Snowy River Damask

"Snowy River Damask" digital fabric from "Lila Ruby King" etsy shop

A little while ago I mentioned some really beautiful fabric that I had ordered from an etsy seller in Greece.  Lila Ruby King is an Australian designer and maker, based in Athens.  This fabric that she designed is called “Snowy River Damask”, and is named for a river and region that is familiar to most Australians, as it is immortalised in one of our most famous poems “The Man from Snowy River” by A B ‘Banjo’ Patterson.

"Snowy River Damask" fabric detail

The animals and plants on the fabric are from the region including The Quoll, Powerful Owl, Lyrebird, and Peregrine Falcon.  The horses are, or course, not native, but are the ‘brumbies’ (wild horses) that live in the area, that are a key part of the poem.  The poem is ‘microprinted’ behind the portrait of ‘Banjo’ on our 10 dollar note – and those who are shortsighted like me, and have very good focus up close, can attest that it is possible to read it.

I am not sure what I will do with the fabric yet, but I was just so enchanted with it that I felt compelled to add it to my stash.  It is rare that I see Australiana done well.

"All a Flutter" Butterfly E

After the subtlety of the Snowy River fabric, this butterfly looks very bright indeed.  I just have 2 more to sew before I have a complete set, (you can see the first two here).

Have you added anything unusual to your fabric stash lately?

The tiny sewing machinist has a finished project

Michaela with the cushion she made

This weekend Michaela and I finished a project we started 10 months ago.  We finally turned the foundation-pieced, homage to pink and purple, that she pieced herself, into a cushion.  You can see more about how she pieced it here.

Michaela's cushion - a view of the back

The back of the cushion is a riot of colour – a piece of fabric exactly to Michaela’s taste.  I’m pretty pleased with this photo, which shows off a few recent changes to Michaela.  In the past two months she has started loosing her first teeth rapidly.  In honour of her birthday, she had her ears pierced, and at her request we cut her a fringe.  I was pretty worried about how the fringe would look, but thought it was important to respect her wishes for her own hair, and I am really glad I did.  I like it, (even when it has the remains of purple hair spray in it, following a birthday party attendance).

Michaela with the cushion that she made

I quilted the cushion-front with random stars, hearts, swirls, flowers and Michaela’s name.  You can see the quilting better in the first photo, but I wanted to include this one, because I love the expression on her face.  Michaela is extremely pleased with herself, and is glorying in the beauty of her cushion.  She is adamant that it should live in the family room, for everyone to enjoy.  I was expecting this extreme embodiment of the love of pink and purple to reside in her bedroom.  I guess I can live with it hanging out on the couch for a little while, before it takes up more permanent residency in her domain.

If you want to start sewing with your children, I would really recommend a project like this.  The foundation piecing is easy, and creates a finished project that is relatively quick to finish (as long as you don’t wait 10 months to pull it out and quilt it).  You could do this easily in a weekend.

So, do your kids get to raid your stash, or do you encourage them to start a stash of their own?

Shhhhhhhh

maze and vale hand screenprinted fabric

I recently ordered these lovely, subtle fabrics from Leslie of maze and vale.  They are all hand printed, and I am particularly in love with the beautiful feathers.  Together, they are destined to become a present, so I am not going to say any more about my intentions, but I will be sure to share the finished project when the time is right.

Hand screen printed fabrics may be a little more expensive, but, by their very nature, (limited runs) they lend themselves to one-of-a-kind presents, and their limited palettes give them a certain air of sophistication.  I have another really unusual fabric winging it’s way from Greece at the moment, which is actually inspired by the Snowy Mountains.  I can’t wait to see it in person.

Do you buy hand printed fabrics?

Sewjourn

The scarf I completed at Sewjourn, out in front of the studio

Last weekend I went on my first sewing weekend to the lovely SewjournMelanie invited me along with some of the Northern Craft Bonanza ladies, so I wandered up there on the Saturday for 2 days of creativity with like-minded people.

