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, December 28, 2013

Thank You No. 2 - Secret Santa Christmas Swap

The Secret Santa Christmas Swap run by swap-muma Chooky Blue is always wonderful and this year lived up to every expectation. This is a round robin swap so I only knew who I was making for & not who was making for me. It ended up being a very exotically international affair for me this year!
I was in awe to see on my parcel that my partner that made gifts for me was Martine from Bizzy Martine all the way North in Belgium! It's quite amazing to think I now have beautiful gifts in my home that were stitched especially for me from all the way in Belgium - wonderful!
My first parcel to open was the Christmas decoration & Martine has made me the sweetest Christmas kitty, waiting by the tree, maybe for Santa Paws to come.... Purrfection I say!
My Christmas day presents were just as lovely, including a gorgeous snowman stitchery on a table mat. I have to admit to a bit of a soft spot for snowmen (ironic given our Christmas weather) and fabric with mittens on it. I really should live in the Northern hemisphere & have snowy Christmas every year. It is on the 'bucket list' to experience a bunch of winter Christmas's in the years to come. Look at my packet of fir tree biscuits too - all the way from Belguim - I think by now it's a little obvious that I can't believe I have gifts from Belgium!!! Thank you Martine, I love my stitchery gifts & they will be a part of every years Christmas decorating from now on. xx
Now this years swap was truly an international affair and there was purrs all around when Mia, HB & I found out our swap partner to send to was Florence & Princess Nounouche! Don't tell Mia but I think HB is a bit smitten by the beautiful French Princess.
First there was a decoration for Florence. I know she loves our Aussie designers so this stitchery by Gail Pan from the book Sew Gifts was perfect for this swap.
We had a family conference and after many meows it was decided the Princess could not be left out either so a decoration applauding her beauty was made and a little frame decoration filled with a picture of her and added too.

For the Christmas present I made up my favourite angel block with stitchery embellishments, adding a sleeve so Florence can use it either as a wall hanging or table mat. I love that sparkly Michael Miller white fabric, perfect for a background for an angel.

For a few added bonuses I added some Christmas fabric and a couple of Aussie patterns too. They were all wrapped in gold & white Christmas owl fabric & ribbon. A big sigh of relief and haha to Mr Australia Post when the parcel came in at 498 grams too!

Naturally I was very happy to hear that Florence & the Princess loved their parcels. So big thanks to Chooky Blue on organising another wonderful Christmas swap. I think it might be time for a cup of tea & a sampling of  Belgium fir tree.....

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Friday, December 27, 2013

Thank You No. 1 - Mrs Martins Swap

I am surrounded by beautiful Christmas gifts that I want to show thanks for but if I do it in one post it will be as long as a piece of string so I am going to do lots of small posts so each can star and I can show how much the thoughts and beautiful creations mean to me.

I decided to put my little white tree up again on my big coffee table with lots of Christmasy crafts around it & then all my presents so I could admire but not touch! Mia had other ideas and her style of helping did hold things up for a few days.

Eventually everything was in place and the piles of presents were overwhelming!

I like to decorate in this corner of the lounge room as it is mum's corner where the photos of her & us together are displayed. That way she is still part of the celebrating with us. Pride of place this year was given to the Christmas mini frame and the gorgeous mini quilt I got in the Secret Santa at Ballan from Christine from MacDonald's Patch. (sorry yellow pics - maybe the flash was on Christmas leave???)

Now to the pressies & thanks yous! First off our final present for 2013 in the The Mrs Martin's Let's Celebrate Swap from my partner Glenys (no blog). This is the seventh swap that Glenys & I have done for 2013 and it finished off for me just as perfectly as it started.
This T'was The Night Before Christmas stitchery kit is wonderful - preprinted design and the felt needed for the reindeer & fir trees too. Yes the chocolates are empty - it is the 27th & there has been a whole lot of episodes of Revolution to catch up on. HB & the remainder of the chocolates were the perfect companions in the wee hours last night doing this.
The rest of my parcel just made my heart boil over - three Christmas buntings, wishing Joy, Peace & Love and a little bag of bells to sew on the points too. I just love these to bits! Thanks you Glenys, spot on as always! xx
Now to what I sent Glenys. I have to admit I love this little guy, I think he needs to go back on the to-do list again for next year & this time for me. The original pattern is by Cleo & Me and is a table runner featuring 3 x Rudy the Reindeer.
For this swap I made Rudy into a wall hanging with built in star hanger & added a Christmas snow flake button & two bells to his ribbon. I love that green with red spot on the border & binding. That was a perfect purchase made especially for this from Gail's Patchwork Emporium in Ballarat while staying with Shez. That shop is such an overwhelming wonderland! I also enclosed a large edible box of chocolatey goodness, no photographic evidence taken. I'm sure there was more but photographs & memory alludes me..... It is the silly season.
Thank you to Karen our swap-muma from Mrs Martin's Quilt Shop for hosting this year long swap & keeping all of us elves in line! Thanks again to Glenys - it's been a great year!
Off to take more pics, plan the next post of thank yous, add to the sewing & postage schedule for 2014, update the dreaded UFO list that grew instead of shrinking last year & make up a monthly projects list so I know what's up first for Friday Night sewing on Facebook tonight. Everywhere could do with a good clean up too starting with the cutting table area....
Happy stitching
Tracee xx


