Archive for May, 2013

There hasn’t been any finishing going on here at Ruth’s place. But there are a few works in progress. Last night I spread out my brother’s quilt on my design wall bed.

I got two rows sewn together. I’m doing a 7×9 block setting. It’s going to be bigger than I first thought. That’s a queen-sized bed it is lying on. I have to admit I’m starting to get nervous about my plan to quilt this myself…

In between sewing the blocks for the rows I worked on some leader and ender blocks for my strip quilt.

There’s the pile, I was too lazy to spread them all out. At the moment I’m just adding the longer pieces to each white strip, once that is all done I’ll start adding the shorter bits to each side.

The scrapbox is starting to look a little tiny bit tidier.

There’s all sorts of fabric in there from all over the place.

Here is what it looked like last time I took a picture.

Unfortunately, after sewing two rows of the quilt, my foot started to ache (this may have had something to do with a stumble down the last two steps on the staircase earlier in the day) and I’ve learned to listen to pain and stop. So I ended the evening sitting on the couch knitting some lace. Pictures of that tomorrow.


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I made two scrapbook pages this week. This one is my favourite from my scrapbooking session.

I’ve incorporated the jounalling into the border decoration and the handmade flowers are similar to those I saw on a blog this week, can’t remember which one though…

Here’s a close up of the flowers. I really like these.

The flowers were from an old book I’m deconstructing. It’s a classic history text and due to my frequent attendance (when we lived in Australia) at massive second hand book sales, I ended up with a paperback and the hard cover, so the paperback is aiding my crafting. The centres of the flowers were fussy cut from some scrap paper I had in the stash. I seem to be into pointy tags at the moment.

Not so sure this second page works terribly well, but it is what it is.

I’m slowly working my way through the pile of photos. Not fast enough since I’m planning on printing off all of the Brazil photos for scrapping when we get to Australia in July (it’s cheaper to do it there) and I need to dig out my CD of Amsterdam/USA photos from 2010 and print and scrap them as well…

There was also spinning this week. This is a Southdown wool that is a traditional three-ply.

It’s a little bit redder than this in real life. I’m planning to use it for socks. (At some stage, there is no rush on the sock front  as it never gets cold enough for handknit socks here in Papua New Guinea).

At Gorgeous Girl’s request I made her a monster chunk of her very own. We will be picking the felt for its teeth tomorrow and then it will be done.


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When we lived in South Africa we would visit tourist places and craft markets and I’d see sewn place mats for sale. I’d look at them closely and then think to myself “I can do that.”

I even went to the fabric store and bought the fabric so that ‘I could do that.’

Finally, over 18 months after leaving South Africa, I broke out the place mat fabric and I did that.

and the reverse

I bought the reverse fabric in South Africa with place mats in mind. There was enough to do 6 place mats  with about 10cm long strip left over.

The thing that was holding me back from using this is that the images were printed very skew on the fabric and it was impossible to square them up. Eventually I told my internal OCD that these were going to get food spilled on them and thrown in the washer repeatedly and it was better to have them out being used, than languishing in the stash, and that being ‘perfect’ really doesn’t matter at this point, for this project.

I’m embarrassed it took me so long to make the first batch of place mats (there are many, many sets in the stash waiting to be worked up). It only took a few hours.

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There’s been some making going on here at Ruth’s place.

This was a really quick little knit.

He took two evenings. Free pattern can be found here.

Made from handspun. This was my first time using safety eyes. I love the effect. Good thing I bought a multi-eye packet so that I can use them again. Gorgeous Girl is now asking for one of her own, so expect to see at least one more of these here, at some point.

Only one scrapbook page got made this week. An old photo of Gorgeous Girl.

Hand cut tags and flags, hand drawn edging and jounalling. The ‘a’ in Beautiful is actually a cut down ‘q’. This used up some smaller scraps. Some of the embellishments were fussy cut from scrapbook pages. I’m slowly working my way through the scrapbooking hoard stash. It’s amazing how inventive I get when I don’t have a scrapbooking store nearby.

I spent Friday morning running around town getting quotes on repairing the car. I’m very thankful for a friend who gave up her morning off to come with me. Some of the mechanics/smash and dent places I’d never have found on my own and it was nice to have another person with me for company and to help navigate some of Port Moresby’s heavier traffic areas.

