Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Naughty Sewing

Last night I did some "naughty sewing". You know the kind? When you have something that you should be working on, but instead you are doing something you want to do (partly because you know you should be doing something else).

My naughty sewing last night was starting on a Cambie Dress. After whipping up a quick muslin to check the fit I cut out my fashion fabric. Do you recognise it? It's the fabric I talked about in this post. After some fiddling with the cutting layout I managed to cut the Cambie dress out of a scant 1.5m, leaving about 1.1m left to make the coveted pencil skirt that was the outcome of that previous post.

I think a trip to buy lining and a zip is in order in my lunchbreak tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bicycle Zipped Pouch

Recently Melissa, a friend from work, has departed to Europe for some exciting travels, and Misaya and I wanted to give her a little gift to say goodbye. While looking for fabric for Misaya's quilt we spotted this bicycle fabric which is absolutely perfectly matched for Melissa, who is somewhat a bicycle fanatic, so we bought some. Once paired with a matching stripe from my stash (Melissa is also a fan of stripes!), I made it into a little zippered pouch.

No gift is complete without wrapping, and since I didn't have any around we decided to make our own. What do you think?

To complete the gift we stuffed the pouch with a couple of bags of "lollies" (Australian for "sweets").

Have a great time in Europe Melissa, we'll miss you!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Beautiful Weekend Away...

Last weekend I spend an incredibly enjoyable three days up in the Alpine region of Victoria in a place called Mount Beauty on a Sewing and Chocolate weekend with some fantastic other ladies!!

In total 8 of us ventured up there for the weekend with plans to sew and eat chocolate. Much fun was had; much was sewn, many quilts and quilt tops completed and even more laughter had! Here are some snaps from the weekend:

And just look at this view:

The house, which belongs to Sally's family was amazing, and had some particularly inspring artwork on the walls, including these, which just jumped out at us as potential quilt designs:

Thanks Sally, Bek, Barb, Kristy, Lisa, Lorraine and Kaye for a really fantastic weekend! I can't wait to do it again another time!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sewing Lessons - part 2

Late last week Misaya came over for the evening and we had our second session of teaching her how to sew. After triumphantly completing her quilt top last time, this second session was devoted to basting and starting the quilting.

After a discussion of the merits of different basting methods we set to work pin basting her quit (mainly chosen due to the tools available at the time rather than anything else!). We also discussed quilting designs and settled on straight lines approx 1/4" away from each seam line, so when basting we tried to make sure that all the pins were about an inch away from the seam lines so that she wouldn't have to remove them as she quilted.

We seriously over pinned (using nearly all my pins, which should be enough for a double sized quilt!), but better to be safe than sorry eh!

Then it was onto the quilting. We had decided the quilting should be about 1/4" away from the seamlines as it would be much more forgiving to a slight wiggle than trying to stitch in the ditch (ie along the seamline).

Our evening was interrupted by a trip to the pub for some goodbye drinks for a dear friend and colleague, so she didn't get as much done as we would have liked, but she did get about 1/3 of the quilting done before heading home.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hot Water Bottle Cover

Another of my Easter weekend projects was to make a hot water bottle cover. My old one was made with some left over flanelette from making PJs and wasn't really quite thick enough and was also starting to look a bit shabby. So, I used some of the scraps left from my genome quilt to make a coordinating hot water bottle cover:

Blues and greens on one side, and whites on the other, I foundation pieced strips until they covered the desired shape/size.

I then quilted down the lines with a free motion wiggle (white thread on the white side, green/blue varigated thread on the coloured side)

And lastly bound the edges with some bias binding to hold the two sides together.

It's not really been cold enough yet to use it, but I couldn't resist trying it out last week, It's definitely perfect for the job!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Coveting the Cambie Dress

Have you seen Tasia's newest pattern, the Cambie dress?

I have, and I think I'm in love, it's gorgeous! I've already ordered mine and I think it's going to take all my will power not to make one up as soon as the pattern arrives (which I sadly won't be able to do as I have other time sensitive things to finish first).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sewing Lessons - part 1

One of my friends Misaya has been considering having a go at quilting for a while but was convinced that she wouldn't be able to do it. I was convinced she would, so I persuaded her to let me try and show her. After discussing various quilt designs and their suitability for beginners we decided on a strip quilt.

Last Saturday we headed on over to GJs to pick out the fabrics. We picked out the ones pictured above. The animal print at the top right was to be our "feature fabric", and then picked out a fabric to coordinate with each of the main colours in the fabric (down the right hand side). The stripes down the middle will be the binding, and the backing is shown on the left and is a lovely yellow flannelette.

Misaya informed me that she had no sewing experience whatsoever, so we started with the basics, step by step in the process. First was cutting the strips. I showed Misaya how to use a rotary cutter (including the important safety warnings!), and after a bit of practice on some scraps of fabric she cut her fabric each into two strips (of deliberately uneven size).

After choosing the order of the strips it was business time - sewing them together!

Again, after some practice on a scrap of fabric (above) it was onto the real thing! Misaya was a VERY fast learner and her seam was super straight. Here's her first ever seam:

First the strips were sewn into pairs, the pairs into 4s and so on until it was all one piece. A little pressing later and she had a quilt top!

That's where we stopped for day one (a fantastic achievement for anybody, let alone a beginner!). Stay tuned for Misaya's progress on this one, I think it's going to look great.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Too Many Secrets

Despite how it may appear here on my blog, I have actually been doing plenty of sewing lately, unfortunately I have been working on far too many things that (for the moment) need to be kept a secret, hence the lack of posts!

Happily, today I have something that I can share, some fabrics I picked out for a baby quilt. The boy has "comissioned" this quilt as a gift for his neice-to-be. So, lovely girlfriend that I am, I dragged him along to GJs to help me pick out which fabrics to use (it's a joint venture afterall!). Below is a pic of the fabrics that we ended up choosing. Aren't some of them just super cute?!

Stay tuned for what they get turned into!

Friday, May 4, 2012

AQC Purchases

This post is a little belated since life has somewhat been in the way of my blogging, but I still wanted to post about it. Despite how tempting it is to spend heaps of cash when you go to a quilt show, it's also a bit overwhelming with how much stuff is there! My purchases this year were very modest and all from one stall - Scissorman.

Last year at the show I bought a medium sized pair of scissors from Scissorman. Long story short, there was a manufacturing problem with my scissors and they had a blunt patch. Inconveniently Scissorman are located in a different state to me so I was worried about being able to exchange them, but one phonecall to Scissorman and I was reassured - they offered to post me a replacement pair. In the end they put me in contact with the distributor as they were located very close to me and I got a brand new pair.

These scissors quickly became my absolute favourite scissors and I was using them for everything, even things they weren't really suited for as they were a bit too small. I was using them instead of my shears because my shears have not quite been the same since I made my Hikaru jacket, and have some blunt patches on them from people cutting into pins that have never quite sharpened out.

So I decided to buy some new scissors! After my sucess with my scissors last year I decided to stick with the same brand, Kai, and also due to the fantastic service I recieved, I decided to stick with Scissorman. I bought these beauties:

A little extravagant but they're so smooth and just the right size for my hand. Needless to say, these will be treated VERY well.

(They're also veeeeeeery sharp! As my hand can atest to, I snipped through some skin by mistake on the weekend! ouch!)

I also bought a new cutting mat - A1 sized for only $30!!! and some more rotary cutter blades and a 12.5" square ruler.

I'm very happy with my little haul, and have already started making very good use of it.
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