Wednesday 26 November 2014

Wednesday WIP

When I finished the paper piecing for the two knights, I vowed that I was not going to do any paper piecing for the rest of the year.  Funny how life has a way of changing your mind.  On Monday I saw
these beautiful blocks in my Flickr stream.  They linked to a Christmas QAL at Sewing under Rainbow blog.  Each two days, a new block will be posted for a Christmas Sampler.

This evening, after dinner I sat down in my sewing room, hauled out my Christmas fabrics and completed Block 1 - Christmas Trees.  It was a very clear easily pieced pattern.  Just as I finished it, Block 2 - Bell, was posted. Guess what I may be working on tomorrow night.

Why I feel the need to make a Christmas themed quilt, I don't know.  It certainly doesn't get cold enough here in New Zealand with our summer Christmas to warrant the need for one.  It will use a lot of my Christmas fabric stash  (that's a good thing though) and probably my low volumes too.  Maybe I'll turn them into Christmas placemats or pillow covers - probably in time for next years Christmas.  I can't wait to see them all together though.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday 23 November 2014


We have had the most beautiful weather this weekend, unfortunately I am miserable with hay fever, so didn't really feel like being outside and enjoying it.  Here is some of what kept me occupied this weekend:
  • Baking - a peach and poppy seed cake, I omitted the lemon and thyme syrup is was supposed to have.  It was but would be delicious with the syrup and whipped cream as a dessert.
  • Lots of lovely books from the library.  I have had re-issued the Vita book, so I can finish it finally.  Some lovely crafty books for inspiration.  I am especially loving the Mr Finch book.  I have seen  and pinned some of his creations on pinterest before, and love the moths made of old embroidered linens.  Very inspiring.
  • Homemade muesli - an afternoon toasting oats, bran, coconut and wheatgerm, mixed up with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and assorted dried fruits.  Looking forward to breakfast tomorrow,
  • Sewing and quilting on the two knights pillow - the borders have been added, and the quilting has been done.     After some google research, I decided upon using Gutermann sulky invisible thread.  Very fine needles 70/6 and some tension changes, meant that on the whole it was a pretty trouble free experience.  I think the hardest part was trying to thread the sewing machine needle, fine clear thread, small needle eyes and being shortsighted are not a good combination. The backing has been made, and I just have to attach the binding. That will be next weekends hand sewing at my sewing day with Rachel and Deb.
Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead.

Thursday 20 November 2014

A Tale of Two Knights

Back in October I purchased some red chess themed fabric,  with the idea of making Miss B a tote bag.  Of course that idea didn't meet with favour and she asked if perhaps I could make her a cushion. At that point I had a brainwave, and emailed Juliet of Tartan Kiwi, to see if she could possibly design me a pattern, to paper piece a knight, Miss B's favourite chess piece.

A week or so later Juliet emailed me a pattern.  Enthusiastically I made a the black knight, then lost my sewjo.  Today my mission was to sew the ivory knight.   In the interests of keeping it real, I have a photo of the last piece I sewed and the mistake on it. Of course I couldn't unpick it and had to redo it.  Needless to say it was second time lucky.

Finally I have the centre block completed, (both knights are actually the same size too, it's just that optical illusion thing happening) now just to decide on the border, chess pieces or a sort of checker board design, with black and ivory cornerstone settings. I'm thinking the checker board border gives it a slightly lighter look.  What do you think?  Then the next dilemma will be how to quilt it.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

A Liberty Needle Book

Woohoo - I have a TADA moment.  The Liberty needle book I started last week is finished.
  • It measures approximately 5.5" x 14" and  folds into three sections.
  • The exterior is made up of a piece of vintage embroidery, some scraps of soft denim and some of my favourite Liberty prints.  I especially love that bright ditzy floral on the front.
  • The interior is made up of an ivory solid and a dainty floral from Robyn Pandolph's most appropriately named Love and Liberty range, which perfectly matched the lining.  The inner left section is a pocket divided into two and edged with a small binding of one of my favourite Liberty prints. The  middle section is a piece of beautiful coral hand dyed felt, also edged with Liberty binding,  and the right section a small zip up pocket.  
  • All folded together and tied up with a matching cerise ribbon.
I am so pleased with how this has turned out.  My mission tomorrow, as long as I am not  called into work is to make the second paper pieced knight chess piece, Who knows, I may even get inspired and finish the cushion.  Housework is over rated after all,

Sunday 16 November 2014


  • a little sewing, a Christmas themed envelope for Rachel - I tried to make this slightly Kiwiana themed, by using Pohutukawa like backing fabric.  I also made a little progress on the Liberty needle case.  Still procrastinating on those must finish items for Miss B and Mr J.
  • Saturday night movie viewing - Tasting Menu, a Catalan movie with sub titles.  On the whole I enjoyed it, I certainly didn't feel that I needed to eat the food they were served, and the ending was sort of abrupt.
  • my hippeastrum/amaryllis in bloom.  Still two more plants to flower yet.
What did you watch this weekend? Have a fabulous week.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Wednesday WIP

Lately I have been feeling as though I have lost my sewjo.  Whether it has been because of the projects I'm sewing (some colours and fabrics just do not inspire me) or the amount of sewing I have been doing for Christmas and various swaps, I don't know.  Anyhoo, last night while the family were at Scouts, I decided to be brave and cut into my beautiful Liberty fabrics.  Miss B has taken permanent loan of my current needle book, so I am making myself a new one.

Utilising some vintage embroidered  linen that belonged to my Gran, some soft denim scraps and some favoured prints, I started sewing.  I had no real plan as to the design of the exterior, so it is not just QAYG but also design as I go. So far two thirds of the exterior have been completed. I have a busy week  work wise, so this will be a slow selfish sewing project.  Perhaps as a reward for completing some of the items I am procrastinating on.

I survived that heart stopping moment of the first cuts into my Liberty, and am now wondering, if I should be keeping all scraps of it.  How small is too small to be useful?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday 10 November 2014


Photo from

  • Zinnias - I remember them growing in my Gran's garden when I was young.  I didn't like them much, cos they used to get caterpillars on them.  Now I adore them.  The rich vibrant jewel toned flowers. This year I want to be able to put bunches like this in my house.  So I am planning a space in my garden for some plants.

Photo from:MassimoCrisafi/GuardianWitness

  • The amazing poppy display at the Tower of London, commemorating the lives lost in World War One.

  • Strawberry season - unfortunately these are not from my garden, it hasn't stopped me from enjoying them though.

Photo from: Cuisine Magazine

  • The look of this Christmas Pavlova, if  I'm on dessert duty for Christmas Day, this may be what I make.

  • The perfect excuse for not getting my housework done.
Photo from Clothwork
  •  Actually loving, this bag made by the very talented Melissa

Sunday 9 November 2014


Hexagon Obsession by Marie Harrison (made with quarter inch hexagons)

Pixelated Heart quilt by Melanie Hastings, pattern from Blue Elephant Stitches

Brainwaves Quilts and close up of detail by Robyn Rognstad
Summer Geese Quilt and Winter Geese Quilt by Melanie Hastings

Close up of colours and fabrics in Summer Geese Quilt

  • I celebrated my birthday with a cheats birthday cake - supermarket sponge and strawberries, still tasted good though.
  • some lovely wool felt from my sister, that just happens to co-ordinate perfectly with some of my Liberty.  (can you tell I am just dying to make something with this fabric)
  • a day out at the Auckland Festival of Quilts with Rachel and Deb.  Some amazing quilts, these were a few that caught my eye.  We also met up with some other blog and flickr friends, from Wellington and Christchurch,
  • a little stash enhancement from the festival
  • some sewing for the SSM6 swap.
  • I smile everytime I see this
Hoping you all had a fabulous weekend too.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

From the Kitchen and Garden

  • I read about these coconut peanut butter balls on Melissa'a blog, decided that I needed to request the book that the recipe came from and check out the blog too. Really looking forward to getting this book from the library.  I made the balls on Saturday, so quick and easy in the food processor, and added a few dried apricots also. They were a big hit with everyone and will definitely be made again.
  • A quinoa salad - loving these warmer evenings which encourage lighter meals and salads.
  • More plants for the vegetable garden - Italian parsley, basil, a red hot chili, a yellow capsicum, courgette and some more African marigolds to encourage ees and keep away pests.
  • My Hippeastrums/Amaryllis are budding, they didn't flower last year, I think they were sulking after being repotted, this year I have three bulbs in bud. Can't wait till they flower.
What are you cooking or growing at present?