31 July, 2011

AMQG Challenge

AMQG pillow challenge fabric, originally uploaded by Hazelnutgirl.

The first challenge for the Auckland Modern Quilt Guild members has been set - a cushion - and I'm really excited! It's my first challenge so I don't know exactly how open to be about what I'm thinking of doing or not - are people all secret-squirrel about their intentions or generally open? I'd love to share how I'm going (I almost typed journey there but that would have been more than a little pretentious, I can't believe the word even entered my mind! And that I'm sharing it with you!), but I'm competitive enough not to want to get pipped at the post because I shared too much. Not that I really think that would happen to be perfectly honest, maybe I'd just like for it to be a surprise?

Anyways, this is the fabric we have, I don't know who the designer is or anything, it's not on my bit of selvedge. We have a fat eighth and we have to use at least half of it, so can enter two pillows if we like. I have some of my fabrics already and at least one pattern in mind - and it's not due until the 1st December, so I have heaps of time. Perhaps I won't even leave it till the last minute!

It's going to be so interesting to see what people come up with, there is such a diversity of people in our group; we vary widely in age, experience and taste. I know at least one person who was focusing on many of the same FQ as I was when I grabbed some after our meeting, but I bet even that doesn't mean our cushions will be at all alike!

28 July, 2011

It's a Plus finished

It's a Plus cushion

Finally finished up my It's a Plus cushion cover, the front has been languishing while I tried to find the time to do the back. The quilting was simple but time-consuming because the plusses were so small, I went around the inside of them and around the inside edges of the negative linen spaces. The original pattern in 'I Love Patchwork' had a length of ribbon sewn in so I did the same with some I'd recently bought at the Daiso shop on Queen Street. I don't think it's the best quality as it's frayed a bit, but then why I thought it would be for $3/m I don't know! I made sure I photographed the good end so you can all admire how well the piecing was going before it suddenly wasn't.

It's a Plus cushion detail

I love the back very, very much! I got the idea from seeing the back of the front quilting, and it turned out really well. I replicated the pattern grid by drawing it on the fabric with water-soluble pens and then marked out the pattern again by cross-hatching the appropriate squares.

It's a Plus cushion back

I quilted the same way I did the front. It's really hard to get a decent picture of it because it's so subtle, but I particularly enjoy the puzzle-like look it has and the small intersections between the plusses. They remind me of roads.

It's a Plus cushion back detail

22 July, 2011

The great wallpaper panic

So it turns out that the wallpaper in both rooms has to be gone by the day after Hazel's party, which is about two weeks away, and the skirting boards need to have the stain taken off as well. I'm heartily sick of this already and the spare room wallpaper is only half done. Wild, flailing-of-arms panic! I haven't sewn anything for ages either, I'm beginning to get twitchy. Stripping wallpaper is a great way to get to know your house's dirty little secrets, like the cracks that have literally been papered over! I found where the old door used to be in the spare room, and a rather distressing patch of mould just off to the right of the photo up there. Yeesh.  And the old wallpaper that had only been peeled off in patches, and the remains papered over. Now there was some really classy prep-work!

What I have been doing instead of sewing for relaxation is playing with Instagram, so if anyone is on there I'm hazelnuts. I can't figure out how to post a photo via Instagram though, perhaps it has to be done through Flickr and I keep forgetting to turn that setting on.  I seem to have more photos of Lucy than anything else, though I cleverly managed to fit in my slippers and quilt here:

And I got all arty with this shot:

It seems kinda fun, but I need more peeps in my neighbourhood!

Instagram photos might be the only way you know I'm alive for the next week or so...

19 July, 2011

My get out of jail card

The next time I get in trouble for something, be it as minor as not hanging out the wash, or slightly larger like not doing my taxes on time, I will simply say "well I'm sure I'm very sorry but did you know I sewed a bathing suit?" and the person will apologise profusely and leave me alone.

Bathing suit

I used the pattern in Ottobre 3/2009 and amazingly, Hazel was size 116 for all the measurements, instead of just height and a smaller size for everything else. The pattern's not perfect, if I do it again I'll curve the front legs a bit higher and make the bum less high-cut and more covering.  I had to put in a bit more of a waist, I guess she's not as straight up and down as she used to be! I added the ruffle because her old suit had one and she thought that was the best part of it. The fabric came from Global Fabrics and I'd love to have a bathing suit made from it too, but that would be a bit naff. I ended up making the stripes run horizontally, despite the fact the bows are now sideways (am hoping it's not that obvious) because the stripes were too wide for such a small item, it's obviously scaled for adults.

