Sunday, June 29, 2008

A bird in a gocco cage or one thing leads to another....

The craft at work challenge, in which Annie and I embroider a wee square each week over two lunchtimes has been going great. Annie is a very patient teacher and doesn't seem to mind that she has to teach me the same thing again and again (like french knots).
This little guy has been inhabiting my brain for weeks.....

resulting in this

This is my first attempt at Goccoing fabric with two colours. I did the red bird blob first

After the red blob dried I printed the cage part over the top - It was really easy once I had figured out the lining up bit!

Then Hey presto a bit of embroidery (yes a French knotted eyeball - please be impressed).

Then I sewed them up and added a little base. The base is hard plastic like templastic covered in fabric and hand sewn to the bottom.

I actually made these as accessories for the dollies and monkeys but I like them so much I imagine a whole tree of them dangling about.

So far I have made 7 and have only 3 left. Annie got one, Mum visited and pocketed one, Jem took one for a friend and I appear to have lost one somewhere in the sewing room

(never to be seen again).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Johnny? ...oh Johnny?

Its done ! The scarf of longing and branches and texture is finished. (You may need to backtrack to this post to understand)

The fabrics are a mix of bought from pipijoe, donated by Kirsty (Thank you) and stuff from the stash.
I love the gocco pieces. I retyped part of the Scarf blog post and translated it to French and then gocco'ed the text onto some wool, satin and other general shiny fabrics as well as some velvets.

I foundation pieced it together and then backed it with some soft black velveteen.

I actually made two of these at the same time, one I am going to keep and it will debut at work tomorrow and the other one will be in the next shop update.

Now which one to keep...Johnny? oh Johnny? Could you possibly come over and just drape these around your neck? pardon? You think they might look better against bare skin?

Do I mind if you take off your shirt?
Of course not dear, Whatever makes you comfortable .......

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Doing it!

So tomorrow I have been invited to a sewing day. That's right - no kids , no significant others (except our sewing machines) - just 6 hrs of sewing time. There will be food and chatting of course . There will undoubtedly be great tips and show and tell and some sharing, but .........

I know that they are all lovely people.....I have met them all before,

Its just that know that thing.

They've all been doing it for a while, and doing it together for years ......they all love doing it, they adore doing it. They do it alone or in groups and they do it as often as they can. They are kind of addicted to doing it.

And that's OK - I mean I am pretty open-minded, each to his or her own I say......its just that ........well...........I 'm not that fond of doing it. I don't really enjoy doing it and and I kinda suck at doing it to be honest. That's not to say I won't ever do it, and I'll do it a little bit just to be social but yikes a whole day of DOING IT !

Maybe its just not my thing? Perhaps I could just follow their lead and bluff my way through? I could make the coffee when it all gets a bit intense right?

Surely it would be better for everyone if I stayed home and finished off some monkey limbs, sewed the back onto my scarf, worked on the cushions, re-jigged the new softie, finished the ill-fated fabric birdcage and drew up some new dollies.

I mean they did say I didn't HAVE to do it, just cause they were. They kindly said I could do my own thing and just watch them doing it. But I am a hands -on kind of girl so there is nothing for it.

Tomorrow- I quilt !

Friday, June 20, 2008

Whats in the box?

A little while ago I joined in a "box swap " that Cass was organising. The idea is so simple! She filled a box with crafty goodness and sent it to someone...that person could choose three things to take out and then they added three things and passed it to the next person and so on and so on....

So now I have the box! I have taken out some great fabric, some zips and a purse frame.

and I have added some vintage buckles, some keyring blanks, and a little sewing bucket (and a tiny thank you pressie for Cass for doing the organising)
.....................................................and now I am sending it off to Annie

Monday, June 16, 2008

This is...where I create

This is .......where I create

taken piece by piece it is a beautiful space, full of inspiration.

As a whole.......well.......... it does lack that certain Home Beautiful quality doesn't it?

(With thanks to Michelle for this weeks theme and the hostess with the mostess Three Buttons.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

tongue firmly in cheek the tune of Abba's Dancing Queen please maestro!

Friday night and the lights are low
I’m looking out for something to sew…..
Its gotta be the right project, getting in the swing
I can hardly choose just one thing

Everybody should see me stitch
The night is young and I’ve got that ……itch
With a bit of new fabric, everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a stitch

And when you get the itch...

You are the stitching queen, not as young as you once had been..... oooh oooh
stitching queen, feel the beat from the Janome...... oooohhh ooohhh
You can blog, you can sew, having nowhere else to go

See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the stitching queen

(and with unreserved apologies to Abba - especially if they heard me singing along )

1. Fabrics from Pipijoe (love these to bits)

2, 3 Fabrics from Amitie as part of Blog mailout and destined for dollie clothes i think.

4. Some gocco'd pieces for the scarf

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tape measure pouch tutorial

In an effort to win "Domestic Goddess of the day" today I have cooked Roast capsicum soup, broccoli and cheese soup, cleaned the sewing room, made (and eaten) Florentine biscuits and just whizzed up a little tutorial. Before you all hate me too much, the crown is in no danger as I forgot my mothers birthday - yep, she even visited, nothing was said, completely forgot !!!
However I have made amends and the funny thing is ...she forgot too! (it must be genetic).
I made this little zippered tape measure pouch to hold my super sharp scissors that I take to work for the Craft-at-Work challenge and though they might be a fun thing for other people to have a go at.

To begin you will need:
  • Some light cotton to sew your tape measures to. It doesn't matter what it is.
  • Fabric for the lining
  • a zip
  • some little scraps for your zip ends
  • a hairdryer
  • Some coloured tape measures from your tape measure collection.

My fabric measures approx. 14 cm x 46 cms and I used a wool blend for the lining - it hides my hand stitching nicely as it has a bit of texture. I also switched zips after this photo. I Didn't really like the pink one.

Begin to create your tape measure fabric by setting your machine to zig zag with a reasonably close stitch size. You want this stitch to hold your tapes together. I also made sure to use a good quality thread and an old needle. I switched my machine to slow (down on the foot pedal usually). Then you simply set your tapes next to each other on your light cotton and sew them down while joining them together.

Keep going until you have covered your cotton piece. I am not too exact with the measurements, your last tape can be a bit over or under the fabric. I always make sure the last tape, that will be at the bottom of the pouch is a wider one that is reasonable thin. This will help later.

Now you can square up and chop your very long piece in half, giving you two sides.

This is when I usually cut out my lining - this way I know it fits exactly as I use these pieces as cutting guides.
OK, so now we are really almost there. The next bit is the zip so I want you to think good thoughts, give your machine a little pat and proceed.

Have a good look at the above photo - that is where we are heading. I promise it will make sense.

See those scraps on the end of my zip? They need to be long enough, when folded in half, to extend your zip length to be the same as your whole pouch . OK?

Your zip is shorter than your pouch but not too short or you will have a narrow opening that you can't put anything through. I aim for maybe an inch of tag at the end of my zip to bring it to that same length as the pouch.

Fold one of your little scraps in half and pin the folded edge to the end of the zip. You want it to cover the endy metal part..... just.
Then you can sew it in place just behind the metal endy part - where the pin is....... being careful not to run over the metal endy part or you'll break a needle.

See there is the little metal endy part peeking out. Don' panic - it will make sense

Now, at the top of your pouch (you decide), Just trim the fabric back a little, maybe a 1/4 inch.
This is so it won't show when you attach the tapes to the zip.

OK - small pause while you go back to the photo of it all laid out and see if it is beginning to make sense. (except of course your little tags will be sewn on by now).

Lets ignore all that and start the lining.

Lay out your tagged zip so it is upside down. Lay your lining piece over it and match up the raw edge of your lining with the edge of the zipper. In the above photo just imagine giving that red wool a little tug to fully cover the zip and then sew it in place. Your lining should be longer than your zip
You don't have to be very close to the zipper for this, as you will want to hide this line of stitching later. Repeat for the other lining piece.

Once you have done that step and flipped your lining back over itself away from the zip, this is what it will look like from the WRONG side (above).

(Don't get confused by the tabs on the end of the zip - always showing the right side of the fabric- remember we folded them in half.)

and this is what you will be looking at right way up. I was a little close to the zip on the upper seam there but I went back and unpicked it.

Seriously, that is all the hard stuff done with.
You can trim up your zipper tabs now so they are the same length as your lining and trim them so they are as wide as the zip.. I always just make mine huge and trim them later.

