Australian Quilt Market, a trade show for people in the Patchwork and Quilting industry, starts tomorrow. I’m just back from setting up my “Matching Pegs” table in the Creative Abundance booth, along with Jodie, Melly, Fiona, Simone and Clare. I’ve got several new patterns debuting there including “Butterfly Fairies”, (shown above).
I looked up the collective noun for Butterflies, and there are several, but the most appropriate to me seemed to be a kaleidoscope of butterflies.
I’ve got a kaleidoscope of Butterfly Fairies. They are so much fun to make, especially their tiny bubble dresses, and their fancy hair.
I’ve finished the quilt that I gave you a peek at, in the last post, and I’ve whipped up another quilt top, with the colours you can see above. I can’t wait to show it to you in all it’s glory, but it deserves it’s own post, especially as Anita, my quilter, did such a beautiful job.
I’m also looking forward to showing you my two “Hope is a Thing With Feathers” stitcheries, which are complete, and wrapped around canvases, but all in good time.
In the mean time, I can show you the swing tags I made for Market. They were fun to make, and you know me, the pegs on each tag match the colour on the top of the corresponding pattern.
I can also show you the photo I shared on instagram yesterday afternoon, of the piles of fabric that I am going to have to try and re-shelve after AQM is over. I’m going to be like a librarian, after exam time is over.
Last of all I have to share a proud Mum moment, and show you Michaela, who received a Student Achievement Award in front of the whole school on Monday for working extremely hard to improve her writing, both in form (neatness) and in content. Her Dad and I are very proud of her.
This photo of Michaela wearing the prototype Junior Chef set, (which was also a present for a friend called Kaitlin) when she was 3 1/2 years old might give you some idea about how long I have been making these hats and aprons. But it is not the whole picture. I started making the aprons when Rory was not yet 2, over 8 years ago, (sadly, my scanner is refusing to work, which is a pity, because Rory was an adorable toddler).
This photo, from 3 and a half years ago will have to do.
For many years an apron was my go-to present for any kid that was celebrating a birthday, because I love a present that encourages participation. I’ve made them with fairy fabric, monkey fabric, robot fabric, flower fabric.
3 and a half years ago I added the appliques and the personalised hats. I can still remember my reluctant model telling me that he would stand there, but only if he didn’t have to smile! Originally the set was for a book project that didn’t get off the ground, and then, in 2010, they were published in Australian Homespun as a pair – the one above and the one below.
I’m really proud of this pattern, and pleased to release it with 9 different applique motifs to choose from.
The instructions take you through fusible, raw-edge applique, but the appliques are designed to work as needle turn appliques too, as they are in the 3rd and 4th photo. The hat and apron are adjustable, and suit 3 to 8 year olds. The set fits older kids, but the apron just starts to get shorter. The hat fits my average adult head, right down to toddlers.
If you would like to win a copy of the Junior Chef pattern, leave a comment below, telling me what you think is the best thing to cook with a child. I always loved making play dough with my kids, and think chocolate ripple cake is the best thing for young chefs to
cook assemble on their own.
The giveaway is open to International folk as well as Aussies, and will be randomly drawn and announced on Monday the 17th.
As anyone who reads this blog knows, I have been working towards launching my sewing patterns for quite a while now. I have been designing and making original things for years, (I made the “Spacewalk” quilt for Rory when he was 2, and now he is 10) and I am so excited that I am getting the chance to share them with the world.
This weekend I am launching them with Creative Abundance at Australian Quilt Market, which is a trade show. I was so excited when Creative Abundance took me on. Not only do they distribute to Quilting and Patchwork shops worldwide, but they are warm, friendly people with integrity and a real team attitude.
The last two will be available later in December. Apologies for the very reflective photos. I will take them out of the plastic envelopes and take individual photos in the weeks to come, when I do some GIVEAWAYS. Right now though, I am too busy getting the last of my samples ready for this weekend. I have a couple more faces to sew onto Monsters Chefs and a few ribbons to tie and pegs to decorate! If you are a retailer, and will be visiting the show, come and say hi. I will be the slightly nervous one, with a big grin on my face.
I have been waiting for a little sun to try and get some good cover photos, but got sick of waiting. It is still overcast, but hopefully bright enough. This is a close up of my “Mosaic Rose” cushion. My aim was to show a close up of the needle-turn applique. You can see the whole cushion here.
