Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Oh Bother!

I have been doing some housework for mum lately. She was planning to 'get someone in' but I thought a bit of extra pocket money would be good. I don't think I could clean for strangers but it is nice to spend more time with mum. We chat a bit and then I stay for a cup of tea after. Yesterday I was trying to straighten up her craft room a bit and thought it would be a good idea to put some of her pop-up book collection on the shelf in the cabinet so it would get less dust. Trouble is I moved them from one side of the room to the other and the cabinet has glass doors so now they get more light. Oh bother! I popped a tea towel over them but it just doesn't look right.

In the afternoon I was in my sewing room and had a bright idea to make a shelf sheet with something nice on it. I had just enough white and then my eye fell on some book fabric that I had forgotten about. It was perfect.
I had to put a couple of seams in the white to get the right width and set about putting the book border on by rolling the white part up inside the folded book border (like making a border on a pillowcase). I carefully checked the the books would be the right way up after sewing but failed to notice that I had the white piece wrong side up. The books are upside down. Oh bother! I couldn't just turn it around because I didn't want the seams under the applique.

I wanted some bold and interesting letters so I chose these scrapbooking letters.
I inserted the ones I wanted into Pages and sized them all to 6cm high, printed them out and traced them from the back of the page. The lines showed through easily.

I hoped it would be OK but now I see the photo I cannot rest until I unpick it and put it right. It is being modelled on my shelf. There's my squirrel from Melbourne and my free cat pattern on a journal cover and just the top of the hand painted tile I got from Iron Bridge in the UK. I love my book shelves.

On a happy note I finished a little mug rug that had been sitting waiting for some had stitching. The pattern is the same as my free pincushion pattern enlarged a bit and made rectangular. I looked in my box of smalls (fabric pieces that is) to find some backing then dipped into the bag with the binding off cuts. A new tea or mug rug and a few less scraps.

Another souvenir, my mug from Edinburgh. 
If you don't 'do' Google plus why not comment in Flickr or Pinterest. Everyone must be into Pinterest at least. I get notified if anyone comments on one of my pins or just repins. I have been having such fun visiting all the boards of the people who have been repining from my boards.


Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sewing is such fun

I still have the little bits sewing bug. Yesterday I made a yin yang cat mat, a fabric pen cup and a pillow cover front. I think I feel a HST frenzy coming on too. I love the 8 at once method!

The yin yang cats were inspired by a pendant I saw on Pinterest made by Loja Yarr. I made some adjustments so it was suitable to use for applique. It is easy. You just make two bodies and two tails in contrasting fabrics using fusible applique paper. The image is already reversed for tracing. They slide together and overlap. The tails go on last.

Save as and print. Vary the size as you like.

The fabric pen box has thick bag interfacing and a big metal washer in the base so the pens don't make it fall over. I used this tutorial as a starting point.

The pillow cover is made from HST pieced using this design. I left out the petal pieces and will bind the front to the back with the red fabric instead of doing a seam. I used the 8 at once HST method from here. It worked well because I used a 1/8 inch seam each side of the pencil line rather than 1/4 inch (2/8 inches).

Today Pixel Scrapper started up a free mini kit a week thing. I already get several free elements every day just for registering for free. It is great if you like scrapbooking. The mini kits are here.

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Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Friday, December 27, 2013

Favourite Christmas gifts

I have two very talented daughters. I wish I had some of their artistic flair. I tend to just muddle through. They have turned their hand to all sorts of things over the years but the latest is pottery on the wheel for the older one and stamp and stencil making for the younger one.
Here is the plate I got for Christmas.

Here is a gift tag hand stamped after she made the stamp.

I love cats so this little tea bag minder is a favourite. He stops the tea bag falling in the cup when you pour in the water and then he acts as a tea bag rest.

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Happy New Year,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Two more small finishes

I have been steadily working on my tea cosy for a couple of weeks and finished it off yesterday. I love the colours but I think it needs a band of colour then cream for the rest like an Old Country Roses plate. I think the next one will be dark pink, light pink and yellow with maybe a green lining and base border. I love this tweed knitting pattern.

After seeing Donna's star tutorial I just had to make one with the Japanese floral that I had. It sits nicely on the big lazy susan in the centre of our banquet table.

