Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Simple Things....

I went to the garden centre today....I spent $80 on 2 balcony boxes, 2 wire holders, potting mix, some assorted little flowering plants, trailing strawberries, and a few herbs......I don't know why I didn't do this years ago.  Apartment living does have such limited space.  Looking out my kitchen window, whilst standing at the sink, doesn't seem so bad anymore.....the simple things are often the best.

Vic x

Friday, 28 December 2012

Ta - Dah.....

I'm going to be quite honest about this quilt....I had my doubts during the making.  Just after I had sewn all the squares together I laid it out on the bed and my head just went...."Little House on the Prairie" and I sort of fell out of love with it a little bit and had those looming thoughts of "WT*"!! yes, that's exactly what went through my mind!

I persevered and I had this little gem finished in 3 days.  I worked damn hard, and when sewing all the 3 layers together I did throw a bit of a tantrum at one stage and threw the thing on the lounge room floor where it stayed for an hour or so.  I did contemplate a bin bag for it....that sewing process just seemed to take forever.  Anyway it's done and I couldn't be more happy with it.

The pattern came from here, and it was the easiest pattern to follow, although I did make a small change.  In the end I went for an all patterned quilt and replaced the single block colours with more patterned squares.....I just liked it a wee bit more than the solid squares.

Now that the quilt is on the bed after a good hot wash over at the laundrette, and tumbled in the hot dryer. The quilt being 100% cotton (all the fabric, cotton batting in between the two layers and the sewing thread) not an ounce of polyester in has shrunk slightly and the squares have smooshed up, the colours have mellowed and the quilt has softened up amazingly.  I'm so pleased with it and I'm already planning the next one......and my brand new sewing machine didn't miss a beat, she is a beauty I must say!

At this stage I really did start freaking out.....this was my WT* moment!

Laying the 3 layers out on the floor and pinning every second square was also a task that took an amazing amount of time....taking them out after all the sewing was complete, took just as long!

It was somewhere around here that I started swearing a hell of a lot!  In the end I had to remove everything off the side table and just spread myself out.....made things a lot easier instead of trying to sew on a little bit of end table.

And it had to have a label on it.  The edging was all machine sewn, but with slip stitching into place on the back of the quilt....I'm glad I went with the less patterned border in the lighter colour, I think it was a good choice in the end.

I did throw the quilt on the bed this morning before taking it for a washing.  I was still having second thoughts about it at this completed stage.  It wasn't very soft nor pliable, I really didn't have any feeling for it ...anyway I bundled it up and over the road I trotted to the laundrette where the lovely ladies just marvelled at it....I gave them the washing instructions and they did look at me in horror when I told them it had to go in a hot dryer to shrink it!!  "Are you serious" was the comeback..."All that beautiful work and you want to shrink it?".....I then told them with 100% confidence and fingers crossed behind my back, that they would love it even more afterwards.....secretly trying to convince myself as well. 

And this is what happens.....every little square shrinks.  The whole quilt goes all prune like and the colours amazingly mellowed right down, and the lovely laundromat ladies told me it was the most beautiful item they've ever washed!!

Anyway, this is what you end up with.

I do love it now......I pass the bedroom on the way through to the bathroom and I just look at it and smile.....I made that,  it feels like a great sense of achievement.....having made so many things for other people, it's nice to have something just for me.

Night, I've got knitting to get back to. Vic x.

It's Beginning To Look Like A Finished Quilt.....

Done.....well the sewing part anyway.  The laundromat has the quilt now.  Big wash in a big washing machine then into a hot tumble dryer to make a soft and squishy quilt. 

Finished photos to come.

Vic  x

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Monday, 24 December 2012

See You On The Flip Side

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings to you all.  See you around the 27th.

Image courtesy of Lettres d'un Inconnu .  More info on that after my first letter from a stranger arrives.

Vic x

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Thank You....

Popping by to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Holiday Season........Thank you for stopping by and staying around here, it's been lovely to see my little blog getting busier by the week.

As for 2013, after the tragic events of last week, I'm praying for a happier, kinder and safer year.  I live in hope.

Warmest wishes,

Vicki x

PS.  This picture above was taken in the neighbourhood of West St Kilda where I live.  It was taken very late at night, thus the darkness.  It was using a new camera lens, a 35mm 1.8 lens on a Nikon D3100 camera. There was no flash used on this natural as you see it.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

All The Young Things......

Work Christmas party....always fun, and always behind the camera!

St Kilda, 18th December 2012

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Help Me If You Can.......

