Sunday, 1 March 2015

February [in review]

Where the hell did February disappear to? I did not get enough sewing time last month.  And when I don't sew I get grumpy. The move is creeping up on us - just a month to go - and I'm dreaming of the end of April when I will have my sewing space set up again and fewer commitments. That thought, and my "things I want to make" list are keeping me going!

And although sewing time was less than optimal, I did get a few things finished: a baby quilt...

...a hooded towel for Mia (and I bought some more flannel to make another two)...

...two bibs for Mia (I want to make at least another 8 as they are so much better than the shop-bought ones)

...three sets of blocks for Patchwork City (teal, curry [below] and buttercup)

...lots of hand sewing: hoops for Mia's nursery...

...fiddly, obnoxious clamshells...

... I've kept on track with the Moccasin BOM ( and March just landed in my inbox)...

...I had a ball trying out thread sketching...

...and possibly my greatest achievement: a hat!

There were other things too, but it turns out I had even less time for blogging, so I'm preparing some catch up posts for the next few days.

Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day

Friday, 27 February 2015

I made a hat

Like an actual hat. One I can wear in public. I only have phone selfies to prove it though...

I wore it out an about today.

The pattern is from Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine (the latest issue) and I knew as soon as I saw it, that I would be making one. I ordered bias tape. And it took 2 weeks to arrive. But it did arrive yesterday ad by bedtime I had a finished hat.

I used a grey Art Gallery print for the outside, and a bright pink texty/dressmaking fabric for the lining!

It went together much easier than I expected: the parts that took longest were cutting it out using templates (yuck - templates) and hand stitching down the bias tape to finish it off. The biggest challenges were trying to press the seams - impossible! And attaching the self-cover button. I made the medium sized hat having measured my head, but it was way too big, so I added a small pleat to the back panel - it looks fine, though is still a bit loose.

I bought fabric today to make another one - I'm thinking brown with lime green lining! But this time the small size!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Trellis [a {lovely} finish]

February was a month for slow sewing. My weekends have been very busy and in the evenings I'm more inclined to sit with some hand sewing than sit at my sewing machine. I also felt pretty uninspired by most of the items on my Finish Along list, which is normally the basis for my ALYOF goal. With just a few hours before the end of the link-up I picked Trellis, which was pieced and basted. Theoretically, quilting wouldn't take long....

And once I sat down and did it, it didn't take long, and I now have a finished baby quilt ready to gift to its little owner (who is now a few months old).

The idea for the quilt came from a fat quarter bundle (Flo's Garden from Makower) I'd forgotten I'd bought and a block I saw on Instagram. I can't remember now who had posted it, but it was someone in Australia. I loved the secondary pattern created by repeating the blocks, so worked out the measurements, raided my stash for some coordinating solids and within a very short time, I had a quilt to.

For the backing I managed to pick up yardage of the apple print in a sale at our LQS. When it came to quilting I outlined and stippled the white, and outlined the printed panels - what I like to call stitching near the ditch!

And the binding - I used the same red for the binding as I had in the quilt, mostly because I had enough on hand. But it was perfect and really turned this quilt from ok to great (at least in my eyes)!

So, I'm cutting it fine but I will be linking up this finish as my February success in A Lovely Year of Finishes

And in a month or so I'll link up with Adrianne for the Finish Along

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

WIP Wednesday [thread sketching]

I have seen and pinned many raw edge applique designs recently - the kind where you stick your fabric down, then set your machine to free motion quilting (without the quilt) and stitch round the edges and add details free-hand. At least that's how I figured it worked. Last Friday I drummed up the courage to have a go.

Pencils: minimal colour/shape decisions for the fabrics (and using some scraps), and simple shapes to outline. And I have to say, I'm pretty chuffed with this first attempt. Just as soon as I get some bright coloured zips, this will become a pencil case for my nephew (who last weekend was pretty put out that his sister's crayons were in the same pencil case as his pencils...)

Tonight none of my existing projects appealed so I announced I was going to have a play, pulled whatever fabrics were to hand and had another go: a tea cup was floating round in my head and my new Cotton and Steel fabric makes a very nice one, I think.

