Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Laminate my kid's lives

Have you got yourself a small home laminator? I bought one many years ago, kept in in a box, and only pulled it out to start using last year. I don't know why it took me so long!

Our school year is only a month old but I have come to the conclusion that my eldest child is in need of some reminder lists. Things are just not making it home from school! Homework, library books, notes and even the violin! (luckily his teacher rescued this from the bag rack one Friday afternoon) I kind of dread him getting off the bus because I am afraid to ask what got left behind. Today it was his 'Spelling Activities' book so that meant that no spelling list could be learnt. Instead I made him do all of his maths homework for the week.

Now being an Asperger boy, I know that one of his weaknesses is personal organisation. In the past we have used visuals to great success, but he is able to read quite well. So I have devised a little timetable for the week listing what needs to "go to" school and "come home" from school each day. Hopefully his teacher will allow him to stick the small list on his desk or back rack so that he can remind himself. Finger's crossed things start to make it home!

I also laminated his class timetable, which is double sided owing to a Week A and B cycle.

And some pesky Lego Ninjago cards that the boys love to collect with their kits.

One of the positive things about his school is a lovely support teacher, Mrs R. She is amazing and works with kids from Kindergarten all the way through to Year 12. So last year she was helping my youngest son calm down from a Sensory 'meltdown' in Kindy and then scribing for a Year 12 cerebral palsy student sitting his Higher School Certificate (he has since gone on to University). She is well respected and absolutely adored by the students - they gave her the 'Mother Hen' Award in 2011.

My son in no exception. He thinks she is the 'best'. He has at least one session with her a week but she also opens her room up some lunch hours and kids can trickle in. He loves those days. This year they have made a model of the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Burj al Arab and are working on the Sydney Opera House now. 
In 2010, Duncan received a gorgeous book on the Titanic for his 6th birthday. This started a year long project of interest that ended with him making a huge model of the ship with Mrs R. Still on display in our lounge room, although looking a bit more like the wreck.

She is going to help him draft a newspaper article on the 100 Year Anniversary of her demise, for the student run newsletter. 

Meal Plan Mondays

This is what's on the menu for this week.

Spinach and Bacon Fettuccine

I added semi-dried tomatoes (leftovers), grape tomatoes (starting to wither in the fridge), carrots, zucchini (they were on special at the grocer), mushroom,  shallots and basil (from our herb garden).

The kids liked the novelty of curly fettuccine....

but not all the vegies...oh well!

I am linking up to ....

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday Stash #2

This week I received some very different Vintage sheet FQs from Ducky House on Etsy. Tamara is based in the town of Winnepeg in the plains of Canada. She had such a huge range that I had to limit my choice to what we could stuff into a postage bag. And I was so happy with my final selection. Getting the a healthy combination of greens, blues and yellows to put away for a planned quilt later in Spring.
I also ordered some more Vintage FQs from Simone of Local Honey Crafts. Now her store is a one stop jaw drop shop. Plenty of Vintage goodiness (all on sale for February!)
And not realising that Spotlight were about to release the same 'Daisy Mae' line, by Denyse Schmidt, in Australia, I ordered some FQs off her as well (although it is not the full line). Her DS FQs are only $2 each and you can pick your own!
And by pure coincidence I found her blog this week too! It is full of lovely tales and quilts. You can find her blog at Goody Goody Gumdrops (cute name huh?). If you go to her last Sunday Stash entry you will see some Pezzy Prints and a new line of Denyse Schmidt called 'Aunt Edna' that has just come out in the US at their equivalent of Spotlight (called Joann Fabrics).

What's new in your stash this week?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Sweet Log Scrappy Bits


I've had a couple of small finishes this week and I think it has boosted my sewjo esteem. I made a notebook cover for my 'To Do' book. This one was a kit from Sweetwater Designs.

Then using the same pattern, I made another for my 'Finances' book. This time I used pre-cut squares and fabric from my own stash. Some cute Heather Ross 'Far Far Away 2 & 3' included.
I am sewing another cover for a friend's birthday.


This is a dresser runner that I am in the middle of basting today. I am going to straight-line quilt this but I am not sure exactly how yet.

QCA Feb. Bee Blocks

I think that I have received nearly all of the blocks for this month. One of the ladies was nice enough to send me her leftover scraps and I was able to use them with my new scraps and make an extra 5 blocks! 

Here they are all laid out and I am trying to decide whether to sash it or not. Opinions from the group are leaning more towards 'no' sashing. 

This week's stats:
Completed projects - 2 notebook covers, 5 QCA Feb. Bee blocks
New projects - None
On Hold - 1 custom strip quilt - will start when I receive 50% deposit , 1 Feb  scrappy log cabin quilt - once all the blocks come in
Currently in progress - 1 notebook cover, scrappy coin table runner - basted and ready to quilt, 3 dolly quilts to back (still! Am thinking of using vintage sheet fabric for these).

How did you go this week? I am linking up.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Warranty Worries

I have NEVER been  good at keeping receipts with warranties and then posting the necessary paperwork off. So, in my endeavour to improve my organisational skills, I have bought myself a portable filing box. Today I went through all of my manuals, warranties and receipts and wrote out little labels for the system. Here's hoping it works.

On Saturday afternoon I also made another notebook cover. This one is for our family budget and finances. Looks so much more appealing now.

I used these precut 21/2" squares that I bought from Teesha from 'Craftwerx Studio' and then I raided my stash for some solids and Heather Ross prints.

We moved to the north coast of NSW 3 years ago and I can count on my hands the number of times that we have just thrown on our swimmers (bathers), jumped in the car and gone to the beach for a swim and dinner. We used to live in the river town of Tumut, NW of the Snowy Mountains and about 6 hours from the nearest south coast beach. So you think that we would be beach bound more often and I can't honestly say why we are not. (Although it has rained a LOT this summer!)

Owing to our harsh Australian UV rays and inherited Scots-Irish fair skin, our family doesn't venture out until after 4pm in summertime.

We met a couple of other families from church down by the river at Shaw's Bay. The kids had a blast swimming in the small swells on the little beach and then chasing eachother and seagulls later. All for FREE!

Well not quite! We did order some takeaway fish and chips for dinner.

And got to watch the fishing trawlers head out to sea as the sun set. A beautiful end to a Sunday.

Menu Plan Mondays

This is what's on the menu at our place this week....

We are having the home made chicken burgers plus the beef and been tacos from last week (I forgot to buy the beef mince!)

My youngest and oldest wanted to help prepare the vegetables for Monday night's Pad Thai noodles with chicken.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Something sweet

Sometimes, as quilters, we are so caught up in the BIG projects that we don't really take the time to do some cute, achievable in an afternoon, mini-projects.

I have just discovered the mother and daughters' team at 'Sweetwater Designs'. After I received their book for Christmas and tried one of their patterns, I visited the online shop and bought this little kit. Then my friend Marieka kindly sent me a packet of 'Hometown' charm squares for my birthday this week. 

The instructions were a bit oblique in some places but I muddled through.

1. Sew strips of 8 x 2 1/2" squares together. Press.

2. Pin and nest the seams and sew 4 rows together. Chain piecing saves time and thread. 

3. Turn over and measure around your notebook for sizing. Mine was a bit too tight as my notebook was bigger than the pattern allowed. So I added an extra row.


4. Cut inside fabric and wadding slightly larger than the front patchwork. I used 2 scraps of wadding and used basting spray to fix it in place.

5. Using the plain inside fabric, cut the 5" book flaps slightly larger than the width of the notebook and sew a turned over 1/4 " hem. 

6. Lay these on the batting and inside fabric, right side up.

7. Lay the patchwork on top creating a sandwich.

8. This is where I deviated from the pattern. 

Measure your notebook size again and draw a line1/4" from this border. I added extra width because my notebook is spiral bound and would not be wide enough to fit when closed. I also found that if I moved my notebook up into the top corner, I didn't need the 5th row or 8th column. So when I trimmed, these strips were intact! (I hate wasting lovely fabric!)

9. Sew around the notebook line on all 4 sides and leave a 2" gap along one edge. Make sure that all your raw edges are lined up in your sandwich.

10. Trim away the excess. I also cut the diagonals off the corners.

11. Pull through the fabric to the right side and sew the hole closed.

12. Peel off the label and iron onto the front. Stitch around the label being careful not to stitch over the flap.

13. One sweet notebook cover finished!

Great for about 2-3 hours of fun with your 21/2" square stash. I am keen to make some more. They would make a sweet gift.

Also, today I posted out 3 of the 4 'fugly fabric' giveaways (still waiting to hear from Leena in India), 36 vintage sheet fat quarters for the swap and some 'little girls' squares to a good friend in England.

36 Vintage Sheet FQs all rolled up to save space. An extra treat for Kellie who is organising the swap.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Scrap Bag Log Cabins

Last year I bought 2 Moda scrap bags. Most of the scraps were long strips not quite as thick as a jelly roll, but close enough.

I found myself with many strips of fabric in burgundy, brown and navy. And there was nearly a whole scrap bag of the gorgeous 'Hope' fabric.

WIP - Wednesday

So I set to work to make something for myself. I had never made a log cabin block before so I started on some. They were easier than I had expected and I couldn't stop at one!

Then I left them for 2 months until this week. I managed to finish the borders, baste and quilt both. 
I used basting spray as the job was so small

I made some binding using leftover cut-offs from my 'Astor Manor D9P' quilt. 


sewing the binding on to the front

pinning the binding on

getting better at machine binding

The top one is for my side of the bed and the bottom for my husband's side.
Now I have plans to use a lot of the scraps to make a stacked coins quilt table runner to go on top of our naked dresser.

This week's stats:
Completed projects - 2 bedside table mats, 2 Craftsy BoM Feb blocks
New projects - None
On Hold - 1 custom strip quilt - will start when I receive 50% deposit , 1 Feb  scrappy log cabin quilt - once all the blocks come in
Currently in progress - scrappy coin table runner, 3 dolly quilts to back (still! Am thinking of using vintage sheet fabric for these).

How did you fare this week? Pop over to 'Freshly Pieced' to link to other WIP blogs.