Monday, February 28, 2011

Op-shop find

In an op-shop a while back I found this gorgeous dress pattern (which is impressive in itself, as I never find nice patterns in op-shops). Even more conveniently, it is the right size for my friend Mindy, and exactly her style.

And even better, it was only 50c!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Zoe is once again hosting a "Me-Made" event, this time Me-Made-March. Initially I wasn't planning to join in but last week I was going through my wardrobe and actually counted how many of my clothes I've made and thought about how often I wear them. I have 9 me-made skirts, and in summer I do wear most of them very frequently. But I also have 10 me-made dresses and I wear them much less.


So, as a refresher on wearing me-made items, I have decided to sign up for Me-Made-March, as hopefully (although with Melbourne you never know) it will be warmer than last May, and will therefore allow me to wear a different combination of me-made clothes. I don't have enough to wear only me-made, as I have made and bought clothes that mix together, but I will once again go for at least one item of me made clothes in every outfit (including sleepwear). Last May when I did Me-Made-May I found the most challenging part was finding suitable clothes for sporty activities. These days that means finding clothes to wear ice skating, so we'll see what I come up with.

In the spirit of this pledge, I thought it would be interesting to inventory my me-made wardrobe like I did beforehand last time, excluding sleepwear from the photo this time:

10x Dresses
9x Skirts
7x tops (2x blouses, 3x shirts, 1x tank top, 1x 3/4 sleeve t-shirt)
1 pair of overly shiney trousers
1 amazing yet season inappropriate coat
(+ plenty of pairs of pyjamas)

And finally, to make it official...

"I, Rachel, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-March '11. I endeavour to wear at least on me-made item in every outfit each day for the duration of March 2011"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sudden Accelleration

I have been sewing together some of my hexagon flowers to start creating the quilt top, and have discovered that after what was almost painfully slow progress sewing the flowers, sewing them together goes surprisingly quickly!

Hexagon Quilt Top Half Finished

To that end, I have now got half of the quilt top completed. I decided to go with a regular repeat of the six types of flowers for the layout, with 96 flowers on the final top, which makes the top a similar size to my couch quilt, the size of which has been given the seal of approval by a great number of different users.

Hexagon Quilt Top Half Finished

I have enough flowers sewn together for another quarter of it, and will need to cut out, baste and sew together more hexies for the last quarter. While that thought could potentially dishearten me as to how much I still have to go, I'm absolutely loving it, so the thought excites me - I'm definitely in a "half done" rather than "half to go" mood with this quilt.

Hexagon Quilt Top Half Finished - Papers

I have also discovered that unpicking the basting and removing the papers is very satisfying!

Hexagon Quilt Top Half Finished - Back

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Oh Beehave" - February Block

This is the block that I made Alissa for the MMQG quilting bee "Oh Beehave":

Alissa asked for a scrappy (but straight) log cabin block.

My previous blocks: OctoberNovember, January

Friday, February 18, 2011

Simple Pleasures

The new lock screen on my phone... A little sad I know, but it makes me smile every time I pick up my phone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pin Cushion Swap

The next swap for the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild is going to be a pin cushion swap. If you're a member of the MMQG and you fancy joining the swap you should head on over to the forum and sign up before the 28th of Feb.

Not a member of the MMQG and live in (or near) Melbourne, what are you waiting for? Don't know much about it, you can learn more here. We have our next Sewing Day on Sunday if you're free and want to join us.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh Beehave - Block instructions

This post is for my fellow participants in the MMQG quilting bee "oh beehave". My month is March, so I'm due to post requests/instructions for my block as the fabrics went out this week.

First off, here are the instructions that went out with the fabrics:

‘Feel’ of the quilt
Simple, Non-uniform, Reversible

Colour Palette:
“Sand” and “Ruby” Kona solids only

Block size:
An assortment of different sizes with the biggest up to approx 12” and the smallest 4” square

Block type:
Wonky Stars – here is a good tutorial:

Please return all useable scraps. Larger scraps will be used when making the quilt top, decent size triangle scraps may be used to make some more (small) stars if necessary.

Adding fabric:
Please do not add any fabric; I only want to have Kona “sand” and “ruby” in this quilt.

Intended purpose of quilt:
My quilt is for my friend Alex and her Fiancé as a wedding present in November

Specific construction requests:
I plan to make this a reversible quilt, with one side all sand stars on a ruby background and the other all ruby stars on a sand background.
Please can you construct two blocks – one of a ruby star with a sand background and one of a sand star with a ruby background (If you think I am being too cheeky with this request please send back the extra fabric and only one block and I will make the other.)
To try and make sure that I end up with a mixture of sizes of both types of blocks, I have included a post- it in your envelope that specifies which colour star should be bigger, please use this as a guideline.
Please use the same colour for the centre square as the points of the stars, so that the stars are all the same colour.
Some key points to think about when constructing the blocks:
  • Please make sure that the points of the stars are at least ¼ inch away from the edge of the block so that points aren’t lost when I sew the blocks together (This is particularly important)
  • Blocks do not have to be exactly square or in 1/3 proportions, but please don’t make them too exaggeratedly rectangular/disproportionate
  • Please try to make the triangles meet or overlap where they’re attached to the centre square.
  • Please try and give your stars “balanced wonk”.

