Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Easy Binding and a Sandy Intruder

As I go through my sewing room boxes I am finding all sorts of things. 

Yesterday I had an orphan block from the second quilt I started. I decided I didn’t really like the fabric so it wasn’t worth finishing a big quilt. I put together some of the blocks and started making a smaller quilt. This block is a left over. I have backed it and bound it to put under my overlocker.

I used the simple method of joining the binding for the first time. It worked like a dream.

I overlapped the binding tails and put a mark in the same place on each one on the raw edge instead of putting in a pin. I then cut off a short piece from the end and used it to measure and mark two points past the first marks instead of using a ruler. I cut off at the two new marks.

You still have to think as you put the ends right sides together and at right angles but it is so easy.

Another thing I tried today was a new thing at the corners. I stitched along to 1/4" from the corner then with needle down I turned the project so I stitched out to the corner and backstitched then pulled it out and did the corner as usual.
Angling out to the corner rather than stitching straight to the edge seems to make the corner mitre better. I usually struggle with the mitre but they all turned out great with no particular fiddling.

Most of my sewing is still doll clothes. I have the open neck blouse with the convertible collar almost ready to publish.

I have only had the Christmas tree up for a week and hope to put it away in the next day or two. I used every decoration that I had and I think it turned out really nice. Those are the last of my birthday flowers. They have lasted a really long time. My daughter had them delivered on my birthday. Such a lovely surprise. The other daughter had a parcel sent from T2 with my favourite things.

There was a little canister wrapped in the tissue paper.

If you have been looking at my blog you will know I have recently moved to the sea side. When we lived on country acreage I always kept a net with a long handle for toads and snakes. I brought it with me but I wasn't expecting crabs! I had to chase this little fellow outside. He is about 2" wide. Little, but he kept sticking his big claw up at me. I didn't use the net. An egg flip did the trick because he was near the door.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year for 2015.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sewing Buddy

I have been sewing and drawing designs in my craft room a lot lately. Stumpy has his new mat to sit on behind my machine but sometimes he just has to get a bit closer.

From the same basic pattern I have made a dress and a sweatshirt. It is a lot of fun seeing what I can create.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Creating some images for my blog header

I wanted to add some nice colour to my Doll Design blog so I played with inserting pretty fabric looking images inside the line drawings of my designs.

I normally use Fireworks for this type of thing. I find it easy to use without to many features that I don't need.

This is how they look. Pretty cute, I thought. In Fireworks you copy the floral image then 'paste inside' the drawing outline.

I figure a lot of people use Photoshop so I looked up how to do this in Photoshop. It is a whole new language for me! Not sure I want to swap to photoshop. My understanding is that it does do more than Fireworks but it is mainly for photo editing. I suppose if I want to make some nice marketing photos for my doll patterns I need to look at it.

Anyway, to do this in Photoshop you need to draw your vector shape on one layer. Get an image on another layer. With the image layer above the drawing layer, right click the image layer and select 'Create clipping mask'.

I haven't quite finished the blog header but I put up what I got done the other day because I really liked the look of it. Better than white space, anyway. I will finish soon.

I am still sewing lots of doll clothes. This time last year I was making a little Christmassy sewing things every day of December. I got 22 done. See my blog archive for Dec 2103. Scroll down to 23rd Dec where they start. I looked through them all and the gnomes are my favourite.

I made this bright little dress yesterday. The white bib is stitched on top of the bodice. I can see a lot of potential here for different shape front pieces sewn on rather than pieced. I am also playing with pleats so this skirt is pleated rather than gathered.

Why not visit my Doll Designs blog to see my latest pattern and check out my blog header.

Merry Christmas,

Friday, November 28, 2014

Welcome to the North Pole November update

This is the final update for the SAL. Some of you joined up 2 years ago and several did a wonderful job of finishing their quilt early this year. Then a few more wanted to start this year.
I have put mine on hold indefinitely while I get over my obsession with dolls clothes. All my quilts are patiently waiting.
If you haven't posted about your progress yet make sure you add your link to the linky at the end of this post. This is as far as mine got. I changed the design quite a lot because I wanted it to look like a scene. I have started the last blue row for the top. It has the moon and stars on it and the other two reindeer. It is put away in a box for now.

Thank you to all those who joined in along the way.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sew Buttons on with your Machine

I made a short tutorial about sewing buttons on using your button foot and your sewing machine. This is such a time saving procedure and very easy to learn.
The tutorial is on my Doll Clothes blog here.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Christmas Present

My mum collects anything to do with The Twelve Days of Christmas. The local quilt shop near mum's place had fat quarters of this cute fabric by Anni Downs
I decided to make a place mat and two coasters to give to mum for Christmas this year.

The fabric has the cutest pattern.

I FMQ'd 'Christmas 2014' and 'valspierssews' on the bottom corner. It is visible but not a feature. I still have to soak out the marker pen.

You can just see where I quilted with a pear and a partridge over the centre.

