Where have I been?

Well it has been a good while since I have posted anything – and have decided it is time to get back to it. So as a quick fill in I am just going to post pictures of a few random things I have been working on/doing.



My plan is to keep adding pictures of the things I have been up to… making clothes, knitting, gardening and of course quilting.

At the moment I am planning my first quilting class that I will be teaching and designing my first unique quilt! Stay tuned!




Don’t Be Crabby – baby quilt

Could there be a better name for a range of fabric to make a baby quilt out of? Don’t Be Crabby – by Laurie Wisbrun.

So how did this quilt come about? I have a friend Sue who owns a pub, and Sue has a bartender, the bartender found out she was pregnant and Sue hit me up for a quilt. She was quite fond of this bartender!

Sue asked that the quilt NOT be one of those soft, cutsey little baby quilts. She wanted something cute but not gooey and bright colours… but that was it… so off I toddled to search out the perfect fabric. A few weeks Later I bumped into Sue and she told me there was a little boy on his way to the world. My mind was made up… Don’t be crabby it was!

So… keeping in mind I wanted to show off the amazingly cute fabrics I went for a very basic design…. here you have the “don’t be crabby baby quilt”.



Above is the quilt really – I didn’t get many pictures of the process as it all came together so quickly. There are crabs, boats, whales and fish!

I then added a white border to frame the quilt and lift the colours a little.




How to quilt it was the next big question. I didn’t want to do a simple stitch in the ditch – and wanted the quilting to be dense enough to withstand a lot of washing in the washing machine – but not so much that it made the quilt stiff. I settled on a random swirl all over pattern that I did freehand.


Oh, This is Thomas Applby – he is the quilt room supervisor. You can see he likes Geisha almost as much as Ellie, dressing on this occasion in a beautiful wadding kimono made from offcuts!

NOTE: off cuts are not really his thing – he would prefer to get in and unroll the 30m roll of wadding for his own pleasure – but the humans frown on this practice!



Son once the top was quilted I added an aqua binding to the whole thing and called it done!




In keeping with the bright theme I added an orange back with a strip of super cute crabs!




Anyway that is it – the little person it was made for has now entered the world to the delight of his parents and Sue. I hope they enjoy using the quilt as much as I enjoyed making it!



My Clayton Rose

Hey there!

I know, I know it has been a  LONG time between posts! Life has been busy and it is always the things we enjoy that get left by the by. Anyway enough of that.. onto the interesting things!

Over Easter my Mum and I decided to head down and visit my sister … leaving my fella at home with not enough to do .. clearly… How it all began….

For MANY years I have owned and carted around from state to state a traditional ashford spinning wheel… it is, as the name suggests a traditional wheel.. the kind you conjure in your imagination.. possibly even with Rumpelstiltskin sitting at it turning straw into gold (really his was different but I am getting off the topic!). Even though I carted this wheel around I never had ANY skills in spinning.

Over the past year or so I have become involved with a great bunch of women… the stitch n bitch crew. They can all spin. They don;t all love it but they can all do it… Challenge accepted.

So I busted out my wheel – got a few pointers and off I went. Pretty bad at first but like all challenges, once accepted I gave it my all and managed to get some reasonable fiber happening.

Then I went out to Ellie’s place… you remember her the one and only Ellie from Dust Bunnies and Sequins which you can find here … http://beambolong.blogspot.com.au/ Now Ellie has a Majacraft Rose … a compact double treadle wheel… I remember sitting there… Smemmer telling me not to, cause once you have you wont wont to go back.. and AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH!

So my lust for a Majacraft rose started… but they are over $1000… for a craft I like doing but am not hell bent on it seemed a little excessive.

Which brings us back to Easter. While I was away my fella decided he would make me a Rose. Now I know my fella has skills – he has built half my house, my bed, the table I am currently sitting at.. but he has a desire for the indestructible… the heavy,,, the industrial… how is he going to cope with a delicate finely balanced spinning wheel?

Well the pictures that follow show that journey. He used wood we had kept from other projects or bits we collected from special journeys. He took his time… and made me a gift that bring a tear to my eye if I think about it. My fella is a pretty amazing man.x.

So here goes…

This is an old floor joist from a house in Cooks Hill in Newcastle. It was from the first place we lived in together – we had a number of bits of this which made a table. Now upcycled into the base of my wheel.


This is a chunk of Cypress that we collected somewhere… it had great grain.. it now makes the stem/brace for the head of my wheel.


This is the cypress from above carved out… the neck/head flips over and the handle moves to the top to make for easy transportation.





This is the base and neck clamped together next to Ellie’s Rose.


Next came the process of making the wheel. He used marine ply and designed the wheel based on the steering wheel of a yacht… not sure why but there you have it.. he later told me each arm represented us.. he, I and our boy.

