Monday, February 28, 2011

and the winner is.........

I decided to make the number 13 a little luckier for someone, and counted up from the bottom because I'm different like that. so winner is the lovely Gloria. Will email her shortly in case she is not a follower and does not come back to check the winner.

congrats Gloria, you have a lovely japanese bag coming your way

back to reality

random things to share to signal end of blog hop and give you a preview of things to come.

- blog hop is over
- giveaway winners will be announced.....  at another time when its not midnight and my eyes are actually open
- uni starts back on tuesday - um...yay?
- i want to show you the hand pieced lap quilt im working on
- yay dads back at work so i can pull the machine out and not get evil glares
- will post a pic of the new hexi templates i bought for a real bargain the other day
- will possibly have a new address - not that im sharing that, but the idea of moving is good
- i have Billy Connelly tickets for thursday night and just CANT wait, woooo
- i went to a trivia night last night and kicked ass!! no not really. we did win and i did contribute, enough that im proud, but we only won by 4 points.

think thats about it, will be back tomorrow or tuesday with a far more eloquent post when its not silly o'clock

nighty night all

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blog Hop is here

Thank you for joining Our Craft Forum’s blog hop.  So what is “Our Craft Forum” a craft forum for like minded people who love crafts. Mostly patchwork, stitching, quilting and the like. It’s a safe place to make new friends who share a love of craft & to have some fun and a little bit of laughter along the way & to join in on swaps of all types.

This week end is designed to tell our blogging friends about our wonderful forum and to invite you to be a part of our forum.

Several of our members will be offering tutorials, giveaways and some tips of the trade.

The blog hop starts at miss~nances blog so if you want to join us on the whole journey please go to and follow the links at the bottom of each post to find the next blog along the way.

Each person who joins our forum from this blog hop will go in the draw for a craft pack. So to join our forum, please go to and register.  Entries close at MIDNIGHT EDST (Sydney time) Sunday 27 February.

So join in on the fun and maybe find a new forum, new blog and new friends along the way.  You never know you may even learn something new or win a great prize.

For my contribution to this blog hop I wanted to add a tutorial, well my favourite things to make at the moment are tote bags. They are so simple, practical and you can always find a use for them. I’m not about re-inventing the wheel though so instead of re-writing a pattern for you, head over HERE (really quick, skim through the pics and then come back because I’m not done) where this lovely lady has a very simple how-to.

Once you know ‘how-to’ you can then implement any or all of the following tips I have for you. They are a mix of cost savers and creative ideas to snazzy up a simple tote. Plus there are pictures which of course makes everything better. Stick around to the end and check out the piccies nice and close and I'll tell you about my giveaway.

*One point to note first, that tute calls the bag reversible. That is because the lining is made with pretty fabric. If you want to use something basic and not as pretty, don’t call reversible, call it lined instead. I say this because you may make a FANTASTIC pattern for the front of you bag and you just can’t bear to hide it, if this is the case use something boring on the inside. Too easy.
**Check out how she does the corners. I never end up with my corners the same size when I do it that way. Instead I prefer to cut mine before I sew anything. Its really easy. When you measure/cut your rectangles, measure a SQUARE (it has to be square for the edges to match up) in each of the bottom corners. The same size for each. You then get to choose the size of your base that way too. For my FQ bag I usually do a 1.5” square which gives you a base 2.5” wide. Check out the above pic and pretend my corners are actually even and I didn't just do them in paint a minute ago. The idea is the black part is (carefully) measured and the white is the bag.

Pic 1
Pic 2

Pic 3

1.Use what you have. If you are a fat quarter collector why not make a bag out of your fave print. The way I do it is fold it in half, cut a 5 inch strip from the piece while folded, cut my squares in the corners, cut a charm square from the strip and then the strip in half. Those are your pieces. From a FQ you get a bag and a charm square to add to your collection. Just add some lining and you're good to go.  - the brown from pic 2

2. If you are into up-cycling, why not a vintage pillowcase. They are already sewn most of the way. Be careful though, some cases are not sewn straight which means your side seams may not match up. - the orange print in pic 3

3. Instead of using your beautiful/expensive fabric for the lining, if you don’t want/need it to be reversible use cheaper fabric, or old bedsheets or quiltcovers you have lying around not being used. Or you can do as I and buy one or two from a 2nd hand store for projects like these. For $5 you can end up with a queen bed sheet (equiv. Around  3 metres of fabric) - the green in pic 2

4. ALWAYS follow the handle method on that tut. The double fold. I have tried it before only folding once and it is less sturdy and does not look as good. Also make sure you sew down both sides of the handle, even the folded edge, it may seem like a waste but in the end looks far more professional.  - compare the handles in pic 1 - the black is done properly

5. Add a pocket. Just because you can. On the inside with the outside fabric so it all matches. Make sure though to do this before you sew your bags inside each other otherwise you will be sewing through the lining too. - pic 2

6.Use a block you need to find a home for or make a block you’ve been dying to try that you don’t think you could make too many times over for a finished quilt. Remember to add fabric on each edge though to account for the sides, base and folded hem where the handles are. - the sudoku bag in pic 1 

7.Make an accent. Your bag does not have to be the same on both sides. Think of a feature wall. You can have one side plain the other bursting with colour. - sudoku is plain black on the back

8.Piece a front together. Any way you like. You can use scraps, charm squares or even jelly strips. - the stripy bag in pic 1 is made from jelly strips

9. Applique is your friend. If you want to personalise you bag, why not make it from a plain colour and then stitch all kinds of designs onto it. You can embroider, do a stitchery or appliqué pieces from your collection. - the pale pink LOVE bag in pic 3

10.Don’t be scared to make adjustments to suit yourself. If you want a really large beach bag, go ahead. Re-design. You can use this pattern small gift bags, wine bags or even put a really wide base on it, make it with sturdier fabric and use it for a picnic bag. - the small purple bags in the top of pic 3

11.Use a panel. - the japanese panel on the top right of pic 3

12. Try a stitchery. - Love bag in pic 3

13.When cutting your handles, fold your fabric to roughly the right width to see how long you want the handles to be. Remember that wider the fabric the shorter it looks. Depending on how you intend to use the bag you can adapt the handles to suit. i.e. if is a grocery bag you may want wide straps to make it easier to carry. You may like longer straps on a tote to carry it on your shoulder or short ones for a clutch. - check out the width of the orange print bag in pic 3

14. Why not use bias binding for straps. If you have a spare piece in a complimentary colour that is the width you want, go for it. Sew it up the same way but as long as you make it double fold it should be just as strong. (havent tried this yet but I fold my pieces the same way they're just not stretchy)

15. Add a hidden pocket on the inside. Sew yourself a little pouch, find an appropriate spot on the inside of your bag and cut a slit the same size and stitch away. Make sure you do this before you put your 2 bags together. ( the pic I have of this didnt turn out. but I have done it, it does work)

Most of all remember to have fun. And ALWAYS allow for your base and sides in your measurements.

Now for the giveaway. The cute little Japanese panel bag (top right in pic 3. The back is a dark pink with a different little lady) is what I am giving away. I think it is my favourite so far. To enter all you need to do is post. Simple as that. You post, I pick a number and contact you if you win via your blog or email addy, whichever you leave.

If you are an Australian resident you I will send you the bag, for international posters I have a two page pattern and direction for a ‘pick point' card. This is a form of embroidery on cardboard. ( the above pic is one I made recently)

The next link in this hop is Dawn’s lovely blog at:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

my new storage doo-dad and this months hexi

Since Life has a way of getting in the way, I decided I needed to focus on hand sewing a little more. So I started cutting out templates for some blocks I've been wanting to try out. I'm doing a hand pieced lap rug. 4x5 blocks. Four each of a sloppy star (2 dark 2 light), a stack and slash type, a disappearing 9-patch, a 4 patch and a variation of a 9-patch I found in a mag a few weeks ago. The best part is I cut all the pieces from my scrap bag. When I say scrap I mean random smallish odd shaped pieces not actually teeny tiny bits.

So I spent yesterday measuring, drafting and cutting master copies, templates and fabric pieces and when I was done I had somewhere to put them all. Check out my new storage bag, oh and this months hexi.

This is the cat I made for Leanne, my swap partner this month. She has a thing for cats so I figured out how to draw one and went from there. I think she's cute.

