Baby Quilt: signed, sealed and almost delivered…



I sewed leaves on the back with important details. The leaf with her name I have not shown

I have finished the baby quilt and I am quite pleased with it. I have sent it by registered mail and it should arrive tomorrow! I’m excited to see what they think and I’m wanting to see her wrapped in the quilt. I bought a Gumnut Baby hat through Etsy and it matches perfectly. I have also purchased a Gumnut Baby Book to go with it too. I’m so excited…


The photo doesn’t do justice to the colours in the quilt.

My nephew’s dad is my brother. Both his parents have passed away and I feel like it is part of my family duty to make up for the loss of these grandparents for the baby. I hope they would have been pleased with my efforts.


The close up picture is a little better… but it is brighter than this

My nephew has a twin sister, so I have plenty of material left over for her first born too. Being twins I think it is fitting to have a matching quilt. I will put green material with hers so there will be a point of difference, but also that connection.


This is the cute little Gumnut Babies hat. I have left the plastic on so it remains pristine for bub…

So now I’m itching to make another one. I just might get the “twin” quilt made. you never know when you might receive happy news…


Annette’s Tea Cosy

The teapot

The teapot

The teacup, saucer and matching plate

The teacup, saucer and matching plate

While we were back in the big smoke we visited a friend of mine. We met Annette and Trevor when our boys played basketball together. That was over 10yrs ago now and we have all remained friends long after the glory days of basketball. While we were there we got chatting about her tea set. She showed me a gorgeous little teapot with red and white roses. The teacup that matches has a lovely shade of yellow inside, which makes it look like it is aglow with sunshine. Anyway in the course of the conversation I mentioned that I had been making tea cosies and would she like one? So here I go again, (as John English once sang..). I took a photo of the little teapot and set, as I wanted to match the red colour on the lid. There are many shades of red so, fingers crossed, I have managed to get a colour that compliments, rather than clashes. The proof will be in the pudding.

Three pieces of material soon to be a teacosy

Three pieces of material soon to be a teacosy

After washing and ironing the materials it was time to fish out my trusty Simplicity pattern. This has a variety of  kitcheny type products you can sew to spruce up your home.


I cut out the pieces using the pattern. The fiddly bit is pencilling in the lines and dots, but makes it easier once you begin to sew.  You have to add buttonholes to thread through the ribbon and leave a channel for the elastic so it pays to mark these out clearly.


I added a splash of yellow to match in with the teacup and saucer. In the above photo you can see the main material with the band material on. To the right is the inside material which has had the padding added and quilted. I like to use wool wadding as it keeps the teapot toasty warm and is easy to sew on, but any padding would do. The inside material is sewn to the yellow band and, once sewn down the sides and turned through, allows some of the inside material to show at the top of the tea cosy.

Two halves ready to be joined by elastic and ribbon to make a teacosy

Two halves ready to be joined by elastic and ribbon to make a tea cosy

One of the “tricky” parts to the tea cosy is sewing in the buttonholes on both sides of the cosy. I used the buttonhole function on my machine, doing a practise one first. They turned out great, the more I do the better it gets 🙂   (Don’t look too closely at yours Fran..)

The buttonholes

The buttonholes

Once you have the halves together you stitch in the channel for the elastic and a channel for the ribbon.  Then you are ready to put the elastic through. I used a safety pin to thread it through, pinning the end of the elastic in place so as not to lose it when it’s pulled through.

Elastic being threaded through the bottom

Elastic being threaded through the bottom

Once both sides of the teacosy are threaded with the elastic you sew the ends together, another tricky bit. Trying to keep the tiny ends together while sewing on the machine was a bit of a trial, in hindsight I could have handsewn them with less fiddling about. Once they were sewn you conveniently hide the sewn together ends in the channel.Thank goodness because mine looked woeful!


I was now ready to thread some ribbon through the top but only problem is I forgot to buy some while near some shops. Nothing here so I had to think of something alternative…. I remembered I had bought a lovely book from BH&G which had knitting and crochet patterns in. Plus the bonus was you also got a set of knitting needles, 2 crochet hooks and a large needle for threading wool, all for $12.95 delivered to your door. Bargain! So I fished out some red wool I had and crocheted a “ribbon”. It has been many years since I have crocheted so it was good to have the book to remind me of the stitches.


So I chained a length that I thought would be long enough to fit through and be tied, then did a simple double crochet to make the “ribbon.”  I toyed with putting tassels on the end but decided against it. Instead I curled the ends up to form a sort of flowery ball thing… Anyway I was happy with the results and hope my friend is too. She can always replace it with some pretty ribbon if she’d rather that look. Now I just hope it will look okay with the little teapot.

The finished teacosy

The finished tea cosy

Another one bites the dust, well turns 50 anyway…

  I have another school friend who turns 50 in December so I have been making her a wall hanging also. This one is made up of tiny little squares, and when sewn together, make an interesting pattern. It reminds me of the Amish style of quilting. This one was also in a kit that I purchased a while ago now. After washing the fabrics I started to cut the pieces as instructed. The pattern requires several different colours cut into strips and sewn together, then recut.

