A Family Quilt

I was quested with making a very special family quilt. It was to be gifted to the mother of the family for her 70th birthday! It was such an honor to create this quilt, and I hope it is enjoyed very muchly!

I learnt a lot through the process. I taught myself some new techniques (yep, very brave of me) and experienced commission work to a brief. I found a lot of things I can improve on for next time, but I am ecstatic with the finished product!

The original concept. It changed a bit, with new things being added and changed!

I honestly can not tell you its dimensions, I was too keen to send it off on its next adventure to take the time to measure it. I did make sure I got some photos of it, I’m notoriously bad for not documenting my quilts before I gift them!

The finished quilt

It was made from quilters cottons. I used a lot of batiks, I really liked the movement and colours they bought to the overall design. Deep purples and greens were the requested colour choice 🙂


I used vlisofix to attach the appliques, I then used free motion quilting to stitch them down. I had experimented with free motion stitching at a very basic level some years ago, this was a massive stepping stone and I’m so glad I gave it a go! I love the results.

Running shoes

I used the technique of “quilt as you go” to put the quilt together. This meant that each square was individually quilted BEFORE it was sewn together, unlike in a traditional quilt where you sew the top together and then quilt it. I then used “tram ways” (the purple borders) to stitch it all together.


Pretty much the entire quilt was sewn on the machine. The only hand stitching was a few stitches for the badgers eye. I also hand stitched a label on the back so a message could be added before gifting.


I sourced or drew the appliques. Each block represents a different family member. I used black thread to out line the image, grey thread in the back ground and some blocks have a colour thread for any objects in the background as well.

Paintball marker
Dinosaur ROAR

I hope this quilt is cherished as much I enjoyed making it!

Have a creative week!
<3 Cate

Clearing Out The Cupboards!

My studio is currently stocked to the gills with garments and fabric for upcycling, and that’s before you open the door to the garage!

Over the last few weeks, Guy and his two youngest brothers have had massive clean outs of their cupboards, for various reasons.

Hooray for me! I have had the opportunity to sort through most of it and collect everything I could use!

I’ve got a pile of bleach stained jeans. These are screaming ‘bomber jacket’ to me! I’m thinking they could benefit from some areas worked back into with bleach in a more controlled way, maybe a vine motif or a mandala could look good.

a pile of bleached black jeans to inspire!

A stack of men’s work shirts will become children’s paint smocks. Right this second I’m umming and arring if I should cut off the wrists bands and collar and add some elastic or not. It would make them a lot more child friendly. Hmm

a bunch of men’s shirts will be turned into paint smocks

Some t-shirts will become yarn. And these t-shirts will be used to make my paintball t-shirts quilt a little bit bigger.

More paintball t-shirts will allow me to enlarge a quilt I made previously with the rest of our paintball shirts

I’ve also been collecting highly textured fabrics from the op shops. I’m thinking a hexagon quilt with big hexagons!

highly textured fabrics will become a new hexagon quilt!

It is becoming more important for us to be considering our textile use footprint. Up-cycling these items are my small way to reduce textile waste.

Stay tuned to see what I come up with in the following weeks!

Have a creative week
<3 Cate

Kids Art Dolls

My heart was absolutely melting as I stitched these dolls up! They are so damn adorable!

My heart was melting as I sewed, these dolls turned out super cute!

Making and designing dolls is super fun! I have been doing it since I learnt how to use a sewing machine. It wasn’t long before I started drawing my own outlines aka pattern to sew my own designs. To make something that you can then play with is super satisfying and such a proud moment for children! It amazing to watch children proudly play with their dolls and tell everyone that it is their design! But it isn’t limited to children! I had a lot of fun coming up with the concept! I now have a mini me! haha

These dolls are a simple rag doll, which encourage creativity and develop a usable resource at the end. I had children do the drawing, whilst I did the sewing, but you could use it as an introduction to sewing as well, whether it be hand sewing or machine sewing. We just weren’t quite there yet.

To start with I drew a simple template, and then traced this onto fabric, leaving enough room around each doll for seam allowance. I used an off white homespun I had left over from another project. I think you can get ~7 dolls per metre of fabric (fronts and backs).

Basic doll template
Trace around doll template onto fabric. Don’t you just love my template!

Then I gave this to the children (they had two each) along with a bunch of fabric markers. We were using “Stained By Sharpie” and the fabric markers from Ikea, along with some normal sharpies to round out the colour selection (still to be determined how these withstand the test of time). I am looking for a full set of fabric markers with a decent range of colours (hoping for brown, beige, light pink), if you find some, let me know!

We used “stained by sharpie” , Ikea fabric markers and a few normal sharpies to round out the colour selction

Then have fun! drawing, colouring, decorating. Make one to look like yourself! A friend? Your favourite character, a character you made, a super hero, JUST DRAW and be creative. There are no rights or wrongs.

I took the drawings back to the studio to sew up. The children did not totally stick to the template. I tried to stay true to their drawings where possible, so I too diverted from the template whilst sewing. This was mostly in the head area where they had added hair, ears and bows.

To sew, I took their drawings and laid it right sides together with another piece of fabric. I used the same plain homespun, but if I did it again, I would use something with a pattern. Stitch on the line from the template, or close to the drawings. Make sure you leave a turn out gap!

pin right sides together

Cut the pieces out a 1/4 inch away from seam. Clip curves and turn right sides out. Use stuffing (poly-fill or something similar) to stuff. Hand stitch opening closed.

Stitch on the edge. I mostly stuck to the template line, but also tried to stay true to the childrens drawings, so in some parts I have sewn around the drawing instead of staying on the template line.

Wala! A gaggle of gorgeous custom dolls!

All the finished dolls

I would love to see what you (and your children) come up with! I do intend on trying to make some simple clothes for them, but that might be a while off yet!

Have a creative week

<3 Cate

March Making Madness

Happy “National Craft Month”! I’m not entirely sure which nation this celebration belongs to, but I’m claiming it as my own! Any excuse to celebrate the art of making is a good excuse!

I started the month of making strong! I ventured into my community for a bit of a sewing bee for the local preschool!

Hard at work! And yes, those boxes were full of gorgeous fabric!

Six lovely ladies came together to sew cushion covers, tutus, capes and skirts! We were lucky to have several boxes of gorgeous fabrics donated to us to assist in this adventure! Honestly, we had a better selection of fabric to work with than what you would find in my cupboard right now!

Sew, sew, sew!

So thank you to Tammi for organizing and Caroline, Dea, Denae and Jodie for coming out to sew! Twas a good morning (and a very productive one at that!)

This is what we achieved in just under 2 hours. Capes, Cushion covers, skirts, tutus, fabric play squares.

I currently have two quilts spread out all over my living room. One is for a friend, and will be gifted later this month, so you will have to wait a little longer to see that one! I have taught myself so many new things with this quilt!

A sneak peak of the quilt current;y taking up most of my time! It’s not all dinosaurs…

The other is for the local playgroup. I wandered off with an armful of pre-cut squares after the sewing bee, and have been spending 5 mins here and there putting it together. It will become a floor quilt for children to sit on to read stories etc. I absolutely love making quilts that will be used.

A floor quilt in progress!
I grabbed enough pre-cuts to make another couple of quilts for the school!

So I’m pretty much set for projects for the next few weeks!

What are you working on?

Have a creative week!
<3 Cate