Madeira Island

This year for our annual holiday we chose Madeira Island. We chose it mainly for Covid reasons, because Madeira has a pretty good track record in keeping Covid in check and we didn´t know how things would pan out in other countries, also it helps that Madeira belongs to Portugal, and is only an hour and a half flight time which is great, because I hate flying.

For a long time I´ve resisted spending holidays in Madeira, I like to see places in different countries, different cultures etc etc. However I´m very glad we went to Madeira, because it´s really very beautiful and worth the visit. I must say we had a very laid back holiday, no rushing around to see every church, museum etc, and it was great!

We had the best time being pushed 2km downhill on wicker sleds, they really go very fast and the chaps that push them are very entertaining.

We have a great video that shows the speed at which these wicker sleds go , unfortunately I can´t post it because my WordPress plan won´t permit it.

We used the cable car to get to the top of the mountain where they have the wicker sleds, and the views were amazing.

Here´s me in the cable car, although I must say it´s not my favourite mode of transport, heights are really not my thing 🙂

Most of the beaches are black volcanic sand and pebbles, they do have sandy beaches but we didn´t go to any of those, apparently the sand was actually imported

Everywhere is lush and green with beautiful gardens.

There are banana plantations everywhere, and banana trees on the streets everywhere. A shop keeper told us that when she was young the whole beach front were banana plantations, now of course it´s all hotels, restaurants and shops, the price of economic growth.

Here is hubby next to a banana tree at our hotel.

Here´s a photo of a supposedly typical Madeira House, they only have about 8 or so of them in the same place, It’s really just a tourist stop, but still, they´re pretty and used as stores that sell traditional goods.

We also went to the natural pools of Porto Moniz, It’s a stunning place, well worth the visit to have a swim and spend the day.

And of course, I bought some traditional fabric, It’s very thick woven material, I´ll probably make a cushion cover or tote bag, not sure yet.

We really had a great time, the ideal mixture of relaxing and sightseeing, so I´ll end the post with a selfie of us both, getting ready to enjoy dinner at the hotel gardens 🙂

Home Quilt

Just finished another cute quilt, the pattern is, I love Home from Jacquelynne Steves Here

I´ve had this pattern for ages but only got around to making it now. Sometimes I really just like to follow a pattern, I still feel like I´m being creative without the anxiety of …..is what I am creating here ridiculous or is it good…. 🙂 yep I´m never quite happy with what I create from scratch.

This quilt was also an opportunity for me to practice some free motion quilting, I did feathers, pebbles and stippling, but the feathers were my goal, I´ve been wanting to try those for ages, and they didn’t come out to badly, just a few wobbles here and there.

Here is an image of the back.

And here it is, all finished , another quilt to add to my granddaughter´s collection.

Thanks for visiting, have a great day!

A Nighttime Garden

A while back I finished a quilt based on a  pattern by Suzys sitcom – Esmeralda´s garden Here When I first saw the pattern I really liked the fact that the background was dark depicting a nighttime garden. I’m so used to making quilts on white backgrounds, that it was quite a change to work with black.   

I changed some of the animals to ones that my granddaughter would find easier to identify, such as the owl, hedgehog and snail.

To make the animal blocks I only used my fabric scraps, I honestly thought I would make a huge dent on my scraps, but not true, I still have too many scraps, so now I´m planning a new scrap busting project.

I had quite a problem with the fusible I used on this project. I had heard so many good things about Steam a Seam Lite, that I ordered a whole bunch from Amazon, it was quite expensive with transport costs etc, it´s not available for sale in Portuguese stores. As soon as I started sewing down the applique pieces, my thread started shredding, and I couldn’t figure out why, I tried different needles, re-threaded a bunch of times, watched loads of videos on You tube on how to do maintenance on my machine, sanded lightly the top plate of the bobbin area in case it had a notch that the thread might be catching on, etc etc.

The thought that it might be the fusible never ever entered my mind, until I happened upon an old online post, where someone was having the same problem, and the culprit was Steam a Seam lite, it gums up the needle, and the thread gets caught on the gummy needle and shreds. So, I was totally ecstatic that the problem wasn’t my machine, and totally horrified that I had all these appliqued blocks ready for sewing down the appliques and I couldn’t sew for longer than a few seconds before the thread would shred.

Well….. I had to finish the quilt, I simply can´t have unfinished projects. So I got a Q-tip and poured some rubbing alcohol into a saucer, and every 10 seconds would stop and clean the gunk off the needle with the alcohol soaked Q-tip. Needless to say a lot of cursing went on during this whole tiresome process 🙂 Now of course I still have a bunch of steam a seam that I don´t want to use ever again.

