Dec 30, 2010

a few Christmas pressies

I can show you these Christmas presents now that the recipients have them.

A table runner and matching coasters for my hubby's Sister and her Husband.  This was the very last piece of the bird fabric.

 And 2 mug rugs and 2 placemats for hubby's parents.  Everyone thought the mug rug idea was golden.  I can't remember exactly where I saw it but I know it's been floating around in blog-land for a while now with swaps and what not.

I just love this 'kitchen-y' fabric.

Dec 27, 2010

cushions, cake and garden

The cushions I made have been installed at Mum & Dad's and have updated the day bed nicely.

And today was my Little Guy's 3rd Birthday.  He is a bit mad about fire men/ fire engines at the moment so we couldn't go past the opportunity to make him a fire engine cake.  I was so worried that the cake would be very difficult to make but after a little help from Betty Crocker and Youtube we were well on our way.  

 The only problem with making cakes in Queensland in the height of summer is that the icing melts quicker than you can put it on the cake.  Even after refrigerating the cake the decorative icing was still running off the cake.  

But the birthday boy thought the cake was awesome and we've continued our run of great cakes.

Thirdly my husband Guy gave me a very handy little camera for Christmas so I've been madly snapping away.  I took a couple of photos in the garden this afternoon.

I hope everyone has had a safe and happy Christmas and look forward to a prosperous New Year.

Dec 20, 2010

new cushions

Mum recently decided to update her deck decor, starting with the cusions on the day bed.  She bought several co ordinating fabrics from Ikea which are really economical and heavy duty.  I was seconded to make the cushion covers, 3 small and 3 large.

Here are the results.

Dec 18, 2010

fabric to drool over

I've been looking for some inspiration lately in the way of new fabric lines.  You know the one that leaps out and says "buy me! sew me!"

This line called Ruby Star Rising by Melody Miller for Kokka is just AWESOME!  I really love the little ladies but the bit that really got my attention was the vintage dishes and tea cups.

Another serious cutie is Sherbert Pips by Aneela Hoey for Moda.  The whimsical little illustrations are just darling.  I especially like the way she incorporated a stripe into her range, disguised as little scarves.

The third collection which caught my eye is Hugs and Kisses by Linda Lum de Bono for Henry Glass Fabrics.  This collection contains some really cool retro floral prints.  This is definately the sort of fabric which I can see myself making little girls clothes from (if the need ever arises).

Have you seen any new fabric lines lately that have jumped out at you?  What can you see yourself sewing with them?   

Dec 15, 2010

Singer Sewhandy 20

This little sewing machine has been around as long as I can remember.  It was my Mum's and I hadn't thought about it for years but an ad I saw the other day about Singer Featherweights prompted me to ask Mum about it.  I told her it would look very cute in my studio and she agreed saying that it was mine to take whenever I wanted.

A little research on the net and I've discovered that it is a Singer Sewhandy 20 which is a functional child's sewing machine dating from around the 1950's.  Ours has a hand crank and they do not have a bobbin but sew using a chain stitch.  Unfortunately I don't have the box or instructions or the clamp (which I gather you attach it to a table with) but it does have the original seam guide still.

We intend to take it to a friend's shop and have it cleaned and serviced but for now I've taken a few snaps.  If anyone knows anything else about these little babies can you please leave me a comment?

I think I'll make a little cover for it, I'm thinking english paper pieced hexagons using these cute sewing themed fabrics Aunty gave me for Christmas - what do you think?  Who needs one of those silly Blythe dolls to make miniature stuff for when you can have a miniature sewing machine? :)


Dec 14, 2010

lolly holly - simple Christmas craft

This 'lolly holly' is a great Christmas craft, simple enough for kids to participate in and beautiful both as a decoration or as a gift.  Once again I have my Mum to thank for this little tradition that we both still make today. (Love you Mum!)

You will need:  cellophane in green and red, ribbon, round lollies such as Jaffas (about the size of a marble), leaf shaped lollies such as spearmint leaves (I don't really like spearmint leaves so use these citrus slice lollies) and scissors.  **PLEASE BE CAREFUL - the round lollies are not suitable for small children without supervision as they are hard and can get stuck in their windpipe.

Cut your cellophane roughly into squares about 8cm square for the round lolly (the red cellophane) and about 10 - 12 cm square for the leaves (the green cellophane).

Place a lolly in the centre of the corresponding coloured piece of cellophane and tightly twist it.  If you are really paranoid you can secure it with sticky tape but it's not really necessary. 

Once you have 3 red 'holly' balls and 2 green 'leaves', make a bunch and tie up with ribbon.  If you tie it tightly enough you don't need the tape.  Holding the bunch and tying them up is tricky on your own but it can be done.

Now without sampling too many of the supplies (the lollies, not the cellophane) make yourself up a little stash of lolly holly.  These look cute on your tree, add a safety pin to the back and make a brooch, or simply give them out attached to cards and presents.  They make a nice gesture for the post man or local barista too! 

Dec 9, 2010

his and hers christmas stockings

Husband Guy and I have had the same Christmas stockings since before we were married.  I think I purchased them one year on impulse from a $2 shop and the quality is definately reflected.  They have been steadily falling apart for the last few years so I finally decided enough was enough and new stockings were required.  Husband Guy is more 'ho hum' than 'ho ho ho' when it comes to Christmas however I was determined to make him a nice 'boyish' stocking.

I pre-warned him that lots of oohhing and ahhhing was required because I was pretty chuffed with the results.

 I picked a few of the blue themed fabrics from my Christmas stash plus a couple that I thought he'd like.

For my stocking I used some of the gorgeous Moda Christmas fabrics I've been loving this year.

I'm really pleased with the results and can't wait to finish dressing our lounge this weekend and hanging up all the lovely things I've managed to make.

Finally here are a few shots of my little Guy wearing the cute Christmas shirt my Aunty made for him before she jetted off overseas.  He wore it today to have his photo taken with Santa(s) and had lots of nice comments on it.

Nov 28, 2010

The Sewing Circle - scrappy wreath tutorial

This wreath is a variation of one my Mum made when we were kids - out of green plastic garbage bags!

Take an ordinary wire coat hanger and bend it into a circle shape.  It does not matter if it's not exact.  The hook of the hanger will be what you hang your wreath up by - makes it easy to hang on the front door.

Now raid your bin, scrap basket, Mum/Aunty/Sister/Friend's bin and scrap basket.  Any piece of fabric is useful.  If it's long enough for you to make a knot with it - then it's long enough.  I used pieces of selvage, cut offs from the edge of quilts, left over binding - everything.

Working your way around the circle of your wreath, knot your pieces of fabric and squeeze them up tight together.  I use a single knot and just pull it very tight.  

Some of the pieces I trimmed with pinking shears, most pieces were rectangluar but towards the end I snuck a few weirdly shaped bits in there.  Varying the lengths of your pieces also looks good.

Once your wreath is full (really squeeze them up tight to make it very full, this will help them not to come undone) wrap some more fabric or binding around the hook.

You can now 'fluff' your fabrics and turn them around to create the look you like.

 Et voila - you have created a beautiful wreath out of all your scraps - and it will remind you of all the projects you worked on throughout the year!

Nov 27, 2010

the Warwick quilt - finished!

Just in the nick of time - or with 5 days to spare - depending on which way you want to look at it.  The Warwick quilt is finished and ready to be packed up and transported over to my brother in London by my Aunty on Thursday.

 I picked up the grey spot for the binding yesterday, without having the quilt or the measurements or anything with me.  But I knew when I saw it that it would look good, especially against the back of the quilt.

So here are a whole lot of gratuitous shots of the quilt hanging from my clothes line.  I love my new binding technique and I've finally worked out how to mitre the corners correctly.

I hope my little bro likes the quilt and understands how much love and effort went into creating it.

Nov 24, 2010

Mya's baby quilt - finished!

I thought today I'd better crack on and finish Mya's quilt.  Mya and her Mum are coming over tomorrow and rather than wait and do some fancy quilting I thought I'd just bind it up and finish it today.

I used a scrappy binding.  All the left over bits from the log cabins and even the backing were cut into strips and sewn together.  I had just enough to do the binding and I felt very good that I didn't have to go and buy more fabric and that I don't have these little bits of fabric floating around in my stash.

I also tried a different technique for machine sewing the binding onto the quilt, a technique suggested to me by Christine.  When you sew the raw edges of your binding to the quilt, attach it to the back of the quilt.  Fold the binding over then using a nice zig zag or perhaps a blanket stitch, sew the binding down on the front of the quilt.  This worked a treat for me and wound up much neater than my previous attempts at stitching in the ditch and trying to 'catch' the binding from the opposite side.  This method probably isn't for everyone as you wind up with a noticeable zig zag stitch on your binding, which didn't bother me as this is a child's quilt.  Obviously too if you chose a neutral thread it would blend in more.

And as the sun is bright here for the first time in days, I headed outside for the finished photos.  I will definately do that more often I think.  (It also helped that our mower man has just been and the yard looks nice!).

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