Saturday, May 29, 2010

Giveaways + Storage Ideas

2 of my fellow Gumtree Designers are currently having give aways. Jenny is having a BIG one to celebrate the launch of her "Christmas Story" Quilt.

And Dawn has had a change of name. She is now known as "As Sweet As Cinnamon" to celebrate she is also having a giveaway.

There hasn't been any sewing going on here this week - Life for us has had a few hiccups. But I did buy these 2 baskets from Office Works. They are plastic coated and quite economical at $11.98 each.

I though that they would be perfect for storing my fat quarters. They currently sit in a stack on my shelf but are always toppling over when I want one from the botom of the pile.

So now I have them all displayed in my new baskets.

How do you store your fat quarter stash?

Monday, May 24, 2010

So What Is Inside Your UFO Sewing Basket?

I used to be much more organised with projects and have them in little folders but now I have this basket which I call my stitchery basket. It is the basket which sits beside me most nights and contains lots of projects all ready to be stitched.

I find it impossible to sit and watch television without something in my hands so this basket is a necessity for me. I also like variety so it contains lots of different things and I just pick something up each night that I feel like doing.

You may not think there is very much here to choose from ..... well let me just show you what is in my basket.......

This lot includes little christmas stitcheries to make little hanging pillows (I make lots of these throughout the year ready for Chrismtas); My Gail Pan table runner from the last gathering which I am hand quilting and is almost ready for it's binding; Jenny of Elefantz's milk jug cover and some of my own designs on linen.

Plus I have had Anni Down's Simple Pleasures traced out for ages.

And I am also working on this one of Rosalie Quinlans' - Little Patchwork Village on linen in redwork (I am going to put it together with some French General - YUM)

Then there is this pile of my own designs..........

And some on-line designs - Cori's Baby Bracelet quilt (I am making both girl and boy); the Polka Dot Pineapples Flower Hair Bobby pins (for my nieces birthday); Jenny of Elefantz's Christmas Story BOM & Some little Bunnies from Homespun magazine a few issues back.

So as you can see variety is the spice of life for me - I like having lots of things on the go - That way I never get bored of the one project.

Remember these bags that I was sewing yesterday? I wanted to design something using the pre-quilted muslin I had and these were the result.

I decided to make a day of it and made 3 - Just to be sure that i had the pattern right.

Last night I made them each a little fabric flower to adorn them. And yes Joy they are made with my decreasing stash of "Aviary" - I just love that fabric.

I have decided to join in with Lou Lou's At My House today. If you want to see more pop over to Buttons By Lou Lou. I thought I would show you my favourite corner of my sewing room.

It holds lots of my pretties.

Trims ..................

Buttons & Cottons ..................

I have a couple of days off from work so have had a busy day pottering - I am 1/2 way through cleaning the oven so I had best get back to it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend Sewing

You could be forgiven for thinking that we are in the middle of winter here in Tasmania this weekend - It has been freezing ! It is Mr MC's weekend to work so I have been up early driving him to work both days. Yesterday morning my little car told me it was -5 and this morning it was a little warmer at -4. Luckily for me I have spent a few evenings with my Bunny Crossing quilt across my lap keeping me warm whilst I sew down the binding.

And now it is finished. Sarah has done a lovely job of quilting it.

I backed it with some swirly Hunky Dory.

With it being so cold it has been perfect weather for sewing and I have finished this little cushion with a stitchery that I designed some time ago.

My sewing assistant has been helping in between naps.

I had to wake him so that I could finish these 3 Tote bags. Tonight I will make some fabric flowers to adorn them. Have you had a busy weekend too?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Shabby Gloves Tutorial

You will need a pair of good quality rubber gloves and a fat quarter of fabric.

And some trim - enough to go around the wrist of the gloves approximately 50cm will do both gloves.

If you need a sewing assistant make sure that they are ready to supervise. Are you ready Dreamer?

Trim off the Selvedge.

Cut 2 X 6 Inch Wide pieces from the longest side of the fat quarter. The following instructions are to complete the first glove. You will need to repeat them all for the second glove.

Fold over the short ends and press.

Then fold in half with wrong sides together and press.

This is how it should look.

Sew a gathering stitch along the raw edge of the folded strip about 1/8" from the edge.

Measure the width of the glove - Then double.

Gather the strip to meqasure 1" longer than the circumference of the wrist of the glove.

Pin the raw edge about 1/2" up from the edge of the glove. Sew along where the 2 ends meet.

Sew all the way around 1/4" from the the raw edge.

Remove the pins.

Check to make sure that your sewing assistant is still paying attention.

Pin the trim around so that it covers the raw edge and the previously sewn line.

Stitch in place.

Repeat for the other glove.

And Voila - You now have some super pretty housework gloves.

These will make a fantastic low cost gift - Experiment with colours and trims for a different look.
I hope that you have enjoyed this quick and easy tutorial.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Let's Get Back To It ........

Winter is less than 2 weeks away and the air is starting to chill here in Tassie. It is an expensive time of the year in Australia's southern most state and it makes you start to think about ways to help the energy $ go further. So I thought it was about time that we started to talk about frugal living again. We have quite a long cabin style home which has an electric reverse cycle heating in one end and a wood fire in the living quarters.

I adore our fire but it is becoming increasingly expensive to run and of course does have some enviromental issues. We let it go out over night these days to economise on wood and keep it on low most of the time.

After seeing an article about lights and heating fans (our wood heater has one) burning the energy $$ I now prefer to just use a lamp of an evening to stitch under and put a quilt over my legs whilst I sit and stitch to keep that little bit warmer. I sometimes feel like the lighting police going around the house turning off lights but slowly the other occupants of this home are catching on........

Instead of using a hot water bottle you could always get one of these - A seat warmer who doubles as a sewing assistant.

Our mission over the past few weeks has been to save some $$ to take a trip on this the Spirit of Tasmania which does an overnight crossing of Bass Strait to Victoria. The girls have begged to go on it for ages and with 1/2 price fares at the moment we couldn't resist the urge to take them.

So towards the end of June we are off on a 5 day jaunt to Victoria and whilst we are there we are going to see my beloved Geelong play at the MCG.

To help fund the trip and to get the girls motivated we have been cleaning out cupboards of items we no longer need or use. The girls will be spending the weekend sorting their rooms. We have booked a market stall the Sunday before we leave and we will be taking along all of our unwanted household items to sell. Everything that is left will be donated to charity. The girls are quite excited at this becuase they will get to keep any $ raised from the sale of their own things to spend whilst we are away.

Trying to be frugal doesn't mean that you have to go without things like holidays. It just means that you are being a bit more careful with your hard earned dollar making it go further. We managed to save $600 on our fares making it very affordable for our family of 4. Airlines always have great deals if you shop around. Or try websites like Last Minute which offer fantastic last minute deals on flights, accomodation etc.

I have decided that throughout the winter I need to get a head start on my christmas gift giving - It is almost June so time is ticking away. I am designing a set of 4 embroidered coasters which I will make for some family members - I am not sure how I am going to finish them off yet - stay tuned.......

Do you want to start with your gift giving ideas too? Grab a pair of rubber gloves and stand by over the weekend and I will share a tutorial with you for a nice easy gift.

Until then,