Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Wonky Wednesday

First up, something I started even though I told myself I wasn't allowed to start anything until I'd finished the back of Ruby's quilt.  I used a charm pack (Lario - 3 Sisters) to have a go at wonky cutting and a bit of improv piecing and came up with this:

I'm really happy with how it turned out, I think it is balanced but random.  I think some of the balance comes from using one collection and some of it from the technique I used.  I was (and still am) a bit apprehensive about wonky cutting with this collection, I'm not sure if the style of quilt I have in mind will suit the fabric.

This is my first time using a charm pack and the pinked edges really threw me, which I wasn't expecting.  Here's a close up of wonky loveliness ...

Next up - a finish, yay!  I have finished the brown bag doll's quilt that Ruby helped me piece ...

I edge-turned the binding and quilted it with randomly spaced horizontal lines, and by 'randomly spaced' I mean I couldn't be bothered marking out any lines and thought I'd be able to just get it pretty close to equally spaced by eye.  Turns out there's a very good reason for marking out your quilting.  Here's what I learnt with this quilt:
  • you should mark out your quilting, even if you are doing something seemingly straightforward, especially if you're a beginner (like me).
  • my machine is horrendous for quilting (with and without a walking foot), I struggled to get the tension right (and still couldn't get it right), it skipped stitches. 
  • If you are edge-turning you need to consider start and end points for the quilting because the quilting won't end up running under the binding rather it goes with the binding.
  • I need a lot more practice with binding, I still hate doing it even with edge-turned binding.
  • Despite all of this the girls love playing with it and from a distance it looks lovely.
Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sewing Card-Inspired Activity

Recently I blogged that I was keen to find ways to sew with Ruby and a couple of people mentioned using sewing cards when they were young.  Instead of a sewing card, I had the idea to use a cheap canvas I had and punched a series of holes using the needle to form the outline of a house.  I grabbed some embroidery floss in a range of colours and a thick blunt needle from my craft room, not sure what type of needle it is.

Ruby really wasn't keen to use the needle so I ended up being the one to do the sewing, but she was intrigued by the needle pulling the thread through the holes and watched intently.  She selected the colours to use and was also in charge of trimming the thread.  She also suggested additional detail in the design (the door handle).  It didn't quite turn out how I hoped, in that Ruby wouldn't use the needle, but she was really interested in the activity, so we will try this again another day and perhaps she'll have a go with the needle. 

Friday, 20 September 2013

A bread bag and two paper plates

Bear in mind, of course, that plastic bags are not toys and that children should always be supervised when making things out of plastic bags.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Sunday Funday Winner

Ms Random Number Generator picked comment number 2:

Congratulations, Amy! Check your email, there's an exciting email waiting for you.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

WiP: Scrappy strip

More brown bag fun with Ruby.  After browsing through Crazy Mom Quilts and seeing how small some of the scraps she uses are I revisited Ruby's play fabric bin (I keep a container of scraps for Ruby's crafting).  I had some scraps that are 2 1/2 inch tall but of varying width (most between 1 and 2 inches).  We brown bagged it again and sewed them into strips. 

I love the effect gained from variation in width as well as the randomness of fabric placement, so I think I really should try some improv piecing.  I'm going to incorporate this into the back of Ruby's Granny Square Quilt, I love the idea of there being something in it that we created together.

Ruby is really enjoying this, she asks if we can sew something together and helps out by pulling scraps out of the brown bag and cutting the thread once scraps are sewn together, so I'm trying to think up other ways we can sew together - I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have for sewing with a 3 year old!

PS - there's still time to enter our current giveaway - the Sunday Funday Giveaway, open until Thursday afternoon (NZ time).

Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sunday Funday Giveaway!

** This giveaway has now closed **

Julie from 627 Handworks has been having a series of giveaways and I thought I'd join in for the grand finale.  What better way to say hello to Spring (or goodbye to Summer - depending which part of the globe you're in) than with a giveaway?

This is what is up for grabs, 4 fat quarters:

Saturday, 14 September 2013

How to make a 3D digger cake [Excavator cake]

We call them diggers, some people call them excavators, Richard Scarry called them power shovels.  Whatever you call them, if you want to make a cake like the one below then you're at the right place.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Yellow: Party Favors

I saw this post and thought a little make-it-yourself kit would be a great idea for party favors, especially when it's popped inside a cute little yellow polka dot paper bag.  Each kit contains the clothespins and craft sticks required to make two planes.  They were a big hit!

If anyone is interested in purchasing peg plane kits or peg doll kits from us, please get in touch for pricing.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

WIP Wednesday: Lessons from Granny

Exciting news - I've finished the granny square quilt top!  (Just the top, let's not get too excited)  Here's how it looks all pieced together:

I thought it would be good to have a little recap on some of the things I've discovered while piecing my first real bed sized quilt, so here they are:
  • The blocks looked quite different when I put them up on the wall and viewed them from a distance, this helped reinforce aspects of fabric selection (such as scale of print, colour value) that I had read about.  Scale of print is a consideration here due to (among other things) the size of the patch.  I realised that the reason I was pulling blocks was they had high colour value - so I now know I like white space in a quilt (had already worked that one out) and low value.  Is low value the same as low volume?
  • I have a tendency to slip at the end of a cut when I'm rotary cutting - this means that my squares were sometimes ever so slightly wonky - sort of more like very slight parallelogram.  Something for me to watch.
  • Try not to overhandle pieced granny square blocks - they're bias cut which means they're rather stretchy.
  • On some blocks I lost quite a lot of my points and I'm wondering if cutting the white/background pieces slightly larger than the coloured blocks (like 1/2" larger) would give me a little more wiggle-room.  Or maybe that would just make things worse ... ?  This is probably due to inaccurate seam allowances more than anything else I suppose.
  • If I do another granny square quilt, I'll just select just a few fabrics and go with the strip piecing tutorial Jolene did for Moda Bake Shop.  This would be a much quicker.
  • Don't buy your off white homespun from Spotlight off the bolt - I'm not happy with the homespun I got from there (it's thin, it frays, it seems of an inconsistent quality within the one piece of yardage I got which was about 5 metres) - I know of another quilter who has had a problem with some Spotlight homespun, has anyone else had good or bad experience?
  • Wow you use an awful lot of thread - you'd use less if you strip piece it.
  • And finally, Kristy from Quiet Play is a paper piecing pattern genius!  Huh?  What's that got to do with granny squares?  You'll just have to wait and see ....
By the way, have you been following along with the giveaways that Julie at 627 Handworks has been having?  I'm joining in this Sunday, and I'll be giving away 4 fat quarters.  So pop back here on Sunday if you'd like a chance to win.

Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 9 September 2013

Yellow: Birthday Girl Outfit

'Make-it-up-as-you-go' skirt paired with 'run-out-of-time-so-I'll-just-heat-n-bond' top ...

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Yellow: Doiles and Diggers Birthday Party

Ruby turned 3 recently and we had a Yellow-themed birthday party (it's her favourite colour).  Here are some of the details ... make sure you scroll down to the cake - it's worth it, trust me.

Mini cupcakes with washi tape flags, sitting on washi-taped cake stand:

Yellow paper straws, napkins, yellow crepe paper table runner, paper doilies painted yellow on the wall:

I don't mean to boast but there were also balloons.  Yellow ones.  I didn't want to generate any party envy so didn't bother with photos of the balloons.

Finally, the cake:

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Scrapbuster Bow Hairtie

I saw this cute Oliver + S Bow Hair Tie but wanted something that was a bit more scrap friendly, especially if you've got surplus 2 1/2 inch strips, so I made some similar but different:

Read on if you want to make some yourself.

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