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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Luck of the Kiwis!

I know the traditional form is the luck of the Irish but I have been a pretty lucky Kiwi this week.
At last I am following in my mothers footsteps. She was lucky - small bits of luck that makes you smile. That reminds me that my mothers favourite word for it was that she was a 'tin bum' when it came to scratchies, small lotto wins, small horse racing bets etc.
Now I am assuming 'tin bum' meaning an extra lucky person must be a Kiwi saying & I can guarantee it came from my Grandad who also loved a 'flutter on the GGs'. A search online shows that 'tinny' was the saying in Australia around the turn of the century (tin in relation to coins) & that 'tin backed' was even used. I then quote the last line on World Wide 'The variant tin bum is known in New Zealand.'
So why was I a 'tin bum' this week?
First I was lucky enough to win The DVD of The Hunger Games from Samelia's Mum blog last week & it arrived Wednesday. I have read the 1st book in the series by Suzanne Collins on which the movie is based & loved it. The next one is on reserve from the library. The teen book series like this, Harry Potter, Maximum Ride & The Day After Tomorrow are really my idea of fun - what does that say about me - I'm still in touch with my youthful spirit! I found the movie just as good as the book though the book was much more detailled so maybe I filled in a lot of blanks by knowing the storyline already. Great though & thanks very much to Anorina for this win.

Next I received an email from Jenny of Elephantz to say I was one of the winners for her Embroidery workbook giveaway. This arrived Friday. I can never have enough stitch guides. Thanks very much Jenny!

Now the other thing mum told me was that luck - good or bad - always comes in threes!
Also on Friday I also received my latest issue of Vignette (yum yum) from Sarah at Patchwork Plus and included was the Mauritian Bloom Pattern Holder by the lovely Rosie Quinlan. I emailed Sarah thinking it was put in the wrong envelope & got a reply to say, no I won her giveaway too. I am so far behind in my blog reading I didn't even realise. Thanks so much Sarah!

I also received in the mail a new book that is a new US release but I am currently making a swap gift from it so more of that later. To begin with it wasn't the best Friday - you could say I wasn't completely a tin bum - stomach cramps, aching legs, headache & lots of visits to the smallest room in the house. After a full night of this Thursday night I was a bit miserable, so the postie dropping a nice bundle on my doorstep Friday lunch time was very welcome & cheered me up a lot.
Brun did his best to help with lots of cuddles but all the jumping up through the night didn't do much for either of our beauty sleep.
Hun-bun tried to compete with the wins by bringing me a present today too - a RAT! For some reason he still thinks my yelling 'bad murderer Hun-Bun' through the screen door is positive reinforcement.
By the way - no rats were harmed in the making of this picture. He was still alive, just playing dead. Unfortunately I can't vouch for what happened at a later date. Hun-bun picked rat up & tried to bring it inside for me so I ran, screamed & shut the door on him & his present.
Oh & I am still not winning the fluffy bed stand off.... maybe next winter.
Wishing you 'tin bummedness' too
Tracee xx  Brun xx  Hun-bun xx   rat : (

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Spring Mini Swap

Hi all

I had the sweetest parcel to pick up from the post office late this week. It was my Spring Mini swap parcel & it came from our sweet friend Melody from The House on the Side of the Hill blog. If you are not a regular visitor to Mel (unlikely!), rush over there & check out her blog, the posts of beautiful creations & all the amazing free designs Mel find & shares with everyone.

My parcel was a delight right from the outset with the parcel wrapped in blue kitty fabric & blue ribbon. I love ribbon (almost as much as kitty fabric - I'm a ribbon stasher - shhh don't tell anyone!).

There was a beautiful card with my favourite flowers, sweet peas, on the front. My mum always grew sweet peas & they are so fragrant & prolific in flowering- I love them.

Inside was not only my lovely spring mini but generous Mel had also sent me a book - 'A Friend Like Ben' by Julia Romp. (A mother desperate for love. A little boy who can't show it. The cat that brought them together). All I need to add to that is a nice big box of tissues - the cat goes missing too! Thank you Mel, you thoughtfully picked up on my love of reading as well as kitties (surprise, surprise!).

