Spring cleaning has taken over…

I’ve neglected my house for weeks and weeks, now it’s time to spend countless hours attempting to clean it and  declutter. I say declutter, but really I’m just shifting shit into different places. I did put in a “if it’s not used in a year it’s gone” policy…which I have never ever stuck too.

As if  the clutter isn’t bad enough in my little house,  the time has come to clean in the disgusting places, like under the food cabinets  and around the oven (sigh we did that not long ago mofo! ) and the fridge that everyone is too afraid to move out. ( I can still see a baby dummy on the side that was Rockettes).

Rockettes room is a mother flipping nightmare, I keep wanting to do something innovative with it, but just end up sticking more hot pink IKEA expedit (now kallax) shelves in there. I’ve been looking for some good charity to donate a massive  load of never played with soft toys too, but I’ve come up with nothing. If anyone knows of a place to donate to under privilege children’s charity please let me know. In the meantime they are hogging a lot of room and not doing a lot.

So because of all of this, I can not get on with the construction of my blouse, instead I’m just going to post the most organised thing in the house at the moment which is my stash cupboard. Housed in an old antique book cabinet, story has it it came from a old mansion clearance in the 1950’s  or 60’s.

    I’m worried that this is the most organised thing in the house..

Betty Boop just doin’ the do.

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Sometimes I have projects that almost finish me off and I swear that I’m never touching my sewing machine again.

No matter how much I plan these things out it,  as a rule I always end up having a manic rush in the end. Its up till 2 am the night before, then  back up 7 am; and when I’m supposed to be at the birthday lunch and I’m still in my pyjama’s doing the bias binding.

This was the Brick wall pattern quilt which was designed by Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily’s quilts and was a feature in Issue 3 of Quilt Now magazine.

http://www.quiltnow.co.uk/item/420-qn3-onsale

The fabric was picked not by me but by the recipient, for it was her birthday after all (not that she was aware there was a reason behind my quizzing at Plush Addicts open day at the time) and her choice of fabric being the Betty Boop range by Camelot  and some racy Alexander Henry.

For me the fabric was way to chaotic. After looking at all the patterns around I decided on the Brick Wall one as it wouldn’t distort the feature fabric too much.  The print is so large, it’s difficult to do anything more intricate without losing the detail.
Now thinking of it I suppose I could have done some smaller circles appliqued on a white background fabric bit like bubbles in the air say. I Always get ideas much too late.

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Everything was going so well, all the squares were cut exact and everything was matching up. But I ran out of fabric (I forgot to buy an extra 5 FQ when I bought the bundle). Then when it came to piecing the lot together things began to unravel. I don’t know what happened but one panic attack later ,I spent all Friday & Saturday at my dining table . Bad Planning…I just underestimated how long it would take .

Then various other things started occurring such as

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I measured everything with precision, so I’m going to blame my measuring tape (maybe I used  the one that I had accidentally sliced off the top inch of) ;But all of my ends were 5 cm too short. I had to add extra stuff on everywhere!

Also this happened

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What in the F@$ck?!! How did that even happen??!! So that was annoying.

Also my machine needle decided to break, or fall out,  or the thread kept coming out, or just decide not to sew.

In the end I also tried and yet again failed to get mitered corners on my binding…I have read lots of books on technique and watched tutorials,  and I STILL cant do it!!! My BFF just finished her first quilt – with immaculate borders…I just do not have that ability. Mid (bias binding) meltdown my little Rockette did come up to me and say “you shouldn’t try to be like our friends mummy, you should be like yourself!” Well being myself is squared crappy corners.

There’s no picture of that, so I’ll just put another one in.

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I still have 4 rows of 66.5 cm long strips and I’ve no idea where they were supposed to go and a random 77.5 cm one too.

I used a bamboo wadding, which felt nice but got everywhere. Like one of those beardy shrubs.

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The backing was a mixture of beautiful expensive Alexander Henry and cheap and functional IKEA fabric. I love IKEA for backing fabric.

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But it worked out in the end, and the pain was worth it for my amazing mother in law who very much deserved it. So all’s well that ends well as the saying goes..

And now to something else

I’ve gone on a slight non-practical fabric binge.

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Why do I buy fabric that I lust for and not actually need? Because there’s normally 10- 20% off involved.

