Quilts, Sewing and Paintings

After finding out that my older sister was pregnant in 2013 with her first child (the first baby in our family) I wanted to make something that I thought she would love for her little boy to have. Therefore, I decided to get a whole heap of Mickey Mouse themed presents since we grew up with Disney. It never seems to go out of style either so hopefully it’s something he can keep forever.

MickeyQuilt
I ended up getting a basic quilt design going with blue, red and white themed to match the Disney characters. If you enjoy creating projects like this, your can purchase Brother Disney embroidery machine’s specifically for the Disney embroidery design range.

This 1.5m x 1.5m was the perfect size for her to put in her cot or to use in her playroom. Since the quilt only took about two weekends to complete I ended up having enough time to paint her a Mickey Mouse canvas, to match all the presents. Painting has always been something I’ve really loved doing so this was fun just in itself.

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This was an oil painting I did below, which was the first time I’d ever used this type of media. I was in love with Leonid Afremov’s paintings so I thought he would be a great artist to learn from. He even had a movie on how he made it, which was great for beginner oil users like myself.

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I’ve always loved Roy Lichtenstein so when I first moved out of home over ten years ago I painted this double canvas below to match his ‘Girl with Hair Ribbon c1965’ artwork.

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So you can imagine when our work decided to do a 50’s dress up Christmas party I couldn’t resist making my own popart dress and painted my face to match.

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My most recently painting is actually a set of angel wings, which I completed on a local coffee shop wall. This was such an amazing experience, especially because they kept feeding me every time I was there and their food is amazing. It was also a great excuse for all my friends to come down and visit. Having posted it on my Instagram I’m now getting my own friends, plus some people I haven’t seen in over 5 years send their selfie photos, saying how much they love it which is pretty cool too.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed!

Happy sewing, crafting, painting or quilting!

Erin xx

Beach Themed Strip Quilt

When my best friend got married in 2014, I wanted to give her something a little more unique and special. I thought a handmade quilt would be a nice touch and something she could hold onto forever. I also decided to theme it in beach colours to reminder her of her wedding day, since she got married at Stradbroke Island in Queensland. Along with my normal present she was completely blown away and it really showed how much handmade items are appreciated, especially when people take into account the time, effort and love spent on each project.

I really loved the design and style of the strip quilts, especially after seeing a few online. My favourite design was this Film in the Fridge quilt which also gave a small tutorial on how it was made. They also looked like they wouldn’t be too time consuming and I was right because it only took me a week to fully complete.

King Single Quilt

Material used for this quilt.

  • 3 x 1.6 meters of feature fabric (cut in 6.5 inch strips)
  • 2 x 1.6 meters of blending fabric (cut into 4.5 inch strips)
  • 2 x 1.6 meters of plain fabric (cut into 2.5 inch strips)
  • 2 x 1.6 meters of quilt cotton backing
  • 2 x 1.6 of cotton wadding

All of the fabric was purchased from East Coast Fabrics in Logan, who are always really well priced.

  • $7.95 Quilt fabric (some only $5.95)
  • $10 meter for cotton backing
  • $10 meter for wadding

With the material used above the total cost of the quilt was about $80-$90, which is insane because you can’t even buy plain quilts for that price in retail stores. Plus, I had enough leftover material, already cut up into strips, to make myself a quilt too. All I had to do was go and buy extra wadding and cotton backing. I even had some material left over to make some pillow cases!

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Here is the feature that I embroidered onto the back of the quilt with my friends name and date of their wedding. I probably should have embroidered this a little further away from the edge as it was cutting it pretty close to the hand stitched edge. A good lesson for the next quilt I guess. Another idea would have been to sew it onto a separate bit of fabric and then used hot melt web to iron it onto the quilt. You could then sew or hand stitch that onto the quilt.

I hope you like my strip quilt version and take in a new found love of how easy and affordable these quilts really are!

Happy Quilting!! Erin

Nippori Textile & Fabric District – Japan

If you get a chance to go to Japan definitely check out Nippori Textile & Fabric District. Here is some advice from my trips over the past couple of years.

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The types of fabrics you’ll find here will depend on the time of year you travel to Japan. Going in summer allows you to find the most gorgeous dress fabrics and you can get some bargain buys less than 500 yen / meter ($6 AUS). The colder months will allow you to find lots of knits and jacket/suit types of material. The only problem with buying this material is that it’s quite thick, so you have to allow for extra baggage space or even organise to get it posted back. No matter what time of the year, there will always be incredible kids themed material, quilt material and Japanese fabrics.

How to ask for fabric in Japanese

1 meter please – ichi me-r taru onegaishimasu
2 meter please – ni me-r taru onegaishimasu
3 meter please – san me-r taru onegaishimasu
1- 10 (ichi, ni, san, yon, go, roku, nana, hachi, kyuu, gyu)
Meter – me-r taru
Please – onegashimasu
Thank you – Domo or domo arigato
No thank you – daijobu (this one comes in handy!)

Fabric Tomato has a couple of stores along this street, one of which has about 6-7 levels high so you’ll be sure to find a number of goodies here! However, there are a number of remnants, patterns, lace, Japanese kimono type stores along the way.

Recommendations on where to stay

If your making the trip to Tokyo for the first time and want to stay somewhere close to Nippori but also somewhere you can easily get around, I highly recommend staying in Ueno.

I stayed at Mitsui Garden Hotel, which had access to train stations and subway lines. It had English speaking staff for those who don’t speak Japanese. Ameyoko Markets are in all of the surrounding streets, so if you don’t have much planned you can head there for some shopping. You could spend an entire day at Ueno Park, which is ideal during cherry blossom season. In addition, the Skyliner Airport train is located directly across the street, which is the more expensive way to get to the airport but it will only take 35 minutes, compared to the JR Rail which takes over 1.5 hours.

Japanese Fabrics

I’ve always been a fan of Japanese fabrics so here are a few Japanese inspired quilts that I’ve made over the years from my trips to Japan.

Material Obsession

The pattern for this quilt came from the Material Obsession by Sarah Fielke and Kathy Doughty book, found on page 112. This is a really beautiful book if you love quilting, I highly recommend taking a look. I have made some slight changes to the design, including the appliqued flower but otherwise it’s mostly all their design.

I would have to say the patterns in this book were amazing and easy to follow since this was my third major quilt. However, appliqueing the flowers onto the squares caused them to be slightly elongated and made me wonder how well the small squares would work, which were all along the outside of the quilt. To avoid making a big mess I just left those small 2″ x 2″ squares off and continued with the long strips around the outside.

You might be able to see in the close up pictures that the quilt it was finished using a
Babylock Sashiko Machine. This just makes the quilt look very traditional (hand quilted) and turned out amazing.

Japanese Panel Quilt

This quilt was one of my first quilts ever made which comprised of large panels and 2.5″ strips that connected them all together. Looking back it would be fairly easy to make but starting out in quilts this was the perfect project. You can find a number of these types of quilt patterns online, so I highly recommend starting a quilt suited to your skill level. As you can see no matter what the design they still turn out pretty good and they’re perfect for winter and as having extra blankets around the house!

I hope this helps if you’re planning your next trip to Japan!

Happy Sewing!