Thursday, 21 July 2016

Sew Together Bag (the first)

I am super lucky to already have a Sew Together Bag, made for me by my friend Anne (featuring cats, of course).  Anne has made lots of these bags, and has become sort of a guru.  A couple of weeks ago, I watched her walk another friend, Wendy, through the process for making one, and realised that it didn't seem so hard after all (you can see Wendy's bag here).

sew together bag

I went to Craftsy to buy the pattern, and found that I had already bought it!  So I definitely had to try my hand at making one myself. When I went to buy zips, I found myself immediately drawn to the peach zips, and knew I had to use some of my peachy fabrics in this bag.

sew together bag

The good thing about the Sew Together Bag is that lots have been made already, so you can do a lot of google or instagram stalking to see which ones you like, and the different things that people have done that work for you.

sew together bag

I didn't use the maximum possible number of different fabrics for this bag, because I like the slightly more controlled look that fewer fabrics give. The interior fabrics are a mix of Lizzy House, Carolyn Friedlander, Heather Ross, Umbrella Prints and Sarah Watts prints, and the exterior is Carolyn Friedlander (binding and side panel) and Jay McCarroll (the main fabric).

sew together bag

I worked from both the pattern instructions (which are rather lacking in pictures), and the excellent Quilt Barn sew-along.  My tips for this pattern are to go slow, step by step, be prepared to change your thread colour lots (and have different colours in the top thread and the bobbin as required), and cut a second bag at the same time you cut your first (because it's that addictive).  It's definitely fiddly, but satisfyingly so!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Garden for Birds - Rainbow version

Hello!  After a bit of a hiatus, I'm back!  I'm hoping to start posting with more regularity again, but, we'll see...

Anyway, this quilt has been finished for a while, but I haven't previously found the motivation to post about it.  It's the third quilt I've made from this pattern (my own).  This is the original Garden for Birds Quilt and this is the Garden for Birds Quilt 2.

I made this one over the course of last year as I taught this quilt pattern for the second time.  It was nice to sew along with my students (although all my stitching was done outside class time, of course).

Garden for Birds 3 

This time I went back to something slightly more along the line of my original quilt, with rainbow colours and a low volume background.  A little black sneaked in as well, since I was going high contrast with this quilt.

Simple quilting seemed to be the way to go, so I quilted a large scale meander design over the whole quilt, choosing Aurifil in my favourite colour, 2021.  To make the quilting stand out a little more, I went with a 40 weight thread instead of my usual 50 weight thread - its still subtle but just that bit heavier.

Garden for Birds 3

My stash is pretty out of control, so I have been trying to make quilt backs from fabrics in my stash rather than buying yardage for quilt backs.  Sticking with the rainbow theme, I used a selection of cheerful prints for the back of this quilt, which I rather like.

I'm about to start teaching this class again for the third time.  Every year, my students come up with fabulous and different interpretations of the pattern - I'm excited to see this year's batch of quilts!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Caturday Wisdom #165

Work your angles. Ivy

This angle is as flattering for cats as it is for humans! It's looking like a grey, rainy weekend for us - perfect for napping/sewing, whichever you prefer.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Caturday Wisdom #164

Do not be a dog. Ralph

It's still Saturday somewhere..? We had a lovely, docile dog visitor last weekend that I personally very much enjoyed. Ralph did not feel the same way and spent the day hiding and dribbling and being cross. Ivy was much braver and tried to investigate the visitor but didn't appreciate the way the dog wagged his tail every time she got near it. 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Caturday Wisdom #163

If you are truly dedicated to style, you will match your carpet to your cat. Mojo

He looks a bit surprised at this result but what's more important than cat-carpet fashion? Ralph and Ivy aren't so lucky though Ivy certainly seems to appreciate it when I wear all black just like her. 

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Caturday Wisdom #162

Don't be afraid to put on your mean face to get things done. Ivy

Ivy has an unintentional mean face, she's very sweet and small but when she squints and sticks her nose up she looks like she's gonna beat you up. Ralph doesn't seem to have inherited this trait even though they're siblings. Though maybe he's just such a chicken that it always shows on his face.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Caturday Wisdom #161

Don't feel obliged to smile all the time for others. Especially if you could crush them with one paw. Mojo

A throwback from when Adrianne met the famous Mojo, who is larger than many dogs. He is a big chicken in reality, like most cats but he still doesn't smile on demand. 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Caturday Wisdom #160

When someone tells you that it's almost Autumn it's good to remember that you never took off your winter coat. Ralph

I know lots of people like the cooler seasons but I am not one of those people. If I had to guess I would say neither is Ralph, even though he's a lot warmer than me at all times. 

