We have just had a few days of family holiday going home to my Husbands’ family and catching up with old memories. IMG_4958

This is the first time we have all been away together over the seas for a couple of years so it was a nice 5 day break. I treated Miss M and Tessie to Wicked. Fantastic show, not the best seats but a great day was had. Miss M and Dad then went to the Semi final of the great Cats (Geelong AFL footy team) vs St Kilda at the MCG (the MCG for our overseas friends is a great Melbourne icon of the cricket and Australian Rules Football world.) And the Cats were victorious – yayyy they are going for back to back premiers after a drought of about 44 years. Unless you live here you would probably find it difficult to understand AFL Footy fever – a bit like the World Soccer cup or the Baseball in the USA I would think.



Yes they got wet!


Dinner with cousins


and dinner with more cousins. We don’t see them very often so for Matilda this was a first time memory for her -she now knows what a cousin is although I am not sure she understands where the uncles fit in.

Family is special and living across a stretch of water on an island restricts us a little from having regular contact with much of our family. But we think of them often and the internet is wonderful for keeping in touch.

ON another note Terry of Patchwork by Sea in Adelaide sent in some photos of their finished NPNT quilt- yet another colourway and look, they have done a great job don’t you think?


I also found some pics of a lovely soft version here. They are meeting weekly for a coffee and to stitch their blocks. What fun.

hugs for today, Helen

Published in: on September 11, 2008 at 1:41 pm  Comments (1)  

Teddy Bear


Teddy Bears have a very soft spot in my heart. Doesn’t everybody love a cuddly teddy bear. We are fortunate to still have both my teddy that I received as a baby and my husbands. I don’t remember the name of mine but my Husbands was ‘George’ – he has a very good memory and remembers many trivial things unlike me..  I am not sure a single teddy is such a big thing for kids these days. 40 years ago it was a special object given by a special person in the life of the newborn baby. Today, babies get so many presents, dolls, teddies, soft toys. None of my girls have one teddy they call their own special friend.

Teddies have always been a popular theme for stitchery designs and I have done several over the years, you can see some here.

Other designs can be found here, some favourites here and for cross stitchers look here.

I asked Miss Tessie to take some pics of our favourite teddies for you whilst I was writing this. Some I have made (in my teddy bear making days), some were collected, some given and some found a warm home here with us.



My teddy is the orange one and George is to his right.


Just what a teddy is for…


Teddy needs to eat his toast also…a teddy is always great for make believe games…

hug your teddy today

hugs, Helen

Published in: on August 25, 2008 at 5:28 pm  Comments (2)  

Fairy Floss

fairy floss

hello to all of my ‘Nice’ friends and stitcher’s. A very busy week here with lots of Angel swapping happening over here. And of course yet another birthday party for #2 Tessie Bessie. My waistline simply cannot take one more party! But as she had a lovely party with 9 friends at a Trampoline shed pretending to be Olympians. Fairy Floss, I thought was a suitable block to show you this week as it is sort of party food? Pity we cannot make it but we simply don’t need yet another electrical appliance in the cupboard which is barely used.

We are now well over half way through so if you are keeping up and putting your blocks together as we go you should be now seeing some lovely results. If you have just joined us never fear, just scroll back through the archived messages and all of the blocks will still be there.

Some party pics:


Jumpin’ Jacks – fantastic place for a party, walk in ,walk out, coaches, fun, games, food – everything a party needs to be.

tess cake

a very last minute attempt at a birthday cake  – but what the heck, they just eat it don’t they?


oh to be young, innocent, not a care in the world and have a sleepover party with your two best friends…. by the way, this photo was taken by me still in bed after breakfast in bed, reading the paper and generally having a perfect Sunday morning….

hugs for today and happy birthday my dear Tessie , Helen

Published in: on August 19, 2008 at 3:03 pm  Comments (3)  



Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of the birth of our little Surprise Matilda May. The innocence of children is priceless – to watch Tilly and her friends celebrate a milestone such as this  makes you realise that all is okay in their little world. She shared the occasion with 5 little friends and her family. We love you little one, don’t grow up too quickly and don’t lose that special innocence and purity that you still live by each day.

Tilly and barbie cake

I get to be a student at a workshop for two days tomorrow so hopefully lots of stitching this week. How are you going with the Olympics? I have finished two complete stitchery panels and almost finished colouring a new wallhanging…  Just have to get to the machine to make them all up now… Maybe an Olympics challenge is a good idea, see if you can get all your NPNT blocks up to date during the remaining 11 days of sporting events.

hugs, Helen

Published in: on August 11, 2008 at 1:01 pm  Comments (3)  

Cup of Tea

I think I may have missed a block this week??? So I am just having a cup of tea and browsing some blogs when I should be working here….


Cup of tea stitchery block of the week
Cup of tea stitchery block of the week

And look what I found here and here – how wonderful. These gals have started their own NPNT group and blog to keep each other going and it sounds like they are all so excited. It gives me great joy and satisfaction to watch others get pleasure out of a project or design. Listening to them chat about fabric choice, personalised blocks, alphabets, nice people and nice things is such fun. Why not pop over and say hi to them, I am sure they’d love to see your progress or what colours you chose. Thanks Colleen for sharing and being such a nice person 🙂

Reading through their young blog just wanted to remind you of a few things. There is an alphabet link on the side of this blog under blogroll where you can go and print out a copy of the alphabet I used. Then you can make up your own blocks or verses with matching fonts to the rest of your quilt blocks.
The nine appliqued plain heart blocks can be used for your own personalised blocks or the bonus blocks if you wish. Or some people dont like some of my choices 0r they dont apply to them so just swap them out for another if this is the case.
If you happen to get a box of cards with double designs or some missing PLEASE email me and let me know – there was a slight glitch with last batch from the printer and some cards have been mixed in the packs. I will replace them straight away for you.
Some of you will be coming along nicely with your quilt now. Why not send us a photo so we can share your progress and your achievements.. we’d love to see them.
my tea has gone cold – not hard when its only 2degrees here today so time to go and post a little giveaway here before working – pop over quickly to get in early.
There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.  ~Bernard-Paul Heroux
Another novelty is the tea-party, an extraordinary meal in that, being offered to persons that have already dined well, it supposes neither appetite nor thirst, and has no object but distraction, no basis but delicate enjoyment.  ~Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

Find some more lovely tea poems and sayings

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 11:42 am  Comments (2)  
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mmmm chocolate.. will have to share

okay, who doesnt love chocolate? I have to admit is is one of my two major vices in life and takes the shine out of any diet I attempt….. but its good for you isnt it?

Check out Sarah’s new blog at She has finally joined the ranks of blogging….hi Sarah.

We are very fortunate (or perhaps not) to live in the same town as the main Cadbury Chocolate factory. Now anyone who has ever visited Tasmania has visited the Chocolate factory. Unfortunately they have currently closed down their factory and tasting tours.

So for todays block I thought we could share chocolate recipes. Leave your favourite in a blog comment and I will choose the best one for a little suprise gift – its a suprise cos I dont know what it will be yet, but I can sure find something fantastic for the winner. Mention this giveaway on your blog and leave your recipe here by Friday of this week.

Now to my recipe:

from my Christmas Truffles book:

Double choc orange balls

250g/80z crushed sweet biscuits (graham crackers)

3/4cup desiccated coconut

4 tablespoons cocoa

395g/14oz can sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange liqueur

extra coconut or chocolate shavings for rolling in.

Mix all ingredients. refridgerate until firm. Shape in to balls, roll in coconut or chocolate shavings. Refridgerate.

hugs, Helen

Published in: on June 30, 2008 at 7:29 pm  Comments (6)  
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Here in Tasmania we have just had our longest night of the year. Celebrated with a lantern parade for the Winter Solstice as part of the Antarctic midwinter festival.

Although we do not have the snow and ice that many of our Northern blog friends experience, Hobart is known for its cool weather so we  rugged up in our thermals, gloves and scarves and braved the chill night air to experiene the parade, fire dancing and ice sculpting. Miss Tilly was most impressed with the thousands of stars in the trees at Salamanca – they have an avenue of trees sprinkled with fairy bud lights, she is convinced Christmas is here…

now to another ‘star’ in our papers this week… our very own Hugh Jackman (well who wouldnt try to claim him as our own?) was given a star in the pavement this week in the famous Hollywood walk of fame. Can’t wait for the movie to come out as I love both Nicole Kidman and the beautiful Hugh! ahhhh…. sigh….

closer to home, my  very own star rower Miss M received an award for best first year rower in her club New Norfolk this year and her U13 State girls singles champion plaque from Kate Hornsey – home for 4 days break in her Olympic preparations – Kate was an ex Ogilvie student and New Norfolk rower so is very inspirational to the girls proving exactly what can be acheived as she heads to Beijing. Molly, you are a star to us for your efforts this year and always.

hugs, Helen

Published in: on June 24, 2008 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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School holidays have just finished and we were treated to DD2 Cyclone Tessies baking each day. By the end of the two weeks she had perfected her Butterfly cupcakes. She really did do a good job despite me having no eggs, no cream, actually not many ingredients at all left in the pantry. But never stop a chef in the making – every bit of practise means more time for me in the studio instead of the kitchen in the long run:)

Of course cupcakes are very popular at present both in the stitching world and in the baking world. Here are a few sites to check out

52 Cupcakes

Angels come to play


okay, I am salivating again now…. some to eat, some to stitch.

have fun, send me a pic of your special cupcake..

hugs, Helen

Published in: on June 16, 2008 at 5:56 pm  Comments (4)  
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So here I am writing to you from Portland Oregon USA. We are visiting for the Spring quilt market. As I write this draft (2 weeks ago in Hobart) it is expecting to snow tonight so I am very much looking forward to going back to my favourite season of Spring again. And to be able to witness it in a completely new part of the world to me, I am very thankful. I hope to get a few minutes to wander around town and take some photos for you which I shall load on my return. Today, Monday we have just arrived here from Salt Lake City and have much to do in preparation for displaying our proud Aussie designs to the world on Thursday for a few days. So hugs to all, happy stitching and if you too are experiencing lovely spring weather, make the most of the sunshine, the bursting of new life in the gardens and parks and the happiness of children coming out of a cold winter…


Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Well as promised it is time to meet our hosts. This is Arabella, she is the house princess

and this is Boudreaux – he’s a little shy

and this is the master Gryffiindor

and this is the view from the back deck. It will never cease to amaze me looking out at this from every vantage point in Salt Lake City. I just cannot come to terms with it, its like someone is holding a big stage backdrop up in front of you all of the time. Its actually quite warm here 80degrees so of course I have packed all of the wrong clothes but isnt this just magical…??

hugs for today (Tuesday arvo here, Wednesday morning at home)


I had to choose kitties this week as we are staying at our dear friends Peggy and Dereks in Salt Lake City. Actually I have written this draft before I left and I think I have now just gotten off the plane after how many hours of flying so will attempt to add some photos for you.

They have the 3 most precious kitties and we are entrusted to them for one whole day until Peggy and Derek arrive home. So Gryffiindor, Boudreaux and Arabella will be our welcoming committee and they are just gorgeous… We first met them whilst staying with Peggy and Derek last year for Quilt Market. They are the ‘nicest’ couple and welcomed us into their home. Above and beyond their hospitality, Peggy drove us around town, collecting things for market, printing, shopping, sightseeing and setting up for market. Aren’t quilters across the world just the most amazing, generous people? It never ceases to amaze me. I hope I can return the favour one day.

Next week will come from Portland Oregon as we set up for quilt market. til then, happy stitching!

hugs, Helen

Published in: on May 6, 2008 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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