Thursday 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015

2015 has been and gone like a whirlwind. It's been a good year on the whole.......lots of creative and personal achievements, many stitches sewn, and happy crafty memories made.

I didn't finish quilting Irish Circles, but it's getting close. I continued my love affair with mini's and tiny pieces of fabric, and rekindled an old flame with cross stitch. Dear Jane and I have reached a compromise, and I have even started on the border triangles. After a huge afternoon yesterday, all the triangles are cut or prepped for applique.

My goal for 2016 is to finish Irish Circles, My Dear Jane and this gorgeous cross stitch, Scarlet Ribands. And I'm hoping there will be one or two new projects too!

I don't usually make 2016 I just want to stay healthy, keep creating and look after my family and friends. Thankyou for your friendship and creative thoughts through the year, they mean so much more to me than you realise.

Wishing you contentment and happy stitching in 2016.
Susan x

Sunday 27 December 2015


I was beginning to think I had been naughty, but my SSCS from Carole arrived on Christmas Eve. The decoration is a beautiful wood turned ornament made by Carole's husband.

And the gift......a perfect little woolwork candle mat that I can use all year.

Thank you so much Carole, and Chooky for running the swap again.

I sent to Clare in NZ. I couldn't resist making the Red Home pincushion, it's one of my all time favourite designs.

We are in Newcastle catching up with family so no sewing, and the patchwork shops are closed until after New Years. I really need some new fabric and a new project to start the new year!

Susan x

Thursday 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas

I am so excited. Look what clever Mr 14 made for me just in time for Christmas week. He had been listening very closely to my thoughts about a new Christmas tree and came up with the design with a little help from Dad. The branches swivel for a more dimensional look, but I love it just the way it is.

AND my SSCS swap has finally arrived today from the US. Carole sent me an exquisite wood turned decoration handmade by her hubby. It won't be packed away with the Christmas decorations! I only have to wait one sleep to see what is in my gift. Thank you Carole, and dear Chooky for organising the swap again.

 Mr 18's gift tags are pretty amazing too. They may not be sewing anymore, but my boys have creative souls.

Wishing you all a safe, relaxed and happy Christmas.

Susan x

Monday 21 December 2015

My Dear Jane progress

Some inspiration from Carla and an afternoon in the air conditioning has seen some great and unexpected progress on My Dear Jane over the weekEnd. I have quit at 81 blocks, I just knew I wouldn't finish all the piecing and I am at peace with my decision. 

So a lap size DJ it will be. Here is Myf assisting with block layout.

These are the blocks all joined together.......I even used the sewing machine which is very unusual for me. I must admit that my joins aren't quite as tidy as they would be if I had hand sewn them, but I just wanted this done.

I'm feeling quite invigorated to look at the border triangles now. As with the blocks, I'm just going to select the ones I want to make.

The cool change is blowing in this afternoon, and there is a hint of rain in the air........very happy.

Susan x

Saturday 19 December 2015


I like to make at least one new decoration each Christmas.......and then make multiples of it to give away. This year I have only just managed to squeeze in one, and no extras made. But it is a cutie. Designed by Marg Low. Uh-oh, as I was finding the link I realised there is a series of these cute decorations, makes choosing the next one easy!

My Christmas tree is getting old and thin so I think I'd better make a lot more decorations for next year.......or buy a new tree! Although Mr 14 is working feverishly on a Christmas tree project in the shed, so who knows what will happen.

I really thought the SSCS sleigh would land yesterday, but I'm still waiting as patiently as I can. So many beautiful decorations and packages on everyone's blogs. I have been a bit slack commenting, but I have been admiring.

It's going to be a hot weekend, so stay cool and safe if you're in my part of the world.

Susan x

Saturday 12 December 2015

Back to it

I have given myself a stern talking to and have decided to do a little bit of hand quilting first whenever I sit down to sew. I don't want to wait for next winter to finish Irish Circles, and working on borders isn't too hot in summer. So here it is, the beginning of the second last border. I'm unsure if it needs a bit more quilting........will reassess when I finish the border.

We are in the peak of our pre Christmas festivities this weekend, oh how I wish I could spread them evenly though the year. Not a lot of spare time for blogging at the moment, but I have been visiting, just not leaving many comments.

My partner in the SSCS has received her parcel, and I am waiting "patiently" for mine. I thought it had come yesterday but it was my December fabric club from Cherry Pie Designs. Not disappointed with this gorgeous selection!

You may recall the little daschunds I made last month, well they were a test run for a Christmas gift for my son's girlfriend. Introducing Jam Roll.......I am looking forward to gifting this fellow.

Enjoy the weekend,
Susan x

Sunday 6 December 2015


I am procrastinating on some of my bigger projects by finishing off some of the smaller ones. I don't know what stops me from finishing some things off, but it's good to spend some time catching up now and then. After finishing the applique, it was good to get this pincushion made up on Friday. It's from a free tutorial by Leonie Bateman. It was very enjoyable sewing, and I'd like to do more with woven wool in the future. Thank you Leonie. 

I did this cross stitch earlier in the year but couldn't find the blog where the design came from. I stumbled across it again last week so found some finishing ideas. If you like pears and cross stitch you should definitely check out Marly's blog.

And these 1/2" hexies have been hanging around for quite some time. They are now a nice little spring clip purse.......because I need another purse as much as I need another pin cushion!

I hope you find time for some stitches today.
Susan x

Sunday 29 November 2015

Tis the season for giving

Another wonderful catchup with the Cassilis quilters today, last time for 2015. It was definitely like Christmas!

I made selvedge zipper pouches for Raelee, Julie, Kylie and Bev.......and a few spares.

And a new pin cushion for Lea, provider of the 1930's scraps.


And after. 

Beautiful gifts made by my talented friends, thank you so much. X

Susan x

Wednesday 25 November 2015

New routine and some help please

So my working days have changed and I'm trying to get used to a new routine where I work four days one week, then have six days off and work for two days, weekend, repeat. I really liked working Monday to Wednesday every week, I guess I'll have to get used to the change.

This week I've used my days to plough through some Christmas sewing, which is all secretive so I can't show you, and put the binding on this little fellow I started at the Middlebrook retreat. The Dresden is 5 1/2", and I am in love with the look of the echo hand quilting.

I need some help sourcing these. I don't know what they're called, but they are the BEST way to attach a charm to a zipper pull. I got these ones from Studio Mio, but they only have silver left. Does anyone know where I could get them, or have some they want to sell? I just crimp it with pliers and the charm stays put, it's about 3/8" open.

I surprised myself at the weekend by making quite a decent start on my Christmas shopping, and even wrapped it all up yesterday.........but the tree isn't up to put them under yet.......a job for the weekend. But not on Sunday because I'm having lunch with the Cassilis quilters! Looking forward to another stitchy catchup. 

Susan x

Sunday 22 November 2015

What a week

I won't bore you with the details, we all have those weeks we'd rather forget! No sewing done at all, but no housework done either, so I guess that's an upside!

I've been having a little play with selvedges, which will soon become Christmas gifts. Many of them are just too cute to throw away.

The week improved on Friday night when my eldest son and his girlfriend had their Year 12 formal. Despite the 40 degree heat,  it was a great night.

Nice to get a dressed up photo with Mr Thimblestitch too..........the pink is very bright for my usual taste.

And my SSCS gifts will be on the sleigh tomorrow to who knows where! I love being part of Chookyblue's international swap, it just wouldn't be Christmas without it.

Happy stitching,
Susan x

Saturday 14 November 2015

Lea's 1930's Leaves

I was very happy to finish the quilting on this mini last weekend, and the binding was quick to do today. It's so different to my usual colour palette, but I love it. It measures 15" X 13". Thank you to Lea for the scraps, and Judy Day for the inspiration.


Making mini quilts feels a bit indulgent. As beautiful as they are, they aren't very useful, but I do subscribe to the William Morris quote "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." I sew for the sheer pleasure in every stitch.

I'm having some quiet stitching time today, reflecting on world events and hoping for peace in France.

Susan x

Monday 9 November 2015

Retreat weekend

Home from a FNWF that lasted two nights and three days. Our retreat at Middlebrook was fun, inspiring and rejuvenating. We gathered on Friday and stitched the weekend away. I didn't take many photos because I was too busy being in the moment.

I finished quilting this little darling, and now just need to bind it. Almost had a disaster when I dropped cut passion fruit on it yesterday, but thankfully it didn't stain.

These three rascals snuggled under Raelee's first whole cloth quilt. I am so impressed by how quickly Raelee is mastering the technique, but it hasn't tempted me to try........yet.

Raelee also showed us her Violet all finished and bound. Such a beautiful (and huge) quilt.

I'm still dabbling with 1930's, this Dresden is 5 1/2" diameter.

Thanks for a great weekend girls, I think next time we should go for a week!

In other news, I can now be found on Instagram @thimblestitch1, but I won't be abandoning my blog anytime soon :)
Happy stitching.

