Archive of ‘Sewing Accessories’ category



Today I found myself in thread heaven.  A true sewing/quilting addict, when I made my first quilt sale recently I instantly spent the money on thread LOL  I may have mentioned previously that I like Aurifil thread :)  A lot.  I’m slowly building my collection and this week my 13 new spools arrived!  Yeehaw!  This morning I got all matchy-matchy, totally got lost in the moment and just had to take a photo :)

matching threads
Appreciation gifts for teacher aides and cantine ladies at our school using this tutorial.

Can you imagine how excited I’m going to be when I actually use them for the project they are intended for?  I even ordered 20 new bobbins so that I can really have fun :)

Now I just need to work on my storage system…

Triangle quilt in progress (I need a better name for it! Any suggestions?)


I can’t believe it is Wednesday already.  How did that happen?

one third quilted
I feel the need to explain it is folded and on the ironing board.  Weird
perspective happening here…

I’m still working on my triangle quilt, I’m loving it but it is time consuming…  I love the pace of making quilts, but sometimes I wish I could speed it up a bit.  I’m about half way through the quilting now but I find quilting to be very hard on my neck, back and shoulders so I’m having to take lots of breaks.  Usually I find going for an hours walk three times a week is enough to keep the sewing aches away.  Today I mixed it up a bit and we went to the beach :)

a quilt ate my machine
Gah!  A quilt ate my sewing machine!

School finishes early here on Wednesdays, so I picked the kids up at 10.30 and we went to a local beach where we met a friend and his Mum for a picnic and swim.  I don’t think I actually swam, but it was a lot of fun.  Sand castles, pool noodles, a long lazy lunch.  I lathered everyone up with sunscreen and got halfway through myself and then forgot.  I remembered half an hour later but the damage had been done and I have red shoulders and back.  Not blister burnt, but not ideal.

This photo had a cool navy ship in it and then I thought,
“hm, in Australia they warn you not to take photos of things
 like this lest you end up arrested in a foreign country.”  So
in order to preserve my freedom you get a boring photo LOL

It was a nice way to break up my quilting.  My sewing machine sits in a horn sewing cabinet.  Whilst it is possible to lower the table slightly so that you get a kind of extension table, it has never really worked for me.  I decided to try it again today and it seems to be going well so far.  I still need to work on the ergonomics of it, but there is more table to take the weight of the quilt, so that’s a good thing!

machine lowered
Machine slightly lowered and using the cabinet top as an extension table.

I also managed to still attach my knee lifter which I can’t sew without (you push your knee against it to lift the foot).

cabinet front view
Front view, I can still easily use the knee lifter (on the right).

I’d love to hear your tips for ergonomic sewing.  Is it possible to sew for long stretches and not end up in pain?  Or at least keep it manageable?  As I was quilting this afternoon I was pondering whether I can bare to part with this one (I started it with the intention of selling it) and I did kind of think that the amount of pain caused by sewing kind of means that I shouldn’t be thinking of sewing to sell.  But then my neck problems are the result of working in an office and I don’t get anywhere near the satisfaction from office work that I do from sewing.  Maybe I need to find a new hobby and a new job LOL  Or maybe I just need to practice both in moderation ;)

quilting in progress
So pretty I might have to keep it for me Little Miss…
I’m linking up with Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
Grab a button:

Stocking the Stash


We’re halfway through two weeks of school holidays and I decided to torture myself on day one by heading to my favourite papeterie (stationary store) with all three kids (2 years, 4 years and almost 6 years).  We are focusing on French literacy and stocked up on all sorts of goodies for the kids, but I popped a few things in the basket for me too :)

