guest post, by carol …

Guess what, folks? We have a guest poster here today, my good (internet) buddy, Carol!!! I’ve known Carol for possible ten years now, via the internet, as she tells you below, and we are definitely meeting up at a marathon race very soon. [We are cheering, not running!!!]

Hi I’m Carol and I’ve known Sharon for quite some time now.  Although having said “known” her, we’ve never actually met (something that is soon to be rectified though!!)  Social media is a wonderful thing to find people, some of whom become lovely friends.  I first found Sharon via her blog when she was designing digital scrapbooking product and would offer a freebie Friday.  Then she opened a store and I became a guest on her team, and heck, just never left throughout that journey!  And all the while have marvelled at her blog and all the photography and scrapping and quilting goodness.

So in thinking about what to write for this guest post, my thoughts were drawn to our various crafts, they come and go as our lives and moods take us, and it’s fun to rediscover crafts we once held so dear.  Much like Sharon and getting back to all her beautiful quilting, I too have rediscovered a craft, crocheting, something I learnt at my Great Aunt’s knee when I was about 12 years old.

02-the ripples begin

Combine crochet and my love of social media and it’s a match made in heaven.

Together with some digital scrapbooking friends, Doris and Steph, who were keen on crocheting, we decided to do a “crochet-a-long” (quite international at that, being that it was an Australian, a Canadian and American).  We chose a pattern called the Ripple Blanket and via Instagram it was a wonderful way to keep in touch with each other’s progress, from selecting the yarn colours, to the blanket in various stages and places throughout the endless rows of crochet.  We marvelled that how each of us produced quite a different blanket depending on our colour and yarn choices and our tension.  It was loads of fun.  We made sure we tagged our photographs with #crochetalong so we had an easy way to see each other’s work.

We have since finished that ripple blanket and our little crocheting group has grown to five and we’ve moved on to a chevron blanket, to which it looks like we have this tag all to ourselves #chevroncrochetalong.

Social media and craft – a fun way to hook up (no pun intended) with other people that in times gone by we may have sat together and done our craft over cups of tea and chatter.  Well we’re still doing that, just worlds away.


And here’s some pics of the various stages of play of the blanket and how rewarding seeing your grandson all nestled in the blanket you so lovingly made for him.  It’s like being wrapped in a hug.



10-reward seeing it used

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have you voted?

Sew-vivor3 COMPETITIONThere’s a little something going on at the Family Ever After blog, a Sew-vivor competition! Now, the thought of a competition brings me out in hives, so there’s no chance that I’m involved, but I do love seeing what some of my sewing/quilting friends are getting up to!!!


I wandered over today and found that Challenge 1 projects have been finished and you are able to choose your favourites and vote!!! Now, voting, I can do that!!!

I’m not going to tell you who I voted for, but there are some lovely pieces of work on the website, and I do recommended you have a look see and vote. I won’t post any photos of the projects because that might give you a little clue as to who I voted for … such fun!

So … you’re still here? Go vote …

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the white stuff – living room …

Imogen Naylor

[Imogen Naylor]

A beautiful white living space this morning …

Things to love … all the textures that work together so effortlessly, a white floor softened with the natural rug, the contrast of smooth and rough (that texture thing again!), the white timber shutters that filter the light, and the ‘nature’ touches throughout the room.

Although I don’t see this as a cat/dog friendly room, it certainly is a lovely space to visit …

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project 365, week 32 …

project 365, week 32, page 1

project 365, week 32, page 2[Credits: Hello There Template (altered), by Paislee Press. Font: Courier New.]

Journaling – finished, a mini ipad cover | good morning from charli | new work tote | breakfast with the man | loving black and white binding | at the movies, guardians of the galaxy | park run at minnippi … [wk 31, aug 3 - 9, 2014]

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on the quilting front …


On the quilting front, I worked on a little project last night.

I put together a mini quilt top using a charm pack of pretty fabrics a couple of weeks ago, with the intention of making a sewing machine cover from it. The quilt top ended up being a little smaller than I needed, and then I had a light bulb moment, and my potential sewing machine cover has ended up becoming a little mini ipad cover!

