Thursday, January 29, 2015

United Stitches

The world is full of some very talented people and the crafty, stitchy, quilty world has it's fair share that's for sure.  In Australia we are blessed to have many wonderful designer's - All I admire and the work of some I just adore.  One of those designer's for me is Rosalie Quinlan.  

Rosie has become a friend over the years and is a lovely person.  The only problem I have is that she keeps designing some amazing stuff and I keep adding them to my pile of things to stitch which is rapidly growing !

Her newest release is her United Stitches Program.  It is amazing and so very affordable.  Many shops are offering the program so check out your local or buy them from Under the Mulberry Tree which is where I have signed up.  I am currently stalking the post man for my first installment.

Another wonderful blogging friend is Melody who is running a Stitch-A-Long for United Stitches.  Head over to her BLOG to join in the fun too - She will be having monthly give aways and sharing the progress of others.

As per my golden rule for the next few years I decided that if I am doing this then I had best use stash so I pulled out my treasured Riley Blake basics that I purchased in Sydney last year from Appleyard Cottage for a new design that has never left paper.  I will have to find a few nice feature fat quarters to go with them but these will be the basis of the quilt.

And I raided my thread bin for threads to match

I am so pleased that I am able to join in all of the fun and that I can use what I already have for it.

Each Pre-Printed Block Pack  on Linen is just $12.00 which includes 2 of the design - A friend and I are going halves so it's just $6.00 per stitchery.  Can you tell that I am just a little bit excited?

Yep I am.


Fee xx

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I think I have a new addiction

It's official I have a new addiction !  I have been collecting little containers for quite some time now with the intention of making little pin cushions.

Having no spare cash doesn't mean that I can't surround myself with brand new pretty things.  This little dish cost just 50c at the local thrift shop and the fabrics were from my stash.  So a cheap little addition to my collection.

And I made this little bucket full of yumminess !!  It stands just 2 Inches high.  Isn't it adorable?

I have these adorable little egg cups and this little glass trinket dish just waiting for a pin cushion addition - $1.50 for all 3 - What a bargain !

And the most recent addition to my stash of containers waiting for inspiration to hit - A clown planter from the 1970's for $4.00

Why don't you give it a try and make yourself a pretty little pin cushion.  I would love to see what you come up with.

Hugs - Fee xx

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Stitch A Long

The January challenge for the Stitch A Long is an Anni Downs FREE Christmas Stitchery.
I decided to do mine with a sweet little Cottage Garden Thread
I love how it stitched up
I thought it would look nice framed, ready for Christmas this year. 
I have given away most of my "Commercial" Christmas decorations and will be going with ONLY handmade this year so this stitchery will be a perfect addition to my Handmade Christmas decorating in December.
The pattern for the quilt we are making together this year has arrived and last weekend I spent some time getting the templates made and choosing the background fabrics in readiness for a start in February.
I have decided to use another of the Cottage Garden Threads from my stash - This one is a perfect blend of pink and red to go with my Raspberry Parlour fabrics.
This year I am making an effort to use what I have in my stash and only buying when it is absolutely necessary.  I hope I can bite into the massive collection of bits I have gathered over the years.
Have a lovely weekend.
Fee xx

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Thrift Shop Fun

I love nothing more than a good rummage through a thrift shop.  My trip to the University each day is 45 minutes each way and I pass many thrift shops on my way home.  Every now and again I get a "feeling" that I should make an unscheduled stop.  That happened to me last week. I am so pleased I did.  I found all of these wonderful HOBBYTEX Iron On Transfers - Perfect for Stitcheries !!  Look at Little Bo Beep - Isn't she adorable?

And I found this little sweet sewing basket.  It is just so cute and only $1.00
I'm not sure what I will do with it yet - It needs just a tiny minor repair.

And for the first time in a very long time I found some quality quilting fabrics - 2 1/2 metres of it for $5.00 !  What a bargain.
It is so true that One Man's Trash is Another's Treasure.
Have you found any decent treasure lately?
Hugs - Fee xx

Monday, January 19, 2015

January's Challenge Finished

When I set myself some personal challenges on Boxing Day last year they were on the condition that I put myself under no pressure.  If I didn't achieve my monthly goals then that would be fine but at least I would have tried.  The challenges were to be used as relaxation time in my down time from study.  So I set about my tasks for January with the freedom in the knowledge that nothing was written in stone.

