Wednesday, 30 November 2011

WOW: Creating the border

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays


So here we are. It's nearly December and I always go one of two ways:
1. Speed up and work non stop to get my WIPs done or
2. Start with intentions for 1... and get distracted by Dec 5th and move WIPs to the New Year list.


So I have been buckling down and working all day to get Red December finished. I've finally created the border (see below) since last wednesday and I intend to finish this beautiful red and white quilt this week. Yes, time is ticking. There's still plenty to do as we all prepare for festivities.

How are your WIPs looking?
Are you full steam ahead?
Or have you set your WIPs aside for next year now?




Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Crochet Christmas Wreath: Year 2

Update: Christmas 2011
It's been a year since I posted this easy Christmas project and it's become one of my most popular posts! It's simple, so easy to personalise and the best bit? You can make it in a day. Yes, really. It's simple. If your haven't already, why not make it this year?
Finished! A Christmas WIP no longer. Here is my Christmas Crochet Wreath.
Last week I purchased a foam wreath ring. I had an idea to cover it with green crochet roses, and after knitting up a few of those decided to add some leaves as well. I wanted three white roses...and had thoughts about red roses too. As I already have a lot of red in my house with poinsettia's at this time of year, I decided to keep with mostly greens.
I have another crochet wreath WIP which is full of flowers, but I don't think that WIP will be quite completed until Easter (ish). Maybe.
Each year I aim to spend December winding down, but like last year, I find that I am speeding up. I don't want to enter the New Year with so many WIPs behind me. I am spending most of my days finishing finishing finishing.
This wreath is easy to make, you can have it finished in just a day or two.
4mm, 5mm & 6mm hook

I worked up a leaf in each of the above hooks and decided on working up in the 6mm as I was after lush foliage that was also quick to come together.

I covered the ring with a variegated yarn in greens. This was the trickiest and most time consuming part! The foam has to be covered evenly and neatly -and thick enough to anchor your stitches into when positioning your crochet into place.




This is what you are making: foliage flowers
The foliage flowers save you from positioning hundreds of little leaves separately

Make as many as you need to fill out your wreath / ring

Make some green roses as well as white ones to create interest around the ring

 Stitch the foliage into desired position


The 'roses' are so quick and easy, they almost twirl themselves into position
I used 2 shades of green yarn
Then I positioned the roses and leaves around the ring
I purchased some bells last week when I purchased the foam ring...as I thought I would use them, however after positioning them I decided that I liked the wreath plain after all.
As the base of the foam ring is flat, it can be placed on the table or the door. I think I will hang mine...but I might still change my mind.
 There are lots of options with this pattern project.



To Make Up:
US Crochet terms used
4, 5 or 6mm hook
100gm yarn to cover ring
Green yarn (yarn busting from your stash??) for roses and foliage OR
2 x 100 gm in 2 shades of green (this wreath used 85gm) you may need more or less depending on size & tension
20gms white yarn

I have kept the actual crochet super easy, mainly HDCs so you can do it whilst supervising in the kitchen or in front of the TV or with only half an eye on it.
Sorry - no diagrams! I love diagrams, so I know how frustrating working from text can be: I hope this is clear enough to understand:

For Foliage:
Chain 6, create ring, chain 6, slip stitch into ring (to create 6 petals)
Work into each petal:
Half Double Crochet x4
Double Crochet x 4
Treble Crochet x 4
Double Treble x 1
Chain 2
Double Treble x 1
Treble Crochet x 4
Double Crochet x 4
Half Double Crochet x 4
Slip stitch into next petal.
repeat until all petals are full, slip stitch to finish.
This will 'fill' each petal and create an arch. When you are working it up, you may think it won't fit. Don't worry, it will fit perfectly. Persevere.
If you can Double Crochet you can Double Treble Crochet...it's just three loops over the hook. Don't be daunted.
Make 15 (or however many you need to fill your wreath)


For Roses:
Ok, this is so super easy that you might end up with a ring full of roses.
Chain 20, turn
Half Double Crochet down row, chain 2 at end of row
Work into each chain:
5 Half Double Crochet until end. Tie off.
The row will twirl as you work. When finished, twirl into a rose shape and stitch into position.
Position across ring, stitch into place.







If you make this wreath, I'd love to see it!

Monday, 28 November 2011

A Visit to Lipica Church


After a day with the Lipizzaner horses, we explored the local area as well. I always like to look in on old churches whenever I get the chance. This church is an old church right in Lipica. Isn’t it beautiful?



 The walls are stamped, and there is also quite a lot of stencil work going on. I just loved the details. Light was fading fast outside, so the photos don’t show up as much detail as I’d like, but you can definitely get a feel for the place.




Maybe I see quilts everywhere, but the motifs here do look familiar



Just thought I’d share the moment with you…




Friday, 25 November 2011

Visiting Lipica


I get so annoyed when google flips my pics like this!!

I thought I'd share my trip to the Lipiuca Stud Farm with you. It's such a beautiful spot that it's too good to keep to myself.
Lipizzaner Stallions are beautiful white horses which are bred in Slovenia and known throughout the world. The Lipica stud farm is a local and tourist attraction and even offers riding lessons to those who are interested. Personally, I was more interested in enjoying the company of these horses with my DH, which is exactly what we did.



Of course, admiring the stallions is one thing, taking a carriage ride is another...

These horses are so majestic. Interestingly they are born dark and lighten as they mature.

These shots are postcard worthy, so you can imagine how tranquil being there was…. Every moment with these horses was beautiful.
The whole day was wonderful and warm. During our trip this year we experienced Europe’s warmest Autumn in 90 years!
Of course I packed for a traditional European autumn…but that’s another story! And another wardrobe! I can’t complain because the sunshine was not harsh, but warm and gentle.

Oh and here's a pic of my sister Danica and her partner who joined us on our jaunt

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

WOW: Are You Quilting In The Pink ?

 
WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

In the last week I've had several unexpected requests for pictures detailing my quilting on In The Pink.

This is interesting, I wonder how many Pinky WIPs are out there?? I really love this quilt and it was a pleasure to make. I always love it when someone in the Yahoo Group posts an image of their latest In The Pink progress. It makes my day! I think some of you are getting this quilt finally finished in an end of year burst! I can't wait to see them when they are done.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hearts Desire Inspires Another...

When I sit down for my mid-morning coffee to check my emails – well it’s usually all very predictable stuff in there. But not this morning! Every now and then, I get a really wonderful email that makes my day, like this one below from Lucia Martins who was inspired by Hearts Desire to make her own quilt!
Here is Lucia’s inspired quilt, Bluebird

 from what I gather on pinterest, it's needle turn


I think this design is really wonderful. I love it! It’s taken an element from Hearts Desire and created a whole new idea around it. Isn’t it great??? The colours, the scale and the detail is superb. I love the greens,the hearts, the vases, actually I think it all just works. I love the balance of the design. Of course I've shown everyone and they agree, it's lovely!
(I've just spent half an hour in there admiring everything. I know, I know, how much longer can I ignore pinterest??? There are more great pics of this quilt there too.)

Hearts Desire is my previous BOM, and here’s my block:

Thank you Lucia
for sharing your beautiful quilt, I feel so privileged that you took the time to contact me.

I love seeing new projects and quilts created or inspired by my own work, that’s why my Yahoo Bom Group is such an exciting place – this kind of sharing goes on daily.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Growing Chilli

10 weeks ago my DD decided to grow some chilli plants for my DH who is very keen on them. She didn’t do the pendulum trick at the nursery and back home we have since discovered that we have 2 male, 2 female. Can you tell?

I’m not giving up on the 2 male (above) because they do sometimes fruit. I hope.
Look at this one,(side pic, female) hopefully it will keep my DH supplied all summer.

 










Anyone else growing chillies? Any tips?

Friday, 18 November 2011

Coffee Holiday Habits



With a coffee machine at home, I did wonder how I would get by on my travels without being able to make the perfect cappuccino within 3 minutes. This is a luxury I enjoy.
Well, I didn’t have to worry, I found coffee everywhere I went, and..






..being on holiday meant that I had to add cake alongside my coffee too

diet? what diet?

Well I thought coffee in Melbourne was overpriced, so Harrod's put it all into persepctive for me.
I usually pay AU $3.80 for a coffee, and my Harrod's coffee converted to AU $8.05




Coffee is now very much the same everywhere you go. It’s still overpriced. But a necessity nonetheless. Of course, after coffees I enjoyed other cafe delights too...

but coffee was the staple...
My school friend Vilinka makes an excellent coffee…and having known each other 40 years, we had a lot to talk about over our coffee. She is an extraordinary cake maker (see below pic!)…and a newly converted quilter! (maybe??…high hopes). She does own an Elna sewing machine and this a good start….

For someone who doesnt ordinarily eat sweets, I sure made up for it on holiday...


And lastly, a lovely slice made by my sister Danica.


Now I'm back home it's time to grind some beans and make some coffee and get down to work! Without the aid of cake...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

WOW: Red December

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays


I must have 20 or so projects just like this – half done and waiting. So, this red WIP of mine has been waiting in the wings for quite some time. I pulled it out of my red stash shelf a few months ago and it’s been on my mind ever since. So here it is, I am calling it Red December because I like the name and I also plan to have it ready to launch in December (yes this year, hopefully). My first version that you can see here is stenciled and I am also going to make it in applique, it's just too nice not to. Also, I have too much red fabric not to, I'd like to use some stash!
It has 3 potential borders which I am still umm-ing and ahhhh-ing over, which may explain why it’s a WIP as I am going through loving / not loving each option all over again. Oh well, time for decisions.
  
Hopefully Red December (or perhaps Red January / February or March) will be a launch soon.

PS
Yes, it’s been nearly 2 weeks and the roses are still alive and I am still enjoying them. No such thing as too much red about the house…
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