Saturday, 7 December 2013

back to bags for a while

Needless to say, I really need to  get my simply solids bee quilt together
Been auditioning the blocks

Can't decide on the sashing colour……..maybe grey? or maybe not

So rather than bite that bullet, have been making some bags again
So great to have a project that only takes 1-2 days to complete

Here is this weeks offerings

Grey and more grey

Fancy chandelier fabric  and self covered button closure

Christmas mash up with not enough red fabric to match seams, oops
Its batting-ed and interfaced and quilted a little. The pattern was miranda day  bag by lazy girl, but I folded in the side  interfaced fabric to make to a more boxy shape which I prefer.

And a market tote for a thank you present

            Are you still making for Christmas? 

Friday, 6 September 2013

barley pincushion

Been wanting a threadcatcher for a while as my norm is to spread threads all over my flat with any project.

Found  several good tutorials, but could not find what the Americans call ' belting'

Eventually after long chat with BF, she suggested  the material she had used to make her husband some clown trousers (no comment)

Further searching revealed corsetry 'boning' which is just what I needed to stiffen top of  thread catcher

Decided to fill the cushion with barley to which I added orange oil...BUT perhaps should have waited for that to dry before adding to pincushion as it stained the linen fabric . Doh!

Finished 2 custom  quilted sofa covers, packaged them up with some  fragranced wood sticks from IKEA, and will be delivering them next week in Wales. Hope she likes them as I am sick of the site of them now. 

Otherwise, new obsession = preserving. Made first batch of blackberry jam from allotment fruit ( no tending from me, wild! ). Very pleased with the set.

Got quite a lot of tasteless tomatoes from balcony crop, so want to turn those into tomato and chill jam today. IKEA also very good for airtight jars..80p each. 
Good old IKEA !

Sunday, 25 August 2013

summer making

Really enjoying having August off work
Making something  everyday when I should  be perhaps doing the odd bit of housework, but I think I am a fully paid up member of  the domestic sluts brigade.

Had to clean up the flat a bit so R could have a friend  over, made them both pencil cases for the new term. R had chosen the grey prints.

However, was told by R in no uncertain terms , NOT to give one to her friend as its just not cool to have matching pencil cases, silly me.

Somewhat bruised by this encounter, I  found an unfinished quilt top and decided to  quilt it up...and thats what I have done  today

Also  planning to make 80 cupcakes for my niece's 21st. Thinking of doing super hero cases with multicolour iced cupcakes with love hearts decorations;   a retro vibe I think. Quite a responsibility to get it right!

Missing R who is at camp this week, flat seems too quiet without her.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

fabric taming

Yeah, after 5 days, the fabric is SORTED

except I don't seem to have a 'reds' box, only a few pathetic pieces which seem to have found their way into the orange/yellow box.
I have far  too much purple/pink..............., hence the oven gloves I made yesterday

Scrap coasters ++

Mad block for simply solids bee, still having trouble swirling the middle seam with the paper foundation on.....

What's even more exciting  I found:
A new A2 cutting board
Crochet and knitting needles, fancy wool for projects
Loads of fusible batting
4 quilt sleeves

And a quilt top that I had completely forgotten about,
 hey hey!

Just going for a lie down now ......
Dear teen daughter on good form complaining that she doesn't have a mac air laptop and I have all the good things, well if she got a job she could have nice things too..grrr, must keep CALM

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

experiments and scraps

Learned how to make a fabric scraps bowl at FOQ,using soluble stabiliser and free motion stitching;  first one came out a but wonky,  creased and gothic,  the colours of a bruise

Second attempt used matching thread and less material

Now, this bowl looks best displayed like a plate , with light shining through it; but if you put it on a plate stand, it sort of starts to sag down with needs a wee support behind it to hold it up. Have to think on that one.

Finally, now I have retired from NHS job, needed to sort out my fabric ( GASP )

4 days later, and I am about 50% of the way through
Generated big bin bag of scraps I am never going to use, off for recycling: and one I need to use for scrap projects to keep its volume down!

Coasters and  baubles I think

finished a quilt top for my friend Meilings wedding, off to Debbie's for basting tomorrow

Visited by mother today..she had bought this quilt from a charity shop in Cornwall for £ is 7' square . Methinks the charity shop does not know much about value of quilts! It looks as if its been done on a domestic machine to me, wow.

Friday, 9 August 2013

festival of quilts 2013

Fantastic time
This year, when I dropped of my daughter at camp, she couldn't wait to get in, so felt much happpier buzzing off  to Birmingham.Met up with Debbie H for dinner one night which was fun too.

This year tried the quick and easy workshops
Made a razzle dazzle bowl with soluble stabiliser ...well, I stitched it, it has  come home to be dunked and draped over a bowl, so tomorrow morning it should be ready for its reveal

Did one on the  basics of hand quilting with Anne Jermey, brilliant, not so scared or put off to give this a go now .
However not so sure about the advice to wear your thimble all day , so it becomes part of you...this may add to my strange appearance I think

Last one today was on  trapunto, made 2 stuffed hearts, very proud, thought the fishtail closure of the slit on reverse was a very cute

Finished with Kaffe and Brandon, lecture on colour.........such fun, Kaffe has all the ladies oooh and ahhing , and you feel blasted with colour inspiration when you come out, YES!

This little piece caught my eye...princess and the pea, what a brilliant excuse to make loads of tiny quilts!

Oh, and I bought a few bits and bobs

Friday, 12 July 2013


Well, today finally took a deep breath in:, watched several you tube videos, bought elastic thread and tried shirring.

Well, luckily my BF told me that someone on the great british sewing bee had said you do NOT have to hand wind the elastic onto the bobbin as is the received wisdom....just go slowly....and it works!