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

HB, Mia & I wish all our loved ones, family and friends,
a very Merry Christmas & big purrs for the festive season.
We hope 2014 is the year that we get to meet, greet, love,
laugh and make many dreams come true for all of us.
 =^..^= xxx =^..^=

Back soon with lots of news, pics & the usual laughs.... xxx

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I'm Back!

Here I am home again after nearly 3 weeks away in Tassie & Victoria. You may already know what I have been up to as I seem to have cropped up on quite a few of the blogs of the gorgeous ladies I have met & spent happy times with.
I have plenty to share too & pics of all the goodies I brought home but today's my first day home & I seem to have a mix of motion & sleepy sickness so it has been an easy day, all that will follow soon.
For now the important stuff, the furbabies & some gorgeous surprises I came home too. HB has stuck around since I got home about 8.30pm last night and been very noisy, getting attention to made sure he has had plenty of cuddles to make up for the lost time. Here he is smooging with his muma tonight after again crying for attention.

Yes he is on the table, yes he is very spoilt & no we don't use the table to eat at! It's one of his latest 'things', he will only sit up high, not on the floor. He even tries to eat his food by hanging over his bowl standing on the treadmill that is beside it. I should get a pic, it looks quite funny. Yes, HB is a 'special' boy!
Mia is not a cuddly girl but she has had some chirpy conversations with me, rolls on her head in my presence and treated me to a very enjoyable game of tag in the back yard late last night. She was there to greet me this morning, happily relaxing on top of the washing machine. She is such a little lady.
Now to two lovely parcels that were waiting for me when I got home. The first is from my Mrs Martin's Swap partner Glenys. We have done so well in this swap, making beautiful things for each other and this swap to celebrate Mrs Martin's quilting day in early November was just as good.
We were to send each other a block that we can finish in to what ever item takes our fancy. Glenys sent me this gorgeous Christmas block with three plum puddings & room to embellish with stitchery words. She also sent the cutest gingerbread man braid, a sweet little set of green scissors and a Threadworx Thread in Christmas red & green. Shez & I were looking for this colourway of thread in Ballarat just yesterday morning but they had sold out so jackpot again in that choice Glenys. Thanks very much, love my gifts!
Here's the block I sent Glenys, along with some extra pansy fabric, three matching DMC threads and some yummy sounding Blueberry Lindt chocolate - very lucky that made it to the postbox!
The other parcel I came home to was totally unexpected & very sweet. Anorina of Samelia's Mum website has a 52 Week Scrap Challenge running via her blog and as a Facebook group that I belong too. I am way behind but so far have made some lovely little projects from Anorina's designs.
Anorina herself made some needle cases that really took my fancy as they included fabric by Lynette Anderson called Stitches & including the cutest kitty on a pile of quilts (it looks a little like little brunnie). In my parcel was a gorgeous antique sewing machine card saying Anorina wanted to send me this gift as she knows how I love my furry friends. Wrapped inside some of the beautiful Stitches fabric was the kitty needlecase I loved so much. What a gorgeous little pile of happiness to come home too. Thanks again Anorina! x
This afternoon my friend & kitty-sitter Frank was packing up the ute to hit the road for his next adventure back to Queensland. It kind of looks like Mia has decided she is going too...... No matter how early he leaves tomorrow morning, I better get up and check under that tarp for my little girl before he is allowed to leave!

 Purrs from all of us!
Tracee xx  HB xx Mia xx

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Almost Holiday Time!

