Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to my world - mostly the fabric world that I escape to whenever I have time. Hope you enjoy it and please feel free to comment.....


Friday, October 19, 2012

Doctor Doctor!!!

I can't believe it has been just over a month since I last posted but I guess shouldn't be surprised.  Life has become very busy and there is no sign of a let up but that is okay.   So long as you are enjoying what you are doing, doing a lot of it is not a problem.

I finally have something to show you though, and more importantly, the time to show you.
These are all for Aussie Heroes as that is about all I am sewing for now.

First up I have a finish.  I asked this fellow what he would like for his quilt and he told me that he used to be a botanist so would love anything green.  As luck would have it I had been given a whole bag of 2 1/2" green strips in all different greens.  I then spent ages googling gardening style phrases looking for a good one that was not too long and came up with  the words.  

I really love the backing and I hope he does too.


And every quilt needs a laundry bag so this is his but I decided to have a bit of fun with it.


Next we move on to a special quilt - still only a top but sent off to my wonderful friend, Carol, yesterday.  She will quilt it for me.  This is going to the Sick Bay on board an Aussie Navy Warship currently patrolling the waters of the Middle East for pirates.  I did check with the medical officer on board to see if he thought that the salty sailors would be able to cope with this or would it be too feminine for them and he assured me it would be okay.   Phew!


I think I am going to back it in red (won't show the blood!) and then I have a great stripe from the range for the binding!


Finally this quilt was made by my friend, Liz.  One of the lovely ladies I am "talking" to in Afghanistan said that a friend of hers didn't think quilts were for him til he saw this one.  I said we couldn't duplicate it but would try and do something inspired by it.


Here is our take on it - with the fabrics we had at hand it isn't as dark as the original but hopefully it has  a similar feel.


I refuse to use roos exactly the same as Liz's but i like these three together.  This has also gone to Carol for quilting!


My next challenge is a quilt for an Essendon Football Team (red and black) and Melbourne loving Navy chaplain with a proud Scottish/Irish heritage!  How is that for a mix!  Wish me luck!

Till next time...........whenever that might be.......happy stitching!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A finish!

Not only am I posting again, but I am posting about a finish!  Woo Hoo!

This is my completed quilt for the Irish Charity Bazaar!  Can I just say that this has been a really hard quilt to photograph!  No matter what I do I just don't seem to be able to get a good picture of it.  I am really pleased with it though.  I love that stripey binding.  When you are just starting to collect your fabric for a project and you spot something that you think will be the perfect binding that doesn't mean that by the time you get to the end of the project it will still be perfect but this time I think I picked a winner.


The backing is pieced, the original fabric I chose plus some of the green and that black which I actually really like.   


And just a simple label!  In the mail with this on Monday I hope!


Hopefully, with school holidays coming up I might get in a bit more sewing.  My Aussie Hero off-sider, Caroline, and I have a few good quilts coming up between us.  A gorgeous bright D9P, a leafy green quilt for a ship's medical officer who used to be a botanist, a fun doctor's and nurses themed quilt for the ship's sick bay, a foodie themed quilt for one of the ship's cooks and who knows what else!  All I need is sewing time!

Till next time................happy stitching!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Three cakes, Five Gumnuts

Last Wednesday was the regular Gumnuts (my quilt group) meeting and this time it was at my place.  It wasn't supposed to be at my place but someone was away so I volunteered. 
You never know how many people are coming - could be three - could be 10 - could be more but that is unlikely.  We ended up with 5 this time and a bit much food but better to cater for too many than too few.

First I made a Banana Walnut Cake.  
Note to self - don't use the fancy bundt tin if you want to ice the cake.  didn't think of that till the cake was in the oven.  Oh well!
I didn't have walnuts so I substituted choc chips!


BANANA WALNUT CAKE

125g butter
¾ cup caster sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas
1 teasp vanilla
½ cup  chopped walnuts
¾ cup SR flour
¾ cup plain flour
1 teasp bicarb soda

Mash bananas finely with fork – you need ¾ cup.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add bananas and vanilla, beat on low speed until well combined.  Stir in walnuts, then sifted flours and soda in two lots.  Mix well.  Spread mixture into well-greased 20cm ring tin.  Bake in a moderate oven 40 minutes or until cooked when tested.  Stand a few minutes and then turn out onto wire rack.


I also made a Boiled Fruit Cake.  This is a recipe from my high school cooking class days!  Still a good one - very spicy and moist!  The only fruit cake that I actually like!

 BOILED FRUITCAKE

½ cup sugar
½ cup cold water
1 cup mixed fruit
½ cup plain flour
¼ cup boiling water
½ cup SR flour
½ cup plain flour
¼ teasp salt
1 teasp cinnamon
1 teasp mixed spice
1 teasp ground ginger
½ teasp bicarb soda
30g marg

Put fruit, butter, sugar, salt and ginger, spices and cold water into a saucepan and bring to boil, stirring till margarine melts.  Allow to cook 3 minutes.  Sieve plain flour and SR flour together and mix in bicarb soda.  Check boiling water.  Line and grease tin.  Allow mixture to cool slightly.  Add flour and stir in ½ at a time.  Measure water and stir in carb soda.  Add to saucepan.  Bake in moderate oven 375°F approx 30 minutes

The last cake I made is deadly!  It is called Melt and Mix Chocolate Mud Cake.  This is just the best - if you can let it cool in the tin till it is just warm, then slice it and serve it with cream or ice cream you will be happy.  If it has completely cooled down just microwave it a little and it will be perfect.

MELT AND MIX CHOCOLATE CAKE

250g butter
200g dark chocolate roughly chopped
¼ cup milk
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup SR flour
¼ cup cocoa
100g milk chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan forced.  Grease 6cm deep, 22cm base round cake pan.  Line with baking powder. 
Place butter, dark chocolate and milk in a saucepan over low heat.  Cook stirring for 10 – 12 minutes or until melted and smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Cool for 5 minutes. 
Whisk egg and sugar into chocolate mixture.  Sift flour and cocoa over mixture.  Whisk to combine.  Stir through half the milk chocolate.  Pour into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with remaining milk chocolate.  Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre has moist crumbs clinging.  Cool completely in pan.

Some time ago I shared the quilt that Del was working on.  I showed you most of the blocks as she worked on them.  Well, she has finally finished all the blocks and sewn them together into a top and here it is in all it's glory!  Isn't it amazing!


I am including a few close ups as the main photo just doesn't do all that work justice!






That little Shoo Fly block is about 3"!!!


And this green is the backing with pink binding!


Finally - this was our homework on the day - to get the borders on this quilt top and get the corners mitered!  This will be a raffle quilt for the local bush fire brigade.


Till next time...............happy stitching!

Monday, August 27, 2012

At last a Flimsy!

I feel like I have a finish and it isn't quite yet.  I still need to layer and quilt it but not just yet. I need to make a quilt for a fellow who used to be a botanist and he said he would be delighted with anything green.  Well this isn't the quilt that I planned for him but I am thinking I might keep it aside just in case.  He is actually the medical officer a the navy ship that we are currently making quilts for.  He asked for a quilt for the sick bay and I decided that he should have one for the sick bay but also one for himself.   I have plans for his that include a gorgeous green leafy fabric for the backing and a different leaf fabric in the front with lots of other greens.  I might wait and see which one I like best and the nicest will be for him.  A friend is sending me some nurse and doctor material which I will use for the sick bay quilt - anything to give the patient a bit of a laugh!


Till next time...................happy stitching!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A little bit to show

Well it isn't very exciting so far but it should look ok in the end.  I have 8 more rows to sew and then I will have a green and gold southern cross quilt. I had thought I would have had this all sewn up by now but there has been one interruption after another this weekend so it wasn't to be.  Hopefully by the end of tomorrow it will be a quilt top though.


What  is unusual for me is that I do not have a name for this one yet.  I want a couple of quilts that I have made for show and tell for a few things that are coming up.  This will be one of them.  

I better get back to it or it will never be done.

Till next time..............happy stitching!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hello! Remember me?

I am sorry, I have been gone for so long but things have just been so busy!  

I have been sewing some but mostly I have been working on Aussie Heroes.  Firstly I spent the last week of July frantically preparing to go to Canberra for Aussie Heroes.  Talk about busy.  Then when I came back there was all the stuff that required following up.  I still have one letter to draft and I am determined to get that done tomorrow morning.
I no sooner started to catch up on all of the stuff associated with the Canberra trip (which went very well by the way) and new things happened with Aussie Heroes.  Firstly last week HMAS ANZAC came on board and I had to get them sorted.  With 192 crew on board I could not risk taking unlimited requests so I implemented a quote which promised 5 quilts per month or 25 quilts. Just as well I did as they would have had 63 requests - way to much for us at one time.  As it is I think 25 quilts for 192 is pretty good and probably a similar ratio, or even better than other areas are getting.
I am still sorting the paperwork for that one but it is nearly all done and it is manageable!
Two nights later a message was put into a base circular and WHAMMO out of the blue I got 12 requests.  Luckily one of the fellows who put in a request was the base Commanding Officer and he has helped me take steps to prevent that from happening again.   Phew!  But having said that, ten of those twelve requests have been filled and are on their way already!
Now I am busy working on a special quilt for AHQ but it has to remain confidential at the request of the soldier's family and that is all I can say.  I have put a lot of planning into this one but it has been in short spurts in between everything else that has happened.  

On Thursday I finally had time to sit down and cut the whole quilt top out and put it up on the design wall and I love it- not that that helps you any coz I can't show you  - LOL.

Sadly there is going to be a lot of that in the next few months.  

The next quilt I have to make is for my girlfriend (my sisterhood friend) for Christmas and of course I can't show that.  Plus I have to make a Kris Kringle present and a Christmas decoration for my quilt group and of course I can't post that!  
 I am however also planning some quilts for Aussie Heroes that I will be able to share and I will be baking so hopefully i will be able to get back to posting a bit more regularly.

So, what do I have to share tonight?   Two great recipes that are great time savers.  First up a Bacon and Egg Slice that I made last week for the boys for dinner and then  a Banana Cake which is good for morning teas.  And they both can be mixed up, poured into their containers and can both go in the oven together- taking about the same amount of time to cook!  Love it!


 BACON AND EGG SLICE

4 rashers of bacon, diced and cooked,
½ cup grated cheese
5 eggs
¼ cup of milk
1 table spoon of plain flour
1 can corn kernels

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into a greased dish.  Bake 40 mins 180ÂșC till just set in the middle.


Easy banana Bread

1 1/4 cup SR flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup mashed banana
2 eggs
1 teasp vanilla
Nuts and sultanas optional
Mix all ingredients together.  Spoon into a greased cake tin.  Bake at 180C for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

I promise not to wait soooo long to come back again.

Till next time................happy stitching.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Canberra Quilters Show and Tell

As you know last week I went to Canberra for four days and on one of those I was guest speaker for the Canberra Quilts.  After my little bit of the evening they had a "Show and Tell". 
 I thought I would share their lovely quilts with you but please excuse my photos.  I thought I had forgotten my camera and so used my iphone to take pics.  Guess what I found in the bottom of my bag when I got home!   Grrr

Now I am not going to try and pretend that I can remember all the names of the ladies who showed their works but this cute little quilt was made by Paulette who was one of the ladies that liaised with me.  
She has a new grand daughter who will be receiving this little quilt.


Now I think that is another of Paulette's quilts - just love those colours but I just wasn't quick enough to get a  good picture.


I tried again but still not good.


This super cute quilt is now on the makers little daughter's bed.  Lucky daughter!


She is even colour coordinated with it!


She is in the middle of finishing off UFOs and this table runner is another happy finish. 


And finally this cute little quilt!


I don't remember the whole story with this quilt and sadly i wasn't quick enough to get a picture of the back of this quilt which was pieced and equally vibrant but from what I can remember this was a joint effort and was given as a gift.  Isn't it just lovely!


And finally!  Here is the quilt that the Canberra Quilters presented me for Aussie Heroes. The photo just does not do it justice.  The colours just glow in real life.


Thank you ladies - I really enjoyed visiting you for the night.  Thank you for making me feel so welcome!

Till next time..................happy stitching!