Author Archives: Debra

new idea for a linen closet

I currently have 3 linen closets in my hallway, yes three!! I also have another funny little room that is perched over the stairs. I shall show you this another day.  Anyway, I was thinking to convert one of my linen closets to a chest of drawers. This one is outside the bathroom/WC  and I thought it would make it a bit more open.

I don’t really like linen closets. Do you? I think they always end up messy, with the things underneath never being used. Plus all those small things that get lost at the back of the cupboard. I would like to have drawers so I could organise them as I did in my bedroom with my clothes.

I want to take out the cupboard a paint up a set of drawers, maybe decorate in a stencil design. Read about some ideas for stencilling in my post stencil tabletop ideas.

A set of drawers with deep drawers would be great, perhaps some smaller ones up the top for items such as placemats and serviettes.

In the space above I would put some hooks or shelving to allow for pretty things. I also want a place to put my clothes when I take them off to shower. This is usually my nightie and I put it on the sink but sometimes the sink is wet and that is damn annoying! Does anyone have any ideas for where to put your clothes while showering. There may also be times when I want to dress in the bathroom as my hallway is opened to the living area and my dressing room is off the hall.  This Tarva one from Ikea might be OK.tarva-chest-of-drawers__0213289_PE367596_S4

 

Alternatively I might pick one up off Gumtree for a lot less, which I did for my dressing room tall boy that I repainted.

 

 

quilt for my son, a lap sized quilt for a tall boy

Just because I made a quilt for my son-in-law, I figured I should make one for my son.  My son is 6′ 5″ so even though this is quite big it is really a lap quilt for him.

Here is the result. I used Moda Modern Background Ink using a Moda Layer Cake and thought it would be a bit dark so I added in some pops of red. The binding is the same red and the back is grey. The binding and backing are also Moda fabrics, from the Bella solids range. Moda fabric is the best to sew with, in my opinion, it has a lovely feel to it and is easy to sew.

In case you don’t know this, I tend to make up my quilts by watching YouTube videos. Once I find a quilt I like I then workout how I am going to make it work for the fabric I have on hand. For this one I did half square triangles and then cut them in half again and matched them up with different fabrics.

I love Moda fabric and this range of Modern Background fabrics is just lovely, especially if you are looking for something that is not too in-your-face but something that still has a pattern.

It has all shades of grey, from dark to light, plus plenty of black in the range. My son is good at math and science so I chose the fabric with the equations and set squares on it. It is called Metrics. I was lucky to find it in my local quilt shop as yardage as I know it is a bit old now, but they had the pattern I wanted. I then did a pop of red for the border so it stood out from the black and grey.

Although he did not actually want a quilt he uses it and I can tell he loves it.

Mum, really, I don’t want a quilt

I got this fabric when I was in Denver in November 2015, sounds like a long time ago but I had a dreadful year last year and did absolutely no craft at all, so this year I am making up for it. I am really going great guns, getting through all my stash. I *need* to buy more, so I had better hurry up and sew up what I have in my stash so I can justify buying more.

Moda Background Ink Quilt for Adrian

Quilt for Adrian

american quilt aka oh say can you see…

Quilting an American quilt aka oh say can you see…

Also known as The Star Spangled Banner or the National Anthem of the USA.

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
o’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

My son-in-law is from America. I wanted to make him something that reminded him of home so I made him a quilt with American image fabric. I got the fabric from a quilting shop in Boulder, Co.  when I was there in late 2015.

Finally made it up and I am really happy with the results.  What do you think?

Star Spangled Banner - An American Quilt

It is a mish-mash of fabrics from different ranges that I purchased to make an American quilt for my son-in-law. I just randomly chose fabrics that seemed to match up.  I especially love the little flag fabric that I used in the quilt and for the border. Here is a close up of it. Do not look too closely at my stitching. As I have said before, I am not the best at this wonderful hobby, but I do enjoy it.

Close up American Quilt

The binding it in navy blue and so is the backing. Note to self: never, never, never do a dark backing again. It caught up every bit of thread in my sewing room

I got all the fabric out to make it up I realised it needed some more light fabric so I purchased the little blue star on a white background that you can see above and also the same in red. I also got the blue star with red dots (you can se this in the image above too) on a cream backgroun d.

 

ironing pad – a tutorial to make your own

I have finally completed my ironing pad and today is a tutorial to make your own.

Firstly, go to a hardware shop and buy a piece of plywood. I purchased mine from Bunnings and I got one the correct size. Mine is a quite a big ironing pad. You may want to make yours a little smaller. It is also quite a heavy piece of wood, which I like but again, you may want a lighter piece.

I have had the wood for a while and have been using it with an old towel on top, but I finally said, enough is enough and covered it.

I started by laying a piece of quilt batting I had over the wood, an offcut from another quilting project, and cutting it to the size of the wood.

Next, I measured fabric that was double the size of the wood. What you are doing is make a pillow slip for the wood to go inside. I hemmed one long side of the fabric with 1/2 inch hem. I chose to do the long side, you could just as easily do the short side, I just figured it would be easier to slide the wood into the bigger opening. Plus the wood is heavy so it worked for me better.

After that I sewed the batting to one side of the inside of the fabric. Then I folded the fabric right sides together and sewed up the short sides and bottom. I left the other long end opened, you can see in the photo that it is bigger than the wood, but I am Okay with that. If it bothers you then trim it off and re-hem.

I used a tutorial by Jenny Doan from Missouri Star as a basis for making the ironing pad. I think the black and white fabric looks great, especially with my lovely yellow iron on top.

ironing pad

popup iron – you are definitely going to want one of these

Popup iron anyone? Have you ever seen a popup iron?  I recently purchased one. What a godsend this is.

A popup iron is great if you are a quilter or for anyone really.  It works by touch. Turn it on and when you put your hand on it the cute little yellow feet go down and you are ready to press.

When you remove your hand it pops up.  It saves so much time when quilting. I first saw Jenny Doan using one at Missouri Star and just had to have it.

I must say it is something you have to get used to.  The only thing I would say is that if the iron is still hot but turned off it can be a little annoying because you are unable to us it to do that quick press you may need. All in all I think that is a small price to pay.

So where did I buy this delicious little thing? I got mine online. There was a shop here in Brisbane that sold them but it was about a 40 minute drive from where I live so I checked online and even with postage it was a little cheaper than at the shop. I love to support local businesses but really didn’t want to drive all that way. My popup iron arrived a couple of days after ordering.

I just checked and found they have them in Spotlight now, but I would not buy one from there as it is showing a price of $249 and  I think I paid around $185 for mine including postage, so shop around.

Pros

  • No need to keep lifting that iron on to its feet and back down again
  • Start ironing as soon as you put your hand on it
  • The color! So cute or should I say “sew cute”. The do come in other colors. I have seen a pink one but that may have been an earlier model. I personally love the yellow.
  • Makes it so much quicker to iron the little pieces of fabric when quilting
  • Put the water in while the iron is laying down, the spout to tip it in is nice and big

Cons

  • When you just want to use the residual heat of the iron but have turned it off

popup iron

Janome 6600P – my new sewing machine

I got myself a new Janome sewing machine. Not sure how that happened. I actually went to buy a new foot for my existing machine, which is also a Janome and came home with a brand new Janome 6600P.  I absolutely love it. It has “sew” many features. Here are just a few…

  • It self threads, since my eyes are not what they used to be I love this. At first I had trouble doing it but a couple of YouTube videos later and now I am a pro!
  • It cuts the thread all by itself, just press the button with the scissor icon and voila! Thread all cut both back and front and close to the fabric.
  • It writes! Truly!  Select want you want to write by using the number pad, you can even enter a whole sentence, and press go. There are a couple of different fonts, including a cursive plus upper and lower case.
  • It is heavy so doesn’t move around when I am pushing large quilts through it. My old machine used to move all the time and my arms got quite sore holding it down while quilting.
  • It has a larger space to push the fabric through. I have even done a bigger quilt for my son-in-law, you can read about that here, and it went through without a problem.
  • It has a IN BUILT walking foot – yay! No more fiddling to get the walking foot in place
  • It has a separate motor to thread the bobbin so if you run out of bobbin you don’t need to unthread the machine to get a new full bobbin
  • It has a drop in bobbin, easy to take out and put in
  • It has a lot of feet that come with it in a nice little storage box – love a good storage box.

