Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Titanic of Quilting and Other Tales from My Week

Super E came for a sleepover on Friday so parts of my weekend have been focussed on 5 year old fun. Despite not having played the Wii at our house before he could reel off every game we have in our arsenal. He also told me that he can only play games with a "G" on the cover and promptly hounded me to play Mario Karts with him. When he got tired of kicking my sorry butt ( Video games are so not my forte and I spent the majority of my time trying to extricate myself from walls while being hit by lightning bolts and falling into burning lava) he chilled out with Grandpa who is a video game champion. I assert that little boys never really grow up to be men as evidenced by the concentration on my husbands face in this picture. I also had to mutter "tone it down " to Mr. P fairly frequently when he was going all out and trying to come first in every race - sometimes you have sacrifice your own personal Mario Kart victory to enhance a kids self esteem ...sheesh. 

We answered the question of what happens when you hand a 5 year old the garden hose to water your agapanthus? A water fight ensued in the front garden to the utter astonishment of the neighbourhood (nobody in the Pyjamas clan is quiet when we're having fun) meaning that Super E and I both ended up having to change clothes and I blow dried my hair for the second time in a morning. What the hay - the water fight was the most fun I've had in a long time. 

A quick trip to the fabric store to stock up on some fabrics for Miss Elizabeth occurred on Saturday with Super E tagging along and doing a pretty darn job of helping me pick out matching fabrics. He has quite the eye for colour matching as most of these were his choices. 

I washed my postage stamp quilt this weekend in preparation for delivering all three of my donation quilts to the Mary Potter Foundation next week. Abject disaster struck when I bunged it in the dryer after washing totally forgetting that I had inserted 100% wool batting into this quilt. It came out 8 inches smaller on two sides and looking extremely antiquey...I'm renaming this Titanic because she struck disaster on her maiden washing. I furiously googled until my fingers were little nubs to see if there was a solution but apparently no cigar since I've chucked it in the dryer and I did wash it again ( as if somehow that would swell it back to the right size? ) and stretched the crud out of it like I was some kind of medieval torturer but this one is destined for the bin or as a very ugly dog blanket. 

My nephew's wedding is fast approaching and this weekend was the traditional boys night prior to the wedding. My nephew elected to have it up river , and Mr. P went along. I received one text telling me they had arrived safely along with this accompanying picture. I don't want to know what else happened because I suspect it got fairly messy. I did facebook my other nephew this morning asking if my husband was alive and got the message back "Yes -unfortunately" so I suspect Mr. P may have been a ringleader of sorts in the hijinx department. 

This would be my nephew- in a dress and a girly hat - and this was well before any drinking started....
I had planned to sew and study today.  This stack of papers needed to be looked at and bits and pieces committed in some form or other to memory for a presentation I'm giving this week. 

Looking at that stack of papers gave me a headache and I decided to go clothes shopping because I have to have something pretty to wear to the wedding right? Clothes shopping revealed that I have been eating too many Krispy Kremes because not much I tried on made me look stunning but I settled on this little number with new dark blue nail polish to match.

I'm at the sewing binding onto the baby quilt stage so I'm hoping to get that finished this week. mental note to self : Don't put this one in the dryer...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cant Complain

The last couple of weeks has been full of activity, social and otherwise. Three family birthdays in under 10 days has meant a lot of running round and family time. Happy Birthday to PattyPie, Sister of Pyjamas and G. May this next year bring you all you hope and wish for. 

While I may have been absent from posting , I've been busy doing stuff ,patting myself on the back and feeling very virtuous about my crafty achievements.  I love that feeling you get when you’re motivated, and it seems like the ability to create might never end. We all know it does but I'm happy to take the feeling for as long as it deigns to stick around. 

First up, my September sampler blocks for Amanda's chocolate marshmallow sampler have been finished. I'm just using fabrics that appeal to me as these blocks are rolling out - so I'm hoping it'll all come together at the end. Looking at these fabrics, I suspect I might end up with something very different to anything I've ever made before. 

Last weekend the family got together to celebrate my Mum's birthday with a BBQ (and plenty of resultant silliness) I took my hand sewing planning to make a small hexie project which has now morphed into my Miss Elizabeth quilt. Slow but steady progress has been made this past week and I've sewn enough hexies to make one and a bit rows of of the inner guts of the quilt.

 I had a sewing day with PattyPie on Friday - No 2 nephew asked me to make a baby quilt for one of his friends so I got a start on that and continued with the quilting on Saturday- it's now awaiting some decorative stitching on the bunting flags and then I can whack the binding on and call it done. 

Marrakesh is a finished quilt top....which needs a decent press before I start basting it - This thing is huge and its really hard to get a picture of the whole quilt. Needless to say I love it. Those fabrics and layout make my heart sing. 

And lastly I'm going to leave you with a project my Mother In Law has been working on - her first ever hand sewing project. It's at the basting to the backing stage and I think she's done an amazing job! 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

FAL Q3 In Review and Whats up Next.

