Thursday 30 September 2010

About the diamond template

For those of you who are wondering about my cut strip sizes:

Yes, they are wider than the pattern. The simple reason for this is so that when paper piecing, I would like have more room to position. I would rather cut off the difference than not have enough.

Yes, there is a 3/8 seam allowance. I prefer to cut down to 1/4 inch allowance later on. I prefer to trim down rather than be left short.

You don't have to make all 12 blocks with the same fabric. I recommend that to keep a 'style' you should keep the 1st fabric in the diamond block the same - it just looks more uniform.

Feel free to choose your own technique. I work comfortably with paper piecing but if anyone has a preferred technique, please do use it.

The diamonds are worked up in green as they will be representing a tree.

Printing your diamond block: a little difference in printing % wont make a difference if all 12 blocks are the same. From the PDF file, the pattern is set to print at the correct size. Please ensure your printer is set to print at full A4 size.

It is a mystery, but as so many of your have asked I can say that the finished size of this wall hanging is approx. 42 x 56 inches, depending on a few inches here or there owing to border variations.

You will need ADOBE ACROBAT PDF READER version 7 or later to open any of my PDF files.
It can be downloaded for FREE from the side bar of my blog. Simply go to
Sorry MAC users, I have no recommendations.

Wednesday 29 September 2010

12 Days of Christmas

Ready for some festive sewing?
This free mystery BOM will be released in 6 parts over 6 weeks
Each Wednesday

It’s nearly Christmas and that means there’s just a little time left for some seasonal sewing. At this time of year I give up ideas that my UFO shelf is going to be finished…and move onto sewing something simple (ish) for Christmas. Every year when I unpack our decoration box, I always find something that I forgot we had – I love these moments. We usually also find out that our lights have gone missing again…(we end up buying new ones each year!) and every year without fail, we decide that we need more Christmas themed tablecloths, table runners, wall quilts…. Home sewn items that make Christmas special.

It’s like Christmas baking, you could buy most of what you make, but there’s something special and enduring about making it yourself. In a way, this wall hanging is a bit of a UFO – I have been meaning to make it for a few years and now it’s finally going to arrive. And it’s definitely a stash buster so that’s good too.

I think that the 12 days of Christmas is a charming carol and I love imaging all the presents arriving each day with a big bow over them.

Aside from the fun, some argue that this carol dating back to the 1600’s was sung to secretly teach and represent religious doctrines. (If you’re interested, you can read more about this here: )

This first week is all about paper piecing in tree themed greens ...

Let's get started!

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Button to share...if you can

Feel free to take this pic and post it on your blog or website, simply 'save as' the above pic and link the image to this address: the more the merrier!

I can't supply you with a code - that is too advanced for me.

Coincidentally, if any tech savvy quilters out there know of easy to use software which allows you to generate / create 'buttons' please let me know as I am always struggling in this area. Any advice much appreciated.

You may have noticed the button is looking shinier and better all of a sudden. Well, it's thanks to Brenda from Serendipity.

Brenda has been wonderfully generous and re-worked my button in a matter of minutes and sent it back to me via email. Wow! Of course, I'm not suprised... as Brenda always answers my cries for tech help.
Thank you so much!

Sweet little bird

This sweet little (baby?) bird has been singing all morning - and I was lucky enough to get a picture of him swinging on his branch. How can you work with such glorious distractions outside your window? Time for a contemplative coffee I think...

Monday 27 September 2010

Another Pink!

Kay of Qld, has created this In The Pink quilt top and has made it even better by adding an extra pillow top border. What a great idea.  The colours just 'sing' and I love the green. It's so harmonised, thank you for sharing this Kay.

This is the final month for In The Pink, (hasn't it just flown by?)Have you finished yours?

Saturday 25 September 2010

Crochet converted bag

Talk about brainless sewing. Because I don't have enough to do...

Sometimes I am struck with ideas and simply have to carry them out on the spot. This is such a project.

This tote bag came with the weekend newspaper a few months ago and I was impressed with the impenetrable fibre it is made from - a suprisingly good quality plastic woven fabric. Just what I was after.

Why?? I hear you ask.

Yes, it's true I have a few hundred beautiful fabric bags but I needed a quick bag I could use for my crochet tube. Something that wouldn't be affected by rain or smells (the plastic is perfect for this) and a bag I could throw about (not that I abuse my bags generally) or be too precious about. A practical bag that I could sling over my shoulder and carry in the car and just generally out and about so I can manage to fit in a few lines of knitting without carrying a whole cache around.

I am often struck with the thought of carrying out a few lines of knitting when stuck in bank queues, supermarket queues, etc. But I needed a slimline tote.

Obviously I don't want to advertise David Jones as I go about my business so a fabric print was necessary.

The only thing this tote was missing was a good sturdy zip which I added. I selected a charming bird print. Unpicked the lot. Attached the print. Stitched it back togeher...and voila....!

Now, I know there are better things I could have done with that hour...but I have got a bag to show for it, so it wasn't completely bad.

And I managed to stash bust and give these sweet birds a use.

Ok... back to real work...

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Roseville Album

Roseville by Kim Mclean arrived a month ago. I'm only just getting around to it now (the usual story).

