Monday, January 28, 2013

Lazy Day - By The River

I had a very lazy day today ... a icy cold coffee frappe and a book, down by the river.

This is the Murrumbidgee River, and I spent a restful few hours, just day dreaming.  I did read a little bit of my book, but spent most of the time just "chillin".   I woke up this morning not feeling 100%, probably just a summer cold, but I did not feel like being creative or doing housework, so I packed up and went down to the river.  Just what I needed!

Sitting under beautiful gum trees, doing nothing!  Bliss

How did you spend your Australia Day holiday?


Sunday, January 27, 2013

No-Sew Cushion Cover

This is a quick and easy way to cover a cushion without any sewing at all.  Reminisce of the polar fleece throws of the past, I still love mine.

Insert photo of rug here - I would have, except I realised the rug is in our other vehicle which is in Tumut

Grab your cushion insert and polar fleece

Double your fleece and place cushion on top - this is just to get the measurements.. no need to be too precise, just eye-ball it.  Ensure you leave at least 2.5" extra all the way around

If you like, lightly mark the inside 2.5" with tailors chalk.  Then using your scissors, snip the two layers of fleece with scissors every 1 " - 1.5" to the marked 2.5" line. Again you could use a ruler to gauge where to make the cuts, but I didn't bother.  Snip around all four sides.

Once finished, take one layer of fleece and place on top of the cushion.  You will then have one layer on the bottom and one on the top.

Now, starting at one corner, begin tying square knots between the matching strips on each piece of fleece. To tie a square knot, cross right over left and then left over right.

Quick and easy, soft and cuddly.

 I think I will add this to the list of projects for my nieces and nephews to make. They could easily conquer this technique and each make a cushion for their room.  Would be nice in a printed polar fleece for them.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Koala Cupcakes for Australia Day

I think this idea came originally from the Australian New Idea magazine, but it is certainly applicable for an afternoon treat on Australia Day

Koala Cupcakes

 These were very easy to make, the only difficulty I had was trying to make a grey coloured icing for the koalas.  I was unable to purchase black food colouring in my small town, so I mixed red & blue food colour together until I got the desired shade.

For the actual cupcake, I cheated, and used a packet mix .. easy.  Spread with frosting and then dipped in coconut.  Sliced pink marshmallows for the ears, mini choc bits for the eyes, and a black jelly bean for the nose.  

Pity the children were not visiting so that I could share.  The grown-ups enjoyed the treat anyway.

I also used two flags from a purchased Australia Flag banner to make a new cover for my sunglasses.  I have a habit of just placing my sunglasses on the console in the car, and they usually slip to the floor.  Not an idea situation.

This banner was purchased from the discount store for only $2.00 - it had about 10 little flags on it

The flags were the ideal size for my sunglasses.  I did not have to cut them at all.

Lined with a nice red check fabric, my sunglasses will be happy

Sunglasses, popped inside and now safe with the Velcro closure

Hope you had a great Australia Day, it really is a fantastic country we live in!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Orphan Blocks - All Finished

This has been a great venture, converting all the orphan blocks I found into Breast Cancer Drain Bags.
The last block was a little plain ... and due to the age of the fabric, hard to match up

I used another plain homespun fabric for a narrow border, top and bottom,  and then brightened up the block with a pink and blue toned floral.  The same fabric was used for the back and lining.

I think it worked?

All eight blocks completed, now I will have to find another challenge to keep me out of mischief.

Australia Day is tomorrow, and I will be celebrating with family and friends ... so to everyone Happy Australia Day


Orphan Blocks 6 & 7 - Completed

Two more blocks made into bags

Block 6

Block 7

One block to go, and it is going to be a challenge.  I really do not want to say it, but it has really "boring" colours.  I am finding it a little difficult to find fabric to go with the block.

With all of these orphan blocks, I have only used fabric that is in my stash, so it has been a win/win situation.  I am helping a great cause as well as using up my fabric supplies.

Wish me luck

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Orphan Block 5 + 1 - Completed

I am making my way through these blocks, another one made into the Breast Cancer Drain Bag

Only three orphan blocks remaining ... I am on target to have them completed by the end of the week!

I also took the time to make another star bag ... I think I may have overdone the red strip ... bit too powerful!

On another note, check out this blog post  from Sew Many Ways - I made these Rolo Pretzels last night , and YUMMY is the only word to describe them... I took them to dinner with two of my sisters to have with coffee. I just used normal Parkers pretzels and popped a pecan nut on top.

I did not take a photo of my version


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Small Finishes

Just a couple of small finishes today - Emery Board covers to include with the Breast Cancer Drain Bags.  Very quick and easy to make

Also six card holder key rings completed ...

