December 2012 archive



Here in Nouméa we’re preparing for Tropical Cyclone Freda (that’s not what the yippee is about LOL). This morning I dragged three kids to the supermarket to stock up on non-perisable supplies.  My friend rang whilst I was en route and warned me that the shops were chaos.  So I worded the kids up, “It’s going to be busy.  No being silly, no wandering away, no hitting, no biting, no going to look at the lollies or toys, stay with me, if I tell you to stop or go then you do it.”.  You know, just the usual pre-cyclone stress creeping in ;)

pre cyclone sunset
Cyclones bring great sunsets

We arrived at the supermarket only to find that most of Nouméa had already been and the rest were there.  Very little fresh fruit and vegies left, pringles all gone, batteries sold out or about to be so.  But the worst bit was the stress in the air.  If I was the store manager I would have been playing a meditation mix over the PA system.  Seriously, it was contagious and it was very stressful!

We totally filled our trolley and then stopped at the bottle shop and pharmacy on the way home for essentials (it is New Year’s Eve and a girl does need her moisturiser!).  The funniest thing was, watching a young woman check out in the aisle next to me at the supermarket.  Whilst my trolley included items such as powered and UHT milk, couscous and rice noodles, her trolley consisted of about 30 alcoholic beverages.  OK, the cyclone isn’t coming tonight, but it was still pretty funny ;P

But back to Yippee! :)

rainbow i spy in progress long view
Total yippee!

It’s NYE, the kids are asleep, I have a glass of champagne beside me and I am feeling good.  I am back in good health and I am more than happy to say farewell to 2012!  Isn’t it great to be healthy and happy, to have wonderful friends and an loving family? :)

The last couple of days I’ve managed a bit of quilting on Mr 6′s Rainbow I Spy quilt.  The tension is still playing up and I’m having to check the back all the time, it’s driving me bananas actually and I wonder if I will ever try quilting with different coloured top and bottom threads again…  I did receive an email this week from a lovely Australia lady asking my advice about bobbin tension and whilst I couldn’t help her, she helped me :)  She suggested that putting the presser foot pressure back to factory settings might help.  It did!  We haven’t achieved perfection but there has been improvement.

I was excited to realise this afternoon that I’ve almost finished quilting the sashing.  So on a whim I threw the quilt on Mr 6′s bed to admire my progress.  And you know what?  I LOVE it!!

rainbow i spy in progress full view

When I look at the stitching I take off my glasses and I look super close and I see all the flaws.  I was hating it and seeing the quilt as a lesson learnt rather than a fabulous quilt.  But guess what?  This is the worst of it and it ain’t too bad once it’s on the bed :)

quilting worst bit
The perfectionist in me hates this, I need to look at the BIG
 picture and remember how fabulous this looked on the bed!

I really, really love it!  I even dragged Mr 6 away from the TV to admire his quilt.  I’m sad to say that Mr 6 has not yet learnt that you need to HEAP PRAISE on a quilter.  Well, at least this one.

rainbow i spy in progress
I only have about a 1/4-1/3 of the sashing left to quilt :)

So I’m very happy to be ending 2012 having remembered about perspective.  Whilst I am not one for resolutions, I would like to enter 2013 looking at the big picture.  Perspective is a great thing.

Bring it on 2013, you’re going to be fabulous!  Just as fabulous as my Mr 6′s new quilt ;P

Sunday Stash and an awesome Secret Santa


I’ve had a little break from linking up with Sunday Stash due to crazy pre-Christmas (self imposed) schedules, holiday and then illness.  I’m happy to say that I’m back to regular posting (although with a cyclone heading our way you never can tell what’s going to happen) and linking up with one of my favourite online friends, Fiona at Finding Fifth.

