Friday, 15 November 2019

star cushion

If you saw an earlier blog post this year, you might remember I took part in a birthday swap on Instagram. I had quite a while to wait for my partners birthday though. I was given the lovely Sally aka @chasing.tigers on Instagram, to make for. I was both thrilled because she has become a close friend online, but also anxious since she is such a talented maker herself.

Anyway, I chose to make this cute fussy cut cushion as her main gift. The cushion design was featured on her inspiration board, and with a bit of quilty maths, I worked out the measurements to make it. I was struggling to find coloured fussy cuts in my stash, so did a bit of fabric swapping to get enough. I also purchased this cotton and steel tiger fabric, as I just knew it was the perfect centre to personalise the cushion. Both me and Sally had purchased this low volume fabric, so I was pretty confident she would like it.
After my meadowland quilt experience I hate flying geese, so why I chose to do this cushion with 16  geese, I do not know! I wasn’t looking forward to sewing them, however, they went surprisingly well. I did simple straight line quilting 1/2” apart and made one of my concealed zip backs(tutorial for that here). Once I had sewn my cushion together, I added top stitching to the edges. I think this gives a nice finish to the cushion without the need to add binding.
The entire thing came together quite quickly and I love how it turned out. Thankfully my partner has received her gift now and loves it!
This is one of my finish-a-long projects. Even though this was technically made it in Q3, I hadn’t yet gifted it to be able to share so I am including it for Q4 instead. Read about my list here.


Saturday, 2 November 2019

My Christmas stocking

For a few years I have seen a Christmas stocking sew along on instagram. It is hosted my @sunnydaysupply and all the stockings they feature are fabulous... I just had to make my own!
I was going to join in last year, I even started, the plan for my patchwork soon changed though and that patchwork turned into a cushion that was gifted to a friend.
Fast forward to this year and although I had too many projects already, I started my stocking again. This time I wanted to try something different and just have some fun sewing. I decided I would use the scraps I had left from cutting out a quilt. It is some heather Ross sugarplum fabrics, with cute mice! I then chose to patchwork using the quilt as you go method. I have seen it lots on instagram but not found the right project to actually try it... til now.

It was so much fun to just add pieces and quilt, although I did consider fabric placement a little. I did end up with a white patch on one side, but I still think it looks ok especially since its only the one side. I wasn't planning to do both sides, but I was enjoying sewing and had scraps left, so I figured why not?

I finished quilting both sides of my stocking and trimmed to the same size. I cut out the matching check lining, which was a big  piece left over from the same quilt.
Once I had sewn it all together, I still felt like it was missing something. I decided I'd add a pom pom trim... I have kept buying them without a project and they seemed like the perfect finishing touch for this. As it was my first time sewing pom poms, I went for a simple straight top stitch in the middle of the band. I did have to change to a zipper foot on my machine to get past the pom poms. Part of me wishes I had taken the time to hand stitch them in place, however, I think it looks neat enough to be happy as they are.

This was a lot of first times and I am so pleased with how it has come together.

If you want to see more great stocking inspiration, visit the #sunnystockingsal on instagram.


Wednesday, 23 October 2019

escape and create christmas

I saw a post on Instagram asking for bloggers to join Escape and Create and thought it was a great opportunity. I applied, but wasn’t expecting to hear from them. It was to my surprise that they replied to say I was one of the chosen sewers. I am so thrilled to be part of the team. I have just got my first blog post finished and published with them... I am so excited I figured I’d share it here too!!

