Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Letters to Santa

Have you written your letter to Santa yet?
I have been on an ornament making kick lately.  Just the thing to get me in the mood for Christmas decorating.  I saw some cute little knitted letter ornaments here and was inspired to make some fabric ones.   I decided to make mine letters to Santa.  I have plans to make one for each of my children to hang on the tree so they can put little letters into them.  I have a feeling the elves might come along at night and take them off to Santa ;)

I've been having a lot of fun choosing fabric to fussy cut for the stamps and the envelope lining.

What have you been making for Christmas?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sewing in Secret

This past week I've been sewing in secret.
A birthday present for my soon-to-be-17-year-old daughter (man, that makes me feel old!!).

She's a Girl Guide and has been working towards the Queen's Guide Award.
She needed to learn a new skill as part of the award, and to my delight she chose patchwork!
Ok, so it was partly an easy option because she knew I could help, but it's so nice to have her showing some interest.  She's been making a very cute doll's quilt for her little cousin as her first project.  And she's often raiding my sewing stuff for needles and thread to sew on Guide badges.

So, with her birthday coming up I decided to make her a sewing kit of her own, with all her own supplies, to help feed the crafty interest!

I've had this travel sewing kit by Amy on my list to make ever since I first saw it.  I adore her patchwork version, so went with that one for mine too.  I'm a little embarrassed looking back at hers, how similar mine is.  I mean, I even put that little deer print in the same spot!!  We obviously have many of the same prints in our stashes :)

The deer placement was completely unintentional.  I wanted to avoid my usual agonizing over layouts so heaped my squares on the table and shut my eyes as I rummaged around and picked up each one.  I have to say, it turned out great and I can't imagine liking it more had I carefully placed each one.  I'm undecided about the red binding, but it's Mia's favourite colour, so it seemed the right choice.

I filled it up with pins and needles, needle threaders and a seam ripper, cute purple scissors and a matching tape measure and a rainbow of thread-filled bobbins for sewing on those colourful Guide badges :)
Now it's wrapped and ready.  I hope she loves it!  Now, just have to make one for myself :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A blanket for bunny

My four year old daughter has been home sick (and extremely bored!) this week. So yesterday I put her to work making a little quilt for her bunny. It's something she's been begging me to make for ages. We cut out a piece of background fabric and then I handed over my tub of little scraps that I've been saving since I saw this tickertape mini by the amazing Amy of nanaCompany.

Little miss had a lovely time arranging and rearranging the scraps to make pictures.
She finally settled on this.

There's a very elaborate story behind it all. There's a princess on the left there with a purple triangle crown and her very tall Rapunzel-like tower on the right. BUT the ladder is broken so the tower conveniently has monkey bars coming out the window (white with red flowers) and a fireman's pole (green polka dot and the rolling pin) to slide down!

I used a fabric glue stick to lightly attach all the scraps so I could stitch them down.
A little bit of quilting and it was done. Miss E chose the pink backing fabric and I folded it over from the back to bind the edges.
I think it's super cute and I'm quite proud of myself for handing over so much creative license. It goes a bit against my nature!
Of course now teddy wants one too!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fun at the Fair

So today I can reveal the rest of my fairy floss block for Megan in the Cocorico Bee. Her theme was County Fair and I chose to make her a fairy floss cart.

I pieced most of the cart and then added the fairy floss and wheel using raw edge applique. I also appliqued the dome for the sugar spinner and then did a little thread sketching to add more details.
I'd also picked up some cute carnival fabric while I was deciding what to make. I tried a few ways of incorporating it into my block, most of which made the whole thing super busy! So in the end I just pieced my cart and then added strips of the novelty print down either side. It's still pretty busy and I'm half in the mind to take them off and switch the border to a solid. Think I'll run it past Megan first.
To keep me in the right frame of mind our local country show was on last weekend. I was a little under the weather with a cold but the rest of the family went and came home with showbags and stories of wood chopping and pink chickens and rides.
AND some fairy floss for ME!

And so, it's done! I actually managed to finish my March bee blocks and the carseat quilt before my carpal tunnel surgery. With 3 days to go. So relieved!
Now I have to brace myself for the frustration of having to put all the things I want to make on hold for a while. Can anyone recommend a good book?!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Finish!

