Feb 26, 2014

D251: Pretty Confetti

No nap from Bub again so crafting was all after dinner.  These are the trimmings from the bulky seam allowances.  No, I won't be saving them for no hipster wedding.

Feb 24, 2014

D250: Depressing

Today, the two hundred and fiftieth day of this blog effort, was not that flash.  Even though I did get things achieved, such as buying batting and backing for this cot quilt and making a few appointments, it was a day to be forgotten.  Bub got a rave review from her MCHN but once we got home and the nap was rejected it was pretty cruddy thereafter.  This evening was spent cutting sashes and ironing seams.

The backing I bought is flannelette in a woodland theme.  I like that it's white with similar colours but not as bright.  I think it'll cope with a zigzag quilting pattern well, but I'm also inexperienced at knowing how much difference that will make to the way it looks. 

I was going to get a grey irregular pattern, maybe with some colour in it, but wasn't finding what I wanted on Spoonflower (not enough to wait for it anyway) and Spotlight was close and the arvo empty.  There were whales in white and navy were also appealing, and a dandelion-seed pattern was nice too but maybe a bit quiet.  I did add the extra challenge of having a napless toddler in the pram, but when has that ever stopped me from making important decisions, hmm?

Anyhoo, in other puns, I found that the strip where I trialled trimming the junctions (dark blue, below), to see if it made any difference, does sit better than the others.  So after pressing the strip seams and watching them unpress, I realise I need to go through the rest of the top and trim the rest of the bulk.  Not particularly riveting work. Plus I didn't get to do any actual sewing.  Le sigh.

Feb 23, 2014

D247-9: The Beginning of an Era

Sounds grandiose? Nnnnnnope.

I bought a Bernina B530 on Friday.

I'm going from a Bernina 807 minimatic, an entirely mechanical, mostly metal, 1969-ish, much loved machine with only 6 stitches...

To this:

It doesn't matter that it's not the highest of the Bernina range, or that it doesn't to embroidery.  I still hear choirs when I turn it on.

I also got a BSR (a Bernina Stitch Regulator, which watches you move the fabric and keeps the stitches even), for freemotion quilting, and a walking foot.  I've spent the days since reading the manual, watching YouTube videos and having a bit of a play...

I tried out a few decorative stitches and some stitch programming, shown on the left. The right side is playing with the BSR foot and I tried out doing pivoted zigzags with the walking foot too, coz that's what I wanted to be doing with my next project.

The purchase of this machine is a whole saga in itself, but too long to tell. I hope to do a review in a few weeks time, but want to have first finished the quilt and made at least one garment, and maybe a softie.

We've been away for a week with the inlaws, enjoying mild weather by the beach, and I'm very glad to be able to stave off any holiday hangover with such a long awaited and much pondered purchase.  





Feb 11, 2014

D246: It looks sooo pretyyyy

I actually made a decision and chose a sequence!  Here it is all sewn up, unpressed and bulky seams yet to be clipped.

I plan to do a white border, possibly thicker on the ends and narrower on the sides, and use quilting to create texture there.  It crossed my mind to continue the QST style with only white fabric too, which might look kinda cool.

Anyway, decision are afoot, but I am terribly delighted with this so far. Yiiiiii!

Feb 10, 2014

D245: The trouble with rainbows...

...is that they all look pretty!!

Maybe if I make it smaller and compare some more options it'll help me choose.

One of these is nicer, right?


Where should that damn grey go?!

A part of me feels I shouldn't all it a rainbow lesson actually follows the sequence of a true, natural rainbow - which is red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and then violet - and it seems I've instinctively erred that way too.  Still... I'm torn. Obviously.

Feb 8, 2014


It's been a while since I've completed a part of something this big.  I may have mentioned earlier that the last quilt I began - a single bed quilt made from locally printed Australian themes - has only the top portion done.  It's on pause and even though I organised the pieces the night I went into labour, maybe I'll finished it on Bub's 5th birthday, or something.  It was a while ago and its packed away so neatly and quietly I wonder if I'll ever worry about it again.


Completed chevron strips. Rainbow order with a dark teal / dark blue top & tail.

I've finished the colour strips for this baby quilt.  

Rainbow order with red/orange top & tail
I'm pretty sure I want to do a rainbow sequence with the two dark colours as top and tail, but it tried out some other arrangements just in case.

A mixed order.  I quite like the grey, teal, yellow, pink sequence.

Mixed order that seems to have become dark to light
I'm pretty confident too that I want to do a grey backing, maybe a grey pattern but something that will be complimented by a zigzag quilt pattern. I think, though, that I'll border this with some of the white fabric first.  I have a few coloured stripe fabrics that might do well as binding.  It's all a bit wait and see but oh so fun to plan!

Feb 5, 2014

D241: New Drop Sheet for Flinging Bubba

Today we are going from this:

Creased, manky, rolled edges, noisy and annoying after a year of use.

To this:

Quiet, waterproof, and stays flat.

