Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Return of the Machine

No, not another terminator movie, but today I picked up my lovely sewing machine from the repair man.  Yay!  It should have gone back to it's usual, perfect stitching... will find out over the next few days. 

On the vegetable front... do you think it is actually possible to turn into a tomato?  For all those people who have had poor crops this year due to the really weird weather, well, mine have just gone into overdrive.  I've been freezing some whole to use in stews and things over winter, and slow roasting some with onions, garlic and whatever else I throw in - which I'll also freeze in family sized portions to use for pizza topping, spaghetti sauce and whenever a recipe calls for tomato puree.  Any other suggestions?  It's just gone crazy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

WIP Friday???

How on earth did it manage to get to Friday without me realising??  I realise I haven't had any posts for a while, but not because I haven't been busy doing things.

Firstly, Block Two of My Tweets - fused awaiting the return of my sewing machine to complete the blanket stitch:

Next up, Block 4 of Gail Pan's Bluebirds and berries BOM

And lastly, individual pieces attached to my design wall in an unsewn sort of manner, Block Two of Swoon.

And just to show that I do things other than sew sometimes, some of the produce from my garden after a frenzy of picking...

The beetroot is now all cooked up and doing it's thing with the vinegar, these tomatoes are still doing a little bit more ripening (but the last lot I picked are in the oven being slow roasted with garlic, courgette and onion and will be part of dinner tonight), the beans were frozen free flow so all ready to reappear at a moments notice and we are slowly working our way thruogh the rest of the courgettes and onions.  The vege bed is still laden with everything... YUM!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced and BOM's away at What a Hoot.

Friday, February 17, 2012

*** Happy Dance ***

I got a finish - a la la la la - I got a finish - a la la la la!

Today was button day.

I really like this quilt in our lounge, it just picks up all the subtle colours and adds a bit of kapow (in a mellow, relaxed sort of way)

Buttons are a variety of sizes and types, tied with a double length of perle cotton in off-white/cream, which looks just dandy with the "natural" coloured pompoms.

Which means this can be added to the list of FINISHED PROJECTS.  Woot!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Still no buttons...

and not a heck of a lot of sewing.  The kids have had two short weeks back at school - which means two short weeks of being back at work for me.  It's been tiring getting back into the swing of early starts, school runs, work chaos and the reverse of everything at the end of the day, but the added angst of homework, washing... dinner at a regular time.  You know - mum stuff.  So... sewing has taken a backseat.  Not because I want it to, it just doesn't figure at the moment.

So today being Saturday... I had high hopes.  But I woke up sort of grumpy and miserable, so have done the groceries... washing... dishwasher... freemotion sewing experiment which I'm about 1/3 of the way through unpicking... still feel a bit grumpy and miserable and wish I'd never turned the sewing machine on.  You know how it is?

I've been angsting (my new favourite word) about backings for my double disappearing nine patch quilt as I've got several options - all of which require some degree of piecing.  Now I'm just confused and can't make a decision.

On a different note, we visited the Reptile Park at Warkworth on Monday (which was Waitangi Day so a national holiday).  If you ever find yourself in Warkworth (about an hourish north of Auckland) and want to walk about for a while - it's well worth a visit.

This is Willie - a 40yr old 248kg tortoise

We had fun trying to find the animals...

This was one of the scenic paths.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get something significant done.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Well I didn't sew any buttons on...

But I did make a book cover following Ms Lottie's surely famous by now tutorial over on The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady.

So how did this happen... well, it started several weeks ago when Monika asked me if I was interested in having a tutu with screen printing.  She details our progress (well, me doing a lot of watching, while Monika did a lot of screen printing) over on her blog - Quilting Journey.  Our first practice piece was a calico version of Nadia's name, then we proceeded to print on two pink pillow cases (photos not being co-operative, so check out the bottom of the post).

Home I came with the pillow cases, and the calico piece which got put on a pile of things and semi-forgotten.  Until today.  Today I also read Melody's (Melody of Fibre Mania) quilt along information on how she creates her wonderful fuses pieces.  Ding ding went the little people in my head, and the rest is history.  Or at least, Portfolio Cover (aka clear folder cover for school) now completed.

Shapes overlapped and fused onto batting, prior to trimming - which I then stitched around to make sure they didn't fall off.  Not sure what the batting is - could be heat resistant stuff that was about the right size, so if all else fails, she will have a ginormous mug rug. 

Front view

Inside cover.

Back view
The pillow case

Close up of the screen printing.  We should have ironed it before printing, which explains the little run through the middle of the D.

Maybe back to the buttons tommorrow??

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I might have lost my marbles...

but I have got some pompoms!!

I had a great idea.  Throws quite often have fancy edging to them... tassels, pompoms etc - so why not add a pompom edge to my Courthouse Stars Buggy Barn throw quilt instead of a binding, using the turney through method of finishing, and instead of doing batting and a backing - use an upholstery weight fabric with a fluffy finish, and buttons sewn on at block intersections instead of quilting.  Simple!

Of course, the road to Rome is never straight (or however it goes) - and after a few sourcing issues, and some lovely assistance from the great gals at The Country Yard, and a whirlwind of a trip to Arthurs in Whangarei (the best surplus shop in all the land), I finally had all the requirements needed to finish my quilt.

Progress to date:
Can't wait to snuggle up underneath it... middle of summertime now, but winter is just around the corner.  In the meantime, it will be the cat scratch deterrant for the leather sofa.

Finished dimensions - about 1.6m x 1.6m

The backing fabric is very plush, not quite fur, almost chenilley - hard to describe but very luxurious feeling.  It is very heavy - like lugging around a dead body.  After a few hours of sewing, my arms are now blissfully numb.  Just a well I can touch type and just need to wiggle a few fingers... all I am capable of ;0)

I still have the buttons to sew on, but I want to let it relax into shape first... in the hope that the buttons won't create unsightly puckers/ripples/folds (or any combination) on the back.