Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quilt blocks and afternoon tea!

I got busy in my sewing room on Friday night and made these two cheerful quilt blocks for the lovely Simone of Quilting & Stitchery Diary, as a contribution towards a children’s charity quilt.

Simone sent me the main feature fabric some time ago along with the block designs. I’ve not pieced blocks before – but I can see how it could become very addictive – already, I’m itching to make more!

Simones blocks

The weather has been absolutely glorious in Melbourne today – the sun came out, the skies were blue, and the temperature was PERFECT! I’ve been out in the garden the last couple of days and picked a whole heap of lemons from our tree.

Basket of lemons

What you see here is a third of those picked, some have been given to friends – and some were made into refreshing Lemonade! Would you like the recipe?

Lemonade and cake

Home-made Lemonade


1/2 cup of caster sugar, 1 litre sparkling mineral water, 4-6 fresh lemons (to extract approx. 1 cup of juice)


Pour one cup of water into a small saucepan and add the sugar. Stir on high heat until all sugar has dissolved – and then boil for a further two minutes. Set aside.

Juice the lemons with a manual juicer and then add the juice to the sugar water and refrigerate for an hour.

When you are ready to drink the lemonade, pour the lemon juice into a jug and top it with sparkling mineral water, sliced lemon and ice cubes. Then enjoy your drink!


Outside we enjoyed cake and lemonade…

Rosie lemonade and cake!

While soccer was played…

Kayla in goal

Aaron and Kayla play footie

And memories were made!


What did you get up to this weekend?!

Hugs! Vikki xo

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quilt reveal and a recent finish!

It’s finished! Bound, washed and full of wrinkly goodness!

Finished quilt outside 2 “Eloisa’s Tree of Life”

This project has seen a lot of ‘firsts’ for me and I have thoroughly enjoyed every step in the process! It is my first quilt design*, first needle-turn appliqué; first quilting and first pieced binding. And the first time I have put a creation in the washing machine! I know that sounds silly, but I did have some anxiety about it even though the fabrics were pre-washed!

* I have designed one other quilt but it was just squares sewn together so that doesn’t count does it?!! :-)

Finished quilt close up 1

This quilt is intended for my friend’s first baby, Eloisa. The little sweetheart is visiting relatives in the UK at the moment, and I know her mum will be too busy to read my blog – so I couldn’t resist sharing!

I based my design around the feature fabric – Par Avion - by Paula Prass for Michael Miller fabrics. I had one fat quarter of the fabric so was very liberal with it and fussy-cut to make use of all the bird and dragonfly shapes.

The colours blend beautifully with Eloisa’s nursery, and I thoroughly enjoyed choosing the fabrics from all different ranges because matching them up was such a challenge.

Here is the quilt photographed outside. Mr SUDs is holding it up just after it had been washed – it’s all wrinkly and you can see the quilting better in this pic.

Finished quilt washed and wrinkly

On the home-front, I whipped-up a pillow cover for my DS. He wanted a curved pillow with a soft covering, so I chose these:

Pillow fabrics

Minkie on one side for total softness, and cotton on the other for when it gets too warm to snuggle during the summer months.

Pillow front

I didn’t have enough fabric for the back of the pillow so made it up with a panel of white cotton fabric.

Pillow back

My DD has now requested one in pinks! I’ve got some sewing to do for her Kinder first though. There’s no rest for the wicked eh?!!!

Until next time – Hugs! Vikki x

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A book review, new magazine and sneak peek!

As the summer months approach I am feeling more and more excited about the prospect of making some sweet clothes for my young DD. A friend of mine put me on to this wonderful book, and I thought I would share it with you. It’s called Making Children’s Clothes, by Emma Hardy.

making childrens clothes book

There are 25 fantastic projects in this book for both girls and boys aged between 0-5 years old. The great thing? Full size patterns included – gotta love that!!

making kids clothes 2

making kids clothes 3

making kids clothes 4

Gorgeous designs hey? I think I’ll be using some of my fabric stash for a few of these projects including these…


This range is called Mendocino by Heather Ross for Free Spirit.

Although I haven’t actually made any of the patterns from this book as yet, I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of the projects, the easy-to-understand diagrams and the full-size pattern sheets. Most projects look really simple to make, with just a few steps involved, but the use of gorgeous fabrics and embellishments really make them stand out from the crowd. On this basis – I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to make some bespoke clothing for the children in their lives. I’ll be sure to show you when I begin sewing the projects myself! (I purchased my copy from here.)

On the same topic of children’s clothing, I bought this magazine recently and have been bubbling with excitement ever since!

Sew Beautiful mag

Sew Beautiful, issue no131, 2010. Don’t you just love the detail on the front cover? It is a close-up of this gorgeous little top designed by Kari Mecca… and all I can say is WOW!

Sew Beautiful mag 2

I wish this picture was clearer… it is taken from the magazine. The article pictures Kari’s latest designs as published in her new book “More sewing with Whimsy”. I have ordered my copy!!! Here is another page from the magazine…

Sew Beautiful mag 1

My dress-making history has seen me make two pairs of baby pyjamas, and two tops for myself – neither of which I have actually finished! BUT! I am inspired… SEW inspired!!! :-)

Do you have any favourite dressmaking books you’d like to share?

On the sewing front, I have been a stitching machine! Tuesday is my deadline for getting projects to Creating Country Threads for my profile piece in January, where I will also have a project published. Here’s a sneak peek!

CT project Jan11 sneak peek

Until next time – have a lovely weekend! Hugs! Vikki xx

Friday, September 10, 2010

A day of inspiration and some progress!

I have enjoyed an industrious couple of days! Yesterday I spent the entire day working on my cot quilt - I bit the bullet and did my first FMQ! (Well, second if you count the samples I did on my course with Kellie Wulfsohn!)

It was with great trepidation I began, but those jittery nerves were soon replaced with excitement, and once I let those confident endorphins do their business I noticed a drastic improvement in the quality of my work. It’s far from perfect, but as a perfectionist I am learning not to be so hard on myself. It takes time, commitment and patience to become really good at something. Fancy another sneak peek?

Quilty progress 1

I sewed the binding on last night and will hand-stitch it in place this evening so that the quilt is finished and ready to wash, tomorrow!

Mr SUDs starts a new job on Monday and has had a couple of days off work this week – so I took the opportunity today to meet up with a new friend while being kid-free! I set off in to the hilly suburbs where I met the lovely Leanne from Petals & Patches.

Leanne and I met at a quilt show a few months ago and we hit it off instantly. She is also a fabulous designer and I felt very privelledged to have a preview of her current project (yet to hit the stores) and, it’s divine! There’s nothing quite like a bit of ‘show and tell’ to get a creative girl bursting full of crafty excitement, is there?!!

What I can share with you is one of Leanne’s most recent projects – these cute little Matroyshka doll brooches – aren’t they sweet? Leanne makes up kits presented in gorgeous hand-made boxes – ideal if you need a pressie for a crafty friend or for someone starting out in the world of embroidery. You can find them here.

Too cute! :-)

Petals and Patches maroushka

After a couple of coffees, Leanne and I headed over to Mrs Martins’ Quilt shop in Monbulk, Vic. The shop is a quaint little cottage and it’s like Aladdin's Cave inside! So many gorgeous samples on display surrounded by interesting furniture pieces and vintage nick-nacks.

A true visual delight! Want to come on a little tour with me?

Mrs Martins 1

Stitcheries, buttons, pillows and trims… (“these are a few of my favourite things”!!!) ha! Sorry, couldn’t resist!

Mrs Martins 2

Check out this shadow-frame, containing a miniature quilt shop! How cute! I’m sure there is a correct name for these picture boxes. Mrs Martin runs classes on how to make them!! (please excuse the reflections in my photo!)

Mrs Martins 3

I bet many an hour has been enjoyed around that table – stitching, chatting and drinking tea… :-)

Mrs Martins 4

Ooh look what I just spotted! Leanne’s “On Freedom’s Wings” design made up in country blues – you can see a block or two! And check out that gorgeous vintage sewing machine – I wonder if Mrs Claus has an old one lying around that she could give to Santa for me?!!

Mrs Martins 5

More lovely samples on display!

Mrs Martins 6

And this advent wall-hanging humbly lay over a quilting frame. I loved it to bits and ordered a pattern (so popular, it had sold out in the shop!). I can’t remember the name of the designer at this very moment, but I’ll ask Mrs Martin so I can share it with you! Right – I’m going to get back to my binding! I hope you have a lovely weekend – what are you up to?

Until next time – Hugs! Vikki xx

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy Fathers Day, Mr Boggler!

I’d like to introduce you to a very special person in my life…

…this is Mr Boggler!


Oh Okay – I cheated just a bit – this isn’t THE Mr Boggler, this is a doll I made in his likeness some years ago! Mr Boggler is my wonderful Father in Law and he is named so because for 15 years he owned and ran a games shop aptly-named, Mind Bogglers.


I made the above doll for his 60th birthday – complete with a carrier-bag of games (I cut out pictures from toy catalogues and stuck them to foam and cardboard) and a stamp album (Dad also collects stamps and postal memorabilia); and I dressed him in his favourite chequered shirt!

Here he is in true form – this photo was taken nine years ago when my DS and I first visited Australia with Mr SUDs! I absolutely adore this photo. Dad is reading a book with Aaron – he’s so great with kids – the most wonderful Grandad you could imagine! Every Christmas he allows his beard to grow long intentionally so that children stare in wide-eyed amazement… excitedly wondering if he is Father Christmas! :-) Indeed, both of his grandchildren have wondered the very same thing!

Ron 2

I really love this next photo too! This was taken during the same trip to Melbourne in 2001, of me and my parents-in-law at the top of Mount Dandenong:

Ron 1

Aren’t they gorgeous? I really love my parents-in-law! My “Mum and Dad”! Can you guess?!! :-)

It’s Fathers Day here in Australia, and I know that Mr Boggler (giggle) reads my blog… so this is for you, Dad!

I know, I know… Fathers Day!

When you’ve finished boggling and your mind is running free

your nose will be alerted to a fresh hot cup of tea…

And when that tea is finished and your tummy starts to rumble

I’ll serve your fave Roast dinner - followed by apple crumble…


I know the one thing that you love more than Roasts and cups of tea…

...and that is spending special time with your loving family!

So come on over Dad – hugs and kisses - they abound!

Our love for you is strong and true, it’s utterly profound!


(Love ya, my mind-boggling Dad!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxx)

I can’t resist sharing this next photo with you as well – when I look at it, I feel the deep love I have for Dad and think it really shows in this pic!

Having a cuddle on my wedding day this year:



Among the Gum Trees’ birthday bash!

September is a very special month – not only is it Fathers Day here in Australia – but my friends and I from Among the Gum Trees are celebrating our First Anniversary!! We are having giveaways on the blog every day so if you haven’t done so already – head on over and enter! Today is my turn to give away a ‘birthday’ prize! I am gifting this book:

Blogging for BlissI haven’t read it myself but have some excellent recommendations! I plan to purchase a copy, too!! So head on over here to enter our giveaways and party along with us!

Until next time – Hugs! Vikki xx :-)


Related Posts with Thumbnails