Fabulous Fabric Friday: Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille

2014-05-28 22.56.01

I’m very happy to have got my hands on the new Bonnie and Camille fabric range, Miss Kate.  I was so excited when my parcel from the Quilters and Embroiderer’s Store arrived!

2014-05-28 22.56.06

Bonnie and Camille always make such wonderful, vintage-inspired designs.

I thought I’d crack open the pack and take some pics of the different colour themes inside, so that you can get an idea of the different looks you can achieve with it, by focussing on one or a few of the colours used.  Sometimes it’s great to throw every colour in the pack at one project, but as I learned with April Showers, sometimes holding one or two of the colours on their own can be even better.

Here’s the reds:

2014-05-28 22.58.02

The blues:

2014-05-28 23.03.37

The aquas:

2014-05-28 22.59.26

The greys, which I particularly like in this range:

2014-05-28 23.00.22

The oranges… the colour of them hasn’t shown up perfectly in my pic.  They have a peachy tone to them.

2014-05-28 23.02.47

And finally, the greens.

2014-05-28 23.01.37

I’m going to have some fun with these.  They have also been made in flannel… perfect for a winter snuggle.  I’m thinking of a project with the red, blue and grey tones.

These seem to be hitting quilt stores in Australia about now, but if you want flannel, then you had better move fast.  For some reason, it is always harder to get!

Happy Friday everyone!

jf

Super-quick baby blankets

Need a handmade baby gift in a hurry?  Try this:  the self-binding flannelette baby blanket.

The finished blanket

The finished blanket

Because it’s suddenly cold in Brisbane (and really – how often does that happen!?) I’ve been inspired to whip a few up.

I learned how to do this courtesy of Jenny Doan at the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  She has a video tutorial on how to do it, which you can access here.  If my instructions ever don’t make sense, her video will!

Here’s the basics.  Cut two squares of flannelette:  one 30″ square, the other 40″ square.  Fold each side in half to mark the middle point with a pin.

Pins marking the middle point of each edge.  Then, lay the fabric right sides together, and line up the midpoints of each piece of fabric.

Pins marking the middle point of each edge. Then, lay the fabric right sides together, and line up the midpoints of each piece of fabric.

Lay the two pieces of fabric right sides together with the edges lined up, and also line up the pins that mark the midpoints.  Sew the two pieces of fabric together along each edge, leaving a hole on one side to be able to turn it through later.  Importantly, start and stop sewing each side 1/4″ before the end of the smaller piece of fabric.

This is how it looks once you've sewn the edges together.

This is how it looks once you’ve sewn the edges together.

When you’ve done that, there should be floppy bits of the bigger piece of fabric at the corners.  You need to use these bits to make mitred corners. Fold out the floppy bit by lining up the side seams and smoothing it out.  Use a ruler to mark a line that runs 45 degrees from the point where the seams line up.  (I hope that makes sense).

Mark, sew and cut the floppy corners!

Mark, sew and cut the floppy corners!

When you have done that, sew along the line, then cut off the floppy bit 1/4″ from the seam, on the pointy side.

After snipping off the corner...

After snipping off the corner…

It mightn’t look like it yet, but you have just mitred the corner.  It’s at this point that your efforts to leave the 1/4″ gap at the end of each of the side seams will pay off.

Your whole item should look a bit like this:

2014-05-28 16.56.40

Now is the time to use the hole you left earlier to turn the blanket the right way around.  When that’s done, give it a press.

Turning it through.

Turning it through.

Sew in the ditch between the two different fabrics.  You can use a straight stitch, but I used a blanket stitch that I thought looked quite nice.

2014-05-28 22.33.31

Take the ends of the thread and use a needle to tuck them into the fabric so your blanket stitch doesn’t unravel.  The project is complete!

It’s the perfect thing to make for visiting a friend with a new baby.  Bring one with you. Of course, you can also bring food.  All new mothers love it when people bring food.  When I had just had my little girl, I think I nearly squealed with delight when a guest brought a lasagne!

jf

Fabulous Fabric Friday: Roald Dahl

As a child I loved Roald Dahl’s books.   Truth be told, I still think they are pretty good now!

You can imagine how excited I was to find that Wortley Group was distributing in Australia a range of fabrics by Ashley Wilde based on the illustrated versions of some of Roald’s best books.

A gorgeous room decorated for a child with Road Dahl fabrics

Quentin Blake is the illustrator responsible for so much of the magic in these fabrics.

I can’t wait to get my hands on them.

Here’s my favourite of bit of the range:

From kidsfabrics.co.uk

It’s James and the Giant Peach prints!  Who wouldn’t love that?

Happy Friday.

jf

Image courtesy of truffleshuffle.co.uk

My “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” quilt

My sister is a very impressive person.  She recently earned a significant prize from her final year at university.  To celebrate her accomplishment, it seemed to me that a fitting tribute to the journey she has travelled was a quilt in the fabric range by Robert Kaufman that uses the motifs from Dr Seuss’ book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

If you have read the story, you will know what I mean.  It is a book filled with life advice that is valuable to adults!

