Monday, 20 July 2015

pinwheel cushion

 I finished the cushion that I blogged about here. It is number two on my Finish Along list.
Zoe chose the fabrics for this cushion and made the cushion top using the fast and easy pinwheels tutorial by Jenny Doan of The Missouri Star Quilt Co. The pink fabric used for the pinwheels and backing is Lecien's Folk Tale Flying Pixie Girl. The other pinwheel print is from Australian designer Sarah Fielke's On The Pond range.
I was responsible for quilting and constructing the cushion cover. Which is why it took so long to finish. But doesn't it look nice now that it is done! It is approximately 16" (41cm) square.

I love a covered, zippered back and always use Svetlana's tutorial. She makes it so easy!

I also completed some bee blocks which have now been mailed. I really like the feeling of mentally ticking these off my list.
 This is our last day of the school holidays. Oh how I have enjoyed them!

I will be back to show you some of the crafting we have been doing during the last two weeks. Some was planned and some was impromptu.

Friday, 10 July 2015

finish along 2015 {q3}

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Well, I missed the second quarter of this year's finish along, but am back on board for the third quarter.

I'm keeping my list short and realistic. These are the projects that I would like to complete:
1. This quilt. I'm not sure what else to say about it.
2. Zoe and her friend each made a cushion top during the school holidays late last year. Her friend's cushion cover was completed not long after it was started. My own daughter's has been sitting waiting for me. I had started quilting the cushion top, but it looked truly awful! I will unpick my dismal attempt at square stippling and redo it. With round pebbling.
Unfinished. And I'm not showing you the awful quilting!
And that's my list! An achievable two items.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

pineapple block {tutorial}

Once a week Zoe has a cello lesson. It begins before school and finishes about ten minutes after I exit Eli's classroom. Rather than leave Zoe's cello at school all day and then fit it in the car along with all the school bags, box constructions and precious tree branches that absolutely have to come home with us at the end of the day I wait around and take it home with me in the morning.

I like waiting around for Zoe's cello. I sit under a tree and do a bit of doodling. Quilt block doodling.

This pineapple grew from a bit of doodling. Isn't it sweet? Or is that pun making you groan?
Pineapple block design in progress.
At 17" (43cm) square it is a big block, but I decided that I didn't want those half square triangles any smaller. I wanted this block to be easy and quick to put together.

If it isn't too big for the other members, I think I'd like to use it as my bee block later in the year.

So, let me show you how to sew it up.

Fabric Requirements

Orange - 1 @ 6.5" x 8"

Green - 1 @ 3.5" x 5"
8 @ 2" squares

Background - 14 @ 2.0" x 2.0"
 2 @ 6.5" x 2.0"
2 @ 5.75" x 17"
**if you do not want your pineapple to be centred on the block, substitute the 2 @ 5.75" x 17" for 1 @ 2.75" x 17" and 1 @ 8.75" x 17" for an off centre pineapple.

Sewing the Block

Before you go near the sewing machine, draw a diagonal line across the middle of each of the 2" background squares.

  1. 'Snowball' the orange rectangle (6.5" x 8") by placing a square in one of the corners. Sew on the diagonal line. Repeat for the three remaining corners.
2. Trim 1/4" from each sewn line.
3. Press corners open. This is the pineapple base.
4. Pair a 2" background square with a green 2" square, right sides together. Sew on the diagonal line. Do this seven more times for a total of 8 pairs of background/green squares.
5. Trim 1/4" away from the sewn line. Use the triangle shaped trimmings in another project!
6. Press/iron open.
7. Using a 1/4" seam, sew six of the half square triangle blocks together as shown below:
8. Using a 1/4" seam, sew a half square triangle unit to each of the long sides of the green 3.5" x 5" rectangle as shown.
9. Using a 1/4" seam, sew the remaining two HST's (half square triangles) together as shown below. Press/iron centre seam open. This will reduce bulk when sewing this unit to the rest of the pineapple top.
10. Using a 1/4" seam, sew a 2" background square to either side of the joined HST's. Press/iron open.
11. Using a 1/4" seam, sew the small HST unit to the larger unit.
12. Carefully trim away the half of the seam allowance where the three seams meet (at the point of the triangle) to reduce bulk. If this step doesn't make sense, it is quite okay to skip it!

13. Press/iron open. This is the pineapple top.
14. Using a 1/4" seam, sew the pineapple top to the pineapple base. Press/iron open.
15. Using a 1/4" seam, sew a 6.5" x 2.0" background rectangle to the top and bottom of the pineapple. Press/iron open.

16. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew a 5.75" x 17" background rectangle to either side of the pineapple. Press/iron open.
And you are done!

So, do you like pineapple? Do you put it in your tuna mornay or your home made burgers? We do!

Update: A lovely friend made me three pineapple blocks! I know I should have ironed them first, but I was too excited.

Monday, 6 July 2015

islands and caterpillars

We are on school holidays. Yay!

The last few weeks of term were busy. I started doing some relief teaching, which meant some family routine adjustments on the mornings when I was called at 8:00am. I LOVE being back in the classroom!

I thought I might share a few things that we created during this past school term. A friend of mine makes amazing bento box lunches for her kids. I was inspired and tried my hand at a very hungry caterpillar bento. I am not posting a photo of my friend's caterpillar, as you will not be at all impressed with mine if you saw the two together!!
My kids absolutely loved them, so I'll call it a success. I am grateful for friends that are so inspiring! It was also great to finally use the silicone cupcake liners that have been in my cupboard for years.
Zoe was required to design and make a 3D island. I am insisting on showing you photos of the island as the making of it affected our entire family. For weeks. Almost every room in our house (bar the toilet) had at least one pile of recycled 'bits' that Zoe used on her island.
Papier mache base.
Light house.
Wind turbines.
Water fall with hydro electric station.
Reef (made out of our old trampoline mat straps!).
Airport terminal, runway, train station and railway.
Sand (sugar!).
One of many bridges. This one is for the railway.
Shopping precinct, complete with helipad, bridge and travelator for pedestrians!
Quay and tunnel to the main land.

And like her mother always does, Zoe sustained a hot glue gun injury. I'm personally thinking of it as a tribute to me.
Hot glue gun blister!
And what is a school term without some of our favourite type of water colour painting? Food dyes how I love thee!
Starting off with a pencil drawing.
Inspired by Dr Seuss.

Zoe and Eli made these turtle containers. Two empty water bottles and some foam craft sheets, plus a little glue and you're done!
 Oh, and a little bead for the 'handle' on the flap opening. Zoe recommends using something a little less obvious than permanent marker when you are drawing out your turtle shape!
 And another projects completed by Zoe (the whole term was a series of projects). This is another that I was glad to see finished! I think that Zoe secretly loves papier mache...
This cute echidna did eventually get eyes.
I must confess to helping Zoe with this project. The skewers were too long, so my job was to snap a third of the length off. All three hundred and fifty of them.
We are looking forward to some exciting craft activities during our two week school break (interspersed with orthodontic appointments and cleaning out bedrooms. But we don't say those things out loud!).

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