three65positive – 6th Jan

Today I am so in love with coffeeeeee!How clever are these coffee artists???
I was up until 2am catching up on assignments so I am realllly thankful for coffee today! haha … I’m lucky to have had a sleep in … but will probably struggle tonight as I have an early shift at work tomorrow and I have to crash early πŸ˜€
Hopefully I will finish an assignment this morning and will get to sew this afternoon/evening!
I hope you all have a fabulous hump day everyone! ❀

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdaysthree65positive – 6

three65positive – 4th Jan

Meet Tink!
365P 4He doesn’t like having his photo taken, but in the end he just sighed and said “Fine! Get it over with!” I am allergic to cats but I do so love gingers so I can never resist giving cuddles when they’re offered! I just have to remember to wash properly or I pay the price later! haha I am off to do a little studying and will try to get some work on my latest quilt done tomorrow. Hope to have it done by the end of this weekend πŸ™‚

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays#three65positive – 4

Late Night Colour

Wow … never dreamed I would be so absent lately.

My hubby is still job searching so I am working more. That’s about the only excuse I have. Lucky I love my job hey! πŸ˜€ I am hoping to keep the extra hours going after he finds a job. The extra money will help us build our savings up again …

I have finished a couple of projects that have been waiting for quilting and binding tho, so I feel like I have accomplished something at least.

This one is a baby sized quilt which I intend giving as a gift πŸ™‚Baby boys QuiltThe fabric is “On The Go” by Riley Blake and it is 38″ x 42″ {97cm x 107cm} I FMQ’d it and made it during a QAL with Nanny Margie. I just adore the way it turned out!

This one I SLQ’d. I just love the purple/green tones together :
Log Cabin QuiltI made it with a random Jelly Roll I picked up cheap at Spotlight a couple of years ago. It’s 42″ x 52″ {107cm x 132cm} I am undecided whether to give this one away or list it in my Etsy store …? hmmmmmm
❀
I tested a pattern for the fabulous Molli Sparkles a little while ago and now that its been shared, I can share the blocks I made :
IMG_7250I love this pattern! It comes together so quickly too πŸ™‚ I have a small stash of Tula Pink’s Colours FQ so I am going to use it to finish this baby off. It’ll definitely be a 2016 finish tho, no chance on earth it will get restarted this year ;)<3
Oh well … I better go crash, I am working all day tomorrow so I need to get some sleep!
G’nite y’all!
KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

I’m Still Alive!

Wow! What a busy month it’s been!

We have had alot going on around here … Mr Manic was retrenched in August so he has been looking for work. There are so many retrenchments happening round here lately, it’s quite scary! But … he has an interview for a dream job next week, so please send up a prayer for us … And some luck wouldn’t go astray lol πŸ™‚
While he is searching I have been lucky enough that my boss has doubled my work hours to keep the $ trickling in. I am very grateful, but that also means double the work for me! haha Which in turn means less time for creativity and sewing.

I have managed to do a couple of little bits n pieces – SLQ’d a lap/couch sized quilt; about 1/4 thru FMQ’ing a cot sized one; Made a couple of test blocks that I can’t share yet … Hmmmm no pics in that bunch. How about this one –
IMG_7241This baby is destined to be a place mat for me! I have made two and I am just loving the pretty fabric

❀

I am also up to my neck in module 2 of my Interior Design course right now.
I’m so LOVINGΒ  it! Don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before, but in high school I toyed with the idea of doing Architecture {among other things}.
And this Module is all about architecture!! YAY!

While I was studying this morning, I remembered something I think of now and then from when I was a child … It’s a memory from Grade 2 – which for me would be about 33-34 years ago.
It’s of my teacher criticising my drawing of a house. You know the type, sun on the corner of the page, rolling hills behind, tree to the side. A square house under a triangle roof, with a front door and crossed window to the side. Maybe with a chimney atop the roof blowing smoke and a few flowers? Kinda like this!
… well he said that it was totally unrealistic. That the windows were totally wrong, along the lines of “Windows are only one pane of glass, not broken into 4 like that!”
I was 6, too little to argue the point and it stopped me from drawing them for a good while … and I still remember it! I am surprised that he had never seen windows with more than one pane when you consider the famous buildings in the world with more than one-pane-windows πŸ™‚
Even Buckingham Castle has 4+ panes in its windows, see? haha
Isn’t it funny the things kids remember?
Oh well, lunch is done, back to the books computer lol
KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ™‚
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 πŸ™‚

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

A Finish and a Vow

The finish.
I have a cute little finish to share tonight πŸ™‚
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 πŸ™‚
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 howΒ  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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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? πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

#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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚

#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! πŸ™‚

#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! πŸ™‚

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

Kate’s First Top 5 – Blogs!

Thought I might occasionally start putting up a “Kate’s Top 5”!
This is the first ever! The themes will change, some might be sewing/quilting related, or some will be timber/furniture, some will no doubt be just general … stuff πŸ™‚ Let’s see where it takes me! haha

This one is going to be …

Kate’s Top 5 BLOGS!
I follow a buttload alot of blogs! I have kinda a large range of intertwined interests and there are sooooo many clever people out there! I love to read along and gather ideas. Some share some awesome quilting tutorials, some include some great discounts from their sponsors, and heaps run fantastic giveaways! πŸ˜‰

In no particular order here are my Top 5 reads!

