Friday, May 29, 2009

A win and a temptation

Look at what I won over on Silly Gilly's blog! Retro cool! I also got a lovely fat quarter of fabric (that I can't show you because because I plan on making someone a present with it!), and some gorgeous big wheat coloured ricrac with red, blue and yellow stitching detail on it. I plan to use the ric rac with some linen to make a market bag. Silly Gilly is also having another giveaway at the moment where you can win one of her gorgeous felt brooches - check it out here

I haven't done any stitching lately which is driving me crazy! I hadn't realised how much I rely on taking that time to myself to relax and just be. This weekend will hopefully be a big stitching onet o make up for the last few. I'm hoping to get some more angel blocks from my Angels Story quilt made up ready for hand stitching. I also want to quilt an old quilt top I've had lying around forever to get some more practice on my stippling. And I also need to start thinking about some baby quilts - I have 2 new cousins due in Sept/Oct and another friend is due in August. Looks like I am going to be busy!

After spending the past two weeks on the train each day with just the radio and some old magazines to keep me occupied, I am getting tempted to try some hand piecing... oh dear! I never thought I would try hand piecing as I love how quickly things come together on the machine, but there was a quilt in the last Homespun magazine that is tempting me. Ann has a picture of it here. There is no way I would make the full quilt - there is over 2000 pieces in it! Perhaps I could just make a doll size version.

I hope you all have a good weekend with a little stitching too!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Little Miss Mushroom

Firstly - I apologise for the dark photos, it has been very rainy and grey here. But I wanted to introduce you to Little Miss Mushroom!

She was designed by the very talented Jhoanna Monte Aranez of One Red Robin. I used a very different colour combination to Jhoanna - believe it or not, my fabrics are very bright - they just don't look it in these photos! I often have trouble breaking away from the original colour combination I see a pattern made in, so this was a challenge I set for myself.

without her apron and bunny friend
I found putting Miss Mushroom together rather tough - getting her already stuffed arms and legs to stay in the right positions while I sewed the 2 body pieces together drove me mad! I have a new found respect for Jhoanna and her softie making skills!

Miss Mushroom and her bunny with new friends.

I have almost finished the latest block of Gail's BOM - there is a couple of berries missing. I dropped my needle on the train with only 2 knots to go and forgot about it until I took this picture - oops!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Angels come in all shapes and sizes...

I've not had a chance to do much stitching in the past week, and with visitors from Melbourne for the next two weekends in a row, I think my posts may be a little thin on the ground.

However, I did remember taking a photo of this wallhanging at Mum and Dad's over Christmas. I made this for them as a Thankyou after they helped me out when I got myself into a bit of a pickle... And for everything else they have done for me too! It was one of the first things I made with the sewing machine Mum and Dad gave me a number of years ago, and like another I made at the time, it was made using a zig zag stitch around the applique pieces with a clear thread. It's probably not a method I would use again, but it was a great way to see results quickly.

I remember that I made it from a pattern in a magazine that was meant for Father's day, but I have no idea what magazine it was or who designed it.
I still have no word on Pointy kitty - thankyou all for your lovely comments about her though. I'm hopeful that she has found a wonderful home!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

pumpkin muffins

This week I made some pumpkin muffins for our weekday morning teas. These muffins are very moist and have a spicy sweetness which goes well with a scraping of butter (especially the cultured stuff if you can get it!).

ready for the oven!

Pumpkin Muffins
makes 12

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground allspice
115g softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup mashed pumpkin
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plump golden raisins (or 1/2 cup sultanas, soaked in hot water for about 30mins, then drained)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or flaked almonds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds or pepitas, for topping.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 200C. Line a cupcake tray with paper liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

Beat the butter until soft. Add both the sugars and continue to beat until light and smooth. One by one, add the eggs, beating for a minute after they are incorporated, then beat in the vanilla.

Mix in the pumpkin and buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients , along with the raisins and the nuts and mix only until they disappear. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle sunflower seeds or pepitas over the top of each muffin.

Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.


recipe from "Baking, from my home to yours" by Dorie Greenspan.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Productive Weekend

Friends of ours had their first baby last week - a gorgeous little girl called Mathilde! Using some stitchery patterns from Bronwyn Hayes' book "Little Chicken Feather", and a free pattern for a 'kidlet' from JC Handmade, I put together my version of a 'kidlet'.

I added some length to the original kidlet to enable my stitchery to fit nicely. I really like these pink and purple stripes!

I also embellished a little singlet for Mathilde too.

I also finished the latest block from Gail Pan's "A Christmas Wish BOM" during the week.

And today I put together the last of my 36 windmills. Now I just need some time (and floor space) to organise how they will go together.

And I have almost finished my latest softie too- here's a little peak: