Saturday, 23 November 2013

Pretty Bags

I had some pretty pink and orange flower fabric amongst my stash and a bag pattern that I have wanted to try for a very long time. The pattern is the Two Zip Hipster by Erin Erickson.

The gift is for the littlest one so I didn't want to make it too big or it would get stuffed with far too much and she wouldn't want to carry it! So I measured another child size bag we have and adjusted the pattern slightly. Had I not decided to do this, the pattern would have gone together like a dream! It was only my ability to scale things that hindered me!!

I do have the slight issue of not having slider bit for the strap so at the moment it is attached by a safety pin. I might have to temporarily sew the strap together at the right length until I obtain said slider!

I must say the instructions were so easy to follow and I can't believe I put off making it for so long. It even had two zips which I had no problems doing! Amazing! This went together in just two evenings, which for me is pretty good!!

Whilst I am on the subject of bags I made this market tote a while back for my mum and gave it to her when were at home last. It turned out a bit bigger than I had expected but it was fun to do. This pattern came from a Clover & Violet quilt-a-long tutorial. For this one I used lots of pretty brown fabrics, brown is a colour my mum likes.

This makes me think I really should make myself some pretty grocery bags rather than the very boring supermarket ones that are falling apart! Another thing for the to-do list!

Friday, 22 November 2013

A doctor in the house!

I was quite happily sat knitting late last night. I was trying to get a start on a Christmas gift that, if I am not fast, it will be for next Christmas!

And the conversation with my husband, completely out of the blue, goes something like this:

Husband : "you could make me a bow tie if you like"!
Me: "what? now?"
Husband: "you've got plenty of fabric, right?"
Me: "er… yes"
Husband: "I've got a pattern!"
Me: "ok, but it's 10.30pm!"
Husband: "it looks easy, won't take you long!"

And to be fair it didn't take me too long to make, but wasn't quite what I had in mind at that time of night. I expect my children to drop things like that on me but not necessarily my husband! 

The reason for this unexpected outburst from him (he never asks me to make him anything!) is because Doctor Who is celebrating it's 50th Anniversary. Tomorrow the BBC are showing a special episode and no doubt other things are going on too! The eleventh doctor, incase you don't follow this, wore a bow tie! Hence the sudden request for a bow tie! I am just thankful he didn't go any further and ask for a Fez too! Although I think that would have been rather cool, I liked the Fez!

Anyway, he picked the fabric - snowflakes in red! And then provided me with tea and chocolate to help me along!

We struggled to actually tie the bow tie last night, clearly too late by then for such complicated things! He also commandeered the boy's sonic screwdriver to finish off the act. It did, however, need putting back together first! It had somehow fallen in the toilet recently and been drying out! 

He was not too impressed that I requested a picture of the bow tie being worn before he walked out the door. Now all I want is proof that he wore it all day!

Ever eventful in our house!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Castle Pillow ** Finish **

If you have arrived here from the Sew Sisters Blogathon Canada - Welcome, thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy the blog hopping.

I made some great progress this weekend on the castle pillow. I had these gorgeous fabrics from Timeless Treasures called Matilda that I wanted to use on the back.

I have a copy of the Pillow Pop book and love the 'Bunch of Crosses' pattern by Katy Jones. So I set to cutting out lots of strips and 2.5" squares. 

I wanted the back to be an envelope style as I am not keen putting zippers in! I struggled for a while with thinking I would have to have the pluses match up over the overlap. But it made the brain hurt too much so decided I should let it go and not worry about it!

Natalia Bonner in her Free Motion Quilting book has a leaf and loops and a flower and loops design which thought would go well with the fabrics. So I decided to use the leaf design with the odd flower mixed in. I tried to make my leaf look like those on the fabric (or a close as I could get it!).

Leaf and Flower Quilting pattern

About 4 years ago I quilted a quilt with free machined daisies a bit like the one above and I remember having to have the design printed on paper (many times) so I could stitch the design on the paper over the lines to make it look how I wanted! I wasn't brave enough to just free motion quilt! My mum and I then spent a good few hours carefully pealing the paper off the stitching, what a palaver! I am so pleased that I can now, fairly confidently, stitch a daisy without markings but more importantly (to me) not worry about them not all looking the same or perfect! Progress! :)

I bound the edges of the overlap using a normal quilt binding in the lovely orange solid. I would usually hand stitch down the binding to finish it off, but I thought I would use the machine instead. It worked! I am always quite surprised when I try something new and it actually works! 

Although it worked well here, it had (what I consider) quite a large flap on the back that I wasn't so keen on. So I don't think I will make it my regular binding finishing method.

Next I turned my attention back to the front of the cushion. I talked about the making of it here and here. I felt the castle needed some embellishment to brighten it up a little. I started by adding a person into one of the windows and some vines growing up the castle walls.

Castle Details

I added a few birds to the sky using a perlé thread and my eldest daughter had some cute buttons in her sewing supplies - a dragonfly and a ladybird in pink! Prefect! So here we have the finished front:

Finished Castle Pillow Front

Finally, I bound it all using the orange solid, et voila:

Pillow front

Castle Pillow Back

These pictures don't do the much for the colours, that's what comes of finishing things late in the evening and not having good lighting! 

I have just put a cushion pad inside and can see I will have to add a couple of buttons to the back to keep it closed together properly.

I am really pleased with it! My only real concern is that there isn't much pink on this cushion and the littlest one is a very pink person. She saw the backing on the design wall whilst under construction and I asked her what she thought of the fabrics, and she didn't seem overly impressed with them! Perhaps altogether with the castle she will have a different response… So now onto planning the princess party and to making a castle cake! It's all about the castle this year, oh to be 5 again!

Castle Pillow Front

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WIPing it!

The castle pillow seems to have gone on hold for a minute. I mustn't leave this too long though or I will be rushing it the night before! I am still deciding on the pillow backing! I can't decide on a patchwork design.

So I pulled out an old WIP. One day last week it occurred to me that we are nearly mid-November! I got a little concerned that I hadn't made any progress (since July!) on the Mario quilt for the boy for Christmas! I thought I had better focus on this for a while, so this last week I have made nearly 3 Mario blocks.


I thought I was doing so well with Goomba, until I stood back and looked at him from a distance. I noticed I had transposed a couple of lines! Oh, I was not a happy bunny! It meant quite a bit of unpicking, but worse still it meant sewing the lines back together, which is time consuming matching all the seams correctly! But he looked a lot better once put right! 

Turtle Shell


I am quite thankful that I am done sewing together so many 1.5" squares, some 3888 squares to be exact!! I can't wait to finish off this last block and to lay it out and finally get it sewn together!

Linking up with The Needle and Thread Network and Freshly pieced.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes - Nov Goal

My goal for October was to finish sewing together my hexies. I made slow progress but didn't finish it. Oh well, never mind.

It would help if I focused more on completing the goal I set myself rather than starting other things or getting distracted.

I am going to set a goal this month that I know I will meet and that is because this cushion is for a little girl's birthday in 18 days time. The paper pieced castle is finished and quilted.

princess castle

I want to add some embellishments, thinking maybe some birds and flowers, to finish it off. 

I also need to sort out the backing to the cushion, but I can't make a decision on what it should be. I have some very pretty fabrics by Timeless Treasures called Matilda which is very apt as the little girl's name is Matilda. But I am not sure if to make a patchwork back with a selection of the fabrics or to choose one of them. I suspect time will end up being the deciding factor!

I am also realising that December is not very far away and I had in my mind rather a long list of things I would like to make as gifts. Going to have to focus a bit more if I am going to get half of them done. Off to write a list and try and be realistic!