Saturday, 20 December 2014

FNSI and Pineapple tarts

Friday night saw me sitting at home sewing with my blogging friends on FnsI.

FnsI, hosted by Wendy
I had made this quilt over the whole year and I had received it back from the quilters about 3 weeks ago. It needed the binding sewn on. On Thursday, I machined the binding onto the quilt. On Friday night, I sat and hand sewed the binding. I was determined to get as much done as possible, but only managed 1/3 of the binding. However, I have since finished the binding and this is what it looks like on the bed in the spare room all ready for the guests just after Christmas.
Hexagon medley in Blues
I realise now that you cannot even see the binding in the photo-- believe me, it is there and my sore fingers testify to hand  sewing the whole thing.
I lived in Malaysia as a child, and loved the cakes and biscuits made there for the various feasts and festivals celebrated there. One of my favourites is the pineapple tart-- it has a pastry similar to short bread for the base and a pineapple jam topping. We adopted this as part of our Christmas tradition.
For years, my sister would come over and the 2 of us would cut the pineapples, grate them, squeeze the juice out and then turn the pulp into jam-- very time consuming and a sticky process. Then the following  weekend, we would all get together and make the tarts-- my children loved the get together when they were young and they were given different jobs to do-- and always managed to get some dough to play with. 6 years ago, my mum died and we made it just once after that. We thought that we would attempt it again this year. We had a lot more helpers this year--with extra ones including my husband, brother, 2 nieces, 1 niece's husband and the usual crew of my sister, daughter and myself. We also had this little chap watching-(ie when he was awake)- he is all of 7 weeks old.
My 7 week old grand nephew
I forgot to take photos of the jam making, (fingers would have been too sticky anyway), but here are photos of the tarts.

Tray waiting to go into the oven
Some of the cooked ones cooling on the wire racks
Close up of a pineapple tart
We made a total of 315 tarts, and we used 11 pineapples for the jam. At the end, we divided them all up and each family went home happily with their stash of the tarts.
We had so much fun together,we came to the conclusion that the tradition must go on and we will make it happen again next year.
I would like to thank everyone who visits the blog, and an extra special Thank You for the ones who take the time to leave a comment.  I would also like to wish all my blogging friends and visitors and their families a Very Happy and Blessed Christmas, and a Peaceful 2015.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Friday night with Friends

Thank you, Cheryll, for hosting another FnwF.

I did some sewing, but not as much as I thought I would get done. I had made 2 of these to go on the bedside tables to match the quilt that I have been making for the spare room---( we finally have a spare room). All I managed on Friday night was to hand sew the binding on this one. I still have the binding on the second one to sew down.
Bedside table topper
Bedside table
We are going away for 3 nights to Jervis Bay. I will take the second one along and some unfinished cross stitch to do whilst away.
Looking forward to doing more sewing on Friday nights in 2015.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Friday night sew-in and guess who has had a birthday.

I joined the Friday night sew-in for the first time,  hosted by Wendy. I  made these 2 thread catchers-- and that is an achievement for me, to manage 2 of them-- as I am slow with the sewing. These are going as gifts to 2 non blogging friends.

FNSI, hosted by Wendy--3rd Friday of each month

Thread catchers-- with Anni Down's fabrics.
Thank you Wendy, for hosting the party. I did not get around to making the chocolate treats to have that night, but will try that recipe one of these days.
This little girl came into our lives in January 14, and she turned one year old on the 20/11/14.
Miss Penny in January 2014
Miss Penny November 14

Miss Penny turned one on 20/11/14, with her new Teddy

Penny had a lovely birthday on Thursday and received this Teddy as a present. She just loves the teddy.


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Friday Night Sew In hosted by Wendy

I joined Friday night with Friends (FnwF), hosted by Cheryll, this month.  This is a group where everyone spends the first Friday night of each month sewing ( whilst  munching some nibblies). I really enjoyed sitting and sewing, knowing that there are a lovely group of ladies out there in the big wide world, doing the same thing. If you would like to find out more about it, click on the logo on my side bar and it will connect you to Cheryll's blog ( I hope-- because one never knows what will happen when I try to do anything on the computer-- as I have found out!)
Through Cheryll, I discovered Wendy's blog, , where Wendy hosts Friday night sew in (FNSI) on the 3rd Friday of each month. Wendy suggested I join in, and I have. Her blog has a site where you can add your name if you would like to join in and it is currently open for new members. So visit her blog and sign up too. So tomorrow night, I will be joining in with the sewing too-- will have to decide what I need to do-- have lots I should be doing for Christmas gifts. Wendy has even added a recipe that we could all make to have tomorrow night.

Looking forward to my first FNSI

Monday, 17 November 2014

A New Finish and Foundation piecing

We have had our usual, once a month, long weekend. However, my DH managed to get my cold and was very unwell with it. It was a nasty bug--behaved like a cross between a cold and the 'flu. Consequently, we pottered around at home. Which then gave me lots of sewing time.

I had started this project a few weeks ago. I wanted something nice to go on the wall of a sewing room ( the fact that I do not have my own sewing room is beside the point-- it will just have to go on the wall where I keep my sewing things). I like country colours and of course, Anni's fabrics-- of which I have a ton of. So I completed this on the weekend. I need to buy a wire hanger for it-- I have seen one somewhere that had a sewing machine wire hanger-- but I cannot recall where. Will have to hunt-- good excuse to visit patchwork shops. I must say I keep looking at it everytime I pass it. I am really pleased with the way it has turned out(even if I say so myself!)
I am tossing up if I should sit and write up this pattern and include it with the 3 buttons I have used, and put it in my etsy shop. It is time consuming (and boring) writing up a pattern-- so would appreciate your feedback before I do so.

Wall hanging for the sewing room
 One thing I have never done is Foundation paper piecing. Hanne ( has been sewing some gorgeous little houses called Shipsewana House and I decided that I should try making them. Her house is only 3" square. I tried and tried and failed miserably.  Try a simple design first--so I drew up the tiny quilt I used on my wall hanging, and gave that a go instead.

The mini quilt is foundation pieced
I  then enlarged the house (200%) and decided to give it a go. Please don't look too closely, it is far from perfect, but I am happy enough with it for a first try.

Foundation pieced large Shipsewana House
I thought it looked lonely all by itself . So I started playing around with some embroidery-- a tree, a window box---- and this is where I am up to so far. Will do more over the next few days.

Window box and tree added to the house

We have a few plants in bloom at the moment. This is a Hoya flower. It is in full bloom at the moment and the ants love the nectar it produces.
Hoya flower

 Our jacaranda tree out the front is in full flower too. When I paint, I love combining green and purple-- and I am sure this is where I get that combination from. We have another in the backyard too.
Jacaranda tree
 I was taking the photo of the tree with my phone whilst waiting for my neighbour to go on our usual Sunday  morning walk and the sun was rising from the east . I looked down and saw this sight. I have always wanted to be tall and thin-- Finally I have become that ( what a shame it is only a shadow and does not last)
The tall slim me!
My birthday was in May, and the gift from my daughter was tickets to the Cirque du Soleil's Totem. We went to dinner first at the Bavarian Beer Café where I had a delicious meal. Then onto the show. It was absolutely fabulous. 

Entrance to Totem
Here a  couple of finishes by my blogging friends-- where they have used my buttons. Thank you for sharing them with me.
One of my blogging friends has done these with a couple of my buttons. I am not allowed to say who has done them, as these are going to be going as gifts for Christmas. I just love how they have turned out.
2 completed embroideries

Such neatly embroidered wording
This is another finish from the blog of another blogger. She designed the fireplace to match her own, called Big Bertha.  The fireplace certainly exudes warmth whilst the surrounding countryside is cold and covered in snow.
Big Bertha
Talking of hearths-- I have re done the free pattern as a Jpeg. Hopefully, it will now download. If it does not, just email me and I will email the pattern to you. Computers are definitely a hit and miss in my hands.
Enjoy the rest of the week.


