Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book bag with teacher angel

I was scared I would lose the quilting club books if they didn't have a special bag and I didn't want to get on the wrong side of the librarian.
Owls are very bookish so my Christmas gift from mum was perfect. Then I received the Teacher Angel from Helena and thought she was lovely. It think this stitchery means 'Once a teacher, always a teacher'.

Happy Quilting,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Christmas through the year

 I have made a couple of triangle containers. I thought they would be good to put on the bedside table to hold jewellery or coins. I have lost quite a few single ear rings when the cat has jumped up and things have rolled off or they just get pushed under things and I never see them again. So I have one for myself and two for gifts.
I showed my mum the first one I made and she was happy to take it home. I showed the ladies at the quilting group the second one I made. They liked it a lot so I offered it to one of them who said to her friend 'It's your birthday today. Why don't you take it' and she did. So it seems they are quite a hit. Mainly for their cuteness rather than their practical value :)
I found two sites that had photo tutorials and one is in my side bar. I don't think this is a pattern that anyone owns so I have drawn up a page of basic instructions and the triangle shape to print out. I used a layer of wadding in mine so it doesn't fold up and it is probably a bit smaller than just an interfaced one but I like it.

I was able to borrow a couple of cute applique books from the quilt group library on Wednesday and when I put them down at home I thought that I really needed a dedicated quilt library bag otherwise I would lose them.
I pulled out some owl fabric that mum had given me for Christmas and the tote bag pattern piece that just sits in my bookshelf for a quick make and started cutting out. I am a bit crazy I think because my half finished pure wool blazer and pieces were spread on the table and I was just cutting my bag on top of them. I did make an effort to clear a space when I put up the wadding or I would definitely have had a blazer jig saw.
I wanted to put some stitchery on the front but had no real idea of what to use so I was pleasantly surprised when Helena of Crazy Cats BoM fame sent me a cute teacher angel. I thought it would be perfect and started stitching immediately. I only half finished and left it out overnight. It is so humid here that my soluble pen lines have disappeared. I have to pop up to the sewing room and redraw the lines and this time get it finished quick.

Only half done. I will show the bag when I finish it.

Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1 xmas item a month

I have been concentrating on getting some little gifts ready. Playing with a few designs. Many years ago I was given a shop made book page weight. It is like a mini pyramid doorstop. It has dried lavender in it so it males reading a more relaxing past time. It is used to stop the pages turning while the book is on the table. Very useful for reading hands free. You can hold your cake plate and read at the same time :)
It would also make a nice nice little paper weight for the desk. I have finished one but I would like to make at least two more. I have to get some more tassels.
Narelle at Pins and Whiskers is the lovely host for this group. She has a list of all those joining in on her side bar. There are usually lots of great ideas.
I have made a little pattern for my pyramid. Click on the image then download it.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book mark

I had the urge to make a book mark.
Probably all those book challenges I am doing :D
I needed some gross grain ribbon and what do you know? Mum had wrapped her Christmas present to me in gross grain ribbon which I naturally kept for a rainy day. Putting a little thing at each end lends itself to all sorts of cute pairs. I had the bird and the flower on a card that was sitting on my sewing table so I used that this time. I think and owl and a book or an apple (see purl bee apple coasters) and a worm. If I use a little book I could stitch my name on it. I also made a little lavender scented book page weight. But I will show that on the 25th. I am slowly working on my blazer for my trip and knitting a big scarf hood as well. 
I will be back with my Christmas items on the 25th.

Happy Quilting,

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Scrappy squares method

I have been surfing the web the last few days following links on people's blogs. I discovered a tutorial for making blocks of small squares using iron on interfacing. It is really easy and works well too.

I made a little mug mat with bits I had hanging around.

A few other things I looked at:

Here is a simple baby bib pattern.

I love this stay put kitchen towel tutorial.

