Friday, 28 September 2007

Doll quilt 3: A sneaky peaky

I still haven't sorted out the scanner so might just have to drop out of the flashback Fridays, but in the meantime I have got stitching on yet another doll quilt. Don't worry, all these quilts have homes to go to and all due around the same time for either the swap, or 2nd birthday pressies.

This time I decided to try "on-point" piecing as I love quilts that are pieced this way, and even prefer it of floors (just ask Austy's Dad - the floors all HAD to be tiled on point, or else!). It is quite a bit trickier than I imagined, but this website helped me with the calculations, and the crazy 9 patch instructions came from here. Of course, mine are in minature, a tiny 3.25" finished square, using up 9 different 5" charm squares.

I was meant to be taking Austy to mother's group this afternoon but we spent too long mucking around at lunch as we went to the golf club, the inlaws took too long getting there and then MIL wanted to snap away at Austy and Elizabeth (both nearly 2!!!) while they wrestled on the lounge. By the time we got home, Austy was all hyperactive and overtired. I eventually wrangled him onto the change table and into bed, but he stayed asleep all afternoon. Must be catching up after lost sleep with his earache earlier in the week. I wasn't complaining - jsut sewing!!!

Last night when I got home from work this quilt top was just pieces of fabric waiting to be cut, and now it's a finished top (minus the border as I need to go out and get more of the cute white print for that and can't leave Austy while he's snoozing!). I have decided on a green backing (more of the tidllywinks if I can find it in time) and a pink binding. Please excuse my mishapen squares in the sashing - I am still very much a novice and I have realised that sashing takes lots more practise than I expected or it is not my forte!

Enjoy your weekend! Go Geelong...

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

A hat for summer

After childcare asked for a summer hat last week and gave back his knitted one, Austy and I trudged into the city with Austy's Dad on Saturday on the hunt for one. In our quick search in Myers, I was mildly frustrated yet again that they never have anything in his size. He's kind of between baby and child, the baby section is supposed to be for size 0-3 and the child section is for 3 onwards. But there is never anything beyond size 1 in the baby section, and it's rare to even find the size 1's. The couple of hats we did find that confessed to being for 50cm heads were actually not that big at all and wouldn't fit my little man's head. Except for one, a gorgeous Peter Rabbit one that was $19.95. But I couldn't bring myself to buy it since I will never see it while it fits (hats stay at childcare) and I already had bought him a spunky new Espirit one a few weeks earlier for wearing while he's NOT in childcare.
So what's a girl to do but whip one up herself. After a long afternoon of Austy screaming and throwing tantrums for 4hrs straight due to his current ear infection, and an assignment to submit as well as a thorough house clean, I decided I had to wind down. And what better way to do it than at the machine sewing concentric circles on a hat brim. I ended up staying up far too late, paying for it this morning and needing extra coffee, but the result is worth it:

I was going to do just a plain hat with the $3 piece of cotton drill (pattern was $4.50 but came with baby overalls patterns that will get used at some point) but I decided to make it a bit more interesting for Austy's sake. I might never see it, but Austy will. So I added the cute Michael Miller fabric lining and a small truck on the front. The trucks were spaced too close together on the fabric to get enough edge for a zigzag applique so I decided to do the freyed edge applique I see on lots of boys clothes these days. It's stitched on with a double straight stitch to stop it freying too far and the full effect won't be realised until it's been thrown in the washing machine.

It fits perfectly, even though the pattern said 12-18m and 48cm. Much better than a bought one as I didn't have to fork out for something I'll never see, and it fits him nicer anyway.

And my bag swap partner Bec has received her bag so I can now reveal my handiwork!

Oh, and my adorable boy wanted a tree photo too after he watched me taking the bag pics there... That's just one of his tree pics from the weekend right at the top of this post. I have a couple in my flickr and a few more on their way there. What a boy!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Friday Frenzy

Well, I can hardly believe it's been nearly 2 weeks since my last post! I have been flat out lately, getting on with my study and doing the odd bit of crafting here and there, but completing nothing. I kind of felt like I had nothing to blog about, but a day with my boy today changed all that. First of all, I HAVE to show you how cute he's getting, these photos taken today. Not that he wasn't darn cute to begin with, he just gets even CUTER every day!

And, what's more, a parcel came for me today! A gorgeous bag made by Michelle from the
EB sewing group sent me this little handbag, stiched with care in a gorgeous chocholate satiny type outer with a denim cololoured suede applique and binding. It's partitioned inside by a quilted panel then each side has a single pocket in the lining - one side for Austy's spare nappy, toys and a pocket for his muesli-bars, the other side for my stuff and my phone can go in the pocket.

I am still up to mischief working on this little baby knit for a surprise gift for someone I know, but have about a thousand ends to darn in so am taking my time! Same goes with Austy's little jacket - I HATE stitching things up, but as soon as it's done I get to see him wear it and quite frankly it looks very boring unworn but I think he will look super spunky in it, so I'd better get it done before summer.

