold projects    trampoline) my Father-in-law took it down yesterday and discovered that it was in bad enough condition to throw out - so we may have to invest in a new one for Christmas!)


I have had some help, with looking after the boys this week, so that I can pack during the day undisturbed, Dean's parents are up from Sydney and parked their caravan on our new property. It has not been smooth sailing though. They mostly look after the boys from 9am-1pm. 

I've had two of my girlfriends come by to help pack. It helps to re-motivate me as packing is a solitary job mostly. My husband works nearly 11 hour days door-to-door but he has been ferrying things before work and some after work.

I have no incentive to cook after a day of packing so last night my lovely friend Goldie and her husband Matt brought dinner around for our whole family last night. Home prepared chicken fajitas. It was delicious food and great company and they helped us take two loads around afterwards. So very grateful for good friends.

Hoping to link up with...
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tackling the Master Closet

We move house in four days! But it has taken me until a week ago to complete the challenge for the Master Closet. It has been a 2 month WiP. Importantly I am glad I did it because the closet we are moving to has half the space and none of the great built in shelves that this one has.

You would be horrified to see how many clothes we had in this closet that were NOT being used. I was ruthless with my purging. Out went things that not longer fit, were not really my style, too hard to iron, were a mistake to buy in the first place. 
I managed to fill 5 garbage bags full of items for the op-shop. I can't tell you the relief and empowerment I felt afterwards. If you pop over and see Toni''s closet you will be dazzled - first by it's total bespoke organisation and secondly by the largest collection of jeans and thongs (flip flops/jandals) I have EVER seen! 
I am NOT a shoe kind of girl. I don't see the fascination in buying lots of pairs NOR have I  the inclination to shop for them either. I have practical flat shoes mainly and I do tend to hold onto them for years and years. So this time few shoes went into the bin and I found a couple of pairs in the shoe boxes that I had not worn since moving here 3 years ago!

A Word on Coat Hangers

One tip that Toni (ABFOL) gave was to use coat hangers of the same colour and, although I scoffed at first, I must now agree. I have been using plastic covered coat hangers for about 10 years but find that my wide-collared shirts all need a clothes peg to stop them from falling off. I found these fab-o textured coat hangers at Big W last week and they are perfect for solving the sliding issue - and they look good too!

I also purged a bag full of crocheted coat hangers I had been holding on to for sentimental reasons. They are my grandmother's handiwork. She died in 1992, and I probably have not used these in 10 years, so I took one photograph for posterity and donated those babies to Vinnies yesterday!

I realise that looking into other people's closets is not especially interesting but I am pretty proud of the decluttering that I did in this master closet. 

I am linking up with...

A Bowl Full of Lemons

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sunday Stash #43

This week's Sunday Stash comes from my favourite Australian Precut shop Want it! Need it! Quilt! with the efficient Jane Davidson. Her prices are very competitive with US prices but her postage is WAY faster and cheaper.

'Posy' by Aneela Hooey

I don't know how she manages to get her hands on pre-cuts of fabrics not due out until next year but she has done it again with this lovely new range by Aneela Hooey. 

I ordered a couple of charm packs but I was so impressed with the colours and designs that I ordered a layer cake as well. By her own admission it is her most girly range yet. Perfect for my daughter who loves all the pink, purple and mint green.

'La Belle Jardin' by French General

I have a love of anything designed by Kaari Marie aka the French General. This time she has added some dusky blue tones to the familiar red and cream fabric. I have this pattern in mind for this layer cake and jelly roll but I am very open to suggestions too!

Now don't forget that next week, December 16th,  Sunday Stash is off to Lara's blog Luellabella. I so appreciate people hosting SS and this timing is a godsend because we are moving house next Friday and I am sure I will be sooooooo tired by Sunday.

And speaking of good folks, January's third Sunday Stash will be hosted by the witty Josh from Molli Sparkles. His posts now feature a pair of Converse with a background tale. Shhhhhh! Don't tell him that I finally threw out my last pair of navy Converse during my clean out of the master closet last week!

Now for the linky uppy bit below...