20 June 2010

And Finally - Project No. 4

This has to be the last one, 'cause it's way past my bed time. I have a shirt I was given. It's a stretch t-shirt, but still a wee bit too tight. Only the arms though. And a bit too low in the front.

I fixed the front a couple of weeks ago. The shirt is grey and I had some black netting with some fancy flower work on it from another project. I put that in the front, like a sewn in camisole peeping through.

Still the sleeves were tight. I found some black lace that is actually elastic (or maybe it's elastic that is actually lace?). I cut the sleeve from cuff to shoulder and sewed the lace/elastic in. It looks pretty funky; black stripe down my arm.

It doesn't feel so crash hot. I used a narrow zig zap 'cause I didn't want to lose much to seams. And it's a bit scratchy. I have to think about what to do about that.

Again, no photos at the moment. Sorry about that.

Project No. 3 - Cushion Covers

For several years our once-white lounge has been covered with an assortment of sheets or blankets. They always come untucked, ended trailing on the floor and generally looking rather tacky. Sadly, the once-white also looks a little tacky.

Today, I cut up the sheet currently being used and made covers for the seat cushions. Reasonably simple process. Given the sheets are old and aren't furnishing quality I didn't want to go to too much effort, expense or time. Basically, I made a fitted sheet for each cushion.

Working with a piece of fabric I knew would more than fit the cushions. (Covers the top, the sides and comes in about 3-4 inches on the bottom)
Pin the fabric to the top of the cushion so it's smooth.
Turn the cushion upside down.
Pin the sheet around the edge of the bottom.
This leaves 'dog ears' at the corners. Pinch and fold the corners. Pin the corners.
Remove all the pins (except the corners).
Take the cover off the cushion.
Sew the corners. I laid the each corner out flat and drew a straight line where it was pinned before I sewed.
Cut off the dog ears.
Sew a casing around the edge, thread elastic through casing.

Edit 22 June 2010 - here's a photo.

Project No. 2

I'm going to Manila (in the Philippines, not northern NSW). It's for work but I'm very (very) excited. I haven't been overseas for ... a long time. I'm also very nervous. I have to change planes in Sydney, and, well, I haven't been overseas for a long time. I decided I needed a travel wallet. One of those lovely fancy things that holds your passport and tickets and rah-rah. I found a wonderful pattern.

I will say the pattern needed a little altering. It may be my sewing isn't as accurate and neat as it could be, or it could be that passports and credit cards are slightly different sizes in different parts of the world. If you do decided to make it, measure the two rectangles required before you sew them (they have no pattern piece). The pattern also talks about a contrasting strip on the front, but I didn't quite get how that worked, so left it out. The pattern says to use six different fabrics - each bit is different. I combined several into one fabric. Really, like most thing, you can do whatever you like. I'm thinking of making a raw edge leather one for The Man.

Photos of other people's version here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/glassbeach/541301419/in/set-72157600405070648/
Instructions here: http://www.box.net/shared/y27zn7uz41
Pattern pieces here: http://www.box.net/shared/spfyrf8e0m

Project No. 1

Every year, at least once, we stay with a wonderful person in Goomeri. Maggie is a fellow Meniere sufferer, only she's a lot worse off than I am. She's lots of fun and a very generous spirit. She has a lovely old Queenslander, which originally she was doing up for a B&B, 'til the Meniere's got too bad. In her kitchen she plans to put gingham curtains on the cupboards.

During our last visit, while she was having a nap, I snuck about and found a tape measure and measured the cupboards. When we got home, I realised I'd stuffed up when I wrote the numbers down. Digit dyslexia strikes again. I wrote the 'rail' to the bottom shelf was 20.5 inches, and the under-bench to bottom shelf was 25 inches. However, I knew positively, that it was NOT 5 inches to from the underbench to the rail. So, were the numbers 25.5 and 25 or were they 20 and 20.5? Who knew? Not me.

I very sneakily found Maggie's good friend & neighbour on Facebook and asked her to sneakily remeasure the cupboards for me. Once that was done, I went and bought the fabric. Lime green 1/8 inch gingham.

I started with this project because it's quite simply the simpliest. A casing at the top for the elastic wire to thread through, a hem at the bottom. I left them full width, which is about 2.5 times the width of the cupboards. They might be a bit full, but I figure it's easier to make them narrower than to make them wider.

