Sunday, 19 May 2013

Shine Bright like a Diamond...........

I saw the most gorgeous cushion on Flickr a few weeks ago and pinned it on my Pinterest board for future inspiration.

My inspiration

That image has been niggling at me since then so on Friday whilst I had a spare half hour I started playing...........................

Preparing the shapes
Two down, six to go!
The cushion uses diamonds as a base - 8 to make a circular pattern. My diamonds are cut, as are some 1" fabric strips to add as borders..................with hindsight I am wondering if I should have used paper foundations for these for accuracy. Time will tell, I guess. Hopefully my 1/4" seams will be accurate enough *crosses fingers*
As you can see - I'm not hot on pressing seams after each strip is stitched. Life's just too short!
With packing and organising for our trip on the horizon today, I don't think I'll finish this before we leave but it'll be a nice UFO to come back to . The borders are going to be scrappy - I prefer that look.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Emergency! Emergency!

We are off to EuroDisney on Monday & I was gathering together the medicines today and suddenly decided (as I do - last minute!) that we needed a zipper pouch to store them all in. And this is what I came up with

The cross in the middle is around 7". The pouch is around 11" tall/wide

Look at that - I boxed the bottom without losing the "squareness" of the pouch

Gorgeous grey inside - you can't beat grey at the moment - definitely my "go to" colour
I am so chuffed with our first aid kit - I can't even tell you! It fits everything we need (I can't quite believe how much "just in case" medicine we are taking - better safe than sorry!) even a packet of baby wipes. James has already declared that I have to make him one and it has to have a green surround (although I much prefer the linen myself)

So tomorrow the kitchen is being knocked out and they are going to start building the new one. Will this project ever end? On a plus, though, my father in law made it over safe in one piece this time - last time he was set to come, snow stopped play

Guess it's breakfast at Little Chef or Frankie & Benny's, then!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Weekender

We are having an extension built on the back of our house and the last 4 weeks have been very challenging, to say the least! I have not had much computer time and all my efforts have been put into running the business and clearing parts of the house as necessary to facilitate building works. It's been cold & not without problems - every weekend has seen a flood of some kind or another. This weekend was no exception and it has been a rather exhausting one. As a bit of escapism, I started reading some of the sewing blogs I so love and have missed catching up on these past few months.
One project which cropped up a few times and captured my attention was The Weekender by Amy Butler. I bought this pattern about 4 years ago on a whim. Once it arrived and I actually looked at the instructions I promptly put it back down again & didn't really give it a second thought. It was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond my comfort zone. However, after scouring other blogs for ideas and advice on this bag, I have again picked it up. I had a good clear out of my craft room and started properly organising it. It's a "work in progress" shall we say, and there is still a lot of room for improvement BUT the desk is clear & now houses my sewing machine & I can nip in there when I have a spare 10 mins & pick up the project I am working on without having to haul everything out each time. So, here are some pictures of my progress. Don't expect miracles - this one is going to take a while and I am very nervous about it but I am going to try and enjoy the process and not feel the need to rush to finish as I so often do. Excuse the poor picture quality - I am currently using my phone as the camera charger is somewhere safe - so safe we have no idea where!!
Front panel

Close up of quilt as you go quilting for the back panel

See the backing canvas I am using? Bought for a steal at IKEA years ago - it's so good not to have to buy something but just make do with what I have!

I have so far cut out pieces for the front and back panels and the front and back pockets. I am yet to cut the side panels & pockets and choose the lining fabric. I've not yet gathered all supplies - I need to source a zip (around 24 inches) and interfacing for the lining (I have some heavyweight and some lightweight - of course I need medium weight for this!!) and piping cord. No rush, though - still plenty of panels to "Quilt as You Go" (which I am really enjoying BTW)

Off to empty the dehumidifier....................what an exciting life I lead!!

Monday, 1 April 2013

A Charity Quilt

It's that time of year again.  Our Retreat was a couple of weeks ago (this was, infact, our last Retreat for a while - it's just too much work for two with a  busy shop & growing families)

This year we chose to raise funds for Millie's Trust, whose aim is to provide First Aid training for everyone - a very worthy cause, we thought

I made this quilt and am pleased to report that the quilt alone raised over £150. We had a couple of other things going on so a cheque will be drawn for more than that for the charity.

And here is the quilt:

The front - used some Pat Bravo (I think??) Fat Quarters I had bought as a stack - there was plenty for the front plus the scrappy binding

I used good old IKEA fabric for the back - I think this script print goes perfectly with the front
It went together pretty easily - I used HST's to make the chevron pattern. Fun to do & a pattern I will probably go back to at some point
I am busy finishing off projects I've had going for a lifetime. I was pleased to have finished my Easter cushion in time for this Easter and the table mat is almost there - just need to get the machine out to do the tongues..................

