Friday, 28 June 2013

Friday Finish :-)

Several months after painstakingly chopping multiple red and grey 2.5 inch squares, I have a finished quilt top!

 






Fortunately, after the cat fed one of the red squares to the dog, I managed to replace it with the fussy cut bird in the middle here... Not sure if I was subliminally trying to torture the cat...



...and if life is too busy to smell the roses, at least you can eat them round here! Miss PR came running out of school, desperate for a baking session, and bubbling over with her latest plan:



Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts today! Have a great weekend ;-)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

New skills!

It's been a busy time of learning new things here lately! Firstly, fellow bee members can rest assured that the 'wrong' blocks really did make it into a cushion...


And I love them like this! It has a simple, envelope backing:


Best of all, just five years after buying a hopper foot, I finally plucked up the courage to do some free motion quilting :-) It has always terrified me, and my arms were so tense at first! I guess it helped that this project wasn't what I set out to do, so a disaster wouldn't be the end of the world...but it was surprising how quickly I got the hang of it. Ok, it's far from perfect, but, for a first attempt, I'm actually happy with this.



Next, Miss PR caught me googling skirt patterns, and announced she would like one making for her! Within minutes, she had found the perfect fabric in my stash, a lovely Cath Kidston piece, still with the ribbon tied around it... Oh well, better put to good use than sitting in a cupboard...



I love the contrasting hem -


...and the pretty waistband with a feature tie - 



I'm relieved to report, she is thrilled with it, and wore it constantly over the weekend :-)






Oops...

Oh, sorry... did you not want me to sit here and mess your squares up? Bad news I'm afraid, I'm pretty sure the dog just ate a red square that I knocked onto the floor... it doesn't matter, does it?!? Oh... perhaps I'd better head off and find somewhere else to rest...


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Gracias, Mavi!

Yesterday we received the loveliest, surprise parcel in the post... A few weeks ago, Mavi won my giveaway, and I sent her a drawstring bag made of fabric I knew she loved. We certainly didn't expect anything in return, and were so touched by her incredible kindess :-) For Rosie, an adorable mouse -


Isn't it cute?!? But that's not all... Rosie also got this fabulous pencil case -


The girl who loves writing will really enjoy using it! Still not all, though, there were also beautiful items for me -



The sweetest pincushion! And, to go with it, the tiniest little scissors, perfect for getting at stray threads and into tight corners!


Thank you so much, Mavi! Do take a look at her blog, Mavi is so talented, and covers a wide range of sewing and crochet. I love reading it, both for the inspiration, and the chance to keep up with my Spanish! Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Sorted! :-)

In honour of the brief glimpse of sunshine, an outdoor photo shoot... Firstly, the covered notebook which I made for Rosie's birthday; it was requested, but not seen until the day. Fortunately she is thrilled with it!


I even experimented with one of the fancy stitches on my machine, which came out well. I've struggled to get hardbacked notebooks to cover, and really like these spiral bound ones.


A lesson I learnt very quickly, is if you find a notebook that works well, stock up on them. My first batch came from Amazon, and I placed a new order for the same. However, when they came, they weren't the same, but were much thinner, too much so to be given as a gift. I have now experimented with several styles, and tried various approaches for making the covers. For our sewing bee, we decided we would each put a notebook in with our first strip, so each person can write about what they have made. This was a good use for one of the thinner, lighter books!


If you joined, or followed, the rainbow charm swap, you may spot one of the prints in there... 


It's the one with the letters on, so cute for a notebook! It's the only charm I've cut into so far, I love seeing the others lined up on my sewing table...


Yes, there was a comment recently about how well behaved the puppy and the cat were, sleeping peacefully on the sofa in my sewing room... Well, this cat wasn't around at the time! She is much more likely to make her presence felt...


The biggest result of the day, came from correcting my first strip for the sewing bee :-) Thanks to Julie's great idea, I simply tightened the seams between the five blocks, and now have a piece measuring exactly 40.5 inches as per the instructions!


