fluffmonger – falafel the plush llama …

fluffmonger fluffmonger 2

[fluffmonger]

Total cuteness this week, in the form of handmade works of art with real personality.

From the Etsy store description …

Fluffmonger plush are handmade works of art crafted using materials that are organic and ethically produced.

Each piece is designed and hand-made by Fluffmonger owner Jenny Maj.

All materials used are organic and either fair trade or manufactured by reputable companies. The majority of the fabrics used are organic scraps from a local zero-waste company.

All fabrics are hand-dyed using low-impact dyes and washed before and after dyeing with a non-toxic, biodegradable soap.

You can read a great interview with Jenny by Abby Glassenberg here, where Jenny talks about the process of making these lovely works of art. Jenny has a Facebook page too, where you can shares more good stuff with her fans here.

fluffmonger 4

[phoebe and egg]

This image is from another interview with phoebe and egg, and I love how we see the ‘production line’ happening here. That sewing area looks very neat and tidy, doesn’t it?

I hope you enjoy visiting Jenny’s Etsy store … I’ll finish with another image of her very cute characters.

fluffmonger 3

[fluffmonger]

Posted in etsy, shopping | 1 Response

quilting wips, october 2014 …

I’m thinking if I don’t get this posted, November is going to be half over, as today is the 5th!!! There was a mad scramble during the last couple of days of October, quilting/sewing-wise, as I wanted desperately to ‘tick’ some things off my lists below. And I’m glad to say that I have been moving things around … Not much happened in the ‘ideas’ stage, but I did get my *smiles* hexagon quilt top completed ready for quilting, and I completed my #simplyretrochallenge quilt based on the Framed quilt by Camille Roskelley, and finished my Dilly Bag challenge.

IMG_2463_695

IMG_2466_695

Two quilts were dropped off to be professionally quilted, the Feathers ‘herrringbone’ quilt (made from leftovers of Playground quilt) and the #simplyretrochallenge quilt 4 Swell. I’m not sure how quickly they will be finished, but as you can see below, there are 5 more quilts waiting to be quilted, and a November quilt will be finished this week, which I will have to add to the list. Sigh.

Oh yes, I need to add another little project I completed over the weekend to the ‘finished stage’ list … I made a So Sew Easy – Easy Cosmetics Bag, which you can see below. It was a zippered pouch, and I wanted to ‘test drive’ the pattern before committing myself to making more … I have decided that the zip was a bit doubtful (where can I buy classy, good quality, fun zips?) and I cut out one of the pieces of fabric upside down, but I was pleased with the end result. I love that it has a flat bottom on it.

So Sew Easy Cosmetics bag, from So Sew Easy[So Sew Easy]

Lessons I learned … I need to think about fabric placement when I am cutting out the sides, I should invest in better quality zips, and need to use firm interfacing or quilt the bag, to give it more body. The instructions that came with the pattern (which was free!!!) were supplemented with an excellent Youtube video, the link for which you will find in the instructions. You can find a link to the pattern here. And here is my little bag …

IMG_2459_695

So here’s a rundown of where I stand, quilting-wise, at the end of October …

the ‘ideas’ stage

  1. a secret project involving diamond paper piecing
  2. Rainy Day Sewing, by thimble blossoms

the ‘construction’ stage

  1. the girl’s grey and white chevron quilt
  2. a ‘secret squirrel’ project I’m working on with the girl
  3. a second Sea Breeze Mini Quilt
  4. a second hexagon sewing kit
  5. 5 in squares to make into scrappy quilts

the ‘quilt top’ stage

  1. Noteworthy hexagon quilt
  2. Limes & Lemons hexagon quilt
  3. a new hexagon quilt called *smiles*

the ‘ready for (professional) quilting’ stage

  1. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 1 Sweet Life
  2. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 2 Playground
  3. hexagon quilt 1 made from ‘Good Morning’
  4. hexagon quilt 2 made from ‘Good Morning’
  5. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 7 Dwell

the ‘being quilted’ stage

  1. Feathers ‘herrringbone’ quilt (made from leftovers of Playground quilt)
  2. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 4 Swell

the ‘finished’ stage

  1. iPad cover
  2. hexagon sewing kit
  3. Sea Breeze Mini Quilt
  4. Scrappy quilt
  5. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 6 Fresh
  6. Modern Vintage hexagon quilt
  7. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 3 Vintage
  8. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 5 Framed
  9. Judy’s Dilly Bag

Roll on November …

Posted in quilting, sewing | Leave a comment

tutorial – designing a hexagon quilt …

Gentle readers, it’s that time again … time to design and begin a new hexagon quilt.

