Monday, August 25, 2014

Canberra Quilters Members' Exhibition

I had a fantastic time at the quilt show and craft expo on the weekend! It was such a thrill having my quilts exhibited (and very kind of the exhibition designers to hang them close enough together that I could do just one daggy photo!)

A huge highlight for me was finally meeting Caroline from Nightingale Quilts (designer of the finding formation pattern) in person - yay! Caroline gave us a bit of a sneak peek at some of her upcoming pattern and they are to die for!

It was also exciting to see my friends' quilts hanging - it wouldn't be nearly as much fun to do this on my own! Some of my favourite quilts were by Michelle, Gemma, Angie, and Sam. I got quite a thrill showing my family around the exhibition and pointing out the quilts made by my talented friends! =)

And of course the best bit, which I tended to forget in the whole process of sewing and finishing and delivering and visiting, is that now I have my two beautiful quilt home to live with us =) We're making the most of them already this afternoon

If you're interested in seeing pictures of the gorgeous prize winners from the exhibition, pop over to the Canberra Quilters website. There are also some posts on the blog with pictures from the opening and exhibition, and even more pictures on Instagram (@canberraquilters)


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Zippy wallet

Yesterday afternoon saw the sad and sudden demise of my lovely, handmade, red umbrella print wallet =( I have already ordered a replacement from the same designer (Miranda Murphy, formerly Only Midge) - a gorgeous clutch style wallet in dala print (!!) and I can't wait for it to arrive.

So as not to look too much like a hobo carrying my coins in a ziplock bag until then, this afternoon I whipped up a little coin/card purse. I used the zippy wallet tutorial on the noodlehead blog, but left off the exterior pocket. The instructions didn't include the tab on the side, I used another noodlehead tutorial (lil cutie pouch) to make sure I got that right. The tutorial is fantastic - so clear and easy to follow, and it was really very quick to sew up. I'd actually like to make pretty much every noodlehead pattern - they are so cute! I think the open wide zipper pouch is next on the list.

I used some of my Lizzy House catnap for one side, and a scrap of one of my favourite Kate Spain fabrics (from Terrain) for the other. The dots are a spotlight basic - I have some left over from backing my finding formation quilt.

I'm already planning fabric combinations for a couple more of these as presents since they are so simple and turn out so cute, and can be sewn up from scraps, which I love! The pieces are actually less than 5" square, so this would be a fantastic pattern for using up left over charm squares.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Delivery day

Saturday was delivery day for quilts entered in the Canberra Quilters Members' Exhibition. It felt really good to have both quilts finished and delivered, and I can't wait to see them hanging in two weeks time (the exhibition runs 21-24 August).

Before dropping our quilts off, Michelle and I went to Mt Stromlo to photograph two of her quilts. Her Across the Universe quilt, which she exhibited last year, looked amazing photographed in the remains of a building that used to house a giant telescope before it was completely burnt out in Canberra's bushfires. It is such a beautiful place, but also a bit sad. Michelle wrote more about our photoshoot on her blog, but also kindly gave me permission to share a picture here - I think it's just gorgeous.




Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Taadaa! :: Happy Herringbone Quilt

Can you believe it's a week before our exhibition quilts need to be delivered, and both of mine are finished?! (I can't!) Michelle and I had so much fun photoshooting my finding formation quilt that we've decided from now on we're going to take all our finished quilts out for photoshoots - starting with Michelle's Manhattan Clams and my Happy Herringbone. We took the photos in a laneway in Civic - I loved the contrast of the rusty and grey and grotty backgrounds vs the bright bold colours of the quilt.

I'm not afraid to admit I'm a bit of a fabric hoarder - when I see something gorgeous I just want to snap it up so I don't miss out, and so it's right there ready when I come across the perfect pattern. So, I had a couple of Kate Spain jelly rolls hanging out on my shelf*, and when I saw the tutorial on Maureen Cracknell's blog for a herringbone quilt-as-you-go quilt I knew it was that perfect pattern I'd been waiting for!

