Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Crafty Christmas mail

My new table runner arrived in the mail today and my son met me at the door this afternoon with the parcel in his hot little hands. He couldn't wait to see what was inside and neither could I.
My partner was Pennywiggle and she also made my lovely tree quilt in the recent doll quilt swap and we are very lucky to get this parcel from her as well!

The front is a disappering 9 patch design in aqua, red and green christmas prints.

And look at the back! She has made it reversible, and it looks just as great as the front.

As an extra, she has bound and quilted the 'extra' block into a mini quilt and it is the perfect size to use as a table center or a pot mat.

Both quilts were labelled with very cute labels so I'll remember who made them for me and why.

Isn't this a lovely pre-christmas surprise!

Thanks Denni - we love them and they will be sure to get lots of use.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Table runner finished and in the post.

Here is a peek of the completed table runner for the latest EB swap.

It is in the post and my partner should recieve it early next week, floods permitting ;)

Following the tradition I seem to have started, there are several more of these in various stages of completion. One is a completed top, one needs borders and a third is still just a pile of squares stacked neatly beside the sewing machine. Wonder if they will simply join the uncompleted pile of projects that is sitting quietly, waiting for me to get around to finishing them all?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Morning Star details

Some one just pointed out that I hadn't blogged pics of the quilt I made for Ingrid...not sure how I forgot! Put it down to overtime at work, uni assignment due and a short holiday - something had to get missed.
(There are some great photos over at Ingrid's blog - http://lottielulu.blogspot.com/2010/11/eb-doll-quilt-swap-2010.html )
So here it is - Morning Star.

I used fabrics from the latest Storybook Village range, purchased from Fabric Shack with a whit-on-white floral print for the background. I used sixteen diferent fabrics for the diamonds.

The design is based on the 'Starlight Express' pattern from the book 'Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott, but altered to use 1.5in strips and to add an extra row of diamonds.
The binding is made from the strips left-over after cutting the diamonds.
The quilt ended up at around 22 inches square.
I quilted about 1/4in nside the seam lines to define the star and then echo quilted the white background at 1 inch intervals. I used pastel embroidery thread for the quilting to add a bit of interest to the white.
The backing is pieced from fabrics from the same range.
As usual, I have a matching one half-made in the pile of works-in-progress.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Opening day

This is the front of the lovely little doll quilt made for me by Denni. Isn't it sweet.
This pic doesn't quite pick up the colours but it was the best I could do.
Look at the fantastic free-motion applique.

This shot was taken outside to try and pick up the texture of the applique and quilting.

This is the back and you can clearly see all the tiny stitches in the hand quilting.

The label is made using a photo of the front of the quilt.
I feel very lucky to be given something that has been made with such care.
Thanks Denni!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween dress up day

seems to come around faster every year.

I took the easy option this year and the only sewing I did was to insert some elastic at the wrists and ankles.

But seriously for about $15 total who is complaining. Certainly not this little boy. Doesn't he think he is the bees knees!

Doll quilt opening day is tomorrow

and I hope mine makes it to its new home in time.

Here are some sneak peeks to tide my partner over until opening time.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Doll quilt and table runner sneak peeks

Two more swaps in progress. Doll quilt due to be posted on 31 October and table runner for the end of November.

First up - fabric for the doll quilt. Lots of sweet repro vintage prints cut into tiny little strips.

Next - a pile of christmas prints that will become a table runner or two. The green is a lovely minty shade, combined with a rich red and some salmony pink, with lashings of metallic gold.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Swap goodies - what I sent.

This was very hard to part with, as I loved the colours in this fabric.

Quite convenient that Jen made something in a similar colour way!

I sewed an outfit for Dani's son Alex, who is slightly older than Jack. The top and shirts were both Burda patterns (9792 & 9793). I'd never made either one before so it was a bit of a learning process and I have to admit to a little (hmm) bit of un-picking along the way.

The short sleeve, button front shirt was made using 'Rocket Scientist' fabric by Kerrie Beyer. I was rather chuffed that I managed to match the fabric design along the front opening. i was worried that I wouldn't get this part finished on time but it came together very quickly.

The shorts were made from a cord fabric with another print from the 'Rocket Scientist' range used for the pockets. The cord was much stretchier than I thought it would be, and I think I would prefer to make this pattern in a drill or light denim.

The purchased singlet top was a back-up plan when I thought I was running out of time to get the shirt finished. I did want a t-shirt but couldn't find a plain one in the right colour blue, and this top was the perfect colour. The applique is made from the fabrics used in the shorts and is a simple straight-stitch. I hope it stands up to washing.

I have a matching set in the green colourway almost finished for Jack. He keeps going into the sewing room looking for his 'rocket ships' so I think I had better get a move on with it.

Swap opening - Jack's new outfit

Please excuse my photograpy. We opened the parcel when I got home from work and it was starting to get dark so the lighting is pretty bad. I took the photos straight away so everything is a little wrinkled from the mail, and I put them on Jack straight after his bath while he was in the mood to pose.

Look at what we got!

We opened this great package from Jen this afternoon and what a wonderful bundle of clothes she has made for us.