The photo shows the machine plus one side of the panel showing all the stitches it does. The panel can be flipped over to show the rest. Use the numbers to select the stitch you want.

janome 6600p sewing machine

So I bet you are wondering what you have to pay for this wonder? Well, I paid around $1,500 including $100 worth of good quality extras and the table that is attached. I know that sounds like a lot, but if you are an avid quilter, this is a great machine.  There were other quilting machines in the shop that were $3,000+ so I think I got a great bargain.

I purchased it from my local little sewing shop right here in Brisbane, Australia, so all prices are in AUD.

field notes

Today I am sharing with you one of the quilts I have made this year. Now, I am not the best quilter, but I love the ones I have made. Don’t look too closely, there are some things not lined up properly and “real” quilters would say I am not good.. who cares. They keep me warm and the people I give them too always love them.

This one I made for myself to use on the upstairs couch for snuggling. yes, it does get cold in Brisbane! Since we don’t have a heater we use quilts.

The fabric is Field Notes by Blackbird Designs for Moda. I had 3 charm packs so used cream fabric and made 1/2 square triangles. Luckily I found some yardage at my local quilt shop so I could make the border. The binding is another in the line, a brown floral. Hard to see but it is there. The back is cream.

when life gives you lemons…

…make quilts!

After a terrible 2016, I decided that we had to have a better one this year. Everything was going smoothly. Having given up one of my jobs in November, I got a call a week or so later for another job, so I was back to 2 part time jobs.  Still left time for me. However, this year both jobs picked up, meaning I had to do more hours. Then in the midst of it all, my husband fell off his pushbike and badly broke his elbow. We are now 10 weeks past that, with surgery, umpteen doctors’ visits and such. I decided a few weeks after he did that to let go one of my jobs. I kept the newest one and am very happy.

As my workload increased with my husband being useless for many weeks, I hired a cleaner, outsourced the ironing and got a mowing man. Hubby will take over the mowing in a few weeks when he feels better equipped to handle it. But I am not giving up the others as work has increased, and I need time to myself to satisfy my passions.

I have been quilting up a storm. I shall share with you all the things I have done over the next few weeks.  I am working 4 mornings a week in the office and then a couple of hours from home on Fridays.

Here is a sneak peek of my quilts.

Learning to bake

With my new kitchen in place I have decided to learn how to cook. I can do basic stuff but wanted to learn more. I am looking for a good cooking course in Brisbane but there is not much. I really like French food and would like to learn how to cook that. Meanwhile, I have been baking.

I do not have a mixmaster (or kitchen aide as they are now called) and have been looking at them in the shops. So pretty and soooooo expensive! Around $700!

Here is my favourite one. I love the color and it would match my kitchen perfectly!

2016-09-07-12-46-51

Baby quilt

My niece had her baby back in May this year. I have been drowning in personal issues all year but a few weeks ago I got myself out from under to make the quilt I had been promising to make. I have never made a baby quilt before and was suprised how quickly I made it. I was on a deadline. I started on the Saturday, did the quilt top, and put the backing on. The next day I did the quilting and then the binding. I gave it to her that afternoon. Everyone was very impressed. This is the fourth quilt I have made so it is not that good, but no-one in my family quilts, so they all thought I was very clever.

2016-09-11-10-13-28 2016-09-11-10-13-20 2016-09-11-10-13-13 2016-09-11-10-13-02