Monday, August 30, 2010

Nearly Spring

A few nice days has me thinking about summer clothes for the girls. I bought this pattern from Amy and some fabric from The Fat Quarter Shop and then discovered that Amy and Sew, Mama, Sew are hosting a sew-a-long. Think I will join in. Eva chose the apple fabric and the big girls wanted the same fabric, but in different colours and chose the mushrooms.
Upmarket is less than two weeks away and with the weather changing I thought I would make some hats for children and some for adults.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fat Quarter Baby Quilt Tutorial

A quick and easy baby, cot or lap quilt tutorial.

Finished Size
86 x 107 cm (34 x 42 inches)

You will need:
6 fat quarters (a fat quarter is 22 x 18 inches)
1.5m (1 2/3 yard) backing and binding
107 x 127cm (42 x 50 inches) batting

sewing machine
rotary cutters, rulers and mat

1. Choose 6 fat quarters
2. Cut each fat quarter as shown in the diagram below below.

3. Put the 14 1/2 x 2 1/2 rectangles away for the moment and organise the rest into 6 piles. Each pile will need one 10 1/2 square, one rectangle 10 1/2 x 5 1/2 and two rectangles 5 1/2 x 6 1/2. Make sure you use 4 different fabrics in each block.

4. Take one pile of fabrics and sew the smaller rectangles together along the longer edge. Press (you can either press the seams open or to one side).
5. Sew the big rectangle to the top and the square to the bottom. Press. Repeat for the other 5 blocks.
6. Arrange the 5 blocks into 3 columns. The blocks in the middle row are upside down. When you are happy with the arrangement sew each column together.
7. Take the 6 rectangles 14 1/2 x 2 1/2 you put aside at the start and sew together in 2 strips of 3 as follows.
8. Sew the two strips between the columns.

9. Place the backing right side down on the floor and the batting on top at one end of the backing. Place the quilt top right side up on top. Baste.

10. I quilted in horizontal and vertical straight lines, between about 2 and 5 inches apart.
11. Trim away the excess batting and backing (leaving a little bit showing). From the excess backing fabric cut four strips along the width of the fabric 2 1/2 inches wide. Remove the selvedges and sew the strips together. Press in half wrong sides together down the length. Sew the binding to the front of the quilt, mitring the corners. Fold the binding to the back and stitch in place.
I haven't written a detailed tutorial of the binding process as they are already some great ones around. Here is a great one I saw the other day. If you google quilt binding tutorial you will find lots of great ones.
If you do make one I would love to see it. You can add it to the flickr group here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fat Quarter Baby Quilt

A new baby quilt made with 6 fat quarters. I'm writing a tutorial and should have it up soon.

Evie's thought process before she goes outside:
1. Finish vegemite sandwich - check
2. Put on socks, won't need gumboots - check
3. Wonder Woman dress - check
4. Piggy puppet - check
5. Time to run!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Quilt, Some Fabric and Cinnamon Scrolls

I nearly squealed in the post office yesterday when I saw who this parcel was from as I knew exactly what was inside it. This gorgeous doll quilt from Mel. Linen, liberty and hand quilting, 3 of my favourite things. Thanks Mel!
Thanks Kate for organising such a great swap. Pictures of all the quilts from the swap can be found here.
Some bargains I found in Spotlight the other day, all were between $4 and $8 a metre. Perfect for some summer skirts and dresses for the girls.
I saw this recipe yesterday from Mel and Evie and I whipped up a batch this morning. So easy and so delicious.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Choc Chip Cookies

The first recipe book I pull out of the bookshelf when I need to make something sweet is Donna Hay Modern Classics 2. The can usually find something I need, they are never overly difficult and when you follow the instructions (something I am not too good at) they work and taste delicious. I think this is my favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
125g butter
vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup dessicated coconut
200g dark choc chips
Beat the butter, vanilla and sugar. Mix in the egg then the flour, baking powder, coconut and chocolate.
Roll into little balls and put on a baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes.
Simplicity 3775 #3 - This time in grey. I cut the the band in half and did not do the ruching and just added some length to make up for sortening the band. I really should have tried it on while I was making it and made a few more adjustments, but it fits and is extremely comfortable.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dressed in Green

The girls have been to watch democracy in progress this morning all dressed in green.

