Sidetracked

23 02 2010

I had made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t get sidetracked whilst I worked on my zig-zag quilt. I really tried. I wanted to buy fabric for a bag. I wanted to buy wool for a cardigan. I tried to talk myself into starting 100 other projects.

And I was so good up until now. Zig-zag quilt only, working on it every weekend.

Until I found the blog Tea Rose Home. I blame Sachiko. After finding her blog the other day and spending a lovely afternoon reading through all her past posts, I found a tutorial for adding ruffles to a plain shirt. Somehow, I convinced myself that completing this project wouldn’t really count as not staying focused on my quilt. In the same way as I really didn’t have that mars bar cheesecake this afternoon.

The tutorial is really easy and effective… once I had worked out how to adjust the tension on my new sewing machine for sewing with stretchy fabric it was quite simple. I started at about 5:30pm, and including a short stop of a microwave dinner (I was on a roll and wanted to keep going!) I finished just before bed. I even wore the top to work today, and I was so thrilled when I got a compliment on my top! My friend couldn’t believe I had made it last night!

Anyway, I know what you’re really here for is photos, not my ramblings, so here’s some pictures of my progress up until the finished product. Forgive the crappy pictures, but I was so eager to keep going I didn’t really worry about the bad light and the fact that I couldn’t quite keep my hand still as I took the pictures!

Hmmm.... a plain boring navy tank top. I can do better than that!

Just take another plain old boring tank and chop it up

Stitch a few ruffles in place

Ta-da! It's a really bad photo, but the tank top is definately more interesting!





We interupt this broadcast…

18 01 2010

I have made pretty good headway with my quilt top so far. I know some people seem to be able to piece them in a couple of days, but I think being my first one I am pretty slow. It doesn’t help that I sometimes get distracted by the tv the happens to be on in the background too! At this stage I have basically done half of the quilt top. It’s going to be slower going from here thought because I will have a visitor for the next week and then I’m back at work (boo….. hiss…..). But I think I have reached the “tipping point” (the point at which I have enough momentum to actually complete it!)

I did stop tonight though and spent a couple of hours doing some hand sewing. I was looking for a new hobby to take up this year to meet a few more people and I have decided to try ballet again. I did it for years as a kid and I always loved it. Just becuase I’m much less flexible now doesn’t mean I can’t still give it a go! Anyway I found some adult classes nearby and went and bought myself some new leather ballet shoes today. For the unintiated, they come with elastics but you need to sew them on where you want them, so as much as I hate hand sewing, I got out the needle and thread.

Anyway, excuse the pudgy legs (the camera angle was crap and hopefully ballet will slim them down anyway!) and bad light, but here’s my new kicks and the elastic I stitched on.

Anyone else ever gone back to hobbies they had as kids? I’m hoping it’s not just my lovely childhood rose-coloured memories, but that ballet will be fun again!





Christmas Decorations

1 01 2010

I suppose in the end, being Jan 1, I should be taking down the Christmas decorations. But since I have been too busy to blog about them before, it has had to wait until now! Well, in the end I made 30 patchwork quilted Christmas decorations. I’m pretty sure I made about 10 in the week before I gave them out… that was pretty stressful and whilst I am usually finishing things off just before I give them out, I am not usually that bad!

They were a hit with just about everyone, and I got lots of questions on how I made them. Most people were surprised to see that there was no sewing involved at all, and I ended up emailing the link to the instructions I used to several people as well!

I really like making handmade gifts… as a family we don’t buy presents so it would feel a bit weird to buy things for work people but not for family… handmade ticks the box in terms of giving something, but I feel like it’s giving of yourself, as opposed to giving just a THING that was bought.





Getting carried away

11 10 2009

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I always do it. I bite off more than I can chew. I have eyes bigger than my belly. It’s why I call myself “Halfway Crafter”. I pick projects that are so big that I lose interest partway through and never see them out.

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So when I picked the nice easy little project of making knitting stitch markers for the afternoon, I thought for sure I had made a smart choice… something that could be accomplished quickly and easily.

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Well, I was partly right. I have finished the project, but in typical me-style, I couldn’t just make one set for me to use. No, I had to use all of the tigertail and crimps I bought and just kept making them until I ran out of equipment! I now have several sets of stitch markers, all beautiful and much, much nicer than the knotted bit of yarn I was using up until now! So there went my entire afternoon… but at least I have several finished sets and not just another “halfway” project!

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These two sets below are my favourites. I bought the cloisenne beads especially. One set will be for a friends birthday in January. If I forget, remind me I made them, ok?!

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Saying thank you

1 10 2009

My last post was about the graduation cupcakes I made for my Year 12 class.

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To be completely honest, I have been a little miffed the last few days as on the day of their last lesson, when I gave them each a cake, whilst they all said thank you and thought they were cute, I was hardly overwhelmed with their appreciation (not for the cakes, but for all I have done as their teacher for the last year). Each year there is usually someon in the class who organises for everyone to chip in to get the teacher a gift, or you will usually end up with some chocolates and flowers, or some handwritten cards. However, all I got this year as they left the room was a “Thanks Miss”.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about “stuff”, but I guess as I said it’s about showing appreciation. Even if they had said “Thanks Miss, for everything you have done for us… we really appreciate it” I think I would have felt better.

So the last few days I have trying hard to not be too sour grapes. And then yesterday afternoon I had a lovely surprise when I got a beautiful bunch of flowers from one of my students and avoucher to go with it. It was a very generous gift, and the card that went with the flowers was lovely. I have gone from feeling a little miffed to now feeling guilty for having been miffed!

Here’s the beautiful flowers:

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Secret project revealed…

22 09 2009

Well, Lily Boot guessed correctly! The secret project is Christmas decorations for my family! But since I haven’t even told my family or friends that I have this blog (I guess the blog is a secret too) I can show you guys what I came up with!

This is the first time I have actually come up with my own pattern for something… I suppose I have always been a little un-inventive, and whilst I’m good at following the patterns of others’ I never really thought about coming up with my own ideas!

Anyway, the idea was to come up with a peacock ornament, but once I picked out my blues and greens, I figured why not have a peacocks in pinks and oranges and reds. I think it looks just as nice, even if it’s not the traditional colours! They’re made of felt, buttons, beads and embroidery threads, and filled with polyfill to give them some shape.

Hopefully my family will like them. Since there are no small children in the family we have the rule of no presents at all, so I like to make something small to give each person on Christmas morning.

Anyway, here they are! (Sorry about the bad photography, but I am only free to take photos at night at the moment when the light is bad).

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Shhh… Secret Project!

19 09 2009

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I love combining colours… it makes me happy!

Any ideas what you think it will be?