Jul 29, 2010

garden update

Time for another garden update I feel.

The olives have kicked on well and the lavender and rosemary are growing very nicely.  It's actually the first time I've ever managed to grow lavender.  And I've got flowers now too!

The veges had been a bit quiet but we have had small harvests of tomatoes over a long period.

We now have greens - snow peas and sugar snap peas.


Raspberries (towards the end of season)

More rosemary (2 more different types) with Kale and an asian green.  With marigolds for colour and pest control.  And some little strawberry plants which have several flowers - fingers crossed berries will result.


stitching and a fail

Yesterday I had a fail, fortunately I hadn't proceeded too far before I realised my error.

Suffice to say the unpicker will be getting a workout during nap time today.  I was all gung-ho and thought I'd worked out what I was going to do for the last section of my Hungry Caterpillar quilt.  Apparently not.

I have been doing some cross stitch too, I purchased two beautiful kits at the last craft show and have finally started on one of them.  

It features several of my favourite things - sunflowers, olives and a Tuscan scene.  Not to mention the fact that the colours are divine.

Jul 22, 2010

easy belt tutorial

The little Guy had been bugging me for a 'belt like Daddy's' for a while so while I was making him one I thought I'd do up a little tutorial.

You will need:

a pair of D rings (very easily available from sewing and haby shops)
 - I used 2.5cm D rings for this child's belt, you can get bigger ones if you want your belt to be wider or a proper belt buckle if you want to make an adult size.

a strip of fabric approx 15 cm longer than the length of the finished belt, twice as wide as your D ring plus another 1 - 2 cms to allow for seams.
 - you can see here I've used 3 pieces of fabric as the piece I had wasn't very wide and I wanted to capture the space craft 'flying' along the length of the belt.  If you don't want to see any joins then cut one continuous piece of fabric.

1.  Join your fabric strips end to end if using more than one piece of fabric.  Press seams open.

2. Pin the belt in half length ways, right sides together, sew using a scant .5cm seam.

3.  Turn out the right way (this is boring, painful and the longest part of the whole thing!)

4.  Press, I like to press the seam in the middle so my belt has a front and a back but you could just press to the side for a totally reversible look.  You could also use 2 different long pieces of material and have a reversible double sided belt.

5.  Topstitch for effect and to stop the belt warping.

6.  Fold the ends of one end onto the inside and sew the end of the tube shut.  Place the D rings over the belt and fold it back on itself to capture the D rings.  Sew the end down upon itself.

7.  Sew closed the other end of the belt.

et voila!

Jul 16, 2010

my loot from London

Mum & Dad returned from London (and beyond) the other day, happy but a bit tired.  They had a great time with my brother discovering London, Cornwall, Ireland, Paris and New York, as well as Dubai and Hong Kong beforehand.

As usual my Mum could be relied upon to return with many, many gifts and my request for fabric did not go unheard.

From Hong Kong and China I received:
a cute Chinese print

a bold red which will make a great beach bag

and a beautiful Chinese brocade.

From Paris a trio of beautiful heavy cottons

From Liberty, a METRE of a gorgeous print and a funky tea towel

and from the V&A, every piece of fabric which wasn't nailed down!  Including 2 fat quarter packs, 2 more fat quarters and a charm square pack with one each of every fabric they made.  Apparently I have to share this lot with Mum & Aunty (but that may not happen, just between you and I).

Not a bad haul I think!

P.S.  Mum LOVED her cushions!

Jul 11, 2010

the very hungry caterpillar quilt

Ok it's time for confessions - does everyone else have 'that' piece of fabric in their stash that they are too scared/ can't imagine cutting in to?

I've had 'the very hungry caterpillar' fabric in my stash for ages, hunted around for the co ordinating prints, gathered them all together with the intention of making a quilt to hang on the wall.  But I just couldn't do it, couldn't make that first cut into the fabrics.  I'd seen a pattern in a magazine for a quilt but couldn't even bring myself to go back and find the pattern lest that meant I'd have to cut the fabric up and actually start!

Well I finally pulled myself together the other day.  I'd been turning ideas over in my mind for weeks about how to approach making the quilt.  I have no idea now where that magazine with the pattern is but I was comfortable winging it.  My idea was to take the 3 images from the main panel, cut them out individually and then sew the co ordinating fabrics around them in the 'quilt as you go' style.  Doing it this way eliminated some of my stress around the actual quilting process and allowed me to think more clearly about the design.

So then last week - I just did it!  I cut the panel into 3 pieces, worked out what fabric I had and where it would all go, laid everything out on the floor and began!  By focussing on each of the 3 panel pieces individually  and treating them as large 'blocks' I was more confident in approaching the assembly process.

I've now finished 2 of the 3 blocks and while they aren't perfect, I'm extremely proud and pleased with the end results.  And while I generally come from the 'less is more' school of quilting, I'm liking the areas of this quilt which are heavily quilted as much as those with less quilting.  One panel to go and I'm feeling good!
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