And a perfect pairing it was. Having jelly rolls meant hardly any cutting, and because the fabrics are all so beautiful, and all work together so well, no planning of fabric placement was necessary - I could literally just grap and handful of strips and sew them on as I got the chance. Also, the strips are long enough to really showcase the gorgeous prints.

I've written a bit about the quilt-as-you-go method already, and of course all the details about how to do it are on the tutorial page. It was a really simple way to get a fabulous effect. I've mentioned before that I don't have very much quilting experience, and I think this method would be great for a beginner - I found the basting less intimidating (your fabric and batting are already sewn together, so you are only basting 2 layers) and the only quilting you do after basting is long straight lines using seams as a guide. There are a couple of things I'd note though: the first is to make sure you get a suitable batting. You really need to be able to give the batting a good warm pressing on both sides - the batting I used was kind of soft and fluffy on the 'right', and pressed well, but the other side was kind if like an interfacing. This meant I couldn't press it without a cloth, which made it really tricky to press the seams open and I think also meant my batting wasn't very stable and stretched a bit. I was a bit worried that those seams where the panels joined would be a bit too lumpy, especially since I couldn't press them well, but they weren't too bad, and actually seemed to soften once the quilting either side was done.

You can see from the pictures that the zigzags running across the quilt are 'broken.' You could definitely be more careful with your piecing to make continuous stripes running across, but I actually offset them on purpose because I suspected I wouldn't be able to get the accuracy needed for that. I also played with the seam placement a bit so that there are some fatter and thinner strips. The backing is the pink bee print from Honey Honey. I made a scrappy binding using some of the left over pinky orangey strips, and a label using some leftovers too, including a text print that I love, which says "let the sunshine into you heart". I love how it has come out - this quilt is inspired by my daughter Amelia (whose favourite song is Pharell's 'happy') and I really wanted it to have that feeling of the colourful happy 'chaos with a bit of direction' that she has brought to our lives.

* I used jelly rolls of the following ranges: Cuzco, Central Park, Honey Honey, and Daydream, as well as bits and pieces from Good Fortune, Terrain, Sunnyside and perhaps some Fandango? (I think that's all of them, but let me know if you spot something else so I can add it to the list =))


Sunday, August 03, 2014


I've had lots of crafty projects on the go this weekend, so I thought I'd share what I got up to.

I had an excellent candidate for 'finish it friday' this week: a stack of about 15 bandana bibs I sewed up maybe as long as a year ago, which have been waiting in a pile just for the snaps to be attached (which is a super simple job considering I have a snap press!)

During the week I was talking to a friend who happened to mention she was looking for bandana bibs for her drooly little guy - just the thing I needed to get me to pull out the bibs and snap machine and finish them up so I could drop off a few for her yesterday. They are cotton on one side and flannelette on the other, and do an even better job than I expected.

I can't remember if I've talked about the Aussie modern insta-bee I'm sewing along with this year? In any case, we are organised in groups (hives) of 12, and each month you make one quilt block for someone and receive one from someone else. I'm loving it! This month I was a assigned to make the 'stacked windmills' block in navy, red, and white. I'm really pleased with how it come out - my points are even pointy!

My Ella Funt cardi also received some attention over the weekend. There are now elephants marching around the yoke, and I am now a bit further along than shown in the photo here - I have almost finished the colour work, after which there is just the ribbed collar and then the button bands (I despise adding button bands!)

I also managed to get the binding and a label on my happy herringbone quilt, and even went out for a photoshoot today! That means it is all finished! I'll share all the details and proper photos soon (there's a sneak peek on my Instagram feed - @kraftykuka - if you can't wait), but for now here are a couple of shots I took while stitching on the couch.


I think that's pretty good progress on a good variety of projects this weekend - and it feels fantastic to get some things finished =)