Saturday, 8 June 2013

Cushions and Pyjamas

Hi everyone :) I'm popping in to show you a couple of little projects I started and finished recently. I somehow ended up finishing these two projects and the Mushroom Houses quilt (more on that in a later post) all in one weekend. It was a little hectic! But good fun.

The first project was a cushion for my lovely mum-in-law. It was her 60th birthday recently and to celebrate we had a holiday in the Alps in France together, along with assorted family members including our gorgeous nephews, who are now 2! I thought I'd make a little something for her to remember the holiday by, so I started off with a little mountain scene:


And turned it into a cushion:

This means I've finally got over my fear of making cushions! I made a practice one first, and took the opportunity to also practice free motion quilting:

I was pretty proud of it! I still need a lot of practice befire attempting it on a full quilt, but I'm hoping it won't be too long before I can manage it.

The other project was a second pair of Lego pyjamas. This time round they were for my dad.

Here are my hubby and my dad together:

Fun times :) I'll be popping in again soon to show you the finished Mushroom Houses quilt, along with the start of a new project. See you soon!

I'll be linking up to Finish It Up Friday when it comes around :)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Quilting Round in Circles

Hi all :)

A little while back I asked for thoughts RE quilting this baby:

People suggested lots of great ideas, but I was still quite stuck! Finally I decided to go a bit out of the box - and quilt it in circles. Yup, circles. So with the help of a side plate and a vase I mimicked the pattern in the mushrooms-in-circles pattern. Ta-da!

I practised free motioning circles to see if that would work but although my skills are definitely improving - I reckon I can manage a passable free motion squiggle now - my circles weren't up to scratch, so I used my normal machine foot. And it was really good fun!

My stitch lengths aren't the most consistent thing in the world, but (a) they're pretty good and (b) I'm pretty sure the baby won't notice. The only downside about this style of quilting was the amount of knots I had to hand-tie and bury. It took ages! Lots of time crawling round on my hands and knees tying them and then trying to bury them securely. I think it was worth it, although I might not be in a rush to do it again.

The best thing about the quilting is how cool it makes the back look:

It really adds some interest to the otherwise plain green back :)

It shouldn't be too long now till I'm showing you the completed quilt, woop woop!

I'm linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday.

Friday, 5 April 2013

A Confession

Hi everyone! Hope you're enjoying your April. I'm loving the sun now that we've had our hour change. Shame it's still so cold, but I'll make the most of what we've got :)

I haven't been doing a lot of sewing recently. And I'm afraid I have a confession to make - I've been cheating on quilt blogs. Shocking, I know. You see, I've fallen rather head-over-heels in love with a blog called I Heart Organising. It's so beautiful! So my mind has been buzzing with ideas of how to organise our home and make things pretty. Not much has been implemented yet, but lots is going on in my head. We'll see how it goes!

In the meantime though, while I was on holiday with my church my lovely friend Jenny taught us to make felt animals:

And I've been making a few more Christmas blocks:

So I haven't completely given up on the needle and thread yet :) See you soon!

Friday, 15 March 2013


Hi again :) I completely forgot to link up on Wednesday after all. Woops. But thanks to everyone who read anyway and gave me ideas RE quilting. Lots to think about!

The quilt back is currently sitting on the back of a chair in our louge, staring at me. It's staring at me because (a) I need to figure out the ratio of green-on-the-left to green-on-the-right and I'm nervous about getting it wrong and (b) it knows it's soon time for basting and I'm scared. I'm going to have to face up to my fears soon. Mean quilt reminding me about this!

Intimidating, isn't it?

Anyway, while I put off the inevitable, here are a couple of things I realised I hadn't shown you. First up, I've been organising my fabric!

This is a very old photo, taken at my old house! Unfortunately this isn't the whole picture - there's also a basket full of mess fabric which still needs organising to work on. All in good time. This photo also shows me that I really don't need any more blue or pink fabric. For some reason I'm always drawn to blue fabrics, even though it isn't even slightly my favourite colour. Weird, huh?

