Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ladybugs are taking over!

Nan and I spent the day today making ladybugs for Chloes birthday. They are made with felt and have a little rice inside to weight them, We will be using them to play an old favourite, the ladybug toss. The kids will be trying to land their own ladybugs on some felt leaves. Very cute...
The big ladybug is sad because she's lost her spots, but if the kids can find a balloon to pop they might just find her spots... I wonder if they can have a spin and get them in the right spots even with a red and black spotty blindfold on?
The felt leaves will also come in handy for musical dancing ladybugs (musical chairs) and those nasty chalk spiders that are all over the front of the house will hopefully be washed out with waterbombs. As well as a little ladybug craft project and a red and black pass the parcel and a pinata to top it off, what a busy day we are in for!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Australian Patchwork and Quilting 15th B'day Comp

I have some very exciting news! my darling husband went out the other day and spent the bonus he got from Mr Rudd on a brand new Janome Quilting Machine for me for mothers day. So exciting!! It sews like a dream!!! My old Husqvarna Orchidea had a loose band so it was getting a bit noisy, I also tried to fix it after I sewed through my finger and threw the timing out, but thats another story. Anyway I desperately needed a new machine and was hoping to win the AP&Q 15th Birthday cover quilt competition so that I had a new Brother Innovis, but I don't need to win so badly now... :)
Here's my new princess...........
And a little teaser for you, this is a part of my competition quilt. Hopefully you'll have to buy the magazine to see the finished product. *Big Grin* There is a big story behind my quilt, but you'll have to wait to hear that too, sorry. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Naughty Spot

This was my first attempt at free motion quilting, its terribly uneven. I used a high loft batting and will not be doing that again. But the naughty spot serves its purpose :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Quilt Sizes

I'm constantly trying to work out how big to make quilts so I have done a bit of research and decided to make up a little chart in Aussie terms, this is just my guide, not a rule! I looked at many different sites and used an average of the mattress size plus a drop of 15" and an extra 7.5" added to each end. If you would like a pillow tuck I found that adding about 10" to the length was the average. I rounded the cm's to the nearest 5cm, just because I hate weird numbers. J I thought this might help others too. So here it is....

Mattress Sizes

Bed Size




71 x 132

28 x 52"


92 x 188

36 x 74"

King Single

107 x 203

42 x 80"


137 x 188

54 x 74"


153 x 203

60 x 80"


183 x 203

72 x 80"

Quilt Sizes

Bed Size




90 x 150

34 x 58"


170 x 225

66 x 89"

King Single

185 x 240

72 x 95"


215 x 225

84 x 89"


230 x 240

90 x 95"


260 x 240

102 x 95"

Nan's 60th Birthday Quilt

It's my mums 60th on the 22nd and about a month or two ago, my sister Jo suggested that we should all do a project for Mum, the problem is that I am the only stitcher in the family. My sisters though are all very quick learners and perfectionists so we finally got it done (the binding was finished the day after we gave it t her :) but mums are usually just a quilt top when she hands them over, so not finishing it was quite appropriate. sorry mum :)

I designed this with the plan that we would each do 3 hearts each. 1 blanket stitch applique, 1 reverse applique and 1 embroidered. The coloured squares were going to be plain, but we decided to put little quotes (modified to make them about our mum) on them. As I was running out of time to finish them, my eldest sister Tracey ended up embroidering 1o of the 12! Not bad for a non sewer. The back is all Nan's grandkids hands (60 fingers, very appropriate), I was going to put them in a circle with fingers touching, but couldn't work out how I would quilt it, so after a suggestion from a fellow scquilter I put them on the border. The border became very large as we had to fit sean's hands (Traceys son) on it. He's nearly 15 and is extremely tall. (A basketballer with very big hands) But it worked out perfectly because you can see the quilted shape of all the hands on the front.

This is Tracey's embridered heart. I think we may have converted her, I think she secretly really enjoyed doing it.