Somehow this has ignited my mojo.  I joked to friends that I must have been given a MOJO for Christmas because it has arrived in full force.  The challenge to finish Chick Jubilee was set on the 5th January and I finished the quilt front on the 10th.  I can't believe it only took 5 days to get my first major finish for the year.  I am very pleased with myself !

And here she is all finished.  I just love this quilt.  

It's been bundled off now and is with the quilter to work her magic and then back home for binding and labeling.

One other stitch a long I am doing this year is Jenny's - Vintage Kitchen Stitcheries.  She releases 1 FREE stitchery per month which then becomes a wall hanging.  I am changing mine just a little bit and am using TILDA fabrics as well as an adorable Valdani Thread.  

I am pleased to say that I am currently up to date with this one too and looking forward to the next block.

I hope you have been able to find your Mojo too.


Fee x

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Wrap Up

It has become a Saturday ritual lately to clean out the fridge and try to use up what's left.  It's no secret that money is tight - Not just in our household but in everyone's these days.  It is becoming increasingly harder to make ends meet so I try not to waste anything.
I am blessed to own a Thermomix and even more blessed that it makes life so much easier !  Making stocks, sauces and jams is a breeze in this machine.
I always make my own tomato ketchup now and use it as a recipe base in almost everything that has a tomato flavour.  Tomatoes are cheap at the moment so I am buying a kilo or so every week as Mr Fee loves them on toast or in a sandwich.  This week I had almost 1 kilogram left over along with some capsicum and onions so Tomato Ketchup it was !

With the addition of some spices, a little brown sugar and some mustard I now have 500ml of delicious ketchup.

We also had some raspberries bought locally that were going to spoil if not used so I decided on some raspberry jam.  I am almost out of my last batch so it was quiet timely.  I now have 4 jars of fresh jam !
It feels good to not be wasting any food and even better that everything is made from fresh ingredients and not processed in a factory.
I've been stitching away a little bit each day on some different projects including another block in the Best Friends Forever BOM.  Thanks so much for your lovely comments about my progress this week.  It really is a sweet little project that I am enjoying very much.
I am pleased that I have another block finished for January.  I set myself a mental challenge of 4 for the month so I have just 1 to go - I wonder if I will get it done?
Another little personal challenge was that I wanted to do more for others this year.  Not for any reason other than the fact that it makes me feel good and I like the thought of putting a smile on someone's face.  I recently sent this little parcel off to one of my blog readers - Peg.  She tells me that she had an awful week only to arrive home to my parcel on the Friday which made her day.  It made me feel wonderful that I was able to put a ray of sunshine into her day.
I want to send 1 parcel off per month if I can to a blog reader.  You never know you just might come home one day and find a little "Just Because" gift there from my heart to yours.
Have a wonderful day.
Hugs - Fee xx

Friday, January 16, 2015

Best Friends Forever

A little while ago I fell in love with another of Rosalie Quinlan's projects.  Best Friends Forever is a Set of 32 Hexagon Stitcheries which come on pre-printed linen in 8 instalments of 4.
I bought a few of the packs and put them away for another day (as I tend to do)  I recently sat gazing at my shelf of pretties and my gazed stopped at this bundle of Lulu Roses and instantly I decided that the fabric would be perfect for the BFF BOM.
So I started to stitch and as usual I didn't stick to the rules and started at Month 7 - Just because I loved the little babushka's.  I can't explain to you how much I am enjoying stitching these.  They are bringing me so much joy.
I'm not sure if it is the fact that they are pre-printed so are less labour intensive or if it is because I have fallen in love with their quaintness but I can tell you I am totally in love.
This will be a long term project for me as each one takes a little while to stitch but I am happy just to pick them up as I feel like it
I think they look gorgeous with the fabric.  The idea is that there are a number of blanks around each stitched hexagon.
The large prints in the range are perfect for fussy cutting
Don't they look pretty?
And even nicer with their stitched sisters
I can't wait to do more.
Fee x

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Frugal vs Healthy

Since September we have tried to be frugal.  As the weeks and months roll by we are trying to be more frugal as money has become tighter and tighter.  I am not complaining at all because I do love a challenge and cooking and baking from what I have is a wonderful challenge to me and one that I enjoy.  BUT the issue that I do have is that I would like to cut down the amount of processed food we consume and to eradicate as much sugar from our diets as possible.  

Not only for weight loss ( I need to lose 1/3rd of my body weight) but for good health.  The alternatives from processed food to good healthy food such as dried fruits, nuts, nut meals etc are so expensive. Luckily I did buy a number of luxuries like cacao, hazelnuts and cashews when I had a big stock up before being made redundant but replacing them is going to be an issue moving forward.

