taking stock

by Nova on August 24, 2013

started this, got distracted, saved it in drafts & then  promptly forgot I’d started it. oopsi

just filled in the gaps so it’s  a weird time lapse version of the list.

Playing along with Pip (from a few weeks ago! nothing like a late bloomer!)

Making : lists
Cooking : bread
Drinking : tea
Reading: Is it Just Me? (by Miranda Hart)
Wanting:  a walk in pantry
Looking:  for my tupperware citrus peeler. I think it went into the compost
Playing: Jake Bugg
Wasting: gingernut biccies in the bottom of my teacup.
Sewing: flags
Wishing: on a star
Enjoying:  sunny winter days
Waiting: for my tax cheque
Liking: gingernut biccies dunked in tea (as opposed to drowned in it)
Wondering: what I will spend my tax $ on.
Loving: My friend Fi’s salted caramel sauce a little too much.
Hoping: for more craft time soon
Marvelling: at clever knitters.
Needing: more tea.
Smelling: hand cream
Wearing: ugg boots
Following: The White Queen series on the beeb.
Noticing: the weeds growing
Knowing: I should be weeding
Thinking: about springtime.
Bookmarking: pinning…
Opening: emails
Giggling: at Miranda Hart
Feeling: warm & toasty

…did you or will you play along? It’s never too late you know ;)

Hope you’re having a happy weekend.


a random  happy picture from the archives  to remind me that with spring looming, I need to be a busy bee in the veggie patch too – yippee :)

busy bee taking stock





pin it button taking stock


fly the flag quilt along – week 2

by Nova on August 20, 2013

It’s flag making time!

fly the flag quilt along 1 fly the flag quilt along   week 2

First up  a couple of flag making tips…

Cut your template out of something sturdy, you have a lot of flags to cut. Use cardboard or some plastic. I used some clear template plastic, it helps if you are making fussy cut flags.  I drew around the template with a permanent marker pen so it was easy to spot on the cutting table, what with it being  clear & all.

fly the flag quilt along 8 fly the flag quilt along   week 2

Snip your tip & trim your ears. A little trim to the pointy end of your fag before you turn it right way out helps with the whole turning process. Once you’ve turned it & pressed it, trim those little ears off so you have a nice straight top to your flag.

fly the flag quilt along 9 fly the flag quilt along   week 2

Use something pointy but not sharp to push the point out (a bamboo knitting needle worked a treat for me) , you can ease it out with a pin a bit too from the right side.

I have lots of flaggy ideas & inspiration whirling around the grey matter & that’s why I  love patterns just like this one. You have options, from the keeping it simple & letting your yummy fabrics do the talking to adding a bit of fancy.

Not all the ideas  whirling around made the cut into this quilt, because even for this lover of the eclectic & scrappy, sometimes more is not more, but you might like one or two or more  of them so here goes with a list of ideas for fancying up your flags:

Applique  – even within this fancying up there are lots of fancy ideas – machine or hand applique shapes or letters,  spell out a name or greeting or ‘time for bed’ ! Felt letters would be cute sewn on with blanket stitch.  Applique on the underside of the flags for a peek-a-boo effect, or save some applique for your fabric panels under the flag a bit like this cushion I made  a while ago.

Texture - I love using an array of fabric textures in a quilt, it adds interest & makes it all the more tactile I reckon. Don’t pick fabrics that are too thick (like denim or home dec) for your flags though as turning the pointy end will be a bit tricky. Some fabric ideas that spring to mind could be voile, flannel, lawn, quilting cotton of course, I used a couple of linen blends & these worked just fine too.

Embellish - ribbons, ric-rac (this is what I added!), buttons, lacy bits, beads, sparkles … you get the drift.

fly the flag quilt along 3 fly the flag quilt along   week 2

Add your embellishment before you sew the 2 sides of the flag together eg

fly the flag quilt along 4 fly the flag quilt along   week 2

A row of bobbles would be great running along the top of your rows of flags.

Fussy Cut - pick out those cute features in a fabric (this is where the clear template comes in handy).

Upcycle – this kind of comes under the texture heading too I guess. I am a big fan of the op shop (charity shop/thrift store) & vintage fabrics in general. Do you love the fabric in that Nanna blouse but wouldn’t wear it in a million years? Think quilts!  Once you’re in that mindset there’s a whole world of fabrics to explore – Vintage sheets, souvenir tea towels, cut bits from embroidered doilies.  What about the dress you wore to death but can’t bear to part with?  Chop chop & pop it in a quilt.  Men’s stripey shirts would make fabulous flags don’t you think? As much as I love a trip to the fabric shop there is gold to be found at op shops, boot fairs, garage sales & even in your own wardrobe.