Top: Olfa compass cuter. Bottom: 23cm pinking sheers.
 Cutting things!  Now I have my very own pinking scissors.  I haven’t used them yet, but I have often wanted a pair so I’m sure they will get a lot of use.  I also picked up this olfa compass cutter. I tried it out this morning and failed dismally so I will have to go searching online for some tips on using it.  To date I have traced a circle and then cut with scissors, I’d love to cut perfect circles with this baby and save some time!
I did squeeze in three new lots of fabric!  The first was a swap, I put the word out that I was after some transport, specifically helicopter and airplane fabric, and I got two responses.  Kristy offered to swap me these babies for some owls or butterflies.  I love them and they’re perfect!  I hope she loves the fat quarters I sent back :)
Then the lovely Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts replied that she was selling the left over fabric from her son’s transport quilt in her etsy shop.  I LOVE these scraps, talk about cool bananas!  Some of these have been cut up already and I can see them going a long way.  There are some really special fabrics in here Alyce, thank you!
I also recently joined up for Pink Castle‘s Stash Stack Club where they send you a selection of fabrics each month.  Each month is assigned a colour and you can join up or cancel your subscription at anytime.  You can choose the size cut, I went for fat quarters to try and get a decent sized cut but not max out the budget.  This is a great idea for me as I have lots of feature prints but not a lot of blenders or solids.
Possibly the most exciting addition to my stash this week though is one that I have already shared :)  The design wall (fancy way of saying we strung a flannel sheet to the wall) that I blogged about last night.  I LOVE it!!!
I’m linking up with Sunday Stash over at Finding Fifth and you should too, when she gets to 10 bloggers linking she is giving away a charm pack of Kate Spain’s Serenade :)
Finding Fifth

Sunday Stash and a whole lot of quilting


I mentioned yesterday that I’m a woman with a mission, I’m really enjoying working on my “volume” quilt.  This morning I pieced the back and basted it, I really didn’t want it to move around during the quilting process so I used a lot of pins.

Not sure if you can see them, but there are a lot of pins!
This afternoon and this evening I have been quilting it and am really happy with how it’s coming along.  But I’ll save (most) of those photos for tomorrow :)
I really had no firm idea of how to quilt it so I got out all my quilting goodies, a few of which are new to my stash :)
Some of my hand quilting goodies.  The big hoop I’ve had for
about 20 years!  The little hoop is a recent purchase and great
 for small designs and smaller pieces of fabric.
I bought some Aurifil thread a little while ago (which is what I’ve ended up quilting with today, can I say I LOVE IT!!!) and this week purchased some King Tut Quilting Thread.  I know nothing about it but it is beautiful and I love trying new things.  I decided not to use it for this project.  
King Tut Quilting Thread on the left, a lovely verigated blue.
I also purchased a Sewline Trio pen this week which is GREAT!  So much easier than my tailors chalk, purple air soluble pen and blue water soluble pen.  This is a new stash favourite :)
This week I received some fine clover quilting pins.  I had some trouble with pining some beautiful Art Gallery fabric and wanted to try a better/finer pin.  Hopefully these will solve the problem as I have the Art Gallery fabric is so fine and I am looking forward to quilting with some since my initial hurdle.  
I also bought some hand quilting needles.  These are not exactly what I was after, but that happens sometimes when you buy online rather than being able to see them in person.  I’m sure they’ll come in useful though!
I’m linking up with Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth and then I’m collapsing in bed after 4.5 hours of quilting this afternoon and evening!  Hoping to finish it off tomorrow, but without Mr Husband around I might not get so much done.
What’s new in your stash this week?  Are you similarly obsessed with a project this week?
Finding Fifth

Handmade with care (and lots of experimenting!)


I don’t have many real life crafting buddies that live nearby but I enjoy interacting on an almost daily basis with some wonderful crafty women online.  A few months ago I joined Quilt Club Australia, a Facebook based modern quilting group.  Some of these women have been quilting for years and are amazingly talented and speedy.  Some are on their first, second or third quilt.  All are friendly and willing to share their skills and knowledge.  There is even another expat Aussie in the group!

Not long after I joined I signed up for my first swap with QCA.  I was assigned a lovely lady in Perth who unfortunately doesn’t have a blog but had filled out a questionnaire so I knew that she likes “modern fun stuff”, doesn’t like yellow or grey too much, likes purple, green, pink, red and aqua but is not a fan of old style floral prints, vintage prints or batiks.  I decided that “modern fun stuff” gave me licence to be as creative as I could be :)  She received her gift late last week so I can share with you now what I made!
I hope I didn’t go too far with the experimenting, but as I started to design, cut and sew I got more and more creative.  I am really into texture at the moment and I tried pebbling on the front cover.  This is around some reverse appliqué which is not raw edged but has some hand quilting just because.  I don’t know what this technique is called but I sewed the letters with right sides together, cut them out, turned through the facing fabric and ended up with my letters but nice clean edges.  To be honest the circle in the S and the E was a right pain and I probably won’t do it this way again LOL  I also did everything by sight so it isn’t perfect, but I think that is what I was going for, a natural design progression.
I had so much fun with the back!!  I machine stitched the pleats in opposite directions and then hand stitched on top for a fun detail.  Texture baby!
The blue bit is a little pocket and the
red is a felt square for needles.
I machine stitched the binding, I wish I’d had time to hand stitch it, but I didn’t in the end, I hope my partner forgives me that *blushes*  How much fun are these fabrics?  I had just received the red and the orange and I HAD to use them.  I love putting in a zippered pocket into sewing pouches, nothing like losing a button while travelling that was destined for some crafty goodness.  The ribbon is meant to be for holding cotton reels, again it was an experiment as previously I have used bias binding and velcro.
The pin cushion is my very first cathedral window.  It was so much fun and I’m going to make HEAPS more.  I found a great tutorial here.  
So what do you think?  Did I do OK for my first swap?  I haven’t received my swap item yet, but mail always takes a little longer to get to me, so no surprises there :)  I’ll be sure to share when I do though!

I’m linking up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday at Quokka Quilts this week :)  Technically I didn’t finish this project this week but because it was a swap I’m only sharing it for the first time now :)

A productive week! Kind of…


We are at the end of the first week of the May school holidays.  I have been squeezing in a little sewing each afternoon during “quiet time” (read: Little Miss naps and the boys watch TV) and a little in the evenings.  I’m hoping to get a few gifts in the post tomorrow, but we’ll see.  I have finished this lovely little Mug Rug that is for a lovely lady. Ssshhh, don’t tell her, it’s a surprise!


I’m in a couple of swaps at the moment so I started a Pinterest “swaps/small gifts” board and I just couldn’t resist this wonderful mug rug that I spotted.  I was enjoying hand quilting but I didn’t want to fill the whole space.  I actually wanted a white background but a white mug rug seems completely impractical to me; it’ll have tea stains in two seconds!  Plus I just received a heap of black homespun from The Oz Material Girls, so I had some handy :)

My other finish for the week (so far!  I’m hoping to have a few more before the week is out) was the name plaque for my gorgeous nephew.  I gave you a sneak peak here and I still won’t reveal the whole thing as his Mummy pops in from time to time and I don’t want to completely spoil the surprise :)

It’s always nice to have a nice backside ;P

Another of my favourite little people turned two this week and I’m putting together a gorgeous pinafore for her.  The first time round it was a little short so I’ve made two :)  Just need to finish off the hems and sew on some buttons tonight.  I then have to figure out if to send the pinafore or the smock…  Both are too cute for words!  I’ll share the pattern source for these in another post, let’s just say that I love sewing from Ottobre :)


The postie made a delivery this week which was nice!  Well, two in fact.  The first was a book that I saw reviewed somewhere in blogland and had to have.

Nice Cover!

I’ve only had a skim read so far but this page is so pretty that I had to share.  I love learning about colour.

My second package from the postie is a little more mundane but I am equally as excited!

How comfy does that thimble look???  Sadly I forgot about it when I was hand-quilting yesterday, but I’ll try it out soon.  I’m also super excited to be sharpening some of my old blunt rotary blades that I’ve kept for using with paper.  Here’s hoping this little gadget actually works!  I like to think that I’m an experienced and knowledgeable sew-er.  I know that I still have a lot to learn ;)  Recently I learnt that there are machine quilting needles!  I always change needles depending on my fabric weight (and I use a lot of interfacing) but I was previously oblivious to machine quilting needles so now I have some to add to my collection.  How many needles does one need??

Has anyone else had any exciting mail this week?  Or been sewing gifts?  I’m getting a bit ambitious and considering making cards to go with the gifts I’ve made…  That might delay the post somewhat!

Best tool ever for threading elastic through casing!


I mentioned here way back in October a nifty tool that I used to thread cord through the casing of 263 gift bags.  WAY better than a safety pin!!  You need this tool!  I got it at my local sewing shop, the packaging was in German and I’ve no idea of what it would be called in English but here are the photos to help you find one :)

The smaller needle has a piece of 3/8″ elastic in it here.

The larger needle can open right to the tip and can therefore
fit larger pieces of elastic.