Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Custom Purses

After playing around with some purse frames that I bought a while back , I am in awe of those people that make purses for a living!

A bit fiddly, but I managed to get them working.

A credit card sized pocket in the middle. The next ones might have a zip attached to them!

The mustard material is called Hummingbird, Michael Miller, and was bought from GJ's in East Brunswick.

Along with the tool that Dad made for me a while back, we managed to secure the frame to the purse with some special Nicole glue and clamp it shut with minimal casualties.

Japanese print picked up at the Quilt Fair

I made the pattern myself tracing the outside of the frame and then adding 5mm to the size. The bottom bit was using a traditional bag base method. It took me a few calico trials, but I managed to get the shape that I wanted.

These purses are off to Berlin to be enjoyed!


On the weekend we attended Johannesfeuer Celebration at St. John's Lutheran in Springvale. There are some interesting posts on it if you care for a bit of a search around the net. It has ties to both the Pagan and Catholic calendars ...

But we were there to celebrate the birthday of St. John the Baptist. First there was a traditional German dinner of yummy wintery pea and ham soup and bratwurst, followed by a bonfire, Gluwein and a lantern walk. While of course singing German songs.

Tori had fun meeting up with her friend Hannah. It was bitterly cold outside so the toddlers had about 5 layers of clothing on.

The challenge was to teach them to hold their lanterns up off the ground and to try and not burn anyone with their candles.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Finished Car playmat Quilt at last!

It really has been so cold here in Melbourne. Even though my market was indoors on Sunday I was still cold, probably symptomatic of the cold I am coming down with.

In between sales I sat and hemmed the binding around the Car playmat Quilt I have been painstakingly making for my daughter. Finally finished, I can sit back and bask in the loveliness of finishing yet another quilt.

Tori has already had fun playing with the quilt with her cars and walking up and down it like she would be walking down a street.

I chose a Michael Miller stripe for the bias. I still haven't quite got the hang of doing the binding as a continuous strip of fabric, so I sew all 4 sides separately and when stitching make sure that my corners are nice and neat. I like the look of a handstitched bias ...

For those who are interested, I used some strips from a Happy Campers Jelly Roll, some strips from a Breath of Avignon Jelly Roll, some Kona solids. The trains were a Japanese print I got ages ago. The roads are black homespun and the road signs are a print that again, I bought ages ago from GJ's in East Brunswick.

I backed the fabric with some 100% wool blanket weave, but if you wanted to re-purpose a blanket you could do that as well. I have a bit of woolen fluff coming through on the hand stitching, but I hope that with a wash it might disappear.

The car signs are appliqued on using the trapunto method that Don't look now uses in her quilts. Sewing the applique onto a batting back and then trimming around the applique.

The quilt was hand quilted used Perle in black and white. Now that I have a ironed out all the mistakes and perfected the round corners on the road, I am hoping to make another one, but this time it might be a bit quicker in construction!

This is how cold it is in Melbourne, both my female cats curled up with each other ...

Friday, 25 June 2010

North Melbourne Market Sunday 27th June

I am finding it quite surreal to think that I have somehow survived the last 4 weeks. Lots happening in my life at the moment and consequently my blog post frequency (and sewing) has certainly dropped.

But fear not, we are back and at the North Melbourne Market at the Lithuanian Club, Errol Street on Sunday 27th June from 10am to 2pm. Konstant Kaos will be upstairs!

It is indoors and there is a great selection of crafty goodness on offer. Right in the heart of North Melbourne's Errol Street. Catch brunch and then rock on into the Thread Den market. Alternatively, do your Vic Market shopping and catch the tram up to Errol Street. Lots of possibilities!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Tori's Car Playmat Quilt

I am chugging along with Tori's Car Playmat Quilt. I work on it in spurts. I have been busy doing correction all weekend so I needed a moment last night, just me and my machine and this was the project I picked to work on.

I had originally picked out a backing and I started to stipple it and then I changed my mind. So I unpicked all the stippling and bought some red pure wool merino blanket for the backing at the Stitches and Craft Show. I think this will make it more snuggly.

I found some material at GJ's in East Brunswick which was essentially a whole stack of road work signs. So I cut them up, interfaced them and appliquéd them onto the quilt using straight stitch and then zig zag. I backed them in some batting to give them a raised look. The round one was a bitch to do.

I staggered the signs all over the quilt giving it a bit more of story. The test play with Tori this morning has certainly proved that the applique has been worthwhile.

I think that it gives it a nicer feel and Tori certainly got a thrill when she came across the railway crossing sign!

I am hand quilting it rather than machine stitching it. Not sure why, just want to. Simple black running stitch up each side of the roads.

