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Summer holidays

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Life has been busy, chaotic and loads of fun so far these Summer Holidays.  With 4 beautiful children life is NEVER dull, and NEVER predictable !!  sewnbyleanne_summerholidays_children

These 4 kids are having a BLAST, and we have done a lot of firsts these holidays as our youngest is now 4 1/2.  We have gone for bush walks and seen small waterfalls and been to the beach without Daddy.  I have always been reluctant to do either of these things by myself with the kids “just in case”, but the older two are older and are stronger swimmers.  They are also the cautious ones (thankfully!).  Also, the youngest is now capable of walking further and less likely to run into the ocean with NO fear !

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The Beach was so much fun – however I took the cautious approach and went to a Bay beach – very small waves – even ripples some would call them !!  I thought this way the kids would build up there confidence with the sand, shells and I could keep track of the 4.  They built sandcastles, jumped waves, had ice-cream and just generally had a BALL !!

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Quilting tends to take a backseat over January.  I sneak it in at night or when the kids have settled to watch a movie occasionally.  However I have managed to start/ finish some projects along the way.  Somewhere in the world this week or the next, a lovely lady in the US will receive a parcel from me !!  This photo just gives you a sneak peek at the colours contained.  I love Emma Jean Jansen’s Terra Australia range and when it come to internationally swaps I love to send a little with them – as a little piece of Australia too !

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I have almost completed my first commissioned Quilt for the 2016.  This gorgeous Quilt top and the Anne Krelle Fun Robots as the backing will look stunning in little boys nursery <3.

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And of course January here, brings with it another birthday and being spoilt by my family xx

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Thank you everyone for your constant support and I am so looking forward to the blessings that 2016 will bring xx

Leanne 🙂

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A week of Ups and Downs.

This week has been one of “Ups and Downs”.  It has been the first week of the school holidays, and in our family of 6, one by one our family has succumbed to illness.  Always a challenge to continue to work from home while dealing with sick children – but it has given me the opportunity to do a lot of hand sewing – allowing me to sit on the couch with the kids, yet still cross items off my to-d0 list !!  Multi-tasking in the “mum” way !!

There has been A LOT of incidents lately on the News involving Domestic Violence, and yet another partner this week murdered !! Unbelieveable !!  I love the call out by @jackiegillies I shared week #Quiltstohealviolence.  The Quilting Community is a buzz with Tic Tac Toe blocks and it is sensational to be a part of it.  While I was sitting on the couch I drew the cartoon below and decided that it will be part of my Bee Hive Sampler Quilt with all the blocks we have created this year.  The Quilt block The Jagged Little Pill designed by @Molli Sparkles has a middle 8″ Square perfect for a message !!  I don’t embroider very often (don’t look too closely !), but my Mum did teach me as a little girl.  I just used the threads that were in my stash.  And while I was being cuddled by sick children I embroidered this – with the “corny” phrase “Quilting binds us together”.  There are many occasions when the Quilting community will come together to support another – and I am very proud to be a part of it.  The Community’s generosity never ceases to amaze me !!

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My daughter and I also made these gorgeous little pouches for one of her friends who’s Mum has just had another baby !!  Miss C choose the fabrics and we created the hexies !!

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Love it when we can use the scraps and fussy cut them into something so stunningly beautiful <3.  I like a little bit of English paper piecing but I am not a big hand sewer !

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We used two of the hexies and quilted them to the front of the little pouches !!  4×5″  they are large enough to hold Big Sister’s special little items !!

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While they were all watching a movie or two,  I’d sit down at the sewing machine, and I created an “Improv” Quilt Block – this one based on the Traditional Herringbone Quilt block.  Ive created a lot of Improv blocks before without the sashing but this was the first time with all the fussy sashing.  Hmmm I’m not sure if I have become a fan or not ???  It does use a lot of fabric and takes quite a bit of time due to the pressing in between (as you know I’m not one who always presses a seam before the next !!)  I will have to try this again to see if there are any little tricks that I could cut down the time effectiveness !!

