Saturday, 31 July 2010

Cover Me Silly Tutorial ...

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. My husband was a darling he got me a sewing machine. Mind you, I gave him a brochure. And the store details, and the free motion quilting foot details. And surprise surprise ... I got a sewing machine for my birthday! Imagine that!

^ _^

But I thought I would take a moment to talk about the machine and why I chose it. I like Janomes. I guess it's because it was the brand of the first machine I bought for myself. I learnt on my mum's boxy little Elna. It was a cracker. But anyway I ended up with a Janome. Now don't get me wrong. I would love a bells and whistles sewing machine. There is a new Janome that makes me want to drool but that will be the machine I buy if my book (which is in editing now - I finished the first draft!) gets on books shelves.

But for now, I needed a reliable little work horse that would handle a large amount of sewing. All of the time practically. I used this machine at my Sunday quilt classes (soon to be every second Tuesday quilt classes). There are about a dozen of them there. I was impressed with the fact that the machine was quiet. Had all the stitches I needed. I could drop the feed dogs and it had a threader. It was easy to use and better still, it wasn't computerised. Now don't panic. I'm not throwing clogs in the machinery here, its just that when computerised machines break. They really REALLY break. Doesn't mean I wouldn't like one but for now? I'll settle for an awesome little workshorse that can help me produce all sorts of things and be the little engine that could.

So here is the spec sheet for the Janome MS5027.

And I've done nothing but use it every night since I got it. But there is a wee problem:


My machine looks exactly the same as my BSF (Best sewing friend) sewing machine. She has one as well, and there are 12 other machines like it at class. So what could I do to make sure my machine looked different and not looked like someone or something had thrown up on it.

Never show a designer or creative person a blank white space. It amazes me that we leave our sewing machines looking very clinical. I have seen machines however, that folks have painted or decorated. And I reckon it would be hard to see where the fabric started or sewing machine ended or vie versa. So here is what I did to make my machine identifiably mine.

Have you seen the stands in shopping centres or on ebay, normally from Korea, who sell wall stickers? I thought about them for a bit and then though ... Bingo! Just what I need. So of I went in search of some. As luck wold have it, there must be a convention in Seoul at the moment because none of my local centres have them at all. In the end, I found a Korean store that had wall stickers that were copies of the Korean ones that were made in China ... !?!

But they did the job. So here is what you do. Find Wall stickers that you just love, and then stick them all over your sewing machine cover, and place a couple sparingly on your machine.
Voila! Here endeth the tutorial.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

It's Been How Long !?! ...

Oh nuts. Its been nearly a month. I literally have blinked and here we are. I would like to say that in my own defence that I have been ploughing through the last part of my book. I have been writing like a crazy woman, and as a result, I think I can finish it up (nearly 100,000 words so far thank you very much) in the first three days of this week. And then it's off to editing and then back to me for a re-write. But there have been sewing and making stuff happening. When I write all day, I have to say that the last thing I want to do is write some more. So I have been using the evening after Pickles goes to bed to make stuff. At last I can get back to blogging. So here I am. Back. Again.

Other than writing, what have I been doing? Well, here is a wee look at some , only some mind, of the things I have been doing. Over the next few days, I'll get up to speed on the pics as well and do a complete reveal. I'l also update my Marie Claire Idees blog as well and then I can feel like I can hold my head up electronically until the next time. My man has my Pickles of to the park for serious bike riding. I'm still in my jamas, watching season 6 Sex and the City (the best season IMHO) and blogging in the warm winter sunlight. Lovely.

First cab of the rank:

Rhea, the lovely Rhea of Alewives put out a call for folks to make some samples for her store. I put my hand up. I've been yacking to Rhea for a bit now, and she is a really lovely. In fact, she's a doll. And then bless her heart ... she sent me an Amy Butler Tote to make for her. I'd make her anything ... even a bloody Amy Butler tote. Look, lets be honest. The patterns look great, really great. The fabric is lovely, it's all gorgeous ... except and I have written about this before ... the instructions in the pattern packs are in a word ... RUBBISH!

Oh Lord, it almost made me cry. Why use one clear cut instruction when you call fill it with a lot of extra words that all mean the same thing, yet manage to really confuse. Yup. Amy Butler patterns. So, here it is. The Tote bag. If you want to make it yourself because it looks amazing, read the pattern very carefully before you start and with a pad beside you, translate the pattern as you read. Then make the bag using your own notes. You'll thank me. If you get into trouble, email me and I'll help in any way I can. I'm not happy with the pics, the light was funny that day.

Cab 2: Pants for Pickles.

I have been meaning to make some Portabellopixie ruffle pants for Pickles for a while now. She needed a new set of winter jamas to go with her others so ... some Valori Wells flannel and a white long sleeve little T from Target later. Voila, jamas! So here are the jamas and Pickles little tummy.

Cab 3: We have been invaded ...

I made a bit of a mistake at the beginning of the school holidays. I gave Pickles a Zhu Zhu. Now we have four. And a Habitat for them to live in. They come with us everywhere. And she asked me to make them clothes, and beds and a handbag to carry them in. All of which I did. So here is a wee carry bag. The power of the Zhu and the cat and the Zhu.

Cab 4: I got me a new ruler ...

Yup. The Strip Tube Ruler. I don't normally like this sort of thing, but I could see the potential of it in a heart beat. So I had a play the other night, and here is the block I played around with. And I promptly did another 9 after this one. I'll show you the finished quilt when I have ... finished it!

Cab 5: For February ...

I also decided to take some time to cut out all of the bits I need to put my show quilt for February together with. So I have been spending a vast amount of time cutting stuff out. It's driving me cazy. It will make it a lot easier for me in the long run but oh my oh my oh my ... I hate my scissors.

So that's me for now. I'll tell you about my birthday in the next post. Oh bugger, the sun has disappeared, and its gone all cold. Well, time to get out of the jamas and get down to doing washing.