Saturday, July 12, 2014

Surprise! It's me again and it's not three months later or 2015.

We have another finish at Chez Sunshine. 

Speaking of sunshine, we have had THE most amazing weather here. We have had days and days of beautiful sunshine, although some of the days and a lot of the nights have been freezing cold.  Down to 3 or 4 deg C at night. That's cold, really cold.  It has been good for my sewing productivity though. Cold enough for me to be quite happy to hand quilt with a quilt on my lap. None of that horrible humid, sweaty OMG I'm going to die from heat exhaustion stuff happening here at this time of year. Yay.

I digress, I was talking about a finish. I've finally finished the Red Letter Day quilt top. Unfortunately it's not exactly an award winning photo, but I've realised that if I wait for the perfect light etc to take a photo, the photo never happens. Then the blog post never happens either. So for the rest of this year, you get to see photos, good or bad, and I. will. be. blogging, even if it kills me!

 All 9 blocks completed. Like I said, not a great photo, but you get the idea.  If you follow me on Instagram you know I had a bit of a problem with the lack of grey background fabric. Fortunately with a bit of creative unpicking and re sewing, I had enough to finish the middle block. It is supposed to be the reverse of the rest of the blocks but as usual, I had to do my own thing, so I played around with the fabric in the middle block, and came up with something  a little different. I just noticed the middle block looks like it has measles or chicken pox. Great!  At least it doesn't (I hope) look like that in real life.  I used a variety of fabrics from lots of different lines. Not one piece of fabric was bought for this quilt, it all came from my stash. 

I'm pretty happy with this quilt top even though it hasn't exactly turned out how it was in my mind. Don't you hate that! I always have these visions of amazing quilts, but when I start putting it together, it's often not quite as awesome as I thought it would be.

Here's a close up of the centre block, with some AMH Innocent Crush.
Not my finest sewing skills, but I'm pretty happy with how it's come together.  Don't hold your breath for a complete finish on this one any time soon, as I have a lot of WIP's that I really want to finish first, including the one below.  Gee, hand quilting takes a looooong time, so I'm very slowly quilting Starflowers.

The hand quilting thread is a variegated perle 12 cotton. I love the subtle colours and they work really well with the colours in the blocks. I'm slowly perfecting, ha ha, or at least improving, my stitch length and the ability to quilt in a straight line. Who knew that could be so difficult on such a short distance.

A lot of socialising and enjoying the Noosa weather has been on the agenda too.

This steak was as good as it looks, from Little Humid, Noosaville

We spent a couple of hours at Hasting St in Noosa last week and had lunch in the Sheraton bar. I love the decor in this bar. Even though it was cold enough to be wearing boots, and a cardigan, it was nice to soak up the tropical ambience.

BP and I went to Lake Weyba in the late afternoon last week, just before sunset. How beautiful is this view?  I sometimes take this piece of paradise for granted, I need to get out and about more.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

181 days left of 2014

Yes, I'm still alive.

Yes, I have been sewing, not a lot, but at least I'm back in my sewing room a couple of times a week.

Yes, I have been away.....again!

My last post was in April, it seems like years ago.

So here's what I've been up to since my last blog post.

Lots of photos, not too many words.

Went to Melbourne with my best buddy Shay for the AQC, look, blue sky and sunshine, seriously awesome.

It's winter here now, look, blue sky and sunshine, as always in paradise.

Flew to another paradise.

Fiji for BP's 21st birthday.

It involved cocktails as always.

Beautiful views and weather.

Sunsets over the water.

I even caught up on some appliqué, although I still have lots more to do.

Back at home, and it's been cold enough to hand quilt.

Karma had a haircut.

I attempted paper pieced arcs for a pickle dish quilt, loving these. Definitely want to make lots of them.

I finished the Dresden quilt top. A four patch border, now I need to make the back.

I started playing with this block.

Made quite a few.

I've even quilted it, now just need to find the time and the motivation to do the binding.

All this sewing and not one finish!

Finally I was lucky enough to go to both Camille's trunk show and Red Letter Day class in Brisbane last month. A really fantastic experience.

Camille's trunk show

Holly, who accompanied Camille for the Red Letter Day classes and trunk shows.


One of my Red Letter Day blocks.
Hoping I can manage at least one more post before the end of the year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

More hexies and another block finished.

 Another finish for 2014. Originally this was going to be a big quilt, a large wall hanging, but after sewing this many 1 inch hexagons and becoming very very bored with it, it's now more the size of a large table runner.   You will find this a recurring theme with me, I don't enjoy making big quilts especially one that is very repetitive. I have a very short attention span.

The fabric and pattern is very busy, so I decided on minimal quilting. I divided the quilt into four sectors and each area is quilted in a different colour thread. I used 50wt Aurifil thread in #1147  #2479  #5002 and #5005.

 For the binding I used a Kaffe fabric which I'm really happy with as it seems to blend into each of the different colours around the quilt.

The backing

I incorporated a couple of corner hanging sleeves into the back so I can hang it on the wall.

Quilt stats
1 inch hexies
Variety of fabrics from my stash including Kaffe, AMH, Amy Butler, Sketch and more.
Binding Kaffe Roman Glass

Another Circle Game block has been finished. 

