Sunday, March 29, 2009

Felted Forays

I've made my first attempts at felted craft. Starting with the Boyfriend Scarf from Betz White's “Warm Fuzzies” . Is it still a boyfriend scarf of I have every intention of keeping it for myself?

Some of the fabrics don't appear to have quite enough body yet so I have backed the scarf with a silk pinstripe. I think I will be putting some of the remnants through another spin cycle and even the drier before trying to use them again. I'm looking forward to trying my hand at the felted cupcakes once I get the felting right.

(edit: that was supposed to read from not for, you can find the scarf instructions in "Warm Fuzzies")

Monday, March 23, 2009

And Counting ...

The wedding quilt is coming together slowly. So far 12 x 16 half square triangles, 12 times seven by seven blocks.

There's more to go.

Twelve nine-patches and forty eight four-patches.

6 weeks before it needs to be with the quilter. I might just make it if I stop the counting and just get sewing or maybe, I should take a mini break and play with some of those felted wools. I'm convinced they have been calling for my attention.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Balloons in a Paddock

We left extra early to get my dearest to work on Friday. There was something I wanted little e to see. Sure enough she spotted it before we could even say “Look, balloons.”

I'm glad we caught them when we did as our attempts to catch them tonight were foiled by the weather.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tomatoes in Review

Sometimes it helps to be on the opposite side of the world to other bloggers. Last winter I read about the wonders of lasagne gardens as I planned my vegetable patch. Now as I am pulling out the last of my tomato plants, I am reading about what others are planning to put in for the next summer. I thought it might help if I shared the tomatoes I'd be planting, if it were spring again.

PIONEER – this one was brilliant. Beautiful globe shaped fruit in trusses of about 8 each. The fruit were great for preserving, easy to peel and regular sizes. As I type, I can hear the seals popping in on the latest lot of relish. It appeared to be quite disease resistant based on the simple criteria of me not spraying and the plant not dying.

ROMA – An acid free Itallian tomato. The tomatoes tasted great and had very few seeds inside.

BLACK CHERRY (heritage) – This cherry tomato was prolific. The fruit tasted great and next year I will be either making the stakes twice as high, or letting it trail on the ground. The fruit wasn't as black as the label showed, but it was definitely darker.

THAT STIPEY TIGER ONE – The label said sweet 100, but the plant was something else. This was one of the best surprises I had in the garden and I only wish I knew what it was really called so I can be sure to get some next year. The fruit had a green stripe to it that slowly faded to orange as the fruit ripened. It tasted good too.

The yellow plum cherry tomato was a bit slow on the uptake and is only just coming into it's own. I probably wont plant this one next year. There was also a dwarf beefsteak tomato that came down with some sort of blight so I'll be leaving that one out next year too.

Even if it doesn't help anyone else, at least I now have something to refer to when spring finally rolls along again, and a few less jars of green tomato chutney to make.

Together or to the Side - Getting Technical

I've been wondering on how to press seams lately. I know it doesn't sound like something to keep you up at night, but it does have me wondering. It looks like I'm not the only one. Please excuse me while I get technical.

I've been taught to press to one side and have been doing just that for years. However, when I took my star quilt quilt to be quilted it was pointed out to me that there were a few areas where you could see the darker prints showing through the lighter ones. Since the next quilt is using a white that is quite unforgiving when it comes to darker prints, I thought I should consider changing my ways.

The first block has them split. The advantages being

*The seams are less bulky
*There is never a dark print behind the light ones

The second one has them to one side. The advantages being

*Bias seams are pressed across not along – hence less stretching
*By alternating the direction at junctions, the seams can “nest together” when sewing – helpful when making points meet
*The dark fabric is always partially masked by the light one when pressing to the light side.

The second block has the stars of lighter red showing through, slightly. This would have happened with both options

It appears that the biggest problem is the ends of half square triangles, as you can see in the first block. I end up with dark fabric showing behind the lighter in both options, however in the second one, I've taken the time to cut the half squares square at the corners again after pressing.

The options stack up pretty evenly, but for the sake of pressing to one side being quicker and resulting in less burns to this amateurs finger tips I'll be sticking with pressing to one side for now.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Stash Busting on Hold

The invites are out and in June we are of to my Brother in Law's wedding. There is a quilt to be finished and only a few weeks to go, so the stash busting can wait a bit.

To get started I needed 12 pairs of med and dark reds. I had enough dark reds, but needed to stock up on the mediums. Then there is the background fabric so the total damage looks something like this:

This week:

Stash Enhancement – 8.0m
Stash Used – 0
New Fabric Used – 0 m


Stash Enhancement – 12.5 m Year to Date
Stash Used – 15.35m YTD
New Fabric Used – 3.65m YTD

The busting is not looking to good but I am having fun. After considering a few layout and carefully drawing them up, I've decided that this quilt needs a diary to track it's progress too.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Three Dollar Thrifted Pants

A few weeks ago I had a go at felting some thrifted jerseys. There were two stubborn jerseys that despite 2 hot cycles still looked like new. They have met their fate and now I introduce to you the Three Dollar Thrifted Pants.

The other jersey had been re-purposed into a snuggly hotwater bottle cover for little e. Yep, both my babies will be keeping warm this winter.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Irony

We have had yet another case of Domestic Irony in our home and I just had to share.

Over the weekend, my iron managed to dribble stained water on my fabric yet again. My husband pointed out that I had been complaining about the iron for some time now. It was getting on in years, about 6 of them if I recall correctly. So, I took off to Briscoes to find a new one.

When I saw how much they were and realized that I really didn't know what I wanted I had second thoughts. Considering the only fault was the discoloured water, I left the store with Iron Cleaner Fluid instead. I congratulated myself on spending only $14 on fluid as opposed to $50 on a new iron.

Then I cleaned the iron. I followed the instructions, but something happened to the element between steps 2 & 3 and my iron hasn't been the same since. In fact, the element is completely burnt out.

It turns out the iron cleaner should be renamed. I have a few suggestions, and am kicking myself for trying to save money and ending up needing to spend even more. Did I mention that it is not a short distance to the store?

So the moral of the story is – if you want a new iron but are not sure, try to save the old one and you might just find you need a new iron.