Friday, 14 November 2014

Christmas Hearth design

I had started this design last week when I sewed with the FswFs group. I have completed the embroidery, but have not decided what to do with it as yet.
Finished embroidery
with 3 red stockings
with a blue stocking
I am not sure why the photos have that wrinkly look to it as the fabric does not actually look like that at all. I think if you click on each photo individually, the photo will look better.
I think the embroidery looks fine just on its own. If anyone would like the pattern for the embroidery-- I am going to attempt to put it on the sidebar-- and hopefully you can download it from that. Can you please tell me if it works, as I have not done this before and am taking a big leap, and giving it a try.
After ages at attempting the above ( with a lot of cursing and swearing under my breath--------)--
 Forget what I just wrote there-- because it did not work. I scanned the image into the computer and when I went to put it in my side bar, the computer said that the image was not in a recognisable format! So I thought I would add it to the main body-- but that failed as well as it does not recognise my scanned picture as an image.
So, if someone out there has scanned a drawing and put it in the side bar and it worked-- please give me directions of how I can do it too.
In the meantime, if you would like the pattern please email me and I will see if I can email the pattern to you instead. Hopefully that works!!
I feel really dumb when I do anything like this on the computer-- it makes me cranky and frustrated because I don't know how to do it when everyone else seems to be able to do these effortlessly!! I master one thing, Hurray! Then I try the next and Failure!!

I was obviously in a cranky mood  and was venting my annoyance at my poor computer skills. DH decided that he would give it a try and Bingo!-- we now have it in the side bar. He scanned it in as a jPeg and it worked. I hope. Please tell me if you can click on the picture and print the pattern and if the image comes out clear.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Friday night with Friends

Cheryll,, is hosting the Friday night  with Friends. I was browsing her blog when I noticed that there was a sign up to join the FnwF. I decided to join the group and last night was the first sewing night.

I felt lousy with a horrible cold, but it was not going to stop me. It was a "Christmas" theme  sewing night.  I had been home for 3 weeks recently, and one of the things I did was to tidy my craft shelves. I found the book where I had doodled some patterns a few years ago and forgot  all about them. I had drawn this pattern to use my wooden stocking buttons. So I decided to start this embroidery for the FnwF.

I enlarged the design slightly and then traced it onto linen with a brown marking pen.


I chose a red Cottage Garden Thread to make a red work embroidery.
This is as far as I got with sewing last night.
I sat there sewing and kept thinking that there were quite a few fellow bloggers out there doing the same thing. I must say that it was a nice feeling. I believe that there were 45 people involved with the FnwF. The next sewing night is Friday, 5th December.
Thank you, Cheryll, for hosting this.
Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, 31 October 2014

A new project and a Christmas cushion

I am now back at work after having been home for 3 weeks after some minor surgery. In the 3 weeks, I pottered around and tidied my craft shelves, looked for bits and pieces that I knew I had but could not find, and put my thousands of wood pieces into labelled boxes so that I can lay my hands on them when I want them in future. The brain kept whirring with ideas and I started drawing up different diagrams and started on 2 projects at the same time!  The only one problem I find, the more time I have, the slower I am and achieve very little progress in my sewing. Maybe I am just SLOW, full stop!
New stitchery using Anni Downs fabrics

I have spent hours browsing the net as well. That has cost me some money, I might add, as I have purchased a few things along the way. The first is Hanky linen from the Red Brolly online shop. I am using it in the stitchery above and it is lovely to work with. The other is some weaveline interfacing. I was never happy with the interfacing I used in the past as it would often wrinkle when I ironed it on the fabric. I had purchased a piece of this from Marg Low's shop at the Quilt Show 2 years ago, found it in my tidying up and decided that I should use it.. So of course I had to have more from Marg. The Fat Quarter shop also had fabric that I just had to have-- am waiting for the parcel to arrive.

I visited Hanne's blog (  and she has these gorgeous houses that she is sewing. I have never tried foundation piecing-- but would like to give it a go. These houses reminded me of these that I had painted about 10 years ago. There is another brooch design with the little house-- but I could not find it-- I will have to paint myself another one.
a couple of buttons and a brooch
I spent some time painting as well and decided to doodle away on this piece of wood and came up with this. The scenes in the UK are constantly in my mind-- I just love the country side and made my cot quilt and now this.
An English country scene-- brooch

Thanks to everyone who has tried to help me re the etsy shop. I have tried to revamp it and will see how that goes.
I met Margaret ( through the blog and we communicate regularly via email. She is always encouraging me with my designs (as well as the etsy shop) and has made this cushion for her home for this Christmas,  from one of my patterns. She has just finished it and sent me the photo yesterday--- I just LOVE it. Thank you, Margaret, for your encouragement.
Enjoy the weekend.

Friday, 24 October 2014

I need help for my etsy shop

I do hope someone with an Etsy shop will be able to help me sort out my dilemma. I would like to give people the option of buying more than1 of the same design -- the more they buy  the price will be reduced per item. I have tried to set that up in the Etsy shop, but I cannot vary the price depending on the quantity bought. Can someone please tell me how to do this.

