Sunday, November 29, 2009

25 days till Christmas SOONER than I'd like!

And once again I'm running late.  I bought two of these trains after Christmas last year and want to put things in them for my grandchildren.  A friend is taking them to the kids on Friday but sadly the little drawers are smaller than I thought so nothing I've bought fits.  That's okay I'll put lucky numbers in the drawers and then wrap each pressy seperately.  But do you have any ideas?  The drawers are about 1.5 inches square
I am going to make a few vouchers like: "This voucher entitles you to an afternoon with Mum (or Dad) on your own doing an activity of your choice to the value of $10 OR This voucher is for a family picnic at a place of your choice ie beach, front yard, park?? What do you young Mum's think?  I'm not into chocolates everyday.. would rather do something different but I only have 4 days!

This is the needle holder I made out of the pattern for my oldest grandson's hands.  I made this in a hurry yesterday morning while finishing my bag for the challenge.  I want to do a bit more work on it yet.  Maybe put a couple of bits of hat elastic in to hold a Quick Unpick .. Any other ideas?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Bag Challenge Results

Well, I completed enough of my bag that it looked finished about ten minutes before I had to leave home.  Here are the results.  Unfortunately someone moved in front of me when I took this photo so I only have a snippet of it. 

This was the Judges Choice Winner.  It was grey and black which matched the logo we had to include (it is the middle of the flower).  Well done.
  This was Presidents Choice - A Hand Bag!  Clever ah.  I'm  not sure where she got the hands.

This bag took the prize for Best Use of Logo .. it is sewn in th emiddle of the picture of a quilt.  I've never seen that fabric.. It was gorgeous.

And here's my completed bag...

Friends hands are on both the inside and outside.   Emma, Erilyn, Chris and Carol drew around their hands and sent them to me.   They're on the inside pockets.  I first copied them and put them on the outside too.  Chris is dark blue, Emma purple, Carol brown-green, Raelene red, Myra light blue and down the bottom because Myra got me started on this journey! (her other hands she sent got lost and have not turned up so she faxed them to me), Erilyn is green and my Dad's hands were included.. they're the big ones haha.

My youngest 3 grandchildren's hands are on the handle and I made George's hands into a needle case (14).  I put the kids ages Cam 9, Oliver 5 and Alex 4) on them in a fabric which had sayings about friends all over it.  It's the same as on the bottom of one side.  Myra sent me a 2 1/2 inch strip once and it's nearly all been used up.  I did not buy anything for this bag.  The cottons and buttons were all old ones given to me and the fabrics are flannels which I bought last year  I used some of them for my postcard challenge and loved them so bought heaps.

Inside book pocket with Carol's hands and Emma's in purple ruler pocket

Chris's hands in gorgeous seashell fabric.
Erilyn's hands - the bits pocket

Artist Statement::

The HAND bag with HANDles and HANDY needle case inside.

Made using the handprints of some wonderful friends who taught me how to do patchwork, friends who gave me the inspiration and encouragement, and friends who I have taught how to quilt. It also includes the new generation of sewers.. my grandchildren even the grandsons who love sewing on Nan’s machine.

WHICH IS GREAT BECAUSE IT MEANS THE MAJORITY OF 100+ MEMBERS LIKED MY BAG BEST!!  I got a lovely new rotary cutter, a cute box to keep bobbins in and a $20 voucher from the local fabric shop. 

I've entered the exhibition challenge for April 2010 now.  Pay $3.00 and get a challenge pack which includes a fat quarter of a fabric which has to feature in a quilt less than 1 metre square... eek.. talk about big head.. I am getting very full of myself haha.  Only 40 entries!! What was I thinking haha.  I'm going to bed to watch tv and read magazines.  I am exhausted haha.. as my friends will know it's always a rush at the end when KJ makes anything.. but it's been so worth it.!!!!  Yay, 5 Awards in 14 months!! Oh goodnight now I sound like a real blow hard hehe

Thursday, November 26, 2009

wish List for Xmas

If I could write a letter to Santa still here's what I'd ask for:

A tall lamp to sit beside my lazy boy (I forgot how dark it is in old houses with high ceilings!)

A new tallboy and bedside drawers for my bedroom

Tall boys?  Lazyboys?  Any boy would do... haha.. NAH

A trip to the hairdresser for the whole works.. colour.. streaks.. cut... style..

A new foundation

That's all.   Not much is it haha.. But in reality my present will be to have a fun relaxing and pleasant day with SUNSHINE and all my kids and grandkids, my Mum and my sister and her partner. 

Back to the BAG... Oh boy I am over it now!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I've learn't

We're never too old to learn but I do wonder why I am so slow sometimes.  After sewing umpteen hands onto my bag (first time applique) I figured to get around the tips of the fingers and the curves in between you just set your blanket stitch width smaller and then you get left with any gaps on the curves... DERRRRR

And last night after fussing with the bag handles, plastic tablemats in strips etc etc I suddenly thought of boning and hey presto, at $2.30 a metre it holds the handles upright perfectly. 

Tonights progress . the childrens hands are all finished, the bag handles are now ready to have the hands sewn on. 

