Wednesday, December 15, 2010


After living in this house for only a year, we're finally getting around to putting things up on the walls.  I guess we've been waiting to be finally settled in and happy with furniture location etc.

The first thing that has gone up 'permanently' (ie not 3M Command hooks) is the pegboard in my sewing room.
I first had the peg board hanging up at our last house and it was full, but now I can't remember what I had on it!  I think I had all my scissors hanging up, but they now live in the baskets on the door of my Horn cabinet.  This may have to change when the munchkin becomes a crawling/walking munchkin though.

In the mean time, the peg board will be used for rulers and embroidery/quilting hoops as you can see.  I just need to recover my metre ruler from the garage now that I have a place to put it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My first christmas present

Yesterday we celebrated the Wilson Christmas.  Hubby and I are going to Sydney this year to have Christmas day with my family, so we had to do his family early.  They do KK for the presents so we only need to buy one.

This year I got a bag full of quilting goodies!!
So that's a quilting bag for taking mats, rulers etc to classes (means I'll have to go to some classes this year!); a cutting mat, ruler and square in a set; a Clover patchwork layout sheet; an Ofla circular cutter; two fat quarter bundles; a June Tailor template set; a quilting template; and a Colour and Tone guide.

Can't wait to have a play with some of those things... but must not start any new projects until the Music Quilt top is finished.... (provided my mail order fabric for the sashings turns up in time!!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

YAY Freebies!!

I love freebies!

Because my husband is so unsure of what to buy me for Christmas, we agreed he'd just pay for a quilt pattern that I want.  I ordered it online from Fabric Patch and it arrived today.  I'm not allowed to 'play' with it till Christmas though, so you'll have to wait for that, but....

In the parcel came a little surprise!
A small gift to say thank you for supporting Fabric Patch

It was two charm squares.
Oooo the excitement of working with something new and unexpected.  But I have to stand by my self imposed ban on new projects until I finish at least the top of the music quilt that I want to give at Christmas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Preparing for end of year

I decided to go back and find the "My Year is Craft" post from the end of last year, so I could start preparing to do the same for this year.

The last three questions were more about the year ahead so it kind of seems appropriate to follow up on them....

They were:
10. After this year I swear I'll never again...
Over-commit myself for hand made christmas presents... nor leave them till the last minute (hopefully though, I'll never again be moving house two weeks before christmas, and getting carpet down 3 days before christmas).
11. Next year I'm determined to...
Have a stall at a craft market!!  Which means I have to get on with focusing on a few ideas rather than coming up with 5 new ideas per week.
And use up some of my fabric stash.... there are some great fabrics in there which will make wonderful things.
And set up somewhere to take better photos of my work too.
12. But I'll probably do this instead... 
Buy more fabric.... 

So, how did I go?
10. No hand made christmas presents from me this year, but..... I am in a bit of a made dash to finish a baby present for my friends who had a baby last month, who I will be seeing at Christmas and hoping to give it to them then.  I'm hoping I will at least get the quilt top finished so I can wrap it up and give it to them to see, then take it home and finish it.  That way I can 'give' it to them personally even though the final product will be posted.  Just gotta hope that the sashing fabric I've ordered online turns up in time!

11. Didn't have a craft market stall, but I've got a bit of an idea of what I could make now, and my mother-in-law was talking about doing it for some extra cash so maybe we can do it together, feels a bit less daunting that way.
Don't think I've used up any of my fabric stash at all.  Looking over the photos I can't see anything that has been made with existing fabric...
Not sure if my photography work has improved... until that photo of Joe's baby quilt hanging on the cot, but that's only going to work for baby quilts.

12.  Yes, I definitely achieved that!  See here, here and here, plus all the bits I've bought at Spotlight (mostly dress fabrics) that I haven't bothered to blog, AND I'm still waiting on a mail order for the music quilt as mentioned above.

I can't wait till the year is completely over so I can put together a photo of all the craft I've done this year!  Perhaps it hasn't been my busiest craft year, but it's certainly been my most photographed ;)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Joe's Baby Quilt Finished!

The baby quilt is all finished!
I think also that was the best photo I got of it!  Have to remember that for photographing baby quilts in future.

This quilt involved a lot of experimenting and a lot of learning.  I'd decided to fairly heavily quilt the main panel (heavy compared to other quilts I've done), but I think it was too much for the high loft wadding I had.  I'd just used regular polyester thin wadding from Lincraft because this is what I had on hand.  This shows you better why my quilting was not the best choice for the wadding:

The patchwork is almost lost to the quilting lines.  You can also see that the border is a bit ripply.  This is because I was trying to square up the uneven lengths that were caused by the poor quality fabric, as previously mentioned.

The quilt was a really nice size to work with, but not sure if it's a good size for use.  It's slightly too small for a cot quilt....

but too big for a pram quilt....

The dimensions are 28" x 34" so I might have to play with them and get a feel for what a good size is.  The elephant baby quilt I am making is quite a lot bigger, but I think ultimately it will be too big as a cot quilt (but excellent once the cot is turned into a toddler bed!).

I think if I made a quilt the same size as the centre panel of this green one (without the plain borders) it would be a really good pram size.

I really had fun making this quilt because I felt free to experiment.  There are many faults in it but the person I am making it for really wont be that critical, and as soon as I started using the fabric which was cut crooked I knew it wasn't going to be of the highest standard so I let my standards drop a little.  That sounds a bit bad, but it freed me up to try new things and not be so obsessive about making it perfect.

I can't wait to try and make another one.  I do have about half the jelly roll left, and I have another roll the same in pink to play with as well!  I just have to finish the music quilt before I'm allowed to start any other new projects.

I almost forgot.... the last detail of the quilt is the label of course!  Because this quilt is for Joe I decided to make it a J

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Size Matters

I decided it was time to buy a new ironing board.  Hubby has started wearing pants and shirts to work, rather than jeans and t-shirts so my little sewing room iron just wasn't going to cut it in the long run!  You can iron a pair of pants and a shirt on it but having to do a full weeks worth, every week, was going to become rather tiresome.

So we bought the biggest one they had at Big W.  Here you can see it with my old one:
There are bigger ones on the market, but I didn't need to go over the top ;)

The little one is still going to live in my sewing room.  The big one will live in the laundry and be brought out when it's need (probably once a week).  It will be wonderful for when I've pre-washed a length of fabric!   The new one is 130cm long, so a 112cm wide piece of fabric will fit right across it in one go!  Will also be a lot easier to iron quilt tops.

This is the first full sized ironing board I've owned since moving out on my own (nearly 15 years).  I think very soon I will wonder how I ever lived without it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A New Arrival

My second delivery from Green Fairy Quilts arrived yesterday.  They really need to stop having sales so I stop buying fabric.  Or maybe I just need to sew more!

It being a halloween sale, I felt it necessary to get some scary fabric, so I got the Haunted Mansion (by Sanae) charm pack.  I also got the Awesome (by Sandy Gervais) charm pack (the sale was buy some stuff and get free charm packs).  In order to receive those free charm packs I got the Lollipop (also by Sandy Gervais) jelly roll and A Morris Tapestry (by Barbara Brackman) layer cake (they don't appear to have the layer cakes any more, so the link is for the charm square).

The colours are quite different from the last lot of Moda fabric I got.  I am always drawn to the bright, candy coloured fabric bundles so I specifically tried to avoid them this time, although I was tempted by Dream On.  I decided that I need to have some 'male' fabric around, everything else that I had was much more aimed at girls.  I'd like to get into making baby quilts and there are boy babies as well as girls ;)  Whilst the above fabrics aren't very 'baby', they are not specifically girly.

Will be interesting to see what I come up with now that I have two jelly rolls, two honeybuns, three charm packs and a layer cake!  Now that I have some experience working with a jelly roll, I feel a bit more confident in my creative ability, but I still have to work out what you do with layer cakes and charm squares!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Joe's Baby Quilt

I finished the quilt top for my cousin's not-so-new baby.
I am quite pleased with the result given I was making up the design as I went for some of it.  It is the first quilt I've done where the design relied heavily on patchwork.  All my previous quilts have been lots of applique, or some applique and then just squares joined together.

Some of the blocks are a bit crooked, but I'm putting that down to the poor quality of the fabric.  It was one of the 'Bebe Fabric Rolls' from Spotlight.  I had lowered my expectations of the fabric based on what Margaret had said, but that didn't prepare me for the horror of trying to work with these strips.  They were cut off the grain and my strips were 1/8" shorter at the selvedge edge than the folded edge, which, when you are quilting with 1/4" seams, makes a big difference.  I had to cut my squares for the blocks from the middle of the strips, not the ends (to get the right size), which meant when I came to do the first border, I didn't have long enough pieces and I had to put the check squares in the corners.  Even then I think I had to skimp on a seam allowance here and there.  Actually I think the end result from that looks good anyway, bit it's annoying when you can't do what you want because of the fabric.

