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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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Kids and Sewing – School holidays

sewnbyleanne_kidsandsewing_umbrellalady

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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