I've decided to put a 2" border around the top of the bag which I'll just strengthn with heavy interfacing.  I need to sew half a dozen buttons on the bag tomorrow night and then sew the hands on where the handles meet the bag.  Join all four sides and lining together, seams facing out.  And put the binding on.  I've got some hand sewing to take to work tomorrow... whdy to we chuck some junk out.. I need same buttons to cover now and I threw them out... Will hav eto use other buttons and cover them with batting first. 

Any;eay, I'm afraid this might be all of me until Friday night or Saturday night.. Least on Saturday I can show you the whole bag, the club meeting is on Saturday afternoon so from then on I can show it off.  Fingers crossed everyone.l

PS My daughter was on Close Up tonight.  She told the truth and for that I am proud of her, it really is sad when people can't put their phone down to have a conversation or spend tiime with their families.  Her language was a tad norty and I'm sure there'll be complaints but I have never heard it talk in that language before so I'm hoping she was just nervous.    I ope some others realise they have a proglem too because life is tooo shallow if you spend all day on your mobile and it is not a good way of texting improtant messages.

My grandson cam is a sweetheart.  He's so gorgoues I love him to bitts, as all my grandchildren, and my other two chilend, a son Ken in PN and Haylee in Napier.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More photos

I tried to download these last night but it didn't work. Sorry the label photo didn't come out too good but thats how the whole challenge begun.  It says Hand of Friendship hence my idea of making a HAND bag.  And on that note, I need to leave the cyber world and get cracking on finishing it before Saturday afternoon...
So then I can start the Christmas presents!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I figured it out.. all by myself!!

Oh wicked .. at last I've figured out what was wrong with downloading images.. I needed to update!  I saw this today and thought it was wicked.  My daughter has gone 2 weeks today without her mobile phone.  She's finding it really hard as it was a huge part of her day.. texts, calls, emails for work, etc etc but she's realised what a difference it had made to her relationships with people and her family.  I love it now, I can ring her and have a conversation OFTEN! 

Back to my sewing.  MIght post a couple of photos later.  I just have to be a bit careful as I'm not sure if any of the local quilters have found my blog Yet!!  Meeting is Saturday then I can show the whole thing.  Till later

Sunday, November 22, 2009

TODAY's list

I've made myself a list today of things I have to do.

Washing .. ready to hang out DONE
Vacumning.. kitchen and lounge, rest can wait, I'm sewing!
Sew my friend Myra's hands on DONE
Sew a couple more buttons on here and there
Sew the pockets onto the lining DONE
Cover the rope for the handles
Stuff my grandchildrens hands slightly 9.30 DONE
Make a bracelet for Olivia's hand
Cover the plastic baseboard DONE
Cut the binding
Sew the little hands onto the handle and embellish
Sew the bag together and binding on

I'll be back later with progress report. No interruptions today. So it's Catherine Cookson, Me and my Bernina. Have a lovely Sunday everyone and PLEASE SUN PLEASE COME BACK TO WELLINGTON!

4PM some things done (since when can't you edit in colour??)
I've also been procrastinating about the handles, been to supermarket, had lunch at 2.30pm and now back in the sewing room for more progress. Ignored the phone this avo. Oh, and I've had ants to visit ... grr thought I'd left them in PN.

9.30 PM I've done a few off my list today though I have strayed... but I feel confident I'll make it before next Saturday's deadline.

I still have to

Sew a couple more buttons on the bag and also on the grandkids hands (will take some to bed and do them now.
I have made the handle structure (I wanted it to stand up so have put strips off a plastic place mat between the padding) but I still need to cover it.. won't take long.

Then I need to sew the little hands to the bag handle and sew the handle to the bag.

I think once that's done I Just need to put the lining inside the bag, sew it all together at the top of each piece and then sew down the sides (facing outwards) then sew the binding on.

I've run out of the fabric but will get some tomorrow. Otherwise everything I have is here ao will update progress tomorrow with photos. Hopefully it'll work tomorrow. Night all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Mum today

I still can't see photos when I'm writing a new post so will have to do one at a time. My Mum is 78 today and look no grey hair! I've been trying to ring her since 8am but she's engaged. Since Dad passed away Mum is never at home or always on the phone. She dines out often with friends, goes on bus trips, looks after the neighbours cat (while they're at work he stays at Mum's - lucky cat) and she helps out at the Op Shop three times a week and she's happy. I hope I'm that busy when I'm 78.

I'll just have to keep trying to get through. It's raining and blowing here in the Hutt today so I'm happy. I CAN stay in my sewing room and not feel guilty. Haha. I have picked up several DVD's from the Library to keep me entertained including 4 Catherine Cookson movies. Tonight I'm off to Kelvin Cruickshank off Sensing Murder. I've been before and he's wonderful. It's so healing for everyone just knowing that the ones you've loved and lost are happy and well. Maybe he'll choose me tonight and tell me that I'm not insane when there's funny things have happened when I've been thinking of my Dad. ???!!!!

