Before I started making this I never knew I wanted a meerkat now I do….
I found out a young little miss likes meerkats so I googled meerkat patterns and found this softie pattern from Dolls and Daydreams. It was perfect. The instructions were very clear but I’m not sure if I followed them to the T. I used slightly different fabrics to what the patterns said as I never had felt. Because of this I had to change the way I did my applique. I used the method of stitching the 2 pieces right sides together then making an incision on the back and turning them the right way out before appliquing them into place. For me this is easier than learning needle turn applique (which is on my list to learn) This method also gives the pieces a 3D feel. I did this on all the tail, eyes and nose. For the muzzle area I only had to sew the 2 pieces right sides together than turn them right way out before appliquéing them on to the face area. Part of the muzzle fell within the side seams so I didn’t bother appliquéing that area as the machine caught it in the stitching.
I’m sure you will see this meerkat again. I kept him perched on my sewing cabinet and every time I looked at him I envisaged him in different colours.
This little guy started out life as a Softie I was making at last years Urban Stitches. I never got a round to completing him so he has lived in my craft cupboard ever since.
For some time I’ve been thinking he would make a good pin cushion so last weekend I finally took him out and tried him in his new career. He is a great little pin cushion.
Recently I’ve been placing my pins in a plastic container particularly when I have been going to sewing guild. This little guy fits perfectly in the container. I can take him out and place him on the table next to my machine and when its time to pack up put him in the container and know all my pins are secure. From memory he has a body floating around somewhere too I must find that as another pin cushion next to my sewing machine at home as you can never have too many.
I’ve made another batch of WIRES pouches but this time I decided to re-look at the process I have of making them and do things a little smarter. So what did I do differently this time?
- I started with cutting multiple layers at once when I was cutting them out. This cut the time down by half.
- I used my overlocker (serger) to stitch the seams and finish the raw edges at the same time.
- I left a long length of serger tail at the end of each seam to weave in to keep the seams secure. It took hardly any time at all in in front of the tv weaving the ends in
- I used a triple stitch on the folded top hem that was more secure.
These little processes cut down the time it took to make the pouches and made it even easier to make up a bulk batch. I have learnt all these sewing skills so it was a matter of using the most appropriate sewing skill at the right time. It was worth stopping and taking a few minutes to work out smarter sewing processes.
I find it interesting to observe people and see when doing hand embroidery those who hoop and those who don’t.
I’m not a strict hooper or a strict free hoop embroider (are they even real terms?) For me it depends on the project I’m working on. If I’m doing a pre-printed stitchery then I always like to have it in a hoop. I like how taut the fabric is in the hoop, I find I can do small fine details easier in a taut hoop. The draw back to a hoop is that often you need to re hoop it a few times due to the size of your hoop or stitchery. I don’t like the creases it leaves even though I know I’m going to iron it out anyway.
I like to free hoop if I’m doing a project where it is simple lettering or features. There isn’t a lot of detail and usually I finish it quickly. For me letters on a kids book isn’t worth the time hooping. If a project is really small like satin stitching an eye onto applique I can easily control it in my hand.
I’m curious as to what others do. Do you have a preference?
If you have ever been to Circular Quay or the Rocks Sydney on the weekend you would’ve heard of the Rocks Markets. A large portion of the Rocks area is closed off to traffic and markets stalls sell a range of items from food to knick knacks to touristy item. It is a great market but can be a little touristy which is nothing wrong with that as tourists are their target audience. This past weekend I went to the Rocks area and just down from the markets found a little gem of a shop that is in the old Coroner’s Court building.
Craft NSW Gallery is fantastic shop located at 104 George St The Rocks where craftmakers can sell their items in a professional space. The shop is open seven days 9.30 – 5.30 Members of the public can come in to the large building and view all the lovely items and purchase what ever they wish. I walked in and my eyes didn’t know where to look first. There was items made out of wood, glass, leather, ceramic. There was clothing, jewellery, home wares. Items knitted, items felting, item fired in a kiln. You could see the care and passion done to create each item. It was wonderful to see so many unique items. The items they have for sale aren’t aimed at the tourist market so they feel more personal and unique not mass produced. However if I was a tourist I’d prefer to buy something from there than something more commercially made. I urge anyone to visit the gallery next time they are in the Rocks area as it such a special little place that needs to be kept going. We need to support individual craft makers who spend some much time and effort to produce these fantastic items. Each time I’m in the rocks I shall be paying a visit as you just don’t know what you will find.
Confession I’m a bit of hints and tips junkie, I have been for years. After reading two words “Tips” and “Tricks” I had to get this before I even realised it was a diary, I thought it was going to be just a special edition issue of Homespun Magazine when I first saw a picture of it.
It is full of wonderful sewing and crafting tips from all of my favourite crafting designers. I honestly didn’t realise I had so many favourite craft designers until I was reading through thinking I like her work, her stuff, she has nice things. Rosalie Quinlan, Sarah Fielke, Jodie Carelton, Val Laird, Melaine McNeice have all contributed little gems of wisdom to the diary. The layout of diary is really good and it includes size reference tables for making items such as quilts and size charts for knitting / crochet needles. I was lucky enough to get this as a free bonus when I extended my magazine subscription with Homespun. It is the prettiest diary I’ve ever seen.