Thursday, 30 April 2009

I Spy - WIP

Are we there yet? Is it finished yet?
Persuading T1 she needed to choose more squares was hard work - she wanted a tinsy teeny tiny quilt - then I reminded her she wouldn't fit under a tinsy teeny tiny quilt - she shaped up and chose some more - T2 on the other hand has no problems choosing - he loves them all.... T1's on the left, T2 on the right - this is the centre, they'll be similar but different from now on.... unless there is a rebellion then they will be the same design... and... it's another holiday tomorrow..... every time I get them back to school they get a day off!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

BQL Calender Challenge - April

I did the foundation piecing earlier in the month - but just had to sew down the handles, I've just finished it.... when I bind/sash it I will ditch/top stitch all the bags, just to make them pop a little more. I did take some liberties with the original design... and just chose one bag body and the 2 different handles - background was FME'd before slip stitching the handles down.
On a good note - last night's house wobbling session was due to a lorry since there was no mention of any real earth moving on the earthquake log....
I also managed to get 4 patches sewn for T2's quilt and some charms pinned for T1's - a good day - and the sun was shining!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Did the earth move for you darling??

Living on the edge of a fault line brings the daily 'worry' of a earthquake (my personal paranoia more like!) we're waiting for the 'big one' in 1999 there was one in Yalova, the city was flattened. I know where to turn off the gas and water - but when there was a massive rumble half an hour ago I wondered how exactly I would get out of the house with 3 sleepy children, I have my torch with fresh batteries in and my bag with id's to hand. I can never tell when it's a REALLY BIG lorry going up the road at the end of the street or THE REAL THING - fortunately it's nearly always a lorry...... panic over.... will check the earthquake log later.....

One a positive note - Robbie sent me this card, which was unexpected - it reminds me of bottle bush trees - I need some random kindness - one of those days, even before the earth shook.....

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sunny Sunday

Above is a ornamental cherry and below what translates to 'Chinese quince'.

T2 Woke me up this morning with questions about the exact location of his new 'blanket' we then had long discussion about the difference between blankets, duvets and quilts. He insisted that I was making him a blanket quilt - this WILL be sorted - after all, he's the son of a quilter.....
No I spying happening today though I did manage some pinning when they were all in bed.
No 3 and I had a day kicking around the house, running a couple of chores, eating fish stew, the weather was sunny, we called friends, watered the flowers and when it got too chilly we lay inside on a carpet watching the clouds through the glass roof of the conservatory.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

I spy....

Quilting has it's own 'fashions' when it was 'in' to collect I spy charms I collected a rather large shoe box full - I had planned on making an I spy quilt.... now 3 littles down the line - if I don't make them now they'll be too big to use them. SO I got out all the charms and 'scattered' the piles around the floor, I gave them a small shoe box each and told them to pick the ones they liked. T1 selected with great care. T2 liked them all - they then got to choose 12 fq's which are of larger prints mainly - and I'll cut these into larger pieces.... these won't be a works of art but 2 every day small bed quilts (they never got their baby quilts from me.... they are in half completed paper pieced blocks in a box..... ) No3 will get a proper I spy - with the hexagons - I cut a load of charms down ages ago.

It was a lovely sunny day here, we went to the bike repair shop - 2 bikes, 2 punctures - I can fix most things, punctures are beyond my skill level..... and too smelly.... then to the electrical guy to see if he can get the 'extra' DVD out of the DVD player - not sure which one pulled that stunt - the hospital - x-ray etc - my fracture is still 'fresh' and that got taped up, saw neighbours whilst out and played catch up with news - busy with chores!

Friday, 24 April 2009


I persuaded T1 and T2 that we were going to make snails - this enterprise needed to last a good few hours, since they were off school today. Snail is a great word in Turkish 'salyangoz' (sally-ann-goz)
We made was a batch of brioche which of course needed 1.5 hours to prove, that was after they took 45 minutes to weigh out the flour, mix it together and kneed it - I did help a little. Once proved they then rolled it thin and sprinkled it with cinnamon, sugar, chopped dried apricots, dried cherries, fat blond Izmir sultanas and a big handful of walnuts. We then rolled the covered dough and sliced 1.5 inch pieces and packed them into a deep tray to cook - hence them looking like snails!
No recipe except for the brioche. They proved a second time and I cooked them - they were hugely successful, the scruffy ends of the roll I kneaded together and made a small loaf - easier to slice for baby to eat, though baby is not such a baby now. Maybe I should just start calling her No3?
These will get eaten! they were far more successful than the hot cross buns. Good old dried yeast!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Quince blossom

'Mummy, we are so lucky, we have THREE trees with flowers', 'The peaches will be ready after our birthdays?', 'Why do the plums get bugs in them?', 'What are quinssess?', 'Why do we die when we get old?', 'Was Pasa old or sick when he died?' - all before breakfast from T2 this morning. The quince tree is in bloom - pictures taken yesterday. It's been lashing it down with rain, since it's a holiday here!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Astoria AVM

I've spent time again looking at the quilts in the 'show' it's over 460 quilters 'exhibiting' now - quite stunning.