Bathing suit

It was surprisingly easy to make - I'd been imagining the fabric snagging or running or stretching, but it was lovely to work with and very tolerant of seams being unripped or changed. It's fully lined which makes it a fairly robust garment! The only problem I'm having is with the seams on the straps, when Hazel tried it on the double needle stitching broke and unraveled. I've had the problem a lot on very stretchy things like the bottom of leggings, or tshirts, and I don't know how to stop it. I use wooly nylon in the bobbin, I alter the tension, everything I can think of short of getting a cover stitch machine! Suggestions gratefully received. I'll zigzag and hope that works, though it's been just as prone to breking in the past too. I was particularly nervous of doing the leg elastic but it turned out fine. This video was very useful, although I couldn't get the fabric to roll over the edge like he does, I think the two layers were too thick. The legs look a bit wavy but when it's on they're fine - possibly a skosh too tight but she's not complaining so I'm not going to point it out!

17 July, 2011

Felt flowers

 Felt flowers

I've been having a great time making these flower brooches recently. I was inspired by a flower on Pinterest. It has a more realistic centre with stamens and that, but I like the buttons.  I seem to be in a bit of a rut with the aqua with red dots fabric though, I just couldn't find anything that seemed to suit the red better last night, though I feel sure there should have been something.

They're super-quick to make and a great way to use up scraps of felted sweaters etc. The red one is made from regular commercial wool felt though.

Anyways, the red one went off to Hazel's teacher on Friday because it was her birthday as well as the last day of class before the 2 weeks holidays. I think Hazel and Ms. Nicholson both need it! Ms. Nicholson is a lady after my own heart, her favourite colour is red and she has a fine taste in shoes and boots - we actually have the same pair of red shoes (which freaks Hazel out no end).

I'm going to have to find the camera user manual and find out how to shoot photos in RAW, I'm so sick of the reds blowing out and I gather that can help. I don't think it helped that it was raining when I took these first thing this morning. Of course, shooting in RAW won't prevent the camera focusing on the deck rather than the flowers...

Felt flowers

I'm about to start stripping wallpaper in the spare room (where I have my computer) and the living room, so things may get a bit quiet around here for a few days while I battle with the paper tiger and the dif and the incredible mess it generates. We'll leave the walls bare and rough-plastered for awhile, enjoying the French Provincial Farmhouse aesthetic until my parents have been and gone, and then will have everything plastered and then we'll paint. Can't wait! We had a very brisk program of house renovation before Hazel was born, but her room was the last thing we did - not coincidentally!

Speaking of which, her birthday is fast approaching too, so hopefully I can get in a couple posts about what I'm going to do. My grandiose plans are very rapidly being whittled down to reasonable proportions, which is bad for blogging but good for my mental well-being!

16 July, 2011

More vintage sheet goodness

 Vintage sheets

I think holding the vintage sheet giveaway had the desired karmic effect as the next day my lovely bundle of vintage sheet FQ from Jenna (she also has an Etsy shop Jenna's Attic, selling vintage sheets) arrived in my mailbox and I didn't even have to mug the Postie. They're really different to the NZ sheets that I generally see - much lighter and more delicate. I don't think it's just the ones I chose as these seem pretty representative of what's available on Etsy for example. I would never have thought of Kiwis in the 70s as being more bold and adventurous than the Americans, but they must have been - unless all the bold bright sheets are around now because they didn't get used as much! Ooo, now there's an anthropology Master's or part of a PhD - Social Identity in the 1970s as Reflected in New Zealand and American Bedding. Someone needs to take that title and run with it - just pay me for the idea in vintage sheets...

These patterns are going to provide a good contrast in the quilt(s) to the more intense colours I already have. I was thinking that if I couldn't find the exact sheets I needed (I'm a bit short on greens) I could always supplement with some of the vintage-inspired Dream On line, if it's still available. Or is that cheating?

15 July, 2011

Auckland Modern Quilt Guild July Meeting

The next AMQG meeting is scheduled for 27th July, so if you're interested in coming along here's your head's up! It's 7-9pm at Patchwork Passion out in Onehunga (355 Onehunga Mall). I'll be coming in from West Auckland so if anyone is on my way there I'd be happy to give you a lift. You can let Robyn know you're coming by leaving a comment on the guild website, emailing her at patchworkpassion@xtra.co.nz or calling the shop.

Vintage sheet winners

I know it's standard to say that I wish you all could have won but it's really true! I loved the things you all wanted to make, and the suggestions I raided your grandparents' closets made me laugh, and generally it really sucks to have to only choose two. But it has to be done, so the first winner is:

And that's Quilary who said "I think I'd be making quite a few cushions, with a matching solid for the backs. Very pretty! Thanks for the chance. :)"

 Then I took her out of the running and the second winner is:

Who is Faery Sarah! She said "me likey! reminds me of sheets I had as a kid :-) I'd make softies out of them!"  And the bonuses of Sarah winning is that she was first and thus saved me counting down the comments (28 was a stretch I tell you) and actually lives in the same neighbourhood as me which saves on postage. And it also goes to show that being first to comment doesn't rule you out of giveaways that use a random number generator. I was first commentor on a giveaway a couple years ago and won, so I'm a firm believer in it being a lucky number!

Congrats ladies and an email will be on its way to you asap. And thanks to everyone else who took the time to enter and say such nice things about my taste in sheets :)

12 July, 2011

Vintage sheet giveaway

Vintage sheets 2

I've been thinking a lot about vintage sheets lately, especially since I did a swap with Jenna over at Jenna Designs (I forgot to take photos of what I sent but she took some when they arrived!) and her parcel hasn't shown up yet - the Postie just went past 5 minutes ago without leaving a package AGAIN - curse you Postie! Anyways, while I haunt the mailbox I thought I could probably send some vintage love my reader's way so couple of you can haunt your mailboxes too! It's such fun.

So up for grabs are two bundles of 5 FQ each, leave a comment below if you're interested - international entries welcome of course. One comment per person and I suggest you don't Tweet, blog or Facebook about it to increase your chances ;) You can tell me something interesting in your comment, maybe what you're going to do with them - or you can just say hi. Either way, make sure I have some way of contacting you - if I have to spend too much time hunting you down I'll just draw another name. I'll use a random number generator to choose two lucky peeps on Friday afternoon, NZ time (which would be Thursday night sometime for those North Americans among us). If you are having problems commenting with Disqus then shoot me an email and I'll add you to the list.

Vintage Sheets 1

08 July, 2011

A bit of Friday funny

Apropos of absolutely nothing other than it made me smile and it's Friday

We used to put the original on to get Hazel to go to sleep when she was a baby. Worked a treat!

06 July, 2011


I added a favicon to my blog - the little image that shows up to the left of my URL in the toolbar. What do you think? Does it actually look like a hazelnut at that size? I'm wondering if I need to get rid of the shadow...

ETA: I got rid of the shadow - but I don't know if it makes it better or not! Or maybe it doesn't really matter, I just like that it's there.

05 July, 2011

Put a bird on it!

Random miscellany:

...I recently bought a duvet cover set that I'd been hankering after for awhile - when it was 50% off!

Yay. It's called the 'Alice' but when I see it the first thing that pops into my head is this video:

I still like birds on things, but inevitably the phrase "put a bird on it!" pops into my mind first :)

...I'd like to do a shout out to Belinda at Candy Cane Kids, for her great customer service and two lovely tops. Hazel picked both of them, neither are pink, and she loves and wears both of them. Score!

...and maybe it's just jealousy talking here, but is anyone else getting really sick of the massive coverage of this Go! Baby cutter? I don't even think they're available here, and would cost a bomb if they did, so I'm at the eye-rolling stage when yet another post pops up in my reader for a product I don't have ready access to. They've obviously got a crack marketing team who have targeted a goodly number of the bloggers I regularly read. I appreciate it would be a very tempting offer to recieve, but so many people extolling its virtues at the same time makes it seem more than a little spammy.

04 July, 2011

A sewing version of Ravelry - part two

Ages ago I did a post about a website that looked like it was going to be a sewing version of Ravelry - and oddly it's one of my more popular posts via Google, despite the fact that the site never seemed to get off the ground! I guess us sewers are pretty desperate to emulate Ravelry :) Anyways, a couple days ago Allison left a comment there alerting me to a new site called Seamed Up, which is aiming to fill that gap. There is also My Sewing Circle, which has been around for a year or so. I'm not as good at updating my projects as I should be, but you can find me there by clicking the button over to the right in the sidebar.

So there you go - two sites that actually do work and that you can use to store your patterns and fabrics, read reviews, put your projects up and admire others'. There are also forums to share ideas and ask questions. It's up to us to make them work!

Plusses of quilting*

I've just quilted the plus cushion cover and am very taken with the back of the piece! I half wish I'd kept the bobbin colour the same throughout, but the dark wasn't working with the lighter colours I switched to part way through. I'm tempted to do something like this on plain fabric...very tempted! It'd be a butt-load of lines to draw though (innate laziness battling artistic urges)

*I doubt I can keep this whole plus thing up for long, but will milk it as much as I can!


Related Posts with Thumbnails