Friday 31 July 2015

Quilt Express Workshop

Wouldn't it be fabulous to have the luxury of unlimited time? I would love to have unlimited time to read, create, relax, hand stitch and enjoy sewing with friends. In the real world of course this is not always possible. Like octopus tentacles  we have life demands pulling us in many directions all at the same time.

One solution? Simply put  - make the best use of the time we do have. I look at my fabrics , and dream of making all sorts of quilts, bags, clothes .....the list goes on. I want to use my fabrics, but I must be honest with myself. What can I realistically achieve? 

With those thoughts in mind, I have been playing around with quilt as you go ideas Sewmiriam style! 
I have collapsed quilt making into as few elements as possible to create a table runner ...

and a quilt.....

Here they are hanging out together at Cottage Quiltworks 

Come and join me for a Sewmiriam Quilt Express Workshop  at Cottage Quiltworks on Saturday, 22nd August.  Learn the techniques, and start your own design for a tablerunner or quilt. Once you start, it is hard to stop! I could have called it " Build a Quilt" but I kept on thinking of the Build a Bear party workshops that little girls love to go to for birthday parties!! Grrrrr.

If you want to learn to make your own quilts from start to finish, using your domestic sewing machine, this could be the workshop you are looking for. Can you sew in a straight line ? Then you are half way there already! 

Meanwhile, with the chilly evenings here in Sydney, my daughter Hannah has nabbed the quilt for her bed. 

I hope this blogpost finds you well, and feeling creative. Thank you for stopping by. It is always humbling to have you take the time to visit.  

Happy sewing, love Miriamx 

Saturday 25 July 2015

Saturday Sewmiriam Workshop

Isn't it lovely when everything just works! Today I had the pleasure of teaching 9 ladies my Handy Zip Top Bag pattern at Cottage Quiltworks and it was a perfect day. 

The sun was shining with surprising warmth for winter and the atmosphere relaxed. Each class member had an enviable selection of gorgeous fabrics and from these created beautiful individual bags. To see the neat piles of fabric become rumbled bundles is always testimony to a great creative process in the works! 

Panels were made ....

Here is Trish's vibrant bag front

Here is Jo's 

Dee worked her magic here

Zippers were added, corners were boxed and bags were made! 

Sue made this Japanese inspired bag 

Robin finished her whimsical bag

Nancy cleverly used her fabrics in this bag

Sue made this opal coloured bag using fabrics from New Zealand

Sandy used red,  black and white to great effect . The handles finished her bag off perfectly.

Thank you ladies for an inspirational day. 

Happy Sewing, love Miriamx 

Thursday 16 July 2015

I am Biased

A short and sweet tutorial blogpost this week. I would like to share with you a little trick I found works well when deciding what fabric to use to make bias strips. I am currently up to making basket handles out of bias that will be used on a quilt I am  working on in a Marg Sampson George Class.  I don't need long lengths of bias strip.  I just need enough to make a handle length, so I don't want to waste fabric if I can help it. This is what I decided to do - make a paper peeper to audition my fabrics before cutting diagonally into them.

I cut out a square of paper and folded it diagonally. Then I cut out a half inch rectangle along the diagonal as shown above. ( Change the rectangular width to meet your bias width needs) . This will be my bias peeper. Line the lower edge of the paper up with the selvedge  and you can then see whether you like the look of that fabric cut on the bias before you cut it out. You can also move the peeper across your fabric to find where you would like to cut out the bias. 

Just look at the different looks that can be achieved with just one fabric

Here are some more examples . As you can see- it is quite fun and just a bit addictive!

I made my peeper a half inch one. Of course I will have to remember to cut my bias strip wider than that so I can turn under the raw edges and still get the desired look/ effect. I plan on making wider peepers for larger bias too.

I really hope you have enjoyed this tutorial style blogpost. Please let me know ! I love hearing from you.

Happy sewing, love Miriamx 

Friday 10 July 2015

A Wonderful Workshop

It has been a busy week!  On Monday I ran a bag making workshop at  The Cottage Quiltworks as part of their annual Quilt Escape week. The work rooms were buzzing each day with classes. The ladies who took part in my workshop were all amazingly talented and were able to create fabulous one of a kind bags .

Anne turned up on the next day  with her bag completed including handles! Impressive .

Every time I run a workshop I am delighted. Each participant brings along fabrics that they love and as the day progresses these fabrics work their way into bag fronts and backs. Fabrics are trialled, cut and quilted - there is a lot going on ! The  techniques learnt are really contagious. I know that Jo has already made 2 more bags. I wonder how many more will be made over the next few weeks?

Thank you ladies for a wonderful day. Thank you for your inspiring work.  Thank you Jann and Chris for running a very special quilting store with a workshop programme that gives pleasure to so many. Friendships flourish, creativity abounds and laughs are a aplenty! 

I am already looking forward to teaching the next workshop on Saturday 25 th July at The Cottage Quiltworks in Warriewood.

Happy sewing, Miriam x

Thursday 2 July 2015

All You Need Is Love - a free pattern

This week I have a treat for you all. Here is the pattern for my "All You Need Is Love" patchwork picture.

The picture is made from half inch paper piece hexagons and measures 4  6/8 inches square.
Isn't it sweet! 

What you need.

* 33 half inch paper hexagons
* a variety of small print fabric scraps. I have used letters from a print fabric to creat the " love " message, but you could use a plain fabric and embroider letters, or you could use a indelible marker.
* one 6 1/2 inch square of background fabric
*  one IKEA Ribba frame or similar
* sewing supplies, optional Sewline glue stick , and Roxanne basting glue.


Cover the paper hexagons with fabric. Cut the fabric approximately 3/8 inch larger than the paper hexagon. I used Sewline glue to stick the fabric down to the back of the paper hexagon. You can tack  the fabric to the hexagon if you prefer , but glue works well for this project, and as I leave the paper in to provide stability to the patchwork picture , it saves the need to remove the tacking.

Place the hexagons in a pleasing arrangement as shown, and then whip stitch them together along the sides of the hexagons. Use a neutral thread colour. 

When all the hexagons have been joined,  use Roxanne basting glue to place small dots of glue onto the wrong side of the outside hexagons and then carefully position your hexagon picture onto the background fabric. Using thread that matches your background fabric, appliqué stitch your hexagon picture to the background fabric.

Open the frame and take out the mounting. Position your hexagon picture as shown here

Place a few dots of Roxanne glue on to  the wrong side of the mounting and adhere your picture.
Close up your frame and voila!! You are done. 


I think this picture would look lovely with the name of someone special being spelt out.  
I have made mine with  a bit of an " I Spy" theme, but you could do just animals, flowers, colors, spots, stripes, or fussy cut rosettes on your own creation. Lots of possibilities .....

I hope you have enjoyed this free pattern! It is a great way to use up little scraps of favourite fabrics.  

Happy Sewing, Miriamx