Saturday, 29 December 2012

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Happy belated Christmas everyone! Hope you all had fun. We were with my family for a very relaxed Christmas, which was lovely after the busyness of house moving. We're now back home for a day and a half and then off to see the hubby's family. Fun times :)

Anyway, it's now time for Kelsey's 100 Day Hustle link-up. Just realised that she had us make a list and check it twice (once at the halfway-point, once now); do you reckon she might be Santa? Anyway, here are my results!

1. Finish frog project
Done! I'm part way through blogging about the quilts for my friends' new twins, here's a sneak peek of the completed quilts :)

2. Start and finish London project
Done! The London project was for my mum. More to come on this later, but here's a quick look.

3. Start and finish Mouthy Stitches bag and keyfob
Done very early on in the hustle, and sent to Sadie :)

Photos taken by Sadie

4. Pick out fabrics for a quilt for hubby and I
Not happened yet. Although I do now have some exciting new fabric - as my Christmas present my hubby took me out for a Thorntons hot chocolate (the epic one with a scoop of icecream in it, I went for toffee icecream and it was amazing) and then took me on to the fabric shop to pick out my present :) Very exciting, I'll show them to you soon! Probably not what I'll use for our quilt, but very fun all the same.

5. Maybe make some little things for people for Christmas
It didn't involve sewing, but my hubby and I did do some last-minute making. Will show you soon.

6. Make my Texting While Sewing block into a cushion
Wasn't expecting to find time for this, even before I knew I'd be moving house! Ah well, will get to it in the new year :)

And that's my list! It went pretty well I think. It feels weird entering the new year with no ongoing sewing projects (well, unless you count making that cushion). I'm quite excited about it though, and looking forward to picking what to make next!

Hope you all have a great new year, and see you soon!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

We did it!

We moved house 2 weeks before Christmas! With the help of friends and family we managed to move everything across here on Saturday. And amazingly, this place already feels a lot like home. This is mostly thanks to my hubby, who spent all of Monday unpacking our lounge. Wonderful man. Here's a corner of our new place during moving day:

And here it is now!

The rest of the house still needs work, but it's great to have some of it done already.

Surprisingly I've still found some time to sew. Late one night, a few days before we moved, I had a go at making a tissue holder after being inspired by this post. I followed this tutorial, and loved it! So simple to make, and yet it looks so professional. To my eyes anyway :) This was a gift for my lovely friend Kirsten.

I've also been working on another project, but it's another secret one so I'll tell you about it later.

Hope you're all well and looking forward to Christmas!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Squares, squares, squares

Hi all! It's moving day tomorrow, very exciting! Day off today to 'pack' (read: have a lie-in, do Christmas shopping and at some point put things in boxes) so thought I'd pop in to say hi.

When I last left you, I'd been working on lots of mini embroideries with some friends. Well, next up was turning them into two quilt tops. My inspiration was this quilt. Making something with this pattern had been on my to-do list for a while. And so I began by laying out the plain squares:

And then started adding in the pictures to replace the embroidery-representation-paperclips (technical term):

Next up I piled the squares neatly:

And started making some blocks :)

I tried different methods of making the blocks - with the first quilt I didn't pin the squares at all, with the second I put one pin in either side of every intersection. In the finished product I'm not sure you can tell the difference! The pinning made things a bit more accurate so I didn't have to redo any 'those points don't quite match' seams, so I'm not sure which was the quicker method in the long run. What do you do? Are you a pinner or not? I'm still finding my sewing style :)

Before too long, something resembling a quilt appeared:

And I soon had a quilt top :)

More on these quilts coming soon!

PS: Below is a typical shot of my lounge (soon to be my old lounge, sob) when I've been let loose to sew -  one project on the floor, another on the table, a pile of fabric and assorted discarded jumpers because I've got too hot when ironing fabric. Does anyone else take over entire rooms when they sew?!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Double Trouble

Do you remember Miss A and Ruan? Well, earlier on this year we found out their parents were expecting twins! They're an amazing couple, and if anyone can handle 4 under 4s, they can. I wasn't sure with budget and with being busy with Toby's quilt whether I'd be able to make 2 more, but in the end it all worked out :)

These quilts started with some scheming between myself and my best friend Kirsten. Unfortunately since we've both graduated, got jobs and become proper grown-ups, there has been a lot less time in our lives for scheming. But we'll make the most of the opportunities when they come! Our scheming this time resulted in plans to gather some girly friends and all embroider squares which we'd sew together in quilts for the twins. The pictures we'd embroider would be gender-neutral, and once they'd arrived I'd pick up pink or blue fabric to add into the mix, depending upon the genders.

I went to my LQS and realised this would be the perfect opportunity to use a dragonfly fabric I'd been eyeing up. They sold it in blue, pink and green - perfect! I found solids which matched it and bought the gender neutral prints ready to start some embroidery.

And so we began :) Sewing, snacking (far too much during the first girly evening...), and coming up with fun, gender-neutral pictures.

When we were part way through sewing squares, the twins were born. Two boys! Again! And so, blue it was.

Mmm, pretty fabrics.

Anyway, some boyish pictures started to creep in as we created more and more mini embroideries. I was expecting making so many to drive me spare, but I actually (mostly) quite enjoyed it! Me and embroidery getting along, who knew?

Here are most of the white-background pictures:

And here are the coloureds:

Points if you spotted Edmund, my guest blogger, in the first pic :) Yes, for those of you who follow my blog, this is 'the frog project'!

I'll leave you with some close-ups of some of the embroideries. Tune in next time to see them turn into quilts :) Oh, and in case you're wondering, yes, I do have some very talented friends!

I'll be linking up to Fabric Tuesday and Work In Progress Wednesday when the appropriate days arrive :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Appliqué for Men

Hi all! Long time, no see. Life's been busy. Anyway, today I bring you the Patchwork and Pins guide to 'what to do if someone else buys your husband the same present you'd bought him and gives it to him first'.

Step 1 (optional):
Get all worried/stressed/pull your hair out.

Step 2:
Put together the fact that your husband likes Lego and you like appliqué and start to come up with a master plan.

Step 3:
Remember that he needs new pyjamas. Develop the master plan.

Step 4:
Buy pyjamas. Optional extra - for bonus points - make pyjamas. Wasn't gonna happen for me!

Step 5:
a. Check fabric shops for bright yellow material.
b. Discover cheap fabric shop has bright yellow material, but it's very thin.
c. Assume expensive fabric shop will have bright yellow material and speed-walk across town after work to get to it before it closes.
d. Find expensive shop has no bright yellow material.
e. Run across town back to cheap fabric shop.
f. Buy material and matching thread.
Alternative method - go to cheap fabric shop and buy fabric and thread.

Step 6:
Create a Lego version of your husband's head using this website.

Step 7:
Do some satin stitch.

Step 8:
Remember how much you hate satin stitch.

Step 9:
Remeber how much you love your husband.

Step 10:
Do more satin stitch.

Step 10:
Appliqué lego head onto pyjama pocket. Realise this will sew up the pocket but decide not to worry as pyjama pockets not known for usefulness.

Step 11:
Spend a large amount of time searching the internet for a side-view of a square Lego block. Find none. Take your own photo.

Step 12:
Zoom in on the photo on your camera and measure the distances. Multiply by three to make lego brick template.

Step 13:
Appliqué lego block onto back of pyjamas.

Step 13:
Give pyjamas to husband. You now have a very happy husband!


Coming up next week: the Patchwork and Pins guide to 'how to buy a flat, get ready for Christmas, finish two quilts and hold down a full time job at the same time'. Well, if I figure out how to do it anyway...

See you soon!

ETA: Linking up to Made By You Monday :)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Hustle Hustle

Do you remember I signed up for Kelsey's 100 Day Hustle? Well, we're now half way through and it's time to check on progress. Here's how I'm doing!

1. Finish frog project
Lots and lots of progress made. Can't wait to show you guys, but this is a secret project! Here's a quick peek of some squares which will be joining my frog:

2. Start and finish London project
Only minimal progress made. This one's a 'definitely need to finish' project though, so it will get done.

3. Start and finish Mouthy Stitches bag and keyfob
Done! I very much enjoyed making the tote and keyring, and I'm very pleased that Sadie liked them.
Photos taken by Sadie

4. Pick out fabrics for a quilt for hubby and I
Discovering I much prefer choosing fabrics in a shop to picking them out online, so I need to plan in some shopping time.

5. Maybe make some little things for people for Christmas
It's only November; no way I've thought about this yet!

6. Make my Texting While Sewing block into a cushion
Hasn't happened yet, not completely convinced it will. We'll see :)

I'm not sure how much sewing time I'm going to get between now and Christmas because... hubby and I are buying a flat! It's all happened so suddenly, it's the first place we viewed, and now we might be trying to move in before Christmas. Eep! All of a sudden, evenings are filled with mortgages and solicitors and 'can we live with pink carpets or do we want to change them' rather than fabric and sewing. Sad times, eh? I'm still making progress on the (slightly epic) frog project every so often though :)

Anyway, off to bed for now, I'll be linking up to the half-way point of the hustle tomorrow :)

Monday, 5 November 2012

How Exciting!

My Orla Kiely quilt has been nominated for Favourite Applique Quilt at the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

If you fancy popping over here to vote for me, that would be great! It's a bit less than half way down the page, search for 'Orla Kiely Quilt' to find it easily.

Thanks so much!

Pink Daisies

Do you remember I mentioned that I won a giveaway from Karen at Blueberry Park? Well, a package arrived two days after my birthday with these lovelies in!

Aren't they great? The main event is this lovely makeup bag:

I've been meaning to make myself a makeup bag for a while now, but it never quite made it to the top of my To-Do list. So it's really lovely that someone's made one for me :)

I love the little mini purse as well (you can never have two many mini purses), and look how cute the mirror is:

I'm a very happy bunny. Thanks so much Karen! If you'd like to buy some lovely things made by Karen, check out here shop here.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Ooh, pretty!

As I came home from work yesterday I noticed the postman making his way down my street. I could see he had some packages in his arms. I may have got a little excited! He was a couple of houses away, so I let myself in and then waited in the hallway - I live in a top floor flat, that's a lot of stairs to go up and then down again! And sure enough, a package for me popped through the door. Wanna see?

When Mary posted a picture of the fabric she'd picked and then the bag she had made, I was hoping it was for me. And it was. Here it is!

My attempt to get a light photo involved hanging the bag literally on the window!

Isn't it beautiful? It must have taken her absolutely ages, all those tiny little triangles. The colours are outside her comfort zone, but very me - thanks Mary for being willing to take on a challenge! I love how the oranges and pinks she picked go really well together. And I love the beige/natural linen too. Win!

My photo of the inside didn't work out so well (how are people with full time jobs meant to take pretty pictures for their blog in Winter when there's no sun left when they get home?!) but I hope you can see that it's lovely :) I'll def use the bag this way round too, well, if I don't get it too grubby anyway.

So pretty!

Thank you so much Mary, I absolutely love it :)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Hi everyone :)

Amy is running the Blogger's Quilt Festival starting today, so I thought I'd enter my Orla Kiely quilt.

As anyone who has read my blog before will know, this quilt began back in April with a piece of wrapping paper:

This was given to me by a lovely friend and mum-to-be as inspiration for making a baby quilt. They weren't planning to find out the gender of their little one, so this would have to be a gender neutral quilt. This was a new challenge for me, as was picking out fabrics by myself rather than using a set from a specific collection. Here are the fabrics I picked:

I'm so blessed that I have such a great LQS where I found these lovelies :) They sat on my desk at work after I bought them, and I kept peeking at them and grinning!

And here's what they became:

(an in progress shot, since I never got a full photo of the completed back in good lighting)

As you can see, I went for a simple lattice design for the front (loving lattices at the mo) and appliquéed the Orla Kiely pattern on the back.

I had some fun the details on this one - quilting a mix of straight lines and wavy lines to produce some fun patterns...

... and doing a little fussy cutting with the Sunkissed fabric.

I absolutely love this quilt, and was very sad to let it go. But it's in a good home now, and that makes me happy!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures : 1m x 1m approx
Special techniques used : applique
Quilted by : me!
Best Category : Applique Quilt, Baby Quilt

Right, off to browse some of the other entries :)