Tag Archives: sewing


I was going to do a quick post today to prove I’ve done a bit more on the curtain, however Fletcher had other ideas…

And he does this kind of thing quite regularly, he likes to get involved when he’s not welcome…

And a lovely soft wadding pillow for his old man head… I was actually quite annoyed by this – dog hairs!!!- but at least he wasn’t getting in the way/crying/photobombing/getting his nose too close to the iron or sewing machine at the time, he was just quietly minding his own business whilst not being able to be apart from me for an hour or so…

So I’ve changed my banner a little up top ūüôā There will be more changes afoot on this blog over the next few weeks, but hopefully this won’t disrupt anything.


A sewing weekend

I¬†went to¬†two ice hockey games this weekend so I didn’t expect to get much done in all honesty (if you even slightly care, we won 6-0 at home on saturday and lost 3-1 away on sunday). When¬†I sat down at my machine on saturday after a little lie-in til 9am I really didn’t fancy sewing my curtains and I really wanted to start something new. I was thinking about doing a porthole quilt with my Birds and Berries layer cake for Moda Bake Shop…

But I was disciplined and told myself NO and instead I sewed the second block (made from teeny tiny pieces- it’s only 6″)¬†of my big sampler project that I plan to just dip into every now and then when I’m feeling disinterested with my WIPs. I finished the applique block the night before in front of the TV as planned.

And since the urge to not do someting useful continued, I put another line on my Hello Chevron project. I am starting to love this already so I may do another line later…

And then on Sunday before the game I sewed the majority of the first row in the row by row swap on Popular Patchwork. I finished it this morning before work. The theme was squares and rectangles and my partner Alison wanted bright blues and greens. I’m hoping this fits the bill. More itty bitty squares- this is 6″ x 36″ (finished size). Some of the seams are wonky on this, I’m hoping she’s less of a perfectionist than me!

Oh and I did manage another column of curtain patchwork- halfway through that now ūüėČ

I’m sure I’ll get round to that porthole quilt after I’ve finished some of this other stuff off first.

Wiggly Bags – Stitching for charity

I made these two bags in just a few¬†minutes¬†with just two 6″ squares of fabrics, a tiny bit of Velcro¬†and 2m of¬†tape each. They are for the Olivia Holmes Foundation and they hold Hickman lines- also known as central lines-¬†for ill children (used for chemotherapy, blood transfusions and giving medicine without having to have lots of needles) so they can have them tucked cleanly out of the way whilst they aren’t receiving treatments.

I must admit the idea of having a wiggly makes me feel very squeamish, I can’t even cope with belly buttons! I don’t know how these kids do it.

I’m going to make a couple more for The¬†Liberty Rose Trust near Tamworth, which are a bit more local to me too.

The fabric I’ve chosen is for slightly older kids as I didn’t really have any fabric suitable for the very young at first glance. I’m pretty sure I have something with puppies and chicks on though somewhere, so they will be used for my next batch. I originally stitched these with ribbon and then realised that they might be a bit scratchy around the neck pieces so I’ve gone for more traditional twill tape. I have a big roll of it, it’s just a bit boring to look at!

Another minor adjustment I made- I put the end of the tape under the fold for the first pieces and simply folded it over when I stitched to hide the end.

So if you have some bright, fun scraps in your stash, this could be a great way of using them up whilst doing some good at the same time. They are really simple to make, so for more details on the cause and the instructions, please visit the Strawberry Patch blog.


Book Review – Jelly Roll Dreams compiled by Pam and Nicky Lintott

I don’t think I’ve said this before, but I love everything that Pam and Nicky Lintott of The Quilt Room do. They are the precut queens and I bow down to them for that as I’m always a bit flummoxed by them without their books to guide me. Quilts I have made from their books so far? The Snapdragon one I’m¬†finishing tonight(!), the Goldfinch quilt (sans applique)¬†and the sample quilt¬†I made for my grandparents last year.

Anyway, this week I was generously given a copy of Jelly Roll Dreams¬†by the publishers to get my teeth into and I was surprised- here was a Pam and Nicky book I didn’t actually own! I was amazed at my laxness as this book came out three months ago! Jelly Roll Dreams offers 12 patterns for beautiful quilts not by the Lintotts, but chosen by them in a Moda sponsored competition they held where patchworkers had to come up with a quilt design that gets the most out of a jelly roll. And these are the top entries, and very worthy they are too. Look at some of these-¬†it is tempting¬†to make any of these right now and stuff the WIPs!

Something for fans of squares and HSTs…

Something for those crazy people that enjoy curved piecing…

And even some foundation piecing…

Each quilt is made from just one jelly roll and can be made with traditional or contemporary fabrics depending on personal preferences and there’s a good mixture of examples of both throughout the book to inspire you. I hate to use this phrase, but there really is something for everyone in this book, unless you hate precuts of course (but honestly, WHO hates precuts?!). The instructions are clear, the photos are just lovely- both of the original¬†entrants quilts and Pam and Nicky’s fabric interpretations. I don’t think I can honestly find a fault with the book- except maybe the title is a little naff and¬†the greedy side of me¬†wants more than 12 patterns! I will definitely be making a quilt or two from this book once an opportunity arises and my WIP list is reduced a little more.