When I flick through the online supermaket catalogues every Wednesday morning to find the specials on products we use I am astounded at how cheap "Junk Food" is.  It is no wonder that Australia has an obesity problem when junk is cheap and good plain healthy staples cost an arm and a leg.

So back to my dilemma ......

I don't want to follow a fad diet or make brash statements that I won't eat this or that (I have done that in the past).  The biggest issue for me is snacking !  I love nothing more than a cup of coffee and a biscuit or a piece of cake so I decided that I had best make something that I could freeze and get out the day before to snack on when the snack bug hits.  

I found a recipe by a lovely Chef, Nico Moretti for these gorgeous muffins containing Vegetables, Nuts and Cranberries and the best part is they freeze.

I changed the recipe a little to suit my tastes and made a lovely batch of them which yielded me 16 muffins which are now wrapped up individually in the freezer.  These weren't cheap to make but they make a nice treat.

I wondered if any of you had any recipes to share with me of healthy, sugarless treats that can be stored or frozen that don't cost the earth to make?  I would be grateful if you do.

Hugs - Fee xx

Monday, January 12, 2015

Found My Mojo

I have certainly found my sewing mojo lately and have been working hard on my project for "Let's Get Stitched" in Brisbane on 6th,7th and 8th March.

If you are looking for a unique weekend full of laughter, fun and friendship then this weekend is for you.  The stitching day is on Sunday 8th and there are 7 designers to delight you !  What fun we always have.  This is our 5th year.  Contact Joy Coey of JOYPATCH if you want the information, costings and booking form.

And I've been busy cutting kits for the event.  My project is in 2 parts - I'm almost finished and am up to the yukky bit - The pattern writing !

I finished the first little heart from Bunny Hill Designs.  Isn't he gorgeous?  I'm looking forward to the next one due to be released on the 5th February.

He is made entirely from scraps.

And I made some kitchen towels as mentioned last week.  I really enjoyed making these.

They must look pretty because even Mr Fee said they were "Too Nice to Use" - That's about as close as I will get to a sewing compliment I think.

They are safely stashed away for gift giving throughout the year.  I want to try and work on 1 gift a week if I can.  Any ideas for what I should make next?
Fee x

Friday, January 9, 2015

Making Myself Accountable

This year I made myself a diary cover for my A4 sized diary.  I figured with running a household and being at school full time that I am going to need it.  I used a stitchery from Jenny of Elefantz and some gorgeous Ambleside fabric to make a removable cover.  I just love it !  It will also help me to keep some of the sewing commitments I have made to myself for the year.

Part of finding and keeping my sewing mojo has been the desire to create handmade gifts for the year and to complete some of the projects I have either bought and never started or have begun but never finished.  

We all make promises to ourselves every year of what we will and won't do but sometimes we need to be made accountable just a little.  

One of the web sites helping people to get some UFO finishes is ALL PEOPLE QUILT.  They designed a downloadable sheet which you are asked to list 12 projects onto.  This is by no means my complete list of items - Just 12 I have chosen from the many I have.

The first Monday in each month a number is drawn and that is the project that you work on for the month and try to get finished.

This month Number 4 was drawn which on my list is Chick Jubilee

Luckily for me this is probably one of the more advanced projects I have as a UFO.  I have 8 blocks almost completed so I have just one block and the borders to go.

I have been a good girl and have prepped the final block ready for hand stitching.  Hopefully I can get it done in the next week or so giving me plenty of time to get the borders done.

Temptation won over sanity this past week when I fell in love with this new design by Anni Downs.  Isn't it gorgeous?

There is a Stitch A Long  happening in Blogland where a large group of ladies are making it together - One month at a time.  I have decided to join in.  I think it will be quite achievable for me and in years to come will remind me of my own journey so I thought it would be quite fitting.  I am determined that this won't be another UFO at the end of the year - It will be a quilted and bound finish.

Last Year I fell in love with a range of fabric by Sue Daley called RASPBERRY PARLOUR.  There is just something about pink and red together and I just had to have it.  Luckily it was whilst I was still working so I indulged and purchased quite a bit for my stash.  Once it arrived I proudly displayed it on my shelves until a project worthy of it came along.  

Once I saw Anni's new design I knew exactly which fabrics I would be using for it.  

It's a perfect match don't you think?


Fee x