So many nice blogs to visit in the slow poke quilt group

I am doing a 50 books in 50 weeks challenge and manged to get to the library and get half a dozen books out. I don't want to get behind.  I am also doing the What's in a name no5 challenge. I got a book called Cat Sitter Amoung the Pigeons by Blaize Clement. I think 'pigeons' will qualify for something you would see in the sky. The book I have started reading is An Ominous Death by Annette Mahon. It is about the adventures of a quilting bee. One of them is an amateur sleuth and in this book one of their casual members is murdered. It seems to be a good read so far.
I liked the cover :)

I nearly forgot! Tracee at Quiltkitty Loves Life  said that the latest Homespun magazine has her quilt and my quilt in the readers show case.

Happy Quilting (and associated activities like cat patting, tea drinking and cosy mystery reading),

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Fabric and another book

I was very excited today because I got my parcel from eQuilter. com. They had a sale and I got 4 yards of lovely fabric and four panels for only AU$44 including the postage. I signed up for their newsletter so I won't miss any sales they have. Even their full price fabrics are sometimes $2 cheaper than other online stores.
I have wanted to buy more Mrs Greenthumbs before it disappears so I bought 2 yards of the hats at US$3.58 a yd and 1 yard of the seed packets at full price of US$8.95. The panels were US$2.60 each. There was so much there that I wanted to buy but I have to save my money for my trip. Funny isn't it! I will be so glad when my trips are over so I can start spending my pocket money on a whim. Not really. But it is hard to keep my money for things I haven't seen yet. I didn't think $44 would blow the budget and it was for things that I have wanted for a while.

The post cards were too nice to resist :)
One of the blocks on the Mrs Greenthumbs panel
Another panel that I couldn't resist!
I have been playing with the little triangular thread catcher pattern. I put the link to the tutorial in my sidebar. I didn't read the instructions very closely so I made 3 big triangles with wadding in them and thought 'How is this going to work?'. I need another triangle. So now I have 4 sewn big triangles and I thought it was time to check the tutorial. Well, what do you know! You only need one triangle to make the thread catcher. It is very tiny. I don't think it will be suitable for me to throw threads in but it would make a great container for loose change or ear rings on the bedside table. I have several that I will show for Christmas through the year. I also finished another item for 1 Xmas item a month.

I took my sewing machine and overlocker up to the quilting group so I could make a pair of trousers. I classified them as quilting because I need them to wear on my trip to buy fabric. I nearly finished them and now all I have to do is the hems. I will do pictures of my travel clothes later. Today I have to work on the woolen blazer.

Yesterday DH thought it would be nice to take me to a fabric shop that he learnt about from a lady he sat next to while he was waiting for me at the post office the other day. It is called East Coast Fabrics.
This will really only interest the Brisbane ladies.

Springwood Warehouse
Unit 3B, Pacific Place
10 Old Chatswood Rd
Springwood Q 4127
(Next to Tender Disposals)

Phone: 07 3208 1930
You have to get onto the service road from Chatswood Rd.
They had a large range of quilting fabrics at $5.99/m and lots of dress making fabrics. Some lovely silks for $7.95/m.

I have joined up two book clubs online. One requires the 6 titles to have particular words in them and the other is 50 books in 50 weeks. I have just finished my second book this year. Even Money fits the 'something carried in your purse' criteria. I picked it by running my eye along the library shelf til I found one of the key words. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. It was a bit humorous as well as being a murder mystery and the characters were very likeable. A great read if you like coffee table mysteries.
I think I will have to get more than one book out on my next library visit and because I have to do a bit of catchup I might also have to get some shorter books :)

Finally, I have another pattern that I will share on the 25th. I made it up when I discovered that the triangle thread catcher was a bit small. I may even tizzy it up a bit with some stitchery.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A new tote

I have discovered that if I eat cheese around tea time before bed I will lie awake for hours with a kind of hyperactivity in my head. It happened not so long ago and I told myself not to eat cheese at night but I forgot and paid the price. However, I did think up the design for my new tote bag while I was lying there.  I have called it the Tote-All because I think it will hold whatever you are able to lift. I put 10kg (22lbs) in no problem. Well, the only problem was I don't think I would be able to carry it very far :D
Rather than write up a pattern I have listed its features and put the measurements I used on a diagram. It takes a metre or yard of fabric plus the decorative fabrics.

