Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Freemotion Quilting

I've finished piecing my quilt top for the table runner; here's a photo of it before I started quilting.
Quilt top pinned to batting and backing
Attaching it to the backing was interesting, the top was perfectly smooth and then I realised the back was all wrinkly so there was a quick flip, smooth and repinning.  Then flip again and redo the top, sigh.   I've since added more pins at each intersection and started doing some freemotion quilting.   This is the first time I've done this on a proper quilt top.   I've finished the 3 on the right in this picture.  The top one is stippled, the middle I've done a mostly straight line along the edge of the colours and the bottom is a jagged stipple, looks like flames (mostly).  I started doing pebbles on the next one over (top, 2nd from right) but the tension had gone haywire so I've stopped for the day.  I suspect that it's because the bobbin is almost empty. 
I need to get more thread before I go further as I'm pretty sure once I refill the bobbin that I'll run out of thread.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Hasn't been a lot of that this week due to a fair bit of Assassins Creed Revelations on the Xbox and a lot of time spent trying to get hold of EQC chap with no luck.

There has been a wee bit though.  I've received some fabric from the US; the fabric I won plus some I bought to fill in the bag.
on the left Domestic Bliss jelly roll and fat quarter pack that I won, on the right dark Kona jelly roll and Vintage Modern charm pack that I bought.
The Vintage Modern charm pack has inspired a little creativity; I've just started making a table runner for our new coffee table; this is it so far:

Just pinned, but gives you an idea of how it'll look. 
I also spent my remaining spending money on some Vintage Purls yarn, nothing left now so I can't get any more fabric for my main quilt, but I do have enough to keep going on for the moment and it's not like I'll need it right away; not when I get distracted this easily!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lindisfarne Camp

First up I want to say thank-you to Joanne for the ride down and the great company, it always helps with a car journey when you have pleasant company.    We couldn't fit anyone else in, as normal we took more than we actually needed; but that's ok.   Next time I think I'll stick to just one knitting project as I never get much knitting done in the car; too busy talking

We left early; I think Joanne was at my place by 9.30am and we weren't supposed to get to the camp till 4pm at the earliest.   The trip would normally take about 2 hours or thereabouts.   We turned up dead on 4pm due to a lot of stops on the way.  Some were toilet stops, but we also stopped at Ashfords where both of us fell for some lovely silk to spin, though I didn't buy any on that stop.   Then we had lunch before heading over to the local Bernina shop to get some ribbon, surprisingly that was all I bought at that stop.
Lunch at Ashfords; yummy panini for me and vege quiche for Joanne.
From there we went to Tinwald which is just over the Ashburton bridge and dropped in at Annies Quilt Store; love that place! 

 I didn't get a lot there, but I did get a couple of charm square lots to use for George's quilt.
Curio and Circa 1934 both by Moda.  Both have some nice non-floral prints for a boy quilt
From there we went to the Tin-Shed which was much closer to SH1 than I thought it was; luckily their yarn selection wasn't that good this time and I wasn't tempted at all.   Some nice clothes, but I'm not buying clothes till August at the earliest so that was easily done without too.

Next stop was Geraldine where we visited the local yarn store come tourist store and I did succumb to 2 balls of a lovely alpaca/silk in peacock blue; no photo as it's still in its bag at the moment, it's laceweight though and I think will make a lovely cardigan later.  I will take photo's at some point as I need to put it into the Ravelry stash.   We also popped into the local quilters shop and I picked up some more charm squares and some fat quarters to add to George's quilt stash
The dragonfly charm squares have some nice non-florals in there and I think the African prints will make for a nice pop.   The two at the top may not end up in his quilt, I'm not sure yet but I don't see them as fitting in.   I'm planning a black background, using a Kona solids jelly roll in the darks range for the smaller squares and the charms for the bigger ones; it's still able to be changed at the moment. 
I did this using Paint, so my squares aren't all lined up like they will be in the finished article.   Another possiblity would be this:
Though in black and white this makes me think of the American flag for some reason even though it's not the same at all.

Back to the road trip and we also visited Barkers in Geraldine and I picked up some plum sauce for pizzas (theirs is the best!) and some caramel topping (love this stuff so much) and some passionfruit curd as well, yum.    A quick side trip to Pleasant Point resulted in a custard square each from Denheath and we then arrived at Lindisfarne at 4pm exactly.

Some of the birds there.   I saw some of these wee guys swooping and diving outside the back door; lovely.

