Love travelling, love needlework……..

For someone who enjoys travelling, as well as needlework, my youngest gave me the best early Christmas present – a leather passport cover and a luggage tag. But both needs to be cross-stitched. For the luggage tag I cross-stitched my initials. For the passport cover you add crosses to the places you’ve visited! And add more as you travel more

I’ve done the luggage tag. The passport cover will make a bit longer as I have been travelling quite a bit over the years, there are quite a few crosses to add already πŸ™‚



Crazy November

We had a lovely weekend with our two boys. These days, with the kids living all over the world, it seems impossible to get all three together at the same time. It feels like a bonus when we can spend time with at least two at a time. We rented a house for the weekend and just all relaxed and talked. I am so glad we managed it before Christmas

November has been good for needlework. I managed to finish a few dresses, as well as make a set for a work colleague of my son. She has a little baby girl and he wanted a little smocked dress. Of course I went overboard and also added some knickers and a bonnet – the first bonnet I have ever made and definitely not the last



The Splendid Sampler QAL is making good progress. I am going to make only 14 more blocks, for Β 7×7 quilt. Then to crochet a border around the quilt to finish it off nicely. I like the size of it, not too big and not too small. The SS 2 quilt has 100 blocks, I might be tempted to make more blocks for a second quilt next year, in another colour way, or not

I made a ‘twirling’ dress. I have been looking at this pattern for quite a while and just decided to make it. The good thing is that I used leftover bits and pieces to make the dress.

I also embroidered and made the men in my life toiletry bags. So far I have made bags for everyone and decided it is time for something for them

Something else I have been wanting to make since I bought the embroidery machine is a hooded towel. This can now be ticked off too

Marking is going well. Done just under 2000 papers and will be sending the boxes back soon, for the papers to be returned to the students. Results should be available just after Christmas to all the students who completed external examinations


And something for 2019!!!!!! My whole life I wanted to try hardanger embroidery, and it is time. Kathy, a fellow blogger, who does beautiful embroidery, is offering a Hardanger Mystery SAL in 2019. She just posted the supply list and yes, mine is ready! I am looking forward to this SAL sooooooo much and cannot wait!


Since breast surgery I have been finding it difficult to find comfortable bras. My body doesn’t tolerate underwire bras any longer. But I love beautiful undies; comfortable and beautiful. It is time to give it a try and make myself some. Pattern has been bought, I also found another one for a bralette online; fabric and elastic and pretty lace have been purchased as well – it is time to give it a try. If all goes well this will be my January 2019 project πŸ™‚

Christmas is nearly here. We will have a quiet one with our eldest son and the normal roast meal. But I had a really nice surprise – an old high school friend will be visiting her daughter here in NZ and she will be in our town on Christmas day. I have seen her since high school and looking forward to meeting up with her again

PJs and pillows

For a long time I wanted to make smocked pyjamas and I found the perfect soft fabric the other day. It is pretty and delicate and I love how it turned out – French seams and all. I also made a scalloped hem as I now have a machine which have all these fancy stitches

Of course, I had to make a Reading Pillow to go with the pyjama set


Reading pillow

I don’t know who thought of making a reading pillow first, but I love the idea and wish they were around when my children were young. There is even a Reading Pillow FB group πŸ™‚

Yesterday I took a break from exam marking and decided, to fit in with exams and marking, to embroider a reading pillow for a little girl. I have been thinking about making such a pillow for a while and purchased all the supplies ages ago, including the embroidery designs

Love the outcome. It has a pocket for the book and I added a handle on the top so that it can be carried around without the book falling out. I embroidered the design a bit low as I misjudged the placement of the fabric on the hoop. Will definitely embroider it a bit higher next time

Just want to make her some pretty smocked pyjamas to go with the reading pillow and will then send it to the little girl

Janome Skyline S3

I picked up my new sewing machine on Thursday. It was very exciting when the quilt shop dealer called me Thursday afternoon to tell me the machine has arrived, instead of Friday as expected

Brought the new baby home and played with it a little bit, trying out different stitches. Of course there is no fun in playing on a piece of fabric, so Friday I made a dress πŸ™‚

First of all: the machine………I am in love. It is my first fancy sewing machine (except for the embroidery machine) and it works like a dream. It is quiet, the tension is good, it cuts the thread with a press of the button, it sews beautifully. I made a whole dress without the thread breaking and without having to thread the needle every time I start a seam – this has been the most frustrating with my old cheapie sewing machine, it really took the fun out of sewing on several occasions


Tomorrow I am going to sew the buttonholes and if this is as easy as it looks I will be so happy!

Secondly: the dress. I smocked the fabric earlier this year and then put it away to make at a later stage. It looks pretty and I am happy with it.

Time to upgrade

About 5 years ago my 35 year old Singer Sewing Machine just wanted to retire. I couldn’t get the tension sorted, it started sewing like something with hiccups. At that stage I couldn’t afford much more than the cheapest machine on the market and I bought a little Β cheap Singer. All plastic, and the guy who sold it to me tried to encourage me to buy at least the next model up, but I couldn’t afford it.

I have made many smocked dresses with that little cheapie, I even made quite a few quilts and bags and curtains – and it sewed like a champ. I often pull it back from the other side of the table as it moves with the fabric, and jumps up and down when I use the serger on the same table.

When I made dress on Saturday I struggled with bird’s nests under the fabric, and thread breaking in the middle of sewing, especially the moment I hit more than two layers of fabric. It was frustrating – but the dress is pretty πŸ™‚ (no buttonholes and buttons yet – will now wait to do it)

As I am an external marker for Ministry of Education, and the National exams are starting this week, I knew I have some money coming in early next year as I have about 2000 Computer Science papers to mark. With this knowledge I decided to delve into my savings and buy a new sewing machine

I did research for a whole day, reading reviews. To start with I didn’t even have an idea which brand to buy. I started with Singer, as that is my trusted brand, but the new Singer machines can not really compare to other brands any longer – or that is my opinion after a day of research. I looked at Brother (my embroidery machine is Brother), at Bernina (for no specific reason), Singer (because it is my preferred brand) and Janome (as my serger is Janome). I also asked on FB groups for recommendations. The majority of feedback was in favour of Janome

By accident I found out the Quilt shop in a nearby town deals with Janome and I drove out there yesterday, to chat with a real person. There is a special deal with Janome until the end of October (big bonus!). She gave me some brochures and prices and a demonstration on her machine

Another day of research and I have decided to buy the Janome Skyline S3. Well, I actually just transferred the money so that the machine can be ordered πŸ™‚

It should be here by Friday – as well as the exam papers to be marked. Very bad timing, for both to arrive the same day. I guess I will have to mark first 😦 (Maybe, just maybe, I’ll sew the buttonholes for the dress I made)

Fatigue and lots of nothing

Fatigue has been a problem for a few years now, but it has been getting better. I am not sure what triggered it this time as I am very careful and listen to my body. So I am taking things very slow this week and sitting around a lot.

I received a photo of the two little girls wearing the dresses I completed last week. They are very happy with their dresses


I have also now completed three rows of the Splendid Sampler 2 quilt. I love it

The last weekend was a long weekend, with Labour Day on Monday. Saturday we made our way to an old coal mine site about two hours from us, here on the West Coast, the Denniston Mine. I cannot imagine working and living in those circumstances, so many lives were lost. The only way to and from the site, high up in the mountains, was on a steep rail track and mine trolley

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