I finished making this more traditional version of “All A Flutter” for the cover. I like it, and Amelia has already bagsed* it for her bed, which is where this shot was taken. The pattern cover will not have wrinkled sheets in shot!
I have several more samples in progress, and have been sewing every evening, when I am too tired to write or draw diagrams.
Happy sewing everyone, I’m getting back to it…
* To “Bags” something: Aussie and Kiwi slang for reserving something, similar to calling “dibs”.
Here is a little peek at what I have been doing every single day this week. After about 4 years on the learning curve, drawing diagrams on Illustrator is something that I have become pretty good at, (modest aren’t I). In the past week I have drawn diagrams that visually explain many of the different techniques for needle turn applique; the stitch, outer points, inner points, clipping and “off-the-block” applique. What you see here is part of a series of 4 diagrams that illustrate how to install an invisible zip. Just drawing the actual zip took me several hours, but now I can use it over and over.More test prints arrived of the first 4 complete, shop-ready patterns. The 2 additional patterns I have finished writing up this week just need covers. It is all pretty exciting to me, but probably not to you, dear readers, as you have seen all this stuff before.
At least, once the patterns turn up in stores you can say, “I knew her when she just wrote this little blog and revealed her crazy peg-matching habits to the world”.
Are you super excited about anything that everyone else finds unremarkable?
Ta Da! I’m pretty pleased with my finished “All A Flutter” cushion, and think it looks great on our bed.
To take some photos in decent light, I decamped to Michaela’s room.Where I also shot the same cushion, made in an alternate colour way. The black, text cushion features applique that has been completed by the needle turn applique method. The cushion in sunset colours has been created with raw-edge fusible applique, stitched via machine.They end up looking very different, but I am equally happy with both of them. The pattern, “All A Flutter” will be available at the end of the year. The pattern will include directions on how to make it as a square cushion as well.
Do you bother with decorative cushions on your bed?
6 months ago I was posting cryptic statements on Facebook about how I was working on a large project that required lots of super-wide-calico, (2.4m or 95″wide) and a fair bit of calculations involving Pythagorean theorem. Now I can finally reveal the result, Ta-Da! This is my project that is published in the current “Australian Homespun – The Kids Issue” (No.113; Vol.13 No.10) as “My Treehouse Adventures”. The third project that I have had published in Homespun, (all in the annual Kids Issue) this one was by far the most challenging.
I made 3 different scale-card-models, and then kept sewing and unpicking a prototype made of old sheets, until I got the structure right. I designed the appliques in Illustrator, and kept printing them out and pinning the paper versions onto the prototype until the scale and placement were pleasing. Eventually I felt ready to sew up the real thing.
I am particularly proud of the “Tree-Window” on the tent which has a rather nifty construction. I took these photos on a grey old day in May, after rearranging our Lounge room, and co-opting Amelia to be the “kid” in the photo, as no one else was home. The instructions I sent to the magazine ran to 11 solid pages of text, and 24 diagrams. Thank goodness they have a good technical editor, who was able to cut them down somewhat, (and was also reportedly impressed with my instructions and diagrams :-)).
I am really proud of this project, and would be thrilled to see any versions of it made using my instructions. My kids loved playing inside it before it was sent interstate (for photography), and can’t wait for it to come home. So go forth and buy this year’s “Kids Issue” of Australian Homespun, and don’t forget to email me a finished picture or two.
Once again I have started on the end-of-year presents for the teachers. This afternoon I cracked out the pencils and started preparing a couple of stitcheries, that I have made in one iteration or another for the last three years. Amelia and Michaela have both changed their hairstyles recently, but I am not going to tweak their portraits anymore. This is the final design that will be released as a pattern at the end of the year, (Thank You for the Teacher). Once I have finished colouring, the stitching will start.
Have you had your pencils out lately?
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.
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.
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?
I’ve completed the first two butterflies on my “All A Flutter” cushion that I am needle-turning in brights. It has been a while since I have taken the time to work on any needle-turn applique, and I am really enjoying it. It might take longer than fusible applique, but it has such a lovely finish and feels really meditative.
I have three more butterflies to create, but first I have to pick the applique fabrics, which is, I think, the most fun part of all.
What is your favorite part?