April 28, 2011
April 23, 2011
Things have been a little quiet on the blog front here. A cold spread through the family, and then my parents visited for a few days, so life just got in the way. We’re now spending a quiet Easter at home (with a little bit of toilet training chaos thrown into the mix!).
Preparations are underway for a big month in May:
I’ll be sharing some projects I’ve actually made for myself, along with some of my favourite recipes and I’ve lined up some great guest posters too. I still have a couple of spots free, so send me an email if you’d like to guest post (CookCleanCraft@gmail.com).
Kids Clothes Week at Elsie Marley is also scheduled in May, so maybe a few kids posts will sneak in there too – see how I go! Head on over if you need a little extra motivation to sew some clothes for your kids.
I hope everyone has a great Easter!
April 15, 2011
Such a pretty and different selection of pot-holder goodness. First we had the lovely Little Boy made by Bec (the wonderful organiser of the swap!), with a cute machine-embroidered patch:
Peta made this pretty log cabin pattern, with some wavy quilting (way snazzier than my quilting efforts!):
Kira contributed these pretty butterflies. Can you believe it was her first attempt at free motion quilting?
Here’s another one from Peta – love the fabric and the random stripy-ness:
And finally a black and white pin-wheel, also from Kira (I wonder how long it will stay white the way I abuse my pot-holders!):
So now my kitchen is filled with lovely pot-holder goodness (and a couple of special treats that Bec was so sweet to add to the package!)! It was so much fun and I learnt a lot along the way. Hopefully, my darling hubby won’t set fire to these ones!
April 13, 2011
So after my husband set fire to my first woeful attempt at making pot-holders, I crazily signed up for a pot holder swap at Essential Baby (an Aussie parenting forum). I’m shy about my crafting at the best of times. Now the pressure was on not to embarrass myself in front of complete strangers.
First up, fabric selection. I had a fat quarter pack of purple floral print that I’d bought at my local fabric chain. It was in plain packaging so I have no idea what it was. As I was sorting through my stash, this crazy green and purple fabric toned in nicely:
Spring Fever Flower Boxes in Green by Me and My Sister Designs for Moda Fabrics
To be honest, I bought it on-line and it was a lot brighter than I expected, and I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I loved the crazy modern design with the old-fashioned flower print.
I bookmarked this tutorial on making an inset heart at Pickup Some Creativity, so I thought I’d give it a go. (Yep, there’s my usual insanity – let’s try something completely new!) . The tutorial was fantastic – I loved how the hearts turned out. So I made two!
I didn’t feel like making 5 all the same (I’d mastered that technique and my insanity kicked in again). I cut strips from a few of the different purple fabrics, and sewed them together randomly (in the centre below). I then trimmed to a good size for the pot-holders and then sewed the scraps from that to some more strips to create another two random patterns. I’m sure quilters would have fancy names for the designs, but it was just random strips to me!
I cut single pieces of fabric for the backings, trying to select the same prints that were used on the front (but I didn’t really have a plan when I started, so it was more randomness!).
The fabrics were sandwiched with a layer of Insul-brite and a layer of old towel (had to be a little thrifty!), and it was time to quilt. I’ve never quilted anything before (and I don’t have a walking foot), so I decide the best place to start is to quilt around the heart shapes, not quite free-motion as I’m too scared to drop the feed dogs!
Not a bad first attempt! Now let’s just stitch in the ditch for the stripy ones (finding out later that it’s easier and looks better stitching 1/4” away from the ditch – oops!).
After binding the first one (umm, kind of back-to-front), I had an epiphany and suddenly understood how binding was supposed to go on. Part of me told me to unpick the first and re-do the binding, but laziness set in (or the thought of the 6 million other projects on my list) – apologies to the recipient of that one!
So I produced 5 pot-holders that I think were on the cusp between homemade and handmade! I hope my fellow swappers liked them!
Stay tuned for the gripping conclusion in this trilogy of pot-holders posts later this week!
April 11, 2011
A pocket for my hand seemed like a good idea, and I used two layers of an old towel to fill the main side, and an extra layer for the part going over my hand. I also made my own bias tape, using the tutorial on Subtle Tee.
I had no idea how to apply the bias tape, but I thought I’d just give it a go. Let me tell you, getting 1/2” wide bias tape over 3 layers of towel and 4 layers of fabric is not easy. Especially when you don’t know to sew one side on first before you fold it over and you haven’t quilted the fabric. I decided to round off the corners as I did think I could handle square corners. Umm, that didn’t really work out too well either! Funnily enough, I never bothered to take photos of the finished product.
Well, after a few months of abuse in my kitchen (I am not kind to pot-holders), my darling husband left one a little too close to the gas burner on the stove. Yep, my pot-holder caught on fire!
April 9, 2011
I’ve been struggling to do the laundry since Little Miss arrived. The thing that drives me nuts and stops me from even starting is the fact that it just takes all day.
Round up washing…take it downstairs…put it in the washing machine…turn washing machine on…wait wait wait…get it out…hang it out to dry…take it off the clothesline…fold it…(iron it – um, not likely)…put it away – All with a baby and toddler demanding attention, not easy!
After getting completely overwhelmed with housework, I decided I needed to build up my cleaning routine in small steps, and the laundry was the place to start. The key to keeping housework in control is to do a little bit often, but how could I apply this to washing the clothes? Here’s what I’m doing:
April 1, 2011
It’s party time!
Grab a slice of cake (actually my husband’s birthday cake – coffee sponge with coffee buttercream icing, decorated with choc bits supposedly like the wheel of a bike!), and have a look around.
I started my blog a little over a year ago (oops, I missed my blogiversary) with no idea where it would go. It was just a bit of fun and me time in a sea of parenting. Then I joined the Ultimate Blog Party last year, and suddenly I had all the visitors, and people started following me, and I thought “Wow, I’m actually a blogger!”.
So I’m doing it all again this year. The blog is a lot fancier this year, thanks to the blog design I won at last year’s party. I’m a little embarrassed to think how daggy I looked last year in my standard blogger design!
I’m Narelle, a stay-at-home Mum, living in Brisbane, Australia, with a crazy 2yo boy and a sweet 6 month old girl. I’m slowly trying to get my house back in order following her arrival, finding time to share recipes, crafts for all the family (especially sewing, crochet and felt) and the odd household and cleaning tip too.
Thanks for stopping by (and thanks 5 minutes for Mom for hosting)! If you like what you see, please follow by RSS, Email, Google Friend Connect (over on the right), Twitter or Facebook (and if you’re feeling really friendly, go over to Babble and tell them you like me too!).