Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dancing queen

With great excitement, we headed off last Tuesday to Romily's first ever dance class. She was primed and ready to go and I hoped that she would love it. Well, I didn't have to worry! As soon as we opened the door to go in - they were just starting - she joined straight in and started copying every move the dance teacher made. She got down and boogied and it was just fantastic! She also, in Romily's very special way, said this in one breath to the teacher:

I don't go to Gymbaroo anymore because I'm too big now and I can do everything at Gymbaroo and I'm not challenged anymore so now I come to Blueberries!

You should have seen the teacher's jaw drop! It was hysterical. Romily's biggest challenge at dance class so far has been learning when it's appropriate to speak :) She just loved it and I had a hard time getting her out of the studio after the class finished. She wanted to keep dancing and watching herself in the wall-to-wall mirrors.
A dancing queen in the making!


This may come as a shock to some, but Tristan is now 11 months old! How did nearly a year fly by, I hear you ask? Don't ask me - it's been a whirlwind of sleepless nights, breastfeeding, pooey nappies and chuckles. He is such a gorgeous bubba, such a happy chappy. I just love him to bits. We've been 'night weaning' this week and it's going pretty well - he was ready and just needed a bit of encouragement and withholding by the dairy! Last night, after a late night out, he slept from midnight to 6am without waking. Woohoo! Here's my big boy on his birth quilt made by my EB Quilter buddies, and here he is making off with it!

Last night we attended our friends' annual Christmas in July dinner party. They do a Kris Kringle each year and, as I did last year, I chose to make our gifts. I made two quilted table toppers using up some of the Christmas fabrics I bought a couple of years ago. I don't really like the fabric anymore, but it was perfect for KK gifts.
Tristan liked them too!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I made this

Just for Pip @Meetmeatmikes.

I made this.And this.And this.(The girl and the pants!!!!!)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pleats to meet you

I realised I hadn't blogged this yet! Before we headed off on our road trip I made this skirt for Romily. Actually, I made it twice - the first one was waaaaay too big around the waist and a little long, so I made it in the next size down. It's from an Ottobre 6/2008 pattern - #16 'Tammy'. It's the first time I've made anything with pleats, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. It's also lined. As the first skirt was so big around the waist, I also excluded the seam allowances. A perfect fit!
The bigger sized skirt has been put away for next winter :)

And just because, here's a photo of Romily with her twin cousins Darcy and Cody - they're exactly four weeks younger than her and cute as buttons. This is their favourite trick and they showed Romily how to do it too!

All goes well here. We are all healthy for a change! We have also been night-weaning Tristan. It's going well so far after a fairly torrid first night. I think we will all be better for having a bit more sleep at night. Once he's sleeping through we'll move him downstairs into Romily's room. She's very excited about not being the only one sleeping downstairs!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A quilty finish - for Robina

Only six weeks later than I'd hoped! Ah well, I'm sure it will be appreciated by Robina, who has been a professional seamstress for 60 years - fortunately she is no quilter, so I don't feel afraid that my standards won't bear up under her scrutinising!It's a lap quilt (37" x 40") made it to help celebrate her 80th birthday and made to match the table runner I made for her for Christmas. It's a Denyse Schmidt pattern (Hop, Skip and a Jump) from Denyse Schmidt Quilting - you've seen it on my blog before - it's been a favourite! The fabric is mostly Moda Porcelain. I quilted wavy lines in King Tut variegated blue thread and the quilt includes my first attempt at piping in the binding. It is a bit wonky, but I'm hoping that people will think it intentional to meet the wonky strippy piecing! Lesson learned: don't do piping unless you are 100% sure your edges are straight and that you can sew straight. Apparently they weren't/I can't! (Sorry about the appalling photography - it was late in the day and the light levels were not good.)It's nice to get this finished. Uni starts back this week so my crafting time will be reduced, although Romily has two long sessions at playschool this term, which might help my productivity levels!

[Edited with improved photos! They're still not great, but are better.]

Friday, July 17, 2009


We're back tonight from our week in Melbourne, happy to be home and utterly exhausted after a marathon two-day drive home. Without kids, you can do the trip in 7-8 hours (with minimum stopping). With kids and roadworks combined, it's more like 12-13. Since Carl couldn't come on this trip and as Tristan is still not sleeping the night through, I knew I'd be too tired to manage it in one day, so we did it in two in each direction, staying the night in a motel (an adventure in itself for the children) in Albury.

A minor miracle, we all managed to stay healthy this trip! This meant we were able to catch up with friends and family we missed at Easter. Romily just adores her four boy cousins and they like seeing her. It was great seeing them all playing so well together. Tristan was watching with eyes agog, and you could tell he was working out whether he could join in! He had a very exciting time playing with Grandma and Huppa (my parents) and has learnt to speed crawl. He loves nothing more than 'crawly chasy' - especially with his big sister.

(Rom looking like an angel with a halo at my parents' house)

(Tristan after Huppa sneezed loudly and frightened him - excuse the pink sleeping bag - it was Romily's when she was a bubba!)

I attempted to finish Robina's quilt in time for our visit to Bendigo, but our trip was brought forward by two days, which just did me in. It unfortunately still isn't finished, although I only have one side's binding waiting to be stitched down. I encountered some problems with Grandma's sewing machine, which saw many stitches being skipped on the front side of the binding. I ended up having to go around twice. Anyway, it's looking good, and I hope to finish it over the weekend.
Here is a photo of the finished top before it was sandwiched, as well as a photo of the basted sandwich. I hope she will like it.

While watching Romily and Tristan engaging with their grandparents was an absolute highlight of the trip, my initial reason for going was to see Pink! When I bought my ticket she wasn't coming to Canberra. Of course, Canberra concerts have since been announced. Ah well, we were due for a visit down south. I digress. Pink was fabulous! The venue has its challenges - it was the Rod Laver Arena, which is the main court for the Australian Open - including dodgy sound, but after the first few songs the techies managed to fix whatever was going wrong. What a show. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet, but for those who have or don't plan to, let's just say it was world-class and the girl could sing underwater (and just about does!). I had a great time.

It was very hard to say goodbye to my parents yesterday. They're so good with the kids and the kids adore them. We don't get to see them often enough and poor Romily was bereft last night, wailing in the back seat of the car "I want to live with Grandma and Huppaaaaaaaaaaa". She gets the drama queen from me, by the way! Hopefully they'll be able to get to Canberra in the not-too-distant future and we might sneak down again in September, depending on how things are going.

It was lovely to arrive home this afternoon. And even lovelier when Carl got home from work. We all missed each other enormously. Back to reality tomorrow. Carl will take Rom to her swimming lesson and I'll get some crafting done. Got to get some things made for Rom's fast-approaching birthday party...I can't believe she'll be four in three weeks!


And some excellent news awaited me upon my return home - I received a High Distinction (90 per cent) for my course mark. Woohoo! Yeeha! Got to be happy with that. I must have done pretty well on the exam after all. Thank god!! One more unit of coursework to go before I transfer to the coursework/research program, which will mean a 75,000 word paper, to be written over 2-3 semesters (part-time). I need to get cracking on my research proposal, as well as start reading for this semester's course - Strategic Management. The things we put ourselves through!


And finally, here are a couple of pictures of my handsome boy after his first real hair cut. It was pretty tricky trying to cut his hair - he was a moving target - but I don't think I did too bad a job!Clapping hands! What a clever boy :)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Swap quilt received and stash boosted!

Finally arriving all the way from the UK, much to Faith's relief, my Spring Blooms swap quilt is here. There was much excitement in our house when the parcel was picked up from the post office, especially from Romily who helped open it. (Click on photo to see a bigger version, as always.) Inside was one of the most extraordinary quilts I've ever seen. Faith has put many hours of work into the quilt, hand dyeing fabric, painting fabric, embroidering and appliqueing. It's a truly original design and completely different - one of the things I love about quilting: no two are ever the same and it's a medium that lends itself to so many styles and interpretations. Many thanks Faith!


I have been on a fabric ban for a while, with many UFOs awaiting my attention and a large tub full of lovely fabrics. However, when my favourite quilting store, Addicted to Fabric, had its private sale yesterday, I was happy to break that self-imposed ban! I ended up with 15 metres of beautiful fabric, all of which is destined for projects other than quilting! Well, some of it will no doubt end up in quilts, but most of it will be used in dressmaking for Romily, as well as some crafty take-home book bags for the little guests at Rom's forthcoming birthday party, and presents for other little people in my life.

I bought some beautiful fabric from the Patty Young 'Mezzanine' range (I see a couple of dresses and skirts with matching applique tops).Some groovy orange floral and houndstooth Urban Chiks fabric.And some of the Prints Charming 'Rainbow Garden' range in the blue colourway.And the pink.I also grabbed some more Aurifil in white and some Superior Threads variegated blue machine quilting thread for a lap quilt I'm about to get started on. It's for my father-in-law's companion, who turned 80 last month. I made her a table runner for Christmas and the laptop is from the same fabrics. I need to get it pieced, sandwiched and quilted by Wednesday, as I'm taking the kids down to Melbourne/Bendigo for a week. I'll get the binding and label on while I'm at my parents' place in Melbourne and then we'll be able to give it to Robina on Monday week when we head up to Bendigo for the day. No pressure or anything!


And some recent photos of my two lovely children (who, touch wood, are both healthy this week at least!).


Finally, happy 4th of July to my US readers!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ballet girl

I had to take the kids to Spotlight the other day, complete with baby in pram, which I usually dread, but to my delight, Romily was exceedingly well behaved! So when I spied some purple tulle and purple organza I decided on a whim to make her a 'dancing skirt'. I asked her to choose a colour (there was every colour of the rainbow and I hoped she wouldn't choose the bubblegum pink) and happily she also thought the purple was great.I just folded the tulle back on itself and sewed a seam and then did the same with the organza. I attached elastic to the top of the tulle, cut it open at the bottom and repeated with the organza over the top. Romily tried it on and it fit perfectly. She did say that the tulle was digging into her a bit (now I know why the tulle on tutus is attached to some muslin!), so I decided to add a purple ribbon to the top. I'd had the ribbon sitting in my stash since she was a baby, so it was lovely to finally use it. Unfortunately all that stretching and sewing into the elastic made it lose its elasticity! The skirt no longer fit. Damn, damn. Fortunately, by adding the ribbon I had created an accidental casing, so I ended up unpicking a short stretch of it and inserting more elastic. The skirt now fits and looks very cute.Romily insisted on wearing it to playschool today, although I did pack another skirt for her to change into when it was craft time. Here she is dancing for me/the camera just before we headed off this morning. Check out 'dancing face' in the last photo!She's starting dance classes next term and has asked me to make her some more skirts. Well, if you insist :)


Tristan is quite a lot better this week, although he's managed to pick himself up another cold. Sleep is also now for the weak, with him deciding he should just party in his cot or pull up on to his knees and cry and cry until I come and get him. Unfortunately if I just leave him, he doesn't cry it out and go to sleep, he just cries some more. It's a bit heart-breaking and also very annoying! Why don't babies understand that sleep is actually good for them?