Monday, 31 December 2007
The other two photos were taken the next day when Terry, Caroline and Bruno travelled by jet boat up the Whanganui River to check out the Bridge to Nowhere. Isn't that fabulous photo Terry took looking down from the bridge onto the top of some tree ferns?
Aimee and Jessica's gifts included santa hats, pretty party dresses and a purple umbrella.
By 8.00 am we had opened most of the parcels under the tree and were preparing a cooked breakfast for 12 people, friends had started arriving by 8.15 and at 9.00 we sat down to: oranges in Grand Marnier, a variety of fruit juices, a frittata which included sun dried tomato, courgette and potato, crispy dry smoked bacon, and cannellini beans with tomato and basil sauce. This was followed by gluten free xmas cake and coffee. Unfortunately we didn't get any photos of the long table, we were too busy enjoying the company of our friends and family!
Sunday, 30 December 2007
Over the next few days, I will be posting photos of our family Christmas and the friends who visited. Tune out if you are only interested in quilty things, I haven't had much time for sewing. You can come back in a week or two :-)
But if you would like to know more about Whanganui and its surrounds there will be a few interesting photos for you.
PS - yes, I know Iron Mountain is in Oregon, not Washington, as I say, stuff was happening and once the card was at Frogprints it was too late. If you are interested in how I made the Xmas cards I posted (as in snail mail), I had that picture printed as a 7"x5" photo (30 of them at a $1.00 each) which I then stuck (with a glue stick) on an A4 sheet of gold calligraphy paper folded in half. And this year I managed to find A5 envelopes for the cards.
Saturday, 8 December 2007
I'm a bit nervous about quilting it on the Swiftquilter frame. I want to do some detailed quilting in the centre which will probably need to be done on the table. Do I just quilt around the centre and then take it off the frame and finish it on the table? or will that cause puckering if the quilt is not quilted evenly on the frame? Should I pin it and quilt the centre before putting it on the frame to finish the quilting on the rest of the quilt? Or should I try to quilt the centre on the frame? I want to quilt flowers and leaves in amongst the roses and birds and butterflies on the sky...
Please - give me advice if you have any!
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
However, while she is here we make the most of her company and that includes at our regular Sunday evening dinner with Robert and Jennifer. As you can see, lately its been pleasant enough to have dinner outside. Last week Anne was here with us (Terry was taking the photo). That evening was a vaguely Spanish themed meal, with Anne bringing shrimp cocktails, Robert provided a tasty chicken stew and I made cauliflower and potato dishes. Jennifer made a yummy cassata with icecream, yoghurt, sultanas and apricots.
By this week's Sunday dinner, Anne had left to return home (Robert took the photo) but we promised to think of her and we did. We took photos of the food she had left us:the potato salad included potatoes, eggs and spring onions that Anne gave me when I picked her up to take her to the airport.
Jennifer made a green salad using blanched beans, broccoli and asparagus with almonds and gherkins and a red salad with tomatoes, radishes, red onions and smoked tuna - they were both worthy meals in their own right! But Robert had gathered the ingredients for a blue cheese sauce so I found some steak to grill... and then there was wine left over from the blue cheese sauce to drink so we drank a toast to absent friends. To you Anne - many happy returns to Wanganui!
Saturday, 24 November 2007
I'm happy with the result on this one, an all over pattern of alternating leaves and squiggly lines. My hands are a bit stiff at the moment so I folded the binding to the front and machine stitched it down. It'll be a nice strong binding!
Sunday, 11 November 2007
She also did face painting (Aimee didn't want her photo taken).
Chris was kept busy making swords and dragons from balloons.
Jessica took a rest on my lap.
We had a lovely day with the family and a restful trip home. I made tinned smoked fish & chickpeas in a white sauce on toast for dinner. Yumm!
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup sugar (I used my vanilla sugar made by storing vanilla pods in the sugar jar)
1½ cups quinoa flakes
2/3rd cup (165 gm) butter or margarine
Put all dry ingredients EXCEPT quinoa flakes in a bowl and use a hand held whisk to gently blend together and remove any lumps. Beat wet ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add mixed dry ingredients slowly through the tube while beating. Scrape batter from food processor into a bowl and mix in quinoa flakes gently. Drop from a teaspoon, widely spaced, onto three oven trays lined with baking paper - about 16 per tray. Bake 190 deg C for about 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
Update: Terry had one of these after breakfast this morning. I asked him if he liked it and at first he said "yes, they're great". Then he realised I was asking for a considered reaction, not an automatic one, and he looked at it and said "well, i'd prefer it to have more flavour". So while I was sitting there thinking, ok, i could substitute some brown sugar for some of the white sugar, or I could add more spice, maybe some ginger, or I could add some chopped walnuts or sultantas, while I was thinking all this he ate another four biscuits - looking for that elusive flavour I guess!
