Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grateful for legs that work..

About an hour ago I saw something that in an instant put things back into perspective for me.....
I've never mentioned running on my blog before because I fear that it will set up this false image of this toned fitness freak; one who looks down upon those who sit in front of a sewing machine instead of either being at the gym, or deciding upon which coordinating lorna jane outfit to wear to the gym.

Last year I finally went back to running after a 20 year break and ran my first 10km race. This weekend I am running that same race again. I have been training reasonably hard, and my body (legs) don't appreciate it as much as they did 20 years ago. I am having all sorts of hip problems which have been giving me a lot of pain into fancy sounding muscles in my legs. I can barely get up from the couch at night, and it hurts when I roll over in bed. I have been spending a fortune at the physio who leaves me bruised after he's tried to 'release' the muscles that are seizing.

This morning I went for my last run before the big day. I was feeling quite disheartened as I am really doubting that I can make my goal of running the 10km under an hour, and know that there is no way that I will be able to do my first half marathon this year. So, I am about a km into the run, I go around a bend and there is this brand new little motorised wheelchair swerving all over the path, with Dad alongside, placing his hand over the little hand trying to learn how to steer. I spoke briefly with the Dad, who smiled and said his son had only had his new $15 000 chair for about a week and was trying to get used to it. I look back, and this little boy, only 4 or 5 years old, had the biggest smile on his face and was revelling in the freedom of being able to move independently. What a thrill and an honour to witness this.

So here I was, feeling disappointed that I may not be able to run my 10km in under an hour. I suddenly felt incredibly lucky to have legs (and a body) that works. Ones that take me where I want to go and can function for themselves. They may not be the prettiest, but they work. They may hurt sometimes, but I am able to do something about that, I can stretch and do strengthening exercises, its within my power. It was not in this little boys power to walk at all.
So I am very grateful for legs that work. And I will be proud of my achievement this weekend, whatever that is.

Michelle xx

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just Wing It....

..... is a gorgeous Moda range from 'MoMo'. It's been in the shop for a short while now, but I'm hoping that very soon the quilt I have designed, will be up and ready for display. It is an 'old' block called 'Birds in the Air', but I have reworked it to make it layer cake friendly. I'm just loving it and this range works perfectly! I can certainly make half square triangles in my sleep now.. Here is a picture of some of the blocks. They are nearly all finished, so just need to put them all together (JUST I say!! ...like it is JUST a 5 minute job).

And for anyone interested 'The Quilters Corner' is having a stocktake sale starting tomorrow, with a minimum of 20% off fabric, but a fantastic sale table with fabrics at $10/m. The sale also extends to online sales, just put 'stocktake sale' in the comment box and Liisa will calculate your discount.

Have a great week everyone,
Michelle xx

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello old friend....

In an attempt to tidy up my sewing room, which incidentally didn't go too well, I spied a bag at the back of the cupboard. Inside was a quilt top I made just over 3 years ago. It is a traditional style, and one I chose specifically so I could hand quilt the large blank blocks. Very sadly, this is as far as I got.. Initially because I was after a specific backing which was out of stock. But as I waited, other projects took hold and so stuffed into the little bag it stayed. Maybe I will give up on the hand quilting idea and go with something a little more time efficient? It would seem a shame though, because I just love hand quilting, especially at this time of year. It is rhythmic and therefore relaxing. mmmm..... I think I am talking myself back into the hand quilting..

Enjoy the perfect quilting weather..
Michelle xx

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Special Present for someone special..

We had a lovely long weekend here in Brisbane, a little rain on Saturday night and Sunday morning, but not quite the torrential rains all weekend that were forecast.
Elsie, having caught the sewing bug (yay!!) was desperate, as usual, to put her new found love to practice. And what better way than to make her beloved prep teacher a gift for her upcoming overseas trip? And a travel journal seemed a perfect way to put those strips from Liisa to very good use.

So... first we set about sewing those strips together... (she had just been stacking them on top and sewing, but I thought we might as well move on to putting right sides together... and why not throw in a quarter inch foot for good measure?.... never too young to start quilting right?)

oh.. and note that we have now moved on to my 'back up machine'. Again, I thought we might as well since she was doing so well and the little one did tend to slip and jam a little...

... next we quilt the strips onto some batting.... and check out that quilting?! Hand on my heart she did this herself! It was enough to make a grown quilter cry! I couldn't believe how straight she kept it, and so competently finished off each row and started again.. all by herself! (can you tell I'm a little proud?)

... oh.. and note we have NOW moved on to MY machine? (not a permanent move though.. but my walking foot was already on)

.. then we sew on the little hand stitched "mrs East" label...

I then stepped in just to finish off, and Elsie popped the note book inside. She was as proud as punch and could barely get to sleep for the excitement of giving it to Mrs East, whom she "loves so much", in the morning.

The joy of giving is one of those most precious moments in life which feeds your soul immeasurably. To see Elsie experience this is a true joy for me also. We are very blessed for having Mrs East as Elsie's teacher, she is an absolute treasure and we hope that she can record some very special moments in her journal.

Have a great week, Michelle xx

oh... and Mrs East is a quilter! Does it get any better??

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pyramid Parade

This is the class that I'm teaching tomorrow morning. It started off as a quick way for me to put together a range which I just fell in loooove with, the fact that it was a cozy flannel in no way influenced me.... However, once it was spied by some in the shop, I was asked if there was a pattern available and if it was a class. So, "ta daaaa!" the pattern is written, with a good 13 hours to spare (poor time management really, I'm not normally prepared that far in advance..)
Looking forward to spending time with the lovely ladies tomorrow morning for class!! (yes, yes, I know, I'm bragging about my 'job' again..). And since Brisbane had a very unusual 'cold snap' today (a chilly maximum of 12 degrees), and more predicted for the weekend, I have to say that I think this little snuggly delight might just be coming back home with me for a wee visit.

stay warm and snuggle those quilts,
Michelle xx

(Patterns are available through The Quilters Corner.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I am always so grateful that on those mornings when things haven't run so smoothly, I can open the door at work, and be greeted by this....

It is wonderfully quiet and still, and there is nothing better to take your mind off a mess at home, than to surround yourself in beautiful fabric. It gets all your creative juices flowing and makes you feel happy again. I am so blessed to have a job that I love. I am at a place that I love to be and with people I love to spend time with. The Quilters Corner, is a very special place for me..

Have a great weekend,
Michelle xx