These pictures pretty much tell their own story…


Next came attaching the wheel… here he was able to bring in a little quirk…


Next came the mechanism for turning the wheel… he made this out of the steering mechanism for a go-car and some plate steel he cut and welded. He also used some old bearings out of a skateboard he picked up at the tip shop for the wheel…


Then onto the peddles


Attaching the knuckle (crank) to join the peddles and the wheel …


Another quirk in attaching some taps we had from our old laundry, this is where I can undo it a bit to flip the handle to the top for transport…


We cheated a bit with this one and got a head, flyer and bobbin … and walah…


It has all been polished up with linseed then beeswax… and it purrrrs like a kitten. It is quiet, balanced and a JOY to use. I have even been popping home in my lunch hours to do a quick bit of spinning. i LOVE it.

And here is just a tiny bit of some yarn I made on my nice new ‘Claytons’ Rose.




A break from quilting

So this week sees the leaves on the trees start to change and reminds me it is time to think about the things I will need to keep me warm through another New England winter.

I have many a quilt, my Stitch n Bitch friends gave me a crochet blanket for Christmas… so what else. I need a new vest, a cardigan, a scarf/cowl some sock.. oh so many things.

My first pick to knit is a vest. I have gone with a Zara 8ply in grey (soooooo lovely!) and am making a pattern I have made before… the mondo cable vest. I purchased it through Ravelry and LOVE that it knits the edging into the whole thing.. the only part I have to go back and pick up is the back of the neck! It also knits from the top down so I am able to make it just the right length for me… but even more exciting is that once the arm holes are done it knits in the round… round and round we go!

The only difference I am adding to this one is that I am doing a ribbing section under the arm for the length of the vest… So if you want to have a go … this is the link http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mondo-cable-shell—vest

I would put a pick up of my progress but last night decided to start again.. after not knitting for a year or more, I felt my stitches were a little uneven.. so I will add an image from Ravelry here and put up others pictures of my work as I go!!


Sorry it has been so long between posts… I had a couple of commissions I had to finish… school and uni went back.. really it has all been a bit hectic!

See you soon,



This way, that way

So again with the rainbows.. I am sensing a theme here, are you?

So today I was looking at my pile of charms and WOF strips that I had not used in other projects out of the swaps I had and thought to myself.. a simple clean block was needed. I have only made a few so it wont give the whole effect just yet.. but apparently one does need to make time to tidy the house as well (I know to some crafters that was serious swearing!!)

Anyway moving on. To use up both WOF and charms I decided to mirror the blocks with white. I think on a whole quilt level it will be clean and crisp and show off some of the lovely fabrics I have left over. So here goes. Select some fabrics:


For this block you will make 4 quadrants. Each quadrant could be considered a block in itself.

You will need:

  • 2 white 5×5” Squares
  • 2 coloured 5×5” Squares (In this example I use blue and purple and will refer to the colours as blue and purple from here on)
  • WOF white strips
  • WOF coloured strips – one blue one purple 


From the white WOF strips cut:

  • 4 white 2.5 x 5” rectangles
  • 4 white 2.5 x 9” Rectangles
  • 2 blue 2.5 x 5” rectangles
  • 2 blue 2.5 x 9” rectangles
  • 2 purple 2.5 x 5” rectangles
  • 2 purple 2.5 x 9” rectangles


Time to sew:

Using the chain piecing method attach a 2.5 x 5” rectangle to a 5 x 5” square, alternate the colours – add a coloured rectangle to a white square and a white rectangle to a coloured square.


Repeat for the other side – matching the colours so that you have rectangles like those in the image below.


And then from this you can start to imagine how the whole quilt might go. I find by making block rather than whole rows it allows you to get better point matching but that is just me!


(Obviously the two on the outside are not made into blocks or attached at this stage!)

Anyway just a short and sweet idea for using up some of those extra blocks! AND the white will allow you to showcase some great quilting!

Happy Sewing!




Rainbow Quilt

Well as many of you know I Admin a Facebook page called Rainbows. On the rainbows page we coordinate lots of charms swaps, width of fabric swaps, theme swaps. Recently we have started a Block of the Month using some of those types of fabrics and soon we will host a ‘quilts for charity’ which is still in the designing phase. Anyway with that bit of history I have been making a quilt with some of the charm square raimbow swaps I got back from participating in that group. (you can find the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/149803875155388/)

Before I go on, I think it is important to point out that it is one of the HOTTEST days I have had here. Soooo my assistant (vodka, lime and soda – with a good helping of ice) is helping me out.

So in making this quilt I really wasnt sure what I was going to do so I just coupled a lighter and darker fabric in the same colour and started turning them into half square triangles. I used the line through the middle method to do this.


This is where you mark a diagonal line corner to corner and then stitch 1/4 inch seam either side.


then it is a matter of cutting down the line that you drew.


so you get this


I find it best to trim off the little overhang corner.. which gives me this…


Mr Vodka wonders if there is a market for fabric confetti in the wedding industry?!?

