Thursday, 28 February 2013

.: happy birthday to F :.

A gorgeous small boy is turning 5 in a few days.

He is a total favourite of ours.  And he is very close to Vee's heart.

And just because I know a cushion won't thrill him as much as a couple of tiny remote-controlled robots will, we've thrown them in too.  

Happy birthday F, love from us. xxx

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

.: yodel-worthy :.

There is an inspiring, talented and gorgeous lady by the name of Cam.  Online, she 'lives' at Curly Pops.

I found Cam through instagram I think, and quickly fell in love with the awesome fabrics that she designs.  She is really crafty and clever too, and very generous and supportive of other people's crafty-endeavours.  

Cam's just had a bilateral lung transplant, and so is in hospital recovering from the surgery - take a look at this post on her blog - and also at this post where she talks about it being Donate Life Week this week.  

I wanted to make something to send to Cam.

That something has turned out to be an enormous zip-pouch, in fact.  The same week I heard about Cam's surgery - through the magic of instagram - I received a Spoonflower order in the mail.  

I thought a few of HappySewLucky Berene's 'improv adjectives' would be perfect, along with  WildOlive's bacon, as I have noticed that Cam loves bacon. 

All the other fabric on the outside of the pouch are by Cam, under her Curly Pops label (I so especially love those hexagons).  Except for the super-hero girl on the back - that's a Spoonflower gem that I've had in my stash for a while.  I figured that Cam's path to recovery is going to be a super-hero effort.

As an awesome side-note, in searching for the super-hero designer on Spoonflower just now, I discovered it's a lady designing under the name HamburgerLiebe - gotta love that mix of bacon and hamburger love in one big zip-pouch!
Did you notice the sweet little 'C' ribbon, underneath our cat&vee label?  I bought it from Tinsel Trading when we were in NYC last year.  It's the most gorgeous shop, full of trims, ribbons, cards and so much cute stuff. 

On the inside of the pouch is a cute new print from Moxie by Erin McMorris - it makes me think of online-chat, with it's little icons, 'hello' and 'hi'.  I thought it was a good choice, since I only know Cam through online-magicery. 
The zipper-tab didn't quite work out how I wanted it to, but you can see where I was headed.  Grey-thread and neater-stiching probably would have worked a treat. 

The pouch is biiiiig - I followed the spirit of Anna's open-wide zipper-pouch tutorial, just not the measurements.  That's five teatowels I've got rolled up inside to plump it out a bit for the photos.  Five.  And it's not even half-full.  

I will post it off tomorrow, and send it with lots of thoughts and prayers for a timely and healthy recovery.  And some thoughts and prayers for Cam's donor's family too.  

{{all the words}}
xoxo cat

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

.: sweet pouch from Texas :.

We made a mad dash to the post office after school today - I drove by twice yesterday in the pouring rain, but didn't stop because I couldn't get a car park right outside and didn't want to get soaked.

And look what was waiting for me!!


I am so excited! - it's my sweet pouch swap goodies!  As soon as I read the return address on the  USPS box and saw it was Tammy of Karamat Sews, I knew something very gorgeous and awesome would be inside! 

Are you noticing something wrong with the photo above?  Notice that that 'cow tales' wrapper is looking suspiciously empty, and there's a tiny piece of it right by the Texas-star magnet?  Mmmmmm, a mystery ... or perhaps not.  The girls and I dug into the chocolates and THEN I thought I better take some photos ...  That cow tale was delicious.  Caramel and vanilla. 

I love that Tammy has used Anna's open-wide zippered pouch tutorial, and I REALLY love the fabrics she has used, and that it's been made QAYG.  It's just perfect.  

The Houston/Texas cards and magnet are so fun - we haven't yet made it to Houston.  Or any part of Texas.  And the chocolates and lollies are SO great.  We've eaten the Rolos and the cow tale, but the rest have been stashed in the cupboard.  Can't wait to try the pretzel M+M's.  

Thank you SO much Tammy for my awesome pouch + goodies, I love it all, you have been so generous and kind.  And thank you Ros for organising such an awesome and fun swap.  Pop across to Ros' blog - she's posted the first of a few features from the Sweet Pouch Swap, and included a pic of the pouch I made for Katie!  (which has now arrived in Georgia, USA - Katie posted some cute pics on instagram).    xoxo cat

Monday, 25 February 2013

.: AusModBee - Jane's blocks :

Jane of QuiltJane is the Queen Bee for February in our AusModBee.

Jane is amazingly clever, and created her own paper-pieced block called 'Refractatorium'.  

