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.....

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A little more sewing

Just managed to squeeze in a little more sewing today.  I should have been sewing my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt but because I spent yesterday working on the windcheater for my niece I decided that I better get back to my Christmas quilt - which I first showed you here. This will have to count as my Scrappy Sunday efforts this week!  I started this at the quilt retreat I went to last weekend and it is really a scrap quilt as I am using up all my bits and pieces of favourite Christmas fabrics and have only bought about four salt dye fabrics as I needn't a couple of plains to take away just in case.  The stars I am making are definitely scrap stars and I love em!  These are today's effort.  I really like all of them this
 but it is the little details that make some stand out from the others.  All I had of this Santa fabric was this 2 1/2" square so I was so pleased to be able to use it in this!
These are the stars I had already done! 
There are still quite a few to do - tomorrow's job I guess. 

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

A little extra and some little fruit

When I went shopping to buy the fleece for my niece's windcheater I also saw the same print in a cotton - a cheap, not very nice quality cotton but I suspect my niece will only have eyes for the princesses.  I bought half a metre and that gave me enough to make this - another of my favourite bags!
And I have enough leftover to get 6 x 6.5" squares out of the scraps featuring the princess for a charity quilt.  I also have a few pictures of the fleece princesses left over and I am planning a little experiment with them later  when I have time!!!

 I went out and raided my garden today. First I have picked all the remaining mandarins off my tree 
 They look great but they are mostly pretty small.  here they are - one of the biggest and one of the smallest sitting on my iphone.
 The taste great but there are one or two pips in EACH tiny segment so that makes them really hard to eat!  Bummer.  So, what to do with them?  I looked for and found a cake recipe that uses the whole mandarins but only about 300g of them.   That is just a fraction of what I have picked.  I refuse to make marmalade  firstly I don't like it and secondly I don't want to have to take out all the seeds.  I juiced a cereal bowl-full and ended up with 250ml of juice
 and this many seeds!    Hmmmm.  Still, the juice was yummy!
I also managed to pick a lovely bunch of daffodils - so nice to be able to grow these in my won garden!  They just look so cheerful!

Here's hoping I get a little sewing in today as well..........till next time.....Happy stitching!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

It has been a while!!!

It sure has been a while......since I made any clothes!

I have put aside my Christmas quilt today for a special project.  I will get back to it tomorrow.

 My husband was in his hometown of Melbourne for work last week and spent some time with his family one night.  Our niece was very proud to show him the windcheater that she was wearing.  It used to belong to one of my boys - bear in mind that they are now 6ft plus and 15 years old and she is in kindergarten!  Her older brother inherited it first and now it has been passed down to her.  Sadly she has pretty much grown out of it - Well and trully grown out of it actually, but apparently won't part with it.  It is supposed to be long sleeved!!!
 I can't believe she can still get into it!  My sister in law wondered if I still had the pattern and could I make a bigger size.  Well, it has been so long since I made clothes for my boys that I had to buy a new pattern.  Lucky it is a basic style.  Then I went in search of fleece.  The first shop I went to only had yucky colours, I phoned a third and they only had brown fabric with horses all over it and finally the third was a gold mine.  All their fleece were Disney fabics but this little girl LOVES the Disney princesses so the fabric I chose was a no-brainer!
Her favourite princess is Snow White so she is on the pocket and the hood.  I cut the rest out trying to make sure there was a princess on each piece.  That wasn't easy as they are quite big princesses and the pieces are quite small - I had to cut out a cotton pattern of each piece and lay them all on the fabric before I cut anything out to make sure that everything fitted with the appropriate picturs on each piece.  That was the hard part - sewing it was the easy part! 

Hopefully it fits nicely when she gets it- but it has got to be a better fit that the one she is currently wearing!

That is all from me tonight..................happy stitching!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quilts for Queensland!

Oh boy!  Tonight I am bushed.  No photos coz I spent about 5 hours today working on the latest Round Robin Quilt I have.  I am really pleased with it now but I had to resew a bit before I could put my border on as it wasn't sitting flat.  Measure through the middle ladies when putting a border on  - it really does make a difference but especially in a medallion quilt!

It took so muh concentration and precision to get it right that I have been quite bushed since then!  I have done nothing tonight but relax.  I guess having a cold makes me more tired too!  Nevermind. 

Now I want to issue an invitation to any Sydney bloggers who read my posts.  On the 21st of August, Corrie, aka retromummy, is holding a sew in to complete quilts for Queensland.   I want to encourage any Sydney quilters to come along and join the fun  - wish you overseas girls could come!  What a ball we would have! 

All the details are here.  I hope some of you can make it.  Let me know if you want the whole address.

Lots more sewing planned for tomorrow so it is off to bed for me for a good rest.

Happy stitching everyone ! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Progress Report

I have had a quiet day at home today giving myself a chance to get over this infection I picked up on the weekend.  I made a quick chocolate cake  and some pumpkin soup first.  No photo of the cake as it has all been eaten.  Here's the recipe though:

1 cup SR flour
3 rounded tabsp cocoa
1 cup caster sugar
3 tabsp butter
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
Measure all ingredients into small mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer for 3-4 minutes.  Pour into greased and lined cake tin and bake 180°C for 40 – 45minutes.  Super easy huh!.

Once the cooking was done I headed to my sewing room and spent the rest of the day happily working on the Christmas Quilt from the weekend.  I managed to get all the blocks put together.  There is still a border of the same fabric as the sashing to go around the outside.
 Next I worked on the stars to go around the border.  I have decided that this will be a wall hanging as all the blocks are appliqued with metallic thread which doesn't feel very snuggly! 
I have a few more stars to make and I am going to alternate them with five inch squares of a Christmas fabric.  I am trying to use lots of my favourite Christmas fabrics seeing as I am planning to keep this quilt.  Once I have made the stars I will decide if I am going to do another border.   I don't usually work on quilts like this.  I rarely make small wall quilts so this is a nice change.  I might have to do it more often, except that I don't have many spare walls to put quilts on.
It is a tough life for dogs in our house!

Till next time.................. Happy stitching!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quilt Camp in Katoomba

Well, quilt camp was a blast.  It is a compliment to Robyn of Country Pickin's at the Corner and the teachers who ran the classes.  It was more like a group of girlfriends getting together than a quilt camp run by a shop.  The accommodation was what you would expect from a camp site that is often used by school groups. I have to say that  it was certainly better than I expected!  Really comfy and warm!     Dormitory Rooms and a shared shower and toilet block.  I was lucky ( or unlucky ) to be allocated one of the disabled unit with a shared ensuite which saved me (and my poor knees) from having to negotiate the stairs to the showers and toilets all the time.

This is the view from the deck outside my room.   Aussies will recognise them as the Three Sisters.
Robyn was great at making sure that we all had what we needed and were all looked after.  This is the first time I have ever been on a camp where everyone complained about the food!  Yep that is right - it was too nice and there was too much of it!  Chocolate chip muffins, carrot cake, banana cake for morning and afternoon teas and yummy lunches and dinner - Saturday night's dinner was a roast with all the trimmings and then plum pudding AND chocolate self saucing pudding for desert!  Yes, I will be living on vegie soup all this week!

This is the ice on my car on Sunday morning - it was freezing mountain air outside but we were all snug and warm inside with fireplaces in each room.
Everyone had signed up for a class.  I am sorry but I was too busy sewing to get around and check out what everyone else was doing.  Paper pieced quilt, table runner, teddy bear, reindeer  - I think those were the other projects.  I think I picked the right class though.  I was with Amanda Daly, my teacher from Wednesday nights.  We had the option of making postcards, a gift bag and a Christmas Bon Bon but we didn't have to make them all.  I opted to make one Christmas postcard
Here is my postcard and while I am at it - we all received individually embroidered name tags AND Christmas decorations hand made by ROBYN!!!  How cool is that!
So, I completed one postcard and then got stuck into making as many of the applique blocks as I could so I could make a quilt
I came home with all the blocks stitched, all the applique finished and just had to sit and remove all the tearaway stabilizer. Today I came up with layout for them and tonight I am hoping to start sewing on the sashing.  I think that is as far as I will get as I also brought home a cold and am now on antibiotics and a puffer as it has gone straight to my chest!  Poop!  Oh well, nothing the meds and a few quiet days won't fix.

That's all from me for tonight........happy stitching!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm Back!!!!!

Well, seeing as my lovely sons used up most of our monthly quota of data (in just two weeks!!!!!) I have not being able to write my normal posts and I have been so frustrated.  I decided the best thing to do was just to keep taking photos and keep track of what I have been doing so I can blog about it once I get my data back!   

There has been a lot going on so I figure I will just start writing!  Now bear in mind this has all happened over about ten days or so. 

It has been a busy time.  We had a sewing bee at my home and we all worked on a pretty pastels quilt.  It started out being based around some lovely strippy blocks that Andrea sewed using some scraps.   I was sure I had a photo of them but it looks like I have deleted it accidentally.

I thought they were pretty but they weren’t big enough to use on their own.  We found cushion panel that had been donated to us and it coordinated perfectly so we decided to put that in the middle and surround it with the strip blocks and solid squares.  We started cutting out squares to go with them and that looked pretty good but one thing led to another and pretty soon we had ditched those strippy blocks. (so it doesn't really matter that I didn't find the photo!)  This is the end result. 

This quilt to be given to local retirement village for fund raising.  I even had a yellow version of one of the fabrics used in the front which we can use for backing!  The strips blocks have been put away for another day!

In between sewing the pretty quilt together I grabbed a bag of green scraps and some ugly fabric.  I cut out 15 9 ½ inch foundation blocks out of the ugly and started sewing green string blocks.  I got all of them done in between the pretty sewing.  I trimmed them to size and then looked in my stash for something to go with them and this is what I have come up with so far! 

I have to play with the layout a bit and I am yet to make borders but I am quite pleased with it. The solid squares are a golfing fabric with red golf bags and blue gold buggies. I am thinking of added pinwheels or stars of red, green and blue to fill out the gaps in the borders. Haven’t decided yet. I have put this away to play with another day – once I get a few must do’s done!

That night I had my sewing course again – another night of FMQ on my Shattered Notes Quilt and two more blocks quilted.  I love the pebbles pattern
 and still have to perfect the swirly pattern.

I managed to get Brooke’s signature quilt layered, pinned, quilted and bound.  Yay!  I am getting most of my sisterhood friends to sign it before the party as I think they will find it easier without everyone watching on and there are less likely to be any “oops” moments!  Brooke has found out that she is going to Amarillo, Texas – and I am so jealous!!!

I played with the layout for my quilt for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  That was my last post.  Funny thing is I put aside the left over blocks whilst I decided which layout to use (thanks for all your feedback – it was great!) and then promptly (absentmindedly) used them by mistake to make some fun blocks for Christina .   

So I guess I am stuck with the final layout photo as I have no more fabric to replace the ones I used! Just as well I like it but it wasn't my favourite!   Oh well such is life!!! 

I have spent a lot of time working on a Round Robin Quilt.  Can’t tell you what I have been doing but suffice to say it has involved some interfacing  really fine annoying stuff to work with – some silk thread and a lot of patience!  I am pleased with the results so far though - thank goodness!

My girlfriend Del, finished knitting my scarf and here it is! 