This is 5 of the 6 grandkids, Molly and Chloe are at the back and Jo's kids Reilly and Leah at the front.
I decided to make it a quilt as you go quilt in the end, because Nic and Jo hadn't finished their embroidered hearts and I was stressing about getting it all finished in time, and after reading all the fellow scquilters qayg storys I thought it was worth a try. It worked out perfectly and I gained an enrmous amount of confidence with free motion quilting. It was so easy not having to hold a big quilt in the machine, just a 6 1/2 inch square. My only suggestion though is don't do this if you don't like binding!!!!
Here's my angel with his little hands... too cute!

THE last stitch!

I got some of the Matilda's own Ink Jet printable fabric to do the label. It turned out beautifully, but because the backing of it is plastic I had no end of trouble getting my printer to pull it through, but I eventually got it and it looks amazing!!!! I think so anyway, what do you think?

This is the very first Quilt that mum has been given, she is normally the giver, not receiver.

Happy Birthday Nan! I love you!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Tops

It's been a crazy Easter! I hope everyone was safe and happy. We took the kids to Ulladulla for the Easter parade on Easter Sunday and it was fantastic! Some very creative floats and the girls in their Easter Shirts looked just gorgeous. I had bought some easter chick and egg fabric from Ebay months ago to make some little Baskets, but of course everything else was more important and seeing as the girls woke up at 6am I had plenty of time (wink, wink) before we had to leave at 9.30am. So a little bit of cutting and a few quick seams, a bit of shirring and we were done! We decided that by adding a frill on the bottom each year we could count the years that they can wear them hehehe.

Once again sorry about the pic, DH took this while I was having the quickest shower in history and didn't know that the picture is actually taken a fraction of a second after the click sound, so unless you hold the camera super steady for a few seconds, it blurs like this. Anyway.... Check out the little chicks in their hair. Almost every float on the parade stopped and gave the girls a treat, they just looked so cute!

Apart from that Easter has been all about sewing for me, I have of course taken on way to many projects and was starting to stress about getting it all done, I have a project I'm doing for my mums 60th, but I can't talk about that yet just in case she finds her way here. That one needs to be finished in the next few weeks, Then I have a quilt planned for my Daughters 3rd birthday on the 5th of May (not even started, but I have all the fabric). I'm also doing a quilt for the Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazines 15th Birthday competition. The prize is a gorgeous Brother innovis sewing machine, which I desperately need after I tried to 'fix' my Husqvarna Orchidea and instead I totally trashed it! hehe oops. Time to take it to a professional I think. Anyway I've almost finished Jacks sensory quilt, I've finished the quilting and am just stitching the last 2 sides of the binding, so pics tommorow I hope.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Your rainbow is intensely shaded gray, brown, and blue.

What is says about you: You are an elegant person. You appreciate the roughness of nature. You feel closer to people when you understand their imperfections. You share hobbies with friends and like trying to fit into their routines.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

A bit of sillyness, but remarkably accurate!

Easter bunny grass Update

OK so lesson learnt - this didn't work. As my thumbs are decidedly brown, I don't know why I thought this would work, but the kids had fun trying... :) (Molly still goes to check her grass daily)

Maybe if we had filled the lids with soil? Anyway it was impossible to keep the seeds moist so I guess that was the problem, but as mentioned I'm nooooo gardener, so I have no idea. Hopefully the easter bunny will find some other spot to leave his loot.

Happy Easter all! Stay off the roads and be safe.
Luv the Storm Family.

Banksia Mice

I'm sorry about the quality of the pic, but as previously mentioned my camera is crappy. Anyway my sister and I took the kids (the 5 little cousins) to the park last weekend and there were little mice running around everywhere! At least there was when we were finished. We saw lots of banksia type pineconey things and broke off leaves that had fallen off with a big branch. The tips of the leaves became little ears and whole leaves became tails. Then the little buggers went squeeking around everywhere! Who knew mice could tickle people. :)
Now I just have to get all the mice we collected out of my car.

