Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Part of the rehab for my ankle is riding an exercise bike every day. So we have turned my bike into an indoor bike for a while. 

I think every exercise bike should have a bell :)

Saturday, 5 October 2013

A new addiction is born

Due to an injury I have been confined to the house for a while, mostly with my leg elevated. I have knitted, crocheted, read.... Finding all sorts of ways to pass the time. Because we want to teach the YW how to make a journal using some sort of stitched binding, I needed to learn how to do it myself. "See one, do one, teach one".
My lovely friend Tina taught me the basics and off I went... 
This was the first one. Covered in handmade paper. The paper on the front cover was actually originally from the wrapping of a wedding present we received almost 15 years ago.  
Having stitched one journal under Tina's supervision, I felt more confident, and more followed:

A small square notebook
Another journal

A bigger square journal with kraftpaper pages.

A more vintage looking book... 
A small Notebook for Little Possum. She wanted a book to write what makes her happy ever day. So her "Happy Book" came to be, with brightly coloured pages and bound in colourful hemp thread. Now she has her very own gratitude journal, just like Mum.....
Then I got a little bit fancy. I stitched buttons on some Osnaberg fabric and embroidered stems. I decided to try a little French lattice binding over a ribbon:

.... I'm now set for journals for a while..... but that will probably not stop me from making more, because there are still new techniques to try out!

My name is Mari. I'm an addict.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Off on an adventure

Camelback - tick
Sleeping bag - tick
Walking boots and explorer socks  - tick
Woolly beanie (lovingly made) - tick
Flanno and thermals - tick
$5.40 for the train - tick
One daddy for extra safety and comfort - tick
Lots of prayers of safety from me - tick, tick, tick .......

Little Possum is ready for the 10k scout hike in the Blue Mountains.
(Not sure I am, though....)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Doing the happy dance

My "babies" are back, all beautifully quilted. Sharon has done a wonderful job. The Tetris quilt was quilted with a variegated thread over the coloured blocks and in black thread over the rest. The pattern is a square spiral which worked perfectly.

For the Woven quilt Sharon used a floral pattern which is very similar to the flowers used in some of the fabrics. I had thought a variegated thread, but was talked around to the apple green thread. This is why I should always listen to the experts - the apple green worked really well.

Time to bind quilts!

Monday, 18 March 2013

A woolly interlude

While I'm still knee-deep in stars, I thought that I would work on a woolly UFO. This pretty little cardigan just needs a little baby girl to go with it :)

While in the woolly zone, I started working on filling an order from Little Possum for Easter presents to her friends.
So much fun to make and quick as well. Winner.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Diamonds - my best friend?!

Every row of my star quilt requires 16 diamonds to join the stars up and then another 34-35 to join the row to the quilt top. So every once in a while I have to do a whole lot of tracing and cutting.

Happy to report that I have joined another 2 rows on.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Woolly happiness

While I am still "star-struck" on the quilting side, the onset of autumn rain and chill made me yearn for the comfort of wool. It was time to mount an expedition to a wool-shop, but not just any wool shop. Morris & Sons in Sydney CBD it had to be. MOTH works in a building opposite and told me about this woolly heaven. I think he may later have regretted it though.....

Today's haul include:

These lovely colours in wool kindly donated by a baby alpaca:
(I'm thinking a lovely warm autumn coloured afghan for the living room)

I have a particular fondness for variegated threads, and for this bundle I thought I would try out the pattern for  "Zoe's Lace Scarf" although the wool below is a little thicker than the 2 ply called for in the pattern.

This bundle of happiness will be knitted into a scarf for a niece who is equally colourful and who needs a scarf to compliment her eclectic collection of beanies.

And that was almost it.......    Some bamboo crochet hooks also insisted on coming home with me.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Seeing stars...again

This has been on my UFO list for ..... 7 years now.... I have spurts of working on it, and then it gets relegated to the shelf again. It is a "scrap" quilt made entirely of bought fabrics. Yes, the irony is not lost on me :)  I saw the pattern in a scrap quilt book and fell in love. At the time I really liked feedsack fabrics, and wanted to make a project in 30's repro fabrics and so the Texas star project started. Each star (400+ required for the completed project) and row is hand-pieced which makes it a very portable project.

2013 is the Year of the UFO for me, and having completed 3 UFO's so far I decided it was time to grab this Texas bull by the horns. This is the maths - I have 88 stars left to assemble and can average 2 stars pr day.
I have 9 rows left to assemble and add to the top. It takes me a week to assemble a row and to attach it.

