Friday 27 January 2012




I’ve been tinkering, in more ways than one.

I write most of my posts on my lovely laptop.  It’s easier to sit here and watch the world go by than it is to fire up the old antique desktop that I have.  I did a backup of everything today, in an attempt To Get Organised (snort) and found all these programmes on here I have never used, this blogging programme included.

I’m writing this with live writer, after first editing my digital photos with the windows thingamee, and so far it seems rather more easier than the blogger page.  The photo uploading of blogger drives me batty.  So let’s hope that this is rather more user friendly.

Onto much more important things – what I’ve been working on.  Our quilting group shares our space with the local woodworking group, who are very good to us and do all the ‘blokey’ things that we need doing.  Our president, who is a Very Good Quilter asked some of us to make some blocks for a raffle quilt for them.  The block was ‘Carpenter’s Wheel’,  of course.

Because our president is a Very Good Quilter, and rightly so expects our raffle quilts to be of the best we can do, I can tell you I made and remade that block all yesterday afternoon.  And I realised that I haven’t unpicked a block for so long, and that’s not a good thing.  I think I need to start unpicking my work a little more instead of just settling for ‘that’ll do’.

Only then will I be the kind of quilter I truly aspire to be.  I think over the years, with children and work and home life and all of the busy-ness that entails, I got quicker, but not better.  I put up with a ‘it’ll do’ attitude and I really am aiming for 2012 to be the year that I rid myself of that habit, and start to really try harder in my quilting.  So that all of my quilts are ones I would be happy to display, rather than folding up and sticking in the cupboard.   Least that’s my plan for now.

Till tomorrow,


Tuesday 24 January 2012

More show and tell

Thankyou everyone for your kind words regarding my little person.  In the way of children, she bounced back within twenty four hours, just in time to pass on a little tummy bug to me.  Generous child that she is.  However, it only lasted about twenty four hours for me too, so hopefully sickness has left our building!  Though with little kids going to child care and school, who knows what the next weeks will bring!

I've been doing - wait for it, shock horror, MENDING!!!  So no time for quilting.  The insult of having to do mending in what should be quality quilting time.  So again, no quilty things to show you.  So why not have a look at some more cross stitch stuff. 

It's funny how you associate certain things with times in your life.  The Jean (oh I've forgotten her last name) Alphabet sampler was stitched when I was sixteen, trying to do my matriculation, whilst juggling a very difficult relationship. 

(don't you wish you could give your sixteen year old self a jolly good talking to??)

The Geisha was the first craft project I brought with my own wages after I got my first adult job.  I remember sitting in my lounge room with my dad.  He's long gone now, but I think of him every time I see this one.

I have a lot of baby samplers.  Babies came late in life to me -and they didn't come easily.  I did the samplers as a way of coping, I think.  Interestingly, neither of my girls has a stitched sampler in their room. 

I enjoy looking at my old stitcheries. 

Till tomorrow, take care


Sunday 22 January 2012

Hello from hot, steamy Australia

It's hot again.  I shouldn't complain.  It is Summer, after all.

My littlest person is sick.  Almost take-to-the-hospital sick.  At least she was last night.  Our local hospital doesn't do emergency at night so I would have had to drive a long way to the nearest one if I had taken her.  Any worse and I would have, but thankfully she came good and whilst still a little slow on the couch today, lots of hugs from mummy and more than one icipole later she's a lot more sparkier.

So there was no sewing done.

Instead, some more stitched stuff.  I know you like the pictures.

I've done so many cross stitches over the years.  Very little of it is framed though.  I don't think I'd have the wall space for framing them all.

Till tomorrow, keep cool and keep stitching.


Friday 20 January 2012

Orca Bay

My MIL has taken the two children out for the morning.  For the first time in nearly six weeks, I am completely alone.  In an empty house!  It's bliss.  Sheer Bliss.

I've had no time to sew but I did manage to throw this together:

I've done one whole block of my Orca Bay.    Don't look closely at the corners. 

I've decided to go with Bonnie's colours.  I've also decided to never make another string block in my life, and the red string sections in the quilt will be replaced by everyday old fabric for mine.  I'm just not up to doing any more strings.

Sorry Bonnie.

Hopefully today I'll be able to get a little bit of sewing in.  We shall see.

Happy Stitching!


Thursday 19 January 2012

Best ever banana cake

Over the Christmas break I came to the realisation that I loathed *with*a*passion* my Kenwood Chef.  My mother in law, god bless her heart, came to the realisation that she HAD to have a Kenwood Chef. 

So she brought mine, and I brought this:

Bright and shiny. 

To christen her (of course it's an her) my girls and I decided to make our favourite banana cake recipe.  And now that bananas are 99c a kilo and not $17 a kilo (yes, my foreign friends - you read that right) we can afford to let the bananas go all smooshy so that they are just right for a banana cake.

So here it is, if you'd like to have a go.

Banana Choc Chip Loaf

300g SR Flour
220g Caster Sugar
3 mushy medium bananas
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla EXTRACT, not essence.
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Sift dry ingredients together.

Add the wet ingredients (eggs, butter, extract, mushed up bananas) and mix quickly with a wooden spoon (or a bright shiny new mixer!)

Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into greased loaf tin and cook at 170 celcius for approx 50 - 60 mins, or until a skewer inserted comes up clean.

I allow the cake to cool for a while before turning out - it's very fragile when it's hot.

I keep ours in the freezer and slice off a piece when I'm wanting it, little smear of butter on top and it's just divine when really, really cold.  Also is wonderful hot with a little icecream.

