What can be better, than sharing the journey.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Tree

Christmas will not be the same this year without our family, we will really miss them.  We did decide to put up a tree and I decided to decorate it with found or recycled items.

It is not large and has built in lights so I started with some shiny curling ribbon. 

This one and others are cut from a gift bag.
I glued a tube, cut it into 5/8 inch pieces and glued them into a flower.

The white heart is crochet thread stiffened with craft glue.

The seed pods are from a eucalyptus tree.  There are many kinds here. These are the largest pods I have seen.

This was handmade by Debbie.

The flower is made from an egg carton.

The owl is made from paint chip samples.

The tiny jar hold feathers from a Galah.

The star is origami.  It is made from a page of an old dictionary.  The pattern I found here.

This a wreath made form the stars.  I used paper from a nice magazine and silver beads from a yard sale.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Owl pillow

I always mean to do more posting, but have a hard time doing it.  I am going to try harder yet.  The owl pillow was made for my daughter who likes owls, it was made from an original drawing for my younger daughter.  It was quilted by hand with dense random quilting.  I went for a more rustic feel and was happy how it turned out.  I think my daughter liked it too.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Key board fix for my Toshiba Portage

In an earlier post I mentioned my Toshiba Portage laptop’scracked screen.  It had cracked when I pulled it out of my backpack by gripping it on its side.  It compressed the screen due to a gap in the frame at the keyboard area.   It took a while to find a replacement screen due to the high demand for them.  I finally got one (from Laptopscreen.com) so did not want to crack it again.  To build up the depressed area I used some clear scrap-booking stickers that were about the right thickness.  I needed to trim them to size but they do not get in the way of using the keyboard at all, so do not know why the dip is there at all.  I will be traveling back to Australia soon so hopefully the repairs will hold up to the trip.  It is just so nice to have a whole screen again.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Still sewing after all these years

I had a chance to recreate a moment in time. When visiting my parents,I found time to sew a shirt for my mom so she snapped this picture to go with the one she took of me when I was about 12 that  I use it for my profile picture. She has had this Singer machine now for over 50 years and it still sew great.  Not sure if I am up to its standards.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Knife block DIY

I have bought a set of knives that I considered fun.  They are so bright and cheery I thought it would make it fun to cook.  They have a knife holder to show them off but was out of my price range.

I have been brainstorming trying to come up with a low cost diy project to hold my knife sets.
I considered using wooden bbq skewers but I don't have a good way to cut them and they might get dirty.  The knife block has silicone noodles.  I saw these drinking straws at the dollar store and thought they would work. 

 I cut them to fit my container and then sealed them with heat by holding them over a candle with pliers.  The result works great.  I didn't fill the container tight and left a little of room to put the knifes in.  You will have to play with it a little to get to the right density. 

It took a while to do, but I  think it turned out to be a great solution.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Recycled fabrics

Last week I played with egg cartons and fabric, this week I played with fabric from thrift stores.  I made a makeup bag from a broken embroidered pillow top.  I have wanted to try this pattern for a long time and the fabric seemed right.

 With what I had left over I made a little flex frame purse to go along with it.

 Then with some leather from an old purse I made a key holder with a flex frame again.

Still not bored!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'm not bored

I haven't posted in a bit.  I haven't been too busy but I always seem to find something to fill the day.  I have been lent a sewing machine so I began work on  a jelly roll quilt and am happy with its progress.

 I now have the top finished and pinned so just need to quilt it.

Today I started playing with a egg carton. I got my inspiration from another blog Michele made me

 Next week when we have eaten another carton of eggs I will put together a tutorial. I think that are many possibilities so who says I am bored.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cord Organizer

Do you hate tangled cords?  Every device has at least one to manage.  We are living out of suitcases at the moment so they have no place but the dining table to keep them.  I did not bring enough bands to tame them.  Thinking about what to use, I have some plastic I had cut out of a milk carton and with a few more cuts came up with a self securing device.  It took a couple of tries to get dimensions right but the plastic will stay on the wire and secure when you need it and with a flip open up for use.

 I cut the flat side of the milk carton into 1.5 inch strips 7-8 inch long.

On one end cut two strips  parallel to the length about ¼ inch from the end 1 inch long.  2.5 inches from the same end cut a .5 inch strip horizontal.  On the other end of the strip ¼ from the end cut a V pointing toward center.  

Thread the cord through the parallel cuts, bungle the cord and wrap the plastic strip around the bundle and push the V into the horizontal cut.

Once you get the idea if you find my dimensions are not right for you adjust as needed.  I think that any sturdy flexible material could be used so use your imagination. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hello from Australia

I have relocated with my husband to Yarrawonga, Australia. He is working on a project here for the next 18 months or so.  I could not bring my sewing machine so have brought some hand sewing projects along and have made some progress on them.  I have several english paper piecing  quilts in the progress.  That is one of the great things about paper piecing.  One project is a Flower garden and the other will be diamonds.  One may be a totally random hexagon quilt that may be used for bags and purses.
I have met with a quilting group here and gone on a shopping trip with them also.  They are a fun group and very welcoming.  There are a lot of fabric stores around, all individual shops, no chain stores.  Prices are a lot higher than you see in the states but everything here is more costly.  I still managed to find some fabric that I had to buy.  I found some Australian wild flower fabrics for a future project and some additional fabrics for the flower garden.  There is a shop here  in town also and I go in and haunt the place every so often.  There is also fabric to be had at the Opportunity shop (ie Thrift store) so now just need to get busy and sew.  It is winter here so it is a good excuse to stay in and do that. 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Toshiba Protege Z835 has design flaw

I bought a laptop to take with me to Australia.  I had seen the new Protege solid state drive and was interested in its light weight and long battery life.  I have been using around the house and had been enjoying it.  The week before our flight I had been doing my final packing and was test driving it in a backpack, it fit great but later after I took it out and opened it I noticed a black line on the edge.  I checked with Best Buy and they said it was a crack on the screen.  When I talked to Toshiba they would not do a thing for me even it was not abuse on my part.  When I checked again to see why it had cracked under such slight pressure I noticed the indention for the keyboard is where the cracked happened.  It was the difference of elevation that left a gap that caused a pinch point on the screen.



 Other models have a support there or a flat edge.   I talked again to Toshiba and again they would not help at all.  This seems to be a faulty design but Toshiba has yet to agree.  I have filed a complaint and plan more but it has not been able to get past the tech support people at Toshiba.  I will keep trying but you are thinking of getting this computer, I would hesitant as the screen is fragile, doomed to break and Toshiba will not do a thing to help.  Their statement said that “Customer satisfaction is a priority” but they do not stand up to this.  As you can see by the pictures it continues to get worse during the trip here.  The fact that replacement screens are sold out and out of stock says this in not just my problem but till I can get enough people together that have had this problem Toshiba will not listen.  So spread the word and warn other about this problem and hope Toshiba will stand behind their product.  I now really regret this purchase.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I haven't blogged in a while as I have been moving out my sewing room and bedroom to make way for my grown daughters to move back home to care for our house while my husband and I move to Australia for work.  It is not a permanent move so we did not want to sell.  It is almost done, one daughter is in my sewing room now.  After giving away what seemed like a ton of stuff there was plenty left to lug down to the basement closet. It always feels better to give things away to someone that can use it and so I was happy to send three suitcases of fabric and tread to Haiti where our church has started a sewing school with treadle sewing machines. A neighbor took some fabric and misc things for reenactment costumes.  It was amazing how much stuff I had.  It has gone back to the thrift store where it came from in the first place.

In that time I did get some quilts made.  Two on commission for a friend and two for a niece having twins this fall.  These two were eye spy quilts made with squares from the exchange from last year.  What was fun was that when I looked at the flicker group from the exchange it seems that I used the same quilt design as a lot of the others.  Genius must think alike.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kaleidoscope Quilt Quilted and new project started

I am continuing to progress though the pile of UFOs in my sewing room. This quilt top was done about 10 years ago or more. It is an classic geometric pattern made with classic calico fabrics. It was made back in the day when my stash was much smaller and the variety of fabrics in the quilt are limited. Taking a picture of the quilt with my regular camera really showed the lack of contrast and the blue fabric congregation at one end of the quilt. It was made long enough ago that I can not remember if this was intentional. I do know that it shows that I have a hard time letting something be totally random.

The quilt is done with all over stippling with a variegated thread on top and cream on back. This did give me some trouble with the tread tension. I had to turn it up to 7-8 in order to keep the top thread from showing on the back. I did turn the quilt over and quilt on the back around the edges because it was hard to see where to stitch on the light colored part. I am glad that I have gotten one more quilt out of the ufo pile.

My next project is another quilt top completed several years ago. The pattern is Rob Peter to pay Paul. The quilting is going to be pretty basic again. Mostly following the lines of the pattern with stippling in the melons and a flower in the center of the block

Monday, March 12, 2012

Winding way done

The name of the quilt pattern is winding way. I used one piece of fabric that was tied dyed for the circles and a black batik for the background. The backing is a yellow tie dye with purple accent. It is echo quilted with yellow thread. I like how it turned out, it is certainly a bright and a cheery quilt.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bento block quilt done

This is the second ufo that I have been able to get done this year. I am happy with how it turned out. It is quilted with a stipple stitch, which is not very "fancy" but considering the fabrics used, feathers would not show up well anyway. It has a comfy feeling.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Remake office chairs

These office chairs have seen better days. We had some cool retro fabric handy and with a scissor, kitchen knife and stapler recovered them. Basically I cut fabric to size for the back and seat with several inches of fabric on each edge.
Center the fabric on the chair back and using the knife force the fabric under the plastic edge. Start at the top, then the bottom then the sides securing fabric in place. Then go around the back stuffing fabric in, trimming extra fabric where needed.
The seat fabric needed to be stapled on. The fabric needs to have enough to cover to and sides and several inches to fold over and staple through. Take your time to even out fabric.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Finish

I have my first ufo done for the year. I really like how it has turned out. It doesn’t have a new home as yet but will be a bright spot in the living room for now.

Monday, January 2, 2012


This is cool!   After unplugging the foot control this machine will start sewing at the set speed. It starts slow and picks up speed quickly.  It takes away having to control speed so I can just concentrate on moving the fabric.  It takes a little effort to remember to push stop when needed.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Project for New Years Day

My goal for this new year is to get some of the UFOs in my closet done. I have no excuses left. My new machine has been doing great, knock on wood. With some adjustment of the tension it has not minded my using two kinds of thread, which my other machine would have balked at.
Notice the classy gloves. I think they are meant for hunting, but they have bumps that grip the fabric for free motion quilting.