Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Cold Feet




The days are getting shorter, everything has that Autumnal red glow and I am thinking about all of the things I could make to keep my family warm and cozy. These are house slippers that I made for Casper last year and were unfortunately ripped to shreds by Wendy dog... That's okay, I will make some more this week and maybe even play around with adult sizing. Watch this space!




Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Sawtooth Scrap Quilt







One of my goals for this year is to use up most of the scraps in my fabric stash. This is a huge job as I have been sewing for most of my life and I never throw anything away, but as I mentioned in my previous post I am trying to let go of the immense amount of *stuff* that I have.

I am a firm believer in necessity being the mother of invention, so this is a great way to play with colours, prints and fabric weights that would not normally be used in quiltmaking. Using my scraps to make objects of use has been a really important learning curve for me- I have realised that I can make an object of beauty and utility out of something that may not have ever left the cardboard box under my sewing table. It has also been a great source of frustration... you mean I can't just cut straight into that buttery, hot-off-the-factory-floor salmon pink linen???  

But seriously, I'm all for sewing with leftovers, I don't even have to try to be expressive. If anything I have to find ways to give the individual pieces of fabric room to breathe. So it's more like an exercise in restraint than anything else, even though the end result is always gonna be a bit eclectic.

This one's a favourite, just 'cause I love red sawtooth and I love depression era floral fabric and that wacky wiggly quilt stitch that my sewing machine does so well. All-in-all, it's a little ripper of a quilt, also, not to toot my own horn (but hey, it's what bloggers do best) it's for sale here, if you're interested.

I will post some more quilts here over the next few weeks, they really are fun to make. Kinda like roast pumpkin sandwiches the day after a fancy dinner party.


Monday, 30 March 2015

No Rush



This is what life looks like for us these days. Mop handles, paintings and guitars lean together against walls, toast crumbs, muddy gumboots, piles of folded laundry balance precariously on every surface and stacked quilts in various states of completion sit patiently waiting for me to stitch and bind. It is never ending activity, noise and clutter and I couldn't feel more at home.

When we moved into our first house as a family, I was 8 months pregnant and we didn't have very many possessions. This made me nervous so I hoarded, collected and gathered everything and anything just to make home feel like a nest. Lately I have had the opposite feeling, like I have to simplify and get rid of stuff. It's good to drop box after box at the op shop and feel lighter. It's addictive even. But I'm taking my time. I realise that there is no rush to have my house in any particular order, there are more important things to do like have a family meal, play lego with Casper, paint, make a quilt, walk the dogs, plant seeds, take photos, play music with Steve or go to the park.

I'm happy to have this ever changing home life that makes me feel grounded by being a part of it. I am typing this amongst the chaos of our kitchen, which has too many cast iron pots, not enough butter knives and some really wrinkly limes in the fruit bowl. I will get it all clean eventually today, but first I think I'll start a quilt top and take myself out for a coffee.



Sunday, 29 March 2015

Patchwork Trifle





No matter what I do, I always seem to be drawn to sweet, candied colours. It might have something to do with me being a lolly-headed sweet tooth. I do try to cut back on these sorts of colours/food, but they always sneak back in to my stash/secret candy drawer. Which is why, when I have scraps that look delicious together, I have to make patchwork trifle!

Playing with scraps is my favourite thing to do at the moment and I have come up with some really surprising colour combinations and compositions. I'm going to play with some olive green, slate blue and hot pink tomorrow. This afternoon I was playing with improvised curve patchwork which I will have to post on here, maybe even a tutorial!? Who knows, I could be a full-blown blogging addict again by the end of the week!

  










Photos from the top; some pillows I made last week, you can see more here and here. A quilt that I had in the grad show at RMIT, you can check out the whole install here.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Hiatus


I really haven't used this space in a while, which has happened a few times over the past 8 years. I never feel like I need to apologise for being a bad blogger, cause this is my blog and I will use it when I want for whatever reason I want! 

I will gently ease myself back into the ritual of it because I feel like I need this place again. I need to document my life and the process in which I create again, which is something I have been doing on a micro scale over at instagram and tumblr, but it's not the same as this comfortable old blog that is like a favourite piece of clothing in that it has been worn to pieces, mended and stretched countless times. I like writing in any way I feel, not editing it and sending it out into the world with one click, a self-published imperfect piece of word-vomit.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Quilty Conscience





I have to admit, I'm feeling pretty quilty. I haven't posted on this blog in ages, my life has been unbelievably crazy these past few months. 
I will probably get back into blogging here at some point, but in the meantime, I am generally pretty active on instagram and tumblr if you go that way. I have listed some lap quilts for sale in my shop, go have a peek! 


Thursday, 6 March 2014

9/52



"A portrait of my child once a week, every week in 2014."

Casper: Gardening boy.

Joining in with Jodi.


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Roquette Science: Vegan Sweet Potato Burritos with Cashew Cheese





Ingredients

CHILLI

2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 small brown onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, diced
2-3 fresh chillies, to taste
1 sweet potato
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
a dash of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vegetable stock powder
1 tin of tomatoes
1/2 cup of boiling water
1 tin of kidney beans
6 tortillas (I used store-bought but you can make your own very easily)
4 tablespoons of almond milk

CASHEW CHEESE

2 small cloves of garlic
1 cup of raw cashews
1 yellow capsicum, chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of maple syrup

1/4 of a red onion, coriander, lemon juice and an avocado to serve

You will need one large pot, a food processor, a large baking pan and a pastry brush.

METHOD 

In a large pot, heat coconut oil and add onions and sauté on a medium heat until transparent, then add diced garlic, salt, cinnamon and chillies to taste. 
Cut the sweet potato into 2 inch cubes and add to the pot. Pour the boiling water over the vegetables and add your stock powder, stirring. 
Preheat oven at 150 degrees celsius.
Add the tinned tomatoes, strained kidney beans and tomato paste, stir and cover with lid. Let simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until sweet potato is soft. 

While the chilli bubbles away, combine all of the ingredients for the cashew cheese in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a container and place it in the fridge to let the flavours infuse.

Fill tortillas with the chilli and leave open, placing them on the large baking tray. There should be room for about 6. Spoon the cashew cheese onto the chilli and spread it evenly over the top. Use your pastry brush to "seal" the burritos, folding one side over, brushing with almond milk, folding the other side and then brushing the top as well. This will help your tortillas to brown nicely in the oven. Put the snugly nestled parcels in the preheated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 

While they are cooking, make a simple guacamole with diced red onion, avocado, coriander and a squeeze of a lemon to serve.

Like most foods, these are best enjoyed drenched in hot sauce!




Golden Light






Monday, 24 February 2014

Roquette Science: Vegan Sunshine Chocolate Cake




About 6 months ago, Steve and I decided that we would take the plunge and go completely vegan. I have been vegetarian for 12 years and Steve 6, so it seemed like the natural thing to do. I did a lot of research, read a lot of recipes and found out what we would need to stock our pantry with and we just stopped eating eggs and dairy. 

I love baking and I have always thought vegan baking was pretty cool so that's one of the things that excited me about going vegan. I have decided to sporadically put some vegan recipes up on the blog whenever I get the time to photograph them and when it is an especially interesting version of something. I have also decided to call this section of my blog 'Roquette Science'. Keep an eye out for a new button on the sidebar sometime this week.

Vegan Sunshine Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon bicarb powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 heaped tablespoons of raw cacao
a dash of salt
1 cup of nut meal (any kind should be fine, I used hazlenut)
a dash of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/4 cup of coconut oil
100 grams of good quality dark chocolate
grated zest of a large orange 
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup of caster sugar
I orange, sliced thinly into rounds
1 tablespoon each of raw cacao and coconut oil

You will need a 9" cake tin

Method:

Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius, grease and line cake tin and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy milk and the vinegar. Set aside for ten minutes. 
In a larger bowl, sift together the flour, bicarb and baking powder, cacao, salt, cinnamon and then add the nut meal and combine. 
Melt the oil and chocolate together and whisk quickly into the bowl with the milk and vinegar. Then add vanilla essence and orange zest. 
Combine wet and dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Pour the cake batter into the tin and chuck in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until a skewer inserted comes out mostly clean (it's okay to leave it a bit fudgy in the middle).

While the cake bakes, bring the water and sugar mixture to a boil in a large pot. Place the orange slices in so they are evenly covered and simmer on a medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the rinds are translucent, turn them every 10 minutes or so. Cover the pot and let simmer on low for 15 - 20 minutes and then remove the slices and place them on some baking paper. Pour the remaining syrup into a bowl and set aside. 

When the syrup has cooled a little, stir in a tablespoon each of oil and cacao and let it cool further.

After the cake has cooled and been taken out of the tin, place it on a plate and pour the syrup over it. Then arrange the candied orange slices on top and Voila! You have a beautiful cruelty free cake that looks impressive too!





Sunday, 23 February 2014

Overalls







This morning was one of the first cold mornings of the year. I felt excited as I sipped my coffee, thinking about the year ahead- the last year of my degree, Casper's first year of Kindergarten. One thing that I have been thinking about all Summer is making Casper some bigger clothes before I get bogged down by assignments and grant applications. I am not a big fan of buying clothes new, I never have been. I also have a stack of fabric and a sewing machine that beckons. 

So this morning before the sun started warming us up, I started cutting and measuring. Before I knew it, I had re-threaded the overlocker and I was making some powder blue corduroy overalls. My favourite thing about sewing is the combination of careful planning and spontaneous decision making that leaves me without any idea of how things will eventuate. Casper sat on the floor sorting bakelite buttons and crawling around my feet to find long lost toy cars under the cutting table.

They turned out perfectly, if not a bit Pippi Longstockings. There is a bit of room to grow (next time I'll make the legs a bit longer) and they are a good conversation starter on the playground. Maybe I'll make another pair tomorrow.


8/52




"A portrait of my child once a week, every week in 2014."

Casper: Dreamin'.

Joining in with Jodi.