Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Crates and Cuttings

I finished my pallet garden!
Dill and Mint
From left to right and top to bottom I have basil, parsley, dill, thyme, mint, and oregano. I also planted a few nasturtium seeds in with the mint because I figured if anything could cohabit with mint, they could. I also learned that nasturtiums are good companion plants as they attract pests away from other plants, and if they don't get eaten by pests they are edible for humans, too. And also just pretty. :)
Pallet Garden
Over the weekend I visited my sister, and admired her collection of indoor plants. This begonia had been adopted from her old workplace. Apparently begonias are indestructible and super easy to propagate from cuttings. Sounds like my kind of plant! It has sweet little flowers that vary from white to fuchsia, depending on how much sunlight they get.
Kath's Begonia
My sister kindly gave me some cuttings from her begonia, as well as a couple of geraniums from her backyard. Here's hoping I don't kill them all! :P

Friday, 1 November 2013

Cow Quilt

Back in March I posted about a cow quilt I was piecing for my husband. I actually finished it by May (I think that's some kind of record for me) so he had it in time for Winter, but I never got around to getting photos of it. Since we actually had a holiday this week, I thought I'd get a few shots while I had the free time and the nice back drop.
Cow quilt at Bannisters
Trent holding his quilt up for me. :) This was take from our balcony, which overlooked the pool bar and the ocean. Sadly we didn't spot any whales (apparently a common sight for this location).
Trent holding cow quilt
This was the first quilting I did using my new sewing machine, it made such a difference! Nice even stitches...
Cow quilt green detail
Cow quilt blue detail
For the back I made some little cow "paddocks" based on Elizabeth Hartman's Picture Day pattern. I think it's maybe a bit too bright but it's the back of the quilt so meh...
Cow quilt back
And finally here's Trent back in May enjoying his new quilt while we watch BSG. :3 (You might also notice a bunch of other cow patterned things in the background... Hehe)
Trent under cow quilt
A quick update on the garden, first sugar snap pea spotted before going on holidays on Monday, and some jalapeƱos that have been happily growing in our absence.
Sugar peas growing
Jalapenos growing

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Bespoke Gardening

A few weeks ago ALDI were selling some ridiculously cheap seedlings, and amongst them were some sugar snap peas. I'd never grown them before but though for $2 I'd give it a try. Initially I had some garden mesh for them to climb on, but after a few weeks when they began blooming I realised they were basically growing sideways on top of one another, so I figured I should do something about it.
Pea Blossom
I visited The Bower hunting for some wood scraps to use, and salvaged some hard wood planks (and some stakes for my tomatoes to boot) for $5. The piece on the left was basically ready to go, we just sawed off the lengths on the top, drilled some holes in the sides and threaded through the twine. The one on the right we pieced together from planks to mimic the other.
Recycled trellis
When I say "we" I'm referring to my friend Nick and his compliment of power tools, not a mouse in my pocket. :} Thanks for helping me make these super hipster recycled "bespoke" pea trellises, Nick!
Peas on trellis
While we were at The Bower I also spotted this mini pallet (approx 100cm x 60cm), which I snagged for $1 for my next garden project: a vertical garden! I've seen a few tutorials on Pinterest and such, but still not too sure how I'm going to tackle it. Suggestions or tips are welcome!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Spectral Shades

I learned how to knit at a really early age, thanks to my mum casting on and off for me and some patient lessons from my grandma. However, I never really got the hang of crochet for some reason. A couple of months ago I was admiring a crocheted chevron throw my mum had made to use up some scrap wool that had accumulated over the years, and decided I would give it a go.

Armed with a hook, some wool, and a Doris Day DVD, I asked my mum to show me how to work the pattern. I managed to get the hang of it by the time Doris finished her final ballad. I continued to work on it in the following weeks, and before I knew it I'd worked through ten balls of wool and had a not too bad throw for my couch!

Chevron Afghan

The pattern is called "Spectral Shades", and it's from Better Homes and Gardens magazine, June 2010 edition.

I finished up another little project while I was working on the throw; this cute little cat tote (which I forgot to iron before photographing, oops).

Cat Tote
I used this tutorial from Fresh Lemons Quilts, without the outer pockets.

