Monday, 28 December 2015

Meshwork pencil case for a friend

Happy holidays. Its a great time to cruise the web for ideas and stimulation.

I have a friend who is incredibly generous and has given me lots of advice over the years.  She ( I can't mention her name - still a secret) is also a very talented sewer so I have struggled to come up with the perfect gift for her.

A spark ignited when scrolling through pinterest pencil cases last week as I have decided to give her fabrico pens.  This clever pencil pouch appealed.

How to sew a pencil case or make up bag with a zip DIY tutorial.

My friend also likes the meshwork star version of baby blocks and I know she will never bother making this for herself.

Meshwork Star

For this pouch I will use three colours to create a meshwork star outer fabric.  The two greens will form the star and the purple the hexagon surround. 
30cm of each colour cut into 3/4" strips.



I laid  each green on either side of the purple (picture right) gave the star a half and half effect (above).  This didn't appeal to me so I unpicked my weaving.

 I laid each green in pairs between the rows of purple.

This gave the effect below.  Much more pleasing to my eye.
I quilted the panel around each hexagon to secure the weave as it bends into its new shape.

The total size of my woven panel was 11" x 11".  This gave me plenty of space to cut into the required shape.  I had to vary the instructions for this pouch as the meshwork was to thick to incorporate as a seam.  I also used a Vislon 70cm zip rather than a dress zip.  I liked the chunky look it gave and it is more in proportion with the meshwork.  The only snag - the sewing machine needle will not sew through a vislon zip so I had to hand bound it.
Bottom of zip hand bound.

Side of completed pencil pouch

top of pencil pouch

Inside pouch. 

I ironed on a firm interfacing onto the lining fabric then hand stitched into the pouch rather than sewing it in at the same time as the zip.  I had to improvise from the techniques used in the pouch tutorial due to the thickness of my fabric.

Now to fill this pouch with fabrico pens.  Mine are nearly drained.

Happy Stitching and Happy New Year. xx

Thursday, 17 December 2015

My Fabrico Pen dress

As promised - here is my dress.  I only have the hem to go.

Simplicity 3833 - Retro 1960s style dress  (the decade I started school).
Parisian by Chelsea Andersons - Riley Blake Designs, supplied in New Zealand by Nutex Wholesalers (Auckland).

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Stacking bowtie technique - student show n tell

I love it when those who have attended my classes show me their results.  This came in from Linda this morning.  Great pipping to.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

My obsession with colouring in fabric

In my earlier post (28 October 2015) I showed you my dress I randomly coloured in using fabric pens.  I have had a lot of fun with this dress.  Each time I have washed it I coloured in more flowers and added additional colours.

So to continue my obsession I have started another using a fabric from the same Riley Blake Parisian range (supplied by Nutex Wholesalers NZ) as my previous dress.

My dress will have two panels (one front & one back) coloured. 

I initially bought two packs of fabrico pens and over time a couple of colours have run out (as expected).  Some shops sell these pens as singles which is great.  However if you buy them, ask to test them  first in the shop before purchasing.

I replaced my pink pen only to find that the fine tip end drew a deep red colour.  I also replaced the tangerine only to find the pen is basically dry and the fine tip end was useless.  This can be really annoying if you have to travel a distance to purchase them or if you order by post.

Pink fabrico pen - Fat end is pink but the fine tip (on the right) is more crimson.
I really enjoy using these pens but I think its also important to note that the outside colour of the pen does not necessarily reflect the colour it will draw.

Notice the pen colours versus their actual colours.
I will update this post with my dress finished for Christmas day.  

Back to colouring in.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Stacking Bow Ties - Krazy Cow

A great day in Levin today at Krazy Cow sharing my passion for stacking bow ties with a group of ladies. 
Check out their work.


Finished my evening bag using my dress fabric for dinner tonight.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Meshwork and Quilterslane

I spent a very enjoyable weekend with two groups of ladies making Meshwork blocks.  Here's a glimpse of their progress.

Thank you Shiela and Brenda for looking after us so well and the wonderful lunches and other refreshments.


Friday, 13 November 2015

Your cutting boards

This posting is circulating on Facebook amongst quilters.  Makes for an interesting read. I vaguely remember this being mentioned when I first started quilting in 1997.  At that time bathing babies, housework and everything associated with a young family, this definitely wasn't retained.  I just made sure my board went back under the bed to stay flat and out of the heat.  I have from time to time washed my board to clean it but not left to soak though.  
So I have soaked and scrubed my boards today with the large one not fitting easily into the bath.  I won't soak them over night as family members need the shower which is over the bath.  No point risking them being heat damaged.
Will follow this advise over the next year.  Place wet towels over the boards for a night.  My boards maybe to used and old but I am sure if you have just purchased one, you will be able to really test this.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Martelli Rotary Cutter

I have hurt my left arm mainly due to over use.  For a while now I have been searching for new ways to help with my rotary cutting both at home and at work. 

I came across this link about the Martelli Cutting system.

I ordered a left handed cutter which arrived in the post two weeks ago along with a packet of blades.  Today is the first time have been able to test it out.

Left handed Martelli Rotary Cutter with black handle
Martelli Rotary Cutters for right hands are Red
Side view

Your hand rolls over to assist with cutting using a normal rotary cutter.
Here my hand is straight.

It has taken me a few attempts to get the hang of the new motion and finding the correct pressure to cut.  Its definitely a lot more comfortable. Blade closure I think is a little awkward.

I do recommend watching the video.  If you decide to order one, then make sure you buy blades as they have different circular centers with no additional groves like the olfa blades.. 

There is a back order on left handed cutters as this model is currently being updated. 

Town and Country Quilters Levin

Last night Wendy ( ) and I had the pleasure of speaking at Town and Country Quilters, Levin New Zealand.  Our topic La Passicaglia.
Awards were also presented for their challenge quilts.  My photographs from last night were a major fail, however I do have some photographs of some these quilts before they were hung (I had the pleasure of being the judge).

Theme: use the black and white challenge fabric issued and your quilt must contain two triangles and one circle.

Luchelle Cotterill

Helen Cole

Paula Shailer

Heather Easton

Paula Shailer

Paula Shailer

Wendy Tunley

Helen Cole
Very clever use of the challenge fabric - chest and inside tail.

I admire any quilter who makes a challenge quilt and I was surprised that several quilters had made more than one.
Great night.