Tuesday, 3 May 2016

So Easy To Break a Good Habit

A while ago I had a secret squirrel project that I couldn't share photos of. Because I couldn't share photos I didn't write much about it either.

Then we had to move house as our landlords sold the house we were living in. so we ended up homeless, camping in my parents spare rooms for a couple of months.

Then we moved into our new rental house.

A very tressful year later, most of my sewing supplies are still in boxes and I am subconsciously terrified of unpacking it all properly just to be told we have to move again.

In between it all, I have a couple of projects that I have progressed through and even completed. But wouldn't you know it, I have totally lost the habit of updating my blog.

I'm sorry interwebs. I will do better. Once I organise my head again into blogging mode I will post an update with lots of pictures of what I have been doing.

For now, cherrio!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Still alive!

I know that I haven't posted in forever!

things have been a little haywire here, with the family essentially homeless for a couple of months, bunking in with the grandparents!

Result: 2 house moves in 6 weeks, with full kid complement.

1 cat that decided after both moves to take off and go wandering for a couple of days (the second trip managing to get from one side of the suburb to the other to turn up back at the grandparents place very proud of himself)

1 troll cave packed up in storage for 2 months and still mostly in boxes = zero sewing for a loooooong time

But I have a current secret squirrel project out and on the machine, can post pics in a couple of weeks. so until then



Thursday, 15 January 2015


Determination and sheer bloody-mindedness have resulted in a new handbag in time for Manawatu Symposium.

Car pool is arranged, now I just have one problem.

First of all, I need to share.  My teaser post the other week was the result of seeing this post by the extraordinary Cheryl Sleboda. It is a technique to use liquid modelling clay to make appliques that you can sew onto fabric.

Quick Tips:
This stuff STICKS to your sewing machine foot. I ended up covering the bottom of a presser foot with masking tape to get it to slide over the appliques to stitch them down. 

I covered each one with a layer of masking tape to be able to quilt around the edges.

Go 'lil machine go!
Once I found a work around with my quilting foot issue (see previous swear-y post), the bag came together really quickly.

Look! All done!
Van Gogh Tardis Handbag!

Pretty feathers on the back.
And I didn't loose a finger doing them

While taking a couple of nice-ish photos to share, I had a small issue.



"Look mum, it fits my dog perfectly"

Sod it.


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Sob...{expletives ahead}

So what I WANTED to show you all today was some pictures of my neat-o finished project I teased with last post.

What I have is an excercise in frustration and irony.

I have two projects that have deadlines in the next two weeks:
  • a mug-rug swap that is due to be posted in a couple of days
  • I want a spiffy new handbag to take with me to Quilt Symposium at the end of next week.
I also have a block to finish making for our Quilt Guild's presidents challenge in time for our February meeting.

I have pieced the mug-rugs, worked out my pattern for the bag, just have to quilt two teeny little mug-rugs and the bag pieces, whip the bag pieces together and then I can play with my block right?

I even have 2 hours un-interrupted in the troll cave to play with.

Easy peasy!!


I started with the mug-rugs. First deadline and my partner Helmy will be expecting a squishy package very soon. Could NOT work out why my tension was so buggy! Not quite enough to rip it all out, but enough that it was driving me nuts.

Found it:
That white bit? Broken
Ahhh so my walking foot isn't walking because the top part that holds the thing on the needle arm is cracked through. It doens't walk, it shulmps along, trying to eat my quilt. Well, fuck.

But have no fear! I can regain my mojo! Bag pieces need to be FMQ'd!

Change of foot, line everything up, here we go....Ooooh that needle is looking rather close to the back of the foot, why is that?....That needle hit the foot that time, I'm sure of it!

Found it:
That white bit? Broken
The top part that holds the thing on the needle arm is cracked through. Well, fuck.

Hang about!!???!! How did I manage that? I have worn out both my quilting feet, in exactly the same way, at the same time.

Well, fuck.

Looks like I won't have a new handbag for Symposium. But at least Helmy will get her mug-rugs on time (Sorry Helmy, the stitching isn't quite up to my usual standard).
Ssssh only the backs until I send them away....

Time to sort out my goals for the quarter.

I need wine


Saturday, 20 December 2014


Free fat quarter of fabric from my stash to the first person that can correctly identify what I'm trying to do:

And "something to do with Doctor Who" doesn't count.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Fun and games (with extra fun points at the bottom)

While not all directly quilty, I have been having some fantastic crafty fun the last couple of weeks cobbling together costumes for the whole family for AetherCon Wellington. A small Steam Punk convention this weekend just been.

First of all, purely quilty - my latest little able student with her doll quilt ready to hand stitch the the binding down:

CH so (rightfully) proud of herself
After sorting out 4 costumes, I was missing something. An appropriate handbag! Sacrifice of an old, damaged trashy hardcover (oooooh did that feel WRONG though). Aged metal cover, check. Fabric lining glued and sewn in for safety, check. Minor injury achieved  during assembly, check.

New Steam Punk handbag!
Minor injury so worth it!
Plenty big enough for the essentials
And now for the really fun part. Us all dressed up:
My little spy Rocketeer, with a light up rocket pack
The mad scientist complete with evil mustache and crazy eyebrows

Close up of Lady Vapour's corset (dealer in perfumes and poisons)

My happy crazy family (yes that is a teeny corset on a 2yo - CUTE!)
The suave Murtagh Burr down from Whangarei for the event
And the bonus fun points from the ball later in the evening - Lady Vapour and Murtagh with a steam punked Captain Jack Sparrow in a kilt!!!

Because this is what we do!


Monday, 17 November 2014

Do you have a "thing"

Something you have done as long as you can remember "just because"?

What about something you do in remembrance of an event (or the passing of a loved one)?

Some have family traditions. Some are personal quirks. Some are just to make you feel happy/creative/zen.

I have lots. But one I do daily.

My family has waffles every Christmas made with a waffle iron that belonged to my Aunt (RIP).

I sign off my blogs with "Cheerio" not "Goodbye" as my beloved Nana couldn't stand to say goodbye.

But I have an obvious quirk that a lot of people notice, a few comment on, but very very few know why (and it's not because I'm lazy).

Once upon a time I had an interesting and challenging job that I loved, with people I enjoyed spending my time with. Except one person. My direct boss. A micro-managing bean counter that fixated on me as I had made the mistake of being young, smart and pushing back when stepped on.

This man actively sabotaged my efforts at changing roles to further my career. Had me writing 15 copies of the same report, making deliberate changes each time, only to change his mind several iterations later to the original wording. Questioned the appropriateness of my attire in our corporate environment (despite my at the time conservative style for working). Forced me to justify my time in 6 minute increments in daily timesheets. Managed to sabotage several appointments with my fertility specialist and eventually making me leave that job.

Several things kept me sane at the time. The fact that I was not the only one was a biggie. That department had a HUGE staff turnover. But once I started getting flak any time I wore something other than a fully tailored suit I had what was (for me) a much more effective way to keep my sanity.

A little thing, a rebellious thing that was mine alone.

And the habit stuck. Ha!

Do you have a "thing"? Does it have a story, or just because?