Thursday, February 27, 2014

Look out Hong Kong, here she comes.

Tomorrow my little baby sister*, Dee (with her husband and two young boys), moves from Sydney to Hong Kong.

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They're not sure how long they'll be living there. They're not sure if after Hong Kong they will return to Australia (Dee's husband is a 'Murrican).

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My feelings about the move are a little conflicted: I'm very excited for Dee because she gets to experience life in an amazing new country, but I also has a sad because I was just getting used to living within a thousand kilometres of her. (She's had 5 yrs in the US, I was 3 yrs in France; we've spent a lot of our adult lives a long way away from each other.)

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So in her honour, here's a few Hong Kong photos from our stop-over in January 2013 on our way home from France.

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These photos were taken at the beautiful Nan Lian Garden at Diamond Hill, Kowloon.

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When we first arrived in Hong Kong I found the city a little overwhelming. It is so big. So high. So many people. To find this perfectly coiffed oasis in the midst of the concrete jungle was such a delight.

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Located within the Garden is the Chi Lin Nunnery:

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It's very zen, with lotus ponds and buddhist relics. The architecture is special too, in the style of the Tang Dynasty. The woodwork is incredible - there are no nails used in these buildings, only clever interlocking forms.  A civil engineer's dream.

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I think this would be the perfect place for Dee to come and relax should the city get too much for her.

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Might want to leave the boys at home though, Dee. This is the sign at the front of the Gardens:

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Basically anything except walking, taking photos and scratching your nose is prohibited. And you better scratch that nose slowly, with controlled movements.

We read the (then) 3 yr old the riot act before we entered, and the baby was contained in mister's baby  back pack. But of course, being 3, it's really, really hard not to run, especially when the fish are jumping out of the little lake. So he ran, and an official was straight on to us. They are serious about the rules!

Regardless, it's beautiful and well worth a visit.

So, bon voyage, Dee Dee. We love you and we're going to miss you and your beautiful family. You're going to have exciting adventures, but it's also going to be hard. There's a new language, a new culture and a new way of life to get used to. But you're nothing if not tenacious.

Yep, Dee is tenacious. Tenacious Dee. Hmm. I know where this is going:



Rock on, sweetie, and I'm looking forward to visiting you in your new home! (Find all the best camera equipment stores for me, okay?)

Love and kisses,
Your annoying and bossy big sister, Kirsty x x

* I know she's in her mid-thirties, but she'll always be my little baby sister.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Some snapshots from one of my works in progress: a queen sized quilt for ME (and I guess my husband can use it too).

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After a rough start I am really enjoying how it's coming together.

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Linking up with Lee's WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

An english paper pieced star ring sewn to a quilt of low volume triangles

Hope you're all having some luck with your WIPs too!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lattice Love Quilt (with a little tutorial)

I guess a post on Valentine's Day has to have love in the title somewhere, doesn't it?

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Speaking of love, I made this quilt for my sister's gorgeous baby boy. I could eat that kid's cheeks every day of the week, he's such a cutie.

A quick discussion with my sister told me that she would probably appreciate something classic in a Tiffany blue, to match the little guy's nursery. I'd wanted to turn this lattice design into a quilt block for a while and this seemed the perfect occasion.

I quilted it quite densely with freehand straight lines - just using the walking foot width as my guide.

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It gives such a great texture.

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For the back I went with a more traditional patchwork look.

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I don't think I have a fat quarter of light blue left in my stash now.

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I cut circles in various neutral tones with my AccuQuilt Go! Baby fabric cutter and raw edge appliqu├ęd them in place.

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I really love the lattice pattern and hope that my sweet little nephew has a lot of fun dragging it around the house.

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The design is created with two blocks: a plus block and another containing the hollow square. You have to be mindful of matching the white lines when sewing the blocks together, but that's about the trickiest part. These blocks also lend themselves to chain piecing too, which I'm rather partial to.

Assumptions:

1. Quarter inch seams are used throughout.
2. No more than two glasses of wine drunk at any one sewing sitting. No restrictions on chocolate.

It all begins with a bit of this:



Then you take the four strips created and sew them around the square:


The final block is a simple plus block using dimensions as follows:


Both blocks should be trimmed to 9.5 inches.

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Then it's as simple as sewing alternate blocks together until you get the size quilt you'd like.

I wouldn't mind trying this on point at some stage, too. I think it makes for some interesting shapes:

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Happy quilting and Happy Valentine's Day, lovers!

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