Last night I quilted the mini quilt top using a decorative stitch on my Bernina. I saw recently this clever trick on Instagram … all credit goes to barkinghen who sets her Bernina to stitch #4, running stitch, increased to 4.9W and 3.0L, and quilts back & forth using the outside of the walking foot as a spacer guide.

quilting 2

You can see the results of my quilting in the image above and to the right … I love this look, not quilte straight stitching, but something I can do without going ‘free form’ which brings me out in hives!!! I’m a fan!!!

I made a very simple case for my mini ipad by binding the top and bottom of the quilted piece, then closing a third of the case, and binding along the edges of the sides. Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed with the yellow binding after I had finished, so this morning on my bus trip into the city I unpicked the binding, much to the entertainment (and bewilderment) of my fellow travellers.

Tonight I will bind it in black and white stripes, which I am very excited to do. I bought the black and white striped fabric a little time back with the express intention of using it for binding, so I think it will look great. I’ll post photos of my finished mini ipad case tomorrow … it really is designed to keep my ipad clean and keep it a little safer as it rattles around in the bottom of my bag.

Stay tuned … more tomorrow!!!

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tutorial – diy mini notebook …

A Joyful Riot

[A Joyful Riot]

A girl can’t have too many notebooks … can she???

You can find a tutorial with clear instuctions and photos at A Joyful Riot. I love that the spine is sewn with a sewing machine, then covered in washi tape.

What a great way to use all that washi tape that is collecting quietly behind the scenes. I think washi tape breeds while you are not watching!!!

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the white stuff – bedroom …



I love a serene bedroom, and this is exactly that, serene …

Things to love … pale timber floors, lots of white on the walls, the high bed and bedding, and the little bits and pieces around the room, accents of black in the photo frames on the left, the chair and the clock, high ceiling and lots of natural white through the big windows, and the splash of colour in the pillows on the bed. Note that this colour is picked up in the bowl and books on the little white wall shelf on the wall.

So effortlessly and stylishly done …

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project 365, week 31 …

project 365, week 31, page 1

project 365, week 31, page 2[Credits: Hello There Template (altered), by Paislee Press. Font: Courier New.]

Journaling – date night with the man | lovely way to finish the working week | apparently you need all this to run a marathon | helping the man carbo load | sea breeze mini quilt | considering this | friday selfie … [wk 31, july 27 - aug 2, 2014]

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simply retro challenge, quilt 6 …

And somehow it is August, month 6 of our very informal Simply Retro challenge, where we choose a quilt at the beginning of the month and use it as inspiration to create our own quilts.

We are using the very gorgeous book, ‘Simply Retro’, by Camille Roskelley, to inspire us. If you ‘do’ Instagram, you can find images of our quilts using this hashtag, #simplyretrochallenge.

This month, Micah from a cherry on top and also known as @mpettes has chosen Fresh as our ‘quilt of the month’ for August. Here is the quilt …

Fresh, by Camille Roskelley[Fresh, by Camille Roskelley]

Isn’t it gorgeous? As you can see, it’s a large quilt, and I thought this month I would make a mini quilt, rather than the full size in the pattern. The blocks in this quilt are 24 x 24 inch in size, so one block would make a pretty mini quilt.

So ready, set, go … the ‘rules’ are very basic, and you are welcome to join in any time … here are the challenge ‘guidelines’ (and I use that term very loosely!!!) I’d love to know if you’re playing along, and who knows? You may get to choose the next month’s quilt.

  1. We take turns in choosing the quilt pattern we are using, in order of joining the challenge.
  2. One quilt per month? For the month of July, we will make ‘Framed’.
  3. Feel free to interpret the pattern in any way you wish. You can upscale or downscale as desired. Play with the pattern in any way you wish … it is a starting off point, not an end destination. Fabric selection is also up to the individual quilter.
  4. Don’t stress!!! This is a fun project, and there are no quilting police around!!!
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project 365, week 30 …

project 365, week 30, page 1

project 365, week 30, page 2[Credits: Hello There Template (altered), by Paislee Press. Font: Courier New.]

Journaling – my bus seat with a view | saying good-bye to nikki at work | least favourite part of quilting, the basting process | charli keeping an eye on proceedings | one more hexagon quilt almost ready to send off for quilting | running again, with the zombies | last day of his holidays … [wk 30, july 20 - 26, 2014]

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the white stuff – sheep measuring cup set …



Couldn’t be cuter …

Things to love … white grey and black, useful and decorative, practical and whimsical!