It goes without saying that it takes time to hand-sew a hexagon quilt. I really enjoy the process that spreads over months, but I also enjoy the planning and designing of a new hexagon quilt.

I’ve enjoyed making different types of hexagon quilts over the last couple of years.

First, there was the ‘everything all in together’ quilt …

SharonKenealy_121217_IMG_9427_695

There there was the ‘grandmother’s garden’ phase …

SharonKenealy_130609_IMG_5511E_695

Then there was the ‘diamonds’ phase …

hexagon quilt 2

And then there was the ‘oh goodness, whatever will I do next’ phase …

hexagon quilt

And now I’m trying something a little different, working with diamonds … and it’s such fun!!!

In this tutorial I will share my process for how I go about deciding on a design for a new hexagon quilt.

Step 1 … I spend some time looking at images of hexagon quilts online. I basically Google or search Pinterest to see what comes up with the very general search terms ‘hexagon quilt diamond’ or ‘hexagon quilt grandma’s garden’. I scroll through until I see a design that inspires me or speaks to me. It is obvious from the hexagon quilts that I have sewn to date that I respond to ‘organized’ designs, rather than ‘hot mess’ designs.

Step 2 … once I have decided on a design, I construct a ‘block’, measure it, and from that measurement, decide what dimensions my quilt will have, and calculate how many hexagons I will need to construct.

Step 3 … now I can work out how much fabric I need. Let me share the stats for my next quilt.

Pleasant Home

I was inspired by this image, which is from Pleasant Home here

What I loved about these little blocks were the white stars … many other quilts had coloured stars and white ‘edges’, but I really like the white stars bordered with the coloured ‘blocks’.

So … I made up a block with 1 ½ inch card die cut diamond templates which I purchased from pbpatch on Etsy, which you can find here … My finished block measured 5 inches across. (Incidentally, I did try working with 1 inch diamond templates, but found the size too small for me to work with. I couldn’t get any ‘speed’ up while constructing the diamonds, and was getting very frustrated in the process, and hey, this was supposed to be fun, so I moved up to the 1 ½ inch templates.)

This quilt will measure 60 x 60 inches, so I need 144 finished 5 inch blocks, 12 x 5 inch blocks down and 12 x 5 inch blocks across.

I need 6 white diamonds and 6 coloured diamonds for each block, so I need 864 white diamonds and 864 coloured diamonds.

A little experimentation lets me know that I need to cut my strips of fabric into 3 inch strips across the fabric, which are then cut into sections 2 inches wide. A diamond will fit nicely on a 3 x 2 inch block.

So if my fabric is approximately 42 inches wide, I need to cut at least 42 x 3 inch wide strips of white fabric.

And for my coloured diamonds, I can use scraps or mini charm packs or jelly rolls … all I need to do is make sure I have at least 864 coloured diamonds to make the corner blocks between the stars.

For this quilt, which I am calling *stars in my eyes*, I am using 6 mini charm packs of Fancy by Lily Ashbury (253 coloured blocks), and 6 mini charm packs of Color Me Happy by V & Co (253 coloured blocks), and lots of bright scraps left over from other quilts (358 coloured blocks). You can often buy the mini charm packs cheaper if you buy six or more at one time.

IMG_2450_695

Next, I pin the card template to the mini charm or rectangular block, and trim a rough ¼ inch shape around the template. I am making sure that I am not using ‘low volume’ fabrics for these corner blocks, as I want them to ‘read’ as solid colours, not wanting them to ‘blend’ into the white stars.

