Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Holiday sewing

It always amazes me how I spend a month or more planning, making lists and organizing for a special day and then it passes so quickly.  Christmas day was lovely though and everything went perfectly!  I was given a new book, "You Sew, Girl!" by Nicole Mallalieu which I am enjoying reading and will hopefully make some of the projects from it. 
The last few days I have so enjoyed not having a list, deadlines to meet or any commitments and have grabbed opportunities to get some Vignette sewing done.  I have started working on the middle blocks, blocks 6 and 7 ...
Because I don't have many lighter fabrics, I decided to use one fabric for the background instead of piecing it as in the pattern.  I am enjoying the needleturn as a change from the border blocks that have such a lot of stitching.  A while ago I got a "Learn Needleturn Applique with Sarah Fielke" DVD with the Quilters Companion magazine #51 and it has been very useful.  I now finger press my applique shapes before stitching and Sarah also teaches a really easy way to make circles which I am finding so helpful I thought I'd share ...
Start with your circle cut out of card (here it is a 1"), cut your fabric slightly bigger, and cut a small square of tinfoil.
Layer the tinfoil, then the fabric and then the circle shape cut out of card.
Tightly fold the tinfoil around the circle shape, folding the fabric up tightly with the tinfoil.
Iron your little tinfoil parcel, leave it to cool a few minutes as it gets very hot.
Once cool, unpeel the tinfoil, carefully remove the card and you are left with an almost perfect circle for sewing!  Clever, isn't it!!  This is the DVD.
And now for a bit of cuteness ...

I have been missing all your wonderful blogs so I hope to have a catch up soon!
Happy stitching, Wendy

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Making a list ...

I'm at that stage of 'making a list and checking it twice'!  I do love to work from a list and it is so satisfying seeing lots of ticks at the end of the day.  One thing I have been able to tick off my list is the Christmas banner ...
Christmas stitchery banner - design by SewHappy Me
We don't have a mantelpiece so it was challenging finding the right spot for it, I think it looks good here with other Christmas sewing.
And Charlie and Josh have decorated gingerbread houses ...
This has become a tradition for us each Christmas and this year we tried the A-frame shape and decided it is much easier than the usual square house.
I received an early Christmas gift in the mail today, which just made my day!  I won a giveaway on Michelle Ridgway's blog and Michelle has been so generous and has given me three patterns ...

Thank you so much Michelle, I have lots of lovely projects to make for next Christmas.
Happy Christmas to all my stitching friends, thank you for all your comments and friendship throughout this year.  I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting your blogs and getting to know like-minded sewing women!
Wishing you and your families every joy for the holiday season as we rejoice in our Saviour's birth, Wendy

Saturday, 17 December 2011

FNSI results

Friday was the last FNSI for 2011, it amazes me how quickly this year has flown by!  I decided to work on the Christmas Stitchery banner that was a free sew-along with Sew Happy Me.  It had been put to one side while I concentrated on Vignette sewing and Christmas gifts and I was up to the last stitchery ...
Although I had imagined I might get up to sewing on the bindings, this was as far as I got ... the stitchery finished, all the stitcheries and backing fabric trimmed and pinned together and the binding fabric cut.  I also covered some buttons, using my scraps of the Scandinavian Christmas fabrics.  Here is a close up look at the buttons ...
Aren't they cute?!  Hopefully I will get time tomorrow afternoon to sew it all together.
Thank you to Heidi for all the FNSI's, there is something inspiring about knowing stitchers all over the world are sewing together!  To see more FNSI finishes go
Happy stitching, Wendy

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A little finish

I have just finished another little Christmas gift ...
Peace on earth cushion - Tis the Season by Natalie Bird
This was another quick gift to make and I really love the stitchery pattern. 
I am from a large family (I have 6 siblings) and Christmas dinner is at my house this year so that means about 30 people!  We have been getting a little ready (I think next week we will suddenly have to start rushing to get all the jobs done on time!)  On Sunday we got our tree ...
Each year we buy a new ornament for both children, they are getting quite a collection now.
Charlotte and Josh's decorations for this year
The Christmas stockings are hung ...
I made these last year for the kids, they are a Tilda pattern
A penguin for Josh
And a snowman for Charlotte
I have also done a little Christmas baking ...
Rocky road
I usually make this as a slab and cut it into squares but I thought it looked more Christmasy this way.  It is a very easy recipe and I have included it below for anyone interested:

