Monday, June 18, 2012


Hi there, how was your weekend? I have a few photos to show of mine; it's been a full but relaxing weekend and I even managed to sneak in a bit of crafting. I'm taking part in the Handprinted Fabric swap (run by Leslie from Maze and Vale) and decided to do some block-printing.  I used a block I made ages ago using some of Joshua's randomly-cut shapes.  As you'll see below in my set-up shot, I use Permaset inks, with a piece of felt used as stamp pad and then roll the ink over the foam shapes instead of pressing it into the felt.  This keeps the shapes more defined and prevents the block from getting too saturated with ink.

In other news, I made the cutest little mouse from a child's glove.  Meet Eddie, who has been claimed by my helper, Joshua.  This means I have to make at least two more now, one for Daniel and one for the Sock Monkey Challenge, but that's ok because Eddie was so much fun to make! He's tiny, maybe only 10cm tall, but that's because of the size of the glove I used.  I made him from this little tutorial, but used the cuff for his ears and head.  A tip if you're keen to use safety eyes with sock monkeys and the like: don't cut even a tiny hole for the eye shaft.  Just push it through the fabric, otherwise you'll end up with an ever-growing hole around the eye, as I found out with Eddie's first head!

Have a great week :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

T-shirt applique class

In a couple of weeks I'm teaching a class at Lopdell House in Titirangi about T-shirt appliqué, which means I've been playing around with a few techniques and materials. I'll be showing how to appliqué both with a sewing machine and by hand, with results like these below.  

I've also been experimenting with the Alabama Chanin style of appliqué, which is so simple yet effective. This is how I saved a beautiful merino top that had a few moth holes on the front:

I recently discovered Natalie Chanin's amazing work, and am very keen to see how I can adapt it further to suit my own style.  

If you're keen to join me at the class, it's held on Sunday the 1st of July between 1.30 and 4 and costs $20. Bring a t-shirt and basic sewing supplies like scissors, pins and needles. Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Great Sock Monkey Challenge

Meet the Sock Monkeys, two of a bigger group that we made at Lucky Penny on Tuesday night. We're making some for the Great Sock Monkey Challenge, run by Rachelle from Ahiparagirl and her friend Olivia whose little boy has leukemia.  When they're all made up, our monkeys will be given to Starship to distribute to the little ones with critical or long-term illnesses.  Their goal is to donate 1000 monkeys by Christmas, and anyone can help.  Have a look at the link above for more information and email addresses, and join the Facebook page to have your say, add photos and look at some of the monkeys with their new owners.

If you're interested in making some, please use new socks and stuffing.  Ann's bunny (I think :) above  was made with only one sock and has the thoughtful addition of sewn-on eyes for very young children.  I can't remember the title of the book she got it from, but here's another recent sock monkey book. Mine was made with two socks and I followed these instructions. If you'd like to join us at Lucky Penny next time, we meet at Alphabet City in Eden Terrace at 7.30 on the first Tuesday of the month. We'll be finishing off our monkeys so we can take them to their new owners, so if you want to put yours in the box, you can drop it off and join us for a cup of tea :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Handmade 2012

I've been back from Handmade for a few days now, and I'm still buzzing! The weekend was so much fun: I met and caught up with some amazing people, I learned new things and enjoyed every minute of teaching my workshops.  My students came to my classes with enthusiasm and great ideas and I really enjoyed being able to help them make something new. Here are a few ladies from my pillowcase workshop on Sunday morning with their bags and a dress:  

My Saturday afternoon doll-making class were such fast workers, they managed to create some beautiful garments as well as dolls; here are a few models making it work. 

As you also know, I took my quilt to Wellington to learn how to hand-quilt it.  How hard can it be to do some running stitches in a straight line? Ha! As you can see, I found it really hard, but I'm going to pretend it should look like that to go with the rest of the wonky lines in my quilt :)

And here I am with Kathy after the class.  It was really inspiring to look at some of her quilts up close and see different ways you can approach hand-quilting.  I'm dying to do some more stitching, but I accidentally left my huge hoop in Te Papa; what a pain!  Although after working on it for an hour I think that might be a blessing in disguise and that a good hoop might be on the cards for me now. 

I have it on good authority that there will be a Handmade 2013 and it's going to be even bigger.  I can't wait! Thanks so much to all the wonderful ladies who came to my classes, the amazing team behind the event and Wellington for being such a beautiful host :) You can see more photos of Handmade here on Facebook, on Melissa's blog, on Rachelle's and Kathy's.