Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pinspiration - Scrabble Wall Art Tutorial

This week Katy at Sycamore Stirrings has thrown down the Pinterest Challenge gauntlet.  And it was just the nudge that I needed to finally make my best friend's housewarming gift - after all, she only moved in in November - time to get a wriggle on!

When I first started pinning like crazy on Pinterest I found this cute little shadow box Scrabble art and I made one just like it for my husband for our 5th anniversary.  Then I got to thinking that it would be great to have your family's names intersecting with the Scrabble letters.  So, a quick purchase of 300 vintage Scrabble tiles on Etsy later and I was ready.  Well, ready to procrastinate for 6 months anyway.  But procrastinate no more - this week is the pinterest challenge and I took action!

I have put together some brief instructions for anyone else who would like to make one.  It's a no brainer really, but if you're an over-thinker like me sometimes it's easy to get bogged down in the details.

What you'll need -

1 Ribba Shadow box (from Ikea - also available in black)
Vintage Scrabble tiles (available from Etsy)
Glue (I used Selleys All Fix)
Acid Free 12" square coloured scrapbooking card stock (bought mine from Spotlight)
A Skewer
Cotton buds
A grid ruler
Adhesive Foam Squares (available where you buy scrapbooking supplies)
A piece of cardboard (approx 400gsm) larger than the scrapbooking card stock
Acid Free glue stick

What to do -

1. Do a mock up of your letters to determine how they look best.  I suggest taking photos of your options so you can compare and remember how you had them.

2. Using an acid free gluestick, paste the coloured scrapbooking cardstock to the 400gsm cardboard.  Trim the 400gsm card to size if needed.

3. Next lay your tiles out on your coloured card stock to get the posistion how you want it.  Make a mark with a pencil where you will glue your first tile - then everything will flow from that space.

4.  Use the grid ruler to line your tiles up and then glue them down, spacing them approximately 1/8" apart.  Use the skewer and cotton buds to wipe away excess glue - be careful here, you don't want to mark your paper with too much glue.

5.  Place double sided sticky foam dots around the edge of your 12" card stock.  Carefully line up and stick the matt from the frame to the sticky foam dots.  The dots just give a further dimension to the project. 

6.  Place matt and card stock back in the frame and you're done! 

 Done!   Head on over to Katy's blog and check out what other peeps have been inspired to do.

I'm also linking up with We did it Wednesday at Sew Much Ado.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WIP - Ethan's Hunter's Star Quilt

This week I have been getting heaps ticked of my to-do list.  Most of it extremely boring and not blog worthy - such as piecing backings for quilts.  But after I got a few flimsies ready for quilting I gave myself permission to do something fun.  

Last year after seeing this quilt in Sew Scrappy Vol. One, I fell in love and I made it for my Mum out of Pom Pom de Paris.  

No photo of my quilt, but I was so happy with it - it was absolutely gorgeous.  After making Mum's quilt I was totally in love and decided that I needed one for myself so I made one in blue using Deb Tucker's Rapid Fire Hunter's Star ruler.  Again, no photo of the blue quilt yet - it is with Mum waiting to be quilted next month.  But, the love affair with the Hunter's Star continues because I decided that two just weren't enough and now I am making one for Ethan in French General's La Petite Ecole (the fabric that made me cry like a big loser as I confessed here).  Hunter's Star Quilts for everyone!!

I really like the Rapid Fire Hunter's Star Ruler.  With it you make the blocks slightly over-sized and then trim them down afterwards.  There is something satisfying about slicing off all your crooked unsightly edges and having a nice little pile of trimmings to show for your efforts.

And here are all the blocks nicely squared up and laying in rows ready to become a quilt.     


So, that's WIP Wednesday.  With any luck it will become a Friday finish before too long.  I am linking up with Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday and Freshly Pieced WIP Wedesday.  Head on over to check out more crafty goodness.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Easter Basket

For Easter I made Ethan a wee bag to collect his eggs in.  He had only just started started to toddle around the week before so I thought it was time.  He was ready for his own bag.

It was super easy to make (it only took about 40 minutes - and that was with having two kids in sewing room with me) and I loved how it turned out!  The fabric was new in at Hettie's Patch and is absolutely gorgeous.

Here it is looking all cute on the shelf in my sewing room.

And here is the cutest boy in the world stuffing a Cadbury bunny into his bag.

Happy Friday everyone.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIP - Riley Blake Jelly Roll Quilts

I haven't been doing too much sewing this week.  My husband and I have mostly been putting the house back in order after I was away for a few days last week.  It doesn't take long for squalour to set in.  However, I have managed to make some headway on two small quilts I am making for my daughter and  my cousin's little girl.  After I made my double hourglass quilt (more on that in a couple of weeks), I began to play with the triangles I made it out of and came up with a couple of variations.  Here they are minus borders.

I think this one is my favourite, it was certainly easier to piece.  The Riley Blake Jelly Rolls have only 28 strips and yet I have still managed to get two quilts out of it - the perfect size for little girls to snuggle under.  Now I just have to find a store with yardage left for the borders and backing.  Scarlett has got her heart set on the print with the little girl on the swing for the backing.

Here is the other one, a kind of around the world number.  It was more difficult to match the seams on this one because you had to match each seam on a 45 degree angle.  Therefore there was a little stretching required which in turn resulted in an enormous amount of fullness.

Check out this fullness!!! I would like to say that it is just the quilt top fluttering in the breeze, but alas it's fullness.  I usually pride myself on my quilts being nice and square but not this one.  Lucky my Mum is a champion quilter and has a special talent for making bulging quilt tops lay square and flat.

And now for some general randomness.....Tonight we had our sewing circle and this is the cake I made.   A few weeks ago I bought Belinda Jeffries Mix and Bake cookbook and I have decided to bake my way through it.  This is her chocolate potato cake with chocolate ganache and because we celebrated 3 birthdays tonight at sewing, I topped her with my edible gold stars.

And finally here are some photos of the quilt Mum took off the longarm tonight.  How lovely are the feathers.  I told you she was a champion - I wasn't just sucking up to get her to fix my sow's ear of a quilt.

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday  & Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story head on over and check out what everyone else has been up to.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Stash post AQC Melbourne

This week Mum and I went to AQC in Melbourne.  It was so good to get out of the house and be child free for a couple of days.  The Convention was held in the lovely Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens.  I felt very cosmopolitan living in the city and zipping around on trams for a couple of days. 

Here are a couple of photos of the gorgeous building that the Australasian Quilt Convention was held in....

The building was a great venue for the show and there were heaps of vendors (no pics allowed unfortunately)  I tried out a Handiquilter machine and a Sweet Sixteen.  They were both great but I have to admit to being a bit of a dud with the Sweet Sixteen.  I am more used to the longarm I suppose and found it difficult switch to the other method of quilting.  The stitch was beautiful though and it was lovely to use.

Mum and I went to the colour seminar with the extraordinary Jinny Beyer. Here she is with one of her magnificent quilts.

 And here is my very modest stash purchased at the convention.  I am a sucker for reproduction fabrics and have got something planned in the back of my mind so I picked up a few.  Karen from Somerset Patchwork and Quilting showed me how to paper piece clams so I bought some papers and the template and some time before I'm 90 I hope to have a quilt made using this technique.  I also bought some tiny hexies from her and plan to get stuck in making some pin cushions for a few birthdays that are coming up this week. 

The other fabrics came from Threadbear, The Patchwork Apple, The Quilted Crow and Needles and Pins, all of whom had really gorgeous stands.

Ok, off to make 3/8" hexagons and watch Escape to the Country - please God, let Alistair be presenting tonight!  Will be back to show you my progress a bit later in the week

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hand Quilting

Over Easter I went with my Dad to our shack at Corny Point.  As always I pack some sewing which often doesn't see the light of day in favour of snoozing and such.  This time I took the very first quilt I ever made and still isn't finished. (It's seen some trips to the shack in it's day!)

I had noble intentions of knuckling down to, if not finish it, then at least to make a dent in the hand quilting that is left to do.  But instead I had an Easter epiphany!  I do not like hand quilting.  I don't enjoy it and what's more I think I am pretty crap at it.  My stitches are uneven, wobbly and sometimes (often) don't show up on the back.  So I decided that instead of perservering (read - flogging a dead horse)  I decided to unpick all the quilting I had done over the last (gasp!) 17 years and machine quilt it instead.

I feel much better now.  I am freed from the tyranny and pricked fingers of hand quilting.  And now this quilt may even get finished before its 20th anniversary.  Watch this space. 

Disclaimer:  I love hand-quilted quilts.  They can look truly exquisite.  It's just that mine didn't.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

WIP - Machine Quilting Baptist Fans

Hello and welcome to my new URL!

Earlier today I wrote an emotionally charged and sentimental post about why I changed my blog name and URL and tonight somehow I deleted it!  For crying out loud!!!  I can't remember exactly what I wrote and am feeling so frustrated with the whole thing that I am now just going to bombard you with photos instead of trying to re-write my earlier post.

Tonight was my sewing circle night.  Usually, it is just an excuse to sit with my Mum and a couple of friends and eat cake and watch trash tv.  But tonight I was feeling particularly motivated and instead Mum and I (mostly Mum) machine quilted these mini quilts which I will turn into cushions.

Here they are all loaded up and ready to roll.  I have made several of these little quilts.  I started them a couple of years ago as a way of trying out some different blocks.  On the left are some churn dashes made in repro fabrics on the right the little houses that I originally blogged about here.

I chose baptist fans as the pattern for them  because they are old fashioned and I loooooove them.  

Here's a view of the fans from the back - not that you'll get to see them when I turn the tops into cushions.  But I'll know they're there.

In all that productivity there was still time for cake.  Scarlett and I made this coffee walnut streusel cake after kindy today and I have to say I was pretty delicious.  
And because today I was a one woman production line I also made the backing for this quilt.

Phew!  And now I am going to bed.

I am linking up with Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday.  Come and check out what everyone else has been busy creating. 


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