I have some gorgeous multi coloured stripes from GJs for the binding. Won't be finished this weekend, but hopefully it can be done by the time Tori goes to Germany in October so that she can have a blanket for the plane.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Rubik's Cube Project

Obsessively Stitching has this cool tutorial on how to make a Rubrik's cube softie!

So gorgeous!

I have failed many times to make a softie, but this one I might just attempt. Head on over to her blog where she will have many more Rubrik craft ideas!

Sprout Blocks for Paintbox Quilt

Managed to get another batch of blocks done for Tori's Paintbox quilt. The deadline is looming ... September 16th is her 3rd Birthday and I want to get it done by then. I still have to sash each piece and I have ordered minimum of Kona White and Snow to see which one matches my colour scheme from Pink Chalk Fabrics.

If you have ever worked with the Kona brand of solids, you'll understand why I am going for the more expensive materials for Tori's quilt. Lovely quality, tight weave and it just triumphs all over the "homespun" that you normally purchase for patchworking.

The material for these blocks are an Australian designer, Sprout Designs. A bit on the expensive side but good quality printing and fabric, and so a "joy" to work with.

The Sprout toy bikes were easy to work with, evenly spaced and I have lots of fabric left over from a 25cm cut to do other things with. I matched this print with some Kona Indigo, nice and dark and almost black.

The Sprout Owls in a Row were a bit more fiddly, but I think that the blocks worked out well. Again, enough to make a pillow with from the minimum yardage that I purchased.

The giraffe's were a pain to do. The design was probably much too large for the Paintbox Blocks and I had to do lots of fussy cutting because the design is so large. Not sure I am happy with the block on the right .. but I will hang it up on my bookcase and look at it for a few days before I decide to un-stitch.

I'm thinking that when I get her quilt done, I might do a little mini-quilt from the Sprout fabric for the shop.

I purchased all my Sprout Design fabrics from the lovely ladies at Kelani Fabric (fast service!). And my Kona Solid Jelly Rolls originally came from the Fat Quarter shop ages ago!

I also managed to chase down a Kona Solids Color Card, so I am hoping that it arrives soon so that I can start to colour match some of the harder prints that I have for the Paintbox quilt.

Nearly there ... such a long project, but it is going to be so worthwhile to see her face on her birthday (crosses fingers that I get it done by then).

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Finished Vintage Baby Quilt

The finished Vintage Baby Quilt.

Washed, pressed and wrapped up.

Tori and I delivered it on Monday afternoon, and coincidently our neighbour had picked out curtains that were red and yellow striped! Spooky!

The fabric roll for this quilt was bought from Spotlight.

Monday, 14 June 2010

June Craft Hatch

A very cold day was spent inside at the very warm City Library. Even though I was dressed in far too many layers, within about 15 minutes of setting up I realised that being on the gallery level of the City Library meant toasty!

I managed to bring along my new Ikea hat stand to hang my bags on which left more table space to layout my quilts on what I previously used for bags and tops. I sold enough for it to be worthwhile, although I felt that my textile based craft was a bit pedestrian compared with the arty crafty stuff of the design students that were there.

I had my back to the banister which ran along the gallery level, an ideal spot to sit my quilts as I worked on them. Lots of interest in the red and white one with top stitching. I managed to finish the binding on the quilt that will go to my neighbour who is due in 3 weeks time and do a bit of embroidery as well.

One of my neighbours was Nancy Girl. She made these divine iPhone pouches from leather that she had carved a picture onto and then coloured by hand. Very Northside!

On the other side of me was the very lovely, and very pregnant Mrs Beckinsale with one of her new tram design cushions. I love the geometric prints that she is now using.

Another Northside Gal Flickettysplits ... back in one piece from the Northern Territory.

These great lamps. You can buy them blank or with an image on them. I was dreaming of a Totoro one for Tori's room ... (when I find her card I will put a link in!)

And Sandra Eterovic with her gorgeous illustrations ..

My plastic tubs are still in the hall way waiting on being unpacked and stored away for the next Market in two weeks time on Sunday 27th June, North Melbourne Market run by Thread Den. Hoping to get a few more quilts done, bags and some larger "nappy" bags as well.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Craft Hatch Saturday 12th June

I am so excited to be at this Saturday's Craft Hatch Market in the City Library
253 Flinders Lane, Level 1 Gallery, Melbourne, 11am-4pm

Come along and say hi!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Purple Batty Baby Quilt

It is always the way when you put a certain colour combination together that it never ends up the way you expect.

Not sure if I am happy with the combination of purples ... too much purple? too little?

And then there is the sashing? Thinking that I might have to go with a darker purple or black type of colour to frame the busyness that is the purple.

Not sure, what do you think? Too much purple?

Look what the Express Post guy brought!

