Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Of all the secret things I've been working on lately, here is one I can finally show the world! Sarah's Steve had a surprise 30th Birthday on the weekend and although mum made the delicious fruit cake, I offered to ice it for Sarah.

Icing the cake itself wasn't too hard, although, it was lucky that Steve was taking a sick day and could do a bit of general supervision for Sophie while I did it because it took a while to get all nice and smooth. The trickiest thing was the bike. The one atop this cake is the third bike that I did and it was the nicest until I put the spokes and chain on - something when wrong there.

Given that I nearly defenestrated this cake after the second bike though, I was happy with how it turned out. Tiff and Maree did the writing on the day. Happy Birthday Sarah's Steve!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Quilting Update

Thank the Lord it is Friday. Things really get crazy when your kid gets sick. :( That said, as always, I'm still ticking things off the to-do list. It's a nice feeling, when things get gone. :) I think, aside from two presents (one which we will buy and the other that will take a half hour to knock up on Sally), the Christmas presents are done.

I ironed this bad boy this morning and by 10:30, every present was wrapped and tagged. I feel it will be a glorious day when I can finally reveal in full detail the wonders that have been so time consuming over the last few weeks. Until then, be satisfied, oh internet people, with glimpses in black and white. 

This is a shot I took earlier in the week of the Block of the Month Quilt coming together. Actually, I ended up cutting the final boarder strips and sewing it together that night. Somethings have moved since then too. Those triangles at the bottom have changed (I think considerably), and I accidentally sew the flowers on the wrong side and couldn't be bothered unpicking it, but it's looking rather nice. Sadly, I haven't taken any photos of it all stuck together. I'm still taking my time admiring it (and considering how on earth the top half managed to be a whole inch and a half longer than it should have been). 

I wonder how many people out there click on this blog wanting something slightly more substantial than my mere ramblings about sewing and occasionally life. Last week I actually consciously thought to myself: "What is the point of life?" And I suppose that much like the writer of Ecclesiastes, I don't really have an answer. We are here today, gone tomorrow, what more is there but to eat, drink and be merry? Well, also fear God and keep his commandments (thanks Ecclesiastes 12:13). 

So I'd best get to it. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Big Squares

So I am nearly finished the things I have to do before finishing the Block a Month Quilt, but I did take a venture into quilting land this weekend to put the boarders on the big blocks for the quilt. I thought: "This will be quick and easy and give me a wonderful sense of getting things done that will subsequently give me the final inspiration to finish off those other things." I was a little bit wrong.

I had measured and re-measured the squares, done the math about three times before cutting the boarder material for each square. What I forgot was that when you have a 16 inch block that needs to become 20 inches, even though you do need 4 inches to get it there, as a boarder, that's not 4 inches on each side, but rather 2 inches on each side. Alas. On the plus side, I only had to trim down two of the squares and unpick and resew one.

This is the one that I got right the first time. :)

Side note - that cube one (before the boarder) is supposed to be slightly rectangular (17 inches by 18 inches), but for some reason, it's actually very square. No idea how I managed that, but it sure made putting the boarder on easier.

Friday, October 18, 2013

So yesterday I was really tired, lying on the couch watching Sophie crawl around and I remembered so many people said to me: "Oh, just wait until she is crawling!" That was back in the day when all she could do was roll around. Now that she's crawling, people say: "Just wait until she is walking!"

Honestly, if I were to continue thinking these things, then I'll be "just waiting" for a long time. Just wait until she is running. Just wait until she can climb. Just wait until she wants a phone. Just wait until she is a teenager. Just wait until she wants to go clubbing.

Yes, every stage of parenting is going to get harder. I get that. But if I sit around "just waiting" for the next terrible thing to happen, I'll miss all the fun of now. All you parents out there who already have kids and keep telling me to "just wait" can stop, thanks very much.

Incidentally, now that Sophie can crawl, yesterday she crawled to her bedroom and sat at the foot of her cot patiently sucking her thumb until I noticed and put her into bed so she could have a sleep. Yep, good thing I just waited for that stage.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ticking lots of things off the to-do list this week! Only one or two more things to go and then I can tackle the Block of the Month Quilt. Hooray!! So much satisfaction in finishing things. Of course, I can't show some of those because they are presents, but what fine presents they are. Even this sneaky look makes me glad.

I see it and think: "I know what this is, but you have no idea. He he he!"

Meanwhile, the latest set of bunting has been finished and is proudly decorating the living room. It makes me want to get out all the bunting. I asked Steve if I could this morning and he said: "I don't think I could stop you." Too right!!

It makes everything more fun!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Basics and Deadlines

So I know in my last post I was all excited about the Block of the Month Quilt and I talked about how I was working on the new design and what not, but the sad news is that though I'm excited about the Block of the Month Quilt, it is the only thing on my to do list that does not have a deadline. Everything else there actually has to be finished by a specific date. So, though I'm excited about the Block of the Month Quilt (and I know you are too :P), it's been put on the back burner while I finish things that actually need to be finished.

Here is a sneak peak at what will probably be the basics of the new layout though. ;)

On to things that have a deadline. Number One - Birthday present for the little girl next door. I don't even know when her birthday actually is, but mid October every year (without fail, since the exact weekend we moved in) the people next door give her a birthday party. So I think it's soon.

I've been pretty slack about giving next door presents for their little girls (they have two), but I do love to sew and it is a great excuse. Who knows, one day, maybe Sophie will get these dresses back as a hand me down. This dress was made with a Five and Ten Designs pattern which I love. Had the material in my stash, so just needed the bias tape and the buttons. Sewed it up in two days (during nap times). Love it!

Other things I'm working on include Birthday presents for people who actually read this blog (sigh, no spoilers sorry!) and more bunting, which will probably be the next thing I tackle after the Birthday Presents. That will be fun (mostly just because it's bunting!).

Sewing has taken a major slow down since my little weapon of mass destruction can not be trusted around Sally or Olivia. Today, she found the tissues and like a good reporter, I took photos of the destruction before doing anything about it. :)

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Cooper's 3rd birthday was yesterday and he liked his present (I wish I could say "loved", but the fact that it didn't have Lightning McQueen on it dimmed his response somewhat :P). We set it up in his room for him and then he took it outside to play with. I'm glad he did have a play in it. 

The problem with presents that you've made is that you've invested so much time into them that when you finally give them, you really care weather or not the person you've given it to actually likes it. And it's tricky when you're giving it to a three year old boy. You never can tell with three year old boys. I do think it was a win though.

Last week, as it was October, Ruth and I got together and sewed the final squares of the Block a Month quilt. I didn't bother sewing one lot, because they are just spacers, and I won't be using them anyway because I'll be re-doing the layout of my quilt.

This is the layout of the quilt as suggested. I didn't like it before, but I just thought I'd see, and no, I still don't like it. It's super bitsy. :P The quilt top is pretty massive, and it was way hard to get an actual photo of the whole thing that didn't look stupid, so you'll have to ignore the angle that this is at and use your imagination.

I think I managed to balance the colors well, though the Log Cabins (top left corner, the brownish blocks around the blue) are very dark in comparison to the other bright colors. I still hate the Spring Blooms (the blue spiral-type ones, in the middle right). I played with just replacing the things that I didn't like, (Spring Blooms with some fun yellow squares and the dark Log Cabins with some fun pinky ones) but I still don't like the layout.

I've worked on a new layout, but I'll have to actually put all the blocks into place and have a look before I make the final decisions. I haven't been able to do that yet because it's something that has to be done when Sophie is MIA. Now that she can crawl she is a weapon of mass destruction to most things I like to do. :P