Fiona was the brains behind our Wombat Stew Secret Santa.  I haven’t revealed mine yet (and it’s killing me because it’s AWESOME!) as it is still on it’s way, but I did receive mine :)  Marieka stalked me well, she even knew that I call my fourth baby Bernina 440, Delilah LOL  A few of the Wombat Stew girls, myself included, have a bit of a thing for Kate Spain prints and Marieka made Delilah a cover using Kate Spain’s line Serenade.

secret santa machine cover front

I LOVE it!  Even the back is sexy :)

secret santa machine cover back

Fortuitously, the night before Marieka posted my gift I asked the girls where to buy new rotary blades online.  Marieka said that she could pick some up (along with some new quilting needles which I desperately needed) as she had a voucher and was going to the post office anyway.  I’m totally goofy, I hassled her for her paypal details not cluing in to the fact that she was sending me a secret santa package ;)  Thank you Marieka!  I love the cover and I really, really, really appreciate the needles and blades!!

secret santa machine cover with notions

Moving on to other recent stash additions, I recently purchased some yardage to make myself some summer dresses.  I’m not sure when I’ll get around to it, but now I have some GORGEOUS voile (Notting Hill at that!!) with which to play!  In fact I would be happy just to roll around in it LOL

notting hill voile

I am fantasizing about buying a FQ bundles of Notting Hill but then I think maybe a half yard bundle and then I die at the price.  So for now I will be content with the voile and continue to fill my cart and not check out ;)

At the same time I ordered a couple of solids.  I really have to check the invoice before these are absorbed into the stash as I have no idea what they are.  Black, grey, blue and lighter grey.  I’m sure they all have fancy names like campfire ash and stormy tempest ;)


Because it was a sale and I had to fill a flat rate envelope…  I also splashed out and purchased two charm packs.  Cuzco (DIVINE!!)


 and Cherry Christmas.

cherry christmas

Cherry Christmas will be set aside for next Christmas (it arrived a few days before Christmas when I was winding down on sewing and winding up on packing) but Cuzco is sitting nearby waiting for inspiration to strike.  I really want to make some cushions for our new house (let’s not think about the fact that it’s 14 months until we’ll be moving in!) so I might use it for that.  It is making me think lap quilt for the sofa, but that is what Colour Therapy is for.  Maybe lap quilt for Little Miss?  Once we’re back in Australia with cold winters they will need more than one quilt on their beds, so it might even become a quilt for Little Miss…  Hm, lots to think about there :)

I’m linking up Sunday Stash hosted by the Fabulous Fiona.

Finding Fifth

2012 wrap up


What a year!  I can’t believe it has only been 12 months, I honestly feel like I aged about 600 years this year!  But lets keep this post positive ;)

Whilst 2011 saw me rekindle my interest in sewing, focusing primarily on dress making.  2012 I found my inner-quilter, embraced her and let her completely take over my life (and dining sewing room) ;)

It was really Mr 4′s quilt that ignited my passion for quilting.

Windows for a four year old
Windows for a four year old.

My colour therapy quilt helped me focus during a really difficult time and I LOVE it!  It taught me that quilting is not just a hobby, but a form of meditation, a creative outlet and a happy place for me.

rainbow top
Colour Therapy

Mr Husband’s Father’s Day mini reminded me that quilting can provide instant gratification.

Father’s Day Mini

Becoming part of Wombat Stew a Paper Piecing Bee reminded me that online friends can be the best friends.  I love designing my own paper pieced blocks and the girls have all had really great themes.  I look forward to this bee continuing along with my paper piecing skills.

wombat stew 2012 blocks
L-R: Gyoza for Alyce, Bernina 440 for Kristy, New Caledonian house for Jane

I sold my first quilt this year for what I consider to be a great price.  It was such a buzz and whilst I miss that quilt I’m so pleased that I put myself out there and experienced a happy outcome :)

triangle quilt front
Triangle Quilt (why, oh why couldn’t I come up with a better name? LOL)

In addition to quilting I made a stack of cushions/pillows.  I must add only one of these was for our house (my daughter’s bed) and I’m itching to make some for our sofa (and yes, I’m dreaming of our new house and filling it with quilty goodness!).

cushions 2012
All custom orders other than top left which was for my Little Miss :)

For the second year in a row I volunteered my sewing skills to the children’s school and at the end of the year made handmade gifts for our awesome teachers.  It was especially pleasing how genuinely thrilled they were with their gifts and the Director even showed me where he will hang his mini next year :)

2012 school sewing
Clockwise from top left: Director’s Mini, Favourite teacher gift, school concert costumes, iPad pouch.