All in all, it has been a week of “ups and Downs”, but thankfully we are now back to the UPs, and writing this post has been very therapeutic in saying the week is OVER, now for the NEW one – where the LONG AWAITED  #FQSFarmerswife1930 begins !!!  Yay the first block has been announced – pop over to GnomeAngel’s Blog to find out more !!

Have a great week

Leanne 😉

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Craft, Craft, Craft galore in August…..

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Craft has certainly taken pride of place in our home this month !!  I have been dabbling in non-quilting activities – such as creating my “One hour  and longer ……” Basket for Lil’ Pip Designs, pattern testing for Little Moo Designs, with yet another TWO patterns (Kylie is amazing with her designs), creating my children’s birthday cakes and making aprons as party favours for my daughter’ cupcake decorating party. The house has been filled with Glitter, Glue and Sugar.

But before I show you just how this month has got so busy – I must show you how perfectly the “One hour and longer…..”  Basket looks in my sewing space !!  It is just awesome <3 <3

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I adore Quiet Play’s Paper Piecing Patterns.  This one has been on my to do list for a while.  It fits perfectly on top of my thread drawers !!  yep they are all filled with Aurifil threads !!  Thank you so much for the basket Jane – it is divine !!  Currently it holds my WIP Cotton and Steel Hexagons for the up and coming Charm Along.  More on this later though………..

Back to the craft……..

Here’s a look at the Frozen Ice Castle Attempt I made, with coloured toffee !!  I have stacked up a mountain of cupcakes and surrounded it with toffee shards !!  Not a bad attempt for my first attempt at making toffee – at least I didn’t ruin any saucepans !!

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The Party Favour Aprons for the girls to wear, also became the craft activity too.  I have used a lightweight canvas on the front, and the back I used Michael Miller Fabrics new Colouring-in Range Panels.  Each panel is 60cms.  The width was perfect for each apron.  At a local craft store I found Fabric Pastels in a little box – so each girl had one to take home and finish the colouring in also !!

 

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This Bombshell Bag is just one of the patterns I have made for Kylie from Little Moo Designs in the past couple of months.  I really enjoy pattern teasing for her.  The patterns are great – easy to read and follow and the best part is – the result is useful and practical !!

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This bag is great as a little girls toiletry bag, a make up bag or simply for there bits and pieces.  I quite like this pink laminated cotton print with the black cats and their green bow ties !  I found it in  Gail B’s Patchwork,  I work casually for.

As well as all of this, I have been working behind-the-scenes on my computer, on something very exciting !!  Which I will be able to reveal early next year.  Sometimes it is so hard to keep a secret…… shhhhhhh!  I find computer work quite frustrating most of the time.  I get an idea in my head of how I want something to look, but then it takes ages to figure out how to create it on the computer.  I guess it is a skill within itself though……….

Apart from all of this, Quilting remains my favourite craft and I have a couple of WIP which I will show you later in the week……….

Enjoy…..

Leanne xx

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Beaches in Australia ……..

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The Beaches in Australia are renowned all over the world.  So when a Mini Quilt Beach Swap came up on Instagram, I took the challenge and started thinking of what the Beach means to a born an bred Aussie like me.

Most tourists would think of surfing, sun, yellow soft sand, sun baking, maybe our surf life savers (nippers too!) and resting !!  Well growing up in country Victoria and then Melbourne, to be honest I have visited the beach mostly in Winter.  I love walking along the beach or the numerous piers, all rugged up in the winter woolies, enjoying the sound of the waves, watching the kids collect shells and memories along the way.  I find the beach far more relaxing in Winter…  why??  because I don’t need to worry about the numerous applications of sunscreen so we don’t get burnt and watching four active young kids in the surf (much prefer the bay beaches with no surf).  The smell of the salt water, setting up the picnic rug and having hot chips from the local fish and chips shop watching the kids make sandcastles and tunnels are all family memories I will treasure.   My darling husband proposed in the middle of winter while walking along one of the amazing Great Ocean Road beaches – this always adds to my love of the beach in Winter xx

Don’t get me wrong – the beach in Summer is still an adventure, and the kids and I  love it even on a very hot summers day – but I guess now as parents we see it differently – but they LOVE it, even with me turning them into hat and “rashie” covered, water bloated, sunscreen smothered kids !!

