Thursday, 28 February 2013

February roundup

I figure that if I want to keep up my crafting motivation this year I really should take the time each month to look back at what I have achieved - started, finished or just made progress on.

3 main categories .... yarn, fabric and paper.....
Yarn - completed 4 beanies, completed a granny stripe bag and made another one, completed 1 blanket and started a Ripple blanket
Fabric - finished snipping my 2 rag quilts, pieced together the top of a quilt for A1
Paper - made cards for a swap, made cards for upcoming birthdays and added more to my stash (so I have them ready for birthdays, etc instead of rushing at the last minute!)

Not bad for a short month! Wonder what I will achieve in March?????

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The dreaded 'Z' word!

ZUCCHINI! (or courgette for those north of the equator ;) )
We have 3 zucchini plants in our veggie patch and they are going berserk still! I seem to add Zucchini to any meal I possible can, chopped, sliced, diced, grated or pureed! Yes, pureed, because bub is onto solids now so even he doesn't miss out! My cooking days have been numerous lately trying to use them up, even making soup on 30+ degree days. I have found a couple of nice new recipes and also 'created' a couple by combining ideas from others. I have to say one winning recipes is the Courgette, Orange and Mixed spice muffins, they are YUM! The next time I make them I am going to do them without sugar too as the first time I used a bit less than the recipe said, then next time I used about 2/3 and really I think even less or none will be fine still, plus makes it a little better for the waistline. I also tried some Zucchini and Pineapple cake, which is nice but a bit moist, not sure if I didn't rid rid of enough zucchini 'juice' or if I should have cooked it longer, but it still tastes quite good.
Okay, I'm off to pin more zucchini recipes!

Monday, 25 February 2013

am I obsessed with fabric???

Made a little trip to IKEA today! The first time in aaaages and A2 even went into Playland, so I only had one munchkin to deal with, even better. But wondered if I am getting a bit obsessed with fabric because when wandering through the dining/kitchen area I spotted some gorgeous 'fabric'! They were table runners in gorgeous turquoise, coral and yellow printed fabric.
So tempted to get some and then chop them up to make something ...... I resisted .... for now! ;)

Sunday, 24 February 2013


Seeing as I can't get the right coloured blue flannel at the moment to make a rag quilt for A1, I decided to make him a 'normal' quilt. A2 helped me pick out the fabrics, she insisted on the cowboys (Yee Ha range at spotlight) and although i think her brother may have preferred cars, these are pretty cute! I used this quilt at Two Little Banshees for inspiration when designing my blocks. I used 6 fat quarters and cut them up so that I would get 2 whole blocks from each fat quarter to make 12 blocks in total. Once they were cut I lay them out to play the design. I took a photo at this stage because I caught MissA2 picking some of the strips up and moving them around!!! Argh! Anyway, I have 6 blocks pieced now and just need to piece the others before I add the sashing and borders. I will update with more pics as I get to that stage
I'm pretty happy with how it looks so far and can't wait to see the top pieced together!

Better name ...

I my blog trawling lately I realised I shouldn't refer to all my projects that are sitting there in various stages of completion as 'UFOS' or Un-Finished Objects. It sounds much nicer to refer to them as 'WIPs' or Works In Progress! Don't you think?

Saturday, 23 February 2013

One down ...

Yay! The blanket I started on 2nd January is done!

I used a pattern called 'Rainbow Blanket' (found here) but as you can see I chose to used variegated yarn instead of using various colours. I was making the blanket to do some stashbusting so I had 2 1/2 balls of this bright multicoloured yarn and thought it would still look nice with the lovely bobble texture of the pattern. For the border I used a chunky soft white wool as a contrast to all the bright colours. So excited to have one finished! I had planned to make it for A2 but with the size it ended up I asked if she would mind if we give it to a friend who is having a baby (providing it's a girl!) as I think it would be a lovely size for a bassinette blanket and she as quite happy with that :)

In mentioning size and being not the size I expected I have learned a few tips in the last few days (see, blog surfing does have it's positives! lol!)
1. Do a test piece (even if you unpick it) to plan the size before you start the real thing
2. Don't be afraid to unpick the first couple of rows if you think it's too wide or not wide enough
3. if you are trying to figure out the finished size after a couple of rows, WEIGH the completed part and then weigh your completed wool. That should give you an approximate indication of what your finished size might be.
4. see 2!!!! if the dimensions aren't going to be right, change it THEN, don't regret it later!

