My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Showing off the Cabbage

It's not raining this morning.  Which is quite the nice change as we have had a week or so of damp.  I made the most of it and planted some kumara (Maori sweet potato) shoots - which I have never grown before so they are a bit of an experiment.

My girl's favorite activity in the garden is eating strawberries (who's isn't?) and harvesting.  So we rummaged around and chopped this cabbage to make coleslaw to have with our homegrown pork roast tonight (our friend's home, not ours).

It was "sooooo big and heavy, Mum" that she insisted we take it's picture.  And of course, it needed to be held and shown in all it's glory by the Moppet herself.

Last day of school today for Big Brother.  School holidays for the next six weeks.  Hopefully there will be some camping, some adventures, a lovely Christmas dinner, lots of excitement, a little bit of quilting and a whole lot of fun.  So I apologise in advance if there is a distinct lack of blogging, but I'm sure you understand!

Wishing you a very merry Christmas, a safe one and a happy one.  And to all those parents out there, here's wishing you lots of sanity for the holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Old Maid's Puzzle

A while ago I showed you this pile of fabrics and told you that I was making a simple pieced quilt - suitable for fairly mindless quilting when I'm on night duty and have nothing to do.  So I've been nutting away at it slowly but surely and the other day I was at the stage of laying out all my finished blocks.

These will be eight inches finished.  Spot the Amish mistake block - I'll be unpicking that one, there are enough mistakes in it without a glaring one like that.

I'm really loving the colours and effect, but I've decided it's not big enough.  I've cut out and begun to piece another 15 or so blocks.  That will make it six blocks by six blocks.  With borders, that should be big enough to spread over my king-sized bed.

I'm making more dark with dark blocks and light with light blocks and that should help the colourwash-ish effect when I lay them out again.

One thing I do lack in my corner of the lounge where I sew is a large design wall.  But I find laying it on the floor is ok, especially when I take photos and look at them on the computer screen, things I want to change around become quite obvious.  I guess it's the same as taking ten steps backwards.

How do you lay out your quilts?  What do you use for a design wall if you are lucky enough to have one?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fabric Book Cover

So I spent yesterday sewing, photographing and writing a tutorial for a collaged, lined, fabric book cover.  It makes a nice Christmas present if you are looking for some inspiration for a crafty gift.  I've added it to my tabs up the top there and I'd appreciate any feedback on how easy it is to read and follow - being my first real tutorial and all!

Happy stitching!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wild Food Cook Off 2011

It was held in the woolshed - for non-kiwis - that's the shed where the sheep are shorn.  The hosts were kind enough to waterblast it out first!

They decorated it appropriately.  These are tanned possum skins.  Possums are a non-native pest here in NZ and last year there was a dish of crumbed possum drumsticks.

Being a woolshed, it had a sheep chute.  The chute that the naked sheep are shoved down to head back to the paddock.  It didn't take the kids long to find it and it took them less time to start heading down it themselves!

These are our two judges hard at work.  The trophy is the polished bit of wood to the right and the judge on the right is last year's winner (duck egg pavlova with a loquat and honey sauce).

And this is one of the dishes.  Presented by last year's runner up.  She went all out with three courses.  This is the main.  Roast Wild Turkey with Rewena Bread.  The dressings on the side were things like Wild Grape and Walnut and Grandma's Quince Jelly.  And yes, she had matching wine!

No, she didn't have any of the's just soda water and some of my Wild Rose Syrup.  What do you think of her haircut?  I was cutting her brother's and father's hair and she demanded one just the same!  I got in quick before her brother could fill her head with gender concepts and she really likes it.  I do too - not knots and no nits.

It was a great night.  The kids had a ball, we had a ball, the food was interesting and tasty (to varying degrees) and I'm looking forward to next year's.