Saturday, 30 June 2012

June Finishes

It's funny but as I was browsing back through all of my finishes for this month I was kind of disappointed. I have not really done much in the way of quilting. I have been a bit preoccupied with the Zakka Style Sew Along. Some of these projects were among the trickiest so far.

But I do like putting the finishes together in a mosaic. So here they all are. Thank you to Gemma from Pretty Bobbins who runs a Facebook blog support page called The Blogging Library for putting me onto pic monkey. Nice fast uploads and design flexibility.

Things I worked on but cannot show until July:

QCA Handmade swap - extra sweetener - finished 24/6
QCA Handmade swap - to a secret partner - finished 5/6

What I did not get done:
                         Craftsy BOM June blocks

So how did you go in June? I am linking up with...

Sew Happy Geek

Friday, 29 June 2012

Hold the hot pot

Zakka Style Patchwork Potholders
For some reason I dragged my feet with this project. I think it was more about fabric choices than the actual sewing. I had trouble deciding what to use. I should have gone to my selvedge box first because the second red/pink creation came from there. It was the easiest to put together.
For the green/blue version I got out some Denyse Schmidt fat quarters and lopped off a few ends. I've actually made 4 pot holders from what was initially cut.
The backing and pockets were made from re-purposed tea towels.

The binding is also from my leftover binding stash. I just could not cut into the bias of my dwindling linen supply.

I also managed to sew an orange version of the Ribbon Star block from Freshly Pieced for Kate in the June swap for QCA Beehive #1. I am hoping it is appealing enough for her to overcome her orange aversion!
Kristy of Quiet Play has finished up our Collaborations for a Cause quilt this week. You can see her post here. It is stunning! I love the front of rainbow charms with the contrasting dark grey sashing. 

And my quilt back did not come up too badly.

I have been sewing and watching a lovely BBC series called 'Lark Rise to Candleford.' It was highly recommended by Kristy  and it does not disappoint. I love the main character - postmistress Dorcas Lane - brilliantly played by actress Julia Sawalha.

I am late but linking up with...

Zakka Style Sew Along

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Wednesday 'Sew Stitchy' Winner and WiPs

With 34 entries for the 'Sew Stitchy' charm park and layer cake Blogiversary Give-Away, it has been a lovely little affair. Thank you for entering everyone. Great ideas were shared and most of you wanted to make something to hold your sewing notions, cover your machine or cover your legs. But my favourite comment was from Cherie who said "I'd hoard the fabric for a few months, then look through my stash and realise that I still have it and then put it back." Spoken like a true fabric collector. 

But let me encourage you all to use up your favourite fabrics because I just won a prize over at Kelby Sews in Kelly's 'My Precious QAL' give-away.
Blogiversary Give-Away Winners 

The winner of the layer cake is...#29 Mareen Chen from Aquamareen Crafting.

The winner of the charm pack is...#7 Bronwyn Beazley from Stop that Owl.
I will be in touch with both of you to get your postal addresses to ship these to you. Don't forget to write a post and let us know what you make from these.

Collaborations for a Cause
This year Kristy from Quiet Play and I are working on Collaborations for a Cause by making a boy's quilt to auction off for a Charity called Angels for the Forgotten. Kristy used the pattern from the Zakka Style book to make the Zakka Block quilt with some rainbow charms from our stashes. You can see the gorgeous quilt top here
My job was to make the back. As the quilt top is 50"x60" I had to make the back slightly larger. So yesterday I made 2 extra I-Spy blocks so I could make the width with an I-Spy strip. 
Then I dived into my boy stash and came out with some fabric long enough to make the width and pieced the rest of the back. Now it does not really look too much like the front, but  it makes the back a 'different' kind of front.  So in essence 2 quilts in 1.
I was able to sew it all together and get in the post to Kristy yesterday. She has kindly offered to quilt it, so I threw in a little gift for her efforts.  

This week's stats:
Completed projects  - 2 Corduroy skirts
                                            Zakka Happy Handwarmers
                                            mug rug (extra sweetener for my secret swap partner).
                                           - quilt backing for  'Collaborations for a Cause'  quilt.
                                          - 1 teal QCA Bee June block for Kate

Currently in progress  - 1 orange QCA Bee June block for Kate

Yet to start - Craftsy BOMs
                         - Zakka Style Pot Holders
On Hold projects   1 Katie Jump Kites - top finished

I am linking up with...
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 25 June 2012

I Spy a Block

My second ever quilt was a green and orange I-Spy pattern for my eldest son when he turned 6 in 2010. My second I-Spy quilt was a blue one for my nephew last year when he turned 4. I still have a bit of fabric left in my stash for boys to spy with, thankfully.
Kristy from Quiet Play and I are collaborating on a quilt for 'Quilting For A Cause'. Kristy has already made up the fabulous front using the Zakka Style Block quilt and some rainbow charms. It looks so good with the grey sashing.

