Sunday, 16 October 2016

Ready for quilting!

Last weekend, as per my last blog post, I headed to the fabric store and after much deliberation settled on a backing fabric for Sofia's quilt. Today I found some time to pin together the backing, wadding and quilt top... so this project is now ready for quilting.

My Market Folk quilt (designed by Cinderberry Stitches) ready for quilting
I've been pulling out my hand-stitching over the last couple of weeks too... even though my Mermaiden Tales block-of-the-month is way behind, it's been the first block of my Simply-Blessed quilt capturing my attention. And now, the stitching is done!

Block 1 of Simply Blessed (design by Rosalie Quinlan)

I love the detail in this pattern. The bees are so cute :)


I've prepared the next block of Mermaiden Tales, and Simply-Blessed... which one to pick up first though?! Hmmmm...

Until next time x

Ready for quilting!

Last weekend, as per my last blog post, I headed to the fabric store and after much deliberation settled on a backing fabric for Sofia's quilt. Today I found some time to pin together the backing, wadding and quilt top... so this project is now ready for quilting.

My Market Folk quilt (designed by Cinderberry Stitches) ready for quilting
I've been pulling out my hand-stitching over the last couple of weeks too... even though my Mermaiden Tales block-of-the-month is way behind, it's been the first block of my Simply-Blessed quilt capturing my attention. And now, the stitching is done!

Block 1 of Simply Blessed (design by Rosalie Quinlan)

I love the detail in this pattern. The bees are so cute :)


I've prepared the next block of Mermaiden Tales, and Simply-Blessed... which one to pick up first though?! Hmmmm...

Until next time x

Ready for quilting!

Last weekend, as per my last blog post, I headed to the fabric store and after much deliberation settled on a backing fabric for Sofia's quilt. Today I found some time to pin together the backing, wadding and quilt top... so this project is now ready for quilting.

My Market Folk quilt (designed by Cinderberry Stitches) ready for quilting
I've been pulling out my hand-stitching over the last couple of weeks too... even though my Mermaiden Tales block-of-the-month is way behind, it's been the first block of my Simply-Blessed quilt capturing my attention. And now, the stitching is done!

Block 1 of Simply Blessed (design by Rosalie Quinlan)

I love the detail in this pattern. The bees are so cute :)


I've prepared the next block of Mermaiden Tales, and Simply-Blessed... which one to pick up first though?! Hmmmm...

Until next time x

Ready for quilting!

Last weekend, as per my last blog post, I headed to the fabric store and after much deliberation settled on a backing fabric for Sofia's quilt. Today I found some time to pin together the backing, wadding and quilt top... so this project is now ready for quilting.

My Market Folk quilt (designed by Cinderberry Stitches) ready for quilting
I've been pulling out my hand-stitching over the last couple of weeks too... even though my Mermaiden Tales block-of-the-month is way behind, it's been the first block of my Simply-Blessed quilt capturing my attention. And now, the stitching is done!

Block 1 of Simply Blessed (design by Rosalie Quinlan)

I love the detail in this pattern. The bees are so cute :)


I've prepared the next block of Mermaiden Tales, and Simply-Blessed... which one to pick up first though?! Hmmmm...

Until next time x

Monday, 3 October 2016

I need to go fabric shopping...

Al was working on his car this afternoon when I walked in and said just that. "I need to go fabric shopping next weekend," with a big smile on my face. He just laughed. Any excuse! But this time I have a pretty good one... I've finished the quilt-top of the quilt I started for Sofia a while ago and now I need backing fabric :)


I'm enjoying these long weekends... can we have them every week? With the housework done and the kids with their dad, my sewing machine was just calling out to be used. So happy to get this project to this point, and I'm really looking forward to quilting it and finishing it off.


So next weekend you'll find me at the fabric shop... my fat quarters in my stash just won't do ;) Today I even got time for some hand-stitching so hopefully something to share in that space soon too.

Until next time x

Friday, 30 September 2016

A weekend away: Hunter Valley

Al and I made the most of the long weekend here in Canberra, and headed to the Hunter Valley. It was nice to visit a part of Australia I hadn't been before, and it also meant my kids got to spend some quality time with their dad, grandad and great-grandad while we were gone. Given the Hunter is known for its wine and food, I made sure I did plenty of research ahead of the trip to line up the best itinerary I could!


We left Canberra around midday on Friday, stopping at Bendooley Estate in Berrima for a light lunch. It was a great way to start our weekend of wining and dining!


