A slight digression…..

My blog was originally to chronicle my Quilting journey, and, on the whole, it still does. It’s just that, lately, some other crafts have crept in unawares, and some other sewing interests like Bag Making and surprisingly Knitting! Here is my new Quilted knitting bag I made. I just had to make it. After all, we all need the right tools, don’t we??

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I have (finally) finished the Fathers’ Day Beanie for my husband. Not one word did he say about it’s tardiness in appearing. It went straight on his head and stayed there until day’s end (which is a sure sign he is very happy with the result!)


Does he care that my first 8 row pattern repeat was….umm…..less than perfect? No. I made it for him and that makes it special. For those of you out there wondering why people craft, or why they make things for a zillion dollars that they could buy mass produced for 2 – this is a classic example of why!

It’s the thrill of choosing the design, (this one pre-approved by hubby!) the colours, the yarn and the making of the item. It’s the anticipation of seeing the work finished – of holding it in your hands and having that tangible object, now no longer a picture on a page and the joy of giving it to it’s intended recipient. It’s seeing their delight and appreciation of all your work to make that item FOR THEM! Folks, that’s a buzz you can’t bottle! That’s the WHY!


Knitting is also addictive and I’ve already started a second Beanie, this time for one of our Grandsons. I hope he likes his as much as his Grandad did his!


Introducing Toriska’s new pattern The Flourish Clutch!


I was chuffed to bits to be accepted as a tester (my first time ever!!!) for the Flourish Clutch. A nice easy pattern and a whole lot of fun to make. Yes, I was binge watching The A Team whilst constructing this bag. Blame my daughter WR Gingell for that. She got me hooked on them a month or so ago….


I couldn’t wait for a frame to arrive, so I pilfered one from a purse I picked up at a Thrift Store for 50c some time ago.

So without further ado – here she is – my Pretty as a Peacock Flourish Pouch! Give a twirl for the blog readers sweetie!……..

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This clever pattern is gorgeous from ANY angle – even underneath!

The Flourish Clutch comes in 3 sizes – Small, Medium and Large. This little cutie is the Large size.

Here’s a shot or 2 of me carrying said Flourish Clutch so that you can get an indication of the size and versatility of the Large size:

100_0739 Me and my bag                                Glenys with Flourish Clutch crouching


The Flourish Clutch makes her debut Friday the 13th of November (US time) along with her sister The Curvaceous Clutch, which is an equally lovely pattern with a totally different look to this one.

You can purchase the pattern via Etsy http://www.toriskapdf.etsy.com/
Craftsy shop http://www.craftsy.com/user/7919545/pattern-store
The introductory price is $6 and goes up to $8 Monday.

Wow! Hasn’t time flown. It’s been ages since I blogged. Life and health often get in the way like that, but I am determined to be a more frequent blogger, maybe fortnightly to see how I go.

Here is a collage of some of the stuff I’ve been sewing/quilting since my last post. Of course, these are only the Bionic Gear Bag Notions Totes that I have made in that time. I love these bags. I still have at least two more to make for my Applique and my Embroidery to go in. The last one was for my Mother in Law for her birthday this week, one was for a bag swap (the one with the sea-life charms and hexies on the front) and 2 were for me – one for English Paper Piecing and one for Felting.

BGB Collage

Bionic Gear Bags were the invention of Sally Thompson (aka RipStitcher) from Craftsy. You have only to google the name of the bag for the pattern to come up! It is fantastic and I love making them.


I’ve also made a few Necessary Clutch Wallets (by Emmaline’s Patterns) and am equally enarmoured of this pattern. Such a clever and simple way to construct a complicated looking pattern, and this is exactly what both patterns share, a simplicity in construction that belies their complicated appearance. Kudos to Sally Thompson and Janelle Mc Kay for their brilliance!

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Where to now you ask? Now, I learn (hopefully) to knit. Not just knit, but knit right-handed! I am predominantly left-handed, and already do some things right-handed so I don’t see many issues with this. I have done a little practice knitting last year (some squares and this pathetic, but colourful, little bag)  but not a great deal.

 (I warned you it was pathetic!)


Hubby needs a new beanie, so I said I’d try to make one for him now that he has approved a masculine (and thankfully simple) knitting pattern. Hopefully my next blog will be about said hat, and also the obligatory knitting bag that I will now have to make for my new craft of knitting……… yes, I know, it is terrible that I will have to make yet another craft bag, but these things happen.

Until next time! Keep crafting!

Another quilt done and dusted (and a bag or two, or three)…

Well it’s been some time since I last posted. That has been mainly due to flare ups of a few of my medical issues all at once and consequently I am fighting post flare-up fatigue and residual dizziness. However, I’ve not been totally idle.


