Friday, 21 December 2007

Happy Christmas

as we wind down for a family Christmas break I have been attempting to catch up on a few long unfinished items. So first finished was Stars for Henry which was for his birth. Now Henry turns 2 on Jan 6th 2008 so Im not too late!!! I also shipped off Clancy's quilt with his Christmas present - it was the blue version of Skinny mini, now he is only 4 months old so I was good there wasnt I?
Stars for Henry was made using my blue stash = my first collection of fabrics was always blues, not sure why but I had heaps including many handdyeds from my dying days. Seem to have more blues than anything. I also used six star blocks which were given to me as my first and only birthday block swap. The colours were great, I'd always liked them but had never had time to make more to have enough for a quilt. I think it looks pretty good dont you. It is single bed size and he is still in a cot so it is perfect timing to give it to Henry anyway... reading about everyones beautifully decorated homes I took a look at ours. We proudly get the boxes down at the beginning of December and all take part in putting up the tree. This year Tilly was the best tree hanger, her patience lasted longer than everyones. Our new 'piece' for the year was our Advent calendar. I made this in 2007 for the Homespun Christmas in July magazine from lovely hand dyed wools from Highland quiltworks. Gee they were nice to work with. It took a lot of filling with three things each day for the children to seach for. This year we went for pens, stickers, scrapbooking items etc instead of sweets and chocolates every day.

as we unpack our boxes of decorations many memories come flooding back of the different places we have lived in Australia, the different schools and kindys they have attended and the many beautiful decorations brought home. All are stored carefully and hung each year which doesnt make for the most attractive tree but the most meaningful to us. We seem to have quite an assortment of angels over the years. I have posted just a few... arent they special?

mmmm angel or ghost?
our tree of memories...
notice that all the crisply wrapped packages are well poked, crumpled, prodded and peeked into... three girls and one dad.... patience is not a virtue in this household...
so to you and yours, with only 4 sleeps to go
have the most wonderful day of memories on Christmas day, spend it with special people, think of the special meaning of Christmas or what it means to you and thank whoever for being lucky enough to experience it this year.
hugs to you and yours

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

photo quilt

hi everyone, just got back from spending 2 hrs at the hairdressers whilst waiting my turn. Poor thing is so busy before Christmas and is so far behind as she just cant say no to all her regulars who demand to get in at the last minute. Anyway, whilst waiting I caught up on some trashy magazine reading and I just had to tell you this before I forgot. I was reading about all of the celebrity Christmases and the ridiculous amounts of money they spend eg. Victoria Beckam spent $55,000 on a Christmas decorator to deck out their UK mansion for their return to home for Christmas..... that could feed a whole country for Xmas I am sure.... anyway, I digress....

did you know that Katie Cruise made Tom a quilt with family photos on the fabric for his Christmas present last year and it is his most treasured gift still???? I wonder if she had a seamstress, designer, shopper, baster, binder to do it for her or if she did it all herself..... it rather sounded like she did, how nice for her to be able to experience hands on something as special as making a quilt for her husband....It would be good to see that one in a magazine to show that even 'famous celebrities' quilt. Maybe I'll send her a pattern or two for Christmas....

I do remember Judy from Punch with Judy snapped a shot of Nicole Kidman shopping at the Darling Harbour Quilt show this year - maybe Tom likes handmade things???

I often think of celebrities and feel quite sorry for them never being able to appreciate the 'normal' things in life like stitching and sewing, Its nice to think that maybe they do get to escape the cameras and enjoy our passion also...

just a tidbit of useless info for you for today..

Monday, 17 December 2007

and the winners are....

Friday was the day for the drawing of the Stitching in the Valley raffle quilt. First prize was the queen size 'Sweet Charity' quilt made by all of my wonderful friends on our charity day and kindly quilted by Esmes of Launceston. The Fabric was donated by Lloyd Curzon Textiles.

The beautiful queen sized quilt with crazy patch blocks was won by Barb Phillips of Glenorchy. I hope this quilt wraps her in warmth and comfort as she struggles with some life challenges at this time - a more charitable and sharing person you could never meet.... I am so glad she won..
second prize was an Ottlight desk lamp valued at $369 donated by SSS - Sydney Sewing Supplies. It was won by Eileen Wilson of Murdunna..... a very happy recipient. Thankyou to SSS.
I havent yet tallied the final total but I think it would be around $400 raised for the Snugglybug project and local charity. This will be more than enough to keep us going.
This week also saw the presentation of Paddy's Snugglybug quilt. Paddy (not his real name) is a 9year old boy who was recently diagnosed with cancer and has a long struggle and lots of treatment ahead of him. The 9 block makers from across Australia, the assembler Pamela Jones of QLD and Hilary of Fairfield Quilting Old Beach Tasmania all gave their time and materials to make a difference and offer some comfort to wrap Paddy 'as snug as a bug in a rug' in his footy teams colours.

