Sunday, July 29, 2007

A little bit of Tour de France in Australia

Very exciting news that Aussie rider Cadel Evans (above) is heading for a podium finish in the Tour de France! It's the first time an Australian will finish in the top three - as long as he doesn't fall off his bike on the final stage! I'd watch every minute of the race if I could, but, alas, it's on in the middle of the night Australian time. I have been staying up a bit late this past week to watch an hour or so, enjoying the marvellous scenery and being astounded that those whippets of men can ride their bikes high up into the Alps and the Pyrenees - having spent several weeks in the region back in 2004 I know what those roads are like - they are even occasionally tricky to drive up!!

I also loved watching the scenery flash past when they were riding through the Perigord and Dordogne areas, knowing that that is where Dordogne Clare lives. What a beautiful place in the world - now I know why she's living there!

In other news, my copy of the latest Ottobre magazine arrived. I think it may well be the best magazine in the universe! Only shame is that there is as yet, to my knowledge, no Australian importer of the fabrics they use. And the price of postage from the EU to Australia is prohibitively expensive. We have very little choice in quality printed knit fabric here, which is a real shame, as I would love to make all of Romily's clothes for her (if I actually had the time, that is!). If anyone knows of an Australian supplier, do let me know. I've found in the US, but it seems a bit silly to be buying European fabric from the US and then having it shipped here.

To answer a couple of comments on my last post:
- I have not yet made the bag from the pattern I bought - the picture is the one that comes with the pattern! My photography is not that good...yet!
- The bag doesn't have a zip, but it does have a tab/button closure on the inside.

The weekend is scooting by very quickly - we had a lovely day here yesterday - sun shining, sky blue - still not far off freezing, but nice enough to head outdoors. We went for a family bike ride around the lake and it was lovely (although a cold cross-wind is not so nice). I always feel so good after a bit of leg-stretch and lung-pump! But it's Sunday afternoon already and I've done no stitching. Hoping to get some done after lunch - Romily is finally asleep, after battling her nap for more than an hour. Many hugs later she's finally conked out. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another little project

Thanks for all the lovely comments re my outrageous fabric choices!! Now for something completely different...if you love beautiful florals and simply gorgeous but simple sewing projects and fabric that would be absolutely stunning in quilts, head over to Grand Revival Design and check out Tanya's range of fabrics.

Then visit the Projects & Ideas page - I bought the pattern for this fabulous bag (left). I've never made a bag before, but this is the one to get it all started! I have some thermal lined fabric I'm going to use, as I really need a lunch bag for work - at the moment I'm recycling plastic shopping bags from the supermarket - not the look I prefer! I bought the pattern from the fabulous online Australian quilting fabric store Quilt Fabric Delights, as well as some freezer paper and a lovely soft pink Kona fabric. Very speedy delivery too!

No stitching this week, but I did get all that Kaufmann/South Sea Imports fabric washed and pressed, ready to go. Boring but necessary!

I am feeling much better - still a little vague and chesty, but much improved. Let's hope my health continues to return, as I have the most unbelievably busy month coming up at work, as well as Romily's 2nd birthday to celebrate on Sunday week. Phew! I am tired just thinking about it.

I will leave you with this gorgeous sunrise photo I took this morning. There were all kinds of gorgeous pinks and tangerine colouring the sky. It was a lovely way to start the day :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Some serious eye candy!

Oooh how exciting, my order from equilter arrived! Thanks OzCountry Tracey for the tip-off :) I am planning to make a 'big girl's' quilt for Romily for when she moves into a single bed next year some time.

As you can see from my wild, fresh and funky fabrics, I may have to buy a couple of more subtle background fabrics, as I don't want the effect to be too riotous!

And, as you can also see, Bashka has adopted the fabric as his own - as many quilting cats seem to across Blogland!

We are all well and truly on the road to recovery, which is a huge relief! Fortunately Carl wasn't as sick as Romily and I were, so we are all feeling much better, with residual coughs and runny noses the only remaining 'issues'. We hope that by the time the weekend is out we are all back to 100%. I have Monday as a holiday (just because), so it's a lovely long weekend for us. I hope to get some more work done on my Starry Night project and get all this lovely new fabric washed and pressed ready to go. I have drawn up my own pattern, based on some simple Japanese blocks that Fairybread Jenni posted a photo of some time ago. This is going to be my 'long-term' project, which I'll work on over the next 12 months or so.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Starry starry night

No, not Van Gogh (although I have seen the original (copy above) in the Musee D'Orsay in Paris and it is a stunning piece), and not Don McLean (although I do like that song - and even more now that I know it was written about/for Van Gogh), but Christmas stars!

Following Anne's stars pattern (which she so kindly sent me), I've been making nine of these lovely little stars over the last couple of days. I won't tell you exactly how I'm going to use them, as at least two of the recipients read this blog! But I'll be sure to post photos on Flickr so you can see the projects before Christmas! (And my family can not look if they don't want to spoil the surprise!)

My little helper

I described the stars as 'little' for a good reason - despite Anne's pattern saying the unfinished size for each star would be 9.5", mine are only 8" unfinished! I wasn't quite sure what I had done wrong, until I worked out that I had sewn the bits together lining up the edges pre-stitching instead of working out how the even edge would be formed after stitching, so that when pressed and opened out, the edge wasn't even, it was a quarter inch short. So I ended up losing quite a bit of star when trying to match up seams, etc.

