Archive | April 2013

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 … 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.





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