Sunday, 26 December 2010

Christmas Presents


I was a little busy in the lead up to Christmas. I really should have started sooner than a week before, but I somehow managed to get them all done in time. Eight personalised pencil rolls. I used this tutorial from Little Munchkins, the only difference being I added some batting and some appliqué.


Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!


Merry Christmas everybody! The kids are really excited - Noah especially so! It's difficult to get them to sit still long enough to take a decent photo, so this will have to do. See you on the other side.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Noah's Groovy "Apple" Shirt


This is Noah's new shirt, using the same pattern as Liam's (Ottobre 3/2010 - 11 "Apple" Summer Shirt) in a smaller size. I used "Groove" fabric, from Robert Kaufman again, this time in green. I also used the same pearl buttons. Not much in the way of imagination going on here today....


Sunday, 12 December 2010

Cogsmo's Finally Finished

Noah in his Cogsmo bed

I finally finished the quilts and both of the boys are very pleased with them, as you can tell by this happy face.

Noah's Cogsmo Bed

This is Noah's bed with the quilt on. The fabric is Cogsmo, by Cosmo Cricket for Andover Fabrics. I have heard that Cosmo Cricket are known for their scrap-booking supplies, but they do fabric well too in my opinion.

Underside of Noah's Cogsmo Quilt

This is the under-side of Noah's quilt.

Underside of Liam's Cogsmo Quilt

Because I never showed it before, this is the under-side of Liam's quilt.

Matching Pillowcases!

I even made them matching pillowcases.

I had trouble getting a clear picture of Noah's Label - It says

"To keep every cog and wheel
is the first precaution of
intelligent tinkering 
                          - Aldo Leopold."

Label for Noah's Cogsmo Quilt

It also says November 2010, even though I finished it last night and it's December. Oops - that was my attempt at setting a deadline by printing the labels before I finished. I didn't quite make it, but I didn't want to waste my label. It was pieced in November - does that count?

Thursday, 9 December 2010

One down, one to go (almost there!)


My goal was to get these two quilts done by the end of November. I didn't quite. I just finished the quilting on Noah's this morning, and all I need to do now is some hand stitching in front of the tv.


The quilting is an all-over star and swirl pattern that I based on one I saw on Flickr. By the time I did Noah's I changed the swirly bits a little as I worked out a better way to do it. (And oops - I see that I missed a loose thread!)


I managed to get Liam's quilt quilted before the end of November, and the machine sewing part of the binding was done too, but I think it was December 3rd by the time I got the binding stitched down and the label on. I still used the one that says November though.....


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Liam's Groovy Apple Shirt

Ottobre 3/20101 - 11 "Apple" Summer Shirt

I made this shirt yesterday in it's entirety, including tracing the pattern. It is from the Summer 2010 issue of Ottobre, and is known as the "Apple" summer shirt. I did a size 98, and as there wasn't a hem allowance marked on the pattern, I assumed there wasn't one. I added an extra inch, but only turned the hem up 1cm, but I think the length is quite good.

Ottobre 3/20101 - 11 "Apple" Summer Shirt

The fabric is "Groove" from Robert Kaufman that I purchased from Funky Fabrix using the voucher I won at Sew It Together. I used pearl snaps - I think I am going to have to get some more of these soon, I have been using them heaps.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Another T-shirt for Liam


After finishing the other t-shirt yesterday, I got stuck into this one. When it was finished Liam asked me "Shirt off?" so that he could try it on, and as you can see, was happy to pose for more photos. I've used this Ottobre free stencil design before, for a long sleeved t-shirt that is also one of his favourites.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

New T-shirt for Liam


As you can see, Liam is pretty pleased with his new T-shirt. He doesn't seem to have enough of them at the moment, so I've got a few to make. This one was made from some fabric from my stash. I'm pretty sure that it's left-overs from mum's.


The stencil is a free design from Ottobre, and I used freezer paper and some orange fabric paint from the old stash (yes, it's still good). The pattern is my stand-by t-shirt pattern from Kwik-Sew Sewing for Toddlers. I did a size three with an extra inch or so added to the bottom. I used twin needles to do the hem and to apply the neck and sleeve bands.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

My Creative Space - Fabric paint


When I was making the pincushion for the swap, I used some of our hobby paints to paint the stand. Whist looking for those, I managed to find a tin full of fabric paints that I had forgotten I had, from years ago. I haven't tested them yet - hopefully they are all still okay.

On the weekend, I managed to get them all (the old ones and the new ones) in the one place. I also cut out six t-shirts for Liam using some fabrics from my stash. Today I started making freezer paper stencils so that I can make the t-shirts more interesting.

To see what other people are doing in their creative spaces, visit Kirsty.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

My Crafty Bookshelf Wishlist

There are some fabulous books out there at the moment, it seems like all the amazing bloggers are getting themselves published lately. Here are a few that I would like to see under the tree this Christmas.

Sew La Tea Do 
Pip Lincolne

I would love to have a copy of this book. Pip is the author of the blog Meet Me at Mikes and a Melbourne girl.

Pip has a fabulous video tutorial on her blog that must have taken hours to put together, showing how to crochet a granny square. It was so worth it, I have struggled and struggled with this, but Pip's videos got me there when nothing else did.

I also recently saw that Pip was on The Circle (I admit, I never actually watched it, but I did see the bit with Pip on it, on the internet. I like the novelty of the cushion that was re-fashioned out of a business shirt, and I am sure I will love many other projects that are bound to be in this book.

Whip Up Mini Quilts
Kathreen Ricketson

This book is put together by Kathreen Ricketson of the blog Whip Up and features miniature quilts created by various quilters with different styles.
One of the mini quilts in this book was designed by Kellie Wulfsohn of Don't Look Now, who I recently met at one of her fabulous workshops.

I like the idea of small projects. It is a great way to be able to complete projects quickly and try out new techniques.

The Practical Guide to Patchwork           
Elizabeth Hartman 

I have already benefited from Elizabeth Hartman's expertise, by way of her blog, Oh Fransson! and I am sure there is plenty of fantastic quilty advice in this book as well.

Sometimes when you wish for something hard enough, it (ahem) falls into a shopping cart at the book depository and before you know it, a copy is on it's way to you. Ooops!

Make It Perfect
Toni Coward

This book is still a bit over a week from being released, but I would love to see a copy of this one under the tree this Christmas.

I love Toni's blog, Make It Perfect, she has an impressive range of patterns already (some of which I have) and some of my friends were involved in testing her patterns for this book.

Some tips for buying books on-line: 

I love the Book Depository for buying books and saving $$$. Postage is free and the price is given in Australian Dollars. You can pay by Paypal, or by credit card if that is what you prefer. I mostly order from the UK site, rather than the US one, but sometimes it pays to shop around. 

If you go to booko, you can see who has your book the cheapest (it compares lots of places, including Amazon and takes into account postage as well). I paid $AU19.47 for Elizabeth Hartman's book today from the US Book Depository, and the UK site is charging $AU25.67 - that is a saving of $6.20. 

If you plan to order books for Christmas, I would suggest that you do it soon, I recently had a book take just over three weeks to get here from the UK, and Christmas is now less than six weeks away.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

My Creative Space - Snip, snip, chop, chop, sew, sew, sew....


I'm working on Cogsmo quilts for my boys. The tops are done, and the binding is all prepped. The original plan has changed a little because the maths worked better for the size of the quilts. Next up I need to make the quilt sandwiches.


I'm still not sure about what sort of quilting to do...?


More Creative Spaces over here.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Linen Wrap Skirt - .Sew What! Skirts


I recently purchased Sew What! Skirts from the Book Depository, with the plan to make myself a wrap skirt or two. The book guides you through making your own patterns and then putting together sixteen different skirts. Since it only cost me $15.58, it was cheaper than many patterns, so totally worthwhile. There is enough information in the book to get you going with most basic styles of skirts, along with some simple ways to make them look a bit fancy. I would recommend this book even to beginners.

I was quite surprised with how quickly I managed to put this skirt together - maybe 2-3 hours? (In between swimming lessons and cooking roast lunches and entertaining guests and general running around after little people and clothes washing and hanging and folding and other house-worky things) but I think I might make a few adjustments to the pattern before I make another - it was a little more roomy than I anticipated. In a very basic linen, I think this skirt will go with quite a few things, along with the butterfly tie-front blouse I made recently.


Friday, 5 November 2010

EB DQS4 - What I sent


This is the doll-quilt that I sent Anna for the EBDQS#4. I have named it Matilda's garden, as it to be used as a wall-hanging for her daughter's bedroom. I have used some of my Laura Gunn fabric (Vases from the Lantern Bloom collection) for the tree. The leaves are from the same fabric as the binding, which I found at Spotlight.

The free motion quilting is based on a spiral technique that I learned at a workshop with Kellie Wulfsohn. I was busy spiraling away between the branches with the intention to keep going, when I saw that I had given the tree a bit of a ghost effect. I kind of liked the way it looked and stopped where I was. I took it out to mum's and dad's and they liked the way that it looked too. I also got another opinion from AJ, who agreed that it was a good place to stop. Sometimes creativity is knowing when to stop!


