Thursday, 21 August 2014

++Quilt

The quilt pile increments with my latest finish; a crib sized blue and orange plus quilt! The quilt has been gifted to my friends Jane and Matt, who are expecting their first baby at the end of September.
++Quilt
To be truthful, I started this quilt long before Jane fell pregnant, around two and a half years ago with no specific recipient in mind. I guess I just trusted that the right parents/baby would present themselves in time.
++Quilt Front
After receiving a package of fabric I'd recently bought from the US, I couldn't wait to cut into this cute foxy fabric, and I'd been wanting to make a plus quilt for a while. I picked out some blues and oranges that matched nicely. The result was foxes and robots, which is conceptually incongruous but... still very cute!
++Quilt Front
I used some scraps to piece the back, folded my finished quilt top and back, and away they went into a drawer for two spins around the sun.
++Quilt Back
Earlier this year I found out Jane was pregnant and my immediate (and incredibly selfish) thought was, "Sweet! I get to make another baby quilt!" But when I remembered the foxes and robots waiting for an owner, I resumed the project and got quilting.
++Quilt Back
Jane studied pure maths at uni, and Matt is a software developer like me, so the pluses felt especially right. Incidentally they are also expecting a boy, although I thought the colours were right because Jane would like them, not because they are "boy" colours. Like me, they're not the kind of people who think colours are gendered.
++Quilt Folded
Since I made the quilt a while ago, most of the fabrics I used are out of print. Nevertheless they are:
  • Monaluna Anika by Jennifer Moore (Foxy, Polka)
  • Robot Factory by Caleb Gray (Mini Robots Blue, Mini Robots Orange, Gears Earth, Circuits in Navy for the binding)
  • 1001 Peeps by Lizzy House (Scheherazade in Orange, Jewels in Basra Blue, Jewels in Jinnee Orange)

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Seeing Green

Today I'm showing off an afghan I finished earlier this year. In March (yes, I am a terrible procrastinator) my husband and I spent a few days in the Blue Mountains to celebrate our anniversary, and I decided to take advantage of the backdrop for a little photo shoot.
possums hideaway view
The place we stayed was called Possums Hideaway, in Blackheath. We had a private and very cosy bungalow which had it's own little fireplace, which we enjoyed despite not strictly needing it at that time of year...
green afghan horizontal
I could blather on about the stunning vistas and perfect weather, but I suppose I should mention the afghan I made, given this is supposedly a craft blog.
green afghan under cabin
I used a free pattern I found online consisting of alternating V and shell stitches. It was so simple to work, and yet the effect is quite striking, I think.
green afghan close up
I chose three shades of blue-toned greens and black to create an ombre effect. The two darkest wools were Panda brand Magnum Soft, which is 100% acrylic but such a pleasure to work with and reasonably priced -- especially if you're buying on sale in Summer!
green afghan folded
I was having a great time pottering about in the bush around our bungalow taking photos in the early Autumn sunshine. It was our last day, and we were taking our time getting ready to drive home.
green afghan vertical
I was pretty surprised to find myself nose to nose with this little fellow, up way past his bed time! He gave me a bit of a fright, but given he was inhabiting a "feeding box" attached to the bungalow, he wasn't phased by his human encounter at all. I don't imagine we're the first (nor the last) people contributing to his furry rotundness, after all.
possum film strip
I guess they don't call it Possums Hideaway for nothing!
possums hideaway
Blackheath is beautiful. I suspect we'll be coming back. :)

Monday, 31 March 2014

Retro Cushions

My talented friend Georgia, whose photos I've used on this blog more than once before, called for a Crafternoon. Having formed an idea of a present she wanted to make for her boyfriend, Georgia wanted me to help her realise her vision. It was a good opportunity to reciprocate benefiting from her photographic skills in the past, so the date was set!

Georgia had found this awesome fabric with retro floppy disks, and the print was conveniently cushion sized.

floppy disk cushions front

We didn't quite have exactly four complete disks on the ~1 metre panel of fabric, so we decided to use as much as we could for the back, plus some border fabric to make a flap.

floppy disk cushions back

She wanted the covers to have a loose fit, to give the cushions a nice chill slouchy look. Normally I go for the opposite by either making the cover smaller than the insert and/or filling the insert with additional stuffing. To achieve this look we made the covers to the same dimensions as the insert, approx. 45cm squared.

retro chair cushions front

We were originally thinking of using zips for the cushion closures, but I had these fantastic blue snap studs that were too perfect a match, and great excuse to use my snap press!

retro chair cushions back

Fast forward a few weeks and I can reveal the result of my gardening project with the recycled doors and pink pots foreshadowed in my last post. Georgia kindly helped me arrange the plants on the doors, and of course photographed the result for me. Et voila!

vertical garden on fence from the left

Much credit must also go to my friend Nick, whose handy work has been featured on this humble blog before. Nick helped me convert a massive, very heavy, hardwood door into two manageable pieces (left and middle panels in the picture). The circle of reciprocation continues in the guise of some jeans that need hemming... :)

Monday, 27 January 2014

Double Knitting

The holidays have come and gone, and what began with many intentions to sew up a storm during my break from work, ended with a new layer of dust on the sewing machine. So instead of something new I'm going to post something that I made a few years ago.

After learning some basic Fair Isle knitting I started looking for a cow pattern so I could make something my husband would like. What I came across what a pattern for a knitted cow dishcloth using double knitting, a technique I'd never used before.

Cow dishcloth chart
Of course, I'm not one to shy away from a challenge. :) As it turned out, double knitting was not all that difficult. If you can knit ribbing, and have some basic Fair Isle experience, you should find double knitting quite manageable.
Double knit cow black side
Double knit cow white side

We use this "dishcloth" as a sort of placemat for protecting our coffee table from our beverages. Double knitting would also be really awesome for making scarves.

While I didn't get up to much on the craft front over Christmas (actually, there is another afghan which is nearly finished...), I did get my hands dirty (sorry) in the garden. I went for a few walks with my sister to offset the Christmas pud, and we *ahem* collected a few cuttings from the neighbourhood.

Succulents growing roots
Succulents are just so easy to grow from cuttings, and I've had real joy watching them all sprout roots and join my starting-to-get-out-of-control collection. I've attempted to offset all the incoming plants by giving a few away (to friends with bigger backyards, ha!). To my friend Matt (Olivia's dad) I wrapped up three aloes and a rose geranium in newspaper. The seedlings can be planted straight into the ground with the newspaper (it's dead plant material after all).
Seedlings for Matt
With the new succulents and other plants I'm going to keep I'm cooking up another vertical garden project, using an old wooden door and a bunch of pots I bought from my new favourite shop, The Bower. No doubt there'll be another post once it comes together. :)
Bower pots

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Crates and Cuttings

I finished my pallet garden!
Dill and Mint
From left to right and top to bottom I have basil, parsley, dill, thyme, mint, and oregano. I also planted a few nasturtium seeds in with the mint because I figured if anything could cohabit with mint, they could. I also learned that nasturtiums are good companion plants as they attract pests away from other plants, and if they don't get eaten by pests they are edible for humans, too. And also just pretty. :)
Pallet Garden
Over the weekend I visited my sister, and admired her collection of indoor plants. This begonia had been adopted from her old workplace. Apparently begonias are indestructible and super easy to propagate from cuttings. Sounds like my kind of plant! It has sweet little flowers that vary from white to fuchsia, depending on how much sunlight they get.
Kath's Begonia
My sister kindly gave me some cuttings from her begonia, as well as a couple of geraniums from her backyard. Here's hoping I don't kill them all! :P
Cuttings

Friday, 1 November 2013

Cow Quilt

Back in March I posted about a cow quilt I was piecing for my husband. I actually finished it by May (I think that's some kind of record for me) so he had it in time for Winter, but I never got around to getting photos of it. Since we actually had a holiday this week, I thought I'd get a few shots while I had the free time and the nice back drop.
Cow quilt at Bannisters
Trent holding his quilt up for me. :) This was take from our balcony, which overlooked the pool bar and the ocean. Sadly we didn't spot any whales (apparently a common sight for this location).
Trent holding cow quilt
This was the first quilting I did using my new sewing machine, it made such a difference! Nice even stitches...
Cow quilt green detail
Cow quilt blue detail
For the back I made some little cow "paddocks" based on Elizabeth Hartman's Picture Day pattern. I think it's maybe a bit too bright but it's the back of the quilt so meh...
Cow quilt back
And finally here's Trent back in May enjoying his new quilt while we watch BSG. :3 (You might also notice a bunch of other cow patterned things in the background... Hehe)
Trent under cow quilt
A quick update on the garden, first sugar snap pea spotted before going on holidays on Monday, and some jalapeƱos that have been happily growing in our absence.
Sugar peas growing
Jalapenos growing

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Bespoke Gardening

A few weeks ago ALDI were selling some ridiculously cheap seedlings, and amongst them were some sugar snap peas. I'd never grown them before but though for $2 I'd give it a try. Initially I had some garden mesh for them to climb on, but after a few weeks when they began blooming I realised they were basically growing sideways on top of one another, so I figured I should do something about it.
Pea Blossom
I visited The Bower hunting for some wood scraps to use, and salvaged some hard wood planks (and some stakes for my tomatoes to boot) for $5. The piece on the left was basically ready to go, we just sawed off the lengths on the top, drilled some holes in the sides and threaded through the twine. The one on the right we pieced together from planks to mimic the other.
Recycled trellis
When I say "we" I'm referring to my friend Nick and his compliment of power tools, not a mouse in my pocket. :} Thanks for helping me make these super hipster recycled "bespoke" pea trellises, Nick!
Peas on trellis
While we were at The Bower I also spotted this mini pallet (approx 100cm x 60cm), which I snagged for $1 for my next garden project: a vertical garden! I've seen a few tutorials on Pinterest and such, but still not too sure how I'm going to tackle it. Suggestions or tips are welcome!
Pallet