The project is due next month and I need to make the backing for it. So I fell back on my favourite block pattern for fussy cut I-Spy fabrics. It consists of:

One - 6 1/2" square
Three - 3 1/2" squares
Four - 2"x3 1/2" rectangles

Finished block size = 9"
I still have to gather some more fabric to make the rest of the back but these should look good as a strip across the width.

Quilt Club Australia - Handmade Swap
The post came today and left me a lovely new sewing caddy for my armchair. This cute little creation was a surprise from Anorina of Samelia's Mum. I have been using a little green plastic food container for my hand sewing - not very glamorous - that is why I requested something a little snazzier for my needles and threads. It's a definite upgrade.
The post went out today as well. I bundled up my item for my swap partner. The main piece I had finished earlier in the month but I had some leftover scraps and wanted to make something else to match. So I made a little mug rug. I can only show you the 'B' side so far - made with scraps of gingham - but the 'A' side is just as special. 
Yes, blogger doing it's turning thing again.
Kristy also sent me a few extra sweeteners to include with the two handmade items. I will be able to reveal it to you next week when my partner receives it and July begins. 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Zakka Style Happy Couple Handwarmers

Even though it is winter here in Australia right now, the temperatures will hardly justify this cute little pair of hand-warmers unless I travel to the Snowy Mountains.

Thankfully my mum is a bit of a gun embroiderer and so she was the one that I talked to when I needed some help with this project. So two weekends ago, when she and my father visited on the Queen's Birthday long weekend, we snuggled up on the couch with our embroidery hoops. 
 I learned four stitches:

  1. Back Stitch
  2. Satin Stitch
  3. Stem Stitch
  4. Colonial Knot
I pretty much followed the Zakka pattern for the embroidery - cute enough and challenging enough for me anyway. I opted for just one coloured thread though - red for the girl and green for the boy.
My background text colour keeps defaulting to white for some reason.
Each of the calico heat bags has wheat inside rather than rice. I actually won the backing fabric from Tracey at 'The Peony Teacup' about a month ago and it was just so appropriate for this project. It is 'Colourful Christmas' by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Designs and in flannelette. And it the fat quarters came in both the red and the green colour-ways of the hand mittens. So thank you Tracey for the great prize.
Yes this photo keeps uploading sideways for some reason.
Hopefully I can put this pair into the Zakka Style Sew-Along draw this week. Might just scrape in before the deadline.

I am linking up with...
Zakka Style Sew Along

Plum and June

Sunday Stash #19

Today's Sunday Stash has some hardware. Two week's ago my mum and dad came to stay and brought with them my mum's Janome Memory Craft machine. I will explain how it has become a glorified bobbin winder for 2 reasons: 
  1. first my mum's regular Janome workhorse machine has a broken bobbin winder (it has been sent for repairs twice and still no love), and second, 
  2. the Memory craft machine has a long arm and will not fit into my mum's 1980s Horn sewing cabinet.
 It seems silly to have such an expensive and capable machine go to waste and so this week I used a 1 item only 25% discount coupon at my local Spotlight store to buy a portable bobbin winder. It is called the Sidewinder. Now the price sticker says $129 and there is NO WAY I would ever pay that price, so with my voucher it came down to $103.20. Now hopefully I can make an exchange and be able to borrow her long-arm Memory craft for a few months. 
While I was there I picked up some flat fats on special for $1.99 each.
And then some great poly viscose tartan to maybe find a great pattern to make a couple of skirts for Frances.
I would love for you to write a quick post about something new to your stash recently and link it up below. Tune in here again next week for a '4th of July' themed Sunday Stash post. You can grab the button if you wish.

You can link up below...

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Ribbons and Sunsets

As I write this post the last rays of another winter's day are putting on a spectacular show.


This month's block for Kate of Kwilts by Kate is a stunning one. It's a FREE pattern available at Freshly Pieced and it's called the Ribbon Star block. The tutorial is mostly visual which is wonderful for me and apart from cutting time and then first go-around, it comes together quite sweetly.  
Kate requested a white star but various shades of grey for the background. So it is going to throw up some lovely combinations. I cannot wait to see all of these blocks assembled in Kate's quilt eventually.
Photo courtesy of Kate via QCA Bee page                  
I am tempted to be as good as my word and make a 3rd one with orange and dark grey...but we'll see if I get time. Only one more week of June and I still have a few items left to get started on or finish up. 