Rocky Road
270g chocolate melts
2 Tbsp kremelta (solid vegetable fat)
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
1/3 cup red glace cherries
180g mini marshmallows
Melt the chocolate and kremelta and add all the ingredients, taking care not to squash the marshmallows.  Spread into a tin or put into mini cup cases like I did.  I decorated with melted white chocolate and chopped red cherries.  (This is a Destitute Gormet recipe for any NZ readers.)
I have got the fruit cooking at the moment to make a Christmas cake, I am trying a new recipe so I hope it works out.  So, I have got a little done!
It is Friday Night Sew In again on Friday, I am hoping to get a little Christmas sewing done for me this time.  The link for FNSI is on my side bar if you are interested in signing up too. 
Happy stitching, Wendy

Saturday, 10 December 2011

FNSI results

I had a nice FNSI although we had unexpected visitors so I didn't get as much done as hoped!   I did manage to make a little pincushion though which will be a gift for my boss, who just happens to love all things crafty and quilting!
The Happy Hedgehog Pincushion - designed by Fiona Marie
This cute little hedgehog is a free pattern found at  I must admit I struggled with his nose and it doesn't look as good as Fiona Marie's one but I think the overall effect is OK.  I do hope my boss likes it!!
It has been one of those tiring but satisfying Saturdays today, we managed to tidy most of the gardens and got rid of two trailer loads of cuttings and garden rubbish.  I am looking forward to a relaxing evening and some Christmas sewing.  Sounds good, doesn't it?
Happy stitching, Wendy

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Vignette progress and swap mail

I was determined to finish blocks 5 and 9 of the Vignette quilt before I could go back to Christmas sewing and I am pleased to say I have finally finished them!
Here are the completed blocks on my design wall bed.  Not a very good photo, but it gives the idea.
I received my Great Global Christmas swap from Kim (no blog) in America, when I saw the courier coming I ran to the door!  Kim was so generous and gave me lots of lovely gifts ...
It was wrapped in this beautiful fabric
Look at all the goodies - a notepad, 6 fat quarters of fabric, a hand made box, and a wash cloth and a mug rug that Kim made
In the hand made box was hand cream, Christmas buttons, a Christmas decorations and nail files
Kim also made me this cute snow man wall hanging, it looks perfect with some of my Christmas decorations!
So, as you can see, I was thoroughly spoilt!  Thanks Kim for my wonderful parcel and thanks again to Fiona for organising this swap.
It is starting to look a bit like Christmas around here, although someone (I am suspecting my son or husband!) keeps playing with one of the decorations ...

Hmmm ...

Ahhh, that looks better!
 It is Friday Night Sew In this Friday so I have signed up, see the button on the side if you are interested.  Now I have finished blocks 5 and 9 I am free to do some more Christmas sewing, I think I have the perfect project lined up.
I'm looking forward to sewing with you on Friday, Wendy

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Great Global Christmas swap

I completed my swap gift for the Great Global Christmas swap a couple of weeks ago and it has already arrived in America to my swap partner Kim (no blog).  That means I can show you what I made for Kim ...
Good Friends Warm the Heart wall hanging - Michelle Ridgeway design from a Country Threads magazine
I also made Kim a bag to put the chocolates in ...
Festive Tree bag - Hatched and Patched design
And I added chocolates to the bag and gave Kim a tea towel and a fridge magnet with Pavlova recipe on it ...
Kim has posted my parcel and I am loving the thought of receiving something all the way from America!  A big thank you to Fiona Marie for organizing this swap.
We have just come home from a yummy dinner out to celebrate my father's birthday ...

Happy birthday Dad!
Family gatherings feel very special and caring after losing Mum and Dad has been such a dear in his obvious love of Mum.
In other news, the lovely Cherise has awarded me the Liebster Award.
This award is to showcase up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers.  Thank you so much Cherise for giving me this award and for the lovely comment you left!   The rules are to copy and post the award on your blog, thank the person who sent you the award and link back to their blog, then pick five blogs and leave them a comment.  Last time I received an award I struggled to pass it on in case other's didn't really want it, but this time I thought I would award it to some of the lovely ladies that I 'met' first through blog land, ones that meet the criteria, of course. 
I love all the blogs that I read and I appreciate ALL the wonderful and encouraging comments I receive, thank you.
Happy stitching, Wendy