Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A swap, a sew along and an apron

I recently took part in Little Quilt- Sew, vote, swap over on flickr. It's a really fun swap as you aren't assigned a partner at the start, you just make a mini quilt and submit photos to the swap mama who uploads them to the group. At the end of the swap everyone that has taken part votes on all the submissions and the swap mamas do their magic to assign who gets which quilt. The first round has just ended but sign-ups are underway for the next round already!! Pop over and have a look :) Here's the mini I made, front...
and back.
At the weekend I received this fabulous little mini all the way from Brazil!! Graziella (garota prendada) pieced this beautiful heart and embroidered a sentiment around it that she found on a tea bag! It says "Your greatness is measured by your gifts not your possessions", what a lovely sentiment!
Here it is in it's new home. It's amazing how well it fits in that space when you consider that it wasn't made specifically for me!! Thank you so much Graziella!
This month's project for Amy Butler's Style Stitches Sew along with Bree is the Fringed Hobo Bag. I was rather worried about this one as I had flashbacks to the Cosmo bag which was quite hellish. Happily it was much easier than the Cosmo! Unfortunately I chose a colour scheme which was conducive to a certain teenager's tastes and so my lovely new Fringed Hobo bag is now Jess' lovely new Fringed Hobo bag.
I used good old Ikea fabrics again. The lining is a cityscape type pattern that I used in a floor cushion for Jess' room. I think that might have been what clinched it for her. I used a very pretty mother of pearl and bead trim on one side of the bag so it's not too fringe heavy.
It did only take me about 3 hours to make so I could actually make one for me if I can be bothered at a later stage. Finally here's the apron that I made for Yvonne's birthday :) I must really love her as I cut into some of my precious Heather Ross stash!
Backed with yet another Ikea fabric.
Sorry to have droned on for so long. Hope you're not snoring too loudly!! Catch you soon x

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Project 1 is covered

I've spent the last few days fiddling around with my first project for my partner in the For the love of solids swap. I decided to make a sewing machine cover as I had the digits for my partner's machine. It fits my machine nicely, so if my partner doesn't like it she can always send it back to me ;-) I don't seem to be able to capture the colours at all in photos; they look kind of like pastels here which is a shame as they are vivid bright colours in reality.
The same is true of the solid I've used for the other half of the cover. It's a very vivid teal with bright orange perle cotton embroidery.
This close-up of the embroidery is slightly closer to the actual colour but is still a bit bleached.
I used loops of orange ribbon for the fastenings at the sides. They just need to be wrapped around the button on each side to hold in place. I used clashing red buttons as that seems to be the way I'm rolling at the moment :)
Here it is all folded up and waiting for the second project to be completed(read started!)
The second item will have to wait a few days as I have to pull my finger out and make something for Yvonne's birthday (this Sunday!). I'm making a crafting apron for her, that much is no secret as I asked her what she would like. You'll have to wait until after Sunday to see that though... so there's no risk of peeking :) Catch you soon x

Monday, 22 August 2011

French Jezebel searches for her Prince...

I've slogged away at the French Jezebel quilt this weekend and it's now finished! Rather than continuing to grow this one I double-sided it with the blocks I had made and added in a print from Tula Pink's Prince Charming range. I quite liked the idea of the French Jezebel searching the high seas for her Prince Charming :) OK so I may have finally lost my last marble! Either way I love the end result. This one finished up around 3 foot square so will be perfect for lap use when it gets cooler. So here's the French Jezebel...
and here's the Prince she's searching for :)
I've taken these indoor shots too so you can get a better idea of the size.
Here's a close-up of the quilting. I did very simple echo quilting along the edges of the wonky squares on both sides of the quilt which left this kind of asterisk pattern.
I joined the strips of left over solids for the binding and hey presto...finished! Time to move on to another project :) Catch you soon x

Friday, 19 August 2011

Forward momentum

I was on a roll today and I've made really good progress on the French Jezebel! As is the norm with me I hadn't thought through what I was going to do and therefore how much fabric I would need. It would appear that I should have hoarded the Parisville instead of sharing it with Mum! I'm not going to drag it back off her though so I'm going to have to think outside the box to get this quilt top finished. I'm currently mulling over the introduction of some Loulouthi as the colour palette is quite similar. Here's how it looks so far.
There are more photos in this album over on flickr. Once again I'm hoping for inspiration to strike me overnight.... Catch you soon. Happy weekend to you all :)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Another quilt in the making and good post

