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, April 28, 2012

Val Adds Four Kitties to Quiltkittyville!

Happy Caturday everybody!

What other sort of community can you belong to beyond crafting where someone you only know online & may never meet face to face goes out of their way to spend hours making you a present just because they know you will love it? This community constantly delights me with the warmth, caring & generosity that flys around our blogworld. When something like I have to show you comes to me it certainly makes my heart give big, loud purrs.

Val Spiers & I, as well as being quilty bloggers, share a mutual love of all things CAT. Yes, I know, I bet that admission was a shock to many of you..... haha! Our furbabies share a major place in our families & lives so we have shared many an email on the subject as I have with a few others of you who share our furry addiction.

In early April Val asked for my details to send me a gift she was making. Oh the suspense! On the 14th April Val gave a sneak peek on her blog but fortunately little Brun was blogging that day so only he saw it & left a comment for Val. Now my parcel has arrived & is all set up ready to go on my winter recliner, in front of the slow combustion fire in the family room.

Val has designed & made me a gorgeous cushion cover from wool & linen. There is a beautiful natural linen & the wool is a navy, green, red & white tartan, which I love being a Scottish New Zealander. On the linen it says 'Meow' & 'Purr'. The kitties are also wool in brown, purple, reds & teal blue. The teal blue one at the bottom is my favourite with his little back up. That's how he will feel when I jump on to the recliner & snuggle up against him.

Of course, it scored 10 out of 10 on the 'sniff' test by both Brun & Hun-bun & definately scores 10 out of 10 with their muma. Your beautiful design Val is a delicious addition to Quiltkittyville. Now I just need to protect the chair & cushion from Brun & Hun-bun deciding, something new, must be mine! Thank you so much Val. I hope your Italian holiday is bringing you a huge amount of joy as you have brought to me. xx

I might be safe from Hun-bun poaching my chair. He has finally made up with his girlfriend Hermoine & they are cohabiting on a nightly basis again. I think my youngest furboy may only be a reliable boyfriend in the cooler months of the year. Poor Hermoine, she never complains.....

Big purrs
Tracee xx Brun xx Hun-bun xx

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Win From Rosie

This week I won some patterns from one of my favourite designers, Rosie Quinlan & they are here already too. The prize was three of her new Creative Cards designs for bags. I love these small projects, great for gifts & swaps and quick to get a result.

Happy Easter Gift Bag - I'll certainly be making a few of these.....

Petit Project Bag - love these colours & the stitchery design....

Naomi's Little Carry Bag, a frilling little bag ; )

Great win, thanks Rosie! xx

Brutus partook of his sardines in tomato sauce that his friend Horse gave him for his birthday. They were very well received & after Brun ate his little fill, Hun-bun scoffed the leftovers & licked the plate clean then wanted more. Horse is right, people sardines in tomato sauce rule!

Happy Sunday!
Tracee xx Brunnie xx Hun-bun xx

Saturday, April 21, 2012

FNSI My Friday Night Sew In

While watching the footy (bah humbug Dockers!) I finished my house block for the SKOW stitch a long, only 3 more blocks to finish by the end of the month to be up to date.... It's a little boring compared to most of the other blocks. I love how some stitchers were clever enough to use fabric for the lawn with small flowers on it, they look great.

Then I started stitching the first part of Val Laird's Lilac Love Trio Set, except mine is raspberry love...

Once the footy finished, I jumped into bed with a cup of tea, slice of marble cake, little Brun & the DVDs of the 2nd series of the Eagle, a Danish crime show. My craft item was my knitting, a hoody for the beautiful baby girl I will meet in June.

Knitting & TV with subtitles obviously don't mix when you are staring out on a pattern. I started this project while watching the first series of DVD's and as I had mixed up a row somewhere, started out last night by undoing about 8 rows. Now I have the 4 row pattern in my head & it is going much more smoothly. I'm sure I miss 30% of the dialogue though but am still loving this series. Two episodes, followed by a bit of a read & it was lights out.

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Swap Presents to Leanne

Last week I showed you what Leanne made & sent me in this post here. Now in case you haven't seen them on Leanne's blog, here are my presents to her....

It has this little holder..... Whoops, that's the back....

A few of these..... Four different fabric matches.....

Two of each..... Eight in total.....

A little holder & 8 matching coasters.....

From an issue of the USA magazine Quilts and More....

Some fabricy goodness.....  Happy Gingerbread people and Nancy Halverson pink spot.....

And what's Easter without a fluffy bunny, chicken tin & chocolate bunnies......

It was a wonderful swap. Thank you Leanne & I am so looking forward to the birthday swap! xx

Happy swapping
Tracee xx

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oh What A Day.....

