20 June 2014

12 Cosy Crafts with a Vintage Blanket

Personalize one from Design Sponge.
By Design Sponge

Take the boring out of blanket and recycle these fleecies to make some wrap your arms around it crafts.  You can find the vintage kind readily at vintage stores or op shops.  I look for the pure wool ones with the nice labels that my grandmother used to layer on our beds.  These blankets were designed to last, did not pill and often came with a smooth silk binding.  Try some cool color creations by cutting blocks from different blankets and joining them together to make a one of a kind cozy throw.  Stay tuned for my tutorial coming soon!  Find an idea or two here to inspire you and make your own :

1.  Drop dead gorgeous blanket toys by Maud + Mary Jane

2.  Snuggle up with these wooly cushions

3. From blanket to coat using a commercial pattern

4.  Heartworkz tutorial for a cute, heirloom vintage pram blanket

5.  Use a vintage blanket to make a poncho for littlies using this cute PDF pattern

6.  Die to buy these applique blanket cushions from Aunty Magpie

7.  Sweet Birdy Love makes these gorgeous applique pictures on pieces of blanket.  How cute can you get!

8.  Keep warm with a woollen beanie for your mini me by Zaranne Handmade

9.  A bag essential using a blanket and an Amy Butler pattern by Wife-Made

10.  Of course, hearts by Vintage Welsh Textiles !

11.  Think blankets, think slippers!  Make these from Sew Green !

12.  OMG, more hearts to melt yours from Shabby Polka Dots !

Hope you liked this little list of layers and ways to use your old blankets.  Snuggle up! 

14 June 2014

What are your simple pleasures?

Hello lovely readers,

In our crazy, busy Willy Wonka world, I think it is useful to stop and take stock of what really makes us happy, of what keeps us grounded and prevents a feeling of burn out.   It often only takes the most simple of actions that allow us to unwind and reflect, to find joy in our lives.  They are not necessarily expensive or overly complicated.   Take a deep breath and relax, think about what simple pleasures are your life treasures.  Keep your list handy.  Here are mine: 

1.  Drawing, designing, doodling 

Pages of pencil drawings, sayings and messy loose pages are perfect for settling me, I have a busy mind!  I have many notebooks of various sizes where I have jotted down ideas and oodles of doodles!  The doodles are sometimes unrecognizable but surprisingly can occasionally lead to ideas of  a project to make. 

2.  Sleep!

The best friend of all shift workers, I think.  I can never really get enough of it and nothings makes me feel better after a hectic week, than realizing I don't have to get up early in the morning.  My early starts are usually 5.45 am so you can see why this is a luxury!  I can sleep or nap at anytime of the day or night. Just put me in a horizontal position and I will oblige with snoring in a matter of minutes!  "Nanna naps" in the afternoon occasionally are a quick pick me up, give me a cozy quilt and I will see you a bit later on.

3.  I Love Friday 

Friday evokes a feeling of winding down, of the relaxing part of the week coming for myself and the family.  Such a simple pleasure I know, a day of the week, but I can't help that feeling!  Please note I do work some weekends, so when this day comes and work is not on the horizon, excitement and contentment prevail at the same time!  

4.   When the dogs walk me!

I have two very energetic and entertaining beagles who love exercise, Lucy and Banjo.  It is excitement plus when I get out their leads and call them for a walk.  Two beagles on the leash who follow their noses at all times makes for a take me there and I don't want to walk in a straight line type of wander!  They are occasionally off without leads in a safe area and you can see the look of pure joy on their faces as they run and play, swim in the lake and just have plain, good old fun!  


5.  Give me tea and a magazine

Make it a Friday, with a nice hot cuppa and a bundle of glossy new magazines and I am happy.  This is especially nice outside in a sunny or shady spot depending on the weather.  Magazines are like books to me, it is an ongoing addiction that I have not desire to get rid of!  Some of my favorites are Mollie Makes, Australian Country Style, Flea Market Style, Stitch and Quiltmania.


6.  When nature calls 

A nice wet garden bed after it has rained and a trip to the plant nursery usually yields some happy time in the garden, getting messy and adding more colour or greenery.  It is the connection to nature that I crave after a childhood spent in the country.  A good hike or bushwalk in the fresh country air has the same effect.  Have you smelt the eucalyptus leaves after it rains?  Gorgeous.   





  7.  Family traditions 

Ice-cream Day - this was a favorite with my two boys when they were at primary school.  Friday (there it is again!), was a special day when I would take them to the corner store after school and they would pick out an ice-cream to eat when they got home.  We are in walking distance from the school, so it was a quick walk home.  As they got older, they would try to negotiate for Coca-Cola, chips and lollies to replace the ice-cream!
Pyjama Day -  A cold winters day with two little ones at home and what could be more fun than staying in your pyjamas for the day!  We would watch movies, play games and cosy up for the day until Dad got home in the evening.  
Spending time together is special as my boys are grown up, at university and working.  It is harder to get everyone together but when we do, just being together is the most wonderful feeling.   I look forward to creating some more traditions as they have families of their own.  


7 June 2014

Mini Quilts: Where size really does matter!

Do you want to exercise your quilting muscles, but life has gotten in the way and a large project is too daunting?  Appreciate the smaller things in life and try making a mini quilt.  Small area = small effort.  Or, if you want  to experiment and try a new block that looks tricky and challenging, do it on a smaller scale.   Mini quilts of course, require less materials than their larger cousins!  If you hanker for some expensive braid or thread and don't want to spend a fortune, then buy small and try it on a mini!  They can be personalized as a sweet gift for a special friend, who is sure to appreciate the effort that went into creating a such beautiful thing in a small package!

Mini quilts are economical on wall space and do not need to be stored away.  A lot of 'small' can look great on a wall -in your very own gallery. My mini quilts above, hang on a 1950's children's clothesline and were made with this in mind when calculating their size.  I had always wanted to do a super cute Sunbonnet Sue quilt but wanted to finish it like yesterday!  The welcome pineapple one was an experiment in making prairie points, on a small scale.  The sweet little basket one was to address my insatiable need to use embellishment on almost everything I make.  They were so easily quilted, without manipulating reams of fabric and batting through your machine.  Are you sold on making a mini?


Add texture with braids, ribbon, stitching and different fabric.

Mini art quilt, Maura's Dress
By Collette Copeland 

Necessary Comforts Mini Embroidered Art Quilt
By Victoria Gertenbach

Attic Window Quilt Shop

Make a more challenging block-remember your quilting muscles!  Teeny, tiny bow tie blocks would challenge me! 
By Annemarie S Yohnk on Etsy

By Calamity Kim

By Three Kitchen Fairies

Make a gift for someone special, share your feelings. Oh look, they are heart mini quilts! 

By Terri Stegmiller