Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rock Star

In Feb 09 I attended my first Friday night strip club with Barry (sounds a bit seedy doesn't it, LOL!) at my local patchwork shop. The next one is this Friday April 3 (they're only held once every two months) so I thought I'd share my progress on the first pattern, Rock Star from Cozy Quilts.
A class pack of strips was supplied and we were able to choose our own light and dark background fabrics, mine are pumpkin and dark green. The construction was really clever, not as complicated as it looks! This pattern has shown me how to put together blocks 'on point' too.

The top is finished with a narrow inner border and a wider outer border, I thought the green Dancing Bugs fabric was perfect for the outer border.

With the left overs I've made up a diamond of mixed stars and pieced a border in alternating pumpkin and green. I've purchased some orange Dancing Bugs fabric for the outer border but have yet to add it.
I was thinking of using this on the back of the quilt but I think it would make a cute smaller quilt and I could just put some plain quilt backing on both and get more value for money, perhaps even donate one to charity.
Looking forward to Friday :-) Sneak preview of the next strip club pattern.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pay It Forward

I have joined up to Pay It Forward from Khris' blog. What a great idea!

This concept is like the movie called Pay It Forward with Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment in it. The 12 year old boy has a school assignment and he comes up with the PIF concept.

PIF is where acts of kindness are done without expecting anything in return, just passing it on, hoping that the recipients will do the same and pay it forward, like a never ending chain of kindness. How to proceed? I will make and send a handmade gift for the first 3 friends who post a comment to this post, requesting to join this exchange, and promising to pay it forward to 3 other persons, etc.... I don't know what my 3 gifts will be, but I can promise I will send them within the next 365 days. What YOU have to do in return then, is "Pay It Forward" by making the same announcement and promise on YOUR blog.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sudoku Skirt

sugar snap 112
Originally uploaded by gock's frocks

Not only can you incorporate a Sudoku puzzle theme into a quilt but it also works well in clothing :-). Isn't this outfit divine!!! Handcrafted by Gock's Frocks using the sudoku skirt and orvokki jersey blouse patterns from Ottobre Design issue 1/2009.

For more kaleidoscope of colour visit Gock's Frocks' blog, she's celebrating 200 posts with a 'Great Give Away'.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Convergence Quilt

I completed this quilt top in a Convergence Quilt (Ricky Tims' style) course at my local patchwork shop on 21 Feb 09. First I found a feature fabric I liked (the leaves in the border) and then had assistance finding 3 other co-ordinating fabrics! I bought 1m of the main fabric and 1 fat quarter of each of the other 3 fabrics, plus an inner border. I really enjoyed finding out how to create this amazing effect!!!

This is how I'd like to use the fabric bought in Berrima on the occasion of our 20th wedding anniversary.

Friday, March 27, 2009

First Quilt Top - A Sudoku Puzzle

Here's the top of my first ever quilt!!! The pattern is 'It's Puzzling' from the Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine (Vol 17, No 2), based on a Sudoku puzzle. We all enjoy Sudoku in my family and I thought I could handle sewing strips and sqaures together :-). This took 2 weeks to sew up in January 2009. Now to find some batting, backing and binding and finish it !!

Here's the centre block of the Sudoku quilt. I picked a feature floral and then chose 8 co-ordinating fabrics (all fat quarter size, cut into 6 inch squares) The sashing is black in 1 inch and 2 inch widths.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bird Shorts

I had some fun frayed stretch denim in my stash that I thought would be great made up into the stretch capris from Ottobre Woman issue 2/2007, #14.

The pattern included a pretty little bird pattern for the back pocket which was really easy to machine embroider with a straight triple stitch along one continuous line, plus a separate curved line underneath to finish the branch.

The triple topstitching on the back yoke and around the front hip pockets is a nice design feature. The topstitching was done in a medium tone grey for a more subtle effect than white, which is what I was initially contemplating.

The pattern has a leg cuff included but by the time I got to the stage of sewing them on, the capris were already much too long and would have been ankle length by the time I added the cuffs! I decided to leave off the cuffs and shorten the length by 10cm and keep a little slit in the side seams. I already had a matching set of buttons for the waistband and cuffs so I decorated the top of the slits with the little buttons.

I love these shorts, very comfortable and they feel fun!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I have sewn for myself this year

My all time favourite jumper was a white cowl neck jumper, fashionable in the eighties :-). I fell in love with this cowl neck sweater Ottobre pattern when it came out late last year, Ottobre Woman issue 5/08, #18. I had a lovely wool knit in my stash which was just waiting for this pattern, absolutely perfect :-)

I don't normally wear tops with raglan sleeves but the shoulder pleats provide beautiful shaping. This was a brilliantly quick pattern to sew up, cut one day and sewn up the next, even though I sewed the inverted pleat AND the cowl neck on the wrong way out the first time, LOL!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chocolate Mug Cake

This amazing recipe was shared at work today, absolutely wicked!! Not sure I could fit all the ingredients into one of my mugs ;-)


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

Time to Walk

My Christmas present from mum for the past two years has been a subscription to the Healthy Food Guide magazine which comes monthly. I plan most of my weekly menus using the recipes in the magazine and find many of the articles really interesting reading.

This month there is an HFG 10 week walking plan to help us get fit. I'm going to make the effort as I've been quite sedentary for the past 6 months while recovering from a shoulder injury after an awkward fall and my body is starting to wobble ;-). The first day is 3 10 minute walks. Well I walked for 10 minutes at lunchtime yesterday, not quite enough. This morning I walked the dog for 10 minutes and I plan to walk for 10 minutes at lunchtime again and then after work tonight. It seems funny to have to work myself up to 3 10 minute walks in one day!!!

Here's a picture of Gus, our gorgeous Curly Coated Retriever who thoroughly enjoyed his brisk walk this morning.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

20th Wedding Anniversary

To celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary we treated ourselves to a weekend away in Kangaroo Valley at Cedars Cottages, staying in the Yurt. Here's a photo of the view we enjoyed from our deck whilst we drank home brewed apple cider.

On the way home we stopped at the Berrima Patchwork shop to select a few fabrics for a wall hanging to remember our experiences there. The red and black of the magnificent cliff faces, the laughing kookaburra family which laughed night and day making us laugh too, the Fresian and Hereford cattle grazing on the lush green grass nearby - especially the new calves bouncing around playing together at dusk (mooo!), and our walk to the beautiful river where we watched the fun of the water bugs whizzing around like mini speedboats.