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

Friday, May 31, 2013

Favourite Quilt Show Quilts

I wanted to share with you some of the beautiful quilts from the Quiltwest Quilt Show.

Our Best in Show for 2013 is by a member of our Quilters Guild, Jocelyne Leath who does such amazing work over so many different styles of quilting. My favourite is her thread painting but this art quilt made using cheesecloth has so many dimensions & you notice different things up close to what you see from far away.

The runner up Best in Show is a quilt I saw during the making as Rebecca Stewart-Bartell is in my Applique Group. I love it & the best part is all the different styles of machine quilting Rebecca has done over all areas of the quilt. All the different tones on each leaf are quilted differently. Rebecca is amazing at free hand quilting on her long arm quilting machine.

Another member of our Applique Group Megan Byrne, entered the Amateur Traditional Mainly Applique section for the first time & got a third place. The first & second place getters must have been very good. This quilt is beautiful.

Here's a few quilts I liked very much;

Lesley Fry, our ex-QAWA President won third prize in the small quilts section for this round 1930s beauty.

A cheeky quilt next from the AQC Challenge by Elaine Sturmfels of Qld. I see she caught me wearing my blue sunhat!

A couple from the Contemporary Quilt Group using dying techniques and great use of colour.

The quilt above by Hilary Arber is actually square but I don't seem to be able to upload a vertical pic today without it being distorted. The quilt below is by Liz Humphreys.

And finally my favourite pictorial quilt and a close up showing how the waves were made using cotton lace. This quilt was also in the AQC Challenge by Lucy Carroll of the ACT.

Happy Foundation Day weekend to the locals!
Tracee xx

PS - Head home tomorrow & can't wait for 9am Sunday morning when I get to pick up Hun-bun!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bloggers Meet at the Craft Fair

Hi all

I have really enjoyed my Thursday & Saturday at the craft fair. Thursday I met up with my Thursday Quilt Group that I have been sadly missing due to work so it was extra special to see those that came to the fair. At the end of each day I spent an hour on the stand for our WAQA group The Applique Junkies and then an hour & a half on the Raffle table chattering away like a happy monkey. Here is a pic Julia took on Saturday of me at the Applique table & Anthea having a giggle at me!

Saturday was our official bloggers meet. My dear friend Tracy from Outback Craftaholics came along to say hi, with her lovely five month old daughter (much cuddles) but was soon off on airport duty for one of the guests as she is the WAQA Workshop Convener. She missed the photos but here is one of all the rest of us before entering the show.

From the left we have Sandra (Maria's daughter) from Playing Tiddleywinks, Anthea from Hibiscus Stitches, Maria from Life on the Block, myself, Julia from Julia's Place and her delightful daughter in law Janete. Thanks to Anthea & Maria for organising our meet up. It was a brilliant day. We all went shopping, with Anthea & I partners in crime shopping together, then we all  met up again for lunch. Now we need to find something fun to do together again soon.

I didn't have too much of a spendathon, mainly small buys this time. Here's my Thursday haul, the biggest purchase being the mini light to take travelling though I have been known to move lamps around in accommodation until I find the right lighting for hand stitching. There were a lot of non quilting stalls, cardmaking, scrapbooking, cross stitch, jewellery, scarves etc & lots that we got here on previous years were missing. I do like a good $5 necklace so brought a couple - quantity rather than quality here. The red (actually more orange) & black is a scarf - no fabric on Thursday & only 1 pattern. I did buy some stiffer bag wadding too & forgot to add it to the photograph but loved being served by sweet Monica Poole.

This is the Saturday haul. I brought a Tumbler template, the only item that was on my list but checked out after Thursday's look around what colours I wanted in bag handles & wide ric rac so got what I needed. I brought the two yellow, red & white fat quarters from Patchwork with Gail B, some bag fittings from Studio Mio & a couple of scarf embellishments. Then because I had been so virtuous I came straight home & ordered the new BirdHouse pattern Sweet Pea Runner from Sarah at Patchwork Plus as I could not resist it. Even the needleturn ápplique didn't put me off.

I have lots of pics of wonderful quilts so will add them to a later post.

Me & Athea, my partner in crime!

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Bit of This.....

And a bit of that..... in my post today.

Let's start with a little stitchery that I actually did the machine sewing on (about 3 minutes worth) & finished the item for Friday Night Sew In. What's more, it's a gift for me - the words definitely were written about me!

Wishes won't do dishes, so true in my house. I used two of my favourite supplies, variegated thread & some of my treasured Marmalade fabric - currently my favourite print in the range. The pattern was a freebie from Bird Brain Designs. They have pages of lovely little stitcheries that they generously give away.
I have been busy knitting a  baby jacket that I am hoping I will finish this week, it seems to be taking me forever!
Next I want to show you a beautiful vintage kitty. It was made by my friend Frank's mother, out of pom-poms, many, many years ago. It's a very cute little piece made from three elongated pom-poms for the body, one for the tail and the round one for the head.
Isn't that just what we want for our crafts - for it to be on display & cherished many years later by our family for generations to come.