PS There is Jack and I in the background.

Our little Daredevils

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jack's Sensory Quilt

As promised on SCQuilters, here is a few pics of the quilt I'm yet to finish. Just a bit more quilting and then the binding.

The Teddy bear is fusible appliqued on, using teddy bear fur that a friend gave me. She used to make teddy's but life got in the way. I then again fusible appliqued the patches on his hands and face. I Loooove fusible applique, it feature in one way or another in all my quilts.

This was my first design I did using EQ5.

I thought he would enjoy touching the fur and feeling the different texture during tummy time.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Easter bunny grass

Ok so this is going to be picture heavy I'm sorry, but I finally worked out how to get a non blurry photo from my cheap as chips camera. I really need a new one.
Anyway, I saw Martha doing a similar thing and though this would be a fantastic tradition to start with the kids. A little patch of grass for the easter bunny to leave an egg or two on.
The problem was I didn't check the website for details and didn't hear that she used wheat grass seed not grass seed. Oh well hopefully it will still work.

So we grabbed together the neccessary items...

Two lids from old shoe boxes, 3 large plastic bags (see through is best), paper towel, a spray bottle, some cups and of course some seed (we used grass seed, but Martha suggests wheat grass seed)

I cut one of the bags in half so it would cover the shoe box, we didn't want soggy cardboard.

Then we layed a couple of sheets of paper towel on the plastic.

Then the fun begins, give the paper towel a good spray with the spray bottle.. (keep the camera clear! You need to be further away than you think.... those bottles can really get a good spray going! hehe)

Who doesn't love spraying?
Then we spread out a nice layer of grass seed on the wet paper towel.

You will have seed everywhere, next time I will do this outside! :)We put our lids into their little green house (the other plastic bag) and.....

Found a sunny spot to watch and wait...........

We will keep spraying every once in a while so they don't dry out....

gee I hope this works!!!

Puppy Quilt

All my other kids have a quilt so why not the dog (Charlie)?

My sister had put in a request for a quilt/mat for her poodle (Koda) to put in his bed, so I came up with this incredible easy quilt as you go quilt.

I had 2 Fat quarters (red with puppy footprints and red with white bones) and a strip of puppy novelty print. I also had a metre of fabric I had bought for my stash from spotlight when they had a sale, I think it was $3 a metre or something crazy like that. From that fabric and a bit of left over polyester batting I got 2 completed puppy mats.

I simply cut the 2 fat quarters into 4 even strips, it doesn't matter if they are all different sizes, it is actually better if they aren't even. I cut the novelty strip in 2 then worked out what order I wanted them in.

I layed the backing on my table wrong side up. I put a layer of polyester batting on top of that then pinned my first strip at the top, right side up. I then placed my 2nd strip on top of the 1st right sides together and stitched through all the layers with a generous quarter inch seam, in a typical QAYG fashion.

I then folded and ironed the 2nd strip down into its correct position and repeated with the rest of the rows. Just remember to turn your iron down a bit as the polyester tends to melt into a hard ball if your iron is to hot. (Learnt that the hard way) hehe

I kept stitching and ironing all the strips then simply trimmed the edges and bound it as normal. It was tight but I made the binding from the same fabric as the backing fabric and guess what, No leftovers or scraps! Yeah!

Koda and Charlie both love their mats, let me know what you think? I feel like I'm talking to myself most of the time.. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More Surgery... bummer!

I'm on a bit of a downer today... I visited an Orthopedic Specialist yesterday and have been told that basically my knee is in such bad shape 13 months after my original surgery that he couldn't help me, and has told me that I have to go to see the head of Orthopedics at the Royal North shore hospital in Sydney.
He said basically he hasn't seen an injury this bad before and could go another 10 years without seeing another and that this specialist in Sydney is the only one who may be able to help.
He said I'll never have a normal knee again, but hopefully more surgery will stop the knee from popping out sideways all the time.
Anyway I've had my whine now. Hopefully tomorow will be a brighter day...