I have bought from a range of stores over the weekend, Village Haberdashery http://www.thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk/, M is for Make http://www.misformake.co.uk/ and The Fabric Fox. http://www.thefabricfox.co.uk/

I finally bought some more Cotton and Steel and the pony Kokka stuff I’ve been hankering for 2 years. But the find was the Cotton and Steel Coral arrows. I’ve been looking for the same print in navy which appears to have sold out in the UK everywhere. (OK everywhere bar one place, which are charging quite a bit for it. On tight arse principles I not going to buy it at that price).

None of these fat quarters are practical for the girls dress making that I’m now looking towards for my next project, so I really didn’t need them…….But I wanted them….

What about the play list this week?

But I have been listening to the debut album by fellow Melburnians Pearls. Part shoegazer ,part electronica (a bit like Goldfrapp) and part Jack Ladder (who sounds like Nick Cave.) . I have again judged this album by its cover and I’m happy I did. I’m really enjoying it.

Until next time you are free to go!

I make an actual skirt…

Whenever Tilly Walnes released ‘Love at first stitch” and around the time I started this blog in fact, I started to make a mock-up of her Clemence skirt. It looked easy but it took until last week to finish it. About 10 months! True, I have unfinished quilts older than that, but it was the first piece of adult clothing I attempted.

Anyway I don’t know what possessed me, but I got it in my head that I was going to finish that friggin’ thing and make the real thing. Surprisingly I did it all within a few days!

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I’m not entirely sure how it ended up looking perfect, seams matching up etc etc. I do have my BFF for helping with the zip  insertion. But as beginners go, It’s pretty bloody fine if I do say so myself. It does ride up slighty, I could have done with making the waistband a bit smaller but I love the swooshy feel of it. It was quite easy to make saying that from a quilter’s perspective.

I’ve already got the fabric to make at least another two. But they also have patterns on them, so now I’m faced with trying to pattern match…scarry stuff.

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Now I’m a woman possessed! I have started on making the Mimi blouse with fabric I bought from Walthamstow all that time ago. (Mr CM giving a surprised look”what your going to make it with buttons and all?”) I have a deadline for a quilt coming up soon, and I’ve just pushed that aside to itch this clothing scratch I’ve got.

It’s all quite a new adventure, dealing with pattern cutting and stuff. But it all seems quite logical.

Tilly’s website is pretty cool if you want to check it out.

http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/

What else this week?

I did go to another stitch show, the first one with Rockette…she got bored fast! I bribed her with quite a bit of cake and a Pez dispenser.

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I did buy a beautiful echino layer set which I have plans for it to meet the Patchwork City book. Hopefully  they will be great friends. But I’m not starting that until all of my other unfinished stuff is done! I’m determined. If I leave the quilt I started a year ago for Rockette any longer, she would have grown out of all of that pink.

I did also pick up all these other brilliant bit’s of fabric. It was hard to be restrained.

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On the baking shelf.

I made some cupcakes this week as is customary when it’s ones birthday in the UK (In Australia I recall people buying you a cake). I did whip up some Hummingbird bakery cupcakes which I thought turned out well.

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But I wasnt expecting the comments on the note I left.

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Its great when a bake turns out well.

And music?

Music wise I did get a turntable for my birthday (Along with Jack White and Pond lp’s) so I’ll be rediscovering the vinyl I’ve bought over the years. I have also been listening to Gaz Coombes (Supergrass) new album Matador. It’s brilliant. I’m always doubtful when artists go solo but this has been a pleasant surprise. Really enjoying it.

I’ll leave you alone now, you’re free to go!

 

Love Beads for a wedding.

I could see how that title could be misconstrued! (No it’s not of the Thai sort.)

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After the weeks of hen’s do’s, planning and panic, my friend’s wedding day came and it was beautiful. As I had said in last posts I had been making Sarah Fielke’s Love Beads quilt from the book “Hand Quilted with Love”. It’s the second quilt I have made from the book and I found It was quite easy to follow. I was orginally  thinking I should have gone for something a bit more complex (like say wedding rings) but with that and a cake to make I didn’t want to over exert myself, I know what I’m like. (and after looking at the complexity of the wedding rings block I just didn’t have the time)

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 I had been buying fabric from here there and everywhere for this. I used Amy Butler for all of  the center hexagons, plain Kona’s and Dashwood’s Flurry  for the little triangles and a mixture of Bark and Branch  (Eloise Renouf Coud 9 Fabrics), Foliage Grid Botanics (Carolyn Friedlander Robert Kaufman) and Priory Square (Katy Jones Art Gallery fabric).

