Sunday, February 28, 2010

I've been busy

I have just finished my first ever BIG quilt top.
I call it "east meets west" because it started with two fat quarters my daughter gave me for Christmas. One has a Japanese lady and one had old English phone boxes. The red of the phone boxes was right for the lady's gown, but how could I put them together? Like this!

Quite a lot of the fabric came from the Op shop. I always browse in the fabrics and am often delighted with what I can get for $2-3. I bought some half price fabrics to complete the quilt, because I wanted it to be big enough for our bed.

I learned a lot in doing this -I enjoy the challenge of trying to find fabrics that go together and producing something which is quite unique. It was hard to sew as it got bigger, and I have decided to send it off to a professional quilter as it is too big for my domestic sewing machine. I will make the back today from some other op shop fabrics that I have in my stash.

It is interesting that up until last year I was convinced that I could not take on any projects like this as I did not have a sewing room where I could leave things when half done. The way I got over that was to put my sewing machine on my desk where it is always available, and then I just use the dining room table for cutting out. There are boxes under the bed where I store my fabrics and other equipment. It really only takes 5 minutes to take things out or put them away.

I am amazed at how a barrier like the one I had in my mind prevented me from having so much fun. This project has been so good that it has kept my busy even when the weather in Perth has been so hot. We have had the hottest and driest summer on record! Roll on autumn!

By the way, today is St David's Day, so in honour of all my Welsh relatives I wish you all a good day. Cymru am byth! (Wales for Ever!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Giving it all away (well, some of it!)

Lent is a special time in this house -one we look forward to with enthusiasm.

Rather that punishing ourselves by giving up treats and such for the 40 days, like I used to do when I was a child, we challenge ourselves in a different way -not to give up but to give away!

Lent is a time when we choose new charities to give to, and enjoy the fun of discussing what to give and to which charity. This year I am thinking in particular of UNICEF as one of the candidates.

Lent is also a decluttering time, when we go through our possessions and give away the things that are still useful to charity shops, Freecycle and the like. Last year DH gave away his beloved SLR film camera, and was delighted to find someone who would love it and use it.

The result of all of this is a cleaner house and gives us a great deal of satisfaction.
If you would like to know what brought us to this point, this blog might explain it

This weekend we are off to a retreat at one of the 'thin places' here in WA -New Norcia, the Benedictine town. People have been praying here for almost as long as there have been Christians in WA. The picture above is of the town from a distance...that will get closer in a few hours!

It will be quiet and restful, and I imagine also inspirational.

I wish for you some of the same!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I am so stingy that...(part 3)

......I turn out nice new hankies from old shirts! I found out that men's hankies are a lot bigger than women's hankies, so when mine turned out to be about 10" square, I got some nice new hankies with lovely strong but soft fabric.

......I also make muffins out of leftover pasta sauce!

The recipe is infinitely adaptable....

2 cups self raising flour (I sifted mine to add lightness)

Mix the following wet ingredients and then add to the flour:

1 egg
1/2 cup oil or melted butter
1/2 cup milk
add leftover pasta sauce-in this case it had about a cup of veggies and liquid together.
Sprinkle with something savoury -salt, or parmesan cheese or herbs or something.

Bung into muffin cases and cook at 175 degrees C for approx 20 minutes.

If that wasn't thrifty enough, I then take them to work for lunches!