Fresh Cuts by Lu

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Wheat bag July 5, 2011

Filed under: 3D projects,Gift Ideas,Sewing — aliessa @ 9:01 am

Here’s a quick and inexpensive gift idea…

I recently made this wheat bag as a brithday gift for a friend. She is pregnant and I thought this would be ideal for all the aches and pains that go along with pregnancy.

A wheat bag is really simple to make. All you need is some fabric of your choice (apparently any type will do, but I have only ever used 100% cotton and courdroy), enough wheat to fill the bag approximately 3/4 full, your sewing machine and cotton to match. Sew up 3 sides of a bag (you choose the size), turn bag right sides out. 3/4 fill the bag with wheat. Turn raw edges of open end in and sew a narrow seam to close the bag. That’s it, you’re done!

To make it a gift, tie some raffia or pretty ribbon around and add an instruction tag. – Wheat bag instructions

Something I would like to try is to add some dried lavender buds with the wheat to give a lovely, relaxing fragrance.

Have you made a wheat bag before? If not maybe you could give it a try! I think I might make some mini ones for the school fete arts and crafts stall.

Thanks for stopping in today. Happy Crafting!






Two little love birds June 27, 2011

Filed under: 3D projects,Gift Ideas,Sewing — aliessa @ 10:07 pm

I was going back through posts on Amy’s blog one day a few weeks ago looking for something specific (what I can’t remember now), and came across a gorgeous little bird.

It looked so cute and Amy’s pattern and instructions are so easy I just had to have a go! My mum was visiting so we sat down together and made a couple

I’m thinking a couple of these might be good in the school fete art and craft stall…

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Crafting



Some sewing June 24, 2011

Filed under: 3D projects,Gift Ideas,Sewing — aliessa @ 1:15 am

Hi there! It’s the last day of school for my big kiddies and I’m sooooo excited! These cold winter mornings have just made it so hard to drag myself out of bed, let alone convince the kids they should get up 😉 2 weeks off, and really looking forward to not having to get up and go, or make lunches! hehe

Anyway! Recently I came across a gorgeous little baby bib on the net. I really liked it for the patchwork and quilting that was used. I have made quite a few applique baby quilts in the last 10 years, but never really mastered “quilting”. So I bought the pattern on line so I could learn. Unfortuantely the pattern didn’t show me how! How disappointed was I? But that was ok, because it did tell me that the form of quilting is called ‘free-motion’. So I googled it and found a bunch of blogs and you tube videos that showed me how, yay!

I rummaged through my fabric box and found some co-ordinating fabrics and made my own patchwork fabric to cut the pattern from, then set about making up these 5 bibs.

I was tickled pink with the result! Free motion quilting is very simple – but I quickly learnt that it’s not really easy. It took quite a bit of practice to figure out how to get that swirly motion right. I used some cheap wadding and calico “sandwiches” to practice on and just kept going over and over and over and over, adding new calico when the lines got too much and I couldn’t really tell if I was doing it right anyway. I eventually decided to have a try on one of the bibs – and had to unpick it! But finally I got the hang of it…

There are a few “pointy” bits, but the more I do, the better they look.

I originally wanted to make these for my niece for her birthday in September (I started early in case I really couldn’t do it), so I wanted to make a few different colours. these were my second batch. I just used a single fabric.

(yet another bad photo)

And my latest batch – I again went through my box of fabrics and pulled out pinks and purples. I really like these ones, not quite finished yet, but they will be soon enough (and I still have a couple of months)

So, what do you think? I don’t know how I’d go on anything bigger than a bib, but it’s a good place to start I think! I might try some shapes next (like flowers and spirals). Wish me luck!

Checkout this hand bag – I think it’s gorgeous. Mine is past it’s used by date and is falling apart, so I thought I might try my hand at making one similar to this. We’ll see how that goes….

Thanks for stopping in today!

Happy Crafting



Pin cushion and other sewing things May 24, 2011

Filed under: 3D projects,Gift Ideas,Sewing — aliessa @ 2:23 am

For about 5 years I’ve wanted to make myself a weighted pin cushion and scrapbag to use when I’m sewing. About 3 months ago I found a great tutorial on line for a gorgeous set to make! How excited was I?? I guess not excited enough to make it straight away…but I did get around to it finally 🙂

I have made 3 so far. This one I made for myself. I love that green floral fabric. I picked it up years ago in the remnants bin at Spotlight, and have used it for a couple of projects. It is running out, I wish I had some more.

The organiser consists of a weighted pin cushion, a pocket panel and a scrap bag. The pincushion has a felt section in the middle for needles and 2 fabric sides for pins. The pocket panel has 4 pockets to store small scissors, a quick unpick and other sewing things. It also has a loop to attach the scrap bag.

The second one I made was for my sister-in-law, but I forgot to photograph it – it was 3 shades of pink.

And this is the one I made today for my big sister’s birthday.

The colours are a bit bolder – I’ll call it autumn (seeing as we are experiencing that season). Now that I think about it, these colours match the glorious liquid amber tree that is in our front yard. At this time of year it sheds all the leaves in beautiful shades of gold – in a thick blanket over our driveway and front yard. It’s gorgeous to see, just a little pain to clean up 🙂

This photo doesn’t really do it justice, but I just snapped it now so I could show you.

Well, that’s all for today. I hope you are all enjoying lovely weather and rewarding craft time!





More flower clips and a card April 21, 2011

Aaah, the world of craft. I have been crafting over the last month or so, but blogging has eluded me. So, I thought I’d stop in and quickly share some more hair clips I made for a little friend’s birthday (3 year old) and the card we made at last months card class…

First up, the hair clips. I used the same styles as in my earlier post, and just mixed up the colours a bit.

The pink one – I used a layer of glittery tulle on top to give a little sparkle!

Cutesy pink satin ribbon…

The blue and white spot bow

And I think this is my favourite! Some deep purple fabric coupled with the sequinned tulle and a giant button. I saw her wearing it and she looked so super sweet (It really didn’t have too much to do with the hair clip – she’s a cute little girl!).

On to the card

I just adore the colours in this card! Check out this card-as it is where I CASEd it from. I’ve used SU! Petal Pizazz for the big flowers. I stamped the 4 colours Delightful Daffodil, Tangerine Tango, Tempting Turquoise and Melon Mambo onto the same coloured cardstock and cut them out. The leaves are stamped in Kiwi Kiss on Whisper White CS. The blossom trail of flowers and leaves behind is stamped in the same colours with a variety of stamps (Cheep Talk, Baroque motif, Great friend, Short and sweet – I think that was all)

For the centres of each flower I used my cricut to cut the buttons and little flowers. A little bit of twine in one button, some crytal effects on the other for dimension. We had a great time putting these cards together at last month’s card class!

Right-o, off to sew a dress (hopefully!)

Happy crafting!



New Year is here! January 4, 2011

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wondefully enjoyable holiday season. I’ve spent the last month preparing for Christmas with family. What a lovely couple of weeks we’ve had!

So I thought I would share with you a few photos of what we’ve been up to as far as craft goes. I haven’t photographed everything that I’ve made in the last couple of weeks – I just ran out of time. It didn’t help that the rain was pelting down most of the week leading up to Christmas, so not good for photographs – and Í know I’m terrible with photos usually anyway, so I didn’t want to make it worse!

First up is a gift made for a friend who gave birth to a beautiful little girl about 4 months ago. She and her husband moved from Brisbane to Newcastle a few weeks before she was due, so we didn’t get to meet little miss until last month. With all the blocks I have been busily covering and sanding, I thought a pink ‘BABY’ set would look nice. I’ve also been on a fabric flower making adventure (more further down), so I made a soft headband for her and attached this pretty pink felt flower.

So sweet! I love this flower. I think the gorgeous pink felt helps a lot! If you would like to make one yourself, THIS is where I learnt how.

Next is my answer to all the christmas cards needed for the kids school friends. This year my son decided he wasn’t giving cards, so it was just me and my daughter – we had so much fun! First I cut out 26 white bookmarks using my PTI die. Then I set her up with 2 Christmas stamp sets and she created 2 designs that we then copied on the rest.

She wrote a message on the back for each child in her class and we stuck on a mini candy cane. She was super excited to deliver them on the last day of school!

And the final part of today’s post – homemade hairclips and a hairclip holder! I made 5 of these – one for my daughter for Christmas, one for a friend for her birthday and 3 for nieces for Christmas. I must tell you, I had SO MUCH FUN making these!

