Monday, 13 August 2018

Can you believe? August FNSI sign-ups are here!

Yes, it's blown me away too!  It seems like only a couple of weeks ago we were tidying up Christmas and now Christmas in July is over and we're headed into the second part of the year, well and truly!
But this week it's time for Friday Night Sew favourite time of the month, even though it IS August already!

I have been working on my Fig 'n Berry stitcheries and I am up to block 5.  I used to hate satin stitch but it's become one of my favourites now.  It's certainly true what is said about practise, practise, practise making you better, better, better.
I'm really happy with my plump little reindeer in his racy red Cottage Garden Threads.
On Friday I took myself off to the Craft Alive event in Townsville for the day.  We haven't had one for a couple of years up here, mainly due to distance and cost to hold stalls and such, so I was delighted to hear there was one this year.  There was NO way I was missing out.  
It was much smaller than in the past but, it was great to be able to get around to all the stalls without rushing and I was able to attend all the classes I wanted to, including an impromptu one on the Fusamat - a fuseable applique mat designed by Sharon Bradley from New Zealand.  

It's awesome as it holds your applique pieces in place even when you move your mat from the ironing board to the sewing machine, it's easily transparent so you can see your design and it holds onto the surface you're on without totally impressed me so I just had to buy one.  Take a look at Sharon explaining the Fusamat on this video: 

So I think on Friday night I might be doing a little bit more stitchery and a little bit of applique, just to try out my new Fusamat (and no, I'm not getting paid to advertise...this product really blew me away as it fixed all the problems I've found with my current applique mat...I'm just so impressed!)

Have you planned what you will be working on this Friday?   Whatever it is, it's always more fun joining in with friends so make sure you sign up below and join with us this Friday.  Everyone is welcome, invite some friends to join in with us and we'll have a ball stitching along together in our jammies with a good movie/music, some nibblies and a sneaky tipple or cosy cuppa.  How could you resist?  
Have a sweet week,
sugary hugs xox :o) 

Friday, 27 July 2018

A FQS Remix - My DIY Infinity Scarf Tutorial

Recently I took up the opportunity to quilt along with the Fat Quarter Shop using one of their blog tutorial remixes.  The remixes take old tutorials on the FQS blog and shake things up a bit by adding different fabrics and reviving them.....a bit of 'everything old is new again'!

I chose to make the DIY Infinity Scarf....something different to my normal quilty gift, but I thought I'd step out a little.  I haven't made anything to wear for years - I began sewing clothing when I was a teenager and then discovered quilting in my thirties and never looked back, so this journey was a bit of a 'remix' for me too!

I began with two yards of fabric, which will make two scarves or one with a strip of fabric left over.  You could piece two 22 in x WOF strips together instead of using 2 yards LOF if you wanted, depends on the look you want.

I decided to choose a small red trellis print which would go with lots of my clothing as I tend to do black, blue, white and denim quite a lot (I realised!).   My fabric choice was from an old range I had in my stash called 'Country Garden'.

Folding the fabric right sides together, I stitched along the long sides, making a long tube.  After pressing the seam, I turned the tube so that I had one side inside the other (still right sides together), I stitched around the end, leaving a 3 inch opening to turn the fabric through.
To finish, I slip stitched the opening closed.
Voila, 30 minutes or less and here is the finished Infinity Scarf.....

...and yes, I did model it...…
looks ok with denim, huh?

Now, these would be great to make for birthday gifts, Christmas gifts (yes it is sneaking up on us) or as teachers' gifts for end of year.  They'd be nice made up in linen, and in plain colours they'd be great accessories.  Keep in mind what your friends wear and choose fabrics to coordinate. You can really go wild!  
These are so quick and easy to make, I think I'm going to have to make a swaddle of them.....I just made that up.  I really don't know what the collective noun of scarves is!!

Now if you want to make some of your own, be sure to check out  THIS POST over on the Fat Quarter Shop's Jolly Jabber where you can get more details on the tutorial and loads more inspiration.

