Sunday, 28 December 2014

Photo memory quilt

The lack of blogging does not mean there has been no action in the Button Room. Quite the opposite in fact. 

One of the key projects to finish in time for Christmas was another quilt commission, this time by a school friend for her young daughter who is due to head to boarding school next year. A very different quilt from those I have made before, she sent me a picture of a quilt she liked and a range of fabric she had selected.  

What makes this quilt extra special are the photographs printed onto fabric and incorporated into the quilt.

Here's the finished quilt front:

 And a beautiful Kaffe Fassett 'Dahlia Blooms' print looks fantastic on the back.

But best of all, I have word that the recipient is pretty pleased with the finished product.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Christmas crackers

I'm excited for Christmas this year. Preparations for feasts and advent and gifts are already underway in my little world.

One feast I am very excited about is to be hosted at our house, with all the Hootchie Ladies (my bestest uni girlfriends) and families coming to celebrate.

One of the other crafty hootchies and I have been at work making Christmas crackers. Here is a little of how it went down.

We gathered supplies - Christmas paper napkins (good for easy tearing therefore good for a good cracker rip), snaps, toilet rolls, raffia for tying, card and prettyness for decorating.

We wrote the jokes, super BAD cracker jokes - you can see how much fun this part was:)

Now, see those naughty little Christmas elves in the picture above. They were created last year and got up to mischief every morning of advent. Well they seemed to have got wind of Christmas preparations and made an appearance...and made us drink some wine...
So, we wrote the jokes, we found/made some trinkets (not showing you those pictures - it's a secret!), and we compiled the crackers. Lots of crackers.

We think they look good.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

a monster and a wand

Beware those beady eyes....

and those chomping teeth...



Or you could get out your wand if that is more your style.

Fun appliques.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Montessori fabric matching job

I was a bit worried when I saw the email subject line 'Term job' from Little Imp's teacher earlier this term. Was I about to be asked to make another 36 fiddly little drawstring bags?
I'm happy to make more bags down the track, but this term there are just too many Christmas crafts that are needing finishing (or starting for that matter!).

The request was not for bags thank goodness, but instead to renew the classroom 'fabric matching job'.

This is a 'sensorial' job completed by the younger children, essentially there are 2 piles of different types of fabrics and they need to use their sense of touch alone to match the fabrics with their eyes masked.

I managed to get a pile of assorted fabrics from a craftsy work colleague to add to some I had at home & this is what eventuated - a lovely pile of varied textures.

A quick 'how to':
The finished size of my fabric squares is roughly 4 1/2".
I started with rectangles of most fabrics 5" x 10".

Fold in half, right sides together and pin together if needed.

Then straight stitch around all four edges (even where the fold crease is) with a good 1/4" allowance & making sure to leave a opening (approx 1") to turn right side out. Once stitched, trim fabric from around the corners & then turn right side out. Poke out the corners & finger press the seams before pressing with an iron to flatten (make sure the fabric can withstand the ironing temperature you choose!)

Then top stitch all the way around with matching thread to finish each square.

Some of the fabric types required a bit of a variation from the above method.

For the fur I decided to make the fabric square single sided, so I just cut 2 squares each 4 1/4" and then backed these with a slightly smaller piece of felt,sewn around the borders twice. This worked well to stop the fur stretching and moulting & will also hopefully mean they last a bit longer with all the handling of little fingers.

The hessian I had was a very large weave, so quite tricky to work with without it unravelling. I used a zigzag stitch to edge the hessian before then folding in half, straight stitching/turning inside out etc.
To reinforce the edges & the overall square I went around the edges twice with a zigzag instead of straight stitch, and also did the same in the middle as seen below.

The square sequined fabric worked best by cutting to the finished size & then straight stitching twice around the edges with wrong sides together (i.e. no turning right side out at the end).

Here is Little Imp testing the final product before we drop off to school this week (the lowered hat is our make-shift blindfold!).

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Log Cabin Quilt

Another finished quilt, this time for a friend,  using up my last pieces of the bright and fun Moda Bungle Jungle fabric, along with some owl and spotty prints.

This is my first try at a log cabin pattern and I went for the 'modern' method of cutting first & measuring later. I like the fun of piecing different colours and fabrics together to gradually built up each layer of the logs.

Each block is 12"finished, with the middle block's final round of logs being the same colour as the sashing so as to look a bit different from the rest.
The middle square of each log cabin is somewhere between 2.5"-3.5", and the surrounding logs anywhere from 1"-3" wide. Most of the block are made up of 3 rounds of logs, but a few have 4 rounds.

Quilting wise I stitched around each centre square and the first lot of logs about 1/8" outside the seam line and then stitched in the ditch around each block.

The back was supposed to be a red spotty fabric, but after washing it many times & it still running I gave that idea up. So a blue spot it ended up being instead, with a line of owls to tie it into the front. I like how the quilting worked on the back, symmetry  with the outlining of each of the 12" blocks but then a bit of unevenness with the smaller squares inside each block.

All wrapped up and ready for delivery:)

Here are my other quilts using the Moda Bungle Jungle fabric line. They have all turned out so differently.
A floating blocks design
and a more traditionally style one.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Does three constitute a herd?

This pattern is just too easy to pass up when needing to make a few softies in a short time.

I added rattles into these ones again - a small plastic canister partially filled with some beads stuffed in amidst all the polyester stuffing.
As these ones were all going to baby babies I also went with felt eyes - & added these on with free motion embroidery before sewing the elephant body together. Super quick & easy!

Addition - last night I saw some of these elephants made from the EXACT SAME pattern for sale...for $44!! Wow.....

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Bungle Jungle plus elephants quilt is finished

The Bungle Jungle Pieced quilt is finished. My first ‘commission’! 
They chose the pattern, I adjusted the size and layout slightly to fit what we needed. The finished size of 41” x 58” is a bit bigger than a standard baby quilt and that is because there are going to be two babies in this instance – twins are on the way!

They provided the initial red and blue fabrics and wanted a quilt for the babies that included elephants but wasn’t too “baby”.  The patterned and elephant Moda Bungle Jungle prints I had in my stash worked in really well with what they had already selected.The size of the blocks are 7.5” square when finished and the internal grey sashing is 1” finished.

And this is how it turned out.

The back was a single piece of patterned fabric which worked out perfectly – I sized the quilt so that the width matched the backing, so no cutting /seams required.

I tried a few new things. Cotton batting instead of polyester…and I am not sure I will be going back to polyester . The cotton was sooooooooo much easier to quilt.

I also left the “Button” (sewing) room to do the quilting this time around. I love my Button room, but the space on the dining room table is so much clearer for manoeuvring while quilting, so this is the new Quilting Venue from here on in. This is how I set myself up:

I also worked out that to get a proper 1/4" seam I need to move my needle a few stops over to the right using the settings on my machine. I used a quilters ruler to measure and mark a line on my machine using blue painters tape to further assist keeping to a nice even quarter inch.

Here is another, very different Bungle Jungle Moda print quilt of mine