Isabella´s Backpack

Well here we are again, and once again Isabella is the muse for this post, ever since she  started school, I have wanted to make her a backpack, because it´s very important for 10 month olds to take their nappies, baby wipes, bottles and toys in a pretty backpack to nursery school, and also because I´ve been wanting to make a backpack for ages and this was the perfect excuse 😉

For most of the fabric I used  scraps left over from the quilt I made for her cot Here and also bought a strip of owl print fabric, I just love owls!

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Before assembling the bag I quilted  with straight lines along the seams. The bag is lined in plastic so that it can be wiped down, it has press studs on the top of both sides so it can be opened up easily, and the straps are adjustable so that when she starts university she can still use it 🙂

 

Well here you have it, all finished and ready for Miss Muffet to use.

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Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day!

 

 

 

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Stone Paper Pouch

Last Saturday afternoon, the local craft store had a workshop on Stamperia stone paper, so I went along to support Manuela the owner and also because it´s always fun to learn new techniques. I must say I had a lot of fun making the pouch. I had never heard of Stamperia stone paper, so it was really interesting and the end result is a leather look.

So this stone paper is made from natural fibers, it doesn’t tear, and can be painted, stamped, sewn, and apparently can even be washed in the washing machine, but honestly, I don´t think I´ll try that!

We took a sheet of the stone paper and glued bits of printed rice paper onto it, basically just like the Decoupage technique, added modeling paste with the help of stencils to the paper, and then just color washed with different colors using the aqua colors from Stamperia, brushed on varnish and finally sewed the sides with cord.

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The initial process

There you have it! a cute pouch all done during a fun-filled afternoon. You can actually make loads of things with this technique,  such as bags etc.

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I found a tutorial online for this technique at https://www.livemaster.com/topic/2286289-making-a-diy-cover-from-scratch?vr=1  just in case you´re interested 😊

Thanks for the visit, and have a fun-filled day!

 

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Car Bin Bag

One of my best friends is a Sales Rep, so her car is her office, which she keeps  impeccably clean and tidy. One of her accessories is a little plastic bag that she hangs on the gear shift, so that she can throw in the daily rubbish, dirty tissues etc.

I decided to make  a special little quilted bin bag for her. The inside has plastic lining so that it can be wiped clean, and the handle is only on one of the sides, so that it can hang from the gear shift onto the passenger side.

here is what it looks like.

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My friend lives in South Africa so I had to send it via DHL,  she received it yesterday and sent me a message saying how much she liked it, so that makes me happy!

One of the joys of sewing is being able to make and gift items, that are handmade with a special person in mind.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there you have it

Autumn Nine Patch

When I started this quilting adventure, one of my best friends mentioned how she would like a quilt in autumn tones, so for her upcoming birthday, I decided I would gift her with one.

Because as usual I am pressed for time and the quilt had to be all done in time for her birthday, I went ahead with a simple 9 patch disappearing quilt top. I couldn’t help myself and added some green blocks, in autumn you can still find bright green leaves right?  The binding is a scrappy one, and the quilting is simple wavy lines, the quilting is quite spaced out because I want the quilt to have loft and be supple.

I did have a few hiccups along the way, I bought beige background fabric at our local market, where I was assured that it was 100% cotton bla bla. But when I started ironing the seams of the sewn up blocks, the fabric literally shrunk before my eyes, pulling at the printed fabrics. Very frustrating. I had to unpick everything and buy new fabric, soooo… a lot of wasted time and money.

But all´s well that ends well, I finished the quilt ahead of time and hopefully my friend Amanda will like it.

Here it is.

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Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

 

 

 

Veggie Patch

Today, it´s not about sewing, it´s about gardening. My hubby is the type of person who can literally do anything, quite irritating  😉 just kidding!! it´s great having someone who can fix anything, he´s a real MacGyver!

Anyway, he decided he wanted a vegetable garden, so that´s what he did, it started off in 2012 with just some shelves and soil bags that you cut  holes into, and plant lettuce etc. We were so excited when the lettuce started growing, it was like Yay, we can actually grow edible food 🙂

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Over the years he has stuck to his hobby. Some years, all we harvested apart from  lettuce which is very forgiving, were some tiny tomatoes and one or two strawberries, but this year we had a bumper crop, huge tasty tomatoes, a few cucumbers and  most amazing of all…. Butternuts.

The butternuts were a real surprise, basically last year they started growing in the compost bin from seeds that we had thrown in there, so hubby took the shoots and planted them in his veggie patch and the plant grew, flowered and died. So this year we did some research and apparently the female flowers were not being pollinated, so hubby played Bee, Yes…Bee, as soon as he had a female flower and a male flower (squash have female and male flowers)he would fertilize the female flower by taking pollen from the male with a cotton bud and pollinate the female flower,….. and would you believe it, 3 of them took and grew into butternuts.

