Friday, 30 October 2015

Making a Fascinator

On the first Tuesday of November each year, our nation stops dead at 3pm and holds its breath.  Why?  The Race of the Year begins in Melbourne.  It's called The Melbourne Cup.  Goodness knows why we take it all so seriously, but  there are lunches held everywhere; workers stop to listen to the race; and in the streets of the Sydney CBD the traffic thins, and the pedestrians vanish.  Apart from the bazillions we spend at the TAB, anywhere where there is a group of people, as in offices etc., we hold sweeps, spot prizes, door prizes etc. etc. 

This year, as always, our local Bridge Club is holding a Melbourne Cup lunch.  It is one of the main events of the Bridge calendar in the bridge community.  The committee goes all out in decorations, and after a morning playing bridge, we have a feast prepared by the Leagues Club.  This year the theme is yellow.

I have had a bit of time to think about it and get prepared.  I have a pair of bright yellow cropped jeans; a yellow t-shirt I borrowed from my daughter; and some yellow nail polish I bought yesterday.  Time to make a fascinator.

I trawled the net for inspiration and found that almost all of them worked on the same principle, so off I went to Spotlight yesterday for my supplies.

 
From left: Blossoms by Vivaldi; white feather; Sinamay Ivory Leaves; Ostrich Feather Boa; cream felt.  I also pulled some fine yellow satin ribbon from stash, and a bar clip on which to fix it all. 
 
I played around with the design until I had worked out what I liked best.
 
 
This is using the feather and the ribbon.
 

 
I really wanted something blingy and a bit crazy, so I decided on the feather boa instead.

 
 
First step is to sew a couple of the Sinamay leaves to a strip of felt the same size as the bar clip.

 
Then the flowers were sewn on.  At this point I took it to the mirror.  Wrong move!  I should have done that first, because I realised that laid out the way I had it, the flowers would be facing forward, and really they should have been upright.
 
Unpick and start again.......

 
After adding the flowers, I just shoved the feather boa up behind the flowers and trailing down.  The idea being that they would cover the mess, and add the bling [forgot to photograph those steps :( ]  I tweaked the flowers a bit so that they sat forward a bit, and not upwards.
 
Then it was ready to glue the felt to the bar clip.  I used craft glue because my glue gun does not seem to get hot enough so the glue is not melted properly.

 
This morning I went to do a photograph, and found that I had glued the bar clip on back to front.  What a dope!  Now I shall have to slide it onto my hair, not front to back, but from the back of the head towards the front.  Oh well.  I'm not remaking it.  Here it is all done and dusted.
 
 
Melbourne Cup lunch here I come!
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Lots of Brown

October is the Brown month in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge run by Angela at SoScrappy.

I was away for the weekend last week, so I did not get a chance to link up.  This post is my progress for the last 2 weeks.

First up, I made 12 little Twinkler stars.

 
Each month I am astonished at the variety of shades there are for the colour of the month.  Brown is brown you might say.  Not so.  There is everything from deep, almost black brown, through the rusty red shades, the chocolates, and the orange/yellow tans.  The colours reminded me of the Australian outback during the dry season as I was sewing these up.
 
Mt Augustus.  Source
 
Then I scratched around looking for the pieces I was sure I had cut ready to make up into the Crossroads Block.  Nowhere in sight!  So I cut some more and made this.

 
After taking the photo, I was about to put it away when I found I had already made the Crossroads block in brown.  That's why I couldn't find the fabric I had cut.


I posted about it here.   I'm a duffer as Shez said the other day.  LOL  I hadn't heard that word used in forever, so if you are reading this Shez, I'm warning you that I'm pinching it.  :)

Then this afternoon, I made up 6 little Bow Tie blocks.

 
It was tax return avoidance technique at its best.  I was doing my tax this morning, and by 3pm I'd had a gut full.
 
Now for the fun part.  A little while ago, I told myself that the next time I had 20 or more comments, I would do a little surprise give away.  I have been waiting for the day for a while.  Well the RSC link up always produces the most comments on my blog, and the last time I posted, there were 23 comments.  You are all such a supportive crowd, I am really pleased that it was from the RSC link up which triggered the give away.
 
