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Showing posts from November, 2012

Fimo and Fabric Craft

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Last Friday, I started the fantastic Christmas Projects class offered by Judith. We're going to be making a variety of buttons, brooches, and fun fabric crafts over the course of 4 weeks, and I'm already having a blast! We started off kneading, molding, and rolling out Fimo to create little flowers, hearts, and Christmas trees, among other things. It was like being a kid again, messing around with play dough, as you can see from the photo Judith posted! The difference with Fimo though is that, once baked, it hardens, meaning these little shapes can then be used as buttons, pendants, and card decorations. Here's a selection of mine...
I'm hoping to use these to make little barrettes and necklaces for my nieces this Christmas. They love jewelry and hair accessories, so I think these would go down a treat!

We also got to make good use of the shreds of fabric and thread left over after a big quilting project. You know the ones - they're usually too small and scrappy to s…

It's Alive!!

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Much like the Creature assembled by its namesake, Victor Frankenstein, Frankenblanket has slowly but surely taken shape over the past several months in my first (and possibly only!) EPP experiment. Truthfully, I'm being a bit ungenerous in calling this quilt 'Frankenblanket', as Sarah pointed out. The various fabric scraps I scavenged to create the flowers that form the focal point of the quilt actually blended really well together and, unlike Frankenstein's hideous and misunderstood monster, produced a really stunning quilt, if I do say so myself!

In other ways, though, the Frankenstein comparison remains apt. Like Victor, I dedicated a lot of time, effort, and study to this particular project, with no promise of success. At least, that's the way it seemed! And that's not to mention the pints of blood, sweat, and tears I poured into this predominantly hand-wrought baby quilt. I'm speaking metaphorically in the case of the former but completely literally in …

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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This is what I wish I was eating right now! (Yes, even at this early hour of the morning!) But, alas, it's just another workday here, and a particularly busy one at that. Nevertheless, hubby has promised me (a non-Thanksgiving) dinner when I get home from work tonight and has already been instructed to take out the pumpkin pie I made a while back and froze for just this occasion. Can't ask for more than that, especially as pumpkin pie is my favourite part of Thanksgiving anyway! Sadly, I suspect he won't be joining me in my pumpkin pie feast. Every time I've made pumpkin pie here in Ireland and Northern Ireland, in fact, I've generally found people rather hesitant about it, primarily, it seems, because they associate pumpkins with savoury dishes. I'm willing to admit that the cinnamon and clove spiked pumpkin custard that fills the pie shell might be an acquired taste - one that can seem foreign and strange if you haven't grown up with it. But they say the …

All my bags are packed

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This weekend was pretty much all about Baby H! After months and months of research, several interesting trips to Mothercare, and a subscription to Which magazine, we finally managed to buy our pram. (You might guess that hubby was largely in charge of this!) The model we ended up with is perfect for our needs - it fits into our narrow front door and hallway; it collapses with only one hand; and it folds down to next to nothing to fit in the boot of our tiny little car. No mean feat living up to all of those demands! It's now assembled and waiting expectantly in the hallway until we might need it. Just having it there makes me feel a bit more prepared, as does knowing that my hospital bag is similarly sorted. There's still a lengthy list of things to do, but that didn't stop me spending the weekend singing, in my best John Denver imitation, 'All my bags are packed; I'm ready to go...'! 

I'm hoping that I'll get to see this gorgeous stripe-y quilt equally …

Call me Fifteen-a

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When I first moved to Northern Ireland, part of the culture shock I suffered had to do with the humble 'traybake' - an oxymoronic term denoting a tea-time treat that neither has to be baked nor necessarily made in a tray. Go figure. Traditional traybakes include Malteser Squares, Chocolate Biscuit Tiffin, Cherry Bakewell Slices, Millionaire's Squares, Flapjacks, and my favourite, Fifteens. It took me about a year after moving to Belfast to try one of the latter, primarily because they look so odd - kind of like coconut covered slabs of red, white, and pink speckled cookie dough. Not exactly the most appealing thing around, right? Once I got over the strange appearance, however, I discovered that the fifteen is quite possibly the most delicious 'traybake' to be had. It's also probably the easiest to make, as it's no-bake and involves only a handful of ingredients - digestive biscuits, marshmallows, glace cherries, condensed milk, and coconut.

Such is my love…

Getting there

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Well, it may not be the prettiest quilt I've ever made, but Frankenblanket is slowly taking shape! 


I'm really loving all the different colours and patterns in the hexagon flowers, and though I often tend to follow specific patterns and colour schemes in my quilts, I think the variety works really well with the hexie form. You can't really tell from the photos here, but even the white hexies are different, something I worried about at first but which I now see as completely in sync with the randomness of the rest of the quilt! 


I had a bit of trouble when I actually started sewing the hexie flowers together into rows. Where I had initially intended to stack them on top of each other in straight lines rather than diagonals, my spatial reasoning and cognitive abilities seemed not to be up for it! And so, I ended up with lovely offset diagonal rows, which I now firmly believe look better than more straightforward up and down stacking (that's my story anyway, and I'm sti…

It's beginning to smell a lot like...

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Dare I say it? Quickly and quietly, perhaps... Christmas. I know, I know. It's a little bit early to be thinking about such things, right? Normally, I'm a fan of waiting until the end of November before diving into the Christmas rush, but this year presents a slight deviation from the norm, primarily because Baby H is due on 30 December. Hubby and I have thus wisely decided to forego visiting our families for the holidays, thereby avoiding (I sincerely hope so anyway!) all of the potential nightmare scenarios I've been envisioning - giving birth in the car halfway between Wicklow and Dublin in the middle of a freak Irish snow storm being the main one. Instead, we're going to make a few traditions of our own! We're not quite sure what these traditions will be yet (see above), but I figured now was as good a time as any to try my hand at Christmas cake for a traditional conclusion to our not-so-traditional Christmas dinner (assuming we get to sit down to eat it, that…

Oh, the places you'll go!

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Well, I didn't quite manage to finish everything I had intended to this month, but 'almost' is ok with me at the moment! My biggest accomplishment this month is my charm square baby quilt...


I'm really pleased with how this turned out and can't wait to use it when Baby H arrives! The FMQ worked out really well, despite some teething issues at the start, and, while I wondered initially if I should use a different colour thread for the quilting, I think the cream adds the perfect contrast to the various fabrics without being too glaring or conspicuous. 


I'm going to call it 'Oh, the places you'll go' after one of my favourite Dr. Seuss books. Not just because the bright colours kind of remind me of the vivid illustrations in all of the Dr. Seuss books, or because the FMQ makes me think of winding roads and journeys with lots of fun detours and digressions. But also because I'm hoping that this little quilt might have some of the same adventures with…