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 recieved

    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!


    Tuesday, 9 July 2019

    Cotton + Steel cushion swap- what i made!

    In may I decided I would host a swap for the first time. I had a little hiccup but overall it’s been a success. Although everyone has not yet received their cushions, I think everyone has enjoyed it.
    My #cottonandsteelcushionswap partner was and since she has received her parcel I thought I’d share what I made.

    Firstly the cushion cover of course. I decided I’d make the front using half square triangles and after some encouragement on Instagram, I’d try to use as many prints as I could. I tried a few different layouts and played with where the colours were going but decided on this. Apparently it’s a barn raising design, although I didn’t know this at the time. It’s definitely not as random as I set out to do but because it’s me, that isn’t surprising. I decided to hand quilt it using black perle thread. I didn’t do anything too fancy since it was my first time doing proper hand quilting (previously I have only tried the kantha stitch on my liberty cushion) I used a quilting hoop this time which definitely made it feel different. I love cotton and steel salvages, they are such fun, So wanted to include one on the back. I chose this sewing themed one (from the add it up basics) and happily the cotton and steel words just fit too. I picked a pink sprinkle basic to match and the black add it up for binding.
    I just love how all the different cotton and steel prints work together. Although it’s not what I would have made myself, I definitely would now. I’m quite proud of how it turned out including the hand quilting, which I was worried about. 

    On to the extras and Karen had included a mushroom on her mosaic, so it was an obvious item to make. I looked through my stash and found these little people to go around the bottom. A selection of pink prints for the top and a nice blue for the underneath. I added hand stitched crosses and other details to finish it off nicely.
    On to the extras and Karen had included a mushroom on her mosaic, so it was an obvious item to make. I looked through my stash and found these little people to go around the bottom. A selection of pink prints for the top and a nice blue for the underneath. I added hand stitched crosses and other details to finish it off nicely.
    Next was a #speedyvinylpouches using the welsummer range. I thought a bit of Epp would be nice but opted to use larger hexies to make the most of the prints. I chose the smaller print from the range for the inside, sparkle vinyl and binding the same as the cushion. 
    I also included a pack of cute sewing pins and made a basic card using a hunkydory sewing image, from a little book.
    I was a little worried Karen wouldn’t like it but so pleased she does. I am told the cushion is in her sewing room chair and the mushroom will be joining her collection. 


    Sunday, 7 July 2019

    Snappy zip pouch

    So I have now released my first pattern! It’s called the snappy zip pouch and I thought I’d tell you all about it!
    It all started with the gift I made for the #send a little love swap I took part in January/February. I decided to create this double sided pouch. One side has a zip and the other a snap fastening (or in this case 2)
    I was very happy when the recipient loved it and I got many compliments. A couple of people asked if I’d be making a pattern because they would like to make one too. I wasn’t sure at first but then thought why not... it wasn’t the easiest to do though. I tend to make little scribbles as I sew when I’m making it up as I go, sometimes I can’t even understand them and definitely not enough to write instructions! 
    I decided I’d start again, worked out the measurements and take pictures as I sew. Then came the written instructions, for this I talked my sister into helping. She is loads better at English but only a beginner at sewing, so explaining everything wasn’t the easiest. We thought we had done alright but wasn’t quite happy with our first attempt. I sent it to a couple of people to pattern test for me and give some feedback. Then came the stress of making amendments, a few diagrams and deciding the pictures weren’t quite right. I ended up making another pouch to show everything clearly and I am so glad I did. Then it went off to the pattern testers again, plus an extra as a fresh set of eyes.
    During this time I also made a couple more and changed the sizes and made a few alterations. My sister was not pleased when I asked to add more to the pattern, but as a consumer I always love bonus sizes so thought it could only be a good thing. 
    I’m so happy with how it turned out and the pdf download is now available in my Etsy store. I feel nervous about the whole selling thing but also I’m so excited to see everyone’s pouches. 
    Would I do it again... part of me thinks no. It’s a lot of effort and I found it quite stressful, however... maybe, yes. I have another pouch I’m desperate to make myself but feel it could also be a nice pattern to share. I think we learnt a lot and it might be easier the second time, so we shall this space!
    If you want to make your own #snappyzippouch visit my Etsy here to buy the pattern!
    This whole experience was part of my finish-a-long project list for this quarter. You can read more about my projects here. It is almost time for Q3 so if you fancy joining too, visit their blog here.

