Sunday, 30 September 2012

Zakka September Round Up

You may remember on 'to do first' this month I declared it to be Zakka September owing to all the projects that I needed to finish for the Zakka Style Sew Along. I completed 5 out of the 7 that I planned to do. You can find my review of the SAL here.

1. Zakka Style Pleated Coin Purse - 10/9
2. ZS Little Pocket Pillow Case - 22/9
3. ZS Nesting Boxes - 22/9
4. ZS Happy Garland Messenger Board - 6/9
5. ZS Patchwork Ribbon - 16/9

6. QCA Bee - Lone Star block - 16/9
7. 'Say Cheese' Polaroid block swap - 9/9
8. Wombat Stew - Shoji Screen Block - 11/9
9. Katie Jump Kites - quilt back - 15/9
Things that went by the wayside this month...

ZS Sweet Memories Photo Frame - I am keen to make this project but I am not sure how I will go about either constructing the frame or buying one pre-made from IKEA.

ZS Water Bottle Holder - I would not have much use for this item and so I will probably not make it at all.

Craftsy BOM for June, August and September - I am not sure if I will ever have the motivation to do these blocks in October either. I have really lost interest in this BoM.

Sherbert Dreams Quilt - arrrrrgh! I am dying to start this but I have ONE UFO quilt top to make a back for and then TWO quilts to baste and quilt. And I vow not to start another top until I finish ONE of these TWO - Katie Jump Kites OR Mystery Quilt (to give as a Xmas gift).
So what shall I do? See you for tomorrow's 'To Do First' post for October.

I am linking up with....

September Finishes

Sunday Stash #33

Just for something different Sunday Stash is being hosted today by my lovely friend Kristy over at Quiet Play. I fondled her text prints, won in the Texting Whilst Sewing Competition, on Friday in the Coffs Harbour park. 

We have been on holidays with our three kids to Yamba  and Sapphire Beach north of Coffs this week and so with no access to internet Kristy was happy to host today. Thanks Kristy. So please head on over to her blog to link up this Sunday.

Sew You're Destashing!

Actually that Facebook group is a misnomer completely - it could be retitled 'Sew You're Restashing with Others People's Destash Items when you Vowed to Destash Only'. Some of the Wombat Stew girls have taken themselves OUT of the group to resist the urge.

I am usually very very late to the party with new posting BUT sometimes the planets align and I can buy early.

These two 30s looking reproductions are from Bronwyn of Stop That Owl
 And this mini jellyroll called 'Legacy' by Howard Marcus' Collections for a Cause'.
I had bought these delicious dress fabrics from Jane in July but had forgotten. She handed them to me on Friday.
Quilty Gal Fabric Love

Then some more fabric love from Kristy, Kelly, Jane and Marieka when they  split up some fabric fat eighths at their recent Coffs Fresh Quilters meeting. Aren't they generous?

 Sewing sweeties
Japanese Cuisine
Window Sihouettes
Adorable eh? Especially that smiling sushi roll...

See you over at Quiet Play for the Link Up.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Farewell to Zakka

Favourite finished project - pleated coin purse
It has been a long journey. Nearly half a year. 24 weeks from April 'til September. And now it is time to say goodbye.  I managed to make 22 of the 24 projects in the book but not by the due date each week. You can find a link to each of my posts hereI think having a weekly deadline was helpful to motivate me. I was stretched with new techniques beyond my limited sewing experience but success has give me new-found confidence to try small sewing projects in the future.


Firstly, a BIG thank you to Lindsey from LR Stitched who hosted the Zakka Style Sew Along on her site every Monday. She not only organised generous sponsorship and linked to guest bloggers but she also featured the handiwork of the Zakka faithful in a great mosiac.
Most used project - zig zag tote (needs longer straps for me though)
Secondly, a thanks to all the designers from Rashida Coleman-Hale's book Zakka Style. You have created some absolutely sweet and practical items in a simplistic style that appeals to a lot of people and yet allows scope for creativity and individuality. I sincerely hope that the editing for the 2nd edition will benefit from this sew-along.

Zakka Style has introduced me to some lovely new materials - especially linen, textured solids, tweed and embroidery floss. There were some firsts for me - bag hardware in the form of zippers, tri-bar sliders, magnetic clasps, purse frames and button makers - bag making, embroidery and hexagons.
Trickiest project but well worth it - zip organiser
And finally thanks to all the great Zakka faithful who have been such a great community of support in this 6 month journey. Many of whom started blogging for the first time. The comments on the Flickr group and blog posts have been so encouraging. Some of my favourite versions were made by Freaknoodles and Mary Emmens. A have made blog friends  with a good many of the talented ladies - Vera, Simone, Heidi, Amy de, Amy, Sheila, Robyn and Elnora. They are all lovely and talented.

I personally have to say a HUGE thank you to Amanda, The Patchsmith who was not only witty but extremely helpful in her early blog posts each week. She was our pattern pioneer and fell into every editing hole and quagmire within the patterns. I learned early on to check her post BEFORE embarking on each project.  She would definitely have a career as a pattern tester. We have become zakka sisters-in-arms and I hope we continue to visit one another's blogs in future.
Easiest project - happy garland messenger board

Zakka Style has been a great book to make handmade gifts for....

my Mum

my sewing friends...
my daughter

and donations to worthy causes...

