Saturday, June 29, 2013

Birthday Love Stash, and Wendy's giveaway

It is nearly the end of the month and time to show my one and only finish for the Birthday Love Stash.
I finished off a UFO, making this bag for my daughter for her birthday.  I gave it to her tonight so I can now show it.  Of course that means it didnt stay in the Stash for very long.

This bag is made using Dawn's Baseco Bag pattern.  I changed the embroidery to suit my daughter.  I also added lots of pockets.

Wendy encourages us to add to our birthday love stash each month so we are prepared for those birthdays that sneak up on us - well that is the plan, but sometimes I am still running behind.

Go check out all about it on Wendy's blog, and while there, check out the giveaway she is having to commemorate having her first pattern available on Craftsy.  It is such a gorgeous pattern, I am sure you will love it and want to enter the giveaway.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A bit of this and that

On Sunday we had our June Brisbane Stitchers Inc.  Once again it was such a lovely day of chatting and catching up with each other, some stitching,and gorgeous Show and Tell.

It seems that Tatyana was the hard worker at this stage.   Everyone else is chatting.

Lovely to see all the pin cushions from our Stitch-A-Long all together.  Such a variety of colours and fabrics.

I am late with my One Christmas Item this month.  It was finished on the 25th, but I haven't had a chance to post until now.

I did the embroidery on this last year, apart from the holly, which I have coloured with Inktense pencils, and stitched beads for the berries.   There have been lots of other lovely Christmas Items finished, and I am off to check them out soon. You can too by going here.  Thank you again Narelle, for keeping us working towards Christmas.

I was so thrilled to receive this little parcel in the mail recently.
It was the giveaway prize from Friday Night with Friends from May.  Thank you so much Cheryll.  I am thrilled to have some of your special labels, and the little coin purse is in the perfect colours for me.

Pirate Sam was heading off to a birthday party at the weekend.
while Henry looked very comfortable with Pa.  No he was not at all interested in the licorice allsort.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Happy birthday to my daughter

Wow it is a happy day today - on this day 26 + some extra years ago I became a Mum for the first time, and so changed my life.  My daughter SAYS she is 26 because that is how she feels, but I know it was more years than that.  lol.  ( Now you know her secret! and I can embarrass her because she reads my blog).

But - Happy Birthday to  my beautiful, fun loving, happy, wonderful daughter Kerryn.  Wasnt she a gorgeous 8 year old.

and a gorgeous bride, last year.
Sometimes you will see her  like this

or this (they have an old farm house which they are renovating)

or then again, you might find her like this

But most of the time these days it is more like this

Hope you are having a wonderful day, Kerryn.  Love you heaps.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The winner, and revamping a bag

Thank you everyone who came to visit and enter the Giveaway.  It has been lovely to go visit some new blogs as well as the regulars.

It is time for  the draw of my Giveaway.
Number 24 commenter is Sue W. Sue's blog is Stitch and Share.  I have sent you an email, Sue, asking for your addy ....  The zippy pouch and its mystery contents will be heading your way as soon as I hear from you.  I hope you will find the zippy pouch to be useful.

Today's sewing event was revamping a bag I made last year.  I found the bag was too long and the handles too short. The bag had 3 large pockets inside, but while I had it pulled apart I  added a zippered pocket - something I like to have for security of smaller items.
 I found the perfect button to use on it as well.
Tomorrow is the first Quilters Trail bus trip.  This year each shop has a colour for their theme, and Sew This and That's colour is yellow.  This is the "yellowest" bag I have to use.  The only yellow clothing I have is  my hubby's vest, which is a bit big but it might work.  Otherwise the bag will be "it".

I will be back on Sunday to show my Quilters Trail purchases.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More addiction, and reminder of giveaway.

I have made some more of these little addictive items for my daughter.
With the remaining red fabric I made the heart pot holder.  I used the tutorial by A Spoonful of Sugar.  It turned out beautifully though next time I might read the instructions properly before making it.

And a reminder that my "just because" giveaway will finish on Friday evening (Australian time), so if you havent already done so I would love for you to pop over here and say hello, to go in the draw.

Tomorrow I am going on a bus trip to Beenleigh Quilt Show, and a couple of quilt shops on the way.

Following on from that, on Saturday we have the first of two bus trips for this year's South East Queensland Quilters Trail.  Ooh, so much retail therapy and quilty things to look at.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I am now one of the "Ladies" - and a finish

Number 50 to be exact.

I have long admired the work of Carol at Mamacjt.  She does beautiful art work, and  her Ladies series - wow.  What fun to be able to create those brilliant wallhangings just from  a photo.  Recently she posted that she was waiting for another Lady to do, and it would be no 50.  I would like to think that matches my age, but cant stretch the truth to that.  But I am so happy to be Carol's no 50.

