Friday, 31 January 2014

Sewing machine cover

So you remember I was whipping up a machine cover & mat for my sewing room?  Yeah that was a few months ago...

I had the cover all done and the binding sewn on the front, but I needed to sort out ties and I was avoiding the fabric shop so that delayed my plan. 

I was trying to resist temptation, and so was just physically keeping my distant from the place with the fabric. Have you seen my fabric addiction!! This was a justified strategy. But I had to go there to pick up some supplies for Christmas and so snuck some ribbon into my cart (I just love the satin texture for ties and binding). It still took me a little while to get to it (Christmas themed items took priority) but I finally finished off my sewing machine cover.

I had a tiny issue attaching the ribbon, just because I hadn't secured them before I tried to attach the binding, so when I was sewing the back side down I found a couple of the ribbons slipped out. I did some more scetchy seams in various colours - I tried to make it seem intentional... I actually really liek this, so might try this again.  It was my first try at doing all the binding by machine. Normally I machine stitch one side and then hand stitch the other so my seams are hidden.
Yeah, my seams are a bit wonky, so hidden is better. But wonky and sketchy seams are a great combination, in my humble opinion.  So yes.  Will do this method again.

Did I mention that the cover is double sided!! I feel pretty awesome about the cleverness of me right now ;-)
While I was at it I did the quilting on the mat (I did the piecing way back when) and added the binding straight away. That's a first for me. 

Quilting the cover I had an issue with it disturbing the line of the piecing. I ended up with very wonky patchwork. But with the mat I was fine! I don't know if it's that I wasn't running across the line as much, or if it was just that I was focused on it, so I kept pulling it to try and keep it straight, or if I was just calmer and slower (which I have heard can be a contributing factor). There are still sections that are a bit wibbly wobbly but I'm much happier with the finish on this.

So that's my little set! Took a little time, but I'm really happy with it. My sewing table now has some pretty decor. I'm actually inspired to make some more coordinating pieces. But I'll see if that inspiration goes any further before I blog about it ;-)
It's a bit much all together, isn't it.  The reverse side is calmer and is what I have visible on the table in real life.

And this is my first project to get linked in to making for me! I'm pretty excited!!!! Not only that, but this is the first TWO things on my finish-a-long list!! Yeah, I cheated. These were so close to finished that they probably shouldn't have been on the list at all.  But they have been sitting around for months!!

How are you all going with your selfish sewing? Have you started something? Mid way through? Re-discovering a lost treasure?  I just want us to be greedy and enjoy some indulgent private pleasure (does that sound dirty? I didn't mean it to, I swear!)

Talk to you soon!

E xx

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Super quick update

I am once again having issues with my camera.

I have been sticking to my New Years resolution to take proper photos with my proper cameras, but you know what? These darn things are refusing to communicate to my computer. I have even fluttered my eyelashes at my IT guy at work to help me, but it's a write off at the moment. I need to order in a fancy pants something to overcome this obstacle.

I promise I am sewing, but I have no photos, so you'll just have to trust me that everything I'm making is GORGEOUS!!  I just haven't done any blogging about anything, because what's a blog post without photos??

No, really! I am sewing! What's hilarious to me about it is that I have three things I gave myself as goals to get finished by March: the Radiant Orchid challenge, the Penny Patch and my Caprenters Wheel. You know what I've worked on? None of those :-) I have my Radiant spread across the couch. The Penny Patch still in pieces on my cutting table and I don't know where I've put the Carpenters Wheel! Oi vey! Maybe I can re-prioritise these for next weekend...

So I'll slip away and tell you about the sewing another day, when I can actually show it off, and I'll leave you with a iPad photo (which I promised not to use on the blog anymore, but it's technologies fault, not mine!) of my little weekend make.

Just a little pouch, with some random pink fat quarter. It's my practice case for teaching my friends some sewing techniques. It's an odd shape, but I'm claiming success :-)

Happy Sunday!

E xx

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Teaching others

Good afternoon!! I hope we all had a wonderful weekend! Yes I know it's Tuesday, but it was a long weekend here in Aus, so I had yesterday off and am still in the weekend spirit.

Do you remember how I made those cute little sewing kits for Christmas presents?

