Monday, April 30, 2012

I can't believe it's nearly 3 weeks since my last post, life sure got in the way of blogging.  I still have a few deadlines to deal with, but I've cleared a lot of things off my to-do list; hopefully I will be able to get back in the sewing room soon.

Every year I leave my taxes till the last possible minute, and every year I swear I won't do it again.

I really mean it this year.  No, Really!  I think I would have enjoyed being an accountant, once I'm in the swing of it I love it.  It's just that I don't keep the bookwork up to date all through the year, and that's because I'm a hopeless procrastinator.  Actually I'm very good at procrastinating, that's the problem.

DD Seonaid came down with a horrible flu, so I drove to Adelaide and rescued her, bringing her back for 4 days of pampering.  Dolly loved that, sitting in Seonaids's bed helping to eat her toast each morning, and snuggling under the covers with her.  I'm sure she helped the patient with her recovery.  It was so lovely to have my girl home, even if she was sick; I made her some of her favourite childhood meals and tried to make life a bit easier for her.  It's no fun being sick and on your own.

We had a mini family gathering a couple of weeks ago, with Mereth's sister and brother in law and neice arriving at our brothers place to give a Thermomix demo to us and John and Liz.  That was a very interesting night, I've heard about these machines and wanted to see one in action.  The bread-making in 1.5 minutes was something I couldn't quite believe, but it was true. The buckwheat rolls were every bit as good as ones that have been kneaded for 10 minutes and had two rises.

The machine is a considerable investment, but it's on my wishlist for the future.  We had a lovely meal,with lots of good conversation; it's lovely to catch up with family members who live far away.

Yesterday I received a large envelope in the post, and it contained this magazine;

there on the cover, peeking out of the cupboard, is my Jacob's ladder quilt.  The magazine did a great job of photographing it, it looks fabulous. I'm thrilled with the photos and article, it's wonderful to see your own quilt in print.

This issue should be in the shops now, and it's full of interesting things, including some lovely knitting and an article on something dear to my heart; coloured sheep.  I ask everyone I know with farm connections to keep a lookout for coloured fleeces for me, and that resulted in the 7 fleeces I had stored.  I've started spinning two of them, and two regretfully had to be disposed of, as whoever did the shearing made such a mess of it the fleece was useless.  I still have plenty to work with though. 

These two skeins are just the beginning of a gorgeous dark brown merino,very soft and lovely to spin.  I think these first efforts at spinning (after a 30 year break) will be made into a tabard, sort of a cross between a vest and a tunic. 

It's very satisfying to make finished yarn from raw materials, even if it is time-consuming.  My tabard will be a labour of love.


Sunday, April 08, 2012

It's been wonderful having four days in a row off: it's such a luxury knowing that I have extra time to get things done. I spent one day sewing and tidying the house, and on Saturday I worked with my DB Doug, building a pad for a garden shed at the Hall. Yesterday we built the actual shed, which was like a giant Meccano project. I truly hate working with metal, it bites and pinches and I don't feel any affinity for it, not like wood.  But it's up now, and I only have a few chunks out of my hands, and I'll appreciate being able to store my garden tools out of the weather this winter.

Doesn't look like much, but it took hours and hours and hours!

We finally have a winner for the sashing of this set of blocks; the fabric we liked, from Thimbleberries 3's Company range, wasn't right after all, but I'd picked some 1 yard cuts of other pinks to pad out the envelope.  One of them, another Thimbleberries print from House & Garden, was Juuuuust Right!  I immediately ordered another 3 yards, and now I'm waiting anxiously to see if they have enough to send me.  I would have a tantrum if there wasn't enough, after the rigmarole we've been through selecting this fabric.

 It's so pretty!
 I have one day left of my holiday, and I plan to potter in the garden and sewing room.  I've already baked some goodies as Doug's payment for all his help, so I will have to deliver those, plus I have to drop some quilts off to a friend.  But apart from that, the day is all mine.

Best not to think of Tuesday,when we get to deliver  3 days mail all at once.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

Thanks to all who helped identify the fabrics in the last post, I ordered some and it arrived last week. I've been too busy to see if it looks good with the blocks; if it's the wrong colour it will go into the drawer with the mountain of other pink fabric that wasn't quite right either.  At times like this I really need a good patchwork shop in the vicinity, so I can see the material for real.

My internet connection is so frustrating, I've spent a week putting the modem in different locations and trying to find a spot where it will actually pick up the mobile signal for more than 5 minutes.  I've got it balanced on a high shelf in the sewing room now, and that seems to be the best spot, it only drops out once or twice an hour now.  Irritating thing!  And even more irritating to finally get my email and find an invitation from Telstra, to enjoy the fantastic mobile internet service they offer.  Cue hysterical laughter.  Telstra thinks the edge of the capital cities is where the world ends, and us country folk just aren't part of the equation.

However, I have used my non-internet time wisely, so all is not lost.  I've been piecing more of the grey blocks (must come up with a name for them) and I'm up to 40, with another 15 kitted.  Iwill need about 72 I think, so there's plenty of work left to do.

 I use polar fleece lap rugs on my design wall, they cost $5 from the cheap shop and I have several different colours.  I wanted to see what the blocks look like with a dark sashing, so I used a dark brown rug, which instantly let me see that I like the effect and will probably use a dark to mid brown as the sashing.  The blocks would look really cute with a light sashing as well, but I can't make two quilts, can I?  I'll just have to make a decision and stick with it.

My over-cutting problem is still with me, I have all these strips cut for the large side triangles in the blocks, and there will be way too many.  I'm thinking of using them to make Flying Geese units, they are the right size to work with a 1.5" triangle.  I could make a mini quilt out of the leftover bits.

Instead of changing the way I operate when I'm in the mood for cutting lots of fabric, I tend to have a Plan B; I make units out of the spare pieces, then choose to make another quilt that uses those units.  That way I have no guilt, and hopefully there aren't piles of strips to put away and forget about.

I spent this morning rearranging my sewing room so I have room to leave the Go cutter set up all the time.  I use it a lot, and it will be more convenient to have it at the end of my sewing table now.  It takes ages to shuffle all the furniture around and get things set up again, but hopefully it will be more efficient now.  I'm looking forward to some serious sewing time tonight.

I will set all the dies in a stand so I can find them quickly.  Whenever I buy one I like to measure it to see what size fabric I need for it; then I label it so that I don't have to work it out each time I use the die.  I love my labeller that Mereth gave me for Christmas!
I hope to get a fair bit of gardening done this weekend; I had topsoil delivered, so I can make some garden beds and get my plants out of their pots.  I made a little posy out of what I could find this afternoon, and the perfume of the carnations is amazing.  They were my Dad's favourite flower, so everytime I see them I think of him.
This stunning rose is called Pink Peace, and it will have to go in the ground soon, it's so vigorous that it won't be happy in a pot, no matter how big. 

I have no idea how to choose a favourite rose, I love so many.  Good thing I can have more than just one.

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