A couple of weeks back I was complaining that Astoria mall still had it's Christmas/New Year decorations up. Well, they must have read the blog (OK, I know they didn't but I can dream I have some influence over these things!)
They now have these monster balls of (fake) flowers, they look great, fresh and lifelike - there are 2 different sizes and they now also hang inside the mall (Wordless Wednesday's picture).

Monday, 20 April 2009

More is more

In between power outages and weirdness with the ASDL I've managed to work on the ATC's tonight. I chopped them down and fused them onto felt as planned, and now am adding more stitching, beads and sequins we're heading towards a more is more feel!
Today we've been busy enjoying the weather, eating scones and fairy cakes! Scones for the 'Baby Group' my turn to be the hostess with the mostess again - and fairy cakes for the littles - all of them, the small littles this morning, then the twins got to demolish those left over when they got back from school. Why? they were just SO sad that they wouldn't get any of Nana's birthday cake today. So they wanted cake in order to celebrate long distance. They didn't each much tea.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Who stole my day?

OK, not all day, but whilst baby has been napping and once all 3 littles were in bed I've been checking out the links for Amy's online Quilt Festival some 340+ quilters have joined in - quite a lot to look through, there are some fantastic quilts out there and some interesting musical tastes too.

So while waiting for the blogs to load, I've been working on the strip for the ATC's, I'm working towards a 'more is more' idea, but now the base cotton fabric is getting a bit distorted - I know I should have put a stabiliser on the back, but since I plan on fusing them to a felt base, I think I'll do that now and can add the final bits using the felt as a stabiliser, it'll also allow me to work up to the edge knowing that a sequin isn't going to get chopped.... back to the show...

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I stumbled upon this - thanks Kate..... this blog eats your day.... you have been warned. I will not be held responsible for hungry families of gatherings of dust bunnies....
I made this quilt in 2000, I signed up for the class, at my then LQS, City Quilter in Manhattan, I was going to be on my own in the city for a month and I thought this would be a useful diversion, it's one of the last full size quilts I made. It's bright, and uses a lot of 'In The Park' - I think - from Piece of Cake and some other spotty fabrics I'd been collecting, spots, stripes and LOUD...

The quilt measures 196cm by 222cm, (77 x 87 inches) machine pieced and machine quilted, warm and natural batting. Double french bias binding. The back is pieced. The quilt is a Jan Mullen design, though of course I took her instructions liberally! one day I plan to make a quilt where ALL the seams are inset. I think I made this entirely in a month, the quilt has never been exhibited, and is in near daily use, yes it has been slept under and lately gets used in the 'office' as it's quite draughty. It's one of the quilt's I'd take with me in a fire.

Friday, 17 April 2009


I've never made ATC's before, but saw a 'Recycled Spring' trade on FAT, the caveat is not to buy anything to make the spring inspired ATC's - this appealed as it solved the dilemma of what to do with a strip of pink non quilting fabric that has been sitting on my desk since forever... now it's being used, I got some stamps out, bits of 'silk' flowers, and plan to do some hand embroidery on each card, then cut the strip and fuse it to a base and done..... will see - and all without moving a meter from my desk!

The sun is out and littles are in the garden, playing with their new sand for the sandpit - the blossom is starting to drop from the peach tree, but the quince is just gearing up to open - the buds are beautiful twisted drops... but difficult to photograph.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Yesterday it was my birthday...

...well my blogoversary. I wasn’t sure I’d last a month, but a year down the line I’m still rambling on, showing what I have made or seen via my online show and tell. I love it. A lot of things have happened over the past year some great, some awful, blogging has given me a focus each night to think about what I’ve done – even if it’s only been to smell the roses.
The card came from Paula, a couple of years back.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Princess Crown

I'm not fond of plastic Barbie or Winx things, all our crowns fall into this category, so I decided to make T1 a sparkly pink crown. I saw an online tutorial for something like this, but have forgotten where, and, exactly how, but I was 'inspired'.

Wire + plastic beads + 2 YTL headband makes one happy girl....

Anyone know where the equals sign has gone off my keyboard??

Monday, 13 April 2009

BQL Calender Challenge - April WIP

April's challenge is a piece featuring handbags, which I have, of course taken the instructions quite liberally - using one pattern 9 times rather than having an assortment of bag shapes (someone else has already done this - so I'm not the only awkward one!) It's very cute, I used pinks and purples on a 'blush' background. Very spring blossom, just need to stitch down the 9 handles.... I love the way the bag has popped against the FME - I am considering the unthinkable to make it pop more - in the ditch quilting.....

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Vakko at Astoria

On our way from the ENT doctor we passed through Astoria Mall, there was a demonstration by Vakko, super high end goods, but famed for their scarves, they have a very interesting history, being founded on the demise of the fez. Their scarves are luxurious and beautifully printed, they had all the screens there, for this scarf - I think there were 14 colour separations, they were waiting for 15 minutes in between each colour, the guys doing the demonstration made quite a fuss about pulling the squeegee accross - 2 guys and 5 passes.... apparently all for show - the chap who was narrating the display said later.... very interesting none the less, and fabulously interesting for a 4.5 yr old who was allowed to stand on the printing table whilst they worked!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Easter Eggstraviganza

It was a nearly perfect day, weather wise - we did the craft activities inside, and then moved outside for the egg hunt and lunch - littles moving in and out to the garden, a bunch of dads played 'football' with the (mainly) boys....

