Rag Quilt

Yesterday I made a rag quilt for Maia… Rag quilt 2Actually it would be more accurate to say that I sewed it together yesterday. I cut out the squares some time ago but lost interest over the summer in sewing it all together (how unlike me!). So in a marathon effort that even gave me a leave pass from making dinner (excellent ploy to remember for future – sorry I cant tonight I’m up to my eyeballs in sewing which I promised Maia I’d finish today) my most excellent helper and I sewed a gazillion squares – first together (batting sandwiched between slightly larger layers of cotton and flannelette) with big crisscrosses, then in rows and finally all the rows together to form a quite lovely pink and purple, flannel backed raggy quilt.Rag quilt

The beauty of this type of quilt is in the imperfectness of it. I promise you there is not a perfectly uniform square in it, and the rows? They don’t exactly line up. I’m ok with that. I know there are some accomplished quilters out there (Nola I’m looking at you) that will not love this quilt. But I’m going with that its supposed to be rustic (can a quilt be rustic?) and of course if it was all perfect it wouldn’t be gorgeous and raggy!

Today its been through the wash, and flapped on the line in the cool autumn breeze for most of the morning, before heading into the dryer for a spin. Out it came, all fluffy soft and frayed and wonderfully snuggly, just asking to be crawled under and read to. Fortunately I know just the girl for such a quilt 🙂

Rag quiltI think this type of quilt is perfect for beginners (like me), and for those that are not that keen on getting everything perfect (truthfully I’d rather poke a needle in my eye than spend days lining up a gazillion squares and then trying to sew them all together neatly –  I can only imagine how much unpicking that would have involved).  Speaking of which I broke three needles in the one afternoon I was making this. One went through my finger so we can’t really blame that on the layers of quilt – this was slightly traumatic for both me and the 8 year old, but the other two were through pushing them and the machine too hard. If I was to attempt this again (which I may), I would buy some stronger (heavier?) needles.

Construction was pretty simple. I got the idea off the interweb, where there are some particularly helpful people who have made many of these quilts and put together lovely tutorials – like this one, this one and this one.

Aside from the cutting and sewing, a few hours last night was spent snipping all the edges to help them fray. My thumb is going to take some time to recover from all the exercise!Rag quilt 6So that’s that, would I recommend it? Yes? Will I make another??? Hmmmmmmm, we’ll see.

The weather has cooled down significantly here this week, and with it the light is fading, so I took the quilt outdoors to get some photos… supposedly just with Maia and her new quilt…

Rag quilt 5But someone else wanted in on the photo shoot 🙂

Rag quilt 4And now he wants in on a quilt too… PLEEEEAAAASSSSSEEEEE Mummy!

When I sat down at the computer tonight to send this I found a couple of other posts which I had begun which I haven’t got around to posting, so all going well I will get those finished and you will hear from me again soon, but until then I hope you are having a wonderful week friends!

J xoxoxo

Orange you glad I shared these photos?

It’s been so hot here this week, and I’ve been working away (perhaps more accurately I should say sweating away) under my crochet throw. I’m now about half way through joining the squares… the progress is making me happy. However the decision to crochet a heavy woolen throw mid-summer is making me question my sanity. I’ll share some photos over the next few days.

In between the crochet I’m still sewing up a storm…Crochet cushionThis time new chevron cushions to matchy match my new orange mat…Crochet cushionMy blue crochet cushion, adds wonderful contrast. I still have an urge to add some more turquoise blue cushions into the mix so I may have to return to the fabric store and see if I can find something suitable. Crochet cushion on couch 2This beautiful phalaenopsis orchid also blends right in.Orange OrchidSlowly the room has been overtaken by orange… I wonder if my family will notice?Orange Orchid 2So what do you think… orange, fan or no? Jxox

Newsboy hats

A while back Jill over at Nice Piece of Work (great blog – go check it out!) posted a newsboy hat she had made, which reminded me how much I love that style of hat. A quick trawl around the internet and I found this pattern, and set about making a couple – one for myself and one for Maia.

