Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Quilt

How the weather vane pattern should have looked.
Jess and I have been into patchwork recently and after a couple of really nice results, we thought we would make a quilt for Mum for Mothers day.  We flipped through a pioneer patchwork book and picked a pattern called "Weather Vane".  We added a couple of tweaks (that is, we put a different center in each patch) and from there determined how big it would have to be for Mum and Dad's queen-size bed.  Initially we thought a 16-patch quilt with borders would be nice.  Optimistically, we sneaked the meter-ruler up to Mum and Dad's room and measured out how big such a quilt would be on the bed.  Grace and I just stood up, gazed at each other and couldn't stop laughing.  A 16-patch quilt with borders would cover the bed and drape the floor ten centimeters in every direction.  We decided to tone it down a little and make it a nine patch instead with borders.

My 358 squares
As we are somewhat limited in our variety of materials, Jess and I decided that the patches would be pink, light blue and tan and we would get a darker colour later for the borders and the backing.  All up we - that is a bit Grace, a bit Jess and mainly me ;) ) cut 86 tan squares, 128 blue squares and 144 pink squares.  Being me, I didn't bother much about accuracy and most of the pink squares ended up bigger than everything else, so we had to trim and cut as we went.  I swear I am so sick of triangles.  There were at least 32 of them in each patch and as Jess isn't so confident on the sewing machine, I sewed most of the horrible little things up.  Blegh!  I was so tired of them by the time we had done.  As I mentioned before, we had a different center in each patch.  From top left to bottom right running horizontally, the centers are called waterwheel, swastika, broken dishes, next door neighbour, churn dash, star of the west, four-patch, something, and pinwheel.  Some of them were so tricky to put together.  Jess wanted to put a mini weather vane in the center patch which would have been pretty cool, but by that time, we were so sick of little pieces, we abandoned the idea nearly as quickly as we downed our bowl of pop corn at afternoon tea break.  :P

The quilt - badly in need of an iron  :P
In order to make quilts at a relatively low cost, we get our material at the op-shop here in town.  we sort through the piles of sheets and doona covers until we find what we want.  Then we bring it home and chop it up.  :D  Last Saturday, we asked Dad to take us down so we could get something for the borders and backing and some flannelette sheets for the filling.  We really wanted a dark blue, but everything we found was too small to be worth getting.  Finally, we found a length of material that would work.  It was ribbed and stretchy, but we thought we could make it work.  Ha!  Never again.  Yeah, it looks nice now, but it stretched and bunched and slid while we were working it until Jess and I were both at our wit's ends.  But it was all we had so we wrestled it into place.
At last the quilt top was finished and we were rather pleased with our handy work.  Then came the backing.  We didn't have quite enough of the material to do a backing in strips like we had planned, so we had to cut and patch to make it fit.  Then we cut the flannelette to size and attempted to bring it all together.  Honestly, you would not believe how heavy the thing is.  It was a challenge to drag it along while sewing the binding (I heat a little here and use the machine).  I must say, I am less than happy with the binding.  It is rather uneven, but there was nothing I could do about it, so that's the way it is.  We then set the machine up on
And just to get an idea of the size of it, here's Rose in the center patch.  :)
the ironing board for convenience and tried to sew the final seams down and across the entire quilt to keep the layers together.  We were sadly disappointed.  Because of the weight in the quilt, the dark blue fabric stretched and bunched and made the patched bunch as well.  I was so frustrated, but there was naught else to do but spread it out on the floor and hand sew the running stitch up and down and across.  Which is what I was doing before I decided to make Anzac biscuits and write on my blog.  :P  We have probably done about 1/4 of the sewing that needs to be done, so we will need to get a move on at some point.  *sigh*  Hand sewing is not my favourite activity.  Anyway, I suppose it is not too bad - just a bit loose and bunchy looking.  I guess Mum will like it anyway.  :D  I think perhaps I might do things a bit differently next time... like a pattern suited to my level of abilities at this stage... ;P

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Upcoming Joys

Can you believe it is the middle of April already?  It is rather astonishing.  I am amazed at how twelve months have flown past - this time last year, we were in Victoria in a tiny cabin that was so squishy we ran into each other nearly step we took... Thinking back, while it wasn't fun for the younger kids to be sick in bed, it freed up a lot of room for everyone else!  :P

Joy turns fourteen tomorrow... :)
Tomorrow will be a full year since we went to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat.  If you have the opportunity to visit Sovereign Hill at any stage, do it!  Set in the 1850's, it is a gold mining town complete with general stores, candy stores, farriers, soap makers, the lot!

