2018 – Friend or Foe?

Well, most people I know think the last couple of years have been, to quote the Queen …  “Annus horribilus”. And I tend to agree. It’s been a rough couple for our family too.

I wish for us all that 2018 is a better one. A “Friend” if you will …

If you’ve been round here for a while you’ll know I don’t make NY resolutions. But I do choose a word for the year. For 2018 I have chosen :

Finish is something I aspire to do more of in 2018. And I started off the year by living my new word. Wrapped around my 2018 word above, is a pic of my very first Quilt top finish for the year. Granted, it’s not a totally finished quilt yet, but it will be quilted soon and I will bind it and prepare for it’s new home … How pretty is that Bonnie & Camille “Hello Darling”? 🙂

Besides being horrible, the last couple of years I have found it challenging to actually make a plan and finish things. I make lists that don’t get completed, start projects that turn into UFO’s, extended my Interior Design course (again!!), and basically, constantly feel disorganised and chaotic.
I did not finish one single quilt last year.
NOT.ONE. ==> This one has been sitting for a year!!
I made blocks. I did a little sewing. I didn’t finish anything. Sad.

Anyhow. Here’s cheers to a fantastic, safe, creative and productive 2018.

Wassup?

Well, today is officially my last day of school holidays. I work all weekend and the babies go back to school on Monday. Which means today was my last sleep in *waahhhhh And I can’t see any possibility for a sleep in for the next month or so either! *double waahhhhh! I do SO love my sleep ins – can you tell? And more to the point, I love my late nights before the sleep ins. So I guess I have to go to bed earlier. Which encroaches on my ‘me time’. Which often includes my sewing time.
My boys aren’t very happy to be going back to school either. especially Mstr 10. It is his last year of primary school and he senses the effort required is about to go up haha
He is going to be school captain this year!!
We are incredibly proud 🙂

Anyhow. Here is a little of what I have been up to over the school holidays. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen some of these.
img_1365^ I have a loooong way to go with these cute Granny Squares. I think I’m going to sash with cornerstones to add to the size a little. I love it so far 🙂
img_1530^I have joined in with Molli Sparkle‘s Honey Pot Bee! Here are my versions of the Starflower Block. Molli’s January block choice (via this Ellison Lane tute). I could totally see myself making a whole quilt with this block. It’s so easy and effective!
img_1528-2^Here is my version of the Strawberry. It’s Angie from Gnome Angel‘s January block choice (via this Skyberries tute) I couldn’t resist including the cute little fussy cut strawberry.
img_1516-2img_1518-2^These two X Blocks are for Kate over at talltalesfromchiconia
Kate is making a quilt out of heaps of different Teal X blocks to raise money for Ovarian Cancer.

I think I’m kinda up to date with sharing. I hope to do some paint-y furniture things once the kids go back and I get some spare time (haha what’s that?? 😉 )
Do you play on Pintrest? There is a world of inspiration on there! You can find and follow me HERE if you’re interested. Forewarned tho, you might literally lose hours of your life browsing Pintrest 😉
Anyhow, hope you have a great day, see you soon!
KATE Sig for Manic MumdaysP.S. I am trying to sew without buying this year! So all of these were in my stash, a bundle I’ve had for a while for the Granny Squares and scraps mainly for the rest.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, Yes?

So then you guys must be VERY fond of me then, hey? haha

How are you?
I am still plodding along.
It’s been an extremely busy and tiring few months here … We have 2 weeks of school holidays coming up and I have some time off work booked and we are just going to do NOTHING! I am working the weekends, but otherwise PJ days is the plan 🙂 Oh, and we might go to the movies one day and see Finding Dory {I wouldn’t be able to wait for the DVD. Yes, me not the kids haha}

I love Dory! Crush and Squirt are firm favourites 🙂

This is probably going to be my last ever raggy quilt. It’s just getting too hard to find quality flannel here these days. Oh well … I enjoy regular quilting more anyway these days I guess 🙂 This one is for my little niece! It’s a large single bed size and I am a little bit in love with it!IMG_8320Front.IMG_8317Back.
I have a brand new nephew! He was born last month on Star Wars Day {Mother of boys info I never knew I needed to know! haha}
May the 4th be with youHe is the most precious little bundle! I have started nearly finished a quilt for him. Then I need to get cracking on one each for my elder two nephews.
They have been waiting long enough so patient!
A sneak peek :IMG_8522It’s a simple square patchwork with meandering quilting. But it’s very cute 🙂

