Sunday, 1 March 2015

Weekend sewing

Happy March everyone! I've had a lovely weekend: Rosie went away and, although I missed her, I took the opportunity to do things for me :-) Yesterday I felt like I was on holiday - going for lunch at a fabulous Spanish tapas bar in London, followed by the Goya exhibition at Somerset House. Goya was born in the region of Spain where I lived for a year, so the whole day was really refreshing.


Before we left Wales, Jennifer gifted me this wonderful boxed set of 20 fat quarters... It had been on display in her sewing room for a few years, ever since she bought it in America. Thankfully, I don't share her restraint, and opened it up this week!


Jen also gave me this magazine, and I did wonder about using the fabric to make the quilt shown on the front. However, we really don't need another quilt in this house, and I couldn't go shopping for the other supplies.


So, I whipped out my favourites from the set, and blended them with some low volumes from my own collection...


Half a day later, and I'd finished a drawstring bag :-)


I love the end result! No idea what I'll use it for, but it brightens up the door handle to my sewing cupboard... Thanks, Jen :-)


Have a great week!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Wales :-)

Last week was half term, so Rosie and I went off to Wales for three days. One of my special blog friends, Jennifer, moved to a beautiful long barn there last year. After a few months of renovations, it is beyond perfect - a wonderful retreat! We sewed, we lazed in front of log fires, watched films, ate and drank too much, and were generally spoilt rotten :-) 



Rosie bonded with Auntie Glinda in a nano second, and immediately they set to work making one of the famous pants bags to be used for Rosie's PE kit. The Scottie dog was our gift to Jennifer, and it now stands guard in her gorgeous sewing room. Last summer, Jen had donated a complete quilt kit to Rosie - even before meeting her - and Rosie just had the binding left to finish. She was thrilled to come away from her first sewing retreat with a completed quilt, PE bag, and endless gifts.



Scottie dogs have been my theme of the month, and I've just completed this latest one, a commission from a friend. I just may be almost at the end of my Insanity Quilt too, which has been a mere eight years in the making...

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Productivity...

... has increased dramatically this month!


First to be finished, was this simple scarf for Rosie. Made with just one ball of variegated wool, it took a mere 18 months to complete ;-) Knitting is not my forte, and it began as a holiday project... Thankfully it has been worn every day this week, and much admired!


My cat quilt, using the Plus design, also reached completion! It measures 60 square inches, and was quite a challenge to quilt on my small domestic machine. I got there in the end, backing it with the adorable Windy Day fabric, for those who like to mix up their puppies and cats on the same quilt...




 


I'm thrilled to have finished this one, and am now down to one top waiting to be quilted, and one unfinished top - not a bad waiting list!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

In the pink!

After the craziness of December, I am totally loving January, and the opportunity it brings to hibernate peacefully and hide away in my sewing room... It's been a very pink month so far, as Rosie wanted one of the Scottie dogs, just like the blue one we gave my godson. They are such a great project, and a very satisfying use of scraps. 


A good friend came round and spotted the cushions I'd made Rosie for Christmas. She liked them so much that she commissioned one for her daughter's birthday, only a little smaller...


Hopefully this will fit the brief, otherwise it will join the original two on the bed!



Lastly, I have wanted for ages to make something with flying geese. I'd seen a no-waste method, but opted for using up scraps for now. I still went for no waste, as the tiny corners were also put to good use...

 

In the end, to be completely honest, I found making the geese really boring and was thankful I'd only ever set out to do a wall hanging! On reflection, and having looked a bit more at what other people have done, I think flying geese work best in groups of identical ones. I'm not sure the four different sections here, flipping low volume with strong colours, and changing direction, really stand out. However, it is happily in place outside the sewing room:




 Yes, my sewing room even comes with a guard dog ;-) Hope you are having a happy and peaceful start to the new year.


Sunday, 28 December 2014

Relaxing...

Phew, December has been insanely busy! So many parties (not complaining!), carol services, trips to London and a few birthdays - all crammed in before the 25th. Rosie and I squeezed in fifteen of the Paddington bears...


It was great fun finding them dotted around London! We celebrated my birthday by going to an incredible performance of Cats the musical, and sang all the way home ;-) The last few days have involved a fair bit of turkey, plenty of presents, and relaxing with family, friends, and even the surprisingly good stuff on TV. Rosie had requested a giant cushion for Christmas, so I whipped up this 26" one so she can comfortably read in bed.

 
I even pushed the boat out and added covered buttons...


However, she then saw the oblong shaped cushion I made myself, and wanted one of those too...


Must admit, I quite enjoyed making these!



 I do like the very fitted shape these create, and the neatness of the zip...


After all that pink, my godson turns five next week, and I tried out a pattern that I have been wanting to make for years:



These patchwork Scottie dogs are so cute, and it really wasn't that hard to make. It was a perfect use of scraps, and I'm sure my godson will love it! Hope you've been having a relaxing time too :-)

Sunday, 14 December 2014

December

In my last post, I showed the Artist Trading Card which I had made for my partner in the latest secret swap, entitled Winter Sparkle...


This week, I received my card from Helen, and I couldn't be happier:


It's such a beautiful, symbolic piece of art. The details are incredible, with loads of French knots! I absolutely love the meditative nature of the scene. As a student, I studied the Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, who wrote wonderful poetry about the pathways of life, which I often ponder on my long walks with the dog. This little card is so apt for me :-)


In my role as a fundraiser, I have been running a Christmas Market stall today. Several fabulous volunteers knitted little festive stockings for me, which looked amazing filled with sweets and hung on our tree...



When I launched the idea, I hoped to get about 20 of the stockings made, but the team just kept on going, and we reached over 300! It was a lovely way to raise money for the charity.



My own festive sewing has so far involved making lots more of these tissue holders for the different teachers and music teachers. I've also whipped up some more bags, handy for make up or even an ipad...



Buying a fat quarter bundle has been so useful for making bags with coordinating fabrics, two on the outside and a nice lining:


In the spirit of Christmas, this little deer has taken to creeping into the garden early each morning for a bite of the hedge...



It's so peaceful watching her while we are getting up. At night, when I look out, there has been a fox pottering about, but much harder to photograph! Wishing you all a calm week ahead...

Saturday, 22 November 2014

November...

...is flying by! Despite my attempt to ban the C word, it is creeping up on us rapidly. This week I made my first attempt at an Artist Trading Card for the Winter Sparkle themed swap, organised by Ali.



My secret partner commented on the form that she would love something with a Christmas theme, which was easy enough! As this is my second time doing the ATC swap, I feel slightly more confident, but it is still incredibly fiddly creating an item which is 2.5 inches by 3.5. As before, I've given my details on the reverse:


This month I finally used the lovely charm squares which Carla sent me, all the way from British Columbia, when I won her giveaway. Funnily enough, she's just used her own set too, and I love what she's made with them! I'd picked up an oblong shaped cushion pad ages ago, and finally decided to use the squares and make a cover. 


I didn't have a pattern, but it was pretty straightforward to put this together. It's quite a tight fit, but that gives it a nice firm shape.


I'm thrilled with how it turned out, and the challenge of honing my skills ;-) Only problem is, it's set a trend, and now Rosie wants one too...


Meanwhile, Rosie has been invited to at least 3 birthday parties in November, so I've been busy making presents. 



Same sort of bag, but different handles... I do like using the metal clips, but it was quite fiddly! Back to the secret Christmas sewing projects now...