Unmasking virtual craft connections

Boo! It’s the batik bandit. 🙂

This week my friend Sue and I had our first virtual craft session. Sue made some gorgeous Easter bunnies and we were in need of masks so I had a go at those. We allowed ourselves an hour and a half and by the time we’d chatted and done some sewing it was definitely not long enough so it’s 2 ½ hours this week.

I’m making compost on the farm so wanted a face mask to reduce risk of breathing in any nasties and figured these might be handy with the pandemic taking hold in Australia now too.


This project was inspired by the newsletter I get from Mayra at So Sew Easy which had a section of patterns for masks here. The one I tried is from Lisa Carolina‘s post using a pattern from craftpassion.com pattern and instructions. I used regular elastic rather than hair bands and found if I cut elastic 10″ long it got trimmed back to about 8″ – we must have big heads in our house. If you look closely at the first picture here you’ll see we tried adding a pinch at the nose and position the lower elastic about an inch from the lower edge too, this was to try to stop glasses/goggles fogging up.

The virtual crafting worked really well, we connected in to our videoconference, chatted for half an hour, talking about our projects and how we could do them. Disconnected, sewed for about an hour, then reconnected at the end to share what we’d done. We had the lovely chats you do when crafting together, helped each other along the way and made sure we were all staying safely at home as well. Definitely worth a try with Zoom or Google Hangouts or FaceTime or whatever your video call app of choice is. Let us know if you give it a go too.

Update on how our masks went when we tried them next time.

Happy sewing,


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Musings this Saturday

I purposefully took some time off this morning.      Time to just stop.    Read.     Drink tea.      Ponder what to do next with my quilts.    And enjoy some music and some quiet.

In some ways it seems odd that this is taking time off. It’s actually just spending time which we do all the time. It’s more that I’m more conscious of how I’m spending my time that’s different.

In the last few years I’ve tried to invest my time in projects that mean more to me. And somehow, this has meant that work has still taken over from my quiet time and quilting. Yet I find I am my better self when I make the time for quiet and quiet things.

I’m working on that 🙂

After my lovely trip with my friend Sue last week to #BraidwoodNSW for joy, comfort and sewing supplies, getting some new wadding from Hollyburton Farm (@ClarkevilleVIC) this week and figuring out what to do next for the Kata Tjuta quilt I’m ready to paddle back into my sewing and quilts. 

So here’s some reads and sounds of quietude if you’d like to share them.

Haydn, Joseph, String Quartet No. 62 in C major, Op. 76 No. 3 ‘Emperor’ [27’14], Takács Quartet, String Quartets Op. 76, Nos. 1-3 [Takács Quartet], DECCA 4756213

Schumann, Robert, Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 [31’40], Alexander Melnikov (piano), Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado (conductor), Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto Op. 54, Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 80, harmonia mundi HMC 902198

Einaudi, Ludovico, Day 5: View from the Other Side Var. 1 [03’04], Ludovico Einaudi (piano), Redi Hasa (cello), Frederico Mecozzi (violin), Seven Days Walking: Day 5, DECCA 4818145.

Womankind, Orchid issue about Scandanavian culture, art and life.

Stay well, stay home to #flattenthecurve of Covid19 and sew.


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A Beautiful Day in Braidwood

My friend Sue and I were both thinking of doing some more sewing and with only one small store in ourhome town, we decided to take a trip a couple of weeks ago with our #emptyeskyfullwallet to get some supplies and support the @BraidwoodNSW community who have been badly affected by the recent fires in New South Wales.

We thought we’d just spend a couple of hours, get some fabric and go. Well, we were having so much fun we spent 5 hours salking up and down the main street, visiting all the shops and just having a lovely time! Neither of us had been to Braidwood for a while and there are lots of beautiful shops, places to eat and crafting.

We particularly enjoyed ourselves at @creativeedgebraidwood, @thebraidwoodquiltstore, @saloondesignhouse and had an unexpectedly fantastic (and healthy:-P) lunch at @theroyalmailbraidwood pub.

There’s also new fun play equipment and paths. in the park at the top of the hill in the main street which once people can move about again will be a great place to stop.

We’d really like to encourage people to continue to #buyfromthebush even with the Covid19 distancing restrictions that have come in since our visit. Most of the craft businesses we visted have now moved to selling online or by arrangement (email or phone calls) and they still need all the support they can get – as does all our local craft stores.

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KT1 Kata Tjuta inspiration- a new quilt!

Kata Tjuta, Anangu Country, central Australia

This magic place in central Australia is the inspiration for my next quilt (and the first one I’ve made in a long time).

Ah, the serenity and energy of Kata Juta.

Today I am organising the fabric and ovall design. More info coming soon…

Happy stitching and stay cool if you’re in the heatwave Downunder.


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GG11 – Granny goes modern

I’ve just given my Granny’s Garden project a modern twist to get it back on the rails…here’s a quick video that shows how I do it.