Jago's Quilt

My friends James and Sarah, whose beautiful daughter Juliet was the recipient of the first quilt I ever made, had another baby earlier this year. Born back in May they named their little boy Jago (which is the Cornish version of James, and the 'J' is pronounced the same as with James), and it was an irresistible opportunity to make another baby quilt. Can't have siblings fighting over a blankie after all. :3
Jago Front
I really wanted to use my 1001 Peeps from designer Lizzy House in the purple colour-way. Mixed with black sashing I hoped the parents would dig both the palette and the cute little graphics.
Jago Front Close Up
I pieced the quilt back with a similar piano key layout used for Juliet's quilt, and made a label with Jago's name and birthday with a grosgrain ribbon. I think some of the black & white scraps from Juliet's quilt went into the pieced back, and if memory serves I even made an effort to have the finished size of both quilts the same (40" x 48"). So, same same but different. :)
Jago Back
Apologies for the worst photos in the world; black quilts are especially hard to photograph well, and I'm working with my phone camera and a desperate lack of skill...
Jago Back Close Up
Jago Label
Luckily I've got this great action shot of the gorgeous little guy on his new quilt to make up for it. He looks pretty chuffed about it!
Jago Action Shot
Thanks for the photo, Sarah!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

In Bloom

This year I've been struck with a desire to do some gardening. It seems to be somewhat of a yearly fad, come every Spring. Let's see how long my interest lasts this time. :)
Nasturtium Seedlings
One of the first things I planted was some Nasturtium seeds. These guys are edible, have pretty flowers, and reputedly thrive on neglect. So, perfect for a fair weather gardener like myself.
Nasturtium Buds
Two of my current nasturtiums were actually found in the ground, reseeded from last years abandoned batch (reputation deserved!). Today I was excited to see a few flowers are on their way!
Grape Tomatoes
New this year are some sweet yellow capsicums, jalapenos, and grape tomatoes. The latter two are about to bear something edible, yeah! I'm hoping I'll have some veggies from my little garden to put into some kangaroo chilli.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Flying Geese

I'd been wanting to make a flying geese quilt for a while after having seen one of Rita's (I think she's made a few!), and then Jeni's pink monochrome mini quilt gave me the idea to make it black and white.
flying geese front
For the back I tried my hand at paper piecing and made a large circle of flying geese for the centre. Typically these blocks measure about 12.5" square when complete, I enlarged the template to finish with a 16.5" square.
flying geese back
I quilted some diagonal lines inspired by this flying geese quilt I stumbled across, and added the old infallible black and white striped binding.
flying geese folded
It's become a favourite and now lives on our couch. I'm actually snuggled under it right now... :3

Friday, 29 March 2013


This long weekend I'm making a cow-themed quilt for my cow-obsessed husband, after last winter he confessed to being jealous of my lap quilt. :3
cow quilt layout
So far I've finished the cutting and layout, which is inspired by this brick quilt from Tallgrass Prairie Studio. I spent ages umming and ahhing over the layout, making sure there was a good distribution of colour and pattern. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Quilt Zero

Big apology to my follower bros (yes, both of you!) for neglecting my blog. In the past year I've holidayed in Japan, bought and moved into a house, and continued to work stupid hours at my day job.

I know all that is terribly interesting, but I thought I might show you what else I managed to produce last year. The quilt I'm blogging about today is kind of the quilt that started this downward spiral -- quilt zero, if you will.

I found Heather Ross' Far Far Away II collection for sale, depicting various princesses and fairy tale characters. The Sleeping Beauty was especially laden with childhood nostalgia and musical heartache for me, and so my stash began. Over time I collected pieces from her other collections to make a quilt for myself.

princess front

Most people who know me would say my colour is black, but I must confess, I do love girly pink, peach, and cream colours too. So although the modern quilting modus operandi is typically white or cream sashing, I had to go with black. It works for me. :3

princess detail

far far away unicorn

The Princess and the Pea, and the unicorns are from Far Far Away. I used a bit of the selvaging from the unicorns in peach from Far Far Away, just in case you were in doubt of the theme.

princess back detail

For the back I went with a "piano key" pieced strip of Heather Ross scraps. (It was pretty impossible to get a good picture of it with my appalling photography skills.)

Although I only finished up (I'm going to guess) about June last year, the fabrics featured in this quilt were the first I bought online in early 2011. So the elapsed time from inception to completion is a bit silly, but that's what happens when you code by day and craft by night...