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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

After spending a pleasant evening stitching Bronwyn Hayes new free stitchery from her Red Brolly blog I decided my treasure for this week is all the talented designers who freely offer us projects, blocks of the month, tutorials, giveaways and hints & tips to greater improve our stitching & enjoyment of our favourite crafty past times.

It isn't sewn into the pin cushion yet but here's my Easter bunny stitched from Bronwyn's free pattern.

Obviously I only know about a tiny percentage of the free projects on offer but here are a few that I love & whose generosity I would like to acknowledge;

Our beautiful hostess Melody, from The House On The Side Of The Hill & her unique 10 part Penny Rug BOM Home Sweet Home. Also thanks to Mel for all the freebies, tutorials & fun things she tells us about in her every post.

Val Laird & her beautiful BOM Thoughts in Thread.

Michelle from The Raspberry Rabbits & her exquisite wool felt BOM Hannah & Harrington portraying the antics of her sweet & sassy bunnies.

Val Spiers from Val Spiers Sews & the numerous small projects she designs & finds and happily shares with us - including kitty designs.
/\ /\
( UU )

Jenny of Elefantz & her Promises & Borders BOM with delicate stitcheries & scriptures.

Anne from Bunny Hill Designs who is currently hosting the Dresden Plate Club & has given away many free BOMs over the years, including Snowbound & A Tisket, A Tasket.

Fiona from Bugzrugz Quilt as you go tutorial with denim that was a guest spot on the blog Sew We Quilt. This was from May 2011 & yes I still have lots of denim circles of fabric sitting in a pile waiting for me to move ahead with my picnic blanket.

Dawn Hay from As Sweet As Cinnamon who has six gorgeous small project designs freely given on her blog currently. The Holly Berry Mug Rug is on my 'to do' list (actually I'm thinking of making a 'to do' quilt, as a list just doesn't have enough room).

That is just a few & I'm sure we could do a linky & end up with an amazing list of other great projects & generous designers (which would turn my 'to do' quilt in to a 'to do' hall runner, rather like the red carpet at the Oscars).

Whether I have named you or not, thank you to you all for your kindness & giving back to the quilty & stitchy community who love you & the beauty you bring to the world.

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Blogger - Please Say Hi

Hi all

A talented crafter I used to work with showed up at the WA Quilters Guild sewing night last week. I mentioned that she has to get in to the blogging world & a couple of days later got an email with her brand new blog address on it.

Please go visit & say hi to Tracy  - the Outback Craftaholic

Tracy is new to quilting but is currently doing a class for a braid table runner and has picked gorgeous fabrics. She does exquisite embriodery that she will soon show us a few examples of on her posts.

We have just done an email run down on blog design, swaps, stitch a longs, my many, many favourite blogs etc so expect to see Tracy popping up at your blog soon.

Welcome Tracy!

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Life's A Hoot When Your 3!

My little friend Helen turned 3 today & there was a fairy party.

Every good fairy party needs a toadstool cake which Helen's clever mum Megs made. It tasted as good as it looks too though the resulting sugar rush in the 5s & under was quite loud for 10 minutes or so.

Here's my favourite fairy, the birthday girl, with her present I made her, an owl bag. It goes quite well with her fairy tutu.

The pattern is called In Cahoots from my favourite US magazine - Quilts and More, designed by Terry Atkinson. It is quilt as you go which makes for a nice & simple zip insertion.

It was my first time at cutting binding on the bias for curves too but doesn't that work a treat. My first effort I cut straight & once I got under my daylight lamp pinning realised that the fabric was red & not bright pink. Maybe that is why not everyone quilts at 11pm regularly like me.

It was a very happy day. I found out that as I sneak up on the age of 46, that my perfect man is one aged just over 5 months. Ahhh the cuddles were sublime!

Thank you Megsie for letting me showcase your gorgeous youngest daughter here & for a great party.

Happy partying!
Tracee xx

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

RIP Jim Stynes

That's two of my most favourite sports people passed away far too young in a matter of four months. First V8 Supercar driver Jason Richards at 35 years of age & today my all time hero Jim Stynes at 45. Both were taken by forms of cancer after brave & valiant fights to remain with their families.

I came to Aussie in 1986 & within a couple of years was introduced to that confusing (to a Kiwi!) sport of Aussie Rules Football. Right from the word go big Irish Jim was a favourite. A great player, later Captain of the Melbourne Football Team, Best & Fairest winner, Brownlow Medalist in 1991, great team player & what a legend of the game!

However what Jim did off the field showed him to be a true gentleman, a carer of people & someone willing to use his notority for the betterment of others. In 1994 along with film director Tim Currie, Jim cofounded The Reach Foundation. This is how they describe the ethos of Reach on the web site 'Reach was born from a desire to inspire every young person to believe in themselves and get the most out of life & has been making a positive impact in the lives of young Australians for nearly two decades.'

As an ardent footy fan, for your football skills on the field & off as President Jim, I applaud you, for your great family values & integrity I adore you & for all your hard work as a motivator & empower of our greatest resource, our youth,  I hold you in great respect.

You are a very sad loss for so many reasons. The world is a much poorer place without you.
RIP Jimmy.

No Happy Today
Tracee xx

Tuesday Treasures

I was a pondering what to show you today for Tuesday Treasures & realised there is something I do not own, am just able to borrow from, that I hold extremely dear.

Of course, it is my local library, of which there is four in our Shire. My favorite I pass every day on the way to & from work. Every Tuesday the branch I use is open to 7pm so like clockwork I am there on the way home from work, big bag of books in hand, ready to return & replace with another bundle of wordy goodness to take home.

A couple of weeks ago I missed Tuesday night & went in on a Friday mid afternoon. It felt just so wrong! I could see the distress on the librarian's faces as they thought 'oh no, it can't be Tuesday again!' Sometimes I feel like I'm not so much a library member as the Woodvale Library Stalker, it's just a good thing they know how to appease me.

When libraries went online & I could order books from home without filling out a little card in the library I was jubilant beyond compare. Now my list regularly tops the 50 limit as I patiently wait for my favourite authors. Another great bonus is I have a perment search in for quilting, craft & knitting books so when ever a new book is added I get an email telling me about it. There seems to be a race between me & another borrower as to who gets the new titles first or second. Damn that mystery borrower! It is a great resource for reviewing a pattern book before deciding if it is worth buying.

The only bugbear with my daily reading obsession is that it does take me away from my sewing but alas reading to me is like breathing, not an option, always a pleasure. I also listen to books on CD in the car constantly & sometimes at home too so I can listen & stitch at the same time.

So yes, my name is Tracee & I am a bookaholic. I will never repent! I will never join a 12 step program! I will never understand the attraction of an ereader when you can have pages, glossy covers & that beautiful book smell!

What am I reading at the moment? Dead reckoning - Book 11 in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris that the HBO True Blood series is based on. Never knew I would so much enjoy the escapades of naughty vampires & flirty fairies, scary werewolves & Southern Belles. Write faster Charlaine!

I am joining in with Melody from The House On The Side Of The Hill for Tuesday Treasures so please go to Mel's blog to join in & read about everyone elses obsessions.

Happy reading
Tracee xx

Sunday, March 18, 2012

FNSI & The Name Game Swap Quilt For Me!

It was great to get back in to Friday night sewing. Our recent heat waves in Perth & lack of Footy to watch on TV has meant my favourite sewing night has been quite unproductive over summer. That is all about to change & this is what I got up to last Friday;

Tacking ready to needleturn applique around my house block for the Some Kind Of Wonderful Quilt stitch a long,

Cutting & pinning ready for sewing on a secret project,

Sewing the start of a hoot of a bag for a little friend,

I also received my Name Game Swap Quilt from Bea Lea in North Carolina. Imagine having to make up a quilt depicting Quilt Kitty Loves Life, sounds complicated to me. Bea did a beautiful job & much to my delight showed my furboys in it. It is simply purrrfect and received top marks from all 3 judges here at Quilt Kittyville. Brutus particularly liked the quilted fish in the border.

This is what I put on my details form
I want it to have the name Quilt Kitty Loves Life but if it suits they can add the names of the Board of Directors - Tracee (CEO), Brutus (Head Gray & CFO - approves all fabric purchases), Honey (Head Ginger & Quality Control - approves all products made).
so poor Bea was trawling through my blog trying to see what colour the Tracee cat is. In future I should be clearer & put I am CEO & Human Cat Wrangler to make it clearer.

Lucky Bea received her quilt from our delightful Melody from The House On The Side Of The Hill. If you click on Bea's name above you can go to her blog & see Melody's sweet quilt too. Bea is an amazing quilter, lots of complicated piecing, a published designer, a Long Arm Quilter & has won International Awards.

So that's the end of another great swap thanks to Anorina from Samelia's Mum so now it's on to planning my Friends With Benefits project & then get moving on my Christmas Angel Swap projects. So many projects so little time. As all good finance people do, I've called in another of my best friends 'Excel' & started a spreadsheet to keep me on target.

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm On Craft Corners - Best Of The Web!

It's been a great day!

 - First I had a wonderful time with lots of laughs at my regular Thursday quilt group & the girls loved my loo roll holder / mug bag.

 - Then I came home & saw Melissa from Happy Quilting had posted she had received the Name Game Quilt I made her & loves it.

 - At 9.30pm the AFL Footy Show started back for the season tonight, not that I'm obsessed or anything. I just find it really productive stitching time - Oh really!

 - Now at midnight Perth time I start reading my blog emails & find I am one of the featured bloggers on Craft Corners - Best of the Web feature.

Craft Corners is a great place to hang out no matter what your craft. It is a craft blog run by a diverse & talented team of crafters.

Here's how they describe themselves: 'Craft Corners is like a little workshop with corners for stitching, handmade jewelry, recycled crafts and ideas for home & garden or your art and design projects.'

Of course I love the posts on the stitching & fabric crafts but also the recycled ideas that go hand in hand with most quilters love of reinventing & repurposing.  I would love to try more jewellery making too but so far limit myself to supplies that fit in one biscuit tin but given the right motivation......... well, that could all change!

Check out the best of the web feature & the six other craftspeople included this time. There's something for everyone & don't we always want to try something new.

Thanks to our talented Aussie designer & blogger Val Laird who gave approval for me to use my favourite project pic on The Best Of The Web feature, my little applique snail that comes from her design 'All My Lovely Sewing Things'.

Thank you so much to Jennifer from Craft Corners for her invitation to be a part of this great feature. I'm sure Jennifer, you have a very long list of Australian bloggers & crafters that you hope to feature in future editions of The Best Of The Web.

Craft Corners also happily welcome guest bloggers to write about their favorite crafts so don't be shy in contacting them as I know so many of you have such great talent & enthusiasm that a wider audience would be delighted with.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings....

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Name Game Swap Quilt for Happy Quilting

At last I can show you the project I was working on when I gave you this sneak peak two weeks ago.

Samelia's Mum hosted The Name Game Swap where we designed a mini quilt to match our secret partners blog or real name, which ever they chose. We filled in a form with a few likes & dislikes then went a stalking of our new partner for ideas from their blogs and Flickr pictures.

My secret partner was Melissa from Happy Quilting in the USA. I have to say I was shaking in my boots when I saw she is a designer with great fabric combining skills & a real professional of our industry. I had loved one of her quilts I had seen in a US magazine just a few weeks before.

At least I was smart & ordered a charm pack of Terrain by Kate Spain straight away as Melissa said that was what she was redecorating her sewing room in. I have always looked at pics of Kate Spain fabric & thought gorgeous but when I laid out the charm squares I can see why Melissa has gone for it & especially the purple range. I am loving the bright orange too so it is a bonus to have those charm squares left for a project for me for later on.

I pondered on my design for a few weeks, checking out the sneak peeks on our group's Flickr page. For two weeks I had settled on cathedral windows. I knew Melissa loves them & they would look great in this fabric with white. I don't know whether it was the fact someone else showed a peak of the same or if I came to my senses & remembered I have never done them before, but the night before the sewing day for this project I changed my mind completely. So here's the end result.

The outside blocks are raw edge having only been sewn on by a cross once diagonally each way so some of the edges. In the middle of each flower is a button in either purple, white or green. The words are hand sewn on, raw edge again. The quilting is in the ditch around the flower blocks & then like little rays of sunshine radiating out from the important bit, Melissa's blog name.

When I saw Melissa's pics on Flickr & her blog post tonight it was a relief on two counts - firstly it got to the USA in time for today's deadline & secondly and most importantly - she loves it! It was a pleasure to make it for you Melissa & thank you for introducing me to a new range & style of fabric.

Thanks also to our swap mum Anorina for all her hard work. Now I just need to be patient & not scare the postie too much checking for my parcel tomorrow.

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Dress Up Your Roll Comp Entry

My loo roll is sooooo pretty, it's so pretty, it's so witty, how pretty it is!

Yes, my entry for the Dress Up Your Roll challenge is finished & so pretty it has me singing. I also feel like I should be wearing one of those gone with the wind dresses & carrying a parasol while swaying from side to side but the line has to be drawn somewhere. That corsetting would be far to hot to wear on a 39 degree day in Perth!

Quilt Jane from Want It, Need It Quilt is running this fun little competition to find unique ways to gussy up the spare loo roll. The range of entries on the Flickr group page is just amazing, from the Leaning Tower of Pisa (very fitting!), to an Angry Bird, a Sock Monkey, foundation priced roses to the men & womens toilet sign. Check them out, they are fantastic. A lot of very creative ideas.