Well I think I said at the time, that I have never had a present so well received.  The girls seemed genuinely excited to try this new crafty endeavour.  However, neither of the girls had really done any sewing before, and asked begged suggested that I host a sewing day and they could learn how to make themselves a quilt.

Well, yesterday, I cleared some space in my sewing room and Emma and I got to stitching.

The trick, of course, being... I don't really know what I'm doing with paper piecing...  I've only ever made 1 thing, and that took me forever and I honestly have no idea if I was doing it right.  So there's a very good chance I have taught Emma completely the wrong things

I was thinking pillow cases (cushion sized pillow cases) as something fun, and bright and achievable.  Emma wants to make herself a quilt. Yay that I have brought another into the quilting fold (I feel like I'm leading them to the dark side or something when I say this - Come with me, little girl... You will loooove it... Pretty fabric for a pretty girl...*creepy grin and twiddling of witchy fingers )

Come closer to the fabric... Touch it, my pretty.
So yes, very exciting that they want to play fabric with me, but oh, my, have I set the expectations too high???  I mean a hand sewn hexagon quilt for your first ever foray into sewing... :-/

Emma was my first experiment with teaching quilting (Kerry was spending time with her hubby, so missed out. She's already made me book in another day for her to do the sewing too).  Em brought all her supplies and we went through some options.  Flowers. Lines. Random patchy sewy goodness... She chose the later.  We talked about how the whole process comes together, from cutting to stitching, basting, quilting and binding. I was pulling things out my WIP pile to show her what things looked like at various stages... I definitely overwhelmed her.

Then we went right back to the beginning. Cutting and basting a hexagon.

I chose to keep it simple and go with glue basting.  I know that basting-basting is cool, but I wanted her to be able to do this at home by herself, so simple and then if she wants to do fancy stuff later she can.

Next: How to sew a whipstitch.  I don't think I did as well explaining this step.  It's a bit confusing, and the only way to really get it, is to keep doing it and then, before you know it, you have pretty little invisible stitches.

Emma and I happily pottered away for the afternoon.  In her sewing kit I had given her big scissors for cutting her fabric, but to make sure she had the supplies she needed and didn't get bored when I sent her home, I used my rotary cutter to make some 5" squares and then started basting them while she sewed.  I figure once she is hooked on her project the cutting and basting won't be a problem, but if I made her spend an hour cutting out fabric and then basting cardboard, she may abandon this hobby before it's even started.

I didn't take any photos of the basted hexies, but this is the colour palette and Em is very excited about her rainbow quilt. 

So excited that she came in to work today and told me that she got home and kept right on stitching!  She is soooooo excited that she told me that she already knows what her plan is for her next quilt :-) I love it!! I will spread this quilting bug until everyone I know is infected :-P
Funny story... Emma was stitching her hexies together in front of her partner and he looked at them and said "it doesn't look like it'll be very comfortable. Do we really want a blanket made out of cardboard?" Hee hee hee. He thought we were going to sew all the cardboard in and make him sleep under it. I shouldn't laugh. But I think it's adorable.
Happy stitching everybody!
E xx
By the way!!  Did I ever tell you, that I won a prize for these sewing kits!!  I entered them in to a competition over at kelliotmagic and my name came out of the hat!!  I never win things!!  So to get this gorgeous bundle of Joel Dewberry makes my heart sing :-) There are some seriously gorgeous prints in this line.  And such yummy purples.  I have no idea what to make with it, but I don't want to put it away! Thanks, Kelly!!
Photo from  kelliotmagic

Friday, 17 January 2014

Radiant Orchid

I gave you a hint yesterday that I was going to enter the Radiant Orchid challenge.

As a little background, before we get into the true purpose of the post, I want to let you know that I have a true love of purple. I have yet to let this love out in the realms of fabric, because I have not had any place to put the pretty purples. But it is real. It is true. And it needs to be told to the world. So this challenge is basically written for me.  You know, if you forget about the part where I actually have to finish something... But back to the story!

Pantone (who are apparently some kind of important colour people) have this thing where they nominate a colour of the year. And guess what 2014 is!!

