Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bee in my bonnet....not that I wear a bonnet but if I did

 There was definitely a bee in it, so after cleaning the bomb site of a sewing room.....
I got to work and started making a bag. The pattern is from the latest Homespun magazine and is called 'Gemma's Crafty Bag' by Leanne Barnes of thestitchingroom.blogspot.com
I really liked the shape of the bag so thought I'd give it a go. I wanted it to be quite structured, more so than what it would be if I just used batting and quilted it like in the instructions so I ventured to Spotty and bought buckram as suggested by the lady behind the counter. At times I ended up sewing through six layers of fabric and two layers of buckram. My machine coped quite well even if I didn't. There's quite a few rough spots and I was starting to dislike my bag and was sad that I'd spent so many hours on it but then I folded it the right way after the rather tricky attachment of bias binding to hide the joins and.....I love it!

It's long and chunky looking. It has zips that work (yay!) and although I was going to use it as a kitting bag in the hope it would encourage me to do some more knitting, I think it's going to get used daily as an addition to my handbag. It'll be my everything bag!

This crazed sewing lead to more....

I'll be back

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Where do you put your binding while you are attaching it to your quilt?

In your cleavage?
Yeah, me too.
Perfect place to keep it tidy and stop it from dropping to the floor and tangling.
Abbe x


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Step Back in Time

Mr CP is not a baker. He's not a chef. He's never been trained but....
if you recall, he made this masterpiece for Harvey's birthday earlier in the year
In June he made this for my step-son who is of course a Dr Who addict.
It was brilliant!
My favourite part was that instead of fondant he made the icing with chocolate that he coloured. Soooo gooooood!

Mr CP's birthday is a few weeks before mine. I figured I had to go all out in order to encourage him to make me a special cake in return.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to make my first ever choux pastry and have a bash at making a croquembouche.
But oh, the pressure!
Mr CP had to spend the first few hours of his birthday sequestered in our bedroom while I filled the choux buns with decadent chocolate mousse and burnt the first batch of caramel.
Fortunately, he loved it and we all thought it tasted like it was worth the effort. 
Birthday boy and the candle blowing helpers.

Then it was my turn.... 
Check out my Janome 6600!!!
A lovely lemon cake with a licqourice power cord and tic tac buttons.

Apparently, Mr CP has exhausted his cake making abilities but with Lachy's first birthday next year, he's still got at least one more to do before he hangs up his apron.

Mmmm I feel like cake....
Ab x

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Breath of Fresh Air

Two weeks ago I went and visited a friend for lunch. I took the boys and we met up at her mums house as her mum hadn't yet met Lachy and basically I love her mum.
Then just last week I received a message from my friend to tell me that her beautiful mum, who has been very, very sick, had received a very special phone call.

A double lung transplant kind of phone call.

According to the surgeons, it has been a "text book case". If you're going to ace something, it mose well be your lung transplant. 

It's one of those situations where it's hard to know what to do so I decided to do what I know.
A quilt, of course...
I've quilted it with hearts and loops. 
I finally finished the binding this afternoon.
I swear the binding took longer than the rest but you can't beat hand sewing it down.
Now I just need to label it and send it with all my love and healing wishes to this very special lady. 
I'm hoping she'll have the snazziest bed in ICU.

On a personal note, I implore you to 'have the conversation' with your families. You do NOT need your organs when you're dead. I have made sure my dad and Mr CP know my wishes. Life is so precious and losing someone at any time, but especially too soon, is hell on earth but honestly, organ donation is one of the few, possibly the only good thing that can come out of death.

My thoughts are with the family that were so thoughtful and giving in the midst of their tragedy. 

For more information or to register as an organ donor in Australia please log on to 

Abbe xx

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A year in the den

It's our one year anniversary today which actually made me realise that I didn't really blog many of the wedding pics. Not surprising considering that I haven't even printed off any photos for our walls.
Must get to that at some stage soon....

A Lachy Bump...
Nothing some sucky-in undies and holding your breath can't fix.
Actually I'm pushing it out, it wasn't that big.

Stop drawing attention to it ladies!!
A few prenuptial shennanigans with my buddies.

And then
Dad making sure to give me away.

Aunty Pam and I spent several hours getting high on hot glue gun fumes to make the bouquets. I love how they turned out.  

'Just Married' bunting made by Jules

We chose to have a fairly tight wedding budget and we both think we pulled it off quite well. We had a catered spit and the food was great and plentiful. A week in Noosa helped heal my tired dancing feet. Tired dancing feet is always a sign of a good night.

All I have to do now is sell the first dress that I bought which the Lachy Bump would not fit under and get to printing out those photos.

More important than the wedding, is the marriage and that is going well.
Still true love, lots of learning along the way and lots of laughs to get us through the tricky bits.

A year on....I really want to swan about in my dress again.
Would it look weird if I wore it around the house....?
Abbe x

Saturday, September 28, 2013

For me? You certainly should have.

After doing jewelry making at school and then working in a jewelers part time when I was at Uni I got a bit 'jeweleried out' and haven't felt the need to buy much over the last ten years.
Now that has changed!!

A number of weeks ago I was checking out my Instagram feed and saw a gorgeous teapot brooch. I don't know what happened but I was so excited.
Brown paper packages - sewing patterns - tied up with string. Sweet!
I contacted the lovely and very helpful Christina of Christina Lowry Designs and asked if she'd be able to make me a teapot pendant instead of brooch
High Tea
Ta dah!
Isn't it gorgeous???
Of course I had to have some pretty teacup earrings to go with my pendant.

Christina was great to deal with, she couldn't have been more helpful. It's so nice to have a great customer service experience.

