Friday, May 31, 2013

Grey and Yellow

This might be the perfect winter quilt. Grey and yellow. Simple big quilt blocks. Wonky lines of quilting in grey with the odd one of yellow and teal. The pattern is coming soon when I can think of a name for it and Cross Olive gives me some time to write it.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cross Stitch Phone Cover

This little project seems to have taken my a long time to finish. I used to do a lot of cross stitch, but most of those ended up framed on a wall. It was really nice to stitch something that could be used. 
As much as I enjoyed making this, cross stitching on plastic is not the nicest thing to do, especially in this cold weather. I could only do a little bit each night before my fingers hurt.
I used DMC thread in four nice bright colours - 704, 3846, 606 and 725.

 If you would like to make your own I bought mine from eBay - search for cross stitch iphone cover and this is the pattern I used.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

This Week

A little sewing.
 A little quilting.
A little experimenting.

Friday, May 24, 2013


We finally have some chooks in the chook house. We were given these two lovely Isa Browns that have been named Ruby and Pearl. 
And four little Hy-lines called Gretl, Daph, Livvy and Rainbow-Dash. They are about 7 weeks old so they are in a separate big cage at the moment and will slowly be introduced to the other two. Poor Evie this is just before hers flew out of her arms, she was a little bit scared of them to start with, but it hasn't taken her long to get use to them.
 The twins made some hama bead art to decorate the chook house.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Denim Tunic

 My girls are leggings, t-shirts and smock/tunic girls. They won't willingly wear jeans because as Milly says 'you can't run or climb trees in jeans'. The only problem is that jeans wash very well, especially after a day in the garden, climbing trees and building cubbies. So I suggested a denim tunic and Milly agreed to the one in Ottobre 4/2012.
The only alteration was to sew the buttons and button holes the opposite way to the pattern. The straps were really long and I didn't check them until it was finished. So I swapped them around and the extra length is tucked down the front of the dress and the button can be moved as she grows.
I love all the top stitching on this tunic. I used an aqua blue to contrast with the almost black denim. I was too lazy to set up the double needle and I find it just as easy to sew two lines.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Japanese Sewing Books

The rest of my Amazon Japan order (and the reason for the order) was sewing patterns for the girls. With four girls to sew for I think I will get quite a bit of use from these, the one on the top right has patterns for girls up to 150cm tall so that can be used for years. There are previews for all of them on Amazon Japan - here are the links. Top left. Top right. Bottom left. Bottom right.
 I started something new yesterday. Four different shades of grey and four different yellows. A little less bright and minimalist compared to what I usually make.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Patchwork Tsushin

I couldn't resist the latest Patchwork Tsushin when I was ordering from Amazon Japan. The theme is Modern Quilts and there are some beautiful interesting quilts in there along with block ideas and patterns for smaller things like cushions, bags and softies. The Japanese quilt magazines are always the ones that survive my craft room clean outs. Not matter how many times I go back and flick through them I see something new and am inspired to sew.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pochee Cardigan

 I had a little splurge at Amazon Japan couple of weeks ago (more on that later this week) and on a whim I bought the latest edition of Pochee magazine. I love these magazines, but never sew from them as this style is not flattering to my shape, but I found a great cardigan pattern in this one.
If I saw this in a shop I would buy it immediately. Of course it is made out of shapes you think could never make a cardigan, but I followed the instructions and it worked!
 I used some very very cheap loose knit fabric from Spotlight I bought last year so I wasn't worried if it didn't work. I made the largest size and was planning to size up, but this ended up a little bigger than I wanted. As it is a loose knit that seemed to stretch a bit I think it might be perfect when I make one from wool jersey.
I think this style of cardigan will be great over pretty much everything in winter and dresses in summer. I think I might need a few in different colours.
I know I am tempting fate expecting another pattern in there to work for me, but I might have to try out one of the loose fitting shirts.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Elephants and Squares

 I found the perfect fabric at Textile Traders for a very new little boy. Elephants by Michael Miller and even better there was a precut piece of 1 1/2m for $7.50. I love that section in there. I am always hunting through there and usually manage to find pieces for quilt backings and clothes for the girls.
I cut a strip of it 6" wide and cut it, and some matching solids, into squares.
 I used the rest of the elephants for backing, quilted both sides of the seams and used some grey spots with a little strip of the elephants for the binding.
It is ready to send north so it can be used in the little bit of winter they have up there.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Books and Cross Stitch

I posted an extremely short review of these books on instagram today. I was planning a longer review, but have realized that will never happen. There are so many people more skilled in book reviewing that me. It is safe to say that English Lit at school was not my strong point. So here is a very short book review from the top one down:
1. Read this
2. Read this for different reasons
3. Was good, was not The Poisonwood Bible, but anything by Barbara Kingsolver is going to be pretty good.

I really need a new phone cover and had this brilliant idea to cross stitch one. I didn't realize just how tiny those little stitches are. I'm really hoping to finish it before my phone is obsolete. If you are looking for a cover you can cross stitch yourself search eBay for "cross stitch phone cover", you should find a few in quite a few colours.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Look 6106

I realized the other day that my wardrobe really needs a few plain basics. I have lots of skirts in great print fabrics, but I lacked a really good denim skirt. I thought I would try New Look 6106 as I liked the look of the pockets. The denim is some nice dark denim from the stash. I have no idea where it came from. I am glad I had it though as the offerings in Spotlight last week were dismal.
 I used cotton for the facings and pocket linings to reduce the bulk a little around the waist. To make it a little interesting I stitched the whole thing with red thread which meant I really needed to concentrate and keep it straight and neat. Not sure I succeeded, but from a distance when I'm moving at a fast pace I don't think you will notice.
 I didn't really like the order of the instructions and the way the zip was inserted so I put it together the way I normally make a skirt. It is quite A-line so I took it in a bit at the sides and if I made I again I would take it in ever more.
My usual photographers were not in the mood to take photos this afternoon and these were the best of the lot. Not the best photos, but you get the idea. I am happy with the way it turned out and the pockets are a perfect shape and size. I can see myself wearing it a few times a week this winter. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Liberty Hot Water Bottle Cover

Growing up in a farmhouse without insulation, and cracks in the walls, our family has always been a fan of the hot water bottle. I knitted Mum a cover a few years ago, but last year it developed a big hole that couldn't be mended. I had plans to knit a new one, but sewing one seemed much more manageable before this winter. So I made one for Mother's Day. I used some scraps of Liberty, some solids and some tan and white polka dot fabric. I made it up as I went along, but I found this tutorial which is basically what I did.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Layer Cake Tutorial #4

Another quick tutorial using twenty 10" squares or half a layer cake. For this one I used lots of directional print fabric. Directional prints can be a bit tricky when quilt making if you want to keep them facing all the same way. In this quilt I have just cut them into rectangles and a few squares which means you can keep them going the same way very easily.
 The blocks need to be cut in half. To make sure I am cutting exactly in half I use two rulers and line up the 5" mark on the sides with each ruler (The ruler on the right is upside down when I do this).
 Now remove one of the rulers and cut the squares in half so you have two rectangles 10" long and 5" wide.
 After you have cut all your blocks into rectangles choose four of the rectangles and cut them into two 5" squares. You will have 36 rectangles and 8 squares.
Lay all the rectangles and squares out as in the picture below. Four rows will have five 10" long rectangles and four rows will have four 10" long rectangles and 2 squares at each end.


From the rectangles at each end of rows 1,3, 5 and 7 trim 1/4" from one end (so those rectangles are now 9 3/4" long. (You need to do this as rows 2, 4, 6 and 8 have an extra seam and will be 1/2" shorter).

 Sew row 1 together. Repeat for rows 2-8. Press. I pressed my seams to the side. Now sew all the rows together and Press. I pressed all my seams to the side. The quilt top is finished!