Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa Sack...

I bought a Hot Possum Santa Sack pattern in a weak moment and I can't remember where, possibly at a quilt show. I have used their kits before and wasn't that impressed with the material contents as the material pieces weren't all the size or the applique they were designated for, never the less they were easy to use and to follow. The bonus of this material-less kit is that there are 4 different patterns to choose from, one being an angel and the other shapes might be useful for other things 'one day'.

So we started with
 Stars and halo using left over lining from a music bag made for a fellow recorder-ist, pink dress left over from the dinosaur cushion Lisa C made for Amelia a few birthdays ago, green spots left over from the cricket quilt, dark green form my slightly decreasing Xmas fabric stash, wings from the same stash!
 Then we machine blanket stitched (not overly well but for the purpose of speed it'll do!) Amelia traced and cut out her name and we ironed it on together. Material was one she chose froma  recent trip to Hobby Sew for the binding materials for the boys quilts.
The top elf frill was also left overs from the cricket quilt. The bells were a nightmare to sew on! The loop on the bell kept cutting the thread! But we have a very happy girl and a husband who suggested perhaps making one for each of us... Maybe next year dear! I am done for the time being :-)

Christmas Napkins

For what seems like forever I have wanted to have Christmas Napkins that I have made on my table, infact I would like to make fabric napkins for a number of 'eating occasions' and now I have had a go I will probably make some more, no, I will, no probably about it!

These came from not quite a metre of fabric at the end of a roll with 50% off Christmas fabric and I was charged for half a metre only so cost me $2.49! 8 napkins with enough fabric for 3 more or a runner... gotta love that!

And this is the plan for how they will look on the Christmas Table. *happy sigh*

Make it up as you go along skirt for Miss Alethea

Amelia has been learning recorder at school which she loves and is suprisingly good at! We have had a rather odd approach to paying for the lessons. As these are private lessons they are not covered in her school fees. Rather than paying a weekly fee the music teacher has suggested a barter type system and I am making her daughter a skirt, a night dress and a music bag with us paying for the material, a far swap I think! Alethea is also 'learning' sewing from me, although I am struggling to knwo how to teach her as I am, for the most part, self taught. I did do sewing at school and did well at it but the things we made were square things and not the most practical or skill generating.

With the lead up to Christmas being very busy and a pile of personal projects on the go I have only so far managed to do the skirt. Alethea had a big part in the making of this, she chosethe fabrics, helped sort the order of the layers out, determined the length of each layer and the finished skirt, putting the thread on the bobbin and doing some of the gathering. She was initially supposed to help with some of the sewing but the lure of jumbo chalk and a concrete driveway saw her otherwise occupied! She wanted a REALLY long skirt and that is what she has!

I used Alethea's hip measurement and multiplied x 1.8 to get the length of the teirs, i was going to use x 1.5 but as she wanted a super twirly skirt I went with a longer teir. I am not entirely happy with the top tier ratio but (and in the nicest possible way) even though I added 3" to the hip measurement it was quite tight across her bum and it would have been uncomfortable to wear. She ditched the skirt she turned up to our place in and wore this one to her Great Grandmother's 100th birthday party!

And we are happy to report it twirls rather spectacularly!

And, when that top teir is too tight we can take it off and turn the 2nd teir over for an elastic casing and have a slightly shorter skirt and a mum has got to be happy with getting more wear out of a bit of clothing!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Miss Margaret Mary

Amelia has a lovely friend at school called Maggie. We love Maggie to bits and her Mum and Dad and think it's mutual! Maggie and Amelia are an odd couple but best mates! Amelia is the tallest in the year and Maggie is amongst the shortest. They get on very well and I know Amelia would stick up for Maggie if she needed to! Maggie is pretty good at holding her own :-)

We saw some fabric in Spotlight a few shopping missions ago and Amelia and I both said 'this has got Maggie written all over it'. I love this whole 'story' of fabric. I am trying to scheme a way to make a 'something' for myself out of it! I don't usually like Spotlight patterns but this one appeals to the Nordic in me, I am sure there is some historical Viking buried in me somewhere! I decided Maggie needed a nightie made out of it. I know it is going to fit her better when she perhaps grows an inch or 2 but it's sweet, we like it and Amelia had to model it for me!

 And she lost another tooth, as in, we can't find it so she owes the Tooth Fairy!
I just love the pattern and the muted pinkness of this fabric. I hope Miss Maggie does too!

