Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Flea market fancy

Phew, I'm back, and I survived six days with a large group of teenagers! We had a great time, visiting nice places, doing water sports, and all speaking lots of Spanish. It was very full-on, with little sleep, and in crafty terms I managed three lines of knitting on a teddy bear's jumper... However, I came home to a parcel waiting for me. For ages I've been envious of the beautiful items in blog land made from the lovely Flea Market Fancy line of fabric, and was pleased to hear it was being re-released. I don't really need more fabric right now, and have no idea what I'm going to make with it, but here it is!

It's so pretty, hopefully I can make something nice - after I've caught up on a lot of missed sleep...

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Cath by Fran...

A while ago a Cath Kidston shop opened up near us. It's a lovely store, full of gorgeous items at extravagant prices! I tend to go in and browse, and leave empty handed. However, in January I spotted these napkins in the sale...

A pack of four, reduced from £15 to just £4.50. I knew they would be good for something, each one measures approximately 16 square inches, so I added them to my cupboard.

Tonight I am flying off to Spain for a few days. Sounds wonderful, until I add that I am taking nearly 40 students with me on a school trip! I realised that I could do with a new bag, one that looked summery and nice, but was also secure enough for valuables and would fit a packed lunch on our days' out. So, last night three of the napkins became this:

I wouldn't say it was perfect, as it's the first time I've done handles and a zip together, which was tricky. I kind of wish I'd had time to find and follow a pattern, but it will do the job for now.

I managed to squeeze both the handles and a pocket out of one napkin, leaving me one left over. The pocket is wide, but with an extra seam up the middle, so one compartment is the exact size needed for my phone.

Just hope I get some blue sky and sunshine now on my trip!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sewing space

In our last house, an old, Victorian place, I just had a sofa to sew on. A very nice sofa, just not enough! When we moved three years ago, I took a spare bedroom as my sewing room. It was a good, big space, but it was also the second guest bedroom if we needed one. The lovely girl for various reasons ended up with the smallest room, which was fine then but not any more! So, we've swapped... She now has a beautiful bedroom with a lot more room to entertain her friends, and I have a smaller sewing room, but actually I really don't mind. It's rather nice that I can have my original sewing sofa in there.
Welcome to my space...

It's currently very white and pure, with scope for a few fabric wall hangings at some point. Right now the only thing on the walls is this cute tapestry of our two cats:

The cupboard is full of fabric and sewing paraphernalia...

And the sofa fits perfectly into the alcove!!

I have a great sewing table, with deep drawers on either side...

...which tidies away neatly at the end of a project!

Leaving just enough space for some treasured pieces. My antique sewing box from my granny, a bonnet shaped pin cushion made by granny, and a beautiful matching pin cushion and needle case from MIL.

Thank you for taking a look around! It was brought to my attention earlier that it was way too difficult to leave a comment on the blog. Sorry! I hadn't realised what the settings were, and have hopefully now changed it. Please do say hello if you've dropped by...

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Primitiva Pumpkin

Well, the advantage of the Sunday sewing was that it left things nicely set up for a couple of evenings doing a bit more... and the Primitiva Pumpkin Patchwork Quilt is now finished. At least, the top is; I still need to quilt it, which is my least favourite part. But it's good to feel I'm on track to getting it done in time for the big birthday.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sunday sewing

The four chosen Primitiva fabrics have been chopped up into neat piles along with the plain pumpkin. 

 It was very quick and easy to sew together, chain piecing them into columns and then stitching rows together. I'm so pleased with the way the different fabrics work. 

 These wouldn't be my chosen colours, but this is intended as a small sofa throw for a close friend's 40th birthday. She has a very specific colour scheme in her living room, with lovely white leather sofas and a couple of orange floral scatter cushions.As I need to lay the squares out first on my sewing table, I'm making the quilt top in three parts. The first section is now complete:

With the second section laid out ready, this gives a better idea of how the whole thing will look...

There will still be half as much again to add on the bottom, so it won't be too small. My dilemma is that, at this size, I can buy wadding and backing fabric to fit perfectly, whereas if I go any bigger, which is tempting, I will need to piece the backing. I suspect that, in the end, time will be the deciding factor, as I have only about a month to get this finished, and a couple of trips away in between...

Friday, 2 March 2012

9 Patch Progress...

Last year I was very taken with the lovely 9 patch quilts that were popping up all over blogland, started, I think, by one crazy mom... They are a great way to use up small leftover squares, and a good way of mixing and matching virtually any fabrics. That's especially good for me, as my tendency is to over-coordinate fabrics, and they can end up merging too much and losing any sense of contrast.

So, I got going on my own pile of 9 patches, entirely from scraps.

It grew very quickly to a pile of 35.

And then stopped. I've lost my initial sketch, but I think I planned to make twice this many! Now I'm wondering whether to settle on a mini quilt which has seven rows of five 9 patches.
I'd like to suggest this is an array of colour, but even at my wildest my colour palette won't stretch beyond certain tones ;-)

Part of my dilemma now is that, once again, blogland is too quick for me. Everyone else whipped up their 9 patch quilt last year, and now they're on to curved 9 patches, with fancy curvy rulers! 
My intention was to make this for the guest bed, and use either white or dark grey sashing in between each 9 patch. Hopefully giving it an airing tonight will inspire me to persevere...