Category Archives: craft

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.


  • 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


  • 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.

Do I have too many hobbies?

Hi and welcome back to my blog.  It has been a while since I have blogged. Today is my birthday so I thought this is as good a time as any to start again.  I retired (in September) this year and decided to keep my hand in so I have taken up working as a freelancer. Turns out I am pretty good at it and able to get plenty of work, so that is nice. All those years of experience are paying off, the problem is that I have limited time now.

I have a lot of hobbies and I think a lot of you may be in the same boat but the question is, do I have too many?

Coloring sheep is not one of them but I love this picture.sheep2


I love scrapbooking, stamping, sewing, quilting, water color painting, jewellery making, making things for the home, photography, genealogy, blog writing, novel writing, swimming, Red Hat Queen, learning Spanish, studying, trivia and travel. Whew!

I am just not sure how to fit it all in. So let’s look at why and what to do about that.  One thing I can do is to make a plan so that I have time for everything. I have decided to make one day a week all to myself. I will not done any work in this day, just whatever hobby takes my fancy.  I swim twice a day, usually when I get up and then again late afternoon. I need to work around 30 hours per week and study about 20 hours per month.  The other thing I need to do is get my supplies in some sort of order and cull those that I no longer have a need for. I shall be doing a post on that next. Meanwhile, if you have any thoughts on how to plan my and day fit in all my hobbies, feel free to leave me a comment.


Shoe Lasts

What is a shoe last?  A shoe last is the thing they make shoes on, like a reverse mould.  Mainly they were wooden, but some are plastic. I love the old ones and use them as displays items. I have also altered some.  Time to share.

Here is one my daughter did. She beaded the toe and put some beads on the side of the heel.

shoe bead2

I did a few of these. I covered the toe in an old doily. Then I made a flower from fabric and bits and pieces and added that.

ETSY-02 IMG_6965

Here is an idea I found online.  I haven’t tried this one yet. My shoe lasts are quite hard so I imaging make holes in them may not be easy.


Here is another idea I may try from Chipping With Charm.


This one is also a photo display.  Sorry, I can’t remember where I found this.



…and this one has been painted. I should do this for my powder room as the color would match perfectly.  This one has been given a little heel, I think they have used a cotton reel to do this. Great idea.



stencilled table top ideas

Having done all that I then started to think where I could hang such a thing in my house and found that there was nowhere that it would suit, so I had to change my idea. I have now decided that I will use the same thing and stencil my dining table with it. Here are some fabulous examples of stencilled tabletops that I found on The Graphics Fairy. Some have acknowledgement of who has done this fabulous work. They are all so pretty.

14-John-Rowe-Paris-Coffee-Table 11-Ava-Blake-Creations-Piece-of-Cake-Table 05-Simpy-Chic-Treasures-Chic-Paris-Table

This one I found on 36th Avenue.


And this one on Knock Off Decor.  I really like this idea to as the numbers look fantastic.   Perhaps I shall keep this in mind for another project.


Meanwhile I now need to setup my cutting machine, which I have not used in years,  and get to work making the stencil I need to complete this project.

I shall definitely share the results with you.

Meanwhile, here is a fabulous project for you from Lindauer Designs to create your own subway furniture.


I attend link parties at:sew many waysscattered thoughts of a craft muma round tuita pinch of joysew can docreate with joykeeping it simpleone mother henmy home truthswait til your father gets homethe craft blog stalkersugar bee craftsmy girlish whimscrafty alliefluster busterdomesblissitythe life of jennifer dawninternational bloggers associationwith some gracemaxabella lovesagent mystery casemy repurposed life ; shabby art boutiquefunky junk interiors;


missouri star quilt company quilting tutorials

I love quilting. I haven’t been a quilter for very long but I did try to make my daughter a quilt about 15 years ago. I never really completed it.  About 6 years ago I decided I wanted to learn so I went to a class where we made a quilt. Unfortunately I didn’t complete that either due to a family problem. A couple of years ago I finally complete it. A lovely pink and green quilt. I then made one for my daughter.  I also completed the one for my friend last year which you can read about in my post quilting for a friend.

I found a site called Missouri Star Quilt Company which I discovered a year or so ago. They have heaps of tutorials and specialise in using pre-cuts such as jelly rolls and layer cakes.  I have a few other quilts on the go but nothing completed as yet. I can’t wait to get back to my quilting. My craft room in the new house is currently being used as our bedroom but we are painting our bedroom this weekend so I hope to be crafting again soon.

Meanwhile here are some of my favourite tutorials from Missouri Star.

four patch frenzy

four patch frenzy

alter ego


quatrafoil quilt


curved log cabin – this would have to be my very favourite one. I have purchased the fabric to make this one and shall do so as soon as I unpack my machine.

curved log cabin


this fabric is just to die for. Unfortunately I was unable to source this here in Australia but I have some that I love just as much.

curved log cabin 2


disappearing hourglass 2

disappearing hourglass 2disappearing hourglass 2

exploding block

exploding block

scrappy 4 patch

scrappy four patch

disappearing hour glass

disappearing hourglass

chopped block

chopped block

jacobs ladder

jacobs ladder


The images have been sourced from the Missouri Star Quilt Company site so please do not redistribute without acknowledgement and link back.

Do you have any favourite tutorials at Missouri Star? Why not comment and share them with me.


my new craft room wants

Having recently purchased my house I am now looking to set up my craft room. See my previous post on planning my craft room.  This will be a few months away as we have a lot of other renovations to do before that room, but a girl can dream.  I have been thinking about having my own personal space for years now, I have a little notebook of ideas that I jotted down at various times with ideas and inspirations. I also look online to see how other crafters have setup their rooms. My dilemma is that  I want so much in my room.

Here are some ideas I have found.

Here is a room that has provided heaps of inspiration, Karen at Sew Many Ways has a great post on her sewing space.

main pic sewing craft room ideas_0639

I found this at Cool Room Ideas. Such a pretty fresh room with the green and white.



And this is a good idea for pencils and brushes.



Here is some of my stash and some of my family tree files in a cupboard at my old house.


Here is my current list of *wants*:

  • sewing space including a place for my overlocker
  • I also want to teach sewing from home so I am thinking of having 5 spots for students, therefore I need sets of drawers and bench space for each person. I could also use this long bench for when I do my family tree and need to have lots of paperwork out.
  • a wrapping station – so sick of hunting for wrapping paper and cards. I want one space where I can have all the paper on rolls ready to wrap
  • a watercolour space, I dabble in watercolour painting so I definitely need one of these. Preferably close to the laundry where the sink will be.
  • a place for my computer or should I say computers, yes I am guilty of having more than one. Oh, and the tribe of printers.
  • cutting table, a large table where I can cut my fabrics that is at the right height so I don’t get a backache
  • fabric storage for both quilting and general sewing – doh!
  • I make and sell items at markets so I have a lot of tubs dedicated to that. I need somewhere to store them all.
  • Seating – I need my work chair plus 5 student chairs. I would also like a couch where I can sit comfortably and read.
  • I have a large table that is over 100 years old that I want to reuse. It measure about 1.2m x 2m.
  • Book storage – for all those inspirational books I have.
  • Somewhere to store the endless tubs, boxes and contains I have of “stuff”.  I am in to so many crafts that I have many of these.
  • Lighting – good task and overhead lighting will be a must!
  • Tool storage, especially those pesky large items like quilting rulers.
  • the pretties, I definitely need some pretty in this room for inspiration

I am lucky as my room is quite big, it measures 7.2m x 3.9m. It is currently has white floor tiles and I won’t have the money to change these as yet. It also has an access door to under the house that I need to keep. It is an old carport that has been bricked in so the walls are not that nice and they have ant capping about ⅓ of the way up that I need to keep.  I asked the builder about lining the walls but he is worried about termites if I do that so I have decided just to use it as is.  It is off the laundry and there is also a powder room and study on this level, so I will probably put the printers and computers into the study area. I may even use the study for the couch to free up room in the main craft room.

I shall let you know how it all goes.

til next time,

I attend link parties at:

sew many ways
scattered thoughts of a craft mum
a round tuit
a pinch of joy
sew can do
create with joy
keeping it simple
one mother hen
my home truths
wait til your father gets home
the craft blog stalker
sugar bee crafts
my girlish whims
crafty allie
fluster buster
the life of jennifer dawn
international bloggers association