Thursday, October 31, 2013

Baby Quilts

A simple quilt made of squares, but so perfect as a quilt or play mat for a new little boy. I love sewing quilts for new babies especially when I know their Mum loves and appreciates handmade.
While I was finding fabrics and cutting squares I thought I should cut enough for a few quilts. I used most of these fabrics for one of the quilts in the book. I really love this colour combination and had saved all the scraps so I could do something with them.
 This top had been waiting to be quilted and bound.
 I love it when I few things get finished as now I can start something new!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pattern Sale

I am having a pattern sale. Until Monday all my patterns in my shop and on Etsy are 20% off! Use code SPRING2013.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

McCalls 6733

All the girls had jumpsuits last summer and they were worn every second day over the summer holidays. I searched for patterns and found a couple of good ones. One of them was McCalls 6733. I made a short version of view D without the pockets in size 8 to test it out. Milly chose some checked seersucker. I realized pretty fast I would never match the checks so I didn't even bother trying.
It is not a difficult pattern, but I would make a few changes next time I made it. The elastic sits a little high for Milly so I would alter the length of the pieces, make the tops longer and the bottom bits shorter. It is a little wide (or too floofy as Milly calls it) so maybe a smaller size, but use this length of the size 8. I think it would be perfect in voile for those really hot summer days.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Kids Clothes Week - Simplicity 2909

Simplicity 2909 is a cute summer dress. Eva chose this red fabric when we were in Spotlight one day and it is perfect for it. I made a size 6 in view B.  The only adjustment I made was shortening the straps and leaving off the ties. I find the girls never keep them tied and they just hang on the ground or get caught up in things.
I'm not sure what happened with the front insert piece, it is quite large and I didn't need to gather the front at all. I need to check my tracing, or just cut the bottom of the insert piece thinner if I make it again.
Other then that it was pretty straight forward and a nice little pattern. I think it is out of print now. I found a copy on eBay. 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kids Clothes Week Days 5 and 6 - Shorts

One thing my children are really fussy about is shorts. I have tried  few different patterns and they have rarely been worn which is really annoying as they are really quick and easy to make and don't use much fabric.
I downloaded the Summer Sailor Shorts pattern last year and thought I would try it in red spots. I left off the cuff and all the extras. It doesn't look it in the photo, but it is quite wide at the bottom and the girls thought it was too much like a skirt, but it is a nice pattern that fits together quite well.
Last week I discovered the Kids Shorts by Dana Made It. I used some left over patchwork fabric. All the girls loved the fit of these and they took no time at all to make. There was no extra waistband piece which I love when making kids shorts.  There are so many ways to change these and turn them into racer shorts or add pockets and trims. I think this pattern is a winner and has a huge range of sizes - 12m - 10yrs.
 I also tried a shorts pattern from this Japanese Book. I used some red linen/cotton blend. They have a separate waistband piece and bands around the lower legs. I didn't expect anyone to want them, but Grace really liked them. I made her a black and white Banyan t-shirt to go with it which was a winner and think I'll be making quite a few more of these.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Kids Clothes Week - Day 4

This is one of those projects which didn't quite work out as well as I thought it would. I have been sewing when Olive has a sleep and the girls are at school, or late at night when they are all asleep, so I can't try on things as I go. I really should have made the bodice and fitted it properly before I did all the rest. As a result it is huge. I think I will have a go at taking in the side seams. If I make it again I will cut a smaller size, but keep it the same length.
I used cotton/elastane in four different colours which is quite thick and stretchy. You are meant to use binding around the sleeves and the neck, but I had some green fold over elastic. It was great in theory, but I didn't stretch it enough as I sewed and it has stretched the neckline way out and my sewing was really wavy, so it looks terrible up close.
The girls still like it and I imagine it will be very comfortable for them to wear.

The pattern is from Ottobre 4/2013.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Burda 9469

Kids Clothes Week - Day 3
The majority of these dresses were done a few weeks ago, but the purple one needed the straps and the ruffle at the bottom finished.

When I think of a sundress I imagine a dress that is long and floaty, perfect for really hot weather, exactly like Burda 9469. It is quite a straight forward pattern, nothing too tricky. Ruffles seem to take me forever so that is why the last one sat unfinished until yesterday.
 It took my years to get the courage to try shirring, but once you try it your realize it is not that hard and I actually quite enjoy it.
 Both girls loved them, anything a bit twirly is always a winner.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kids Clothes Week - Day 2

Eva's calling this her Space Girl dress. She was so excited when she found this in my stash and she has been asking every day if I have made a dress for her. She was very excited to come home yesterday and find it ready for her to wear.
 I only had 1m of this and it is a directional print so I needed to find a simple pattern. I used a pattern from this new to me Japanese dress book. ISBN 978-4-309-28129-2. I made size 120, which is the largest size.
 This pattern is a quite simple design with a bodice and skirt, with one difference. The skirt has rectangles with wedges added at the size. It gives it a great shape.
 I made a couple of changes to the bodice. I didn't use facings, but lined it and made the back pieces wider and overlapped them in the middle. I found two big yellow buttons in my stash.
The wedge on the side.
 A really great simple dress that probably took me about an hour to make. Eva gave it two thumbs up.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kids Clothes Week - Simplicity 2689