I think I am going to make this one- I have my special triangle ruler (also from the Quilt Room) at the ready!

The book is currently ¬£10.35 at RUCraft along with other great titles. It’s cheaper than Amazon and they take Paypal on the site too.

Do you¬†own this book? I’d love to know what you think of it too!

Weekend sewing

I had planned to spend Sunday finishing my goldfinch quilt finally. I then got distracted by the Tova sewalong over at VeryKerryBerry and finished this in about 4 hours…

Sorry for the crap photo- lighting was not good and my camera doesn’t cope well with high ISO (though Fujis used to back when I worked at a camera shop, sort it out Fujifilm!).

I don’t like baggy clothes much, so I decided to pair it with a belt- the same one as the dress from the other day- and it’s much improved. I’m wearing it today!

The fabric used is from Kate Spain’s Terrain collection produced by Moda and this is a flannel which is nice and soft ūüôā

I also started to befriend paper piecing. We didn’t see eye to eye at first, but I managed to do another hedgehog without any hiccups(!)… check out the hand painted fabric for the quills…

And I’ve started a quilt I am making for my new baby cousin due in June. They know whether it is a boy or a girl but I don’t- and I hate the “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” rubbish. Next you’ll be telling me that boys can’t learn to¬†sew and girls can’t play football. Did you know pink used to be a solely masculine colour until the last 150 years or so? Anyway I digress, so this hasn’t affected what I would have done as a quilt at all, I’m making a 4×4 square of birdies (alternating between looking left and right)¬†and then bordering and sashing it with a simple cream or yellow that I’ve not found yet. I’m going to border the blocks with blue and red solids- I’ve started the blue here but not finished it yet- I think I might unpick and use a darker blue so that it doesn’t look like an extension of the sky…¬†All the birds are made with Pezzy Print by American Jane for Moda and from a charm pack. The pattern is from Piece by Number and it’s a lot simpler than the hedgehog.

And this is the order I’m going to use for the Pezzy Birds colours, just for reference so I don’t forget!

And here’s a gratuitous hedgehog photograph as your reward¬†since you managed to read down this far…

I made a dress!

Finished finally! Yesterday was the last of my dress making class and whilst there are some bits I would do differently if I was making this again, I think it was pretty successful!


Pinterest Challenge: March

I’ve been pretty slack on the Pinterest challenge this month with all these new ideas popping into my head and not enough hours in the day to do them all, I’ve not really been lacking inspiration or felt the need to try something that I’ve pinned.

However, there are a few techniques that have come in handy this month that I have pinned, and here’s where I’m at with them!

This hand piecing tutorial does have a vital part missing (how to tack the corners down!) but I have been putting together lots of inch hexagons when I’ve wanted to slob out in the living room and even when I went on holiday for something to do and I plan to make them into a 12″ block. After that, who knows, maybe it will become the centre of a cushion cover? I’m being weird and stitching them in as I go (and removing the paper when they are “landlocked” because I can’t bear the idea of doing each step all in one go!)

Binding!¬† Proper binding, lord knows how many times I’ve got it wrong in the past and hand stitching it on is definitely a must for me now.

And lastly, that hedgehog block you’ve seen recently is from Artisania. The one I pinned is by Quirky Granola Girl using the same pattern. See my last post for a picture of my version.

So that’s the round up, it’s been a bit sewing orientated but I hope you don’t mind. If you are that way inclined, check out Lucy’s fabric swap linky party – I’ve done a trade with her so I hope she likes it! I’ve not got anything I really want to swap right now, but if you have pretty fabric that is just getting a bit boring to you now, go check it out- you might be able to swap for something lovely!

Ducking Firsts

I’ve had a play about with a couple of sewing techniques over this weekend and there’s a bit of a duck theme going on…

Firstly I made this embroidery and I think we will be keeping it because OH really likes it. It’s in one of my decoupaged hoops from yonks ago which I will put on the PennyDog site shortly because they’re no good to anyone languishing in a drawer.

This is my first attempt at raw edge machine applique and it’s based on a sketch I did a few years ago.

Next up is this large placemat or mini quilt if you wish. I’d intended it to be a table runner but got my measurements drastically wrong. Still it’s my first go at curved piecing and I think it’s pretty cute and it used up a few scraps so it cost me nothing in new fabric. I quilted and binded (bound?) it this morning. I went through 3 needles on the machine because the tension of the invisible thread was ridiculous due to it getting caught on a little nick on the edge of the bobbin resulting in my face being pelted with tiny bits of metal three times.

Time to make some more falafels and clean out the hedgehog!

EDIT- I am entering the mini quilt into the Ellison Lane Modern Mini Quilt challenge. I’m not sure if it counts as being modern enough, but I figured it had curves in so it would count! It’s 24.5″ across the long edge.

Mouthy Stitches Pouch completed!

