Cats & Quilts - a match made in heaven... (except maybe those stubborn little clouds of fur that latch on to the fabric!)

Kitty Quote of the Day

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul. - Jean Cocteau

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Vote For Brunnie =^..^=

Hi friends, I have entered a pic of my much missed little fur-boy Brunnie in a spring photo comp on Facebook & the Love Cats website. Brunnie loved the garden & the pic I submitted with him between the daffis is one of my favourites.

Click on this link to Love Cats if you would like to vote for Brunnie. To vote you rate the picture out of 5 paws. HB & I greatly appreciate it & those of you from Facebook like our dear Shez who have voted so far. He may not win, but it is nice to have little Brunnie out in cyber space getting some votey loving.

On another furry matter - HB is not sure whether he wants to be named after a pencil or not..... he is sleeping on that decision (again).

There hasn't been much sewing happening this week. I have had three very early nights trying to get rid of the last few coughs & sore throats of this cold & been MYOBing up a storm in order to hand over the treasurers role I do for our Cali club next week.

One stuffie has been finished though, 1 more is ready to be stuffed & the rest are by the sewing machine waiting to have their backings put on. 

I also have some Easter baskets to sew later today & my Xmas bauble to finish knitting tonight while Midsummer Murders is on. If you are looking for some last minute easy Easter baskets to make, this tutorial from A Spoonful of Sugar Designs is what I am using & they say they take about 15 minutes each to make. A great idea for any occasion, just change the ribbon to suit. Check out their latest post for Easter Basket cupcakes too (& invite me around if you make some!).

Pic from A Spoonful of Sugar to direct you to the tutorial only.

Here's mine ready to sew. I'm thinking of using invisible thread so I don't have big coloured stitches through the ribbon - decisions, decisions... Naturally I didn't go with pretty white bags, lots of colour & I am loving the lime green as always. The ribbon is the Spotlight Easter specials so not much selection & couldn't get my hands on any woven ribbon in time. Never mind, these will look cute & hold a few choccies as well.

After Easter when my Let's Celebrate Swap parcel is with my swap partner Glenys, then I will be able to show you a couple of recent projects completed as well as what I receive.

Happy Sunday
Tracee xx

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Birthday Presents and Other Things....

Hi all, feel like I have been away for ages, when in reality I haven't been away at all. I have just spent nine days in bed with a horrible head cold. Today was the first day I woke up and could swallow without moaning in pain. I think I have had enough Panadol in the last nine days to keep me pain free until Christmas. Anyway, after a big dose of antibiotics from the Dr I am up today & at last on the mend. Considering I spent most of the day catching up on washing, dishes, cleaning etc I should feel a lot more poorly than I now do. Every day since I started the dose on Tuesday I have said tomorrow I will wake up & the tablets will have started working & finally they have.

During those many days flat on my back with Hun-bun by my side, he and I have come to the conclusion he is need of a manly make over. Calling Honey-bun at the front door does nothing for his standing with the neighbourhood cats & dogs. As my cats do tend to go through name changes in their life times we are now trying out HB for size, much more manly. Not much can be done with his girly creamy furs but with a more 'man of the house' name maybe he will start walking a little taller.

In a show of manly giving this afternoon HB brought me a mouse, through the cat door & it's alive - still! It is currently hiding behind my cabinet in the sewing/study room. I had my freak out about it earlier & may go back to that later. HB thought the game with him, muma, the mouse & the shoebox played out in our small galley kitchen was heaps of fun. He happily needed a nap after all that excitement.

Now on to some sewing. I haven't done any while sick but did do some stitching. I was making a baby stuffy but as they were so easy for the small bits of stitching I felt like doing I have now made 5, 3 from the Melly & Me pattern & two I stitched up from colouring in pages found online. They need their backs & stuffing and then picks will follow.

Here's the couch companion I made my cousin for her birthday in late February. I am just loving the fabric & how the end product turned out. I started with a magazine pattern but changed it to suit so it fits in her knitting rather than sewing. On one side is the basket for wool & needles and the work in progress.

 On the top is a pin cushion for when you get to that awful part of sewing the knitting together. My mum always used to make me sew her knitting together too as I did a much neater job. I did some running stitches here to bring out the deep maroon colour.

Then on the other side is room for the pattern, scissors, tape measure, sewing needles for yarn etc.

I added some supplies & a couple of free Easter patterns found online. You can't send a pressie to NZ without including a sheep - he's a tape measure.

I think it's very pretty & the feedback was good too. I'm still not having much luck getting presents into my pressie bin, just finish & in the post though hopefully after Easter that may change.

Now it's off to get a few more things done before I get to sit & relax watching Midsummer Murders. It's a good thing those Midsummer towns are so pretty & so many people want to live there otherwise they would run out of people to kill off!

Hope to get to some blog reading later this week too! Sorry I haven't replied to comments in the last 2 weeks either but soon will be back on top of things.

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Monday, March 4, 2013

Long Weekend....

There is a lot to be thankful for today...

* It's been raining - in Perth - in March!
* It's quite cool - in Perth - in March!
* It's a Public Holiday, Labor Day, in Western Australia only - sorry Easterners...