I put a corner label on so the edges are sewn into the binding. The angle is on the fold and I just stitched across it. The backing fabric is cute too. I wish I could afford several metres of this collection.

The coaster is a bit bigger than normal so a cup and a biscuit fit on.

I pieced it with two pieces back and front. I left the diagonal seam mostly open on the back so I could sew all the way around the outside then turn it through the gap. I quilted with a cross, catching the seam in the back.

My other sewing has been doll related. I am supposed to be making some vest samples for the next pattern but just couldn't help making a little tote bag. I hd the idea drawn up in my notebook and I had some new pink fabrics. The bag is about 5" square.
I also had some fun making a little bag decoration.

The back has a zipper pocket perfect for a little girl to use as a coin purse.

My latest doll clothes pattern publication is a dress. See the link in my right sidebar at the top.

I am quite pleased with my finishes this week.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Mat for Stumpy

When we moved into the new house I decided to retire my old dressing gown. It was tending to be used as a lap blanket mostly anyway. It was Stumpy's favourite.
Rather than just throw it away I cut it up and made a little blanket for Stumpy. My main motivation was him sleeping on my ironing board. I needed to make him a nice place behind my machine.

I cut the biggest rectangle I could get from the front then squared the corners. I cut 2 x 3" strips from some cat fabric. I measured the long side and cut two border strips to size and stitched them on. I then measured for the second two border strips. Such a simple thing, but I had to learn that making the opposite border strips the same length kept my quilt square.

The cat fabric had the cutest selvedge.

I used my trusty 505 basting spray. A few squirts along the borders and a few waves across the middle and press it neatly into place on the backing. I didn't use any wadding. I just cut a second piece of the dressing gown for the backing. No fancy FMQ for the cat. I stitched in the ditch of the borders.

I also stitched around the edges after trimming the backing. I made some single fold binding with my binding machine. So quick and neat. I don't roll it up. I just feed it through by hand and let it fall off the edge of the table as it comes out.

It fits behind my sewing machine. Well, close enough anyway. Now all I have to do is get Stumpy to use it instead of sleeping on the ironing board.

DH and I also worked on some Glassapplique business. We have found a lovely couple who visit all the weekend markets and they love our dichroic glass jewellery. We hope to have a healthy wholesale business with them. Here are some of the pendant sets we made. They are not fine art but they are great at the markets. I will get back to playing with the glass soon.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I love Down Under Quilts magazine

I was lucky enough to win the latest Down Under Quilts from a give away on Samelia's Mum Blog.
Thanks very much Anorina. I love the magazine and I love your quilt pattern Citrus Burst.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Busy Sewing

I know this week should be a Welcome to the North Pole update but it seems everyone has gone a bit quiet on that front, including me. I plan to do the next update in November. At least I will have my quilt out of storage and will have a chance to do some on it before then.

My time is now taken up with designing and making doll clothes. It is such fun. Not so much fun writing the instructions but I only have to do that if I want to publish them. The pattern business seems to be working out quite well so far. I have only had the blouse and the pinafore up for two months and I have made a dollar a day from sales. Whether it keeps going will be the test.

I published Snugfit Witch the other day. You can see all the pictures on my doll blog here.

Next I am working on Snugfit Carol, a cute dress with a couple of different sleeves and divided collars.
I have all the garments from my Knitfit Classic Skivvy design and that is going to be a free pattern. Before I publish either of them I am going to ask some of my PDF pattern friends to give me some feed back on Snugfit Carol. I don't want to publish the free Classic Skivvy as a showcase of what I can do before I get some feed back on what my layout and instructions are like.

This is pink Carol with the detachable collar -I am also working on a collection of detachable collars.

The collar will have a hook and eye but I can't find any in my sewing room just yet.

I also want to make a collection of vintage aprons. The tulip apron is my first.

Here is the pile of tops I made from the Classic Skivvy pattern.

Actually on the sewing table is red Carol. I made the ruffles with my gathering foot. I am getting quite good at getting it just right now. I also changed the thread on my overlocker so I could do white rolled hems on the ruffles. The cream thread had been on so long it had nearly run out. I am not a fan of changing the overlocker threads. Even though I just tie a knot and pull the new one through it seems such a nuisance.

I am going to make a Christmas fabric pinafore that will be just long enough for the red ruffle to peek out of.

I am trying to keep my latest projects wrinkle free so they are being hung up wherever I can fit them. Some are on the back of folders. Others are on my cabinet handles. I made the little coat hangers with pipe cleaners.

Other than sewing I have been reading a lot and walking on the beach and riding my bike. I love what I find on the beach. I was excited to see a hermit crab in this gorgeous shell last week.
I took the photo on my phone and it enhanced it a bit. It is a bit hard to see his little legs.

I am enjoying a book by Daniel Silva. He has written a series of books about a reluctant spy called Gabriel Allon. They are interesting thrillers.

And finally a picture of my new sewing room. It has tiles and a door and architraves now.

I hope everyone is well.
Happy Quilting and Crafting,
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