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

Monday, April 22, 2013

Merry Christmasing!

I have been Christmasing up a crafty storm in the last few weeks. I joined in with Narelle from Pins & Needles '1 Christmas Item a Month' but seem to be making a habit of posting every second month. It's not that I didn't make something in March, just forgot to post about it & then put it somewhere special & forgot where so couldn't photograph it. After a bit of a search I found it again...

So here is my March project, my second tri-colour knitted bauble;

It's a little more complicated than my first tri-colour one so I am feeling a little accomplished & love its little red caps.

In the last two weekends I have worked on two other Christmas items. I brought a kit for a Hatched & Patch Christmas Bon-bon at our May quilt fair in Perth - many years ago. As is my way, I did the stitchery but didn't spend the 15 minutes to do the very basic sewing & tying together. Now that I have, I am loving my little bon-bon and think it will be extra delicious filled with a few Chrissie chocolates.

In the background you can see the beginning of my next Christmas project. I loved a free tutorial I found on the blog A Spoonful of Sugar called Gingham Stars. The single decorations looked beautiful but I thought a string of Christmas Stars would look even better.

So in the photo above you can see the 18 stars I cut out from fabric backed with Appli-kay wonder & stuck to the white felt background. I then sewed the fabric star to the felt before cutting the felt stars out. This made keeping the skinny star points in place much easier.

Next I sewed the white buttons to the middle of each star.

Then I cut out all the stars with nice zig-zag scissors (pinking shears) to give a decorative edge. Don't they look great!

I then hand sewed the stars to red ric-rac to make the garland. I used a very tricky method to space the  stars - using the bottom of my Patchwork & Quilting Magazine and spacing one at each side & 1 in the middle between them. I was too lazy to get up from watching the footy to go to the laundry & get a ruler off the cutting table. Never mind, it worked well.

I made 18 stars thinking I would make two garlands of nine stars. However sometimes even those who work in accounting can't count. After making the two garlands & cutting the ric-rac I ended up with one string of 9 stars, one string of 8 stars & one sad, neglected little star....

Being the wuss I am, I couldn't let the little star miss out so came up with an idea I am very pleased with. I put the little star on a white felt square & sewed a little bag in the Christmas fabric with a ric-rac tie. Now the little garland of stars has it's own star bag to live in.

Snug as a bug in a rug is my little star garland in it's bag!

I'm very happy with what resulted from that great tutorial so big thanks to Lisa & Sarah from A Spoonful of Sugar. They have lots of great ideas & yummy tutorials.

On Saturday I also did a quick job restuffing little Brunnie's cushion he used in front of the gas fire. Back in February I thought I should wash it for little brother Hun-bun's future use. Unfortunately it has had a lot of loving from baby Brun & went all lumpy when washed. I opened it up, pulled the lumpy stuffing out, put in a few layers of fugly poly batting and did a quick stitch up. The result I should have expected. Hun-bun came in for the evening as we have finally had a few cool nights in Perth but no amount of prompting would get his to sleep on the cushion. He slept off to the side like always. I have to get through to my big, timid boy that he is now number 1 kitty & that all the benefits of that mighty position are now his.

Don't feel too sorry for Hun-bun though. He is getting used to sleeping on the bed & last night woke me up three times crying, standing beside my head, dripping wet from being out in the rain. He got told strongly that he better not have muddy paws on my bedding & then I attacked him with a towel to get the worst of the wet off. Three times! Not the brightest light bulb in the house, my Hun-bun...

Go to Narelle's Christmas projects page to see what everyone else has been making. It's wonderful for inspiration.

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Friday, April 19, 2013

Happy 21st Birthday Little Brun

Well today would have been my little Brunnie's 21st birthday. So I am celebrating with pictures of my little man & cuddles with my big man Hun-bun.

A sprightly 16 year old

Backyard camping in 2002 - only 10 years old!