Susan x

Friday 6 November 2015

FNWF - Extended version

I have joined up for FNWF, and will be sewing with friends all weekend. I'm off on retreat to Middlebrook in the Hunter Valley with the Cassilis Quilters and friends. I can't decide what to sew so I'm taking everything! 

Have a great weekend, I know I will!

Susan x

Saturday 31 October 2015

Sew cute

After seeing Dawnie's very cute George post I was inspired to finally have a go at making a little toy daschund. I had seen a few on different blogs and plenty in the shops lately. It didn't take long to find a free pattern here. One fat quarter, two buttons, some stuffing and a Friday evening later........Cecil was born (alternate name suggestion was Measles).

He was only slightly fiddly to make, and I loved that I had everything I needed on hand. His collar is from a Lindt chocolate Easter bunny. This one is 28cm nose to tail and 11cm high, but it would be easy to make the pattern larger or smaller (or shorter). I think I'll be making a couple more for Christmas gifts.

I hope creative inspiration finds you this weekend.
Susan X

Thursday 29 October 2015

A little indulgence

When I saw this book on Marina's blog I just knew I would need my own copy. I had planned to keep it aside for Christmas.........but it is still only I'm enjoying it now. Full of stunning red and white quilts and info about the exhibition. Maybe I'm not done with red and white yet!

And some fabric indulgence too. I joined Cherry Pie Designs reproduction club, this collection is Eliza's Indigo. I find fabric clubs a good way to add some diversity to my stash........and it's always nice to get a little package in the post.

Susan X

Sunday 25 October 2015

Mini flimsy

Yesterday I finished off my 1930's orange peel mini. I love the colours, and feel tempted to try a full size version one day. Thank you Lea and Marina for giving me some of your scraps to make it. Now to think about quilting.

I don't think I've shown you this mini. I started it straight after the Syndey show, full of red and white inspiration from the exhibition, and after seeing a similar style by Sue Daley. Now I think the "different" red fabrics are all too much the same. Need to add some 1/4" hexie flowers and leave it be as red and white........unless anyone has a good suggestion!


The weather has been lovely for gardening this weekend, but our beautiful sunny day just turned into a rainy storm........perfect after all my weeding and planting. Time for some work on my SSCS gift.

Susan x

Sunday 18 October 2015

Odds and Ends

Like everyone, I have been busy starting some secret Christmas not a lot to blog about. I have added red to some of my 1/4" hexie flowers.

Today I stuffed and finished off this Blackbird Designs pin cushion whilst watching the Moto GP. Not sure if I like the buttons, but they were called for in the pattern, and they're on now!

Some more DJ blocks from a while back, only six more blocks needed to finish my Jane at a reasonable size.

I seem to have more projects than usual underway and they are all slow stitching.........but they are keeping me out of mischief. Hope you find some stitching time in the week ahead.

Susan x

Friday 9 October 2015

Hexagon Medallion finish

I love this little mini. It's one of my all time favourite creations. It measures just 12" across and is made with 397 1/4" hexagons. I haven't ruled out trying my hand at a larger quilt made this way, just not quite crazy enough yet!

I am also happy to report that I had a light bulb moment that has saved my cross stitch when I was stitching with the Cassilis girls. As the linen is 32 count I can get away with using a single strand of thread, and won't need to buy more. I have just about regained what I had to unpick, and I actually prefer it finer. It was such an obvious solution. 

Hope you find some happy stitching time over the weekend.
Susan x

Saturday 3 October 2015

Warning: colourful project

Well, more colourful than usual for me anyway. Who would have thought I'd have a little fling with 1930's. Certainly not me because I don't own any. But I have a friend that has LOTS. Another mini has found its way into my sewing basket. I admired this one by Judy Day many years ago and came across it again when I was sorting through old magazines last week. Lea very kindly donated some 1930's scraps and I'm on my way. I could appliqué little leaves all day long, it's my favourite shape. Judy had another mini leaf design in APQ Vol 8 No. 9 (I think). I know I used to have the pattern but I don't anymore. Thank you Sue for finding the pattern for my blog buddies.

We also had belated birthday celebrations at the weekend and look what my wonderful friends gave me, a signed copy of Irene Blancks new book. Talk about the perfect gift, thank you girls. Lea made me a reel holder with special fabric from her US trip, and Bev made us all a gorgeous coathanger with stitchery detail.
I was very excited to receive my partner for Chookyblue's SSCS last week. It's so much work for Chooky to organize this international swap but I'm so glad she does every year, it has become a favourite Christmas tradition. Now to get my thinking cap on and start sewing!

Now all I need is a few extra sewing days in the week and I'll be right. Too much sewing......what a wonderful dilemma.

Susan x

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