Friday, 19 September 2014

While it may appear that I fell off the earth...

... I didn't. I'm still here. Just incredibly, ridiculously busy.

I haven't had time to scratch myself, barely had time to shower and what little time I can scrape together (by skipping doing laundry and wearing all my trousers twice... Three times) I have attacked my sewing table in the hopes of trying to get my bloody Harry Potter quilt finished.

And it's almost there! I swear I am so darn close I could almost cry. I am absolutely loving the process of making this, and it has been the most fantastic challenge, however it has taken up my entire sewing room for almost an entire year. I cannot wait to put all the random bits of material in their respective scrap jars and have a clean table. Even if it's only for 15 minutes until I pull out the next project :-)

So I beg your indulgence just a little longer. I am, maybe, another couple of hours away from a finished top. I have given myself until Saturday to finish so I can clean over the weekend (excitement of my life, lol). I promise to take lots of photos and ramble properly about the process of making him.


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Improv Progress

Months and months ago, I started working on an improv quilt. I worked on it a bit at the start of 2013, but then put it aside while I dealt with things that had deadlines (that I didn't meet) and life got busy and I tucked this into a box and set it to the left. I didn't forget about it, but it was so low on the priority list, it didn't really get touched.

I think the last time I posted a photo of this baby I'd only done three blocks... I'm definitely further along than that now! In fact, I've finished the quilt top!
It's quite simple really. No fancy pattern or "design". But I started it when I needed something that was completely random in construction and this fit the bill. I don't know what my quilt style is, so I don't know how this will fit into the bigger picture of my quilt story, but I know that experimenting with this has given me confidence to do the improv peicing on my sewing machine cover and my Carpenters Wheel. So I definitely feel I am an improv girl. Or at least improv is a significant component of my quilting personality.

Some places are more random/improv than others.  Sometime I did strips and then hacked it into random shapes cut it up neatly into perfectly use able pieces... :-/

Other places I purposely cut crooked or in an odd shape to make myself

I also made sure to keep any bits I did cut off and used those as the start of the next block.

All in all, it's about single bed size.  I'm planning to keep it in my study for those quiet reading times... At least this was the plan until I started Harry Potter and now he belongs near the books...  Maybe I need to finish some quilts and work out if there are any empty surfaces left in my house :-/ It might just have to be carried around for those moments when you need nothing but a cuddle and a cup of tea :-)

The star component of this quilt is this lovely text fabric.  I have no idea who made it, or what brand printed it, but I feel really... blessed every time I take the time to actually look at the words. All the sayings are about letting your light shine because the world needs it, and finding harmony and balance. I don't know. Maybe that's my inner hippy coming out, but I love it :-) there are moments when it's nice to be reminded of the good things.  I had planned just to checker board it, but as I got towards the end of making my improv block I realised I had a little extra so I did a few fussy cuts to get some of the really special pieces a bit more centre stage.

And my Handstitched training is coming through, because I'm seriously considering embroidering some of the words/phrases on the fabric. I won't do it until I've had a chance to think about how I want to quilt it, because then I'll have a better idea of what it looks like and whether that will work. I have made an effort to space the words out so that the phrases are readable. And I've tried to centre some of the phrases I like the most.

So I have a finished top for 2014.  And it is really the antidote for 2013, which was a very difficult year for me.  This quilt will just exist as something to make me feel good and have joy, and balance and all the other inspirational words this quilt is covered with :-). So this is goes towards my making for me project!

E xx

Thursday, 15 May 2014

What up!!

Ok, I know I'm two - no three - weeks late for Easter, but I had this all typed and it was what I did over the Easter holiday, so I though what the hey, let's post it anyway! :-)


I hope you all had a marvellous Easter. You all deserve to be completely spoilt and covered in chocolate (that has kinky undertones, but I swear I didn't mean it that way!).

Over here I  revelled in the Easter break. I have taken an extra three days off work and with the ANZAC public holiday (for foreigners, that's our big war Memorial Day here in Aus) I have almost two weeks off. And the best part is - it is being spent at home!!!! No travel. No suitcases. No flights or hotels or having to try and get all the cleaning done in the 30 seconds before we leave. I am getting to loll around the house, in my pajamas, and just relax. It's wonderful!

I have even gotten some sewing done! I know! Crazy, right!

In the Easter spirit I thought I'd pull out my Bunny Hill and get my stitch on. I've been working on my Harry Potter so much, it was so refreshing to do some simple patchwork again. I sat and spent an afternoon just chain piecing and then ironing. And or was so darn relaxing! Simply heaven, I tells ya!

