If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time-Billy Joel

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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Down Under Quilts-Free digital subscription and new bag idea

 The latest digital edition of Down under Quilts is now online. If you are not subscribed to this free online quilt magazine you may sign up on this page.

I am also designing a bag to use with this cat design from If Cats Could Talk V BFC Creations  because this is what we discovered our cat has been doing under the throw rug on the chair. The bag will be in black/white  and red tonings  as they are some of my favourite colours to use in bag making.
PS  He is still alive!!! after we discovered this

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Chic Scrunch Away /Fold Away Tote-Tutorial and Pattern

Chic Scrunch Away /Fold Away Tote

Chic Scrunch Away /Fold Away Tote 2

Chic Scrunch Away /Fold Away Tote Pocket

Chic Scrunch Away /Fold Away Tote-drawn up

I have spent most of the last week thinking about how to make this bag and this morning got under way. It is modelled on the famous strawberry tote where the bag folds up into the strawberry pocket. I remembered making those little drawstring sewing totes many years ago and consequently thought  why can't that idea be used to make a tote? The design I have used is from BFC Creations Turkish Delight Quilt Circles. They are quick to stitch out and look great when the tote is pulled up into it. The frill around the outside gives the illusion of a flower I think and adds a touch of glamour to an otherwise plain tote bag.
The tote is not lined but I have used French seams for extra strength. It is is quite roomy,measuring 20 inches across by 22 inches high .The tote could also be made from rip stop nylon for a more lightweight version.

The tutorial can be found here and the pattern can be found here.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Pincushion in Tin Can/Pail

Pincushion in tin can/pail

I discovered this small  3 inch high tin can/pail in my doll making accessory drawer last week and decided it would make a great base for a pin cushion . I used a 6x6 ITH quilt block from Kenny Kreations. I initially measured the diameter of the small tin can (3 1/2 inches) and allowed a bit extra for the height of the padding. I rolled up a ball of wadding and put it inside the quilt block much the same way I made the cupcake pincushion. The quilt block fits in tightly so you do not have to glue it in,this means you can change it if you want to.
This idea would be great for other small containers such as terracotta flower pots etc.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Free Animal Rescue Design

Urban Threads have a free Animal Rescue design for download until August 28th . This is a great design to embroider on items for animal shelter fund raisers especially the RSPCA here in Australia.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Red Rooster Fabrics -free quilt patterns

As a machine embroiderer who make quilts I am always looking for inspiration and ideas to combine the two techniques so that the finished product does not look like a cobbled together project with little thought to the details of design. Many of the fabric companies provide free patterns when they release a new fabric line and Red Rooster Fabrics are releasing a new line called Melrose. The accompanying free quilt design available for download on their patterns page would make a delightful layout to also showcase machine embroiderd designs in the centre of each block.

Visit Red Rooster Fabrics and look at their free patterns for download, especially the Melrose

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Scalloped Edge Coat Hanger Cover Tutorial-uploaded

Scalloped Edge Coat Hanger Cover
I have finished the tutorial for the scalloped edge coat hanger cover. As mentioned in the previous post it is machine embroidered with one of the free designs being offered by BFC Creations/Stash The tutorial and included pattern template can be found here

Coat Hanger Cover- BFC free designs

Free Design From BFC Creations 1

BFC Creations/Stash are offering a free set of machine embroidery designs on their website. The first of 12 designs has been posted. Make sure to collect them as they are being posted on the website as each one will only remain available for two weeks. Each new design will be added every week or so.These paisley designs look like they are going to be very versatile. I am going to use the first design as the centrepiece for a padded coat hanger cover. I have used Embird to combine the designs, change the colours, and have split the small daisy section off to add to the middle of the design. I will be making the hanger cover and doing the tutorial during the coming week.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Heirloom Quilt Sampler- Block 3

Heirloom Celtic Knot

Heirloom Celtic Knot 2
 Block 3 of our free online heirloom quilt sampler class will be sent out tomorrow. It is a Celtic knot design. There is still time to join this class if you wish. Just send an email if you wish to participate.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

34 Years Since "The King" Died- Free Elvis Design

Elvis costume
Today marks the 34th anniversary of the passing of the "King", Elvis Aaron Presley. Elvis is a popular theme for machine embroidery designs and Cathy Park has a great free design on her Stitchingart website. Scroll down the page until you find the word Hollywood and download the format you need for your machine.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Blogging Milestone

Pink and Green Crazy Patch Cushion
As I posted yesterday, I have had this blog for a little over two months and today I am very excited as we reached 25000 page views. I would like to provide more projects but I work form 7.30 in the morning to close to 5.00 each night and that does not leave me with much free time during the week.
I have attached a photograph of one of my favourite projects. It is a dupioni silk pillow created using machine embroidered ITH crazy patch squares. It includes small fabric printed images with bead and button embellishment.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Two months of blogging and the heirloom quilt sampler tutorials

It has been a little over two months since I started blogging and I have been ovwerwhelmed by your messages of support and positive responses. It is, and has been my intention to offer free projects on my blog. It is also my intention to offer projects that have machine embroidered projects showcasing designs from many different digitizers so that I can choose the design that is the right fit for my project. I have many future projects planned but not enough hours in the day to complete them.

