Friday, December 20, 2013

Ten last minute Christmas gifts

Like me, you have left it to the last minute. Again! Not to worry, I have rounded up a list of quick last minute diy gifts. You should be able to make most of these gifts with the bits and pieces around the house too!

one: buy a craftsy gift voucher for the eternal crafter

two: thread spool wine corks by A Beautiful Mess

three: braided scarf over on the winthrop chronicles

four: mini spool necklace by Tea Rose on Craftsy

five: open wide pouches on the noodlehead blog

six: friendship bracelets by Crystal - hey that's me!

seven: simple hanging vase on Minieco

eight: a removable peter pan collar by my sparkle
nine: infinity scarf using two fat quarters on sew home grown blog

ten: if you have made a home made gift, why not attach a tag to let them know?

Merry Christmas! Crystal x

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Let your heart be light: Christmas embroidery

Last year, I stitched up this pretty christmas embroidery for Wild Olive for her craft a song of Christmas series. It's so cute! You can pop on over to the Wild Olive blog to download yourself the pattern.

Need threads?

Have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Behind the scenes of a craftsy class

Just in time for the Black Friday Craftsy Sale...
Last month, I shared my four favourite Craftsy classes. But do you know what goes on behind the scenes? Before filming even begins, hours and hours are spent determining what content will be covered in each class, and how to best teach specific techniques to the camera. Instructors work with an instructional designer to create an in-depth outline of each lesson, and decide how to best prepare props or “step-outs” that show what your project should like at different steps. Instead of a scripted class, instructors follow their outlines on camera to create an authentic and engaging teaching experience.

Most Craftsy classes are filmed in one of five Craftsy studios in Denver, CO, assuring that every part of the production process goes off without a hitch. They fly in instructors from all over the world to spend several days filming, then spend several weeks turning hours of footage into a two to three hour class experience that has been watched, rewatched, and reviewed by industry experts. The final result is an HD-quality video that takes you in-depth into specific topics in any given craft category- from cooking and fine art to sewing and knitting. 

What IS the Craftsy experience?
Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right.

Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee.

Try online learning today with a free mini-class from Craftsy! Choose from 23 Free Craftsy Classes ranging from drawing and painting to sewing and quilting, from knitting to cake decorating and more. 

Crystal x

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Retro baby quilt

Another baby, another quilt! I had this really cute panel hanging around for a perfect project. When I heard that my sister in law was having her fourth baby - I immediately knew I wanted to use this in a quilt for her. Annabelle arrived the night I sewed on the label. That is some spooky coincidence right there! The retro fabrics were picked up at the Canberra Craft Show and I just loved the stripy binding!

Quilt Specifications:
Quilt name: Retro baby
Made for: Annabelle (born November 2013).
Finished size: 32 x 48 inches.
Fabrics used: Children's panel from Spotlight, reproduction fabrics (no selvedges) and a Bari J Ackerman stripe for the binding
Pattern: Designed by me. 6 inch panels sewn together randomly
Quilting details: Quilted by me with a walking foot. Using a cream cotton, I sewed straight lines across the fabric around 1 inch apart.

bits and pieces november

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My four favourite Craftsy classes

Have you been on Craftsy yet? I LOVE Craftsy! It's rather addictive! I have enrolled in several so far and i love watching them when i have a few minutes spare! Every class is value packed with lots of great techniques to be learnt in every class. I guarantee you will find a class that will encourage you to try out your new skills. You might even get a deal on my top four classes by following the links!

These four are my favourite Craftsy classes:

I love Sarah's needle turn appliqué technique - an easy way to make some beautiful shapes. This class has so many techniques to learn and she shows many beautiful ideas to create your own quilts. And it is so great to hear that Aussie accent!

I have always loved her fabrics and I can't wait to make her dresden wedges... Classic designs with simple techniques. Traditional meets modern.

Who doesn't love the very gorgeous swoon block? Great for beginners. This class includes four quilt patterns using pre-cuts to get you on your way to make amazing quilts!

