Saturday, November 19, 2011

Head Count

One, two...Three, four...Five, six...Seven... oh, no, wait - we've had that one already...
Seven... eight!
Someone we know has four children - two twins - which I've always considered a rather efficient way to go - two, rather than four, pregnancies and two, rather than four, post-natal hazes. But here's an even better option - kidnap some once they sleep through the night, are (mostly) toilet-trained, and can (mostly) feed and dress themselves.

We are enjoying our family of ten this weekend, although I can't imagine how mothers of eight keep up with them all as a full-time thing... I've spent all day making sure everyone is present and accounted for (with a bit of hand stitching in between, but no baking/cleaning/ironing - do I sound sad?).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sketching boys at play

Besides eating, I have also spent some time in my sketchbook over the last couple of days. I've been trying to draw children playing.
Sometimes I like to try this 'from memory' but I find that then my drawings become very stereotypical. There really is no substitute for referring back to your subject matter and drawing what you see. Because the boys were in bed, I referred to my photo collection and found these...I love noting the various angles of the head, wrists and ankles, and the tongues sticking out......the fingers working to place the trains just so, and the position of the knees, chest and bottom working together for balance......all working together to create an infinite number of poses depending on the activity of the moment.Now wasn't that a sneaky way to include way too many pics of these gorgeous boys (and their daddy) in a post about sketching! Have a good day...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Lunch today is inspired by the bowl of garden-fresh lettuce and herbs which arrived on my doorstep yesterday. Thanks Aimee!
I used shredded lettuce and basil, brie and avocado, toasted pistachios, and sprinkled it all with a bit of olive oil and red wine vinegar. I would have drizzled honey too, if I hadn't used the last of it on my yoghurt/strawberries/muesli this morning.

(I've had you fooled if you thought it was all about fabric at our house - in reality it's all about the food, which may explain a few things...)

Today in my studio

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Last week in my studio

I had a good run at my quilts last week - my stack of unfinished quilts are now much closer to being finished, with all their bindings pinned in place, ready to be hand-stitched down.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Caleb sews

Mummy sews six days a week, but it took a visit from Grandma to
inspire him to try it for himself...
The finished product! (It's a ball, in case you can't tell)(Mummy, I poked out my tongue on the photo!)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Macaron success!

One of the highlights of my weekend was a successful batch of macarons!
Thanks to your tips and some further online research, I cut my mixing time to 5 minutes rather than the 10 minutes recommended in the recipe, I used aged eggwhites, I perfected my 'folding' technique by copying the french chef I saw online (but can't remember where) and I left the piped macarons to sit for 45 minutes before baking, rather than the 20 minutes recommended in the recipe...
The question now remains as to whether this is a repeatable event or just a 'lucky break'... Guess I'll just have to make another batch soon in order to see...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Quilting in two phases

I think I've mentioned before that I usually quilt my quilts in two phases - once the quilt top, batting and backing fabric have been pinned together I ditch-stitch the quilt (i.e. sew along all the seam lines).
Then I bury all those thread ends before carrying out further quilting. The second phase of quilting generally involves stitching images or text into the background and adding texture where necessary.
This week involves burying threads from phase 1 on a number of quilts so that I can continue with phase 2 and finish them.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How hard can it be? (Or: Quilt photography with a toddler)

TASK: to photography completed quilt (hooray to finally making a dent in that large pile of 'nearly finished' quilts) to share with bloggy readersSTRATEGY: place quilt on floor, place self on stepladder, hold camera up in the air, aim and shoot. Review aim and shoot again. Negotiate with toddler. Take aim again. Straighten camera a little. Shoot and hope for the best. Bribe toddler as required. Aim and shoot again. Repeat as necessary until you have a nice straight photo of the quilt, or until insanity threatens, whichever occurs first...Thankyou to those who responded to my last post about workshops. I'm still keen to hear from you if you have any workshop thoughts. (I won't be holding you to attend any of my workshops, I just like to hear some ideas). I can say that at this stage I won't be running beginner workshops. I would aim to make my teaching specific to my own style of quiltmaking (seeing as that's what I know best) and would expect workshop participants to be reasonably competent with a sewing machine and possibly have at least some experience in quiltmaking too.