I also have another top-secret project on the burner. As well as trying to get a bit of furniture painting in somewhere. I did do some painting a couple of weeks ago –
IMG_9257This is chalk board paint around my pantry entrance {… and this is the tidiest it’s been since we started using it haha The boys LOVE it!} There’s usually a small canvas covering the yellow phone point because we don’t use it and it annoys me to see it there. But I need to sand the spot for the hook …
Anyhow, I am about to crash!
Cya next time ❤

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

three65positive – 7th Jan

I am feeling very positive today!
The reason I chose POSITIVE as my word for 2016 is because I believe you get back what you give out. And I needed some positive in my life so decided that if I made the conscious effort to be positive every day {even when I am down} positivity will come back at me. Makes sense right?

So, anyhow, today I had to get up at 5am for an early shift at work. I had a lovely breakky of Avo on toast {my favourite!!} and a nice strong coffee and headed in for my shift. Had a great, productive shift and was feeling great still … Come home and check out my email and find one from the Government saying they were going to back pay me family benefits!!! We’ve never claimed them but they can only back pay to last financial year! But still!! A nice little bonus right before our long-awaited holiday which means we will be able to do lots of things while we’re away! Very excited!!!

I think it’s positivity and karma coming round at me cos I am in the right head space to ask and receive what we need … Makes me sound hippy dippy, but I don’t care 😛

Besides the initial sluggishness, I really like getting up and going to work early!
My boss has offered to keep me on my larger contract after hubsy finds work if I can do Thursday & Friday early starts. I immediately said YES!! It’ll mean putting the kids in before school and holiday care, but they will be ok with that and we will all enjoy the extra $!! I am so lucky to LOVE my job! And now I am off to work on my latest quilt – a raggy!!

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdaysthree65positive – 7

Plodding Along and Some Pretties

Oh dear! It’s been a full month since I last posted! oops … Where has the time gone??
I have been doing a little sewing.
I made another quilt top and back, sandwiched it and it’s patiently awaiting quilting.
IMG_7023 (2)I am also in the middle of finishing a QAL quilt. I hope to have it finished by the end of the day. Not sure I will get the binding on, but having a few days off work added to school going back tomorrow means I’m hopeful it’s finish is imminent!
I also have my gorgeous Heather Bailey Charm Swap quilt to finish!
IMG_6711This one ^ … I have the top and back done, just need to quilt it!

*Sigh* I know why – I am only just starting to get used to FMQ and I want to FMQ them but am scared to start them cos I don’t want to stuff any of them up! haha 😀

I am not allowing myself to start any more tops {that I am desperate to start} until I get these 3 quilted!

Actually, I just remembered, I have another quilt sitting in my tub awaiting a back and quilting! D’OH!!!

I think I will start by cleaning my sewing table so I have the room to quilt them. Then I might be inspired to get going!

❤

Last weekend I sewed a these blocks to send to Jackie Gillies as part of her #quiltblockstoendviolence … If you have never heard of it, you can check out her Instagram account HERE which has all the details you’ll need to join in 🙂
QuiltblockstoendviolenceI love this block so much I am going to make my own quilt with them!

Well, I am off to clean up my sewing table and look for some clarity and motivation lol
Hope you all have a great week 🙂

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

A Finish and a Vow

The finish.
I have a cute little finish to share tonight 🙂
This lovely has sat on my couch patiently waiting for me to finish it for the last 3 weeks … All I had to do was 1 1/2 sides of binding! Slack hey?IMG_6933 (2)The front. Held up by my best helper, Master 9 {That’s the top of his tennis cap peaking over the top. We took these waiting for their lessons lol}
I used Riley Blake’s Country Girls fabric. It’s such a pretty range!
IMG_6932 (2)The back 🙂
It’s a nice size for baby – 45″ x 48″ {114cm x 122cm}

The vow.
This little beauty sat half done for aaages. I am vowing to myself to not let that happen any more. I am so gung-ho when doing my tops. I can often whip one up in a day. or a weekend. But when it comes time for the back I struggle!!
I prefer to make pieced backs creatively use up scraps from making the quilt and I have been struggling to come up with ideas. By that stage I want something that’s going to be quick but I want it to still be pretty.

