Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Anzac Day 2017

“Those heroes that shed their blood
And lost their lives.
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore, rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours,
You, the mothers,
Who sent their sons from far away countries
Wipe away your tears,
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace
After having lost their lives on this land they have
Become our sons as well”.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - 1934

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

I'm not sure

if I really need one of these as I seem to be doing all right without one, but it was fun making it and gave me a chance to keep my foundation paper piecing skills up to speed.  The free pattern is available at Paper Panache Paper-Pieced quilt patterns, I made the Mini Round Tuit, you can read more about the origins of a round tuit here

I also drew up the block below then made a test block to see how it would work out and it looks ok, so I will go ahead and make some more of these which will help make some progress on another UFO.

While I was sewing away, I could hear a baby galah squawking for food, I grabbed my camera and spotted it sitting in the neighbour's gum tree with the parent on the left.  They can be very noisy, almost deafening when hungry but this one wasn't too loud, the tail feathers haven't fully grown in yet but they still manage to fly quite well despite that.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

No Interruptions

When the Mister is away on a motorbike trip I get plenty of uninterrupted sewing time, in fact the only interruption is when Cody decides that he is hungry and comes to tell me that it is dinnertime :)

I've had these blocks for quite some time they were from a block swap I took part in and I had set them aside for when I had more time to put them together and that time was this weekend.

Rather than fuss about trying to get matching seams I added a fabric strip to the top of two of the block rows, another fabric strip to the bottom and then stitched them together, I rather like the result. Conveniently I had quite a few strips of the spotted fabric stashed away with the blocks so used them for the side borders/strips.

 I'm a bit over large quilts (they are a PITA to baste and quilt) so decided to make two smaller quilts but once finished I thought that rather than having to quilt two quilts, I would use one for the backing and save myself the extra quilting.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Here & Now | February 2017

Eggplants from Chris

cool, iced tea

gorgeous colour Portulaca

Loving // all the books that I have been reading during our hot weather
Eating // Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls
Drinking // Iced Tea and plenty of cold water
Feeling //  happy that the portulacas I planted the day before the really hot days arrived are thriving
Making // nothing at all, and feeling quite happy about it.
Thinking // about what to do with some gifted eggplants
Dreaming // of a finished quilt

Linking up to Here & Now at Say Little Hen

Friday, 3 February 2017

The M post ...

Why the M post, well M is the Roman numeral for 1,000 and as this is my 1000th blog post and I've finished putting the borders on my Museum Medallion quilt it seems a very appropriate title for the blog post.
looking a bit wavy hanging here  

It took me a little while to decide on the border fabric, my first choices didn't look right in daylight, and then I remembered this border fabric that I had stashed away.  It is from Carrie Bloomston's Collage range from Windham fabrics and I had bought 4 or 5 yards of it back in 2013, so I knew I had plenty for the borders (the longest side is 88"/224cm).  I had meant to time how long it took me to hand stitch a border on, but forgot to look at my watch when I had finished, I think it was about an hour per border as the tv programme I was watching had finished a bit before I finished the stitching.

Still using fabric from my stash, I've pieced together some voile for my quilt backing, it is quite lightweight and will make the quilting easier and reduce the weight a bit as well.  I've used voile before in my Uzbek Patches quilt and it was so lovely to hand quilt.

Now comes the part I dislike the most, making the quilt sandwich, I think I will leave it until Sunday when I will have a full day to tackle it, there will be a lot of thread basting to do on this quilt.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Going in squircles.

I have been thinking of starting a smallish applique project that I could take with me to a hand appliqué group I belong to.  I thought I might like to take part in the Quilty 365 project and had started some appliqué circle blocks using linen as my background fabric.  I've now decided I can do without the pressure of making something every day (or week or month) and I really don't want another large quilt hanging around waiting to be finished as I have enough of those already.

Which left me still needing a smallish appliqué project, so I thought it would suit me better to make random squircles of different sizes as the mood took me. I won't need to bother with a template because squircles are just a square with the corners rounded off, then needle turn appliquéd, and I have plenty of the taupe linen which I can use for my background.  I much prefer that to the white linen background I used on my previous circle blocks.

As you can see my first one is slightly wonky but I think (hope) thist will add to the random and organic nature of the piece.  My original circles won't go to waste as I will unsew them and use them for future squircles.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Cook the books - January

Most of us have recipe books we never use, clippings from magazines and papers for recipes that might be worth trying, some of us even have a recipe board on Pinterest (there aren't too many recipes on my Pinterest).

Last year Julie decided to challenge herself and make at least one new recipe a week from her collection of books, clippings and her Pinterest board.  In 2017 Julie is going to do it all again but this time she will have company. I recently reduced my clipping and cookbook collection but there is still plenty of inspiration to draw on.


Week One:

I started buying muesli late last year as both the Mister and I were a bit tired of having porridge for breakfast especially when the weather started warming up. After a couple of packets of muesli tasting a bit stale I decided I would make it myself.  I didn't want to get too complicated so used the recipe for Granola in my Smitten Kitchen book which has a minimum of ingredients, this one by Meg at her blog is very similar.
Verdict: I will be making this again, it is easy to swap or add different grains, nuts, seeds or fruit if you want a slightly different flavour profile.

Spiced Kale + Gruyere Slab Galette

Week Two:

I found this recipe for Spiced Kale + Gruyere Slab Galette after hearing about the Arthur Street Kitchen on a podcast -  it was quite easy to make and put together and makes enough for leftovers.

Verdict: we both liked this, we had it warm the first time and the crust was a bit too crumbly for my liking, after resting the crust was much better and I think it is better cold. Will definitely make this again.

Confetti Biscuits

Week Three:

I wanted to make some biscuits to take along to a monthly stitching group and a photo for these
Confetti Cookies popped up in my Facebook feed, I had all the ingredients so whipped them up, I didn't have quite enough hundreds and thousands, so tried out rolling the biscuits in coffee sugar.

Verdict:  the biscuits rolled in coffee sugar are nicer, I will be making these again.

Fromage Fort

Week Four:

I had a few ends of cheese left over so I made Fromage Fort I enjoy reading David Lebowitz's blog and have made a few of his recipes. A cooking book that I have from the library is Silvia's Cucina by Silvia Colloca and her recipe for No-knead Bread is quite easy to make, I prefer using scales to measure my ingredients as I find it more accurate than cup measurements.

Verdict:  two thumbs up for both of these recipes

  No Knead Bread

Linking up with Julie

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Almost too big

This is where the Museum Medallion is up to, one thin border remains and then it is onto the final border, hurrah!  I knew this quilt was a large one but didn't realise exactly how big until I clipped it to a board so I could hang it up for a photo.

It will have to be pressed before I get to the quilting stage but it is a wasted effort to press it now, when it will just get creased again while I stitch on the final border.

In case you wonder what those little bits of colour peeking from the edges of the eighth border are,  they are parts of the flower print in the fabric below.  If I remember correctly this fabric had large strips of flowers alternated by the plain sections which I wanted to use for my border and when I measured one plain section it was wide enough but I forgot to check if the other bits were also wide enough, c'est la vie, it is a scrap quilt after all.

Friday, 20 January 2017

On to the quilting

This morning I finished off the machine applique, found some fabric for backing, and sandwiched it all up.  I used a double layer of batting so the applique will pop out from the background.

The afternoon was spent ditch stitching around all the various elements, there is quite a bit of puff in the background now so the quilting will have to be done carefully to prevent any folds occurring.  No prizes for guessing what I will be doing this weekend.


As I was going through some of my digital photos the other day thinking that I should really  be organising them better, I came across the photo above which was taken in New Zealand a couple of years ago. It reminded me of some fabric I have that looks similar, it was a Westminster Fibers fabric by Philip Jacobs called Gertrude, it came out in several colour variations, this one was my favourite.