Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Smiley Christmas

It's just a few days until Christmas....

I feel as though I had a little bit of early Christmas cheer last week when I went to my letter box and found the next edition of Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine waiting for me.

 I flipped through the glossy pages and there on page 58 is an article about my Happy As A Clam quilt!!  Just in case you're wondering, Yes, I did jump up and down with excitement and dance around singing "WooHoo!!". I'm so pleased this quilt is having it's moment in the spotlight.

Happy as A Clam hangs in my hallway and as I pass it there's a little girl with a big sunshiny smile that catches my eye and I can't help but smile in return.

A wonderful reminder that this is the season for sharing smiles.

So with a happy smile I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a super Solstice and lots of joyful times over the festive season.

“Peace begins with a smile..” 
― Mother Teresa

“It only takes a split second to smile and forget, yet to someone that needed it, it can last a lifetime.” 
― Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” 
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

PS. Here's a little sneaky little giveaway for those who have read this far ... I know Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine is hard to get outside of Australia so I would like to send a copy to a lucky overseas person. This giveaway is for Blue Mountain Daisy followers only, old and new. If you would like you name to be included in the draw just quote "Smile" in your comment. 
I'll draw a name on New Years Eve  :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Fun Flimsy & Giveaway Winners

What a busy week with lots of giveaway fun!! Thank you to everyone who left wonderful comments on the Cultural Fusion Quilts book and the SewMamaSew Giveaway Day posts. I loved reading your thoughts about the book and hearing about your favourite fruits. There were even fruits I'd never heard of like clementines, and honey crunch apples, I hope I get to try them one day.

A big welcome to all those that signed up to follow my blog. I'd love to return the favour and visit your blog too, so leave me a comment so I know where to find you. 

I'll announce the winners in a moment but first I'll share the blocks I couldn't resist making as soon as I'd read Cultural Fusion Quilts. The quilt pattern is called Rocky Road to Kansas. 

The blocks were a great opportunity for lots of free cutting and piecing gentle curves. I had a great time playing with bright contrasting colours. And fabrics too, there's a bit of old pyjama pants in the mix, some older fabrics and some new ones.  

I really like the quirky diamonds created by the adjoining crosses.

My trusty sidekick on the Rocky Road to Kansas adventure was Betty Bernina. It's not often I get her out from under the bed but when I do I love how true her stitches are and the steady purring noise of her motor. Pretty good for a $10.00 find at a garage sale. I've been thinking I should call my quilt Afternoon with Betty.

I haven't decided whether I should add borders yet. I'll have a look through my stash to see if the right fabrics jump out at me. 

Okay, I'll stop keeping you in suspence and announce the winners of my recent giveaways.
The thing did the choosing. 

Cultural Fusion Quilts
Iris Grayson

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway
Tula Pink fabrics - KimPaula
Kitty fabrics - Barb V

I've emailed the winners and will be sending out packages when the post office opens on Monday. 
Thanks again to everyone who participated!!

You can still have a chance to win a copy of Cultural Fusion Quilts by visiting the last few blogs on the book blog hop. Or race over to Amazon  and pick up a copy there. 

Friday December 12 Jan Burgwinkle @ Be*mused
Saturday December 13, Janet Treen @ Quiltsalott
Sunday December 14, Lindsay Conner @ Lindsay Sews 
Sujata at The Root Connection Blog

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sew Mama Sew GiveAway Day!!

Yippee Yay - It's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!

A big welcome to anyone visiting my blog for the first time, and always a big hello to my regular visitors. 

It's like giveaway city around here, with my previous post as a giveaway too, pop back and check it out. 

I'll keep this brief because I know there are zillions of givaways to visit. 

I've got 2 prizes for 2 lucky winners.

First up a Tula Pink bundle including a yard of Cameo from the Parisville range...

...and other bits and pieces from Tula's earlier ranges.

For a second winner - a fat quarter bundle of the cutest cat fabric that ever there was. 
Here Kitty Kitty, a beautiful organic fabric by Alyssa Thomas

I love the aqua and greys and pretty yellow in this range

Okay, here's what you have to do to win one of these fabulous prizes. 

Answer this simple question: What is your favourite fruit?
And for fun if you are a wonderful follower you can have 2 extra comments, that's 3 in total for followers!

I'm happy to ship any where in the world.
The winners will be picked randomly on Saturday 13th December at 5pm, Blue Mountains/Sydney, Australia time.

Normally I try to reply to comments but it's going to be a busy week of getting around to giveaways so I'll say a big Thank You now for visiting my blog and taking part in the fun. And an extra big thank you if you become a new follower.
Good Luck to everyone!

Ps. For more giveaway fun visit my previous post where I have 2 copies of a totally awesome new quilt book, Cultural Fusion Quilts to give away.

**This Giveaway is now closed - Thank you to everyone for all your wonderful fruity comments. They made me want to eat fruit salad all week long. 
The winners are:
Tula Pink - Kim Paula
Here Kitty Kitty - Barb V

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cultural Fusion Quilts - Giveaway

Welcome to Day 4 of the blog tour for the best new book to hit our crafty book shelves.


Cultural Fusion Quilts, 
A Melting Pot of Piecing Traditions  
15 Free-Form Block Projects
by Sujata Shah 

Sujata is one of my very favourite quilters so when a bird told me she was writing a book to say I was excited was an understatement. The book certainly lives up to my expectations and more!

Let's start with a quick summary of the plot – Sujata has been making quilts for a long time starting with traditional quilts but along the way she has drawn on influences from her colourful childhood in India, a degree in Graphic Arts, American Gees Bend style quilts, and African textiles and weaving. She has gathered these ideas and developed her own free, joyful style. Now, in Cultural Fusion Quilts, she is sharing her free form, curvy, colourful techniques with us.

When I was writing notes about this book I found I soon had a long list of reasons why I think Cultural Fusion Quilts is a 'must have book'. You'd be here reading all day so I decided to narrow it down to 6 reasons beginning with the letters of Sujata's name.

1. Special memories. Sujata begins each project by introducing the inspiration for the quilt. These include memories of times in India, her family, special moments in a day and so on. I'm usually the kind of person that flicks through books to look at the pictures, but Sujata's observations had me captivated and I found myself flipping the pages to read her next description. It gives the book a personal touch, as though we're being told stories over a cup of tea.

2. Understand, that is, Easy to Understand. Sujata's experience as a quilt teacher shines through in the book.The projects and patterns are simply laid out, with clear step by step instructions and accompanied by coloured diagrams.

3. Jump to it !! That's what these free form quilts and projects make you want to do.Truly, As soon as I'd looked through the book I went to my sewing room and started cutting fabric for one of the quilts. As I've been sewing the Rocky Road to Kansas blocks I'm already thinking about the Endless Mountains quilts or the beautiful Winter quilt. It could be tempting to make one of each quilt, but it wouldn't stop there because for each project there are further Possibilities included, which brings me to the next point.

4. Abundance of ideas, There are 15 wonderful inspiring projects that each include a pattern for a quilt. In addition to each project there are pictures of other ways of using the blocks, inspiration photos, and sometimes more than one quilt using the same block. With all the different possibilities and inspiration photos there seems to be a lot more than the 15 projects provided.

5.Time efficient – The projects include instructions for stacking fabrics for quick cutting. Easy breezy!! This isn't something I have done much in the past. Not only was my cutting time minimised but I spent less time dithering over which fabrics to use in individual blocks, as long as I had a good contrast with fabrics the combinations worked perfectly.

6. Accessable - The book has something for everyone, for beginners and experienced quilters alike. For beginners, the clear instructions will have you sewing up blocks in no time. For more experienced quilters the book has great tips and tricks.  For everybody there's inspiration galore with awesome fabric and colour play. I love that because the blocks are free form, those wonderful irregular shapes are desired and not frowned upon by quilt police.

This Giveaway is now closed - Thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments. I can highly recommend buying this book if you aren't one of the winners, and follow along with the rest of the blog hop or visit the past blogs to read their reviews. 
The lucky winners are Jeanne, and Iris G, both of whom have been contacted by email. 

Okay , Enough of me raving – It's time for a giveaway.
C&T Publishing are giving away a copy of Cultural Fusion Quilts to US residents and Blue Mountain Daisy, that's me, is giving away a copy to an “International”. 
For a chance to win simply leave a comment about what You think sounds good about the book. And let me know if you're a US resident or International. 
I'll be randomly picking the 2 winners on Saturday 13th December ( Blue Mountains/Sydney, Australia time)
Good Luck!!

There are plenty of chances to win a copy of Cultural Fusion Quilts by following the Blog Tour. You can also have a chance to win a quilt made by Sujata by visiting her blog The Root Connection. 
It's a great line up of wonderful blogs to visit each day so join in the fun and follow along.

Tuesday December 2 Sujata Shah @ C&T Publishing

Wednesday December 3 LeeAnn Decker @ Nifty Quilts

Thursday December 4 Victoria Gertenbach @ The Silly Boodilly

Friday December 5 Rachaeldaisy @ Blue Mountain Daisy  - You're Here!!

Saturday December 6 Lori Dejarnett @ Humble Quilts

Sunday December 7 Casey York @ The Studiolo

Monday December 8 Malka Dubrawsky @ A Stitch in Dye

Tuesday December 9 Sherri Lynn Wood @ daintytime

Wednesday December10 Bonnie Hunter @ Quiltville's Quips and Snips

Thursday December 11 Jake Finch @ Generation Q

Friday December 12 Jan Burgwinkle @ Be*mused

Saturday December 13 Janet Treen @ Quiltsalott

Sunday December 14 Lindsay Conner @ Lindsay Sews

Yippee Yay For Cultural Fusion Quilts!! WooHoo!!! Lots of cheering!! :)

This Giveaway is now closed - Thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments. I can highly recommend buying this book if you aren't one of the winners, and follow along with the rest of the blog hop or visit the past blogs to read their reviews. 
The lucky winners are Jeanne, and Iris G, both of whom have been contacted by email. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Wedding Bouquet

Hello December! Where did you come racing from? 

I'm sticking to my 'flowery first of the month welcomes' with another flowery post. Nothing too quirky or clever this time, but something a bit special. 

As most of you know I'm a florist so I guess it goes without saying that over the years I've often imagined how my wedding bouquet would look. Sometimes I'd prefer a simple posy of scented sweetpeas or gadenias, or something funky using fruit and sticks, or perhaps an armful of trailing vines entwined with colourful orchids,  or a big blowsy bouquet of peonies. In fact I used to joke that I'd have to get married 100 times to have all the bouquets I wanted. But until recently even though I've made a lot of wedding bouquets, I've never had one I could call my own. 

Last weekend Mr Daisy and I walked down the grassy aisle, and in a cathedral of trees we tied the knot. We've considered ourselves married in our hearts for a long time but this was the real deal ceremony that makes it official, so I got to have my very own wedding bouquet!

In the end, after all my flower fantasy bouquets, my choice of flowers was deternined by my dress. I tried on a few dresses of different soft pretty colours, but in the end it was an orange sequin dress that ambushed me and insisted it was the one. A simple style, but nice and sparkly. 

With my orange sequined dress as my muse, and knowing Mr Daisy was wearing a pale blue, grey suit, I planned my bouquet. 

An informal posy of seasonal flowers, with the majority of things picked from gardens the day before. 

Here's a list of all the bits and pieces that I used.

From our garden:
Variegated NZ Christmas Bush, Metrosideros 
Parsley flowers
Wheat (sprouted from stray chickens feed)
Native Wooly Bush, Adenanthos
Native pink bell, Elaeocarpus 
Spanish Moss
Japanese maple 
Flannel flowers

From my friend Nadia's garden:
Various succulents 

Hanging over neighbours fence:
Chinese Lantern, Abutilon

From a flower shop:
David Austin roses in blush pink 
and also cream
Roses, 2 shades of orange
Orange carnations, I think the variety is Ivonne
Dusty Miller, aka Silver Suede

Dried pepper berries, collected on a recent holiday

It's a wonder I could fit so much into a little bouquet.  It certainly made it fun to look at, with different angles revealing different things. 

I had some cream lace read to cover the stems but at the last moment I decided to tie it with a simple strips of 1inch cuts of fabric. Lovely unfinished fraying edges and a loose floppy bow seemed just right for the quilter in me.

I've saved and washed the ribbons with plans of using them in a quilt one day. 

And planted the succulents. Hopefully they'll take off and grow and be a happy reminder of a wonderful day.

I only got a few snap shots before it was time to run out the door. And none of my flowery headpiece, or the grooms buttonhole. We had professional photos taken on the day so there'll be proper pictures to share one day soon.

In the meantime I've got a lot of blog reading to catch up!! I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to. 


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