Monday, 19 December 2011

baby done a bad, bad thing....

...I didn't mean to do it - but my sister-in-law asked me to go with her to buy a sewing machine - and I did - and Pat from Camberwell Sewing Centre provided such wonderful service, a fabulous demo of several machines, and an offer too good to refuse so when Robyn bought her machine, I bought one too....and we each bought a Janome Memory Craft Horizon 7700...and it came with a table...and it is AWESOME!!

I've already been sewing up a storm - it cuts its' own thread as well as 50,000 other things - I love it - my christmas sewing is just about done and next I can make further inroads into my winter summer sewing list.

If I was feeling a little more reckless, I would have bought the Bernina 820 - but that really was not economically feasible at this stage - maybe next year!!

I have dragged myself away from it's allure to quickly catch up on blogland then I really must go to bed - it's Christmas next week!!! (although I feel that it's already come to my house.......)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Busy, busy, busy

As I'm sure everyone else is too - this week I've been concentrating on creating a survey for my patchwork classes next year - it's our Christmas Party today (in about an hour, I best get my skates on..) and it's hosted by the lady I'm taking over from next year.  Chris has been the tutor for around 20 years and is an absolute font of knowledge, let alone a wonderful and generous soul (she's the one who had me adopted into the Threads club - a group of multi-talented ladies who did the course I'm starting next year some time ago - and all have offered help , resources and supplies - I LOVE crafty people.  She's also the one who has encouraged me to take the next step down the teaching path and offered me her timeslots as tutor when she retired - as I say, very generous soul).

The 'classes' really are a general get together where you work on your own thing and Chris is available to help as required; sometimes the ladies don't bring any work with them, they come for the chat (and one lady brings the most divine date scones!).  I know why I joined the class and through the time I spent there this year, I was able to complete my hand pieced Doubled Wedding Ring quilt as well as get to know a group of wonderful ladies with their own stories and experience to share. 

So, I got to thinking, I really need to understand better why these women stay in the class - there really isn't much 'teaching' going on, obviously friendship is a huge part of it - and what is it that I need to do to encourage them to keep coming to class.  So I wrote a survey - I have ideas to introduce a monthly sew-along, incorporating small projects that could be finished in  1-2 sessions.  The remaining time can be spent on their own thing - or a BOM - and create a new quilt - whatever, I'm hoping for a great response rate and have been up making these little pouches as incentive to voice their needs:

I'm going to pick out a random, completed survey and the winner gets to choose one of the little bags.  I've got all bases covered - cute, bright, traditional and japanese fabrics so one of them should suit the winner.

Chris has left me gigantuan shoes to fill but I hope by tailoring a program for the class, I can continue her legacy and provide a place where these women can gather to spend time together, to learn something new and have some fun along the way.

A quick update on the chooks - we've got 5 chicks so far - mum is sitting on about 10 more eggs - we've checked and they all seem viable so we'll wait for another week before we start surreptitiously removing them if they don't hatch (she's very good at donking your hand when it strays too close!)

Here's 4 of her brood - the little blighters won't all stay in the frame at the same time!:

Friday, 9 December 2011

Favourite thing friday

I'm linking up with Shay for favourite things...

I've had a broody chook sitting on 18 eggs - and look what we found yesterday..

The black texta marks were to keep track of the eggs - the mama chook was pushed out the way every day by a couple of the older chooks who insisted on laying their eggs in this box - any in the box without a mark were safe to collect

This is the first - and I've just looked in the box and now there's 3.  I can also see another egg with a little hole in it, so now doubt we'll have no. 4 soon.  This is my favourite thing for this week - the Circle of Life - don't you just love it?

They're just adorable - but it's awfully hot outside (32c or 90F) and they keep hiding behind their mum - I'll try to get another photo with a few more in the frame when it cools down later.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A little dalliance.....

The Farmer and I had a brief dalliance yesterday - not sure what started it off - probably the foundation print out for the Night and Day block that's been sitting on my sewing table for the past month (and now the Cole Porter tune is playing in my head) - and I wanted to sew something small - and the Farmers block patches are certainly that...

