Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Won a Giveaway!

Helen from Patchywork of Mini Grey had a giveaway and I won this absolutley gorgeous and cute and fun little quilt! Whoo Hoo! Of course the parcel arrived just as I was leaving for work, but I still had the presence of mind to grab the camera. Look at how Helen wrapped it! So lovely - and that's not paper - it's fabric!

And here is the quilt. How fun is this!!! I just love the free-form construction. The quilting is interesting too and just perfectly done. I can't believe how lucky I am!!!

And Helen generously included some extra goodies! A great star pattern and a charm pack! And the sweetest note with kind words. And of course the fabric wrapping!
I feel very special and privileged to own a piece of Helen's work. Please go check her blog. She's an amazing quilter living the Good Life in the Far North of Western Australia.

Machine Quilting Samples

The machine quilting class was such a lot of fun. Jan is a great teacher. And amidst a few tension problems (of the machine kind) I managed to get a few designs tried. And while I learned a lot, the most important thing I learned is that it's going to take a lot, and I mean a lot, and then even more, Practice.




Jan provided us with an excellent handout with a good range of designs to try and information on threads and needles. She recommended that you use the manufacturer's leaflets that are available for types of threads and needles and what they are recommended for. And of course try and see what works best for you. And then, you know, Practice. Below I am sharing the references she did for us. Should help you on your own journey, and the info is not proprietary.



So now it's just about practicing... and practicing... and practicing...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Machine Quilting Workshop

I'm taking a workshop tomorrow.
It's being taught by the wonderful Jan Rowe. (see below)
It's called "Machine Quilting for the Faint Hearted."
"In this day long workshop you will build a sample library of quilting stitch variations that you will want to use on your next project."
How could I resist?
So the prep for this workshop meant cutting 60 calico squares in order to make 30 quilt sandwiches..


And of course the wadding to go with them.
Did you notice my pink cutting mat? The other side is periwinkle.

Then I had to rule a design square on the top pieces of calico. And of course the sandwiches had to be basted together. And for that you need a big box.

The big box was to create a spray zone for my basting spray. It is way too cold at the moment to even think of doing this outside. In fact Perth has just had the second coldest night since recording began in the 1890's. (-.05 C) I will remind you that officially we are a Mediterranean climate - to which I say bah humbug.
So you lay the front and the back into the box and spray according to the directions. Do not lean over and breath the fumes or your nostrils will get sticky... and that's all I'm saying on that.


Wait the 3 to 5 minutes as stated on the directions. Now obviously with 30 sandwiches to make I did not do them one at a time. I removed the pair from the box and got as many pairs done in the 3 minutes that I could. I laid them out on the table and the bench. I sandwiched the first sprayed first and by the time I got to the last (about 7 pairs at a time) it had waited long enough.

So here are my sandwiches all ready for tomorrow. And what am I taking for lunch? A chicken schnitzel sandwich of course. (see post below)

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This is a Jan Rowe quilt. click here or here or here or here
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See how lucky I am?
Just another one of the privileges of guild membership.
Have you taken a class lately?

What's for Dinner?

First you sneak into the garage for the rubber mallet while Mr Fixit is doing manly garden stuff outside. Then you pound the heck out of a couple of chicken breasts. (While still frozen I had sliced them into three thin pieces each.) I didn't take photos of the pounding process - too many sensibilites to be offended.
Lay everything out taking as much room as you like as the man is outside and not around to tell you what you are doing wrong (men can be so like that when they watch MasterChef.)

So here are my lovely breasts all pounded thin.
I'm no master chef and I confess I bought the crumbs. And after starting this whole process I discovered I have no flour or flour substitute.
So I decided to use the crumbs twice. So first into the seasoned crumbs.
Then in to milk and egg. Crumbs absorb more of the egg than flour so I used a bit more.
Then in to more crumbs. I really pressed the crumbs on firmly. Then I put them in the fridge for a half an hour to set - which I hear is essential to keep the crumbs from falling off. And it gives you time to have a glass of wine/beverage of your choice. And make a salad.

Then in to the frying pan for 2 to 3 minutes each side. Rest on a plate covered with paper towel before transfering to your dinner plate.
Mr Fixit was very impressed and didn't care that I'd used his rubber mallet. All he had to say was "YUM".

