Sunday, July 31, 2011

An abundance of babies

There recently has been an surge in newborn babies from our friends and family.  Not only is it so exciting to welcome precious new little ones into our lives with whom we are lucky enough to watch grow but of course for me that also gives me an excuse to make quilts.

The only hard part that is although I truly treasure keeping the gender of the baby a secret - as we did with our own two - I find it harder to create unisex quilts than ones for a boy or girl when the gender is known. 

So these are the two quilts I created for these new arrivals -

This one is called Wash Day and is from Trish Harper Designs.  I bought this pattern a few years back after seeing it in Amitie Textiles in Melbourne and fell in love with it.  This quilt ended up going to a beautiful baby girl!

Here is the next quilt that I made for my newest nephew!

This Coin Quilt came from the Tutorial I found here.  I have made quite a few Coin Quilts in the past - they are a great way to get stuck into your scrap pile and contain it a little and I also have made these for a brother and sister before so that they had they same pattern but just in different colourways.

And of course new babies meant that I had to indulge in some new wool for my newest passion - Crochet.  Although I am still putting together all the squares from my Squares rug, I could not help but get some of the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece from Tangled Yarns.  I love these colours!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Buying a Sewing Machine

I think this week alone I have had more than 5 emails or messages about buying a Sewing Machine - so it has suddenly dawned on me that I should share all this info with you as well.  I love getting emails from people asking questions about different subjects and so here is what I tell people about "Buying a Sewing Machine"  - this is just in my humble opinion and from my experience.

Think when you buy a sewing machine - it is likely to be a one off purchase.  I have two Sewing Machines and 1 Overlocker.  I have had my trusty Pfaff Tiptronic 6270 for 11 years.

Considering how hard she is worked rarely has caused me any grief. I grew up using Pfaffs and this machine does have fancy stitches (although not nearly as fancy as the new ones) but at the end of the day I only straight stitch, zig zag, sew buttonholes and it also sews on buttons.  I do use her for machine quilting as well but rarely touch all the fancy stitches.

Assess what type of machine you want by  
1 - What are you going to be primarily sewing with it?

Machines can get very fancy but at the end of the day if you are going to only be using a small handful of the functions then do you need one with lots of bells and whistles?

2 - Have a budget in mind

I believe like with all things you get what you pay for. Buy the best you can afford - this does not have to be a fortune but a machine that is reliable and easily serviced.  The machines like the Brothers, available from Spotlight - are inexpensive but do have some limitations. Base, simple model Janome or Berninas, are a great place to start for their cost and reliability.

I have the DC 2101  - mine was $500 as it did not come with the extras - This machine is used by my girls for sewing and is the one we use for the classes as a spare or if anyone needs to borrow one. This machine is excellent and has lots of features like speed control and easy one touch button system.

3 - Go to a local Sewing Centre and get their help!
My machine came with a free lesson as well. If you look under Sewing Machines in the Yellow Pages or google Sewing Machine Centres you can easily find one local to you.  You can then see a whole range of different models and machines and you can see them working.  This will give you a great idea of what you like and what type of machine will be suit you. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A bowl full of cuttings!

Guess what this bowl of wool cuttings mean?

Yes, that is right - I finally learnt how to tie in all the wool ends.  When I decided to start a crochet project I thought I was being smart starting with lots of squares so that I could hide the less perfect ones with the ones that got better as I went along.  I never accounted for the fact that there would be all the ends to sew in to the squares.  Never the less I haven't minded it at all - I love hand sewing - fabric, wool, stitchery's, applique!  I just love how they all look - even just as squares.

I have been working with this pile of fabrics -

I have been making some cushions and a bedside table cover with them.  Remember the ribbon fabric I made a few posts ago - well this is the project it has gone into.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Quieter Days - well somewhat!

Although it was a week ago Perth Upmarket was a fabulous day.  I thought I was going to have a quiet(er) week after the day for a little R & R but have been blown away by the wonderful and continuing support from many of my customers and followers. 

It was great to meet lots of new people and I love it when those faces I know drop by to see how the day is going and what is new at Tied with a Ribbon. 

With some extra time last week I have been finishing some quilts for new impending arrivals - none which I can show you yet as I know those who recieve them read my posts from time to time and will have to keep a lid on them just yet but here is the Jewel Owl quilt I finished for a custom order.

It was very hard to part with this quilt - as you know it fitted in well with the colour theme in my own sewing room and would have loved to add it to my collection but I know it has gone to a home where it will be treasured and loved.

Here are some other projects on the go at the moment - you all know how much I love ribbons - well when I was given full creative licence to create some cushions and a bedside table runner recently I could not have been more excited - quite often I find it better to work with a brief and knowing exactly what the end result was to look like but being trusted to make creations with a colour scheme as a guide and the rest being left up to me was a little nerve racking.  Here is a sneak peak - cant wait for the reveal!!!

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