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....

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Evolution of a Quilt

You may recall, a week ago I did a post about a rainbow of colour that I saw on my sewing room floor and the subsequent idea that popped into my brain for a new quilt. Seriously people - sometimes you just gotta go with the flow, and so last week that's what I did. 

How it looked on Sunday when inspiration struck 


On Monday I cut all those fabrics into strips.


Tuesday - More cutting of plain fabric and I started strip piecing 


Wednesday saw more strip piecing. At this point I was going a little strip piecing crazy.



Thursday -Cutting - lots of cutting


Friday-Had planned for this to be a bumper day but a run to Toys R Us, Spotlight and my parents for a visit, kind of put the kybosh on that. I got the 9 patches half done though before I ran out of mojo and took a nanna nap. 


Saturday - I finished sewing those 9 patches and heaved a sigh of relief because all the blocks were done. Counted them up and realised I'd actually miscounted and had 4 left to do. So I did them, then made the corner blocks and then pieced the border strips...




Sunday - pressing of 9 patches all done (one with a mistake which I have since unpicked and made right) so now I just have to find a space to lay them out and decide on a design. That seems all too hard at the moment ....my dogs have feet the size of dinner plates and at the moment they seem to be perpetually caked in mud . They also like tap dancing on my quilt layouts...


Stats for the week:
  • I was a lean mean piecing machine. 
  • My iron and I got jiggy with each other ( I think Mr. P suspects an affair!) 
  • I sewed 610 x 2.5 inch squares together 
  • I spent 10 hours sewing , cutting, and pressing ( when I was strip piecing it felt like a lot longer than 10 bloody hours let me tell you) 


I'm hoping for another productive week in between working and life however it's birthday season here at Maison Pyjamas - and we celebrated a HUGE one yesterday - Little P turned 5. In honour of this monumental event and since he isn't "little"anything anymore I've decided he deserves a new name for my blog. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to introduce the newly renamed-birthdayed-up  - Super E!




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Life is Kinda Sad

I live in the 5th largest city in Australia but since we only have 1.2 million people here the larger cities often poke fun and laugh at us. We don't care (Sydney , Melbourne, Brisbane) because Adelaide is a lovely old city, full of beautiful architecture and it doesn't take us hours to get to work because of the traffic. Our house prices are still manageable too. For half a million you can still get something really nice. Suck on that.  Perth, you seem quite nice because you don't poke fun at us but I guess thats because you know that Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane don't really know where you are and if you start being vocal, their attention might turn to you instead. You kind of remind me of Switzerland without the snow or formal declaration of neutrality. 

One of the things about living in a smaller capital city is that we're always last on the list when it comes to getting the cool stuff. Case in point- Krispy Kreme. For YEARS the most oft seen hand luggage at Adelaide airport for inbound flights has been boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Yes- roughly every third person flying in from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane appears to bring back a box of delicious doughnutty goodness. 

That all changed yesterday when our very own Krispy Kreme opened at Croydon. People had actually been queuing since Sunday to get doughnuts on opening day (I'm not that insane). I was going to wait for the crowds to die down and get my doughnut fix in a week or so. 

But HAPPY DAY- Mr. P works on that side of town and last night he came home with the Most . Exciting. Present. Ever. 


Just check out all that sugary awesomeness ...I had already inhaled a cinnamon doughnut in one bite before I thought to take a picture. Priorities people ...priorities. The doughnuts won over the photo op. 


Mr. P went down in his lunch break, stood for two hours in a queue and brought back two boxes of Krispy Kremes. He gave one to the ladies in his office and brought one home for me. Sadly, mine is now almost empty because I had doughnuts for dinner last night. I have answered one of the great questions of life - it is possible to eat 9 doughnuts in one sitting. 


P.S. Naysayers - do not comment on this post - if you bag my Krispy Kreme addiction we simply cant be friends anymore. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Good Things

I put the last stitch in the binding of my Seville quilt yesterday afternoon. I'm not usually conceited about my quilts, in fact quite the reverse. I have so much to learn about quilting and techniques in general but I'm really proud of this quilt because it challenged me to try a lot of new things for the first time.

Among the firsts - I used freezer paper applique, and did free motion quilting. This was also the first time I've used Aurifil thread for quilting and I can honestly say I'm converted.  I've been labouring under a misconception that Aurifil was too pricey to use for all my quilting but I went and priced it and it's no dearer than the Gutterman I have favoured in the past.  This is not an ad for Aurifil I swear , I'm just so happy with the quality and results I got from their product.




I quilted in between all the peels and left the rest of the quilt unquilted - resulting in the peels really standing out with a puffy look. It turned out so much better than I had envisaged.  


Spotty binding finished it off. Originally I was going to do multi coloured binding but when I was rifling through my stash the spots started screaming "Pick me ! Pick ME!" Who am I to ignore the voices in my head? 


I used vintage chenille for the back. It's well documented that I adore chenille and it was perfect for this quilt. I'm keeping this quilt for myself and I spent last night snuggled under it. I used wool batting so it's warm and fluffy. 


All this colour just makes my heart sing. Bonus points for using mostly scraps for the applique peels! 


This is  my first finish from Katy's Finish Along list for this quarter, which leaves me at a loose end. I was faced with a choice between finishing my Holiday Happy Quilt, cutting fabric for my Moroccan Tile quilt, or deciding what to do with the remains of the gingham cushion cover.

I spent a lot of the day Facetime sewing with Little Miss Sunshine. I didn't sew ..I cut a rainbow of fabrics for my giveaway winner in between gossiping and holding a competition to see who could come up with the worst swear word for the day .(Little Miss Sunshine definitely won- because even Mr. P was shocked at one she let fly.) While I was cutting fabrics I was folding big bits and putting them back in boxes and chucking scraps in a pile on the floor. When I was finished I glanced over at the pile and this is what I saw...


How can I resist playing with these colours since an idea for a quilt just popped into my head the moment I saw them? So it looks like my next project is sorted - something simple and quick but hopefully very beautiful because along with the idea for the next project came a name of someone that I think will love getting this as a gift. 

Speaking of gifts - It was my Dad's birthday on Saturday. My parents BIG move happened a couple of weeks ago and they are (sort of ) settled into their new house. I am loving having my parents so close to us. Mr. P and I  headed up there for lunch and cake Saturday afternoon and then the whole family trooped out for dinner Saturday night as well. Judging by this photo some people never grow up. Happy Birthday Dad. 





PS.OK my Dad is not a complete freak. Little P was on the opposite side of the table and was massively excited at the cake and the sparklers and my Dad was totally hamming it up for him. And that pile of cream on the cake? Little P did the decorating. I think we can cross cake decorator off his list of future careers.