The main hall

Looking down at the accommodation from the hall

Lindisfarne is a Presbyterian camp and as such there's a wee lecturn sitting in the hall, and a cross up on the hill overlooking the camp.   The camp itself consists of two buildings.  The accommodation which has bunk rooms, toilets, showers and lounge and the main hall which was rebuilt last year after an arson attack.    The hall was fantastic!   There's a toilet in there, a lovely big kitchen which uses gas stoves and the water was just as good as Christchurch water, tonnes of room for our sewing.   We're already planning to go back again.   The costs were very reasonable too.
We all accomplished a lot, though I only have one project to show you as the quilt still has a long way to go.  Catherine finished her quilt and Summer and Karen worked on theirs.    Melissa was busy sewing clothing as was Rachel.    I'll show you a few photo's of what was accomplished.
Catherine working on the Hungry Caterpillar quilt

Joanne's project bags; very yummy

Summer's quilt

Karen's quilt blocks

Rachel's dressing gown for her daughter

The finished quilt
And finally, what I did:

My bicycle basket is now covered so it looks a lot better than it did, you can't see the damage to it now.  No photo's of the quilt yet; need to get more done first.   I did get Ian's first mitten finished though.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My brother made us something amazing!

I got home from camp yesterday, I'll post more on that later, but when I walked into the house I saw the most amazing thing in the lounge!
New coffee table
Isn't it beautiful?  The pincushion I made while on camp, the table I knew was coming but didn't really expect this; I was speechless.  
As to how this came about, back when the garage was bowled we kept the oregon pine from above the garage door and I asked my brother to make us a coffee table from that to replace the one you can just see on the right of the picture.  The old one is wobbly and is made from MDF with a very thin veneer on it.   Hooch (my brother's nickname) said it wasn't worth working with the oregon but would we like the rimu one he'd been given instead?   It wasn't finished at that point but he didn't need it after making an amazing one for his lounge a while back.   Of course I said yes please and didn't really think too much more about it except when he mentioned that he was working on it.
He finished it and dropped it off while I was at camp, we can't use it for 2 weeks while the resins dry properly, but in the meantime we can admire it (and try to keep Ian away from it).    Thomas told me it's heartwood rimu and when he said how much it was worth I almost fell over.    Apparently it's my birthday and Christmas present this year; to be honest I think it might be for the next 10 years!
It's amazingly gorgeous and I will be making a quilted runner to go on it and protect it; once we can use it then I'll find a new home for the old one.   I tried to ring my brother to say thankyou, but he wasn't home so I had to leave a probably fairly incoherent message on his phone.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crafty Retreat

It's this weekend, Joanne is picking me up in the morning and I'm mostly packed now.   I've got 2 knitting projects with me.  Ians mittens and my Central Park Hoodie are both hoping to get a little closer to completion.  
They're secondary to the sewing plans though; I've got my quilt in the pile and as well as that I have a pair of slippers to sew together and I've decided I want to cover the basket for my bicycle.  The one I'm covering is one that came off the bike, got run over by the looks of it and my FIL  was kind enough to beat it back into shape; it's still not quite right so a cover will be brilliant!

The trip down will involve quite a few stops; it's nice travelling with someone who knows the places to stop.  I was going to pick up my batting on the way down, but today I got a call from Grandmother's Garden up north to say that they can get the batting I want (100% wool) in king size with no joining required!   The price is about what I'd pay for 80/20 joined on the way there.   As I know there's no way I'll get the quilt ready to sandwich and sew together on the weekend I'm going with GG.   I'm only just over 1/3 of the way through piecing the blocks for the quilt so even if I spend every moment sewing this weekend it won't be completed.    I'm using jelly rolls so this is very much a small piece quilt, a huge amount of sewing required.    Probably not the best choice for my second ever bed quilt, but I'm not going to let that stop me.  We will still stop at Annies quilt shop though; I need some ribbon and of course there might be some fabric I need.  Ashfords is a must too, even though I don't need anything.  Should I pop a spindle in the luggage for just in case?
We'll probably stop at the Tin Shed too, I won't be buying any yarn from there though; don't need any.   Will be stopping at Barkers in Geraldine too; I need caramel sauce and plum sauce.  Plus there's a cheese shop and another quilt shop.  I will have to be strong!

I'm still deciding which camera to take, the basic one cost a lot less; the other one takes much, much better photo's and considering I don't know what the lighting is like...   Ok, I'm taking the good one, that way I'll have good photo's of crafting to show you all afterwards.   Hope I've got everything.   Luckily we do share resources so someone brings an iron, someone else the ironing board.   We all bring our own machines; I'm just taking my sewing machine (Ellie) as I won't be needing the overlocker.   I'll be binding the seams for my basket cover to make it stronger.  I think I'm getting excited, just have to make sure I remember the final bits and pieces in the morning; the buns and milk for a start, the tooth powder etc. Oh, and I'm trying out the newer sleeping bag which is a down-filled one, taking a couple of blankets too, but I'm not really expecting to need them, expected overnight temperature is about 7 degrees celcius and the bag is rated to -8.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday #16

I'm actually cheating slightly today; I took the photo yesterday while I was home without the boys; today I'm wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt as they're home and we'll be baking.

