Monday, 30 January 2012

Sweet Potato Stamp Painting


This project was fun to do! I painted a large canvas black, and then cut a sweet potato in half (I wanted something circular but not perfect). I dipped the sweet potato in white paint and started stamping.

As you can see, not all the stamps were perfect, but I thought that that added to the look of the painting. I also joined a few of the circles together once I'd finished.

There are a number of possibilities for using colours with this design. You could do one or two circles in another colour, or you could use whatever colours you needed to use to tie in with your decorating.

Have a go - you'll be surprised at how good it will look!


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Simple Baby Bibs


I don't know what the weather is like where you live - but this week it's been manic here - we have gone from a heatwave a few weeks back to torrential rain - the sort where the garden looks like it might actually wash away!!!!

Anyway - we are also celebrating the birth of another friends but - Elizabeth Suzanne - so so cute and tiny, I always forget how little they are - but I digress - I am working on another but quilt for Elizabeth with a friend, but in the mean time I thought I might make up some bibs for her - as any mum will know, you can never have too many bibs!!!

The pattern for these is based on a bib I received from Cath at Eat.Play.Sew when Thom was a little bub. It's such a great shape and nice and easy to whip up.

I backed them in a light weight towelling for a bit more absorbency - but really its up to you what you'd like to use.

Now I just have to attach some Velcro to finish them off - my project for today I think... 

Caity x

Monday, 23 January 2012

Tutorial: Simple No-Zip Cushion Covers


As everyone knows, changing your cushion covers can help to cheaply transform a room, and you can keep the costs down even more if you can make your own.

I've been asked many times how I make my own cushion covers... so here goes a tutorial!

Step 1
(Above): Lay your cushion over your material and cut around it. Allow a bit for the seam. It's a bit rough I know, but it always seems to work! Once you've got your first square or rectangle, lay it over more material and cut it out the same, except for one side - leave it a bit longer. Put the right sides together and your material should look like the picture above.

Step 2
(Above): Cut the longer bit of material in two - it doesn't really matter where along it you make your cut. Just sort of try and make it so one piece is 2/3rds and the other is 1/3rd. Don't worry too much though it will still work out. Lay out the two bits over the first square or rectangle. Make sure they overlap and end up being the same shape as the first square. Keep the right sides together.

Step 3
(Above): This photo is the wrong orientation sorry! Anyway, what you need to do is to fold back the edges of both bits of material (the ones you just cut up). The photo below shows this step a bit better.

Step 4 (Below): Separately sew the two edges that you just folded back.

Step 5
(Below): Pin your cushion right around and then sew the square or rectangle.

(Below) This is how the overlap bits should look (wrong orientation again sorry!)

Step 6 (Below): Trim the corners and the sides if necessary. I usually have to because my measuring and sewing are pretty rough!

(Below) This is how your cushion cover should look now.

(Below) ... and this is how your cushion cover should look once you've turned it the right side out. This photo is of the back of the cushion.

Good luck with your sewing!


Thursday, 19 January 2012

Running through the Heath - 9 Patch Spring Wedding Quilt


This quilt is a wedding present for a dear friend of mine Sarah and her lovely husband Dr P. It's a slightly belated wedding present (they got married in November 2011 in the UK and unfortunately I wasn't able to make it over for their great day).

It's a work in progress, but I have given myself a deadline of 4 weeks to try and finish it up and get it posted.

The quilt consists of 13, nine patch blocks with 12 plain white blocks in between.

As Sarah and Dr P are still living in the UK (and don't seem to have any plans to come home soon - even though I would love them to) I have made this quilt nice and bright to help brighten up those darker winter mornings!

I love this quilt for its simplicity and soft and feminine colours (sorry Dr P).

Thom also really enjoyed helping me make this quilt - he helped collect the scraps when I was squaring up the blocks last night and made 'noodles' ;) 

Don't you just love a child's imagination?

My next plans for the quilt are to get the backing pieced. I have a few left over pieces I'd like to try and incorporate in a simple backing - any ideas??

PS I named this quilt 'Running through the Heath' as a few years back when Sarah and I were both living in London we used to regularly run through Hampstead Heath - and in spring the fields of flowers were so lovely - this quilt reminded me of those good times! 

Caity x

Monday, 16 January 2012

Really Easy Bedroom Makeover using Colour

Home Decorating:

Over the weekend I decided to change the colour scheme in my bedroom to green. As I have the walls, ceiling and bedcover etc white, it's very easy to quickly change the look of the bedroom with a couple of items.

So I painted a large canvas green (there is no design on it, it's just plain green), and sewed a cushion using some funky material I found in Spotlight recently. Then I added a potted geranium which finishes off the green look nicely!

It was a very cheap and easy makeover!


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Sweet Heart Brooch


I've found it difficult to get motivated to do ANY sewing this week. 

We have had a heatwave here in South East Queensland that's made it difficult to do much more than roll out of bed and fight your way into work to get to air conditioning (and yes we are crazy and don't have air con in our house).

Enough of me complaining ;)

Soooo, I made this little brooch late last night when the temp was just starting to drop a little. I used a scrap of natural linen I already had in my scrap basket and some pearl cotton thread in a brilliant red. 

I've just used french knots to form the shape of a heart, which I then stuffed with left over scraps of wadding from my quilts (I'm not sure about you, but I find it difficult to throw anything away sewing wise).

Once the french knots were completed I cut out a matching backing and then hand sewed the two together.

To finish it off I sewed a little brooch pin to the centre back and it was finished. 

It's so sweet, I can't wait to wear it.

Caity x

Monday, 9 January 2012

Electrical Wire Ring

Creative Ideas:

This piece of jewellery was something that happened by chance! I was cleaning up after an electrician's visit one day... and started wondering what I could do with some of the flexible electrical wire scraps he left behind.

I wound it around my finger and decided that it looked just perfect as a ring! You could also make a nice bangle... but unfortunately the electrician didn't leave enough wire behind for that!


Thursday, 5 January 2012

Pretty Petals Quilt


Well I managed to get this quilt finished this week. Thank you so much for your comments on the nuisance pale pink block - as luck would have it I cleaned out my fabric cupboard (it was a mega mess) and found another piece of Free Spirit Flea Market Fancy in Pink Posies which was perfect to replace the pale pink stripe!

Now the quilt is finished - minus the binding - which is my new deliberation for the week. 

A scrap binding of all the fabrics I used - or a single fabric? I'm tending towards a single fabric in either a pink or green candy stripe. 

I backed the quilt in Sorbet from Stonehill Collection by Donna Wilder, which I think is so lovely and pretty and machine quilted it in simple straight lines across each petal.

So my first quilt for the year is almost done. What a great way to start the year! I hope you are all feeling as inspired and refreshed for another year of sewing. 

Caity x

Monday, 2 January 2012

Easy Makeover for a Decorative Birdcage

Home Decorating:

The other day I purchased two decorative birdcages from The Reject Shop for $15 and $10 (one small, one large).

I had been on the lookout for a nice cheap but decently sized birdcage for ages, so they were perfect, and they were on special!

All I did was paint them white. I used one spray can of paint (approx. $8)for two of them, and then hung them in a tree in my garden.

They look really pretty now! There are also endless possibilities with what you could do for colours and things.... aqua would also be nice, or each one in a different colour. If they weren't going outside, you could also spray-glue material into the bottom of them, and of course, a nice bird outline covered in material sitting inside one would look lovely too!