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

Monday, 21 October 2013

Spectral Shades

I learned how to knit at a really early age, thanks to my mum casting on and off for me and some patient lessons from my grandma. However, I never really got the hang of crochet for some reason. A couple of months ago I was admiring a crocheted chevron throw my mum had made to use up some scrap wool that had accumulated over the years, and decided I would give it a go.

Armed with a hook, some wool, and a Doris Day DVD, I asked my mum to show me how to work the pattern. I managed to get the hang of it by the time Doris finished her final ballad. I continued to work on it in the following weeks, and before I knew it I'd worked through ten balls of wool and had a not too bad throw for my couch!

Chevron Afghan

The pattern is called "Spectral Shades", and it's from Better Homes and Gardens magazine, June 2010 edition.

I finished up another little project while I was working on the throw; this cute little cat tote (which I forgot to iron before photographing, oops).

Cat Tote
I used this tutorial from Fresh Lemons Quilts, without the outer pockets.

Jago's Quilt

My friends James and Sarah, whose beautiful daughter Juliet was the recipient of the first quilt I ever made, had another baby earlier this year. Born back in May they named their little boy Jago (which is the Cornish version of James, and the 'J' is pronounced the same as with James), and it was an irresistible opportunity to make another baby quilt. Can't have siblings fighting over a blankie after all. :3
Jago Front
I really wanted to use my 1001 Peeps from designer Lizzy House in the purple colour-way. Mixed with black sashing I hoped the parents would dig both the palette and the cute little graphics.
Jago Front Close Up
I pieced the quilt back with a similar piano key layout used for Juliet's quilt, and made a label with Jago's name and birthday with a grosgrain ribbon. I think some of the black & white scraps from Juliet's quilt went into the pieced back, and if memory serves I even made an effort to have the finished size of both quilts the same (40" x 48"). So, same same but different. :)
Jago Back
Apologies for the worst photos in the world; black quilts are especially hard to photograph well, and I'm working with my phone camera and a desperate lack of skill...
Jago Back Close Up
Jago Label
Luckily I've got this great action shot of the gorgeous little guy on his new quilt to make up for it. He looks pretty chuffed about it!
Jago Action Shot
Thanks for the photo, Sarah!