Thanks to everyone for your kind & funny comments for Brun's 20th birthday. With his little health hiccups in the last year & my having to come to the realisation that I will lose him sooner rather than later now, this as been an occasion we have both had our hearts set on reaching. To share it with so many friends, both online, at work & home, has been wonderful & very touching. Thank you also for indulging me on my blog & letting me share my obsession with my furbabies, especially my dear sweet old man Brun. It's bizzaire to think I was at the tender age of 25 when he knocked on the door at about 6 weeks of age. I feel like we have grown up together.

10 minutes after an official portrait I always pose for a better picture, playing with mum's head again!

Brun got a special present from his Facebook friend Horse (whose muma works with me - for two more days only - boo hoo Mich!). Horse was kind enough to send Brun a pack of his favourite sardines in tomato sauce. Isn't that just so special! We are saving them for a Friday night footy treat, the kitty version of pie & sauce at the footy.

Oh & yes, Hun-bun did get a share of cake but as he was late to rise it was after the photos were taken. Then I abandoned the poor little birthday boy & went to work. He gave me the sad eyes but it was from the bed, on his rug with his electric blanket on two so don't feel too sorry for him. Don't feel too sorry for me either, it was off to do some shopping for little gifts then to host a Baby Shower at work for our gorgeous Regina who is expecting Baby Girl no. 2 in early June. It was very nice of our boss David to not only let us have the party during work but to also be the only man attending the baby shower with 12 of us pink obsessed females.

Our clever little Vickie took our $$$ & turned them in to a huge nappy cake containing nappies, wraps, clothes, shoes, toys, creams & the lovely pink teddy Rosie. Doesn't it look fantastic all wrapped in cellophane & a pink bow. I made the lemon & white crocheted blanket but forgot to take a proper photo of it. Nice & snuggly for a winter baby.

Last night it was the monthly WA Quilters Guild sewing night too. It was the Australia's Biggest Quilting Bee night, so there were stalls raising money for the Cancer Council. How can anyone say NO to picking out a few books to bring home for a cost of $6 when the money goes to such a necessary cause.

I felt so virtuous as I took a bag full of fabric to donate to our community quilts table too. It raises money to pay for the wadding & backing for donated quilts of which this group makes many each year for local hospitals & charities. I also helped more ; ) by buying the little stack of fabrics above for $5. 

By the time I got home at 10pm, a cup of tea & a huggle with Hun-bun, snuggle with Brun, the electric blanket & a book were forefront in my mind. I was just finishing off the tea & a high pitch squealing scared a few years off my life expectancy. It was coming from the sink so I spent 10 minutes peering down the plug hole, running water, peering, more water & it stopped. Half an hour later while in bed the noise started again, not so much squealing now, more warbling. So back to the plug hole. I was asked today 'Did I think there was a frog down there?' I definately thought there was something down there!

As I mentioned I am not the best housekeeper. I had cooked food for the baby shower that morning & left without time to do the dishes. I had got home late that night with still no intention of cleaning up. After moving a few utensils around in the sink I found my shrieking culprit.

It was Brun's singing candle. It had rolled from the side of the sink into the cutlery there & got wet. So how do you stop a singing candle from squealing out it's outrage at being wet? I tried wiping it, wrapping it in a teatowel in the hope it muffled the noise & thought of taking it to the wheely bin but figured it would wake up the neighbors. The solution was not pretty. I ended up having to drown it & put it out of it's misery.

What a great day!

Happy days
Tracee xx Brun xx Hun-bun xx

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Little Brun, 20 Today!

Happy Birthday Little Brun, 20 Today!

There was salmon, chicken & barramundi cake;

Then a bit of clean up to do;

A little time for a pirate look;

Then the official birthday portrait;

Not looking too bad for 20 years of age!

Brunnie xx

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekends With Brunnie =^..^=

Hi friends!

Brunnie back again. Muma's watching the footy. Mum is always watching the footy now, we never watch movies together anymore. We did watch 'Walk The Line' last night after the footy but I'm putting that out of my mind as Hun-bun kept sitting on muma & smirking at me. I told him "Hun-bun, how muma going to stitch while a big lump like you lying in the way?" Hun-bun's reply - smirk!

I guarded the border this morning, doing my duty at the laundry door. Hun-bun guards the perimeter, which I think he interprets as sleep in the bushes by the fence line - slacker!

Muma unpacked the new vaccuum. The old one is getting weak, groans as it works and it's battery goes to sleep. I'm wondering why as muma certainly doesn't overuse it. The new one is charging now in case muma gets the urge to pick up the threads on the carpet any time soon.