PS what a wasted day for sewing but a lovely one. I managed to find the phone no for the radio station Mum listens to and they played a song especially for her. Yeah, well she didn't want them to know but I've never done as I'm told!! Then a friend from work arrived unexpectedly which was neat. Her first time to my house and she's lovely. Before she left another colleague arrived and so at 4 pm I started sewing and at 5.30 I had to leave to meet up with my ride to KC tonight. He is absolutely amazing. None of my 'spirits' came through but the whole experience is so healing that everyone in the audience gains comfort from it I'm sure.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Whats up with my blog

Eek something is wrong with my blog. I downloaded these photos but it's all in script.. what have I done?? I can't see the photos on Edit Posts?? I must have done something when I changed my profile ????? I am techno phobic... eeekkk... Can anyone suggest something??
These photos are of my grandson George who is 14 years old this weekend. Of course the photo is an old one but it was his birthday then too and he is so cute. To think he could be learning to drive in a year... oh I feel ancient now!!
Another photo is a piece I've decided to complete for a friends farewell present.. I'm not sure what to do with it now. Whether to cut it up and frame small squares on a dark background or frame it as it is.. ANY IDEAS PLease!! The other two photos are of my garden which is between the house and the driveway. My lovely lovely neighbours have been tidying up their garden and replanting. So they've recycled and given me most of these plants. It looks gorgeous... I am so lucky to have these people next door. They want me to stay here forever .... but wait till I have a party one day... oh yeah right!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My HAND bag so far

Just a sneak peek at my bag for the local club challenge. This is one side with my hand in blue, and two of my friends and this is the inside of the bag. Yes, it's square. I've got a pocket for a 12" ruler, a pocket for a magazine and a pocket for anything else. They're still to be sewn on but I've got a few little buttons to sew on the hands first. I then have to make straps and I'm hoping to work out how to sew two more hands on them so that'll make them HANDles!!

Another giveaway with lots of yummy pressies to choose from.. Go and visit to win some gorgeous hand dyed fabrics or other goodies.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nice people

I had a fabulous day yesterday. Firstly I'd organised a dress up at work for Black Friday. No superstition in it, just a team building fun day. Several, not all, made a real effort and became Vampires and gremlins, witches and then there was the solicitor who pinned a sign on his black jersey "Scary all the time"! Haha. There were two bottles of wine for the winners.. and the boss presented one to me for organising it.. Wow.. I gave him a x on the cheek, after all it made me feel great!

Then in the mail was a parcel from an appreciative client .. a box of scorched almonds wrapped in HORSE wrapping paper. The sol's present was in pussy wrapping paper ... hmmm My nickname was Horse!! Noo noo noo noo...

And to top it all off I got a gorgeous email from one of my colleagues with a big Thank You for Being You! done in photos of his family in each letter.

Went to monthly sewing night and really enjoyed it.. (the glass of wine at work might have helped) but a few more ladies came and introduced themselves, and admired my work.

All in all it was a fantastic day because I felt 'appreciated'.

I'll put up some photos later. Back to THE BAG!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mobile Phone Withdrawal

Seems like ages since I"ve been in to check blogs.. so busy sewing my bag.. changing my mind.. resewing.. unpicking.. but it's looking good.

My daughter has a daily column on Facebook

She has decided to try and go without her mobile for 6 weeks and is only up to Day 3 and feeling really cut off. Not sure I'd miss mine but I don't get many messages .. use it mainly for the time and making calls when I'm lost or want to call in and see someone and as a calender for birthdays.

Nette uses hers a lot more.. it's her diary, She can look at her work email and appointments. She's got heaps of friends and she's young. I think even though she's finding it hard she'll make it because she's stubborn so if anyone says she won't make it SHE WILL!

Sorry this is short and sweet but I only have two weeks left to finish this bag! I often wonder why I start these projects but in the end I'll be really pleased.

Friday, November 6, 2009

More Treasure

Yesterday I had nothing to do at lunchtime so ventured into an interior design store near work. I'd seen a rack of $5 sample fabric swatches through the window... do I need it... ??*** So $5 later ..... haha.. couldn't help myself... I had all these fabulous bits and pieces.. of course I've pulled them all apart and washed the sticky paper off the back... There's heaps here to make some scrappy bags and look I can use more of the gorgeous buttonsI've acquired lately. Or this using 5 inch squares... And today..I went back and bought a larger swatch of Sanderson fabric which will go with them all and this. My friend Carol recently made a bag out of similar fabric (it is a black.. photo isn't great)


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Visiting and Wombling

I've had a fabulous time over the weekend catching up with friends, my daughter, my Mum and seeing the play. It was "Taking Off" written by Roger Hall but directed by my daughter and it was a very real performance. It sure must have been a lot of hard work for the cast as there was noone to bounce your lines off.. four women telling their own stories about their mid life OE but all on the one stage.

And during the visits I fossicked through friends button jars and came up with a few for my bag project... these are 'rings' wink wink....I'm entering a challenge so can't let out too many secrets!!!
I love this top one... This bottom one is beautiful but I might try and clean it a little. Thats a NZ 20c beside them.

These ones are gorgeous too and will make beautiful 'rings'.
And here's some of my acquisitions today. They're all different .. I certainly don't need them all for this project but I'm planning on a little wall hanging to showcase some of them .. later.