Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Vladamir in Sunday Sketch

A friend of mine, Creative Fidget, loves to sketch and takes with her a sketch book and a mini water colour paint kit. She sketched this at my place last week.

You can see Tori's car quilt and Vladamir curled up on the couch, Emily is patching on a table behind the couch.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Zoo Baby Quilt

I have finally gotten around to cracking open the fabric scrap packs that I bought from Rabbit and the Duck at the last Thread Den North Melbourne market.

Paired with a Japanese print that I bought from Purls Palace in Daylesford, fussy cut the centre of each block and surrounded them in the fabric pack scraps. I've been making "zoo" themed blocks for another baby quilt, this time a custom order.

The process of working with a fabric scrap pack is a little more archaic than I am used to. A bit more experimentation, un-stitching and knowing that you don't have any more of the orange or lime green fabric that you really like. But I like the way that the quilt is coming together. A bit different to what I usually do which is a lot more controlled. The blocks are smaller than I usually make. The middle section is 2 1/2 inches square and each border is cut as 1 1/4 inches.

Our new cat, Vladamir, has given the quilt a stamp of approval. Vlad is setting in very well into our household, restoring a balance in the cat population that we were missing. After this photo was taken he then proceeded to do a mega wash and then settled down to sleep. I am glad that I pre-wash my quilts before selling them!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Craft and Quilt Fair

I agree with one of my friends, that going to a craft fair is more enjoyable when you with a group of friends. You get to explore, mock and enjoy the experience more. We hit the fair early, did a circuit together and then split off for an hour (but of course kept on bumping into each other). In the afternoon we went back to my place to continue crafting with some of our stash.

My only task was to collect a few purple/black fat quarters for a quilt that I can't seem to finish. But I found myself a few gorgeous items.

I found the most gorgeous counted cross stitch kit. Now, I am a cross stitch virgin .. so I spent some time tonight with my Mother in Law going through the basics and completing a line of stitching to make sure that I have the tension and technique right. I love this image and it will look great in our Library room, but it might take me a while to complete.

I also spent too much time adding to my stash. The Kelani stand was the most dangerous. I order from these guys online, so I know what range they have. I indulged in some Kristen Doran prints and a Co Co Chi Japanese print that were in their bargain bins.

I love her Robot print, not sure what I will do with it yet, but definitely something for Tori. She has robots all over her bedroom walls.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Back into another Term

Tomorrow I start Term 3 and probably the last "real" term for the Year 12 kids as Term 4 is taken up with exam preparation. I hit the ground running at 7am tomorrow morning and it is a full week for me, so 5 days of working ahead of me despite my part time status (*cough*).

So I spent yesterday doing some quilting with some colours that I have been collecting for a while.

I bought this a while back from the etsy seller North Country Quilts, Black Geometric Bird from Timeless Treasures.

I had picked up some fat quarters at GJ's a while back in a black, white, yellow theme and I thought that the bird print might make for a nice block.

So I played around with a block or two and liked the contrast.

Used some of the bird fabric for the sashing and I have to get some more of the black with dots for the last row of sashing, as I have run out of fabric. I had some left over yellow from my tetris adventures kicking around, only enough to border a few of them. Some blocks work better than others. Using more solid colours would have made the designs stand out a bit more.

I might have turned out differenly if I had sashed the blocks in a single colour, what do you think? Too busy? I seem to be getting more and more adventurous with patterns and colours at the moment.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Etsy Treasury

I'm in another etsy treasury this week .. another CSI themed one by the lovely MABjewelry. She has featured one of my crime scene handbags.

I love the police line scarf .. very tempted!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Equipment for Machine Quilting

A few friends have gotten the quilting bug lately .. the big question is what do I need to get started. At a very basic level, tailoring chalk and scissors. But if you are like me and you want to do things FAST you will need to invest in a few more pieces of equipment.

Rotary Cutter

The good thing about rotary cutters is that you can cut fast, but you can also make mistakes fast. So until you master the art of using a rotary cutter and a ruler, take it slow.

Lots of different brands available. The cutter is only as good as the quality of the blade, but you might want some extra features:
  • safety lock
  • easy nut to replace blade
  • Ergonomic handle
  • a light?
Unfortunately, most of the rotary cutters are packaged away in tough one use plastic, so you can't hold them and see if they suit you. But if you head into a craft show, often they have models that you can handle and use. It took me a few go's to find a cutter I was comfortable with. I have an ergonomic handle and a quick lock to make the blade "inactive" if my daughter is in my sewing room. You are probably looking at paying around $40 for a decent rotary cutter.

Cutting mat

Firstly, buy what you can afford. I started off with a small A3 cutting mat. It has been a faithful companion, and it is only now after quilting for a year that I have invested in an A1. Make sure you get a self healing mat and not one of those mats from the chinese shops.


I like the tandem idea of two rulers. One for cutting and one for measuring. I use a ruler with my left hand (small 5 1/2 inch square) to measure then secure the left hand one (4 inches by 14 inches) to cut the sash or strip.

I work in inches, because most of the quilting world works in inches. Jelly rolls are all 2 1/2 inches, so it is a bit easier if I work that way! I also profess that as I get older, the numbers are larger in inches!

What equipment do you find "essential" for machine quilting?

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Name Tag Swap

This month for the Melbourne Modern Quilters Guild we had a name badge swap.

I haven't really been involved in many swaps, I am always nervous that I won't have time to complete my part. But I quite enjoyed this one. It took me about an hour to make.

The name badge that I made looked nothing like the sketches that I made.

Once I got into my sewing room and looked through my fabric, the black and white with yellow bird fabric spoke to me and I went off in a completely different direction.

I didn't have a brooch back so I sewed on a safety pin. From this over exposed picture you can see some of the quilting that I did.

I used this opportunity to put together some fabrics that I had been toying with for a while. I love black, yellow and white as a combination.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Lindy Charm School

I was blessed to be able to attend the Lindy Charm School Melbourne Workshop today at Father Flanagan's in Collingwood.

The lovely Nicole Jenkins from Circa Vintage on
Gertrude Street who was one
of the models for the day.

The workshop entailed all things vintage; makeup, hair and the importance of good foundation garments. Lots of tips and hints on how to get that desired "vintage" look. For me, I walked away with the knowledge of tools and equipment needed to get the look that I sometimes want. I definitely need to go shopping for some of that equipment next week.

It was wonderful to see a room full of 2010 looking women transported back to 1940s and looking very gorgeous and glamorous by the end of it all.

I would highly recommend attending one of their workshops when they come down to Melbourne again.

Love Letters

While picking the cats up from the cattery in North Fitzroy last week, I found this ...

I think that we all need some love letters from time to time ...

Thursday, 8 July 2010

My Creative Space

I am trying to get some quilting done today.

These blocks are just ideas and might turn into something one day ...

Not happy with the way that the gingham is sitting on this one, but you get the idea! (btw, spotlight have 25% off Gingham at the moment with VIP card)

If you are interested in some other creative spaces, then head on over to Kootoyoo and play along.

Patterns and Prints

Down the beach house my Mother has compiled a gorgeous collection of retro objects . I just love these prints.

Can't you just imagine something like this on a tea towel rather than a plate?

I love this green design.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Beach days

I have been doing things other than sewing this week ... we have been going on long walks, reading and generally traveling at a different pace.

We stole a few days away from Melbourne and travelled down to Phillip Island for some rest and relaxation.

Tori was so excited to see a crab on the beach ... scuttling away!

Have you managed to travel at a different pace during the term break?