So, let’s summarize what I need to construct this quilt …

* 1,728 x 1 ½ inch diamond templates
* 42 x 3 inch strips of white fabric, cut into 3 x 2 inch blocks. You need 864 white blocks.
* enough scraps or mini charm packs or jelly rolls to make 864 coloured blocks.
* backing and binding fabric for the 60 x 60 inch finished quilt top
* little plastic bags to store 6 white/6 coloured blocks plus templates for each block
* cotton/scissors/pins

Of course, you don’t have to make a large hexagon quilt … you can adapt the hand-sewing process to make a cushion cover if you wish, or a mug rug, or wall hanging, or a pouch or table runner. This is the glory of a hand-sewn hexie project, it can be as big or as small as you desire!

IMG_2455_695

What I love about this creative process is that I can pop two small plastic bags with templates and fabric tucked away neatly inside them, a small pair of scissors and a roll of cotton along with a needle into my cute sewing case and know that I have at least three to four hours of hand-sewing with me. There is much joy in seeing my pile of beautiful little star blocks growing on a daily basis, and it sure makes my twice-daily bus trip so much more enjoyable.

As I sit with the man at night, I sort out my coloured and white blocks, pin them to templates and trim around them, and then they get carefully popped into the little plastic zip-lock bags, ready for their work-day drive in and out of the city. It is a very calming process, making hexagons, and quite addictive. I love my hexie hobbie … so who’s with me? Cassie, what are you going to make?

Posted in quilting, sewing, tutorials | 1 Response

october is on the way out … quilting talk!

Tomorrow is the last day of October, and there has been a sudden flurry of activity in my quilting corner over the last couple of evenings after I have arrived home from work.

I am very conscious of my October quilting wip (works in progress) roundup that I want to do on the first of November.

Has there been any progress during the last month? Have any projects been completed, photographed for posterity, maybe even hung on the wall? Hmmm … check this space in a day or two.

*smiles* hexagon quiltYes, I do have visions of ticking some boxes. I have only about three hours of hand-sewing left in my latest hexagon quilt, a little number I am calling *smiles* … After two massive hexagon quilts that took between six and nine months each to sew up, it was lovely to work on a 50 x 50 inch project.

At the beginning of this quilt, as always, I spent time looking at images (via Google Images) of hexagon quilts until I had an idea of what I wanted to do.

*smiles* is a bright and colourful quilt, and there is lots of white mixed in with the colourful hexagons, which is my favourite go-to colour for a hexagon quilt. I downloaded a hexagon pattern png file, opened it up in Photoshop, and created my pattern from there by dropping colour into the hexagon shapes. This is what I ended up with.

smiles 2

It gave me a visual idea of where I was going, and helped me to calculate how many hexagons I needed to construct. I’ve written up a tutorial and taken photos as I have worked on this quilt, and I’ll post it here when the quilt top is done. So more on *smiles* later …

I’ve prepared a pesky quilt top for quilting … it has been lying around for ever waiting for some attention.

I’ve thought about fabric storage! Somehow my fabric stash has been growing! I’m not sure how that happened, but it has, and I have some space on top of a deep white dresser/cupboard that was originally my boy’s changing table (23 years ago). I’m thinking some white shelves perhaps … Ikea has these little numbers for just over $100. Though I dare not say Ikea too loudly in hearing of the man, as I’m pretty sure he is over putting Ikea furniture together!

Ikea

Can you see these white shelves filled with beautiful bundles of fabric? I can!!!

I have also found a couple more projects that I want to make … does that count as progress? Not sure about that! Regardless, I think that some time in the near future, making a couple of bags may feature!

So … I’m guessing progess has been made. Check back in a couple of days to see a formal formal ‘wip’ report for the month of October, quilting-wise … it’s all the the cause of keeping me ‘sewing honest’!

Posted in quilting, sewing | Leave a comment

sharon clancy designs – cloud necklace …

Sharon Clancy Designs

Sharon Clancy Designs 2

[Sharon Clancy Designs]

I must confess to loving unusual costume jewellery … and this is just gorgeous! It’s a cloud necklace … do you think that’s a raindrop underneath it? I think so …

Have a wander through Sharon Clancy Designs and discover some really stunning little pieces of art … you can find the Etsy shop here

Happy shopping!!!

Posted in etsy | Leave a comment

tutorial – dia ring cones, by for the makers …

For the Makers

[For the Makers]

I want to share a link today to a tutorial to make these lovely minimalist ring cones. They are made from some materials you may have lying around the house, and I can see them living quite happily at my house!