Not much to do right now. It is early. I have to put lemon icing on the quinoa and carrot cake and prepare the pumpkin ice cream mix. I have frozen up several bananas too, to make a nice icy dessert. The pumpkin ice cream is made with coconut milk. There have to be some dairy free options.
I think this Christmas theme is the 'Free From Christmas'. We have to have some dairy free, wheat and gluten free, mango free, peanut free, sugar free, meat free options :D

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Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Little Christmas Bits 22

Yes, I have made 22 little things for Christmas and I think that is about all I have in me. Time to take a break. I have really enjoyed the hunt for suitable projects and then the satisfaction of finishing them quickly.
Here is my last item. I so love the little cross stitch projects.

Here is my complete Christmas decorating for this year. I just couldn't bring myself to bring all the decorations in from the garage. The plan was to have moved house by now. It is really hard to sell though. Now the plan is to have moved by next Christmas. Always good to have a plan :)

Thank you to all those who commented and visited and shared my posts. I think I must have had a few people looking at my Pinterest and a few new followers there too. It is great to see who pinned my pins because then I get some new people to visit who I know must have some similar interests. It is definitely better than just doing a search for pins. So thank you to the Pinterest lookers.

I will try to stay away from the computer for a while after today. I may just make up a Christmas header with the projects I have done for Christmas.

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Little Christmas Bits 21

Still a day behind. I have just about run out of steam and was thinking it is time to sit back and relax. But then I saw this log cabin santa pattern. One log cabin square makes two santas.
I used a 2 1/2 inch square to start then used 1 inch strips for logs. It turns out quite large. About a 7 inch square finished.

You can find the picture tutorial here.

My Flickr photo

Check out my Pinterest boards if you have nothing to do today.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Little Bits 20

I can't believe I went a head with this one. Common sense kept telling me to stop and wait until I had suitable fabrics. I really wanted patterned background blocks but I don't have any plain looking patterns. It was either solid or busy. Maybe I could have used solid letters. Anyway, it is done now and the doll is not going to complain.

Mainly I am posting this doll quilt because of how well the wool backing worked. I had 5 yards of a loose weave pure wool from Pendleton Woollen Mills in Oregon that I bought for $20 a yard. It gives weight to the mini quilt without unusual bulk for its size. It folds up just like a life size quilt.

I do like this design with the letters on the blocks. I had to fit it onto 24 inches x 16 inches so I had to make them rectangular. The other blocks I have seen have been square.
I am thinking that 20 inches x 14 inches would be a good size for the next doll quilt.

Here are the rectangular letters as PDFs


and this is the layout.
Flickr Link

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Little Christmas Bits 19

I was very pleased with the Christmas dress I made for my 18 inch doll so I looked up the scale used for accessories. The scale of the doll is 1:3 or 1 inch in doll size represents 3 inches in human size. Apparently the AGD type of doll is meant to be based on an average 10 year old human.

I got out my hobo bag pattern and and scaled it down so I could make a Christmas bag in doll size. It worked out really well. I even put in an inside pocket. Her pocket book is a needle book I had handy. The measurements made it easy to divide by three and draw up the new pattern. I made it exactly the same way as the big one in Little Christmas Bits 12.

If you like this small one why not download the pattern I drew up. You will probably need to at least read through the instructions that come with the large pattern. You can find them here at La Tee Da Kids.

You can comment on Flickr if you are not a google+ fan.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Little Christmas Bits 18

I started this one as I sat on the train on my way to a delightful lunch with family at Room with Roses in Brisbane. It has a lovely atmosphere but is quite expensive ($27 per meal).
The little puddings are so cute and free from Cross Stitching.com.

This is a direct link to the little spice bag charts. There are lots of nice designs for free. I registered a while back. I don't get any newsletters from them. I may have unsubscribed. I can't believe they never would have sent me anything.

You may remember my tea cosy teapot design. I got the cross stitch from the same site.

If you don't like Google + you can leave a comment on the Flickr photo.
You can also hover over and pin the image.
Don't forget you can just +1 my post on Google + if you have already left me lots of comments this month.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Little Christmas Bits 17

Got up really early this morning and made two more pillow slips then wondered what I could make. I had the urge to make something for my 18 inch doll so I rustled through the Christmas fabrics for a piece big enough to make this cute pinafore dress. I even used up some of my ribbons.
I used the overlocker on narrow 3 thread to finish the edges then folded the narrow hems along the surging line. Made it easy. Small seams I didn't overlock and I only overlocked the waistband seams after I sewed them.

