Wednesday, May 25, 2011

MMQG Pin Cushion Swap

Hi all!

Just a quick update to share the gorgeous pincushion I received from Sally in the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild Pin Cushion Swap....

 How cute it is? I love it! and it has owls and buttons on it...just perfect! I wish I could share a better picture because the piecing is amazing, I'm still trying to figure out how she made it.

So thank you so much Sally, it is sitting on my desk at the moment, making me smile as I'm studying :)

I was a bit late sending mine out and forgot to take a picture of it, woopsie. I will see if I can get a picture to share from my partner Kelli...hopefully she loves it as much as I do, it was so hard to part with!

Also, nearly finished the quilt top using the Boutique fabric I shared in the last post, I'm hoping it's not to rainy tomorrow so I can take it outside to photograph the progress so far.

Unfortunately there really isn't much to report on at the moment. Working part time 30 hours a week and studying at uni full time = not much sewing if any at all and not much inspiration, not a lot of blogging, no agility,  and no cooking...I really need to find a better balance I think! I do have nearly two months off in June and July, after exams finish so I know what I will be doing... Lots of sewing, blogging, cupcake making, agility and relaxing I think!

Hope you are having a lovely week and getting lots of sewing done

Miranda & Charlie

Friday, April 22, 2011

oh wow....

has it really been over a  month since I last posted? Time really does fly.
Where do I start?

  *First of all, I finished my laptop sleeve...Tada!

 Which I'm really happy about as I can take my laptop to Uni  now. I love how it turned out and my laptop fits perfectly, which is a bit of a miracle!

 As I was sewing it together I realised that something looked a bit odd. And something did- The flap was wider than the sleeve part...not sure how that happened. It probably comes from making the calculations and templates late at night. But after a bit of unpicking, cutting and resewing, you would never know! Although, unpicking Velcro is not on my list of favourite things to do.

I also sewed it together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance rather than 1/2 inch as the tutorial suggests, as I was a bit paranoid that my laptop wouldn't fit.

If you would like to make a laptop sleeve I used this Tutorial from Oh, Fransson! as Inspiration.

*I haven't made any progress on binding my Just Dreaming Summer Quilt, but I have started a  new quilt using the fabric Boutique by Chez Moi for Moda.

When I bought it, which was quite a while ago now, I loved the simplicity of a quilt that was on display and when I asked about it, they had a drawn up layout guide for it! 
 It uses a Layercake and a charm pack, so the only cutting you need to do is the sashing! which is great because cutting the fabric is probably my least favourite part of the process.  I'll be sure to share it when its finished :)

 What else have I been up to?.....

 *I have discovered my second home! 

A friend of mine, Adele, posted about a fabric store not long ago called GJ's Discount Fabrics. I had never  been there before so after checking out their website, I headed down there a few weekends ago and....Oh my goodness! I cannot believe I haven't been there before! They have the most amazing and humungous range of fabrics I have ever seen! and fabrics I didnt even know you could buy over here anymore. To make things even better, their fabric is pretty well priced.  
Fabric is quite as expensive here in Oz. About double or more the price it is in America.

To say I was in heaven is a bit of an understatement.

These are the goodies I brought home...

1/2 metre of Alexander Henry "Spotted Owl". I have admired this fabric ever since I started quilting and as I have an owl obsession, it was necessary to get some.  I think it might become a cushion.
    a 25cm x 112com roll of blue and green owls to add to my Owl Stash. I don't know who designed it but its very cute.

 a 45cm x 112cm of  Quite Contrary by Riley Blake. This is probably going to become a diary cover and a pouch for a friend of mine.

  I also got 3m of cream fabric to use as sashing in the Boutique quilt. 

and I found the perfect backing fabric for my "From Chicago with love" quilt but...

Has this happened to you before? You get all excited because you find the perfect fabric and you've been searching for ages for just the right one and then you get to the counter and there's not enough of it left :(
Very annoying. So now I'm on the hunt for this fabric from "The birds and the bees" by Keri Beyer and this fabric, particularly this colour, does not seem to be very if you have seen it anywhere, please please let me know! 

I'm on Easter break at the moment and haven't done much sewing in ages, so I'm off to do some sewing now!

Hope you have a lovely and Happy Easter

Miranda & Charlie

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Summer Quilted & a laptop sleeve

Finally finished quilting the Just Dreaming Summer Quilt! 

I think this quilt has been in the making for nearly 2 years now, not finished yet though, still have the binding to do but I'm really happy to be over the quilting hurdle.

This was also my first time hand quilting, and although the stitching as a whole is really very wonky and uneven  as a result of the really very wonky and carefree piecing, and the fact that I possibly stitched a bit tightly... I really like it! and I love the look of the hand quilting and surprisingly really enjoyed the process... Uh oh, I think I might be hooked on hand quilting!

Next time though...

1. I might not piece a quite so wonky quilt which as a result makes quilting a bit of a pain and also wonky.

2. Check the tension of my seams as I'm piecing, as I discovered a couple of small areas where the tension had gone too loose and was going to come apart so I had to do some invisible stitching. Why I didn't discover these a while a go is beyond me! I think those strips must have been sewn just before my machine went funny and needed to be serviced.

3.I think I might spray baste the quilt first or at least the back of the quilt because I don't think my pin basting was great.

I am also working on a laptop sleeve at the moment for my new laptop, how cute it is!? I was able to choose between a peppermint coloured top, pink or silver. I couldn't decide between the last two but in the end they only had pink or peppermint, so pink it was!
The photo doesn't show the actual colour very well. It is more like a pinky Fuchsia.

and because I didn't take a full photo of it, here's a sneak of the laptop sleeve in progress...

 The Laptop sleeve is inspired by this tutorial on Sew Mama Sew by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson! :

Enjoy the rest of the week,

Miranda & Charlie

PS. Linking up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, so pop over and be inspired by the amazing things people have been making.

Fresh Poppy Design

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Laughs

Happy Friday!

Everyone needs a good laugh to get them through the day on a Friday so I thought I would share one of my favourite, and what I think is one of the most hilarious videos I have seen in a long time.
I love it- it's my go to video when I'm having a bad day and the first few times I saw it I laughed so hard I cried, dad nearly fell over when he watched it. You know...It's so funny they had it on the news this morning! (which reminded me I should share it here)'s even funnier when if you try do the accents.

Hope this brings a smile to your day :)

Disclaimer: I apologise if you don't find it humorous and to those who do...I take no responsibility for the obsession with re-watching it and sharing it with everyone that follows or any injuries that are incurred as a result of laughing too hard. Also, I must warn you, that it may cause yourself, others or children (including my brother) to continuously quote it!

I'm off to finish hand quilting, Enjoy!

Miranda & Charlie

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Charlie & Agility #1- Charlie's Profile

Good morning!
Hope everyone is having a great week,
Today will be the first Charlie & Agility feature, so without further adue, I would like to officially introduce you to Charlie....
Name: Commonly known as Charlie but also referred to as Charles or Mr Charles. I'm sure there are other nicknames...just can't remember!

Breed: Cavoodle- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Poodle. 
Gender: Male
 Height: 17.125", so in Agility he jumps 16 inches.
Weight: about 10kg
Born: 11/11/2004 so he is 6 at the moment.  Getting old Charlie!!

Favourite toys:   
 *Squeaky ball (which he will drop at your feat incessantly and could probably play fetch for hours . Recently he has taken to dropping it at the to of the stairs and running after it!) 
*His rope (which he likes to fling and throw in the air and at the person he's playing with)

Favourite Treat: He loves Chicken and also Carrot (strangely)

Naughties Habit: He likes to steal everyone's socks and gardening gloves which he then flings around or hoards them in his bed! Its his Stash. He also likes to bring sticks inside.

 He also likes getting the cats in trouble. And will bark at them, especially the ginger one-Fluffy, when they're being naughty and he will come and nudge me.

* His naughtiest habit recently, would have to be stealing bread of the bench, even if its in a bag. We have no idea how he reaches it, but he especially likes the cheese and bacon bread rolls that we buy!
What I love about Charlie:  To name a few...
-He's Adorable
- Really great with Children 
- Great with other dogs and he LOVES cats- he thinks all cats are like our cat Fluffy and I have to tell him that not all cats would appreciate a big lick on the face!
- He's full of character and personality
- His gentle, loving nature
- Fun
- Highly intelligent/ easy to train
- A great friend & always there accompanying me in my adventures
- Dad and I were talking the other day about how he seems to have a bit of an Off button. He can switch between lazy, sleeping & lying around Charlie, to crazy, silly and playful Charlie and back again almost on command. This is great because when we have had enough of the little brown blur racing around the house with the cat, we say "stop" or "that's enough" and he settles down! amazing!
- 2 and a half years of Obedience
- 4 years of Agility and we have been competing (not very regularly) for the past 2 and half years.
- A vast range of Tricks- I use to Google Dog Tricks when we ran out of things in the books to train! We also did a bit of service dog training off the internet- including opening cupboards, draws and doors. 
- Recently we have learnt how to fetch our lead and collar and I'm trying to teach him to fetch the newspaper at the moment- he's still intent on chewing it though!

