This is Elijah’s second Easter. Last year he was too young for chocolate so I just gave him a little bunny I made. I’m not a religious person, so Easter doesn’t have a lot of meaning to me in that sense. I celebrate it as a family day where we receive a bit of chocolate and that’s about it. I do like family traditions though and this year we started ‘pyjamas for Easter’.
I made these with some flannelette from spotlight last winter and simply appliqued a train onto a store bought top. I tried out piped cuffs for the first time and was very pleased with the result. Look!
Not bad for 9:30pm on a Saturday night! Next time I’ll attach it differently so there’s no visible stitching, but for a pair of pj’s I’m more than happy with this one.
Col and I like to have an egg hunt; a tradition we started in 2011 when I was pregnant with Elijah. This year was fun as Elijah actively took part and used this little basket I made him to store his eggs.
Egg hunt! He wanted to unwrap and eat the eggs right away, but he thought the bunnies were for playing with and hopped them around the grass.
It’s taken me a long time to get back into sewing after Christmas. I didn’t touch the machine for two months; it was too hot, my sewing room was too messy, and I had no motivation were among the excuses. Now that the weather has cooled off I’ve been sewing up a storm.
This isn’t a finished project, but I’m so pleased with it thus far, that I just had to share.
I’ve used one pack of ‘Marmalade’ charm squares by Bonnie and Camille. It’s going to be a runner which I’ll quilt along the zig zags then bind with an off white binding.
Now on to something I’m not happy with.
This table runner started out really well. I love the fabric which is Hello Pilgrim by Lizzy House. I love the pattern which can be found here at Spool Sewing. What went wrong was sheer laziness on my behalf.
First I decided I’d just back it with a piece of cotton so it wouldn’t be too spongy on the table. But in reality the cotton was too thin. Because I just used cotton I didn’t bind it, which wouldn’t be a problem if there was a bit more body to it, but without that body I’ve essentially made a giant napkin. Every time I walk past it I think ‘Urgh!’ What I suspect I’ll end up doing is cutting off the edges, putting a layer of wadding in, and binding it.
The quick way is often not the best way!
Did you know within five minutes of my home is a quilt shop that currently has over 12,000 fabric bolts in stock? I didn’t. In fact while I’d seen the Patchwork with Gail B sign many, many times I never stopped and had a look as I assumed the store would be small and perhaps a bit old fashioned. Silly me.
About a year ago I finally did stop. I’d been to the large chain fabric store down the road and was frustrated with their never changing range. On a whim I stopped at Gail’s. I walked through Keith Fagg Tile Shop to the back, opened the door and my jaw dropped. Tears of joy sprung to my eyes as I held beheld the largest collection of fabric I’d ever seen. And not just any fabric; bolts of my favourite designer lines were right there, fabrics I’d usually buy direct from America as they’re hard to find locally were right there. Five minutes from my house. I felt silly and promptly raved about the store to all my sewing buddies.
I popped in today and took a variety of photos to try and capture just how wonderful this shop is. (Please forgive the blurriness of some, Elijah doesn’t share my love of the shop so I was a bit hasty.)
As you can see there are lots and lots of pre-cut fat quarters. Hundreds in fact.. possibly thousands arranged in a wonderful bench that takes up the middle of the store. It’s easy to spend an hour just looking at those. If you only see the fabric you want on a bolt they are more than happy to cut you a fat quarter. As well as fat quarters you can also pick up small off cuts, charm squares, layer cakes, and jelly rolls.
The bolts of fabric are arranged around the shop grouped by collection, colour or style. It makes it really easy to find what you are after. Being a quilting shop the vast majority of fabrics are quilting cottons, but they also sell minky dot and printed flannelettes. A big highlight for me the first time I went was discovering bolts and bolts of 1930’s repro. You can see a small selection of these in the bottom middle photo.
Patterns! I often see patterns such as Melly and Me online but have trouble gauging what the finished piece would actually look like in terms of size. Gail stocks a huge amount of Melly and Me, Ric Rac, and Rosalie Quinlan just to name and few and in most cases there’s a finished example there. They also sell fabric kits for quite a lot of the patterns.
There’s also a nice range of notions, trims, bias binding, quilting panels, quilting templates, stitchery patters, books, and felt. The felt is lovely.
So there it is, my favourite quilt shop. If you live anywhere in the Easter suburbs of Melbourne I say a visit is well and truly worth it! I can’t imagine many people would walk out with nothing at all.
Patchwork With Gail B is located inside the Keith Fagg Tile Shop at 202 Canterbury Road Bayswater. Diagonally opposite Bunnings.
I had planned to do a wrap up post of 2012 complete with photo mosaics of everything I made.. but I’ve lost a bit of enthusiasm for it. Instead I’m going to share my crafty highlights for 2012.
