Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My first 2 drops for The Toy Society

I finally did it!!! I bagged up my 2 handmade toys and went out undercover and secretly dropped them in two different places. My heart was pounding, as I was sure I was going to be caught, but managed (I think) to drop and photograph them both unseen.

Here is the first toy I made (never again...too fiddly)... a cute knitted doll in a blue dress.
and here is where I dropped her... at the entrance of our local picture theatre.
This is the second toy I made, a knitted mauve teddy bear.....
and he was dropped at our local Tourist Information Centre.
Now I have to sit back and wait for the finder to hopefully let The Toy Society know that the toy has been found and given a good home.

I feel elated and will certainly make more toys to "drop".

Until next post..


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What my Secret Sister sent to me and.....

On Christmas Day I dived in and opened my Secret Santa gift that I received from Tracy (if you go to her blog through this link, she explains my gift much better than I do) from the Chookyblue SSCS 2009 and this is what I found:
The cylinder was wrapped in the snowman panel and inside the tube was a wrap made from matching material as the tube, that held cottons, sewing needles and bobbins for my cottons.
On the end of the tube was a wooden stopper that fit snugly to keep the contents in. I'm afraid to say that I had to contact Tracy to find out the right use for this gift. I thought the tube was to hold knitting needles, and the attached mat was for protecting the garment and wool from dirty surfaces, but the correct use is to keep my sewing supplies in the tube and the mat to fold up the unfinished article I am working on..... very obvious once you are told! Thank you Tracy for such a lovely gift, I am REALLY happy with my present.

On my way back from taking my parents home, I called into an orchard and bought freshly picked cherries, apricots, nectarines, peaches and mangoes, so yesterday, I started bottling and made these 3 jars of Apricot Curd... never tried it before, it is something like lemon curd/spread, but made with apricots instead.
I then made the rest of the apricots up into jam and made 8 bottles. I had to return to work today after a 4 day public holiday break, then after work today I made 6 bottles of Nectarine jam. Here are the bottles ready for labelling.
I also pitted and stewed 3 kilos of cherries for the freezer. The peaches and mangoes are to be eaten, not cooked.

Must get onto some sewing now. Until next blog.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Belated Christmas Wishes

Merry Christmas to everyone, and I hope you all had a safe and happy Christmas Day.

This photo was taken in my lounge room before the big day!

I have just got back home after travelling a round trip of 1000 klms to take my parents back to their hometown.

I am going to show you next post what I received from my Secret Santa... I am a VERY lucky person, as the gift is absolutely beautiful.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Last present finished

I have been knitting this beanie for my boyfriend as part of his Christmas present. I was going very well until I got to the decreasing. I had down loaded a pattern from the Internet, but it was very abridged and the decreasing was not written in a readable or workable way, so I ended up finding another pattern and adapted the pattern to it. I nearly threw it in the bin, but it is made from pure wool, so I persisted and thank goodness it worked out.

My Mum is modelling the beanie for me, but insisted not to show her face!
My boyfriend is a dairyman and this beanie hopefully will be worn in the winter at 3am when he gets up to milk the cows.

Until next post..


Monday, December 14, 2009

SSCS 2009 Has Arrived

The mailman arrived today with a long cylinder and I ripped it open and found these 2 parcels. My SSCS is Tracy of Thimelinas . The large one is actually wrapped in a panel of material, with cute snowmen, tied at the ends with ribbons, and the small parcel said "open immediately", which I did, and......

This is what was in it, a hand sewn star and a reindeer made out of corks...made me laugh, as I drink a glass of wine each night with my meal and think of all the reindeers I could have made from all those corks I have thrown away over the years!
I am so pleased I joined Chookyblue's Secret Santa Christmas Swap this year. (SSCS 2009). I can't wait till Christmas so I can open my other gift.

Until next post.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Garage Sales

Yesterday (Saturday) I went to a few Garage Sales and had a wonderful time. There was a lady selling children's books, hardcover and soft cover and most of them have never been read, let alone have pen marks or children's names in the front pages. I have a suspicion that the lady might have owned a bookshop! I went to her garage sale last weekend and bought some sets of books and saw she was having another sale this weekend, so I phoned a friend of mine who owns a second hand bookshop. She ended up telling me to offer the lady an amount for a "bulk lot", so I did (I took every book she had for sale EXCEPT the Little Golden Books), and look what I came home with for $110! You should have seen my poor little car, the boot was full to the brim and the whole back seat was covered with books, the back of the car was visibly lower over the wheels!... I was picturing my front wheels rearing up and my exhaust dragging on the ground.

