Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 34

I did lots of sewing and reading last week. I worked on the cat quilt doing some of the saw tooth star blocks. I am thinking I might even try to finish my first ever quilt that is all stars.

I also tried a tote bag with the binding around the edges. It is not quite finished yet but at least the sides are bound now. I don't think I will do a bag like this again. The corners are a bit too messy.
I have started another bag now and will put the zipper in like I have seen on zippy purses to see how it works.

The outside pocket is clear plastic bound along the top so the strips wouldn't be hidden.

I tried a muffin recipe with oil instead of melted butter and it worked just fine. I used rice oil. it doesn't have much flavour. I can't tolerate butter very well and margarines that are dairy free are the expensive ones. So at least I know that rice oil is a fair substitute.

The new thing I did last week was to learn the second verse of Advance Australia Fair. I don't sing very well so my DH wasn't too thrilled with me practicing.

Can you believe another week has gone!

Happy Quilting,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cat Quilt

I have been neglecting the cat quilt a bit while I played with the pieced birds but I managed to do some more today. I have also just rediscovered a bird applique book that I used years ago and will now make an applique wren instead of the tiny fiddly pieced wren. I think I have practiced that skill enough for a while :)
The cat quilt is now piled in row piles against the wall so I can use my gym again. I have been working hard with the weights and some intense walking. 4 weeks I have been exercising hard and have put on 1 kg. Ah well, at least I must be fitter.
I have been playing with another tote bag too. It has side gussets and the seems face out and are bound. It is so fiddly to get the binding on. I think having a plastic pocket on the outside makes the handling more difficult than usual. The second gusset is just taunting me now.
The picture shows the cat head, noses and ears just after I ironed them on. Now I have nearly finished all the stitching, wadding and quilting of the cat blocks. The quilt is for my daughter and she didn't like the parrots and mice blocks so I will be putting in some owls and possums instead but they will have to wait til I have some more pocket money for the applique paper next month.

Happy quilting,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Week 33

Doesn't the time go fast. Every now and then my husband and I talk about the things we did over the past weeks and sometimes we can't remember when we did things. We know we went to lunch at the pub but was it last week or the week before and most of the time there is nothing one could call significant happening.
As part of my efforts to make each week count I will be setting some goals for each week. Some will be part of longer term goals but some will just be things I like to do. I have noticed that I tend to do a lot of 'more of the same' kind of stuff so it all just blends together.
The main goals I want to achieve are:
1. Attempt something new each week.
2. Mindfully choose some skills to improve upon.
Each Sunday I will record my achievements. I guess I am aiming to feel satisfied rather than just comfortable.

The past week I have continued with some foundation piecing and I am getting the pieces on with a bit less thinking and stumbling. I am thrilled when I fold the piece back into place and it overlaps in all the right places. I also did some free motion quilting on this one. White swirls on the white, black swirls on the black and some meandering in green on the green part.

I also did a bit of drawing practice. I would love to make the bug out of felt so I drew up an applique plan as well.

I made a point of using my binding and bias maker machine so I become familiar with it. I can whip up a length of binding quite quickly now.

The new skill concerned trying new exercise routines and pushing myself much harder than before. I have learnt that I can push my heart rate up and keep it up without doing myself any harm. I was always a bit wary about over doing it. I worked with a  personal trainer for several sessions to increase my confidence. Now I will have to work at improving my exercise skills each week.

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Practicing foundation piecing

  by valspiers

From Quilt a Koala: Australian Animals and Birds in Patchwork by Margaret Rolfe

, a photo by valspiers on Flickr.
I have decided to improve on at least one skill a week or try something new. Time seems to just fly by and a week goes by and I have only done more of the same. Working on the cat appliqué quilt is achieving but still more of the same.
This is only the second time I have done foundation piecing. The first time taught me that I need to work with big pieces. This time I learnt that when one uses interfacing as a foundation you should not write the numbers on in dark pen.
I made it into a counter mat for my kitchen with wadding to hide the pattern on the kitchen towel I used as backing. I retire the hand towels a couple of times a year so I always have spare ones around. They give kitchen counter mats a nice firm feel and are good and absorbent .
The new things I tried this week were some low sugar biscuit and muffin recipes. I love eating something with body like cake or biscuits rather than chocolate or dried fruit so I modified a few recipes. The biscuit recipe is definitely worth repeating. The muffin was a bit boring.
Date Dainties
12 dates chopped
12 pecan halves chopped
1 cup flour
1 egg
2 tbls honey
1/3 cup marg or butter

Cream butter and honey. Add egg and dates and nuts then flour. Makes 12 biscuits. Cook at 160 C for 20 mins.
700 kJ per biscuit

The other new thing was getting into Pinterest.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, August 6, 2012

Urban koala

  by valspiers
, a photo by valspiers on Flickr.

I was so excited to see this little fella in a Springwood primary school as I walked past.

Congrats to Quilter Liz. The little crochet bear will be joining her collection.

Happy Quilting,

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