So what's cooking at your house?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Em's Scrap Happy Summer Challenge

Em over at em's scrapbag is throwing out a little challenge to sew with your scraps over the Northern summer break. It's not a bad idea either for these dreary winter days in the South. Think about it, and go see Em. Click on the picture to take you to her post about the challenge.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kim's Tool Bracelet Tutorial

While at my computer this morning taking care of real business needs (as opposed to blogging) I did sneak a look at a couple of blogs I follow. Kim at Bitty Bits & Pieces has made this fantastic tutorial on making a tool bracelet - a little bling for your rotary cutter or scissors to keep track of what's yours when you are out and about with other quilty ladies. Totally worth a look.

Back to 'real' business now...

Shari

PS Judy at Green Fairy Quilts is having an Awesome little giveaway.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Posy Needle Case


Michelle over at Quilting Gallery along with Erin at One Piece at a Time are hosting an Applique Posy Needle Case swap.
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All the details are here. There's still time to join if you want!
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They provide the pattern and a great tutorial... but of course you make it with your own special touches!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Kettle


Thought I'd better show you the new kettle.

What a luxurious little convenience I so take for granted.
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Added: The tea cosy was made by my mother-in-law and the flowers on the top of it were made by my sister-in-law. The colours are lovely and earthy. A cosy makes all the difference in keeping the tea hot while it brews. I seldom use loose-leaf tea though. I buy the Dilmah brand pot bags. We've got it sorted out for a perfect cup of tea (how we like it). I have my tea black (but not weak) while my husband puts in milk and sugar. If I have to use a teabag in a cup it certainly can't brew too long because that gets too bitter while we can leave the tea in the pot for 10 to 15 minutes. Nothing beats a good cup of tea, except of course a good cup of coffee.
PS Here is the recipe I mentioned in my last post.
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Baked Chicken & Sweet Potato with Chickpeas

Serves 4

2 red onions, halved, cut into thick wedges
600g sweet potato (kumara) peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
4 tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbs olive oil
8 (about 620g) chicken thigh fillets
240g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup chopped fresh continental parsley

Preheat oven to 220°C. Combine onion, sweet potato, tomato, garlic and half the oil in a bowl. Toss to coat. Transfer to a large baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frypan. Season chicken to taste. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes each side or until golden.
Add chicken to tray with vegetables and bake for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add chickpeas in the last few minutes until heated through then toss through parsley and serve.

I had a little pumpkin so added that in as well. We reckon we could add carrot or capsicum as well, or potato. It tasted really nice. Be careful with that tossing business at the end, as the tomato is really soft by now and the onion wedges will come apart. Next time I might skewer them. We made this with chicken breast fillets as the shop didn’t have any thigh fillets.

This recipe was published in the newspaper.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In the Kitchen

At my house nothing is broken until Mr Fixit says it's broken.
And the kettle has definitely seen its last day.

It's a good thing I had my rusty trusty backup.

A girl just needs a hot drink in the morning.
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Looks like there will be some appliance shopping this week.

Monday, June 7, 2010

QW Retail Therapy

QuiltWest wasn't all work - I had time to play.
I made this cute little owl in a class run by Be Be Bold.
And I didn't want him to be lonely so I bought the pattern to make the whole family. There may have been a couple of Japanese FQ as well that will make their appearance at some point in the future.
I also attended a class run by Nikki Tervo to make these cute little pinwheels.These are made with buckles and the pins go in the sides.And of course some essential Clover sewing supplies from Punch With Judy.
Some Matilda's Own acrylic templates from Victorian Textiles for a little hand piecing (yes, the ones on the left are sized for one inch).
And last but not least is this yummy little book.
I can't wait to try some of the projects.
So time to go start cooking. Tonight is a baked chicken dish with sweet potato, garlic, tomato, chick peas and onion. All just tossed on a tray and baked then tossed together. Could be interesting... I'll let you know. Got the recipe out of the Sunday paper.
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Cheers - Shari

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

One Bead at a Time

Robin Atkins has decided to retire her first book "One Bead at a Time". She has graciously decided to make it available as a free download in a pdf format. Click here to go to her website.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

QuiltWest Quilts

14: "Magic Carpet" Linda Stokes
20: "My Tablerunner" Sharon Norquay
"Silhouette" Yvonne Boyd (part of a travelling exhibit)(detail)Third Prize in the Raffle - made by Margaret SmithA student quilt from StargazeyAnother student quilt from Stargazey159: "Kimberley Jewels" A group quilt by the Quandong Quilters116: "Wellington NZ 2009" Val York
And that wraps up the quilt display. But there's more to a quilt show than quilts... coming soon.

Maukie - the virtual cat

Mumsyblossom's World