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter - who knows - I may even get time to blog a little more now. Time will tell!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Gosh has it really been that long?

I can't quite believe how long I've left my blog, and indeed sewing! Life has been hectic in the extreme. Since I last posted, I've held a Scrapbooking Retreat, been to Paris, Chicago, celebrated my 40th Birthday, undergone various changes in our business including stopping a successful monthly kit club (which was such a hard decision) and undergoing rebranding & a complete website rebuild....... and so much more. Sewing has been irratic to say the least - I've spent more time on J's "Boy's Story" Quilt and have also started a similar needle turn Christmas Quilt (a Lynette Anderson design - gorgeous) but the quilts have taken a back seat.

And tomorrow we're off again - to Utah and then LA on a buying trip (it's a hard life but someone has to do it!!). I bought my BFF an iPad for her birthday in December and it was looking a little naked. As is always the way with me - any excuse not to pack for our trip. So, my trusty machine came out along with some Osnaburg and scraps from a quilt I made her just two years ago (crikey!) to whip up this little zipper case for it. Padded with scrap wadding it does the job. Design is based losely on the Orla Keily vine I am obsessed with

Not the best picture in the world, taken using my phone - must get back into this blogging lark - not read any for ages either - what's new out there in the sewing world? Feel like I'm really ouf of the loop!
Thank you for taking the time to read my waffle - would love to know that there are still people out there looking at my little space of the blogisphere

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Foundation Piecing

Whilst researching for my mosaic for Mouthy Stitches, I came across this fabulous design and couldn't stop thinking about it.

I've not used foundation piecing before but thought it might be worth giving it a whirl. So, I sorted out some diamond templates from paper and set too. There seem to be various learnings on foundation piecing - some stitch straight through the foundation paper, others suggest you should not do this. I opted for the latter, just stitching at each corner around the diamond then slip stitching the 6 diamonds together & pressing before removing the foundation pieces. I stitched the finished star onto a 9" piece of backing fabric and then machine & hand quilted per the original.

First try using same fabrics as in Mouthy Stitches swap pouch with Osnaburg

Reverse & interior - you can just see the 3 lines of hand quilting I added to the back for continuity
Pouch no. 2 using my beloved Echo prints and grey solid cotton for the background

Reverse of pouch showing lining, zipper choice & straight line machine quilting
 I actually have another on the go using my Joel Dewberry Heirloom fabrics. I think I may be a little zippy pouch addicted! But what a great way to use a little of my fabric mountain for fabulous linings and deminish a little of those ever growing scraps I seem to hoard - both fabric and batting!

Seriously, though - when I can't be bothered to drag my machine from the top shelf in the dining room and set it all up, these foundation pieced stars are a great way to share evenings with DH snuggling under a quilt and catching up on some telly. We've recently re-discovered BBC iPlayer through our fabulous internet TV and have been watching some great British Dramas - Prisoner's Wives we are now up to date with - The Insiders is next on the itinerary - two down, two more to watch this evening!

Who knows - I might even start a foundation pieced quilt. Or am I really that crazy???

Friday, 24 February 2012

I'm Back! And I've been a little Mouthy

It took a wee while to get over the jetlag from LA (which was a-maz-ing, by the way!!) and work, as always, has been mega busy, leaving me little energy to sew.

However, I had my commitment to the Mouthy Stitches swap and was looking forward to completing my task ready for posting day tomorrow.

 The front, which I designed myself (go me!) using a paper foundation. It looks a little wonky - no matter how I try, I can't get a good pic
 Here is the reverse - some of the fabrics used on the front as blocks
 The front and lining - love this green!
 Another shot of the back
 The back, showing the lining fabric
 A super wonky pic of the front(!!)

This pouch will be sent off tomorrow to it's recipient. I really hope they like it. After a little stalking to find out her likes & dislikes, I went for jewel tone colours with a green lining (which would seem to be her favourite colour and I have to say is an excellent choice, seeing as it is mine too!). I used Osnaburg as the main fabric

So now to choose a FQ of "scraps" to send with the pouch and it will be ready.

Whilst in LA, as mentioned, I did get to make a trip to Sew Modern & my credit card took a fair bashing so I must get on with the sewing now - my fabric stash is becoming more & more of a mountain and I am starting to panic about just how much I have!!! It can sometimes be a little overwhelming, can't it?