Friday, August 20, 2010

In the Garden

It has been nice to see bulbs popping up all over the garden this year. Under the walnut trees there have been jonquils, daddodils and snowdrops. There are also lots of nasturtiums which I know a lot of people are not fond of as they are a bit like a weed, but I love them. They remind me of the back of my grandfathers garden which was full of them and when we were little they seemed so big and I loved those orange flowers.
Evie and I went to the nursery yesterday and bought some new seedlings and herbs for the vegetable patch so we will be planting this weekend.
Evie has been having nice day sleeps the past week and I have been power sewing. Trying to get ready for markets, sew for presents and for new babies. I am trying to get a good amount of toys sewn so I don't end up in a big panic like I usually do the week before a market.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pumpkin Cannelloni

I made pumpkin canelloni last night. I thought it was delicious, Evie wouldn't even try it and everyone else tried it and ate a little bit. Oh well that means there is left overs for me tonight. Not sure what everyone else is having

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Renaissance Garden Quilt

The sun came out briefly today and I managed some pictures of my quilt. I used a grey solid as the background for this which I wasn't sure about when I cut it out (too much like my old school uniform) but it has grown on me and I like the contrast with the bright fabrics.

I used a grey and white spot for the back, but I did not have quite enough so I added strips of 3 different fabrics to half of the back.
I first made this pattern for my Mum, but hadn't shown it on my blog as I wanted to surprise her. I used fat quarters of French General Rouenneries. She loves it. I knew she would - this fabric seems like it was made just for her. I love it too - I really love the shades of red - and I would have loved to keep it for myself.

I quilted both of these with straight lines which I really enjoyed doing and think it is perfect for this pattern.

I used 4 yards of diferent fabrics for the back and added a patchwork strip made from left over fabrics from the front.
The pattern is now available here or here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cot Quilts and Yarn

I thought we might all be over our colds for this winter, but no such luck we all seem to have another one. So there has been a bit of time at home to sew.
Some cot quilts I finished last week from packs of charm squares which I wil be popping in the shop today.

I haven't found much time for dyeing recently, but I will put the little bit I have managed in the shop today.

I finished the binding on this last night and hopefully the wind will go away soon so I can go outside to take some pictures of it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sun Hat

I have been playing around with hat patterns today. I made one similar about 18 months ago and have been meaning to alter the pattern ever since so I finally got around to it today. It is still needing a few changes, but this is an improvement.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Little Dogs

I discovered yesterday I am nearly at the end of stash of chocolate brown wool flannel. I have plenty of the paler brown but I think I have enough to make 2 more dark brown dogs. I haven't managed to find anything nice and soft on my travels (that is not too expensive). The wool at Spotlight this year is no substitute. Does anyone have a good source for wool flannel fabric?
This little dog and a friend are in the shop.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


My finished doll quilt. I really enjoyed making this and trying a few new things. I rarely use needleturn applique and never hand quilt, but I will definitely be doing more of both. Good Mail - I won a giveaway from the lovely Suse - one of her waterproof pouch kits. Red shoes - I found these at Target last week and could not resist even though they are not leather (so if you see me wearing them in summer don't come to close).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Excuse the out of focus pictures.
I think I am a convert to hand quilting with perle cotton. It just needs some binding and it is done.

Machine quilting - lots of straight line quilting and still lots more to do.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Chicken Top

This is still my favourite Ottobre pattern. I made a few a couple of years ago and they were worn a lot. So here is a new one for Eva made from some fantastic chicken fabric I found at Spotlight (in the quilting section).

The only sensible picture I managed to take was of the back.

Love the red flower buttons
They came from a big pack of buttons I bought at Spotlight. Not the best quality, but they are great for children's clothes. They are also excellent for children to sort, group, pair, learn colours etc. A pack of buttons can keep a child very happy while I am sewing them some clothes.