Here are the butternut flowers.

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And here is our first butternut

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Here´s another one.

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Our gorgeous tomatoes, they are incredible tasty.

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Jack likes to inspect everything thoroughly, a real hands-on inspector! that’s why we have a high wooden fence 😉

Well needless to say, the vegetable garden is now very much part of our home, and a place where the family congregates to ooh and aah 🙂

Thanks for popping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pot holders

Today my mother asked me to make her some pot holders, as she had just burnt hers. My  first reaction was… Oh no… So much work for just Pot holders!!…. that will get all grubby or burnt!….. Silly hey. I was over thinking the simple pot holder,  making them with HST´s or strip quilting etc. Then I looked at mine and realised they were very simple with no quilting.

I remembered seeing a simple pot holder tutorial at: http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/easy-peasy-potholders/ Great! Made them in  no time at all 🙂 I actually enjoyed making them as it was so nice to finish a Project so quickly…. Yipeee.

I used fabric that I had once bought from a store that I wandered into, and couldn´t find anything I really liked, but was too embarrassed to walk out of without buying something (the owner kept hovering over me), I know  I know,….I have this problem, that´s why I generally try to avoid empty stores, otherwise I end up buying stuff I don´t really need because I am too embarrassed to walk out with nothing!

But anyway it´s the type of fabric my mother likes, so all is good.

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And here they are! not to shabby for my first Pot holders, and the good news is, if she burns these, I still have loads of the same fabric 🙂

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The Purple One!

A while back a friend of mine asked me for a purple quilt. I kept putting it off because purple is just not my colour! and also because my time is so scarce, and I had other projects in mind, so I couldn´t summon up the enthusiasm to make it. But then the universe conspired against my unwillingness to make this quilt.

Another very good friend from Mozambique come for a visit and brought some batiks for me, and wouldn´t you believe it, 2 of them were in purple hues! A week later when I was at our nearby seaside village São Pedro de Moel, that on Sundays has a few stalls, and when I say few I really mean few, it´s usually just the 2 that sell the same thing 🙂 identical clothes! Anyway, the one stall is owned by a Senegalese couple, and lo and behold  they had a purple and yellow batik! So I got myself some, and that’s when I knew I would have to make the quilt. I bought another 3 purple fabrics, 2 of them solids.

Here is a photo I took of São Pedro de Moel, a few years ago. It´s very pretty, the photo doesn´t do it justice.

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Anyway, I decided to make it using the scrappy trip method. So although I only had 6 different types of fabric, I went ahead with this method on the Purple One…. Shame, that’s what I called it all the time, The Purple One! in the beginning it was really not very loved, but over time it started to grow on me, and as I put it together I started to like the purple combinations more and more.

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Initially I was just going to bind the quilt without making borders, but it really would have been quite boring, so I added the two white borders and the pieced border in-between. I think the borders changed the whole look of the quilt and it turned out quite nice. I  quilted with wavy lines in a cream coloured thread.  I was going to use purple thread, but wanted the white borders to have a clean look, so I used the cream, for the back I just used a plain white fabric.

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So finally I was all finished and in love with my purple quilt, and off it went into the Washing machine, threw in some color catcher sheets, used detergent for mixed colors…… and would you BELIEVE IT! ….The quilt lines on the back were stained purple, everywhere that the Senegalese batik and the darker solid purple were. Well… thats it, I am officially back to hating purple, this quilt has taken its revenge!

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I´ve always been told not to pre-wash fabrics when quilting, but if I had, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. After this disaster I took a swatch of both fabrics, quilted them and put them in bowls of water with detergent, and this is what happened, the dark purple bled into the water, and the batik did not, however after drying, the batik had the quilt lines stained and the dark fabric not! How confusing is that!!?? I think I´ll have to take up another hobby, it´s very frustrating to spend hours and days on a project, in my case months, because I have so little time, and then this sort of thing happens. I don´t know whether to scream or cry.

Here you can see how the bowl that had the batik is clear, but how the colour bled in the plain purple quilted swatch, and yet it´s the batik that bled to the thread.

 

Has this ever happened to any of you? If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephant Parade Quilt

Finished my elephant parade quilt! I came across this pattern at Sew Fresh Quilts – Lorna is an absolute genius when it comes to patterns, especially animal patterns. When I saw this pattern I just knew I had to make it, it just reminds me sooo much of home!

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For the big Ellies I used a batik fabric that I have had for over 20 years, it was bought in Mozambique, and in my younger days, when I didn’t have any money to buy Picasso, it hung on my lounge wall, actually I still don’t have money to buy Picasso 😉 somethings never change…..Anyway since I grew out of my  bohemian decorating style, the batik has been  packed away, so now I took it out and with some sadness at cutting it up, and yet… happy that it was getting a new revamped life, I went ahead and cut it up.

