Saturday, 31 December 2011

Bloggers choice

Thers's a fab little give away going on over at quokka quilts (oh quokka's - making me feeling even more homesick than new year and january usually does in London, sometimes I just long to be back in Oz but enough of that...).

You can put together a bundle of fabrics from the Fat Quarter Shop and then, the most awesome part, have a chance to win not just a fat quarter but a HALF YARD of each of them!!!! Wowee!!! I just had to enter as I love, love, love putting fabrics together. I created this bundle while talking to my sister on the phone (for an hour and a half) while she was having a new year at home and describing the sydney fireworks to me. I'm calling it Spring Roses as I cannot wait for Spring and all its colourful glory. the greyness of January is quite hard to take sometimes and these would totally cheer me up massively!

Happy New Year everyone, have a great one, wishing you peace, happiness and joy for 2012.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Makes for Molly

My baby niece is almost twelve weeks old now. As she lives in sunny Sydney I thought I would make her some little baby sun dresses. I used a cute Butterick pattern and made these little sundresss with matching frily knickers. Ahhhhhh baby clothes sooooo cute!!!

This one is lined with a beautiful spotty yellow fabric

The back

Frilly baby knickers

Oh yes and because I am obsessed with matchiness I had to do a bib too.

And then I did a version in blue, no ric rac on the dress and no pockets, lets face it what does a baby need pockets for?

I love these sweet buttons

Aaahh I can't wait to see a photo of her wearing them.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A year of makes

As 2011 draws to a close I have been thingking about all the things I have made this year and how much I have enjoyed participating in the various flickr swaps and bees. I've (virtually) met some really lovely people, learned lots of new skills and tried things I would never have tried without being on flickr. The internet has been such a wealth of inspirarion, full of great tutorials, wonderful ideas and fabulous examples of craft. In 2012 I plan to finish up lots of outstanding quilt projects, develop my little blog further and try my hand at designing a bag pattern. I have the most ridiculous number of bags and keep making more of them so I am going to try and channel my energies into design although I'm sure this will involve making lots of prototypes too.

Thanks to all those I have met on flickr and who have let me work with their fabrics and contribute to their quilt projects in some small way. Wishing you all a happy and peaceful new year and a crafty and inspired 2012!

Some of my 2011 bee blocks

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Baggie Pressies

December has been a blur. I've been pretty busy lately making Christmas and Birthday presents. First up is a knitting bag for my friend Amy who is an all round totally awesome crafty person. She introduced Crafternoon's to my life. We basically meet up do craft, eat cake and drink tea - bliss! The theme for her birthday is the completely inspired Krispy Kreme and Kava Ladies Tea party, the best birthday idea I have ever heard.

I made her this knitting bag using the Amanda's Knitting Bag pattern from the Sometimes Crafter's Etsy shop. I altered the pattern slightly to make the bag a bit wider so she could fit mor knitting stuff in and used some lovely liberty print fabric I had been hoarding.

and one without a kitty (not easy as they love being in the photos)

I also made this Nikki Tote for my sister with a mtching ruched happy pouch for make-up or other bits and pieces. I love this Joel Dewberry fabric and really want to keep this bag for myself but that would not be in the spirit of Christmas!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Goodie Bag Swap 2

For this second round of the goodies bag swap I had an awesome partner Aylin who made this great inspiration mosaic  creatively entitled "Bags I love or what I would love as a bag" she included this tutorial for a fancy folded star pot holder from the Moda Bakeshop. Before I knew she was my partner I had admired her mosaic and the folded star and mused on how I could incorporate this into a bag. My initial idea was a simple tote bag with a star on either side. I was delighted when I discovered she was my secret partner and went out and bought I bunch of Joel Dewberry fabric (any excuse to buy fabric).

I had signed up for the advanced category so a simple tote was ruled out. Eventually I hit on the idea of making a messenger bag with the folded star on the flap. I used a pattern from keykaloupatterns and enlarged it by 141% (no exciting reason for this number, just the A4 to A3 enlarger on the photocopier) and added a zipper pocket. I was so pleased with the result and it was well worth all the effort.

