Wednesday, April 1, 2015

B is for Bears

My first niece was born when I was just 16. Given that my oldest sister is 15 years my senior and had been married for over 5 years when she finally came along I felt I had been waiting forever to become an aunty. I, like all my family, was baby mad and our gorgeous niece was doted upon. I crocheted her a little matinee jacket and a blanket as I recall.

I also bought her a teddy bear. Not just any teddy bear. I had very strict stipulations as to what constituted a proper teddy bear. He had to be brown or yellow, he had to be jointed and he had to have an intelligent look on his face. He also had to be affordable to a 16 year old whose income was a small allowance from her parents supplemented by money from babysitting.

That bear was the first of many. Over the years I bought each of my nieces and nephews a teddy bear, usually whilst they were in utero but occasionally afterwards. I ended up with 20 nieces and nephews on my side and 4 on my husband's side. I stuck to my criteria re the being brown or yellow and being jointed. The intelligent look wasn't as important :) When writing this post I put out a request to my nieces and nephews for a photo of their bears. Whilst I was a long way short of the 24 I had bought I was delighted to get photos of a number of these precious bears (including the original one pictured above)

When my 4 children came along different ones in my family took it upon themselves to buy a bear for them using the same criteria.


Fangirl's bear has shown some wear and tear so the head band she sports is NOT just for fashion. The 3 bears together belong to my two youngest sons. The bear who belongs to the oldest boy is MIA. He thinks it is here at home somewhere but I can't find him sadly. Perhaps he will turn up soon. I found a picture though!

By the time my great nieces and nephews started to arrive I was over buying stuffed animals for babies. I had seen how they seem to multiply in baskets and cupboards. I had become a quilter though and so I started to make quilts for these new family members and after a while I started to incorporate the teddy bear theme with them too either in the pattern themselves or by incorporating stitcheries that my mum enjoyed doing.

I do love bears

There were decorated bears all over Berlin when I visited there in 2013. How much fun for a bear lover like myself

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

WIP Wednesday

The Blogging A-Z challenge started today.

I have been madly trying to get blog posts organised ahead of time so that whilst we are out of the country or travelling to get out of the country I am going to be covered. So that has been my major WIP this week. I'm a bid OCD though and have to go in order so even though it is the letters H-P that I have to get done for whilst we are away (and potentially NOT having internet connections... or being far too busy having fun to be writing blog posts) I have started with A and have been writing them in order. To get them done I have set up draft pages for each of the posts. I have also set up folders in my pictures to assemble photos as I find them.

That was a bit of a rabbit hole to fall down. To find photos that I needed I had to, in some cases, access some fairly old photos, not all of which are on our current computer or on facebook. We have an external hard drive that had most of our photos on from years past but its temperamental and getting things off it has proved really difficult and frustrating and has been the source of a number of facebook tantrums as I forced my friends to live my frustrations with me. Eventually got most of them off. There is another computer with photos on it that crashed before I got photos off it. I keep meaning to check with a dear friend to see if he can in anyway get it rebooted for me so I can grab them. I don't like my chances.

Anyway... that has been something I have worked on. My First one A is for Apple is up already. Check it out

Apart from that... I have looked at Blue Pinwheel quilt for our patchwork group. It is pinned and ready to be quilted but so far haven't had the urge to quilt it.

I got the button and press stud sewn onto a little pouch in time to take to the Handmade With Love stall on Saturday but I forgot to take it with me. That was useful wasn't it. It didn't sell LOL. I made another one on Tuesday at our craft get together but it is lacking its button and press stud so will have to look one out and get it finished off.

Our stall was on Saturday at the afternoon tea for Our Rainbow House and it went ok given that there wasn't a big crowd at the function. My little zipper pouches were very popular but none of the denim bags sold. Some of the hanging towels went too. My photo was in the local paper looking elegant. I helped in the morning to set things up and afterwards with the clean up but during the event I was a guest. I had lots of fun and ate great food and hung out with my besties

Made block 12 for the POD Quilt along from Fandom in Stitches website. There was a choice of 3 different blocks and I liked the butter beer one best

 I haven't sewn my blocks together yet. I keep thinking I should do it but then think I will leave it till the end. Still working at doing the hand stitching on the blocks. I have a couple that I think I might redo. Have to get around to it though... and to deciding if I am going to redo them or not.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday WOW- WIPs on Wednesday and Lets Bee Social

A is for Apple


Apples are a significant symbol for our family, particularly apple cores. I have collected apple related things for many years. 

It actually started in 1989 when some friends gave us a pair of apple core ornament - and I bought another one when I saw it, and then another. I collected a number of apple ornaments as well when I couldn't find core things. Actually when I look at the photo above I realise that this is not completely true. Someone gave our oldest child a romper suit with an apple on it when she was born, a little before this ... only just realised that!!
Our original apple core ornaments are the middle one and the one on the right

An Apple Shaped egg timer

Kitchen towels adorned with apples

This beautiful collection of apples were bought when we had a family holiday around Tasmania. They are made from a variety of different timbers found down there

A Teapot for one! A gift from my sister in law Christine (From Bluebirds and Bumblebees)

A note book... also from Christine

When I got into quilting it was almost inevitable that I would start to collect apple and core related fabric.
my most recent Apple fabric - Assorted Apples by Nutex, a New Zealand company

 Christine also made me this lovely apple wall hanging and I found a gorgeous hanger for it. Unfortunately I ruined it when I washed it and the red embroidery thread ran. Tried lots of stuff to remove it but it tis what it is

 Christine and my sister Joy both made the same pattern for me after it appeared in a quilting magazine. One as a wall hanging and the other as a cushion.

I saw a gorgeous Apple quilt hanging in a LQS (Local Quilt Shop for anyone reading this not into quilting) whilst visiting Christine one time. I thought about it decided I would buy it but by then the shop had shut. It was a Saturday afternoon and it wasn't reopening till Monday morning by which time we  had left town. Christine went back to the quilt shop to try to get the pattern for me but they didn't have any left.

 I found another pattern a while later which I bought and made. 

I have never been convinced that it was the same pattern and I always had a niggle that the other, the one I didn't get to make was nicer. I wonder if it is the curse of human kind to hanker after that which they didn't have, that they didn't get to make or see... the one that got away. Is it a case of the grass is always greener?

I pieced the back using apple fabrics I had been collecting for years and making 12" blocks I hadn't tried before.

I loved the cut through version of the apple.. .really quaint

I hadn't really looked at this quilt for years till I got it out to photograph for this blog post. Now I really like it. It might not have been the pattern that I had originally seen and loved but I really like it anyway so I am happy.