26 March, 2012

NICU quilt

The AMQG's second challenge was to make a small quilt (at least 20x24") to donate to the neo-natal intensive care unit at Auckland's Starship Hospital. Two very small members of my extended family ended up in the Wellington NICU unit at just over 22 weeks, so I know these places need cheering up! The challenge was to use a block you've never done before. I wanted to do paper-piecing but since I have technically done that before with BOM I decided to do a star, made with paper-piecing! I used the Lone Star template from Six White Horses and it turned out beautifully.

I had plans to put 4 stars on the quilt but then reality smacked me upside the head and I did one central one! I think it looks nice though, simple and cheerful. The quilting around the star went just as I'd hoped, but the border...well it's not exactly the greatest but I didn't plan it out as well as I should have in retrospect.

It's hard to take a good photo of white stitching on white fabric but the back looks really neat.

21 March, 2012

Paper piecing

I've been playing with paper piecing properly for the first time and I think I like it!

I'm still having the occasional problem with getting the pieces to stay put when I flip the paper over to sew, but its getting easier and I'm screwing up less and less. It's so extremely satisfying producing perfect lines and points, even with very thin strips. Plus you get to tear off the paper afterwards and that's kind of fun too!

13 March, 2012


Has anyone else come across the Pinerly pins sprouting across Pinterest? I had one person (who I no longer follow for this reason) repin about 30 images to her account, all promoting the site. I thought I'd check it out to see if it's some sort of virus but no, it's a site that says it will help you maximise your Pinterest presence, drive traffic to your blog, find more people to follow etc. Sort of like an analytics for Pinterest I guess. Sounded kind of good so I started what I thought was the sign-up process, only to discover, after I had given them my email address, that basically you have to refer friends to get an invitation. If you post an URL they give you and 5 people click through you get bumped up the invite queue. 10 people clicking through will get you 'bonus features'. Facebook and Twitter are also pushed.

I've had a look around online to find out more but there seems to be very little feedback from anyone who actually has access. Just people wondering, obvious promotional material on tech sites, and lots of spammy pins on Pinterest. I have a feeling I've been scammed - anyone else have thoughts on this? Since they already have my email (can't believe I just plugged it in like that, what a noob!) I'll put my link here http://www.pinerly.com/i/AmRwT and be your guinea pig in this matter if you care to click on it - it takes you to the home page btw. I'll let you know what happens so you don't have to give up your info for naught!

My sick pillow

Or the pillow I started when I was sick. I started off with this cute little needlebook over at Stitched in Color in mind, with the aim of using up some of the little fabric scraps from Stitchbird that I've accumulated in the last couple years. Somehow it ended up being a cushion front.

I was working away at it being a wonky log cabin, but gosh it's hard to do wonky without things getting distorted and, well, wonky. Any tips on that out there? It's not too bad really, and the wonky wasn't helped by combining some pretty heavy fabric with some lighter ones, but  on the whole it's ok and the quilting with flatten it down as well. I still need to add a white border around the outside.

80% of it is actually from my scrap bag - I had masses of pink and red, a reasonable amount of blue and had to scrounge a bit for green (more new fabric in there than the other squares). Even the white was in there! Not bad.

12 March, 2012


Sick, originally uploaded by Hazelnutgirl.

I've been looking at a box of tissues a lot over the weekend - a bad cold/light dose of the 'flu (not sure which!) knocked me out and I missed Pasifika, a birthday party, the Kumeu Show and had to cancel friends coming for dinner Sunday night. Whee!

Today I'm out of bed but still not great - do you think I deserve to sew whatever I want? Something not on "The List"? I have things I should sew, but I feel rebellious and resentful and don't wanna. Mainly because they'll involve thought, and my brain isn't firing on all cylinders this drizzly Monday morning.

06 March, 2012

Heading for Sydney

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House By 8lettersuk
We've been booked to head over to Sydney for 10 days just after Easter for awhile now, but it's getting close! So excited! Mat and I lived there for 5 years while he did his PhD and I did contract archaeology and temped in-between jobs. As an aside, those typing lessons mum made me do back in High School paid off BIG TIME during the first few years there - and my knowledge of Macs thanks to dad. And you know what, she even told me at the time that it would stand me in good stead. At 17 I didn't believe her but she was spot on. Not about the importance of quadratic equations though, sorry mum.

Anyways! It's been 12 years since we lived there and while I've been back a few times since to visit friends and old stomping grounds (hellooo Glebe!) I haven't been as a fully-fledged crafty person. I know I want to visit the Kinokuniya book shop and the various markets are always fun, but other than that does anyone have recommendations? Great fabric shops? Quirky places? Good cafes? I know I'll have to squeeze this stuff in in-between visits to aquariums and wildlife places and catching up with friends and heading up to the Blue Mountains, but I'm determined dammit. There WILL be fabric and notions viewed.

05 March, 2012

It's Monday again!

I have actually been doing things this past week, just not very exciting things that I want to blog about. I've painted the kitchen ceiling and it's now a bit whiter than it was (doesn't make for an interesting photo) and I've taped up the windows ready to start on them. They've been sitting in this state for almost a year! It's kind of pretty-looking


I've also been getting ready to make Hazel a Lilla Handlebar basket out of oilcloth. I haven't actually tried sewing the oilcloth yet, I'm hoping my machine will cope with it if I have the walking foot on so I don't have to sew over tissue paper because that will just make it more fiddly than seems it should be. She wants it to be exactly like the one on the pattern, although she decided this morning she'd like the cherry fabric lining because it would be "delicious". She tends to get kissed after saying things like that :)


And lastly, I've been turning out some really appalling FMQ.


This troubles me no end to be honest. I HATE not being good at things, in fact I avoid things I'm not good at. I keep thinking I'm getting better at it but I'm not entirely sure, I might just be delusional. I'm also not sure how much of the appallingness is down to me and my inexperience, and how much of it is down to my machine. I can't stop with the needle down which is a problem, but the main issue is that the fabric doesn't feed evenly so while I'm trying to get into a rhythm and move with the needle, I get spots where the fabric won't move and the stitches are tiny, and then all of a sudden it surges forward and I get a few long ones that may be heading out in the wrong direction. Is that me? Will it get better? The tension also seems off - I can't get it to behave the same as it does with a regular foot so I have the different colours showing through top and bottom at times (I know, different colours isn't ideal for a beginner!) I'd love to blame my machine for all of this but that's pointless. However, I would like to know if some of it IS down to the machine so I'm not unnecessarily hard on myself :) I think upon reflection I need to rip out this section and do it again for my own peace of mind!


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