Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Two more Little Birds

Two little birds from felt perching on some wonky strips of fun print fabrics. Another picture frame completed for Little Imp's Feature wall.

Basic 'how to'
To help with piecing the strips together given they were quite skinny I tried a trick of stitching them together with paper underneath to get the positioning right.  It seemed to help with lining them all up the way I wanted.

I drew the sewing lines on the paper and cut each strip slightly wider to give a seam allowance.  I wanted to keep the top pinked edge of each strip raw and visible, so just stitched each strip directly onto the next right sides up (rather than stitching wrong sides together and pressing out flat).  Once all the strips were sewn together I turned the whole lot over & tore off the paper.  Easy done.

Then two little birds were cut out of felt & ironed in place with some 'heat-and-bond' to stick them down.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Hot air balloons...and some more owls

Little Imp's feature wall gets busier.

I hung all of the frames I have finished so far yesterday afternoon and this morning I received the payoff when Little Imp stood up in her cot and saw the designs coming together on her wall.
'Wow' she exclaimed, with the enthusiasm only a 21-month-old can muster at that time of the morning!

The Hot Air Balloons frame is an embroidery I did years ago (1993 according to the date on the back).  I used a design from a library book, but no idea who to credit it to.  Anyhow, it fits perfectly in one of the frames I have for Little Imp's feature wall, so in it goes!

The balloons, clouds and landscape were embroidered onto calico that I had dyed blue and then I remember using mum's water colour paints to extend the scene onto the white cardboard frame.  A long time ago...

And some more owls....

Thursday, 23 February 2012


Another two frames completed for Little Imp's feature wall.

The main print fabrics used for both of these is from a Robert Kaufman collection by Suzie Ultman called Appleville. Cute apple faces and rows of houses.  My designs are inspired in part by some of the other fabric prints in this same collection.  3 apple picking girls in little felt dresses with apple picking pockets and 3 little houses under an apple tree surrounded by free motion flowers.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Mini quilt - in a frame

I've finished the first frame for Little Imp's feature wall!

I wanted to combine some of the sewing techniques I have been playing with and practicing over the last year or so, quilting, free motion embroidery, applique.  This is how it turned out.  As you can see, I'm still getting mileage out of one of my favourite fabrics - an owl print I've used to make many owl baby grows already, and a number of the other owls are earmarked for other frames already.  So there will be more!

I'm not sure that this is truly a 'mini-quilt', but the background has the look of lots of tiny pieces of fabric being pieced together like a quilt.  To achieve the haphazard layered look I cheated a bit by ironing my little bits of fabric onto a pre-cut piece of heat-and-bond, including the owls.

The pieced fabric 'sheet' before being ironed onto the aqua backing fabric
Then for some free motion embroidery.  Haphazard stitching around each little piece of fabric, sometimes going around more than once to reach the next section.  This is what the back looked like.  Almost tempted to frame this, I do like geometry designs.

And here are some close ups of the design detail.

Tree positioned just so Mrs Owl can perch on her branch
An appliqued tree and leaves, edged with free form stitching and some little flowers. 

Some free form flowers embellished with  buttons
Not all of the pictures for Little Imp's feature wall frames are going to be this detailed.  But it actually didn't take too long to make once I had worked out the design & how I would put it all together.  One picture frame down....

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Decorating for Little Imp

This is currently the fantastic 'feature wall' in Little Imp's room.  More like the 'wonky empty frame wall' in Little Imp's room.  And this is how it has looked for months.

It was probably mid last year when I started sourcing all the picture frames, either finding cheap white ones or buying second hand op-shop frames & painting them in gloss white.  I  thought I was powering along with the project, working out the layout & banging hooks into the wall to hang them all.   I even got as far as deciding on a general colour theme.
Aqua - to match with the blue chair in Little Imp's room and the aqua elephant frame (a gift hand made by one of Little Imp's great grand parents)... and maybe a small dose of  poo-ba to girls generally not having blue.
Red - to match the red chest of drawers in her room and the red button bird picture (a gift from one of the hootchies).  Thought a few red frames would also add some interest & help the red theme along.
Pink -   I am a bit anti-pink, so this colour choice wasn't planned, but just happened when I found the inspiration fabric for the project.  I needed something that would pick up the red & the aqua & the print that grabbed me (the floral one in the picture below) also happened to include pink.  Going through some of the charm square packs I bought I found a whole selection of fabric pieces in these colours ready to be put to use in designing the 'feature wall'.

I temporarily filled one frame with a photo I'd taken of Little Imp's baby legs and Aunty Diddums filled the big red one with autumnal leaves collected after a play in the park.

And then nothing more...until this week.....

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Freedom continued...Finished placemats

Finally, here are the finished placemats made using the improvisational pieced skew-whiff squares I made a while ago now.

The squares were blanket stitched using my machine onto the green background fabric before assembling the mats.  I took the easier path by not using binding to edge the mats, instead stitching front back and batting together before turning right side out.

Detail of the 3 front squares and quilted lines in coordinating coloured thread.

Table mats always get dirty so quickly, so I figured I would make them double sided - the back just has a single square.  Twice the use before needing washing!

Decided single smaller mats for hot plates would be more useful than a table runner.  I used two layers of batting to make them a bit more heat resistant.  Again double sided - one with a big block and the other with a single small block.