No good having a bag that will carry anything if the base board is flimsy so I cut off some of an old cutting mat. This won't fold it only bends and it won't crack or break. I did have to use two hands to close the scissors at each snip. I will probably have a sore hand or two tomorrow :(

While at the post office yesterday I found some Christmas specials. I couldn't resist this set of boxes for $6.99. I will use them in my sewing room. The lid is attached to the handle loop.

Happy Quilting,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quick Organza Bunny Bag

I discovered this basic bag design and it is perfect for a drawstring look without all the fiddling required to make the drawstring. It lends itself to all sorts of uses but here I have made it into an Easter bag to fill with Easter eggs.
I didn't actually take the photos as I constructed it because I hadn't really planned to give instructions but I am sure you can get the gist of it with the see through fabric.

You start with a rectangle of fabric 11 inches wide and 12 inches high. You can adjust the size of the rectangle for a bigger or smaller bag but this size is probably as small as you want to go for sewing ease. I used some organza I had from way back. The opening of the bag was just a fraction too small for me to use my free arm so I will probably use a 12 inch square next time to make it even easier.

You can download the bunny on PDF from my google docs.
I can already see where I wrote 12 inches on the left of the diagram even though it actually points to the finished height of 10 inches. But with the bagged corners the finished height will be less than 10 inches. I would also start with a 12 inch square now. Oh my! Pattern writing is a nightmare. If there is something you can't work out just email me.

Make your bunny using fusible applique webbing and felt and fuse it onto your rectangle 2 1/4 inches from the bottom and in the centre. I sewed around my bunny because I thought it looked better but the fusible webbing does the job. Stitch his face with 3 strands of embroidery thread. I used French knots for the eyes and backstitch for the rest in black.

I stitched the bunny but not the pink bits. I only have finished photos.
Seam allowances are 1/4 inch.

Fold 24 inches of ribbon in half and pin it 4 inches from the top. With right sides together and keeping the ribbon tails on the inside sew the cenre back seam.

This is turned right side out after finishing but you can see how the ribbon is sewn in the seam.

Arrange the tube so the seam is at the centre back then sew across the bottom.
Pinch the corners to bag the bottom slightly and sew across about 1/2 inch from the point. Trim.

Fold the top down level with the ribbon and stitch around to catch the edge 2 inches from the top. It helps if this edge is a selvedge. 

Turn and you are done. Well almost done.  You still need to fill it with eggs :)

I didn't have any eggs so it is filled with Christmas baubles.

Happy Quilting,

Friday, January 13, 2012

A home for the needle book

I did a draw out of the martini glass on the bar and drew out Sheila's name of Sheila's Quilt World. Congrats Sheila. I will post it as soon as I get your address.

I don't have any pictures of anything new but I have been working on some more turtle doves and my scenic applique wall hanging is coming together really well. I am also using some of my stash to make a little bag for Easter eggs. I will share the design soon.

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Beenleigh Quilters

I had such a lovely time at my area quilting and craft group on Wednesday morning. I was lucky that I happened to turn up on birthday day and several birthday ladies had brought along cake for morning tea. Since it was my first time I thought it would be easier if I just took along some stitching. I was warmly welcomed as I walked in and when I said I had some stitching I was directed to take a seat with Betty 'n' Betty. They were a couple of lovely characters and so the tone was set for a funny, relaxed and gossipy session. I had a little visit with all the groups and hardly got any sewing done.
The hall was built just for the quilters by the show society and it is a lovely space. I took a few pictures as I walked around.

I need to make a name tag for the birthday board but it won't be put up for quite a while.
One of the lovely group quilts around the walls.

Magazine heaven for a coin donation.

One side of the library cupboard. Can't wait to get my hands on these.
Ruby sits at the door.

