Saturday, December 29, 2012

A mermaid quilt

Hello! Merry Christmas to you!
Only two days of 2012 to go. I have been a very, very slack blogger this year. Life has been busy to say the least.

But I couldn't let the year end without posting this quilt I made for a friend of Aimee's.
I first posted about this quilt back in July.
Aimee's friend Ava is mad on mermaids and her mum wanted to have a mermaid themed quilt made for her 8th birthday. 
I showed her some pictures of the mendocino fabric and she fell in love with it. 

After a couple of purchases via etsy I had enough mendocino to make 12 different centre blocks.  The rest of the fabric came from Spotlight.

My favourite of the Spotlight fabric has to be this blue with little circle/spots.  It reminds me of little air bubbles in the water.
I pieced the back.  I really like how it turned out.
I kept the quilting simple, just meandering lines across the quilt like waves -
to keep with the water theme.

It measures 48.5" wide by 65.5" long. The binding is made up of strips of the various orange Spotlight fabrics pieces together.  I usually make bias binding, with diagonal joins. 
But for this quilt I cut 2 1/2 inch strips on the grain and sewed the pieces together with a straight edge. I did this for a couple of reasons, I had deliberately bought only 25cm of each fabric (I am fairly sick of having off-cuts of fabric stashed everywhere) so had limited fabric to make the binding with, also I like the look of the straight joins and hey its way easier to make!

I machine sewed the binding on, I really hate sewing it on by hand. I also think it's so much stronger and secure and can withstand machine washing which let's face it is how it's gonna be washed.  

  Although I wouldn't think to make an orange and aqua quilt for myself I really, really love this quilt and will have trouble handing it over to Ava tomorrow.

Wishing you a safe, happy and prosperous 2013

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dark Black

Can't get this one out of my head................

Sunday, November 18, 2012

getting my mojo back

Although I have been sewing a few things here and there, I haven't tackled any major projects for what seems eons.
We've had quite a number of birthday parties of late so I have been making gifts to escape the headache of toy/gift shopping. 
Anyone else find that mind-numbingly boring?
This headband was for one of Aimee's friends, tutorial here.
Loveheart scatter cushion for another of Aimee's friends, inspired by this one here

and the BIG project, the beginnings of a mermaid quilt for another of Aimee's friends.
I've sewn every day this week and God it feels good!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

birthday wishes..........

Aimee is the sort of kid who loves a party.  She loves to socialise. 
Every event needs to be celebrated, every weekend has to be BIG in her opinion.
She's always been this way.
Before she started school, she would get up every morning and the first words out of her mouth would be,
"where are we going today mum?".

So, even though her birthday isn't until the end of the month, the planning and dreaming and questioning has been in full swing for a good month now.

Besides the list of presents she has written and re-written
 and read out many, many times, she has also wished so so hard for a horse ride.

I stumbled across this offering from Centennial Parklands about a month ago and made doubly sure to mark it on the calendar.

Dean and I kept it an absolute surprise until the very moment it was her (and Bethany's) turn for a ride.
I think it fair to say she was speechless. 
At least until she was up on the pony, then she happily chatted away to the lovely girl leading her horse for the entire 10 minute ride.

When the ride was over she declared it the best birthday present ever!

It really is the simple things isn't it.

After that we found some great climbing trees,

and just enjoyed each other's company and Centennial Park on this beautiful, warm, sunny day.

All up a very satisfactory day :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

street art inspiration


I could spend all day looking; drinking in the inspiration.

Seeing this feeds my soul, reminds me of the talent, creativity, humour, human struggle and variety 'out there'.

Sometimes I need, I mean really need to be reminded that there is so much more outside my small, mundane, suburban existance

click through and feed your soul

Friday, July 13, 2012

sending out an S.O.S.

Mendocino wonky improv quilt
inspiration quilt by oh-cherry-sew

I know you're out there, fabric horders and stashers, I need your help!

A dear friend of mine has a daughter obssessed with mermaids. 
She is gearing up to moving into her own bedroom so my friend wants to decorate the room with a mermaid/underwater theme.

While discussing this with her one day I jumped on pinterest and showed her some of the beautiful quilts made with Heather Ross' Mendocino fabric. 
She fell. in. love.

Mendocino Quilts
inspiration quilt by Erica Randall
image source

So this is where I need your help. 
As we all know this fabric is rare as hens teeth, but I have cooked up a plan to make a quilt for my little friends birthday later this year, using as much Mendocino fabric as I can get my hands on. 
I am particularly interested in the aqua/orange colourway as in these gorgeous quilts I found on flickr.

Orange and Blue Quilt
inspiration quilt by theknicksofknacks
image source

If you, or anyone you know, has any fabric from the Mendocino collection you are willing to part with I NEED it!

Contact me

 and we can discuss prices.

I knew I could count on you ;)  !!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Simply Sweet Tunic Top & Blouse pattern testing

Hello there, everyone!
Well I am so happy to say I am on the other side of my hip operation.
It went very well and I am happily resting and recovering, getting stronger every day.