Here we are together.
Isnt that just a bit cute !!!  The wallhanging I mean.

I also achieved a finish last night after stitching down the binding on a quilt.

I started this quilt in 1995 - yes that is right, 1995.  It was the first full sized quilt I attempted, after making a couple of small wallhangings.  I made the quilt top, did the borders etc, even bought the backing. Then.....

My Dad came to stay with us for the last 9 months of his life.  He was very ill and required a lot of care.  I took time off work to be there with him, and did very little stitching in that time - well a bit of hand stitching while sitting with him, but that is all.

After his death, I worked on other quilts and stitcheries, but didnt go back to this quilt - for no reason other than I didnt.  At times I thought I didnt like it, then I did like it.  I really didnt know.  Recently I got it out again to look at the sampler blocks and decided that it was time to "deal" with it.   So I finished it !!!
Now I do like it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Friday night with Friends for June

I was so preoccupied with my zippy bag and tutorial that I forgot to blog that I was joining in FNwF.
I had a Friday day and night of stitching fun.
If you go visit Cheryll you can see what all the other busy beavers did at FNwF.  Thank you Cheryll for having us visit you so soon after all the excitement your trip away to visit Shez and the other girls. 


I saw a little zippy purse in a similar shape and size to this one, so decided to try making it.  I put a small pocket on one side and a scissor holder on the other.  I thought it would be good to put in my bag, with a small project in it for when I am waiting waiting....
I have also finished the second  of Bronwyn Hayes' Girls Own Stitching Club stitchery.  These are so lovely to work on and are very quick to finish.  Go over to her Red Brolly blog  if you would like to join in this fun project.

Now to do some tidying of the sewing room before working on my next project.

Friday, June 7, 2013

How to – zippy pouches, and a Giveaway

I have been making lots of clear vinyl see through zippy pouches lately.  They make wonderful gifts, are great for storing all the bits and pieces needed for a project, holding  an embroidery and the threads being used, for taking things to a class, as a pencil case or storage case for a variety of things.  I cannot claim that this is an “original” – although how I make it is different from other tutorials/patterns I have seen, and I have not used a pattern or tutorial to make mine.
They can be made to any size – I will give the measurements for the one I am making, but  by altering the size of the fabric pieces and zipper it can be enlarged or reduced to suit any requirement.
My fabrics for this pouch:
main fabric (gold), contrast fabric (blue leaves), binding, (dark blue –  at bottom), batting, vinyl, zipper
Things to help :  wonder clips, glue pen,
These zippy pouches can be made using leftovers from another project, a fat eighth, or other smallish pieces in your stash.
Main fabric – back of pouch and zipper surrounds    1     11” x 13”                                                                                                       
                                                                                     1     2 1/2" x 14"
                                                                                     1     2 1/2” x 14”
                                                                                     4    1 1/2” x 2”

contrast fabric – inside of pouch                                   1      11” x 13”

Binding fabric –  21/4 inches wide by at least 50 inches – join as necessary to make this length

Batting – I used cotton, but can be whatever you like   1     11” x 13”  
zipper – at least 2 inches longer than width of pouch – in this case, at least 15 inches – but can be longer if that is what you have.  It will be cut to size.

Quilters vinyl a little wider than fabric – trim later          1      10” x 14”

Thread for quilting and constructing pouch

Household or paper scissors to cut zipper
Other items that may  help:  Wonder clips,  glue pen,

you can use a leather needle if you have them, though I dont always do so.  I often use a universal needle and it has been fine

Sandwich the 2 11 x 13 main and contrast pieces with the wadding between,  mark quilting lines if desired, and quilt as you prefer.  I usually do a 2 1/2 inch crosshatch pattern, but it can be whatever your preference is.  Does not need to be closely quilted, just enough to hold layers together.
When quilted, press lightly to smooth out (optional) and trim back to make all edges neat and even.  Usually needs only 1/4 inch from each side, but – size really doesnt matter so much with this project.
Now to work on the zipper section:  I enclose the ends of the zipper with the 2 x 1 1/2 inch fabric pieces, then cut off the zipper ends, leaving a matching fabric tab at each end.  This results in a neater and easier finish.
Place 1 2” x 1 1/2” piece right side up. Place zipper bottom end right side up on top, leaving approx 1/2 inch between edge of fabric and metal tab of zipper, Place another fabric piece right side down on top of zipper (see photos)  Dotted line indicates stitching line.

