11 Apr 2015

Charm Square Swap and the resulting quilt top

Back in January, I signed up to be part of Ms Midge's charm square swap. This particular swap required all fabrics be designed by Anna Maria Horner. So a riot of colour and pattern was pretty much guaranteed. The stash came through, and I commenced cutting, and sent my squares off.

The parcel I received back was, as expected, full of wonderful fabrics.

I considered various options to use them. Usually, I admire swaps and put them away in the cupboard to be never seen again, but this time action was required.  In the end I opted for an applique effect, using my Sizzix cutter and it's songbird die.

The birds were set on a  red linen background and surprisingly only one seems to blend into the red.  It's only a top at this stage, but I'm looking forward to quilting it after the school holiday mayhem subsides. And then taking a photo without the clothesline.

3 Apr 2015

There's nothing like a country show

Growing up, the local country show was the first weekend after school returned after the summer holidays. Mum took this as a clear message, and my sisters and I spent weeks of those holidays sewing. Cooking had to wait till just before the show.

As the years went on, we focused on prizes. Ribbons were the ultimate prize and we aimed for the Most Successful awards. Junior Sewing and Cooking were our main priorities, although we also dabbled in collections and a little floral arranging.

1983 was my best ever year, when I won the ribbons for both junior cooking and sewing. In the photo below, i made my outfit, and my younger sister sewed hers. Our youngest sister was very excited to have won her first prize for her embroidered hanky.

It's 32 years later, and we're still entering the Nowra Show. Nowhere near as many articles, but our children are also making things. Which makes me appreciate my ribbons, and the angst all those entries must have caused Mum.  Then I look at the prizes my children have received and their happiness and understand why Mum did it.

My younger sister doesn't sew much anymore. Instead, she's expressing her creativity in making and decorating cakes. They're wonderful, and if she didn't live in England would be supplying all our birthday cake needs.

Bella, the youngest sister has moved on from hankies and makes wonderfully smocked and beaded dresses now. She's winning all kinds of ribbons, not just at Nowra, but also at the Canberra and Sydney Royals.

This year, my shawl won a ribbon. I was thrilled. Nearly as thrilled as I was back in 1983.  And that's saying something.