Sunday, September 14, 2014

Frenzy

My days off this past week have been filled with pleasant stuff, faffing about and doing pretty much exactly what I felt like. That included a lot of sewing, minor amounts of housework, limited cooking and a fair bit of sleeping. I had one day in my pyjamas and forced myself to get dressed in actual clothes the rest of the time. I swear if I didn't ever have to go to work, pyjamas would be my uniform. 

During my week off, my grand sewing plans mostly came to fruition, and I even managed to squish in a shopping trip for fabric, dragging Patty Pie (Mother of Pyjamas) along for the ride.  It took 3 shops to get everything I needed, but I'm all set for another three quilts to be started (and finished-fingers crossed). I've left out the boring white fabric I bought and well as a ton of batting, which is currently residing on the sewing room floor being used by Lola as an impromptu dog bed. Miss Lola is such an opportunist.

My rather eclectic and out of character purchases 
I started and finished a simple baby blanket/play mat /change mat on Monday. I think I've nailed this FM meandering gig and need to move on to something else. One side is for a girl and one side is for a boy because I don't know what kind of baby its going to be, as the parents have chosen to be surprised. I'm assuming they have had an ultrasound and already know they aren't having twins because that'd be one heck of a surprise and I've only made one quilt.




My second Irish Chain quilt is done and ready to be donated to the Mary Potter Foundation. Quilted in a simple diagonal serpentine stitch in wonderful 50 weight Aurifil thread. I've started using Aurifil for piecing as well not just quilting because yes - it just rocks that much.  As an aside , having now made two Irish Chain quilts in a row , I am so over them that I'm ready to move onto something completely different. I see curves in my future. And swearing and tantrums due to the curves. 



I've made progress on a third donation quilt as well. The postage stamp sized bits were driving me slightly batty but I finally have enough cut and sewed to the point where I can sew them into 16 patches. Once this quilt is finished I'm going to give donation quilting a rest for a bit and concentrate on some of the projects on my FAL list for the last quarter (my efforts on that list for this quarter have been seriously abysmal)



Lucy Boston has been stuffed in a bag and I'm now working on Miss Elizabeth instead from a pattern by Cherry Pie Designs that I saw at the Quilt Show in Melbourne in April and immediately fell in love with. Progress has been made cutting a bajillion hexies and honeycombs. Mental note to self: When glue basting these suckers don't forget all the rude things everyone said last time they had to help you unpick the paper bits from the hexies.You probably don't need to glue everything to within an inch of its life. I'm feeling more optimistic about this project, although I'm sure it wont be finished until sometime in 2016. That's OK -hand sewing is all about slow going in my book. Its the journey - not the destination. 

And this morning I sucked it up and cut out all the bits for the Moroccan tile quilt that is meant to be finished by the end of September and I'm delusional optimistic enough to still think I can pull that off. 



This is where I left things before calling it a day. 



I'll leave you with some gratuitous food shots...I made up for my lack of cooking this week by pulling my finger out and hand making pot stickers from scratch for dinner tonight with a honey ginger sauce. My confidence took a battering the first time I made these which was some time last year I think. The hot sauce was so f****** hot even Mr. P had tears streaming down his face. His power of speech was affected for about two hours after dinner, or perhaps that's because he couldn't think of anything nice to say about them?  I gave up and ate a sandwich and have been too chicken to make them again up until now. New recipe- much better result! 



And for dessert we had chocolate cupcakes with mint cream cheese frosting dipped in chocolate. You can never have enough chocolate.....



And while I'm on a sugar theme- this should send you into overload. I received a care parcel this week from Little Miss Sunshine which contained all the Halloween Candy I never had as a child in one box. For my Northern Hemisphere friends- don't bother looking for any Halloween Candy in your neck of the woods- I have the worlds supply at my house. I'm kind of hoping we get some Trick or Treaters this year because I will have the best supply of candy in Australia to give them. I'm pretty sure it will make me a neighbourhood legend. 


I'm back at work tomorrow but I'm determined to finish that Moroccan tile quilt under my self imposed deadline so it looks like its going to be a busy week. Enjoys yours. May it bring sunshine and good things. 



Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Case of Attempted Murder

I had a sewing play date at my house yesterday with Sue from Mother Patchwork. The thing I love about sewing days is that you can get hand sewing done while gossiping and swapping stories, and its pleasant to spend time sewing with people that enjoy doing the same type of things that you do. You can legitimately sew and nobody looks at you slitty eyed like they do when you drag your sewing along to other social events where non sewing individuals are in attendance. 

Everything was going swimmingly. I went all out ( cough cough) and did a make your own roll platter for lunch and chucked some non Krispy Kreme donuts on a plate for dessert. Sue brought awesome home-made cookies and I chucked those on the plate as well. I wolfed down a donut and was contemplating a cookie ( and just how many donuts and cookies I could eat before I had to stop out of politeness sake so I didn't look like a complete pig and I had just decided two donuts and two cookies wouldn't be too much ) and was moving my hand towards the plate when Sue leapt across the table in slow motion yelling *"Noooooooooooooooooooo" and rugby tackled the plate to the ground which left me thinking "Sheesh -she must love donuts more than I do". From the floor where she landed, amongst the debris of the plate, the donuts, the cookies and the cat water bowl she explained that she had forgotten my deathly nut allergy and that there were Macadamia nuts in the cookies (but informed me specifically that there were also white chocolate chips as if somehow that would cancel out the nut stuff). 

I'm calling that attempted murder in the second degree and I'm assuming that at the last minute she decided she couldn't go through with it.  I'm not sure what her motive was - maybe she wanted to rifle through my stash but realised after seeing it that we don't have the same fabric tastes and that it wasnt worth of potential jail term for a load of Amy Butler and Bonnie and Camille. I've forgiven her because thats the kind of person I am, but when we next meet up I'll be taking a CSI kit to test all the food prior to eating and my Epi-Pen. 

Death Cookies (and yummy non lethal donuts)
Sue did bring me these gorgeous patchwork Chicken oven mitts as a gift , so I'm not really all that mad she tried to kill me...





* Some poetic licence has been taken in the re-telling of the facts of this story. The leap across the table didn't occur, nor did the crashing to the floor, or the breaking of a plate or the loss of donuts, cookies or a cat water bowl. Technically, that's not lying - thats embellishing a story to make it sound more interesting to your readers. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Food and a Finish

It was a lovely weekend. The weather has been glorious. I slept when I was tired, sewed to my hearts content, and spent time yesterday with three Dad's who are among the finest men I know(my Dad, my father in law, and my husband). 

We hosted Father's Day lunch and rather than making it an all out, full on affair like I usually do, I went with simple, classic, low stress food that I've cooked a million times so there was minimal chance of any disasters.

That is, with the exception of my gingerbread chocolate ganache tart with raspberry cream. It refused to set which made getting it out of the tart pan a real bitch. We just used a spoon because we're all class here at Maison Pyjamas. What it lacked for by not being an actual tart it made up for by being the most delicious sauce on a gingerbread base I've ever eaten. (F****** Gingerbread gets me every time - even when it's not a house) 


Mordecai decided that my strawberry pot is the perfect place to soak up some sun. Too bad there are plants in there trying to grow. 


and my Dad decided the lounge was the perfect place to watch the football elimination final. Richmond, what happened? I wanted you to win so badly mainly because I wanted Port Power to lose. 


This past week I finished the Joseph's Quilt of Many Colours Irish Chain Quilt, and on Saturday I popped around to my friend's place and gifted it to her. I really enjoyed making this quilt and I love the finished result. It came in at 65 " by 65" and I meandered and serpentine stitched my way across the top and borders to quilt it.  





I've got some time off work this week and I'm planning a serious sewing assault. Two donation quilts and a whole cloth baby quilt are on my list of goals. Let's see how long the mojo lasts!  

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Contemplation

I had to take a reality check this week and pony up to the fact that my fussy cutting skills kind of suck. I started my Lucy Boston block prep in July and as I've started to put them together I've realised I'm not as thrilled with mine as I am with all the other ones I've seen around the Internet. The only thing I can put it down to is that I'm not "fussy" enough with my cutting. I'm also finding it really difficult to choose complementary fabrics for my block choices despite having two bins full of the stuff picked out. And I'm having a really hard time visualising what this might look like finished. (never a good sign!) My overriding inclination is to stuff Lucy in a plastic box, hope she doesn't suffocate and do something else as a sewing hand project until I unsuck at fussy cutting or change my mind about fabric choices. 