Big kissies with muma for her 38th birthday 2004 - yes she is in her jim-jams!
2004 Relaxing - Grannie says I was always showing off my duffie!
 Christmas 2005 - Still an only cat spoilt with lots of pressies

Catching the last rays of the day with brother Hun-Bun 2011
2011 channeling my inner quilter

It worked - August 2011 showing a preference for cat prints

2012 Eating mint choc chip ice cream in bed

Gone but never forgotten little grey. xx

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Friday Night with Friends on Facebook

Hi all, another day in paradise, 24 degrees advertised for Perth & overcast - even some rain! V8s on 7Mate from Puke in NZ & the West Coast Eagles vs Melbourne just starting on 7. Fingers crossed our WA team will finally get 4 points for a win. Sorry Melbourne, hope dearly you turn the team around but just not today.

Last night I took part in the inaugural Friday Night with Friends on Facebook. There is none of the peaceful stitching that takes place on our Friday Night get togethers. It was frantic posting on the page, commenting on other posts & pics, personal messaging, swapping of kitty pics (purr purr), ducking back to the couch to knit or stitch, watching footy, listening for the pings on FB, running back to the puter, back to the couch. It was a very lively Friday night!

Here was my preparation for the night, two projects - some more stitchery if the footy was boring and small person headband knitting for if the footy was exciting & would make my stitchery stitches all wonky. I was ready for anything!

Of course the footy was exciting and I tried hard to keep knitting. The last 5 minutes I kept jumping up, knitting flew off the needles, needles went down the couch, tea spilt, pattern book closed, screaming loud made me have a coughing fit & Hun-bun ran out of the room all crouched low with hackles raised, last seen crossing the Nullabour to go stay with Aunty Shez in Ballarat. Oh yes - and they bet the Dockers, double bonus, I'm one of those 'WA does not need a second AFL team' kind of people - especially not those Freo D5^&%$*(! Plus more importantly, I'm very, very happy for James & the boys! Didn't hurt that I tipped Essendon either.... 

Now I just changed channels to the footy & with 6 minutes to go in the 1st quarter Melbourne is beating the Eagles 24 to 14. I have faith my Eaglies will manage to scrape back a win but let's face facts, when my team is good, they are great - but when my team is bad, they are very, very bad! Anything could happen.

Anyway in the happy chaos that was last night, I did accomplish something. I finished one headband and started another.

If you are a knitter you will be able to see straight away that the two bands are different. In fact, they are both different from the pattern too. Here's another fine example of me not reading instructions & having trouble multi-tasking. The headband in the book is a four pattern repeat, same four rows over & over. While watching the 2nd episode of The Following on Wednesday night (loving it, love Kevin Bacon - he & I share something special - our birthday is the same date) I started the now completed headband. I read only the first two rows and kept repeating them. Cute headband but it wasn't until it was nearly finished I thought - that looks different to the pic - doh!

Then last night, head band number two while watching a movie, I finally did a four row repeat but instead of knitting the last two rows as per the pattern, I did a knit & a purl. Both new patterns still look good but will be nice if headband number three actually follows the pattern! Never mind, on the positive side I figure I can now call myself a headband designer, with two different designs so far.....

So hopefully band number 2 will be finished today & will get some stitching done this afternoon & evening while watching more footy then I see The Voice is on. Oh the excitement of my weekend evenings - good thing they are exactly what I want them to be.

This new book is beautiful. Baby & Toddler Knits Made Easy - that's my kind of stuff & $25.66 delivered for over 50 patterns makes me happy too! Click on the link above if you want to see more. There are clothes, accessories, toys, blankets etc, everything a tiny person would need.

Applique Club Sunday so I am making a banana cake to take for morning tea & have to be thinking about what to take as my shared lunch dish before shopping (after Eagles finish but before Carlton game starts - footy tragic!) ......

One more important matter. I know many of you are like me & do a swoon at any new range of fabric that comes out from mother & daughter designer duo Bonnie & Camille. My fabric for the stitchery above is part of the Marmalade range. I read both their blogs and mum Bonnie from the blog Cotton Way has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and started treatment. Given all the joy and beauty this lovely lady brings to our lives I think it would be nice if as many of us as possible visit her blog & let her know we care and are sending her love & healing wishes. If that sounds good, pop over & say hi.

