Monday 27 April 2015


Following my attendance at my local ANZAC service, I enjoyed a lazy weekend at home.   Reading, wasting time on the computer, some quilting of the AMH hexies I started a while ago, and a little hand stitching on beautiful wool felt, for a Christmas decoration swap project my sister and I are doing.

Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead.

Thursday 23 April 2015


The other night The Scout came home with a box of feijoas, a fellow staff member had brought into work.  My family loves this autumn fruit freshly scooped out of it's skin,  but I decided to use a few up for a dessert.  Looking for inspiration on the internet , I remembered this recipe - Honey Feijoa Cake I pinned a couple of weeks ago.  I didn't have the almonds to go on top, so I made an oaty coconut crumble topping - tasted good, but most of it fell off when I cut into the cake.  The cake however is very good, and for any fellow Kiwis with a slight surplus of feijoas, it is well worth making.

Sunday 19 April 2015


  • Rainy day sewing - a 5.5" square  Liberty log cabin block .  I love sewing with this fabric, it has such a beautiful feel, so smooth and silky.  I can't wait to make something bigger with my little stash..
  • A morning spent in the kitchen doing back to school baking.  From the oven today was a new recipe -  this loaf of no-knead bread, also made was oaty ginger crunch and spiced orange fruit scones.
  • Some beautiful books for  lazy afternoon reading.
Hoping you all had a fabulous weekend.

Friday 17 April 2015

Scenes from my Week


From my mother-in-law's garden
  • beautiful white Japanese anemone - I managed to get some cuttings of this for a dark corner in my garden, now I just need to get out there and weed it, then plant them.
From the kitchen
  • harvest sauce in the making, using huge tomatoes from my Dad's garden
  • Chocolate Raspberry Brownie - a collaboration between Mr J and myself (love school holiday cooking)
From my garden
  • A monarch butterfly enjoying the sun and my zinnias
From the letterbox
  • my beautiful new book ( payment for mowing the lawns) and some lovely fabric scraps from Umbrella Prints - I thought this year I may try and make something for the  2015 Trimming Challenge.
From a corner of my home:
  • unknown flowers on my dining table
Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Wednesday WIP

With the cold wintery wet weather we have been having over the past couple of days, I could think of nothing better to do than tuck myself away from children watching movies inside, and head out to my sewing room.

I contemplated starting a new project, but truth be told I couldn't think of anything I really wanted to make, so I pulled out those SWAK swap envelopes that are on my finish-along list and started piecing them together.

It is quite amazing how each block differs, considering we were all using the same pattern,  All should be 7 " square blocks, some are marginally smaller,  Some are sewn together with tiny stitches (recommended for paper pieced objects) which makes ripping the paper off so easy, others are normal stitch length.  I do apologise to any of my fellow  SWAK block recipients, whose blocks I forgot to decrease the stitch size on.  Different types of paper have been used  as the foundation piece too, and this sometimes seems to effect how the block sits - firmer or with a wee bit of stretch, and some seem to have the fussy cut flap glued down before sewing.

Anyway, after a lot of deliberating about colour  and block placement, all 36 blocks have been sewn together, the foundation papers are slowly being ripped off, and I am well on my way to completing my first Q2 finish-along goal.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday 12 April 2015

Road Trip Case

My Mum is off on her Big O.E in a few weeks.  Seven weeks travelling around Britain and Europe.
As an early Mother's Day present, I decided I wanted to make her a Roadtrip Case, to keep her ipad mini, charger cables and notebook safely together in one place when she wasn't using them.

Using  some pretty floral fabrics from Kate Spain and a perfectly co-ordinating dot print  (all from my stash I might add) I set to work.   The instructions are clear and very detailed, however, I would recommend reading the pattern two or three times before starting to make this. 

I didn't use canvas for the interior stiffening, I found  Legacy extra firm stabiliser at Spotlight and decided to use that instead.  It definitely gave it a nice firm finish and shape, and I like to think a little extra padding too.  I also decided not to use velcro (hook and loop) fastening on the pockets, instead using small elastic hair ties and some purple buttons from my stash. and I didn't split the pleated pockets into four, rather I kept it as two, so there was plenty of room for a note book and her cables.  I did consult with Mum slightly on this, and she decided she didn't want the handles on her case, so again I have just used a pretty button and elastic hair tie to keep it closed.

This was the first time I have made continuous bias binding,  and I used this tutorial to show me how.  I machine sewed the first fold of the binding, it was a little tricky around the curves and something I definitely need some practice at, then hand stitched the rest down as I would on a quilt.

Some useful tips  for me to remember should I make this again:
  • when sewing vinyl, to stop it from sticking to the sewing plate, place a piece of paper under- neath it.
  • hand baste the zip and zip bindings to the vinyl, before machine sewing it in
  • use lots of pins to hold the pocket pleats in place and I also used a few tiny stitches at the top of the pleats to hold them together.
I love how this has turned out, and hope that Mum enjoys using it on her travels.  And yes, I would make this pattern again.

Friday 10 April 2015

Scenes from my Week

From the garden
  • Cosmos overload, these paler ones didn't do so well over summer, I think it was just too hot where they were planted, but they seem to have revived themselves this autumn.
From Miss B's hands
  • they were doing henna painting at the library yesterday, the henna had to be left on for two hours before we could remove it.  Must remember to get this done on both hands when I don't want to cook or clean - perfect excuse.
From my coffee table
  • my hexi project and the latest book I have been enjoying - not so much an autobiography, rather lots of gorgeous photos, memories and anecdotes.
  • the hand quilting is my pick up and put down project in the late afternoon or evenings.
Have a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

2015 Finish-Along - Q2 goals

   There are two projects I would like to finish this quarter.

  •  all my SWAK envelopes received in 2014 need to be pieced together and turned into a quilt top. You never know I may even get inspired and  totally finish it and have a  small lap quilt for the chair in my sewing room. (which I need to recover too)
  • to quilt the  remaining five blocks  made last December, in the Last minute Christmas Sampler and to make their binding,so they can be turned into placemats. (Big bonus points for me if I get them bound this quarter, but I  think the binding of them may be a Q3 finish,that way I can sit in front of the fire doing it, cos it's usually too cold to spend a lot of time in my sewing room then).
Linking up for the 2015 Finish-Along Q2 with Adrianne at On The Windy Side.

Monday 6 April 2015

Easter Weekending

Easter has been and gone.  The eggs have been eaten, and now Miss B, Mr J and I have two weeks holiday.

  • Mr J made this delicious caramel ice cream for us over the weekend - such a simple recipe too,     -  all it needs is 300ml cream that has been softly whipped and one can of caramel condensed     milk.  Simply empty the caramel condensed milk into a bowl and stir until smooth then  fold     into the whipped the cream,.  Freeze for at least 4 hours.
  •  a special dessert last night - Raspberry White Chocolate shortcake
  • my winter vegetable seedlings have been planted - lettuce, spinach, beetroot and celery, and I am also trying some swede seeds, though I may have left it a little late to get these to grow.
  • a new hand sewing project
  • the birthday pillow has been finished, and is now ready to post.  Details and dimensions below:
        - Giraffe fabric from Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle.
        - Paper pieced envelopes - pattern from Patchwork Please book
        - Envelope background - Tula Pink
        - Backing and Binding - Denyse Schmidt Piccadilly fabrics
        - finished size 18" square    

Hope that you all had a fabulous Easter weekend too.