It looks good. I can't wait to start. I have already pulled some stash fabric out to see if it will do. I think I might have to buy some new Fassett fabrics. It shares some design elements with The Civil War Bride Quilt (which is also on my UFO shelf) so I will have 2 similiar in style - but they are both beautiful in their own way. I think that if you see something you know you will love making and having, it has to find a home...somewhere in your studio...

Is anyone else making this quilt?

I will post updates as I go through making this quilt. I don't know when as I have a lot of my own to get through. But it can sit on my UFO shelf. I have hungry eyes!

This quilt can be purchased here:

Tuesday 21 September 2010

a Sneaky Peak

Pull out your Christmas stash ( I know you must have one)

Buy a packet of little christmas bells in gold or silver (you'll be needing them)

Wait (im)patiently.... this BOM is COMING SOON

 Here's a sneaky peak of what my design wall looked like as I worked on the next BOM.

Above is my Christmas stash box, full with fabric waiting to be used.  Next to it are the greens I will be using. The lighting has made them 'greyish' - they have more green vibrancy in true light.

It's a Christmas theme and it will be released quickly to allow it to be finished well before Christmas (who needs December sewing??? Not me!)

Fear not - these pics were taken early in the process. The BOM is just about ready to launch...

Thursday 16 September 2010

A Quilt for Sue

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa

If you have the time, please make the time to put together a block in any size and any colour -ASAP
Please visit Lizzie's blog for more info:

Have a block? email Lizzie for the postal address to send it to:

Tuesday 14 September 2010

In The Pink Part 6 is launched

Doesn't time fly by when you're having fun?
In the Pink finishes up this month. This last installment is short and sweet consisting of only finishing up instructions... although many of you went ahead and finished it with your own steam and they all look different and wonderful. Time to say goodbye to afternoons appliquing tulips....

I was really pleased to hear from Chris of who is crocheting the same afghan as I am. She is working it in lilacs and I can't wait to see how hers turns out. It's always interesting to compare. Especially as I was in two minds over my final colour choice. I would love to see it worked up in different colours. 

I've had a busy month but still managed to stay on track with this afghan and am 18 blocks down. *Only* 90 need to be made so I am still some way off yet. Actually I would love to hear from anyone making this blanket as I am just a bit *tired* of the repetition already which is not a great sign. I will not allow it to become a crochet UFO (there simply isn't room) so I will persevere. But the more the merrier I say...

I  found a daphne bush which was a nice suprise and cut the rain drenched buds into bowls and my chaotic house smells like rain falling across rose gardens....lovely and calming...just what I need as I get myself organised for the Boms ahead and a few other ongoing projects.


Here I am toiling away at the kitchen table (well, my studio is full!) and my DD snapped a pic of me having a bad hair and paperwork day. Dream Fountain is on the table as I was writing up a piece about it.

Yes, In The Pink is finished, however it is not the last BOM on offer this year. Stay tuned...

Wednesday 1 September 2010


Things are super busy at my house but I somehow found the time to get out and buy some new wool. There's been some good rain and wintery weather so I've been working on my scrappy rainbow ripple blanket as well as my Afghan Hex in the evenings.

I've been looking for a good wool supplier for a while now. At this years Showcase I came across Yarn Barn. They are located in Melbourne and have wonderful quality wool at very reasonable prices. Importantly, their wool is a real pleasure to work up. It glides beautifully. I bought some new colours to top up my ripple blanket (below) and went with Fuschia coloured flowers and green leaves for my motif hex blanket.

I am glad to report that I have been keeping up the nightly motif habit and can't wait to have a flowering afghan.  The great thing about the Yarn Barn is that they
offer 8ply 500gm 'cones' which is so much better than
having to work 10 balls. I have been shocked by some of the ugly knots and joins that sometimes happen in commercial skeins and the cone means that there is no needless breaks in the work.

As it's the end of season, only the fuschia was available on the cone and it has been such a delight to work with. No tangles, no knotting. I love it. I am already planning next years knitting so that I can buy ahead and get all my colours coned for next year.

It's so much neater too. Easy to pack up and store.

I have had emails asking for the hex block pattern. I would gladly share my own work as I feel that the best crochet patterns don't appear in books and crochet is all about sharing.However, as it is not my own pattern, I cannot share it. It is from a book: a Crocheters Garden of Afghans. It's available via the which delivers free of charge worldwide. I am currently making the afghan project on the front cover. Of course, like all my work I have made some changes (I can't help it) so my afghan will not be the same as the one from the book, but it is very close. The book is full of great blankets to work up, so if you only buy one crochet book this year - and if you love crochet blankets- this might be the book for you.

I say might because the only thing missing from this book is...diagrams! I like to work from diagrams as I dont really follow  USA crochet terms and this book has none at all. The pattern is written out in type which I found confusing.

Actually I had to put the 'instructions away' and work from the photographs and only then did the instructions make sense for me. This may or may not be an issue for you, depending how you work.

Thank you to everyone who emailed me to let me know that my website was down for 3 days. My host server was attacked and they shut down the servers. I had no idea as I don't follow my host server's blog (which I probably should) and in the end everything was fine. They simply blocked all sites to protect them. For this reason, I will be keeping up block 5 for an extra few days to give everyone a chance to download the block if they missed it as the final block is launched this month.

In The Pink finishes this month with block 6 launched on the 15th.

But the BOM year is not yet over. The last BOM for the year, a short Christmas BOM will be launched this month. So stay tuned...

Phew, September is going to be busy!
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