Thursday, September 29, 2011

more quilts

We had quite an amazing storm here yesterday - power out for a couple of hours, and the sky turned so dark at around 4:00pm that it was almost as though night had already fallen. Actually I love storms like this - with the rain pelting down, lightning continually lighting up the sky and the thunder crashing around you - I find it quite exciting, and I love this reminder of the power and beauty of Mother Nature.

Poor little Ollie wasn't quite so keen - shaking and jumping with fright at every loud clap of thunder. Lots of cuddles were required!

Above are several quilts tops finished - only one of these has actually been quilted and finished (oops; better get that organised!). They are -

top left: another view of the sampler quilt shown in a previous post

top right: 'Persian Tiles' quilt, pattern designed by Carol Lewis, made in 'Kashmir III' fabrics

bottom left: sampler quilt made with hand pieced blocks, machine pieced sashing, cornerstones and borders

bottom right: '12 Fat Quarter Quilt' designed by Lorna Corcoran and made in the William Morris-inspired 'Morris Workshop' fabric by Barbara Brackman. This one was finished as a birthday gift for my sister.

And hopefully my French Braid quilt will be added to the list of finished quilt tops very soon. Now, to get the quilting organised.....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

french braids

Several weeks ago a few sewing friends and I had a sewing day together, each of us starting or working on a french braid quilt using the 'Petronella' pattern by Blue Willow Designs and using their Rainbow ruler. I used some lovely fabric designed by Holly Holderman for Lakehouse that I had (instead of using a jelly roll which this pattern is designed for), and added in a few extras for variety. Here's a peek ~

I'm really loving how this is coming together. Something I have really noticed lately in my quilting is how my tastes have expanded - from loving mainly just reproduction type fabrics when I started quilting, to now loving lots of different things, and even moving into colours I would never have chosen before. My first completed quilt top (shown below - the borders were put on after this photo was taken and it still needs to go off to be quilted) is in fairly neutral colours and more traditional type fabrics, but I am finding lately that I want to move more into prettier florals and spring colours.

I wonder if this is because I am more confident now in choosing fabrics and putting colour and pattern together, or whether at the moment as we come into spring and summer in Australia I am just feeling the need for prettier colours around me.

In any case, choosing fabrics is always adventure, and so much FUN, and this is my favourite part of my job at the quilt shop, helping customers choose their fabrics and decide on colours.

Well, I'm off to do some more sewing on my french braids, and I'm looking forward to showing you more when it's finished.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

sleep (or, the joys of being a fledgling blogger)

It's such a yearning-ful (I think I just made that up!) word.

SLEEEEEEEP. Not a lot of which is happening here just now.

I didn't think when I started my little bloglet, that I would find it to suddenly be such an exciting thing. I feel like a whole new world has suddenly opened up and now it is 3:00am and my mind is still a-whirring away, composing blog posts, thinking of topics to post about, photos to take, people to talk to, crafty bits and bobs to share..... I kind of feel like I really am seeing the world through new eyes.

Of course, I realise it has something of a novelty value at the moment, that the dizzying thrill will soon wear off, and it will become an enjoyable, pleasant but not hugely exciting thing to do.

Which will be great, 'cos right now the nights are hell.

Valium, anyone?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

my guy....

...of the four-legged variety. Yep, this is Ollie. Handsome little chap isn't he? I just ADORE this little guy. It had been quite awhile since I last had a dog, and I have never had a small dog before (my last dog was a labrador), but I enjoy having him around so much and he is just the perfect size to tuck into my life. He is just a perfect little companion - very undemanding and quiet, but very affectionate too.

We have a little game we play. I hide in one of the rooms down the hallway and he comes down looking for me and when he gets to where I am I step out, and OFF he races down the hall, with his little ears flapping up and down and his fluffy little pantaloon legs racing along. It is sooooooo cute!!

He comes most everywhere with me, including to my office job. Luckily I have a boss who loves dogs too, so Ollie is our Honorary Guard Dog. I work here in an old house with a big backyard and Ollie can't wait to get out there in the morning to see what new smells he can find and have a good roll around in the grass and a bit of a scamper. He just loves it.

Here he is in the yard, lazing in the sun and enjoying a cool little breeze.

Sadly, he is very timid and nervous with other people as he had one home where he was very mistreated. Even now, if I raise my arm or move suddenly he takes fright and even still sometimes cowers, poor little guy, but otherwise he is now very relaxed and happy with me and loves to snuggle up whenever he can.

The funniest thing is that he PURRS!!! I kid you not, when he is all snuggled up and feeling content he makes the cutest little groany-wheezy noise in the back of his throat to the same rythym as a cat purring - TRUE!! He is a funny little thing.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

blog love~book love

I do love to read many of the wonderful blogs on the internet, but had never come across 'Pretty by Hand' until I saw Camille of Simplify's post about it. It is a gorgeous blog with beautiful sewing and lovely photographs. Kristyne is a very talented lady, and very, very witty. I found myself giggling from page to page, and enjoyed her writing immensely. Go take a peek if you want a good laugh and some gorgeous cottony eye candy!

Over the weekend I read 'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls. Actually, this is such an amazing book (and incredibly a true story) that I read it in one sitting. I came across a mention of it on the blog of designer Anna Maria Horner, and after a few days wait for it to arrive at the library, I sat down on Saturday afternoon to read it, and was just blown away by the story of Jeannette Walls and her family, spanning 30 or so years from the early 1960s. I was in turns fascinated, disbelieving and horrified at the life her parents chose for themselves and their children. From the back cover of the book, 'her father was an ingenious adventurer and a hopeless alcoholic. Her mother was an artist who abhorred domestic routine and the chores of motherhood'. If you can get hold of this book, I would highly recommend it.

I have just checked out 'Half Broke Horses' by the same author, again a true story about her maternal grandmother, and am looking forward to sitting down with a cup of tea to enjoy it.

One of my favourite things each week is going to the library. Apart from books on craft, I rarely buy books, cds or dvds as my local library has such a fantastic collection. I have been visiting weekly for many years now, and often have a long list of books on reserve, or of books (or cds or dvds) that I want to reserve. The staff and I know each other well, and it has become a bit of a joke that, as I often have so many reserves to collect each week, they need a 'Tania Memorial Library Shelf' just for me!

So, I would love to hear about your favourite books, cds or dvds too.

I am hoping to have some photos up in the next couple of days - fingers crossed!!

See you soon
Ollie & Tania xxx

Friday, September 16, 2011


So, maybe I should tell you a little bit about myself. I am a forty-something woman and I live alone with my little dog Ollie (or, as my sister would say, Oliver aka Sir Oliver or Master Oliver!). Ollie has been a part of my life for only the past seven months, but has brought so much joy and fun into my days.

I work at two part time jobs, one as an Office Manager 3.5 days a week, and the other in retail at a patchwork/quilting shop which I love, for 3 days a fortnight. I am very fortunate in that both jobs are within 5 minutes drive from home. As I am the quintessential homebody, the more time I get to spend at home the better. I really do count myself as incredibly lucky to live and work in such close proximity.

I love working at the quilt shop - the girls I work with (women actually; I tend to call all my female friends girls) are great fun and it is so enjoyable to get to know the regular customers, and to see them bring their projects in to share. Sometimes when I am in a bit of slump creatively and crafting-wise, this gives me the inspiration to get on and make, or work on, something myself. Unfortunately, I am wonderful at starting things but not always finishing them - I do have a few(!) UFOs around the house, but hopefully they will all get completed at some stage and I am so looking forward to sharing some photos of my projects with you.

I love to potter about at home and love interior decorating books and magazines. I have to confess though, it has been quite some while since I have done much at home - sometimes in life I guess we lose our momentum or feel a bit overwhelmed in some areas and this is how I have felt at home lately. However, I do love to try and make a lovely home for myself and between now and Christmas I am hoping to do some decorating. As I am a renter for the moment, rather than a homeowner, my decorating is along the lines of rearranging furniture, making some soft furnishings such as cushions and table runners, and I plan to make a new quilt for my bed. So we shall see how all of that goes! I would love to be a good gardener too, but my thumbs sadly do not seem to be very green.

That's about it for now, look forward to seeing you soon

Ollie and Tania xxx


Good afternoon - or morning, or evening wherever you are in the world! I had been procrastinating about adding anything to my blog as I am having a few minor issues in uploading photos, but today I decided I would just crack on and see where my musings take me!

One of the reasons I wanted to start a blog is because of the fact that I love to do crafty bits and pieces, but rarely take photos of them, and with this blog I can both post them as a record of the things I have done, but also (hopefully) prompt myself to remember to take the photos to begin with!

I also want my blog to be place to remember and savour all the other odds and ends of my life - movies I have seen, books I have read, even possibly some of my decorating efforts at home (if I can deem them good enough to be shown!). Life for all of us just seems to fly by so quickly these days, and being able to look back over things and recall the enjoyment of them seems a lovely way to go forward in life.

I really love to read other blogs; three of my absolute favourites (amongst many) are Lucy's blog at Attic 24 and Vanessa's at Coco Rose, and Vanessa Cabban's blog Do You Mind If I Knit. I'm not sure I can aspire to have such a beautiful blog as any of these incredibly talented women, or of the many others that I read, but I do love the idea of being able to refer back to times in my life, or certain projects or events, and remember them.

So, welcome to my little world, and I hope you may find a little inspiration or something of interest along the way.
Ollie & Tania