Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where's Craftybarter girl?

Well this Crafty Barter girl took a little mid year break off work and pulled out all the stops to get some quilting stuff done at home and chill out for the week with lots of walking and relaxing in the sunshine.    

This years focus for me is all about finishing.  Preferably the sewing variety of finishing.  

I'm excited to report Number 2 & 3 completely DONE, and Number 4 is currently at the quilters for quilting.  

Number 2 

Number 3

I have also finished off my scrappy trip along top.  All ready to get quilted.  

I then started rummaging around and found these pinwheels and fabric that my sister had started and got over.  "Oh you like this stuff" I'm sure I remember her saying to me as she said "you'll do something with it.. "  Well that was over a year ago.  Oddly I just happened to have a little stash of Bonnie and Camille fabrics to add to it.    

Soo....  I got cracking...  I have something in mind and it is slowly taking shape.
What to do with so many pinwheels?  easy cut them down and turn some of them into little houses.  :)

The cotton reels are quick and made from cutting down charm pack squares adding the sides and topping and tailing them up.  Simple and effective.

Inspiration from here and some other patterns hanging around that I have been wanting to sample up.
Well that is how my productive week went down.  

The focus is still on..... to F I N I S H..  

There is another already at the quilters due back in a couple of months so stay tuned for that one.

Happy stitching all.
K x x x x 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Playing hookie from work

The Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair is on this weekend in it's new venue at Glebe Island. 
Someone wanted to drag me up there cause you just know I don't have enough fabric and crafty stuff to do right?  NOT....

The venue is good full of fabulous natural light making it great for quilt viewing and super easy to get to.  

City views outside the venue to the right here. Pretty amazing for a little chilly July day.   

This craft show really does focus on quilting.  There are heaps of other crafty things there like paper, lace, wool and knitting, sewing garments, folkart and so on.  But the number of quilting suppliers and sewing machines far out weighs everything else.  So for me personally if i'm going to a craft show this is the one to have on the calendar for the year.  So we went and can I just say we conquered it.  

The sheer talent of people just amazes me with the quilts on display.  The quality of the workmanship truly awe inspiring.  Every stitch by hand or machine the creativity in colour and design at every turn.  This is just a very small sample of the quilts on display.  

I didn't get a picture of the "Best of show" but can i just say it was truly fabulous.  The hand quilting so even and meticulous.  I would hate to think how many hours the maker spent stitching and creating that one.

I don't know if I would actually ever attempt some of the extreme intricate work.  As I don't know what I would do with it once completed. You can't keep em all....  :))  and I want to be able to use them.  

This one is recycled denim jeans in the classic clam shell patter with
colourful little bits on each piece.    

I love the colour in these native flowers.  They just jumped out at me.

The girl with the Pearl ear ring...  Lovely.  .  

My apologies for not getting the name of all of the makers and offering them credit.

Some of my purchases.  All green Japanese textured fabrics to add to something that I've had stashed away in the fabric cupboard for way too long (Shhhh  don't tell anyone).  My thinking is along the lines of blue and green should never be seen.......   Unless there is something in between.  Stay tuned for that one.  

If you get a chance drop by there is something for everyone.  
Well as long as you are the crafty type that is. 

It was such a beautiful morning.  Great to get some sun and work up a bit of a sweat.    

Have a great weekend all.
K x 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Back from the quilters = excitement

Just back from the quilters.    

I had some Prints Charming fabrics stashed away ages ago (collecting dust....  shhhh) and wanted to get them into a quilt.  I didn't really have a pattern so I based the design on 12 inch blocks finished. Mixed with a basic small dot of a mid and light pink and an orange and threw it all together without too much fuss.  I'm not really into orange however it was a dominate colour in the original Prints Charming fabric range and it just seemed to go.  Oh and my aim was to use as much of the Prints Charming fabric as possible so I don't have heaps hanging around except in the scrap box pile.

Originally I had grand aspirations of hand quilting with perle 8 cottons to match off on the quilt but you know.......  T I M E was a slight problem.  And you know there is always another quilt to be started.  The quilting is a dragonfly pattern from edge to edge, simple and elegant.  

I will be focusing on getting the binding finished and having another finished quilt for the year.  

The count is now 2.. in my finish year of 2014.  

Surf's up! Today.....  A couple of shots from my afternoon walk.

I love this time of day when the sun is setting over the mountains and the evening is creeping in. 

Someone said to me the other day that there isn't any such thing as magic, but you know I suppose you only notice the magic if you are looking for it.  Or if you want it in your life.

I noticed the surf rolling in tonight and the number of surfers out looking for their waves to end their day.  Talk about braving the chill.

Made me wonder if this was their "magic".  Pretty magical part of the day if you ask me.    

Not too long now for the shortest day of the year.     

Have a great week all.

K x 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Revisiting the Scrappytripalong

What else is there to do on a freezing cold Sunday....... I gave all the blocks a good press and laid it out and realised I was one block short. 

What a pain and then decided it needed another row.  So 6 blocks half way there and I might be able to finish this one off....  

I'm a bit worried about the colour choices from today but hopefully they fit in ok.

Happy sewing all.
K x

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Queens Birthday - Queens everywhere

Well the Queens Birthday weekend has come and gone in the blink of an eye.  

My weekend was spent locally in Wollongong and Sydney with a friend up from Melbourne to share my world and what I get up to in the "Gong".

It all started at brunch on Friday for us with fresh coffee, a mezze platter and ricotta pancakes with raspberry butter at the Fireworks Cafe in Austinmer.  The Fireworks Cafe is a little hidden gem off the main street with a couple of quirky little shops where the cook was happy to share how to get the raspberry butter going.  

The pancakes where sensational and got us thinking that we could make our own.  So we headed in to the local Friday farmers market in Wollongong and bought the most amazing raspberries and found a ricotta pancake recipe from Nigella Lawson  and whipped them up for breaky on Saturday.   

Saturday was spent pottering down to Berry, NSW to explore and find some little hidden treasures. 
Camellias in bloom.

From Berry we headed back to the The School House in Gerringong for lunch.   Kirsten delivered her fresh handmade cheese selections and relishes which were absolutely amazing.  If you get the chance stop by for a visit the coffee is great and it is relaxing watching Kirsten working through her kitchen on the premises which is in full view of the dinners.  

 We grabbed some beef cheeks in Berry at the local butchery the staff are more then happy to assist.  3 hours of baking in the oven and sweet potato mash with broccolini for dinner.  You know it was fab.  

Really needed a big walk on Sunday.  Is there too much of a good thing?  too much good food, wine and company I would say.
Clear blue winter sky, Wollongong Lighthouse and harbour.

 As it goes...  Beautiful sunny morning in Wollongong to a rainy Sydney evening...  Not that it bothered us.  

Pre Dinner drinks at the Darlo.

Vanilla Rum with ginger - yum..  went down very nicely  
From the Darlo we headed down to The Food Society where it truly was choose your own adventure.  To start we had fried cauliflower with paprika & Suberec' fried pastry filled with pumpkin, sheep's milk cheese and sage.   Followed up with mains of crispy skin pork belly, fried potatoes and warm lamb shoulder, braised spinach and rosemary yoghurt.  Followed by honey cake and caramel vodka.  

As always the company was great and we celebrated friendships, life, personal triumphs and  just taking the time to catch up with each other.

The ambiance at the food society was relaxed with engaged friendly staff and live music.  The bar is well stocked with wonderfully flavoured vodkas to finish off any meal choices. 

 Very cute little jugs for the caramel vodka.  

We followed dinner up with Sunday night at the Stonewall Hotel on Oxford Street Sydney. OMG massive photo opportunity with the "Carlotta".  Who I would like to say looks amazing and who was gracious enough to have a photo with me.  Couldn't think of a better way to wrap up a  Queens Birthday Weekend.  

This quilt is finally bound and finished. Woo hoo and has gone off to live with it's new owner.  Thanks for giving it a loving home Jen Jen.  

Well that is about it.  A snapshot of a couple of days in the "Gong" with a 20 hour rush of life in Sydney.  

I'm looking forward to doing it all again sooner rather then later. But until then it's on with life as we know it in this neck of the woods.
Have a great week all.  
Kath  x x x x x

PS:  Things I've learnt this weekend?  
         1   Organic butter is the bomb - stock it in your fridge
         2   Ginger works well with Rum
         3   Even when peeps say NO CAKE...  they will heap you eat it & love it too.  :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Have you lost your sewing mojo?

Cause I certainly have. 

I walk into my craft room and shuffle stuff about for 10 mins (if i'm lucky) and then get totally overwhelmed and walk out rather quickly with nothing done.

I stand in the doorway thinking about how much I have invested in one room, from machines, to fabric and all of the paraphernalia that goes with it not to mention the space itself.  I want to get into it but there just doesn't seem to be any room in there for anything else in particular ME.  

Reading blogs of industrious others with fabulous spaces all laid out in all of their finery I struggle to just be in mine.  Perhaps it is time to stop reading about what others are doing in their beautiful spaces and start focusing on what I want to do.   

Image stolen off a Google search..... of organised craft rooms...

I would love my space to look like this but oddly it doesn't.  