And another sneaky project - the EB Quilter's doll/teddy quilt swap is well underway at my place. For lunch today, I made a quilt sandwich and right now it is screaming out to me to get some more quilting done - my favourite part of building a quilt! I nearly DIDN'T use the hand appliqued panel (you can see just a SMIDGEN of it in the corner...) but was convinced by a couple of quilty girls in the know that it was the way to go. I have something extra planned for the bonus block I made to go in it's place. And below it, the cutest little button I found today to go on it. Some red mods to do to it first!

And last but not least, a flashback Friday pic. I haven't forgotten them, just haven'thad much time to hunt through them and scan one in lately. I have no idea what the theme is this week so this will have to do. Eeek! Problem with the scanner... I'll be back!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Something gorgeous from the show...

Look what I saw at the show on Friday! No wonder it took out top prize, amazing work, each square is less than 2". Everything is hand stitched, and so beautifully done too.

It describes the story of a family, from the time they arrived in Australia to now and each square represents a special memory or event.

The knitting was very dull, nothing special there at all so I was very disappointed. Most of it was what I call "granny knits" - just basic things done in gawdy coloured acrylics. Not my style at all. And the quilting wasn't that big, but there were a few nice things. I know one of the EB quilters is working on one of these quilts so I took the pic just for her:

Now onto my crafts, here's why I avoid fair aisle... except this little top is so cute that I can look past the tangled mess of working more than 10 yarns at once. I'm nearly finished the motiff so I can cut them all off, yay! I managed to untangle all the threads last night so can now finish it off unhindered.

And a couple of sneak peaks from the EB bag swap - I completed the bag today, just trying to think of some extras to send and it will be on it's way.

How's that for a teaser... the big reveal will happen when the recipient gets the parcel.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

The start of something new

What is it about starting something that makes me put off finishing things? Once again I have started a new knitting project without even finishing any of the three on my WIP list. Remember I try to limit myself to 3 knitting WIPs (and think the rule will also be applied to quilts) in an effort to try and finish at least some of them. I guess I can take Austy's socks off the list because I think this is one sock that will live it's life in solitude, at least until next winter. I tried it on him and it's far too big, falling down all the time just like the monkey socks I made myself. I think I need to use knitting in elastic next time I make socks, I hate socks that fall down and it seems to be such a waste of effort when they are the last socks to get worn.

So what have I started? Here's a sneak peak. The back completed. You will have to wait to find out more!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Sock Monkey Madness!

Image sourced from

I have always thought monkeys were such fun creatures, especially for kids, and I even convinced Austy's dad that we should take a gorgeous silky, stuffed one home from Singapore Zoo while we were there on our honeymoon, for our first baby. It's Austy's favourite bedtime toy along with Sleepy Pendoodle Puppy (named after the book of the same name), and Benji Bear. He simply MUST have Montgomery Monkey when he goes to bed, and we forgot him when we went to the snow. Luckily Aunty Debbie came to the rescue with a little pocket sized monkey designed to be flung at walls, and that screams when you hit him or drop him (okay, not REALLY suited to a toddler, but it saved the day and Austy is totally in love with him) If the little un-named monkey gets dropped and screams, Austy gets quite upset and runs to me crying out "Mummy cuddle monkey! Mummy cuddle monkey!" It's quite serious business you see, when a monkey screeches!

Anyway, with my discovery of quilting on the net, I came across the gorgeous Monkey'n' Round fabrics by Erin Michael, in pretty baby pastels. I simply HAD to buy a charm square pack and have been contemplating how to work them into a baby quilt ever since. I figured since Austy's baby quilt took me so long, and I didn't have another child to worry about at the time, I should start SOON for the next bub. That baby may not be for another few years yet though - I need to finish off my Masters and we need a bigger house (which almost seems IMPOSSIBLE!)

Then, in trying to understand these strange little creatures all over the fabric I googled sock monkey. And I FOUND them! Apparently they've been around for years and are a much loved child's toy. Where HAVE I been? Hmmm... Australia? LOL. SO of course, I jumped on ebay and had two pairs of original rockford red heal socks shipped over to me from America, complete with the sock monkey pattern on the front of the pack. Enough for a sock monkey to match the baby quilt, and one for Austy too. Perfect! How on earth did we grow up without them?!

And tonight I found THIS. Such an inspirational sock monkey site! So now I know I will have fun adorning these little guys with some handknits and stitched luxuries. They are all just too cute! If only I had more crafting time... the study commences again tomorrow (well Thurday our time as I'm studying through University of Michigan so won't get the lecture files till 1 day after) . So the quilting will have to be reserved for weekends and I shall get back into the knitting while I watch my lectures in the comfort of my loungeroom.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

A late flashback

No, I didn't forget it... just had issues with the scanner yesterday. It's playing nicely today, so here's yesterday's photo. The theme this week is concerts, so I'm told, and here I am at my first calisthenics concert. I am the taller one with too much make-up (thanks Mum) in the pink outfit, a bit disappointed because my dancing partner won all these awards, and my clumsy legs got me none. Oh well, I guess the main thing was we had fun.