Feb 16, 2014

my American quilt

The second project I purchased supplies for in America was a quilt.  I decided it was better to purchase supplies for specific projects rather than just random stash.  The quilt will also be used in our loungeroom and will serve as a souvenir and reminder of the places we visited every day.  The fabrics I purchased are seasonal and touristy and highlight the places we visited.

This map panel is exclusive to Undercover Quilts. 

The top fabric is a map of Seattle and will be the centre piece of the quilt.  The second picture shows two fabrics highlighting the sights and sounds and tastes of Seattle.  All were purchase from Undercover Quilts.  

The next two lots of fabric were purchased from Esther's Fabrics on Bainbridge Island.  I must admit I purchased the donkey and gumboot prints on a bit of a whim.  I've been a big fan of Laurie Wisbrun since she started and couldn't pass up the chance to purchase some of her fabrics in the flesh.  Also it rains a lot in Seattle!

These were purchased from Runs With Scissors in California.

These Fall prints were discounted after Thanksgiving which was great for me.  Purchased from Thistle Dew Quilt Shoppe.  

Phyllis the lovely owner of Thistle Dew gave me this California print when she heard about my souvenir quilt.

Any suggestions for a simple layout?  I was thinking a simple log cabin design around the central map  panel.  Any other ideas anyone would care to share?

Feb 13, 2014

my blue and grey crochet ripple

When we were in the USA I bought supplies for 3 specific projects.  First project is a crochet ripple blanket for our couch.  We have a couple of quilts I made which we use relentlessly in winter and I've been wanting to add to that with a crochet blanket.

I bought Cascade 220 yarn as it is made in Washington and I know it's available here as well.  I purchased several shades of blue and grey with some red for flair at both So Much Yarn in Seattle and Churchmouse Yarn and Tea on Bainbridge Island.

I'm using the Attic 24 Ripple pattern which I've had success with in the past.  Since returning home I've purchased some more Cascade 220 from Purlwise.

I'm loving the way this is coming together,  I reckon I'm about half way along.  I want it to be a good size and based on the width it should be.  This yarn is nice and soft and comes in a awesome range of colours.  

Feb 8, 2014

garden update

As regular readers will recall,  while we were away on holiday my inlaws did a backyard blitz style manoeuvre on our yard.  It transformed a sloping, unloved and rocky wasteland into a terraced wonder.

The turf went in a few days after our return and has coped pretty well with our very hot and dry summer.   I'm not looking forward to our next water bill though let me tell you!!  We spend so much time out here as a family now, kicking a ball and playing cricket or just lying on the grass.  The swings are now in place beside the fort.

The garden beds are a slow work in progress but I'm enjoying that. Normally I'm all for running to the shop and buying a car full of plants but this time I'm taking the slower approach.

First thing which went in was some sunflower seeds which are now blooming in the main corner bed.  I want this bed to be a feature, to hold something spectacular.

Along the top in the small beds we planted some geranium seedlings in a variety of colours.  I want to also add some which will hang over and trail down the wall.

And along the bottom we've now planted some basil, coriander,  chives and 2 types of kale.  Although we do have the big vegetable beds out the front I wanted some of these beds to be like a kitchen garden.

On the top terrace we've now also planted another pomegranate and a lemon.

So it's slowly getting there.  But I like the gradual evolution of it .

Feb 2, 2014

on creativity

This first month of 2014 has found me creating with a new found gusto.   I've been spending a little time each day sewing or crocheting or just generally creating something.   This creative energy has rubbed off into other areas of my life too.  I've been baking and making yummy food for dinners and afternoon teas.

Last week I happened upon this article about Jerry Seinfeld.  The article resonated with me, not for the sticker chart concept,  but for the idea that if you do something creative every day then over time it will become habit and become easier. If you want to be a better comedian then spend some time each day writing material.

A day or so later I heard an interview with Neil Finn on a local radio station saying that he 'makes' some kind of music every day. Whether he's writing lyrics or composing music or just playing around on his instruments.   He makes music every day to keep his creative juices flowing.

I love the fact that I heard the same message from two different types of creatives.   If you want to be creative then be creative.   Spend some time each day doing something in your creative field and eventually this will become habit and the creativity will flow.

Heard any great advice lately? Got any creative inspiration to share?

Feb 1, 2014

upcycled pillowcase rag rug -finished!

A couple of months ago I cleaned out my linen press and found heaps of old pillowcases.  I didn't want to throw them out and having crocheted with cloth before I decided to keep them for a rug project.   Fast forward a few months and I finally had some time and an idea.

I cut each pillowcase into thin strips (about 1cm) and started crocheting with a 10mm hook.  I found that HDC stitches worked best.

And now it's finished! It's about 1.5 metres across and now is sitting under the coffee table in our outdoor sitting area.  As this is made from upcycled material I have no hesitation in using it outside.  The deck is covered so it probably won't get wet but it will get dog hair on it.

Here are a few photos of the process.  Enjoy :)

I thought this looked like a hydrangea

Toddler for scale

Finished and installed

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