Monday, 29 August 2016

My Upcycled and Recycled Sewing Space

Welcome to my sewing space where every piece of furniture has been salvaged from somewhere and then painted to within an inch of its life. While the rest of the house is decorated in whites and off whites with hints of grey and dark navy, in this room my love of colour and pattern has been let off its leash. It’s a small room with a lot in it.

As you can see, in the far corner is my sewing machine, the Brother Dream Creator – I’m sending big love thoughts at it as I write this. It sits on a small dining table I bought second hand. I bought the chair for $5 from an op-shop and painted it several colours before settling on lime green… for now.

The trolley thing next to it is a cheap thing. The plastic boxes were transparent so I painted them with craft paint. I keep things like coloured pencils in there; some of the boxes are empty. It makes a great place to sit the fan on in summer.

The cane chair was bought second hand. I didn’t paint it but I’m thinking about it ;-).

The blanket box has been with me for a long time. An ex-work friend gave it to me. The top is made out of chipboard, so I covered it in paper and painted and decorated it. It has lasted remarkably well. It houses things like cushion covers and tablecloths.

My sister is a lino-cut print artist in her spare time (@jennifernoone) and she sent me this print as a birthday present a few years ago. I have a few of her other prints but, being red, this one seems to go really well in here. You’ve probably noticed I have room for a few mini quilts on the walls as well.

This is my cutting, basting, general craft activities table. It is made from an open Japanese style bedhead someone had on their verge for one of those shire pickups. I brought it home, nailed a few MDF panels to it, added some legs as best I could and painted big sunflowers on it in the style of the time. It’s 63” by 36”, so a very generous size. It barely fits in the room.

Underneath the table I have a small chest of drawers (another roadside find); some A3 paper boxes painted and decorated sitting on some planks on wheels like big skateboards; and my ironing table that I made from timber that was in the shed. The boxes hold sewing notions and yarn. The ironing table is on wheels (almost everything is in this room) and pulls out for quick jobs like seam pressing. If I take some of the furniture out of the room I can have it in an open space for pressing yardage and quilt tops and backs.

This room may not be much if you’re looking for a studio but it works like a dream. What it doesn’t have is a design wall. Usually I use the spare bed or the floor, and if I want to see what a single block looks like I often attach it to the fridge with a magnet and stand back.

Thanks for visiting. I can’t wait to see your space!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

One Lovely Blog Award

I was totally delighted when Sharon of Yellow Cat Designs nominated me for the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’. Have a look at Sharon’s blog and meet her beautiful cat, Bella.

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Display the image of the award on your post.
  • List seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them.

1.    I have 109 roses in my garden, not all are different varieties. A lot are David Austin English roses and I definitely favour varying shades of pink. It would be hard to pick a favourite, but just on sheer numbers I would have to choose David Austin’s “Sharifa Asma”, it performs well and the fragrance is exceptional. Expect to see the odd rose turn up here from time to time.

2.    I am passionate about gardening and I have a sadly neglected garden blog, Yard Tales,  that I ran (note the past tense here, well, maybe) for two years. Garden blogging doesn’t yield anywhere near the same readership as a quilt blog. A popular non-professional (and non-edibles) garden blog will probably have a readership of 50. Without the community support we have, a garden blog relies on google searches for visits. After 2 years I have 5 followers and I know them all personally. I am extremely grateful for the strong on-line quilt community.

3.    Back in the late ‘80s when women’s body boarding was in its infancy my friend and I entered a body boarding contest to pick two people to be sent to Sydney to represent Western Australia. My friend entered because she wanted to go to Sydney, I entered because she wanted support. I came 5th in the state, or that’s the spin one of my workmates puts on it. My friend was pretty keen and reasonably experienced; I was ill-equipped and had half-heartedly paddled around only a couple of times. To set the scene, the contest was held in a remote section of the beach with all the usual trappings (the marquee, the guy with the bullhorn, a loud hooter thing); it was winter and the surf was sloppy; and the lone spectator was my friend’s mother (unlike the above photo, taken last summer). I headed out into the water for my heat and lost one of my (secondhand and loose) flippers on the first wave. I looked for it for a while and giving up started heading back to the beach. One of the organisers started heading down to the water’s edge waving me to go back out. They needed me to stay in for the duration of the heat otherwise they wouldn’t have enough numbers to qualify as a contest, so I went back out and floundered around for another 20 minutes. There were 5 of us in the contest.

