Monday 22 December 2014

Christmas week

Just a couple of little makes this week: a Scandi bird that was a kit with the Simply Crochet magazine, at home on my mini white tree with my other handmade ornaments; and a pair of boot cuffs for my niece (free pattern here).  Our days are filled up with last minute Christmas shopping, preparations and baking, and a bit of movie watching.  Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous Christmas, filled with everything and everyone you love.  With much love and best wishes, Wendy xx

Sunday 14 December 2014

Catching up

December already, where did November go?  

I have been working on my summer-wardrobe sewing but this was interrupted when Colette Patterns released their new pattern, the Dahlia dress.  I had some red fabric from years ago and I thought it would make a perfect Dahlia.  It is a polyester crepe I think, it has no give to it at all but it drapes nicely.  I made an American size 10 and graded up to size 12 at the waist and hips although ended up trimming this off again.  I also added 5" to the length.  This was the first time I used my dressmakers dummy properly, fitting the bodice to it as I went along.  I have narrow shoulders so I ended up adding a dart on the shoulder and removed some of the fullness from the raglan seams.  I realized later that the top of the bodice was meant to be gathered (somehow I missed that step) and this would have taken up some of the fullness that I removed.  I finished the neckline and sleeves with a purchased bias binding in a maroon colour and I quite like the little contrast it gives.  I really love this dress and I think it will be great under layers for autumn and winter too.

Charlie had requested a crochet bunting when she saw the one I made for my room here.  It is finished and the cream looks pretty against her pink walls.  By the way, why do cats insist on sitting on wool when it's blocking?

I have also been keeping at my Chateau Hexagon, stitching away on the last block.  

The tree is trimmed, the house is decorated.  Just some last minute gift-making and shopping to go ... it's beginning to feel like Christmas!  Wendy xx

Friday 7 November 2014

Beautiful spring

In truth spring has been cold and wet so far but today the sun shone and it was nice to get outside.  The flowers don't seem to mind the weather and are looking their best; spring is the prettiest time in our garden before the summer sun dries everything out.  I haven't had too much time for crafting lately but I did finish a little crochet project, a half lotus bunting which is a free pattern here.  It looks pretty hanging at our bedroom window with the morning sun shining through it, although Paul thinks it is perhaps too pretty since it is his room as well!  I finally have my Chateau Hexagon out again and have started the applique.  There are sixteen windows to stitch in place and then quite a bit of embroidery.  But it is starting to feel like I am on the home stretch! Wendy xx

Sunday 26 October 2014

A shawl and a dress

I think this would have to be my prettiest knit ever.  It is the first shawl and lace knitting I have done; the Settler shawl designed by Libby Jonson.  I used Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply yarn, a gorgeous merino.  The magic of the shawl comes once it's blocked; when the knitting is complete.  Blocking stretches the lace open and it becomes a thing of beauty, such a lovely pattern.
The dress I am wearing with it is a Moneta by Colette Patterns.  I made the medium size and the only alteration was to add 5" to the length.  The fabric is a knit viscose from The Fabric Store in Auckland and it has the most beautiful drape.  It feels very soft and flowing.  I think the dress also goes well with my Myrna cardigan that I made last month.  I actually made the dress in July but it has been just too cold to wear, even today it's still a little too cold.  Our spring has certainly been changeable so far, in fact I've just finished lighting the fire!  Despite the cool temperatures I am pushing on with making my summer wardrobe in the hope that warmer weather is on the way.  Wendy xx

Monday 13 October 2014

The holiday table topper

Last week Jenny of Elefantz kindly offered a free pattern and a daily tutorial to make the Holiday Hostess table topper.  I had been feeling in a bit of a slump with my quilting but this project was just the inspiration I needed.  The instructions included finding a fabric that lent itself to being fussy cut; I didn't have much to choose from and in the end settled on a vintage Christmas postcard fabric.  Jenny's tutorial was excellent and easy to follow along; my only difficulty being when my cat decided to fall asleep on the topper as I was trying to quilt it!  I really appreciate Jenny's generosity in sharing this pattern, I am sure the tutorial must have taken lot of time to prepare!  Thank you.  Wendy xx

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Happy 18th

"To my sweet daughter,
Your wee little life has changed me.
The day you were born was like a new beginning for me too;
A change that will forever lay soft upon my heart.
Everything in my life is sweeter because of you.
The days and fleeting moments with you are only a breath in time.
They linger briefly and fly away on the wings of tomorrow.
You are precious in every way;
The sunshine in my day, the joy in my soul, and the love of my life."  Patsy Gaut

I had such fun planning a surprise 18th party for Charlie and boy was she surprised when four of her friends turned up at the same shopping mall.  While they had manicures I was racing around at home setting up a lolly buffet and decorating.  It was worth it to see Charlie's face when they came back to our place for dinner, homemade ice-cream cake and girly movies.  Happy 18th Charlie, love you forever, Mum. xx

Monday 29 September 2014

Around the world blog hop

Today I'm partaking in a bit of a blog hop after being nominated to play by Julie from My Threadbear Life.  Julie's blog is one of my favourite to visit, she creates beautiful projects and has a talent for up-cycling her vintage finds.  I am spoilt having Julie living in my region and I have loved my visits to her gorgeous house and craft cottage.
The premise of the blog hop is nice and simple with just four questions to answer:

How does my writing/creative process work?
I started writing this blog in 2011 to keep track of my stitching progress. I had just rediscovered my love of quilting and part of my inspiration was all the wonderful sewing and quilting blogs so I was excited to connect with that community.  I see my blog as a way of recording not only my projects but also snippets of our life here in New Zealand, including family, pets, home, garden and baking.  I tend to jump around projects a bit; I still love quilting but there is just something so satisfying about a quick finish!!  Since last year I have also fallen in love again with knitting and clothes sewing.

Why do I create what I do?
Like most crafters, I create because I love it.  Making things is part of my normal.  I love to make things for our home, for the children and for myself!  I am also loving the process of planning and making my own wardrobe.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I could never claim that my work is special or unique in any way because there are so many talented and creative people out there making wonderful things.  And as Julie said I don't think I really belong to any genre because of the jumping around of projects that I do!

What am I working on now?
My current quilting project is the Chateau Hexagon quilt, you can see from the crease marks that I have been ignoring it lately.  I must get back to it!
I wanted to challenge myself with my knitting so I am working on my very first shawl.  Thankfully with the long trip to Napier last weekend I had plenty of knitting time so I am getting quite close to finishing.
As for my wardrobe, I am starting to think of spring and summer.  First up is a black skirt which was actually part of my winter planning that I didn't get to.  Then I have a few fabrics I bought in the beginning of the year waiting to be made up into some summer tops.  

Now, rather than passing the blog hop onto three friends, I saw a different idea at Sew Useful Designs:  I am passing it onto YOU if you'd like to participate!  I'd love to learn more about you, just answer the four questions and post about them on next Monday the 6th October.  And please let me know if you decide to participate, I would love to come and read your post. Wendy xx