30 March 2017

Creating with the UGLY

Do you have fabrics in your stash that make you wonder "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?" They could be fabrics in colours or prints which you don't really like, but were on sale, or given to you by a well meaning friend. They could be poor quality fabrics which have never been 'quite right' for a project. Or you just had a brain spasm and had to have them, but ended up with buyers remorse.

However they arrived in my stash, they're not to my taste, so I'm calling these my 'ugly' fabrics. I went to a class one time and the tutor showed us a quilt she'd made, all with her 'ugly' fabrics. It was a series of NY Beauty blocks and though the fabrics weren't pretty on their own, the quilt was altogether stunning.

In the hope of getting my sew-jo back, I grabbed a few pieces from my stash to make something. It was never going to be a stunning work, just something to get back into the rhythm of sewing and pressing and trimming etc...

I decided to make a large hot pad for my dining table. I cut 4" squares and sewed them together randomly. I pieced the back with more 'ugly' fabric. I then sandwiched it with 2 layers of cotton batting for extra heat resistance.

Its been raining (again), so I enjoyed sitting at my machine in front of the window and slowly quilting this hot pad with a wavy stitch. It's got a lovely texture and will be extra crinkly when I wash it every time someone spills food on it.

Do you have 'ugly' fabrics in your stash?

Want to join me in using them up?

Would an little "ugly" swap be something you'd want to participate in? 

Possibly make something small for a swap partner with your ugly fabrics.

Leave a comment or send me an email. If we have the numbers, let's share the Ugly!

29 March 2017

Apple Crumble

My favourite season is upon us. The summer heat has finally given up and the days (and nights) are bearable once again. Plus, it's apple season. Love, love, love crisp new season Pink Lady apples. Oh and Granny Smith's too. 

Speaking of Granny Smith's, I had about 7 huge ones rolling around the bottom of the fruit bowl. They'd started looking a little wrinkly and unappealing.

I put my young master to work, peeling and chopping them up so we could have apple crumble for dessert.

I follow the 2 x 1 x 1 rule when it comes to a crumble top. 

2 x flour
1 x butter
1 x sugar

I tried to make it a little less carby (is carby a word?) by only using 140g of flour and then 70g of butter and raw sugar. There was barely enough mixture to cover the top of the apple so I blitzed up 1/2 cup of walnuts and sprinkled those on top.

Honestly, yum! I must remember to add walnuts next time I make it. Oh and cinnamon. I forgot cinnamon.

How do you make your crumble? 
Do you add sultanas? Oats? 
What's your secret to a good crumble?

27 March 2017

Dream Big Quilted Pillow

I have a new pillow creation to share with you today. I made it especially for a girl who is in my son's grade at school. She's just turned 11 and is a lovely, friendly girl who is just a joy to be around. 

Rather than appliqueing her name on the pillow, I thought I'd go with 'Dream Big' which seems a little more grown-up. 

The floral patchwork and applique fabric is Japanese Lawn which is just so soft and delicate. I was reminded of the delicacy when I was sewing the squares together with too thick a needle and thread. The stitches were all a little bit puckered and not pretty at all. I changed over to finer thread and needle on my machine and hand no problems from there. 

A little bit of quilting across the squares, and some straight lines on the cream canvas. I added a little bit of cotton lace trim (because cotton lace trim makes everything extra pretty) on the edges of the canvas. I finished the cushion top with some hand quilting along the edge of the trim (just because).

I finished this pillow with envelope style back and even added a little label. 

I really hope she likes it and finds a space for it in her bedroom.

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24 March 2017

FINISHED: A Crochet Blanket

"I've been to cities that never close down... from New York, to Rio and Old London Town... but no matter how far, or how wide I roam, I still call Australia home."

Okay, well no, I haven't been to New York or Rio but I have been to Old London Town (well the airport anyways). 

I've heard this song by Peter Allen, over and over and over and over this past couple of weeks. My son auditioned for the school production and decided that this was the song we wanted to perform.

He practised and practised and practised. It was so cute to hear him singing his song in the shower. Great acoustics, apparently. His audition was on Wednesday. My daughter decided she wanted to be in the school production too, so she danced and sang the cup song from Pitch Perfect. Roles will be announced in a couple of weeks, but everyone who auditions will be in the production. They are beyond excited (and I am too).

So, where was I going with this? Oh yes, my well travelled crochet blanket is finally, FINALLY finished! It's travelled from Sydney, to Disneyland to Las Vegas to San Francisco to Santa Monica to Hawaii and back to Sydney. It's been on numerous car journeys, sat with me on the couch of an evening watching crappy tv shows, and has kept me company while I've waited for the kids to do their after school sports and activities.

I used about 8-10 balls of 4 Seasons Marvel Magic Stripe Acrylic Yarn purchased at Spotlight last year (on sale). I used about the same amount of charcoal grey 4 Seasons Marvel 8 Ply. This is made up of granny square blocks in two different colour-ways. The first is 7 rounds of the magic stripe yarn and the second block is 5 rounds of the magic stripe yarn and then 2 rounds of the charcoal.

I wasn't too sure how big to make it, so I got my husband to lay on the couch and put the blanket on top of him so that his feet were covered and that it was long enough to tuck under his chin. He's over 6" foot tall, so it's turned out quite long, but I know that it'll be a useful size for the rest of us "shorter people".

I alternated the blocks and crocheted them together with slip stitches. I'm not completely pleased with the back, but I guess it's not going to be on display so it doesn't really matter too much.

I then crocheted the border. I went around the whole rug in DC's five times. One round of single crochet. Then a scallop edge using a tutorial I found by Bella Coco on YouTube.

I'm so pleased that it's finished. After so many months of crocheting the same thing, it'll be nice to start on something new.

21 March 2017

Tiny Baby Coverlet (Pattern)

If you're looking for something quick to sew today, how about making some little coverlets for tiny babies in the NICU of your local hospital? These are simple little coverlets for the youngest and most vulnerable of babies. 

They can be sewn up quite quickly - especially if you prepare in advance and then chain piece. Choose bright and happy novelty fabrics for the simple coverlet top.  

They're then backed in 100% cotton flannelette. No batting is required (just the 2 layers) and sizes are generally between 18” to 24”. Different hospitals have different preferences, so contact your local hospital for their specific requirements.

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