Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Bring it on 2015 (a.k.a Happy New Year)

This year has been a tough one for us, especially the last six months. I know it is all relative and there are other people who have had a harder time, etc etc but relatively for us, there have been some hiccups. At the end of the day though we have our health and are happy so there isn't too much to complain about. So I say bring it on 2015. I want a good year out of you, thanks very much. 

The last week or so has been all about family time and eating so not too many sewing related pictures. 

(Making crepes Christmas Eve)

(And pavlova)

(Sustenance for the drive Christmas Day.  Hence the New Year goal to get back into an exercise routine)

(A bit of quilty inspiration at my parents' place)

I did get one thing crossed off my to do list, which was a iPad mini case for my brother's birthday gift. I guess the rest all carry over into 2015 (bring it!). 

Oh and I finally got a new sewing machine (only 8 months after mine died). I think mum wanted hers back. I felt a bit guilty she had to bring clothes to my house to take the hem up. Hopefully my new friend won't have a happy attack when I try to quilt something like Mum's poor one did. So far, it has been a dream. Just like my dear husband who said "Just buy it, and get one that won't break if you use it every day". 

And so I leave you with some (crappy quality) photos of the kiddies 9pm New Years fireworks in Sydney. I hope your new year is awesome. Drink from a glass half full and be sure to share some love.  

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Christmas sewing progress

December 25 is quickly approaching and I seem to have made very little progress on the items on my Christmas sewing list... Some of them were pipe dreams and after the tragic events in Sydney on Monday I just decided to spend more time hanging out with my dear ones than in the garage with my sewing machine. 

That said, the "must do"s have been done:
(teacher gifts for the girls' day care teachers)

(Christmas pillow for Ceridwen; pattern from Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. Check my neat little label)

I also made some hashtag blocks for Molli Sparkles. 

And finally landed on a design for my Scnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap partner, now I just need to pull some fabric and get sewing!

All in all not a total bust but certainly not everything I hoped to get done. I also caved and bought the girls their Christmas dresses because why should they miss out? 

Anyway, happy holidays whatever it is you celebrate. 


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Making a list...

I am a maker of lists. I love lists, I have been known to add completed tasks to my list, just for the satisfaction of crossing them off.

So this time of year brings a bit of excitement with the opportunity to write so many new lists!!

There is, of course, the Christmas Making List:
  • Teacher gifts for Ms Moo & Ms Bird's teachers
  • Pillow for Ceridwen
  • Pillows for my nieces and nephew to match their quilts
  • A geranium dress for Ms Moo
  • A roly poly pinafore for Ms Bird
  • A knitting bag for my sister
  • An iPad cover for my brother (although technically that is a birthday gift)

The General Sewing List:
  • January Bee block for Aussie Modern Instabee
  • January gift for the Aussie Handmade Birthday club
  • Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt
  • A pixelated heart pillow for a friend who just got married

WIP List:
  • Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt
  • Farmers Wife Quilt
  • Swoon Quilt
  • Love Patchwork & Quilting BOM (from last year now)
(My LP&Q blocks, excuse the crappy quality photos)

(My Moda Modern Building Blocks so far)

Planned but to be started list:
  • Aviatrix Medallion Quilt
  • Acacia Quilt
  • Les Amis Plus Quilt

So now I am thinking Holy Cow perhaps I need to make some things so there can be more of the crossing off lists. I am excited that Adrianne at On The Windy Side is hosting the 2015 FAL next year. Maybe that is just the impetus I need to get some things crossed off that list.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Sunday, 16 November 2014

What I'm making: Noodlehead Trail Tote

My latest make has been the noodlehead trail tote. I LOVE Anna's patterns, they are easy enough for a complete novice such as myself to follow. I have made a few of her other patterns in the past with great success, so when I saw this one, I wanted to have a go. The fact that I am in a handmade birthday club gives me loads of opportunities to try new things (check some of the awesomness on Instagram at #ahbcparty3).

The thing I find the most difficult about bag patterns is deciphering the interfacing requirements. I have no idea about interfacing and trying to convert US brands and types to what I can readily find in Australia is confusing to say the least.  Googling Pellon replacements whilst towing two small kids around Spotlight is not cool. So I winged it. On the exterior and strap I used some Vilene H640 as that's what I had and I wanted the bag to withstand wear and tear. Perhaps that made the seams a bit bulky, but hopefully it will stop the bag from going all floppy.

Then there was the hardware - seriously, why is this stuff so hard to find? I ordered mine from Voodoo Rabbit and it came really quickly, but they didn't have the size of O rings I wanted to I just made do with the next size up. I think it turned out ok, but would have been better with the right size.

This pattern is clear and easy to follow. I did my first inset zipper (I didn't even know that was the right term til I saw it on Instagram) and magnetic snaps and piping without too much hand wringing or brow wiping. Here is a work in progress shot (also note the nifty labels):

I actually think it turned out pretty well. I used some Brambleberry Ridge for the accents and one of the exterior sides and Essex Yard Dyed for the other exterior side. I lined it in Cotton + Steel netorious. The recipient said they like minty green and yellow so hopefully this fits the bill. I don't have a lot of yellow or large pieces of fabric in my stash, so made do with what I have. Here are some photos of the finished product:

Ta da!! Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Is this thing on?

Ha! I hope no one reads this.

If you are reading along, bear with me - I am just learning this blogging jazz. Must check out if there is a blogging for dummies book (I am sure there is, there is a Dummies book for everything, right?). Or if I can later go back and delete embarrassing blog posts....Hmmm.

Anyhoo, no better way to learn than jumping in and getting my feet wet, so away we go.

So, this is where I plan to occasionally blog about all things sewing related. Realistically, it won't be too often as the Day Job and family life keep me pretty busy.

I have been sewing for a little over a year - I started when I was pregnant with Miss Bird. To be fair I had owned a sewing machine for longer than that (it sat in the garage collecting dust as my dear husband had predicted it would) until my sister, tired of me talking about how I was going to make a quilt, bought be some fabric and a rotary cutter for my birthday. I had to make something after that, right? It would have just been wasteful otherwise... So after that first (very wonky) patchwork quilt, I got bitten by the sewing bug. That first sewing machine has since bitten the dust - I suspect I just wore it out, as I spent a lot of my mat leave sewing up a storm. I am in the market for a new baby at the moment while my mum has very kindly loaned me hers.

2014 is what I am calling my "Year of Handmade" - I am trying to make as many gifts as possible for the year, it helps justify the expense of all that fabric, ahem...  I have a to-do list as long as my arm and ideas constantly whirling in my head.

OK, so that should do for now - I just wanted to figure out how to publish a post....don't want to write too much in case I stuff it.