I'm time poor at the moment so I'm rolling my review for Quarter 3 and goals for Quarter 4 into one post because I'm nothing if not practical.(and considerate - this means you only have to read one post and I've even chucked in a bit of a fairy tale at the end which addresses the mythical finishes I'm hoping to achieve by the end of the next quarter) 

Frankly, I'm kind of horrified that it's October already. Before any of us know it we'll be butt deep in the C word that I can't bring myself to say just yet. (a hint just in case you think I was using thinly veiled profanity: present shopping , and the imminent arrival of fat guy in a red suit) Anyone who actually uses the C word out loud before November 1st should be publicly flogged in the town square as a deterrent to others who may be trying to get into the C*******s spirit way too early.

My performance on the "getting my goals completed" this quarter was somewhat dismal. It's not that I didn't sew - I did - a lot. Just not on very much that I had actually originally planned to finish. I was seriously affected by "Oh Shiny! " syndrome and kept allowing myself to be distracted by just about anything else that popped into my mind.

Finishes first ( don't blink or you'll miss it )

My Seville Quilt (featured on the Aurifil Facebook Page and pinned on Pinterest - too bloody right I'm being a big head about that) a vision of loveliness and my first ever meandering attempt. I've spent every night since I finished this snuggled up under it. Definitely in the running for my favourite quilt of 2014.

Re-do Cushion Cover- finished at practically the 11th hour but finished none the less!

Partial wins but no cigar 
Moroccan Tile Quilt- all the blocks are kind of ,sort of together but I ran into a wee snag with sewing the rows together I'm taking my time and not rushing it. Like fine wine, this quilt will get better with age. I really like it so I want to do it properly so I can look at it in later years and still marvel that " I did that"

Abject Fails
Holiday Happy quilt - enough said. Didn't even take it out of the box!

Other stuff I got distracted by that unfortunately wasn't on the list.
Joseph's Quilt of Many Colours , Picnic Parade Donation Quilt, Irish Chain Donation Quilt, Postage Stamp Donation Quilt and Lee-anne's Baby quilt. 
Fairy Tales for Q4:

Finish Along 2014

Moroccan tile quilt- I will vanquish curves and sew them in the right places to the rectangle blocks ! (not a full inch below where they are supposed to line up) 

Holiday Happy-I swear I'm going to finish it even if I get nothing else done. I hate working with black fabric and from memory that's where I last touched this poor neglected quilt two years ago....(or more - its been so long I can't recall) 

And my new project for this quarter - The Charming Stars quilt. I've had this on my list to do for about three years  and its time it was off the list and translated into reality. Fabrics picked and ready to go! 

Thats it for me...Three at this time of year is well and truly enough! If you want to see all the other very clever people and their goals for the last quarter of 2014 you can have a squizz here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Life is Good

Spring has really sprung here at Maison Pyjamas. Less than two weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that our cherry tree (which didn't lose its all of its leaves until August - slacker! ) was still bare and barren. Today it looks like this which makes me happy because it means long, lazy, warm days will soon be a regular occurrence. I busted out a T-shirt this weekend and it felt sublime. 

Saturday saw the Not The Farmers Wife Gals congregate at Loz's house for our monthly stitching party. Loz made me a very special cake to celebrate my birthday. Oreo Birthday biscuit cake ...How stinking cute is this? I have to tell you it was one of the best things I've ever eaten. Seriously! Thankyou Loz for your thoughtfulness. (and the inevitable sugar rush. I didn't get to sleep until 3am) 

I got all the remaining circles basted for my Moroccan Tile Quilt 

and then started working on an idea I had for a re-do of that old cushion I inherited from my Mum recently. Remember this? 

Kay (no blog) very kindly unpicked some stubborn remaining thread from the cushion cover for me. She said she likes unpicking - frankly I think she needs some sort of reality check medication- but who am I to argue with free unpicking? This cushion cover has been a source of great indecision for me but yesterday I decided to go with some large applique paisley shapes and lots of pretty embellishments. 

But once I got it home - I didn't really like how it was panning out at all ...

So I went with one of my original ideas and spent Saturday night putting it together and I have to say I think I've made the right choice. 

Sunday I finished my postage stamp donation quilt top - and then basted it - and quilted it - and put the binding on. Yep - Another finish, and my third donation quilt done for the Mary Potter Foundation.

I'm hoping to make some headway on the Moroccan Tile quilt this week as well as finish my two blocks for the Seabreeze Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler. Oh and I have to fit work in there somewhere as well. Looks like I have a busy week coming up! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Pink Dress

Im going to put this out there for anyone who hasn't picked this up through my 663 blog posts and almost 5 years of blogging ...I am not a girly girl.  I am all about having beautiful hair and I wear undies every.single. day. but clothes wise my tastes and lifestyle tend to run more to "smart casual",pyjamas or jeans than dresses or skirts. I don't own a single skirt. I do own two dresses (both of which I actually wear with leggings because that's semi trendy and because I don't have to worry about wearing pantyhose because pantyhose are the invention of the devil) and a ball gown that I've worn once on New Years Eve 2008. I think that might be the last time I wore a dress without leggings underneath....

Part of my dress aversion arises because I don't have the hips for dresses. When they were handing out hips I thought I was standing in the cocktail line and so I accidentally got served twice. I also got in the boob line at least three times but thats neither here or there, unless you were the poor sucker behind me who missed out completely, sorry about that. However today I went dress shopping because I frigging well had to. Grudgingly, and without any pleasure about it at all. 

My nephew is getting married in about 5 weeks. His fiancee is a girly girl, as are her sisters who are organising some of the stuff around the wedding.What do you get when you put all this girly girl stuff in a blender along with pre-wedding festivities like kitchen teas and Hen's night celebrations? You get an invitation that stipulates you have to wear a pink bloody dress to one of those events. And that sucks when you don't own a variety of dresses- let alone a pink one. A pink dress that you will never ever wear again as long as you live. A pink dress that will make you stick out like dog's balls in a room of lithe young things who will be able to rock their pink dresses while you look like a big fat middle aged good year blimp. 

I'm all about making the best of a situation. My plan was to find something demure and non noticeable and cheap (since I was never wearing this darn thing again) and to sit in a corner for the afternoon sipping tea and sucking my guts in.  I imposed a time limit on my shopping (2 hours) and a set amount of shops in which to look (3 maximum) and if I hadn't found something I was coming home and going to this shindig in pink jeans dammit! (Yes I do have a pair of pink jeans)

Sometimes life has a way of surprising you. Just when you think you're on an impossible mission life throws you a bone.  At the very first shop I spied a dress I actually liked and it was the only one left. With trembling hands I sussed out the size tag and almost cried because it was my size. I tried it on still not convinced that I wasn't dreaming and I didn't feel like breaking down and crying when I saw my own reflection in the mirror.  I'll have to shave my legs before I wear it because they look like a Mediterranean mans armpits but I can handle that. They haven't been done since about May so it's probably time anyway.

Behold the perfect dress...(which I already have a matching clutch bag for in my cupboard !!!!!) 

I've decided I WILL wear this again since it's cocktail length and I have a gala dinner coming up in a couple of months and this dress will be very forgiving when its rolled up and chucked in a suitcase for our overseas trip. Serendipity I tell you! 

The best part? It cost me less than a Maccas meal...which means I have plenty of money to go buy me some spanx. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Celebrating Being Me

This weekend was my birthday weekend and it started perfectly as if it was an omen for how the rest of the weekend would pan out. Friday morning my work colleagues and I received a thank you gift from a family we work with. KK's for morning tea! Bliss. Some people who hadn't had KK's before thought Krispy Kremes were overrated. I'm not talking to those people anymore because they clearly have no taste buds. Nobody thought they were so bad that they handed me their half eaten donuts however, so frankly I think they were just taking the piss. 

 Friday night involved sewing

Unusually for me I decided not to cook(no laughing from the peanut gallery!)so we ordered gourmet pizza for dinner ...

Saturday breakfast...don't judge me.

Saturday lunch at 3pm was a hunk of cheese which I shared with Indy and Lola. Mainly because Indy was resting his head on my leg and threatening to drown me in drool. It seemed easier to give him some than to have to find a life preserver to ensure my survival....

I spent all day Saturday putting some of my Moroccan Tile blocks together (and managed to crack two whole rows) while intermittently sobbing and repeatedly unpicking. 

Saturday night was spent in the glorious company of my fabulous husband, staying at a hotel on the beach for the night.

We went to Esca for dinner and it was fabulous. (Pictorial evidence of fabulousness below) I didn't think to take a picture of my pancetta wrapped prawns , in red pepper coulis with zucchini and rocket salad, but that was also delicious. I'm a big fan of good food, especially if someone else is cooking it. 

Sunday we had Maccas for breakfast

I opened presents

and I spent three hours meditating in this space , checking out the inside of my eyelids to make absolutely certain they were still there.

Later in the day I spent some more time putting together a couple more rows on my Moroccan tile love for that is passing rather rapidly. I'm a pattern dumbarse and I've done something wrong and I'm having to re-measure each individual block before I add it to the's driving me spare. The possibility of a finish before the end of September is ever diminishing. 

Later I noticed that  the first border is not right and I'll have to unpick it again. At about that point I called it a day. (more sobbing and swearing also occurred at this point)

Birthday Snack time was more salt and vinegar chips and some Haighs chocolate oranges. I'm all about healthy eating most of the time ( excuse me while I roll around on the floor laughing) but on a birthday weekend I just let it all hang out.

Mr. P gave me the coolest gift ever for my birthday. Its a scale that you pair with an app on your Ipad that walks you through how to make hundreds of cocktails. You choose the one you want from the app, put the glass on the scale and hook it up to your Ipad and it guides you through making the drink by weighing the liquor for you and telling you when to stop pouring, and what to add next  ....pure genius. I had to try it out - twice - to make sure it worked. 

Dinner was spent with my family at a little hotel in the hills not far from my house. It involved more present opening, a couple more cocktails and a lot of laughter with the people I love most. I don't think you can ask for any more than that for a wonderful birthday.  

And there endeth my weekend was perfect.