Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Birthday party post

Well we had the big 6th birthday party on the weekend and I just had to share a few photos. 

I had decided that morning I was never going to have 25 kids at a party ever again (too stressful) but they all had a great time making flower wands (the girls) and monsters on a stick (the boys) and of course we can't forget pass the parcel and a great big lolly hunt.  I am so glad I used my old tablecloth for the craft table as now it is glued and glittered and I have just found out it doesn't come out in the wash.

It was 33 degrees but luckily the buttercream icing stayed on the cake and didn't end up in a puddle on the table!  And speaking of the cake, I had seen all these awesome ombre cakes on Pinterest and have wanted to make one for ages and it worked!  I have to say it's probably the best cake I have ever made and I am seriously in love with it.
And here's a photo of the birthday girl (can you tell which one she is?) looking totally unexcited about the whole thing.
Happy birthday my gorgeous girl.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Paper Napkin bunting tutorial

Well this is it.  My first tutorial. 

My son was having a pirate party for his 3rd birthday and I looked everywhere for pirate party decorations but couldn't find anything.  Then at the last minute I found some pirate paper napkins and next thing you know we have some party decorations that took no time at all.  Now I'm not saying this hasn't been done before, but this is how I did it and who knows, someone out there may find it helpful.

It is my daughter's 6th birthday this friday and I've talked her into a fairy party so I can make some more pretty bunting! (Much better than the Hotel Transylvania party she originally wanted).

So if you'd like to make some bunting of your own, all you need is some paper napkins and a roll of crepe paper streamer.  Oh and a sewing machine of course!  I actually used two packs of 20 napkins as I needed lots of bunting.
Now you need to cut the napkins into flags.  Take the folded napkin and making sure the fold is at the top, line it up on your cutting mat to find the middle of the napkin.  Then cut from the bottom middle of the napkin to the top of one side.  Do the same on the other side.  Your napkin should look like this.
Now unfold the napkin and separate the two halves.  (Anybody have any good tips for cleaning cutting mats??)

Repeat this step with all your remaining napkins.  I usually cut 3 or 4 at once to save time.  Then fold each separated diamond back in half so you have some lovely little penants.

Now comes the sewing part.  You will need a tail left on either end of the bunting so you can tie it up.  I left about a metre of streamer at the start before I began to sew the flags.  Start by folding the streamer in half lengthways just far enough so you can insert the first flag and sew it in between the two sides of the streamer.  Drop the rest of the roll of crepe paper on the floor and it easily unrolls as you sew.  I also increased my stitch length to 4 on my machine just to make it sew up a bit quicker. 
I found it helpful to stretch the crepe paper as I sewed and this stopped it puckering and also helped to fold the streamer in half ready for the next flag.  Now insert the next flag right next to the last one and continue sewing. 
Repeat this step until you have used all the flags.  Make sure to leave another long tail at the other end.  And you should end up with something like this.

Two packs of napkins made approximately 13metres of bunting (with 80 flags) plus the metre we left on each end.  You could also use less flags and leave a gap between each one and it would still look great.  So for a grand total of $6.00 - $2.50 for each pack of napkins and $1 for the streamer - you have some fabulous party decorations.  And it's super fast too.  I think it only took about a half hour to make.

Here's a few photos of the pirate bunting I made in July.  These ones were even easier as I just unfolded the napkin and cut it in half so I didn't lose any of the picture.  I also left a space between each flag as I only had one pack of napkins.

So if you ever need some super quick, last minute party decorations this may be your answer.  And best of all they can be used again and again.

Linking up to Plum and June Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link-up.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday - a Mini and some Hexies

I actually thought I had accomplished nothing this week but I had forgotten about this.  I'm calling it my Colour Palette Mini.
I was visiting Beth's blog and she makes little mini quilts to practice her free motion quilting.  Great idea and why have I not thought of it??  So I did a little raw edge applique and now it's ready to be quilted.  And the best news is the postman finally delivered my Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters book yesterday so now I can fmq to my heart's content once I actually decide on a design.
Oh and I also have been working on this.
I'm pretty excited as it's my first ever attempt at EPP.  (Please disregard my really disgusting cutting mat!)  It probably would have been a really good idea to use a thread colour that blended as I can see some lovely black stitching showing up on my white hexies.  But there's always next time i guess. 

