Tuesday, July 30, 2013

You win some - You lose some...

It was my brother in law's 40th birthday on Friday so I guess the question on everybody's lips is whether he liked the quilt I made for him.

You know- the one I've been blathering on about since about February? The one I vowed to finish in time for his birthday in July. The one I've been endlessly showing as I theoretically progress through to completion?  Yeah -ummm...that's still in bits. We copped out and gave him money in a card instead because apparently I cant finish anything when working to a deadline. Gotta say - Im not really arse kicking myself over it- I have come to dislike the putting together of that quilt intensely. Maybe it'll get finished and maybe not. I've never not finished a quilt before but the jury is still out on this one.

It hasn't all been doom and gloom and ignoring stuff on the quilting front . My Irish Chain quilt top is finished and I love how it looks. I have some cream embossed damask for the back that will pull everything together to give this an antique feel and best of all I'm sending it out to be quilted so in my head that means this one is almost done. I've even made the binding for it. My job is pretty much done! 

I waged an inner war with myself on Saturday over whether to unpick the 5 rows of the triangle quilt I'd already sewn because I wasn't really happy with the way they were sewing up into a top. I've learned that triangles cut on the bias stretch out of shape and by the time you sew stretched triangles into row you can end up with some very interesting results. (Curved quilt top anyone?) My inner perfectionist spoke louder than my slack arse personality and I spent Saturday unsewing and re-sewing and first time sewing and squaring all my triangles post sewing into little rows . (Does anyone else think this talk of squaring triangles sounds odd or am I just having a moment of silliness?) 

I got two rows sewn back together over the weekend and this is where I left the rest of it. I must confess looking at that pile waiting to be sewn into a recognisable quilt top makes me feel like I'm going to be mindlessly sewing triangles just about forever...

And to prove there's more than one way to skin a cat (ugh -I don't know why anyone would want to do that ) I finished this too. I saw this idea on Pinterest where someone had embroidered directly onto a paper map. I decided to go one better and print the map onto fabric and then embroider -but my hand stitches looked funky so I unpicked it and went the slacker way and used my machine. At this point I don't care that I sort of cheated ...its a finish. 

And in other creative type news ...I have 1 and a half of these left to do before I can start making them into a quilt top ...hallelujah!

Couldn't resist the lure of a new project ...started cutting scraps but since I haven't start actually sewing them it doesn't really count. This could be the one that finally tips me over the edge. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Little P !

Four years ago today I was lurking round Darwin hospital waiting to finally meet Little P. After the initial shock of his creation had worn off , I threw myself into the idea of being a grandma with gusto, starting with choosing a Nanna name that didn't make me sound ancient. That's why I'm Bella. Plus I liked the idea that Little P would be speaking Italian from an early age. 

I was actually present the moment  he popped into the world to say hello for the first time. And I was determined to be the coolest grand parent ever. My love for him was instant.  So please indulge this very proud Bella for just this one post while I tell you all about how fabulous our grandson Ethan (Yes- he does have an actual name ) actually is. 

First hold and already the coolness is evident. 

 Mr. P and I adore this little guy beyond all reason. 

He's gutsy and will try anything once. 

He's good at sharing

He's into arts and crafts 

He's cute and likes chocolate 

And wants to be Fireman Sam when he grows up

He can swim like a fish 

he has a sense of humour (an essential asset in the Pyjamas family ) 

And he loves to bake and just hang with the people he loves.

Happy 4th Birthday Little Dude. We love you because you make our world a better (and funnier)place. Everything is brighter with you around.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Liar Liar ...Pants on Fire

Once  upon a time some smart arse geeks with nothing better to do invented the internet. Their ultimate purpose was to turn us all into zombies who sat on our butts surfing Pinterest , and randomly updating our Facebook statuses every 10 minutes because people who feel they are engaged in meaningful activity are less likely to engage in anarchy or crimes against the state.

I'm completely in love with the internet and my various electronic doodads so for me to announce that I was having a media free weekend was about as wild and crazy as I ever get. But we all know addicts are generally not all that truthful either and sadly it didn't take too long before I snuck into Hay Day and had a look at what was happening with my farm. Cow udders have nasty habit of exploding if you don't milk your cows when they need it. And I didn't want my crops to wither and die. I don't want to be accused of carrot cruelty.

I outed myself when I started pinning ...every man and his dog knew the jig was up when they saw my Pinterest activity popping up in my Facebook feed. For anyone who thinks we aren't being tracked and watched every time we go on the internet  - think again. And I wouldn't have needed to go on Facebook if everyone else lived boring lives and didn't post what they were doing - so really its all your fault. Whale Watching Nat? Really? Why can't you just be like the rest of us lazy slobs and spend the weekend in your pyjamas?

So how long did my computer free weekend really last? About 5 lousy hours.  I was like some sad addict who couldn't think of anything else but my next fix the internet. I'd kind of furtively dart in (like a Ninja) harvest my crops, check Facebook, pin a couple of things on Pinterest and get out again because if you're in and out silently it's like you were never really there. I'm so good at looking furtive I'm sure the CIA are going to be knocking on my door to recruit me any moment. 

Because I felt essentially pathetic, weak  and guilty  I did put in a decent effort over the weekend to move my UFO's along. As if somehow working hard on those projects would atone for my sin of being pathologically incapable of ignoring the internet. 

I appliqued some hexies (I'm getting so close to a finish there that I feel compelled to keep pushing on) and I worked on my very big pinwheel quilt which is also not on my list for a finish this month but I was busy avoiding doing the things that were.  