I have been wanting to buy a Jean Greenhowe knitted doll book for a while and with my purse quite a bit lighter I am knitting a soft doll with a lovely body shape, a pretty face and great hair that I can put my hand made doll clothes on. I couldn't believe my luck when I scored a pattern book with basic patterns for 5 different doll sizes and how to make lots and lots of different looks and garments. It was on the 'For Free' table.
I needed an instant gift today so I knitted the tiny teddy included in the knitting book. He is so cute and only 2 1/2 inches high. His name is Beary Small. I bought some new sewing needles and to make the little bear I used my bodkin, my curved fine fabric needle and my short doll needle. I can't understand how I survived without all these needles in the past!

I hope you are all having fun making things.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday Treasures

I spotted Melody's Tuesday Treasure post while looking through my reading list and thought it would be nice to join in that again. I keep looking at the buttons on my sidebar and thinking I should get back into the swing of some weekly posts. I have just spent 20 mins or so writing in my weight loss journal and I felt really happy that I have found a lovely blogger friend who inspires me not only to write my journal but to keep making positive steps forward with my health. She is very good at making regular posts about her progress and I find this a great help to me because I tend to forget about updating my journal. It feels like she is there when I need her to keep me focused.
So thank you Annie of the ruby slipperz. You are a treasure.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, January 9, 2012

Valentine's doves to stitch

 I can't believe I am back to stitching since my sewing machine is taking another break. It seems the globe blows then nothing works. It is very frustrating since I have been working on my first scenic applique. Anyway, it gave me a chance to play with the little doves I had ready to go. I am not quite sure what I want to make them into. The square is 7 inches. I might cut it out in a heart shape and put it on a little bag to put jewellery in. If you click on the drawing and save it, it should print out at the right size. Sorry I forgot to rub out the pencil lines and I also forgot to put my name on it. I am not in the mood to rescan it. It is just too hot.  Maybe later.

Happy Quilting,

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Busy designing

I have been having a lovely time designing lots of applique scenes and little stitchery pictures. I really like the applique scenes of farms and farm houses and animals. I also like the little shops that were part of the My Town BoM and I think I would like to make some fancy houses.

Working on the drawings is quite time consuming so I don't think I want to just publish them for free. Anything I draw will be to suit me since I can't find exactly what I want. Many things come close but I figure if I have to customize it anyway I may as well make what I want to start with rather than buy it and change it. I would like to make them available because there may be people out there who want the same as me but I think I will be putting a price on them.

I am not thinking of doing it like a business. Just when I make something I can put the design drawing in my Etsy shop for automatic PDF download. I have no desire to write step by step instructions or teach people how to sew. Just some photos of projects I made with the design and the design drawing. It is just so easy to open up shop these days I think it is worth trying.

I made a little needle book. I don't pretend to be a very good stitcher. I tend to fudge the details and go for overall look :D

If anyone would like to give my sample a good home and get the design drawing PDF just let me know in your comment and I will draw out a name on Friday.

Happy Quilting,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Not too early for bunnies?

The beautiful mild morning and the promise of beginnings gave me the urge to make something Spring related. I have made several scissor keeps and thought it wouldn't take much to make a carrot one.
The pattern for this little one is the original. I had to make it a slightly different shape to make it more carroty.
The original pattern
Transformed into a carrot

You can download and print out the pattern below. If you would like some explanation I have done a basic tutorial that you can download from Google docs.

I made the carrot today but over the past week I have practiced my free motion quilting and played with the cake design I got from the Fresh magazine. I made a kitchen counter mat and a wool wadded hot mat. This is the hot mat.

I also finished an owly sewing kit that I started when I was making birdie tree decorations.  The idea for the kit is from a magazine. It has a thimble pouch, a pin wheel, a needle book and a scissor keep.

I did little free motion flowers behind the owl.

The little bird design is from Wee Folk Art
While looking for the link to the little bird pattern I saw this cute pattern for a cat door stop.

I haven't given up on quilts. I plan to buy quilt fabric on my overseas trips. At present I only have small amounts to make small things. I have big plans to make at least two big quilts after July.

Have just found a great giveaway at Just One More Stitch. The Fort Worth Fabric shop is great too.

Happy Quilting,
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