Thank you!!!!!

On May 10 this year I asked those reading my post to please pray for my son, who is a pilot. It is with a grateful heart that I am posting today – God is good! He provided and my son has kept his job.

Thank you for praying. I was so scared and worried and struggled, but even in my weakness God heard my and your prayers. Thank you, thank you…….

I feel sad for those who lost their jobs, not just pilots, during these times. Let us pray for each and every one. Let us pray for our sick world, for God to heal and fix everything we are ‘breaking’ with our arrogant attitudes

He is powerful and Good and Loving. We can put our trust in Him!

Please pray…..

My youngest is a pilot………his job is at risk. I have been praying non-stop and started a prayer chain for him, with several people and groups praying for him. Please, if you read my random thoughts every now and then and read this………….PLEASE PRAY FOR MY SON!!!!!! I beg you, please pray. For the times I doubt I need the back up of those who don’t, I am not even sure this is how it works, but please pray for him and his job

Please also pray for everyone else who is in the same position as my son



Marking time again :(

Throughout New Zealand students are preparing for the national exams, marking the end of their school careers. I am one of the many markers waiting for the completed papers to arrive on our doorsteps, or appear in Google Docs (if students submitted online).  Last year I marked just under 2000 papers in my subject area, all of this done from the beginning of November until just before Christmas, when we have to submit the marks to the Qualifications Authority. This year I expect more or less the same number of papers.

And just like last year I am not particularly motivated and excited about the task ahead – I am sewing as if I will never get a chance again. So much fabric, so little time 🙂

After I completed the Christmas gifts for the men in my family I told my husband that I am done making quilts. Those were my last ones. And then I remembered about some embroidery designs I bought ages ago……….and yep, another quilt! I love the softness of the velvet and leatherette I used for some of the animals. Lost of textures for a child to enjoy

The husband had an appointment in Christchurch on Tuesday as he will be undergoing knee surgery beginning of December. Of course we stopped at the fabric shop as I wanted some soft fabric for the backing of the zoo animal quilt. And I also had this idea in my head of a dress I wanted to make with (very) colourful fabric. I found the fabric I had in mind and has been working on this dress the past few days. As I made it I started to doubt my fabric selection, as well as the picture in my mind. It basically took until the last stitch to decide I actually really like it

Tomorrow I am planning to tidy up the sewing room, clean the sewing machines and really stop sewing for a while. I know I will still think about the fabric I have and what I want to make – these ideas will go into my ‘sewing’ journal. I use this journal to write down ideas, things I want to make; I draw little dresses, decide on smocking plates and colours and sizes. And when I have time I make these things. During quiet times I love looking through my journal and the dresses I made and still want to make; I think of those I gave away and who received them. Such nice memories, but it also allows me to plan my sewing a little bit. I bought myself a little Sprocket and print photos of the completed sewing, adding it to the original planning

The DRESS!!!!!!

I have been eyeing a certain dress for a very long time………to be honest I even bought the fabric and pattern and looked at it every so often, thinking ‘one day’. But I always put it into the ‘too hard’ basket

This week I decided to give it a go. I read the instructions over and over and over. Took the tulle and horsebraid out, read the instructions again. And decided the cut the pieces and give it a go……………and it was SOOOOOO easy!!!!!!!! Took me two days to cut it out and finish it. I cannot believe it took me over a year before attempting it. I also cannot believe I used 100 yards of horsebraid. Yes, 100 yards!!!!!!

tutututu backtutu bottomtutu1tutu2tutufbtutusun

No more quilts………..she said

After recently finishing the two quilts for my sons, the quilt for my daughter’s partner, the Going to the Zoo playmat, the fusion crochet Splendid Sampler quilt and the Beeutiful quilt I said to my husband that’s it, no more quilts

He came home today to be greeted by the completed first block for a new quilt/wall hanging. This will be small, consisting of only 4 blocks, surrounded by a very special border, and then a border around

I didn’t plan to do this at all. It just happened. My daughter used to have two special little blankets as a baby, over 35 years ago. I kept these little blankets although they are really falling apart. Saw them the other day and thought it would be nice to use it in a project and make her a keepsake, instead of being stored away in a box to be eventually forgotten. This is what they look like:

Ainslie blankets

I then decided to use it in a quilt and has been planning/thinking about it the past few days……..trying to work out exactly how to use it. And yesterday it came to me, after remembering about a Sweet Memories book I have. You basically make little dresses and use these on the blocks. And because smocking is part and parcel of who I am I decided it would be perfect to include this in the ‘special blanket project’. The idea I have, which can chance at anytime, is to make 4 blocks with different smocked dresses and to then join the blocks with a border made of one of the little blankets. But because these blankets are in a sorry state, I am going to make a sandwich and quilt it, before cutting it up as a border. The sandwich will consist of batting/fabric/blanket/netting or tulle – to basically keep the blanket from falling apart when I cut it. I might then add a fabric border around it all, and binding. It won’t be huge as I can imagine she would want to frame it