I forgot to buy the Priory Square fabric at the start. I only realised after I started laying it all out. So I thought I will sew it in two parts and then when that fabric arrives in the post I can just insert it in. That was a bad move. It was tricky to sew the two halves together.

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The cutting was easy and straight forward. They looked so pretty together but once I put it all together I really wasn’t sure if I had made the right fabric choices. But as with most things I should just trust my instincts, once it was all together it looked fine.

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Also in my failing’s in all things that require thought or purchasing or measuring; I under bought the bias binding by 60cm. The day before the wedding was when I realised. My local shops didn’t have the same fabric..I had to make my own with the green Dashwood flurry (I didn’t take a photo of this, I’m a donut).

…packing it up was a challenge, We couldn’t find a big enough box on the Friday afternoon..

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Did someone say cake?

I’ll just share the Wedding Cake photo too, It was my first foray into fondant icing (I am normally a buttercream person) and it didn’t turn out too bad really. I was too sacred to use Royal Icing in case I stuffed it up.

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This monster was 7  layers of Vanilla sponge (using Hummingbird Cupcake recipe).  In some crazed Thursday morning inspiration I thought I’d make it orange Ombre on the inside. The problem with doing this is that it’s difficult to see the end product. It was a bit wonky too, I’m hoping only I noticed that.

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Ii turns out I was way too conservative with my colours and was so disappointed when I was sent a photo ( it wasn’t cut up and served on the night) and seen that it didn’t really work. I was really upset to be honest…(no tears though) and I did get two layers mixed up, oops…donut.

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I’ll know for next time..but it did taste bloody nice if I do say so myself, and isn’t that the point?

Now that’s done, unfinished skirts and quilts demand my attention….

I almost forgot!

As my little blog is still very small, I’m linking up with the wonderful Lilys Quilt blog. Hello if your visitng for the first time!

<div align=”center”>
<a href=”http://lilysquilts.blogspot.co.uk&#8221; title=”Small Blog Meet”><img src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6iMIYmlPpeU/U9tBqP6cV5I/AAAAAAAAKtU/4IIKnJE0IKo/s1600/Untitled%2BDrawing.png&#8221; alt=”Small Blog Meet” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

(That above link is acting weird, I’ll re check it in a bit).

More “Toast” anyone?

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It was a cold night on the 13th of February in London my friends, and even colder inside the Forum venue in Camden, London. Colder than the Arctic circle. It was so cold that the security kept their thick outside jackets on.

We were here to see Matt Berry perform a rare music set, and not a stand up comedy set. Despite him being a comedic actor and not a stand up comedian, people still think’s this is what he would be doing on a cold night,  in a venue to tight to put the heating on. Perhaps they (the forum) thought it was bad luck being Friday the 13th.

With 4 albums under his belt, these albums are a magical mixs of folk, prog and rock, Aside from his last album “Music for Insomniacs” which was as the title suggest, is a 2 track album which begins in the sublime and transcends into the mad, I wouldn’t try to listen to it while trying to fall asleep.

I digress I am a big fan of his second album “Witchazel” I always describe it as the soundtrack that should be on the film the Wicker Man (original not remake). There are beautiful songs on this, and no denying in the past I’ve had a little Matt Berry crush.

I did have until he came on stage and opened his mouth.

One of his fellow band members is heavily pregnant. Straight off the bat he anounces “This show is for the “twins”” She may have been pregnant with twins but they were not the twins he was referring too. If once wasn’t enough he said it again.

Well that burst the little romantic image I had of him. Who still speaks like that?? I have many male friends and worked in many a bawdy work place, so I wouldn’t say I’m of a sensitive nature. Is the 90’s? It was just rude. I’m starting to think how much of Steven Toast is Matt Berry.

But he writes beautiful songs and he did redeem himself with a cover of Todd Rundgren  “I saw the light” he should record it, it was fantastic. The set list was exactly what I would have requested so no complaints there.

Despite the cold and the complains of his aches he and his band were in good form musically, at some stages breaking into a prog rock feast which must have been what it was like siting through Rick Wakeman concerts. For the encore  David Arnold was brought on to play a cover of the Bond theme. That was pretty , pretty good.

It was all over in 90 minutes and I was left satisfied.