And with that in mind don't forget the great UFO June Challenge over at Local Honey Crafts. There have been a few new entries this past week so now I have competition to win the 10+ fabric prizes. I love Simone's generosity and taste in fabric and she is my most faithful Sunday Stash contributor.
Local Honey Crafts
And just a reminder to check out my give-aways on Wednesday's post.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Corduroy Friday

This morning at MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers), we had some lessons in digital photography with one of the mums who has a small portrait business. I now know a whole other side to my digital SLR but I still think I need to have a few lessons.
For our craft, we made these groovy photo puzzles with two 6x4" prints, some tongue depressors/paddlepop sticks, PVA glue and a packing knife. Now each of my children have their own personalised puzzle.

This afternoon I finished off the corduroy skirts by sewing on the pockets. Frances is pretty pleased with both of them. She wore the pink to Moppets this morning sans pocket. I am pleased with them too. A nice easy pattern using the width of fabric. I planning on making one more to get her through winter.
Ooo I received a surprise gift  in the mail yesterday from my clever paper-piecing friend Kristy from Quiet Play. If you want to see something made with Denyse Schmidt fabrics, orange and an awesome pattern check it out on her TGIFF post today. Kind of goes with the 'Tangled' theme from last week too!
I am linking up with TGIFF hosted today by the lovely Gemma of Pretty Bobbins in Noumea. In October this year I hope to finally meet this Aussie ex-pat when my husband and I take our kids on 7 day cruise to celebrate 1o years of marriage. The ship stops in at New Caledonia. 

Gemma has a separate blog about life in a French South Pacific island called 'Suburban Adventures in Noumea'. On it, and through correspondance, Gemma has already suggested some great ideas for our shore time in Noumea. Today her post is about becoming bilingual...and I am totally jealous of her opportunity. I hope to brush up on my French before we hit that country.
I am also linking up with...

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Blogiversary Giveaways

An Old Give-Away
Hard to believe that this little blog started a year ago. I kicked it off with 2 give-aways - one for each of my Facebook Business pages Florrie & Stan and Grandma Macs Quilts. And can you believe that this Kaffe Fasset charm pack is still to be given away? Grandma Macs still needs 59 more likers before reaching 500 and you can enter this giveaway through this post from 1 year ago.

A New Give-Away
                                               Sew Stitchy Layer Cake    Sew Stitchy Charm Pack
Now to celebrate this 1 year milestone I am also giving away 2 great prizes - 1 layer cake and 1 charm pack of Aneela Hooey's 'Sew Stitchy'. These are pre-releases from Quilt Jane's Want it, Need it, Quilt! online store. Check out the designs below.
All you need to do to enter is tell me what you would make with either a charm pack or layer cake of this sweet new line. It may be a specific pattern for a bag, quilt, item of clothing etc. Just make sure that you have some contact email attached to your comment. Open to international readers too. Entries close next Tuesday 26th June at 9:30pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time). The 2 winners will be announced next Wednesday here on Finding Fifth.

WiP Wednesday 20th June

After last week's huge week of  Zakka WiPs I am taking a slight break. My daughter Frances is VERY opinionated about what she will and will not wear. This winter Pinafores are OUT. Skirts and long sleeved tops and tights (with little ballet flats) are IN!
Unfortunately she only has 2 corduroy skirts. One gorgeous reversible one from my sister/friend DeDe of Kookabubble and another claret one from an op-shop. So I pulled out my trusty copy of 'Making Children's Clothes' and found an easy-peasy pattern made with just 3 rectangles of WOF (width of fabric) of fabric and a pocket piece.
I am still in the process of putting the pockets on the two versions.

This week's stats:
Completed projects  - Zakka Messenger Bag
                                                 - Zakka Zip Organiser 
                                               - Zakka Tweed Pouch
Currently in progress  - 2 Corduroy skirts
                                               - Zakka Happy Handwarmers
                                              - mug rug (extra sweetener for my secret swap partner).

Yet to start - QCA Bee June block for Kate
                        - Craftsy BOMs
                        - I-Spy blocks and backing for Kristy and the 'Quilting for a Cause' Zakka Rainbow Block quilt.
On Hold projects   1 Katie Jump Kites - top finished

How are you going with your WiPs this week? I am linking up with...
                                                          WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced