Thursday 17 November 2016

The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt - October 2016

Can you believe that it has now been 12-months since I started this project! Originally it was only meant to take 12-months for the sew along however the pace was reduced to only 1-block per week by the organizers earlier this year thus adding extra time.  I'm still plodding away.  Instead of sewing my blocks weekly I tend to do them all at once toward the end of the month.  

Here are my Farmer's Wife blocks for October:

04 October - Block 95 - Sylvia

11 October - Block 25 - Crystal

18 October - Block 38 - Golda

25 October - Block 81 - Peony
I noticed that not many participants have tackled Peony.
She doesn't play nicely - she has single & double Y-seams!

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Goldfields Quilters Biennial Exhibition - 2016

I picked up a copy of the above flyer in my local quilt shop and subsequently added the dates into my diary.  Castlemaine is only half an hour drive down the Calder Freeway from Bendigo and is a lovely town to visit.  I visited the exhibition on Saturday 15 October 2016 and here are some of the highlights of my visit:

"Autumn Leaves 1 & 2" by Cherie Woodfine.
I neglected to get the details of the lower quilt.
"Autumn Stars" by Christine Christie.

"Stars of the Night" by Kay Smith

"My Lady Jo" by Patty Ritchie

"My Lucy Boston" by Brenda Bidgood

"A Tribute to Lucy Boston" by Kay Smith
There really are some very talented quilters in this group!  

It was also good to see that Honeysuckle Patchwork & Stained Glass (Bendigo), The Village Patch (Maldon), and Threadbear Patchwork & Quilting (Castlemaine) were all represented at the exhibition and each had a small pop up store selling goods.

Beautiful display by Honeysuckle in Bendigo (my local quilt store).

Thursday 10 November 2016

Heathcote Quilters Biennial Quilt Exhibition - 2016

On Sunday 9 October 2016, Mum and I visited the Heathcote Quilter's Biennial Quilt Exhibition which was held at the RSL Hall in High Street, Heathcote - just a short 45-minute drive from my home in Bendigo.  Entry was only $7.00

I didn't take many close up photos of individual quilts as you can see from the above photos the rows were very narrow which made photography difficult.  

Here are a few highlights:

"Op Shop Wonder" by Liz Allen.
This was made using a vintage tablecloth found in an opportunity shop.
The quilting on this is amazing!!

"Op Shop Wonder" - this is the back of the "quilt" showing the beautiful quilting.
This was professionally machine quilted by Liz Allen at Thimble 'N' Thread

A close up of some of the quilting on "Op Shop Wonder" by Liz Allen

A close up of some of the quilting on "Op Shop Wonder" by Liz Allen
"What a Journey" by Cherie Deegan.
"Bali Bargello" by Shelley Truscott
"Spinning Stars" by Anne Anderson

I love it when they have stalls selling goods!  Mulberry Lane Quilting (Kangaroo Flat), Canterbury Quilts (Eaglehawk) and The Patchwork Tea House (Warburton) were all there together with one or two others.

Mulberry Lane Quilting
I found my happy place - Kaffe Fassett Collective!!
some of the stalls
The Patchwork Tea House

A huge thank you to Alison at Canterbury Quilts in Eaglehawk for posting this on her Facebook page on Saturday.  If she hadn't of done so I would not have known that this was on!

This is how I found out about the exhibition as it was not very well publicised.

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Making Luna Lapin - Blog Hop

It was a huge honour when Nadine from SewAndSo invited me to join in on the "Making Luna Lapin Blog Hop".   Making Luna Lapin is a lovely book by the wonderful Sarah Peel. (Scroll down below to see a sneak peek of the book).  The book contains 20 different garments and accessories to make for Luna as well as the pattern to make Luna herself.  

I must admit, I wasn't sure how I would go with some of the patterns as I am "JUST a Quilter".  I have had some experience making toys but absolutely no experience making clothes (except for a pair of adult pyjama pants which my mother helped me with).  I am so grateful that we had a few months lead time for this project as I tackled it in stages.  In full disclosure, this ended up being a joint project between me & my mother Barbara - I'll explain as we go along...

How to Sew a Rabbit:

There are 5-pages of very detailed instructions in this chapter together with corresponding "how to" diagrams. Author - Sarah Peel uses Liberty of London fabrics for the ears and the pads of the feet - I opted to use Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics instead.  The print I have used was "Millefiore Pink" from the Kaffe Fassett Collective Spring 2016.  I felt that this fabric added a lovely pastel pop against my bunny's soft grey fur.  I also gave my bunny blue eyes.