The Set list for those interested

Gather Up

Medicine

Devil Inside Me

A Song for Rosie

October Sun

The Signs

Take My Hand

Solstice

So Low

Love is a Fool (Again)

Woman

The Encore

The Pheasant

James Bond Theme

(I didn’t take notes at the show, this list comes from http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/matt-berry/2015/the-forum-london-england )

If your interested in listening to his stuff I suggest giving Witchazel a whirl.

 

 

A month of musical rich spoils.

I have been busy, very busy. I know I have neglected my lovely little blog. But hopefully as of next week everything will settle down and I can write more often. For now I have written up all the new music I’ve been listening to.

Haven’t we been spoilt in January! Lots of music out.

Pond – Man It Feels Like Space Again

I know now what will be at the top of the end of 2015 list for me already. I love this. I LOVE this. Bit’s of it remind me of 90’s Australian garage bands where in other places more like the best parts of the Flaming Lips.There has been a lot of comparisons to MGMT for this, but I think they are supremely better. You can probably hear this most in the track Heroic Shaft, but it’s bigger more thought-out , beyond the beyond. The best tracks “Holding out for you “,”Waiting for Grace” and the epic title track “Man it feels like space again” which in itself is a thing of beauty. It’s a journey through time and space. (I’m aware I’ve quoted the Mighty Boosh, but sometimes these things are apt).

I’ve gone on  and on about Pond before so I’m not going to break it down. Just listen to it.

Felicity Groom- Hungry Sky

I’ve been listening to this for at least two months now almost non stop, so much so I had to check if I had already put something up about it. To be fair this was released last year.

This is Groom’s second album and I’ve been having trouble comparing it to anything else I have heard. I’m sure there are artists out there that are in the same vein but none of them come to mind.

The single Higher,Higher, Taller, Taller has an infectious mis-step beat . I have found myself tapping it out on my thighs whilst in conversation with others (because that’s not at all  distracting) and I’ve been walking out the rhythm whilst going up and down stairs. Which probably makes me look a bit mechanical.

This is an album of changing tempos. Where Raising the Roof and Better Days has an almost ethereal feel to them, Move your Muscle has an electronic tribal beat  as it’s backbone. Where Talons could have been of an 80’s film soundtrack, Ultalum has a lullaby effect.

This is a beautiful album. It should be getting much more recognition.

Belle and Sebastian Girls in Peace Time Want To Dance

The first two tracks are classic Belle and Sebastian, there’s no surprises and like a security blanket, it could have been lifted from any of their other albums. But from track 3 something happens. The party line is an indie disco fulled track, whenever it’s on I dance involuntarily. After that it’s back to familiar territory  phew.

But turn to Side 2 enter “Sylvia Plath” and it presents itself as a contender for the next UK entry for Eurovision (then maybe the UK would have a chance of winning…heaven forbid). It’s all catchy bridges and disco euro pop, what’s going on? This continues on “Everlasting Muse” which sounds reminiscent of a Russia drinking song. The album continues in these two polarised themes of classic such as the beautiful “Have a little faith” and the  more upbeat style of “Perfect Couples”.

It’s no surprise that the first thing that came to mind is the Eurovision connection, this was intentional as in this interview with Rolling Stone magazine Stuart Murdoch explains that ‘I want to do an album that one song feels like it could be the Cyprus entry for 1974,’

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jan/21/belle-and-sebastian-eurovision-song-contest

It may take a couple of listen to get your head around the eclectically of this album,  it’s a welcomed change for their 9th album.

Father John  -Misty I Love You, Honeybear

On first hearing Father John Misty on the surface I gathered was a wonderfully romantic album songs from a newly wed man about love and the future, which is refreshing. But on closer listen to the lyrics although still romantic the songs have a more sinister and filthy tone to them for example “I wanna take you in the kitchen, lift up your wedding dress someone was probably murdered in”  the music is so beautiful that he puts you in a beautiful place.

One time member of the Fleet Foxes, Misty sounds more like a modern-day Graham Parson and a bit of Dennis Wilson thrown in for good measure. It has a classic sound that’s less honky-tonk and much more balladeer. Most of this album is a celebration of his recent nuptials. Or in the “Ideal Husband “is an angry admittance to all of his flaws laid out bare for his bride to be to see.

My god it is such a beautifully amazing album. Even with the lyrics of Chateau Lobby #4 ,it is still a love song and something I would still play on my wedding day because it is so goddamn sweet at the heart of it.(just make sure Great Grandma isn’t paying close attention)

Natalie Prass- Natalie Prass

This album sounds like something I have heard before somewhere, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Something that’s a little Karen Carpenter, a little Emmylou Harris and something that you think is from a Disney soundtrack but you couldn’t find out online which one.

In saying that this is not an album of re-hash, this is an album for 2015 with a classic feel. Of a time when songs were well constructed, strings were used everywhere and the drum machine hadn’t been invented yet. It is such a pleasant listen, when was the last time you could have said that about an album?

She has toured with Matthew E White and you can tell how much of his influence is here. Not to give away any credit that Prass deserves,this is a beautiful album with lush strings and horn sections and a small delicate voice to accompany all the big sounds.

When I first heard ‘Is it you’ I could have sworn heard it in a million Disney princess soundtracks, I even looked online to see who the writer been credited to, I was so sure it was from Sleeping Beauty or something. But no, it is all Prass and it’s wonderful. The 4-year-old loves it, and requests it constantly. People don’t really write songs like this anymore unless it’s for a musical which is a shame.

Finally, The Rediscovery….

Janet Jackson – Control

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Not just Control, all of her albums, I’ve had a bit of a renasience , I can’t remember the last time I listened to her intentionally, but I’m guessing 1990.

“This is a story about control, my control”

It must be difficult being a Jackson  especially as when this was released in 1986 her brother had released one of the biggest selling albums of all time with Thriller. Control is a great album from a strong-willed woman with an attitude and a funky sound to match.

There are so many hits off this Nasty, Control,What Have You Done For Me Lately,Let’s wait awhile,  When I think of You and Pleasure Principal. Hell I’ve just reeled off most of the album.

It’s a breakthrough album, and in 41 minutes it roars here I am don’t think of messing with me.

“It’s all about control and I have lots of it”

Phew, there’s a months worth! I haven’t even had a chance to write about going to see Matt Berry! Next entry.

Little by Little

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus the last two weeks, I’ve been doing a world of bit’s but not a load to write about. Most of my time has been filled up with trying to arrange a Hen’s do (past post) and trialing the wedding cake I’m baking for the event. It is taking up so much more time than I thought it would. Just trying to sort out the pop playlist is making me feel quite ill and cringe worthy…yes yes I’m a bit of a music snob and the list is reminding me of when I used to work in a shopping centre record store in the 90’s and had to listen to this kind of stuff ad infinitum. (just remember it’s not for me!).

So in light of all that, I’ll give you a round-up of the bits I’ve been doing.

The hen’s glitter top…

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I saw this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess website http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2014/03/sequin-phrase-sweatshirt-diy.html    and said well instead of buying one of these tops for the Hen this will be easy to make. “WRONG!”

I sprayed temporary glue on it (5×5) and then just laid the sequins  inside the template (wish I had taken  a picture of that). Once I removed the template it looked great. Now I needed to sew every 4th sequin. Cracker what a nightmare, I am so bad at hand stitching this was hell. Sequins weren’t holding, I had wished I used the glue gun or just bought a small bottle of glue (like the instructions say, tight arse strikes again).

In the end I had to undo the whole surname as the stitching looked crap and start with the only template I had left which was smaller.

You know when you have an idea in your head that is so stupid and crazy that it may just work. I am so lazy and hate hand stitching and it will take me hours ,what about using the sewing machine?

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Long and short of it was that it kinda worked but it was fiddly, sequins were flying off everywhere it took about two bloody hours, and for some weird reason the back-stitch didn’t want to work so I still had a bit of hand stitching to do. There are extra holes and I probably should have used a yellow thread instead of orange, but it was raining outside and I was carrying massive parcel of wadding so I couldn’t be bothered going to the shops.

Important lesson don’t sew the sleeve to the middle of the top…

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It’s only for the evening it will be fine. I’m sure I’ll be picking up sequins for most of the night.

The Quilt

I have been working on Sarah Fielke’s Love Beads quilt as the wedding gift, which has been surprisingly easier to put together than I thought. Thinking I’d be clever while I was waiting for some fabric to arrive ,I would sew this in two halves…Im suffering for that now. Me and my bright ideas.

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More on that once it’s completed and given away.

The Fabric

I pre-ordered some Cotton and steel in December and it finally made its way to me…how exciting!

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There’s a lot of music to write about so I’ll do a separate post for that shortly. For now I’ll leave you with these wise words. If you put deep heat on your neck and then touch your face it will give you an almighty burn and make your face bright red. This is not helpful when you’re at work in public view.