Yesterday I was wearing my full circle skirt with the new petticoat I made on the weekend.

The petticoat on Bonnie

Excuse the slippers, wearing the skirt over the petticoat with a t-shirt I made a month or so back.

see the petticoat?   Loving it, I feel 50's but not too 50's.
Boys had a good couple of days at Grandma's.  George went bike riding with his uncle and cousin, and got to play guitar with Grandad.  Ian played with his younger cousin the first day and spent the second asking nicely to come home, we think it's because his cousin wasn't there the second day and he was feeling a little lost.

Today is baking lots; some for my weekend away the rest to keep the family going while I'm away!     This weekend I'll be in Lindisfarne with a group of friends, my sewing machine, some quilting and some knitting; should be fantastic!   I'll take the camera too, not sure if it'll be the good one or the not so good one yet.   Probably the good one as the other one doesn't capture movement well.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The dreaded moth

I was busy spinning my mohair when I realised I needed a sample of raw mohair for the sample card I'm making for this project.    I went to get it from the display cabinet that's been taken over for fibre storage and spotted something that just looked wrong.   A closer look at the bag of Alpaca confirmed it; full of moth casings, absolutely chocka!   My plans for the rest of the afternoon changed very quickly.   The infested bag was biffed; it was obvious that they'd come in with it, and eaten their way out of it too as half the plastic seemed to be eaten.
Everything stored in there had to be gone through, the whole thing vacuumed very carefully and a determination made about what if any could or should be saved.   I think I've been lucky though, found a few dead moths in some of the other bags, but no casings or droppings.  They've all been checked thoroughly, bags changed and now all bar one is in the chest freezer.  I couldn't fit the last one, but I didn't find anything in that bag which is why it can wait.   In the freezer is currently one bag of Merino, the mohair, a Perendale and the remaining bag of Alpaca from the same farm but obviously not from the same moth source.   The last bag of Merino is waiting for space to come available and is sitting next to the freezer so I don't forget it.
I was really good though, I didn't swear at all when I spotted them as the boys were home and when George asked me to get him some water and ice I told him he could get it himself (he's quite capable) as I was dealing with a fibre crisis; I think that was very restrained of me.   Then again it's happened enough times now that I know exactly what to do.

In more positive news I have some spinning to show you.   Some beautiful Merino/Silk/Alpaca/Mohair blend yarn; this is a 3-ply yarn of approximately double knit weight and 969 metres long.
Beautiful and lovely to touch.  It's probably going to be a t-shirt type top
After I finished this I got the boys to help me make soap from a soap kit; my hands are incredibly dry as a result, but I have some lovely soap that smells like roses.  The boys weren't sure about it but Ian made one cake and George made 4.   I've got them sitting on the top of the aforementioned freezer at the moment and it smells divine in there!
I wish you could smell this!
And what I was working on just before the moth issue was found
The hand-dyed fibre and the single I'm spinning at the top
Singles on the bobbin

The finished singles yarn; 247.5m of heavy lace/light fingering yarn.    The colour is brighter than it shows here; but closer to this than the bobbin photo.
At this point I think it's going to be an Ice Queen, got to see what I have in the bead stash to see what will work.  I'll make the stocking stitch version.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday on a wet day

Excuse the terrible photo, youngest took it and as a result the focus is not particularly good.

Today I'm taking my inspiration from 1950's vintage looks with a modern twist. 

Skirt - full circle skirt using Loulouthi cotton voile, made by me with bloomers underneath to give a little fullness until I get the petticoat made

Blouse - Max from over 10 years ago, stretch cotton

Vest - knit by me in a chunky yarn, if it'd been knit in the 50's the style would have been fine, but the yarn would have been fingering/sock weight yarn

Shoes - purchased from a discount shoe place now gone, lace up leather shoes.  These are the closest I have to something that would have been worn in that timeframe.

Joining in with Sailor Spy's Wardrobe Wednesday.

It's school holidays now and we've made hokey pokey this morning, it's horribly wet outside so there won't be any outside time and the boys will probably get on the computer this afternoon.   I'm planning on cutting out for my petticoat today.  It won't be the 50's froufrou crinoline, a modified version so I can wear it under most of my fuller skirts without looking like I time travelled.  Much as I love the full New Look skirts, they don't really suit my lifestyle these days.   That and if I make the full petticoat I then have to store it somewhere!