So. My vow is this – Make the back right away! While I have momentum!
And, if I’m struggling for inspiration – Remember KISS!
Keep It Simple Stupid!

In that vein I am going to whip up a couple of backs for the tops languishing in my “To-Be-Finished” pile. Lets see how  go. If successful, I should be able to share another couple of finishes in September! Wish me luck!

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

A Finished Top!

Hey y’all 🙂

As you might remember, I participated in Ms Midge‘s Heather Bailey Charm Swap and subsequent Charm Along recently?
{While you check out Ms Midge’s page, why not join in the Aussie Aurifil Club?? Those threads are simply gorgeous! ❤ }

HB CA Ms MidgeLook at all of the pretties we swapped!!

Well, I was sewing like a demon to finish in time for the deadline {linked at 11.45 for the 12.00 deadline! haha} And this is the result :

HB Charm Along finishedWonky Stars!! Can you see the secondary white wonky pinwheels?
I am working tomorrow, but planning on whipping up a quick backing on Sunday and quilt it next week some time.

I love it, but kinda wish the stars and pinwheels both stood out more … So I think I might try this one again down the track but use deeper colours and stars all in one colour and see how that turns out 🙂

I still haven’t used my precious Amy Butler Charm Along squares yet!!! I MUST get onto using them soon …

Anyhow, this one was meant to be a shorty – see you with a finish next week hopefully!

KATE Sig for Manic MumdaysP.S. I haven’t said it for a while – but why not check out my Facebook page, Pintrest or Instagram? 🙂

Kate’s Top 5 ~ Tips And Tricks

I quite enjoyed my Top 5 from a couple of weeks ago so will keep them going as long as I can think up good ones … This one was suggested by {another awesome} Kate who blogs over at talltalesfromchiconia! Head on over and check her blog out, it’s a great read!

So. My Top 5 Tips & Tricks … Where to begin? I am by no means an expert quilter but I thought since Kate suggested it, I’d share a couple of tips that have made my sewing life easier. Hope they help you too 🙂

#1. LEADERS & ENDERS! If you’ve read my blog in the last few months you might recognise my absolute favourite tip!! After making a quilt I would end up with a pile of wasted thread … Now instead I have these!
Leaders n EndersI always have a bowl of scraps cut into 2.5″ squares sitting beside me and slip a pair thru at the end of each chain. It’s like you’re making a bonus quilt without any real effort 😉 I chain stitch wherever possible. Chain stitching is putting thru multiple blocks without stopping resulting in a chain of goodies that you then press all at once too! These chains are from when I made “Kate’s Kate” :
IMG_4227 (2)I sew them into strips of 7 and then into blocks like this :
IMG_5840

#2 Measure twice, cut once. An oldie, but a goodie. Tips like these are long-lived because they are always relevant. I have lost count of the times I’ve saved myself juuust in the nick of time because I double checked before I cut. Mis cuts are the one of the easiest ways to waste fabric. And I don’t like wasting my pretties!
This tip also works when I’m playing with timber and furniture!

#3 PRESS. Press, press, press. Do not iron!
There are heaps of debates out there on whether to press to the side or press open. Personally I prefer to press to the dark side, but try both ways and go with what works for you.
My main tip here tho is PRESS – DO NOT IRON! Set your seam by pressing it, then open your seam in whichever direction you prefer and press 🙂

#4 Know your feet and use the correct one for the job. This one’s pretty self explanatory. Your machine comes with a wide variety of feet. They should all be explained in your machine’s manual.
FeetI mainly use my standard foot for piecing {not a fan of my 1/4″ foot, tho some people swear by them.} My machine came with a walking foot for quilting without slips or puckers, but you can pick one up at your local quilting store if yours didn’t. A guide bar is handy if you find one that comes with that too. I also bought a FMQ or Darning foot for my machine. And those are the 3 I use mostly. Because I also sometimes stitch clothing I also use a button-hole foot, hemming foot and zipper foot. {Not a fan of zippers tho so seldom use this one heehee}
If you’re not familiar with all of your machine’s feet, go find your manual and have a read … Better yet, grab some scraps and have a play with them! 🙂

