Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Pin Cushions

 In my previous post I made mention of some cross stitch kits that I was thinking of making into pin cushions. The kits came with a magazine subscription "Cross Stitch Magic" and "Needlecraft Magic". Each magazine came with a little sampler, some where to be made up as cards, others as magnets, needle books etc. Each month I would pull out the kit, stitch in the gridlines, sometimes I would start stitching....... at the time I had two very full on boys, newborn and a toddler so inevitably they would end up back in their packets and stored away.

More kits than I can poke a stick at.....
I love pin cushions, I just don't like using them. I had a couple packed away for years and recently pulled them out and hung them in my sewing room. They are only little and looked lonely and the idea came to me they might like some company and it all just fell into place with what I could do with the little kits.
At the moment I have some long winded projects on the go and will not see a Monthly finish for the Sew it's Finished Blog - and as I made a commitment to this blog I needed something that was achievable and the double whammy, a UFO would be removed from my massive list.


The two little cross stitches are my first finish. I have added the ribbon for hanging purposes, they will never be used as their name implies.
 The miniature quilt also pictured is the tiny leftovers from a quilt I made for my Mother and Father in Law about 7 years ago. The squares are 3/4" finished. It is a replica of the bigger picture, so to speak. It will be used as a coaster.

Present for the In Laws

These are cross stitches I finished years ago that I will also make into Pin Cushions.


And finally, a couple more hexagons on the go for my Vignette Hexagon Quilt, only 5 more flowers to go.


My next pin cushion on the go.......


 I almost feel like I need to start a pin cushion addict group for support with this little fetish I have that is very quickly busting out of control. What do you think?

Friday, 15 February 2013

Here is the Beehive......

Finally a post. I have been meaning to get on and write a post since my last, but my head just couldn't get it together. I have been checking out other blogs and seeing some amazing stuff, being inspired and then just dropping the ball.
I have a little finish of a UFO that has only been going since December 2011. I made mug rugs for Christmas presents that year and had a couple leftover. Yay I was going to get them. So often I make goodies for others, love them to pieces and with good intentions plan on making it for myself, and then never get around to it. Alas I did not buy enough backing fabric, so they have been taunting me ever since. Leftovers from another project to the rescue and they are finished.


I will pack these away until next Christmas now. They match my table runner so I am super chuffed to have them ready. 
A couple of years ago I found a plant at the nursery called a Beehive Ginger - it was planted in my fernery. This year for the first time it has flowered.......


And what is so cute is the little flowers that poke out the beehive. They are spotty and only last a day. You can see one full bloom and the dead ones off to the side. Each day I go and check on them as each "little bee" pokes his head out and then is gone tomorrow.
All this in 40 degree heat. You can see the hive with it's own water reserve, we have a bore at our house so we are allowed to water one extra day a week. Because of water restrictions, we are only allowed to water off towns water 2 days a week, we feel very spoiled to have the extra day and we don't abuse it....


6:30pm and well over 30 degrees, where else would you be but watching the sunset on the beach while having a swim. I saved you all from me being in my bathers in the picture. Not a breath of air and just stunning in the water. The beaches near us never get very busy so we are very spoilt.


And finally back to sewing, I have a heap of little cross stitch kits from over the years that are supposed to be made into cards and things and I have decided I am going to stitch them all up and make them into pincushions, by the end of it lots and lots of pincushions. These are counted as UFO's as I have stitched the centre gridlines on almost all of them but never actually started the stitching. One a month would be a great start, we shall see......
Another nearly forty degree day three parts over and dinner to prepare - sigh........





Sunday, 27 January 2013

2013 - Balance

The second half of 2012 had so much going on that it flew by and I can't believe my last post was back in July. My biggest news is that I have become a consultant for The Chefs Toolbox (http://kayeroberts.thechefstoolbox.net). I bought some of their pans nearly 10 years ago and am still using them so I thought I might have enough experience and definitely enough love for them to be able to demonstrate. My sewing did take a back seat to business setup.

I am determined to balance home, business and sewing - blog this year.

Wendy and Dawn from Sew it's Finished have allowed me to be a posting member again this year and they will keep me on track. I really want the stitcheries from the 2012 incentive quilt they designed..... Due to my lack of blogging August onwards I missed a few........ This quilt has now been added to my UFO list.
I have made some changes to my lists on my side bar - I think I added as many UFO's to my half done list as I added completed to the completed 2012 list. I think we all paddle that boat.

Just getting my head around blogging again and will add the button for Sew it's Finished and some new blogs etc.

I have spent the last two weeks with laryngitis and a wracking cough so sewing has been out of the question, I stabbed my self one too many times.........

Looking at the date I am really going to have too motor to get a UFO finished by the end of January - Focus
This will be a photo free blog, I suppose this is a little like a new years resolution or mission statement. If I put it in writing it will hold me accountable.

So my key word for this year is Balance..............

Monday, 30 July 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Where do I start, once again it has been a massive month of sewing for me, with the added bonus of designing..... My niece - the teacher of littlies with special needs, purchased a couple of Hungry Caterpillar panels and left it to me to come up with something bright and simple. This was the first creation. It's finished size was 1.2m by 1.5m a reasonably easy size to quilt and and fiddle with. The photo was a late afternoon shot so it has dulled the brightness......


 I shadow quilted the main panel pieces and basic follow the line quilted the rest. The colored strips were leftovers from another project so were precut.


The second Caterpillar quilt was finished late this afternoon and although I have loved doing the two quilt I am glad to see the back of them. The quilting of the last one has been interesting to say the least and is probably why I am really pleased to be finished. This quilt measures 1.2m by 2m so has been hard work to feed through my domestic sewing machine. I would give my right arm for a long arm quilting machine.....


I even did a little free motion quilting on this. The sun and caterpillar had the honour of a little pizzaz. Usually I am a follow the lines kinda girl but I felt the panels needed a little something.


This is the quilt laid out on my cutting table waiting to be spray basted with 505 spray. I hate pinning quilts and find the basting spray to be the absolute best. No movement puckers front or back. The only thing I do is iron between every few rows of stitching. In the back of this picture is my UFO's.


I also put together these panels for my nieces class. My Mum had them in her stash and thought they might be nice in her class rather than packed away for a rainy day. 


Next on my list for my niece was another tactile activity quilt. This was a rather girly one, pinks and ruffles.....


This is my second one of this type of quilt. Pockets to hide goodies in, as well as a zipper and buttons and tactile fabrics - toweling, polar fleece, satin, flannel etc.
Next finish are some vision box panels. The kids that have no mobility are laid on the floor with toys suspended above them. The box has to be sturdy as there are other more active kids in the class and it is protecting the child having there quiet time. The boxes wall are plain wood and the thought was to line them with padded fabric panels serving a visual  and if they roll purpose.


I decided to theme the fabrics with future thoughts of making felt mobile hangings in the same theme.


This is the visual box that is being "blinged" up. It is having a coat of paint and the panels on the inside will be hung from a rod using rod pockets on the back of the panel.


Finally a friend of mine, whose daughter is a student at the school asked me if I could make her a poncho. She had one in the UK, and found it to brilliant for keeping her warm when outside in her wheelchair. Bulky jackets are time consuming to put on when there is a few of the littlies and the kids are not comfy with a wad of clothing behind them in their chairs.


The poncho is shorter in the back than in the front. the hood is there to stop the freezing cold breeze and the slightly longer front can be wrapped around their legs. And best of all they can tuck their hands under or have them out. I am selling these, if anyone is interested please contact me via email. I am a little restricted by fabric availability for patterned but plain polar fleece is fairly standard in colors.


Thank you Caitlin for being my model. She was very patient with me trialing the hood pattern, as you can imagine there were a couple of mockups made before the final poncho design was reached. This is a favorite as she loves pink, her mum has picked out a gorgeous piece of bright colored fabric for her next one. 





Friday, 29 June 2012

Incentive........


When I joined this group http://sewitsfinished.blogspot.com.au/ I was soooooo going to finish a heap of projects including the big ones, unknown to me another large project was going to challenge my one project a month off my to do list. The big projects are still at the bottom of the list but the little annoying ones are being completed. I am struggling even to meet the little ones, but I am really enjoying the incentive of an email from the lovely organisers of this blog and use it as my driver to complete and post.


This finish is the leftovers from flying geese construction on this little quilt. 


So from a couple of extra lines of sewing, which at the time I thought I was nuts, I finished two coasters. The original quilt was started 3 or 4 years ago, and I was too tight to throw these bits away. I am really looking forward to trying one out tonight with my cup of tea.


I have added a few more hexagons to my collection, and have been very busy with commissioned sewing......which is very cool. I have even registered my ABN - for me kinda cool. So my lack of blogging is due to lots of sewing.
Happy End of Financial Year.........

Friday, 11 May 2012

More to the Cause

Ever since I packed up my laptop to make more room for creative genius in my sewing room, I must admit that my blog posting has definitely dropped off. With my extremely busy last few months anything that is not at arms length seems to be hard work. Time to change.
What have I been up to? Well besides enjoying a heap of rain, very unusual for Perth this time of the year. By a heap I mean approximately 80mm over a week, I have been sewing more quilts for my niece. As explained in my previous post, my niece required some tactile items for her children in her class.


Another rag edge, more for the boys this time, the quilt measures finished 40" by 48". that seems rather a good size but the weight of the denim backing, gave me work out. It will be sturdy and hard wearing. I do plan to make a picnic rug one day with all my old jeans. I have been saving them, so this has been a warm up so to speak.


Now this was an interesting quilt to make. It is a tactile, activity mat. The zipper pulls down to reveal polar fleece. The buttons can be undone. and on either side are two pockets with elasticated tops to hide goodies in for the kids to pull out or tuck in. There are rings stitched into the seems in case we want to tie things to the quilt. The rest of the mat is made up of 3D or tactile fabrics.


I have placed a little fuzzy in the pocket..........


Theses are knitted or crocheted squares from different wools. The children will be able to pull these out the pockets to rub or feel the different textures of the wools. I have one more mat to make and more goodies to fill the pockets.


My mum sent me over a care package to support the cause, these were squares leftover from a rag edge she made recently, they have made a small floor throw.


This throw is backed in polar fleece. Small improvisation was required, some of the squares were a bit small. But then that is patchwork after all. and finally.......


These little goodies with ribbons. The kids are not the only ones who like to stroke the ribbons. I am having today off from sewing and will start again tomorrow. I have been sewing every day now since Easter. So a day off will refresh the senses.
Tomorrow will be 29 degrees celsius, and after the rain my garden needs a good tidy. Although it is autumn unseasonal rain encourages growth. All of the next week we are forecast rain again. So my next sewing day will be Sunday.
 Happy Mothers Day to all, I wish you  a lovely day.  

Monday, 30 April 2012

Two Solid Weeks

The month of April saw school holidays and a design challenge. My niece teaches children with special needs, they are very young with many obstacles including being blind, wheelchair bound and autism. The resources she has for these children are very basic and lack imagination. My niece funds her own resources also as the school budget is tight. Over Good Friday lunch we were discussing her obstacles and I offered to sew her up a couple of tactile quilts. The quilts would have a variety of fabrics with a different feel like - velvet, chiffon, netting,silk, polar fleece etc. finding small quantities of lots of different feeling fabrics is hard. My stash is mostly 100% cotton so............ Thank you Homecraft Textiles in Vic Park for supplying remnant bundles for half price.


 It is amazing how much we depend on our vision for texture/pattern in fabrics. Walking around a store with your eyes closed to really feel the texture is another experience. I touch and feel fabrics all the time but with these children in mind it was another dimension to quilting.


Although the photo's don't show the texture these fabrics offer soft, smooth, rough, fluffy etc. the mats are made to go on tables or on their laps each square is cut 7" finished at 6" and yes you can see a flannel as one of the squares. We are hoping to get donations of fabric and lace and wool to make more of these quilts from the families at the school.
I also want to make eye spy quilts for the kids and have many other ideas just waiting for a miracle......
My brother in law very kindly donated a couple of metres of denim to the cause and so with the purchase of some polar fleece I whipped up a couple of rag edge quilts. They are for the kids to lay on outside. I have finished the girls quilt and the boys quilt just needs the binding finished.


Love, love, love rag edge quilts......


Denim backing makes the quilt rather heavy but hard wearing.


Look where I was sitting while sewing on the binding...... Bicton Baths on the Swan River..... Hard huh.


Hubby and brother heading into the Swan River to dive on a wreck
I have also made a couple of touchy squares out of leftover polar fleece and ribbons, the children love the ribbon tassels and will sit fiddling and feeling. I must admit I love running my fingers over the ribbons too.


I also have a couple of touchy activity mats on the design board with pockets and zippers and other goodies, they should be finished soon. I think the hardest part of making the quilts is the variety of fabrics needed.


The blocks in this quilt were originally designed for another reason, as that reason no longer exists I decided to put them together for my niece to hang in her class.
I really hope we get funding and donations to make many more quilts for the kids at he school. For now though I have plenty more sewing and designing to go.