Fossicking for fabrics

Some sewing friends recently recently introduced me to The Fabric Cave.   It combines four of my favourite things:  not for profit, supported employment, upcycling and sewing supplies.   The look and smell of this place evokes memories of 50 Nana’s sewing rooms.   Their stock has all been donated by people culling their stashes –  ready to find new lives in the a different sewing room.   They even have UFOs ready for some renewed inspiration.

My most recent trip there was with two dear friends – one of them the author behind Misty Cow Designs blog. How lovely it is to go shopping with people who ‘get it’.   I arrived with some odds and sods and one of my mother’s UFOs – appliqued squares for a patchwork quilt she started 20 years ago and then went off the idea.   She’d held onto it all this time because there was too much work in it to part with – but the prospect of it finding new love somewhere else spurred her into donating.’

My friends and I each spent about $50 and came out with very different supplies for our wide and varied interests.

Among my haul was this stash of vintage coloured patchwork fabrics.  I’d found myself looking at all the patchwork scraps and stumbled across a very retro piece;  I’ve been wanted to make a modern vintage quilt for some time and here was my start.    I immediately found a complimentary piece – and another – and another.     All the pieces seemed to jump out at me for re-use.   Yes, I was rather excited.    Because all the pieces are different sizes, I’ll probably go with some type of random pieced scrappy quilt.

retro fabrics

The top left piece was my starting piece of inspiration.  And the rest just followed

mid century modern fabric

OK, this one isn’t going to match my modern vintage quilt, but I couldn’t leave it behind.  I have no idea what I will do with it because at 25cm, it’s fairly narrow.   But I’m sure it will speak to me eventually.

Can’t wait for my next trip there.

Pram Blanket

There’s a baby girl due shortly and my family are bursting with excitement.    I was looking for a simple idea for a newborn gift and decided on a pram blanket.   (Jadie, don’t look!)   This is likely to be the first of many baby gifts leaving my machine in the short term.

I knew the mum has decided that she wants to avoid pastel colours, so I went for the vibrant colours in this piece of fabric from the patchwork store.  The zebra print back is a velvety, soft, fleecy fabric which I just want to stroke.  Continuously.  Lime green binding lifts the edges and also compliments the zebra print.

It was all very simple really.   I layered the two prints back to back, some random safety pins in the centre and dressmaking pins held them together while I put the binding on.    I was wondering if I’d need to put some random stitches through the blanket to hold the layers in place, but it seems to be doing just fine without.

Hope she likes it

pram blanket

Sewing Organiser

I recently pinned a pattern for this sewing organiser on my Pinterest account.    As my usual sewing is something like ‘sew seam – get up to find scissors – sew seam – get up to find unpicker – sew seam – really must do something about that little pile of pins heaping up’,  I thought that it may come in very useful to help keep me organised when sewing.  Oh, and it’s really pretty.

My usual approach is to see a pattern I like and try to duplicate it.  However, after a few recent failures of random projects, I decided to purchase this pattern from SundayGirlDesigns on Etsy.    And I was so glad I did – the pattern was easy to follow and saved me a lot of wrong turns.    My only suggestion would be for the pattern to include total fabric purchase at the start of the pattern as I was feeling a bit lazy about adding together all the fabric required for each different part of the project.

I only made a couple of edits to the pattern:

1. I couldn’t find iron-on batting so I used regular batting and had to baste the mat together.   3/4 of the way through basting, I seriously began to regret not hunting down the iron on.

2. The pattern calls for pre-made seam tape, but I just made my own bias binding from a fat quarter.

3. I found the thread basket hung open a bit far after construction – so I added a little elastic with a press-stud closure to hold it closed a little more.

4. I didn’t have any felt for the flowers, so I made them from contrast fabric instead.

Anyway, very happy with this little project.    Here’s to more organised sewing.sewing mat

A Teenage Boy Quilt.

This was my first quilt.   It was 2011 and my son had well and truly grown out of the beautiful appliqued alphabet quilt made for him by my mother.   I explained to my son that I was making a ‘teenage boy’ quilt and the name stuck.   “A Teenage Boy Quilt” is now it’s official name.

He had a very strong love for Star Wars at the time, so his room had lots of Star Wars merchandise around.  It was painted red because he wanted it to look like the lava planet Mustafar.   I wondered if the red walls would send him a bit crazy, but he’s been fine.

Anyway, the red, black and white was chosen because a) it would compliment the Star Wars decoration and b) I love working with vibrant colours.   The quilt is finished with ‘in the ditch’ quilting and has a very soft and light batting.    He loves it.

IMG_4573 IMG_4574

A new quilt

As the daughter of a quilter, I find it ironic that I have to make my own bed quilts.   But mum’s quilts are handmade works of art, whereas I want quilts to snuggle into and keep me warm.

My latest quilt was inspired by bedroom colours which didn’t quite work well together.    It all started when I added an artwork featuring greys and warm neutrals to a room which was only warm neutrals.  When the new grey bed head failed to bring it all together, I went hunting for patchwork fabrics which incorporated all the colours in my room.

I chose the chevron pattern because of the masculine feel.  Hubby doesn’t get terribly excited about quilts (do any men?) but is OK with them if I go for something which isn’t ‘girly’.

The quilting was done by me on long arm machine at Hobbysew, Top Ryde.    To date, I’ve quilted everything on my domestic machine but a queen sized quilt was far too big for me to contemplate doing at home.     The staff at Hobbysew were excellent and provided a one day training course before I started.    Quilting this quilt took the best part of a day – quite exhausting, but very rewarding.

Now I’m looking forward to the nights warming up a bit so that we can use the quilt.   In the meantime, the feather doona will have to do.

Robyn

chevron close chevron quilt