I haven't pressed it properly yet, as somebody (cough cough) may have used a Frixxion pen when tracing some of the pieces. Frixxion marks  of course disappear when you iron them. Until this is sewn into the outer ring there is no way I'm pressing it with an iron.  It has been finger pressed in the mean time.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cocktail Wednesday, Thursday, Friday...anyday

A little bit late coming to the party this week, but as I was under the weather on Wednesday night, Shay and I decided Thursday night was a good as any to enjoy a cocktail.

This week it was my pick. Moose Milk. I was introduced to this 13 years ago, I remember exactly when, because I was hooked instantly. It tasted soooooooo good. Shay was very very skeptical at first as the name didn't make her salivate and she asked me where the heck was she going to find Moose Milk in Australia. At least I think we'd have a better chance of finding that than finding some of the very strange ingredients in some of the cocktails from the good old U S of A.

There are 1001 recipes out there for this, basically it's ice cream mixed with three equal parts of any alcohol you see fit to put into it.  It's another alcoholic drink that I think works well with rum. It's strange because I didn't think I really liked rum, especially rum and coke, that's just nasty, but I've taken a liking to a few rum based drinks including this one and a Mojito.

The base recipe for this week's cocktail can be found here.  I opted to change out the Bailey's with Butterscotch Schnapps, as I don't see the point in putting a cream based drink into loads of ice-cream.  Some recipes say to add eggs, why?,  IMHO that is just plain outright weird.  

Another recipe with no quantities, so I opted for 30mls (1oz) of each and eyeballed the ice cream. Added all the ingredients into the blender together and voila a fabulous cocktail. 

This one is well and truly a 5 out of 5.   You can find Shay's take on this cocktail here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Catch up Wednesday

It's Wednesday again.  Something special happened today, my baby came back and it's working like new. No tension issues and it's been purring it's way through some quilting. YAY!!!!!

I quilted the hexagon chevrons this evening, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it. In the meantime I've been playing with waterlogue thanks to Liz at Broderie who put some beautiful photos on Instagram. I just had to jump in and get the app too. Here's a photo of my hexies as I was trying to decide how to quilt it.

As it's Wednesday it's also cocktail time. Last week I was away and forgot to make it beforehand, better late than never, I say!
Thea's pick was a Cucumber Cosmo.
Here's the ingredients, including the cucumber water in the bowl at the front.

Here's the result.

It looks like that because I could only find standard cranberry juice not white cranberry. I'm sure it tasted the same, just looked a bit, umm, dirty. It was good, and I will make it again if and when I can get my hands on some white cranberry juice.  A 4.5 out of 5 for this one.
I'm loving this weekly cocktail education. I very rarely drink these days, and I don't drink when I go out, I have to drive as there is no public transport around here. It's a nice way to be introduced to something that I possibly wouldn't order or try if I was out, but making them at home once a week has been a real hoot. It's nice to try just one, and I'm not really tempted to have more as it's mid week, and I don't want to be feeling the after effects the next day.

This week's cocktail - I have no idea what it's called as I deleted the email that had the info. However Shay face timed me and gave me the recipe, and I still forgot to ask her what it's called.
I didn't take a photo of the ingredients this week, but it involved a copious quantity of Kahlua, some ice, milk and chocolate syrup.  Instead of having it before dinner I deemed it perfect for dessert, and I finished it off pretty quickly. It was a little bit sweet for my taste, I'd probably reduce the chocolate syrup next time, and there will be a next time because it was very yummy. 4.5 out of 5 for this one too.
I think I need to invest in some different shaped glasses, the martini glasses are lovely but it's getting a bit boring using the same type of glass each week.

I'm off on vacay this weekend. I hope I will still have time to do a blog post or two while I'm away.  I might post some clues, so you can guess where I am. I will definitely be posting photos on Instagram.   My fur babies are going to be very happy, they won't be going to the kennels or cattery as they will be looked after by a wonderful friend who has offered to house and fur baby sit for me. I hope she knows what she's in for!!!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Best laid plans

Lots of sewing happening at Chez Sunshine until Tuesday when my machine started having issues with the tension.  After playing around, trying to fix it, with no positive results, it's now gone in to sewing machine hospital. It was well overdue for a service and it's going to take two weeks, sigh. So after finally having my mojo back after misplacing it for most of last year, I now have to put my sewing plans on the back burner. Fortunately I have a few hand stitching projects to work on in the meantime.

I've finished 10 of the 38 orange peel/petal blocks. Lucky, I really love making these and I can concentrate on making a few more over the next few weeks. I'm doing the needle turn appliqué method so they are not fast but it's satisfying making these.

9 of the 10 I've finished

The Starflowers top is finally finished, full photos to come later. I really need to think of a new name for it.   I've also made the backing, lucky me, that was the last thing I sewed before the sewing machine called in sick. I still have to get down on the floor and baste this baby, my favourite job, NOT.  I was thinking about sending it out to be quilted but I would really like to hand quilt it. I could get a start on it while my machine is in hospital, although I'm not sure how easy or pleasant hand quilting is going to be with temps in the 30's and high humidity, yuck.

I've also been working on the hexies, slowly, very slowly, I sewed two today!

 Up until the last couple of days, the weather has been really lovely and I've been walking a lot and taking Karma for a walk each day too.
 There's always something to see on our daily walks.
Stand up paddle boarders.