The last finish of 2017

Sometimes we have an image in our heads of what something is going to look like and then “design choices” need to be made to sort out another issue – that was the story of my final make for 2017, finishing it just hours before it needed to be gifted.

Originally, I had gone looking for some Harry Potter themed fabric. The recipient is most definitely obsessed with all things Harry Potter, and is looking forward to his 13th birthday so that he can make the (online) trek to Pottermore, and go through the sorting hat (meanwhile there are a few concerns that what are we going to do if he is sorted into Slytherin… I am sure there is a support group for parenting your Slytherin out there somewhere). Unfortunately I had to change my approach when I couldn’t find any Harry Potter themed fabric I liked (I know, it isn’t about me, but honestly).

So a change of fandom.

Originally this pillow was only going to be the soccer/football fabric and the red… but a slight error in judgement when I couldn’t find my Hera marker resulted in something that needed fixing between the quilting and binding/construction part of the process. Enter Star Wars. I am in the midst of making a Steampunk Quilt using lots of different themed fandom fabrics (blogged about it here); I have finished the cutting out bit of it all so I now have a whole lot of fabric which is available to be used in the overall making of things (I have a plan to use much of the leftovers, more on that another time).

Long story short – one of the patches pictured above is for practical reasons, the other is for “balance” 😉

  • Fabric: Kona Solid (red); Sport themed and Star Wars from stash
  • Thread: Aurifil 50wt
  • Design: Own

I have a blankie – I love to finish

Shawl Complete 1

Back in February I thought it would be a good idea to try and start my PhD. Well that didn’t happen until August, but back at the beginning of the year I started to go to a couple of lectures and start to get my head in the game. But it was cold.

Anyone who has ever been to Australia in February knows that it isn’t cold outside – it is hot and everything is brown from the lack of water and the months of heat (in the part of the world I am in). So to be cold was something different, but that is what happens when the air-conditioning is set on arctic. So I needed a blanket.

At about the same time I had been lusting after a Yoga Shawl from Andrea Mowry. It seemed to me to be the perfect thing for the winter or the in-between times or the middle of summer with the A/C stuck on freezing. So off to the Bendigo Woolen Mills website I went and I started it.

It took months to make.

Not because it was hard, but because I was a bit slow with it.

But done it is.

And I love it.

Katie wearing shawl

It is my wearable blankie.

Just in time for the Australian summer.

 

2016FAL – Q4 Goals

Okay – I can do this.

March - Knitting

I didn’t do the check in for the end of the last quarter for one really specific reason… I didn’t finish anything to link up. That isn’t to say that there wasn’t progress on things, just that there weren’t any finishes.

So we are going to try a similar list this quarter, and see how we go. My progress notes are in the different coloured text below.

  1. Modern Medallion – the hand quilting continues, I really want to get this done. Q4 Update – I have progressed on the quilting and only have three and a half borders to go.
  2. Winter is Coming – well it is here (snow and everything). But this is a quilt. Or a series of cushions. Q4 Update: I bought this out of its box and played with it a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know if I like it or not, that is an issue really.
  3. All of the Fandoms Steampunk Quilt – this is for someone special and I do need to finish it. Perhaps this year. Q4 Update – I have done more of these and am am really enjoying how it is looking. I am not sure if this is going to be a finish this quarter, or one of the ones for next year.
  4. Swoon – pretty sure everyone “needs” to make this quiltQ4 Update – Decided I don’t. I have one block so perhaps it will be re-purposed. 
  5. Happiness Is – hexagons. Need I say more.
  6. Yoga Shawl – sometimes I knit… this is something I want to finish before I start next semester of coursework and I am stuck in a very cold lecture theatre… so I have twoish weeks. Q4 Update – It needs buttons to be finished just in time for the Australian Summer (well known for the need to wear 100% woolen shawls – not)
  7. I shall call him George – an epic monster of a quilt (which I somehow think will be finished in Q4 2040 or something but I am putting him on the list to make sure he doesn’t feel left out). Q4 Update – George is in the naughty corner. We will see how I feel about him in a year or so. But for now the pattern is annoying me to the point of frustration so it goes away.

Additions:

  • Pink quilt thing – it is a fabric pull and a pattern (in my head). It is supposed to be quick and easy so we will see what happens with that.
  • Christmas mini quilt – By Gail Pan and I started it years ago. It comes out at this time of year every year and I do some more. I assume that one of these years I will accidentally finish it. It is on the list for one quarter only, come Q1 next year (assuming it hasn’t been finished) it will go again until Q4 next year.

Earl Grey Tea Loaf

Earl Grey Tea Cake

Sometimes I bake.

This time of year I find it really interesting to watch all of the different types of food and traditions to go with them. Thanksgiving isn’t something we celebrate here in Australia, but I find it a holiday that is intriguing; given the emphasis on food and family, rather than the gift giving that comes with Christmas. Watching the Thanksgiving  feasts being prepared on Instagram and in my Facebook feed, there seems to be a lot of feeling in the dishes that were being prepared. From the turkey to the pies (I have never had a pumpkin pie), watching the family meals being prepared with love and care.

As we head into Christmas, I am starting to work on my own family traditions, and I have been looking at how they have changed over the years, and how they haven’t. When I was a child, we would have lunch with one grandmother and dinner with the other – the dinner being a barbecue and lunch being more of a “traditional” affair.

The Christmas Cake was always an extravaganza. One grandmother would make hers in September, for the following year’s Christmas. The other seemed to always have fruit cake about, it was a staple all year round.

I know the recipes for both of them, they have passed them down to me grandmother to granddaughter; but they never really taste the same to me.

So here is mine:

Earl Grey Tea Cake

The what:

  • 4 Earl Grey Tea bags
  • 400g dried fruit (I used a mixture of sultanas and cranberries)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 egg
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice (I used kind of half cinnamon and kind of half nutmeg)

The how:

  1. Make the tea in 300ml of boiling water and all 4 tea bags (if the water is a bit over it is okay), leave it for about 5 (or when you remember) and take the tea bags out.
  2. Put the dried fruit into a large bowl, grate the zest of the orange into it and pour the tea into it. Cover with cling film and let it sit there for overnight if possible, a few hours at least, or again when you remember it is there (don’t ask how long it was there for). But the tea will be soaked up into the fruit and it will be all puffy.
  3. When it is time to make the loaf, preheat the oven to 180c/350f/Gas4, and grease a loaf tin.
  4. Beat the eggs and add the fruit. Add all the other things you have there and squeeze in the juice from the orange (but don’t panic if you forget)… and mix it all together.
  5. Bake it for about 1 hour and 10 mins – until cooked through – the skewer should come out clean when you stab the cake.

Enjoy.

The beginning, again

Handquilt

So I decided to start a new online space, I have rented server space, set up the menu system and I think I have worked out why I am here. There comes a point when you have to leave something behind in order to move forward, and while really there was nothing wrong with my former online home, I decided to move anyway… lets face it, I don’t really want to move house again (I have only just sorted out my sewing space), but I felt the need to change something. So the online home it is.

In the quilting space I am doing stocktake as well… you know what it is like, you start cleaning up, and you find a box, and you open the box, and in the box is a quilt top that you feel like you should… you know… actually quilt.  It is my Modern Medallion, which I made as a part of Raspberry Spool‘s Modern Medallion quilt along, and it was languishing in a box in the wardrobe.

But this is a quilt for me. This is mine (my inner two year old is not letting go of it).