Monday, 22 December 2014

gift idea (melty bowl)

 It's been over a month since my last post. Not because there hasn't been anything to share, but because we have been so busy! School finished last week and making teacher gifts was one of the things that kept us busy.

Eli made some melty bowls using Ikea beads, oil spray and a Pyrex bowl. This idea is floating around Pinterest and is a quick, easy and very fun craft project.
 We sprayed the inside of the Pyrex bowl and poured some melty (perler) beads into the bottom.
 Eli pushed the melty beads up the sides so that they were in a single layer.
 We checked to make sure that the top of the beads was fairly even in height all the way around.
And then into a preheated oven (180 degrees Celcius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 10 minutes.
 When it came out it the melty beads looked fabulous!
Lots of colours and a wonderful texture.
We waited for our colourful creation to cool before taking it out of the Pyrex bowl. We had oiled it well, so it slipped out very easily.
 A bit of a wash with dish washing liquid removed the oiliness on the outside.
And it's done!
While these are obviously not recommended for use with food, they are great for storing bits and pieces like keys or other small objects.
Eli couldn't bear to part with it, so we made a few more to give away!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

here's one I prepared earlier {glamping quilt}

This is a quilt that I finished last year (or was it the year before?), but have not yet shared.

I think the recent purchase of a family tent prompted me to think of this quilt. Because why camp when you can glamp?
Using a layer cake of Glamping by Mary Jane for Moda, this is a simple quilt pattern. I organized each of the 10" squares into pairs; larger scale prints were paired with a smaller scale print in a contrasting colour. And then I began chopping them up.

 I sliced up each pair with two vertical cuts and two horizontal cuts. 7 pairs ended up with a 4" square in the middle, another 7 pairs with a 4 3/4" square in the middle and the last 7 pairs with a 5 3/4" square. Then each pair played swapsies with its partner; I simply switched over the centre squares for each pair (e.g. red centre with mustard border, mustard centre with red border). I did try and keep those lovely images as whole as possible (who wants half a caravan when you can have a whole one?).
The blue border really is the same colour as the centre square of the previous photo. Truly.
 I sewed up the individual blocks, played around with the placement and then sew the blocks together for a completed top. Done! Well, not quite. It might have sat around for a while before it was quilted and bound. But we don't have to talk about that.
 I used a ticking type fabric on the back and some bright, striped binding after quilting it with large loops.
This is often how it looks when it is on the couch.
I think this is the ideal size for a lap quilt. Or a 'nap' quilt. I like small quilts (in my head a small quilt is a quilt that is not big enough to cover a single bed) to generously cover an adult body when they are sitting on the couch. This includes toes. And enough on the side that you feel well cocooned.
This is as close to a nice fence that I can get!
The weather here has been very warm as we head into summer, so while this quilt isn't being used for snuggling right now, those lovely bright colours look great draped over the arm of the couch!

Friday, 7 November 2014


 A few months ago Last year I made a cushion for a friend who was celebrating her birthday. Knowing that she liked bright colours I chose a variety of fabrics from my stash and started to improv piece them together log cabin style.

It just wasn't right. It was bright and happy, but it really didn't feel like it was right for my friend. I decided to start over with different fabrics. I added some sophistication to my fabric choices and was very pleased with the end result.
This was my friend! You may recognise the beautiful fabric on the dark purple background. I fell in love with it and used it again on this messenger bag.
I also love the fabric on the back of the cushion (and am patting myself on the back for inserting a covered zipper. I love these on cushions and always use Svetlana's fab tutorial).
The colour in these photos hasn't come up well; the zipper is hot pink - the same as the petals, leaves and stems on the fabric. Did I say how much I love this fabric?
Note to self: turn the ends of the tape label under next time!
I am getting better at remembering to put a label on hand made gifts; I sewed a simple one on using cotton tape. This looked great, but - I don't know what I was thinking - I didn't fold the ends under. It will probably fray and fall off after one wash. I have told my friend that I will happily be liable for any repairs in the near or distant future.
As to what became of my abandoned cushion cover? I backed it with some cherries ( I love cherry fabric!) and it now lives in our lounge room. Sometimes on the couch and most of the time on the floor with a four year old bottom on it.  I'm glad I abandoned my first cushion cover - it just wasn't right for the recipient and was also too big for a couch cushion (25" or 63cm), but is perfect as an imaginary sled, boat or bus for wombats.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

teacher gift idea {tiered plates}

As the end of the school year draws closer we are busy preparing teacher gifts.