I love Christmas and thought it was a good excuse to make a reversible Christmas patchwork table runner, placemats and coasters. I wrote the blog to include full 'how to' instructions, with extra information like how much fabric to order and a handy cutting diagram to get the most from your fabric.
Since this made it quite a long blog post, I choose to remove the binding instructions, as readers who are already quilters will know how to sew binding anyway. The project is also suitable for beginners though, so I have shared the tutorial on binding on a separate blog post here. This one goes through the method I used on this project, but I also plan on sharing an alternative binding tutorial later so keep your eyes peeled for that coming up.
So, if you fancy looking at this project in more detail, want instructions to make your own or just fancy a read... go check it out on the Escape and Create page here. You can also find a great choice of fabrics and patterns on their website too, so I'd recommend a look.
This project was also included in my Q4 finish-a-long, so I can tick it off as complete and you can see my list here.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Binding tutorial: method 1

There are two main methods of binding that I use. The first is a simple binding for smaller projects and the other I mainly use for quilts. I thought I'd write a tutorial for each. The first one today and then the second next month.
Method 1 uses 2” strips of fabric and is sewn on to your project with a 1/2” seam allowance. I sometimes join on the bias however in this example I have used straight seams. The benefits of straight seams are that it requires less fabric and is easier to sew.
 Cut 2” strips the width of fabric (110cm = WOF)
Place 2 strips right sides together and pin the 2" width at one end. Sew together using a 1/4” seam allowance, then press the seams open. 
Press the strips in half lengthways, wrong sides together. Then, bring the long raw edges into the middle crease and press along again.

To attach the binding to your project:
1. Clip the binding onto the bottom edge with a few inches extra at the end for joining later. Stitch the binding on using a scant 1/2"seam allowance.
2. Measure and mark 1/2" from the corner and stop stitching when you reach the mark.
3. To shape the corner, fold the binding down wrong side together, vertically in line with the edge of the project, to create a 45 degree angle on the corner. Holding the corner in place, fold the binding back up and clip in place ensuring it is aligned along the corner edges.
4. Stitch from the bottom edge up to the next corner, stopping 1/2” before the end.
5. Repeat step 3 for each corner and continue sewing until you have about 3” before you reach the start of the binding, then stop.
6. To join the two ends, mark a line about 1” in from the end then fold it back on itself, wrong side together. Lay the other end of the strip over the top, right sides together and pin, only catching the top 2 layers of fabric.
7. Fold over to check, that it lays flat and the binding strips meet at the marked line. Make sure to secure the join in place with pins before you move it to sew.
8. Move the binding so the join overhangs the project. Stitch along the marked line to join the 2 layers of binding together. Once sewn, double check the binding lays flat along your project and trim to leave a 1/4"seam allowance, then press the seam open.
9. Stitch the joined section of binding to the project, again using the scant 1/2" seam allowance.

To finish your binding, turn over your project. Bring the binding over to the back, folding the raw edge in and the folded edge down. Clip to hold in place and hand stitch in place on the reverse. I use a ladder stitch although a slip stitch would also be fine. Alternatively, you can use a machine to top stitch close to the edge of the binding.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Q3 & Q4 plans...

It is time to look at my finish along Q3 finishes and make my plans for Q4. Quite simply I have made some progress on projects but not actually finished anything this quarter. Technically I have finished my birthday stitchers swap gifts, but since I can’t share them yet, they don’t count! 
I have got very distracted and have started, and actually finished a few other things. I am disappointed but that’s just the way this quarter has gone and I need to forget it and move on.
Rather than my normal round up and new list, I have just added what progress (if any) I have made. Unfortunately I have to add a few more projects I have started too.
This list is still so long, I just need to face the reality I definitely won’t finish my list this year, not even half. So I have decided to prioritise some projects that need to be done and selected just a couple of wants. 