You can either write in Comments or email me on

Thank you for your help.
Enjoy the coming weekend.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Tilda dolls displaying my Handpainted Sewing Machine Brooches

Margaret from A Sampler of Stitches (  has made these beautiful Tilda dolls. She has asked me to paint medium sized sewing machine brooches to go with the dolls. She chose red and cream polka dots for the first doll and aqua Tilda floral fabric for the second doll. I painted the sewing machines to try and match the fabrics.

Tilda doll with red sewing machine

Tilda doll with aqua/navy sewing machine
I think Margaret has done a wonderful job and she has displayed them ever so sweetly. She has kindly allowed me to put her dolls displaying the sewing machine as a picture in my etsy shop.
Thank you, Margaret.

Monday, 13 October 2014

A walk from Manly to North Head, Scotty dogs and Icecreams

I started this post using my iPad, but could not add captions to the photos. I saved it and came to the computer to continue, and now what I had typed on the iPad has been lost-- if it does appear as a different post, you will know what happened.
I will start again and see if I do remember what I had written.

I have been home for the last week or so after having had some surgery and I am not allowed to drive as yet. So what does one do?--I have tried to get my thousands of wood pieces into some sort of order (as I can never find the particular piece I am looking for when I want it), I have started a new embroidery design, and of course  I need a new button to go with that-- so that had to be drawn and sent away to be cut. I have completed a Maeve Binchy novel called One week in Winter and am currently reading an Ann Granger book called Bricks and Mortality. I have been going for short strolls and many trips to the corner shop when friends visit, for a cup of coffee and to get out of the house. Miss Penny is delighted to have company all day.

About 3 weeks ago, my husband and I had a day off work and we decided to go on the Manly to North Head walk. We caught the train to the city, and then the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. We were entertained by some dolphins frolicking in the harbour on the way to Manly.
Manly Beach
Looking back towards Manly
We found a café along the way for a coffee and a muffin. This cute shop was next door.
The Mambo café
After the morning coffee break, we walked up the bush track to North Head. I was delighted to find some beautiful native flowers in bloom along the track.
Everlasting daisies
Pretty pink flower
Masses of Flannel flowers
Close up of a Flannel flower. Note the moss green tips of the petals
Egg and Bacon pea flower
Another type of pink Boronia
Tea tree flowers
This collection of water on a rocky area
We walked back down via the road and along the way, we saw this gorgeous little pond in the front yard of someone's house.

Pond filled with Koi carp
We arrived back at the shopping precinct and found a quaint Greek café and had a lovely 2 course meal and a glass of red wine which came with the meal. A lovely way to finish the walk.
In the meantime, I have been doing some painting. There was a request for some Scotty dogs and these are a few of them painted. The small ones are buttons and the larger ones are brooches. Someone told me that Scotty dogs tend to be biters, but I think we would be safe with these.
Scotty dogs-- Brooches and Buttons
I had painted some single scoop of ice cream buttons previously and thought some double scooped ones would also be delicious. These do not have button holes and rather than make them into brooches, my daughter suggested that I turn them into fridge magnets. These are the flavours I like as there is no chance of weight gained with these.
Double scooped ice cream-- fridge magnets?
Double scooped ice cream Buttons
I had gone out to lunch with my daughter a couple of weeks ago at a gallery/café called Hazelhurst. We were sitting out doors near a pond and this heron was having a wonderful time exploring the pond and its surrounds.

A heron
Whilst visiting a friend at her house, these 2 rainbow lorikeets came to the kitchen window and started knocking on the window with their beaks to get our attention.  They were after some bread--apparently they prefer the seeded variety with linseed in them!
2 Rainbow lorikeets
A friend drove here this morning and picked me up to go for a walk away from the home area. We walked around a walking track near Wanda and needless to say, popped into a café nearby for a coffee. We then proceeded to drive around a new housing estate called Greenhills. I was amazed by the huge houses being built on this site. The house appeared to occupy most of the block of land, leaving very little yard for young children to run around in. There were street trees planted, but it will be many years before they are big enough to make the area look green. Unfortunately I did not have my camera or phone with me  to take any photos.
Thanks for visiting my blog.
Until next time,