I showed it to my mother-in-law, who was sewing hexies on the sofa, and she asked for a Beach Hut for a friend's birthday. I was on a roll... so I made a beach hut!

My head is now full of other ideas I want to play with. I've also bought a set of alphabet stamps to add into the mix! But I wasn't brave enough to try them out this evening!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Patchwork City [Buttercup]

Three more blocks complete and I am now totally loving this project after somewhat uncertain beginnings.

This block may be my favourite so far. I really love using the charcoal scribble print from Art Gallery. I only had a fat quarter but picked up another half-meter on sale at Fluffy Sheep Quilting yesterday, so this will definitely continue to appear in my blocks!

I'm being much more conscious of my colour choices and how they will look against the black sashing I'm going to use, so the white text print on the right of this block should stand out nicely in the final quilt.

And the final block. I wish I had more fussy cut-able black/white/grey neutrals like the butterflies - it would definitely have improved this block...

The yellow fabrics are Kona Buttercup, Pearl Bracelets, Gleeful by Sew Caroline and Dreamin' Vintage by Jeni Baker (both Art Gallery). I added a bit more Mama Said Sew, a print from Red Rooster's Melrose, Sketch in black and a couple of random text prints with no selvage to the neutrals this week too.

Unofficially I'm working on a set of three blocks every week, and Buttercup is set number four.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

WIP Wednesday [Patchwork City - curry]

We went away last weekend to celebrate my mother-in-law's 60th Birthday. Fourteen of us descended on an unsuspecting country house hotel near the Scottish border and had a great weekend. We ate well, some of us drank well (there was no WKD Blue left after my sister-in-law had finished drinking cheeky Vimtos...). We spent Saturday at Bamburgh Castle and were so lucky with the weather - I could cope with this view from my living room! Who said the North Sea is grey?

Mia seemed to enjoy herself too - look at that grin!

And we topped off the weekend with Cards Against Humanity - not an appropriate game for Aunty Barbara, but a big hit with Uncle Gordon!

Two days away from my sewing machine, and I was getting severe withdrawal, so Sunday afternoon when we got back home, Michael and Mia napped together on the sofa, I sewed up her new bibs, and then I cut the fabrics for the next set of Patchwork City blocks: curry.

But it was only tonight that I got to put them together.

I now have nine blocks, making up three of the larger block sets, and 22 sets still to go, but I'm falling more and more in love with these blocks.

The curry fabrics are Kona curry (!), Comma by Zen Chic by Moda, 2 prints from Botanics (love), and XOXO from Cotton + Steel. The neutrals are not very different from my teal blocks, but I have added in the butterfly print which is from Biology by Sarah Watson (Cloud 9) and the black and white Oval Elements from Art Gallery.

Love the "consider the lilies" fussy cut, but don't understand
why it was on the fabric or what it means really
Linking up with WIP Wednesday!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Baby Bibs [scraptastic Tuesday]

I know it's Sunday, but I've only just got to sit at my sewing machine today, and I've had the idea of this project swimming round my head all weekend. Why is it that when you simply cannot sew you have more ideas than ever? Pinterest is a dangerous place, and I've pinned quite a few home-sewn baby bibs recently.

I've been busy sorting my scraps by colour, because the longer-term scrap projects I have all need scraps by colour, but for these baby bibs I raided the unsorted scraps for a riot of colour. Part of me worries that once all my scraps are sorted by colour, this type of project will be harder. The reality is that there's a slim chance all my scraps will ever be fully sorted!

I used a template I found via Pinterest (from the Nana Company). I used my scraps for the front, and bought a meter of toweling fabric off Ebay for the backs (plenty of fabric for lots of bibs). It took me longest to sew all the scraps together - actually making the bib was very quick.

I had planned a button fastening, but my machine simply refused to sew a button hole through the towel, so I resorted to sew in velcro.

And then I made another one using up the binding scraps from the Amelia quilt. I have plenty of these scraps to use so a theme may develop!

Linking up with Leanne and Nicky

Scraptastic Tuesday

And just in case you've missed lots of Mia photos, here's another of my little fruitcake - I love her new T-Shirt that Daddy picked up