1st SAL.....Peg, Dale and I committed to stitching Anni Downs - A Gardener's Journal in March. I blogged about this on my blog thinking maybe one or 2 others may join us and lots of girls indicated an interest so I decided to start this blog where we can all encourage each other to meet the goals set along the way....March 2010 -March 2011...........
2nd SAL ......well so many of the girls wanted to continue on with another project and some new girls joined us and now approx 91 girls are stitching Natalie Bird's Tis the Season. March to Sept 2011...............
3rd SAL....many girls want to stick with the SAL so now we have moved onto Anni Downs Some Kind of Wonderful - My Favourite Things Quilt.......Oct 2011-Oct 2012.........
Where are we now.....
4th SAL 2013...is numerous smaller projects from the previous 2 books Tis the Season and Some Kind of Wonderful plus some projects from Red Home by Natalie Bird approx 60 ladies stitching together.........
2014 we had the year off..............
5th SAL 2015..........inspired to continue we are doing another quilt project.....Anni Downs newest quilt Natures Journey.....
6th SAL 2017.............A Holly Cottage Christmas by Michelle Ridgway.......once again the pattern is in an affordable book so it is easy for everyone to join in...........and you can raid your stash for the fabrics........or lash out and buy a the whole lot........this SAL will be run by Fiona aka Bubz Rugz and Raewyn........

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Late Introduction

Hi Ladies, posting a late intro here!

I am Joy from Days Filled with Joy,  an Aussie who lives in Saudi Arabia.

I've been here in Oz for the past two months, which has been great because I could order my book and be sure it arrived safely, rather than trusting the mail system over there.... it is now in my suitcase ready take back...

I was going to buy thevfabric here in Australia as well, but then decided I'd better buy it when I get back to Arabia because my suitcase is too heavy already :) So when I get back I'll go shopping and then post my fabric choice... I'll be behind, but hopefully I'll catch up soon.

I'm enjoying seeing all the blocks that have been made!

Susan: Also a Finish

I finished my block last week and forgot to post it! *face palm* Here it is:

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Block One nearly done....

Here we are nearly at the end of the month - it's been great to see progress on the blocks so far - thank you to those who have shared, it's always inspiring to see how everyone tackles the block as well as the yummy fabric choices :-)
You'll think I'm pretty slack (as a SAL hostess) for sharing just a partial finish - my block doesn't yet have it's pieced squares added.

Some lovely fabrics that I have been waiting for have come into my local quiltshop - I'm going to use those for my quilt instead of these, which were bits and bobs from my scrap box. So I'll be starting over and probably turning this into a cute mini ... great for Christmas gifting I think!

Remember to keep sharing, everyone - and keep calm (and post anyway) if you get behind - this is a friendly encouraging place to be :-)
Happy Sewing!!

Christmas Stocking

Hello my friends.
Busy time at our house looking after a sick 
baby grandson.
So at last I had time to finish 
Christmas Stocking block. :)

I only made up the side blocks as still sorting fabrics 
for the squares.
Please with stocking block.
Happy Stitching,

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Taahdaah! Done, dusted and way over due!

I thoroughly enjoyed stitching along with you all. I believe I am not the only one trailing along. I encourage those of you who have yet to complete their quilt to stitch on. 
I did have mine done for a while but I seem to loose momentum with all of my quilts when it comes time to bind them.  But once I get going I can't wait to finish.  She is hanging nicely in my living room...I love it.  Thank you Chooky and Susan for your patience and gentle nudges. 🇨🇦


BTW, I didn't know if there was an instagram tag, so I used #hollycottagechristmas
Finally, I have something accomplished, though I'm not finished. First, here are some of my fabric choices:

  Am I going to be the only one who will do everything backwards?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June block finished

 This fabric didn't show up well in the below photo
so I made this to show it better...
I had bought a charm pack a few years back, can't
remember the brand but I have some fat quarters from
the same fabrics so that is what 
I'm using for the patchwork...I used a piece of
felt for the circle and left the stitching off the toe
and top as the fabric already had stars on it....
Looking at the pudding applique, I've decided 
to use some other stitchery from the book
for that block as Christmas pudding really
has no significance to our family....And I've
decided to do the candle mat as a gift so I'll be doing
that soon to count as my May project....
I'm enjoying seeing everyone's posts...
AKA Mama Bear

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Still Prepping

I started the month by gathering my fabrics ànd cutting the base blocks, sashings and borders.

I am using a "Winterberry" charm pack for the 4.5" squares and some 2.5" squares with the remaining squares and applique from my stash. Instead of red/green I've been wanting to work using blues in a Christmas quilt and found a lovely blue/gold for the sashings and have gone with a pale blue base fabric for the blocks.

Doing "scrappy" is something I struggle with and need to have some control over fabric placement ... so ... prep, prep, prep. All the 2.5" squares and 4.5" squares are cut and layed out ... ready for sewing.

I also need a bit more of the blue/gold for sashings. My apologies for not following the plan exactly but I will start on the stocking shortly .... promise.

Block 1

As I live in a small Cray fishing /tourist town in Western Australia we  can't even buy a needle let alone fabric sew with the help of my lovely friend Fiona in Queensland and the internet she bought some beautiful fabrics for me to match what I had from Quilters Angel ...

Backing and borders...

with my fabrics

First block finished...Not sure how I will frame my blocks yet...

Also another lovely blogging friend Jo sent me these great buttons to complete my candle mat...

Looks GREAT !!

Huge thank you to both ladies...

Hugz Maria


Friday, June 9, 2017

Susan Oh2Sew June block

Ready and raring to go - June's block is done.

I opted out of the May small project but I have been secretly prepping since I signed up.

To be able to fit this into an already overloaded schedule (darn that I still work), I am "streamlining" my approach - machine applique and maybe no stitchery - still pondering that one...

Here is my Block #1 for now.

It's great to see a few early starters.

June Block All Complete

The other day I posted my June block, completed, sort of!

Well over the last couple of days, I have been cutting two and half inch and four and half inch scrappy squares .  Still have about fifty plus to go on the two and a half inch scrappy squares.

But out of the squares I have had cut, I  decided to join a selection to my "Hang the Stockings" block.

Am looking foward to July.

Block 1

Block 1 completed although I have just noted a mark on the white fabric. May have to re-do or tea dye!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hang the Stockings - Completed

Cannot believe that I have completed , Hang the Stockings, well, basically completed, stillmin process of cutting my two and a half inch scrappy squares.

In the big picture, I  am rather happy with it.  I always like to put a little gold stitching on most of my blocks, so did the cross-stitches and straight stitches in gold thread, however,  I may change my mind and purchase the recommended dark gold 860, see what happens when I go to the city.

Until next time, happy stitching.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Making a Start

Hello everyone!!
I'm just wondering how everyone is doing and how you are all getting on with BLOCK ONE of our SAL?
Fiona is away this month so I thought I'd better step up and do a post!
It was awesome to see Shez's completed block in the last post....now I am extra happy as I had a chance to get started on my block this weekend.
First of all I got the stitchery done —
— then got busy deciding on fabrics for the rest of the block.
I think these will work :-)
I notice Shez sewed all her's together before doing the applique... I decided to do the applique first.
I cut the background fabric a little bigger than the 8½" x 10½" we need... I cut it at 9"x11". Once I've appliqued I'll cut it back to the right size. I've got into the habit of doing this as sometimes with lots of stitching or applique my fabric gets pulled in a little and the block ends up too small.
Hopefully a couple of nights of hand sewing will see the applique done - then I'll be rummaging again to see what fabrics I'll use for around the outside :-)

I'm looking forward to seeing how you are all getting on...don't be shy to share!
And feel free to email me to ask questions too....
Happy Stitch-A-Long!!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

First Block is Finished

I am so pleased my first block is finished,i hope to keep up with this SAL,it was a lovely block to put together .
Cheers Shez xx

Thursday, June 1, 2017

First Block sewn up

I have the first block ready, now to get the stocking pieces done,the journey has began i am really excited about this quilt.
cheers Shez xx

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

For my small project in Michelle's book i have made the xmas door hanger,a lovely design that i enjoyed making.
Cheers Shez xx

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Getting Ready

Hello my friends.
I live in New Zealand on the east coast of the North Island.
In Central Hawkes Bay.
Our home is in a village but a little mini lifestyle block.

Now what I have put aside for getting ready to start this Christmas Quilt.
I brought the stripe for my binding of this quilt.
I will cut this on the bias.
The mottled red is to be included as well.:)
Thinking of changing some thread colours
to work in with my choice of fabrics.

I tipped out my box of Christmas fabrics to see what would go !!
Tillie decided to be in on the fun. :)
Happy Stitching,

In By The Skin Of My Teeth

Just made it by the skin of my teeth. Here is my small May project.  I decided to have a try at needle-turn appliqué.   Took a little getting used to, but I think I will get the hang of it for the quilt, at least, I hope so.  There is plenty of practice involved!

In past projects I have used fusible appliqué,  but felt it was time to try something a little more challenging.  I only hope that I have not bitten off more than I can chew.

I decided to use "Cottage Garden" threads in the stitchery part of this little mat, but alas the red one bled a little, this finished effort is a vast improvement on how it was before I soaked and sponged the run out.

So now my dilemma is whether to use "Cottage Garden" threads in the Holly quilt or my DMC threads.

I am unsure how to link this post back to my blog at Motherdragon's Musings,  so will do just a small post there.

Happy stitching

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Hello, I'm Sammie, AKA Mama Bear from Bears at Home. I live in the United States, Southeast. Although Alabama has its most southern border on the Gulf of Mexico, I live in the northern part of the state near Tennessee and it is more mountainous. We live in what is known as the Tennessee Valley, in Huntsville, home of NASA and the Space Camp. I have participated in SAL from the beginning although I didn't do the year of small projects. My Husband and I are semi-retired after 50 years of marriage, but we're both very active. He now does home health care 3 mornings a week and consults with his former employer in Tennessee. We have 2 grown children, 5 grands and 1 great.

I joined up for this project a little late and just got my book from Michelle. I have read it and am confused. Has anyone sorted out the background squares by measurements and tagged for each applique? Also where do I find the star and heart? There are numerous ones in the book but which is for the quilt? Here are the fabrics I've pulled from my stash and the cream for the background, although I may pick up some more Christmas prints when they come out in the stores.
 Doing the projects with a group has kept me on schedule and enabled me to finish the quilts. I have been blogging since 2006 and now count many of you as friends.
Mama Bear

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Finally have my Gossip in the Garden ready for quilting.

Monday, May 22, 2017


My name is Sheryl and my friends call me Shez,i live in a very small country town in Victoria ,Australia.
I have been married for 42 1/2 years we have 3 grown up children and 7 beautiful grandies rangeing from 3 years to 16.
I started sewing clothes for myself and the children after our home was burnt down ,that was about 30 years ago and i have been sewing ever since,except now i dont sew clothes i make gifts for friends and family.
I am using my stash of Nancy Halvorsen fabrics for Michelle's quilt.
I am not good at doing quilts,but i have managed to finish 2 from chooky's SAL (usaually they sit around for years) so these SAL's are good in keeping me on track and for motivating me to keep going,plus chooky keeps on my tail,lol and pushes me along.
I love Michelle's design's and i can think of no better way than to stitch this lovely quilt with friends.
Thankyou Fiona,Raewyn,Chooky and Susan for hosting this.

Cheers Shez xx

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Small Project

I am Maria from  Life on the Block . Hubby and I live on 5 acres between the bush and sea in a small crayfish/tourist town in Western Australia..

I sewed clothes for many years but started quilting 1999 and find that more enjoyable..

Have blogged since 2009 and made many online friends and have had the pleasure of meeting some in person.

It's so nice to be joining in for my third Stitch-A-Long. Will be fun doing Michelle's " Holly Cottage Christmas Quilt" with Fiona , Raewyn ,Chooky and Susan cracking the whip if we don't get our monthly project done each month...

For May we were asked to choose a small project from  Michelle's book and I made the "Candle Mat"

Didn't have 11 small green buttons to finish it off... Will go to the Op Shop and see what they have..

Hugz Maria :)

Hello from Cloncurry, NW Queensland

I'd like to introduce myself.
My name is Sharon, my blog is Motherdragon's Musings.  I have been quilting since 2000, taking a three year break in 2009, when I went back to full-time study.

I was working full-time until recently,  but due to health issues, I have had to give up work, still trying to adjust to this. Apart from health issues, my memory is going.

I am a Mumma to two grown-up kiddos. These kiddos have kiddos of their own.  Daughter has two boys. Son has one daughter and a new bubba due 6 August. Do not know what colour quilt to make, so may wait until it is hatched!!

But I am going to sew like a dervish while I can.

My lovely book arrived the other day, just before I had to go to Brisbane to see a specialist, but when I was down there, I purchased these fabrics for my quilt, the light does not do justice to the colours.

These two are for the outer border.

These are for the applique and patchwork squares.  The blue is actually green.

These ones I found in my stash, never knew I had so many Christmas fabrics.

More from my stash

So now I will be pressing them, it will probably take close to a millennium to iron all these pieces of fabric,  some are good sized scraps, some are fat quarters, some are yardages.

I also purchased some more cream fabric to do the appliqué on.

Still have two weeks of May left to choose a small project, will look into that over a cuppa very soon.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hello from Susan (oh2sew)

While we are waiting for the real fun to begin - I think it's a great idea to have some introductions.

Like Fiona, I know many of you from previous Stitch-A-Long projects - and you may have seen me cracking the whip on a few occasions in the earlier projects on behalf of Chookyblue.

I couldn't resist supporting Fiona, Raewyn and Michelle, so I am joining in too.
I am only using my Christmas stash.  I will be taking a few short cuts (sorry to Michelle...but there are only so many hours in a day and far too many projects....)
I've included a picture of the Christmas stash here 

- it will be interesting to see if it is any reduced after this quilt is made...I suspect not.

Status:I have the fabrics sorted, I have copied the pages ready for tracing and I'll sort threads as I go.

A brief bio:

Originally from Sydney, now living in Brisbane, Queensland.
(1 DH, 2 DDs, one dog, one cat)
Started on the patchwork trail in about 1984...some of my stash must be that old!!
I have many UFOs - although over a 2 year period I was able to finish off at least 24...the ones left need a fair amount of work, so they are slower to finish.
I am still in paid employment - work seriously hinders my crafting journey....and since I blog, belong to 3 sewing groups and find it hard to say "no"...(to patchwork things)....I have far too many things on the go all at once.   I know that is not unusual.
My blog is here...in case you want to look, but it has been a bit neglected of late.

Welcome to you if you haven't joined in a Stitch-A-Long before - the group motivation is very helpful and the monthly timetable really will help to keep you on track....well that is the plan anyway.

The Countdown is on . . . 16 sleeps....

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hello from Queensland

Hello from my little dot on the map in country Queensland. An empty nester living on a small cattle property and working part time off-farm. Once upon a time I had a lot more time for my love of many things craft and sewing ... now it's just squeezed in.

Groups like the Stitch-A-Long family keep me moving forward instead of getting stuck in procrastination world.  I have only participated once before with Nature's Journey which is a finished flimsy awaiting quilting. I also made Tis The Season the year after it ran here.

This year I challenged myself to stitch Michelle's Calendar Bears by stitching one each month. April was a bit shakey being finished in May and now  after a relaxing Mother's Day, I can share a finished Mumma Bear and cubs for May.

Here she is with her calendar friends.

Now to get into town to add some fabrics ready for A Holly Cottage Christmas. I am looking forward to stitching along with friends and hope I can "squeeze" enough sewing time into my days. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Introduction: Susan at DesertSky Quilts

I'll plunge in with an intro. I live in Tennessee in the USA, and that means I'm a state away from the Atlantic, and about halfway up the coast. Alas, we have many rivers, and the Great Smoky Mountains, but no ocean beaches! Here's a picture that shows why they are called the Smokies - that's early morning fog coming up.

  I'm a widow (7 years), a retired teacher, and a quilter for more years than some of you have lived. LOL I piece, applique, embroider, crazy quilt, and mix them all together, sometimes. I can't pick a favorite. I have several of Michelle's patterns, but I didn't have this book, so I ordered it and it just arrived at the beginning of the week. I have enjoyed looking over it. I doubt I get anything made before we start the stocking, though.

Here's a picture of me with my younger son (see mention below photo) at his work Christmas Party in 2015.

I haven't yet chosen fabrics. I have to find the box with the Christmas fabrics in it. My stash has been displaced by my younger son moving in. The older one already lived here. Both of them are dealing with life issues, and no, not here to take care of me. LOL

Many things are crammed in the last small room I have, so finding them may be problematic. I might be FORCED to go out and buy new ones! The shop hop here in East Tennessee is coming up the first week of June. Very timely, if I have to buy fabric!

Since there are already several varieties of Susan in the labels, I'm using dezertsuz, which is my e-mail addy. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all through your stitching and blogging here. Thanks for letting me join!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ready...... Steady.....

.... almost time to start!!!!

I enjoyed Raewyn's introduction post and thought I would also.  Many of you who have joined in with the stitchalong I have known for a while, but there's quite a lot who I don't know even though we may have sewn together on some of the other quilts.

My Nature's Journey top is finished - but I still haven't quilted it!!! 

Chookyblue, who as you know started the StitchALongs was one of the first people I met when I entered blogland in 2010 - and she was so supportive and helpful.... since then I have made some amazing online friends and been lucky enough to meet a number of them in real life....

Please feel free to make a short introduction of yourself - we are quite a good size group and it would be lovely to know a bit about you - no pressure of course, say as much or as little as you like.  Even show us what fabrics you are going to use.

I live in Queensland Australia and have been in Australia since 2002 - coming from Zimbabwe.  Of course I have wonderful memories and friends and family there and miss them terribly but I do love it here and have wonderful friends and family here too and we are making new memories.  I also have a lot of family in the UK so the internet is my BFF.....  Just me and Hubz at home, and a dog now and I am addicted to my sewing...

These are the fabrics I have.  I purchased a fat 1/8th pack last year and used a little.  Managed to get a bit of metreage for borders so I'm set to go.... These are Anni Downs fabrics and I think the little prints will look gorgeous...  The beige spot will be my background for the pictures....

For this month we suggested fabric finding and if you felt like it a smaller item from the book.....  this is one I have made previously - I've run out of time to do another but I'm sure you won't mind if I share it anyway.

It is the doorhanger from Page 31 and I used a variegated thread

In June, although I am hosting I will be absent from blogland but Raewyn will be around to crack the whip and answer any questions.....

So lovely to have you all sewing along with us.... not too late to join if you are still thinking about it....

Righto, Gotto Go.... looking forward so sewing with you all.....xx