Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Quilted star cushion

I kinda feel like I'm constantly making cushion covers at the moment. I feel like I could quite easily be dragged into this quilting caper. I do love doing a little cushion though, as I get to master a block or techniques on a small scale rather than the daunting and frankly overwhelming task of completing an entire quilt. 

After Christmas when we traveled back from Queensland, we stopped a couple of days in Sydney and stayed with my aunt. 

I'm of the old school manners that you thank someone when you stay. I thought about buying her chocolates or flowers or something but decided to go with a more personal approach. 

She is an incredibly talented seamstress and has been very helpful with advice to me when she has stayed with us. It was a risk to make a little cushion but actually she doesn't quilt so was in awe. And honestly, someone who sews will always appreciate something handmade more. They just know the work involved right? 

I chose this little charm square pack to match with her bedroom. I'm not even sure what it is or where I got it as it really isn't my usual taste. I suspect I may have acquired it someone along the way (perhaps won it!!). 

I'm not even sure what this block is called but when I searched online, it seems to be called a quilted star. I'm sure by looking at the photos you could work out what do to. I used 5" charm squares and loved that the finished block makes up the entire cushion (no sashing or matching here!). I just did very simple straight line quilting around the inside of the star and a simple envelope back. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Yellow and Black Clutch

I hate to even write these words but 18 months ago one of my besties noticed this photo on Instagram.

A photo posted by Jane ~ Lil Pip (@lilpipdesigns) on

She loved it and request that I make a clutch for her. Since she had a significant birthday coming up, I promised I would and tracked the fabric down (I only had a few scraps of this). Her birthday last January was quite possibly one of the hottest ever. It was insane last summer. Too hot to sew that's for sure. I gave her an IOU in her card. 

Fast forward to her birthday coming around again (oh my god - does this happen to other people!?) and I finally finished it. The main excuse for the delay is that I did a kinda mash up of a couple of patterns and kinda made it my own. I got to a certain point and doubted myself. It all came together in the end and I'm happy with the outcome. Just hope she is. She did laugh when she got two presents this year!

 What's your longest project from conception to completion?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Economy Block cushion

I'm still plodding along with Ros' aka Sew Delicious Quilt Block Boot Camp each week (I blogged here about the little Raspberry Kiss and Simple Heart Block). I'm a little behind but hoping to catch up in the next couple of weeks. 

Here is one I made a few weeks ago and I see a great future for this style of block - the Economy Block. There is so much potential. I love the really scrappy (that's a word and not a criticism!) version that Ros did. I need to raid my stash and find more fabric that suits that tiny, little centre square. It is just 3" square. 

I haven't completed this cushion yet. I want to teach myself free motion quilting first. I'm think I'll practice a bit and then be ready to quilt all these cushions that are stacking up. 

I'm loving all these little hedgehogs though. Aren't they cute?

Mmmmm with a photo this close you can see my points
don't really match up. Promise it looks better in person!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pattern Review: Melly and Me, Buttercup bunny

I have a bit of a blogger crush on Melanie McNeice aka Melly and Me. I met her a few years ago at a craft retreat and just love what she does. She has supported me a couple of times on my little old blog which I am truly grateful for. Especially now she is like, totally a super star fabric designer for Riley Blake!! (*wink wink*). She has a new fabric line out 'Wildflower Meadows' which is just adorable. I better get my hands on some of that! It includes an cute pre-printed fabric pattern for the 'Flower the Happy Hedgehog' bag. Adooo-ra-ble!!

I have to stop taking photos at dusk when I get
home from work!! She is much brighter in reality!

Which brings me to Buttercup bunny. 

This 'pattern' if you can call it that comes as printed pieces on a fabric panel, just a matter of cutting out all the bits and pieces and following the instructions to put it together. 

If you are experienced toy maker (am !??) you will find this a fairly quick and easy sew - and I love that! There were a few things that I did a little differently than the instructions which was more a matter of preference than a right or wrong way to do things. 

I just love that when she is all sewn together that's it - usually that's when I start all the hand embroidery. So if that isn't your strength or is holding you back from toy making - give these a try!

Things I would suggest if you are going to make this cute little bunny (and what I would do next time):
  • pop the little hair bow on a clip so your recipient can wear it and match her bunny
  • after joining the lining to the top part of the dress and before making the casing, sew a little hem for the casing so it doesn't put out (and since I didn't finish this edge, it may potentially fray)
  • I would recommend jumbo ricrac if you have it. Or you could try a little lace
  • I also top stitched the skirt to the 'bodice' (you can see in the pic below), just a finishing touch.

If you would like to try it out - I found some available here at Fabric Pixie, just $12 a panel!!