We made these 'baskets' - I designed them and with some of the mums cut out all the little shapes (OK they cut most of them out) the handle also served as a name tag, they used these baskets for the egg hunt and then at home time, the Easter bunny magic-ed a chocolate egg and chocolate animal into them!

Thanks to Martha Stewart's method - we had egg magic happening too - I made some extras, one of the fabrics failed us and there was just one unhappy (quite rightly too) customer.... the littles were so excited to open the eggs, quite a few got consumed on the spot.... I think I would seriously up the vinegar next time, yes there will be a next time, using tights worked very well, too - this was great fun.

I stopped by the hospital and got the bandage/tape on my toe changed, it was loose, as I guess some of the swelling has gone down - it is however the most rich shade of deep plum... which I guess will turn purple-black in time.... euch.... at least it's hurting a bit less now.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Hot Cross Buns

The Hot Cross Buns took forever to make, the littles spent a good 30 mins sifting the flour..... I was a bit dubious about the fresh yeast.... it didn't froth and bubble like normal..... but I went ahead anyway. They helped mixing and kneading, checking the swelling mixture every few minutes while it proved, they were thrilled about knocking it down and shaping the buns, they diligently put the crosses on and egg wash.... we then waited for them to prove again..... they did a little.... and I cooked them. We have slightly Hot Cross Rocks.... Some how the yeast didn't do it's stuff entirely and they are a little too dense, I made them with 1/4 wholemeal flour - but they are not exactly how they should be.... sadly. However - it did kill a good 3 hours and they did eat some.... so all is not lost! Will try again next year!

Thursday, 9 April 2009


Have you seen the moon? - whilst I would love a picture, it's not happening - it's huge and luminous, the most exciting thing to happen today - yes the toe still hurts like crazy. We are gearing up for hot cross buns tomorrow - there will be pictures!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Easter egg baskets

At last - something creative, though nothing to show really. I figured out the craft activity for Saturday - making a 'basket' to go egg hunting - the littles will get to decorate them with all sorts of stick on things - which will get cut out tomorrow night at movie night - while the littles watch their movie, the moms will be busy cutting out rabbits and such the like - rather than 'chitter chattering' as T1 likes to say.... OK we'll chitter chatter whilst cutting.... I need to get the full prototype made up tomorrow so that we don't have giant rabbits and I need to get a good 'chick' template made too. My toe still hurts like crazy and to top of the crummy day - it rained - what is with the weather? guess it's school holiday-itus.

Monday, 6 April 2009

My peach tree hums

With all the bees and winged things - it's positively alive with buzzing.... and my toe HURTS like crazy...... I just wish half of the flowers would grow into peaches...

Sunday, 5 April 2009


I fractured my toe! I fell up the stairs this afternoon, it hurt, it hurt a lot..... luckily getting it x-rayed and taped up was quick. The Dr said I was to keep it elevated with ice on it for the next week, with school holidays, 3 littles under 5, I don't think this is going to happen somehow!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Martha Stewart's eggs

There are few people I totally trust in this world - most of you know who you are, but Martha Stewart doesn't till now. Really, love her or hate her if she says something - you can make a sure bet that it's right (I'm talking domestic stuff here!) I saw this 'method' of dying eggs on her website, I was totally intrigued.

So I had a go.....
So simple, so cool - so impressed.
With the other 2 amigos of the Christmas Party fame, we are organising an Easter Eggstravaganza..... ok not so eggstravagant, but a limit of 20 kids and parents who we normally socialise with anyway. We will be dying eggs using this method - I need to snag a few more ties, given most of the dads are white collar and suited, I think this isn't a problem. The only change I will make, I'm going to test this one first though, is to use a section of tights (pantyhose) instead of the muslin - 2 reasons, I don't want to use up my good muslin, and the bits where the tie wasn't pressing on the shell got left blank, I think the tights will give better pressure.... will test this 'theory' out tomorrow..... Oh I didn't boil the egg for 20 mins - I didn't want it to crack so I brought it to the boil, turned the heat off and then put a lid on the pan and left it there for 15 mins. Silks I used.... and dyed muslin....

Friday, 3 April 2009

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep Calm and Carry On should have been today's mantra, phone calls that didn't arrive, appliances that did weird things - the washing machine door refusing to open even though it said it was unlocked, the i-pod choosing a weird selection that didn't help my mood.... what is it with the shuffle setting, some days you get a great lot, the next the piece of plastic and metal senses the slightest case of the blahs and picks an appropriate selection. Then there is the continuing crummy weather, and a week of school holidays next week. Nothing creative today. Blah! as Custard the Dragon would say....

Then again I did get mail today - a cute t-shirt, from A-Line - not sure if I can wear it in public here though.....

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Lions eat mushrooms

Don't they? snails eat rainbows.... the world according to T1.... my brain is mush - the promise of summer was just a tease and it's dreich again... I'm not a happy bunny.

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