Thursday, October 8, 2015

And Sew The Fun Begins

8th October, 2015

I don't mind saying I know I'm already behind the eight ball, its not about keeping up, but the journey I go on. Well something like that.

Last week saw the start of the long awaited 1930's Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt Sew Along. Three blocks we were given directions for. 3!!. So while I only have 1 completed, I thought I may as well share what I have done with Gnome Angle's Link up party. With a bit of luck I wont be the only one that is taking my time.

After purchasing the book and reading some of the lovely letters that are in there, I tossed and turned as to how I was going to make my quilt. Should I paper piece? Should I do templates? Should I use the machine or should I hand sew? The answer is wait and see on the day. So far I have decided to hand sew as this allows me to sit in the lounge room with the family. Plus they are starting with the easy blocks so hand sewing is not that bigger drama. So one might assume I am doing templates, but that would be wrong. As its squares and half triangles to begin with I'm just using my good old rotary cutter and rulers, after I sit and work out the measurements that I need on the diagram that comes on the cd with the book. Lucky for me being a 6 1/2 Inch block the diagrams are life size, provided you print actual size and not scaled.

Print out from CD that comes with book with my scribbles
Drawing on my sewing lines after cutting shape required
Keeping it all together in plastic sleeve until I get around to sewing

Storing all my cut out blocks in my yellow folder.

Finding the time to work out measurements, cut, mark and sew. I know there are long term quilters out there sighing at my long way of doing things, but hey its how I work. Hopefully I will find more time to sit and sew this coming week. But I do have one block to show off and that is #12 Becky.  Its back in its plastic sleeve and will go into a leaver arch folder and wait very patiently for me to finish the remaining 98 blocks.

 What a good named block to start with. Until next time.........


Monday, September 7, 2015

All Sewn Up Or Is It?????

Monday 7th September 2105,

Last year saw me take on the new hobby of patchwork. So here is my major project that I ended up showing at the Henty Art, Quilting and Photography Exhibition.

 This was all my own design and sewing. The quilting I did get done by Pandora Quilting in Wodonga. She does an awesome job in there and I certainly wasn't about to try and make my first quilting attempt at a king size quilt. I dont think my little Elna would have survived.

And now it has rightful place on my bed, well not at the moment as I had to pull out my big winter doonah. But it will find its way once back once the nights warm up.

The next question was what to do next. This year I have managed to pick up casual work and between that and other family commitments I have not joined in with the local sewing group, so I have found a Sew Along to join in online. It starts on 28th September, so for once I have not discovered it half way through but will be able to join in from the start. It is a sample quilt, which normally I don't like, but sometimes we need to stretch ourselves and I do need to learn some new skills. So why not.

If your interested, click on the button above and check it out. I must admit the main reason I'm doing it is because Angie, who is helping to put it all together, is based in Australia. Granted there is others helping so some of the schedule is US based, but I love the fact that there are things being done on the Australian time zone.

Ok I have to go and start looking for some fabrics now.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sew what......

Wednesday 25th June, 2014

Wow, its been over a year. My poor neglected blog.

I have found a new way to lighten my purse and spend my hours.

Sewing. I've dabbled with sewing for many years but never really got stuck into it. I never saw the point of quilting. Honestly how many quilts does one person need?

Then I met Sharon. She runs  Sharon's Sewing Service. I needed a zip replaced and I was too lazy to do it myself so I went for a visit. Not only does she sew but she has a patchwork fabric shop. She invited me along to her one of the sewing days that she has at her place and I was hooked.

This year to encourage the ladies of the community in their patchworking/quilting/sewing she organized a friendship quilt. We meet once a month, Well twice a month now, and learn a new block. Everyone that wanted to participate put their names in a hat. Along side that hat was another hat which had the names of blocks that Sharon is teaching us through out the year. Names and blocks were drawn. The plan is simple enough. Person named decided on a colour and that was the colour theme for the block drawn and all the blocks sewn for that block are given to that person. So here have been my contributions towards some lovely ladies quilts.
The Merry Kite

The Palm Leaf - using Foundation Paper Piecing

Card Trick

Attic Window

Toad in a Puddle

Dutchmans Puzzle

Also along the way I have done some other various sewing activities.
Before we tackled the palm leaf, we did another class on foundation paper piecing as no one had ever done it before. In case you didn't know its sewing material onto paper basically. The best part is you don't have to worry about bias or the grain of the material.  It is a bit tricky at the start until you get the hang of it.

You have the material on the back and sew along the line. You do one section at a time so there is lots of getting up and down to trim and iron in between each new piece of material. So the picture above show what both sides end up looking like once you have finished. There are plenty of tutorials out there if your interested. 

I ended up using mine to make Miss E a tablet cover. There is a panel on the front and back

I then needed a sewing book to keep all my papers and designs in so I made myself a cover to go over one of those A4 display books.

Now I am having a go at hand piecing. I did these ones myself at home

The photo below is of my very latest hand piecing project. The Atlantic Jewel. I'm going to be game and see if I can do more and turn it into a quilt, but I have to get this one sewn first. It took me ages to cut out the middle bit to get all the lines to match. Here's what it looks like just laid out.

There are 8 triangles in that middle piece. Sharon was showing us how to use fabrics with borders or patterns to create new patterns.

Sew sew sew, as you can see I have been keeping myself busy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What have I done?

Thursday 6th June, 2013 

It dawned on my yesterday exactly what I had said I was going to give up with no processed for for 28 days.

To be honest, I dont think I will make.

My day started with a womens bible study group and believe it or not the subject was facing temptations. Sitting on the table while we had our cuppas were scones with jam and cream, lemon slice, carrot cake (from a packet) and some orange cake. AHHHHHHHHHH. I was good. I had nothing.