I hope I am not going to be shot for posting this, but look what the Express post guy brought to my house yesterday!

"Firsts" for the new Unit 1 and 2 text book for next year. Excitement plus!

They have sent through the whole book and although I have only written one chapter, they like the authors to read through the whole book for continuity.

I have just under two weeks to make any edits and followup on editorial comments and then post it back. I wonder if the process for a craft book is any different?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


We have had Vladamir for about a month now, we got the reminder in the mail for his 1 month shots. And he seems to be settling in quite nicely.

The reason why we wanted to get a male cat was because the two females were fighting a bit too much. Actually, it was Natasha (2 years) who wanted to play fight with Anastasia (15 years). Anastasia has a bit of arthritis so she doesn't really want to do the whole rough and tumble kitten stuff.

But since Vlad has arrived, Natasha and Vlad play fight up and down the hall and Ana has a sigh of relief! Vlad still doesn't have full reign of the house. He sleeps in the laundry and spends time throughout the day in the laundry when things are getting a bit "zoo" like or he had decided to mark his territory.

But overall, they are all getting along quite fine. Vlad is a typical male Russian Blue with lots of purrs to go around and he is very very placid. Tori will go upto him and give him a hug and he isn't phased by that at all.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Treasury goodness

Another Konstant Kaos item has been listed in another treasury on etsy ... Monster Bag!

So sweet of CasaCocoLoco to include me in her Aussie Treasury.

I still have a metre of this fabric left, I should really make some more things with it!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

A week in review

As I stumble towards yet another reporting deadline at school, my quilting and therefore business sewing has taken a battering this week. Business sewing at the moment is purely orders and no development.

I did manage to spend a night quilting and I got some quilts pinned and ready to be joined. I have two baby quilts sitting there ready to be joined together and one awaiting binding. The next two weeks at school will be a bit challenging as final corrections are coming in and mid year reports are being written.

picture via Carolina Patchwork

But this morning I have been looking again at ideas for my space invader quilt. I have done some sketches and have some solid ideas forming. I came across Carolina Patchwork, who has the most amazing patterns for video game quilts, available via etsy.

Can't wait for the mid year teaching break when I am going to put a few days aside to simply sew .. nothing except me and my machine.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Vintage print Baby Quilt

I grabbed one of the Jelly Rolls that Spotlight had on sale this week, VIP customers of course. The rolls are $30 reduced to $20, 25 strips of 2.5 inch wide strips.

Until now, all I have sewn with has been Moda Jelly Rolls; High Quality stuff. Unfortnately, these rolls are not quite on the same level. The material is a bit thin, the 2.5 inch width is skewed at the start and middle of the sash and I am a bit nervous how it will wash up. The label says to pre-wash the fabric.

The quilt is for a friend who is due in about 4 weeks, not sure what she is having, so it needed to be something gender neutral. I decided to do an off centre block, inspired by Oh! Fransson of course! When cutting and pressing, the fabric was a bit difficult to work with. Not as easy at the moda pre-cuts. I am going to try and do some postage stamp blocks to see how it handles with interfacing.

I sashed the blocks in a high thread count white. I am going to try and find a complimentary print for the back of the quilt and I have some light blue strips strips for the bias.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Avignon quilt update

I've been hand quilting the Avignon quilt that I have been working on. Most of it was done during the Eurovision Semi-Finals!

I ended up getting a yard of the cream print to back the quilt, and I might do the binding in the same colour, not sure yet.

I still haven't decided what type of machine quilting I will do, tossed up between following the theme of squares or just machine quilting the white sections of the quilt. I am not sure yet.

The quilt ended up a bit smaller than the other baby quilts I made, by an inch. But it is still a good size.

I think that the white top stitching, inspired by Patch Andi, really sets off the squares.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

More material for Tori's Paintbox Quilt

Tori's painbox quilt is progressing slowly ... the great thing about patchwork is that you get through the project one block at a time. I finally got around to making the blocks from the Sprout Design fabric that I got a while back.

Looking through all my blocks, I noted that I had a lot of generic patterns. And since Tori responded so well to the Sheep blocks, I thought I would buy some more Sprout fabric to fill in some of the gaps. I think I am about 10 sets of blocks off finishing enough to start sashing.

So I ordered more more fabric from one of my favourite online fabric stores Kelani Fabric from some of my favourite Aussie Designers, Sprout.

First, some Orange Toy Cars ...

Then some red Owls in a row ... we have lots of red blocks in the quilt, but one more won't hurt .. will it?

And some Toy Bikes ... again, we have two other navy blocks but this one I will sash in dark indigo fabric.

And some Giraffe's ...

Lots of fussy cutting required to make these designs work in the Paintbox Quilt, but I think that they will set it off quite well.

Have you made a paintbox quilt?