My goal now is to finish off the rest of the Orphan Blocks .. by the end of the week!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Sewing Machine

There will be no stopping me now - I have purchased a new sewing machine.  The Janome MC4900QC

It is so quiet, compared to my current Janome MC3500 which is over 10 years old.  I hope this one handles the volume of work and the variety of fabric that I play with.

The new machine has
  • 532 stitches & patterns including 10 styles of auto-size buttonholes
  • 3 complete alphabet fonts
  • Programmable memory
  • Backlit LCD screen.
It also has a knee lift bar which I have never used before.  People that have one on their machine, swear by it, especially when quilting.  The other curious feature with this machine is that you do not necessarily have to use the foot pedal, it has a start/stop button.  This will be great if you forget to pack the foot when going to classes?  Not saying it has happened to me, but I have been to classes when others have forgotten to pack their foot!

I have played a little bit with it, and will use it for the next orphan block bag I make.  It is like a new car, getting to know all the new features, but also trying to work out how to do common stitches / needle movements etc


Monday, January 21, 2013

Orphan Block 4 +1 - Completed

I have reached the halfway mark in using the orphan blocks ... 4 down, 4 still to go.

Block 4
This block was a little harder because it was quilted in one corner only.  No matter which way I turned the block it did not look complete.   I ended up sewing a neutral shade of brown fabric to the top and then adding the wooden buttons as a accent.

One of my blogger friends, Selina,  reminded me about  printing on fabric - with her post on words.
I still had one panel that I had printed when I posted a hint about printing on fabric. 

I had printed out three panels, however I only made 2 into bags.  I "found" the third panel today and made it up into another Breast Cancer Drain Bag.  I love the pop of red!

I seem to be finding a lot of unfinished projects - does this also happen to you?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Orphan Blocks 2 & 3 - Completed

Two more orphan blocks have been made into Breast Cancer Drain Bags

Block 2

 A rich chocolate brown fabric was used for the lining
 Block 3

 A khaki green pattern fabric was used for the lining of this bag

Still five more orphan blocks to make up.  I love having the blocks all there, just waiting to be sewn. 


Saturday, January 19, 2013

More Cards

Remember when I promised to show the 50th Anniversary Card my sister, Sue was making?  Well, I did not get a photo of the final version, but these are some others she made.  She made a number so that the recipient could choose the one she liked best.

To show how you can make a gorgeous card out of virtually anything, Sue used flocked Christmas wrapping paper for the background of this paper, and then used a beaded hair accessory as the accent.
I love the bold colours.



Friday, January 18, 2013

Orphan Block 1 - Completed

The first of the Orphan Blocks has been made into a Breast Cancer Drain Bag.

I love how the lemon check fabric freshens the block and also picks up the other yellow shades in the block.

A very pale green and white floral print was used for the inside of the bag.

I am now ready to start on another block


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Remembering Mum

A beautiful card my sister Sue made in rememberance of my Mum


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Aussie Chocolate Wagon

My sister Sue wanted to know how to make the Chocolate Sleigh that I made before Christmas.
I had a few little pieces of chocolate left over from Christmas that we could use.

This is the result

We got talking, and decided that we should be able to use the same principle for other occasions.  Who doesn't like chocolate?

We have Australia Day coming up soon, so we decided to use that as our theme.

Using the following items from my online store:
Rusty Tin Wagon

Aussie Slang Stickers

                                                       Click to see full size image

Then added:
String and Raffia
Kangeroo Key Ring

We finished up with a fun rusty wagon filled with chocolates, with the Aussie Slang stickers on the side being pulled by a little fluffy kangeroo.  Very Australian . I loved the end result, what do you think?

Now l have to make another one, as my sister took this one home with her, she loved it so much!!
Do you have any ideas of how else we could make use of the chocolate sleigh idea?


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Orphan Blocks

I was sorting through my fabrics today, and came across these 8 orphan blocks.  They are each 12" square, and I am not sure where they came from, or what they were for.  Each block has a name embroidered on them, so no doubt it was for a signature quilt.

I have decided to use these blocks in my Breast Cancer Drain bags.  Each side of the bag needs to be 17" x 12", so I will just be able to add a border, top and bottom, to these blocks.

The problem will be getting fabric to co-ordinate with the blocks.  I am going to endeavor to use fabric I already have and not purchase any new fabric.   You can see I was trying a few colour combinations in the bottom of each photo.

The first one I am going to work on is the needle-turn basket of flowers block in the second photo.
I will show you the results shortly.