Thursday, May 29, 2014

Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition 2014.

My Umbrella Prints Trimmings project for 2014 is complete and I'm so happy with how it turned out!  I started with a pack of Trimmings in Soft.  Below is what I was sent...

And this is what it all became... Ready for a visual overload?

Clearly I'm not a photographer, and this in particular was super tricky to photograph in a way that captures the beauty of the teeny tiny hexies as well as the quilting and the table runner as a whole.  If you're on pinterest you may like to check out what everyone else has been making, and also vote for your faves here by commenting on the images.  I'm so pleased with how this finished up, and now just need to refinish our very old table and reupholster our very old dining chairs in some delicious Umbrella Prints too!!

Read on for details on how it all came together and more pics of the process...
I wanted to learn English paper piecing and decided this would be a great opportunity to give it a go, and after reading countless online tutorials settled on making some half inch hexagons {each side of the hexie measures half an inch or 1.25cm, they are one inch across the widest part - yes super tiny!},  made as many as I could {114} out of the fabrics received and played around with various layouts.

Then it was onto sewing all those teeny tiny hexies together before one of the kids destroyed the placement!  This took h o u r s...

Followed by basting and stitching to the backing fabric, which I ended up doing by hand and machine as this piece is quite delicate, and I really don't want it to fall apart after all this effort.  Though, I would've loved to keep the puffy handstitched hexagons for more of a vintage feel.

And finally quilting {hexagons + triangles} and binding using natural linen to tie in with the linen fabrics in the Trimmings and frame the whole piece.  Have I mentioned I love it? I do!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Umbrella Prints Trimmings.

It's on again, the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition. Hoping I'll be a tad more organised with it this year, but I do love a deadline to get me moving!!  I want this year's attempt to involve a bit of relaxed creativity, so I've already begun working on it, and it's certainly a labour of love.  Below are the fabrics I received...

My photos don't do them justice, but believe me, they are all gorgeous, the colours, textures and the way they all work together.  I also decided to learn me a new skill and give English paper piecing a go, so after reading countless online tutorials these have been turned into a stack of teeny tiny little hexagons.  The plan is to turn them into a placemat or table runner... I always think I'm planning something simple but it turns into something of epic proportions.  I'm wishing I'd kept track of the many hours that have gone into these tiny hexagons, just for my own interest, but I'm loving it so far and I can't wait to see how it finishes up!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sad Neglected Blog.

 Wilted flowers. Still pretty.

 Image from here

This little space has been so neglected lately, there's just so much going on and I'm behind in everything I'm doing.  I pin the blame on a new job, keeping me busy while trying to juggle all the other balls. On the upside I get to work with fabric in this new job and that's always a good thing, right?!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Giving :: Rum Balls

My mother-in-law makes the most delicious Rum Balls!  They are not too squishy, not too rum-my, and freeze really well, which can make for an organised lead up to Christmas.  Perfect for gifting to friends, neighbours, colleagues, and teachers, the only downside would be all the rolling involved in making enough for all those eager recipients!

Rum Balls
1/2 pound dark chocolate, melted
1/2 tin sweetened condensed milk
4 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
4 Tablespoons chopped glace cherries
4 Tablespoons dessicated coconut
12 Nice biscuits, crushed
2 Tablespoons rum
optional - a little preserved ginger, finely chopped.
chocolate sprinkles

Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30sec bursts, stirring after each zap. Did you know that chocolate can hold it's shape even when melted, so you could end up with a burned mass of chocolate (that doesn't look melted but really is) if you don't stir it?
While that's happening I crush my biscuits in the food processor, then add to melted chocolate with the condensed milk.
Then I whizz the walnuts and cherries in the food processor and add to the other ingredients in the bowl along with the dessicated coconut, and rum. Stir well until combined and roll into walnut sized balls, then roll in chocolate sprinkles.
Place them in an airtight container in the freezer for storage and remove as needed for guests or gifts.

You can make these as big or as small as you want, my MIL makes small ones, just a little bite. While I get impatient with rolling and make slightly bigger ones! Just remember that they're quite rich so a little goes a long way - I've seen some huge rum balls in cafes but haven't ever tried them, these would be too rich if made that size.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hello 2014!

We're almost a month into the new year and it's been too long since I popped in here!  Our family has been busy enjoying the summer, taking things slow, heading to the beach, parks, pools, cricket and catching up with friends.  

It's been delightful and I'm reminding myself to enjoy the chaos and mess from having all five of us home because before long the boys will be back at school and work, there will be uniforms to iron and lunchboxes to fill, notes to keeps track of and schedules to keep!

I have also used the last few weeks to finish up projects that I started during the previous year, and ended up relegating to the WIP pile.  I've finished crocheting a lap rug, and quilting and binding two single bed quilts for the boys, during hot summer days and nights.  I am so very thankful for air conditioning as most of it has been done while sitting right under the cold air, and now we're all ready for some cooler weather!

They are far from my best work, and quilting them was one of the most frustrating things I've ever done. I have so much respect for those makers who churn out quilts each week, I don't know how they do it! These have taken me months to make, in between sewing for Indigo Elephant, and working on other bits and pieces, but it's definitely rewarding to see them finished and know that the boys love them!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Giving :: Rocky Road

Rocky Road is a favourite treat at our place during Christmas.  Super easy to make, loved by all and so great to customize to the recipient's tastes!!  The kids have been gifting their teachers this for the last couple of years and it's always been well received. 

There's no real recipe for it, just melt two blocks of your favourite eating chocolate (white, milk or dark), then stir through enough additions to achieve a lumpy finish, pour into a lined baking tin/dish and refrigerate until set. Cut into logs or squares, wrap and gift! Too easy!!

Some combinations of treats to include in the rocky road are below, but really you're only limited by your imagination...

White chocolate, marshmallows, raspberry lollies
White chocolate, marshmallows, cranberries, pistachios

Milk chocolate, turkish delight, marshmallows, macadamias
Dark chocolate, marshmallows, hazlenuts, coconut
Dark chocolate, choc coated ginger, pistachios

Saturday, December 14, 2013

And The Winner Is...

I would definitely turn them into a beautiful messenger bag

I had grand plans to make a pretty announcement for the blog, but didn't get around to it. So congratulations Brittney, I'm sending an email your way to get your postal details! Thanks so much to everyone who entered, I've loved reading all your comments and my little blog has loved the attention!  I wish I could send you all some fabric but stay tuned for the next installment of SMS Giveaway Day in a few months time!!