Wednesday, 23 October 2019


Every year since 2016 I've joined in with @gnomeangel and her sew along to sew 100 blocks in 100 days and each time it has been great fun. The first three years we used the Tula Pink City Sampler pattern. Some of the blocks I made are now finished quilts, but not all of them. That did not stop me joining in again this year. A new pattern, designed by @gnomeangel and @skyberries called the Kinship Fusion Sampler: a mix of 8"x 8" and 8" x 4" blocks. I started with plans to make two quilts: one rainbow one using my stash and one batik one. The batik one is still very much in progress and I wasn't able to keep up with a block a day for this quilt. But the rainbow one is now all together as a quilt top.

Now I need to decide on a backing and get it basted, quilted and finished!

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Teeny Tiny Pinnie Parade

If you're on Instagram you might have seen a flurry of teeny tiny pincushions recently.... there's been a bit of a party, and I couldn't help but join in! I took the opportunity to make some tiny pincushions for my guild buddies for our recent retreat (more on that to come!).

Here are most of the pinnies all together, but the hexagon one below was made a bit later so missed the group show. It's made from a tutorial by @cloudtori and uses some Zuma fabric and Tula Pink Designer Solids.

This scrap of Alison Glass fabric was begging for some embroidery and I know just the person who loves green

I couldn't resist this little frog so made him into a teeny tiny polaroid block

A scrap of Liberty left over from my Summer Sampler cobined with some really lovely Essex Linen and the cutest pink button.

A pineapple. Of course. He's a little but wonky....

This is one of two tiny embroidered pinnies each finishing at 1.5" square. The denim is the offcuts from making the boxed corners of the Lola Pouch and I used this one as a zipper pull for that pouch.

I couldn't throw away the scrap with the fountain pen...

...Nor this Unicorn.

I made a couple more Liberty and linen pincushions, but don't seem to have photographed them: one has already been gifted and I think I'll keep the other one for myself. I suspect there will be more tiny pincushions in my future! Some of the ones made by others for the parade were inspiring - check out #teentinypinnieparade on Instgram

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Once Upon a Time...

...there was a duck! Obviously!

As you saw in my last post, I had an absolute ball at Sewing Shindig back in September. It was such a good weekend! On the Sunday morning I did a class with Mrs Moog a.k.a. Lesley. She makes the most amazing pouches from recycled fabrics and free motion embroidery. I love the puffins! Her class was on free motion embroidery. It's a technique I've done in the past and enjoyed, but not for a long time. I had a plan of what I wanted to make, but we had to start off with practice practice practice. Lesley provided scraps and off we went. I started off with some words... my sister-in-law's favourite saying.

Then I tried some doodling - this is the duck I used to doodle at school - It's pretty much the only thing I can draw. It went pretty well... I added some words... I was quite please.... I added some leaves. Not bad. In fact I was pleased enough with it that I wanted to do something with it. Instead of carrying on free motioning, I decided it was better to go home with something finished than a few more random pieces of fabric with practice on. So I made a pouch!

I had some orange fabric with me, and I had bough the back (Tula Pink Monkey Wrench) while I was there. Saira from Olive and Flo was on hand to sell me wadding (soy wadding - lovely) and a zip. The lining is made of two different pieces of fabric: one was use to wrap a swap gift and the other to wrap my lucky dip prize. It really is a fab reminder of a wonderful weekend.

And the original plan for that class... watch this space.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Sewing Shindig 2019

Two weeks ago I had just got home from a really fabulous weekend. It was full of laughter, sewing, amazing food, very generous gifts and some of the most amazing people! I spent the weekend in the middle of nowhere near Church Stretton in Shropshire for the Sewing Shindig. Two and a half days of nothing but sewing and eating! It was lovely to meet, or catch up with some of the lovely people I chat to online every day!
Not my photo - Pennie's!
There was the option of taking two classes: I decided not to do the full day class and instead worked on my Fancy Forest Owls - here they are all together - one is a little sheepish - we were talking too much and I had a bit of a whoopsie. But he's so cute, and resulted in such laughter that I couldn't bring myself to unpick him!

I also worked on my Kinship quilt, my penguin parade quilt, my tall tales quilt... on the second day I took part in a brilliant class with @mrs_moog - more on that in another blog post. I saw so many beautiful things made by my fellow shindiggers I would love to make, that The Committee may see a few new starts in the coming weeks. If you are on Instagram then check out #sewingshindig2019 to see some of the amazing sewing that happened.

Not my photo... it might be Pennie's...
There were four swaps over the course of the weekend: something handmade, something edible, something quirky (make your partner laugh for under a fiver), and some haberdashery. You gifted to the same person for all four  over the course of the weekend, but secretly until the final gift (the handmade item) was handed over on the Sunday. Someone else was making for you.