Did I have any issues?  Not really.  The instructions are pretty straight forward, any oopsie moments were purely my own brain farts and were easily rectified.  I had a slight issue lining up the ears once I had finished sewing the head together but it was easily rectified by stitching a little flower on bunny's forehead between the ears.  I wasn't sure which seams were to be machine stitched on the inside or hand stitched on the outside so 95% of my bunny was machine stitched on the inside and turned through.  In hindsite I have a feeling that this was not the author's intention. If you would like to see a photo of Luna's body, there is a nude rabbit photo on page 19 of the book, my rabbit was too shy to pose nude. 

Polka Dot Dress:

I decided to make Luna's "perfect for every occasion" polka dot dress.  Instead of using polka dot fabric I used "Paisley Jungle" by Kaffe Fassett for Rowan Fabrics - GP60 in grey.  

To be honest I found this pattern very confusing. I did not like the look of the pockets and could not manage to attach the collar.  I telephoned my mum (a retired dressmaker & now a miracle worker) and arranged a date to bring bunny & dress over to her place.  We attempted to unpick and resew "my" dress, but in the end I cut out the pattern a second time and delegated the making of the dress to mum.  

Mum made a few minor alterations to the pattern, they are:

  • Omitted the pockets.
  • Added ricrac braid to embellish the front of the dress and the cuffs.
  • Used bias binding at the neckline instead of the collar.  
  • Used a box pleat on the front of the dress instead of a tuck pleat.
  • Omitted the bias binding from the hemline and just turned up the hem and machine stitched it.

The French Knickers:

As my mum has an impressive stash of lace, she volunteered to make the French Knickers. I left the pattern with her and she said these were dead easy to make. We didn't add any embellishments to the knickers.

Wool Coat:

Once my brain cells had time to recover I decided to tackle the wool coat.  I used a lovely soft lilac coloured acrylic felt for the coat.  

There are 7-pages of detailed instructions and "how to" diagrams showing you step by step how to make the coat.  I managed to whip it together rather quickly on my sewing machine without any brain farts UNTIL I was almost at the end of the pattern and noticed that the collar & hem both needed bias binding and the coat's front required 6 buttonholes to be sewn on.  Erm HELLO, "JUST a Quilter" here!  I have never stitched a button hole in my life and I was not about to destroy this coat in the process of trying.  So I picked up the telephone, "Hi mum, can I come and see you tomorrow?  Also do you have any lilac ricrac?"  

Mum the miracle worker to the rescue.  She took one look at the collar and said that we didn't need the bias binding, instead she hand stitched the inner collar down with matching thread (Aurifil of course).  As the coat was made of felt she said we didn't need bias binding on the hem (felt doesn't frey).  Instead I machine sewed two rows of fine stitches around the hem for effect. Inside the inner flap of the coat I added two press studs, and on the outer flap I attached three buttons for looks. This was a much simpler way to finish off the coat without tackling the "dreaded button holes of doom". Queue scary music!

The Shoes:

Bunny needed shoes to wear with her coat and I decided to use a darker shade of purple acrylic felt.  I raided mum's buckle supply but she did not have any buckles that were small enough, so instead I used two plastic purple gemstone buttons to add a little bling. After all, what bunny doesn't like a bit of bling! The shoes were dead easy to make and I hand stitched them whilst watching TV one night. 

Although I followed the pattern to the T, these shoes are a tiny bit too big for my bunny.  I think this is because I machine stitched the legs & feet & turned them in instead of hand stitching the outer edges (see my comments above under "How to Sew a Rabbit"). 

The Scarf:

It is almost summer in Australia but as this bunny is about to head off to a cooler climate overseas, I decided to make her a scarf.  

I rummaged through my Kaffe Fassett fabrics and pulled out a selection of scraps. Instead of using the provided template, I cut 3.25" squares from my scraps and cut them in half to create the 64 required triangles.  The directions supplied were very straight forward and I found myself in my happy place as I stitched away on my Elna. Once the scarf was finished I added an edge stitch about 1/8" in from the edges.  

I love the scarf!  It looks fab, however I don't think it really needs to be that wide.  I tend to fold it in half when I tie it around Luna's neck, but she looks so adorable wearing it! 