Wardrobe Wednesday at

Monday, April 09, 2012

Who'm I kidding?

A wee while ago I cast on for a sock yarn blanket, started with the Hexipuff pattern but decided I really couldn't be bothered with knitting twice the distance and then having to stuff the things.    I like hexagons, but these things are silly small and I'm not going knot them together which means lots and lots of handsewing.  Instead I changed to another hexagon concept, still in fingering yarn.  Really don't know what I was thinking; if I ever do a blanket it has to be in thicker yarn and I think crochet might be good being so much quicker.   Like the ripple style blankets though I might have to purchase some extra yarn for that later.
In the meantime I'm frogging what I've done so far and will instead make many multi-coloured socks for the family and me; eventually.
These are the options I'm considering, I'll have to increase my crochet skills for all of them as I've never done granny squares or chevrons.
Chevron blanket
Modified Granny Square
Hexagon Granny's

And for the using of multiple bits of sock yarn I'm looking at these:

The last two patterns are fairly plain, but that's not necessarily bad.   What do you guys think?   Which blanket and which sock pattern?

Sunday, April 08, 2012

A lovely day

It was another lovely day here today, a good example of Indian Summer.  I spent the morning starting to get my fabric collection into a spreadsheet; 2 boxes are done now which is good.   Some of it may end up going on Trademe as I'll never use it, don't really need much suiting nowadays.  I'll keep the really good stuff and there won't be any wool or silk being sold, but the poly suiting has to go.

After lunch my parents came around to give the boys easter eggs and pick up some lemons from our tree as it's gone nuts.  The boys enjoyed their eggs and then we packed up the car to go for a bike ride over in Bottle Lake Forest.   Unfortunately somewhere along the way the basket from my bike came off so that's $50 down the drain.   I'll have to get another one at some point as it's been really useful; though the panniers that are coming will help take up the slack.  We had a good ride, went a little under halfway before needing to turn around, but we all enjoyed it.  My bike's not a mountain bike though so was having some issues on some of the looser surface areas.  I didn't take the good camera, but the cellphone has a camera as you know so here's some I took with it.

Top of the hill, using Daddy's cellphone to take pictures

The sea off in the distance

And much closer!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Riccarton House

Today we went to Riccarton House; also known as Deans Bush.  It's one of the original wooden houses in Christchurch, I didn't get any photo's of the house today though because it was the Farmers Market and impossible to get an unobstructed photo.   I did however get quite a few in the bush area which is one of the few remaining areas of native bush in Christchurch.   We all enjoyed the walk, though Ian did disappear and it took a while to find him.  He'd gone to the entrance of the grounds to wait for us; though he shouldn't have run off in the first place.   Our thanks to the people who helped us look.
George bought himself a thing of chocolate fudge; he ate 2 pieces; his uncle (my brother) and Thomas got one piece each; he gave one piece to Ian who fell in love and then stole the rest while we were all working on the kids play hut.  Ian is not getting computer time today and owes George $5.

I've picked some of the photo's I took today in the bush to show you, then there's some spinning and crochet to show off as well.

The family in the dappled forest

There was obviously a fire here at some point; there's a nasty smell of smoke and the tree next to this is showing damage most of the way up its trunk.  I suspect it was either a silly cigarette or deliberately lit as I don't see how a fire would start here spontaneously.

Such a cool looking root, covered in moss.

George being George

Ian just before he disappeared; so innocent looking.   He's lucky he's cute sometimes.

Don't forget to look up!

This just looks wrong in there, but the moss is trying to reclaim it.

Tortured root system, really rather amazing.
I did some crochet yesterday and today; George needed a hat and I'd frogged the green one.   It was way too small and the yarn was appalling to work with.   I've biffed that and instead I popped into my stash and came up with 2 balls of Shepherd Felted Lambswool which is a bulky felted single yarn.   It behaved so much better than the green stuff and it's his favourite colour too!
I present:
I should have straightened it first

He likes it though, even if it's crooked.

Looks lovely and warm; perfect for Arthurs Pass.
Hoping to get some plying done later after some work, this is what I'll be plying:
Merino/Silk for the two on left and right, Alpaca/Silk/Mohair for the front one; yum.
And after that I'll start spinning the singles for the guild challenge and get back to Ian's mittens.
Lovely mohair, hand dyed by me

Ian's mittens so far, well mitten is more accurate; too wide but there's no way he'll stand for me ripping them back to try again so they'll be wider than planned.
Oh, and I've bought some yarn, it's coming from Canada and will be leaving in a few days; whoops.   I've been trying to be good, but sometimes I slip.  I've also ordered a pair of leather boots, but those I need to replace the pair I've been wearing for over 10 years now.

Blog Archive