    Sunday, 9 June 2019

    zipped cushion tutorial

    Since I'm running a cushion swap over on Instagram, I thought I would share a quick tutorial on how I like to make a nice neat zipped cushion back.
    Start with a zip longer than your cushion width. Cut a piece of fabric approximately 2" high by the width of the cushion for the bottom of the back. Lay your zipper teeth down onto the right side of the fabric strip and pin in place, so the zipper tape lines up with the top edge of the fabric. stitch along the edge using your zipper foot on your machine to help. Fold the fabric back, press and top-stitch along the edge of the zip. For the larger top section, cut your fabric to size across the width, but add extra (approximately 2")to the height to cover the zip. Lay the zip teeth down onto the right side of your other cushion back, so the tape aligns with the fabric edge. Pin and sew.
    Now at each end of the zip, you are going to sew an 'L' shape to stop the zipper and create the concealed fold. With your fabrics still right sides together and the zipper in the centre with the pull in the middle, mark out up to 2" in on the width along the zip and up to 1" down (or the width of the zip tape). Do this at both ends of the zip, and then sew along your marks, ensuring you run across the zipper teeth a few times to make it extra secure. Now fold back your fabric and press carefully over the zip. Next, top stitch along the other side of the zip through the fabric flap, lining up along the zipper teeth to hold the layers in place. Then, trim off the tape in line with the fabric edge and snip down either side of the tape carefully to avoid the fabric. then cut across to remove the teeth from the L shape sections to reduce bulk on the seams. Make sure your cushion back is the right size and square.

     To join the back to the front, you first need to decide if you are binding the cushion or not. Above shows a cushion ready to be bound, with the front and back pieces simply aligned wrong sides together and a stitched line around the edge, less than a 1/4" from the edge to hold the layers in place. You can then trim the sides neatly and sew on the binding of choice to finish, covering the joining stitching around the edge. If you don't want to add binding, place your front and back right sides together, with the zipper open and stitch all the way around using a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn the cushion through the gap in the open zipper and press. For a nice alternative to binding or piping, you can topstitch around the edges around 1/4" in on the turned through and pressed cushion.

    Wednesday, 15 May 2019

    My birthday stitchers swap

    This year I signed up to take part in a birthday stitcher swap, over on Instagram. I recently had my birthday and these are the wonderful gifts I received. Maria (aka @madame_tailor on Instagram) sent my gifts from Germany.

    First is my main handmade gift, which is this super carry all caddy. Marie used some beautiful art gallery fabrics and rose gold hardware. It looks so pretty plus with so much space and pockets, I’m sure will be very useful for holding plenty of projects.
    My second handmade gift was this mini makers station, which is designed to go over the arm of a chair. It has some great pockets on either side, a thread catcher which buttons on and a tray on top. It has magnets in the bottom of the tray and pin cushion to stop them falling off and so you can use it separately too if you wanted. Maria used some more of the sonata fabrics that coordinated with the caddy. It is backed with a really great low volume print that I love. The third handmade item is this adorable mouse toy. She has a pretty dress and a beautiful hand stitched face, even some blush.
    Lastly is this Lola zip pouch. It matches the other 2 gifts and I think it is my favourite print from that range too. They look so lovely together, I definitely think I will have to keep them all together and be super organised. 

    Maria also included a few other extras including a mini charm, pin cushion ring and ribbon (shown in the makers station above) some chocolates and bath soaps. Not forgetting my dog, Millie, who also got some treats and a toy... Although she was rather more interested in my mouse! 
    I can’t share what gifts I have made for my partner yet, because it’s not my her birthday until later this year. I would say I don’t want to spoil the surprise, which I don’t, but I also haven’t made them yet! 

    Tuesday, 14 May 2019

    Liberty kantha cushion

    I had seen the #libertysocietykanthastitchalong on Instagram last year...A chance to use some of my liberty fabric stash and try something I had never done before. Lots of beautiful projects were made last year, but I didn’t get chance to join in so I was excited to get started this time round.
    I patch-worked my panel on the machine, using some of the liberty scrap packs I had bought from duck egg threads online. I then chose my batting and added a piece of white cotton, to make my quilt sandwich. I chose a few colours of #8 perle threads. It was my first time using these too, with a slight sheen, they where easy to stitch with. I used my add-a-quarter ruler to keep marking a guide line with a clover Hera marker. 
    Unfortunately the quilt for nanas 80th birthday took priority, so I only got time to finish my panel while the sewalong was still running. I should have picked a smaller project but I just knew I wanted a cushion. To make up the cushion, I used a bigger piece of liberty tana lawn to coordinate with the front. Since I didn’t want to bind the cushion, I just did the turn out method, but it didn’t quite look right. I top stitched a border about 1/4” from the edge and I think this was the finishing touch it needed. 
    It was quite relaxing to do the kantha stitching and gives such great texture. I also think it was quite good practice for if I wanted to do some hand quilting in the future. The liberty is so soft and the overall cushion feels very luxurious. I love it and am so pleased I took the time to make it.

    This was one of my Q2 finish-a-long projects. If you want to read that list, click here!
    Also if you fancy looking at some very beautiful projects similar to mine...Go to Instagram and check out #libertysocietykanthastitchalong, which was hosted by the lovely @tincatsew.