Now I know you can't really see it, but there are little bunnies frolicking all over that fabric. I swear!!
And now all my little 2.5" squares are in pairs and ready to get sewn into strips.

I want to lay them out first and try to arrange them so I can avoid patterns touching if possible. I want this to feel really random and properly patchworky, so I don't want there to be big clumps of bunnies or circles or anything. I want them spread out. Only trouble is, Harry Potter's taking up my design wall... :-/

#firstworldproblems   #toomanywips   #justmakeadecisionalready   #yesiamusingthehashtag

Now I'm off to travel through the blogosphere to catch up on all your happenings. I have seen some tantalising peaks and I want to know EVERYTHING!!!

Loves ya!
E xx

Monday, 12 May 2014

Making for me

Oh my goodness! I almost forgot my own link up! (like I did last month :-/ oops)

I've not been around this month, because, unfortunately I have been completely tied up at work.  No sewing for me :-( I haven't even had a proper chance to read all of my favourite blogs (that's yours, of course).  Currently sitting on 323 unread blogs...

Hopefully May will be a little quieter. Get a bit more sewing happening and a bit less paperwork.

What sewing I have done in the last 2 months has been all Harry Potter.


And while I am loving seeing it all come together on my wall, and I have spent hours ironing and pinning until it's perfect. And I am getting crazy in love with the intricacies of paper piecing... I am a little sick of the chaos that is my sewing room while I work on this project...


What about all you lovely ladies.  What have you been working on?? Tell me it's something incredibly selfish :-)

Thanks for joining in!

E xx

Friday, 11 April 2014


I'm doing a double post for today, just so I can get myself linked up properly. I do apologise for my poor blogging etiquette.


Ok so I had myself an epic fail on FAL quarter 1.  I finished my sewing machine cover and mat, but didn't get around to linking them up.  And the other 3... yeah. No. I didn't get them done.

SO why am I linking up for quarter 2??? Because I like to set myself deadlines and goals that I know I will not meet! I'm quirky that way!

So my FAL 2 list is as follows:

1- Harry Potter
I am loving this project! I think I have fallen in love with foundation paper piecing, in general.  It is super time consuming and my sewing room is a disaster of  a mess, because I'm using so many different fabrics.  But it is progressing.  And with three months of steady work, I can TOTALLY get this top finished.
That being said, I have no idea how I want to quilt it, or what I want to back it with, so maybe not totally finished.....

 2 - Radiant Orchid Dresden
I am more than halfway through the quilting.  I have to stop working on HP and finish this sucker! It was supposed to be done weeks ago, but I got distracted by HP and haven't gotten back into my quilting groove.

3 - Radiant Orchid Hexies
Another project I just love.  I need to make my bag and go from there. I have a pattern picked, but I think I want to do a practise before I commit my hexies to it.

4 - Mini-Charms
I still love these little pieces of sunshine and happiness. But they are my simple sewing. They need me to be in a certain mindset... We'll see how the mood strikes me this quarter. It could be a nice simple finish...

5 - Penny Patch
Ok, this is taking up desk space. it must be finished.  It is a simple pattern. There is no reason at all why I can't get this done this quarter.

6 - Swoon
I cheated and had this long-armed. (It looks amazeballs by the way)  So this month I am going to get this bound. I want this on my bed for winter. I am determined.

7 - Carpenters Wheel
I also cheated with this one. I sent it out be long-armed too.  I am so happy with my Swoon, I can't wait to see what this one looks like! And then a quick easy binding and it'll be finished!!!!!!!!

8 - Improv
I am further along with this than you've seen (I promise a post in the imminent future!) and I think I'm going to get it long armed.  So three months to get it back form a professional and ad some binding - definitely do-able!

Ok. So I'm a little ambitious. But with a little bit of elbow grease I can totally get this list tackled and at least get some of thee moving along.  They're all active WIPS.  I'm not including the things that are tucked into hidey holes or that have been sitting in boxes for months, collecting dust.

Is anyone else linking up with the FAL? Any tips on how I can actually achieve my epic list?

E xx

Radiant Orchid part the second

So ages ago, I gave you my sneak peak of the radiant orchid challenge and some of you smart little chickens guessed right. I made myself a Dresden plate.

