Pretty much...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The essentials...

I have always really liked the look of appliqué but would get discouraged by all the faffing around with freezer paper etc, burning my fingers with the iron and generally getting fed up before I'd finished more than a block or two.  But with so many gorgeous appliqué projects out there these days it was inevitable that I would get sucked back into yet another attempt. The lure this time was The Aunt's Quilt, a BOM by Amitie Textiles. Only this time I am managing to keep up and I have even added additional appliqué projects to my line up of WIPs! Mainly thanks to my friend Michelle introducing me to the back-basting technique, my finally taking the time to master the Clover bias maker, and Amitie having way too many gorgeous quilts on display in the store!

I will blog some of my WIPs soon, but first here is a teaser pic of my essential tools for making my appliqué easier and faster! Details will follow...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What a difference two years makes!

The fabulously talented Cathy from Cabbage Quilts asked me today if I had a blog and my response was "no".  But then I remembered that I did have a blog lurking out there in cyber land and maybe now would be a good time to resurrect it.

I last posted just over 2 years ago. Just days before the first of some 11,000 earthquakes and aftershocks changed my world and that of many, many of my fellow Cantabrians forever. I no longer live in Christchurch. In fact, I no longer live in New Zealand. I no longer work at the managerial level and I no longer work in the correctional field. Life was very hard in a number of ways, first physically, then emotionally. And one day in February this year I'd had enough. Enough of the uncertainty, the grimness, the anxiety, the adrenaline spiking aftershocks. And I came up with the crazy idea that we should move to Australia and get on with life. And on 1 July we hopped the big ditch and made Melbourne our home. I haven't felt this good in two years.

What do I love about Melbourne?

  • the overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming inhabitants
  • the awesome public transport (we haven't had a car for two months and barely miss it)
  • the intactness of it all, lol.
  • the fab shopping
  • Amitie Textiles, my new spiritual home of crafty goodness
  • my fantastic new job at The Royal Children's Hospital
  • t2, best tea ever
  • the very fun Crafternoon Cafe run by the awesome Teegan
  • Ikea
and many, many more reasons - most of them to do with how much less stressed and anxious I feel and how much easier it is to be genuinely happy here.  I am making things and getting inspired. A good time to resurrect the blog indeed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sew much to do...

Poor neglected little blog. The last 6 months have been somewhat overwhelming and in my typical fashion one of many neglected areas was blogging. but I am hopeful that we are now in a pause-for-breath at the very least phase, lol, and I need to get back on board with blogging about my crafty endeavours, for they have been myriad! Up above is a case I finally made for my iPod Touch from Janelle Wind's lovely book "Pieces of Me". It's about time I stopped just throwing the poor iPod straight into my bag and this pouch was quick and easy to make from some favourite spotty fabrics. I will definitely be making more projects from this delicious book.

I am currently working on:
  • my goodies for the second round of the {Urban} Home Goods Swap running on flickr
  • House blocks for the August round of the Australasian Bee on flickr
  • Kim Mclean's Lollypop Trees quilt, running as a Block of the Month through Material obsession in Sydney
  • Petals and Patches Block of the Month running through Stitch here in Christchurch
I am shockingly up to date in my Not Your Grandmother's Quilting Bee (The Hive) swap (also through flickr - I heart flickr) and have been rearranging/rationalising my crafting supplies since shifting house has necessitated a change in crafting environment. I was a little concerned that moving from a whole room dedicated to crafty pursuits to a 'nook' off the TV lounge would be problematic. But far from it! I haven't been this creative or productive in a long time and I still get to feel like I am part of the family. Oscar loves pulling his little yellow stool up beside me and doing some drawing or just asking me about what I am working on. He has even had a go at his first sewing project - stitching 2 rectangles of fabric together with needle and thread to make a pocket for 'his' iPod (one of the old school narrow skinny ones from a couple of generations ago that his dad has moved on from - not exactly the kind of hand-me-downs we got back in the day!). I love the view of the garden outside my window and as spring approaches it is really starting to get pretty out there. When the wisteria starts dripping down right in front of me I will be in crafty Heaven!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Zippy love...

I started making zippy pouches last year and I love them. Probably comes from my abiding passion for stationery and pens (and needing things to stash them in). I especially love sewing them out of linen/cotton mixes and oil cloth. I recently bought a teflon foot for my sewing machine and it makes sewing things like oil cloth and clear plastic a breeze.

This weekend I thought I'd have a go at press studs and make a zippy from the fabulous tutorial available over at noodleheads - even I managed to follow this through correctly first try (and my legendary lack of mental spatial visualisation skill applies not just to my sense of direction but to my ability to follow patterns!). Here is my first little tabbed zippy, but i doubt it will be my last - these guys are just too dang cute to stop at one!

It's been a fab crafty weekend here at chez Pretty Much - I also got started on sanding and repainting (a gorgeous soft grey/blue) the oak dresser I won on Trade Me, cut a bunch more blocks for a Bento Box quilt I have been making for ever, and while my lovely husband finished painting a couple of bedroom doors I finished sewing together my Pillow Talk {Swap 2} cushion cover (called a pillow by our friends in the north). I attempted an invisible zipper but that lack of spatial visualisation ability bit me in my ample arse and I decided to recover my sense of self-efficacy by finishing it off with an envelope back (which looks pretty nice, if I do say so myself). Now I just hope my partner likes it!

Friday, February 5, 2010

And away we go...

This years plan for more regular blogging is to make this a record of WIPs and finished objects. I've joined a couple of cool sewing swaps through flickr - one is a pillow (cushion for my fellow antipodeans) swap, and the other is a year long quilting bee with fellow quilters from Australasia. My blocks are due to be created in May so I need to make a decision soon about fabric and pattern - decisions, decisions!

I have a number of completed items, both knit and sewn, to take photos of. But despite it supposedly being summer here, there has not been a great deal of good photograph weather. Hopefully tomorrow!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

On a roll

Finally got this Queen sized quilt back from the long-armer (who did a fab job) and I have been frantically stitching down the binding so I can get it on our bed. It is getting mighty chilly here now and another layer will not go amiss.

Quilt is made from Moda's Chez Moi 'Fresh Aire' range; 2 x charm packs and 1 x jelly roll, with a coordinating stripe (from another Moda range) for inner border and binding.
Totally fast and easy - just take one charm square and sew strips around it from a contrasting fabric from the jelly roll. Repeat until you have enough for quilt top!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New obsession...

My newest internet time guzzler is viewing my fave flickr groups via a nifty little tool called Cooliris. Flickr is already a constant source of inspiration for me but viewing it via Cooliris is just spectacular. I defy you to download this tool and not get pulled into a black hole of time suckage. So much fun!