Monday, 30 May 2011

A Tale of Two Halves

The half square triangles have finally been stitched together into a top

Of course James has again requested this as his. We'll see. I mean, how many quilts does a 3 yr old need?

Fabrics are Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow and the fabulous tutorial I used for this (they used this range of fabrics too - it just works so well!) can be found here

I am hoping I don't leave this top languishing and inspiration strikes for the back............I have a few ideas up my sleeves - does anyone else find the back almost as challenging as the front???

Sunday, 29 May 2011


Clothing is not something I've stitched before (apart from for dolls & bunnies!!) but I saw a pattern for Amelia a couple of months ago which caught my eye. It came with the the necessary fabrics to make the dress which looked gorgeous. However, what I could not see from the screen was the fact that the white fabric was velvet, which was an absolute b***er to stitch with for my first time at dressmaking.

However, I persevered and made mistakes and stitched & unpicked & restitched & sweated, pressed, admired & finally finished today *phew*

Amelia is in love with her new dress & James is demanding his own (!!) I think I may have persuaded James that PJ bottoms would be much better for him than a dress - anyone know of any good patterns??

So here is Amelia, modelling her new dress, being a "fairy butterfly" (which seems to be her favoured creature right now)

I think I shall be making more of these! The pattern is Polkadots & Summer by Fig Tree & Co and the fabric used is Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow (love the blue & red).

Amelia is 4 next month but very tall so I chose to stitch the dress in a size 6 and not surprisingly, it's not actually that big on her so will hopefully last until at least Christmas. What I loved about the pattern is that it can easily be teamed with a long sleeved t-shirt and thick tights in the autumn

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Parisville is finished

The binding is now on the Parisville quilt and James has well and truly claimed it as his. He really is mummy's little helper at the moment. I took it outside to photograph and he was so excited. He ran back in to grab his camera whilst I managed to quickly snap a few pics of it on the line. He appeared with his camera and started wittering away in his "official" voice (it goes about an octave lower when he's speaking about something important - like he's the authority on it *cute*). I managed to grab some pics of him doing his job............

Deep breath "I can do this"

Look at that concentration!

Patting the quilt to check it's okay and in the right position *love*

Getting a close up
And here is the finished article. The hand quilting was painstacking but it's left it beautifully soft & snuggly and I think it was worth it now. I am even growing to love the subtlty of the white thread used for the hand stitching - there was a point where I wished that I had used a contrasting thread but clean, crisp white is definitely the right choice. I used Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow herringbone print in navy for the binding:

The front

The back
Back to some TV watching - this cold is still wiping me out!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Look what's been under the machine..........

Yesterday, I dug out the red & turquoise quilt which has been lying in it's storage cube as untrimmed, unloved blocks with grey sashing for a while. I have always said this will be our picnic quilt. Because the weather has been so awful these past few weeks I've had no desire to finish. But now the Summer months are fast approaching and I have a renewed love of hand quilting, I thought it best to get a wriggle on!

And here is the quilt top in all it's glory (it's a super blustery day here today so these are "action" shots, I'm afraid!!)

Incidentally, that is a "waterfall" we have in the back garden along with a fully fledged "rill" (about 3 ft deep) which forms curved zig zag along the width of our garden. We had our back garden heavily landscaped whilst I was pregnant with the twins and are, on the whole, very pleased with it. Unfortunately, we signed off on this huge water feature about 6 weeks before the final stages of our 2nd round of IVF. We weren't sure whether or not it was going to work (the first round was a huge failure) and we absolutely fell in love with the plans so went ahead with it.

So, the entire pregancy was spent wondering how we were going to protect the kids from the water. Dad suggested a grand sandpit. I couldn't face emptying the sand in years to come & the thought of that amount of sand being strewn across the garden was a definite no-no for me. We considered crates in the rill to bring up the floor level but mum was concerned that "children can still drown in an inch of water". That set my nerves on edge a little as I wanted them to have freedom in the garden as they got older.

The first summer was fine - they were just born.

The second Summer dad built a huge network of wooden frames covered with chicken wire to slot over the rill and these have been a huge success. We don't have to worry about them out in the garden playing (which they love) but can still enjoy the sound of the waterfall tinkling it's merry tune. I think this year will be the last of the rill cover but we will keep it handy ready for baby Beth when she starts toddling around the garden on visits!

Anyway - now for the quilt back. I really don't want to hide this away for another 3 months!!

Monday, 23 May 2011


I fell in love with a Half Square Triangle quilt a few months ago and have been dying to try it out. First I cut the squares a month or more ago and left them to one side. Then at the weekend I found time to draw the pencil lines along the white squares and left them to one side. Sunday evening I stitched along either side of the pencil lines *which took forever* and set them to one side. I then cut along the pencil line of each one (as shown above), set up the iron and steamed them all open away from the white *which took forever*

 This evening, I have spent the entire night trimming these HST's to 5 1/2" square *which is taking forever*. I have a rather neat pile of 5 1/2" square HST's plus an ever growing pile of trimmings and an ever bluntening rotary blade. These quilts are not "quick wins" but I am hoping it will be worth it! I certainly do like the design of it. I will need another few hours tomorrow evening of trimming before I can lay them out and start sewing them together.........perseverence!

In other news, this cold appears to be turning into a nasty ear infection (I had a perforated ear drum a few years ago - not nice - and this feels like it is going the same way) so I may well be seeing my GP tomorrow for some anti-b's. Fingers crossed sleep & ibuprofen do the job, though

With the UK getting battered by high winds, I hope you are keeping safe & warm xx

Sunday, 22 May 2011


It was our 11th Wedding Anniversary on Friday (where has that time gone??!) and we were due to have a day in Chester (where we were married) and a night to ourselves whilst my parents had the kids.

However, Thursday I started with a terrible cold and was fit for nothing. But, Ross has his new 3D TV and was content watching films & bits & pieces on there so all was good. We did have a quick nip to John Lewis where I was thrilled to see they had Joel Dewberry. So, I treated myself to a few yards of his herringbone pattern in a few different colours. After a snooze in the car (I really wasn't too well) and a rest when we got home, I managed to cut some 2 1/2" strips from the navy herringbone to make the binding for my Parisville quilt. This morning I felt well enough to get the machine out to stitch the strips together, iron & stitch onto the quilt. Now to find some time to hand stitch the binding on and it will be finished! James has already laid claim to it - we'll see if he remembers when it's finished!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I'm still here!

Life has somewhat taken over, though. We had a fabulous week away at Butlins at the end of April - the weather was very kind to us and the kids had a whale of a time

Work is busy and sees me working into most evenings so there is little time left for sewing. I have had a fabulous scrappy day at Lou's with great friends for company but can't share anything from that just yet as it's for a forthcoming kit

In the spare time I have found, I have been hand quilting my Parisville quilt, which gives me such pleasure. I chose white Guttermann quilting thread, doubled over. With hindsight (such a wonderful thing!) I wish I had used a contrasting thread to show up more. But it looks good anyway (well I think so!) and I do love the softness of a handquilted quilt