So, tonight I got them all out and removed all the price stickers off them and sort of sorted them in piles. There is a pile of Dr Seuss books, the tall pile is Disney's story books (all hardcover and perfect condition), there is the 4 Enid Blyton books of the Faraway Tree Series, books from kid's TV shows and the list goes on. Even thou the photo doesn't show it, there must be at least 200 books there... I am like a pig in mud amongst the books!

There are books there I know I could sell on eBay, but I will give them all to my friend for her shop, but I have kept a couple for my grandchildren... just asked my daughter about "Clifford the dog" and is he on TV and I got the "oh Mum!" answer, so those books have been snavelled for them.

Must get the books in some boxes now.

Until next post.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh NO!! I could cry!! SOB!!!

On an earlier post, here, I mentioned how I knitted a doubled breasted cardigan for my then 7 month old grandson. It was knitted in size 1-2 years, but unfortuneately it was to small for him, so my daughter asked me to make another one for him.

So I did, this time making it size 6-7 years, knowing he will grow into it one winter. I have literally finished sewing it up tonight, buttons and all. Then it struck me, a MAJOR error...

Can you see the error????

There is NO WAY I am making a third one.

Until next post....

SOB!!!... Jewells

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Secret Santa Ready to Go

I am in the Chooky Blue SSCS.
The above picture is a sneak preview of what I have made to send to my partner!

and the picture below is another sneak preview of what I also made to send the same person as the ornament.
This was so much fun! Thanks Chooky Blue!

Until next post...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

First and Second Awards for Patchwork Quilts at Show

This weekend was the local Annual Show, so I entered 3 of my quilts and was very lucky to receive First Prize with this quilt under the section "Christmas Article Sewn".

Here is what the whole quilt looks like. This pattern was designed by a friend of mine, Toni, who designs and sells quilt patterns on her blog "The Red Boot Company". This quilt pattern was designed for a Mystery Block of the Month for an American group and I proof read the pattern for Toni before she sent each installment... I found the easiest way to proof read was to actually make it along the way. I was very happy with the end product!

(You can click on the image for a larger picture).

...and I received Second Prize with this quilt under the section "Patchwork Quilt-with Embroidery-Machine or Hand".
I embroidered the animals with 2 strands of thread in back stitch, but didn't realise when the quilt was quilted, I would loose the stand out feature of the animals... I now embroider with 3 strands of thread. The animals don't show up very well in the photographs, but to the naked eye, they are more noticeable.
I used a "Ella & Skysie Designs" pattern for the embroidery and the alternate squares, then added my own ideas to make this a larger quilt.
Again, I have no idea what to do with the quilts... I am thinking of holding a quilt selling day and sell off my quilts at cost price so I can have spending money to make more quilts that I have no idea what to do with...sounds familiar?? My biggest expense is getting them quilted, as I don't like doing that myself.
Until next blog.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Update on seeds from Dishcloth swap

Look! green shoots, that are the beginning of my carnations!
The terracotta pot has the other seeds I received (Love in the Mist), then the black pot is the carnations, and next to that is a climbing rose.
Now here is the "vegetables", from left to right is a choko, basil, dill/sage and lastly a cherry tomato.

and lastly, here is a pot full of "Impatience" at my front door.

I'm afraid I can't take credit for the survival of all these plants... thankfully my boyfriend always waters them when he comes to my place.
Until next post..

Friday, October 30, 2009

That's not a dishcloth.... now THAT'S a dishcloth!

My boyfriend wanted me to knit him a dishcloth, but didn't want one of those "sissy" little ones that I normally make... sissy?..they are 7" square! and big enough for me and everyone else to use.... but he wanted a dish cloth that would cover his hand, and have plenty of cloth to grab... well here is a "man sized" dishcloth next to my normal 7" cloth. Hope he is happy with this size, but being a man, well, I won't continue on that subject!
Now onto my patchwork project. I managed to sew borders on the 26 letters and that is all I had time to do, and I haven't had time this week to continue on it. This is what they look like so far. I am bordering them with the same colour as the letter. Only 3 colours were used in the alphabet.
On another matter... I was too late to join a secret Santa, and can't seem to find one that is open.... so I was wondering if I should start one on my own blog... any takers??? Maybe those who read my blog and are interested, then they could tell their friends??? Let me know please
and then I can start one up... a gift made by you plus maybe a chocolate/sweet added?..
Until next post....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My new project

I have been eyeing off this fabric for a while, so I ended up buying it at my local patchwork shop, washed it and then started to fussy cut the letters then numbers. I then made up the first block to see what size I should cut the borders.

