Thursday, January 23, 2014

Best laid plans

Lots of sewing happening at Chez Sunshine until Tuesday when my machine started having issues with the tension.  After playing around, trying to fix it, with no positive results, it's now gone in to sewing machine hospital. It was well overdue for a service and it's going to take two weeks, sigh. So after finally having my mojo back after misplacing it for most of last year, I now have to put my sewing plans on the back burner. Fortunately I have a few hand stitching projects to work on in the meantime.

I've finished 10 of the 38 orange peel/petal blocks. Lucky, I really love making these and I can concentrate on making a few more over the next few weeks. I'm doing the needle turn appliqué method so they are not fast but it's satisfying making these.

9 of the 10 I've finished

The Starflowers top is finally finished, full photos to come later. I really need to think of a new name for it.   I've also made the backing, lucky me, that was the last thing I sewed before the sewing machine called in sick. I still have to get down on the floor and baste this baby, my favourite job, NOT.  I was thinking about sending it out to be quilted but I would really like to hand quilt it. I could get a start on it while my machine is in hospital, although I'm not sure how easy or pleasant hand quilting is going to be with temps in the 30's and high humidity, yuck.

I've also been working on the hexies, slowly, very slowly, I sewed two today!

 Up until the last couple of days, the weather has been really lovely and I've been walking a lot and taking Karma for a walk each day too.
 There's always something to see on our daily walks.
Stand up paddle boarders.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cocktail Wednesday- the first one for 2014

It’s my turn this week, and I would have loved to have chosen a Toblerone, they are so yummy, but I didn’t want to kill Shay.  You’re welcome Shay.
Instead I’ve chosen a Caipirinha, apparently the national drink of Brazil.

It’s pretty much just lime, sugar, crushed ice and a type of rum called Cachaça, pronounced Ka cha sa. If you google Caipirinha, there’s quite a few recipe variations, but I like the simple original one.  If you can’t find Cachaça, you could possibly just use a white rum like Bacardi instead, I think. (Not sure whether it would taste the same or similar, in fact I might just do a taste test this evening to check.) Edited to add, after two with the Cachaca, it's not going to happen, but you are welcome to try.  You can use raw sugar or caster sugar or anything in between. You MUST use a fresh lime, not lime juice, as you need to muddle the lime with the sugar to release the oils in the lime rind.
It’s a really great summer drink, which is perfect for today as it's damn hot  with roughly 10000000000% humidity. I kid you not.

Anyway, here's a photo of the ingredients without the ice as it would have melted by the time I'd taken the photo.

Note: The pineapple is not one of the ingredients!!!

The recipe


  • 1lime, quartered
  • 2 tsp fine sugar
  • 2 oz Cachaça
  • crushed ice, not too finely crushed as it melts too fast.


  1. Place the lime wedges and sugar into an old-fashioned glass
  2. Muddle well.
  3. Fill the glass with ice.
  4. Pour in the cachaça.
  5. Stir well.
Note: Keep the sugar mixed in the drink by stirring often. I used quite a large lime so only added half a lime not a whole one.
The first sip and possibly the second sip is a bit like drinking rocket fuel, but persevere and you will be pleasantly surprised at how mellow it is after the first couple of sips.  

Recipe from  here

Cyril the parrot eyeing my drink.
This is a 5 out of 5 for me, a perfect summer pre dinner (during dinner, after dinner, what the heck, anytime it's hot) drink.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Im joining in in the FAL run this year by Katy of The Littlest Thistle.  I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or not, as I joined in the first quarter the last two years, only to fail dismally at each attempt. However, I'm aiming for third time lucky. I need an incentive to finish some WIP's, I work better under pressure and this year I can feel it in my waters. The year has started with a much more positive sewing vibe, and with my mojo still intact, I think I can achieve this very short list.

1. Starflowers.
The colours aren't correct in this photo, it's looking a little overexposed.
It needs another small border, then I just need to choose fabric for the final border, and make a backing, baste, quilt and bind, easy peasy, ha!

2. Table runner/wall hanging

I need to add a few more rows, and finish adding the half hexies along the edges. Then it should be a breeze to make a backing, baste, quilt and bind it.

3. Dresdens

Again, a couple more borders to finish the top. I've been procrastinating for ages and I just need to suck it up and do it. 

Although it's only three projects, it still involves three unfinished tops. I need to get my A into G if I can finish these by the end of March. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Life this week

I'm not sure what's happened to me but, in a very small voice so I don't scare it away , I'm still sewing and enjoying it. My mojo has not disappeared ..................................yet.
The flying geese have been made and are all attached.

Hanging geese

Flying geese border finished

I used the Bloc Loc ruler, it's brilliant. My geese were perfect.
Lots of trimmings and teeny tiny HST's left over, to be used at a later date.

I'm merrily appliqueing orange peels to blocks for the next border, and at this stage, aiming to make one a day. So far I've finished 5.  It's going to take awhile but I'm really enjoying it.
This was the first one, I'm getting better at centring them.

Last weekend, BP asked me if she could go through my stash to find some fabric so that I could make her a couple of cushions.  I let her touch my fabric, secretly hoping she didn't pick any of my favourites. I have a lot of favourites.  She's another one in my family that's not so keen on patchwork, so all that was required was a single piece of fabric that was big enough to make into two cushions. I even managed to find zips that matched. What is it with my family,  most of them don't like patchwork?  Is my work that bad?
Here they are, playing with my cushions.

This morning I asked BP to vacuum but instead of doing it herself, she put the robot vacuum cleaner on and didn't shut the door into my sewing room. She has been doing a jigsaw puzzle on the floor in there, yes, amazing, there was actually enough clear floor space for her to spread out and make a start on it.  Unfortunately I have spent the last half hour picking bits of jigsaw puzzle out of the vacuum cleaner and searching around the house for any other pieces I can find. She is out at the moment but when she comes home, it's not going to be pretty! Fortunately the jigsaw wasn't anywhere near finished, but I have a feeling, it's now going to go back in the box.

Finally, I've been trying to walk more often, I don't have any excuses when it comes to the views around here.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hello mojo

Yay, finally the stars are aligned. I have time, and I feel the need for sewing.

Christmas has come and gone. I hosted the family Christmas this year. Not too much stress (except for the Bearnaise sauce), not too hot weather wise, and no family dramas, made for a very nice day. I totally forgot to take photos on the day. Probably lucky for you! 

The only photo of food from the day. Our sorry attempt at a gingerbread tree. At least it tasted delicious.

Since then I've had the time to relax and unwind and I took the opportunity to get back into my sewing room.

First up I've been working on this
I've just made lots of flying geese, and I'm now planning the following border.

I've also dragged starflowers out of the closet.  I started making borders for it, probably over a year ago, but couldn't be bothered appliqueing the starflowers to a surround in preparation for this border. It just seemed too hard.  I finally finished appliqueing the starflowers to the background last week. So I've been cutting and sewing the blocks to finish this border.  I'm still undecided on what I will do for the next border.

I can't believe my mojo has returned in such full force. It's a great feeling to be enjoying sewing again and progressing with these projects.