Friday, 27 May 2011

Pips progress

The jury is still out as to whether I'll add birth details to this quilt but for now the front is finished :) I took advantage of the momentarily blue sky to get a photo.

The Pips do all the hard work so I didn't feel the need to get fancy with my design. I'm thinking that I'll do a very minimal backing and bind with one of the square dot prints but that could change :) Here's another shot of the quilt indoors.

I'm not expecting to get much done this weekend craft wise as we're having a family get together but hopefully I'll have something interesting to show you early next week....don't hold your breath though ;-)

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Playing with "The Pips"

It's no secret around here that we love Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey! Mum and I have an embarrassment of riches in our respective sewing rooms and we've both been reluctant to cut into any of them. After seeing that Mum had cut into her stash I thought I'd better bite the bullet and follow suit. I haven't actually been brave enough to actually cut the fabric... I've used some charms and a layer cake square :) An 'old' friend from school is expecting her long awaited first child and I just couldn't resist making a little something. Here's a pic of the general layout on a neutral background.

Below is a more clear idea of where this is going.

I'm using white sashing to highlight the prints. I'm currently contemplating embroidering birth details around the layer cake square but as the baby is yet to arrive and I've got a million and one other things to do I'm not sure I'll bother ;) I think it'll look cute either way, how could it not in this fabric?!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Pooches and pickups

A couple of weeks ago I received a suprise 'thank you' package from Heather in the form of some fat quarters of Pooches and Pickups!! This is Laurie Wisbrun's new line for Robert Kaufman! I can't tell you how excited I was. I'd seen lots of people in 'blogland' making lovely things with it but hadn't got round to getting some for myself. So, Hooray for Heather!!! Today I had the urge to use some of it in a fun little project. I seem to be having a run of inspiration for little projects at the moment :)

I drew a pickup truck, kind of like the one in the fabric ('kind of like' as my drawing is not very good!) and then used the pooches and pickups for some raw edge applique.

I quilted the truck as I went along to add some texture. When the truck was finished I added little felt wheels and did lots of squiggly free-motion lines around all the pieces.

Then I made an envelope back with the blue cotton fabric and turned it into a cute cushion :) Now I just need to find someone with a small boy to appreciate it!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Blowing my own trumpet

Today I was struck with a brainwave and for once I stopped long enough to think it through in detail... diary moment!!! Some of our precious family members are hopping over the pond to visit us at the end of this month and I owe a belated birthday gift to my cousin's wife. So, yesterday's productivity led to my brainwave. Why not turn the lovely pieced octagon into a bag?

I added a pretty button to the centre of the octagon and dug out some natural essex linen.

Suprisingly to me I worked through the bag construction process really quickly. I think it's probably all the practice I've had in the Amy Butler Style Stitches Sew Along with Bree :) I added a couple of internal pockets and used a magnetic snap to fasten.

I made the strap rather long so it can be worn across the body and it looks quite cute knotted at the top for length adjustment :)

Here's a shot of it on me to prove it's a bag and not a cushion :)

I have to say I am chuffed to bits with this and think the recipient will love it. If not I'll have it back! I think I see more of these in my future.... If you're interested in how I made this and would like to make something similar yourself let me know :)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Misspent afternoon

I had grand plans to start work on my projects for the Brit Quilt Swap and I heart the 80s swap but instead got carried away with some other mischief. I got it in my head that I wanted to make an octagon. So that's exactly what I did!

I drew out an octagon on some muslin then chopped it into segments like the trivial pursuit wedges :) I then chopped some strips out of Denyse Schmidt Hope valley and some organic cottons and randomly pieced each triangle segment. When all the segments were pieced I sewed them all together and this is the end result!

I'm going to leave this as an octagon. Not sure just yet what I'll do with it but at least it looks pretty on my sewing table while I think about it :)

Monday, 16 May 2011

Nicey Jane circles and waves

Last year I took out a lovely pile of Nicey Jane fabric from my stash and starting chopping dresdens from it without thinking about what I was going to do with them....of course! This quilt should have been easy going but true to my gung-ho form not enough planning led to nightmares!! I bought some lovely brightly coloured fleece blankets from Ikea which I thought would be perfect for backing small quilts. So, I used one to back this quilt. Now please forgive me for believing that the blanket would have square edges! I didn't measure, I just assumed that they would be...d'oh! When I tried to line the sides of the blanket up with the cotton I was using for the quilt top I found that shock horror there was a serious discrepancy between the two, unfortunately I'd already sewn the sides of the blanket to the quilt top. At this point the air turned blue. I wanted to bin it but instead put it to one side for about 6 months until I could face it again. It's been exhausting work putting right my error but now finally after 9 months it's finished and ready for an upcoming wedding.

I appliqued the dresden circles and waves to the quilt top once it was attached to the backing as I didn't use wadding. I think the finished quilt belies the trouble I had getting it to this state and I hope the new owners will enjoy it. It's very bright so a bit too wild for my own taste but I think it will be perfect for it's new home. Here's a shot of the offending fleece blanket!!I'm trying to decide whether I need to do a bit more quilting but at the moment it's done in my mind :)

I can now move on with other quilts safe in the knowledge that this one isn't whispering to me from the corner :)

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Weekend progress

I'm seriously hoping that the problems with Blogger are now over. Disappearing posts and comments is rather more unsettling than I would like!

The hiatus that ensued did give me plenty of time to get on with the Nesting Chairs project that I showed you earlier in the week. I sashed with a thin border to give a bit more distance from the circle for when I turn this into a cushion cover. I didn't want the circle to disappear into my seam allowance :)

After my initial thoughts of using the nest as a quilting design I changed tack and went for a swirly free-motion pattern instead. I love how it turned out. I think you can just about see the pattern in this photo.

