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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Cute girly bunting tutorial by Professional bunting maker + 5 pics to LOL at! on: May 10, 2014 05:49:04 AM

You can call yourself a professional after you make 10 meters of bunting, right?


Haha, the other night, and by night I mean midnight (which happens to be when I get all my amazing ideas which will practically take a day to whip up, but end up being ridiculously harder or complex than Id imagined and take weeks if not months) I decided to make something for my friends new baby girl. I had made a quilt for her last baby girl and its posted on the quilt forum, A Chinook Quilt because her father flies Helicopters in the military (I also made a new best friend from that experience in quilt making, but a story for another time)

So living in a new small town, and not having ready access to quilting supplies, I decided to stick with what I had in the cupboard and something not as complex because my free time was not as great as when Id made the quilt.

Bunting! cute, easy and fun. well I guess its cute.

So the reason Im also turning this into a tutorial is the fact that, what I thought would be super easy, actually wasnt, so hopefully I can help shortcut other peoples work! Cheesy

First thing to think about is size Because I certainly didnt! I thought it would be cute to be able to drape it, or double back, or just do whatever. Doing two laps of the room and down the hallway probably isnt what most people need so after looking at how many flags I had cut out and realizing I had more flags than an international convention. I divided the bunting into two 5-meter long strings. I will give one to my friends baby and the other to my adult friend who has moved to Canada from Australia. Being a long way from home, I thought she might like some room decoration.

 Roll Eyes Is bunting just for kids? I dont know, I sit here looking at piles of unsent bunting, and I think its so pretty. So no, I think adults can have some too Wink Well I dont know what my friend will think But if its taboo Im sure she will have kids one day right!

So when you have decided on length, now decide on flag size. My template flag was just be getting a ruler and drawing on a piece of paper a triangle that looked sort of symmetrical, cutting it out and then cutting and cutting, until I think I got my edges all about even. After finishing the bunting I dont know why I didnt just fold a piece of paper in half, measure half the distance of the top of the flag from the fold down. Then put a dot, the distance away from the first line I wanted the length of the flag. Draw the lines up the side, fold it in half again cutting along the two lines and Bobs your uncle. Well I guess I had to be difficult. I now know that my triangle was slightly lopsided and it made it a bit difficult to sew back to back later on My triangle was 12cm along the top by 15 to the tip.

Ok math time, so when you have the size of your triangle, its easy to divide the length of your desired string by the top of your flag and get how many you need to cut. 5 meters by 12 centimeters  = 41 flags. I still shake my head when I realize I made over 80 flags

So in my material stash, I had bundles of colour coded fat quarters, turns out they were perfect! For the size flag I had, I folded the quarter into thirds, then cut through all 3 layers, I could get 6 cuts with my template, which would have 3 pieces each, so 18 triangles all up and then once paired with each other I would get 9 flags of one colour.

Now, start sewing I used black thread, didnt really show, EXCEPT for when I was lazy and left the black strings loose inside a light pink flag, when held up against a window, it showed up all the dark strings inside the flag, so I pulled them out of the light pink and blue flags, the others you couldnt see Wink I gave myself a inch seem (which means the triangle will be smaller than your template remember), I started at the top, and then went straight off at the tip and then started again from the other side, crossing the stitches as I got to the tip again, I didnt bother back sewing.

Once you have piles

Cut the tip off each one, and the lose strings at the top, carefully fold them inside out, I used a cake decorating tool and a pen to push out the tip, because I didnt back sew, be careful when pushing out the tip you dont push too hard or the pen breaks through, return the broken ones to the sewing pile and fix them at the end, I had about 5 all up.

Iron them, and they look like this Smiley The smily face is because, unless you have a long phone call or something to think about, it could possibly be one of the longest most boring jobs ever, and when you are done, you cant help but smile!

For the string/rope I used a matching colour fat quarter, folded it in half and cut one inch strips, then sewed them together end to end and cut close to the seam to tidy the joins (makes it so much easier to iron. Then I quite possibly had the worst job in the world. If you have a bias tape maker, I envy you. I even changed my facebook status to say, If only a Bias binding making machine sales person would come to my door right now! I live in the remote Australian desert in a town with 1000 people, it was never going to happen Sad

So I found the easiest way to do this was to get the iron very hot, lots of steam, and iron the whole length in half lengthways, then go back to the start, and fold the sides into the middle, press down on both with the iron and press the living daylights out of that binding, so it never loses it shape. You will probably have lots of little lose threads that fray from the strips, dont cut them now, just fold them in and iron, and if some still stick out, cut them off the sewing stage, trust me! The iron seems to magically make 90% of them disappear. You think ironing flags in boring Once you have stopped crying and recovered from all the burnt fingers, do another 5 meters like this crazy woman no dont, seriously dont!

So then you have this

Sew about 3- 5 centimeters along the tape you made, no flags yet, and then hook this around on itself and sew in place. This is so you can hang it.

Before you put the flags in, using your cutter and a measuring datum, cut all the edges perfectly straight and all the same length. I would put the tip of the flag on the same spot and when it got to the line, I would chop it. Some flags must have been cut smaller in the first place, they were only a few mil short, and it doesnt show in the final product, so still cut them straight, but try to save as much as you can, all the others were cut down to the line.

Once and only once you have perfectly straight tops, its time to sew Smiley but not before you have decided in which order to sew them. You could go for a pattern, but I went for random selection (in an orderly, not too much of one colour in one spot sort of way). Lay them out of the floor

The two stands before sewing.

Oh Hi Tonka

Now with your coiled tape in your lap, and your flags ready to sew, carefully insert the top of the flag, pull tightly and sew very close to the edge. You could go for contrast thread or zigzag, but I went for a straight stitch in white, which you cant see in the pale pink. If you go contrast, have a full bobbin, or you will have double up and people will see it. Sew slowly until you have the idea and you know your flags are secured. Ironically, after finishing, I was inspecting, and half my first flag wasnt secured. Hmmm back when I was a rookie.

Now, depending on how much you care, there is a front to the bunting and a back. So because some of the fabric had patterns and when you cut it, some are upside down pattern wise, you can be careful and make sure the best side of the flag is showing, or you can not bother and nobody will notice Wink

The sewing machine spews forth goodness!!!

When you are done, make another little loop at the other end, and I sewed a little pink button over the place where I stitch it in place. You think I could find two matching buttons..

Now prance around the house with it! I live alone, so not too worried. Find a place to hang it and then realize, nobody needs 5 meters of bunting. Try different camera angles to make it took pretty.. 

Looks sort of boring what else can I hang it on   

Ahhhhhhh, Hi Tonka

what are you doing?


Ok, Im cool with this

Work the camera, yeah!

Hahahaha poor Tonka Cheesy
2  COOKING / Dessert / Checker board rainbow! Would look cool inside a LEGO cake. on: May 05, 2014 06:25:15 AM

I found the idea on Pinterest and went from there. I just used some cardboard and my sewing measuring tape (because its always on hand haha) to cut out circle templates, stacked them up with some frosting and had to wait till the Birthday party the next day to see the inside.... I think I was more excited than the recipient Cheesy

I wish I had of had more time to make the outside look cool, but as I didn't start till about 9pm and didn't finish till about 12am and I had limited supplies in the cupboard it just got covered in chocolate and some left over jelly beans... Another few hours and more coffee and I think I would have covered it in fondant and done something interesting. Would've Could've should've.


3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Who doesn't love Dug from UP :) on: May 05, 2014 06:08:50 AM
My first go at designing my own pattern using some free software I found online and also framing it with a hoop. It took way longer than expected and changed thread colour more times than I could have ever imagined, but I got it done in time for the birthday it was a gift for and I am very happy with it Smiley

The quote is slightly different to the movie to tie in with a personal joke.

Who doesn't love Dug!!!!

4  COOKING / Dessert / Throw that cake around! Playable Angry Bird Cake!!!! :) Photo Intensive! on: September 25, 2012 03:56:48 AM
On my birthday, my little sister made me the most awesome plane crash of a birthday cake! I am a pilot and love planes and it was literally a plane wreck in a jungle with monkeys and palm trees and vines. I was so amazed and I said to myself that I would have to try and do something just as cool for her for her birthday.

We both went through a bit of an Angry Bird stage and so I present to you, my version of a playable Angry Birds cake, complete with hungry pigs and very Angry birds!

The night before, I stayed up till 2am making these guys...

The next day after building a lawn base and making some fondant covered Mars bars for logs, covered Kitkats for thin planks, covered honeycomb cubes for glass (or ice) and big clumps of covered chocolate mud cake for rocks. The Assembly began.

The one with the mo <3


Now to destroy the fortress! My sister takes aim!

Then I want some action...

A direct hit!


Poor birdie Sad after about 10 throws!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Finally made my first wearable dress! (for my sister) on: September 19, 2012 02:31:55 AM
Two posts in one day, this is a big crafting week for me Smiley

I have started and almost finished about 5 dresses for myself... Its either unfinished zippers, unfinished hems, slightly wonky seams or the sleeve I just can't seem to make work... So they are all still in my box of things to do.


I thought, hey if I make something for somebody else... not only will I have more pressure to finish, I will also have a living dress form, because fitting my own clothes was becoming a nightmare!

My sister Jane, who is in the photos, decided on the pattern and the cute bird fabric. I have never fully lined a dress, had one with pockets or used boning... but oh well, I was going to give it a try!

I decided it was an experiment, and if I had another unfinished dress, it wasn't going to kill me, but least I could see if making things for others would keep me interested... It seems to work. It may have taken a few weeks, but here is my first completed (except for one little hook and eye needed above the zipper) dress!!!!

C and C welcome Smiley Haha and what are the chances of me ever putting that hook and eye on Wink
6  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / My Second Quilt... in only 2 days! on: September 18, 2012 04:34:19 PM
After taking almost 6 months to finish my first pacman quilt for my nephew, I have obviously become a master of shortcuts, because this one only took two days Smiley But I cheated, its just applique.... but anyway, I am proud of it Smiley

I wanted to make a baby quilt for my good friend who was having a baby. We are both airplane pilots, and her Husband is in the Army and works as a Chinook Pilot. This is a Chinook.

At first I wanted to do a aeroplane  quilt, but couldn't find any plane motifs of quilt blocks I liked and I was struggling to design one, then as a final attempt I looked up helicopters... and found this quilt online..http://projectmehappy.com/index.php/2012/02/09/quilted-ch-47-chinook-helicopter-baby-blanket/. I instantly thought it was cute! But my family just couldn't see how they looked like helicopters at all.... But I knew my friends would know.

My friend was due on the 10th, and it was already the 8th... but I didn't know the sex of the baby. Sad So when the 10th came around, I was down to Spotlight in a flash. She had a girl Smiley I decided on pink and green. I embroidered a message on the back which looked better in my brain then when I sewed it. My friend always called me Amentie as a nickname, so I became Aunty Amentie. I was careful to embroider it in a place I knew I wouldn't be sewing through later when I was quilting... and this is how it came to be... progress shots, after the wash, and after the iron!

So what do you think? Does it look like a Chinook quilt?

7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / I have a vision, but I need your help! Plus a bonus photo of Phar Laps Heart <3 on: July 14, 2012 04:03:50 AM
Hi everbody. I have what I feel is quite exciting inspiration for some embroidery, but having mainly stuck to cross stitch and only well planned out freehand, I feel I am at  a loss as to where to start on this project, but I am very excited by it and can't wait to begin!

About two weeks ago I was walking through the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, and other than Phar Laps heart, not a great deal had caught my attention.

But I couldn't walk past this display I found about Captain Cook.

I was so excited I took a photo, but sadly the iphone doesn't show the detail too much. Basically they are two embroideries; each is a hemisphere of the world as seen through the eyes of a young girl in the 17th century. Apparently the girls would embroider world maps as geography lessons and mark points of interest they had from their lessons. They would also track early explorers tracks around the seas and these hoops are unique in the fact that they only had Captain Cooks travels marked. Captain Cook discovered Australia in1770, so this particular map was even more exciting to me for that reason, plus I might learn more about him myself when making them! I love the fact that it was made before they even discovered that Tasmania is an island and she had it connected to the mainland.

I instantly wanted them! Smiley but the Museum would probably notice me smashing the cabinet to get them. Next best idea, make some myself, in the same style. Thats where the search began for similar work. But all the maps I could find were ultra modern or just down right ugly. I was sad I only had the dodgy photo I had taken, I remembered the amazing detail of the girls work, stiches so so tiny, words so perfect and just downright awesome. I started looking at old maps thinking I could copy them, and in my search I found the EXACT hoops I had seen in the museum online. The museum has an article on them and thankfully a very detailed picture!!!!! Yay.

Here is the link, lots of close ups and other photos!


Soooooo... This is where I need your help. First I have never worked on a hoop, and these ones were obviously made in the 1700s so were probably made differently to todays. Would love some advice on how to stretch and nail etc. The material to use? Reading the article, says that it is a layer of fine silk stretched across cotton. Is this a common thing to do? Do I just get silk and cotton and stretch them together when doing the hoop? What sort of hoops? The article says when you look at the back, you can see the girls used vibrant colours, but I am actually wanting mine to look antique from the start and so I think I will choose lighter colours to begin with. What is the best way to transfer the pattern onto the silk? So many questions, and suggestions would be great! I think it could be an interesting project for anybody living in any country, putting your own explorers and landmarks on them.

So, any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated!
8  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Pacman returns! on: June 04, 2011 07:01:26 PM
My first quilt!! I made this for my nephew Eli, so I wanted something for a boy, something unique and modern, and something personal too.

My first thought, was that because I had never made a quilt before and had nothing to go off other than books, it should be easy. I decided a game of tetris would be easy enough, then the thoughts of cool retro games filled my head, Space Invaders and Pacman came up, and I thought Pacman would be easy enough. hahah *coughcoughchoke*

I first decided on the size. I figured the top of the coffee table looked about right for a cot/baby rug, measured it out and divided it by 3 inch squares. From memory, it only ended up being 13 blocks across and 16 tall. Haha I figured 208 blocks wouldn't take me long! It ended up taking 5 months on and off, but I did enjoy it!

Good learning experience! I wanted it to be completely geometric to begin with, and the actual Pacman block, I sewed so many straight edges of yellow material together to get it to look round and have his mouth open. It was my first block and I felt happy when it was done. Then I started on the maze, lots of combinations of 9 one inch squares sewn together to get the various intersections and end bits. By the time I got to the ghosts I had given up on having straight edges and mastered corners around the top of their heads, I was pretty happy with that! I figured I would do the same with the cherries, but it was wayyy to fiddly, and ended up appliqueing sort of square shaped cherries and leaves. I wanted them to look pixelated. I ended up doing applique with the letters and numbers too, sort of felt like I was cheating by this stage, but I am happy with the way it came out. I love the silver materiel I used for the letters, and I even sewed little black highlights to make the font look better.

 I couldn't figure out what i was supposed to do with the edges or the quilting itself, and asked the ladies at the material store when I was almost done. I pinned up the quilt and started sewing in the ditch of the maze and around the letters, cherries and figures. It wasn't the smoothest after I was done, i must have not pulled it tight enough sometimes and other times been too tight, and the bottom material didn't line up perfectly with the top of the quilt and somehow some of the stuffing was getting squeezed out one side more than the other, hmmmmm, but in the end I didn't mind it, and I was happy with my choice of using coloured cotton in the bottom bobbin and clear thread in the top!

 I was very proud of the edges. I spent most of the day before giving the quilt to Eli and his mum, in the car as a passenger and hand sewed all of it as my deadline was coming at me faster than I expected!

The score at the bottom, as high as it is, also happens to be his birthday Wink

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