Friday, 26 February 2016

2015 Finish-Along Q4 Winners!

Finally, I have drawn winners for Q4 of the 2015 FAL.

Without further ado, here they are:

The winner of the $30 gift voucher from Rachael from imagine gnats is Tiffany from Always Sewin' Something with entry 374:

The winner of 3 patterns of her choice from Sara from Sew Sweetness is Francine from MochaWildChild with entry 183:

The winner of 3 patterns of her choice from Sew Bittersweet Designs is Tweety from Tweety Loves Quilting with entry 115:

The winner of a $25 gift voucher from Becca from sew me a song is Cathy from Cathy's Crazy by Design with entry 14:

The winner of a $25 gift voucher from Green Fairy Quilts is Mary from mary emmens with entry 192 (sorry Mary, I couldn't grab an image for the post but your scissors cosies look great!)

The winner of a $30 gift voucher from Mad About Patchwork is Cut&Alter with entry 210.

The winner of 3 patterns of her choice from Juliet from Tartankiwi is Magdalena from i love neutrals with entry 71:

The winner of a pattern from Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts is @forkandneedle with entry 100.

The winners of a copy of the current issue of Make Modern are Pamela from Pamela Avara Arts with entry 138:

and bee at Buzzing Around with entry 130 :

The winners of two patterns of their choice each from Porch Swing Quilts are @kellyfairy with entry 316, Kerry at Penny Dog Patchwork with entry 111:

and Nicky from Mrs Sew & Sow with entry 339:

The winner of two magnetic polka dot bowls from Laurel Bee Designs is Cassandra from Exactly Approximate with entry 194:

On the Windy Side

And the winner of my high tea pattern is Melanie with entry 46.

All the winners were drawn using the random number generate at Congratulations to all the winners - I'm in the process of sending out emails to hook you up with your prizes so you should be hearing from me very soon!


Saturday, 20 February 2016

Caturday Wisdom #159

It's important to use your imagination. I am imagining that I haven't completely destroyed this and that it still looks remotely like a mouse. Ralph

Ralph and Ivy continue to love these mice that our mum knitted. 
Thanks for all the well-wishes last week. I am off my crutches and the freedom is honestly intoxicating. If you would like to try this for yourself, only stand on one leg for 14 days. You will build one very strong gluteal muscle...

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Caturday Wisdom #158

A good way to transport plants if you don't have any pockets is to eat them! I find they always turn up again inside. Ivy

No Caturday last week as I had hip surgery on Friday and was too wasted to finish it. Now I am back home recuperating and while the cats have been allowed in my usually off-limit bedroom there has been a lot of plant regurgitation. Ivy just can't get enough! 

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Caturday Wisdom #157

It's ok to be disappointed when your human takes an empty suitcase to Japan and doesn't even bring back one tuna in it. Ralph

That's right, Adrianne returned from Japan without any fish in her luggage. Ralph was most disappointed but he did get to lick my salmon plate the other day so hopefully that's made up for it.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Caturday Wisdom #156

When someone buys you your very own chair, it's best to show immediate gratittude. Mojo

This is what happened according to Mojo. It's understandable considering how well Mojo matches the chair, it's like it was made for him!

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Caturday Wisdom #155

Play it cool, desperation is only cute if you're a cat. Ivy

I actually don't know why Ivy was licking her chops so thoroughly. She had probably eaten some grass and was excited about vomiting on the floor later. Good times, right?

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Caturday Wisdom #154

Hello from the other side. Ralph and Ivy

I'm sorry if I just got Adele stuck in your head.
Adrianne got a new bed a while ago and before the old bed found a new home there were too many beds in one bedroom and the cats quickly discovered that a bed is very good for climbing. This is probably one of the greatest days/nights of Ralph and Ivy's lives and one of the most alarming for Adrianne and I.
Also, the boxes they're sitting in remind me of the Brady Bunch intro but we need WAY more cats.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Caturday Wisdom #153

The start of the year is a great time to turn over a new leaf. Whiskey

We've been holidaying in Auckland and the warm weather left Whiskey heat-drunk and vulnerable to all kinds of hi-jinks.  I hope everyone has had a great start to 2016!