Thursday, 28 April 2011

Scarf throw

Aren't these colours gorgeous?! I don't wear them as much as I used to, student life is much more casual, so I've been toying with the idea of turning my scarf collection, or some of it, into one big cuddly throw to snuggle under on the couch.  What do you think?

Not sure how I'd do it. Perhaps just lay them in rows and sew them up, simple as that. Cutting them could be a drama as they're different weights and wefts but...better than them languishing in the wardrobe, surely?

A word from Flash

Good morning,
Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful. Some of us just have it. While others...don't. You may worship and wait on me now.

Cat antics

I love my cats! A special treat is one of those plastic tops off a water bottle. They bat it round like crazy and usually lose it within about 20 seconds (under the couch) but they have such fun playing that those 20 seconds are gold!  Today was no exception, including a brief moment where it went in the bath (it was empty thank goodness).
Zorro keeps a close eye on the top

Fluff's not exactly a team player. She prefers to watch and wait, then have her turn at the top when her boisterous big brothers are off elsewhere.

Flash has mastered this laid back look. But don't think for a moment you can take that top from him.
Naturally, they are all now exhausted and having a nap.

Fabulous feijoas!

I think you may have to be from NZ to appreciate this tart and pulpy fruit, but once you develop a taste for it you look forward to feijoa season each year.

These muffins by an icon of NZ cooking, Alison Holst, are just scrummy...that is if you can stop yourself cutting them in half, scooping out the insides with spoon and eating them on the spot!  Mez honey, this one's for you xxx

Fabulous Feijoa Muffins

75g butter, melted 
1 cup finely chopped feijoa flesh 
2 large eggs 
finely grated rind of 1 orange 
¼ cup orange juice 
¾ cup sugar 
2 cups self-raising flour 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 Tbsp sugar 

Heat oven to 210°C (200°C fanbake), with the rack just below the middle. Heat the butter in a large bowl until it is liquid. Halve the feijoas and scoop out the central part with a teaspoon. (Muffins are nicest if you do not use much of the firmer outer shell.) Chop feijoa into pieces no bigger than peas. Pack into cup measure, then mix this into the melted butter with a fork. Add the unbeaten eggs, orange rind, and the juice of the orange (made up to volume with a little lemon juice if necessary). Mix until everything is combined. Mix the sugar and self-raising flour in another container. Sprinkle it over the egg mixture, then fold it in without overmixing. (If you have used too much firm feijoa flesh you may need to add a little extra juice or milk to reach usual muffin consistency.) Divide the mixture between greased muffin pans. Mix the cinnamon and second measure of sugar, and sprinkle it on the muffins. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the centres spring back when pressed. 
VARIATION: For Raspberry and Feijoa Muffins, add an extra ¼ c of sugar and fold in 1 c of frozen raspberries. 

Reverse quilting

Had a wonderful class with the very patient and talented Ros Johnson of Squiltz on Saturday.  As a result, I am now dangerous in charge of a walking and stipling foot as I work to finish my first quilt - the pink and green gingham with roses. Its such fun! However, I have to say I think Machine Quilting is actually code for unpicking! Never-the-less, to the gorgeous vocals of Adele in the background, I am persevering and I can definitely see progress. I've got my stippling how I want it, my walking foot is working a treat for all those straight(ish) lines and I've even tried a bit of free motion script here and there. Love it! Thanks Ros.

However, I fear I have been a mite ambitious with my goal to finish 3 quilts this break. I am revising that down to doing just as much as I can on this first quilt! LOL.

Friday, 22 April 2011

A tale of three quilts

YAY! The weekend is finally here and its the start of a week off from work and university. My plan, between enjoying the company of friends and family and eating hot cross buns with many cups of tea, is to finish (yes, finish!) three quilts in this time.

I'm very excited about going along to Stitch Playroom tomorrow to attend a day long machine quilting class. Whoo hoo! Anyone who doesn't quilt will not understand the joy of using curved safety pins to anchor the quilt sandwich. Nor will they understand my excitement over using my open toe walking foot for the first time. Thank goodness you do! 

First up is the first quilt I ever pieced. Its been languishing in the bottom of my quilt cupboard waiting for me to learn how to machine quilt it. In fact, these Lakehouse fabrics in green and pink gingham with roses were the first fabrics I fell in love with. (Thank you to Fiona and Cushla's Village Fabrics in Devonport, Auckland!) They started my fabric obsession. I know now that I didn't quite get the values right when selecting them, but this quilt still holds a place in my heart. We all have to start somewhere.

My second quilt is the stack and slash Kaffe Fassett I made at Stitch Playroom a few months ago. I was amazed how quickly it came together! It too has been languishing in the bottom of the cupboard awaiting quilting so that's next on the hit list for machine quilting this week.  

Finally there's the quilt I'm making for my wonderful Great Aunty Jean who turns 90 in June this year. I've used 1930's reproduction fabrics and I'm hoping she may even recognise a few of them from when they originally came out.  

Check back here tomorrow to find out how I get on.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

For the love of fabric

Let me just say, up front, that I am in love with French General's fabrics. I have already collected these two ranges below and I am itching to start projects using them. The links I've created show you what can be done with them, but that's not actually the patterns I am going to use. (My thanks to Modabakeshop for the pictures).

Unfortunately, these two projects are a ways down the long list (see WIP Quilts to the left) and I can't start them until I finish the ones above them. So I dream about them instead.  Same goes for Amy Butler's fabrics. I'm lovin' it!


It's Thursday and I'm procrastinating. I don't have my geology lab until 3.30pm so I could be studying. Instead, I'm playing around with the look of my blog (all new options discarded in favour of the original look at this stage), flicking through all the gorgeous quilt blogs I follow, and basically avoiding doing anything of substance. Naughty I know.

Today's lab should be fun though. We're looking, finally, at thin sections of rocks under the microscope. I had no idea how beautiful rocks are in thin section!  It's like looking into a treasure box.
This is Olivine, found in dark, mafic rocks formed deep in the mantle, viewed with cross polarised light.
The zebra striped mineral is plagioclase, whilst the big grey blobby one is probably a zoned orthopyroxene. 
This little lovely is a gabbro rock.

So it should be fun, but its another 4 and a half hours away...sigh. I might have to order another Chai and maybe one of those yummy raspberry buns to tide me over. Oh, and do some study.