I plan to make the borders the same colour as the letters (red, green & blue), then maybe do an outside border of the yellow. The numbers (0 -9 ) are smaller than the letters, so I will have to build them up to the same size as the letters.

I have a "sort of" idea in my minds eye how to put it all together, but when it comes to actually doing it, I will probably have to change my mind!

I hope to get some of this quilt done this weekend at my boyfriend's place ... that means I have to take my sewing machine, cutting matt, sewing box etc... he will wonder how long I am coming for!

... this will end up being a single bed sized quilt, and I have no idea what to do with it when it is finished! :-)

Until next post.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A couple of projects

Last weekend I got in and hand sewed October's block for the A Tisket A Tasket BOM that I am in, then added the matching borders by machine this morning before I went to work. Only 2 more months to go for this project, then I will have to come up with outside borders to complete the quilt.

Also over the weekend I started knitting this cardigan AGAIN for my grandson. You see I knitted this one at the beginning of winter for him. As he was then 7 months old I thought size 1-2 years would be plenty big enough, however my daughter sent it back as it is too small for him. My knitting was to the correct tension, so I figure the pattern has very small sizes.

So I am knitting another one for him for next year, or maybe it will be the following year... as I am knitting size 7-8years... now that is going to fit!!

Lucky I had plenty of the wool, as I had bought enough for an adults jumper from the woollen mills. I mainly knit in pure wool, as I feel if I am going to the trouble of knitting something, it might as well be done in nice wool.

Until next post..


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Update on seeds

My boyfriend was over last night and I showed him the new seeds. With a wry smile he asked where I intended them to be planted to die?

After much discussion, he has decided to bring a huge pot in, full of potting mixture and place it near my water tank. He will sow the seeds and he expects me to remember to water them.

He also brought in a pot with a well established tomato plant and stake. He told me he gave it the "last rites" before he brought it in to my place.

Yes, my boyfriend knows me well, but if he keeps up with those wise cracks, he may wear the potting mixture REAL SOON!

Until next post...


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Look what the postman brought!

...and here I thought it was going to be another ordinary "hump" day (just in case you don't know what "hump" day means: Wednesday's are called that because they are in the middle of a working week..all up hill to Wednesday, then you are on top of the "hump", then down hill after that!)..... the post "lady" arrived with a padded envelope, so I tore it open to be greeted with this:
Then I went to tear it open, but the environmentally Jewells kicked in, so I carefully cut the sticky tape off and look what I saw!
My secret swap partner from the Washcloth Swap was Lisa - The Chocolate Cat. Apparently Lisa has been overseas and in her first week back, she sat down and knitted my cloths for me and left a lot of her unpacking to do later... isn't she sweet?
Anyways... in my package was the 2 cloths, a chocolate and 2 packets of seeds. One of them is called "Nigella"... never heard of them before, but they look so pretty.
Now, for those who know me, they all must be laughing about 2 things in my package.. the first is the cat washcloth... afraid to say Lisa, I am a real dog lover, and can't handle cats..they freak me out...BUT this cloth will be certainly used on dirty jobs, so PLEASE don't be offended...I am laughing at receiving it...
now secondly... the see, again my friends know a saying I have about my garden and it is "if it thrives on neglect, it will survive in my garden"... you see, I forget to water .... so the Nigella seeds sounds perfect for me as it says:
Sow on surface or just barely covered with soil in a sunny location, protected from wind. Will germinate in 21 - 28 days, flowers approx 15 weeks from sowing.... Care: regular removal of spent flowers prolongs flowering period... NOT ONCE DOES IT MENTION TO WATER THEM. So what do you think? they should survive here eh?
The chocolate is being consumed while I type this.... yummo! Thanks again to the Chocolate Cat...
Until next post...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Weekend Cutting

On the weekend I decided to cut up the flannel fabric I had left over from when I made a few baby quilts. I had fabric from the girl's quilts:
and the boy's quilts:
then I looked at it all and decided I couldn't face making another quilt from the fabric, so I decided to list it on eBay to sell.
I have also listed on eBay the quilt I did my first attempt of long arm quilting.
I am over this fabric.
I also started to fussy cut a new fabric (well new for where I live) an ABC fabric and hope to start sewing it this weekend...between garage sales and quad bike riding!
Until next post...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My a Tisket a Tasket Quilt so far

I have been down loading the free pattern from Bunny Hill Designs each month and have been sewing the patterns in stem stitch with 3 threads instead of 2. I then matched the thread colour with a border in the same tones and have sewn them all together. Can't wait to see the next installations! I am making up the colours as I go.