Purple Dresden
I have been seeing this so many places for so long and always thought it was something for an experienced/intricate quilter. I was scared to even start. But this year I thought I'd be brave and ordered myself the fancy pants ruler (which I'm sure isn't necessary, but I can't imagine doing it without). And I have to tell you guys, it was actually pretty easy.

I had my fabrics cut and pieced on the same day. I, of course, didn't bother to google a tutorial until AFTER I had sewn my first plate together, and discovered a much better way to do this, so quickly whipped up another one which I have no idea what I'm going to do with!!

I really like the Dresden, just in general. I think it's got such elegance to it!  And it honestly, was so much easier than I thought.  Like, incredibly easy. As in, if you can sew a straight line, you can make this. I admit that I'm not making fancy Dresden's, but still - will definitely be saving this for future quick quilts.

I say quick quilts, because I literally got it pieced in an afternoon. I was on a roll! I thought I could actually get his finished within the week!!!!!!!

I machine stitched my Dresden to some dark grey and even got the top basted fairly quickly. I bought white flannel to back this with in the hopes that the quilting I was planning would it amazing (not to preempt the awesomeness or set your expectations too high), and that it would really pop off the white. And  I love a snuggly quilt and flannel does that for me every time. Well minky does it more, but I'm not going to attempt to do any pretty quilting on minky... I'll leave that to the professionals :-)
purple dresden applique

I did the first bit of quilting and was less than thrilled. Particularly with the way it showed up on the back.
I figured I'd change it up and make my quilting more sketchy and added more lines. And now I love it! I made sure I wiggled a little bit so you can see the different coloured threads.
quilting purple dresden applique

I got my stitch on as best I can, but as always, life (and other projects) got in the way. I'm about halfway through my quilting.  So unfortunately I didn't link in to the Radiant Orchid challenge. Having seen the amazing things other people made I'm not too upset as I stood no chance of winning. If you haven't checked it out you should! Everything is just gorgeous!
quilting on grey

As for me, I will be happy with this project even if it doesn't win any prizes. Purple Dresden's just belong in my home :-)

Now to do half a dozen more quilting lines and whip some binding on this sucker! I can get this done this week... right?

E xx

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Penny Patch - Part 2

So I started my Penny Patch and was all gung-ho and inspired. I ordered fabric, I chopped and I stitched, but as I started putting it on my wall (yeah, I made a design wall just for this project, it's very flimsy though) I realised it was too busy. I had so much orange, so much blue, I loved those colours, but it just needed to be toned down a little. I needed to up the low volume component.

Yowser! It hurts my eyes, just to look at all that colour!!  Not really, It's kind of fantabulous, but definitely doesn't have that soft vintage vibe I was aiming for...

But I was shocked when I went to my stash and discovered that I actually have very little genuine low volume. I have lots of prints on white, mostly black or bright colour, but they were not going to work on this. I needed super low volume. White on white type low volume. This is genuinely a surprise because I am a HUGE fan of Vow Volume (so much so I just signed up for the third round of the Low Volume Swap). But a layer cake will not solve my Penny Patch crisis.  So I shopped.

Come on, you knew it was coming!!

I grabbed a bunch of grey and brown and white and cream on white.

How yummy is that!!!  I almost want to keep it just the way it is and never touch it.

I also got some blue  on white and cream. And a tiny piece of orange on white. I don't know how much of these I'll use, but I'm glad I grabbed them. They all have a nice softness to them, which for me is definitley the appeal of low volume. Hopefully they will add that softness to the colour that I'm aiming for.
So time for more cutting and piecing and hopefully I can have this sewn together in the next... I want to say week, but I work 5 days a week, and then I have plans next weekend, and I'm working on my Harry Potter quilt, and I have to  actually spend time with my husband at some point... so it might be three or four weeks before I get a chance to get to it...

And this is why it's hard to show you guys projects properly!! Anyone feel like paying me to stay home and sew??? Not to give you the makes, of course, I want these for myself, just pay me to potter around my house :-) No takers?? What a surprise! Lol.

So I'll be back with this as soon as I make some kind of progress! :-)

E xx

P.S. Can you see I got the fancy thingamajig for the camera!! So ecited to have real photos again.  I'm like a kid in a candy store looking at my photo cards :-D E xx

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

making for me #3

Well, it has been very quite here for the last month, and I've already justified that with my camera issues.  I do apologise.

I have been sewing though!

I have been working on my Harry Potter quilt. Which is coming along nicely, thank you very much. And lots of support from the interwebs, so genuinely, thank you.

I'd never tried paper piecing, and I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I am enjoying it.