Haha! so as you can see, I really need to be less lazy when planning my projects, but at least I have learned from this and will definitely use that to help in future
..... speaking of the future, I have already begun my next crochet blanket! I follow 'One Crafty Mumma' on facebook and saw that she was hosting a 'Ripple-along' where followers can create and share a ripple blanket over the same time period. I had been wanting to try a Ripple Blanket and had already print the one from Attic 24 that Melissa had followed when she created her first one, so I rummaged through my stash (I have been given a lot of yarn lately, so I wanted to use what I had) and found some lovely buttercup yellow, lavender and cream. My order and colour band width are going to be different to the original, but they will make the most of the yarn I have.

I have finished 4 rows of my first colour and am about to begin my second colour....... and so I will say goodbye now and get hooking!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Lots of fluff!

Here are a couple of photos of the rag quilts, they are washed and shaken to get rid of a bit of fluff, but I didn't get time to go to the laundromat to use their drier and get rid of some more, soon though!
This is the strippy one for A2 with the matching dolls one on top
And the more traditional one using squares for my bubba boy.
The rag quilts were certainly simple and relatively quick to make, I'll definitely be making more of them!

2 years coming

This is a project I finally completed last week. I bought a pin board for A1 2 years ago (at least!) with the intention of making him a covered pin board to display photos, cards, etc, and it has sat there and sat there next to my filing cabinet! Because I have been trying to clear out some clutter to make my room more functional, I found some fabric I could use and decided to get it done finally! I had the fabric (thermal lined) left over from when I made him some little bean bags (for games) a couple of years ago, so I just layered that with some wadding and use my staple gun to attach the material at the back. I had the ribbon left over from the boy version of the ribbon wands I made for A2's birthday party, and once that was stapled on I even used some of my brads to fix the ribbons in place. Very happy that I got it made and managed to do so without buying any new supplies!

A1 really likes it and it is now hanging in his bedroom :)

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Busy, busy

Back again after a few days off blogging. I managed to get quite a bit of crafting done in the last week or so, amazing what you can do if you leave the computer off!
I am pleased to say I got 2 beanies finished off as well as making 2 new ones! One of the ones I finished was the gorgeous 'Shell Stitch Beanie' by the Dainty Daisy. And then because I finished it while we were driving in the car (well, I was a passenger!) I decided to start another one and even finished it that night! very pleased with myself although I took the photo below before I had cut and darned the ends! I haven't added a flower yet as I need to look up that pattern, but A2 has already claimed the first one and it looks pretty even without the flower.

I also finished a Granny Stripe bag similar to this one by Tangled Happy. I have made a few of these now for little girl birthday gifts and so I adapt each a little so they are slightly individual. I used 2 strands of hot pink for the main part and then one strand each of lime green and white for the top part. I love those colours together, nice and bright and 'springy'.

I will leave it at that for now and share some other pics of completed projects with you soon.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Making progress ...

Yay! I have finished A3's rag quilt! I have finished the snipping and washed it once already (I followed advice I had read on a blog and put it into a pillowcase which I tacked shut before washing) and will wash it again before taking it to a laundromat and making use of their dryer. However, I have also made another raggy quilt already! I had some pink princess, polkadot and plain flannelette so I decide to make a strip one for A2. Unfortunately the print flannelette was not as wide as the others, but with the offcuts I was able to put together a little quilt for her doll so they will have matching blankets :) Those 2 have also been washed once and I will wash them again before drying them in the drier too.
All in all a productive start to February! I have also cut the pieces for A1's cowboy quilt and they are laid out on the lounge room floor at the moment, waiting to be pieced. Silly me stuffed up one of the cuts and had to go buy another fat quarter just for a 5 1/4" x 9 1/2" piece :( annoying! However, with the leftover piece of the fabric I had to buy yardage of, I should be able to use both with some backing fabric to make a pillowcase, so at least I can use it.
This evening I also did a bit of a tidy up of my yarn stash (well, most of it!) and packaged up the yarns in bags of matching balls. I'm hoping this will make it easy for me to see how much of each I have and choose appropriate patterns. I also found 1 beanie that needs 3 more crocheted rows, 2 beanies that need the ends woven in and a christmas stocking that needs stitching up. There is also a bag that I need to finish for a friends daughters birthday next weekend and a couple of blankets that are half done (1 knit and 1 crochet). I hope to get these things finished off in the next couple of weeks so they can go to their new owners instead of being in my yarn cupboard :) for fun and to use up some scraps I also arm knitted a scarf for A2 using 2 different chunky pinks. I just have to stitch the ends to make it an infinity scarf and I know she'll love it.
Ok, that's it for now, need some sleep so I have energy for all these projects!