Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Glam bag

I made this bag as part of a Christmas gift for a friend. She's a beautician so when I saw these fabrics, I knew they would be perfect for her bag. I mixed prints from the 'Kiss me, Kate' range by See Kate Sew for Riley Blake and 'Glam Girls' by American Dream House for Michael Miller.

I designed the panels to mix the fabrics and spread the colours. I then worked out the quilty maths and cut my pieces as follows:
lips: 15 1/2" x 3 1/2"  +  14 1/2" x 3 1/2"
xox: 3 1/2" x 4 1/2"  +  3 1/2" x 4 1/2"
bows: 9 1/2"x 2 1/2"  +  3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
lipsticks: 6 1/2" x 6 1/2"  +  6 1/2" x 4 1/2"
eyelashes: 9 1/2" x 4 1/2"  +  3 1/2" x 4 1/2"
stripe: 6 1/2" x 4 1/2"  +  6 1/2" x 5 1/2"
The panel was made using the quilt as you go method with 1/4" quilting and seam allowances. I then added the sequin print to the top and base with 1/2" quilting. I created the handles with the same sequin fabric, with interfacing for strength and batting for comfort.  
I boxed the corners on the base and lined with the bows fabric to finish. I also added a little handmade label into the side seam.
I'm pretty pleased with how the bag turned out and think it's a useful size... Thankfully my friend is also pleased with it!! This is one of my finish-a-long projects which you can find here.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Butterfly cross stitch

I made this little gift using the butterfly hoop kit from cross-stitch crazy magazine I got a while ago. I followed the kit to stitch up the butterflies on the front, but didn't like the plastic hoop supplied with it. I decided to paint a wooden hoop the same size using my own custom mixed lilac shade of Annie Sloan (I'm afraid I can't remember which colours went into it!).
I added the coordinating fabric to finish the back of the hoop, first glued and then ladder stitched to secure it in place. The final touch was some organza ribbon to create a hanging loop and bow to cover the screw.
I finished this project earlier, but couldn't share until now as it was part of a Christmas gift. It is on my Q4 finish-a-long list which you can find here ....

Friday, 27 December 2019

Bunnies and blossoms pouch

I decided to take part in one Christmas swap this year, but wanted something a bit easier than last year. The #simpleandsweetchristmaspouchswap was perfect!
The guidelines were one pouch made to your partners preferences, with a nice size limit (maximum size 15”x12”, minimum 8”x6”). The parcel could also include 1 or 2 Christmassy extras. I was given Naomi as my swap partner aka @naomic08 on Instagram. I was very happy to be making for her, since she had made a wonderful cotton and steel swap parcel for me... see this here. 

Firstly, I decided I would make one of my snappy zip pouches but would enlarge it a little. My final pouch measurements were 10 1/2”x 9 3/4”. I couldn’t decide what fabrics to choose, so I gathered a few options and posted about it on Instagram. I had been eager to use these cute bunnies and blossoms fabrics for a while and was thrilled when Naomi commented she liked them too.  

I went for a patchwork panel, to include plenty of the fabrics with a few cute fussy cuts too. Simple straight line quilting, 1/2” apart worked out well too. I used the strawberries for the main pouch lining and the pink lace check for the flap and zip pocket lining. I decided not to quilt the flap and am pleased I didn’t now.

I found the sweet little strawberry bead in my jewellery supplies and made a cute zip pull charm with it. I love the way this pouch looks and hopefully Naomi does too!

My pattern is available on Etsy here, if you fancy making your own version of this pouch.
This was also one of my finish-a-long projects. See more of my list here, and visit their blog for more details about the challenge. 


Christmas coin purse...

This Christmas, I am taking part in the #simpleandsweetchristmaspouchswap on Instagram. For the swap you needed to make one pouch and up to two Christmassy extras. I will be sharing the main pouch after Christmas, I have already shared my first extra here and this is the second extra I sent...

It is a simple coin purse for all those festive shopping trips... or I imagine it might hold a small Christmas stitching project.
I used cotton and steel Noel and tinsel fabrics, plus some basics in the pink colours. I did some scrappy patchwork to make the most of the fabric I had, plus the chance to include more prints. I did  choose the cute candy cane print for the lining. I added a little star charm to the zip pull as a final detail. Since my partner had said she liked these fabrics, I really hope she likes what I made.

