"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Monday, August 30, 2010

Links for birds, and finally a label for ~Bouquet~!

It was always my intention to make a label for my ~Bouquet~ quilt, but as months passed I simply never got around to it.
I finished the quilt last December, ready to begin sharing the blocks with you in January, then life got in the way and the label idea was pushed aside. Until today. I drew it up and stitched it this afternoon...
Tonight I'll add some binding before sewing it to the back of ~Bouquet~. Can you hear my great sigh of relief? It's a nice long, satisfied, sigh. :-)
Now, for those who want to participate in the Birdcage Weekend Online Sew-In during the last weekend of September, but cannot track down a copy of Homespun for the pattern, I have searched for (and found!) some fabulous free bird patterns you can use!

Download HERE from Spool Sewing -
HERE for this pattern from Nellie's Needles...
HERE at Danielle's Place for a cute felted bird. (Unable to show photo)
HERE at Lollychops for this little beauty...
...and also HERE from Lollychops this sweet owl!
 If you like to knit then THIS pattern from Craftzine will be perfect!
Hope these patterns encourage you to sign on for the...

Remember, leave a comment telling me you'll be participating so I can add your name to the list. 


Sunday, August 29, 2010

The orange is going, going, gone...plus The Birdcage Weekend Sew-In!

I wondered how long it would take me to 'get over' all this orange. 
I like orange, I wear orange, oranges are yummy to eat...but to sew with orange for almost a month? Yep, I'm finally oranged-out. \o/
Here is the final, (and 5th!)  project from my 50c orange shirt in the August Re-invention Challenge!
I am a budgetter, and always keep track of our household finances in a plain brown covered notebook. No more. I have a bright and cheery cover on it now!
There were a few scraps of orange left, but they have found their way into the rubbish bin, never to be used again. \o/
September's Challenge will be announced on the 1st when I share the next free block in my 'Daisy-do' BOM. 
Until then, my mouth is zipped and that's the only hint I'll share. ;-)
I also want to announce a fun weekend in September that you can be a part of from your very own sewing room!!
 My friend WENDY and I are hosting this weekend as an online sewing retreat. 
If you have a copy of the August issue of Homespun Magazine you will have seen Sarah Saliba's gorgeous Birdcage! (you can visit Sarah's blog HERE)

Sarah's imaginative design caught my eye and I knew it would look fabulous hanging in our house against the cool white walls, so I had an idea - a weekend sew-in! 
I chatted with Wendy and asked her to co-host - she was thrilled as she loved it just as much as I do!
Because we don't want this to be restricted just to Australia, we are going to help everyone who wants to participate to find a way to make their own bird-filled birdcage over the weekend of September 25th/26th.

If you have the Homespun magazine you can follow Sarah's pattern. (If you haven't got the magazine but would like it you'll need to hurry out to your newsagent asap before they run out)
For those who want to have a go at their own version of this idea, Wendy and I will be sharing places online that have bird patterns (free, and for sale) over the coming weeks. 
You can make a cage yourself like Sarah did, or even use a existing birdcage...mmm, something white and shabby would be gorgeous. :-) 

If you want to be a part of the Birdcage Weekend Sew-In, please leave a comment telling me so and I'll add your name to the list on my sidebar.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, August 27, 2010

8th Friday Show and Tell!

It's a big one this week! You'd better go brew a good cup of tea or coffee and settle in for some wonderful eye-candy.
Let's begin with two completed Shabby Roses Quilts - both gorgeous!

