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Just like you, I am trying to find that elusive creative gene...
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heidi [at] sewingdaisies.com.au

Sewing Daisies in Print

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Posts in July 2009

New Books!!

Freestyle bags & skirts by Woojin Publisher

I decided last week that I have been procrastinating long enough about making my own clothes so I hopped on the ferry to Sydney to visit my favourite book store Kinokuniya (www.kinokuniya.com).


Weekend sewing by heather ross


I have been eyeing up a number of books over the past few months but I settled on buying;

Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross
Free-Style Handmade Bags & Skrts published by Woojin

and a Japanese clothing pattern book. As I don't speak or read Japanese I can't tell you what the title is but the ISBN is 978439627831.


Japanese clothing pattern book isbn 9784391627831

As with all Japanese Art, Design and craft books, this book is really inspiring not to mention cute.

Japanese clothing pattern book isbn 9784391627831
There are photo instructions, pattern sheets and measurements in the back of the book which don't look too bad but as I have never made an item of clothing before I have decided to have a go at making the 'Summer Blouse' in Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.

I will try the dress I like from the Japanese book once I feel comfortable with the basics.Summer Blouse by Heather Ross

Possum has an accomplice....Cockatoo

Possum toy (Medium) Cockatoo toy(Medium)


Over the past few months I have been engaged in a battle of wits with my possums. They raid my veggie patch, I employ the latest distraction technique, they ignore it and raid again.

Possum likes to raid my veggie patches about once a week. This allows enough time for more greenery to grow, providing more snacks for their next raid but absolutely nothing for me to harvest.

Did I mention they are conniving little buggers?

When they aren't helping themselves to the Mizuna and Rocket in my veggie patches they are enjoying whatever I forgot to bring in from the balcony. I used to have two wonderful displays of Petunias.

ALL balcony plants go under lock and key at night.

Last week I discovered something new. Not only had Possum grazed on my crops in their usual methodical manner. They had actually pulled up some nasturtium plants, garlic and wrenched off some tomato branches, none of which they bothered to eat!!


I am not an expert on Possum but this deviation from the norm was a little suspicious even for these Teutonic chompers. But I didn't give it further thought. Instead I summoned up some despondent rage and sowed some more seeds.

I know that 'despondent rage' is an oxymoron but that's Possum for you.

MR Grumpy (Medium)



When I am in the garden I am usually accompanied by Kookaburra and Magpie. They are both invaluable.

Kookaburra watches out for airborne attack and Magpie checks for landmines.


Okay, so maybe not landmines, but he does spend alot of time tentatively tapping the lawn with his foot. I don't know the details of his reconnaissance mission but he is very thorough so I don't interfere.

It's usually a very happy co-existance. But the happy norm was shattered yesterday by the arrival of the local rabble;

The Cockies.


Kookaburra & cockatoos

The Cockies are a group of 20+ Sulphur Crested Cockatoos & one Galah who like to roughhouse in the early mornings and evenings.

They rarely come to my garden preferring my neighbours offerings of sunflower seeds. That suits me fine, as they will bat you round the head if you so much as give them the eye or worse hide food from them.

So there we were suddenly besieged with this rabble. Magpie made a hasty retreat and it was left to Kookaburra and I to deal with them.

In situations like this the best option is to flee. So I did, inside to get my camera. Why I don't know but I got some interesting snaps.

It seems that my despondent rage may have been misdirected.

hmm....Possum has an accomplice, Cockatoo.

cockatoo in garden

cockatoo in garden


Material Obsession: The Avalon Quilt....

Material obsession book cover (Medium) Material Obsession Avalon Quilt (Medium)


I recently mentioned in Seasonal Anomalies - Crochet, Quilting & Dead Furry Things that I would attempt to make the Material Obsession Avalon Quilt by Kathy Doughty & Sarah Fielke.

It has been attempted and I now have a gorgeous home-made Avalon Quilt.

It's amazing what you can achieve in one weekend especially when you have been left to your own devices and it rains solidly for two days. I have provided a quick run through of the project.


Day 1- was spent choosing the layout and cutting fabric.

fat quarters You may think that dealing with 12 blocks of fabric would be easy but I spent nearly two hours trying to get the layout right and I had help from my camera!

The rest of the day was spent cutting fabric and ironing. Neither of which I am any good at.

Day 2 & 3 - was spent piecing and sewing my blocks of fabric together.