I really got into using my machine properly on this one!  I used the 1/4" quilting foot (as per earlier post) and did the embroidery on the bird and flower 'properly' using a backing and different stitches from the machine.  The eye is actually an eyelet stitch, which I hadn't done successfully before so am rather pleased.  The beak took a little time to get right (on practice fabric) as it is actually half of a diamond stitch.  In the end I started sewing the diamond stitch on scrap fabric and counted how many stitches it did, then when it was at the widest point, I stopped, put the quilt top in the machine and finished the pattern, to make a triangle.  I forgot to take a close up shot but I will try to remember to do that when the quilt is finished.

I think I've decided what quilting pattern I want to do in the main part, just have to work out something for the borders.  Am going to back it in the plain green of the border, it's easy and I already have enough on hand.

Oh, and it was supposed to be a cot sized quilt but I messed up the measurements along the way.  It's actually come out a really nice pram size!  Think I will make some more this size.

Whilst it was hard working with the poor quality jelly roll, it has given me a bit of fun working out what I can and can't do with a jelly roll, on fabric which I'm not so attached to, before I start cutting into the nice Moda jelly rolls I've bought.

Edit: just realised the previous post about this quilt didn't publish properly :(  So here it is if you want the beginning of the story!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Green baby quilt

Earlier this year my cousin had a baby and I was going to make her something but time slipped away from me and I never got around to it.  Now that I've had my Abigail, she sent me a present so I figured I'd better get into gear and return the gesture.

A while ago at Spotlight I bought a Bebe Fabric Roll which is 25 strips 2.5" wide.  To my disappointment, when I opened the roll, the strips are cut 1/8" short at the selvedge edge.  Luckily I had planned squares so it just meant I had to cut my squares out of the middle of the strips rather than the ends.

I decided to use the images from the fabric and create applique squares, and then some patchwork blocks to coordinate.  I bought some fabric at the recent craft show to add a little extra colour and variety.

For the plain fabric, I just found a cotton poplin in the right shade.  The poor quality of the other fabric deterred me from getting special quilting fabric.  Also the fact that I couldn't find anything plain in the appropriate colour.  Sometimes I regret living out here, so far away from good quilting shops!

This is the design so far:

I've managed to get enough time to myself to sew the blocks together, but I miscalculated when I cut the border strips so they've all got little tails on them.  Nothing a roller cutter and square ruler can't fix.

I've pressed them since taking the photo.  Next step will be the applique and associated embroidery to complete the images.

I haven't decided what borders/bindings/backings I'm going to use yet but I usually get to that once I've finished the main part of the top.  I'm usually a very organised and planning sort of person but my quilts seem to take shape along the way rather than being totally planned out in the beginning.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


"Proof" that I am now a crafting mother.... Baby monitor has to fit on my sewing table along with all my other tools ;)

The right tool for the job

The other day I decided to look at the manual and actually use the 1/4" quilting foot which was provided with my Brother sewing machine.

If you line up the fabric to the marks and start/stop at the right place, not only do you get a 1/4" seam allowance along the edge, it also starts and stops 1/4" in from the ends of the fabric.  This means that when you are sewing cross joins, the back of the block ends up looking like it does when you hand quilt, and leaves less of a bump when it's pressed.
This also has the effect of producing perfectly matched seams on the front side!!
I don't know why I didn't try this before!  It just goes to show that these things are included with the machine for a reason.  I'm going to use this foot for all my quilts from now on, because it's not like it's hard to change the presser foot before sewing.  My poor industrial machine is having less and less uses.  I need to do more garment construction because he's brilliant at that.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Baby's Day Out

Yesterday I bundled up little Abigail into Grandma's car, and with Ergobaby on board the three of us headed to CraftExpo.

I met up with Margaret and Jayne out the front, but quickly we separated to follow our own time schedule.

It wasn't a big haul this year.  I think I've bought up big recently on 'treats' and wasn't drawn in by the "it's pretty, I MUST buy it" motivation.  I guess also a lot of it is things I've seen before.  Maybe you can go to craft shows a little too often ;)

I did pick up lots of fabric for the Homespun Harmony wall hanging (pattern came from the previous craft show) I am going to do for a friend's baby.  Most of the fabric came from Patchwork with Gail B but some also came from Logan's Patchwork.  Obviously you can see that I haven't gone with the traditional colours on the pattern cover.