And leaving the best to last - my Spring Mini quilt. Isn't it gorgeous, redwork stitchery, red & turquoise fabrics, bright & happy colours & a gorgeous design with buttons. Here it is, on my bronze mini quilt frame with the ribbon header. Purrfect!

Yes - that is a stack of magazines on the coffee table behind it - the ones I can't bear to put away yet.

So big kisses & thanks to sweet Mel - you can see I love everything!

Thanks also to our swap mama Cheryll of Gone Stitchin. There is still time to take part in the Christmas Mini Quilt Swap, it closes on the 25th October. Sign up to join in the fun on Cheryll's blog.

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Spring Mini Swap

I did the recent 'Spring' Mini Quilt swap hosted by our swap muma Cheryll from Gone Stitchin'.

My partner this time was Dannette from Quilting Chemist in the USA. Great to meet, well really it was to stalk, someone new. These are secret swaps so Dannette didn't know I was stalking her a few weeks back to learn what she liked & what would suit her in a mini quilt. It ends up we have a lot in common - definately not the chemist bit but we both love hexies, stitchery, applique & birdies.

So this is the Spring mini I made for Dannette.

The stitchery is from Homespun magazine, a design by one of my favourite designers, Lisa from Cubby House Crafts in Tassie. The original pattern is for a great tablerunner & included hexie flowers. I didn't want to lose the hexies so used them as a border feature. The colours are soft & subtle with the lovely blue birdie.

Dannette emailed me last night to say it had arrived safely & she loves it. Yippee! This is my favourite mini I have made so want to make an identical one for myself too. It's on the list!

Can't wait to see more of these mini quilts as they arrive at their new homes & mine too. As always, Thanks to Cheryll for putting in the hard work.

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weekends With Brunnie =^..^=

Hi friends - Brunnie still here, just not been writing much & my typist is very unreliable!

Never mind now I have a tale (or tail??) for you. It contains purrs of joy, generosity, snuggliness, squeaks of terror & mumma swearing. Oh it also includes me, Brutus Beefkitten as the hero & Honey-bun as the bad, bad scaredy cat.

It all started one fine shopping day when mumma decided (right or wrongly but generously) that it would be a good idea to buy her two furboys a new fluffy bed for them each to nap in. They are soft & fluffy, spacious and match nicely to the decor of the lounge room. They were also 50% off so what could possibly go wrong.

I very happily took to my new fluffy bed (here are the purrs of joy). It is warm & snuggly and sits on the couch next to mumma where I can sit & watch mumma sew.

Here my tale takes a turn for the worst. Hun-bun normally sleeps on the other couch on his blankie & mumma thought the snuggly bed would help contain his ginger furs he puts on the chocolate brown couch. Little did she know what she was in for.

Mumma lifted Hun-bun in to his snuggly bed & Hun-bun turned from sweet napping kitty-cat into massive big crying scaredy cat not wanting to go in fluffy bed. He held his paws out on the sides like he was being thrown in the bath, squealed & tried to claw mumma. That was the bit when mumma said the bad words!

So after a bit of planning & no sign of Hun-bun all afternoon & evening mumma decided to put Hun-buns blankie on top of the fluffy bed & entice him in that way. Hun-bun crept in that night after mumma went to bed & slept on the couch, right on the brown. That was the next time muma said the bad words!

So mumma decided to get Hun-bun used to having the bed around first & so it sits on the couch next to Hun-buns blankie. Hun-bun ignores the fluffy bed, mumma ignores the fluffy bed, even Hermoine ignores the fluffy bed & I laugh at scaredy Hun-bun & dirty mouth mumma!

Two weeks later & I can see mumma hasn't given up though. It is just a temporary truce & every so often she puts Hun-bun in the fluffy bed & holds him in there. The record so far is about 20 seconds with mumma lying full on top of Hun-bun to keep him in there. The saga continues......

My poor oversized scaredy cat baby brother!

Big purrs
Brunnie xx

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Naked No More....

