Thursday, 26 February 2009

Spring Frilly Dilly to be auctioned for Bushfire Appeal

The winner of my recent giveaway, Rebecca of Edward & Lilly, chose the Winter version of Frilly Dilly for her very own. This means the Spring Frilly Dilly (below) will be auctioned on eBay with the proceeds to be donated to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. 
 
The lovely Gillian, otherwise know as Silly Gilly, has offered to put together a 'monster eBay listing' of items from crafters all over Australia on the evening of 6th March. The Spring Frilly Dilly bag will be listed then. I will post a reminder as the date draws closer. In the meantime, if you'd like an early peek at other items to be listed, pop over to Gillian's blog.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The stitching strategies of a desperate woman

I get a bit stir-crazy if I don't find time to stitch in a day. It's not pretty! To save myself & everyone around me, I devise little strategies to squeeze in some sewing amongst the busy-ness of the every day. I have been making these blocks. 
Even if I only get one made per day, I feel satisfied to have at least accomplished something!
I keep a small plastic box of 1" scrappy strips readily accessible. I use Melly & Me's scrappy challenge tutorial, but employ freezer-paper foundation piecing as it is infinitely quicker. I can make one of these 5" blocks in 20 minutes flat!
And slowly, but surely, these little blocks are accumulating. They make me happy!
I have even taken to using some selvage strips in the blocks which is fun -  Ric Rac, the selvedge queen, would be so proud!
What tricks do you have to scratch the stitching itch on a busy day?

Monday, 23 February 2009

Coin quilt quandry

I am inspired by the many beautiful coin quilts that are appearing around blogland, and am sorely tempted to make one! 1. Coin Quilt, 2. stacked coins baby quilt, 3. The Back of Zig Zag Quilt, 4. ava coin quilt If you are tempted too, Orangeflower Sketchbook is organising a Coin Quilt Piece-a-long so that you can share your progress. The group's Flickr page is here.
But of course, I will not be swayed from my resolution to finish some of the quilts I've started ... I will not be swayed ... or even slightly tempted to start something new, fresh & beautiful ... I will not ... will I?!!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Giveaway winner

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway. It has been great fun reading your comments & my list of blogs to read is even longer now! I would love to have made each & every one of you something special, but of course, there can only be one winner. My trusty random number generator has come up with comment #98:
By my calculation, this corresponds to: edward and lilly who said... I'm in Brisbane, Australia and giving makes me happy. The sight of your bags makes me happy too, they're fabulous! FEBRUARY 18, 2009 6:19 PM Congratulations to Rebecca of Edward & Lilly who makes the most delightful stitched creations with linen. Be sure to go over & visit her - but no naughty comments about her winning & you not!
Rebecca is also making 'Bushfire Bunnies' for children who have lost their toys in the Victorian bushfires. For every $20 donated to Red Cross on her community fundraising page, she has pledged to make a very cute bunny like this:
What a brilliant initiative! If you are keen to support the Bushfire Appeal in this way, you will need to be quick as Rebecca is fast approaching her $500 target. Details here.
Thank you girls! The giveaway has been lots of fun. Will have to do it all again soon!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Giveaway finishing in less than 24 hours!

At last, some sun today to take some more photos of the giveaway bags. Please comment on the previous post to enter. I am overwhelmed & humbled by the response to my giveaway. Thank you, each & every one of you. I am having a lovely time reading all your comments & visiting your blogs. So much fun!
I will be back tomorrow to draw the winner. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Give them away Bloom!

Awww, do I have to?! I've yet to make a Frilly Dilly bag that I haven't loved, and these are no exception. But give them away I must! Here is the deal for my giveaway: 1. The winner will choose one of the two bags I have made. 2. The remaining bag will be auctioned on eBay, with the proceeds to be donated to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire appeal. 3. The giveaway winner will be chosen at random, 4pm, Saturday 21st February. To enter, please leave a comment on this post, telling me where in the world you live and one thing that makes you happy! Choice #1 - Winter Frilly Dilly, made from reproduction fabrics, The Old Sturbridge Village Collection by Judie Rothermel.
Choice #2: Spring Frilly Dilly, lots of spots, stripes & checks, including a very cute Woodland Bloom print by Lila Tueller. The photos are not very good as it is a grey & miserable day here. I will replace them when the light is better. Something that makes me happy? Fresh flowers ... preferably in a clean house!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Frill seeker!

No shortage of frills to be found at my place today. I am cooking up a giveaway. Watch this space!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Valentine flowers for me ...

... and for you! Enjoy.
These are the only flowers I will see for Valentine's day! Yes, I am married to a man who thinks it is all a lot of commercial rubbish! But that's OK. I'd rather have a man who sticks to his principles, than one who bows to pressure. I gave him one of these cards, just for a stir!
1. Pin Heart, 2. waiting, 3. Embroidery on linen, 4. Untitled, 5. Magnolia, 6. stitch by stitch, 7. Pink Hydrangea, 8. Amazing colors, 9. Pure White, 10. Flora Wall Wear - 2, 11. Thinking "June", 12. Quilt Festival, 13. Astronomia

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Journal cover tutorial

I have made my journal cover to fit an A5 art diary which is 6.25 inches wide, and 8.25 inches long. If your journal differs from these measurements, the method of construction will remain the same, but you will need to alter the measurements to fit.

Requirements:
A5 journal
fabric scraps
lightweight fusible Pellon
linen
ribbon
From your favourite fabrics scraps, cut seven 1.75" squares and stitch them together using a scant 0.25" to form a strip. This strip should measure 9" x 1.75".


Open up your journal to lay flat and measure the total width. Mine was 12". Multiply this measurement by 1.75 to determine the width of pellon rectangle to cut. The height of the pellon rectangle should be the height of your journal + 0.25".

So for my journal, I cut a pellon rectangle 21" x 8.5".


With the fusible side of the pellon facing upwards, mark the centre of the longest sides. Place your patchwork strip 4" to the right hand side of centre and with 0.25" overhang, top and bottom. Press carefully with the point of your iron, just enough to fuse the strip into position.


From your linen, cut one small rectangle 5.5" x 9" and one larger rectangle 15.25" x 9". Pin the smaller of these rectangles, right sides facing, to the right side of the patchwork strip.

Stitch this seam using 0.25" seam allowance. Flip the linen back across the pellon and press. (From the back, your fabric should overhang the pellon by 0.25". This avoids bulk in the seam later).
Repeat this step with the larger rectangle of linen, stitching it to the left side of the patchwork strip. Press.

Using a matching thread, topstitch three rows of straight stitching, 0.25" apart to the left hand side of the patchwork strip. You can also add a marker ribbon at this point. Cut a piece of ribbon 1.5 times the length of your journal (mine was 12" long). Stitch the ribbon to the top edge of the cover, 1.5" from the centre, towards what will be the back of the cover.

Turn the raw, short ends of the rectangle under by 0.25" and topstitch. With the right side of your journal cover facing upwards, turn each of the short ends in by 3.75" and pin.

Cut a coordinating piece of fabric to form the lining of the cover. Mine was cut 9" x 9". You can overlock or zigzag two edges of this lining fabric, but it isn't necessary. Pin in place, right sides together, over the journal cover, matching centres. If you have added ribbon, make sure it is tucked in out of the way. Stitch the top and bottom seam using a 0.25" seam allowance. I also overlocked these seams, just for strength and neatness.

You should now be able to turn the entire journal cover in the right way & press. Hopefully, the outside should look something like this:

And the inside should look something like this:

Insert journal and enjoy! Please let me know if these instructions don't make sense! Have fun & be sure to send me a photo if you make one! Best wishes, Bloom.


And if you'd like a ducky little fabric basket to match, like this one, be sure to visit Pink Penguin's tutorial here.

I have made a variation of this journal cover incorporating a stitchery design here.

