This week has been long, and a little bit like like living in the early 1990s again... in a long and winding tale of incompetence on Telstra's part, despite the fact that I am not even a Telstra customer... my phone line was swapped with someone else's... someone who didn't have an internet connection... so it was like being in the 90s except with knowledge of how good the future could be... no googling silly, curious curiosities, no googling important things either, no checking the news throughout the day, no twittering, no facebook. And it seemed to be packed full of ironic moments, where the net was truly needed...
In other news, I almost have my Russian Doll softie pattern finished, and the meekoo is well on the way-- no distractions you see! I've also been mucking around with embroidery after reading some bits and pieces on Sublime Stitching before the whole net thing went down, I decided to jump right in, and I like what I came up with... it's just like drawing, and I like drawing!
And yes I'll be back at Glebe this weekend, hopefully in my cozy spot, although with the construction work, who knows!
Ok, well, here it is, in all it's half-finished glory! Please don't be critical of my wonky lines, I think they're going to look super when it's all put together!
To make your own scrap quilt:
Technically, making a scrap quilt is really, really easy, It's collecting the scraps that is the difficult and time consuming part. I have had quite a few emails asking me how I made the quilt, so I thought I'd share the details, although please be warned: this project was not planned, it just kind of grew from something small, and I didn't do anything clever like plan block sizes, or use a rotary cutter to ensure angles were correct... but you could, and in fact, maybe you should!
1. Find all your little scrap pieces and make sure they are all neat and ironed, and flat!
3. Make sure that you have your iron set up right near your sewing machine, so that you press flat the seams as you sew. This picture is the backside of the patchwork.
4. Start to join the smaller blocks together, and follow the same principle until you get some larger blocks. Then, you just join all these blocks together... it's that simple!
And I'm sure there are some people out there with some amazing scraps to work with, and a lot more space and experience with quilting than me, so I'd love to see some links if you decide to use this idea.
Since finding my second box of scraps I've been colour sorting. I now have a bag of red, blue, green and yellow, and a bag of 'white background with lots of colours in the print'. I've trimmed them into nice rectangles and squares using my rotary cutter, and I've started stitching them together. I plan to make some bags and small softies-- I'm thinking maybe a guinea pig? Upon stumbling on this little pink elephant on flickr, my mind has been filling with cute ideas...
It's by Abby Glassenberg, and she blogs about it here, and it's just one of about a million fabuolous things to discover on the blog.
Well, I hope this modest little tute answers some questions, and helps some people out!
I'm in the middle of making a downloadable PDF pattern to make one of these little girls, I think it will be quite easy to make a little set of them, and I think they would look super sweet dressed up differently... for now, I'm busy drawing up little tiny instruction pictures and diagrams, and of course, spending lots of time drawing all the little details in the fabric-- I guess I'm a sucker for punishment.
I've decided that I'm going to go on a pattern making bender, the meekoo and spring lamb will be next, and I'm hoping to perfect that little Marie Antoinette type doll up there in my new header, completely inspired by my overdose on the Sofia Coppola movie a little while ago... I love the big, big hair, you can see it much better in the movie, but this is the gist:
And my little dolls and blinkies arrived home safe from their debut at the Notebook offices, a shortened version of the dew drop girl pattern, (just the Lucy girl), and the blinky pattern will be in the April edition, so keep your eyes peeled... and a very big thank you to Vanessa for recognising the cuteness of my little people! :)
P.S. No Glebe this weekend, just Kirribilli on Sunday.
Do you save up the most pathetically tiny little scrap pieces of fabric? I do. I find that I just can't part with them, I think it's because I'm selling a lot of my toys, the beautiful fabrics just up and leave... and I want to remember them.
So yesterday in a completely unplanned act of madness and obsession, I started sewing the scraps together, and what I have now is a quilt top, about cot size, and it reminds me of all the toys and fabrics I've been using. I also have sore shoulders, eyes that are having trouble focusing, and a kitchen that looks like a bomb hit it, every mug and glass has been used... and my scrap basket is practically empty as opposed to overflowing!