I was really daunted by this block, as I have not had much experience at all in paper piecing.  We're talking TWO blocks, each with 64 pieces!!  I was so nervous about mucking it up. 

Here's a little step by step of my progress (really wishing I took more pics along the way).

{{chain-piecing the B-triangles}}
{{a pile of nearly-done B-triangles}}
{{a B-triangle, waiting to be trimmed}}
{{one B-triangle ... out of eight}}
Isn't it magic, how the triangles come together! 

Jane's pattern was excellent - right down to her cutting instructions for all the fabrics - and Lorena very kindly posted step-by-step pics of her block-making-process on Flickr for all the bee-girls to see.  The pics were so helpful. 

Here's the back of the sewn-together blocks.
{{yet to remove the papers}}
{{I watched the Oscars while removing the papers}}
{{back of blocks, with papers removed}}
And now the finished blocks!!  I can't tell you how happy I am with them, and what a huge sense of sewing-achievement I feel.  After being so daunted by these blocks - take a look at them!! 

I love Jane's fabric choices - really love them - some fabrics are standard across all the blocks, and then there are subtle differences in the greens, blues and black-on-white prints (mine were the little birds and a Summersville crosshatch).
{{I love the four different pinks in each block}}
I should mention too, that I found Kerry's blog very helpful, with paper-piecing tips, and that through Kerry I found The Littlest Thistle blog - which has an excellent tutorial series called 'foundation paper piecing for the terrified'! - perfection. 

I am finally now brave enough to try some of the fabulous Sew-Ichigo paper-piecing patterns, and also Ayumi's popsicles!  So excited - I've long-admired Kerry, Penny (the Sew-Ichigo creators) and Ayumi's paper-piecing creations.  

Thanks Jane for an awesome block and challenge.  Now, pop across to Jane's blog and download a Refractatorium pattern to sew for yourself!     xoxo cat


Saturday, 16 February 2013

.: love-mini and an H :.

I can now share proper pics of the 'love' mini I made for my husband for Valentine's Day.

I saw a fab tutorial by Kelly from Kelby Sews on Sew Mama Sew.  Kelly very kindly provided the templates for the l-o-v-e letters as part of the tutorial - and I clicked across to Kelly's etsy shop and bought the whole alphabet too.

{{the husband's favourite snippet is the little car - no surprises there}}
It's a paper-pieced pattern, which I haven't had much practice with - so I was really happy with how great the pattern was, and how the mini turned out.   

My husband - ever tolerant and supportive of the stuff I sew - thought it was very nice and has put it on his bedside table as a little mat for books and occasional mugs of tea.

{{the back}}
For today's makery-action, we have a cushion for my niece H, who is turning 5 on Tuesday.

H loves purple - so I figured the Lizzy House hedgehogs would work a treat, along with the Saffron Craig birds, and the little purple panda Japanese print. 

The pink spots are by Jennifer Paganelli.  And I had to include a '5' tab with some measuring twill-tape.

The backing fabric was a find by our friend T, from a little shop in Noosa.  T - are you seeing this?!

Have a happy weekend everyone.  xoxo cat

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

.: a glimpse :.

Popping in to share a couple of things.

Vee and I have quite a few things on the boil right now.  We screen printed an order for the gorgeous Elissa of Kelani Fabric Obsession yesterday - the first time we've printed since before Christmas.  Did you know you can buy our home-ie panels from Kelani, and also a few of our word panels?  Oh yes, you can. 

We really should get cracking with some screen-printing-in-action shots to share with you (bet you can't wait to see the glamour) - but we'd have to be organised enough to invite a willing friend over who can wield the camera, since we need to move quickly when we are mid-print.  Can't let that ink dry on the screen.  We don't even drop everything to answer the phone.  Hardcore printers, we are.  

While you're contemplating images of us as hardcore printers, I'll share a pic of something I've since almost finished - the start of a little 'love' mini-quilt for my husband for Valentine's Day.  

It's a paper-piecing pattern by Kelly from Kelby Sews, and it was shared via tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.  I wanted to get a bit of paper-piecing-pratice in, as Jane's amazing block is looming for our AusModBee.  More on that later.  I know my husband reads our blog over his lunchtime coffee + sandwich, so I won't further ruin his awesome surprise with any more pics right now. 

Tomorrow, a few crafty friends are getting together for the inaugral Sew Much More session.  We're meeting at S's house - and she is a master crochet-er - so we are all getting a lesson.  Check out my crochet-kit. 

{{no idea how to use those hooks, but gee they look good}}
We've even started a Flickr group for all the awesome and amazing crafty goodness that is to come from the Sew Much More girls.  Look out for THAT excitement ... I wouldn't bother clicking through yet though, since there aren't any photos to show you ... but the day will come ... mark your diaries ... 

There's more sewing and crafty happenings going on at Chez Cat and Chez Vee, but that's all we've got time for now.  Happy middle-of-the-week to you.    xoxo cat 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

.: hello gorgeous big butt :.

Did the heading confuse you? 

Finally - I have sewn up some cushions from our latest range.  These are for home, but next on the list is a set for the shop.

It was only after I took pics and uploaded them that I realised I'd forgotten the fabulous Moves Like Jagger cockatiel.  He will have to keep moving like Jagger until I get another sewing moment.

Hope your weekend is a good one.   xoxo cat

Thursday, 7 February 2013

.: feathers, penguins + fabric love :.

It's wine o'clock at chez Cat, so I thought I'd take the time to upload a few pics and share the last couple days sewing with you. 

First up is Lorena's finished feathers for her AusModBee feather-bed quilt.  As I type they are in the safe hands of Australia Post and winging their way south to Lorena in Sydney.
{{Anna Maria Horner feathers + Chicopee ladder dot stem}}
After a break of a couple of weeks, I was way too excited to get back to making a couple of x+ blocks.  The first one includes three of my absolute favourite fabric designers - Happy Zombie Monica Solorio-Snow (the orange/pink/green flowers, from Happy Mochi Yum Yum), Violet Craft (the orange/white flowers from Madrona Road) and Laurie Wisbrun (giraffes on green - I can't remember the name of this gorgeous line).

I also love the purple Paris map fabric, the architextures black/white text print, and the penguins.  Oh the penguins!!  They have newspaper print on their tummies - I ask you, what is not to love about that.

A briefcase-carrying penguin on blue made an appearance in my next block too, along with the fabulous Yuwa Live Life rulers and men fabrics (bought from Blije Olifantje on Etsy), Bonnie and Camille Bliss spots, Curly Pops orange/pink lines and Denyse Schmidt blue dots.

Here's a closer look at the 'men fabric' - my total favourite is the 'here's to you' champagne ... surprise!  

Tomorrow I am hoping to find time to sew up some cushions for the shop and for home.  Vee has been carrying the cushion-cover-sewing load for the shop these last few weeks, and we are just about out of cushion-cover-stock.  Look out tomorrow for pics of a big-butt-loving dog and a budgie-smuggler or two.  If you haven't seen these fab designs from Vee yet - do yourself a favour (as Molly Meldrum would say) and click across to our shop.

Here's to a sunny but cool weekend for everyone.  And cheers to you, if it's wine o'clock at your house too ;-D       xoxo cat

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

.: Sweet Pouch Swap :.

The very gorgeous Ros of Sew Delicious has coordinated a perfect little swap - the Sweet Pouch Swap.

We're talking cute zip pouches, sweets (well, chocolates and lollies) and a postcard to show where you're from. 
My pouch started with Pam Kitty Morning's fabulous button-card fabric, and then became a wonky star.  I even tried out a bit of hand-quilting!  Denyse Schmidt spots are inside, and Tula Pink's meteors are on the back.
For the sweets, since my swap partner is in the USA, I went with an Australian theme - Caramello Koalas and Natural Confectionary Company strawberries and cream. 

{{something went wrong with the colour on this pic, it looks a little red}}
I kept forgetting to buy a postcard every time I was remotely near a shop that would sell them - so I was limited to the postcards on sale at the Post Office yesterday.  Hmmmm.  Australian animals or the University of Queensland.  I figure that since UQ is in Brisbane, and I got my degrees there, it's way more relevant for me than kookaburras, kangaroos and possums.  And possums sometimes wake me up at night by jumping on the roof, so I'm not a fan.  The Caramello koala is surely enough of a representation of Australian animals ..... (though here's a hot tip - actual koalas are not red, they do not wear clothes and are not chocolatey - they are grey, fluffy, have sharp claws and make weird grunty sounds).

I had a tiny piece of a cute cakes + lollies twill tape left in my stash, so included that above our label. 
And now it's ready to post - it's headed for Katie in Georgia, USA - I think it will be a total surprise -  I've checked and she doesn't follow me on instagram, so I don't think she has seen any sneak peeks so far.

Lovely Ros created a Pinterest board for sweet pouch inspiration, and a Flickr group for swap-members to share photos - click across to see what other gorgeous things have been created.  Thanks so much Ros, I've loved being part of this swap and will definitely join in again if everyone twists your arm to coordinate another one ... one day! 

xoxo cat 

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