Embroider – if you love to get busy with needle & thread then stitch pictures, words, letters, arrows, hearts, feathers….. Use a flag as your label (that’s what I did!) & no I didn’t grow a new husband, all the nieces & nephews call Andy  ‘Pandy’ ;)

Do your stitches before you sew your 2 flag pieces together & also I recommend cutting just a square piece of fabric &  doing the embroidery first, then cut out your flag – embroidered stitches draw the fabric in a little so your flag would end up marginally smaller & maybe a little warped  & also because a square fits in your embroidery hoop so much better than a triangle.

fly the flag quilt along 2 fly the flag quilt along   week 2

Themed -  Theme your flags to tell a story -  fussy cut fairytale flags or monster flags, or space flags & your quilt becomes a storytime adventure. Make your flags into an eye-spy game or a memory game with fussy cuts under the flags. Colour themed (love the Ombre background) would be marvellous or rainbow striped even. If you love a holiday quilt then what better one than a flag quilt! Theme it up for halloween, christmas or whatever holiday you fancy.

Find some more flag ideas over at Shannons place & in the flickr group.

Got some ideas? Share them here or over there or in the group.

Let’s make some flags!

fly the flag quilt along 7 fly the flag quilt along   week 2





pin it button fly the flag quilt along   week 2


quick fix

by Nova on August 18, 2013

someone in this household keeps misplacing  ear buds, I’ll name no names but there are only 2 of us residing here & I know where my ear buds are thank you very much ;)

For a quick fix I used this tutorial  to make a little zip case in some old school Pez fabric – nice & bright  & therefore easy to locate. we hope.

ear bud case quick fix

pin it button quick fix


fly the flag quilt along – week 1

by Nova on August 14, 2013

If you’re quilting along with us  it’s time to get those flag fabrics at the ready!

I’ve been pulling fabrics from the stash.

Going gender neutral for a baby quilt.

& scrappy of course. I know, what a shock, I hope you were sitting down for that one.

fly the flag quilt along fly the flag quilt along   week 1

Narrowed it down a bit, though sitting here looking at the picture I think  I’ll maybe  throw some of the red back in & use some red for the binding too.

The pattern calls for specific sizes & special folding for cutting out the correct amount of flags which is fab & a great guide but like any favourite recipe there’s always room to  tweak so if scraps are what you have to hand then go the scraps. Some of my pieces are big enough for a flag or 2 & I’ll get more out of some of the larger bits.

I found a nice piece of chambray to hang the flags on & a giant graph paper-esque woven cotton sheet from the op shop for the back.

That’s me ready set go I’d say. Back next week with some flaggy inspiration.

Got your fabrics yet? Hop over to the flickr group for show & tell …..


pin it button fly the flag quilt along   week 1


scrappy to & fro across the globe

by Nova on August 4, 2013

While Scrappy Trip around the World fever spread across blogland, I was  taking a much more literal approach.

In our latest correspondence quilt my mum & I have been exchanging  2″ scrappy squares in letters over the past year & a bit.
We cut 2 of everything, kept 1 & sent 1 so we each ended up with the same fabrics.
We sent them in batches of more than 1 at a time though, that would have been  ridiculous & taken  f o  r  e  v  e  r  !

Inspired by the layout of the gorgeous single chain quilt from Denyse Schmidt’s  Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration book,  with a scrappy twist! We’re both making this  design :)

scrappy trip across the globe2 scrappy to & fro across the globe

It’s such a nice feeling to know we have both ended up with the same fabrics in our quilts :) a little of each others scrap stash & all without making a dent in either, funny how that works!

It is HUGE.

scrappy trip across the globe scrappy to & fro across the globe

& no, the pieced blocks are not all going in the same direction! It wouldn’t be one of my quilts if there wasn’t a bit of topsy- turviness somewhere in it!


scraps = 2″ squares of shared scrappy love. (1.5″ finished)
background = Kona Snow
block size (finished) =10.5″
quilt top approx = 73.5″ x 94.5″
quilting ideas = to follow……


pin it button scrappy to & fro across the globe


let’s fly the flag!

by Nova on August 3, 2013

When Shannon sent me her latest pattern for a proof read, I knew I wanted to make it & thought you probably might  too so suggested a little quilt along.

flag2 auntycookie lets fly the flag!Making a quilt is fun but Quilting-a-Long is funner & we can share ideas & inspiration along the way.  So…what do you say? Are you up for Flying the Flag & Quilting-a-Long with us? I mean come on, who doesn’t love a bit of a bunting right?!

This pattern is perfect for beginners & for those with more experience it’s a blank canvas just waiting to be personalised

There’ll be a prize at the end too for a very luck QAL-er. (Prize yet to announced but knowing Shannon it will be very fabulous indeedy)

flag auntycookie lets fly the flag!It will be a very relaxed affair we  promise. & to prove it  here’s our very relaxed schedule. (if you want to skip ahead a long the way please do, but for the rest of us the option is there to take it slow)

Week 1. (Finish by 16 August 2013) Pick it! Fabric selections – in a show us your flags kind of way.

Week 2. (Finish by 23 August 2013) Cutting it! cutting out & making the flags – ideas for personalizing flags, tips on making it fancy.

Week 3. (Finish by 30 August 2013) Sewing it! yes that would be sewing it all together.