It's the year of Radiant Orchid!! 
2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid

So I am entering the challenge over at Play Crafts and On the Windy Side to make myself a purple something something. Wanna come play too??  I know you do!! I have been reading all your comments saying how tempted you are... Do it... Join us on the dark side...

             There are 3 categories:
            - Minis: Longest side under 30″. Pillows, table runners, place mats, mug rugs, etc. will count as minis.
            - Quilts: any size from baby to bed (shortest side must be at least 30”).
          - Just the Top: any size from baby to bed (shortest side must be at least 30”).
           Entries will be open from March 14 – March 21 2014.
                                                       FYI - All items must be started in 2014 to be eligible.
I can't wait for yummy plums and violets to pop up all over the interwebs.
I snuck into my sewing room over the weekend and pulled all my purple fabric off the shelf. I had no idea what I was going to make. I had no idea what patterns I had or what fabrics I could mix together. I initially pulled a mix of Simply Colour and Simply Style by V & Co and some yummy creams and was preparing to cut. Still without an idea of what I was going to make of course! 

Now this stack is still sitting on my table. Literally. I haven't moved it. Because I had some purple solids that I couldn't resist. I have no idea why, but I just felt happier cutting into this. I wanted a little texture so I grabbed a fat quarter I had laying around and cut it up too. I've even started sewing them together.

Any guesses what I'm making? Those of you who saw it in person are not allowed to guess :-P
I have until March to finish it, so I'm going to try and keep working on this in the hopes of showing you comething that is actually complete! I have visions of hand quilting, but that might disappear, it depends how long I take to get this put together.  I want to try to enter it into the fullsize finished category, so I'm pushing myself a bit.
I think that I may not have quite the right shade of purple either.  My purple is more purple-y and violet, but the purple for the challenge is really heading towards fuchisa... I ahven't decided if this makes me inelligable or if it doesn't matter.  And either way, maybe I want to grab that stack of slightly more "Radiant Orchid"y fabrics that's still sitting on my table and whip up a mini with those!!!   I have two months!! I can work all kinds of magic!*
E xx
*Note that over the last 18 months, I have not completed a single quilt.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

FAL 2014 - Quarter 1 list

Ok, I have succumbed. I have watched all the lists being written and seen the prizes being offered and I just couldn't help it! You've got to be in it to win it, right! And I have so many WIPs hanging about from last year...

Finish Along 2014

This quarter I want to:

*Finish my sewing machine cover
*... And matching mat...

*Create (and finish) something for the Radiant Orchid challenge. (Come back tomorrow, to see what I've pulled.)

*I want to finish my Carpenters Wheel.

*Finish my Penny Patch

I do have a thousand other things I want to work on, and a bajillion things I want to start, but I think 5 is a pretty reasonable challenge (particularly since three of those need quilting and binding...)

Wish me luck!

E xx

While I'm here I'm going to link to Lee and WIP Wednesday... even though it's Thursday :-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Making for me

One of the things that got mentioned in the comments from my New Years post was that a lot of us are over committing and trying to rush through our projects. Often to satisfy someone else.

I though it might be nice to host a monthly link up of something you've made for you. In accordance with the no rush philosophy, you can be mid way through your project, but it has to be something you're sewing just because you want to.

So on the 12th of every month, the Making For Me link will be up. 

(I've desperately tried to make this a button, but it just wouldn't work. I'll keep trying for next month!!)

Now I'm doing this on Aussie time (and Qld time for you odd bodies with daylight savings :-D). I'll try and open it up first thing in the morning and leave it open for 48 hours. With luck, that will give you time to add your link in. 

I wish I could offer prizes and whatnot, but I don't have the resources. Hopefully being able to intentionally sew something for yourself will be reward enough!

So here, goes: the first ever Lazy Quilter link up.

Now I don't expect that there will be a thousand links today, as I really didn't give you any notice. But this will be here next month (and the month after that, and the month after that, and the month after that...) so take your time. Enjoy your sewing!!! And get ready to see some perfectly selfish sewing :-D

E xx

Friday, 10 January 2014

Testing your resolve

Not really.  Actually encouraging your resolve!

I tired to be very sneaky and include a give away in my New Years post. I just wanted to give you all a great big thank you for putting your hand up and sharing your resolutions for this year, so I have a prize to give away.

I used the Random number generator and the winner is.....

Rachel is just the sweetest thing.  She blogs over at Piece At Last and I think we may have found each other via the Penny Patch quilt-a-long. Her Penny Patch is so beautiful. I kind of want it for myself.
Penny Patch by Rachel of Piece At Last
Look at those pretty pinks and purples.  How can you not love orange when you have this before you!!! Although I think it's those yummy plummy purples that are what really do it for me. Rachel has such a lovely eye for colour.  Head over, you won't be disappointed.

So for the delightful Miss Rachel, I would like to give the gift we all want the most: Fabric. Rachel is over in America, so rather than me purchase fabric from America, have it shipped to Australia, me package it up, and then send it back, I thought I'd keep it simple and have it shipped straight to her.  I did toy with the idea of purchasing fabric and shipping it to her, but Rachel has makes good colour choices that I don't want to mess with that :-)

So a gift certificate from Christa Quilts is on it's way to Rachel.  Best part about this certificate is that it's free shipping for US orders! So the joy of new fabric, at no cost!! Also, there are some serious specials going on over there.  Just in case you were interested...


I have to say, guys, I was really blown away by the response to my New Years post.  With 19 comments, I had the highest response to any post ever, and I am so grateful for you all reading my waffle and getting on board.  Not only that, but some new people decided to stick around and listen to me waffle more!! Thanks guys!!!!!  (picture me waving like a crazy lady over here.)

I have read all the comments (I haven't replied because I didn't want to mess with the number calculator thingy) and it's cool to see how many people are thinking the same way I am.  I have some plans to put in to action on the back of some of those resolutions guys, so be prepared!!

There are a couple that I am not going to talk about here on the blog -

Excersize.  My theory is - be fat and happy.  My laziness extends beyond the quilting realm.  I am not an excersize person. I wish I could be, but it just doesn't feel like fun.  And it's time I could be sewing or cooking, or sleeping... So excersize is not on my to do list this year.  I wanted to spread the love and direct you guys to an blog who is excersize focused, but I don't follow anything like that, so, sorry, you'll have to find inspiration on your own.

Sewing with Scraps.  Here I can help you!! I have two blogs that I follow who are doing fantastic things with scraps. The first is Cheryl Arkison at the Dining Room Empire (or if you're searching in your e-reader Naptime Quilter).  Cheryl has written two books and does lovely things with scraps.  Sarah at Mila & Cuatro is doing a great series on sewing with scraps.  She is making all kinds of cool things - from wrist bands and epaulets to gift wrap and hair bands.  The range of scrap related goodness just keeps going and going.

Fabric Fast.  Pfft. I am clearly not on that bandwagon. Considering I couldn't even buy Rachel's gift certificate without adding some fabric to my cart...  Seriously!! The specials are goooood. But a couple of you said that you were trying to work from stash and buy no fabric and if this is for you, then you might be interested in Rebecca Lynne's Fabricholics Anonymous.  It's a 6 month fabric fast (with the option of some wiggle room). 

And of course, WIPS.  Where would we be without WIPs.  As there are already a few link ups to help us tackle these I'm going to leave it well enough alone.

But there are a couple that I am going to try to discuss...

E xx

Wednesday, 8 January 2014


The lovely Jess, over at Quilty Habit, is hosting a Sewing with Certainty series.  She wrote an interesting post today about inspiration and creating our own designs and I want to get on that band wagon.

So, how do I figure out what I'm making? Where does my inspiration come from??

Well, first thing is probably the fabric itself.  I sometimes have no idea what I'm buying it for, and sometimes know exactly what it should look like when I'm done, but my quilt choices are often dictated by my fabric.

Can't you just see these as big plusses??? It's going to be so yummy!

I take a lot of photographs. I take photos of trees, of patterns, of interesting textures.  I am still a little scared to try and translate most of these into fabric, but it's sitting in my brain, just waiting for my skills to catch up.

The place that I probably get the most ideas is Pintrest. I LOVE Pintrest.  I can spend hours on there just scrolling through the pretty.  It does feed nicely into my other random obessions - I have Sherlock and Harry Potter boards.  Don't judge!! It's still mostly sewing!

