Category Archives for "Stuff We Do"

December 8, 2017

Let’s Get Quilting with My Adorable Grandaughter Ayla

quilting, sewing, craft

My grandaughter Ayla is visiting from Sunny Queensland for a bit of  ‘R ‘n’ R.  She just needs some time  to chill out. While she is here, she has decided she would like to learn how to quilt.

The first thing we made was the zippered pouch  just using some fabric from my scrap stash. I love having a scrap stash,  it certainly comes in handy for little projects like these zippered pouches.

zippered pouch, quilting, craft, sewing

Okay,  that was too easy, so now she has been smitten by the quilting bug and wants to move on to something a little more challenging.  One of her friends has 1 year old twin girls, so Ayla decides to make a quilt. She is only going to make one to start with to see how it goes.

So we headed off to Spotlight we went where she picked up some adorable fabric. We thought it would be best to start with the ‘Easiest Quilt Ever‘ pattern.

Ayla was amazed at just how easy it was to bring  all together and it only took about 3 hours to complete. Which meant that we needed to do another run to Spotlight to pick up some more material so that she can make another quilt. After all you can’t give to one twin without giving to the other.

She has done a great job and even handled the ditch stitching like a pro. There’s no stopping this girl now, she has joined the ranks of people who quilt, and she is having so much fun.

  • Here is Ayla in charge.

Quilt 1

  • The owls are so cute. My photography wasn’t the best and it looks like the stripes are running off but they are all the same size. We cut each strip 5″ wide. The overall quilt measures 49″ x 42″ once we had trimmed the excess fabric off and cut off the selvedges.

Quilt 1 Back

  • You can see the stitching on the back. Ayla ditch stitched the quilt layers together and she did an excellent job.


Quilt 2

  • She decided to use the excess fabric from the backing on the first quilt. So we cut 2  5″ strips and only one of the owls this time. This is so the girls will know which is their quilt. The strips are actually straight even though they look wonky in the photo.

quilting, sewing,craft

Quilt 2 – Back

  • The back on this quilt is a pretty floral design featuring sunflowers.

quilting,craft, sewing


October 2, 2017

Janine Hilling Talks about Fabric & Men, Kitting & Yarns.

This afternoon I came across a couple of Podcasts by Janine Hilling on ABC Radio National, and I thought it was something I would like to share with you.

The Moth: Podcast Janine Hilling  talks about her experience in a ‘fabric wonderland’ store in Melbourne that was guarded by mafia-like stooges. I found her tale to be most amusing.

The second podcast is about men and knitting.  I found it interesting because I had an uncle who knitted back in the 1940′-1950’s. He was very adept with the needles and knitted himself vests, jumpers, cardigans and socks.  So I have never thought of knitting being a female only craft.

In this podcast Janine talks to Philip Perez a journalist who knits.

Men,Knitting & Yarns Podcast

I hope you enjoy listening to these Life Matters Podcasts.

August 15, 2017

Alanda Craft at The Canberra Quilt and Craft Fair


Paula and I have been at the Canberra Craft Show for the last 4 days from Thursday to Sunday. We had an awesome time demonstrating the Brother ScanNCut and we met some delightful people. It was fun sharing the stand with Amanda from Echidna Sewing, those of you who know her (and there were a lot of you) know just what fun she is. And a big thank you to Dalma from Canberra who was helping on the stall, and who gave us lots of hints and tips regarding the embroidery machines.

I have to say I was foot sore and weary at the start, we aren’t used to standing up all day. But I was fine by the last day.

We were kept really busy with questions and demonstrations. It is amazing just how many ladies buy the machine and put it in the cupboard. I fully understand, we did it ourselves. However, I am really hoping that we have dispelled any fears of using the awesome Brother ScanNcut, and that many of you will have gone away feeling a bit more confident.

We did use some of the time to promote our store where you can buy digital .fcm files for your Brother ScanNCut and our extensive downloadable training program. If you haven’t had a chance to see our course and you are a bit hesitant to use your machine, then I do recommend you to take a look at the training we have to offer.

  • Here I am with our Brother ScanNCut stand. Paula, as usual, is taking the photographs.

  • This is the Echidna Stand showcasing the awesome Brother Dream Machine.

  • In the picture you can see the Entrepreneur ProX PR1050X 10 needle embroidery machine. Oh what I wouldn’t give to have one of these babies. Simply set it up and away it goes. You don’t have to change the thread, it cuts it and starts off with the new thread colour.


There were some beautiful quilts on show.  I really loved the quilt that won first prize, it is truly amazing.  But there were so many other beautiful quilts to see.

  • This awesome Kokoda Dragon took 1st prize and you can see why. It is beautifully quilted and such an eye catcher.


  • I just love these whimsical cats.


These beauties are from the Australiana Section.

  • This one is an Australian Parrot.


  • A big red Kangaroo with wattle flowers. The big red is the largest of all the Kangaroos and can be deadly when defending themselves. The quilter has caught the features beautifully.


  • This is the common brush tail possum. It’s a nocturnal marsupial and the artist has reflected this aspect with the dark night sky as the background. The possum is sitting on the branch of a Euchalyptus tree.


  • I do like the vibrant colours of this quilt.


  • And another beautiful quilt.


  • Strip quilts are always popular.


  • Love the felt flowers.


  • The lighting wasn’t quite right for me as I was just using my phone, but the quilting on this quilt is exquisite.


July 11, 2017

Our Trip to Craft Alive Wodonga & Other Stuff

I had just spent a few days in Brisbane to catch up with family. It was one of my daughters 50th birthday and I didn’t want to miss that milestone in her life.  While there I also caught up with my other children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. It was a first time meeting my youngest great grandchild so that was a big thrill,  and there were lots of kisses and cuddles all round.

My daughter in law, Stacy, is a very talented quilter and embroiderer and turns out some amazing projects. She has just purchased a long arm quilting machine and I got to have a go. She has her ‘Sweet 16’ attached to the frame. I found it so much easier to quilt standing up. Like everything it takes practice. Stacy was telling me that instead of doing little projects she found that making simple quilts was an easier way of learning to use the long arm, plus she has a finished quilt at the end that just needs to have the binding attached, very practical.

Have to say that a long arm quilter is now on the bucket list.

So when I arrived back home, Paula and I decided to head off down to Wodonga to the Craft Alive fair, but before that we thought we might spend a night in Beechworth, so that we could be up bright and early to drive up to the craft show which was only about 40 mins away.

Beechworth is one of those quaint old gold rush towns in North East Victoria. I love visiting old towns that are so full of history. The streets are reminiscent of times gone by with verandah covered footpaths and historic buildings.  You can also visit the original courthouse where the notorious outlaw Ned Kelly was  arraigned.

I love the old style verandah’s.

Looking back down the main street of Beechworth.

The foundation stone of the Anglican Christ Church was laid in 1858 by Justice Thomas Spencer Cope. The tower was built in 1864. You can find out more of the history of this lovely old church here .

Across the road from Christ Church is another lovely old church that is now a Centrelink Office.

We took a stroll around the town and ended up (of course) at the Beechworth Bakery. We had done some research before heading off Beechworth and the bakery was one of the places we wanted to visit as it has great reviews on Trip Advisor.  It was quite busy, being lunchtime, but the staff are efficient and it wasn’t long before we were served. Actually the longest part was making a choice, there are so many lovely treats on offer. I settled for a steak pie and Paula had a spinach and fetta pastry. Both were tasty and didn’t take long to devour, we were quite hungry after our long road trip.  We also purchased a blueberry muffin and a beesting to have back at the hotel.

Beestings are one of Paula’s favourite cakes. I hadn’t ever had one as I am not a fan of confectioners custard, but I have to say this one was delicious.  So much so that when we found a branch of the Beechworth bakery in Wodonga the next day, we bought some more of them to take home.

We also visited the Honey Shop and picked up some lovely creamy honey that is infused with figs and ginger. It really is delicious. While there you can also check out the honey tasting section of the shop and the beehive display where you can see the bees doing what they do best, making honey.

There ‘s lots to see and do but we were only there for the afternoon.  So after visiting the bookstore, which is situated in an old church, we headed back to our hotel, the Best Western. But we have decided that we will definitely visit Beechworth again for a longer stay.

The next morning we headed out to Wodonga but took a side trip to Yakandandah which is on the way.

Yakandandah is another small town with a population of around 950. It was wet and windy but we braved the elements to take a wander up the main st. Again this is a former gold mining town. The commercial centre has been classified by the National Trust and there are many well preserved buildings that date back to the 1800’s.  We found a store full of antiques and old memorabilia. We both love this sort of thing and so we spent quite some time meandering around the store looking at things that I haven’t seen in many years. Just love the nostalgia of seeing old dolls, irons, sewing machines, tools and bric a brac from times gone by.

We hadn’t had breakfast and although there were a couple of cafes with really lovely looking food, we decided to wait until we got to the craft fair. Big mistake, the fare on offer at the craft fair was nice but unfortunately there wasn’t any hot food.

So finally we are at the Craft Alive Craft Fair.  We headed straight for the Echidna Stall to meet up with Amanda to chat about the Dream Machine 2 and we sat in on her demonstration. Such an amazing machine. Then it was time to take a spin up and down the aisles. We got chatting to the lass from Baby Lock. She was demonstrating the 5 needle Baby Lock Embellishing machine. We have just purchased the 12 needle and have some tutorials planned on how to use it plus some projects.

Got conned into buying some stain remover from a very nice gentleman. Actually bought 3 bottles of the stuff which will last me 3 lifetimes. And as always these things never work quite as well in reality as they do in the demonstration.

Its just a pleasure walking around seeing the beautiful projects that people create – gorgeous quilts, lovely scrapbooking pages and cards. The hot fix crystals lady from Crystals and More always has an amazing display on hand. This is something I must have a go at.


June 12, 2017

Strip/String Quilt for My Grandaughter Ce’Nedra

The quilt I made for Cedie was made from our How to Make a String Quilt  tutorial. This one was made some time ago but I just didn’t get around to finishing it.

So as her birthday was approaching it was time to get it out of the cupboard and finish it off.

Although the blocks and sashing were made using the techniques in our String Quilt tutorial, the backing was done using the same method as our Easiest Quilt Ever tutorial.

  • The outer edge of the quilt was topstitched to catch in the opening that had been left to turn the quilt through to the right side.
  • I ditched stitched between the outer edge borders.
  • The next thing was to quilt it to hold everything together. I did some linear quilting, which I quite like on this sort of quilt.
  • The lines are 1″ apart and I drew the lines onto the quilt to keep them straight.
  • I sewed from the top to the bottom, turned the quilt and sewed back in the opposite direction. You can see an example of linear stitching on our Triangle Table Runner tutorial.



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