I am sharing the pattern as this one is so simple and it is doing the rounds by word of mouth so heaven only knows where it originated from!
Del’s scarf pattern
I have seen this scarf knitted in 5 ply for a lovely dainty scarf, my scarf is knitted in 8 ply and I have seen it knitted in a mohair on bigger needles for a lovely lacey look. 
Cast on 23 stitches
* Knit 2 stitches, turn and knit to end (2 stitches)
Knit 4 stitches, turn and knit to end (4 stitches)
Knit 6 stitches, turn and knit to end (6 stitches)
Knit 8 stitches, turn and knit to end (8 stitches)
Knit 10 stitches, turn and knit to end (10 stitches)
Knit across entire row* and repeat from * to * until scarf reaches desired length.
I am still crocheting my granny squares and the number is growing.  I just bought one ball each of lots of colours except for the cream and black and I am seeing how many squares I can get from each.
I made a couple more Japanese bags so I could use them to pack things in for the Quilt Retreat i have just come back from (that will be my next post).  This fabric was left over from Brooke's Quilt

Celia and I did our normal Rainbow Scrap Challenge block swap.  These are my great solids blocks from her and I sent her

 Aussie blocks
Now I still need to tell you all about the Quilt Retreat I have just returned from but that will have to wait till tomorrow as I have run out of time and I still have to take photos of what we did! 

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

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Squeezing one in!

Well, we are now up to 95% of our monthly data quota and we still have a week to go.  The boys are now limited to wifi on their ipods only which just barely lets them keep track of their friends via facebook and keeps them off my back!  My husband will be working from home this weekend and next and some of this week so we will see how we go with the rest of the data.  I have decided, don't tell my boys, that I can risk one teensy little post as long as I don't include too many photos.  I have been taking photos of what I have been working on so you won't miss out but for today I want to show you my rainbow scrap challenge project and get some feedback.  I think I know which way I want to go but I want to see what everyone else has to say.  Initially I thought I had settled on this layout but after trimming all the blocks and playing with them again I came up with this which I quite liked
 till I tried this which I thought was better
 And finally this.  Now it is a toss up between these last two. 
I can't make any more blocks as I have run out of fabric so I have to work with what I have.  I will think about it overnight and will see what feedback I get then I will spend some time numbering the blocks so that I can sew them together.  This is my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt so I can only work on it on - at least that is my rule - sometimes Sundays if I can't sew on Saturday.  I am away next weekend at a quilt Retreat so I plan to put the quilt top together this week or next, during the week.  I am going to leave it as a quilt top as this will be the quilt to go to the International Charity Bazaar in Ireland next year.  I will quilt it next year so I only have to store a quilt top not a whole quilt!

Now I better go and see to dinner - good old fashioned corned silverside with mashed potatoes and vegies tonight!  Yum!

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Just in case

Life with two 15 year olds has it's challenges!  We have a 200GB data allowance on our internet and so far this month my boys have used 94% of that - 4% in the last two days and we have 12 days left!  I don't think we are going to make it.  Today, at risk of much screaming etc, I am turning their internet off in the hopes that we can last till the 25th!  They will be allowed 2 hours a day unless they use too much in that time!  They will NOT be happy!  Why am i boring you with this?  Because if they use too much our internet will slow down and I wont be able to post!!!!  NOT HAPPY!!!!    and even worse, their father won't be able to do work when he is at home - doesn't even bear thinking about !  So, if I am absent for a week or so you know why - a few prayers won't go astray as if my kids don't have internet for the remainder of that time they are going to be SO GRUMPY!  and I have to live with them - school holidays don't end till Monday!

Till next time......happy stitching............I hope!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another little bag...and a lonnng story

I have been going thru my Aussie scraps whenever I have a few spare minutes and cutting out things to make for Ireland and I have been looking forward to seeing this little bag made up.  I really like this feature fabric and this was about all I had left.  I just had to make something with it that made the most of it! 
 It was my MIL's birthday on the weekend and she phoned (before we could phone her)to say thankyou for the bag I had made her.  While she was on the phone she mentioned a new yarn being featured at Lincraft (kind of like Joanns but has linen and other stuff as well).  It is call Elicia.  Anyway it sounded interesting, even to me who doesn't like knitting that much so I googled it and watched the online video on how to use it.  Too easy!  So, today I made a bee line for Lincraft, somewhere I rarely go just to get myself some of the yarn.  I bought pink, which I am knitting up as a gift, and blue which I am going to send to my sister in Western Australia. 
 I spent about two hours knitting on and off, while watching TV and talking to my girlfriends today and tonight and look what I have to show for it!  It is about 55 inches long already!   It is amazing how quickly this goes!

My sister liked the sound of it too - she lives in the country so would have had to wait till she went to the city to get some of the yarn, that is why I am sending it to her.  What I didn't realise is that Lincraft has shut down in Western Australia and so she wouldn't be able to get the yearn anyway.  Just as well I am going to post her some.

It seems that it is also available in the States but under a different brand, Marina by Rozetti Yarns.  They actually have a heap of much more gorgeous colours and I have found a website that stocks it and will ship to Australia so I am thinking of ordering some more in the prettier colours for myself.  I might just do a couple of balls but I think I know a couple of people who would love scarves like these too.

The rest of tonight's time is now to be devoted to sewing but I can't show you what I am doing as it is another Round Robin Quilt.  I have a heap of sewing to do as I have a sewing bee here tomorrow and currently all my pins are holding tonight's sewing together.  I better get going so I can free some up for tomorrow!

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

Monday, July 11, 2011

Layer, apon layer, apon layer...just about

Had a fairly peaceful afternoon today and managed to get Miss B's signature quilt off the design wall and the top sewn together, including the borders.  I would have liked to make the borders wider but I am conscious that this is going in a suitcase to America and back so I am trying to make it smallish.
I also managed to get the backing sewn together and made the label but it was too late to be sewing it on.  I really must find a way to jazz my labels up.  The problem is that they are part of the last stages of the quilt and by then I am so ready to move on to the next one! 
I also got around to typing up my Bacon and Egg Pie Recipe today so now i can share it with you.  It is such a great recipe.  I wish I could take credit for it!


2 sheets reduced fat frozen puff pastry
1 medium onion diced
100 Philadelphia Light cream for cooking
8 eggs
150g middle rasher bacon
Skim milk for brushing

Preheat oven to 220C.  Lightly spray the pie tin with oil and use to cut pastry lid.  Line with second sheet of pastry. 

Spray frying pan with oil and place over medium heat.   Gently saute onion for 3-4 minutes til softened.  Meanwhile mix 4 eggs and cooking cream together till combined.  Add onion to egg mixture and pour into pie plate.  Layer bacon over egg mix and crack remaining eggs over bacon.  Gently layer pastry lid on top and seal edges with a fork.  Lightly brush pastry with milk.  Pierce top with a fork. 

Bake for 40-50 minutes until pastry is golden and puffed.

Now I am going to get into the pile of things to sew for Ireland and pull something out to work on till bedtime as it is too late to start cutting out my second signature quilt or the pieces for the next Round Robin quilt I am working on. 

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

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Scrap Happy Again!

Today is my Scrap Happy Sunday - couldn't do it yesterday as there was too much to do but I did manage to get the cutting out done on Friday night so today whenever I have had a chance I started sewing these.
 Then I added one of these to each...
 And ended up with a bunch of these which needed ......
some of this to be done.  Yuck.  I hate this part!
 Unfortunately I still have these that need to be trimmed but I had enough trimmed ones to
 add to this and get a picture of how this is going to turn out!
This is still a bit of a mystery quilt - not quite sure that this will be the final layout and I may have to swap out this two pale blocks - or add a few more in.   Feel free to chime in if you have any suggestions  It is always great to hear what the bloggie community says! I also have to work out how many squares I have left and how big thewill make the quilt.  That will have to wait till next week.  I have lots of other non-Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing to do in the mean time.

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