Needle-turn applique is my first love, but when you are trying to create quick samples, to demonstrate alternative colour combinations, then nothing beats the speedy method of fusible, raw-edge machine applique.
The past week and a half has been extremely stressful at our house, with a situation arising that none of us expected. It has now been resolved, and the outcome is pretty good, but it was a roller coaster that we would have preferred not to be on. Sewing around pretty shapes has been a therapy that was particularly calming, and just what I needed when I was too caught up in the “what-ifs” in my head.
Today I finished my last two bright butterflies for my “All A Flutter” cushion that I have been needle-turning in bright fabrics. You can see the first three here and here.
It should not take me long to finish them as a cushion, now that I have an invisible zipper foot for my trusty Husquvarna. I think a trip to IKEA to pick up more feather and down cushion inserts might be on the cards!
How do you like to finish your cushions, zips, buttons, bows, envelope enclosure? Do tell.
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.
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.
Last weekend when I saw this text fabric at Spotlight I was immediately drawn to it as a background for some bright applique. I’ve started making another “All A Flutter” cushion, with needle-turn butterflies.
I have barely started though, because I am currently not doing very much at all. I have spent the bulk of August with a very nasty cold/cough, and have now coughed so hard that I have really hurt my neck (pulled muscles). Looking straight ahead is OK, but looking down at some needlework is not a good idea. I am really rather over it all, and sick of being unproductive and, well, sick. I think I will be back to the doctors tomorrow.
“All A Flutter” is another one of my patterns that will be available at the end of the year.
Matching Pegs has a new look! Over four and a half years after I started it, Matching Pegs has had a much needed overhaul, and I can’t be more pleased. Luke, my clever husband, gave it a make-over, after quite a lot of consultation with me. I absolutely insisted that there be pegs, and the pegs be coloured (he was pitching for white). We went looking for just the right fonts and found the perfect one for my header – Corner Store by Jukebox type, which you can find here.
Once we put up the new look, I realised just how dated the old one was looking. The new look allows for much bigger images, (although, in this screen shot of the old blog, they look bigger too, because we took the shot after we had started the makeover) and is designed to re-size smoothly on smart phones and tablets.
The side bar still has some tweaking to go – we have planned out how it will look, but we couldn’t wait to share what we have changed so far. If you are reading this is a feed-reader, pop on over to my actual site for a good look.
This new look has been prompted by a new development, I am launching a range of my patterns this November at the Australian Quilt Market, which is a trade show for all the Quilt shop retailers, who are hopefully going to fall in love with my patterns, and start stocking them in your local Patchwork and Quilting store. I have been working hard on all of my patterns, which tie in with the new look and logo, and have even had real life people testing them.
Meet Monster Chef’s Brother-From-Another-Mother, made by my good friend Melanie.
Last weekend I went on my first sewing weekend to the lovely Sewjourn. Melanie 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.
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).
I had a lovely time, and far too much delectable food to eat. The company was great, thanks for including me ladies.
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.
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.
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.
I was reading somewhere recently that a Hipster is someone that always wants to be ahead of the trend, enjoying something all on their own, ahead of everyone else. Hipsters tend to move on when people saying “hey this is cool” start joining them, because they want to find the “next cool thing”. Nerds, on the other hand, revel in being part of the pack, all saying to each other, “isn’t this cool”, “how awesome”. Nerds enjoy belonging.
I really liked that definition. I am a nerd.
For my birthday, Luke and the kids gave me an ipad2, a collection of grammar posters from “The Oatmeal” and this “Man in the Bunny Suit” Lego minifigure. I was very excited about all of these presents, (see I told you I was a nerd) and especially touched that Luke and Rory spent quite a bit of time in Target, feeling every minifigure pack, until they thought they had found the “Bunny Suit Man”. Amelia had told them that I had mentioned a wish to add him to our family collection. We now have a full window ledge, with 25 minifigures.
Lately I have been working on a baby quilt, made with extremely large, 32″ blocks. I have been using the 10″ squares from a layer cake as a starting point, with 6 additional fat quarters, (cut into 10″ squares). The layer cake contained just aquas and browns so I added the pink for extra girlishness. There will be just 4 blocks that make up the quilt. While trimming the half-square triangle units to size, I made a cutting error. I used some of the “lazier” words in my vocabulary to express my feelings at that point.
I had accidentally removed an extra half inch strip, and only had 1″ scraps to repair my mistake. “Man in the Bunny Suit” is pointing his carrot at my “cutting error” repair. I think I did a pretty good job at fixing it. He gives you a little idea about the scale of the block too.
The moral of the story is to never trim your block when you are on the phone.
When I saw this yarn I thought is was the perfect combination of colour and texture, with a lovely smooth progression of colour. I’ve brought some for the girls and I, to each have a delicate, soft scarf, and hopefully I will have the girls’ ones knitted in time for their birthdays in August.
The yarn has a 50/50 composition of Wool and Acrylic, and is Moda Vera brand called “Fern” from Spotlight. I think Moda Vera is an in-house brand, only available at Spotlight, (if you too have little girls that might go gaga for this yarn and want to track it down).
It is birthday season here at the house of Matching Pegs, as we all have birthdays in Winter.
Luke’s birthday is first, and the kids and I were pretty pleased with the cake that we made him. The icing face on the cake is based on a sketch that Luke did, called “fluke face man”. He is meant to be like those crazy manga faces, which either have enormous or tiny mouths, depending on their facial expressions. This same face has made its way into one of my patterns for Hoop Faces – party stitching, as one of the 12 different faces.
I’ve been working hard on writing up my patterns for self publication, and Luke and I have been working on a site redesign, which is why things have been so quiet on the blog. I’m not quite ready for a reveal, but things are moving along.
The other day I decided that the time was ripe to revisit my Starfruit Cushion Tutorial, and attempt to make a larger Footstool. I cut 9″ squares out of upholstery fabric, and sewed them up with 1/2″ seam allowances (instead of 1/4″). So far, so good.
Next I stuffed the upper section with poly-fill, which took more than half of a large bag, (which was all I had). I threaded the buttons through, while the footstool was still small enough, using dental floss for strength. Then I started feeding this beast with bits of torn, old sheets that were too thin and ripped to reuse, and leftovers from the tee-shirts I had cut up for my rag-rug.
I quickly moved onto old kindergarten tee-shirts, that were too paint-stained, (to pass on to anyone else) and too small for the rag-rug. The footstool swallowed them whole, and still looked hungry. Eventually I ran out of rags too feed it, but it is only half-stuffed. I am thinking that it will take quite some time to finish this beast.
But that’s OK, it may look a bit deflated and squidgy, but Lotta approves.
Have you ever stuffed anything with old clothes and scraps?