Friday, November 27, 2009

Now that's a bird's nest!

This mornings bird's nest in Lilly's hair is quite impressive. How can one little girl have such a big birds nest in her hair?!
This will take quite some encouragement to get her to sit still long enough....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My first art exhibition pieces!

ICAN has organised an art exhibition this weekend (28th & 29th November) for 10"x10" art works. I am a new member to ICAN (and somehow also the treasurer!) and was very excited about this. I have made two pieces for the exhibition. They are:

Cathedral Windows

This is a traditionally hand sewn cathedral windows mini-quilt. I have always loved this style of quilt due to my love of geometric repeating patterns, and really want to make one of these for Lilly. So this was the perfect opportunity to try it on a smaller scale. This is quite a time consuming quilt! There are 25 background squares and 40 windows.

Burning Trees

The background here was created using a resist method (wholemeal flour and water paste, left to dry, cracked, and painted over). The trees were then screenprinted over the top. When we first moved into our house there were some trees out the back that had been burnt the previous summer in a little bush fire. I walked past these trees all the time and loved them. (I have a series of 'burnt bush' photos.) They have now been overgrown with new green growth.

During the weekend I will try and get a few photos of the exhibition (Old Court House, Wollongong). I will be there on the Sunday out the front trying my luck with a stall!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Scrappy Twirly Skirt for Lilly

During the heat of yesterday, while Lilly was having her day sleep I literally sat at the overlocker. I had a large tub of scraps and off-cuts and just started randomly picking out fabrics. I kept adding on until I had a new 'fabric'. I intended on making this a full circle skirt, but it got a bit too hot in the studio, so it ended up a 3/4 circle skirt! Great thing about the overlocker is that you don't have to worry about cutting the edges nice and straight - just let the machine do it for you! So here is the result:
I'll see if I can get a photo of Lilly wearing it tomorrow!
Next time I am going to make one long strip about 4" or 5" wide and make a 3 layer tiered skirt - this will give it a better twirling action.
There orange casing around the top has a split, and the tie is lace on the ends, with about 12" of elastic in the centre - this allows for growth to get more wear from the skirt. I love the 'prettiness' that the lace gives to the skirt. And you can wear the bow at the back, at the front, or on the side!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Retro stripe shorts

The fabric used in these was found at Salvos - I loved it as soon as I saw it! It looked that this was a cot sheet at one stage. It feels like a really good quality cotton - quite thick for a sheet, but perfect for some cool duds! I got 4 pairs, 1 each of size 0, 1, 2 & 3 (photos in same order). Again, destined for my market stall - which looks like it may be infront of the Old Court House in Wollongong on Sunday November 29, 2009. My favourite is the diagonal stripes!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shorts from thrifted fabrics

These shorts were inspired by the crazy patchwork style of quilting. Fabrics used were a mix of old table cloths, cot sheet & new fabric. Both are a size 2 long short (just below knee) and are destined for my next market stall! Although they do have some flowers, I really think these are unisex. The photos show the front (left) and the back (right) of the shorts:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My first quilt

Last month "sew-mama-sew" had a competition for 'scrap busting'. My favourite was Amanda Jeans Ticker Tape Quilt. Now I am a bit of a procrastinator - I like to know exactly what I am doing before I do it! But this time I just jumped right in and I am very happy with the results. I made my first quilt (albeit a doll quilt) and here it is:

I didn't bind it the way you are supposed to - I do like breaking rules. But I do love the raw edge look, so I carried that over to the binding. (I think teddy likes it too.)