I lined it with my favourite print from the heirloom line, this woodblock print.
I also made a little snap frame purse with hand-stitched detail to go with it, also lined with JD fabric.
Just for good measure I made a little zipper pouch as I wanted to try out the Perfect Zip Bag pattern from Elizabeth Hartman at oh, fransson!

This is my whole little package for my partner. I'm so delighted that she loved it, I had a great time making it and learnt lots of new things and extended my skills. For me that is the whole point of a swap :)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Quilt for my Niece

When my niece was born six weeks ago I was delighted, not only for the safe arrival but also because I thought it was a fantastic chance to use up all my pink scraps. However there is something about the "pink for girls" idea that irritates me, blue is my favourite colour and it seems to me that girls don't have a choice these days, they have to like pink because they are girls. Anyhow ramblings aside I decided to go with a red and aqua theme for the quilt which I think is even prettier than pink. Here is the finished result.

I used my favourite print from Tanya Whelan for the back, it has a special significance for me. My Mum always loved roses and grew the most increadibly beautiful red roses. Since she is no longer with us I thought it a fitting fabric to use for a quilt for her first granddaughter who now carries her name. By making this quilt I feel I am giving a little bit of my Mum's love, I know she would have been busy making things for the baby if she was still with us.

My Mum would have also ironed this :)

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Pretty Little Pouch Swap

For a long time I admired the pouches made over at Pretty Little Pouch Swap I finally decided to join up and I absolutely loved the last round. I made these for my partner
 It was the first time I had used any of the Heather Ross fabric and I can see why people love it so much, it really is gorgeous to sew with. The thing I most like about swaps is challenging myself to make something that I would not normally make and it was great to use colours and fabrics that are different to what I would normally choose.

My partner, Colleen (LuckyDuckDreams) made me the MOST WONDERFUL little pouch, here it is, all mine!!!!
I had seen it in the group and it was the one I admired the most, I love the DS quilts fabric in these colours and the little hand stitched bird is just lovely. Here he is in close up
On the back she also put a lovely little hexie birdie, it is these kind of little details that really make me smile.
And not only did I get this amazing pouch she filled it with gorgeous goodies including some really cool vintage sewing stuff. Thanks so much Colleen you are an awesome partner!!

I love rick rack and this jumbo rick rack in this lovely colour is just wonderful!
Beautiful quilting thread, cool graphic design!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Sewn Spaces Swap

Yesterday I recieved my wonderful parcel from Lori (Sew Addicted to Fabric). She made me the most awesome pincushion in the shape of a bird.
It has fabulous hand stitching all over the wings. Isn't it just adorable? I am not sure I can stick pins into it though, it is so sweet. I think I might just keep it as a little companion for my sewing table.
 She also sent me three lovely fat quarters, two beautiful buttons and some pretty pins. What a great partner, thank you Lori!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Fear of Quilting

I love sewing the quilt tops but I am terrified of the quilting. When making my first ever quilt I had so much trouble quilting it that I decided I would always send quilts to the long-arm quilter to be quilted instead of doing them myself. However I soon realised this was a hugely costly decision and I would have to learn to do them properly myself. I have several tops that have been languishing in my pile of unfinished objects gently nagging away at me everytime I begin a new project, buy new fabric or download a new quilt pattern.

I decided to research quilting properly, went on a free-motion quilting class and then this week I decided to begin quilting one of the quilts that I thought would be most straightforward i.e. it is made up of lines and I was planning on quilting it with my walking foot in straightlines. (I'm still scared to start free motion quilting - I'm only going to be able to overcome one fear at a time!).

With some help from the kittens I pinned all the layers together and prepared the quilt for quilting. I used a gorgeous cotton sateen for the back. I chose it just because I liked the design but I could not have chosen a better fabric if I had tried, it is absolutely dreamy to sew. With some trepidation I began the quilting and was suprised to find that it was ok. Time consuming, about an hour to quilt each block and I have done three hours so far but really not as bad as I feared.