A fantastic button-up shirt covered in tow trucks, other trucks, motor bikes and cars. I think this is a Michael Miller print and there are lots of fabulous details like the faces of the drivers and the names on the trucks. This is perfect for Jack as he is rather obsessed with tow trucks, broken down cars and mechanics at the moment.

The shirt pairs perfectly with a pair of denim shorts with the same print for pocket trims. There is a huge amount of contrasting top stitching and they are really well made.

And my favourite part, a white t-shirt appliqued with a tow-truck towing a car, based on a design from the printed fabric.

The applique wraps around the shirt and the whole think is free-motioned appliqued.....very impressive!

As you can see, Jack thinks he looks rather special!

Thanks Jen, you've done a great job and they will all get lots of wear.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kids swap 2010 - sneak peek

I enjoyed making my swap outfit for last year's swap so much, that I signed up again this year.

It was a bit easier this year as everything was already in my stash.
You might recognise the fabric from a different swap I posted about a while ago.
I had the patterns and fabric sitting there waiting to make an outfit for Jack, and this has given me the motivation to get on with it. mind you, Jack's outfit is still only half done....
My parcel was wrapped up and posted off today, and now I'm eagerly awaiting my special parcel in return.
Check back on Monday for the big reveal!

Monday, August 9, 2010

A visitor and ANOTHER quilt in progress

This little guy has been hanging around our place for the last few weeks, changing trees every day.

He has a few battle scars so hopefully he will stay safe with us for a while.

I've spent a few hours over the weekend working on a baby quilt for a work friend's baby shower. The original plan was simple charm squares with a co-ordinating border and could have been completed in a weekend. However, the plan changed when the fabric arrived, and this is where I am up to....

It is inspired by Helen's Bye Bye Birdie quilt that appeared in Homespun magazine, http://patchwork-of-mini-grey.blogspot.com/2009/10/day-9-of-blogtoberfest-bye-bye-birdie.html and the bird appliques are taken from another quilt in a later edition of Homespun.
I've pieced the four long strips but the geen sashing isn't attatched yet. There will be two more sashing strips, a narrow pink border and a wide green spotty border.
That won't take long, but the quilting will take me a while.
And these little birds all need stitching down and they also need eyes and legs.
The baby shower is next weekend and I've decided not to try to finish it in time. It would end up rushed and I know I won't be happy with it.
I've also got some other commitments this week that simply can't be put off.
I think I will take a trip to the shops for a shower gift instead, and take my time working on this.
I'm sure there will be another little girl in need of a quilt sometime in the future.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A new flannel quilt in progress

A few weeks ago I recieved this snuggly bundle of fabrics in the mail from http://www.fabricshack.com/

I recently found out that you can fit four yards of flannels in a $13-ish envelope (from the US) and set about working out how to get something special using as many prints as possible. I played with a simple design and then spent a bit of time online picking out fabrics. Jack joined in and narrowed down the selection, and we ended up with 1 yard of the bright stripe fabric, and 1/4 yard of each of 12 different novelty prints.

I spent a few hours one Saturday cutting and the rest of the weekend sewing, pressing and trimming and ended up with a completed quilt top. The best part is that the whole quilt top cost less than $40, including the cost of fabric postage.

Here it is laid out on a queensize bed. Jack calls it his 'new kilt'.

The top turned out a bit larger than I had imagined, but it looks like a perfect size to use on a single bed instead of just as a throw/lap quilt as I had planned.
The four yards were cut rather generously so I managed 9.5 inch squares from each fabric, with only a small strip of each remaining. The stripe fabric worked really well for the sashing and there is only a very tiny scrap left over.
Jack's favorites are the 'Rescue' range - the multi prints of fire engines, police cars, trucks etc. There is one with a blue background and one with a beige background in the quilt, and they were very thick, soft, rich fabrics - lovely to sew with.
I was a bit disappointed with the Riley Blake (2 x green car prints) and the Michael Miller (black multicolour owls and black icecream prints) fabrics as they were much thinner. The colours and designs are great but they were harder to handle and I'm worried they won't wear as well.
I'm busy picking fabrics for the back from my rather large stash of novelty cottons. I need to go on a search and rescue mission to find the ones Jack has pilfered from the pile over the last few days.
The back will be a crazy-ish random eye-spy creation and the binding will most likely be a plain solid colour. I'm thinking of either quilting in the ditch or in a diagonal grid pattern.
Hopefully I'll have the backing completed this weekend and will be able to get it sandwiched and quilted by the end of the month.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Finally some sewing!

We were planning on attending a birthday party for the daughter of a friend today but woke up to the little one coughing and vommiting at 2am this morning (throat infection not gastro) so decided we should skip the party and take him to the doctors instead. Poor little mite has spent most of the day on my bed with countless dvds and lemonade iceblocks.
However, I have this little dress finished and ready to gift so it will be going in the mail instead.
I used a pattern found here http://www.ikatbag.com/2010/01/dress-for-winter-iii-very-simple-jumper.html and made it reversible, and made it totally from the stash.
One side is blue pinwale cord, trimmed with cotton lace and white flower-shaped buttons that compliment the lace.
The other is a bright quilters cotton in blue with iredescent butterflies and flowers, picked out with gold foil. I decided not to put buttons on this side because I like the way the butterflies sit on the shoulders.

This really should have taken only 1-2 hours from start to finish, but i forgot to check the overlocking thread before I started (unpicking...), broke a needle (unpicking, rethreading), had several goes at the rounded shouldertabs (more unpicking - next time I'll draw on a stitching line) and several goes at the hem (more unpicking, pressing and pinning which I should have done first time round).
Gee I'm out of practice!

I also spent ages going through the fabric stash and choosing fabrics, then going through the ribbon stash to choose trime, then going through the button stash to choose buttons. It made for a pleasant evening but dragged out the construction time.

I was planning a layered yellow ribbon/purple ribbon/green rickrack trim on the patterned side but after I had it pinned to the dress I decided it looked more like gift wrap than clothing, and I'm glad I left it off.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ah-hoy me hearties...!

Pirate day at day-care - we've been reading pirate stories and talking pirate-speak for the last week!

I thought it would be easy to buy a pirate hat but everywhere was sold out, so we designed our own from black cardboard, glue, tape, staples and gold braid. It took much longer than expected but turned out rather well.

The parrot was non-negotiable. The pirate in the book (I wish I had a pirate suit by Pamela Allen) had one, so we had to have one too.
Thankfully there was a parrot finger puppet in the toy box (from Ikea). Some pipecleaners for feet, some green feathers for wings and two big safety pins to attatch it to the shoulder and the pirate parrot was ready for action.

Every pirate needs some treasure. Our gold and silver coins were made from bottle tops flattened out with a hammer. They smell a bit beer-y but that's okay.
The pirate sword was cardboard covered on both sides with some sticky-backed foam found in the 'useful stuff' in Dad's shed. Apparently it is used for concrete slabs? It made a nice soft sword that shouldn't cause any damage.

One of his mates had a telescope. Of course Pirate Jack noticed, turned to me and said "Mum, where's my pirate-scope?".

Friday, March 12, 2010

Colour Swap

Well, I couldn't help myself and signed up for another swap!

This time it was a colour swap. Each person listed a favourite colour and then their secret partner put together a pack worth $30 including fabric, trims, threads etc.

Today was opening day and Jack was convinced the present was for him.

It didn't take him long to realise that it was intended for someone else...he got this far and said "Oh look Mum, its for you".

And here is my lovely pack. I listed blue combined with cream or green, and mentioned that I have a soft spot for paisley, and my clever but very secret partner didn't dissappoint.

There is a fantastic frog and paisley print with a matching border print, that co-ordinates perfectly with the brown, green and pink print beside it. I'm tossing up between using it for a bag or a quirky wrap skirt. There is also some blue sock monkey fabric that is already earmarked for Jack's I-spy quilt and a lovely spotty fat quarter. Some fantastic coconut-shell buttons, some thread and a set of three hand-made felt flowers made up the rest of the parcel.

Jack immediatley found a use for the thread, and then turned his attention to the flowers...

However, I quickly rescued them from his clutches and will be using them to embelish a bag or hat or maybe even a quilt.

Here is the only photo I took of the pack I made up for Emma. She asked for fabric for her boys, suggesting blues and greens and I took the opportuinity to grab some great rocket fabric that I've had my eye on for ages, added some co-ordinates and then wrapped the whole lot up in some very boy-ish flannelette.

She has some photos on her blog so drop over to http://emmafaye-emma.blogspot.com/ and have a look!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

EB New year swap - part 2: revealing my creations

As soon as my partner (Vikki) posted her list of things she would like to receive, I knew exactly what I would make for her.

She asked for a 'Make it Perfect' Versatile Wrap Skirt, and I happened to have the pattern sitting in my 'to-do' pile crying out to be used. Picking some fabric proved a little harder. After a fruitless trip to Spotlight and several hours online I found some that sort-of met her tentative request for brown and aqua. The skirt was very easy to make and I really liked the end result. I've got more of this fabric, and also some with a cream background instead of the brown. I'm planing on making one for me as well.

Vikki also had a superhero cape for her son as another item on her list. The tutorial for a reversible cape she had linked was actually sitting in my list of bookmarks - another item on my to-do list. As the skirt had been so easy to make that I decided to make tughhe cape for her son and one for mine. Because I could fit three across the width of fabric I made a third at the same time and gifted that to someone else as a surprise.

These were all made entirely from my stash, and are identical except for the letter on the black side.

I used shot duchess (sort of like satin but with a rough texture) for the blue side. It shimmers from blue to silver in the light. The emblem is my own design and uses the reverse of the main fabric for the shield and some black crepe and green felt for the rest of the design.

The other side is silky black crepe with red satin for the diamond and some flame-print polar fleece for the initial.

Applique on slippery satin fabrics turned out to be a little challenging, so the diamonds are not as neat as I would have liked, and it took ages to do three at once, but I think the end product is pretty fantastic.
Jack refused to wear his so I hope the other ones went down better at the other end!