Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I would love to say that I thought of these myself but no that would be a lie. However I feel these are modified goals that I can achieve.

So for 2009 my goals are
1) 15 minutes at least once a week cutting scraps into usable pieces.
2) one hour a week working on scrooge quilts
3) at least one finish a month
4) finish one existing project before each one I start
5) expand my horizons -try at least one new style of free-motion quilting
6) refine my sewing 'business' -- one hour per week to be spent writing up my patterns for publication
7) one quilt write up per week on my blog

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Toy

Well Richard has decided to upgrade his DSLR and as he couldn't sell his old one on ebay Paul decided he would buy it for me.  Boy have I forgotten how to use these cameras, but I am looking forward to playing with it since it gives so much better pictures than the old point and clicks.  That being said though I think I am limited, at least for the time being, to landscapes ... since people quickly become frustrated because of the time it takes me to set up.  I suppose that was the reason I gave up on them years ago... the kids were aging just in the time it took me to focus!

Hopefully I have a chance tomorrow to go out and try a few of the features..... mind you PJ has said I will also need to learn how to use his software ... I don't know where they think I am going to find the time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Raconteur - patterns

Well I have had several people requesting the patterns for my raconteur quilt blocks and as they won't all be finished until late next year I am planning to upload some until I finish them, and then hopefully organise publishing them. This will give everyone an idea at how much fun it will be to make

Every fortnight, hopefully starting February, I will upload the pattern for a new mini hexagon. This will be available for free download for one month after which it will be removed. After I have finished uploading the total block (one block = seven hexagons = seven fortnights) the pattern will be available for purchase if you missed any of the hexagons.

Not sure if you want to make it? Give it a go! It costs nothing to try and you will be amazed at how addictive these cute quilt blocks are.

Why won't it start sooner... because Ben, the young fellow who is drawing the patterns up initially and then teaching me how to do it myself, is on holidays and I have no idea when he is coming back. Plus I know I will be flat out with xmas etc

Friday, October 10, 2008


Paris is fantastic.  PJ met us at the airport and then escorted us to our motel and then we walked everywhere... Pantheon, Notre Dame, Champ de Lyse, Louver, Seine and the Arc de Triomphe, plus many more I can't remember.

The wide boulevards are superb as you can walk along this and  never feel crowded no matter how many people are about.

We spent eight days in Paris and saw most of the major tourist sites - here is a photo of me with the Seine in the background.

It was the most relaxing place, particularly in the morning as nothing opened before ten.  Paul and I were out every morning by 8 and had it to ourselves.  We then checked out whatever we wanted for the day and then wandered home.  As our hotel was in the 5th arrondissement it was a walkable distance to everywhere,we probably walked about 10kms each day, which helped to counter the baguettes and cakes we ate daily.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kuala Lumpar -October 4th - 5th

Well today is the start of our holiday.  With only 80 odd people  on our plane I was able to nab a whole middle section to myself and so slept well.  This meant that when we landed in Malaysia I felt alive and well, with no jet lag. Paul didn't sleep so well but was still able to get up and go.
It is rather interesting wandering around.  I am amazed at all of the Islam mosques and Hindu temples,  there was even a small one behind one of the stalls in Chinatown.
Our hotel, Hotel Malay is right in the centre of Chinatown and so we check out the stalls every time we go out.
Breakfast is definitely interesting - a wide selection of dishes but they are all curry based ... actually all meals are curry based here, I suppose like we would expect of Indian food.  
This is a photo of a temple which was just around the corner from our hotel.  Check out all of the intricately carved statues.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Touch of Magic

I'm still not certain that this will be the name of the quilt but for the time being it will do.  This quilt was started last year in my cleaning up phase where I decided that come what may I was going to clear out all of my scraps, well at least those smaller than a sheet of A4 paper.  

At this stage I have made five quilts but unfortunately the scraps seem to grow overnight or at least whenever I turn around.  I have in my basket enough scraps to make a decent size portion of yet another quilt.  Oh well that is for another day.

Three different blocks make the quilt; log cabin for the stars, pineapple for the background and fiddlesticks for the 'odd' blocks.  I am quilting it as QAYG and have so far finished one out of four sections.  Hope to finish by xmas.

Stitch Unpicker Holder

Well my wood man has made me a great little tool. This wood block holds my stitch unpicker at the perfect angle. I can now string piece together a long line of blocks and then snip them apart quickly and easily. wonderful invention.