Now just lay your tape measure pieces in place along your zip. Pin them into place. Try and put the pins where you expect to stitch and that way you'll stitch right over the pin holes.
When you pin, remember to check the underside that the pins have also held the lining away from the zip.
This line of stitching not only attaches yout tape measure sides but also stitches your inner lining away from the zip.

Make sure your zip opens easily and LEAVE IT OPEN
Then take your lining pieces to one side and your tape pieces to the other.

Sew around your lining pieces right sides together. You only need to sew up to about 1 cm from the zip. Leave a generous sized opening in the bottom for turning.

Sew around the tape measure side as well.

Now all you have to do it pass the whole pouch through the OPEN zipper and out through the opening in the lining.

The best way to do this is to warm up the tape measures for a few seconds with the hair dryer - it makes them nice and soft and easy to turn, and it helps when you press out the corners too.

Don't forget to sew up the opening in your lining or yet another project will be only be "blog finished"
This is super easy and if you just muddle through the instructions it will become painfully clear how to do it and you'll wonder what on earth I was fluffing on about.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Can you feel the love?

It has been a pretty feel-good week here this week.

I was thrilled to hear both my mini-quilts arrived at their destinations (and the recipients liked them).

I also received my quilt from the esteemed Miss locket and it is simply one of the cutest mini quilts ever !!

Lucy really put some thought into this. It just screams Jodie - in fact one of my work colleagues wouldn't believe that I hadn't made it myself. It has selvedges, wee buttons and is my favourite colour ever - greeen. It looks fantastic hanging in my sewing room, even though Annie wanted me to hang it in my office at work. (and bring it home every night)

It is just perfect Miss Lucy thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into it, not to mention those precious selvedges.

Both of my quilts have now been received and I can show you the one I made for Monda but Lucy has yet to unveil the one I sent to her so I won't spoil the surprise.

This is an in-progress shot of the mini quilt that I made for Monda. I seemed to have forgotten to take a finished pic so if you want to see how it ended up you'll need to pop over and visit Monda loves.

This quilt swap has been so much fun and I declare it a huge success (I hope it has been for everyone-I have loved it!) and I would like you all to raise your glasses to Lucy Locket - queen of the swap.

*clap clap clap*

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Softies for Mirabel

Hello my name is Mirabel

but you can just call me Belle if you want.
I am being a bit grumpy at Jodie because it has tooken her about twenty hundred days to make me be ready and lots of time I was naked with no clothes at all!

I am very special because I am going to find a new home and I will in a auction which is about people winning and paying money to look after kids whose maybe mum or dad is not very well.

Jodie said I have to go to meet a nice person called Pip and she will look after me until I go to a very new home. If you wanted me to come to your house then you would have to know about Softies for Mirabel cause that is where I will be going first before my new house.

I hope my new home has some children who aren’t babies. Do you like babies? I think they look nice when they are all bubbled up in their pushers but when they get let out and get near to you they are all gross and they dribble lots and grab at stuff. And did you know my friend Sara has a baby that pulls hair all the time and makes Sara cry even!

Today at the park I saw a boy who was not very nice at all. At the slide he just pushed in straight in the front – even pushing in to the little kids and he had funny sticky –up hair and I said “you are pushing in” and he told me to go away and I said no he should go away instead and he said I was a baby and I said I wasn’t and then I said he was a stupid head.

Then I dobbered on him to Jodie and she said just to go and play somewhere else and I said I couldn’t because he was just being everywhere. So Jodie came over to the slide and looked at him funny when he tried to push in and I said to her to tell off him but Jodie said you are not allowed to tell off other peoples children , you can only be telling off to your own children and dollies, and I said that you should be able to tell off stupid head boys who are mean with sticky up hair.

After we left the park we had to do jobs which was boring and going to the supermarket which was a bit funner because we bought some nice things and the man at the meat place said aren’t you cute and gave me a piece of meat and I said thank you but he had sticky-up hair like the mean boy at the park so I just held on to the meat and I didn’t eat it and then I dropped it on the floor a bit on purpose, because I thought he was maybe the mean boys dad and that he gave me a poison meat and I told Jodie and she said he was not the mean boys dad because he was too young and that I was being a bit silly.

I said “Well you don’t know everything in the whole wide world”!

Jodie said she thinks it will be a long weekend.........