Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Busy, busy

I have been rather busy the last little while - not that I have much to show for! The house needs a proper clean, I don't dare to mention the windows, there's weeds in the garden etc. While the sun is still shining, the weather has been uncomfortably windy, reminding me of autumn way too early, while at the same time drying out the garden and paddocks horribly!

My D4P has made some progress, it is in one big piece now, sandwiched and pin basted, and yesterday I have started to SiD the horizontal lines. I don't usually SiD but I have read it helps stabilise things, and as this is a present I really want it to be right! Not that tidy SiD is all that easy (sigh)...Here are some pics from the sandwiching stage:

Here is also a picture of my second block from the Tokyo Subway Map Quilt - block 5. This has brought me up to target, two new ones to do next month;-)

My new job has kept me busy though at this point in time I'm just working from home. It's amazing how many intesting and relevant education documents are out there that people in my position need to know about! Thank goodness for webinars, Google Hangouts and skype sessions to discuss things with colleagues! [some of these I had barely ever come across before last week - so it's learning all around!]

In case there are any avid iOs users reading this:
Is there a way to include pix from my Picasa web albums into a post created on the blogger app? (I'm using the rather longwinded approach of drafting on the iPad, then adding pics on the laptop & publish). I am just having a play with inserting these in Google Chrome (still on the iPad), but it's not without pitfalls (maybe that's the operator, not the programme?). What I hate the most is that I don't seem to be able to scroll through all of my post - arrrgghhh!
Also, I am after a good app that can read docs, pdfs, maybe websites to me; I read about Speakably but I'm keen to hear from someone before I buy it. My idea is that like with foreign language learning I could be listening to important information over and over while I do other things like drive etc.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Pottering along

I had written a post and put it in draft ten days ago - and here it still is today! Summer has finally been simmering and we have had some amazing weather in the last little while though this week it has cooled down again, especially at night. A sure sign to tell a nice summer day here is when our pool already shows 29degC by the time I get up ;-) Admittedly when it then rises up to 31 or even 32degC during the day, it's not all that refreshing anymore - but now that it's back to 28degC or so I feel it's cold!

The other day I had the urgent urge to reorganise parts of my home; I moved drawers, a chest, a cabinet - found an impressive amount of (very dusty) Wine and Schnaps Glasses - and now my still messy creatively organised sewing room looks like this:

Trying to be organised this year - thanks to Wendy from Sew it's Finished!
My drawers are more organised

my WIP drawer
we're getting a bit less organised here...
can you see how small my stash has gotten?
Bags and bags of scraps...
"The Pile" - mending and UFOs...

Last weekend our local Patchwork Club had their annual exhibition. As I had left my camera at home on the charger (...) I am very thankful that friends have kindly offered me copies of theirs - in the meantime though, here is Suz's post with the pics she took.

Lovely Suz had invited Rona from Layer upon Layer to come up from Auckland so we had lots of fun jabbering about quilting (while the men were just rolling their eyes). Thanks heaps to Suz for the organisation and accommodation and to Rona for travelling so far! Rona brought some of her various fabric painting supplies and we also had great fun with those. We ended with doing some microwave dying - sporting matching red hands now (must be some sort of secret club lol - Suz suggested a name to do with "tutuu" which is lent from the Maori language and usually means to muck or potter around).

  • I need to save some money to buy Fabrico Dual Markers by Tsukeneko and Derwent Inktense Blocks
  • Using more Procion powder to water results in a darker colour - yippieh!
  • Just to stay on the 'save money to buy xyz' part, I also want to get my hot little hands onto some Lumi Inkodye at a reasonable price - can't wait to try that out! Please let me know if you have seen it or even tried it out. (I have seen Inkodye and the Fabrico Markers on Dharma Trading, but now I need to wait for pay day next month).
  • It pays to feed my visitors first and then show them the mess I make in the kitchen with my microwave dying - not sure that anyone wants to eat at my place again;-)

Since then Suz, Miss Lottie and I had a play date at my place (kids occupied themselves - great! while we played :D) and today Suz and I had a little shopping spree at our ex-LQS ;-) Can't wait to use these batiks....
Adding to my stash!!!

