Tuesday 22 October 2013

Hello Stranger

No, I'm not dead.  I work in in a school and since we went back at the start of September I have been working full time -a bit of a shock after 6 weeks holiday.  I have made a couple of things, but not much as we are having an extension to our home and my craft room has disappeared as a result.
This is a picture of my craft room today.  Please note the lack of a ceiling, or window or ANY craft materials.


This is a similar angle a few months ago.  Now all that stuff is distributed around the rest of the house and a storage unit a couple of miles away  - not conducive to sewing.

The good news is that it should be done by Christmas and I am having a bigger sewing room!  No pain, no gain.

If I can find a dust free spot I will take some pictures of the couple of things I have made, but until then I shall just sew vicariously through the rest of you.


Friday 23 August 2013

Paper Pieced Pillow

Well technically it is a cushion since I'm British, but that doesn't alliterate so well.

A little while ago (months ago actually) I was fortunate enough to win a paper piecing pattern from the lovely Kristy at Quiet Play as part of the paper piecing link up and I finally got the chance to make it this week. 

I think it looks a bit like a spider in the middle, it must be the slightly webby fabric I chose.  Fortunately I like spiders!  The pattern came together really easily and only one point doesn't match so I was really pleased.  This is only my 3rd excursion into paper piecing.
Our sofa in the lounge is navy blue so this goes really well on there but the light is better in the conservatory for photos. 
The solids had been bought to make a quilt for our bedroom but I couldn't resist them for this and it look less than one WOF strip in each colour to make, so I should have plenty left.  I paired them with Essex linen as always.
The back is linen also, with a covered zip closure.

DS2 has also been sewing today.  He wanted to make a pencil case to hold his fabric pens (he likes to draw his own designs on t-shirts, I buy cheap white ones in Tesco and it keeps him occupied.)
He often drives the foot pedal whilst I steer, but this time he wanted to do it all himself - zip  and appliques included! 
He drew out a design and selected the fabric.  He chose a nice heavy drill so it didn't need to be quilted or lined.
(I had tidied my craft room, but all the sewing in the last couple of weeks has made a big mess again.  Oh well, I would rather be making than tidying any day of the week)
Here he is with the finished product with not a stitch sewed by me.
 And a gratuitous close-up to show his stitching (and colouring).  I think for a (just) 10 year old, he did very well indeed.
 Linking up with Friday Finishes @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Paper Piecing Party @ Quiet Play, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Oh and have you seen the great givaway at Maureen Cracknell Handmade?  40 sunyside fat quarters!  Go and enter if you haven't already.

Friday 16 August 2013

Surprisingly Pink

I have been able to get quite a lot of sewing done this week as I am still off school (work) for the summer holidays.  Firstly I needed a new bag as I ruined my last one.  I had fallen in love with the Anna Maria Horner field study linens and so ordered some from the US.  It cost me a fortune, but what could I do - it was love after all!

I wanted to showcase the print so the bag is BIG, but I will use it for work where I need to be able to carry all of the post as it is not collected from our school so I am quite happy with the size.  I didn't use a pattern as it is a really simple shape.

This is the front of the bag - you can tell that by the rings.

This is the back, using a different part of the pattern for interest.

This is the inside.  I used Kona solids for this as I didn't want a pattern to detract from the outside.  Tricky photo this one.  There is a zipped pocket for my phone.  I keep my purse and camera in an open pocket which is as wide as the bag, and top stitched for an inch in the middle to stop it gaping.  There is also a key fob.  That light blue rectangle in the bottom is where I ran out of the darker blue but I am claiming it as a design feature.  There is a full zip accross for security which I inserted into a strip in the same sort of way that you do for zipped pockets in linings, except that I did it twice so that the zip is covered by the lining too.

Another thing I have been working on is my 'free' quilt made from Tilda charm packs.  This has inspired the title of the post as when I was making the HSTs I thought the colours were mainly blue and white with some pink.  When I laid it out on the floor to decide how to put it together I was surprised by how pink it is - how did I miss that?

Pink is not something I have a lot of in this house as I am so outnumbered with even the pet tortoise being male, so it is a nice surprise.

I don't know what this zig zag pattern is called (zig zags perhaps :) !) but I have tried (within the limits of the charm packs) to alternate values as this is something I have not tried before.

I read somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) that you should view in black and white to check for value so here is a B&W version of the photo.  I think the far right row is the only dodgy one value wise, but it is my favourite combo in colour so is staying.


Thursday 15 August 2013


You may remember the disaster I had with my much loved suede bag (pepsi can leaked).  My DS2 (who is 10 today - happy birthday!) really liked my bag and cuddled it on long journeys because it was so soft.  One of the things he wanted for his birthday was a brown teddy bear and I had just enough left in off cuts from the bag to make this bear. 

The cream is also suede (real leather not faux).  The bag was made from a long suede skirt I bought second hand for £3 and I used the bag for a couple of years, so getting a bear from it as well is a real plus. 

I used a pattern by Abby Glassenberg from Craftsy and reduced it to 80% as I didn't have much suede left.  I wanted a really soft bear and this pattern is perfect.  I made a couple of changes in that I sewed his face before I sewed the back of the head to the front and I stuffed the arms and legs before sewing them into the body.  I didn't want too many seams to hand sew as the suede is quite hard to sew.

My son opened his presents at 5:40 (!) this morning and was really pleased with his bear.  He is growing up and didn't want many toys -  a tablet, a guitar, dvds etc - but he is still little enough to love a teddy.

Linking with Thursday Threads at 627 Handworks and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.
      My Quilt Infatuation


Wednesday 14 August 2013


I have a long list of stuff I should be doing to get ready for our house extension, cleaning and clearing out mainly - boring!  

I also have a list of stuff I need to sew, boring stuff like curtains.  So am I busy getting on with it? 

No, obviously I 'needed' to start a new quilt!  I even cleared my desk a little to enable this.  It is pretty much a free quilt though, so since it cost practically nothing, I needn't be guilty - right?

A few months ago I took out a subscription to Simply Homemade and the free gift was all Tilda stuff - buttons, ribbon, a book and a charm pack.  The gift arrived and I waited a month or two but no magazine.  I phoned them and explained and they said they would sort it out.  A week or so later my magazine arrived - with another free gift!  The charm squares are 6 inches square so are bigger than normal too. 
To border and back the quilt I have a co-ordinating bolt, yep a WHOLE BOLT, of Tilda fabric which I got for £30 from Panduro.   Tilda fabric is also wider than normal quilting fabric, so I have loads of it.  At that price it is practically free - hence the free quilt!
I have also been working on a new bag to replace my dearly departed death-by-pepsi bag, and a suede leather teddy bear for my son's birthday tomorrow  - I will show these over the next couple of days.
I am still working through all the comments I got from the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop - sorry if I haven't replied to you yet., I did appreciate them all!
Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Better of Thread,
Better Off Thread

Monday 5 August 2013

Happy Days

First of all I have a finish!

This is my Illusion mini.  I have posted about this before at various stages so don't want to bore anyone, but I am really pleased with it.  I used a Simply Colour Ombre jelly roll to make diamonds, which make hexagons, which look like cubes.

I quilted the white borders to echo the shapes and then hand quited selected diamonds with matching DMC thread to make triangles (well Mitsubishi symbols really) and flowers.  I make that 5 shapes from one!

You can see the quilting better in these pictures (oh, and that line on the diamond on the right - blood - I kept pricking my fingers when hand quilting!)  The binding is another jelly roll strip, cut in half to make it long enough, hence it is really skinny.

Sorry for the lack of posts, we have been away in Spain for a family holiday.  I didn't like to say we were going away before we went as I didn't want to advertise an empty house.  Most of our week was spent by the pool which we almost always had to ourselves.  The beach was close by but the kids preferred the pool and, as they are old enough and good enough swimmers to not have to watch all the time, I got 5 books read - bliss. 

While I was away I missed the last week of the Lets Get Acquainted Blog Hop organised by the lovely Beth of Plum and June.
The last of the lovely lassies are:

July 26
Vicki @
A Quilter's Mission
RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elisa Lea @ Lovelea Designs
Elizabeth @ In The Boon Docks
Jenny @ A Note To Follow Sew
Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Sonia @ Fabric & Flowers
Emily @ Sew E.T.
Em @ Sewing by Moonlightg
Go visit them as they all make the most lovely things.

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story and Sew Cute Tuesday at Better off Thread.


Saturday 20 July 2013


Today (well yesterday actually) it is my turn on the Blog Hop run by the lovely Beth of Plum and June.  Thank you so much Beth for running this.  Sorry my post is late.  I work in a school and yesterday was the end of term.  After half term we all say  'Hurray only 7 weeks until the summer holidays' but about 5 weeks later it is ' Oh no. only 2 weeks to go, how will I get it all done!'  The answer, unfortunately, is to work very long hours and not do any sewing :( 

Anyway, nice to meet you all. I have really enjoyed being part of this blog hop and meeting lots of lovely and talented bloggers.  My bloglovin list has gotten longer and longer and there has been a great email correspondence going on behind scenes. 

I guess you would like to know a bit about me?  I have sewn as long as I can remember.  I was given an old Singer sewing machine which I used to sit cross legged on the floor with with the foot pedal under my knee - until I got a bit to big to bend down that far!

When I was 18 I was given a Janome machine for my birthday.  This is the machine sewed on until February this year.  It had all of 6 different stitches!  This year I decided it was time to upgrade and I bought a reconditioned Husqvarna 870q.  It does about a million stitches (may be exaggerating) has a huge throat.  I can also move the needle sideways - never knew that was even possible before. 

Before I made quilts I made clothes, curtains, and lots of toys and dressing up outfits for my kids.  When we got married (16 years ago) I made my wedding dress, and the outfits for the page boy and little bridesmaid.  They carried toy bunnies as they were only 2 & 3 and I made matching outfits for them too.  My mum made her outfit, and the dress for my sister, who was my maid of honour.  My dress had over 5000 pearls on it, all hand sewn on.  It also had the buttons from my mum's wedding dress which she had made too.  Hubbie proposed to me on 10 January and we got married on 3 May - so I had 14 weeks to get all this done.  Clearly I work better with a deadline. (Oh, and no, I wasn't pregnant - just saw no point in waiting any longer - we'd been dating for 4 years!)

I took up quilting a couple of years ago.  After I made my first quilt (from Hubbie's shirts) I found the online blogging community and discovered all the beautiful things which could be made, and all the gorgeous fabric which could be bought!
I had really hoped to get my cubic hexagons finished for this post, but the heat and work put paid to that.so the only thing I have finished is a little fabric basket made with a paper pieced pattern which I tested for the very talented Michelle of Factotum of Arts.  I used a Songbird fabric to match my owl.
I have seen lots of lovely pictures of peoples sewing rooms over the last few weeks so thought you might like to see mine.  I must issue a warning though - I work better in a mess.  I need to see things to inspire me.  I do tidy up sometimes - but not as often as I should.  So, if you don't like a mess you may want to look away now - but go down to the bottom of the post first to see the other people in the blog hop.

Still with me?  Well done.  I am also a papercrafter and have been running a club for the last 8 years teaching adults.  My room therefore needs to have papercrafting stuff (mostly in the bottom picture) as well as sewing stuff.  When I make something big I have to bring my machine out into the dining room, but I do manage little things in here.
Right, this is a very long post for me, so sorry about that.  Please feel free to have a look round while you are here. 
I am linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for the Friday finish and with Plum and June for Lets Get Aquainted.  Here are the list of bloggers from last week (really sorry) and this week.
July 12
Karen @
Karen, {Novice} Quilter
Anne @ PlayCrafts
Rachel @ Let's Begin Sewing...
Jan @ Sew And Sow Farm
Anna @ Quilting Along The Grain
Cath @ Wombat Quilts
Sarah @ {no} hats in the house
Christen @ Love by Hand
Julie @ 627handworks

July 19
Karen @
Little Birdie Quilting Studio
Kathy @ Kwilty Pleasures
Katie @ Snuggle Up With A Dish From Karma
Alison @
Making Happyness  That's ME!
Ella and Nesta @ Ella & Nesta's Little Room
Adrienne @ Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
Nicole @ Modern Handcraft
Aylin @ AyliN-Nilya
Kelsey and Amanda @ Everyday Fray
Oh, and if you wondered about the blog name... when I make stuff it makes me happy and I spelt it with a Y because my Hubbies name is Symon and we always have to say 'Simon, with a Y'.
Thanks for visiting