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Group

I always have such grande plans but life gets in the way and has a way of slowing me down or putting the stops on anything creative. I joined The Sewing Library on Facebook and via that someone has set up a 52 week challenge for 2012 which I have joined... The 52 Week New Years Sewalution!

It's a closed group, as in you request to join, but if the community is anything like the first one I joined (TSL) it is going to be a fun place to be :-) The ladies are so lovely and very very helpful! The weekly challenge doesn't have to be sewing, I think it can be anything crafty...

Here is my to do list for 2011

Cushions for the new house - ideally I would like a new couch for these to go on...
Dress for Lucy - needs to be in Paris by the 5 July
Quilt for Nathan - for his birthday needs to be done by July 1, Xmas gives me a bit more time
Quilt for Jarod - I'm thinking Xmas...

Blossom Creek - BOM 2,3,4 and the log cabining for blocks 1-4 and then the rest of it
Library bag for Amelia
Summer skirts for Amelia

Summer dresses for Amelia
Christmas placemats (that won't fall apart when you wash them) as gifts
Teachers Xmas gifts
Class mates Xmas gifts
Close friends hand made Xmassy something
Mermaid Doll Amelia bought at the quilt fair
Applique Xmas table piece - for Julie V in Paris

So in 2012 I plan to finish those AND...

Make 3 QUICK out door quilts, basic ones, just squares, we can wrap ourselves up in when having brekky in autumn.
Make my journal covers
Cushion covers for CGC
2 more winter nightdresses for Amelia
Skirt top layer for my 'Sari' underskirt
Placemats and tablecloths for us to use outdoors
Make up the Polar Fleece Jackets I cut out in 2004! Yikes!!!

And what ever else takes my fancy throughout the year, I am sure I will add to it.

Wish me luck! Why not come and join this group too? Let me know if you do ;-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Teachers Gifts...

Oh what grande plans I had for these and wouldn't you know it... they are finished at 9.40pm the night before school finishes but our main teachers last day was today! Grr... SO annoyed! Anyhoo...

Ages ago these caught my eye... I thought 'hmm, pretty in Christmas fabric' and set about finding the time to cut the fabric out. With a 'know your sewing machine' course booked a few weeks ago I had to have a project that I was working on to the point I was unfamiliar with my machine at. So round one of cutting was done, some hasty sewing done and I was shown how to use the walking foot on my machine.

Then on Saturday I set about putting the binding on the mats. I tried to remember what I was quickly shown in the class but failed. I researched you tube sites and watched video after video but there was something in my brain blocking me from doing a mitred corner. No matter what I watched or how many times I tried my mats looked dreadful. The backs were messy, the mats mishappen. Not something I could give as a gift that's for sure! I unpicked, I tried again and again and again and then in a fit of rage I (gently) kicked my machine and threw the mats in the bin and stormed off to our bedroom in a major huff (not just because of the mats there were a LOT of factors on Saturday that lead to my explosion!

Determined not to let this get the better of me, I decided that Monday would have no distractions of housework, husband checking emails or playing cards and daughter wanting to help me so I set about again making the teachers gifts...

I prefered the original colour combinations I did but the machine binding a plain fabric on a plain fabric was a recipe for disaster as every stitch was visible and that was one of the things that made the mats look like Amelia had sewn them! So I wanted to change things a bit and put a patterned fabric on the back and the binding.

Knowing it was the binding I had the biggested problem with I remembered Jen does great tutorials on her blog so searched through and found this one. Very helpful! An my mitred corners are, well, 'almost perfect'. Now to work on keeping things square... not tonight though, too tired! I am not a perfectionist and half the joy of giving and receiving a gift is the thought that went into its creation...

So, Mrs. Connell, Mrs. Symmonds, Mrs. Garret and Miss. Phillips (and to a lesser extent Mrs. Torfique, Mrs. Allcorn and Mrs. Lazamatos) - thank you for being Amelia's teachers this year, thank you for helping her when she needed help, a cuddle when she fell off the play equipment, the direction in lessons, the extention in learning, the discipline when she was out of hand, the comfortor when she had a rough time in the play ground and was excluded from the 'club' of the moment and above all, helping shape the love of learning and wanting to know things that has given her a good foundation to her education. Amelia loves each and every one of you the same but perhaps Mrs. Connell juuuuuuuuuuuuuust a little bit more :-)

Amelia chose the mugs these go with and I think each choice reflects the teacher that it is for.

I made 5 but one isn't up to muster so I am not gifitng it. I might play with it and turn it into something else. I like the Dresden Wedge and have loads of ideas now on things I would like to make! Always running before I can walk...