Friday, 28 June 2013

Paper Rose Garden

I finally finished my Paper Roses cushion.  I bordered it with some more Simply Colour ombre and then more Essex linen.  I quilted it with tiny pebbles (gravel?) around the outside and in a trellis pattern around the rose.  The idea was that this would be like a rose garden.

This is the first time I have tried to do free motion pebbles and next time I shall make them a bit bigger as it took forever and used 2 bobbins of thread.   I didn't quilt the rose or coloured borders, mainly because I couldn't work out how to do it and less is more - right?

The back is just charm squares in a simple 9 patch.  I put the pink one in the middle to reference the rose on the front.  I love those chevrons especially the green - it is so fresh!  I might just love the back more than the front.

I had an audience when I took these photos - clearly my kids aren't shy!  Perhaps I should let them back in the house???

Not all has gone well today though.  I took a can of pepsi to work with me today in my handbag.  When I went to get to get it at lunch I found this:

Somehow the can had developed tiny hole (keys?) and had spent the morning leaking gently into my SUEDE handbag.  It is soaking wet and so is everything in it. 

I love this bag.  I made it from a skirt I found in a charity shop for £3.  I then spent about £30 on extra bits of leather to make the flowers and hearts, but it is the inital saving which counts, right?  It is was so soft with the most gorgeous Michael Miller lining.

Anyone get any tips on how to get pepsi out of suede?

Linking with Crazy Mom Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation and Live a Colourful Life.

It is also the new bloggers blog hop day.  Todays bloggers are: (insert drumroll)

Green @ So Sew Green

Gwendellyn @ The Rainbow Revolts
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts
Kris @ Sew Sunshine
Camilla @ Faffling

Friday, 21 June 2013

Doris & Ethel

These are my Friday Finishes for the week (I'm still trying to decide how to quilt my Rose).  I am a big fan of the Tilda range by Tone Finnanger and these are cupcake angels from the Tilda's Studio book.  I named them Doris and Ethel, Ethel is a little shy and Doris is quite bossy.  The eyes are always the last bit I do as they are not 'alive' until they have eyes.  And yes, I cried all through Toy Story 3!
I made them quite a bit thinner than the pattern showed and I also gave them pantaloons as they seemed a little indecent without them.  They don't have wings and I am keeping them that way.  I am sure Angels hide their wings sometimes anyway.

Sorry for rambling, DS1 is 12 today and he had us up at 5:30 this morning (having been up late wrapping pressies the night before!)
Linking with Crazy Mom Quilts and also with the new blogger blog hop from Plum and June.  This week's bloggers are:

Leigh Anne @ Ella's Cottage
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Liz @ Beadqueene's Bits And Baubles
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity
Lauren @ Seraphym
Amy @ Cloud CouCou Crafts


Thursday, 20 June 2013


I have made a bit more progress with my paper pieced rose which I have decided to make into a cushion (pillow).  I made a simple 9 patch for the back of the cushion with some more Simply Colour from my charm pack.  These are the pieces which did not make it into my Dresden / Coventry.

I have basted the layers together using my favourite method of big tacking stitches in cheap thread.  I have seen lots of debates about pinning versus spray but nobody seems to tack.  I have tried pinning but don't like it when I am quilting as they always seem to get in the way.  I haven't tried spray as I don't have anywhere I could use this which would not make a sticky mess.  Tacking really works for me and I have used it on all my quilts so far.

Does anyone else tack?


Linking with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story and Living a Colourful Life Random Thursday.Live A Colorful LifeFresh Poppy Design

Monday, 17 June 2013

Paper Pieced Rose

When I used to do a lot of paper crafting I had a blog called Paper Piecing, so I found it really funny to find that there was a quilting version too!

This is my first attempt at paper piecing quilt-stylie.  I bought a pattern from Piece by Numbers on Etsy last year, but it is only this week that I got up the courage to try it.  I am rather please by the results although, as you can see below - it isn't perfect!  Those little pink threads are actually the raw edge showing (gasp!).  I am hoping to catch them under the linen with a couple of hand stitches.