You know I did my usual trick again this morning with just one small exception.  I picked up a quilt top gave it a little press, popped it into a ziplock bag, tucked it under my arm and headed off to the quilters to get it quilted.  It will take about 6 weeks to come back and you know that's ok because then I will be able to actually bind it and finish it.  Y E A.....  roars the crowd fancy that. Something actually finished.

My strategy is to move things along through the process.  Package up the completed quilt tops to be quilted and start planning out when I can get them off to the quilters. Maybe then I can put my energies into what I want to finish next and start planning out my next quilting adventure.  

What do you do when you get bogged down with your crafting?  Do you have a plan? or get a plan to get things moving?

Happy crafting all.
K x  

Monday, February 10, 2014


Only one part of this years Birthday shenanigans - M E L B O U R N E  

Someone asked me on the plane if I was a local of Melbourne and if I had any tips of where to eat.  Not quite but I do love the place, my home away from home so to speak, so I thought I would share my adventures.  While there are some good treasures in Lygon Street I personally find it a bit of a tourist trap.  It doesn't really showcase the amazing eateries in and around Melbourne. The coffee and cafe culture is ingrained in Melbourne's essence of a city and is one that needs to be explored and treasured at your own leisure.  I have a hidden advantage (lol) meet Jen Jen.  A local for many years who is a foodie from way back.   Who somehow manages not only to find but book for some foodie adventures that are beyond words, not to mention she can sniff out a good coffee at 50 paces.  This is a synopsis of our weekend and what we managed to fit in in a couple of days.  Our experiences this weekend were on the shared table options rather then individual serves and keep in mind this was a treat weekend for us as we were celebrating both of our birthdays with a weekend in the city. 

Take it or leave it....  choose your own adventure as the saying goes and remember, if you don't like the look of it.  Just walk around the corner you are bound to find another place.  Particularly in Melbourne, the lane ways are thriving and fabulous food and places with ambiance that you may wish to never leave. Rooftop bars have sprung up everywhere with different cityscape views & amazing cocktails.

We started at the Spice Temple Bar - Southbank.  
We managed to get out of there for about $50 each with alcohol included for lunch.  
Loved the 豬 Pig  - Zubrowka vodka, sake, nashi pear juice and green tea (carafe) refreshing for a hot Melbourne lunchtime.
King Prawn wontons with aged black vinegar dressing & the Tea smoked duck with Mandarin pancakes cucumbers, spring onion, hoisin sauce were the favorites from around the table.

Walking off lunch.  We headed to graffiti lane just up off Federation Square.  You never know what you might see.  The colourful bridal party looked gorgeous against the graffiti work.

Cookies for dinner - in a revamped old building at the topish of Swanston Street.  We managed to get on a terrace which was great on a hot night.  This is one hip and happening place.  The food is Asian inspired and booking is a must otherwise you could be up for a wait - it is popular.  The food was fabulous soft shell crab and the 5 spice chicken is to die for.  

With wine about $50 a head.  Local hangout with lots going on in the building.   If you get a chance go and explore the other levels.  The service here was great.

This is what I'm talking about just turn down the next corner.  Strolling to Vic Markets we noticed this shop as we rounded the corner coffee filled the air and we stumbled upon A Little Bird Told Me cafe @  29 Little LaTrobe Street.  Worth a visit if you are about and in need of coffee and/or cake.  

Too true.  European Bar on Exhibition Street had a great rooftop bar with water mist to cool off the space.  Great place to meet up and have a drink.  Caribbean punch - for a pre dinner drink.
San Telmo for dinner - again book as it is popular with the locals. Argentinian themed.  We had fried polenta chips and broccoli to start followed by potatoes cooked in duck fat, steak off the grill, pork belly and the fennel and asparagus salad with blue cheese sprinkled through it.   We finished with a chocolate tart and handmade ice cream.  

Sensational food, the service here was ridiculously good nothing like a bit of attention to detail.  With wine about $60-70 a head.  I would highly recommend this place.  You could get out of it cheaper if you really wanted to and apparently they do a mid week special.  For maximum enjoyment go with friends and do the share options.

There is a rooftop bar in this lane too I missed the name thou.  Be ready for the stairs.   Great atmosphere and the drinks slip down easily with city skyline views.  

Well this weekend flew by.  Melbourne never ceases to amaze me subtle changes throughout the city however the same essence with a modern cutting groove going on.  Heaps of inner city apartments going in so the city itself is busy with life, shopping and things to do. If you haven't been for a while get booking and plan out some places to have your own little experience.  

I didn't get to catch up with as many friends as what I had hoped this time, but this just gives me an excuse to go back sooner rather then later.   

Have a great week all.
K x x x