October 2014: I have updated this journal cover tutorial hereto provide instructions to custom fit the dimensions of any journal. I've also come up with a couple of nifty options for elastic closures.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Victorian bushfires - ways to help

I find myself wandering aimlessly about the house today, unable to focus on anything as my mind keeps returning to reports of the horrific loss of life in the Victorian bushfires. Authorities are saying the most immediate way of helping is to contribute financially and to give blood. There is also desperate need for spare generators and fuel. Red Cross is adamant that 'items' not be donated purely because distribution is logistically difficult at this stage.
For stitchers keen to help, there are many plans afoot amongst the wonderfully generous Australian blogging community:
  • Melly & Rosie of Melly & Me are auctioning many of their beautifully handcrafted samples here, the total proceeds of which will be donated to the Bushfire Appeal.
  • Gillian of Silly Gilly is offering to coordinate a combined auction of handmade items on Ebay on Friday 6th March. Details here.
  • Cindy of bugandpop has set up a blog called Handmade Help which will list handmade items being auctioned on Ebay or sold through Etsy for the Appeal. Click on the Handmade Help button to the right to take you there directly.
  • Janet of Wildcraft Farm is selling stitchery patterns & kits, the entire proceeds of which will be donated to the CFA (Country Fire Authority. Details here.
Thank you for your kind concern for me & my family expressed in your comments. How lovely you all are! I am many hours from the fires, but the smoky haze when I go outside is a constant reminder of the suffering further south.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Victorian bushfires

It somehow seems inappropriate today to prattle on about stitching or gardening when so many in Victoria are suffering such loss of loved ones or property in horrendous bushfires. My thoughts and prayers are with the many families who have been affected. Hoping for a change in the weather soon to alleviate the atrocious conditions.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Dear Jane returns ... to a mess of fabric all over the lounge room floor

I am back to my Dear Jane blocks after months of inactivity. Now that the kids have returned to school, it is a little easier to find some stitching time.
I used my new silk threads to needleturn this block and it really is very beautiful to work with. The silk 'disappears' into the fabric wonderfully.
And this is the fabric mess on the lounge room floor! In a mad rush of enthusiasm, I cut fabrics for this quilt immediately after my visit to Hatched & Patched with Chookyblue two weeks ago. It is my version of Anni's new pattern 'Ava Rose'. I am using these 'Barefoot Roses' fabrics by Tanya Whelan. And here it sits, strewn on the floor, waiting for me to be happy with the 'random' placement of the fabrics! It takes me a long time to 'do random'!! Hopefully, more progress on this front soon!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Linen + anything = success!

I made up this quick & easy little journal cover this week, using linen & scraps.
 
I took lots of photos as I stitched, so hope to have a tutorial up for it soon.
I love linen!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Warning: Heavily bloom-laden post

Chookyblue's recent visit to town happened to coincide with some local Open Gardens, so in addition to visiting Hatched & Patched, we also gallivanted about gardens together.
There were stunning vistas to enjoy ...
... the gentle & soothing splish spashing of water on a hot day ...
... majestic stands of silver birches to cool ourselves beneath.
And then there were blooms! Fiery red dahlias in the summer sun, wafting about above gorgeous chocolate brown foliage ...
... dahlias of a different form, spiky & showy ...
Oooh, and then there were hydrangeas, a sentimental favourite from my childhood. And in the most delicate and pretty of colours ...
And even the roses looked lovely mid-summer,
apparently untouched by hot winds.
Sweet pots of evening primrose lined stairways ...
as did ruby red penstemon:
There were little retreats for friends only to stop to rest (sign reads 'Friends Welcome, Relatives by Appointment!):
and seats of a different type, perhaps not for sitting these days! Can you see what this little red chair once was? Now that's what I call repurposing!
We saw hardy succulents flowing carelessly from pedestals ...
... and the most amazing use of echeverias for bordering vegetable beds!
And this was one of my more gob-smacking finds: a stunning lilium standing boldly & beautifully upright against a reed fence ... WOW!
And all the while, the sheep next door grazed peacefully & nonchalantly ...
 except for this one ...
... who was obviously called upon to be the showman of the mob. "Baaaa-ha-ha ... how I love an audience"!
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