I had a lovely big first chat this morning with Anthea from Hibiscus Stitches. Next Saturday we have our bloggers meet up at the Perth Quilt Fair. I can't wait to meet our local bloggers that are coming along & a big thanks to Anthea & Maria from Life On The Block for organising it for us.


The next day we head off for a week down the South-west of WA in Dunsborough, right on the ocean. So far it looks like we can expect more of the same weather in the early 20s with nice, cool mornings & evenings. I am very much looking forward to the week away, so better start packing my sewing, magazines, books, not to mention anything I buy at the craft fair that I can't bear to leave at home for the week.
The bad news is that Master Hun-bun is having his first ever holiday at a cattery! He knows he is going, we speak often of Hun-bun's winter holiday, but I don't think he realises he is going there on his own & not with his muma. I couldn't tell him that. He is all prepared - had his vaccination, been micro-chipped in case the worst ever thing happens & he gets out, has a new necklace to hang his microchip pendant on & I washed his blanket today for him to pack. By Sunday morning, he will have slept on it enough for it to remind him of home but not enough that you can't see his favourite farmyard animals for the creamy furs clinging to it. It will be me in tears as I drop him off on Sunday. I bet they will have to kick me out to make me leave him. Oh dear - I will have to try to be brave! They will do phone or video visits, can't you just see me Skyping my cat! It's only a week, I'm going to try to limit myself to only 2 phone calls to check on him.
Finally, it was a beautiful day in Perth today & we made the most of it by going for a walk this afternoon around the lake at Yancep National Park, about 60kms North of Perth. The lake is called Loch McNess, named after a Perth philanthropist not its Scottish namesake, and I didn't see any monsters either.
The Yancep Inn looked like a great place to sit this afternoon, with warm sun on your face & a cool beverage in your hand. Maybe next time, today we had walks to do & pics to take.
It was just the weather for a snooze in the sun, hiding ones face behind the trunk of the Euculyptus tree.
Many people were taking advantage of the great weather & beautiful surroundings. The views were very pretty.
The locals were getting lots of attention from the younger generation.
And the imfamous West Australian Tap tree was in full bloom.
We spent ages on a jetty in the sun trying to capture photos of dragon flies. The dragon flies had great fun doing very dramatic, acrobatic moves to make sure most pics captured only a wing or just blurry blue sky.
The birds were far better behaved.
And the native plants in flower were very colourful and pretty.
Have a great week everyone!
Tracee xx  Hun-bun xx

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mrs Martin's Mothers Day Swap

Our latest swap with my partner Glenys in the Mrs Martin's Let's Celebrate year long swap was the Mothers Day Swap. Glenys & I seem to be getting pretty good at picking some things that are favourites for each other without being told. Glenys doesn't have a blog so picking the hazelnut chocolate and sewing notion fabrics on my behalf were just good luck but she has also been able to work out a few key things about me that I haven't blogged about.
I always have a travel cup of tea, coffee or herbal tea (depends on how tired I am & how virtuous I am trying to be) in the car for going too & from work. I don't drink enough most of the time so this is a way to up my intake especially in the cooler months when I find it harder to drink water. I have two travel cups that I alternate & last Wednesday I dropped one & now it comes apart. That's not a good thing when it contains hot liquids & I pick it up while driving without looking at it. I stuck it back together a bit but it's not long for this world. Thursday the parcel below arrived from Glenys - I think it should be called 'a spoil me' pack!
A new ceramic travel mug, a knitted mug cosy (see the pink peeking out) and a patchwork mug cosy on top. It came with the matching mug rug in the bright & happy colours I love. As you can see there is a little box of coffees and what ...... well it used to be....... some shortbread and some Ferrero Rocher chocolates. I think maybe I have mice, ........ or Hun-bun has learnt to open packets....... or maybe seeing it is 5 days later I might have eaten them over the weekend while watching footy & be blocking it out of my mind! 
Yes but that was not all. Glenys brought me two gorgeous treats from Mrs Martin's shop. The first is an adorable Theodora Cleeve quilt shop button and the second a beautifully crafted card which includes part of a doily, an applique cupcake with beautiful embellishments. It's one of those beautiful cards that can stay on show for a long time. Thank you Glenys, I love all of my parcel!
Here's what I sent to Glenys. A stitchery from The Birdhouse - Happiness is having a Mothers Love. Glenys is now getting the idea that I am a stitchery queen and that by the end of this swap (5 more ocassions) that she will be well & truly totally stitcheried out by my gifts!
Some gorgeous thimble fabric & matching thread and a block of Lindt Hazelnut chocolate. Now that is missing from the photos, not because I ate it this time but because I brought it on the way to the Post Office. If I brought it earlier, it no doubt wouldn't have made the parcel..... Hun-bun opening packets again maybe.....
So a big thank you to our swap muma, Karen from Mrs Martins Quilt Shop & to Glenys for her lovely gifts.
Now I need to go trace a new, tiny stitchery that I have found as a freebie that is perfect for my kitchen. Another one of my secret bad habits will be out once I post a pic of the end result....
Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Girls Own Stitching Club

