Insomnia Induced Steampunk!

The other night, I was unable to sleep – my mind rebelled at the very thought – just like my Grandson Jonathan when it comes time for his daytime nap! Well, since sleep wasn’t happening anytime soon I decided to do something more with a styrofoam head I had covered. It would be something constructive and quiet, as to not disturb those fortunate souls in the house who were, at that moment, fast asleep!

This particular styrofoam head had been giving off a distinct Steampunk vibe right from word go, so I just went with it and very quickly Ramona and her pet bird Millie emerged and they were beautiful! The stand with Millie was made the next day.

I see more Steampunk in my future, as I enjoyed every single minute making Ramona.


My very first published sewing pattern!

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season and that your New Year is progressing well. I have decided to start 2019 creatively by publishing my first ever sewing pattern – the Perky Petals Hair Scrunchie!

One of my daughters bought herself one of those scrunchies with a bow attached and told me how much she loved it! I thought “Hmmm…..  how hard can it be to make one?” I couldn’t find a pattern online that I liked as they seemed so…… flollipy, so I made up my own design, as I wanted perky and playful. My daughter LOVED IT!!!! Yes, that’s her in the picture below and yes, she is grown-up (mostly….. ha ha!)

So here it is – the pattern piece page is not pretty (I don’t have any fancy pattern making software, or anything that would do what I wanted it to do) so I had to cut and paste the old fashioned way with glue and scissors and then scan and import and combine….. phew! I must learn how to do these digitally, as I have a few other sewing patterns I want to publish whirling around inside my head.


Please, enjoy! And if you make one (ha ha! Just try stopping at just one!) please share your photos on my facebook page : as I would love to see your creations!

Until next time! May your world always spin the right way……

perky petals hair scrunchie pattern

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately….. (instead of blogging!)

Here’s a quick update on my Winsome lass. She now has her eyelashes, her faux gold leaf and her bling! She looks ah-mazing!!! What a difference those eyelashes make!!! Aren’t they just the cutest???!!!

I also got a surprise decoupage job. A man wanted a Retro Orange head….. he loved it! I enjoyed making Retro Ronnie…. He was Estapolled within an inch of his life too, as he needed to be rain-proof for outdoor parties! Hey, this guy is gonna do some serious partying I suspect! As my favourite colour is Orange – I really, really enjoyed every minute of making Retro Ronnie. And, as you can see by the reflections everywhere – he is seriously shiny! 4 coats of extra clear gloss Estapol does that.

I then got a surprise sewing job….. 1950s style Bibs. I enjoyed that too.

Now Christmas is fast approaching and I still have a few things to make – quick things, thankfully! – and a few crocheted coasters to block and stiffen. In the meantime, I found out how to make sock Gnomes (very addicting ) and am awaiting a video session to learn how to make another style of Gnome on New Year’s Day (my time!) So have a peek at my Gnomes so far…

Here’s wishing everybody a Happy, Healthy Christmas and a Fantastic New Year!

What can a Whirly Girl do?

Spring is well and truly here in my neck of the woods. Spring is great for the garden, great for Nature. Nature – who suddenly brings forth buds and leaves as she springs back to life, as if in thanks to the God who created all, for her new birth.

Spring is not, however, very good to me with it’s extreme pollen days with the lovely windy days that distribute said pollen over the face of the Earth as if veiling her from the ever increasing warmth from the Sun. As much as much as I love Spring and its ensuing exuberance of Nature unfolding around me, it is Allergy season and therefore extra-whirly season for me! It’s a time of year that poses problems also crafting-wise. What does a whirly girl do when too whirly to sew, knit or crochet? Sometimes I’m even too whirly to bake (have you ever experienced how dizzy you can get whilst making cake batter and having to add things when the bowl is going round and round?)

I met a new friend in cyber space who, whilst doing a Zoom chat with some other ladies as well, was covering a styrofoam head with paper napkins. It was amazing! DeeDee really turned that ugly styrofoam form into a thing of beauty! I had been given a pack of vintage inspired paper napkins by my youngest daughter’s Mother-in-Law and I had some naked styrofoam heads so I thought “Why not give it a try? I’ve always wanted to doll-up my Celeste and her fella!”

I can do these when too whirly to sew or do other craft, I can do these when confined to my chair. I can do them for a few minutes and put them down to dry and pick them up again later. They’re fantastic! And addictive. I want to make a lot! I have so many ideas for them in my head. I hope I can translate them all to an accurate, tangible facsimile of the picture of them in my mind…. time will tell. Now to show you what I have so far…..

As you can see, they are very different. Celeste, the one modelling a hat, turned out very sugar skull-like. Others turned out elegantly and the sunny yellow one? That’s Winsome, as in you lose some, you win some…. She was a damaged one that would have been unusable, except I did some surgery on her, amputating her base, and have covered over the dinged bits….. that’s why she’s Flapper inspired…. to hide the large depression she has in the side of her head from a bad journey from China.

I am keeping Winsome. She will grace my dresser and model my Sunday hat of choice for the day, kind of like a Guardian of the Hat! I will be applying faux gold leaf soon to the plate that is her new base and Estapolling it so it doesn’t flake off. I think it will finish her off nicely along with the green feather eyelashes she will soon be wearing! Can’t wait to finish her off, but I must. The eyelashes are still in the mail en route to me and I have several loads of washing calling plaintively for me to hang them out in the glorious, clear-skied, sunshiny Spring day! Chiao for now…. this awaits my washing!……


Did you miss me? I will try, in future, to not be a stranger….

It has been an embarrassingly long time since my last Whirly Whimsies blog post. A lot has happened, a lot has been made and a lot of things are new since then. I have a new Grandson. You will see him below. Jonathan is his name and he is the cutest thing ever!


I have included a whole range of different things I have made since my last post. Not all of them, but a small collection. One of them is my new knitting pattern. The Amelia Long Slouchy beanie. You can find her on Craftsy and on Ravelry. Shameless plug and links below:

Here she is, knit by one of my incredible pattern testers Donna Fischer from San Juan Island, WA.

Amelia variation 1 picture

I also have a new side-kick Pepe. Sadly, I lost my little Toffi to cancer last year. I never thought I’d get used to a boy dog, but I have – and love him to bits!


I will now give you the gallery of other things I’ve made over the last 15 or so months I’ve not been blogging. I really do hope to change that. I’m going to try much harder to be more consistent and frequent with them in the future. So here goes, no more words to read……. drink in the pictures!


Never say Never!

My last post ended with the famous last words “ next project *won’t* be blue….  just sayin’!” Ha ha ha ha ha! – well, never say never!

Well, it just so happened that my next project *was* blue – and so was the one after that as well…… and my next project has (yep, you guessed it!) blue featuring in it also….. sigh!


How did this come about I hear you ask? To cut a long story short, my Mother-in-Law needed to come and live with u18557382_10154833356288757_6325515288129654863_ns. It was quite a move for her – all the way to the other end of the country, onto another Island and a completely different climate zone. This meant that she had to condense her worldly goods into several suitcases! So when a lady needs a handbag – she needs a handbag! Mum just happened to fall in love with some glorious fabric with a Peacock feather design and metallic gold accents (not that I blame her – the fabric *is* gor18620116_10154833356063757_5082763000793985381_ngeous!) that I had in my modest stash here. And so, my next project *was* blue – very blue! A Swoon pattern, the Brooklyn Bag caught her eye and she had no eyes for any other pattern, as this was exactly what she wanted – size, shape, everything. (I made her a little matching zipper pouch too! You can never have too many zipper pouches, right?)

And yes, that lovely knitted hat that just happens to *not* be blue in the very first picture I knitted for my Mother-in-Law too, to keep her head warm this coming winter! Both these beauties are modelled beautifully and professionally by Gwendolynne the lovely vintage sewing machine belonging to my youngest daughter.

The project after that was for a matching mini quilt for her to put her stuff on in her room and since I had a Dresden Plate project to do for a sewing challenge in one of the Facebook groups I’m in, I seized the chance to mingle the 2 jobs into the one project!

After this, I will be doing some Baby Bionic Gear Bags for my Audiologist to look at, as she expressed an interest in buying several once she saw the one I keep all my hearing aid stuff in! 100_0783

I don’t dare rock100_0778 up at the clinic until I have a half dozen of the little blighters in my hot little hands, as she quizzed me on whether I had any with me last time I popped in (I thought she may have forgotten!) so I’d better get a wriggle on with them.

I have all the cutting out done, now just some ironing, piecing, quilting and assembling to do! I have set aside the morrow for just that purpose, and maybe Monday, Tuesday – hopefully no longer than that, I’m almost out of batteries and one of my tubes broke, so I’ve gotta get in there – and soon!

So now, without further ado, I shall go into my room that is heated by the nice cozy fire and do some more cutting, some ironing of interfacing, some exterior quilting and zipper selection ready to be able to just get in and sew tomorrow! Sound like a plan? Yes, I think so too!

A Mammoth Effort!

There is a certain cloud of satisfaction that clings to a person upon completion of a large project –  an aura of accomplishment and pride, worn like a crown of victory. Such were my feelings on completion of  the Queen size wedding quilt I made my youngest  daughter and her husband. With visions of how magnificent said quilt would look and a fanatical gleam in my eye, I began the preparations for my great work and proceeded with great gusto. A pattern was suggested and agreed upon, colours were chosen and so the journey began.


My darling little featherweight Rhonda, although almost 60 years old, entered into piecing the blocks with enthusiasm and glee.










Friends, she purred! It was her first real job since I’d bought her off Gumtree a few months earlier and coaxed and nursed back into a functioning machine –  thus being saved from years of abuse and neglect – and she showed her gratitude for her new-found health and vitality by doing everything asked of her willingly and well and with a joyful anticipation of many more productive hours of quality time together with me.


Although this quilt “Big Star Quilt”  is pieced together in the ordinary way, I decided to assemble this one via the QAYG method (which I have never done before!!! Crazy much??) There is a YouTube video here on how to piece the blocks together here:  and a very good tutorial on how to make this quilt  here:

After developing a plan of attack I started into it with fervor. It didn’t take Rhonda long to get through the piecing and then I got my modern plastic monstrosity to quilt them and join them together.


After joining the squares together into strips, I added the side borders and then did the top and bottom borders last. I decided I’d try UHU glue sticks for gluing the batting into the sashing (these ones had blue glue that dries clear) and I must say they worked very well, any excess that got onto the fabric washing out in the wash. I found this handy to know because those glue sticks are much cheaper than the specialty quilting ones.

I must admit there was one day at the end I wanted to dig a hole in the backyard, throw the quilt into it and jump up and down on it for awhile before burying it, but I soon got over that, and the frustration was due more to a sudden malfunction of my modern plastic monster, not the quilt itself.

17834783_10154698843623757_8216900993356429074_o (1)

All in all, I’m very pleased with it – even about 18 metres of hand-sewing can’t dull my joy in finishing my biggest quilt ever! My son-in-law and daughter certainly are very happy with it and that makes me happy. I enjoyed the process and learned a few new things along the way. I just love to look at it on the bed. I think it looks amazing.


But my next project *won’t* be blue…. just sayin’……

Celebrating the “small” victories.

To anyone who has Meniere’s life can be a little more challenging than usual for – well, pretty much everything really. Our poor brains have to work so much harder than most other people’s – and that’s just to be able to do stuff most everyone does without thinking – things like not falling over, staying level, walking, staying balanced, keeping vision steady, hearing, having a Hot Chocolate and fellowship with friends etc.

stress-864141_960_720Because of all the extra workload, the brain then uses other parts of our brain to keep us going  from places that are normally accessed for memory, attention etc. So we get fatigued, we forget things, and our concentration span can be….. minimal…. or non-existent.

Quite honestly, the reason we suffer constant fatigue is because the brain gets tired. It’s like the brain says “Hey! Gimme a break, don’t make me work so hard for normal stuff, it’s not fair! Give me some left over for other things!” and then chucks a massive tanty!

Is it any wonder then that we like to celebrate – nay, to savour – little victories when they come along? Well no. I can tell you now – some of the quizzical looks we get when we wallow in our triumph are priceless. dizzy-148161__180

Then there are the ones who respond with looks of derision and even contempt. You can even guess at their thoughts. Thoughts like “Big deal, so they got a tray out of the deep bottom kitchen drawer and didn’t face plant or have to be pulled out! No one I know of has ever fallen into a cupboard or a deep drawer!” Really, is that so? Maybe you don’t know someone with Meniere’s, because it does happen folks, and more often than you think. Just the sheer effort of trying NOT to can only be appreciated by a fellow sufferer. Hence our seemingly over-the-top delight in managing the smallest of things.

All of this is to introduce my latest post. This blog is about Quilting and Crafting with Meniere’s – not simply about Quilting and Crafting. Unless people have a Vestibular Disorder they simply do not understand the constant struggle to even function.

head-607480_960_720.jpgSo…… Yesterday, after 2 sleepless nights due to illness, I decided to try English Paper Piecing for the first time… Yep, that technique where you sew on one side of the paper, whilst having the fabric on the other side face down, have the fabric on the opposite side to what you are going to cover to sew the seam etc etc. It’s sort of all back to front and upside-down all at once.