I hope you all have a nice day off, and think about the lovely diversity that is Australia, and about the thousands and thousands of years of complex culture that was already here. (It's 'Australia Day' today for OS peeps!).
This is Ivy, her and her pals Inez and Sabrina are now hanging out at Monster Threads in Newtown, waiting for someone to take them home and adore them. There are also some new blinkies and a very spunky red meekoo named Sam!
Unfortunately, now my work table is one big mess...
So off I go to clean...
I've gotten well into using tea towels to make my blinkies. I got the idea when my grandmother gave me a big bag full of rags for Joe's paint brushes, and I couldn't possibly waste the kitchness value of the tea towels... they were too perfect. One tea towel makes about 2 blinkies, but there is often this little piece left over-- the perfect size to make a bib from!
Mind the fabric paint stain on this one, but I think it's a great idea, tea towels get really soft as they get worn, and obviously they were made to wipe stuff up!
If you want to have a go, there are some free patterns here:Chickpea Sewing Studio
I also found a cool flickr group which showcases people's funky tea towel creations: it's here.
And below are some sneak peaks!
Now it's time to sample an apple pastizzi-- we've just recently discovered the delights of frozen pastizzies from our local fruit shop... so so so very good!
I've been busy...
A big Dew Drop Girl and a little Dew Drop Girl...
A ballerina and a Swiss Miss...
Lots of this...
Checking my new PDF pattern pieces out...
Lots of blinkies for Glebe tomorrow...
More pattern checking was required...
Lace up ballerina legs and a tutu...
Lots of vintage fabrics...
And lots of stuffing this afternoon!
YES the PDF pattern is finished... I will pop it up on Etsy once I have had a chance to photograph the dolls I made from it... (one of each outfit!), I'm aiming for Monday afternoon.
Good Night and Happy Weekend! And please know that if you're heading to Glebe tomorrow for a blinky, most don't make it past lunch time-- and I can only make so many!
I've been writing my dew drop girl sewing pattern, and something dawned on me... it would be fabulous (sorry if you're finding that I'm over using this word right now, I seem to be utterly addicted to it...), if I included a note about how to pick fabrics and colours for beginners in that pattern... then it dawned on me that I could write a post about too... so I am!
I know we all probably did a little colour theory in kindergarten and possibly in high school, and those of us who studied creative things at uni would have had it piled onto us in first year (I did, thanks to Nicole Punt-- a totally awesome teacher!), but I feel like it is so thoroughly ingrained in my brain and my way of seeing the world that it helps me so much with what I'm doing, so here goes, it's super basic...
Red, yellow and blue are primary colours.
Orange, green and purple are secondary colours.
Red and green, yellow and purple, and blue and orange are complimentary colours... these are combinations of a primary colour and the secondary colour that does not have that primary colour in it... these colours pretty much always work together, and so do shades of those colours.
I find that mucking around with block colours is a really handy way to get to know what works, and what works for you... because everyone has their own preferences and colour styles, and it's great to play with strongly contrasting colours.
And likewise, working with one colour and print is a great way to find yourself and get confidence with what you are doing.
I find that limiting my colour palette is sometimes the handiest thing to do, and so when I first started making dew drop girls, I was really only thinking about blues and greens, and when I got more confident I started to work in other colours.
But sometimes I can spend weeks deciding which fabrics will work together, I'll cut out a dress piece because I'm busting to use a certain fabric and I just won't be able to make anything work with it, this happens quite often... sometimes I cut out a whole doll and then decide it doesn't work... so there's lots of trial and error involved. I cut out the bird fabric on this doll below long before I found the star bursts would work with it... it sat there for weeks and weeks!
Well, I think that's enough 'teaching' for today... if you have any colour tips please add them to the comments and I'll write them into the post-- links are good too! I hope this helps someone out there!