Sunday, 22 March 2015

Hexagon Easter Basket

It's fair to say I've become a little bit obsessed with sewing hexagons of late, and with Easter fast approaching I could think of no better excuse to stop by a little sewing centre that I drive past everyday  (Camberwell Sewing Centre if you're in the area) and pick up a few fat quarters in Easter type colours.

My plan was to make a little individual hexagon baskets as table decorations for Easter Sunday and if you've got the time, I think they do make a lovely display.

What you'll need:

Hexagon paper pieces
4 different coloured fat quarter
Needles, cotton and scissors.

I made my basket using half inch hexagons and squares, but for larger baskets, feel free to use one inch hexagons and squares

Using main colour, cut 7 hexagons and sew onto paper (there's a great sewing hexagon tutorial at Connecting Threads ) cut and sew three hexagons from two further colours.  With remaining colour cut and sew six squares

 To assemble:

Use the main pattern as the centre hexagon and surround with six hexagons in further two colours .  Sew into place as shown.  Sew six squares to form curve in the bowl base and finish with top layer of six hexagons in main pattern fabric.

I didn't end up with a lot of time to line my little basket with anything other than Easter Eggs, but I'm sure they'll look lovely with a little bit of fabric sewn inside to hide all the seams.

Happy Easter


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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Knitlon Crochet Coat Hanger

I've always thought there's something quite decadent and lovely about covered coat hangers. Showing care and attention to  the most mundane of household items, seems to elevate the owner to a whole new level of sophistication in my eyes. A recent conversation with a family member, who was indeed in the process of covering coat hangers, got me thinking that perhaps my own level of sophistication could do with raising a little!

I've been trying for a while to use up some Knitlon I purchased a a year or so ago and so this looked like the perfect project to  get through the last of it.  Now I'm aware that Knitlon (sometimes called Craftlon or Knitting Ribbon depending on where you are from) can be difficult to find in the shops.  In Australia, I've found the best stockists seem to be Lincraft and Big W while in the USA, tulle ribbon seems to be the closest equivalent product.

Using a 5mm hook, chain 10.  Check that the chain length wraps loosely around your coat hanger with a chain or two to spare.  Adjust the chain length as necessary

Row 1.

Chain 2 and then Double Crochet into second chain in row.  Double crochet into each chain until row is complete.

Repeat until work measures the length of the coat hanger you are using plus an additional row (or two ) at each end to allow for seams.

To Make Up

Fold work in half lengthwise.  Sew end seam and three quarters along the length of the cover. Slide wooden part of hanger (unscrew and remove hook prior, if this hasn't already been removed) and then sew the remainder of the length and the last end seam.  I found overcasting to be almost invisible when sewing the Knitlon. Gently find the hole for the hanger hook and insert.

Add crochet flowers and ribbons to decorate and you'll have the prettiest little coat hanger imaginable.

Happy crocheting.


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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Summerhouse Quilt

Summerhouse Quilt

This quilt proved very difficult to name.  

I usually have a name for my quilts very early on but, in this case, it just kept eluding me.  The fabric was called 'Lost & Found' by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake .. and it was on sale.   Sometimes, the fact that it is on sale is the only inducement I need to buy it.

Washing never looked so good...
Earlier in the year, I had received a lovely quilting book for my birthday  - 'Quilt Me!' by Jane Brocket and I fell in love with the Washing Line quilt.

It is very easy to make using my bargain layer cake.
'Sets of 2'

1.    Cut each layer cake into 4 x 2.5" strips.

2.    Once you have all your strips (and there are many), place them in sets of 2 strips each and then sew them together along the 10" edge.

3.    When you have sewn them all together, then you sew your sets of 2 together to forms sets of 4.  This set of 4 is the block.

4.   The quilt is 6 blocks by 7 blocks.  Once you are pleased with the arrangement of your blocks, sew them together vertically first to form 6 long strips.  Once this is has been done, sew the vertical strips together to finish the top.

5.  I added a 2.5" border and then a 5" final border.

I used a 100% cotton batting for this quilt.  I love the feel and 'lightness' of the batting.  It doesn't make the quilt too heavy.

The quilt top finished - 6 x 7 blocks sewn together.
At this point, I was still stumped for a name.  It wasn't quite a Shabby Chic quilt, it wasn't quite vintage - It was scrappy looking (in the nicest way) but it still wasn't revealing it's name.

During the sewing and quilting process, the temperatures in Perth rose to a staggering 45C (113F) and I was trying to machine quilt it.  I had it draped over my shoulder, I had it on my lap - and it was unbearable.  I have a loft house and the air conditioning was struggling to keep up and in the end, I had to put it aside until it cooled down.

Simple Cross-Hatch Quilting 

A few days later, the cool breeze returned and my quilt came back out and I finished the simple cross hatching quilting.

'Summerhouse Quilt'

I lifted it up and had a long, hard look at it.  Then it came to me - it looked like a cute little scrappy quilt that you would have out on the porch (or summerhouse if you were fortunate enough to have one) to ward off the evening chill in summertime.  'Summerhouse' it was then - not only due to the look, but also the fact that it was made during the hottest January day in Western Australia for 20 years.

Happy Quilting,

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

30 Minute Cowl with a twist

I know, I know!  Often times when a recipe or pattern says 30 minutes, it never actually takes 30 minutes.  I can assure you though, that this really is a 30 minute project and so simple that you'll soon be making a whole heap of these little fashion accessories for not only yourself, but friends and family too.

What you'll need

Low pile faux fur or fleece fabric
Matching cotton
Measuring tape
Tailors chalk
Sewing Machine


1. Measure and cut a length of fabric 70cm long by 44cm wide (that's approx 27.5 inches x 16 inches).  these measurements don't have to be exact so feel free to go shorter/longer, wider/skinnier if you wish.

2.  Fold fabric in half lengthwise with right sides facing and pin outer edges together.

3. Sew outer edges together, remove pins

4. You will now have a tube of fabric that's inside out, turn right side out and if using faux fur do not use an iron to flatten the seam, just use your fingers to smooth the seam flat.

5  To create the twist in the cowl, have the tube of fabric in front of you as shown, hold up end closest to you and rotate (twist) the fabric 180 degrees clockwise.

6. Once twisted,  place the narrow ends of the tube together (there are now four layers of fabric together along the top width of the cowl that are unsewn) and with right sides facing, pin the centre two layers of fabric together and sew in place, being careful not to get the other layers of fabric caught when sewing the seam.

7. The last seam can be hand sewn, but that will take you over the 30 minute time frame for this project, so to keep within the allocated time simply fold inwards a small seam  on each raw edge and with wrong sides facing pin together(enclosing the folded in seam) and sew close to the edge of the seam.

8.  Remove pins, flatten seam with fingers if necessary and wear your snood.

Happy Sewing


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Drop Stitch Cowl

We were at a yarn market a couple of weeks ago and after speaking to some pretty fabulous yarn people all day long, I was struck with the...