It's 11 sleeps until I go on holiday, well 10 really, the 11th sleep will be on the plane to Melbourne. In the rush to being ready to spend nearly 3 weeks away from home I am doing lots of secret sewing and catching up with a few chores that are possible now we are having fine weather in Perth. We have had the usual turn in weather, straight from high teens & rain to sunny & 30. This week we are forecast to peak at 35, the type of day when being at work in air-conditioning is my kind of fun. Ahhh where have the 25 degree days gone I ponder.......
Today my car had one of its bi-annual bathes. They normally occur mid year and at Christmas so this is the mid year one running late. I must have parked under trees one day last week near work as I had deposits on my windscreen and paintwork that make me wonder if pigs really do fly!
The more fun chore was replanting the vege and herb garden ready for summer salads. Baby Mia helped plant tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, celery, mixed lettuces, cucumber, silver beet, basil and parsley. There is something satisfying about seeing all that shredded paper acting as mulch that represents just a few weeks of the waste I shred at work from my accounting tasks. It seems to alert the kits that this nice fresh earth is not one big kitty toilet too so its a win all round!
HB watched all the hard work happening but he was more interested in checking out the BBQ and drooping fairy lights. He is looking forward to BBQ season, sure that he looks even more handsome under fairy light!
Another one of the jobs for this weekend was washing a large stitchery recently completed and crossing everything to hope that the threads didn't run on to the white background. I did use a colour catcher rather than run the risk and was happy to see the stitchery came out nice and white, the thread all as it should be and the colour catcher with just a light pink tint.
I did finish a couple of Christmas swap projects this weekend too and prepped a couple more so I have lots of stitching while on holiday. The pics will have to wait, hate to ruin the surprise.  And now that we get back to the subject of my holiday........... on Tuesday 6th November (late at night!) I fly to Hobart for three nights, then I drive to Launceston to stay with my dear friend Leanne, the wonderful, creative lady behind the blog Lizzie the Quilter. Leanne & her boys are willing to put up with me for five whole nights and I know Leanne & I are going to have a whole lot of fun together!
Then I fly to Melbourne and bus to Ballan to be picked up by my dear friend Shez from Enjoying Life blog. There is documented evidence from last year that Shez and I will get up to mischief especially if we are any where near Melody from The House on the Side of the Hill blog - I put it down to synergy, we have only a little mischief in each of us but all together it becomes a force for fun! On Saturday 16th November we will all be in Ballan at the Mill Rosie Bloggers Meet. I see from the post on Mel's blog that there will be so many others I can't wait to meet like Sharon & Barb & Christine..... and it goes on and on. Tissues, pack the tissues!
I am looking forward to staying at Shez's place. It is a little bit of rural paradise just like I would love to have one day. Shez and I are then doing a bit of gallivanting staying with her sister down near Geelong and having a couple of days in Torquay. My fingers are crossed that the weather warms up a bit especially for the days in Torquay, by then Shez & I may need some time relaxing around the pool..... with a cocktail..... and some stitching..... Friday 22nd I fly back to Perth and my kitty cats, the worst bit about travelling is leaving the furbabies but this time I think I will be so excited there won't be time to miss them. Don't tell HB & Mia that I said that!
Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Monday, October 21, 2013

It Must Be Love, Love, Love!

Love No 1 - No not me, well yes me too. Little Mia is pitter pattering her way into our hearts and winning us over with her chirping & smooging.