Week 4. (Finish by 6 Sept 2013) Quilt it! ideas and inspirations and techniques.

Week 5. (Finish by 13 Sept 2013) Bind it! And lets perve at your finished quilt….

Week 6. (Finish by 20 Sept 2013) QAL Wrap up & the awarding of awesomeness.

If you’re gonna be Quilting-a Long, hop over to Shannons etsy shop & get your copy of  her pattern & template, then skip over to flickr & join the group so you can show off your flag making along the way.

If you want to make one just like the pattern cover you can get the fabrics here.

Don’t forget to grab a badge too to let everyone know you’re up for the challenge!

fly the flag badge 1 lets fly the flag!


fly the flag badge 2 lets fly the flag!

Come join us do!

pin it button lets fly the flag!


zip pouches hipster style

by Nova on July 27, 2013

see a theme emerging…?

I’ve been loving the distraction of playing with Shannon’s Hipster line of fabric this week.

hipster fabric zip pouches zip pouches hipster style

As well as the scarves, I made a couple of zip bags  (large size style C from pattern) – big enough for a portable crafty project or sock knitting , or just for popping all that stuff in that floats around the bottom of your bag. Super handy around the sewing space or home  to store knick knacks in – a girl can never have too many storage solutions I say.

I teamed the cross stitch print with some coral linen left over from this dress & I couldn’t resist the addition of some little x’s

cross stitch hipster fabric zip pouches hipster style

the tag on the side is the selvedge from the fabric, pretty cute huh? & the zip pull handle thingamy bob is a scrap of moda crossweave in blue/ blue colourway.

hipster cross stitch fabric zip pouch zip pouches hipster style

The knit fabric went perfectly with a Kona cotton in ‘Aloe’ that  I had lurking in the stash & a row of chain stitch in wooly yarn  of course!

chain stitch hipster zip pouches hipster style

The zip pull handle is the tape measure fabric from the Hipster line.

hipster knit fabric zip pouch zip pouches hipster style

Hipster avail at all these spots online & more I am sure!

Shannon’s etsy shop.
Hawthorne Threads
The Fat Quarter Shop
Fabric Worm



pin it button zip pouches hipster style


figure 8 hipster style

by Nova on July 25, 2013

Loving the new range, ‘Hipster’, by Shannon Lamden  for Riley Blake. It’s got something for everyone I reckon – it’s got pretty, it’s got cool,  it’s got quirky  & the colours are just great too.

3 designs in 3 colourways. Yum.

hipster figure 8 hipster style[images courtesy Shannon Lamden]

& I’ve been having a little play with it. Yay!

I really love the faux knit & the cross stitch designs & couldn’t resist whipping them up into some figure 8 scarves….

figure eight scarves figure 8 hipster style

hipster scarf figure 8 hipster style

I mean come on, a non knitted knitty scarf – what’s not to love?!

knit scarf figure 8 hipster style

I mixed the prints  up with some grey voile & did a cross between Anna Maria Horners & Fancy Tiger Crafts tutorials.  I did the mobius twist a la Fancy Tiger but followed Anna Maria’s lead & finished the join by hand.  Fabric measurements were pretty much as Fancy Tiger &  I made up the width of the hipster fabrics with an extra piece of voile. Easy Peasy.

I have a couple more Hipster makes which I just need to get a picture of – will be back to share those before the week is out.

I’ve been a fan of Shannon’s fabrics (under her Aunty Cookie label) for a long time so it’s really great  to see her designs being picked up by one of the big guys :)

You can nab your own pieces of Hipster from Shannon’s etsy shop.

Check out your local quilt store for Hipster too & it’s also available at these online stores…

Hawthorne Threads
The Fat Quarter Shop
Fabric Worm



pin it button figure 8 hipster style



by Nova on July 23, 2013

Rosebud hat.

Off the sticks, blocked & on the noggin in what felt like next to no time at all. Hats as it turns out,  are  speedy little projects.

rosebud  cosy.Looking incredibly underwhelmed but I am so happy with it I promise.  It’s a perfect fit & slouchyness. Love it. The yarn is so soft & cosy too.   A great intro to learning cables if you are thinking of taking the leap.

Yarn details, pattern & project notes etc all over on Ravelry



pin it button cosy.



by Nova on July 19, 2013

This knitting lark is all still a little bit like magic to me. You know, taking a ball of yarn, clicking the needles together, forming loops & twists and then ta da, you have made a piece of fabric.  Amazing.

Take cables for example -  to the uninitiated they appear  pretty tricky but once you’re in the know it’s a pleasant surprise to realise they are easier than they look & pretty nifty to make too. Honest!

first cables wip Rosebud

I’m making me a hat, hopefully it will turn out all slouchy & cute.  The pattern is called Rosebud, so in the cuteness stakes it’s off to a head start (no pun intended).

rosebud wip Rosebud

You can find the pattern &  yarn details etc all over on Ravelry.

pin it button Rosebud