Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baking, sewing, loving

After a few weeks of resting up after the thyroid surgery thing, I am starting to feel like myself again. The swelling around my throat has gone down a lot and I have finally got enough energy to get back into normal life a little. Having some extra time on my hands has been a real gift. After not touching my sewing machine for months, I decided to do some quilting. I wanted to make a quilt for a much loved friend and found the leftover fabric my sister gave me after making me a surprise wedding quilt. It has lovely pictures of herbs on it and I have always really loved it. With some help from the wonderful Claudia at Quilt Essentials, I picked out some colours that matched in well and started cutting out big squares. I want this quilt to be beautiful but nice and easy. I couldn't wait to start playing with those beautiful squares of fabric. Here's a sneak preview.

I was going to put in a few blue and purple squares but they didn't look right, so I'm saving the contrasting colours for the borders. I want the finished quilt to be like having a little garden inside.

Because I hadn't quilted for so long, I felt really rusty so I tried making a table mat first, using some of my rainbow baby quilt stash. I thought I'd be brave and try triangles, again with some timely advice from Claudia. She showed me how to place two squares right side together, draw a pencil line from corner to corner and then a line a quarter of an inch on either side of the first line. Then you stitch up the two outer lines and then cut up the middle line and, hey presto, you have two half triangle squares. (I think that is what they are called). That part was easy and so was stitching them together. Then I sewed on the binding, thinking I was mitring the corners properly, but somehow the corners went out of whack and now they don't match up properly. I guess I'll stick to right angles for a bit longer. I also am having trouble with joining the two ends of the binding together using the method where you poke one end into the other and then sew along the edge. My binding always ends up too bulky and looks like a snake which has swallowed a mouse. (See the little bulge in the middle part of the binding at the top?) Melissa, Queen of Quilting, - if you read this and have any hints for me, that would be great. But, I loved making it and quilting rainbows always makes me so happy.

Apart from some sewing, I was inspired by this post at Beck's Dandelion blog to try my hand again at muffins. I have tried once or twice before but they didn't turn out so well. Yesterday, the little girl and I made strawberry and chocolate chip muffins for us and gluten free banana and choc chip muffins for the coeliac Daddy. We had a lovely time cooking together and my girl loves to say "check...check...check" when I read out the ingredients. Doesn't she have a funny grown up look on her face?

Yummo! They were so good, I made another batch today. Thanks Beck!

On Sunday nights we try and keep up our tradition of a family game after dinner. Last time, "Rhino Rampage" was chosen and it was really lovely to sit together with the TV off and play a game. I'm looking forward to the day when we can move onto Scrabble. My big girl can play but my little girl can only spell one word - L...O...V....E - thanks to the Hi 5 song.

In the meantime, "Rhino Rampage" is fine.

My big girl is finally getting her two front teeth. A tiny bit crooked but still beautiful!

So.... a lovely week of healing, sewing, baking, playing and loving.


Tammie said...

what a great week and im so glad you're feeling better.

the quilt is gorgeous and i love the table mat. im scared to try triangles because i know my points won't match up. everything i make is always hopelessly wonky.

i like how your family has a game night. we are big on board games around here although its difficult finding ones everyone can agree on.

Melissa said...

Oh you flatter me! I LOVE the colours in your table runner. So glad you are getting back into quilting!

Re. the binding, I'm trying to think what I do...I think I just finger press under one end of the binding, about half an inch, and tuck in the other end about one inch. I make sure it's all really taut and pin one end, then sew over the join, take out the pin and keep going. Hope that makes sense & helps for next time!

hester said...

Tammie - Thank you. I've decided that wonky isn't a bad thing. Makes the finished product look handmade.

Melissa - how fortuitious that you dropped by! Thanks for the tips. I'm going to keep trying and may have to phone you for further pointers.

Jane said...

Hi Heather, the wonky bits make it handmade, so go with it. Another lovely creation of yours. The new quilt layout looks beautiful. i agree with your choice not to use the blue and purple.
to your followers... i can vouch for how delicious the strawb and choc muffins were. You should try Hester's pavlova!
Scrabble... you need to get Junior scrabble. we still (after quite a few years) use it at our house regularly (this week in fact). Have a lovely weekend. Jane x

le@thirdontheright said...

love love love the garden quilt - too amazing - clever you ! also I don't see a think wrong with the tbale runner - it looks suoer cute :) well done honey bunny le xox