Monday, August 28, 2017

fine spells

A short, quick visit to the Waikato last Sunday - in the rain - to catch up with some friends and see their new house near Cambridge. It's a long house so most of the rooms get that wonderful view of the river. We stayed the night in Hamilton - pre-dinner dessert at Duck Island, dinner at Dough Bros, and an excellent breakfast at Milton's Canteen (great name for a cafe in Hamilton, don't you think?)

Some new fabric - a couple of "vintage" prints that I'm very pleased with, a couple from Spotlight and an impulse buy of bright blue linen from The Fabric Store. All fabrics washed and ironed and ready for sewing.

And, in a moment of madness and for no reason whatsoever, I made a rabbit. The pattern and instructions are in Made for baby: cute sewn gifts by Ayda Algin.

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance (a memoir) by Elna Baker. Baker is a Mormon living in New York and looking for a husband. She goes on a diet and only after losing a huge amount of weight discovers the miseries the world inflicts on fat people.

Urban jungle : living and styling with plants by Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

big red

Totally red crochet blanket for Little Sprouts. I know, it's a bit crazy, but I had the wool so I used it. And it will keep a little one toasty warm out and about in the stroller on a cold and windy day.
It's made up of twelve squares that I crocheted together - as I went - following this tutorial. This worked out well - nice flat joins, no ridges - and so much easier than sewing squares together at the end. I also discovered this method for working the first row of the border so that it doesn't end up wavy. (Blocking also helped.) The little edging stitch I got from here.

I'm fairly new to crochet and every time I make something I learn a new technique, thanks to all those generous makers who share their expertise on line.

Work in progress: sock monkeys.

Reading: Hunger : a memoir of (my) body by Roxane Gay. I've just started this one. It's a telling of the author’s life and of her everyday experience as a fat woman.

Monday, August 7, 2017


Six blue linen napkins. Finished. I started making them maybe three years ago but stopped when I had problems with the corners. As I'd already cut out the napkins and cut the corners diagonally I was committed to continue with mitred corners. I decided to hand stitch the hems so that I could tweak the corners as I went to get them right. I'm pleased with my effort. I find it such a relief to complete abandoned projects.

I've set myself a thirty day challenge - to draw every day - and to this end I bought Draw every day, draw every way by Jennifer Orkin Lewis. Actually I bought this book ages ago (end of last year?) as I've wanted to get back into drawing for some time but lacked the motivation. But it seems the book alone wasn't enough to get me started. I'm hoping that drawing every day for thirty days will create a drawing habit.

Reading: Let's explore diabetes with owls by David Sedaris - a collection of essay that manage to be simultaneously (a bit) funny and (a bit) wise.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

quilt #3

The quilt is finished and I'm happy with how it turned out. It's a small quilt - crib size 80cm x 100cm (32 inches x 40 inches) - so not overwhelmingly ambitious.

I think there's some tradition of naming quilts. This one reminds me of various parks in the city - green playing fields, people walking their little dogs, even geese if you're in the right park. I didn't want to name it after a particular park and, in the end, the best I could come up with was Quilt #3.

I've been gathering fabrics to make a second one (Quilt #4, I guess) - many from my stash but a couple of new fat quarters too.

July has been a wet and busy month. Both my (adult) children have July birthdays so there has been some drinking of champagne and eating of cake - which has taken the edge off the winter weather.

Reading: We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Short essay based on her Ted Talk. Why the gender divide is harmful for both women and men.

Listening: Stuff you should know podcast