Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quilting Dilemmas

All the pieces of my 21st quilt have been sewn together, and I'm quite happy with it. It's by no means perfect - there's plenty of places that the seams don't match up properly, but over all, it works out. Now I have some dilemmas... Does it need a border? If so, what fabric should I use? I don't have enough of any of the ones already in there, and as I bought them 5 years ago, I can't get more. What colour binding? What should I use for the backing? What quilting design should I use? Should I hand quilt or learn to machine quilt? Decisions, decisions....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spring has Sprung!

I celebrated Ostara, the Spring Equinox, with some friends on the weekend. It was a nice enough night, but not as good as I'd hoped - one friend took on more responsibility than she could handle, resulting in her being 2 hours late. She has a history of this, though she's been great lately, so we simply started dinner without her. Though the weather had dumped us back into Winter, we went ahead with barbequing our meat. Thankfully Andrew, Dad, and one of the girl's husbands (actually the only husband in the group) did the man thing, and took over that, allowing the girls to stay warm! Unfortunately, one of the other girls was unable to deal with the late one (she has a lot of other things going on in her life right now, and her emotions are a bit raw) and ended up leaving early, which was disappointing because I'd been looking forward to seeing her. We'd also intended to do a ritual, but since that was the responsibility of the Late One, it didn't end up happening. We did, however, do the chocolate ritual which is a laugh, although we all discovered that homebrand chocolate topping makes our skin red!
Yesterday, Andrew and I went to the Royal Melbourne Show. I have always loved the Show, but I was disappointed. Between entrance tickets and train tickets, it cost $74 for the two of us to get in, and we were done by 1:30! The whole thing is smaller than it used to be, fewer animals, and the whole Grand Arena is gone, which is a big loss. There's also a whole lot more stalls selling trash...
Jade loved her dress.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The process of smocking

This week I finished a smocked dress that I have been working on for almost a year. It didn't take that long in actual work time, but I didn't want to get it dirty while travelling. It started as a plain white piece of fabric, though I did buy this one as a kit, so it came pre-pleated for me.
Then I did the smocking and backsmocking.

Blocked it (stretched it out to the right width and steamed it)

Embroidered the flowers.

Blocked it again and shaped it. I hate this part because it means cutting into it. I can't believe that pink flower got cut off!
Then I turned it into a dress.
I know it's totally impractical, but I love the colours, and the crisp whiteness of it.

I will be giving it to our niece, Jade, tonight for her 7th birthday last week. We're also giving her a book about dinosaurs!

Monday, September 15, 2008

My world will never be the same

Nan died this morning.

She was a wonderful woman, and so much a part of our lives. Her death leaves a gaping hole that can never be filled. We are all going to miss her so much. The world, and certainly the area she has lived in for more than 40 years, has lost on of it's great lights. She would have loved to see this silly cockatoo the other day.
Rest in Peace, Nan.

Cookie, cookie, cookie

Mum and Andrew put in a request for peanut butter cookies, and other than refusing to actually put peanut butter on the shopping list, I didn't have the heart to refuse. They enjoyed them, at least! I have also made yet another batch of chocolate chip cookies - always my fallback - and a batch of Anzacs, though I wasn't entirely happy with those. I can never remember which recipe is the good one.

Monday, September 1, 2008

21st quilt underway!

As it quite clearly states in my profile, I am 25. I turn 26 next month. But for my 21st birthday, I had all my friends and family sign quilt squares for me, and I am finally getting it put together. I have laid it out and am currently 'living with it' to be sure the layout is right. It has proven to be a little emotionally difficult, as there a squares in there from people who are now deceased, and a friend who is no longer in my life. There is also a debate as to whether or not to remove a square with a not-so-nice message, and rewrite history... but it's nice to finally be getting it done.
Cooking-wise I have been repeating cookie recipes - the jam ones and ginger ones. I did make gingerbread cars for a friend's birthday, but I'm waiting on a photo of those from another friend. And I made a lamb roast for dinner - yum!