It’s now granny gone mobile – all but the final joining of big blocks and binding can be done when travelling or away from home or just without much space.

Long-term followers may remember this project started by accident when I signed up for a quilting retreat and realised afterwards it was hand-sewing only. Ugh! Well, ugh no more.

After going into mass production of scrappy hexagons and flowers I figured if I continued that way I was never going to finish the quilt because it is too fiddly and space-consuming to join the flowers together, eventually layer up and then do fussy binding on all those hexagon edges. As beautiful as that may be, it didn’t fit the grab-and-go purpose of this project for me – when it can’t fit in a carry bag and be done on a bus, train or plane or chatting with friends then it wasn’t going to happen. So, now it can! No excuse for this one staying a UFO anymore.

Watch the video and let me know if you want some more info on how to do the modern granny (sounds like a disco dance😉).

Happy autumn/spring stitching wherever you are.


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Dragons in the kitchen (Puppet Oven Mitts…)

This was a quick project to get back into some sewing and stop us burning fingers with our dilapidated old oven mits so…I decided to just follow instructions on construction but with an easy modification to extended by 2″ for long arm as you can see if you look closely at the pieces in this photo.

[In hindsight I’d add 2″ to the width as well, see below].

Also I didn’t have insulated batting so about four layers of thin wool-poly batting in the mouth piece and two on the upper and lower pieces. You can see how I layered and cut these out below.

For the rest I used the instructions which were easy to follow. Now that I’ ve made these (for grown ups by the way), here’s some suggestions for next time:

  1. Add 2″ to the width of the body if the dragon and taper it in towards the mouth. Once we’d used these we found that there’s not enough room to easily get your hand in and out if you’re wearing a jumper.
  2. Add a quilting line between the two dots of the dragon’s mouth. This puts a line through where you might expect tonsils to be that makes it easier to bend the glove inside your hand.
  3. Do decorate. I added ric-rac for the spines of the dragon (before sewing the main pieces together) and simple eyes made of felt sewn on by hand (after the rest was finished). This adds so much character that these creatures are taking over our kitchen…

If you want some more pics and story on how I did the decorating let me know and I’ll add another post.

Happy stitching.


PS: Here’s a link to the pattern and instructions: puppet-mitts pattern,thanks to so-sew-easy.

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Next Up…Puppet Mitts!


Yes, I may not have posted for a couple of years but I’m still around. This time I’m back with a fun project…puppet oven mitts to replace our dilapidated old ones that are suffering holes and burns and general decay from many years of use. So it’s time for an upgrade and a new style in our kitchen…dinosaur style thanks to a FREE pattern from so-sew-easy.com.  Looks like fun to me 🙂

Happy stitching and baking,


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Snowflake Table Decoration

I was inspired by LucieTheHappyQuilter’s dresden snowflake (http://luciethehappyquilter.com/tag/dresden-plate/) to have a go at making one myself over the holidays. Here is the result, now happily decorating our side table.


I turned this into a table mat by pinning the dresden plate (minus the centre circle) onto felt, stitching around the outside and then trimming the felt to match the snowflake with my favourite sharp pointy scissors. Yes, there is a join in the felt as I had two small pieces and had to patch them together to fit the snowflake 😉


I am new to dresden plate and to appliqué of circles so it took me a couple of attempts to get the centre circle right. Once I found Sarah Fielke’s video on perfect circles and cut the centre circle bigger it was easy.

I put a matching circle of viseoflix between the fabric and the cardboard when ironing the circle, then took the viseoflix paper off once I was happy with the shape of the circle ( this will make sense when you watch the video). The viseoflix made it easier to fiddle the circle to the centre of the dresden plate then iron it into place and sew without fear of anything moving while I as sewing.

So thanks to Lucie and Sarah for a fun holiday project, I’ll get back to my finish it up pile now 🙂

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QFO – Nearly Done and Binding lesson

After barely any sewing in the last year i am on a mission to finish projects to make room for other ones.

Last month the beautiful hexagon quilt-for-others quilt was returned for binding. Today I’ve put the binding on the fun quilt in the photo and now all it needs is the label sewn on before it goes off to another community quilt project.

There was a bit of a happy accident when I cut the binding strip too narrow – I used my bias binding gadget to make it 1″ wide binding and sewed it on all by machine. I am very happy with the results. I have tried several different ways to finish binding by machine. This 1″ single binding way is easy and finished well as long as you stop with the needle down right in the corner join before turning to the next side. What could have been a drama has worked out well – a nice ending for a Sunday afternoon of stitching.

Happy stitching,

PS: Thanks to Jo for the table leg extenders – they are great for the cutting table and make it so much more comfy to use. 👍

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Note to self – next time you make chocolate cake have a shower before you sew…cake mix on my sewing machine. LOL!


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