Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Christmas stockings

I wouldn't normally make Christmas things in September, but I'm teaching a quilted Christmas stocking class at Nancy's Embroidery in November so I needed to get some samples ready.

Christmas stockings 

I'm totally thrilled with how these samples turned out.

Christmas stockings 

This clean and simple version is the kind of thing I'd probably make for myself (and in fact it's kind of similar to the one I made last year).  When I teach free motion quilting, loops are my favourite thing to start off with, and I think they look really effective on this stocking.

Christmas stockings 

These stockings are fully lined and should last for ages.  They're also pretty roomy, so they're not just for decoration.

Christmas stockings 

I wanted to try and cover a couple of different styles with my samples.  I wasn't 100% sure how this one was going to work out, but in the end I really love the lush patterned fabric and the richness that the ribbons add.  I don't think any of the materials in this stocking are technically Christmas specific, but I think it looks totally Christmassy anyway.  This one is quilted with straight lines - I wanted samples that demonstrate both techniques I'll be teaching.

Christmas stockings

My class is on at Nancy's Embroidery on Sunday 9 November, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  I've done one full day class like this before and it was a blast - it's a nice chance for people to learn heaps and get a whole project done in the session.  If you're in Wellington, these samples are now hanging out at Nancy's so if you pop in, you'll be able to see them for yourself.

I'm going to link up this finish with crazy mom quilts.  And I might be plotting some more Christmas stockings...

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Monday, 22 September 2014

Framed stars (and a winner)

Last week I showed you Scaled Stars blocks made by other people - now here are some that I made myself (umm, and also some made by others...).  I made the top right and bottom left blocks in this photo, and my friends Anne and Jeanie made the top left and bottom right blocks respectively.

Framed stars

These are samples for our local guild block of the month - the idea is that people make a 6.5" scaled star block following my tutorial and then add more fabric so the block finishes at 9.5" square (this also means that there's a certain margin for error if the star block doesn't quite finish at 6.5" square!).  Hopefully once lots of blocks have been made it will look like stars sprinkled across the night sky.

I also promised a winner for my Westwood Acres giveaway. chose number 172, so the winner is tlcala4me - congratulations!

I hope everyone has had a great weekend!  I spent the weekend at our annual guild retreat and it was lovely.  It was also quite productive so I have lots of things to share on the blog soon.

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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Caturday Wisdom #86

The key is to let them think they're in charge. Mojo
It's election day! Go vote!
Mojo is a (colleague's) Maine Coon who is also the ruler of Lower Hutt.

Thanks to everyone for all your friendly comments on my non-quilty post!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Non-quilty Guest Post

Hello everyone!
Adrianne has been super busy doing lawyer things this week/weekend/all the time so she asked if I wanted to sew something so that she had some content. I'm pretty sure she was joking but nevertheless here are some pictures of a top I adjusted in a fairly slap-dash manner.

If you buy clothing online like I do, you'll know that it can be a bit hit-and-miss in terms of how things fit and what they actually look like in your hands. This top is actually from a local chain (Glassons) but you got a discount for your first online order and since I was going to buy it anyway I figured I may as well get it for a bit less. It's a t-shirt in style but it's made of a non-stretch silky polyester. It has a cute print of little stars, crabs and sharks on it BUT it's quite long and made for a lady with rather different proportions to me. Thus, its fits weird: 

So tight.

I've been wearing it tucked into stuff at the waist but I don't get that much use out of it because I can't just wear it with anything. I've been adjusting a few things lately and decided this probably wouldn't be too complicated of a project. 
It has a stepped hem with a little 3" split up the side which was handy as it meant that I could just move the start of the split up a little bit, trim a few inches of the bottom (lucky it was long to begin with) and the split would leave me hip room. 

I unpicked the sides a random amount, tried it on an then marked where the split would start. Having a sewing obsessed sister who has everything including the sewing machine you learnt to sew on made everything quite easy. I sliced the extra fabric off with her rotary cutter and it was so much easier than marking a line and snipping with scissors. The fold from the side seam meant I could just stitch these down to re-form the split and then I hemmed the bottom with your basic fold-twice-then-sew technique.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, I'm definitely not an expert and I (mostly) know my limits. I never try to do anything with knits 'cause that stuff is tricky! Now that disclaimer is out there, the results:
The comfort.

The freedom. I did actually iron it...

I'll be back on Saturday with some cat pictures.
PS it's Adrianne's birthday - wish her a happy one!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Introducing Westwood Acres (and a giveaway!)

Today I'd like to welcome Westwood Acres as my newest sponsor.

Westwood Acres is run by husband and wife team Amanda (who blogs at A Crafty Fox) and Weston. They started out on Etsy but now have their very own sparkly new website.  Westwood Acres specialises in fabric bundles, combining a selection of designer bundles with well curated custom bundles.

One of my favourite things about Westwood Acres is how they do co-ordinating solid bundles which match beautifully with a designer collection, like this Pretty Potent co-ordinating solids bundle.

Amanda has also collated a series of low volume bundles which have been very popular.  The Inside Voices Low Volume Club is fully subscribed at the moment, but you can sign up for the wait list.  

Westwood Acres also runs a Liberty Tana Lawn Club.  I've been receiving bundles since the latest round started in June, and they're just delightful. 

Personally my favourite thing about Westwood Acres is the truly excellent customer service.  When I've been in touch about an order, the response has always been really prompt and helpful.

Westwood Acres is generously giving away a $45 gift certificate to be used on fabric of the winner's choice.  To enter, head over to Westwood Acres and then let me know what you'd use your voucher on if you won.  I think I'd be choosing between this First of Infinity text fabric bundle...

...this Cherie Fat Quarter bundle from Art Gallery Fabrics...

... or maybe a couple of these scrummy Cotton and Steel co-ordinating solids bundles (the one on the left co-ordinates with August and Homebody, and the one on the right co-ordinates with Mustang and Hatbox).


If you follow my blog, you can get a second entry by leaving a second comment. This giveaway is open to everyone (including international participants), but if I can't contact you, you can't win. If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address in the comment.

The giveaway will stay open until around 10am Monday 22 September 2014 (New Zealand Time), and I will use the random number generator at to pick a winner then. Good luck everyone!

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