My Completed Bunny:

All dressed up and waiting until the day she boards the plane and flies off to Bakersfield, California!  What's that?  Did my dear friend Darla just fall off her chair?  Yes sweetheart, this little bunny is all yours and she can't wait to meet you!!
Whilst at my Mum's house, Luna helped herself to Granddad's bar and sat reading stories to the other bunnies.  Hey Darla, there are wineries not far from where you live aren't there?


Buy the Book:

Click on the picture below to take a peek inside the book:



Making Luna Lapin Blog Hop Schedule:

There are some talented sew bloggers from across the globe who are taking part in this exciting blog hop. They will be reviewing Making Luna Lapin, making Luna or her brother and making clothes to dress them both. Here is a list of the fabulous bloggers who are participating:

Ø  Monday 31st October SewAndSo
Ø  Tuesday 1st November – Meet Sarah Peel
Ø  Wednesday 2nd November Sew of Course
Ø  Thursday 3rd November Melanie Sews and Other Stuff
Ø  Friday 4th November Poppy in Stitches

Ø  Monday 7th November Carina Crafts
Ø  Tuesday 8th November – BendigoLioness
Ø  Wednesday 9th November – Bit of Tea and Honey
Ø  Thursday 10th  November – Thimbeleanna

I hope you enjoyed reading my review of "Making Luna Lapin" by Sarah Peel.  

You can get involved by making your own clothes for Luna or making Luna herself by purchasing the book

Don’t forget to share your makes on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram using the hashtags:  #MakingLunaLapin & #SewandSo

Thursday 3 November 2016

Be Scrappy, Happy.

My friend Mary Oram recently designed a beautiful cushion as part of an Instagram competition and won first prize.  I absolutely LOVED the design when I saw it and offered to pattern test it for her:

Mary's winning competition entry.
The pattern was very easy to make.  I used a mixture of low volume fabrics for the background and a combination of yellow, orange and lime fabrics for the crosses. The circles are cut from felt and I have used some Kaffe Fassett Collective prints in the centre of the felt circles.

The top is pieced and the embellishments are ready to be attached.
I used Perle 8 thread to hand quilt the top and to embellish the felt circles.

A close up of one of the circles.  The Kaffe circle of fabric has been attached to the felt circle using needle turn applique and then I have used a Perle 8 thread to attach the felt circle to the top using a blanket stitch.
I have then hand quilted around the perimeter of the felt circles using a black Perle 8 thread.
Hand quilting around the circles.  I have also hand quilted around the coloured crosses using a Perle 8 thread in matching colours (orange, yellow & lime green).
My completed cushion.

And now my beautiful cushion proudly sits on the futon with my other newly made cushions.  The hexie cushions were recently made using "Comma" by Zen Chic for Moda.  I also have two cushions made using Jodie Carleton's fabrics "Bunny Trail" and "The Cat's Pyjamas"
The view from my chair.

Mary Oram's cushion pattern "Be Scrappy, Happy" is due to be released in an upcoming edition of Make Modern Magazine. I assume it will appear in the next edition which is #14. 

You can follow Mary on Instagram, her account is @PoppinsPatch

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Eureka! Hop & Skip to Houston...

It's International Quilt Market time and Emma Jean Jansen has just released her newest fabric line Eureka which is inspired by the Victorian Goldfields and all things mining. The range features geometrics representing quartz crystals and a fabulous print with gold highlights showing the veins of riches. There is a fabulous mine shaft map print and a stripe which is inspired by the cores showing the different colours in the earth. A wagon wheel is a great circle contrast and of course Emma had to include a Southern Cross Star print which was a symbol of the Eureka rebellion. The range features navy, chartreuse, apricot, turquoise and grey and will inspire you to create!  Her fabric is distributed by Ella Blue Fabrics.

Emma's new fabric range - Eureka
It was a huge honour and a privilege to assist Emma with her Quilt Market preparations this year.  My contributions are only small, but they were heaps of fun to make and a huge accomplishment for me to have some of my work on display at International Quilt Market.

"Hop & Skip" is a pattern by Australian designer Melly & Me.  Hop (in navy) measures 12' tall and Skip (in apricot) is slightly smaller and measures 9.5" tall. You can click HERE to purchase a PDF download of the pattern.

Hop & Skip in my sewing studio

Hop & Skip enjoying some fresh air in my garden

It was a huge EUREKA! moment for me to make my Quilt Market Debut.  Emma very kindly sent me this photo of the 'roos at Quilt Market in Houston. 

Emma's booth at Quilt Market.
Can you see Hop & Skip sitting on the table on the left?

Another photo of Emma's booth at Quilt Market