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A finish

This is what I was going to show you before getting side-tracked by my little ‘incident’. (And no, I don’t know why Gorgeous Girl has put a brick on the balcony – just noticed that in the photo now)…

My finished sewing machine mat. It’s not going to win any awards for either piecing or hand quilting, but it was a good learning experience as my first (but not my last) free motion quilting piece. This came entirely from scraps – both left overs from old quit projects and other people’s scrap bags (Kate).

Here is it is in use.

I don’t know if you can quite see the polka dot binding. I just love the way it works with the scrappiness of the quilt. This was inherited fabric from a retiring quilter that was given to me in South Africa, so it’s really vintage fabric as I know it had been in her stash for years. I can see that I’ll need to add more polka dots to the stash, I really love them.

The stars are from one of Tazzie’s patterns that was published in an old Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

My current leaders and enders project is a strip quilt coming out of this box.

Yeah, it’s pretty full. I thought it might be fun to document how much it goes down in the next little while.

Finally, I’ve been sewing blocks for my brother and his partner. I finally laid them on my design floor last night to see how it was looking.

Apparently I can’t count and I made way more brown and white blocks than the number of blue blocks I cut. I’m going to add one more row to the width and two more to the length. They have requested a quilt for snuggling under on the couch while watching TV, so it doesn’t have to be enormous, but Gorgeous Man suggested that rectangular would probably be better than square.

I’m really pleased with how the fabrics are playing together in this one. It’s quite a departure for me. I don’t think I’ve ever made a quilt with such a limited number of fabrics. Normally I’m a scrappy quilter.

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An accident

Yesterday I had a small accident.

I had just picked Gorgeous Girl up from school and was heading home when the car in front of me stopped very suddenly. I hit the brakes, and for a few seconds thought I was actually going to stop in time, but didn’t quite make it. Gorgeous Girl didn’t realise I’d hit anything and started asking why I was getting out of the car in the middle of the street. She was very brave and only cried when I got her out of the hot car (once I realised we would be there a while) and she saw all the commotion going on. A hug and a few reassuring words and she was OK. I had managed to stop shaking by that point. When it happened I was shaking so badly I could barely dial my phone. The first thing I did was phone Gorgeous Man.

The car aftermath

Car accidents in PNG can be fraught with difficulties and security issues. I hit a fellow Australian, who has a child in the same school as Gorgeous Girl. This simplified matters tremendously. I wasn’t going fast, but he had a very solid car (ute/pick-up truck). He had been forced to stop suddenly by the driver in front of him (who was on the phone).

As I got out of the car to exchange details with the driver, employees from a local security company saw me. They did a U-Turn and came to “stay with us for our safety” until the police arrived (the driver of the other car wanted to report the car who had caused him to stop suddenly), even though neither of us were clients of their company. Two lots of friends, also picking up their children from school stopped and offered to help. One offered to take Gorgeous Girl back to their place and the other offered to drive out and get Gorgeous Man.

Fortunately Gorgeous Man had his phone on while he was teaching and he left immediately to come and assist us. The head of the university security also accompanied him in a separate vehicle.  This was so that they could escort the car home with one in the front and one driver behind me. I found out later that the university had also contacted one of their drivers who was in town and asked him to come and find me and stay with me until Gorgeous Man got there, but he was unable to locate me.

Because the driver and I had agreed on how we were going to settle the damages the police didn’t take a statement or write up a report. After they left the security company stopped traffic, which allowed me to safely pull the car down into a side street. They then went on their way after leaving me with their phone number in case I needed help quickly. It was so hot that Gorgeous Girl and I had wrinkles on our hands from sweating so much.

Eventually the security guard for the lodge that I was parked in front of tapped on the window and invited us into the lodge to wait. At that point I figured it was safe to get out of the car and just wait at the side of the road for Gorgeous Man.  I figured if we went into the lodge Gorgeous Man might not be able to find us when he arrived.

We were lucky that the accident happened in a ‘good’ part of town. There is no damage to the engine and the car is still drivable (it actually looks like a lot of other cars on the road now 😀 ). I now have to fill in a 10 page insurance claim and pay the excess (ouch) and then drive the car around to get three quotes from different repair shops. I’ve been informed that getting the insurance claim processed will not be fast and that repairs here will also take a long time…

I did have a finish to show you, but with all the drama that happened yesterday I didn’t manage to get it photographed.