It's just as good with or without the chocolate.  We never seem to be able to keep chocolate in the house (someone ALWAYS eats it!) so mostly, ours is just plain, old banana cake.



Wednesday 18 January 2012

One Finish Down!

A while ago, I made a UFO list that I posted here:

I'm pleased to say that I have been able to cross one off that list!

She's a big one, this is just as much as I could fit in the camera while balancing on a chair!  It's going to remain a flimsy for now, but that's okay.

It's another scorcher of a day today. The little people have cabin fever.  We're off swimming.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday 17 January 2012

Want some more show and tell?

It's forty degrees already (at ten in the morning).  I've just seen snake tracks in my front yard.  Summer has arrived and I'm not too happy with it.

So I'll blog.

I've not got much sewn these last few days but I thought as I was reviewing my photos I'd share a few more with you.

These are all from various stages of my stitching life.  Some are pretty ... well..... basic.  I was a beginner.  Be kind.

It's funny - when I did that tapestry above (which is only little), I found it pretty uninspiring - not enough challenge.  I look at it now and think 'I'd quite fancy a tapestry, it'll mean not having to think about it.'.  Funny how our lives change.

So, whilst those of you are freezing in the snow over there, think of me, curtains drawn, trying to keep cool.  I think I'll go find a river somewhere to jump into and cool off!

Till tomorrow,


Monday 16 January 2012

Cross Stitch

Back in the olden days, before I had children, I used to cross stitch up a storm.  Then I discovered quilting and mostly everything else has fallen by the wayside.  Do you find that?

I do love a bit of cross stitch but find right now the constant 'mummmmmm' I hear about every three minutes destroys my concentration, and I end up making too many mistakes.  So for now, it's taken a little bit of a back seat.  I will go back to it.  I do love it.

I dug out some photos of some of the (many) projects I have stitched over the years.  Hope you enjoy them.

I should get back to it before my eyesight goes!

Way too many cross stitch UFO's on that list. 

Talk to you soon!


Friday 13 January 2012

Tutorial - Quilt As You Go Hexagons

Since I posted my picture a few weeks ago of my Quilt As You Go Hexagons, I've had a couple of people ask me for a tutorial. 

So of course, I obliged.  I'm very good that way. 

Now, this is the way I did it.  It's probably not The. Correct. Way. to do it but it's my way.  And it worked for me.

Go here and download the template.  If you don't want to, you need to draw a hexagon - any size will do but remember the smaller you do it, the more fiddly the end result will be.  Once you've drawn a hexagon, you need to draw another hexagon all the way around it that is ONE inch bigger all the way around.  Seriously, it's just easier to download the template.

Print out two copies.  Glue to a piece of firmer cardboard or paper.  From one piece, cut the larger hexagon.  From the other piece, cut the smaller one.  You want to have two hexagons, both backed with cardboard when you are finished.

Collect from your stash two complementary fabrics, one that will be big enough for the larger hexie, the other that will be big enough for the smaller.  Also collect some wadding scraps.  Or Batting.  Same stuff, different word. 

Using your larger template, cut out a hexie from the larger piece of fabric.

Using the smaller template, cut out a hexie from the smaller piece of fabric.  Also, cut a hexie from the wadding.

Now, this step may help you - or you may leave it out if you've got a good 'quilting eye' - or in other words if you can guess a seam allowance okay.  I can't, which is why every single one of my hexies was a different size and needed to be persuaded to fit together.  Totally up to you what you do.

I have drawn a line one inch in on the wrong side of my largest hexagon.  I've done it in fat biro so that you can see it.  Don't do yours in fat biro.  Do yours in pencil.  Trust me.

Lay the wadding hexie over this one, so that the lines are covered and you've got an inch of fabric all the way around.

Lay the smaller hexie with right side up over the wadding hexie.


Turn on your iron.

Fold one side of the outer hexagon half way so that the raw edge lines up with the raw edge of the smaller hexie.  Pin as I have done.  Press if you wish, or you may wait until the other steps are completed.  Doesn't matter.


Skip the next straight line, and fold the second one over like in my photo. 

Again, skip the next straight line and do the final one.

Now, starting at the top, fold the edges over again, so that they lay folded over onto the smaller hexagon and your raw edges are all enclosed.  It's a bit hard to understand, so I hope my photos suffice in that regard.

Skip a side, then do the same on the next edge.

Again, skip the next side and do the final one.

Fold all remaining sides over and pin well. 

Now with needle and thread, baste around your shape so that it is nice and secure.

All that remains is for you to stitch the seams down, and I used a blind stitch for my hexies.  I haven't done this on this tutorial because it seems to be long enough for now! 

You can also quilt them and to do that I used a slightly heavier thread (handquilting thread) will do.  You stitch in about 1/4 inch from the inner seam.  Again, I haven't shown you that though I am happy to do a future tutorial to cover that part.

Press well, and any boofy bits should just press out. 

And there you go!  I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and it is clear enough.  Please email me if you have any questions - I'd be more than happy to try and help.

All the best,


Wednesday 11 January 2012

Just popping in

Just popping in mid day to say hello, and Happy Wednesday!

Found this online at someone else's website, and I have no way of knowing who the original owner was - I take no credit for the drawing myself:

I can relate to every part of that chart.
I've noticed a few new followers - welcome!  I'd love you to let me know who you are and where you're from.  I'm from Country SA (South Australia).

That's all for now....I'm off to quilting tonight so I should be able to get some handwork done that I can show you tomorrow!

See you soon,