Monday, February 23, 2015

Time to Clean the Machine

I try to get my machine serviced every 1 to 2 years. It costs about $100 but it is worth it.

In between times I clean out the fluff build up. I have just finished quilting a block from my Wild garden quilt. I always put the wadding on each block separately for quilts. I then sew the blocks together and put the backing fabric on. Anyway, the wadding creates quite a bit of fluff.



The screws for the needle plate are small and losable so I put them on a magnetic strip.


The bobbin housing lifts out easily for my Bernette machine. Best thing I ever did was get a machine with the drop in bobbin.

Use the little brush to lift out as much fluff as possible. I give a few puffs to get the little bits out. Don't forget to get between the feed dogs. I should have taken the foot off but worked around it today.

My needle is still going fine so I won't change it just yet.

I was inspired to clean my machine today by finding this blog post on the Sewing Loft:

Clean Your Sewing Machine.

Actually I found it through Rosie's Doll Clothes Patterns on Facebook. (I recently bought some really cute shoes for my doll through Rosie. She is based in Australia.)

Happy Quilting and Crafting,
Val

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Working on my latest doll clothes pattern



It is just so nice when things work out. This pattern is so easy to customise. I have looked up some steam punk outfits and have fabric all picked out and ideas almost gelled to go from cutesy to a modern edge with the same pattern.

Post by Val Spiers Sews Doll Designs.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,
Val

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cooking for Two - Meatballs and Cherry Relish

This meal was my first foray into the kitchen for quite some time. I cook the odd cake or pikelets but this was a lot of fun.



I got out my herb chopper.



I got out my mortar and pestle.


I refused to get my hands all sticky mixing the meat. It was bad enough rolling the meatballs.



There was just enough for two but DH doesn't like all the spicy bits so I got to put the other half away for the next day.


This recipe was highly adapted from a Kylie Kwong recipe. I didn't have fresh dates or preserved lemons or sour cherries so I used what I had to hand. It was delicious.

Meatballs and Cherry Relish

Ingredients

250g minced beef
100g minced pork
1/2 medium red capsicum chopped
1 small red onion chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg
2 tsp grated lemon rind
3 tbs chopped mint
3 tbs chopped parsley
1 tbs honey
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup extra olive oil

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the capsicum and onion until soft.
Grind the ginger and sea salt together with a mortar and pestle.
Mix all the ingredients with the mince.
Shape into about 12 small meatballs and roll in some plain flour.
Use the extra oil to shallow fry the meatballs 6 at a time.

Meanwhile make the cherry relish.

Ingredients

2 tbs frozen blueberries, thawed
2 tbs craisins
Spring onion finely sliced
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cherries
2 dates chopped
2 tsp vinegar

Soak the craisins and dates in 1/3 cup of boiling water for 20 mins.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and stir the onion and salt for 2 mins.
Add cherries and stir for another 2 mins
Stir in the blueberries and the soaked fruit and water.
Simmer for 5 mns until slightly reduced.
Stir in the vinegar.

Place the meatballs in a shallow dish. Add the relish and a dollop of plain yoghurt.

Download the PDF

Happy Quilting and Crafting,
Val

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sewing Successes

Sewing dolls clothes is so addictive. I have finished all the skivvy samples and now find myself immersed in underwear. Did you know there are hardly any underwear patterns for 18" dolls. Even the finished article is pretty scarce.
I bought a few metres of batiste fabric. It is lovely to work with. Light and breezy but firm enough to sew easily.

The petticoat and undies.




These I called shortie pyjamas even though the top is just my first attempt at the petticoat. It came out really short!



Here is my latest skivvy.
 

I am now working on a combination one piece undergarent that has some pin tucks and lace in the front. They take up so much lace for the neck and armholes and pants legs but it looks really nice.

Lots of tropical rain here today so it has been a good day to sit and sew. I get so excited about the doll clothes designs that even though my Go Wild quilt is sitting out on the table I keep passing over it to draw new designs and cut out new samples for the doll. Next week I will work on the quilt.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,
Val
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