Wall of Creativity at Sewjourn 6-8 July, 2012

And create we did.  I was not as productive as some, but certainly more productive than I would have been at home.  Some of this work was started before the weekend, but it is still a pretty impressive output!  The only thing I actually completed was the rainbow scarf in the first photo, but I completed the applique for two other projects (I am sure you can guess which ones are mine).

The Sewjourn participants for July 6-8, 2012

Fellow crafty types were Melanie, Brianna, Liesl, Wendy (me) and Karen.

I had a lovely time, and far too much delectable food to eat.  The company was great, thanks for including me ladies.

Brianna's "Curious Nature Quilt" (Fabric by Parson Gray)

Everyone made such lovely things, but we were all pretty interested in the “Curious Nature Quilt” that Brianna made, as it really is a suitable “Man Quilt”.  This is a free pattern put out by David Butler, the designer responsible for the Parson Gray fabric label, and Brianna quickly discovered, that due to the way that the pieces have to be cut on the grain, there is a serious case of wastage.  There was almost enough to make the entire quilt again (apart from the green fabrics).  It is just something to be aware of if you attempt this pattern.

Michaela in her Rainbow scarf

I came home and bestowed the fruits of my labour onto Michaela, who was pretty excited to have her new Rainbow Scarf.

She has some crazy hair going on because she spent the whole day in and out of her bike helmet.

Michaela riding her bike

While I was away, she learnt to ride with the training wheels OFF!

I have to acknowledge that neither this post, or the weekend would have been possible, without the efforts of Luke who was the solo parent that weekend, (thanks honey) and my Mum, who let me borrow her car to get to Sewjourn.

Have you been on a sewing weekend lately?

 

 

Knitty Teddy

Amelia with the small Teddy that she knitted

For several months Amelia has been knitting this dear little teddy, a smaller version of the one she made last year.

Arden, almost 3 months old.

She made this one for a special little person, her cousin Arden, who is just shy of 3 months old.

Arden with his knitted teddy

And the teddy is just the right size for him.

I’m pretty impressed with Amelia’s efforts, and it warms my heart to see how much my three kids already love their little cousin.

Happy Birthday Michaela

Fairy Castle Birthday Cake

On Thursday Michaela turned 6, and yesterday we had a party to celebrate.  This is the amazing cake that Luke made with the kids on Saturday.  There are the equivalent of 4 cakes in the castle, with additional jam rolls for the towers.  It is hard to see, but Michaela placed 3 little fairy figurines on the cake, along with some ducklings.  All I did was a tiny bit of the icing.

11 month old Michaela

It feels like yesterday that Michaela was this big.  Her personality has always been pretty sunny – she is the family charmer, a real delight.  It is clear from all the friends she has made in her first year of school that she is a lot of fun to be around (although I will admit that I am biased, because I love her to bits). She loves to draw, and dance around to music, and is really enjoying learning how to read, making great leaps forward due to her persistence.

Michaela's Beanbag

Poor Michaela ended up with an upset tummy on Thursday, so missed out on any cake on her actual birthday.  Here she is feeling poorly, but appreciating her new beanbag that Grandma made for her, and wearing her new clothes from Nanna and Poppa.  Mum has made all three kids a beanbag this year, and they love reading in them in the evenings before bed.

Rory's beanbag in his bedroom

Mum has done well to make them to coordinate with their bedrooms, and their taste and personalities.  It might be hard to make out, but Rory’s beanbag is covered in spiders.  Every evening he sits in his beanbag with his “Spacewalk” quilt over his knees and reads his Harry Potter books.  He started it all off by asking for a beanbag to read in.

Amelia's Beanbag in her bedroom

While the other two have beanbags covered in Polar fleece, Mum made Amelia’s out of patchwork fabrics that coordinate perfectly with her Doona cover and feature Polka dots and Scissors.

Mum was so pleased to make a handmade gift for each of them that was so eagerly anticipated, excitedly received and happily enjoyed.  She was also pretty grateful to have a daughter that was prepared to stand in the bath and help wrangle the polystyrene beads into the bags!

Do you, or your kids have a special spot where you/they like to read?

