Sunday, 26 September 2010

Three little cats

Here's hoping that your sunday was wonderful ...

The weather in Melbourne was wonderful. Just the right amount of sunshine, a little wind and the sound of lawn mowers being used all around (along with the periodic "bugger").

Of course the cats were lapping up the fact that we had all the doors and windows open to air out the house.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Japanese Embroidery

Every week at the school where I teach we have a "calm space". A period of time where students can choose to go to Eucharist, read a book, draw or in my case embroider.

Having sat on this project for too long, I decided to take some embroidery in with me to my Year 7 class to show them how easy it really is. A while back I bought a few yards of Kona Cotton in Indigo rather than traditional Japanese indigo which is a bit more expensive. I enlarged the designs from the book I had and traced them onto the fabric using the Clover tracing paper on the advice of another embroiderer from the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild.

The pieces are quite large and simple to do. I have used a traditional Japanese cotton although I have a bobbin of Perle sitting there if it doesn't turn out the way I want it to. But i am quite happy with the result so far. The designs are from this book a lovely inspirational book given to me by my friend Beky from Pivx.

And I am not sure if my pieces will end up a pillow or a quilt, but here is a bit of inspiration of what it could become. I don't normally work with blues, so I am tempted to pair it with a nice mustard or burgundy.

Here is another finished piece by another Melbourne quilter.

Have you done any Japanese Embroidery?

Friday, 24 September 2010

My not so crafty week

The first week of the non-teaching break has been filled with working on a text book for next year's new Year 12 ITA course. We are a bit late in the year to be finishing drafts, but that is the way it is.

We have first page proofs through of the text book and changes need to be made because the actual writing was finished BEFORE the finished Study Design was released to teachers. So lots of refining, redefining and reshuffling is occuring to make sure that things line up, sound good and are accurate.

The good news is that once this is one, the second page proofs shouldn't need much editing at all.

In between doing edits I dipped my toes into the crafty world and I have ordered some yummy Moda Origin's charm packs which should arrive next week some time, a timely reminder to get on with my sewing projects. I just love the colour combination of this charm pack.

Once I get the charm packs through I will have to remember to order a few yards of matching fabric for the back and sashing ... hmm can't wait to work with these colours!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Domestic Princess

I think that three is the age for dressing up ...

She then went on to use her toy ironing board and iron, of course in full tutu ... it was a battle to get it off her for dinner. I was thinking that pasta and tutu's might not mix.

I have another day today of corrections, book edits and meetings. The days are going fast at the moment and I am completely in "the zone". I am looking foward to next week when it is just me and my sewing machine.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Sleeping Blanket for Childcare

Quite a while back my Mum gave me a cotton waffle blanket for Tori. I decided to customise the waffle blanket by unstitching the satin binding and replacing it with some striking cotton bias. In order to give the bias some more structure, I ran a few lines of stitching along the bias.

I had a meter of this yummy Michael Miller Night Owl fabric that Tori liked, so we made a matching bag for her blanket. I had a strip of green cotton left over from some of my Kona Colour Jelly Rolls that I used for the draw string.

I appliqued some owls onto the blanket and made name tags for her blanket and bag. It only dawned upon me this afternoon when I was trying to get Tori to nap that I hadn't documented what I had made ... so here it is!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Busy weekend

A busy weekend was had preparing for the very small party we had for Tori on Sunday. Last year we had to cancel her party because she had severe gastro and ended up in the Royal Children's Hospital with dehydration.

We only had a handful of kids around all three or turning three. It was a nice small intimate group. Cake was simple, I used the sponge cake recipe and used dairy substitutes (Nutelex and soy milk) as one of the girls that turned up can't eat dairy. So what you are looking at is butter free butter icing!

I love this picture, she looks so grown up. Rather than wear the new clothes we got her, she wanted to wear her party dress. By the end of the day it was really grubby, but she had fun.

This week will be a busy week with final book edits due in to my publisher and corrections for school. I am hoping to get all my work done this week so that I can relax and do some indulgent sewing next week.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Happy Birthday Victoria

My little girl celebrated her third birthday yesterday (16th September) and all the excitement that went with it. In the evening our family, grandparents and gothmother, came around for Tori's favourite meal at the moment ... Pizza!

Her Uncle David in Japan gave her a wonder woman outfit. It was a battle to get it off her when she went to bed!

Tori's Oma made her a strawberry birthday cake and Tori and I made a sponge cake together when we got home from childcare. She loves the magic of putting something "soft" into the oven and it comes out as cake!

Rather proud of my first sponge cake attempt!

Of course throughout the evening, she couldn't get over how "super" she was ...

Showing Nanna how it's done ...

Opa got Tori a musical cardthat plays the chicken dance .. *groan*

Tori and Mummy being silly!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Another Baby Quilt

I started this quilt ages ago and I basically didn't like how it looked.

So I unstitched the blocks and re-worked them and now much happier with how the purple quilt. Still not sure how to back it, but I do need to get my skates on and finish this one.

Sides still need trimming, but you get the idea ;-)

Monday, 13 September 2010

My Green Room

Melbourne is dragging herself kicking and screaming out of winter.

In between a few lovely days of sunshine there is 4 or 5 days of overcast weather that threatens rain. Our water storage's are fuller than they have been in the last 10 years and for the first time restrictions on watering our gardens have been lifted.

I normally love to pick my daffodils, but I just can't bring myself to cutting them from my garden. They stand proud, encouraging the other bulbs to hurry up and show themselves. The great thing about our garden is that the design cleverly hides all those weeds that really need to be pulled.

I was rather excited to notice that my fresia's have bloomed. I will definately be picking these as they smell so good inside the house.

Of course with sunny days comes the opportunity to open my front door and let our inside cats pick up on the spring smells.

Vladamir taking full advantage of this activity, probably lamenting over his incarsination since he came to stay with us earlier in the year.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Working with Charm Squares

I go through different stages of wanting to do patchwork quilt tops and then I will spend sometime just doing batting/quilting. So I generally have a few quilts on the go at any one time. Yesterday was a quilt top day, so I decided to try a technique that I have read about, but never tried.

I started off with nine charm square blocks, each 5 inches x 5 inches. Sewed them together to make a large block.

Once sewn, press and then slice into four even sections. I used my quilting ruler to measure 2 and 1/4 inches in from one of the middle seams.

Once sliced rotate 90 degrees or 180 degrees to create a new pattern. I have found that it is imperative to pin the seams together that you want to line up before you sew them. I know that this sounds strange, but when I sew I hardly use pins unless doing curved seams.

When you are joining the bigger blocks together, pin the matching seams and then if they don't match up 100% give the blocks a blast of steam from your iron and the fabric will either shrink or stretch to match up.

Here is the result of my efforts!

Not sure what I am going to back it in yet .. might get more of the red/orange dots to back the quilt or look for a red/purple to match the front. The colour scheme came from the red and purple on the spiders body.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Blood in the Dark Treasury

There are so many yummy things in this treasury, it is hard to walk away without spending a cent!

Down the bottom left, you can see one of my crime scene handbags. The one that was inspired by Twilight (chuckles)

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Custom order Tool Roll

I had a custom order for a Tool Roll.

I am rather happy at how it ended up ...

Complete with personalised embroidery ...