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
I so much enjoyed doing the small Limited Edition Challenge Quilt that I have now completed another - this time in green/blue and white instead of green/yellow and black. What do you think?
Again, I've used photos that Terry took in Anne's garden in Canada but this time, I've taken elements from four different photos to get this one scene.
Saturday, 27 October 2007
Thursday, 18 October 2007
And here is a progress report on Aimee's fairies too. I've finished adding flowers to the centre panel. The next step is to iron some facing to the back of the centre panel so that I can free motion stitch the flowers down and add the details of the fairy. I'll also add stems and leaves to the mix of flowers and maybe the outline of a few more butterflies.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
I had a lunch appointment with Jennifer and Terry decided he could be in town at that time too and would join us. So he popped up to the shed to collect the mail as I got ready to go out. And look what he brought back down to the house! My Four Seasons Swap Quilt! isn't it lovely? The colours and fabrics are wonderful and it is perfectly at home on my coffee table. I can look at it and smile whenever I pass the table (which is often as its on the way to the stairs and going up and down the stairs because I've forgotten something is what keeps me fit!) The quilt is beautifully finished and I think the pattern was a good choice for the fabric. There was also a parcel of goodies - two bag patterns, some ink jet fabric sheets and some fabric! What a fabulous package. I wonder if she knew that one of the other Challenges we have for the quilt show in April next year is "My Best Bag"? I'll enjoy making a bag from a pattern instead of guessing and fudging it which is my usual method. I'm going to make the one with the gathered side pockets. And you can see the box it was sent in in the background - she has even put a map of Australia and New Zealand on the box! I tried to open the box without ripping the map but I was too excited to be careful enough and it tore itself apart.
Well, I just had a few minutes before I had to leave to put a comment on my partner's blog to let her know it had arrived safely. Follow the link to her blog - she since posted about the quilt and tells of the problems she had making the quilt and why it was late arriving. I really didn't mind and there was no need to add the extra goodies - but it was wonderful to receive them!
After that excitement we carefully drove into town, still lots of rain about but thankfully, none as we walked from car to cafe. It was hosing down at the time we intended to leave so we all sat back down and had another cup of coffee and a gluten free biscuit. Then Jennifer and I spent a happy couple of hours shopping - clothes from "The Mill", and then a look at the $2.00 shop! Another drink and show and tell and then I dropped Jennifer off and came home.
And now the rain has stopped and the sun is pretending to shine. Terry is out planting nasturtium seeds in the orchard and I'm thinking about what to cook for dinner.
So - how about that for a perfect day? Sewing, shopping, a wonderful parcel from abroad and lunch with two of my favourite people?
Saturday, 13 October 2007
This is one of the challenges for our quilt club's biennial show which will be in April next year. I haven't felt like working on any of the larger quilts I have started (and should finish very soon) so I started thinking about this challenge. Here is what I've done over my last two afternoons in the sewing room. Do you like it? The orange around the edge is not part of the quilt, its the table its lying on.
And here is the photo that Terry took in Anne's garden in Canada and that I worked from.
Saturday, 29 September 2007
James did almost all of his quilting himself - all of the sea and most of the wiggly seaweed lines. He managed the sewing machine very well, learning to control the speed and to wiggle the fabric to make the straight stitch sew the curves of the seaweed. He chose the binding and I sewed that on with the machine. He is persevering in the hand sewing of the binding on the back of the quilt, so his is not quite finished yet. But he'll get there, I'm sure.
After a couple of hours in the sewing room yesterday afternoon they both decided that the day was beautiful and sunny and they hadn't explored the swing or the tree house or the fort since last time they were here and they had better go and check them out. I could hear where they were and continued on with the binding of their quilts. After a while I realised I hadn't heard much for about the last five minutes so went to investigate. They had been searching "the forest" (our patch of bush which stretches down a fairly steep slope on the side of our house paddock) for the fort and wandered too far down the slope and Jasmine couldn't find her way back up. I had to find a good way down and show her a good way back up, through the bracken and broken branches. A few months ago it would have been a lot harder for me to do than I found it to be yesterday. Yayy for weight loss!
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
Well, I have three quilt tops completed, waiting for quilting (apart from the final border on two of them, but lets not be picky). So what does any self respecting quilter do? You've got it, she starts another quilt. Our grand-daughter, Aimee will be five in February and all of our grand-children and all of my sister's grandchildren have got or will get a quilt from me for their fifth birthday. Aimee requested fairies and these two pictures show progress so far. Sarah took me to Thimbles and Threads in Upper Hutt last week where I spent up large on fairy fabric in pinks and greens. I've also pulled all the pale pink and green floral squares from my 5" square pile and this is what has grown. I know some of the points are cut off but I don't care and I'm pretty sure Aimee won't either, at least, not for a few years. Its because I sewed four 5" squares together and then cut them across the diagonal to make the triangles that set the squares with the stars in the middle on point.
I'm unsure what I will do about the middle section. I will applique a fairy onto the sky/grass background panel and will edge the panel in some fashion, either with the corners as shown or with some other border.
Saturday, 22 September 2007
3 cups cooked brown rice
1/3 cup grated tasty cheese (romano, parmesan, etc)
4 shallot cloves
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp oil (olive or rice bran)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
Mix the last 5 ingredients together to a paste in a small kitchen whizz or blender. Stir all ingredients together. Mixture should be sloppy. Spoon into paper muffin cases set into muffin trays. Cook 20-30 min at 160 deg C on fan bake. Yummy for lunch. Can be frozen and reheated.
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
You can see the last three blocks I did, in the top right hand corner. They have a different look to the rest of them. That is because I had a long break between finishing the bulk of them and doing those last three. I had lost touch with them. I've made them without the plainer pieces that the others have. I wonder if I should remake them? Whaddya reckon?
Friday, 7 September 2007
We had Sarah, Chris, Aimee and Jessica to stay last weekend. I would have posted about that but we didn't take any photos and its a bit boring without photos. Then all my quilting time this week (which wasn't much, see the comment above) was taken up with completing a row on Audrey's Row by Row quilt. And I can't post pictures of that because she isn't allowed to know what is happening with her Row by Row until she gets it back. Suffice to say, it involved ripping patches out and resewing because I hadn't read her preferences properly.
And this weekend I've been doing more secret stuff but I'm going to show you anyway because I'm pretty pleased with it and I don't think Chris reads my blog. Hope not. Sorry Chris if you do but you'll be getting it soon anyway.
Our grand-daughters do some pretty nice artwork at times and one evening while they were visiting us, Chris was musing on how cool it would be to have some of it put on a t-shirt. I don't think he ever did anything about it but I decided to see what I could do for his birthday which is coming up soon. The first step was to scan the art, add their names and print it onto a vinyl transfer sheet. Then I ripped white fabric into a rough square and ironed the transfer onto the fabric. I ripped some fine calico into another, slightly larger rough square and layered these onto the front of a black t-shirt. After pinning a piece of vilene to the inside of the shirt, I machine sewed round the edges of both squares with a mock hand quilting stitch sewing through all four layers (white fabric, calico, t-shirt and vilene). A bit of a twiddle through the middle and then trim the vilene away from the back. Finished!
Monday, 27 August 2007
The rose in the vase (and ribbon) was one of four that Terry presented to the four ladies (Judith, Jennifer, Val and I) who attended Fries on Friday last week - just because he had been walking past the flower shop.
The Settlers of Catan (3d version) is on a board made from two layers of corrugated card laid at right angles to each other for strength, covered with quilt batting - its supposed to be a temporary board until I get a perspex one cut - or until I cover it with fabric. We've been using it for a couple of years now I guess...
The plate is from France. Christine, Caroline's mother, bought it for me in Lyon. On the plate are: venison gluten free sausage from our local market, sprouted blue peas, grilled chicken breast, plum sauce from plums from our tree, carrot sticks, hummus mixed with garlic mayo, roasted almonds, tomato, kiwifruit. On the side plates are gluten free rice flour waffles which I make without sugar so they can be used as crackers with savoury foods.
Rice Flour Waffles
Put the following ingredients into a blender in this order:
2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil (I use rice bran or light olive oil), 1 & 3/4 cups soy milk, 1 cup white rice flour, 3/4 cup brown rice flour, 1 tbsp gluten free baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt.
Blend all ingredients, scrape sides and blend again. Leave to sit while waffle iron heats. Cook each waffle for 5 min. Makes 10-12 large waffles. These freeze well and can be defrosted and crisped either in the toaster or 5-6 min in a hot oven.
Sunday, 26 August 2007
I've only got the label to do now. I've used a very thin batting as I wanted it to be suitable for use as a table centrepiece. I won't attach any hanging system but I will include three little rings that could be sewn to the back for hanging if my partner wishes. I'm quite pleased with it. The colours work and, even though I changed the right-hand border from the original design, its still balanced. Want to know why I changed it? Well, I cut the strips, sewed them together, cut the 45 deg angle for three of the border pieces that make up the bottom and right hand borders - and then cut the fourth border piece out of one of the others! I pieced two more borders and made two more mistakes (in size and then in colour)! So I gave up trying to make the border as designed and started fresh. The quilting is fairly basic, just a meander in variegated thread that suggests air flow or a windy day.
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
And you can see that I also intend to use some orphan blocks left over from making my daughter's Plenty-o-Pockets bag shown in the making here (I didn't get a photo of it finished). When you make snowball blocks using this method you get two triangles cut off each corner. And I'm sure you all know that if you sew them together BEFORE cutting them off the snowball while its easy, you get a bonus bunch of small squares made from half square triangles. That's what I'm using for the Tree of Life block in the middle of this Four Seasons Quilt.