Kids Clothes Week - Day 1
There is a blue top in the girl's wardrobe they both love. It is made of voile and so soft and floaty. I thought Simplicity 2689 was quite similar to it and Milly said she would love it in a red strawberry fabric and then Grace could have the blue one (they always seem to work things out, one gets first choice of something and then next time the other one gets first choice).
 It was a pretty straight forward pattern and didn't take long. I followed the instructions, but next time I would make it a little differently. There is bias binding around the arms, but as it is lined there is really no need, I would sew it up differently to not use it. I would also not use interfacing, it made it a little stiff when it is meant to be very loose and floaty.
Milly loves it and I really like how it doesn't need buttons or a zip and easily fits over her head. I made a size 8 which is the smallest in the pattern I bought. It goes up to size 16, so I think it will get a lot of use in the future.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Martingale Catalogue

The Martingale catalogue arrived in my mail box with four of the quilts from my book on the front cover!
I checked the Martingale website and you can now sneak a peak at all of the quilts here.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kids Clothes Week Preparation

 I had  couple of hours to myself this weekend so I prepped for Kids Clothes Week. I managed to get most of the pattern tracing done while Olive was asleep this week so I madly cut a few things out. I'm definitely being over ambitious, but the majority of things I am planning on making are very simple and hopefully won't take that long.
I quilted the simple square quilt I made the other day and while I was making binding I made some for a couple of other quilts that have been patiently waiting for some. Now to find something good to watch while I hand sew the binding down.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Asterisk mini quilt

Paper piecing and a little improv. The perfect combination.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Asterisk Blocks

Two more asterisk blocks. One printed at 75% and the other at 50%. I really thought as I printed it out that the little one would just be too small, but it was the easiest to make.
 I really would like to keep making them and have enough for a big quilt, but I really need to sew clothes for the girls and finish some other things. So I think I will make a mini quilt to add to my mini quilt wall.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Paper Piecing

I've always admired people who paper piece intricate and interesting designs, but have never felt the need to try it, until the other day. I started with the Asterisk block from Penny of Sew Take A Hike.
I probably should have watched a few how-tos on YouTube before I started. It might have lessened the swearing and unpicking, but I can see how it gets easier the more you practise.
I have plans for more. I have plans for paper pieced teapots. I think I could become addicted.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Simple Squares

Sometimes simple squares are perfect. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Yellow, Patterns and Quilt Pieces.

Some random crafty pictures and thoughts:
Yellow is one of those tricky colours. I would never say it is my favourite, but there is a shade or two that I love. As much as I love Bendigo wool I don't love there yellows, so I was pretty happy when this caught my eye while wandering through Spotlight the other day. 
 It is kids clothes week next week. I think I will join in. The girls picked some patterns last night and we made some fabric piles. We are still wearing jeans and jumpers here so it has been hard to think about summer clothes, but the weather has to warm up eventually.
Cutting quilt pieces isn't my favourite part, but I spent a few hours doing it over the weekend. People often ask me where I get time to sew, this is one way I get things done. I get lots of cutting and organizing done when I have big blocks of time and then I use the 5 minutes I have spare here and there to sew. I know I am lucky to able to leave my sewing machine all set up so when I have time I sew a strip of blocks together or a heap of dolls legs. Pretty soon I can have a little quilt top done or a few toys made.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Chocolate Chews

There has been a lot of baking these school holidays and I think I have made Chocolate Chews every second day. We grew up on this, I think many people in Australia my age grew up on this. We always called it Chocolate Chews, but I know others called it Weetbix Slice or just Chocolate Slice. It is so quick to make and so quick to disappear, which is why I haven't got a good picture of it, but I'm sure you can all imagine a brown slice sprinkled with coconut.

3 wheatbix or a cup of cornflakes
1 cup SR flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
splash of vanilla essence
1/2 cup caster sugar
150g melted butter
2-3 tablespoons cocoa

Mix all the ingredients together.
Press into a buttered slice try and cook for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees.
Ice while warm with chocolate icing.

The happy little chickens are laying madly at the moment. Our biggest egg so far has been 102g. Ouch poor little chicken.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Strip Savvy

I'm just a little bit excited to tell you that I wrote a book! It is not out until January, but it finally feels very real after seeing it on the Martingale website and seeing it for pre-order it on Amazon.

Here's a little bit about it:

This exciting collection features fresh, bright designs inspired by traditional blocks, as well as a few all-new block designs. Discover a wide variety of patterns for everyone from novices to experts--at a terrific value.
  • Use convenient precut 2 1/2" strips or dive into your stash--and create a quilt that's uniquely your own
  • Select from 18 fun projects and try new techniques such as flying geese, half-square triangles, triangle corners, chain piecing, and strip piecing
  • Enhance your quilt design by making clever use of leftover strips in pieced borders and scrappy bindings
It has been such a huge year. I signed the contract in hospital after having Olive, but we managed (just - I may be forgetting just how crazy that first six months was) and I am so excited to finally share what I have been working on!