Sunday, 13 January 2019

GU cheesecake pincushion

I have made a few of these pin cushions now and personally I love them. They recycle a gu cheesecake jar (old style with straight sides), they are a really nice size and because it's also a little heavy, it can double as a pattern weight.
I choose to trim mine with some lace and thin ribbon, but you could use whatever you prefer. I think pom Pom trim would be so fun!

To make your own, you will need:
the pattern and instructions sheet
thread and needle
hot glue gun

I sew mine on my machine, but you could use a small back stitch to hand sew yours.
If you share your pincushion online please make reference to this blog and if you use Instagram, don’t forget to share your pincushions with the #craftylilmousepatterns

Happy stitching 

Friday, 11 January 2019

2019 finish-a-long Q1

It’s a new year and a new quarter of the finish-a-long. I was so pleased to find this planner on studios sew of course blog... it makes it so much easier to plan and see what stage my projects are at. I didn’t however put them in any reasonable order, so we will see how it goes and possibly make an edited list next quarter. 
There is simply too many projects to list, you’d fall asleep before you got to the end, instead I have picked out my top 16 (8 shown above): 
  • Finish the pouch made from my 100 hexies 
  • A patchwork for my nana’s 80th birthday 
  • The unicorn pouch I didn’t finish last quarter 
  • Bambi gifts
  • Mermaid cross stitch 
  • Micky quilt 
  • 2 Easter projects 
  • Continue making my advent calendar
  • Pin badge banners
  • The blocks for abbie
  • Car acsessiories
  • Birthday stitchers swap project 1
  • send a little love swap
Plus I’d love to make a start on my ice cream soda Epp, postage stamp quilt and my liberty quilt.
I know this list is unrealistic but you can dream and aim high, if all else fails there is always next quarter!

 If you fancy joining in too, click link here to the blog and find a host, alternatively, go check out their account and hashtag over on Instagram.

Best get sewing!!

Tuesday, 8 January 2019


I signed up to do the #12daysofchristmasswap2018 on instagram a few months ago. The idea is to make and buy 12 gifts for your partner to open on the 12 days after Christmas.
It is a secret swap and you are assigned a partner and no one knows who is making for who. When you sign up you fill out a form telling your partner your preferences and make a mosaic and post to instagram for more inspiration.
My partner was Helen, known as @polly_dolly_wolly on instagram, these are the gifts i sent...


My first make was this Christmas stocking, using a fabric that was trational but still cute. I added the green cuff to be more Christmassy and fussy cut the characters to show them all. 

Next make was these 2 felt decorations, I chose the designs and cross stitched the centre panels. I added a felt border and back and blanket stitched together, also adding some stuffing for a plush feel.
Next was a partly bought and partly handmade gift. Since I didn't know her scent preference I purchased a selection of Christmas scented Yankee Candle tea lights along with a glass holder. I then made a hexagon shaped box for them to be gifted in. I added an acetate lid and some shredded tissue to give a more professional feel.
I made a zip pouch with a matching key fob for her next gift. I used a variety of coloured fabrics to make a patchwork panel and mixed it with some linen/calico fabric. I added a wipe clean lining and one of my handmade labels inside.
I chose a bright coloured zip that I felt worked with my fabric choices. The final touch was a charm for the zip pull. I used some jewellery supplies and chose this fun bead that matched the colour of the zip.
I screen printed a tote bag with a kitten design, using my screen sensation system, kipton the kitten screen and potting shed ink.

The next two gifts were a pin cushion and a needle book. I created the pattern for the pin cushion a few years ago and have made a couple before. For this one, I chose some bright coloured vintage sewing themed fabric and added lace and purple ribbon trims to the jar. 

I used the Aneela Hoey pattern for the needle book, doing the same adjustments as I did for the one I made in the sew along. I used the fabric to match the pincushion and combined it with some cream linen. I used some decorative stitches on my sewing machine with purple thread to add some detail on the pockets and on the front. 

The other gifts I included were a map puzzle, lindt chocolate, an organizer, loccitane soap and hand cream. I also sent some haberdashery items that I thought she might like; a needle egg, sparkle embroidery thread packs, vintage lace (that I found at a antiques fair) and some vintage buttons (that were from my granny).
I love gifts to be perfect for the person receiving them so I always put a lot of thought into gift giving. I was rather stressed at times about this swap, but was happy with what I sent. Thankfully Helen likes hers gifts and I even managed to choose some of her favourite things. 
These items were also on my finish a long list and although I knew I needed to finish them, it was quite hard not sharing any progress so this was an extra bit of motivation. You can read more about that here.

Diamonds for Christmas...

I made this cushion as a gift for my friend Zena for Christmas. I used cotton and steel fabric in pink and red tones. I mainly used the Noel and tinsel fabric ranges but added some off their basics to break up the prints. I knew she loves diamond patchwork so it was an obvious design choice for her cushion. I cut quite a few diamonds then played around with the layout until I was happy. I took a picture as reference and began sewing. I found it a little confusing to sew together at first, but I soon got the hang of things. I was quite pleased with how it came together and that most of my points matched. I used some fusible batting on the back and quilted using some verigated thread. I chose to just do a straight line of quilting either side of the seams. I made up the back of the cushion in the light pink colour and included a zip. I couldn’t decide which colour/fabric would look best so opted to make this cushion using the turning out method instead of binding it like a quilt.

I also added some extras to my parcel, a haberdashery design biscuit tin with cookies inside, a winter scented reed diffuser. I cut some low volume fabric to make a mini hexie charm pack and made a couple of felt decorations for her tree. I included this cute Christmas card that I made too, which used the perfect image since Zena loves deers. 

Monday, 7 January 2019

Sew 6 organisers giveaway


As part of the sewalong, we also held a giveaway at the end. Me and Zena sent a prize each with winners selected at random from those who joined us in the sewalong. My winner was Maja. 
We decided that since the participants had the book already,  we would use a different pattern by Aneela Hoey. I chose to make a flex frame case and hand stitch some decoration on, using the stitch & sew book.

I added a few extras to the package including some ribbon, a  notepad, pen, some little stationary bits and a handmade card. 

This was also one of my finish-a-long projects that I had on my list. you can see the original post here to find out more! 

my #sew6organizers sewalong

This year I decided to host a sewalong on instagram, with the help of a friend zena. We chose to do 6 projects each from the Aneela Hoey stitched sewing organizers book, one per month. Everyone who joined in could choose their own patterns and make any little adjustments to the projects to suit them. The idea was to share our projects and we had a little group chat for any questions or help, making the most of the lovely sewing community on Instagram.
These are the six projects I made for the sewalong: I used the distant dreams collection from dashwood studios. I split the collection into 3 mini collections and added some dashwood twist fabric, (indigo and cherry I think).

I kept the first project simple with a little fold up pouch. This is a great little project that doesn't require a zip. It is an simple pattern to follow and can easily be adjusted to make other sizes.
The second project was this handy needle book. I liked this pattern, although I did make a few changes to the suggested pockets used in the pattern. In the book it shows 2 different sized pockets at the back, at the front is a single pocket with the addition of a small pin cushion. I changed the back to just have the 1 large pocket and since I didn't need a pin cushion, I chose to just do one large pocket at that side too. These work out perfectly to hold all the needles I keep in packets.
The next project was the see-it-all pouch... this is a very useful pouch and quite simple construction although the use of binding does make it slightly harder. I used sparkle vinyl as I liked the look and fussy cut the back to ensure I had a full peacock in the centre.
The fourth project was the 2-in-1 case. I love this case and I am using it to hold all my tools. This is made in a similar way to the see-it-all with the addition of a fastening tab. I had a few options for fastenings; I did try a button first but the button hole on my singer machine was not very neat and I was struggling with placement, I also considered using a magnetic clasp, but decided against this option as they are very strong and I didn't want my tools attracting to the magnets. The best solution I found worked as a fastening was a kam snap, both simple to fit and to use.  

Next was the fold up sewing folio. I found this project slightly tricky, not because of construction but directions. I kept getting very confused about the direction of things, so my layout differs slightly from the one pictured in the book. It is still fuctional though and my mum has taken it to store her sewing supplies.
The final project was the boxy pocket pouch, I like this pouch and it is definitely bigger than I expected it to be. Since it was the last project and I had been avoiding it slightly (I'm not sure why, maybe because I didn't want the sewalong to end) to give me a little nudge, I added this to my  finish-a-long list of things to make. You can read more about that here!
Overall, I enjoyed hosting the sew along and would definitely do another one. It was a joy to see everyone else's projects and make some friends along the way too. If you're interested in seeing all the projects for yourself, you can visit the #sew6organizers on instagram.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Blue liberty pouch

I made a patchwork panel using liberty fabric in blue shades. I was originally making something else but that didn’t go to plan!! Since I didn’t want this panel to go to waste, I made a pouch instead.

I decided to make the pouch to hold some scissors and a rotary cutter so I added wadding for protection. I wanted the closer/flap of my pouch to be in a solid colour, so I used some art gallery pure elements fabric. I also added interfacing to this and the lining for some stability. I used a kam snap fastening to be easy to use. 
I made this for my mums birthday, unfortunately I had to cut my panel in half to make the pouch the right size so the patchwork isn’t as even as i would have liked, but she likes it and that’s all that matters.

This was on my finish-a-long list of projects to do and you can read more about that here!

An owl stocking

I chose this beautiful owl fabric to make a stocking for a friends baby. I opted for a large stocking to hold plenty of presents. I used some coordinating red fabric for the cuff and appliquéd her name and blanket stitched it in place on the front. I added some quilting with sparkle thread to the main stocking too. I think all these little touches make this an extra special stocking. 

I’m not sure what Annie will think to it since it’s only her first Christmas, but hopefully in a few years she will like it. 

This is also one of my finish-a-long projects, you can see more about this here!