This is the sewing bag I bought at Spotlight the other day. I've wanted something like this for a while - its difficult sewing when you have to pack everything up the second you finish. I like this bag cuz its nice and flat.
The inside of said bag. Lots of pockets with zips to keep everything contained and see through so I don't have to open every single one of them. Plus there's elastic whatsits up the top too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

my latest bags and some bargain shopping

cut and ready to sew

the finish products, i even managed some applique and embroidery

applique, a panel bag and check out my nifty hidden inside pocket

the swanky $10 kit i bought from spotties the other day

the contents of said kit

Monday, February 21, 2011

Craft Forum Blog Hop - heads up

So I mentioned the other day about my blog being taken over this weekend with a blog hop for the craft forum I am a part of. The idea is to let others know we exist and invite new members to join us for some crafty discussion, a few laughs and just provide somewhere to post about your fav hobby and/or your life safe in the knowledge that others see things similarly to you. This is the official spiel with all the important info:

This weekend Our Craft Forum is hosting a blog hop, from Noon Friday 25 to Midnight Sunday 27 February EDST. So what is “Our Craft Forum” a craft forum for like minded people who loves crafts. Mostly patchwork, stitching, quilting and the like. It’s a safe place to make new friends who share a love of craft & to have some fun and a little bit of laughter along the way & to join in on swaps of all types.
This week end is designed to tell our blogging friends about our wonderful forum and to invite you to be a part of our forum.
Several of our members will be offering tutorials, giveaways and some tips of the trade.
The blog hop starts at miss~nances blog so if you want to join us on the whole journey please go to and follow the links at the bottom of each post to find the next blog along the way.
Each person who joins our forum from this bloghop will go in the draw for a craft pack. So join in on the fun and maybe find a new forum, new blog and new friends along the way. You never now you may even learn something new or win a great prize.

Between now and Friday I will hopefully doing a lot of sewing and a fair bit of blogging to showcase the sewing. I need to get some things finished to go with my tutorial for you all to read, not to mention find something wonderful to giveaway to some lucky person. Off to sew....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Good Deed

Sometime in the last 24 hours I read a post on a blog that upset me. I am not going to name it cuz that's just not cool but I will tell you why I was offended.

This person shared with their readers about a good deed they did and how warm and fuzzy they felt afterwards. This I have no issue with, it is the rest of the post that made me mad. This person encouraged others to give to others and do a good deed too. But then readers were asked to post about it on this blog and then they would have a chance to win a prize.

I was appalled! This person has managed to scrounge up all sorts of donations as gifts for good deed doers to reward them for helping their fellow man.

I don't like people blowing their own horn about helping others nor do I believe it is something to be rewarded for. I enjoy doing things for others. It makes me feel good to know I helped in some small way.

So to be more proactive about my own good deed doing I am pledging to aim to do One Good Deed per day. That is all. I would love it if some of you out there in blog land would join me in this pledge.

I have made a button (very proud), its on the sidebar there, and it will link back to this post (fingers crossed I figure out how to do that real quick). Please add it to your own blog and pledge along with me.

You do not need to comment, post about it or anything else. You can if you feel like it by all means, raising awareness is always fantastic. But I ask nothing more of you than to make an effort to do one good deed a day.

Your good deed can be as big or small as you like. They don't have to be anonymous, and the recipients can be family members or strangers. I have listed some suggestions below.

- make lunch for a family member,just because.
- volunteer at a local school, shelter or church group
- leave a thank you/ you're awesome note for someone special
- donate to a charity
- make a crafty something specifically to give away - this can be a long term thing and each day you work on it will count.
- do one of those icky jobs you hate just to save someone else doing it. i.e. doing dishes, taking out the rubbish or refilling the printer paper
- help a stranger with their bags on the street
- let someone in on the road

These are just some suggestions off the top of my head. I'm sure more will come to you as you go. Good luck. Remember the aim of this is to do something good for someone else for no other reason than the warm fuzzy feeling it brings.

how do i make a button?

im hoping this will be my new button if i do it right

My favourite things

Just because, I thought I'd share some things that make me smile.

1. I love my dogs reaction whenever I come home after being way. Her whole bottom half wiggles when she wags her tail 'woohoo i might get a walk'
2. tasty vanilla icecream. much as i love adding chocolate and toppings to my dessert sometimes vanilla ice cream on its own its just mmmmm
3. looking back at pics and remembering what a great time I were having when they were taken
4. cuddling up in front of a movie with boyfriend.
5. finding an easier/better way of doing something
6. holding a newly finished craft project
7. the weight lifting when I hand in an essay I've been agonising over
8. watching cute kids when out in public
9. watching horrible kids when out in public and smiling cuz I dont have to deal with them
10. sitting down to a really tasty meal, you almost get full just from looking at it and imagining how good it tastes.

What little things make you smile?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

things I have noticed + cute baby pics

over the past week I have spent a LOT of time on the train. I always have my trusty ipod, sunnies, some hexis and train food to keep me awake and occupied but despite that I always do a lot of thinking and notice quite a few things. I thought I would share some with you.

- when the bathroom sign says 'out of order' no amount of pressing the door button, sighing pacing and laps of the train makes it work, sorry love. There was one girl who amused me for almost an hour the other day, she came back to the loo which was in my line of sight about 8 times and did this.
- talking to yourself on the train combined with humming, tapping or other really irritating noises make people realise they need to get off at the next stop a lot sooner. ( not me of course I had trusty ipod but was enjoying the looks on everyone elses faces caused by the guy in front of me.
- occasionally you meet some very nice people on public transport. I always take up two seats because i have a suitcase and really hate being boxed in with my suitcase at my feet, handbag on my lap and someone next to me. When the train was packed the other day I had to move suitcase from the seat next to me so an older woman could sit down and she wouldnt let me move it, she sat on the seat with her legs to the side so i wouldnt be squished. bless her heart. i love nanna-types.
- boyfriend is a wimp and had no idea how much effort it takes to get myself and my suitcase on a bus and two trains being cramped up for 5 hours to visit him. this is evident by him carrying my suitcase in from the car and saying 'jeez this is heavy, what have you got in here'. well exCUSE me buddy but i brought that here all the way from wollongong so get over yourself. oh and I just love when i say how exhausted i am when i get off the train and he says 'why? you sat down all day'

moving away from trains now...

- despite being past high school and hating it then i am susceptible to peer pressure and everytime people post in the forum about spotlight having their $40 off voucher i wonder whether i can justify spending that much as a lowly student.
- yay me, i havent caved yet. but am seriously thinking about it to get some cotton basics for my bag making and i really do want a bias binding maker and ive been looking at craft storage bags and always cringe at the price, maybe now its the time....
- speaking of high school, i always have a little giggle when people who didnt speak to me the entire 6 years we attended the same school add me on facebook. why?

- my nephew is the cutest and brightest baby i have been around recently. he has one of those gorgeous baby mohawks with the really soft spiky hair. i love him so much.
- this same child however manages to look like a stunned mullet in photos cuz my phone focuses then flashes then takes the pic and of course he gets distracted. he also likes eating the phone.
- since pledging OPAM I havent finished a darned thing!
- no seriously! I finished some whoppers for christmas, a table runner last month and several bags but all before I signed up. not happy jan. need to get my act into gear.
- still havent started this months hexi, oops sorry Leanne, will get to maybe tomorrow. have to put washing on first , and you know get out of my pajamas. so worn out from trains the last two days.
- speaking of washing, need to bind the faux chenille quilt i started last week and put it through the wash so it fuzzes up a pillow case of course or mum will shoot me for leaving stray threads in her machine.
- there are an awful lot of people at UWS who are VERY unhappy with class offerings and the stupid uni computers accidentally on purpose logging them out as they are scrambling to get their classes before they are full and frantically refreshing. i on the other hand manged to get exactly what i wanted and tried really hard not to burst out laughing at these poor stress heads.
- i really really REALLY heart the MADE website, (check it out on my blog roll) shes hosting boy month at the moment and it almost makes me wish i had a bubba of my own to make cute things for. oh well, maybe cute nephew will get some cute clothes for his birthday of his favourite aunty Rach.

That is all for now. I need to actually carry on with my day. As well as putting washing on I want to cut some bags so i can try out applique on the front to go with my post for the forum blog hop. oh yea.....

this weekend there will be no posting - i will have to hold back. sad :(

as i have mentioned before i am part of a craft forum and to entice others to join some of our members are taking part in a blog hop. for the entire weekend we will all have a post up telling you about the forum. if i'm not mistaken there will also be some giveaways and tutorials floating around too. what am i doing?.... you will just have to wait and see.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I love getting mail! (part 2)

These are the Henry Glass fabrics I ordered all cut and rolled ready to sell. Now I have my laptop back I can do that. Woot money!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Jelly Rolls - for sale or just to drool over

Some jelly rolls I re-wrapped to better suit what I wanted to do. The first are from Alfie and are called 'Peace', 'Jungle' and 'Forest'. The last made up of Moda strips and some cotton basics.