I have made myself a super cute little pouch.

In my pouch I am storing my current hexie project.

What's that? a hexie project?? Yes, I have started something new! I decided that my WIP pile is not big enough yet, so I thought I should throw something else on there :-)

I was feeling inspired by all the fabulous scrappy radiant orchid going on across blogland, that I grabbed my purple scrap jar (and some off my shelf, but shh, we're pretending that I'm being fabric smart) and my papers and started making hexies. Here's a sneak, but I'll do a proper post later (so I have something to link up too :-P).

Everything else I've made has been for soemone else, but the balance is definitely in my favour at the moment.  I have to say, I'm pretty happy with the state of things - ie, weighted in favour of more things for me!!!!

So what about you? What have you been working on lately? Anything you want to share?

E xx

Oh! I almost forgot! I have made a button!!! I'm pretty excited (can you tell?) I feel like i'm all learned, now :-0

The Lazy Quilter

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Harry Potter

I am a bit of a PotterHead. I know with my Sherlock obsession it's not the first thing you'd pick me for... Maybe it's the British accents...

Anyway!! In my travels around the internet around two years ago, I stumbled upon a Harry Potter quilt. I pinned it and then promptly forgot about it. It was paper pieced and way beyond my skill level. Honestly, when I found it, I did not have the first clue how I would have made it.

For some reason, a month or two ago I found a link back to Fandom In Stitches and the Harry Potter quilt. I looked. I thought. I pondered deeply. Yes, it is as cool as I remember it being. Yes, I am still a Harry Potter nerd. Yes, I now have a fabric stash (and know where to get more) to make this a vibrant lively quilt. Yes, I have some sewing skills and might be able to give paper peicing a try.

So I hit print. A lot. There are a lot of pieces of paper for paper peicing. Who'd a thunk?

And then the hard part. Picking my background fabric. I had chosen my shelf fabric long, long ago. Back when I first saw the pattern I had decided this was on the bucket list and had bought some Joel Dewberry wood grain.

But what could I coordinate with this? I wanted a linen look, but was warned off fabric that has any hint of directional print. Very glad someone gave that advice. Any kind of "print" was out, but I didn't want to do a solid. So for the last month I have been googling to try to find the right background. My local quilt shop was having a big sale, and I only go there rarely, because often their fabric is not my style, but I thought I'd take in my wood grain and see if I could find a match.

Huzzah! I found a lovely creamy smooshy fabric. And at 50% off I was very happy to have gone visiting that day! Of course, being me, I also grabbed a thousand other fabrics of varying descriptions, spent a gazillion dollars and left swearing never to bring my credit card with me when I go into that store. I was seriously tempted to buy a new machine... 

Well, I got home with my loot and started cutting straight away.

For the last 2 weeks every spare moment has been spent making my bookcase. I know I have other projects that I said I was going to complete, but I am hooked on this one right now. I have fabric spread everywhere as this is so scrappy.

As my first foray into paper piecing I'm actually really enjoying it. Some of my blocks are a bit bulky, but I'm giving myself leeway as a newbie.

I apologise for the photo quality. My camera is still playing up so I only have iPad photos to share, but I miss blogging and telling you about the things I'm making, so please forgive me. If I didn't share my Harry Potter goodness, I may have gone crazy :-).

Today is another day for sewing, so I have picked my block and my fabric and have a Harry Potter DVD ready to go (because you can't make a Harry quilt without watching Harry Potter as you make it, right!), and I will see you all when I come up for food :-)

E xx

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

making for me #2

Welcome to making for me for another month.

This month I am have really focused on some projects that are just for me. I worked on some pretties for my sewing room. I tackled my imrov quilt.  I have stitched away at my medallion.  I have no photos, because my camera is once again playing up (it's been that kind of month as well!). I have extended the link up go be open for a week, thanks to popular demand, so fingers crossed I can get some photos tomorrow, so I can share in more detail.

On the sewing front, I'm actually pretty proud of how selfish I've been :-D

So how about you? Have you made anything for you lately??

Remember that you are linking up something you've made for you. And in accordance with the no rush philosophy, you can be mid way through your project, or just starting out. It just has to be something you're sewing just because you want to. I also want to make sure you know you can link up any post from the last month. I'm not trying to make more work for you here!! I am called the Lazy Quilter for a reason!

Thanks for joining in.

E xx

I'm sorry, I still haven't worked out how to make a button. I did google, but to no avail. I promise I'll have one for next month!

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