Another thing to show you is I found a good use for fabric scraps :)

Hoping my family like the bunting cards, cos they're lots of fun to make!

Anyway, enjoy your weekends (I have a day off today so mine's started early, win!), and I'll see you soon :)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Houses under Construction

Hi all :) Wow, it's been ages since I last blogged. I don't know if it's the miserable weather or what, but recently I've been so tired all the time I've only just had enough energy to manage work and watching TV, so sewing and blogging have taken a bit of a back seat! But I have been slowly progressing, so here's where I'm up to :)

The Mushroom Houses quilt is coming together nicely. I completed the top a little while ago, and last night I started work on the back. Here's the front:

And here's the progress on the back so far:

Rubbish photo, sorry!

The back was inspired by the back of Juliet's Tilda quilt. A very lovely and very inspirational lady :)

So here's my dilemma - how should I quilt it? Free motion quilting is probably out as I've never really done it before, but never say never. I quite like the idea of getting some colour involved as the front is very white (maybe outlining each square in perle?), but the colours are quite awkward (fairly muddy shades) so finding matching thread could be tricky and I'm on a budget. As far as patterns go I'm a bit stumped - nothing's feeling uber inspiring at the moment. So, what would you do? I'll be linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday when it comes around to see if anyone has any ideas!

Hope you're all well, bye for now!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A little progress

I'm working on two projects at once at the moment, which is quite unusual for me! I'm normally a one project gal. But here's what's going on at the moment :)

Christmas Quilt

I made my first block! It's so pretty. Completely in love with the fabrics.

Mushroom Houses

While my hubby and mother in law were tiling our bathroom (thanks guys!), I did a lot of cutting:

And I've since been sewing the pieces into rows:

I also took the slightly-too-girly houses fabric:

And carefully pieced it to create a nice clean line :) I was really pleased with how this worked out.

Hope you're all well :)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Mushroom Houses!!

Hi everyone :) I've recently started work on a new baby quilt. Little Miss Cooper's mum has asked me to make a quilt for a friend of hers who is having a baby. We went fabric shopping together to come up with some ideas and we were browsing around without reaching any conclusions until she turned around and said "Mushroom houses!!" So, Lecien's Woodland it was!

This is going to be another gender neutral quilt. A little awkward as a lot of this range is based on fairies and flowers, but with some clever selection and some planned fussy-cutting (we'll be losing the flowery garland on the white fabric) I reckon it should be achievable.

Here's my plan for the quilt:

Does anyone else plan their quilts in Paint? Anyway, I'm looking forward to working on this one. The rows of houses between the rows were my friend's idea - I think they're going to look really cute! I'll be intruiged to see how close the real quilt looks to this picture in the end.

See you soon :)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Decisions, decisions

One of the best things about our new flat is that it's across the road from our friends Dave and Raych. When we first moved in it felt a bit like being back in halls at university - being able to pop by and see people so easily, instead of having to make plans like boring grown-ups! Alongside their many other wonderful qualities, Dave and Raych are great because they have a shower. We, on the other hand, currently have a building site/bathroom with no shower and a lot of mess. So they have very kindly been letting us pop by to use theirs.

I had been wondering whether I could make them something as a thank you, and then they mentioned to my hubby that whenever they have loads of things to think/decide/pray about, they put them all in a hat, draw out one and discuss that one. Perfect! I had been waiting for an excuse to try out Jeni's drawtsring bag tutorial, and this was it.

First up, cutting.

The fake patchwork fabric was a birthday present from my good friends Matt and Kirsten.
It's perfect for Raych, and I'm sure Dave will be OK with it!

Next was the exciting bit - getting to use my new embroidery hoop! It was a Christmas present from my in-laws, and I loved using it. I felt a bit like I was in Pride and Prejudice :)

Then I sewed the pieces together...

... and, ta da! One lovely little bag.