Check out her blog and her shop.
Who knows, you might find a fabulous present for yourself too.
Ab x

Note: I was not asked or paid to review Christina's products and this is all my own opinion. I just want to highlight a good buying experience, a lovely hand-maker and a fellow crafty gal.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I thought she sewed quilts?

I haven't been able to ignore the clothes sewing urge.
It's something I have always wanted to do and sewing simple items like pants for the babies has satisfied me for a while but now I want to take it to the next level and move on from slightly oddly shaped pajamas.

The only downside is the same thing I discovered with the knitting lark - where the hell do I squeeze in the new stash???

After reading a whole lot of new-to-me seamstress blogs I decided to buy The Colette Sewing Handbook. I've had a quick read and confirmed that I have a lot to learn but that it will help.

I made this 'wearable muslin' as a first try at making a top.
I'm fairly happy with it. It was the first time that I had done french seams which I quite liked. The top itself is too wide across the back which I didn't realise until after sewing it all together.
Lesson learnt to measure myself properly and to have a better look at the shape/size of the pattern. Using my seamstress expertise....I made a small pleat in the back which is fairly well hidden in the busy fabric. I shortened the length so it sits nicely with jeans and I just have to hem the sleeves and it's done. I'm not overly eagre to make it again but we'll see.

Then I decided to bite the bullet and sew with knit fabric. I think sewing with knits is going to be a bit like free motion quilting - it seems really daunting and you suck at the start but practice and a devil may care attitude will help you get better. 
I've worn it several times and it hasn't fallen apart so that's got to be a good sign.

I had a quick break from the tricky stuff and made my souz chef an apron (he calls it his smock). This is the 'I just snaffled a corn chip from the bag, stuffed it in my mouth and am trying to finish chewing before you realise' face. He has a lot to learn before he'll eat my chips without me knowing ;-) 

Having gained 'so many skills' making one top I decided that I would make a dress to wear to a wedding. Not one to shy away from a challenge and feeling the need to create some grey hairs I chose a pattern that I could breastfeed in but also happened to have a whole lot of gathering as it was a maternity pattern. I ended up removing all of the gathers with a bit of advice from Jules and Aunty Pam.
I like how it turned out but wussed out of wearing it to the wedding, I felt like it wasn't quite formal enough, probably due to being made of quilting cotton. It looks nicer than in this pic but that's the calibre of photo you get late at night and with an IPhone.

In case you were worried I'd gone seamstress crazy and forgot my quilty roots....
 A triangle (and very wrinkly) quilt top for a friends daughter and an oodle of strips to be turned into binding if I get some sewing time tomorrow.
Happy sewing,
Ab x

Thursday, September 26, 2013

6 Months

Time keeps moving and he keeps growing.
As does that other one on the left.
He used to look like this.

Love them both.
Lucky me :o)
Ab x

Sunday, September 1, 2013

No, really, I do still sew stuff..... sometimes

I finished this quilt a couple of months ago. It's another one for The Retreat
It was always my intention for all of the beds to have quilts, which they do, but there are a few of my special ones there so I'm slowly making more so that I can bring those faves home.
This pic is really washed out due to the light coming in the bedroom window - it's actually a lovely buttery yellow and charm squares from 'Celebration' by Lecien. 

This is Harvey's quilt.
He managed to get to the ripe old of age of two and a half before I'd made him his own special quilt. Not that I haven't bought the fabric for lots of potential quilts for him.... 
I was going to raw edge applique his initials but I'm not happy with how the fabric is fraying so I'll remove these and do some needle turn ones.
It's inspired by the Scrappy trip around the World quilts but with novelty fabrics and a rainbow of solids.
He loves eye spying all the different animals, cars, planes, bikes etc etc

This quilt was started several years ago as part of a Block Swap Bee.
I didn't like it for ages but decided it needed to be finished and now I love it. 
It was suggested its name should be the Washi Quilt as the strips look like Washi tape.
It's the perfect name since the six rolls of Washi tape that I own are either silver or green. 
It will go to The Retreat too. 
This last quilt has become a favourite even though it started out as just a way to use the leftover charm squares from the first quilt pictured. I bodged some scraps of Jules and dived through my fat quarters and scrap box and came up with a quilt that I love.
It's going to be gifted to someone special just as soon as I work out what to bind it in so I'll show more when that's done.
This one is another 'just because' quilt. It's not really for any purpose other than the fabrics kept yelling at me from their spot on the shelf near my machine.
The range is Cuzco by Kate Spain. Her base cloth for her ranges is really, really lovely to touch.
I've ordered some fabric for backing and binding because lately I've gotten a bee in my bonnet about having the right backing, not just any old thing. It never used to worry me because it was just the back...I guess I've changed :o)

Ab x

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Get Fresh!

So I finally found time to freshen up the blog a bit.
It's not perfect but it will do for now. At least my description now has me mothering the correct amount of kids!

A few lovely people have asked me how Harvey is going.
Other than appearing to need glasses lately.....

He's doing really, really well.
He's so much fun at the moment and his personality is developing by the day.
He's a bit cheeky but also has wonderful manners which seems pretty good for two and a half.
He loves to eat 'lumpch' (lunch) and answering the 'frump' (front) door.
Feckfast has become bekkist and no doubt will soon be breakfast. I'm not sure when his beatbix will morph into wheatbix but I'll be a little bit sad when it does.

Earlier this week Lachy tried his first solids.
A bit of mushy apple.
How eager does he look? 
Aaaaannnnddddd not impressed. 
He much prefers to hold the spoon, whack himself in the head, poke himself in the eye a few times and then suck on it.
A little bit more eating practice needed for my little bug.... 
Harvey has started to enjoy having his photo taken so we're starting to do a lot of 'selfies'. 
We just need to work out how to get Lachy to look in the right direction.

Ab x