I have made a pair of sibling Meerkats for a pair of siblings this Christmas.

Sibling Meerkats

Once again I used this Dolls and Daydreams pattern. Last year when I made it I used cottons but this year I used a mixture of cotton and felt fabric. All his facial features, ears and limbs are done in wool felt with only the torso area in cotton. This was the first time I have really sewn with felt. In the past I have only used felt on facial features or hair but I have never done limbs with it. It was thicker to sew through than regular cottons particularly when I was sewing the over all toy together, on the head you were going through multiple lays over the ears and muzzle areas. When it came to stuffing the limbs the felt held its shape really well, it was easy to stuff and ladder stitch the opening gaps closed. I’ll have to try stitching with felt again.

I am really happy how these toys have turned out. They are a fun toy that you can make for any child no matter the gender. Same basic pattern but just by changing the torso you can make it for both a little girl and boy. I made these both at the same time and they didn’t take long at all.

One Thimble First Time Reader

One Thimble is sewing e-zine that I had previously heard of but only just recently read. If you have never heard of an e-zine it is basically a magazine that is published electronically online. You can’t buy it in stores like a regular magazine. You download it to read on your computer or tablet. One Thimble is an e-zine that you can print out if you wish as it is a PDF document. I’ve seen some e-zines that you can’t print and sometimes you just really need that physical piece of paper in your hands for an article or tutorial.

Cover One Thimble Issue 9

The current issue that was released last week was the first issue I have ever read. First impression was I loved the layout of the magazine.  The pages are bright and clear. There is a mixture of text, photos and diagrams. Its is full of sewing tutorials, articles, hints and tips which I love. The contributors and designers to the magazine are small businesses. The advertisers are small businesses. It is a very independent feeling magazine which gives it is this really interesting charm. It doesn’t feel like a company pushing its product down your throat to buy which to be honest some craft and sewing mags currently feel like.  It is a very refreshing magazine to read. It feels modern and it is modern.

Each month you a get full size PDF patterns to sew a variety of items. The step by step tutorials that come with each pattern are very clear and easy to read. The patterns all come with a cottage licence which means you make items using the patterns to sell online or at markets. The choice of patterns is well mixed with kids clothing, adult clothing, toys and accessories. From each issue you could make so many items for the various people in your house. Some of the patterns have multi sizes so can make for adults and kids such as the headband from this months issue. This month you get 14 patterns, with most PDF patterns costing $7-$12 your getting your moneys worth for the $25 price. If you get either a 6 month (2 issues) or 12 month (4 issues) subscription you are saving even more money.

Cover collage

The current issue is number 9. I’m slowly going to get all the back issues (I’ve gotten one back issue so far) as I wished I had taken more notice of this magazine when I had seen snippets of it on Facebook and Instagram. I will admit that this month I’m in a small article in the magazine, however, had I had not been in the magazine I’d still be screaming how much of a fantastic read it is. If are able to get a copy download it and grab a cuppa cause it is a great read. Now the long wait is on until February for the next issue!

I will add please be aware of copyright. Like all online patterns and things you buy you can’t share it online with your friends. If a friend wants the magazine or a pattern they are going to have to invest in their own copy but it is well worth it.



Janome MC11000 Automatic Needle Down Button

I never knew that you could get your sewing machine to automatically stop with the needle in the fabric when you took your foot of the pedal. Earlier this year I learnt this in a Deborah Louie class I attended.

MC11000 Screen

When I got home I decided to see if I had this function on my MC11000. Looking at the manual I couldn’t find the information anywhere so I had a play around looking at my machine. On the main screen I noticed some images to the bottom of the screen.

Mc11000 Needle Up

Looking closer I noticed a image of a needle in the raised position. I pressed on the button and the image changed to the needle being lower. I stitched a few stitched and realised this was the automatic needle down button.

MC11000 Needle Down

Now that I have discovered this function I use it all the time. It is perfect when you have to pivot fabric as you know the needle is going to be down in the spot you want and you don’t need to place the needle down with the hand wheel or needle down button. When doing free motion quilting you are able to stop and reposition your hands without the quilt moving. If you start stitching and have forgotten to set this function you can easily stop stitching and press the button, when you next stop stitching the needle will stop automatically down in the fabric.

This is another reason why I like going to classes or group, you pick up other really handy bits of information and tips that you can use in your every day sewing.

Sew Box November 15

The November Sew Box was released this week and this months theme is “Hand Made With Love”

SB Nov 15

In the box this month

  • 2m Lace Trim
  • 50cm Butterflies printed linen
  • 50cm Tree printed line
  • 25cm Denim coloured Homespun
  • 25cm Fusible Fleece H630
  • Carry All Organiser pattern by Little Moo Designs
  • Journal Cover pattern by Arjay Creations
  • Gift It Tote pattern by Sew Boxes
  • 1m Zakka Handmade Sew On Gift Tags
  • Birch Seam Measure
  • 12 Handmade Wood Buttons
  • 8 Chocolate Wood Buttons
  • 2 Metal Clips (Bag Findings)
  • 4 Wood Dove Bird Tags
  • Bonus Tigerlily Advent Calendar pattern
  • Stick On Felt Numbers for the Advent Calendar

The contents this month really do have a handmade with love to feel about them. The textures, the items. I almost don’t what to cut the linens up as they are so pretty. I really like the Carry All Organiser pattern. The gift tags I know I will use on my gifts next year. The wood Doves and buttons are so adorable I just want to sit and look at them. There is something to make for everyone in this box from adults to kids.

I really do love getting these Sew Boxes each month. They are like tiny boxes of treasures. They always have such a lovely them to them and the contents are so useful. Sometimes I get fabric and supplies which I wouldn’t necessarily go out and buy if I was on my own but that is actually a really good thing as it expands my sewing knowledge and experience to try new things.



Sunny CAL 2016

Lucy (Attic24) has created a new blanket the Sunny Log Cabin. I really like the look of this blanket.

Sunny CAL

Lucy is currently running a Crochet-A-Long (CAL) on her blog to make this blanket. I would really love to take part but unfortunately at this time of year I’m a little busy finishing off my gifts for the year plus in Australia it is a little too warm to be working on a blanket (I don’t have air con). I had so much fun doing the Cosy blanket CAL earlier this year I’ve decided next year to host Sunny CAL 2016 starting 1st March for anyone who would like to join me in making this fantastic blanket.

Sunny CAL Yarn Pack 1

This will be a really relaxed CAL that has no rules. Everyone can work at their own pace and finish their blanket in what ever time frame they wish. Weekly I will post my progress and any useful links. If you wish to use the yarn that Lucy has used you can purchase the yarn pack from the Woolware like I have or you can use any wool you like. The yarn pack has 18 x 100g balls of Stylecraft Special DK yarn. I’m launching this CAL now so everyone has time to organise their yarn ahead of time and take advantage of yarn sales over the holiday period or even tell Santa. This could be a good stash buster if you have more yarn than projects.

Sunny CAL Yarn Pack 2

If you’re on Instagram use #sunnycal2016 on your photos so we call all see your wonderful blankets as your progress. If you don’t use Instagram no worries it isn’t essential. During Lucy’s CAL some people are making the Granny Stripe blanket instead but using her Sunny yarn pack colours. If you wish to do that please feel free to still join us. I’m happy to talk Lucy’s patterns with anyone no matter what I’m working on.

I’m looking forward to this blanket. I have no idea how long it will take me but I’m going to do it. I would love for you to join me.

Scrappy Penny

Scrappy Penny

I’ve made another Penny Patchwork doll

Scrappy Penny Dress

This time I did her a little different to when I made the other 2. Her dress this time is made from strips of fabric instead of squares. This is some of the fabric that I received in a Facebook scrap stash swap earlier this year. There were lots of pink shaded rectangles so I used them as strips to form both sides of the dress.

Scrappy Penny Boots

Her pink socks or “GoGo” boots as the pattern calls them are another piece of scrap fabric I had in my stash. Previously I used the same fabric to make the body of Lollyfly and in Tooth Fairy pillows. In all projects the fabric was perfect for the situation. I love how this shows that fabric can be used for all different things and that you don’t have to limit yourself to only using fabric for one project or in one way. Originally this fabric was a boarder panel that I cut off a larger piece of fabric.

Scrappy Penny Hair

On her hair I used some chenille yarn. This made her hair a bit thicker and softer. I attempted a loopy fringe. I used the same technique as I did previously wrapping the yarn around an object (I used my cutting ruler this time) then sliding the yarn off and sewing it between freezer paper. Once it was stitched I removed the freezer paper and hand stitched the wig into place.

I really like Scrappy Penny. She came from my scrap stash but looks so stylish. With a bit of thinking its amazing what you can do with your scraps.

Pedal Free

Confession I was having a lazy day yesterday…. I was sewing repetitive lines on an item yesterday. This is awful to say but I was bored holding my foot down on the pedal, yes maybe this meant I shouldn’t have actually been sewing but my gifts need to be done.

Pedal Free

On my MC 11000 machine I have the option of foot pedal free sewing by operating the machine by pressing the Start/Stop button. I’ve only ever pressed this button when doing machine embroidery but never during regular sewing. I decided to give it a go. The first thing I discovered is that it won’t work with the foot pedal plugged in, if you press start your prompted to disconnect the pedal if its connected. When you start sewing the first stitch or two is a bit slower than it resumes your normal speed. With what I was making it didn’t matter where my stitch lines finished. If you had to be very precise you could press stop near where you wish your stitching to end then press the needle up and down button to get to the exact spot. If your sewing with a decorative stitch when you press stop the needle position doesn’t go back to the centre to start the stitch at the beginning it remains in place so when you press start again it continues with the pattern. If your halfway through a swirl or shape it continues on doing that part of the shape even if you have shifted the fabric. With what I was making this wasn’t really an issue. I didn’t try it but I wonder if you press the back stitch button it would anchor the stitch and the needle return to the centre position like it does when you press the button during a decorative stitch with the foot pedal connected.

In regular sewing I don’t see myself going pedal free very often however I think it would be really useful if you at ever couldn’t use your foot to operate the pedal. I’m lucky I operate my machine with both feet (it seems except if I’m tired) Or you could use it if having the foot pedal on the floor is dangerous due to small children or pets. Online I hear a lot stories of animals falling asleep on foot pedals and scaring the owners. It’s always good to know all the options available to you on your machine.