Friday, 13 November 2015

Easy Peasy No Sew Mini Christmas Bunting

It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.
W.T. Ellis

Still not enough time to sew (the front steps featured highly in the pest mans report and have needed work  total rebuild (grumble grumble grumble) so at first chance I grabbed a spare hour and made mini Christmas bunting!

How organised am I!
Its amazing how that happens when there are other things you should be doing...

In case anyone else is in need of procrastination material here you are!

Bits and Pieces: 
  • Scraps of fabric big enough to be cut into 2 x 4 inch rectangles. I also did 4 inch squares so I can make a second lot of bunting.
  • vliesofix
  • string

Cut your scraps into 4 inch squares, 2x4 inch rectangles or a mixture if you have big and small scraps

If you have lovely new flat vliesofix, protect your ironing board with an old pillowcase, lay your fabric pieces out and iron them face up onto it. 

This is a good time to use those scrappy, peeling, slightly dodgy bits of vliesofix you always seem to have left over. Don't worry about joining bits or mixing brands. 

If you have lots of small bits of vliesofix, put some baking paper onto your board (not pictured), place your fabrics face DOWN onto it then your vliesofix, adhesive side down on top, ironing each piece on individually.

Use scissors to separate the 2x4 and 4x4 pieces then

trim any 4 inch squares to 2x4 inch rectangles 

and fold each rectangle in half, wrong sides together, then peel the paper backing off.

Leave the first 12 inches or so of string for hanging and don't cut your string to length until finished.
Working one flag at a time, fold each over the string on the refolded line and press closed.
Use a ruler for spacing and allow 1/2 inch between each.

when they are all in place you can cut your string leaving another 12 inches.

Now you can stop here, maybe add a nice zig zagged bottom but I like the traditional fete style triangles

draw a template onto a piece of scrap card and cut out.

Label the top because triangles can be tricky little beggars, lay it onto each flag and cut the sides. You can mark these first but because the flags are so small it's just a snip on each side with scissors.


Ta Da!

Easy Peasy!

Don't toss the offcuts because I have another project to use those.


Friday, 30 October 2015

The good and the not so good

"Some primal termite knocked on wood; 
and tasted it, and found it good. 
That is why your cousin May 
fell through the parlor floor today." 
Ogden Nash 

What a week! From the sublime to the ridiculous.

The sublime is of course a day sewing with friends Fiona and Lyn and as our Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks become more complicated we have been slowing the pace a little. Or being more honest, they have been patiently waiting while I struggle to keep up...

Naturally there was homework:
 And with such tiny pieces it time to raid the mis-cuts and leftovers box.
(oops, some of those look like Fiona's bits...shhh)

an evening with Evie and a hot cup of milo

an interesting selection of Y seams, hand piecing, foundation piecing and normal patchwork, all in 6 1/2 inches and 'modern tulip' was finished. 
It looks a LOT simpler than it was!!!!!

During the week I had another go at fmq and, after lots of machine and foot advice on Facebook, managed to produce a large coaster from one of my reject Sylvia blocks. I'm glad I'm not relying on making these for a living... unless there is a market for 3 figure mug mats with 'naive' quilting!

The second sublime thing was:


I didn't ask a question being a shy retiring type, but nothing I could have asked would have had the importance of the questions that were put forward. The tragedy in people's lives reminds you to treasure each moment. 

What a wonderful theatre we have to host such occasions.

If only I'd known they wanted audiences for Compass and The Book Club too.

Evie finally got her travel accessories (a generous free tutorial from this blog: Crafty Hipster.) 

I'm pondering making a mat with pockets to hold bits for her to sit on now but I also need a pincushion and a scrap/thread bag. With the pounds she is gaining due to accessorising it might be easier to sling the treadle into the car for sewing days!

And the ridiculous?

Pottering around the chook pen I turned a log and discovered these beasties:

...6 inches from our new back fence. 
The pest man who arrived soon after wasn't concerned at that proximity; 'they can travel 200m' he informed me cheerfully!

An all over check of the house and garden, lots of deadly chemicals, some eyewatering quotes and much paper signing later, we were reminded to remove all loose logs. (bye-bye most of my garden edging)

Guess who won't be sewing much in the next few weeks...

Hope you have a lovely week 


Thursday, 22 October 2015

gardens and quilts

'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven'
Ecclesiastes 3:1

I wanted to share these flowers from my garden wanderings this morning and again I lament that you can't share the scents.

Aaaaah, so much loveliness in the world.

To more mundane matters, half my homework is done. I'm not sure when I'll get the other half done so I might as well grab what praise I can now!

The template carefully stitched through freezer paper to follow for foundation piecing. 

 oops! watch what you unfold when trimming...


Ta Dah!! 