#1 – Happy Quilting
This one’s predominately a quilting blog. Melissa is in the USA and does gorgeous work – And often shares FANTASTIC tutorials! There are always tips and tricks included. She also has a cute pattern shop and is an author!
Her book Irish Chain Quilts is on its way to me as we speak!

Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

#2 – The Kitchen’s Garden
A lovely NZ lady living and farming in midwest US … Celi is aiming for self-sufficiency, sustainable farming, and simple clean living. Knowing where your food comes from and knowing what you put in your body. I love reading her blog and look forward to it every evening {I get disappointed if it’s not landed in my inbox before I crash for the night! haha}

Celi lives with the most gorgeous big, fat pig called Sheila {I won’t say she owns Sheila, because that’s not accurate! haha} There is a large cast of adorable animals and Celi’s photography of her life there is breathtaking.

SheilaThe other cuties include cows and calves, more pigs, goats, dogs, cats {lotsa gingers!!} peafowl, chickens, brand new turkeys … Always lots of brand new animals actually πŸ™‚
Baby goatsBaby goats!!

#3 – Shanty 2 Chic
Two Texan sisters, these chicks are ROCKING!!
I love their tutes. And they have an extensive range! They share heaps of simple DIY projects from shelves and easy make-overs right up to building your own furniture.
They usually include plans as well, and helpful hints and tips! I have asked a few questions and they always take the time to answer! Here are a couple of my favourites from them, links are in the photos and underneath:

$5 Leather Strap Shelves
Kitchen Island Bench

#4 – Miss Mustard Seed {MMS}
As you might know, I work in a paint department as well as make over furniture. Both of which I LOVE!
Well, Marian is the maker of one of my favourite paint products – Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint!
And I truly believe Marian and I could be kindred spirits because we both love Hemp Oil to about the same degree haha Check out these colours!!!
I like Flow Blue best I think … Last year I made over a little TV cabinet for the boy’s playroom. It’s in Luckett’s Green {green is Mstr 9’s favourite colour!} Here it is :Kids TV cabinet makeover

If you make over furniture, or just want to pump new life into an old piece you really should try the Hemp Oil πŸ™‚

#5 – Pat Sloan

Fabric and Quilt designer, Author, Podcast Host … And all round lovely lady!
Pat Sloan wears many caps and her blog and site show it! There’s heaps to see and join in on. I am taking part in a QAL – the Vacation Time QAL. All of them can be found here.
And have also joined in on one of Pat’s Challenges this year – the String Bean Challenge. Mine is Link #19 {Below} and I am sad to say it’s still in my UFO box 😦 You can find the challenges here.
IMG_6204 (2)I also first leaned of ‘Leaders and Enders” thru Pat Sloan’s Hip To Be Square Challenge! What a revelation!!! It’s like you’re making 2 quilts at once but you hardly notice … And sooooo much thread saved! Don’t forget to check out Pat’s gorgeous fabric lines!

❀

Well … that’s it for my first “Top 5”!
What do you think? Do you have something you’d like me to do a “Top 5” on?

Have a great Friday everyone!
KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

Friday Ramblings …

Yay!! It’s Friday!

While I remember the glee Friday brings for most people, it doesn’t hold the same allure for me cos I only work outside the home on weekends … So tomorrow is my Monday. And I am a little bummed about that! haha

Nah, it’s all good, I like my job for the most part πŸ™‚

❀

My beautiful friend The Divine Ms S. and I went to the movies today! A rare treat, especially thru the week! We even had a coffee before hand and lunch after!

We watched “Aloha” starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Rachel McAdams.

We were both really looking forward to seeing this chick flick, and I have to say we were both a little confused coming out. It was … weird. They didn’t do a good job of explaining some of the storyline and when a few things happened they were kinda out of the blue. Rachel McAdams seemed a little … disinterested and flat. Emma Stone was ok. Bill Murray and Alec Baldwin were in it and they couldn’t save it either.

To be honest, the best part of the movie for me was Bradley Cooper because

…well, because he’s a hottie! haha I think he is getting better looking as he gets older.
I could just about fall into those baby blues!

I’d probably not buy it or even watch it again. I’d give it 2 stars
❀

Barking Dogs.
Is there anything worse from a neighbour’s point of view than a dog that will.not.stop.barking??? I have 3 yappers behind us that are only just getting controlled by their owners in the last week. Now they have new neighbours who have a large dog that just won’t shut up! *arghhh* It never stops.
It’s barking as I type this. Loudly. At 9pm at night 😦
I wish we lived on a large block with no near neighbours! {Tho we do have some lovely neighbours beside and across from us who I’d miss haha}

❀

My big man is going for his very first sleep over tomorrow! I feel a little sick if I’m being truthful.
I’m sure he will be fine, but this is the first time he’s ever spent a night away from me except if he’s been just with hubby or at his Grandma’s … It’s a big step for a kid {and a Mum! πŸ˜‰ }

❀

I am going to work hard and get a finish done to share on Monday – I have a poor little lonely UFO that’s been almost done for a couple of weeks. This LONG weekend is all about UFOs! Have a great weekend!

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays