Wednesday, 22 December 2010

I thought I would share a few Christmas pressie pictures with you... 

I made these for Karan as part of a Christmas decoration swap.  The basket is from a tutorial by Pink Penguin, and the gingerbread man is from Elsie Marley.

Then I made these bags for my kids teachers, they are from a tutorial by Pink Penguin again, I love her stuff!!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

A very special quilt

I wanted to share with you a very special quilt.  Back in May of this year my bestest quilting friend passed away suddenly.  Just 2 weeks prior she had given me a quilt top to quilt for her, no rush she said, as it was for a Christmas present.  So I took it home and put it away.  Unfortunately she never got to see it quilted.  It was a while before I was up to working on it, and it spent a few months on my machine.  Once it was quilted I added the binding, and hand sewing it down was one of the most healing things I could have done, it was so peaceful sitting under my friends quilt and remembering all the laughs and giggles we had had.  I know my friend would have loved her quilt!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A lucky streak!

Well I think I should go and buy a tattslotto ticket, I have had such great luck recently!

Firstly I was super lucky to win an entire quilt kit from Sew Prim Khris - how generous is that to give away an entire quilt kit!  The pattern is one of Khris's own designs, and she has them for sale on her blog so check it out!

A few weeks ago I won this gorgeous panel from Inch Worm Fabrics and was very remiss not to show it off on my blog :)  I keep looking at it but still haven't decided what to do, do I quilt it as it is, or cut the squares apart and and few different things with it?  Such a fantastic decision to have to make!

And then I won a copy of the latest Country Threads magazine from Vicki of Tozz's Corner, Vicki has a project for a table runner and coasters printed in the magazine, can't wait to make them, I should have had her sign it for me!!  I will post pictures once I am done!

And then a few months ago I got an email from the lovely people at Homespun magazine asking if they could feature the selvedge handbag I made from a Jodie Carleton pattern published in their magazine in their Reader's Showcase section.  Well of course my answer was "YES!".  Then a few weeks later I got another email saying I had been chosen as the winner from that issue and there was a prize on it's way!  I couldn't say anything until that issue had been published, and it arrived on my doorstep a few days ago so now I tell all!  The fabrics are gorgeous, some have a pearly print on them that just looks so special, and I love the Lakehouse ribbon!

And I am very privileged to to have won one of the fabulous Cyndi of Bluebirdswing's bags!!  Will post pictures as soon as it arrives on my doorstep :)

Wow I think it is definitely my turn to host a giveaway, so stay tuned!! 

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Last Thursday it was my turn to do the craft activity at J-Team which is an after school group at my church that my kids go to.  J-Team is a fantastic program, It runs for about 6 weeks of each school term, goes for 2 hours on a Thursday after school, and the kids do a craft activity, play games, have an RE lesson, and also have dinner (so hubby and I can have something for our dinner that the kids won't eat!!). 

Each year for Christmas my church has a book they use as their theme, this year it is One Starry Night, so we have been doing lots of sheep themed activities this term.  So I thought we could make pompoms and turn them into sheep.  The age group of the kids range from about 5 to about 13, so it had to be easy enough for the younger kids, but interesting enough for the older kids, and able to be completed in about 20 minutes.  So here is the sheep I came up with, using torn strips of fabric instead of wool for the pompom!

Other than faces and eyes that kept falling off because the child-safe glue wasn't sticky enough I think all the kids enjoyed it!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Kris Kringle Part II

This is what I received in my Kris Kringle, and I am hoping someone out there in blog land can help me out as there was no information about it at all and I have no way of knowing whose gift this was (there were over 100 ladies taking part). 

So obviously it is a bag.  However I don't think it started off life as a bag, I suspect it was possible a prayer shawl/scarf but I am really not sure.  The handles on it are quite long and are about 6" wide at a guess, they go right down forming the sides of the bag, then a center panel is sewn between them to make the bag front/back, this centre panel is the same width as the handles.  There are little tassel segments sewn onto the bottom of the bag, and longer threads the length of the bag come from the top.  The flowers are hand embroidered, not woven in to the fabric, and the entire bag construction (hem, side seams, etc) appears to have been done by hand using decorative stitches.

I would love to know more about it if anyone has any ideas!!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Kris Kringle

I thought I would share with you my version of a mug rug, I needed to take a Kris Kringle gift to my quilt guild tonight so came up with a mug rug, a mug, and some chocolate santas!

