So after months of thinking about my Dear Jane project, I finally got it together this weekend and made six blocks. I only had a chance to photograph four. I found a new technique using freezer paper and I have to say was quite proud of the results. The corners turned out quite squarish and each block was surprisingly close to 4 1/2 inches when completed. Certainly an improvement on some of my earlier attempts!
Some of you may notice that I have been using the past tense. There is a very good reason for that. You see, they have gone. I only realised they were missing this evening, when I couldn't find my bag of sewing I had taken away for the weekend with me anywhere.
So I know the chances are tiny, but if anyone has seen a large black tote bag sitting on Mackerel Beach or Palm Beach Wharf with a weekend's worth of clothes that need washing, Rob's beloved Blundstone boots , six treasured patchwork blocks and an expensive to replace library book, I would love it back. (Don't worry, I won't be holding my breath!)
For the record:
1. Old Windmill. The scraps were from a little tunic and bloomers I made for Madeleine's first Christmas. It was the first time I had sewed with an Oliver and S pattern. Unfortunately these were the last scraps, so I wont be able to make it again.
2. Kaye's Courtyard. I still haven't finished the Amy Butler Liverpool Tunic I am making for myself in this fabric. Plenty more scraps so definitely reproducible.
3. Doris's Dilemma. Again not reproducible. I used this fabric in some folders I made as a farewell gift for Madeleine's class when she left earlier this year.
4. Field of Dreams. I used this fabric in a shirt for Madeleine. It was the first Japanese Pattern I had used. I can still remember the brain strain as I traced that pattern off! I may be able to find a few more scraps if I dig around.
I know in the scheme of things it is a very small loss, but I am going to let myself be sad for an evening and then start again tomorrow.
PS I would like to publicly apologies to my ever patient husband Rob, when before I knew my patchwork was in the lost bag, I told him he should just move on and buy himself a new pair of boots. I now know exactly how it feels to walk in those beloved boots!
Halloween is something we don't really do... it is nice to have a seasonally appropriate t-shirt, though!
Lizzy's Halloween party at preschool gave me the chance to make some caramel popcorn. I've been craving it for ages and don't think I've had any since about 1982. It was soooo good. So good, in fact that recipes like this one shouldn't go out of fashion. It's simple too, or it would have been if I hadn't -
a) burned the first lot of popcorn
b) cooked the second lot of popcorn in peanut oil (just great for a nut free preschool!)
c)taken the lid off the third lot before it finished popping. I don't think I have ever seen Lizzy laugh so hard!
Anyway - you should try it. Hopefully, you'll have more luck than me...
Pop half a cup of corn in a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Over a low heat, melt 125g butter, 3/4 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir over a low heat until it turns into a lovely golden caramel colour. This should take 6-7 minutes, but take care as it will burn really easily.
Spread the popped corn over a tray and mix in the caramel. Careful - it will be really hot! Let it cool, break it into small pieces and enjoy!
Lizzy certainly did...
PS - our giveaway winner was comment number 3!
Congratulations Margaret - let us know what you'd like us to make you and where you would like us to send your prize!
Thank you all so much for your lovely comments - we really appreciate them!
Madeleine's class was very busy in Term 3 producing two amazing work of art:
Sewing and handicraft are a big part of Montessori education - children are shown how to make very simple sewing cards at 2, sew on buttons at 3 and by 5 are making embroidered cushions and doing huckaback. There are so many things I love about a Montessori education, but you can imagine, I have a particularly soft spot for the way that sewing is taught and valued.
Every year the school has a fundraising ball and each class creates an artwork that is auctioned at the ball to raise funds for the school. This year Madeleine's class used Prints Charming
screen printed linens as the basis for their work.
Every child was given one of the screen printed pieces to work with. They chose the colours and embroidery techniques they wanted to use. Some children liked to follow the lines, some liked to cover them completely, others liked to make beautiful patterns outlining the lines. Each piece is different, each piece is beautiful.
With sewing so close to my own heart, I am now so thrilled to be the lucky owner of the red one.Attached to the embroidery when we bought it was the story behind the work written by Madeleine's teacher - the inspiration, the process and the challenges."No child was hurt in the making of this embroidery! No fingers pricked Sleeping Beauty style
, no eyes poked, no-one embroidered onto their chair! In fact, if you want anything embroidered, bring it to the Amazing Class Embroidery Guild!!"
Come on, it's time to confess. Do your embroidery threads look like this?
Well, with the addition of this...
They can look like this!
It's our first blog-a-versary and to celebrate, we'd love to give you a present.
It's a double present in fact...
Firstly, we'd love you to have a yard of each of these fabrics. There's two Sherbet Pips prints and a gorgeous red and white spot from the new Sarah Jane Studios line.
Secondly, we'd love to make you something. Choose anything that we teach in our new Sew Sweet Gifts
course and we'll make it (in your choice of colour of course!) and package it up with the fabric and send it your way. You can choose from bunting, a lunch bag, a zippered purse, an art folio, a softie or some hair clips. It's up to you!
The giveaway will be open until midnight (Australian eastern summer time) October 26th. It doesn't matter where you live, we're happy to post internationally!
Just leave us a comment and make sure that we can access your email address so that we can contact you.
Caroline and Maryanne
Finally, some warmer weather - the chance to wear a new summery dress and enjoy a snow cone at a local fair.
Life is good!
To make Lizzy's recent garden party even more magical, I made her some magical mushrooms. They are fast to make, sweet to look at and children seem to love them. I made a stack for Madeleine's fairy party a few years back. I had planned to keep them in a party box and reuse them in the years to come but they were so popular with the children that we gave them as an extra gift for them to take home. So having made over 50, I would say I am now an expert mushroom maker. I might just have to update my cv!
What you will need
Polystyrene balls - I used 75mm ones
Fabric to cover them
A branch about 5cm in diameter cut into 6-10 cm lengths (My ever helpful Dad cut these for me with his drop saw)
A hot glue gun
Needle and thread
Let's get started
Cut your polystyrene balls in half - I found it easiest to use a bread knife.
Cut out your circles of fabric. To work out what diameter you need, measure from the mid point of the flat side of the foam ball up and over the dome and back to the mid point again. I was lucky enough to find a soup bowl that was the right size to use as a template.
Sew a line of running stitch around the edge of your circle quite close to the raw edge.
Put the foam piece inside the fabric curved side down and draw up your running stitch.
Pull up the thread tightly and tie a knot.
Grab your hot glue gun and glue the length of branch to the base to make the stalk.
You are done. Make 2 or 3, make enough for a fairy circle or even more and create a magical pathway through your garden. I guarantee your children will love them!!
Martin is obsessed by dinosaurs. At two he knows more about them than I do!
On the eve of his birthday party (dinosaur themed, of course!) I just knew the t-shirt he needed to wear to celebrate his big day.
Out with the silhouette cutter, some red heat transfer and a plain t-shirt and...
He was very happy to wear it - in fact, he hasn't taken it off!
Happy birthday Marty-mart!