As this pattern comes from the States, and is designed with each of their months of year in mind, I have had to make a few minor alterations, so my blocks blend into just a quilt with baskets embroidered on each block.

Until next posting...


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dish Cloth Received by my Swap Partner

My swap partner, Janice, that I sent to for the Dishcloth Swap received her parcel last week and took a lovely photo and posted it on her blog... for some reason I forgot to take a photo of my gift to her before I sent it, so pop over to her blog and take a look at the dishcloths, if you want to.

Until next blog..


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dish Cloth Swap and Covered Bag

I finished knitting my dish cloth(s), purchased the seeds and posted them off to my secret swapper last Friday. I know I was a bit early to send my Jellywares Washcloth Swap, but I knew I had to get in and do it straight away otherwise I would have fretted that I would run late. Now I have to sit back and wait to see what the receiver thinks!

On the sewing side, I have also made this:

into this:

I have so many projects in the cupboard that I want to start next, but can't decide which one to do first... anyone else have that problem?

It is my boyfriend's birthday today, so I held a bar-b-q at my place and invited his family around for lunch. Of course we followed the main course with a pavlova and I made a sponge with jam, cream, strawberries and passion fruit for his birthday cake. He was so embarrassed when the cake came out with a lighted, singing candle in the middle of it.

Well that's it for now. Until next post...

Cheers Jewells

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Charity Quilt

Last year I was in a row by row swap and decided to donate the finished quilt to charity. I named the quilt "The Toy Shelf" and invited the swap ladies to add a "shelf" of their favourite toy from their childhood to the quilt.

Along with adding the row, they took a photo of their progress of the quilt on a disposable camera and also wrote a few words on why they chose the toy they did.

I started the quilt with the bottom row of the teddy bears, as I just love teddies, and still have my first teddy given to me as a baby, oh so many decades ago!

Then the next ladies added matchbox cars, rag dolls, dinosaurs and kites, trains and lastly boxes of crayons, marbles and building blocks that went in the back of a toy ute.

I added the borders, and took it to the quilter who only charged me half price. I finished the quilt with the binding and was very pleased with the end result. I also put a book together of the photos and writings to go with the quilt.

I wrapped the quilt and book up and presented it to the "Orange & District Breast Cancer Support Group" for them to raffle. They have made the quilt first prize with other smaller prizes for runners ups.

If you are interested....the tickets are selling for $2 each and will be drawn on 26th October.

And the winner is.....

I decided to wait till the 9th of September was over on the other side of the world before I made the draw.........."just in case".

The winner is.... drum roll please.....

CHOOK (Beth)

So Beth, please advise me of your snail mail so I can post the tea towel to you.

Thank you to the comments left on my blog.

Until next blog....


Friday, September 4, 2009

My first attempt at Quilting

Well I have finally sewn the binding on the quilt that was my first attempt at quilting on a friend's machine. From a distance it looks OK, but "oh boy" it is uneven stitching! This is the front view......

and here is the back view................
The writing on it says "It's a Girl"... so it will have to go to a baby girl. It is made up of flannel material, but I would say it is more "flannelet" than flannel as it is thinner than the other flannel I have bought at quilt shops. The size is 42" square. I think I will try to sell it on eBay, but warn the bidders that it isn't quilted by an experienced quilter!!! (Far from it! LOL!).
I don't think I will quilt the green bear quilt top next, as I want it to be done nicer... so I thought I would make up another quilt top in rows and teach myself to quilt between the lines... a bit like going back to school.
On another note... Don't forget to leave a comment on the "Giveaway" (previous entry) to be in the running for one of my tea towels.
Until next post...

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I have been having fun with a basket weave looking cotton fabric I bought from Spotlight. It is perfect for the making of tea towels. I have been using up some of my border prints and also pretty, colourful fabrics for the trims. Here is a photo of one of them, with a border prints of whales as the trim.

So I have decided to give one of these tea towels away. To be in the draw, all you have to do is leave a comment between now and 9th September and you will be in the draw for one of these tea towels.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Photos of both quilt tops

Here is one of the 2 quilt tops that I made to try my hand at quilting on. I made it from scraps left over from another quilt. I like this one the best of the 2. I didn't have enough time to quilt this one yesterday... but I plan to practise a bit more before I attempt the quilting of it.

Here is the other quilt top I made. It is made of flannel material and made with a new gizmo I bought at a craft fair this year. The gizmo is called "a square in a square ruler" was fun to use.

Tomorrow I hope to trim the above quilt and add the binding, then photograph it and show you my attempt at quilting.... trust me, my quilting needs a LOT more practising... I won't leave my day job!

Until next posting... Cheers...Jewells

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm Back!

At long last I am back on air and even though I haven't been near the computer, I have been sewing and knitting the past couple of weeks.

I have sewn 2 quilt tops out of left over fabric from other quilts I had made ages ago. The 2 quilt tops are for me to practice on tomorrow (hopefully) as I am going to a lady's place to play with her "old" long arm quilting machine. I want to know if I enjoy quilting. If I don't enjoy it, I won't go any further into looking at machines and will keep sending my quilts to a lady to quilt for me.

I have tried to download the two quilt tops, but I am not having any luck at the moment... will have to try again tomorrow to show you what they look like "before" I attempt to quilt them.

I am also knitting another double breasted cardigan for my 9 month old grandson. I say "another" as the first one I made for him was size 1-2 yrs, however when my daughter received it she said that it was too small for him. I knew he was a big boy, but didn't realise he was that big! so I decided to make the largest size in the pattern (7-8 yrs) and that way he can grow into it! By the looks of the back, it will be sitting in his cupboard for a few years!

Until next posting.. Cheers...Jewells

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Off air for a couple of weeks

My computer needs updating and the computer "doctor" wants to keep it for a couple of weeks and add all sorts of things to it, so I will have to stop posting to my blog for all that time... just when I was getting a hang of it.

So until next blog posting....


Friday, August 7, 2009

My Bear Quilt

Here is another one of my quilts I came across over the weekend. This was a BOM from Country Pieces (Orange, NSW, Australia) and as I am a teddy bear lover, I decide to make this quilt into a doona cover. That way I will use the quilt.... one day!
I ended up adding the half square triangle row on the top and bottom so it would fit a queen sized doona.
This is a close up of one of the appliqued blocks.

To make it into a doona cover, I had the quilt top quilted the same way as if it was going to be a normal quilt, but instead of adding the binding, I bought a queen sized flat sheet and sewed the quilt and sheet together like a huge pillowcase, with the flap on the bottom with fancy snaps to keep the doona in and not gaping at the bottom.

I have made a few quilts into doona covers like this.

Until next posting...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Transport Quilt

I was rearranging my wardrobe last weekend and had a lovely time refreshing my memory on some of the quilts I have made and just folded up and put away. I have this habit of seeing a lovely pattern or panel, have to make the quilt and when it is finished, I have no idea what to do with it?

This is a "Transport Quilt" that I made a couple of years ago. It was a panel (still have 2 more panels of this in my stash)... there was no pattern to follow, but I saw a picture in a magazine and sort of used the same idea and came up with this lovely single bed sized quilt.

Since I had one big and small picture of the panel left over, I made this matching cushion to go with the quilt, with the "big" picture of the train on the other side of the cushion. I have been seriously thinking of hiring a hall for a day and display and try to sell a lot of my quilts that are just folded up in my wardrobe!
Until next posting...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Knitting Dishcloths

I have been busy knitting dishcloths lately... they are fun and quick. I found this pattern on a blog I read, but had to change the spelling from the American version of "Mom" to the Australian version "Mum". I have put this aside to give to my Mum as part of her Christmas present.

This is the first type of knitted dishcloth I made and have been making for many years now, all done in 100% cotton that I get from USA or Canada. I can't find an Australian equivalent that is as soft and inexpensive as the overseas cotton, however I will be going to a woollen mill in a couple of weeks in Victoria, so I will see what they have there.

I have given many of these away as gifts, only to be told by many of recipitants that they are too pretty to use as a dishcloth!

Well that's all for today.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tisket a Tasket

When I started my Tisket a Tasket block of the month, I knew I wasn't going to sew the applique idea, and as I don't like redwork, but love bluework, I decided to make my first block in blue. When February came along, I thought to myself "why not do each month in a different colour?", and this is what the first 6 months looks like.

Also, as this pattern is designed in USA, and I live in Australia, I have omitted the wording on the blocks.

Well that is my second posting AND I included a photo...whoo hoo, I'm getting a hang of this blogging!