Can't wait now until it's time to send this off, and receive a strip from one of my fellow bees. The full bee team are:

Sarah: http://quiltcandygirl.blogspot.co.uk

Monday, 17 June 2013

Bee more mathematical

Last week, Miss PR had maths homework, which involved teaching a particular mathematical technique to one of your parents. Her comment was: I think I'll teach you, mummy; I'm not being mean but daddy is the mathematical genius, and you are...well...er...the second maths genius...


 Oh well, I know my limitations!


Or, at least, I should know them by now...


But then again, there are occasions when one forgets one is not a mathematical genius...


...and just does all the sums in one's head...


...ending up with a lovely piece of patchwork...


...which is one whole inch too long for the sewing Bee specifications!

Any advice?!? I was so pleased with it! I know it's very simple, and a bit 'safe', but I actually like it, which matters. Also, I figured it leaves plenty of scope for what the other five bee members can come up with. However, is it unfair to submit something too long, when they may have already designed their blocks to the exact dimensions? Or, will they all just be glad that someone else was the first to mess up? ;-)




Saturday, 15 June 2013

The charm squares have landed...

So excited to receive my parcel of rainbow charm squares in the post this morning! It's been a while since I signed up for this swap, but the colours and fabrics are amazing!



Am desperate to get to work with them, but first there's a matter of a bear building party this afternoon...


...and rather a lot of bear cake to eat :-)


Friday, 14 June 2013

Friday fun...

In the last few days, various sewing bits have come together! First up, for those who were alarmed at the prospect of blocks going to waste, here they are, sewn together ready to become a cushion...


My new plan for the sewing bee currently looks like this...

 
Can't wait to get on with it now, it has made all the difference coming up with a plan and the right (hopefully!) fabrics. Also managed to quilt and border my paintbox, including adding a rod for hanging it...



It has been added to my sewing room wall for now. I wasn't sure whether to put it up, as I do like the simple white walls, but have now gone from this...

 
...to this...


The room is not huge, but it is a perfect sewing space, from the welcome at the door...


...the large table, with useful storage...


...and the handy cupboard that hides all the clutter!


And the best bit of all? The company...


Have a great weekend!



Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Wins, bees and Romans!

The last week has been exceptionally busy on the sewing front, though it doesn't feel like there is much to show for it! First up though, was some fabulous news - I only managed to win another giveaway! Honestly, I had a ten year drought on winning anything at all, and now it's been three fantastic giveaways... This one was courtesy of Rita from Red Pepper Quilts, and was a whopping $50 gift certificate to spend at Southern Fabric :-) It was great fun putting freebies into a basket, and now I can't wait for it all to arrive.
Meanwhile, thanks to Maria, I have joined my first sewing bee...


It's really exciting, and a touch intimidating! We are a small bee of six people, which is lovely and manageable, with six weeks to come up with the first row of a quilt. These will then circulate round the bee, until everyone has contributed to each person's quilt. Last week I pulled fabrics out, and made a start, with no particular plan or aim. Some time ago, I joined a charm swap, so I've been on a self-imposed fabric diet ever since, waiting for the charms to arrive! My stock is so low, all I could come up with was these experimental blocks...


I really liked some of the ideas, particularly the stars, and enjoyed the fun of trying things out! However, the colour combinations are just too bright, and a bit childlike, for what I wanted. Also, owing to an inability to follow recipes or instructions of any kind ;-) I have realised the blocks are slightly too small for the proposed width. Nothing wasted though, I rearranged four of them -


My new plan is to sew these together, quilt them, and back them with denim for a cute child's cushion. The other blocks will be turned into bags. So, caved in, and had a quick trip to the patchwork shop yesterday, for more subdued colours and solids... Hoping to get going today on the actual bee strip!


The other big sewing venture this week was a Roman outfit, for Miss PatchyRose... Her school is brilliant, but rather keen on dressing up days! Previously we have succumbed to the cheap costumes sold online, but felt this time like I should make the effort to do it myself. She ended up with a full length white tunic, with silver braiding round the hem and collar, and a nice drapey silver sash across the front. I came across a large button in my box, which looks just like a Roman brooch, and worked well sewn onto the shoulder. 


The head garland was a last minute creation, doing a mock version of the laurel leaf garlands in pictures of Romans. Many thanks once again to Jennifer, as the pale green fabric was in the bundle I won recently, and has a nice leafy print on it.