With all this sewing I have become more confident with both colour and design.  My current WiP (which remains so due to a little period of ill health which I am very happy to say is almost over!!) reflects my willingness to go along with my ideas without fear of failure.  I know that something good will come of my work, whether it is a beautiful piece or an important lesson learnt.

I Spy Quilt top complete
Rainbow I Spy top

I can’t wait for 2013!  I already have two quilts on the to do list and I really want to make a mini for my sewing room.  I’m actually feeling the need for some instant gratification and wondering if I can sneak it in tomorrow before the new year…

rainbow ispy quilting in progress
Rainbow I Spy quilting in progress

Happy sewing and best wishes for the new year!  Thank you for reading my blog and sharing this creative journey with me.  I love being part of the online quilting and sewing community and look forward to another year of creating and being inspired by all the amazing quilty bloggers out there!

(There are a few projects that I haven’t included in this post such as bags and clothing, you can see more photos in my gallery.)

Bonne Année a tous!

I’m linking up with Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts :)

Lily's Quilts



First up I just want to say a very big thank you to everyone who made such lovely comments on my posts this week.  Unfortunately I am really struggling health wise and I just can’t reply individually at the moment.  I am so much better today than I was yesterday, so here is hoping that I will continue to improve.  I am very grateful that Mr Husband is on leave and is able to do everything because at this point I’m unable.

kuto bay

My family just spent a few days on a small tropical island, Isle des Pins.  It was amazing.  Our lovely friends were holidaying there on their boat and we spent a night with them as well as both boys having a sleepover.  Very special indeed.  I am very grateful for good friends and precious children.

Pool where Mr 6 learnt to swim

We were lucky enough to stay at a beautiful resort that had a fantastic pool.  Deep enough for me to stand with the water to my chin so I could help the kids and enjoy swimming myself.  I am so incredibly proud to tell you that Mr 6 learnt to swim yesterday!  I was more than happy to be in the pool as the water was much kinder on my body and Mr Husband took Mr 4 for an adventure with our friends.

in the pool

Mr 6 had spent two days becoming very comfortable with his pool noodle, paddling around the pool.  Without his younger brother (who learnt to swim recently) around he learnt to swim in an hour.  Not just swimming, but diving in, underwater somersaults, swimming down to touch the bottom of the pool with me.  I am so, so happy because on the first day in the pool he would panic if he couldn’t touch an adult.  It was a real eye opener for me that there can be some real benefits in separating the kids and being able to focus one on one.  I think we might try and do a bit more of this over the two month vacation, especially with our need to focus on literacy and numeracy for Mr 6.  I am very grateful to have had this insight at the beginning of the holidays, I think it will stand us in good stead.

relaxing by the pool in the evening

Unfortunately my Dad’s trip to spend Christmas with us was cancelled at the last minute.  He is bitterly disappointed but we’re really hoping that he can make it for Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)  in February.  But I’m very grateful that the kids will still be on holidays in February so we will still be able to have a family holiday together :)

Some other exciting news that I am extremely grateful for is that we have bought a new house!  It wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste but we love it and it is near family and we can’t wait to move in to it at the end of our time in Nouméa.  Mr Husband was careful to measure up the wall in the stairwell as he really want me to make a quilt to hang there.  I’m so grateful that my husband is so supportive of my hobby!

new house new view
The view from our new kitchen window

I am spending a lot of time resting in bed and reading online at the moment.  I’m very grateful for all of the awesome quilting and sewing blogs that I have discovered this year, it certainly makes this trying time much more enjoyable!  There are so many amazingly creative people out there and I am lucky enough and very grateful to have made friends with some of them online this year.