We finally got to our accommodation at about 8pm, after navigating through peak hour Sydney traffic, and then finding a spot for dinner further up the coast. We stayed at Bimbadeen Mountain Retreat, which greeted us with an unexpectedly steep driveway! The cottage however was great, and in the light of the morning we were able to really appreciate the tranquility of the location. It was the perfect, relaxing base for us to explore the region from... well, when we weren't battling the driveway.



With the sun shining on the Saturday morning we decided to visit the Hunter Valley Gardens. I read about it in my research but everything I had read under-sold the place. The gardens were absolutely spectacular and well looked after. Each section followed different themes, including one corner focused around nursery rhymes! We spent longer than we anticipated at the gardens, but it was well worth it.




By the time we left the gardens we were ready to explore what the region is known for... its wines. On our itinerary for the day: Audrey Wilkinson, De iuliis (including a quick bite to eat at Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kitchen), Tyrrell's and then Brokenwood on the way back to the accommodation. The highlights were definitely the first two, although we did consider we were simply getting wine-tasting fatigue by the time we got to the latter two! A degustation dinner at Esca Bimbadgen topped off a great day.



On the Sunday we woke up to a much wetter day, although the sun was making it's best attempts. After a late breakfast our tour of the vineyards continued... starting with Scarborough. If you can only visit one vineyard in the Hunter Valley, this is the one to stop at. The views were amazing, the service was excellent, the wine-tasting experience memorable, and the wines possibly the best we tried all weekend.



From Scarborough we went up to Bimbadgen (where we had had dinner the evening before), then lunch at Enzo cafe (highly recommended!) before visiting David Hook Winery where David Hook himself took us through his wines. The car a little heavier with a few more bottles to bring home, we headed back to our accommodation via McGuigan Wines.

Al and David Hook
After a good nights rest, we packed our bags, checked out of the accommodation and then went in search for some final vineyards to visit before it was home time. Lake's Folly came up a lot in my research so off we went... the wine was great, but the pricing not so much. Morning tea with some delicious fudge from Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory before visiting one last vineyard.


We finished our trip with lunch at Circa 1876—and wow, what a meal. This Hatted restaurant is beautifully set on the grounds of Convent Pokolbin, and between the service, the food, and the setting, it was a perfect end to our weekend away.  


My dessert... the Circa's version of strawberries and cream. 
Now back to normal routine, although we do have another long weekend here in Canberra so I'm hoping once the housework is done there might be time for some sewing!

Until next time x

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Hello, I'm still here!

It's been a while! I'm still here I promise... It's just been a busy couple of months. The quick summary: work, kids, travel, work, kids, came down with influenza, work, kids, moved house. And no, sadly there not being any 'stitching' in there is not an oversight.

View from Castle Hill on our quick holiday to Townsville, June 2016

Well, that is until last Sunday. With the excuse of needing a wedding gift, combined with some energy now that I'm not sick and not moving, plus a desire to try out my new sewing space... a small 'weekend' quilt project was just the ticket. I decided that this was a good opportunity to use one of the Bali batik jelly rolls that I bought back when I was living in Bali.


I pulled out my quilt-pattern book Growing up Modern by Allison Harris (aka Cluck Cluck Sew)... I've flicked through the book countless times, dreaming of what I could make Sofia or Alex (because they don't have enough quilts between them!!) but never made anything from it. I decided the pattern 'Breezy' from the book was the perfect quilt to use one of my batik jelly rolls... so I got sewing, and cutting, and assembling!



Before long it had come together. The pattern was so easy to follow, and using the jelly roll meant hardly any cutting... I completed the quilt top within the afternoon, and after I had put the kids to bed laid it all out and pinned it ready for quilting.


I settled on stippling for the quilting, although straight lines would have looked equally good. It took me two evening sessions of around 90 minutes to get the quilting done, and then I was onto binding. Given it was a modern quilt, I decided to attempt machine sewing the binding down. Cluck Cluck Sew has a tutorial on this on her website, and I'd read it in the past intrigued but hand sewing the binding had always won out for me. Another evening session and the binding was down... and I was quite happy with the results. Not something I'd do for every quilt I make, but definitely something I'll do again.


I love the finished quilt, and really hope the newlyweds (who married yesterday here in Canberra) do to!


I also loved sewing in my new sewing nook... we've now moved in with my partner Al, combining our families and trying to make sure everyone has their own 'space' to be able to retreat to. What used to be a formal dining space is now a play room for Alex and Sofia but doubles as a sewing space for me. I'm looking forward to decorating my nook a bit more, but for now it's not a bad space at all... and I'm dying to get back in there and work on the next project... ok, or maybe finish an old project!!


Until next time (and I promise I won't leave it such a long time!) x