  • birthday stitchers projects- all finished, just need wrapping, will show you in Q4!
  • Christmas project for escape and create blog- almost finished and so excited to share
  • Annie's advent
  • Christmas pouch ig swap
  • butterfly cross stitch- progress
  • jo's gifts
  • Christmas stocking SAL
  • my advent
  • finish my meadowland quilt- still needs binding!
  • an EPP case for myself (as a pattern release too)- made progress 
  • Cork and liberty pouch- progress
  • car accessories/quilt- the quilt top is made!
  • a heather ross quilt- did a little bit but not enough to really consider it progress.
  • pin badge banner
  • unicorn pouch
  • green blanket 
  • Christmas bunting
  • Christmas cross stitch
  • polar bear cushions
  • liberty HST quilt
  • Tasha noel seaside skirt
  • adele dress
  • makers mat SAL- skipping this year, hopefully next year
I have taken part in the Saturday night craft along swap for a few years now, I really don't want to miss it. I will see how things go though.
Of course I have made some more progress on my ice cream soda quilt, although im not expecting that to get finished this year at all... maybe not even next. 

 so that's it...wish me luck!
I am using the #2019falcraftylilmouse for all my finish-a-long projects, if you wish to check them out.
If you want to join in the finish-a-long please go visit the blog here


Friday, 12 July 2019

finish-a-long: Q2 ound up & Q3 list!

Firstly Q2 round up and finishes... 

  • My nanas 80th birthday gift- made her a quilt!
  • Easter gifts- both were finished and gifted them both on time.
  • My meadowland quilt- now quilted but needs binding still
  • Car accessories- no progress 
  • Unicorn pouch- sadly not
  • Pin badge banners- still not looked at it
  • Green blanket- hiding in a cupboard!
  • Adele dress- no progress
  • Liberty cushion- finished and now on the liberty London website! check out the sew along article here.
  • Birthday stitchers swap project 2&3- I did one... little sneak peek in bottom corner.
  • Postage stamp quilt- made for my nans 80th! 
  • My first proper pattern release- yes, read about my pouch here... or buy it here

  • Plus I want to do a bit more on my ice cream soda quilt, hopefully more than last quarter- I did twice as many this quarter. still a long way to go but im happy.
    I really wish I could have finished more projects, but that's just the way it goes, maybe next time!

    Time to plan Q3...
    • finish my meadowland quilt- needs binding!
    • an EPP case for myself (possibly as a pattern release too)
    • a heather ross quilt
    • car accessories
    • unicorn pouch
    • adele dress
    • green blanket
    • Annie's advent
    • birthday stitchers projects 3&4 (still wont be able to show you but will need them ready to send)
    • use cork! (have a liberty cord and cork little pouch planned)
    • pin badge banner
    • butterfly cross stitch
    • jo's gifts
    • Tasha noel seaside skirt
    • Christmas bunting
    • my advent
    • Christmas cross stitch
    • Christmas pouch ig swap
    • polar bear cushions
    • liberty HST quilt
    ... of course more progress on my ice cream soda quilt too, although im not expecting that to get finished this year now.

    This list is so long, I just know I wont do it all. part of me thinks im just setting myself up for a fail, however its better to be here to remind me what I actually need to do. I am getting very distracted lately and think this at least gives me the full list to go at! Only time will tell.
    I am using the #2019falcraftylilmouse for all my finish-a-long projects, if you wish to check them out.
    If you want to join in the finish-a-long please go visit the blog here.


    Wednesday, 10 July 2019

    Cotton + Steel cushion swap - what I received

    I received my #cottonandsteelcushionswap parcel from Naomi (@naomic08) and it is wonderful.
    Firstly the cushion cover, which is a super FPP heart design. She used a selection of rainbow cotton and steel fabrics. She did some echo machine quilting and added some little hand stitched/quilted details in matching rainbow colours.
    It is a wonderful cushion and just what I wanted, since I would never have chosen an FPP pattern myself!
    Naomi included some very lovely extras too. A large #speedyvinylpouches using one of the beauty shop hankie panel images, which is just perfect for me. Some fabrics which will be used in my ice cream soda quilt and other little projects. Plus the adorable little pegs, covered with cotton and steel fabrics. What a cute way to use up even the most tiny scraps. 
    I have really enjoyed this swap and I think everyone else taking part did too. Go check out the #cottonandsteelcushionswap on Instagram and give the fabulous makes some love!