I can do this!!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Once upon a time

Once upon a time there was a mother who found a pattern for a fairy tale quilt which she thought would be perfect for her daughter..... 3 years later she picked it up from the UFO pile and completed the hand quilting and binding...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happiness is..... A new craft table!

MOH made me a new work area. Until now my cutting mat lived under the sofa so that it could lie flat, and whenever I needed to do some cutting I used the dining table. But no more of that :)

On a trip to IKEA on our wedding anniversary we bought 3 Expedit bookcases and bolted them together to form a perfectly sized work station. I had seen a similar thing in Pinterest using 4 small bookcases, but decided that the deeper Expedit shelves would offer more flexibility. I'm in love :)

Thursday, 31 January 2013


As we wait for Turtle's Tetris bedspread to be quilted, I completed Little Possum's bedspread. She already has a fine collection of small quilts, mainly in pink princess or fairy themes. But as LP has now outgrown her pinkness, she was in the market for something a little more funky and altogether more grown up.

The Simply Woven pattern I found on Moda Bakeshop caught LP's eye, and when I found the Snap Pop range by Sandy Gervais for Moda I knew we had a winner :)  Beautiful bright colours in fun prints perfectly match our lively girl.

The pattern was very easy to follow, but my poor old sewing machine was going on strike. I think it is overdue a service and some TLC, but I battled through with slipping tension and feed-dogs that were not working properly until all the blocks were assembled.

I have started making some noises about getting a new sewing machine that can cope with quilting. My poor old faithful Brother machine was purchased long before I started quilting, when I envisaged simple sewing projects. When I take it in for a service today I will look longingly at the new machines, most probably lingering a little longer by the Janome 1600p QC.....

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Woven..... a sneak peek

There's a Little Possum at my house who wants a bedspread

We're well on the way :)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Japanese prints "Gathered in"

Back in 2010 I bought a layer cake of Japanese prints. It was unplanned. I had probably made the trip to the quilt shop to purchase some thread or something small when the layer cake caught my eye and spoke to me. (Actually, it may have been shouting .... "BUY ME! PLEASE!). Ever obedient to the voices, I made the purchase and brought the fabrics home waiting for the perfect project idea or pattern.

As it happened I didn't have to wait long. Down Under Quilts (or is it Quilts Down Under?) published a pattern by Kate Conklin and it was perfect. I decided on a crisp blue/white look, and here is the result:
I shadow quilted the small squares,using light grey thread in the centre panels and red for the border.
I wanted a pieced backing - stashbusting again. I had some blue white striped cotton - almost like ticking, and used that. (Looks a bit odd in the photo, though). 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

back for more

I have had a long break from blogging... and also from quilting/sewing. But I started to miss it, so I'm back for more. I declared 2013 to be a year for completing projects - both a long list/big pile of UFO's sitting in my craft room, as well as those projects I have been planning but not quite got around to, like this bag:

This was one of Little Possum's favourite jeans skirts which she would wear with the most colourful tights or leggings and a lot of panache. But she outgrew it. I didn't want to part with it, and thought that the straight design would make it fairly easy to turn into a tote. I boxpleated the base, made a lining and a handle. Hey presto. 3 years in the planning, an hour in the making......

Turtle has been asking for his own bedspread for over year now, but he was very specific about colours (black, orange, green and turquoise) and pattern - he wanted lot of squares in varying sizes, randomly arranged. My muse deserted me, and I couldn't really think of a design that would meet his requirements, until he started playing Tetris, and I thought we could work with that. He agreed to increase the number of colours. 

Here's what we came up with:

It will be quilted soon , not sure about whether to just have it done in a grid pattern, or something more elaborate. I decided that a border would confuse the pattern, so I will just bind it in black without a border.

The back is pieced:

This quilt has sat around waiting for me to bind it, and I finally got around to it:

I'm quite pleased with my gemstones, front and back.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Paint swatch craft ideas

My Redwork quilt is in slow progress... I have been doing it in a monthly class but am a little behind, so I feel like my kids when they go to school not having completed their homework! I have a week holiday coming up though, so I think I will have caught up for the October class at least. Phew.

I'm going to campaign for more hours in a day or one more day in the week or something. There just isn't time for all the things I want to do. Balancing all the essential things with the necessary things and the nice things.

Having discovered Pinterest probably didn't help matters! But I did find this little gem today.
I feel completely inspired and when I go to Bunnings to get some seedlings for the veggie patch, I may just visit their paint swatch aisle.......

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Thoughtful Friday

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness"

- Viktor Frankl

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Thoughtful Friday

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it."
- Fyodor Dostoevsky