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I have a knitting project at the moment that I’m just not loving. I’m trying to force myself to finish it before I cast on anything new, but it’s affecting my knitting mojo in a big way So, let’s talk about happier things.

I broke out the scrapping things again.

Clean simple lines. Handwritten title. My own attempt at wordle.

I think I prefer this next one. This was my attempt at layering.

I’m starting to see a reduction in the scrapbooking stash. My embellishment containers now close easily and my lettering/sticker box has a good inch to spare at the top. This is not a license to buy more scrapping supplies while in Australia. I’m on a mission to use things up. The only permissible purchases are small, unmounted alphabet stamps (if I can find any) as they are reusable and can give the pages variety.

Going to crash on the couch tonight and do some charity knitting. Then it’s an early night for me. Apparently Gorgeous Girl has big plans for Mother’s Day tomorrow 🙂

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I managed to sneak half an hour or so with my sewing machine last night (before fatigue hit – I’ve learned to stop sewing once I’m tired…)

I finished the quarter square triangle blocks, pressed them and then started to sew them together.

Love the accuracy of my new machine. I’m feeling the pressure with this quilt. It is for my brother and has a mid-September deadline…He may end up getting photos and a promise of a quilt.

My daily life follows a fairly set routine. Most days of the week I take Gorgeous Girl to school. Either Gorgeous Man or myself throws the washing in the machine on the way out of the door. Once I get back, I check my email, hang out the washing if there is any,  and then settle down to study for a few hours. At the moment I’m immersed in Memory Studies theory…

Gorgeous Man comes home for lunch and I take a quick break and then head back to the books until it’s time to go and fetch Gorgeous Girl. Once we get home we have a snack/drink /get changed and then do her homework.

Once homework is done she can either watch her 1 hour of TV for the day or play outside. Today we did school pick up and play date for a friend’s child  so today will be a TV free day 🙂

While Gorgeous Girl is playing/watching TV I write a blog post and catch up on my blogs. I’m using Feedly and loving it.

Then it’s time to make dinner and do a little bit of housework. After dinner we play a few games of uno or read stories and then Gorgeous Girl goes to bed.

After that I used to just craft like mad, but with my new lot of reading assignments,  I now finish the article I was reading in the morning before hitting the hobbies.

That’s pretty much how each day during the week goes. The only thing that varies is how long the drive to school takes and which craft I do in the evenings.

Do you have a fairly fixed routine, or is your life a little more flexible?

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Tuesdays are for spinning, so last night after finishing my reading, I divided up some fibre into three equal lots and started to spin. I’m aiming for a traditional three-ply and want to make socks with the resulting yarn.

This is how much I got done before heading to bed.

It’s not often that I spin to a plan, but the fibre is not next to skin soft. This is south down fibre that Gorgeous Man bought for me for Christmas (yes, I’m aware I’m only getting to it 5 months later). He’s been very good about seeking out fibres I haven’t spun yet. To be honest the prep for this fibre is a little disappointing. It’s a bit neppy and I’m having difficulty getting it fine enough for a three-ply sock yarn. However, I’m sure it will even out in the end once it’s plied.

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After meeting with my thesis supervisor on Thursday, I did my oral presentation on Friday and met with the academic committee, I have been confirmed to continue in my Masters programme. All students at my institution must meet milestones periodically during the course of their studies. I get to do all this again in 6 months.

After meeting with my supervisor I came away with dozens of books (my luggage increased by 11 kilos (20 pounds) coming back to Papua New Guinea (good thing I only had 7 kilos in my checked luggage when I went to Australia) and articles to read. I see my free time for the next 12 months rapidly disappearing.

There was hexagon sewing on the plane, and in a few free moments while in Australia. The top itself is getting to big to drag around now, but the individual hexagons make a good travel project.

I added a few more hexagons to the quilt last night.

17 more to add to this round and then I’ll start squaring up. I’m making reasonable progress considering this is a queen-sized bed. For comparison, this is the last photo I took of the quilt.

Well, I’d better go and cook some dinner and tackle the mountain of dishes in the sink. I need to finish reading an article on Memory Theory after Gorgeous Girl has gone to bed. Then, if I’m not too tired I’m going to throw some fibre onto the spinning wheel and see what happens 😀 I have permission from Gorgeous Girl to remove her project (all 5 yards of it) from my favourite spinning wheel, so I should be good to go.

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