Carrie's version of my quilt had me intirugued from the start. She used fabrics that weren't what I'd expected - so much so that she called her quilt, Retro Roses, and I *love* it! Visit her blog for close-up photos of the blocks - it's so worth it.
Kathleen's (Cottonreel) quilt is also a stunner! And what really impressed me was the quilting - she did it all herself on an ordinary domestic sewing machine. It's just beautiful! See more photos on her blog. 
Virgina in Chile has been working on her Daisy-do blocks, and she's added beading to the daisy centres - very effective and so pretty!
 Fiona has also made a start on Daisy-do, and once more a very pretty display!
Fiona is also working on the August Re-Invention Challenge by felting old jumpers (sweaters) - I'm looking forward to seeing what she makes. Maybe next week a photo, Fiona? :-)
(I felted some last year and had forgotten about them - hmmm...maybe I should dig them out and have a play myself.)
Now to some clever girls who have been making things in the August Re-Invention Challenge!
Carla made use of a stitchery when she cut up an old skirt for a bag...
...then used more of the skirt fabric for a journal cover!
Carla even designed the floral stitchery on the journal cover and is offering it as a free download on her blog! She's also made a pincushion, bookmark....so much! Be sure to visit and see how creative she has been!
Janet made a handy decorative bag from a heavily embroidered jacket - quite the eye-popper! You can see the jacket before it's re-invention on her blog.
Paulette made use of a whole pile of 100% cotton men's shirts for this fantastic quilt top! How ingenious!!
(and with Father's Day in Australia just two Sunday's away this would be a great idea if you are stuck on what to get dad!!)
Beige Club has been busy making aprons from tea towels! (Didn't we have fun with the Tea Towel Challenge earlier this year?! - Maybe we'll make than an annual event?...) They are so pretty, and great for gifts!
Lastly for this week is Susan! I am going to tease you with her Challenge projects by only showing you what she used....
Now go over to Susan's blog and see what great things she made from the jeans and the ice-cream container!! How brilliant is she?!
Susan thought outside the box, and that has me wondering just how far I can go with Re-inventing...
What about you?
Today I'll finish using up the last little pieces of my orange shirt. Who would have thought orange and I would have worked so well together? (A confession though - I played with pink last night because I was missing it so!!)
Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Aussie labels giveaway winners! And more of that orange shirt...

Congratulations to FOUR lucky winners - you have won some of my vintage Australian product labels! 
The labels are made of cotton canvas and were printed up in 1982. 
I decided to add an extra label to each prize pack, and here are the winning names...
edyB was the 1st name drawn so she has won the large Billy Tea label (same as I used on my doorstop yesterday), plus two other labels...
Frog Quilter was name number two and has won these three labels...
Anne D has won this set...
...and last, but not least, Rumi is the winner of this trio!
Congratulations ladies!!
Please email me your home mailing address and I'll pop them in the post for you. :-)
(I found it interesting as I went through my labels to see that I still have some of these products in my pantry cupboard: Billy Tea, Rose's Lime Marmalade, Uncle Toby's Oats, Aeroplane Jelly, and Rosella Soup!)
After my post last night I got an email from Kristina, who said she wasn't entering my giveaway because she already had a whole bag made from the same set of labels! The fabric was a gift from an employer 12 years ago! How cool is this bag?!
Once again I worked with my remaining pieces of the 50c orange shirt. Today I used some for the background of a cute design I drew last night.
In my stash were some remaining fat quarters from the Birdie range I bought last year, and they just screamed at me, "we need some orange to play with!!"....
Since the operation on my finger my hand stitching is slow, so I had to sit through an entire midday movie while I embroidered and appliqued the block. I never watch midday movies, so this was a very new experience.
As a lover of small useful bags I decided to use the block and fabrics for a book bag with front pocket for holding my phone and keys...perfect for a walk to the park, reading by the duck pond!
That's 5 projects from one 50c shirt. 
And I still have a wee bit left, so I'd best go figure out how to use it all up! 
Have a lovely evening. Blossom and Slicer have gone out for Chinese. Mr E and I will walk to the fish and chip shop instead...it's nice to have a night off cooking once in a while. :-)
PS: Simone asked how I weighted the door stop I made yesterday - I used 1 1/2 kilos of raw brown rice, then stuffed to the top with polyester doll filling.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's still August and I'm still using that orange shirt!