The coloured fabrics are Simply Colour by V&Co.  (I'm not sponsored or anything - I just really like it!)  When I made my Coventry wall hanging I used part of one strip from a junior jelly roll and this was made with the remainder of those strips.  I still have 2 whole strips of each colour, so expect plenty more projects with this!  I started with the light pink and dark aubergine in the centre and went out to dark pink and light aubergine.  The solid is my favourite Essex Linen in natural.

Now all I have to do is decide what to make with it, I'm leaning towards a cushion but it is a bit small at the moment.

I also want to show you 2 pictures of Big D and Little D.  DS2 decided that what his Daddy would really like for Fathers' Day was a t-shirt with a picture of them both doing archery (my husband's hobby).  We took the photos and then printed them off on photo transfer paper with a BEST DAD message.  Ironed on a white t-shirt and all done.

DH proudly wore the t-shirt all day!  (Oh and the weird stuff behind DS2 is a homemade tardis console - obviously!)

I'm Linking up with Lucy for the Monday Link up, Quilt Story and Kristy for the Paper Piecing Party.
 Plum and JuneFresh Poppy DesignPPPQP button

Thursday, 13 June 2013

... When it is a Coventry!

I went to university in Coventry which, like Dresden, is a beautiful old city heavily bombed during WWII.  Coventry and Dresden are twinned cities.  Coventry has 2 cathedrals now, one is old and traditional and now ruined and next to it is the modern one.  I love both.  So many quilting parallels!

When my Dresden went wrong, it seemed fitting to redo it and rename it and call it a Coventry - well it made sense to me. (See yesterdays post if you missed it.)

This is bound in the Simply Colour Ombre solids which I am completely in love with.  Each piece is only 18cm long so the colour change is quite subtle, but each is darker at the top and lighter at the bottom - such a good idea (Vanessa not me!)

I love this quilt so much more like this.  I just can't decide whether to have it hanging on the wall, or flat on my breakfast bar.

I learnt several new things with this quilt:
  1. Don't Fear the (seam) Ripper (Blue Oyster Cult anyone?)
  2. My walking foot is awesome - why was I so afraid to use it???
I'm linking this one with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.


ps  Having pieced all those little bits for the top and bottom strips, I then found a whole 2 yard piece!

pps I almost forgot the blog hop! Please visit todays contenstants...

Friday, June 14
Julie @
Jolie Maxtin
Melissa @ Melia Mae Quilting
Adrianne @ On The Windy Side
Molli @ Molli Sparkles
Laura @ Little And Lots
Sarah @ Duck Egg Threads
Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation
Cari @ There's A Thread
Valerie @ Between Quilts


When is a Dresden not a Dresden?

So, I had a charm pack of Simply Colour by V&Co and some natural Essex Linen and Vanessa was doing a series on Dresdens so I thought I would have a go.  I was also inspired by this quilt.

I bought a ruler, cut it all out and sewed it together and... nothing. 

Firstly it is huge.  I should have worked out that it would be twice the size of the ruler but I am too used to things ending up smaller because I forget about seam allowances. 

Secondly I have no need (or space) for anything round and if I added more fabric to square it off it would be even more huge. 

Thirdly, it wasn't very good.  It isn't random enough (something I often struggle with) and the seams were not very even.  The lawn needed cutting when this was taken so it wasn't quite as bumpy as it looks - but nearly!

I was really fed up, I loved that charm pack and these were my especially favourite prints and I had ruined them. :(

Then I got the Zakka 2.0 book and read the bit about making friends with your seam ripper and I realised that all was not lost (hurray!).  I ripped the fans apart and decided to sew them back together in a long strip.  All I needed was 2 strips of linen to square off the ends.  New problem - I had used up all the rest of the linen in making a tea cosy.

This was all I had left

I ended up sewing 5 bits together to make a 2x6inch strip, and I had to do that twice.

Big reveal tomorrow of the finished item!

I'm linking to Live a Colourful Life random thursday slot.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Flower Mini Quilt

This mini was a bit of an experiment.  I subscribe to Simply Homemade and a few months ago it came with some free flower stamps.

I played about with these a bit and ended up stamping them onto linen (backed with iron on interfacing) and some of my favourite felt from 21st Century Yarns I cut out the felts flowers on one border and the linen ones a little larger - I hope this picture makes that clearer!

I added lines on the petals to attach the felt to the linen - the needle down option on my machine made it so much easier to make all those turns.   The binding is Oakshott.  It was a challenge to work with felt in a quilt as I haven't tried this before.

I'm linking this up to the Modern Mini Quilt Challenge at Ellison Lane.

I'm also linking to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Roses Topper

My sister gave me a nice chest of drawers a wile back.  It has different sized drawers and is great for storing different size cuts of fabric, scraps in the little drawers, fat quarters in the middle size and metres in the bottom large drawers.  I also keep baskets on the top with interfacing and batting etc.

My sister had had the drawers some time and they could really do with rubbing down and painting - perhaps a project for the summer?  In the mean time, however, I decided to pretty them up with a little topper.  This is the exact size of the top of the chest (so I can't wash it in case it shrinks!)

I used some cotton sheeting as the beige solid and 2 fat quarters from Hobbycraft's bargain bin (the rose print).  I don't know what it is as it had no selvage print.

My points are a bit off, but the quilting disguises it nicely and it was a really good practice piece for half square triangles.

I used a bought binding, but have seen comments on other blogs since that this is a BAD THING.  I would really appreciate feedback on why this is, I found it really useful.  I guess it will bleed when I wash it, but I also used bought orange bias binding when I made pot holders from the last Zakka-a-long - it is so much easier for circles, and that washes fine.


Saturday, 8 June 2013

New Delivery

I recently took advantage of the 15% off at Simply Solids to get some new basics - plus I needed linen for the Zakka-a-long.

I also thought I would try some of these clover clips as I have heard some good things about them.  I'll let you know how I get on.

I got Essex Linen in linen, putty and natural and Kona white, robins egg, lagoon, marine and chartreuse.

I had tried to order ash and parchment, but both went out of stock :(.  Still, this little lot should last me a while.

Linking up with the new bloggers for this week:

Friday, June 7th
Nancy @ Owen's Olivia
Amy @ 13 Spools
Casey @ The Studiolo


Friday, 7 June 2013

New Blogger Blog Hop

Plum and JuneNew Blogger Blog Hop Participant Schedule
I am in a blog hop - my very first!!!  I am not 'on' until July 19th, but here are all the other lovely people.

Friday, June 7th
Friday, June 7th
Nancy @ Owen's Olivia
Amy @ 13 Spools
Casey @ The Studiolo

Friday, June 14
Friday, June 14
Julie @ Jolie Maxtin
Adrianne @ On The Windy Side
Valerie @ Between Quilts

Friday, June 21
Friday, June 21
Leigh Anne @ Ella's Cottage
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity
Lauren @ Seraphym

Friday, June 28
Friday, June 28
Green @ So Sew Green
Gwendellyn @ The Rainbow Revolts
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts
Kris @ Sew Sunshine
Camilla @ Faffling

Friday, July 5
Friday, July 5
Christa @ Christa Quilts!
Stephanie @ Quarter Incher

Friday, July 12 July 12
Anne @ PlayCrafts

Friday, July 19
Ella and Nesta @ Ella & Nesta's Little Room
Aylin @ AyliN-Nilya
Kelsey and Amanda @ Everyday Fray

Friday, July 26
RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elisa Lea @ Lovelea Designs
Elizabeth @ In The Boondocks
Emily @ Sew E.T.
Em @ sewing by moonlight

Stump Work

I read a book by Victoria Hislop this week called The Thread  It is all about a girl / woman who spends her life sewing, embroidering and tailoring. (It also covers 2 world wars, a love story and the modern history of Thessaloniki.)

The book really inspired me to sew lots more and I decided to do some embroidery.

The brooch is basically all thread (with some little black beads and a backing fabric).  I love that you can make something 3d out of just thread.  It is only a couple of inches across and I have attached a pin on the back so I can wear it. 


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Zakka - a - Long

This is linked with LR Stitched for the Zakka Sew Along part 2. 

I used some squares  from a charm pack for this as they were, very usefully, just the right size.  This is Cuzco I think. 

Although not traditional pepper colours, they screamed HOT at me and, more importantly, matched where I want the coaster to go!  I probably should have ironed before I did the  top stitching, but I am ok with it. It is not a major project, just a bit of fun and so doesn't need to be perfect.

Also linked with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.  Also mentioning a great giveaway by Maureen Cracknell.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Wings of a Different Kind

This has been in the works for some time and I don't know what I haven't finished it.

It was inspired by this quilt but, having boys, I went with a (slightly) more masculine colour scheme.   The butterfly shapes were mostly found on Google images and they printed off and used as templates.  I bought a blue charm pack from The Cotton Patch and used fusible stuff to attach to some white cotton.  I then had blanket stitched them in matching embroidery thread.

I did plan to FMQ in the white space, but didn't know how and all attempts were disastrous so I hand quilted the lot in a very pale blue - it took ages.  I tried to echo the butterfly shapes to make it look like air movements caused by their wings.
All that is needed now is to embroider some words from Psalm 139 (but a version from a song by a band called Eden Burning, whom I loved when I was a student).  The white paper shows more or less where the wording will go, with 'Psalm 139' and 'Eden Burning' to go in the bottom spaces.
The plan is that this quilt will hang on the wall but I noticed when I hung it up that it is a bit wonky now from the hand quilting.  I also don't know how well it will wash either with all those dark blues and white.  Perhaps that is why I am scared to finish it, in case it all goes wrong?

Monday, 3 June 2013

More Birdies

I usually wear statement neclaces (costume jewellery only sadly!) but have found myself leaning more towards brooches recently  - probably mainly because I can sew them!

The blue bird was made first and was to wear on my birthday as we had to make some of the team redundant that day and I was really NOT looking forward to it.  A cheerful little blue bird, together with lots of cake, really helped. (The good news is that most of the people who lost their jobs actually wanted to leave anyway.)

Bluey is made of felt from this shop which has a lovely texture and variagated colour.  The legs are fake suede thong used for beading.  I used some pelmet stiffener between two layers of body felt and 2 layers of wing felt which made him nice and firm.  I also used some iron on interfacing on his tummy patch to help stop it from fraying. 

The purpley bird was made from a suede jacket I bought for £2.59 in a second hand shop.  (bargain) You may well see lots of other things made from that jacket as it is a gorgeous colour.

I'm linking this to Plum and June and Life's Rich Pattern for their Monday Link up.

Plum and June



I have always been a sewer (sewist?) and have tended to buy thread for a specific project and then leave it an a bag with the remnants which ended up in a big cupboard with lots of other bags.  When I took up quilting I decided I needed a way to organise my thread which was a little more sensible.

I decided to make a thread holder and so had a rummage in my husbands wood collection where I found a nice bit of ply.  Some nifty work (by me!!!) with the jig saw and an owl was cut out.  (He does have 2 wings - the big reel of black is hiding one.)  I then hammered in some big nails.  I'll be honest, they aren't all at the same angle, but I figured the reels would hide that!  The eys and beak are leather with gorgeous slate buttons from North Wales.


I could really do with another owl (or perhaps a pusscat?) as I have too much thread, but he is a big improvement on the old system.  He hangs on the wall above my machine so is in easy reach.

Whilst on the subject of thread - here is a bit of gorgeousness.  I inherited this from my granny and I can't bear to use it.