Friday, 27 November 2009

Meet Mr Milo

Excuse the blurry photos. This tiny little guy was a bit wriggly as he really didn't want to be away from his Mum just yet, at only 2w old. Guess who's coming to our house in the New Year! We can't wait to have Milo curled up on our laps, or snuggled up in bed, or especially so in Austy and Maddy's case, running and jumping as we chase and play with him. I have a blanket that just needs darning ends made especially for him, and a couple of kitty toys in the planning. Today I had my very first cuddle - the start of what we hope will be a long and happy friendship of the feline kind! Austin chose his name, and then we chose the kitten to suit ;). I think he was the cutest of th bunch anyway, as the others were black and white (except for one that was more like a dalmation - white with black spots). He is more of a caramel colour rather than the grey he looks in these photos, and is still waiting for his curly fur to grow. Can you tell what he is? I reckon those ears and wrinkly skin gives away his breed, even though his tell-tale fur isn't quite there yet.
He is pweeedy small... just big enough to fit into the palm of my hand with a barrel like belly weighing him down!

Please... no more cancer to take away our beloved pets. We'd like to keep this one for more than the short decade we had our Rottweiler dog Astertyx, and Siamese cat Gryffin - each one lost to different forms of cancer following the birth of each of my two legged babies. DH thinks the solution is simple - no more people babies and the fur babies will stay with us. Hmmmm...

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Baby quilt WIP

Snapped just before Seek and Destroy came to totally mess up the shot! You can see a little hand in the corner. I saw her on the way at her superfast pace so had to hurry and press the button before my quilt top was no longer looking like a quilt. The quilt top just needs a name appliqued in the centre and some borders before it can be sandwiched and quilted and sent in the post along with the matching giraffe (made from the Audrey and Maude pattern Helen sent me with the DQS) for a new baby boy.

I surprised myself. I'm the slowest sewer arond. But when I got the chance to sew all night, I didn't mess around! I made 1.5 blocks during the day withkid interruptions and the rest last night. I love the colours in this quilt - the white, creams, naturals and chocolates are left over from Maddy's quilt (still unbordered & unquilted....) and the blue is the perfect cornflower shade. This one will be called "Milk and Cookies" as the blue and white together reminds me of those milk jugs striped with blue that you see in adverts, and the chocolate and natural - choc chip bickies of course!

More detailed shots of Gilbert Giraffe to come when the gift is all ready to send.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

I have a kindy boy!

Austin started pre-entry kindy just over a week ago (so has now been to two Friday morning sessions). He absolutely loves it, and listens intently to the teachers (we wish he could do this at home a little more...) and both times has been having too much fun to leave, staying for the playgroup session that follows pre-entry. He has been going to playgroup there all year which we believe has helped the transition into kindy, and isn't too fussed about having us leave.
So what has this got to do with my crafty blog? Remember the MadeByRae backpack giveaway I crossed my fingers to win a little while ago? Well I didn't win, but the cuteness factor of that backpack had me kind of obsessed. I blogged my supplies here, and now can show you the final result.
I used medium weight canvas from kokka called Toyland as I thought this would be good at hiding the dirt that kindy boys seem to attract. The contrast is just a plain lime green drill. I couldn't find any piping to go with the fabric, so made my own (a first for me) which wasn't as difficult as I'd expected it to be, especailly using a zipper foot to stitch nice and close to the cord.
The straps are made with cotton webbing rather than the nylon stuff prescribed in the pattern as I am anti-plasticky fake stuff when kids have to wear it! I also interfaced all the pieces (except the handle) with a light weight fusible interfacing to ensure the bag had shape. I wasn't too worried about the extra thickness, as I knew my machine could hack it with a new denim needle and quilting foot in use.

I decided to embroider his name onto a name label so that the bag could be identified by kindy staff (although somehow they couldn't help him find his bag at fruit time on Friday so I have since showed them...) without being able to give strangers his name as he walks around with the bag on his back. The cute little plane embroidery was one of the standard Janome ones that came witgh my sewing machine, but how perfectly does it go with the fabric?! I just HAD to use it.
The bag is so cute with everything in small scale - those straps are just over an inch wide, and the chair used in the top picture is a tiny toddler chair. I see one of these cute bags in the future for Madelyn too. Not that she could wear it yet, but I'm sure it won't be long as she copies everything Austin does, even trying to put on his goggles at swimming this morning! As she grows older, I will need to carry less with me, and this bag would easily fit a spare cloth nappy, wipes, changemat, change of clothes and a toy or two for short trips out. I put all of Austy's kindy things in there (a change of clothes, small lunchbox, hat and cup) and there was still surprisingly plenty of spare room.
I have to say this was one of the most enjoyable projects I have made all year. The last step was a little fiddly (going around those corners with the piping in place) but the rest of it was fun as I could see the cuteness being created before my eyes! I can't rave enough about this bag pattern, and recommend it to all sewers with a child under 5.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The handmade dress giveaway

How could I not miss out on this one?! I have been eyeing off a couple of these patterns for a while, particularly the Miss Madeleine dress and Miss Lily dress. Too cute!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Madelyn's new dolly quilt!

A quilty little parcel arrived on my doorstep yesterday. I excitedly ripped it open to reveal Madelyn's new dolly quilt!! Made by the very talented Helen in some suitably girly pink and red prints on white, with the most swirly and fun daisies quilted into it, this quilt has made Madelyn one very lucky girl!

Here she is playing "Where's Maddy?" with it this afternoon. We are planning on buying her this cute doll's pram to use it in with a soft cloth doll for her first birthday. Won't it go perfectly with the bright pink dots?

Neatly folded, showing the cute little wonky log cabin on the back:

And all the extra goodies Helen packed in to spoil me!
Some heart shaped buttons, little pink tape measure (probably in one of the kids' hands for this photo), rick rack, shirring elastic (someone has been reading my blog very carefully!) and a cute Audrey & Maude softy pattern to make giraffes for the kidlets. See? Thoroughly spoilt!

I'm not allowed to hang quilts in the house (in fact our walls are COMPLETELY bare!) so shhhhh... here it is hung on our family room feature wall for a brief moment in all it's glory!

And my happy kidlets enjoying the opening:

Thanks sooo much Helen! It's perfect for us.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Party pooper...

Here's my little princess, totally flaked at this morning's birthday party in her new cherry outfit. Check out the leg and arm rolls - her 2kgs lost the other week are most certainly back!

Straight after James' 4th birthday in the park we went for a birthday luncheon for my Mum where she was a little energiser bunny - her and Austy both went into overdrive then so no chance for more photos.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Revealling the Crazy Shrooms (DQS3)

Cass has reported that she has received and opened her little mini quilt I made her, named "Crazy Shrooms". Inspred by her flickr favourites, filled with mushroom quilts, fresh bright colours and randomly pieced blocks, I kind of let the quilt design itself. And this is what it became.

I snuck in a few of my favourite cherry fabrics - some from the cherry oh range, and one very pretty blue and metallic one that I have something special planned for Madelyn (with an ADORABLE set arriving from an etsy seller hopefully this week from the very same fabric).

So when I saw that bright, fun and cherry filled fabric in the same colour scheme as the quilt I just KNEW it was destined to be the backing. I normally like to piece a DQ back as it's cute and scrappy, but this stuff was too pretty to cut up.

The mushroom house has a pieced background and is appliqued after sandwiching by stitching twice around each shape so that the design is noticeable from the back. I used a natural thread for the quilting for the main part with a varigated green for the hilly greens, and aqua on the back. I was going to do some FMQ swirls in the sky or add a butterfly but ran out of time and worried I might ruin the quilt(not very experienced in FMQ!!!)... I think it works like this though. Not too busy.

Oh Cherry Baby!

I finally cut into my "Oh Cherry Oh" layer cake that I bought in the US. I love the fabrics so much it was hard to decide what to use them for. While I had originally planned a small quilt, perhaps for Maddy's pram, I never did get around to it, and decided to just get stuck into it and make a cute little outfit fir her instead!
I also used a little bit (a very little bit - I have been HOARDING this stuff!) on my doll quilt swap, sent to Cass, in time for the big reveal today (however the one my secret partner made for Maddy is still in transit so I haven't one to show off today). So you might spy a little there.

This cute little outfit was perfect for my "me time" yesterday as I took Madelyn around the Adelaide quilt show with Emma and her Gran, but I decided to put a different dress on her instead (making the most of her being able to wear skirts and dresses while she is strapped in her pram rather than getting tangled up as she crawls) since the wind was a little blowy here this morning before it fined up into a rather warm day. Oh well, it's still clean and fresh for her to wear to a couple of birthday parties on tomorrow (with a pair of shorts or bloomers packed for when the skirt gets too bothersome).

The skirt was my own pattern, I kind of made it up as I went along - it made me realise how easy girl sewing can be, skirts are so much easier (and FASTER!) than shorts with pockets, buttons and flies! It's just a simple elastic waisted number with a contrast waist band, quite full gathering and a little broderie englaise edging for girlie cuteness. I was amazed at how big it came out - it fits her now (albeit slightly roomy) but also fitted my nearly 4yr old next door neighbour. On the almost 4yr old it was a tad short though so by the time Maddy is her height it would be best donned with short leggings. Austy is still wearing a pair of shorts I made him at 2yrs old, but to have something last from 10m to 4yrs is quite impressive! I'll probably be sick of it by then, but it will be okay for home as I can imagine it could be quite grubby after 3yrs use. The top was made using a pattern from Ottobre 1/07. I love the top all except the narrow neck opening. As it was I had to cut off my neck binding and redo it while the garment was half constructed when I realised it was going to be uncomfortabley high on her neck. Frustrating! So next time I make it (and definitely will be doing it again) I will adjust the neck openings on the pattern pieces so as not to have this trouble again, and make it looser than this one turned out. The sleeves look a bit odd in the photographs here, and yes, they are , just slightly as I used the stretch as you sew method of getting the right elastic length rather than my normal pre-cut and pin evenly method, to save time. You can't tell when she is wearing it, but I will go back to my more time consuming method, I think as I like things to be perfect.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

A call out to my winners

Unfortunately it seems neither of my blogtoberfest winners have a blog, and neither left a way of contacting them in their comments. (amummy I accidentally thought you were RomiJade by clicking on one of the blogs you followed - your web address in your profile doesn't work). I was hoping to check the winners blog to pick a suitable surprise to go inside the bags. So if you are amummy or mama llama I would love to hear from you so I can package up your bags and get them on their way.

I'll have to redraw if I don't hear anything by the 14th November.