Like so many things in life the fear was worse than actually getting on and doing it. Luckily I had the ever-helpful Honey on my side as you can see below. The quilt is not finished but is on it's way. I don't think I'm ever going to be able to quilt for more than an hour at a time but I think if I do a block a day it should be done by the end of the week - fingers crossed.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Sewn Spaces Swap - pincushions

I signed up for the latest Sewn Spaces Swap, making pincushions. I've already done the sewing machine cover and needlebook swaps and couldn't resist the pincushion swap. My partner wanted a green pincushion with hand embroidery and "nothing cutesy". I had plenty of green fabric since my sewing cover partner also liked green (not my favourite colour so I went out and bought some which has come in pretty useful for these swaps). I spent ages poring over my partners mosaic but still couldn't decide what to make. In the end I went for tiny patchwork using green with some black and white sewing themed fabric.

I made some piping to go around the top and because my partner wanted hand embroidery I stitched the word "pins" then had no idea how to incorporate it into the pincushion. I really should plan these things rather than making them up as I go along! In the end I used it as the back although it went a bit wonky when I added the button.

After I finished I worried that the patchwork was too cute - not what my partner wanted. Just to be on the safe side I decided to make another pincushion using some natural linen I had with some more embroidery. So I made this

I used some Amy Butler fabric and this Life is Beautiful ribbon you can see in the close up below.
 It is probably even more cutesy than the other pincushion but I hope my partner likes it. It is hard to know what someone considers too cute, I think pink cupcake pincushions would be too cute I'd like to think these are just modern and a little bit funky perhaps. Fingers crossed for a happy partner.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Pretty Little Pouch Swap version 2

So once I completed my pretty little pouch I decided I would make another pouch in a larger size. I went over to  Keykalou and downloaded the inset zip pouch sewing pattern to make this pouch

I went a little crazy with the pretty stitches I can make on my sewing machine but hope I stopped myself before I got totally crazy, I was tempted to do rows of every type of stitch in rainbow colours but I had to rein myself in, those leaves are so cute I think (i'm not even gonna mention the little pucker in the top right hand corner - it was tough getting the top of it around the sewing machine)

So my little pouches are all ready to go, I hope my partner likes them!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Pretty Little Pouch Swap

So I finally plucked up the courage to join the pretty little pouch swap over at Flickr. After admiring all the pouches for so long I just had to join and I'm really loving seeing all the amazing pouches people have made.

My partner likes bright colours and Heather Ross fabric. I have never used any Heather Ross fabric before, I admire the designs but there is something about them that just isn't quite me. I really wanted to make something my partner would love so I went out and got some. The fabric was really lovely to sew with and I'm pleased with how it came out. I love making these little snap frame purses. I'm thinking of doing a tutorial to show how to make them. They are pretty easy really but look quite professional with the shiny silver frame.

In other bag making news I have joined the Goodie Bag Swap round 2, become obsessed with pink tweed fabric after seeing a pink tweed sofa that I could never afford and started on a pink tweed bag and am trying to find the perfect bag pattern for some lovely Liberty fabric that has been languishing for too long in my stash.

Speaking of stashes my new niece (as yet un-named) arrived this morning. Yay! I have an opportunity to use up all the pink fabric!!! And of course welcome to the world little un-named one!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Blimey where did September go?

Gosh, that month just flew past without a minute to blog! I blame a combination of return to work, an inspection at work, cough, cold, laryngitis while trying to work and be inspected and trying to do too much craft. I am pleased at least that I got some things done, including;

Making these awesome cupcakes at the make lounge (craft heaven), they are too pretty to even nibble!

Finishing all my blocks for the 3 x 6 Bee, I'm not gonna lie these were really hard work - next time I'm picking an easier block.
3 x 6 Bee Blocks
For Erin
For Rhonda
For Kari

For Amie
For Brenda
For Elaine

I also made these blocks for the Sew Modern Bee

 I also made a baby bag for my sister who is having a little one in a couple of weeks (and stupdily forgot to take a picture  and did a maching quilting class, more of that in the next post, this one is far too long already.