The first paper pieced item I have made is one of a Seagull.

sewnbyleanne_beach_seagull Seagulls are everywhere on Australian beaches – especially where there is food !!  I remember one of my first trips to the beach with friends and throwing a chip at them, as they just hovered beside us !!  My friends quickly explained that this action was not done, as they then scavenge for more and they did.  One Sea gull was even brazen enough to pick one up from the paper itself.  Some will call Sea Gulls pests, but it looks amazing when you are lying on the beach looking up and there is a large flock flying overhead !!

The second piece is a Sea turtle.

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Sea Turtles are amazing creatures.  This comes from my time living in Northern Queensland and seeing these amazing creatures on the beach!  This was a joy to paper piece from a tutorial by Sew Hooked on Craftsy.  The block is only 5.5″  square – so a great way to use those “little” scraps of this Cotton and Steel Basic.

The third block is a Starfish.sewnbyleanne_starfish_beach

Starfish remind me of the endless walks on the beach and over rock pools searching for Sea life.  Finding these amazing Starfish within the rock pools and seeing their colours glistening in the sunlight !

The beach is such an amazing environment that is viewed by so many of us in different ways….  I’d love to hear from you and see what you think makes Australian beaches unique !

I’m not quite sure how these blocks are going to come together yet, but it is a work in progress and I’ll be sure to let you know !

Have a great week

Leanne x

 

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New Nursery Decor for a Special Little Boy…..

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A beautiful new nursery decor for a special little boy…

Chrissie chose new beautiful ranges of fabric before Master P was born – this stunning Backyard Baby Range from Michael Miller and the pink Wee Wanderer also from Michael Miller. We didn’t know what gender their new addition was going to be – so creating could not start before Master P arrived.

The order was :  fitted sheet, flat sheet, bunting and 2 cushion covers.
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So the week master P arrived I ordered this gorgeous fabric range, and when it arrived – it is even more gorgeous in person <3.  The fabric has a beautiful soft feel to it.

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The first cushion cover is square, and just lent itself to some fussy cutting beside the polka dots.  Chrissie had sent me a text during the week, and used Paddy instead of Patrick – so I decided to machine embroider this gorgeous “pet” name to the cushion.  ON the second cushion I found this teal ribbon with polka dots at Spotlight while going through fabric – and thought it would be a perfect match and it was !!.

The fitted sheet and flat sheet were made from the polka dots – giving the nursery decor lots of colour for a sweet little boy.

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The bunting has 15 flags and is double sided.  I used an Ash Blue for Patrick’s name and machine applique’d the name to the front flag !  It looks so good in his room all together.

With the spare fabric – I created a cot sized pillowcase for when he is older.

I feel very honoured to have been entrusted with this creation.  Bringing a newborn baby home to their new nursery that you have spent HOURS contemplating and designing  is such a special time for all parents…

Enjoy <3 <3

This is just one example of how Sewn by Leanne creates Nursery Decor to suit your needs.

Have a great day.

Leanne

 

 

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A Whale of a Time for two beautiful boys

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I created “Whale Of a Time” last month for a very special arrival in my extended family.  We weren’t sure whether he would be a he or a she – so Elizabeth Hartman’s Preppy the Whale pattern seemed ideal !  I had completed the top of the quilt a couple of weeks earlier but was awaiting the arrival of this gorgeous baby to choose the backing – as I have to confess if Master P was not a boy the backing would have been pink !!

These rainbow whales just make me smile every time I look at them – a great quilt for tummy time.

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For the Quilting I used swirls but included on each whale the splash of water coming from their blow holes – it looks really effective .

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Last week, my cousins sent me a photo of their gorgeous boys enjoying their arrival gifts !!

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Isn’t Master P so cute ??  So little when they are a week old !  The Size of the Quilt 60×45″ is an ideal size for a play mat or a cot quilt, or both.

Now for Master H who is just about to turn 2 – I thought how do I make him feel special too – so I created this double sided super hero cape – on one side it has the Batman logo and the other Super Big Brother.  Apparently he was Super Big Brother for days – fantastic !!