Hi all, well winter had almost come to Perth - well our version of winter anyway. Last night the low  Sunday night was forecast to be 8 degrees & all highs for the next few days around 18-19. Today they are saying 22-24 highs for the next week and 8-11 lows. Winter just does not want to come to Perth, not bone jarring, lots of layers, teeth chattering winter anyway.
In celebration of it almost being winter here, the last two days I have worn a scarf to work anyway. I think I am hoping to entice Jack Frost to make a visit to our big sandy state. I knitted a new scarf in March (wishful thinking) but didn't share it so here it is. The close up pic is better for actual colour.

Have you seen the new Girls Own Stitching Club that Bronwyn Hayes from Red Brolly is hosting on her blog? I love Bronwyn's designs and along side patterns from mags or that I buy, I do many of the freebies she generously gives out so am ín like Flynn' with this one too.

I like the old world charm of the flower design and the thought of learning a few new stitches along the way. It helps to pick up hints & tips from one of the best stitchers in the business.

Here's my version of the first design;

The nice muted colours are really tickling my fancy as was the chance to use this background fabric. It is a gorgeous subtle floral in a soft kakhi green hue.
The club only started on 25th April with this design & there is 8 more to go so plenty of time to join in now. At the end we will have a lovely stitchery quilt to show for our lessons also. To check it out and download the free pattern, go to the Red Brolly blog post.
It's thanks to mum for the above phrases like ín like Flynn' and 'tickled my fancy'. I find this year as Mothers Day approaches I am really missing my mum & my Aunty, both of my strong maternal figures (& Brutus of course, he always gave the best Mothers Day gifts - thanks again to mum for buying them for him to give!). I've even been dreaming about them - yes Brutus too but he was with mum so where he needs to be now.

On a brighter note - Happy Mothers Day to all my dear friends out there who are mums, and/or are celebrating with your mums and deserve a good spoiling! Big smooch from me. xx
I'm off now to get my hair cut. Cooler weather & twice a week in the pool means shorter hair so easier to dry & less dribbles down my neck as I drive home wrapped in a towel & wearing sheepskin slippers at 7.45pm. It's a sight to behold! Maybe I'll have a chat to Hun-bun and ask him if he has any pocket money left & should I pick up a Mothers Day gift for me while I'm at the shops...

Happy stitching
Tracee xx

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Friday Night With Friends

I love Friday night stitching while watching footy. It was made even better this week as I took part in as our monthly online Friday Night with Friends hosted by Chez of Gone Stitchin & Friday Night With Friends on Facebook hosted by Gail. Even one of my beautiful girls from my Thursday group, Ellie, takes part on FB & seeing that I haven't got off work to go to our group for about two months it is great to see her & what she is doing online.
Hun-bun and I were stitching up a storm. Hun-bun hogs the Ott light & sewing caddy while I snuggle next to him and his blankie enjoying having my much cuddlier boy close by.

That's my seat now in the middle!

We started with some stitchery.

Then after going to bed to read, had a nocturnal turn & got up again at 1am to cut out a Christmas block ready for applique.

The weekend took on a decidely lazy turn (loved it!) and Saturday night there was more footy and then a DVD marathon of Lark Rise to Candleford - another series in the vein of Downton Abbey but following the lives of the Hamlet people of Lark Rise compared to the town folk of Candleford. If I had know that 'Mr Bates' from Downton was in this I would have watched it earlier. Brendon Coyle has such a lovely smiley face.
This marathon stitching & watching session resulted in what I thought was the finish of my Christmas applique. It is only now that I look again & I realise not only is my little angel missing her blusher but her halo has also slipped. That will have to be fixed.

This afternoon while watching the Eagles overrun the Bulldogs I finished off the stitchery. There was some un-stitching once I decided the standing birdy did not enjoy having black legs so restitched them with a slightly darker shade of grey/blue.
Now I have the usual problem, two more lots of stiching finished, to go into the machine sewing pile. Maybe that's what I need to concentrate on over the next few weeks. The next little stitchery is already drawn for tonight's viewing of a bit of The Voice, Call The Midwife & maybe another epidose of Lark View. What a lucky duck I have been with my lazy weekend.
There are 64 other Friday Night with Friends sewers signed up on Chez's blog so if you haven't visited already, get over there and check out our world-wide get together.
Have a great week friends!
Tracee xx  Hun-bun xx