 

 

 

What I did on my holiday, the sequel.

Greetings.

In the last blog I wrote what the Aussie contingency were gifted. Now here we are with the UK recipients…

The crochet needle case...

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This was by far and away the nicest tutorial I had seen for a needle case.

The tutorial was from one of my favorite blogs very berry handmade you can find the link here

http://veryberryhandmade.co.uk/2013/02/05/mini-art-wrap-tutorial/

It was more simple to make than I though as I had set aside a lot more time.The thicker upholstery fabric worked well but I did iron in some stabilizer anyway. Being thrifty I Frankensteined together a whole heap of Interfacing for the wadding but it made it pretty bulky. This is what happens when you get a bit lazy and don’t follow tutorial advice.

If I were to make this again I would make the pockets fit the needles more snugly and make them an exact measure. As soon as you turn it 90 degrees the needles start to fall out.

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But the thing I loved most, so much so I almost kept it…

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I had spent a lot of time looking around pintrest for table runner inspiration and not really finding “the one” . From some random recess of my brain I thought about turning Anna- Maria Horner’s feathers quilt  into a table runner instead and only doing a few blocks! Genius!

I have wanted to make this for a lonnng time, in it’s quilt form. The tutorial can be  found on Anna Maria Horner’s website.

http://www.annamariahorner.com/Feather.Bed.Quilt.pdf

While trying to find the right fabric for the project (I love doing that!) I tried to look for as many leaf themed fabric I could find in my stash (I know it’s supposed to be feathers) which surprisingly was quite a few.

This was a brilliant stash buster project, the only fabric I needed to buy was the white backing. (Even the wadding on the inside was excess from another quilt).

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The construction is quite straight forward, it’s just sewing lines of random size fabric together and then cutting on an angle. As usual I messed up on the seams in parts, but they were easily repaired. It turned out better than I thought it would, even if the feathers were uneven at the ends. I like to think of it as charming.

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I would like to make a bigger version on this whenever it is I have the time.

Happy Australia Day to everyone for this coming Sunday! I’m praying my oven is fixed by then to make some Lamington’s and crossing my fingers for no rain at my outdoor winter BBQ.

Hens night to end all hens nights (no not really)

I have for the first time been bestowed with the honor (or horror if you like) of being asked to be a maid of honor. As well as other such duties this also includes arranging a Hens night. Generally as a rule in my 20’s I avoided all such things like you would a contagious disease. But as I have gotten older I have had to go to such events and I have also arranged one or two of them. Even when I wasn’t in the bridal party for either of them, they were more work do’s.( The make your own pizza at pizza express was great fun I highly recommend that if your stuck for an idea.)

What I’m finding difficult this time around is that the beautiful bride is the absolute opposite to me, she’s a girly girl. She loves Bridget Jones diary chick flick stuff, girls slumber parties,having face masks and so on. This is fine and all good, someone has to like all of this stuff, just not me.  But this is what has been asked of me , to arrange a chick flick slumber party without the sleepover. It shouldn’t be too hard really this kind of stuff writes itself so to speak doesn’t it?

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The food side of the plan is a breeze for me as one of my life’s great pleasures, it’s all pizza and brownies and cute little biscuits ,I am in my element there. But party games and participation..oh now I need help. The poor bride has seen my face and said please don’t stress I will sort out games (which according to every website going is a big NO, it supposed all be a surprise).

The problem is I like to arrange fun parties, great decorations, great food and music. I normally try to go to town within the restrictions of my budget. But I’m out of my comfort zone of knowledge and I worry about everyone being entertained, the last thing I want to hear is someone go “well that was boring”. I have this whole dread that it’s going to be like parties I arranged for people as a teen. I need to provided for the masses not the quirksters.

But Instead of researching ideas on pintrest in the end I spent most of the evening on viber with my sister discussing if I had to have one (Hens, I never have had one for the record) what would I do. The original idea started off as Drinks (copious amounts with cocktails) baked good (or any sort savory and sweet) and then a screening of either Coming to America, Police Academy 4, Spaceballs or Xanadu. What would be even better was to rent out the local small cinema and do a triple feature for example Breakfast Club/ Napoleon Dynamite/ 16 Candles for example. You get the picture.