For the instructions and more images, go to For the Makers, here …

I enjoyed learning about the backstory for For the Makers, which you can read about here

Posted in tutorials | Leave a comment

simply retro challenge, quilt 8 update and finish …

Sunday morning, I got up and thought, ‘Today would be a good day to make a (mini ) quilt!’ … and indeed, it was!

The man was out doing a (short) long run of 15 kms, and not a creature was stirring, as the boy was sleeping in. Incidentally, the man came home wearing a hat. He tried to convince me that the running shop had sold him a hat and given him an expensive pair of off-road running shoes. I’m inclined to think he paid for the shoes, and the hat was thrown in for free!

But back to the important thing, the quilting stuff … so quickly rewind to ‘Today was a good day to make a (mini) quilt’! Got it?

Things didn’t happen quite that quickly though. There was some planning, thinking, selecting involved. On Saturday night I brought up the pattern on my iPad and had a little think about what fabrics I was going to use.

Sad to say, I don’t have a pile of delicious scraps to rummage through, as most of my ‘left overs’ disappear into hexagon quilts. (In fact, not so long ago, I happily ran some scraps of pretty fabric through my Sizzix machine making hexagons out of the fabric, then realized in dismay that I had just cut up my binding yardage for the quilt!!!)

Quilt 8 Adorn 1

I had a little bundle of Horizon fat eighths, and the blues and greens were excitedly clamouring to be made into Adorn, so what else was I to do? On Sunday morning I simply cut half a dozen 1 ½ inch strips off the ends of some of the Horizon fabrics, and chain-pieced them into blocks and cut out the triangles I need for the quilt. Some more triangles out of my ever-useful white quilters’ homespun, a few minutes laying out the blocks, and then I had the fun of piecing it together.

Quilt 8 Adorn 2

It really didn’t take long to put together … I quilted it very simply, and bound it with two green/blue fat eighths … and that was quilt 8 of the #simplyretrochallenge done and dusted!!! The mini quilt measures 22 inches by 24 inches, and @megfishc is going to make hers a Christmas affair, so I can’t wait to see that one. If you have lots of scraps in your life, this project is quick and easy and scrap-hungry …

Incidentally, don’t you think Clover should make some pretty blue and green binding clips, so that I don’t have to use the red ones on my Horizon mini quilt? I think so …

Posted in quilting, sewing, simply retro quilts | Leave a comment

kailo chic – green circles laptop bag …

Kailo Chic

I can see that running this little feature each week is going to get expensive … so far, I have mentioned five Etsy shops, and made several purchases!!!

This week, I’m loving Kailo Chic, an Etsy shop where you can purchase wallets/cases/clutches/laptop bags in all sorts of cool colours and configurations.

Kailo Chic bag

It won’t come as any surprise to most of you to know that I’m loving this pretty green laptop bag … I really like the fact that you can ‘attach’ it to cabin luggage when you travel.

This means that you don’t have to carry your heavy laptop, as it can rest securely on other luggage you are able to wheel through airports and city streets. It’s a win-win for me!

Posted in etsy, fun stuff | Leave a comment

book review – blogging: the big guide to creative content …

Mollie Makes Blogging magazine

[Mollie Makes]

 I want to share with you my thoughts on a magazine I came across by accident this week. It was my ‘lunch time wander through the city’ time and I was browsing the magazine shelves for quilting magazines, as you do. (You do, don’t you?) Tucked in behind a magazine was a copy of Blogging: the big guide to creative content, by Mollie Makes. (you can read about it here.)

The ‘blogging’ bit caught my attention. I think I have been blogging for close to ten years now. Over that time my blog has evolved, from a scrapping/family blog where I posted about my crafting and young family, to a business blog when I ran Two Little Pixels, to my blog today, which is a creative presentation of things that I love at the moment, quilting, craft, scrapping, photography, books, and so on. My family is ‘all grown up’ now, so I don’t scrap about them to the same degree, and I find my interests have changed over the years.

That said, I still love blogging regularly, and anything that could possible make me a better blogger, I am all over. So I bought the magazine for about the cost of three cups of coffee, and started reading.

