Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hoop La La: Look what the postman brought me yesterday

Isn't it absolutely gorgeous?

This is from Cori at Let's Eat Grandpa and it is fantastic!

I don't think I would have picked this colour scheme myself, but I love it - it's so happy and bright and the embroidery is beautiful - she's hit the nail on the head, because I would love to take a hot air balloon flight.

Every time I look at it, it makes me smile, so it's hanging above my sewing desk. And I got some fabric and ribbon too - how lucky am I!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

What to do when your sewing machine goes in for service...


I've just knocked up this little pincushion to take to Budapest with me using some EPP diamonds and some fabric I picked up this afternoon.

The greens are from Red Rooster (Hugs and Holly) and the text fabric is Maude Asbury "Crabtastic".

P.S. If you're looking for my FNSI results, just scroll down to the next post!

Friday Night Sew In: November

I had planned to work on my Mod Pop quilt last night. I did for a bit and I sewed all of the curves. I still haven't pressed them all.

Half way through the evening I took the dogs out for a walk and had a thought....

I love my earrings..... big ones....lots of them (and hats and scarves and shoes but this isn't that blog post). My earrings live on my dressing table in a tin:

As you can see, they are very rarely actually in the tin because I can't find the ones I want. I have a plan for an earring tidy, but for the next two weeks I will be away in Budapest for work (so things may go a bit quiet round here for a while) - so what I needed was some kind of earring travel tidy thingy. By the time I got home with the boys I had a plan. It was a plan that involved fabric I knew my local quilt shop still had in stock in case it went totally wrong! Ambrosia (it's really the leftovers from this quilt).

And just three hours later I had a finished earring tidy.

Look how tidy my dressing table is now.

There are still some teething problems with the pattern, and I want to work on including some embroidery, but once I've worked these through (probably after Christmas), I hope to make the pattern available in case you want to make one of your own!

This was the last thing I made on my machine before it went in for an annual service - I have had her a whole year! As I'm away for two weeks, I won't miss her.... too much. I will be taking some hand sewing with me.

And breaking news I heard this afternoon: my LQS, The Fat Quarters, are going to start stocking ART GALLERY fabrics - like I don't spend enough money there already - now they are going to stock all of my favourite fabrics! Hopefully I'll get lots of vouchers for Christmas :)
Handmade by Heidi

Friday, 16 November 2012


Did you see the new button on the top left of my screen? I signed up to Threadbias about two weeks ago.

It's a great place to show your projects and keep tabs on which are finished and which are still in progress. It's also a great place to check out everyone else's projects for inspiration! My Star Place mats are a feature project this week.

There are some swaps running on Threadbias and a new one popped up earlier this week - a Christmas Ornament swap. Now really I don't have any time, but I just can't resist, so I signed up. I haven't found out who my partner is yet, but I have had some ideas. It's a secret partner swap, so I can share what I'm working on here and on Threadbias.

Check out my Studio here and have a look round.

Tonight is Friday Night Sew In and Children in Need so I'm off to sew!
Handmade by Heidi

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A few little extras....

In my last post I may have mentioned a slight mathematical error when creating the strips for the back of the place mats for the Modern She Made Swap - in hindsight it was glaringly obvious. But it does mean that I had a brightly coloured rainbow of strips of fabric begging to be used...

So, I made a few extras for my partner.

The obvious companion to four place mats is four coasters, right!

And then I've seen loads of fabric baskets around blogland but never had the guts to try one - they look tricky! I found Ayumi's tutorial and wow - how straightforward. I whipped this little guy up in just a couple of hours after a horrific day at work - there will definitely be many more of these to come.

Lining fabric

I hope to get all of this in the post at the weekend (possibly with some chocolate)!

I'll be back later in the week to confess to my next swap!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Ready for Dinner

It all got a bit hairy yesterday! I was finishing off the place mats for the Modern She Made Swap round 2, and there were a few moments where I was just inches from disaster.

But I pulled it out of the bag and I now have four finished place mats ready to send to my partner. And if she doesn't like them, that's fine - I'll keep them right here :)

It doesn't all quite line up, but I'm not far off.

Due to some fairly appalling mathematics on my part, I have some bits of fabric left over, so I'm hoping to put together some coasters before I send the package off next week.

I used heat resistant wadding for the place place mats - it's fully washable and you use it exactly like regular wadding, but it rustles a bit. Hopefully after a couple of washes, that will stop.

The back of the place mats
Linking up to Sew Modern Monday with Megan

Friday, 9 November 2012

Place mats - getting closer

I've been a bit quiet over the last couple of weeks - I've been doing a lot of hand stitching - my Hoop La La swap and also my Modern She Made Swap project. But  tonight I have finished the place mat tops.