Thanks to one $8 picnic tablecloth from the supermarket, which was cut in half and overlocked on the raw edge.  We also have a new matching mini picnic / activity mat. Hurrah!

It's not very incognito but maybe it'll distract from the carpet stains nearby.

Feb 3, 2014

D239&40: Banana Bread

The pink, yellow and green strips were sewn together yesterday and the top and bottom strips for orange and purple happened today.  We had a cool change come through today and it's apparently going to be quite cool tomorrow.   Pressing stuff tomorrow night will be much nicer than the pressing last night. O_o`

While tonight's dinner cooked*, though, I prepared a banana bread.  I've never made banana bread before - who has two or three bananas that last that long?!  Well, when you have a heat wave or two... you can arrange it.

Banana Bread

I chose a recipe from Plenty of Lesely. I found it on Pinterest (and pinned it!) and am reblogging it here with the weights so that if you've got your mixing bowl on scales you can just keep hitting zero.  It's dead simple.

Best Banana Bread

  • 1 3/4 cup Flour - 260g
  • 2/3 cup Sugar - 165g
  • 1 cup Mashed bananas (around three)
  • 1/3 cup Margarine - 75g
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking powder - 5g
  • 1/4 Teaspoon bicarb soda - uuuh... 0.625g.  Maybe just go with a good pinch.
The instructions say "Grease your loaf dish or spray with pan. Bake for 1 hour 275 degrees. Let sit for half an hour before cutting."
So that's 275°F/135°C.  I used a fork and started by mashing the bananas (only two for us), and adding the very soft butter, then eggs, sugar and flour/powders.  I think Lesley put it all in the mixmaster with a kneading attachment and just mixed till combined.  I also lined my pan with grease proof paper, which works a treat too.
Even though I'm pretty sure my two bananas would've filled a cup, I wish I'd had three.
*Settle down. It was rice in the cooker and reheated curry.

Feb 2, 2014

D236-8: Zip zip zip!

I've been production lining these strips of colour/white QSTs.  I left timing it too late, but I had a hunch, and was right, that it takes me about half an hour to sew up one colour.

I order the squares using the guide I've taped to the extension table and zip zip zip them as quickly as I can, with careful pinning.  Then I put the strips aside until an evening when it suits me to press them. Tonight I had six strips, making three colours.

Oh my goodness the pressing.  I don't know how long it takes coz I do it in front of the telly and stop and start, but it's fiddly.  And here's what I learned from that...

Tip of the day: Quilting work needs an iron with as simple a surface as possible.  The star shape for the steam in my iron is fine for shirts, but annoying as all get out for pressing lots of little seams.  It collects and crookedly creases them all. Grrr.  

D235: Wee Apple Danishes!

My mum recently turned 80!  We had a lovely afternoon tea with family and I made these little apple Danishes, or turnovers, to share.  Unfortunately, I only made 18, which was too few for the 16 adults and children there.  I varied this from other recipes, but it's terribly simple. 

I recommend making the apple mix a few days before the day you plan on making the pastries.  The mix will also do for a pie.*

  • 4 apples, cored, peeled, cut into 6 wedges, which are then sliced.
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 sheets of puff pastry for sweets
  • Some milk for brushing
  • Some jam for glazing (apricot is most popular, plum works too: anything seedless but probably not marmalade!)

To make the apple filling:
  1. If you have one of those peeler/corer/spiral-slicer things for apples, it is perfect for cutting the apples for this project. Once you've peeled/cored/spiral-sliced the apple, cut the stacked spiral into 6 wedges.  About one of these stacks will do for each little Danish.
  2. Put the cut apple in a snap seal bag.
  3. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg to a fragrance you like.
  4. Do this twice: put a tbsp each of sugar and flour in with the apple, then seal and gently toss the bag.
  5. Put the bag in the fridge if you don't need it straight away.  I left it there for two days and it was pretty perfect.  Freeze it if you're cooking it much later than that.

On the day:
Apple! Not bacon!
  1. Preheat a moderate oven (375°F/180°C).
  2. Line your baking tray with grease proof paper.
  3. Take a sheet of puff pastry (leave on the backing sheet) and put the others back in the freezer. (The pastry gets soft and 'melts' quite quickly.)
  4. Cut your pastry sheet into 9 even squares by scoring it (don't cut the backing plastic) into three even parts vertically and then horizontally.
  5. Arrange a spoon or two of apple mix diagonally on a small square of pastry. Pick up the empty corners and overlap the points on top of the apple.
  6. Move it to your lined baking tray.
  7. When you've filled your tray (I did 9 per tray), brush all the exposed pastry with milk and bake for 25 mins.
  8. Prepare the next sheet of pastries while the first bakes, and so on with the third. 
  9. Once the pastries are cooked and have cooled a little, heat your jam and glaze your pastries generously.

*If you are going to freeze the apple mix for pie, freeze the bag in your pie dish. Then, when you're ready to bake, you can take it out of the bag and pop it straight into your pie dish with a snug fit!