You really do surprise yourself when you make the decision to "re-invent" an old piece of clothing - the ideas keep coming and the fabric never seems to run out!
Today I made my 4th project from the 50c shirt, and it actually piqued the interest of Mr Elefantz! Perhaps you don't know, but Mr E loves me, loves my desire to create, but doesn't necessarily love my style. Shabby Roses, florals, pinks and white? Well, they just aren't him. But he sure does encourage me to keep doing what I love - you can see why I love him, can't you!?
Anyhow - back to today's August Re-Invention Challenge project, and why Mr E loved it.
I have had a big bag of old Australian product labels since before I started sewing in 2005. I saw them in an op shop one day and couldn't leave them there - they spoke to me of my childhood; being raised by grandparents in a 3 room flat, our kitchen dresser filled with these same labels on tins and boxes, I was homesick for my nana as soon as I saw them. 
One that stood out today was the 'Billy Tea" label - that orange matched my fabric perfectly, and it was nana and pop's favourite brew! 
Now what to make with it? This house is very breezy...and one can never have enough door stoppers, can one?
I even got to use the leftover buttons from the front of the shirt.
Mr E *loves* being an Aussie, and he loves things around our home that remind us of who we are and where we come from. :-)
I have so many more labels that I may need to make him an Aussie themed quilt - what do you think?
I'm thrilled he likes the new doorstopper, but I love these...
Next to roses, I love gerberas best. :-)
Because I have such a lot of these vintage labels, I thought I might share some with you.
Leave a comment on this post and I'll pop your name in the draw for a label or two. I'll draw 4 names tomorrow night and the first name will win the other Billy Tea label, and the next 3 names will each win two of the smaller labels each.

PS: Keep sending photos of your August Challenge items! The month is almost over and a new challenge awaits!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More of my August Re-invention Challenge ideas...

You have been very quiet about the August Challenge, and perhaps that is because I have not encouraged you enough to participate. Could that be it?
I have finished 3 items so far from my 50c linen/cotton shirt, but let me tell you a secret.
This challenge wasn't just about recycling a piece of clothing. It was about taking me out of my comfort zone.
This is the shirt after I cut it up...
...notice the colour? Orange. 
I love to wear bright colours - hot pink, burnt orange, deep teal, sapphire blue - they are all *my* colours. They suit my skin colouring, but I don't particuarly like them in my home. I'm a white or pastel girl, with a bit of washed out blue and red (hence my love for French General fabrics) thrown in too. Those are the colours that come through in most of my designs, and through my house. 
But...back to that orange shirt. 
I wanted to force myself to see outside my colour comfort zone and create lovely things from a difficult beginning. 
I have already shown you the first two projects I made for the challenge - the orange cushion displaying a pretty stitchery I had in my UFO pile...
...and the pincushion/scissor-keep I made for my Christmas gifts box.
Now to number 3.
I began to get quite excited about orange when I finished those first two projects, so today I set aside some time to play some more - after all, I still had about 1/2 a shirt left!
An aspect of the challenge I hadn't thought of was, "do I have any suitable fabrics in my stash to use with the orange shirt?" Initially I thought no, but then I started digging around. That's when I realised the stitchery I'd done had lovely orange variegated thread in it, and the small pile of leftover 'Snippets' fabric also had some orange.
Today I found some more suitable fabric, this time from Amy Butler's "LOVE" range. It wasn't long before another pin cushion evolved in my mind (you can never have enough pin cushions!)
The only hand stitching I can do at the moment (as my hand recovers) is a slow backstitch, so I added the name of the floral fabric, LOVE (also the amazing feeling that swells in my heart every time I look at my sweet husband!).
It took me just an hour to design and sew this. 
So simple, but those colours and fabric really make a statement. I *love* it!
Do you think that over the next 9 days you can remake an old item and send me a photo? Let your imagination go wild and don't be afraid to use colours you normally avoid - you might be surprised at the outcome! :-)