Not exactly sure where I'm going to put what fabric but I think I'll just do it block by block and see how it all ends up.  Probably have to buy a bit more fabric later, but it will develop and grow as it gets sewn, rather than being all planned out from the onset.

I have also decided to make a cot quilt for my cousin's new baby.  He was born back in March but it always takes me ages to get around to these things ;)  Now that she has sent me a gift for the birth of Abigail I figured I should get around to sending her something.  I bought some fabric rolls from Spotlight a few months ago so have broken open one of them for the baby quilt.  At the craft show yesterday I bought the brown dotty fabric to go with them.

I'm designed a quilt which incorporates the pictures off the fabric.  I'm going to copy them up larger and make applique designs out of them for some of the blocks.  Also went along to Spotlight today to get some plain green to coordinate with it.  I hope it works out, I haven't really designed a quilt from scratch before.

Also at the show yesterday I picked up this interesting looking contraption.

It's a Flower Stitcher foot from Punch With Judy.  You can do funky things like this with it:
 That picture is from the book I bought to go with it, but I've just discovered people have posted YouTube videos of how to use it and what to do with it, so I might have to go exploring once I've learnt the basics!

Not sure what I'm going to do yet, it just looked cool so I bought it.  I want to have a play with it but Dad is camped out in my sewing room for the next two days so it will have to wait a while.  Not like I've really had the time to play with anything anyway now that Madam Abigail is in the world and refuses to go to sleep!

So a big milestone was achieved this weekend.  Abigail went to her first craft show AND she had her first trip to Spotlight.  Two things that I'm sure she will do lots of over the next few years.

Oh, and I'm beginning to feel like I'm Wonder Woman or something. The number of people commenting on me being out and about with a three week old baby.  Apparently I'm supposed to be in my pyjamas, slobbing around the house, not going anywhere, just 'cause I have a new baby.  Pooey to them I say!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Special Delivery

This week I received my order from Green Fairy Quilts which I placed the other week.  They had a bit of a sale on and for $AU100 (incl postage) I got a jelly roll, two honey buns and a charm pack, all from Moda.

The honey buns are Clementine and Happy, both by Me & My Sister.  The jelly roll is Me & My Sister Favorites, and the charm pack is City Weekend by Liesl Gibson.

Of course I have no idea what I'm going to do with them yet, but it was a bit of a spending spluge since I haven't been out of the house much lately and had money to spend ;)

I haven't actually worked with a jelly roll/honey bun or charm pack before.  All the quilting work I've done has been from buying fat quarters or lengths of fabric so I'll be interested to see what I can come up with.

Also arriving a week ago was Abigail Mackenzie!  Born on Sunday evening 19th Sept at 10:53pm, weighing in at 4.02kg.  Is she now a finished project, or is she just the biggest work-in-progress ever?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Coffee Break

Has it really been over a month since my last post?  All this time at home and I never seem to get anything done.  Although, this post is proof against that because I have finished the coffee quilt for hubby.

It is 'inspired by' the 'Coffee's Up' quilt designed by Annalisa of Busy Thimbles.  We chose some different fabrics, and I made the quilt longer and wider to accomodate actualy sleeping on the couch, rather than just being a knee rug, which meant rearranging the coffee cup appliques.

We ended up buying a bamboo batting from Patchwork with Gail B in Bayswater, along with a binding fabric.  Not the original one I had seen (because they didn't have it in stock) but a similar colour one.  The advantage to making a quilt for your husband when you're 8 months pregnant is that he gets to crawl around on the floor doing all the pin basting for you and you just have to sit and watch!!

I'm not sure how I feel about pin basting now.  Between this quilt and the baby elephant quilt, the pins leave some rather large holes which don't disappear as easily as I'd like them to.  Maybe for my next quilt I will investigate other options (without having to hand baste the whole thing!).

The backing ended up being what we had originally planned, brushed cotton fabric in the middle and a border down the sides because it wasn't wide enough. I had a little bit of fun trying to work out what size to cut the centre piece so that the squares down the side were nicely placed.  In the end, the border fabric was practically the same size as the border fabric on the quilt front, so the quilting lines matched up nicely.