My 18 inch doll is from Aldi.
The pattern for this dress (Molly's pretty party dress) and many more are free at Doll Dress Patterns. They are American Girl patterns and even come with some historical stories.

If you are sick of leaving comments (because I am posting every day until the 24th) why not pin me or +1 me

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Monday, December 16, 2013

Little Christmas Bits 16

Strictly speaking today's item does not have a Christmas theme. It is a gift for my mum for this Christmas. She has pot holders and mug rugs and coasters that she doesn't like to use and get spoiled. This time I am making her a couple of pillow slips. I am hoping she will actually use them. I will assure her that I will make her more next year.

I used the pattern for the pillow slip from Sew4Home Sleepover bag with matching pillow slip.  I used a French seam on the sides then a plain seam along the bottom end and zig zagged to finish it. I had to adjust the size of the main piece because my border fabric was wider than theirs.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Little Christmas Bits 15

Worked on a tea cosy today. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I wanted the icing to be in felt and sit on top like a hat. I had to make the cherries match up when I put the two sides together and then I had to hand stitch the icing down because I couldn't get it far enough on the sleeve arm to reach. I also forgot to put the stars on before I put the pudding together so they had to be hand sewn too.
I am pleased with how it turned out. I used the cherries and star idea from an applique pudding block in a magazine.
The tea cosy is half the circumference around the spout and handle then add 2 inches. The height is the curved distance from the table to the centre of the lid then add 3 inches. A 1/4 inch seam is allowed and I bound the bottom.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Little Christmas Bits 14

Had to catch up with a small and easy item. This little stocking was inspired by ornaments on my Pinterest board and is the same design as my ribbon stocking. I like the peekaboo style. I may have to make other things using this method. A tea cosy springs to mind but I already know what I want to do for my next tea cosy and probably tomorrow's item.

Happy Quilting and Crafting.

Little Christmas bits 13

I saw the most beautiful ribbon angel by Karen at Sunburnt Quilts. It made me think that I should get out my Christmas ribbons and make something. A little stocking to hang on the tree.

I cut out a felt shape, gave it a squirt of spray baster then stuck on each piece of ribbon, trimming it just past the felt. I stitched along both sides of each ribbon then flipped it over and stitched around the edge of the felt shape. I trimmed the ribbons with my pinking shears.
I sewed a second stocking shape to the back leaving the top open and putting in a spoonful of plastic stuffing beads to give it a nice weight.
I then attached the the cuff over the front of the stocking shape to seal it up and catch the hanging ribbon in.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Little Christmas bits 12

Yay! Caught up today. Trouble is tomorrow I won't have much sewing time. I will have to find something tiny and simple.
I will be going out a few times before Christmas so I thought a Christmas bag might be nice. I found a great hobo bag tutorial and pattern at La Te Da Kids. It is not a kids size bag.
I thought I could use up some more Christmas fabric scraps for the front. One patchwork side was enough so two big pieces for the back. I found I had to be careful that the fold went on the short side not the long handle side. I nearly cut it wrong.
Quick and easy sewing.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Little Christmas bits 10 and 11

No wonder I get behind in my posting. I got up at 6am and have just spent an hour looking and pinning in Pinterest. I only went there to get the link for the pouch pattern.

Two projects today for catchup. The one more tonight. Hopefully.

The felt snow globe turned out really nice. I just traced the photo from my Christmas Ideas Pinterest.  I can't provide patterns when I have just copied them from someone else but they are easy to trace. The original is from the flickr photostream of Priscila Cunha Arte & Mimos . She has some nice felt things in her photostream.
I have some plastic stuffing beads (thank you Fiona) and I just add a spoonful or two before closing the stitching for the backing. It makes the felt hang nicely.

This little pouch pattern was easy to follow. It was free from Stitchin' the Night Away  .
I used 8 ply for the pink one then found some silky bamboo yarn more like 4 ply for the gold one and a 3.50 hook.
I plan to hang them on the tree.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Little Christmas bits 9

So many things to do. Sewing is only one of them so here I am behind still with the posting. I had a great time putting Michelle Ridgeway's Ginger Tea stitchery into a project. I like anything to do with tea and I love having fabric mats to put my teapots on while making tea. There are three new cute Christmas stitcheries for free on Michelle's side bar now.