Jeni's tutorial was great. Very clear and simple to follow. I'd definitely recommend you give it a go! I gave the bag to Dave and Raych a little while ago while on one of my many pop-round-for-a-shower trips, and Raych described it as the prettiest bag she'd ever seen. So I think it's fair to say it was well received!

Gotta love the button fabric

I'll be linking up to Finish It Up Friday and TGIFF (hosted by Kit) and checking out what everyone else has made too :)

Thursday, 31 January 2013

London, baby!

Hi everyone :) A big hello to any of my regulars, plus anyone popping by from Finish It Up Friday, TGIFF or the Small Blog Meet - wow, that's a lot of link-ups for one post!

Anyway, today I'm going to show you 'London, baby!', a table-topper I made for my mum. Back at the start of 2012 my LQS was preparing for the jubilee with a Great Britain-themed window display. One of the fabrics was the map print in Cool Brittania, which I thought was a fun idea but then thought nothing more of it. Until a sudden thought popped into my mind - I wonder if Primrose Hill is on there? You see, my mum loves London and she and my dad got engaged on Primrose Hill. Much searching of the internet yielded no conclusive results but I eventually managed to get back to the shop and found that yep, it was there!

So, I knew I would be making something for my mum! Problem was, what to make. After a bit of umming and ahhing I settled on a mini quilt, to be used as a table topper. Picking out fabrics to go with the London ones was good fun. I only realised afterwards that I had been subconsciously replicating the colour scheme of the Bliss fabric line. Woops!

Fabrics chosen, I made plans for the pattern. I had been drooling over Ashley's string quilt for quite some time, so strings it was:

When I came to actually use the map fabric I encountered a problem. Obviously the fabric had to have repeats and joins where the real London doesn't match up. Unfortunately I don't know London at all, so didn't have a clue where they were! Cue a lot of time poring over Google maps and trying to work out how to cut pieces big enough for the pattern without any geographical issues. It took a while, and I made a few mistakes along the way, but I got there!

Taking the paper off the back of the blocks was not fun. I wonder if the tracing paper I used was a bit too strong? Next time I'll try baking paper. Since the seams were not impressed with my tugging while getting the paper off, I decided to use fusible wadding to stabilise them, instead of normal batting. Should help it last!

Check out the pink carpets in our new flat!

Piecing done, I ironed the top and back onto the fusible wadding. And yes, that is a cupboard door I'm using as an ironing board. The flat was still a little chaotic, and it was the right size!

Some simple straight-line quilting around the squares and a little embroidered heart finished this project off nicely.

My first use of perl cotton! Loving it so far.

The backing. Love this print! Check out the gerkin :)

So despite the craziness of a house move, getting ready for Christmas and, of course, holding down a full-time job, this quilt was finished in time for mum's birthday. And here it is in its new home!

That's all for now! See you soon :)

Monday, 14 January 2013

Christmas in January

Hi everyone :) This new year I've started an exciting new project - I'm making my first quilt to keep! We haven't decided on colours/decor for our new flat yet, so I'm making one that will go with anything - a Christmas quilt.

My grandparents very kindly got me a couple of Flurry charm packs for my birthday - I love that line, and most of Kate Spain's designs. I particularly love this quilt. Isn't it gorgeous? Anyway, I'm going to be making a Charming Stars quilt. At 1.7ish metres square this'll be the biggest quilt I'll have made by a long way. Already rather scared about trying to baste and quilt it, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

The pattern needs 3 charm packs and I only have 2 so I've been picking out fabrics to go with them. It's gone really well - 2 new fabrics my inlaws gave me for Christmas, 2 solids I already had and one fabric I'd been eyeing up which was on sale:

Pearl bracelets - swoon!

I just need to pick up a green solid and I'll be good to go :)

The first step in making this quilt is to cut out 128 2 7/8"white squares - yikes. So far I've cut out 45 which actually didn't take too long! Looking forward to sorting out the layout and getting sewing soon.

Ooh and something else to show you. Do you remember my 'photography studio' in my old flat:

Well, my new flat has a perfect ready-made lightbox! Very handy.

I'll be linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday when it comes around :)