This was my first attempt at using monofilament as the top thread for quilting.  After some initial tension issues I got it sorted out and I'm rather happy with the result.  It also hides errors in the quilting where you go off a seam line!  I was going to get a bit fancy with my quilting on this one, but in the end went more basic, partly to get the quilt finished sooner as Premier League Soccer season has already started. 

I just quilted diagonally through all the squares, except for the coffee cups, which I quilting around the outside of the square and then tried my hand at free motion quilting around the cup.  My first real attempt at free motion quilting.  As you can see from below photo, my first attempt was rather wobbly, but by the time I'd done all 12 cups I think I was getting better.  Also hoping to do some free motion machine quilting on my baby elephant quilt so it was nice practice.  As with all these things, practice makes perfect.

I still have to make a quilt label for it, but at least it is finished now so it can be used.  The photos don't quite do it justice, I need to improve my photography skills for quilts, but at least this one gets to live in my house (rather than being gifted) so I'll always have the original to look at!

And of course my fuzzy baby had to "help".  To my annoyance, she claimed a spot on the quilt several times before it was finished, but now that it's being used on the couch she's allows to sit on it, as long as she shares.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Craft Show Round Up

I thought when I finished work I'd have more time to update here more regularly.  Doesn't seem to be the case.  Although I have had things on nearly every day since finishing.

The first of which was last Thursday going to the Craft and Quilt Fair.   I managed to stay within my budget, sort of ;)  I had a shopping list of supplies I needed for current projects but still hoped to pick up something a bit new and/or exciting.

I picked up a few essentials such as applique fusible web, embroidery stabiliser, bag wadding, needles for embroidery, applique and quilting, then I got some fun things.  I've been wanting to do another latch hook for ages (did one once as a kid), but could never justify the price of the kits when I didn't really have a purpose in mind.  Thanks to baby-on-the-way, I decided I could make a colourful rug for the nursery.  Don't need a rug as there is plush carpet, but anything to add colour to the room is great.  And the plus was that this came out of 'baby budget' and not out of 'craft show budget' ;)

The other fun thing I got was my obligatory quilting pattern (I seem to end up buying a quilt pattern at every show I go to).  I had decided that for my pregnant music teacher friend I wanted to make a quilted wall hanging for the nursery as a gift for when the baby was born.  I saw a pattern from Joan's Own Creations and just couldn't resist.  It's not particularly a baby pattern but I'm going to make it out of more child friendly colours and then it will also last long beyond them being a baby.
Instead of using gold for the brass instruments I'm going to do things like metallic purple.  I might even make the piano keys multi-coloured!  Who knows, I haven't thought that hard about it yet.  Got too many other things to finish first.  The baby is due in November, but I've got until Christmas to make it really because I'll be going up to Sydney then, so don't see the point in paying for postage just to get it there 6 weeks earlier.

I also bought some books on quilting to help me with my current projects.  Good basic details in the books, concentrating on techniques rather than just giving you quilting patterns etc.
I've started doing some hand quilting on my elephant quilt, but discovered that I need a lot more practice!  I also might need to attend a class to get someone to help me with the rocking stitch method as I can't seem to do that.  I gave up in the end and am just doing stab stitch.

And just because I took a photo of it, here is the bag wadding in action!  It's great because it keeps the bag standing up-right on it's own.  That's my fern bag making some progress (until I rearranged the sewing room and haven't got everything set up again yet).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Time for something new?

I almost feel justified in starting a new project!

Many of my work-in-progress projects are completed or on hold till I get more supplies.

The knitted poncho is finished.  I actually finished it a few weeks ago but I never seemed to get around to getting the photos off the camera.

 The fringe was still a bit crinkly when I took the photo as the wool had just come out of the ball, but it has relaxed a bit now and looks better.  It sits nicely over my big tummy and will be useful for when I can't wear my jumpers any more and want to look a little bit nicer.

I've done the straight machine quilting on the baby elephants.  I now want to do some hand quilting in patterns and around the elephants but I'm not sure what thread to use.  Will be looking for advice and inspiration next week at the Craft and Quilt fair.  There is also a book on hand quilting I'd like to buy before I dive straight into it.