Muma made a boo! She brought us a new electric blanket as her side doesn't work any more. My side, under my blankie, up by the pillow worked very well. I been toasty warm on the few cool nights we have had. Muma keeps trying to sneak on to my side. Now we have a new electric blankie & when muma read out the instructions we were horrified. It said 'This blanket automatically switches itself off after 12 hours use, plus or minus 30 minutes!' Turns itself off! What are they thinking? Don't they realise Brunnie's electric blanket goes on in April & stays on until November??? I have athritis, I have pain, I am elderly, I like being snuggly. I now have to rely on muma to turn my blanket off & on every morning so I have a warm bed, I'm not feeling confident with this plan. At least now we have flannette sheets, thems fluffy like me.

I love flannette sheets

Muma has been stitching this. I think it looks a bit suspect, don't need more of them in my kingdom.

Muma has finished this but it is a secret.

At 2am muma left me in bed & got out one of her flying objects to play with. I don't understand why a cushion would be called a UFO. I don't understand why anyone would leave our snuggly bed at 2am to play with cushion in the laundry. I don't understand why muma naps when I want to be awake & is awake when it's time to nap. Muma says she is a night owl but she can't be. I checked & she's got no wings.

Now to more important things - 3 sleeps until my big birthday. Muma making me a cake, she says 'no chocolate, no sugar, no icing - maybe a tuna cake Brunnie.' I say Yum! Hun say yum! I say - maybe I share with you Hun-bun.........

Big purrs
Brunnie xx

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My New Daisy Tablerunner

My latest project finished for myself is the Dreaming of Daisies Tablerunner. This appeared in the Creating Country Threads magazine, issue 12.6 & is designed by our lovely Fee from Designs By Fee.

Above is Fee's design in the magazine made using a gorgoeus Honey Bun Roll. (My Hun-bun is so proud they named some fabric packs after him!) I needed it bigger to fit on my chest coffee table that I hide lots & lots of balls of wool in. The sides & top are glass so I can admire the yarny goodness as I sit & stitch.

I needed the size much bigger so used a jelly roll & instead of three lots of stitchery I planned for seven. Naturally I did the stitchery months ago & then it took me awhile to do the machine sewing. Here's the finished project.

I hope my stitcheries look perfectly spaced? It's a good thing I use Appli-Kay Wonder which isn't permantly in place until you iron it as I used a ruler & moved those mocha coloured squares so many times until my anally retentive self was happy the spacing was exact.

The bain of my existenace is not being able to confidently free motion quilt (because I don't put in the hours of practise required). I stitched in the ditch on all the pink & blue strips & did a fancy leaf stitch a quarter inch in on every brown strip. That's not perfect but turned out quite cute. It was the addition of the mocha linen behind the stitcheries that brought everything together & made it work. The stitcheries are in a variegated purple floss.

The best part is the jelly roll from Spotlight was a gift from a dear friend who doesn't quilt. Not only does this friend not quilt, but is a non-quilting male! He's a bit of a jet for picking fabrics though & I have had some lovely japanese fabrics from Tamworth (cut out for a hexie bag but not sewn yet!) & a nice brights pack of fat quarters that came with this jelly roll. Well chosen FWA!

Here's my dimema for today - this morning my wireless mouse is deceased (maybe Hun-bun batted it too much) so it's back to the wired mouse. According to the pic below I am now a modern cat but I am feeling decidely like I am back to being an ancient cat!

Happy Mousing!
Tracee xx

Friday, April 13, 2012

Super Swap With Leanne

Hi all

I received a lovely parcel this week. Leanne from Lizzie the Quilter & I decided to do a one on one swap. I met Leanne when in Launceston last October & though the visit was brief we hit it off immediately. We definately have similar tastes & I love every bit of the quilty goodness that Leanne makes & blogs about.

Leanne described my thank you email to her as overexcited & she was completely right, but now you will see why. We didn't put any theme on what to swap, just something made, something quilty, something Eastery.

This is my stitchery wall hanging. Don't you think it looks very much like a Cinderberry Stitches design, one of my favourite designers. The fabrics are delicious too. I am loving that striped border fabric with the florals. Here is a close pic of the stitchery.

This will now go up on my sewing room wall to watch over me & me over it as I sew. I also received this gorgeous project bag which had some of my Thursday quilting group swooning. It is the first time I have something to put a project in that fits my sewing & the book or magazine. That is great!

The choccy eggs made it to today's photo shoot but the 3 pink marshmellow bunnies met their fate during Criminal Minds on Wednesday night. Now look at the quilty goodness that was included.

Three adorable far quarters of Bliss & a charm pack of Central Park & a charm pack of Oasis. They will all get put to very good use in the days to come.

Now you can see why I was excitable. Isn't it all just amazingly pretty, generous & kind of Leanne. I told her she spoilt me, for which I am very grateful. I will do another post showing what I sent Leanne once she has had a chance to post about it first. What a great swap!

Make sure you visit Leanne's blog if you don't already. She is an amazing quilter, stitcher & appliquer who also does long arm machine quilting. Her fabric choices are wonderful & she is a dear person. No end to her talents!

