Sunday, April 29, 2012

60 minutes

It hasn't been as wildly productive round here as I'd hoped. What I've learned this week is that two hours of sewing usually takes me about 5 hours. I wander off and check my emails and then go play three games of fruit link and then decide I'm hungry and make something to eat. Then I go back to sewing for 20 minutes and then the cycle repeats itself. I keep telling myself that since I manage to hold down a paying job where I'm at the beck and call of pretty much everyone all week that I'm entitled to be flighty on weekends. 

This morning I decided an hour of sewing means 60 minutes of actual sewing time and that I was going to spend an hour working on a project and then change to something else to keep it fresh.  I reasoned that the added bonus would be progress on pretty much all my existing projects. 

Something I've learned today is that sometimes an hour looks like you didn't do anything much even if you aren't jumping up to challenge inanimate pieces of fruit on your I Pad. 

The first hour yielded this. So far so good.

 Hour 2 saw me whipping up 10 little lantern blocks. 

I started hour 3 full of enthusiasm and decided to sew the hourglass quilt blocks into a top. Half way through the quilt top , at the 45 minute mark, I realised I'd somehow managed to sew two bits together wrong. Very grudgingly I set about doing some unsewing. Once that was done I realised that I've managed to stuff up a couple of other bits which means a whole load more unpicking to get to them. The quilt top got thrown on the ironing board in disgust. I spent the remainder of the hour swearing. 

You can almost finish 8 selvage squares in 35 minutes. 

At this point after three hours and 20 minutes of effort , I decided to reward myself by reading a bit more of Sense and Sensibility. 

Oops!4 hours goes by in the blink of an eye when you accidentally take a Nanna nap.

My word for this week is focus.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

My happy place this week included spending time with Little P ( Gosh I love that little guy! ) having three work days off , and finally getting THE call about the oven , which will be fixed in two weeks. There were a couple of blips on the radar that I responded to and then let go. In the past I would have found that hard to do. I've realised in the last twelve months that different opinions are OK. It doesn't mean I have to change mine. And my perception of myself is far more important than what other people think of me. I think that has come as a shock to some people. And you know what? Just a heads up.  I'm probably not done shocking people yet. 

My favourite thing this week has been getting my sewing groove back. After what feels like forever , I'm enjoying the creative process again. With a head chock full of ideas and motivation to sew like a crazy woman what could be better? 

Well,  a tidy sewing room might help . Especially in terms of being able to find things I need to be crafty with. I begrudge spending time tidying up because that takes time away from sewing . Frankly I think stuff should just levitate into my hands as I need it. But since that's not likely to happen soon, I sucked it up and went to work. 

Good Golly Miss Molly!  I can see carpet!

I still don't have as much fabric as most of you! (and it looks like hardly anything when it's tucked away in boxes ) 

No longer do I have to jump the mountain of crap to get to the sewing machine. 

My favourite thing this week is being able to find stuff...... can you imagine how much I'm going to get done this weekend? An organised space makes me very very happy. 

Feel free to link up and tell me all about your happy spot this week!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Big Mojo

Australia is full of big things. I even did a post about some of them once. But nothing has been bigger this week than my mojo. I was so smokin',  I was on fire. 

Inspired by a post Tazzie did late last week, I made a jelly roll race quilt. Nobody wanted to do it with me so I raced against myself. It took 2 hours and 15 minutes from start to finish.  I'm currently on a pitstop while I wait for my border and backing fabric to arrive. 

I finished some more flowers for my grandmother's flower garden. Only 28 to go. Plus about 800 plain hexies to go round them all...I keep telling myself it's going to be brilliant when it's finished (in about 2015) 

I made 10 more blocks for my poor neglected selvage quilt but due to an unfortunate cutting incident I only have 9 to show you here.  

Ironically that is the number of whole fingers I have left after a second incident with the rotary cutter.  The amount of blood was quite impressive. Mr. P had to do a mercy dash to the chemist for medical supplies so I could stick the side of my finger back in place. Naturally I kept sewing until the supplies arrived. I was a woman on a mission and nothing was going to stop my mojo.

