Saturday, August 29, 2009

B + W x 2...

One pile of selvedges.

One pile of stringy offcuts.
Fabric for 2 black and white quilts. Can you guess what sort?
You'll just have to wait till I get back!!

Now to get cracking on the packing!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Santa Claus is coming...

Not that I would wish the festive season upon us this early but for once I've done something that could be considered almost organised! Although it could have quite easily ended up in the unfinished project too-hard-basket if I hadn't needed a small project to take to my machine quilting session a few weeks back. I have finished my Christmas Tree Skirt. You'll find the tutorial over here at Crazy Mom's. I'm very pleased with it. The red gives it a very rich warm feeling and even though the greens I've used are a little unorthidox and not Christmas prints, it's still quite festive.
After our WEA machine quilting sessions I've learnt to stipple a little smaller/denser (perfect for smaller sized quilts and projects) and I've even ventured into the area of 'picture' quilting by including some little stars within the log cabins. It was recommended that this sort of quilting be tackled with a darning foot and I couldn't get my head around that, so opted for my walking foot. But having done it now, I know why. The walking foot is too restrictive and you have to turn your quilt with every angle. So next time, I'll use the darning foot.
On the general quilting front I've really been restraining myself on starting something new which is quite at odds with my personality. I openly flaunt that it's perfectly OK to have more than one thing on at a time but the pile of sandwiched quilts and flimsies is building a little higher than it should be (but then again what's the measure on that? No more pins?). I've been dreaming of a couple of black and white projects and it's amazing what a little self control can do. It's doing my head in to be perfectly honest. I've changed my mind about six times already but I think I've finally decided on two designs for the two quilts I'd like to make. So having got through this week with a big tick on one completed project and we're about to embark on a week away with the family (without the machine), AND uni starts again for me next week, I reckon I can set myself a "Spring to Finish" challenge on the other projects and maybe squeeze in a bit of cutting on the two new projects in between packing. Good plan? Say, yes!

Monday, August 24, 2009


24 December 2001 - 23 August 2009

Thank you for the happiness and unconditional love.
We'll miss you little friend.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dedicated to the cause....

The gals did something amazing today....getting up at 5am, driving across town and arriving at 6am to the Patchwork By Sea fabric sale. 35% discount to be had between 6am and 7am along with a table of $5 per metre fabric. That is pure fabric dedication and knowing a fabric bargain when you see one! I picked up some blue Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy for only $5 - I bought what was left and split it with Clare. I've always lusted after this design and even though I'm not a blue person, it will be well loved. The other green FMF's weren't as cheap as the blue but a good buy when discounted by 35%. The little red one was also only $5, so nice to pop away in the stash cupboard. I could have (would have) done a lot more damage if I'd taken my purse! Can you believe that? The kids took my purse last night to buy a charity chocolate and didn't put it back in my bag! Thank you for the loan Clare! And thank you random morning walker for agreeing to take the photo of three mad fabric shoppers!

Friday, August 21, 2009


My one-a-day 9 patch quilt top is finished....finally. (Sorry about the skew-wiff photo but it was late at night and I couldn't hang it on the clothesline in the dark!) I know I was well in front of round 2's proposed schedule having completed my patches fairly quickly. And I know that Amanda Jean had instructed us to pin and pin and pin and pin some more which is a fair indication of the time it takes to attach the plethora of sashing but I reckon this blighter has taken me over a week (maybe even 2 weeks!) to put together. Of course that's in between work, family, machine quilting sessions, homework, appointments and stuff. Phew! I'm really pleased with how the top has come together. The pin and pin and pin some more instruction really does help with lining things up which is the real beauty of this quilt. You also need to do a bit of slight stretching and wriggling to match the seams as best you can. This quilt is definitely a test for 1/4" seam accuracy and not for the faint hearted! It's also lovely to see all the fabrics used and remember where you've used them before (if they're scraps) or where you bought them from (if they're stash).
My favourite is this one that features a Kaffe Fasset print. I don't remember the name....actually I'm not sure if I ever knew it! I bought it from Patchwork on Central Park back in March and I'd have to say that I was a bit reluctant because it had purple in it (I'm just not a purple person). But the girls won me over and it's now one of my all-time faves. I love it in both quilts I've used it in. So now that the top is done I need to think about the back. I have so many little 2 1/2" squares left there is a definite chance of incorporating a few strips into the back. So it's off to the cupboard for me to see what else is there!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Check these funny little cupcakes out! L has a school fundraiser today so we made these scary faced cupcakes for the boys to buy. He goes to an all boys school so they should really appeal and judging from the oohhs and aarghs of his grade 2 classmates, he already has some committed buyers. The cakes include vampire teeth (but you could use the straightforward teeth), mini marshmallows with black writing icing in the tube dotted on for the eyes and Coles brand mushrooms cut in half for the ears. I use packet cake mix (vanilla) and this yields around 30 small cupcakes. Don't fill the patty pans too much (about 3/4's) - kids don't care about the cake (which is why I use packet mix), they just want the icing and the lollies on top!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bookweek bonanza.....

Bookweek has come early to L's school to coincide with a visiting author and a bunch of other celebratory activities this week. Normally it would be in a few week's time. The Bookweek theme is Safari and L went as Indiana Jones. We had the costume left over from R's Bookweek last year but at the last minute she got sick and didn't end up wearing it. I think it might be worn out soon, he wore it all last night and I don't see it coming off in a hurry!

Friday, August 7, 2009

In my head....

I've had countless sleepless nights of late. I'm constantly tossing and turning at 2am thinking about all these things I could be making and finishing. I've finished all 70 of my 9 patches and need to find a good run of time to cut the sashing and borders. I've just taken delivery of this fabulous book, Patchwork Style and the projects are all inspiring. I've got homework to prepare for my next WEA Machine Quilting session. This will be either more pins in my ORB quilt or finishing off the top and preparing the sandwich for the Christmas Tree Skirt I started a few months back. AND then, there's black and white string quilts that would make fabulous gifts inpired by this one and this one. Aren't we lucky to have enthusiasm and options!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You can't go out in that!

L has been invited to another class mate's party on the weekend. It's a cooking party at Rosa Matto's. Rosa's a bit of cooking guru here in SA and most of us mum's are pretty envious that we didn't get a guernsey! Each of the boys has to supply their own apron. The only child size one we have is this little Harrods Paddington Bear number that we purchased years ago for R when we were leaving the UK and felt this desire to spend the last of our sterling in the airport. It's not really appropriate for 8 year old boys and besides it's a bit too small. So tonight I whipped up this one in red ticking. It took no time at all and the straps are recycled tape from previous fabric purchases. I just love a no-cost creation. L is thrilled and thought he'd pose Masterchef style!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bending the rules....

I've really enjoyed making my 9 nine patches but I'm afraid it's resulted in me bending the rules somewhat. You see, I'm not sticking to the one-a-day rule....I made 16 in my first session (because I was 10 days behind) and 42 in my second! I now have 58 which means only 12 more to go. I just need to crack my last 6 colour combinations which is not as easy as it sounds having used most of my fabrics. Don't they look scrummy on the cake stand!
The girls, Clare, Kay, Michelle and I attended our 6 hour machine quilting workshop yesterday. We were all pretty excited about 6 hours behind a machine before we even got there! The workshop was run by Mary Williams through the WEA. We didn't quite get 6 hours worth of machine time but we learnt SO MUCH and can't wait for the next installment in a fortnight. Highly recommended.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

One experiment, one giant leap

I've finished my little 2 1/2" checkerboard experimental quilt. 12 strips from the jelly rolls (6 of each colour combo from 2 jelly rolls of the same print) and 12 strips of calico ended up 130cm x 110cm. After going too deep with the original layout making it much too rectangular, I squared it up by laying out the pattern as 8 x 10 blocks (instead of 8 x 12 blocks). The remainder of the rectangle blocks I used for a border. It's now living with my sister as a lap quilt. She was pretty chuffed!
But she couldn't have been as thrilled as I was on Friday night when I accompanied L to an iceskating party for one of his school friends. L has a language disorder and with that comes many sensory integration issues. The last time he'd been to the ice arena he'd been completely overwhelmed with the sheer size of the place and the noise. I primed him all week about giving skating a go but not worrying if it didn't work out.
He was itching to go. He was excited to see his school friends out of school hours. He couldn't wait to get his skates on. He walked with my help across the rubber flooring to the skating place. I organised a 'chair' for him to push around. He pushed it all the way round. The other boys got bored, took their skates off and went to play in the ice pit. He followed and had a ball throwing snow balls at the other kids. The gloves he didn't want to wear were put on. They had their birthday tea. The other boys went back to the pit for some more rough ice play (as boys do!). What did L want to do? Put his skates back on and have another go on the ice. He dispensed with the 'chair'. He walked all around the rail. Then he let go. He moved to the middle. He was skating....all by himself. I'm not talking Torvill and Dean but he was moving his legs and he was doing it. And guess what else? He was singing to the songs playing in the arena. What a boy!

(Look at that little tongue sticking out.....really concentrating!)

The Sew & Sews are off to the WEA this morning for a machine quilting workshop....there's no holding us back!