So I then put all the squares up on my design wall and from there sewed the blocks into row and the rows into a quilt top… (oops cant seem to find those pics! … I blame Mr Vodka)

Then I took the whole thing out to Miss Ellie’s place and put it on her long arm. Ellie is a quilting artist… she is amazing at what she does… never one to do all over quilting she looks at each block and works magic on it.. I am just glad that she lets me come out to her place and use the long arm… and the company is great. Out there we have another assistant.. his name is Thomas Applby… best helper ever.. and the mascot of our rainbows group. He loves quilting.. but his passion is wadding.


So .. we set about quilting.. all the quilting is on the dark rows… and each row was different..


The quilt has been bound and washed and is currently in the dryer.. but below you can see how it was looking our of the washer.


A closer look at the Centre.. echo quilting by Ellie… but you cant really see it in this image.. believe me it is HOT!


And on the grey border I went with a variegated cotton and some of Ellie’s bump bump feathers. 


So until that quilt is out of the dryer that is all from me.

Oh this quilt is destined as a gift for a friend of mine.. who needs a little bit of good in her life. I hope she likes it.

Cheers for now


BOM – January – French Braid Star!

So I have never done anything like this before – but hey that has never stopped me before!

Taking from our Rainbow Swaps group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/149803875155388/ I have a bunch of 5″ charm squares in some wonderful rainbow colours.. the test was to make a nice block… (well one a month) using some of those wonderful fabrics. We also did a number of width of fabric swaps so they may find their way into a block as well!!

So I started with Google Images and chanced upon a French Braid pattern that someone had turned into a star…. and thus this tutorial came about.

I used a different colour for each of the points but in hindsight I think that this would look AMAZING if the strips were all cut.. then tossed about and selected at random to be out together… I can’t help but think of Amy’s children messing up her wonderful fabric bundles when I think of this… maybe we could all borrow out little ones to do the randomizing for us!!

So to give you an idea here is what the block will look like. The block is 19″ square.


It was really quite easy. If I miss anything along the way or you find something confusing please let me know so that I can adjust the instructions.


What you will need: (this is for each star – so 4 corners)

  1. Four 5″ White squares
  2. Four 8″ White Squares (cut diagonally in half – see picture)
  3. three 5″ squares of each colour.. so in my example – 3 red, 3 yellow, 3 pink and 3 orange. These you will cut into three sets of 1.5″ x 5″ strips. So alternatively you will need nine strips that are 1.5″ x 5″ per corner – 32 36 all up if you are just using scrap. (thank you Mimi!)



Take the 5″ square and stitch one of the colour strips to one side.


Then you take a second strip of a different fabric and add it to the next side – this makes the first point.


You then take the third fabric and add it to the first side. You ALWAYS add fabric so that it is square on the POINT end. The outside will step down.


By using three fabrics two the same will never be touching each other, of course this is irrelevant if you a are going with a scrappy look!

Ok so once you have added the 9 strips it will look like this


From here we need to trim off the steps from the side. Line your ruler up with the point where the colour and white square meet and the inside points of the steps like so:


Trim. Turn your block around and line up the freshly trimmed block with the 6″ line on your ruler.. again like so:


and trim.. Next we will square off the white to make a neat end.

From the point of your colour it will be 10″ to the cut off point. Make sure you line up your ruler with your fresh cut sides and make the block as square as possible.


Using the 45 degree angle line on your mat check that there hasn’t been stretching in your fabric and trim (scarcely) to make the point even.


Flip your block over and repeat if necessary.


Now we need to add the sides to the braid to make the block. Using your 8″ triangles line the flat side of your braid with one of the short sides of the triangle. Take care NOT to stretch the fabric at this stage. NOTE: the triangles are bigger than needed to allow you to trim back – as we are using fabric cut on the bias I find it easier to trim.


Stitching on the right side


Both sides attached showing the excess.


Line up and trim – take care.


trim the second side. (one side will have more to trim off than the other)


The first quarter COMPLETE. Make the second quarter the will be DIRECTLY OPPOSITE this one exactly the same. To ensure that all 4 fit you MUST turn the remaining two in the opposite direction when adding the second colour fabric. what do I mean?

When adding fabric to the white square add the first strip. When adding the SECOND strip turn your square clockwise for blocks 1 & 3. For blocks 2 & 4 add the first strip then when adding the SECOND strip turn you block ANTI-Clockwise. You MUST do this otherwise the centre of the star wont meet.

Sew the other three corners.

Join the top two blocks together from the CENTRE outwards. Take care that your points meet.


Repeat for the bottom two.

Sew your two halves together.


This block will be 19″ square.

I hope you enjoy making this block!




This is one of the blocks that one of the ladies, Kristy R, from our Rainbows Facebook page made… I LOVE it!


Thank you Kristy for letting me put up a picture of your creation.

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