Leah's free motion techniques will get your domestic machine humming along nicely. Her teaching style will help you on your way to becoming a confident free motion quilter.

What is Craftsy?
Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Why should I take a class online?
Online education isn’t just for schools and universities anymore. Craftsy courses provide you the convenience of a world-class instructor in your home, whenever you want to learn. Online education, no matter what subject, is a great alternative to in-person classes for a number of reasons.

With many online learning opportunities being on-demand, you are able to learn at your own pace, anytime. Online learning is a fantastic alternative to in-store craft classes for people with busy schedules or who have difficulty leaving the house. It also allows you to watch a troubling section over-and-over again, so you can see exactly how a technique is carried out, or refer back to your class for relevant concepts before beginning any new projects.

Crystal x

Sunday, October 20, 2013

six years old

Chloe is now six years old. I am so fortunate to be her mum and watch her grow and become the amazing, beautiful girl that she is. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

tutorial :: mega owl plushie

This wise old owl will take over the night shift for you. Use him as a pillow or use him as a toy or use him as a bit of both. He will make an excellent gift for any child, big or small!

You will need:

Step one: Enlarge your owl design 400% and trace onto the white fabric using your favourite method. I love the frixion markers - when you iron the fabric the ink disappears! Make sure there is at least an inch clear around all sides of the design.

Step two: Stitch along the lines using backstitch. I used all 6 strands of the floss for a chunky look.

Step three: Give both the fabrics a good press. Turn them right sides together. Sew around the owl about half an inch outside the design. Make sure you leave a two inch opening at the bottom. 

Step four: Trim the fabric back to make a half inch seam. Clip any tight corners. 

Step five: Turn the owl out the right way through the opening and stuff the toy fill inside. 

Step six: Hand stitch the opening closed.

Voila! Your very own mega owl. Hoot hoot!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Friendship Bracelets

My next pattern available is the friendship bracelets pattern. It provides you with the instructions to make the stripe and the chevron pattern. Friendship bracelets are so fun to make! They can be made in any colour combination you choose from embroidery floss. These instructions will help you to master the left and right knot and create your very own bracelets for yourself and your friends.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hot air balloons embroidery pattern

I am super excited to announce that I have my very first embroidery pattern available as a download. I created this pattern as part of the embroidery workshops I am holding at the mega craft day at the end of the month. But, for those of you who can't make it it is available as a download from my craftsy shop.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Geometry for Archer

This year, I have been really trying to finish of my projects. I had so many on the go, but I really needed to get some of them done. One of the problems with doing lots of quilting and creating means that I was inspired to start new ones! Cest la vie, once I have an idea burning in my brain, I really, really want to get it done. Which bring me to one of my latest creations, Geometry. 

HSTs (thats half square triangles to the uninitiated) are such a useful block with indefinite possibilities. To create this quilt, I selected five solid colours - three greys and two aquas - which I then cut into 6 1/2 inch square, cross cut into triangles. Next I sewed all the triangles together to make my squares and then all the squares together to make the quilt top. I tried to keep it random, which meant that once it was all together, the triangles came together to form their own shapes. If you did it again, you would get a completely different quilt and I really love that idea. 

This quilt was made especially for Archer and although I tried my best to complete it before he was born (even ironing blocks while in labour!), I didn't quite make it. It is now on his bed to keep him warm on these cold, cold Canberra nights. 

Quilt Specifications:

Quilt name: Geometry.

Made for: Archer James McGann (born 10 March 2013).

Finished size: 42 x 54 inches.

Fabrics used: Homespun solids in 3 light, medium and dark grey with 2 light and dark aquas.
Pattern: Geometry, designed by me. 6 inch HST blocks placed randomly to create a variety of geometric shapes and patterns.
Quilting details: Quilted by me with a walking foot. I stitched in the ditch around the various shapes, using a variegated grey cotton thread.

One more gratuitous Archie shot because I can...