Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thanks and Four Seasons Quilt Swap (Winter) revealed

Thanks everyone for your best wishes following my announcement of our exciting news! I told my work colleagues today, most of whom were very happy for me, but a couple were concerned about who'd do all my work once I disappear on 12 months' leave!

The big plan is for Carl and I to swap back once the baby is born, he will return to work, and I'll be back home as a full-time mum for a year. After that I'll go back to the office, but will also start looking for a job in Tasmania. It's all systems go!

Still haven't had a chance to go through our holiday snaps, as I have been madly finishing off the Four Seasons Quilt Swap for Winter 2008. Having had such terrible and debilitating nausea for the past six weeks made it a bit of a trial to get it finished by today's deadline, but finish I did!

I'm pretty confident the person receiving this quilt doesn't read this blog, so I'm happy to reveal my handiwork here:

('tis actually square - 19" x 19" - but my terrible photography doesn't make it look so!)

And detail of the hand quilting - only used as a highlight this time - and I used no.8 Perlé cotton for effect:

The design is a reverse appliqué - a Hawaiian appliqué - an idea I got from the book 'Rags to Rainbows' by Miranda Innes (an oldie but a goodie). It was a little bit fiddly, and some of the edges frayed slightly, but I like how it turned out.

Here's the back:

And a detail of the label:

If you're wondering how it's done, I got a Hawaiian snowflake design from the Internet (there are literally dozens of sites with templates for kids to cut out of paper), printed it, traced it onto some fusible web, fused it to the navy snowflake material and cut out the snowflake. As it's a reverse appliqué, the 'snowflake' is discarded. But I liked it so much I stuck it to the back as a label!

Once you've cut out the design, you fuse it to the background fabric and voila. I did a tiny zigzag stitch around the design to secure it to the fabric and then hand quilted inside and outside the design.

It's a technique I've not tried before, but I quite like how it turned out. Let's hope my swappee likes it too...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We're back...with some news!

We're back from a lovely holiday at the bottom of the world...well, not quite, but the bottom of Australia anyway.

We had a lovely, relaxing time, although I wasn't that much fun, as I have been suffering from all day nausea and fatigue for about the past six weeks. Yep, you guessed it, I am pregnant!

We had our 12 week scan today and here is baby number two:

Will post more soon, but I have to get my Four Seasons swap quilt finished tonight and in the mail tomorrow. The dreaded morning sickness has played havoc with my sewing, so the pressure is on to finish.

Also back to work tomorrow. Will upload photos from holiday soon!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

On pleasure bent again

Yes, it's nearly time for us to hit the road! On Saturday we will jump in our car and head on down the highway towards Melbourne (around 8 hours).

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We'll overnight at my parents' house and the next day take my 'baby' brother Bill out to lunch with his partner Kate in celebration of his 32nd birthday. We haven't seen them since September, so it will be lovely to catch up. After a leisurely lunch we'll say our farewells and head down to Station Pier, from where the ferry to Tasmania departs.

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Romily is a little excited about sleeping on the 'big boat' - it should be interesting - we're in a four-berth cabin for the overnight voyage. Once we arrive in Devonport we'll hit the road again, this time for a three-hour journey down to Hobart.

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After stocking up on supplies we drive a little bit further to a little hamlet on the coast called Kettering, from where we catch yet another ferry - this time it's only a 7-minute journey! Another 45 minutes later and we will arrive in the picturesque Adventure Bay.

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It's like stepping back in time and we can hardly wait to get there. We have 10 days in Tasmania and we're really looking forward to it.

I've been sewing like a woman possessed, but unfortunately have run out of time to post all my finished projects! I'll be sure to photograph them all before they're wrapped and packed for the journey and post some pictures at my leisure upon our return in around two weeks' time.

Friday, January 04, 2008

A new finish for the New Year

Happy New Year!

We farewelled Carl's Dad last Thursday - we all really enjoyed his visit - Romily in particular, but after 11 days he was very keen to get home and we were of course happy to have the house back to 'normal'. Don't get me wrong - he's an absolute pleasure to have come and stay, but there's nothing like being able to walk around your own house in your knickers, if you know what I mean!

Thanks for your comments on my last post - I guess when you put them all together like that it looks like a lot! I think a lot of us are probably more ambitious about the number of projects we'd like to complete than we can actually manage :)

Anyway, I did finish a project I started last year - some baby shoes and matching appliquéd onesies for a friend in my mother's group who had her bub just before Christmas. I was anxious to finish the present, as she makes big babies and this one was no exception! Over 10 pounds (5 kg) - yeeouch! I wanted to get the gift to her before Liam outgrew it all :)

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Both ideas are from Stardust Shoes patterns - freebies available here and here. You could make endless numbers of appliquéd onesies - they're actually pretty easy, you can customise them any way you like and they look great! Let's just hope they all still fit!

We had a very quiet New Year's Eve and Day - I spent most of it sewing! I've also finished the second of three table runners, as well as finished off the teapot table mat. I'll post some pictures over the weekend.

I was back at work Wednesday through Friday this week and have all next week to get through before we're finally off on holidays! I can't wait - I really need the break. Work has been very busy these past nine months, and while I achieved a lot, I need some downtime with my family. Not long to go now!