Monday, August 25, 2014

Fete & Website - All systems go!

I have been super busy as of late. First of all, I've been working on the website. It isn't spectacular, though I am working on it bit by bit. I don't want anything too difficult to work around, so I'm trying to keep it nice and simple, really. 
The link is Ayla May Handmade Be sure to let me know what you think of it so far!

In other news, I am a sponsor at the Forest Lake State School Fete in September. I have donated some awesome cup holders and mug mats (coasters) for their handmade & craft stall.

I have also completed some new little projects.. Let's see some photos!

What do you think? I really love the blue around the edges on some of these.. So pretty! I hope you're all well and until next time, take care! :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wow! My new singer sewing machine has arrived and I think I am inlove! It runs so smoothly and so quietly compared to the Elna. . . It sings! Pun intended!

I have been asked to make heat packs for a preschool in Sydney to use during a meditation and relaxation group time so I have been busy researching different ways to make the heat packs. I am actually surprised with the amount of different fabrics and methods you can use. For example, you can use corduroy which will last well, though cotton breathes well in the microwave (and is one of the safest fabrics to use with heat) or you could even purchase a special wadding which can be microwaved and use it as a lining. I decided to go for the less expensive option and use cotton. 
The problem with using cotton is that the fabric is so thin usually the heat seeps through it quickly and

A - loses heat fast so the heat packs don't stay warm for very long; and

B - may be too hot for small children to handle as the heat can escape faster than thicker fabrics.

So we decided to also make some covers for the heat packs, though obviously we can't use cotton for the cover as it wouldn't insulate very well and there wouldn't really be much point in having covers. So I went for a light flannel - this way the fabric breathes, lets the heat escape slowly and is thicker so offers more protection from the heat at the same time.

Here is a sample heat pack I made to test out sizing. The owl fabric is flannel and is slightly bigger than the insert so fits the heat pack snugly.

I have stitched most of them together, though need a little more fabric to finish off the last of the flannel covers. I am not filling these ones as postage for weight would be a fortune, so the preschool are filling the packs once they arrive in Sydney. I am thinking of selling some of these on the side too, so stay tuned.

P.S.. The new machine is awesome . . . Just in case you were wondering :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Well, it is official. My Elna has now left the building and beginning a new life with another sewing enthusiast in a little country town. I already miss it! Isn't it funny that I am thinking about all of the little things I have made over the past eight months with that one little machine? So many dresses, shorts, pj's, headbands, skirts, bags, quilts.. I will miss her!

But on to bigger things! Tomorrow the next machine arrives and I already have a few projects lined up for her, let me tell you! :)

On another note. . . What do you think of the new banner for my little venture?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I am still here. I am just waiting. I just sold my beloved Elna Sewing Machine in order to help pay off my newest machine (yet to pick up). I have the next Peppa Pig quilt pinned and ready to quilt, though I need to wait until the new machine arrives before I can do any more. 

I am, however, considering getting some more fabric and doing another circle quilt with different patterns, seeming as the last one turned out so well! :) I am super proud of my efforts!

 And here it is. What do you think? I love the circle effect. So simple, yet it pops out at you. I even found the binding way easier this time around. 

I found cutting the binding to 3" thick, rather than 2.5" much better as it gives me more room to get the binding in the right places. I'm sure over time I can do the 2.5" inch binding but for now, I am so happy with the results - I am just happy it went so well! :)

So, hopefully if all goes well, I might be able to pick up the new machine this weekend. For now, here's a pic of one.. I am not paying anywhere near as much as what this machine is worth brand new - otherwise there is no way I could get one! I am very lucky to have an awesome family member who is selling it to me for much less!

I am so excited! More pics to come soon I hope! . . .

Sunday, August 10, 2014

One down and One to go!

Wow! What an accomplishment! I am feeling pretty proud of myself right now, to say the least. I probably could have done better on the corners of the binding, though for my first quilt binding I am pretty happy with the results, although they're far from perfect! 

Above: This is the first step of adding the binding, where it is attached by machine to the back of the quilt. In the second photo, you can see how I then turned the quilt right-side-up and stitched it down to create a finished binding for the edge all the way around.


Here is the finished quilt - Perfect size for a toddler! 


 Here is a close-up of one of the corners. As I said, not perfect and I got better towards the last corner, though I'm pretty happy for my first attempt!

Over the next week or so I will be working towards finishing the circle quilt I started working on a few weeks back (Need to finish up on stitching rows together and then binding). I also need to finish the second Peppa Pig quilt. I have everything I need now to complete these two quilts so more to come soon!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

This little pig went to market . . . .

Progress! I am still working away at the twin quilts, nervously. I say 'nervously' because it is the first real quilting project that I have set for myself (aside from my circle quilt - which I haven't forgotten!)

I went to the fabric store today and picked out some backing fabrics for all three quilts so hopefully I can begin to finish something off now.

Here are some progress shots..

This is a close up of the quilt top I decided to finish off first - If you look closely you can see the small zigzag stitching around all of the appliqued bits.

Then I added a 2.5" inch purple border to add a bit of contrast.. And a 5" border of the same background pink to finish it off.

Everything is then pinned together, ready to quilt!

When quilting, you need to start as close to the centre as you can and work your way out so the layers of the quilt stay as flat as possible.

I have just started stitched a normal straight stitch, using a cotton as close to the background colour (pink) as possible, around all of the appliqued edges. . . More soon! :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Who loves Peppa?

So I am trying something out here. I'm not 100% confident, though you have to try these things to see where they take you, so here I am.

I am working on a little something for some family friends - Twins infact - (In between finishing off my circle quilt) and wanted to show you how I'm putting it together. It can be fun.. and really interesting.... and somewhat frustrating too as it needs a fair bit of patience!

Peppa Pig is the project - and applique is the aim!

So I start by drawing the parts of Peppa that I need for the project on to some grease proof paper (this way a few errors are allowed...)

Then I copy them onto some vliesofix, cut them out and iron them onto the fabric (A little more to it than that, though the instructions are easy to grasp once you have done it a few times).

Then I begin to place the pieces out - like layering a cake really. You place down the boots, the tail and an arm, then the dress, another arm and the head and iron the pieces into place as you piece them so it stays put!

Then I start working on features of the face, like the nostrils, eyes and cheek. You can see the mouth in the next image...

I then decided to add a name at the top of the panel.. Though without any stencils, I had to freehand it.. Happy that I managed to remember some of my simple calligraphy skills from years ago!

So this is where I am up to right now, though later today hope I will have the second panel ready too.

Then, the applique begins!! More soon . . . .

Friday, August 1, 2014

What's in a quilt?


What's that you ask?

What's in a quilt?

Hours and hours of patience, concentration and organizing, that's what! I don't think I have been so involved with a project before. I mean, anything you create takes some effort but this one has really taken the cake! 

And I've enjoyed every minute of it, of course. So much so, I'd love to whip a few more with this pattern up as it is a lot faster than some of the other trial-and-error quilt patterns I've tried before.. but it just looks so good with all of the colours and patterns, don't you think? 

All up I have appliqued 40 circles so far, though will do two more rows before I'm ready to start piecing it all together.


I'm yet to decide on a binding colour/ pattern just yet, though with all of these colours I could basically use any colour I think. So... that is what's in a quilt. And it's only one part of it really. I still have to pin it to some batting and a backing fabric (another thing I have to decide on) and then I'll be set to quilt it all together. Still a lot to do!