Bag Lady – Another finish!

I am a bag lady.
I love carrying a bag to put all my essentials in. I generally have a handbag for every day use; a backpack for when I need to have my hands free; and a large tote style for work.

I had a couple of days off last week and made myself a new work tote!
It was from a mini MODA charm pack I had hanging round and some scrap denim I have been cutting up for another project I have on the go.

I just free styled all the charm pieces together and surrounded them with recycled denim, sandwiched and FMQ’d the front:Then I put two pieces with pockets together for the back :
A couple of long 4″ strips sewn together, turned right way round and double stitched each side for added strength (those faded seams in the middle of the handles are from wear at the bottom of the jeans!):Tagged! :
And a gorgeous pop of Tula Pink colour for the lining! Here I am turning it in the right way after stitching it all together:
It’s a pretty good size too, at about 18″ long and 16″ wide at the mouth. It fits a lot of bits and pieces, so is perfect for work or even shopping πŸ™‚Β I gave it a rectangle bottom so it looks tapered.
❀
While I was making it I decided that since the denim had a bit of stretch, I should over-lock the seams. But I was lazy and had a look thru my unused stitches, sure that there would be a solution. If nothing else, I would zigzag the edges. I found a locking stitch!! Look at this below!!
Just like an over-locker but I didn’t have to drag mine out and rearrange my sewing table lol I love finding new features! ❀
Not sure what I will sew this weekend. Might work on a UFO … What are you sewing at the moment?Β Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

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Sleep is Overrated

Today is my first weekend day off in nearly a month.
And my first opportunity for a sleep-in in almost 2 months.
So, to say I was looking forward to today would be an understatement!
My body however, is clearly used to rising at sparrow-fart and I woke only slightly later than usual but with a headache from hell and hay fever.
So a slight sleep in, but D’oh! I really paid for it!

Anyhow … A catch up since my last post?
I’ve been working (at work) a lot and not working (at home) as much. Except for the dreaded housework *sigh*
I do have one finish tho! The front :
triangle-frontThe Back :
triangle-backI love the Star of David pattern that occured with the SLQ :
triangle-star-1Tagged! :Β triangles-taggedThis was a custom order and is already tucked in on a handsome little man’s bed!
triangle-on-bedGorgeous hey!

If you follow me on Instagram you’d have seen me share a couple of square cutting sessions yesterday – I am working on a Granny Square quilt with them! It has been on my bucket list since I made some for my last Quilting Bee. I thought it might be a quick, mindless project to fit a little sewing in here and there. Stay tuned for a finish tho, because I want it done quick!

I also found a couple of cute bundles to enlarge my Tula quilt with. So I hope to do a bit more work on her soon as well …

Have a great weekend!
KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

Time to Bite the Bullet

Well, she’s been sitting round for most of the year now … waiting.
And taunting … and waiting some more …
IMG_8088 (2)
Waiting to be finished …
Waiting for me to take action …
Waiting for a decision …
The reason she’s been waiting is because I want to keep her for myself. But she’s too small for what I now want her for. I was originally going to make a couch throw out of her. But I fell in love! ❀ Now I want her for my bedroom.

*sigh* But what to do without any more charm squares???
You see, this gorgeous baby was the product of my “Ms Midge’s Aussie Tula Pink Charm Swap” charms! And I only got the one bundle this time round! *kicks myself*

Basically I want to bump her up from a single size to a generous queen size.
So I’ve been keeping half an eye out for some charm squares to use but we have been broke as hell this year eeeekkk! Anyhow, I just got a little tax back and decided to treat myself to some pretties! And what better pretties are there than some Tula???
(I thought and thought what I was going to do with my tax return this year and I have wrung just about all I can from that little baby! haha)

Enter : this gorgeous bundle of Slow and Steady that just landed on my doorstep!!!
slow-and-steady

So … now comes the “Bite the Bullet” part!