All 4 will be going on my Etsy store tomorrow. The first 3 for $21 for 24 strips and the last $18 for 20 strips.

so what did i tick off my list?

as per yesterdays list i managed to get through most of it. and wouldnt you know it....the second I blogged that post my sister came in and asked me what i had planned for the i read her the post. LOL

There were 2 things I didnt get to do and one i didnt get to finish. I couldnt walk the dog because it started to rain in the afternoon which made it cold and miserable and my dog is a wimp. I didnt manage to get my study done because my parents got back from their trip earlier than i had expected. for the same reason i didnt get to sew either, but i do have the quilt cut and pinned and ready to go and will do it today as soon as my brother leaves for school because hes currently studying where i want to sew.(dam senior schooling having different hours)

i measured the hexi quilt and planned out with my template on Paint so i knew how many hexis i still needed to make and even sewed some more together before i went to sleep. I also took the fabric photos and they will be put up here in about 10 minutes for you all to drool over before i put them on etsy.

so if all goes to plan today will end up with 4 posts today. but for good reason. this one to follow up from yesterday, the fabric one, a 'look what i made today' post and fingers crossed the rest of my USA fabric shows up today because when they tried to deliver it on friday there was no one home. mind you the other posts will be all pictures so it wont be too much reading.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

today's to do list

Ive been laying here in bed for an hour or so today checking out the blogs and the forum and googling the odd quilt design and am now trying to work out what to do today. There are a bunch of things I should do, some I want to do and others that need to get done for long term reasons. And then there are some that fit into more than one category. Its like this...

step one: shower. i had breakfast in bed, cuz i can. and i feel that the rest of the day should really be achieved with clothes on and not my pjs.

step two: proceed with ONE of the following, which i dont know, hence the list. and i do say one because thinking too far in advance right now is just major fail because i will no doubt get distracted and lose motivation depending which i choose first.

steps three through forever: continue with something else off my list.

The List 
- treadmill time - its hot and i really dont want to but feel i should/need to put in at least 20 minutes to keep up my doing something active every day mantra
- listening to lectures for my correspondence course. - slightly boring but i should or I'll get behind and that will be bad because face to face classes start soon too.
- going through the fabric i brought back from storage yesterday to see if i can add to my FQ stash to sell.
- find homes for the rest of the...crap? i brought back with me.
- unpack my suitcase from being in sydney the last few days.
- rewrapping and taking pics of jelly rolls to sell- selling is important as it funds things like eating and rent. ok so not so much at the moment, right now its to pay for my new sewing machine.
- send an invoice to the novice who bought my other sewing machine - to add to the new machine funds.
- find out when my phone bill is due to come in next, so i can have my finances sorted out.
- SEW!!!! i found a really easy quilt design the other day that im desperate to try and nows the best time because my parents are away and i can take over the dining room table for the day.
 - cut some fabric for another really awesome pattern that i actually could work on by hand if i wanted
- pull out the backing blanket for my hexi quilt and measure it out so i can see how many more i need on each edge.
 - should probably walk the dog at some stage too.

its tooooooo hot!!! brain does not function well and motivation leaves when its hot.

see why I have stayed in bed so long???????

its all about timing see, and space. I only use the sewing machine when the parents arent home cuz they whinge and bitch about it but i cant do my study when my dad is home cuz he doesnt get it. taking over the kitchen bench to cut fabric can only be done when dads not home and others are occupied and when the entire 3 metre bench top isnt covered with crap that no one can put away.

do you see my dilemma???

will have to post back at the end of the day to show you what i actually did,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

what happens when you read quilting mags and forget your scribble pad????

I spent some time in the local library yesterday taking in the air con and reading through some quilting mags. Of course I forgot my notepad so I had to improvise. This is what it looked like after I had scribbled on it and then marked things off as I transfered them into a proper notepad. Now I keep said notebook in my handbag.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I love getting mail! (part 1)

I love purple
I ordered from Thousands of Bolts just over  a week ago and today the first of 2 packages arrived. I ordered 10 fabrics from the Henry Glass Rose Cottage collection and then two pretty purple fabrics cuz theyre beautiful. Check out what I have so far....

The first 4 Henry Glass
When I get next package the Henry Glass fabrics will go on my Etsy store as a FQ bundle or two and maybe some jelly rolls. The purple ones....when I stop drooling over them, will go up as singles.