The Contrary HST quilt got one more border. The other three that match are well under way. I'm hoping for finish on this quilt top in the next few days. I'm making it for someone I like a lot and she has no idea I'm doing it. I love surprises.

More from the Quite Contrary Fabric Line- all of the hourglass blocks finally got squared up and laid out so I can sew them together into something that resembles a quilt top.

I started cutting blocks for a tumbler quilt. I've been itching to start this for weeks. Then I did some calculations and realised I had  to cut 324 of the little blighters.

So I convinced myself that I should probably check my template was OK and started making this cushion as a prototype instead.

And my lantern quilt got 20 blocks finished. I really love this fabric and the quilt is unlike anything I've ever done before. And since these are technically Christmas fabrics I'm hoping I'll finally finish a Christmas quilt I actually want to keep. (I know- Christmas in April -I'm a wild and crazy girl ) 

With all this mojo going on , my vow to sew a zip on my own, without Sara's tutelage was put on the back burner (can you say procrastination?) but I did put together some scraps for the front and back of the pouch.

I am on a 5 day break until Monday so in between playdough duty with Little P and the mundane chores that make up the rest of my life I'm planning to continue this amazing run of creativity. 

To see more creative peeps pop on over to Kate's and have a look what other people did with their 15 minutes this week...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

The sorry tale of my oven-less state continues. Apparently the  part we need is still being hand carved out of wild boar bone by some tribe in the deep dark recesses of the Amazon. Consequently, I haven't baked a cupcake for over 5 weeks and my recipe books are sitting here full of yummy things and they're taunting me. Bastards. 

I was having a whinge about this on Saturday when I was at lunch with my in laws. (I know - it's hard to believe I ever grizzle and whinge being the lovely even tempered chick that I am ) and my mother in law came up with a potential solution.

It's a portable convection oven that she had lurking in her cupboard and I was so desperate to bake something I took it. Someone who cant bake in a regular oven + taking an oven you've never cooked in before  = potential disaster. I like to live life on the edge. 

A while back, one of my awesome blog buddies mentioned confetti cake in one of their posts and I lamented that we didn't get that here in Australia. A few weeks back I found this in a store and did a happy dance right there in the aisle. 

So confetti cake became my new victim and one very lopsided cake was born.

And refused to come out of the tin in one piece. 

I served it up to dinner guest in pieces and we ate that sucker anyway...

...I so need my oven back.....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

Welcome to another Friday and this week's linky party for your Favourite Things. I'm gracefully tip toeing towards the weekend today with big plans for a massive weekend of sewing. And my favourite thing this week is changing my mind.

Remember when I publicly stated I wasn't going to start anything new until I'd finished at least two WIP's? And how April was going to be my big finish month? And to be fair - I have finished the rainbow log cabin quilt. So I guess I'm sort of kind of part way there. I'm not a total liar and failure as a human being.

But in the last week or so all sorts of fantastic fabric related ideas have been rushing into my head and simply refusing to leave. For the longest time I've been completely devoid of inspiration and all of a sudden I'm on overload. I was totally freaking out that something important (aka quilt related) would leak out of my head and get lost because there's only so much room in there and it's generally full of stuff like "Buy milk - the stuff in the fridge has turned into yoghurt" and "don't forget to wear decent underwear on Tuesday in case you get hit by a bus ".

I resisted. I really did. I tried buying fabric to see if that would help the nagging thoughts in my head that were screaming "Start something new. You know you want to ". Trying to avoid being inspired has thus far cost me about 300 dollars this week. Then I figured if I just went and touched some other fabric that might do the trick. 

So I went and rolled round in this luscious pile of Amy Butler that arrived this week from The Quilted Castle

Still no dice. The fabric pheromones just whipped me up even more. And I eventually I had to accept defeat because it was obvious the voices in my head weren't going anywhere and I figured it wouldn't hurt to start a little something new. 

One thing lead to another .....and fabric started being pulled from the deep dark recesses of my stash with wild abandon (which actually sounds like the tag line from a Mills and Boon novel if you say it fast ) 

And at some point I completely lost the plot and started cutting (and sewing ) this 

I don't think I'm finished yet . This is sitting on my sewing table and I have an itchy rotary cutter finger....