I need to bite the bullet and take her apart to add some of these beauties!! I might have a quick look for a Chipper Charm pack to add in if the prices arent too ludicrous. I’ve also stashed away a small bundle of True Colours which I will use too.

Anyhow, it’s school holidays at the moment so who knows how much time I’ll have to sew lol! Plus, I have another project on the boil that must be finished first!

Catch you all later! xx

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder, Yes?

So then you guys must be VERY fond of me then, hey? haha

How are you?
I am still plodding along.
It’s been an extremely busy and tiring few months here … We have 2 weeks of school holidays coming up and I have some time off work booked and we are just going to do NOTHING! I am working the weekends, but otherwise PJ days is the plan πŸ™‚ Oh, and we might go to the movies one day and see Finding Dory {I wouldn’t be able to wait for the DVD. Yes, me not the kids haha}

I love Dory! Crush and Squirt are firm favourites πŸ™‚

This is probably going to be my last ever raggy quilt. It’s just getting too hard to find quality flannel here these days. Oh well … I enjoy regular quilting more anyway these days I guess πŸ™‚ This one is for my little niece! It’s a large single bed size and I am a little bit in love with it!IMG_8320Front.IMG_8317Back.
I have a brand new nephew! He was born last month on Star Wars Day {Mother of boys info I never knew I needed to know! haha}
May the 4th be with youHe is the most precious little bundle! I have started nearly finished a quilt for him. Then I need to get cracking on one each for my elder two nephews.
They have been waiting long enough so patient!
A sneak peek :IMG_8522It’s a simple square patchwork with meandering quilting. But it’s very cute πŸ™‚

I also have another top-secret project on the burner. As well as trying to get a bit of furniture painting in somewhere. I did do some painting a couple of weeks ago –
IMG_9257This is chalk board paint around my pantry entrance {… and this is the tidiest it’s been since we started using it haha The boys LOVE it!} There’s usually a small canvas covering the yellow phone point because we don’t use it and it annoys me to see it there. But I need to sand the spot for the hook …
Anyhow, I am about to crash!
Cya next time ❀

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

A Finish and a Vow

The finish.
I have a cute little finish to share tonight πŸ™‚
This lovely has sat on my couch patiently waiting for me to finish it for the last 3 weeks … All I had to do was 1 1/2 sides of binding! Slack hey?IMG_6933 (2)The front. Held up by my best helper, Master 9 {That’s the top of his tennis cap peaking over the top. We took these waiting for their lessons lol}
I used Riley Blake’s Country Girls fabric. It’s such a pretty range!
IMG_6932 (2)The back πŸ™‚
It’s a nice size for baby – 45″ x 48″ {114cm x 122cm}

The vow.
This little beauty sat half done for aaages. I am vowing to myself to not let that happen any more. I am so gung-ho when doing my tops. I can often whip one up in a day. or a weekend. But when it comes time for the back I struggle!!
I prefer to make pieced backs creatively use up scraps from making the quilt and I have been struggling to come up with ideas. By that stage I want something that’s going to be quick but I want it to still be pretty.

So. My vow is this – Make the back right away! While I have momentum!
And, if I’m struggling for inspiration – Remember KISS!
Keep It Simple Stupid!

In that vein I am going to whip up a couple of backs for the tops languishing in my “To-Be-Finished” pile. Lets see howΒ  go. If successful, I should be able to share another couple of finishes in September! Wish me luck!

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

A Finished Top!

Hey y’all πŸ™‚

As you might remember, I participated in Ms Midge‘s Heather Bailey Charm Swap and subsequent Charm Along recently?
{While you check out Ms Midge’s page, why not join in the Aussie Aurifil Club?? Those threads are simply gorgeous! ❀ }

HB CA Ms MidgeLook at all of the pretties we swapped!!

Well, I was sewing like a demon to finish in time for the deadline {linked at 11.45 for the 12.00 deadline! haha} And this is the result :

HB Charm Along finishedWonky Stars!! Can you see the secondary white wonky pinwheels?
I am working tomorrow, but planning on whipping up a quick backing on Sunday and quilt it next week some time.

