Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mittens and a Winner!

Bronwyn you are the winner of the calendar! Please email me your address so I can get it to you.

The three big girls have been amazing the last 6 weeks. They have helped cook, clean and look after me and their little sister. They all came in asking for fingerless gloves last week and I knew it would be a great thank you present (to go with the extra pocket money and iTunes downloads I have bribed them with).
I showed them the Abra Alba pattern and the gloves I made for myself last year which they loved. So they all searched through my scraps of wool and chose colours.
These are a great pattern, perfect for a first glove pattern and you can easily get a glove done in a night. More details on Ravelry.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

10 Quilty Secrets

I am stuck on the couch under a sick and cross 1 year old today so I thought I would join in and share my 10 Quilty Secrets at 13 Spools. 
1. I love Liberty fabric, but only for clothes. This may change one day when I have a stack of scraps left over from clothes sewing.
2. I use thread from all sorts of brands, quite a bit of it is polyester because that's what I use for sewing bags, toys and clothes.
3. I don't love machine sewn binding and I really enjoy sewing it by hand.
4. I never thought I would love English Paper Piecing, but I am definitely a convert.
5. I admire what skilled long arm quilters can do (and after trying a long arm at Quilt Market I kind of do want one), but I don't like my quilting to be so dense and I really do love to quilt my own quilts and would love to encourage more people to try it.
6. If in doubt slightly wonky straight line quilting works a treat.
7. I have never used a seam ripper. I learnt to sew as a teenager and there was never one in my house, it wasn't until years later I learnt what they were. I use some little scissors when I need to unpick.
8. I think I was slightly overwhelmed seeing all the new fabric at Quilt Market, the only new quilt fabric to enter the house since I got back from my trip is a jelly roll for a specific project. Though I do have plans to buy some Kokka Irome when it is out. (I have bought fabric for clothes, but that stash it different from my quilting stash).
9. I have quite a few quilt books, but my favourites are op shop finds from the 70s and 80s, it you look past some of the colours and fabrics they are wonderfully inspiring.
10. Quilts are meant to be used. If I give you one and it gets worn though being used as a cubby, playmat, picnic rug, being thrown up on and repeatedly washed. I am more than happy to make you another one.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sewing, Knitting, Sorting

I think I have settled on a background for my stars.
Trying to sort out my templates, they are a bit out of control. I can't wait to try out these new Marti Michell templates I bought at market, I have a few of her rulers and love them. It was great to buy some templates from her in person, she is so knowledgeable and helpful.
 I found this wall hook on Etsy. It is perfect for necklaces. Much less tangles now hopefully.
 I can't say I love corrugated ribbing, but I am enjoying seeing these little leaves emerge on my Bunty Mitts.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Snow Drops and Snap Peas Shawl

 I started this shawl when I went to the US in May, but I didn't have much time for relaxing and knitting. I am very envious of people who can knit while on a plane or in a car, but I get motion sickness just thinking about it. So most of this shawl was done in the last two weeks.
I would definitely recommend this pattern for travel knitting or for anyone looking for a simple shawl. The lace is easy to memorise and a lot of this shawl is just stocking stitch.
The rest of the details on Ravelry.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

That Pathwork Place Calendar 2015

Some lovely mail arrived at my place this week - the 2015 That Patchwork Place Calendar.
 I am very excited to have my That 70s Quilt from Strip Savvy featured!
 There are some fantastic quilts featured and the best part is all the instructions for them are in the back.

Martingale kindly sent me an extra copy which I am going to give away to an Australian reader (Australia Post has made international giveaways ridiculously expensive).
Sitting on the couch trying new techniques such as needle turn applique and English paper piecing has made me think about my favourite parts of sewing and quilting so all you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favourite part of quilting or sewing.
I'll draw a winner next Sunday 31st August.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Star #1

It worked and I quite enjoyed it!
Stars #2-#7 ready to sew.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

English Paper Piecing

I figure with all this time on the couch I should try things I don't usually have time for like English paper piecing. It is always something I have admired, but never thought I would try, but Instagram is full of beautiful paper piecing and I finally caved a while ago and bought some supplies from Busy Fingers Patchwork.
I bought the book Liesels Sechsecken Technik after seeing it here in this great post.