Birthday Season

J Shirt for Jaide

We are in the midst of Birthday season, here in the Matching Pegs household, with 3 of our birthdays within 12 days.  Yesterday we celebrated Rory’s special day, with Michaela taking a couple of hours off, to help her friend Jaide celebrate her birthday.  Pictured above is the top I embellished for Jaide, with a simple needle turn applique.  Rory’s new mini-figures are checking it out.

Rory blows out 9 candles

Rory turned 9, and his cake was fantastic!

Plasticine Angry Birds

It was several days in the making – if you include the practice characters that the kids (and Luke) made with plasticine.

Angry Birds Cake

For those of you familiar with the game, it is easy to see that the cake featured “Angry Birds“, complete with evil green pigs (and boss pig with his moustache).

Making Angry Birds

The birds and pigs were made with solid icing, and it is safe to say that the experience of planning and making them was as important as the outcome – the look of the finished cake.

I was so impressed with the figures that the kids made, and the cake architecture that supported them, (constructed by Luke).  Oh and the cake was deee-lish!

Are you addicted to Angry Birds?

Toilet Door Craft

Toilet Door People Crafting

I have had this idea for years and years, to put quirky versions of the toilet-door-people on our toilet door.  I have just never gotten around to it.  A year or two ago I first saw mention of using starch as a temporary (and completely removable) glue, and thought that might be the best way to do it.

I finally had a go at it last week.

Starch glue fail

Sadly, this qualifies as one of my failures.

The people looked great as they were drying, but once they were dry, they started to peel off the door.  I think the problem is that the door is very glossy – I think it would probably work really well on a section of wall, where there would be more grip.

I will have to find another way to get these guys on my door.  Have you ever tried sticking anything to your wall with starch?

Mossy

Lately I have felt like the rolling stone that gathers no moss, always on the move.  Things keeping me busy have included an escape dog, and the resulting fence modifications; travelling right across Melbourne for a replacement Microwave turntable, after I dropped my 2 week old one; doctors visits; parent teacher interviews; and all the other usual stuff that keeps a Mum busy.

The only bit of moss I have been ‘gathering’ has been my Moss Stitch scarf, which I have been knitting in the evenings again, as the summer we never really had, has turned into Autumn.

Star Quilting

On the evenings that I have not been knitting, I have been continuing to quilt my Mothers version of the Fairy Tale Star Quilt that I made a while back.  I am on the final border, tracing about half of the swirls, with stitches.

Daisies from Jennifer

I have also been reminded to share these pictures.  This is the lovely gift I received in the Kris Kringle swap we have amongst our friends from our sewing guild.

Jennifer makes the most esquisite, well executed stitches.  She uses the beautiful Cottage Garden Threads, which you can peruse here.

Embroidered Leaves

Her stitched leaves are such a thing of beauty.  Thank you Jennifer, for such a lovely gift, that must have taken you ages.

Little Menagerie Aprons

Much of the sewing-blog world is abuzz with preparations for International Quilt Market in Houston.  One day, I plan to get there, but in the meantime, I will have to live vicariously through others.

My friend Melly has gone there for the last few years. This year she has a collection of her fabric debuting there with Windham Fabrics; “Little Menagerie” By Melanie Hurlston of Melly and Me.

Due to the production schedule, shipping times and our location in Australia, Melly only received advance yardage of her fabric a few days ago, giving her very little time to whip up some samples for her booth, and the Windham booth.

I happily volunteered to make up some of my aprons (which I can almost make in my sleep) that can show off her fabric in the Windham booth, using my pattern that was just published in the current, “Kid’s Issue” of Australian Homespun.

I am really pleased with how they turned out (very cute, in my opinion) – and it was pretty cool to be sewing with fabric that is not yet available.

I used fabric that features Melly’s bees (and co-ordinates)

and some that features her Phoebe elephants (and co-ordinates).  We also had a little sewing bee on Friday and made curtains out of the white, confetti print you see above, to line the walls of her booth.  I am looking forward to seeing the photos of it, all set up – I know it will look amazing, bright and fun.  One day I will get to Houston, and taste the experience for myself!

So I think I have aprons out of my system for a while – I have to make something different next.

What would you make with Melly’s extremely cute fabric?