Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'working on' wednesday {4}.....aka 'sunday mini-challenge' {1}

On Sundays at the quilt shop, I work with the lovely Ms Kylie who (along with the lovely Miss Amanda on Saturdays), makes this job so much fun. While Kylie and I were chatting last weekend about sewing in general and fabric we liked for bags in particular, she mentioned a cute and easy bag pattern that she had, and asked if I would like to make one too. As I said I would love to, she came up with the idea of us both making one by the next Sunday; and thus, our 'Sunday Mini-Challenge' was created!

So, here is our bag pattern ::

In this instance we are both using the same fabric, as with the size of material we needed, it was more economical to buy one piece each of the outside and the lining, and cut them in half. We both love this material, so we don't mind it being the same. This is from the gorgeous 'Etchings' range by 3 Sisters for Moda, which we have all been in raptures about in the shop.

The blue print, which is a map of Paris, is for the outside, and the cream cursive script material is the lining.

As this week has all of a sudden become much busier than expected, I had better get my skates on and start making it - it would be rather embarassing to fail on our very first challenge!!

And now it is my turn to pick next week's challenge. Perhaps a cute little pincushion? Or a gorgeous little brooch? Maybe even a little Christmassy something?? We shall see next Sunday!

In the meantime, some progress has been made on my previous 'working on' Wednesday projects - a few more rows of my crocheted blankie done, and another block finished for my applique project.

My little knitted bag is now sewn up and ready to be lined. Kylie asked me what book this pattern came from, so I have included a photo, and the photos in the book of this little bag.

Hopefully there will be some more ta-dahs to show you next week - including my 'Sunday Mini-Challenge' bag!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

'working on' wednesday {3}

Today, a little project which has actually been a UFO for some time - five years in fact. FIVE years!!! Which is a little embarassing, as there is not much I need to do to finish it. Truth is, I had forgotten all about until recently!

So, I have moved it on to my list of WIPs and plan to finish it very shortly.

This is (or will be) a little knitted bag, and the pattern is from Emma King's book 'Fun and Funky Knitting'. I love this book; the patterns in it are really cute and most of them are quite easy.

My little bag is the 'Floral' pattern. SUPER easy and quick - so no excuse for it not being finished!

The beautiful floral material is for the lining and I absolutely ADORE this fabric - it was called 'Petals from the Past' by Hoffman, and was out around 5-6 years ago. I only came across it towards the end of it's run, and so only have two small pieces with this green background, and a few small pieces with the white background. It's kind of become one of those fabrics that people refer to as their 'holy' or 'sacred' fabrics - the ones that are soooooo beautiful that you are almost too afraid to cut into them, especially when you can't get any more!

Here's a few more photos of its utterly exquisite gorgeousness ::

On Wednesday nights I go to a sewing group with a few like-minded crafty friends. We get together for a social sit-and-sew, and have been meeting for two years now. It is such a pleasant little interlude during the week - lots of laughs, something yummy to eat and a bit more progress on a project - a perfect night!! It's always a good time to get some hand sewn projects done.

Unfortunately I have not made it to many Wednesday nights lately due to some health problems, but as we now only have about 4 more evenings until we break for Christmas, I am planning to get my little bag sewn up ready to be lined, and make some more progress on my crocheted blankie.

So, photos of my finished bag to come VERY SOON!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

'made by me' monday {2}

So, I guess it's no secret to anyone that knows me. When it comes to crafts, I am really a jack of all trades, master of none. However, although I have tried many different things over the years, the learning and creative process has always been the best part. The fact that I may have something I love to show for it at the end is just kind of a bonus.

And, in any case, if you don't try lots of things, you'll never find out what it is you do love, right?

Today's 'made by me' piece is a silver ring that I made when I took a one day silversmithing workshop last year. During the day we designed something and then made it. As I love silver jewellery, this ring was the perfect project; something I really enjoyed making and could wear at the end of the class.

The ring is silver and the heart in the centre is a Japanese silver/copper alloy called (I think) shibuichi. I must admit I was pretty pleased with myself that (given it's size), I managed to cut the heart out of the copper sheet with tin snips and, once I had smoothed the edges, still had a cute little heart shape!

I really enjoyed this silversmithing workshop, and would love to do it again - maybe next time some cute little matching round silver earrings with a copper heart in the centre too, hmmmm?

Friday, November 4, 2011

favourites on friday {1}

I thought I would like to show you some of the things I love. Many of them are things I have in my home, some are places that I love in the town where I live, and others might be things that I love to do during my day.

So, today, a little post about creativity and my family. Although none of my family share my interest or enjoyment in the 'domestic' arts such as sewing, knitting, crochet and so on, they are all quite talented in their own right. My Mum, for quite a few years, painted lovely Australian landscapes in oils, and my sisters are very talented at drawing; my younger sister took classes in botanical drawing, and has produced some beautiful pieces of work. She also wrote - and half finished - a wonderful novel which she never completed, and which I truly believe would have been published had she sent it to any publishers. Sadly, none of them now do any of these things.

My father, who passed away almost four years ago and to whom I was very close, loved to work in wood. He made many beautiful bowls and occasionally pieces of furniture, and when my niece and nephew were little, he created cute little wooden jigsaw puzzles for them.

I have one bowl (among many) which I treasure. Dad made it especially for me; it was a design in a woodworking magazine which he thought I would love.

It is based on the planet Saturn, and it's rings are represented by the wider rim around the central bowl shape.

I don't remember what wood it was made in, but the turning is so fine that the bowl has almost no weight at all. I was devastated when in moving house several years ago, a large, jagged piece broke from one side. Thankfully a friend of my Mum's was able to fix it without the damage being too visible.

I cherish this bowl, and what it represents of my relationship with my Dad. It sits in a spot in my living room where I can see it every day, near a photo of my Dad and I together.

This one is not just a favourite; it is one of my most treasured possessions.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

happy thoughts on thursday {2}..... pretty

today, some daisies blooming along my paling fence.....

'working on' wednesday {2}

Hello, and welcome to my second 'working on' wednesday post! Today, a little bit of applique.

I saw this pattern in the shop where I work and loved it.

As you can see below, I have been blanket stitching my applique. I would so love to be good at needleturn applique, and always say I will practice on the next block, but then I worry that if I try to needleturn it all, it will never get finished! So, blanket stitch it is, at least for this project.

I have had four blocks that have been finished for a little while now, and I am hoping to start a fifth one this week - maybe the one with the cute little house.

So, with any luck there will be another block to show you before too long!

These blocks are only 7" to start with, and so don't take too long to get through, although the one with all the leaves did take a little longer.

The great thing with small applique projects like this is that you can use up lots of little scraps that might otherwise get thrown away, and I HATE throwing fabric away unless it's so small it isn't useful for anything.

I do love a lot of the Lori Smith patterns. I have one pattern pack which is for nine small quilts all done in pink, cream and brown - 'Cherries, Chocolate and Cream' - and now that I have a nice little collection of pink and brown fabrics, some of these little quilts may be 'on the menu' before too long too.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

more pottery.....

Just a few more photos of pottery I have made, to follow on from yesterday's post.....