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by the very talented Marina.

Marina wanted to know if I would test her new pattern,
which she was fine tuning to be released under her pattern label Wink Designs.

I didn't need to be asked twice! 

I decided to make this my last sewing project before my hip operation.

Whats great is that this pattern goes all the way from size 1, up to size 8. 
It can be hard to find patterns from smaller pattern houses in sizes larger than 6 so I made the long sleeve blouse for Aimee in the size 8. 

Remember the fabrics from this post, well this is the project they were bought for.

I really love this blouse and the pattern is very well written and easy to follow.
Of all patterns I've ever used, including both large commercially produced ones and smaller independant ones, this would have to be one of my favourites.  I followed the intructions pretty much word for word and didn't get stuck or confused anywhere.  And the garment came out looking and fitting just how it should - YEAH!!

I have another in size 6 for Betty cut out and just waiting to be sewn up when I'm well enough. 
Betty has requested no ties, so I'm going to replace them with a button and loop.

 Aimee loves the blouse too and it goes perfectly with her new pink skinny jeans :))))))))

 And I'm just waiting for Summer so I can make a few of the sleeveless version too!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fabric choices and a little sewing project

I'm excited at the moment about doing one last little bit of sewing before my surgery next week. 

I went to my local fabric store yesterday to get some fabric. 
I was browsing through the quilting fabric (typically I steer clear of quilting fabrics for garment making but sometimes you just can't beat the beautiful prints and patterns) when I spied some of my all time favourite quilting fabric.

  Sandi Henderson's Meadowsweet, Splashy Rose. 
I've oohed and ahhhed over this fabric ever since it came out afew years ago, and I used small bits of it that I received as a sample in this cushion cover,
but never jumped in and purchase any because I couldn't justify buying any more fabric when I have so much laying around not being used already.

But at $10 a metre I just COULD NOT overlook it.
I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but I'm soooo glad I brought it home with me :)!

I also bought three other fabrics, hoping my girls would find one each amongst them to choose for this little project. 
Both Aimee and Bethany have become quite hard to sew for these days.  They have their very own definate opinions when it comes to style and fabric choices, so I was a little worried buying the fabric without them with me.

As it turns out I needn't have worried, Bethany immediately chose this lovely red fabric

and Aimee just as quickly chose this sweet fabric - a beautiful combination of black background with teeny, tiny flowers all over it.

I was also very relieved that they didn't both want the same fabric!

I also bought this lovely blue and white floral fabric, which I think has a very old world charm to it. 

I really thought Bethany would go for this one, and initially she did.  She did eeny, meeny, miney, moe between this and the red one, but when she landed on this one she said, "it's just too blue and white mum".  That made me laugh.  She obviously really prefered the red fabric.

I am still amazed at just how much joy and satisfaction I can get out of gazing at fabric................

Hope you're having a great day whatever you're up to


Monday, June 11, 2012

an extra long weekend

Today brings to an end a lovely little four day break I've had with my girls, thanks to a pupil free day and the Queen's Birthday holiday on either side of the weekend.

We spent our time enjoying the sunshine and the great outdoors,

Middle Head, Sydney Harbour National Park

Aimee and Bethany with their Great Grandmother, BuzNanna Mary
 visiting family,

and keeping cosy by the fire while it poured with rain outside. 

Sewing has become a near impossibility for me over the last few months. 
I have lived with chronic pain all of my adult life due to hyper-mobility in my joints. 
Tracing and cutting patterns and fabric, and even sitting at the sewing machine cause me a lot of pain but I loved it too much to give it away. 

Well this year it has finally got the better of me, to the point where I can no longer even walk the girls to school.
So in a little over a week I will be having hip surgery.

As a result, there has only been minimal sewing going on. 

When I want to be a bit crafty or creative I've had to resort to baking or handcrafts for the most part.

So today we made this to die for Buttermilk Blueberry Cake,
except ours is a Buttermilk Mixed Berry/Sultana Cake. 

There was no way I was going anywhere in this weather (it has been bucketing down here in Sydney for more then 24 hours) and I only had a cup of frozen berries in the freezer so I made up the difference with the last of my sultanas.  I also used the cheats Buttermilk - a tablespoon of lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring jug, then fill up to one cup with full cream milk.  Let sit for five minutes and away you go!

All I can say is YUM!

I found this recipe via Pinterest a couple of days ago, and couldn't stop thinking about it. 

Will definitely be making this again.

I also did something I've been meaning and wanting to do for quite some time. Some sewing with my girls. 
They have been begging me for way too long to help them make some felt toys. 

Today was the day. 

 Bethany wanted a robot,

while Aimee wanted a doll from the book "Sewing for Children",
which is a favourite in this house. 

They both absolutely thrilled and amazed me with their ability and enthusiasm!

We still have a little way to go to finish them off, but both girls are very keen to finish them off so I will be posting about them here very soon!

Hope you've enjoyed your weekend, whatever the weather, wherever you are :)