Tag Archives: challenges and parties

on the cutting table

What’s on the Cutting Table

I’ve been feeling a bit rushed with children on school holidays and assignments due these past few weeks but I thought you’d like to see what’s sitting on my cutting table – projects that have been calling to me trying to entice me away from what I’m meant to be doing.


First up is this lot of fabrics for the Aussie Aviatrix Quilt-A-Long hosted by Linden from Vine Lines Quilting. The pattern is by Elisabeth Hartman and can be found here. The fabrics are called Dreamin Vintage by Jeni Baker which I bought from Hawthorne Threads.


Then I decided to make up a mini quilt for the Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild’s display at the upcoming Stitches and Craft Show. I’d known about it for a few weeks, but you know – good things happen at the last minute. The challenge was to make a mini quilt using the guilds colours – orange, aqua, blues and greens – with a Brisbane theme. If you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen the finished quilt.


Here’s some mini hexies I’m making to go towards the Teeny Weeny Swap. It’s been organised by the Modern Quilt Guilds in Vancouver and  is a way to connect with makers around the world. My swap partner has requested a zip pouch so these will work well.


And finally something I finished last week – a Hello Kitty embroidery on blue gingham. Well the embroidery part is finished, the neatening of the back will be done soon.

Yes too many projects as per usual – but I don’t know how to operate any other way. If I were to clear my plate of all these commitments, I’d be planning something new by the end of the day!

To help with justifying all this I’ve decided to follow Rachael Godfrey’s lead in her UFOctober2014 mission to complete as many unfinished projects in the month of October as we can. And since Christmas is just around the corner what better motivation do you need?? Read more about it on her blog Sew Today, Clean Tomorrow.


I’d love it if you joined in – I’ll be sharing my progress on Instagram with the hashtag #UFOctober2014  I bet you’re forming a mental list of unfinished projects right now aren’t you? Do it – it’ll be fun!

babushka collage

Challenge Results – Creative Challenge

Last month Clare from Clares Craftroom put out a call on Facebook for people interested in taking part in a creative challenge.  Without thinking about how much work I already had lined up for the month I accepted, and emailed her for more details. Another project wouldn’t take up that much time could it?

Here’s what I was sent – an image of matryoshka dolls and a paint swatch named Dulux WaratahClare's Craftroom challenge inspiration

I ummed and ahhed for a few days and let the ideas simmer – you know – till you’ve only got a few days left to get something made. The idea of doing something traditional with the dolls was in the back of my mind so I Googled the meaning behind matryoshka dolls and discovered that they were traditionally considered a symbol of fertility, representing future generations.  Dating back to 1890 Russia, each set contains 8 pieces and carved from soft  linden wood. You can read more about them here.

From this I knew I needed to hand stitch, and since I’ve been wanting to do an embroidery project, this was going to be the one. I checked Pinterest for a few images and came across this pattern on Etsy.Lova embroidery pattern EtsySo I started with some variegated embroidery thread and set to work. I can see a few things I’d do differently next time – like using two layers of fabric so the darker thread doesn’t show through. And making sure I had enough thread to finish the whole thing (her facial features and chin are a different shade – not variegated)  But I’m ok with how it turned out and now she’s going to hang in my workroom and smile at me while I work.babushka 1

I quite enjoyed the embroidery and am keen to pick up some more coloured threads next time I’m out.

Have your tried embroidery? Do you think this might be something you’d like to trial at your next market?

Challenge Results – Ribbon and Remnants

Ready to see what I came up with for the Ribbon and Remnant Challenge?  Hosted by Janine from Sarah Lauren Ribbons and Sasha from Fabric Fusion, ten bloggers were sent packs of assorted ribbons, trims and fabrics and had 6 weeks to come up with whatever took their fancy. I spoke about using creative challenges in this post here as a good way to push your own boundaries and come up with new ways of thinking.

This is what I started with…


And this is what I’ve made…

Advent wall hanging with branding















Advent wall hanging collage

All ready for Christmas!  I’ve never owned an advent calendar before so this will make a nice addition to the decorations this year. Still not sure what I’m going to fill it with – whatever it is it has to satisfy 3 rowdy boys so I’ll let you know how it goes.

Something like this would go well at Christmas themed markets too – get started now so you’ve got a good stock ready. (I’ll write up a plan with the measurements and post here on the blog soon.) Imagine it in different colour ways – pastels or traditional. Even hessian, canvas or cotton duck fabric would work well – all good neutral backgrounds.

Be sure to check out the other challengers’ creations at Sarah Lauren where you can vote for your favorite.

Nikky from Wonderfully Women
Sherrian from Sheridan Anne
Kylie from Dribble Pots and Tots
Narelle Cook Clean Craft
Tonya from The Crafty Mummy
Cate from {Life Behind The Purple Door}
Alix Fab Fit Mum
Renee from About the Garden About the Garden
Bel from Mums Take Five


Challenges and Parties

Lately I’ve been spending a LOT of time on Instagram and am loving the vibe from the sewing community. Everyday I find a new hashtag for a challenge or group and it leads you to the most creative people.  I’ve even joined one – the #australianhandmadebirthdayclub run by Tara aka @sewforshoes.

ahbc1 logoI’ve been lucky enough to be the first birthday girl for party 1 and have started receiving presents already, but I’m going to make you wait and do a post where I can show all of them at once.

Then over on Facebook I saw Clare from Clare’s Craftroom making a call out for people to join her crafty challenge. Each player is sent an image and a colour swatch and is to create anything they like. The idea is to simply get the creative juices flowing and interpret the inspiration any way we like. I’ve been sent an image of some nesting dolls and the colour Waratah from Dulux.

Clare's Craftroom challenge inspiration

There’s a few ideas buzzing in my head for this one so stay tuned as there’ll be a link up on Clare’s blog with all the challengers showing off their creations.

The third challenge I put my hand up for was the #ribbonandremnantchallenge hosted by Janine from Sarah Lauren and Sasha from Fabric Fusion. Ten Australian crafty bloggers were sent a pack of ribbon, fabric and trims and asked to create something wonderful.


I’ve got this project sorted, on paper anyway, and just need a day or two to get it made. There might even be a tutorial to follow!

So I think the benefits of taking on new challenges would be to stretch your creative brain, to try new things and to be part of something larger than yourself and I’m sure you already know that the craft and sewing community is huge and thriving.

Do you participate in any sewing/crafty challenges or swaps? I’d love to see – share a link below.