My mini-quilt frame that is!

It has sat forlornly waiting for my overdue Welcome mini quilt. Now I have finished my first little mini quilt for myself & I think it is a beauty.

I have shown the stitchery previously but I finished it off with a simple red border and final border & binding with a gorgeous blue & red fat quarter that Leanne gave me in a swap.

It is delightfully cute & simple, showing off the stitchery perfectly. At last I am displaying a mini quilt on my gorgeous cream frame.

I have since made another for the Spring mini swap. It is currently winging its way North so I can't show it yet but I so much want there to be time to make one for myself. I love it & hope my swap partner does too.

Over the weekend I also made two more Snugglybug blocks to go in to a quilt along with the other block mades around Australia for a 6 year old little man who is getting treatment in Hobart Hospital. I hope Spiderman helps him fight the big battle he & his family are facing.

I couldn't get Spiderman fabric in the quilting department of the three shops I tried. I was worried that I would get distracted & forget what I was looking for so I was wandering through the fabric aisles singing 'Spiderpig, Spiderpig, does what ever a spiderpig does'. I did get a couple of stares that made me think I wasn't singing as quietly as I thought. I don't know what Spiderman's theme song is but obviously I have watched a few episodes of The Simpsons in my past.

 Given the circumstances I so much want to get the fabrics that these little people ask for & in the time alloted so this time went for curtain fabric in the spiderman blocks in the centre. I hope that works OK for the person putting the top together & the quilter. I'm sure the little spiderman fan will love it!

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stitching with Helen of Hugs n Kisses

On Friday I had the best day.

1st - I finally had a day off work to do something fun

2nd - I spent the day with Helen from Hugs n Kisses & 7 others stitchers doing what we love best - stitching, laughing & learning new techniques.

Helen came all the way to Perth from the Promise Land - Hobart, Tasmania, to teach classes for the WA Quilters Guild. The Friday class I went to was a workshop on embroidery & specifically her lovely 'Sewing Chatelaine' projects.

Before even the first stitch I learnt heaps about needles, working with threads & specifically why my thread tends to get fuzzy & knot (I'm using too small a needle with too small an eye - Crewel No 7s for me from now on!).

We started with the large medallion on the needle case. Here's my effort for the day;

The blue areas are the iron on pattern, such a time saver & a feature of Helen's patterns. You get an iron on transfer that will work several times as well as the printed page for tracing if that is your preference. The blue petals are now filled with satin stitch in a delicate pink.

Even though that is as far as most of us got, Helen went through all the tips & hints for finishing off the set. I can't wait to try the leather stitching on the sides of the scissor case, tape measure holder & fob, it is such an easy, strong & decorative stitch. Helen showed us how to make the cord & tassel to finish off our little masterpieces.

As you can see behind Helen, there was a display of her work & I was so happy to see her new project 'Home Sweet Home' up close. The scallops are larger than I expected & the stitcheries in them so vintage & sweet.

Check out some of the stitcheries up close;

and of course there has to be a kitty;

So naturally a copy of this glorious Home Sweet Home pattern & the acrylic templates had to come home with me. The fabrics in this quilt are Helen's first fabric line 'Life is Beautiful' in conjunction with Red Rooster fabrics.

They are available at Quilt Fabric Delights ($5 a fat quarter - great price for Aussie) and I read on Leanne's Blog yesterday that Esme's in Launceston is stocking Helen's fabrics too. Check out the needle cases Leanne has made for the shop out of Helen's Life is Beautiful panel. In Perth, Quintessential Quilts in Morley are stocking the range too, so we can see them, touch them & play before we buy.

A big thank you to the WA Quilters Guild for bringing Helen all the way West for us & to the lovely & talented Helen for her fantastic teaching, generous sharing of her wealth of knowledge and sweet ways that made the days such fun.

I read something recently that gave me a giggle, on a blog or Facebook, can't remember which, 'I'm going to a workshop to learn how to make another UFO!' I can so relate to that but this sewing set is just so pretty & useful that I am determined to get them finished - soon!

Happy stitching
Tracee xx