Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Mistletoe and Wine

While I continue with a couple of secret projects, I'm going to take you back in time to last Christmas. Let me set the scene - it's cold outside, it's finally acceptable to have cheesy music on all the time, and you decide to make 8 pairs of oven gloves. Well, I did anyway. Making presents has become quite a tradition for the hubby and I, but this year took quite a lot of commitment. Between the end of October and Christmas, one evening a week became the oven glove evening. Never mind what else was going on, we had an oven glove schedule to stick to.

It was a fun adventure and I love the results, but there were definitely some challenges along the way! Back then I hadn't had much experience of sewing curves, and sewing them through 1 layer of batting, 2 layers of insul-bright and 4 layers of fabric was... an experience. I persevered and, thanks to much help and patience from Laurence, made it through with most of my sanity intact.

And here they are! I think it was worth it :)

5 of the 8

A pair for my musical brother-in-law

And our pair hanging up at home

I enjoyed adding some embroidery to some of the pairs. I think the below is my favourite.

I'll be linking up to the Small Blog Meet when tomorrow comes, so a big hello to anyone who's popped over from there :) I'm looking forward to exploring your blogs too! Will you be undertaking any big Christmas present sewing projects this year? I think I might take a year off!

Lily's Quilts

Here's a final shot. Love this fabric very much :)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Pretty Pics While-U-Wait

Hi everyone! All of the sewing going on around here is rather secretive - I'm working on my text block and the wrapping paper quilt (which is about to be basted). But I do have some pictures which can be posted. Last week my hubby and I had a 'stay-cation' - we stayed in Bath but had time off work to do fun things. One of our day trips was to Ikea - love that shop! Amongst other things we picked up a bookcase and some bits and pieces for fabric storage. I haven't finished organising my fabric yet, but here are a few shots of it as it stands :)

At the moment one of the problems is a lack of card for making the mini 'bolts'. If any of my real-life friends are reading this and have any thick card, please send it my way :)

Also, ever wondered what 10,000 yards of thread looks like? Here it is!

It's nothing fancy - I've been fine so far with 'polyester covered polyester thread' (yup, that's really what it was called) so I thought I'd stock up. Only £8. I wonder how long it will last me?

Bye for now!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Being Brave

I've decided to be a bit brave and enter a competition! It's called Texting While Sewing and the idea is to use a text fabric in a creative way. This will be my first attempt at designing and making a 'picture block' and so far it's gone pretty well :) I messed up one part, but that was during a practice, using some what-was-I-thinking fabric (I'm sure we all have some of that in our collections!).

Here are the fabrics I'll be using, with the all-important text fabric on top:

I'm looking forward to giving this a go. Focusing more on meeting people, making friends and having a block to make a cute cushion with rather than trying to win against far more experienced and talented people! If you're popping by cos you're entering too then I'd love it if you said hi :) Maybe tell me about your what-was-I-thinking fabric. Mine is a muddy, variagated-background green leaf-patterned fabric. Bought when I was in a hurry (shop was about to close) and I needed some backing fabric for my table-runner. Very glad I didn't use it in the end!

Monday, 16 July 2012


It's done! Ta-da! I finished the table runner this morning :)

The little extras I mentioned last time were some cute little coasters. I used Svetlana's tutorial for the basics of coaster making, but scaled mine back to 4 inch squares.

They have two layers of batting in them, which makes them wonderfully poofy! Squidging them reminds me of the texture of marshmallows... mmm... Don't worry, I haven't actually drooled over the coasters.

Here is the set in action. I'll be quite sad to let it go. Thankfully the first coaster I made wasn't perfect so I'll be keeping that one, and I made it a friend. So I have a souvenir of a project again :)

PS I had so much fun making a mini version of my header for the back of the label!

ETA: Linking up to Made By You Mondays and Manic Monday. Also table-runner tutorial is here :)

Monday, 9 July 2012

Still Running

To make the wedding present table runner I'm working on a little more special, I offered to add some embroidery to the back. I love personalising projects in this way - it makes them a bit more special than things you can buy in the shops. One day I'd quite like to get some 'Patchwork & Pins' labels printed to add to quilts I make. That's probably a fair way in the future though!

Anyway, here's how the embroidery turned out:

I'm pretty pleased with the result. For the first time I decided to use an actual font (traced from my laptop) rather than free-styling and I quite like the effect. It was less tricky that I thought it would be to add the little flicks onto letters. I used my new toy for the tracing - a blue quilter's pen whose ink disappears with cold water. I already can't imagine how I lived without it!

Below are a few more in-progress shots. The completed project should be popping up here before too long, along with some little extras I've been working on tonight :)

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

Friday, 6 July 2012

Starting Sparkling

I've started work on a Sparkle Punch cushion :) There aren't going to be many stars on it - I forgot that since I'm making a very small cushion cover, I should really have shrunk the 'designed for a big quilt' stars. But I think it's going to be pretty cute anyway.

This will definitely be a background project as I have a couple of other projects which have deadlines, but it should be fun to dip in and out of :)

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Photography and Flowers

Firstly, hi to anyone popping over from Lily's Quilts Small Blog Meet :)

Lily's Quilts

I've only been blogging for about two months now so this is all very new to me. So far it's been good fun keeping track of my sewing adventures online. I'm looking forward to growing as a blogger and to hopefully making some online quilting/sewing friends :) One unexpected side-effect has been that I spend nearly as long taking photos of what I'm sewing as I do actually sewing it! I've been making good use of my 'photography studio'. Do you want to see it?

Yup, that's it. A sofa cushion balanced next to our window. It's quite difficult to keep it balanced there! Thankfully my husband is really behind me in this blogging adventure and doesn't mind me taking over the lounge with my sewing and doing odd things with our furniture. Love him very much!

Anyway, ealier this week I had some very exciting post. I've been eyeing up Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy line for a while now after seeing it used in beautiful projects like this, this and this. As well as big projects, I've also noticed the seeds/eyelet print appearing in pretty much every scrap project I've seen. So when I saw that the fabrics were going to be coming to UK online shops in April, I got very excited! There was a bit of a delay, but eventually they arrived in the shops and I ordered some of my favourite prints.

The package, as it arrived from backstitch.co.uk
This sat on my desk at work all day while I tried to resist ripping it open!

Aren't they beautiful? Love the flowers print, and the stripe one goes really well with it :) I'm not sure yet what I'll use them for. I'd love to make a bag with them, but I'd definitely like to hone my bag-making skills first.

I also picked up a little bit of the seeds print. Looking forward to using this in some scrappy projects. Also wondering about using it as a Christmas tree on a cushion similar to this one. We'll see.

Thanks for popping by :)