Friday, November 26, 2010

Owl, stockings and stash...Oh my!

This is going to be a really quick post because I have to go pack!

Tomorrow I am going away with a few friends for a week to celebrate the end of our school lives, a new beginning and all the memories and times we have shared together. However, because of exams we have left quite a bit of the organising to the last minute so this week had been an absolute blur!

So if you left a comment and I haven't replied to you, I am really sorry for being so rude! I always intended to reply to you and still do! It has just been really hectic this week and I have hardly read any blogs (which is shocking as I usually read them while having breakfast!) ah well, keeping it real I guess.

Anyway, so before I run off to pack I thought I would run through what I have been up to over the past 2 weeks (has it really been that long?)

If you read my Stash Manicure post you may have seen this already....A Scrappy owl made from mostly just dreamy Scraps!  I made it up as I went along and I am really happy with how it turned out, she even has a tail! 

I would love to post a tutorial up for her but I realised the other day, that I have no idea how to make the pattern pieces/templates available?
If anyone is able to help/ has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated as I am not very Computer/ Tech savvy.

 While I was cleaning out school books, folders and the mountain of paper and notes one collects over the year, I decided to reorganise my sewing area. So my very small stash is now colour coordinated into Blues, purples, pinks and pinky/reds, bright fabric, brown and blacks, Christmas and pre-cuts/ to be quilts. It is so much easier to see what I have now and it makes me happy to see them all organised and pretty.

Lastly, We are running a Christmas Stocking Swap at the Melbourne Modern Quilt guild so here is a sneak peek of the stocking I made yesterday. I think it turned out really well! I am going to have a hard time parting with it!

Anyway, off to pack now....
Hope you have a lovely weekend and next week,
I'll be back soon!

Miranda & Charlie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guest Blogging!

 Yesterday, or Today (depends where you are!) I was a guest blogger for the very first time over at Stash Manicure!

I was a bit nervous as I had never written for so many readers before and I was a bit worried about my post- I think I rewrote it about 4 times as I struggled writing parts of it (especially the part about quilting as a therapy) but I had a great time posting over there :)

I don't think that I have ever really shared on here how I became a quilter and why I quilt so if you would like to read my post here it is- "...when I was 17, it was a very good year".
I also share my quilts and talk a little about my Stash and how I am/ or intend to manicure it, so I hope you enjoy it!

Before you go... you might want to take a cup of coffee or tea with you as it is a bit of a lengthy post!

If your coming from Stash Manicure...Thankyou so much for reading my post and for the lovely comments you left both over there and here. I was actually in a 2 hour German Exam when it was posted and was feeling quite drained and flat when I got out so it was really uplifting to read such kind comments when I got home. They really made me smile and continue to :)

So...thankyou for visiting!
I hope you have had or are having a lovely day and thankyou to my new followers (hello!) for joining me on my journey :)

Miranda & Charlie

Monday, November 15, 2010

Look what arrived in the post...

 I ordered fabric online a couple of weeks ago for the very first time and it arrived on Friday to top off a wonderful day! 
I was so excited, waiting for it to arrive that it got to the stage where every time I heard a truck/ van go past the house I thought it was the postie and I got so excited the other day when the postie van stopped at the house opposite only to watch it drive straight past my house :(  

Anyway it's here and I so happy with it and it arrived in perfect condition so thankyou Jodie at Fort Worth Fabric Studio! I would definitely recommend them- they have a lovely range of fabric at really good prices and they are really lovely and helpful people.
I bought a couple of yards of the Hunky Dory Border in Sparrow to add to my collection of Hunky Dory fabrics that my mum got in New York. This is going to be turned into a quilt very soon!
I also bought some stripe fabric from the Wee Woodland collection. This is the same fabric that I used as the binding on my Fancy Pink quilt, but in brown. This is going to become the trunk and branches of a tree!
and I also finished the top of this quilt which I have decided will be called "From Chicago with Love" as my dad bought the fabric all the way from Chicago :)  * Apologies for the blurry photo- it is very cloudy outside so I had to photograph it inside*.

And that's really all that's been happening at the moment. I have my last exam tomorrow, which is German and then we are going out to dinner to celebrate! It's going to be a bit weird not having any stress or study anymore or even any school for that matter! but I am looking forward to being able to start agility again with Charlie- it's just been impossible this year to go to training and competitions with so much study. I'm also looking forward to lots of sewing, I have so many ideas!

Hope you have had a lovely weekend,
Miranda & Charlie

Friday, October 29, 2010

Time to Sew!

This afternoon, I was really not in the mood to do maths practise exams (I did do one) and still quite tired from yesterday I pulled out the layercake that my dad brought back from America and have been playing around with different ideas....
and this is what I came up with!

What do you think?
I am thinking of sewing the squares together in patchwork stye for something a little different and
 I like the diagonal pattern more than placing them at random. I also discovered today that my camera has a black and white setting that I didn't even know existed! Yes I am a bit silly, but it's pretty cool!

  I might go and sew these together, I haven't used my machine in about a month and I am starting to have withdrawal symptoms!

I'm off to the Soccer with a friend tonight, 
Hope you have a lovely weekend :)

Miranda & Charlie

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Fancy Pink Quilt

I am linking up with Fabric Tuesday over at Quiltstory today (even though this is a bit belated) and so I thought I would share with you today my second finished quilt! but before I do, make sure you visit all the other lovely people who have linked up to Quilt Story

Fresh Poppy Design

It was originally called the Fancy Free quilt- inspired by the pattern my Monica Poole but upon completion and I decided the name didn't quite fit, especially as it was quilted with Pink variegated sheen thread! (Honestly there is nothing unfanciful about variegated sheen thread, I love it and it was lovely to quilt with!) and I didn't folow the pattern anyway, so I decided to call it "Fancy Pink" because it's a little bit of fancy and a lot of pink!

Apologies for terrible photos, I will take some better ones after exams, I promise! 

So here comes the details:
*Started... on ~6th March
*Finished...on Sunday the 17th October ( although I am yet to label it)
*Size... (to be added when I find the tape measure)
*Fabric....mostly Holly Holderman prints from Lake House, a couple of Leciens and a variety of other, slightly random fabrics.
*Pattern...  Inspired by Fancy Free pattern by Monica Poole for Moon Shine designs

*Alterations.... The original pattern is a "Quilt-as-you-go" quilt but being a bit low on fabric funds it was cheaper and easier to do it the normal way. My dimensions are also a bit different with only 3x3 blocks instead of 5x5 and I added a border. Instead of a patchwork style back, I used one fabric for the centre and a border similar to the front.

*Quilting.... uneven free motion wiggley/wavy lines over block seams and in the border

 Love the backing fabric- it looks much better close up but it is actually pink Hydrangeas.
 *Issues?.... had a bit of a struggle with quilting and realised when I went to bind it that the layers had shifted during quilting so I had to take 1/2 inch off all edges to make it possible to bind. Which means the quilting in the border is no longer centred....I can't decide at the moment whether this bothers me enough to re-do it?

* Where it Lives...on my Mum's bed! While I was binding it mum decided she really liked it and claimed it and I was overjoyed that she wanted it, so offcourse I gave it to her. 
I have really wanted to make a quilt for her but I wanted it to be perfect, in way, for me she is/was the hardest person to make a quilt for. 
 I would love to make a quilt for everyone in my family when I have some more time, especially as you start to feel a bit guilty and greedy making quilts for yourself! The other week when we had a few really cold nights (prior to mum claiming the quilt) , I had both of my quilts plus a normal quilt stacked up on my bed !

Anyway, overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out and it has been a wonderful journey and source of sanity through year 12 :)

On another note, Exam Update:
Had my English Exam today from 9am-12pm...3 hours, 3 essays, 3 essay types = lightning fast writing= exhausted and very hungry. Actually I think it went quite well, Context topic was a bit odd though, I might share more on that theme at some stage- our context for the year was "Whose Reality?" and it was very interesting and really changed the way I look at situations. Among our texts for the year was "Hard Times" by Dickens , which I loved and is also why I thought Fancy Pink was an appropriate title for this quilt after writing numerous essays on the importance of "Fancy" and the destructiveness of an "All fact" way of life...I really need to stop relating things to English! haha

Hope you have had a lovely week full of  "Fancy"!

Miranda & Charlie

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Update Part 2: Ink & Spindle

Here is the second part of my holiday update! Not feeling very wordy today so we will see how it goes...

On Saturday September the 18th, Dad and I went along to Ink & Spindle's open studio!
We were lucky enough to watch a printing demonstration and learn about how the screens are made and the process of printing on fabric. I found it really interesting as I have done basic screen printing on paper in previous school years and would love to try it on fabric.

 I also got to meet Lara and Tegan who run Ink & Spindle. They are so friendly, helpful and really lovely. Lara was trying to convince me to study Textiles and Design at RMIT next year...tempting!

 It was a wonderful morning and my friend Annabelle from the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild was there too with her husband and her little "bug" as she calls him, which was really lovely. 
I also resisted the urge to buy some of their gorgeous fabric, even the sale basket! My current favourite print of theirs is called Birch Forest.
 Harvest Textiles run classes and workshops there where you are able to create your own design and print it on fabric, which sound amazing and lots of fun so I may have to put it on the Christmas list :)
Anyway, If you are in Melbourne and get the chance to go and visit them I really recommend it, They are celebrating their 2nd Birthday this weekend so visit their blog for more details 
&/ OR make sure you check out their gorgeous fabrics!

Hope you are having a great week

Miranda& Charlie

Friday, October 15, 2010

1 down, 6 more to go!

Did you know today is Friday? I can't believe it's Friday already! time seems to be flying so fast at the moment, I can barely keep up with what day it is.

Firstly, I had my German Oral Exam on Tuesday and...I think it went really well actually!
I was very nervous but I remembered how to speak German (I was terrified I would forget when I walked in), remembered everything I had to say and I was really surprised that it all came to me really fast which made me really happy. I also had really nice examiners that didn't interrupt me when I was answering questions (which is very off putting when they do) and I think I only made a couple of mistakes.

So, 1 down 6 more to go!

Secondly, As all the VCE Studio Art folios and Major Works have gone in I can finally start to tell you what my theme/concept was and show you what my final art pieces were, which is very exciting!

So to end this post I thought I would give you a sneak peek of one of my favourites and see if anyone can guess what it is?? Goodluck! no it's not too hard don't worry!

Hope you have had a great week and enjoy the weekend!

Miranda & Charlie

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Update Part 1: Amitie

Hello there!
Did you notice I have a new display picture of Charlie and I? One of my good friends has an amazing camera and took it while we were out walking the other day. I love that it captures Charlies cheeky smile.

Anyway moving on & updating...

I finally visited Amitie! Although it is not very close to where I live, I cannot believe it has taken me this long to visit! It is an amazing quilt shop full to the brim with gorgeous fabrics and lovely people. We were very short on time when we visited so unfortunately I didn't get to explore the whole shop...which is probably a good thing because from what I saw, I could have done some serious damage!

I did however find the perfect binding for my Fancy Free Quilt. I had struggled a bit to find the right shade of pink and Patchwork House had sadly run out of the fabrics I had used (which is what happens when you take so long to finish a quilt ) so I was so happy to find this!

*Stripey binding fabric is from Moda's Wee Woodland collection by Keike*

I have also finally decided how to quilt my Just Dreaming Summer Quilt!
My Friend Andi from the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild has inspired me with her amazing hand quilting and gorgeous collection of Perle 8's to take the leap and hand quilt it. So while I was at Amitie I bought 2 pretty colours of Perle 8 to coordinate with the Just Dreamy fabric. I am so excited to hand quilt my first quilt!

Maybe you can help me though?... I can't quiet decide between stiching 2 lines in the sashing 
stitching a 1/4 inch around the outside of each block and around the middle of the blocks alternating colours?

Hopefully that makes sense :)
What would you choose? Do you have any other suggestions?

And as this is my first time hand quilting a quilt, if you have any tips/tricks I would love to hear them!

Thankyou in Advance,

*Update Part 2:  Ink & Spindle's Open Studio.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your week,

Miranda & Charlie

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fabric Tuesday- Kaffe Fassett Pencil case

*It is Fabric Tuesday again over at Quilt Story so make sure you check out all the gorgeous creations!*
On the Weekend I decided to make a pencil case using the "Lined zippered pouch/make up bag Tutorial" at Flossie Teacakes and the "Patchwork Wristlet Tutorial" at Pink Penguin as inspiration.