  *When I was 13 & 14 I use to work/volunteer as an instructor in a puppy preschool and in obedience classes. A couple of years ago I was offered a place on an accredited Instructor course at the club I am currently with, however I didn't have the time with school, but I am hoping to do that one day along with getting my accreditation in Dog Training & Behaviour. At the moment I have been helping some friends with their dogs. 

Phew! So this is Charlie and now you know a little more about what else I do :)

I know it's not quilting but I hope you found it a bit interesting and enjoyed the pictures. I have been searching and searching through my computer for good pictures of Charlie and have accumulated quite a large folder now, although I am still trying to find his puppy pictures, they must be hiding somewhere...

Coming up Next week, I will share a little more about Agility and what it is.

Miranda & Charlie



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A dog named Charlie

It has come to my attention, over the holidays, that Charlie doesn't make anywhere near enough appearances, as he should around here.
So along with some other exciting changes that will be gradually taking place, you will be seeing a lot more of Charlie in all his cuteness (if that's a word?).

Agility training started up again on Monday, so I thought every week I would share what Charlie and I are up to, training, competitions etc. and including some photos.

So every week, starting next Wednesday there will be a feature on Charlie & Agility , I can't wait!


I am hoping to create a button soon called "Blogs with Dogs" and it is my hope that through sharing a lot more about Charlie and what we love to do (my other passion), that it might encourage others to share more about their gorgeous pups and companions and also promote the dog sport of Agility and how much fun it is...You never know, you might be inspired to join the fun and find a club near you!

 Offcourse there will still be all the creating, quilting and sewing that's going on now, but with a bit more of Charlie and other excitement thrown in, I hope you wont mind :)

A sneak peek anyone?

Next Wednesday:  Charlie's Profile and What is Agility?

Ps. In other news-  It has been super busy over here- getting ready for uni, trying to find a part time job, job interviews, agility, driving lessons, trying to finish hand quilting etc. so Thankyou to everyone who has been commenting or emailed recently, I'm sorry I haven't replied to you sooner.

Hope you have a great week,
Miranda & Charlie

Monday, January 31, 2011

My month (or two) in pictures!

To avoid having to write "The End of  Exams to the New Year, An essay by Miranda", which wouldn't not have been fun to read or write, I thought I would do a picture post to sum up everything that been happening, so here goes.... Drum roll please!.......

1. Week in Lorne (end of November) with some friends. Had an absolutely amazing time, met lots of great people and made many new friends that I see almost every week now.

2.  Home to find a lovely email from my friend Samm that really touched my heart and after such a wonderful week away, coming back the happiest I had been in a long time... I was really quite speechless. Guess what? I was Blogger of the month over at Stash Manicure and had won a gorgeous fat quarter bundle of Riley Blake's Quite Contrary Fabric! I love it and it is even more gorgeous in person... I have so many quilt ideas, I can't decide! Thanks again Samm, and all the amazing people over at Stash :)

To see the whole collection- Click Here
3. Exam Results came out- I did really well in my exams and was really happy with my results and enter score. I also got over 40 in Studio Art (overall subject scores are marked out of 50) so my name appeared in the paper which was really exciting and I was really happy after all the work I had put in. I still haven't posted my Major Works have I? woops, will do soon.

4. Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild's last meeting for the year- Basted and decided (with the help of almost everyone in the room) how I should hand quilt my Just Dreaming Summer Quilt. I also had to resew a few dodgy seams prior to Basting, after realising (after the whole top had been pieced) that the tension must have been a bit off and as a result the seam was loose (note to self: always check the seam after sewing). Luckily I didn't have to take the whole top apart, but it wasn't fun.

Basting & Marking

5. Perth- spent 2 and a half weeks there over Christmas and New Year with family and friends.

My uncles famous Trifle and my aunties Christmas fruit salad- YUM!

*It was also my Birthday in December :)
My Breakfast- the most amazing pancakes with yoghurt and berries!

* I took my Just Dreaming Summer quilt but didn't do any hand quilting- too busy, too hot and too humid.

6. After Perth we spent a week in Bali. We had a great time shopping in the markets, eating, visiting temples, lounging by the pool, walking on the beach, more eating and just relaxing.
View from our apartment
Feeding Turtles
The beach was just in front of our hotel

7.  I received my stocking from the MMQG Christmas stocking swap. This is my stocking from Clair, I love it! And not only did I receive a gorgeous was filled with all sorts of goodies including: Chocolates, buttons and fabric (in my favourite colours and including Owl Fabric!! oh my goodness) which was really kind and generous of her. Which has made me feel a bit awful for not putting as much in my stocking. I had intended to make some things and fill it with things from my favourite shop Patchwork House but we were so busy before going to Perth I just ran out of time :( 

BUT...I'm making her something special soon, its a surprise...Hi Annabelle! :D

8. Received Uni Offers = Really Happy. See previous post "A new beginning and a world of opportunities"

9. Almost finished hand quilting :)

10. Enrolment day for Uni = even more excited!
11. I have a bit of an owl obsession (it has become a bit of a joke between my friend and I)
  My friend...She isn't a fact she has a fear of sewing needles

but she made me this really cute little owl for my Birthday! I love it so I thought I would share it with you. I'm so proud of her! And even more exciting is that she said to me yesterday that she wants to learn to sew and asked me if I would teach her!
and that sums up what's been happening... so as you can see its been pretty hectic, and those are just the major things! This post still ended up being longer than expected- well done if you've made it to the end! 
Anyway, I'm off to sit in front of the aircon- It's 40 degrees here today and we don't have aircon or a fan in the study so I'm melting as I type.

Hope you have a lovely week
Miranda & Charlie

Monday, January 24, 2011

A new beginning and a world of opportunities!

*My "month in pictures" post has had to be postponed,  after reading Samm's blog post about all the issues Blogger is currently having with loading photos into blogs and blog posts and even whole blogs I thought it would be a better idea to share my very exciting news instead!

I found out my exam results and VCE mark early in December and was really happy with how I went but for the past month and a bit I have been waiting anxiously for University offers to come out and find out which course I got into.

And Guess what!?....last Monday I found out I got offered a place in my first preference of 
 Speech Pathology!!  

I am so happy and very excited at the moment!
It wasn't really until this year that I decided I might like to do Speech Pathology and it wasn't until after going to the open day at the university and watching the demonstrations that I knew this is what I would love to do!

 I decided I wanted to do something working with children and helping people and possibly in the health care industry but the past couple of years, my other ideas were doing a double degree in Nursing/Midwiffery and specialising in NICU, Psychology or  Primary Teaching. I decided on Speech Therapy because in some ways it is a little bit of all three and I think it would be really interesting. I also like the diversity in being able to work in schools, hospitals, private practise etc. 
 and Speech Therapy and many jobs in the health industry such as nursing and also teaching, are occupations that you can have a family and come back to.

 Also, I watched an American show a few years back where they were using therapy dogs in Speech Pathology with children, which I found really interesting because I do a lot of work with dogs and training (there's something you didn't know!).

Anyway, so there's my exciting news for the week! I have enrolment day this Friday and then University starts in March, so it's going to be all very new and exciting and I can't wait!

Hope you had a great weekend,

Miranda & Charlie

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's a bit late but...

Happy New Year!

      Hope you had a great Christmas and have been enjoying the holidays! I know I have!
Perth Sunset on New Years
It has been a long time since I have been around here, hasn't it?
I assure you I am alive...I have been away for the past month in Perth and Bali and had hoped I would be able to blog, but we were staying at my grandparents house in Perth and their computer blocks internet sites that you log into (for some strange reason!) and we didn't have any internet in no blogging, blog reading, email or Facebook (my brother nearly died with the lack of that last one!).  And the Christmas craziness before we left for Perth = a lot of blogging and blog reading to catch up on!

But I did have an amazing time away, relaxing on the beach, shopping and catching up with friends and family.

And I'll post on everything that's been happening (an exciting parcel- Madame Samm knows what this one is! , Exam results, Quilting, Perth- Christmas and B'day, Bali, another exciting parcel- this one from the MMQG Stocking Swap aaannnd Uni offers and agility) I think I'll do a post in pictures, with each picture representing something and then a little bit of words... otherwise it could easily become "The End of  Exams to the New Year, An essay by Miranda" which wouldn't be fun to read or write!

Hope you are well, have a great weekend :)

Miranda & Charlie