I have joined the 2015 Bag of the Month club and have half finished January’s bag. I am just waiting on handles to arrive to finish it. You can find details of the 2015 Bag Of the Month Clubhere: http://sewsweetness.com/2014/12/bag-month-club-2015.html

I have also made a Bionic Gear Bag, a stupendously clever and practical concoction of Craftsy’s RipStitcher. Her versatile Bionic Gear Bag Notions Tote that can be used for just about anything can be found here: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/accessory/winner-bionic-gear-bag-notions-tote/93596

BGB full with one dodad

Before that I made a Sew Together bag for a Christmas present and another quilt, this time for Hubby for Christmas. Hubby’s quilt was a labour of love (as all my quilts are really!) He chose the Scripture verse even though he didn’t know what for, and as he is uber-conservative I searched high and low for a fabric range he would consider “masculine enough.” I found some Moda “Piecemakers” by Kathy Schmitz. All ecru, blues and browns and not a flower in sight! He was delighted.The block I settled on was “Rail Fence.” I used 100% wool batting and Gutermann thread for the FMQ on the blocks and Aurifil thread for the border. Out of the two threads, I much preferred the Aurifil. My machine did too.


Through this process I learned about Top Stitch needles – fantastic little things that they are! I needed a needle with a bigger eye for the Gutermann thread because it would keep snapping from my needle every inch or so – it was so frustrating and demoralising!! (By the way, I can totally recommend being in a facebook quilting group. I joined the “Quilt along with Pat Sloan” facebook group and the people there are fantastic and always willing to pitch in with good advice when you send out an SOS like I did in this situation.)

I’m behind on my Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM but will be able continue on with that at my own pace. Right now I’m gearing up for the onslaught of birthday sewing….. I really should have spaced my children’s birthdays a little wider apart – we have 3 within 5 1/2 weeks (and 2 of those 3 days apart!) Major planning fail there!……….. as if I could really do anything about that! LOL!

100_9595Here’s hoping everything is just dandy in your world today and that you can get some sewing, writing, painting, pottery, or whatever it is you like to do done.

Tenosynovitis and Tendonitis blues…….

After an active Saturday in the garden 3 weeks ago, and a heavy week of sewing straight after, I managed to give myself Tenosynovitis in the forearm and wrist and De Quervain’s Tendonitis in the thumb all at the same time! (At least I was thorough!)


The point is, I have been banned from the sewing room by my GP who told me to “take up reading for the next 3 weeks.” My GP has a magic little laser acupuncture device and assured me that my arm, wrist and thumb tendons would respond well to a comprehensive zapping session or two or three, and so they did.

I still have another week left of my ban and I have been good and not   sewn anything (well, not a lot! I did do a wee placemat size quilt top, but that doesn’t really count, right?)


I am glad I got Emery’s bag done and the backpack for one of my daughters to go shopping on the mainland with. I now have an even bigger pile of stuff to be sewn and/or quilted, so I hope I can get it all done in time. Christmas is galloping forward with a vengeance!


I’m having bags of fun with patchwork and embroidery….

Latest project: New church bag (sorry to my facebook friends who’ve already seen this!)

Lynette Anderson has this wonderful book (actually she has quite a few wonderful books, but I digress!) called “Country Cottage Quilting” with lovely projects to do. As soon as I saw this particular bag called “Birdhouse Bag” I simply had to try it, and as it would be just the right size for my Bible and other things I need to take with me it just had to be my new church bag!

Here is the finished bag:



Now I am working on a matching glasses case, not yet finished. The quilting and binding should be able to be done today though, as I just have the dragonfly head to complete….



After that, I reckon it’ll be my Grandson Emery’s long awaited backpack. Due to the Meniere’s being a bit more horrid than usual, I had to take a break from sewing and that means I then had to “get back into my sewing groove” or “psych myself up” to get my creativity to the level I need to start on it. That’s the way I work. If I were to start on it without doing that carnage and mayhem would ensue and there’d be general crankiness on my part because said bag would be turning out like unidentified debris! Now that I have my creative juices flowing again and I’m in the right place mentally for that bag – it will happen and soon! Not long now, Emery…….

PS. Glasses case is now complete………… what do you think?

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I love it when a project just comes together……

A while ago I downloaded a tutorial for an Armchair Caddy from http://www.hugsnkisses.typepad.com (under patterns; August 18, 2008 – you will need to go through quite a few pages to get there or just google “hugsnkisses armchair caddy” as it’s faster!) I put it in my file of things to make “one day.” Since then I bravely decided that I would also like to learn to embroider – real embroidery stuff, not like the sampler I was forced to do (and managed to get away without finishing) in Grade 4 which looked like it was sewn by an unco-ordinated blind person on a really rough ocean!


Anyway, I found I liked embroidery after a gap of 39 years. It’s not perfect yet, and may never be, but I enjoy it, and, remembering that said Armchair Caddy contained embroidery, and since I wanted to make something useful, I pulled out the pattern and set to work.

I found the embroidery pattern was actually too large for the pattern pieces, so I just blew up the pattern pieces (NOT the embroidery pattern!!) to 110% on my copy/printer and it fit beautifully. I did have to add another 20″ to the length of the binding also, so if you want to try this lovely project and have it the same size I did, you will need 60″ of 2″ binding, not 40″.

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Here is my version of it that I made for my daughter Naomi for Christmas, but I couldn’t wait that long so gave it to her early!! (Christmas in July – don’t judge me!) She gave a delighted squeal, stuck a hand in each pocket and said “It’s lovely! Is it an oven mitt?” I tried to act offended, but could no longer contain the laughter that was welling up inside me! (Oh dear, my lovely blonde daughter!!) She’d never seen one before. She’s more a needle craft girl, not a sewing girl, so she can be forgiven her ignorance on armchair caddies! I wanted hers to be bright and cheerful and I think I’ve managed it. What do you think?

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Yeah, those scallops are a little wonky (especially the other end) but in my defense it’s my first try ever at turn under applique or whatever it’s name is…….. I call it “rustic!” 🙂

A Whimsical Ruched Patchwork Pumpkin Pincushion: Mission Accomplished!

My lovely (well, I think so!) ruched patchwork pincushion is now finished. I changed the angle so that I could see more ruched surfaces at any one time and added some more pumpkin leaves. I also changed the pale twill tendril for a darker felt one. I felt it was more dramatic and a nicer contrast to the oranges of the pumpkin body. I kept the stalk pale – again for contrast and because, well, sometimes I’m just a little contrary and it’s the way I wanted it to be.



Then,  just as I said to my daughter Wendee, “I think I’ll put a button here to break up these leaves at the back, what do you think?” She said “Yeah, that’s okay, but a snail would be better!” So of course from there it snowballed to Ladybirds as well, because this is Whirly Whimsies after all so there has to be some whimsy about it – perfect! Just goes to show you that 2 heads are sometimes better than 1.


This side-on view shows the change in angle. I added leaves underneath too. I wanted it to look nice from all angles, and there were one or two ugly (and tenacious) bits of hot glue to hide, so the leaves did the trick.


Now it’s going straight on to my newly tidied sewing table……..






Ruched Pumpkin Pincushion – my new “Work In Progress”…..

I just started this just after noon today and I love the way it’s turning out. It comes from a tutorial from Polka Dot Pineapple for her Ruched Patchwork Pumpkins. I tweaked it a little as I wanted a more “pumpkiny” shape. A Huon Pine candle holder forms the base. I picked it up at an Op Shop (thrift store) for a dollar or so and then used 9 mm dowel for the post.


The pumpkin I made is about 13 cm in diametre and 9 cm high – perfect size for lots of pins and needles! I added a twill ribbon stem (with pipe cleaner inside,) a tendril (also twill ribbon with pipe cleaner inserted) and a pumpkin leaf using a pumpkin leaf template  that I got from an internet site a little while ago.


Yes, I know it’s very orange, but you can never have too much orange in your life, I always say!


Works in Progress…..

This should really read "works in progress" as there are several.
Number 1: when finished will be the decorations on a fancy-shmancy spool holder for my sewing room wall.

100_8538  100_8543 Here are some pictures of some of the decorations for it. More will follow with a cameo of Hubby after using his drop saw to put the holes in for the dowel pegs….


Number 2: This swag used to be dark green and maroon and very sad looking.  I bought it from one of the local op shops (thrift stores.)In keeping with the colours of my sewing room curtains, I tweaked it and made it new again. The centres of the spools I used fabric and glued it to the shank. Dark brown and light brown alternated. Then I tied strips of fabric in Moda Bella Solids: Parchment and Christmas Red, purple and  a light orangey brown colour. This still has to be hung up in its proper place and I may or may not add a small hand pieced emellishment to each heart…


Number 3: Here’s a zippered pouch I made for piecing on the go as well as my first attempt at a pieced heart  (this is the WIP, the others are all finished YAY!). The coaster is reverse appliqued (also a first attempt!) and is basically just there to show I’ve not been totally idle!

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And…… back to Number 1: Here’s the spool holder in production. There will be a quilted flower pot underneath where the masking tape is with the dresden plate pictured above on it for a decoration. There will also be stems, leaves and hopefully tendrils if I can make them happen, so watch this space! It’s getting to that exciting stage where seemingly random bits of stuff all meld together into something quite extraordinary! Can’t wait to see it on the wall and finished!


Number 4: Accessory to the zippered pouch, and my last work in progress is a needle book of my own design. It has a pocket on the front and back inside covers and little decorations on the pages. I have finished the outside, but still need to finish off the inside. I have had to use it in the mean time. It will have to wait a little to be fully finished, as I have a few little sewing jobs to do besides my WIPs. Seems I’d better get a wriggle on and crank up the ol’ sewing machine…….. More later……