Friday, 26 August 2011

Yukata (Japanese summer dress) - well almost

My younger daughter want to go as Japanese to her school's International dress up day. So I decided to make a Yukata style dress (rather than a kimono - which should be silk). The fabric she wanted is actually Chinese and a directional print which meant that I had to add a seam in the shoulder to keep the pattern the right way up front and back. Also I probably should have made the sleeve differently so they hang down more.  The pleat under the obi is held there by a cord tied around the hips - I think that is traditional - but we are finding that the pleat keeps slipping out. Any suggestions on how we should be tying it?

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Parrots in the garden.

This is another variation on my original red wedding quilt.This time greens with cream/fawn strips. Actually it is another quilt to celebrate a wedding. I love the way this design allows you to use all sorts of different prints and yet produces a unified whole. With in the fabrics there is everything from Christmas prints, to white water rafting, to Indonesian batiks, Australian birds and animals, tartans and nearly every other green I could find..... a celebration of the variety life can bring.

For pictures of other variations. and instructions please see previous posts:  (red central block only) (yellow and green strips - includes instructions)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Chinese style sponge cake recipe (not a quilting post)

 This recipe is very popular with my Chinese friends - I am asked to make it for every party or function. In China few people have ovens in there homes - so cakes are usually bought and a special treat. However they often dont like the typical bakers sponges here in Australia as they are too sweet and have the "wrong" texture.

This has become a family favorite.

Chinese style sponge cake recipe

10 eggs  - separated into whites and yolks
1 cup sugar – 1/2 each for whites and yolks
150 ml oil
90 ml lemon juice
90 ml water
1 2/3 cups self-raising flour

1.  Heat oven 180C
2.   Separate eggs into 2 bowls
3.  To yolks - add ½ cup sugar, oil, water, and lemon juice.
4.  To yolks mixture add self-raising flour.
5.  Beat whites, add ½ cup sugar, beat till stiff.
6. Gently fold two mixtures together
7.  Bake 40 min – this does vary with the oven
8.  Remove from oven and cool upside down.


500g cream cheese
200ml Cream
Icing sugar to personal taste (I don’t use any)
Berries/ Fruit to decorate

Mix – spread on cool cake

Shadow Puppet Text Link: Shadow Puppet Image Link: Hyperlink:

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Liberated piano keys - quilting experiment

Having recently acquired my first true long arm i am experimenting with different sorts of quilting.

in keeping withe liberated style (i hope) I chose trucks,


houses, and cars. Next time I do this sort of work I think that i will be more confident to go over the lives more than once to make the pictures clearer.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Some of us are more square than others.

This actually the first quilt I pieced in the wonky square design and I have finally finished it. Even the final border is not totally square......

Method for this random design is

Racing windmills - a quilt for large bright prints.

This quilt is for Harry, a teenager in our church who is undergoing chemotherapy. I began with the large bright racing car print that is the final border - he's into cars and motor bikes. I did not want to cut it up too much and it was definitely not a panel so I decided to use the 3D pinwheel block again. The fabrics for the pinwheels were chosen from cars colors. The background fabrics: Blues and black were chosen because I felt that straight blacks might be a bit heavy. The small amount of drum fabric is featured in the first border because Harry is also a drummer.

I am pleased with the bright result. The back has panels that have been signed by members of our church and space for his friends to add their names as well.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Janome 1600p and happy jack frame

With the advent of my bigger stitch regulated machine there is now a reshuffle of duties in my sewing room.

The Janome 1600P is now my piecing and binding machine. It is absolutely wonderful for doing bindings... My ordinary machine labored under sewing through the multiple layers involved with binding where as this  1600P sail thought the multiple layers with ease. If I had realized the difference it would make to doing bindings I seriously would have considered removing it from the quilting frame temporarily when I wanted to do a binding - especially those on kids quilts where the binding is totally applied by machine.

The Happy Jack frame is going to move house - it still works well so it is going to a friend who does not have a frame. I have quilted over 200 items on the frame - which as the manufacturer commented is more an industrial use than a normal domestic use. A couple of the parts have worn but have also been easy to replace: 1 the cable between the hand control which depresses the machine foot - this is a standard bike brake cable which can  obtained from a bike shop. 2. The plastic capping on the runners - which can be obtained from the manufacturer.

So here is the last quilt quilted on the happy jack frame by me...... just a simple panel but i am please with how it came up after quilting.

Monochromatic challenge - Blue Chevron Blocks

For this challenge I looked for another way to use the strong blue stripe with in a quilt. I had previously used this in a very simple design rotating the stripes in 2 directions. time I chose to use chevron blocks - which I had never done before and I am really pleased with the result.  Friends who find my wonky squares very unsettling like this design much more.

The link for this month's Patchwork times monochromatic challenge is:

Monday, 8 August 2011

A giant meccanno set - AKA Handi quilter frame

 My husband has just spent an afternoon making my handiquilter frame. He told me cheerfully that it was just like a giant Meccanno - and he loved putting them together as a child. His patience combined with the adjustable features of this frame made it possible to get it perfectly even on an imperfect floor.  (Yes the room still needs painting after the builder removed most of the dysfunctional chimney and built in robe.)

 Tip: carefully double check the end pieces on the assembly pages so that you get them the right way around.
All done.

"Corrupting" the young - my 8 year old quilting

I have just up graded my quilting machine and frame. I now have a Handiquilter machine and 12 foot frame. More about that later. But first my younger daughter who is 8, was determined that now she could quilt too - so here she is quilting a piece of cloth to make a cushion cover.

This machine , unlike my last machine, has  stitch regulation which allows her to sew without worrying about stopping and starting. She drew a good picture of a cat, and wrote " God and me are friends" around it. Unfortunately her choice of thread colour makes it harder to photograph.