If I don’t manage another post before Christmas, I’d just like to wish you all a Merry Christmas.  Whilst we will be having a very small celebration this year, there are so many special people that I will be thinking of and in particular one little baby boy who should have been celebrating his first Christmas but instead grew Angel wings.

Merry Christmas xxx

hotel grounds

A very special Christmas tree


This gift is now in the mail on the way to some very special recipients.  I’ll just put a spoiler alert here. If you have two fur babies named Roscoe and Lulu then do not read any further! :)

My current and last two quilting projects have featured pebbles.  Whilst I find it to be a very time consuming FMQ technique, I love the outcome.  For this project I pulled out the last (not very last, but there is not enough left for big projects) of the awful sheeting material I bought in Beijing.  I am trialing a range of different adhesive products at the moment so I decided on some raw edged appliqué using a little heat n’ bond.

Christmas tree mini

It was actually a fairly simple project, I traced each child’s hand onto heat and bond, cut it out, stuck it on to the fabric, cut out the fabric, ironed it on and straight stitched around the edges.  Then I got my FMQ on and even wrote the kids names and the year underneath the tree.

christmas mini back
Because I can never resist a good looking back!

I added hanging pockets on the back and used the Red Pepper Quilts method for machine binding.  I only missed one tiny section on a corner which was very satisfying!  I’m thinking these will be a great Christmas gift for all the Grandparents next year and I might even have to do one for us too!

I’m linking up to TGIFF!

Finally a work in progress!


After putting down my son’s rainbow I Spy quilt in order to meet Christmas deadlines I just had to pick it up again and get a little quilting started before we have a mini break followed by a visit by my Dad.

I Spy Quilt top complete
Remember this baby?

I found this awesome flickr group that features quilting designs and spent way too much time looking around.  Of course I have decided to stick with my original idea, but I did enjoy looking through all of the inspirational quilts!

rainbow ispy quilting in progress

So, I am going with pebbling in the sashing using a white top thread and grey bobbin thread to blend in with the fabric.

rainbow ispy back in progress

I really want those blocks to jump out.  I also want the back to be beautiful in it’s own right (and Mr 6 actually seems to prefer the rainbow back) so grey it is.  The little quilting I have done that crosses over the rainbow strip on the back does not stand out.  So I think I’m achieving what I’m after :)

quilting over the rainbow

Having said that, I am having tension issues :(  I’m not used to quilting with different colour top and bottom threads (both are 50wt Aurifil), add to that I’m using a homespun white on the front and Bella (fancy name for) grey on the back.  My tension is down around 0 and I am having to check it regularly.  I may go back and unpick the particularly bad patches.  MAY.  It will irritate me if I don’t (perfectionist? me?) but I am also time poor and I would love to have this done for Christmas morning.  It isn’t a suprise, but it would be nice to have it done :)  Hopefully this is just teething issues.  I’m one bobbin in at the moment.

I plan to do a heap of hand quilting but will have to get some new needles first.  I recently purchased a sampler set of Foxglove Cottage needles and they are all way too short for me.  They are beautiful needles but I really don’t like them.  We have two haberdasheries in Nouméa and two sewing machine shops so I am hoping that I will be able to find something in person.  I now realise that needles are not something that I can buy successfully online…  I would love to hear any recommendations that you have regarding needles.  Favourite type, size, length?

I will be linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday Stash back in full swing!


I’ve had a few weeks break from linking up with Sunday Stash over at Finding Fifth.  Frantic Christmas sewing, along with end of school year festivities have seen me in a perpetual state of chaos. But with the last day of school on Friday a number of deadlines have passed and I am now back to a more reasonable pace of sewing.  I didn’t sew anything yesterday!  It was a nice break but I’m itching to get back to it today ;)

jardin du pere noel
To celebrate the end of the school year on Friday we visited the Jardin du Pere Noel with friends.

