The mending pile

Sometimes the mending pile gets so big that it actually needs to sorted into colours like the washing. In that way I feel like I am getting some kind of efficiency by doing all of the black things together, then the purple, red, black etc.

This is today's job.

Inspirations from travelling

 This is my first attempt at quilting, using the overlocker, of course - where would I be with out it!
All of the pieces are woollen felt with 2 of the pieces being textured for interest.

The quilt was inspired by these massive double decker and sometimes triple decker shipping containers on incredibly long trains through South Australia near Port Pirie at the bottom of the Southern Flinders Ranges. 

The trains (excuse the blurriness - this is the best shot!)

This is an attempt of mine to first of all use oil pastels - not a medium I am particularly comfortable with, and also to try to capture the essence of the Kimberly, the boabs, the roundness of the body of the tree and the seeds, and incredible sunsets that we were surrounded with.

The boab again. I am completely captured by them, as many who have visited the Kimberly area are.  Each tree becomes a great character.  Sketching, a medium I more comfortable with, and enjoy getting lost in for hours on end.
 This, another graphite pencil, began with the hand (my hand) and me just wanting to stretch myself as I find them quite hard.  I then wanted to try to push myself a little more with it and explore what the picture could do.

I'm back...

Yep, for those who didn't know, I'm back from my trip.

I have been stitching (a rug inspired by a cargo train), drawing, painting and knitting socks between working a day job. (bah humbug!)

Pictures will come.

I know this is a space that has been neglected.  I am stealing back moments.

New blog for trip

I've finally done it!  Not all slick takes time...yet here it is

New Adventure

As I write this, I am sitting in a 14 year old rusty dingo bright blue camper trailer in Adelaide.  17 days ago we drove out of Melbourne after packing up the house and renting it out.  We made the big decision to "do the Big Trip"!  We are travelling for about 9 months.  Myself and my 4 boys (partner included).  That's a lot of testosterone in close quarters, I can tell you now already! 

Anyway, I could go on for a long, long, long, long way, however, I am writing to say that this is really why I haven't had time to do a post.  I was flat out packing up the house for 6 months with the last 2 months being insane.  Now that I have more time, I am not really around my sewing things (funnily enough!), and power is quite limited, and I am enjoying more of the simple things. 

I may well do a blog about the mind has been turning it over , I just needed to slow down a little this space, you will know if I do. Anyway, I'll  be back...2011.

Cheers for now and thanks for the support to here, Meg

Tracksuit pants hem tutorial

Ok, this is a tute for all those who would like to put up their hems of their trackie dacks (tracksuit pants) so that they look just as professional as before.  It is not as hard as it seems.

Step 1: First thing is to measure how much you will need to take them up.  You may need help from someone else with this.  A good general rule of thumb is that the bottom of the new hem should be the bottom of your heel.

Step 2: Now turn your pants inside out and measure that distance from the current bottom of the pants up.  This is where you will now fold the pants up with the outside of the pants folding toward the inside.  You should be seeing the inside out of the pants with the outside of the fold.  It is best to do this on your ironing board as you will be ironing this in a moment.

Step 3: With your iron set on the appropriate setting for the pants (check the label), iron the crease of the fold (which will be your new hem line) all around the edge.  Do this for both legs. (please ignore the cut on the pants in the photo - I took the photo after I had done Step 5!)

Step 4: Now measure the length of the current hem.  It is always a good idea to follow what has been done already, except in the cases where it is too small.  In these cases, allow for more fabric for the hem.

Step 5: Now with this measurement of the hem, cut that length from the ironed crease (toward the bottom of the pants) all the way around the pants - be sure to cut evenly.  Do this with both legs.

Step 6: Now with your overlocker, stitch around the edge in cotton that either matches or is neutral.  If you do not have an overlocker, use a zigzag stitch along the edge. Do this for both legs.

Step 7: Iron with steam to relax the fabric back and to set the stitches. Do this for both legs.

Step 8:  Pin the hem around (knob ends pointing down to the bottom of the pants. Do this for both legs.

Step 9:  Pop your Twin Needle (make sure you use the "Stretch" needles for stretch fabric) and thread up your machine with cotton to match the pants or slightly darker cotton (use either two cotton reels or make up two bobbins and use one bobbin up the top as your other reel).

Step 10: Making sure that you are stitching on top of your edge of your hem, sew on the right side of your pants.  Careful not to pull the fabric as it goes through the machine.  Keep it at a consistent width from the bottom edge.  Do this for both legs.

Step 11: Turn up the steam on your iron

and put the finished pants, inside out on the ironing board.  You will notice that they are all bubbly.  Don't freak out!  Hold the iron over the top, not ironing, just holding over, push the steam button and give them a shot of stem and watch the fabric reclaim its elasticity! 

Ta Da!

Step 12: Now turn them the right way and give them an iron and your job is done!

Busy Term nearly over

Here are three of my girls showing off their fantastic bags that they have spent their time making whilst I taught them how to use their sewing machines and the basics of sewing.  Brilliant girls!  Well done. 

One week to do where we will continue to work on zippers, centred, lapped and invisible.  Pop over to Lara's blog for a fantastic tute on invisible zippers - it has certainly turned my sewing life around (especially as I am moonlighting as Ink and Spindle's cushion girl). 

Good bye Edna

Yesterday one of my lovely old ladies passed away.  These are two roses from her garden.  I feel very sad as I have always had at least one lovely old lady in my life to share her stories with me and I feel a deep loss now at the stories untold.  I know that it was her time to go.  She was 96 years old.  She was tired.  She told me about 3 years ago that she always felt that she was about 21 years old.  I can't even count the number of times that she has shown me her dresses that she has kept from great memories, laid each one out for me to see.  Each dress preserved with memory and love - not every dress that she ever had, just the important dresses.  She would take me through her house to show me anything new that had come in, a card, or a bunch of flowers, a photo of her two grandsons. When I lived next door to her, we shared a vegetable garden so that she could have fresh vegetables still after Charlie had passed away and she would share her fabulous scones and her care.  I will miss Edna.  I will miss her calls to say that she needs help to fix something.  I love my old ladies.  Rest now, Edna, rest your weary bones, thank you for all your time you have shared with me and thank you for all those times you asked for our help.

Love Meccano!

This weekend I think that I might take the kids down to the Melbourne Meccano Exhibition in Brighton to provide them with a little inspiration for their project. I love meccano. The way it does up. The metal. The amazing things that you can make with it. Yay!

"I'm not tired!"

Sorry, I know that I haven't really blogged for a little while. Life has gotten on top of me & I am am feeling a little like those cars about to be smashed by that Monster Truck (yes, I did find myself at this whilst looking at camper trailers...YIKES!!!!). Anyway, haven't really had time to spend on the computer except for the essentials (getting ready for the tax man, stuff for school, preparing for classes, making sure emails aren't too out of control...).

Currently searching for 8th day in week.

Or maid.

On an interesting note, my sister Sally Darlison showed me this today...Too cool