The fellow thinks I am mad and can't see for the life of him who would use one of these blocks so he is not going to mass produce them.... even though I have already found three other sales for him! Probably thinks we are all mad:-)

I even have two holes to cater for different unpickers.

He is quite a handy fellow to know and has made me some ruler holders and a large spool holder also... and he was significantly cheaper than the shops for both of those items.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bubble Too


Finally finished Laura's quilt top.  Will need to see if I can get it quilted while I'm overseas ... hopefully the wedding isn't too soon!

This is another in my scrooge series... really should think of another name for the series as I can see some people taking offense. Funny I was at a course a few weeks ago and some of the questions which we had to ask ourselves were - what was irritating us in our lives, had there ever been a time when this didn't irritate us and what was different about that time and now.

Well the only things that are irritating me are the number of quilt projects which I have in various stages;
When wasn't I distracted by so many projects - when I first began quilting;
What was different - financial situation... as I said at that stage we were too poor for me to buy something and not use it....
So solution to my UFOs and WIPs is POVERTY! 

Not the expected response but definitely true.

These scrooge quilts are great fun!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

show and tell

Great blog where anyone can send in photos of their quilts with links back to their own blog.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Poor Man, Beggar Man

Well I have finally uploaded my two denim quilts. After seeing Doris' denim quilts I thought they looked good and so decided to give it a try. I have a series of three items made out of denim

Rich Man is a handbag made from a gorgeous pair of jeans. I will upload a photo some day soon. I used one of PJ's old satin pyjama bottoms for the lining and have a selection of old silk ties that I use instead of a belt and change over to add variety of colour to the bag.

Poor Man is the log cabin quilt which came second.  This one featured in Down Under Quilts recently.  It used mainly the long pieces from the legs and the large pocket sections.

Lastly is Beggar Man and this was made from what was left after the other two items had taken the 'cream' of the material.  To me it is by far the best and has so much character, by the time I started on this quilt I had worked out to incorporate all of the different shaped pockets, tabs and bits and pieces.... even have a couple of secret pocket sections which are perfect for a child to hide something in.

I was amazed at the weight of these quilts and when it came to quilting had to leave out the wadding or it would have taken a strongman to lift either of them:-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bubble and Squeak

Well another Scrooge quilt top finished... this one will be for my brother, Serge, for his wedding... here's hoping he doesn't get married too soon as I still need to finish the other one for Laura... and then get them quilted!

I don't know if they will like them but I definitely enjoy making them.  Very liberating and free as there are few decisions that need to be made and as it is so busy everything seems to go together.

If you look closely at the detail on the right you will see that there is no set rule for anything. Just cut the fabric and sew it in. All of this was made with leftover scraps from other quilts. Hopefully by the time I finish Laura's my scraps will be no more. It is hard to believe that this is the fourth quilt I have made like this since the beginning of the year.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Watermarks on Web Pages

 Christine Abela from all crafts on the web  has put up a tutorial on her web page with step by step instructions for adding a watermark to web pages.  The software she uses free and she provides the addy for it also.  I don't know if it works for Macs but will hopefully get around to finding out soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Another of my mini hexagons.  I haven't been doing many of these lately although I have cut many more.  
Will get back into it in a few weeks ... perhaps after I clean my sewing room ... and finish painting the laundry... which I am avoiding right now  .. I have another half an hour before I need to start on the second coat .... not my favourite way to spend a Sunday .. but at least once it is finished I am free for another eight years.
I can't remember what I named this block but will update the info when I check back

Cucumber Sandwiches

Strange name for a quilt I know but whenI was a child I had always considered it strange that people would meet for afternoon tea and have cucumber sandwiches... that this was what the 'better' people did.  Strange what young children think?
Anyway this is a block from my new stitchery quilt.  The designs come from my quilt 'Raconteur' which I am still in the process of making ... and probably will be for a year or two as it is now up to 436 different blocks.... oh for some forward planning rather than my  usual whimsical this seems like a good idea planning.
Anyway I think there will be either eight  different blocks in 'Cucumber Sandwiches' ... although I have already drawn up seven of these I have also started doing another different set on osnaburg so I don't know when anything will be finished... oh for an attention span longer than two weeks.
I did a mental count of WIPs and can count more than twenty at present.  I hate to think how many I actually have since this was only counting what I can remember without bothering to look for them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where have I been?

