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?

Friday, 27 January 2012

I just couldn't do it!

I just couldn't take that too tight iPad case to America with me. I hate flying - everything on my body swells & I get tetchy - Lianne will tell you! After the flight back from New York, I couldn't even get my boots back on my feet! So, I just knew that trying to squeeze my iPad back into it's too tight case would quite possibly tip me over the edge!

So, in between filing VAT & Tax returns, packing cases, wrapping gifts, taking my little man to football & tying up other loose ends, I found a couple of hours to whip another up

It's still not quite perfect, but it's close enough and more importantly, the iPad fits in nice & snug without being too tight or too loose. Win!

So, tomorrow morning at 7.30am I begin my mamouth treck to the West Coast of the US of A which should see us arriving in Anaheim at around 5 am UK time. Fun fun fun! It will all be worth it, though

Catch in a week!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

A Squash & A Squeeze

A bit of an epic fail today. I sat very tired last night stitching together the front of my i-Pad cover. I hand stitched this afternoon the front and the back whilst the twins played with their new My Little Pony toys from Sophie & Aunty Lianne *mwahhh* (thank you both so much - it kept my sanity this afternooon!!!)

This evening I again sat at my machine & it all started to go a little Pete Tonge. Firstly I stitched the front upside down. No biggie - I decided I could live with the patchwork towards the bottom rather than at the top of the pouch. Then I forgot to topstitch around the zip. This is the zip, by the way, which I had to stitch ends on to 3 times before I could get the iPad to slip easily through it - I should have foreseen the iminent problems there & then.

My precious grey & white dot by Michael Millar - love this print - must find more!
My straight line quilting - so happy with this & how it looked
Hand quilting with my gorgeous perle no. 8 cottons on my precious FQ of natural linen I had been coveting
I should have realised when I started to sew that I had sewn & hidden the zipper ends with my 1/4" seams (can you see where this is going???)

I definitely should have realised when I turned it all the right way around & realised just how much "space" the wadding takes up

Yep - you got it - the iPad doesn't fit in it - I didn't give myself enough wiggle room.

Well, it does fit in if I really force it but it's nowhere near ideal. I think I shall take it with me to LA this time around but I will definitely have to make another upon my return

Gah! I am so frustrated with myself. I was so worried it would be too roomy and the Pad would slip around inside I obviously didn't give enough thought to the fact that it could be too small

Epic fail! Please reassure me that I'm not alone in making such mistakes???

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Another Birthday, another Stacked Coin

I do love this pattern - it is definitely my "go to" pattern when whipping up a relatively quick present for someone. This one is for a lovely friend who needlessly spoilt my two at Christmas with some of their favourite Christmas presents. She was next on my "list" to receive a quilt so it is quite fortuitous that it's her birthday in January

Basic Grey "Blush" for Moda again - I still have enough of this fabric for another project or two - it really is delicious - I wonder how much of my love is because I loved the paper range so much when that came out.

Elise is a girly pink girl so I think this will suit her just fine

And now back to the machine to get my i-Pad case made before we jet off on Saturday

Oooh and am super excited to discover that our LA hotel is only 4 miles away from Sew Modern so we will be popping in there on Wednesday afternoon for a browse & a natter - can't wait! Just a little gutted that the LAMQG meet there on Tuesday night & we will still be in Anaheim working :( Hey ho - can't win them all!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Self Indulgent!

Last night I finally cut into my much coveted Joel Dewberry Heirloom in Citrine. This is a range I had been lusting after for some time until a moment of weekness on a Saturday morning saw me trawling several online shops to gather all the pieces in the collection. I have had them stacked here in the lounge for just over a week now winking at me but I've not brought myself to actually make that first cut. So, last night I did. Okay I only cut 1 1/2" strips  so that I could make my very own mug rug but the first cut is always the hardest, isn't it??!

Not very original - same pattern as the last mug rug but with less dense quilting. I will do another with denser quilting too - not sure which look I prefer yet.

What next? A cushion, perhaps? I want to use these fabrics to accent our lounge this year so am thinking cushions, pots, quilt & mug rugs.............maybe a runner for the sideboard too, or is that a fabric item too far???

Monday, 23 January 2012

Getting Started...................