#5 Look after your machine. I’m not sure if maybe I clean mine too much, but I give my bobbin case a quick dust with a soft brush every time I change the bobbin {unless I am in the middle of quilting a piece} and full clean after each project. They are also serviced yearly. Trust me, your machine will thank you!
Actually, I will add a little extra note here = Please change your needle regularly! Your machine will thank you, your fabric will thank you ❤

Bonus Tip – Give it a go! Whatever it is, most ‘mistakes’ are fixable so try it. You don’t know what you can and can’t do until you try, and I learn alot by trial and error! Your seam ripper can become your best friend and you may get frustrated, but it’s such a good way to get a feel for things! And you may surprise yourself and get it right straight up – imagine how great that will feel!

Well, I’m all worded out, so catch you next time! 🙂

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

Santa Claus is Coming Soon!

Did your kids believe in Santa Claus? How long did it last?
My boys are 5 & 8 and still believers … Mstr 8 had a stumble in the first few weeks of Prep {he wasn’t quite 5} when one of the little fuckers darlings took it upon themselves to announce to the class the real story.
I remember when my younger brother and I found out. We had heard the whispers at school and decided to put it to the test! We got rough with our bikes and Mum warned us to be gentler with them. We started sprouting off that Christmas was coming up and Santa would bring some new ones … Then she was all like:

And so we were told haha – I was 7, lil bro was 6. Not sure how old my sister and youngest bro were when they found out … I must ask them one day soon!
Anyhow … I guess I am asking cos Mstr 8 is already older than we were when we found out and, if I’m completely honest I’m a little afraid of him being embarrassed if he’s the last one in his class and is teased.

❤

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? I have been finished for ages … Just need to send some off before Easter is upon us heehee IN FACT! I am so organised I’m a little bit like this :

Anyhow … Must get back to my painting! we decided on a new colour and I am in love with it! I will share some before and after pics when I am finished this room … I’ll also have the latest quilt finish to share in the next couple of days. Just need to find some time to take the pics!

Catchya’s soon!

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

The Silly Season is Upon Us!

Howdy everyone!

I am running round like a chook with its head cut off lately!
I seem to have no spare time at all!
And it’ll only get worse from here on in I reckon … I do love Christmas time now we have little people tho 🙂

I had my latest quilt done last week, going to bind it this weekend {all going well, keep ur fingers X’d for me haha} and then I’ll share some pics next week!

❤

We had our school’s Carols By Candlelight last week. My littlest man, Mr 5, is wandering round singing the 12 days of Aussie Christmas and Silent Night all the time now.

Mr 5’s main aim in life lately is to do pretty much every single thing his big brother does. Bless his beautiful, adoring heart ❤
Kinda makes me even gladder {it’s a word!} that my big man is soooo worth emulating ❤
Mr 8 brought his year-end report card home yesterday. There might have been proud tears! And I felt less silly when Mr Manic welled up too … don’t tell him I shared that! He got all A’s and B’s and ALL 1’s for effort which is the highest possible and is also the main thing for us. We always tell him that as long as he tries his best we are happy.
I would like to share a little excerpt from the general comments section – “It has been an absolute pleasure teaching Mr 8 this year. He is a motivated student and a simply delightful person.” – How could we not get emotional at that?? *sob!* “… He has worked diligently and consistently to achieve a high standard across all learning areas and has shown he is an extremely capable and unassuming scholar” Such a proud Mumma!! He is so gorgeous! There is much more, but they are the comments that got me going! I’ll stop now lol

❤

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? We adopted Leonard last year and he made his first appearance this morning! It would have been the 1st Dec but I forgot where I stashed him he got lost on his way back from Santa’s place … I will have to think up some creative things for him this year – I feel a little outdone by all of the fantastic things other elves are going haha Check these out!

❤

Hopefully I will have another finish to share soon – I finally finished the gorgeous purple bed the other day! And tonight I delivered it! 🙂 Miss A loved it! I am so relieved! I have felt so bad that it took me so long! I will share some pics as soon as they have it set up and send me some!

❤

Anyhow, I am off for now … Busy, busy! Catch you soon!

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays