Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Glace Stars

She's all done! One year to piece, but only two weeks to quilt and bind. And I only had to unpick the borders and sashing in one corner, not once, but twice to deal with a bit of excess.

It's another gorgeous sunny day in Melbourne, but the grass is still damp, so we did a very quick photo shoot on the front lawn. Apologies for the little spots of bright sunshine.

Each block and the centre star are quilted with a fleur de lys type design, a similar four-pointed design in the cornerstone blocks and some feathery stuff around the center medallion. Stippling in the sashing and border.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I thought I'd be pushing my luck to get the BOM quilted before I go away in August...and just two weeks later, she's finished! The binding in ready to go, so it won't be long until she gets a proper photo shoot.

Bella is loving the opportunity to check it out and curl up for a nap.

The Mulgrave Maker's Market was on yesterday. Though a lovely sunny day, it was very windy, and I was glad we were indoors. The only downside was less traffic than usual, and therefore less sales. However, my new little Scotty Dogs proved to be very popular. I just need to work on making more toys in "boy friendly" fabrics.

I was also surprised at the number of people who thought it was OK to bring their dogs (some as large as golden retrievers) into an indoor market, particularly when there are so many babies and kids around.

It's another gorgeous day today; it might be winter but it's sunny again, and all the jonquils are flowering.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Free-Form Fruit Tarts

I had a little pastry left over after making that yummy chicken pie, so I made dessert! You can put any fruit you like into these tarts; the standard is apple, but I used some gorgeous ripe pears.

You need some shortcrust pastry; roll out some small, rough circles. I put some almond meal in the centre to soak up the fruit juices and stop the pastry going soggy. Then pile in some peeled, thinly-sliced fruit. Gather the pastry around (leave the fruit showing in the middle), brush with some egg or milk, and sprinkle a little sugar over the top. Then bake for 25-30 min at 180-200 degrees.

Serve with a dollop of cream or yoghurt....they are yum!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stocktake Sale

Help me clear out the shelves to make way for all the gorgeous new fabrics due out soon. Take 15% off all stock, including sale stock, from now until June 30.

Discount calculated at checkout.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chicken Pie

Maggie Beer's Chicken, Lemon and Olive Pie was the perfect sunday night dinner for a cool and windy evening. A few steps involved, but pretty simple overall, and very yum!

The chicken is baked in the oven with lemon, garlic and thyme.

Then combined with a rosemary sauce.

And encased in a yummy sour cream pastry.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Walk in the Park

Plan C is all finished; quilted, bound and ready to use. Thanks for all the comments about the binding.

I've also finished the central block of the BOM. As yet I haven't decided if I'm quilting the red border or not...I'm open to your thoughts and suggestions.

I've quilted the first of the sashing; stipple for the green section, and a matching flower-type design in the centre of the stars. I'm leaving the star points unquilted.

I finally upgraded my camera yesterday; hopefully you can see the difference! The macro function is just amazing, particularly for taking pics of flowers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Getting Started

A few months ago, I asked for suggestions for quilting the 2009 Mystery BOM. 13 months after putting the quilt together, I'm finally making a start!

Last night I sat down with a print out of the quilt and a few coloured pens, and tried to plot out what I wanted to do. I took on board the suggestions I got, as well as a fleur-based quilt stencil I found a few months back. I wanted to move away from the feather designs I've used on my previous large quilts. I decided to use the fleur stencil in the 12 monthly blocks, as well as the medium centre star.

Then I went looking for some similar stencils that I could use in the triangles of the largest centre star, and found some really nice ones. I'd almost forgotten how hard it is to manoeuvre a large quilt around in the machine; the middle is always the hardest.

But I've made a start; the centre fleur is done, as are the points on one side....and I'm loving it! Now I just need to try to get it finished before I head to the US.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Warming Up

It's been so long since I've done any quilting (as opposed to sewing), that I'm suprised I hadn't forgotten how! I've had the 2009 Mystery Bom sitting basted and waiting for ages, but haven't had the time until now.

So I did a little warming up, quilting my Central Park Plan C Schnibble. 30 mins and I was done! Though my Janome seems to be having a few speed issues...

I'm after suggestions for the binding too: I'm thinking either the purple dandelion print, or the blue and purple flower print...thoughts?

Update: I've chosen the blue and purple flowers. Photos coming soon!

Oasis by Umbrella Prints

These lovelies have just arrived! Umbrella Prints are a little Australian textile house run by Amy Prior & Carly Schwerdt.

I've got just 2m of each print in stock so they are limited to first in, first served. For more info on Umbrella Prints, check out their website.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Long Weekend

The bureau may have forecast a wet weekend, but we've had three days of foggy mornings and gorgeously sunny days.

It's been a super productive few days. I finally bought myself a netbook computer to take on my trip to the USA; it'll allow me to keep in touch with home, and keep track of my business as well.

We also decided this weekend was a good opportunity to do all the pruning we've been meaning to do for months; our backyard has been disappearing under the growth of quite a few native bottlebrush plants. This is the result of all that work, piled up on our naturestrip.

Now we just need to organise someone to come and collect it all!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Door Snake

With the weather turning cold and windy this week, it seemed like a good a time as any to make a new door snake. The old one was starting to look its age, particularly as it's been patched due to Millie using it as a chew toy when she was a puppy. It's been relegated to the laundry door to keep the dogs warmer at night, and I've made a cute Whimsy one for the front door.

Bella's already keeping an eye on it.

I cut the material 6.5" by 34", stitched, flipped, then filled with wheat. Sand also works well, but wheat was what I had on hand. Ta da!

(Scuse the colour of the carpet)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Run Scotty Run

With only one week of uni to go (!!!) I've been finding a little more time to do some sewing over the last few days. I've been playing around with a new softie: this cute little scotty dog. I'm thinking a little ribbon around the next might be the perfect way to finish him off.

I've also done a couple of custom-order wheat bags.

And half-way through some more little squeaky owls.

Miss Bella has been taking advantage of a monster pile of quilts in the dining room, using them for a high-up snooze in the winter sun.

What's going on in your world?