The first quilt I ever made took me (can't believe I'm admitting this...) 6years!!! I started it not knowing anything about patchwork or quilting and in my defence I also had 2 babies and moved continents twice in that time. The funny thing about it is I used a pattern from a book titled "Kid's Quilts in a Weekend"!!!! Took me slightly longer than that :)

This is the second quilt I've ever made. It's not even a cot siz
ed quilt, just big enough to cover my baby niece for trips out in the pram or car seat. No fancy quilting, just some straight lines in the ditch. But I must admit I'm quite proud of getting it done start to finish!

After all my designing quilt blocks lately, it felt a bit like cheating to use a pattern and only one collection of fabrics, but maybe my third quilt can be a more creative one.

I used this pattern from ModaBakeShop and a charm pack and yardage of Domestic Bliss.
It's a lot brighter than the fabrics I usually go for, but my sister likes bright and I quite love the aqua and eggplant coloured prints. The backing is definitely
my fave print from this range.
This will be off in the post next week just in time before the weather turns cooler.
And yes, I will show you that other quilt sometime!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

flossy peek

This month seems to be just flying by. Or is that just me? I'm having carpal tunnel surgery on my hand next week so I've been madly trying to finish up my March bee blocks before the surgery puts me out of action! I think I'm going to make it, but I'm still scrambling a bit!
My Cocorico block for this month is for Megan. Her theme is County Fair. My block is almost done. I thought I'd have it done today until I realised I don't own even one tiny scrap of black fabric which is what I need to finish it! Here's a little peek:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tea in a Tree

Do you remember that teapot block I showed you before? I've been slowly adding little teacups this month, then branches, and finally some leaves to make my Pippi Longstocking block for Muriel in the Cocorico Bee.

In one of the Pippi books, Pippi has tea in a tree with her friends Tommy and Annika so I made them each a cup. She tosses the cups and teapot up and some of them break. When they're finished, she throws the teapot back down and the spout falls off! I felt like I should have added some cracks here and there! Annika says that the tea tastes better than any she's had before. I think tea would taste better in a tree too :)

I was inspired by these gorgeous illustrations of Pippi and her friends by Lauren Child, her teaparty in the tree is so quirky and perfect!

I'm feeling a little annoyed with myself for finishing this late as I don't want to start being behind every month, but I hope the extra time it took was worth it!

So satisfying to finish a block like this and see my vision appear in fabric :)
Now onto my March block! The theme is County Fair - I'm thinking maybe fairy floss (cotton candy) .
What do you think?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Birthday Ballet

My youngest daughter, Eve, turned 4 last week. I'm feeling happy/sad about that. Proud at how gorgeous and bright she's growing but sad that my baby is getting so big. She has just started ballet for the first time too, so we had a bit of a ballet birthday for her.
I made her this ballet bag using Ayumi's (PinkPenguin) fantastic lunch bag tutorial. It really is a great pattern. So easy to follow and it makes such a cute little bag. It's the perfect size for ballet shoes, a leotard and tights :)
Make sure you check out Ayumi's blog and Flickr photostream. She is so creative and I love everything she makes!
Then of course we needed cookies. I made these pretty tutus for each of the little party girls to take home with them. Evie decided to help when I was brushing them with pink lustre dust. She got just a little carried away, hence the pink blotchy bits! But you can never have too much sparkle on a tutu, right?!!
I was very happy to find these pretty ballerina cake toppers in a party shop. Just divine don't you think?!

Happy Birthday Evie! xx

Thursday, February 23, 2012

E is for Eileen

Remember this bag? It has finally reached it's new owner so I can safely reveal the back!
I was so excited to be given Eileen (bluebirdluxe) to sew for in this swap. She's makes gorgeous things and is always quick with sweet and enthusiastic comments on the work of others on Flickr. I adore her work and am so glad to have 'met' her!
Eileen and I have a bit of a mutual admiration thing going and have talked before about a private swap. We share a similar style and taste and I felt a bit like I was sewing for myself with this one!
I pieced an E for Eileen onto the back of her bag using a pattern from my new book- the (sadly) out of print and hard to find Patchwork Patterns 318 by Kumiko Fujita. And of course Eileen needed a bluebird which is part of her logo.
I loved making this for my friend, and I'm very happy to hear she likes it too :)

I Do

I haven't made many of these for a while, but I got my piping bags (actually squeezy bottles!) out this week to make some cookies for a friend who is getting married soon. Hope she likes them :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's been a bit of a crazy week at my house. Two kids back to school (one high school, one Kindergarten) one little girl back to preschool. Then there's
been me back to work, getting everyone to swimming, cricket, ballet, guides, birthday parties, piano, playgroup....... I know you all have equally crazy lives, so I'll stop my whinging now!
I can't quite remember when I managed to get these little crafty bits done, but here's what I made! A little teapot block which will become part of my Pippi Longstocking block for Muriel in the Cocorico Bee. I made it using Kerry's great pattern from Fat Quarterly Issue 8. It was my first try piecing with freezer paper and I'm pretty happy with it :)

Remember those hexies on my swap bag? Well, I had to get my seam ripper out and take these three off because they just didn't fit. It seemed a shame to lose them, so I turned them into a little extra for my partner's swap package. It looks like a potholder, but I didn't use any insulbrite, so I'll just call it a mug rug (or a rather large coaster??!!).
And this is on the back! I think I might even like the back better than the front.
Hope you've found a scrap of time to make something this week too :)

Friday, February 3, 2012


Last night I finished up this bag for a swap on Flickr. I'm excited about this one as my secret swap partner is someone with great taste who's work I really admire. I soooooo hope she loves this bag!
I'm a bit annoyed with myself because I sewed too many hexies on and had to unpick some. I also didn't think about how some would end up underneath the bag once the bottom was boxed.
If I made it again I would use smaller hexagons so I could fit more into the smaller space.

I used some of my favourite Japanese prints with linen for the outside of the bag. The lining is Kona Robin's Egg. I used the Jane Market Bag pattern from Posy-which is very easy to follow and makes a great bag.
I'd love to show you the back, but I've personalised it in a way that would completely give away who it's for. So here's just a peek ;)
The little touch of lace with the button is an idea borrowed from Amy of nanaCompany who has the most inspired ways of adding a tiny pretty touch to things. Off to the post office to send this on it's way!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

christmas cookies

I've been admiring the amazing and very creative paper pieced quilt blocks popping up on Flickr from different Bee groups. Some of my favourites are Ringo Pie, Cocorico and Patchwork 318 (be sure to go check them out!).
I've paper pieced my Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks from foundation patterns, but that's about it.
So I was surprised but very happy when I was invited to join the Cocorico Bee!

My initial excitement turned to panic when I tried to plan my first block and realised how hard it was! I was feeling very out of my depth. I almost gave up because I really didn't want to be sending out blocks that were way below the standards of everyone else in the group. I'm very glad I didn't, because I've already learned so much and it was exciting to see my own design come to life as it was sewn together. The Cocorico girls are such lovely, supportive people with lots of helpful advice and tutorials to share.

So here is my first block! January was Melinda's month and she requested 'Vintage Christmas' themed blocks. Of course my first thought was cookies :)
And now on to the next one! February is a Pippi Longstocking block for Muriel. Stay tuned for that one.....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

little red

Look at these fabrics, I mean how cute can you get?! They are from the lovely collections by Aneela Hoey. A Walk In The Woods and Sherbet Pips.

They just make me want to make things for little girls......
Like this! A new library bag for a cute niece who starts big school soon. I pretty much made this up as I went along, but I did check out this tote bag tutorial by Kerry for tips on how to put it all together with the lining sewn in. Love Kerry's work, she's a super talented and creative lady!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

holiday stitching

I seem to be unable to be without a stitchy project wherever I go at the moment. My hexagon quilt-to-be is my current portable project. I baste and stitch hexies while watching the kids in the bath, at swimming lessons, sitting in the car waiting for the school bus, on any car trip longer than 20 minutes.......the list goes on. Over Christmas we took a trip to visit family and I decided I should have a week of giving them my full attention and just relaxing without madly making anything!
Hmmm. I guess my addiction is worse than I thought as some hexagons still managed to jump into my bag.

But you know, when I look at this pile of loveliness, I have no regrets (and I swear I only sewed at appropriate moments like when most of the family were napping)!
And they did provide a half-hour or so of peace as two little girls arranged pretty hexagons into flowers and patterns on the floor :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

But wait, there's more!!

A couple more little Chrissy presents made by me :)
Another little hexie pincushion for a sewing buddy..
And a music note ornament for my daughter's piano teacher.
with a Christmas snack :)