Sunday, February 26, 2012

...more scrappy stars

In fact I have finished basting all of the shapes and sewing all of the whole star units together. I do still have to go and re-raid the scrap boxes for the half stars but it has been just too hot and stuffy to do anything like that this weekend.
I have worked out the placement of them all - there is one leftover that will make its way onto the backing in some way when I get to that.
For now all these ones are sewn down - more than half. I'm surprising myself at still enjoying the process of this one. I thought the slow and steady nature of it would have done my head in by now.
Just love it - I'm glad I went with hexagon spacers rather than the diamonds - I love the way it makes each of the stars stand out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

...sewing stitches and smelling the roses

So when school went back this year and my work consequently got more frenetic I made a commitment to myself to actually take a break for lunch on a more regular basis. And in said break I planned to sew a little of my Scrap Attack project.

Almost a month in I am pleased to see I'm still making time to pack my lunch in the morning, and to eat it during the day even if more times than not it is on the way to the next appointment or at my desk.

As for the scrap quilt, well it is progressing but not for the most part as a result of lunchtime stitching, though I'm faithful in packing my little kit in the car in the morning.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

...Salty Air at the Bakeshop

I can't stop making Bakeshop quilts! 

I have this one up over there today. It comes together surpringly quickly considering the number of pieces that it looks like it has. 

And because we are talking about it being constructed from traignale rather than diamonds there are no y seams!.

Please pop on over and have a look!

Monday, February 13, 2012

...Valentine's Swoon

* I'm posting this today, the day before Valentine's Day, because N and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day. We believe that everyday should be a day for 'I love you'. So I've made a Valentine's Quilt that isn't really a Valentine's quilt. 

On Sunday I went to the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild's Sit and Sew day, weighed down by three projects I am really enjoying, the Giant Grandmother's Flower Garden, the Scrap Attack Quilt and my slow and steady Munki Munki EPP quilt.

But I couldn't get into it. You see that morning I had found a panel in the sewing room cupboard that I never would have found if I hadn't started the big clean out. I had bought it a few years ago at one of the open studio mornings at Prints Charming in Sydney. It gelled in my mind as needing to becoming the centre of the Swoon quilt I had decided to make. One block, 80" square. A quick look in the cupboard yielded the second fabric and what I thought was enough Kona White for the background.

So, sitting at the sewing day I decided to duck home a little early, swing by Spotlight for the red solid to match the panel print and do some washing while I got sewing.

Three hours later I almost had a quilt top. I am two 11.25" squares short of the Kona white and 6 squares short of the red.

A quick trip to Spotlight later in the week should yield the red and an OK white substitute.

In the meantime I have knocked up a quick baby quilt (35" square) with the flying geese unit off-cuts. Feeling very virtuous using these up right away!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

...bag making

I first made this bag, the large slouch from Nicole Mallalieu Designs, about a year ago in the first round of the Goodie Bag Swap.

At the time I bought a little extra fabric to ensure I could cut both outer panels in such a way that the bird prints could run horizontal with the birds facing upwards. I thought that I had enough lest from the larger cut to make one for myself as well. So, with the fabric set aside for the lining I put the pattern, fabric and zips away and forgot about it.

This morning I had the sudden urge to make it. But try as I might I could not work out how I thought I was to cut the outer panels and orient the birds the same way. In the end I opted for the vertical arrangement that I think I have come to like better anyway.

On the inside I chose to go with both the zip pocket and open pocket options and I added a small slim pocket fussy cut from the leftover Echino fabric.

I changed little from the pattern. I finished the pleats at the bottom of the pocket to allow this to be the full depth of the bag and I didn't segment it.

I did add some tacking stitches in a couple of places just at the top hem to keep the bag from gaping the whole time.

The third time I make the pattern up (and I am sure there will be such a time) I will get both zips a little longer than the directs indicate - both end up a little short and mean that there is a small gap to the seam.

All in all I'm pretty happy with it - but like the last one - this is going to a new home. It is destined to fulfil duty as a baby bag, big enough for the essentials but not so big it weights everyone down.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

...Red Velvet Cupcake

Some time as I was stitching the design for last month I decided that it would be a really cool idea to photograph the designs when they were finished each month with an actual dessert that was depicted in the design.

So last month N got a Champagne truffle to eat after a photography session but this time I decided that I would male the Red Velvet cupcakes. This seemed to be a great idea, and timely too because I could take said cakes to work the day after to share at our team meeting.

But despite sitting and stitching the design over several hours when it came to making the cakes I remembered them as being Red Velvet cakes in brown wrappers with white icing. Clearly they are in fact indeterminable cakes in red and pink wrappers with chocolate icing and sprinkles. 'No worries', I thought as I made the cakes, 'what's wrong with a bit of artistic licence'. I must have still been working that out as I measured out the milk and added it to the batter, because I ended up with twice what I should have added and a cake batter the consignment of crepe mix. Not at all what I was after. I briefly considered doubling everything else and making the extra 12 cupcakes but honestly I couldn't be bothered and I didn't want them to go to waste, which they inevitably would.

So I poured it into the wrappers, put them in the oven and hoped of the best. They set, that is about all I can say for them. I didn't take them to work. I'm a bit scared to try one. I won't ice them, with white, chocolate or otherwise frosting. There won't be sprinkles.

But I will picture them with the stitchery - to remind me not to bake late at night when I'm tired.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

...strawberry jam sauce

250gm strawberries
50gm caster sugar

Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home

1. Chop strawberries, sprinkle with sugar.
2. Scrunch and smoosh with your hands until the sugar in incorporated and dissolved
Bring to the boil then lower the temperature and simmer until the mix in 'jammy', 'saucy' or some point in between.

Pour into a clean jar. Store in the fridge if less than 'jammy'.