Thursday, 28 June 2012

Just a quick note ...

to let you know I'm still alive, lol!

This last month (and, really, the one before it) I haven't really been able to get any sewing done as, not only have I been struggling to focus on my uni (three assignments I need to work on due around this weekend ... one 1500wd by Friday, one 2000wd and one 2500wd by Monday!!) ... I have also been not very well.

Just briefly, as it either takes me a while to type, or is painful ... I started the month off with a bout of tonsillitis ... then I've been dealing with a hyperextension/overuse injury on my left wrist/hand (which means I have to be careful as to how I use it, and have to get up and away from the computer more often than I usually do, especially when doing my uni work!) ... then since this past weekend my wonderful immune system decided to not only pick up my daughter's cold - but then develop into a chest infection!!!  NOT HAPPY!!!  Basically, I have spent half this month so far on pain meds that make me really drowsy, and the rest of the month unable to focus for whatever reason!!!  ** If you are waiting on receiving a swap item from me, please know IT IS COMING ... it is just taking me a lot longer than I had anticipated to getting to it ... Hoping to get some sewing in as soon as I have these assignments finished and sent through!!**

I did, however, have the pleasure of celebrating my daughter's 4th birthday last weekend though ... thankfully before my cold started!!!  As I have made her cake every year so far, I couldn't not do one this year.  I did originally plan on making a castle cake ... but instead decided to use the Littlest Pet Shop figurines I had already bought to give to her (plus a few extra LPS accessories she already had that I raided), to decorate the cake ...

I used three White Wings cake mixes (1 x Angelic Vanilla, 2 x Strawberries and Cream), adding some extra pink colouring to a couple of the batters in an effort to get that graduating hues effect I've seen in those gorgeous rainbow cakes ... my daughter's favourite colour is pink, thus the LOADS of pink!!

For the icing, I did a version of buttercream, with roughly equal quantities of margarine and cream cheese, icing sugar to taste and achieve required thickness, vanilla essence for flavouring, and food colouring.  The 'flowers' and 'leaves' were piped on using the same icing.

So at least I have achieved SOMETHING this month!!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

My first full-size bed quilt ...

Mid-April I showed images of my first full-size quilt top here.  At this stage I was hand-stitching the binding on, and it was all ready to go after that.

I have since finished this, and have informed Jan-Maree from Aussie Hero Quilts that this quilt is ready and available to send either when she gets a request this would fit well, or the Christmas posting ... For those who don't know about the Aussie Hero Quilts movement (lol) group, Jan-Maree has just finished posting a five-part Aussie Hero's 101 series which will give you more clear information that I could possible do.  Part One {what 'we' do, and quilt basics} can be found here, and then follow-up posts can be found on the right of the screen in the archives (end of May, 1st of June)

Just quickly, in Jan-Maree's words ...
What do we do?   The Friends of Aussie Heroes are spread all over the country and we make quilts and laundry bags to send to serving members currently serving overseas.  We send twice a year with the welfare mail but if we get a request from a spouse or a member and are supplied with the address we can send a quilt any time of the year.  All we need is two or three weeks to get a quilt made and two or three weeks for the post to cover the distance.  So far we have coped well with any requests that have come our way and in fact I think we could cope with a few more.  We would certainly do our best.  We started sending to guys and gals in Afghanistan and are now sending to Egypt as well.  We are happy to send anywhere and if requests came in for members in any of the other regions I would be delighted!  {source}
 Anyway, I have finally gotten to taking some photos of this quilt ... this last month I've been stressing majorly about my uni (still going, lol), and then though I was supposed to write this post yesterday ... I developed a horrid sore throat and headache - still here, even Panafen is not helping completely!!  At least I have a doctors appointment (originally for an unrelated issue ... sore ear) tomorrow morning, so hopefully I can get something to help get fight the infection before it gets any worse!!

Okay, photos ...

On my daughter's bed, so please don't mind the pink walls, pillow and embroidered pillows there, lol!
 I used up the remainder of a civil war reproduction jelly roll from moda ... I think it was a 2010 or 11 range.  With this I added a mottled burgundy/brown fabric for the wide border, and a blue for the thin border and binding (thanks ladies for this suggestion!  NEVER would have thought of it myself, but it looks great!!

The blocks were 12in rail fence blocks, which didn't take very long to put together... just to lay out, lol!

I quilted it with a stippling/meandering design all-over the blocks, adding a trailing feather along the two borders.  It was great to actually put my FMQing skills into a BIGger project than a small 8 x 16in block!!!  I used Mettler silk-finish multi quilting thread in a variegated brown (No.50), and only needed one 500yd spool ... with leftover thread.

A closeup of the feathering in the border ...
I was wanting to link this quilt up with the Hands2Help challenge linkup as this was my contribution to this challenge, but that will depend on what Sarah says, as I have missed it by about 5 hours (was sleeping the afternoon away ... as I don't feel my throat when I'm asleep ... after struggling through church and the lunch afterwards - which I'd already prepared a couple of recipes for, so I felt I still needed to go).  Head on over to have a look at what the other women have made for the two selected charities in America ... I was the only Aussie involved, so when I asked Sarah if I could donate it to AHQ, she said yes ... much easier and cheaper than having to send it over to America!!!  Either way, this quilt is waiting in the wings for Jan-Maree to let me know where and to whom to send this to.  Been praying it will bless the future recipient, even before it arrives in his arms!!

Have a great week!  I am hoping to get caught up with all my uni this week, alongside my Proverbs 31 study (which I'm doing through the Women Living Well and Good Morning Girls blogs - WONDERFUL blogs for Christian women by the way!!) and hanging out with my DD ... can hardly believe she'll be 4 in two weeks!!
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