Category Archives: sewing

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

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.


Makeup bags

I have made a few makeup bags, shown below, they are fab or use in your handbag to sort out the clutter of makeup, pens, tissues, bandaids, etc. Great gifts for girlfriends.



I have been sewing again, making these great little lunch bags. Perfect for taking your lunch box and book on the train or bus. Just the right size. If you need a lunch bag, then visit my Etsy store.


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While I was in the UK I saw a great cushion made with the selvedges from fabrics. Selvedges are the bit on the side of the fabric. Many times they are printed with words, many have spots of colour on them so you know what colours match the fabric you are buying. I just loved the look of the cushion, planning to make one as soon as I can save or find enough selvedges to do so.

Here is the cushion I found using them.



I was surfing the web and came across some examples at Sew Mama Sew blog. They look great. Apparently I am not the only one who likes this look.

If you want to see more just following the link below.

Sew Mama Sew




I made more aprons this weekend. This time I made some more masculine aprons. I particularly love the moustache fabric I used to create this apron. This is a kiddy one, but I also did a man-sized one. The other apron features kitchen items. Both aprons are in black and white and feature black strapping that I made, closing with black D Rings.

IMG_1216 IMG_1220


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