I hope you enjoyed my mini tutorial and it inspired you to give it a go.

xox Sugary hugs :o)

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

a Christmas in July winner for FNSI

FNSI is always so much fun.....
I love the fact that we can be in all four corners of the globe and still get to stitch together and feel no pressure to 'perform' whatsoever and yet know we can progress on projects with the gentle encouragement of our cyber friends, don't you? 

I got a little bit done but was distracted with a movie I was watching called "The Mountain Between Us"
The movie is one with Kate Winslet and Idris Alba and is a 'plane-crash-in-the-mountains-survival-type' movie but I really enjoy those kinds. A bit of a chick-flick, feel-good, everything's right in the end movie.   If you like those sorts of movies too and you can get a hold of it, it's well worth the watch.
My progress for the night consisted of a bit more stitching on block 4 of my Fig n Berry Creations 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' stitchery.
I'm really enjoying stitching these blocks up in my two colours of Cottage Garden Threads.  I'm going to make sure I use a colour catcher when I eventually wash these as I know they are prone to running and seeing as I didn't pre-wash the cottons, I'm prepared for it *fingers crossed*. 

I also made an infinity scarf.  I'm part of a Fat Quarter Shop Quilt-a-long and I'll be sharing more on it later on in the week.  You can check out some photos on the FQS links on my Instagram page  HERE but here is the scarf I made....and it only took 30 minutes (truly!).
 and of course I'd have to model it...…. *insert icky face here* 
but seriously, I was really happy with how it turned out. Keep watching this space.... I'll tell you more about it on Thursday.   In the meantime, I'm sure you'd like to know who our winners are for this month's and last's FNSI? 

Catch up for me with prize draws, and seeing as it's July and despite not having drawn June on time, I thought we could do both with the Christmas in June/July theme.  
June's draw...…… wait for it...……
And the winner is... Narelle - Qld, Aus!!
Congratulations Narelle, your prize is...…..
A gorgeous Christmas pattern by Marg Low called "Christmas - A time for Giving".  I hope you enjoy it! 

Our July winner is...…
And the winner is... Sue H in USA!!
Thanks for joining in Sue and congratulations!  Your prize is.....

another Marg Low design called "Holiday Cheer".  A great one for gift giving, that's for sure!

Thank you all for joining in for another month's FNSI will be held on the 17th August with sign ups starting on  the 13th, so don't forget to pop the date up on the calendar. I'm already looking forward to it!

xox sugary hugs :o) 

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

FNSI sign ups for July

You know what I'm thinking don't you?   WHERE DID THAT TIME GO?????

Yes I have been caught up with my son, who is still doing well, so well in fact he has increased his work hours, has a promotion to kitchen manager and is up for a pay rise.  He's moving back to Townsville next week, has organised a unit of his own and now  has a fridge, washing machine, microwave and lounge which will be delivered when he moves in.

He is still seeing his psychologist weekly,  psychiatrist monthly and mental health nurse whenever he feels he needs to talk,  but they, along with us, are all so happy with his improvements.   He still has his moments, but it is all looking upwards so all I can say is, for the grace of God and the many prayers I've said and you may have said on our behalf.....

This past week I've been down with the flu or a virus or something.  I went to work last Saturday and by that night, the tickly throat and itchy ears began to emerge.  By the next morning I was so lethargic and feeling lousy that I didn't leave the lounge much for 4 days.  Although I'm much better I still have some tiredness and muck in my chest.....and then these weird things appeared on my hand the other day and a few smaller ones on my tongue today.  I don't know what they are.... almost like shingles?!
These have progressively gotten worse over the past few days and are not itchy but super sore to touch.  My boss seems to think it's a 'hot spot' for the virus coming out of my system....I really don't know.  We'll see in time I guess, but it is a pain, literally!

So with all that happening, I've been a little late in posting our FNSI sign ups...thank goodness for Rike reminding me on Insta today!

Here it is, with the promise there will be two draws this for June and one for July.   Hopefully life will settle a little now and I'll get back in the rhythm of it all *fingers crossed*.

As I've left it a little later than normal, it would be great if you could share the FNSI button and link on your social pages to help me get some involvement as we all know how much fun and inspiration it is, looking at everyone's Friday Night favourites!  That would be amazing!

Off to make another warm cup of lemon and honey tea before bed.....
xox sugary hugs  and sweet dreams :o)

Monday, 11 June 2018

FNSI sign ups for June and a Confession

I promised myself I would post more frequently, but you know what?   Life took over and gave me a sharp smack about the head and said, "Not yet you won't!"

If you're a facebook friend of mine, you'll notice I've posted up lots of affirmations and positive quotes about mental health,and there's a very good one and only child is battling with the demon inside, having tried to take his life twice in the past month and there was nothing I could do but look from the outside in and be his advocate with an underfunded mental health system that is groaning from the pressure at its seams.

I won't fill you with the details but know my boy is doing ok now, he's moved back home and we take it day by day.  He has two great mental health nurses he can contact at any time and a psychologist he's seeing for the first time today to work with him on rewiring his thoughts, to turn them from negatives to positives.  The worst thing about it is the stigma.  Because it's 'all in your head' and it's not a visual illness (like vomiting and diarrhoea or a broken leg), it's hard to distinguish whether it's 'just you' or if there really is something wrong.   Being told to 'get over it' or 'toughen up' and 'just think happy thoughts' just doesn't do the trick to helping someone through this dreaded illness, and it IS an illness.  It's taken years of listening, perseverance, trying to understand and advocating for my boy's health when I'm not sure I understand myself  but finally we're getting there.
So with all that happening, I've remembered (on time too!) that it's time for FNSI sign ups! sanity time.  Hope you'll join with me on Friday night for some self indulgence, a little wine, some chocolate or something to tickle your fancy, a comfy pair of jammies and some virtual togetherness to do what we love best...….stitch!

Sign ups are open and everyone is welcome.  Don't forget to share with others on your blog and social media as taking time out to stitch with our friends is so good for our own mental health and who knows, you might win our monthly prize.

xox Sugary sweet hugs  :o)

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

A Winner For May (and April! *oops*)

Before I draw winners for both April and May FNSI, I'd better show you what I got up to on Friday Night, don't you think?

I managed to get a little bit done and lo and behold, a finish!
Bob asked if I could make a peg bag just like Gail used to as his had fallen apart.  I decided to use some really bright fabric that Bob had gifted me from Gail's stash that reminded me of her.  She was an Islander who dressed in bright fabrics often with tribal-type prints so I thought this would be perfect. It wasn't till I'd finished that I noticed that I 'almost' matched the pattern in the centre front seam....totally unplanned but how wonderful!  So that's a finish for me this month.
I recently won a gorgeous pattern by Melissa Grant of One Day In May called 'Bunnies in the Blackberries' Zipper Pouch.  It's a gorgeous design, as are all of Melissa's, and as I shared my win with my beautiful friend Joy, we decided to stitch it together in a virtual stitch along. We were joined by another good friend, Miche'le from NZ who'd bought the pattern, so we've been stitching along together getting it done.  I was a little slow in starting with all the things going on, but I began it Friday night and I'm really pleased with my progress.....
Isn't it cute???  I just love bunnies and as we can't own them up here in Queensland, this is the closest I'll get.  When I was a child living in Victoria, we used to have bunnies as pets then, but seeing as I've been a Queenslander since I was 13, that has been an eternity ago.  So before too long we'll all have bunnies hopping about in our sewing rooms!  We'll be sharing our progress on our Facebook pages and I'm sure Instagram will get a look in too!
I'm so pleased with having another finish and another underway.  Pop by HERE to catch up with the other ladies that joined in on Friday night to see what they got up to.

Now for the draw.  Seeing as I missed last month's (don't know how or why?) I'll do that one too!
Here's April's...…
and Congratulations too to May's winner.....

Ladies, your prizes will be out in the mail this week.
Have a fabulous week......I'm off to visit my cheeky Dad-in-law!

xox sugary sweet hugs :o)

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

May FNSI sign ups

Seems all I blog about these days are Friday Night Sew In sign ups.  Not that my life is's anything but.  There has been so much happening here of late, and not all of it good....mainly family health problems and work.  I promised myself that this year's blogging would be better than last year's.  I said that last year 'flew' by in a flash....this year seems to have grease on the skates even moreso, don't you agree?

I've decided as it's mid-year, I'm making a pact with myself to slow down and take time for stitching and blogging because it feels like there's a big chunk of my life missing and I want it back.  That's what blogging and stitching does for me.  I need some normality back to my hectic life, and if I don't schedule it in, I'm sure my levels of insanity will rise higher and higher and we don't want that!
So here's what I have done this month.....
A quilting friend of mine passed away from cancer two years ago and her husband recently asked me if I'd finish a quilt she'd begun to quilt by hand.  I felt honoured but I'm not one to hand quilt so I was pleased when he said he didn't mind how I quilted it, he would just be happy to wrap himself up in his wife's love and to 'feel' her one more time.  

She had begun to hand-quilt crosses through her nine patches and echo-stitch each pieced-section within each block and then again around the outside border of each block.  She'd already done a couple so I finished them off, using my machine on a large stitch  and the same coloured thread that she'd used, so you couldn't tell (too much) of the difference. I also stitched in the ditch around/through each block and stitched cornerstones in the four corners of the border fabric with perpendicular parallel lines of stitching around the border.  I think she'd like it.....Milo does!

I didn't really realise till I threw the finished quilt onto the bed how big it actually was.  It turned out it was a king size.  Our bed is a queen and the purple borders hung generously over each side.  I'm very proud to have been gifted the chance to pay it forward for this lovely couple.  I'm sure Bob will be snuggling up warmly wrapped in Gail's love tonight now the nights are getting colder, even up here in the tropics.
We celebrated dad's 83rd birthday at the beginning of the month.  He'd had a turn a couple of weeks before and they'd told us to prepare to lose him that night....he didn't go anywhere but stayed on stronger than ever and here we are, celebrating another milestone with him.  He even sang happy birthday to himself!  Love this father-in-law of mine to bits!

Now it's time to get ready for FNSI this month.  I see I missed last month's draw so I'll do a double draw this month for two lucky FNSI-ers who will win a little something from me.  Make sure you sign up below and let others know it's 'that time of the month'!

Now for me, it's time for bed!  Sleep tight and dream sweet dreams of your Friday night stitching with us!
xox sugary sweet hugs :o)

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

FNSI for April already!

Can you believe it?  This year is scooting by faster than last year, I'm sure!
What have I been doing?  Well, a little EPP, some stitchery, some hexies for swaps and quilting a dear friend's quilt (who has since passed away) for her husband to snuggle under to be closer to her.
I've also pieced some blocks for a pineapple quilt I'm making for my DIL-to-be but it's all come to a standstill this past two weeks as I've been working full time 6 days a week while the boss took her holidays.  I didn't stop to take photos of it all but you can see some of the progress.
Sunday I had a day off, that just happened to coincide with dear Mr B's, so we decided to go on a road trip.  We travelled up to Tully where we had an impromptu meet-up with my cousin, who lives in Cairns.  From there, we travelled to Mission Beach  (I hadn't been there before) where we had lunch, spent some time catching up on the goss, and then we headed home - her northward-bound and us southward.

Along the road home, we stopped at a few roadside stalls and picked up some fresh papaya (pawpaw), avocado, pineapples, rambutan, dragonfruit and some bananas....gorgeous fresh 'cheap' tropical fruit.  We'll be eating nice healthy fruit salads this week.... yummo! 
Looking up into the mountains, you can still see the remnants of stripped trees from Cyclone Yasi in 2011. 
Mind you, it's not all bad.....the improvements that have been made since then to the roads and to the Cardwell foreshore are just wonderful.
So now that brings me to here and now....and that it's time for our Friday Night Sew In sign ups once again.....and I must say, my favourite time of the month!
I would love it if you joined in with us.  Just sign up below so we can visit you and cheer you along and I'm sure I can find a sweet little prize for one lucky FNSI-er!
Must be again in the morning and the kittens are climbing all over me trying to entice me to bed.   
Big sugary hugs xox :o)