In my groggy, sleep-deprived stupor and using a fuzzy kind of logic I figured that if I could manage this when I could barely stand up, think or keep my eyes open – then I should be able to do it on a “normal” day.

horses-1348616_960_720.jpgI still can’t believe I thought it was a good idea at the time. I must have been more off my face than I thought!

Just think about it again for a second. I have a Vestibular Disorder, was sleep deprived and virus ridden on top of it deciding to try something for the first time that needs concentration, the ability to think and not only that but to think backwards and in reverse at the same time? Are you just starting to see the enormity of me even trying EPP? And why I’m so excited to have pulled it off?

Amazingly – I did pull it off! To a person who becomes momentarily disoriented just from going through a doorway because of Meniere’s, it was quite euphoric!

Yes, I know it wasn’t like finding a way to end world hunger or ridding the world of Rabies – and those would be incredible things – but in the context of being vestibularly challenged, sleep deprived and totally under siege from a rabid virus – it was just as epic!


And so, I rejoice in my “small” victory and hope and pray there will be many more in the future. It would be a sad day if I ever get to the place that has me unable or unwilling to accept a new challenge….

So, here it is again. Colours were completely chosen at random out of my bag of scrap fabric in case it turned out badly. After some basic quilting it morphed into this Mug Rug for one of my daughters.

Happy Tea Drinking Sweetie!

This project used Block 29 of The Splendid Sampler Quilt-along 2016.
Here is a link to the page:


Progression, Regression and forestalling regret.

Sometimes – things just don’t go as expected…. a long anticipated trip goes pear-shaped, a much looked for meeting does not give the wished-for result, and sometimes, well sometimes a worked on project just goes a little or a lot – awry.

Having Meniere’s means that everything we ever do is more of a challenge than it used to be, so sometimes trying something new can give…….. interesting results. So it is with my Scrappy Mountains Quilt. Trying out FMQ on my 1913 Singer 15K-88 treadle I discovered that, the more I’d done, the more confident I became, and…… the closer stippled! So happy was I to be nearing the end, I happened to look at all I’d done to admire it and spur me on to the end. As my eyes roved smugly over the quilt, they landed onto the first few rows I did. I was horrified! The stippling was much larger, and looked clumsy and ugly to my eyes, where the closer stitched stipples looked less clumsy and more meandering and – to me – more aesthetically pleasing.


Hence my dilemma. I told myself “It’s a practice quilt, it’s only for me, so it doesn’t matter.” and immediately started thinking how I could use it so that I can hide the differences in the stitching, and where I could put it in the house so that no-one could see how ugly it looked!  I knew straight away that I couldn’t leave the way it was.  I would only regret it. I steeled myself to spend some long and tedious hours unsewing.

Yes, it will be slow, tedious and seemingly never-ending to do, but this regression is a necessary exercise. It’s but a small thing in comparison to years of regret that I’d feel every time I looked at the quilt.

Quilting has many parallels to life and this is one of them. Sometimes, progression requires regression as part of the journey. It’s like righting a wrong – it must be done! It’s always harder to do, but things will never be right unless you put in the effort to correct it. Things will always be much better afterwards – and with no “what ifs,”  no ” I wish I hads,” no “I wish I’d nevers.” By doing so you can forestall regret.

Scrappy Mountains progress.

I’ve had my Scrappy Mountains quilt in the works now for some time. As it’s for me, I’m not locked into a tight deadline, so it’s taken a back row seat to other more important projects. Progress has been made however, albeit slow.


Helga – my 1940 Singer 15K-88 treadle just ploughs through the free motion quilting! I may never FMQ on a modern machine ever again! What a gal! What a machine!


What gorgeous variegated Gutermann cotton thread! The colour is #4004 if you really want some for yourself!


I’ve still got a ways to go, but I have progressed.



Rosie, my gorgeous gal from 1913 got her spa treatment on the week-end, and hubby helped me fix her bobbin winder. I love watching Rosie wind her bobbins!

Also, I was able to fix Helga’s bobbin winder as well, because the only thing she couldn’t do well was wind her bobbins…. she always did a dodgy job on them, but not now! Now her bobbins are a work of wound art!


Never did I think I would have even one vintage sewing machine – never mind three! and two of them treadles! What a delight they are to sew on!

But, before I continue to ‘wax elephants’ and get all poetic,  I’d best sign off, and just let you gaze and gaze and gaze again at their beauty…. You have my permission to drool as much as you like, but please – not on my lovely girls!