In spite of the issues I had with the fusible. I really love this quilt, I simply love the idea of a garden coming to life during the night.

When not in use, it lives in my granddaughter´s bookcase, because it also has a story to tell.

Thanks for popping by, have a great day!

All about the Bees

Todays post is all about the bees!

So the other day I was sitting in our backyard porch, watching my girls make a macrame wall hanging, (more about that later), when I noticed a whole bunch of bees flying around near the wooden shed where hubby keeps his tools and stuff, and you must know that this shed is brand new, and Hubby is very proud of it, anyway I said to the girls…Goodness that´s a whole lot of bees over there…., So we went out to have a better look, and really there were a lot of bees going in and out from behind the shed which butts up to the garden wall so we cant ‘see behind it.

We contacted a Bee Man on facebook who had recently posted on our town page that he was available to help out in situations like this. Mr Bee Man came over shortly, dressed of course in his bee suit, checked out the area and the bees, and told us that they were probably just scouts looking for potential new home or food source, and that the next day they would probably be gone. Well… the next day there were more, but we decided to wait it out and see if they would leave.

Now although we are great bee friends and love to see them in the garden, we have quite a small garden and the dogs and cats were not to happy about this invasion, and my daughter Megan who was on holiday, didn’t feel comfortable sun tanning beneath a bee swarm 😊

Ok, so now on the third day  we called Mr. Bee Man again, so once again he come over and brought a bee hive  with him, and amazingly found 2 bee homes beneath the shed, one on either side, it was not easy to see or get to because the shed is basically just 15cm from ground level.

After much work and many hours Mr. Bee Man with his new apprentice, my husband, managed to transfer the bees  with each queen to 2 hives, it was really so interesting to see, how the bees took to their new homes so easily once the queen was inside, and how they would surround the opening and beat their wings to announce to the other bees who were still returning home from a day of foraging, that the queen was in this new home. Please excuse the photos but I took them from behind the closed kitchen window.

Much to the relief of all 4 legged members of our family, Mr Bee Man then left with 2 new hives full of bees for his little bee farm.

Well I must say, this whole episode was very interesting, and it was lovely to see so many healthy bees, because as we all know, Bees = Life.

Thanks for buzzing by, and bee safe!

Baby Blue

A friend of my daughter will soon be having a baby boy, she´s a lovely girl, so I thought I´d make her a baby quilt…… baby quilts are the best….Being on Covid Lockdown doesn´t really help when we want to make cute baby quilts, fabric stores are closed, and we can’t even leave our area of residence, so I had to make do with what I had at home, which in terms of baby-themed blue fabrics wasn´t much at all, Yes, I could have ordered fabric online, but I also took it as a challenge to use fabrics I already had.

Anyway, even with my limited fabric selection, I think it turned out quite pretty.

The pattern is very simple and comes together very quickly, I found it at

On the back I made a little label with baby´s name and date.

I gifted it to her the other day and she really seemed to like it. I´m very pleased I took the time to make this quilt, because in gifting this quilt, it was also a gift to myself, because gifting this quilt, brought me joy. Goodness…. being a bit philosophical here, but you all know what I mean 🙂

Itsy Bitsy Scraps

My scraps are growing at an alarming rate, I´m not much of a hoarder so I like to keep things simple and organised. So when I had finished appliqueing the top of the Esmeralda´s garden quilt, from Suzy´s sitcom, (which I still need to quilt and bind so I haven’t posted it yet), I had a whole bunch of itsy bitsy scarps that were basically unusable. Still I couldn’t bring my self to throw them away, I’m very frugal 🙂

All these scraps had Steam-a-Seam 2 lite on them already, so I thought I would just stick them down on some muslin. Actually I began sticking them down before I even finished the quilt top, whenever I had a few bits of scrap I would stick them down on the piece of muslin I had next to me. Needless to say I didn’t overthink it at all, I just sort of stuck them down.

I then put tulle over them, because I figured it would be easier to quilt, since some of the pieces didn’t stick down to well, and also because I wanted to have a more harmonious kind of look to the whole thing, kind of dreamy if you get what I mean. On the one I used brown tulle, I wanted to tone down the pink pieces, on the other I used Yellow tulle. It doesn´t really show up on the photo, but it does have yellow tulle on top.

