Sunday, September 25, 2011

Been itchin' to share some birthday stitchin'

A friend asked me a few weeks ago what I would most like to do for my upcoming ahem-half-of-seventy birthday. I said what I wanted most was to somehow share my love of stitching with lots of my friends, some who already sew and some who don't. I am eternally grateful to the staff of Sewco for their advice and encouragement and wanted to show my friends what a wonderful and inspiring place it is! And so it came to be that the lovely Lesley, owner of Sewco Sewing and Patchwork Centre at Mt Gravatt agreed to my request for my own private class.

Our tutor would be the very cool and ultra-talented Stephanie. I first met Stephanie when I did one of her Amy Butler bag workshops, and I have recently begun following her blog 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World. You can read about Stephanie and her other sewing classes at Sewco here.

So today, with Stephanie's help, eight of us fortified by a very impressive array of sugary treats, chocolate and a damn good guacomole (so Steph said!), cut and stitched and ended up feeling pretty proud of ourselves. There were friends I'd gone to school and uni with, others who I'd met since having kids and my dear Mum. (Spookily, I realised we are ALL now somehow involved in health - womens health or mental health!). Some hadn't sewn since Home Ec in high school and others were able to tackle garments. A few used their Mums' trusty old machines and others got to drive some of Sewco's newest models.

We worked on a range of projects such as a bag, some cute-as pin cushions, menstrual pads, a curtain, slippers and a shirt. Here is Show & Tell from a few of us!

Shannon made a top for her youngest daughter (gathering to come):

Julie made this bag:

Mum made two pin cushions:

Beck whipped up a curtain for her laundry:

I made these summer slippers.

Although I had stipulated no presents, I was spoilt with a Sewco gift voucher, the workshop itself, a surprise package of patterns from a friend who couldn't make it on the day and a gorgeous hand-felted fire agate necklace.

Everyone seemed to have a fabulous time and one friend even bought a new machine (welcome to a VERY addictive hobby!). It was so fabulous to have Stephanie's patient advice on hand. I can't wait to do it again, including with those who couldn't make it today, sometime very soon!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

SouleMama's Treasure Bags

I love that school holidays bring more opportunities to catch up with friends. Yesterday we had a day of sewing and play with my friend Andrea and her daughters. We repurposed mesh, a sheet and scraps to make Amanda Blake Soule's Treasure Bags, featured in her second book Handmade Home.

If you haven't already, also check out her first book The Creative Family and her most recent The Rhythm of Family. Amanda's blog SouleMama is one of my favourites.

My girls have taken their bags out this morning on a hunting and gathering mission with their Dad for treats from the corner shop, but I imagine they'll also be used to collect treasures from nature. The mesh will mean that water and dirt can fall out when they hold shells or rocks.

Thanks to SouleMama for her inspiring words and projects, and to Andrea for bringing the perfect materials and making our making happen!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Then and Now Quilt Show

Miegunyah House Museum is home of the Queensland Women’s Historical Association (QWHA). You can read about the history of this gorgeous Brisbane home here.

This weekend, the QWHA held a two day quilt show called Then and Now Quilt Show. The exhibition featured quilts from the “Miegunyah” Collection and from Kenmore Schoolhouse Quilters.

What was once women’s work has become a creative art form. Quilts have evolved from utilitarian bedcovers into works of fine art. Quilts exhibited at “Miegunyah” will reflect these changes and highlight some of the 19th century techniques alongside the contemporary practices being used today.

The oldest dated quilt in Miegunyah's collection from 1821, made up of postage stamp-sized hexagons.

Gorgeous quilt hanging in one of the windows, creating a stained glass effect.

Quilts were on display in the example of a children's room from a bygone era. I would love to make one of the rugs.

A display featuring the oldest sewing machine I have ever seen got me thinking about what the women in past generations of my family must have sewn on (as did the authentic laundry - hard work!).

Bidding us farewall, even by Australian standards this Moreton Bay fig tree in the grounds was very tall!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Japanese lawn Twirly Girl skirt

After all this Blythe love, I better blog something stitchy!

Last week I whipped up another Twirly Girl Skirt using the pdf pattern by Pink Chickadee Patterns. I have made a couple of these super easy skirts previously - this one and this one. I received an order from Miss Six for a purple skirt. I used some of Spotlight's Japanese lawns (the top & bottom fabrics) and cotton.

I think next time I'd like to try making one in all the same fabric.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blythe does the Kurilpa Derby

So, as promised in my last post I took my Blythe doll Lucie Ann on an adventure the very next day. The Kurilpa Derby is a unique local event held in West End every Spring. I read somewhere that it helps "keep West End weird". :-)

Mia & Lucie Ann rode in style in the mass cycle down Boundary Street.

The parade ended with some amazing dancing and drumming by Rio Rhythmics.

Being a rather demure lass, Lucie Ann wasn't sure about the amount of flesh on display.

Watching the races.

One of Lucie Ann's friends was watching too.

The roller derby girls from Sun State Roller Girls did a demonstration. This was much more Lucie Ann's cup of tea.

You might see her at their next bout.

Dreaming of her own bike for next year...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blythe about Ippy town

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be looking after one of my friend's Blythe dolls, who she has named Rosie. For those in the know, she is a Neo Blythe "Simply Guava". For those who don't know about these dolls which have created an obsession amongst grown women worldwide, you may wish to read this.

Unable to leave Rosie in a hot car all morning, she came along on our expedition through Ipswich's coolest new shops. With Mum and I along for the ride and aided by our trusty local tour guide Anna, this is Ippy, Blythe-style...

First Rosie had to fortify herself with cake at fourthchild. Well, three kinds of cake to be precise. And some honeybush tea. Why not? She made a note to self to return one day for lunch.

Caught lusting after this satiny redness at Obsession Shoes:

Mmmm, Cultiver. So. Much. Creative. Goodness. Rosie bought some snuggly knitted cowls for some sick friends and a gorgeous print by the amazingly talented Chrissy Foreman C.

Having a quick burn around on a 1950s scooter in the store ES Traders (located behind Bon Laneway), she was very taken by jewellery, clothing and leather bags by Australian label Elk. She wondered if they might do a line for Blythes.

After all that shopping it was time for a snooze in the car on the way to a gig back in Brisbane, to be an out-of-the-box model on her owner's stall at a fab new event in Brisbane called Fabric-a-Brac. It's a six-monthly chance to de-stash and re-stash. Email Lindsey ( fabricabracbris at gmail dot com ) if you think you might like to have a stall and/or attend the next one. You might even meet Rosie.

No restrictive packaging for this dynamo. She likes to live life large.

Postscript: This is my very own first Blythe I got from Japan a few weeks ago. She is a Simply Chocolate I have named Lucie Ann after my great-great grandmother. Yesterday this Lucie-Ann was literally left at home on the shelf. I don't think she was happy. Must take her on an adventure today.