Saturday, 24 January 2015

.: Teeny Weeny Swap :.

A few of the Brisbane MQG girls were lucky enough to score a spot in the Teeny Weeny Swap, which was originally just between Vancouver MQG and Greater Western Sydney MQG.

The main requirement for the swap was teeny weeny piecing - we could make tiny mini's, a spectacle case, needle book, or a collapsible thread-catcher.  My partner was Samantha and I was really happy  to sew with her preferences for a mini with plums, greens, teals, text prints, Amy Butler and AMH.  From memory (as this was before Christmas!) - Samantha also specifically mentioned that she liked Sew-Ichigo's strawberry - so my decision was very easy, as I love the strawberry too! 

The mini measures about 8 1/2 inches square, and is bound in an AMH print, with an Amy Butler butterfly on the back. 

I even made a little label, out of Terra Australis prints.

And this piece of gorgeous is what Samantha made for me!  Isn't it fabulous?!

I just LOVE it and couldn't believe it was mine, when the Teeny Weeny goodie box was opened up at our MQG end-of-year lunch in December.  It truly is a gorgeous mini, in my favourite colours + text prints, and is something I would have chosen to make for myself.  Just perfect.  Do you spy the teeny heart in the centre?  Thank you Samantha! 

And I thought I would share how I made the strawberry panel - since I never ever actually remember to take process-pics, but for some reason managed to take them this time.  The strawberry-body had to be made from teeny weeny pieces, and so I followed the Stamp Collection block tutorial on Elizabeth Hartman's Oh Fransson blog.

I made a templastic template for the 'body' of the strawberry - and you can see I've marked on the template, where the 'complete' squares would be, so I could double-check I wasn't cutting any particular fussy-cuts in half - because half-bodies and half-heads just drive me crazy!  Each square was cut *I think* 1 1/2 inches - maybe only 1 inch.  I laid them onto a piece of interfacing in a 6 x 5 grid, and slowly ironed them on. 

Once the interfacing was ironed on, I sewed each row together, and snipped the seams open (remembering this is all according to Elizabeth's tutorial - click on the link above).

And then the rows are sewed together running the other way, and seams snipped open.  Here's the completed panel from the back, with all seams snipped and ironed open. 

Here's the completed panel - I then laid the plastic template on top and carefully cut around it to create the strawberry-body, and carried on with the piecing. 

I made the leaves and stalk out of low volume fabrics, so the leaves could say "teeny strawberry", but then forgot to sew the background in greens + teals and just carried on with the low volume ... so the leaves don't pop out as much as I'd hoped.  The "teeny" comes from HappySewLucky Berene's "Improv Adjectives" Spoonflower prints - I was very happy to find "teeny" in this awesome fabric, as Berene (who was then in Vancouver MQG but is now in Toronto) was the original co-ordinator of the swap (along with Lorena from GWSMQG). 

I added in a little HST border to bring in the greens + teals that I had forgotten in the background. 

This was a really fun swap to be a part of, and some wonderful things were made.  We hadn't all realised that it was a direct swap - until we all opened up our little packages at our Christmas lunch - and that was such a happy discovery for everyone.  Thanks to Lorena and Berene for coordinating it, as well as Kelly from Brisbane MQG, and of course to Samantha for the gorgeous mini! 

xoxo cat

Sunday, 28 December 2014

.: Handmade Christmas - mermaid doll :.

And a mere three days after Christmas, I'm sharing my last handmade Christmas pressie with you - sweet, tiny and already given to my niece on Christmas Day.   It's a Mermaiden doll from Hillary Lang's lovely 'Wee Wonderfuls' book - you can see Hillary's Mermaiden on the front cover  (can I just digress for a minute, and say that whenever I (or anyone) says "It's a ...", I always say 'croquet bush' to myself, because of that 'Favourites' chocolates ad on TV, do you know the one?  It's the same with anyone saying "don't touch it" ... are you with me or have I lost you? :-D).

Anyway, back to Mermaiden.  I used a skin-tone fabric for her body, a long-stashed Alexander Henry print for her fin, and black wool felt for her hair, and added a few (a lot of) little decorative stitches into her hair too.  

My hand-stitching to sew the mermaid inside her fin are not good.  I can sew pretty neat little decorative stitches no worries, but hand-stitching that is supposed to be tiny, hidden and for a purpose?  Not so good.   

