Thursday, 6 December 2012

Look what came in the post yesterday ...

Howdy howdy. How busy is for you? I feel like I'm the tornado in the wizard of oz, with chicken coops and little old ladies in rocking chairs whizzing round my brain.

Anyhoo ... Have a squiz at this. I've been watching Spoonflower for an age and finally thought I would give them try. I am working on a quilt for the big show in June , if it's finished in time, if not I'll enter it in the Tokyo show for next year. I'm a bit hexie possessed at the moment. I'll post pics as I go. But on to Spoonflower magic.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Kai No Kuchi Tutorial Proper.

 Here we go.  Here is the only pattern piece you will need.  See how simple it is?  This shape you can make as big or as small as you like but here is the shape you need.  You need to cut this shape out of quilting template plastic or out of an empty magarine/ butter tub.  Whatever but the oieces need to be flexible but also rigid.  Quilting template plastic has worked the best for me.

Cut out three of the shapes.

Now for the fun part.  Find the fabric you want to make your Kai No Kuchi purse out of, fussy cut, place, whatever and make sure your fabric is doubled over.  You will need a back and front for each of your three shapes and everything will need a 1/4" seam.

There seems to be a couple of different way to do this next bit but as I'd marked the seam allowance already, it made it easy to sew along one side and about 1cm (1/2") on both ends of the other side.  I clipped the sewn edges and turned the shape inside out and then put my plastic shape inside it.

Once all three shapes are covered it's time to sew the shapes together, the final shape of the purse is a triangle shape.

Here is two pieces sewn together and here is me getting the last piece ready.  The plastic piece is inside and I was sewing the fabric together to get it ready for sewing to the other pieces.


All done, all three pieces are sewed together.

Viola.  Finished.  The rigidity of the plastic keeps the little purse rigid and keeps the purse closed.  To open it, all you need to do is gently push the two pointy ends and the purse opens.  I also sewed up 1cm  (1/2") on each end to make the opening a bit more secure.  Its a great project and it is really, really, really easy!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

kai no kuchi - D.I.Y intro

Hey Hey.

This is an intro for a  wee tut so hang on to your knickers

Kai No Kuchi are little purse thingys.  The japanese craft mags tend to be filled with them and all working on the assumption that EVERYONE knows how to make them.  Took me a bit of digging but when I worked it out it's sew simple, my nutty cat could do it with one paw tied behind her back.

The fabulous CLOVER company have just bought out a set of plastic Kai No Kuchi shapes in 3 sizes (Small, Medium and Large) which can be bought in all good stores that carry clover products.  The link is for the Japan site, Clover USA can be found here.

Before I kick the tut off I wanted to say a couple of things about Clover.  I swear, swear, swear by this company and the fantastic tools they make.  The quality of the tools are streets ahead of anything else on the market.  The rotary cutters in particular are very good.  I use their delicate little applique pins all the time, anyways, my sewing bag is filled with all sorts of clover stuff.

I have been getting a little frustrated tho, because there seems to be a bit of censoring being done by Clover.  There are some fantastic clover products available in Japan that we can't get here in Aus, or europe or the US.  Things like this:

This is for "Boutis" or "Trapunto" as well as this:

So these tools and needles have been specially developed for Boutis (yes, I'm using the french term), and no we cant get them here.

Instead Clover USA has decided that we all would be interested in some pretty useless things instead.  A pincushion, some bag templates and a funny looking ruler that is supposed to replace a quilting ruler. All of these products are basically wheel inventing without the quality or the aesthetic that all of us have come  to expect from Clover Japan.  Here are a couple of other neat doobies that we are missing out on too:

This tool is for making mini rag rugs

These templates are for making origami pieces out of fabric.

All really useful and very exciting and no where to be seen outside of Japan.  Crazy Huh?

Anyhoo back to Kai No Kuchi.  Here is a wee pic and I bet you will think "ohhhh, THAT'S what they are!"

I am going to use them for cotton reels when I am out and about, but you could have anything in there and you could embellish them in anyway you want and have them look anyways you want.  They are being called "clamshell" purses by Clover USA but when you google that, you don't find them at all.  But google "Kai No Kuchi" and a bunch of stuff appears so make sure you check out the google images tab as well to see what's floating about in blog land.  I'm going to make one tonight and add the tut here in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Stirling Help ...

 Sometimes the help you get when you sew, is just too good.

Green Tea and Sweet Buns is THE funkiest sampler quilt.  How cool is this?  I bought the pattern from my fav quilt store in Sydney, The Cottage Quilt Works and the fabric I am using to make this quilt is my precious precious Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy that I got when it first came out.

I have to say that as far as quilt patterns go, I never buy them, I like to do my own thang but this pattern just sang arias to me.  So I am making this quilt when I go to class at the cottage quilt works.  There is something so cool finding a group of women who have similar tastes and pretty cool.  The lovely Natasha is doing it with me so make sure you check out her blog and see how she is going too.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Its Official ...

JAPAN HERE WE COME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm doing the happy dance.  Flights all booked and man in doors already primed, we are off in January and this little black duck is going to the Tokyo Quilt show.


So in preparation for the event, I thought I might talk about an amazing quilting magazine.  Patchwork Tsushin has to be seen to be believed.

It. Set. My. Head. On. Fire.

The ideas are original, the design and techniques are breathtaking.  Yes, its in Japanese.  Yes, the front of the magazine is on the back.  Who Cares?  It doesn't hurt to think outside the comfort zone and have a good hard look.  One of my favourite things to do is go into the city with my homies Ness and Jane.  We catch the train, talk the ENTIRE way there, go to the Galleries Victoria and head off to Kinokuniya to go get lost in the Japanese craft books.

Patchwork Tsushin is an amazing magazine.  If you get an issue and don't run around in circles after flipping through the pages, well, there simply is no hope for you :)

Ebay is a good place to find issues, there are quilt stores that carry the magazine but you will have to do a google search to find them.  If you have a Kinokuniya somewhere near you they will carry it (that's where I buy my copies) plus you could subscribe.  But please don't expect this to be the normal price of quilt mags. It isn't, it can be expensive so shop around.  You won't be sorry.  Next post will be about the jelly roll/charm square quilt.  Which I am working on while catching up on the new season of Downton Abbey.  Ahhhh yes.  Could it get any better?

Saturday, 22 September 2012

There and back again ...

Wow, so much for keeping up with Blogging.  Health stuff, lots of health stuff for me has seen me deciding wether or not I would keep designing or writing again.  But as it turns out, I can't breathe without doing either so I am back.  With plenty of quilt stuff to talk about too.  Enough to keep me busy  for a bit until we (and we find out in the next couple of days if this is confirmed for real) find out if we will be in Japan at the same time the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2013 will be on.

I have to clear my throat here ... hahemmm, cough cough cough.  HOOODYYYY FRICKIN HOOO!!

So, when and if we go there will be a whole bunch of stuff about the quilt show here.  I will be taking my laptop with me so I will be blogging while away.  Just warning tho, I will be writing about travelling with kids in Japan as well.  It will be eclectic so just a heads up.

And I will be teaching at the Craft Depot in October.  Yup, my block carrier is getting an airing :) but I am also rustling up a quilt made out of a Jellyroll and a pack of charm squares plus two half metres of yardage plus some homespun.  I'll be working on it over the next couple of days so will keep you posted.  I am also putting the final touches on my first pattern, for a cloth doll but more here when I can get the time to finish it properly.

Now tell me this DOESN'T look like a quilt.  It's going to be one very soon.  This group of five images is going to make up one block.  I am in the process of drafting it up now so I will share when it's ready to be worked on.  I took this pic in the Chinese Gardens in Sydney, if you have never been or are visiting the city for the first time it is a must to be visit.  It's wonderful.    I am heading off to the gardens  on Tuesday with Twinkle Toes, her BFF and my BFF and our little BFF for a day of Kinokuniya, Chinese Gardens and lunch at the legendary Hard Rock Cafe.

It's official.  I love Kale and how awesome does this look?  There is a real story here, but I am going to wait a little bit about this one and share in a little while.  But oh my, it's lovely.

And last but not least, the Kindle cover I made for my mum-in-law using Moda's new tiny squares and my new favourite tool, Making Memories Slice Fabrique.  If you haven't checked it out, have a squiz.  I really loved the ability to be able to use text with my quilting and there are a bunch of great deals about on the net.  Be sure if you are in Oz to buy your machine in Australia, if anything is wrong with it the company won't honour repairs or replacement on machines not bought from an Australian supplier sanctioned by them.  But you can save a bucket of money on design cards and accessories all over the net, start here.  I always design my own stuff but it is nice to have a bunch of alphabets I can use for my designing, along with some little designs that I don't have to re-invent the wheel to use if I need them.  Very happy.  Okay, I'm off.  Catch you on the flip side.