Love No 2 - If the truth be told, Big HB is smitten with his new little friend (maybe a little toooo smitten to think of her as a sister). I think maybe I should take up match making. The big test today was taking Baby Mia & HB Honeycat to the vet, in one cage, together. I figured I couldn't handle two cages as one is very big so I took the risk of putting them in very snuggly confined space.
The new experience of togetherness did not raise a moments problem for either of them. The reason for the trip was a slightly different story. Mia needed to get her micro-chip and both had to be inspected by the Vet Nurse so I could get a certificate as proof they are both sterilised to satisfy the new WA cat laws that come into play on the 1st November.
Mia as usual was a little lady while HB found the experience a little undignified. Never before has he had to go on a car ride just so a stranger could look at his bootee and then write a letter about it! The laws in this country are going a little crazy muma, who legislates over my butt muma - travesty of justice, he meows. You know how he loves to use his legal speak......
So it was an eventful journey, one my babies endured together quite nicely. Yes I was naughty & prolonged the experience by making them pose for pictures before I let them back out of the cage too. I am so happy at the level of comfort they have with each other after only two weeks.
Love No 3 - Sew Gifts by Martingale Books. I saw an advert for this new book on Facebook as one of my favourite designers Gail Pan has a stitchery bag design in it. I decided I couldn't wait 72 days until the book was available on my usual buying site so brought the digital version.
With 25 beautiful designs including one of Gail's birdies it was a case of Now - I want it now! You know that feeling.... There are lots of pics of the projects so check them out here.
Love No 4 - I'm off on holiday the first week of November so am rapidly stitching to finish gifts and swap pressies before I go away. I decided one of my Christmas decorations just had to have Gail's new stitchery from the bag above. So fabric, felt, thread and a couple of hours on two nights and here it is looking just as cute and festive as I thought it would. I changed the flowers, used variegated threads and am very happy with the final result.
Love No 5 - from a shared pic on Facebook I found this gorgeous blog called The Crafty Quilter that has a Christmas tutorial each month & there are some beauties amongst them. Check them out and see if they inspire you too! Winter Seeds Table Topper has me swooning.....
Feeling the love, hope you are too!
Happy stitching
Tracee xx HB xx Mia xx

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Whoops Muma Did It Again!

Hey ho friends, you would never guess - HB Honeycat here! Yes really it's me!

I'm no literary cat like my little big brother Brunnie was but desperate times call for desperate measure friends and I needed to tell you what muma has gone and done. Thursday started like any other day, just like Wednesday, just like Tuesday but little did I know that by late that night muma would get a message of foreboding on the Facebook thingy.
Now I know muma thought & thought on this message, delayed answering her final decision and did discuss the matter with me but friends there has been a travesty of justice (I read along when muma reads murders in bed & I learn that from one of her books). Justice has not been served for HB Honeycat, only cat & King of the World!
Friday night muma was quite excited, Saturday morning muma was sad & worried and Saturday afternoon muma hopped in the car and drove off to alter both our lives as we know them. I may sound dramatic friends, but a drama this is. Not two hours later muma back home with


Whose Mia you may politely ask..... Mia is a CAT! Muma says Mia is my new little sister! What would Brunnie says friends - I know what Brunnie would say..... he said grrrrrr rrrrrr grrrrrrr when I came to live with him & muma. Some of that might have been because I tried to jump repeatedly on his back, I was only young, I though small cat, he young too, but no, old cat, he was always grumpy. So friends I have been on my best behaviour, only one grumpy last night. I grrr at Mia, Mia grr at me then we both go and find somewhere to nap. Mind you, its easy to continue on business as usual when Mia spends all day under muma's bed. Muma says Mia even more scaredy cat than me so I'm feeling quite good about that. Mia's mum of five years couldn't take her to their new house so poor Mia homeless, no wonder she scared...
Maybe it's not a complete miscarriage of justice friends (love my legal speak!) but here you judge for yourselves....
Mia did only sit in the fluff-bed for 10 minutes but muma was pleased seeing I think fluff-bed is evil torture and won't go near it. Life as I know if is changed friends, only time will tell how this story will continue......
Innocent until proven Guilty muma!
Purrs Hun-bun!   =^ .. ^=

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Value of Value Workshop

Last Sunday I did another workshop with the WA Quilters Guild called The Value of Value, with one of our talented members Judy Campbell. Colour theory is definitely something I need to know more about, my colour choices tend to be a bit boring & a bit too matchy-matchy!

Look at all these homespun colours that we had to play with.....

It was a day jam packed with making heaps of beautiful little one inch squares (all the practice cutting didn't go astray either). First we made up a grey scale on a black background. Next we choose a colour palate and lined them up from light to dark, on backgrounds of black, white, grey & beige. The different backgrounds make such a difference. I choose my favourite reds & look at all my little squares.

When it came to lining them up from light to dark, there was quite a few major decisions to be made. I found that looking at them through the camera lense after making my decision & sewing them gave me a few different results too. I had real problems finding a place for that pink placed third below but decided to keep it in to remind me of what I was learning.

We then moved on to grey scale or muddy colours & one of bright colours.

