Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Look what's growing on my wall!

Stash busting

The boys needed new PJs. I managed to get four pairs made completely from supplies I already had and better still, the fabric was all originally very cheap or free! That's a good feeling! Although reluctant to pose, they are both happy with their new pyjamas, too. (Design source: based on several Ottobre patterns).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Can you use...

...three large boxes of scrap paper and some colouring pencils?Of course we can!! Hmmm... notebooks, sketchbooks, cards, gift tags, labels...I'm getting itchy fingers. I haven't shared this surprise 'hand-me-down' with the kids yet - just bracing myself for an onslaught of creative mess and 'finished pieces'. Aaron was already bemoaning the fact that now he goes to school every day he doesn't have enough time to do everything he's got planned. Maybe I'll keep it a secret for a rainy day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gifts from Holland

We were very excited to receive these in a package from my very special uncle and aunty in the Netherlands this week! They were wrapped individually wrapped in beautiful papers, with a 'frog' card on top, and Hannah and I had to wait VERY patiently for Phil and Aaron to come home so that we could open them.Hannah was very excited about another 'Frog' book, while Aaron likes Sinterklaas best (a wordless story with lots of little details to enjoy on each page). I can't decide which one I like best. I had just been contemplating reading Jip and Janneke to the kids from my Dutch version, translating as I go, but that was going to be a bit of a challenge, so I was very excited to see an English version. The kids have enjoyed many Jip and Janneke bits and pieces from Hema, so now they get to enjoy the story as well!

My aunty knows I love children's books and when we got married we received a beautiful calendar from a Dutch publisher with images from kids books. Aaron and Hannah have four of these framed in their bedroom and I still love them very much!
Meanwhile, behind the sewing machine...

Bush Telegraph

A detail of 'Bush Telegraph' has been included in the latest issue of Textile Fibre Forum. The quilt is part of 'Australia Wide', and exhibition curated by Ozquilt Network Inc. The exhibition is a visual feast, and you can view the whole thing here...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Giant cupcake?

No, mini teaset! We had the teaset already, then on Saturday at IKEA we found the cutlery set for AUD$4.95, and I love it. (The kids do too, which I suppose is more to the point.)

Kind of related to this picture is the subject of recipes. As I was updating my recipe file last week I couldn't help thinking of all those people over east who lost everything in the bushfires. Although they probably weren't thinking about recipes at the time, I was thinking for myself how frustrating it would be to lose my collection of tried and trusted recipes. So it was great to read that Pip from Meet me at Mike's is involved in putting together a recipe book for the fire victims, and we can help with our favourite recipes. Find out more here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A day of less favoured jobs

...such as changing the battery in the clock, ordering photos, burning photos to DVDs for storage, organising my computer files, updating my recipe file and photographing and labelling finished quilts.I try not to consider a quilt 'finished' until it has been labelled and photographed. These three are now completed (at 50cm by 50cm, they are among my smaller pieces). I'm undecided yet whether to post pictures of the whole quilts yet, either here or on my website, as I usually like my work to appear in 'real-life' exhibitions first. In the meantime, here are some details:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Look what Grandma made!

We had a relatively uneventful weekend which is something for which to be thankful considering the alternatives being faced elsewhere in this country. Our prayers are with those affected by the floods and fires over east!

We did receive this dress from Grandma, though...We are spoilt, aren't we!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pushing on

This is Aaron, he who starts the day at 6am without fail. Well, he has just completed 1 week of grade one, and was so worn out that this morning he stumbled into the living room at 8:20am with his school bag in one hand, school socks and shoes in the other, ready to tackle another day.
Yes, he takes being a school boy very seriously! After a bit of a giggle, though, he was quite happy to enjoy his day off.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Elusive red

I am generally happy with the dyes (Procion fibre reactive) and dyeing method I use (from this book), however the one problem I have encountered is that I can't manage to get a 'fire engine' red. I have tried over and over using various 'primary' reds (Red MXB, Magenta MXB, Red MXGB,Red MX5B and Red MX8B) mixed with various proportions of blue and yellow, but end up with pinks or oranges - I have so many pinks now that I don't know if I'll ever use them all.

The other day when I dyed skin tones, I mixed together some of the leftover dyes to produce this colour.The colour may be a bit misleading on the computer screen. It is definitely not fire engine red, but it is probably about the closest I have come. Of course, as Murphy's Law would have it, this was the one time I mixed dyes randomly without recording the exact measurements, so now I still don't know how I got that colour...

So, if anyone has any experience dying cotton with Procion dyes, I would love to know how you go with red!!

Three little monkeys

Today I am going through old sketches and making new sketches, to formulate some of the quilt ideas in my head. This is often a bit frustrating, as I don't feel as productive as when I am busy cutting and sewing fabric. I have already spent a lot of time looking at an empty sketchbook page this morning, as I try to get my ideas on to paper.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Skin tones

I needed to boost my range of skin-toned fabrics so that's what we did this morning. Here they are, still wet, on the washing line.I say 'still wet' because the colours are usually a lot less bright when the fabric is dry. This is often disappointing, but I think that in this case the colours should turn out just right. I needed this fabric as I am hoping to start cutting out the pieces for this quilt (not shown in full) tomorrow:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Holding hands

This little quilt is ready to be handpainted. I took this photo as a 'before' shot as I quite like it with just the outline stitching. I'm not sure whether the painting will improve it. I figure the only way to know is to go ahead and compare the 'before' and 'after' images...