The three curtains are all packaged up, addressed, and waiting for a trip to the Post Office tomorrow.

New Whiteboard - starting my busy weekend

Haven't blogged for ages. I have done a few things, here & there. This weekend I've been especially productive. I've started a new "whiteboard" of projects on the go/in the planning.

Did you know you can use ordinary glass as a whiteboard? I "knew" that 'cause all our office whiteboards are actually glass walls, but I didn't "know" that until I read it somewhere. DUH! I have a picture frame; el-cheapo and a bit dodgy for hanging on the wall (probably fall apart in the middle of the night and scare the bee-gee-bers out of all of us). I put a piece of paper in the frame and, hey presto, a new handy sized whiteboard to list all my projects on.

The entire list (which is not the "entire" list) was a bit disheartening. I mean, where to begin. I had several Spotlight bags on my desk of things bought for various projects. Just overwhelming.

However, I overcame the whelming, and started.

05 May 2010

Why I Quilt

This quilt is the reason why I quilt.

We recently visited with my nephew's family. His little boy loves silky things; sleeps with a pair of boxers :-) I thought a quilt might be a little nicer, so decided to make him one when we got home. The quilt is pieced silky (poly) fabrics with a fluffy polar fleece backing.

Hurdle #1. It would seem that little boys aren't supposed to like silky fabrics, unless they also like spiders, skulls or other nasties. I simply couldn't find any suitable prints. In the end, we (The Girl & I) opted for smiley faces and a few coordinating plains.

Hurdle #2. The fabric. Horrid, horrid stuff. It doesn't square up easily (if at all); it slips when you cut it, when you sew it, when you iron it; and it shreds like overcooked corned beef. I've since been told that one trick is to use a fine soldering iron to cut it. It seals the edges; stops the shredding and gives you a firmer line for pinning/sewing.

Hurdle #3. I didn't buy enough fabric. (Do we ever?) I didn't have a plan when I went shopping; mainly because my plan was to buy 1/2 dozen or more different fabrics (see hurdle #1). I wanted to keep the pieces large to keep the silky feel (and because of hurdle #2). I eventually formed a plan (which evolved as I sewed). The main problem with it - I didn't (and don't) like it LOL. This is not one of my great works of art and craftsmanship.

So, given the numerous hurdles and hassles; that I don't particularly like this quilt; that I didn't enjoy the process of making this quilt - why is it that this quilt represents all the reasons I quilt?

Because the recipient of this quilt, little Roycey, loves it. He will no doubt wear it to pieces. I am sure it will end up a tatty bit of rag by the time he's done with it. And that, for me, is what quilting is all about. I'm not interested in the latest technique or style; or entering competitions or shows; or impressing my fellow quilts. I just love making quilts that people love, that people use and that eventually just plain wear out from use.

04 January 2010


I have been busy through December (who, in the Western world, isn't?), but I have been sewing and creating. No pictures at the moment though.

I finally sewed The Man's Christmas shirt (promised last Christmas). I'm not sure he likes it; he hasn't worn it yet. Usually he wears my shirts the first opportunity he gets. It's a dark purple fabric with a black 'spray paint' through it. He chose the fabric. I added some bright yellow highlights - the collar band, a peeper through the pocket, a peeper in the yoke seam at the back, and yellow top stitching (mainly the buttonholes). I think it looks great.

I'm working on a skirt for me at the moment. It's bascially pattern-less. It's from a great book "How to make the new classics". Has lovely classic wardrobe pieces and to-scale patterns in the back. The skirt is pleated all round, with buttons down the front. My trouble has been a) shaping the waist and b) fitting pleats. I've now finalised the skirt shape and the pleats. I've topstitched them down for about 5 inches, 'cause I don't really need any more 'fluff' around my belly! Just have to put on the waistband, and buttonholes. I've downloaded some embroidery buttonholes. Just tossing up which one to use, and what colour thread to use. Contrast, co-ordinating, not sure.

I made The Girl a matching skort and shirt set before Christmas. It has a lovely dolphin embroidered on both pieces. The fabric is a lovely blue with mottled pinks, purple and green patches. She doesn't like it. "It's too pink". The fabric screams "blue" at me. The shirt isn't her "style", whatever that might mean. I'm mean enough to insist that she wear them anyways!

I also added a lovely, simple flower pattern to a very plain blue chambrey (sp) dress I have. It just adds a little lift to the dress without detracting from it's simplicity.