Now while I am being in such a giving mood I will draw the lucky two winners for the Homespun magazines so they may have a chance of arriving for Christmas. The two drawn numbers are 3 and 7 so that means commenters Janellybelly and Judy B of California (Judy, sorry dont think yours will make it in time.)

So please send me your addresses and I'll get them in the mail as soon as I can.

are you in a giving mood today? What nice things can you do today to make a difference? It makes you feel 'good' to give something back so I am having a great day here.

hugs to all


Thursday, 13 December 2007

Postcards from Cairo

I have just spent an hour reading the amazing descriptive adventures of our very own Jenny Bowker and her dream trip into the desert.... if you have the time grab a cuppa and sit and take it all in. My friend Virginia is currently in Cairo meeting up with her deployed husband and is hoping to catch up with Jenny who is such a welcoming ambassador for quilters and Aussies alike. (well ambassadors wife)...

Now I did mention another giveaway didnt I? I have an extra copy or two of Homespun magazine from the generous Angelos to give away. There are two shown here, one with a Christine Book DVD. And I actually have another spare DVD to go with the other issue, so two lucky recipients can have this if they leave a comment and I'll draw some names next week, I'll try and get them to you for Christmas so if like me you dont do adult presents, you will at least have one santa gift from the Postman.

hugs for now


Tuesday, 11 December 2007

its in the mail!

Corinna, Mary Jo and Beth, watch for the postie who is bringing you a little suprise for Christmas!
I have received another pic of a finished skinny mini. This time from Esmes of Launceston. It uses the Moda Fresh Air fabrics and the free cut version of the quilt. Lilian has added her own applique design to it to finish.

I will have another giveway soon, when I get time to put it up. I need to clear out my office a little!

Friday, 7 December 2007

and the winners are....

So Beth, Corinna and Mary Jo, please email me with your snail mail addresses and on my return from camping on Monday I will get some goodies straight to you in the mail. An early Chrissy present from me....
off to attach the trailer and put the esky in now before picking up the 3 kids from 3 schools and off on our way - and yes Murphy's Law in the Stubbings' Household when you mention camping - it hasnt stopped raining all day!!

The Drawing is near!

Yes, you would be pleased to hear that all my orders are packed and sent, promotional products sent and all is good to go. I will drawing the lucky winners today, right after I go to the Post Office, get a new towbar for our new camper trailer, pack the clothes and food for our camping weekend, pack the car, hook up the trailer, da di dah di dahh.. I promise I will do it today, then hopefully on my return Sunday night the recipients would have sent me their addresses.

Just while your waiting, check out this lovely Christmas Idea found on the Misadventures of Mama Blog - isnt it gorgeous, but she says it takes a lot of buttons and time...
and another great idea complete with tutorial here

Stacking Fabric Christmas Trees from the Small Object blog. Now I have to thank the Lazy Girl Blog for finding these goodies....

and these would be great for kids to do - snowflake sewing cards by goldtop

Does anyone else have some great Chrissy ideas or pics to share? Okay I'll go start my list of jobs now....

hugs until later today, Helen

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

wasting time

mmm today is my childcare day for the week so I am supposed to get lots of work done!!! Instead I have wasted the whole day working on a new header for the blog!!! Do you like it.... more to go but I really have to do some work... you could really get carried away with this digital scrapbooking stuff...... I cant figure out how to change the pink background both sides at the top and would like some buttons down the side still, but for another day.......
Oh- I'd like to thank for wasting my day...and the use of their 'things'

Jen's skinny mini

hi all, (yes I am still packing orders!)
I recently released my new
'Skinny Mini' pattern at Quilt market in Melbourne, carrots and all.... Now Jennifer and Terry Minchinton have just bought Patchwork by Sea in Brighton, South Australia - right on the beautiful Brighton beach (well a couple of stores around the corner) and are full of enthusiasm. Look at the wonderful sample Jen has already finished and sent me a pic of. I love to get pics of projects made by others in different fabrics etc. Jen has already kitted this in this green colourway, pinks or blues. The beauty of the 'Skinny Mini' is that it uses just skinny quarters and the top can easily be finished in an hour. These are the three versions I made for the booth in Melbourne. The blue one also doubled as a long overdue baby gift for 'Clancy' - hopefully he'll get it by Christmas.

hugs for today

Thursday, 29 November 2007

time is ticking....

