Monday, October 28, 2013

Heading North, Studio and Amitie

Wowee, I cannot believe it's been almost 3 weeks since I was here last, I have been working I promise! I don't know if anyone can be bothered checking in here anymore, and I totally understand that with my pathetic lack of posting and blog reading lately, so I'm happy to say Hi to the one or two who may drop in! At the moment I'm cutting sweet little bundles of fabric... take to a group I will be teaching in Brisbane, yay! I am very excited about popping back up to Bris again as most of my family are there, so I will take the opportunity to see family and friends while I'm there. It's going to be really nice to see some sun for a change, Melbourne has been rather sad and gloomy for weeks and weeks. Every now and again we have a stunner like this....

...then it's back to more of this...!

My studio is going amazingly well and I often wish I didn't have to come in to cook dinner, or go to the loo, or leave my room at all! I am getting inspired creatively, as well as putting in a few decorative touches. Like these lovely blue and white Staffordshire plates I picked up from my local op shop for $4 (I love a bargain)...

Or this gorgeous clock sewing machine, complete with swinging scissors, which was given to me by my super wonderful stitch group in celebration of my new studio. (Thanks so much girls, I adore it).

I had another sweet parcel of deliciousness arrive from my postie this week...

...this months stash club fabric from Amitie. They have the best choices don't you think? And talking of Amitie, did you see that Jen has now released her popular block of the month Gypsy Wife as a booklet pattern, yay.

Jen Kingwell's Stunning Gypsy Wife Pattern

This one is definitely on my to buy list. For news of an amazing tour that Jen (and Sue Spargo) are running, check out here, oh wow, I must learn to save up my money instead of spending it all on fabric!!

I know a few of you are wanting to know how my change of lifestyle is going (posted here). I will get a photo for an update very soon and let you know! In the meantime I will leave you with a photo of a deeeeelicious avocado chocolate mousse with sweet cashew cream that I made recently. Yes, and perhaps I will even share this recipe when I update!!

On the quilting front, I am still working on this beast...

3 1/2 rows out of the 5 have now been hand quilted in straightlines 1/4 inch apart. The quilting is feeling amazing, the texture is so earthy and organic (don't quite know how else to describe it!!). 

Well, that's it for now, I will take some photo's while in Brisbane, and may even pop in here while I'm up there (must remember to pack the laptop!). I hope your week is a great one. xo

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pressing Board...How I Did It!

When I began dreaming about setting up my new 'garage' studio, a purpose made pressing (ironing) board was definitely on my wish list. Now that my studio is done and all set up, I have made my pressing board and I have to say, I am absolutely thrilled with it. One of the issues I have always had with a 'normal' ironing board is their tapered we all know, most patchwork does not taper!
Ok, here is how I did it...(click on any photo's to see clearer details).

Firstly I did some online research and came across a fabulous youtube tutorial by the talented Sharon Schamber. If you are interested in making your own pressing board, check out Sharon's Perfect Pressing Board video first. After watching her video I went out and bought myself an mdf board, fortunately for me it was already the perfect size to sit on my green sideboard (47 inches x 18 inches).

Next I asked my hubby to cut off the four corners (I have no experience with power tools and wanted to save my fingers!!). This is done to take pressure off the fabric that will be stretched over each corner.

Next I cut two layers of cotton wadding (the same as the wadding I use for my quilts) and made sure they fit my mdf board with about an inch overlap.

Then it was time to cut out the fabric. I had chosen a lovely decorator weight Kaffe Fassett fabric in one of my favourite of his designs. I lay the board onto the back of the fabric then measured roughly 5 inches around the board.

Then cut along the drawn lines. I did also cut across the corners, just forgot to take a photo of that, you will have to imagine these corners chopped off!

Once that was done, I placed the two layers of wadding onto my fabric, and laid the mdf board on top of all three layers. Then came the fun bit! Using a heavy duty stapler, I carefully began to staple my fabric onto the back of my pressing board.

Check Sharon's dvd for how to do this step by step, you need to firmly pull the fabric over to the back, beginning in the centre of the board and moving towards the edges. Each edge is then folded neatly and stapled down.

Once the whole board has been stapled (I did my staples roughly 3-4 inches apart, closer at the corners), it's time to cut another piece of cotton wadding (or flannel or felt or whatever you prefer) to fit over the stapled fabric. I positioned my cut wadding onto the back of my pressing board, then lifted one side of it and prepped it with craft glue. Pat that side down over the glue, then repeat with the other side.

Doesn't the back look great now with all those raw fabric edges and staples covered up? I let this dry overnight before I put it onto my table.

And that's it! As far as the question 'does it work well' goes, my answer is a resounding YES! It is so flat and smooth in comparison to my ironing board which always seems to have bumps in it! It has pressed my improv blocks perfectly, and if the pressing board fabric becomes dirty or stained (or burnt!), I will simply staple a new fabric over the top of this one. Hopefully I won't need to do that for a long time to come. (I may even make a pillow slip type cover for it eventually, though knowing me I probably won't!!) Ok, I'm off to sew something just so I can use my new pressing board! xo