Pictures tomorrow of what I scored!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Friday Night Sew In!!

Well I had a lovely Friday Night Sew In, I started a new project which is always a bit fun :)  Last year I bought a kit to make a quilt to hang in our dining room, I loved it so much I went and had this huge wall rack custom made to fit it!  Well as much as I loved the kit I think I was a little bit scared of it.  Let me explain..

You see I am a perfectionist!  But not in a good way, oh no!  I tend to get the idea in my head that if it is not 110% sure I can do something perfectly then there is no point even trying!  As frustrating as it is, and as much as I hate how it quashes any hope of creativity, I have not been able to do anything about it. 

But I have decided it is time for a change, time to break all those old bad habits, and just do things for the sheer joy of doing so!  So I grabbed my kit, cut it up and started sewing!  5 blocks down, 4 more to go!

Now that block may not look scary to you, BUT it needs to be appliqued inside a circle, or rather a circle needs to be appliqued are it, and around the other 8 blocks, and I don't "do" applique, I am strictly a piecing gal.  Then the border has this funky curve and point thing happening around the outside. So I'm not up to the scary bits yet but I am determined that it will happen :)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Pumpkin anyone?

Made from a tutorial by PinkSuedeShoes, you can find it HERE.  I made mine at 60%, but I think I did something wrong with the stem as it looks a bit big, but I love it anyway :)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

So it's been a while...

Wow I can't believe it has been so long since I blogged, and therefore so long since I have done anything creative also!  But I have learnt alot over the last couple of months, which I think I would like to share...

Firstly don't take your health for granted!  Value each and every day, make it count, do something special for someone, and do something special for yourself also!  I have had a bit of a health scare, and if nothing else it has taught me to really appreciate the simple things that are so important in our lives, and the importance of regular checkups with your doctor!

And use your stash, all those fabrics that are too good to cut up, those that you are saving for something special, well now is the time to use them!  I have been blessed with the gift of my bestest quilting buddies stash, but I wish a thousand times over that she could enjoy her stash herself! 

OK my next post will be happier, I promise!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Early Bird Christmas Crafting

Back in June I signed up to take part in the Early Bird Christmas Crafting challenge.  Well June was a bit of a failure, a few things half finished but not quite there.  But this month I have managed to make something for the challenge which was to use only 2 colors plus a background.  Well I used red and black with a white background, and I made these heart shaped potholders from a kit I bought a while back.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

1st goal finished!!

Well I have finished my first Charming Girls goal for July/August, my French Kiss quilt top is done - yay!!  I really hate sewing diamonds together, you have to offset the seam intersections which take so much more work that just butting up seams on straight seams!

I think I am going to quilt feathers in each diamond once it gets it's turn on Gertie!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Christmas BOM

I am really loving The Fat Quarter Shops Designer Mystery BOM!  My second block arrived last week and I made it up almost straight away!

I wanted my hat to stand out a bit more than it seemed to in the picture so I found I had enough of the red swirl fabric from the first block to make the hat so I used that instead of the supplied fabric.

I don't think I showed my first block so here it is too (it looks crooked in the picture but it's not really!)

Finished my Uni assignment yesterday, am pretty much up to date with everything I need to do for our Fire Brigade dinner and upcoming inspections, so today is going to be a sewing day - yay!!  I'll be back at the end of the day with an update :)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Just your average Monday night...

Yes that's me in the lovely yellow outfit :) 

Monday, 12 July 2010

It's been a while...

Wow where have the last few weeks gone?  Well our school holidays have just finished and the kids were back to school yesterday, I love my kids to bits but it was such a relief to have some time just to myself again! 

Normally we send both kids to my parents house for the school holidays, but this time around we sent just my daughter, she has been having some problems and I wanted her to be spoilt rotten and be the most important preson in the world for a couple of weeks. 

Meantime our son stayed here, and he takes a bit of entertaining let me tell you LOL!  In the 2 weeks we went ice skating 4 times, visited the museum, Scienceworks, the old Treasury Building (including the gold vaults underground), Federation Square, Burke Street Mall, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Shrine of Remembrance, and a heap of other activities.

So now I need a holiday LOL!

Anyway I have signed up to join the Charming Girl's Quilt Club.

