Saturday, 6 February 2016

Penguin Backpack : :

Little Mr I started 3 year old kindergarten this week! (seriously will you *please* stop growing!) So, obviously, he needed a backpack to commemorate the occasion!

I own the book "Oliver + S Little things to sew", and if you have read my blog at all, you would probably have noticed I have a slight, ahem, obsession, LOVE for anything Oliver + S!

So it was a no-brainer for me to use the backpack pattern found in this book!
Now, just so you know I'm not completely bias, I have made kids backpacks before, and while those patterns where OK, this one is great!!

Whenever I sew with Oliver + S, I follow the instructions to the tee, because I'm always bound to learn something.For this pattern it was the zipper insertion method! I wasn't entirely sure what I was meant to be doing, but I just follow the pattern and it always turns out great!

Internal Dialog: "why would i want to do that? It looks like your adding a whole load more steps onto something that should be easy liesl!!

Then it clicks why I had to do all those seemingly annoying steps, Que me calling my husband over "come and look at how amazing my sewing is!!"


How cute are those penguins?! 

After I finished the outside of the bag, I noticed it was quite floppy. I wanted the bag to hold its shape, and it did cross my mind to put some heavy weight interfacing in it to really stiffen it up, but I decided to go for more of a softer feel and put in some fusible fleece interfacing instead. 
It helps it hold its shape, but also keeps that lovely soft feel as well, which I love.


 Other changes I made to the pattern: I make some black pipping and added it on all the seams of the backpack except on the straps. I think it just gives the back a bit more definition, especially as I was using the same fabric for the whole bag.  (I also just love pipping on a bag and will add it whenever I can!)


I added two rows of top stitching along the zipper as you can see above (pattern calls for one). Don't really have a reason for that change, other than it took my fancy at the time!

And lastly, I also obviously omitted turning the backpack into a penguin (the pattern adds beaks and wings etc to make a penguin backpack). I really wanted to just let the fabric shine without all the extra embellishments, so I simply skipped over the bits I didn't want and just used the basic backpack pattern.


The insides are from lotta jansdotter, I didn't want it to be too busy in there, so I picked a lovely basic fabric. There is also a small pocket inside. Its quite small. I'm not quite sure what its there for, but I added it anyway as I'd already cut it out.

So there you have it! Mr I has been carrying it around on his back constantly since I finished it! The teacher tried to get him to put it in the locker when we got to kinder,  he wasn't too impressed with that, and did so reluctantly! I guess there's no better compliment he could give me really.

Just for an update, because its been 5 ish months since I last blogged. Lots of things have been going on, I didn't plan on having a long break, but life just happens I guess. Mr handsome has got accepted into University studying Mechanical Engineering and starts in 16 days!! We're really excited about that, but also a bit nervous! Its a 4 year degree and while I know were in for the hard slog, I just feel so excited and blessed that he has this amazing opportunity.

The twins, miss E and miss I are back at school as of last week. We had a lovely summer holiday with them, and even managed to get away to Eden for 10 days camping. (Its a beautiful part of Australia right on gorgeous beaches if you ever get the chance to go!)

AND Little miss S, (who is turning 1 later on in the month), started crawling today!! Shes been up on her knees rocking and trying to crawl for a week or two now, but she saw my embroidery thread box, and crawled to it!!  (girl after my own heart!)

I have loads of projects to catch up on, so keep an eye out for them!!


Friday, 18 September 2015

Last Day Of School : :

Today was Miss E and Miss I's last day of term 3. Their teacher is sadly going on long service leave for the 4th term (sad for us, happy for her no doubt!).

I wanted to make her something just to show how much we appreciate all the effort she has gone to in helping our girls. But at the same time I also wanted it to be quick as I only decided this last night :)

I decided on the tote bag from Lisa Liam's 'The Bag Making Bible'. It came together rather fast. I cut it out last night (while watching the Bachelor *shame*) and sewed it up while Little Miss S had her nap in the morning.

All of the fabrics I used were left overs from other bags that I have made. SCORE!


It really was a difficult thing to photograph, and in this case I don't think the photos do it justice.


The brown thick outer fabric is an upholstery fabric I picked up from spotlight about 3 years ago. The lining is a cotton also from spotlight. The black polka dot canvas was left overs from another bag. Sorry, cant remember where I picked that up from?


The teacher loved it. I hope she gets lots of use out of it. It was really enjoyable to make, I think because it was just so quick. Nothing like a instant results. 


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Jamming With A Jelly Roll : :

My sister has just recently had her 3rd baby!! She now has 1 girl and 2 boys. So of course I made her a quilt as a present.  (I honestly feel like I write that that line at least once a month!)

Ive been hoarding a jelly roll of Sweet water 'Pure' since Mr Z was born (he just turned 3). If you remember I actually used the same fabric for his baby quilt!

Because it reminds me so much of Little Mr Z when he was a bubba, Ive been really reluctant to use it......but since its for my new nephew, I decided I could part with it. (Well, half of it. The other half I have stashed back away in my cupboard with every intention of keeping it forever)

I wanted a really quick sew, so I decided to use the 'Jelly Roll Jam II" pattern from The Fat Quarter Shop. Check out the youtube tutorial here.

So in between making fun of the American accents on the tutorial (ha ha you should hear my husband) and going to my brothers wedding, this quilt came together so so quickly.


I love it sooo much!! (can i just point out the blossoms on that tree? YAY! SPRING!!)

Out of all the quilts I have ever made, this quilt is the most well made. It is dead square. For some reason my quilts are never 100% square. But this one is.
Also all of my seams are perfect! (if I do say so myself).
I finally figured out why its so important to press seams in opposite directions so the seams 'nest' together! (slow learner)


The back I managed to scrounge out of the backing left-overs from the triangle quilt I made recently.
It took a while to cut all the trimmings into usable strips but I'm so glad I did. Its much better for the bank, and its a great scrap-buster!


To quilt it I decided just to use straight lines. I love it so much!! Its adds so much lovely texture!!
Another score with this quilt is that there are absolutely NO puckers on the back!! YES!! I think I may finally figured out how not to get puckers!! (we'll see how I go with the next quilt!)

The binding is a lovely linen look cotton that I picked up from my local craft store.

I love this quilt so much!! I've really noticed how much Ive improved at sewing when I look at this quilt...and especially when I compare it so some of my earlier ones.

Well, I'm going to chuck it in the mail today and it will soon be keeping a baby warm in sunny Cairns where my sister lives.  (or maybe it will be used as a floor quilt!! Ha ha its rather hot in Cairns!)


Friday, 11 September 2015

WIP: Feather Blocks

At my brothers wedding, my sister gave me some fabric to make Little Miss S a baby quilt. It was a Moda Honey Bun (for those who don't know what that is its like the baby version of a jelly roll, at 1.5 inches). I've never quilted with a Honey Bun before, to be honest, I'd never even seen one! Apparently they don't make many.

At first I really didn't know what to do with it? The strips are quite small. I thought of using a Jelly roll pattern, and making it miniature with my honey bun, but it didn't really appeal.

I finally settled on doing something I've been wanting to do for a while....make a quilt without a pattern!! (well almost without a pattern ha ha)


I saw on pinterest some lovely feather blocks, and there was a free pattern online!! Score! So, following the pattern, i sewed my strips together then cut out my feathers.



For the stems I used some kaufman linen that I had left over from the nappy bag I made for myself earlier this year.


I then gathered up some different white-ish low volume backgrounds to use. (see the bottom fabric? thats cotton and steel!! It really lives up to all the hype!)

I've cut enough for 5 feather blocks...they will be my start and I'm just going to keep adding to the quilt until it feels done! '
I'm thinking some tiny half square triangles...maybe even a few arrow blocks too.
I don't really have a plan. I'm just going to wing it!! I've wanted to do this type of quilting for ages! But its so hard to figure out where to start. I think I just over-think my quilts, but this time, I'm just going to go for it.

Hope it turns out OK!


Sorry, I cant remember the line of fabric...I know I kept the tag from the roll somewhere. Ill probably stumble across it soon, then I'll let you know. Its cute though isn't it?

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Triangle Wedding Quilt : :

Last week one of my younger brothers (I have three!) got married!! It was such a lovely day! .....and it was also the first time we have employed the services of a 'proper' babysitter (a lovely girl from church), so it was extra fun to have some kid-free time!
(well almost kid free time! Little Miss S came to the reception as I'm still feeding her, but she slept 80% of the time *BLISS*)

So to welcome a new sister-in-law into the family, and to celebrate their wedding day I made them a quilt!
I really deliberated over which fabrics I should use, as I'm not 100% acquainted with what type of things my new SIL likes yet.
I decided to play it safe and go with something a little 'toned down'.


I raided my stash, which is happily coming into more manageable levels (and by that I mean actually fitting in my fabric cupboard!), and came up with 'glimma' by Lotta Jansdotter. I've been hoarding this fabric for a loooong time, and its the kind of fabric that could really go with any kind of decor.


I wanted this quilt to be a quick sew (well as quick as a queen-sized quilt can be) so I grabbed my trusty 12inch equal-lateral triangle ruler and started cutting out triangles.


It didn't take me all that long to cut, only about 3-4 hours I would guess?
Once I had my layout down pat, I started sewing. Lots of lovely straight sewing. It really was a very quick sew.

The hardest part of this quilt was definitely the quilting.
The thought *did* cross my mind as I was sewing it all together that perhaps I should do quilt-as-you-go to make it easier to feed through my machine. For some reason I dismissed that thought and joined the whole quilt top together.
BIG mistake!!

Its sooo hard to quilt a quilt of this magnitude on my little Bernina 400QE.
The quilting took me about quadripple the amount of time I thought it would, and even then I didn't quilt it the way I was imagining it in my head.

But never mind. Its quilted now. Ill just remember this for next time...(maybe....I'm a chronic slow learner when it comes to making things easier for myself!)


Note: for those interested, the backing is by Riley Blake, called Pirate Matey (its another old line that I've been hoarding!)