Monday, 28 May 2012

Flea market fancy!

If you've been following the blog, you may remember this bundle of eleven fat quarters from the gorgeous Flea Market Fancy range of fabric, which arrived in the post back in April. 

Despite taking it out to look at a number of times, I have tried to finish off a number of other items before making a start. I do, however, have a very definite plan for this fabric, no random cutting and stitching this time! Over the weekend, it became this...

and some of the squares have already been laid out like this...

There is nothing further to show for the moment, but I will say that the photo above doesn't tell the whole story... Unlike many of my recent quilts, this won't be made entirely of squares, there really is a design still to come!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Scrap busting in a paintbox style...

Ever since I started patchwork, I've been pretty good at keeping hold of scraps, piling them into a shoebox. Recently I took them all out, ironed each one, and had them ready for a project idea. With Miss PatchyRose's enthusiasm to start sewing, I could see them disappearing fast, but fortunately still got quite a few to play with ;-) I've been making these scrappy log cabins, each in the same overall colour scheme, to look like pots of paint.

It may take some time before I can make a quilt with them, but I'm happy for this to be a longer term project.

In the meantime, I whipped up another drawstring bag, this time for an adult friend who has a birthday coming up.

This one contains some nice bath and shower creams, I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Miss PatchyRose learns to sew

Miss PatchyRose was really fired up by our recent community day, and the enthusiasm of lots of young girls for learning patchwork. As a result, she considered the idea of her own sewing machine for her eighth birthday present. I am hugely grateful to the lady working at John Lewis who kindly pointed out that their cheaper machines would be a waste of money if I remotely knew what I was doing! It's not all shop assistants that have that integrity... She told me that it was too basic, and Miss PR would grow out of it in no time. Sure enough, only a few days' later, Miss PR came home from school one day, and sat down at my machine and worked it like a pro...

We have previously sewn small items together, but always with me doing a lot of helping (controlling... ;-) This time I just sat on my little sewing room sofa, with a cup of tea, and watched while my girl grew up! I can honestly say I found this more moving than any of the previous milestones like walking, talking (never stops) and sleeping through the night (took years so we were too exhausted to notice when it finally happened...)

All by herself, Miss PatchyRose created this little piece of patchwork:

Last night I turned it into a small bag for her, as she loves to read and wants to be able to carry a book around with her...

I'm so excited to be able to share my passion with my best friend!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Trip around the world

We had a great bank holiday weekend! Miss PatchyRose thoroughly enjoyed her three parties in three days, and the drawstring bags made good presents for her friends. The extra time enabled me to get on and finish my Trip around the world quilt, which I am really pleased with...

I love the colours in this one, the combination of the bright and pretty pinks with the subtle greys. It feels feminine without being excessively girlie. While I often use a more economical backing, this time I had the perfect piece ready and waiting, something I picked up in a sale and was the exact size needed...

For the binding I did pull out a bed sheet ;-) However, this is not just any bed sheet, this is a Marks & Spencer's bed sheet LOL... 

 I'm really happy with the plain grey binding, especially with the patterned backing. For the moment the quilt is on the leather sofa, though I suspect it will move around a bit in the next few days!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Birthday bags

This Monday is a holiday in England, and Miss PatchyRose is going to no less than three birthday parties for 8 year old girls over the weekend! That's a lot of presents, or, in my case, a lot of sewing... I'd been meaning to have a go at making Jeni's drawstring bag for ages, and this was a great time to start.

As a first attempt, I followed the pattern exactly, and came up with this:

Miss PatchyRose is delighted with it, and took it shopping this morning, even though I suppose I intended it more as a bag to hang in the bedroom or bathroom. The pattern was very straightforward, the only mistake I made was in joining fabrics to make the ties, as the strain placed on them by pulling to close the bag affected the join. So, this was one to keep!

Fortunately the design is rather addictive, and it didn't take much to whip up the next one...

You can probably tell that the dimensions are different. I was using some substantial scraps, and didn't see the point of trimming an inch or two off, and just went for a bigger bag instead. The other thing I tweaked here, which is just about visible, was to have a slight turnover at the top, so the outer fabric shows a little on the inside, and avoids having a seam directly at the top of the bag. 

Sunday and Monday's birthday girls received similar bags two years' ago, so I went for fairly similar again...

 Hopefully each bag will be enjoyed, and soon filled with the usual 8 year old hairbands and so on!