Firstly I'd like to thank you for all your kind wishes regarding Holly. We're bearing up well now and Benji is being a little trouper! Today I made a start on another quilt :) I enjoyed the process of block building that I used for the item I'm making for my partner in the For the love of solids swap so I decided to use the same method on a bigger scale for a quilt. A little while ago I saw this post on Lynne's blog and being the fabricaholic that I am, rushed straight over there to get me some goodies :) One fat quarter stack of Parisville winged its' way over the ocean to me and after graciously sharing it with Yvonne I decided to use the rest in the new quilt. I already have a name for it too which is amazing as I'm usually utterly rubbish at this part. So here is the first glimpse of "French Jezebel"....I'm chuckling to myself as I write that :)
I'm not quite sure what the layout will be yet but I think the blocks will be placed around a central panel. Watch this space ;)

Yesterday I did another spot of retail therapy which was very naughty after the £300 plus vet bill(!!!) but I like being naughty ;) Again it was another Brit blogger who led me astray, Sarah is a bad girl! Sarah mentioned that Eternal Maker had some Ruby Star Spring in stock so I went to have a look. In the end I only bought one fat quarter from that range but got side-tracked into buying some other goodies. I have used Eternal Maker before and have always been really pleased with their service. They have a spangly new website which makes for a very pleasant retail experience :) Imagine my surprise when my order was delivered today!! Woohoo! Just to be clear here, I'm not on commission they're just great! Here's what I bought. A half metre stack of Farmdale (purpose unknown, maybe aprons?)...
an Eternal Maker stack of black and white linens (which I plan to use in a project for Jess)...
some Echino and Ruby Star Spring...
and some Far Far Away 3!! Fabulous to be able to get some of this current line without having to wait for it to come from America!!

So surrounded by yet more fabulous fabric I'd better pull my finger out and finish some projects :) Catch you soon!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Today's blog entry is brought to you with a heavy heart. One of our lovely bunnies died unexpectedly this morning at the vets after a short illness. I have to admit to being distraught. Our bunnies were rehomed from a rabbit rescue centre about 2 and a half years ago. The thinking behind this was obviously to give them a nice new home but also that they would be therapy for Jess (at that stage she was bed-bound). They have been very good therapy for her and have obviously become a very important part of our family. Anyway, Holly is no longer with us :-( We'll miss her feisty but funny ways!
Holly leaves behind her rather bewildered husbun Benji. We've been giving him treats all day and spending lots of time with him to help him adjust to life without his playmate. At this rate he'll be obese! So as not to end this post on a morbid note I'll leave you pictures of the fab Greist accessories that came with Lady. If you can't make it out it says 'Attachments'.
Here they all are, slightly rusty but intact.
And these other goodies from another drawer in Lady's cabinet.
I'm hoping to be clear of tears long enough to do some sewing tomorrow. Catch you soon.

Monday, 15 August 2011

For the love of solids

After a lot of head scratching I've made a start on the first item for my partner in the 'For the love of solids {a modern swap}' on flickr. Now when I say 'the first item', that's because I had the idea for the design but haven't thought it through as far as what the object will be yet. Either way I'm liking how it's going so far.
The colours are much prettier in reality than these dodgy photos show. Unfortunately it has rained on and off most of the day, so no decent light! My day has essentially been about cutting, then sewing and cutting...
then sewing again.
There was much faffing around to try to get the colours placed in a pleasing manner, which thankfully, was worth the trouble :)
So now I only have one more row to finish before I decide what this will become!
I'd better get my thinking cap on overnight. Also, I know I said I'd share more photos today of the accessories that came with my new lady but I forgot to take them so I'll have to do that tomorrow...oops. Thanks for all your suggestions for the name. I'm still undecided so I am going to stick with Lady for now :)

Sunday, 14 August 2011

What shall I call her?

