Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 sewing list...

As 2012 comes to a close albeit too quickly for my liking it's time to turn thoughts to projects for next year and write my UFO list for this year to knock them over quick smart or do one old/one new to keep things interesting.

So left from 2012 I have

Blossom Creek complete block 2 (oh so close), then 3, 4 and do the log cabining
Make some fabric table runners to sell in the 'shop'
Placemats to go with the cushions I made  for Coral's b'day
Blouse for me
Over skirt for my sari skirt so I will wear the skirt and it won't sit in the wardrobe...
Fabric placemats for us for outside
Apron for Katie

And the things I know are on the list for 2013

Stitch in the ditch the jelly roll quilt
Make my Material Obsession Dotty for Dresden quilt
Do something with all fabric that I have got back from the rainbow swaps I was in in 2012!
A beach bag from a charm swap
A table runner from the Christmas swap
Christmas placemats
A replacement ironing board cover for Laura I think with the charm squares (I mean I have 4 of each swap to play with, there will be no shortage of rianbows in our house!)
Have come up with some other goodies to sell in the shop as well - keeping those under wraps fro the time being.
A couple of loose tops to wear in Raro in March
Winter nighties for Missy
Another full circle skirt/dress for Missy and one for her friend MMV

So far this seems managable!

The biggest thing on the list is a graduation quilt for Mrs C at the end of this year and no doubt the other class will want to make one as well. We have the same teacher for 3 years (kindy, year 1 na dyear 2) then the same teacher for the next 4 years (years 3-6). Some people may object to this system but we are quite embracing of it! Our much loved Mrs C knows these kids SO well and will know them even better than we do by the end of year 2. The primary years teacher is someone the kids have in their lives long after they have let school. Even at speech night this year there were so many past students it was refreshing, and a lot of them didn't have younger siblings at the school this year.

This quilt will have a 'cartoon' type character of each child she has taught (we have had 3 children leave since we started school). I am not sure how they will be placed but I will chat with my partner in crime and we will come up with something.

Clearly it looks like a quilting year!! Hmm Maybe I will have to look for a quilting class in my area or join Irene's class at Hobbysew...

And some other things will no doubt be more some clothes for Amelia. She surely will stop growing soon but while she is happy to wear home made I am happy to make them!

I also bought some new patterns for me this week. I will get a feel for them and then commit to what I will make from them :-)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Secret Santa

Ages ago, when I was involved with a stash, one of the organisers thought it would be fun to organise a Kris Kringle for those who wanted to be a part of it, with the ladies who were in the swap.

I received my gift a few weeks ago but knowing Christmas Day was going to be a bit of fizzer because Stef was working, it was the only gift under the tree for me so I deciced to wait and open it Christmas Day.

This is what was inside...

Gorgeous handmade card, teatowel with hand appliqued trees on it, a handmade tissue case, tea sachets, an erasable pen (which Miss 7 has her eye on - um no!) all in a gorgeous bag with bells on it. Thank you Carol, I hope your Christmas was happy!

I had Cass and this is what I sent her, she seemed very happy with it! All I had to go on was that she was a sewer, a quilter and a knitter and I knew she was pregnant and loves all things Christmas.

Cass orgainsed the original travelling stash and I had added the licence plate into it but sadly it wasn't put in on of the parcels carfully and it broke. I knew how devastated Cass was as she liked it so when I was given her, it seemed fitting I replace the broken product. I also added the reindeer (who is wearing a knitted jacket), a large quick unpick and an 'add a 1.4" ' ruler. I liked the idea of these so much I bought 3! I am not a fan of wrapping paper, I use it and I will make it look pretty but for a crafter, a fat quarter seemed fitting (and not a lot more expensive in the grand scheme of things!)

I do love swaps, I was burnt a little with the content of the one I was in but it would seem someone else also hasn't been happy with the replacements that have been added to one that is in circulation so hopefully the quality of the ones that follow will be higher.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dotty for Dresden

I have a thing for Dresden Wheels, I am not sure why or how but I do, I love them. I have many a quilt in my head with ideas to try just frustrated by lack of time, something I intend on changing in the New Year!

Anyway, I bought this book ages ago just to have, no specific reason. Ideas, patterns, instructions all in one place. I have flicked through it countless times and keep coming back to the one quilt. While I am not keen on the fabrics used on the quilt in the book I love the wheels. Then I saw this collection in a newsletter from Hawthorne Threads and I fell in love. It is the exact palet of the colours in our bedroom... then a plan started hatching...

