Friday, 30 August 2013

Butterfly Garden with love

 My finished work....

The pattern is 'Hexagonal Garden' by Pam and Nicky Lintott from their book 'More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll & Charm Quilts'.  I slightly changed the dimensions so I could get as much from the yardage as I could, hence the slightly cut-off hexagons on both sides.  There is enough fabric pieces left over to make a cushion now.

The fabric is 'Papillon' by 3 Sisters for Moda.  It was as a jelly roll, with extra yardage (108" wide backing) for the backing, border and binding (44" wide in the aqua).  'Papillon' is butterfly in french.

I made this quilt for my mother-in-law's sixty-fifth birthday.   So I went out yesterday and took some pictures on a beautiful day in the garden she created.

Can you see my H on his tractor two paddocks over?

George and Daniel the lambs decided to be in the photos.
George having a look at me!
I free motion quilted it using an butterfly shape template that I centred around the hexagons.  I then filled in the gaps with extra butterflies and swirls.  I even started quilting without a marking when doing the border - am now feeling more confident to try an allover loop next time!
 Next project - finish a quilt for my mother!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

A Shelf for Thread

After my success making a set of shelves for my fabrics a couple of months ago I decided to have another go earlier this week.  This time I purchased some pine lengths (mostly 10 x 80mm) and cut them up to make myself a snazzy little shelf to store my larger reels of thread.

Dressed pine was so much easier to work with than the fibreboard I had used previously - I found that the screws just went in without grief and the whole project had less gaps!  I can't wait to have another go at this, but first I have some bed heads I made many years ago that need sanding and staining - a big job.

The top row of my shelf has my collection of wooden cotton reels.  Below that I have perle cotton, overlock thread and at the bottom right my aurifil thread.

Excuse the wallpaper - my sewing room used to be the room my husband had when he lived at home.  We have plans to change the colour scheme.

I have been busy and have a new, finished quilt to share.  Hopefully tomorrow.  :-)

Sunday, 25 August 2013

A sacrifice for the betterment of my sewing...

I love my Kona cotton colour card.  It incorporates colour and texture ... and the promise of a new quilted project!

I decided to buy a colour card was a worthwhile investment as I've only seen limited Kona (or similar quality cotton fabric) colour ranges locally and they were NZ$22 per metre!  I've found places I can order them from in the US for approx US$5.50 per yard (the exchange rate is NZ$1 to approx US$0.79).  Postage isn't cheap but it is worth it if you can get the colour right.  So that is why I got a colour card.  But it was fiddly to work with so when I found this I thought I could do the same.  So out came a large sheet of cardboard and a heap of velcro.



It is so much easier to work with now... and I can pick out a range of colours that I would have had trouble identifying earlier.  See the range at the top right - they go with Bonnie and Camille's 'Happy-Go-Lucky'.

I do recommend writing the number of every colour underneath the velcro on the cardboard so that if a card falls off you can put it back on the right place.  I also scanned a copy of it before I cut it up - so have that to check the order if need be.  Mine also folds up so I can store it easier.  Probably good advice too to say - keep away from preschoolers - or at least watch them with eagle eyes while they look at the colours.

Another link - I found this when trying to match Aurifil thread to Kona cotton.  How handy - someone has done the work for me and it is so much easier when ordering online.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Ishbel in the garden

I had started an 'Ishbel' shawl in early July and had really enjoyed knitting it - so finished it very fast.  But I have never been someone who has blocked items properly, and as lace knitting really benefits from blocking, I had left it sitting aside while I pondered what to do.  Finally I got out a large piece of corflute that was once a real estate sign and pinned my work to it, misted it with water and left it to dry.  Wow!  It really makes the lace stand out and I am so pleased I put that extra bit of work in.

Today I took my work out into the garden and had fun photographing it against an early rhododendron 'Cornubia' which is almost the same shade of red.

 I have two of these rhododendrons and they are stunning!  They are blooming earlier than usual as we are having a mild late winter... lets hope the frosts hold off!

The yarn I used is Alpaca 4 ply and it knitted up beautifully.
Can you see the bumble bee at its work?
It was such a lovely day I took some more photos of the garden I have taken over from my mother-in-law.  Another early rhododendron 'Christmas Cheer'.

