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Just like you, I am trying to find that elusive creative gene...
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Posts in May 2009

Bend-The-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol

Bend the rules Sewing book cover


Bend-The-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol

Blog: Angry Chicken

 

Straight off the bat I have to say I love this book, and it's one of my favourites. I bought it last year along with other popular sewing books but it was this one that truly stood out and inspired me to have a go.

Lovely glossy photos aside, this book is a treasure for newbies, why? because it treats you like a newbie!

Most sewing books aren't suitable for complete beginners. I know this because I bought a fair few of them last year and still couldn't find the courage to start the simplest of projects. I think the main problem is that most sewing books try to cater for all levels of experience and therefore don't cover the basics.

Amy Karol does, and better still she doesn't leave it until the last few pages of the book. Instead she dedicates almost a 1/3 of the beginning of her book to explaining what sewing tools are needed, what they are used for and when. She even provides a nice shopping list (which I used to kit myself out with at Lincrafts) aswell as a dedicating a section on basic sewing techniques.

Thanks to Amy I learnt to add a zip (using my new sewing machine), add lining to a bag and to realise that perfection is underrated.

The projects themselves are incredibly simple and really cute; perfect for complete beginners.

 

Bend the rules sewing page

 

Patchwork Surprise............Quilting In No Time

Quilting in no time baby mat and giraffe


As part of my "find my creative gene" 2009 New Years resolutions (New Year's Resolutions & Revealations) I listed sewing as an area to explore.

It's nearly 6 months into 2009, and apart from the cross stitch kits I did at Easter I haven't brought my sewing machine out once this year.

To rectify this and to help realise my 2008 desire of making my own quilt I dashed off into Sydney and bought two books; Quilting In No Time by Emma Hardy and Material Obsession by Kathy Doughty & Sarah Fielke.

 

Quilting in no time book cover Material obsession book cover

 

Combined these two books have actually managed to do what no other quilting book has managed to do; get me to make a quilt.

So it's not the king sized quilt I had hoped for but it is a quilt none the less. A baby quilt to be precise. It was meant to be a pillow but as usual I got in the way and now it's a baby blanket. My cooking suffers from similar interventions.

Am I happy with a baby blanket instead of a massive pillow? I am, it now means that I have tried my hand at mitered corners and blind hemming (by hand) not to mention patchworking and the concept of using scraps of leftover materials to make something new. I think I might actually be able to make a king size quilt (as long as I keep it simple).

There are more project photos in the gallery.

 

Mitred corner Blind hemming


Apart from the patchwork surprise; this month I have woven a cushion cover. Well nearly, I haven't actually sewn it up as a cushion yet but at least I am 3/4 of the way there.


From the rest of May's actvities;

1. I was chased out of my own garden by one of my possums. I was trying to shoo it away from my veggie patch and it mistook my intentions as play time or lunch time I am not really sure (I was holding an apple at the time) either way the critter took me by surprise so I shrieked and ran inside. No doubt my neighbour was watching.

2. I was leeched by Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Parks finest. Demi Moore may find leeching beneficial to her anti aging regime but trust me finding a leech happily feasting on your right ankle is not pleasant (more shrieking). Weeks on, I still have 3 bite marks.

3. Today I was yet again chased out of my garden but this time my a brigade of disgruntled ants. It seems I was unceremoniously stood in the middle of their Royal Parade of Queenies. It is amazing just how fast ants can mobilse and nip the hell out of you. Needless to say the rest of the laundry will be hung out later. There wasn't any shrieking this time, just swearing which no doubt my neighbour heard.


The month of May has been interesting.

 

Big W Scarf...................Ashford Knitters Loom

 

Big W Scarf

 

Big W is the last place I would think to look for yarn but recently (much to my surprise) I found some gorgeous balls of fluff there; I think Martha might call the colour teal & duck-egg blue or something. I call it 'Scarf Pour Moi'.

It is widely known throughout the yarn establishments of Sydney that I know little about yarn but that hasn't stopped me picking up on some time honoured wives tales e.g. it's harvested on full moons, you must pay through the nose for it and it has be served to you by a wizened lady of indeterminable age; if you were to try to guess, you would always be wrong.

However, my recent trip to Big W has convinced me that only some of these things are true; you don't always have to pay through your nose for yarn or go with 100% natural.

Here it is Scarf Pour Moi;

Picture-245-resizes

 

p.s  As I decided to wing it rather than follow a pattern I didn't write anything down, but the finished scarf measures 25cm across and 100cm in length. I used roughly 2 balls each of Sean Sheep (Langtree) & Panda Purla (col 5) but don't quote me on it.