This afternoon I cracked on with my overdue Fresh Modern Bee 2 block for April. Leila sent us this gorgeous Anna Maria Horner fabric and asked for squares and rectangles. After a false start before the wedding I revisited it this afternoon and hope that this fits the bill. I did have some issues with the voile so I'm not convinced that this is the squarest block I've ever made :)

I'm off now to fulfill my swap mama duties for the Brit Quilt Swap on flickr. I know there are at least 11 ladies eagerly awaiting their swap partners ;)

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Circle time for Nesting Chairs.

After a traumatic incident this afternoon (I had to throw a piece of chocolate in the bin!!!!, it was traumatic for me!) I needed some cheering up. So there was nothing for it...the long-awaited meeting between the rotary cutter and the Nesting Chairs that I won in Laurie's giveaway :)

I decided to use dresdens to make a circle. I pieced some of the dresdens out of the smaller prints and used the larger print on it's own.

The finished circle looks tiny in this photo but it is actually over 20" in diameter.

I appliqued the circle to some white kona cotton and I'm thinking I might quilt a nest in the middle of the circle :)

The result is a considerably cheerier me :) I did originally think that I would use this as the backing for the Nesting Chairs Pillow Panel that I won in the same giveaway but it's too big so it will just have to sit next to it instead :) Hopefully the sun will stay out long enough for me to get a decent photo of it when it's finished.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Amy Butler Style Stitches Sew Along with Bree- Perfectly pleated clutch

Thank you for the response to Jess's post yesterday!! It's lovely to see such positive comments :)

So after missing out on last month's Amy Butler's Style Stitches Sew-along with Bree I've galvanised myself into action for May. This month it's the Perfectly Pleated Clutch.I'll confess upfront that I have totally cheated on this month's project. It's not so much a pleated clutch. In my defence a) I was on a tight deadline for mailing this to a teenage fashion fan and b) I didn't want to use up too much of this fabulous fabric on something for somebody else!!

This Tufted Tweets by Laurie Wisbrun was just perfect for a teenager who likes orange. I think it's quirky enough to put a smile on even the fussiest teenage face :)

I used red cotton from Ikea as the contrasting fabric and stuck to the Tufted Tweets for the internal pocket rather than adding in a third fabric.

OK so you can't really see much detail here but I'm sure you get the jist :)

This was a relatively quick project. It took me about 4 hours on and off to complete from cutting of pattern to finish. I did totally cheat by not doing the pleats though and I've promised myself to revisit this at a later date!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Introducing... lovely teenage daughter, Jess.

Hello!:] I am fourteen years old. I love singing, dancing, playing guitar, chatting to my friends, seeing them and spending time outside. I seem like a normal teenager don't I? I am, sort of. I suffer from an invisible illness called ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). It's hard to deal with at this age because your friends are out and about enjoying themselves and you've slowly faded away because they don't understand, or you can't get out to join them. I suffer from severe ME/CFS which means I have light, smell and noise sensitivities, horrible pain that medication doesn't always help, headaches/migraines, nausea, weight loss, fatigue that sleep doesn't help with and 'brain fog'.

Jess was too 'foggy' to finish writing this blog post so I'm going to carry on for her. It's ME Awareness week from 8-14 May, hence this post. The focus of the awareness week this year is 'Missing Moments, Hidden Lives'. Jess deals with this awful illness in a very brave and inspiring manner but there are many things that she has had to miss out on which are very painful for her (like my brother's wedding). We don't want this to be a miserable read for you so we won't bore you with all the details here. Here is a link to a review of a Radio 4 Woman's hour interview Jess did in 2009 (proud Mum moment!)

We were very lucky to be pointed in the direction of a fabulous charity when Jess was first diagnosed 3 years ago. AYME (Association of Young People with ME) offer various different services to children, young people and their families. Their online message board was an absolute life-saver for Jess when she was bedbound and has continued to be a source of support to her in her current predominantly housebound state. If you're interested in finding out more about the work of this charity their website is fairly comprehensive including information about the illness.

Congratulations if you've managed to bear with me through this text heavy post. I'll hopefully be back later in the week with some crafty goodness :) Just before I go I would like to point you to another blog with a rather gorgeous quilt up for grabs (think Modern Relief Japan with a twist)!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Brit Quilt Swap

Hello again. I'm afraid this post only applies to those of you who reside in the UK :( The fabulous Lynne of Lily's Quilts has got us organised over on flickr and so we're having a Brit Quilt swap, sign ups have just begun. We'll be mailing finished quilts to our partners by the end June.

Excitingly for me, I'm being a swap mama for the first time! We'd love to see you over there. Apologies to our international friends, we do love you though :)

Monday, 2 May 2011


I'm really sorry that it's been so quiet around here. I thought I'd better prove to you all that I am still being creative :) I've been knocking an idea around in my head for several months and have at last had time to try it out. I won't be giving away too much information as it's an entry for a competition. I'm not usually a fan of competitions. That whole scrutiny thing makes me slightly (OK, extremely) nervous but I just couldn't resist the jelly roll dream challenge. I figured if nothing else I get to use fabrics I love in a design of my own making...always fun.

I'm going to be using this fab Momo It's a Hoot fabric with a Moda Bella Solid jelly roll. Yummy!

I made this little placemat in between cutting fabrics and typing up instructions. It was a good excuse to use up some leftover honey bun strips of the fabulous "Hello Betty".

The post-lady once again bought me some fab goodies. The new book Quilting from little things by Sarah Fielke of Material Obsessions fame and some of my favourite fabrics by the very fabulous Aneela Hoey. I'm looking forward to playing with these once I've got the competition entry out the way.

I've got quite a few ideas buzzing around at the moment so I'm looking forward to getting creative and sharing them with you all soon. Thanks for sticking with us :)