Need some advice from you lovely folk out there.....I've cut all my squares out for my quilt apart from the solid colour that will make up for around 100-120 squares on my quilt, so it will be quite a dominant colour between all the patterned squares

I'm now having a major turnaround in my thought process and have decided that the soft turquoise main colour may look a little bit does seem to have a look of hospital uniform now that I've stared at it for over a week.

I've tried using the unbleached calico backing to see what that would look like as a plain square, and then decided to try again using no plain fillers.

Confusion now reigns supreme.....I think if I go with no plain colour fillers and all pattern I still need a few simpler more muted patterns.

I'm open to any suggestions.....being a Libran does come with its problems of indecisiveness!!

Tell me what you think and whilst you're at it have a look at this quilt  here .....Exactly the same pattern as the one I'm using and they also decided to go with no filler squares....just 100% pattern....and don't you just love the bright orange binding.

Vick x

Monday, 10 December 2012

A Quilting I Will Go......

Fabric.....check, cotton batting.....check, calico backing......check, ruler......check, cutting board......check, roller cutter......check, sewing machine.....check, quilting pins.....check, walking foot......check, masking

I'm on the way with the quilt....well I've got as far as purchasing most of the items that I need, apart from a few odd things that I should have picked up today but didn't.  I've started to cut the fabric into 10 x 10 cm squares.....but after much looking & tutting, there was a fabric that was bothering me just a had a bit too much red in it and the patterning on the fabric itself was too big and colourful, so out it came.  In its place went neutral latte polka dots, and another small dusky blue floral.  I am now very happy with my little selection.  I wanted the quilt to have a slightly vintage bohemian look if there is such a thing without being over the top colour wise.....I sort of feel I got the fabrics I was looking for.  I think some of the more traditional prints work quite well with the more retro and vintage print patterns and I like the mellowness of most of the colours with just a hint of darkness for depth......I'm sure it will be just lovely once done and a treasured item to keep for ever.

I also made a rather extravagant purchase of a new sewing machine.....a Janome DC 6030 .  Well extravagant in my book....I now don't have a budget for the much planned new bicycle because that allowance has been swallowed up by the new machine!!

Anyway, I'm back to the knitting until Christmas and I'll get underway with the quilt between Christmas and New Year.....and as luck would have it the sewing machine is not being delivered until next week, so I can't do any sneaky work on it!!

I'll keep you updated about my sewing adventures.....because somehow I figure that is what it's going to be.

Post script....After much debate I have decided to add in 4 more plain type repetitive pattern to my quilt.  I decided I wanted to see more pattern and less plain soft turquoise squares.  Soft turquoise was the filler squares, around 228 of them......with extra patterned squares above and beyond the pattern.....I should only have around 100 soft turquoise filler squares.....Fingers crossed this was a wise decision.  I'll see how they fit in once the fabric arrives.

Til later

vic x

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Winners are Grinners......

I just want to say a huge thank you to all of those that have entered my competition in the last week....the likes, comments, joining, sharing and love has been slightly overwhelming, and my little blog here has seen some major visits so I must again say thanks.

There can only be 5 winners, one for each hat and one for a pair of booties, so here are the winners pictured below.

So to confirm.

HATCH goes to Christina who entered on the 4th December at 11.26am
PURDEY goes to Threads of Red/Liesl who entered on the 8th December at 9.46pm
DOTTIE goes to Geraldine Fox who entered on the 9th December at 12.53am
CLOVER goes to Scone who entered on the 5th December at 11.35am
BOOTIES go to Suse who entered on 4th December at 9.31am

Congratulations to you all, you will need to leave a comment under this blog using the name you joined my site with.  Once that is done, then please email me at and i'll arrange your prizes to be created in the colours of your choices.

Now just a short note.....My first pattern release will now be HATCH, it's a quicker hat to make and an easy pattern for both you and to knit, me to create!!

The pattern should be ready mid January....just going to take a short break over Christmas and the New Year, and to kick off the release of the pattern I will be doing another giveaway....The winners will receive the pattern and the yarn to make their own HATCH hat.

Anyway that's it for now, I do hope you stay and look forward to hanging out with you around here at d&m.

Warmest wishes

vic x

Thursday, 6 December 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I did a post last year on whether to put my huge Christmas tree up....and the end result was no Christmas tree.

It turns out my tree and it's 100's of ornaments are down at my Mums stored in her garage.  That tree is going.  It's too big and the decorations I'll probably sell on eBay and some I'll hold onto because they are too beautiful not to....I may just use them another time.

In the mean time I've been doing  some sneaky shopping on Etsy, and I have quite a little collection of vintage ornaments coming from the US.  Around 10 bright pink decorations, and the rest soft pinks, aqua, pale green, brushed silvers and golds....all to tie together in a smaller tree or maybe just some willow branches.

