Thursday, 31 January 2013

Back to It

As school goes back this week after the long summer break, it's with mixed feelings that I get back to a more normal routine. I've loved being able to be around with the kids these holidays. My work has been a bit quiet, as it usually is at this time of year, but there's been plenty going on in other ways. That said, a few things have been on the back burner and I feel a bit behind on the routine things; sewing hasn't really happened much and blogging too has not been very regular.

I did manage to finish my first ever bee block for Adrianne in the Simply Solids bee I'm part of.

I looking forward to more in this bee. Our Australasian group is called Fallow.

We have been doing a (for us) big undertaking in building a foundation for a new pool fence. For which my son and I hauled lots of concrete yesterday. When I say hauled I mean staggered a few steps between hardware store shelf and trolley, and trolley and car, and car and back lawn with lots of 20kg bags.

We've also dug trenches, built boxing and troweled the wet concrete to hold a carefully levelled aluminium channel in place. Time will tell how well we've done, but so far so good.

Incidentally I'm about to start doing some Pilates classes!

Our daughter has a new computer for school, so of course she needed a sleeve, so I made one of those last night.

The angle of this photo makes it look as if the flap isn't centred, but it is- I think the computer inside slid down the slope of the chair-honest!

Isn't it great fabric? It's Type by Julia Rothman

And the lining is a Timeless Treasures Graph Paper Red

I used Elizabeth Hartman's tutorial from Sew Mama Sew. Great clear directions, but I had to tweak it a bit. The computer's a Macbook Air which is very skinny; so perhaps that's why the formula Hartman uses made the sleeve a bit roomy.  My machine in the past has not had a happy relationship with Velcro, so we decided to do magnetic snap closures, which I hadn't used before. (Annoying that ironing on the metal on the ironing board made a little mark where the snap is below the fabric :-( )

I couldn't get fusible fleece and quilting was not desired(!), so instead I found double sided fusible padded interfacing, which was OK but I wouldn't go that route again. I don't really like the way it feels and trying to fuse the lining and the front separately then get them together at the end was a bit dodgy: no room for fiddling or repositioning!

All in all I'm happy though and there's learning in every project!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Before and During...

The garden has grown like billyoh (how do you spell that and what does it mean I wonder...?)!

It's gone from this:

On the 14th December

To this:

today the 17th Jan- only 1 month!

Even some baby courgettes without any AI as I thought they might need! I waited in vain for the male and female flowers to open together, then I found they'd done it by themselves; must have been some bees around after all!

 Baby Lebanese Cucumbers growing rapidly...

We put in a decent sized red pepper plant, but it's still grown, it's just that the peppers aren't very big and are a bit heat prone, despite adding shade on days over 35 deg C. Still I'm not complaining mind you...

 The aubergines are flowering so we'll see if it comes to anything. Something enjoys nibbling on its leaves- not sure what? I can't find any critters...

The lettuces are going to seed quickly, as Liz predicted, none then less we've enjoyed some leaves in a couple of salads. Alfred's corn is romping away, the beans need securing/guiding to the fence, the silver beet's ready and I'm wondering if I should've separated out the spring onions a bit? 

But all in all I'm pleasantly surprised!

The Shape of Things to Come

After a bit of a break enjoying family and friends (not least the Uni boy home for the holidays and lovely interactions between siblings), a bit of very low key work and visitors, it has taken me quite some time to catch up on my blog reading and I've been a bit out of the way of posting here (and sewing too). But I have been pondering the year ahead and what I'd like to achieve creatively...

Like many of the people I've been reading, I have a few WsIP and many many more planned. I have a few fabric stacks around the place and lots of ponderings in my head and a few on paper in my journal.


1. First up on the finishing is probably my older son's computer sleeve.

I have had mixed success with leather, but this has finally defeated my machine in terms of the layers to sew through, so I need to take it to a cobbler or tailor for a few strategic stitches with a more industrial machine.

I think I'll give up on the leather, at least with turned edges and lining, for the time being.

2. Next is the as yet nameless quilt which was waiting for the right blue for the backing, but that excuse long since expired and the pile of pieces has been languishing in the cupboard for many months.

On the subject of quilt names, I've struggled to name them, seems a bit try hard somehow, but it's certainly less cumbersome when describing them, so perhaps I'll try to come up with some this year.

Suggestions welcome on names for past and future projects....?

The following are only in progress in my head and as fabric piles:

('Scuse some of these photos taken at night in bad light, can't delay this post any more by taking new ones!)

1. Table mats as a birthday gift for a family member.

2. Computer case from these fabrics for my daughter

3. An envelope clutch in this pattern from Anna at Noodlehead (whose patterns are great btw) in this combination of black silk with orange lining for my daughter's formal

4. A skirt for me

5. A wall hanging inspired by this photo:

6. Another small piece with Australian colours and inspired by Australian Indigenous art

7. Another table runner or something with these:

8. A cross quilt using text fabrics and some other accents.

9.  My biggest and most challenging idea is a large piece utilising shot cottons or similar, returning to the gum bark inspirations which began with this. It plays away in my mind with possibilities and techniques gleaned from here and here and I'm trying not to be put off before I start by thoughts like "It might not work"!!  I don't want this to be last on my list...!

10. Plus of course there's the Simply Solids bee I've joined which will give ongoing interest, not to mention deadlines...

Hopefully this list will be supplemented too with little items as the need/whim arises for gifts etc.

The order of these will be fluid and I need to keep in mind that this list is about encouragement for me to create, rather than a stick for me to beat myself with!

Have you got a list of things you want to create this year?

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