Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fabric giveaways

Originally uploaded by retro mummy
I love reading other peoples blogs. If I've had a long day (all too common) then sitting down with a cup of tea and reading about the fabulous things that others have made is very relaxing. Even better when they have a giveaway to enter. I'll often read Retromummy's blog, and I promise to share the fat quarters with the rest of the Quiltitis group if I win.....Very pretty and girly fabric called Flower Sugar. Here is the link to Retromummy's blog.

Fingers crossed


Monday, November 29, 2010

completed wedding quilt

I finished it - just in time. Here is a photo of the front of the quilt.
I didn't have enough fabric for the backing so I decided to do a pieced backing. It kind-of turned into a second quilt... So they get a reversible quilt. I free motion quilted the centre section with spirals.
And fnished off with some parallel lines in the border.

I was really pleased with the result, and the recipients were thrilled too. I loved making this quilt.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Comfort Quilting

Another gap between posts. Had a good chat to Shelle last night, so about time I posted my pictures. I wanted to do a quick and portable quilt. Happened that I saw this Raw edge layer cake quilt on the Bloom blog. Find the quilt directions here.

A very quick and easy quilt - her directions for quilting the panels using guides cut from cardboard were really easy and quite enjoyable.

I used some fabric from my stash for the backing, I didn't have enough for one colour back so I alternated a plain and fancy fabric. It added a new dimension to laying out the blocks and a bit of a logic puzzle was born. I'm very pleased with the result.

I tried to photograph outside and draped over furniture- I have a new appreciation of those lovely photos in the magazines. A lot of skill in the staging and photography- rather than avoiding the rainy patches and snapping with a point and shoot camera.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Wedding quilt progress

I've strip-pieced, cut, and sewn. Now to cut again...
It's taking me a little longer than I'd planned, mostly because I haven't had much time to sew while Mr E is away in Melbourne, and also because I've been sewing new lunch bags for Miss 5 & 7 [posted on my other blog].
I was hoping to get a big amount of cutting done tonight, but I'm just too pooped to do anything more than take a photo. I'm not sure if school going back tomorrow will help, or hinder me!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New quilt project

I'm making a quilt [in a hurry] for my cousin's wedding present. It was a spontaneous decision, and probably a poor one, but I didn't know what else to get a couple who already have everything.
My only clue for fabric choice is that both like blue. I needed an accent colour and found a lovely warm orange which contrasts beautifully. Tonight I cut the fabric:So much for finishing my 'to do' list before I start anything new! I haven't been near my machine for ages, and it is actually hidden away in a cupboard at the moment while we are renovating. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tokyo Subway Quilt - Progress- Quilt Fuse

I completed block 3 of the quilt along this afternoon. I've been using the quilt fuse product to make the piecing easier. Here are some pictures of my progress.

It's a thin fusable interfacing which has a 2 inch grid printed onto it. It was suggested by Danielle of Caboolture Sewing Machines. I'd never heard of it. I popped into the shop last week on my way home from work. Just a quick visit to search for some fabric- and got chatting, as I think most people do in fabric shops. I was telling Danielle of my plans and she brought out the Quilt Fuse from under the counter- the shop seems to have more 'things' everytime I go back. So I thought that I would give it a go and bought a metre to trial.

I returned today and bought enough to do the rest of the quilt. At $10 per metre, it's gives enought to do 7 blocks per metre. I've cut a grid 8x8 squares which is the size of the block. 

Given that I had never seen or used it before I thought that other people might be interested in how I got on.
I have my 2" squares cut and organised into assorted colours so each block does not require cutting, just playing with fabric choices.
I laid out my block as per the diagram on the Oh Fransson blog. I pressed the pieces with my iron -set on hot- to set the layout.

I then folded the block along the dotted lines, and sewed my usual 1/4" seam. I initially tried to use my 1/4" foot (that makes piecing so easy). However, the increased thickness of the fabric meant that it did not feed easily- so instead I have been using my walking foot. I think that my seams are a bit narrower than usual, but they are reasonably consistent. I sewed all seams in one grid direction, alternating direction of stitching to minimise fabric stretch.

On my first block I simply pressed my seams to one side. However, the increased bulk made these look untidy.  The instructions for the quilt suggest pressing seams open, which is different to my usual practice. So I split the quilt fuse to allow me to open the seams. I initially used my small scissors, but Danielle today suggested using my stitch ripper. A great idea! Thanks Danielle.

I then pressed the seams open, and repeated the process for the seams in the other direction.

.......And finally....... the completed block. A relatively painless process, the pressing of seams is a bit fiddly but much easier and quicker than pinning and sewing multiple 2" squares of fabric. Seams are square (if not entirely straight- my dodgy sewing there) and corners are sharp. I am converted.  

The final picture is of my progress so far: The first 3 blocks.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tokyo subway quilt along

My next project is a quilt for my friend A's daughter's 18th birthday next year. I had planned to sit down with her and gauge her tastes, styles etc. But it is exam season and when she is not studying it seems she has a better social life than most! Just as I was pondering what to do I saw this quilt-along on the Oh Fransson blog, and I worked out what I was going to make.

I had intended to use all fabrics from my stash, I had no grey so a trip to the quilt shops was in order. The rest of the day has been taken up with cutting! I have given up on cutting the 800+ white squares. I'll do these as I go along. 200 should get me started.

I have a 2 inch grid called Quilt Fuse to try out. It promises to make the piecing much easier. I'll try and report back.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Quilting afternoon...

Di and I had an afternoon of quilting on Saturday 
but of course didn't picture of our own creations,
only this shot of the picture Little Miss created with our scraps!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Accuquilt giveaway

I've been enjoying reading different blogs, they're a great tonic when you are tired afterwork, and really are not in the mood to do anything active. Anyhow, I decided to enter this draw for a accuquilt fabric cutter, part of which was to link to the draw - here- Finger's crossed! 

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I have discovered an amazing website where you can design your own fabric, then they will print it and ship it to you. If you are a budding fabric designer, or if you're frustrated when the exact fabric you're after isn't in the shops, you need to check out this site! I've had a quick look just now, and the prices seem very reasonable. All in US dollars, they ship internationally. It almost seems too good to be true.

Worth a look, girls! Could be a bit of fun - perhaps we could design our own fabric for a quiltitis challenge?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Block of the month- update

I have finally got up to date with my block of the month. Holidays at Home- Bloom Creek I have always fancied doing one of these. The idea of getting a parcel of fabric each month seemed like such an easy way to do a quilt. I've done a few with lots of the same block, so it was a great chance to do lots of different blocks. Plus- its a christmas one and I did promise myself I would do a christmas one - one day. So I have now done the centre of the quilt, and most of the blocks for the surrounds- there are 4 each of the Churn Dash, cross like one and flying geese blocks but I didn't take pictures of them all. I think that the next month will be a card trick style block, which is an old favourite, and then the last month will be the sashing and putting it together. It's kind of nice not having a huge chunk of fabric to cut up all at once. And I am getting use to the cheater's Strip It fabric that I posted about a few months ago. I will post more as I get and sew it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Embroidery Book

I got a book in the post today. Mum had posted her mum's embroidery book to me. From a quick google search it seems that it is a classic text. So much so that you can see it for free on the web. It's called Encyclopedia of Needlework by Th De Dillmont Link. Published by DMC (Dollfus Mieg and Co)  in 1884. I doubt my copy is from then as it says at the front that over 1,260,000 copies have been sold and translated into French, Italian, Spanish and German. It's written in the most fantastic victorian english, and in tiny text. Lots of diagrams in black and white and occasional colour plates.

I haven't read much but thought that one passage might be appreciated: From page 2- which talks about needles:
"To preserve needles from rust, put a little asbestos powder in the packets. People with damp hands which make needles sticky in usage, will do well to keep a small box of the powder by them and dip their fingers occasionally in it."

Must go out and get my asbestos!!

It still has an original box to store it in. I suspect that I will make nothing from it but will enjoy dipping into it for enjoyment.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Nappy Bag

Hurrah, the sewing machine has been dusted off. This is my second Hip Mama Diaper Bag. It's such a great bag, I hope that M likes it.

I've got a choice of 2 pretty charms for the zip. I'll have to wait until the babe is here before I decide. One is a pink baby shoe and the other is the sparkly black flower in the picture.  I am sure I'll find a project that will use the remaining charm.

You can find the pattern for the bag here: Click me....

Friday, July 16, 2010

Adventures part 2

Well, the intention was to have post for each day and end up with the pics of london. As they say all the best intentions go astray at some times.

So here are some pics to explain my lack of sewing:

The crown jewels in Copenhagen were fantastic, I can't believe that they let you take photos. Even the most ornate pieces were pretty and not garish.

From Denmark I headed to Scotland to catch up with friends and family. The weather was pretty good, although these pics don't do it justice. The castle is Kilchurn castle at the top of Loch Awe, the carving are part of the Kilberry stones in Argyll- at the top end of the Mull of Kintyre. The wooden hut is a crannog, a iron age style dwelling, it has been built in Loch Tay where they have evidence of 15+ such dwellings. They had a loom set up, and showed us basic hand spinning of wool and linen. It was pretty coarse but it was interesting to see how design and fabric had come in a couple of thousand years.

More soon (and some fabric crafty bits too)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

June's adventures Part 1

No sewing for the last few weeks, I have been on my hols. It's odd coming back to the southern winter, curtains closed and lights on by 5pm today. This time last week the sun set at about 11 o'clock.

I saw some lovely crafty things during my travels. The range of wools available was fabulous in Finland. Thankfully the need for warm woolly jumpers doesn't last long here in Queensland. There is a strong emphasis on design, with tourist walks around design oriented shops mapped out within Helsinki. I took a day trip to the small town of Porvoo - about an hour from Helsinki- and there were lots of craft stores. Bliss.

Here are some pics:

Take home things included an necklace from Aarikka, a handbag from the Kapatori Markets and a freefrom bowl from Iittala. A stylish country.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Laptop cover

A travel cover for my laptop has been on my to-do list for a while now. I carried in my rucksack on a flight earlier this year and got some scuff marks on the case. So, a protective sleeve was in order. Having accumulated a stash of fabric just simply buying one seemed silly. Today I decided was the day to fix the problem. There are lots of tuts about how to measure up for your case. Basically take the dimensions around the length and breadth and add an inch for ease of fit. I added a couple of inches to the shorter dimension to make a flap.

I decided that a flannel lining would be nice and soft and used the grey pattern you see in the photos. The japanese style print just toned with the gold, pink and purple from my stash. The simplest thing to do seemed to be a 9 patch. It all came together very easily. Two little snap fasteners finish it neatly, and it's always good to hit something with a hammer on a friday night after work!!

I made a little drawstring bag to carry the power cord and my USB mouse.

Thanks to Crafty Mummy for the chat earlier this week, got me in the mood to make this.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What have I been up to?

It's been a couple of weeks. The machine is being serviced so- no sewing for me since my sewing day with CraftyMummy. I've been painting my sitting/dining area, I even wallpapered a feature wall. A new skill for me, the rotary cutting mat and rulers were great for cutting the paper , but I did use a stanley knife and not my rotary cutter. The extra uses of craft things!!

So, no new sewing show and tell. Instead, here are some pics of the sewing machine mat that I made. It's got 4 pockets to hold things while I sew. I'm looking forward to using it. If I made another one I would quilt as I go rather than just piece and then interface to the batting. It was good to use up scraps and bits of fat quarters that have been part of my stash for a while.

The second pic is of fabric that arrived last week. I signed up for a block of the month - in 6 bits, which becomes a christmas style quilt. It's from Fat Quarter Shop and is called Holidays at Home and is my first go at a block of the month.

I thought that the main piece of fabric was really interesting. It's a stripy fabric called "Strip it" which you can then fussy cut to get the bits you want without having to piece them. A bit of cheat but I am looking forward to doing it. It's like a fused jelly roll, and gives me the freedom to choose the fabrics I want in the blocks.

Hope you enjoy