Monday, 7 March 2011

Sneaky Peek

With just a week until the next block is launched,
 I thought it was time for a sneaky peak.

It is a mystery after all, so not too much info!

How is yours coming along? I know a mystery can be daunting...but that's half the fun, isn't it?
I have been really surprised at the diversity in Block 1s up on the Yahoo Group so far. I think it's great that so many different quilter's are making this BOM. It's going to be an interesting journey...

What's coming up?
Last month was just getting your hands warmed up.
It was an easy introduction.
Now it's time to take it up a notch ...but the results will be more than worth'll see.

The next Block is released on the 15th March.
The 1st block will be removed on the 15th and no longer available for free. Download it now!

How is your Hearts Desire coming along?

Limitations unlimited

Thank you to everyone who passed on info regarding creating a button code to distribute amongst BOM followers.

It's no secret that my computer prowess is lacking. Frankly, it's non existent.

After many hours, and after reading many tutorials and browsing google and suffering much computer limitation related stress, I have decided to pick my battles...and leave the computing stuff alone.

For those of you who would like to put a Hearts Desire button up on your blogs, feel free to save this image below and use it in a gadget "add a picture" application.
Select "shrink to fit" and then add the link code below.

The code you will need to "link" to is:

Thursday, 3 March 2011

How to unravel

I was really surprised to be asked recently, how do I roll my yarn?

I was asked this because I was seen to be pulling the yarn from it’s middle, without snags, and the quilter asking me had never seen this. No it isn’t a special type of yarn manufacturing process; it’s how I unravel my yarn. It’s my preferred method. Why? Because it’s so easy. I assume that everyone does it this way when they want to save time…but for the benefit of those who don’t, this post is for you.

Yes, I know, ideally I would unravel and roll my yarn into balls…but I’m rather impatient I must admit. I used to enlist my DD to roll my yarn for me and now that I have to do it myself, I have gone the road of least resistance (and time).

Here’s how:

Pick a side and attempt to pull out it's middle. If it resists, try to other side, you will find one side more willing than the other - pull from the easier side.

Pull out this middle

 It may appear tangled but is not

 Pull out the middle of the middle using the same method, just lightly pull out the centre clump...

Repeat. Depending on the yarn manufacturer you will end up here: this ball had 4 middles.
With the last and smallest middle, dig in for the 'beginning of the line' and start working.
It will unravel from this point snag free.

Now, I easily go through this amount (below) of yarn in a single sitting, but if you dont. leave your yarn on a flat surface until you work up to the main body of yarn. It looks more than it actually is.
If you can't bare that, wind it up loosely and work from this 'ball' until you reach the body of the yarn.

And here it is: you will reach the yarn body and keep puling the yarn line and it is free and easy to use without having to 'jump' the ball. This is great if you carry your yarn around for social knitting, crocheting etc. The first ball is untouched. The second ball has been unwound in this way, and as you can see it's 'deflating'

That's it...

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Another Crochet Garden

Nice... but dull
I took my eye off my yarn stash and it’s been growing again. I am now on a yarn stash busting diet.
I am committed to using up the yarns I already have before purchasing any more.

It doesn't zing!

There are lots of lovely new colours being released so this is going to be difficult. Another problem with stash busting is that last season’s hues are now no longer for sale, so it won’t be possible to buy extra and make up any shortage.

This is problematic as I had my eye on a pink granny afghan for my DD, but don’t have enough and the new pinks are completely different to what I already have.

Because my hands still remember the motif, and because I love it, I have decided to work another Primose Patch crochet afghan.

I really wish I could share it with you but it’s not mine and is copyrighted.

Honestly I don’t think you can have too many of these afghans around. I still intend to work it in a single colour at some point in the future, so I’m going to have at least three in my home.

If you would like to make it yourself, you will need to buy “A Crocheter’s Garden of Afghans”

With crochet, I usually just follow my hands and don’t work from patterns, so getting a handle on this pattern was tricky (there are no diagrams) and

I think I unintentionally made some changes…(mine looks different to the book)...but now it’s ‘remembered’ and making it this time around is a pleasure. I’m also going to join as I go this time, last time I left it all to the end…and that was very boring!

