Monday, 31 December 2012

The One Where I Get It Wrong

I sat down to write this blog post several hours ago.

I'd just had a very productive, happy afternoon sewing January's bee blocks for the Mo Stash Bee, whilst talking to hubby as he sorted out our printer and being an imaginary Captain of an imaginary ship with the children.  Sadly, it turns out that I am not that good at multi-tasking.


As I went to add my pics, I noticed that the blocks didn't look quite right!  Both of them!


and Double D'oh!!


I stitched the middle of both blocks up completely wrong.

Several hours of unpicking later and here are the blocks for Melissa aka Grohsie, just like she asked for.

Mo Stash Bee Block *Friends* Hive
Mo Stash Bee Block *Friends* Hive

Mo Stash Bee Block *Friends* Hive

It is a great block made using this tutorial by the monumentally talented Elizabeth Dackson of Don't Call Me Betsy.

It's easy {well as long as you aren't a total doofus like me} and pretty quick to make too.

I think my first New Years Resolution needs to be *To Be More Observant and Follow Instructions Properly*.

Happy New Year.
Cheerio to 2012

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Oh, oh, oh, I cut up the Neptune!!

For those of you in the know, you will realise that today was a pretty momentous day!  I only went and cut up my Neptune layer cake.

For those of you {the sane ones perhaps} reading this wondering what on earth I am on about, I will only fill you in if you promise not to roll your eyes at me... Promise.  Well, okay then...

Neptune is a fabric line that is very very hard to find.  I didn't realise that fabric went kind of *out of print* but it does.  I bought this layer cake on a whim when I first started trying to accumulate my fabric stash.  I had no idea at the time that it was hard to find or even sought after.  I just loved the nautical theme and the colours.  It's even more amazing in real life.  I only found out when I went to try and source some more of it so that I could use it for a quilt.

I had already used a couple of squares from my layer cake to make a taggie blanket for a newborn gift!  Imagine that highly prized piece of Tula Pink fabric being possetted on by a newborn with absolutely no idea that it's a Neptune!!! *giggles hysterically*

Since then, the layer cake has been sitting in my drawer wondering what it will become.

I just couldn't decide, though I regularly get it out and sort through all the leftover squares.  They are so beautiful!

On my to-do list at the moment is a very special cushion. I seriously want this cushion to be perfect in every way.  Remember my flange cushion?  Well that was a potential candidate for this special cushion and I really love it but there are a couple of lines of quilting that I am not that happy with.

Then I heard that the recipient of this {special} cushion loves Neptune and I just knew...

Today would be the perfect day to cut up the layer cake.  Hell yeah!  It's pretty Rock n' Roll round here on New Years Eve Eve you know!

Cutting up the Neptune!!!

I added in a fresh bright Kona solid and sewed me some HSTs.

I decided on this layout because it reminded me of the lifebuoys in a few of the prints.

Neptune cushion

I made the back of the cushion with the same Kona solid as the hidden zip flap and some gorgeous home furnishing weight fabric, which I love.

Neptune cushion back

I quilted it quite simply because it seems to work for the shape.

Neptune cushion

Just the binding to decide on now and this cushion will be ready to ship.

I'm linking this up as my January entry for the Lovely Year of Finishes 2013, as I really seriously want to finish this up and I know that I will be pondering and faffing over the *perfect* binding unless I do.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

You might have noticed that I have started a whole new Page for this at the top of my blog.  I am really hoping to have at least 12 important finishes in 2013.  Are you joining in too?

Happy New Year to you.
Cheerio for now

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Elephant Cushion

Christmas has just flown by here.  It was really lovely having so much of our family together and the day was a wonderful success.  Both of our little dandelion children thoroughly enjoyed all the magic and trimmings of the day.

I love this period between Christmas and New Year because it is hibernation time in our house.  We all snuggle in and spend long happy days together.  Hopefully, I will get lots of sewing done and have stacks of things to share with you here.

But for now, I wanted to show you the elephant cushion that I made for my darling mama.  She loves piping on her cushions, so I thought I would oblige.

My first piped cushion

I cut the elephant from a piece of Valori Wells fabric and appliqued it to some great home furnishing weight fabric.

I am so pleased with how the piping turned out.  It's hard to photograph a cushion well and this one definitely looks oodles better in real life.

Piped cushion back

I also added a hidden zip in the back and found those perfect little elephants in my stash for the feature *flap*.

Hidden zip closure

Hope you all had a great time.
Cheerio for now

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Ho Ho Ho

Ho Ho Ho and lots of Christmas cheer.