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I must say that I was worried, that It would be too hard to make and that I would lose heart, but Lorna´s instructions are so precise and easy to follow that I made it, Yay me!

 

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I quilted with wavy lines, and because I wanted some loft  I spaced them 5cm apart (2 inches), for the binding I used both fabrics from the Elephants, big and small.

I´m gifting this quilt to my daughter Andi, who loves animals especially elephants.

I must say that making this quilt was a wonderful challenge, I love the way it all come together, and will probably try my hand at the giraffe pattern soon.

Thank you for visiting!

Baby mat, or dog bed… you choose.

When my youngest Megan, was a baby, she had a fabric play mat that had a tubular round edge all around so that she couldn’t roll out of it, and also when she got older, she could play inside with her toys without them rolling out onto the floor.

So the other day, Andi my eldest daughter was saying how she would like something similar for Isabella, so I decided to make one.

Since this item will always be on the floor, I wanted a darkish fabric, so I chose a robust fabric for the bottom panel, a cotton twill blend in grey, and a 100% cotton for the top and edge, the top fabric has a farm motif.

I must say that one of my friends said the fabric was more suited for a boy than a girl, but really it has pink piggies so that´s good enough for me 😉, ……and I admit she also said it looked like a dog bed(maybe I should get a new friend 🙂 )….  she is quite right though, it does look like a dog bed…… and it would have been less costly to buy a dog bed!!, But I didn’t let that bother me, when baby has outgrown it, I will give it to Jack or Oscar, they both love to tear up dog beds.

Anyway for those of you who might be wanting to make a baby play mat that resembles a dog bed, or make a genuine dog bed, here goes!

For a 0.98cm square mat, you will need;

  • A bottom square of metre fabric, this includes the 1 cm seams on both sides, mine was the grey twill.
  • A top square of 1m fabric, this includes the 1 cm seams on both sides, mine was the cotton farm pattern.
  • A strip of the top fabric of  +- 4.20m x .32cm, the strips will have to be sewn together to get the required length, also I always make the tube bigger than necessary to allow for the corners etc.
  • A square of 1m Polyester blend batting.
  • Enough filling for the round ridge that goes around the mat.

Take the top square fabric right side facing up, and attach the square polyester batting to the bottom by sewing a quick zig zag all around the edges. Trim the excess batting

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Take the strip of fabric and fold in half so that the wrong sides are facing each other and sew together to make a tube, leaving only the top end open. Once its  sewn turn the tube inside out, so the right side is now facing out.

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Next, attach the tube to the top part of the top square fabric, right sides facing, before reaching the end cut the excess fabric, so that it will be flush with the top square. remember you still have one side open to stuff the tube.

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When that is done, attach the bottom fabric to the top part, right side facing  the tube will also be inside. Leave a small gap to turn the whole thing inside out when done.

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Once the mat has been turned inside out through the gap, fill the tube with whichever filling takes your fancy, I used shredded foam because it was the cheapest, and it need loads of filling. handsew the opening of the tube and the gap of the grey fabric on the bottom of the mat, and that’s it, all done.

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Of course you can add all sorts of toys to the mat, I didn´t because I know the utility of this mat will be pretty short, once baby starts exploring a bit further than what siting on her bottom allows her to do. So we just put toys inside which can be taken out and played with anywhere.

Well there you have it people, a baby play mat or a dog bed, both useful and easy to make. 😊

African Urban Chic …cont.

Well I finally finished my African Urban Chic quilt 😉. It took me so long, because I recently became a granny! Yep I´m all Granified! And so baby gazing and cuddling all take up chunks of time 😍

Anyway, in the last post ( HERE ) I was looking for fabric to make the borders,  I finally decided on black, a printed cream fabric and an orangey binding.

On this quilt I did straight line quilting, I had never done so many quilting lines before!…… and I can tell you….. it takes a while…. Much longer than what I thought it would take!

And I learnt something else too….. my straight-line quilting made some of my blocks look crooked! All these blocks that were all nice and straight….. started to look a little wonkey! So, at first I had a little melt down, even punished the quilt by putting it down in a corner! Then while looking at  quilting sites, I found some straight line quilts, where you could plainly see crooked blocks….. I kid you not! Some fellow quilters were actually quite proud of the crooked look, so I immediately jumped on That band wagon, forgave the quilt and resumed the straight-line quilting.

So there you have it. All finished and I love it!

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Jack helped out with the pegs.

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While Oscar helped by holding it up on his head.

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Think I´ll go sit in the sun and do some quilt gazing 🙂

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What do you think, was I right to forgive it for going a little wonkey on me?