It felt so good to put a new pile of fabric together.
 So far so good and quite fun! Now for the hand sewing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pop Spots Shawl

The first time I saw the Pop Spots Shawl pattern I knew I had to make it.  I had wanted to try Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift for ages and my Mum loves blue and green so I just had to choose which blue and green. This was not easy, they have an amazing range of colours to choose from. In the end I went for celtic and admiral navy and I used eesit for the spots.
I was a bit worried about following the instructions to make the spots, but there is a tutorial on the Loop blog and one on YouTube and it really is quite easy.
I loved knitting this pattern and loved the finished shawl. It's not often I really want to knit something twice, but I'd love to make myself a yellow and cream version. More details on ravelry.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Paper Pieced Garden

I have a long list of things I want to sew and quilt when I can get back to my machine. Some paper piecing is near the top of that list!
I gave paper piecing a go last year. It is not a skill that comes naturally to me and I made lots of mistakes, but I really enjoyed and I loved the results.
 It has great instructions for how to paper piece at the start. Each step is explained and accompanied by clear photos. Most of the blocks are the same size so you can mix and match the blocks you want in a quilt. There are a couple of smaller sized one which you could easily add borders to make them the same  size as the larger ones.
The daffodils are just out in my garden so I would love to give the daffodil block a go in some modern fabrics.
The quilts in the book use applique as well as paper piecing. Templates for the applique are included at the back of the book and instructions are given for fusible machine applique.
Not all the blocks are flowers. There are all sorts of things you would find in a garden including a squirrel, birds and cherries.
I love this quilt with mushrooms and leaves.

I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to open the book wide enough and get it flat enough to copy the patterns, but there is a wide enough border around each pattern and I have pressed my book really flat without the spine cracking or falling apart so I don't think it will be a problem.
I'd love to make a sampler quilt that represented my garden and I think the blocks would be perfect to use for smaller projects like oven mitts or in a bag.

Full Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from Martingale free of charge. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Sock Knitter's Handbook

Such perfect timing, a box of wonderful books arrived from Martingale this week, so I have new books to read while I am on the couch.
As I don't have much craft to share with you at the moment I thought I would share my new books.
As I am doing quite a bit of knitting at the moment the first one I went for was The Sock Knitter's Handbook by Beth Parrott and Charlene Schurch. I knit my first sock after reading Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch and I often refer back to it.

This book has all the information about knitting socks in one place. There are descriptions about heels and clear instructions on how to knit them.
Types of toes and why you might want to use different ones. I love that there is information for toe up and toe down.
 I am not knitting socks at the moment, but I just started a pair of fingerless gloves so I just read up on different cast ons and cuffs.
 There is a great tips and hints section at the back and little stitch dictionary and size charts. I really love that it is spiral bound. I think I will be referring to this book a lot and it will be kept in my knitting bag rather than on the bookshelf.

Full Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from Martingale free of charge. All opinions are my own.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Ripple Quilt in Homespun

I'm into my third week on the couch and I have 3 1/2 more weeks to go of putting no weight on my foot. Weeks of craft and TV might sound great in theory, but with a nearly 2 year old it's a bit of a nightmare. So I was a bit excited to get the latest Homespun in the mail yesterday and I sat on the verandah in the sun reading it while Olive played.
Inside is my quilt The Ripple Effect which I made from the loveliest Layer Cake from called Color Me Happy from Moda. I loved this line so much I made a dress from one of the prints.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

My Quilts Are Home!

My quilts from Strip Savvy are home!
The girls have been making piles of their favourites and choosing a new quilt for their bed.