Then we had to go out in the afternoon, which meant we would be out for tea. So while the family ate pies and pasties, I had remembered to grab the last little bit of left over vegie soup from the fridge. Boy am I glad I didn't have it for lunch like I had planned.

So the thoughts did start to run through my head, what have I done? I might end up being a bit more "loosey".

Anyway, I just also wanted to share a really yummo recipe that I made on day 2. Chickpea and spinach burgers. I found the recipe while surfing some time ago and fell in love with it as its vegan and gluten free. I got it from Tale of Two Vegans Click on their name and if I have done things correctly it should take you straight to the recipe. It was posted back in 2009 but its a great recipe. 

I did make some changes, like I left out the soy sauce and I also baked them instead of fry them. I baked them at 180C for 15 minutes and then turned and baked for another 15 minutes.

I did make up a double batch so I could have some left over, but my teenagers devoured them. Oh well at least I know they were eating something healthy.

Wish me luck as I start out on day 4.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Behind the Challenge

Tuesday 4th June, 2013

Day 2 of the 28 day challenge. Lucky me, I live in Australia so I'm ahead of all my fellow Americans by half a day in this challenge, which means I will finish first, maybe??????

Really I'm just trying to eat a lot healthier. I'm glad the rules are a bit "loosey goosey" as Lindsay said on her blog, as to what processed is.

A couple of years ago I had a bad rash on my hands. The doctors only wanted to give me some creams to help relieve the discomfort. "You'll probable never find the cause, best just to use this" said the doctor handing me a script.

Well I found a cause, food. After speaking to a friend who is a naturopath, I eliminated a few things from my diet. 2 to be exact. Dairy and wheat. Within 1 week the rash I had had for 3 months, and that was only getting worse and spreading up my arms, was gone.

A bit more testing and talking with my friend and we eliminated some other things as well. Soy, gluten, cashews, almonds, yeast, oats and a few things I can't remember now as they were not really in my diet to begin with. An interesting thing happened.

I felt bad, really bad, really REALLY BAD. For about a week. The first couple of days were ok, but then it hit. My joints ached, every muscle in my body hurt, I was crabby and cranky and I did not have a problem in letting people know. And I was tired. By the end of the second week, I felt fantastic. I started to discover I had symptoms I never new were symptoms.

Things like walking up stairs no longer hurt, not that it hurt much before, but I could feel the difference. I had an ease of movement and didn't feel like it was an effort to be walking up the steps.

I didn't need my horizontal life pauses. I found that I could stay up later at night. It had become such a routin for me to crawl into bed at 7:30 on a friday night and sleep until 7:30 the next morning. I was actually starting to stay up later than the kids.

I could think! I had heard of people talking about a brain fog before and had laughed it off, but I had it. I didn't relize it at all until it went away and suddenly I knew what brain fog was. My skin cleared up, I started to lose weight. I had alwasy been hungry. It seemed some days that I was a bottomless pit and nothing would fill me up. But after that first 2 weeks, I lost my craving, my hunger. I would look back on what I had eaten all day and think "Man, how did that ever fill me up?"

Then after 3 months of being really super strick, it was time to try out the no-no foods. To work out which ones, my body could cope with and which ones I was never going to eat again. The theory being that after giving my body and immune system a time of healing I might be able to reintroduce some of the foods.And that my friends is where I fell off the wagon big time.
Coupled with moving and life in general, my eating habits went back to what they had been several months before, because that was what was easy. I cut back on a lot of things and tried to minimilise how much i was eating of certain things, which I'm sure has kept me out of major trouble.


Over the last 2 years I have learnt that I can survive on eating anything, but not live fully, Sure I dont get major cramps or have to run to the toilet. I have trouble remembering, it hurts just that little bit to move, I have no energy to do anything fun. I now know that what I am feeling now is not normal motherhood, as one doctor tried to tell me years ago when I complained about my tiredness.

So that brings me to today. Time to reassess what I'm doing to my body. Time to listen to it and find out what it likes and doesn't like.So here's hoping this whole food challenge will kick start me into gear.



Monday, June 3, 2013

A Challenge

Monday 3rd June, 2013



There, I said it. Three times in fact. I'll say it again.

I'm taking the 28-day Whole Food Challenge.

Lindsay from the Happy Herbivore has set up a challenge for anyone that is interested. I encourage you all to go and have a look. Your body will thank you.

I am doing well so far, quinoa and rice porridge with fruit salad for breakfast this morning, yummo. Hopefully the next 27 and half days will be as good.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

There is life...................................

Sunday 2nd June, 2013.

Well what do you know, there is life after homeschooling. One could be forgiven in thinking that I had infact died when the coffin was sealed on homeschooling. Its been a long time since the last posting.

What to do with myself is a question I am still asking. No longer are my days filled with teaching or researching curriculums. Leaving the homeschooling scene was not my first choice and there are days that I get pangs of wanting so badly for my kids to return home.

My blog got neglected as it was originally set up to record our homeschooling activites.I have decided that I will now turn it into a journal of my thoughts and activites as I try to figure out what to do with myself. Who knows what I will come up with.

I'm always quick to tell others that there is a season for everything, just because one door closes doesn't mean others wont open.Its also no reason for just stopping. How do I know if a door is locked or not if I dont try and open some.

Its funny, I was asked what I enjoyed doing the other day and I really couldn't think of anything straight off the top of my head. Can "nothing" really be considered doing something? 

So I shall see what I can come up with. There has to be something out there for me to sink my teeth into. Hopefully it wil be an interesting journey as I discover more about myself and how to live outside of homeschooling.