Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Shawl...

Some super yummy gorgeous yarn and a really terrific pattern - can you tell that I liked both, a lot? - meant that I was able to knit up a beautiful small shawl for my MIL for her 80th birthday.    Started long before I knew about the cake baking and catering that I wrote about in my previous post.


This German made yarn consisted of 50% Cotton and 50% Nylon.  It was super soft and had a lovely hand feel.  With very, very long lengths of colour before the next one, the striping effect was subtle between colour changes and gave way to stripes.

Detail while being blocked of the eyelet edging.
A simple eyelet edging finished it off with pizzazz.  I had to make the eyelet edging twice.  I was overnight at my sister's house, looking after her kids, when the dog came into the room with makeup in it's mouth.  I took the makeup from the dog and put it away.  When I came back into the room, the dog had my knitting and the ball of yarn almost completely unravelled and was spinning circles, wound up in yarn, in the lounge room and having a great time - until he saw my face.  I put him outside and shut the door.  CRASH!  BANG! I jumped up and the dog had emptied his metal water bowl and was hitting the glass door with it, wanting to come back in.  No way.  Not until I was ready and the kids were home from sports.

The completed shawl.
Second detail shot of the edging.

The day I decided to take the photo outside it was over 30deg Celcius, so it was a bit hard to imagine needing to wear it.  :)









A simple, small shawl which nicely sits over the shoulders for those cool evenings or it can be wrapped and tied around the neck for tucking into a coat. 

The free knitting pattern for this shawl can be found here.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Cakes for 80 years!

Last weekend my MIL turned 80.  Lots of celebrating to be had.  First up on the agenda was the important issue of cake.  Cake is very important, especially when there is going to be more than one gathering of people over a couple of days.

First up was a family dinner on Saturday night.
"German" Apple Cake
The first cake was "German Apple Cake".  The recipe came from my husband's Grandmother's handwritten notebook that she wrote recipes into.  Her handwriting was beautiful cursive script, written in ink.  From what I can find out, I think the recipe is circa 1930.   Inside was a gorgeous concoction of fresh apple, cinnamon and sugar all layered in a type of shortcake batter.

The second cake, for show as well as taste and needed to feed 50 people was a delicious "Lemon and Coconut Cake" from a book that I purchased 19 years ago.  It's one I've made a few times in the past, so it was easy to double up and make it bigger.
Lemon and Coconut Cake.
Consisting of a large lemon/coconut sponge, sandwiched with freshly made lemon curd and finished off with lemon buttercream and shredded coconut - I will brag and say it was truly a taste sensation!  Yum, yum, yum!!


Monday, 2 March 2020

Paper Doilies, Log Cabins and a very quilty week...

Last week was so very, very quilty!  Lots of sewing time to be had. 😊

It was a wonderful week. Tuesday was 3 hours with a group, followed closely by Thursday which was slow stitching at a local shop for 2.5 hours.  I took an English Paper Piecing  (EPP) project.

My "doily" so far.  There's still another round to attach,
but I haven't chosen the colour yet.
The diamond spaces are left blank for the
background to show through.























This is my "Paper Doily" project which I started in 2019 at a class with Leesa Chandler.  I attended the class so that I could learn something new.  I had never realised all the other possibilities before of using paper pieces to make up patterns like this.  I had always attached them to each other and thought that was it.  Once the final round is attached, the whole piece will be appliqued onto a background.  Such a fun thing to do with some stash fabric and paper pieces.

Friday was the day for my local quilt group.  I had plans to take my machine and continue working on Specky Stars, however, other things called me away and I didn't get there.

On Saturday, 29/02 - Leap Year Day - I attended a 10am-10pm sewing day with a group 1 hour away.  I took a scrappy red/white log cabin of my own design to work on.  I spent quite a bit of time both before and after Christmas cutting into my red and white leftovers from previous projects (scrap) stash.  Being 100% cut out and having lots of chain piecing, which is very repetitive, was a fantastic thing to do while catching up with friends.


I stood up and looked over the back of my machine
for this shot.  Lots of chain piecing.
Plastic tub with each piece cut and in piecing
order from the centre out.
























With a bit of luck, this log cabin quilt will hopefully be published into a pattern.  It's been quite a while since I last ran a class and wrote a proper pattern.

On top of pattern writing and making the relevant quilts, I have a self-imposed goal of completing 9 quilts by the end of July and 4 of those quilts I plan to exhibit.  A couple will become gifts, 1 is for a class and the other 2 I am not sure where they are headed to yet.

I'm feeling as 'pleased as punch' right now.  My goals are on track and I've spent some very precious time with some very special people.   Life is good.


Monday, 24 February 2020

Diligently sewing ...

I've got 3 projects on the go at the moment, and it's leading to lots of productivity but also lots of mess!

New York Beauty blocks.  I was working on this one and making great progress, but kept on feeling that some of the colour and scale of print balance in the fabrics was not quite right.  After a few days of contemplation,  I ordered some more fabric to even out the patterns in the 'fill in" squares.  The fabric arrived last Thursday and it's provided the look I was after.  I am not sure if I will get back to that this week coming or not.
A sneak peak of one of the blocks.
Until I started this project, I had completely forgotten how much I enjoy foundation piecing  I am loving the use of some really old fabrics being combined with brand new fabrics to come up with something that is very unique.