I have started to write the tutorial for Block 3 of our free online heirloom quilt sampler course. It is not too late to start this quilt sampler, just send me an email and I will forward the instructions for the first two blocks to you.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Mug-Can Organizer -Tutorial

Mug Organizer with Embroidered Design

Mug-Can Organizer
 I have now uploaded the tutorial for the mug/ can organizer with instructions to make one to fit any shaped mug or can. The tutorial can be found here. I made my organizer out of two co-ordinating fat quarters. The embroidered design on the black and white mug is a free design from Hatched in Africa. You can just about add an embroidery to most small projects with a bit of thought. These organizers would be a great fund raiser especially for events such as when we have Australia's Biggest Morning Tea here in Australia for the Cancer Council.

Mug Organizer

Mug Organizer

I have made my mug organizer prototype using a giant pottery coffee mug that has been in the drawer not used for years because it was too heavy to pick up when filled with coffee. I will have the tutorial up on the blog later on today. I have made this one out of two fat quarters but they are a good way to use scraps etc or a piece of novelty fabric that you may have. You could also put a machine embroidered section in just above the outer pocket section. Ric rac would look great just around the folded rim as well.
The tutorial will have instructions on how to make a similar organizer for any size of mug or can.

Friday, 12 August 2011

More Spring Flowers and Mug/Can Organiser

As we get closer to spring more and more exquisite flowers announce their arrival in the garden. Today I am sharing with you some delightful miniature daffodils in a tub with a tulip about to fully open and the daffodil patch which is outside one of my sewing room windows. You can catch a glimpse in a couple of the photos of one of my pencil pines with some dead sections. We have a family of ring tail possums living in these pencil pines. They come out at dusk and scurry through the trees returning just before dawn. They are the most delightful little creatures.
It is Saturday morning and I plan to have a go at designing and making my own version of a mug/can organiser. If all goes well I will share the tutorial tomorrow.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Crazy Patch Quilt

Machine Embroidered Crazy Patch Quilt

One of the techniques I enjoy doing the most is ITH crazy patch using stitch and flip method and then embellishing the finished blocks with buttons, beads etc. I saw somewhere that it was silly having all of our treasures hidden away in drawers etc when they can be put on our creations. Some of the buttons on the quilt belonged to my mother and she had them on a knitted top when she was 15. She is now in her late 70's .The crazy quilt in the photo was made a few years ago now from Kenny Kreations crazy patch set. The quilt also appeared on the cover of Australia Machine Embroidery and Textile Art.
I printed the images onto fabric to put into the quilt and also hand painted some of the lace to match the various coloured blocks.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Heirloom Quilt Sampler Block 2

Heirloom Quilt Sampler Block 2 Tied Bow
Block 2 of our free online heirloom quilt sampler class has been sent out. It is a tied bow. There are many possibilities of inserts that you can add to the loops of the bow.
There is still time to join this class if you wish. Just send an email if you wish to participate.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Using Embird-Auto Repeat Tutorial

I have discussed before how Digitizers are gracious enough to provide free samples of their work. One of those is Kenny Kreations and I have used the free Cabochon Treasures sample to make this design to fit my 8x8 inch or 200 x 200mm hoop . It has made quite a spectacular cushion design. Free samples are a great way to see if you like design sets which can be quite expensive. I have used Embird software, particularly the auto repeat function.The tutorial is for a machine embroidery hoop that is at least 8 inches wide. The tutorial can be downloaded  here

Friday, 5 August 2011

Vintage Chicken Scratch Tablecloth

Vintage Chicken Scratch Tablecloth

I have posted some pictures today of a tablecloth I made 40 years ago when I was 15 and at school. I did not know at the time what this type of embroidery was called. We used to have an activities afternoon once a week and a member of the community came in and taught my little group various craft activities. One of the things I remember making was a macrame evening bag out of very thin plastic tubing.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Cuddlesome Sea Critter Quilt -Tutorial

I have finished the Cuddlesome Sea Critter quilt and the tutorial can be found here. I have quilted it with an all over free motion meandering stitch and used a faux piped binding.
Cuddlesome Sea Critter Quilt
My daughter is doing well and she is recovering quickly from her bout with scarlet fever. She has her follow up consult with the dental surgeon tomorrow after her wisdom teeth operation and flies home to Canberra on Saturday.