I decided to use my leftovers from my All My Lovely Sewing Things wall hanging (by Val Laird) I finished in August last year. It was made with a charm pack of Breakfast at Tiffany's by Fig Tree & fittingly purchased from Quilt Jane's shop. Her prices for precuts are seldom beaten, so check it out. I just saw Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille charm packs for $10 each.

I only used half of each charm squares so had just enough left for my roll cover. I decided not to use the blue & just stick with the creamy, orangey colours with the deep chocolate brown to provide a lift. So having 2.5 x 5 inch strips available, I decided to cut them in half & sew up 7 strips then cut them into 1.25 widths to make lots & lots of little squares, about 140 - what was I thinking!

I didn't stress about matching corners like normal, just sewed them together haphazardly. There is not enough stress available in the world to have matched up all those little squares! I then added an olive green top & made a drawstring bag. So here's my Patchwork Pumpkin!

I figure I can put a scary face on it for Halloween! But the vision was not finished there. The pumpkin was about to get a makeover & be made into something of floral sophistication befitting Fig Tree Fabrics. The addition of a matching handmade flower brooch made all the difference. I used creamy yellow fabric that toned in with the charm pack & a little left over square from the charm pack to cover the button & tie it all together.

I can't believe it - it turned out even better than I planned, so good I want to show it off. I figure once a  month I will bare the loo roll again & use it is a carry bag for my mug & badge for when I go to WA Quilters Guild sewing nights.

Did I mention - I love my flower! I made it last night while watching the movie Sweeney Todd. Johnny Depp in a musical - mmmm - at least he got to dress up as strangley as always but that movie contains more blood than Dexter! Not one of JD's better movies.

The Dress Up Your Roll Competition doesn't close until 1st April so there is still time to enter and there is a $100 voucher to Jane's shop up for grabs (The Fat Quarter shop if you are overseas). Details are all here on Jane's blog.

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

A Generous Win From Retromummy

The postman had a nice parcel for me this week. I wonder if he ever gets sick of bringing me parcels??? I certainly don't!

I was lucky enough to win Retromummy's Don't Look Now giveaway. The prize on offer was two gorgeous Don't Look Now patterns - Worry Dolls & Pretty in Pink. Don't they look irresistible!

(pic courtesy of Retromummy's blog as posted in giveaway)

Up close they are double the cuteness. Retromummy was also incredibly generous as she doubled my prize & actually sent me four Don't Look Now patterns. How wonderfully kind is that! So I also have Alphabet Soup & Rainbow Lollipops.

Thank you Corrie for your sweet generosity. Check out Corrie's blog. It's a bundle of fun, not just quilting & knitting (yum!) but also life with four beautiful toddlers & another baby on the way, houses being renovated, brought & sold and all the usual fun stuff that makes up life for a very busy mum. Corrie, I don't know how you do it!

Check out the Don't Look Now blog too - very scrumptious! It's my first visit so I am certainly adding it to my blog roll. (remember the L, remember the L - I have a habit of typing bog roll! not a term I usually use).

Happy winning!
Tracee xx

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

I was reading a book called Vintage Home I got from the library & it will filled with pretty things I liked very much so I took a few pics to remind me of them & hope against all odds that one day I may find something just like them.

The first is this soapdish, which I am still searching for but no luck so far - it's so cute

The second is this plate

This appealed just for the aspect of giving thanks for what we have and seeing the positives even in something as down right awful as doing the dishes. As my bench often contains dishes I thought it would be right at home in my place.

A couple of weeks later at the local St Vinnies I was overjoyed to see my new plate, not quite the same but same saying, same sentiment & just as lovely. $3 later & it was mine so this is my Tuesday Treasure for this week.

Come join in or for links to all the rest of this weeks treasure hunters go to Melody's Blog, The House on the Side of the Hill.

Happy treasure hunting
Tracee xx

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Free Easter Project

Hi all

Swap sewing happening here at the moment so not much to show for it. A sneak peak & that is all. The fabric is Kate Spain's Terrain so boy am I happy to have so much of the charm pack left over!

I haven't looked at more than a couple of blogs either but one had this free Easter project I wanted to share. It is from the Attic Window Quilt Shop & instructions are on the linked blog post. Very Cute.

Here's something else to ponder......

I don't know where it originally came from so can't acknowledge them. It is racing around Facebook like wildfire so please take a copy of the pic if you would like it.  I can relate to the tangles, isn't life full of them.....

Happy stitching
Tracee xx