Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Binding Tote Bag (For Me!!)

There's some selfish sewing happening around these parts ...

I've just bought this scrumptious Japanese Linen ... it was 30% off ... I couldn't help myself ... and it goes so well with these hexies I've put together.

... that Aurifil fell in my bag too ... because well, it's a match made in heaven.

I'm just after the perfect leather handles now ... I quite like the ones Rachel used here.

I'm hoping to make a bag similar to this Zakka one ...

Something to carry my quilts around in when I'm binding them.  I like to hand sew the binding down, so they get dragged everywhere with me at this stage (a few stitches here, a few stitches there) and so I need a large tote bag to carry it around in, right?

Happy Wednesday!


Friday, 13 February 2015

Texan Denim Baby Quilt

Remember when I made that Quick (not brown) Fox Quilt and I used a denim-look cotton tablecloth from Ikea?  Ring any bells?  Well, I needed a quilting weight denim source better than an Ikea table cloth (lol) and Craft Project came to the rescue with a little something (wonderful) called Texan Denim - y'all (sorry) heard of it?

I've had a good play with it now and officially love it ... here's my latest make using Texan Denim.

This little baby quilt is the one that has interrupted hubby's half hexie quilt, but as it's a gift for one of his mates, he's let it slide.

I tried a few new things with this quilt ... such as ...

I made up a pattern for scrappy sashing.

I used a variegated thread to quilt it and I didn't stay in the ditch!!!  OCD freak out!!!  I thought the pattern was beginning to look a little rigid for a baby so I loosened up the quilting lines.

To de-rigid-ise (that's a word) the quilt a little further I gave it rounded corners instead of sharp 90 degree corners using the dinner plate trick.

I used fabric with moustaches on it (weird but totally cool)

And finally, the last thing I did differently was hand stitch down the binding with a running stitch using Perle cotton.  First seen by me here.

So what do you think?

I know the new owners are happy with it ... they sent me a pic of the quilt all ready for when bub arrives ... 

Oh yeah, that's another new thing I did ... I actually got this one finished before bubs is born!  

How to wrap a quilt: 1. Have a three year old do a painting for you.  2. Wrap quilt in painting (once dry - tehe) 3. Use leftover binding to decorate ... et voilà! 

Wonders will never cease!

Texan Denim Baby Quilt
Size: 38" x 44"
Main fabric: Texan Denim
Scrappy sashing: It's a Hoot leftovers
Backing fabric: Moustache from Spotlight Australia (beware the selvage!)
Binding: Texas Denim (with Perle cotton hand stitching)
Quilting: Straight line quilting with Guttermann Sulky variegated col. 4015

So this is my first Quilt Finish for 2015 and it's totally not on my Q1 Finish Along List and neither was my daughter's Library Bag ... I see a disturbing trend emerging ... ugh.

Serena xx
Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday ... you can too!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

WIP - the school run version

I'm sitting in the car with Miss 3 (snoring her box off) waiting for Miss 4 to finish her day at school . So let's see if blogger works on my phone ... this could be tricky ... but what's life without a few flips of the coin?

Speaking of which, I flipped my own coin this week and stepped out of my 90 degree - perfectly mitred corners - comfort zone.

Yup I tried the ol' dinner plate trick ...

... and turned those sharp corners into lovely sweeping curves - ah that's better!

I made some bias binding (have curves must use bias binding), used a zillion pins and held my breath!

It turned out great!

I've tried something new with hand stitching the binding down too ...

More on that later ... but in the meantime ... what is the meaning of this message on the selvage of the fabric I'm using for the backing?

Whaaaaat?  Surely if I've purchased the fabric I can do what I like with it?

I contacted Spotlight Australia for a "please explain" ... Pauline Hanson style ... but no joy so far.

Can anyone set me straight?

Serena xx

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday (if I can get this to work on my phone !)

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Unicorn Library Bag

So this little project could have gone one of two ways.

Time flies ... she's starting Pre-Primary!

It all started with reading the school stationary list and realising at the 11th hour that Miss 4 required a Library Bag for school this year.

Me: Oh you need a library bag!
Miss 4: Can I have a Unicorn one?
Me: Absolutely, no problem at all.  I know just the pattern!  (Then going for Mother Of The Year Award)  How about I print out the pattern, then you can colour in the pattern all the colours you love and we can match Mummy's fabric to the picture? ... and then I sew it up for you!
Miss 4:  Awesome Mum!  You're the best!!
Me: I know
Husband: Rolls his eyes ...

So here's her picture ... everyone say "Awww" .. thank you.

I happily tuck Miss 4 into bed shortly after proclaiming that the Unicorn (not the whole bag) shall be finished by the morning.

Now, did you notice all the blue sky in the Unicorn picture above?  Lovely isn't it?  Shame I didn't have any blue fabric on hand ...

Me: Uh Oh
Husband: You're stuffed!

With panic settling in and my MOTY Award fading into the distance, I desperately searched every nook and cranny for blue fabric ... then realised I used it all up in Husband's Half Hexie quilt.

Me: Death Stare
Husband: Snickers

Then, with the fabric fairies shining down on me, I find some rainbow dot fabric on a white background.  Bingo!  Unicorns, rainbows ... match made in heaven, right?

Rainbows and sparkly thread saves the day!!

I finished it off with some (very badly please don't look too closely) FMQ'd flowers using a gorgeous glitter thread (see above) ...

