Friday, January 27, 2006
Monday, January 23, 2006
1. Quilt the border and bind the baby quilt.
2. Quilt the border, embroider Jem's name and a few creatures and bind the castle quilt
3. Make the Bareroots 'You Are Loved' wallhanging for G from the pattern Mr Duyvken bought me from a gorgeous little quilt shop in Berrima. This should be a good opportunity to learn applique and to practice my embroidery.
4. Make some of the Stargazey daiziez blocks and become friendly with a rotary cutter.
5. Make a pirate wallhanging using Lazy Gal's free pieced letters. Plenty of phrases like X marks the spot, take 3 steps west, 7 steps north and dig, ahoy me hearties, etc.
6. Make a few table runners to play with designs and colours on a small and manageable scale.
7. Do something with brights on a black fabric.
8. Make a pieced circles wallhanging using aboriginal fabrics.
9. A white wallhanging with 2 pink vertical lines set slightly to the right of centre.
We drove to the Hunter Valley on the way back to Sydney and stopped at the Hunter Valley Gardens. The entry fee was more than we'd anticipated ($18 per adult, $9 per child aged 6 and over) but we figured we're on holiday so we might as well just enjoy it. They have a story book section for children featuring popular, rhymes and children's stories. This is G tumbling down with Jack and Jill.
We also visited Coopers Winery and the Binnorie Dairy store to buy some of our favourite marinated feta. We also bought a jar of labna and some herb and garlic fromage frais. Last time we bought the feta we devoured it in one sitting so we're hoping for more restraint this time around. I see a wine and cheese night in our future!
I didn't do a stitch of quilting but it was a wonderful little holiday.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
We are heading up north for a few days and are hoping for a return of the sunny summer that's still lingering in 2005. See you on Saturday!
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
I love Tonya's suggestion to include a dragon in the quilt. I have quilted some rays around the sun and a cloud in one of the blocks but because I have used cotton quilting thread it doesn't stand out unless you are looking closely at it, see what I mean? I think I will use embroidery thread as per Lazy Gal's suggestion and try my hand at a dragon and a knight in the castle section and a couple of windows and a door on the other buildings. Now to go through the colouring books to find a basic dragon outline I can use!
The Ultimate Triple Chocolate Brownies
125g butter, chopped
200g dark chocolate
1/2 cup caster cugar
2 eggs beaten lightly
1 1/4 cups plain flour
180g white chocolate, chopped
125g milk chocolate, chopped
Grease 19cm square cake pan, line base and sides with baking paper.
Combine butter and dark chocolate in medium saucepan, stir over low heat until melted.
Cool 10 mins.
Stir in sugar, eggs then flour.
Mix in remaining chocolate and spread into pan.
Bake 180C oven for about 30mins.
Cool in pan.
Slice and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Went to the pool this afternoon and managed to do 6 laps of the 50m pool, I really need to work on getting back in shape! Mr Duyvken did a cool km and could have swum longer but the kidlet's teeth were chattering so we hauled him out of the water. It started raining just as we arrived so we have the place almost to ourselves which was lovely. J really enjoyed the water and G enjoyed practicing her swimming and showing daddy how much she learned in her swimming lessons over the last 2 weeks.
Blogs are always more fun with pics so here's a photo of G and her cousin at swimming lessons last week.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
In the top left corner of the quilt is a block that I pieced to look like a banner in which I am going to stitch either J's Castle. I'll have to find a nice sharp needle with a bigger eye to get a few strands of DMC through so that it shows up nicely. I was going to embroider it but I think quilting it through all three layers will be more serviceable and will make it look folkier. I may also quilt some squiggles onto the buildings to give them more interest. Or I will stick with the original plan and echo quilt doors and windows. I guess I'll see what mood strikes when I get there!
One of Mr Duyvken's projects for his holiday break is to finish the cot he making for our first nephew, Callum, who was born in November. Mr Duyvken has made some beautiful things for us, including a bed for G and a cot for J, and also made this beautiful jewellery box as a Christmas present for his sister in 2003. He plans on making a few more boxes this year as they are good practice pieces, don't cost a lot in materials and you don't need a whole room to keep it in when it's finished! I look forward to having beautiful boxes throughout the house.
Friday, January 13, 2006
I did some more stitching in the ditch quilting last night and am fast approaching the point at which I need to decide how to quilt the borders. I love the way Lazy Gal Quilting does freeform fans and it fits with my ethos of putting together something playful and relaxed for my son to enjoy so I think I will work them 4 or 5 deep around the perimeter of his quilt and see how they turn out. Quilting this has made me see all the sections where my measurements and cuts were a few mm out but I am pleased with it nonetheless. I love the colours in it, particularly the green, and think it will be a nice cheery thing for him to snuggle up to when the cooler weather arrives. The photo shows the quilt in it's current state pinned to the curtains in my bedroom, not the best way to photograph a quilt, I have discovered ;-) It really does lay flat, I promise.
I have been reading Modern Quilt Workshop by Ringle and Kerr and enviously eyeing their colours combinations and designs, I look forward to having the skills to attack some of their patterns. It has also opened my eyes to lots of things that more seasoned quilters already know e.g. you don't always have to stitch in the ditch (hooray methinks), you shouldn't always assume that a quilt needs a border and that the repitition of one block pattern across an entire quilt can be truly stunning. I must see if I the library has a copy of Color Harmony for Quilts, it also looks like a wonderful book.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Still fiddling of course and trying to learn how to include photos hosted at Flickr but I am sure I will get there in the end!