Material Obsession Avalon winter fat quarters


Material Obsession Avalon winter

This is my favourite part of a sewing project. There is nothing better than the satisfaction of watching your badly cut pieces of fabric turn into something useful AND wonderful.


To quote Col. John 'Hannibal' Smith "I love it when a plan comes together"

Hannibal smith (Medium)

Day 4 - was spent adding the binding to the quilt.

I am going to put my hand up and admit that I didn't blind hem my quilt by hand. I know it's a kind of Quilter's tradition but I really didn't fancy doing a queen sized quilt.

I also didn't blind hem the binding onto my quilt by machine either, because I don't know how to. I lost my sewing machine manual a week after I got it and my replacement is in Dutch.

So I simply attached the binding by sewing along the binding on the top side of the quilt and again on the back side of the quilt.

Did I mention I am a lazy-productive?

Material Obsession Avalon winter binding

Material Obsession Avalon winter binding

As I have got my hand up, I might as well admit that I didn't do that fancy curly-wurly sewing across my quilt either. Apparently I need a 'walking foot' for my sewing machine and according to my badly translated Dutch manual I don't have one.

I am also a chicken.

I considered having a go but sanity prevailed (thank God) and I decided not to ruin an otherwise good effort. Just as well as I later found a side note in the back of my Material Obsession book that explained that the fancy curly-wurly sewing on their Avalon quilt had in fact been done a commercial Quilting machine?!

So here it is my Material Obsession Avalon (winter) quilt. The photo doesn't do it justice so you will have to trust me when I say it's really nice.

Material Obsession Avalon winter

Project Tips

Use a digital camera to help choose your layout. Uploaded onto your computer, your photos will clearly highlight colour and pattern clashes.

Use your first cut to size block of fabric as a template. It will save on time and if you are rubbish at measuring (which I am) it will save you needlessly wasting fabric.

If possible use quilting safety pins to piece your work together. They are more managable than normal safety pins and make packing up at the end of the day easier.

Remember the top and bottom sewing machine threads do not have to be the same colour. You can match according to your fabrics. I was halfway through my quilt before I realised I could have used a different colour thread for the back-side of my Avalon quilt.

If you have never done the curly-wurly fancy sewing across a quilt, practice on a smaller quilt first.

Be ready to adapt your project at any time, you just never know.

Enjoy and remember that your quilt is supposed to look home-made.


Smurf Ransom....

Christians smurfs (Medium)

So this little gem of a photo turned up in my inbox the other day. It appears that my lovely brother has been holding out on me.

I am not sure what the ransom will be, but I know it's going to hurt.

Touché little brother.

(Mental note. write post about the 'Rambo' phase)

More Smurf Magic is to be found here.

i love crochet........

I love crochet by Rachel Henderson & Sarah Hazell

I bought I Love Crochet by Rachel Henderson & Sarah Hazell last year when I first decided to to learn to crochet.

I got it because unlike the other crochet books I had seen this one was brightly coloured, the patterns were modern and more importantly they looked easy.

I dug this book out again a few weeks ago to see if I could remember anything from my brief dalliance with crochet last year and amazingly I did. In fact I am actually better at it than I was last year.

Not sure why but that's how it is.

I Love Crochet is still brightly colored, still has great photos and modern patterns (with Hook-Ability ratings) and the front section which covers the How To and different crochet stiches is still easy to read and follow.

Japanese Fabric and pink crochet

So I decided to make something.

As I have already made a few scarves this year on my Ashford Knitter's loom I thought I would give the cushion cover a whirl (page 92), it only has a Hook-Ability Rating of 1.

Perfect for novices.

As you can see, in no time I made a nice little cushion (I used a beautiful Japanese fabric for the strips).

I love crochet cushion cover project

I only have two complaints about the book;

The first is that project instructions are little too simple. I had to make a few things up along the way because there wasn't sufficient information which was a bit frustrating.

My second complaint with I love Crochet is with the fact that every project mentions the Rowan yarn product name and not the yarn weight.

Which is great if you don't mind using Rowan products all the time but a pain if you want to try locally produced yarns.


Rowan yarns

Overall I think I Love Crochet is great for beginners. It's easy to read, has a modern feel and looks great on the coffee table.

I can't believe I'm CROCHETING! Crochet like a pro in no time! Lefties Too! is a different cup of coffee. it doesn't matter how you position it, it never looks good on your coffee table.

Crochet like a pro book