I have been really busy, but of course it is all Christmas pressie sewing that I can't show you much of.

Well... except maybe for this cute table topper that I whipped up this afternoon using a Mini Moda Charm pack that the lovely Di sent to me a while ago.  I just felt like sewing all the little squares together and then quilting it simply too.  I did it this way for speed, but now it's finished I really love it.  Sometimes, I guess it is okay to make it simple when it comes to lovely quilting cottons.

Mini Charm Christmas Table Topper

I had some very festive {but a bit glittery} holly fabric that I wanted to use up, so it was perfect for the back of the Topper.

Christmas Table Topper = back

Now that it is all quilted, I am actually quite fond of it and it will be handy to have a reversible side for putting actual food on, with the other side reserved as eye candy.

Christmas Table Topper

And I guess I could show you this tote bag that I made for a very special friend of mine who deserves a little fabric treat.  A few fat quarters from the new Julia Rothman fabric *Type* landed on my doorstep yesterday  and I just couldn't wait to cut into it.

I went for a {rustic} style tote with a front pocket and three poppers.

Another Christmas pressie tote bag
Fingers crossed that it makes her smile.

Another Christmas pressie tote bag

I also managed to finish up a very special Mug Rug.

Mug Rug for a special friend

I followed a pattern by The Patchsmith which is available here.

If you need an extra quick little gift, then you should definitely check out her patterns.  They are totally great.

I will definitely be stocking up on a few more of her fab patterns because it is totally gorgeous and I think my friend is going to love it.  I added some hand quilting round the elephant and an extra border.

Elephant Mug Rug

Cheerio for today.
Merry Christmas Eve Eve

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Happy Little Pouch Blog Hop The Poppered Pouch Tutorial

Hello and Welcome, if you are new here and have just popped over on the Happy Little Pouch Hop.
If it is your first visit here, I really hope that you will take a look around and, don't forget to sign up for an email when I blog or hit that Follower button.  If you decide to become a new follower here today, let me know in the comments, as it really will make me smile.

For my regular readers, I wonder have you been following along on the Happy Little Pouch Hop?

There have been some fantastic tutorials, reviews and pouches on the Happy Little Pouch so far.  Did you see the great ickle pouch that Elaine made?  and Cindy's tutorial review was great too.  In fact, I have loved all the posts so far.  Without further ado, let's get on with the tute.

And here is my pouch for you...


I love a little pouch and they are such handy quick little items to stitch up.  But I have to say that sometimes, I just can't face the zippered part of it.  I never have the right size zip and I spend ages puzzling over how to resize either the pattern or the zip.  So, I thought I would present to you my Happy Little Poppered Pouch.

You see, I got a new gadget recently.  A KAM Snap Press Pliers set from a wonderful charity site doing amazing work in China at Little Flower Projects.  I've been hankering after  one since I started sewing.  They often use this type of snap on reusable nappies.  They wash really well and are sturdy and permanent.  I have to say that I really love my snap press, but if you don't have one you could easily make this with any press on {or sew on} snap from your local haberdashery.  You could even use a button instead.

The Happy Little Poppered Pouch Tutorial

For the outside of your pouch:
Cut 2 rectangles of fabric 8½ x 10½ inches

For the lining:-
Cut 1 rectangle of plain fabric {mine is pink} 8½ x 20 inches

For the pouch flap:-
Cut 1 of lining fabric and 1 of outside fabric = 8½ x 4½

Wadding - cut 2 pieces of wadding slightly larger than each of your outside pieces of fabric

Seam allowances = 1/4 inch

1. Take the two flap pieces.


2. To make the curved part of your pouches flap, cut around the edge of a dinner plate;


3.  Pin the layers right sides together with one layer of wadding on the bottom of the stack.

Stitch around the two narrow sides and the curved edge, leaving the top side open for turning.


4.  Clip notches around the curved edge before turning, taking care not to snip into your seam allowance;


5.  Turn the flap out the right way and press with a hot steamy iron before top stitching around the edge for a nice, professional finish.


6.  Now take your outside fabric and place it on a layer of wadding.  Stitch around the edge of the panel, and/or quilt as desired.  Then trim the wadding to the same size as each panel.


7.  Place the outside panels with right sides together and stitch around one long side, the bottom short side and the other long side.

To box the corners of your pouch, cut a 1.5 inch square from each of the bottom corners {see the next two photos}.



8.  Grab the pouch and line up the seam where the squares you just cut out were, that the side seam looks like the photo below.