I was very lucky to recieve from Kelly @the_orriginal. She totally got me with a mug instead of edible items (#michelinamntostickman continues), a "Badass" pin, fabric wrapping, small pouches.... ad a fabuous pouch of her own design in lovely Alison Glass fabric.

I was making for Sarah @lavenderbluehandmade. Here's the pouch I made her:

It's an upsized Lola Pouch (pattern by @sotakhandmade): it's the first time I've used this pattern but I love that the zip binding gives you a flash of colour and a touch of class. I will definitely be using this pattern regularly! I embellished it with a Baby Brimfield in Liberty and solids on one side and a hand-embroidered mandala on the other (pattern from Urban Threads). It's then all hand quilted with a denim base. I have to say I was pretty please with it and I think Sarah liked it!

Oh and there's a little hand embroidered zipper pull as well!

See you again next year Shindiggers!

Friday, 11 October 2019

Finish Along Q4 [The List]

Are you ready for what is potentially my most epic list ever??? No, neither am I. But a girl can dream of being this productive!

First up are the things I *need* to finish this year... well before Christmas really.

1. Joshua needs an advent calendar: Jess and Mia didn't get theirs until their second Christmas, but Joshua will be nearly one by Christmas and I think Jess and Mia will ask why he doesn't have one. I've found some fabulous reindeer line drawings on Pinterest - it's a dead link, so no idea what the source is, but I think I can make them work.

2-4. Every year, with one exception, I've made the girls a new Christmas Tree decoration each. They love pulling them out from previous years and proudly hanging them on the tree, so it's a tradition I'd like to keep up. I've bought an embroidery pattern from Threadfolk to make a couple for the girls and I'm on the lookout for one for Josh.

5. And Josh needs a Santa Sack (like a stocking, but a more useful shape). I have enough fabric left over from when I made them for the girls a couple of years ago.

6. There are some Christmas presents on the list too: a quilt for Mia: I'm making Tall Tales Quilt blocks, and need another 59.... easy. Jessica's quilt, Lisa the Unicorn, was a finish last quarter.

7. A quilt for my Uncle using the Kinship pattern made all in batiks. I'm tow-thirds through the blocks, but there's some sashing in the near future!

8-9. Three pouches using some special fabric I can't share yet: one will have an EPP slant, and the other a free motion embroidery twist. The third I'm less sure on.

10-11. I've got hold of some more equilateral triangles in Alison Glass fabrics and I'm going to make a small cushion for Mia and for Jess. These have been hanging around for a while, but I've never prioritised.

12. A pouch made from a skirt... pouches are easy enough, but the fabric is scaring me a bit - it's a stretchy underlayer in pink with a thick black lacy top... It would be great to get a couple of pouches out of it.

13. More immediate deadlines are a Woppet bucket for a swap this coming weekend. It's so close to finished. But not quite. I hate sewing up the final seam...

14. I've picked out a foundation pieced shark pattern to make a cushion for my nephew... it might be a birthday present (October) or it might be a Christmas present - I'm not committing!

15. I have an embroidery to finish imminently... I'm using a beautiful hand-dyed thread and I really hope I have enough to finish it!

16.  I have two baby quilts to finish: Preppy the Whale just needs binding.

17. And I need to make an Awesome Ocean baby quilt

18-19. And the brother and sisters of the recipients of the baby quilts are going to get matching cushions, so two Preppy the Whale cushions and a seahorse cushion.

And now for the projects that don't necessarily have a deadline...

20. Kinship Rainbow quilt: I've finished all the blocks

21. Meadowland: this was supposed to be a quick quilt that wouldn't linger... when I looked back through my photos I realised I cut it out in March, so that ship has well and truly sailed.

22. Penguin Parade: It would be great to snuggle under this at Christmas: All the blocks are cut and I've bought a backing. Two backings in fact.

23. Fancy Forest: I've made really good progress with this over the last few months and it now feels like it has some momentum behind it.

24. Crumb Quilt: I have sourced a backing, I just need to baste it and make a start with the hand quilting.

25. Tula Nova: this is also at the hand quilting stage.

26. Let's pop Neon City back on the list again shall we!

27. We're going to be swapping sisterhood quilt blocks this weekend and I'm going to make a tote bag out of them!

28: Round of cats is making an appearance again. These are quilted, I just need to make them into cushions.

29. I have three orphan hexie blocks and I now have a plan for them: one is already appliqued to a background, the other two need to be appliqued and then these will become a Speedy Vinyl Pouch and a Lola Pouch.

