Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Bowled over...

Do you keep track of competitions and giveaways? I don't, and I really never  expect to win... So, it was such a fabulous surprise to get a lovely message from Ali, saying I had won her incredibly generous Liberty charm square giveaway! Truthfully, I was a bit choked up by the news :-)

If you haven't come across Very Berry Fabrics yet, I totally recommend you take a look! Ali has a fabulous stock of Liberty, and her prices and customer service are superb. I have previously purchased from her, and she made me a custom order of 7 inch squares. I soon found I could trust her judgement, and just request colours, rather than bother choosing the exact fabrics. 

This is what arrived today, as part of her new charm club, building up to making a whole quilt. There's a post all about it here, and a picture of the most beautiful quilt... Trust me, it's worth a look. There may still be time to join in, if you fancy it?

I can't get decent photos at all at the moment, but needed to get this next bit blogged about: after months of anticipation, my sewing bee is getting together at the weekend! We have so many plans, I doubt we'll get half of them done, but the request from me was a quick session on fitting zips into pouches.

I promised the girls a photo of what was needed, just in case they had time to prepare any of it in advance... In this instance, I made two patchwork panels, and quilted them. The width is approximately 3 inches wider than the zip, so 1.5 inches at each end. I find that just right to give neat-ish tabs like these:

This little pouch needing finishing, ready for a birthday this week!

However, I have prepped another one, in case we need a demonstration model.

Other bits in the pipeline here are squares, perfect for easy therapeutic sewing:

And triangles, perfect for those more challenging moment:

I have a love-hate relationships with triangles! However, this is my third attempt, and experience is paying off. I used 9 fat quarters (this is for a single bed), and got 15 triangles and some end pieces out of each one, with very little waste. Using my long, straight ruler, I cut 6.5 inch strips, which is the maximum height of my triangular ruler. This meant I could get 3 strips out of each fat quarter. Personally, I wouldn't sew triangles any smaller than this. They look big when you cut them, but so much smaller once sewn!

So looking forward to meeting the team at the weekend, and bringing home the quilt top which I started way back last summer, and which has since been added to by five different people... What will have happened to this?!?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Slow blogging!

The last couple of weeks have been very busy with work events, but fun ones, so no complaints! I managed to whip up a birthday present:

I love making these giant cushions, perfect for when you're reading in bed, or just want to fill a large chair! The sewing is very simple and therapeutic; the cushion pad is a 26" from Dunelm Mill. My other make in the last fortnight was a little more complicated:

As part of my fundraising job, I went to a Ball on Friday, where the dress code was black tie with a hint of the town we live in! Lots of people went for the town colours, and several wore brooches. I opted for making this Tudor rose, which is featured in our cathedral, and putting it onto a clutch bag. 

It took ages, but I was pleased with the result! The Ball was a huge success, and a wonderful evening. It hasn't been conducive to much sewing though, but I have done a bit of laying out fabrics and making plans...

Ebay kindly sent me a £10 voucher, apparently they were missing me!! I was going to delete it, then thought they might have some Liberty fabric... Sure enough, I managed to purchase the above squares, and these bigger pieces - 

I have a plan, but it may take a while! Finally, having admired Julie's beautiful Little Cotton Rabbits for years, I now have one of my own :-) 

 She looks very happy on my wooden spool... Wishing you a great week.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Exciting times...

Like so many of us, I've sometimes considered whether I could make a bit of pocket money out of sewing. Definitely not looking for a change of career, but wouldn't it be nice if the fabrics could at least pay for themselves?!? Well, I was thrown in at the deep end, when someone I met through work asked me to make a quilt for her absolutely beautiful classic pram - think Mary Poppins... The only way was Liberty, or Kaffe Fassett at a push, and thankfully Ali came to my rescue with a special selection of fabrics.

First up, I made this simple quilt, adding the extra detail of more Liberty round the edges. A rather extravagant use of Liberty, but really effective and so soft to touch:

Then, as I wanted to provide a choice, I went for the Kaffe Fassett option:

And finally, I looked at my Liberty leftovers, and decided to put them all together in a more quirky looking quilt...

I absolutely love this one and so did my customer! This is the one she chose, just in time as she has a new grandchild arriving any day who will need tucking up in that gorgeous pram. As first customers go, I was unbelievably lucky in that mine is an artist, so very appreciative of the work that goes into creating.

My top tip of the week though, is quilting gloves! Who knew how fabulous these are, and what a huge difference they make?!? Having been sewing and quilting flat out for the last few weeks, I'm really looking forward to a weekend of... sewing. My economy blocks have been on hold, and there are several other projects I'm keen to get on with. It's quieter round here,  Rosie has gone away for the weekend with the church youth. In nine and a half years, she has had very few nights away, but was excited about this weekend. Her main concern? She was worried how I would cope without her... Apparently she often wonders how I managed before she came along :-) I reassured her that I would be fine! After all, I still have the dog...