Sydney Craft And Quilt Fair 2016

This year I was lucky enough to spend 2 days at the show which I haven’t done for a few years so it was a bit of fun. I wanted to do a number of classes and workshops which clashed timing wise with each other so 2 days were needed.

Janome Free Workshops

Day 1
The class I really wanted to do at the show was the free Janome machine embroidery class to make a little pouch. I don’t use the embroidery side of my machine as much as I should so I wanted to do the class to build my confidence even though the machine at the show was different to mine. The class was a lot of fun and I picked up some good tips. I was also able to do the free quilting class run by Janome to make a mug rug. In the class we stitched over paper to create the geometric design on the front of the mug rug. I’ve never done this before so it was interesting to learn. The machine we were using also had an adjustable zig zag stitch which you changed by moving the knee lift attached to the machine. Again I picked up a lot of tips and it was fun playing on a different sewing machine. I’m going to try the technique of stitching over paper again.

Sashiko Class

The other class I wanted to do was a Hitomezashi sashiko class to make a pin cushion / coaster. I really like sashiko and Jane from BeBe Bold who ran the class is a great teacher. She is very calm teacher who will happily explain and demonstrate things to you over and over until you get them right which is good as it took me a couple attempts before I got some of my stitches correct. I finished most of the stitching in class and completed the rest later on in the day. The pattern is formed by stitching and weaving. Once the piece is finished off all the messy edges will be covered up.

Day 2
My first priority for the day was to actually go and the quilts on display. I was so busy the first day I never got to them. I have so much admiration for anyone who can complete a quilt as so much time and effort goes in to them. Even the small mini quilts have just as much time and effort and are amazing.

Fibre Workshop

I did the Fibres To Fill Forgotten Spaces class. It was a very interesting class where we were shown a series of ways we can use different fibres and scraps of craft supplies to create embellishments which you can use on clothing, art installations, decorative pieces. Lynette gives you lots of notes and you get to have hands on experience using different machines to cut fabrics and twisting up strands of threads. You are given a kit with the supplies in it to create an embellished flower and leaf type piece however it wasn’t a class where by the end of the hour you come away with a near finished piece. You start of your piece in the class and the notes given allow you to finish it off at home. The tips and demonstrations given in the class really get the creative juices flowing and sadly you many never want to throw away a scrap of anything ever again 🙂 as all items have potential. I came away with the class full of ideas of how to add points of interest to items.

Jacket Transformation Talk

A free talk which I was really looking forward to was transforming a plain fleece jumper into an embellished jacket. I saw this idea last year and wanted to learn more about it. Once Pauline had explained the process it seemed very easy. After the talk it isn’t essential to buy her pattern as she gives you enough explanation without it but I did as I was wanting to learn how she did a box pleat in the centre back of it.

Shopping Supplies

So as with craft shows you do a bit of shopping. Ok so I did lots of shopping. I was able to pick up essentials such as threads and washaway solvy at a cheaper price so I stocked up.

Shopping Lights

I got a portable light for next to my sewing machine. I do a lot of early morning sewing so good lighting is a must. I was in the market for one and these were at a great price. I also good a proper light pad. I use my small one all the time but it isn’t really designed as a light box, at the time of getting it I wasn’t sure how much I would use it but now knowing how useful they are I snapped up this one. I can adjust how bright it is, clamp my pattern into place and it also has measurements on it.

Shopping Fabric

I didn’t buy any quilting fabric but I did find some stretch denim. It has a gorgeous blue pattern on it. Not sure what I will make maybe a skirt or vest. I also purchased a sashiko panel as I have something in mind for it.

Shopping Non Essentials

All my other purchases were indulgent. I got a couple of patterns, a book I have been looking at for a while. I found a place selling chenille cutters for 1/2 price so snapped it up as I had wanted one for a few years. Just after I purchased it they were actually mentioned in the jacket talk I went to. The embroidery frames will be used as I purchased a smaller one at the Rose Hill show and fell in love with them. I did my annual purchase of items made by volunteers of the Quilters community.

Ying Yang Template

My favourite purchase was a yin yang template I found. I’ve had an obsession with the symbol for over 20 years and am instantly drawn to anything with them on it. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted a mini quilt on a shop stand made with the them and to top it off they were blue!

So I possibly over spent a little at the show but I had a really good couple of days. Doing it over the 2 days made it more relaxing and it meant I had a chance to do everything I wanted. Next year the show returns back to Darling Harbour from its temporary home at Glebe Island it will be interesting to see what the new venue is like.




When I first saw the beret in the June Sew Box I instantly thought I need to make that.


The pattern is by You Sew Girl. The pattern comes in 3 different sizes based on your head measurement and 3 different band widths options allowing you to select from a shallow looking beret up to more of a slouchy looking beret I went with the middle option. It looks complicated but is actually very simple when you follow the instructions. I struggle with curves yet had no trouble with this. For the outer fabric I have used some light weight corduroy from my stash.

Beret Lining

It is fully lined you need a slippery fabric that drapes. In the February Sew Box we got a piece of rayon so I decided to use that. I’ve never worked with rayon before so I thought this might be a good chance to try it plus I thought it might be a nice fabric that wouldn’t be too hot inside a hat. It wasn’t too tricky to work with and I really like it in the lining. The colours of it match the caramel tones of the corduroy too. I’ve now got a funky little hat I can wear this winter that only took a few hours to make.



Quillow Transformation

Quillow Folded

I really wasn’t happy with my quillow. It was a lovely little item but it just wasn’t going to suit the purpose I had made it for and to be honest I knew I wouldn’t use it even though there was nothing wrong with it. As I went to sleep the night I made it I came up with a plan…

Folded Quilt

The 2 elements of the quillow the pocket and the body of the quilt were too good to waste so I unpicked the pocket from the main quilt body which then gave me a perfectly useful light weight quilt. There was some puncture marks on it where the pocket had been but it didn’t matter. The quilt is a great size to throw over you on the lounge or to wrap around your shoulders if your on the computer. You could even fold it and use it to kneel on the ground with.

Chair Pad

On the pocket section of the quillow I really liked the shoulder strap as it was stitched nicely to the pocket. The main pocket was made by sewing a rectangle with a piece of wadding on it in half to form a square then sewing around 3 sides. I undid all the side seams and ironed it flat. I placed the original wadding back on top plus an additional second layer and folded it back over this time giving me 4 layers of wadding in the centre. I stitched around all 3 seams. This time I left my seam edges raw and used a piece of leftover fabric to bind around the edge. I even matched up the colour change in binding strip with the colour change on the pieced pocket.

I’m loving my new seat pillow or chair pad. This is really what I was wanting to make in the first place. It is perfect to add softness to hard seating. It is a good size to fit on any chair. The layers of wadding give the softness and evenness so there are no lumpy bits. With the shoulder strap it leaves me hands free for important things like carrying my shopping if I go to Industry Sewing Days….

Navy Vest

Navy Vest

I’ve made another Fat Red Bird Hooded Vest.

Navy Vest Lengthen

On this version I needed to lengthen the pattern as my zipper was longer than I used on the black one. When I was purchasing the zippers I couldn’t get them both in the same size in the colours I wanted. Luckily on the PDF pattern there are markings on the area to shorten or lengthen the pattern as required. I decided to add 6″ to each of the pattern pieces so I marked up some scrap paper with the extension amount, cut the pattern on the marked cutting lines inserted my new pattern piece extension in taping either side of the printed pattern to it. I traced out my pattern pieces onto trace and toile as normal using a ruler to continue the markings over the extended piece.

Navy Vest Scraps

I think I have been watching too much Great British Sewing Bee after cutting my fabric out I had a scrap of denim that was screaming out to be a pocket. I do prefer clothing to have pockets but I’d never made one for a garment before. To get the size I needed I placed my mobile on the denim as that is the item I mostly want to carry in it. I ruled a rectangle around the phone the cut it adding about 1/2″ seam allowance. After stitching it together, turning it right sides out and hand sewing the turning gap closed I did 2 lines of top stitching on one of the long edges.

Navy Vest Pocket

I took the vest front that I wanted the pocket on and positioned it so it would be away from the centre zip, side seam and bottom hem. To attach it I did 2 rows of stitching along 3 sides of it. I then assembled my vest as per pattern instructions. When it came to inserting the zipper on this vest I took the black vest I made and studied it to see which side to place the zipper pieces. With my pocket attached now I couldn’t reverse this one around if I made a mistake.

I have been wearing this vest at work and I love it. I’m preferring the longer length as it covers my lower back. The pocket is my favourite I’ve been using to hold my keys, my phone, my pen. I want to add a pocket to all my clothing now just so I can carry stuff. I’m proud of this vest as it was the first time I’ve ever modified a pattern to suit me. It was a great basic pattern to start doing things like this on. This vest did take longer to make then the black one but that’s only because of the modifications I made.



I’ve always wanted to make a quillow after first seeing one about 20 years ago.

Quillow Folded

The fabric I used was a set of 4 fabrics called Petal Power I recently received when re-subscribing to some craft magazines.  Each side of the main quillow has 2 prints on it. I used the leftovers to form the pocket and even made an arm strap as I like to carry things over my shoulder. Both the main section and the pocket are lined with thin wadding and the strap is lined with a pellon. I learnt on this project that sewing wadding is very tedious as it kept getting stuck on the front of my walking foot. To sew the main quillow together to the backing I switched to an open toe walking foot which was a little easier but I did still have to cut away wadding from the prongs every so often. The wadding gives it a light fluffy feel. This took me several days to make as I had to piece everything then go and buy suitable wadding as the first item I brought for it was batting but it didn’t have the feel I wanted. In the end I have a nice bright quillow, I have always wanted to make a quillow and now I can say I have.

Quillow Out

Have you ever made a project and only when you have fully finished it you realise you don’t actually like it. That’s how I am with this. In my head I was wanting more of a pillow that you could sit on at events with hard plastic seating. I’ve made a lovely quillow but it isn’t really a seat pillow. For me it wasn’t comfortable sitting on. I think there is too much structure in it so it feels like sitting on a folded up blanket. This hasn’t been a wasted project as it allowed me some relaxing hours at my sewing machine. I got to try working with a new product which was the batting. I’ve ticked a project off my “One Day I Wish To Sew A..” list.


Liquid Radiance Dry Fabric

LR Sun Printing

Last weekend I played around colouring my fabrics with liquid radiance paints and leaving them to dry all week. On Friday we had a sunny day so I was able to try heliography or sun printing on some fabric. I painted up the fabric with my colours. On the small piece I used the same grid I used last weekend this time on a purple. On the larger piece I placed foil stars all over the fabric after I coloured it. I placed the board out in the sun for a couple of hours to dry.

LR Pole Fabric Dry

All week I had been watching my pieces dry. The piece I had on the pole I took out of the external pipe after a few days as I realised it just wasn’t going to dry in there. It was good that I had it in there for the first day or so as some excess colour did seep onto the plastic I had it standing on. It was the size of the larger pipe so I don’t even know how that happened. I was so happy when I unwrapped it from the pole. I love the swirl pattern that the twine made. The darker colour was the external layer that was exposed to the air. The experiment worked.

LR Scrunchies Dry 1

This is one of my scrunchies. I think it was the one that had more purple in it. The print is like shades of glass crystals. When you get up close to it you can see even more.

LR Scrunchies Dry 2

This one I added teal too when I painted it. Again you see the slivers of colour on it. You don’t get the full impact of these scrunchies until you iron them. When I first opened the pattern was there but looked messy. Once you iron it you can see all the details. Some areas are really obvious some are just subtle.

LR Pleats Dry

When this pleated piece was drying you could really see the colour change. At first it was light but as it dried the outer layer that I could see became dark. The top of this was the layer I could see. The colours are great I like how there are strips but they aren’t uniform in size or colour. Some lines are thick some lines are thin. Where the fabric is creased you can get a change in colour you didn’t know had happened. I was hoping for streaky and I got streaky.

LR Pink Epsom Salt Dry

The salted pieces I did were very dramatic to watch. At first they weren’t doing a lot but then they really started to dry and you could see the patterns develop. This is the pink piece that has some orange in it. You can’t see the orange colour at all. I wasn’t expecting it to go this dark colour but I really like it. The Epsom salts created little pattern waves on the fabric.

LR Puprle Epsom Salts Dry

The purple piece is even more dramatic in the patterns. You can see more of the orange in this one. I like the pattern that Epsom salts randomly formed. When you salt fabric you can not guarantee what it will look like. At the workshops I did I’ll admit I wasn’t a big fan of salting the fabric but I really like it. You can’t control it so its is kind of fun.

LR Mop Up Rock Salt Dry

This was the mop up piece I did with rock salt. Again it was doing nothing as it was drying then it all started happening. The patterns are more subtle with rock salt as the crystals are larger. It adds texture and pattern to the fabric. You can’t tell this was my scrap piece as it looks just as good as the other fabrics.

LR Grids Dry

The pink grid was the one I wasn’t sure if it would work however it worked fantastically. My original plan was to do the purple one inside too but I took advantage of the sunshine and did it outside. It was a good experiment to see how the same item worked with heliography and air exclusion. Both look brilliant. When you dry things in the sun they are brighter as they dry quicker so the colour is more intense however I can’t see much difference between the two.

LR Sun Printing Dry

My star piece which I dried in the sun turned out good. Not all the stars showed colour so I think next time I need to push them onto my fabric more. I left this in the sun for nearly 4 hours when really it only needed 2-3. In the end I had a bird lay down on it as wild birds are always on my table but by that stage it was dry so no harm done to the bird or my fabric 🙂 I can only image the fabric was nice and warm from the sun so he thought it was a nice resting point. The paints are non toxic so he would’ve been ok anyway I was worried he might have star stuck to his belly but he was fine.

I had fun experimenting with the different techniques. I think I haven’t watered my colours down enough so that is why I’m seeing big chunks of pinks and purples when I placed them onto the fabric. I’ll just add more water to the bottles they are in to dilute them more. It has given me some ideas on how I want to colour the pieces for the bag I wish to make. I’ll have to write all my ideas down so I can make a plan and start work on it. I have plenty of fabric now to make my tea set. I’ll have to cut out all my interfacings and see how they will fit onto the fabric I have.




Sew Box June 16

I got happy mail when the June Sew Box arrived, the theme this month is Winter Plume

SB Jun 16

In the box we got

  • 2m Combed Cotton Jersey
  • 50cm Peacock Stretch fabric
  • 2m Peacock ribbons
  • 4 Sew In Metal Purse frames
  • Birch Point Turner
  • Birch Fray Away Stop
  • Metal Peacock and Feather Sew In Charms
  • Fall In Love Cardigan patern by Sew To Grow
  • Beret pattern by You Sew Girl
  • Winter Poncho pattern by Tigerlily
  • Metal Framed purse pattern by Sew Boxes

I would hate to pick a favourite Sew Box but this would be up there as one of my favourites. I love the navy jersey fabric, it feels so soft. The peacock fabric I actually really like as its a dark colour and not the traditional green and teal colours you see peacock designs. The ribbon is gorgeous I love the tiny blue hearts in the centre of the feathers. I used the Fray Stop moments after opening the box as by chance just before I opened my parcel I noticed a tiny nip in the fabric on my vest where I must have clipped the curve so this box was perfect timing.

The patterns are emailed out about 1 week or so after the boxes are sent. The purse frames intrigued me as I had no idea as to how you would fit them to the purse but after reading the pattern yesterday when I was emailed them I read how to do it and thought oh so that’s how. That’s one of the great things about Sew Boxes it introduces you to different products, you learn how to use new items and gain skills. I really like the beret, reading through the pattern it looks pretty good so I may give it a shot.