Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year (only 7 weeks til my USA trip)

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. It always feels good to make plans for the new year. However, most of my plans for 2012 were made months ago. I am starting to get excited about visiting the Stitch and Craft Expo in Puyallup Oregon. I leave end of February.
I have finished my travel bag and a few extras.
I will be testing it out on the US trip to make sure it works. If it is as convenient as I hope it will be going with me to Italy and the UK and finally Melbourne in July. It may have to go into mothballs for a while after that :) At least if I can't afford to keep traveling I will have more time to sew.

One side has two pockets.

The other side has a zipper pocket.

Two big zipper pockets in the lining and a divided insert.

I want to experiment with hanging the insert on the tray table somehow.

There is a handy shoulder strap.

The strap tucks into the pocket on the end.

Keeping up the bird theme I made a folder and wallet.

Room for all my travel information and passport and money.

Happy Quilting,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuxedo Cat - no.4

I managed to finish putting Tuxedo Cat on a t-shirt for DH for his Christmas present. I enlarged it a bit but I can't lay my hand on the enlargement at present so I am just putting up the 100% pattern. To make it easier to stitch onto the t-shirt I ironed a big piece of freezer paper onto the back to stabilize it then I tore it off after I had stitched.  I also washed the t-shirt first thinking it might shrink a bit.

Just click the image and save it to your computer. Look in the My Designs page for the other three.

I also finished the shopping bag for DD1. She has a cat that is grey with a bit of a white chest. I thought grey would be a bit boring so he is grey with pink flowers :)

 I have had fun wrapping the presents adapting some of the ideas I found on the web. The gold one on the right DH wrapped. It is for me. The neighbours and their four kids have theirs wrapped with ribbons and stars as well but I put them in a bag with initials for the name tags. We will probably carry them next door so I thought the bag was a good idea.

 We will also give the girls some cash so I made little LV hand bags. I printed the paper myself using the LV pattern I found somewhere on line last year.

 I still haven't put the tree up but at least the box is in the lounge room now.

I have invented the jug wrap!

Merry Christmas to All,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Using up my old Christmas fabrics

I went to Spotlight the other day and bought some new Christmas fabrics at half price. I have put them away and will make some things later for next year. I decided that I needed to use up the old fabrics. I have only been patch working with effort for this one year and I have found Christmas fabrics that I am sure my mum gave me years ago and I also had to buy some for the Christmas quilt I made earlier this year so they just have to go so there is room for more new ones.
I have half finished a runner with strippy blocks and made some little bags with the left over blocks and borders. They will go in the little stockings that I won't let anyone take away. They can take the little bags this year.

 I have decorated some hand towels. I started with pleats, then tried pleats with ribbon then just a strip with ribbon. I thought the plain strip with ribbon looked the best. They all have only a few rows of sewing so I can take it off after Christmas.

 I tried the paper ball. It was a bit fiddly but kept my brain busy for a 1/2 hour. It would be much easier with four hands!

 The little stars are much less trouble and turn out very cute. I think I will make some red ones as well and string them all together to make a garland for the tree.

 I also tried to stitch a paper bird. That too is a four hand task. I sewed on one side then realized I had cut the other side back to front so the music was on the inside. So that is waiting beside the knitted pigeon body to be finished off once I untie the knots in my fingers :)

This morning I had to drop everything to work out what workshops and talks I want to do at the Puyallup Stitch and Craft Expo next year. I am starting to get a tad excited about the Oregon trip. It is only 2 months away now.
I am also having fun looking at what everyone is doing for Christmas gifts, decorations and wrapping. There is so much creative work going on out there.

You might still have time to stitch this cute design from Gail Pan.

Happy Quilting,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just some cool patterns

I have been sewing little things and working on the knitted pigeon and surfing around. Here are some of the things I have found latley:
The bird card in the side bar was just beautiful and could probably be used for applique too.

She also has the most amazing 3D owl.

Then I found the fabulous paper snow flakes. You have to print them out then fold and cut. The cutting is surprising easy compared to the lovely pattern you get. mmmcrafts links to the patterns but she also has a good tutorial on how to do it and a blank snowflake fold pattern so you can make your own designs.

There is a felt or paper flower template with several layers of petals and a stuffed toy monkey...
Have a look at all her things. And the lizard is really cute too.

There is a cute chicken stitchery here. Click Freebie in the menu.

There are some lovely stitchery patterns and applique ideas here. The menu on the right has all the categories.

There are some nice stitchery patterns here.

There is a cool pieced pumpkin pattern here.

There are some cute doll patterns to buy here. I like Hattie and Homer Hobart :)

I came across this site while trying to find where I got something else from and found the cutest scottie dog mini quilt. The site is about the history of quilting and is very interesting.

I liked this cute set of cat blocks.

I imagine that this site is not new to most but I found it had some good patterns. This is where I got the link to the cat pattern above.

I also had time to follow the Moda Blog hop that I found links to on Sharon's blog. I printed out a few on card, cut them in half and sewed the block and recipe back to back. I need to get some more card now to do the rest.

I found a different looking little bag pattern here.

I know you all have plenty of time to play on the computer so I hope you enjoy collecting some of these patterns.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Using free patterns

I found the tutorial for fabric boxes ( I think there are several out there) and had to make two - with two more cut out. I would add that it was easier to construct when I pressed the seams open after attaching the front and back to the base.  I also used the one sew binding method as I did for the plastic purse. Cut a strip 2" or 2 1/4 ", press in half then press the raw edges to the centre and fold.
I was going to leave out the pocket but found that it was handy to place an item to identify what was in the box.

I also knitted the little mouse. Lots of fiddly bits but the pattern was easy to follow. Not for the faint hearted though :)

Another favourite is the Christmas chickens. I have finished one. I might make the others and use them as present tags.