I pinned them to canvas fabric and quilted haphazardly.

and this is how it turned out, 2 crazy wall hangings. I actually like them, I especially like the fact that instead of creating rubbish I created art, well that´s what I´m calling it 😀

AUNTS AND NIECES

When I was growing up I had a very special relationship with an aunt of mine, although she lived quite far from us, she lived in East London, South Africa, and we lived in Zimbabwe and then later on, in Johannesburg. We would spend a few weeks each year with my aunt and uncle on holiday. As a young teenager I would sometimes visit on my own during school holidays, my parents would buy me a plane ticket and off I´d go. My first ever date was on one of these trips. My aunt´s friend had a very good looking son, and he invited me to the local drive-in, being very shy I was petrified but my aunt encouraged me to go and so I did. When my mom found out she was livid with my aunt, and to my disappointment the boy never asked me out again, Hah Hah, I really was such a nerd 😀

All the above waffling is just to say that I think aunts and nieces can have a very special bond, this kind of relationship is very evident in my daughter Megan and my granddaughter Isabella, and that’s why I wanted to make a fabric collage portrait of both of them

Now, about the actual portrait, I´m not really happy with it, it´s my second “people ” one, but I feel I didn´t really progress, I found it much harder than the first one, and thank goodness my daughter Andi, Isabella´s mom helped me correct some glaring issues, because eventually I just couldn’t see the wood for the trees, in the end I also added some shading with inktense pencils, because the fabric I had just wasn´t the right tone.

I´m not sure I´m cut out for this type of work, but I´m pretty stubborn and I won´t give up on myself quite as readily as that young man did 😀 so I think I´ll probably be doing another soon, but I´m going to make it colourful, and not try to match skin tones, hopefully that will be more liberating.

It´s a Pink Angel mouse

Hello creative friends!

Seeing as I managed to make the Dapper Daschund without to much fuss, and it was such a hit with family and friends, I decided to make the Tilda Angel Mouse as well.

I must admit it wasn’t as much fun as I thought it would be, it´s more finicky, all the thin little arms and legs to stuff and more hand sewing than I like doing, or ……..maybe I´m just lacking in patience at the moment. Regardless, she is done and she is kind of cute, my granddaughter Isabella will like her I´m sure 🙂

Here she is in all her Pink glory.

I have 2 other projects I´m working on, which have nothing to do with stuffed toys, but they´re taking a while to do, so we´ll see how that goes.

Thanks for popping by to see Miss Angel Mousy. Stay Safe!

The Dapper Dachshund

During this New year’s festive season we were on lockdown because of the corona virus. Basically we weren’t allowed out of our home town, and from 13.00 to 06.00 we had to stay at home.

So this seemed like the ideal opportunity to make a toy. Why not, I had nothing better to do! I downloaded the Dapper Dachshund pattern from the Tilda site. I love tilda fabrics, the only problem I had, was that I didn’t have enough to make the little doggie, and I wasn’t allowed to go to the neighbouring town to buy some, so I had to use what I had at home, sorry Tilda..

I think this is the first time I ever made a stuffed toy, but it come out all right, of course with the pattern it’s dead easy to make. I added a ribbon collar and semi precious stone to make her a little more dapper.

Well there you have it! A fun cute project that looks adorable. Its new home will be in my granddaughter’s /guest room here at nana’s house 🙂

Fun Stuff

Hello Creative friends!

lately I´ve been making fun stuff, yep, no stressing about making life like fabric portraits or being acclaimed as the number 1 fabric artist in the world, Nope! it´s been all about being cool, trying new stuff, spending more money on craft stuff, buying stuff I already had, but forgotten I had, you know, just cruising along 🙂

So here is one of my fun projects. The pattern Here is from Pam Holland, who in my book is a world acclaimed fabric artist, she is truly brilliant. I had great fun drawing and colouring fabric, and the colours are so vibrant, it really is such a fun and gorgeous project.

My other project is a coloured and thread painted fabric Panel. Now that winter has arrived, we light a fire in the fireplace every night, it´s set up to heat the radiators in the house, the problem with this, is that sometimes before it gets going it can smoke a bit, and I didn’t want my precious Rhino quilt Here to get grey and grubby from the smoke, and I wouldn’t be able to wash it. So I decided to cover it with a panel, that took minimal effort and after winter I can take it off and wash it, and my rhino will reappear fresh as a daisy in the springtime again.

I have meters of this panel batik, so I cut some of it, and had some fun with it.

So now in the evenings I don´t see my Rhino, but I do get to look up at my fun panel.

And to top it all, my aunt who is a retired seamstress gave me her treadle sewing machine. Well my mom asked her if she would sell it, because she wanted to give it to me as a present, but my aunt offered it, so mom took it to a sewing machine professional who tuned it up etc. I am so happy with it, it sews like a dream. It´s a Portuguese model called Oliva, from the 1940s, they don´t make them anymore.

It still has the original manual, isn´t that great!

This machine is just brilliant and I am having loads of fun with it.

Thanks for popping by, have Fun.