March 22, 2016

Making good use of a LONG weekend

Beautiful Autumn/Indian Summer weather and a long weekend combined to provide the perfect opportunity to finally get some SERIOUS gardening done at our DD's home.

Here is the weekend in Fast Forward!




There were Weeds....




.... and more weeds
It was backbreaking work digging them out of  the dark / sticky Volcanic soil



but ever so gratifying once it was done
and the topsoil loam was spread






Then the lawn seed was finally able to be sown!



All through the day as we worked, we had the company of the local bird population - waiting and watching - we were sure THEY knew what was happening...
(Free bird seed for all!)



Shade cloth over the new seed should help protect it until it has sprouted.




Well, that is the new lawn sorted - now what is NEXT on the list?
Taming the Veggie Patch!

The Veggie patch is producing lots of lovely produce but that sweet, rustic, meadow grass between the beds is about to die off and leave sticky mud between DD and her Crop.
Time for some "Extreme gardening"



Slash it all down to the ground, Prune up the plants


... barrow in a nice thick layer
of Chip Bark mulch.

Good! - that should keep their boots clean over winter
and THAT 'little job' is done!



While all of  this was going on I had my own pet project I keep coming back to ....
The FRONT garden.

This is a perfect example of WHY you should finish one project before you start another...
but that being said - this has been my hobby that I go back to when I am not needed elsewhere...

Time to get it FINISHED!

Much better!

The Sunflowers were sewn from just half a packet of Cheap Bird Seed as an inexpensive way of filling in a very large garden bed while we worked out what to do with it!

I did find it fascinating that after all the hours I spent working on this project by myself - just as it is nearly completed - The Guys appear!
Oh well, if they want to pull out a few weeds (and rocks) who am I to argue with them?

(To be fair: D-SIL is actually installing a watering system, while DH & DS#2 contemplate a rather deep rooted weed.)
* * *
At the end of the weekend we were all very sore and tired (my Fitbit registered many more steps than usual) and justifiably pleased with ourselves! 

 I think it was a VERY productive 3 days!



March 11, 2016

Another UFO bites the dust ...

Jinny Beyer's Crystal Star was started so long ago I can barely remember buying the kit.
I have plodded along with this, often a distraction from what I was meant to be doing - making mistakes along the way until finally finishing the centre May last year.

Jinny Beyer - Crystal Star
150 Colours
The borders proved to be a challenge. 
Firstly, the fabric chosen when I bought the Kit didn't compliment my recently painted sewing room, requiring new fabric to be found.  

Then, even though I followed the instructions to the letter - they were too short! 

What a relief to discover that my mitred borders (the black ones in the photo) were not exactly 45 degrees and once they were unpicked and re-sewn the feature border fitted.

I can't say that my heart has been with this quilt towards the end, so I am happy that it is finished and can be folded and put away for now.  Once it is quilted I will decide whether to hang it above my cutting table or throw it over an armchair.



March 3, 2016

Time to Tame those Scraps . . .

It doesn't happen very often (only once in 4 years) but this week I got an extra day in my week!  Decisions.. decisions... what will I do with all that time?

Take a great big LEAP into that Scrap box!

In the grand scheme of things my Fabric Scrap Stash isn't that big - but it still needed some decisions to be made and some sorting out.

For Quilters, scraps are sorted into usable pieces - things you can make another block from - That is the easy part.

But what happens when you dabble in Appliqué?

I decided to set a benchmark -

If I could wrap the fabric around a 5 cent coin it would make a sweet 2 cm (3/4") circle, dot or flower centre.
So it can stay!


These bits were also quite big enough for one of the La Passacaglia pieces....

And the strips?

If a strip off cut would fit the smallest bias tape maker in my set (that's about 1/2") ...

It too can stay.


There you have it - decisions made and just how much "Usable Fabric" did I salvage from that box of Batik scraps?
I have done the maths ....


770 gm of Fabric lengths
1 meter fabric (16 Jelly Roll pieces) = 125 grams
My scraps weighed 770 grams
that equals a staggering 6.2 meters of fabric or 24 fat Quarters or 2 1/2 Jelly Rolls!
At a conservative $4:00 per fat 1/4 that works out at .......
$ 96.00 worth of fabric that was heading for the bin!

I shudder to think what my Robert Kaufman scraps are worth... but I shall leave them for another day!