Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday

A little bit quiet on the sewing front this week. I flew to Melbourne for a couple of days break and took some hand sewing with me. The plane trip is just over 2 hours so I packed some starflowers to sew, along with my trusty needle threader and a thread cutter.  I was going great guns until my needle threader died.  It started shredding the thread. I tried threading the needle by hand but the thread cutter wasn't cutting the thread very cleanly, which made it impossible to thread the teeny tiny needles. I gave up after about 15 mins.
This is all I managed to do. Attach the three diamonds.

I've joined in Foundation Paper Piecing for the Terrified which is being run by the lovely Katy at The Littlest Thistle. I've paper pieced before but found it too daunting and a pain in the backside as I quite often cut the fabric the wrong size and shape.  Katy's instructions are clear and concise and I made the first block last night. I used some left over Martinique jelly roll strips from my scrap bin.
First block for Paper Piecing for the Terrified

With only one little problem.

I forgot to trim the seam before folding the fabric into position after sewing, and when I remembered later I didn't fold it back far enough and sliced the fabric right through the middle when I trimmed the seam!  I won't make that mistake again.

Floral bouquet blocks
I've also started the binding for the Lily Quilt. I should have it finished in the next couple of days.

Worked On This Week
Paper Piecing for the Terrified
Lily Quilt

Sitting On The Sidelines
Material Obsession BOM
Amitie Circle Game BOM - I even went to Amitie while I was in Melbourne to get some tips on working on the blocks.
Mystery Quilt - oops I forgot about this one

Whoa - nothing, I'll have to rectify that, lol

Finished - 0
Worked On - 3
Waiting Patiently For Me - 4
New - 1

Hmm I'm thinking I could start something new. I hardly have any WIP's that I'm counting.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Linking with Lee at Freshly Pieced, pop on over to check out other WIP's this week.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Absent with a note!

I'm sorry I have been very quiet. I took off!

I've been here.


I had to be a secret squirrel, as no one was left looking after the home front, and you know what they say about putting info out onto the internet!  I didn't want to come home to either nothing left at my place, or a family of 10 who had moved in and made themselves comfortable!

We raced around catching up with long lost friends and going to an engagement party. I took the baby quilt I made last week to give to the parents-to-be and they loved it. I think I may have gained a few orders too.

I was hoping for lovely cooler dry weather in Melbourne after spending most of summer dripping in the heat and humidity. Unfortunately this weekend was stinking hot, in the high 30's (almost 100F) but at least it was dry. I'm back to heat and humidity at home now. I can't wait for autumn.

Back to normal programming tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I think I've missed at least two if not three WIP Wednesdays. The last couple of weeks at Chez Sunshine, I've been concentrating on the two swaps I'm in.

I've been working away at the Mouthy Stitches zippered pouch. I love English paper piecing, it's relaxing but it's slow. You can see some more close ups of it here.

The back of the pouch
The back

It's finished and today it has been sent off to it's new home with fabric scraps tucked neatly inside.
Mouthy Stitches Swap pouch finished

Mouthy Stitches pouch and fabric scraps

I finished the Name Game Swap mini quilt, sorry, the big smudge in the middle is where I've blurred the name, I can't reveal that part yet as I still haven't sent it to my partner.

Name Game Swap

I made the label yesterday and was in the process of sewing it on when we had a massive thunderstorm and the power was out for almost 6 hours.  I'm hoping to finish it this afternoon, that's if we don't have another storm.

Tiggly Winks pattern
I've also been hand quilting Tiggly Winks. It has been a real struggle to try and summon up the enthusiasm to work on it. It's about 3/4 finished and I've made the decision I just don't like it. Life is short and I'd rather spend my valuable time working on something else.
It is now officially being put in a bag and stuffed in the back of the cupboard.  Maybe one day I'll bring it out again and maybe I might like it enough to finish it. Then again........I doubt it!

Over the weekend I had a very strong urge to make something new, that would be quick to finish and not make me think too much.  I had to think way too much making that pouch!
Baby quilt
I whipped up a baby quilt, you can read more about it here.