That just leaves the problem of colour. Problem? Looking at my yarn stash, my hues are all over the place. And I love them all…separately…so, how to stash bust this afghan?
I mostly crochet at night, or on gloomy days (like today) so colours can look quite different in the morning. This morning I was not impressed with last night’s efforts. I followed my gut feeling with the yarn last night and this morning it looked ‘muddy’. I like it, but I don’t love it.

And if you're going to spend 90 hours doing something - well, you should love it!

I have consulted a colour wheel today and working from my existing stash only, have grouped the colours into complimentary, triadic and analogous.

Interestingly, I am missing red and navy blue – which is much needed to link into lots of harmonies.

How did I manage to buy so much non matching yarn?? Anyway, things look a little clearer now.

I have decided on a violet complimentary and violet double contrast with green throughout as the motif back.

Thank goodness I’m better at quilting than crocheting!

Ok, my nightly yarning looks much more promising....

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Everyone is good at something

Personally speaking, computers are my weak point. I’m not really interested in them and use them as a tool at the end of my creative process only…a means to an end.

This means that I take as little interest in them as possible most of the time. And it also means that when I want really want to do something I am often stuck.

Well, at the moment, I am stuck:

Does anyone out there know how to create
a code button to share amongst users?

You know the type where they cut and paste the code and the picture and the link magically appears and works?

I have a button pic and I link it to the right spot, but that is not what I am talking about. My ‘method’ is a bit old fashioned and I would like to provide the code to quilters making this BOM.

If anyone knows how, would you please tell me? Or point me in the right direction? I am happy to purchase software (if such software exists). Any advice would be much appreciated.

Red Delicious in Down Under Magazine

It's so nice when people tell me things that you might think were obvious, like-  'you're in a magazine!'

This month I was really delighted to discover that Red Delicious was in Down Under Magazine.
I'm so glad someone told me because I purchased the last copy on the shelf!

As usual, the photography is excellent. My scanning has diminished it somewhat but in the magazine it appears as 'true'

I don't know how they managed this during show lighting (which is usually so poor) but I am so happy with the picture.

Thank you Down Under Magazine!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Cake and Fabric

The Kenwood's back (from the repair shop) and has been put to use mixing up our traditional February Birthday Cake: The Pavlova.

My DDs bake a Pavlova for my DHs birthday each year. It's a tradition of sorts - and every year they promise that they will find a new cake to bake because they are sick of meringue fussiness.

Of course each year passes and they forget all about their Pavlova Promise... so here we are again.

What I really love about this cake is the drama associated with baking it. There is so much potential for failure, so much drama associated with each step of it's creation...that I always end up asking my DDs -why didn't they just bake a sponge?

There must definitely be an allure in wanting to get this recipe right.

What I really love each year is watching my older DD send my younger DD to get their father in front of the cake ...before it collapses!

It's very funny and we all enjoy this yearly ritual.

Here is this years:
you can see the top collapsing as the knife cuts its first slice...

but we don't care, it tasted great 

I've been back in my studio, looking over my fabrics 

I've seen several finished block 1's. They are all quite different and all work in their own way.

Funnily enough, I was considering a black and white version, a lilac colour version, a traditional stash version - and these have all been made so far by Yahoo Group Members. I have really enjoyed looking at these blocks.

It's great to see the same pattern expressed in these different ways.

There's been a lot of fabric choice talk and I returned to my Windham stash to decide on the greens I would be using for the next block.

None of them really worked for me...I keep returning to the lovely rusty reds. I think, despite my best efforts that I will be working this quilt in washed, rusty reds. I don't feel I can resist.


This is my background fabric lined up with a potential fabric for stems (the black strip) and my applique leaf.

I am still deciding if I will work my leaves in I thought I would.

Oh fabric dilemma...too much choice!


I'm still deciding.

Should you fight your fabric instinct and do something different
...or go with what feels right?
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