So my goals for July and August are:
  • quilt and bind my daughters Sweet Menagerie quilt
  • finish the top of my French Kiss quilt
  • finish the top of the pink and green quilt (as yet unnamed)
  • finish the top of my red, white and blue quilt (as yet unnamed)
  • make my Dolcetto bag
  • make my Girl Friday bag
  • make my Beach House bag
OK I think that will do :)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Another bag!

Gee anyone would think I enjoyed making bags or something!! :)

This came from the Australian Homespun magazine (issue 84) and was designed by Jodie Carlton of Ric Rac.  My selvedges came from 3 fabric lines.  I started with a Moda Scrap Bag - Looking Back by Brannock and Patek.  I then went through my stash for similar colored fabrics, and found some half yard pieces of Harmony by Jan Patek that I had bought to go with a layer cake.  Then I came across a kit I had had for about 3 years and had not started yet that seemed to match in OK so I started cutting selvedges, only to discover it was Wild Rose by - you guessed it! - Brannock and Patek.  Do you see a trend happening here?

I matched it with some Moda Bella Chocolate/Hershey, and used some beige with butterflies for the lining (from my stash).

On another note we visited a shop we have here in Melbourne called USA Foods, wow did I have some fun in there!  Once we got home I had my first ever Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich - YUM!!  Other highlights included Hershey Kisses (not so impressed, Australian chocolate is much nicer!), Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (yum!!), Reeses Pieces (oh my, we are going back for more of these!), and some Bounce dryer sheets (we don't have dryer sheets here in Australia at all!  Now my clothes smell so yummy!).

We got to the counter to pay and the lady in front of me had an American accent and was buying up REAL big on Kraft Jet-Puffed, so I figured it had to be good stuff so I got a jar.  Now I had no idea what to do with it, it had recipes on the back but I figured surely it had a use other than in cooking?  So first I tried it on a spoon straight out of the jar - not bad!  Then I had it on toast with peanut butter - YUM!!  It went so-so on a crumpet.  I tried a blob in some hot chocolate and that was pretty good too!  So before I go back for some more, how is it supposed to be eaten?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Toffee Apple

Another bag finished, and a new favorite!  This is another Melly and Me pattern, this one is called Toffee Apple. It was also another kit from Patterns Only/Oz Material Girls with the exception of the red floral fabric I used in the handles, base and lining which was from my stash.

It is supposed to have twill tape around the top to hide the raw edges but I didn't have any and didn't want to pop out to the shops so I used some cotton drill I had and made a standard double fold binding which I machined to the outside and hand-stitched to the inside and it works really well, it is sturdy enough to give the top a real frilly look when it is closed.

This bag was really fun to make, a lot of things were done differently to how I would have done it, but I followed the pattern step by step and it really was easier doing it their way rather than my way, even if it did seem a bit scary at the time!  An example is the base of the bag, it is actually made separately and then top-stitched in place rather than inserted in with a seam - very clever!

2 must-have tools when making both this and the Raspberry Ripple bag are Fasturn tubes for turning handles, casings, etc, and Roxannes Glue Bast- it!  I am so in love with Glue Baste-It, I have had my little bottle for years but only used it last week for the first time, and have used it in both bags as well as to hold my sons scouts badges while I sewed them on, and it is FANTASTIC!!  Just not having pins to get in the way is great, but it also doesn't distort the fabric like pins can!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Another finish - Raspberry Ripple

I have to say I really love this pattern, and I love how my bag turned out!

This was a kit put together by Patterns Only/Oz Material Girls as part of their Bag Club.  The pattern is called Raspberry Ripple and is by Melly and Me.  It came together quite nicely, and looks far more complicated than it actually was (and I would have made it even easier for myself if I had have read the instructions instead of racing ahead LOL).  I used my own fabric for the top band, you can see in a previous post I had a stripe fabric there but it wasn't doing it for me so then I found the big dotty fabric and it worked really well, LOVE it!

It is supposed to have a magnetic closure at the top BUT I raced ahead and sewed up the opening in the lining after turning it through, only to find the magnetic fittings had to be inserted through that gap - oops!  Figured I would see how it goes, I can always unpick later and add it in if I want :)

I love big zippered pocket inside too, very handy!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Well I am a little late joining in, but better late than not at all!  The quilt I have chosen is one I made last year, it was made as a mystery quilt designed by Helen Stubbings of Hugs And Kisses fame.  I don't usually have a lot of luck choosing fabrics without knowing what the quilt will look like, but in this case I love the fabrics and love how it turned out!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

I'm a winner!!

