Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BOM2 and a Jelly Girl

The second block of the FQS Mystery BOM took a while to get here, but I've finally got the second block together. This block has a lot of pieces! Possibly a little wonky too, that seems to happen when flying geese are involved no matter how careful I am, but I like it anyway.

I also put together the top for Jelly Girl; that was a lot of triangles! Went together fairly easily, but was made life a little difficult getting all those points to match! Probably won't start quilting this for a few weeks, as my neck/back has been playing up again and spending hours at the sewing machine doesn't help.

It was a little windy outside when I took the photo, so when the quilt blew back a little, you can see my lovely dog Millie to the right, eating grass as usual!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Craft and Quilt Fair Wrap-Up

The craft and quilt fair finally made it to Melbourne, and I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon browsing the many stalls looking for inspiration. I was quite suprised to find a greater range than at the AQC earlier in the year, and many stores I hadn't come across before. The only downside I found was that a lot of the charm packs, layer cakes and jelly rolls were not only more expensive than previously (layer cakes were up to $77!), many had been over-handled and were looking a bit tatty...

I set myself a budget for the day, and I think I did pretty well! I essentially avoided buying any precuts given I'll be in the US in a couple of months...

I picked up a Fig Tree Quilts pattern book with lovely quilts based on Patisserie Turnovers, as well as two Schnibbles patterns from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. I've already got plans for one of these! (sorry about the flash, its a cold winters evening)
Some Alexander Henry fat quarters; Starling in both pink and white:

A couple of Saffron Craig pieces:

A handfull of fat quarters from a new range I'd not heard of before:

And a Simple Abundance charm pack...can't wait to be able to get more fabric from this range!

I also spotted quite a few fabrics I'll be on the look out for when I hit the US later in the year, including Aster Manor and Mill House Inn! Still looking for suggestions on where to shop, particularly around LA and NY :-)

Oh, and some new baby news; my friend at work had a gorgeous baby boy, Jasper on Tuesday!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tell Me Where to Go

Being a PhD student left little time or money for holidays, but now that I'm a working girl, I've decided to treat myself to an overseas trip. So later in the year, I'm heading to the USA!

This is where you get the chance to tell me where to go; I'll have a few days spare in both LA and New York, and I absolutely have to get some fabric shopping in. Not only is the range of fabrics better in the US, but the prices are a heck of a lot better, especially with the current exchange rate. So if I have to bring home an extra bag just to carry fabric, then so be it!

So, any suggestions of shops that I should visit? I'll have a couple of days in Anaheim before I join a tour of the west coast for two weeks, then I'll be in New York for about 5 days, before heading back to LA for a couple of extra days. I'm hoping to do the shopping after the tour so I don't have to lug extra stuff around... If there are any other "must seee" attractions then I'm open to suggestions, as its the first time I'll have been to the US!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

iPods, Spirals and Bindings

With half an hour fiddling around this evening, I managed to make a little quilted case to keep my iPod nano in. I usually use an iPod sock, but its been looking a bit shabby and I wanted something a bit more cute and funky. I've never made a bag or anything similar before, but didn't find this too difficult. I may end up putting in a bit of velcro to keep it closed if the iPod falls out, but I'll see how it goes.

I've been cutting and sewing like crazy for the past few days, and the spirals for "Jelly Girl" are coming along well. All the half spirals are pieced and ready to be stiched into rows. This is one before all the parts were sewn together.

And binding of Catch a Falling Star is coming along well; I'm only doing one side at a time, but its almost done. I think the brown turned out to be the perfect choice.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My First Quilt

Carrie and Camille are encouraging everyone to show off their first ever quilt, as well as their most recent, so here goes!

I started quilting three years ago, when I saw a few quilts in shops and decided that it couldn't really be that hard. I found a copy of Australian Homespun magazine, picked a pattern, and off I went. I pieced the quilt using my mum's 25 year old Singer sewing machine, did all the applique, then quilted it by hand using a variegated thread. It took me 6 months from start to finish, and I'm still pretty proud of it! Anyone who was familiar with my old blog header will have seen a close up of some of the applique flowers, each of which I stitched around twice... (oh, and that's my mum's head that you can see)

My most recent quilt is "Catch a Falling Star"; its all quilted up (and far too big for me to hold up for a good photo), but not bound yet, though I found the perfect fabric for it today; a brown tonal from the new Glace range. Almost done!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

Beat 90g softened unsalted butter with 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 4 heaped tablespoons crunchy peanut butter till pale and creamy. Beat in 1 egg. Then stir through 1 cup plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Dollop teaspoons of mix onto trays (allow for spreading) and bake at 180 degrees C for 12 min. Cool on tray then enjoy!
Meant to make 35, but I got 25 from the mix...I like my biscuits a decent size.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baby Goodies

The mum-to-be that I work with is due in a couple of weeks, so we had a lunch for her yesterday. I made a few baby items to go with the pinwheel quilt I made a few weeks back.

Some cute bibs:

A burp cloth (which has been renamed "the spew catcher"):

And a soft cube which rattles:

And put it all together in a cute purple box:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Winter Vegie Progress

We still aren't getting a lot of rain here in Melbourne, but all the winter vegies I've planted are doing well. My broad beans got so tall they started to fall over and grow sidewards, so I've run string between the rows to hold them up a little. Batch two are popping up now (bottom right) and looking good.

My snow peas are climbing the wire with a little encouragement, and the second sowing are just starting to reach for the wire.

The peas are growing; they can almost reach the string I've placed above them for support if they need it.

The cauliflower and broccoli plants are coming along well; I was a little late to plant this year, but they should still produce good heads soon. You can see my rhubarb and silverbeet too.

The carrots are getting bigger, though they still have a way to go (photo's a bit bright sorry).

And the onions took four weeks to sprout, but are doing ok's almost time to thin them out a little.

For all those that left their opinion regarding the binding in my last post, thank you. After chatting with the ladies at my local quilt shop, we've decided that a brown is definitely needed for this quilt. I think the stripe looked ok in the photos, but in real life, not so much.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

To Bind or Not to Bind?

I've finished quiting "Catch a Falling Star" (yay!), but I'm a bit unsure about the binding fabric that came in the kit, and hoping my wonderful readers might share their opinion with me.

The fabric is a diagonal stripe from the Peace on Earth range;

This is what it looks like against the backing fabric:

Against the front:

Wider view:

I think it will probably look fine; only a small amount of binding shows, and the FQS wouldn't have selected it if they didn't think it would work, but what do you think?