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April 2011

Sewing with linen

The massive laundry project continues today.  Thank goodness it's a heavenly autumn day here and I can dry all the washing outside.

Tide pool sewing 1

In between all the unpacking, laundry, and sewing nametags on winter uniforms, yesterday I managed a quick sewing project with scraps from my tide pool quilt.  The quilt has not progressed at all, but these scraps were put to use for a little hot water bottle cover.  I love sewing these hottie covers. They are quick, don't use much fabric and are a good creative outlet.  If I have the inclination to make a few more, I might list them on my website for winter.

Tide pool sewing

More creative spaces at Kootoyou.

Our island escape

Yesterday we returned from the most heavenly Easter holiday on Three Hummock Island.  Wow, we had 9 blissful days.  The first five were spent there on our own, and then two families joined us for the Easter weekend.

Sand dune walk

The weather was mild, and then turned spectacular - with clear blue skies and no wind.  There is a massive sand dune on the west side of the island.  I hadn't been to it before.  We hiked up it.  It was heavy going, but I think you'll agree the view was worth it.

Looking north:

North view of West Telegraph Bay

Looking south:

South view of West Telegraph Bay

And let me point out that there was not another soul on this entire glorious beach.

There was swimming;

In flight



which included fishing;




and Peekaboo.


I made progress on the applique quilt, with a third block now underway.  (I've got to sneak in one craft photo.)

Sewing box

And there was generally lots of eating, sleeping and lovely down-time.

Our flight home was interesting.  The plane landed to pick us up just as the last light was fading. John the caretaker had to light up the runway by driving the Land-Cruiser ahead of us at speed so the pilot could see where he was going. If I didn't have complete confidence in the pilot I would have found this somewhat unnerving. It was a clear night so we had an amazing view of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula all lit up below us. We could see the Easter traffic clogging the freeways back into town.

Our escape to Three Hummock was blissful and memorable, but there's no escaping the enormous pile of laundry that I'm currently engulfed by. Five loads and I'm about half way through.

Owl softie

Meet Orson.

Orson 1

He's supposed to be a wise owl.  Stunned mullet is more the creature that comes to mind.  He is perched atop my sewing basket.


I rather like a scarf-wearing softie.

DoudousOrson's pattern comes from this book, which I picked up at Entrée des Fournisseurs in Paris.  

You can read more about this shop and others on my craft shopping tour of Paris blog post.

I started a little Flickr gallery of Softies that I've fallen in love with.  There are some extremely talented doll-makers out there.  I have a lot to learn about softie making. For example, how much to stuff them. Nothing to do but practise to perfect the art (or craft) I suppose.

Liberty fabric weights

Wow, I loved Elizabeth's idea for her fifty cent fabric weights on her blog Oh, Fransson.  Such a simple and handy project. So while I was fiddling around with Liberty scraps for another project I decided to make some of these myself.

Fabric weights

It was the perfect use for all those pesky foreign coins Will brings home from his business travels.  They were cluttering up his desk in the study and I didn't know what to do with them. Now, problem solved.

Fabric weights 1

And, well, if we ever have need for a French franc or some Italian lire we know where to look.  These are a much prettier way to hold my fabric on the table than my sticky tape dispenser.  Great idea Elizabeth.

Simple charm square quilt

It was a very busy studio yesterday, with lots of customers dropping by for the Townmouse sale.


In a quieter moment earlier this week I made a very quick and simple charm square quilt.  I haven't used charm squares or pre-cut fabrics before.  I find fabric selection the hardest part of making a quilt, so I liked that this part was already done for me.

Charm square quilt 1

I can't say I'm in love with this quilt. It was made quickly, rather than carefully. I don't usually machine quilt my quilts so I read a lot of Rita's posts on basting and quilting. She's the master and go-to-girl for all my quilting quandaries. Unfortunately, I only read her posts too late, after I'd run into problems. Let's just say I'm going to stock up on safety pins, and take more time with my basting in future.

Charm square quilt

This was the first time I machine finished the binding too. I need more practice at this, and next time will enlist the help of my steam iron. At fashion school we were encouraged to sew without pins, so I rarely use them to secure my work. Going back to pinning undid me a bit. With more attempts I'll work out a way that works for me.

Simple charm square quilt

There's one little person who seems happy with it though. This quilt can now be found in Adelaide's cot and will probably travel with her to kindy down the line.

More creative spaces at Kootoyou.