Apologies in advance for the amount of exclamation marks that you will come across in today's post. This weekend has mainly not involved any sewing but there has been lots of scrubbing! On a rare trip to our local junk shop, sorry, purveyor of second hand goods, I spotted something that got me excited beyond belief! Could it be....oh yes it could...an antique treadle sewing machine!!! Woohoo!! As far as I can tell she's a 'New Sterling' (whatever one of those is) but whatever the brand she's lovely albeit very dirty!
I set to her with a toothbrush and some soapy water and after a good scrub she is looking much happier! There is still a considerable amount of cleaning to do but for now she is much more presentable and far less spidery!!
Here's how she looks when she emerges from her hiding place :) The wood that's leaning against wall on the left hand side does actually flatten out to provide a massive working space perfect for quilting but I couldn't be bothered to pull her out to photograph it after all that scrubbing. Maybe another day ;)
I was so excited to find her Greist accessories still in their box in one of the drawers. I'll add pics of those tomorrow! For now here's an arty shot of one of the brass handles taken by Jess.
And a not so arty close-up of the lady herself taken by me :)
If you have any advice on cleaning this old girl to get her functional again that would be much appreciated as would any information about the 'New Sterling' brand. So far Mr Internet has drawn a blank. So now the dilemma I have is what shall I call her? Don't be shy I could do with some help :)

Friday, 12 August 2011

Doll Quilt ready to roll

So, I've been rather quiet this week but that's because I've been busy sewing :) I've finished my mini quilt for the Little Quilt - Sew Vote Swap over on flickr but I can't show you that yet as it's a secret voting swap. What I can show you is the finished mini for the Doll Quilt Swap 11.
I made a double sided mini for my partner so they can decide which side to display :) I've stuck to my partner's brief so I'm hopeful that it will please them!
I have one more swap to complete by September and then I think I'll have a short break from swaps. In reality I expect I'll sign up for the next one that takes my eye but I'd like to think I can show some restraint :) Don't get me wrong, I love swaps, I just really want to try to find my own style rather than making for the taste of other people all the time. Hope you all have a good weekend. Catch you soon :)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

This and that

I thought I'd better take a break from tablecloths and aprons today and get on with some of my other commitments! I made a start with July's block for Alison in the Fresh Modern Bee 2 It's nothing fantastic but I'm hoping that it will fit with the other blocks that Alison receives. I was never going to compete with this creation by Lynne or this one from Leila! I do think this is a fairly typical block by me though and that was the brief.
Then I cracked on with the other side of my mini quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap 11. A touch of Sashiko was the order of the day!
I've never done any Sashiko before and I'm not going to suggest that this is authentic, as it's basically the same design as the patchwork I've done for the other side, but I think it looks OK. Hopefully my partner will agree!
So tomorrow's task will be to quilt and bind. I think I can manage that even in this heat ;) Catch you again soon.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

For Fiona

Today I've been working on the custom item that Fiona won in our giveaway. Fiona requested a cheerful apron for sewing in. I did a little bit of research and it would appear that Fiona is a fan of vintage style fabrics so I'm hoping that Happy Camper by American Jane and some pretty shaker style fabrics will do the trick.
Modelled by the gorgeous Jess!
A little close-up of the detail :)
And as I can't ever seem to post without photos of items on the washing line...
I've written up a pattern for this so you can have a go yourself if you fancy it :) I'm not claiming that this is an original idea, it's just the process I used to make this apron. It's the first pattern I'm unleashing on the world so it's bound to have glitches. If anything needs clarifying just ask. If you do try it out I'd really appreciate any constructive feedback and a photo would be great. I promise not to cry too much if you think it's rubbish ;)

Monday, 1 August 2011


You might remember I mentioned an unseasonal idea that popped into my head the other night. Well, despite the muggy, humid yuckiness that seems to be the flavour of the month around here I got on and made the Seasonal table-cloth! My original thinking was that I'd use (word beginning with C) fabrics but eventually sense prevailed and out came The Pips! I decided that I could use this table cloth all through Autumn/Winter if I wanted to, whereas (word beginning with C) fabrics would have a more limited usage. I refuse to utter the word beginning with C until December! So I started with 24 layer cake slices and some grey kona solid.....
and after much sweating, sorry, perspiring (I am a lady after all) I ended up with this:
Again, I still need to back and bind it but I love it!! This is what it looks like on the table. Please excuse the clutter in the background :)
And to prove that this is definitely an unseasonal tablecloth here's a shot of the table next to the air-cooler!
I actually tried to make a note of how I made this one so that if anybody actually fancied making one of their own I'd be able to point them in the right direction. So if you're interested just ask and I'll see what I can do, if not I'll just file the notes with the many others I have scribbled down over the last year :) Catch you again soon!