Saturday, May 29, 2010

The last of the great D.I.Y Block Carriers ...


Its been raining and cold all day here. No sun, all grey. The cat just had a fang at my knee. Brent and Pickles are playing with the PS2, yes we still have a PS2 and they are having a ball. I thought I would grab the time and finally post the last bits of the block carrier here.

Where we left off ... We had just turned the carrier right side out, pressed it and attached one set of the handles. Next off the rank, pin the top closed, making sure you add your tabs for the handles and making sure they line up beautifully with the side you have already done. Then sew along the top by hand if you wish or machine, take your pick! Then attach the last set of handles.

Now is the time to embellish your carrier in any way you want.

Once you have made it all purty, its time to attach the buttons to the sides. I did this by lining up the tabs on the sides of the flaps with what would be the matching position on the side of the block carrier. I then sewed on the buttons and put them in the tabs.

I then added a button for a closure on the top of the carrier as well. So the carrier is officially done. *There is something to think about however* I am contemplating put a button on each of the corners at the top of the carrier, as the cover tends to flap. The buttons would fix it.

But the Carrier is done. Finis. Phew. Next post will be about the bag I am making and there is a story there. And about Eda's quilt, its beginning ...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

More Block Carrier D.I.Y



Right. The block carrier is almost done, I am going slower than I should at the moment, bit caught up with the final few chapters of my book and life but its just window dressing really. So I thought I would let you know what I have done up until now and then finish off tomorrow night or the night after with the final fiddlies and a couple of lovely final pics.

This really wasn't too tricky at all. Its very straight forward, and how it looks at the end is all down to you. So, I am going to show you how I made this for me.

1/4" seam on anything.

What I did next. I decided that I might do something a little bit more interesting instead of just sewing all the red stuff together, so I went for sewing together the four squares. Wow, that was a big moment for the evening. Surprised that the police weren't called. Gave them a pressing and then joined that new square to one of the plain red squares (That I put the larger square of batting on the back of before hand). Big night at Jo's place. I then decided to really walk on the wild side, and I got out my Clover punch needle ... gasp ... and used it.

*IMPORTANT TIP* The Punch needle works like a little beauty when you use tearaway on the back of your fabric. The punch needle can be iffy on quilting fabric but it ceases to be an issue with tearaway, and whats more you can tear it away at the end! Bonza. Be doing this again.


I pressed as I went. So my front is ready. I then decided to be really daring, and sewed my smaller square of batting in between that last two remaining red squares. And pressed it. Woohoo.

I then decided to tackle the side flaps. I put two triangles right sides together, PUt in my loops where I wanted them to go and then sewed down the longest edge and the short edge leaving the middle length edge unsewn. The unsewn edge will be the edge that gets sewn to the edge of the main panel of the carrier. Turn the triangles inside out and press 'em. I also decided to add some yummy vintage (1950s) red ric rac to the main square as well. Because I could. So there.


I then placed the triangles on the edges of my main square.

I then put the all red squares with the batting attached face down on the red and main square with the batting on the back. Pinned it all in place and then worked out where the tabs for my handles were going to go on the bottom of the red squares and pinned them in place. I then sewed around three sides of the carrier leaving the top open. I turned it inside out and pressed it. I then got the craft wood piece and pushed it into the opening and down to the boom. It will be snug fit but it will fit. Takes some wriggling but it works. I then attached one of my handles to the bottom of my block carrier.

So, the Carrier is nearly done. Its now down to the fiddlies and final pics, and as I said, I'll post that tomorrow or the night after. Now I am off to post this and finish up the carrier.

Bon Nuit campers!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Need another DIY day ....


G'day.

I said yesterday that I would post the rest of the instructions up for the block carrier. I said I was going to do that because I thought I would get it done. But .... I didn't. I will be able to finish it today and the instructions will go up tomorrow. Just a day late. SORRY!!!!!!! And here is a picture to show you how far I got last night. And you get to see my toes. Bonus.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spring Quilt Festival ... (plus a word about the block carrier)



I am supposed to be finishing my book. I am so close, but I made a mistake today, I checked in on Amy's site and saw that I am in the middle of Spring Quilt festival time. So instead of diligently writing, I am putting up my latest quilt for the show. I can't scrape the cat of it, or the child so don't be surprised at the extra organic features in the pics.

The story behind this quilt? Its for my little Pickles, my heart's delight. There is another one I am doing for her that is ultra special and thats an entry for next year. But this one? It's a Valori Wells pattern, and its straight from her, one of her freebie patterns. I decided to do this because my gf who wanted to quilt and had never done it before wanted to give it a go, so i said I would to. So when I look at this quilt, I see hours and hours of laughing and mayhem spent with Lydia, as we ran around our favourite quilt shop like a pair of five year olds making way too much noise.

Its taken way to long to finish this quilt, Little Bow was done during this time and also a bunch of other stuff. As well as something bigger on the personal front. We have been having a major knock down, drag 'em out battle with our government about adopting our second child. Australia is the hardest country in the western world to adopt from, so its been a real nightmare. But as I was finishing up this telly cosy (Pickles calls quilts cosy's and that what quilts are called in our place), we finally where given word that we are going to be able to adopt an older child after months and months of frustration and heartache. I now have decided I had better get another telly cosy underway so this new addition to our family can have their own cosy, and I think if the weather is cold when we have to travel it will come with us to be given to it's new owner, who ever he or she is.

How come all sorts of life changing things happen when I quilt?

Now a wee word on the block carrier, tomorrow night I'll post the rest of the instructions and some pics, or if I get a window and a chance to do some more work tonight I'll post then.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

D.I.Y Block Carrier ... sew along anyone?


Its been bloody cold here in Sydney today. We all slept in, and then we had the laziest morning. So by about 11.30, Pickles was making apple muffins with her dad and I was sitting in front of the heater with a sleepy cat. (Don't panic, I am getting to the block thingy.)

I was watching the Sleeping Beauty (disney version) and then out of the blue, had a wee idea for a block carrier. So I did a sketch, and then pulled out my fabric, put it all together to see how it looks and then bingo, all the bits are ready to go. So before I cut it out, I thought I would post the ingredients here to show you guys what I am playing with and seeing if anyone wants to play as well. This pattern could be gussied up in a number of different ways, so it has a bunch of different feels and reflects whatever style you like.


So here is what I am going to use:

1 14" piece of thin craft board (you choose your thickness, I settled for 1/8")
2 14 1/2" square pieces of fabric for the back of the block carrier - I used plain fabric
1 13 1/2" square piece of batting ( I use bamboo batting)
1 14 1/2" square piece of fabric for the back of the front piece (could be plain or co-ordinate fabric for the fabrics on the front.)
4 7 3/4" squares, in four different fabrics
1 14 1/2" square piece of batting (again bamboo for me)
4 flap pieces. Out of cordinating fabric I made a triangle pattern. I ruled a line 8" long going down, squared out a line 6" from the top of the line. Then I ruled a line form the bottom of the long line to the end of the short line and I had my triangle! I then added a 1/4"
seam allowance.
9-11 Buttons
1 gorgeous button or feature thingy
2" of cord or leather thonging
2 bamboo handles (14" wide at the base of the handles)
Scraps of fabric to make some tabs for the handles.

You might be wondering what the piece of Micheal Miller fabric is up the top, I am going to use it to make a block carrier charm, wait and see!!!

And that's what we need to make this. As I make it, I'll put the rest of the steps with some pics up in the blog so you can see.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bag info and woolly bits ...



As promised, here are the pics of the book that I used to make the wonder bag. It's a great great book and I am so glad that I bought it when I did.


"Les couleurs francaises" - The colours of France. The ISBN is 978-4-579-11276-0 and it's code is C5077. It was published by Hobbyra Hobbyre

Some folks are daunted by the Japanese quilting magazines and books. Don't be. They all have clearly laid out pictures to follow and the patterns are great and easy to follow. I'll be making some little bits and pieces from the books I have over the next few weeks, and I'll make sure I include all the details.

And here is a wee sneak peak of the next little project I might make from the book, its lovely but there are a bunch of things I need to do first but here it is ... : )




I am just spinning some wool for a jumper (sweater) for Pickles. Its cold here, and getting colder and I will be buggered if I stick my little pretty in an acrylic sweater. The wool is mostly merino with a tiny bit of silk. Its gorgeous and looks divine. And here it is ..



I have to get my skates on, I have a bag sample to make on the weekend (more about that in the next post), not to mention the fact that I have 7 or so more chapters to go in my novel and then my book is finished. Well, the first draft anyway, and then editing and rewriting and making it all polished and beautiful before heading over to my agent. And then there is a pile of quilts and bags to make. I'm going to put a project list on the side of my blog so I can keep track of everything and so I can show you as I go... and go ... and go ...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Confessions of a bag lady ...


Thought I might let you know about the bag I have made, because I thinks it's fair to say that ... I love it.

It came from a Japanese Quilt book, I have written about it earlier but I'll also post a picture tomorrow so you can see the cover and I'll let you know the ISBN if you want to track it down. Its an amazing pattern, it has two, count 'em, two pattern pieces and it took me under an hour to make. It was super quick, and elegant and I just love it. So the pattern will be used to make some bags for chrissy pressies.


Some of the other mothers at school are making them as well and I am itching to tell you about the MM club, so more on that later this week for you as well.

I'll post again tomorrow about the bag details, and Pickles new Telly quilt and ...



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dollies and Spandau Ballet ...


howdy doody campers. I thought I would show you a doll I have made. She is the blue print for a wee series that I have been cooking up. Poor little thing, I like her but she does have issues. These issues have been addressed, I think, in the next version of the dolly. I call them "Starlet Kewpies". Actually, they feature in the book I am writing. Its a book for teenagers, and I wanted to see if I could make up the doll I wrote about. Anyways ... taadah!



And yes, her face is a wee wonky. That is one of the first things I have fixed. Anyways, in the next couple of days I want to show my ideas for Down Under Quilts latest quilting challenge, I haven't done one of these things before so I thought I would give it a crack. And I want to show you a pin cushion that I made to teach some of the other mums in Pickles class how to do patch work. These girls are gorgeous and they are so keen to learn. I reckon these girls are going to just soar when they see how wonderful sewing can be. Woo hoo!

And I have been talking about this for a bit. I went to Spandau Ballet. Squeeeeeeeee!!!!! Aw look, it was great. They weren't my favourite of all favourites, but they had a place on my bedroom wall. To this day, "Cut a long Story Short" can still have me dancing around the room will the cat looks at me like I was crazy. It had me almost hit the roof of the Entertainment Centre in Sydney when they opened with that song. It was a great night. I was there with a bunch of other folks who were all for that tiny time, teenagers again. No cameras were allowed but I whipped out the ol iphone and snuck one any way. you can't see anything, but I took it there. : )