I havent forgotten, I know you are all waiting in anticipation (well I'd like to picture you all checking in on my blog every half hour:) ) -but I did say when all the orders are done from market. Unfortunately I worked my poor little printer (well its actually quite a big unit) a bit too hard and he has gone out in protest. So whilst a new part has to come from who knows where I cannot do anything about sending out the rest of the Boxes. Won't be too much longer though hopefully.

However, whilst having 'nothing else' to do today hahahehe... I have designed my next quilt for you. Actually all the block drawings have been done for a few months, I have just been waiting for the right range of fabrics to use and today they have been ordered and hopefully are winging their way through the skies as we speak (or type). I am supposed to be having down time over Christmas now for a few weeks and getting my chops into some competition and class sample quilts but I dont think I'll be able to resist starting this when the fabric goody bag arrives. I will have to be very strong. I have so many bday, wedding and christening presents (quilts) to finish and present - I have warned them they will come one day but I am sure my friends and family are wondering what 'one' day means... I used to be so good....

anyhow, enough chatter for now, off to finish colouring my mini lace sample.

one last thing, It is so exciting, my 3 year old today for the first time has let me wash her hair and brush it without a tear!! Those of you who know her and the hair she was born with will understand this dilemma and the dramas it has brought. Are we starting a new phase in life??
I am certainly hugging her tonight.... go hug someone you love


Wednesday, 21 November 2007

back from market

Yes I am home and sorting through all the details of the events of another great Quilt market in Melbourne. For those of you wondering this is an annual trade show for stores to shop and view new fabrics, notions, patterns and all things quilty. I love catching up with my stores face to face and all the other wonderful designers and inpirational people in our industry. After setting up on Friday it was all systems go for Saturday and Sunday trading days. I finally met face to face Rosalie, Melly, Leanne, Gail and Leanne M, Di from Ricketty Stitches, Liz and David from Teddlywinks and caught up with old friends Lynette, Natalie, Brenda, Kerrie, and many others too many to mention. We enjoyed a lovley greek banquet on Saturday evening and shared experiences, life and the bubbles!
This was my floor mat made from Verandah Scraps and pieced by Tess for me - well she started piecing then took over the pressing whilst I finished it. I thought it would brighten up the floor of my booth and make it more inviting but do you think people would walk on it??? I insisted it was just scraps but they tip toed around the edges and almost fell over rather than stepping on it..

a few quick visits to spotlight (who still happen to have my credit card I am assuming now that it has been lost in action, presumed dead and cancelled) for some quick props - unfortunately living on an island I cannot bring beautiful furniture and lovely props across the seas to 'dress' my booth so I am restricted to what I can do in an hour when I arrive. There is a funny story about my curtain rod, perhaps I'll tell that one another day.
so now that market is over and Nice People Nice Things has been released to a flurry of excitement, it is ready for shipping. I have listed all of the stores who decided to order at market on the npnt blog on a new page called stores. All of the new releases are also now on my website.
So now its packing time.....
I am really happy with the boxes and everyone else seemed to like them....

So for all of you who were not at market I have a little giveaway for one of you. Three mystery patterns from the new releases to be winging their way somewhere across the seas. I'll draw a name from comments when I have all the orders processed and out. That could be Friday or a week from now!!
so its off to beddy bies for me tonight.
Helen - sleep tight

home again

Home from a big few days in Melbourne. Yes its only an hour away by plane but a few long days of wonderful meetings, friends, new and old, and family.
Miss Molly came with me for the first time to experience the world of quilting and begin to 'learn the ropes' - well it did mean a couple of days with Grandma being totally spoilt and lots of shopping - she takes after her dad, a real bargain hunter but managed to buy a present for everyone...
I had the loveliest time teaching at Michelles Sewing Basket to 23 talented women who all achieved wonderful results. I'd like to think that has something to do with my teaching but I know they all had a lot of natural talent which shows in the results dont you think? With the sudden warm weather in Melbourne it was a hot and stuffy day in the classroom but chocolate from Michelle helped! I hope you all enjoyed yourselves if you are reading and have managed to finish your wallhangings. I'd love to see pics when you do..
Thanks so much to Michelle for hosting me and inviting me over.