And a little something that made me laugh.  My 3 year old son comes running up to me and says, "Mummy guess what? I have a tampon!"  And I say "YOU'VE GOT A WHAT?" absolutely horrified that he could actually say the word and seemed to know what one was.  "I've got a tampon!" he says excitedly as he shows me his hand.  "See a tampon!"  So it finally dawned on me that he was saying he had a STAMP ON.  He has a bit of trouble with 'S' at the beginning of some words.  I got a good chuckle out of it and he thought it was pretty hilarious that Mummy thought he was so funny.

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekender bag finished!

A finish!  The sweetest words ever uttered in reference to a sewing project!  
The lining is done and as it is bright yellow I will never lose anything in my bag.  I now wish I had of added a few pockets on the inside as some other bloggers have but I just wanted to finish it and I was too lazy.  I neglected to take a photo of the inside as we were in our way to the coast and I just didn't get time.  The one thing I don't like about the lining is that it is very floppy and despite using a 3/4 inch seam allowance as it says in the pattern it still seems like there is still too much fabric.  If I did it again I would interface the lining too.
Just a quick post today as I wanted to link up to The Long Weekend Blog Hop at Lori H. Designs.  For more pics please check out this post.  I can't wait to see what everyone else has made.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wonder Woman Weekender

I have finished my Wonder Woman (insert appropriate Wonder Woman tv show theme song lyrics) Weekender.  Well blog finished anyway as I still have to sew in the lining. 

I had originally planned to use a red and yellow spot fabric but thought I didn't have enough.  But I mulled over it for a bit and with a little scrimping it worked!  I ended up sewing the handles differently and used a red solid on the inside of the handle so I would have enough of the spot for the piping.  I had to piece a lot of short bias strips together to make it long enough for the piping.  But I'm so excited that I got to use this fabric as I think it gives it a more retro comic feel and I absolutely love my bag!!
This is the front.  I cut the pocket so it had the big picture of wonder woman and the picture of batgirl, supergirl and wonder woman together.
The back
Batgirl on one side pocket
Other side

The zipper went in great, although my top stitching was slightly wonky so I had to unpick part of it and restitch it.  I never used to unpick anything but I must be getting anal in my old age.  The piping now that was another story.  I have sewn in piping before on dresses but it was quite a challenge sewing it into the bag with all the layers on fabric, peltex and interfacing.  I think if I ever make another one I may skip the piping part.  The size 16 jeans needle made most of it a breeze to stitch.  I only broke one needle which I though was pretty amazing.

Now I just need a good movie or tv show to sit and watch while I sew in the lining.

One tip though:

Don't let your 3 year old sit under the table while you are trying to stitch really slow through the multiple bag layers!  Mine was.  He said 'what's this Mummy?' and leans on the presser foot and I almost sew my fingers into my bag as the machine takes off!  I thought my machine had gone mental until I realized what he had done. 

Linking up to Plum and June

 Plum and June

Thursday, November 8, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday - whoops I mean thursday :)

Ok so no progress on the Santa Sacks or my flower quilt :(  I felt like I had lost my sewjo at the beginning of the week, perhaps due starting the Atkins diet and my lack of sugar leading to headaches and major tiredness!

I have made a start on my Wonder Woman Weekender.  I was in a bit of a tizz over the bag too.  I was so excited about it to begin with and then realized that I didn't have enough of the fabric I had chosen to use for the piping and handles (a super cool retro red and yellow spot).  I only had a half metre so not enough and of course it was all gone from my fabric shop and I couldn't find any online either.  Major bummer!

Anyway I don't know about everybody else but If you're like me when I have an idea of what I want to use it's so hard to find something else that looks right.  I found a red and white spot which I don't like as much so I'm hoping I won't be disappointed when I finish (and considering I paid $28 a metre for it, I want it to look fanatstic!).

Here is the bag cut out with the handle/piping fabric.  Would love any feedback on the fabric choice.

Oh and a little something I actually finished!  Probably because they took no time at all.  Some cute little tags from stiffened felt and twine.