I used Mr Random to choose a number for me, which turned out to be 6.  Julie, who blogs here, was the lucky winner.  I am planning to make something up for her and have emailed her to let her know.  Congrats to Julie. 

Linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Please click on that link and head over to see what others have done.  Oh.  And do leave a comment.  Its a thrill to know that people have taken the time to visit and comment.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching

Friday, 16 October 2015

What's Been Going On.

Well for starters I have been away again.  Last weekend we drove to Muswellbrook to play in the Bridge Congress there.  (No we didn't win, but it was fun.)  How I love to travel and see new things and do different things!  But boy, does it muck up with your home life.

And I will be away again for 3 days next week. Bridge again - the Spring Nationals in Sydney.  Three days in a row, so we are staying down there.

At the start of this week I decided it was high time to open the mail and sort out what was on my desk.  I have been working on that pretty much all week on and off in between the neglected housework, but I have managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing.

First thing I want to show is this little panel I quilted up for a little newborn girl who has just come under care of Barnardos.  Here it is as it was before I started to sew down the binding.

 
I did an open meander on the panel and on the border, and stitched in the ditch around all the framing borders.
 
The backing is a sweet print which complements the panel.

 
It is the last of the quilts that Stitching Hearts has promised to Barnardos.  Next thing is that I'll have to go deliver the last batch we have made.
 
Last time I was in the UK, while clearing out my mother-in-law's apartment, my sister-in-law and I found the vest I had knitted for m-i-l about 8-9 years ago.  She wore it literally to death, and the knitting was unravelling everywhere.  My s-i-l asked if I would knit another.
 
The pattern came from this vintage book......

 
And was this one.....

 
Just peg out those glasses will you?  They are green with green glass.  I am embarrassed to say that I owned a pair like that - pink ones, with pink glass. 
 
I was stopped at traffic lights in Moscow with them on the dashboard, when a young fellow leaned into the window and offered me the princely sum of 50 roubles for them.  That, in 1970, was enough for us to live on for about a week, so I didn't think twice!  Bye bye glasses.
 
I did look for another pattern, but nothing else inspired me, so I am doing it again.  I have started the knitting.  At the rate my arthritic fingers allow me to knit, this project will still be around this time next year.  Hopefully my mother-in-law will be too. 

 
Today was an all day sewing day at Friday Quilters.  I worked on my Scrap Dance Mystery, which is no longer a mystery of course.  At the start of today I had all of the strips sets done (or so I thought), and 10 of the block A done (top left).  I had visions of getting the last 5 of block A finished and all of block B done (middle, top row).  And perhaps even starting to lay them out.

 
Well, as Barbara of Cat Patches said the other day, I was working at "slug speed".  I found that by some aberration, I had only made about a quarter of one of the strip sets.  So all I actually got done was the last of the 5 Block As and the 3 Block Bs you see here.  Oh well, better that than nothing I guess.
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Diets and Babies

Last week I went to my Naturopath who suggested that I should try a sugar free diet (this is on top of the gluten free diet I have been on for a year and a half).  Well!!  Have you any idea how hard that is in today's society?  Absolutely every label you look at has sugar on it, and the diet also means no fruit or wine.  Sigh.... and then sigh again.  The fruit is what I miss most, but at least there is a glimmer of hope as she has said I will probably be able to introduce a bit of fruit in 6 weeks or so.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I checked the wonderful Net for ideas for some GF and SF ideas.  I found a great recipe for Granola at The Healthy Chef which I made up on Saturday. 

 
I have never made my own muesli or granola, mostly because it seemed like it was too much hard work when you can just snatch a box off a shelf at Coles.  But it was dead easy and absolutely yummy.  A few cranberries are OK and a bit of honey is too, so I added those.  I also add roasted almonds to the bowl when I serve.  I thought they may not keep crisp if I added them to the mix while storing as they may soften with the honey.  Could experiment with those I guess.
 