I've just done quilting around each white square and then in between each block.  You can't see it in the photo but I think I really need to practice my machine quilting!  I also need to experiment a bit with thread.  But every quilt I do is a learning experience and I'm sure I'll just perfect the art as I get sick of making them ;)

The quilt top for the coffee quilt is complete.  Now I have to get some wadding for it.  Will also be looking out for this at the craft fair but I suspect I'll be at Spotlight later to get it.  Can't do much for a week or two anyway because I'll need a weekend to lay it out on the floor and baste it with help from hubby, and we don't have a free weekend for a couple of weeks.

As you can see, I even took progress photos as I was going along.  It's just posting them that's the problem.

Despite all the care I took, I obviously still need to work on matching my seams when joining blocks.  I thought I was doing so well but when it was finished I could see all the errors.  Oh, well.  You wont notice them once it's spent a week being used on the couch!

I'm rather pleased with the finish look so far.  It's the first time that I've actually bought the specific fabric that was used in the design (namely the border print in this instance).  It really does give it quite a distinct finish, rather than just a quilt with a common colour theme.   I should remember this next time I'm trying to be frugal with my fabric costs.  Sometimes it is just worth it to spend the money and get something nice than worry about the cost.

And the little lion cross stitch is basically finished, but I wont be doing anything about framing it till I've done the rest of the animals.  I want to frame them all together.  Not sure how long that will take me to do because I've sort of lost interest now.  Maybe when we get the nursery set up properly I'll see the need for more decoration! (and just realised I forgot to take a photo of that one)

I've just sorted through my unfinished projects box and have two more things I can work on for now.  There is the fern bag that I started oh so long ago.

There is also a knitted monkey which I started a year or two ago.
I think this will become my loungeroom project until I get the hand quilting on the elephants sorted.  The poncho has proved to me that having knitting in the loungeroom while we're watching TV is a really good way to get through it quickly!

I'm finishing up work next week so hopefully then I'll be able to update more frequently, and also do more things, like actually participate in the Montly Design Challenge!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Quilt Aid

Following a link from Cinderberry Stitches, I found out about Quilt Aid 2010.  I'd been thinking about it for a while but couldn't really justify the minimum $300 for a quilt which I didn't have a purpose for yet and while I still have two quilts on the go.  I really wanted to get involved though.

Finally the other day I decided to just buy a few blocks, and get some extra fabric and make a smaller quilt.  I think it will either end up as a baby quilt or a wall hanging.

So the four blocks I have chosen so far are:

by Liz Stanway, available through Quilter's Bazaar

by Helen Stubbings, available through The Quilted Crow

by Lynette Anderson, available through The Patchwork Angel

by Natalie Ross, available through In Stitches of Williamstown

I feel kind of bad that I didn't end up choosing Natalie Lymer's block (from Cinderberry Stitches) since that is where I first found out about it.  It is a lovely block and would be lots of fun to do with all that stitching, but in the end I only picked four and it didn't quite fit with the others I'd chosen.

Who knows, I may go back later and buy a few more blocks after all!

I'm giving myself till basically the end of the year to finish it.  The program runs till then so I figure that's not leaving it too long.  It will be really fun to be a part of something that other people are also doing, and see what other peole do with the same starting blocks!

I'm looking forward to creating the blocks, with all that embroidery!  Something that I can do while sitting on the couch and waiting for baby to bake (at least for the next two months)!

And all in the name of a charity that struck a chord with me at the moment!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Once again it has been longer than intended between posts.  I've had the urge to write but not the motivation to photograph.  I think I should keep the camera a bit more handy so I take photos as I go rather than having a 'session' every so often.

I've spent a lot of time making clothes recently, mainly due to the expanding belly, but I think I might give it a rest for a while now.  I should have enough clothes suitable for work to get me through the next month, and once I'm at home I don't mind so much if I only have tracksuits etc to wear.

I've made a pair of black stretch pants, a stretchy circular skirt, two jumpers for my hubby and a 70's outfit for a party last night
 (I also had to let out and hem the vintage trousers hubby is wearing).  Whilst the top is very bright and 70's, it still should come in usefull over the next few months. Being made of panne it's a bit warmer than most things I have right now.  The flares are actually just leg tents I wore over some leggings so they'll just get tossed in the costume wardrobe for next time I need them ;)

On the craft front I'm making good progress with the knitted poncho.  I only have about 5 more pattern repeats and I'm finished the knitting.  Then I just have to sew it together and do the fringe.

I have also now cut out all the coffee cups for the coffee quilt. 

Got the extra fabric I needed at the Quilt Show.  Found fabric I liked for the binding but they were only selling fat quarters so at some point need to make my way over to Patchwork with Gail B in Bayswater to buy the fabric off the bolt.  This could be as late as August as I'm going that way then, but we might get around to making a special trip before then if hubby wants his quilt finished ;)  Just looking at her website, I think I might have to save up some money before we go so I can have a little shopping spree!

Last year I made a baby quilt for some friends and their new arrival.  This month that new arrival turned 1, so as a follow up I made a matching doll.
I've been working on the pattern for this on and off for a year now, hoping to be able to market it, but it still needs work.  I can't quite get the neck to sit right.  I guess I'll just have to make more of them and experiment a bit.

That's it for now.  I think I'll go and start ironing all those coffee cups together now.  Also taking a trip to Spotlight today to buy a new roller cutter before I have to start cutting up the rest of the squares for the coffee quilt.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


In a fit of enthusiasm the other day, I decided to fold and pack all my bits of quilting fabric neatly.  Here is the result:

These are all my fat quarters (or bits thereof) and other small lengths of fabric bought for quilting not dress making.

Now I just have to decide how to organise them.  By colour?  By pattern?  By theme?

How do you organise your fabrics?  If you have the same fabric in a few different colours do you store them together, or in their own colour piles?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monthly Design Challenge: Music & Dance (A late entry)

This wasn't my first idea for the April Monthly Design Challenge but my first idea didn't serve any current purpose so never got beyond the research stage.

Friends of mine recently announced that they were expecting their first child, 7 weeks after me (who isn't pregnant at the moment??).  She had never really wanted children, he always had, she'd finally made the decision that she would do it for his sake because she didn't want to deny him that.  I've spent my whole life wanting to be pregnant and now am struggling with it, so I wondered at how she might be coping considering it's not something she'd ever thought she'd do.  I wanted to make her something to help her enjoy the experience a little.

I found that as soon as my belly started to gain a little weight and size, it was very uncomfortable sleeping on my side, but a small, squishy pillow I'd made my husband previously was just the thing to support the baby when I was lying down.  So I decided I'd make something similar for my friend.  Simple,  small, easy to post (they're in Sydney), and personal.

This is the result
The treble clef is machine appliqued and, although it doesn't show well in the photo, is fabric with music printed on it.  The back of the cushion is the same blue fabric.  It's machine appliqued using a blaket stitch.

My friend is a music teacher and her husband (also a dear friend of mine) loves dragons so I wanted to combine something of them both.  It's about 30cm high and is only fairly lightly stuffed so it can be squished and folded as needed to create comfort.

It was handy that she is a music teacher because a gift personalised to her also fitted the design challenge theme.  I had thought of it before the end of April, but everything around here takes twice as long now.

The only other creative-ness I've done lately is a pair of tracksuit pants to fit my belly and a t-shirt for my hubby.  This weekend I hope to start cutting out the applique pieces for the coffe quilt.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Why I hate dressmaking

Actually I love dressmaking, but even when I don't have an ever-expanding belly, in order to get a vaguely decent fitting garment, I have to turn this:
 into this:
And of course then adjust any facings and the back to correspond.  At least I don't have to mess with the armhole because that sucks.

For my efforts though, I now have these (from two different patterns):

I added fabric to the front of the woven ones so I have more space for my belly, but the knitted ones had a bit of room anyway.  Hopefully they'll last me for a few months.  The brown one was actually a bit of a protype before I'd done the proper pattern adjustment.  I was feeling lazy but realised if I wanted a nice top I'd have to put the work in.  I have fabric to make another like the purple one, but I think now I'm going to work on pants next.

Unfortunately I don't have any old pants I'm willing to cut up to make maternity pants out of so might have to try from scratch.  Otherwise I'll see what the op shops have to offer because I'm taking a tip today.  Also have fabric for trackie pants, but right now I need work/weekend pants that I can wear out.

Also want to have a go at making Megan Nielsen's maternity shirt, so will be looking for a shirt to do that to as well.  I can't pinch one of hubby's shirts because they were all too small for me before I got the big belly.  Damn skinny boys!!

On a separate note, off to the Australian Quilt Convention tomorrow.  I have a small spending allowance because hubby splurged on something last week, and I have a few projects that need some extra fabric so hopefully it will all work out well.  Either way I think I'm bound to see some lovely quilts!


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