30. Pretty Fabrics and Trims Summer Sampler: I'm relishing working on this - it's all pieced and needs some hand quilting adding.

31-33: the most unrealistic: I've made embroidery hoops for the kids walls in the past. It's been a while and it would be lovely to have one for each of them by the end of the year: a unicorn for Mia, rabbits for Jess and a whale for Joshua. I have all three patterns, two are transferred and one is actually started.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Finish Along Quarter 3

Well, it has certainly not been my most productive quarter! My original list contained a mere 17 items, but apparently I need lists of far more in order to be productive! I have just three finishes - the final of which is this hoop. And I cannot beleive it is only now being added to the list of finishes!

I made this EPP block way back at the start of the year: it was a trial block for the Alexandria quilt designed by Jodie @talesofcloth. I trialled Zuma fabrics by Tula Pink and didn't feel it would work for the whole quilt, so I started again. But this little centre remained, unloved. I took about half an hour to applique it the background fabric, which is Tula Pink Designer Solids in Cajun. That was several months ago. And you know what, it took a whole 15 minutes to put it in a hoop and call it done!

Also finished this month was the moth pouch: I changed my plans a few times with this, but eventually decided that done was better than perfect, and I love the result! Mostly I wanted to showcase that fabulous moth fabric!

My only quilt finish of the quarter is Lisa the Unicorn.

What about the rest of my list? The round of cat blocks are now all quilted - I don't think it will take very long to make them into cushions... I just haven't done it yet!

My Fancy Forest has seen huge progress! I've made owls and hedgehogs and prepared fireflies and thistles - there's a real chance this will be finished by the end of the year...

I've sourced a backing for my crumb block quilt: my Mum still had my duvet cover from when I was little. I have de-frilled it, but not actually basted it yet. I've made a few more penguins and added some stitches here and there to other projects, but you'll see them all again next quarter I'm afraid!

Linking up with the Finish Along for my hoop. You can find my original list here:

Monday, 7 October 2019

Lisa the Unicorn [A Finish]

I finished this quilt a few weeks ago - even though I'm not blogging very regularly, I am sewing lots still, and even finishing a few things! This is Lisa the Unicorn pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.

I started it over a year ago... but ignored it for long periods of time. I got the quilt top finished towards the end of my maternity leave, then ignored it some more, until a few weeks ago when I finally got round to basting it and quilting it. The manes are all selected from my stash and the faces are made from Dashwood Twist in either gold on white or silver on white. When it came to quilting, I free motioned pebbles on the unicorns face, match-stitcks on the manes, spirals on the horns and a large scale stipple on the background, all in matching threads.

This is now squirreled away in a cupboard until Christmas when it will be Jessica's. If I get a quilt for Mia finished between now and then! This is a Finish Along finish. You can find my original list here.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Some Pouches

I love a good pouch! They can be quick to make, or embellished with piecing and embroidery and hand quilting. I've got a few patterns I turn to again and again. One of those is the Speedy Vinyl Pouch pattern by Aneela Hoey. I've taken part in a swap recently (I'll blog more about that soon), but one of the extras was "a notion": I picked up some of my favourite hand piecing threads and needles, and made a tiny pincushion, but decided to make a pouch to put them all in.

I picked Liberty as my focus fabric, and lined it with some denim from an old pair of jeans. This is the medium sized pouch and perfectly held the bits and bobs.

While I was making one pouch, I thought I'd make two. I love the way I store my threads in my All in One Box Pouch (also by Aneela) but I have just a few too many threads for the front pocket.

So I downsized the medium Speedy Vinyl Pouch (not all the way to the small size - just enough so it fits inside the all in one pouch). I love that Hippo fabric!

And speaking of Speedy Vinyl Pouches, you may remember I made an oversized one a few months back - it's fabulous for holding a long-term applique project. The problem is that I have a couple of long-term applique projects, so I made myself another: this time I wanted to focus on that fabulous moth fabric! Unlike the smaller pouches, I used wadding in this one, so some hand quilting was required.

The pieced moth is a free foundation pieced pattern from @lillyellastitchery. This time the lining is a fat quarter I picked up on a whim recently - it's not quite the right colour peach, but I love it!

And best of all, this moth pouch is a Finish Along finish! Finishes this quarter have been a little sparse, so I'm pleased I have at least one!

And a final pouch for you: a new to me pattern which I've seen pop up quite a bit on Instagram recently: the Lola Pouch by @sotakhandmade. It's a bit different with a bound zip, which I thought would be a bit of challenge. Turns out I was wrong: the pattern is fabulous and the binding easy enough and it gives a really smart finish! 

This was made when I should have been packing for a recent retreat... but it was far more important that my clover clips had a new pouch! Obviously!