Wow it is weeks since I have written here.  What have I been doing?  Well a lot of nothing ... I have a clean house including having washed the blinds and have cleaned out SOME of Richard's bomb site.  

I have been sewing lots but finished nothing.  I have so many projects on the go and so desperately want to finish them but just haven't got there yet.  

I have started doing hexagon stitcheries.  Saw a really interesting one by Nikki Tervo but figured that I could design my own based on the Raconteur quilt.  As I already have over 400 designs figured I would use some of them.  

Did a couple on muslin with soft pastel type colours and they looked really cute until I saw a stitchery done on osnaburg.  Previously I hadn't been too keen on it but this time it seemed to have a bit of class to it and of course the green eyes of jealousy wanted some of that too.

So I have designed some more and am doing those on the osnaburg using hopefully autumn colours.  I am going to draw them all up and then take them with me on our holiday to Europe as I figure I can get a long term project in for very little weight or room.

Tomorrow I will upload some photos of my projects ... quite a variety there.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Well over at Stitchin Fingers I have just started a group to hopefully work through Sharon's Take a Stitch on Tuesday challenge from last year.  Great challenge for the beginning embroiderer as she introduced a new stitch each week and provided step by step directions.  Stitchin Fingers is a new group for anyone interested in textile activites.  There are groups for cards, beading, crazy piecing, felting and lots more.  Go and check it out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Crazy Quilt Blocks

Sharon  has created some wonderful crazy quilting blocks which are a great source of what to do when you have no idea.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler is a collection of 140 six inch public domain blocks which have been put together into a quilt by Jenny Chiaverini.                   The quilt is based on an Elm Creek novel which she wrote about a group of women who make the quilt for a woman who is soon to be married.      There is a link to FAQ as well as a block of the week group and a gallery of many completed quilts and WIPs.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nifty Nine Patch

Rachel Greco has made this amazing quilt and worked out a quick and easy way to construct nine patch blocks .. better than the old one where you simply sewed long strips together and then cross cut. There are step by step instructions as well as a printable page.

Stitching Fingers

Stitching Fingers is a forum for embroiderers created by Sharon B. It has only been created quite recently and so is still establishing itself. Seems a friendly group so far.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pretty Impressive Stuff

Rissa has collated an impressive array of embroidery stitches  and information plus patterns and everything you might want related to embroidery.  
Her site Pretty Impressive Things has links to punch needle, shadow work, silk ribbon, crazy quilting, redwork, tassels, needle arts, needle felting and lots more things 
Fantastic site worth checking out more than once.


Jennie Baer of Homeberries the author of Modern Primitive Embroidery has created a range of simple stitcheries to fit every season. 

There are also links to videos showing how to form many embroidery stitches.
This pattern is available on her site for only $3.50 and all proceeds go to charity.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Diane Gaudynski

Diane Gaudynski has won many awards for her fantastic quilts.
 On her site are many hints particularly for machine quilting. Don't you just love this quilt?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Take a Stitch Tuesday

TAST is a great site.  This was a weekly challenge organised by Sharon B last year.  Each week she uploaded a new stitch with instructions and samples. Lots of photos and a wonderful way to learn new embroidery stitches.
The whole blog is still accessible if you want to work through it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Needle 'N Thread

For a blog that has resources galore related to embroidery you can't miss Mary Corbett's Needle 'N Thread
From this site you are able to link to an online video of many stitches, a huge number of online embroidery books, discussions of relevant tools and accessories, review of books, some free designs and a whole lot more as well as more links.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith teaches postcards and machine quilting.
The variety of quilts is quite extensive and well worth looking at for ideas.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quilt News

Quilt Newsis a blog for quilt designers who wish to advertise their recent releases. There is a short paragraph or two about their latest projects and then a link that takes you directly to the new blog.
Marguerita who owns the blog has also put together a large number of interesting and/or useful links for both the avid quilter but more importantly for designers.
There is also a list of distributors and wholesalers as well as fabric companies.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Positive Moments

What a coincidence. Paul has been reading about ways to alleviate anxiety and one of the methods he has been suggesting I try is to focus on the positive things around us.

Well being unable to sleep I decided to do a little surfing and what should appear on a blog I often check out. Interested? Check out Erica's blog. As she says focus on the positive moments in life. We'll all be the richer for it.

Plus she has some pretty interesting quilting ideas that she is trying out if you are into creative things.