4.    The past is another land they say and the 80s were no exception. Back in the heyday of Reebok high-tops I was a full time gym and aerobics instructor. Nowadays I’m pretty much a slob in comparison.

5.    There’s always a goal attached to taking on a new interest and with the gym stuff it was entering a fitness figure body-building competition. When it was clear that stress injuries were going to finish my athletic career it was a case of now or never. The last couple of days in the lead-up to the contest were the most unhealthiest I have felt (beyond the hangovers of my youth and genuine illness). To get maximum muscle definition you have to dehydrate yourself and manipulate your diet, varying extremes of carbs and protein. I came somewhere in the middle of a pack of 13 this time.

6.    I love a good detective series on TV and I have only just discovered repeats of Poirot. Often the set designers feature Bauhaus style art which makes for a bonus!

7.    I am fascinated by snails, there’s no squishing them and moving on at my house. I love to watch them interact with each other after rain. I’m no David Attenborough but I have seen them mating and one laying its eggs in the sand. Did you know it takes 2 years for a snail to grow to maturity? And that their first original shell is added to as they grow? Also if their shells crack or partially fall off it will repair. Marvellous creatures.

Whew! Did you make it to the end?

My nominations for this award are, in alphabetical order
Anja at Anja Quilts
Fellow Perth quilter Carla at Granny Maud’s Girl
Fellow Miss-Bee Hivin mate and owner of the cutest dog in the world Heide at Heide’s Quilty Hugs
And Sharla at the tongue twisting  Thistle Thicket Studio

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Somewhat Positive – a finish!

Here we are, my first ever “designed by me” quilt! I was so excited I did two photo shoots, one at one of the local graffiti walls

And the second on a white brick wall.

There was a bit of pedestrian traffic at this spot, which had me hesitating as to whether I should go ahead with the photos. In the end, I just decided that I was there and I was going to do it, dammit! One man stopped to chat to me. “Does that symbol mean anything?” he asked; Me: “no”; Man: “Is it art?”; Me: feeling somewhat confused as to whether I should launch into the ‘is quilting art’ debate, settled on “It’s a quilt”; Man: “It’s very nice”; Me: overjoyed “Thanks!”. There you go, not so scary after all!

And I made another single block version because I really wanted to see what it looked like done in prints.

The quilting is unfortunate on this quilt, which I blame on poor marking. There was a point when I considered taking the stitches out and starting again but lack of thread stopped me and I persevered.

Last week I visited my LQS and walked away with a hera marker. I’ve been using chalk pencils up until now but I’m lazy when it comes to keeping them sharpened (like REALLY lazy, it can be completely blunt and be leaving no mark except a dent in the fabric and I’ll still use it) and that has been my downfall with this one. I’ll chalk this one up to experience (pun intended).

I’ll be writing up a pattern for this as soon as I stop procrastinating and finding excuses not to start. I wonder if I should run a quilt-along and have a second go at making it… let me know if you’re interested J

Advice required here. What’s your favourite quilt marking tool?

Linking up with Alyce Hilary at Blossom Heart Quilts Young Texan Mama for Sew Cute Tuesday (yes, it’s moved!) and Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social and Kelly at MyQuilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday.

My Quilt InfatuationSew Fresh Quilts

Friday, 5 August 2016

Five Things Friday #3

FTF pink jpg

Hello and welcome to my pre-holiday 5 Things Friday. Yes, as of tonight I am on *sings* HOL-I-DAAAYS!! Only for a week and it’s just to get a few things done around the house...

So here’s the plan

Spend a bit of time in the garden. I have started pruning roses, fruit trees, vines and still have a heap to do. I have a really big weeping standard rose in my front yard and it has had a late flush. I jammed some flowers into a vase last weekend and there’s heaps more to go. Gorgeous!

My Cloud 9 bundle of Cirrus solids arrived ready for the 2016 Cloud9 New Block Blog Hop so I’m ready to spend some time on that along with working on my quilt for the Facets Plus Quilt Along.

I’ve picked up a couple of quilting books from my local library so inspiration is at my fingertips.

And most importantly just some relaxing. I love to just hang out and watch the birds in the birdbath.

Hope you have a good week too! Head across to Amanda's blog to see what everyone else has been up to.