Sunday, March 23, 2014

But I’m not creative!

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people tell me 'but I'm not creative'... I always have the same answer. Rubbish! I truly believe everyone has creative in them. Sure, it's a skill that you have to dedicate time for, but we all start somewhere. If you want to sew, embroider, make something, please, give it a go! What's the worse that can happen?

Patterns and kits these days can help take all the guess work out of colour choices and design for a beginner. They are a great place to start. One of my first quilts was a kit. The fabric had been chosen and the pattern was all there, ready to go. When I look back at my beginner quilts I can see the mistakes I made. I remember a baby quilt I made, and when I cut the strips, I cut them along the selvedge, instead of across. I can't remember how I worked it out that I had cut it wrong, probably mum told me, but I grew from this mistake. Other quilts had questionable fabrics and colour choices. But, I learnt and grew again.

When my daughter gets frustrated at a new skill, I remind her that she needs to practise. I tell her – remember when you couldn’t whistle? Or when you were learning to ride your bike? Now look at you, how did you get good at those things? By practising. Well, I have the same advice for you.

If you want to be good at your craft and close the gap between where you are and where you want to be, you must practise. You must also practise being patient - which we could all use a little more of in our lives. The more I sew, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more challenges I take. The more challenges I take, the more I am inspired and the more I grow.

As we create, we learn, we grow. The use of our hands is very important for us and something we miss sitting on the computer all day (ironic as I type this post). The skill of making, of doing is lost when we do not do. Creating something from scratch can be complex
, meditative, difficult and enjoyable. And the best bit about creating something? You have something to show for your hard work at the end.

So, next time you think you aren't creative, or you could never make that, hear me reply, rubbish! Give it a go! Create something. Cook, plant, paint, knit, sew, draw, it really doesn’t matter what you choose. Try, practise, make mistakes and enjoy making. You never know what you will create next!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Retro space rocket quilt

I have listed my first quilt for sale on Etsy! I am planning on listing many more quilts and handmade items in the coming months. I also took the opportunity to take some photos of Archie! What a cutie! He would not sit down for a photo. Cest la vie, standing it is!

This boy's quilt is perfect for your little rocket man! A handmade quilt to cherish featuring a cute retro space panel and hand selected co-ordinating prints.

A variety of beautiful cotton fabric in blues, reds, yellows and olive. These bold colours are complimented by the large panels, showing off the great range of fabrics. Organic straight lines echo the panels and provide a functional and strong, yet stylish quilt. Handmade with 100% high quality cotton fabrics and batting, by machine (including the binding). The quilt measures 34 x 36 inches (86 x 91 centimetres).

Are you looking for a custom quilt? Please contact me and we can discuss your requirements!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A workshop with Helen Godden

On Friday I had a free motion quilting (FMQ) with Helen Godden. It was a great day and I learnt so much. Helen's background is art and as she had no experience sewing before she started FMQing, she had nothing to unlearn. She has won some amazing awards and many of them on a machine she borrowed from her mum!  She taught us the secrets about FMQing - its 'll about cleavage, swans and Hugh JackmanCheck out Helen's bling!

I still have a way to go, but I have begun. And you gotta start somewhere, right? I bought some grippy gloves (from Bunnings) and I'm going to have another crack today. I hope this is the start of something great. Like anything, practice makes perfect! I'll try to remember that when I'm having a bad day. Have you learnt something new lately? How do you keep motivated when you're not quite there yet?

I'm linking up with SEWjo (sewing mojo) today over on the My Go-Go Life blog

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Giveaway - online Craftsy class with Sarah Fielke

Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Vicki D for winning! You will be notified by Craftsy and sent a link to enrol in the class today. For every one that missed out, you can enrol in Sarah's class (and many others) for 50% off today only!

- - Original Post - - 

I'm excited to be able to offer a giveaway for my favourite Craftsy class! Sarah Fielke's class, Big Techniques from Small Scraps is an amazing class, jam packed with lots of different techniques for making quilts using a variety of different materials. My Turning Point Quilt was even based on one of the lessons!

The author of four books, including Hand Quilted With Love, Material Obsession and Quilting: From Little Things, Sarah creates vibrant designs that appeal to both modern and traditional quilters. Her fabric lines emphasize her passions for bright colors and bold design that draws from traditional quilting in a contemporary way. You can watch this video to meet Sarah and learn more about her.

About Big Techniques from Small Scraps:
Playful, colorful, improvisational and just plain fun! That's how Sarah Fielke's fans describe her quilt designs. In Big Techniques from Small Scraps, this Aussie quilter makes six small, scrappy quilts that combine traditional techniques with updated fabrics and a fresh design sensibility. Try something different, like deconstructed piecing, or learn a new skill, like needleturn appliqué. Create Sarah's designs or jump off and do them your own way. It's all good fun!

What You'll Learn:
  • Step-down piecing
  • Appliqué curves and points without templates or pins
  • Hand quilting with perle cotton to add dimension
  • Deconstructed piecing
  • Using the 60-degree ruler and Dresden wedge
Sounds fabulous, right?!

Click here to enter the giveaway.

You will need a craftsy registration to enter, so if you haven't already, get to it! It's free to join, and there are some amazing free classes available before you commit to purchasing a class. Once you have entered, please leave me a comment and tell me what technique you are looking forward to learning most!

Competition closes 16 March 2014, winners will be notified by Craftsy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A winning jacket

I made this jacket for Chloe's birthday present last year. I found the beautiful velveteen at the Canberra Quilt and Craft Fair last August and knew it would be perfect for the cold weather we get here. I set to work, making sure that the pattern in the fabric lined up just so. I am so happy with the result! The pattern, by Make It Perfect is so easy to understand, with nice, easy pieces to sew. And as an added bonus, it's reversible! No overlocking needed either. The whole thing came together in a few hours.

These photos are from spring time at Floriade. It's such a beautiful time of the year in Canberra. I think we went 4 times last year! And, the best part is I won first prize at the Canberra Royal show in the Winter/Summer Garment category. My first blue ribbon!

Jacket Specifications:
Fabrics used: Anna Maria Horner Velveteen Loulouthi range 'In The Clearing Berry' with a cotton poplin lining.
Pattern: Make It Perfect - Uptown Girl Jacket

The Royal Canberra Show 2014

This year was the first year I have ever entered any of my craft projects in a competition. So, I went all out and entered five items! My Riley Blake Challenge Quilt, Tree of Life and Circles embroideries, Woodland Sampler cross stitch and a jacket made for Chloe. And guess what, I won first prize! Look at them all hanging up there. It was really fun to walk around and find my things hanging up, looking all special. Now, I am thinking I might enter into the the Canberra craft show in August. I might be mad!

More pictures and information to come on the jacket soon.