Block 59 Night & Day

We did have some issues - I kept stuffing up the angle of the sewing line on one of the pieces and every time I flipped it to press, I noticed I hadn't covered the required amount of patch - so off it came - 5 times!  The 6th time, the paper was all but shredded (made it very easy to remove after that!) but it worked and the next block appeared so easy in comparison, on I went...

Block 60 Noon and Light
I had already created the block in EQ and decided, in my wisdom, to make it up differently because I didn't want to cut out the frame with with its' angles until I had at least attached the corners - bad move!  I wasted so much fabric on this one - I do, however, like the result - wouldn't do it this way again though.

Why I thought it would be a great idea to continue is beyond me - but maybe the rose wine I was slurping had an influence on my decision making - and maybe I was thinking it was a quick and easy block, I could just do it and then that's another finished......whatever it was, I chose the completely wrong patterned fabric - gingham - and nothing seemed to line up - even though it didn't take very long..

Block 61 - Northern Lights
The piecing isn't wonky, it's the effect of not cutting the pieces according to the gingham checks - I'm not remaking it though....

...and then to top it off, I thought I'd make yet another!  Eaglehawk Rose certainly tickled my creativity last night!

Block 62 - Old Windmill
This one turned out to be my most favourite of the night - I used swirly patterns and had visions of Don Quixote in my head (I have a print of Picasso's Quixote - it speaks volumes to me of pathos, impossible dreams, perseverence and nebulous ideals).

So another 4 completed and another (furiously thinking 111-62 =.....) 49 to go......

......and a random finish for perservering with this tale - one of my chooks is broody - she's sitting on 18 eggs - we don't think they're all viable - the old rooster isn't as sprightly as he used to be - but here she is sitting patiently and we're hopeful to have a 'birth' day any time...

She's not a fat chook - she just seems to have 'oozed' out to ensure even coverage of the clutch underneath her

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Veging out

A quick update on the vegie patch - then I really must go write my Christmas cards.....

Sweet corn on the left and cucumber starting to flower.  There's a huge bunch of rhubarb behind the corn as well that I really must pick (my husband's favourite vegie!)
Zucchini at the back and spring onions in the foreground

Sugar snaps, snow peas and climbing beans making their way up a couple of old pieces of pool fencing - with silver beet that popped up from last year

Tomato plants in the middle - and noticed there's some cherry toms forming already
We're already picking zucchini, sugar snap peas, snow peas, spring onions and lettuce and everything seems to be thriving - even the trees have apples, nashi pears, apricots and lemons in larger numbers than we've seen before - amazing and it's really down to the amount of rain we've had this year.

It's such a buzz growing your own stuff - tastes so much better and is so much cheaper.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Card making frenzy

Post cut-off to send cards to the UK before Christmas is 6th December - so I got cracking.

Made this mess.....

In 2 rooms.....

...and came up with these

I borrowed the stamp set for the one on the left from my BFF - I love it!
Made about 6 of the one on the left
Made about 8 of the one on the left and the one in the centre is a retirement card for a friend.
Along with others I found left over from last year, or have made with the guidance from Nikki, I've got about 26 cards...woo hoo!!

Now to find envelopes that fit, write them and get them into the post.....

Friday, 2 December 2011

Best laid plans and all that

The abovementioned title is a bit of a recurring theme for me - I get all super excited about doing stuff and then get so easily distracted that the stuff I should have done sits in my head and blows raspeberries until I get round to it.

This morning, I thought, "Christmas Cards" - I need to get these made and posted by the 6th so they arrive in the UK by Christmas.  In the meantime, I thought I'll just check the blog/flickr/email/etsy/madeit (I am consciously trying to go on the computer only once a day - it just eats up tooooo much time) - and there's so many new posts to read, a few replies to be made, a few comments to leave and I want to link to Lily's Small Blog Meet, and maybe do the Fresh Sewing Day summary too - and it's now 2 hours later - the additional stuff will likely take another hour - so Christmas cards will have to wait til this afternoon - when I thought I might get some dyeing done - so that'll have to wait til tomorrow, when I planned to load my quilting commission project on the gammill......whinge, whinge, moan, moan.

AAAAgh - sod it - I'll play on the computer until I'm done and go from there - plans aren't set in concrete are they?...........and I will find time to make those gifts ready for when the Fat Man comes..

So here's what I did in November - plus quilted 2 charity quilts and 3 client quilts on the long-arm...phew!!