Being that Maia is a MUCH better model, here are some shots of her hat…Newsboy hat maiaThe pattern is reversible, so you get two hats for the price (effort) of one! Newsboy hat maia 3Great pattern, lots of photos and clear instructions… I’d never made a hat before, but all in all it wasn’t too hard. The first one took me about 3 hours, the second only about an hour.Newsboy hat maia 2Hope you have a lovely weekend friends!Newsboy hat maia 5J xox

Cheep cheeps

Chickens Jan 2014We have extended the chicken family and now there are six pekin bantams…I’d like to introduce Myrtle, Sonny Bill, Cheepie, Blossom, Sun, Cloudy 🙂

This week I’ve been doing a bit of sewing, more pillowcases for the children (simply so I can get the Christmas ones off the beds!) New pillowcases 2

Getting a sensible photo of Carter is almost impossible right now.New pillowcasesYes they chose their own fabrics. I also made Maia’s headband, Im thinking of posting a tutorial for these shortly. DIY headbandsAnd yesterday I whipped up one of these bags, love the pattern and tutorial… I can see myself making lots more of these. Reversible bag free patternWhat projects are you working on this week?

Janette df

A break away and some Christmas pillowcases

In the midst of the busy (or should that be silly?) season, we have decided to take a pause and make the most of the beautiful weather we are currently experiencing by spending a few days away at the beach…

At the beachCarter at the beachBeaching = happy kids!

Maia at the beachMy feet at the beachYes those are my toes. You’re welcome!

Ill post some more photos when we are home in a couple of days, but what I wanted to share today are these Christmas pillowcases I whipped up this morning – I’m embarrassed to admit they’ve been in my to-do pile for the last three weeks.

DIY DIY Christmas pillowcasesThere was really no reason to put them off; pillowcases are super quick to sew, requiring little prep and only three seams (and some over sewing so the edges don’t fray).Carters Christmas PillowcaseJust use another pillowcase for a template – there’s really nothing to them! Christmas pillowcase Maia 2 If you’re quick there’s still time to make pillowcases for some kiddos you know… in fact, I think my husband would quite like one made for him too! They are a lot of fun… and are certainly good for encouraging children, who are excited about Christmas nearly being here, to get into bed!Christmas pillowcase Maia 3I’ll leave you with a final photo taken from the top of Mt Maunganui this morning.  Paradise! Bay of Plenty from Mt MaunganuiI hope you are enjoying the lead up to Christmas, and are finding some time to relax? Love to all! Janette xox

Rag dolls

Rag dolls 1A little while back I mentioned the possibility of making some new rag dolls to my children.

Now, I’m not sure what it’s like in your house, but in ours once these fatal words are uttered; “I could make you a…” there is no going back.

They can’t be unsaid people.

My children become obsessed – questioning progress, reminding of promises, creating grandiose plans, proposals and plays all centered around the procurement of said item which I am going to produce. When Mummy? Have you started it Mummy? When will it be finished Mummy?

Doll making, it turns out, is SO not my thing.

Maybe it’s just fiddly sewing I’m no good at? I confess there was so much teeth gnashing and cursing before these two were finished I’m surprised they didn’t both end up with curly hair. Or toes.

Anyway they were finished, and while they are not perfect, they are quite fun… and now that the memory of me sitting up till the wee small hours unpicking and re-sewing has faded, I can look at them and smile. Rag dolls 2Well, ok, I can look at these two playing with them and smile 🙂

Maia requested red hair and plaits, Carter wanted a super hero – hence the mask and cape. I’ve promised I’ll make some more clothes for them (and a mermaid tail for Maia’s (!))… Maybe next week! MAYBE!

Or maybe I should just stick to crochet and make them a hat, scarf, gloves and a cardigan or two…Rag dolls 3

If you are looking for a free pattern/ doll making tutorial check out these dolls made by the amazingly talented Lier. That’s how a professional does it.

Have you ever sewn dolls? What do you think… Doll making: frustrating or fun? Hope your week is going well!

Janette x