I have started a Pinterest board here if anyone is interested, and would love any suggestions for deserts and snacks as they have been the hardest to part with.  I used to grab a bit of fruit when I felt the munchies coming on, and that is a no no at the moment.
 
Last week I went to the Stitching Hearts meeting, and while there I had a call from Barnardos and discovered that there are 3 little newborn girls - including a pair of twins, who have come under their care. 
 
Jill had brought two sweet little quilts in.  I took Jill's them both and have appliqued the name on this one already.

 
and am working on this one.

 
The photos have dulled the colours a bit, which is a shame because they are very sweet.  They are similar but not identical, so that will be perfect for the twins.  I also brought home a sweet little panel to make a quilt for the third little girl.  I'm going downstairs to make a start on that as soon as I finish this post.
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

RSC 2015 - Playing Catch Up

I have been participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge run by Angela at SoScrappy for almost 2 years now.  Love working with scraps from the colour of the month!  The colour for September was orange and October's colour is brown.

I was away for most of August and quite a bit in September too, so I was behind, a lot behind.  This week I managed to scrounge a few minutes here and there to make some blocks.

I wanted to finish off the September oranges before I got started on October's browns.  So I made up 10 little bow ties.


Then I finished off the last of the red Twinkler stars I had prepped for July, since they were just sitting around getting under my feet, but as always there was a blooper.

 
How come I seem to make a mistake on these every month?  I have made heaps of them each month, and each month I carefully lay them out before I sew.  And every month, out comes the seam ripper.  Anyways, there are now another 4 twinklers to add to those I made in July.

 
But looking at them in the photo, I reckon you could classify the one on the bottom left as brown.  It was definitely red when I sewed it up.  Was I seeing things through rose coloured glasses do you think?   LOL
 
Then I set to and made a Cross Roads block in red, one in orange and then one in brown (the October colour), so I have officially started on the browns.

 
I have yet to make any blocks in Indigo, the colour for August.  But I have finished off the reds and the oranges now.
 
Lots of people have commented in the past months how many scraps I have when I post my RSC posts.  Well that's because people gift me their scraps.  This is a bag which was given me by Robin last week.  A large garbage bag, chockers with scraps of all colours. 


That will keep me in scraps for the RSC for the next 5 years I think!  And that isn't counting the scraps I generate in my sewing.  But before I can use them they will need to be sorted & organised.

I'm going to leave you tonight with some photos of a Central Coast spring evening, taken from our front balcony.

To the left

And to the right
This is also the view from my kitchen window.  Bit of a distraction when you are washing up!

Please take the time to hop on over to SoScrappy to see what the others have created this week.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Scrap Dance Mystery Revealed

I have been participating in the Scrap Dance Mystery quilt that Carole has been running at From My Carolina Home.  She has been posting the clues to this monthly.  Thanks Carole, I have really enjoyed this one.
 
In August, we had a 3 week trip to the UK which sort of left me way out of time to do the last two steps.  And then the reveal was posted a day or two after our return.
 
I was a good girl!  I didn't peek at the reveal post until I had finished steps 5 & 6.  I got myself together and completed these two steps a week or so back.
 
This is step 5.
 
 
And this is step 6.

 
Here are all the pieced rows.  I made myself play with them to see if I could figure out the design before I looked.  I tried a number of different layouts, but I had to put my dunce cap on because I just couldn't figure it out. 

 
So then I allowed myself to check out the reveal post.  It was 2 blocks, which I had kind of worked out for myself.  This is block 1 ready to sew.

 
And this is block 2.

 
So I started to sew them up.  I began with block 1, and made up 10 of them.  Getting ready to iron them, I found this.

 
Ooops!  Quick flick of the unpicker (my favourite tool) and back to the sewing machine.  I fixed it.  Before the quilt was completed Carole.  LOL.  Carole did a wonderful post on how to fix a completed quilt here.
 
Here are my first 10 block 1s.  I am planning to make a few of the block 2s this weekend.  Its a long weekend here, so I have a bonus day.

 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.