First attempt rubbish as used basting length stitch and I had left my automatic feed unengaged

Second go, remembered to back stitch to stop it all pinging out, and  a 3.0 stitch length, and although a bit wobbly, getting there I think

Really want a nice simple summer dress pattern that I can make loads of , so a shirred waist seemed to be easiest

Meanwhile have hand tied my kaffe fassett quilt, phew, hundreds of ties; Just needs binding now.

Spent the morning buying 6 pairs of summer sandals for my daughter who finds shopping for herself a bit overwhelming...and success! She actually likes one pair, only 5 to go back tomorrow.......

Friday, 5 July 2013

summer time

Got my kaffe fassett quilt back from Debbie the longarm lady, she's basted it for me. I think I will tie the quilt ; I think you won't notice the ties amongst the clash of colours and patterns
I plan to use it on the balcony to keep me warm when the sun goes down, so used a nice puffy polyester batting.

Found a lovely tutorial for a 'no pattern' shell top for summer, 

I made one from some amy  butler fabric I had lying around for a trial run, and very pleased with fit, so will make some more I think

I'll be on the look out for lovely cottons at FOQ

I think the liberty lawns would drape really well for this top

Last but not least...finally been allocated an allotment, take a look.......

scary eh? garden services man took one look and said I needed a combine funny ( not )

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

chicks and bee time

Found this lovely nest of pied wagtails in a tiny courtyard next to my office a week ago, look how they have grown in only a few days
they were tweeting so much for food, that it disturbed a meeting we were holding as I could not concentrate, and the nurses laughed as they said they knew I was worried about 'my' babies  crying.

Its my  month for the solids bee, and I cocked it up by posting wrong border measurements. Luckily other bee members have a basic grasp of maths and let me know , phew.
I hope  everyone enjoys the wavy block as it gives a great a landscape I think. I am excited to see what different people create  for me.

Friday, 26 April 2013

NYC....... FOQ

Just came back from a flying visit to NYC to surprise my Uncle at an honours benefit, and of course to catch up with my Aunt Victoria  who is quilter extraordinaire . She  was working on a great second wedding ring quilt, and also has  her first fabric range for Newcastle fabrics coming out . All very exciting.

Photo shows me posing the swanky NY event.I hand beaded the edge of my green pashmina, never again..........

Walked the highline, a great redevelopment of defunct old railway line, which is now planted up as a linear park, and has art exhibited along the way..brilliant, but boy was it COLD that day!

Walked 24 blocks to buy the best cheesecake in NYC...a lovely individual one about 4" diameter, perfect for a healthy breakfast. Had no cutlery in my hotel room, so just sunk my whole face into it, oh yes.

No time for fabric shopping this trip, but back at halloween for a longer stay

Just booking for festival of quilts today, too much choice............decided to go for introduction to trapunto, hand quilting for beginners, and how to photograph...all things I know next to nothing about.
Also GOT to go to Kaffe's lecture!  Are you going this year?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

reusable kitchen towel

Saw this fun idea on fabric .com blog

made it with the print flannel as the absorbent bit , backed with dark grey cotton print

then got a  blister on my finger from using my popper press  but all in a good cause........

Made me want to get a serger though.....although can't really justify it, but I think it would make me a better person...

Just roll out a piece, detach poppers, use and chuck in washing machine heh!

just finished my winged square block for my solids bee.....don't know why I found it so tricky, had to unpick it 3 times

Monday, 18 February 2013

pantone colours

Finally took down my Pantone colour chart which I had printed on cotton, courtesy of Spoonflower
Love colour charts, but its been up for a long time now so I chopped it up and made some pouches and linings
Finally getting the hang of putting in the zips properly, the old zipper foot works a treat. I quilt the front and back panels with warm and natural batting to give it an acceptable degree of squidgyness.
I can do zips, hah hah..........think I will order hundreds of  zips in all colours now

Started on a fat quarter stash of pearl bracelets too, and made a makeup bag for ME ; due to the fact that my previous one has been ruined by a small bottle of orange juice  doing its  own thing in my handbag.... it also killed my powermonkey which is NOT a good thing to have to replace, cant quilt one of those ! 
Mind you its nice to really have an excuse to make myself another  bag

A simple one in pink

Having signed up for solids bee, now have lots of scraps around

wonky, but in a good way I think....
Just dropped off teen at Grandmas for 2 days. The idea is that she will notice/help if Grandma leaves the gas on, and that Grandma will do things with teen that take her away from the phone/ipod/ipad/desktop for an hour or so, hmmm...will my master plan work?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

US goodies

Received this little letter today
Thanks Shannon for the needles,  sewing tip, and even a square of batting for a mouse's quilt!

Monday, 11 February 2013

travel pillow facelift

Boring old  pillow, unloved, forgotten

Washed, dried and given a  new coat of liberty lawn and pearl necklaces

Now you're fit to come on the plane with me!

In fact, think I need an overhaul to match the pillow

Saturday, 9 February 2013

messenger bag

Loved the look of this unisex messenger bag tutorial from sew-4-home

An excuse to buy some lovely fabrics from village haberdashery to make it
Really adore the freshness and simplicity of Lotta Jansdotters designs

As I was still trying to make the strap at 0115 this morning,  and having great trouble cutting an accurate 60 x2 inch strip from the canvas, I decided to make a webbing strap, and then I could rest easy.

The main linings and pocket linings use other grey/white prints from her range Hmm, a white fabric bag?  Did I think this one through?  Maybe I can buy some fabric protector spray?

Off to drag my teenager off to a veggie restaurant in London today, menus look delicious. At least they have tempura and cake, so I know R will be able to eat.