I read and read and read, from cover to cover and then back again. I even devoured the ads. I found it to be an extremely well written and presented collection of topics that resonated deeply with me … lots of inspiration, advice, know-how and case studies of many bloggers I already follow by way of Feedly.

Topics included learning about the nuts and bolts of blogging, with links to ‘how to’ articles, and how to use Pinterest and Instagram in the most creative and productive way, which I found fascinating. The photography was fabulous, and even though I am not interested in making money from my blog, this topic was covered too.

I keep thinking of this magazine as a book … I feel that I am going to be reading and rereading it for some time, rather than tossing it onto the coffee table and forgetting about it. I have no hesitation in saying that if you are a passionate blogger, or aspire to becoming a better blogger, then this is the magazine you need to purchase. Oh yes, it is also available as a digital magazine (from Zinio or the Apple Newstand), though I must admit to loving holding the paper copy in my hands!

Blog disclaimer … Just so we are all on the same page … all opinions expressed here on my blog are my personal thoughts and judgements about the products I have written about. I am not affiliated with any of the companies and products mentioned, and I post about my experiences because I am happy with the products and enjoy sharing my experiences with other readers.

Posted in book reviews, sharing books | 1 Response

the enchanted locket – bronze camera keychain …

The Enchanted Locket

The Enchanted Locket

[The Enchanted Locket]

My Etsy find this week is a shop called The Enchanted Locket. I have a hankering for steam punk jewellery and this gorgeous camera hits the spot.

You can find a wide range of beautiful jewellery in this shop, and I would have no trouble filling my shopping cart!!

Posted in etsy | 1 Response

tutorial – journal cover, by bloom …

Bloom - journal cover tutorial

[Bloom]

Today, I’m sharing a link to a tutorial to make these very pretty journal covers. You will find instructions and images for the tutorial here, at Bloom.

You can choose one of two closures for the journals, and also a link to Bloom’s very popular original journal cover on her website. I just adore stationery, and combine that with some sewing, and I’m a happy girl!

Posted in sewing, tutorials | 1 Response

sharing technology – project life app …

Project Life app[from iTunes]

It’s hard to put an exact date on it, but I think I started paper scrapbooking round about the year 2000. I’ve always been a ‘simple scrapper’, and it goes almost without saying that someone who inspired my scrapping life was Becky Higgins. I bought her books, I played around with her sketches, and generally felt comfortable with her scrapping style, and made it my own over the years.

Then, of course, I was tempted over into digi-scrapping round about 2003, and packed up my paper supplies and happily adopted my new online scrapping life. I still enjoyed following Becky’s creative life, and when pocket scrapping became digital, I was almost drawn into it. I guess what held me back was so many decisions had to be made on the pages. How was I going to get all those lovely digital bits and pieces to play nicely with my photos? There were some pocket page artists whose work I loved, but I found it difficult to do myself.

I stayed on the ‘8×8 scrapping path’, and the nearest I got to pocket scrapping was in my p365 weekly pages that I put together, using an adapted Paislee Press template. [I’ve done weekly round-ups of our life for almost three full years now.]

And then I listened to the Daily Digi Digest 71: Digital Project Life (Try saying that in a hurry!!!) Oh my, perhaps I had better try this fun new app. And so I did! I am not a fan of doing creative stuff on my iPhone, as I find the screen too small, but I was excited to see I could use it on my mini iPad, which is a perfect size for this app.

So what do I think? Beautifully crafted, beautiful to look at, easy to use … fun, fun, fun! It has Becky Higgins all over it, which I love. And new stuff comes out monthly.

IMG_0271Five minutes after I downloaded it, I had an 8×8 layout completed and saved in my Photos on my iPad. Now, I don’t think this app will replace my ‘normal’ scrapping, but I have thought of some ways that I will use it.

[By the way, these are FB photos I have used, taken by a volunteer at a park run, so the quality obviously isn’t great, and I haven’t edited them. I simply imported them into the app and resized them.]

One … the man is heavily invested in running, and I’m often standing around waiting for up to four hours for him to finish his marathons. I can use the Project Life app to make a memory during these races and share these pages/photos quickly with family and friends. I am planning to create and print a hard-cover photo book that records the photos and times from his weekend park runs, half marathons and marathons using the Project Life app. I think he will enjoy flicking through this book.

