Tuesday, September 25, 2012

1 Christmas Item and week 38

I found a Christmas panel that I got on special at the last Christmas sales and made up the six fabric cards. I used my one reel of metallic thread for the first time to do the quilting rows and also used my metallic thread needle. Not sure what I will do with them. Probably make present tags with stitchery names on them or place card coasters might work.
Narelle from Pins and Whiskers hosts 1 Christmas Item a Month. Visit to check out all the great ideas.

I have had a lot of fun with Pinterest. http://pinterest.com/valspierssews/ . I hope to keep my boards to a minimum so I can enjoy looking at what I have pinned. Let me know who has Pinterest boards and I will have a look. I know I am a bit slow getting into it.

I love my Whiteboard app, free from the app store. It is so much better than paper for sketching things I see in my quilting magazines.

I drew up a bird design from a decoupage painting on the web and made the first cuts into my woven wool. I should have enhanced the photo. The wool colours are a bit brighter than that. I am thinking maybe a needle book or journal cover.

I have been doing lots of exercise both weights and aerobic six days a week. I feel great.
I realized I was sitting down too much reading or sewing so I have decided to be active for the same time that I sit. So far I have cleaned some more windows and done some pruning and I go for a 20 min walk in the afternoon. I will be doing some housework after I post this.

I was pleased I finished the sewing machine applique block and handed it in on time. It was my first time making a block for the quilting group. I felt a bit nervous that I may not come up to standard but if no one looks too closely it compares quite well. My hand stitching is a bit clunky. Sadly I forgot to take a picture.

I tidied my sitting room a bit and brought down Christmas cat to act as a book end. I rather like him. I think some owl book ends, or chickens or more cats would look good in my glass front shelves.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weeks 36 and 37

The week before last went so fast I have to post about 2 weeks at once. I went to lunch with DH's Radio and TV Survivors group. What a lovely bunch and the Pineapple Hotel is a great venue. One of the guests was John Stainton who worked with Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter. He told a good tale. I also had lunch with my two lovely daughters and my mum. It was great to see the girls. I don't actually see them all that often.

I dragged out a couple of projects and made them into items that I now like. One was a small wall hanging that was the first thing I actually designed myself. All it needed was some free motion quilting to transform it. I couldn't do that when I made it. I have been reminded that I have learnt quite a lot over the last couple of years. The other project is my star quilt that I just never liked so the 4 blocks are on their way to being a square couch quilt with a couple of borders. I am happy with it now.

I sorted my selvedges and made a little table mat for my tea cup outside. I will have to work on making my meandering quilting a bit smoother.

I took some pot holders that were looking a bit old and unpicked them to reuse the wool flannel that I put in them. A bit of new fabric and they are new again.

While I had the owl fabric out I made a cover for the washing machine because the basket scratches the top so I couldn't pop it up there. I used a roll of non slip drawer liner as the backing so it won't slide off. I made a new bag for the clothes tidy and next is a new ironing board cover.

I downloaded the app called Errands from the iTunes store. It is free and will be good to organize my projects. Lynne at Never too hot to stitch!: getting organised on paper tablet shows how she is using it and I thought it looked good. I will go through all my projects and write them up with due dates.

I have downloaded the Blogsy app for several dollars so I can make a proper blog post from my IPad. This post is my first go. Wish I had found it before my trips.

Today I have to sew a block as part of the birthday quilt for a lady at the quilt group. We got a square of homespun in a paper bag and I was afraid I had thrown it away by mistake. I found it when I tidied up the computer desk the other day. Luckily I still have time to make it up. I won't have time to finish off the block before I have to publish this post. I have it in my sunroom ready to do the hand stitching. I am going to use my real gold thread that I got from a Japanese fabric shop in Melbourne to decorate the machine body.

Happy Quilting,



Friday, September 7, 2012

A Little Sewing

I love to make each project my own in some way but sometimes I get a bit carried away and start making so many changes that the project never gets off the ground. Also when I look through my patchwork magazines I keep seeing wonderful projects but when I go through the fabrics I have there is always one or two pieces missing and right now I have no funds to add to the stash.
My latest little projects are a tray mat and a tote bag and some tiny half square triangle blocks made with scraps.
The tray mat is also made of scraps that I had to trim because they were all only almost square. I collected a bag of these scraps from the quilting group. I think they are fabric samples. I added a few applique mice to the corners and it should look nice after I do their eyes and whiskers.

The mice are in this lovely book by Darcy Ashton

I have been working on another strippy bag and decided to do some cats faces along the top edge. Instead of applique I made up a free motion sketch. I traced around the head with my blue stitchery pen then added the details and stitched away. I have included the sketch for you to use if you like it.

I updated my housework routine and for the first time since my travels away from home the house is starting to look nice and neat. There are still a few areas I need to get on top of but they will be dealt with by the end of the month. Since I am pretty comfortable with the basics of the routine I have grouped a few more things together on each day so I can have Monday (shopping day) and Wednesday (quilt group day) free. I also had to swap vacuuming and washing days from M W F to T T S. I have the new routine on my Housework page on my blog and I can check with my iPad what is on the schedule for the day before I get up. I love my iPad.

I was accepted for the Wicked blog hop and have been putting together a Halloween block. I am working on an applique scene with a haunted house in the background. Can't wait to make it up.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, September 3, 2012

Week 35

I needed a change for my aerobic routine so I pulled out my old Aerobic Oz Style video and sacheted and sweated along with Anton, Wendy and June. They haven't aged a bit since the 90's. I can remember getting up in the mornings and doing the routines from the tele.

I spent several days making a new cover for our swing seat. I used my bias binding making machine to make about 10 metres of binding. It was so quick and easy. We bought some fabric backed plastic table cloth from Mitre 10 hardware. The type they sell by the metre as well as the clear plastic.We bought some new cushions and it all looks as good as new. The frame is 20 years old. The plastic is still on the cushions til I make some clear plastic back protectors to keep the bird poos off.  I don't expect them to sit under the top. I made it longer at the back to discourage them but I don't want to take any chances.
I ironed the binding in half and stitched it through both sides at once.
I finished off my new hand bag and I have been using it. I love it but I had to fudge it a bit and cut down the top band across the  back because it went a bit skewif when I tried sewing in the side sections. The clear plastic made it all a bit stiff to sew but I am glad I didn't cover the strips with a solid fabric pocket.

I tried a new recipe last week to try to liven up some left over chicken. It has been so cold here the last few days and I needed something warming. I found this recipe in my Australian Yoga magazine.
It is called Slow Roast Carrot and Ginger Soup.

5 or 6 carrots peeled and chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup of cashews
1 tbs freshly grated ginger
1 onion sliced
1 tbs maple syrup
1 cup of fresh orange juice
1 cup of water

In a heavy pot saute the carrot, ginger, nuts and onion.
Reduce heat, cover and slow roast for an hour stirring occasionally.
Fold in the maple syrup.
Add juice and some water. Blend and add water as needed.
Heat up and serve.

I made a few changes. I only had walnuts and no onion and I was too hungry to cook it for an hour. I just stir fried it til the carrots were a bit soft. I added some chopped chicken when I reheated it after blending. It was delicious. Because it was just for me I used 2 carrots and cut back on the other ingredients.

Nearly forgot!
I joined up to do a Halloween blog hop where all those who join in make a wicked themed block then post about it. Should be fun. It happens towards the end of September. The blog hops are announced at Sew We Quilt and are happening all the time.

Happy Quilting,

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