Saturday, September 15, 2012

sleepy hollow..and a prize

by sleepy hollow i'm not referring to the lack of posts on my behalf (thanks viv for holding up the side), but of a quilt i've recently finished.

sleepy hollow

in the past year i've got into patchwork in a big way (thanks viv). although what i really enjoy is buying fabric and looking at quilting books, i've finished two quilts (including this one) and have two more that just need binding and labels (not to mention the numerous ufo's i've started just to see how the block looks in certain fabrics).

about two years ago i saw the pattern sheet in spotlight to make this quilt and liked it so much i promptly bought all the matching fabrics. a year later i cut out the pieces and six months after that i put it all together. as usual my lovely aunty joy quilted the layers together. bright stripey binding (my favorite) finished it off perfectly.

when i went into spotlight a couple of weeks ago i noticed they were holding a quilt competition with the conditions being that all quilts entered must be from spotlight fabrics.

last saturday i entered 'sleepy hollow' into the competition and won first prize - this elna sewing machine! i believe one can never have too many sewing machines so this one will go into my collection of six other domestic/industrial/overlock/sewing/coverlock machines. now..just have to work out where to put him...

shiny new machine

Friday, September 14, 2012

plotting and planning

when you get close to the finish line on a project, your mind wanders to the infinite possibilities of the next one. books are studied over breakfast, Ravelry queues updated, yarn and fabric stashes rifled for the current favourite colours and prints, not to mention copious amounts of tea consumed!

a new cardi

a new skirt

 i'm really excited to be joining Manz for a quilt-along that we've been talking about doing for ages. both of us will get to learn new techniques as well as try embroidery and bead details on our project. this week we had the best fun auditioning fabrics, trying to outdo each other with unexpected combinations. the friendly competition gets the best out of you and keeps you on track to finish something, so its all good.

a co-operative project

fabric auditions

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

i'm seeing stars...and triangles!

the caravan quilt is finally finished! Mum commissioned me to make it for her caravan over two years ago and i've worked on it off and on, with most of the work done in the last two months. although black and red is probably my least favourite colour scheme, i actually quite like this quilt. i had free rein to do my usual "mashing" of prints and chose a traditional star pattern to blend all the different fabrics i was given. i think it still looks like my style of quilt even though it's only two colours, and best of all, Mum loves it too.

the caravan quilt

 auntie Joy did the beautiful quilting on her machine with black thread and a ribbon hearts pattern, which suits the quilt perfectly. somehow she just knows what you want! although i used to always hand quilt, i just don't have the time to do it anymore, and i wouldn't want to quilt anything over two metres square! both Levi's quilt and this one are queen bed size, absolute whoppers!

ribbon hearts quilting

while i was "spring cleaning", i found a quilt UFO that i couldn't believe i had packed away without finishing. i love the colours in this top, and am determined to finish it before the end of the year. because it's a lap size, i am thinking of maybe buttoning or tying it. i've hung it up to look at while i decide...

i also noticed more triangles around the house in the form of a current project and a new necklace that Di insisted i get for myself because it's so me! i'll just go with it and enjoy the geometry around my crafty space...

bunting necklace

skirt bunting

Friday, September 7, 2012

little miss sew and sew

wouldn't it be great to be excited about going up a size or two, imagine "hooray, i need a whole new wardrobe!"? when you're a tween it is great to have grown out of all your old things because it means either a big shopping trip (which she hates) or a wander through the fabric shop (not so bad), and for Mum to get busy with the sewing machine (all good).

i suppose i'm quite lucky to have a growing girl who loves homemade handmade things. apparently they are just so much more comfortable, and that's something i keep in mind when i choose fabrics and patterns for her. i've had Girls's World hanging around for a while waiting for the weather to warm up a bit. now that i've finished a spring cardi for Abby, i thought a sleeveless dress would be quite wearable.

new leaf dress

i wouldn't normally use a patchwork cotton for clothing, but the pictures in this book really drew me in. i haven't seen such beautiful prints in dress cottons in my local shops, but patchwork fabric florals abound! i found one on the clearance table in the requisite green and thought i could always re-use it for quilting if it didn't work out.

back view

the fit is spot on and she loves it because its twirly, something you never grow out of! even though the fabric is quite thick, the waist gathers don't add too much extra bulk, and it means a slightly warmer dress, perfect for Spring. hot on the heels of that success, i also whipped up a pair of easy elastic waist PJ pants out of a cute novelty quilting print, using an antique pattern from Mum's stash. i managed to sneak in a bit of leopard print here and she tells me she loves it too. it seems i've created a mini-me!

comfy PJ pants

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

the winds of change

it's funny how the weather can affect the choice of crafty activity and with Spring's changeable conditions it's even more noticeable. lately we've been having all four seasons in a day, but i'm not complaining because it suits my short attention span very well!

on Saturday i was busy making a summery sundress, perfectly suited to the mild sunny day and all the gallivanting around in the garden. the last few days have been blustery with light lashings of hail and sudden downpours of icy rain which had me running back to the comfort of yarn and needles.

silkroad cardi

tea and warm cake

fresh grannies

four seasons in one day? bah! that doesn't get me down. i'm going to do some spring cleaning next, well sort through my UFOs actually, i've heard the weather's fining up by the weekend...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

spring knit and sow

with today being the first day of Spring, i felt rather enthusiastic about pottering around in the garden. the sun was shining and the birds singing etc. so the excitement caught on with Abby as well. we had already dug up the potato crop last weekend, so a bit of light weeding and a sprinkling of lime was all we needed before we could plant some pea seeds under their rather fancy teepee! of course Abs couldn't resist planting some sunflowers along the sunny wall as well as some pansy seedlings i had forgotten about. is there anything nicer than flowers and veges mixed in the same garden bed?

pea teepee

earlier in the week i finished a knitting project (amazing!) that i've been making for Abby. it's a little cropped cardi to wear over dresses and skirts on Sunday on those chilly Spring mornings. it was a free pattern from Lion Brand called the Fresh-Picked Cardigan. i used the yarn recommended (also amazing), called Cotton-Ease in a mauve colour which i purchased from their site. its a cotton and acrylic blend which is soft when knitted in plain stocking stitch, but satisfyingly crunchy in textured stitches. more info is on my Ravelry page (i recommend a look if you intend to knit this pattern because there are problems with it).

blossom cardigan

during the "fashion shoot" i've noticed that there has been a growth spurt over Winter and some Spring dress making is well over due for my little medium girl (yay)!

a new book!