Daisy! Born on the 29th of December, 2015 at 11:35pm after a very beautiful and calm labour. We are so in love with her.
Thursday, 23 April 2015
I've been going through my archives and deleting drafted posts that are years old and not really compelling or relevant- but I couldn't delete this one... Look at him! Would you, could you delete that face? How did that come from me? I suppose most parents ask that question from time to time, like when their kids say really smart/hilarious things or do something adorable. Like that time Casper told me that Earth is in space (true) and that we are aliens (also true).
I feel like I should write these things down because I will forget them and also so that I leave an indelible mark on the internet in Casper's name which certainly won't come back and bite me on the arse when his highschool friends find baby photos and anecdotes about him plastered all over this blog!
I guess all I came here to say was that I made a cute baby and don't you forget it (I also made his overalls).
Monday, 20 April 2015
I finished this quilt today in a burst of energy and just HAD to take photos behind the botany building at Melbourne Uni right away. So after picking him up from kinder, we rugged Casper up and he ate pasta from tupperware as he sat in his pram, legs too long and his face orange with tomato sauce, wiping his messy hands on his jacket. The thing is, usually I will work on something this big over a few days, but this has been weeks in the making and I was eager to have it finished and photographed. Poor Casper, poor Steve... they live in constant fear that I will drag them out on an impromptu photo shoot. We live right near Melbourne Uni, and I think the campus is especially pretty in Autumn so I knew we would go to the secret garden there.
So anyway, for the past few weeks I have been slowly making improvised curved patchwork with this fabric, the intention being that it would all come together as a quilt eventually. The patterned fabric is a poly-cotton Ken Done quilt cover that was stained in parts so I cut out the good bits and still have a fair amount left. The pink is a cotton shot with white that has this beautiful duality to it. That seems like an obvious analogy of a shot cotton, but I think that pink as a colour has the ability to be translucent jelly or pastel calamine lotion depending on the light. So I hope you understand my description.
I learned how to make an improvised curve from this tutorial and have been thinking about the possibilities ever since. I really enjoyed the spontaneity of composing a quilt top with this technique, every time I put the pieces out on the floor of my studio I was delighted and surprised. The curved edge was a spur of the moment decision and I think it really adds to the form of the patchwork. I will be experimenting with irregular quilt shapes from now on I reckon. The batting I used is my regular 100% cotton, and I went with straight stitch machine quilting with the most incredible ballerina-satin-ribbon-pink cotton thread that I got from an op shop recently. Now I'm excited for what I can do next with my new found skill. You should try it too, the link's right up there, go on, try it!
Wednesday, 8 April 2015
The days are getting shorter, everything has that Autumnal red glow and I am thinking about all of the things I could make to keep my family warm and cozy. These are house slippers that I made for Casper last year and were unfortunately ripped to shreds by Wendy dog... That's okay, I will make some more this week and maybe even play around with adult sizing. Watch this space!
Wednesday, 1 April 2015
One of my goals for this year is to use up most of the scraps in my fabric stash. This is a huge job as I have been sewing for most of my life and I never throw anything away, but as I mentioned in my previous post I am trying to let go of the immense amount of *stuff* that I have.
I am a firm believer in necessity being the mother of invention, so this is a great way to play with colours, prints and fabric weights that would not normally be used in quiltmaking. Using my scraps to make objects of use has been a really important learning curve for me- I have realised that I can make an object of beauty and utility out of something that may not have ever left the cardboard box under my sewing table. It has also been a great source of frustration... you mean I can't just cut straight into that buttery, hot-off-the-factory-floor salmon pink linen???
But seriously, I'm all for sewing with leftovers, I don't even have to try to be expressive. If anything I have to find ways to give the individual pieces of fabric room to breathe. So it's more like an exercise in restraint than anything else, even though the end result is always gonna be a bit eclectic.
This one's a favourite, just 'cause I love red sawtooth and I love depression era floral fabric and that wacky wiggly quilt stitch that my sewing machine does so well. All-in-all, it's a little ripper of a quilt, also, not to toot my own horn (but hey, it's what bloggers do best) it's for sale here, if you're interested.
I will post some more quilts here over the next few weeks, they really are fun to make. Kinda like roast pumpkin sandwiches the day after a fancy dinner party.
Monday, 30 March 2015
This is what life looks like for us these days. Mop handles, paintings and guitars lean together against walls, toast crumbs, muddy gumboots, piles of folded laundry balance precariously on every surface and stacked quilts in various states of completion sit patiently waiting for me to stitch and bind. It is never ending activity, noise and clutter and I couldn't feel more at home.