Linkin up to W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Long Weekend Blog hop

I am joining in the Long Weekend Blog Hop to make Amy Butler's Weekender Bag.  
Despite having Style Stitches and In Stitches and a number of her patterns I have never made anything (just drooled over them), so I thought I'd jump right in with the weekender as I'm sure I need one!  I was thinking of doing a patchwork one as I have seen some awesome ones but then I found the coolest Wonder Woman fabric and now I am pretty sure I need a Wonder Woman bag!
I'm still toying with the idea of a pieced bag.  I bought the fabric to make my little wonder woman a dress and now I will have to go back and check out the rest of the super heroes just in case I need to buy those too to complete my Super bag!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Union Jack dress

My daughter's school celebrated Universal Children's Day yesterday.  Originally she was going to wear a Fijian grass skirt complete with coconuts but I couldn't find it anywhere.  I think I may have, in a fit of madness, thrown it out.  So after copious amounts of tears we decided that I was going  to make a flag dress.  This is the result.

I think it turned out pretty well and she actually liked it and has said she 'may wear it again' which is high praise indeed.  Hearing that made it worth the effort and now my son wants a flag dress too so I'm sure I will see him parading around in it at some stage.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP Wednesday - Santa sacks and a Quilt

I have been meaning to make my little peeps some Santa sacks for quite some time now and preferably before my kids are too old to be excited about the stuff that mummy makes.  I was so chuffed the other day when my 5 year old said that she 'wants to be a maker like mummy when she grows up'!

Anyway I decided to make some reindeer appliques and I think I am going to use a denim for the sack.  Will probably applique the kids names on too.

Another WIP that has been sitting around for a while are these:

Essentially twenty four 12 1/2" applique blocks which hopefully now that I have shown them will end up being a quilt for my daughter. They will be stitched using raw edge applique, with maybe a 1" wide sashing in between each block.  Then I will add lots of embellishing on the flowers.  That's the plan anyway.  The photo is a bit flashed out so the colours aren't true.
Linking up to W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters

Since making Rocket to the Stars, I have to say I have had enough of the paisley pattern I used to quilt it!  In saying this I actually find the paisley free motion design one of the easier patterns to quilt but I am now sick to death of it.

I find stippling very difficult which is probably good as I don't really like the look of stippling anyway (probably because mine looks dreadful!).  Anyway I thought it was high time I tried something different.

I was browsing on Craftsy and noticed Angela Walters online class Machine Quilting Negative Space.  You may know her book Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters which I now need to buy as her online class is fantastic.  She makes free motion quilting look incredibly easy and once you practice some of the designs they aren't as difficult as you may think.  I highly recommend this class if you would like to learn about free motion quilting.

I had started a pink girly version of a rocket ship cushion at the craft and Quilt Fair and begun quilting it in paisley (of course) but after watching the class decided to change it up a bit and finish it off with a circle pattern and I think combining the patterns gives it a more interesting look (and it was definitely quicker to do).  I think circles are my new favourite quilting design!!

I love the texture it has given to the piece by using the two different designs.  Although if I had of taken this class before I started quilting this cushion I probably would have done it a bit differently so the paisley pattern didn't look like it was just plonked in the middle.

Angela seems to like combining different quilting designs and I think the effect is amazing.  I feel so inspired that I want to keep quilting but I don't have any tops ready to quilt and don't want to waste my abundance of excitement on a practice quilt sandwich so I had better get my you know what into gear and make something to quilt!

Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair 2012

So the Craft and Quilt fair went really well after a very nervous start.  It was lovely to meet and work with Robyn and Carolyn.
It was the strangest thing actually having people tell me they wanted to make my quilt.  Strange in a good way!  I spoke to one lovely lady on saturday who said she bought the magazine the day before and told me she had already begun making the spaceships.

Anyway in case you hadn't already guessed I had a really amazing time.  I would love to do it again so I guess I had better think up some more designs :)

My Rocket to the Stars quilt!! 
Searching for Seaglass quilt out in Modern Quilts in december. I absoluely love this quilt!

The cutest ever Snakes and Ladders Game by Carmel Morris of Solomon Sewing
Some more fabulous quilts that are going to be in a new magazine released in december called Modern Quilts.

Gorgeous little hedgehogs by Sarah Hanson of Dolls and Daydreams out in next month's issue of Homespun.

I also ran into some old friends whom I hadn't seen for 12 years from my hometown of Yeppoon and it was lovely to see Amanda again also.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Red Raspberry at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair

I am very excited to say I will be working on the Universal Magazines stand at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair which runs from October 17-21.  I will be there on the Saturday and Sunday.  My Rocket to the Stars quilt will be on display at the stand!
Rocket to the Stars before quilting.

I have been preparing some applique cushions in order to demonstrate raw edge applique technique and free motion quilting.  To say I am nervous would be the understatement of the year, so all you lovely people who have been quilting for years, please be gentle to a new quilter. ;)

I can't wait to meet fellow quilting and crafting enthusiasts!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Rocket to the Stars quilt is in Australian Homepun magazine!

I am very excited to say that my second quilt 'Rocket to the Stars' is featured in Australian Homepun!

Red Raspberry
I actually forgot to take a photo of the quilt finished before i sent it into the magazine so the only pictures I have are straight out of the magazine.
If you would like to make your own Rocket to the Stars quilt you will find it in the Kid's Issue of Australian Homespun (No. 113 Vol. 13 No. 10) out now.
There are so many fabulous projects in this issue.  I especially love 'On Toadstoal Lane' by Jennifer Goldsmith of Frazzy Dazzles and The super cool Snakes and Ladders game designed by Carmel Morris of Solomon Sewing.  There is also a fabulous appliqued teepee by Claire Gee of Matching Pegs.  My daughter Lily has also requested that i make her the 'Lily' skirt by the incredibly talented patty Young of MODKID.
So go out and buy yourselves a copy.  You know you can never have too many magazines!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Red Raspberry - In the beginning...

...there was a girl who liked to sew.

Somehow, despite being a home economics failure ( she got a C) she discovered her sewjo.  Her first handmade outfit was a made from a lovely (hideous) mauve crushed satin kind of fabric, accessorised with a matching purple bow of gigantic proportions.  It was the late 80's after all!  How she loved that dress.  But now there was no stopping her.  An addiction was born.  Glorious batwing tops, bubble skirts, peplums and multiple zipper numbers all in varying shades of polyester, crushed velvet and lace.

Somewhere along the way she lost her sewjo and discovered new and exciting crafts that took her fancy for a short while until she inevitably became bored and moved on to something else.  Then came that day when she spied a gorgeous creation on a magazine cover!  That magazine was Australian Homespun with one of Kellie Wulfsohn's quilts on the cover.  'That's a quilt?' she thinks.  'But quilting isn't fun, is it?'  She buys the magazine.  Does she make the quilt?  No.  She buys more magazines to drool over.  She buys fabric.  She hoards fabric.  Does she make anything??  No.  

One day while flicking through her new favourite magazine she reads about a competion - Search for a Craft Star.  'Wow.  That might be fun to enter.  I might make a quilt.'  says the crazy person who has never in her life made a quilt.  Then she thinks maybe I should start with something small, a tablerunner perhaps?  No, it definitely has to be a quilt.  It can't be that hard can it?  

So she comes up with a design.  She feels that first flush of excitement of beginning a new and exciting project so the making of the quilt top goes quite quickly.  Her sewjo is back.

Close-up of Kokeshi Doll Applique

Then she starts to procrastinate as she realizes the enormity of the project that she has begun.  More procrastination and everyday life with two small children gets in the way of all creativity.  Then the sudden realization that ( oh crap! ) there is only 3 weeks to go until she needs to send off photos of her finished project.  
Doubt sets in.  What was she thinking?  She should just forget about it.... 'No.  I am going to finish this.' she says and she did.  She learnt free motion quilting and with a great deal of swearing and weeping, she quilted her quilt.  She finishes with a few days to spare and posts off her photos.

Anyway to cut a long story short, my quilt won the amatuer category.  I did receive a wonderful prize ( thank you Pfaff! ) but the best and most exciting part of the whole endeavour was seeing my quilt pattern as a project in my favourite magazine - Australian Homespun.  I loved designing and making the quilt and hope to design many more.

Kokeshi Doll Quilt

My goals in starting this blog:

1.  To keep the ideas flowing and the momentum going.

2.  To participate in the online craft community instead of just being a reader of other blogs.

3.  To stop procrastinating and try to finish projects in a reasonable time frame ( this will be a hard one!)

4.  To share my projects with you. 



P.S.  Please look out for my next quilt in the October 2012 issue of Australian Homespun.