These tiered plate stands were inspired by one that was on the counter at one of our local opportunity shops.
Using a clear 'separator' (some kind of tiny glass!) meant that we could still see the pretty flowers in the centre of the plate on the bottom.
We gathered up all the pretty plates that we had and weren't using, as well as picking up a few more from some of the op shops that we I like to visit.

I always set myself a budget, so for this project I spent no more than 50 cents a plate.
 I was very fortunate and picked up some beautiful old plates. I also found some glassware to use to separate the plates.
We added our own little touch to this one with the addition of the little ceramic kitty. You can see the glue in this photo, but it dried clear!
We made two tier plate stands.
And three tiered plate stands.
 Oh look - more kitties!
Plates were separated by crystal vases and miniature bowls.
Some of the painted details on the small plates were just exquisite.
The one and only rule for making these is the type of glue that you use. We used a glue made by Weldbond that specifically states that it will bond to ceramic and glass.

Super glue just won't do the job with these.
We were rather pleased with our creations! Not pictured is a stand where we also glued a cup to the top. It had a hairline crack in it, so it was not able to be used for beverages but is now useful again!

My favourite stands are those where the plates graduate in size from largest to smallest.
Eli's teacher has already received a two tiered plate and loves it!

While I wouldn't recommend using these for food or putting them in the dishwasher, they would make lovely trinket holders on a dresser or mantel.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

blogger's quilt festival {zoe's entry}
Twice a year Amy's Creative Side hosts the Blogger's Quilt Festival to coincide with Quilt Market (the trade shows where manufacturers show off their new fabric lines to businesses).
Zoe is entering her quilt into the ROYGBIV category.

I love looking at all the quilts that are entered. See if you can find Blue Mountain Daisy's 'Happy As A Clam' quilt in the Original Design category. It's one of my favourites!

You can start admiring all the amazing quilt entries here (just click on one of the quick links - underneath the Blogger's Quilt Festival logo - to take you to the category of your choice).

Voting for your favourites starts on 1st November!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

goodbye old faithful

You've been so reliable and were remarkably cheap.
Each child has loved your little red squeak.
Used only indoors, you have lasted so long;
over ten years and you're still going strong.

We'll miss seeing your speed as you drive through the house.
 But the time has come for you to live somewhere else.
Eli is too big and we need some more space.
I have already put a blanket box in your place.
Thanks for the memories and skid marks on the floor.
We wish you the best, but we'll see you no more!
The op shop will probably sell you for a dollar.
But your value is in the memories you helped make for our toddlers.
Goodbye old faithful.

Monday, 20 October 2014

zoe's quilt

Zoe's entry.
Zoe's quilt progress. Making half square triangles.
Zoe's original inspiration came from Christa's Charming Chevrons.
Christa's Charming Chevrons quilt.
Zoe used 5" squares to make the half square triangles. As she was putting the half square triangle units together Zoe decided to change the layout.

I didn't have use of my sewing machine for some time, as I allowed Zoe to have preference. This was usually in the evening before going to bed (and after homework and other responsibilities were completed). As per the rules of the competition, the quilt had to be sewn entirely by Zoe. It took quite a while!
I think I was as excited as Zoe was when it was time for the binding to be sewn on.
 Nearly there!
 Zoe machine quilted this quilt using a walking foot. She left the white areas unquilted. The coloured chevrons were quilted in lines that were randomly spaced.
I am very proud of her persistence. And willingness to unpick stitches when needed.
The back.
 Unlike her mother, Zoe remembered to label her quilt.
  Zoe is already planning her next quilt!
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