Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

The weather is more like November than almost April and any daffodils in our garden that dare raise their heads have been blown over in the wind!

At least now I have a lovely bunch inside...

Happy Easter!!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A weekend of samples

Trying my hand at some appliqué...

Last weekend was another double course weekend. Now course sounds very serious, and I suppose on paper it is. But for me it seems more like a lovely relaxing sewing weekend. A big excuse to make time for the things I love to do.

This time we have sat and sewed, drank coffee and tea (with lovely lemon drizzle cake) and sewed, talked and sewed, and talked about sewing. Nothing new really... but very enjoyable!

You'd think with all the sewing we did we might would should all have ended up with a quilt, or at least a top or even a small project completely finished. Eh...hum..., NO! That's the thing with the course, you end up knowing how to do things and showing you do by having these samples. And we aren't even supposed to use them (unless well recorded etc, I think none of us would dare). But at least I can show them (as if anyone is interested...?)

Freezer paper on back of fabric

Simple tulip shape, I can see myself using this. The freezer paper gives a firm edge to turn the fabric against and was removed by slitting the background fabric after sewing. Not suitable for very small shapes.

Freezer paper on front of the fabric

Another lovely shape, but I'm not sure about the method. The freezer paper kept loosening at the edges, which makes it hard to follow the shape accurately unless you go back to the ironing board all the time. May use the shape again, but not the method unless I have to. May be good though for small shapes where you don't want to mark the fabric with a sewing line.


Isn't this flower gorgeous?! Don't know what I would be using it for, but it was fun to make. It looks so delicate, but actually you stitch it and stitch it and stitch it. Great big stitches randomly around (though hidden in the creases) until you're pleased with the result.

In the end I've ended up with a complete sampler...

Sampler of applique

There are flat flowers and leaves, buds of different constructions, Suffolk puffs (yoyo's) and yoyo-flowers, a stuffed ball and a ruffled flower, a bluebell flower (though mine is yellow...) and a textured petal (or leaf). All useful for a small project (or even a large one), on their own or combined.

All in all a enjoyable weekend of sewing, but no quilt made...

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Cushion - CHECK!

One item finished...

Yessss! The cushion is done! Whooohooo!!!

Sorry for the enthusiasm, I'm a "bit" pleased with this project.... The colours have come together just as I had in mind:


The buttonholes are perfect (see my earlier post) and the buttons suit the fabric:

The quilting has shown up just great. The waves are quilted in a contrasting thread, with a "shadow" quilted here and there in a thread coordinating with the fabric:

And I have "graded" the corners, so when filled, the cushion does not have "ears", and the (double) binding is so tightly stretched it looks like piping:

not filled yet; notice corners
It took some time to make, but I did try to make it as good as I can (quality, not speed, this time). 
I have bent 2 needles: one with quilting and one while sewing on the binding.
I have cramped my fingers: the binding really is stretched tightly.
I have debated the colours for ages, and changed my mind several times.
I had to do some problem solving as I only had limited quantities of each colour.
AND I made loads of samples for every step!!

But first and foremost: it is ever so comfortable in my back right now!!!! No-one else will be allowed to touch it (boys take notice)!!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Some fresh air...

...and sunshine and showers...

Yesterday I was feeling virtuous and decided to go for a walk (I really should improve my fitness...). Five minutes in I had to take shelter for this hail shower (below, in the distance). I should have known that the dry weather wouldn't last very long!

Fortunately it cleared up pretty soon after so I pressed on and was rewarded by these views, about 15 minutes walk from home.

I know; I am lucky to live where I do... (it doesn't ALWAYS feel that way - but that is for another story)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Lovin' blogs...

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Almost every "blogger" these days seems to talk about the impending discontinuation of Google Reader. Now I have to admit, as an ABSOLUTE NEWBY, I have only become aware of the use and function of Google Reader since looking it up after everyone mentioned it's demise...

So I have jumped straight in and decided to give BLOGLOVIN a try. Before today I had no idea of how it works or even heard of it, but I am a firm believer that if you (no, I) want to find out about those things you just have to jump right in - at least that's how it seems to work for me. So I've signed up to Bloglovin and now I just hope that everything blog-related works for me (and you) the way I intend it to work.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Simple but effective

A baby quilt...

Last summer a friend had a baby and of course only shortly before I decided that I was going to make the baby a quilt. Some fabric from my stash and a simple pattern resulted in this baby quilt in record time.

Split nine-patch quilt
It isn't very big, only about 35" x 42", but I find that's an ideal size to use in car seats and buggies. AND I simply did not have more of these fabrics I had decided on :) I made it...

The pattern is a "split nine-patch" whereby you make a relatively large nine-patch, cut it cross-ways and turn two of the resulting squares around before sewing together again. 

In this quilt the nine-patches have either the red, light yellow or light green in the corners. They all have dark blue in the middle-of-the-side squares, and the lighter blue (with yellow) print in the centre:


 Cut the nine-patch into quarters:

Then 2 of the quarters are turn around so their small square is pointing out:

Shuffle the quarters around in a pleasing arrangement, keeping the direction alternated:

Laying out the blocks
I quilted inside the large squares and around them as well, which was a bit of a mistake: It meant a lot of corners to turn and a lot of threads to be tied off... But I DO like the effect!!

... and the result:

A happy maker and a very happy mummy!!!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A work in progress...

It may not look that way at times, but I DO sometimes do some sewing!! Never as much as I would like, but then again I'm not sure that would be possible anyway!

Today I finally found the time (where is time when you need it?) to load some photographs onto the computer that had been sitting on the camera for a good while. Below some pics of THE CUSHION in progress.


The inspiration was the seaside, but I wanted to use warm colours. Funny how my vision of the seaside are of warm days, warm colours and sunshine, while my memories are more of being at the seaside sheltering from a chilly wind while eating the ubiquitous fish-and-chips... 

The cushion was pieced from three wedge-shaped pieces, so the (extremely) simple piecing had to be complemented with some more elaborate quilting.

FRONT; started quilting the waves

The quilting is done by hand (I do love hand quilting), but the stitching is not too small (I'm trying for "even", not "small"). In the end I did quite a lot of quilting for such a small project.

Close-up of quilting

I used Oakshott fabrics from a packet of fat eights, which is why the back is differently coloured from the front - just not enough fabric in each colour to do more than one wedge in each.
The fabric has light interfacing ironed to the back (the fabric is quite thin) and the quilting brings out the shine brilliantly. Unfortunately, that is not so visible in the pictures...

AND I am VERY proud of my buttonholes!!!!! THREE in a row; so scary to do, but they turned out great! Never knew you could make buttonholes this way, but it looks just SOOOO professional!

BACK; buttonhole (real colour is not so washed-out)
Now I am in the process of finishing it of, so I hope to have some more pics of the finished product soon!
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