He can come live on my kitchen bench …

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tutorial – hexagon travel kit, by the zen of making …

the zen of making

[the zen of making]

This really couldn’t get any cuter, could it? A little sewing travel kit made with hexagons … I’m smiling as I type this. You will find clear instructions with great photos here, at the zen of making.

It goes without saying that I want one. And I want it now!!!

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more of a gale than a breeze …

Something fun is happening over at Angie’s blog at GnomeAngel, the start of the Sea Breeze Mini Quilt-A-Long!!! I read about this a while back, and thought, sounds like fun, but I have a lot on my ‘to do’ list at the moment, and another quilting project shouldn’t really be tacked onto the end of that list.

Hmmm … but it’s so pretty!!! I caved in and purchased the pattern from Canoe Ridge Creations, and started pondering, because apparently that’s what you do before you start a new project! What to do, what to do …

I decided that I didn’t want a ‘large’ mini quilt, if there is such a thing, and decided to make mine using smaller blocks, and I also wanted to try a new technique to construct HSTs (half square triangles). This technique worked so well for me that I’m sharing it here on my blog.

Here’s what you do … this will create 8 HSTs the super easy way!

Step 1 … calculate what size to cut your squares of fabric. Here is how you do that.

  1. Decide what size you want your HSTs to be when finished. I wanted 2“ finished HSTs.
  2. Add 7/8” to your finished HST, so 2” + ⅞” = 2 ⅞”.
  3. Multiply this number by 2, so 2 ⅞” x 2 = 5.75”.


Step 2 … cut two squares of fabric to 5.75 inches, place one on top of the other with right sides facing and draw a pencil line from corner to corner, as shown in the image above.

Step 3 …  sew ¼ inch either side of the pencil lines. You will end up with four lines of stitching on each square.


Step 4 … using your ruler, cut vertically and horizontally through the squares, taking care not to shift the fabric as you do so.


Step 5 … then cut along the pencil lines. You will end up with eight perfect little squares.


Step 6 … set and press the seams towards the darker fabric and trim off the ‘points’.

And then there’s the fun of laying the blocks out, and putting it all together …



Now … why do I have a gale rather than a breeze? It’s sad … I was so very careful as I put the blocks of nine tiny squares together, but I didn’t notice that the blocks in the pattern were not arranged symmetrically. If you look closely at my finished mini quilt, you will see that it isn’t quite right!

Wait, it’s not a breeze, it’s a gale … everything is being blown over, so all my blocks are pointing the same way. I didn’t notice this until I had sewed the last stitch on my binding!!! Arrrrgh! So, of course, I sat down and cut out another one, which is now underway!

My girl didn’t even notice anything wrong with my ‘practice mini quilt’ … it is kind of cute, don’t you think? I’ll post photos of the new and improved version, when things have got back to a breeze, rather than a gale …

Posted in quilting, sewing | 4 Comments

the white stuff – bathroom …

Bo Bedre

[Bo Bedre]

A room with a view this week …

Things to love … floor to ceiling windows, neutral drapes, the industrial wall treatment on the floor and walls, the lovely shape to the bath, the wall of white tiles, and of course, the VIEW!

I could do with some quality time in this space …

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good stuff …

the girl ...

Well hello there, internet friends!

I’ve been away for a few days, doing family things over the weekend. Our girl came a’ visiting from interstate for two very short days (day 1 @ 2 were shared with her boyfriend, who lives an hour away, and day 3 & 4 were with us!) She flew back to work and studies this morning, so it will be a quieter house tonight when I get home from work.

She has had rather a dramatic hair-style change since we saw her last … I would hate to guess but it would probably be in the range of 40+ cms (15+ inches) trimmed off the bottom of her hair, and now she sports a trendy bob. As she says, it’s only hair, and it does grow super-fast, and it will be so much easier to look after.

She is starting to make plans for next year, as she graduates from university in December with a science degree, and an honors year beckons. She may even be moving back in with us for 12 months while she studies at our local university. No definite plans yet, just exploring possibilities. I started blogging in 2005 when she was eleven, and now she is nearly twenty! Time has flown!

