Monday, March 31, 2014

Happiest when scrappiest

 This is my new project -for our expected grandson. I thought I had better get started on it as the year is slipping away fast.

 The disappearing pinwheels quilt has been sidelined even though the braid border is coming along fine.
 The Dark Nightz quilt I am calling "Dancing through the night" is ready for the next stage of quilt-as-you-go, but it is taking a back seat.

 Paddington is now the star of the cutting table.

 I couldn't resist the opportunity to make scrappy stars.

 The first block -another 5 to go

It has been a very scrappy month and I am not over it yet!

Monday, March 24, 2014

So many pretty things

It has been quite a week for pretty things around here!

We had a lovely Sunday high tea, using my lovely china -some bequeathed to me by my mother in law, some found in op shops over the years.  On  the menu were cucumber sandwiches, asparagus rolls, savoury pumpkin muffins, and  iced sponge squares. All washed down with a good Earl Grey.   My DD helped create the spread!

(yes, we did also serve Gin and Tonics, darlings!)

I have settled on this fabric for a new baby quilt, featuring the culinary skills of that famous TV chef: Paddington! 
I am thinking of a simple medallion layout with the words "please look after this bear" in orange on blue fabric, and that vibrant orange in the border or binding. This is of course for our new baby due mid-year so I better get on with this as soon as my queen size scrappy gets to a point where I can leave it for a month or two.

This lovely old lady needed a new home. I gladly will take care of her. I will take her to my local sewing repair shop for a bit of TLC. She should sew fine. According to her number plate she is over 100 years old! She is in find condition, and I would have thought she was more likely be be from the 1940s or 1950s but until I have more information, this is what I know about her. 

She will have to wait though, because there was also an overlocker which also needed a new home. This is only 20 years old. I have always wanted an overlocker. She was very dusty but she works so I took her to the repair shop straight away for a good service. Hopefully I will have her back in a couple of weeks. Then the fun really will start! I hope to make even more pretty things with her special skills too. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's the little things which grow-quilts and vegetables!

At the beginning of the year I had a goal of becoming self sufficient in salad vegetables. There have been some successes and some failures, but we persevere.

This week I planted spinach and mizuna seeds. I also planted another 2 punnets of lettuce seedlings. We had a brief shower of rain, which cheered us all up -it has been over 100 days since we had more than 0.2mm of rain.

The quilt that I am making is using up a lot of scraps, though I am not nearly at the end of my scrap collection.

I thought I needed 156 blocks, but when I tried the quilt on the bed I thought it was skimpy. The number has now grown by another 39.

As I do this,  I find myself revisiting all the other quilts I have made so far!

This stack of blocks was the 'leader/ender" project for my Disappearing 9 patch which now is getting a braid border.
But this is now on hold, because the 'leader/ender' project is demanding some priority!

Here are the blocks sewn into strips-look how bright they are!

I guess it will be another week or so before I have enough blocks made to consider that part of the quilt done. I will be using a quilt as you go method to quilt them at home. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cruisin' along

There comes a moment when every "Leader/Ender project" demands top spot. A leader/ender project is of course a way quilters have of getting two quilts done at once -working on one project, but sneakily feeding a block from another project at the beginning or end of every chain piecing row.  You hardly notice a huge number of quilt blocks being sewn, that way.  That is how I got this collection of 156 blocks done for a "Dark Nightz" queen size bed quilt. 

This is the block collection spread out on the floor. It will be queen size and go on my bed. 

I love this Jan Mullen's pattern -it is such fun to make and uses quite a lot of scraps! I made a lap size version which I gave to my lovely niece recently. This one is for ME (DH can share it!).

I like the way the blue wave spreads across the quilt.

While I am sewing I love to listen to the Daily Planet on my computer, from the Radio National website. 

That is mostly what I have been doing this weekend- cruising along, making blocks when I wasn't gardening, cleaning or cooking! But I did go op shopping and found this gorgeous textured jug from Portugal for a measly $6. 

 Of course I am still loving the gorgeous quilty view of my console table.

Wisdom, peace, trust, hope......all will be needed as I sew the blocks together and then hand it over to the Long Arm Quilter. There is no way my DSM is going to manage this baby!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Frugal February the final week!

This is the final week of Frugal February


We have a lovely chesterfield leather sofa which we bought about 10 years ago when there was more money coming into the house than now. It was something I wanted for years, and it made me happy. Lately however we have been concerned that it just isn't so comfortable. The cover is still fine, but we didn't quite know what was wrong -did the cushions need more stuffing or was there a problem with the springs?

Of course we wanted to repair it if we could. I don't want this lovely thing on the landfill, and I couldn't in all conscience give an uncomfortable sofa to any charity shop.

My DH sent some photos to an upholsterer who thought he needed to adjust or replace some springs and webbing, and who will add extra stuff to the cushions.  We did check to see prices for new leather sofas just in case this was not a cost effective option, but we are sure that we are making the right choice here.

Looks like buying the best quality you can afford does pay off in the end.  It will offer us another 10 years of service for the price of the repair which was $540.


My DH put the last coat of stain on the console table. By buying this item unfinished  we can make sure it matches our other lounge room furniture -and save into the bargain.

I found a container of soup in the freezer to take for lunch and it was yummo. Making soup for lunches saves me at least $14 a day when I am at work -given the highly inflated Perth prices for simple lunches and coffees. I have my own plunger and coffee supply at work.

I made a loaf of pumpkin bread using the left over roasted pumpkin from Monday.  My daughter loves the different varieties of bread we can make -and has a favourite thing with each of them. By making use of the small left overs we can reduce waste and make tasty food.

DH made a big slow cooker full of beef casserole and veg -which was enough for three meals. One meal was the night it was made, served with salad. A small container was kept in the fridge and I served it in ramekins with mashed potato on top. One container is in the freezer for next week.


I had a long day at work, but DH was busy getting my lounge room set up with the newly renovated sofa and the newly stained console.

The sofa is SO FIRM now -and like new. I am really happy about this!


I wanted to set my lounge room up for Lent which starts next Wednesday. I changed some of the icons and pictures to make it appropriate.

 I found a purple candle in my stash and put it in my thrifted silver candle stick on the coffee table, but needed some purple for my angels on the mantle. DD and I enjoyed a trip to a local store where I got two nice purple candles for $5 and a bag of little purple beads for $3.

Then I made this purple runner for the console table.  I browsed several quilt books for inspiration, and checked my stash and especially my scraps.   The table topper in the picture above was made using the scraps from the runner.

Here is how it ended up:

Saturday Sunday and Monday

Saturday and Monday -we enjoyed lovely walks along our local beach, and on Monday even went swimming briefly, before the lifesavers warned us of a shark in the area, so we quickly got out of the water.

On Sunday I rejuvenated a vegetable bed with compost we made, along with some fertiliser. I treated it with wetta soil and put the mulch back ready for the next crop. I think I want the garlic to go in here.

So -the result of Frugal February? 

*saved $200 in the grocery bill
* have a lovely lounge room for $$$ less than buying things because we repaired and made our own stuff, or modified cheap purchases (the curtains, the console)  for our own use.

I have enjoyed keeping track of my efforts.

Thanks for dropping by.