Monday 28 April 2014

Weekending - The Sewing Edition


It was a long weekend here in New Zealand, so I made the most of the opportunity to finish some sewing projects.
  • First up is a fabric basket for another swap I have joined in.  Made from various scraps of text, solids, linen and Denyse Schmidt fabrics, using this tutorial. It was a nice easy pattern to sew, though I think I will use heavy weight interfacing on the lining next time I make this pattern.
  • This weeks PackPatch themes were: I was born in the ...,  and I would have liked to be in the ... Because I was born in the 70's, I picked paisley and green.  I remember a lot of brown and orange from that time too.  I would have liked to be in the 50's, I loved the full skirts, with big floral prints and twin sets.  Not so keen on the horn rim glasses I would have needed though.
  • And my big TA DA moment - I finished my 241 Tote.  I did rows of vertical hand quilting on the centre panels in a natural linen coloured thread.  The side pockets are shot cotton in a silvery grey, with AMH Social Climber as the feature side panel.  The lining and strap are a charcoal shot cotton.  For extra strength in the strap, I also added a strip of upholstery weight cotton ticking in the middle before 6 rows of top stitching.  On the whole I am pretty pleased with how it has turned out.  Sewing the curved panels was not an easy task, and I wasn't happy with how my top stitching along the centre panels and pockets looked, so after unpicking it, I decided to omit it. I would make this again, but I would probably not do a quilted centre panel.
What did you create this weekend?

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Wednesday WIP

Well I have finally started my 241 Tote Bag.  The focal front and back pieces have been pieced together, with some of my favourite quilting fabrics, shot cotton, linen and shirtweight denim scraps.  I have also used a little piece of fringed selvedge from one of my linen pieces for added texture. I have used fusible lightweight fleece on the back, and just need to decide whether to do some quilting on these pieces, before I start assembling the rest of the bag.

Very much inspired by the lovely bags made by Melissa (Clothwork on Flickr) .  I am hoping to have this finished  by the weekend

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday 21 April 2014


A long Easter weekend.  The Scout, Miss B and Mr J are all away at an Easter Scout Camp. I had my Mum stay for a couple of days.  Yesterday was very wet, so lots of sewing was done and some chocolate was consumed - the perfect way to spend a rainy day.

  • a good book, hot cross buns and a cup of tea - perfect
  • one finished strawberry dumpling pouch - ready to package up and post
  • two completed blocks for the Pack Patch Quilt-a-long, this weeks themes were April Showers and May Flowers
  • the start of my 241 tote
Hope that you all had a fabulous Easter weekend

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Wednesday WIP

Currently I am working on a little dumpling pouch for another Flickr Swap.  This one is strawberry themed. Using my partner's favourite colours, tiny 1.5" squares have been sewn together for the exterior of the pouch. For the interior I am using some vintage floral cotton.

Also in progress today is a new brownie recipe/idea I am trying out.  Based on a recipe I found in a magazine, I used my favourite brownie recipe, then swirled through caramel condensed milk (Dulce du Leche).  I am just waiting for it to cook and then cool down before I sample it.

Now I have a problem with the pressing board I made.  It seems that when the board gets to hot or maybe a little moist from the steam from my iron, some of the natural wood colour  has come through the batting and fabric cover and stained it.  Needless to say I was not terribly impressed.  Has anyone else had this problem?  Should I have perhaps put something else under the batting and fabric first?  Any solutions/ideas would be most helpful.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday 13 April 2014


Most of Saturday I worked at the library, so when I finished, I made the most of the remainder of my weekend.
  • I finished reading  The Goldfinch  (I gave up on The Luminaries).  It was an interesting, if at times, a hard book to read, but now I have a new pile of  interesting books to get started on.
  • My new pressing board for my sewing table, measuring 40cm x 40cm.
  • The piles of shirt strips for Mr J's quilt are slowly growing - I found a couple of almost new shirts in the shop shop on Friday. Hopefully I will be able to start sewing the blocks soon.
  • A surprise in my garden - a flowering  mini  Cyclamen.
  • Revealing the woodwork, under layers of paint.  The Scout has started sanding back the old door he bought me.We are hoping it will be able to be turned into a cutting table for my sewing room.
  • Tiny 4.5" blocks for a Flickr Quilt-a-Long.  The idea is to use up scraps to make these blocks.  We are given a theme each week.
What have you made this weekend?  What is flowering/growing in your gardens?

Thursday 10 April 2014

What is My Style?

One of my favourite new blog reads is Hey Porkchop.  Amanda is a wonderful knitter, cross-stitcher and quilter.  She creates the most beautiful little pouches and quilts.  Reading through  her old posts, I came across this interesting post on style - in particular her personal style.  It got me thinking about my style (and browsing my pinterest boards too, to see if  I could describe it. Not really - it's a real mixture)  - in my home, my dress and my crafting.  So here goes - a little about what I like:

Colours: warm earthy reds, golds and olive greens, denimy blues, creams, aqua and pistachio/lime tones, hot pinks and corals

Decor:  I like colour in my house, antiques, ornaments and other collectibles - bowls of shells, plants, pottery and ceramics, books and magazines - I could never live in a minimalist style house.  I don't think my house is cluttered, but it looks lived in and shows bits of the personalities of it's inhabitants.  Recycled furniture and lots of wood feature heavily too. I describe my home decor style as a mix of urban country and vintage bach.

Dress: smart casual, jeans, nice tops, dresses and skirts in summer. I love scarves in  winter, wearing nice earrings and necklaces to dress up a T-shirt and jeans. (I think I have always wanted to dress elegantly casual)

Sewing/Quilting: I love the look of bright colours against a linen/low volume background, but then I also like bright scrappy quilts or the almost jewel box explosion of colour in Anna Maria Horner fabrics and quilts. I love making little bags and pouches.  Pillows too - none of which really tone in with my home decor (at this point anyway).  I guess I create with the colours that make me happy, and I do sometimes struggle when making things for other people to work with colours they like.

Though I may be inspired by other people's  ideas and creations,  ultimately it is my style that comes through, whether in my home, my dress or my sewing.

What is your style?  How would you describe it?

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Wednesday WIP




One of my nieces has a birthday coming up soon.  I couldn't think what to get her, so in the end decided to make a pencil case, which I will fill with nice pens, pencils and stickers.

I used the paper pieced pencil pattern from Patchwork, Please, as the basis of my case and then just made it to my requirements.  I made a slight mistake, which for some reason I didn't notice until too late on the pencil tips.  I didn't unpick it - I don't think the tiny paper pieced pencil ends would have survived that.  The back is some Echino fabric, and I have hand-stitched around the pencils and as top-stitching by the zip. The lining is a nice bright multi-coloured dot.  Finished size is 7"x10".  Just  the filling of it to be done now, before it gets posted to Australia..

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday 6 April 2014


On Saturday, Miss B and I traveled to Hamilton to see the Roman Machines Exhibition at the Waikato Museum.  Miss B is fascinated by Roman and Greek history and myths.  It was a very interactive exhibtion, we were able to see and try on old Roman armour and try operating some of the old style pulleys and grinders.  We attempted building an arch too.  Another exhibition running was a display of vintage linen and needlework.  Some of the embroidery was simply stunning as was the collection of ladies house bags - these were often used as project bags for knitting or embroidery when visiting..

Lunch was eaten while sitting on a park bench watching the Waikato River flow by.  Of course a trip to a new to me, fabric shop was had too.  Yes a little stash enhancement was done.

What did you do this weekend?

Friday 4 April 2014

Biscuits and a Bee

  • A little paper-pieced bee block - measuring 3" square, turned into a coaster ready to be mailed overseas.  Pattern from here.
  • Some biscuit baking - Passionfruit Melting Moments, only I didn't sandwich them together with the icing.  I get more biscuits this way.  Recipe from here.
Have a great weekend.