The Irish Chain Quilt is all quilted up and I'm on the last side of the binding, which as you can see is a vibrant green, which frames the pops of colour in the quilt beautifully. Not quite so sure it goes well with the apricot chenille I used to back the quilt with, but that's for snuggling under not showing off, so I'm not too broken hearted about it. I sense a finish on this quilt by the end of the week, which is just as well since it's officially Spring and if I don't get this to the recipient tout suite it may start to get too warm to use it. It's be nice if she could curl under it for a week or so before she has to pack it away until next autumn. Aussie Summers aren't conducive to snuggling under quilts by a long shot. 


And deja vu- I had a few 9 patches left over from the Big Irish Chain so I'm making a smaller version as a donation quilt for the Mary Potter Foundation.  It didn't take long to whip up a few more blocks and its coming along fairly quickly. 


It also gave me a chance to go through one of my scrap bins and cut everything into 2.5 inch strips which I'm planning to use to make another postage stamp quilt and the leftovers got chucked into the string bag so I can work on another string quilt later in the year ( although since it's September there isn't much "later" left really of 2014 is there?) I'm feeling pretty darn organised at the moment. 


Fabrics picked for a baby quilt that needs to be made. Simple whole cloth design that the mum to be can use as a reversible quilt depending on her mood or whether or not there's baby chuck on one side.  


In the "organised"  vein I finally got around to cleaning up my sewing room over the weekend. It was so much worse than these pictures show. I'd taken to jumping over  a mountain of stuff to get to the sewing machine which was the only semi clear part of the room. 


And I cleaned out my sewing machine and found enough fluff to pretty much stuff a pillow. I hesitate to show this picture because it probably constitutes sewing machine abuse. 


And from the weird but true files , I noticed what looked like stuffing on my loungeroom carpet last week and assumed one of the dogs had ripped open one of their stuffed toys but on closer inspection discovered that their dog blanket was shedding its guts. There were no popped seams and the whole quilt looked like this. This has never happened to me before and I'm at a loss to explain it ( although I'm betting a couple of possibilities ) 1....Bad batting 2) Mr. P washed it by banging it on rocks and then boiled it in the washing machine for good measure? Your thoughts, suggestions and ideas please?? It's as if the quilt wants to commit slow hari kari by internally shedding it's insides. 



Another planned project in the works is a sampler quilt. I've wanted to one for a long time and the Farmer's Wife Quilt I started ended up as two potholders. Amanda over at Seabreeze Quilts is offering a free monthly quiltalong sampler project that she has named the Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler and it's going to run over 6 months. Free instructions for the two blocks of the month will be on her blog from the 15th of each month starting this month. Pop on over a have a look at her post if you want to play along.



Monday, August 25, 2014

What's been going on at Maison Pyjamas

There hasn't been a lot of blogworthy news going on at Maison Pyjamas of late so I've been practicing silence. But mid last week, I had a day off and spent much of it in the sewing room, and then this past weekend I gave sewing another fair crack and all this activity finally resulted in something worth sharing.  

The poor neglected Irish Chain quilt hadn't been touched in about three weeks so it was time to get off my arse and move that forward. As of Sunday morning it was officially a flimsy and by Sunday afternoon I'd basted it and started the quilting. 




And I decided to help the Mary Potter Foundation by making a lap quilt for their quilt drive. This was so easy and quick to finish that I've decided to make another one in September for the cause. Mary Potter is looking for donation quilts of 48 x 48 inches for their palliative care patients so if you have some spare time and you're in Adelaide (or even Australia) please consider helping them out. 


We are in the thick of birthday season at Maison Pyjamas. Last night the family all got together to wish Nephew of Pyjamas and Fiancee of Nephew of Pyjamas Happy Birthday(s) 


Pssstttt- these two are also getting married in a couple of months which is beyond exciting for our family. 