First off, here is a flickr gallery with some inspiration photos that will hopefully show you what I'm going for (and what I'm not going for). I've put my comments next to the photos for you to read:

Also for some more information, here's a diagram I made up to describe some of the points listed above and in the gallery:
Wonky Star Examples 2
1- This Star is an example of a 1/3 proportioned wonky block and if you made me one like this it'd be great. It has no gaps between the triangular points where they meet the edge of the block, none of the points go right up to the edge of the block (and thus won't be lost when sewing them together), and it has "balanced wonk"
2- This is an example of how you can play around with the proportions a bit if you like. This one has the star not centered in the block but off to the top left hand side. It's still good because it hasn't moved the proportions too much so still looks balanced.
3- This is an example of how you can make a block that isn't square. This rectangular block is still good is it doesn't look too stretched out.
4- This is another example of how you can play with the proportion of the block by making the centre square smaller. However I do not really like this block as the proportions are too extreme. You can make the centre square smaller, but please do not make it as extreme as this
5- Similarly, this block plays with proportion again, this time by making the centre square larger. Again, I don't like this block as the proportions are too extreme. You can't make the centre square bigger, but please do not make it as extreme as this.
6- This block shows you an example of "unbalanced wonk" As you can see, there is a HUGE difference in the widths of the points, particularly at the top and bottom of the block. There is also no balance of the different sides, with the much larger points all on the bottom left of the block. I definitely want wonk, but not as extreme as in this block. This block also shows you an example of having a gap between the points (on the right hand side of the block). I don't want that either
7- This is a "star block" rather than a "wonky star block". I do not want beautifully precise and symmetrical stars, I want wonky ones.

Apologies if that's all a bit thorough and it sounds like I'm being really really picky, I promise you I'm not, and I'm positive that whatever you make will be fantastic, I just figured the more information I show you all the better.

And lastly, here's an example block that I made up:
Wonky Star Example

I can't wait to see the blocks that you guys make!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm seeing spots

I am very much drawn to spots these days, but sadly I have absolutely no clothes with spots on them! A while back I bought some gorgeous spotty fabric.

Earlier this week I bought the pattern I want to use for the dress (with a gift voucher generously gifted to me by a friend for my birthday), and today I took advantage of the sale at the Fabric store and bought some lining fabric and some solid black contrast fabric for the midriff and hem.

I made up a quick muslin of the bodice and have made a couple of alterations to the pattern pieces and am eager to get started with adding a spotty garment to my wardrobe.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pluses for Charity

Jenny over at is organising a fundraising quilt to raise money for the AIDS walk in her city. When I saw her post on the subject accepting any additional blocks I decided to volunteer to make a couple.

This evening I dug out whatever red fabrics I had and picked some out along with some contrasting fabrics for the crosses and made up a few blocks... four infact, they're very enjoyable blocks to make.

They'll be in the mail to Jenny tomorrow.

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Oh Beehave" - January Block

Here's the third block i've made for the MMQG quilting bee "Oh Beehave". This one was for Anna:

Anna asked for wonky, deconstructed log cabins with the range of solid reds, yellows and oranges that she gave us.

My previous blocks: October, November

Friday, February 4, 2011

Madeline Mini Bloomers

While rummaging for my Jenny Skirt pattern yesterday I came across an unfinished project - some "Madeline Mini Bloomers", a free pattern from Colette Patterns.

Madeline Mini Bloomers

All that was left to do was add some elastic to the leg holes.

Madeline Mini BloomersMadeline Mini Bloomers

A speedy finish and now I have some brand new summer pyjama shorts, which I have been in desperate need of lately. I wore them last night and they're really comfy, and used hardly any fabric. Definitely a win.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pendrell Blouse - Finished!

pendrell finished

As promised last night, I now have better photos of my finished Pendrell blouse. Not bad for about $3 all up, eh? (excluding the pattern)

pendrell finished

Here I've paired it with my grey Jenny skirt, except I've folded the waistband in half as the wide waistband made my proportions look a little odd.

pendrell finished

I didn't really know what to expect from the draped sleeve, but it really is ingenious. It sits really nicely and adds interest to a simple pattern. I'm not sure how it'd hold up to layers over it though, which may prove to be an issue.

pendrell finished - untucked

It doesn't look too bad untucked but feels a little sack like. That might be because I'm used to more fitted tops, but it probably wouldn't hurt to be a little tighter around the waist. For future version I might bite the bullet and do the smaller size with a FBA, I think that'll help with the baggy-ness issues.

pendrell finished

And lastly, a big thank you to Mindy for coming to the Carlton Gardens with me to play photographer.

(also, as you can see in these photos, my arm is out of the splint, and I just have a bandage to keep it clean until the stiches come out - yay! I can't move it completely yet and sometimes it hurts, but much less than when the splint was on.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm a bad sew-along-er

So, I'm a bad sew-along participant... I kinda skipped ahead. Last week I skipped ahead to step 14 in the instructions when the sew-along was only at step 4, and today I finished my blouse. But I don't really care, because I LOVE it! I just tried it on with my grey Jenny skirt and it looks awesome. (My black Jenny skirt is too big and needs taking in, so I can't try it on with that too).

Finished Pendrell #1 on hanger

The bad news is that I am home alone this evening so don't have anyone to play photographer for me. However, here's a sneak peek of it on the hanger and I'll recruit a photographer tomorrow (when it's daylight) to show you it in all it's splendor.
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