How do I remember that it is a year tomorrow?  It was the special thing we did for my sister Joy's birthday.  Yep, my little sister turns 14 tomorrow, and I'm not quite sure how that happened!  We have planned and schemed a little bit and come up with gifts and a cake we are pretty sure she will love.  :)  I will try and do a post in the next couple of days about it.  (You will probably notice that she s wearing an 'S' necklace in the photo... that is because I use my sibling's middle names as identity protection for them!  :D )

Thursday is a rather exciting day for us too as we are going to visit some dear friends over the Easter weekend.  This will be the fourth year that they have so graciously hosted us all.  We always come away from their home feeling so refreshed and uplifted because their hospitality is humbling and their fellowship is so sweet.  We are so much looking forward to spending five days with them.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Antics of Annie and Rose

My sisters, Rose (3) and Annie (2) are growing up so fast.  They re developing their own unique senses of humor which leave the rest of us gasping for breath sometimes... Here's a post dedicated to the antics of Annie and Rose.  :D

Me:  Knock knock!
Rose:  Knock knock.
Me: No, you say "who's there"  Try again.  Knock knock!
Rose: Who's there?
Me: Interrupting cow.


Rose:  I need help.
Me: How do you ask?
Rose:  May I please need some help?


*Annie makes a noise like she is going to throw up*
Me: Are you ok?
Annie: No!  I'm sick.


Rose: I can't see inside my skin, because if I cut a hole in it, it will hurt.
Jess: Have you tried?
Rose:  No!  It would be sore!


Rose: *'reading' the words on a mug *  Cup - of  - tea.
Me: No, sweetie.  It says 'Live in the Moment'
Rose: Live on a Mango???


Rose: *singing*  Do, a female deer.  Re, la la la la sun. Mi, I call myself. Fa, a long long way to run. So, a meedle pulling fred. La, a la la la la So. Ti a la la la la bread. THAT WILL BRING US BACK TO DO!!!  (And, yes, she shouts that part.  ;) )


*I give Annie a piece of frozen mango, and a few minutes later, she is back for more. *

Annie: More berries?
Me: It's  mango, sweetheart.
Annie: *jumps up and down, clapping her hands and squealing* Oh that's so exciting!!!


Saturday, 5 April 2014

The Sunshine Award

Many, many thanks to Clare for nominating me and my blog for the Sunshine Award... At present, I'm not really sure what it is all about, but it is fun... :)  Here are the rules:

1. Copy and paste the image above or make your own. (I used my own, but you can use mine if you like. :) )
2. Answer the questions your nominator has set for you.
3.Nominate your own blogger(s). 
4.Let your nominees know. 
5. Put together 11 questions for them to answer
6. Publish your post! 

1. What is your favourite book/series/author you have read this year?
I'm not sure I can put it down to one, but I am currently reading the autobiography of George Mueller is is amazing.

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Ummm... a few...  five or six, think...

3. Do you prefer hot weather or cold weather? 
Cold - you can get warm in winter, but its hard to get cool in summer.

4. What is a pastime you enjoy?

5. What colour are your eyes?

6. What sort of blog posts do you like to read?
Inspiring, funny, newsy... anything but coring... ;)

7. What is the first song that came into your head? (and if one didn't then get one in there now!)
Do You Want To Build a Snowman? from Frozen

8. What would you do if you had $500 to spend?
Save it until the next birthday I need to buy for... :)

9. Do you collect anything?
Other than useless scraps of paper and coffee cups on my desk, no.  

10. What do you eat for breakfast?
All sorts of things... bacon and eggs, muffins, rice, porridge,...

11. What is your earliest memory?
My earliest memory is when I was about two years and ten months old.  We were on holidays and my grandmother took me in the stroller to the nursing home to see my great-grandmother.  We watched Playschool and fed my great-grandmother a banana.

Most of the blogs I would have nominated have already been nominated, but there are a couple that always bring a smile to my face.  So here goes:

Atlanta and her blog "Story of  a Seamstress".  This is an absolutely beautiful blog and Atlanta's skill at sawing blows me away!  It is so lovely too to see her and her husband as they begin their family and just enjoy life together.

The second blog I would like to nominate is Fullness of Joy by Joy.  Joy is really encouraging and loves books and movies and the Lord Jesus (not in that order, obviously!)  She is such a sweet girl and her blog is beautiful.

So they are the blogs I have nominated - I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  :)

Atlanta and Joy, the questions I have set for you are:

1) What are your favourite flowers and why?
2) If you stop and listen right now, what can you hear?
3) What do you do on the weekends?
4) What is your least favourite food (as in you really can't stand it!)?
5) What is the desktop page on your computer?
6) Favourite board game?
7) Do you have a passage of scripture that is especially meaningful to you?
8) What colour is your favourite shirt?
9) What is your favourite month?
10) Your funniest childhood memory?
11) What is your favourite joke?