Sunday, 30 November 2008

Four Seasons Quilt Swap 5!

Margaret has just announced round 5 of the 4SQS, and I've thrown my name in the ring already. I can't wait! The guidelines have changed a little from the first four, and will pose an interesting challenge. I wonder who I'll be making for???

Sunday Stash #9

This is another out of my 'favourites' box, which has a lot of symmetrical and filigree prints. It's part of the Hot Couturier range
I actually had a play at a design for it this afternoon, too - but that's a long way from being ready to make, even if I had the time.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

From James' Mouth #3

Last weekend I held a Tupperware party. (It took a bit of explaining that no, it wasn't a birthday, and there wouldn't be a pink butterfly cake!).

Last night we went to the child care centre's Christmas Party. I was explaining to James that we were taking supper with us.

"Is it a Supperware party, Mummy?"

PS - James and Eleanor (and us and all four grandparents) had a wonderful time. Eleanor ate a bit much, and James had to eat when we got home, because he was too busy while we were there (singing, dancing, and playing with his friend Ella) to bother with something as mundane as eating!

Quilt # 2364 (Sue's Quilt)

We gave Sue her quilt at the child care Christmas function this evening, after a last-minute photoshoot before we went. We happened to meet Sue at the gate, and James proudly told her we'd brought her quilt, so that may have reduced the surprise somewhat!
I ended up using Simon's name suggestion. I gather he thinks I make rather a lot! In fact, this is more accurately around Quilt # 67.
I asked the centre director to find out what colours Sue liked, and she came back saying 'pastels'. I worried that these might be rather bright pastels, but she seemed to love it.
Given the quilt is for a child care worker, I thought it appropriate to pose some shots on James and Eleanor's new swing set!
This was my first pieced back. The good quality white didn't come wide enough, so I used large rectangles of a selection of the fabrics used in the front. I rather like the effect!
I also liked the effect of the sun streaming through the verandah (although fortunately it was overcast for most of the photos). This might be inspiration for a later quilt.
And the label - using this year's child care photo!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

From James' Mouth #2

James has hit the "No. I don't want to." stage. So after we ask him to do something (you know, really horrible tasks, such as getting dressed, or finding a toy!) and get this response, I usually follow up with, "It would be very helpful if you could....., please." And he usually obliges.

Yesterday morning, after being up to both James and Eleanor the night before, he came round to me in bed far too early, and told me, "I've done a poo. Can you change my nappy?" My response was rubbing bleary eyes and asking him why he didn't do it in the toilet...

"Mummy, it would be very helpful if you could change my nappy now, please?"

So I did!


My parents came with their small chainsaw to cut up most of the fallen tree and have taken the wood to fuel their pot-belly stove next winter. The remainder of the trunk is too big, and needs a bigger chainsaw. Luckily we have a friend with access to one - and a wood stove which also needs fuel! It's a great deal - we just let them come and do all the work, and we're all happy!
James warned Andrew to be careful not to cut his 'ladder'!
Where the trunk started to branch out was over a circle of roses, so I helped keep them out of the chainsaw. I trust my Daddy!
James helped, too.Mind those fingers!

The Perfect Stripe

After seeing some of this on Leah's blog, I knew I had to have some. A bit of a search online, and I found it; it's Bungalow Stripe (in kiwi) from Michael Miller. Four yards (minues one 2.5in square for my one-of-everything quilt) is now sitting happily in my stash, to make lots of gorgeous borders and bindings. Why did it take me so long to discover stripe quilt fabrics? I've always loved stripy clothes, but didn't start collecting stripy fabrics until about a year ago!

Stash = 973m. Getting close!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Sunday Stash #8 - Incoming

Since I didn't get around to blogging them during the week, this week's Sunday Stash is all the fabric which arrived here this week!

These first 2 arrived on a day when I was all set to do a stash-reduction post, saving me the distress! A beautiful snowflake print from Sandi, my EBDQS recipient, and some stripes Leah kindly picked up for me at her LQS, as I'm right into striped bindings at the moment.
More stripes from my LQS - I only went for batting, honestly!
Some Panda coordinates...
More for a special project I'm still designing:
Collecting b&w positives and negatives:
A snuggly flannel:
And some general stash enhancement with some thread to go with the turquoises.

Stash = 969m

Thursday, 20 November 2008

EBDQS2 Quilts

Most, if not all, of the Essential Baby Doll Quilt Swap 2 quilts are here if you want to see them; EB members can even vote for their favourite three. Have a look and admire the great work everyone did!

Sue's Quilt - in search of a better name

Here is my latest quilt; using Bento Box blocks. I finished it 2 nights ago, and spent ages yesterday doodling quilting designs. I wanted an allover, and eventually came up with a vine with heart-shaped leaves. I'm sure it's not original, but never mind.
The best thing about this design is that it's a pantograph, which means apart from the few thread breakages (remarkably few, only 5) there were no thread ends to finish-off, because all the quilting starts and stops off the edge of the quilt; one row at a time.
I even kept track of the amount of thread left in the bobbin so it didn't run-out mid-line. I was left with 4 bobbins each with a short length, but used them up stay-stitching the endges before attaching the binding. I'm now hand-stitching the binding down on the back, and pondering a suitable name so I can print out the label. Any brilliant ideas? It's for Sue, who has been one of James' and Eleanor's wonderful carers for 2 years, and who has recently moved. Luckily she's coming back for their Christmas party next Friday, so I can give it to her then - if I come up with a name in time!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


