Friday, 23 August 2013

Another Messenger Bag

Are you getting sick of seeing these? My girls have only just realised that, despite making quite a few of these,  I haven't actually made them one yet! Both of them have birthdays coming up in the next four months. As they are my 'go to' birthday gift I think I will make each of them a bag for their birthday. Hopefully they will be surprised (though some oddly shaped wrapping should take care of that!).

This one is for my niece who turned 15 on the weekend. I bought the flap fabric (a furnishing fabric - there are some beautiful and exciting furnishing fabrics around - I think I love them all!) toward the beginning of the year when I was buying some batting. I happened to walk past it and immediately thought of my niece. I knew that I'd be making her a bag for her next birthday, so I popped it in the pile of bag-making-fabrics where it stayed until a week ago. I sent my sister a photo of the fabric before starting, just to check that I was on the right track with my fabric selection. What was really lovely for me was when my sister reminded me that when my niece was a little girl she would gently 'catch' butterflies on her hand. She loves butterflies! So I had chosen the perfect fabric. Does that mean that I'm a really great Aunty (or not, because I didn't remember!)?

Eli's zip!
I used a black denim for the strap, outer and inner body and the zip that Eli chose for the inner zippered pocket. I think Eli has an eye for colour!

One of these days I'll do a tutorial for one of these - they are so easy!

My niece loved the bag, so again, I am absolutely thrilled!

My next project is to complete the charity quilt that I am making with Christine's scraps as part of her Scrap Bag Challenge.

What do you think my quilt will look like? The top is three quarters finished and it is only small, so it should be finished very soon...

Book Week

Our primary school celebrates Book Week in a big way - it's fantastic! There are art competitions, guest authors, a week long book fair and the highlight of the week - dress up day! This year I was not at all surprised that Lily asked if she could dress up as Qui-Gon Jinn (a Star Wars Jedi). I was just grateful that she didn't ask to be Chewbacca (a request in the past that has not yet been fulfilled. I'm just waiting for some furry brown fabric to go on sale so that I can buy 5 metres of it).

I didn't have any brown fabric (Jedi robes are always brown), but I was able to get my hands on some grey stretchy fabric. Once Lily gave it the thumbs up (I think she knew that if she said no she'd be choosing between a purple tutu or pink fairy costume from the dress up hamper!) I set to work googling DIY Jedi costumes. I shouldn't have been surprised at all the sites devoted to Jedi costuming, but I was!

A few days later a costume had evolved which was then left out in plain site to ensure that Lily was extremely good and very obedient in the lead up to dress up day (actually, she's a good girl!).

 It was a bit tricky to show the entire costume without showing Lily's face (I don't put photos of my children on my blog, though I did leave a bit of her chin to show you the beard that she asked for. Luckily there was some brown amongst the face paints. Failing that I don't think Lily would have minded if I had used chocolate!)!

Lily thought the costume was fantastic, so of course I was absolutely wrapped that she was so happy!

Jed decided to team up with a friend and chose the book 'Harry and his Bucket Full of Dinosaurs'. Jed's friend is obviously a very good friend, as Jed went as Harry while his friend willingly dressed as a dinosaur. Jed assures me that he isn't actually reading this book. Lovely - plain clothes and a bucket for Jed. He's done.

So that leaves Zoe. Or should I say Hermione Granger. Zoe would dearly love to actually read the Harry Potter series (so would Jed for that matter), but after reading it recently myself I decided that I would like my children to be older before reading it. But that doesn't mean you can't dress up as the very clever Hermione. After visiting four op shops I finally found a woollen skirt that I was able to shorten to fit Zoe. Unfortunately I didn't find a grey, woollen V-neck jumper to go with it. After a quick phone call to my sister to see if any of the cousins had one I remembered that I had a grey V-neck cardigan that would be great. I call it my maths teacher cardigan. Because I used to be a maths teacher and it makes me look hilariously like the stereotypical maths teacher from way back. I made a mental note to call my sister whenever I have forgotten something, as she obviously has some ability to help me recall things!

So, the only thing left for Zoe was to find the set of Harry Potter wands that Granddad sent over to us a few years ago. I couldn't find them anywhere (I should have called my sister!). The last time I saw them was to take them out of the drawer where they were being kept and move them somewhere where a certain someone wouldn't touch them (they were all still in their packets - helpful to identify each of them). A certain someone - and they youngest child shouldn't always be blamed - had unwrapped Voldemort's wand. After some very avid searching I finally found Voldemort's wand on the floor behind our low bookcase. I still don't know where the other wands are. Like Lily, Zoe was willing to make a compromise and used Voldemort's wand as Hermione's.

Eli (who insisted on dressing up too - as a princess) and I spent the morning of dress up day at school. We watched the entire school parade past in their absolutely amazing costumes (everyone gets dressed up - even the staff), read books on picnic rugs and enjoyed some morning tea. The weather was glorious. A little too glorious - it was very warm and I felt more than a little sorry for the teacher sitting next to me who was dressed in a very thick Pikachu onesy!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A finish!

 I finally finished this small quilt! Years and years ago I bought a few jelly rolls from Spotlight. This was way back in the day when I didn't even know that these coordinated strips of fabric were even called jelly rolls! I am such a fan of precuts and love everything from charm packs to layer cakes. While I really like the fabric in this sweet little quilt, I didn't appreciate working with the wonkiness of the strips! These strips of fabric were not cut very precisely which made it difficult to put the blocks together. Combined with not trimming the blocks before sewing them all together (I put that down to leaving it for months and months before working on it again - I thought I had trimmed the blocks!) the top is not the neatest. Points do not always meet, but I love it!

I love the sweet little mushroom fabric!
I will, however, stick to my favourite and trusted fabric manufacturers and avoid poorly cut jelly rolls in the future! And when I get around to finishing this quilt's twin (in a blue colourway!) I will definitely be trimming my blocks. It's always good to learn from mistakes!

And the pieced back!
I used this tutorial by Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Co which is based on a pattern by 3Dudes. I used left over fabric from this quilt for the backing. I suggested to my family that we keep this on standby for the next baby girl to be born to family or friends, however Zoe was adamant that we keep it. It wasn't difficult to convince me!

So, do you like jelly rolls? What have you made with them?
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