I used pins to wedge the layers

I used pins to wedge the layers

The kit came with an instruction book but it also contains a couple of different projects in it, so I might have to look at tackling them in the future.
I had forgotten how fiddly those little pieces were and how careful you have to be when joining them together. A few millimetres over the project can really add up. Fortunately most of it lined up, a couple didn’t quite match but overall it isn’t too bad.
I had started learning patchwork over 16 years ago with a wonderful patchwork club in Dongara. The club had experienced ladies and some complete novices like me. Over the years we were able to attend some terrific workshops, with visiting guests from all over Australia. We learnt different techniques for sewing, and even learnt how to dye our own materials. I used that knowledge to make a baby quilt for my niece. It’s great fun and was so easy because you did it in the microwave. It is an Australian business too.

I use tape to get a straight line

I use tape to get a straight line

About 11 years ago we lost my mother-in-law to cancer and then barely a year later I lost my own mum. That sure took the wind out of my sails. We had moved to Perth and I guess without the wonderfully inspiring patchwork ladies to get me going again I just stopped sewing. I just didn’t feel inspired anymore. Then about 5 years ago my darling father-in-law, who passed away this February, dobbed me in to sew a QUEEN sized quilt for a family friend! He thought I needed something to do…

You can just see the stitches on the quilt

You can just see the stitches on the quilt

The family friend had a picture of what she wanted, oh dear not even a pattern. Oh well I got out some graph paper and started to draw what the photo looked like. After we were happy with the look we went off to buy some material. I loved this part of the process! We spent the morning deciding on patterns and colours. The graph paper pattern helped me to work out how much to buy, well fingers crossed lol.
So after a couple of months I had finished the quilting and handed it over to a lady who uses a large machine to quilt your work. We decided on a pattern and then I waited for it to be finished. Once that was done all I had to do was bind it. I was very nervous when it was time to hand over the quilt. It is hard to make a quilt for someone who has a pattern in mind. You just don’t know if they will like it until they see it. It turned out to be quite an emotional hand over. There were tears all round and she loved it! Phew!

A closer look at those stitches. If you squint they look terrific lol

A closer look at those stitches. If you squint they look terrific lol

Well back to this project. I decided to hand quilt this wall hanging. I had some lovely multicoloured thread in my stash and thought it would look great. Which it does but the thread is a nightmare to work with! It is constantly breaking and always right in the middle of a run, grrrr. I like to use wool wadding in my projects, it sits nicely and is easy to sew. When I started to put the sashing on I realized that the measurements they had given were a bit out. I had to use the longer pieces for the shorter sides. Fortunately the backing material is the same as the sashing, so I used that to get the longer lengths. It meant I have to use something else on the back but that was not so bad, at least I have the right sashings. I learnt a valuable lesson. From now on if I am using a kit I won’t be cutting the sashings until it is time to use them. That way I will know that they are the correct length.

After much swearing, tutting and sighing I have finally finished the wall hanging. I will be seeing my friend next week so the big handover will happen then.

The finished product

The finished product

Fran’s wall hanging

I made a wall hanging for my friend who, like me, was reaching a respectable age of 50. I remembered a kit I had bought many years ago called “Psycho Chickens” and decided that it was perfect. If you follow my friends blog you will know the trials and tribulations she has gone through with her chooks :).

Psycho Chickens 007

The pattern for the two types of chickens

Psycho Chickens 006

Sorry it’s sideways?? Thanks Donna Warren for your excellent design


I was feeling a bit excited to be using more than the straight stitch on my shiny new sewing machine, as the wall hanging required some applique.

After washing and cutting the necessary bits into the necessary sizes I began my new project.

50th birthday projects 001

Material’s washed

50th birthday projects 002  Putting the background together was the easy bit. Yikes it turned out to be quite large in the end. 

50th birthday projects 013

I love this chook wire material

Next was to sort out which bits to put with the chook material. The feet and wings were pretty obvious, but the giblets and coxcombs were not so easy. The down side to a kit is you don’t necessarily like all the choices, but I think, in the end, it turned out ok.

psycho chickens 005

One of the chook combos. this is when it had been vlisofixed on but not embellished

psycho chickens 004

Version number 2 of the chooks

Then came the fun part! What stitch to use on the chooks. I spent a bit of time using a rectangular piece of material that had the wadding and backing on too. I use it to do samples of the stitches, taking note of which one and if I adjusted the size etc. Once I had picked the stitches I wanted to use, it was then time to get going.


These are the 4 chooks ready to be appliqued

I had a great time doing the applique stitches on my machine. It purred along nicely and I learnt alot about some of the functions on it. I love the button that does a few stitches at the start and end of your work, also the scissor button that pulls the threads to the back and cuts them. I was not sure what to do in the borders but decided on a stitch that looked like chickens walking. Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! I decided to cross hatch the outer boarders, and that is when I discovered how rusty my sewing skills had become… after unpicking one of the borders, I hate unpicking :(, I was happy with the results and put the binding on.

psycho chickens 003

Another chooky version

psycho chickens 002

Last of the chooky versions

Finially it was ready to wrap. Only one day before I flew out, phwew! I’m glad to say that Fran seemed to like it and it looks wonderful on her loungeroom wall. I’m a little biased but hey it’s my blog lol


The wall hanging in situ 🙂

Happy birthday Fran, it was a labour of love x