Must away, Eagles are back in front & after the previous week & all weekend home sick I have a house that needs more of a fumigate than a clean but me, the sponge & some environmentally friendly cleaner will give it our best shot!

Happy stitching & hope your team wins (like Michelle's Broncos!)
Tracee xx

Sunday, April 7, 2013

In The Presents Box..... at last!

I finally have something to put in the present box - yah! During my first head cold I did some stitcheries for Baby Stuffies. Late this week during the second bout of sickness I finally felt up to the big job of stuffing & hand stitching the stuffies closed.

The first three were from a gorgeous pattern called Stuffie Play by Sew Little Me, one of the baby patterns by Melly from Melly & Me designs.

First I have twin girl bunnies;

A cute giraffe fellow (he's my favourite from Melly's pattern);

Then I wanted a couple of designs to suit babies that are on their way. So I went to the all wise Google & found a couple of colouring in pages that suited perfectly for stitchery designs. A happy little helicoptor;

And a wise but colourful owl. Once I had the outline for this one, I just added colour & patterns as desired;

So now my presents box that has been empty since I joined Wendy of Sugarlane Quilts & friends in the Birthday - Love Stash challenge finally has little critters peeking out of it ready for the zero birthdays of little friends I'm yet to meet.

Look at these beautiful zips I just brought from Fiona at Fee's Shabby Shack. I first saw these on a destashing site on Facebook but was too late to buy them. Fee then had them featured in one of her Deals of the Day emails and I jumped in & brought two lots of 3. They are adorable white brodiere anglaise.

If you haven't signed up for the Deal of the Day email I suggest you do, just click on the link above. These beauties were $6.00 for a pack of three with free postage. I have brought many of these deals & they are always very well priced & free post in Australia - all win!

The cold is getting under control & I admit I had a great afternoon. We started with some nice roast chicken then it was all on in the sports department. Flicking madly from channel to channel watching the Collingwood - Carlon game on channel 7, the V8 Supercars on channel 7-2 and the Eagles - Hawks game on 7Mate. That hour from 3-4pm I was in my element trying to watch all at once. For the first time ever I got 9 out of 9 in my footy tipping, thank goodness, makes up a bit for last week!

We have had a break through in the cat name dilemma too. Hun-Bun put his paw down & he is HB no longer but back being cute Hun-Bun just as his Grandma named him. He was happily sleeping in the garden when I decided he should come spend some time with his muma & watch footy. HB, HB I yelled at him & he completely ignored me. Hun-bun, Hun-bun and he meowed back at me constantly then jumped up & came inside. So it may be a wussy name but it's the name for my boy & who could say he looks wussy all dressed up in his formal wear????

Happy stitching!
Tracee xx

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Friday NIght With Friends

I was a little slow to start but took part in Friday Night with Friends sewing last night as hosted by Cheryll from Gone Stitchin. Pop over to say hi, check out Chez's sewing for charity, her brilliant new quilting tool & to link to the 60 others stitchers who too part in our sew-fest.

As I said, I was slow to start but as I was home & footy is now on in Perth on a Friday night at 4.30 pm (don't get me started, this is way before I am normally home from work!) at least I started early and as is my way finished late. I saw the Doctor late afternoon & the lady at the Pharmacy gave me my script & said to me 'I hope your going home to bed now', to which I replied, 'yes, footy starts soon.' As I'm walking out, she's laughing & saying 'oh, no, that sounds like a fate worst than death' - maybe not the best statement to make in a pharmacy to sick people! It wasn't a bad fate - loved the game & thank goodness, after the debacle that was round 1 tipping, I got the tip right & the margin almost spot on too. (Aren't you pleased it is only Round 2 - you are going to get this footy obsession roller coaster ride of raving for the next six months!)

Back to stitching, I started a new stitchery, tracing the design, picking a key fabric & matching some threads to it. It's secret squirrel sewing but here's a peek of what I accomplished.

Later in the night I did the final binding on another secret squirrel project. Good thing it was only binding as I had to have my wits about me as Jeremy Wade & I again entered the wilds of Guyana in search of the RIVER MONSTERS. That makes our 5th encounter for the week. I almost shed a tear at the end when they said the scale taken from the massive fish caught gave DNA that proved it was a new species of that fish until then unknown to science & never before seen. It's been a great week Jeremy but next week hopefully it's back to work and you will have to shoulder the weight of catching big fishies for the world's enjoyment on your own! (Before you ask - yes I am still running a temperature so hallucinations may have played a part in the last week.... only that can explain why I watched my first ever episode of The Bachelor too).

So as you can see, it's been a big week, big night & I've done some big stitches. Check out what our sewing friends have been up too, I'm almost certain there will be beautiful things to see & many blogs where sanity reins supreme!

Remember - any advice on catching the big one, ask me how!

Tracee xx

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter Treats

Firstly a big thank to all of you who voted for Little Brunnie is the Love Cats Spring Competition. He did better than I ever dreamed with 205 votes. It secured him 3rd place in the comp with the 2nd place getter having votes in the 500s & Cleanister the winning cat in the 600s. That so funny, the winner of the last comp had 24 votes, guess it was cat-crazy-muma time world wide! Any way I am very proud of my boy & getting his lovely furry little face out there again. Thank too to Shez & Susan who posted about the comp. Sorry if I missed any others, I haven't been blog reading much.

This week I am having a week of 'I can't believes' and they go like this - 

1. I can't believe I have the flu again, virus had all gone away 3 weeks ago & now caught it again worst than ever! 
2. I can't believe it's 8 weeks today since Little Brun went away, most days I can deal with it but not when I am sick. 
3. I can't believe that I am coughing so much that HB hasn't been in the house except for meals for 3 days, no cuddling muma, he is in disgrace, or muma is sulking - one or the other!
4. I can't believe Perth had a cool March & now April we have had up to 35 with low 30 expected for next week again. Coughing, trouble breathing & hot weather does not make for a very happy me.
5. I can't believe I have watched 3 episodes of River Monsters this week, never watched it before, not in to fishing & don't like murky water & big fish but hey not much on late, late at night.

But on the optimistic front, the antibiotics must be working as I finished off 4 stuffies last night & my knitted Christmas bauble tonight, my first crafty thing for two weeks.

More importantly here's my overdue Easter projects. I am doing Mrs Martin's Let's Celebrate Swap & Easter was one of our occasions. This is what I made for Glenys (no blog) but some pictures of previous makes here;

A fabric bunny & some Raffaello chocolates and a stitchery Easter bag for them to sit in.

The bunny is the same pattern that Shez made all her gorgeous bunnies for the grandies out of but I decreased the size. The bag is a Creative Card pattern I won from Rosie Quinlin's blog. I loved the variegated green stitchery to tone down all those pinks & as that is one of Glenys's colour pics too thought it a good choice for a change.

I was lucky enough to get this gorgeous assortment from Glenys -

A beautiful Easter Egg felt candle mat (I am great lover of felt or wool so spot on choice for me!), the bunny fabric with mint green background, fancy choc eggs & the green & gold egg is an ornament so beautiful to keep for any time of year. Thanks Glenys - love my pressies. Easter may be done but my mat & egg are not going away yet!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I made some Easter gift bags. They were to give a little choc surprise to the 5 ladies who work with me in my department at the day job. I started with the green as it's my current favourite colour, turned out cute.

Then tried out the pink & purple

And continued on with the yellow & turquoise. As you can see the turquoise isn't an Easter ribbon but Sharyn is an owl lover so made her a special owl bag.

The yellow felt is much brighter than the photo shows & that ended up being my favourite.

I also made myself or the present box, a pretty bunny - haven't decided yet. It's lovely fabric I brought last November at Spotlight while out of the town with Shez & Melody. Very pretty!

Ok, so just like Arnie - I'll be back with posts to show off my stuffie pressies made & Christmas finish. And to tell you why HB is all dressed up in his tie but won't pose for his muma!

No time to improve the photography yet but nice closeup of HB's nose freckle!

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

ps...  can you believe it! River Monsters - Lair of the Giants is on in 15 minutes, just time for a good cough & brew a cup of tea - had about 16 hours sleep today so back to the big fishes for me...