Then of course there were some lovely things I gifted to myself...

ones that I wished I had kept...

and finally those that I have no use for - yet!
I am thinking of attaching a ribbon and hanging the hand warmers on the Christmas tree
I only managed to convince ONE friend to buy the book. Marieka from Bespoke Bites joined me in the last week and has made 2 of the projects so far.

How did you go with the Sew Along? Even if you didn't participate, Lindsay has opened all all her posts so you can link up your projects in the future. I encourage you to join the Flickr group and learn some valuable tips BEFORE you make each one.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Sunday Stash #32

Vintage Modern
I am very late to the Bonnie and Camille party but I have been keeping  my eye on this 'Vintage Modern' line all year. So when Anorina of Fabric Buzz was selling a charm pack for only $9 I snapped it up! Then she let me know that she also had a jelly roll for another $28. I think that my mum will love this line, so I will stash it for her until December 25th.

Purse Frames

Remember that cute little pleated purse I made a week or so ago for the Zakka Style Sew Along? I did order 4 purse frames from  The Workroom but they only arrived in a well buffered envelope from Canada this week. Along with a FREE yard of gorgeous cutlery ribbon in brown and white.

'Hope' by Howard Marcus
I also wanted to show what's left of my 'Hope' stash. You may have read that I used some scraps and jelly roll strips to complete my Zakka Style Nesting Boxes on Friday. This is what I still have left to create from - some charm squares, jelly roll strips and fat quarters. I would like to make another smaller table runner from these to put on top of the tall boy dresser in our bedroom. So I must look out for an appealing pattern. Any suggestions are welcome.

So what's new in your stash this week  Feel free to link below.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Little Pocket Pillow Case

Piggy in a Pocket

This is a very sweet little project and I highly recommend checking out some of the ones made in the Zakka Style Sew Along Flickr group. All of the teddies are cute and some of them are in photos with their new owners.

Now my mum gave Frances the softest Gund pink piggy when she was a newborn. Piggy Pinktail is still Fran's favourite bed pal and he has been through the wash a bout 5 times! He's rough, scraggly and stained by blue texta but he is 'real'.

So with this project I decided NOT to make the matching teddy but rather a larger pocket pillow for Piggy to slumber next to my daughter.


Frances helped me choose some pin, orange and green 4" squares from the stash. I think most of these are Amy Butler prints. The apples and feathers prints were just from the scrap  box.

Cutting and Sewing

I was determined to make the diamonds despite my instincts telling me that they were going to be a lot of work to cut, sew and match up the points.  I had thought about somehow using paper as a foundation but decided that making strips might work instead.

I think that they would do so IF the strips were longer than my 4" but as you can see I had mixed results.

My diamonds were not sewn up correctly and I could not be bothered unpicking titchy seams so I ditched my diamonds and sewed up the remaining 2" strips into a rectangle.

I had planned on using this cute 'Hello Kitty' gingham fabric for the back of the pillow and also to line the pocket, but I ironed it with a hot iron and it melted and shrank. I hate fabric like that! So I decided to stick with Kona cotton in 'snow'.


From this point I kind of abandoned the pattern in the book and improvised my own version.

Size - I see no use in another small toddler pillow (we have about 4 of these from Preschool days) so I made it regular size at 37" x 20".

Pocket - I made the pocket much larger to fit Piggy. It is 10" x 7". I added batting and interfacing for strength and then sewed the right sides together and turned right way out.

Quilting - I added quilting in diamond shapes to make up for the earlier loss.

Piping - I don't know what piping cord is, so I made a narrow 1" strip from scraps and sewed that in half to use instead.

I am so happy with the results. I finished it close to midnight and so Fran was fast asleep when I put it under her head. I whispered to her that I had finished 'Piggy's Pocket pillow' and she promptly snuggled up to him. Awwwwww!

I even gave Piggy a new pink gingham ribbon. He does look chuffed.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Nesting Boxes

This is one of the loveliest and practical  projects in the book BUT it takes a LOT of time! I think I would have spent a good 10 hours on this project doing the boxes as per the pattern in the book.

Fabric and Cutting

The fabric comes from Howard Marcus' 'Collections for a Cause' and is called 'Hope'. I have some leftover jelly roll strips from a queen-sized quilt, a bag, a dresser runner and placemats. 
I find that cutting everything out first is helpful. I decided to use the spotty fabric for the lining rather than linen.

I highly recommend reading through a couple of the posts by faithful Amanda The Patchsmith and  Debbie at A Quilter's Table. There is also an alternative method of construction posted by Wendy the Crafter's Apprentice.

I followed Amanda's tip for sewing  bottom in an opposite sequence.

Hand sewing the box together took watch some good drama. I've been watching 'Wallander' and 'Case Histories'.


Fabric Wastage - I struggled with the fact that the batting and lining was a good deal bigger than was needed. It had me scratching my head late at night and then again in the morning. Thanks to Debbie, for also noting the same problem - otherwise I would have thought I was crazy. Rather than cut it off I decided to fold it over and use it under the binding.
Binding - Then I used a 3" wide jelly roll strip in a single-fold binding. I should have thought about making the ends neat and tucked beforehand - but I ended up having to spend extra time unpicking, trimming and re-sewing them to get a clean finish.


I added fusible interfacing to the sides of the box which gave it a good stiffness at the end. I forgot to add some to the bottom and they are noticeably softer even with quilting.
I decided to keep the decoration simple so I left out the leaf applique.
They nest nicely and...
 match my dresser runner.

Linking up with...

Zakka Style Sew Along