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


When I joined this group 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.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A Month ?

Well I am still trying to work out where the last month has gone. I thought with everyone back at work and school I would ................ Let's just say a whole month has passed since my last post, A LOT has happened and I know I have been flat out but I don't seem to have a lot to show for my time. I have also noticed that a lot of fellow bloggers seem to be posting less at the moment so I guess we are all in the same boat. I have managed to do a bit of sewing this last few weeks, a very small finish and a few ticks on a couple of bigger projects.

 I finished stitching my Tis the Season blocks November last year. I finally chose my fabrics from my stash to sash the blocks, they are all Nancy Halvorsen's from her last three Christmas ranges........

Wow my photo's are a bit on the hmmmmmm side. Anyway you get the idea, I have rehearsed my borders on the design wall, I have tried to be spontaneous with fabric placement but I like to try before I sew......... I now need to buy the fabric for the 1st border and backing.
On to the next........ This little project has been on the go about seven years. Why? I don't know. I started it to try out a technique and moved onto the actual project. Silly thing is I was left with a little project that didn"t need much doing to it and yet it has just sat. The strips used in this where leftovers from another project.

It makes a great cookie barrel mat. My barrel is Australian Pottery made in Queensland and has a very rough bottom, the kids like to slide it on my bench to access it, so I thought the mat might protect my bench surface.
The bright fabrics don't really go with the pottery style but it will do the job for now. It is out of my UFO pile.

I have been dabbling in some knitting lately and chipping away at some of my big projects, I really want to finish some of  these long timers so I can start some newies. Okay focus and finish is my goal for this month, you know how it is, you hit a snag, put it down.......... I think I might knit a bit tonight and choose a project tomorrow......

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Only Little.....

See this little tag. it is part of a bigger picture. I finished the bigger picture for Christmas, but this little tiny simple tag didn't get done. It has been nagging me from my incomplete basket. Whispering not always quietly....... Well it is done. I had completed the stitchery about two years ago, all I had to do was blanket stitch it to the felt and add the ribbon and bells. 

 This is the bigger picture it belongs too. 

A Teddlywinks design.
I know it is only another small one, I have had kids and then husband home on holidays so I have not had the house too myself since the 1st of December 2011. I have now finally got rid of them all and the juices to sew are starting to flow. I have some big ones to finish so here's to March.....

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Does it Count?

It has been hot and humid, not a standard Perth summer. Usually it is just plain hot. My sewing is progressing mostly in the cool of the air conditioner which means hand sewing. I have a finish, I hope it counts for "Sew it's Finished " - it has been sitting in the bottom of my basket for quite awhile, at least six months and all they needed was press studs. Why do we leave the smallest, simplest things so long. Seriously a press stud. Anyway complete are two camera bags..........

I have also had a big win on the hexagon front, I am now down to needing only 23 more flowers to then start putting them together for the Vignette Hexagon Quilt. My hexagon quilt is being made from fabrics used in other quilting projects, my problem now is I have used all the fabric I have so I am now needing to finish projects to create fabrics for this quilt, so it may sit still awhile.

A Few.
And then some more.

I am now back to an applique wall hanging, the last of my hand stitching - I may have to change that. I like to have projects to swap between. It depends on what mood or how tired I am as to what I sit and stitch sooooo......... What to do. I am very heavy on machine projects and need some machine time. First tidy up creative genius........... Kids back at school......... It may come soon.................... 

Sunday, 22 January 2012

My Sewing Birdie.....

My youngest has watched me sew "all" her life. She thinks it's normal that at 4 years of age she draws a picture to be transferred to fabric ( by her Mum ) to then sit and sew after kinder. A stitchery she completed a few years ago surfaced from her craft box needing borders and a binding. During the school year she doesn't have the inclination to sew - homework and other commitments keep her busy however Christmas holidays gives her time and patience to tackle her sewing projects.

A couple of years ago Father Christmas bought her a Brother sewing machine ( I think he knew her Mum is not good at sharing her pride and joy ). She has done a heap of practice over this time to sew straight 1/4 inch seams, and just generally learning her machine.

So it was my great pleasure to show her how to sew borders and a binding on the little long lost stitchery. We used up some left over jelly roll strips and to give her a little challenge we put corner stones in the border. Plus it added the extra bit of colour she wanted.
This holidays has seen me enlarge and trace out six new stitcheries for her. I am a very smiling Mum.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Getting Serious

While avoiding the issue, I was blog hopping, I came across a post mentioning a group the blogger had joined (Was so excited - forgot to take down original bloggers info to give her credit). The blog is "Sew It's Finished 2012". The button is on the left side of my page. Exactly what the Dr ordered. I need to finish some of my to do list before adding new projects. I have got honest with myself and have listed ( I think ) all I have outstanding. Looking over the list *** sigh*** there is a lot of what I call long timers.... This means they require many, many hours of hand stitching and of course only sew many hours in a day. I also have quite a few long termers....... those that have been on my list of half completed a very long time. It will be nice to have the support of the group to see some of these through.
The thought of joining this group has spurred me on to complete a wall hanging quilt that has been in the making nearly six years. My Accuquilt has also been a big help. I received a cutter that does 9 - 2 1/2 squares in one cut , and as this quilt is from scrap sized fabric pieces - this reduced the cutting time by about 3 hours. It took me 10 mins. Oh the bliss. Usually by the time I have finished cutting - my time in my craft space is over and family duties step up, I then have to wait until "next time".

As you can see they are sample sized pieces of fabric, all different sizes. The Accuquilt cuts six layers at a time and doesn't care if they are all odd sizes, I lined them up to get the best I could from the fabric.

This is progress, I am much further on now than when this photo was taken ( 3 days ago ) I have hit a little snag - so am working through it. Plus back to school shopping has to be done.......

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New Arrivals

A box came today, a really big box at 8am......... Addressed to my husband...... I made a phone call. He said "oh good it came in time for your birthday" An early January birthday can have pro's and con's. After much debate I was allowed to open it - More Accuquilt cutting dies and a bag to keep it in - WOOHOO. As if I wasn't still recovering from the shock of my Christmas present.

After tidying my craft room, circling my go cutter too many times to count, finishing my ironing board cover,

Doing a few loads of washing and generally taking the long road, I finally bit the bullet - found some scrap fabric and did my first cut. Like a knife through butter. After all the You Tube tutorials I have watched (thinking - gee they make it look easy) It is that easy. A quick point though -  I will chew through the cutting mats. On a big project, no matter how many times I rotate them I can see the mats needing to be replaced. they are not too expensive as a disposable item and I now understand why they (Accuquilt) say you need a couple of each size on hand.

2 1/2 inch strip - handy for bindings and fall medley. The fall medley die will be used to finish a quilt that has been going for about 6 years - I got stuck with the design plus I have a 2 1/2 inch square multi die to also use in this quilt. All very cool.
I also had a little win at spotlight, Christmas fabrics at $3 a metre. So what is a girl to do? By a metre of each of course. I have no idea what to do with it. I also bought some buttons and gingerbread men appliques  75% off the marked price.

I have also bought some sheet sets to make into doona covers for my boys - it is very hard to get good quality plain covers for teenage boys. A single sheet set sheet is the correct size for a double doona. Boring old straight sewing is needed for this. We have also put up roller blinds on our vast expanse of windows and they are begging for a pelmet box - so this is also on my soon to do list.
Lots of sewing for these holidays...........