If you want to make your own zip pouch, but don’t know where to start, I made this tutorial a while ago. Read it here!

I am also including this project as one of my finish-a-long Q4 finishes. You can view my list here and learn more about the challenge on their blog here.


Tuesday, 10 December 2019

a Christmas banner...

This Christmas I am taking part in the #simpleandsweetchristmaspouchswap on Instagram. For the swap you needed to make one pouch and up to two Christmassy extras. More about the pouch I made later, but here is the first of my extras.

I made this little Christmas decoration banner. I used some of the moda merriments fabrics I had left over from my escape and create blog project (read about this here). Since my partner didn’t want too traditional, I thought this was quite a good choice with the snowflakes. Since the colours were still abit traditional though, I tried to hand letter the ‘Merry Christmas’ in quite a modern style.
I hand stitched the letters with a coordinated thread colour, then added sparkle with some silver thread over the existing snowflakes.
Once I’d finished stitching, I placed my two fabrics right sides together and drew my banner shape. I stitched along the lines, leaving a turning gap, then trimmed excess bulk from the corners. I turned it out and gave it a good press before stitching closed the gap. I used the silver thread again to top stitch around the edge of the banner. I folded over the top and top stitched in place. I added a section of paper straw inside the fold to hold the banner and threaded some twine through for hanging tied with a little bow in the top, so my partner can either hang it straight up or re-tie it around something.
The banner needed one final detail though... a tassel. Since I didn’t have one and wanted it to match, I decided to make my own. Although I’m happy with the results, please remind me not to do this in future! If you would like to make your own, I've included the template for the lettering below.

This is one of my Q4 finishes for the finish-a-long challenge, read more about my list here.


Saturday, 7 December 2019

Sally’s choose and sew supply case...

One of the gifts I choose to make for Sally (my birthday stitchers partner) was a choose and sew supply case. She had suggested needing a sewing case for her EPP supplies. When she made herself the case I was planning on, I decided to make my own pattern.

I had already started planning the supply case, but thought Sally would prefer different options to me. We are good friends on instagram, so without giving it away that I was making for her, I asked what she’d prefer. I planned and worked out measurements. Next was fabric choice, cotton and steel was an obvious choice. I picked some patterns and colours I thought Sally would like, but wasn’t convinced by any for the outer of the case. I decided I’d join the #100hexies100days challenge on instagram and join them together for a cute fussy cut panel. Since I was making a large case, it took more than 100 and I was quite a long while hand stitching, but I’m so pleased I did now. 

For the inside of Sally’s supply case I decided to make a vinyl workspace with 2 pockets and a piece of felt, then a zip vinyl pocket at the back for storage. I did the binding with a flap closure construction method on this case. Of course, I made one of the snap in pouches and have sent the measurements to Sally for her to be able to make as many more as she wants. 
I also made some beaded zip pulls to finish it nicely. I really hope Sally likes her choose and sew supply case and finds it useful.

The pattern for the choose and supply case is now available in my Etsy store. It is a large pattern with 2 sizes and has lots of pocket options and 2 construction methods. It means you can make tons of different combinations, so that you can make the perfect case for you and maybe even one for a friend!

This project was also one of my finish a long projects, you can read  more of my list here.


Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Dashwood advent

After making a stocking last year for a friends little girl, I decided an advent calendar would be perfect for this Christmas. I picked out the dashwood studio panel, with a very cute illustration, and little pockets for chocolate coins.
After I’d cut out the pockets, I decided to wundaweb all of the sides down to help stop it fraying with use. I top stitched across all of the top edges and then stitched all the pockets on to the panel.
I cut a piece of backing and wadding to the same size as the advent panel. I also cut out 4 rectangles of backing fabric to create hanging loops. With these, I stitched 2 pieces of backing fabric wst, then turned it out and repeated to create 2. I topstitched the two pieces in place to the upper section of the backing, leaving a gap between them. I then stitched the advent rst to the backing and wadding pieces, trimmed some wadding from the seam allowance and turned out. I stitched up the turning gap and added some top stitching/quilting to the advent to hold the layers together. I cut a piece of dowel to size and threaded it through the tubes. I then ladder stitched both outer ends closed to stop it falling out. The gap in the middle means you can just hang it up or add a ribbon if you need too. 