Worked On This Week The Last Three Weeks
Mouthy Stitches Swap
Name Game Swap
Baby Quilt
Tiggly Winks

Sitting On The Sidelines (I'm not ignoring them, I want to work on these but I needed to get these swaps finished, arghhhh)
Lily Quilt
Material Obsession BOM

I Really Am Ignoring
Amitie BOM

Given Up
Tiggly Winks

Finished - 2
Worked On - 4
Sitting On The Sidelines - 5
New - 1

Linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced, so pop on over and look at all the lovelies worked on this week.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

After the storm

Yesterday afternoon I was supposed to go to Pilates in Cooroy, but something made me decide not to go. I'm glad I didn't because if I had........

this is where I normally park my car.

After the storm
I took this photo this morning.  Apparently that's after a lot of the branches were removed. It was a lot worse yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon we had a massive tropical storm.  Thousands of lightning strikes, the power was out for almost 6 hours. The town 5 minutes from where I live was quite badly hit and suffered quite a bit of damage.  The tree above was one of many that were blown over or split and lost branches.

The photos below were taken in Cooroy yesterday after the storm.

One of the larger buildings in the centre of town lost it's roof.
The main street of town.

It was one of the worst storms I've been in and the house didn't have any damage at all, other than loss of power. A few of the trees lost smaller branches, but nothing too serious. Talking to people in Cooroy this morning, who were in town when the storm hit, they all said they were very very frightened and it was the scariest storm they have endured.  It must have been bad as we get a lot of storms here throughout the summer.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pink, orange and elephants

My oldest friend, as in I've known her the longest, not she's really really old, is going to become a grandmother, snigger. I love when my friends become grandmothers. It makes me laugh because I still imagine them as being 20 something, hardly old enough to be a mother let alone a grandmother.
Baby quilt

Her youngest son is about to become a father, so it was a good excuse to make a baby quilt.
Pink and orange baby quilt
I was thinking about doing some fancy piecing, but couldn't find a pattern that I wanted to make that wouldn't be too time comsuming.  Bitchypoo suggested simple squares, so I went with that.  I found the oh sooo cute elephant flannel for the backing on a recent trip to Brisbane.  Searched through my stash for some lovely pink and orange co-ordinating girly fabrics and voila, a girly baby quilt using 3 inch finished squares, measuring 36" x 36".
Baby quilt backing
Nice and quick, started Friday afternoon, finished this morning.

Baby quilt
Not without it's dramas. I had to unpick the first 4 quilting lines. I spray basted and used a few pins, but the spray basting didn't hold this time. I had lots of puckering. So lots of pins and a walking foot later, success.

Baby quilt
I was in two minds whether to use the white, not a very baby friendly colour, but I love the crisp look it gives to the quilt.

That's out of my system now, back to my WIP's and BOM blocks.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Keeping it simple

I've been slaving over WIP's on and off for weeks.  Working hard on two swaps, which I've finished, yay, and I just needed to make something that wouldn't take too long and didn't need much brain power. A change of pace to quick and easy.

Playing with elephants and Heath binding.
Sorry, bad lighting, it's much brighter in real life.

The change of pace involves 1 metre (just over a yard) of this seriously cute flannel by Valori Wells for Free Spirit, some luscious baby pink Heath binding and a search through my stash.

Stay tuned.

Favourite Things Friday

In this case it's Favourite Things Saturday, because I'm a day late, although it's still Friday in some parts of the world!
Linking up with Shay at Quilting In My Pyjamas.

As you know I love going to Brisbane. It's my favourite thing to do most weeks. I love walking along the river, even though you are in the city, it's so peaceful and the water and the breeze are so calming. You can hear the city sounds in the distance but they don't intrude. I love looking at the city buildings, but where I'm standing I'm surrounded by greenery.

The river is muddy after all the rain, this was taken this week at the Cliffs Cafe at Kangaroo Point. A very nice spot to have a coffee and look at the view.


These were taken a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Third time's the charm

Yay I finished the zippered pouch for the Mouthy Stitches swap, and no swearing at all during it's construction today. Well not until I though about making a zipper pull. That involved lots of swearing, during two failed attempts trying to make something interesting and a bit different. If I can bear to try again, it might have a zipper pull on it before I send it to it's new home.
Mouthy Stitches pouch front

Mouthy Stitches Swap pouch finished
The English paper pieced pieces on the front and back are 1 inch elongated hexagons. The front was made in one piece and I used 1 inch squares covered in the linen to join the X shapes together. This was then appliqued on to Essex linen which I used for the front and back. The back was made using one X shape, appliqued on an angle, and hand stitching in orange perle thread to add interest. It was a spur of the moment decision to make the back like that after being inspired by this on flickr, and I'm so pleased I did.
Mouthy Stitches Swap pouch finished

Pouch Lining
Pink zip and LouLouthi lining
As I gave an option to my partner to choose either a pink or yellow zip, I'm sorry this reveal of the lining and pink zip is going to disappoint anyone who asked for the yellow zip.

I think I'm capable of making more zippered pouches now, I'm just not sure whether I'll be making them any time soon, although BP (Bitchypoo) has asked me to make her one. In fact she asked me if she could have this one and I make something else for my partner, lol.

I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to do much commenting on blogs the last week. I always try to find the time to read new posts and keep up with what has been happening, so please accept my apologies if I didn't comment on posts this week.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A domestic goddess : sewing and cooking

The Mouthy Stitches swap is producing some absolutely beautiful pouches and ideas. I just hope my partner likes mine.
I've sewn all the paper pieced bits together, next step, to sew it to the front of the pouch.
Paper piecing for pouch

I ordered zips from Zipit, they haven't arrived yet, but they're not going to be any help as I didn't order zips that are long enough for this one.    *#@!

Paper piecing for pouch
I've had a look at my local store but they have a limited range of colours, and not really anything that I want to use with this, so it looks like I'll be trekking to Spotlight for a zip hunt.

In the meantime, I've finished the Name Game Swap mini quilt. I'm really happy with it, despite having very little idea of what my partner would like as she has been very very quiet. I've blurred the name just in case, as I want it to be a surprise. I hope it's not too much of a surprise.

Name Game Swap

It's inspired by an Orla Kiely design, and has my partner's blog name on the front, well part of her blog name. The bit that matters. The blog name is long and it would have taken up most of the quilt space if I had used the full blog name. I hope she likes it.
Name Game Swap
A close up of the leaves and quilting, I echo quilted around the applique letters and leaves.  Argh there's a bit of fluff below the orange leaf. Why is it that you never see things like that until after you've taken the photo and loaded it to the computer, oh well. that dark speck is a bit of fluff not a mark on the quilt.

I still have to make a label for the back but otherwise it's all ready to go.

Yesterday afternoon, Shay and I had a cooking session a few thousand kilometres apart. Shay found the recipe and suggested we both try it.  We made Peppermint Patties.
Let's just say they were good, but I'm not sure whether I'd bother making them again. Especially in the middle of a Queensland summer! High humidity and heat are not great for confectionery making.  They had to go in the freezer after each step, but that still didn't help much. As you can see from the following photos it's lucky I don't aspire to be a food blogger!
After kneading the fondant

Cutting the fondant rounds, aren't they pretty

Not so pretty afterwards. These were the best looking. The dipping them in chocolate part didn't go very well, they either started melting and stuck to the fork or they drooped over the edge. It wasn't that the chocolate was too hot, it was the temperature of the house and the humidity.  As soon as I took them out of the fridge to take the final photo, they started sweating.  They taste great though.

BP was home for the weekend, hmmm, let me just say, I'm quite very happy that she is living in Brisbane.             Teenagers!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

I love finding parcels in my letter box or PO Box, and today I wasn't disappointed. I found two parcels that I wasn't expecting.
Ooh the excitement.

The first was from Tanya, a fellow Queenslander. It was the mini quilt she made for me for the Name Game Swap. Wow, I hadn't even started sewing mine together for my partner. Tanya was so quick.
How happy and cheerful is this?  I love the bright colours, the applique, the letters, and Tanya has used buttons for the dot's on the i's and on the question marks too, very clever.

Lovely quilting. You can see some better close ups on Tanya's flickr account. The lighting wasn't the best here today.

Thank you so much Tanya.

The second parcel contained these.
I'm in love. I have always loved these from afar and was hoping to find some to add to my stash, but never had any luck. I jumped up and down and may have squealed a tiny bit when I opened the package.  Susan from Canadian Abroad very kindly sent me these when I sent her the H R  and bird fabrics. I'm so lucky. Now I have to think of the perfect project for them. In the meantime, you may find me stroking them and drooling.

Susan also sent me a needle case.  I think she must have been reading my mind, as I have been thinking that I really need one and was going to get around to making one, one  day, ahem, cough cough.  It's not a surprise is it that I hadn't made it yet, procrastinating once again.

So today's favourite is my fabulous surprise packages.  Join in with Shay and see lots of other favourites this week.