Two … I see this would be a fabulous app to take on holidays. I can edit photos on the iPad then make some pocket pages to remind ourselves of what we do each day, and to send to family and friends back home almost immediately.

Three … I’m planning to make a photobook of my Instagram feed, and this would be such a quick and easy way to do that. Again, holiday times when you are away from your computer would be a perfect time to work on a project like this. I always have my phone and iPad with me on holidays.

Four … I’m wondering if I could tempt my girl into making memories in this fashion? She isn’t into scrapping as I am, but perhaps she would pocket scrap on her phone?

There are probably many other ways I could use this app, but these are the first four that I have thought of.

I think the only drawback with this app is how pretty and shiny it is, and how very easy it is to purchase more kits and bits and pieces ‘in app’ … always dangerous!!!

So here’s a question … do you have any other ways you would use the Project Life app? I would hate to miss out …

Posted in fun stuff, scrapbooking, sharing technology | Leave a comment

thoughtblossoms – gold wrap bracelet …

thoughtblossoms

[thoughtblossoms]

From the shop … ‘Words planted into our thoughts can be powerful if we allow them to guide our conscious and unconscious actions. They can inspire and remind us of our ability to accomplish amazing things, blossoming into beautiful results in our lives. “Thought Blossoms” jewelry may act as a reminder of this ability, and help you live and grow your intentions into reality.

Another wrapping accessory – created as an anklet or bracelet! Bracelet will wrap three times, anklet two times. Created with a magnetic clasp for easy on off. I pair this one with my gold watch for a cute, current look. Gold fill components, magnetic clasp.’ [from here]

You can choose to have text or symbols on your bracelet … check the shop for further details!

Posted in etsy, fun stuff | 1 Response

quilting wips, september 2014 …

IMG_2088_695

A little while back I very foolishly patted myself on the back for not having any (well, not many) quilting/sewing wips (works in progress). Well, how the mighty have fallen!!!

To keep myself honest and motivated, I thought I would share my wips at the end of every month; it will be interesting to see how my projects work their way down the line.

I’ve decided to list my projects for 2014 under headings, and hopefully projects will move from the ideas stage to the completed stage. Let’s see how things went during the month of September.

the ‘ideas’ stage

  1. a secret project involving diamond paper piecing
  2. Rainy Day Sewing, by thimble blossoms

the ‘construction’ stage

  1. the girl’s grey and white chevron quilt
  2. a ‘secret squirrel’ project I’m working on with the girl
  3. a new hexagon quilt called *smiles*
  4. Limes & Lemons hexagon quilt
  5. Judy’s Dilly Bag
  6. a second Sea Breeze Mini Quilt
  7. a second hexagon sewing kit

the ‘quilt top’ stage

  1. Noteworthy hexagon quilt
  2. hexagon quilt 1 made from ‘Good Morning’

the ‘ready for (professional) quilting’ stage

  1. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 1 Sweet Life
  2. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 2 Playground
  3. Feathers ‘herrringbone’ quilt (made from leftovers of Playground quilt)
  4. hexagon quilt 2 made from ‘Good Morning’
  5. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 7 Dwell
  6. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 4 Swell

the ‘being quilted’ stage

  1. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 5 Framed

the ‘finished’ stage

  1. iPad cover
  2. hexagon sewing kit
  3. Sea Breeze Mini Quilt
  4. Scrappy quilt
  5. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 6 Fresh
  6. Modern Vintage hexagon quilt
  7. #simplyretrochallenge quilt 3 Vintage

Oh dear, and that’s from a girl who prides herself on not having any works in progress … imagine how dangerous I would be if I didn’t work full-time!!!

Posted in quilting, sewing | Leave a comment

simply retro challenge, quilt 8 …

And suddenly it’s October! And it’s time to choose our next quilt in of our very informal Simply Retro challenge, where we choose a quilt at the beginning of the month and use it as inspiration to create our own quilts.

We are using the very gorgeous book, ‘Simply Retro’, by Camille Roskelley, to inspire us. If you ‘do’ Instagram, you can find images of our quilts using this hashtag, #simplyretrochallenge.

