Sunday, 21 August 2016

Weekending - #100Days100Blocks

I need a new WIP, like I need a hole in the head, yet I have decided to try and complete the #100Days100Blocks quilt along currently being hosted by GnomeAngel and friends.  Using the Tula Pink City Sampler book, which I have had for about three years, we make one block a day until we have completed the 100 blocks.  It started on 17 August and will finish on 24 November. Of  course I have had to catch up on blocks 1-5, so there has been a mammoth sewing effort this weekend. As I have not officially registered on the Instagram based quilt along, I will be updating my blocks here and on my Flickr page.

I think the hardest thing is picking the fabrics/colour palette for each block.  As I do not have a huge stash of Tula Pink fabrics, I have decicded to go with the Freespirit Designers as my starting point, most of their designers that I like - Amy Butler, Tula Pink, Anna Maria Horner, Denyse Schmidt and Joel Dewberry have colour palettes that work beautifully together.    So hopefully my quilt blocks will have some sort of cohesion to them when I have finished.  Very hard to see at this point.  I am trying to use fabrics /scraps already in my stash.

4 down, 96 to go.  I suspect that there may be a sewing binge every few of days to catch up.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Here & Now

Loving // The two sunny but cold days we have had - more rain due tonight though,

Eating //  Homemade fudge - a special, just because I felt like making it treat.

Drinking // Rose and French Vanilla tea

Feeling //  Cold - but thankful we don't get snow where I live.

Making // More blocks for my Sea Glass Sampler Quilt

Thinking // What a great idea this washi tape is as a stitch guide for my hand quilting, of course now that I have started using it, I am wondering if I need to redo the areas I didn't use it on ......

Dreaming //  Of new quilt projects and summer clothes sewing

Linking up to Here & Now at Say Little Hen

Saturday, 6 August 2016


  • fungi on firewood - I love how it looks like tree rings
  • these Bergenia, are a little weather beaten, but are still flowering bravely and adding some much needed colour to my somewhat sad and sodden winter garden.
  • Liberty and hand quilting - perfect for snuggling under and working on this cold weekend.
  • I joined a photographic group on Flickr, called Macro Monday.  Each Monday they give a new theme to photograph, this week it is black and white flowers. Between showers, I bundled up and went for a walk around my neighbourhood to see what I could find to experiment with. It is quite amazing how different the flowers look in each option, and what colour brings to a picture.
Linking up to Wandering Camera at Whims & Fancies

Monday, 1 August 2016

Sea Glass Beach Sampler Quilt Progress

Thought I'd show some progress shots of my Sea Glass Beach sampler quilt that I am doing with my sewing friends.

Last sewing day it was my turn to choose a block , I picked a block called 'Another Star" - tutorial from here.

Recently I came across this sampler quilt sew along and have decided to amalgamate some of the blocks into my quilt. I already had the Raspberry Kiss blocks, just not as many as they have made, and I thought for my first block I would try the feathered star.  I love how this has turned out.  I used a Cotton and Steel print for the middle and endpoints, and the various co-ordinating solids.  The pattern is paper pieced and available from here.  Some Spinning Pyramid blocks have been made too - I made two of block 1 and one of block 4, using fabrics for Anna Maria Horner and V & Co.  I would like to attempt the Scandi Windmill block they are doing too   - however picking fabrics and sewing those curves is some what off putting.  There are some great blocks being made by other sewers participating in the sew along.

To make it a little more interesting to we have decided to make each each member of the group a block in their colour palette also.

On the whole I think I am keeping to my colour palette, definitely a bit of summer sky blue creeping in now.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Cook the Books - July

Week 1
Cooking anything new just didn't happen, with work, hikes, and other activities - luckily the school holidays start next week.

Week 2
The first week of the school holidays, and it was on Friday I finally felt like cooking something new and interesting.
I tried a new muffin recipe from pinterest for a lunch time treat, Tasty Corn Muffins.  I didn't have the chili paste, but chopped up 1 fresh red chili instead and added a smidgen of dried chili powder.

Verdict: They were nice, I felt they needed a little more salt, but possibly if I had used chili paste it may have given them a little more zing.  I think these would be really nice with a bowl of tomato soup.

Week 3
One of my library books, The Caker by Jordan Rondel provided the inspiration for this weeks baking. There were three  recipes I wanted to try, but settled on Nutella Banana Cake, because I had some ripe bananas that needed using up, and Chai Latte Cake with Condensed Milk Icing.

Verdict:  Both yummy  cakes, we especially liked that Nutella was spread over the top as icing. I was disappointed that the Chai Latte cake did not rise very much during cooking, still deliciously spicy, and I think should I ever make it again, I would make two cakes and use the icing in the middle as well. I would also recommend that the Chai Latte Cake was eaten the same day it was made, it seemed to go a little dry very quickly.

Week 4:  I like to serve vegetarian meals  at least once week to my family (The Scout has gotten used to this, but would probably still prefer a meal with meat).  This week it was Chickpea Tikka Masala from the Revive Cafe 5 cookbook - another library book.  This is a really easy curry to make, probably the most time consuming part, was peeling and chopping the kumara and dicing the onion.

Verdict:  A creamy, spicy but not hot tomato sauce filled with chickpeas and kumara,  made this a filling, warming winters meal.  Definitely a make again, and I just have to remember to serve it with poppadoms for Mr J.

Another month without using my Annabel Langbein books!! I must be due to dust them off again for August's recipes.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

With Needle & Thread


Now that my other must finish quilting projects are done and dusted, today I pulled out my Liberty Bloomsbury quilt top and backing and finally basted it.  I always have a problem with the tape not sticking properly to the carpet so today I stuck a few drawing pin into the backing edge and tape and found that that held it nicely in place.

Almost 200 pins later it is basted and the hand quilting has started. I am using Perle 8 from Sue Spargo for the solids and for the Liberty I have a very fine variegated  Egyptian thread from Tutti.

This is going to be a slow stitching for a few months, and infinitely more enjoyable during winter, though I am starting to wonder why I thought I needed to quilt each Dresden blade.

I know when it is all finished it will be worth it

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Rocky Shore to Sky Quilt


Remember that blue quilt top I posted about here.  Well I have finally finished it. The idea came from this quilt, which I thought would be an easy, yet very effective masculine quilt design.  My brother celebrates the  'BIG 40' this year, so what better excuse to make a quilt for him.  Using an assortment of solids from Spotlight ranging from a rocky gray, darkest navy and various blues ending in the softest baby blue, and measuring approximately 66" square, this top was sewn together in no time.  In fact I probably spent more time cutting the fabric and pinning the strips than sewing it.

The backing is predominately a blue/black shot cotton with a strip of solid offcuts echoing the quilt top.

I quilted it in a large grid design using various shades of blue thread and bound it with a chartreuse and blue triangle print, which I thought echoed the blues but framed and livened the quilt up.

This quilt was not made without drama though. Originally I had been going to quilt in a diagonal cross hatch and had drawn lines for this with my Frixion pen.  After changing my mind, and putting heat on the Frixion lines, I was still left with marks. Usually I stitch over the marks and then any residue disappears.  Not this time, obviously no stitching and solid fabrics was not a good combination.  After binding, I  rubbed Sard wonder soap over the marks, and gave it a cold machine wash.  This seems to have gotten rid of them.  I have since discovered that Frixion pens were not designed for fabric use and lines can reappear in extreme cold too,  I am thinking a Hera marker may be a good investment for future quilting, especially for my Liberty Bloomsbury quilt.

Now it is all wrapped and ready to gift to him, along with a lint roller for the inevitable cat hair which will unfortunately show up on the dark colours.

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