Quilts

Rainbow Dresden Quilt

I made my first dresden plate for a 12 month block swap a few months ago and fell head over heals in love.

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So much so that I made another and turned it into a coaster for my vase.

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I love bright cheerful things to help get me through these grey winter days.  I must confess to still having my new years eve bunting hanging up in the house.

It was so pretty, I made a few more and appliqued them onto a quilt top:

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I’ve got a fabulous rainbow polka dot to back it with.

I have, however, been having some trouble bringing myself to quilt it. There is so much white space that I’m finding it a little intimidating. I’ve chosen a free motion design and I’ve done a bit of practice but every time I sit down at the sewing machine I’m struck with a bad case of quilters block.

I just love this quilt and I’d hate to see it languish for months as a UFO so please help me!  Have you ever had quilters block?  How did you overcome it?

Kids Toys

Monster in my Pocket!

My son has been asking me to show him how to use the showing machine.  He’s only three and cant even reach the foot pedal so this is easier said than done.

We’ve been at loggerheads alot this week and I decided some quality time was in order.  We scoured Pinterest for ideas on things to make and came across some felt monstors from Its Always Autumn.  It was love at first sight for my little man.

We dont have a printer at home so our first step was a create our own monstor pattern.  It absolutely HAD to have claw hands.  That was apparently non negotiable.  And he had to be angry…very angry!  We made a few drafts together until we came up with one he was happy with:

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We cut the pattern out of felt, sewed on some button eyes, stuffed him full and sewed him up!

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Claw hands – check.  Very very angry – Check.

My little man was very proud, and rightly so.  He actually did quite alot himself.  The monstor was pretty much his own design.  He did the buttons himself and helped me operate the sewing machine.

He is now requesting a tool belt.

Tutorials

Letter Wallet Tutorial and Pattern

As promised, here is the Love Letter Wallet Pattern!

This is my first attempt at creating my own pattern so bear with me and please DO let me know if you find a mistake or perhaps something missing.

Being an Aussie I work in centimetres, but I’ve included inch measurements as well.

Panels.

I’ve used a medium weight fusible interfacing. For each panel, cut interfacing to the same size and iron to the panel.

Front in White  5.5″ x 8.25″ / 14cm x 21cm

Outer in Black:            12.5” x 8.25” / 32cm x 21cm

Inner in white:  18” x 8.25” / 45cm x 21cm

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Pockets

I lined each of my pockets with a plain white fabric. For each pocket, cut white fabric to the same size.

Pocket 1, Red: 4.5” x 4.75” / 11cm x 12cm

Pocket 2, Black:        3” x 3.5” / 8cm x 9cm

Pocket 3, Black:        5.5” x 5.5” / 14cm x 14cm

Pocket 4, White:         3.5” x 3.5” / 8.5cm x 8.5cm

Pocket 5, Red:            6.25” x 5” / 16cm x 12cm

One piece of white and one piece of batting 3” x 3” / 7cm x 7cm

Two little red love hearts

Several small scrap pieces in white.

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Now that we have all our pieces cut out, lets begin!

I used a free motion foot to create the words and the little girl. I find the letters flow better if you do it out of the free hand but if you’re not confident you can write it on baking paper and stitch over the top, just remove the baking paper gently.

In my test Wallet, the black cotton could be seen through the white panel, so I used a grey in my bobbin just to lighten the effect slightly. I also used several small pieces of scrap material on the back side of the lettering.

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So…do your lettering on your front white panel and then ‘draw’ the little girl.

Take the small 3” piece of white and batting and draw another little girl. I used batting on this piece because I liked the extra dimension but it’s not necessary.

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‘Draw’ the love heart into the girls dress.

Applique one of the red love hearts into the middle of the panel.

Applique the other love heart onto Pocket #4 (White 3.5” x 3.5” / 8.5cm x 8.5cm).

Applique the little batting girl onto the middle of Pocket #5 (Red: 6.25” x 5” / 16cm x 12cm).

We can put these pieces aside and start working on the pockets.

We’ll work on our curved pocket first. Take Pocket #5 (6.25” x 5” / 16cm x 12cm). I used a plate to get a rounded edge. Line your plate against the top edge and the right side edge and mark the curve. Cut your curve and repeat with the piece of lining.

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Line your two pieces up, right side together and sew along the curved edge only. Turn it right side out. Press and top stich.

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Now the rest of the pockets!

Take your first pocket and place it, right sides together with its corresponding lining. Using a quarter inch seam sew them together leaving a few inches to turn it right side out. Turn and press.

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Top stich, but only along the edge where the opening is. This will become the top side of your pocket, so I like to double stitch for a more finished look.  You will be creating another top stich when you attach the pockets so it is unnecessary to top stitch the whole pocket.

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Repeat with all your pockets.

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We are now going to sew the smaller pockets onto the bigger ones.

Position Pocket #4 to the lower edge in the middle of Pocket #3 and sew along the three edges.

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Repeat with pocket pockets #1 and #2.

We are now going to attach our pockets to the large white inner panel.

Positioning the pockets is important to get the right folds in your wallet. I calculated the position of my pockets on the assumption that an address book and pen would live in the rounded pocket on the right hand side.

Sew….I pinned my rounded pocket right to the very edge of my panel and sewed it very close to the edge to secure it in place.

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I measured 5cm (2”) from the edge of my rounded pocket and sewed my large pocket in place. I then measured 4cm (1.5”) from the edge of that pocket and sewed the last one in place. Both pockets are 3cm (1.25”) from the bottom raw edge of the panel.

We are still working with just the inside panel, but sadly I didn’t take a photo at this point so here is a (somewhat crooked) photo of the completed wallet showing the measurements.

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At this point we need to consider how we are going to close the wallet. Given there are pockets involved it didn’t make sense to use buttons. Besides, they can be quite fiddley. I wanted something that was quick and simple to use while securing all that lovely stationary in place so I opted for a piece of elastic.

You can see in the top picture I positioned my elastic to sit right next to that last pocket. This allows for the seam without having the elastic sitting in the way of the pocket. I measured 23cm (9”) of un-stretched elastic and pinned it parallel to my pocket. I folded the ends over the back of the panel and put a few stiches right next to the raw edge.

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We’re on the home stretch now!

Take your white front panel and lay it, right sides together with the outer black panel along the 21cm edge, making sure that when you open it out the white panel is on the left hand side. Sew with a quarter inch seam.

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Then lay the inside panel against your outer panel, right sides together, making sure that when you turn it, your rounded pocket is on the left and your pockets are all the right side up J

Pin and sew!

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Turn and press.

Top stitch the whole way around, being careful not to sew over your elastic.

I sewed a few lines down the centre of each of the fold points to create a sort of book ‘spine’.

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And there she is! Fill her up with your favourite stationary and get writing!

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Classic Blocks

Classic Block Quilt

For anyone who follows SewCanShe, you’ll be aware she runs a fabulous Block of the Month series.  Every month she runs a tutorial on a classic fresh block.

This year I’m going to follow along.

Every month a new block featuring the colour blue.  At the end of the year (or somewhere in between) I’ll have a fabulous blue sampler quilt.

Here’s my progress so far….

Classic Block Quilt Jan

One lonely block in an otherwise empty quilt space.  Well, it IS only January!

Letter Wallet

Letter Wallet

Its almost Valentines Day!

We keep Valentines pretty low key in our house but I do like to take the oppertunity to tell all the important people in my life how much I love and appreciate them.  My very closest girlfriends are as much my ‘soul mates’ as my dear husband is and I like to send them a Vday card too.

So, in honour of those we love, here is a letter wallet.  Keep your postage stamps, address book, greeting cards, gift tags and letter pad all in one little package.

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I am a quilter at heart but its nice to step out of the box and sew something a little different.

This was my first attempt at creating my my own pattern and it needs a little tweaking before I publish it so stay tuned!

This one is going out to my valentines swap partner, but I think I might make a few more for my girlfriends.

How do you celebrate valentines day?