Stitch across on stitching line ..  Reinforce the stitching over the zipper teeth.  (reverse and forward a couple of times, slowly.)  Now cut off metal tab of zipper, using household scissors,  and press fabric pieces open over that end of the zipper.
Now for the other end.
Lay zipper on top of the 13 inch side of quilted fabric,
Left hand side in above photo – 3/4 inch between edge of quilted piece and start of exposed zipper teeth.
Right hand side –  partly open zipper pull. (VERY IMPORTANT IF YOU WANT TO OPEN THE ZIPPER)  sandwich zipper in same way as other end, with the stitching line 3/4 inches from right hand edge of quilted fabric.  Remove zipper from quilted piece, being careful to keep zipper and small fabric pieces in place.  Again stitch and reinforce stitching over teeth.  Make sure the 2 sides of the open zipper are touching as you stitch.
Open and close the zipper before cutting off the ends just to be sure it is working right, then using household scissors cut off the unwanted ends from the top of the zipper. Press fabric ends out over zipper end.
Now all that is left of that part is to trim off the sides level with the sides of the zipper. Leave the ends long at this stage.
Doesnt that look rather neat.
Now to put the strips to the sides of the zipper.
Take the 2 1/4 inch piece of fabric, fold in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.  Press well.  Pin to the top side of the zipper, with the fold aligned along the outside of the zipper teeth.

Using a zipper foot, stitch close to the edge, being careful to not catch the teeth at all. I move the needle to the left so it will stitch close to the edge.  When you get to near the zipper pull, pause, lift zipper foot with needle still down in fabric, and open the zipper till the pull is out of the way. (with some machines you may need to raise the needle to be able to do so.)

Cool. Now take your 2 1/2 x 14  inch piece.  Fold in half lengthways, wrong sides together, press, open out, and press each long raw edge into the middle – like bias binding.  Now press in half again.
Pin the folded edge along the other side of the zipper teeth.  The open edge (at bottom) is where the vinyl will be inserted.
Stitch as per the previous strip.
Now the  vinyl piece.
If possible buy  quilters vinyl from your LQS – it is stronger. 
Do not pin through the vinyl – obviously the pin hole will stay so will look bad, but also will weaken the vinyl.
It is sometimes difficult to see the edges of the vinyl to cut it so I usually cut it a little bigger and trim it at a later stage.  (not much bigger, just 1/2 inch or so).
Wonder clips hold it well wherever you can use them – eg when stitching on binding.  Also a glue pen or similar will hold help the vinyl to the fabric until it is stitched.
The vinyl may stick to your machine and will be difficult to get to feed through as you stitch.  Sometimes just holding it up with your left hand will help.  Or put a piece of photocopy paper on the side of the machine next to the feed dogs, and under the vinyl.  A teflon foot may help also.
The vinyl is pushed up in the  binding-like part of the last piece sewn on to the zipper.  I run the glue stick along the inside of the bottom one, put in the vinyl, then run the glue stick along the vinyl and push the top layer onto the vinyl.  It is now sandwiched between the binding piece. Make sure the vinyl is inserted as far as possible towards the zipper.  Stitch carefully so as to get a good straight line, and be sure of catching both top and bottom layers (I stitch a teeny bit further away from the edge of the fabric to  be sure)
Hold up like this, or put a piece of paper under the vinyl like this.

The vinyl is now enclosed in the fabric strip.
Time to trim it all up.
Pin the top edge of the zipper/vinyl piece(fabric part) to the top edge of the quilted piece.

Trim the vinyl off level with the bottom edge.  Now secure that edge with 2 or 3 wonder clips if you have them.
You may find it easier to trim with the ruler off the pouch like above, as the zipper can make it difficult to get a clean, straight cut.
secure each edge with wonder clips as you trim it.
Now it is time to add the binding.  The binding is pressed in half lengthwise, wrong sides together as for any quilt.  Start at the top edge, and sew along each side, mitring the you go.  Join the binding in your usual fashion when you complete stitching it down. 
Turn to the back and hand stitch.  Use the wonder clips to hold the binding while you are hand stitching as well- they hold it so much more securely.
There is your completed pouch, waiting for you to fill it.with your current small project.

A link to a printable version is available here  Please let me know if you try this and it doesnt work.  I havent used it before.

This is quite a long tutorial, and as I make these zippy pouches quite often and know the process so well, I am not sure if I have made the directions clear enough.  Please feel free to let me know if anything is not clear, or if you get totally confused.  I will then attempt to explain it better.
        *   *   *   *   *   *  
And now the Giveaway.  As I already have a collection of zippy pouches, I am going to give this one away.  It will contain some mystery goodies (mystery to me too at this stage).  So what do you need to do?  Just come and visit and say hi.  That is all.  Nothing else – .  I will draw the winner next Friday.