A beginner's mistake, but one I'm not too fussed about, as for this project, 8" unfinished is just fine - a half inch border will be added to each star (1" unfinished) to frame it, so the finished size with the frame will actually be 8", which is pretty much spot on for what I've got planned. I like the stars as they are, so there won't be any remaking. :)

Scrutinising mum's work

Another silly mistake - when cutting the bits for the star, I got a bit carried away and sliced straight through a piece. I didn't realise until too late and I had cut through all nine layers! A bit of stabiliser on the back and some micro-zigzag stitches and I made a pretty good fix. One that will hardly be noticeable by the time the whole project is stitched and quilted. I hope!

Am still feeling awful and so is Romily, although she seemed to be a little improved today. Poor Carl has a 'tickly' throat, so we are hoping that he's not getting it too. Very hopeful anyway.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A cowgal's gotta have a hat!

And the hat was finished this week too. And it was as big a hit as the coat :) This was a great project - the first time I've ever made any kind of jacket, so working out the self-facing bit was very cool indeed. I had never looked at how my shirts and jackets were made before, but now I'm checking them all out. Very ingenious!

Oh and the red you can see peeking out from the cuffs and collar in the previous post photos is not piping, it's actually contrast I put under the collar and inside the cuffs - I thought it would look good and it all worked out well, with matching buttons and all! My mother is quite gob-smacked (aren't you mum?) that I have discovered this crafty bent - I was useless at craft in school. But I had a harridan of a teacher who scared the bejesus out of me and totally discouraged any creativity. So a big raspberry to Mrs Ogilvy!

We we are an unhappy household here this week. I have been off work for a total of three days this week with either the flu or a very nasty head cold. I went in this morning after a day and a half off and by 11.30am I was feeling dreadful, my boss took one look at me and said 'go home'. So I did. Poor Romily is much worse than I am. She was pale and her eyelids were at half-mast all afternoon. She spent most of it in front of the telly, watching the Wiggles and Teletubbies. I got lots of fluids into her and managed to spoon in most of a one-egg ham and cheese omelette into her tonight, so she's getting enough sustenance. Let's hope she has a good sleep tonight and is better tomorrow. Me too for that matter! It's no fun being sick and being sick on the weekend just adds insult to injury really.

While feeling awful, I haven't been so sick that I couldn't make a start on my new project though. Only I will remember this post from last year! I bought some Christmas fabrics and had good intentions of making gifts for last Christmas, but it just didn't happen. It is this year though! I'll post some in-progress pictures next time round (with a warning to my mum to not look!).

Bring on the weekend and the road to recovery!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cowgal Romily

Home from work sick today. Blergh, blergh, blergh. In between bouts of nausea, sore throat and headache, I managed to get some more work done on Romily's coat and got it finished. I love it - so does she! It is a bit too big, so it will be perfect for next winter, although it may get an outing or two this winter since I think she looks so cute in it.

I still have the hat to make, but thought I'd post a photo of the most gorgeous little cowgal in my life.

The pattern is McCalls #M4961 in size XS for anyone who wants to know!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sure is quiet around here

No crafty pictures to share, so one of my gorgeous Romy bear will have to do!

Well I am a recalcitrant poster of late. One post a week doesn't seem like much, but I just don't get the chance to do it more often than that. That combined with the fact that I work 40+ hours a week and have a very-nearly-two-year-old to entertain when I'm home!

I delivered the little kitty to Molly on Saturday, after Romily finally agreed to let go of her! I had to keep telling her that it was Molly's kitty and that hers was safely at home.

I have put the other two bears aside for the moment, as they're not due for delivery until September, when it's the twins' birthday. After making a big fabric purchase online at (thanks Tracey for the inspiration!) for a single bed quilt I want to make for Romily, and after drawing up a design for the Christmas projects I'm going to start soon, I decided to make a start on a cute coat I am making for Romily. She probably won't be able to wear it until next year (it might be a bit big, as it's a size 3-4), but it is going to be fabulous. It has a matching hat too. I can't wait to finish it and have her try it on. I'll be sure to post a pic, as the fabric is just the best :) The pattern has been relatively straightforward so far, but I'm up to the collar and facing, which looks a little tricky!

I am sick again. Oh my goodness. And no, Tracey, I am not 'up the duff'! It's a headcold and I had to come home early from work today with a fever, shakes and dizziness. Now I have a very sore throat and have been sneezing off and on. Fab. Ah well, let's hope it's a quick one.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A thank you and another finish

First of all, a big heartfelt thank you to Anne who very kindly and generously shared with me her simple stars pattern. The very gorgeous Anne also sent me a darling little pincushion, which is truly gorgeous - and much needed. I ate my chocolate one! Thank you Anne :)

And I finished the second Kitty, who will be soon going to live with Molly, who is just over a month old. I am happier with the face this time around, but I thank you all for your kind comments on the first one I showed!

Life continues on here - I have managed to catch some kind of tummy bug which is making me feel blergh, but it's not making me feel really ill, so it's not too bad - and we're all busy little beavers. Hence I have very little time for blogging. Seems to be going round lately!