I will post some pics and news of Quilt Market soon

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Pay it Forward

What a lovely time of year to be doing something nice just for the sake of it. I love this idea so read on below and the first 3 commenters will be on my 'list' - hopefully over the Chrissy break I'll have time to get my gifts organised...
okay, its time for bed now, will talk to you all next week after I have recovered from Market, hope to catch up with some of our other favourite Aussie designer friends, marvellous store owners, suppliers, inspirators and bloggers over the weekend...

hugs, Helen

It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based of the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. You all know I’m already a PIF type of person. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

snugglybug rugs

Did you know that I have an email list of the most wonderful group of women who put their hand up whenever I ask. They are my snugglybug ladies who volunteer to make a block, assemble or quilt when a new request is made from the Royal Hobart Hospital. Above is a newly presented quilt for "Quinn" (not his real name) who is a 9 year old Carlton fan with two years of treatment ahead of him in hospitals, day treatments and surgeries. Many thanks to the nine blockmakers, to Kim for assembling and to Bronwyn of Esmes for quilting it.

Lilian - owner of Esmes in Launceston had a busy week for me also having Bronwyn quilt 'Sweet Charity' - the quilt made by all the ladies at the recent charity stitching day - Stitching in the Valley. This quilt is very large and would have been quite a challenge to get through my little Bernie... It will be raffled with proceeds funding backings for Snugglybug rugs for the next 12mths and then the rest donated to charity. I have also patterned this with a portion of sales going to charity each year. It does feel good to give something back when one can so this is my little contribution to the community I live in and to those less fortunate than me.
now I tried to upload a pic of it for you but it turned green??? will try again later - probably not until next week as I leave for Melbourne Quilt market at the crack of dawn Thursday. If any of you are attending please come say hello...My eldest daughter Molly is coming for the first time to help me out on the booth so say hi to her also to make her feel welcome..I am sure I am going to be very proud of her.
Im teaching two classes in Colourque at Michelles Sewing basket, they have been so excited and are so organised, I love to meet new stitching fanatics and see how they interpret my projects so will be a long but great day after a 4am start!

and before I go, did everyone see the gorgeous owl bunting on the
Last Minute Christmas Gift blog - I just have to make them...they are by Alex Rasmussen of Moonstitches.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Aussie quilt events

I have just followed a link to a great listing of all Aussie quilt events. It is on the Downunder quilts website but I have so many links in my favourites I can never find anything. So I am going to put it as a link on my blog so I and all of you can always find it and plan your trips and opportunities around them....

Now I need to tell you that although I did 'forget' to put my Last minute Christmas Gift countdown project on my blog, it is on the Cotton Spice website ever so nicely with all the other FREE projects.... and it will stay there until the whole event is over, so get over there quickly and d0wnload the pattern! Here is a pic for you of my little heart bag which some of you may have seen from my gathering - sorry I just didnt have time to make another new one, but if you couldnt make it to the gathering well now you have it for free!!!


Thursday, 8 November 2007

the quilt pic as promised

Nice people Nice Things quilt will soon be available. Here is the finsihed pic of the front. It measures 81" x 63" so is quite large but remember it is a Block of the week, so only one little 5" stitchery plus a verse to stitch each week - just enough to feed your addiction but quite doeable in a busy lifestyle or amongst other projects. It is put together in a Quilt as you go method so again easy to grow as you stitch or spend a week or two before Christmas putting it all together. It took me 4 full days to piece it all so I dont actually reccommend leaving it to the end. I prefer the idea of watching it grow. Of course the cards can be used for anything, even just cards to give away to special people in your lives or for many other projects. I am getting onto the blog which goes along with it where I hope people will share their projects and Nice stories. I will be featuring a different block from the quilt each week for 2008 as we stitch along.... I have used my favourite Presencia Finca #16 thread to stitch all the blocks. I'll show more about that later....Now I just hope the boxes arrive in time (slight problem with cutting dye today), the stickers from the other new printer, the card is delivered today, the printer holds out to print and cut them, and I get the brochure artwork finished and to the printer in time...! oh, so much to do... hope you like it, fingers crossed and everything else I can possibly cross
hugs, Helen

the back view, with 52 sayings or verses, I cheated and used fabrico pens to write instead of stitch them all in 3 weeks!

Monday, 5 November 2007

The Countdown

Only 1 day to go for the first FREE pattern in the Last Minute Gift Countdown, for us Aussies, yes it is the 5th here already but as Cotton Spice is a USA magazine then their 5th is our 6th so you will have to wait one more night! I must remember to check each day to download the patterns as not sure how long they will be left up there? And then I will HAVE to start thinking about Christmas...