When we moved into our first house as a family, I was 8 months pregnant and we didn't have very many possessions. This made me nervous so I hoarded, collected and gathered everything and anything just to make home feel like a nest. Lately I have had the opposite feeling, like I have to simplify and get rid of stuff. It's good to drop box after box at the op shop and feel lighter. It's addictive even. But I'm taking my time. I realise that there is no rush to have my house in any particular order, there are more important things to do like have a family meal, play lego with Casper, paint, make a quilt, walk the dogs, plant seeds, take photos, play music with Steve or go to the park.
I'm happy to have this ever changing home life that makes me feel grounded by being a part of it. I am typing this amongst the chaos of our kitchen, which has too many cast iron pots, not enough butter knives and some really wrinkly limes in the fruit bowl. I will get it all clean eventually today, but first I think I'll start a quilt top and take myself out for a coffee.
Sunday, 29 March 2015
No matter what I do, I always seem to be drawn to sweet, candied colours. It might have something to do with me being a lolly-headed sweet tooth. I do try to cut back on these sorts of colours/food, but they always sneak back in to my stash/secret candy drawer. Which is why, when I have scraps that look delicious together, I have to make patchwork trifle!
Playing with scraps is my favourite thing to do at the moment and I have come up with some really surprising colour combinations and compositions. I'm going to play with some olive green, slate blue and hot pink tomorrow. This afternoon I was playing with improvised curve patchwork which I will have to post on here, maybe even a tutorial!? Who knows, I could be a full-blown blogging addict again by the end of the week!
Photos from the top; some pillows I made last week, you can see more here and here. A quilt that I had in the grad show at RMIT, you can check out the whole install here.
Saturday, 7 March 2015
I really haven't used this space in a while, which has happened a few times over the past 8 years. I never feel like I need to apologise for being a bad blogger, cause this is my blog and I will use it when I want for whatever reason I want!
I will gently ease myself back into the ritual of it because I feel like I need this place again. I need to document my life and the process in which I create again, which is something I have been doing on a micro scale over at instagram and tumblr, but it's not the same as this comfortable old blog that is like a favourite piece of clothing in that it has been worn to pieces, mended and stretched countless times. I like writing in any way I feel, not editing it and sending it out into the world with one click, a self-published imperfect piece of word-vomit.
Monday, 21 July 2014
I have to admit, I'm feeling pretty quilty. I haven't posted on this blog in ages, my life has been unbelievably crazy these past few months.
I will probably get back into blogging here at some point, but in the meantime, I am generally pretty active on instagram and tumblr if you go that way. I have listed some lap quilts for sale in my shop, go have a peek!
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Thursday, 27 February 2014
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 small brown onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, diced
2-3 fresh chillies, to taste
1 sweet potato
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
a dash of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vegetable stock powder
1 tin of tomatoes
1/2 cup of boiling water
1 tin of kidney beans
6 tortillas (I used store-bought but you can make your own very easily)
4 tablespoons of almond milk
2 small cloves of garlic
1 cup of raw cashews
1 yellow capsicum, chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1/4 of a red onion, coriander, lemon juice and an avocado to serve
You will need one large pot, a food processor, a large baking pan and a pastry brush.
In a large pot, heat coconut oil and add onions and sauté on a medium heat until transparent, then add diced garlic, salt, cinnamon and chillies to taste.
Cut the sweet potato into 2 inch cubes and add to the pot. Pour the boiling water over the vegetables and add your stock powder, stirring.
Preheat oven at 150 degrees celsius.
Add the tinned tomatoes, strained kidney beans and tomato paste, stir and cover with lid. Let simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until sweet potato is soft.
While the chilli bubbles away, combine all of the ingredients for the cashew cheese in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a container and place it in the fridge to let the flavours infuse.
Fill tortillas with the chilli and leave open, placing them on the large baking tray. There should be room for about 6. Spoon the cashew cheese onto the chilli and spread it evenly over the top. Use your pastry brush to "seal" the burritos, folding one side over, brushing with almond milk, folding the other side and then brushing the top as well. This will help your tortillas to brown nicely in the oven. Put the snugly nestled parcels in the preheated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
While they are cooking, make a simple guacamole with diced red onion, avocado, coriander and a squeeze of a lemon to serve.
Like most foods, these are best enjoyed drenched in hot sauce!