Here’s the result (I should have pressed the quilt before I photographed it… instead I just pulled it straight off her lounge.  At least it gets used!):

2014-05-18 11.23.02

 

It was the first time I had worked with printed panels.  There are ten panels in the range, but I couldn’t think of an arrangement of ten that would work as well as nine did.

A criticism I had of the panels is that they were not printed perfectly straightly on the grain of the fabric.  That meant cutting was hard, and I ultimately chose to have the grain straight, even if that meant the image was a little wobbly.  If there’s a design that can accommodate wobbles, it is Dr Seuss!

2014-05-18 11.22.33

I fussy-cut the fabrics so that designs like the balloons and elephants with flags all went in the same direction.  It was worth it, in my view!  Each panel was bordered with a bright fabric, and then sashed in white.

On the back, I used another Dr Seuss fabric, albeit not from the “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” range.

2014-05-18 11.26.10

I made a scrappy binding of the remaining licensed fabrics from the range (I don’t like to waste them, particularly given this colour scheme isn’t one I’m likely to use often), which I think worked really well.

The quilting is a nice, simple stipple that complements the wobbliness of all things Dr Seuss.  I’m really happy with how it turned out – and more importantly, so is my sister.  When I gave it to her, I wrapped it around a copy of the book.

For me, it was an adventure in new things:  using panels, and a colour scheme I don’t ordinarily gravitate to.  When taking a few risks works out well, it is extra-satisfying!

Have a great day,

jf

Craft in regional Queensland: Mackay

I’m always impressed by the standard and accessibility of great quality craft stores in regional Queensland. I truly think there’s better quality gear in smaller, Main Street style stores of country and regional towns than there is in the city’s suburbs.

A great example is Mackay crafting establishment, the Crafty Cat.

20140517-191448.jpg

If you are ever in the centre of town, pop in.

Be warned, it is cluttered. Seriously, there is stuff everywhere.

20140517-191638.jpg

But that’s totally worth it for the great service that the Dillon family give, the warm welcome and helpful attitude. Seriously, they have everything you could want for all kinds of paper crafts, and the very best cake decorating range I have ever seen, even in the capital.

20140517-191915.jpg

I popped in today, got a new stamp and an inkpad from my favourite brand, for a reasonable price.  While I was there, the owners were helping a customer to make a customised guest book for an 18th birthday, and it looked like there was some cake-decorating instruction going on down the back of the shop.

There’s a reason I stop in every time I am in the neighbourhood.

Next time you take a road trip, consider stopping in at the local sewing or craft store. You’ll get great country hospitality, and a surprisingly good selection. The willingness to share ideas is second to none.  Plus, you’ll likely be helping a family business… and that always feels good.

jf

Fabulous Fabric Friday

Hello there!

Here’s something new from me – a regular post on the fabrics that have caught my eye this week.

It’s Fabulous Fabric Friday!

I apologise in advance if it means you end up spending your weekend fabric shopping.

This week I noticed for the first time the Lotta Jansdotter fabric range.  It’s got a Swedish/Nordic feel to it, and I think it would be useful for a wide range of homewares, not just quilting.  Here it is.  I couldn’t get it at my local fabric shop, but you can order it online from Honeybee Cloths.  If you like KikkiK stationery, you are going to LOVE this fabric.

I also noticed the Bartholo-meow’s Reef range of children’s fabrics.  With pretty shades of blue and aqua, it’ll be a nice range to use on a project for a boy, or a girl that loves all things oceanic.  It’s by Tim and Beck for Moda.  Here’s a link to the range.  It’s on the cover of the Piece catalogue, too!

Here’s a great example of how they can be used from Sister’s Quilts:

They’re hard to find in Australia at the moment, but I’m told that they will become available soon.  They were released in March in the US.  I’ll either have to be patient, or shop online.

Happy Fabulous Fabric Friday!

jf

 

Crafty things to do

I’m guilty – like many professional women – of hiding my love for craft from anyone I know through work.  It’s partly because I don’t want them to know I’m thinking about anything but their needs, and partly because I don’t want to encourage a stereotype that people sometimes turn to, that goes something like this:

“She’s a young(ish) woman, all she cares about is baking/sewing/her gorgeous family, therefore she isn’t in this for the long haul.  Don’t invest in her!”

I was thinking on the way to work today that by hiding the fact that hard-working, committed people also love craft, I allow that stereotype to persist.  Hmmm.  Perhaps I’ll gradually “out” myself as a crafter.

Some friends and I (who have all admitted to our crafting habit amongst ourselves) have decided to start a regular craft night.  We’re getting together with our favourite poison (sewing, knitting, crochet…. tea, wine, cheese, chocolate!) for a night of chatting and making.  I guess that’s one step in the right direction!

Here’s another crafty thing to do.  If you are looking for some colour for your weekend in Brisbane, consider this:

Solo Exhibition Details - 20-31 May 2014, Brisbane Modern Art Gallery

Solo Exhibition Details – 20-31 May 2014, Brisbane Modern Art Gallery

It looks like there is yarn bombing involved!  On that basis, it sounds great to me!

jf