Today's positives - a girl I work with has been practicing a saying "If I can say it, I can write it.  I can do it".  
She has difficulty saying words and so is reluctant particularly to say new words in case people think she is silly.  Have you ever tried to spell a new word without saying it .. even if it is only in your head?  Today she tried it and happily spelt most of the words correctly and more importantly confidently. 

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The lion

If you're attacked by a Lion
Find fresh underpants to try on
Lay on the ground quite still
Pretend you are very ill
Keep like that day after day
Perhaps the lion will go away

Spike Milligan

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Have a Nice Day - Spike Milligan

'Help, help, ' said a man. 'I'm drowning.'
'Hang on, ' said a man from the shore.
'Help, help, ' said the man. 'I'm not clowning.'
'Yes, I know, I heard you before.
Be patient dear man who is drowning,
You, see I've got a disease.
I'm waiting for a Doctor J. Browning.
So do be patient please.'
'How long, ' said the man who was drowning. 'Will it take for the Doc to arrive? '
'Not very long, ' said the man with the disease. 'Till then try staying alive.'
'Very well, ' said the man who was drowning. 'I'll try and stay afloat.
By reciting the poems of Browning
And other things he wrote.'
'Help, help, ' said the man with the disease, 'I suddenly feel quite ill.'
'Keep calm.' said the man who was drowning, ' Breathe deeply and lie quite still.'
'Oh dear, ' said the man with the awful disease. 'I think I'm going to die.'
'Farewell, ' said the man who was drowning.
Said the man with the disease, 'goodbye.'
So the man who was drowning, drownded
And the man with the disease past away.
But apart from that,
And a fire in my flat,
It's been a very nice day.

Spike Milligan

Monday, April 14, 2008

Interesting Trivia

A grasshopper has its hearing organs (ears for you and I) on its knees

Free Graph Paper

Want to print some graph paper all kinds available but I do have difficulty with the darkness at times

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Scatterday A

A is for ALCOHOL which is readily available in most restaurants.

A is also for amazing turquoise coloured APERITIFS such as the glow in the dark ABSINTHE. Test this out for yourself with a pocket-sized black light or ultraviolet light . Simply shine the light on products and look for a glow.

Last but by no means least A is for Absolut vodka advertising campaigns which in some countries is quiet in your face and which can definitely leave one feeling very much in the dark.

source: http://chemistry.about.com/b/2007/03/05/glow-in-the-dark-drinks.htm

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Trawling Thursday - Smile

Smile -
someone you pass today may need a pick up

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

25 Challenge - Laughter

Which comes first

Laughter or the smile?

Does it matter?

Both are fantastic for you

And for those around you.

Try it! You'll like it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Terrible Tongue Twister Tuesday


Mr. See owned a saw.
And Mr. Soar owned a seesaw.

Now See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw
Before Soar saw See,
Which made Soar sore.

Had Soar seen See's saw
Before See sawed Soar's seesaw,
See's saw would not have sawed
Soar's seesaw.

So See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw.

But it was sad to see Soar so sore
Just because See's saw sawed
Soar's seesaw!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mini Monday Madness - Raconteur

Finally found a name for my mini hexagon quilt - Raconteur.

The blocks all reflect a story of some part of my life and so the name evolved.

This one is "All of You" and reflects the people who surround us as we go. 
Sometimes they come alone other times they come with a group.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Smile

A loud pounding on the door awakens a man and his wife at 3 o'clock in the morning.
The man gets up and goes to the door, where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.

"Not a chance," says the husband, "it's three o'clock in the morning!"
He slams the door and returns to bed.

"Who was that?" asked his wife. "Just some drunk guy asking for a push," he answers.

"Did you help him?" she asks. "No, I didn't, it's three in the morning and it's pouring out!"

"Well, you have a short memory," says his wife. "Can't you remember about three months ago, when we broke down and those two guys helped us? I think you should be ashamed of yourself!"

The man does as he is told, gets dressed and goes out into the pounding rain. He calls out into the dark, "Hello, are you still there?"

"Yes," comes back the answer.

"Do you still need a push?" calls out the husband.

"Yes, please!" comes the reply from the dark.

"Well, where are you?" asks the husband.

"Over here on the swing!" replies the drunk !

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Scatterday X


Dear Friends,
It is a long time since I have written and so will fill you in on the happenings in the White household.

