Monday, March 30, 2009

Yay for Andrew!

It looks like my gorgeous man finally has an apprenticeship, so Yay for Andrew!

Kilt Quilt #1 - The Tartan Sampler

When we lived in Edinburgh, Andrew worked for a kiltmaker's and collected tartan offcuts for me, which I brought home to make quilts. This is the first one. Most of the pieces have come from tartan sampler books, and every one is different. There's 133 different tartans in there! I won't be working on it for a while due to Chestnut Festival sewing, but it may just take me that long to decide whether or not to add a border...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

To market, to market...

The last month brought with it two big craft supply purchasing opportunities. The first was the Australian Quilter's Conference quilt show. I hadn't been going to go to this one, but Mum wanted to, so along we went one Saturday after Italian. The display was gorgeous, though Mum and I have very different tastes. There were many gorgeous fabrics for sale, but in the end, I couldn't cope with the crowds, and only bought a couple of 30cm strips of greens for my Emerald Isle quilt, plus Mum bought me some Beatrix Potter panels.
The other was the Stitches and Craft Show. It was in a new venue this year, and ultimately, I was disappointed with it - there was far fewer stalls than previously. That didn't, however, prevent me from spending over $100.
I simply couldn't resist this Halloween/Samhain fabric.
Or this fairy. Isn't she gorgeous?
And I've wanted this pattern for years. It was finally time to buy it. I already own two from the series, and there's two more to buy. I'll stitch them one day. Really.

Finally, Andrew had the bright idea that we should have a stall at Mt Dandenong Preschool's Chestnut Festival. His mum is knitting gnomes, Andrew is making sticks/staves, and I... am making kids clothes. I'm not at all confident about this. Can I make enough in time? Will people like them? How much should I charge? Will I have the right sizes? Nevertheless, when Spotlight had 20% off everything, I had to go and buy some supplies. Then I raided my stash.
I've also found some corduruoy at the op-shop of all places.
So I'm currently working on getting my kilt quilt out of the way, and pondering whether or not to order some woven labels for the clothes. It would give them a more professional touch, but do I really need $200?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A special dress for a very special baby

I have been a member of a particular forum for a (frighteningly) long time, and, as such, have made a few friends there. There is one particular lady who I have been aware of, and occasionally in direct contact with over this time. A lovely lady, intelligent and interesting, she spent 5 years desperate to have a second child. Around this time last year, there was a discussion on the forum about Easter/Autumn/Spring Equinox and other festivals, and I related my beliefs. As I was in the Northern Hemisphere at the time, I mostly spoke about the Spring Equinox, which is in large part about new life and fertility. This lady got excited, especially when I mentioned the coinciding full moon, which represents a pregnant belly, and asked that I send the fertility vibes to her. I don't know how serious she was, but I felt a real urge to help her, so I spent several days visualising her pregnant, and finished with a (rare for me) formal ritual. Soon after the equinox, she discovered that she was, at last, pregnant, and in December, she gave birth to a beautiful little girl. Though I haven't met this lady, I felt compelled to make a little something for her 'piccolo miracolo' - little miracle. I finally finished it and sent it to her last week, and as the recipient now has it, I can post pictures here without spoiling the surprise (I don't know that she reads this, but just in case...)

All wrapped to be sent

Full length front shot

Full length back shot

Neckline detail

Sleeve detail
Isn't it just adorable? I know it's totally impractical, but I couldn't resist. I'm hoping she'll get to wear it at least a couple of times. It's not perfect - I broke a bunch of needle while pleating it, which caused some minor damage I had to repair, and I used the wrong needle for a bunch of the bullion knots, though they turned out okay in the end - but I'm pleased with the end result.
I've been promised pictures of the baby in it, but will only post them here if I get permission.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An update...finally

After our wonderful engagement party, I have achieved quite a lot in the domestic department (sadly due to not working enough, which has also relegated me to family housekeeper/wife, so I get to feed the animals, and cook dinner most nights)
I had a big cooking day one Friday, which resulted in
Curried sausages (using the leftover sausages from the engagement party)
And nectarine jam, - my first attempt at jam - which I'm told is good, though I won't eat it myself as I only eat raspberry or strawberry jam!

I smocked these singlets to take as a gift for a baby shower, for a little boy who is expected any day now. I love smocking singlets - so simple, yet so cute!
I made a teddy bear for a friend's 21st. It's been a long time sine I made a fur bear, but I'm quite thrilled with the results. Much more fun than signature bears! This little darling was named Nadira Phoebe.

I finally added the borders to my 21st quilt, which is now layered and basted, ready to be quilted. I've also started cutting blocks (not quite square) for my first kilt quilt.
I experimented with a new pasta sauce on Friday (Fridays seem to be a good day for cooking). I consisted of homemade pumpkin soup, combined with the bechemel sauce I make for macaroni cheese, topped with toasted pinenuts. By all accounts - success! I am contemplating serving it in future with a dollop of pesto too.
In my role as housewife, I have been making the families snacks each week too (they have to make their own lunches - I don't get up early enough!) Most weeks, it has been the usual chocolate chip cookies, because Andrew loves them. Last night, however, Mum requested jam cookies. Since the usual ones contain almond meal though, and with both Mum and I being teachers, and so many kids with life threatening nut allergies, I had to come up with something different....
I haven't had one yet, but Mum likes them!