I've been dabbling in the kitchen of late trying to perfect the art of home made spreadable butter. I decided spending 300 bucks a year on spreadable butter was way out of my price range and worked out I can make the same amount myself for about a third of the price. Attempt 1 was pretty much a disaster as full flavoured olive oil tastes like crap when you mix it with butter. Attempt number 2 was a bit anaemic looking but edible , although Mother Of Pyjamas commented that I should drop a few drops of yellow food colouring in it. I did that with attempt number three, slipped with the colouring and am now eating toast with fluro yellow butter every morning. It's still edible but looks radioactive. I'm pretty sure Attempt No 4 will be perfect. 


And finally, Super E came for a sleepover this weekend. At present he is the master of silly faces so it's hard to get a picture of him where he doesn't look like some kind of monster or mildly crazy. 


Nailed it ! 


Enjoy your week. 


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I'm back ...stupid freaking internet

I've spent the last couple of weeks in a place where the Internet doesn't work and it was a lot like the ninth circle of the bad place that I won't write for fear of offending people. (4 letters ,starts with H and ends in L)  We've been having these issues on and off for two months and assumed that it was the same issue as the previous three times.  It wasn't - because nothing in my life is ever that easily resolved. Not having Internet has really sucked the big one since the only way I could check my emails was through portable phone wifi to my iPad and down under that costs a freaking fortune. When I have been using it to check into Facebook or my email I've felt like a stealth ninja- in and out before anyone knew I was there.  

So, I've been absent and idle too. Lots of laying about watching television, playing games (that don't require Internet) and trying to keep warm. Going to work, and being real life social and not doing much in the sewing department either. In fact I haven't touched my machine for about two weeks.  

But that social stuff has taken up some time. It was my BIL's birthday the week before last and we went out for dinner to eat what was apparently authentic American food, although I'm not sure it was, since I always thought poutine was Canadian. (and this doesn't look like any poutine I've seen on the Internet) Feel free to weigh in here Canadians...


Last Friday was Mr. P's birthday, so as is tradition at Maison Pyjamas, we took off into town and had a mini vacation for the weekend.  Mr. P likes to shave 5 years off his actual number of advancing years and reminds me every birthday that he still feels 25. Give it up honey - you're 47. 

Instead of birthday cake we hit up San Churro on the way to the hotel for a tasting platter because birthday cake is so 5 minutes ago. 


We checked into the Crowne Plaza hotel right in the city centre which has amazing views all the way to the Adelaide Hills. And because they knew it was Mr. P's birthday we had complimentary wine, chocolates and a birthday card waiting for us on arrival. Nice touch ! 




Dinner for Mr. P's birthday was just the two of us at A Hereford Beefstouw. Aged steaks cooked to perfection.  


And Gravad Lax Salmon which I hadn't tried before. 



Saturday I indulged in a spot of shoe shopping...since my fave black boots died last week. It was necessary to honour their death by buying three new pairs because they were on sale. 


Out to House of Chow, which is one of Adelaide's iconic Chinese restaurants on Saturday night for Mr. P's family birthday dinner where I massacred a baby spatchcock and only felt a little bit guilty. 


And Sunday morning we hit up Krispy Kreme for breakfast and headed home to gorge out on donuts. I managed to sneak in a nanna nap in the afternoon. 


I woke Monday morning with a mildly sore throat and went in to work only to come home early because I felt decidedly unwell.  I've cornered the market on tissue use on the last 24 hours and have taken today off to recover and dose up on Panadol. I woke at 1.30am last night to find myself laying in a pile of dog vomit on my bed only to have to change all the bed linen around an oblivious Mr. P....apparently he doesn't hear sobbing at 1.30am. Nor did he hear me crying when I found another pile of dog chuck in our entry hall and had to clean that up...this comes on the heels of the devil cat pissing in yet another one of my black handbags and on my Ipad cover Sunday night which just happened to be on my kitchen bench so I'm not feeling the love towards any of my fur children at the moment except the Orange Cat. 

What I've learned from the last couple of weeks.

  • The world wont crumble if I don't have Internet - although it will feel a lot like it.
  • I am slightly completely dependent on the Internet for everything
  • I can go out three weekends in a row and apparently I won't turn into a pumpkin
  • All of my favourite moments involve food, and if I don't get a new hobby soon I'm going to end up the size of a house. I weighed myself yesterday and was frankly horrified.  

P.S. Im going to try and get round to see what you've all been getting up to in my sorry internetless state but seriously trying to catch up on two weeks worth of posts is going to be near impossible....