Santa is being very generous this year and has sent me a few quilting books, they aren’t wrapped in pretty paper but I am dutifully waiting until the 25th to open them.  We won’t mention that I selected them myself, but I’m rather forgetful so I should still get a surprise LOL

christmas mail

My November stack arrived recently from Pink Castle Fabrics as part of their Stash Stack club.  November was orange and if you ask me, orange is not a favourite colour of mine.  But oh my, this bundle is my favourite yet!  Look at these pretties!!

november stash pink castle

Of course I have a few favourites…

november favourite

november favourite 3

I girl can’t just choose one favourite ;)

november favourite 2

During the Black Friday sales (I think!)  I ordered the Hawaiian Sunset blogger bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics.  I ummed and ahhed, it didn’t really look like me but I was intrigued.  The name attracted me as much as anything (I don’t live in Hawaii but living on a small Pacific island anything kind of Pacific focussed draws my attention) some of these prints are super busy but oh so pretty.  It looked like a pleasing challenge.

hawaiian blogger bundle

They have actually been sitting unopened inside the bag they came in for a few weeks but I decided to include them in today’s Sunday Stash.  I LOVE this bundle.  LOVE it!!!  The photos just don’t do it justice.  I have no idea what I’m going to make with this one, but it will be either for my daughter or me because I love these colours together and they’re not leaving this house :)

hawaiian favourite 2

I will need to supplement this bundle to bring it up to quilt size.  I really enjoyed adding new prints to the last blogger bundle that I worked with to really make it my own.  I think I might do the same this time.  Although there is a great temptation to just buy a second bundle…  Yep, it’s that pretty!!!

hawaiian favourite

I will just add in at this point that Pink Castle fabrics are one of my all time favourite online fabric shops!  I have no affiliation with them whatsoever, I genuinely love their range and customer service.  In the unlikely event that you are unfamiliar with them, pop over and have a look, you won’t be disappointed :)

I’m linking up with Sunday Stash over at Luella Bella this week.

Finding Fifth

An emotional finish


Director's mini finished

Today marks the end of an era.  It is the last day of the school year here and Mr 6 will be moving from Maternelle (pre-school) to CP (Primary School).  Mr 4 will also be leaving our Maternelle and moving to a school with smaller classes.  I am an emotional wreck today.  We started at our Maternelle nearly two years ago, Mr 6 (then 4) walked in on the first day of school, the only kid in the school who didn’t speak a word of French.  We had a tough first year.  Like heart breaking tough.  For months he would cling to the car door crying in the morning when we arrived at school.  It was awful.

Not only could Mr 6 not speak French, he didn’t know anyone’s names because it was all a blur of words and he couldn’t differentiate a name from vocabularly that he was yet to learn.  He didn’t know what was cool and what wasn’t so he couldn’t even try to blend in let alone fit in.  It was tough.  On all of us.

At the end of the first school year Mr 6 was much happier.  He spoke French fluently and had made some firm friends in his class.  This year marked Mr 6′s second year at the school and Mr 4 joined the school in the youngest class, Section des Petites.  We were blessed with an AMAZING Maitresse (teacher) for Mr 6.  She is kind, gentle, patient.  She is obviously passionate about teaching and knows each child in her class and has a meaningful relationship with them.  With this teacher Mr 6 has gone from being OK at school to LOVING school.  Along with the standard curriculum our Maitresse has introduced the children to Yoga and Meditation, the classroom is full of inspiring images, classical artwork, letters, words and numbers.  A boring classroom was transformed into a fantastic learning space.  What a great place to spend five days a week!

school all festive

In addition to a wonderful teacher, the school is lucky enough to have a visionary Director.  He knows all of the children by name and always has a minute to chat to parents.  I feel that he kept an extra eye out for Mr 6 during his difficult first year and I am very, very grateful for that.  Under his direction the teachers worked secretly for four months this year on fantasy displays which were then placed in each of the class windows transforming the school into a magical fairytown for the inagural Christmas Soirée.