So yes – block 1 completed today. I even included a ribbon which I embroidered with the embroidery machine, not hand embroidered as in the book. The little dress is tiny. about 15 cm in length

smock block 1

Quilts and cleaning

After finishing the two quilts for my boys I decided to make one for my daughter’s partner too. They live in Canada and I though a Canadian theme would work well. The past two weeks I embroidered the blocks, joined the blocks, add sashing, backing and binding ———- all done. And I am really happy with it

I also decided my sewing room needed a good clean. In the past I have been folding my fabric and keeping it in a bookcase. Very neat and tidy, but always a problem if you want the fabric at the bottom of the stack. Now I have all my fabric rolled on comic boards, standing up on the shelves. I really love it as you can see immediately what I have, the colours, type of fabric and it is easy to pull out what I want. Top shelf I have all the 1m pieces together, bottom shelf all the knits and lycra. Middle two shelves everything 2m and more. The sewing room is looking good…….until I sew again

It is nearly October and it is supposed to be spring time here in NZ. but it is freezing cold, with snow all over the island. I love the cold, but am looking forward to some sunshine too

Quilts done and dusted!

While everyone watched the All Blacks/Springbok RWC game last night I completed the quilt for son #2. I am happy to say both quilts have now been completed and are ready to be gifted to as Christmas presents

In the meantime I decided to make a quilt for my daughter’s partner too. The blocks have been embroidered and sashed. This week I will be joining them and add the outside borders


It is funny how a person can live under the illusion that you do not have any UFO somewhere in the sewing room. It took a while to let my brain know that if you start a project, put it in a box to work on later, forget about it and not touch it for months and months…………..well………..UFO!!!!!!!!!! Even if you put it away for a reason, is the still an unfinished object.

So, although I am working hard to complete the two quilts I started for my two sons, for Christmas I looked through my stuff and found three UFOs to start with:

  • Splendid Sampler quilt – needed 7 more blocks to complete .………..spend time on the blocks this week and completed all seven this week. As I finished each I made the little blocks – fabric/batting/minky…….and the crocheted around each block. This afternoon I joined the seven blocks, added the row to the rest of the quilt and the crocheted the border right around the whole quilt. Fusion quilt all done and dusted! Not sure why it took me so long.
  • Going to the Zoo playmat – needs something in the centre to finish it off nicely, and then backing and binding…………will take it out this week to determine exactly what still needs to be done and get started
  • BeeUtiful Quilt – all the blocks have been embroidered, sashing added to the blocks, all blocks joined together, all rows joined – I basically had a completed quilt top. Even the little bees have been sewn on………the quilt top was finished weeks and weeks ago, the backing sorted a couple of weeks ago……….I just didn’t get time (with the knee replacement and the pneumonia) to take it to the quilt shop for a chat and quote to get it professionally quilted. But it has been dropped off, we’ve had the discussions, I paid a deposit on the quilting (although it is not how the shop normally does it, they prefer you pay when collecting after it has been quilted. I find it easier to pay a good deposit and the a small amount when it is done. She is quite busy at the shop at the moment, and there is a whole pile waiting to be quilted – she aims to have mine done by the end of November
    Not sure how this happened, but I only have one photo of this quilt and it is when I started the first block
  • There are a few other UFOs, including all the smocking I did while recovering from knee surgery. I knew I wouldn’t be able to use the sewing machines for a while and pleated about 10 pieces of fabric, to be smocked during recovery. Done all the smocking and of course those now immediately find themselves to be UFOs. …………completed one little dress from this pile, except for the buttonholes. This is for a friend and I will do the buttonholes and buttons this week so that the dress can be gifted.
    I am not going to rush through the other smocked pieces as there is no rush and I also know they will be completed. Smocking is not really something I put away and forget about it

IMG_4944 (1)

But there is another quilt top UFO and I will take it out and put it somewhere visible. The top has been done, just needs wadding, quilt back, quilting and binding. Maybe work on it as and when I have a few minutes to spare every now and then.

My main focus will be on the quilts for my sons and get them done asap, especially the one which will have to be mailed to Hong Kong, to make sure it arrives before Christmas

I have quite a few things planned, a few dresses I would like to make. As well as a quilt for my daughter’s partner – this has gone through the planning stages……..I am waiting for the fabric to arrive, I have selected 20 designs to embroider on the blocks (just waiting for the fabric so that I can pick thread to embroider the blocks, the embroidery must complement the fabric.

But I basically only have until the end of October to finish as much sewing as I can. October onwards will be busy as the National exams are taking place and the papers to be marked will be arriving at the beginning of November. I also have, as Panel Leader, organise two marking meetings to make sure my team knows what we are looking for and understand the marking schedules. Marking runs through until just before Christmas

During this time we are expecting my husband’s brother and wife to visit from South Africa, in November. And husband’s knee surgery has been scheduled for the beginning of December