9.  Sew securely the seam allowance on your boxy corners on each side;


10.  Take your lining fabric and fold it in half
Sew along each side edge,leaving a 3inch gap on one side for turning .  The fold will be the bottom of the pouch.


11.  Cut 1.5 inch squares out of the bottom corners and repeat process of boxing the corners as you did for outside of pouch;

12.  Take fold of your pouch flap.
I find it easier to attach it to the outside of the pouch at this stage by basting it to the back side of the pouch right sides together.


13.  Now turn your lining inside out and place it inside your pouch so that the right sides are touching.  Line up the top edge and stitch around the top with a 1/4 inch seam.


14.  Turn your pouch out through your the gap that you left for turning in the side seam of the lining, which you can then sew closed.  Press and top-stitch around the top of the pouch.  This will also help the flap of the pouch fold nicely over.


15.  Now it's time to add your snap to the flap.  In the photo above, you can see some of the bright colourful snaps available.

Below is a picture of the KAM Snap Press Pliers which are really super easy to use.


16.  Position your snap on the body of the pouch also.


17.  Those hairy hands are my hubster's not mine!


18.  Press your snap closed and lickety split you are finished. Yay!


19.  Now take a photo of your finished pouch and it would fantastic if you could add it to my Flikr group {click on the link here}.  If you make a pouch this week, be sure to add it to the competition thread on the Flikr group for a chance to win some amazing prizes.


Thanks for visiting today.
and I hope you enjoyed my Happy Little Poppered Pouch tutorial.
Happy Sewing

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Two Exciting Things Are Happening

Two exciting things are happening in this wonderful quilty cyber space.

And I just want to spread the word a little and tell you all about them.

The first is that maybe, just maybe, there will finally be a fantastic Modern Quilting magazine in publication soon.  Kerry from Pennydog Patchwork is working her socks off to try and get it off the ground.  You can read more about it over on her blog here.

What's more, if you whiz over there today, she is hosting a giveaway so you can find out how to support the magazine and how to win some gorgeous fabric too.

The second exciting thing is that Justine from Simply Solids is starting up a monthly colour bundle club.  As soon as I heard about it, I couldn't wait to get signed up.  You can read about it for yourself here.  I went for the 6 FQs option.


I can't wait for all the creativity to get started.

Cheerio for now

Monday, 3 December 2012

Cushion Crazy

I am on a mission to fill the house with beautiful cushions.

When I met up with the lovely Ceri {from Inspired by Felix blog} this week, she showed me how to make a cushion with a hidden zipper back.

I gave it a try yesterday and I have to say that I am completely in love with the results.  I think all those UFO blocks I have hanging around are destined to become plumfy cushions very soon.

For the front, I made four simple string paper pieced blocks using strips cut from a Moda Scrap Bag.  I love those Scrap Bags.  Have you tried one yet?  Justine at Simply Solids sells them now and they are full of strips from a whole Moda line, each with its own little bit of selvedge.  I couldn't be happier!   These strips are the offcuts from the precious selvedges, so you can see that you get a great amount of fabric for a bargain price.


Here is the hidden zipper back.  
The lumps in it are just because I didn't have a the right size cushion form rather than being attributed to any sewing faux pas.

Cushion back with hidden zipper


Cheerio for now

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Flange Fan

The other day, when my Scrappy Swap from Moira arrived, I was so excited by all the different colours in the scraps that she sent me.  There were sumptuous oranges, bright yellows and tantalising teals.

I couldn't wait to get stitching those little beauties together.

I decided it was the perfect time to try out a block that I have been eyeing for ages in the Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters book; the Quarter Twist block.  It is a very cool looking block, but let me tell you, it includes a lot of curves.

Swap Ideas

There are five pieces of fabric in each block.  Those colours just don't show up vibrantly enough in this dull English winter light, I'm afraid.

Quarter Twist block

I added in some of the text prints that recently arrived from the Text Charm Swap.

I am planning to make this into a cushion, so I wanted to add a few borders.

It needed a little pop of orange, so I thought I would try out a flange.

Hee hee... yup, that's right, I did say FLANGE!!

Isn't it just the most hilarious word in sewing.

But I have to say that I love the impact it has on the block.  I added one of the borders, but I still want to add a teal border too.

Adding a flange and the first border

Flange close up

The extra work involved in adding in a flange is definitely worth it.

I followed this tutorial and my flange strip measured 7/8th inch before it was ironed in half.

I am definitely a Flange Fan now.

I hope you have a lovely Sunday.
Cheerio for now