Christmas soirée display

I can’t explain how amazed we were, but it was truly magical with all of the children and teachers (and many parents) dressed as traditional fairytale characters.  There were jugglers and performers, storytellers, an enchanted cave, a secret fairy garden, roving singers and lights galore.

Christmas soirée fairy garden

We are very sad to be leaving the school.  It is great that we are moving on, that both Mr 4 and Mr 6 have aquired fluent French, made great friends and had some fantastic teachers.  But saying farewell to the school is very emotional.  So of course, I had to make some very special gifts for the people who made our time at the school so special.

You may remember the iPad pouches I made for Mr 6′s Maitresse

iPad pouch front

and Mr 4′s Maitresse.

iPad pouch inside

This morning I sent Mr 6 to school with a small gift for each child in his class (only two other children will go to the same school as him next year).  The girls all got two hair ties and a clip made using some favourite scraps.

The boys all received a monogrammed key chain using this fun tutorial.  I couldn’t find my pinking shears, so I reduced the stitch length to about 1.2 and just left the edge smooth.  I don’t think they’ll fray too much.  I’m hoping they might use them on their school bags next year and remember their Australian friend.

key fobs monogrammedkey fobs front

Yesterday afternoon I finally had time to get started on the gift for the Director.  Without much time I still wanted to give him something handmade and meaningful (we only decided on Tuesday to move Mr 4 to another school, so I did think I had another year to make a big gift for the Director).  Around 2pm I started a circle of flying geese using this free template.  I had the top pieced almost finished by school pick up, let’s say the kids got to watch a little more TV than usual yesterday afternoon…

Director's mini top pieced

I started to panic as the sun began to drop in the sky.

setting sun
Moment of panic as sun starts to set…

As the sun was setting I was madly hand stitching ”From little things BIG things grow”. It is a line from a Paul Kelly song that any Australian would know and most love.  It is actually a protest song, but I think it is fitting for a Director as our little kids have grown so much under his care.

Director's mini stitch in progress
This is where I was up to when the sun started to set…  eek!

You can listen to Paul Kelly, Kev Carmody and John Butler preform it here and you can read more about the song here  Please enjoy the song for what it is, there are a few contentious comments below the clip on youtube, please ignore them, I’m not trying to get political, this is a song that most Australians love and know, I’m just trying to share the inspiration for my mini quilt :)

I finished up the mini at about 11pm last night.  I LOVE it.  I hope he does too :)  It measures about 15″ square and uses a mix a Essex linen and favourite scraps.  Although I was rather time poor I had great fun with the quilting!  It is machine straight line quilted in Aurifil 50wt 2605 with a little 40wt 2024 (the white machine quilting).  I broke out my new verigated 12wt Aurifil (4660 and 4662) which was a pleasure to hand stitch with.

Director's mini close up stitching

I actually attached the binding the wrong way LOL  It was late and I was desperate to get it finished and get to bed.  I should have sewn it to the front first and then was going to do the Red Pepper Quilts method of machine stitching in the ditch so that it is invisible on the front.  But I needed to keep going and get to bed so I selected a thread that blended into the binding and I neatly machine stitched it in place.  And guess what?  I love the way it looks!  Yippee!

Director's mini finished

I always love to see the back of quilts and the quilting on this mini was a lot of fun, so here you go :)

Director's mini back 2
A heart to hide them names :)  But we basically thanked Mr Director for providing a
wonderful school and community.

