Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A lovely quiet christmas

We had a lovely Christmas - just the four of us, eating the food we like to eat and playing with our wonderful presents. Family rang or skyped, so we didn't feel entirely alone, but other than that it was just us at our most peaceful and relaxed! It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes we can chill successfully. We made gingerbread cookies, but ate them all before they could be iced.
It helped that the boys got a Wii, my husband got an ipad and I got some quilting rulers! Yes, I did sneak off and sew on Christmas Day. In this house every day is a quilting day, and my husband cooked all the meals (to the extent that prawns and salad require cooking) so I wasn't needed. The boys and I painted our menu on butchers paper and put it on the fridge. I'm not sure why.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Summer spread

No, that's not a description of my waistline, although if this socialising doesn't ease up soon it could well be. I decided to make the Not Quite Lego into a summer spread - no batting and minimal quilting. I've wanted to do that for ages, but it really needed a top I didn't care too much about, in case it didn't work out ... and this is it!

Not a very good photo because of the unwilling helpers. In fairness, they don't quite have the reach to hold a quilt up (yet! it's the only reason I keep feeding them, so they can be used for quilt display). The next photo might be a bit more useful in showing the spread as it was intended to be used. There are actually two boys in there somewhere.

I was told about this wonderful site a week or two ago - it is baking heaven!!! The boys and I had a wonderful trawl around and ordered a very restrained selection of candy cane sprinkles, christmas tree sprinkles and gold dust. They arrived in a couple of days and are absolutely awesome!!! We used all three on this chocolate slice. The gold dust was a bit disappointing, it might need a white background to show up a bit more. I'm going to be ordering way more from them in the future.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cheese on Toast

Finally here's a photo of the finished product - on the clothesline which is empty because it's raining, but if I waited for the skies to clear I'd never get it done! What is with this weather - it's been such a cool and damp start to summer. The lovely neighbour invited the boys over for a swim about three weeks ago and we haven't been able to get a decent day for it ... although we went round to friends for a drink last night and the sub-arctic temperatures and drizzle didn't stop the boys leaping in the pool there.

And here's a close up of the clamshell quilting. Not very exciting, but included for thoroughness.
I'm home again from PNG which is nice, although I had a great trip. It was wonderful to be back up there where I spent some very happy years - it's changed, but not in most things. I managed the travel just fine, and didn't get too tired. There are so many things about air travel that completely suck; but it's still nice to have a chance to sit and read a book, or watch a movie, without having to do anything or be anywhere. And someone brings you food! Or they would, if I'd pre-ordered any. Curse you budget airlines. Because of the complex interaction of public service entitlements, value for money principles, and logistics company regulations, most trips are a bizarre mix of bottom of the barrel budget airlines and fancy business class luxury. We relish one, and suffer the other.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Constitutional crisis

Nothing quilty to report on because I am up in Papua New Guinea this week - doing something completely unrelated to its current constitutional crisis - but it's interesting to be here. PNG currently has two prime ministers, two governors general, two completely different cabinets and two Police Commissioners. It's like a giant game of chicken where both sides are racing towards each other daring each other to back down ... and in this town that could go for quite some time!!

Meanwhile several million citizens are quietly going about their own business. Good.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rain of terror

I haven't been doing a lot of sewing lately - a combination of Christmas festivities, work and a good book means I've had better things to do than go into the sewing room. I did tidy my dyed fabric though. And took a picture of the shelves.

We had an absolute downpour last night - torrentially heavy rain that the stormwater drain at the top of our driveway completely failed to cope with. So we had to stand and mop and form a little barrier of towels to stop it cascading into our front door - which worked - but then the groundswell came up and into the laundry, hallway and fifteen feet of carpet in the loungeroom. The carpet already needs replacing but it's very damp and dismal and smelly today! I'm doing dozens of loads of towels, with all the heaters and fans on. Sigh.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Chain sewing

I finished the pineapple blossom - renamed "Cheese on Toast" - no pictures yet, because it's slightly too big for someone to hold comfortably, and the clothesline is always full of clothes, so I can't drape it over. But I will take some, and post them, because I really like it!

So I'm looking for another scrappy project, and I was thinking about doing Bonnie's new mystery quilt, when I stopped myself because THE LAST MYSTERY QUILT IS STILL SITTING IN A BOX UNFINISHED. Yes, I am shouting, because I was shouting at myself just the same. And I looked at the unfinished quilt and realised I'd done all the hard work - I'd made 600 half square triangles for god's sake - so I should just keep on going with it.

So I've been sewing all those half square triangles together into groups of five ... it is taking FOREVER and I still have heaps of little fiddly sewing to go. But I'm going to do it, honestly.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm just not that into it

I made a seminole chevron border for the santa fe triangles - and it's one of those odd things. I like the centre, I like the border, but I really don't like them together. It's just not working for me, and I'm not entirely sure why.

Is it because the triangles are too bitsy and the chevrons are too solid? Does it need something lighter on the border, or more square? Am I overthinking this?

End result of all this agonising? It has gone into a plastic bag to have a long hard think about what it's done, and we will renegotiate its future existence, if any, next year. Or the year after, possibly. I'm not doing much sewing at the moment as my time is being sucked up with festive socialising and shopping. My husband's work has a tradition of a children's party in the grounds of the Lodge, which is the Prime Minister's house. They wouldn't let us into the house itself - probably very wise - but I managed to have a good nosey around the garden. I drive past twice a day on my way to work and back so it was fascinating to see on the other side of the fence. There was tobogganing down the lawn.

The PM wasn't at home when we were there ... probably a sound decision. Nothing like a hundred screaming children and a bouncy castle to make you find another pressing engagement.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oh for crying out loud

The Labor party's annual conference has been agonisingly hand wringing about gay marriage, so I thought I would share this, which I quite like. I don't know who did it - but I figure they wouldn't mind me reproducing it. Honestly, the things people choose to make a fuss over - who gives a rats whether anyone is married or not any more, in any circumstances? I think cancer has made me less tolerant (at which point everyone who reads this and is related to me gives a snort of disbelief because I was pretty damn intolerant to start with) and much less inclined to put up with bollocks.

On a more chirpy note, I did the quilting on the little baby quilt. I didn't get to the baby shower in the end - my stamina took a while to pick back up after the surgery - so I will have to go and visit the expectant mother sometime in the next month or so and hand it over in person ... or I could wait until after the baby's born? or both?

I went with flowers because they're easy to do and aren't too heavily quilted. I should have taken a photo of the fabric on the back - it's Paddington Bear which I've had for years and never used, but it was the perfect blue to blend it with the front.

We're off and running for the start of the Christmas drinks fiesta this afternoon - two lots on the opposite side of town from each other - but that's OK, it's only Canberra!! Doesn't take too long to get anywhere!!