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.