I have a few last Christmas gifts to sew that will be quick and then back to Mr 6′s Rainbow I Spy quilt.  Hopefully it will be done in time for Christmas.  I’m thinking I will pebble quilt in the sashing and hand quilt the borders in rainbow threads.  I’m quite excited about it :)

I’m linking up to TGIFF over at Quilt Matters and for the first time with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Gah! No really, argh!


Anyone else experiencing the full blown panic that seems to accompany Christmas?  If I wasn’t completely ashamed of the HUGE MESS that is my sewing room I would share a pic as it really reflects my sewing stress (good stress, not bad).  It really looks like a bunch of monkeys have run to the fabric shelves and randomly pulled out fabric and thrown it all around, stuffed that in to bags, tried to hide it, then started throwing fabric around again.  I’m telling myself (and anyone who will listen) that I’ll tidy in January.  Gosh I hope so or I might get lost in here!

This week I’m finishing off a few WiPs:

A dress (requires button to be made and stitched on):

toddler dress

A cushion cover (Alien needs an pupil and mouth):

Alien cushion cover
A little reverse applique and raw edged applique.  Usually I quilt cushion covers but didn’t this time. I think he is cute :)

A Christmas mini quilt (can’t share as it’s a gift for someone who reads my blog).  It’s super awesome and totally Christmas and I’m thinking I’ll do a tutorial on it as I love it so much :)

A gift for the Director of our school.  Fabric has been selected, PP pattern printed.  Um, work has yet to begin and school finishes in two days…  Gah!!!!

Gifts for Mr 6′s classmates.  Half are done.  No idea what to make the boys (the girls are getting hairclips or ties).  Any suggestions?  I need something quick, simple and suitable for 13 six year old boys.  Like super quick.  Key rings?  Argh!

I did have two finishes today.  If I didn’t have enough on my plate today with an early finish for school, followed by swimming lessons, followed by a birthday party and Mr Husband working super late, I decided that even though I had struck it off the list as it was INSANE, I needed to provide handmade gifts for the birthday boy and girl.  So with less than an hour I made two zippered pouches.  I didn’t even use batting or interfacing.

zippered pouches
About 10″ x 6″ using a 9″ zip

These two pouches (complete with the initial of each child) were gifted along with a bought present (a Hello Kitty makeup set and a Playmobil Pirate set).  And you know what???  The birthday girl was carrying around her pouch for the whole afternoon.  How proud am I?

girls zippered pouch
For a Miss Z

Yep, being a little sewing crazy is so worth it when you make a 6 year old happy :)  Funnily enough I only bought a 25cm cut of Happy Hills to see what all the fuss was about and I really didn’t love it.  Turns out six year old girls think it’s pretty ACE :)

back of spiderman zippered pouch
The back of the Spiderman pouch for a Mr V

On completely different news…  I’m thinking of shutting down my other blog, Suburban Adventures in Nouméa.  I just drafted a post letting readers know but I’m going to sleep on it.  Whilst I’m much, much happier in Nouméa than I was a few months back, my heart just isn’t in that blog.  It was pretty much beaten up and left for dead with a few punches for good measure.  Yeah, you can see why I’m not so keen on being all chipper about life here.  My point being (there is a point!), would you guys mind if I shared some more of my life here?  At present I keep this blog pretty strictly to sewing and quilting.  But what I’m thinking is posts here and there about my life beyond sewing.  Like the awesome school concert we had that the local Kanak, Polynesian and Melanesian auxiliary staff taught the kids dances and decorated the school in palm fronds and local flowers.  Would that fit with your blog reading interests or would you just run screaming from another Crafty/Mummy blogger?  I’d love to hear your thoughts :)

school decorations Nouméa styleschool decorations Nouméa
Would you like to see more of this part of my life?

I’m linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

A finish (or two, three….)!


