Sunday, September 16, 2012

2 Little Apples finally fall from the tree

A sigh of relief this weekend as I finally sewed a label onto the second of the two quilts I made using a layer cake of Aneela Hoey's super-popular line Little Apples. I bought the layer cake almost a year ago at the Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair from Brenda at Widebacks. At the time she kindly gave me advice about how to do a disappearing 9 patch quilt.

Adding in some white homespun, I made the first in time for Mia's 4th birthday and her first day of kindy - in JANUARY this year! I also made a matching pillow with some left over squares of Aneela's Sherbert Pips.


Since then Lily's has gathered dust, partially quilted. Other projects, workshops and life meant I've only just completed it.

Mia's I had crosshatched:

Lily's I free motion quilted - my first attempt ever (so long ago you can see I'm on my old machine!).

Whilst I'm not happy with the stitching on the back, I think I got the hang of it by the end.

Mia's (on the right) is backed in Saffron Craig's Love Heart Fairies but I'm embarrassed to say I didn't save the selvedge of Lily's backing fabric so I'm not sure what it is!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chrissy Foreman C: brooch beauties

Some time ago I heard about the stunning work of an artist and community arts worker right here in Brisbane called Chrissy Foreman Cranitch.

Each of her pieces are infused with such meaning, covering topics such as Life Stories, Nature and Motherhood. She creates original artworks, fine art prints, stationery including cards and stickers, gorgeous hand painted ceramics and fabrics!

All of Chrissy's fabric designs are stunning, but my absolute favourite design is Aquatic Soul Dance.

I just had to buy it at a pop up shop she had at Nook back in May. It quickly became Too Precious To Cut and I simply admired it's gorgeousness from afar. However a new scarf which needed a brooch motivated me to think how I could use. it.

It was so much fun to use King Tut's variegated threads and my free motion foot to "colour in" Chrissy's gorgeous designs!

I also made one for Chrissy herself:

If you are in Australia, you can visit her Made It shop to have her prints shipped to you. For her entire range and for people elsewhere around the world, be sure to check out her Etsy store.

You can also revel in checking out all of Chrissy's creations in real life at the BrisStyle Markets. The next one is 8th December 2012 from 9am - 4pm at St Augustine's Church, Racecourse Rd, Hamilton.

Thank you for capturing your life in art Chrissy, so we can do the same!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I received a lovely surprise parcel in the mail today - my giveaway prize of two canisters of tea from the generous Shardee from What's That Tea?

You can read more about the inspiration behind What's That Tea on Domestic Artisan's blog post which ran the giveaway.

How cute is the packaging?! Earl Grey and Scottish Breakfast:

I don't usually drink caffeinated beverages as I find they normally make my heart race! However What's That Tea?'s Scottish Breakfast was the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up. I think it's time for me to reclaim black tea.

My hubby, a fan of a fine tea, will love the Earl Grey.

And I can't wait to try the sample of their biggest seller Strawberry & Champagne, mmm.

You can shop online on their website or follow What's That Tea's Facebook page.

I love to hear about people following their dreams - wishing you so much success Shardee!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Back on the old horse

Couldn't resist the pun, you'll see why.

It's been a long time for between sewing sessions, having been focused on the workshops over the last few months.

The quality of this photo is terrible (taken on my phone), but you can see my new sewing space downstairs. I was unceremoniously booted out of our second upstairs bedrooom by the girls finally wanting their own room (after 7+ years of sharing our room - picture bunk beds squished next to our queen-sized bed!). Downstairs feels a bit more cramped, and I've got to find some better solutions for storing my fabric than the plastic tubs they are in. But I'm grateful that I still have a "room" of my own.

I also have an AMAZING new sewing machine, which I hadn't set up yet when I took the photo. It's a Janome Memory Craft 6600, which I have conveted for so long. Incredibly and humblingly (is that a word?) it was given to me by a dear friend as thanks for helping her and her family out during a very tough time. I am so very grateful, I only wish my help hadn't been necessary.

I've finally used my new machine properly for the first time over the last few weeks, whipping up three Winter jackets for our cousin Charlotte's 3rd birthday and my girls.

I used McCalls 5743 for Charlotte & Mia's jackets (in version C but with the straight sleeves from version A), and Kwik Sew's 3919 version A for Lily's (featuring a hood).

Cousin Char in her minky fleece jacket (not sure if that is what the fabric is called!). Although gorgeous and fluffy, the fabric misbehaved by shedding itself everywhere when it was cut and was very hard for the feed dogs on my machine to grip onto. Consequently button holes were impossible to create, so I used velcro instead and made the buttons "false". It turns out this is very convenient for 3 year olds! It looks gorgeous on Char, and worth every bit of wrangling.

Mia's choice of pony patterned fleece fabric was perfect for her jacket's first outing, our family holiday with friends last week at Bestbrook Mountain Resort, near Warwick, Queensland.

Lily chose love hearts...

...which miraculously matched up at the front!

Bestbrook is an amazing place, with pony rides, horse riding lessons, animal feeding, wagon rides, fantastic old school playground equipment (the heavy iron stuff we played on as kids), a pool, jumping castle, bikes to ride, 4WD track, gorgeous creek, lake and more. Accommodation is either cabins (with a pot belly stove inside and outdoor fire place outside) or camping. There's an on-site restaurant with fireplace and bar, as well as a games room nearby for the kids. We had an awesome couple of nights with our friends, eating and drinking while the kids played.

Restaurant, cold beer + horses = our perfect family holiday, lol.

The girls and their friend Saph heading off for their riding lesson, with the main building/restaurant/bar in front of them.

Me leading Mia.

Daddy-powered merry-go-round.

Lily by the lake.

One of the cabins by the creek.

A view of Bestbrook from the top of the 4WD track. We'll be back!

Now that the girls have returned to school/kindy, I find myself preoccupied with mending and UFOs. However I did manage to whip these up the other night for the girls. I had previously made a quilted hot water bottle cover from a pattern in Cath Kidston's Sew! book, but it was so well insulted by it's layer of quilt batting that it didn't really let the heat through! These are made using the same design, but only one layer of quilting cotton.

I'm SO enjoying getting my hand back in. My next challenge is to keep up my personal creativity, whilst also making time to develop the next workshops. But what a rich challenge to have!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sewing Birth once more

Following up on our first workshop in April, yesterday another special group of women gathered at Piece Together in Woolloongabba to Sew Birth.

Due to illness in GeorGina's family, I facilitated the mindfulness/art aspect of yesterday's workshop as well as the quiltmaking component. I'm so blessed over the years to have witnessed how GeorGina beautifully creates a safe circle in which women can be present and open to their beliefs, emotions, experiences and memories around birth. I felt GeorGina's wisdom guiding me yesterday, drawing out my own inner knowing and confidence to hold the space. Although GeorGina wasn't with us physically, she was certainly with us all in spirit and in love.

After a morning of mindfulness, meditation and art, the quiltmmaking began with selecting fabrics.

The proud participants and their amazing creations!

It was another rich day of all those great "c" words! Connection, challenge, creativity, community...

Thank you to my dear Mum for helping out on the day, I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you for always showing me the importance of an aware and creative life.

My heartfelt thanks to GeorGina for giving me true support in every way. Working (can it really be called work?!) with you has truly met my needs for purpose and celebration of life!

And lastly, to the women who participated - thank you for being willing to put aside a day for yourselves to be creative and connect with other women (and thank you to your families for their support to make it happen!). Thank you for your trust, courage and willingness to go deeply into places of light and dark, your perseverance to lean into your creative challenges and your openness to allow your piece to unfold. And finally the pleasure evident in each of you at having created a stunning work of art, which holds such personal meaning for you.

On a final note, I'm excited about these workshops expanding to include some which don't focus soley on birthing. Please email me if you would like to be advised on the date for my next art quilt workshop:
melissafox at optusnet dot com dot au