Sunday, July 28, 2013

Perfect Breakfast

This morning I had the best breakie I've had in ages. It actually wasn't that special by most people's standards but I really enjoyed just sitting down and having time to browse through a new magazine whilst leisurely sipping my earl grey tea and munching on toast with Meredith Dairy goats cheese spread on it.

There's a lot to be said for appreciating the simple things in life. I thought I should take a pic to remind myself to do it more often. So I did.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fabric finds

I found this piece of fabric at my local op shop (thrift store) about 8 years ago.
It's a screen printed piece from 1974 called China Sea.

From the small amount of research I've done on the company, they were producing fabrics from 1933 into the late 1970s and possibly later.

The China Sea print is in a deep indigo blue & muted orange colours screen printed onto a heavy weight cotton canvas. I'm thinking about using it to upholster a kneel chair I have, should be just enough fabric me thinks.

"China Sea" screen print by S M Hexter 1974

detail of "China Sea" fabric
 I had a look for more S M Hexter fabrics and found these ones on Ebay, not quite as nice as "China Sea but interesting none the less and very 1970s.

A Batik inspired print from S M Hexter 1977

Cute forest print from S M Hexter 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Moorish Star quilt for Thomas

This quilt has been a LONG time in the making! I won't go into the reasons why, I'm just glad to be able to finally hand it to its new owner.
The design is my own Moorish Star baby quilt and the fabric I've used is from my Granada collection with some vintage linen solid fabric and some homespun cotton.
If you like it you can find a free downloadable pattern for my Moorish Star baby quilt here.

To make it the same as I have you can purchase a Bee and Lotus WOFSY (Width of Fabric Strip Yard) at my Spoonflower shop.
I used wool batting as it will be travelling to London around Christmas time, and boy will baby Thomas need something warm to snuggle into over there! Two more baby quilts to go, one for Myla and one for Toryn. 

Moorish Star baby quilt by Bee and Lotus using Granada collection fabrics

My sweet boy testing out the warmth factor of Thomas' Moorish Star baby quilt

Many thanks to Danielle for her quilting advice and skills! I'd love to see a more experienced quilter make a version of my design, I am loving my journey into the world of quilts but I certainly do have room for improvement!
I made a different version of this quilt for baby Emma a while back, you can see it here.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

English Paper Piecing

After being reintroduced last month to English paper piecing at the Canberra Modern Quilt Guild meeting I ordered a stack of pre-cut paper pieces. Well, they arrived yesterday afternoon and I have been gluing (no basting here just UHU) and stitching away every spare moment I get!
I do have a quilt planned with particular fabrics and colours but at the moment I have been riffling through the stash, cutting one piece of very fabric I have and indiscriminately sewing them together!
What fun! no rules or colour theory, just whack em together and keep on stitching.

The kids were very interested in what I was doing so I had them select fabric for their own blocks and cut and sewed them together for them. As I cut and stitched I told them about the origins of patchwork and how women would use up the scraps of cloth left over from making clothes. We spoke a little about making sure we use our resources as best we can and how we should only throw things out if we can't find another way to use them. It must be impossible for their little minds to comprehend life for most people a century or more ago, when we didn't have access to everything we need and a whole lot more.

Dear sweet Ms B was so inspired that she found some old packaging in the recycling and told me she was going to make something out of it so that it wasn't wasted!
It's so easy to forget that many small (and sometimes older) kids have no knowledge of when times were tough and what it means to go without. I hope they never have to experience those times, but I want them to be respectful of material things and feel that resourcefulness is one of the best traits one can possess.

It scares me sometimes how disposable things are in our society, hopefully our kids will grow to have better attitudes towards the Earth's finite resources.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Red, White & Blue for Prue

Recently a friend of mine said a final goodbye to her father. I can't imagine the sadness such a loss would cause. I wanted to make something for her, just a token gift to say "I'm thinking of you".

So I made a hand warmer to keep her hands snug on these long, cold winter days.
The Union Jack is for her dad who loved Britain and it's landscapes.
Prue, may it warm your hands and your heart on these sad days.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bedside Table: The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook

On my last trip to my local library (I LOVE my library!) I came across this unassuming book titled The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook written by Charlene Phillips.

Seeing as I'm doing a spot of self-education in the field of sewing, quilting and general craft loveliness, I grabbed it and stuffed it into my already overfilled bag of literary goodness.

The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook by Charlene Phillips

Well, I thought it was going to be a dry and boring read. How wrong I was! I have now officially caught the sewing machine attachments bug! After reading the book I ran downstairs to my vintage Husqvarna and had a good close look at the odd little bits and pieces that came with it.
I'd always dismissed them as being bits from other machines or not quite complete foots (feet?), however when my wonderful Father-in-law (who just happens to be a mechanical master at fixing any machine ever made!) came around a few weeks ago he retrieved the free-motion quilting foot, bent it back into its correct shape (oops!) and showed me how to set the machine up.

Now, with the help of this book I have identified another few items from my slightly more familiar collection of odds and sods that I will be using as soon as I can. It is amazing to think that these little things have been with me all along and I had no idea how much they can help in creating wonderful textiles!

Do you have any weird and wonderful attachments that you don't quite know how to use?