Also I am watching with interest the ebay auction for the Universal Magazines Busting to Quilt goodies... I hope they get some good bids so the charity receives a worthy donation.

But for today, Kerrie, here is a sneak peek at your goodie parcel on its way to you today. Hope you have fun with them, can you read the verse in the background, I thought it suited nicely, it is one of hte 52 on the back of the Nice People Nice Things quilt...?
off to finish my 'skinny overnighter' quilt samples and finsih the instructions....



ooooohhhh. and my PJ party embroidery CD's have just arrived, how exciting....

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Nice people nice things

Firstly, I want to say a huge thankyou to all the wonderful ladies who shared our Stitching in the Valley charity day on Sunday. Do you know, I had my camera and was so busy and chatty all day forgot to even take it out of its bag - so I have no pictures to show you. I do have a queen size quilt here ready for quilting however so shall show you a pic once it is finished. We are also well on the way to selling our raffle tickets for it with proceeds going to the Snugglybug project for the next 12 months.

On Monday my Love is fabric finally arrived.... how exciting, all this fabric to play with...
Actually it was to 'work' with as all was ready and waiting for its arrival. Nothing like a deadline and last minute panic. I have since been sewing to the wee hours each night to have this quilt of the week - yes 54 designs, 63 blocks - finished within a week (instead of a year) for photography tomorrow for release in 2 weeks... finally got it all laid out to put together today, I had no area large enough to lay them out so had to do some rearranging.... It is now in five rows to be finished tomorrow... fingers crossed I have something to take with me to Melbourne in two weeks...

And of course fingers crossed people like it and the concept of Nice people and Nice things - remember if every stitcher did one nice thing a week across their family, their street, their town, their country or the world, wouldnt it be a nicer place...

A huge congrats to all the juried entries and winners at Houston, what an amazing display of quilts and well done to all the Aussies.... wish I could be there one year.... will keep dreaming...

now remember only 4 days to the Last Minute Christmas Gift countdown!

hugs for the last time today

Show day

I have been so busy I am catching you all up at once here tonight to have a break from sewing...
remember we were off to the Hobart show last week. A good time was had by all, the obligatory Dagwood dog (thankfully followed by some lovely fresh Tassie apples being given away), a ride or two and a showbag... Matilda experienced all for the first time, a teeny tiny taste of a showbag, and her first roller coaster - they were so cute raising their hands on the ups, high fives, screams down the dips... as you can see she had a wonderful day, and needed a little catch up at home before dinner...
hugs for family and family memories

I'm Late, I'm late.... for a very important date!

I know its been much longer than two weeks since I announced the draw for my 'special' patterns pack. Many excuses, none of them good enough to excuse my tardiness.... So here goes

Kerrie, you are the winner. Please email your snail mail addy and I'll get a lovely pack of patterns in the mail to you much quicker than it took me to draw your name....

By the way, my husband played for Alice in Wonderland the musical earlier this year and it is my girls current favourite CD in the car - Matilda knows every word for Zippedee doo dah - it is our current family song! - not quite the original version however, a lot of fun..

hugs again for today,


Busting to Quilt auction has started!

The ebay auction for the two Quilt for a Cure quilts has started.....
the links are as follows:

For Wisteria Girls

For Wisteria Rambling

please feel free to forward the links to anyone who may be interested in bidding with all funds raised going to this worthwhile cause, which I am sure has affected every one of us in some way.


Friday, 26 October 2007

Busting to Quilt

Wisteria Girls

Wisteria Rambling
ooooh what an exciting day, and so many other things I should be doing. I feel very humbled to have been asked along with my sister Tracey Browning earlier this year to be a part of the 2007 Quilt for a Cure 'Busting to Quilt' project in conjunction with Universal magazines and Lloyd Curzon Fabrics..

As the designers for the programme we designed and made two quilts using Quilt for a Cure fabric ranges. They were published in the September issues of Homespun and Quilters Companion with many stores participating with fabric kits. Portions of all fabric sales went to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Too add to the donation our two quilts are now to be auctioned on ebay with all proceeds going to the charity. Having a close friend of my mothers just diagnosed last week with Breast Cancer (and a long time family friend, mother of my debutante partner) the issue of Breast Cancer is always close at hand. I am sure none of us has escaped an association with it, be it personally or through a family member or friend. I am honoured to be able to donate a small amount of my time to assist in any way I can.

So for your chance to win the original quilts as featured in the magazines dont forget to go to ebay on the 1st November. Details can be found on the Quilters Companion blog (just found this, Im going to add it to my favourites) or here.
hugs again, feelgood emotions from me to you