I love it, but kinda wish the stars and pinwheels both stood out more … So I think I might try this one again down the track but use deeper colours and stars all in one colour and see how that turns out πŸ™‚

I still haven’t used my precious Amy Butler Charm Along squares yet!!! I MUST get onto using them soon …

Anyhow, this one was meant to be a shorty – see you with a finish next week hopefully!

KATE Sig for Manic MumdaysP.S. I haven’t said it for a while – but why not check out my Facebook page, Pintrest or Instagram? πŸ™‚

Kate’s Top 5 ~ Tips And Tricks

I quite enjoyed my Top 5 from a couple of weeks ago so will keep them going as long as I can think up good ones … This one was suggested by {another awesome} Kate who blogs over at talltalesfromchiconia! Head on over and check her blog out, it’s a great read!

So. My Top 5 Tips & Tricks … Where to begin? I am by no means an expert quilter but I thought since Kate suggested it, I’d share a couple of tips that have made my sewing life easier. Hope they help you too πŸ™‚

#1. LEADERS & ENDERS! If you’ve read my blog in the last few months you might recognise my absolute favourite tip!! After making a quilt I would end up with a pile of wasted thread … Now instead I have these!
Leaders n EndersI always have a bowl of scraps cut into 2.5″ squares sitting beside me and slip a pair thru at the end of each chain. It’s like you’re making a bonus quilt without any real effort πŸ˜‰ I chain stitch wherever possible. Chain stitching is putting thru multiple blocks without stopping resulting in a chain of goodies that you then press all at once too! These chains are from when I made “Kate’s Kate” :
IMG_4227 (2)I sew them into strips of 7 and then into blocks like this :
IMG_5840

#2 Measure twice, cut once. An oldie, but a goodie. Tips like these are long-lived because they are always relevant. I have lost count of the times I’ve saved myself juuust in the nick of time because I double checked before I cut. Mis cuts are the one of the easiest ways to waste fabric. And I don’t like wasting my pretties!
This tip also works when I’m playing with timber and furniture!

#3 PRESS. Press, press, press. Do not iron!
There are heaps of debates out there on whether to press to the side or press open. Personally I prefer to press to the dark side, but try both ways and go with what works for you.
My main tip here tho is PRESS – DO NOT IRON! Set your seam by pressing it, then open your seam in whichever direction you prefer and press πŸ™‚

#4 Know your feet and use the correct one for the job. This one’s pretty self explanatory. Your machine comes with a wide variety of feet. They should all be explained in your machine’s manual.
FeetI mainly use my standard foot for piecing {not a fan of my 1/4″ foot, tho some people swear by them.} My machine came with a walking foot for quilting without slips or puckers, but you can pick one up at your local quilting store if yours didn’t. A guide bar is handy if you find one that comes with that too. I also bought a FMQ or Darning foot for my machine. And those are the 3 I use mostly. Because I also sometimes stitch clothing I also use a button-hole foot, hemming foot and zipper foot. {Not a fan of zippers tho so seldom use this one heehee}
If you’re not familiar with all of your machine’s feet, go find your manual and have a read … Better yet, grab some scraps and have a play with them! πŸ™‚

#5 Look after your machine. I’m not sure if maybe I clean mine too much, but I give my bobbin case a quick dust with a soft brush every time I change the bobbin {unless I am in the middle of quilting a piece} and full clean after each project. They are also serviced yearly. Trust me, your machine will thank you!
Actually, I will add a little extra note here = Please change your needle regularly! Your machine will thank you, your fabric will thank you ❀

Bonus Tip – Give it a go! Whatever it is, most ‘mistakes’ are fixable so try it. You don’t know what you can and can’t do until you try, and I learn alot by trial and error! Your seam ripper can become your best friend and you may get frustrated, but it’s such a good way to get a feel for things! And you may surprise yourself and get it right straight up – imagine how great that will feel!

Well, I’m all worded out, so catch you next time! πŸ™‚

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays