Saturday, 27 July 2013

A Birthday/Retirement gift "Gia'Normous Beach bag" (thanks to ReanaLily Designs)

I enjoy making and giving handmade gifts to people that I care about but sometimes it is hard to find something that I have not made before. 

Hand made gifts are not free gifts. They are not cheap gifts, nor are they the easy way to give a gift.

When you are a sewer or a crafter, most of your free time is spent making things, or at least as much free time as you are able to steal from the rest of your life obligations.  Some people do not understand however that when you are busy making a gift you are not able to work on other projects
Whether you are purchasing new fabric and notions or using fabric from your stash. The stash fabric needs replenishment.

When I make a gift I think of the recipient throughout the whole process: choosing a pattern, reading the pattern, auditioning fabrics, cutting, sewing, ironing... this is a lot of time dedicated to a single person. So when I make something for you it is special. AND I made it instead of doing other things that I love to do.

Not only does my friend receive a unique gift, personalized for her, but she also has, embedded into the gift, my time. The time that I cannot replace, but I do give it freely to the special people that I care about.

My very special friend's Birthday is the end of the month. She is celebrating 60 years of  wonderfulness as well as retirement. I have made quite a few gifts for her over the years so this was a real challenge. Shopping for a ready made gift at a store would have been equally a challenge.

Procrasternetting led me to this great blog:  Which has a great list of bags, patterns and tutorials. and from this list I chose:
The bag on ReannaLily Designs website Gia"Normous Beach Bag"  Designed by Jen Eskridge (Thank you for sharing your pattern)

My friend is always trucking around lots of "stuff". So a  big stash bag would be perfect and this looks pretty easy. Which it was!

I added a line of stitching to the outer pocket. This seems to be quite a flexible pattern, easy to up-size or down-size. My version has a self fabric handle instead of webbing.

The bag that I made for my friend.

I need one now  too!

Watch for a post on the other special gift that I recently finished. I made a bed quilt for another special friend.

I don't think that I can die until I am done making something for the people who are special to me. Lucky me, I keep meeting new people who become special to me. So I will have to live a very long time....

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Australia Quilt

A few years ago a friend asked if I could "make a wall hanging or something" with some fabrics that her daughter had purchased on a trip to Australia. I took on the challenge, provided she was fine with it being a few years for me to find the time.
It is however now complete, This is the final view, along with the pattern I based my quilt on. Each time that  I looked at the prints I envisaged something labyrinthine. I knew the prints very well, and on a quilt shop stop I saw this pattern BQ by  Maple Island Quilts I thought I found a winner.
Over the last couple of years I played with multiple designs but in the end, they were all so similar to variations of the BQ pattern. So I decided to use that , and adapt the sizing to fit the pieces of fabric in the kit (11" wide).


For quilting, I repeated the geometric Quarter Square but randomly added 1 squiggly line of quilting in each block. No matter how carefully a journey is planned, there are curves along the way; and this is usually fortuitous.

 What did I start with:
 Six 11" (30 CM) wide strips of prints based on Aboriginal Art


I have not been to Australia personally, but from those who have been there the outstanding memories that they share are  Ayres Rock, the vastness and wanting to go "Walkabout". The adventures shared have been wonderful - somewhat mystical, self realization and serendipity. That is what I wanted to convey here.
Best of all, it is a perfect quilt... why... because DONE is perfect!!!!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

AWOL and Gifts for Special Babies

I have taken the last 10 months break from blogging but I have been quilting.... and doing life stuff.

 A few of the projects completed are in the photos below. I will blog each story over the next while... just to get back at it. I have missed you all. There are quite a few special baby items here....

Baby Grab Ball

Diaper covers and inserts

Bird Quilt for Baby

Small Wall Hanging

Cool Quilt with glow in the dark Name

Baby Quilt (Moda Little Apples Charms)

Baby Bibs

Close up of Baby Birds and Mama Bird

Hunter's Star Sofa Quilt

Receiving Blankets and Burp Cloths

More Receiving Blankets and Burp Cloths