Modern Quilt  I am in the process of putting the quilt top together.  I pulled it out to complete the blocks while waiting for the fabric for the New York Beauty to arrive.  I completed all of the blocks and was merrily cutting and sashing away until I realised that I had cut ALL of the long sashings too short by 1in.  In the moment of realisation of my error, I may have said some unladylike words.  Because I am intending to exhibit my modern quilt later in the year, I am being particularly fussy with things being 'just right'.  Off to the quilt shop this morning and I was able to purchase more of the same fabric so that I can re-cut those sashing strips. 

Here's the made up blocks, ready for assembly into the quilt top.
***  I'm sorry, but I cannot share any photos of this quilt until after it has been exhibited - those are rules from the entry conditions.




Specky Stars is a local quilt shop pattern for using up a jelly roll or scraps.  It was a workshop we had on 17/05/2019 at  the Friday group I attend.  The class was the day I turned 50, so I was an absolutely hopeless class participant because not only was I doubting my fabric choices, I was far too excited at the prospect of being flown to an island later that day for the weekend to celebrate.

Partial blocks.  I'm assembling them 'log cabin' style and
adding the same strip to each block for easy chain piecing.
During January, I decided to rip (unpick) all of the parts I had sewn - same error in every block -  and then I cut all block parts for the entire quilt and put them in labelled ziploc baggies.  Since then I have been working diligently on that project each Friday at quilting bee and have 2 sides left to sew on each of the required 48 blocks.   I have pressed the parts and trimmed the flipped triangles on the remaining parts ready for next Friday.   I hope on 28/02 to have all of the blocks completed.


Of course, all of this work means that my sewing room has become very, very untidy.  It's time to go in there and put some things away.  My goal is to be able to quilt one of these quilts next week, and that takes up space for basting.  Plus all things need to be cleared off the sewing table so that I don't  end up with stray bits of fabric attached to back of the quilt accidentally!






Friday, 7 February 2020

Ombré Shawl

Ahhh - I really enjoy unearthing a project, particularly the zip-loc baggie ones and reconnecting with what is inside.

During 2019 I picked up this shawl project again.  I had put it away because I became very bored with knitting it.  Initially, I had thought with the different shades of red and orange that it would stay interesting to knit - but no, it didn't.

However, on the plus side, it was a super easy knit and a good project for train and car travel.  The yarn itself is so soft and has a beautiful hand feel.


Katia Ombre Shawl in progress.  The kit was purchased in September 2018.

This ombre shawl was finished in time for Christmas and was gifted to DH's sister-in-law, who promptly put it on and then wore it home!  Her delighted reaction was the perfect reason to finish this project, which had been intended for her from the beginning.

Unfortunately there is no finished shawl photo because I forgot to take one before gifting.

Friday, 31 January 2020

Cork Evening Bag

Starting with a bit of cork fabric and an amazing pattern, I had a great time making this little evening bag for my sister for Christmas.

Some lining fabric, zips, a bit of bag hardware and I was off on a fun sewing adventure.


 A little zippy pocket for hiding things in.....  I had purchased some zips from a Japanese stall at a craft exhibition which had gorgeous little zipper pulls on them, adding to the sense of luxury in this bag.

Spots for credit and public transport cards....   and, because the main zipper extends past the end of the bag, you can open it right up to see what's inside.


An inner pocket.....   perfect for lipstick and tissues. 


And then the bag outer.  I used a very, very dark navy, which seems to be a bit blown out by the flash.

Yes, I will make this bag again.  I already have more cork fabric and hardware sets, ready to go.


Pattern used:   Trio Pocket Purse by Pattern Poole (Monica Poole).  See here

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

A new year and a new decade



Well, 2020 has arrived and with it, for me, is a renewed sense of hope and optimism.  Towards the end of 2019, I lost my crafting mojo and life threw some pretty major curve-balls, as it is wont to do from time to time.

I relearned gratitude.  I also relearned acceptance of self and to let go of the small stuff.

Starting on the 1st of January, I joined in with some friends, on Facebook, where a daily declutter task (free) being run in conjunction with daily 'productivity' (paid for) mind re-set and how to be a better 'you' to achieve those goals we all dream about.  This has been very cathartic and rewarding.    It's so very nice to wake up in the mornings feeling good and positive about life.

I have some big plans for this year, like, finishing 9 Quilt UFOs by end of July, plus some other ideas swimming around in my head.

This week will see me join others for a day of completing Bushfire Charity quilts which a little local  group that I belong to was working on in December.  I cannot do much, but I do hope that little bit of work will provide some comfort and a huge hug to those who have lost everything in the dreadful fires that have been consuming Australia since September 2019. 

I wish everyone who visits this blog peace, harmony and joy in every day.  I am looking forward to sharing my new creative adventures with you.💕