I don't think there will be a tree this year, but I'll have the decorations for the following year.....and I may just add to it slowly over the next 12 months.

Don't you just think vintage tree decorations are beautiful?

Vic x

Saturday, 1 December 2012

A Hat Before A Pattern.....

I always like to share the dover & madden love, and this Christmas it ain't going to be any different.....I have 5 little items to giveaway to end the year off, 4 hats and 1 pair of booties and all in time before the release of my first "Knit Your Own" hat pattern.

I never ask of anything in return for entering one of my giveaways, but this time I think you need to send some Christmas love back to me, so all I ask in exchange for two entries in this competition is that you do  two of the following for your entry to be valid and then you're in.

1.Join my blog, over on the side of my page, it's easy to do.
2 Jump over to Facebook and like my page here
3. Share my blog or my giveaway post on your blog or your facebook page.

Once that's done, all you need to do is leave a comment under this post stating which 2 items that you would like using the numbers and names of the hats or booties and both entries will go into the draw for those items....Should you win, they will be knitted in your colour choice.  Australian winner(s) should have their hat or booties by Christmas (based on yarn availability), International winners I can't guarantee a Christmas delivery, but I'll do my best....remember I just knit the hats, it's up to your postal system to get them to you in time.  Fingers crossed.

Here are the items names and numbers

1 - HATCH, Patterned pixie hat with ties, or chin strap sized for a newborn through to 36 months
2 - DOTTIE, Earflap hats with ties and coloured knitted dots, 3 months through up to 36 months
3 - PURDEY, Bonnet style patterned hat with ties, 3 months through to 30 months
4 - CLOVER, Chevron patterned earflap hat, 3 months through to 48 months
5 - BOOTIES, Newborn to 6 months or 6 months through to 12 months.

I think that is it, the competition will stay open till Sunday 9th December, and I'll draw the winners using at 8pm EST time and they will be announced here, a little after closing off the competition.

** Change....I won't be using I've decided....each draw will be done from a hat....well probably a pyrex dish more than likely**

Best of luck, Vicki x

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Quilting We Will Go.....

I don't often talk about my adventures into sewing.  I think I may have mentioned it in an earlier post some time ago, here maybe.  It was part of my crafting journey with both my Nans.....Apart from sewing labels onto dover & madden hats, I don't get the sewing machine out much, if at all.  Although my foray into sewing did claim a little glory.  This little retro type sun bonnet I made around 4 summers ago made it into Frankie Magazine .

I never got the opportunity to see it in print, but I was pretty chuffed when I  found out....but alas I decided to stick with knitting, and the sewing machine got relegated to the back of the closet.

That's going to change....I'm making the Ollaliebery Ice Cream Quilt by Alicia Paulson.  Some of you may know her from Posie Gets Cozy Blog.  I purchased the pattern around 6 months ago but never had the urge to make it till now.  I just thought it was a great project to do over the Christmas and New Year break.

After much debating, I'm going with this colour palette.

A soft turquoise base with lots of patterning....I'm all for a good pattern!  Lots of light and dark....but what looks good online, maybe different when the fabric arrives from'll see, but suffice to say I'm itching to do a spot of sewing, but don't worry none of my sewing attempts will be making it to d&m....this quilt is a personal item....because I'm now officially to lazy to crochet something for myself!!

Anyway I'll wait with great excitement for the fabric to arrive, and then I'll have to go out and purchase all the other bits and bobs that go with making a quilt....cutting board, roller cutter, special quilting pins, a walking foot for my sewing machine, cotton batting, calico backing.....the list goes on.....lets hope I end up with a great quilt, because this could become a very expensive WIP!!

Thanks for stopping by....and I'm open to any quilting hints and tips, any guidance would be appreciated.

Vic x  

Monday, 26 November 2012

Time Keeps On Slipping.....

Yes indeed....where has the time gone!!  Sorry I've been missing again for a week or so, but I have had masses of work to do, knit wise and pattern design wise. My casual job has also been requesting my presence for a large part of every day so there really hasn't been much spare time at all.

Here are a few things that I finished this past week....and a new little hat pattern I'm messing around with and some beautiful grey and cream alpaca for some babies that are arriving in March 2013.....just don't know quite what to do with it yet.....and another pair of booties!!

Hope you're getting into the festive mood, and for those that celebrate.....It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!  Enjoy your week.

Oh and one final thing I forgot....a new piece of Pyrex from Vancouver collection is slowly growing!!

Vic x