Saturday, 24 January 2015

Grow Your Blog 2015

Good Morning and welcome to my blog. My name is Tracy and I live in Perth, Western Australia (WA). I am a happily married Mum of 3 (2 teens and a toddler) with a passion for most things crafty.

My wonderful family - Mother's Day 2014

My current favourite crafts are embroidery (my first love), quilting and making soft toys. I have also done scrapbooking, card making and beading. One day, when time permits, I would love to get back into scrapbooking and finish off my multitude of albums. Until then, there's lots of quilts waiting to be made!

Jacobean embroidery

Wilhemina Wombat made for my toddler

After many years of wanting to try quilting I finally took the plunge about 4 years ago and signed up for my first workshop. I have been hooked ever since. Like many people I have more UFOs than finished pieces and can't resist adding to my stash. I joined the local guild, the Western Australian Quilters Association (WAQA), in 2012, did a very informative 12 month stint as their Workshop Convenor, and have enjoyed participating in their Community Quilts program ever since.

Quilted wall hanging made for my sister
Helping out at a WAQA Community Quilting Bee - there's a job for everyone
I thrive on learning from others and love to share what I know. Most of all though, I love the ability of craft to bring people together. My friend Tracee (Quilt Kitty Loves Life) had been blogging for a while so I thought I would give it a go. I named my blog Outback Craftaholic because I grew up in outback WA and am addicted to craft. My first post went up on 23rd March, 2012 so I have been blogging now for nearly 3 years. Yikes! I still feel like a novice but I've met some lovely people in blog-land and enjoyed meeting some of the WA bloggers face to face.

Perth Bloggers Meet 

My other love is the Pilbara, a region in the Northwest of WA. We lived there for many years but moved to Perth in 2008 for our older kids to attend high school. The occasional, treasured visit always soothes my soul and reconnects me to nature. If you haven't been I recommend you visit one day (winter is the best time of year).

Chinaman's Pool - Marble Bar

I am very keen to learn how to make landscape quilts and turn some of my Pilbara and Kimberley photos into wall quilts. Time is my main limiting factor, especially in relation to attending workshops. I'm hoping to do some online workshops this year, perhaps with someone like Caroline Sharkey.

Foundation piecing workshop with Carol Doak in 2012

Well, that's my story. I hope you've enjoyed reading it and to say thanks for dropping by I'm giving away a prize. You don't have to be a follower of my blog to enter. If you would like a chance to win just leave me a comment below. The winner will be drawn randomly on 15th February so check back here then to see if you've won.

Prize - 'Ranger Greg' pattern by Blue Willow Designs

Have a great weekend and enjoy visiting all the other blogs that are participating in the 2015 Grow Your Blog event. And a big thank you to Vicki for hosting the event.



We went out on the boat last night. It was lovely.

Moored in a bay off Applecross

Perth City

Perth City by night

I was all prepared for FNSI. I had my embroidery and my trusty LED travel lamp. Unfortunately we had trouble with our batteries so my lamp was the only light I had to use. I tried to do some stitching but it just wasn't enough light to clearly see the line I was trying to stitch on so I had to give it away.

I hope everyone else had better luck. Thanks Wendy for hosting us again. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else got up to here.

To everyone in Australia, Happy Australia Day for Monday. I hope you have a wonderful day. We will be boating again and watching the Perth fireworks in the evening.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Community Quilts Block & FNSI

Good Morning Everyone. I hope you've had a great week. My week has been reasonably productive which I'm quite happy about.

A trip to Margaret River last weekend gave me plenty of stitching time in the car. Luckily I can stitch in the car without feeling sick. The result...I finished the binding on my table runner from my last post. Yay!

WAQA sewing get-togethers started again this week and I was able to go to both Sewing Day and Sewing Night. It was great to catch up with friends again after a 2 month hiatus. I have been a little behind on my Community Quilts blocks of the month that I committed to doing last year, so yesterday I set to and completed the Friendship Star block.

2 rectangles and 1 square = 1 component

Make 4

Combine and rotate to create Friendship Star block layout

Finished block ready to hand in to Community Quilts

The thing I love about these types of blocks is that you can change the look of them completely by turning your fabric components in different directions.

Having fun playing with alternative block arrangements!

Now I just have to complete my Strippy Square block (from October) to hand in asap. I have 1 quarter of it done. If you would like to contribute any blocks created from your own stash you can find the instructions for the blocks on the WAQA website here.

Tomorrow night the wonderful Wendy from Sugarlane Designs is holding our first Friday Night Sew In (FNSI) for 2015. I'm looking forward to catching up with old friends and making some new ones, not to mention being inspired by the wonderful creativity of these ladies. If you would like to join us you can sign up here. See you there!

Happy stitching.

Cheers, Tracy

Friday, 9 January 2015

My FNWF Activities

Well, I hope you all had a very productive FNWF. I've had a lovely day and made some good progress.

I finished another elephant softie which Miss M has already named Evelyn. She can't wait to play with Evelyn tomorrow morning.

Evelyn Elephant
I also did some more hand stitching on the binding of my table runner made from Leesa Chandler's 'Under the Australian Sun' fabrics. Partnered with a glass of champagne and 'Beverly Hills Cop II' on telly meant a wonderfully relaxing night in for me. Another few hours and I will finally finish this piece that has been a UFO for about 3 years now.

Hopefully over the weekend I'll get a chance to check out what some of the others got up to. If you would like to see the night's happening as well you can check it all out at Cheryl's place. Thanks Cheryl for continuing this wonderful event. I'm sure I'm not the only one who looks forward to it every month.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.



Yes, it's on again for 2015. I'm joining in with Cheryl for Friday Night With Friends (FNWF) today.

With almost 50 people participating it's bound to be a great night in. Hope to see you there.


Monday, 5 January 2015

An Exciting New Year's Eve

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your New Year's Eve was as exciting as mine. I'm an Aunt again! My youngest sister had a baby girl early in the evening. With 3 big brothers she's bound to grow up a tomboy but she is the cutest little thing.

Of course, I had to make her a present. What do you think?


I found this elephant softie in 'The Quilter Magazine' in late 2013 and fell in love with it. I have been wanting to make it for ages, and even had the fabric put aside, but hadn't quite got around to it. The arrival of Miss S gave me just the motivation I needed.

The softie was designed by Christina McKinney. Her free pattern can be found at Birch Fabric's blog. It was very easy to follow and came together nice and quickly. The only tip I have is to make sure the eyes are far enough away from the edge of the fabric that they don't sit right on the seam. I had to reposition mine.

I'm looking forward to lots more stitching and creating this year, starting with FNWF this week. Keep an eye on Cheryl's blog, Gone Stitchin', for the details. I'm also joining in Vicki's 2015 'Grow Your Blog' party later this month. You can find out all about it on her blog, 2 Bags Full. Hopefully I'll see you there.

Happy stitching.
Cheers, Tracy.