Thursday, 14 January 2016

Mini sewing project - ironing board cover

My ironing board cover had worn through and was in need of replacing. When a friend mentioned hers had worn out too, we figured we may as well have a go at making our own

A rumage around in my small fabric stash turned up some heavy weight cotton I'd bought ages ago. There was enough to make 2 ironing board covers so we were set to go.

First step was to trace the shape of the ironing board onto the fabric. There was a bit of foam under the old cover so we used that as a guide. We added an additional few inches around the edge to allow for the cover to fold under the board and to make a casing for the elastic.

Once the cover had been cut out the next step was to overlock the edges.

Then it was time to make the casing for the elastic, leaving a gap at the end to insert the elastic and thread it through.

After the elastic was in place, the cover was fitted over the board and the ends of the elastic were tied in a knot. We then pulled the elastic tight, to fit the cover snugly on the board and used another knot to secure it in place. The elastic was then tucked out of sight into the edge of the cover under the board.  

Et voila! The ironing board was ready for use again:

As you can see the whole process was pretty simple and it didn't take long.  

It felt good to be able to make something we both needed out of resources we already had, rather than go out and buy it.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Bird life in Canberra

I recently spent a couple of days visiting family in Canberra.  One thing Canberra isn't short of is bird life.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are everywhere. These large parrots were good at waking me up in the morning with their raucous squawking.

The pecking order at the bird feeders is definitely Sulphur-crested Cockatoos first. Feeding these birds can have its problems - they can become very destructive if their food supply becomes unavailable. Ripping the woodwork on houses to bits can quite often happen.

This King Parrot had to wait for the cockatoos to finish before he could have his turn.


The Galahs are also pretty good at keeping the smaller birds, such as the Eastern Rosella,

I also spotted these cuties which I think are Superb Parrots - the female is on the right and I think that's a juvenile on the left:

The male Superb Parrot is very handsome - green with a yellow face with a red throat.  I saw one but wasn't quick enough to get a picture. 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Crochet project finished....finally

With a bit of free time on my hands last summer holidays I decided to teach myself to crochet. I got as far as making the 2 sides of a circular cushion:

Things ground to a bit of a halt as I searched around for a cushion insert to finish the project. I wasn't able to find one so the project got sidelined.

Summer holidays have rolled around again and I figured I'd better get this project finished.  I had some quilt batting and some calico ready to make my own cushion insert.  Two circles of calico were cut to the same size as the crochet circles. These were then sewn together leaving an opening in order to fill the cushion.

Circles of batting were cut and put inside the calico cover.

 The leftover bits of batting went in too.

 Then it was time to close it all up with a bit of hand sewing.

 Next step was to crochet the edges of the cushion cover together. The 2 crochet circles were laid on top of each other, right sides facing out. The crochet hook was inserted through the edges of both of the crocheted circles to make a loop:

The tip of the hook was placed in front of the yarn, then under and around it. The yarn was then caught in the lip of the hook and drawn through the loop.

This joined the 2 sides of the cushion, leaving 2 loops on the hook as shown above. The same process was repeated with these 2 loops.

The yarn was pulled through the 2 loops, leaving 1 loop on the hook:

A single chain stitch was then made and then the whole process was repeated until the cushion was sewn up. When I was 3/4 of the way around I placed the calico insert inside and then kept going. 

For a first-ever crochet project, it turned out pretty well.  Looks just like a cushion!

 And it was nice to be able to tick one thing off the to-do list :)