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Being a Mum of four – it is always that fine line, giving them the attention while everyone “goo and gahs” over the new arrival.  Im glad the cape made Master H feel brave and super !!

Congratulations T & C on your beautiful boys.

With lots of love

Leanne

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Kids and Sewing – School holidays

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Kids and Sewing.

Well it is school holidays here for two weeks.  It is when I try desperately to balance Sewing and the kids needs and desires !!  Do I achieve this balance ??  I guess the answer to this fabulous question depends on the day, hour, and minute.  When it all goes pear shaped – do I reassess – yes;  do I have the solution – No; and do I try to achieve too much – always.

Kids and Sewing

For years now, I have been a list person.  There is a LONG LONG to do list, a weekly to do list and a daily to do list.  There are many days, even when the older three are at school, when I look at my daily to do list and think – well that was ambitious to even think I was going to achieve ALL that !!  So I have tried a different tact these holidays – to make the kids feel like they are the centre of my universe – which of course they are (always) 😉  and so that I feel like I’m not getting behind in my orders and quilting, and therefore getting VERY stressed, snappy and those those “wonderful” characteristics of a frazzled Mum.

I have forced myself to choose 3 things that I want to do,  so – whether it be, making that binding, making dinner early or cleaning the bathrooms – only three of my jobs come off my daily list, to my essential list.  The kids also get to choose one thing from their school holiday wish list each day (within reason – my three year old, has visiting a police station and going to the moon on his wish list !)

So far we have been able to complete their wishes, and most days I have been able to do some work, and the older three know they haven’t been forgotten – or Mum hasn’t disappeared into the “land of quilting” (as my 8 year old calls it!).

I don’t know what it is like in your home, but the first few days of the school holidays seem to be the most challenging for my crew – each one getting used to the fact they have three siblings in their face 24 hours a day without the structure and constant stimulation of school!!  The lounge room couch seems to shrink as they all want to sit in the same space !!  What the ??????  After a couple of days, they have found their own little niche, their own games to play together – these holidays it seems to be  – the tickling war !!

Now after Week One I see that we have accomplished quite a bit !

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Fairy Gardens have been created……..  with many thanks to Kylie from Little Moo Designs.  I purchased these adorable fairies in November and have stored them away for a quiet time – and little Miss found them.  She spent hours in the garden playing and was very excited to hear a fairy or too chatting to them !! Ahhh !  It is great to see her imagination explode with delight !

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We have taken a couple of walks down by the river to see the ducks, and the enormous rapids (Hmm The Yarra doesn’t have rapids – but in my children’s eyes the ripples were rapids!  They will get a shock one day if they ever want to go White Water Rafting in Tully, Qld!).

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Master O even wrote his own name for the first time !!  Yay !!

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Playgrounds have been found along the way !!

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Cousins have come to play!!  While the boys were outside playing, Miss H and I created this foxy Cushion.  It is a promise I made her last holidays, and we and so much fun creating it.  Thank you Elizabeth Hartman for your gorgeous foxy pattern !

And what have I created you ask – hmm title kids and sewing – well I was so excited when one of the members of the Quilt Club Australia FB group posted “the Umbrella lady” from JMZ Blond on Craftsy, that I just had to try it.  I have developed a real love for paper pieced quilting, finding it allows you to work with small pieces with ease.

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I really love this pattern – and find it has so much scope to imprint your own personality into it !!  This little one is going to a very special lady !!

Although the shortened and child involved lists have worked for one week, there is no guarantee it will work for another – but here’s hoping (fingers crossed!).

There are many other projects and quilts on the go, but I haven’t been able to photograph outside for a couple of days due to Melbourne’s inclement weather !!  Stay tuned as when the Sun comes out – there will be loads of pictures for me to Show and Tell !

I hope holidays are going well for everyone !!

Leanne

 

 

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Sunday Wrap up

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The Sunday Wrap Up ….

I’m starting a series of Sunday afternoon wrap ups, where I will be showing you what has been going on at Sewn by Leanne.

This week involved Quilt Tops, Quilt Blocks, receiving a gorgeous handmade gift for my daughter from KBS Designs, working with gorgeous fabrics, organising an 11 year olds birthday and just enjoying being a Mum.

Mothers Day 2015

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There were lots of cuddles and kisses this morning, a sleep in and gorgeous sweet pressies to greet me today !!  Gifts that they had made at school and kinder, along with mothers day stall purchases and of course shh – my favourite Maltesers ! (Chocolate without being overtly chocolate!)  Candles, Zipper Purse, key ring, pens, chore vouchers – I can cash in on anytime – and cards to treasure …. all making a great Mothers Day.

Together with dear friends we spent the day, playing and chatting – with soup, bread and chocolate pudding !  Thank you <3

Quilt tops

This weeks aim was to finish 4 quilt tops that 3 gorgeous clients have requested !  The first two Quilt tops are part of my favourite Equilateral triangle Cot Quilt Range.  I love how the different colours pop, especially outside in the gorgeous sunshine that popped through the clouds in Melbourne earlier in the week 🙂  The colours are all from Robert Kaufman’s Kona Cotton Solid Range.

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See how the second Quilt has the warmer colours – with a touch of Amber, Latte and Chocolate !!  These Quilts are stunning to brighten up a nursery <3.

sewnbyleanne_equilateraltrianglecotquilt2The third Quilt top is filled with loads of character….  Each fabric gives each fox, it’s very own personality ….

sewnbyleanne_foxyquiltAll the fabrics were created using fabrics within my stash, oranges, yellows and reds are some of my faves !  With a couple of contrasting colours to liven up the “foxy pack”.  Can’t wait for my client to receive this Quilt 😉  I have used Elizabeth Hartman’s Fox block Pattern to create the faces, and altered the sashing and layout to fit the Quilt dimensions I am working towards.

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This King Single Quilt top is even more stunning and glamorous in person.  I have seen this Michael Miller’s Glitz Fabric range in online fabric stores frequently, but now having seen it in person – it is simply stunning.  Many would say “No, don’t put spots and chevrons together”  but I think these work perfectly.  And the white sashing allows this little girl to treasure her Quilt into her teens and beyond.  The pinwheel blocks create interest amongst the Squares.

Alice in Wonderland Clock by KBS Designs

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On Friday this gorgeous clock arrived for my daughter and it will look AWESOME on her wall.  Being in First Grade, she is obsessed with the time at present.  When I saw Alice I just knew she would be a perfect fit into Miss C’s Room.  Karyn has gorgeous high quality bespoke decor for all ages – make sure you go and have a look at her page  here !

Quilt Blocks

This week’s block was “The Busy Block” at Blossom Heart Quilts.  I am loving learning how to paper piece !  This block has an amazing transformation depending on how you organise the four parts of the block.

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In the end I choose the third arrangement, as I liked the way the light blue frames the “leaves”.  This Busy block would make an amazing Quilt, with the impression of leaves and wonky stars !

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My Hive’s May Queen Choose “The Double Star” block for her choice in greens and aquas.  This is one of my favourite blocks so far that we have created.  I am excited to send this one to my Queen and look forward to seeing her final Quilt top.
sewnbyleanne_doublestar_mayqueenAnd as I LOVED creating Elizabeth Hartman’s Foxes so much, here is a close up of a FOXY Fox !

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Last night as I ran out of Kona cotton solid White – I played with a few scraps – and created this “Sweetheart Block”  it is not finished yet -I aim to get it to 12.5″, making it “Three hearts in One”.  but we will see how I go !  it is a bit fiddly with half inch blocks – and might be better as a paper pieced block – but I shall let you know !

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I hope you have enjoyed the Sunday Wrap up – I hope to make this series a weekly post, so that you can see what is being created and designed at Sewn by Leanne.  Again I hope everyone enjoyed their Mothers Day.  Give your Mum a huge Hug……..

Blessings as always,

Leanne

 

 

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Mothers Day 2015

Mothers Day here always brings mixed emotions.  I love being a Mum, revelling in being woken up with kisses and cuddles.  Showered with homemade and school made gifts, mixed with little trinkets they have bought from the school Mothers Day stall…….  Coffee cups, necklaces, pens and notepads have been among the delights so far, Bless them !  They are so excited as I open the presents…..  hang as they open the presents for me… saying I can help Mum !!

However there is always a part of me, that misses my Mum and the Mothers Days we spent together….. and what it would’ve been like had she met her grandchildren etc..  In my heart I know she is with all four and me, but it is a day that I still battle focusing on the fun, rather than the sadness.  Thank you Mum for everything.

As kids we used to get up early for the traditional toast and cuppa making, so Mum could have it in bed, and then we would go to my grandmothers to celebrate Mothers Day together.  My Mum would get excited to receive the “art” we had made at school, and still had a lot of it when we cleaned out the garage years later !!

It is not exactly how I planned to start this blog post on Mothers Day tutorials but it gives you a little insight of the person I am……..  Here are some great tutorials to make something for your Mum for Mothers Day – it is not too late…….  and HANDMADE IS ALWAYS FROM THE HEART…. <3

1.  Kylie from Little Moo Designs…. has put out a great tissue cover pattern for free !!  Such a gorgeous pattern for a stunning gift !

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2. This one is also from Kylie at Little Moo Designs ……  make a set of Oven Mitts and Hand Towel  “The Kitchen Essentials Pack” ….. Always handy and a VERY quick sew !

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3.  Jane at Want it, Need it, Quilt it has a great pattern for a small bob bag……  This is a great little bag for your little odds and ends !

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4.  The Inspired Home….. a great blog for ideas …….  has a great tutorial for the kids using handprints and footprints on Canvas…. so simple, yet so effective !

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5.  And have a look at these gorgeous Felt Dahlia Brooches  …… simply stunning !

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I hope these tutorials have given you lots of ideas to spoil your Mum this Mothers Day…..  Remember please to give her a hug and say “I Love you”  …. you never know how long you have with each other … treasure every moment .

Blessings

Leanne

 

 

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Happy Memories

Happy Memories are something to treasure.

This post is more personal than most I have written or will write, and gives you an insight to our family and why Sewn by Leanne has been a little quiet for the past two weeks, as I concentrate on our family.

I am so glad our kids got to know and love their Beautiful Grand-dad.  I have been waiting to write this post for the past week, but it is all too emotional, but as I sit and think about how the funeral is going to be on Friday – I treasure the happy memories, my husband and I and our kids have with him.

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Grand-dad was fantastic at entertaining the kids.  Bryan would tell them stories – and see how silly he could make them before one of them said “Grand-dad, I don’t think this is a true story or I don’t think that’s possible !”.  He loved leading them up the garden path.

Crib, was his game of choice.  Grand-dad taught our eldest when he was 5, and by the time he was 6, Grand-dad did not like to be beaten !!  I would watch  Grand-dad, my husband and our eldest playing cards – and they were peas in a pod.  Saying very similar things, in a similar way……  the genetics is very strong (shhh!  don’t tell hubby that!)

We live 8 hours away from his house, but he would drive down for birthdays when he was well.  And when Grand-dad arrived no-one knew exactly how long he would stay……  he would stay until the noise and consistency of four children got to him!  But that was ok…… He was a pleasure to have around!

I often said, Grand-dad is easy to please, as long as there is a cup of tea nearby !!  Melbourne is well known for it’s coffee and cafes, but being a tea drinker – he was not impressed.  We would go to cafes and the tea was just not up to scratch – hot water not hot enough, the wrong brand of black tea etc……….  He gave up on tea eventually at cafes and ordered coffee !!

My parents have already passed on to heaven, so I have always been grateful for the love, attention and pride Grand-dad had for our children.  My Grandparents were a huge part of my upbringing, which I loved.  When we told our children that Grand-dad had gone to heaven our two oldest boys were sad as our youngest will probably not remember the fun times and cuddles from Grand-dad – however he will as we will always keep his memories alive by telling him the funny stories we had !

We love you Grand-dad, Rest now, and know that you are loved by your family, and will be with us always in our hearts <3.  The tears on Friday will be because we miss your quirky sayings, laughter and smile xxx

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