And this is what it looked like after a wash:

Touchy Taggy - baby tactile mats

Here are some "touchy taggy" tactile mats I've made over the last couple of the name? They are like a 'taggie' but better - not only do they have tags, but bits that flap, scrunch, are soft, smooth, rough, furry, shiny, bumpy, ridgy... But I can't take credit for the idea. A good friend of mine, her sister made one for her little boy. He loved it! So I made one for Lilly...also a big hit! I found it great for car trips, plane trips, playing quietly in the pram... and fully machine washable! I thought I would make these in themes: colours, black-white-red, pinks, shapes.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

button up shirt to dress reconstruction

The starting shirt was a girls size 8 long sleeve shirt - apart from a few marks on the sleeves, in good condition. I used the full width of the shirt to make this girls dress/top. Having the shoulder ties it should last a few seasons. A short dress about a size 2, or a tunic top size 3, maybe even up to a size 4! (The only restricting thing is the chest size.) The button up back makes dressing easy. I added the simple applique to make it something unique!

I am hopefully going to be teaching some reconstruction classes next year at the community college - I think I am going to use this style in my classes a lot!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Birds for Minna

These birds are made from a pattern by Spool ( - Click on the 'bird pattern' under Free Patterns). Here's the view from the front, and one from underneath:

Some close-ups of the birds:

The hardest thing was attaching them to the branch!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dress from a pillow case

From the Salvos I found the following fabrics: an off white pillow case with gold flowers, and a length of fabric (blue with black & white print).
Together with a basic A-line dress pattern I use for Lilly I created this:

Yes they are action shots, as we had to do a lot of spinning with our new dress! It's a very hot day here, so the dress is a hit. I like using reclamed fabrics (such as good quality linen) - it has been washed so many times in the past that it is so soft, and it has done all it's shrinking, and I do love the prints.
The body is cut straight, so to give shaping there are gathers at the base of the ties over the shoulders. The ties also give more growing time in the dress. And to give some more balance I added the ruffle on the bottom (apparently Lilly really likes this bit!). There is also a little button at the back. Would anyone like a tutorial on how to create this pattern?

Ceramic Mushrooms from Kiama Markets

On the weekend we checked out Kiama markets. This is what I came back with:

One day I think my little chicken will love a fairy garden...these will be the perfect starter!
These are hand made by a couple who call themselves "Lakelands Ceramics" (I think I've got that right). The husband makes the mushrooms from moulds he has created himself, and his wife decorates them. I believe it is quite difficult to get a bright red glaze, so this is painted (along with the dots), and I love the overall look!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Expanding zip bag

This bag was inspired by a friends bag she had, originally from Japan. The bag had no label, so we don't know who made it but I loved the idea. The closed bag is a nice small size - great for wallet, keys, phone, and a few other bits and pieces. When you undo to zip it becomes a bigger bag - great for carrying those wonderful finds at the weekend markets! (I do love a good market.)

Here are some more photos:
back of the closed bag; back of the open back;

vintage buckle on front; inside of closed bag

I'm hoping to give it a test run tomorrow at the Kiama markets.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Scarborough Public School Art & Craft Exhibition

A little while ago my mum & joined forces for one of the Coledale markets (held 4th Sunday of the month). We were approached by two people (at different times) to apply for hte Scarborough Public School Art & Craft Exhibition - their fund raiser for the year. So we both gave them our details.
This evening I delivered mine & my mums stuff to the exhibition at the public school. This is what I sent.
We have hats, hats, and more hats:

LEFT: Stripe hats: baby sizes (left), toddler size (middle), child size (right), baby pack (centre)
RIGHT: baby hats: bottom left & bottom centre, toddler hats top left, child hats right
Some bunting flags:

(Right shows detail photo of bottom flag set from left - all hand cut and appliqued)

And we have tooth monsters and handbags:

The opening night is this Friday (16th October), and the Exhibition is open until Sunday 18th October (check out their website:

Monday, October 5, 2009

October long wet weekend camping

We went camping for the October long weekend. We had planned to be there for 5 days, but cut it short because of the rain. I'm glad I found the time before we went to make a prototype gutter for the gazebos:

I have a few ideas for improvements - and I think a few orders for when they are done! We found it was also quite handy for catching rain water for the washing up.
During a dry(ish) moment the kids were kicking/throwing a ball. This is Seth, Lilly's cousin, he gets very excited playing with balls (the amount of fun is directly proportional to the amount of drool)! Thanks Aunty P for acting as fire guardian...