 I used the Kaffe Fassett Pencil fabric that I bought this year at the Craft & Quilt Fair and fabric from a bundle I got at last years Craft & Quilt Fair!

It is the first pencil case I have ever made and my first attempt at sewing in a zipper (They area bit annoying aren't they?)

 *A couple of things I learned...
- follow the instructions- I forgot the step that says to trim it down to a 1/4inch from the zipper ends after you have sewed the pieces on and before sewing it together, woopsy!
- Buy a good quality zipper- Mine is a bit crappy and doesn't run smoothly.
- Buy a zipper with small teeth so it doesn't eat your beautiful pencil case- When I tested it out the zipper ate the fabric on the side and I couldn't open it again and had to do a bit of snipping and hand stitching.
- which also leads me to three, make sure you keep the fabric really tight when you sew along the top next to the zipper otherwise again the teeth will eat it!

But I am really happy with how it turned out and I love the pencil fabric! Can't wait to use it!

and last not but not least, it has been a while since Charlie has made and appearance around here so with out further a due...
Have a great week!
 Miranda & Charlie

Monday, September 13, 2010

New York Goodies and Updates

Mum came back from New York a couple of weekends ago and there was a great shop called The City Quilter in the same street as she was staying, fancy that! So today I thought I would share with you some of the goodies she brought back...
A gorgeous Jelly Roll of one of my current favourite fabric lines Hunky Dory... and a book full of pretty & inspiring quilts made from Jelly rolls.
I have no idea how I am going to decide which one to use!

2 metres of each of these prints, they would both make great backing fabrics!

and an amazing book called "Threadwork" which is packed full of techniques and brightly coloured projects
on art quilts and fibre art. I can't wait to try them! One of my favourite projects in the book is in a bright pink and orange colour scheme with a big butterfly in the centre.

They were such a wonderful surprise and certainly made my day after a difficult week, Thankyou Mutti!

On another note: I know it has been a bit quiet around here. I had a very hectic and stressful couple of weeks with my VCE Studio Art folio and Major works due. I can't wait to show you but as not every school had their folio due on the same day.

Anyway, One of my works I have some very exciting plans for but you may have to wait a little longer for that, so stay tuned!

Wednesday: I will be back with the pencil case I made with the Kaffe Fassett pencil fabric that I bought at the Craft & Quilt fair.

Hope you are having a marvellous monday!

Miranda & Charlie   

Friday, August 20, 2010

Just Dreamy House Cushion

Inspired by the absolutely adorable Red and Aqua House blocks made for Kerri's Gnome village quilt ({Bee} Imaginative), such as this one, this one and this one! And unable to resist String Piecing anymore, I drew this...

which turned into this...

I did change a few things such as the door and the owl in the window because the owl didn't match the fabrics at all, but I really like how it turned out!

It was a bit of a sampler cushion as I experimented with lots of new things:
~ It is my first go at String Piecing (the roof)
~ The first cushion that I have sewn on my machine
~ My first attempt at raw edge machine applique
~ My first attempt at Straight Line Quilting

~ And...My first go at Hand Quilting!

Phew! I should make cushions more often.

As we are on the topic of firsts, maybe I should write my first tutorial for this cushion?

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and if you are in Melbourne hope you stay warm as it is supposed to be a very cold weekend!

Miranda & Charlie

EDIT: It is Fabric Tuesday  today (8/9/10) at Quiltstory so head on over and check out all the wonderful fabric creations!

Fresh Poppy Design

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quilting the Fancy Free Quilt

After a bit of a rough start...I have finally finished quilting the Fancy Free Quilt!

Rough Start? Lets just say that the instructions I wasn't really following- said to stitch wavy lines with a walking foot and everything was fine on my practise square...but quilting wavy lines on a 6 inch square is a little different to quilting a full size quilt and I soon discovered that nice wavy quilting with a walking foot is basically impossible!
 So after a lot of frustration and unpicking, I decided to try using a free motion foot, which was much much easier and really fast! Also, While practising I also did a bit of stipling and was really surprised that I was still able to vaguelly stiple- I was told that when you are a beginner, if you don't practise for 6 weeks you have to learn all over again.

