Monday, August 25, 2014

Sewvivor - the washi bag

Top ten! I can hardly believe it. It's been an amazing ride so far, my fellow contestants are so amazing, not only creatively, but their support, friendship and laughs have made this whole thing something so much more than a competition.

You can vote for the washi bag at the Family Ever After blog here!

Sometimes, a design will jump into your head and you know you just have to make it. The washi bag was one of those ideas that I just couldn't shake. No matter how hard I tried, it had hold of me and I had to make it. And I am so very glad I did.

In the absence of a round bag pattern out there on the interwebs, I set to designing my own based on a vintage canteen style bag. Because, you know, that would be too easy! I had to rope in help for the maths part (it was too hard...) 'circumference is the pie of the radius divided by the diameter' zzzzzzz I made Matt do that part! He did a great job deciphering my cryptic instructions. And you know what? They were spot on! Genius that man!

The shape might be simple, but its certainly not boring. It's a unique, yet classic shape, which stands up and makes you take notice!

For this challenge, I knew I had to crack out the big guns, which meant using my carefully stashed washi fabric. Inspired by the washi print, I made the front panel using the improvisational technique slash and insert. I love the dark grey text fabric, it bring another dimension to the background. I quilted the panel in a simple echo pattern, which really makes that washi pop. The other side of the bag features a patchwork design featuring some fabulous prints with a criss-cross design – in pink of course.

A zipper provides access to the main body of the bag and an external pocket keeps your phone handy so you will never miss an instagram opportunity. Finished off with killer hot pink webbing for the strap and you got yourself a statement bag!

Now, every bag’s gotta have some sweet bling, so I added a minty tassel. You want to make one too? Follow my quick and dirty tassel DIY and you can make one (or more) out of your favourite embroidery floss.

Bag Label

Quilt name: The washi bag
Made for: Sewvivor quilter's edition competition 2014 (round 2)
Finished size: 12 x 2.5 inches
Fabrics used: Washi by Rashida Coleman-Hale; assorted scraps from my stash.
Bag supplies used: Fushia webbing by Echino; square bag rings from You Sew Girl.
Pattern: Original design by Crystal McGann
Quilting details: Straight, echoed lines with a walking foot using a Guttermann black cotton thread; straight grid in a criss-cross pattern with a pink Guttermann cotton thread.

Voting details:

You can vote for me (and your other favourites) on the Family Ever After blog here.

Voting closes Wednesday August 27, at midnight EST.
The fine print: competitors are allowed to use patterns. Contestants are allowed to recruit from their blogs, social media, family, and friends. One vote per device is allowed. The public vote counts as 50%. The other 50% of the vote comes from our "tribal council" aka Judges.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

DIY embroidery floss tassels

I love making these tassels. They are so cute and an easy way to add a pop of colour in your world. Wrap one around a necklace, a key chain for your bag or make a few and string them into a garland to decorate your room. The possibilities are endless.

This quick and dirty tutorial will get you on your way to creating your own little bit of bling!

Materials needed:

Embroidery floss
Necklace chain


Step one:

Pick your favourite embroidery floss colour and cut about 30cm from the floss without unraveling it. You can do this by giving one of the ends a gentle tug. If you have the right end, you should be able to easily pull a length out without disturbing the rest of it.

Step two:

Fold the floss in half over your chain, keeping those paper bits on for now.

Step three:

Wrap the 30cm length around the top of the tassel, hiding the end of the thread as you go. When you get to the end, tie a small knot. Thread the end in a needle with a big eye and take the it down the middle of the tassel.

Step four:

Cut the looped ends of the floss (you can even it up if you need to) and slip the paper bits off. 

Girl, you just tied yourself a tassel!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Crafty Chloe - seven years old

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

Dr. Suess

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sewvivor - A nautical inspired quilt

I can FINALLY reveal my nautical inspired challenge project; it's been so hard to keep it a secret! You can vote for me on the Family Ever After blog here (please do and I will love you forever).

You can never cross the ocean, unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

Wise words anon, wise words. And with that, I set sail.

Once the excitement of actually getting into Sewvivor was over, then came the realisation that I would actually have to turn around a quilt in less than two weeks! Like a true sailor, I swore loudly, before diving into my blue scraps. I had so many ideas, but they weren't... quite right. I searched and googled and I pinned and still nothing. Nada. The brain bank was dry. Until I looked back over my sketch book and found this geometric iceberg I drew a little while back.

That was it! Originally it was for a mini (and it still might be), but in true Sewvivor style, I upsized and went for it. To make the iceberg, I first drew up the image in Adobe Illustrator, printed it over several A3 pages and stuck it all back together again before cutting up each section. Once all that had been done, I foundation pieced the sections together, sewed the sections together and appliqu├ęd it on to the background. Phew! I'm not scared of those cray cray Y seams, that's for sure!

I used a shot cotton for the water/background. It is so soft and gives it a subtle texture. I knew exactly what sky fabric I wanted, but had less than a fat 1/4. Poo. But I put a call out if anyone had some and my very own mermaid, Penny Poppleton came to my rescue. So a big shout out and thank you x!

It was feeling a little lonesome out there on the still, dark and icy water so I added a wee paper boat, making it's way around the iceberg. What a perfect texty fabric print to have on hand! You can grab your own here from Polka Dot Tea. I like to think that he has all the time in the world, there is no rush and he is on his own schedule... What adventures will he have on his way? You know the stories will be wild and incredible.

I quilted for what felt like forever! Starting with a wavy,organic straight line quilting all over the background to create some lovely gentle waves. Then some geometric triangles over the iceberg and some swirling stippling for the sky. This is probably the densest quilt I have ever done. Stressful on a timeframe, that's for sure!

Quilt Label

Quilt name: Iceberg
Made for: Sewvivor quilter's edition competition 2014
Finished size: 42 x 70 inches
Fabrics used: Lizzy House Constellations, blue shot cotton (from Spotlight), Newspaper print by Kei and assorted blue and white scraps from my stash.
Pattern: Original design by Crystal McGann
Quilting details: Straight, organic, wavy lines with a walking foot on the water using a Guttermann  navy cotton thread. FMQ with in a triangular design echoing the triangles in the 'berg with a light blue/grey Guttermann thread for the bottom and a cream for the top. Light blue Guttermann thread in a medium sized stippling pattern for the sky.

Voting details:

You can vote for me (and your other favourites) on the Family Ever After blog here.
Voting closes Wednesday August 13, at midnight EST.
FYI, the competitors are allowed to use patterns. Contestants are allowed to recruit from their blogs, social media, family, and friends. One vote per device is allowed. The public vote counts as 50%. The other 50% of the vote comes from our "tribal council" aka Judges. The Top 10 will be revealed next Monday, August 18.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Crafty Chloe - Rainbow Loom

How crazy popular are those rainbow looms? Chloe absolutely loves hers and is constantly making bracelets and charms. We have recently added the pony beads to the loom supplies. She enjoys watching you tube and then recreating them in her own colours, always learning and trying new techniques. It's so nice how they are constantly creating gifts for each other as well.  And I hear it's really popular with the boys too, which is unusual for a craft!

Do your kids loom it up?