It was a lovely weekend with her … we spend time unpacking her cardboard boxes of stuff we had brought home with us, as the cardboard boxes are not designed to last, and were showing signs of imminent collapse! She repacked what she wanted to keep into Ikea clear plastic boxes, and they will be stacked neatly onto stands in our storage room, so when she moves somewhere on a permanent basis and has room to unpack, she can simply collect the plastic boxes and we don’t have to ‘look’ for her things. She tried to sneak a couple of things like trophies and ribbons into my cupboards, but got caught and had to put them into her boxes! We had a fabulous time laughing over her childhood treasures, and she even threw out a lot of old school notes into the recycling bin.

We made a trip to the dump, visited the local quilting shop, wandered through the shopping centre near home, dropped into The Coffee Club, did some ‘secret squirrel’ sewing together, and generally enjoyed our time together, and believe it or not, she managed to sleep in both mornings. Somethings never change.

We love you, chickie!!!

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project 365, week 29 …

project 365, week 29, page 1

project 365, week 29, page 2[Credits: Hello There Template (altered), by Paislee Press. Font: Courier New.]

Journaling – quilting fun | winter goodies | awards evening for the marathoner | breakfast with the man | snuggling into dad’s elbow on a cold winter evening | playing with 1 1/2 inch hsts | our girl is home for the weekend … [wk 29, jul 13 - 19, 2014]

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simply retro challenge, quilt 5 – update 1 and finish …

For month 5, July 2014, I chose the quilt named Framed, from Camille Roskelley’s book Simply Retro. I decided to make my quilt a little smaller than the quilt in the book, and finished, my quilt measures about 130 cm or 50 inches square. It’s a nice lap-sized quilt, or it will be when it’s back from the quilters and bound.

Framed 1

I’ve chosen to work with the Wishes by Sweetwater for Moda collection of fabris, and oh my, they are so pretty!

It was a very quick quilt to run up. It was easy to cut out, and not that long to sew up as it was simple to put together. My favourite part was laying it out, once the blocks had been completed. Even though I messed around with the placement of blocks, I still managed to end up with a couple of blocks together that I wished I had moved. Not perfect at this quilt making business, I’m not!!! But I do enjoy all the practice!!!

I had it sewn up by Sunday afternoon, and I even made myself stay at the machine and prepared the backing too, which I really hate doing. So now I have quilt top and backing ready to go to my local quilters … I sure am keeping my local quilting industry moving along!!!

Framed 2

So that’s it for July, our fifth quilt out of eleven in the book … we are almost halfway!!! Wonder what’s around the corner in August???

Posted in quilting, sewing, simply retro quilts | 1 Comment

the white stuff – dining room …

Elisabeth Heier[Elisabeth Heier]

I’m sharing a beautiful living space this week …

Things to love … white, white, white everywhere! Love the plain white table, the chairs with silver legs, white walls framing a large window which lets in the view and light, the simply arranged flowers, and the clever way the firewood is stored.

I like the simplicity and elegance of this room … I could happily live here!

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treasure box 98 …

This is my little weekly post called treasure box, where I share photos and links to interesting finds I have come across as I surf, just bits and pieces that catch my attention

You might find them fun too … this week, quilting tutorials to make some pretty blocks!!!

Find 1 … a herringbone block tutorial, by Bijou Lovely.

Bijou Lovely

[Bijou Lovely]

Find 2 … a ribbon star block, by Fresh Lemons Quilts

Fresh Lemons Quilts

[Fresh Lemons Quilts]

Find 3 … star string block, by Little Miss Shabby.

Little Miss Shabby

[Little Miss Shabby]

Find 4 … Barn Block, by Quilting Lodge.

Quilting Lodge

[Quilting Lodge]

Find 5 … Starflower block, by Sew We Quilt.

Elison Lane Quilts

[Sew We Quilt]

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project 365, week 28 …

project 365, week 28, page 2[Credits: Hello There Template (altered), by Paislee Press. Font: Courier New.]

Journaling – herbs on the kitchen bench | new lync headset, i’m such a tech head | quilt 5 in the #simplyretrochallenge, framed | morning tea with megan | breakfast with the man | watching tv with dad | the boys … [wk 28, jul 6 1 12, 2014]

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