I also only had enough basting spray to baste the back of the quilt. I figured it was more important I basted the back really well than the front and because I couldn't wait a whole week to get more spray I decided to pin baste the top. However, as I don't have any safety pins so I decided quilting and sewing pins were just as good- which they were...just alot more ouchy!

For the Quilting:
I was having a bit of difficulty quilting on my little machine and not having an extension table I created my own ...using yellow pages and a bit of sticky tap! It suprinsingly worked really well and certainly made the quilting a lot easier.
I also used a beautiful pink variegated thread, which I absolutely adore. It has a bit of a sheen to it which I think looks great because some of the fabrics in the quilt have a sort of metallic detail.

~  In the squares I stitched wavy lines over all the seams and then stitched-in-the-ditch (with a walking foot) around the edge of the block. In the border I had intended to stitch similar wavy lines but after stitching once all the way around, I decided I like it with only one wave. My stitches also are not very even but considering it is the first quilt I have done free motion, I think it's pretty good. I have also decided that my excuse for unevenly sized wonky wavy lines, is that it adds a bit of interest!

So now I need to do something with all the threads hanging of the front of the quilt, add some binding, a label and it will be finished.

Hope yourhaving a great weekend!
Miranda & Charlie

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Craft and Quilt fair goodies

Last weekend I went to the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair with a friend and we had a wonderful time!

Although I promised myself that I wouldn't buy anything except the Hand Dyed fabric I need for my art quilt in Studio Art
 ...I am guilty of coming home with some extra goodies, which was probably inevitable but I did manage to not go over my limit of $50!

1. The Quilted Owl (Pattern by Laura Lobb on In Stitches)- As you may know I have a bit of an obsession with all things owl so I thought this was absolutely adorable!

2. Fabric pack to make the Quilted Owl- I loved the fabric they used to make the owl on the pattern 
(one on the right) and it just happened to come in a handy and time saving bundle- great for indecisive people like me!.

3. Kaffe Fassetts Pencils in Red- I saw this fabric on True Up a while a go and loved it! Ironically it is destined to become an awesome pencil case! haha
4. Japanese Fabric- I find it very difficult to find Japanese fabric and I had this one book marked on my computer so I was very happy when I saw it at the fair. I'm going to use it for the "Kokeshi Friends Stitchery" from the Melly and Me Kaleidoscope book.
5.  Hand Dyed Fabric- I had been looking desperately for multi coloured hand dyed fabric, specifically in the colours of the Aurora to use in an art quilt of the Northern Lights that I am making for Studio Art. My friend Caroline from the MMQG suggested I check out Dyed and Gone to Heaven which had a stall at the fair.

Coming Up: I am also in the process of quilting my Fancy Free Quilt and after a bit of a rough start, I am nearly finished!

Hope your having a great weekend

Miranda & Charlie

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The most colourful cake I have ever seen!

Last week during the school holidays, my friend had her 18th birthday and to celebrate she had an Alice In Wonderland Tea Party! What a wonderful idea! We all dressed up as different characters, I was the doormouse...
and we ate amazingly yummy food all afternoon and every now and then she would call out "Change Places!" and we all had to get up and move to a different chair, it was so much fun!

Her cake however was the most amazing and colourful cake I have ever seen....
 A six layered rainbow cake!  as you can imagine it was quite tall so each slice was gigantic...and very yummy!
Perhaps it will inspire a quilt...

Hope your having a wonderful week 
Miranda & Charlie

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Welcome Home Dad!

We missed you!
 - For the past couple of weeks, Dad has been in America for work and after a whirl wind adventure all over America, on Saturday morning he arrived home in Melbourne!

While he was in Chicago he found a two storey quilt shop near where he was staying and he brough home a lovely surprise...

Moda layercake Candy Kisses by Sandy Gervais!!!
The fabrics are in gorgeous shades of pink, cream and red; I can't wait to turn them into a beautiful quilt.
Thankyou soo much Dad! :)

It's so good to have you home and we hope you had an amazing time in America! We missed you!

(Charlie did especially)
Hope everyone is having a great week

Miranda & Charlie