Woohoo how exciting, my lovely postie brought me this yesterday, all the way from Cyndi of Bluebirdswing!  I was so excited to hear I had won her Frolic charm pack she was offering for her May Give Away.  I was absolutely tickled pink when it arrived to find that she had also sent me an absolutely gorgeous key fob!!  I have been wanting one of these for AGES but have not been able to source the metal part here in Australia, so now I am super excited to have such a special one!  Thankyou Cyndi!!

And can you believe the postal service, huge brownie points are deserved there!!  I won last Wednesday, Cyndi emailed me on Friday to say it had been posted, and it arrived here on Tuesday - thats like 2 days and a weekend to get from America to Australia - unbelievable!!

A couple of weeks ago I was also lucky enough to win some patterns from Beki of Artsy-Crafty Babe fame!  I got to choose 3 of her patterns, so I now have Pretty in Pleats, Round Yoke, and Lily Beth to make - yay!!  You can check out Beki's patterns in her Etsy shop here!

Also Carmen from It's A Wonderful Life was generous enough to offer everyone who commented on her blog recently a copy of her Owl pattern - how nice is that!  You can check out Carmen's Etsy shop here where she has her owl pattern as well as ready made owls for sale if you missed out!

I have been blessed to have a few more wins lately, will post about them once they arrive :)

Getting back into the swing of things..

OK so I seem to have fallen into a bit of a hole lately, and I really need to pull myself back out and find some inspiration again! So I thought I would start with a small To-Do list that I can choose a project from and off I go! So here is the illustrated version :)

Firstly years ago a friend gave me some Liberty of London scraps, the fabrics is so fine and soft and just lovely to hold and fondle, and it was so special that I couldn't bring myself to cut it up!  Well the last few weeks have taught me that life is short and unpredictable, so I might as well enjoy using the fabrics while I can!  I really love Pink Penguins fabric baskets so I thought I would make 2 baskets, one for me and one for my friend, and I will still have enough fabric left over to fondle and horde for another day :)

Next up is my French Kiss quilt, I have all the blocks made and sewn into rows, and half the rows are sewn together, I just have to sew together the rest of the rows, add the borders, and it will be ready to quilt!

Then comes my Raspberry Ripple bag, the outside bag is made, just have to finish the zippered pocket, the handles and the lining and put it together!  I am not convinced on the striped fabric at the top though...

Then something small and quick, a few of these adorable mini oven mitt magnets by Obsessively Stitching (no pictures, you will have to go and have a look yourself :).

Then is The Boy's Dresden fan quilt, the blades are cut out and have points, but I think it needs to be bigger so I will need to make more blades.  The fabrics are partly Amy Schimler and others from my stash thrown in.

Then my Beach House bag (unstarted)...

And my Toffee Apple bag (unstarted)...

Then the Girly Girl's pink and green quilt, this was a kit but I modified the blocks so I could cut it out with my Go! LOL!  Again all the blocks are made, just have to finish putting them together!

My Chocolate Orange quilt, this is not yet started, I bought the orange fabrics and pattern from Quilt Taffy, and will use Moda Bella Chocolate fabric as the background.

And then the hubby's quilt, same story, blocks are made, just have to put it together!  Can you pick the part of making a quilt I like the least?  LOL!  This is a Moda kit.

Then there is the butterfly quilt from Mode Bake Shop that I am going to make with the Frolic charm squares I won (picture taken from the Moda Bake Shop website).

OK that will have to do for now, otherwise I won't know where to start!!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Still here...

I am still here, just in case anyone was wondering :)  Been busy with Uni and other stuff. 

On Friday I lost a dear dear friend, she was one of those really special people who touch your soul and bring joy to everyone around them.  I am so privileged to have known her and to have called her my friend.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Tag Along top is done!

Yay my Schnibbles Tag Along top is done!!  I am really happy with it now that it is all put together, I should learn not to doubt myself sometimes :)  It is not yet quilted, it has to wait it's turn in the queue for some time with Galloping Gerti (my longarm).

Another finish!  This time I made a little boxy bag for the Girly Girl.  I got the basic idea from the Cutsie Box Bag tutorial from the Apron Strings of an Army Wife blog, but changed it so all my raw seams were inside the lining so no raw seams are visible on the inside at all, and made it more square rather than a rectangle shaped.

The fabrics are some cheapies the Girly Girl picked out at Spotlight the other day, I have to say I just love the little birds (that is the lining fabric as well as the handle/tab).

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

A few finishes!

Well it's been a while since my last post, but I have been doing "stuff". It has turned cold here, Autumn is definitely here and Winter is on the way! And it has been wet outside, not that I am complaining, we still need all the rain we can get! However it has meant it has been too wet to go outside and take photos, but I finally found a big piece of satin to use as a backdrop, so here we go!

Firstly is this little clutch. I used the Scrappy Clutch tutorial from In An Igloo with a few modifications. I used left over layer cake squares, I only need 4 for the entire bag, 2 for the outside and 2 for the lining. This meant I made my pieces a little smaller where needed. I also sewed it together a little differently, I sewed the gathered skirt to the top bit first, and then did the side and bottom seams.

Then I moved on to these little flowers, which are from another tutorial (I can't find it at the moment, but there are heaps out there!).  The big blue on I stitched onto a hair-clip for the Girly Girl, the little orange one I glued to a magnet.  Next time I would use more layers and have the sizes of each layer graduating a bit better.

Then I also made a little pyramid purse from a tutorial by Living Creatively, this used the last of the scraps from my Sweetwater Bagalicious Club bag.  Again more zip practice, I have never liked sewing in zips but love bags with zips, so bought a ton of zips and figure once I have used them all I will be able to sew in zips with my eyes closed!

And I even got to use some of my (huge!) ribbon stash for the handle - gotta love that!!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Still Schnibbling

OK I kept going, did a bit of un-sewing, some rearranging, some re-sewing, some more un-sewing, and eventually I have come up with something I like.  I think.  Yes I do.  Really.

Now to sew it together and then the borders :)

I have really enjoyed making this, I think this is the smallest quilt I have ever made, most of my quilts are a minimum of 80" on at least one side.  I have made a couple of smaller quilts for the kids to use in the car, about 40" square, but they seemed soooo small!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Schnibbling along...

Well seeing as I am only a newcomer to the world of blogging I thought I would join in the Year Of Schnibbles for the first time this month.  So I went ahead and ordered my pattern and chose my charm squares, and here in lies my first mistake!  I chose Amy Butler's Daisy Chain range, and now that I think about it BIG prints and SMALL pieces do not go so well together.  Never mind, I went ahead and started cutting and piecing.  NOw my next problem, there are no lights and darks, the prints are all mediums.  So there is no tonal contrast, and little color contrast too.  I won't tell you what I am reminded of when I see the blocks put together, but it's not pretty LOL!

I thought maybe I could add in some sashing, I tried chocolate brown but it just did not work, then I thought about the same solid green I used in the small 9-patches...

But I am still not convinced.  Do I keep going and hope it works out in the end, or do I stop now and use the blocks I have made for a bag or something?  Or do I try and get some plain fabric in that blue that seems to pop out and do thin sashing with that?  Help!!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

And another bag....

Well I was on a roll, and I had Sunday afternoon with hubby away and the kids amusing themselves, what else was I to do?  So I dug out this kit I had bought from The Fat Quarter Shop almost 2 years ago!  At the time I thought it was lovely in pink and green so I went ahead and ordered, when it arrived it had RED in it!  Not only that, but it had RED AND PINK TOGETHER.  In the same bag.  At the time I just couldn't cope with that, so in the back of the cupboard it went! 

So now that I have decided it was time I just got over my whole "I don't do red!" thing I figured I would brave up and make the bag.  And you know what?  I *LOVE* it!  I could really get into this red thing, and I even think I could come to love red and pink together!  Who knows, maybe in the future I could even come at blue and green together too!!

The pattern is the Manhattan Handbag by Pink Sand Beach Designs, the fabrics are batiks in hot pink and almost fluorescent lime green, the spotty fabric is a red batik and it goes around the sides and bottom, the handles and the lining.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Dandy Bag is done!

Well my Dandy bag is all done, I *love* this pattern, so simple, fairly quick, and it looks great!  I fussy cut a stripe fabric for the band, and used the same fabric as the lining.  The pink (Mod Girls Ingrid by Jennifer Paganelli SIS BOOM for Free Spirit) and the lining (Anna Griffin the Lulu Collection for Windham Fabrics) were from my stash, the green (Emily Bloom Designer Collection) I bought during Friday's shopping trip!

OK, what's next?