I still have the quilting to go - I'm planning on dense straight line quilting in the patchwork part and no quilting in the embroidery/applique sections and I have Insul-Bright heat-resistant wadding to use.
DMC Threads: back stitch, running stitch, satin stitch,
chain stitch, double whipped running stitch, cross stitch and tiny EPP hexies

I'm going to "bag" the place mats to avoid binding, so that the points of the stars go right to the edge of the place plat.
DMC Threads: satin stitch, running stitch, back stitch, chain stitch,
french knots, cross stitch and tiny EPP hexies

I still need to make the backs as well, but they will be quite simple in comparison to the front.

I have some great feedback on these place mats over in the Flickr Group and I'm hoping to put together a tutorial and make the embroidery patterns available too - but maybe not until after Christmas! Thanks for everyone who has encouraged me so far!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

November Stash Bee

How organised am I! It's only 7th November and my stash bee blocks for November are DONE!

Jess asked for blocks in yellow, orange and aqua and gave us the tutorial for these blocks.

I didn't think I had much in my stash for these colours - turns out I was wrong - I cut a strip from each fabric and ended up with double what I needed - so I'll be sending that to Jess too - hopefully she'll be able to put it to good use!

Very straightforward and great fun - the finished quilt is going to be a stunner!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Hexy Hoop [La La]

Do you remember my lonely little sewing machine made with quarter inch hexies?

It's found some bigger hexies to look after it!

This hoop is for my partner in the Hoop La La swap. It took me ages to get an idea for what to do. We were in a local quilt shop and I saw a little pack of quarter-inch hexy papers - they cost more than regular size hexies - I'm called it a stupid tax. When we first saw them we laughed that anyone would be daft enough to try them. But I couldn't stop thinking about them. And a week later I was back and picked up a pack. The shop owner asked me if I felt ok and offered me a chair to sit down!

My mother-in-law thinks I'm mad. My own mother couldn't believe I really wanted to do something so fiddly. But they are just SO CUTE! They weren't too bad to sew with either - the worst part was removing the papers once I'd finished.

As soon as I had the idea of the sewing machine I knew how I wanted my finished hoop to look and I have managed to get it quite close to what I wanted.

I really did not intend to do this project entirely by hand - it's just how it worked out. The hexies are all pieced by hand; the sewing machine is then appliqued on by hand, the bigger hexies are then appliqued to a larger background fabric by hand; and I hand quilted it, echoing the lines of the hexagons in a fairly random fashion; and finally a tiny bit of hand embroidery for the needle. I had a go with a small piece of embroidery in the bottom right, but it looked crap! So I unpicked it.
This picture in no way represents the actual colour of the backing
but is the only contrast where the quilting showed up.
The hanging loop is made from a bit of the moda ribbon used to hold Jelly Rolls together - tying pretty bows is not my strong point, so I haven't stitched it in place - I'll let you re-tie it, Partner!

Seriously, Partner. If you don't like it, that is fine - this one can stay here with me. Though I've left it a bit late to make a replacement!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

It's November!


I've been playing with hexagons a lot this month. That little sewing machine is made from quarter inch hexagons and is part of my Hoop La La swap. I'm still working on the final piece.

I started a new quilt (very unlike me!) in pinks and greys. I still need to add some borders and then it may be a Christmas present if I get the time to finish it.

I was Queen Bee for Stash Bee and have received some beautiful blocks - these were my original ones.

I've made another two incubator quilts to be donated to local baby units - if you'd like to contribute, there's more information here.

I made a Christmassy wall hanging as part of the Tula Pink Sew Along - this was my first project using just solids and I love it. I also love the quilting - copied almost exactly from Tula's model. One day I would love to make the whole ABC quilt.

I have been working on my swap item for the Modern She Made Swap - two of the place mats are ready for quilting, the other two aren't, but I have backing, thread for quilting and heat resistant wadding (which I've never used before).

And I finished my Farmer's Wife Quilt - pieced, quilted, bound and washed - FINISHED!!!! You can see more photos in this post, and in this post - this was my entry for the Autumn Blogger's Quilt Festival - there are some absolutely beautiful quilts on display!

Plans for November: I need to finish off two swap items, and I need to make some progress on the quilts I want to give as Christmas presents - I now have all of the fabric and wadding I need, so now I just need time. I'll also be travelling during November so hopefully I'll get some hand sewing done too.

How was your month?

Linking up with Lynn at Lily's Quilts

Lily's Quilts