I'm going with theme of "Carpe Diem" this week.  When inspiration strikes you just have to run with it even if that means you're going to have 10 things on the go at once.   Yes- I am officially useless and completely trying to justify my lack of self control. 

Enjoy your Friday !

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Phobias Vanquished

Several months ago I posted about my abject failure with regard to making a Sock Monkey. My sock monkey looked like a faceless demented octopus. It also had to have emergency surgery after I accidentally clipped it a new butt hole by accident. Eventually the whole mess went in the bin after I tried to unsuccessfully suffocate the monkey in a plastic bag because I thought that was the kindest thing to do with something so hideously ugly. This left my dreams of being a sock monkey maker to the stars in tatters. It also left me with two pairs of socks that I had no freaking idea what to do with since I don't wear socks.  Eventually Sara's aunt took pity on me and told me to send the socks to her and she would see what she could come up with. Personally I think it really upset her to see me trying to suffocate an innocent monkey in a glad bag. 

Sara came to visit on Sunday (more about that later) and brought this gorgeous sock monkey which looks  a million times better than anything I ever could have knocked out . Some people are so talented and generous. That would be you H  and I can't thank you enough . Little P is going to flip out when he gets to cuddle this. 

Check out those arms and legs ...they go on forever. Did you know that if you buy long socks you don't necessarily end up with a bigger sock monkey - you just end up with one with the longest limbs of any sock monkey EVER. I think that gives him a ton of individual character. Nobody else has a sock monkey that is masquerading as a Daddy Long Legs spider.  

On Sunday Sara took her life in her hands and committed to teaching me how to sew zips. Thank you Sara for being the bravest person in the known universe. 

Sara loves a challenge. My phobia about zips has been well documented. I've been bleating on about not being able to sew zips for at least 20 years and I think I've read every single tutorial ever written on the subject and still couldn't put on my big girl panties and sew one of those suckers properly.

Not any more. Are these the most gorgeous zips you've ever seen ? 

Voila! One for me and one for Little P.

And then I got really brave and made this little back pack type doodad which has a really long zip in it but was actually incredibly easy. It was following the pattern that made me want to pull my hair out. 

Started with this pile of nothing

And ended up with this !

 I did it !

It remains to be seen whether I can do this when Sara isn't here giving me step by step instructions....stay tuned because I'm going to give that a crack this week. There could be swearing. And crying. And flinging of half finished zipper-less pouches. Between now and then I'm going to bask in my success. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

I feel like I should explain what happened last week with FTF ...I posted as usual , went away to my parents and sadly found that because they live in the middle of nowhere their internet was not real flash for the weekend. Since my mobile phone is from the days of Noah I don't have internet access on it and sitting in Maccas  using their free WiFi was a less than stellar option for responding to every ones posts which is why it didn't get done until Monday. Darn you technology! 

I've had a much calmer week this week so I'm skipping into Friday feeling like my sanity is intact for a change. It's been a while since I had a Friday like that. Little P will be up soon (we had a sleepover last night ) so the feeling may be short lived.

The last few months have seen me affected by a strange malady that involves the inability to finish quilts. It's April for crying out loud and so far I've managed to knock one whole quilt out for 2012 which is sort of pathetic. This time last year I was heading towards my 5th finish and while I know it's not a race this non finishing nonsense is seriously  frustrating.

But this week saw the back end of another WIP and that has made me ridiculously happy so I'm sharing it for my favourite thing.

My helper who insisted on me taking his picture on the finished quilt. He then took mine and that will not be appearing on the blog because I think he hit the "fat-tify" button on my camera and I look like the Goodyear blimp. 2 year olds don't understand the concept of getting your best side.

The hoarded vintage sheet has been used as a backing. This quilt has very simple quilting (in the ditch my friends) and is meant to be dragged around and loved and to eventually fall to bits from all the loving.


Not resting on my laurels here , I have a ton of other projects calling out  "Finish Me , Pick Me, I want to be a quilt , not just a pile of half sewn fabric " so I'm already onto the next finish for April.  I have started something new but it's little so it hardly counts right?

Feel free to link up and show off something that floated your boat this week .