So for month 8, I am choosing Adorn as our ‘inspiration quilt’. This quilt is a gorgeous little wall quilt that you can create using your favourite scraps! And we all have lots of those, don’t we? I’m quite excited to make this quilt …

Here’s a looksee at the quilt …

Simply Retro, by Camille Roskelley

[Simply Retro, by Camille Roskelley]

So ready, set, go … the ‘rules’ are very basic, and you are welcome to join in any time … here are the challenge ‘guidelines’ (and I use that term very loosely!!!) I’d love to know if you’re playing along, and who knows? You may get to choose the next month’s quilt.

  1. We take turns in choosing the quilt pattern we are using, in order of joining the challenge.
  2. One quilt per month? For the month of October, we will make ‘Adorn’.
  3. Feel free to interpret the pattern in any way you wish. You can upscale or downscale as desired. Play with the pattern in any way you wish … it is a starting off point, not an end destination. Fabric selection is also up to the individual quilter.
  4. Don’t stress!!! This is a fun project, and there are no quilting police around!!!
Posted in simply retro quilts | Leave a comment

sidrun’s patterns – baby dragon …

Sidsrun Patterns

Sidruns Patterns 1[from Sidrun’s Patterns]

Isn’t he gorgeous, this little green and blue dragon? I found him this morning while wandering down Etsy (cyber)aisles …

This is from the shop announcements’ page

All my toys are fairly easy to make and patterns written with beginner crocheters in mind – I always include many step-by-step photos, detailed instructions and useful tips and tricks.

New to toy making? Start with these tutorials – http://engsidrun.spire.ee/blogs/blog1.php/tutorials
Want a little preview? Here are a few free patterns – http://engsidrun.spire.ee/blogs/blog1.php/free-patterns

Here are some other little softies, for which you can buy patterns at the shop …

Sidruns Patterns 2

[from Sidrun’s Patterns]

And a favourite to finish off with is Teddy Girl …

Sidruns Patterns 3

Posted in etsy, fun stuff | Leave a comment

sharing technology – stocard app …

Stocard app

This is life-changing stuff, folks.

Today, I’m sharing about an app I discovered this week that literally takes the place of all those plastic cards you carry around in your purse or wallet …

Stocard is a free app for your smartphone (iPhone & Android) that stores the barcodes from your loyalty cards on your phone. You simply present the barcode on your phone at the service counter, and your barcode is scanned, and your loyalty points are ‘added’ to your card.

Here’s how it works.

Download the app.

Open it, and click on the +sign …you can scroll through the names of loyalty cards, or search using the Search facility at the top of the screen.

Stocard app 2

You can click on the name of the card you wish to add to Stocard, or if the card isn’t listed, you can click on the Other card option, and manually enter the details.

After you click on the loyalty card name, you are able to scan the barcode on the loyalty card. Click Save. And that’s basically all you need to do.

Stocard app 3

In the image above, I’ve scrolled down to IKEA Family, scanned in the barcode, and in the second image, you can see the Save option.

Now, does it work! Absolutely! It took me about 20 minutes to scan all my cards into the app, and during my lunchbreak yesterday, I went shopping!!!

When I went to the service counter, I showed the girl my phone with the Sussan ‘loyalty card’ open on the screen with the barcode showing, and asked her if she could scan it. BTW, the number on the Sussan card isn’t really my number!!!

Stocard app 4

She was quite excited about it, as I was only the second customer to ask her. She scanned it in, and I could see my details on her screen. It must have been entertaining to watch us.

A nice little extra is that Stocard doesn’t email you, but it does have an Offers icon, which you can click on to see special offers by your loyalty cards.

So folks, what do you think? I have always had a problem keeping track of all my loyalty cards … they are always in the wrong bag, or I can’t find the one I want in a hurry, and I can see already that this is going to be a great app for me.

Posted in sharing technology | 1 Response

penguin and egg reversible toy pattern, from while she naps …

While She Naps - Abby Glassenberg

[from While She Naps]

I’m dying here … could this be any cuter? I found this pattern in an email in my Inbox today …

Here’s some text from Abby Glassenberg … ‘This toy is reversible! First, it’s an egg just waiting to hatch. Then, turn it inside out, and it transforms into an irresistible little penguin!’ [from here]

Abby includes step-by-step photos, written instructions, and templates, and this little penguin/egg combo measures about 6 inches square.