My design process is a bit haphazard. I was looking for some background fabric and a cream layer cake piece just fell out of my homespun bundle. It was perfect. I looked through my floss for some ginger and spice brown thread. I opened my box of 'small fabric pieces' and three spicy pieces were just sitting there together so I pulled them out.

I did enlarge the original pattern a bit but I knew the stitchery was too small to feature by itself so I decided to put it towards the top of the square and settled on echoing the heart theme with some applique hearts underneath. Luckily my 'small' pieces were big enough to make the border too.

I am not big on taking time to quilt all my projects but this one needed something. I remembered I had a heart quilting design on my Quilt Pinterest board so I looked it up and copied it onto the mat. I used my pink chalk pencil to get it set out then went over it with the blue water washable pen. There is still a touch of pink there but a turn through the washing machine should fix that.

Instead of finishing this in one day I took two. I spent time looking at the travelling tea cosy show (from the 2010 Miles competition) at Beaudesert Community Centre. Not many cosies but fun to look at. Here are some.

Later I went on the hunt for some knitting needles and ended up in the Endeavour charity shop. Saved several dollars on knitting needles and bought a knitting pattern book. I still dream of knitting some nice jumpers and cardigans. We get at least 5 cold mornings here in winter. Then I went to Big W and bought season 2 of Covert Affairs. So I had to watch some of that too.

Two more small things on the go today so hopefully I will catch up.
I am having much more fun playing with all these small projects instead of finishing my Christmas quilt. I had to take a forced break from my North Pole quilt since we bought a block of land. I just can't afford more wadding and border fabric before Christmas but this means it will be back next year to be blogged about :)

...and if you don't have time to leave a comment on my many blog posts this month why not pin it (I have the hover pin button on my photos) and +1 it.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Monday, December 9, 2013

Little Christmas bits 8

Getting behind again! I did finish the stitching yesterday but had to spray it with water and let it dry before sewing it.
I found 4 delightful 'chickies running around getting ready for Christmas' stitcheries at Bee Tree Designs quite a while ago now. She has a page of free patterns. If you scroll down a fair bit you will get to the chickens.
I made a tree decoration with the baking chicken a few years ago. This time I stitched the present toting chicken and made it into a slit and turn hexagon coaster. Nearly forgot - I enlarged the original design to 125%. I find bigger designs easier to stitch.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Little Christmas Bits 7

I really liked the little pieced santa coaster I made earlier and I couldn't find any patterns. It is not too hard to draw them up for paper piecing so I made a set of different sizes. I used the freezer paper method for piecing and found it very easy to use. I copied the block layout from a site for free patterns. There was only a photo of it. No pattern.

Download the diagrams I drew and make your own gaggle of gnomes. The PDF pages should print out at the right size.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Friday, December 6, 2013

Little Christmas bits 6

I had nearly finished my little festive book minder when I started a new tea cosy I have been planning for a while. I had to tear myself away from it to sew the reindeer together. I will be getting back to it now while I watch my Phryne Fisher DVD.

The reindeer is another Just Jen Knits & Stitches pattern for free. When he has done book duty this month I will put him on the tree and find a new book minder.

If you like my December posts why not pin them or +1 them. I don't expect you to comment on every one :)

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Christmas Little bits 5

I am having fun trying to make something every day. Posting every day is a bit harder. No.6 will be this evening.

Yesterday I made the cutest tea cup. I love miniature things! This one is made with 8ply wool and trimmed with gold looking embroidery floss. The first one I made I trimmed with a different colour 8ply wool and it looked a bit wonky. The floss gives a very neat finish. Another cute thing for the Christmas tree.

This is a free crochet pattern from Just Jen Knit s & Stitches. She has other free patterns too.

Since I am posting so often this month I don't expect you to comment on every post. Maybe you can pin this page or just click g+1

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Little Christmas bits 4

Today I have made a pieced santa coaster. I had a picture of six Christmas coasters on my Christmas Pinterest board and the Santa was one of them. I also found a block that had four triangle Santas of different sizes put together. Seems there is no pattern, free or otherwise to be found on the internet. It doesn't look too hard to make up. It is just equilateral triangles. This time I just cut triangles the right shape. It may be easier to do it as paper pieced so I intend to draw up a pattern and share it tomorrow. I also discovered a useful freezer paper pieced tutorial that I want to try.

Here is my coaster. I fudged the binding a bit but it is pretty fiddly with those short sides. The eyes are laundry pen.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,
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