I was naughty and skipped Fencing last night because I desperately wanted to get my Mouthy Stitches swap finished. I’ve been working on this pouch on and off for a month, getting intimidated by various elements (and angry hedgehog under the sewing machine) a various stages and hiding it in my WIP drawer for a bit.

Each panel is separate and I made it up as I went along which means Y seams and yes I may have had to go back over a few of them…. The outer fabric is a tough duck canvas (which frays like you wouldn’t believe) with little patchwork squares of Kaffe Fassett fabrics- because I know my partner likes his designs, at least some of them. The zip has a little keyring pull on it which has¬†a couple of pieces of¬†matching fabric in too. I wish the shape was a bit more rigid, especially at the corners, but I think I would have had to use boning or buckram to fix that, and I didn’t. So it is what it is…

My pouch¬†seemed a bit boring when there were so many other beautiful and more complex designs being completed (click here for the group pool!), but as a relative newcomer to patchwork, who has recently discovered a dislike of paper piecing and only having ever made one pouch previously, I didn’t want to push it too much. So I decided to have my first ever play with perle cotton last night and herringbone stitched around, which I think works. I must confess to having done all of the stitiching whilst propped up in bed with the radio on, a bottle of pear Rekorderlig and a half finished bag of marshmallows.

Because I put the top piece on last, I needed to cover the joins on the inside with bias tape, I am hoping my partner doesn’t look too hard at the corner where the ends meet as it’s a total dogs dinner, luckily because of how the zip is inserted, it’s not easy to see this area. Yeah, that’s how I meant it to be, honest! So it’s a bit like looking into a cave, but the lining fabirc is also Kaffe Fassett- however it is one of my favourites in my collection and I was a bit sad to have to use it! it did go nicely with the rest of the colours in the design and the purple zip though. there’s also a felt panel at the back for jamming needles and pins in- yes this is a pouch intended for sewing projects (LARGE ones at that- this bag nearly fills a shoe box!).

And of course there’s a 1/4 metre of scraps included too (and NOTHING ELSE as per the rules, though I was so tempted to put some chocolate in- sorry partner!).

I really hope she likes it- luckily my partner is a frequent commenter so she seems to like it from the picture. Fingers crossed!

Sewing Snow-in

After last year’s car accident, I decided it wouldn’t be wise to venture out in the snow we had this weekend, other than to take Fletcher to the park. This meant I had a lot of time in the house, and as¬†OH had to go to bed mid afternoon both days ready for his night shifts, I had a lot of time on my own to get on with quiet stuff- meaning I had an excuse not to hoover the living room or set up my noisy chocolate tempering machine!

So happily I spent many an hour in the garage conversion. I have nearly finished ironing and folding my fabric collection, and I only really started doing it properly on Friday night… About 5 or 6 BIG pieces of fabric to do and I’m¬†done- I even ironed my scraps! Still plenty of space on these two shelves to grow into ūüėČ

Also, do¬†you remember that finish-a-long I’m doing? I have finished one of the 5 sides. I did a few more pinwheels as well but I got bored quickly, but I will get there. I just don’t find making tons of pinwheels that exciting… I’m writing it up as a tutorial as I go as I’m hoping to sell the project to a magazine as it’s been ages since I did that kind of thing and I want to get a lot more involved in writing this year.

Next, I love to infringe a bit of copyright as much as the next girl… I was asked by OH’s brother to make a Lady Googoo for his stepdaughter for her birthday in a couple of weeks. I drafted a pattern, found the body was too long on more than one occasion, snipped and restitched and came up with this… I’m going to make her a microphone out of felt too as I still think the body is a bit too long. If you don’t know what this is- join the club! It’s called a “Moshi Monster” apparently. The skin colour was really difficult to match as everything was too bright pink or too orange, but the fleece blanket I bought to line my hedgehog’s enclosure was perfect- and I had a spare bit big enough. Yey for upcycling!

Next, I discovered that I hate paper piecing! This is my first attempt and I just couldn’t see through the fabric to line things up properly, which resulted in a helluva lot of excess fabric to cut off and unpicking and starting again. I really didn’t enjoy it, but maybe it’s something to stick at and I might grow to like it as it becomes easier. I also need to try the freezer paper method, I just can’t get my head around how that works, this was hard enough! It¬†is baggy in places too as I only finger pressed, I could have done with the iron downstairs and pressed along the way and I certainly will next time…. which will be after I buy a tabletop ironing board and cheapy iron to keep in my room.¬†This tree is part of a cushion project with 3 different trees by Lynne Goldsworthy in the latest issue of Fat Quarterly.

Lastly, I did a bit more quilting on the Goldfinch¬†quilt, then¬†I cut and pieced the patchwork squares for my Mouthy Stitches pouch swap. I’m going to do a trial run on the construction with other fabric to see how it works (and to practise my zips!) before I put this into the pattern. I *finally* get to start my dressmaking class this week as I was working away last week and it was cancelled due to teacher illness the week before. maybe I will get some zip pointers then!