Saturday, December 20, 2014

Doing good things

When Dan and I had kids, we dreamed about our children being peace-makers, do-gooders, kind, caring people who make a difference in the world.

In day-to-day life, this doesn't always feel like a reality. Sibling squabbles and childish selfishness can get in the way of ideals and dreams.

So, we endeavour to do good things with the kids, in very overt ways, so they can see how good it feels to do good for others.

Our kids get a generous weekly allowance but they don't get to spend it all. Some they have to put aside for savings and some they put aside for charity or (as it is known in this house) Tzedakah. In past years, we have taken the saved up Tzedakah and the children have chosen a large toy to place under the charity Christmas tree at our local department store. Their gifts have gone to children their own age who otherwise might not have received a gift at Christmas time.

This year, we did things a little differently. Jake expressed a desire to do something for the homeless and to be able to give a gift in person, rather than leave an anonymous gift. He wanted to make a personal connection.

So, inspired projects like this one,  we took the children's Tzedakah money (and some of ours also) and we bought five backpacks and went shopping for useful and nice things to put inside.

Each pack had some non-perishable food items, some toiletries, some practical items like pen, paper, drink bottle, etc and a MYKI card with $10 credit for using our local public transport system.

Today was the day to hand them out.

Here we are with our backpacks on, ready to go and give them away.

We headed in to the city on the train and walked until we met someone who looked like they might need a little kindness. We introduced ourselves and gave them each a backpack and wished them a happy holiday. All backpacks were received with grace, dignity and good humour.

And this is how we all felt afterwards! 

I hope you all have a peaceful and loving holiday season.
Love Andi xx

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Yee-haw! A Texas quilt

Well, if we are going to take an Aussie quilt to QuiltCon, we'd better have a Texas one too! ;-)
This succulent was the closest thing I could get to a cactus at short notice ... lol
This is the first pixel quilt I've made that has the added element of applique. It's not easy to create a 5-pointed star using squares and rectangles! :P

CALTEX is at least part Texan isn't it? ;-)
I'm discovering that these map style pixel quilts are fairly quick and easy to make. The two that I've made so far will be cute companion pieces for our QuiltCon booth.

So excited! February is just around the corner!!!

Andi xx

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Aussie Aussie Aussie

In preparation for our trip to Austin in February, I thought it would be good to make something very Australian to share at our YouPatch booth.

An Aussie map quilt hanging on the most Australian of icons, the hills hoist!

In my first attempt at using patterned fabrics in a pixel quilt, I have used a range of thoroughly Australian fabrics: Terra Australis by Emma Jean Jansen.

Free motion quilted using pink thread in the Australia bit with wavy black quilting in the surrounding 'ocean'. Much easier to see from the back of the quilt!

This little quilt will be partnered with a 'Texas' quilt to take with us to QuiltCon.

Hope you get to do something stitchy today.
Andi xx

Friday, November 7, 2014

A fun collaboration (and a freebie for you!!)

You may know that the YouPatch software creates pixel quilt patterns using the Kona Cotton solids range (by Robert Kaufman fabrics). So YouPatch and Robert Kaufman have become firm friends since our launch earlier this year.

So when we were approached by the good people at Robert Kaufman to collaborate on a pixel pattern project, we were delighted to get involved.

Robert Kaufman have a new range of brush stroke fabrics that were created using actual scans of Vincent Van Gogh's brush strokes. How cool!!! So what better image to use in a quilt pattern than the artist himself!

This was our first pattern using non-solid fabrics so presented a bit of a technical challenge but decided we were up to the task and created this pattern for a pixel quilt:

The pattern is available here as a free download. You can find out more about this fabric range here.

Thanks Robert Kaufman for including us in this project!!

Andi and the YouPatch crew xx

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Make Modern (and a wrap up of the show)

The Melbourne Stitches and Craft Show was a whirlwind of craft and quilts and meeting people and learning lots and .... pure exhaustion!!

I've been told I look a little tired in this shot :P
Thank you to everyone who came and chatted with us and attended my demonstrations about the YouPatch website. We loved meeting you all and hearing your crafty stories!

But now the show is over and we are looking towards the next wonderful YouPatch projects and collaborations .... which brings me to Make Modern.

Have you heard about Make Modern yet? It's a new online Australian magazine all about modern quilting. Gotta love that!!!!

Issue 2 was released on Saturday and we are delighted to have a pattern in this issue as well as a great business review. Go check it out (here)!!!

Our pattern is a pixelated pink skull cushion (perfect for Halloween!!)

Please go and have a look at this great new offering and support a group of dedicated crafters (like you and me) making a splash in the world of crafty publishing!!

I think Make Modern is absolutely packed with value!! Great projects and articles. Everything I'm looking for in a quilty magazine! If you do buy the magazine, let me know what you think?

Happy stitching to you!

Andi xx

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Getting ready!!

Dan and I set up for our first trade show today: Melbourne's Stitches and Craft Show at the Caulfield Racecourse.

I was invited to be one of their 'guest artists' which is very flattering and I'm a little nervous (and excited) about how the next four days will pan out. I will certainly keep you posted.

In the meantime, here's a look at today's setup ....

A pretty big space to fill.
With my name on and everything! (Don't I look gorgeous in fluro??)

Half way set up. Still a bit messy.

The right hand section of the booth all ready to go.

Complete with my wall of divas!

And the other half.

With the computer ready to show everyone how YouPatch works.

Are you coming to the show this week? Please pop over and say 'hello'.

Much stitchy love to you.
Andi xx