This is one of my finishalong projects, you can check out the rest of my list here.


Monday, 2 December 2019

Choose and sew supply case

It's release day for my latest pattern and I’m so excited, I thought I’d share a little more about how and why I designed this choose and sew supply case.
At the beginning of the year, I started an EPP quilt. I knew it would take me a long time to sew and would mainly to sewing while traveling, so of course, it needed its own pouch. I picked the 2 in 1 designed by aneela honey and it’s a great pouch but unfortunately not for this. It wasn’t long before I was getting frustrated with it and decided to design my own!

The main problem is that there isn’t anywhere to put the pieces your working on, other than on top of the vinyl pockets. This was fine until I was sewing in the car and my fabric and papers ended up going down the side of the car seat. I knew I needed somewhere to tuck my pieces safely whilst still having easy access to them when sewing.
The second thing was, since all my tools was in the same pocket, I was constantly in and out for my scissors. They would get lost amongst the other tools, plus I couldn’t leave the pocket open for easy access since everything would fall out.
This workspace section of my new pouch was the solution I came up with...

The next problem I encountered was when I started putting my pieces together. Once sewn together, they no longer fit in my pouch. This was ok if I was at home but, when out I didn’t want to spoil them. Since I didn’t have anywhere to put them, it meant taking another pouch. I decided one large pocket was the solution on the other side of my new pouch...

Next was some storage to take my fabric and papers with me. I thought a simple pouch would be just fine. Then I thought about it a bit more and remembered how annoying it is when you fancy something else for a change. I’d either have to take all of my quilt pieces out or find a different pouch for the new project and have to move all of my tools. I came up with the idea of a removable pouch. This way I could keep my tools in the case but make multiple pouches to store different projects. Even better they just snap in or out whenever I fancy a change. This one was a tester, adding kam snaps to a premade zipper pouch...

For the outside, I chose to make a patchwork panel with a mix of cotton & steel prints around this fab sloth scrap I had. I finished this one with some pink binding to tie in with the inside and an open ended zip fastening. To make it portable, the whole case folds neatly in half with all the supplies inside.

If you like this idea, I have written it up into a new pattern so you can make your own. Not happy with just one version though, (since one pouch isn’t for everyone) I have made several options within the pattern. It actually includes 4 workspace pocket options, 3 large storage pocket options, 2 construction methods, in 2 sizes and I even added optional handles to make your supply case more portable! You choose how you would like your workspace and storage, from the different pocket variations and fastenings and follow the instructions to sew up a case and snap in pouches to suit your needs... Hence why I decided to call it the 'choose and sew supply case'. I hope it gives you plenty of choice and I can't wait to see everyone’s different versions!
The pattern is available in my Etsy store here...


Sunday, 1 December 2019

sweet seaside bunting...

As part of my birthday stitchers swap parcel, I made my partner some bunting. Sally had suggested she’d like some bunting, however, it wasn’t really clear from her inspiration board what style she would prefer. Knowing Sally’s fabric tastes and because I wanted it to feel fresh and summery, I chose the Tasha Noel seaside fabric range first.
I think bunting is always better double sided, so I chose the Tasha Noel a small floral design from the a little sweetness range to compliment it. Making it reversible also gave her an alternative look in case she didn’t like the seaside theme. Since I learnt Sally’s favourite colour is red, and it matched my fabric choices perfectly, I picked out a red lace edge binding for the top of the bunting.
I first fussy cut some of the seaside characters, then added the other fabrics in between from the range until I was happy with the layout. I cut the same amount of florals and interfacing. I’m not quite sure why I interface bunting, I just like the way it looks. I stitched it all together and then tried to get a photo of it all, which turned out to be quite tricky.
I never know how many pennants to make when sending bunting, this might be a lot but hopefully she will find somewhere to hang it all!
This is one of my finish-a-long projects, although finished in Q2 I think... it wasn’t gifted until October so I’m including it in my Q4 finishes. You can see my finish-a-long list here.

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