Links to all three free patterns are in the right side bar.
Thanks to Anita at Hayestackhayes for finding the mouse.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Festive Feline

Since the unofficial theme for Christmas dinner is "Garnish/Embellishment" I wanted a fancy centre piece. I love all those twiggy things. There are lots at our Christmas Shack shop but they are quite expensive. I was looking through my Christmas craft books and came across this cute kitty by Mary-Anne Hogan.
I am trying to use what I have in my stash so I pulled out the blanket I got from the op shop for $3 and found an old scarf that I could cut down and also use to make the hat.
Since cats are not traditional Christmas fare I didn't think it would hurt to add a sewing theme with some of the embellishments. He is not quite as 'primitive' as the one in the pattern but he looks cute on the table.

Happy Quilting,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas past

I just happened to have this photo on the computer and thought I would join in with Tracee at Quilt Kitty. This was taken in 1960. I don't remember anything about it but I am pretty sure the outfit was made by mum.

Happy Christmas,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Obsessed with the quick finish

You may have noticed that I have been making all sorts of little things lately. My big star quilt is lying idle and my new Nanna's Farm quilt is still a pile of fabrics.
Yesterday I finished four Christmas cookie decorations made from felt...

They are only little.

...then last night I made the little stuffed bird I got from Cookies and Cream. Little stuffed toys are not high on my list of quick finishes. They are way too fiddly. Then ...

...this morning I was browsing around and found a tutorial for a zipper bag at Joypatch. It is a basic pattern and I have made it before but looking at the construction triggered a need to make it out of plastic. The bound edges were perfect for plastic. I folded the raw edges in on the binding then folded it in half as described in the pattern. However, I placed it over the edges of the plastic and sewed both front and back edges at once. I didn't bother with a zipper gusset. I just sewed it straight into the binding then put the end tabs on. The construction is similar to the felt tea bag I made before. Though felt doesn't need the binding. I can see some more plastic things in the near future. Maybe even today :)

Here are the cookies. The small ones were a bit too small I thought so I have included 120% cookies as well. Click on the image, save it then print it.

Happy Quilting,

Friday, December 9, 2011

Would you believe 'More Christmas Sewing' :)

I have been busy sewing and playing. I loved the look of some of the cakes in the Woolworths Fresh magazine so I have traced them to make into fabric things at some point.

And then I saw what Teje was doing on Nero's Post and Patch. She is making fabric cards by just sewing around shapes and trimming them close to the stitching. I have been meaning to try this method for a while. Obviously it is not a good plan for things that have to be washed but I thought if I made some coasters like this they could be soaked carefully if need be. So I cut out some teapot shapes roughly, interfaced them and cut wadding and backing. I then sewed around the outline and cut them out. They look really cute. I will have to make a set.

I managed to finish the last three of my place mats and I made a magpie tree decoration. I added some bells to jazz him up a bit.

My desk was a mess with 5 or 6 projects in various stages so I got out another folder and put all my drawings and interfacing pieces and flosses and even a tea towel into plastic sleeves and I feel so much happier.

If you click on these drawings you can save them print them full size.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Little birds

I have had a lot of fun making little birds to hang on the tree. I used the bird designs I found on the web to get the shapes then made them all from felt. They are not heirloom items and will probably be good for next year too but not much more. I have decided not to buy any more tree decorations. I will just make what ever takes my fancy. Last year I had paper houses and handbags. I still have those and will put them on this year too. I threw away the paper hearts I made with beady dangles as I took them off the tree. They were quick and easy to make so I had no problem discarding them. I have to have room for all the new things I have made.

I have started on the tea cloth and love it so far. It won't take too long to finish.

You may have noticed that I have borrowed some pictures of free patterns and linked them to the site with the pattern. These are on the top right of my blog. There are the strippy triangle blocks, the apron with the built in pot holders and the fabulous crochet hat and some others.

Lastly but not least, a big hello to my new followers. I love it when new people find my blog.

Happy Quilting,

Friday, December 2, 2011


I stitched 'Tabby' and put her on my travel diary.

I have made a PDF with the basics of what I did to make the diary cover. I have included the 100% cat and the 80% cat I used for the stitchery.

I would have loved to use some nice travel fabric but I had to stick to the stash though I did lash out this week and bought a few patterns from Cookies and Cream.

While I have been making small things and felt things my new best friends are freezer paper and 505 basting glue. The freezer paper makes it easy to cut out fiddly felt pieces because it irons onto the felt. Cause the felt is fuzzy you can only make it stick once but I have a whole role so there is a bit to spare.

You can download the directions and cat patterns from my Google docs.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What does a retired teacher do with all those plastic pockets?

She files everything that isn't bolted down :)

After buying new embroidery cottons I needed to put order into all of them so this morning I sewed little pockets into my plastic pockets. I drew guide lines on the paper and slipped it inside and sewed along the lines then slit the pockets open with my pointy scissors. Now all the colours are sorted and even the left over lengths are filed behind the matching hanks. Much better than the tumble weed of thread I had before.

Yesterday I filed my tea cup collection and my bird collection. The cups are drawn from photos of cups and saucers I found on the web and since I am not trying to make them into tea cups I figure it will be alright to share them as stitchery designs as I make my tea cloth.

Earlier this year I  filed all my patterns and drawings in two big folders.

I also put the magazines I had taken projects out of into folders with any tracings or patterns I had made up and I keep photocopies of interesting sewing articles and projects sheets in there too.

The magazine
The pattern sheet
My tracings

The plan for the tea cloth is checkerboard with white squares for the stitchery. This is just the floral squares on my design board with some thread choices.

Happy Quilting,
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