I've made a start on my zippy pouch for my partner. It's been a fun process stalking her & getting to know her likes. I really hope I've got it right. I've gone for jewel tones on Osnaburg with some hand stitching thrown into the mix. The above picture shows my fabric choices. It was fun pulling these out of my stash. These seemed to really divide the group. Some loving and others liking just a selection of my choices. It never ceases to amaze me how different everyones taste is even when there is a common love.

I couldn't resist cutting into them straight away - I had an idea of what I wanted for the front and this is how it came together

I don't know why it always looks so skew in the pictures - it really isn't IRL!! 

I sat up until late last night making up this panel & hand stitching the lime green perle cotton (no. 8) on each of the Osnaburg strips. The panel measures approx. 8" square so will make around a 7 1/2" square pouch

It has been stitched onto a scrap of Warm & Natural wadding to give the pouch a bit of stability and to add texture. Hopefully these two "polaroid" pictures (found that function on Picasa and couldn't resist - cute, eh?) show the texture the hand stitching adds a bit more.

I will probably add some more machine quilting around the edges on the Osnaburg before putting the pouch together.  Now to the back. I have a few more ideas but am not sure whether I'll get to them before we go to CHA in LA on Saturday morning. We'll see - this project sure does seem to be all consuming to me at the moment!!

Whaddya think? Would you like a zippy pouch with this on the front??

Sunday, 22 January 2012

I'm a Mouthy Stitcher!

I'm so excited to be part of this swap on Flickr! It's my first handmade swap and I am rather nervous but very excited at the prospect of making something specifically for someone else - someone else who I don't even know!

As instructed, I created a mosaic of zipper pouches and styles that interested me, here:

And in preparation, as my partner is being decided this weekend, I decided to whip up a quick zipper pouch as a practise run for the kids' Zooble toys which are slowly being distributed throughout the house
 This pouch measures approximately 8 1/2" square
 Made using scraps of Birch fabrics from a scrap pack purchased from Fabricworm (will definitely buy one of those again - fabulous value and huge "scraps" - all full width of bolt)
 The inside square measures 5" before sewing, so this would make an ideal pouch for use with fabric charms - something I shall bear in mind
 I love the contrast of the orange with the turquoise
The other fabric used is Osnaburg. I love love LOVE this for cheapness (we sell it in the shop for just £2.45 a half yard) - it reminds me of linen without the price tag!

And of course I had to do some hand stitching around the outside of the machine quilting. It just wouldn't feel right if I hadn't!

And now this homes their Zoobles and will be deposited in James' room ready for the morning. I know he will love it :D And we're all excited because Daddy will be back from his skiing trip tomorrow afternoon & we are looking forward to seeing him. Guess I'd best get to bed before it's time to be up again!

Monday, 16 January 2012

I made a Mug Rug!

It uses some of my Echo scraps & some Osnaburg scraps.

 Inspired by a rug I found on Pinterest
This one's a gift but I am definitely going to be making more. They are simple to make, a fabulous idea & satisfying for using those scraps!

Friday, 13 January 2012

To Market, To Market, To Buy A Fat Pig..........

........home again, home again, jiggety jig! Whenever I think about making these, that rhyme goes around and around in my head!

For the first time this year (!!) I found myself with a little spare time today. The kids were at school, orders were packed in record time and rather than do housework, I pulled out those vintage sheets I picked up and started cutting (along with some I already had)

I love making these bags. They are all fully reversable...

..........and so very sturdy - I have used them to carry heavy heavy items without any bother........

.........and they just look kinda cool too, don't they?

My charms are also cut up for the Rainbow Charm Swap over on Flickr & will be posted to the host on Monday. I've loved watching all the rainbow fabrics being uploaded onto Flickr - there are some gorgeously fabulous materials there - can't wait! Now to decide what to use them for!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A Little Pot

I hadn't realised that I'd not yet shared this pot. I have made a few of these (see here for another I made). I made it last year, using scraps (which is great) and linen (which I adore) and straight line quilting (which is new to me and I enjoyed). We use it to keep cleaning cloths for our 3D glasses, remote controls, some tins of mints have made their way in there.....

It's just a great little pot to keep everything tidy in 

And soon I will be making another because since making my Lynnebobsquarepants quilt which is being hand quilted, and since spending a small fortune on Joel Dewberry Heirloom in Citrine (a lot by the yard!!!!) I have come to the realisation that aqua, turquoise and grey are the new green in our house (never thought I would say that!!) so our accessories in our very neutral oak and beige room are slowly being changed to those colours - see that vase in the background with the orange flowers? That's the first new thing to arrive :D