- The Red Wren: Opening the actual store after many years of procrastination was huge for me. I may have only had ten or so orders/sales but that was ten more than I ever thought I’d have. Last year was a good learning experience and I’m still not really settled into exactly what kind of things I’ll be stocking. I like to think that The Red Wren is evolving and this year it will take me into new places.
- Favourite Things:
From top left:
Scrappy square placemat – whipped up from scraps a week before Christmas. I used it as decoration but it does contain a layer of Insulbrite so I could use it as a heat proof mat.. next year perhaps!
Dresden plate cushions – also whipped up rather hastily. I am quite proud of these as they were my first attempt at a Dresden plate. I don’t think it will be my last. I’d like to use a pattern with a smaller circle next time.
Log cabin cushions – another first. This fabric had been in the stash a few years and it was really pleasing to finally see it used for something!
Woodland placemats and coaster set – I loved these. They were made for a friend’s showcase and I was very excited when they sold straight away. I’ve since made a few more sets.
Elijah’s woodland jacket – sadly he’s already outgrown this one (although he could probably be squished into it). He did get a lot of wear out of it and it was one of my favourite pieces of his clothing last year.
Melva Quilt- another object made from some long stashed fabric, and backed with fabric my great Aunt gave me when I told her about my plans for it. Sadly she died before I finished it, so I named it after her.
Coasters and a pot mat – this was an order for a friend and I just love the fabric combination so much. I have some leftovers which I’ll definitely incorporate into something for me this year.
Christmas toadstool – another custom order. I was pleased with this mainly because I didn’t draw my toadstool first, just cut, sewed and hoped for the best!
Patchwork ball – paper pieced hexagon ball which I sewed by hand. I love to see Elijah play with it.
- The machine: I never got around to blogging about it, but I finally bought myself a machine. I’d been using my dad’s machine as well as owning half a machine with my sister and for most of the part it worked. I had the ‘good’ machine here, and my sister used the ‘other’ machine. Then we both needed the ‘good’ machine. I decided it was time to get my own given there wasn’t really any justification for me to have the good machine here. Unfortunately, having had the previous machine so long I didn’t want to lose any features. It was a Janome Memory Craft 3500, I ended up with the Janome Memory Craft 5200 which was the maximum I could stretch the budget too. I’m pretty wrapped with.
As for 2013? Well, I’m not setting a huge goal list. I’d like to keep making things to sell, but I’m not going to create stress for myself by doing so. I need to use my stash more as I’m inundated with fabric and having too much does stress me out. I’d like to make more clothes for myself this year. I made a few things last year which I’ve gotten wear out of, so I’d like to keep expanding the handmade wardrobe. I might even update the other blog when I do! I definitely want to resurrect my ‘stop pinning/start doing’ feature as that was something fun to do that was also getting things done!
Elijah is scared of Santa this year so I had the brilliant idea that we would have a family photo in front of the tree. I pictured us well groomed, and seated, the tree blurred into the background and our smiling faces clearly defined in the soft light.
Here’s the reality:
In hindsight the festive green was probably a mistake!
Finished! A pair of dresden plate cushions using prints from Aneela Hoey’s ‘Cherry Christmas’ range. These are my first dresden plate blocks and they are fun to do. I wasn’t overly precise with these as something I learned this year is that I need to stop trying to make things 100% perfect and finish them instead. It works as once I have a finished piece I love it and
don’t notice obsess over the flaws whereas in the past I rarely got to the finish line. The only thing that would make me more happier with them is plumper cushion inserts!
Another one down, lots more to go!
There’s been a little bit of sewing going on here (more about that later in the week), but mostly I’ve been decorating!
Playing with aperture and shutter speeds to get the stars
The little tree
My favourite Christmas oils. All at once!
My woodland tree is decked out differently this year, so I made a woodland garland instead.
How’s your decorating going? Do you like to have everything done by the 1st or are you like me and enjoy spending December making Christmas things?
More like sweating on a hot Summer’s day, but we can dream. I put aside making things for other people and the shop for a few hours this week and made myself some cushions. I’d had this fabric for a few years and couldn’t recall what I wanted to do with it. I came across this cushion in my travels and it heavily inspired these!
I had a crash course in log cabin blocks and off I went. I’m so pleased with them. I decided against quilting them, I love the look for the quilting on Karen’s version but decided not to spend any more time on these so I can get some other things done. I went a bit silly with the scraps and now have lots of 2.5 inch squares to sew into something!
It’s Halloween! I don’t really celebrate, but I’m not adverse to trick or treaters and think the day is a bit of fun. I did manage to whip Elijah up a Halloween Bat called Batticus in time for today. Batticus is made from Melly and Me’s ‘Sew Batty’ pattern.
The end of October also marks the end of Blogtoberfest. This year I posted 22/31 days. I could have managed every day, but none of the posts would have been craft related given craft has been on the backburner for the past fortnight while I sort out the house and garden. I chose not to continue inundating this blog with garden photos. Next year I’ll take part in Blogtoberfest, but on my other blog My Renvironment, as that one is about home!