Thursday, 18 January 2018

The first posting of 2018



Happy New Year! After a lovely holiday in Canberra and Girraween (pics on my photo blog) we have touched down on the Gold Coast. Our possessions had been in boxes for almost two weeks and the quilts were a bit musty smelling, so I hung them out in the yard to freshen up:


My sewing room is ready for action, but I haven't had time to use it yet... However, today I have unpacked the last box, tomorrow the boxes will be picked up by the movers, and on Monday the boys go back to school, so I hope to start creating again soon! I did a little bit of crochet while we were camping, but not as much as I had hoped to do. I did read seven books though ;-).



I've found a yoga studio just around the corner from our new house and discovered that my Pineapple Bag is perfect for carrying my yoga mat!



And last but not least, after 11 years we finally have a pet! (until now we were never allowed to have one in our rental houses). This is Barney, an adorable 9-year-old part Long-haired Dachshund, part Blue Heeler, that we found at the local animal shelter and adopted.



We've all fallen completely in love with him, and he has taken possession of the Rainbow Floor Cushion:



Did anyone say dog portrait quilt?...

Thursday, 28 December 2017

The last posting of 2017



While the movers are packing everything in our house, I sit in my son's room and write the last posting of 2017. Tomorrow we leave Sydney - first we go to Canberra where we will be until the 2nd of January, then to Girraween where we will be camping for four nights, and then on to our new home; Benowa on the Gold Coast.

Our one year in Sydney has been quite eventful. Some of us liked it a lot and are sad to move, others did not like it so much and are happy to leave. We are all happy to be close to our old friends in Brisbane again and we all hope that this will be the last move in quite a while! (we will make an exception for a move to a house of our own on the Gold Coast in 1-2 years time)

I am happy and proud that I managed to reach my goal of running 5 km in April of this year, and that I went on to do 10 parkruns (free weekly 5 km runs) - the last one early on Christmas Day!



Looking back at my creative endeavours, it has been quite a productive year. I only made two quilts, but they both did well: Sydney is currently in the USA for the World Quilt Competition...



... and Mondrian's Lone Star was featured in issue 19 of Make Modern:



I did do quite a bit of sewing this year and added some tutorials to the blog (how to make an oven mitt, a denim doorstop and a lined project bag):



Three patterns were added to my pattern shops on Etsy and Craftsy. There are now 18 patterns (plus three free ones on Craftsy), the pattern for Mondrian's Lone Star will be added in January.



My love affair with knitting that started last year continued in the first half of 2017. I made my first (and second) pair of socks, lots of gloves, two scarves and a cabled cushion.



And then, in July, my mother-in-law in the Netherlands taught me to crochet... and I haven't looked back since :-)



Looking back at my creative goals for 2017, I said:

I hope to publish more knitting patterns after my first one, the Wine Bottle Cover!

No, that didn't happen!

I would also like to make more art quilts, and add some work to my sports quilts series.

Nah, didn't happen either!

And my final goal for 2017 is to design more patchwork quilts in Adobe Illustrator.

That also did not happen... I may keep my goals for 2018 more general!

I don't think I will be making any more quilts for a while. Maybe at some point in the future I'll get back to quilting, but for now crochet (and maybe a little knitting) is what I want to do. Eventually I would like to write a crochet pattern, but I think I still need a bit more experience and some more 'mileage under my hook'. (does that make sense?)

Most of all I hope that my family will be happy in our new home and that the boys will make friends at their new schools. That we can settle down and grow some roots again.

I hope you will continue to follow this blog and leave the occasional comment. Thank you for coming along on the ride so far!

I would like to wish all my readers a creative and colourful 2018!

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Final finish of the year



My Lacy Pineapple Shawl is finished!



I hooked the last stitch this afternoon, sewed in the ends, gave it a quick blocking on the washing line and then grabbed my middle son for a quick photo shoot. He wasn't keen but did make some acceptable pics.



Isn't it gorgeous? So happy with it :-)



Tomorrow the movers are coming to pack everything and on Friday we leave, so just in time!



The details:
Lacy Pineapple Shawl
Pattern: Lacy Pineapple Shawl by Marly Bird
Yarn: Scheepjes Whirl Blueberry Bambam
Hook: 3.5 mm

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Gymnastics duvet cover



A friend in Brisbane asked me a few months ago if I would be able to make a gymnastics-themed duvet cover for her son, who is an elite gymnast. They hadn't been able to find anything online, and she knows I sew and design, and have a gymnast son as well...



Of course I was happy to help. She really liked my blue Rings fabric, so I ordered 12 yards (!) from Spoonflower. It arrived a few weeks later, and the first challenge was to wash it and hang it out to dry!



I had never made a duvet cover before. It wasn't difficult, just a bit awkward working with those big pieces of fabric! It needed to be a king single size, so 180 cm x 210 cm. I was really pleased with how it turned out:



The young man received the cover yesterday as a Christmas present, and I was told he loved it. Here is a pic of the cover on his bed (used with permission):



Her son is a few years younger than Hugo, but if all goes well they will be in the Queensland team together next year. I can't wait!

Friday, 22 December 2017

New Pineapple Project



When I was in the Netherlands in July, I visited a lovely yarn shop in Groningen, where my BFF Hylkia took this happy photo of me ;-)



I bought a Scheepjes Whirl yarn cake at this shop, in the 'Blueberry Bambam' colourway (where do they get these names?!). Ever since bringing it home I have been thinking about what to make with it, and last week I finally decided to go for the Lacy Pineapple Shawl, a free Ravelry pattern by Marly Bird.



I started a week ago - in the photo above the first 10 rows are done, in the photo below 20 rows are done:



Today I finished row 30:



The pattern has 46 rows - I hope I will be able to finish it before we move out next week!
I'll definitely try to - I should be able to crochet quite a bit in the next few days.
Speaking of which, I would like to wish you all a happy holiday season!



I'll be back after Christmas for a last posting (or two) before we make our way to the Gold Coast :-)

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Crochet for Christmas



With our move to the Gold Coast coming up (in 2 weeks and 3 days we'll be gone from Sydney!) and a thousand things to do in these last weeks of the year, I am looking for small projects that I can fit in around all the other stuff. I decided to use the yarn that was left over from the Mayan CAL to make some snowflakes.I found a free pattern here and made eight snowflakes - then I ran out of yarn.



They don't look like much when you finish them, but blocking them (on a potholder!) makes all the difference:



I used a 50/50 mix of water and PVA glue to stiffen the flakes:



And then tied them to the last bit of yarn to make a garland. The Christmas tree was already decorated, so I've hung it up in the bookcase. It's a bit silly to have it here now, in the middle of summer, but who cares! I grew up in the Northern hemisphere, so in my mind 'Christmas' will always be linked to 'winter'.



I also made a crocheted Christmas bauble (loosely based on free patterns found here and here) but I'm not sure I really like it...



It's starting to look a lot like Christmas! Last year we moved from Brisbane to Sydney on the 20th of December, so could only put up the tree a few days before Christmas. I'm happy that his year I get to enjoy it a bit longer. We'll have to take it down soon after Christmas of course, for the move is on the 29th, but that's fine. And since the movers will be packing everything this time I am not very stressed about it all. Actually, I can't wait to go back to Queensland. Bring it on!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Shrug



I've made a shrug!
(Such a weird name for a nice garment, it always reminds me of the shrug emoji: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
I prefer to call it a bolero.)



I used a very simple free pattern and the same yarn I used for the Pineapple Bag (Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton 8 ply).



Very pleased with it :-)

Friday, 8 December 2017

Mayan CAL square finished!



My Mayan CAL square is finished! Isn't it gorgeous?



Five months ago I didn't know how to crochet and now I can make this - I am quite proud of myself :-)



I only planned to make one square, as I want to make a cushion with it, but now I'm thinking a second square for the back of the cushion might be a good idea. I will have to order more yarn if I want to do that, so will wait until after the move.



My son made a drawing of one of the squares in my Sea Colours blanket:



 I like it!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Moving on



Life is a bit hectic here at the moment, with only four weeks to go until we move out of our house in Sydney (December 29th), plus all the usual end of (school) year things going on. We've just found a house on the Gold Coast (phew!) and will move in on January 8th. In between we are going on holiday - first to Canberra, Australia's capital city, for a couple of days, then we'll slowly make our way up north inland to the Gold Coast, camping along the way.

In addition to organising the move, finding new schools for the boys and temporarily homeschooling my middle son, I've also found time to do the Mayan Crochet-A-Long. The photo above was taken last week after finishing Part 4, and the photo below today, after finishing Part 5. Very much enjoying this CAL!



My youngest son recently quit gymnastics (his older brother is still doing it) and started ballroom dancing. On Saturday he had his first Dancesport Event at Sydney Olympic Park. It was great fun!



He was a semifinalist in the English Waltz and he loved the whole experience, so definitely wants to keep doing this once we move to the Gold Coast. I used to do ballroom dancing as a teenager and loved it as well, so I'm really happy that one of my sons is doing it now! The best part of the evening for me was the Parent Dance, when I got to dance the salsa with my baby!



;-)