When we bought our house just over four years ago, there were two dead trees in the back garden. Just before James' first birthday, the smaller one down the back fell over. Daddy and my father-in-law came with a saw and chainsaw to cut it up, and Daddy took the wood for their pot-belly stove. While they had everything out, they turned their attention to the other dead tree; much taller (nearing 20m) and closer to the house. With a lot of effort, they got ropes over the branches, and pulled a few off, before getting the rope stuck over a branch that just wasn't ready to come down. So the rope remained, and a few game people had a swing at James' first birthday party - even two at a time! At 4.45 this morning, the tree decided it was ready to come down. NOW! It came down with rather a crash, and I'm thankful that we were all inside, and that it didn't fall on the house. It wasn't windy, and the practically non-existent roots which came up with it show how little was holding it upright for the last few years. At least it can't fall any further now! The only casualties were an ugly birdbath, odd branches from other trees, bushes and roses in the garden, and James' climbing frame, which is going to need replacing! Given we could have had a gaping hole in our roof, and a destroyed verandah and rainwater tank, that's ok.

I'm also rather glad that my parents weren't coming to deliver the new swingset and slide they've bought James and Eleanor until this weekend; it might've been in the firing line. As it is, they're coming up to see about removing this tree first.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Sunday Stash #7 and the vet

This stunning pair of fabrics are from Kaufmann. I have several metres of each. I bought them to cut up for kaleidoscopes, but they're almost too nice to cut!
And as an aside, this post has been delayed, because at midnight I was on the phone to the vet! Cocoa has been limping this evening, then when I picked him up for a cuddle, found and removed somethng suspiciously like a tick from his ear. Not a good combination - and at midnight of course! Luckily, the emergency vet assures me unless he's been to Queensland or in recent contact with a dog who has been (both highly improbable), it's not a paralysis tick, so I can relax - and not rush out to the vet's and pay a fortune for the privilege! As for the limp; he does it on occasion, and it's likely to be fine by morning meanwhile, he's enjoying extra snuggles as I type!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Easy Bento Boxes

Today I whipped-up 10 of these Bento Box blocks (finished size 14in). Nine are together forming the centre of a quilt for one of James and Eleanor's carers who's just left their centre. The other is awaiting an extra round or two for a smaller project.
I also whipped-up a quadruple batch of chocolate mousse. But we all had such a big dinner, no-one could face dessert, so we've brought it back home. What a shame! It's the easiest recipe:

Single quantity (serves 4, but I think they're rather scant serves!):
Melt 4oz chocolate good quality dark chocolate and 2T milk together in a large bowl - you'll eventually put everything into this bowl. Separate 2 eggs and beat the whites until stiff. Add the yolks to the chocolate. Rinse and dry the beaters and in another bowl beat about 1/2c cream until thick. Fold the cream into the chocolate, then fold in the beaten egg whites. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so to set.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Maths revision

I'm really not sure how I came to the conclusion last night that reducing my quilt layout from 6x5 (30 blocks) to 4x5 (20 blocks) would leave 16 spare! But tonight while putting the quilt top together; all it needs now are the white side borders (blogger rotated the photo of its own accord again); I came up with a fun design to use 9 of the spare blocks for a fairly quick baby quilt to keep up my sleeve for the next baby girl to arrive And I think I'll use the final block for a mini quilt. I'm happy with the final size. I had thought I might want to add an extra border, but it's a nice lap-size as it is; roughly 44x55in.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

10,000 and counting

Thanks to everyone for coming by, and especially those of you who leave comments and say hello. It really does mean a lot to me! Esther was the closest I can estimate to being number 10,000, so send me your address for a little surprise when you least expect it!
I've been working on this pink, white and green quilt for James' favourite carer, but with 240 HSTs it has been slow. Tonight I completed the 30 star blocks (8.5in finished size) but I think I'll go back to my orginal idea of a 4x5 layout instead of the revised 5x6, which is getting rather large once sashing and borders are added. That will leave me with a spare 16 to do something with. The block centres are Farmers' Market again; I'd better be careful to leave enough for my own quilt!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Nearly there!

I noticed my blog counter is at 9990 tonight. Watch closely and if you're number 10,000, drop me a comment with the number in your message, and I might be able to manage a little something for you...

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Sunday Stash #6 - An unlikely favourite

This week's Sunday Stash fabric is an old favourite, although it's unlike most I choose. I used most of it in my sister's wedding quilt, but have half a metre and a few scraps left. It came from the Calico Patch, my favourite quilt shop when we lived in Canberra. The piece shown is about 10in wide.

James' Birthday Party

The coveted pink (and purple) butterfly. Think he liked it?! Eleanor spotting me in the mirror:
And admiring her fairy flowers:
James and his best friend from child care:
One pink butterfly cake as requested!
Enjoying a mini-cupcake:
An exhausted butterfly:
Playing with one of his new toys - a play-doh set with pink and purple play-doh!
My favourite (and I think his, too) of all his presents - a beautiful hand-made pieced, embroidered and quilted cushion from Austy, made by his generous, talented and sleep-deprived mother Joy.
Ooops! I forgot all about my shoulders until we got home! They're practically glowing!
I had my face painted too - more photos once I collect them from the other cameras; my photograph taking was somewhat sporadic!