I found the bright colours quite a challenge so for a different approach looked at all the fabrics through a red filter which takes away the colour and shows only the shade. It made it quite easy but gave some unusual results. Under a red filter, yellow is quite a dark colour whereas to the naked eye it seems to be quite light. My final result was what I found with the naked eye but even now the camera shows a few changes I would make.
Next we moved on to some greater challenges, the grey or muddy colours with my choice of two highlights in the bright range. I choose orange & pink. In the next exercise using the muddy colours with two highlights, Judy banned me from using warm tones so I went into the blues & lilacs with highlights of charcoal & turquoise. This would make a gorgeous quilt. Great combinations and lessons for me on getting a bit more contrast and excitement into my fabric choices. 
It was great to look at everyone else's samples and the colour combinations they choose. I love these oranges and blues.
All up it was another fun day & I like all my little samples so much that I would like to find a great way to keep & display my little colour swatches.
We have our Queen's Birthday Public Holiday tomorrow so I have made up a list of projects, presents and swaps I have to finish between now & Christmas and hope to be able to strike a few off my list by bed time tomorrow night. At least I now know what I am making & after a quick visit to Textile Traders will have all the supplies too. I was finding the Grand Final on Saturday a little stressful so used the 2nd & 3rd quarters to get my sewing list organised while I watched so I continued to keep breathing. Most of WA seemed to jump ship & get on the Dockers band wagon seeing they unexpectedly ended up in the Grand Final. As the lone Hawks supporter (my adopted team due to my hearts desire being to live in Tassie) I was one small voice amongst the masses but I managed to hold my own with a number of pranks at work against a sweet friend who is a misguided Dockers supporter. It was a lot of fun taking her dressed up teddy in reception and bringing him to a perilous end through, stabbing, hanging or just the humiliation of using his scarf as a nappy. It was certainly a day of many, many laughs. Of course, by mid afternoon yesterday I was the only one left laughing & doing a very happy dance. We are a happy team at HAWTHORN!
I hope we get to keep Buddy but must admit, Roughie is my favourite player. Big boys with big mouths! I wish I was in Launceston this weekend to join in the celebration & see the team tomorrow. I can not believe no footy for nearly six months......
Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Still Stitching.....

Audit time is over for another year so time to get serious with my gift & swap stitching. Staring at a monitor & endless numbers meant a lot less stitching for a couple of months but I did manage to get a few things done.

There is this little stitchery for my present box. It was in a Vignette Magazine as part of a bag by Janelle Wind. I fell in love with the stitchery & thought a redwork in a white frame would be a cute little gift.

I am also doing some other redwork, a lot larger & a lot further away from being finished.

I have also spent some time cleaning up & reorganising my three thread boxes. It's amazing how many I have used over the years, there is nearly one whole case empty case now. Room for new threads maybe......

Last night I caught up on some scrap challenge projects too, finishing off a couple. Anorina from Samelia's Mum is doing a weekly scrap challenge that you can read about on her blog or on the Facebook page for the 52 Week Scrap Challenge. As my scrap bin is nearly full I decided to join in but as usual I am way behind.

At least now I have done week 1, Crazy Heart;

Week 2's needle case. Anorina's sample was a fabric butterfly case but mine followed three of my greatest loves and turned into a felt stitchery cat needlecase - who would have guessed??? My needle stitchery needs a bit of refining though.

Week three is a covered container. I use an empty large fruit tin next to my sewing machine for off cuts, scissors, binding etc so decided to cover that is the off cuts of French General fabrics from Shez's bag in the last post. It was quite fun to watch Jason Momoa is the remake of Conan while covered in white glue & bits of beautiful fabric (Arnie consider yourself out Conaned!);

The next project I am doing, a plastic bag holder has just been taken off the sewing machine mid project so I can pack up the machine & other tools to take to WAQA The Value of Value Workshop tomorrow. Hopefully my days of picking boring fabrics for bigger projects will be behind me after a few VALUEable lessons tomorrow.

This morning after aqua class, HB & I took advantage of a rare bit of sunshine to sit in the backyard & eat a late brunch of fetta scrambled eggs & latte (me, not HB). HB had a nice snooze in the sun.

Now Perth has a dangerous weather warning and it is raining again. I think the gods are crying over the Dockers win (my apologies, sort of, Dockers fans!). HB Honeycat & I will be glued to the TV next Saturday for the Hawks vs Dockers Grand Final. Go the Tassie HAWKS!!!

As a final note, retirement is almost secured thanks to find a cheque received a month or two ago from my friend & yours - Telstra. How could I have mislaid so much.....

Happy Stitching
Tracee xx