I also received the remaining supplies for the Tokyo Subway Map Quilt in the mail and have laid out and pieced my first two blocks, here is the first:

My D4P has made a lot of progress, currently I am putting the sashing strips in:
Top half
with sashing strips
This week I have spent away from home for Induction to my new job as Blended e-Learning Facilitator. Lots to learn before I can start working with local schools! As it is fulltime it should be paying the bills better even though it will limit the time I have to quilt. I might just have to make up for it at night or on the weekends!

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A 'Birthday-Love Stash and Sew It's Finished' Finish

It's already 8 January and I have not completely fallen off the resolution wagon yet (just wait for it, it's bound to happen!). In my usual disorganised manner [hence my joining the BLS!] I realised 2 days before a friend's birthday party (Sunday) that I would need a present . Admittedly, my sewing room is at the moment the messiest room in the house (right after the garage...), but having a pile of mending and UFOs lying on the floor came in handy as I found my present! In little time I had sewn the already trimmed piece of satin, fmqed with feathers, into a cushion cover, utilising another recycled zip - only to realise that I had turned the front inside out... So out came the seam ripper, through the seam and the zigzag and I put it back together(this time the right way around!) using nifty stitch 19 on my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 which sewed and overlocked in one go. I hope my friend will find the finished cushion to her liking (picture is without the inner). Linking to BLS and SIF for January:-)

In regards to my long list of resolutions I am happy to report that I have
  • Found the woven wallhanging UFO and I don't think it should take too long to complete
  • Pieced a few more blocks of the D4P - 61 are now completed with a further 7 needing one more step of piecing and then trimming to size. I have found that taking great care when cutting, pressing seams before piecing and piecing individually, not chain piecing, seem to help with those nasty corners that need matching lol
I have been swimming at least every other day and I am making plans to go for a bike ride with DH but without children soon :-) so my fitness will hopefully improve! Eating less and cutting down on after dinner glass of wine to just every other day should hopefully help me work on my weight loss goal!

How are your resolutions going?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Like you ought to, I made some New Year's Resolutions:

*Complete my UFOs
D4P: 41 of approx 90 blocks pieced
Firework: 7 of approx 25 - 40 blocks pieced
Free Challenge Piece: Background pieced. Needs to be completed by March 2013.
3 quilted satin pieces: To be turned into cushion covers
2 pieces of fluffy fabric: To be turned into cushion covers
Woven wallhanging has only a few blocks pieced - need to go and look for it
Tokyo Subway Quilt - fabrics selected and remaining ordered, yet to start. Challenge with Suz to complete 2 blocks / month.
(Still some) leftovers from Stratavarious quit - turn into a slashed top
SIF BOM: 3 blocks completed of 12. Needs to be completed by mid June 2013.
Get birthday presents (crafty and others) organised before the last second - signing up to Wendy's Birthday-Love Stash 2013!
*Loose weight
*Get fitter

I have not spent all that much time sewing over the last few days, weeding, cutting flowers from the garden, pottering around with other projects - with some success!
*DH has with my able help (...) replaced the cracked iPod4 touch screen. All (except the front camera) seems to be working fine, however, if you need one replaced, it's worth the $150 we we quoted at a shop as it is a SH.. job! Boys are under strict instructions NOT to break it again!
*Cleared the office to a stage where I can use it as home office for my new job - even managed to move the children's netbook in there to give it a proper home,
*Revived my old bicycle! It hasn't been used much at all for the last 15 years, but with only a little help from DH I got it to run on all of it's 21 gears whoot-whoot! My children are not very activity minded unfortunately, but DH and I used to ride our bikes a lot in our life bNZ and bC (before coming to NZ in 1997 and before birth of children in 00, 02 and 04). We now have a cycle track only a few km from where we live and have only done a very small part of it (with children). With a bit of luck I might be able to go a bit further on my own and work on my fitness?

I have to be back at work on Monday so I hope to make the most of the days until then. Hope your new year's time is productive!