Tag Archives: upcycling

Pencil rolls galore

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Have you succumbed to the latest fad yet – colouring books for adults? I stumbled upon this book the other day and couldn’t resist it: Fantastic Cities, by Canadian artist Steve McDonald. It’s brilliant! Here you can see some of the drawings in the book.


The pencil roll in the photo is the first one I ever made, back in 2009. I love making pencil rolls and have been on a bit of a roll lately (see what I did there?), making lots of them to add to my Etsy shop. Here are a few of my favourites:

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The New Zealand roll, made with two different quilting fabrics featuring black and white New Zealand prints – kiwi birds and ferns on the outside fabric, a Maori design on the inside fabric.

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The colourful Australian Birds roll

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Pencil roll made with Australian Aboriginal fabrics

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The Kombi Van pencil roll

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And last  but not least, the upycled pencil roll, made with fabric from a funky shirt found at the op shop:

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There are quite a few more; you can see all of them here in the shop. They make great presents for  friends who love colouring, are fun back to school gifts, and of course little ones love them too (for you could also use them for crayons, brushes, gel pens, textas, Sharpies…)

Have fun colouring!



Table topper from felted sweaters


Last week I made this table topper or trivet. I cut the diamond shapes from woolen sweaters that I had felted in the washing machine and stitched them together using a small zig zag. This pattern is known among quilters as ‘baby blocks’ – very effective, isn’t it?


Yesterday I made a smaller version that is now for sale in my Etsy shop. Here is a detail:


The back is made from a piece of felt from another sweater:


It would look great under a vase or a bowl – a perfect house-warming gift. It can also be used as a mouse pad.

I have a lot of felt left, so am going to try and make some more ‘trivets’ (strange word…). There are some more quilt blocks that I think would look very good in felt!

Take care,



At the school fete on Sunday I won’t just be selling handmade items, but also some supplies, such as these charm packs of fabric squares for I Spy quilts…


… and balls of seamless t-shirt yarn, made from op shop t-shirts.


I made this small bowl for my business cards, and to show people what you can do with t-shirt yarn.


And I’m in the process of setting up my stall in our hall. Looking forward to Sunday!

Take care,

Braided t-shirt yarn rug – continued


Remember the rug I was making from braided t-shirt yarn? Well, it grew…


and grew…


… and turned into a bowl again! Very annoying.


I started unpicking, but with a diameter of 84 cm (33 in) that takes a while, and it’s not the nicest job in the world… Feeling the need to do something constructive I decided to try and make a bowl:


This time it was allowed to curl!


And I made a small oval rug – easier to keep flat with those straight sides:


I made it in sea colours (blue/green) for our caravan at the beach, but it looks good on the deck as well:


And finally, another bowl for my desk at work:


This might be the last t-shirt yarn project for a while as I am starting to get over it. Also, my sewing machine doesn’t like it very much…

Take care,

Braided t-shirt yarn rug


Last week I showed you the start of my braided rug, made with t-shirt yarn. After the white and light blue fabric I added a dark blue fabric, all from old shirts of my hubby. Then I started braiding in some orange yarn, from two kids t-shirts. And that’s where thing went wrong…


It turned into a bowl! I was pulling on the yarn too much. Some unpicking was in order…


… and I started again, this time using books around my sewing machine to keep the rug flat and feeding the braid in very carefully.



And it worked! Flat as a pancake!


I had some other issues – after changing to another colour thread, of a different brand, the thread kept breaking and I had lots of loops… Back to the first brand! But the rug grew and grew, and it now has a diameter of 60 cm (23 1/2 in):


My plan is for the rug to be at least a metre wide, so I’m planning to keep going for a while. Of course it is taking longer and longer to go around, and it is getting harder to manage to rug at the sewing machine… so we’ll see how we go. Here is a close up:


I’m loving the process and already planning another one – but that one will be a bowl!

To be continued…

Take care,

T-shirt yarn


On Saturday I had a sudden urge to make some t-shirt yarn (as you do). I grabbed some of hubby’s old shirts and looked online for a tutorial, as I didn’t really know how to proceed. There’s lots of tutorials out there, I found this one from Dyani at Little Deer Creations very helpful. Being a quilter, I used a rotary cutter instead of scissors, and I had three balls of yarn before hubby discovered that his t-shirts had gone :-).


I didn’t really have a plan for the yarn, but after some googling I found a gorgeous braided rug on the Sewing For Life blog. Cathy did a Braid-A-Long in 2012 and following her instructions I started the rug in the photo above. Loving the process so far, can’t wait to get on with it! To be continued…

Take care,

Happy New Year!

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I hope you had a lovely time during the holidays with your loved ones!
I spent two very relaxed weeks with my family at the beach and am now feeling full of energy and creativity :-).

The note in the photo above was pinned to a pole in Kingscliff, NSW – not a bad motto for 2013!

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But I like this one even better… The Coffee Quote on Burlap, Stretched in a Hoop, is the latest item in my burlap collection. This one is now for sale on Etsy, with more quotes to follow, as well as a personalized one, where you can choose your own words. What would you like to see printed on the burlap?

Take care,

Festive Collective

I am very excited to have been chosen to be part of Festive Collective, the end-of-year exhibition at Reverse Garbage (where I source my coffee bags). I am working hard now on a collection of burlap items for the exhibition – these Christmas ornaments are part of it.

The exhibition will showcase jewellery, soft furnishings, home wares, fine artworks, paper goods and gifts for the eco-conscious buyer. It kicks off on Saturday 24 November with an opening party that I am really looking forward to!

Take care,