Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday stitching... and paying it forward

I love circles and I've been dreaming about making something with lots of different size circles for ages. Last night the moment grabbed me and said "draw some circles, girl!" So I did. And this afternoon I stitched them. I actually only drew the outline of one circle in each set, and then used the first line as a guide for stitching either inside or outside the original circle.

Sorry about the colour of these photos, they look kind of weird, but it was late in the day and obviously the lighting is all wrong. The fabric is actually cream, nearly white. The colours (Perle 8 thread) are orange, a dusky pink, and two shades of green - one a little more blue than the other.
I don't really know what to do with this, so I'll just sit on it for a while (figuratively speaking of course!) I have in mind I may be able to make something for it for my partner for the Modern Swap. So here's hoping it grabs her eye when she sees it on Flickr!

Why has it taken me so long to discover Perle 8 thread? I had heard of it of course, but only used it for the first time at the Prints Charming workshop I went to a few weeks ago. I love it! So nice to stitch with and none of that fiddling around trying to separate the strands of embroidery floss. I only have four colours so far - now there's another thing I will have to start collecting....

Now I need to tell you about a little initiative I'm putting my hand up for and that is "Pay it forward" (in a crafty sense). Thanks to Justine for this! The idea is that three people who comment on this post will each receive a little hand-crafted something especially for them, in the next little while. In turn, you agree to post on your blog the same initiative - that is, inviting commenters to your post and promising to make them something, if they then post on their blog etc etc... This way we all spread a bit of crafty love around (the world - yes, international peeps very welcome!)

And I would love the challenge of making something custom-made especially for you. So - please leave a comment. The first three people will be the winners, but I'll also pick another one at random - so if you're not there in time to be in the first three, don't be discouraged. Feel free to let others know too - the more the merrier! I'll draw the fourth person next weekend (3 July).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday Sewing

Hello, how was your weekend? Hubby was away for the weekend but I still managed to squeeze in some sewing! Hurrah! This is now the third Pleated Tote I've made from Ali Foster's pattern, it really comes together so quickly now. I barely even need to consult the instruction sheet anymore. The longest part is cutting out all the pieces. Or perhaps trying to decide which beautiful fabrics to use.... I finally settled on an Alexander Henry print (Birdsong) for the main part of the bag, and some Amy Butler Floating Roses for the yoke and handle. The handle looks really short from the angle of the photo, but it's not - it's the perfect size to put over your shoulder and still have access to the bag. There is a magnetic snap and a little internal pocket.

This one is for a friend's birthday. I'd so love to keep it for myself! I know she's going to love it.

I've also started putting some thought into what to make for my swap partner for Modern Swappers, and yesterday started doodling with some pretty fabric scraps courtesy of Mr Kaffe, some Moda natural muslin and some fusible, and came up with this inkling of an idea. Not sure yet where it's going to take me but I'm liking it so far.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finishing touches

It's been a holiday this weekend and beautiful weather. Unfortunately the kids haven't been exactly on their best behaviour so we have all been going a bit stir crazy. But anyway.... Did manage to get a couple of projects finished which is always a good thing!!

First off, my Amy Butler Birdie Sling. I have had this pattern for quite a while and the fabric as well (from my stash of Rouenneries), and have over the last few weeks tackled the bag in a few sittings. It came together pretty well, although I did have to use the quick-unpick a few times - mainly due to my failure to read the directions properly.... I added a zip pocket inside and a magnetic snap closure. I love the bag, and would love to do another, but next time I would lose the fusible fleece on the lining. I think one layer of interfacing is enough. There was way too much bulk in the seams around the band which made it tricky to do the final top-stitching.

And now for my second project finish - my first bee blocks for Fresh Modern Bee 2 - string quilt blocks for Scruffycat. This was my first attempt at string blocks and I love them! These were so much fun to do and I love the result. I hope you do too, Amy!

Now off to finish dinner - a roast lamb has been cooking away slowly all afternoon and it smells divine!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Finally - the finished quilt

This quilt made for my hubby's birthday is the quickest finish ever! Took about a week from start to finish (with the start even including thinking "uhhhh, think I'll make a quilt for Craig's birthday next week...."). In the end I was very grateful for my mum's help in sewing on the binding (including hand-stitching). She loves sewing on binding! What can I say?? It isn't my favourite part of the process, and in any case, to keep it a surprise I couldn't really be sitting there at night with hubby happily stitching away on his quilt. Although when I told him this he said he wouldn't have suspected.

The fabrics are mainly from the Simple Abudance line by Bonnie and Camille. The large floral print (which I think is called Mum's Blue) is my favourite and hubby happens to really like it too! I'd used it in a previous quilt and he admired it so much I stored that away for future reference. On the back I used a Robyn Pandolph Christmas print I'd had for about five years, which I thought went really well with the colours of the front, plus a pieced strip - which took waaaaay longer than I thought it was going to....

All-in-all, very happy with how this one turned out! And the best thing is (apart from Craig really appreciating it) that it gets to live with me! :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Stitching with the Prints Charming Girls!

Well I can never resist the call of a beautiful design and some yummy embroidery thread, so yesterday I went to my LQS for a few hours of stitching with the very clever ladies from Prints Charming. Not only do these girls design the most amazing, unique and fun fabrics, the likes of which you are never likely to see replicated by other designers, but they also design beautiful stitchery/embroidery panels with their signature motifs (birds, flowers, leaves, combinations thereof) which you can then embellish to your heart's content.

Love these colours!

It was so much fun seeing everyone's take on the same design - a simple bird pattern, but with everyone's different choices of colour, stitch style, and where on the bird these colours and stitches appeared, they were all so unique.

This is the same bird motif we were stitching - looks fabulous on the natural linen and simply framed

Cath and Kirsten (the brains behind Prints Charming)

The girls also had a lot of their quilts and other goodies on display - which only serves me to wish (again) that there was more than 24 hours in a day. And now those clever people at my LQS spotted an opportunity to suck more people in to start a Prints Charming block of the month program! Arrgghh!! When am I going to get all this done??

If you haven't ever heard of Prints Charming you must go and check out their website right now!! Oh, and they also run screen-printing classes at their studio in Sydney which I would love to do. Cath gave us a quick demo yesterday and it looks super fun and so easy!

In other news, I have been embarassingly absent from the blogosphere recently and it's occurred to me I haven't even posted a photo of the completed quilt I made for my hubby. So I must get onto that. (In case you were wondering, I did go with the natural chambray sashing and it looks great - even if I do say so myself! Thanks to those who offered suggestions!)

Last week I returned to (paid) work for the first time since my youngest was born (20 months ago) - working 3 days a week as that's really all I can manage at the moment with 3 kiddies, of course there will be even less time for sewing :(