The best bit was, using the freezer paper method, the back peeled off in lovely big sections - 5 in this case, instead of the usual 5000 tiny shreds each evoking an unseemly word...

We added 4 more blocks on Tuesday. I work much better with someone cracking the whip!

(who thinks of names like 'swamp patch'?)

'Evie's' cover/carrier was pulled out again to be worked on.
This should have been finished but I keep running out of bits.

and with all this sewing activity I 'needed' a 'design wall'.

Or being honest, its poorer cousin, a flannelette sheet folded over a rod.

10 minutes to hunt up a spare curtain rod languishing in the shed, another 5 minutes to find 2 matching hooks and soon it was up and being tested.

It gives one such a different perspective. 
To be recommended, especially now while those flanny sheets are hibernating in the linen cupboard. Put them to work!

Also on quilting matters, all 12 of the Bluebird of Happiness stitcheries are on Craftsy
4 (January, April, August and December) are free, the rest US$2 each. The assembly instructions will be following soon.
Next year I will be compiling them together as one pattern with a set price so grab your freebies now!

Leaving you with a bit of lingering wisteria.

Have a lovely week


Thursday, 15 October 2015

a bit of distraction from sewing

'I leave homework to the last minute because I will be older therefore wiser.' Twitter meme

I should be doing some quilting homework... but a big storm came with big drops of wet rain and thunder so scaredy cat needed a cuddle. A long cuddle. Poor furry boy.

Isn't the freshness before a storm wonderful! Here's a photo from my (still unpainted) sewing room window to share it, but nothing ever conveys the feel and smell. We didn't get much more rain than those few drops you see though. 

Now, that homework... you may have read on Fiona's blog at Bubzrugz that she, Lyn and I are working on Sylvia's Bridal Sampler together, each with our own colours. (you may even have read it on my memory really isn't keeping up). There are 140 6 1/2 inch blocks which would keep a normal person occupied for about, say 2 years, maybe longer... Not these girls! 
They are dynamos! 
Not sleet nor snow nor sleeping cat stops them in their mission!

Every Tuesday they are putting their final seams in while I am still pondering what colours to use. Well, maybe not quite that bad but somehow I've ended up 2 blocks behind and need to catch up. 

Understandably I'm a little sidetracked by my 'new' 51 year old machine, 'Evie' who has been with me for 2 months after making the long journey from England.
Isn't she beautiful! 

I am absolutely besotted with her and spend too much time gazing lovingly and admiring her perfect straight stitch and her precise 1/4 inch seams. She sings as she sews too.

Sigh... even a photo can distract me for a few moments of googly eyed adoration.

One of her sisters was at the recent Craft and Quilt show in Brisbane along with a few of her other Singer relatives for us to meet.

...nearly as lovely as my darling.

While at the show I managed to pick up a few bits and pieces

and do a workshop

and take a million photos of quilts to show you 


which may actually be a good thing because I'm back to having trouble getting photos on the blog and have to email them so I can save them in downloads because blogger won't let me open my photos folder... so much to learn, so many new swear words to use.

Some photos are worth the effort so I'll leave you with my sister's beautiful kittens. 

Have a lovely week


Thursday, 1 October 2015

Glorious Spring again

'Spring is the time of plans and projects.'
Leo Tolstoy

Hello everyone and welcome to October... didn't September just fly by!

Some of the glorious blooms that have burst out in the garden.

The scents have been amazing. 

I love Spring!

Aggravatingly I picked up a cold in the last week and have been moaning away to anyone who will listen in the hope of some sympathy. Being housebound has given me a chance to catch up on the million things I keep putting off and attack my sewing room... the same sewing room/office I was sharing with Mr Bluebird until he decided he'd get more peace in a different part of the house and transplanted himself with his goods and shekels to another room the furthest corner away. 

Amazing how effective a good moan is!

Having a room to myself has inspired me to fight my natural hoarding instincts and declutter and my soul is loving having air around it! 

This room gets the morning sun making it a lovely spot to come and work and play a little.

Jeremy Janome, the other male in my life, has been put to work adding lace to our plain white bedsheets. Mr Bluebird's and my plain white bed sheets, not Jeremy's and mine...

There has been secret sewing happening with the most beautiful fabrics...

and a fair bit of boring mending which I haven't taken a photo of.

Repurposing has been high on the declutter program and one of my dolls houses now holds my favouritest bestest fabrics. 

My very own real patchwork fabric shop

Teddy approved, especially when he discovered a lovely soft pile of Tilda and my birthday jelly roll on top...

EEEK!!! NO Teddy!!!!

I'm still struggling a little with Mr Bluebird's hand me down Apple Mac but now that I know how to add photos, maybe one day I'll even have a header for this blog.

One baby step at a time.