* I had a great day at Applique Club yesterday, lots of laughs
* I have been surprisingly crafty productive this weekend
 * I am up to date on pressie making & swap planning

* I have done & enjoyed 4 weeks & 9 Aquafit classes at the gym - moving my lazy ass again at last!

* The pool in the backyard is patched & appears to not be leaking anymore - thanks FWA!

* Hun-bun is a happy, happy, more spoilt cat than ever.
* I have been woken to Hun-bun cuddles on the bed three morning this week, a record for HB. He tells me he took today off as it is a public holiday for WA pussy cats too ; (
* I've pulled up my big girl panties & I am coming to terms with Little Brun being gone though I think the likelyhood of me ever stopping talking about him is very slim - bear with me....

So this weekend on the crafty front, I have stitched stuffies;

I have prepared 10 Easter baskets;

 I have prepared baby bunnies for sewing - these are the smaller cousins to Aunty Shez's big bunnies. I decided to reduce the Homespun pattern;

I have finished cutting out a baby quilt in Melly & Me's fabric line Where The Wind Blows;

I made six cards also but forgot to photograph them so they will appear in another post. And the result of this & many other projects - my scrap bin is over flowing...

The tin I keep next to the iron at my cutting station in the laundry. Once it gets too full I empty it into the sewing box. As you can see 'in to' the sewing box is just not possible anymore. Fortunately on the way back from Applique club yesterday I had to go to Bunnings for a flood light bulb so a solution to the scrap problem had to be found. I was thinking one of those mini wheelie bins but my next question was where would it live. So for $15 I came up with an ideal solution - a 27 litre, swing top rubbish bin;

It sits perfectly under my cutting table in the laundry and so no one will ever mistake it for a rubbish bin, a few scraps & some scraps of Floriani Appli-kay Wonder and my bin has a label;

In case you haven't come across this product before, it is like visofix but you can move it. I use it for applique as I can place the pieces, pick them back up off the fabric backing & replace them or pick up a part of a piece and place under a piece that should have gone down first. It is very forgiving & easy to work with. 

It sticks without ironing (as you can see on my bin) and once you are happy with placement, an iron will lock it into place. It's not as cheap as visofix but after loosing so many pieces as the backing & sticky sheet came apart I always use this. Visofix doesn't seem to store that well and I always want some on hand as I am a late night planner & cutter. It comes on its own roll so is easy to store too. I buy a few rolls at every craft show annually or occasionally online. A roll 9 inches x 3 yards lasts me ages & it cost me $17.00 for the one opened last night. It's personal preference but this is the product for me.

I hope everyone has had a great weekend too. The line up for machine sewing in my home is getting a little overwhelming - look out Janome, your rest is over!

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Friday Night with Friends

Hi all

Last night I took part in Friday Night with Friends, having a stitching night while watching some Criminal Minds - my favourite show.

I started a new project for a recently born little friend. It is a stitchery stuffie of a bunny from a Sew Little Pattern (by Melly from Melly & Me) called Stuffie Play. I love making these & put a few bells deep in the stuffing so they are a rattle as well as a toy.

The fabric I am putting on the back is by Melly & Me too, called Where The Wind Blows. Bunny has a turquoise outline with red, pink & black. I managed to get all the outline stitched so tonight will hopefully finish the rest of the stitchery.

So that was my Friday night & thanks to our sewing-muma Cheryl. Hop (pun intended!) on over to her blog Gone Stitchin to visit everyone else who took part. It was a big party with over 50 bloggers taking part.

Two weeks ago I visited an op shop in the hope of picking up an old handbag with stupendously nice handles so I could cut them off to put on a bag I intend to make. Ever since I have kept the handbag on my sewing table so I stared at it everytime I went past hoping I would make a decision. As is my way, I was happy with my purchase & even more so when the ticket price of $7 ended up being half price. $3.50 for leather bag handles is quite a bargain. Then I got it home, looked through it, thought this is almost new, it's a Nine West leather handbag - maybe I shouldn't cut it up, maybe I should use it as is, maybe I should look again for handles......
But the deciding factor was the big buckle - it just didn't talk to me, so as the song says - the first cut is the deepest!
Trying to cut through two layers of creamy soft leather & stitching was almost impossible while trying to take a pic with the other hand so here's the result of the first cut. After three minutes of mass destruction the hangbad was reduced to the sum of it's collectable parts - two gorgeous handles;
And a super heavy duty magnetic clasp;
The rest is in the bin. So now I have to make the new bag so this lovely handbag can be reincarnated & didn't sacrifice it's first life in vain.... I'm still contemplating rescuing some of that lovely soft balck leather...... just in case I ever need it for anything.
I also made another purchase for $2 that no quilter could resist. I guess it is a night shirt. It must have been brought as a novelty for a quilter & like me they couldn't bear the thought of wearing a high neck t-shirt to bed. It's too cute anyway. I thought maybe it would make a good cushion. So tell me, what would you do with this little quirky quilters saying?
I have the WAQA Applique Club again tomorrow. The month flies by again. I am looking forward to it so better go work out what to cook to take along for lunch.
Happy stitching
Tracee xx