I totally have that TGIFF feeling this Friday!  I’m soooo tired after staying up late working on a Secret Santa gift for one of the Wombat Stew Girls.  Here is a sneak peek :)  Just a glimpse because I don’t want to give it away!

wombat stew secret santa peek

My big finish for this week was my Tree Skirt.  I don’t know if anyone had time to visit the original post with all of the giveaways happening this week for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.  It’s almost over, but worth a look if you have a hundred hours or so (and a time machine) to enter in all the fantastic giveaways!

tree skirt

I won’t talk too much about my tree skirt as I did already post about it, but I do love it.  It was my annual last minute Christmas project ;)  Last year it was my Advent Calendar which I love enough that I’m going to bore you with more photos of it :)

Advent calendar with all felt decorations

The idea behind the tree skirt was to practice my FMQ in preparation for Mr 6′s I Spy Quilt.  It has been basted and waiting for over a week but I want it to be just right so I figured some practice was in order.

tree skirt close up fmq

I am so pleased with how the tree skirt finished up.  The only thing I would do differently is use a pale blue thread for the FMQ next time.  The quilting just doesn’t show up enough being white on white.  The positive side being that I am now confident and happy enough with my FMQ that I can bravely select thread that stands out :)  Yay!

tree skirt fmq

The back is completely different and is a nice alternative.

tree skirt back

The other finish that I slipped in this week was the second thank you gift for our teachers.  I made this gorgeous one for Mr 6′s teacher (yes, it was hard to part with, but she is pretty special!).

iPad pouch front

I didn’t really have the option to invest so much time into the gift for Mr 4′s teacher, so I made her the same iPad pouch using this pattern but I didn’t piece the panels.

iPad pouch front
Apologies for the next three photos which were taken by Mr Husband
 who hasn’t discovered any settings beyond Auto on the SLR…  Really, I do love him ;)

I’m really happy with it!  I used snaps for the closure (just to try something different) and put two snaps on the pocket so that she can squeeze a few more items in there if need be :)

iPad pouch inside front
Again, apologies for the pic!

I used some Amy Butler scraps and then found a few coordinating pieces.

iPad pouch inside
I love the perspective, Mr Husband, PLEASE look at the settings next time! ;P

I SLQed the outside using my favourite Aurifil 50wt 2000 and used scrap bamboo wadding along with some medium weight interfacing on the lining.  Next time I will probably give the interfacing a miss.  I’ve kind of gone off iron-on interfacing…

The last finish I wanted to mention is another one that wasn’t this week.

cushion on bed

You may remember that I participated in the Travellin’ Pic Stitch Blog Hop.  I popped over this morning to vote for my favourite and was blown away to see that my very non traditional EPP “block” has 9 votes!  Wow!  I’m very grateful to those who have voted, it makes me rather proud to think that among such awesome company my item has attracted some votes.  I think the party is open for a few more days, so make sure you pop over and check out the projects.  You don’t have to vote (and I’m not asking for votes, please vote for your favourite:) ), feel free to just enjoy the gorgeous items on display!  We all used a palette generator to develop a template based on a favourite travel/location photo.

ilot maitre palette

It was so much fun!  My original post (with about 600 of my favourite photos LOL) is here.

Oh!  I have to squeeze in one last finish for the week (it happened way back last Saturday so I almost forgot LOL).  I designed and finished this PP block for Kristy as part of our Wombat Stew Paper Piecing bee.  Kristy was Queen Bee Wombat for November and selected a sewing theme.  This is Delilah, my Bernina 440.  Isn’t she lovely? :)

paper pieced sewing machine

Now I have to get back to my mad Christmas sewing list.  Anyone else feeling a bit frantic?  I’m not sure I’m going to get everything posted in time, eek!  Less computer, more sewing!

I’m linking up with TGIFF over at Quokka Quilts this week.

And here’s one last pic(I can’t stop typing today!) , this one is our Christmas tree.  Isn’t it pretty?  This is the first year I’ve let the kids decorate it with me (they have their own tree which is somewhat psychedelic .  I’d like to say that I’ve matured as a person and their taste and placement skills have improved ;)  We all had a ball putting it up!

tree skirt with lights

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