But then I thought what could be fun (and boring for most other people aside from my sister,I and probably my male friends) would be the same formula as above but change the films to 6 hours of bad music videos. This is how my sister and I spent our youth from 15 – 25 watching late night tv sometimes till 5am if it was a particularly good night watching Rage in Australia and drinking and eating (well drinking when we were over 18 of course). The sad part was that we turned into a pseudo Beavis and Butthead when we watched these.

With that in mind, what would make it better would be to make it of night (and I cringe to use this term) Glamping in my small backyard. It would be great to have a massive projector and speakers and some sort of outdoor screening set up with tents that you could roll into afterwards. (Now I’m getting ideas, stop me now…I’m not even getting married anytime soon).

 

After this brainstorm we spent the next few hours frantically searching You Tube sending each other bad videos from the 90’s most of these being Australian. Of the one’s we found most amusing is the one I’m going to share mainly because of the ridiculous dancing that is involved.

Whats with the cage, the random jumping ? Someone needs to tell the drummer his missing a drum kit.

I think it’s sad and funny in a way that I’ve not come very far in all of these years and think that this would be a fitting way to spend my last night living with my maiden name. In fact why does this need to even be a hen’s do thing? I could just do this anyway, I don’t need a conventional excuse.

:: Outdoor cinema ::  (image found on http://www.kikareichert.com.br)

 

And I’m sure the “Keep calm and wear big pants” Hens do will go fine. I like a challenge and I’ve got a few ideas.

What I did on my holidays.

Hello and welcome 2015. May you be better than 2014.

Now that regular blogging can resume and I can update you with the gifts I had made over Christmas, I’ll start with the first couple of things I made for the Australians.

Do you need a table runner? Your getting one anyway…

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The idea came from the a tutorial on the eternal maker blog.

http://eternalmaker.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/book-stack-table-runner-wallhanging.html?spref=pi

I like the way the colours popped out of the darker background I would have normally used something even more brighter maybe even neon or geometric on a navy blue, but I had to calm it down for Mum. Saying that mum lives on the Queensland coast, it’s probably not suited as well anyway, I probably should have done this in a yellow or something tropical. (Grey is more a Melbourne colour). In the end I made it up as I went along.

I have a lot of this grey cotton , If I had to make it again I would use linen next time instead. (I’m going to try to not think about this too much or it will annoy me so much so I would probably remake it.)

I loved the colours and design the eternal maker used to quilt it but I just couldn’t get it right and I’m lacking the confidence to use bold colours on a muted background.(I really need to do a free motion course) so good old dependable lines returned!

This was an easy gift to start with and the gifts did go up in complexity as I went on. I didn’t want to get too cocky to begin with as I had time restraints, need to be organised this year. (Sorry Mum…I’ll make you something nice for your birthday)

 

So onto the clamshells 

I did ramp it up with clam shells. I love clam shells and I have wanted to make something with them for ages, but was intimidated by the process. I’m not going to lie it was fiddly.

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What I like about this is that I could use all of my favorite fabrics from my stash. Its only very small so it was like a little showcase for them.

I used the grey again, and again I would have rather a white or a different shade of grey background. This was more messy than anything else. I used starch spray on all of the clams, I used A LOT of it but it did work. I had trouble also folding the fabric over the template and it bunching occasionally creating little fold in the front. That was annoying.

I was happy with it for a first attempt even if some of the rows did turn out a bit crooked, but I did learn from it. I’ve set my sight on doing a larger version one day but I don’t know about committing to a whole quilt as trying to sew each clam shell on in the right place was really quite difficult. I even sprayed glue on to keep them in place but they just flipped off.Next time I’ll by a glue pen instead of using my spray, my sewing machine is still covered in it

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This tutorial came out of love quilting and patchwork magazine issue 14.

http://www.lovepatchworkandquilting.com/magazine/issue-14-sale-now

This year I wouldn’t mind trying a cathedral window block but they do scare the be jesus out of me. That of course will be after I finish the 2 other unfinished quilts and that bloody skirt mock-up (I know it’s not even a real one!!) and use the little bits of Liberty fabric I’ve been collecting over the year to make some sort of quilt.

Sorry the photos on this weeks entry are not great. They are on the opposite side of the world now so I can’t retake them. Bummer…

And what’s playing?

After the epic best of year business of last week’s blog I’m exhausted. So all I am going to say is that Belle and Sebastian have a new album “Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance” coming out and I’m flipping excited about that. The title track has already become my song of the year and they’re albums have never disappointed. Hopefully will get to catch them at a festival this year (finally maybe ..unlike Ride…I’m still bitter)