My Carpenters Wheel quilt is purely a product of Pinterst inspiration.

And I have just invested in some graph paper. Yes, that $3 was an investment.  As were the super cheap coloured pencils.

And I can't forget the blogs I follow! So much of what everyone is making is so inspirationinal.  I would never have made my Swoon without the blogosphere. And I am determined to make this this year:
Sherlock Quilt - Designed by Anne at Play-Crafts
Anne, over at Play-Crafts made it...  This will be made.  And it will be my new TV blanket.  Ashley has said no, but who does he think he's kidding.  This is absolutely going in my house.  (Assuming Anne is ok with me stealing her picture and her idea).

So that's where I get my inspiration from, and how I pretend to be a quilt deisnger!!

What about you?? How do you come up with all your genius plans???

E xx

Friday, 3 January 2014

Finally - MY Santa sack

So you've seen the boys awesome Santa Sacks. You saw Henry and Lucy's puppy sized Santa sacks.  I even did Santa sacks for my Mum & Dad!!  Surely it was my turn now!!!!!!!

It was Christmas Eve Eve (so 23 December) and I decided to just do it! I was not going another year without my own Santa Sack.

I knew what I wanted. I wanted whimsy.  I wanted sparkle.  I wanted Christmas-in-a-can!!!!

I started with a mini panel from all that Christmas fabric, that I had intended to make a quilt out of.

For my Santa Sack, I did it a little differently to the way I did everyone else's. 
With the boys, the dogs and the parents bags, I had done QAYG with iron on wadding. GENIUS. But by the time I got to mine I'd run out of my pre-prepared wadding. I was feeling inspired, so not waiting until I'd bought more, I just started sewing a standard quilt top.

I worked it like a log cabin, so started in the middle and worked my way to the edges.  I just cut whatever width if fabric I felt would work. I do have some wastage, but as I'm not finished with the Christmas sewing, I'm leaving it out for a while. At the end of the day, I have scrap jars for a reason, so I'm really not worried about having scraps.

Check it out!! My new Santa Sack!

Ashley thinks it's a little big - that my expectations on Santa presents are too high. But it's only a smidgen bigger than the panel I used for my sisters one, so I decided that don't care what he thinks! :-)
And you know what - It turned out to be the perfect size!

Clearly this was just a quilt top, so on Christmas Eve I frantically ran to the store to buy wadding, I threw some straight line quilting on there (few and far between) and quickly turned it into a pillow case.  It is so far from perfect that I am not showing you. I didn't even take a picture of it, I was that unimpressed with myself.

Now that Christmas is over, and Santa has made his delivery, I have ripped off the back and am in the process of ripping out all the quilting. Why is it that I remember only doing minimal quilting but I seem to have a thousand seams to take out? I'm going to try to get it quilted pretty much straight away in the hopes that I can then put it away all finished and ready for next Christmas.

And you know what this means, right? It means that next year the whole family will have perfect individual Santa sacks - including me!

E xx

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Post Christmas

I have been relaxing at home. Trying to keep family peace by staying out of the sewing room and spending time with the hubby. So I have been planted in front of the tv with this...

While it is making it somewhat awkward to stitch I would not trade him for anything.  In fact he got up a few moments later and I missed him dreadfully. I have officially turned into the crazy dog lady. 

But back to the stitching!!!

You might remember me starting Handstitched class back in January 2013.  Yes it is officially a year ago that I started this project. I was super excited.  Yay for the learning!!  But the year was hard and work was busy and I fell further and further behind.  And then my little medallion languished.  I have still been dragging it around with me (on the train, to babysitting, I've even taken this on holidays!), but I don't think I've actually done anything to it in months.

For whatever reason (mostly because I wanted to sit on the couch and handstitch and this was next to me) I picked this up on Boxing Day and have been pottering away at it for the last few days.

What is really surprising to me is that you can definitely see the difference between my stitching from January to now. I didn't think I'd really improved at all, or at least not that much, but I can definitely see the difference.

The stitches at the top are last year, the ones at the bottom are this year.  it's not a good photo, but omg, my lines are so much straighter! My stitches are so much more even!!  I remember telling myself that my wonky stitching was a design choice, but no, it was just a complete lack of ability on my part.

I am almost 2 thirds done.  I have another 2 red triangles, 4 grey triangles and then I have to go back and do the black. of course I haven't done the satin stitching yet either, but I think I might practice on other things before I try it on this quilt. Just so it doesn't look completely thrown together!

I have added borders to two sides, and obviously have to add the other two. Then I've got some applique and 2 more simple borders.

With a little bit of effort, I could actually get this finished at some point!!  It's just for me, the plan is for it to go into my guest room (which currently has bare plaster walls, a concrete floor  and a garage door) so I don't need to rush it. Still, it would be nice to get this sorted.  Shall we say... March???

Wish me luck!!

E xx

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The New Year Plan

Welcome back ya'll!

I hope your hangovers are manageable, and that the festivities were worth it. :-)

New Years for us was very quiet, we stayed home and played battleships and then did a puzzle (or part of a puzzle... It was a big sucker with way too much sky) together. We were tucked up in bed by 11:30.  Don't believe me???
Over the last couple of months I have been thinking about my little corner of the internet, and while I know it's kind of trite to do a resolution post for New Years, I really want to start off the year, articulating  my vision. What is it they say? Something about if you believe it, it will happen or if you build it they will come... Anyway..

For the past year or so (forgive me for not knowing how long I've been doing this *bad blogger) I've been writing for me, as a way to get my thoughts out. And to keep a record of what I've achieved, so I can see myself growing and so that if I give away my makes, I still have a record of them. And to be part of the quilting community- I have met so many fantabulous people (I actually started listing you all, but then this became an Oscars speech and no one wants to read that.)
And I still want to do all of that!!!  But I thought about what I love in other blogs and what I hate.  I hate when people tell me about a project and then I never hear about it again.  And I do that A LOT.  So in order to really have the follow through you deserve, I have decided I needed to be more intentional about what I'm writing in my bloggy spaces. I want to start a project and, while I can practically guarantee that I will still have a thousand things on the go at the same time, keep updating til it's finished. I don't want there to be lots and lots of random.  Of course there will be, I'm still my rambley self.  But I want to try to start less and finish more. I don't want to make commitments I can't keep. And if I blog it, I am making a commitment to you that I will show you a finish at some point.
So what can I offer all of you for the next 12 months? How can we make 2014 a more productive year than 2013? 
Well, I have written myself a list! Actually, lots of lists!
list making
I'm not going to go into it all, because I find those posts super boring! But I am going to share a couple of the pertinent points.
I am going to make a commitment to post each week.  It doesn't have to be huge - in fact it might be nothing more than "this weekend we went camping and I did no sewing. see you next week!"  The reality is that I work fulltime and have a needy husband who actually wants to see me, not just hear my sewing machine going in another room. And I need sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. So I can't promise huge amazing results focused posts, But I will post.

I am going to follow through - if I post it, it will happen.  I promise.  And it will happen in a timely manner.  Now "timely" is open to interpretation. it might still take me a year to finish, but you will see progress on it.  I am thinking of this as my "quilt arc".  You will see the beginning, middle (Probably lots of middle) and an end to anything I post.  The end might be that I gave up and have decided not to do it anymore, but it won't just disappear into the ether.
I am NOT going to sign up for any BOM's or quilt-a-longs or bees this year... unless they're so super awesome I can't resist.  Last January I signed up for 3 or 4 things and I'm still trying to get through half of them.  Frankly I just signed up for too much when too much else was going on in my real life.  I mean I flaked on the bee I joined (yeah I joined a bee. I lasted a whole two months!!).  This year, I am going to work steadily through the list of what I want to sew.  I will still want to join in on the cool trends going on everywhere, but I will be strong and say no.
I will take proper photos - you know unless my camera breaks.  I have a lovely DLSR camera.  I have a fancy point and shoot digital camera.  I have no excuse for using my iPad to take blog photos.  the quality is rubbish and I look at those posts and get grumpy at myself.  NO.  I am going to be proud of my corner of the internet and it is going to be filled with perfectly posed photos.  or at least the best photos I can manage :-)
I also have a bunch of things I want to learn this year, but I don't want to bore you too much, so I'll save them for another time.