Happy swapping
Tracee xx

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

I'm not much of a gardener. As a matter of fact I would put myself forward for the black thumb of the year award. I think it has something to do with growing up in New Zealand where you stick anything in the ground & the combination of great soil, sunshine, regular rain and no week in & out heatwaves ensures they grow with very little intervention from anyone but Mother Nature. Of course, the weeds thrive too so that is a big job to contend with.

However I have found the perfect plant for me. I hack to back with a pair of shears, I never water it, never feed it and talk harshly at it for dropping so much fruit that I have to go around & pick up. My treasure for today is my two Columbia Gold Passionfruit vines. They start the season by growing long trailing glossy green vines followed by the most gorgeous, intricate flowers.

Then the flowers turn in to large green fruit. The yellow passionfruit can be twice the size of the more common purples ones and are jam packed with fruit inside. I watched this little guy below (a snail) for about 10 minutes while he tried to manoeuvre a piece of stalk to make a bridge up to the green fruit.

He's a smart little snail, the fruit do taste amazing. The only problem with these passionfruit is that every year the crop seems to get bigger and every one I know soon gets sick of me asking 'do you want some passionfruit???' I picked up 26 today alone, so I guess I will be getting my dose of vitamin C this week. I do love my passionfruit vines though, it is nice to be able to grow something!

I am joining up with Melody for Tuesday Treasures. Go to her blog The House on the Side of the Hill to join in or read of other treasures.

Happy growing
Tracee xx

Monday, April 9, 2012

A New Work In Progress System

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter with lots of fun times with friends and family, choccy, hot cross buns and much thankfulness.

I have done some stitching, a lot of machine sewing for me (not so much a machine sewer) and better still some organising.

On Thursday night I finished my bunny pincushion from the gorgeous free project by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly. It was just about to get it's backing to become the pincushion ready for stuffing when I suddenly decided mine is a wall hanging. I love the end result. I don't use pastels very often but with the subtle variegated threads it looks lovely in these colours.

Check out Bronwyn's blog if you haven't already. She has been very generous this Easter with the bunny cushion, two lots of egg cups cosy designs (oh I so want some of those egg cups with legs!) and also Laverne the chicken. Laverne is on my to do list, she is such a sweetie & easily made.

I have sandwiched my tablerunner & since the pic below have quilted it, added the stitcheries and am half way through the binding. Nearly finished - yippee! I'll have a photo later this week of the finished table runner - the stitcheries look gorgeous.

Now, my organisation break through. I am lucky enough to have a cutting table set up in my laundry. Not having to bend to cut is such a great thing. I gave the area a spruce up and added an area for my works in progress.

In an earlier post I have mentioned that I have so many different projects on the go that I have started keeping track of them, deadlines and post dates for swaps, on a spreadsheet. Now I also have a pretty box system that keeps all the bits & pieces together and reminds me not to start too many others before I finish some already in progress (I'm an optimist!). The boxes are from Thingz who had them all being sold at $2.00 per box. $20.00 later & I am loving my WIP system.

Those are the boxes up on my shelf. All my rulers are sitting together in the stand. The box in the corner holds a few supplies like scissors, spray, glue, roller cutter blades & Applikay Wonder. The cream & red box holds projects I'm planning on starting but haven't gathered supplies together yet. The red tin is for rubbish. The tin lid is for small off cuts to go to my bits & pieces stash bag for a future project.

Here's a closeup of my WIP system now the boxes are labeled. I'm not a scrapbooker or card maker so just printed everything on an A4 pages & cut them out with fancy scissors (the first time I have used them) then attached them with double sided tape. Easy to change as I finish projects!

It's a big step forward from having bits of projects everywhere. The magazines are sitting under the boxes & the labels state what book or magazine or blog the patterns are from. My little pink cat was a present from my girlfriend Lyn, doesn't he look very at home as the Keeper of the WIPs!

Cheeky Hun-bun decided it is his turn to sit in mums place on the couch under the Daylight lamp......

Thanks so much to all those who voted for my loo roll cover design in the Dress Up Your Roll Challenge. Due to all of your votes, I was awarded the Viewers Choice prize, an Aurifil thread pack. Can't wait to try them out. It was overwhelming all the lovely comments I got. They all meant so much to me but I was speechless when one of my favourite designers, Val Laird, sent me an email & said she had voted for me & thought my design was the best. Well, you know I think the same Val and two of those WIP boxes pictured above have your designs in them. xx

It ended up being a great competition for Tracee's with the Australian winner being Tracee from Farm Gate Creations. Her Weary Travellers Emergency Bag was a great idea (every caravan needs one!) and her design & sewing a notch above the rest of us. A well deserved win!

Now what unique challenge can Jane from Want it, Need it, Quilt think up next???? Thanks Jane.

Happy stitching
Tracee xx