Fabric Portraits, Baskets and Birds

I’ve been so busy with work stuff, that I don´t even have the time to blog anymore, so this post is about a few things I´ve finished but haven’t had time to write about.

So firstly, in December I finished the fabric portrait of my daughter Andi and Isabella. I´m still not happy with the outcome of my fabric portraits, I think I’ll probably stop doing them, in this portrait the change in colour value in Andi´s face is just too striking, It bothers me. Now looking at it after o many months I can see so many things that I should have added and/or done differently, so maybe what I should do is start a portrait and take month long breaks while doing it 🙂

This is the original photo

Next, I made a rice filled heating pad Llama, I found the pattern at The Crafty Quilter Here. I made the outer part like a cushion cover, the inside is made from plain cotton , this way I can safely heat it up in the microwave, before covering it with the outside minky part. I use this every night when I watch TV, it´s wonderfully warm and comforting.

I made another fabric basket, I really like the way it turned out, so I´m pretty pleased with it.

I think I´ll definitely make more, they´re so easy to make and the outcome is so worth it, I have meters and meters of batik fabric that was given to me a while back, so I´ll probably use that.

And lastly, I´m playing around with some blocks I made ages ago from a Jaquelyne Steves quilt along Here I just finished quilting the blocks and because I didn´t know quite what to do with them, I hang them up on a branch, I´m asked my daughter Andi to make branches with macrame, which I will then sew to the blocks so that hopefully it will look like a tree with bird houses, or something like that when it´s finished, its still a work in progress, so I might just use them as pot holders 🙂

Well that´s a quick round up of what I´ve been up too, have a great week and thanks for popping by 🙂


Fabric rope basket

Lately, I´ve been incredibly busy, with life stuff, so I haven’t posted much on my blog. Actually, I´ve been job hunting. To tell the truth, I´ve been doing that for years, because I have really hated my job for years, and it´s quite sad that we have to spend the majority of our lives in a place that we detest. I´m not one to moan and do nothing, I mean I did send my CV to loads of job applications throughout the years, but was never successful until now. I think that perhaps the universe knew that deep down I didn´t believe in myself. So anyway, a few months back I started speaking to my Guides and manifesting what I actually wanted, and believing in myself, and that it wasn´t too late for me, and it happened! I was contacted, asked to go for an interview, and got the job, which I´m starting on Monday. I´ll be responsible for the procurement department, so this is a really big deal for me, and I deserve this, I really do, Manifest Manifest, Manifest, and gratitude of course, grateful for this blessing that has come to me.

Well, if you are wondering what this has to do with a fabric rope basket….Nothing, it has nothing to do with the title of this post, I just had to shout this news to the world 🙂

So let’s get to it… I have wanted to make a fabric rope basket forever, so below is my first one and I totally love it.

I´m sorry I didn´t take a foto of the fabric before cutting it into strips, but it was a beautiful batik fabric, that I had been hoarding for a long time, I only bought half a meter, because it was so expensive and I had no plans for it at the time.

I left a little bit to make a simple table runner because I couldn´t bear to chop it all up, this way the fabric can also make its own statement.

This will definitely not be my first and only rope basket, I plan on making many more because it´s loads of fun and they look awesome!

Thanks for visiting and your patience with all my waffling at the beginning of this post 🙂

Scrappy Fabric Frame

In my never-ending quest to use my fabric scraps, I decided to cover an old frame I´ve had stored in the garage for years and years with….that´s right…. Fabric scraps.

I sort of separated them into colours and modge podge them onto the frame. I then had a mirror fitted to the frame, it was actually quite inexpensive, the mirror including labour only cost me 27€, so considering that I repurposed an old frame and scraps of fabric, I think it´s a total bargain.

Andi, my daughter, recently bought an apartment so she´s always on the hunt for inexpensive or free 🙂 goodies to decorate her new home, so she called dibs on it.

It´s actually very hard to take a photo of a mirror without it showcasing the photographer 😀 Below are my best efforts.

Here it is before installing the mirror.

And after

And here it is in its new home.

It´s quite big so it adds a lot of colour to her entrance hall.

It was a fun project so a win-win for everyone. 🙂

Veggies and Benches

I´ve been meaning to post this story for ages, but time has simply been running away from me and I´m having a hard time catching up with it, so this story actually happened a few months ago.

My husband´s vegetable patch was recently upgraded to an enclosed vegetable glasshouse, and the cucumbers went wild with joy and have been growing all over the place.

We originally had this,

Then we had this

Now we have this

When Hubby set it up, our greenhouse Inspector made sure everything was to code 🙂

What I love the most about this little greenhouse is that when the sprinklers come on, the sound of the water cascading down is amazing, it´s so zen, you can listen to the sound here, https://youtu.be/HSB4e94my0o (and thanks to Tierney from https://tierneycreates.com/blog/ for the tip on how to post video content to my posts 🙂 )

So here is a photo of all the gorgeous cucumbers growing, we had so many that we had to give some to the neighbours.

Since the heading of this blog is veggies and benches, let me explain about the benches. My hubby had some extra pallets at work, so he decided to make 2 flower benches. You might wonder what´s a flower bench, well it´s this mixture of a bench and flower pot holder, that I call flower benches, here´s the artist, sitting on his creation 🙂

The 4 legged members of the family enjoy them as well.

Well that´s it for my somewhat old news, I hope to back soon with some creative stuff of my own, Thanks for popping by, have a great day!

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 😀