Archive for April, 2013

I was hoping…

I was hoping to show you a picture of my sewing machine mat all neatly trimmed with the binding sewn on ready to be hand-stitched down. BUT after putting a new bobbin of thread in the machine we had some tension issues and I spent most of Sunday afternoon with a seam ripper. On the plus side, I didn’t break any more needles. I just broke lots of thread…

It is quilted now, but will need to wait for trimming and binding until I get back from Australia. I’m flying to Brisbane on Wednesday to do an oral presentation at my university and have an interview with a committee. This is to check my progress on my thesis. It’s just a flying visit. I’ll be home by Sunday evening.

So instead of showing you a lovely quilt, here is a picture of the craft Gorgeous Girl and I did on Sunday (another reason why there is no fancy quilt picture…)

On Sunday morning Gorgeous Girl and I were watching that excellent ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) production Playschool.ย 

They have really great craftsย  and most of the toys on the show are hand-made.ย  Anyway they had a cardboard box doll house and people made from various sizes of paper rolls. Gorgeous Girl realised that we had all the things needed to make one and asked if she could make a paper towel person. I’m not one to turn down craft requests, so we raided the scrapbook page scrap box and her craft box for supplies and off we went. The necklace is an old broken key chain that she has been hanging on to.

Features and accessory placement by Gorgeous Girl.

Tonight I’m planning on inflicting my oral presentation on Gorgeous Man for critiquing and then hunkering down on the couch to add more hexagons to the quilt. Those things are addictive.

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My scrapbooking mojo visited again.

This is my favourite page from my solo scrapping session (I did have Gorgeous Girl making cards with me for some of the time, about half way through she gave up on the cards and decided to do her phonics workbook instead…)

The colours are very washed out. I can’t seem to get a good photo of my scrapbook pages. Anyone have any tips?

I think a corner rounder is moving higher up my wishlist. At the moment I’m tracing around the edges of a spice bottle and cutting the corners off with scissors.

I’m not sure that this page totally works.

New location to try and get a better picture: didn’t happen ๐Ÿ˜€

I am not an artist, but I decided to try a free-hand sketch on a card.

I think it’s turned out reasonably well. It’s kind of whimsical.

My pattern seemed to be one project that worked really well and one that was just meh…

Upcycling an old calendar (2006 if memory serves correctly). I think this is the last image from it. I’m not sure my treatment of it on the card works though.

I can’t seem to manage more than 2 layouts per session. I get to the third one and just stare at the photos with no inspiration at all… I wish I knew some scrappers locally. It would be nice to be able to bounce ideas off another person.

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Just when I started to get into a rhythm of regular blogging we lost our internet. It took 4 days and lots of phone calls to our service provider. Eventually I went over the help-desk’s heads to the sales executive who signed me up with the company. She brought her team out today (made them detour on their way to another job) and we are back up and running.

I’ve been chugging away on the hexagon quilt. Monday evenings are dedicated to the hexagon quilt, and I try to sneak in adding at least one hexagon a day as well.

This is laid out on our queen-sized bed. I figure I’ve got at least another 6 -12 months of piecing the top before it’s ready to hand quilt.


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I’ve decided that I should teach myself to free motion quilt. Yesterday I pulled out the sewing machine mat that I pieced last year and gave it a try.

It’s pretty rough

and I broke two needles before I decided I was too tired to continue.

There are some very large stitches, but the machine held the tension on the back of the quilt really well.

My stipples are fairly wonky. I also broke two needles (good thing I bought a stash back from Australia at the beginning of the year…). But I can see improvement, and I’ve worked out why the needles broke and what I can do to avoid that in the future.

The pattern for the sewing machine mat is based on Tazzie’s scrappy stars. The quilt is thread basted because in this humidity pins will rust even if left in for just a short time. The thread didn’t interfere with the quilting as much as I expected it to.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get the quilting finished and the binding put on in the next little while. I do have to travel to Australia next week though to present a paper at uni and have an interview with a committee for to discuss the progress on my Master’s thesis. So that might slow the crafting down a little bit…

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When we were in Australia at Christmas time last year I called into Spotlight to pick up some rotary cutter blades and a few other notions. I had no intention of buying any fabric. However, as I was heading to checkout I spotted some fabric that had been pre-shirred and I figured it would be perfect to make Gorgeous Girl a dress.

I bought two kinds of fabric. This is the first lot to be sewn up.

Not too shabby for winging it without any instructions ๐Ÿ™‚

The best shot I could get of it on Gorgeous Girl.

Don’t you just love the circa 1970s faux wood panelling on the walls? ๐Ÿ™‚ In the background of the photo you can see my old sewing machine set up for Gorgeous Girl. She has been working on her quilt this morning.

Because I don’t waste anything, the left-overs from the dress have already been cut down into scraps.

Some strips for my leaders and enders strip quilt, a 4.5 inch and 3.5 inch square, some 1.5 inch squares, some 1 inch squares and a 1 inch strip for the strip quilt.

Crafting in the tropics has some unique challenges. We have terrible humidity here. My rotary cutter lives inside a sealed zip-lock bag but even so, this is what it looked like when I pulled it out this morning.

Yes, that is rust. I put a new blade in and it was so nice to cut with. Here’s hoping this one lasts a little better…

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Some crafting

I have a milestone for my Masters coming up. I had to submit a 3500 word (minimum) draft (mine ended up being closer to 4000 words, an academic portfolio and a bibliography, and I need to fly to Australia and present an oral presentation along with some other Masters students and then have an interview with the committee. This is to determine whether or not my thesis and research is on track. I sent all the documents away on Friday and so gave myself some time off to play with the fibre that was on the wheel.

I finished spinning up the fibre and plied it. I didn’t get the colours to line up terribly well, but I love the finished yarn.

A close-up.

It came off the wheel perfectly balanced ๐Ÿ˜€ (not to brag at all lol). It still needs to be washed.

There’s also been some card making. I’m not 100% convinced that this one works as well as it could…

I love this next one though.

I highlighted the embossed area with white chalk.

Recycling a very old calendar.

And a simple one to finish off.

In other news, the traffic jams that have plagued the morning school run appear to have completely disappeared. I’m so glad to have that commute back to normal, aside from the whole time factor our fuel efficiency has also increased and we’ve been spending less on fuel.


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I got side-tracked from my plan of lining a bag last night. Instead I ran a bunch of quarter square triangles through the sewing machine.

This is part of a quilt for my little brother.

I’m using a block from a magazine, but have altered the setting. Hopefully it will work out OK.

Since my last leaders and enders project is in the process of being basted ready to quilt, it was time to start a new one.

Ahem, probably should have ironed that before snapping a picture… Just a simple strip quilt to try and use up some of the strips that seem to multiply when I’m not looking.

Then, although I was trying hard, I could not resist the call of the fibre sitting by my spinning wheel, and so I started the second bobbin.

It’s just gorgeous to work with.

Right now I’m going to take advantage of the brief bit of cooler weather brought on by the rain and go hunt through the fabric stash to see if I can find some fabric suitable to line a knitted bag.

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Shamelessly copying the Yarn Harlot, in my house Tuesdays are for spinning and yesterday, for the first time in a long time I was able to spin for a few hours.

After visiting Michigan, I headed up to Washington DC to visit some archives there. I was very privileged to meet up with the lovely Jody. We’ve been friends online since I started blogging in 2006, so it was great to finally meet in person. We had a very delicious dinner and then visited a yarn store where I got toย fondleย  see in person many of the beautiful yarns I’ve only previously seen online. I was very restrained and my only purchase was some fibre for Gorgeous Girl to spin. Jody spoiled me tremendously with some lovely yarn and fibre all packed in a beautiful handmade bag.

Since Tuesdays are for spinning I decided to break out the fibre she had gifted me with.

This is a beautiful blend of Blue Faced Leicester and silk from Hello Yarn. An episode of The Voice (Australian version) and American Pickers later I had this beautiful single.

Isn’t it pretty? I can’t wait to see the rest of the fibre spun up and plied together.

Tonight I need to try and work out how to insert a lining in a knitted bag, oh and I need to find the right fabric to use…

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This yarn seems to be unending in my stash. I’ve lost track of the number of baby hats and things I’ve made out of it. Yet another one.

This was finished ages ago, I just had trouble getting around to photographing it…

For my birthday last year Gorgeous Man gave me some beautiful corriedale fibre from here.

It was beautiful to work with and it turned into this yarn.

The colours in this look very much like the Queensland Team colours in the State of Origin.

I’m an honorary Queenslander and am married to a born and bred Maroons supporter, so I’m calling it my State of Origin yarn.

~ 195 metres. Not sure what I’m going to make with it yet. But I’ll probably knit it up during the matches.

This is the first yarn in a long time I’ve been able to spin using the double treadle sewing machine because of my foot issues. Admittedly I did have to wear my supportive shoes while doing it, but it’s progress. I have some gorgeous silk planned next for the wheel.

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I made some cards before I left for my research trip, but I haven’t put photo to paper for a long time. The week after I got back from the USA I did absolutely no crafting at all. I was jet-lagged, had the re-entry blues and was obsessed with reading this trilogy. (Yes, I did read all three books in one week. I’m a fast reader. The lack of a public library in Port Moresby kills me).

I’m lucky that I married into a crafty family. Most birthdays it’s rare to have store-bought cards as most of the females in the family paper-craft to some degree. My step-MIL makes beautiful cards. Look:

She recently acquired a Big Shot and I was lucky enough to recently receive some bits and pieces she ran through the machine for me.

Out came the paper and photos and Gorgeous Girl and I spent a lovely afternoon making stuff.

First a card I shamelessly copied from the one above.

The colour is a bit washed out in the photo. Living far from scrapbooking stores is making me more adventurous with doodling to embellish pieces. The red base was part of the pack of goodies sent by SMIL.

I then moved on to scrapbooking. This is a really old photo of me, but it’s one of the few that I really like.

The flowers up the side were from the goodie pack. The cream paper is actually product packaging that I recycled and the white paper is the inner sheet that comes in scrapbook albums. I don’t waste much ๐Ÿ˜€

Then an 8″x8″ page using a small photo of Gorgeous Girl.

The flowers were part of my goodie pack as was the photo mat, the colours were perfect, and again, more hand drawn embellishments.

I don’t usually do double page layouts, but this sequence of photos needed one.

Gorgeous Girl made two pages, but since one of them has other people’s children in it I’ll just show you the one with her on her own.

I love the background she has created. The pink paper was embossed spots and she took her cue from that.

Then, as suddenly as it arrived, my mojo fled. I picked up the next photograph and couldn’t think of a thing to do with it, so everything was packed up and stored away to play another day. Hopefully it won’t be too long.


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