Paul-James, our eldest boy and a confirmed XENOPHILE, is now truely happy having moved to Paris to study. Yes we did have concerns about his total lack of French but this does not appear to have been too great a handicap as he now resides in the Portugese House at Cite U. His lack of knowledge of Portugese is proving a greater handicap but has not prevented him from forging friendships with those around him. 

Richard, once a bookworm but now an XTREME SPORTSMAN has also moved out to live on campus. This winter he will race ducks for Thirroul and has managed so far to remain uninjured. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for his crew person who came close to being hospitalised just last week. When attempting to navigate the high seas during a mass rescue drill Richard threw him out of the duck and then ran over the top of him. From all reports he was black and blue all over as well as in need of stitches to his upper thigh.

With boys having left home Paul has more time to devote to his garden and has decided to venture into XERIC gardens as his contribution to the environment and in line with the water restrictions we have been experiencing over the years. He has managed to source several XERIC plants and feels these should survive well in our yard as we never water anyway and the labels stated they need dry environments.

As for me, well although I once enjoyed xstitiching now days I'm quilting. Last year I made a quilt from some fabrics that I won. Although the fabric designs were vastly different to what I like they had such a gorgeous feel I couldn't resist hand piecing them. Funny though when I finished the quilt the paths were overpowered by dominant Xs.

Hope you have enjoyed my catch up note and I will try to write more often.

Love Cinzia, Paul and Kendall (our dog for those who don't know)

PS the only contribution I could find for Kendall is that he has a continuous desire for eXtra food

Xenofile - a person who is attracted to foreign peoples, cultures, or customs.
duck - inflatable rubber rescue boat
xeric - adapted to an extremely dry habitat.

Friday, March 28, 2008

IF - Pet Peeves

source: www.cleanlanguage.co.uk

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Trawling Thursday - Ignoble Awards

From Smiley Sue comes this little gem

The Ig Nobel Awards are global awards presented each year for unusual
scientific work. This year's chemistry award was presented to
Mayu Yamamoto of the International Medical Center of Japan, for
developing a way to extract vanillin -- vanilla fragrance and flavoring -- from
cow dung

Puts a new meaning to the phrase "it tastes like sh@t"!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

25 Challenge - Eyes

The child watched as she walked away
Sorrow filled the air.
Tears filled her eyes.
Perhaps tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Scatterday N

Nicholas the Nicobar pidgeon, nicknamed Nick , nicked nine NICKELS and Nicaraguan niniature NICK NACKS, from NIC, while nicking out of the nick, to nick some knickers and nicotine.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter

A lady opened her refrigerator and saw a rabbit sitting on one of the shelves.

"What are you doing in there?" she asked.

The rabbit replied:

"This is a Westinghouse, isn't it?"

The lady replied "Yes it is."

"Well," the rabbit said, "I'm westing."

Happy Easter!

IF -Heavy

He ain't heavy - he's my supper

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Top website

This is one top website... definitely gets you looking at it more than once.

Trawling Thursday - Pythagoras

Pythagoras (or the Pythagoreans) discovered square numbers. 

The most common method for calculating the square root by hand is known as the "Babylonian method". It involves a simple algorithm, which results in a number closer to the actual square root each time it is repeated. To find r, the square root of a real number x:

Start with any positive start value, call this r.
Find the average of r and x/r; call this r2
Now find the average of r2 and x/r2; call this r3
Now find the average of r3 and x/r3; call this r4

Repeat these steps  until the two values  are as close as desired; that is the square root.  The closer they are the more accurate the final answer.

You have to love maths!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

25 Challenge - When

When did you last listen to the rain
Pattering softly on the garden path
The wind howling through the trees
Or a child laughing

Monday, March 17, 2008

Summer Twirl

Another one down.  The fabric for this one was given to me by a friend who always reminds me of a young girl twirling in the summer breeze.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Scatterday L

A sure fired favourite for any party is fresh homemade lemonade with floating slices of LEMON. To avoid spillage marking wooden surfaces it is suggested that the punch and LADLE be set up on a LAMINATED BENCH TOP where spillage is easily wiped off. The following recipe is a longtime family favourite


1/2 cup sugar - for sugar syrup
1/2 cup water - for sugar syrup
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 cup water extra, (carbonated water is sometimes refreshing)


To make sugar syrup, bring equal parts of sugar and water to a boil, stir until sugar dissolves, and remove from the heat. Cool before using. Store unused syrup in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Put the lemon juice, sugar syrup and water in a punch bowl and stir. Add ice to chill. Float lemon slices.