Bee in my bonnet

I'm sure I'm not alone in starting the day with a couple of cups of coffee and some blog browsing. It's a nice, calm way to wake up, and I really enjoy it. The trouble is that quite often I see something that totally derails my plans for the day. Like this wallet. Dammit.My old wallet was looking a bit worse for wear (there's only so much that Scotchgard can protect against) and I had some more Field Study linen that was burning a hole in my stash (that sounds so wrong, somehow). Coupled with the instant downloadability of the PDF pattern and that was that. Again: dammit.I made another one of those timeline mosaic things just to show you how quick this pattern is. It's also extremely well [Read more...]

So, where’s my apple?

I am very excited to be teaching a couple of kids' classes at The Village Haberdashery in the next couple of weeks, one of which is an introduction to machine sewing for ages 10 and up. We will be making a pillowcase (using this brilliant tutorial) - a nice gender-neutral project that includes the excitement of choosing fabric, as well as the more practical aspects like using a (very basic) pattern.Luckily I have my very own 10-year-old to practice on who was more than delighted to be given actual time on my machine and real fabric to play with. Of course, now she wants to make a million other things. I can't imagine where she gets that from.The finished article had to be tested immediately, [Read more...]

teeny tiny teeny tiny

I'm playing along with the fabric ATC swap organised by Ali at Very Berry Handmade. I've been feeling a bit on the uninspired side lately, mostly due to having too much work to do, but a good old rummage around in the Flickr group helped give me the requisite kick up the backside. Finding something small enough to fit the tiny format was tricky - the ATC is only 3.5 x 2.5 inches.The theme is "something new" which got me thinking about babies of all kinds, and especially eggs in a nest. Hence, I made an applique of some eggs in a nest.Sometimes my thought processes are deep. And then sometimes they aren't.

Putting the machine through its paces

I finally (ok, I'm exaggerating a little, but I really had been wanting to make this bag for a while now) got round to making an Aeroplane Bag yesterday. It was one of those perfect situations where the fabric arrived on a day when I actually had some time to sew, and I also happened to have all the other required bits and bobs on hand. Including the British equivalent of Annie's soft and stable, which according to various sources is functionally the same as 3 mm scrim foam used for car upholstery, and easily available for not much money on Ebay. Win.The fabrics are a selection of Field Study linens in the Charisma palette, with these gorgeous feathers for the lining. I added an [Read more...]

ahhh, (semi) instant gratification

I have a feeling that doll's clothes are going to be my new scratch-that-making-itch sewing project. Lucy is going to a birthday party tomorrow for a fellow American Girl doll addict, so I thought it would be nice to make a dress using the pattern that I bought at Market last October. I even broke into the DS stash for some Shelburne Falls.(Speaking of the DS stash, I refolded it all the other day and discovered that I have even more than I thought. Don't know how that happened.)I am *almost* ashamedIt's so much fun making clothes without having to worry about the fit, the possibility of itchy seams or having to sew a zip. As far as I am concerned, all dresses should do up at the back with [Read more...]

Not-at-all-wordless Wednesday – the one with the new machine

I'm in love. With a machine. And it is so quiet and smooth (totally vibration free, in fact) that my husband can't raise an eyebrow (for once, Kelly, your dirty mind is totally justified). I've been putting up with my old Janome for a while now. It was bought fairly recently but was a poorly considered purchase made before I started quilting in earnest. The tension was a bit crappy, there was no automatic thread cutter, it had a tiny throat space, and it was annoyingly "blessed" with a gazillion unnecessary stitches.Enter the spectacular Juki TL-98P - a straight stitch only semi-professional machine that does not mess about. It has adjustable foot pressure and can sew through massive wodges [Read more...]

What do you do when the world goes a little mad?

I don't know about you, but when bad things happen I just want to wrap people up in love and good wishes and hugs. The Boston Marathon bombing is a case in point. Not only was the attack itself a terrifying event, but the lockdown of the whole area during the manhunt must have been beyond awful. The "To Boston With Love" campaign has been organised by the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild with the aim of creating a public exhibition of beautiful handmade flags with messages of love and peace. All the details are available here on the VMQG blog.I will be sending a few, and I'm going to rope the LMQG into it as well. Bunting of love. That's the best kind.

Super Mario cushion

It was Daniel's best friend's birthday last week, and he's a little obsessed (to say the least) with Mario Brothers. He also happens to have parents who appreciate hand made things (woot!!!!) so I decided to make him a Super Mario cushion using Angela's fantastic pattern.My favourite thing about the iron-all-the-teeny-squares-to-interfacing-and-then-sew-them-together method (yes, that's a technical term) is the way the block looks all squished once you have sewn the horizontal seams. See how Mario looks all dumpy and adorable: He does regain his relatively svelte figure when the vertical seams are finished, however, which is probably for the best.I quilted all around each coloured [Read more...]

Thoughtful

Watch out, this is a bit more serious than usual. Sorry about that.While I was at Quiltcon I was overwhelmed by the amazing creativity surrounding me. The quilts, the lectures, the people, the margarita-fuelled discussions. I expected to come home full of ideas about the millions of things I wanted to make, but the strangest thing has happened.I want to make less.I want to sew more meaningful things. Not just to sew for the sake of sewing. To take time, and pay attention, and not be in a hurry to have another thing made and finished and ticked off the list.I've discovered that I have no list.There will always be sewing for babies and weddings and assorted other gift situations. There will [Read more...]

Austin, baby!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!It's HERE!!!!!!!So much quilty inspirationmy baby!!!!I worked a shift as a volunteer and ended up hand stitching the binding to the back of the new MQG banner. It has a perimeter of about 7 metres and there were three of us working on it at once to get it finished in time. Not a bad task, especially because it was quilted by Angela Walters.that's my dress in the foreground, not part of the quiltTomorrow I'm going to a few lectures and doing some shopping. I'm also planning on spending some time communing with the quilts. There's an exhibition of Denyse Schmidt's quilts that I may just stand in for about three hours. While drooling.