The pink bird at the centre of the tree represents Matilda. I have used a seed bead for her eye. The branches form a heart shape around her.


The butterfly represents Anna (my swap partner, and Matilda's mum). I have also used seed beads here to embellish the antennae.


The dragonfly represents Matilda's father. I used some Pellon Rainbowspun for the wings. The Rainbowspun was in the Vilene showbag that I purchased at the Stitches and Craft Show back in May.


This bird represents Tom, Matilda's older brother.


This bird represents Matilda's baby brother, Nate.


I am pretty happy with the binding. Even though I had some sort of mobius thing going on when I went to join the ends, I managed to work it out in the end. Around the edges of the quilt I have done some straight quilting, using my walking foot. I wasn't sure what to do here, so I asked AJ for some advice. I think it's a winner.


The label. I am much happier with my blanket stitch on this one than on the one I did for the boys' eye spy quilt. I used a slightly different (probably non-conventional) method that seems to work better for me.


I placed some corners at the top of the quilt to allow it to be hung from a rod on the wall. AJ shows how to do this on her blog.

I almost forgot to mention, I'm not sure if you can tell by the photos, but I did some Trapunto on the quilt. There is extra padding behind all of my appliqué. I used a technique that I was able to sort of work out from the instructions for Kellie Wulfsohn's monster quilt in the Australian Homespun magazine. If I was designing a quilt again, and I wanted to do trapunto, I would probably avoid some of the tiny gaps I had to get around as trimming away the extra batting was rather tricky - I was so scared I was going to chop a great big hole in my quilt whilst I was doing this!

Thank You!


Thankyou to Mands who made me this quilt in the doll quilt swap. There is some lovely fabric on there, including a little green Sunburst by Saffron Craig. Mands has used some variegated thread to appliqué some of the pieces on and the result is quite effective. The Label on the back has been very carefully embroidered too.


Today is opening day, so there will hopefully be lots of quilts to see.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Trick or Treat?


All ready for Halloween - word is there will be kids out trick or treating in our neighbourhood. I hope the weather is good to them. I made some Honey Joys and Marshmallow cones for them, and we have a nice little stash of lollies as well.

Or maybe we're secretly hoping they don't come and we can have these all to ourselves....

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Look what came in the mail today!


The latest Ottobre Magazine!


I wonder if these will work in denim?


How cool would it be to win this?

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

More Quilting and a Bargain


Since I had no 111 thread for the Don't Look Now cushion cover, and I had no green for the last bit of appliqué for the DQS, I decided to do some quilting on the OTHER don't Look Now cushion, that I hadn't started quilting yet. I did this one using white thread. I am determined that I get as much quilting practice in as I can before I do any on my DQS.

I managed to get myself to Spotlight today, and got some white (800), 111 and some green thread to match my leaves, and whilst I was there, this managed to land in my shopping bag.


Some heavily discounted flannelette - there is enough here to make four pairs of winter pajamas next year for the boys. All up it cost me $17.08 - that's $4.27 a pair (excluding buttons, thread and interfacing, but you get the drift). I spent almost twice as much on thread!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Unfinished Business


This is what I was working on today, since I need some green thread for this project, I thought I would practice my quilting by working towards finishing the cushion covers I was making in Kellie's class. Now I need some Gutermann 111 as well...

I was chatting with Karen a little later, and she mentioned that she was putting some UFOs (Unfinished Objects) on her blog.

I mentioned that I have a few myself, and this is just a small sample of them...


Some embroideries that I was doing even before I got my embroidery machine, to make a quilt out of for the cradle. Now that I have a baby on the way again, I have reason to complete this. I was wanting more quilting experience under my belt before beginning this. I feel reasonably confident that I can put it all together now.


This is a grow suit, it never got finished because the snap up the top didn't attach properly and I had trouble getting it off. Now that I have a snap press, it really shouldn't be too difficult to sort out. Does anyone have any tips for removing dodgy snaps though?


Some bibs that I was making, using this free pattern from Nicole Mallalieu. I think I just never got around to it? It will be a while before I really need these, because they are really toddler size, but it would be nice if I just finished them.

I have noticed when looking at UFOs, that both my sewing room and my head explode. There is stuff everywhere, and my brain is bursting with ideas for a whole host of new ideas of things to make, surely some of which will be my future UFOs. Does this happen to anyone else?
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