Tuesday, 30 April 2013

My 1st For My First

I’m one of those people … you know?  The ones that have to know EVERYTHING!

So when I’m having my 19 week scan of my first pregnancy and the "ultrasound operator" (for lack of their correct job title) says “Would you like to know if you are having a boy or a girl?”  I naturally reply “Yes!”

Having a history of tomboy-hood I have never really embraced the colour pink – well all that was about to change in the next sentence “Congratulations, you’re having a girl”.

My FEF (Fine English Fellow) and I couldn’t wait to text our family and friends “We’re having a girl!” and then I couldn’t wait to text our family and friends “NO PINK!”

“No pink?” gasped my ever patient mother, “What do you mean no pink?” 

Well I’ve seen it happen all before.  One day you’re living in a perfectly contemporary home and the minute a baby girl arrives your home suddenly looks like Barbie’s mansion.  Well no-sir-ree was that happening to me!

Inevitably though the baby pink hormones kicked in and suddenly there I was … surrounded by pink.

Noooooooooooooooo!  Thankfully the picture above is NOT my house – but that little girl does look rather pleased with herself.

No, if we were to have pink in our house then it shall be toned down some-what and slightly subdued.

Thank goodness for Bunny Hill Designs … they do pink in a sophisticated shade that I can cope with …

... and those chocolate bunnies look oh so yummy and cute!

After many a quilting class (a few muffled swear words) and plenty of encouragement from my mum, my first quilt was finished! 

The quilt is made up of 4 large panels of bunny fabric and 3 panels of 9-patch-squares in the various pink, cream and pink/brown fabrics in the range.

I straight-lined quilted the large bunny panels horizontally, 

then crossed through each of the 9-patch squares.

All the piecing and quilting was done on my trusty little Brother using Gutermann Colour 919 100% cotton thread.

I used left over fabric from the front for the binding and a cute flannel fabric with baby animals in a stitched like print on the back.

Must get better with my picture taking!
I'm happy with this quilt (being my first) and it does the job of keeping my little one snug as a bug in a ... quilt.

Awww ...

Quilt Stats:
Quilt pattern used: "Shhh, Baby Sleeping" from Patchwork At Homespun
Quilt Size: 53" x 35"


Monday, 29 April 2013

I Need Help!

Not confident to go it alone, my next step in concurring my fear of sewing machines was to hunt down some sewing/patchwork/quilting classes … if I was to walk through the gates of hell – yep, being over dramatic again.

I happily stumbled across a patchwork and quilting shop called ...

Click on picture to go to their website

... that held classes and squeezed my way onto their class list! 

Luckily for me, one of the shop owners took pity on me and took me under her straight-line-sewing, perfect-colour-placing-wing and introduced me to the lovely ladies I would join on a Monday night.

I had struck gold!

After talking about what I was hoping to achieve from my new-found classes (and explaining my past history with sewing machines) I was wisely steered towards a lovely (and simple!) baby quilt apty named “Shhh Baby Sleeping".

So, that was it.  

Now that I had a pattern in hand, it was time to choose the fabric … which turns out to be my favourite part!


p.s this post has not been sponsored by Patchwork At Homespun

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

To Boston With Love

I was having my usual coffee and toast for breakfast this morning, perusing my favourite blogs, when I came upon Rita’s blog and her show of support for the victims of the recent (and horrific) Boston bombings.


‘It would be nice to contribute to that collaboration” I thought to myself.  “Shame I’ve got so much to do today”.  And so a thought was as far as I got.

The day progressed as planned.  Children fed, dressed and ready for our shopping excursion.  Catch up with a dear friend and her beautiful brood for lunch.  

Then something happened.  My youngest was playing happily on the café play equipment when another child walked over to her, clinched his fist, pulled his arm back, then followed through with a punch to her dear face.
On our drive home, my thoughts turned to Boston.  I was absolutely horrified by the “misdemeanor” applied to my daughter at the café - so clearly I can only begin to imagine what the families of the victims, and the victims themselves, of the Boston bombings must be going through?

I decided on my drive home that I would MAKE the time to create a flag to show my support.  I may live in one of the most isolated cities in the world, but we can still show that we care even from here.

So, I looked up the specifications and step by step flag making instructions here

colour palette

Picked my fabrics according to the suggested colour pallet and came up with this ...

Front of Flag

I went with green and gold to lend a little of our Aussie bravado “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi,Oi” 

Back of Flag

... and a hug “O” and kiss “X” design to send love from our family.

Sorry for the grainy photos

If you have a sewing machine and you want to send a positive message to the residents of Boston, then this is a fantastic way to do so.


Sunday, 21 April 2013

And That Was Daffodil

Softies are all the rage at moment.  Thinking that I would start small on this sewing adventure, I thought that I could knock one of these up pretty quickly.  Oh so confident …

I had some bright yellow, happy fabric with large sunny daffodils all over it.  It was fairly heavy weight cotton, the type that you could use for outdoor cushions or perhaps curtains and a perfect cheery colour for my little girl to play with … well so I thought.

I trawled the net for pictures and ideas and thought to myself “I can do that, I’ll even make my own simple pattern” – not quite sure where that bravado came from?!

Anyway, after one evening and one daytime-nap-slot of cutting, sewing and stuffing, this is what I managed – not too shabby.

Then another evening of stuffing some more, hand sewing the opening closed and some sketchy face details, this was the result.

I hereby name her Daffodil

I was so proud of finishing my first project (amateurish to say the least!) that I sent my mum a photo immediately with the text “I hereby name her Daffodil!”

The next morning whilst G was bouncing away in her jungle gym I presented her Daffodil.

The-First-Ever-Thing-I-Have-Ever-Made-Her! (cue the Royal Trumpets!)

… and this is what she thought of her

Daffodil discarded ...

Yup, fair play kid.  Daffodil is a little lop-sided and her arms and legs are quite thin … hmm and I did just draw the eyes and mouth on instead of doing some nifty hand embroidery.  

My report card on this one might say “Needs to follow instructions (or even buy a pattern!) better, take more time and consideration with her work.”

Geez, this is going to be tougher than I thought.  Perhaps I should introduce myself to this lady, she looks like she knows what she's doing.


Friday, 19 April 2013

My Nemesis

A little while ago, I noticed that one of my favourite people I like to visit participated in a little Blog Hop called Meet My Machine where fabulous quilters all came together to share details of their machine/s of choice.

I thought it was really helpful, especially for new-comers like myself.  As FEF always says “you don’t know, what you don’t know” – profound I know …erm … so to hear from experienced crafter/sewers/quilters/designers was a real bonus. 
So without further ado I’d like to introduce you to my nemesis … Brother BC-2500.

I have actually taken it out of the box ... finally

Small, but perfectly formed.  Probably has a few more stitches than I need, but we seem to be getting on just fine.

I'm told he is a “quilting quality” machine.  He’s perfectly light-weight and easy to cart from my kitchen table to where-ever I can find space to store him away from the kiddies.

The “throat” size is a little small though, so I can see myself needing a bigger machine if I want to do a lot of the quilting myself.  But as far as piecing and portability are concerned, I think he’s perfect – and really, who can resist that slogan? … Brother “At Your Side” … yup, I'm going to need all the help I can get!


Thursday, 18 April 2013


Just before I delve too far into the depths of this blog I’d like to say that this blog in not intended to be any type of a literary masterpiece. 

I may mispell somthinks from tyme two tyme and my gramma mae knot be all that  - wink, wink.

So please forgive me for the odd foe par.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Time Capsule

When I was in high school I was abruptly introduced to the world of sewing.  Now, don’t get me wrong, my mother was always busy knitting, crocheting or sewing up a tutu or two, but for some reason I didn't ever really take any interest until someone said “Now listen carefully students as there will be a test on this”.  What? A test? – eek!  And so I was forced kicking and screaming (well emotionally so) to sit behind a wicked beast called (cue dramatic music) a Sewing Machine.  For this little tomboy (after my tutu phase) it was a step too far!

The school year progressed with my many a tussle with needle and thread.  My pillowcase not fitting a pillow.  My shorts ending up with one leg narrower than the other … yes well you get the idea.

Finally, as this was a non-compulsory class, I was asked by the powers-that-be if I would like to try something different?  Well derrrr!  They gave me a sharp pencil and put me in a technical drawing class with all the boys (I wasn't silly) and basically a Mechanical Draftsperson was born!

It wasn't until I – tomboy extraordinaire -  met my Fine English Fellow (FEF), lived in London and travelled all through Europe, that I started to notice and appreciate beautiful fabrics and colours beyond the red dirt and eucalyptus green I was usually surrounded by.
FEF and I finally return to Australia (because I missed the sun), marry on a lovely Autumn day and have two beautiful girls 16 months apart.  Suddenly though I feel the need to make something for them.  Something to wrap them up in.  Keep them safe and warm.  Snug as a bug in a rug – well perhaps a quilt?

With my children’s every happiness at risk … yes I do tend to exaggerate … I decided to take on my nemesis … the sewing machine.

This is my time capsule, my record – if you like, of the quilts (and probably other bits) that I make and give.  Whether that be to my family, friends or even complete strangers.

I've called this blog “Sew Giving” not because I'm a Saint or anything but because, ultimately, most of the quilts I make will be for the purpose of giving away … selfishly.  Selfishly because I get a real kick out of seeing people’s faces light up when they are given something homemade – made especially for them.  Selfishly because I don’t like to be beaten.  For every success I have on the Sewing Machine is a little personal win!



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