I spent hours on the Hawthorne website, I love that all the co-ordinating fabrics are listed under the individual fabric and I love that down the bottom of the listing you can click on a colour and there is a selection of toned fabrics in othe collections as well. So thoughtful (and so easy to spend a fortune!).

I spent hours with fabric swatches printed out moving them this way and that.

I spent hours working out how to increase the size to fit us and our bed, my specifications not just a 'queen' or 'king' quilt, I have a definate idea of how I want it to come together.

Then I bit the bullet, took the plunge and placed my order! An anxious 2 weeks later my parcel was delivered! Poor Karen our postie, she was quite shocked at my enthusiasm for the parcel she brought to the front door! I have to say, I am very happy with the service from Hawthorne, they were quick to respond to questions and the parcel was beautifully packaged!

I whipped the camera out and took a few pictures before I put the fabric in the machine to be ready to hang out in the sunshine when I got back from school drop off and a coffee with my fellow quilter in crime Cherry!

The pale turquoise at the back is the backing and sashing fabric, the purple 4 in is for the circles and the other 6 are for the wheels. I am sure I had a different configuration in my head when I ordered them but it's all good and will work out fine!

 Then we worked out how many wedges of each I would need to cut out, thank goodness Mr O is a maths' nerd! 112 of each of the 6 fabrics = 672 wedges! Croikey!

It really didn't take very long at all and the yellow fabric I wasn't so sure about isn't actually too bad!

Then I chain pieced them all! A bit of a mission but it took about 3 hours of solid sewing to do it all.

A big mass of eek!

 Little Miss was in charge of 'cutting at 16' which was a good help, she wanted to do something and this was the 'easiest' job she could do. She was folding the wedges for me but got horribly bored and out of order so a change was good.

Then to 'make it click to husband, who couldn't see how it was going to come together, I made a wheel... So pretty! I actually pushed my luck and made 4 because I knew I wouldn't get to do a whole lot more when I got home. I had planned to snip and turn out the wedges in the car but it was raining so hard and the road wasn't straight I felt a bit ill doing it so I now have a pile of fabric tormenting me but too much work to catch up with of an evening!

So this will be my project for summer. A LOT of hand sewing unfortunately but the satisfaction will be worth it. Stay tuned! I won't update every time I do something but will give progress reports along the way.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012 project list update

And a list of the projects to complete for 2012...

Finish the Polar Fleece jackets I cut out in 2004 (*embarrassed much!!)
Blossom Creek complete block 2 (oh so close), then 3, 4 and do the log cabining
Make the Toofies up to sell in my store Belles Familles
Make some fabric table runners to sell in the 'shop' too
Placemats or cushions for Coral's b'day CUSHIONS COMPLETED, placemats to follow maybe!
Saving pouches for squirreling money for stuff like a holiday we bought a large money tin and that is a safer way to save we all think!
2x winter night dresses for Amelia
2 skirts for sisters - Rachel and Sarah
Blouse for me (fabric and pattern on their way)
Raincoat for Amelia (fabric on its way) STARTED COMPLETED
Over skirt for my sari skirt so I will wear the skirt and it won't sit in the wardrobe...
Another skirt like this one  for me (fabric on its way) COMPLETED
Cushion for my Goddaughters brother at the request of his mum
Fabric placemats for us for outside
Fabric napkins in a pretty floral for afternoon tea parties - no idea why... COMPLETED
Apron for Katie

Blossom Creek will come away with us next week
Table Runners - yeah, about those... one day!
Blouse for me, I may need to loose a few inches!
Overskirt - Not convinced I will wear it... but I could have my opinion swayed...
Fabric placemats for us, I'll probably do them over the Xmas break
And Katie's apron, well, Katie went and had a baby so cooking is important but not a priority!

Cushions for CC

What seems like (and was) months ago I set about making something for my oldest friends yet to be built outdoor area. They have recently pretty much renovated their entire house and the outdoor area is the last to be done. I wanted to add some colour and a touch of the tropics. They live near us on the Northern Beaches of Sydney (they are the reason we moved if the truth be told!) and have a great pool and in summer they pretty much do everything in their courtyard. With big benches planned something restful for your back, I felt, would be nice.

I finished the last 2 button holes on the last cushion cover about a month ago at sewing and was just waiting for an empty half hour to stuff the cushions into the covers! That half hour was found today...

Tah dah!

Excuse the kid in the background and hte crappy table in the foreground!

The 3 together, great colours! Each cushion has each colour in it. 

 The yoyo, bead and buttons on the back are complimentary colours.

The great leaning tower of cushions! Text sent ready to tee up a tea date to give them to her!

Teachers Gifts

It must be really hard at Christmas time to be a teacher. I am sure I would cringe at all the bars of soap, bottles of lotions, boxes of biscuits and chocolates they have been given over the years. Last year I made mug rugs to go with a mug that Amelia chose for each teacher. Not sure the rugs were used but the mugs are very much still in use!

I have an embarrassing collection of fabric, lots of over bought lengths and some Christmas bits that, let's face it, unless it's going to start snowing in Sydney at Christmas or we move to the Northern Hemisphere, I will more than likely not get round to using. I'm not sure where I saw it but somewhere in blog or Pinterest land someone talked about food throws. How hard could they be to make? I thought to myself. And they aren't. They are dead easy.  Especially when you score 10m of curtain netting from Spotlight at $2/m less 30% because you bought the whole roll! Curtain netting has a long drop, or at least the one I bought does! I might even use some for curtains but for now...

 Start with some WOF strips chain stitched

 Make them into bias binding one boring Sunday afternoon while suffering watching a kids movie for the umpteenth time

stitch them on  et viola! GREAT practice for mitred corners!

 Amelia (and Stef) didn't understand what they were so I demonstrated... on the ironing board of course!

These are 4 of the 16 I have made so far in various shapes and sizes. They are really quick (did I mention cheap - I think about $1.50/ large throw) and I hope they will be useful. If you are a friend I give a gift to at Christmas, well, you might end up with one or 2 of these!

These would be a great school stall market day product too and a great money spinner :-) Good stash buster too.

An 'in between night shift' Friday

I have commented before that Stef's night shifts and I have a love hate relationship. In our new home it is less easy for me to stay at home while he sleeps the whole day between night shifts. He says he can't hear the machine but I am sure he is just being nice. If our kitchen reno's are put back (again) I will set the office up a little differently, at least I can close the door and access the kitchen and outside without coming through the house.

One of my school friend Mums is also a sewer and making sure she had no other plans a few Friday's back we spent the day behind our respective machines making a dent in a few 'quick' projects. From about 10am with a coffee in hand and a bowl of almonds + dried cranberries we sent about making those machines whir!

My friend made a top for herself and I made a library bag and pencil roll for my graphic designers son for Christmas. My GD is nutty about frogs so when I saw this remnant of fabric in the $1 bin at CA Boyle textiles I knew I would make something for her son, just wasn't quite sure what...

No pattern for either, just winged both projects!

 Pocket for his library card

Teamed up with a packet of pencils there is space for a lead pencil and a snack or a ruler or a treasure.

The Duck cushion part 2

I am not sure if I have blogged this embroidery and I am snatching time here and there to update my sewing while doing the annual write out of Christmas cards...

When I was at the Sew Craft Retreat in August I bought a second embroidery from Kristen Doran Designs. Very 70's and reminds me of the wall in Hilda Ogden's front room on Coronation St (the second picture). I have a friend (who I hope doesn't read my blog) who I think this will appeal to and while I can imagine it framed on a wall I would prefer to make it into a cushion. And I have one last cushion left from the pack I bought for the baby cushions I made earlier this year! I can see it on her couch either at her home in Newport or at her holiday home in Scotland. It was stitched at OT and swimming over the course of a few weeks using a veriagated brown and green DMC thread. I really like how it has turned out!

I had made some piping using ribbon a few months ago one sewing weekend when my regular teacher wasn't there and the fill in teacher was more interested in comparing Grandkids stories with the class and tooting her own trumpet about what she was learning at the TAFE she was going to than actually imparting any sewing knowledge to those who were struggling. Needless to say, I came home in tears and unpicked 3 hours of work and cursed the $30 I had spend on ribbon and cord and the wasted lesson. I pushed it to the back of the sewing pile and promised myself it would be done before Christmas but needed a few nice finishes to get my sewjo back!

Under the guidance of my sewing teacher Chris, I learned just how to get the machine to stitch really close to the piping. She also put some wadding behind the peices to give it a bit of 'lift'. Moral of the story, wait for Chris before tackling difficult projects!

It isn't finished but will be in a months time (next lesson) ready for giving over the Christmas break. I have green piping put on the cushion edge and a medium pinky/brown fabric to go on the back from the French General (I think!). Still deciding how to finish the back, a zip, buttons or a simple envelope. I am leaning towards zip because I don't want a gape (and I like the way Chris teaches to put zip's in!)

The Teapot Dress

It's been a while between posts and there has been sewing done, some photographed, some not. With Stef going back onto shift work it really throws 'free time' into chaos and both sewing and photographing said garmet is something that is squished in between dinner/pickup/activity/homework/getting him out the door for work... and if it is something for Amelia, it is usually hovered over until the last thread is cut and whipped straight on!

Teapot Dress

With Amelia being so tall it is really hard to find 'little girl' clothes, clothes that make her look like a girl and not a tween. Once you get out of size 6 (which we have been since she was about 5) the clothes in the shops take on a real different look and you have a pre-teen looking 7 year old before you know it. Making kids look older than they are has all sorts of complications and expectations (especially for behaviour) and while she is happy to wear home made I am happy to make. I bought this pattern ages ago as it was a style of dress that was similar to dresses in her wardrobe that she loves wearing.

I bought some of this very popular teapot fabric at Spotlight

when they had one of their frequent sales with this dress pattern or a circle skirt in mind and thinking 2metres would be enough for whatever I wanted to make. Sadly no, the skirt alone needs almost 2 metres! A frantic Saturday morning search located some in Adelaide so I had to find a plan B to sew at my class and wait for the postie to deliver.

Over 2 lessons it came together and we are very happy with it, very happy indeed. It has a full circle skirt and an underskirt with tulle on it that makes it stick out and makes you have to twirl apparently! It swishes when you walk as well and what little girl doesn't love a bit of swish...

I think she likes it! I know ALL the ladies at sewing LOVED it!!!It is very Stepford wives but I really don't care. It makes my girl very happy and that is all that matters to me pretty much!

My friend CC loved it too teasing Amelia she was going to wear it. The sad thing was it pretty much fitted her, except for the boob area (phew said Amelia!). But we did make an underskirt with tulle for a dress CC has that needs a petticoat to make the skirt stick out. A pattern that is worth every penny of the $6USD I paid for it (possibly less if it was on sale...)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I've been quiet but busy...

I am sewing whenever I get a chance to but the posting about what I have sewn is what I am finding hard to find time for. Even posting on the 52week sewalution is hard...

When I went to the Sitches and Craft show earlier this year I bought a kit and a book to make a travel wallet up. The plan was I would make it in time for our holiday next March - tick! Done... It was a 2 hour project (including the hand stitching) pretty much from start to finish but done over a few days. Easy enough but gee, those teeny tiny squares of fabric did my head in cutting them and then sewing them up. I had several goes at sewing them in a straight line and gave up! I think because the weave was loose on some of the linens they didn't handle being handled. But I am happy with the result, it's mine and I am a little warped! I personalised the suitcase to suit moi! We are off to NZ, Raro, Paris and of course Sydney... my 4 favourite places in the world...

 What would I change about this pattern? Perhaps the thickness of the stiffner and not put a pen holder in the middle of the holder? I might have also done the inside pockets a little differently... but, it's all about learning and leaning to see beyond the instructions to the finished article.

While also at the show I bought the Make it Perfect bucket hat pattern. Thinking I was getting a good deal at the time (because it had 4 sizes on it and I thought I could make hats for Stef and I) I thought it was $17 well spent. The hats are SO simple to make, seriously, easy peasy. Made this one for Amelia

And this one for Grandma - 'cept Grandma's don't fit her...

 I have a lady at sewing who it might fit, if not, it will stay in the car as a spare...

Amelia has also been sewing, she had an 'assessment on a machine' during one of my sewing classes and managed to make this little bag up! There was minimal help from anyone, a little bit of unpicking, and I pressed it for her (although I think she had a bit of a go first)

 Very proud of her efforts...

I bought a scrap of fabric in the remnant bin at CA Boyle Textiles for $1 on my first visit. It was about a metre long and the standard 112cm wide. I liked the delicateness of the fabric, light and summery. I had earmarked it to make some fabric napkins. My Aunt bought me a teapot and Mum the sugar bowl and creamer when their visits coincided earlier this year then mum surprised me with 4 plates and teacups and saucers for my birthday. While not the 'perfect' match they are pretty close and the napkins were dead easy to make! I feel more of these will be in my future (and Christmas gifts!.

In the same visit to CA Boyle I bought 2metres of this blue flower fabric, imgaining a dress for Amelia with a full skirt and some serious white trim. As madam is now comfortably wearing a size 10 I need at least 3metres of fabric for the skirt alone almost! In any case, I didn't have enough of any fabric at home to make a dress so I settled on this very simple pleated skirt. I had it cut out before I went to sewing class and it took me about an hour to make it up. It is SO easy to make and looks so fantastic on her I see a lot more in her wardrobe too! I can't find the pattern on but when I find the number I will edit the post. There are 4 skirts on this pattern, one of a handful of patterns I have in Amelia's size.

Amelia teamed it up with a long sleeve crimson top and a pink t-shirt yesterday and wore it again today this time with a white long sleeved top and a pink shirt on top. I love the crossgrain ribbon on the bottom, not only does it give the skirt some weight and stop it flying up in the breeze it also helps the swish/sway factor. She loves it, I love it and for less than $10 really, what's not to love!

I also finished the last 2 button holes on CC's cushions, hope to stuff those Friday night and give them to her Saturday morning so will take pics of the 6 together.

Next project, 2 summer nighties (cut and overlocked just waiting to be sewn) and a swirly twirly dress when the other 2metres of fabric arrives (hopefully tomorrow!)... once again, I am short of metre-age... then onto a skirt for me (or dress,haven't decided yet which) and some teachers gifts... and and and...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sasha the Travelling Stash

What seems like forever ago I put my name down for a travelling stash, it was organised by the lovely Cass. Well she arrived in my mail box this week and I was a bit knackered so I left her for 2 days before opening her, I just didn't have the brain space to deal with making decisions!

 She was a hefty lass and I was ever so very careful opening her, I didn't want to cut into anything inside her!
 Lots of 'stuff' in a very small bag! Whoever thought to pop everything into the carry bag was brilliant, it made it much easier to pull her in and out of the satchel.
 What to choose, what to choose.... I had several piles of things and Miss Amelia got involved as well, our tastes were clearly not the same...
 I settled on the pre-cuts, a guage, some self covering buttons and some more pins, I seem to eat pins...
I put in a quilters panel which is quite funny, a funny number plate cover, 2 jacket zips that are now too short for anything I would make my lanky lass and some elastic and a reel of cotton.

I hope I have done the right thing! I did a bit of research for the cost of some of the things I took out and as everything I have purchased is brand new I know how much it cost (the zips are about 8 months old). Weighing in at a respectable 2.95kg off she goes to the next recipient - Joelle!

This is also  my 100th blog post, pretty amazing in itself really. Most people have giveaway's and the like but with 2 followers (or maybe I am up to 5 now!) I have no idea who actually reads or enjoys my ramblings coz no one comments. Who knows, if I get a flurry of comments and activity I might just do a winner of something, well, random! Make sure you leave your email address 'just in case'!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sewing finishes

We have had a change of 'attitude' this week. Trying so hard to find the groove we need to make me going back to work and Stef back on shift... we only watched telly twice, once on Tuesday when I did the ironing during Winners and Loosers and Friday when Amelia needed some calming down during a storm.

The other nights I got a bee in my bonnet and did some sewing!

 The third hot water bottle cover - which was given as a 21st gift on Friday night! I have one more of these to make and Hobby Sew were out of the blue satin bias, a little frustrating buuut, we will try Spotlight and if not, then 2 weeks will come around quick enough and hopefully Hobby Sew will have a delivery in.
 A hoodie for my 'dotty about sausage dogs' Gen (remember Daisy Dog?). I used the pattern for my purple hoodie and took 2 inches out of the middle of each pattern bit. A funny moment with the hood which turned out to be the pockets. It all came together really quickly and fits perfectly as if it was made by a pattern. And the best bit, Gen loves it!

 This doesn't look like much but satin bias on double folded muslin. I overlocked the muslin to begin with then spent the best part of an hour attaching the binding! I hope Ingrid likes it!!!
Now I am working on a travel wallet for myself and I also finished 4 fabric napkins at sewing yesterday. Happy something else can be crossed off my to do list!