I'll be looking for more of this style of 'pattern' - certainly fun and easy. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Market this weekend

Bridie and I are busy preparing for our favourite market of the year - the Maribynong Makers Market. If you live in Melbourne, it is well worth a trip to see all the amazing creators and designers. I do tend to spend as much as I make on the day, I just can't help myself!!

A couple of things I've been working on, are the hugely popular little baby snaps (and bigger snap clips!) and some little Easter bunny snaps. I just love that bunnies are year round kinda things compared to Christmas which is limited to just that few weeks prior. 

Hope to see you there. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pattern Review: Babies First Toys Flosstyle

While I'm certainly over the baby stage (myself!), I seem to be surrounded by lots of preggy ladies and newborns at the moment. I'm always looking for cute little gifts to give, especially since I seem to make these great big quilts now! This pattern would really suit newborn to 18 month old babies. 

Babies First Toys Flosstyle

This pattern has lots of opportunity for personalisation. Included in the pattern is the little giraffe (which I did below), elephant, seahorse, dinosaur, mini ball (which I did below) and balloon ball cover.

I did this cute, little ball and have another cut out at home. I love that it uses up little scraps of fabric to make - just don't look too closely at my point there! I added a little rattle on the inside to make a gentle noise as baby plays. 

So easy to put together and perfectly sized for small hands. You could certainly increase the pattern to make different sized versions.

I wanted to be quick with my giraffe so rather than the ruffles in the pattern, I added a little line of ricrac for the 'mane'. I also added a rattle. I kinda like my handmade fabric version of that very famous plastic chew toy version of giraffe (you get what I mean right!!). 

Will I make this again? - absolutely, I have a couple of elephants cut out ready to sew too! 

Will I make this to sell for Lil Pip? – perhaps, they are super cute

Pattern: Babies First Toys available via Etsy 
Fabric: Riley Blake Sew Cherry for the giraffe and Delovely Flowers by Cosmo Cricket for Andover Fabrics for the ball

Difficulty (1-10 scale with 1 being easy and 10 hard): Quite an easy beginner pattern so just a 2 or 3 on the scale!
Time: Allow just 30 minutes hours to whip this one up!

(Lil Pip has received no payment or sponsorship for this review – I do it because I want to share my experiences)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Handmade Easter gift ideas

When my March Sew Box Subscription box arrived I was inspired to make a few little hair accessories for Miss 6. I love that bunnies are for Easter but can be easily be worn year round (unlike Christmas things!). 

I already had these little yoyos made (for my markets) but instead of adding them to a clip, I popped a hair tie on the back and a bunny on the front. I love the result!

I used a little chevron ribbon to cover some clips and glued these bunnies to the flat side of the alligator clip. 

I had this white headband already so just added this bunny and glued some felt on the back. It is quite big but looks great on my Miss 6. She loves it and that's the best part!

For this layered tuxedo bow clip - I used this awesome video from Bitty Bum Boutique. I'm a visual person and these videos are awesome. I used a clip rather than a french barrette and cut my ribbon at 7 inches for the bottom and 6 for the top. 

Notice the green ribbon on the bottom - that's from a previous box too! I'm certainly getting a collection of haberdashery and notions to use. 

Have you started any Easter creations yet? It isn't far away!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bowling set - catching up, finally!

Remember my Sewing Challenge last year. As a way to teach my next door neighbour sewing, I set monthly challenges. Only I didn't quite finish each month myself!!

This bowling set was all complete, just need to do the final ladder stitch on each piece. It is something I was determine to finish for the kids over the summer school holidays and it did come in handy for entertainment. 

The pattern is the "I heart Bowling" pattern by Birdiful Stitches via Etsy or You Can Make This.

I did add some heavy interfacing to the bottom circle to help the pins stand up straighter. While it helped a little, I think I might open the stitches (ahhhhh) and add in some weights. Even a couple of coins would help I think. You have to stand them together to stay up and that doesn't satisfy my fussy 8yo and 6yo bowlers. 

I grabbed this fabric out of my stash, not realising it was the incredible coveted Outfoxed by Lizzy House in the Outplayed colourway (from circa 2011 I think - overview on The Fabric Shopper blog here). I do have a little left and think I might need to use it for the Quilt Block Boot Camp I joined. Those little hedgehogs would be great fussy cut. 

This makes a great gift for kids of all ages and a fantastic rainy day activity for them. It would make a great addition to the Lil Pip imaginative play toy collection but unfortunately I don't think anyone would pay what I would need to charge - these guys take up a lot of toy fill!

You will never believe how hard it was to get an action shot!!
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