And now that I've talked at you until you're ready to delete me from your reader...
I will do a giveaway to anyone who read this far.  Tell me in the comments one of your "resolutions" (for lack of a better word). It doesn't have to be blog or sewing related, it just has to be something tangible that you want to work on this year.   I have no idea yet what I'm giving away.  This was a spur of the moment decision when I saw how much blah blah I'd written - turns out I did do one of those super boring say EVERYTHING posts.  just think how long it would be if I wrote it all down...  So throw your hat in the ring and I'll try and come up with a suitable prize.

May 2014 bring you all lots of joy, very little sorrow, and the fulfilment of at least one dream!

E xx

Handmade gifting

The gorgeous Kelly is offering a reward for those of us that can get a handmade gift sorted out this weekend.

I had actually not intended to make anything for anyone this year (besides my Santa Sacks, which aren't really presents), but needed to put together something for some of my work girls.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a movie night, where I sat and handstitched some hexies together.  The girls were a little in awe, that I was actually making something and kind of astounded about how it all went together.  So I thought a cute gift would be a little starter sewing kit and the stuff to make themselves a little hexie pillow cover.

I ducked into Spotlight (or as my husband calls it - the land without time) and spent a few hours wandering the aisles. I grabbed the sewing basics - scissors, needles, thread, embroidery scissors (coz they'll be working on little pieces) - some precut hexies and some fat quarters that I though would suit them and happily came home with my loot.

Trouble is, I had looked for a little sewing box for them to keep all this stuff in, but nothing really stood out.  And some of the boxes I could have bought were really expensive for what they were.  I really didn't want to spend $30 on a box.  What to do???

Well I have heard a lot about Jenni's drawstring bag.  Everyone, everywhere seems to make these things.  So I had a rummage through my stash and pulled some fabric that screamed "Emma" and "Kerry".

And I whipped together a pair of personalised sewing kits.

drawstring bag
I couldn't go past a fabulous hyper colour giraffe/leopard print for my friend Emma.  As soon as I found it, I knew I had the one.  I have no idea who makes it or where it came from I have a lot of random in my stash, but the orange is Art Gallery tangerine dots.

pink orange drawstring bag
The only word to describe Emma is "larey" (this is an Aussie-ism that basically means out there and a little cray-cray). She is an all-in kind of girl and is just simply fabulously wonderful.  So, fluro orange and pink are her.  For her fat quarters I grabbed a bundle of rainbow solids with a cool multi-coloured print.

rainbow fabric fat quarters
sewing kit hexie peicing

Kerry is addicted to all things pink, so I knew she was getting three shades of pink. I had a couple of options pulled, but thought that matching the solids was the better choice, then doing multiple print patterns (I'm just not brave enough). You can't really see it in this photo, but the inside is a pale pink.

Pink drawstring bag
Kerry's pink sewing kit
You may have noticed that the drawstrings are not pink.  this is because it was 10.30 at night and I needed this for the next day.  I had some piping cord and used that instead. I think it may deteriorate, but it worked at the time and I think it actually looks pretty good.

being a pink addict, I got her sewing supplies in pink, but for her fabric I went with shades of blue/teal/aquamarine to go with her living room.  So glad when I was visiting I took note of this, mostly because I think her husband would have killed me if I'd bought the fixings for pink pillows :-)

I have never had such a great reaction from a gift in my life.  They were both so happy.  And while I was a little worried about choosing fabric for someone else and essentially forcing them to join my hobby, they were both really happy and have asked me to host a sewing day, so they can come learn how to make their own hexie quilts (I didn't tell them they'll need more fabric then I provided for a full quilt. We'll let them discover that on their own ;-) ).

So my first foray into handmade gifts was a definite win. I am wracking my brains about who else needs a sewing kit, because this was really fun to put together.  I probably spent more than I intended on the fillings, but hopefully I have started an addiction, so better to start with the good stuff :-)

E xx

P.S. I apologise for the lack of photos. I did take a bunch, but my camera is refusing to upload them to the computer. When I get it sorted I'll come back and edit. For now I'll leave you with a photo of the most beautiful man in my life - Henry. Because you can have a blog post without at least one photo :- D

Edited to add photos :-) E xx