Monday, January 14, 2013

The catch up post

Happy New Year! Wow! 2013.

I got way sidetracked at the end of last year and blogging became a low priority. I was still crazily crafting and enjoying it very much but neglecting to document it. Picture taking dropped off and thus I felt I had no news to blog.
In no particular order here are a few bits and pieces, by no means all, that I have to show for this long hiatus.

Quilt top finished from the How Far Will You Go? QAL. This quilt was fun to make. I love quilt alongs! Both QALs that I participated in last year are now finished. I have 12 HST BOM blocks that need some sashing-basting-quilting love.
Back to the quilt top. My one rule (??) for this quilt was no quiet neutrals. It is one loud and busy quilt. Made busier by my spotty, dotty choices for borders.

And here it is all done! quilted and bound! This is my very first full size free motion quilting attempt on my Janome! I did it in a couple of hours one afternoon. When I say a couple I mean about 5.It is far, far from perfection but I learnt heaps. I learnt that it's hot work. I learnt that it's a pretty good work out for my arms and shoulders. I learnt that when the bobbin runs out it is very frustrating. The top thread is a grey which kind of blends in. I used a cream for the bobbin thread to better blend with the AWESOME vintage sheet backing( found at roadside chuck out!). This quilt has been washed and used already.

Technically this is my first finish of 2013 and deserves a pots all its own. Briefly ; this is the notorious Amy Butler weekender bag. This photo was taken before I stitched the lining in. Separate post to follow.....

And now for some Christmassy stuff plus a list of hand-mades I have not photographed - my bad!
Mullet apron entry for Apron exhibition at Dangar Island Shop and Cafe. One of the first to sell. I used the fishy pattern from this book . This was my first attempt at raw edge applique.
Christmas stockings for the cuzzies. I did follow a tutorial but can't remember which one so I won't link to a random blog. I did change it up a bit, with the white cuffs and hand embroidered names. So cute hanging on the mantlepiece above the fire.

List of other things I made and need to get piccies of;
- baby boy quilt in blues and greens for my new nephew Oscar (gifted)
- Noodleheads open wide pouches in various sizes x 3 (gifted)
- '9 crabs a nipping' mini quilt for Dangar's 12 days of Christmas ferry shed decoration (somewhere around here)
-wrap skirt in Sandi Henderson fabric (wore it yesterday)

I have 2 big reasons this blog has been so long neglected.
The first was Christmas. I took it upon myself at the end of last year to be the boss of Christmas for the island. So, as well as having a house full of family at Christmas for a week or so plus all the other social catch ups that happen at this time of year I, with the help of many others, put together a program for Christmas crafts and decorations. I did three craft workshops where we made jellyfish and fish box kites with school aged kids and our playgroup. I promoted the 12 days of Christmas ferry shed decorating as well helped coordinate a Christmas parade with professional drummers and a dragon and a visit from Santa. It was hectic to say the least but should be easier next I that crazy?
Add a very, very, very 2 year old boy into the mix.

This busy 2 year old boy.

AND... and this is a biggy. We moved house. We didn't move far. Less than a kilometer in fact. But moving is moving any way you look at it. We bought a house on the beach here on Dangar Island. And we have been soaking up the Summer

The view is pretty awesome. We are very exposed with a southerly aspect but look out over a beautiful expanse of this river. We have all been loving our new front yard this summer...and it's not over yet.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Stitching fingers in a month of birthdays

September is a month of birthdays. Mine and others. I have been busily making crafty gifts as well as receiving some beeeeooootiful packages in the mail.

From my hubs and bub this amazing rainbow stack from Anna Maria Horner direct. 48 fat quarters from across her lines, cottons and voiles. I am thinking of something like this. Maybe?
I'll think about it a bit more as I have plenty of other projects, large and small, to get through.

From my Mama - some Denyse Schmidt FMF! I love that aqua print on the left, I got 4 yards!!! The dot on the right is Kaffe I think. Yum, yum, yum.

I am still chopping up my scraps. These are 2 inch squares made into cute 9 patches. I figure if I have the squares there when I ma sewing it's no hardship to make a few little patches.

I have wanted to make a bear paw block for ages. So I did. This one is in the hoop queue, it'll probably only take an evening to finish. I just need that spare evening.

Cute mermaid pouch full of bling for a 5 year old.

HST BOM - September. This is the same block that I mad that week in the HFWYG? quilt along!

How Far Will You Go? Quilt Along update

I am so behind in my blogging that I don't really know where to begin. Here is a quick update on my quilting along. I am actually up to date and have been good at posting to flickr but not here for...the main reason is 2 years old. As the weather warms up here I tend to do my sewing in the early mornings when he is happiest to play around me, and when he's asleep. The rest of the days are spent in the park or at the beach trying to wear the little tyke out with good old fashioned fresh air and exercise.


Week 5 block - Jack in the box x 2. I like the brown one as the black gives enough contrast. The blue one is a bit bleh. It's not a fuzzy image, that's just the way it looks. Bleh

The blocks all together after week 6! It's coming together. I love how loud and hectic this quilt is looking! I am not even remotely interested in taming it one little bit.

 Week 6 block - Windblown square x 3. Love these ones, especially the red. I am starting to think outside the square with my background colours!

Week 7 block - Another star (great name for a block??!) x 1. I am really happy with this block, although if I did it again I'd change out the green print in the centre square for something that contrasted better with the background fabric.

Week 8 block - Seesaw x 4. How cute are these blocks? Fiddly and little but so satisfying.

And that's that up to date.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

This and that

I am procrastinating. And so I am making loads of little things that I needn't really be making. I am getting icy cold feet about the market stall and so haven't really done any more sewing for that. Ever since the insurance broker (for public liability) asked me to estimate my turnover. My goal was never to make money but I reckon there's a chance it'll end up costing which is counterproductive. Time + Energy + Money to make NO money just doesn't make sense. Even to me. And I scared to death that a)no one will buy anything, b) that no one will like my things and c) that people will make fun of me. So while I have all that going on in my head and NOT DOING anything about it this is what I have been doing this past week or so.

Some gifts for a daughter of a dear friend of ours. A little basket/bag. It measures 16" wide, 12" deep with a 4" gusset/base. Initially it looked like a giant tote but she is such a petite little thing she would have been tripping it over. The bottom of the tote with its already boxed base got turned into a basket of sorts.

Her favourite colour is blue. I haven't heard whether she likes it or not but it'll be a great little tote for her to take to the beach.

A little purse I made for her as well.

Pickledish trial block cushion. I love this quilt on the cover of Australian Quilters Companion and  used the pattern from the book. I made the templates and everything. It actually turned out nicely and not so difficult although quite time consuming. The big quilt on the cards? Hmmm, maybe.

And I got the Noodlehead 241 bag pattern this week. I had to make one instantly. The centre panels are scrappy scraps that I pieced together. I used cotton batting, also scraps that had to be pieced together. There is a zip pocket in the lining ( not in the pattern) which is a recycled cushion cover. The side panels are the softest linen from an old pair of pants. the handle some doubled over cotton drill I had lying around. This is one cute, great sized little bag. It makes me happy to sling it over my shoulder and go for a walk. AND the strap fits perfectly over the stroller handles. BONUS!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A compelling need to be making

I love to make things. I love to make things to gift to others and I love to make things just because.

This is a bad photo of a cute quilt.I used this tutorial. I had an awful time laying out the blocks much to my husbands mirth.
This is one of the items I hope to sell, or at least use as a sample at the Spring Fair (although finances might hinder my ability to participate this year). I have since made another simple patchwork with a more girly theme. Neither are quilted, nor indeed basted as I AM OUT OF BATTING. I will just have to go the quilt supplies shop and buy some....and a few other bits and bobs.

I made myself a patchwork bag prototype.
And while I do love it there are a few things I would do differently if I made another. My sister requested a 'patchwork bag just like yours' for her birthday.

The things I did differently;
1. Attached the handles the full length of the bag to give extra strength and durability. These handles might be a tad too long but she can always adjust them.
2. The handles are made from a  double layer of quilting cotton and a double layer of a cotton drill. They feel super sturdy and give the bag a nice weight.
3. I mad the blocks then quilted them. The quilt as you go method looks awesome but is time consuming. I am time poor.
4. There is an outside pocket between the handle straps. I always like an outside pocket for a drink bottle ( for baby or me).
5. I increased the size of the interior zip pocket. Mine is just enough for my phone. This one is big enough for phone, wallet, keys. I used an 8" zip.
6. It's not quite as wide or long, but it is deeper. This one is roughly 16" x 19" x 4". Perhaps still a little too long. I find with mine if I am holding the handles in one hand I can't actually reach the bottom of the bag with the other to seek out those annoying, sinking items like pens and keys.

To the bag.

Side A. There isn't really a front and a back, although this would have been the back. I didn't make a decision of the exterior pocket until AFTER I attached the handles to what should have been the back. No way was I unpicking this sucker.

Side B with pocket attached. Perhaps not so clear in the photo. Pocket is blue and white horizontal stripe with green dot at the top.

The inside is lined with an old cushion cover ( I really don't want to go into this expensive and ill fitting, although well intentioned story). Pretty cute.

I am very happy with this bag. While there is always some tweaking to be done I hope it hits the mark with my sis.

And a little zippy pouch made from a beautiful Kaffe Fassett print. I just hand quilted it in organic straight lines with a lilac perle cotton.

Cute little pouch.
I posted that yesterday. I hope she gets it today.
I won't publish this til she receives it.
She got it and she loves it.

In lonestar news, the top is together. Considering I didn't use a pattern at all and that I made it all up as I went along I am STOKED with how this looks!

Just need to get some batting although I am considering using flannel and making it a couch cover. Not sure how that would go with my chunky thread, needle and fingers.

My Lotus Lonestar!
A little embroidery project. This is taking a long time although I am enjoying the process. It is a sweet little design I copied (by hand) from a  Better Homes & Gardens kit project. I am getting into embroidery, in particular a goal is to make a Mexican Boho blouse/dress. More soon.

The hexie post

Indulge me here. Anyone who has made any hexie project knows that they are a labour of true love. I am proud as punch of this little cushion. It is MY MY MY MY cushion. My special cushion.

 Initially I thought that the hexies would become a pouch for more hexie-type projects but I couldn't stop. And it was a crazy weird shape. I kept on making them and making them and joining them up. And making some more. The fact that I was more or less couch-bound following a knee arthroscopy to have some troublesome cartilage removed might have something to do with its size. May I present to you, MY hexie cushion.

The hexagons are all English paper pieced, then hand joined. The sides are 3/4". It is made entirely of scraps from other projects and an old shirt! The back is also a couple of pieces of an old cotton shirt, lovely and soft. The only machine stitching in this pillow is to hold the whole thing together AND I had to make a custom filler as it's a weird shape.

I hand quilted it in coordinating Perle cotton. A lovely excuse to treble my colour collection. I love this stuff. I began quilting it without the blue background as it was going to be something else. When I realised it wanted to be MY cushion I made funny looking piece that poked under an ample amount and hand appliqued it down. I then continued with my quilting, outlining the whole shebang in red (colour #666 for your info).

Close up of piecing and quilting and plumpy cushion goodness.

More gratuitous close ups of quilting and glorious, riotous colour!

My cushion. The end.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Catching up with myself

My sisters SIL had a little baby girl and she wanted to give her a quilt. She found a charm pack of Aneela Hoey's 'A walk in the woods' line and thought it'd make a cute quilt. She has an 9 month old and is back working and studying so is slightly time poor. I offered to make the quilt for her. It took me longer than I would have liked but once I got going it came together pretty quickly. I didn't trim the charm squares at all just used them as was and it turned out OK. I alternated with some cream quilters muslin. It's backed and bound in a pink and grey print from the Sherbert Pips line.

My first attempt at free motion quilting a quilt. I could use a bit more practice but it's a very forgiving technique.

The whole quilt. It finished at ~36" x 45".  A great cot sized quilt. I hope baby Elise likes it!

Week 4 of the HFWYG QAL. Another 10" block, St.Louis star. Above is my planning and fabric choices. Despite all the planning I still had to unpick quite a few seams as is normal for me when I am trying to rush things.

My finished St.Loius. I reckon she's a beaut!

I have committed to sharing a stall space at a big fund raising fair in September so I have much sewing to do. It will be the first time I share my love of sewing with my 'real' community. I have completed one baby sized quilt top, and about to cut for another. I also intend to make some bags, pouches, cushions and perhaps a few more bunnies like the one I made for Bea.

Best get cracking!