I worked on the Triangle quilt. So far 1/4 done. There is some very dodgy matching up of triangles in this top I can assure you but I'm going for overall effect here not perfection and so far I'm liking the result. 

The recycled shirt quilt top is coming along nicely. OK- perhaps nicely is stretching the truth a bit- there are a couple of huge stuff ups that I'm ignoring since it has to be finished in a mere 10 days. Mental note to self - when you work with recycled shirt fabric not all of it will be 100% cotton and there will be stretching along the way. This will require skill and patience to overcome. 

And the Irish chain quilt went from 3 finished blocks to all the blocks done and I've started to sew that together into an actual honest to goodness quilt top. 

So I suck at ignoring the internet but got an A+ for sewing effort. The big question is - will anything actually get finished in the next 15 days? 

Friday, July 12, 2013


Aside from knocking off a couple more appliqued hexies since I last put in an appearance I've been busy working on "THE LIST".

I should be calling it "THE RIDICULOUS LIST" (in capitals no less) because I think I must have been smoking crack when I set my July goals. I genuinely thought it was possible that I might finish everything on that list when I wrote it and now, almost half way through the month, I'm starting to doubt myself. I'm going to push on regardless and try to surprise the crap out of myself. Progress has been made and I'm going to remain blissfully optimistic that I can pull this off. A couple of people have mentioned recently that for various reasons they have been internet -less for varying amounts of time and they have been amazed at how much more they have managed to get done sewing wise during their respective enforced hiatuses. So I'm having a self enforced media free weekend from 5pm tonight until I go back to work Monday to see if that helps with my sewing mojo. I can see myself up in the far reaches of the back yard behind a tree surreptitiously checking my Hay Day Farm on my Ipad at some point, away from the prying eyes of my husband.  I'm sure the question on everyone's lips is "Can Shay really survive 64 hours without the internet ?" 

This week I finished Superheroes 2 and gifted it to the very excited recipient. I'm really happy with how this one turned out. (and I am never doing spiderweb quilting again)

And even though this next one wasn't on the list I'd already started it so it didn't count as a new project. I made this stroller blanket for one of the girls in my office who is having a baby girl in a couple of months. The brief was to make something that wasn't totally girly but still had touches of pink about it. The Mumma to be thought it was perfect. Nailed it !

The back - gorgeous vintage swirly chenille ...which was gifted to me by Amanda a while back . It was the perfect size and colour for this project. It always hurts a little to say goodbye to pieces from my chenille stash but this was for a good cause. 

Last weekend I met up with my Not The Farmer's Wife sewing group and we headed off to a fabulous place called Quilters Quarters. It would appear not starting any new projects doesn't mean prevent me from buying new fabric. I pretty much went on a crazy lady binge with no regard for the final total. 

Scandinavian Christmas by Lynette Anderson-I've wanted this forever ....

French General and a binding doodad which I have also wanted forever 

Fat Quarters that I didn't know I needed until I saw them 

Quilting Hangers  that are going to look super awesome in my sewing room, hopefully with actual quilts hanging off them !
Happy Birthday to my awesome fabulous Dad who is 8 years old today . In our family you start counting backwards when you reach 40 years of age so I'll leave you all to work out how old he really is. Have a fabulous day Dad !

I'll see you all on Monday assuming I survive exile. 

P.S. Linking this post up to Elizabeth's monthly linky finishing party - A Stitch in Time because I keep saying I will and then totally forget! 

Thursday, July 04, 2013


I’ve had an interesting week.  My MIL is in the hospital with a nasty broken bone from a fall on Sunday. It looks like she’s going to be literally laid up for at least 6-8 weeks.   I had a brain fart yesterday at work  and left someone a message using my maiden name, and I haven’t used that name in 9 years. Obviously my brain was somewhere else.  Worst of all I started July with a massive blind pimple on my face the size of a small child that looks like its settled in for the long haul despite my best efforts to make it go away. And on top of that Blogger wont let me justify this paragraph and that's upsetting my sense of order. 

I’ve been avoiding looking at my own WIP list on my sidebar for about three months because it horrifies me. I cant believe I’ve started all that stuff and not finished it. Some of it has been on there for a very long time. (That poor Dresden quilt has been lurking for about two years – and I started the hexie flower garden quilt in October 2011) If my sewing life was school I’d be getting A’s for the  “starting projects “ part and “incompletes” for everything else.

So I hereby decree July to be a finishing month. I’m over staring at the stuff on my WIP list .   I will not allow myself to be distracted or tempted by the quilting fairies into starting any new projects until some of this stuff is finished !  

Here are my goals  for this month and yes I know I said I wasnt doing goals anymore but I feel like I have to put this out there in order to motivate some finishes. 

The binding is machined on to Superheroes 2  I just need to spend some time sewing it down to the back. Started that last night and got sick of it after about 8 inches because my cotton was misbehaving. Doesn’t bode well for an eventual finish does it ?

The recycled shirt quilt is currently still in pieces. Im going to finish that this month too. That’s kind of essential because it’s a present for my brother in law and his birthday is on the 26th.

I started cutting the fabric for the triangle quilt a few months back and then felt guilty working on it when I had so many other things languishing. The pieces have been stuffed in a box ever since.  I’ve decided to finish that too. I mean really, how hard can it be to sew 400 triangles into a quilt top?  

The poor Irish chain quilt has been neglected too... Im hoping to finish that top this month too which will be interesting because so far I only have 5 blocks done out of the 70 or so that I need. And everything I need to do something to this quilt is hiding somewhere in my sewing room unable to be found ...Im hoping the quilting fairies have taken it away to finish it but I fear that is unlikely. 

Wish me luck ...Im gonna need it !