**The hair clip holder is obviously not my original idea. I saw a very similar one on the net and saved the photo to my computer, but I have not been able to find it again to give credit. The directions below, however I did make up myself.**

To make the cup cake hair clip holder, I drew a cup cake the size I wanted, and used it to cut out my felt. You will need a front and back for the top and bottom pieces. You will also need to cut a small amount of pellan (wadding) to go between the felt layers. I cut 2 lengths of the blue spotty ribbon, a length of purple to go across the cupcake and a second length for the hanger. I hand stitched around the edge of the bottom, making sure to secure the purple ribbon at the edges and the blue spotty ribbon across the bottom as I went. Next I decorated the top with buttons, then stitched it together, and on to the base in one go (don’t forget to secure the looped purple ribbon as your hanger in as you go – I did a couple of times 🙂 then had to stitch it on after with a button – which looked quite cute too!). Lastly I cut out 2 pink felt flowers and attached them to the bottom with buttons to weigh down the ribbons.

I started off with this style flower, which my sister-in-law showed me how to make. Really easy. You just need 3 or 4 cirlce-ish pieces of satinny fabric, cut in differing sizes. Then you seal the edges with a flame (I used a candle). Hold the fabric edge close to the flame – but not touching it. As the heat hits the edge of the fabric it will curl (quickly). Rotate the cirlce until you’re back to where you start. Layer the circles on top of each other to look like a flower and then sew a few pearl beads in the centre – through all the layers – to hold it all together. Easy as! You can use as many layers as you like. My sister in law showed me just the other day a GORGEOUS white flower she made with about 16 layers. It looked incredibly real and so soft. Experiment with fabrics too. I used some satin, and then a few different linings. I’m told you can use chiffon and other fabrics like taffeta.

I think this one is soooo cute! To make it I cut a length of pink ribbon, ran a long gathering stitch right along one edge then gathered it up and secured it by sewing that gorgeous little brown button in the middle. Another easy-peasy flower.

For this flower I cut 4 different layers roughly the same size, 2 different blues, and 2 different nettings. I layered them on top of each other and secured them together by hand stitching a small cross in the centre. Then I ran a gathering stitch in a circle around the cross and pulled tight until it looked the way I wanted it to. Then finally I added a button to hold the gathering in place and finish off the flower.

A few flowers in this shot…

Top left: I have looped some spotty, blue ribbon and scrunched the middle to make a cute bow, secured with a button.

Bottom left: How cute is this one?? I started with a cirlce of pink felt. Using a needle and thread I stitched up through the centre then looped around the outside (don’t go through the felt) and straight up through the centre again. Pull tight so that the felt scrunches up. Do this so that the circle is divided into 3 ‘petals’. Secure with a button (I used 2 buttons, just thought it looked cuter). I added a green felt circle to the back to finish it off. **Again, this is not my original idea, I used a photo I found on the internet to figure out how to make it**

Top right: see above to the first flower

Bottom right: Is the same as the pink felt flower from the baby head band.

So, that is all for today! I’ve been enjoying the holidays with all the kiddies home, which is an improvement on last year. I think as the baby and breastfeeding hormones finally leave my body I am becoming more sane, calmer – back to the person I thought I once was ;), and a little more fun for the kids to be around. As joyous as motherhood is, it has it’s trials, and I am so grateful to have a loving family and husband.

I hope you are having a lovely week and the sun is shining!


PS As a side note, if you just love these hairclips (like I do), but don’t have the time to make them yourself and would like to purchase any, please drop me a line either with a comment or send me an email at



Christmas Stockings January 5, 2010

Filed under: 3D projects,Gift Ideas,Sewing — aliessa @ 3:32 am

When my husband & I had only 2 children I decided to make us all matching Christmas stockings – appliqued & quilted. When our third child came along I added another, and then this year for our fourth child I was able to add one more.


Unfortunately I am not a wonderful photographer, these photos don’t show all the detail.

I used a friend’s pattern to make them. Each has a line from “The Night before Christmas”  embroided on it, and a matching picture appliqued.

When I made the first ones I also made another 5 for my husband’s brother’s family. And each year since I have made a set for another family. It helps to start early as quite a bit of time is required with all the hand sewing involved. This year just gone (2009) I made 3 more in addition to my son’s for 2 nieces and a nephew who have joined their families since the originals were made – but I forgot to take photos!


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