An unnamed camellia:

Some new growth on raspberry bushes:

My garlic growing like lightening:

The celery I have in my glasshouse - so lush and will be ready to pick when I have finished the purchased bunch in my fridge.  Yeah!  It is growing really well and I will try it again in the glasshouse next winter.
Now I just need the motivation and energy to weed and fertilise.  I am very lucky to have such a lovely flower garden (it is about 1 acre in size) but I do tend to prefer vegetable gardening (or knitting).  Hopefully nicer weather will be the push I need!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Lots of Oliver + S

As you will have noticed I love using Oliver + S children's clothing patterns when I sew for K.  Recently I have been thinking about the number of these that I have used so decided to do a count up, and there was that many, so in order not to bore you with lengthy posts I have done twenty items at a time.  This may sound cumbersome but I think most of them are great items - well worth sharing!

Please note that I sew 'farm clothes' for K as well as those for special occasions etc, so many of these items are well worn and loved - hence no photo.  And I have been using these patterns for over eighteen months so some show a much younger K!

In case you need the link:
  1. Puppet Show top - two pinks
  2. Puppet Show shorts - chambray (above)
  3. Jump Rope - in blue check, pictured here
  4. Sand-box pants in chambray size 3
  5. Sand-box pants in chambray with fancy blue pockets in size 4 - I did fancy pockets for this , they were like the puppet show pockets at the back and fancier at the front.

  6. Little Things to Sew(LTTS) Backpack with babushka - pictured here
  7. LTTS hat for K in chambray and pink (top pic)
  8. LTTS hood as part of kiwi costume - that's a toy Hairy Maclary she's holding.  :-)
  9. Sand-box pants in brown with orange trim- my H thought these were from a shop!
  10. Hopscotch top - blue
  11. School Days coat in re-used farm coat, seen here
  12. Tea party sundress in blue and green - below
  13. LTTS hat in matching blue and green (and above)
  14. LTTS cape in red and orange
  15. Ice-cream dress in cream, red and orange- same fabric as inside of cape - this dress has been very well worn over two summers and the winter in between.  It has cream piping between the sections and the edge of the pockets - fiddly but well worth it.
  16. Tea party sundress for niece in chambray with red trim
  17. Sailboat pants in chambray with pink trim
  18. Sunday Brunch coat in dusky pink cord (not completely finished!)
  19. Bedtime Story pjs in pink fabric with kokeshi on them - these are a huge favourite!
  20. 2+2 blouse in white with red spots
  21.  To be continued in a further post! 
It takes time to trawl through old photos to find these so will keep working on the next installment. 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

George and Daniel

We finally have some pet lambs - say hello to George and Daniel.
Daniel is on the left, George on the right

We have a pet lamb box - any spare lambs without mums get to live there until we find them a new mum - a bit like a temporary foster home.  Sometimes we manage to adopt these lambs as pets when H can't find them a better mum.  Last year we have Ritchie and Parsnip and the year before Ritchie (V1).  Yes, Ritchie (McCaw) is a bit of a hero around here.  Ritchie (V2) is my avatar(?) pic.

Lambs are great pets - they are very dependent on us for a while, then grow up to be independent - or in many cases - take a trip away on a big truck.  They are super cuddly in the meantime and are very cute!  They're a good size for a four year old and well - they're just plain great for a farm kid.  Excuses to my mum - she often ends up with at least ten 'pets' - that's not fun!
Daniel with the orange marks - he was one of a set of twins and H marks them the same so we can keep them together

The plan this year was to have a little girl (ewe) lamb - but our wee Raspberry didn't last long - its been a bit emotional for mum and K.  Finally we have two that H has let us name and they are doing really well.  K has named them after a preschool friend (Daniel) and a favourite character (George, from Peppa Pig).  They also have a new home in the corner of my garden.  :-)

Also - good news - my sewing machine was easy to fix!  Yeah!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Another Cushion

This is the second cushion I have finished this week - and again in my favourite blues.
I started with a mini charm pack of 'Indigo Crossing' by Minick and Simpson.  I made these into half square triangles paired with Kona 'Snow' (my favourite - though I do have some Kona 'PFD White' to try - it seems very similar).  I didn't have quite enough squares - I had 84 and needed 100 so I used two shades of Kona cotton - 'Cadet' and 'Windsor' to make some extra squares.  I also used these colours on the back.
Again, I am really thrilled with the quilted back I made - and I especially like the way the vertical and horizontal lines look so tidy.  It goes without saying how easy they were.  I'm thinking of making a new valance for my bed - and would try this quilted pattern on it.  Wouldn't using one of the 240+ shades of Kona cotton be great for getting an exact match! 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

New Cushion

I have a few projects that just need some finishing up - and a sunny day to take reasonable photos.
Here is the first - a cushion made with gorgeous blues, greys and yellows.

I cannot claim that I assembled the colours - the fabrics were all in a scrap pack of strips.  Most strips were about 1" wide and WOF long.  I started with a large square, 24" (I think) as a foundation block and pieced all the strips onto that starting from a diagonal centre line, working out to the corners on both sides.  When this was finished I trimmed it to 22" square and then cut it into 16 smaller squares.  These were carefully reorganised to get the finished quilt top.

My quilting on the front was not as good as it should have been - but I am pleased with the back.  After using one layer of fabric for the backing of my last cushion like this I stepped up and made a quilted backing this time - and am so pleased I did.  It looks and feels so much better.  Yes, it is a lot of work, but worth it.
Again I used the fantastic tutorial from 'Sew Mama Sew' to add the zipper.  I used the same fabric for the zipper cover.
I am super pleased with this project... and just have a few threads to finish on a similar one.

I have been stalled in my sewing projects as my precious Bernina 930 has stopped working and has gone to a local Bernina shop to be fixed  (very sad face here).  I miss it already - but have been able to continue sewing as I have a back-up machine - a Bernette 65.  But it is a bit like driving a mini after getting used to a volvo.  Just not the same power.  Luckily piecing is ok and simple work like sewing cushion inners.  I might get some cutting out done and maybe (if the weather improves) some gardening.  Yes mum - the house is tidy (cheesy grin here).

Thursday, 8 August 2013


Just a quick peek at a project I've been working on:

I'm really enjoying the free-motion quilting on this.  I've discovered Aurifil thread and it works beautifully on my machine.  It is also so fine that you can get a lot on the bobbin too.

I also read Leah Day's blog '' and have been taken by her many words of advice.  She recommends three tools for free motion quilting:

I was taken by her advice and ordered these (with very reasonable, but longer,  international shipping) and have been very impressed myself.  They make the task so much easier!  Leah sells them in a three-pack so you can get even more value.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Housekeeping + O+S #61

I've made a few changes on my blog - hopefully to keep it more up-to-date.

I took away the 'Google friends' link - I'm sorry, but I never really understood it.

I added 'follow me with Bloglovin' and 'follow me with Feedly' buttons.  These are on the right side of this blog.

I use Feedly and really enjoy it.  I have it synced with my smartphone and can update myself on my favourite blogs at any time.

I also added a 'follow me on Pinterest' button.  I have been using Pinterest for a while for many forms of inspiration, even before we had broadband!  Its great place for crafters and you can follow this button to view my favourites.  I hope you like them.  :-)

Recently I counted up the number of items I've made using Oliver + S patterns.  I got to 60 !!!!!  I plan to blog about some of these soon - well a sort-of catch up session on things I made back when we only had a dial-up internet connection.

To keep up the momentum this is number 61, a pair of 'After School trousers' in green cotton duck (or something similar).
I got the fabric from a partial closing down sale at a local clothing business - it's heavy but should wear really well.  I went for size 5, so they're a bit long.  Plenty of room to grow.  The fabric was $4 per metre and I used less than a metre ... $2.50 trousers??
Excuse the marks - these are great for playing in.  I wonder if I should try to draft some up for me??

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A little bit of magic...

Plastic is a pretty amazing thing...  we use it for so many things.  Plastic things are everywhere in our lives, and if you have children, plastic is used to make many toys.

Unfortunately K has a clumsy mother who has been known to stand on toys without meaning to.  Snap!  And that was the end of that... the plastic crown... the plastic wand... all of those things our princess K cannot do without.

So what does a crafting mother do?  She crochets them of course.  In the stash I had some golden coloured synthetic yarn from Spotlight and with a search I found this pattern for a crown on Ravelry.  I changed the pattern significantly and was surprised with how easily it worked.  It is slightly stretchy so it stays on K's head really well.

The wand was made from a simple crocheted star using the same yarn.  I painted some 8mm doweling with gold paint then drilled two small holes near the top that lined up with the start and finish yarn tails so I could tie it together.  Voila!  A very happy girl.

Spring is getting closer - here are the first snowbells poking through the ground.

Cute pic of K with an orphaned lamb:
The skirt she is wearing is a simplified kilt-style made from an old woollen skirt of my grandmother's.  The lamb was briefly at the house but still managed to be named: 'Screwdriver' because he was a boy.  I think a 'she' would have been called 'Raspberry'.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...