 .. and even managed to FMQ her name! (...and yes, the thread broke at the 'G' and dragged the yellow bobbin thread up and made a real mess of things!)

My FMQ writing is at about the same level as her hand writing ... she's 4 ... but ...

First day of Pre-Primary


Me: Ha!  I am the Master of the Universe!
Husband: You got lucky

Miss 3:  I want one too!!!! (cries hysterically)

Me: (... remembers she has another child that wants so desperately to go to school as well and that really she should have made her one at the same time so that she wouldn't feel too left out) .. ohh
Husband: No words ...

So ... stay tuned for the 'up and coming' Mermaid Library Bag!

Me: Must go buy some blue fabric ... mermaids ... there's bound to be water.

Serena xx

Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, Let's Be Social, TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Babies Come First - WIP

My work on Hubby's Half Hexie (HHH) Quilt has been interrupted ... at his request.  One of Hubby's colleagues is due to have a baby boy at the end of this month and he would like to give them a special little quilt.  

This hobby of mine is starting to come in handy!  Do you think I should charge him double for a rush job? So, how much would that be then? ... Hmm ... double of nothing is ... nothing! Boy he drives a hard bargain :)

I started cutting and playing around with fabric last night ... liked the direction it was going in and just kept sewing!  

I managed to piece the whole quilt by bed time ... although I do have borders to add to bring up the size a bit.

I'm thinking of backing it with this funny moustache fabric ...

... and quilting it with a variegated thread in a similar way to this

Also, how about some rounded corners on those borders instead of 90 degrees? ... hmm ... yes,  I'd like to try that.

Binding will be a scrappy assortment of the leftover pieces from the sashing fabric.

Of course as this is a Work In Progress, all of the above could change!  But one must start with a plan, mustn't one?!

Serena xx

Linking up with Freshly Pieced

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Work In Progress

Laying out a quilt with 510 pieces for a 6 foot man is no easy feat when your house is on the market for sale. 

510 half hexies cut

I can just picture the Home Open spiel "Welcome to this lovely modern home.  Here you'll find three bedrooms, two bathroom and a spare mattress tipped on it's side - the current owner is using it as a design wall"  - Hmmm snazzy!  LOL.

Obviously the aforementioned mattress is now no-where to be seen and my sewing space is now "dressed" properly as a lovely spare double bedroom ... so where oh where do I layout this bloody quilt?!

Answer ... on an old plastic outdoor tablecloth!  

My helpers and I

Yup!  Desperate times call for desperate measures ... or wonders of invention!

This daggy outdoor tablecloth is the most awesome of awesome.  Seriously, the Chinese are genius! Flip it over and it has a furry back on it, kind of like a flannel sheet (I'm guessing to stop it from slipping off the table).  Once I place my half hexies on that backing those babies are going nowhere!  

Made in China genius

When I'm finished or the kids are around with chocolate fingers, I simple roll up the table cloth and everything stays in place.  

I can pack it away with ease for those "show home days" and not worry if I've numbered every row or column correctly ... they. just. stay. in. place.  

When I unroll the tablecloth not one hexie is out of place.  Partly because the shiny side doesn't stick to the hexies and mostly because the furry side just grabs the cotton - sweet!

The next challenge?  Piecing all those pieces ...  

More on that next time, but let's just say this quilt and I are getting on famously!

Serena xx

Linking up with Freshly Pieced

Friday, 16 January 2015

Possum Magic - Round 4 - The Pretty One

Hello Possums!

If you've read my 'About Me' page you'll know that I'm not a 'pretty, pink loving, girlie" type of girl.  My daughters are teaching me to be better at it (for their sakes), but I'm more comfortable in black than any shade of pink.  You'll never find flowers on my clothing and if you do ... well ... I'd have to get you to sign something solid to lock that photo down!

Gosh these quilts are getting harder to photograph!

That's not to say that I don't appreciate pink and florals in all their glory - hello Liberty - but it's not always my first port of call.  Maybe one day that will change ...

If you follow me on IG (@sewgiving) you'll know that I had a serious case of 'wobbles' working on Alice's quilt.  It's so pretty (there's that word again) and the work that had been done on it so far by Wendy, Sharon and Jo was delicate and soft and oh so beautiful ... it did not need me clob-hopping (think bull in a China shop) all over it!

I had an idea (read: Liberty Butterflies) but it needed toning down and I needed a gentle hand to guide me.  Thank goodness fellow Possum Carla lives 10 mins drive away.  After a quick visit and a glass of sparkling ... water ... I had a clear plan.

Windy Stained Glass shot

I made my own paper pieced pattern, using Autocad, to create a 5.5" finished butterfly and alternated 5.5" finished squares of Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids in cool pastel shades.  I would use the warm colours for the bodies of the butterflies - sorted!  I got mine from Polka Dot Tea Fabrics. *No affiliation*

The lovely Liberty fabric was sent to me by Deborah all the way from Indonesia!   It's printed on Japanese Cotton and has the most beautiful feel to it.  I used all 3 colourways for the butterfly wings.

Thank you Deborah!

I think I've managed to keep the tone of Alice's quilt in tact!  It still feels soft and calm and I like the movement the butterflies create ... I hope Alice does too!

Next it's Carla's turn with this quilt ... will she ... or won't she ... add an appliquéd border?  Hmm that is the question!

Serena xx


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