To continue on with my need to add meaning to pretty much everything I make, I made sure that the mermaids on the fin had the same colour hair as my girls - one brown-haired mermaid, and one orange-haired mermaid.   My orange-haired daughter is not happy that "she" is on the mermaid's bottom, but I told her that the brown-haired mermaid worked better for the front so the choice was out of my hands, fin-aesthetics was the deciding factor. 

Mermaiden is really sweet, and a pretty fast little pressie.  By far the most time-consuming part was hand-sewing her hair, since I added in so many stitches - there's a lot of stitching on the back too - a couple of hearts and my niece's name-initial - but I forgot to take a pic of that before giving her to my niece on Christmas Day. 

I hope your weekend has been a good one - we've had lots of rain here, which has been perfect for having the cricket on in the background while pottering about doing other things (or actually watching the cricket while catching up on some reading, like my husband has been doing).  We're gearing up for a family game of 'Stitchopoly' (exactly the same as Monopoly but created by DMC with a sewing-theme) this afternoon, most likely with a glass of wine and some chips.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.   xoxo cat

Saturday, 27 December 2014

.: Handmade Christmas - XO and #spellitwithfabric once more :.

Oh Christmas is over?  I know.  We've been away for a week at the beach, in a unit with no wifi, in a little town with very unflash internet coverage.  I took the laptop with me and was full of excellent blogging intention, but I barely kept up with instagram on my phone, and knew the dodgy internet connection would just drive me a bit batty with the computer. 

So, here we are on the 27th with yet more handmade Christmas goodies to share with you - all cushions, lots of pics, let's go. 

I posted some XO cushions recently and had been surprised I hadn't blogged about them - I'd gone searching the blog for them so I could remind myself of their size - and that was all because I was about to make two new sets of XO cushions.  This first set - all sewn from Cotton + Steel - follows the tutorial on Canoe Ridge Creations blog, with added borders to make the cushions finish at 18 inches.

These cushions have not yet been gifted - they're my Random Santa (as opposed to Secret Santa, since the results of the random name-draw are not a secret ...) pressie for my sister-in-law.  They're arriving at the beach from Sydney today - and we left the beach to come home this morning - so we'll arrange to meet up at some stage for a catch-up and pressie handover. 

The backs are made from two different Echino prints.

And this next set - already gifted to lovely friends + neighbours - follows the same XO tutorial, but with bigger pieces, so the XO are bigger, but the cushions still finish at 18 inches.  I was very intentional with my fabric selection for these cushions - I made them to match a couple of cushions I'd made for our friends a few years ago.  The Prints Charming Starbursts and black Echino cars are the same, but this time for a touch of red I've gone with Cotton + Steel lions (one of my favourite C+S prints, along with the navy arrows up above), and added the sweet Echino rabbit print on the back. 

And now the third - and last - set of cushions, for my nephews.  Mr C is four and loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Apparently he most loves the red one (interesting, since I've recently made a Mr Red Turtle cushion ... what's with the red turtle getting all the love?).  Mr C also loves Batman.  I had the Turtle fabric already sorted, but had to ask my lovely friend Tracy for some Batman scraps. 

The backgrounds for each cushion are Lizzy House 'Constellation' prints, and I framed each letter in solids - one red and one orange. 

My nephew Mr A is only six months old, so really, he's getting a cushion to match in with his big brother.  As the girls gave me the ok to not have to focus on the Red Turtle, I made sure to include the other three as equally as I could, so welcome to the blog blue, purple and orange turtles, one day I might even learn your names.

And since Mr A is only six months old ... I figured he wouldn't mind a little bit of Wonder Woman fabric in his cushion ... I couldn't quite stretch the Batman scraps far enough ... I'm really hoping Mr C has a bit of love in his heart for Wonder Woman, given that she's awesome and has an invisible plane and golden lasso. 

I went with red Echino rabbits for the back, plus a bit of Spolight big-spot print in orange.  We haven't gifted these cushions yet either - since Mr's C and A are the sons of my brother and sister-in-law who arrived at the beach today (the day we left) as mentioned above.   Cross your fingers for a bit of cushion-love. 

I hope your Christmas was relaxed, merry and bright and that you shared the time with people who make you happy.  'til next time xoxo cat

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