Go on … you know you want to make one!!!

Blog disclaimer  Just so we are all on the same page, all opinions expressed here on my blog are my personal thoughts and judgements about the products I have written about. I am not affiliated with any of the companies and products mentioned, and I post about my experiences because I am happy with the products and enjoy sharing my experiences with other readers.

Posted in fun stuff, sewing | 1 Response

playing with your food …

Loving these super cute images … what kid (or adult) wouldn’t want to eat their dinner if it looked like this!!! Images from here

japanese-food-art-222__605

japanese-food-art-42__605

japanese-food-art-92__605

japanese-food-art-26__605

japanese-food-art-112__605

japanese-food-art-122__605

japanese-food-art-192__605

Posted in fun stuff | Leave a comment

the dilly bag-a-long …

fcc-dbal-250oxWelcome, blog readers, to the start of the dilly bag-a-long!!!

For the next four weeks, myself, GnomeAngel and a group of super-duper bloggers will be helping you make your own version of the Judy Newman Dilly Bag.

I’m not sure how I ended up at the front of the line … *sharon looks furtively behind her* … but oh well, here we go. I’m going to start you off on this adventure!

It was the hexagons that did it, you see. I can’t seem to resist anything that involves hexagons, so when I saw this cute dilly bag, I was happy to join up and start stitching. I’ve been sewing hexagon quilts (by hand) for a couple of years now, and you can see some of my hexagon quilts here. My favourite hexagon quilt is the Noteworthy quilt top, which is waiting patiently to be quilted.

I’ve chosen to alter the dilly bag pattern in a few places, and I began with choosing to work with 1 inch hexagons, instead of the size the pattern recommended. I ended up making over 120 hexagons to make a ‘panel’ the size the pattern required. I have always worked with 1 inch hexagons … small enough to sew up quickly, but not too small that they were difficult to handle.

I chose to use the ‘Chance of Flowers’ collection of fabrics by by Sandy Gervais for Moda Fabrics … they are such pretty, happy fabrics that you can’t help but smile as you sew.

I chose to arrange my hexagons in rows of colour … here’s my finished hexagon piece.

IMG_1991_695

I decided that I wanted to quilt my hexagon piece before starting to construct my dilly bag, so I found a thin piece of wadding, pinned the hexagon piece to the wadding and quilted it with a simple line that followed the lines of colour across the hexagon piece.

IMG_1993_695

IMG_2008_695

So we have the basic outside of the bag completed now …

Next step is to work on the lining of the bag … I opted to use this delicious green fabric covered with butterflies. You can see in the image below circles of green and wadding which would be used to construct the bottom of the bag.

The base of the bag is stabilized with a circle of template plastic, which you can see under the fabric and wadding (the red grid pattern is on the plastic).

IMG_2002E

I constructed the bag relatively quickly … I choose to use a firm interfacing, so my bag is less a ‘dilly bag’ and more a ‘I can sit here on my own quite well thank you!’ sort of bag. If I’m going to store chocolate in here, as GnomeAngel suggests on her blog, then I’ll need something with firm sides, don’t you think?

Here’s a sneak peek at my ‘almost finished’ dilly bag … today I picked up some ribbon and cord for the finishing touches, so make sure you check back on October 17 to see the finished bag.

IMG_2006_695

Here’s a blog schedule to follow, if you would like to see how other bloggers are constructing their dilly bags …

Wednesday 23 September: Sharon @ Simple Things

Friday 26 September: Sharon @ The Projects of My Life

Wednesday 1 October: Judith @ Just Jude

Friday 3 October: Progress link party here @ GnomeAngel.com

Wednesday 8 October: Kate @ Stitched with Love

Friday 10 October: Kathy @ iamacraftykat

Monday 13 October: Barbara @ Sunflower Stitcheries

Wednesday 15 October: Rachel @ Little White Dove

Friday 17 October: End link party here @ GnomeAngel.com

Posted in quilting, sewing | 11 Responses